Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year, Clean Sweep – Assessing Your Cabinets

While the science suggests that setting a multitude of New Year’s resolutions isn’t honestly a great idea and that we do much better if we focus on one goal at a time, many of us continue to view New Year’s as an overall fresh start. For me, my re-focus on healthy eating means clearing the cabinets and cupboards of leftover contraband from the holidays, and while I’m at it, checking expiration dates on all pantry items as well as all the condiments that have accumulated in the refrigerator. After making a clean sweep through the kitchen, it only makes sense to continue to the bathroom cabinets, another key area in our home with lots of items with “best used by” dates.

Prescription medications and over-the-counter medications, including vitamins and other dietary supplements, all have expiration/best used by dates. Prescription medications typically have a one-year shelf life, while vitamins and supplements have a two-year shelf life.

To dispose of supplements and medications that have expired or are no longer needed, many cities have hazardous waste collection sites that will take these items. The U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled the next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day for Saturday, April 28, 2012, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. During this event, unwanted medications can be dropped off at collection sites for free.

If waiting until April seems to far away, pharmacy chain CVS has partnered with Sharps Compliance Corporation, a company that handles medical waste, and all of their pharmacies have medication disposal envelopes which can be used to send unwanted medications directly to Sharps for disposal. (The postage paid envelopes are $3.99 each.)

If you elect to dispose of unused medications in your trash, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers these guidelines for handling:

• Take the pills out of their original containers.
• Mix the pills with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or cat litter to make the pills less attractive to children or pets and unrecognizable to someone who might intentionally go through your trash.
• Put the mixture in a sealed container or bag to prevent the pills from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
• These products should not be burned, so those in rural areas with burn barrels should not put these items in the burn barrel.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy recommends that before disposing of prescription medication bottles, the label either be removed, or covered with a permanent marker or duct tape to prevent re-ordering by someone else.

Recommended storage instructions are noted on vitamin and supplement bottles, and on the insert that accompanies prescription medications. As a general rule, products should be stored at room temperature, away from both excessive light and humidity.

National Take Back Initiative

Sharps Compliance Corp’s TakeAway Environmental Return System ™ Envelope Solution Now Available at CVS/pharmacy

FDA How to Dispose of Unused Medicines

Jill Turner is VP of Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. E-mail or call 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cooper Complete: Coming Soon

We have several new “single ingredient” supplements that are being added to the Cooper Complete line. Below is a quick overview about each item.

Vitamin B12 (Liquid) Methylcobalamin (Now Available Online and at The Coop)
Cooper Clinic now checks B12 levels (through a blood test) as part of the comprehensive physical exam. People at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency include strict vegetarians, elderly people and those with pernicious anemia. Studies have shown that a deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to abnormal neurologic and psychiatric symptoms. These symptoms may include shaky movements and unsteady gait, muscle weakness, spasticity, incontinence, hypotension (low blood pressure), vision problems, dementia, psychoses and mood disturbances. Researchers have reported that these symptoms may occur when vitamin B12 levels are just slightly lower than normal and are considerably above the levels normally associated with anemia.

Cooper Complete vitamin B12 comes in liquid form and is (natural) cherry flavored. Each bottle contains 30 servings of 1,000 mcg vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin).

Melatonin – Two Forms: Quick Release & Prolonged Release
At some time or another, almost all of us have issues with sleep. Sometimes the issue is that we fall asleep easily, but then wake up long before dawn and have difficulty getting back to sleep. Other times, the issue is simply difficulty in falling asleep. To address these different sleep disturbances, two new Melatonin products are coming. Quick Release Melatonin will help those who have difficult falling asleep, while Prolonged Release Melatonin is for those who can fall asleep quickly but then have difficulty staying sleep. Each formula will contain 3 mg Melatonin and 60 servings.

For best results, our recommendation is to take one tablet one hour before bedtime or as directed by a physician.

Iron – Prolonged Release
Most of us have iron levels that are perfectly normal without supplementation. This product is for those who have a deficiency and have been directed by their physician to take supplemental iron. Our prolonged release iron tablets will dispense iron (in the Ferronyl® form) for a six to eight hour period to aid in absorption.

Two tablets of Cooper Complete supplemental Iron contain 54 mg Iron (from Ferronyl®). Each bottle contains 60 tablets.

The amino acid L-Lysine is an essential amino acid that we get in food, particularly meat and poultry, but also in dairy products, eggs and beans. The supplement L-Lysine is often taken to control herpes simplex virus outbreaks, also known as “cold sores” or “fever blisters.” In a small placebo-controlled clinical trial, the treatment group took 1,000 mg L-Lysine three times a day for six months (3,000 mg L-Lysine total per day), and compared to the placebo group, had an average of 2.4 fewer herpes simplex virus outbreaks over the six-month period. The treatment group also reported a lessoned severity of symptoms and significantly reduced healing time. In a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study of forty-one patients, researchers found that supplementation of 1,248 mg of L-Lysine per day decreased the recurrence rate of herpes simplex attacks in non-immuno-compromised individuals.

Cooper Complete L-Lysine capsules contain 500 mg. Each bottle contains 100 capsules.

While Vitamin B12 has already arrived and is available online and in our store, The Coop, located inside Cooper Fitness Center in Dallas, the remaining new items will not be arriving until January or February of 2012.

To purchase Cooper Complete supplements, visit the Cooper Store.

Our toll free number is 888-393-2221; email us at

Success of L-lysine therapy in frequently recurrent herpes simplex infection. Treatment and prophylaxis.

Treatment of recurrent herpes simplex infections with L-lysine monohydrochloride.

Lysine as a prophylactic agent in the treatment of recurrent herpes simplex labialis.

Subjective response to lysine in the therapy of herpes simplex.

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dynamic Duo Omega-3, Vitamin D: Two Nutrients Proven to Boost Heart Health

More than 200 years ago Scottish philosopher David Hume wrote, “A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.” Today, that advice still holds true, especially when it comes to nutritional supplementation.

In the multi-billion dollar vitamin and supplement industry, products often claim more “sizzle” than “steak.” However, when you look at the research, evidence shows that supplementation with appropriate nutrients makes sense for most people. The key being “appropriate nutrients,” and when it comes to heart health there are two nutrients in particular we should pay close attention to—omega-3 and vitamin D.

Connecting Healthy Hearts to Omega-3s
The cardiovascular benefit of omega-3 fats is not a new health discovery. It was identified in the early 1970s by Jørn Dyerberg, MD, DMSc, and his colleagues in Greenland. They sought to understand how Eskimos living in Greenland could eat a high-fat diet—consisting mostly of fish and seal—and still have one of the lowest death rates from cardiovascular disease in the world. Through research they found the answer—omega-3 fats. Their work was published in The Lancet and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Today more than 18,000 published studies show the benefits of omega-3 fats, especially for the heart because they help lower blood pressure, resting heart rate, risk of arrhythmia, sudden death and triglycerides. Omega-3 fats also improve the HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio and reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

Noted omega-3 researcher William Harris, PhD, touts the cardiovascular benefits stating, “There is no nutrient more important for decreasing risk of cardiovascular death — and more lacking — than omega-3.”

It’s in the Label
When it comes to buying nutritional supplements it pays to be an educated consumer. This is particularly the case with omega-3 fats, which are often referred to, almost interchangeably, as fish oil and or poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Not all omega-3 products are created equal—the important ingredients to look for are the amounts of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in the product.

EPA and DHA are the “long chain” omega-3s that are so beneficial for the heart as well as the brain, eyes and immune system. EPA and DHA come from the micro-algae that fish eat, especially fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, anchovies and sardines.

For maximum benefit most experts recommend at least 1,000-2,000 mg of EPA and DHA combined every day. If you are eating fatty fish at least three to four times a week, you are probably getting enough omega-3 fats from your diet. However, studies indicate that Americans eat fish once every 11 days on average.

When determining which omega-3 supplement product is the best buy, you will need to do some detective work. That is, read the small print on the back of the bottle. Well over half of omega-3 products provide only a 30 percent concentration of EPA and DHA. That means every 1,000 mg (1 gram) soft gel will give you 300 mg of EPA and DHA. With that in mind you will need to take four soft gels per day to total 1,200 mg of EPA and DHA.

The higher quality—and often best value—fish oils provide a 50-60 percent concentration, which means you need to take just two 1,000 mg soft gels per day to reach the target daily dose.

The Vitamin D Dilemma
The other nutrient that deservedly is currently getting lots of positive press is vitamin D, which actually is not a vitamin at all. It’s a steroid hormone manufactured, or synthesized, by our body when UVB light from the sun hits our skin. We can also get some vitamin D from our diet by consuming fish, milk and fortified cereal. But it’s difficult to get the proper dosage through food alone.

Vitamin D was “discovered” when many children in New England began developing rickets during the winter months. Rickets is a softening of the bones in children that can potentially lead to fractures and deformity (osteomalacia is a similar condition in adults). There was limited sunshine during the day and everyone wore long pants, coats and hats due to the cold temperatures, making it difficult for the children’s bodies to synthesize enough vitamin D. Because vitamin D regulates the uptake of calcium into the bones, without enough of it the bones simply won’t calcify.

As it turns out though, vitamin D is involved in much more than just bone health. Thousands of studies now link low vitamin D status to many conditions including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, several cancers, depression, diabetes, chronic pain, macular degeneration, poor lung function and arthritis.

Cedric Garland, DrPH, a recognized vitamin D expert contends, “The benefit of vitamin D is as clear as the harmful link between smoking and lung cancer.”

A 2008 study of 1,354 men, ages 40-75, published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, showed those deficient in vitamin D (a blood level less than 15 ng/ml) were 2½ times more likely to suffer a heart attack than those with the highest levels and those heart attacks were more likely to be of the fatal variety.

Yet at the same time, studies indicate that vitamin D levels are dropping throughout much of the world. One factor is most of us spend a majority of our days inside—working and doing indoor leisure activities. And when we do go out in the sun we’ve been taught to wear sunscreen to reduce our risk for skin cancer. Sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or greater decreases the synthesis of vitamin D by 99 percent. Keep wearing your sunscreen, but give yourself 15 minutes in the sun before applying it.

Determining D Levels
There is only one way to determine your vitamin D level—a blood test known as 25 hydroxyvitamin D.

• Insufficiency – level less than 30 ng/ml
• Deficiency – level less than 20 ng/ml
• Toxicity – level of at least 150 ng/ml

Of interest, most lifeguards and people who live near the equator (where UVB light is most prevalent) have vitamin D levels around 70-100 ng/ml.

The recommended target level for vitamin D is open to debate. Most experts agree your vitamin D level should be least 30 ng/ml. However, Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas, recommends patients target at least 40 ng/ml as a baseline.

Supplement the Sun
One of the best ways to ensure your vitamin D level is appropriate is to use supplements. Vitamin D-3 is recognized to be more bioavailable than D-2. How much is needed varies greatly based on age, skin tone, time of year, sun exposure, where you live, weight and other factors.

While Dr. Garland and other researchers recommend a daily oral intake of 2,000 to 2,400 IU of D-3 for adults, it’s best to consult with your physician on what your specific intake should be based on your vitamin D test results, age and other health issues.

There are two things to keep in mind. One, don’t be surprised if your level is low. If your level is very low (less than 15 or 20 ng/ml), your physician may place you on a prescription vitamin D at a dose of 50,000 IU once or twice a week for a period of eight to 12 weeks. This is known as a “hyper dose” to quickly get your blood level where it needs to be.

Secondly, if your level is low, even real low, don’t worry. Correcting the problem is easy and inexpensive.

There are a number of things we can do to keep our hearts healthy including exercise, weight management and preventive medical exams, but making sure our omega-3 and vitamin D levels are appropriate is certainly a great place to start. Stay well!

Todd Whitthorne
President & CEO, Cooper Concepts, Inc.

Cooper Complete® is a pure, potent vitamin and supplement line scientifically proven to improve well-being. Included are Advanced Omega-3 and Vitamin D-3. Cooper Complete can be purchased online or by phone at 888.393.2221.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The “Hot” News About Cayenne Supplements

We recently received an inquiry about Cayenne Pepper supplements. Cayenne pepper is a member of the Capsicum family of vegetables, which also includes red peppers, bell peppers, pimento and paprika. Capsicum adds color, pungency and aroma to foods. The level of pungency (heat) in peppers depends mainly on the concentration of capsaicinoids. Chili peppers and red peppers have higher capsaicinoid levels, while paprika has lower levels. Spanish paprika, made from pimentos, has almost no heat and is used primarily for coloring. Cayenne pepper is made by drying, and then grinding, the hotter chili peppers and red peppers into a powder.

When we consume foods containing higher levels of hot peppers, the capsaicin causes a chemical messenger “substance P”, to artificially release. Substance P in our nerve cells is responsible for transmitting pain signals. This artificial release is transmitted to our nervous system, and this is how we feel the burning pain in our mouth from the heat. Over time and repeated intake of hot, spicy foods, the level of substance P is depleted in our mouth, so people who eat a lot of hot foods regularly actually do build up a gradual tolerance to the heat.

The same “tolerance” that allows frequent hot pepper eaters to tolerate the heat more easily than those who only occasionally have hotter foods is the basis for over-the-counter capsicum creams that can be topically applied to the body. Caution should be exercised when using these creams though, as the same “hot” sensation we get when eating peppers or prepping hot peppers for food dishes also applies to these creams. They can be painful, particularly if they hit any open cuts or mucous membrane. There’s good clinical evidence that Capsicum topically applied in a plaster or cream is helpful in reducing lower back pain. There has also been research findings that capsicum plasters combined with acupuncture can help relieve post-operative nausea and vomiting.

When used orally, Capsicum may cause gastrointestinal irritation, mouth and throat irritation, damaged taste buds with reduced ability to taste foods, fullness, flatulence, gas, indigestion, diarrhea, ulcer aggravation and stomach pain. Even with all these side effects, oral Capsicum supplements have been suggested as a cure-all for everything from weight loss, sore throat, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes and skin conditions. However, the science for Capsicum in these areas is lacking. Capsicum supplements may also impact blood-thinners, antidepressants, insulin levels and blood pressure. They can cause allergic reactions in those who are allergic to bell peppers, paprika or other peppers.

For all of these reasons, we’ll continue to enjoy all kinds of peppers in our food, and yes, cayenne pepper in some of our dishes, but might shy away from taking Capsicum supplements.

For more information about Cooper Complete vitamins and supplements, please call 888.393.2221 or visit

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the division that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call Jill at 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vitamins and Minerals for Athletes

We received the following question via email recently. The writer attended a symposium at UCLA in 1994 where Dr. Cooper spoke about the vitamins and minerals he suggested long-distance runners take to counter free radicals. The writer advised that she is still a long-distance runner, and would like to know what the current recommendations are. Her notes from the 1994 symposium document that Dr. Cooper suggested long-distance runners take 1,000 mg Vitamin C, 400 IU natural Vitamin E, and 25,000 IU Beta Carotene. She closed by also asking about recommendations on Vitamin D.

The world of supplements is honestly an area of constantly evolving science. Dr. Cooper wrote a book, the Antioxidant Revolution, back in 1994, following his research on the impact of antioxidants and athletic recovery. (The book is out of print.) The guidelines in that book were the foundation of Cooper Complete Elite Athlete, a multivitamin and mineral formulation specifically for elite athletes, including marathoners, triathletes, competitive body builders and cyclists to name a few.

The recommendation of Dr. Cooper, and his scientific team of advisors has changed significantly over the years, and Cooper Complete Elite Athlete has been revised multiple times in response to the expanding body of research available. The level of vitamin A (as natural beta carotene) is now dramatically lower, in part due to the prevalence of vitamin A/Beta Carotene in packaged cereals and many other fortified foods, while the levels of vitamin C and E have been increased to 2,000 mg (Vitamin C) and 800 IU (Vitamin E). Vitamin D, originally at 400 IU, is now at 2,000 IU. We encourage Vitamin D blood testing, and those who find levels still low with 2,000 IU per day may add additional Vitamin D to their regimen.

The latest formulation change is set to occur early next year, when we adjust the level of folic acid from 400 mcg to 200 mcg, and change the form from folate to Metafolin, a patented form of 5-methyletrahydrofolate (5-MTHT) made by Merck. Along with this ingredient change, the tablets will receive a vanilla flavored coating to make them easier to swallow.

We suggest that those taking Cooper Complete Elite Athlete exercise more than five hours per week at 80 percent maximal heart rate or higher (as defined: 205 – ½ age x 0.8) or as recommended by their healthcare professional. Here is the Cooper Complete Elite Athlete ingredient composition.

In addition to taking Cooper Complete Elite Athlete, we suggest that all adults take a minimum of 1,000 mg per day (combined) of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, as studies show that EPA is a great overall inflammation fighter.

For more information about Cooper Complete vitamins and supplements, please call 888.393.2221 or visit

Joint Health -

Advanced Omega-3 -

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the division that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call Jill at 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Monday, October 17, 2011

All About Magnesium

Magnesium is essential to good health. The fourth most abundant mineral in our body, about fifty to sixty percent of the body’s magnesium is found in our bones, with the balance in our muscle and other soft tissues. Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, regulates heart rhythm, supports a healthy immune system and keep bones strong. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure and is involved in energy metabolism.

The daily recommended intake for magnesium is 400 mg for men 19 to 30 years of age and 420 mg for men over 30 years of age; 310 mg for women 19 to 30 years of age and 320 mg for women over 30 years of age. Cooper Clinic routinely tests magnesium levels as part of the blood profile in the comprehensive physical. A normal blood plasma level is 1.8 to 2.4 mg/dL.

Foods that are naturally high in fiber generally have decent levels of magnesium. Dietary sources of magnesium include legumes, whole grains, vegetables (especially broccoli, squash, and green leafy vegetables), seeds and nuts (especially almonds and cashews). Other sources include dairy products, meats, chocolate and coffee. Per 3 ½ ounce serving, Kelp provides 760 mg magnesium, while almonds and cashews have approximately 270 mg, and pecans and English walnuts around 135 mg.

The health status of our digestive system and kidneys influences our magnesium level. Primarily absorbed in the small intestine, magnesium is then transported through the blood to cells and tissues. Our kidneys excrete magnesium, so in instances where kidney health is impaired, too much magnesium may be expelled. In general, healthy individuals absorb about one-third to one-half of the magnesium ingested. Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal disorders can impair absorption of magnesium.

Older adults are at increased risk for magnesium deficiency. In addition to consuming less magnesium than younger adults, magnesium absorption decreases and renal excretion of magnesium increases in older adults. Seniors are also more likely to take drugs that interact negatively with magnesium. Magnesium supplements should not be taken at the same time as tetracycline or thyroid hormones - take either two hours before or after the medication.

Early signs of magnesium deficiency could include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, insomnia and weakness. Later signs may include numbness, tingling, personality changes, muscle contractions, cramps, seizures and abnormal heart rhythms. Because these symptoms are so broad, a magnesium deficiency can sometimes go undetected as physicians eliminate other issues.

Magnesium supplements combine magnesium with another substance such as a salt. Magnesium supplements include carbonate, chloride, gluconate, glycinate, hydroxide, oxide, silicate, stearate and sulfate. Epsom salts, often used to sooth a variety of skin conditions, is actually magnesium sulfate. Elemental magnesium refers to the amount of magnesium in each compound, and the amount of elemental magnesium in a compound and its bioavailability influence the effective of the magnesium supplement. Bioavailability is the amount of magnesium that is ultimately absorbed and useable by our body. In a more bioavailable form of magnesium, it is not unusual to find that four or more tablets are required to get to 500 mg of magnesium.

Nutritional Magnesium Association

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Magnesium

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call 888-393-2221 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Radio Interview by Todd Whitthorne Discussing Vitamins

In this interview with Todd Whitthorne by Joanie Greggains on KGO Radio in San Francisco, Todd discusses the following issues:

1. The best time of day to take a multivitamin.
2. If other supplements can be taken at the same time as the multivitamin.
3. The synergistic impact of supplements, such as calcium and Magnesium.
4. Vitamin D and dosing.
5. B vitamins and their importance pre-pregnancy in preventing neural tube defects.
6. Omega-3 levels and military personnel suicide statistics.

Listen to the Interview

Monday, September 19, 2011

Flexible Spending Dollars – Have You Checked Your Balance?

It’s that time of year again. Have you checked your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) balance? Flexible spending accounts give many of us the option to have money deposited through payroll deductions into an account to use for medical expenses. The money in a FSA is exempt from federal, state and payroll taxes, and allows us to pay for medical expenses with pre-tax dollars, which can lower our costs by as much as 30 percent. The way the plans are written, any money not spent by the end of the coverage period (typically the last date of the year) is forfeited back to the plan administrator. This is a classic “use it or lose it” program.

As the end of the year draws near, many of us still have dollars left in our flexible spending accounts (FSA). The plans cover vitamins and nutritional supplements with a doctor’s note. So, if you have cash left in your plan and are trying to figure out how to use it, consider contacting your doctor’s office for a note and then stocking up. Many people take Advanced Omega-3 to lower triglycerides and reduce inflammation, Vitamin D-3 to raise sub-optimal levels, or a multivitamin and mineral supplement for general overall health. As with any other prescription, the pharmacist will need to know how many of each tablet to dispense, so be sure to have your doctor specify how many of each tablet/pill you should take.

In Texas, the entire line of Cooper Complete® nutritional supplements is available in all Albertson’s stores, and can be found directly in front of the pharmacy. Cooper Complete has a relationship with the independent pharmacy Dougherty’s, to fill the prescription and ship the items to you. To make the process as easy as possible, once you have the prescription from your physician, please contact the Cooper Complete offices at 800-980-6311 or to coordinate the details of getting the prescription filled. If you are a Cooper Clinic patient, you can also use the coupon you receive during your physical when for the purchase.

Dougherty’s Pharmacy

Albertson’s LLC

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Calcium 101

Todd Whitthorne, President and CEO of Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements, discusses the basics of calcium and how it's beneficial to your health.

 For more information on Cooper Complete Nutrition Supplements, visit or call 972.560.2707.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Let's Talk Krill

We’ve recently had several inquiries about krill oil supplements. Is it safe, what does it contain and where does it come from?

Krill are small shrimp-like marine crustaceans, similar in size to a large paperclip, that live in the ocean and feed on algae and plankton. Krill play an important role in overall marine life, as they feed directly on algae and plankton, which is then converted into a form of energy (krill) that can be consumed by other sea life. Probably best known as the food of choice for giant blue whales, seals, squid, and cold water fish also consume a diet rich in krill. In addition to turning algae and plankton into energy, because krill eat carbon-rich food near the ocean surface (and then excrete it in lower, colder waters), some believe they play an important role in removing greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

While Japanese sometimes eat krill, the vast majority of krill is used in aquaculture and livestock feed, for fish bait and pet foods, and the pharmaceutical industry. Using ‘suction’ harvesting, krill is gathered from the ocean. Most commercial fishing of Krill is in Antarctica and off the coast of Japan, and off Canada’s Pacific coast. The Pacific Fishery Management Council (here in the United States) does not allow krill fishing off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, or California as krill serve as the basis of the marine food chain. Scientists believe krill have declined by 80 per cent since the 1970s, and the most likely cause is global warming. Because of sustainability concerns, Whole Foods discontinued sale of krill products last year, and recommends that consumers choose fish oil supplements instead.

While there is an astounding amount of marketing information available online touting the advantages of krill oil, there is limited science based fact. Neptune Technologies produces virtually all of the krill oil on the market, and they have been conducting research on krill oil, but so far there are very few studies. An amazing number of web sites reviewed referenced two small cholesterol studies (one containing 113 subjects and another containing 120, and both with very different outcomes), a study that compared krill oil against fish oil for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menstrual cramps, and a study (acknowledged as badly designed) for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis were mentioned on umpteen sites.

Krill oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), carotenoids and phospholipids. Carotenoids are found in many foods, particularly the yellow, orange and dark green vegetables and fruits. Krill oil proponents claim that krill oil is better absorbed than traditional fish oil supplements, because it is in the phospholipids- rather than triglyceride- form. And, because it is better absorbed, the amount EPA and DHA is significantly lower. (One wildly popular brand contains 140 mg EPA/DHA in two capsules, whereas Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 contains 1,200 mg EPA/DHA in two softgels.) Opponents say this argument is nonsense as phospholipids are non-essential to the body, and since time began we have been consuming EPA and DHA in the triglyceride form from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines.

While krill oil appears to be perfectly safe, the data seems to contain a lot more hype then hard scientific fact. With more than 18,000 studies on EPA and DHA in fish oil form to date, it makes sense to stick with the proven, and less expensive, original.

The Cooper Complete store is here.


Tiny Krill: Giants in Marine Food Chain

Pacific Fishery Management Council

Krill Oil

What is Phytoplankton?


Whole Foods discontinues krill, citing ‘sustainability issues’

Neptune Technologies & Resources

Monday, July 18, 2011

Getting to Know Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9, or Folate, is essential for the growth and reproduction of all body cells and is especially important during periods of high growth, such as infancy, adolescence and pregnancy. As almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unexpected or unplanned (see New England Journal of Medicine article below), women in their childbearing years are routinely encouraged to take a multivitamin containing vitamin B9 to help prevent neural tube defects (NTDs). Folate also plays an important role in reducing the risk of heart disease, and is known to reduce homocysteine levels in our blood. Epidemiologic data also links low levels of folic acid with some cancers.

Sources of Folate
Folate and folic acid are forms of the water-soluble vitamin B9. Folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9, while folate is the form of vitamin B9 found in food. Folate is naturally found in dark leafy vegetables, asparagus, okra, fruits (including bananas, lemons, oranges, and melons), mushrooms, legumes, soybeans, brewer’s yeast and orange and tomato juices. Breads, cereals, bars and flour are commonly fortified with folic acid.

The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adults is 500 micrograms (mcg) daily (600 mcg daily for pregnant women), with the tolerable upper intake level (UL) set at 1,000 mcg.

There is concern in the scientific community that large populations within the United States have folic acid levels that are too high. Between fortification of foods and consumption of supplements, researchers estimate that a third of our population has folic acid levels at twice the recommended level. Vitamin B-12 deficiency, fairly common in seniors, can be masked in individuals with excessive folic acid levels.

Cooper Complete
The formulations of all Cooper Complete nutritional supplements are overseen by a team of researchers and physicians, and all of our products are reviewed and adjusted to ensure that the formulations contain levels of ingredients scientifically proven to be beneficial for optimal health. We are in the process of revising all of the Cooper Complete multivitamins (adult formulations) from 400- to 200 mcg of folic acid. During this formulation change, we are also transitioning to Metafolin, a brand name for a patented form of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) made by Merck. Metafolin is a form of folate that is more body-ready and usable by the body compared to the typical folic acid that is contained in supplements. 5-MTHF is the predominant form of folate that is found in nature and may have benefits over synthetic folic acid. A percentage of the population has a mutation in one of the enzymes involved in the metabolism of folic acid, and 5-MTHF circumvents this mutation and allows the body to be better able to get the benefits from supplementation. We expect to transition all adult formulations to the new level and form by early next year.

To purchase Cooper Complete multivitamins and supplements, visit the Cooper Store


Family Planning as a Cost-Saving Preventive Health Service

Unmetabololized Folic Acid in Plasma is associated with Reduced Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxicity among Postmenopausal Women

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Decoding Your Supplement Labels

In June, the New England Journal of Medicine published their perspective on front-of-package nutrition labeling. The authors (Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, and Jeffrey P. Koplan, MD, MPH) expressed their frustration that the sample front-of-package label system developed by the Grocery Manufacturers of America and the Food Marketing Institute (see sample) is much more confusing than the simple traffic-light system (green, yellow, red light) labeling concept used in Britain (see sample).

Reading the perspective, I started thinking about vitamin and supplement labels, and how confusing they are too! For starters, FDA guidelines, in place for our protection as consumers, don’t allow supplement companies to simply “list” on the bottle the benefits of a particular ingredient or formula. Some retailers make the process a little bit easier by organizing supplements by problem (i.e., joint health; digestion; cholesterol), but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. For example, the bottles of omega-3s you find on the shelf aren’t going to tell you how good they are for heart and brain health, as well as being overall inflammation fighters. And, once you’ve figured out that omega-3’s are beneficial, they aren’t going to tell you how much science says we need to consume.

Here are our steps for decoding the front package of a bottle of Omega-3:

• Do not assume that the “1,000 mg” or “1 gram” notation on the front label is relevant – this notation is a marketing notation, and typically means that the capsule size is 1,000 mg – not that the product provides 1,000 mg EPA, DHA and/or ALA. It’s entirely possible that a 1,000 mg capsule may contain as few as 300 mg EPA and DHA, combined.

• Omega-3 fatty acids encompass EPA, DHA and ALA. EPA and DHA are marine based, while ALA is plant based. ALA can’t be directly used by the body, so it is converted into EPA and DHA.
The vast majority of research has been conducted studying the impact of EPA and DHA.

• To compare products and brands, refer to the ingredient panel and add together the amount of EPA, DHA and ALA documented on the ingredient panel. The “ingredient panel” (or nutrition facts panel) is regulated by the FDA – so these are the only numbers that count. This instruction applies to both nutritional supplements and fortified foods. For example, some egg brands with omega-3 simply say there are omega-3’s in the egg, while others will list a specific level for EPA/DHA provided.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that adult women consume 1,100 mg of EPA/DHA (total combined) per day, while men should consume 1,600 mg EPA/DHA. Because ALA doesn’t convert in the body easily, women consuming omega-3 fatty acids in the plant-based ALA form should consume 1,300 mg daily, while men should consume 2,700 mg.

Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 contains 1,200 mg EPA/DHA in each two softgel serving.

To purchase Cooper Complete multivitamins and supplements, visit the Cooper Store.


Front-of-Package Nutrition Labeling – An Abuse of Trust by the Food Industry?

Sample front-of-package label from the traffic-light system used in Britain

Sample front-of-package label adhering to the Nutrition Keys System Developed by the Grocery Manufacturers of America and the Food Marketing Institute

Dietary Supplement Labeling Guide

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Good Fat, Bad Fat: The Facts about Omega-3

#533 The Lambert Report for 06/23/2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Are you getting the most out of your Flexible Spending Account Plan?

Did you know that Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) funds can be used to purchase multivitamins and dietary supplements? Beginning January 1, 2011, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and drugs, including multivitamins and supplements, now require a prescription to be reimbursed by a FSA. (Other OTC medicines and drugs that now require a prescription include allergy prevention and treatment, analgesics, antacids, cold and flu remedies, migraine relief, skin care and sleeping aids.) In previous years, the prescription from the physician was simply mailed to the FSA plan administrator. Beginning this year, the prescription must be filled by a pharmacy and contain the same information as a prescription for a prescription-only medicine. Here’s how the process works:

1. Prior to the purchase of the multivitamin and/or supplements, the prescription for the item must be presented to the pharmacist.

2. The multivitamin and/or supplement must be dispensed by the pharmacist in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations pertaining to the practice of pharmacy.

3. An Rx number must be assigned.

In Texas and Louisiana, the entire line of Cooper Complete® nutritional supplements is available in all Albertson’s stores, and can be found directly in front of the pharmacy.

For Cooper Complete customers who don’t live near an Albertson’s, we also have a relationship set-up with the independent pharmacy Dougherty’s to fill the prescription and ship the items to you. To make the process as easy as possible, once you have the prescription from your physician please contact me at 800.980.6311 or and I will coordinate the details of getting the prescription filled. If you are a Cooper Clinic patient, you can also use the coupon you receive during your physical for the purchase.

Thank you.

Jill Turner
VP of Operations
Cooper Concepts, Inc.
800.980.6311 - direct
972.560.3267 - fax

Dougherty’s Pharmacy

Albertson’s LLC
Texas Stores
Louisiana Stores

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cooper Complete Chewable Calcium: This Chewable Is for Adults, Not Children

Calcium is needed by the body to maintain strong bones, along with a healthy heart, muscles and central nervous system. Calcium-rich foods include canned salmon, anchovies, dairy products, broccoli, spinach, kale and Brussels sprouts. Juices, bread, breakfast cereal and tofu are often fortified with calcium.

But most people, especially older adults, require supplements to ensure that they consume enough calcium. And for anyone with reduced stomach acid, taking chewable calcium with meals is recommended.

“Calcium carbonate, a calcium salt, is not well absorbed by people with reduced levels of stomach acid,” said Todd Whitthorne, President of Cooper Concepts, parent of Cooper Complete® in Dallas. “Taking this supplement in chewable form at mealtimes improves absorption because of the stomach acid that's generated to digest food.”

Calcium requirements depend on an individual's gender and age, Whitthorne says. For example, adult women under age 50 are advised to consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, while women 50 to 65 require 1,200 to 1,500 mg per day. Women 50 to 65 who are taking estrogen need 1,200 mg of calcium, and those not using estrogen need 1,500 mg. All women 65 and older should consume 1,500 mg calcium on a daily basis.

Many people drink milk for its calcium, but since one 8-ounce glass typically contains about 300 mg of calcium, you would need to drink three to five cups daily to meet basic calcium requirements, Whitthorne states.

Cooper Complete Chewable Calcium with Vitamin D provides 333 mg calcium – from calcium carbonate – and 133 IU of vitamin D-3 or cholecalciferol. This orange-and-vanilla flavored, chewable tablet is designed to be taken in conjunction with Cooper Complete multivitamin formulations.

As a dietary supplement, adults are advised to take one tablet of Chewable Calcium with a meal or as directed by a physician. “But remember to chew it, rather than swallowing it whole, to ensure the tablet is absorbed,” Whitthorne says.

Chewable calcium carbonate also works as an antacid to relieve heartburn, acid indigestion and upset stomach.

Cooper Complete offers an alternative product that can be taken on an empty stomach. Two tablets of Cooper Complete Calcium Citrate has 500 mg of calcium citrate.

To purchase Cooper Complete supplements, visit the Cooper Store.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Getting your Vitamin D with Todd Whitthorne

Todd Whitthorne, President and CEO of Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements discusses the health benefits of Vitamin D.

 For more information on Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements, visit or call 972.560.2707.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Benefits of Omega-3 with Todd Whitthorne

Todd Whitthorne, President and CEO of Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements discusses the health benefits of Omega-3.

For more information on Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements, visit or call 972.560.2707.

Friday, March 25, 2011

ABCs of Supplements with Todd Whitthorne

Todd Whitthorne, President and CEO of Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements discusses the health benefits of taking vitamins and supplements daily.

For more information on Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplements, visit or call 972.560.2707.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Facts and Stats on Vitamin C

We received this question from one of our readers: “I have taken 1,000 mg time-released vitamin C every morning for many years. I used to be plagued with colds about twice a year and they always turned to bronchitis. A friend told me to take vitamin C, not as I'm starting to feel a cold coming on, but every single morning. I finally got into the habit. I have not had a cold for 3-4 years!! Because I have not had a cold, I also haven't come down with bronchitis and other respiratory ailments. Seriously - I feel the time-released vitamin C has kept me from getting sick! While others in my office are always sick - coughing, wheezing and snuffling, many times with colds and sinus infections, their germs never seem to infiltrate my system. “

“I was at the drugstore the other day picking up timed-released vitamin C and the pharmacist said there is some controversy on taking too much - that it can cause kidney damage. I have cut down to 500 mg but I would like to know what you think about this.”

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. Although our body is unable to manufacture vitamin C on its own, the vitamin helps our body form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. Vitamin C also helps our body absorb iron, which is why dietitians often suggest spinach salad with orange slices or strawberries on top.

Our body doesn’t make vitamin C, so we get vitamin C from food (mostly fresh fruits and vegetables) and supplements. The orange juice folks would like to have a monopoly on vitamin C, but grapefruit (fruit and juice), strawberries, cantaloupe, red bell peppers, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, turnip and collard greens, cauliflower, and the increasingly popular leafy kale all contain great levels of vitamin C.

The research on common cold prevention is interesting. More than 30 clinical trials including more than 10,000 participants examined the effects of taking daily vitamin C, and overall, a significant reduction in the risk of developing colds wasn’t seen. However, a subset of the studies looked at people living in extreme circumstances – including skiers and marathon runners, and found almost a 50 percent reduction in the risk of developing a cold! As the subset of elite athletes was small, more studies are needed, but it looks like vitamin C for cold prevention in this population may make great sense.

Many people grab their vitamin C supplements the second they start to feel a cold coming on in hopes that they can ward off the inevitable. Numerous studies have examined the effects of starting vitamin C after the onset of cold symptoms, and unfortunately supplementation doesn’t seem to lesson the symptoms, or the duration, of the cold. On the other hand, the science does show that people who take 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily throughout the cold season can modestly reduce the symptoms and duration of colds. Cooper Complete adult formulations contain vitamin C. Cooper Complete Elite Athlete, for marathoners and anyone exercising at 80 percent of predicted maximum heart rate for a minimum of five hours per week contains 2,000 mg vitamin C, while Cooper Complete original formulations (Iron Free and With Iron) contain 500 mg, and Basic One contains 150 mg.

The US recommendation for daily intake of vitamin C is 75 mg for adult women and 90 mg for adult men. As a water soluble vitamin, whatever our body doesn’t need immediately is eliminated. In an article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers reported that when the daily dose of vitamin C was increased from 200 to 2,500 mg, the plasma concentration increased by only 12- to 15 mg/L, and renal clearance of vitamin C rose sharply. In addition, the digestive tract also stops absorbing vitamin C as well as these higher levels. So, the net effect is that after a certain level it doesn’t really matter our much vitamin C we take as our blood level concentration of vitamin C isn’t going to increase much more.

The upper intake level (UL) for vitamin C is 2,000 mg per day for men and women. Taking high levels of vitamin C can cause severe diarrhea, as well as kidney stones. And if the vitamin C of your choice is the chewable kind, too many of these tablets can wreck havoc on tooth enamel. Because vitamin C may increase adverse affects of acetaminophen and antacids, the supplement (or a multivitamin including vitamin C) shouldn’t be taken at the same time as these over-the-counter medications.

To purchase Cooper Complete supplements, visit the Cooper Store.

Blanchard J, Tozer TN, Rowland M. Pharmacokinetic perspective on megadoses of ascorbic acid. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;66:1165-1171.

Micronutrient Information Center – Linus Pauling Institute

The World’s Healthiest Foods

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why Supplements? Should you have a Healthy Body Pack, “just in case”?

Do you sometimes wonder if it makes sense for you to take supplements? A 2010 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted the following on the state of a typical Standard American Diet (SAD):

• Seventy five percent of us use less than 2/3’s of the RDA recommendation for one or more nutrients
• Only one percent of us meet the Food Pyramid guidelines
• Sugar and fat now account for more than 65 percent of our calories
• Most minerals we ingest are now at 20- to 40 percent of 1930’s levels.

Nutritional supplements wouldn’t be needed if we’d eat properly but unfortunately for the vast majority of us, this just isn’t the case (or at least it’s not the case the majority of the time). Our philosophy with supplements is that they work as an insurance policy to help fill in the gaps of what we most likely are not getting through our daily diet.

A well-balanced multivitamin is a great place to start. The Cooper Healthy Body Pack is a comprehensive multi-vitamin & mineral supplement that contains a 30-day supply of our Basic One Multivitamin (which includes 2,000 IU of D3) and two Advanced Omega-3 soft gels (with a 60 percent concentration of the critical “long-chain” omega-3’s: EPA and DHA).

The level of vitamin D in our adult formulations is higher than found in most multivitamin/mineral formulations because according to our research here at Cooper and in large, comprehensive national studies, about 80 percent of us (infants to seniors) do not get the level of vitamin D we need in our diet or through sun exposure. While researchers haven’t figured out why, low vitamin D levels are tied to poor bone health, weak immunity systems and cardiovascular disease along with multiple other health issues – including cancer, depression, chronic pain, diabetes, and macular degeneration.

Omega-3 (also known as fish oil) is key to good health. Over 18,000 published studies indicate the heart, brain and immune system benefit from fish oil. Unfortunately most of us are very low in omega-3 because the best source in the diet is fish and, on average, we eat fish only once every 11 days. So, in place of eating fish, and fatty fish at that, more often, supplementation is an “easy fix” to this shortfall.

To purchase Cooper Complete supplements, visit the Cooper Store.

Our toll free number is 888-393-2221; email us at

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Prescription for Healthy Conception

Many of us know someone who has grappled with infertility, although only about 15 percent of couples trying to conceive don’t get pregnant as easily as they’d like.

Did you see the news report a few weeks ago about how antioxidants can help men with low sperm counts? Researchers in New Zealand reviewed more than 30 studies, focusing on men who were subfertile. Subfertility occurs when a man is less fertile than average but still capable of making a baby. While subfertility only affects about 5 percent of men, it is responsible for half of delayed conceptions.

Researchers believe that up to 80 percent of subfertility is due to the effects of oxidative stress on sperm cells, which lowers both their numbers and quality. They found that taking antioxidants seemed to help with fertility problems, as the men who took them were more likely to get their partner pregnant, and their partner was more likely to have a live birth.

While this is exciting data for any couple trying to conceive, the numbers of people in the combined studies was pretty small. The 34 studies combined totaled 3,000 couples undergoing fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization and insemination – two of the more common methods of increasing conception odds when sperm-related issues are involved. All of the studies looked at the potential role of at least one antioxidant.

Based on 96 pregnancies among 964 couples in 15 of the studies, the researchers found that antioxidant use by the male partner increased the odds of conception four-fold. In the three studies that contained birth data, the men who took antioxidants improved the likelihood of their partner giving birth to a live baby by a factor of five. While this is an exciting statistic, the findings of increased live birth rates with antioxidants was based on a total of only 20 births, which is a small number.

The antioxidants used in the studies varied and included vitamins C and E, and minerals including magnesium and zinc. Even though a large study is not on record, couples who are trying to conceive might want to take a multivitamin and mineral formulation rich in antioxidants. It’s an expensive and low-risk option that could speed the conception process.

A related story in the news last month caught my attention, and this one concerned women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that affects 5- to 10 percent of reproductive aged women. Women with PCOS have irregular cycles and problems ovulating. Since the 1990’s scientists have been studying how insulin resistance impacts PCOS. Being overweight and sedentary aggravates insulin resistance which worsens PCOS, so losing weight and getting (and staying) active are keys for women with this condition. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are recommended for their anti-inflammatory benefits.

With omega-3’s and multivitamins so affordable, it makes sense for both men and women interested in conception to add these supplements to their daily routines.

To purchase Cooper Complete supplements, visit the Cooper Store.

Antioxidants may improve male fertility

Role of antioxidants in treatment of male infertility: an overview of the literature

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: The Most Common Hormonal Disorder for Women

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why Lutein? Lutein, supplement ingredient found in Dermatologic Health, Eye Health, and Cooper Complete original multivitamins (incl. Elite Athlete)

Lutein, a nutrient found in dark, green, leafy vegetables, increases skin hydration and elasticity and protects against skin inflammation and eye diseases. Lutein is present in tissues in the eyes, skin, cervix, brain, breast and blood serum, but is not produced by the body and must be consumed in food or supplements. Lutein is a supplement ingredient in Cooper Complete Iron Free and With Iron, Elite Athlete, Dermatologic Health and Eye Health.

“You probably eat foods containing lutein, like spinach, collard greens, kale, broccoli, corn and eggs, but you would need to consume a fair amount of them daily to reap lutein's full benefits,” says Todd Whitthorne, president and CEO, Cooper Concepts in Dallas.

Daily intake of lutein is low in industrialized countries and has been found to be even smaller among U.S. than European residents.

Developed by the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, the Cooper Complete Dermatologic Health supplement contains lutein and other key nutrients that promote healthy skin, hair and nails. The product was formulated by board-certified dermatologists and includes ingredients that have proven beneficial in scientific studies.

According to a study published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology in 2007, FloraGLO® Lutein, made from marigold flowers, promotes long-term, skin health by increasing elasticity and lipid content, and by decreasing lipid oxidation – which can cause skin degradation. Skin's lipid content is comprised of oily components that create a healthy look. Lutein shields skin from exposure to ultraviolet light and protects against sun by bolstering the skin's antioxidant, defense system. FloraGLO® is the form of lutein contained in all Cooper Complete products.

Another supplement, Cooper Complete Eye Health, is formulated to provide nutrients that are clinically proven to help eyes.

“Lutein has been shown to lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is the main cause of blindness in Americans ages 65 and older,” Whitthorne says. The macula is a yellow spot near the center of the retina of the eye, and it absorbs excess blue and ultraviolet light, acting as a natural pair of sunglasses. The macula's yellow color comes from its lutein and zeaxanthin content.

A study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in 2007 included 4,500 participants between 60 and 80 years old, and found that lutein strengthens eye-cell membranes and prevents free radicals from harming eye cells. Lutein is an antioxidant that may protect the macula tissue by quenching free radicals. Lutein also filters high-energy, blue light that can damage the macula and skin.

“Our eyes are very active metabolically, and proper nutrition, including antioxidants, are vital to vision,” Whitthorne says. “Cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and dry eyes can trouble aging Americans.” Increased intake of lutein helps lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Research has shown that lutein has anti-inflammation effects. In a study published in 2007, State University of New Jersey researchers found that lutein helps lower potentially dangerous, skin inflammation.

To purchase Cooper Complete supplements, visit the Cooper Store.

Our toll free number is 888.393.2221; email us at

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Omega-3’s – How’s it made? Fish Oil

We recently received an email asking us about how fish is processed to become fish oil.

Cooper Complete Advanced Omega-3 is a blend of sardines and anchovies, both small, cold water fish. The fish are wild caught off the Peruvian coast, as the Humboldt Current makes this part of the world particularly full of marine life.

While sardines aren’t a popular menu item here in the U.S., they are very popular in other parts of the world, so our blend is more heavily weighed towards anchovies as much of the sardine catch ends up being diverted to the global dinner table. The anchovies used are typically about 18 inches long, and they are processed whole. To extract the omega-3 fatty acids, the fish are cooked in order to liquefy the fats. The fish are then placed in gigantic drum which is rotated at high speed. The centrifugal force of the rotating drum separates the oil out from the fish.

The oil then goes through a multi-step purification, concentration and deodorization process that takes about 16 weeks before it is ready to be encapsulated, bottled and sold.

After the oil is removed, the remaining fish solids are then processed to use for fish meal. The fish meal is a food ingredient used in making feed for chickens, pigs, and farmed raised fish. Fish meal is also used as a high quality organic fertilizer for gardens and lawns.

Our toll free number is 888-393-2221; email us at

To purchase Cooper Complete supplements, visit the Cooper Store.

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Position Statement on Vitamin D | Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H.

There has been considerable interest and debate in the scientific community regarding the recent recommendations of the IOM (Institute of Medicine) as it relates to the proper intake of vitamin D. Commenting only on the relation to bone health, the IOM panel called for 600 IUs of vitamin D daily for all ages up to age 70 and 800 IUs after age 71. They also doubled the UL (safe upper limit) to 4000 IU per day.

These dosage recommendations were based on what the panel believes would allow most individuals to maintain a vitamin D blood level of 20 ng/ml.

Many internationally recognized vitamin D researchers, including Creighton’s Dr. Robert Haney feel these recommendations are too low:

“The statement by the IOM that skeletal health can be maintained at serum 25(OH)D levels of 20 ng/ml is incorrect. 30 ng/ml should be looked at as the lower end of the acceptable range for bone health. There have been randomized controlled trials showing major reductions in fractures by getting the serum level to 29 ng/ml. Fracture reduction does not reliably occur at levels less than 30 ng/ml and in some cases as high as 40 ng/ml. Osteoid seam width, a measure of vitamin D deficiency, only reaches normal values when the level is above 30 ng/ml. There is significant evidence above the IOM panel’s “adequate” level of 20 ng/ml.”

Dr. Walter Willett, the chairman of the nutrition department at The Harvard School of Public Health and a member of the Cooper Complete Nutritional Supplement scientific advisory committee agrees that the IOM recommendations are too low:

“We don't have all the evidence, but the data are clear that blood levels higher than 20 ng/ml are associated with higher BMD (bone mineral density), a strong risk factor for fracture. The main evidence used to set the level at 20 was from a study of osteomalacia in an autopsy series. Osteomalacia was not associated with age, which makes it a dubious sufficient indicator of bone health.”

In contrast to the IOM report, the IOF (International Osteoporosis Foundation) recommended in their 2010 position paper on vitamin D a threshold of 30 ng/ml for optimal fall and fracture reduction.

It is also very important to note that vitamin D levels are associated with much more than just bone health. There is tremendous data in the scientific literature showing a clear relationship between deficiencies of vitamin D and many cancers, including breast, colon, ovary, and kidney. In fact, Dr. Cedric Garland from the Moores Cancer Center at U.C. San Diego has stated that, “the benefit of vitamin D is as clear as the harmful link between smoking and lung cancer.”

In addition to many cancers, vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, immunity to infection, multiple sclerosis, age related macular degeneration and chronic pain.

The Cooper Clinic bases vitamin D dosage recommendations on a patients actual blood level (25(OH)D). Ideally we strive for individuals to maintain a serum level of between 40-60 ng/ml with 30 ng/ml considered to be an absolute minimum. The Clinic has been measuring vitamin D levels in our patients since May, 2007 and we know two things are certain. One is that the majority of first time patients fall below, some well below, the 30 ng/ml minimum target and, the dosage needed to achieve sufficiency varies greatly from patient to patient.

For over 40 years Cooper Clinic has focused on preventive medicine and we base all of our recommendations on the preponderance of published scientific evidence. This is why all of our adult formulations of Cooper Complete multivitamins contain 2000 I.U. of vitamin D-3. For many that amount is adequate to achieve and maintain a vitamin D blood level of at least 40 ng/ml. However for others that only serves as a starting point. I have several patients that need to take 3000-4000 IU of vitamin D-3 daily and some require 50,000 IU/week in order to maintain adequate blood levels. The important point is that one size does not fit all. Of note Dr. Michael Holick, an internationally recognized vitamin D researcher from Boston University has conducted studies giving subjects 50,000 IU of vitamin D twice a month for six years and has seen no harmful effects.

Should you have an interest in exploring the vitamin D topic in greater detail I encourage you to visit or e-mail Todd Whitthorne, President and CEO of Cooper Concepts, at He can also be reached at 972-560-2656.


Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H.
Founder, CEO, Cooper Clinic