TEL: 616.808.2695 | FAX: 616.808.26971959 East Paris Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

There is a reason there is a cold and flu season. Viruses are able to survive in the air longer in cooler temperatures; and these viruses are more easily spread between people in an indoor social setting. We all lead busy lives- work, family and other personal commitments, we are always on the go. Getting sick can get in the way. The good news is you can actually take proactive steps to prevent illness this season.

Diet and Nutrition: We really need to use our diet to fuel our bodies properly. Incorporating whole foods instead of processed foods will provide the necessary vitamins and minerals. Focus on particular ‘power foods’ like garlic, onions, mushrooms, red peppers, and leafy greens. They are packed full of antioxidants and polyphenols to improve cellular and immune function.

Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is important for overall health. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can negatively affect different parts of the immune system, making you more susceptible to sickness and delay recovery. Aim for at least 7 hours nightly.

Hydration: We can’t survive without water so it should be no surprise that the immune system needs proper hydration to work at its best. Specifically, our lymph and blood plasma are mostly water, and our immune cells travel through these fluids. Stay hydrated with water, coconut water, or green tea.

Reduce stress: Stress produces cortisol and an increase in cortisol can suppress the immune system. Look into breathing exercises or meditation to bring cortisol levels back down.

Exercise regularly: Moderate-intensity exercise can stimulate cellular immunity by increasing the circulation of immune cells in your body. This helps your body better prepare for a future infection by detecting it earlier. All it takes is aerobic activity for 60 minutes or less to support the immune system.

Supplementation: There are few supportive supplements to aid in immune support; Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, and Omega 3 (Fish oil).

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant. Our body isn’t able to store any excess vitamin C so it has to be supplied via diet or supplementation constantly. The need for vitamin C is amplified during times of stress and infection. Supplemental vitamin C has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms. It can also speed up wound healing and is great for the skin and collagen production. Best practice is to take daily as a preventative at 1000mg, but can still boost immune function once cold/flu has already come on.
  • Zinc: Zinc is an important trace mineral that supports growth and normal function of our immune cells. Like vitamin C, it can shorten the duration of symptoms and speed wound healing. Daily dose of 15-25mg is well tolerated.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is very common, and low levels have been associated with every chronic health condition. While most know its role in bone health, it does support proper immune function. Studies show that vitamin D can prevent many upper respiratory infections. Since majority of our vitamin D comes from sunlight, a daily dose of at least 5000IU can help to maintain levels during the winter months.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Omega 3’s are considered essential, meaning our body is not able to manufacture and must be supplied by diet and/or supplementation. Recommended mostly for cardiovascular and cognitive benefits to bring down inflammation, they are also required for immune function. A big component of cell walls, they strengthen specific immune cells to target pathogens, bind to them and eliminate from the body. Found in highest amount in cold water fish, supplementation is often preferred at a dose of 2-4 grams daily.

It is important to remember that the FDA does not regulate most supplements, and they may not work for everyone. Some supplements can even be harmful when taken with prescribed medicine. Always check with your doctor before trying a new supplement.


NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) is a coenzyme critical to every cell and many metabolic processes in our bodies. NAD+ facilitates and catalyzes some of the most important cellular processes in our bodies. While your body produces its own NAD,  levels begin to drop as people age. Because NAD is found in every cell, depletion can negatively impact every system in your body in one way or another.

NAD supports healthy aging, helps our DNA repair itself, makes our cells resistant to stress while protecting our brains, and helps us eat and sleep at the right times. Whether you’re dealing with chronic fatigue due to illness or simply experiencing the effects of aging, NAD+ injections offer numerous benefits:

  • Increases mental cognition and results in better mental clarity, greater concentration, and better memory.
  • Improves metabolism and restores energy  resulting in better physical performance and greater endurance.
  • Benefits conditions such as depression, anxiety, addictive tendencies, and mood disorders.
  • Resets circadian rhythms and improves sleep quality.
  • Slows the overall aging process and age-related conditions.

High-quality oral supplements may help boost NAD, but they often lose their potency during digestion. Much of the beneficial properties never actually make it to your cells. Once it enters your circulatory system, NAD is quickly transported to the cells throughout your body that need it the most. Injection of NAD+ seems to be secure and well-tolerated. Side effects may include headache, shortness of breath and constipation.

The production of NAD+ provides an edge when it comes to the anti-aging game, allowing us to slow down the aging process and boost mitochondrial function.

Recommended dosing is 50mg twice weekly for 2 weeks, then three times weekly for 2 weeks.


Vitamin C is one supplement often recommended for daily use. It is an easy way to help and enhance the immune system, and act as an anti-viral and antioxidant. However, our body does not produce vitamin C, which means that we need to source it from our diet (or supplementation). It is found in citrus fruits and vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach.

While oral administration is the most common way to get this important nutrient, the injectable route is a more efficient and faster way to achieve a vitamin c boost. Oral supplements need to go through a long digestion process before they reach the bloodstream. The body only receives about 15% of the vitamin after digestion. However, injections bypass the digestive system and go straight to your bloodstream, achieving a 70-fold higher blood level.

In addition to overall health and wellness, specific benefits include:

  • Creates a strong immune system
  • Improved quality and appearance of skin, youthful look by facilitating production of collagen.
  • Increased antioxidant protection of cells against free radicals leading to disease and aging.
  • Aids in tissue growth and repair, even wound healing.
  • Increases neurotransmitter levels to enhance cognitive function and mood.
  • Increased energy and improved stress response.


Vitamin C is not considered to be toxic, even in high quantities. Side effects are limited, but can include, nausea, diarrhea, and injection site pain/redness. It can be used in combination with other vitamins, and topicals containing vitamin C.

Vitamin C has always been a staple in most people’s daily health and wellness routine. With its many benefits, an injectable form provides higher potency and faster, noticeable benefits. Recommended injectable dosage is 200mg 1-3 times weekly for 4-6 weeks.







When you read or go online to find information about losing weight and decreasing body fat, you find all kinds of information about the importance of your nutritional food choices, calorie intake, exercise, and daily energy expenditure. Which all play a major role in weight management and weight loss success.
When metabolism is being addressed in conventional medicine the attention goes primarily to thyroid function, hormone levels, and cardiovascular health. Which again play a role in weight management and weight loss success. But the one organ in the body that plays the biggest role in managing your metabolism and fat burning abilities rarely gets any attention. Your Liver. I still remember many, many years back at MSU in anatomy class when my professor stated that the Liver was the most important organ in your body. That little tidbit of info stuck with me all these years as I have helped thousands of individuals lose weight and improve their health through diet and exercise. I like to refer to the Liver as the Rodney Dangerfield of organs, because it gets “No Respect”.

The Liver plays a role in nearly every metabolic process in the human body.
 Digestion, processing, and utilization of fat (most fat burning all takes place in the Liver!)
 Metabolism and Production of Amino Acids
 Regulate glucose / storing of glucose as liver glycogen
 Carbohydrate metabolism / Insulin and blood sugar stabilization
 Cholesterol production and removal
 Storage and metabolism of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E, and K)
 Hormone regulation
 Thyroid function: Site of T4 to T3 conversion
 Drug and Toxin metabolism (Main role)

How to support Liver Health

At Age Management of West Michigan we start out all our weight loss patients on a one week cleanse to detoxify and reduce toxic burden to optimize Liver function and overall body metabolism. Utilizing supplements that support Liver health are also recommended to most of our patients as they go through their weight loss journey to improved health and well-being. So Liver health and function is a top priority for patients at AMWM, and should be a top priority for any individual who is trying to lose weight.

AMWM uses a product called Dual-Tox to support cleanses and healthy liver function. This product contains a variety of recommended vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and herbs that support the Liver.

Individual supplements like Milk Thistle, NAC, and TUDCA are some of the more recommended individual Liver support supplements.
IV drip and injection glutathione are more advanced options available to support Liver function.

Processed foods that contain artificial ingredients, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup put an extremely high load of stress on the liver to process and should be eliminated. Alcohol is another drug that puts a high demand of stress on the Liver, and should be avoided during any weight loss program. Getting a complete Liver panel blood work test from your physician is the best way to initially determine Liver health and function. Give your Liver the respect and attention that it deserves for all that it does for you on a daily basis, especially if your goal is to achieve weight loss success.


The human body is amazing. Its innate ability to adapt to stimuli in the environment and maintain a healthy balance of thousands of metabolic processes in the body that support daily life. The majority of these processes are autonomic, so we don’t have to make any physical or mental effort to maintain them. The human body is built to survive and adapt to stress, but it is a product of its environment. So when you take care of your body, it functions at a high level with a strong immune system, healthy metabolism, and sharp cognitive function. When you don’t take care of your body, it starts to function at a low level with a weakened immune response, low metabolism, and declining cognitive function.

This adaptability of the body makes most chronic diseases preventable with proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep. Even better, lots of chronic disease is reversable when you get the body back to a healthy body weight and activity level with diet and exercise. It is never too late to start. So this is where we all have the opportunity to take an active role in maintaining the health of our body to control the aging process, prevent chronic disease, and improve quality of life.

The food you put in your mouth has a direct effect not only how your body and brain functions in the moment, but also a direct effect on your genetics moving forward. The number one cause of
inflammation and fatigue in most patients is related to their daily food intake choices.

Exercise plays a key role in brain function, as well as maintenance of muscle mass and bone density. When you exercise and move the body daily, your body produces a chemical called BDNF that promotes brain growth and repair. When you are inactive, your brain actually shrinks in both size and function. When muscles and bones are worked with resistance training on a regular basis, they stay strong and functional. When you are inactive and don’t put stress on the body, you lose muscle mass and bone density. It is a use it or lose it system.

Tips to take an active role in your health:
 Maintain a healthy body weight. Excess body fat is very inflammatory and is one of the main causes of type II diabetes, Hypertension, and High Cholesterol. Losing even 1 to 2 pounds of body fat has been shown to have positive health benefits.
Eat a healthy, real-food based diet. Eliminate chemical based processed foods and concentrate more on fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Take time every week to think about what you are going to eat and prep and plan for success.
Get active. The good news here is that a little goes a long way. Try to get in at minimum of
three weight resistance workouts weekly (30 minutes or more) to maintain lean muscle, strength, and bone density. Daily cardiovascular exercise of 20 to 30 minutes to promote
cognitive and cardiovascular health.
Have structure plan and learn from your mistakes. Just like everything else in life, you need to have a structured plan for success. Don’t give up! Managing your healthy lifestyle is a
marathon, not a sprint, so over time you will make adjustments to your plan so it works for you.

Give your body the daily attention it deserves and treat it right, and you will be happy with how your body will take care of you!


For many soda drinkers looking to drop some weight, the logical choice would be to switch out the high sugar-high calorie drink with a no calorie no sugar option. Enter diet soda. Diet soda was first introduced in 1958, but didn’t take off until the 80s with the surge of Diet Coke. What’s not to love, free of carbs, sugar, and calories; seems practically like a health food. Diet soda also contains preservatives (sodium benzoate), artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, stevia), artificial colors (caramel) and addition of acid (malic acid, phosphoric and citric).  While the science around diet soda, artificial sweeteners and weight are inconclusive, there are some indirect associations.

Many studies have revealed that diet soda can lead to a bigger waistline — in fact, diet soda drinkers have been shown to have a 70 percent greater increase in waist circumference compared to non-diet soda drinkers. And people who drank at least two diet sodas per day were found to have a five times greater increase in waist circumference.

Other studies have shown that sweet tastes, whether from pure sugar or artificial sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, saccharin), increase the human appetite. The difference is that when a person eats real sugar, which has calories, the brain receives a signal that helps it feel full — but this signal may not be triggered with artificial sweeteners. If the brain doesn’t sense satisfaction it continues to seek food to fuel the body, leading to cravings. Diet soda drinkers tend to have less healthier eating habits, as a way to balance the higher-fat, higher calorie foods, which may also contribute to weight gain.

As if weight gain weren’t bad enough, studies have also reported the other negative impacts of artificial sweeteners. Diabetes-prone mice that were fed a diet that included aspartame for three months had higher blood glucose levels than mice not given the sweetener. People who drank artificially-sweetened beverages every day had a higher risk for strokes and heart attacks. Artificial sweeteners have also been shown to disrupt the gut microbiome and alter blood sugar.

While drinking diet soda isn’t an end-all-be-all sentence to weight gain, there’s no real reason to have it. Aim to replace your daily diet soda with healthier drinks such as fruit-infused water, coconut water, sparkling water, teas including green tea or even kombucha. All of these are going have more nutritional value and benefits than diet soda.



The gut microbiome consists of various bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that reside in the digestive tract, with its composition varying among individuals. This microbiome holds the key to understanding our health. In the last 10 years there have been more and more studies done to count and characterize these bacteria. Over 1000 different strains have been identified and each has their own genetic make-up. It can be said that there are 250-800 times more bacterial genes than human genes. Even more remarkable, these bacterial genes make substances that get into the human bloodstream, affecting our body chemistry, metabolism and energy production.

How could they affect our weight? When we eat food, our gut breaks it down into small pieces. Only the smallest pieces get absorbed into our blood. The rest is eliminated as waste material. In other words, not all of the calories in the food we eat get into our body and increase our weight. The gut bacteria help break down food. Some bacteria are better able at breaking down complex carbohydrates (ie: grains and legumes) into simple sugars, which makes them less likely to be stored as fat. Theoretically, if our gut has more of those kinds of bacteria, it should be easier to lose weight.

When it comes specifically to weight, we can look at two specific species: Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Obese subjects tend to have a greater amount of Firmicutes species, and a higher Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio than individuals of normal weight. Firmicutes have been shown to be negatively proportional to resting energy expenditure, whereas Bacteroides have been shown to be positively correlated with the percentage of body fat.

We’ve seen evidence of this in rat studies. The microbiome of an obese mouse was transferred into another mouse with no microbiome and it became obese. The same thing was observed when using a lean mouse.

Many factors can alter our microbiome composition and impact the diversity of bacterial strains.  These include diet, exercise, medications, supplementation. Any imbalance is known as dysbiosis and is associated with weight gain and obesity. The influence of the intestinal microbiome on metabolism, hormone balance, neurotransmitter function, and the brain can play a major role in weight management and treatment of obesity. Moreover, the use of probiotics and prebiotics improves gut bacterial composition, and has achieved promising outcomes for prevention and treatment of obesity.

A stool test can be taken to determine your specific microbiome makeup, including the above mentioned Firmicutes and Bacteroides. It can also analyze other markers of guy dysfunction like inflammation, infection and metabolic activity. These take-home kits can be picked up at the office.


Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S., impacting more than 8 percent of Americans. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in governing mood, sleep, digestion and other body functions. For years, a chemical imbalance of serotonin has been widely viewed as the culprit for depression, resulting in the widespread use of antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which boosts serotonin in the brain.


A recent paper published in Molecular Psychiatry, concluded there is no convincing evidence that depression is associated with, or caused by, lower serotonin concentrations or activity. This was based on a synthesis of findings reviewing 17 different studies. Also noted was that there was no greater level of serotonin activity in healthy people versus depressed people. Even by reducing serotonin levels with drugs did not worsen the mood of volunteers who participated in these experiments. The long-accepted serotonin hypothesis doesn’t consider the complexity of the brain when it comes to depression.

While not to criticize prescribing medications for depression, or those using them, antidepressants are one of the many possible treatments, but they are not for everyone. As with any medication, antidepressants are associated with potential side effects, people and their clinician need to weigh up the benefits versus the cons. The idea of a biochemical alteration gives the implication of lifelong issue but depending on the severity of depression, there are some practical lifestyle approaches to put into place. Structure and routine throughout the day and the addition of exercise and dietary changes can improve milder forms. Neurofeedback is another approach for many cognitive based disorders (ie: depression). It aims to reorganize and relax brain wave patterns and increase plasticity of the brain. These positive changes result in fewer depressive episodes.

If anything, this research should push the conversation surrounding depression to a deeper level. Depression presents itself differently from person to person, and taking a one-size approach isn’t the answer.


Nearly 70% of our immune system resides in the gut. The goal of adding in probiotics is to promote a balanced microbiome, with a predominant population of beneficial bacteria and strengthen the gut lining. An imbalanced microbiome disrupts overall health and is associated with many undesirable GI symptoms in IBD and IBS. Using probiotics has been gaining popularity, with an increasing amount of scientific research to back up the health benefits. Unlike traditional probiotics that include strains of the lactobacilli and bifidobacteria species, spore-based bacteria are of the bacillus family (Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans).

These soil based organisms found in dirt and vegetation, are delivered to the gut as dormant spores, making them extremely stable and resistant to the stomach acid, enzymes and bile. Our natural consumption of these organisms has decreased with the shift to a more calorie-rich, nutrient-poor diet vs a high fermented, plant based diet. 

One benefit of probiotics is the ability to support tight junctions in the gut mucosal lining. Without these tight junctions between cells, the lining becomes more and more permeable, allowing undigested food, toxins, and other molecules to enter into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream these toxins stimulate a highly potent and damaging inflammatory response, which has been shown to be the root cause of the vast majority of chronic diseases.

Research has shown that the Bacillus strains significantly decreased the level of endotoxins in the bloodstream. In addition to decreasing endotoxins, spore biotics produce many beneficial and potent antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds. These go to work in the intestinal tract to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. This is consistent with other findings that show that spore-based probiotics support:

  • Healthy digestion and bowel regularity
  • Microbial diversity and balance
  • Balanced inflammatory response
  • Healthy immune function

Spore based probiotics can still be used in combination with traditional probiotics. However, for patients with intestinal permeability concerns, greater outcomes will come from using the spore biotics first. We use both spore based and traditional probiotics in our 17 week GI Repair and Restoration Program.

1959 East Paris Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

TEL: 616.808.2695 | FAX: 616.808.2697

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