HawaiianViking

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Aloha, I'm a geneticist and I'm tangentially interested in supplements and natural living. I've tried about, erm, a gazillion products and most of them I never re-order. But there are several that I have found to work, and work well. So if you're interested in my opinions, please feel free to peruse my reviews and look for items that I have given four- or five-stars — those are the products that actually work and that I order again and again from iHerb. Mahalo nui loa, and aloha!

My Reviews

Items 1-12 of 100 total

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Really Versatile

Posted on Sep 25, 2012

30 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

Originally, I started taking Pycnogenol to ameliorate the symptoms of von Willebrand disease (a blood coagulation disorder), and it certainly helped reduce the frequency of nosebleeds. Beyond that, however, I noticed that my usually cool hands and feet were warm and flushed with color, even in cold environments. After about two weeks, I noticed that my skin was clearer, more even, and more smooth than it has ever been before. If my results are typical, this brand's (Healthy Origins) Pycnogenol is high-quality and also a very good value. I've recommended it to those dealing with blood coagulation/clotting disorders, to those with high blood pressure, as well as to those with erectile dysfunction. Healthy Origins, Pycnogenol truly deserves five (out of five possible) stars.

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Sleeping Better, Eating Better

Posted on Oct 01, 2012

26 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

After taking 100mg of 5-HTP for several weeks, I'm pleasantly surprised by the results. My sleep is much improved; Within about an hour of taking a 100mg capsule of 5-HTP I'm relaxed, sleepy and ready for bed but, thankfully, it's not the same feeling that a person gets after taking a prescription sleep aid. In my waking time, I find that I have little craving for junky, carbohydrate-laden foods. I'm thankful especially that I no longer have a late-night hunger for sugary junk food. My mood hasn't much changed, but depression — of the type caused by brain chemistry — can be a result of a defecit of the neurotransmitters Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Serotonin. Since 5-HTP works by stimulating the human body's own production of Serotonin, I think that a person must have depressed levels of Serotonin in order for this product to make much difference in their overall quality of life, since depression can involve other neurotransmitters. To those who already take prescription anti-depressants: Please be careful! Consult with your medical professional, since 5-HTP — together with SSRIs — can create dangerous levels of Serotonin in the brain and cause Serotonin Syndrome.

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A Welcome Alternative to Soy Lecithin

Posted on Mar 04, 2013

22 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

Lecithin is found in egg yolks, fish, grains, legumes, peanuts, soybeans, wheat germ, and yeast, yet many people still do not get enough from their diet. Lecithin itself is a mixture of phospholipids (inositol and choline) that the human body metabolizes to choline, phosphate, glycerol, and fatty acids. The substance is vital to human health, since it is found in every human cell and makes up roughly 30% of the brain's weight and 66% of liver fat. The vast majority of supplements available are derived from soy, which is almost entirely transgenic. That's why I give five stars to Now Foods, Sunflower Lecithin. I've had good experiences with products from Now Foods and this one is great, and the price is good, too. One thing you should anticipate: Your dreams will become more vivid and involving, perhaps scary. It's probably because of the choline, so if over-active dreaming becomes a problem, try taking this supplement only in the morning and never in the evening, before bed.

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Nice Enough, but for the SLS

Posted on Feb 04, 2013

21 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

The Positives: I like this product's mix of herbal and mineral ingredients; Some people have commented that the taste of "Licorice" is overpowering, but I don't find it so; The price is good and it's certified cruelty free. The Negatives: With the obvious thought and care that's gone in to this product's formulation, it's beyond me why they would include Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS); While SLS produces foaming action, it's not necessary in this case, and it causes the inside of my mouth to "peel" and causes some people to develop oral lesions/cankers. I would probably buy this product more often and rate it more highly if the SLS were to be deleted.

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A Good General Anti-Microbial, But Use With Caution

Posted on Sep 14, 2012

17 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

Himalaya Herbal Healthcare, Neem seems to be of good quality, and the price is about right. I've found Neem to have good, general anti-microbial action. I think it's especially suited to chronic gastrointestinal and dermal conditions that haven't responded well to other treatments, like acne. One thing that must be noted: Neem has been used for centuries, if not millenia, as a type of birth control by both men and women. Some research has indicated that Neem dramatically reduces a man's sperm count without altering libido and can prevent pregnancies in women. Additionally, it's also been used as an abortifacient. For these reasons, I would exercise extreme caution when using Neem if I were pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

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Don't Waste Your Money

Posted on Nov 08, 2012

15 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

I purchased Lumina Health Cell Food, Oxygen Supplement because of the chorus of praise that I've heard about this product coming from members of my yoga class as well as other reviewers on iHerb.com. After finishing my first (and last) bottle, I can say that it's done absolutely nothing discernable for me. In researching this product online, I've found that "oxygenation supplements" are, at their essence, food-grade hydrogen peroxide. Moreover, the evidence for their benefit to health is obscure at best. I think that this product is far too expensive considering its vague constituent ingredients ("Dissolved Oxygen, Trace Minerals, Plant Source Amino Acids and Enzymes"), and with such little actual science backing it up I won't reorder.

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Works Well Enough

Posted on Nov 08, 2012

11 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

This product works well enough, that is, if you use a lot of it; go ahead, slather it on, but keep it from getting too near your eyes! I have tried the three most popular Hyaluronic Acid serums on iHerb — Derma E, Hyaluronic Acid Rehydrating Serum; Now Foods, Solutions, Hyaluronic Acid Firming Serum; and Source Naturals, Skin Eternal, Hyaluronic Serum — and this is probably the best of the lot. I've found it to strike an acceptable balance between "practical" and "effective", and it's not a terrible value. The only problem is the smell: It's not great. I'm from Hawaii, where pua melia/plumeria/frangipani (this product's purported scent) trees grow like weeds, and this smells little like actual plumeria and a lot like cheap perfume. I would much prefer an unscented formulation.

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You Might Be Surprised

Posted on Nov 10, 2012

10 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

When Nellie's All-Natural Laundry Soda arrives you might be surprised at the relatively small size of the container and also at the small size of the scoop included for measuring the detergent, since a tablespoon of powder couldn't clean laundry satisfactorily. But it does! As explained by the manufacturer, Nellie's doesn't include water in its Laundry Soda formulation, which is the principal ingredient in most laundry detergents: "Nellie's [doesn't] think selling you water and moving water around the planet is a good idea." Judging from my experience, I have to agree; Nellie's Laundry Soda left my clothes clean and residue-free. In addition, the packaging is hard not to like. I thought that a metal container was chosen as an appeal to sentimentality, but Nellie's explains that the packaging was chosen because "[i]ron and Steel are the world's most recycled materials, and amongst the easiest materials to reprocess."

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"WOW!"

Posted on Feb 28, 2013

8 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

I've been taking Now Foods, Maca, for several months and "Wow!" is really what I find myself saying all the time. I've been amazed at the pleasant buzz of energy that I get about one-half hour after taking a capsule, a shot of energy that gently tapers off throughout the day. My workout training is better and, in general, I feel better when taking this product. Another pleasant bonus: These capsules smell wonderful, in a fresh, berry-like sort of way. I have tried taking it in the late afternoon and it's not been very successful; I've had trouble falling asleep. I have noticed, also, that if I take Maca continuously for several weeks its efficacy starts to diminish. I think it's best to take it for shorter periods — periods of maybe a few weeks at a time — then to switch to another supplement with similar effects for another period, before returning to Maca.

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Pretty Much Worthless

Posted on Nov 27, 2012

8 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

I purchased MRM, Chrysin 500 as an aromatase inhibitor. Chrysin was once believed to be an effective aromatase inhibitor, decreasing the levels of estrogen in the body. However, there is growing consensus that chrysin has no effect on estrogen levels in either animals or humans. In the early 1980s, some in vitro studies reported exciting results; Unfortunately, follow-up studies determined that cell membranes effectively block chrysin from entering the cells and having any effect at all on estrogen levels in biological organisms. In vivo studies involving biological organisms lend support to the observation that chrysin has no effect on estrogen levels, but may have other detrimental effects to the body, particularly to thyroid function. This is one that's better avoided.

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Energizing, Vitalizing

Posted on Nov 19, 2012

7 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

Sometimes the beneficial effects of a supplement go unnoticed until one is no longer taking it; That's certainly been my experience with Now Foods, Dopa Mucuna. For the first month of taking Dopa Mucuna, I found that I was thinking more quickly, my reflexes felt sharper, and I felt more energized, generally, but I still didn't consider the effect of Dopa Mucuna to be very substantial. Now, two weeks after I've stopped taking Dopa Mucuna, I sorely miss the clear-headed, witty mental energy and the physical sense of power and peaceful well-being (courtesy of elevated levels of dopamine in the brain, I suspect) that I had while taking this product. I suggest taking Dopa Mucuna in the morning or early afternoon, so it won't interfere with sleep. I also suggest cycling this supplement as I do: I consume most of one bottle as directed and then gently taper off of it completely before returning to Dopa Mucuna after two to four weeks.

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A Must Have!

Posted on Oct 25, 2012

7 people found the following review helpful

Purchased at iHerb

I have tried many, many different products for my dry, sensitive skin — collagen of different kinds, DMAE, hyaluronic acid — not to mention (probably) dozens of lotions, oils and salves, and none have been as effective as Natural Factors, BioSil, ch-OSA Advanced Collagen Generator. Within about two weeks of treatment with this product, my skin was much smoother and more even, and felt less itchy and patchy. I'm taking it together with Biotin and Pycnogenol, and I think I've found a winning combination in those three supplements. As for the taste of BioSil: I take it in a cup of water, and I don't love it but neither do I find it particularly awful. Perhaps it's because I've taken a lot of really nasty supplements in the past, but this one really isn't so terrible.

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