CuraMed vs Curamin: How They’re Different + Best Uses For Each

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Curamin® and CuraMed® have similar names, are made by the same company, and share a similar ingredient in their respective formulas.

But their differences are significant including the situations where they are best used, and in this article I will go over all of this in detail.

 

 

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Science resources included

As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science & medical resources, clinical studies, and nutritional data used in this article.

 

 

CuraMed vs. Curamin: how they’re the same

* Both Curamin & CuraMed belong to the Terry Naturally brand of vitamins & supplements, whose parent company is Europharma.

* Both Curamin & CuraMed use a unique, patented turmeric extract named BCM-95 (aka Curcugreen™) in their respective formulas.

* Both CuraMed & the “plain” Curamin are available in two dosage strengths.

 

 

CuraMed vs. Curamin: how they’re different

* CuraMed and Curamin are being marketed towards different health outcomes: CuraMed is touting the benefits demonstrated in curcumin clinical research, and Curamin is positioned as a natural pain-relieving alternative to NSAIDs like ibuprofen.

* CuraMed has only one active ingredient (BCM-95), while Curamin uses four: DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA), Boswellia Serrata, BCM-95, & Nattokinase. 

* There is only one CuraMed formula and it’s available in two doses, while Curamin has a “plain” formula in two doses –regular & Extra Strength — PLUS three other Curamin formulas: Headache Relief, Low Back Pain, & Curamin PM/Nighttime Pain.

* In CuraMed, the BCM-95 turmeric extract is the most prominent ingredient by weight, but in Curamin it is third, behind DL-Phenylalanine & the  Boswellia extract.

* With CuraMed you know how much BCM-95 turmeric extract you’re getting, but none of the quantities of the Curamin formula ingredients are publicly disclosed.

 

 

What’s next

Up next will be a fairly brief review/overview of Curamin, and I’ll be covering the following areas I think are worth getting familiar with:

  • Ingredients / Supplement Facts label
  • Dosing / Serving size
  • Side effects & product safety
  • Product claims
  • Buyer ratings
  • Pricing
  • Clinical research support

 

About CuraMed®

CuraMed bottle with Lil Boji - heydayDo image

I’m not going to go over CuraMed in as detailed a fashion as I will with Curamin, because I recently published an in-depth review of CuraMed here on heydayDo.

Here’s a link to that article if you’re interested in taking a closer look at Terry Naturally’s only pure curcumin product:

CuraMed Review: Its Advantages = Its Benefits

 

 

Comparing best practical uses for Curamin vs. CuraMed

After going over what Curamin is all about, we’ll get into the different ways it & CuraMed are intended to be used.

With these two supplements that’s pretty easy to do, since the product claims that Terry Naturally makes about CuraMed & Curamin are all associated with clinical research results.

And I’ve already dug up a ton of the published research available on curcumin & boswellia extract, the two big stars of the show in this article.

Here’s a brief personal tale on how that came about:

 

Sore 60 year-old joints from weightlifting & banging around too much on my piece of dirt here a couple of years ago had me in desperado mode.

The pain was really gnarly and I wanted a clinically-proven natural alternative to those damn NSAIDs, so I logged some serious research time in our U.S. National Library of Medicine & eventually came upon turmeric extract.

I got on the absorption-enhanced curcuminoid train and got a big quality of life boost as a result of becoming mostly pain-free.

😄

 

In search of potential health benefits

So anyways, we’ll look at how Curamin & CuraMed might** be able to make a dent in this or that health condition, based on what’s actually been demonstrated in human clinical research trials.

 

**”might” – Unfortunately we do not all respond the same to herbal supplementation, and for some people things like curcumin & boswellia just don’t work. No surprise really, since we’re all so different in terms of our age, diet, lifestyle, & current fitness level.

 

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The fine line herbal supplements must walk

Supplement companies have to be careful about what they claim on their labels & marketing materials, especially when it comes to selling a product that we want to help us deal with a specific health condition.

This is because the FDA is ready to bonk them on the head if they drift over into medical drugs territory, by associating an implied medical treatment with their supplements (like CuraMed & Curamin).

 

Hence the need for the phrase you’ve no doubt read on supplement labels a million times (I’m pretty sure I have):

“This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

 

Bottom line:

OK FDA, you da boss.

But the elephant in the room is that we are taking supplements to help us treat something that’s buggin’ us, even if the FDA won’t let the word “treat” be used on a Curamin or CuraMed label.

Making a supplement company instead write something weird like “supports healthy inflammation response” doesn’t change the fact that I am buying it to treat my inflammation symptoms, just sayin’…😉

 


 

The research on Curamin’s ingredients

And in the final section of this article I’ll share the research I have uncovered for each of the four main components that make up Curamin:

  • dl-phenylalanine
  • boswellia extract
  • BCM-95
  • Nattokinase

 

 

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Curamin Review

PROGRAMMING NOTE: My review is on the original Curamin & Curamin Extra Strength products that have the same formula, just in different serving sizes.

I am not going to cover the three more recently developed “Curamin plus Something Else” products Terry Naturally now has, mainly because I’m not interested in them.

 

Okie dokie, let’s go over the main points of Curamin.

I’ll discuss this first point again later on down in the How To Put Curamin To Use section…

…and that is that Curamin is intended to be used as a pain reliever, similar to the way you might grab a couple of Advil if your muscles are sore after doing some sort of physical activity.

So revisiting what I said near the beginning of the article, I’m pretty sure Terry Naturally’s marketing material is designed so that “Curamin is positioned as a natural pain-relieving alternative to NSAIDs like ibuprofen.”

 

(And on the CuraMed side of things I get into later, you’ll see Terry Naturally consistently using a different word than pain…and that word is inflammation.)

 

Check out a couple of their Curamin marketing pieces to see what I mean:

Curamin pain relief marketing material - heydayDo image

 

And this one showcasing a boatload of awards that Curamin has come away with:

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And here’s a 45-second promo video from Terry Naturally:

 

 

 

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Curamin buyer ratings

As you’ll see below, both the ‘regular’ and Extra Strength versions of Curamin are very well-liked by their buyers.

In fact, the two versions have the same ratings, with Extra Strength being far more popular with over three times as many reviewers chiming in for it.

If you want to check current prices or read reviews on Amazon, click the pics or their blue names.

 

My rating I calculate after compiling all the online reviews I can find, wherever a particular product is being sold.

In Curamin’s case it’s carried at all of the major online vitamin & supplement stores: Amazon, Walmart, iHerb, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitacost, etc.

The % sign you see represents the percentage of buyers who left 4 or 5-star ratings, and 90% is an excellent number when it comes to something as iffy as an herbal supplement.

(Though Curamin has a well-established track record and obviously isn’t one of the iffy ones…)

 

Curamin Extra Strength

4.6 ⭐ – 90%,  4,000+ online reviews

 

Curamin “Regular” Strength

4.6 – 90%,  1,200+ online reviews

 

 

Curamin Supplement Facts label

Here’s a look at Supplement Facts labels from the two versions of plain Curamin, with ‘regular’ on the right, Extra Strength on the left.

Note the main difference is the amount of proprietary blend contained in each serving (the Extra Strength version has 24% more Curamin in it):

Curamin regular and extra strength supplement facts labels - heydayDo image

The other biggie between the two of them is that the Extra Strength version is a tablet, and the regular strength comes in a veggie capsule.

 

“Proprietary Complex”

Ah look, a proprietary blend, how nice. 😜

Sorry for the sarcasm (sorta); I’m just not a fan, and went after them a little in my article All About Proprietary Blends & Reasons To Avoid Them.

 

In case you’re not familiar with what has me & many others squawking about proprietary blends

The Food & Drug Administration allows manufacturers —who choose to name a recipe a Proprietary Blend or as the FDA puts it, some “other appropriately descriptive term or fanciful name” to withhold the amounts of each ingredient from the public.

 

In other words with Curamin, we see 2,706 mg of its “Proprietary Complex”, but we have no way of knowing how much:

  • phenylalanine,
  • boswellia,
  • BCM-95,
  • or nattokinase

is being used.

 

The only thing we do know — as the FDA states in its Dietary Supplements Guidelines, is that they’re listed in descending order of predominance by weight”.

So with Curamin we see that there’s more phenylalanine by weight than there is boswellia, more boswellia by weight than there is BCM-95, & more BCM-95 in Curamin than there is nattokinase.

 

Gray areas & wiggle room for supplement makers

The medical doctor who runs the independent supplement testing company ConsumerLab.com cautions his large readership base about this big loophole the FDA allows manufacturers of food & dietary supplements, saying

“Proprietary formulas are often developed around an expensive ingredient, like CoQ10, because this allows a company to use less of the expensive ingredient, creating a formula in which the expensive ingredient is just a small part of the formula.” (1)

 

Hmph, that’s not encouraging news 😳.

 

Especially since DL-phenylalanine:

* is the dominant ingredient by weight in Curamin;

* has the weakest clinical research supporting its anti-pain claims compared to BCM-95 & boswellia extract;

* and pharmaceutical grade DL-phenylalanine is dirt cheap at the retail level (see below), so just imagine it in bulk for a big supplement manufacturer:

Pharmaceutical grade dl-phenylalanine is cheap - heydayDo image

Source: Sigma-Aldrich

 

Bottom line: Disappointed that Terry Naturally hides ingredient quantities in their Curamin.

It’s not like its Colonel Sander’s top-secret recipe from 50 years ago.

Nowadays I (or anyone) could pay a lab a couple hundred bucks and get a complete analysis of what’s in Curamin, but why should I have to do that?

Transparency from supplement companies regarding what they’re putting in their products ought to be a given.

These are (expensive) things I’m thinking of putting in my body, and my health’s at stake.

Seems like a no-brainer to me…

 

 

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Ingredients

In this section I’ll briefly discuss Curamin’s four main components (DL-phenylalanine, boswellia, BCM-95, & nattokinase) in regards to the existing research they each have in support of them being in this product.

First though, let me cruise through a couple of other lesser Ingredients topics, starting with this disclosure from Terry Naturally.

Curamin is certified to be:

  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Kosher
  • Halal

Curamin is also certified to have NO:

    • sugar
    • salt
    • yeast
    • wheat
    • gluten
    • dairy
    • artificial colors
    • artificial flavors
    • artificial preservatives

 

Okie dokie, onto the Big 4 ingredients in Curamin.

I’m just posting little summary blurbs on them here, but later in the article is a section called Curamin Research where I have shared a bunch of relevant information on each of these.

 

DL-phenylalanine

It’s in the Curamin recipe in the hopes it will promote your body’s own natural opiate hormones known as endorphins & enkephalins to kick in and help with the pain-relieving process.

 

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Boswellia extract

I’ve researched the research that exists on Boswellia, and it’s pretty good-looking stuff when it comes to knocking down arthritis pain levels.

I provide a bunch of reference material for your perusing enjoyment on Boswellia down in the Curamin Research section later on.

 

BCM-95®

Ditto for BCM-95.

I am very familiar with this unique, patented turmeric extract formula that Terry Naturally buys from the top-notch, pharmaceutical-grade manufacturer that invented BCM-95.

It has close to 70 research studies published on it over its nearly 20-year existence, and it has a proven superior absorption ability that many other curcumin products that are out there these days just can’t match.

 

Nattokinase

Didn’t know what this was when I started doing background research for this article, but I do now.

It’s an enzyme made from fermented soybeans that has the ability to function as a natural blood thinner.

Terry Naturally is putting it in Curamin to, as they say, “help support circulation, an important feature for proper nutrient delivery and effectiveness.” (12)

 

 

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Comparing practical uses for Curamin & CuraMed

Take Curamin for occasional pain

We’ve established that Curamin is intended to be used as a pain reliever, and Terry Naturally reiterates this on their website when comparing the two (Curamin vs. CuraMed):

“Curamin: Safe, Effective Pain Relief*†”  (< remember those *† disclaimer symbols)

“Got Pain?*† Curamin is for you!”

“It doesn’t just mask occasional pain*† – it gets to the source and stops it.”

 

About the disclaimer symbols:

* – It’s the FDA required “THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.”

† – It’s Terry Naturally describing the type of pain Curamin is intended for: “Occasional muscle pain due to exercise or overuse.”

 

Take CuraMed for “healthy inflammation response & more”

And Terry Naturally is steering the consumer towards CuraMed as an anti-inflammatory, as well as being useful to help with other conditions that research has found benefits for us thanks to curcumin supplementation:

“There are now over 60 published studies that show the benefits of our curcumin for joints, immune and cellular health, brain function and mood, protection from oxidative stress, a healthy inflammation response, and more.*†

And repeating themselves:

“This premium curcumin formulation supports healthy inflammation response and optimal overall health.*†

 

About the disclaimer symbols:

* – The same FDA one as above.

† – “Occasional inflammation due to exercise or overuse.” (< Hey, that sounds familiar…)

 

 

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Dosage

Remember, we got two dosage strengths:

Regular: 2181 mg per day

Extra Strength: 2706 mg per day

 

For both Regular & Extra Strength, the daily serving size is 3 pills.

Regular: 3 veggie capsules

Extra Strength: 3 tablets (which can be broken in half if you want more or less)

 

 

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Monthly Cost

Note: I’m using prices I see today, but online they change pretty often…so you may likely see something different when you check them out.

 

Something to remember is that the daily dose of Curamin — whether you’re taking the Regular or the Extra Strength — is 3 pills a day.

Given that, I’m kind of surprised  they don’t package them in 90-count (1 month’s worth) or 180-count (2 month’s worth) sizes.

 

Although maybe they’re  figuring most people won’t be taking it every day…though it doesn’t work on-the-spot the same way aspirin or Advil do. Most people will need a few doses.

 

The other thing you’ll see is that the Extra Strength is available in 30, 60, & 120-count sizes, while the Regular Strength comes in 60 & 120-count bottles.

 

Cost observations

Just a couple of things to pass along that I’m noticing:

*No surprise, but there’s a price break when you buy the larger quantity — meaning 60’s cheaper than 30, and 120’s cheaper than 60.

*With the 60-count bottles — Extra Strength is 21% more expensive than Regular Strength (and remember, it provides 24% more Curamin per dose).

*And with the 120-count bottles — Extra Strength is 24% more expensive than Regular Strength, right in line with the additional amount of Curamin it has.

 

How to determine monthly cost

I’m going to figure monthly cost by using the current “per count” price and multiplying it by 90, for a 30-day supply.

And I’m only going to use the 120-count sizes, since the others will be more anyways.

 

Regular strength

120-count price: $53.56

Cost per pill ($53.56 ÷ 120): 45¢ apiece

Cost per month (45¢ x 90): $40-$41

 

Extra strength

120-count price: $67.16

Cost per pill ($67.16 ÷ 120): 56¢ apiece

Cost per month (56¢ x 90): $50-$51

 

 

Curamin clinical research

In this section I share the clinical research I tracked down that pertains to each of the four main ingredients in Curamin: dl-phenylalanine, boswellia extract, BCM-95®, and nattokinase.

 

chemical structure of dl-phenylalanine - heydayDo image

 

#1 DL-phenylalanine

(aka DLPA)

According to Terry Naturally’s marketing material on Curamin’s Amazon product page, DL-phenylalanine “supports healthy activity of endorphins and enkephalins”.

My guess: The endorphins are mentioned in lieu of them using the phrase “pain-killer” or “pain-reliever”, due to that issue with the FDA I covered earlier about a supplement being marketed & sold like it can do what a drug can do.

 

Endorphins

My non-science brain has heard of endorphins for a long time now, and I always figured they were hormones in my brain that were released that made me feel good.

Consulting with my well-informed friend Merriam-Webster, I learned endorphin is formed from two words: endogenous (made from within our bodies) and morphine (the pain-killing drug).

 

Enkephalins

This word I’d never heard of before I started researching this article, but it turns out they’re closely related to endorphins in terms of painkilling effects, and our bodies make them too. (2)

 

DLPA research support

Hmm, well I went digging for research gold and definitely did not hit the mother lode.

In our U.S. National Library of Medicine database of published studies, dl-phenylalanine + pain only showed two studies, and one was way off-topic:

dl-phenylalanine pain pubmed search results - heydayDo image

 

Further, the one piece of relevant published material I found was not even a controlled research study it turns out, but simply an article where the doctor/writer shared his opinion:

“In the author’s clinical experience, concurrent treatment with DL-phenylalanine (DLPA) often appears to potentiate pain relief and also ease depression in patients receiving opiates for chronic non-malignant pain.” (3)

 

This singular personal account of something that “appears to” was published twenty years ago in Medical Hypotheses, a journal Wikipedia describes as “a forum for unconventional ideas without the traditional filter of scientific peer review”.

OK, so no hard evidence from that one.  <<Understatement

 

Internet echoes on

Interestingly, these days online supplement sellers and blogs pushing natural pain products on us often mention how “doctors have found DLPA helps their patients deal with pain”.

Wonder where they heard that from. 😉

 

How about any ongoing DLPA pain studies?

Finding nothing at all published on DLPA & pain at the NIH database does not spark a warm & fuzzy vibe in me.

So I soldiered on to ClinicalTrials.gov, where you can look for current/ongoing research studies being conducted.

Figured maybe I missed something, but nobody’s registered any related research there either:

No studies on Clinical Trials dot gov site for dl-phenylalanine and pain - heydayDo image

 

What medical experts say about dl-phenylalanine for pain

From Dr. Andrew Weil“Today, I find the evidence for DLPA’s effectiveness weak and no longer recommend it. I’m familiar with claims that it can help some people get by with lower doses of opiates for chronic pain, but I’m not convinced.”

 

From Healthline“Phenylalanine may be useful in treating the skin disorder vitiligo. Evidence does not provide strong support for the effectiveness of this amino acid in treating other conditions…”

 

From WebMD“…L-phenylalanine plus ultraviolet A light may be helpful for people with vitiligo. There is less evidence to support its use for other conditions.”

 

From a controlled, double-blind research study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation“There appears to be no significant analgesic effect from D-phenylalanine in chronic pain patients when compared to placebo.”

 

From PeaceHealth.org“In a double-blind trial, University of Texas researchers found that 250 mg of DPA four times per day for four weeks was no more effective than placebo for 30 people with various types of chronic pain.”

 

From RxList.com“Possibly ineffective for pain…Taking D-phenylalanine by mouth does not seem to reduce pain.”

 

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Bottom line on dl-phenylalanine (for me):

I have nothing against anecdotal evidence from someone saying a supplement is working or not (or as in the case here with DLPA, that it “appears to” be working to that one doctor).

I started taking creatine over 20 years ago based on the word of a bodybuilder friend, back when it was mainly used by only Olympic athletes, hardcore lifters, & bodybuilders.

This was pre-internet and access to research studies didn’t exist like it does today, so creatine was demonized by many in the medical world & severely misunderstood by the general public.

But here in today’s world, the lack of any rock-solid evidence in support of dl-phenylalanine makes me dislike that it’s the number one ingredient in Curamin even more.

 

 

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A Boswellia Serrata tree

 

#2 Boswellia extract

Resin has been taken from the trunks of the Boswellia tree & used for medicinal, religious, & aromatic purposes for centuries, and we know the scent of it by the name of frankincense. (4)

For therapeutic purposes it is turned to an extract that is often standardized to 60-65% potency.

It has been the subject of a decent amount of growing research, and has proven to be effective in reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis. (5)

And our nation’s Arthritis Foundation lists boswellia among their accepted alternative medicine therapies for treating arthritis too. (6)

Their dosing suggestion is 300-400 mg 3x/day of at least a 60% standardized extract. (7)

I tracked down a summary table of research study results in an extensive review of boswellia, curcumin, & avocado clinical trials conducted on knee osteoarthritis, and here’s a link if you want to go check it out: Boswellia Knee Osteo Study Results.

 

 

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#3 BCM-95

Given that Terry Naturally named this supplement Curamin, I figured the BCM-95 would be front & center among the ingredients, not relegated to third out of four.

Boo hoo, but I already ragged about that already.

 

Better absorption, lots of research

BCM-95 is an above average curcumin extract supplement all on its own: it’s been around for almost 2 decades and is probably the most-studied unique turmeric extract formula at this time. (8)

It offers absorption several times better than regular turmeric extracts, and that’s important because the curcumin inside turmeric isn’t absorbed by our bodies very well at all. (9)

I thought enough of it that I dedicated an entire article on it called All About BCM-95, and I provided a link to it down below that green dumbbell if you’re interested in learning more about it.

 

Terry Naturally puts it in CuraMed & Curamin

Terry Naturally didn’t invent BCM-95, they buy it from its inventor & manufacturer Arjuna Natural Private Ltd., who are based in India.

Below is a minute-long video made by Arjuna that highlights BCM-95’s unique features.

Terry Naturally added their logos and overdubbed a new narrator, who provides an overview of several reasons BCM-95 stands far above the pack of typical turmeric-based supplements crowding the market these days.

 

Note that you’ll see & hear “CuraMed”, but this is an Arjuna Natural video that’s all about BCM-95 & their process with creating it. I know this to be true because I’ve seen the original video.

 

 

#4 Nattokinase

According to the Europharma product page for Curamin Extra Strength, “Nattokinase helps support circulation, an important feature for proper nutrient delivery and effectiveness.”

 

Here’s another word I had never heard of before I first looked at a Curamin Supplement Facts label.

Thanks to the missus who’s a 30-year veteran of clinical research trials using human beans 😜, I knew that any science-y sounding word ending in -ase is some kind of enzyme.

“Natto” though, I did not know…so I looked it up and it is a Japanese food made with fermented soybeans (10).

Would not have guessed that.

 

Benefits of nattokinase

Turns out that enzymes made from natto are a natural way to break up fibrin (blood clots), thin the blood, and reduce atherosclerosis plaque. (11)

One study I found confirmed this anti-clotting mechanism of action, showing modest thinning of fibrin for both healthy people and those with some cardiovascular risk factors. (12)

 

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Wrapping up

Related turmeric curcumin articles here on heydayDo

All About BCM-95…

CuraMed Review: Its Ingredients = Its Advantages

Life Extension Super Bio-Curcumin

 

I hope that my article reviewing Curamin and exploring the differences, similarities, and practical uses of both CuraMed & Curamin is useful to you, and I wish you well on your fitness journey.

Let’s go.

– greg

January 2021

 

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About heydayDo

heydayDo author Greg Simon
Hi I’m Greg Simon. Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. Organic food & wine grower. Surfer. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far). Read more…
heydayDo is my “fitness after 50” website that’s about embracing the physically active lifestyle as we get older.
 
I write about the fitness and health research I’ve found concerning the quality of life benefits that exercise and good nutrition provide.
 
When I get curious about something, I’ll dig into whatever sports science & medical facts there are on the topic to learn what’s real & what’s only hype. I also post my experiences product-testing & evaluating home gym equipment & fitness supplements.
 
 It’s an information-sharing, personal opinion blog of mine.
 
So if you’re looking for medical or nutritional advice, please consult with your doctor or health professional for that, since heydayDo does not provide medical advice.