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Dr. Joel Baumgartner's Glucuronolactone Energy Formula Delivers Worry-Free Energy

Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products®

Lee Swanson

Joel Baumgartner, M.D. is a board-certified medical physician with a specialized fellowship in non-surgical orthopedics and sports medicine. Through his innovative Medical Fitness and Functional Regenerative Medicine clinic in Minnesota, Dr. Baumgartner uses evidence-based treatment options to regenerate and rebuild his patients' joints and bodies. He brings the same integrity and passion to his signature Swanson® Rejuv supplements.

Joel Baumgartner

SWANSON: Dr. Baumgartner, you designed your new Glucuronolactone Energy Formula as a safer alternative to the popular energy drinks and daily energy shots that are so widely used today. What is it about these products that causes so much concern among health professionals like yourself?

BAUMGARTNER: There are so many things wrong with energy drinks, it's difficult to know where to start. What's most troubling, I think, are the products that purport to be healthy or natural but are nothing of the sort. Nobody expects those big cans at the convenience store to be good for you, but what about those little two-ounce shots? There's a different perception there, but those tiny bottles can be just as problematic.

First, consider the sugar. A typical 16-ounce energy drink contains upwards of 50 grams of sugar—that's up to 15 teaspoons in one serving! Now, many shots advertise that they are sugar free, but what's replacing the sugar? In most cases it's sucralose, an artificial sweetener that many believe acts as an excitotoxin, which, in this case, could be worse than sugar itself.

Next, consider the caffeine. A little natural caffeine can be good for you and can help keep you going. But it's got to be from natural sources and it's got to be within a reasonable dosage. A typical energy drink contains 500 mg or more of caffeine—more than twice the recognized daily cap for moderate intake—and that's just what's declared on the label. Despite efforts by regulators, many products contain undeclared caffeine from other ingredients, and they blend synthetic caffeine with natural caffeine, so it's difficult to know exactly how much you're getting. Too much caffeine is a bad thing by itself, but it's even more dangerous when accompanied by other energy drink ingredients.

Taurine is another common ingredient in just about every energy drink. Again, it's not a bad thing itself—taurine is, after all, a natural amino acid. However, there is evidence that taurine can act as a stimulant within the central nervous system (CNS), which could be damaging when combined with the effects of other ingredients. There seem to be more questions than answers when it comes to taurine in energy drinks. Some scientists believe that it could contribute to the "crash" people experience after the caffeine and sugar highs wear off, and others have suggested that taurine's effect on the brain and the CNS can mask the side effects of excess caffeine and sugar, thereby encouraging people to overconsume these beverages. For these reasons, there's absolutely no taurine in my Glucuronolactone Energy Formula.

SWANSON: What is Glucuronolactone?

BAUMGARTNER: Glucuronolactone can also be found in energy drinks, but it's the least worrisome ingredient. In fact, it may be the most beneficial. It's almost funny that this nutrient, which is almost universally unheard of among the general public, could really be the best part of these drinks. That's why we've isolated it and put it front-and-center in my new supplement.

Glucuronolactone is a natural substance produced in the body during glucose metabolism. It's also found in some plants. In addition to its energizing properties, glucuronolactone is a constituent of the connective tissues throughout our bodies—an interesting but unrelated factoid.

Glucuronolactone picture

As I said, this substance is a metabolite of glucose. It's a small molecule with the ability to enter our tissues fast. Surprisingly, there's little research on glucuronolactone's effects within the body, although more studies are being done every day. A reliable clinician's reference manual used in all doctor's offices and pharmacies lists its use as a detoxifying substance. This is, perhaps, it's most important method of action.

Research suggests that glucuronolactone can help promote energy and endurance while supporting rebound and recovery after exertion. And it's not just physical—studies suggest that glucuronolactone, alone and in combination with caffeine, promotes mental performance and positive mood as well.

If there's one good thing inside those energy drinks, it's glucuronolactone. That's why I'm featuring it in this new supplement. More people should know about this, and more research should be done to shine a light on its potential.

SWANSON: You do have some caffeine in this formula as well.

BAUMGARTNER: That's right; I have included a little natural caffeine as it exists in the standardized guarana seed extract I selected. Now, I said earlier that energy drinks can contain upwards of 500 mg of caffeine. Glucuronolactone Energy Formula contains just a fraction of that—about 22 mg—from 100 mg of standardized guarana extract. This is far less than you'll find even in a cup of coffee. But it's an effective level to achieve results in combination with glucuronolactone and the other ingredients in my formula. Again, caffeine itself is not a bad thing; it's the amount and the ingredients it's combined with that make the difference.

SWANSON: B vitamins and Rhodiola complete your formula. What can you tell us about their roles?

BAUMGARTNER: B vitamins are widely recognized as being energizing. Vitamin B-12, specifically, is linked to energy due to its role in healthy red blood cell development, DNA formation and metabolism. Surprisingly to folks like me, statistics show that up to 40 percent of Americans aren't getting enough of this important nutrient. And you can't get too much—B vitamins are water-soluble, so your body will flush out what it doesn't use. In my opinion, the RDA for vitamin B-12 is set way too low. Glucuronolactone Energy Formula provides 400 mcg of B-12 in every capsule. I also included folic acid because it works in concert with B-12; these two vitamins need each other to perform their critical functions.

The final and perhaps most unique ingredient in my Glucuronolactone Energy Formula is an herb called rhodiola. It's been used in traditional Chinese herbalism for centuries and has a large body of modern scientific evidence to support its benefits. Rhodiola acts as an adaptogen—a substance that helps the body to adapt to changing demands. It's sort of like ginseng without the same stimulating properties. Studies show that rhodiola can help combat both physical and mental stress, helping us remain steady and alert. I included 50 mg of standardized rhodiola extract in my formula to help deliver a comfortable, balanced, energizing benefit without overstimulation.

SWANSON: Dr. Baumgartner, you've done it again. Thank you for your insightful work and your innovative formulas

BAUMGARTNER: It's my pleasure to share these products with your Swanson® customers. Together, we can show the world that nutraceuticals—nature and science together—represent the future of wellness care.