Author: valdesfraost

Inulin, the Latest on a (Functional) Food Ingredient + Dietary Supplement: From Autoimmune to Metabolic Disease & Co

Globe artichokes have the most highly polymerized inulin fibers. They can be served cooked or oven-roasted.

The journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research is probably food designers’ favorite bedtime reading because the articles about various functional food ingredients inspire them to dream up ever-new [(dys-)functional)] food formulas you will soon find on the shelves at your local supermarket.

With inulin, a fructose-based polysaccharide fiber, which is the object of several papers in the latest issue of said scientific journal, I want to address one of these ingredients that has already made it from bench to bedside… ah, I mean from bench to protein bars and other functional foods such as dairy products, frozen desserts, table spreads, baked goods and breads, breakfast cereals, fillings, dietetic products or chocolate for today’s research update… an update that focuses on beneficial effects, but won’t conceal the potential issues people w/ FODMAP intolerance may experience.

Learn more about the satiety effects of foods, supplements, and exercise

Foodprocessing for Satiety 101

Starvation → Binging – Always?

More Protein != More Satiety

Fluid of Solid for Your Satiety?

Tryptophan the Satiety Switch?

Always Hungry? Here’s Why…

Inulin is classified as a non-viscous fiber with a relative sweetness (compared to sucrose) of 0-0.3 and an energy content of 1.5kcal/g. It is a complex of sugar that’s present in the roots of various plants (most notably Jerusalem artichoke and chicory). It is a polysaccharide based on fructose and has both, functional and therapeutic potential (Ahmed 2017). Inulin has been successfully used as fat replacer in quite a wide range of products as dairy and baked products and known to impart certain nutritional and therapeutic benefits that extend apart to improve health and reduce the risk of many lifestyle related diseases – most likely by acting as a prebiotic and thus promoting good digestive health, influencing lipid metabolism and having beneficial effects on glucose and insulin levels. Speaking of those…

  • Long-chain structure and fermentability is key to inulin’s anti-diabetes effects (Chen 2017)– It’s not news that dietary fibers capable of modifying gut barrier and microbiota homeostasis. What is not as well-known is that these effects of dietary fiber could slow down the progression of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and whether and to which extent this effect depends on the fermentability (in turn a function of the degree of polymerization | Van De Wiele 2007) of the fibers.

    In a recent study, scientists probed the effects of inulin-type fructans (ITFs), natural soluble dietary fibers with different degrees of fermentability from chicory root, on T1D development in nonobese diabetic mice: Female nonobese diabetic mice were weaned to long- and short-chain ITFs [ITF(l) and ITF(s), 5%] supplemented diet up to 24 weeks. T1D incidence, pancreatic-gut immune responses, gut barrier function, and microbiota composition were analyzed. ITF(l) but not ITF(s) supplementation dampened the incidence of T1D.

Avoid inulin if you respond to FODMAPs with bloating, intestinal distress or systemic IBS-like symptoms of FODMAP intolerance! For most of us, inulin is a healthy fermentable fiber you want to have in your diet. Just like other dietary FODMAPs, i.e. “Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols”, which are either naturally present in our foods, as in include barley, yogurt, apples, apricots, pears, and cauliflower, or added to make them “functional”, can be a severe problem for some of us. If you experience abdominal pain, bloating, distension, constipation, diarrhea and flatulence when consuming these foods, or suffer from downright irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it may thus be best you forget about the health-benefits of inulin and stick to an inulin- and otherwise FOODMAP-free diet, of which a recent meta-analysis by Marsh et al says that it improves the IBS-specific quality of life-scores by 85% (that’s in RCTs, in non-randomized trials the number is 218%!) and to improve symptoms like abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating and co by 81%.
  • This treatment promoted modulatory T-cell responses, as evidenced by increased CD25+Foxp3+CD4+ regulatory T cells, decreased IL17A+CD4+ Th17 cells, and modulated cytokine production profile in the pancreas, spleen, and colon. Furthermore, ITF(l) suppressed NOD like receptor protein 3 caspase-1-p20-IL-1β inflammasome in the colon. Expression of barrier reinforcing tight junction proteins occludin and claudin-2, antimicrobial peptides β-defensin-1, and cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide as well as short-chain fatty acid production were enhanced by ITF(l). Next-generation sequencing analysis revealed that ITF(l) enhanced Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio to an antidiabetogenic balance, and enriched modulatory Ruminococcaceae and Lactobacilli.

    With the short-chain variety having no effect on the immune system, though, the most important message of the study at hand clearly isn’t that inulin has the potential to ameliorate pathological decreases in gut barrier function and immune factors that contribute to the development of type I diabetes,  but rather that it takes the long-chain variety of this prebiotic to do the trick.

  • Inulin appears to work, at least partly, by reducing the lipid and (chole)sterol uptake (Han 2017) — While there’s a fundamental difference between the ketogenic diet and the high-fat diets that are used in rodent studies (with HFD being also “high” in carbohydrates), it is still worth mentioning that a recent study from the Obihiro University suggests that the lipid-lowering effect inulin depend on the fat content of the diet with its ability to reduce serum lipid levels being particularly pronounced on a high-fat diet.
    Figure 1: Fasting serum lipid levels in rats fed a diet of 20% fat with 5% cellulose or 5% HP-inulin (average degree of polymerization = 24) for 28 days (high-fat diet). Values represent mean ± SEM (n = 5). Cellulose – filled, inulin – open cycles (Han 2017).

    In the study, rats were fed a diet of 5% fat with 5% cellulose or 5% HP-inulin (average degree of polymerization = 24) (low-fat diet) or of 20% fat with 5% cellulose or 5% HP-inulin (high-fat diet) for 28 days. Total, HDL, and non-HDL cholesterols, and triglyceride concentrations in the serum were measured along with total lipid content of liver and feces. Furthermore, hepatic triglyceride and cholesterol, and fecal neutral and acidic sterol concentrations in total lipid were assessed. In addition, cecum SCFA levels and bacterial profiles were determined.

Chicory is not naturally the best source for highly polymerized inulin, that’s the globe artichoke (Van Loo 1995).

Is chicory inulin special? While chicory inulin is naturally higher polymerized than oligofructose (2.5-fold more polymerized), it’s not necessary the “chicory” that makes it special.

In this context, it is however important to be aware of the fact that studies often use a special version of chicory inulin, so-called “high-performance inulin” based on but not identical to what your tummy will extract from chicory roots.

With a degree of polymerization (DP) that is 2.5-fold higher than regular chicory inulin and thus 5-fold higher than the more commonly used oligofructose (Den Hond 2000) “high-performance inulin” will also have more pronounced prebiotic effects (Van De Wiele 2007). For supplements, it is thus not just the average degree of polymerization of the raw material that counts, but rather what the supplement producer made of it.

  • As previously hinted at, the hypolipidemic effect of HP-inulin differed depending on dietary fat content (5% versus 20%). Specifically, 5% inulin instead of cellulose in a semi-purified high-fat diet reduced serum lipid levels, significantly.
    Figure 2: The analysis of the feces shows sign. (138%, p = 0.001 and 117%, p = 0.03) increases in total sterol and total lipid contents in response to inulin on a high-fat diet (none on low-fat | Han 2017).

    In rats, this reduction was strongly associated with increased total lipid and neutral sterol excretion. In other words: The effect can probably be ascribed mostly to the non-absorption of dietary fat and (chole)sterols. What is interesting, here, is that this effect occurs only if the diet is high in fat ( – a risk that you may not get enough fat and/or (chole)sterols from your diet because of inulin is thus unwarranted.

  • Inulin is probably best supplemented with probiotics (various) — Only recently, US scientists have observed that 225 mg of inulin with 10 billion colony-forming units of LGG but not 325 mg of inulin alone administered in the first 6 months of life almost halved the incidence asthma of newborns when they were 5 – the corresponding calculated risk reductions for asthma are -12% and only 5% for eczema.
    That’s  neither 100% protection nor an earth-shattering difference to inulin, alone, but it’s one of many examples that show that the combination pre- plus pro-biotic in order to ensure that the “right” bacteria are fed is the way to go – also against diabesity (Beserra 2015).
More evidence that inulin doesn’t need to be taken with probiotics to help weight loss: In response to the daily supplementation of 8g oligofructose-enriched inulin  (vs. placebo), scientists from the Universities of Calgary and Alberta observed a significant alteration in intestinal microbiota (more Bifidobacterium, decreases in Bacteroides vulgatus) as well as significantly reduced body weight z-scores, body fat percentage (-2.4%), trunk fat percentage (-3.8%), and serum level of interleukin 6 (-19%) in overweight or obese 7-12 years olds in a 16-week single-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
  • In this context, it may, however, be worth noting that the effects of fiber, especially in the short run, do not depend on the co-supplementation of probiotics. That’s something a recent study from Kuwait showed quite convincingly: In the study,

    “…[f]orty college age females received either a fiber drink with 16 g of inulin in 330 ml water or placebo. On the 8th day of the study, appetite sensations were assessed using visual analogue scale (VAS) along with food intake. Repeated-measures ANOVA were performed comparing VAS ratings during test day. Energy consumption was compared using paired t-tests. Significance was determined at p<0.05” (Salmean 2017).

    On the 8th day, the fiber group reported lower ratings for hunger, desire to eat, and prospective food consumption with significantly higher ratings for satisfaction and fullness.
    Subsequently, the fiber group consumed 21% less kcal from food at lunch (453 ± 47 kcal) compared to controls (571 ± 39 kcal) (p<0.05).

    As Salmean et al. point out, it is thus clear that inulin alone is sufficient to “curb[…] appetite sensations and help[…] reduce food intake during lunch” (ibid.). It is thus no wonder that previous studies report weight loss in response to increased intakes of inulin-type fructans and link the latter to reduced ghrelin and increased peptide YY satiety hormone levels (Parnell 2009) – an effect that cannot be observed with every type of fermentable fiber, by the way (guar gum, for example, doesn’t share the beneficial effects of inulin – whether that’s because it is, unlike inulin, viscous, is not clear, yet | Weitkunat 2017).

A recent study by Halmos et al. (2014) should remind you not to cut FODMAPs from your diet if you tolerate them well. 

So how much inulin is there actually in our foods? I don’t know that for sure, but what I can tell you is that it is used (albeit often in small amounts) in dairy foods like yogurt, kefir, cultured buttermilk, cultured cream, koumiss, ice-cream, mozzarella cheese, petit-suisse cheese, soy beverages, bakery products like bread, biscuits, cookies, orange cake, chocolate cake, muffins, chocolates and confectionery like chocolate mousse, milk chocolates, sugar-free confections, etc., in conjunction with sweeteners like xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, erythritol, lactitol, isomalt, or hydrogenated starch hydrolysate and even in the meat industry, namely (a) in sausages, meat patties, bologna sausage, hamburgers, cooked sausages, dry fermented sausages and (b) what the raw material for the sausages and patties is fed, i.e. broilers, pigs, calves, etc.

In 1999,  the American diet provided on average 2.6 g of inulin and 2.5 g of oligofructose -when standardized for the amount of food consumed, the intakes showed little difference across gender and age. The major food sources of naturally occurring inulin and oligofructose in American diets were wheat(!), which provided about 70% of these components, and onions, which provided about 25% of these components (Moshfegh 1999).

If you want to increase your dietary inulin intake without processed foods (always a good idea) aim for higher intakes of chicory root, dandelion root, asparagus, leeks and onions, bananas and plantains (especially when they’re slightly green), sprouted wheat (such as the kind used in Ezekiel bread), garlic, artichokes, fresh herbs, and yams. If, on the other hand, you have problems with so-called “FODMAPS” (yes, inulin is one of them), you’ll obviously want to avoid these and all inulin-enhanced functional foods – for most healthy individuals inulin’s effect on gas in the colon is yet not a problem (Murray 2014) as the summary from Halmos et al. I included in the bottom line shows, it’s rather the opposite: for those who tolerate them well FODMAPs are downright healthy | Bon appetit!


  • Ahmed, Waqas, and Summer Rashid. “Functional and Therapeutic Potential of Inulin: A comprehensive review.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition just-accepted (2017).
  • Beserra, Bruna TS, et al. “A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prebiotics and synbiotics effects on glycaemia, insulin concentrations and lipid parameters in adult patients with overweight or obesity.” Clinical Nutrition 34.5 (2015): 845-858.
  • Cabana, et al. “Early Probiotic Supplementation for Eczema and Asthma Prevention: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Pediatrics. 2017 Aug 7. pii: e20163000. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-3000. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Chen, K., et al. “Specific inulin-type fructan fibers protect against autoimmune diabetes by modulating gut immunity, barrier function, and microbiota homeostasis.” Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2017, 61, 1601006.
  • Den Hond, Elly, Benny Geypens, and Yvo Ghoos. “Effect of high performance chicory inulin on constipation.” Nutrition Research 20.5 (2000): 731-736.
  • Halmos, Emma P., et al. “Diets that differ in their FODMAP content alter the colonic luminal microenvironment.” Gut (2014): gutjnl-2014.
  • Han, K. et al. “Dietary fat content modulates the hypolipidemic effect of dietary inulin in rats.” Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2017, 61, 1600635.
  • Marsh, Abigail, Enid M. Eslick, and Guy D. Eslick. “Does a diet low in FODMAPs reduce symptoms associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders? A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis.” European journal of nutrition 55.3 (2016): 897-906.
  • Moshfegh, Alanna J., et al. “Presence of inulin and oligofructose in the diets of Americans.” The Journal of nutrition 129.7 (1999): 1407S-1411s.
  • Parnell, Jill A., and Raylene A. Reimer. “Weight loss during oligofructose supplementation is associated with decreased ghrelin and increased peptide YY in overweight and obese adults.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 89.6 (2009): 1751-1759.
  • Salmean, et al. “Acute fiber supplementation with inulin-type fructans curbs appetite sensations: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Food Nutr Res. 2017 Jul 2;61(1):1341808. doi: 10.1080/16546628.2017.1341808. eCollection 2017.
  • Van De Wiele, Tom, et al. “Inulin‐type fructans of longer degree of polymerization exert more pronounced in vitro prebiotic effects.” Journal of Applied Microbiology 102.2 (2007): 452-460.
  • Van Loo, Jan, et al. “On the presence of inulin and oligofructose as natural ingredients in the western diet.” Critical Reviews in Food Science & Nutrition 35.6 (1995): 525-552.
  • Weitkunat, Karolin, et al. “Short-chain fatty acids and inulin, but not guar gum, prevent diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance through differential mechanisms in mice.” Scientific Reports 7 (2017).

Inulin, the Latest on a (Functional) Food Ingredient + Dietary Supplement: From Autoimmune to Metabolic Disease & Co syndicated from

The Best Shoes for Retail Workers [2017]

Shoes for Retail workerBeing on your feet all day is hard work no matter what you do. And when you work in retail, the demands on your feet and body are even higher. Doing that much standing and walking around takes a serious toll, so it’s important that you wear the right shoes.

When you’re shopping for a comfortable footwear, you need to look for shoes with the three “S’s”: Support, slip-resistance, and sturdy construction.

How to Choose Right Shoes If You Working On Your Feet All Day

It’s important to know the functions that will best protect your whole foot, and that means the ball, forefoot, arch, and heel. Having proper support and the right fit are key to ensuring your arches and fascia (which is the tissue that runs along the sole of your foot, connecting your toes to your heel) are fully supported. This will also help keep your ankles from rolling (pronation), absorb the shock from the weight of your body, and provide spring and stability.

Fit: Length, width, and arch

Of course, we all know that we should buy shoes that fit, but what does that mean, really? For one thing, all feet are different. Different lengths, widths, shapes, contours, and height of arch. We all have different gaits, which puts different measures of stress and strain on our feet, tendons, muscles, joints, and bones of the ankles, legs, hips, and back.

So, it’s critical that you know the size, shape, and contours of your feet exactly and then find the shoe that fits your feet the best. It goes without saying that you need a good measurement–both width and length.

You also need to know how much arch support you need.

We all need it, and retail workers who are on their feet all day need even more.

So, you need to know if you need a little bit, a standard amount, or a lot. Supporting your arches with the right amount of cushioning, whether gel, memory foam, composite, cork, or some other type of material, is key.

If you can get your foot examined and sized by a professional, great; do it. If not, and you’re not sure about the height of your arch, you can perform a self-test at home.

Dip your foot into a bucket of water, and then step onto a piece of construction paper or cardboard. Step away and examine the print you leave. Can you see mostly the toes, ball of foot, outside edge, and heel? Then you have a relatively high arch. If you can see almost all of your foot in the print, then you have very low arches.

‘If you can see your entire footprint, you have flat feet. Based on this, choose the arch support height that correlates appropriately to ensure you get the proper amount of support.

Measure both of your feet the same way. It’s very common that people have two different sized or shaped feet. Sometimes it’s just a matter of a few millimeters (less than a half inch), but it can be up to a size. If one foot is slightly bigger, size up for your pair. You’ll probably want to add supportive inserts, which will close any gaps in the slightly smaller foot. If one foot is vastly larger or smaller than the other, get the size you need for each.

When to Shop

When you go shopping for shoes, pick a store that has a lot of options so you can try on many pairs that have varying levels of support and widths if you need it. Also, be mindful of the time of day.

If it’s first thing in the morning, or you live in a cool climate, there’s a good chance your foot is going to be slightly smaller than it will be later in the day. If possible, shop later, after you’ve been walking around for at least part of most of the day.

This will ensure your feet have had time to heat up and stretch out, so you can shop for exactly the right fit. If you go too early in the morning, you might end up with shoes that are too small.

What to look for

Bring the socks, or socks of the same weight, with you that you’ll most likely wear on the job. Get measured by a professional salesperson. Walk around in the store a lot. Wiggle your toes.

Make sure you have enough room within your toes and between the end of the shoe and the end of your toes so they have room to move around. Make sure they feel really comfortable.

Just because a shoe is the right size and provides the right amount of arch support, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to like the way it feels on your foot. Listen to your body and pick the pair that feels great to you and is going to support you for long periods of time, meeting your individual demands. Check out the soles. Make sure they are constructed well and are made of a high quality anti-slip material.

Top brands

When it comes to high quality shoes that are supportive, sturdy, and slip-resistant, there is good news: you have a lot of choices. More people than ever are coming to realize how important good shoes are to the health of your feet and whole body, and shoemakers have answered with excellent options. Here are a couple of the best.

Best Shoes to Wear for Retail Job Models

New Balance Slip Resistant 626v2

This definitive work shoe is available for both men and women. Specially designed for people who are on their feet all day, this is a workhorse. The aptly named foam cushioning they use is called ABZORB, and it’s hard to beat for the level of shock absorption, support, and pillow-like comfort it provides.

The lining is lightweight and the uppers are leather. They’re extremely durable and the outsoles are designed specifically for traction, so you’ll be well protected on wet or slippery surfaces.

It comes in multiple widths and has built in stability control.

Dansko Women’s Pro XP Slip Resistant Clog

I used to always wonder why every retail worker, nurse, doctor, and foodservice professional I saw was wearing Danskos. Then I bought a pair. Now I know. The reasons are many.

They’re amazingly comfortable, and fit and support your foot like a glove with an arch support. They give your feet and toes room to move around and your heel the ability to do what it’s supposed to do inside a shoe.

They also grip the ground with incredibly effective traction. They have a padded instep, and the rocker bottom is designed to stave off fatigue. The footbed is made of memory foam for ultimate support and cushioning.

This is the definition of all business and one of the best shoes for retail manager. I also love that they are made from high quality leather, they come in fourteen different colors, and they’re also available for men.

Earth Shoes Clover

If your job requires you to wear a somewhat dressier shoe, you prefer the look and feel, or you’re looking to take your comfort from day to night, Earth brand puts out some of best women’s dress shoes for standing all day.

The Clover is a classic mary jane with updated styling. The overlapping layers of leather on the toe give the shoe flare and elegance, with the small metallic studs over the closure bring a hint of elegance.

They’re lined in ultra-soft leather, and the footbed is made of a multiple density latex cushioning. The heel is double padded and the arch support is reinforced.

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Shoes for retail workers provide the utmost shock absorption and arch support, and are some of the most comfortable shoes you’ll find. All of this, and they look great to boot.

The Best Shoes for Retail Workers [2017] syndicated from

9/15 Berberine Supps (Names Included) on the US Market Contain More/Less Berberine Than the Label Says – Fraud?

Berberine is a yellow-colored alkaloid compound found in several different plants, including European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, and tree turmeric.

Eventually, neither of the two insights from a recent paper in the Journal of Dietary Supplements can really surprise you: the majority of berberine supplements doesn’t contain the amount of active ingredient that’s on the label – 60% fail to land within the allowable margin of +/-10% and the more expensive “quality brands” are not better than the cheap ones, even if they had label claims of manufacturing under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) conditions in Food and Drug Administration inspected facilities, and guarantees purity and potency! In the real world, theory and practice, or, rather, labelled and real berberine content seem to diverge…

When timing matters, for berberine it’s not well-researched, but…

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For Lipoic Acid Timing Matters

I am honestly (and positively) surprised that the study from the University of Kansas Medical Center does what only a small percentage of the already few studies that investigate the quality of dietary supplements do: it includes the actual product names.

Table 1: Fifteen commercial preparations of berberine available in the United States tested for product potency (Falk 2017).

All products are “berberine only”-products dosed at 400-500mg (according to the label ;-). As you can see in Table 1, the calculated average (± SD) monthly cost based on a dose of 800 to 1,000 mg/day for the preparations is $21.97 ± $9.18 and ranges from $8.48 to $47.40.

This is not the first study showing that berberine products, or goldenseal, one of its natural sources, don’t live up to or significantly exceed their promises. In 2003 Edwards and Draper analyzed the hydrastine and berberine concentration in products labeled as containing goldenseal root and found that the former ranged from 0 to 2.93%, whereas the latter, i.e. the berberine concentration, varied from 0.82% to 5.86%. Furthermore, five products contained little or no hydrastine, unusual berberine:hydrastine ratios, and additional peaks not observed with other products. A similar range of concentrations was found by Brown et al. in 2008 who analyzed powdered botanical raw materials, whole root material, and 4 finished product dietary supplements containing either goldenseal powdered root material or extract and found values ranging from 0.2% (w/w) to about 4% (w/w) for each alkaloid. That’s not surprising, though, we are, after all, dealing with a natural product. Apples don’t have the same fructose content, either, and the fatty acid makeup of eggs will vary significantly; and you should be aware that this will be the case for non-batch-tested supplements, as well.

The actual analysis of the contents of three randomly chosen caps per supplement was conducted using a previously developed and evaluated UHPLC-MS/MS assay.

Figure 1: Percentage of berberine content based on the label claim in commercial preparations of berberine – data is presented as the average (± SD) of percentage of berberine based on the label claim (Funk 2017)

As the data in Figure 1 tells you, the average berberine content of the products was 75% ± 25% of the label claim. That doesn’t make the product useless or dangerous per se, but as I will explain in the bottom line. This can be a serious problem.

Why would you even want to use berberine and how much do you need? Berberine is a proven AMPK promoter with multiple proven health benefits ranging from an anti-cancer effect (Sun 2009), and the ability to control type II diabetes just like metformin (Dong 2012), to its ability to keep your blood lipids in check without a statin (Dong 2013) and improving/maintaining your brain health – including potential anti-Alzheimer’s effects (Ye 2009). With a bioavailability of ~33.6% with peak values being achieved after 2h and almost complete clearance from the bloodstream, effective dosages range from 0.2-1.5g per day – best taken with meals (which also reduces the risk of hypoglycemia) equally distributed over 24h. 

Furthermore, several products contain significantly less than the 90% of ingredient amounts on the label the FDA requires for pharmacological products – and that, as previously pointed out, even for products where the label informs you that they were produced under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) conditions in Food and Drug Administration inspected facilities. Going for the allegedly reputable and often most expensive producers is thus not necessarily a good idea; after all, the scientists’ “[a]nalysis of product quality based on the average monthly cost failed to yield a significant relationship between quality and cost” (Funk 2017). In fact,

“[t]he average (± SD) cost of products containing at least 90% of the labeled berberine content was not significantly different from products failing to meet the 90% potency standard ($27.21± $12.49 vs. $20.28± 5.34, respectively, p= .25). Similarly, Pearson’s pairwise analysis of potency, based on the label claim, and product monthly cost failed to yield a significant relationship between cost and quality (r = .17, p = .53)” (Funk 2017).

This “marked variability in the content of berberine among products avail able from U.S. manufacturers” is, in the authors’ eyes, a problem: not because it violates the potency standards set forth by a supplement version of the USP Convention – a supplement equivalent of these requirements for pharmacological drugs does not exist, the variations in potency, Gershwin et al. (2010) and Sarma et al. (2016) observed for other supplements as well are thus not a legal problem, so that, from a legal perspective, the question from the headline, i.e. whether not matching the label claims 100% was fraud, must be answered with no – but because it may, according to Funk et al., pose a health threat.

Berberine works via AMPK, just like lipoic acid – accordingly both share potentially relevant similar timing issues and could limit anabolism.

Health threat? Isn’t that an exaggeration? Well, it depends. For the average consumer, it probably ain’t a problem. With the ever-increasing number of studies that show that berberine could be used instead of metformin and/or on top of medical treatments for high blood glucose and/or lipids, some consumers may end with lower/higher levels of glucose or lipids in the blood when they (a) switch from one 500mg product to the other or (b) simply start a new bottle that was produced by the same manufacturer, but contains more/less of the active ingredient (note: I personally was afraid that the deviations from the label may be much larger and am relatively happy with the results, but I guess that’s my personal disillusionment).

The last-mentioned possibility that the potency varies not just between products, but also from batch to batch, is also why I wouldn’t rely too much on the data from the study at hand.  The next batch of supplement #9, the “best” supplement in this study, of which the authors rightly point out that it was limited “[p]rimarily” by the fact that they “analyzed the berberine content of one individual bottle from each manufacturer” (Funk 2017), may well contain significantly lower amounts of berberine than the one that was tested by Funk et al. for the study at hand. As previously hinted at, this is a general problem with dietary supplements. One you should know about, and one that disqualifies them as 1:1 replacement for medications, but not one that should make you shy away from supplements altogether, in my humble opinion | Comment!


  • Brown, Paula N., and Mark C. Roman. “Determination of hydrastine and berberine in goldenseal raw materials, extracts, and dietary supplements by high-performance liquid chromatography with UV: Collaborative study.” Journal of AOAC International 91.4 (2008): 694-701.
  • Dong, Hui, et al. “Berberine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systemic review and meta-analysis.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012 (2012).
  • Dong, Hui, et al. “The effects of berberine on blood lipids: a systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Planta medica 79.06 (2013): 437-446.
  • Edwards, David J., and Emily J. Draper. “Variations in alkaloid content of herbal products containing goldenseal.” Journal of the American Pharmacists Association 43.3 (2003): 419-423.
  • Funk, R.S. et al. “Variability in Potency Among Commercial Preparations of Berberine.” J Diet Suppl. 2017 Aug 9:1-9. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2017.1347227. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Gershwin, M. Eric, et al. “Public safety and dietary supplementation.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1190.1 (2010): 104-117.
  • Sarma, Nandakumara, Gabriel Giancaspro, and Jaap Venema. “Dietary supplements quality analysis tools from the United States Pharmacopeia.” Drug testing and analysis 8.3-4 (2016): 418-423.
  • Sun, Yiyi, et al. “A systematic review of the anticancer properties of berberine, a natural product from Chinese herbs.” Anti-cancer drugs 20.9 (2009): 757-769.
  • Ye, Minzhong, et al. “Neuropharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties of berberine: a review of recent research.” Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 61.7 (2009): 831-837.

9/15 Berberine Supps (Names Included) on the US Market Contain More/Less Berberine Than the Label Says – Fraud? syndicated from

Weekly 2-Day Fast (5:2 Diet) as Effective for Losing Weight and Waist as Continous Dieting (-500kcal Every Day)

I suspect changing what the subjects ate would have had additional benefits on top of the reduced energy intake.

In the medical literature, there are two different interpretations of “intermittent fasting”. While one of them refers more or less to what people from the fitness community will think of if you talk with them about “intermittent fasting” (i.e. eating only within a feeding window of 2-6h in 24h), most researchers use “intermittent fasting” as an umbrella-term for all sorts of time-restricted fasting regimens, including alternate-day fasting regimen and their clones, where you fast say 2, 3, or 4 days per week. Regimen such as the one scientists from the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine have recently compared to “classic dieting” (constant daily energy deficit) in 24 males 55–75 year-old war veterans with stable weight problems (body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30 kg/m²).

Learn more about fasting at the SuppVersity

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IF + Resistance Training = WIN

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The subjects were randomized to consume either a 5:2 diet or a standard energy-restricted diet (SERD | 2050 KJ (500 kcal) deficit per day) for 6 months. Weight, waist circumference (WC), fasting blood glucose, blood lipids, blood pressure and dietary intake were measured at baseline, 3 and 6 months by a blinded investigator. Here are the details from the study:

  • The study was a single-centre, parallel group randomized controlled trial.
  • SERD: Participants were required to follow a continuous daily energy-restricted diet (500- calorie daily reduction from average requirement) based on Australian guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE) dietary principles (low saturated fat, high fiber, moderate protein and carbohydrate). 
  • IER 5:2 Diet (5:2 DIET): Participants were required to ‘fast’ for two non-consecutive days per week (restrict their daily calorie intake to 600 calories for the entire ‘fast day’) and eat ad libitum on the remaining 5 days (i.e. no specific dietary recommendations were made). Participants were encouraged to consume calorie-free beverages on fasting days. 
  • Educational material and sample meal plans were provided to participants in each group, and all participants received five individual counseling sessions specific to their dietary intervention. 
  • At the conclusion of the 3- month review, participants were asked to continue with their dietary regimen for a further 3 months. During this time, no formal review or further dietetic support was pro vided. 
  • To monitor and maximize dietary compliance, participants were asked to keep diet diaries. Adherence to each dietary intervention was assessed by the dietitian by using patients’ self-recorded dietary diaries and self-reported diet histories taken during their dietetic appointments at 2, 4 and 8 weeks and at 3 and 6 months. 
  • Participants were advised to maintain their current physical activity levels throughout the study and did not receive specific exercise counseling.

As you can see in Figure 2, both diets effectively reduced body weight (P = <0.001), waist circumference (P = <0.001) and systolic blood pressure (P = 0.001).

Figure 1: Total energy intake at baseline in the weight loss (<3 m) and follow-up (>3 m, but <6 m) phase (Conley 2017).

Without statistically significant differences in weight loss, i.e. 5.3 +/- 3.0 kg (5.5 +/-  3.2%) and 5.5 +/-  4.3 kg (5.4 +/-  4.2%) for the SERD group. A greater, but likewise non-significant difference was observed for the metabolically more relevant reduction in midsection, where the 5:2 group lost 8.0 +/-  4.5 and the SERD group lost 6.4 +/-  5.8 cm off their waists.

Figure 2: Changes (%) in body weight, waist circumference and systolic blood pressure after 3 and 6 months (Conley 2017).

Changes in diastolic blood pressure, fasting blood glucose or blood lipids were not observed in either dietary group. It should be said, however, that the subjects may have been overweight, but not sick – to expect changes in blood glucose and lipids that would achieve statistical significance with only N=24 subjects was thus not necessarily to be expected.

Figure 3: The subjects did not change their diet fundamentally, just like their protein, fat, and carb intake, the subjects’ sugar, fiber, calcium, alcohol, and sodium intake was equally reduced (Conley 2017).

That’s also because the dietary habits of the subjects obviously didn’t change much: With macronutrient ratios of 22 and 21% of dietary energy from protein, 36 and 38% from fat, 35 and 36% from CHO and 7 and 5% from alcohol in the SERD and 5:2 diet groups, respectively, the veterans in both groups probably kept eating the same crap they did before the intervention. With a protein-modified fast and the lion’s share of the 600kcal on the fasting day coming from protein, things may have looked fundamentally different, I suspect (more about PSMF).

Protein modified fasts may have more pronounced health benefits | more.

So what’s better, then? Whatever suits you… In view of the fact that there were no statistically relevant differences between the diets, the study at hand proves, once again, that “calories count”. With the lack of difference both during and after the 3-months weight loss period, after which the proportion of participants who regained weight (defined as gaining >1 kg of body weight) between 3 and 6 months was similar (two participants in both groups regaining weight: 16.7% of participants in the 5:2 diet group and 18.7% of participants in the SERD group), it’s thus up to you to decide if you believe you can rather adhere to a daily or a twice weekly calorie reduction…

…and honestly, I believe for many the 5:2 protocol is going to be easier to adhere to – even though the Quality of Life Questionnaires the study subjects had to fill do not support an advantage of 5:2 over SERD, the non-significantly lower incidence of side effects ranging from headaches, over dizziness and hunger to constipation in the SERD would in rather suggest otherwise | Comment!


  • Conley, Marguerite, et al. “Is two days of intermittent energy restriction per week a feasible weight loss approach in obese males? A randomised pilot study.” Nutrition & Dietetics (2017).

Weekly 2-Day Fast (5:2 Diet) as Effective for Losing Weight and Waist as Continous Dieting (-500kcal Every Day) syndicated from

Most Comfortable Work Boots That are the Best for Standing All Day

comfortable work bootsSo, you’re standing and or working all day, and you need a good boot or shoe. Where to start? There are so many options now. And more importantly, critical safety and security features you need to consider.

Protecting your feet on the job is numero uno, but given the technology changes so quickly these days, you’re also probably wondering, what are the most comfortable work boots for men?

Which type of toe should I look for? Steel? Alloy? Soft? Composite? Should I get a shoe or a boot? What about the soles? Well, here’s a breakdown, including some of the key features you should consider, and the best options in each category.

Best Comfortable Work Boot

Steel Toe Work Boots

The first thing to consider is what kind of serious implications to your toes the job or task at hand could be throwing at you.

If you’re going to be working around very heavy objects; going up and down lift gates; carrying, hauling, or moving large, heavy, sharp, or pointed objects; working around large vehicles; or have the potential to fall long distances or around very sharp items, you should consider the possibility of something crushing or puncturing one or more toes.

You might also not have a choice because some jobs have OSHA standards that require you wear steel-toed boots rated to a specific level. The level correlates to how much weight the toe can withstand.

KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot

This is high on the list when it comes to superb toe and foot protection without sacrificing comfort. There’s some misleading information out in the field about steel toes being inherently uncomfortable.

That might have been true 20 years ago, but it’s not today. And if comfort is key for you, the KEEN Pittsburgh should be the first place you look. Some call them the most comfortable steel toed work boots.

If you’re a water sports enthusiast, you’ll know them for their notorious comfort in that division, but in the work boot realm, they also reign supreme. The waterproofing is top of the line and breathable. The footbed is metatomical in design, providing anatomical fit and support for your arches, heels, and entire foot.

The soles are slip resistant, and the steel toes are manufactured with their own patented technology, wherein the shoe outsole wraps up and over the asymmetric steel plates, so you get double protection. They add a plate under the forefoot for stability and added flexibility.

Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6-Inch Steel Toe 804-4200 Work Boot

If you go for the classic look in a work boot, and you need the safety, stability, and protection of a work horse, you’re in luck. This boot has both. This is a particularly good one if you’re around high voltage electrical hazards.

They can withstand up to eighteen thousand volts. The camel colored soles are mark resistant, and they have extra support in the ankles. You can also adjust how loose or tight they grip your ankles with the lacing.

The super padded inserts are removable, shock absorbing, and provide excellent cushioning and support.

Redback Men’s Safety Bobcat USBOK Elastic Sided Steel Toe Leather Work Boot

If you’re looking for an alternative to the lace-up boot and need something that will provide all-day comfort and safety, check out the Redback Bobcat. It’s the most comfortable slip on work boot out there.

Built in Australia, they’re made of extra thick leather and they’re oiled to hold their shape, and prevent cracking and hardening. Sort of the Volvo of work boots, these slip-ons look good, provide excellent support and cushion for all-day comfort, and will last for years.

Alloy Toe Work Boots

Alloy toed work books are also known as aluminum toed. They provide excellent protection from injury and impact, as other safety boots do, but are made with titanium-based or aluminum, so they’re lighter and thinner. Some find the roomier toe box to be more comfortable than other boots made from different materials. They’re particularly good for those with wide feet.

Timberland Pro Men’s 26078 titan 6″ Waterproof Work Boot

Roomy, comfortable, and lightweight, these provide a polyurethane midsole for superb cushioning and support. Made of soft, high quality leather, they’re flexible, waterproof, and require little to no time to break in. The contoured footbed contains a high-tech sock that regulates temperature and keeps your feet dry. The alloy toe is shaped on the Titan last for protection and comfort. The rubber outsole is oil, abrasion, and slip resistant.

Timberland PRO Men’s TiTAN Safety-Toe Work Oxford

With the trademarked Timberland standard features, this is an outstanding alternative to a boot. If you don’t need or want the ankle support or restriction, these are built with the same alloy protective toe, and made of super soft, supple leather. They have slip, oil, and abrasion resistant soles, and a cushioned footbed for support and comfort. They have a built-in antimicrobial to keep your feet comfortable and dry.

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Composite Toe Work Boots

Often called a “safety toe,” composite-toed boots are lighter than steel. Also, if you work at or near a metal detector, toes of this sort in your work shoes is a must. They can be made of various materials, most often carbon fiber, Kevlar, or plastic. You still get protection against high impact, puncturing, and crushing. Some also prefer these, as they’re excellent for very hot or very cold conditions.

Caterpillar FABRICATE 6" Tough Composite Toe Work Boot

These are ideal for those who want added comfort and support, have foot pain or problems, or whose legs become fatigued by standing and working for long periods of time. They are rated for up to 600 volts of electrical current and have a dual density midsole that will support your arches and heels, and provide excellent shock absorption.

Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Composite Toe Boot

Another tool for your trade by Carhartt that is well built and designed to last. They provide cement construction and a sole that protects against oil and chemical slipping. The insoles are made of Ortholite, providing added cushioning and support for legs prone to exhaustion. The rugged construction flexes with your feet and ankles, so you never feel constricted or bound.

Soft Toe Boots

These are rated to protect against electrical hazards, and are almost always slip and oil resistant, so you get many of the same safety features with a soft toe, but of course, not as much protection in your toes. If your job doesn’t present particularly sharp or heavy objects and you are not in danger of crushing or puncturing your toes, soft toed shoes and boots can be a great option. They’re often a bit more comfortable, and sometimes much lighter. They provide rugged soles that protect against slippage, and good support for long-lasting comfort.

Wolverine Men’s Raider 6″ Contour Welt Boot

A well known name in the industry, Wolverine is built tough. These are made of soft, full grain leather and have added padding around the ankles for cushioning, support, and protection.

The “contour welt” is designed for maximum flexibility. The insole is removable and made of “Wolverine Multishox,” which provides outstanding support and comfort. The midsole is lightweight and the mesh lining is breathable. If you’re not satisfied after a month, you can return them for your money back, no static.

Irish Setter Ashby

Not only are these the best work boots for standing on concrete, they also look great. If you happen to work around high temperatures, this is also one for you. The rubber EVA outsole is specifically designed for very hot temperatures. The full grain Trout Brook leather uppers are soft, flexible, and waterproof.

Whatever your job-specific needs, there are work boots for every consideration.

Keep the safety and protection of your feet at the forefront. Whether alloy, steel, soft, or composite toes are right for you, there’s comfort, support, and durability in every shoe and boot that made our list.

Most Comfortable Work Boots That are the Best for Standing All Day syndicated from

Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Review For Men & Women [2017]

Plantar Fasciitis ShoesIf you have yet to be diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, but feel as if the soles of your feet have somehow turned into beds of broken glass, you’ll be at least relived when you find out there’s a name (and treatment) for it.

It is one of the most painful afflictions of the foot there is. Sometimes it is concentrated in the heel, but it can also be the entire sole of your feet that hurts to the touch, and is excruciating to walk on.

There’s a thick tissue band that runs across the length of your foot. The job of this band is to connect your toes to your heel. When that tissue gets inflamed, you get Plantar Fasciitis.

It is most painful in the mornings after you’ve been sleeping and off your feet all night. When you take your first steps in the morning, it can be excruciatingly painful.

As the day wears on, the pain can lessen, but not fully dissipate. It’s worse if you stand or work for long hours; and if you’re an athlete, it will prohibit you from running and working out.

Speaking of runners, they are typical candidates, especially if they have tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons. People who stand a lot and don’t wear shoes with the proper arch support and foot cushioning are also susceptible, as are those with high or no arches (flat feet), or who roll inward as they walk (pronation).

The best treatment is stretching, resting, and icing.

You might need physical therapy to learn exercises that will help you to stretch your Achilles tendon and calf muscles and strengthen your lower leg muscles in order to stabilize your ankles and heels.

In extreme cases, your doctor might prescribe a night splint, which is a type of boot that you wear when you sleep to help the muscles stretch during the night.

There are also special orthotics you can wear, which your doctor can also prescribe. Can you treat your plantar fasciitis on your own? Yes. One of the best things you can do is pick the right shoes. Here’s a guide to the best options available today.

Best Dress Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Top Dress Footwear For Women:


Their brand promise is “The science of style” for a reason. They epitomize shoes with good arch support.

They are technologically advanced and have a line certified by the American Podiatric Medical Association. It’s hard to match the design and comfort of this brand when you’re treating Plantar Fasciitis.

They have many styles and types to choose from, which is one of the great things about them.

They aren’t only a walking or therapeutic style option. From sandals, to all day in the office, to weekend adventuring, you can choose from literally hundreds of great looking shoes that will treat your feet in an ongoing fashion without a trip to the doctor’s office.

Women’s Sterling Bootie

If you’re looking for a stylish bootie to go with your wardrobe this Fall, you will love the Sterling.

There’s a removable microfiber EVA orthotic insert, which will support and cushion your entire footbed as if you were prescribed custom-made orthotics. The outsole is made of rubber, and the uppers come in both suede and leather options.

They contour to the shape of your forefoot and have a deep heel cup. The side zip and gore panel make them easy to put on but keep them secure to your ankle. These look great with any outfit and will help improve your pain with every step.

Women’s Caballo Flat

This is a timeless, elegant classic. A pointed-toe flat with just the slightest heel, this beauty will give you the much-needed arch support you need in a dress shoe without sacrificing good looks. Vionic has constructed these with an extra wide toe box, so your toes aren’t smashed together or jammed into a point.

They have the Vionic EVA orthotic insert, which is microfiber and removable. Their Orthaheel Technology is built into this shoe, supporting the alignment of your feet and ankles. And the best part, among many colors to choose from, their also offered in black, natural, and gunmetal snake; tan leopard; and gold cork. You’ll never want to take these off, and you can wear them with any outfit.

Top Dress Footwear For Men:

Men’s Bruno Oxford

This is a keeper for every man’s closet. Going out doesn’t mean suffering inside painful dress shoes. The Vionic line approved by the APMA will treat your plantar fasciitis and keep you looking and feeling professional, stylish, and polished. The Bruno is a staple for the smart wardrobe with the leather or suede uppers and protective coating that guards against weather and signs of wear. The outsole is long lasting, as it’s made from the toughest durable leather. The Orthaheel Technology keeps your feet aligned and treats your symptoms, and the leather covered EVA footbed is removable. These will support your feet and help protect against pronating.


Recommended by doctors and physical therapists, Naot puts out an orthopedic line that has been treating people with plantar fasciitis for decades. Their signature footbed is make of cork and latex and is designed to anatomically conform to your feet.

They break in gradually, and as they do, they hug the contours and support the arches and heels of your feet. Always on the recommended list, they are supportive, corrective, aligning, and stabilizing. And added bonus, they look great and offer myriad styles from sandals to dress.

Men’s Naot Chief

This is smart lace-up shoe that goes with any outfit and can take you from the theater to the sports bar in style. Naot’s signature suede enrobed cork and latex footbed conforms to your feet, and the more you wear them, the better and more comfortable they become. The sole contains a metal shank for anti-slip protection and stability, and the heel cup and tongue are padded for extra cushion and comfort.

Women’s Naot Borasco

If you’re an oxford or classic flat type of gal, you’ll want to check out the Borasco.

This is a feminine flat that looks great with a pant suit, dress, or jeans. I love this monkstrap style to pair with just about whatever look I’m going for. The comfort, support, and orthopedic features are major bonuses. The heel cup and tongue have extra padding and the sole, made of polyurethane, contains a metal shank for protection against slipping. The padded lining keeps your feet warm and absorbs moisture.

Best Walking Shoes For PF

When you’re putting your feet to the test with a lot of walking, whether on vacation, or on weekend urban hikes, you need to take special care to ensure your footwear has the essential features.

Make sure your arches are supported, ankles and feet are in alignment, and the whole foot bed is cushioned. Asics, Brooks, and Vionic all have a firm foot hold in the best walker category for treating PF.

Asics GEL-Tech Walker Neo

The technology they build into the soles utilize what is called DuoMax and Trusstic. They’re designed specifically for stability and support in the soles of the feet, while the heels and balls of the feet are cushioned with gel. There’s both a women’s and a men’s version of this shoe, and the midsoles of each are tailored to the differences in feet between the genders. They are extremely lightweight and come in black or white.

Brooks Addiction Walker

Brooks is well known for their running shoes, and they’re also a favorite of podiatrists. Because they’re built on such a stable (and stabilizing), supportive, and cushioned frame, Brooks was smart to move into other form factors. Namely, the walker. Their proprietary MoGo midsole is the ultimate in cushioning every step and that ever critical arch. This keeps the shock off your ankles and legs and supports that vital fascia on the soles of your feet. They have a slip resistant sole and built in support for stability against pronation. You can choose from traditional lace-ups or v-straps.

Vionic Orthaheel Technology Walker

This is a classic looking sneaker with the added benefit of Vionic’s orthopedic technology built right in.

These will carry you for countless miles in comfort and will support your arches, heels, and footbeds with extraordinary cushioning. Designed by a podiatrist, the EVA midsole has an elevation of five degrees, which helps stabilize and guide the natural gait.

There’s extra padding in the collar, and the removable orthotic has a deep heel cup and arch support for stability and protection against pronating. They’re approved by the American Podiatrist Medical Association and provide relief from all symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis–knee, arch, and heel pain.

Vionic Orthaheel Action Walker

This is the classic Vionic walker and a fan favorite for many years. Designed and built with the seal of approval from the APMA, and their “Active Motion System” technology, these will absorb the shock of every foot fall and protect your arches and heels against painful symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis.

The internal orthotic is medical grade, and the outsole is cushioned for added support.

The uppers are breathable and lightweight, rendering the perfect all around therapeutic shoe that looks great and will last years. The EVA midsole five-inch elevation guides your step from heel to toe, and there’s a thermoplastic heel for additional support and stability to ward off pronation.

New Balance MW928

New Balance has been creating a stable platform and sound architecture for many decades for runners, and now they’re doing the same for walking enthusiasts.

And it’s now become common to hear doctors talk about New Balance shoes for plantar fasciitis. If it’s motion control and stability that you need to treat your plantar fasciitis, check this one out.

Their ROLLBAR stability technology and ABZORB cushioning will give you the protection you need against pronation, and the compression EVA midsole is designed to cushion your entire sole and protect your inflamed fascia tissue.

Check with your doctor about Medicare coverage.

Best Work Shoes For PF

Skechers GOwalk 2

For orthopedic therapy and guaranteed all-day support and comfort, you should consider Skechers GOwalk for plantar fasciitis. Available for women and men, the GOwalk 2 delivers superb features that benefit those with the painful symptoms of torn fascia.

They’re slip-on for easy on and off and great for travel. The OrthoLite sock liner is antimicrobial and preferred by those who like to go sockless. They employ what they call “V-stride” technology, which is a guiding mechanism, helping to keep the feet and legs aligned through the stride.

They build in stability mesh siding for lateral support, and the midsoles are constructed with a memory enhancing Resalyte, so you get much-needed shock absorption.

They are great for work if you have the option of going slightly more casual than formal.

Dansko Professional

The ultimate work shoe for men and women, this one is the iconic standard. It’s a favorite for people who are on their feet all day–doctors, nurses, and those who work in retail and food service. It doesn’t get more therapeutic than the Dansko brand, and you can’t go wrong with the styling of the classic clog.

The shank and footbed are made of polypropylene for flexibility, support, and shock absorption. Your heels move freely with every step and there’s more than enough room in the toe.

Dansko has the seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association. Beloved by men and women alike, they’re available in every color of the rainbow plus about a million.

Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

ASICS Gel-Venture 5

With its signature Gel cushioning system, these are a good option for runners who need protection against their plantar fasciitis. They have padding where you need it–in the heel–and adequate space in the toe box. You can remove the sock liner if you have your own custom orthotics. They have a rugged outsole for all terrains, and durable rubber that protects against any potential road or trail hazards.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus

The features that set these apart from others and makes it a superb pick for those suffering from PF is the incredibly sturdy heel, the flexibility built into the back of the soul, and the all inclusive cushioning.

These combine to support your arches, guide your tracking, and help prevent against pronation. Available for both men and women, it’s also good for those suffering from Achilles tendonitis.

Nike Women’s Dual Fusion Run

Nike shoes haven’t always been synonymous with plantar fasciitis, but they are now. A favorite amongst runners who need arch support and stability control. The tapered outsole provides excellent traction, and the breathable upper, crafted from a breathable mesh keeps your feet cool.

Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis

Spenco Medical PolySorb Total Support Yumi

Well known for their orthotic inserts, the Spenco brand has a long history and great reputation for those with therapeutic foot needs. If you need extra support and incredible comfort, and you want a good looking flip-flop sandal to boot, the PolySort Total Support Yumi should be on your list.

They have deep heel cups and extra cushioning, orthotic support for your arches, cushioning in the forefoot, and a metatarsal dome.

They feature “full contact comfort” and “total support” technology in every piece of footwear they make, which makes for a great fit, support, and stability no matter what your foot size or shape.

Olukai ‘Ohana

A relative newcomer, though it’s been almost ten years already, Olukai is firmly on the scene. They broke out the big guns with their line of comfortable, supportive sandals that provide comfort you can’t find in most brands.

Quite possibly one of the best shoes for arch support, the ‘Ohana has become the iconic standard among the now huge inventory to choose from. And like the Dansko Professional, it’s destined to stand the test of time. The molded EVA midsole provides anatomically correct compression.

The “ICEVA” footbed, if you’ve never tried a pair, will, ahem, knock your socks off (sorry!). It’s so soft that it seems like it must come from the planet of otherworldly soft materials. I’ve never felt anything like it. And it alone would win anyone over, but combine it with the support and comfort of the arch, and you won’t believe you’re wearing sandals, let alone sandals that help you with your plantar fasciitis.

Quick video review on what to look for:

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Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Review For Men & Women [2017] syndicated from

Tommy Hilfiger’s Bowman Boat Shoe Review

Tommy Hilfiger's BowmanThe Tommy Hilfiger brand is synonymous with style, quality, and a little bit of posh. Designed with a sort of cross between Cape Cod and the Hamptons, diehard fans look no further when they want to feel tailored, polished, and taken care of. While you might more immediately think of their more sporty bent, their deck and boat shoes have a dedicated fan base.

People who sail or motor boat need deck shoes for their non-slip, non-marking soles. They also want solid, high quality materials–most often leather or quality canvas.

They need to be breathable, comfort, and preferably water resistant. Or at the very least, quick drying.

But the boat shoe has become a favorite for a broader swath of the population than those who spend a lot of time on boats. They’re fashionable and functional on their own, they look great whether you’re spending time with friends on the weekends, going out to dinner, running errands, or going to work.

They’re versatile and can be dressed up or down. They’ve really become a stable in most men’s closets.

The Tommy Hilfiger Bowman is made of high quality leather and a padded insole. They have a rubber, non-marking sole, textured for added traction, especially against wet surfaces. It features the classic 360 lacing around the entire collar and stitching about the toe. The laces are constructed of contrasting rawhide.

They are breathable and keep your feet cool with or without socks. They’re well made and outlast many competitors, standing up to wear, peeling, cracking, or separating. They’re comfortable and versatile.


Construction. These are well made and stand up to wear and tear better than the Sperry Top Sider. The insoles are attached well and don’t separate from the bottom as is a common complaint against Sperry. Price. These will run you about forty-five dollars, making them a great value for the look, durability, and quality. Looks. People who want the classic look and styling give the Bowman high marks for attractiveness.


Some wearers have noted that the stitching around the tongue can come loose over time, but these occurrences have proven very rare. While the rubberized, textured sole is good for wet surfaces, there are better traction shoes out there, so if you are safety coverage in more extreme conditions, they wouldn’t fit the bill.

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Sperry Top-Sider

This is the iconic in its class and the one that comes to mind for most people. One of the biggest arguments against is the stiffness of the leather. They take quite a while to break in, and once they are, they are relatively comfortable, but many can’t stand the wait.

A resounding complaint is that they aren’t particularly well made and the insoles separate from the shoe rather quickly. Sizing is often complained about, as they have been reported to run either narrower or wider than advertised, even for those who special order a narrow or wide width.

Kenneth Cole Anchor Shot 6T

This is a sporty competitor, and one that comes in roughly the same price point. If you like the traditional leather and rawhide style and design, you can mark these off your list.

But if you are open to flexibility in the material, you might check these out. The textile fabric makes for a breathable shoe, but they won’t hold up as well when wet or last as long.

They get relatively high marks for comfort, but have so far been known to fall short on quality. Not lasting nearly as long or holding up as well as the Bowman, this is more appealing for someone who’s looking for something a little outside the box and who specifically doesn’t want leather.

Timberland Two-Eyed Boat

A great option for those looking for classic styling, this shoe looks good but will cost you more than the Tommy Bowman. Running from around 60 to nearly 135 dollars, you need to shell out a bit more dough for the Timberland. The construction is sound and the quality is high, but not enough to warrant the extra cash.

Sebago Spinnaker

Appealing to those who want to make a bit of a (pardon the pun) splash, these give you many color options. Thirty-seven to be exact. There’s more flare with the contrasting stitching dual colored uppers.

The quality is fair, and they have a loyal following. You’ll pay about the same as you will for the Bowman. The biggest complaint for these is the comfort level. There is minimal to no arch support, so unless you have healthy feet and can do without much cushion or support, or just don’t wear them for long periods, you won’t find them on par.

John Varvados Schooner

This is a very handsome shoe, but much more trendy than classic.

You won’t find someone looking for a traditional shoe in this one, and while it’s not an obvious one-to-one comparison to the Bowman, it’s worth mentioning for anyone who wants to survey the broader field. The design is more modern and geared to the youngish set, with its laceless upper and less conventional appearance. Another big difference is the price, as you’ll put down a pretty penny for these, at between one and two hundred dollars a pair. They are also repeatedly reported to squeak, which is an odd and very unappealing drawback.

Sanuk Casa Barco

Another player in the non-traditional space is Sanuk with the Casa Barco. These are known as sandal-shoe hybrids, and they have a loyal following.

The most popular of their styles is the slip-on, but they’ve entered the competitive space with this latest design. As far as looks, it comes close, though made of canvas and not leather. They’re very reasonably priced at around fifty dollars. They run a bit low in the ankle however, and provide no arch support, so they rank very low for comfort and support comparatively.

If you’re looking for comfort, quality, and a traditional look, the Tommy Hilfiger Bowman boat shoe should top your list. A name you can trust, known for great looks and high quality, and at an appealing price point you’ll be hard pressed to find a worthy opponent. They’ll hold up to weather and wet surfaces, support your arches, and stand the test of time. Whether you prefer a boat shoe for your everyday casual wardrobe, or you are a boater who needs traction, support, and shoes with skid-free soles, you’ll be more than happy in these and might find yourself a repeat customer.

Tommy Hilfiger’s Bowman Boat Shoe Review syndicated from