Kirkman's Most Frequently Asked Questions
Our Most Frequently Asked Question How Do We Get Them To Take It?
In life, many things are difficult. Getting your child to take nutritional supplements, especially if your special needs child only eats spaghetti or french fries, would probably fall in that category.
Our most frequently asked question at Kirkman® is, "How do you get your child to take the supplements that he/she needs. Some people have to take many supplements at once and/or many times during the day?" This can pose further challenges.
Over the years, we have developed some helpful hints to make compliance easier. We hope these suggestions help. We also have a 2-part video on how to take supplements at our video page
Here are the suggestions:
Supplements may be:
• mixed with Kirkman's flavoring syrups (maple, strawberry or wild cherry);
• mixed with Hershey's chocolate syrups;
• mixed with peanut, cashew or almond butter;
• mixed in cocoa;
• mixed in orange juice;
• mixed in lemonade;
• mixed in grape juice;
• mixed in pear juice;
• mixed in baby food;
• mixed in Juicy Juice®;
• mixed in V-8 Splash;
• mixed in ketchup;
• mixed in honey and/or jelly;
• mixed with spaghetti sauce after it has been cooked;
• used in yogurt;
• used in pudding;
• used in sorbets;
• used to make a fruit smoothie;
• used to make a protein drink (rice or soy);
• used in popsicles (vitamins are especially good to add);
• used in rice crispy treats;
• sprinkled on cooked scrambled eggs;
• sprinkled on products that are not heat sensitive;
• if liquid, hidden in other liquid drinks;
• added to Coromega®
• mixed in Vance's DariFree™
FAQs about Hypoallergenic Products and Allergies
A---An allergy is an exaggerated or inappropriate immune response to a substance.
Q---Can you see all of the allergies or sensitivities that a person may have? Do you always know when an individual is reacting and, if so, what they are reacting to?
A---No, a person’s allergic reaction can manifest itself in many different ways. It is not always noticeable by an outward reaction, but rather may cause behavioral, gastrointestinal, or less observable disturbances. Unless the diet and environment are very carefully controlled, it is very difficult to know what an individual is reacting to.
Q---Can allergies vary from time to time?
A---If the allergy is based on a seasonal occurrence or a periodic environmental allergen, it can vary from time to time, but once the body recognizes a substance as an allergen, it generally is an allergen forever.
Q---Can an individual become allergic to something that they weren’t allergic to before? Is there a way to avoid this?
A---Compromised immune systems often display a shift in "T" cell activity. Th1 cells that drive immune response can be shifted toward Th2 cells that drive antibody production that responds to allergens. When this occurs, a person can become sensitive to something that was not previously an allergy. Usually this is a food or an environmental factor. Maintaining a very healthy immune system protects against this cell shift.
Q---Is there a difference between an antigen and an allergen?
A---An allergen is a substance that can cause an allergic reaction in some people, but cause no response for most individuals. An antigen is a substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it. Since an antigen can actually be formed inside the body by bacteria or tissue cells, they are perceived as slightly different, but their effect is the same.
Q---What does a supplement label need to tell the consumer about the presence or absence of allergens?
A---Supplement labels must declare ingredients present in the product. New allergen labeling laws also make it mandatory for companies to declare certain allergens in the ingredient lists or underneath the ingredient lists, such as “contains soy” or “contains milk.” That mandatory declaration is only for the most common allergens, however. Many other allergens can still be hidden in the ingredient lists, such as corn or fruits.
Q---What does hypoallergenic mean?
A---Hypoallergenic means that the ingredients chosen for a product are those that are least likely to produce an allergic response.
Q---Are hypoallergenic products necessary or good for everybody?
A---Certainly anyone can take a hypoallergenic product; however, not everyone needs to. Individuals without ingredient sensitivities or with no history of immune disregularity can generally take non-hypoallergenic supplements.
Q---Are they mandatory for some people?
A---Yes, individuals with known allergic responses and ingredient sensitivities should consider them mandatory.
Q---What is the difference between natural products and hypoallergenic products?
A---Natural products are defined as products that occur naturally in nature, but in no way correlate with hypoallergenic. Natural products are almost as likely to produce an allergic response as non-natural products. Soy, corn, nuts, wheat, and fish are all natural substances, but are primary allergens to many individuals.
Q---What about personal care products such as hand and body lotions, or hair shampoos and conditioners?
A---Topical products generally produce outward allergic responses that are generally seen on the skin in the form of a rash, itching or skin breakout. Often these allergic responses are to ingredients different from the ingredients responsible for responses to foods, but some ingredients could be common to both. Unless a topical product is formulated to be transdermal (absorbed through the skin), these products usually cause only external type reactions.
Q---How do Kirkman Kleen™ personal care products differ from others?
A---Kirkman® has chosen those ingredients that historically have produced the least allergic responses in these types of products.
Q---What kinds of allergens can be found in supplements? What are the most common ones? Can there be allergens in both active and inactive ingredients?
A---Milk, eggs, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish, wheat, corn, mold and peanuts are the most common, but many others such as various fruits, herbs or vegedivs can also be present. Both active or inactive ingredients can contain these allergens so it is important to read both the Supplement Facts box and ingredient lists of the product.
Q---What about the nutrients synthesized from plant sources? Can’t these contain allergens?
A---Absolutely. The soil or media the plants are grown in can contain any of the common allergens, plus potential environmental allergens.
Q---Can both natural and artificial flavorings contain allergens?
A---Yes they can. The natural flavors can contain fruits, grains, or other natural allergens, while the artificial flavors generally contain an array of synthetic chemicals that can cause severe reactions.
Q---Why is the type of capsule used important?
A---Vegediv cellulose capsules, such as those Kirkman® uses, have a safe history of no allergic responses. Gelatin capsules used by many other firms are animal derived from pigs, beef or fish, which are known to cause allergic responses in sensitive individuals.
Q---Why does Kirkman® specify that the magnesium stearate used is vegediv?
A---Non-vegediv magnesium stearate is animal sourced, and can therefore cause the responses that animal based ingredients contribute to.
Q---Are grains used at any point during the manufacturing, synthesis, or processing of Kirkman vitamins and minerals, such as in the formation of alcohol or sugar?
A---Generally speaking, no. In the few instances where grains may have been involved, the product is tested by an independent laboratory for gluten.
Q---How can Kirkman’s Colostrum Gold™ liquid say it contains milk, but yet be casein free?
A---Because it came from milk, by law it must say "milk" on the label, but the casein has been removed by multiple filtrations. The product is laboratory tested to be casein-free at detecdiv levels.
Q---Why would the label for Kirkman’s Gastro Support say it contains Shellfish (Shrimp)? I don’t see any shellfish or shrimp in the ingredients panel?
A---The n-acetyl glucosamine in the product is sourced from shrimp and therefore must be declared as part of the allergen labeling laws.
Q---When we talk about supplements being hypoallergenic, are we also referring to being free of contamination by heavy metals or other environmental contaminants?
A---Yes, Kirkman® products are formulated to be as low as possible in environmental contaminants such as heavy metals, PCB’s and pesticides, as well as free of common allergens.
Q---What kinds of contaminants are found in many low-quality supplements?
A---Common allergens, heavy metals, pesticides, PCB’s, artificial flavors, artificial colors, and potentially damaging chemicals.
Q---Do hypoallergenic products work as well as regular products?
A---Yes, the absorbance and efficacy of the products are equal.
Q---Why aren’t all supplements and personal care products formulated to be hypoallergenic?
A---All individuals do not require hypoallergenic products. If one is not sensitive to ingredients and has no known allergens, regular products are fine. Also, some versions of products need to be sweetened or flavored in order to cover up tastes and textures. These special dosage forms cannot be made hypoallergenic. In addition, there are some active ingredients that just cannot be made hypoallergenic, such as enzymes, because the substrate they are manufactured on contains a potential allergen.
Q---How long has Kirkman® been offering the hypoallergenic line?
A---This line has been in existence for eight years now with remarkable results.
Q---What categories of supplements are offered in Kirkman’s hypoallergenic line?
A---We try to have at least one hypoallergenic version of all the different categories of products we manufacture. Only those containing active ingredients that have inherent allergens in their makeup are excluded, such as enzymes and cod liver oil.
Q---How does Kirkman® guarantee the hypoallergenic status of Kirkman’s Hypoallergenic line and the purity of all of Kirkman’s products?
A---Kirkman® conducts the most extensive testing for purity in the industry. Every batch of raw material used to manufacture products in Kirkman's line is tested for more than 950 environmental contaminants including 24 heavy metals, common allergens, bacteria, yeast, mold, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, endocrine disruptors and potentially harmful chemicals.