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Dr. James Laporta

MBChB (UCT), DMH (SA), Dip PEC (SA)

Integrative Medical practitioner

Dr. Laporta obtained his medical degree at the University of Cape Town and has also completed his post grad diploma’s in Mental Health and Emergency Medicine. He started studying complementary and herbal medicines over 14 years ago, and continues to travel to conferences, assimilate research, and lecture.

Dr. Laporta has a private practice in Cape Town, is a corporate wellness specialist for Kaelo, and consultant to Natural Medicine Company – Wings Herbal Synergy. He is also active in matters regarding food supplements vs. medicaments, and the future of natural medicines in South Africa.

“On the business side, Dr. Laporta is founder and director of Stream drinks; an innovative natural functional beverage range soon to be launched.This product range has won numerous awards, both locally and internationally, including the South African Food Review new product of the year 2011 winner.

In his spare time he gets an adrenalin fix from working as Trauma Doctor in
the cape flats and testing exotic food supplements.”

Ask the Doc

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. AREN’T ALL NON-NUTRITIVE SWEETENERS HARMFUL?

Stream uses sucralose, a sweetener derived from natural sugar but chemically modified with a simple ion to produce a calorie inert, tooth friendly, harmless sweetener 600x sweeter than sugar. Sucralose stimulates the sweet taste buds on the tip of the tongue, however is not molecularly active within the body, only 1/3rd is absorbed secreted by the kidneys or metabolized, and the rest is excreted from GIT and is not absorbed. Sucralose has been used since 1991, but is only recently growing in popularity as one of the safest and better tasting calorie free sweeteners on the market today

Most other artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners have received attention for their potential to cause harm in the long term. This includes carcinogenic (cancer forming) potential in frequent use, along with oxidant activity that may damage cellular receptors. One such example is the paradoxical weight gain from some calorie free artificial sweeteners due to these “toxic” effects mentioned above. Sugar sweeteners on the other hand, such as pure sugar or corn syrup, are all high glycaemic agents that rapidly increase blood sugar levels and stimulate insulin secretion. Growing research indicates that many people are becoming “carbohydrate resistant” and thus very sensitive to the effects of sugar – not only on weight gain, but also mood fluctuations, low energy levels, and appetite cravings. Several experts have suggested that America’s flux of obesity is primarily due to soft drinks sugar content and high carbohydrate meals. High Fructose corn syrup also fuels the onset of Diabetes Mellitus Type II.

Sucralose gives you the well rounded and full bodied sweetness needed to thoroughly enjoy a Stream drink and its powerful plant extracts exotic flavours.

2. CAN I DRINK STREAM IF I AM ALSO TAKING MULTIVITAMINS?

Each Stream is unique in its blend and you may find additional micronutrients that are not commonly found in other multivitamins. Vitamins themselves are rarely toxic unless consumed in multiple megadoses or high doses over a long period. Often people who take several multivitamins only end up producing expensive urine! Taking Stream and a regular multivitamin will not be dangerous. To Note: It is not recommended to take calcium and Iron containing multivitamin regularly without consulting your practitioner.

3. HOW MAY STREAM’S CAN I CONSUME IN 1 DAY?

You may consume as many Hydrate and Kids Stream’s as you like. For the other variants Energize, Focus, Femme and Vitality- no more than 4 to 5 per variant should be drunk per day. (Similar to other energy drinks that should be drunk responsibly and limited to 4 to 5 cans per day maximum). Stream has been carefully formulated to be a safe and enjoyable functional beverage for all consumers.

4. IS STREAM SAFE FOR DIABETICS AND PEOPLE WITH HEART DISEASE?

In General, Stream™ contains no sugar, no fat, and is very low in salt and Kj content. Furthermore Stream™ is high in anti-oxidants and contains several ingredients that promote cardiovascular health and assist with glucose control. Stream can also be used to assist with healthy weight loss.

Yes, Stream is perfectly safe for diabetics and anyone with heart disease or hypertension. Certain specialized heart medication however, such as warfarin therapy, may interact with several herbs, or even foods like kale or spinach; and under theses circumstances it is recommended that you please consult your practitioner for further advice and approval. (please “Ask the Doc” for further information or specific questions)

5. DOES ENERGIZE CONTAIN CAFFEINE, AND IF NOT – HOW DOES IT WORK?

This is an excellent question. Stream Energize has been formulated with proprietary ingredients at specific dosages to maximize the plant extracts potential. The combination has been tried and tested amongst several groups of people, including hospital staff, until The Doc was satisfied with the results- increased energy, mental task performance, and improved perceived mood. For instance, Guarana is one of the only substances out of several herbs in the same research trial that was effectively able to enhance attention tasks performances and mood levels – However this was only at a specific dosage (the dosage used in Stream). When the dosage of Guarana was increased, the level of effect was lost. “The study found, that at lower doses, (there was) a significant improvement in memory performance, increased alertness, and ‘content mood’ ratings “. A further study utilized these findings and performed a trial using the combination of Ginseng and Guarana together which significantly improved the speed of memory task performance and cognition. Guarana in high doses contains natural caffeine, and may account for the initial caffeine and sugar spike found in most energy drinks; this spike is transient. Stream contains all 7 different B vitamins that are used for energy production in the body, and utilizes the effects from two different adaptogenic ‘ginsengs’ – Panax Ginseng and Siberian Ginseng.

Stream Energize takes pride in being a caffeine free energy drink. Certain consumers, or athletes, may also be sensitive to the caffeine spike from standard energy drinks. Caffeinated beverages are also contra-indicated in patients with certain underlying heart conditions. High Caffeine intake on it’s own may be dangerous if consumed during strenuous physical activity. Although Caffeine also has certain desired stimulating effects on body and mind, it does not posses the modulating and stress adaptogenic effects of Gaurana and Panax Ginseng.

Stream Energise has several long term health benefits and contains “only the good stuff”, with no preservatives or harsh chemicals; and certainly no sugar, fructose, caramel, or corn syrup, etc. Drink with confidence and enjoy the experience!

6. I RECENTLY DRANK A STREAM FOCUS AND PLAYED AN EXCELLENT GAME OF GOLF! HOW MUCH OF THIS IS PLACEBO VS REAL FUNCTIONAL EFFECT.

Interesting question. As with any product, Placebo plays a powerful role – and if you believe something will improve your skills, such as a lucky shirt or energy drink, then that mind set will certainly go a long way… but only so far. Stream Focus has been designed to enhance confidence and mental task performance and concentration levels. As passionate as I am about this formulation, I will try keep it brief:

Several of the ingredients used in Stream Focus have been shown to be effective in enhancing mental acuity, even when blinding research participants to a “Placebo verse Active ingredient” scenario. There are several studies that I would like to quote to show you how Stream Focus may improve your golf game, and am happy to discuss these further. Here is one such study, for example, on how Phosphatidylserine involving “good golf ball flights”.:

“A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed to evaluate the effect of oral phosphatidylserine (PS) supplementation on golf performance in healthy young golfers with handicaps of 15–40.” “Results: PS supplementation significantly increased (p < 0.05) the number of good ball flights (mean: pre-test 8.3 ± 3.5, post-test 10.1 ± 3.0), whereas placebo intake (mean: pre-test 7.8 ± 2.4, post-test 7.9 ± 3.6) had no effect. PS supplementation showed a trend towards improving perceived stress levels during teeing-off (mean: pre-test 5.8 ± 2.0, post-test 4.0 ± 2.0, p = 0.07), whereas stress levels remained unchanged in the placebo group (mean: pre-test: 5.1 ± 2.0, post-test: 5.1 ± 3.1).”

For further research on other active ingredients in Slip Stream, please see extract of summary below or “Ask the Doc”.

Resveratrol has been shown to improve cerebral blood flow and its powerful anti-oxidant properties can be considered neuroprotective. Resveratrol however, does not directly enhance concentration.

Panax Ginseng has been shown to improve blood flow to the brain and the antioxidant properties of ginesoides are considered to be neuroprotective. In Chinese medicine Panax Ginseng is said to have the rare capacity to both stimulate and balance, and a recent systematic review (Cochrane 2010) suggested that it may have beneficial effects directly on cognition and behaviour. The extensive analysis found that ginseng exerted improvement on aspects of cognitive function (i.e. learning, concentration, working memory, reaction time), and on behaviour and quality of life (i.e., social relationships, general health).

The mechanism however is unclear, and one study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research 2001 suggested that certain ginsenosides may increase the synaptic density (communication between neurons) specifically in the Hippocampus area of the brain, enhancing spatial learning and memory. This concept was taken one step further and research published in January 2011 suggested that ginsenosides enable the hippocampal cells to function for longer periods, thus the potential and explanation for improving memory.

7. CAN MY CHILDREN ALSO DRINK STREAM?

Yes, although Stream kids is uniquely designed for Kids, other Streams such as the blackberry and Buchu flavoured Stream Hydrate contain no stimulants of any kind. Energise, Focus, and Vitality all contain high vitamin doses and some ginseng and are therefore not recommended for toddlers or young children. Drink Stream responsibility.

8. WHY DOES STREAM HYDRATE NOT CONTAIN SUGAR?

Hydration is directly related to your level of physical performance. Optimal sports rehydration tonics should be as close to water as possible, this is why Stream uses only the purest spring water, filtered through granite stone and quartz crystals; and unadulterated by sugar! Carb free rehydration is a fascinating and very new area of sports science research. In summary, the Doc would say: 1) Sugar is not necessary for water absorption; 2) Electrolytes are only essential for long distance performance / increased endurance, or states of dehydration due to direct losses. 3) Intermittent Sugar spikes can wreak havoc with endurance levels and it is a great misconception that high concentrate corn syrup or sugar fuels sustain energy levels and muscle endurance. Very Low GI carbohydrates provide the best source of energy production for sustained endurance. 4) Why not use extracted fructose as found fruits? Fructose is as guilty if not more than glucose! Fructose is metabolized by the liver and turned directly into fat for storage. Excess fructose has the same effect as alcohol on the liver! Fructose damages proteins and enzymes (AGE’s) 7x more readily than glucose. Fructose accelerates metabolic syndrome, elevates cholesterol, and contributes to weight gain more than can be explained by it’s caloric contribution alone.

9. CAN STREAM HYDRATE BE USED FOR STATES OF DEHYDRATION OR GASTROENTERITIS?

Stream has been designed as the ultimate rehydration formulae and allows for rapid absorption of water from the gut, whilst replacing any lost electrolytes through diarrhea or excessive sweating. Stream Hydrate also contains zinc, a powerful immune boosting and tissue healing mineral that has been shown to be effective in helping treat diarrhea. The magnesium and zinc may also help with the recovery from several sports injuries.

It is not necessary to have sugar in a rehydration formula, in fact it is now preferred to have no high GI molecules within oral rehydration formulae. Stream uses sucralose sweetener, a safe alternative that has no caloric or laxative effect at the dosage prescribed.

So, all in all – You can Hydrate freely with Stream Hydrate, knowing that the drink has only goodness – premium spring water & electrolytes with no sugar, no preservatives and very low calories!

10. WILL STREAM ASSIST ME IN LOSING WEIGHT?

Yes, Stream not only supports a low KJ sugar free diet, but also supports the system in regulating weight control through anti-oxidant activity, assisting healthy cellular metabolism and restoring optimal micronutrient levels. Stream supports an active lifestyle and positive state of mind – helping you stay healthy and your figure lean.

11. IS THIS DRINK SAFE FOR PREGNANT WOMAN?

Yes, many of the Stream Drinks are safe in pregnancy, however we do not recommend Stream Energize, Focus or Vitality - as in large doses the ginseng content can have a stimulatory effect on the uterus. We have thus stated in the label - not safe for pregnancy. Drinking one or two bottles every now and then should not have any effect, however Stream Hydrate and Stream Kids is considered a safe and healthy drink during pregnancy and lactation. Stream Femme is likely to be safe as it does not contain any stimulants - however several of the ingredients have insufficient reliable evidence that at large doses it is safe in pregnancy - this is a type of necessary "disclaimer". All other ingredients are safe, sugar free, preservative free and very low in calories. Any other questions are welcome, have a great day!


The Docs Research