Thursday, February 28, 2008

Low Vitamin D Levels May Increase Heart Disease Risk

Interest in vitamin D has been increasing in recent months with a growing number of studies linking the vitamin to protection against osteoporosis and certain cancers. There is also evidence that a higher intake of vitamin D may be helpful with regard to high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

In a new study, researchers used data from the 1739 participants in the Framingham Offspring Study to study the relationship between vitamin D levels and cardiovascular health risk. Although vitamin D levels above 30 ng/mL are considered optimal for bone metabolism, only 10 percent of the participants had levels in this range. In fact, 28 percent had blood levels lower that 15 ng/mL. Participants with levels below 15 ng/mL had a 62 percent greater chance to develop cardiovascular events than those with higher levels. People with low vitamin D levels and high blood pressure (> 140 and 90 mmHg), were found to have double the risk of cardiovascular problems compared to people with normal blood pressure and vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is produced in the skin on exposure to UVB radiation (sunlight) and obtained in the diet from foods like oily fish, egg yolk, and liver. Recent studies have shown, however, that sunshine levels in some northern countries are so weak during the winter months that the body makes little to no vitamin D at all, leading to widespread deficiencies of the vitamin. In addition, increased skin pigmentation also reduces the effect of UVB radiation, meaning darker skinned people are more at risk.

The results from this study raise the possibility that treating vitamin D deficiency, by supplementation and/or lifestyle measures, could reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

Circulation 2008 Jan 29;117(4):503-11.

In addition to the above statements concerning exposure to UV radiation, it can also contribute to skin cancer, making dietary intake all the more important, instead of relying upon sun exposure to be your source of Vitamin D. While milk can be an important source, to insure a steady supply in your body, we at the Complete Guide to Whole Nutrition encourage you to try a pharmaceutical-grade supplement, such as USANA's Essentials or the HealthPak 100, both found at

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Good Multivitamin/Mineral Can Enhance the Immune System

Adequate intakes of micronutrients are required for the immune system to function efficiently. A good multivitamin/mineral can enhance the immune system by supporting the body's natural defenses on both structural and cellular levels.

Multivitamins and Healthy Immune Function

A recent article published in the British Journal of Nutrition summarizes the roles of selected vitamins and trace elements in immune function.

Adequate intakes of micronutrients are required for the immune system to function efficiently. Micronutrient deficiency suppresses immunity by affecting antibody responses, leading to imbalances in the immune system. This situation increases susceptibility to infections, which increases disease and death risk. In addition, infections aggravate micronutrient deficiencies by reducing nutrient intake, increasing losses, and interfering with utilization by altering metabolic pathways. Inadequate intakes of micronutrients are common in people with eating disorders, smokers (active and passive), individuals with chronic alcohol abuse, certain diseases, during pregnancy and lactation, and in the elderly.

Micronutrients contribute to the body's natural defenses on three levels by supporting physical barriers (skin/mucosa), cellular immunity and antibody production. Vitamins A, C, E and the mineral zinc assist in enhancing the skin barrier function. The vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and folic acid and the minerals iron, zinc, copper and selenium work in synergy to support the protective activities of the immune cells. Finally, all these micronutrients, with the exception of vitamin C and iron, are essential for the production of antibodies. Overall, inadequate intake and status of these vitamins and minerals may lead to a suppressed immune system, which increases the risk of infections and aggravates malnutrition. Therefore, supplementation with a multivitamin/mineral that includes these micronutrients can support the body's natural defense system by enhancing all three levels of immunity.

It can't be stressed enough that by keeping each one of our body's systems in optimal condition, in this case, the immune system, we can better protect our entire body. In basic terms, gaining whole nutrition through proper diet and supplementation can bolster one's immune system, by providing ample vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

For those looking to improve their health, the editors of Whole Nutrition Blog recommend readers begin taking a pharmaceutical-grade supplement, such as USANA's Essentials™, found at Also, USANA produces specific supplements geared toward absorption of Vitamin E and Vitamin C. You can also find these, aptly called, "E-Prime™" and "Poly-C™" at WholeNutrition.USANA for an added immune system boost!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Higher plasma vitamin C concentrations predict lower risk of stroke in adults

In a British study of over 20,000 adults, those with the highest plasma vitamin C levels had a significantly lower risk of stroke when compared to adults with lower levels.

To date, clinical trials have not shown significant benefit of vitamin C supplementation in reducing stroke risk, but they have not examined the relation between plasma vitamin C concentrations and stroke risk in a general population.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the relation between baseline plasma vitamin C concentrations and risk of incident stroke in a British population of over 20,000 adult men and women. The participants completed a health questionnaire and attended a clinic during 1993"1997. After an average follow-up time of 9.5 years, the participants in the top fourth of plasma vitamin C levels had a 42% lower risk of stroke compared to those with the lowest levels. These results were independent of age, sex, smoking, BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, physical activity, diabetes, social class, alcohol consumption, and any supplement use.

Plasma vitamin C concentrations, therefore, may act as an indicator of lifestyle or other factors associated with reduced stroke risk and may be helpful in determining those at high risk of stroke.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 87, No. 1, 64-69, January 2008

Vitamin C is obviously one of the most common vitamins that we think of when we think about vitamins; however, it is important that you are taking a high quality vitamin C supplement that is easily and readily absorbed by the body. While many are quickly expelled from the body before they can be absorbed, USANA's Poly C is formulated with a unique blend of highly bioavailable mineral ascorbates, all of which have potent vitamin C activity, Poly C® maintains higher blood levels of vitamin C than absorbic acid alone. With Poly C®, you'll receive superior vitamin C protection.

* Furnishes an advanced vitamin C supplement based on USANA's proprietary blend of mineral ascorbates
* Provides 600 mg of vitamin C protection in each tablet for enhanced antioxidant protection
* Strengthens the immune system, supports the synthesis of collagen, and promotes cardiovascular health*

You can purchase USANA's Poly C online in the United States, Canada, Australia, Mexico, United Kingdom, New Zealand or Malaysia.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Regular Exercise and Fish Oil May Keep Arteries Clear and Reduce Body Fat

A combination of prolonged exercise and fish oil can dramatically reduce levels of a fat that can cause hardening of the arteries, a leading cause of heart disease. Fat in the bloodstream is a primary contributor to atherosclerosis, or partial blockage of the arteries.

A recent study found that people who do prolonged aerobic exercise have muscle cells that are able to quickly break down and reduce levels of a fat called triglycerides. Taking a fish oil supplement can reduce triglyceride levels even more.

The researchers studied triglyceride levels in recreationally active men after they'd eaten high-fat meals. One group ate a fatty meal after they exercised. A second group ate a high-fat meal after taking a four-gram fish oil supplement. A third group ate a high-fat meal after exercising and taking the fish oil supplement. A control group ate a high-fat meal only.

The study found a 38 percent decline in peak triglyceride levels in the men who took a fish oil supplement before they ate a high-fat meal. Peak triglyceride levels dropped 50 percent in the men who exercised and took a fish oil supplement before they ate a high-fat meal.

Regular exercise and fish oil supplements may be beneficial for people who are concerned about maintaining a healthy triglyceride level.

Metabolism. 2004 Oct;53(10):1365-71.

In a similar, more recent study, combining fish-oil supplements with regular exercise improved both body composition and heart disease risk factors. Overweight participants with various heart disease risk factors were assigned to one of three groups: fish oil (approximately 1.9 grams/day of omega-3 fats), fish oil and exercise, or placebo (sunflower oil). The exercise group walked 3 days/week for 45 minutes. Heart disease risk factors and body composition were measured at 0, 6, and 12 weeks. The group taking fish oil had a significant reduction in triglycerides, increased HDL cholesterol, and improved arterial vasodilation (blood flow). Both fish oil and exercise independently reduced body fat.

This study showed that increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids could be a useful addition to exercise programs aimed at improving body composition and decreasing cardiovascular disease risk.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 May;85(5):1267-74.

Again we see a direct correlation between increasing one's physical activity and eating a healthier diet with living a longer life without disease. The editors of the Complete Guide to Whole Nutrition encourage readers to take a daily fish oil supplement. Concerned about toxins, such as PCBs, mercury, and pesticides, that all can bioaccumulate in fish? Not to worry! With USANA Health Sciences' double molecular distillation process, used in the production of their, "BiOmega," these toxins are eliminated. Adding BiOmega to your diet can help you to live a healthier life and decrease your chances of having heart disease.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cardiorespiratory fitness reduces the risk of death in men with Metabolic Syndrome

Cardiorespiratory fitness reduces the risk of death in men with Metabolic Syndrome

In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, over 19,000 men were recruited to determine the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and mortality risk in healthy men and those with metabolic syndrome. The study group, which included about 3,800 men with metabolic syndrome, were evaluated for fitness and then followed for up to 17 years.

Healthy men who were out of shape at the beginning of the study were three times as likely as their fit peers to die of cardiovascular disease. While men with metabolic syndrome were 89 percent more likely than healthy men to die of heart disease over the years, men with metabolic syndrome who were unfit had twice the death rate as their fit counterparts.

According to the researchers, "This study strengthens the argument for aggressive public health campaigns aimed at increasing physical activity levels in the population." Fitness, regardless of body weight, can provide a strong protective effect against premature death in men with metabolic syndrome as well as healthy men.

Arch Intern Med 2004 May 24;164(10):1092-7

This just goes to show that getting into shape, through healthy eating habits and, more importantly, an active lifestyle, can increase one's lifespan. The editors of The Complete Guide to Whole Nutrition recommend USANA Health Sciences' Nutrimeal product line as a great way to begin eating more healthfully. These products are low-glycemic, and come both as shake powders and convenient meal replacement bars. Trouble getting started? Try USANA Reset™ to reset your diet to a new low-glycemic level intake of foods. This 5-day program can help you begin a healthier lifestyle. You can try all USANA Nutrimeal products and Reset today at the USANA Product Order Center. Remember that the healthier and more physically fit you become, the easier, and more fun staying fit becomes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Low-Glycemic Meals Can Be a Helpful Part of Daily Diet

Low-glycemic meals produce favorable leptin and insulin responses, resulting in lower food consumption

In a recent study, metabolic effects of meals with varying glycemic index (GI) were evaluated. In a group of healthy volunteers, glucose, insulin, and leptin responses to two contrasting breakfast cereals were measured. Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells that indicates the degree of hunger to the hypothalamus of the brain. Lower leptin levels trigger a sense of satiety and decreased hunger.

Meals were provided on two separate occasions in random order after a 12-hour overnight fast, and consisted of 50 g of available carbohydrate from either Corn Flakes (Kellogg's), or Fiber One (General Mills). Blood samples were obtained at rest, and 30, 60, 90 and 120 min after eating. The GI was calculated from the glucose response to the test meal normalized against a 50 g oral glucose load.

The average GI for Corn Flakes was 125 and 49 for Fiber One. These meals were classified as high GI and low GI, respectively, and were significantly different from each other. The insulin response following the low glycemic meal was significantly reduced compared to the high glycemic meal. The high glycemic meal significantly suppressed circulating leptin levels compared to the low glycemic meal.

Lower insulin response and higher circulating leptin levels suggest that low-glycemic meals promote a post-meal environment that is favorable for reduced food consumption; this may be advantageous in the control of obesity and related disorders including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Ann Nutr Metab 2007 Dec 10;51(6):512-518

Improving one's diet can be difficult, but this study focuses readers on the idea of eating low-glycemic meals in order to feel full after eating for longer periods of time. The resulting reduced food consumption can be an essential part of eating smaller portions and still feeling satisfied. The Complete Guide to Whole Nutrition editors love USANA's Reset Program -- a great kick-start for a low-glycemic diet. Buy USANA Reset and More at today!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Beta-carotene supplementation long-term may delay mental decline

In a newly published study, researchers tested the cognitive function of participants in the Physicians' Health Study II (PHSII), a continuation of the Physicians' Health Study (PHS) trial looking at the effects of beta-carotene and other vitamin supplements on chronic disease. The subjects included participants from the original PHS (started in 1982) and newer recruits from 1998.

The researchers tested the general cognition, verbal memory, and category fluency of 5,956 participants, including 4,052 participants from the PHS with a minimum supplementation period of 18 years.

Among the 1,904 newly recruited subjects (average supplementation of 1 year) no differences in cognition were evident whether they took beta-carotene or the placebo.

However, among the long-term supplement users from the PHS, the mean global score (average of all tests) was significantly higher in the beta carotene group than in the placebo. On verbal memory, men receiving long-term beta carotene supplementation also performed significantly better than the placebo group. The potential mechanism for the protective effects could be related to the role of vitamin A and beta-carotene on beta-amyloid protein production in the brain. The build-up of plaque from beta-amyloid deposits is associated with oxidative stress, cell death, and increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

The study is the first to look at long-term antioxidant supplementation in relation to a decline in cognitive function that occurs naturally with age, and that precedes diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(20):2184-2190.

The evidence in favor of making positive life-long health-related habits, like diet supplementation, is overwhelming. The benefits of supplementation, research suggests, are numerous, including increasing one's chances staving off degenerative diseases. Our Editors' Pick for being the best line of supplements on the market today is USANA.

Try the Essentials, USANA's daily multivitamin, manufactured under the same standard Good Manufacturing Practices as the pharmaceutical industry. Or, try out any of the Optimizers, like E-Prime or Poly-C. You can buy today, and save up to 17% as a Preferred Customer on Autoship at:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Beta-carotene linked to reduced mortality risk in the elderly

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers have demonstrated an association between plasma carotene levels and lower death rates among the elderly. This prospective study involved 1168 elderly men and women who were followed for 10 years. After the follow-up period, researchers looked at causes of mortality in the study population. The subjects with higher plasma carotene concentrations had a lower overall mortality risk, and a lower risk of mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease specifically. To put the results in context, researchers performed a meta-analysis of 5 studies on plasma antioxidants and all-cause mortality in elderly populations.

These findings are somewhat surprising since some of the previous supplemental trials have been negative or inconclusive. The researchers suggested that the confusing evidence so far may indicate that beta-carotene needs to be taken in concert with other antioxidants to have a beneficial effect on health.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 82, No. 4, 879-886, October 2005

Possibly the most interesting part of the researchers' findings were that "the confusing evidence so far may indicate that beta-carotene needs to be taken in concert with other antioxidants to have a beneficial effect on health." We hear it everywhere: "Eat a balanced diet." While we should all aim for eating a balance diet, with plenty of natural fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains, it is often difficult to maintain such a diet at all times.

However difficult it may be to eat a balanced diet everyday, it is becoming easier to have a balanced intake of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other vital nutrients by taking a multivitamin. The editors of The Complete Guide to Whole Nutrition recommend taking USANA's Essentials or HealthPak 100 as your multi-vitamins, both of which can be found at Both USANA's Essentials and the HealthPak 100 can deliver 7,500 IU of Beta-Carotene -- which is so valuable when you consider all of the other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you can get from either of these products -- all working together to protect your body from free radicals.

Worried about eating a more balanced diet? You can also find nutritious bars, like TenX Antioxidant Blast or look in the Macro-Optimizers section at the WholeNutrition.USANA Online Store for Nutrimeal Shakes and Nutrition Bars, both of which are great, low-glycemic, low-fat meal replacements. Delicious, high in both fiber and protein, and packed with vitamins and minerals, you won't be disappointed by Nutrimeal products! There's a flavor for everyone!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Widespread Vitamin D Deficiency Drains Billions of Dollars from Canadian Health Care System

The Vitamin D society, a Canadian non-profit group organized to increase awareness of the many health conditions strongly linked to vitamin D, has calculated the cost of vitamin D deficiency on the Canadian health care system to be no less than $9 billion dollars annually.

Vitamin D has long been known only for its role in bone health and proper calcium absorption. However, the explosion of research over the past few years has revealed that vitamin D plays a key role in cell growth regulation in the body, and may be related to the prevention of 22 forms of cancer as well as heart disease, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and many other disorders.

Due to what is being considered a Canadian crisis and worldwide problem, the Vitamin D Society is recognizing the month of November as Vitamin D Awareness Month.

For the complete story and more information about the society and vitamin D research, go to the following link:

We continue to see more and more attention drawn to this topic and if you search throughout this blog you'll notice that many of the articles specifically reference the importance or more Vitamin D in one's daily diet. For the highest quality Vitamin D supplement, check out Usana Health Science's "Essentials."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

CoEnzyme Q10 protects nerve cells

CoEnzyme Q10 has shown the ability to protect nerve cells and potentially lower the risk of various degenerative diseases.

Cells in the brain and nervous system depend on optimal mitochondrial function for energy. A research study published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease showed that oxidative stress causes mitochondria to produce excessive free radicals, leading to nerve cell damage and destruction. Due to its function in the mitochondrial energy process and its role as an antioxidant, researchers evaluated CoEnzyme Q10 for its ability to protect nerve cells.

The results of this study revealed that CoEnzyme Q10 inhibits the production of free radicals by the mitochondria and stabilizes the mitochondrial membrane when nerve cells are subjected to oxidative stress. CoEnzyme Q10 may therefore have a potential benefit in reducing the risk of various neurodegenerative diseases.

Neurobiol Dis. 2005 Apr;18(3):618-27

This is a great study emphasizing the actual processes that a nutritional supplement is effecting in the human body. It's not merely a case of correlation but of causation in that the CoQ10 is inhibiting the production of free radicals! This is very encouraging for anyone who has suffered neurological damage from an accident or disease.

We strongly recommend the Coenzyme Q10 product produced by USANA Health Sciences called CoQuinone 30. This is one of the best and highest rated pharmaceutical grade CoQ10 supplement on the market, providing 30 mg of CoQ10 in every capsule. For more information on this product you can visit and click on PRODUCTS >> OPTIMIZERS >> COQUINONE 30

Friday, October 19, 2007

ANTIOXIDANTS - Function, Sources, Benefits and Safety


Safety of Multivitamins and Antioxidants

Nutritional supplements have been widely used and highly valued by American consumers ever since vitamins were discovered and commercialized, beginning in the early decades of the 1900's. According to recent national health survey, as many as 78 million Americans adults use multivitamins on a regular basis.

Multivitamin/mineral supplements are an effective means of delivering adequate amounts of most essential nutrients to help people achieve recommended intakes. The great majority of dietary supplements, including multivitamins, are safe for regular use. Despite widespread usage, there have been no specific published reports of toxicity or adverse effects associated with the use of multivitamins.

A series of well-publicized clinical trials conducted in diseased patients utilizing relatively high doses of single nutrients or combinations of nutrients (such as vitamin E and/or beta-carotene), have yielded disappointing results, and even suggested the presence of harm. However, those trials were conducted in patients with serious illnesses (ie. cancer or cardiovascular disease) who were on multiple medications or who were current heavy smokers. The results of these trials should be placed in context and are not applicable to the generally healthy population.

Advanced levels of antioxidants are a common thread among nearly every population that is less prone to premature chronic degenerative disease. The Japanese have high levels of fruit, vegetables, green tea and soy as part of their traditional diet. Vegetarians have lower levels of heart disease and cancer, compared to the typical mixed diet, likely in part due to higher intakes of antioxidants. While high levels of single nutrients and foods may pose a risk of danger and toxicity, there is no known unsafe intake level of total antioxidants in normally healthy individuals.

And so this completes our four part series on Antioxidants. We hope you have taken something away from this discussion and can make more informed decisions concerning your own health and well being. Stay turned for more articles and research on the benefits of proper nutrition and supplementation.

The editors of the Complete Guide to Whole Nutrition would like to remind you that we recommend nutritional supplements from USANA Health Sciences. For more information on antioxidants and other supplements from Usana visit:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ANTIOXIDANTS - Function, Sources, Benefits and Safety


Health Benefits of antioxidants

Plentiful intakes of antioxidants have been associated with reduced risk of some chronic diseases, in the same way that generous intakes of fruits, vegetables and grains have been associated with similar health benefits.

Some examples of scientific evidence are the following:


People with high beta-carotene intakes have about one-third the cancer risk as people with low beta-carotene intakes. Peto R. Cancer Surveys 1983;2:327-340.

People with higher intakes of vitamin C have about half the risk for many types of cancer, compared to people with low vitamin C intakes. Block G. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:270S-282S.

People with low intakes of several antioxidants have more DNA damage than people with generous intakes. Ames BN. Metat Res 2001;475:7-20.

People with the highest intakes of vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene have a significantly lower risk of lung cancer. Yong LC et al. Am J Epidemiol 1997;146:231-43.

Men who took vitamin E supplements for 10 years or more had a 30% lower risk of bladder cancer. Michaud DS et al. Am J Epidemiol 2000;152:1145-53.

There are over 66 studies showing cancer-prevention activity of green tea, black tea, and their constituents. These include cancer reduction in the skin, lung, oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, bladder, small intestine, colon and prostate. Lambert JD et al. Am J Clin Nutr 05;81:284S- 291S.

Heart Disease

Elderly people who took dietary supplements of both vitamin C and vitamin E had a decreased risk of death from heart disease as well as overall mortality. Losonczy KG, Harris TB, Havlik RJ. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;64:190- 196.

Men who took vitamin supplements had a 70% lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 50% lower risk of a heart attack. Meyer F, Bairati I, Dagenasis GR. Can J Cardiol 1996;12:930-934.

In the Nurses' Health Study involving over 87,000 women, there was a 41% reduction in risk of heart disease for those who took vitamin E for more than two years. Stampfer MJ, Hennekens CH, Manson JE, et al. New Engl J Med 1993;328:1444-1449.

In the Nurses' Health Study vitamin C supplements were also related to a lower risk of heart disease. Osganian SK et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2003;42:246-52.

In the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study involving almost 40,000 men, there was a 37% reduction in risk of heart disease in men who took vitamin E for more than two years. The average intake in the lowest risk group was 400 IU per day. Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ. Ascherio A, et al. New Engl J Med 1993;328:1450-1456.

To date, 17 human group studies have been published on flavonoid intake and the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke. Positive studies have shown reduction in mortality risk of up to 65%. Arts ICW and Hollman PCH. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:317S-325S.

The largest and longest study to date, done as part of the Harvard- based Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, included almost 110,000 men and women whose health and dietary habits were followed for 14 years. The higher the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Compared with those in the lowest category of fruit and vegetable intake (less than 1.5 servings a day), those who averaged 8 or more servings a day were 30% less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke. Joshipura KJ, et al. Ann Intern Med 2001 Jun 19;134(12):1106-14.

Other Chronic diseases

Several long-term studies have shown a reduced risk of cataracts in those who have taken vitamin C and/or Vitamin E for more than 10 years. Jacques PF et al. Arch Ophthalmol 2001;119:1009-19.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) at NIH found that daily supplementation with antioxidants, zinc, and copper delayed progression of age- related macular degeneration. AREDS report no. 8. Arch Ophthalmol 2001;119:1417-36.

Research has shown a significant relationship between flavonoid intakes and the occurrence of asthma. Knekt P et al. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:560-8.
Other research suggests antioxidants may help support lung function and protect the lungs from oxidative damage. Schunemann HJ et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2001;163:1246-55.

In a study on Alzheimer's disease, high levels of vitamin E delayed progression of the disease. Sano M et al. N Engl J Med 1997;336:1216- 22.

Coming Soon - Part 4 - Safety of Multivitamins and Antioxidants

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

ANTIOXIDANTS - Function, Sources, Benefits and Safety


Sources and Dietary Intakes

Antioxidants can be vitamins, minerals, enzymes or plant derived nutrients called phytonutrients.

The major vitamin antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, while selenium is the major mineral antioxidant. Many researchers and nutritionists discuss and report on "antioxidants" as if these were the only sources of importance. A thorough examination of antioxidants and their importance to human health must include a much larger list of compounds that are present in healthy, varied diet. The following list is an example of the wide variety of phytonutrient antioxidants present in a healthy diet:

Note: Each numbered phytonutrient corresponds to the foods listed under the same number below.

1. Allyl Sulfides
2. Carotenoids (e.g. lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin)
3. Curcumin
4. Flavonoids (e.g. anthocyanadins, resveratrol, quercitin, catechins)
5. Glutathione
6. Indoles
7. Isoflavones
8. Isothiocyanates (e.g. sulforaphane)
9. Lignans
10. Monoterpenes
11. Phytic Acid
12. Phenols, polyphenols, phenolic compounds (e.g. ellagic acid, ferrulic acid, tannins)
13. Saponins

Food Source
1. Onions, garlic, leeks, chives
2. Tomatoes, carrots, watermelon, kale, spinach
3. Turmeric
4. Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, apples, grapefruit, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries
5. Green leafy vegetables
6. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy
7. Legumes (peas, soybeans)
8. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy
9. Seeds (flax seeds, sunflower seeds)
10. Citrus fruit peels, cherries, nuts
11. Whole grains, legumes
12. Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, grapefruit, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, tea
13. Beans, legumes

Recommendations by the National Cancer Institute, the U.S.D.A., other government agencies and nutrition experts are to eat a minimum of 5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, depending on calorie needs. Based on these recommendations, a typical varied diet would provide approximately 200-600 mg of vitamin C and 10-20 mg (16,000-32,000 IU) of carotenoids.

Overall, polyphenols are the most abundant antioxidants in the diet. Their total dietary intake could be as high as 1 gram/day in a mixed, varied diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and beverages.

Possible intakes of other phytonutrient antioxidants would be anthocyandins " 2 oz black grapes 1,500 mg; proanthocyanidins " 100-300 mg/d red wine; catechins " 50 mg day " tea (one cup brewed green tea " 240-320 mg catechins), chocolate, apples, pears, grapes, red wine; isoflavones " 50 mg/day from soy foods; chlorogenic acid " as high as 800 mg/day coffee drinkers.

Although it may seem reasonable that a consistently healthy and varied diet could provide high doses of antioxidants, the average American gets a total of just three servings of fruits and vegetables a day. The latest dietary guidelines call for five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day, depending on one's caloric intake. For a person who needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain weight and health, this translates into nine servings, or 4½ cups per day.

The 2001-2002 NHANES survey of dietary intakes shows that 93% of Americans fail to get even the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for vitamin E, let alone the RDA. More than half of adults fail to get even the average requirement for vitamin A. About one-third of non-smokers and two-thirds of smokers fall short on minimum vitamin C requirements.

If the governmental dietary recommendations are meant to be taken seriously, then it follows that it would be better for people to achieve recommended amounts of nutrients than to fall short. Obviously, since the average intake of 3 servings or less of fruits and vegetables fails to provide minimum levels of even basic vitamins, intakes of the numerous other antioxidants are sure to be well under optimal and beneficial levels.

It has been established that a good multivitamin can fill in gaps in missing vitamins, but availability of broad spectrum antioxidant supplements has lagged behind. Although there is much to be learned about the characteristics of the literally hundreds of dietary antioxidants, it seems reasonable that providing supplements of various antioxidant classes may fill in nutritional gaps and provide many of the benefits missing from the typical American diet.

Coming Soon - Part 3 - Health Benefits of Antioxidants

Saturday, October 6, 2007

ANTIOXIDANTS - Function, Sources, Benefits, and Safety

Have you ever wondered "What are antioxidants?" or "Why are they important to my health?" or "Where do they come from?" and "Are they safe?" Well, we would like to try to answer that for you with this upcoming 4-part posting on the importance of antioxidants! Stay tuned for the next posts outlining the sources, benefits, and safety of antioxidants...


Antioxidants - What are they?

Oxidation is a natural process that happens to all cells in nature, including the cells in your body. Antioxidants provide an important defense against the daily assault of free radicals on healthy cells. This Essentials of Health four-part series will review the function, benefits, sources, and safety of dietary antioxidants.

Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants.

Antioxidants are molecules that can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital tissues and cells are damaged. Although there are several enzyme systems within the body that scavenge free radicals, the principle micronutrient (vitamin/mineral) antioxidants are vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C and selenium. The body cannot manufacture these micronutrients so they must be supplied in the diet. In addition, there are literally hundreds of plant derived nutrients (phytonutrients) that act as important antioxidants in the diet.

It is impossible to avoid damage by free radicals. Free radicals arise from sources both inside (endogenous) and outside (exogenous) our bodies. Oxidants that develop from processes within our bodies form as a result of normal breathing, metabolism, and inflammation. Exogenous free radicals form from environmental factors such as pollution, sunlight, strenuous exercise, X-rays, smoking and alcohol. Our antioxidant systems are not perfect, so as we age, cell parts damaged by oxidation accumulate.

Coming Soon - Part 2 - Sources and Dietary Intake of Antioxidants

Friday, October 5, 2007

Amazing Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in epidemiological and clinical trials to reduce the incidence of CVD. Large-scale epidemiological studies suggest that individuals at risk for CHD benefit from the consumption of plant- and marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids, although the ideal intakes presently are unclear.

Evidence from prospective secondary prevention studies suggests that EPA+DHA supplementation ranging from 0.5 to 1.8 g/d (either as fatty fish or supplements) significantly reduces subsequent cardiac and all-cause mortality. For a-linolenic acid, total intakes of 1.5 to 3 g/d seem to be beneficial.

Collectively, these data are supportive of the recommendation made by the AHA Dietary Guidelines to include at least two servings of fish per week (particularly fatty fish). In addition, the data support inclusion of vegetable oils (eg, soybean, canola, walnut, flaxseed) and food sources (eg, walnuts, flaxseeds) high in a-linolenic acid in a healthy diet for the general population.

The fish recommendation must be balanced with concerns about environmental pollutants, in particular PCB and methylmercury, described in state and federal advisories. Consumption of a variety of fish is recommended to minimize any potentially adverse effects due to environmental pollutants and, at the same time, achieve desired CVD health outcomes.

RCTs (Randomized Controlled Trials) have demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can reduce cardiac events (eg, death, nonfatal MI, nonfatal stroke) and decrease progression of atherosclerosis in coronary patients. However, additional studies are needed to confirm and further define the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acid supplements for both primary and secondary prevention.

For example, placebo-controlled, double-blind RCTs are needed to document both the safety and efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplements in both high-risk patients (eg, patients with type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension, and smokers) and coronary patients on drug therapy. Mechanistic studies on their apparent effects on sudden death are also needed.

A dietary (ie, food-based) approach to increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake is preferable. Still, for patients with coronary artery disease, the dose of omega-3 (1 g/d) may be greater than what can readily be achieved through diet alone. These individuals, in consultation with their physician, could consider supplements for CHD risk reduction.

Supplements also could be a component of the medical management of hypertriglyceridemia, a setting in which even larger doses (2 to 4 g/d) are required. The availability of high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplements, free of contaminants, is an important prerequisite to their extensive use.

The full research article can be found here.

The American Heart Association is an incredible source of information on any topic related to the heart and this piece of research is an excellent example of how the scientific community is embracing the health benefits of proper nutrition.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Antioxidants block prostate cancer

In experimental mice that naturally develop prostate cancer, supplementing with antioxidants vitamin E, lycopene and selenium effectively blocks the development or progression of prostate cancer.

According to a study published in the journal Cancer Research, dietary antioxidants (vitamin E, selenium, and lycopene) inhibited prostate cancer development in a group of mice that naturally develop prostate cancer. The prostate cancer disease process in these mice is similar to the human process in many respects, providing a good research model for the natural history of human prostate cancer.

Treatment of animals with the antioxidants resulted in a 4-fold reduction in the incidence of prostate cancer compared with the untreated animals. Prostate cancer developed in 73.68% (14 of 19) and 100% (19 of 19) of the animals from the standard and high fat diet, respectively.

In contrast, tumors developed in only 10.53% (2 of 19) and 15.79% (3 of 19) of the animals in the standard and high fat diets supplemented with antioxidants.

These observations support results from a growing body of research indicating a significant protective benefit of antioxidants on the development of prostate cancer.

Cancer Res. 2004 Aug 15;64(16):5891-6.

There's been a lot of talk lately concerning anti-oxidants and for good reason! Research like the study above are just beginning to scratch the surface of what antioxidants are capable of in the human body. Men will naturally take notice to studies like this which have clear implications for them.

As this study indicates, men's prostate health may be improved through proper nutritional supplementation. In addition to the antioxidants listed above (Vitamin E, selenium, and lycopene) other research has shown the benefits of saw palmetto in lower prostate cancer risk.

The editors of the Complete Guide to Whole Nutrition confidently endorse the products of Usana Health Sciences, specifically their "Mega Antioxidant" (part of the "Essentials") and "Palmetto Plus" which can be found at under "Products." We like them because they are all pharmaceutical grade, independently tested for quality by NSF, and rated the #1 nutritional supplement by the Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Vitamin D supplementation lowers fracture risk

Researchers have found that doses of 700 to 800 IU of vitamin D3 per day may reduce the risk of hip fracture by 26 percent and nonvertebral fracture by 23 percent.

The May 11 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of a meta-analysis of 12 clinical trials involving vitamin D supplementation in the prevention of fracture. The analysis concluded that supplementation with higher than the commonly recommended 400 international unit (IU) doses of vitamin D reduces the risk of hip and nonvertebral fractures in older individuals.

The vitamin D studies included a total of 19,114 men and women aged 60 and older. The trials used the form of the vitamin known as cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3, which, according to studies cited in the current review, may be much more effective than the dietary form of the vitamin.

The researchers found that doses of 700 to 800 IU of vitamin D3 per day reduced the risk of hip fracture by 26 percent and nonvertebral fracture by 23 percent. Studies that used 400 IU vitamin D3 or less found no significant benefit for either type of fracture. The role of additional calcium supplementation could not clearly be defined from the studies, but it appears that at least 700 milligrams calcium per day may also be necessary for nonvertebral fracture prevention.

JAMA 2005 May 11;293(18):2257-64.

This study helps show us why drinking your milk every day does a body good but maybe not quite "good enough." We see that smaller amounts of vitamin D don't reduce fracture risk while larger amounts DO. Also, while this study focused on older individuals, perhaps we should consider the benefits of fracture prevention for younger athletes, especially in high contact sports like football, hockey, basketball, rugby, etc.

Where can you find an excellent source of Vitamin D3? The "Essentials" by Usana Health Sciences will supply you with 600 IU of Vitamin D3 in addition to your daily intake of vitamin D3 through meals. When combined that's virtually the same amount recommended in this study to safely lower fracture risk, not to mention all of the other essential vitamins and minerals found in scientifically recommended amounts! For more information, visit

Friday, September 14, 2007

Supplemental vitamin D and calcium reduces risk of diabetes

The incidence of type-2 diabetes is lower among women who get adequate calcium and supplement with vitamin D. Researchers used data from the Nurses Health Study, which includes over 83,000 women, to study the relationship of calcium and vitamin D intake to type-2 diabetes.

After 20 years of follow-up, it was concluded that a combined daily intake of over 1,200 mg of calcium and more than 800 IU of vitamin D was associated with a 33 percent lower risk of type-2 diabetes. Interestingly, dietary vitamin D intake did not appear to provide any statistically significant benefit. But the women who supplemented with at least 400 IU of vitamin D had a 13% lower risk of diabetes when compared to those who took less than 100 IU per day. Both dietary and supplemental calcium resulted in decreased risk of type-2 diabetes, and those with overall intakes above 1,200 mg had a 21% lower risk than those who got less than 600 mg per day.

Elevated intakes of calcium and vitamin D, especially from supplements, are significantly associated with lower incidence of type-2 diabetes.

Diabetes Care 29:650-656, 2006

The results from this study are truly amazing! While generally it is best to get vitamins and minerals from one's diet, this study actually shows that sometimes it is better to get them from a nutritional supplement. Again we see the benefits of Vitamin D which seems to have almost limitless benefits to the human body (search above for "Vitamin D" to find other articles on the benefits of Vitamin D).

On a side note, how many more studies need to surface highlighting the ways we can lower our risk of Type-2 Diabetes? This study is proof that a low glycemic diet is not our only line of defense against Type-2 diabetes--nutritional supplements combine for an amazing 1 - 2 punch!

For the highest quality nutritional supplements and low glycemic meal replacement shakes, we recommend USANA Health Sciences. Visit for direct from the manufacturer pricing and secure internet ordering!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Canadian study indicates that quality of nutritional supplements is still a concern

In a recent study, researchers discovered that more than half of the nutritional supplements tested did not disintegrate properly. Included in the test were 39 tablets and 10 capsules containing minerals and vitamins commercially available on the Canadian market. USANA's Multimineral was included in the test. The first disintegration stage was performed using Simulated Intestinal Fluid (SIF) pH 6.8 for 20 minutes. Products which did not disintegrate were further analyzed using USP disintegration conditions for dietary supplements. Of the 39 tablets tested, only 18 products (which included Usana's Multimineral) disintegrated fully at the first stage. The 21 tablets that did not pass the first stage were then tested for disintegration using USP conditions. Nine tablets still failed to disintegrate, including all three timed-release products tested. Forty-percent of the capsules also failed the first stage, although all ten eventually passed when subjected to USP testing conditions.

This study illustrates that disintegration, one basic indicator of product quality, is still a concern for dietary supplements.

J Pharm Pharmaceut Sci ( 9(1):40-49, 2006 (1)/Loebenberg.R/tablets.pdf

It's important to do your research before beginning any dietary or nutritional supplement regime. The editors at TCGWN recommend products manufactured by Usana Health Sciences as they are certified by NSF for quality and rated #1 in independent nutritional rankings.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Vitamin D reduces the risk of certain cancers

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health, has found that vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand premature deaths annually.

The researchers reviewed 63 studies on the relationship between vitamin D and certain types of cancer worldwide between 1966 and 2004. The majority of studies found a protective relationship between sufficient vitamin D status and lower risk of cancer, especially in cancers of the colon, breast, prostate and ovary.

Vitamin D is acquired either through the diet or through exposure to sunlight. Food sources include milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified orange juice. A typical serving provides approximately 100 international units (IU). Researchers suggested that people might want to consider a vitamin supplement to raise their overall intake to 1,000 IU's per day. Supplementing with additional vitamin D could be especially important for people living in northern areas, which receive less vitamin D from sunlight.

The evidence suggests that improving vitamin D status through diet and supplements could reduce cancer incidence and mortality at low cost, with few or no adverse effects.

It is fantastic how much people can reduce their risk of several types of cancer just by taking supplements. The problem with relying solely on sunlight to cause our skin to produce Vitamin D is that sun exposure can contribute to skin cancer. Furthermore, our daily lives are so hectic that it is extremely difficult for most of us to eat the necessary foods that would provide adequate amounts of Vitamin D, nevermind the rest of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidant sources, and nutrients our bodies need to fight off degenerative diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's.

It has never been easier to supplement our diets with the highest quality supplements on the market, ones that have been produced using the same Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) that the pharmaceutical industry uses. USANA Health Sciences offers supplements that have been ranked #1 in North America by the Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Supplements, which ranked about 500 companies' supplements for accuracy, completeness, and bioavailability. Try them now at: and get your Vitamin D, as well as just about every other known essential vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, and miscellaneous extracts that research shows helps our bodies to stay healthy and to age gracefully!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Soy and cruciferous vegetables reduce cancer risk by enhancing DNA repair

Nutrients found in soy and cruciferous vegetables have recently been shown to have anti-cancer activity for hormone-responsive tumors (i.e. breast and prostate cancers). The British Journal of Cancer reported that genistein (a soy isoflavone) and indole-3-carbinol (I3C) found in vegetables such as broccoli, enhance DNA repair and partly explain the ability of increased vegetable intake to reduce the risk of cancer.

Nutrients found in soy and cruciferous vegetables have recently been shown to have anti-cancer activity for hormone-responsive tumors (i.e. breast and prostate cancers). The February 13, 2006 issue of the British Journal of Cancer reported that genistein (a soy isoflavone) and indole-3-carbinol (I3C) found in vegetables such as broccoli, enhance DNA repair.

After adding increasing doses of I3C and genistein to two prostate cancer and two breast cancer cell lines, the scientists found a rise in levels of certain proteins which repair damaged DNA. Additionally, when researchers added I3C and genistein together in low doses to the cell lines, the results were synergistic, providing greater benefit than that obtained by either compound alone.

The finding could explain, in part, the protective effect these compounds have shown against some cancers. The study is also among the first to discover a cellular explanation behind the ability of increased vegetable intake to reduce the risk of cancer.

British Journal of Cancer (2006) 94, 407-426.

When the British Journal of Cancer publishes research like we see above, people take notice! This is some incredible evidence of the power of nutritional supplementation. Who are you trusting your health to? Research like this is one of the big reasons that nutritional supplements have been getting so much attention recently.

While many doctors and patients rely on pharmaceutical drugs for treating cancer, a growing number are incorporating nutritional supplementation into the treatment and prevention of the disease. The editors of The Complete Guide to Whole Nutrition and their partnering doctors (headed by Dr. John Koehler of Rockford, IL) recommend Usana Health Sciences for all nutritional supplementation needs. Find more information and order Usana at

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Omega-3 fatty acid intake associated with lower heart disease risk

Increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is associated with lower levels of inflammation and endothelial activation, according to results from a study at Harvard. Dysfunction of the endothelium, which is the inner lining of the blood vessel wall, is an early event in the development of atherosclerosis and subsequent heart disease.

Food frequency questionnaires completed in 1986 and 1990 by 727 participants in the Nurses' Health study were evaluated for levels of the omega-3 fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Alpha-linolenic acid consumption was found to be inversely associated with several plasma markers of inflammation, while EPA and DHA intake was inversely related to platelet aggregration.

Results of this study indicate that in addition to reducing triglycerides, platelet aggregation and heart arrhythmias, omega-3 fatty acids may also reduce the body's production of hydrogen peroxide, which is involved in the inflammatory process.

J Nutr 2004 Jul;134(7):1806-11

It's always great to see both studies at the biochemical level (concerning the endothelial wall) supported by questionnaires of people's experiences supporting the same idea: that our circulatory health can be greatly improved by intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.

USANA Health Sciences provides a great product in BiOmega-3 and OptOmega. Biomega-3 offers fish oil that has undergone a thorough double molecular distillation process that eliminates such toxins as heavy metals, PCBs, and pesticides, leaving just the healthy fish oil without the contaminants.

OptOmega strives to re-establish the optimal balance of omega-3 and amega-6 fatty acids by providing a ratio of 3-to-1 omega-3 to omega-6.

To improve your circulatory and overall health and to help decrease your risk of heart disease and other degenerative diseases, shop for these and other other great supplements at

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Folic acid supplements reduce stroke risk

A meta-analysis published in the most recent issue of The Lancet concluded that supplementing with the B vitamin folic acid can reduce stroke risk by at least 18 percent.

Researchers analyzed eight randomized trials involving folic acid and stroke. Participants supplementing with folic acid lowered their risk of stroke by an average of 18 percent compared to those who did not use folic acid supplements. Trials involving folic acid supplementation longer than 3 years showed an even greater reduction in stroke risk (29%). Folic acid supplementation was also more significant in people with reduced homocysteine levels, those with no prior stroke risk, or those who lived in area without folic acid fortification of foods.

It is believed that folic acid's ability to reduce homocysteine, an amino acid found in the blood that is toxic in excess, may be the reason for the lower incidence of strokes.

Lancet 2007 Jun 2;369(9576):1876-82

It seems almost incredible that research continues to show how the benefits of proper nutritional supplementation are not just minor health improvements, (such as more energy, less fatigue, etc) but the prevention of major health disasters! We're not just talking a slight 2 or 3% lowering of risk for bad breath, but rather nearly a 20% reduction in STROKE risk!

Incredibly powerful research here! Just make sure that when choosing a nutritional supplement to assist in this risk reduction that you choose wisely. The Editors of The Complete Guide to Whole Nutrition recommend supplements manufactured by Usana Health Sciences found at

Monday, August 20, 2007

Supplements reduce health care costs

With health care costs skyrocketing and the age of the population increasing, helping seniors live independently for longer is becoming increasingly important. A recent comprehensive review of existing scientific research literature found positive health effects associated with both omega-3 fatty acids and the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Based on health insurance costs for the age group over 65, the five-year estimated savings resulting from daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids and lutein with zeaxanthin is approximately 5.6 billion dollars.

A recent comprehensive review of existing scientific research literature found positive health effects associated with both omega-3 fatty acids and the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Researchers critically reviewed the scientific evidence of the two supplements' ability to reduce the risk of disease and developed estimates of potential health care savings. With health care costs skyrocketing and the age of the population increasing, helping seniors live independently for longer is becoming increasingly important.

The group reviewed several hundred studies dating back over thirty years to arrive at an estimated cost savings of 3.1 billion dollars over the next five years with the daily use of omega-3 fatty acids. They estimated that the reduction in coronary heart disease in the elderly population would result in 384,303 fewer hospitalizations and physician fees.

Loss of central vision caused by age-related macular degeneration results in numerous elderly becoming dependent on the community or a nursing facility. The researchers used over 15 years of research on lutein and zeaxanthin to estimate a potential net savings of 2.5 billion dollars over the next five years. Approximately 98,219 individuals could avoid the transition to dependence during this time through daily intake of 6-10 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Based on health insurance costs for the age group over 65, the five-year estimated savings resulting from daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids and lutein with zeaxanthin is approximately 5.6 billion dollars. FINAL_DSEA_%20FACT_SHEET.pdf

Many people don't realize that their investment in high quality nutritional supplementation isn't just an investment in a longer, healthier life but a wealthier one as well! If you have questioned purchasing a more expensive and higher quality supplement, remember that you get what you pay for and if taken over the course of your life, paying a little more now could mean paying A LOT LESS later. The Editors and Writers for the Complete Guide to Whole Nutrition endorse supplements provided by Usana Health Sciences and can be found at

Did you know that you can even get them for free or make extra money through referrals? Click the "Opportunity" tab and the "More Information" link on the main page!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Low Levels of Vitamin D Are Common Among Healthy Children

According to a new study, many kids and adolescents who are otherwise healthy may have inadequate blood levels of vitamin D, a nutrient essential for normal growth and development. A vitamin D deficiency in childhood may lead to muscle weakness, defective bone mineralization and rickets.

A new study published in the July 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that many children may be at risk for a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is essential for normal growth and development and is important for immune function.

The researchers from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia assessed dietary and supplemental vitamin D intake, body mass, and measured blood levels of vitamin D in 382 healthy children between six years and 21 years of age living in the northeastern U.S. and found that more than half of the children had low blood levels of vitamin D. Of the subjects, 55 percent of the children had inadequate vitamin D blood levels and 68 percent overall had low blood levels of the vitamin in the wintertime. African Americans, children aged 9 and older, and those whose vitamin D intake was low were likeliest to have reduced serum vitamin D levels.

"The best indicator of a person's vitamin D status is the blood level of a vitamin D compound called 25-hydroxyvitamin D," Dr. Zemel, the lead investigator noted. "Vitamin D deficiency remains an under-recognized problem overall, and is not well studied in children."

The researchers added that further study is needed to determine the appropriate blood levels of vitamin D in children, as well as a review of the current recommendations for vitamin D intake.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007 July; 86(1):150- 8.

It should come as no surprise that with all of the junk food out there that kids are not getting proper nutrition. I'm not just talking candy, sweets, potato chips, or soda that many of the big food manufacturers pump into the mass grocery stores (Wal-Mart, Meijer, Target, etc.) but really all of their different lines of so-called "healthy choices." Have you ever seen the episode of Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel where they test whether the box that kid's breakfast cereal comes in has more nutrition than the cereal itself? Well, the cereal had more... but not by much!

For many people though, the option does not exist to shop at a higher end grocery store or to simply buy organic foods. Whether it's due to price, lack of a nearby location, convenience or something else, it is clear how necessary high quality nutritional supplements are for young children.

Parents must not forget that their children only go through many of these biological developments once and it is EXTREMELY important for the children to be getting a complete nutritional diet. Usana Health Sciences produces a children's version of their highly heralded "Essentials." The kid's version is known as the "Usanimals" and the teen version is "Body Rox." Both can be found under "PRODUCTS" at

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Magnesium intake increases bone mineral density and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis

A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society has shown that dietary intake of magnesium is associated with an increase in bone mineral density in older men and women.

The study included 2,038 men and women aged 70-79 that were enrolled in the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study. Food frequency questionnaires were used to assess magnesium intakes and document any medications. The data also accounted for variations in age, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, alcohol use, physical activity, estrogen use, and supplemental calcium and vitamin D.

Higher magnesium intake through diet and supplements was positively associated with total - body bone mineral density (BMD) in older white men and women. For every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium, there was an approximate 2 per cent increase in whole-body BMD.

The results have important implications since osteoporosis currently affects over 10 million adults in the U.S. alone, with another 34 million suspected to have low bone mass. In addition, earlier dietary surveys have consistently shown that a large portion of adults do not meet the RDA for magnesium.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society November 2005, Vol 53, No 11, pp 1875-1880

We often hear of the benefits for women of daily calcium supplements in the prevention of osteoporosis. In fact, many women make it a point to take a daily calcium supplement for this very reason. This piece of research is an important example of how minerals outside of calcium can benefit both women AND men.

When choosing a mineral supplement, it's especially important to note how the supplement is produced. It is commonly known that "chelated" minerals are most readily absorbed by the body. Usana Health Sciences produces and excellent mineral supplement which can be found at

Monday, July 9, 2007

Calcium, Vitamin D and Cancer Risk

A new study published in the June 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown a reduction in cancer rates among postmenopausal women taking vitamin D combined with calcium.

This four-year, double blind, randomized placebo-controlled study involved over 1,100 postmenopausal women who were divided into three treatment groups. The first group received a supplement containing calcium and vitamin D, the second group received just calcium, and the third group received a placebo. The researchers found that the women taking the calcium and vitamin D supplement had a 60 percent lower incidence of all cancers than women not taking the supplement.

This new study takes an important step in extending several decades of research involving the role of vitamin D in health and disease. The results further strengthen the case made by many specialists that vitamin D may be a powerful cancer preventive and that it is commonly found lacking in the general population, particularly the elderly.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007 June;85(6):1586-91.

How many more studies have to come out for people to get the picture that nutritional supplements REALLY DO SAVE LIVES? We know that we need them so make sure you're taking the right stuff! Visit and get started on the #1 rated supplement on the market--Usana's Essentials!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Fill Oil to Lower Heart Rate

"Fish oil is known to decrease the risk of heart arrhythmias, which are a potential cause of heart disease, stroke and sudden cardiac death. According to a new study, regular intake of fish oil can reduce heart rate and decrease the risk of sudden death by as much as 5% in the overall population."


There is significant evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce arrhythmias, disorders of the regular rhythmic beating of the heart. Arrhythmias can occur in a healthy heart and be of minimal consequence, but they also may indicate a serious problem and lead to heart disease, stroke or sudden cardiac death.

A recent meta-analysis published in the journal Circulation further confirms this association. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health combined statistical analysis of thirty studies published from 1996 to 2005. These studies involved nearly 1,700 individuals treated with fish oil or placebo for up to one year. The median combined dose of EPA and DHA was 3.5 grams/day for an average of 8 weeks.

The overall estimated change in heart rate of those treated with fish oil was 1.6 beats per minute. The reduction in heart rate was even greater among trials whose participants had higher baseline heart rates. In those studies, treatment with fish oil resulted in a decreased heart rate of 2.5 beats per min. There was no evidence of a dose-response effect, and heart rate was not significantly different between higher and lower doses compared with placebo.

Although the overall effect of fish oil on heart rate appears small, researchers estimate that on a population basis this could correspond to as much as a 5% reduction in sudden death.

Mozaffarian D, Geelen A, Brouwer IA, Geleijnse JM, Zock PL, Katan MB. Effect of fish oil on heart rate in humans. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Circulation 2005;112:1945-1952.

This is just another example of the many benefits of fish oil. If you follow the research on this at all, you probably already know that new benefits are being discovered almost every day from the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. You probably already know as well that the only significant concern or danger surrounding taking fish oil supplements is taking supplements contaminated with things like mercury. The FDA has warned that just eating too much fish can be dangerous due to mercury poisoning.

For this reason, it's all the more important to find a nutritional supplement company that both guarantees the quality of its supplements and is double checked by an outside organization to see that they meet the highest quality standards. The complete guide to Whole Nutrition recommends for all omega-3 fish oil purchases as Usana manufactures their supplements according to the Pharmaceutical industry's Good Manufacturing Practices standards and is independently verified by NSF. Visit for more information!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Nutritional supplements slow aging of brain

A study published in the December 2004 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a correlation between nutritional supplement use and improved cognition later in life. Cognition is the mental process of thought, including perception, reasoning, intuition and memory.

The researchers found that supplement users scored higher on mental speed tests than those who did not take supplements. Fish oil supplement users were found to have greater red blood cell membrane omega-3 fatty acid content, which was correlated with improved cognitive function later in life. A greater ratio of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to arachidonic acid was also related to better cognitive function.

The results of this study are consistent with previous reports that dietary supplements may reduce dementia risk and suggest that optimizing omega-3 fatty acid intake may improve the retention of cognitive function in the elderly.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 6, 1650- 1657, December 2004
cc: Usana Health Sciences

We are proud to present our first informative post on the real health benefits of quality nutritional supplements. Understand that their effects ARE real if the rights supplements are taken over your lifetime. Expect many more articles similar to this as well as personal testimonials concerning the massive benefits of quality nutritional supplementation!

Remember: The Complete Guide to Whole Nutrition recommends vitamins and nutritional supplements from Usana Health Sciences, which can be viewed and purchased at

Sunday, June 17, 2007 is now up and running! Our veteran nutritional experts will begin posting before the end of this week!