Friday, December 15, 2006

Nutritional health: asthma


Asthma is a chronic disorder characterized by recurring attacks of airway obstruction. The breathing difficulty that results can range from mild wheezing to respiratory failure. The airway obstruction results from bronchospasms, increased secretion of mucous, and swelling of bronchial mucosa.


Asthma may result from sensitivity to specific external allergens or from other, nonallergenic factors. Asthma that is related to allergies is considered extrinsic, while asthma that does not seem to be related to allergies is called intrinsic asthma. Allergens that cause extrinsic asthma include pollen, animal dander, house dust or mould, kapok or feather pillows, food additives containing sulfites, and any other sensitizing substance.


There are various types of asthma which are differentiated by cause (such as allergy or exercise) and the degree of severity.

At Risk

About half of all patients with asthma are under age 10.

About one-third of all patients with asthma share the disease with at least one immediate family member.

Prevention and Management


The best prevention of asthma attacks is to identify and avoid the precipitating factors. People who have extrinsic (allergy-induced) asthma are advised to minimize their exposure to specific allergens.

Nutritional Influences:

There are a number of studies that indicate that determination of food sensitivities (even if none had been suspected), and avoiding the foods which test positive either reduced or eliminated symptoms in some people.,,, Of course, not all asthma is related to food sensitivities.

Diets rich in antioxidants may have a modulatory effect on bronchial reactivity.

Inclusion of oily fish in the diet may protect against asthma in childhood.

Vitamin B6 levels in the blood have been found to be lower in asthmatics than the non-asthmatics. Positive results have been reported when B6 supplements have been taken.

Vitamin B12 therapy has been used to successfully treat asthmatics, especially those who suffer attacks after eating foods containing sulfites.

Vitamin C levels in asthmatics are often lower than in non-asthmatics. Vitamin C may also be beneficial to those who experience asthma during exercise.

Magnesium levels are lower in one out of two asthmatics during an attack. People with asthma also have lower magnesium concentrations in their white blood cells between attacks. Treatments by inhalation or injection have proven beneficial in stopping asthmatic attacks and improving lung function. At this time, however, the effect of oral supplementation remains unexplored.

Selenium supplementation might be beneficial to patients with intrinsic asthma, which may be at risk of selenium deficiency.

Additional Information

Disclaimer: These websites, addresses and/or phone numbers are provided for information purposes only. USANA, Inc. makes no claim, actual or implied, regarding the content or validity of the information obtained from these outside sources.


Soutar A, Seaton A, Brown K. Bronchial reactivity and dietary antioxidants. Thorax 1997 Feb;52(2):166-70.
It has been postulated that dietary antioxidants may influence the expression of allergic diseases and asthma. To test this hypothesis a case-control study was performed, nested in a cross sectional study of a random sample of adults, to investigate the relationship between allergic disease and dietary antioxidants.

METHODS: The study was performed in rural general practices in Grampian, Scotland. A validated dietary questionnaire was used to measure food intake of cases, defined, firstly, as people with seasonal allergic-type symptoms and, secondly, those with bronchial hyperreactivity confirmed by methacholine challenge, and of controls without allergic symptoms or bronchial reactivity.

RESULTS: Cases with seasonal symptoms did not differ from controls except with respect to the presence of atopy and an increased risk of symptoms associated with the lowest intake of zinc. The lowest intakes of vitamin C and manganese were associated with more than fivefold increased risks of bronchial reactivity. Decreasing intakes of magnesium were also significantly associated with an increased risk of hyperreactivity.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that diet may have a modulatory effect on bronchial reactivity, and is consistent with the hypothesis that the observed reduction in antioxidant intake in the British diet over the last 25 years has been a factor in the increase in the prevalence of asthma over this period.

1 Pelikan Z et al. Bronchial asthma due to food allergy. Paper presented at the XII International congress of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Washington, D.C., October 1985.
2 Lindahl O et al. Vegan diet regimen with reduced medication in the treatment of bronchial asthma. J Asthma 1985;22:45-55.
3 Hoj L et al. A double-blind controlled trial of elemental diet in severe, perennial asthma. Allergy 1981;36:257-62.
4 Woods R et al. Patients perceptions of food induced asthma. Aust N Z J Med 1996 Aug; 26(4):504-12.
5 Soutar A, Seaton A, Brown K. Bronchial reactivity and dietary antioxidants. Thorax 1997 Feb;52(2):166-70.
6 Hodge L et al. Consumption of oily fish and childhood risk. med J Aust 1996 Feb 5;164(3):137-40.
7 Delport R et al. Vitamin B6 nutritional status in asthma:the effect of theophyline therapy on plasma pyridoxal-51-phospaht and pyridoxal level. In J Vitam Nurt Res 1988;58(1):67-72, 1988
8 Simon RA et al. Sulfite-sensitive asthma. Res. Instit. of Scripps Clinic Scientific Report 1982-83;39:57-58.
9 Rozanov EM et al. [Vitamin PP and C allowances and their correction in the treatment of bronchial asthma patients.] Vopr Pittan 1987;(6):21-24.
10 Schachter EN, Schlesinge A. The attenuation of exercise-induced bronchospasm by ascorbic acid. Ann Allergy 1982;49:146-150.
11 Haury VG. Blood serum magnesium in bronchial asthma and its treatment by the administration of magnesium sulfate. J Lab Clin Med 1940;26:340-4.
12 Fantidis P, Ruiz Cacho J, Marin M, Madero Jarabo R, Solera J, Herrero E. Intracellular (polymorphonuclear) magnesium content in patients with brochial asthma between attacks. J R Soc Med 1995 Aug;88(8):441-5.
13 Rolla G et al. Magnesium attenuates methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction in asthmatic. Magnesium 1987;6(4):201-4.
14 Skobeloff EM et al. Intravenous magneium sulfate for the treatment of acute asthma in the emergency department. JAMA 1989;262(9):1210-13.
15 Werbach M. Healing Through Nutrition. New York: HarperCollins; 1993.
16 Kadrabova J et al. Selenium status is decreased n patients with intrinsic asthma. Biol Trace Elem Res 1996 Jun;52(3):241
17 Diseases. 2nd ed. Springhouse (PA):Springhouse Corporation; 1993. p 621.
18 Diseases. 2nd ed. Springhouse (PA):Springhouse Corporation; 1993. p 621.
19 Diseases. 2nd ed. Springhouse (PA):Springhouse Corporation; 1993. p 621.
20 Diseases. 2nd ed. Springhouse (PA):Springhouse Corporation; 1993. p 621.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Part IV of IV - 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. 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.

Source: USANA Health Sciences

Monday, December 04, 2006

Nutritional health: anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension, worry, uneasiness, or dread, especially of the future. A certain amount of anxiety is normal and stimulates the individual to purposeful action. Excess anxiety interferes with efficient functioning of the individual.

Diagnosed anxiety disorders are classified into five basic types: phobias, generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder.


The causes of clinical anxiety range from drug withdrawal (some phobias) to alterations in the brain's biochemistry (panic disorders) to conflict (generalized anxiety disorder). Because of the complexity of the brain and a person's psychological make up, diagnoses and causes may overlap.


The severity of a person's anxiety can range from mild to very severe. Anxiety is a problem when the severity is inappropriate or when it interferes with normal daily functions.

At Risk

Drug abusers including alcoholics are susceptible to anxiety attacks especially during withdrawals. People with a wide variety of psychological or medical disturbances are at risk.

Prevention and Management


It is often important to address any psychological factors underlying anxiety.
Physicians often prescribe various medications to help control severe anxiety.

Nutritional Influences:

Anxiety may be associated with elevated blood lactate level and an increased lactate to pyruvate ratio. This ratio is increased by alcohol, caffeine, and sugar, and deficiencies in niacin, thiamine, or magnesium.
Avoiding or reducing consumption of alcohol6, caffeine7, and sugar 9 may reduce anxiety.
Vitamin B Complex: In an observational study, 7 of 12 agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) patients were deficient in the vitamin B complex.
Calcium: Several case reports suggest low calcium levels may be associated with an organic anxiety syndrome.
Inositol: Inositol may have a calming effect.
Magnesium: Deficiency is often associated with anxiety.

Additional Information

Disclaimer: These websites, addresses and/or phone numbers are provided for information purposes only. USANA, Inc. makes no claim, actual or implied, regarding the content or validity of the information obtained from these outside sources.


Rudin DO. The major psychoses and neuroses as omega-3 essential fatty acid deficiency syndrome: substrate pellagra. Biol Psychiatry 1981 Sep;16(9):837-50. Pellagra was once a major cause of three behaviorally different mental disorders-schizophreniform, manic-depressive-like, and phobic neurotic - plus drying dermatoses, autonomic neuropathies, tinnitus, and fatigue. In this preliminary study all three of the corresponding present-day mental diseases are found to exhibit, statistically, the same pellagraform physical disorders but to ameliorate not so much with vitamins as with supplements of a newly discovered trace omega-3 essential fatty acid (w3-EFA), which provides the substrate upon which niacin and other B vitamin holoenzymes act uniquely to form the prostaglandin 3 series tissue hormones regulating neurocircuits en block. Since present-day refining and food selection patterns, as well as pure corn diets, deplete both the B vitamins and W3-EFA, the existence of therapeutically cross-reacting homologous catalyst and substrate deficiency forms of pellagra are postulated, the first contributing to the B vitamin deficiency epidemics of 50-100 years ago, the second to the more recent endemic "Diseases of Western Civilization" which express in certain genetic subgroups as the major mental illnesses of today.


1 Tabers Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. 16th ed. Philadelphia:FA Davis Company; 1985. p 120.
2 Diseases. Springhouse (PA): Springhouse Corporation;1993. p 52-66.
3 Diseases. Springhouse (PA): Springhouse Corporation;1993. p 52.
4 Roelofs SM. Hyperventilation, anxiety, craving for alcohol: a sub acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Alcohol 1985;2(3):501-5.
5 Buist RA. Anxiety neurosis: The lactate connection. Int Clin Nutr Rev 1985;5(1):1-4.
6 Abbey LC. Agoraphobia. J Orthomol Psychiatry 1982;11:243-259.
7 Werbach M. Nutritional Influences on Mental Illness. Tarzana (CA):Third Line Press. p 52-53.
8 Pfeiffer C. Mental and Elemental Nutrients. New Canaan (CT):Keats Publishing Company; 1975.
9 Seelig MS et al. Latent tetany and anxiety, marginal Mg deficit and normocacemia. Dis Nerv Syst 1975;36:461-65.


Your grandmother knew that and now you do too ...

What is dietary fibre?

Your grandma probably called it roughage. And although she didn't know the scientific basis of fibre, she did know that it was important to include some of it in your diet every day. Well, dietary fibre is not a single food or substance. It is the non-digestible complex of carbohydrates that are found only in plant foods. Fibre itself contribute little to your calorific intake because the body cannot easily absorb it. That's why high fibre foods are low calorie foods.

Fibre can be classified into two categories according to physical characteristics and effects on the body. Fibre is either soluble or insoluble in water. Examples of soluble fibres are gum arabic and pectin found in apples, oranges, pears, peaches and grapes. Soluble fibre absorbs toxins in the large intestine and neutralises them. Insoluble fibre helps to maintain normal blood pressure levels and promotes a growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. I'll talk more about that in a moment. Insoluble fibre also acts like tiny scrub brushes that sweep out faecal residue from the large intestine. With this sweeping action, insoluble fibre aids digestion, elimination and promotes overall bowel regularity. Good examples of insoluble fibres are cellulose and lignin found in fruits, vegetables, dried beans, wheat bran, peas and corn.

There are several reasons why dietary fibre doesn't get the attention it deserves from the medical establishment. First recognition of its role in human physiology is relatively recent. Only in the late 1960s did research on fibre begin in earnest. Second there is still some disagreement on just what dietary fibre really is. Even the word fibre itself is not quite accurate reminding us as it does of long fibrules primarily of cellulose. Its true that the major portion of dietary fibre in foods is derived from plant cell walls, but there are many other substances in plant foods that are considered to be dietary fibre including polysaccharides and gums. While dietary fibre is not considered to be an essential nutrient by many medical authorities, that position may say as much about how far behind the times conventional medical is as it does about the value of fibre in the diet. After all one of the most important reasons why traditional diets such as the Asian diet and the Mediterranean diet were and still are so healthy is because they are high in fibre content.

With a better idea of what dietary fibre is, the next question is: what are the health benefits of consuming adequate amounts of it every day? As on-going clinical studies are showing, the physiological effects of a high fibre diet are many and they are very complex. The first and most obvious thing that fibre does is to increase the bulk of the gastro-intestinal waste forming larger, softer stools that move more quickly through the colon. Its easy to see how this would help to prevent constipation. Many studies indicate that it has a significant effect on moderating glucose levels in the blood. A third major health benefit is that fibre prevents reabsorption from the gut of toxins such as the enzymes in bile acid. The bulk of a high fibre meal causes you to feel satisfied when you eat a moderate-sized meal which helps you to avoid overeating. Also important in weight management is the point that fibre provides almost no calories. Finally, fibre from different sources includes a wide range of micro-nutrients helping you to achieve optimal micro-nutrition.

Fibre's benefits over the long-term are even more impressive and very significant for preventing degenerative disease largely as a result of its cleansing and detoxifying activity. A high fibre diet can significantly reduce the risk of several major degenerative diseases including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and certain cancers. Both adequate amounts of total fibre consumed daily in a recommended ratio of soluble to insoluble fibre are important for promoting gastro-intestinal health. The human GI tract is subjected to enormous and continual stimulation and challenge by foreign antigens from food and ingested microbes. This system of organs must integrate the many complex interactions between your diet, external pathogens, and local immunological processes. There are lymphoid tissues, components of the immune system, all through the gut including the piers patches and lymph nodes in the intestines. There is increasing evidence that fibre especially the types of fibre called prebiotics can help to modulate immune system function.

With more and more studies showing the healthy benefits of a high fibre diet, more nutrition authorities are agreeing that we should include at least a minimal amount of fibre in our daily diet. The US Surgeon General and many professional organisations are recommending a diet containing 20 - 35 grams of fibre per day. I consider this amount to be less than optimal but then the average American diet barely includes half this amount with only about 11 grams per day.

You know, in my travels to underdeveloped parts of the world visiting primitive villages for the Childrens Hunger Fund, I've seen that generally the higher the fibre content in the diet the less need for hospitals, as long as the diets contain sufficient essential nutrients. In these cultures where people consume large amounts of unprocessed starch staples, there a few examples of degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. So rather than using guidelines like the RDA of 20 to 35 grams per day, you should simply include as much fibre as you can in your diet from a wide variety of sources and from both plant foods and fibre supplements.

There are still many nutrition authorities who say that consuming healthy amounts of both types of fibre is fairly easy if you are eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. However eating large enough portions of fruits and vegetables every day to achieve an optimal amount of fibre can be quite difficult especially in today's fast-paced society. That's why you need to consider a fibre supplement. The American Dietetic Association emphasises obtaining your fibre from a wide variety of sources not just a few fruits and vegetables. If you supplement with fibre, you should always look for a product that includes fibre from many different sources. You should also be sure that your fibre supplement provides the correct ratio of soluble to insoluble fibre. An ideal ratio is one unit of insoluble fibre to every two units of soluble fibre.

An effective formulation of dietary supplement also includes types of fibre called prebiotics. Basically they are food for the bacteria in your intestines. You know billions and billions of bacteria are living inside you. The human gastro-intestinal tract is inhabited by several species of beneficial bacteria and you couldn't stay healthy without them. In all the human body is home to more than 200 species of bacteria, but the normal flora of the intestine represents the largest populations. An estimated 10 14 bacteria, that's 1 followed by 14 zeros, are normally in the gastro-intestinal tract. That's as many or more individual organisms than cells in your whole body.

Prebiotics such as the fruit dough, oligosaccharides or FOS, and inulin pass undigested from the stomach into the lower intestine. Once in the lower intestine they nurture the growth of beneficial bacteria both by altering the pH of the environment and by providing food for them. Prebiotics have also been shown to improve the absorption of calcium and they help to balance lipid and cholesterol metabolism as well as aid in immune function of the gastro-intestinal tract.

A modern diet high in meats laced with antibiotics, alcohol and toxic substances in processed foods combined with the stress of contemporary society upsets the normal flora of the gastro-intestinal tract. Prebiotic fibre supplements can help to maintain a healthy environment for beneficial bacteria. As you can see, fibre is valuable for your health more for its function than its content and that's why it plays important roles in so many health conditions.

Since the sources of fibre are natural plant foods, determining your daily intake is not as straight-forward as reading the calorie content from labels on food packages. But if you make a list of each item that you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks then refer to a table of fibre content of foods, you can get a rough idea of how much you need to add to get the recommended amounts. The American Dietetic Association, Hopkins Technology and the American Council of Science and Health, all have websites that provide tables listing the dietary fibre content of common foods. If your diet has been severely deficient in fibre or if you are finding it difficult to consume as much fibre-rich food as you would like, you may not want to add a large dose of fibre to your daily routine suddenly. Instead increase your intake gradually to avoid discomfort. In any case, make sure you drink plenty of water along with your fibre supplement. For efficient functioning of the gastro-intestinal system and elimination of toxins as well as an enhanced immune function, you need to include fibre in your diet every day.

Your grandmother knew that and now you do too ...

Source: Transcript of Dr Myron Wentz, LifeMasters Audio October 2006

Nutritional health: Alzheimer's

General Description
Alzheimers disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder which primarily affects brain structures involved in memory processes and motor skills. Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia, which generally refers to a progressive decline in mental function, memory and acquired intellectual skills.(1)

Pathologically, the brain is reduced in size (atrophy), especially in the frontal occcipital and temporal regions. Histologically, it is characterized by thickening, conglutination, and distortion of the intracellular neurofibrils (neurofibrillary tangles) and by plaques composed of granular or filamentous masses, found predominately in the nerve cells of the cerebral cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus. (1)

Major clinical criteria for the clinical diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's include:
1) deficits in two or more areas of cognition;
2) progressive worsening of memory;
3) absence of other medical or psychological disorders that could account for memory impairment; and
4) clear consciousness despite memory impairment.

The exact cause of Alzheimers is unknown. The etiology is complex and may involve several genes and possible environmental factors.(2)
Chronic exposure to aluminum has been suggested as a possible causative agent in Alzheimers. However, clinical evidence for this link is inconclusive.(3)
Oxidative stress may play a role in the pathogenesis of neuron degeneration and death in Alzheimers (4,5) An increase in free radical production has been demonstrated in Alzheimers disease brain tissue.
In particular, iron has been shown to be a significant component of senile plaques in Alzheimers disease (6) and may contribute to the disease process by initiating lipid peroxidation, leading to membrane damage and ultimately cell death.(7)

At Risk
Alzheimer's disease is obviously related to age, - that is, the older you get the more likely you are to develop Alzheimer's disease or dementia. For instance, the prevalence of dementia is roughly 3% for individuals aged 65 to 74, whereas it is 18.7% for individuals between the ages of 75 and 84 and nearly 50% for those over age 85. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that genetic factors may play a part in some forms of AD.
Clinical manifestations of mental deterioration, memory loss, confusion, and disorientation may begin in late mid-life (>45 years old). Death usually results in about 5 to 10 years after diagnosis.

Prevention and Management

Nutrition influences:
Nutritional support is important in the treatment of Alzheimers.(2)
In patients with moderately severe impairment from Alzheimer's disease, treatment with alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) or selegiline slows the progression of disease.(8)
There is an association between Alzheimers and low serum cobalamin (vitamin B12) levels.(9)
Deficiency of choline, an important component of membrane phospholipids and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, may play a role in the etiology of Alzheimers(10)


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Part III of IV - 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.
Source: 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.
Source: 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.
Source: 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.
Source: 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.
Source: 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.
Source: 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.
Source: 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. Source: 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.
Source: 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.
Source: 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.
Source: 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%.
Source: 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.
Source: 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.
Source: 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.
Source: AREDS report no. 8. Arch Ophthalmol 2001;119:1417-36.

Research has shown a significant relationship between flavonoid intakes and the occurrence of asthma.
Source: 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.
Source: 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.
Source: Sano M et al. N Engl J Med 1997;336:1216- 22.

Source: USANA Health Sciences

Friday, November 24, 2006

Part II of IV: Antioxidants - Sources and Dietary Intakes Antioxidants

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:
Phytochemical : Food Source
Allyl Sulfides : Onions, garlic, leeks, chives
Carotenoids (e.g. lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin) : Tomatoes, carrots, watermelon, kale, spinach
Curcumin : Turmeric
Flavonoids (e.g. anthocyanadins, resveratrol, quercitin, catechins) : Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, apples, grapefruit, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries
Glutathione : Green leafy vegetables
Indoles : Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy
Isoflavones : Legumes (peas, soybeans)
Isothiocyanates (e.g. sulforaphane) : Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, bok choy
Lignans : Seeds (flax seeds, sunflower seeds)
Monoterpenes : Citrus fruit peels, cherries, nuts
Phytic Acid : Whole grains, legumes
Phenols, polyphenols, phenolic compounds (e.g. ellagic acid, ferrulic acid, tannins) : Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, grapefruit, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, tea
Saponins : 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.
Source: USANA Health Sciences

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Part I of IV: 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.
Source: USANA Health Sciences

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Nutritional health: allergies

Allergic disorders are characterized by potentially harmful reactions to extrinsic materials or allergens. They include allergic rhinitis (hay fever), atopic dermatitis, anaphylaxis, hives, and blood transfusion reactions.(1)

The immune response is the bodys defense mechanism which identifies and destroys harmful foreign organisms. Allergic reactions are an overreaction of the bodys defense mechanism. This overreaction can lead to swelling, itching and many other symptoms all with varying degrees of severity.

It is important to remember that the immune response is vital for protecting the body from foreign invaders and when working correctly its importance cannot be understated. Asthma and allergies are among the most common health problems, with as many as 50 million Americans afflicted with asthma, hay fever or other allergy-related conditions.

The preponderance of food allergies are caused by eggs, milk, wheat, fish, shellfish, nuts, peanuts, soybeans and rice.

One of the most severe allergic reactions is anaphylaxis, which is "marked by the sudden onset of rapidly progressive urticaria (a vascular reaction of the skin) and respiratory distress." (2)

The reasons that the body overreacts to a particular antigen are not well understood. It is known that it takes time and repeated exposure to an antigen for an allergic response to take place. There is also evidence that susceptibility to allergies have a hereditary component.

At Risk
There is a genetic predisposition for atopic allergies, but not for any particular allergy itself. (3)

Prevention and Management
General: Avoid the materials or organisms that initiate the allergic reaction. This may mean avoiding certain foods or environments.

Nutritional Influences:
  • Avoid foods that contain ingredients which cause allergic reactions.
  • Vitamin A deficiencies may increase inflammatory responses.(4)
  • Nicotinamide has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of glucocorticoids in the treatment of allergic reactions. (5)
  • Pantothenic Acid: In one clinical trial the majority of more than 100 patients with allergic rhinitis who took pantothenic acid had almost instant relief. (6)
  • Vitamin C: May have a protective effect on airway hyperactivity in some patients with exercise induced asthma.(7)
  • Vitamin E: In elderly patients vitamin E supplementation reduced hypersensitivity reactions to various antigens and vaccines.(8)
  • Selenium: Selenium supplementation may be beneficial to patients with intrinsic asthma. (9)
  • Zinc, Selenium and Copper: Levels may be low in children with allergic colitis. (10)
  • Iron: High body iron stores may increase free radical production and may also elevate asthma risk.(11)
  • Proanthocyanidins: May reduce adverse allergic and inflammatory responses.(12)

  • Additional Information Disclaimer: These websites, addresses and/or phone numbers are provided for information purposes only. USANA, Inc. makes no claim, actual or implied, regarding the content or validity of the information obtained from these outside sources.
    Meydani SN, Meydani M, Blumberg JB, Leka LS, Siber G, Loszewski R, Thompson C, Pedrosa MC, Diamond RD, Stollar BD. Vitamin E supplementation and in vivo immune response in healthy elderly subjects. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1997 May 7;277(17):1380-6.OBJECTIVE: To determine whether long-term supplementation with vitamin E enhances in vivo, clinically relevant measures of cell-mediated immunity in healthy elderly subjects. DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 88 free-living, healthy subjects at least 65 years of age. INTERVENTION: Subjects were randomly assigned to a placebo group or to groups consuming 60, 200, or 800 mg/d of vitamin E for 235 days. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Delayed-type hypersensitivity skin response (DTH); antibody response to hepatitis B, tetanus and diphtheria, and pneumococcal vaccines; and autoantibodies to DNA and thyroglobulin were assessed before and after supplementation. RESULTS: Supplementation with vitamin E for 4 months improved certain clinically relevant indexes of cell-mediated immunity in healthy elderly. Subjects consuming 200 mg/d of vitamin E had a 65% increase in DTH and a 6-fold increase in antibody titer to hepatitis compared with placebo (17% and 3-fold, respectively), 60-mg/d (41% and 3-fold, respectively), and 800-mg/d (49% and 2.5-fold, respectively) groups. The 200-mg/d group also had a significant increase in antibody titer to tetanus vaccine. Subjects in the upper tertile of serum alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) concentration (>48.4 micromol/L [2.08 mg/dL]) after supplementation had higher antibody response to hepatitis B and DTH. Vitamin E supplementation had no effect on antibody titer to diphtheria and did not affect immunoglobulin levels or levels of T and B cells. No significant effect of vitamin E supplementation on autoantibody levels was observed. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that a level of vitamin E greater than currently recommended enhances certain clinically relevant in vivo indexes of T-cell-mediated function in healthy elderly persons. No adverse effects were observed with vitamin E supplementation.

    1 Diseases. Springhouse (PA): Springhouse Corporation;1993. p 52-66.
    2 Diseases. Springhouse (PA): Springhouse Corporation;1993. p 52.
    3 Tabers Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. 16th ed. Philadelphia:FA Davis Company; 1985. p 120.
    4 Wiedermann U, Chen XJ, Enerblack L, Hanson LA, Kahu H, Dahlgren UI. Vitamin A deficiency increases inflammatory responses. Scand J Immunolo 1996 Dec;44(6):58-84.
    5 Kosogorova LS, Kovalenko NN, Liubenko VA, Novosad FI. Recovery of immunological responsiveness in patients with bronchial asthma during nicotinamide treatment. Probl Tuberk 1996;(5):41-4.
    6 Martin W. On treating allergic disorders. Letter. Townsend Letter for Doctors 1991 Aug/Sep:671-1.
    7 Cohen HA, Neuman I, Nahum H. Blocking effect of vitamin C in exercise-induced asthma. Arch Pediatr Adolese Med 1997 Apr;151(4):367-70.
    8 Meydani SN, Meydani M, Blumberg JB, Leka LS, Siber G, Loszewski R, Thompson C, Pedrosa MC, Diamind RD, Stollar BD. Vitamin E supplementation and in vivo immune response in healthy elderly subjects. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 1997 May 7;277(17):1380-6.
    9 Kadrabova J, Madaric A, Kovacikova Z, Podivinsky F, Ginter E, Gazdik F. Selenium status is decreased in patients with intrinsic asthma. Biol Trace Elem Res 1996 Jun;52(3):241-8.
    10 Ojuawo A, Lindley KJ, Milla PJ. Serum zinc, selenium and copper concentration in children with allergic colitis. East Afr Med J 1996 Apr;73(4):236-8.
    11 Greene LS. Asthma and oxidant stress: nutritional, environmental, and genetic risk factors. J Am Coll Nutr 1995 Aug;14(4):317-24.
    12 Read MA. Flavonoids: naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents [comment]. Am J Pathol 1995;147(2):235-7.

    Source: USANA Health Sciences

    Saturday, November 11, 2006

    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 of 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.

    Source: Antioxidants block prostate cancer in lady transgenic mice, Venkateswaran V, Fleshner NE, Sugar LM, Klotz LH, Cancer Res. 2004 Aug 15;64(16):5891-6.

    Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    Nutritional health: acne

    Acne vulgaris, the most common form of acne, is an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous (oil secreting) glands and hair follicles of the skin. It is characterized by comedones (blackheads) , papules (pimples), and pustules (blisters). (1)

    (a) Many factors can cause acne. Research has centered on hormonal dysfunction and oversecretion of sebum as possible primary causes.(2) A diet high in fat can contribute to acne vulgaris. Acne is associated with oily skin due to an excess of sebum, the fatty secretion of the sebaceous glands. Eating fat increases sebum production.(3,4)

    (b) The Western diet has been associated with an increased incidence of acne.(3) A diet low in fiber may be a contributing factor. Far less acne is found among the black population in Zambia eating their traditional diets, than among young blacks in the United States.(4)

    (c) One new theory is that a deficiency of pantothenic acid may play a role in some cases.(5)

    At Risk
    This disease is most common in adolescence. Acne activity is primarily dependent on the genetic sensitivity of the hair follicle and oil gland to androgenic (male) hormones circulating in the blood stream.

    Prevention and Management

    Most teenage acne will clear as the follicles mature and become less sensitive to the hormone induced changes, however in some, it will persist well into adulthood, especially those with strong genetic tendencies toward acne. The most important method of prevention is to keep the skin clean and free from dirt and oil.(6)

    Nutritional Influences:
    A low-fat, high-fiber, nutrient-dense diet adequate in vitamins and minerals and low in sugar, refined and convenience foods should be consumed. In one experimental study, patients experienced a rapid clearing of acne following supplementation with one ounce of bran cereal daily.(7) More studies are needed to determine if a high fiber diet is useful in treating acne.
    Blood zinc levels are often lower in people who suffer from acne.(8)

    Studies have shown that selenium is beneficial for treating acne pustules, possibly because one of the functions of selenium is to help fight infections. Patients with low RBC glutathione peroxidase levels and pustular acne responded best to selenium supplementation.(9)

    Vitamin E works closely with selenium. Syndromes caused by selenium deficiency overlap those caused by a vitamin E deficiency; because of the close relationship, vitamin E and selenium are often combined to make treatment more effective.(10)

    Vitamin A and its synthetic derivatives appear to be beneficial; high doses are needed, however. Because of the potential for toxicity, vitamin A and vitamin A derivatives should be used only under medical supervision.

    Vitamin E affects the biologic utilization of vitamin A. The absorption of vitamin A is markedly impaired in vitamin E deficient animals.(11,12)

    Excess supplementation of iodine may cause or exacerbate acneiform eruptions.(13) Kelp as a dietary supplement (14) or fast foods (15) may contain sufficient iodine for this adverse effect.
    A deficiency of omega-6 essential fatty acids in the pilosebaceous epithelium might account for follicular hyperkeratosis in acne.(16)

    Kremer JM, Bigaouette J. Nutrient intake of patients with rheumatoid arthritis is deficient in pyridoxine, zinc, copper, and magnesium. J Rheumatol 1996 Jun;23(6):990-4. OBJECTIVE: To determine nutrient intake of patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and compare it with the typical American diet (TAD) and the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). METHODS: 41 patients with active RA recorded a detailed dietary history. Information collected was analyzed for nutrient intake of energy, fats, protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals, which were then statistically compared with the TAD and the RDA. RESULTS: Both men and women ingested significantly less energy from carbohydrates [women 47.4% (6.4) vs 55% RDA. p = 0.0001: men = 48.9% (7.4). p = 0.025] and more energy from fat [women = 36.8% (4.5) vs 30% RDA. p = 0.001 and men = 35.2% (5.9) p = 0.02]. Women ingested significantly more saturated and mono-unsaturated fat than the RDA (p = 0.02 and p = 0.04 respectively) while men ingested significantly less polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) (p = 0.0001). Both groups took in less fiber (p = 0.0001). Deficient dietary intake of pyridoxine was observed vs the RDA for both sexes (men and women p = 0.0001). Deficient folate intake was seen vs the TAD for men (p = 0.02) with a deficient trend in women (p = 0.06). Zinc and magnesium intake was deficient vs the RDA in both sexes (p values < or =" 0.001)" p =" 0.004" p =" 0.02">Leung LH. Pantothenic acid deficiency as the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. Med Hypotheses 1995 Jun;44(6):490-2. For years, the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris has been known to be strongly influenced by hormonal factors. However, the exact role of and the interrelationship among the various hormones in question have not been well elucidated. Here, I wish to suggest a radically different theory for its pathogenesis and relate its basic pathology to a deficiency in pantothenic acid, a vitamin hitherto not known to cause any deficiency syndrome in humans. Hence, the effect of hormonal factors in this disease entity becomes secondary to that of the availability of pantothenic acid. A complete cure of this condition is effected by a very liberal replacement therapy with the vitamin.

    (1) Diseases. 2nd ed. Springhouse (PA):Springhouse Corporation. 1997. p 1173.
    (2) Diseases. 2nd ed. Springhouse (PA):Springhouse Corporation. 1997. p 1173.
    (3) Rosenberg EW, Kirk BS. Acne diet reconsidered. Arch Dermatol 1981;117:193-95.
    (4) Klurfeld DM. The Diet and Acne. Archives of Dermatology 1983;119(4):276.
    (5) Leung LH. Pantothenic acid deficiency as the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. Med Hypotheses 1995 Jun;44(6):490-2
    (6) Somer E. The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. New York:HarperPerennial. 1992.
    (7) Putzier E. Dermatomycoses and an antifungal diet. Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift 1989 Aug 31;139(15-16): 379-80.
    (8) Pohit J et al. Zinc status of acne vulgaris patients. J Appl Nutr 1985;37(1):18-25.
    (9) Michaelsson G, Edqvist L. Erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity in acne vulgaris and the effect of selenium and vitamin E treatment. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 1984;64(1):9-14.
    (10) Michaelsson G, Edqvist L. Erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity. in acne vulgaris and the effect of selenium and vitamin E treatment. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 1984;64(1):9-14.
    (11) Ames SR. Factors affecting absorption, transport and storage of vitamin A. Am J Clin Nutr 1969;22:934.
    (12) Ayers S Jr, Mihan R. Acne vulgaris and lipid peroxidation: New concepts in pathogenesis and treatment. Int J Dermatol 1978;17:305.
    (13) Hitch JM. Acneiform eruptions induced by drugs and chemicals. JAMA 1967;200:879-80.
    (14) Fischer AA. Contact Dermatitis. 3rd ed. Philadelphia:Lea and Febiger;1986. p 593.
    (15) How nutritious are fast-foods? Consum Rep 1975;40:278-81.
    (16) Downing DT et al. Essential fatty acids and acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol 1986;14:221-25.


    Disclaimer: The information provided is strictly educational and not intended as medical advice. For diagnosis and treatment, consult your health care professional. This information may be copied and freely distributed only if all text remains intact and unchanged.

    Monday, October 30, 2006

    Folate intake still below recommendations despite fortification

    Despite significant improvements in public health measures to increase folate intakes through fortification of grain products, dietary intakes still fall well below recommendations. Regular use of a multivitamin supplement containing folic acid is an easy way to ensure that you receive an adequate intake.

    Folate is found in foods such as green leafy vegetables, chick peas and lentils, and it is increasingly accepted that folate deficiency in early pregnancy is linked to a risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly in infants. This connection led to the introduction of public health measures in the US and Canada, whereby all grain products are fortified with folic acid " the synthetic, bioavailable form of folate. A new study, published in October's American Journal of Public Health, concluded that since fortification was implemented folic acid intake has in fact increased, but not nearly enough to meet FDA goals and recommendations. Even with significant improvements and widespread fortification, only 39 percent of white women, 26 percent of black women, and 28 percent of Mexican American women attained the 400 microgram per day target for folate consumption. In addition, over half the subgroups showed a decrease in folic acid intake since fortification began in 1998. The FDA recommends at least 400 micrograms of folate daily for nonpregnant women, and adult men, as well as children four and older. However, the daily recommendation for pregnant women increases to at least 800 micrograms per day. Despite the fact that recent surveys show that the majority of women know the importance of folic acid, daily folic acid supplementation appears to be critical since dietary intakes still fall well below recommendations.

    Source: Population-Level Changes in Folate Intake by Age, Gender, and Race/Ethnicity after Folic Acid Fortification, Tanya G.K. Bentley, Walter C. Willett, Milton C. Weinstein, and Karen M. Kuntz, American Journal of Public Health, November 2006, 96(11), 2040-2047

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Good news for Alzheimer’s sufferers

    Alzheimer's is a cruel and progressive disease,
    which affects memory, emotion and thought processes.
    It is estimated that there are approximately 18
    million sufferers worldwide - some 5 per cent of the
    world's elderly population. Worryingly, experts
    claim that the condition is on the increase and
    predict that by 2020, Alzheimer's will affect up to
    30 million people.

    Although exactly what causes the condition is still
    not clear, significant data exists supporting the
    build-up of plaque in the brain from beta-amyloid

    Now scientists from the US have found that curcumin
    - the natural pigment that gives the spice turmeric
    (a common ingredient in curries) its yellow colour -
    could boost the body's ability to clear the build up
    of plaques in the brain that are linked to
    Alzheimer's disease.

    The new research appears to indicate that curcumin,
    could help the body's immune system clear away these
    beta-amyloid deposits and reduce the risk of
    developing the disease.

    Commenting on the findings, Dr Milan Fiala from the
    David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said:
    "Curcumin improved ingestion of amyloid beta by
    immune cells in 50 percent of patients with
    Alzheimer's disease. These initial findings
    demonstrate that curcumin may help boost the immune
    system of specific Alzheimer's disease patients."

    The many health benefits linked to curcumin

    Curcumin has increasingly come under the scientific
    spotlight in recent years, with studies
    investigating its potential benefits for reducing
    cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health
    and cancer-fighting abilities.

    The current US research adds to this by reporting on
    a small laboratory study using blood from six
    Alzheimer's disease patients (aged 65 to 84) and
    three healthy controls. The focus was on
    macrophages, the 'foot soldiers' of the immune
    system that clean up harmful waste products in the
    body, including beta-amyloid deposits.

    The isolated macrophages were exposed to a curcumin-
    derived compound for 24 hours before beta-amyloid
    was introduced. It was found that macrophages from
    three out of six Alzheimer's disease patients showed
    improved uptake or ingestion of the waste product
    compared to the patients' macrophages not treated
    with curcumin.

    The age of the patient and the stage of the
    Alzheimer's disease appeared to be key factors in
    the effectiveness of the curcumin compound, reported
    the researchers, with younger patients and patients
    with early-stage Alzheimer's apparently more
    receptive to the benefits.

    No effects were reported for the macrophages from
    the healthy controls when exposed to the curcumin-
    derived compound.

    "We are hopeful that these positive results in a
    test tube may translate to clinical use, but more
    studies need to be done before curcumin can be
    recommended," said Dr Fiala.

    The mechanism behind these apparent effects is not
    clear and significant further study is needed to
    further examine the potential effects. "Our next
    step will be to identify the factors that helped
    these immune cells respond," said co-researcher
    Laura Zhang from UCLA.

    The researchers concluded that: "Immunomodulation of
    the innate immune system by curcuminoids might be a
    safe approach to immune clearance of amyloidosis in
    Alzheimer's Disease brain."

    The new study extends previous findings examining
    the neuroprotective effects of curcumin. Experts
    recommend however that consumers wishing to make use
    of curcumin's properties consume it in supplement
    form rather than eating more curries, which tend to
    be rather high in fat in their Western form.

    Source: Health Sciences Institute e-Alert, 13 October 2006
    from The Healthier Life

    N.B. USANA's Essentials has CURCUMIN EXTRACT (CURCUMA LONGA L., ROOT) 15.0 mg † - see full ingredients here

    Mediterranean-style diet cuts risk of Alzheimer's disease by 68 percent

    New research indicates that the Mediterranean diet rich in antioxidants and polyphenols reduce oxidative stress and protect against the development of Alzheimer's disease.

    The Mediterranean diet, rich in cereals, wine, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grains, fish and olive oil, has been linked to lower incidence of heart disease, protection against some cancers, and a longer life. The diet's main nutritional components include beta-carotene, vitamin C, tocopherols, polyphenols and essential minerals. A new study published on-line in the Archives of Neurology indicates that it is these antioxidants and polyphenols that appear to offer protection, not simply an improvement in heart health. After adjusting the results for age, education, BMI, smoking status, and ethnicity, the researchers reported that people with the highest adherence to a model Mediterranean diet were associated with a 60 per cent lower risk of Alzheimer's disease, compared to people with the lowest adherence to the diet. When the researchers took into account general heart health, such as history of stroke, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and cholesterol, the associations for the high adherence group grew stronger, with an associated risk reduction of 68 per cent. These results indicate that the protection gained by following a Mediterranean- type diet is not a result of the cardiovascular factors, and it may be more related to factors such as inflammation and oxidative stress. The researchers noted that the Mediterranean diet contains high levels of important antioxidants and polyphenols, and it could be the combination of these various dietary compounds that could partially explain the reduced risk of Alzheimer's Disease. The study follows another study by the same researchers, published earlier this year in the Annals of Neurology (Vol. 59, pp. 912 - 921), in which elderly individuals whose diet closely resembled the Mediterranean diet had a 40 per cent lower risk of Alzheimer's than those who followed the diet the least.

    Source: Mediterranean diet and risk for Alzheimer's disease, Nikolaos Scarmeas, Yaakov Stern, Ming-Xin Tang, Richard Mayeux, Jose A. Luchsinger, Annals of Neurology (Vol. 59, pp. 912 - 921)

    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Fish oil supplements may reduce heart disease risk more effectively than statin drugs

    A large research review showed that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil were more effective than statin drugs in reducing the risk of death from heart disease.

    A large research review published in the April 11, 2005 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine analyzed the effects of various dietary and drug regimens on overall mortality and mortality from coronary heart disease. Researchers reviewed 97 clinical trials that, in total, included 275,000 men and women. This analysis evaluated the risk of death as a function of diet, the use of lipid lowering drugs, intakes of omega-3 fatty acids (commonly found in fish and fish oil supplements), and intakes of the B vitamin niacin. Statins (a class of lipid lowering drugs) and omega-3 fatty acids significantly lowered both overall mortality and death due to heart disease during the trial periods. When compared to controls, overall mortality risk was reduced 13% by statin drugs and 23% by omega-3 fatty acids. When the risk of death from heart disease alone was examined, statin drugs and omega-3 fatty acids lowered mortality by 22% and 32%, respectively. Omega-3 fatty acids did not reduce cholesterol levels significantly. As such, researchers suggested that their benefits may have been due to protection against heart arrhythmias and systemic inflammation.

    Source: Effect of Different Antilipidemic Agents and Diets on Mortality, Marco Studer, Matthias Briel, Bernd Leimenstoll, Tracy R. Glass, Heiner C. Bucher, Arch Intern Med. 2005; 165:725-730.

    Sunday, September 24, 2006

    Beneficial effects of magnesium are similar to statin drugs

    Because of its many cardiovascular benefits and good safety profile, many researchers suggest that magnesium supplementation could be a viable alternative for those who cannot or choose not to take statin drugs.

    Statins are a class of drugs commonly prescribed for individuals with elevated cholesterol levels, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. While statins are effective, they also carry undesirable side-effects, and some people cannot, or choose not to use them. A review published in the October 2004 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that the essential nutrient magnesium provides many of the same cardiovascular benefits ascribed to statin drugs. The authors noted that both statin drugs and magnesium can inactivate the enzyme responsible for the first step in cholesterol formation, thus lowering LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Both can improve the function of blood vessels, reduce inflammation, and provide other cardiovascular benefits. Magnesium, however, can also help elevate beneficial HDL cholesterol levels while reducing triglycerides. In addition, magnesium is necessary for the enzyme that converts essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acids) into compounds that reduce inflammation. Optimal levels of magnesium also provide natural calcium channel blocker activity, which helps dilate blood vessels and control blood pressure. Because of its many cardiovascular benefits, relatively low cost, and good safety profile, the authors suggested that increasing magnesium intakes through diet and supplementation could provide a viable alternative for those who cannot, or choose not to take statin drugs. Note: If you are currently taking a statin drug to lower cholesterol, do not discontinue its use except on the advice of your physician. This information is not meant to imply that magnesium supplements should replace all statin drugs. However, adequate magnesium is very important for cardiovascular health, especially for those at risk for coronary artery disease.

    Source: Comparison of Mechanism and Functional Effects of Magnesium and Statin Pharmaceuticals, Andrea Rosanoff Mildred S. Seelig, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 23, No. 5, 501S-505S (2004)

    Friday, September 22, 2006

    "The Power of Two" theme song

    Listen to the theme song from the International Convention 2006.

    The Power of Two by Collin Raye

    I used to think that winning
    Was to break the tape alone
    And to climb the highest mountain
    Reach the top on my own
    But the climb is so much lighter
    When there’s someone helping you
    And there is no greater glory
    Than to share the summits view.

    The pastime of the lonely
    Is the game of solitaire
    But for life to be worth living
    It always takes a pair
    If you’re staring in the mirror
    And all you see is you
    It’s time to look beyond yourself
    And see the power of two


    Can you feel the power of a million voices
    Who have all made choices to share a higher view
    Can you feel the power when we join together
    To make the future better
    For me and you
    Can the feel the power
    Can you feel The power of two

    Once in every lifetime
    There’s a song you want to share
    A song of health and freedom
    With people everywhere
    There’s a vision of tomorrow rising up inside of you
    But you’ve got to pass it forward
    To get the power of two


    Feel the power, we’ve only just begun
    To feel the power, of just one plus one

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    USANA patented product "Olivol"

    At Convention, Dr Ladd MacNamara of the Medical Advisory Board spoke about the following (briefly noted):

    Goddess Athena gave Athens the gift of the olive branch.

    Polyphenol antioxidant unique + Vit C + Vit E decreases risk of disease - mediterranean diet best.

    Crete 1st, Italy 2nd, Spain 3rd - in Crete cancer is rare .... UK/US some 37 times less olive oil is consumed.

    Cretians consume 2 to 3 oz per day / 60 to 90 grams per day (700 cals per day).

    Essentials Mega Antioxidant has 30mg of patented Olivol product = 60 grams of olive oil.

    Hepasil has 45 mg of Olivol extract = 90 grams of olive oil.

    Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women ... treatment? nothing just a mammogram.

    With just 10 grams of olive oil, breast cancer risk is halved.


    At Convention, Dr Monica Lewis of the Medical Advisory Board spoke about the following (briefly noted):

    Magnesium in Active Calcium and the chewable version for kids contain magnesium to help absorption of calcium into the bone.

    Osteoporosis -> bone pain, collapsed vertebrae, fractures, starts in teens.

    USANA Active Calcium study: 100 no. 12-year olds took 4 tabs a day and 4 placebos over one year ... showed increased bone density and bone tissue.

    Magnesium is the forgotten mineral which we universally require.

    Mg and Ca work together for bone, muscle and nerve transmission.

    We all need extra Mg.

    When muscles/nerves relax - Ca out, Mg in.

    Shortage? Ca is not a problem as it is stored in the body but Mg is not.

    Mg shortage - nerves on edge. Muscles all over body can be affected - raised blood pressure, muscle tightening (asthma, cramp, migraines), nerve twitching - anxious, on edge, depression, grumpy teenagers, poor sleep, inability to relax, heart palpitations.

    You're short of Mg when you crave chocolate!

    Conclusion: treasure these products - Active Calcium and Chewable Calcium.

    The USANA difference for kids

    At Convention, Dr Christine Wood of the Medical Advisory Board spoke about the following (briefly noted):

    A. Why do kids need supplements?
    B. USANA difference?
    C. Why take the opportunity to educate?

    A. Why do kids need supplements?

    Advergaming - advertising of food and drinks on-line
    Are kids too wired for their own good?
    TVs in bedrooms - 3 hrs/day, 8 hrs media multi-tasking
    Changing food - depletion of nutrients
    Microwave nutrient deficiency - 97% lost compared with 11% steamed
    Kids junk food

    B. USANA difference?

    Spinabifida from folate deficiency

    Tablet disintegration study - 3 out of 9 vits aren't released reviews

    Use betacarotene - precursor to Vit A - no toxicity

    No iron - no toxicity build up

    Comparative Guide 5* listing

    Xylitol inc. in Usanimals - natural sweetner decreases dental caries and ear infections

    Omega 3: 6 ratio (brain development, behaviour ADD/ADHD)

    Recommendations: Usanimals, OptOmega in shakes, Calcium, bioflavinoids (Proflavanol), macro optimisers (Paediactrics March 2003)

    C. Why take the opportunity to educate?

    Doh! because of cradle-to-grave marketing affecting us and our kids. Take social responsibility to educate.

    Dr. Wentz's tribute to Linus Pauling

    At Convention, Dr Wentz spoke about the following (briefly noted):

    USANA's success is due to focus on the balance between micro and macro nutrition.

    Introduced Linus Pauling who had wide interests with his wife Ava Helen - two Nobel prizes in 1954 for biochemistry and in '62 for peace. More here.

    Read more of his work here ... in a nutshell, he became interested in orthomolecular medicine (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) in the 1960's.

    Oxidative stress/cell degeneration is the major cause of all disease - causes us to rust from the inside out. Free radical theory of aging -> chronic degenerative disease.

    AO's understood then to be vits A C E and zinc ... now many - see Essentials list. Different AO's act against different free radicals. AO's act as teams. Men need more AO's than women. When you reach 50, you need more AO's.

    Current free radical research

    Trial: high level AO's successfully treats Alzheimers.

    Wide range of AOs plays important part in body health - eyes, prostate, cancer.

    Polyphenol (olive oil) reduces HDL cholesterol.

    Vit E protects against pesticides.

    Oxidative stress = 80/90% of all chronic degenerative disease.

    Pharmaceutical-induced disease (statins) causes deficiency of CoQ10 and also cholesterol which is a precursor to healthy hormones necessary for the building blocks Vit D and bile (for digestion). The low cholesterol level leads to stroke, respiratory disease, depression and in some cases suicide.


    "Greatest contribution to public health is intake of AO's at optimum level" ref. Dr. Pauling.

    "Nutritional medicine will be taking a prominent place in 21st century healthcare" ref. Dr Wentz.

    "I think it is a good idea to regard the 21st century as a century for life when attention is paid to human beings and their happiness and health" ref. Dr. Pauling.

    "That's why USANA is focussed on researching the best nutritional supplements in the world. Supplementation is key to preventing disease." ref Dr. Wentz.

    "Our goal should be a world that every person born into it has the possibility of leading a good life." ref Dr. Pauling.

    Linus Pauling Institute and USANA history

    1974 Gull Labs (Dr Wentz's previous company) was formed and Linus Pauling Institute was partly-supported by Gull
    1994 Linus Pauling died - troubled times -> Oregon State Uni
    2006 USANA celebrates Linus Pauling's legacy being continued by Steven Lawson

    Steven Lawson talks about LPI and the healthcare economy.

    Glycemic control

    Just come back from Convention - excuse the plug, but simply awesome.

    Dr. Ray Strand of the medical advisory board spoke on the captioned topic.

    Hypo-caloric diets are doomed to fail:

    • low or v.low caloric intake (400 to 1,000 cals)

    • tremendous reliance on will power

    • many are high carb/low fat programs (isogenics, Jenny Craig, weight watchers)

    Metabolic syndrome X - an underlying disease process

    • central obesity - muscle becomes insulin resistant first

    • high blood pressure

    • low LDL

    which happens because of oxidative stress which creates insulin resistance and therefore increases insulin levels => glycemic stress.

    In 5 years diabetes +500%.

    Triglycerides/HDL >2 => insulin resistance.

    25% adults have metabolic syndrome (Ford, JAMA).

    1/3 of children today will become diabetic (CDC).

    45% of diabetes in children today is Type 2.

    Children given high GI meals ate 80% more calories in a day.

    Then there's a techincal looking curve which shows a graph over 20 years where as insulin resistance increases then so does fasting plasma glucose with a corresponding reduction in insulin production leading to Type 2 diabetes.

    The Health for Life Program

    1. Healthy diet - low GI carbs, good fats and proteins

    2. Modest exercise

    3. Cellular nutrition - USANA's Essentials or HealthPak 100

    Transition with products:

    a) Start with RESET (5-day high fibre cleanse);

    b) followed by Phase 1 maintenance with two meal replacments and one low GI meal and snack; and

    c) followed by Phase 2 maintenance with with one meal replacment and two low GI meals and snacks.

    and Certified Team Leader program - education, awareness and behaviour modification program which I am registered on to teach.

    Western Internation Review Board (with Drs Tim Wood and Ray Strand)

    Study protocol - 25 participants, 12-week clinical trial

    Average 13 lbs weight loss, 2" waist loss

    Cholesterol 206 -> 176

    Triglycerides 141 -> 106

    Systolic bp 131 -> 121

    Diastolic bp 86 ->80

    Insulin sensitivity index 111 -> 127 (+12%)

    Blood insulin (120 min) 34-> 19

    Holistic prevention to cancer prevention

    Just come back from Convention - excuse the plug, but it was a wonderful experience.

    Dr. Monica Lewis of the medical advisory board spoke on the captioned topic.

    There are no drugs which can prevent cancer but nutrition can (quoted various studies).

    Breast cancer

    Risk factors: night work, HRT pills, excess alcohol, red meat and high fat intake.

    +ve studies for vitamins E, B6, K and folate - and the mineral selenium.

    Aboriginal women have no breast cancer!

    Breast fat stores toxins and chemicals from household cleaners and parabens.

    So have massages and if poss lymphatic massages from time to time and wear a loose bra or camisole!

    Bras - increased odds of getting breast cancer
    24 hrs/day - 3 out of 4
    12 hrs/day - 1 out of 7

    Prostate cancer

    Studies show decreased risk with selenium, omega 3 and lycopene.


    Two areas for action: attack cancer cells and strengthen immune system.

    Cancer cells grow fast and outgrow oxygen supplies.

    Treatment 1 - make life hard for cancer cells by:
    a) low sugar/ low GI diet as cancer cells need sugar;
    N.B. 40% of cancer deaths are caused by malnutrition
    b) exercise as cancer cells do not like oxygen; and
    c) alkalise.

    Treatment 2 - conventional therapy

    Treatment 3 - protective and beneficial lifestyle, diet and exercise by:
    a) eating organic, in technicolour and dont overcook cruciferous foods;
    b) massage and detox;

    Treatment 4 - nutritional supplements - see Linus Pauling Institute

    Treatment 5 - mental attitude
    a) if a patient is confident about a treatment, don't knock it;
    b) meditation and imagery; and
    c) spiritual awareness and growth.

    Drug-induced nutrient depletion

    Just come back from Convention - excuse the plug, but it inspiring.

    Dr. Bart Moore of the medical advisory board spoke on the captioned topic. A google search using the same term provides only a few references.

    Top 5 causes of death:

    1. Cancer
    2. Heart disease
    3. Stroke
    4. Lung disease
    5. DRUGS
    6. Accidents

    Also, Dr. Wentz spoke of Lipitor and Zocor - two of the US's best-selling drugs at $15bn sales and 75m prescriptions - these deplete Coenzyme Q10 which lead to high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and low energy.... and the no. 1 prescriptive drug at 100m is acetaminophen which depletes glutathiones which decrease hepatic detoxification and immunity.

    Success from Home

    Success from Home a third-party, national newsstand magazine that focuses on the direct sales industry, has chosen to profile USANA in its entire November 2006 issue.

    The magazine includes profiles of some of USANA's top independent Associates, an in-depth look at USANA Founder Dr. Myron Wentz, articles about USANA's nutritional and skin-care products, and profiles of some of the many world-class athletes who trust their health to USANA.

    The issue also contains articles from well-known authors and business consultants Robert Kiyosaki, Stephen Covey, Denis Waitley, and Amanda Gore.

    Included is a combined DVD and CD featuring about 10 mins of content to whet your appetite!

    Read press release here. Ask and you shall receive ...

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    Vitamin D 'slashes cancer risk'

    Ref. Daily Mail 15 September 2006
    Many more here

    Taking vitamin D tablets could substantially reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, research suggests. US scientists found taking the tablets cut the risk of a disease, which has a poor prognosis in almost half of cases. There are more than 3,600 new cases of pancreatic cancer in women and more than 3,500 in men in the UK each year. Surgery is not often effective. Vitamin D was examined as it previously showed promise in cutting the risk of prostate, breast and colon cancer. See here.

    The results of this study don't mean that people should take vitamin D supplements to ward off pancreatic cancer. Henry Scowcroft

    Except for smoking, no environmental factors or dietary factors have been linked to the pancreatic cancer. But previous studies have suggested that vitamin D might help to block the proliferation of cancer cells. And pancreas tissue - both normal and cancerous - has been found to contain high levels of an enzyme that converts vitamin D into its active form.

    Big study
    For the new study, which was led by Northwestern University in Illinois and features in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers examined data on more than 120,000 people from two large, long-term health surveys.

    Taking the US Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin D (400 IU/day) was found to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 43%.

    They said further work was necessary to determine if consuming vitamin D in the diet, or through sun exposure might have even more of an effect than taking supplements.

    Vitamin D helps the body to form and maintain strong bones by encouraging the body to absorb calcium.

    However, the researchers found no evidence of a link between risk of the cancer and calcium, or retinol, a vitamin which affects vitamin D's impact on calcium absorption. Multi-vitamin supplements, often contain retinol.

    Lead researcher Dr Hal Skinner said: "There is a growing body of information indicating that achieving higher levels of vitamin D through supplements, diet or prudent sun exposure may provide a range health benefits by preventing common chronic diseases."

    More work needed
    He said certain groups could be defined as being at higher risk for pancreatic cancer - for example cigarette smokers or those with a family history of the disease.

    However, he said: "I would make no specific recommendation for vitamin D supplementation to prevent pancreatic cancer until we can carry out a trial to determine definitively who might benefit from such an intervention."

    Henry Scowcroft, science information officer at the charity Cancer Research UK, said: "The results of this study don't mean that people should take vitamin D supplements to ward off pancreatic cancer, especially as vitamin D can be harmful in large quantities.

    "As the authors themselves point out, this is the very first study to find any association between the disease and vitamin D intake.

    "So this result needs to be repeated in other large studies, and scientists need to show exactly how vitamin D might prevent pancreatic cancer before we could issue any specific lifestyle advice."

    Friday, September 08, 2006

    Power of Two Videos (8 +10 mins)

    Hot off the presses ... for launch at Convention 2006, 13 to 16 September

    In two parts ...

    Part One - about the company, its brand and the people involved (8 mins)

    Part Two - about the market and the business opportunity (10 mins)

    Introduction video (3mins)

    Introduce yourself to USANA by seeing this 3-minute video.

    True Health video (8 mins)

    This is a 8-minute video entitled True Health.

    Ask and you shall receive if you want your own DVD!

    in Spanish; in French; in Chinese; in Japanese

    True Wealth video (8 mins)

    A shortened version of a 20 minute DVD giving an overview of the compensation plan.

    If you want your own copy, get in touch.

    Click here.

    The Product Difference

    Check out this buyers comparison .... saves you alot of research headaches and travel miles.

    The Wellness Revolution video (9 mins)

    TV interview with economist Paul Zane Pilzer who talks about wellness (or rather sickness) statistics, growing trends in the US, the control of the food industry over the media and the need for a quality supplement as there are so many poor ones in the market.

    View here.

    Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    The Apple Test

    Presentation link showing antioxidant power of four supplements.

    Friday, August 25, 2006

    Vitamin E supplements reduce the risk of ALS

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease causes degeneration and death of nerve cells. Harvard researchers found that people who used vitamin E supplements for over ten years experienced less than half the risk of dying of ALS than those who did not use vitamin E supplements.

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is more commonly known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease". ALS is a progressive disease that causes degeneration of some of the largest of all nerve cells, called motor neurons. The disease causes the motor neurons to degenerate and eventually die. New research has found an association between the use of vitamin E supplements and a lower incidence of this degenerative disease. Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health followed 957,740 participants in the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study II for ten years. A follow-up of 170,000 subjects in 1992 showed that people who used vitamin E supplements for over ten years experienced less than half the risk of dying of ALS than those who did not report using vitamin E supplements. Although vitamin E was the only nutrient examined that was associated with a lower risk of ALS, it is not possible to rule out interactions with other nutrients or factors, since people who use vitamin E also tend to use other supplements and may share other healthy lifestyle habits.

    Source: Vitamin E intake and risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alberto Ascherio , Marc G Weisskopf , Eilis J O'reilly , Eric J Jacobs , Marjorie L McCullough , Eugenia E Calle , Merit Cudkowicz , Michael J Thun, Ann Neurol 2005 Jan;57(1):104-10

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    eCademy Article : Vitamin tablets 'may do more harm than good'?? ## !!


    Safe supplements for women's tour

    Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 21:48 GMT 22:48 UK

    Image: BBC Sport

    Justin Henin-Hardenne has welcomed the news

    Female tennis players will soon be able to take vitamins and supplements without fear of failing a drugs test.

    The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has signed a deal with Usana Health Sciences Inc to supply the tour with products guaranteed to be safe.

    Since a spate of positive tests blamed on contaminated supplements tennis pros have been wary of taking them.

    Justine Henin-Hardenne said: "I want to make sure whatever I put in my body is free of prohibited substances."

    The French Open champion added: "Any assurances that players are able to receive from vitamin companies that their products are pure is really great."

    Usana is a leading global vitamin and health supplement manufacturer.

    It will guarantee that the products it supplies to the WTA Tour will not contain any substances which will fall foul of the World Anti-Doping Authority (Wada).

    Each player who participates in the programme will be eligible to sign an "athlete guarantee agreement" with Usana.

    Under the agreement the manufacturer will pay the player twice her prize money earnings from the prior year, up to $1m (£530,000), should the player test positive for a substance prohibited by Wada because of using a Usana product.

    "This is fantastic news for players," said WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott.

    "Up until now, the inability of our players to take vitamins and health supplements without fear of accidentally ingesting a prohibited substance has been a real issue."

    Nutritional supplements tested by a Wada-accredited laboratory and approved by men's tennis body the ATP have been available to male professionals since the beginning of 2005.

    Read the Press Release here.

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Supplemental magnesium intake may be associated with reduced heart disease risk

    Most Americans consume inadequate levels of magnesium and these suboptimal intakes of magnesium may contribute to an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease.

    Current dietary guidelines recommend a minimum magnesium intake of 310-420 mg per day to maintain health and reduce cardiovascular risk. Typical U.S. adults fall short on dietary intake of this important mineral, as more than two-thirds (68%) are not meeting these minimum recommendations. Even worse, 19% of adults are consuming less than 50% of the RDA. Researchers have recently determined that dietary magnesium consumption is associated with C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation. An increased CRP level, is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In a large sample of normally healthy U.S. adults, it was determined that those who consumed less than the RDA of magnesium were 48%-75% more likely to have elevated CRP levels than adults who consumed levels higher than the RDA. Overweight adults over age 40 consuming less than 50% RDA for magnesium were more than twice as likely to have elevated CRP as adults getting more than the RDA. Given the above, Researchers have concluded that inadequate intakes of magnesium may be contributing to cardiovascular disease incidence.

    Source: Dietary Magnesium and C-reactive Protein Levels, Dana E. King, Arch G. Mainous III, Mark E. Geesey and Robert F. Woolson, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 24, No. 3, 166- 171 (2005).

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Multivitamin use lowers preeclampsia risk

    High blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia) can result in serious complications for the mother and child. Results from a new study show that regular use of a multivitamin supplement in the months before and during pregnancy may reduce the risk of preeclampsia by as much as 71%.
    Lean women who used multivitamins before and during their pregnancies reduced the risk of preeclampsia, a complication of pregnancy characterized by elevated blood pressure, swelling of the extremities and protein in the urine. If untreated, the condition can progress to eclampsia, which can lead to seizures, coma, and the death of the mother or child. The study involved 1,835 pregnant women enrolled in the Pregnancy Exposures and Preeclampsia Prevention Study. All women were at less than 16 weeks' gestation and were asked whether they regularly used multivitamins or prenatal vitamins in the past six months. Women that reported using a multivitamin or prenatal during the previous six months had a 45 percent lower risk of preeclampsia than non-users. The reduction in risk was more significant among lean women. When lean women were analyzed separately, those who used multivitamins had a 71 percent lower risk of preeclampsia than nonusers. These results suggest that regular use of a multivitamin supplement in the months before and during pregnancy may help to prevent preeclampsia, particularly among lean women.

    Source: Periconceptional Multivitamin Use Reduces the Risk of Preeclampsia, Lisa M. Bodnar, Gong Tang, Roberta B. Ness, Gail Harger and James M. Roberts, Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Jun 13, 164(5):470-477