Monthly Archives: March 2016

USANA Probiotic – follow your gut

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usana probioticArticle from USANA Australia News Letter 2016

Your body isn’t just made of flesh and bone – it’s also home to an enormous amount of bacteria. Around 500 species of microorganisms call your body home and make up a massive 95 per cent of the cells in and on your body. So, you could say that your body is actually more bacterial than human!

Microbes colonise your mouth, nose, reproductive system and most of all, your digestive system. Most of these mutually-beneficial organisms are essential to keep you alive and healthy. And, they have many functions – from breaking down otherwise indigestible carbohydrates (they help your body release around 10 per cent of your total energy in fact!), to helping your body produce vitamins B and K and boosting mineral absorption. These miniature microbial bouncers also help to keep potentially harmful bacteria (pathogens) out so they’re an important part of your immune system.

Considering a probiotic?

Studies are revealing the very many ways that probiotics can boost health plus how 21st century living is depleting natural probiotics.

Your probiotic population can become imbalanced by:

  • Age – number of probiotics naturally decline with age
  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Poor diet (lack of fibre, too many processed foods, too much fat, too much alcohol)
  • Antibiotic use

All of these allow pathogens to take over. Short term, the result can be flatulence, bloating and cramps. Long-term, the result can be more serious such as inflammatory bowel conditions. Without enough beneficial bacteria, your immune system can’t work properly. So, for many reasons, it pays to look after your gut bacteria.

In Greek, probiotic means ‘for life’

and we humans have known about the benefits for thousands of years. Cultured milk products, (yogurt and kefir), tofu, soy milk, miso, tempeh and sauerkraut are good natural sources of probiotics and deliver beneficial bacteria directly into your intestines helping to boost your overall probiotic count.

ECZEMA

Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) found that where there was a family history of allergy or eczema, women who took a probiotic supplement in the last month of pregnancy and the first few months of breastfeeding saw a 40 per cent reduction in the incidence of eczema in children up to age two. As well as genetic predisposition, children are prone to picking up infections. Bacteria, such as lactobacilli species and bifidobacteria, help to boost immunity and may help to boost children’s immune function – check with your doctor.

DIARRHOEA

Your intestine (gut) needs to be porous to allow nutrients to be absorbed into your body, but because of this, it’s also vulnerable to invasion. Disease-producing bacteria such as Clostridium difficile (C. diff for short) produce toxins that can cause diarrhea. Infection may mean that your doctor prescribes antibiotics and these don’t discriminate – broad spectrum antibiotics kill all bacteria in the intestine including the beneficial kinds. Research from the American College of Gastroenterology’s (ACG) showed taking probiotics before beginning a course of antibiotics cut the risk of developing antibiotic-associated diarrhoea by about 60 per cent.

LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

Unpleasant gut symptoms after consuming varying amounts of lactose (the simple sugar found in milk) can be a sign of lactose intolerance. It is easier to tolerate lactose in yogurt compared with the same amount of lactose in milk because bacteria produce the enzyme lactase (which digests lactose). This makes lactose easier to digest. So, probiotic with lactobacillus bacteria may help ease symptoms of lactose intolerance.

OTHER GUT DISORDERS

Small amounts of short-term inflammation help to fight infection, but constant high levels can cause swelling, pain and damage to tissues. Ongoing inflammation is associated with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and it stresses the gut lining making it more prone to damage. Beneficial bacteria are affected by stress, too, reducing their numbers.

Restoring friendly bacteria not only helps reduce the chances of infection but also inflammation. The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends that if you want to try probiotics, take them at the recommended dose for a minimum of four weeks.

OVERDOING ALCOHOL

Too much alcohol alters gut bacteria and one sign of a stressed liver (due to overindulgence in alcohol) is raised liver enzymes. Probiotics help to restore healthy intestinal flora.

CONSTIPATION

Having healthy gut flora increases the water content of waste matter. This enhances muscular contractions in the gut making it easier for the body to expel waste and reducing the time that waste stays in contact with the cells of the large intestine.

usana digestive system

PREBIOTICS

Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates (which feed beneficial bacteria to help them survive and thrive). Prebiotics are relatively stable and, unlike probiotics, can be relied on to arrive relatively unchanged in the gut despite the presence of digestive enzymes.

Prebiotic foods include bananas, oats, leeks, asparagus, tomatoes, artichokes, garlic and onions. Eating foods that contain prebiotics is a quick and effective way to boost the health of your micro flora. Taking probiotics has longer-term beneficial effect.

Probiotic and Gut Feeling?

The brain and the gut are connected by the long, branching vagus nerve, which transmits information from the gut and other visceral organs to the brain. Eating yogurt that contains probiotic could affect activity in the emotional part of the brain. It seems that the presence of bacteria in the gut may be able to send signals to the brain that can change over time depending on diet and the gut flora. Dr Kirsten Tillisch of UCLA’s School of Medicine, who led a recent study, said: ‘Time and time again we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut. Our study shows that the gut-brain connection is a two-way street.’

So what makes a good probiotic?

According to scientists at London’s Royal Free hospital, a good probiotic needs to:

USANA’s Probiotic ticks all the boxes!

USANA Probiotic uses patented strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG® and Bifidobacterium BB-12® in a unique 50/50 mixture. These two strains of probiotic bacteria have been clinically proven to promote a natural balance of beneficial micro flora in the gut.

Tests have proven that the species survive through the acidic stomach environment and are able to reach the intestines and do their beneficial work in the intestine.

Verified to supply 12 billion Colony Forming Units (CFU) of viable bacteria – a level shown to be effective in clinical studies.

USANA’s Probiotic advanced delivery system guarantees the bacteria will remain effective for at least 18 months when stored at room temperature much longer than most yoghurt type products available. Great if you don’t consume cow’s milk products – use straight out of the packet or mix with any cold food or drink.

USANA Probiotic is formulated without sugar, gluten or dairy.

Regularly taking USANA Probiotic plus FibergyTM Plus (which acts as a prebiotic for your natural, beneficial bacteria to flourish) can help your digestive system work efficiently, and help maintain gut health.

usana digestive products

Purchase USANA Probiotic and Fibergy from USANA Australia Office Approved Site.

NutritionX Health Network

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USANA BiOmega – Are you getting enough omega-3s?

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USANA BiomegaArticle from USANA Australia Product News Letter 2016

A healthy body needs a mix of nutrients including proteins, carbohydrates and fats – yes fats! Fats are a major macronutrient and they provide a concentrated source of energy plus, they help the body to absorb nutrients such as fat-soluble vitamins and some antioxidants. The trouble is that most of us consume too much fat in general. Also, the vast majority don’t get enough of one fat in particular – the omega-3s. Are you getting your fats right?

Fats are grouped according to their chemical makeup and each type of fat affects the body differently. Most of us need to cut down on our total fat intake and especially avoid foods that are high in saturates.

More about omega-6 fats

Omega-6 (and omega-3) fats play a crucial role in heart and brain function and in normal growth and development. Vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, and corn oil, meat, eggs and dairy are major contributors of omega-6s. Most of us get plenty of omega-6s but not enough omega-3s. Even so replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is a heart healthy move. One study showed that swapping saturates with PUFAs can cut heart disease risk by nearly a quarter!

More about omega-3 fats

Omega-3 fats contain two key ingredients; long chain fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Vital building blocks for the production of cell membranes, EPA and DHA are needed to produce hormones, to protect the immune system, for healthy cell growth and much more…

  1. Brain and nervous system health. Much of your brain tissue is made from omega-3 fats so for healthy brain development and function, long chain omega-3 fatty acids (specifically DHA) are a must throughout life.
  2. Anti-inflammatory action. Omega-3 fats have anti-inflammatory effects. And, because inflammation is behind many chronic (long-term) conditions such as heart disease and joint inflammation, raising your intake of omega-3s may help reduce the risk of these, plus conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  3. Heart health. Getting enough omega-3s may help to lower a type of fat called triglycerides as well as total cholesterol (both can increase your risk of heart and blood vessel conditions). Omega-3s may also help to increase HDL-cholesterol levels (the healthy type of cholesterol because it helps to eliminate cholesterol from the body).
  4. Eye health. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, omega-3s may protect against age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in older people.
  5. Pregnancy and breastfeeding. Long-chain omega-3s can have a positive effect on visual and cognitive (brain) development in the growing baby.
  6. Prostate health. A recent study has suggested a link between consumption of DHA and total marine fatty acid intakes with a lower risk of death from prostate conditions.
  7. Cell ageing. Other research suggests that omega-3s can help the cells resist ageing. Scientists measured blood levels of omega-3 oils from fish (DHA and EPA) and then isolated white blood cells to measure the markers that signal ageing. Their findings, say the researchers, ‘raise the possibility that omega-3 fatty acids may protect against cellular ageing’.

If fish is the best source of omega-3s, how did inland early man survive?

The first humans were hunter gatherers. Unlike most of us today, they didn’t just eat the muscle meats of a hunted animal – they also ate omega-3 rich organ meats like the brain and bone marrow. Today, game i.e. wild-caught animal meat still contains more omega-3s than grain-fed, farmed livestock. Studies also suggest that the high levels of omega-6 fats many of us consume may reduce the absorption of omega-3s, especially DHA.

Finding nature’s antifreeze

Omega-3 fats don’t solidify even in very cold temperatures. This is important for fish living in cold ocean waters – without this kind of natural anti-freeze, the fish would literally freeze! In your body, this property helps blood vessels to remain flexible.

The richest sources of polyunsaturated essential fats include cold water fish like salmon, mackerel, trout and fresh tuna.

Some white fish and shellfish contain long-chain omega-3s, but not as much as oily fish. The main shellfish sources of long-chain omega-3s are mussels, oysters, squid and crab.

Fish oil is another good source of essential omega-3 fats.

Could you be short on omega-3s?

Early humans were hunter-gatherers who ate a diet that contained roughly a 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats. Today, the typical ratio is around 15:1 a vastly lowered intake and ratio of omega-3 fats. In Japan where fish is a staple food, the ratio is 4:1 and the population is considered to be one of the healthiest worldwide.

One reason that we could be falling short of omega-3s is that the modern day diet doesn’t offer as many sources of these fats compared with times gone by. Because marine animals are the richest source of long chain omega-3s, you need to actively seek out fish and seafood and eat it regularly. Yet we have many more opportunities to consume saturates and omega-6 fats because we tend to eat more animal products and manufactured foods and more vegetable oils.

Also, because omega-6 fats and omega-3s are similar in makeup, when you eat more omega-6 fats, they compete against omega-3 fats for the same enzymes (substances that speed chemical reactions). So, the more omega-6 that you consume, the more enzymes will be used up leaving fewer enzymes to convert omega-3 fats into antiinflammatory chemicals needed to keep the inflammatory process in check. When the ratio is greatly out of balance, high levels of omega-6 replace and even reduce omega-3 fats.

Getting the balance right

Some experts say that consuming too much omega-6 and so little omega-3 fats can trigger inflammation which may then lead to heart disease and other conditions. Others suggest that omega-6 doesn’t have this effect. The majority agree, though, that in the average western diet, you’re likely to get so many omega-6s that reducing your intake may bring health benefits.

Cutting your intake of omega-6s and increasing your intake of omega-3s can help you to get the balance right.

The Heart Foundation (Aus) recommends an intake of 500mg/day EPA and DHA. Around 1000mg of omega-3 (marine source) daily is recommended if you have heart disease. Studies in the UK suggest that a massive nine out of ten British people fall short of this amount and the figure is likely to be similar here in Australia and New Zealand.

Ways to get the balance right

USANA-BiOmegaNewsletterEN

  • Eat more fish. Go for two fish dishes a week – a serve is around 170-200g (raw fish weight) or 110-140g of canned or cooked salmon. Good sources of omega-3s include salmon, herring, sardines, fresh tuna, snapper and scallops.
  • Eat more vegetarian sources of omega-3s. These include walnuts, flaxseeds (freshly ground), soybeans and tofu and leafy vegetables such as kale. These contain a precursor chemical, a short chain omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid called (ALA) which the body can use to form the long-chain fatty acids EPA and DHA. But the conversion process isn’t very efficient. According to one review, between eight and 20 per cent of ALA is converted to EPA in humans and between 0.5 to nine per cent of ALA is converted to DHA. Levels of the enzyme needed to convert ALA to EPA and DHA decline with age.
  • Switch oil. Cook and stir-fry with just a little canola oil which contains ALA. Or replace butter, vegetable and sunflower oils with olive oil, macadamia or avocado which contain heart-healthy monounsaturates.
  • Sprinkle on seeds. Try chia seeds – these were an important staple of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans, chia seeds also contain bone building minerals including calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
  • Try tofu. Add tofu to stir-fries or stir soya beans in to casseroles and curries.
  • Snack smart. Try delicious walnuts which also contain antioxidants including ellagic acid to support a healthy immune system.
  • Cut down on processed foods – manufacturers often use omega-6 rich vegetable oils.

What about fish oil supplements?

Fish oil (derived from the flesh of cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies) is a naturally powerful anti-inflammatory. Supplementing your diet is useful for general health and in the treatment of a range of conditions.

For example:

Heart health – fish oil supplements may help to improve blood flow thus helping to maintain healthy heart circulation and cardiovascular health.

Joint health – fish oil can help decrease joint inflammation associated with arthritis. One study showed that supplementation could reduce requirement for antiinflammatory medication in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Behavioural problems – fish oil supplements and DHA in particular may help to improve behavioural problems in children. These include short attention span and restlessness. DHA is especially important in helping to regulate cognitive performance and may even help boost children’s school abilities by enhancing learning.

Healthy pregnancy and healthy baby – getting enough omega-3s is important for the healthy development of a baby’s brain, nervous system and sight. The human brain has a growth spurt during the last trimester of pregnancy and in the months after birth. This is when the DHA in the brain triples so getting enough is essential.

Not all fish oil supplements are created equal

Dr Alex Richardson from the UK charity Food and Behaviour Research is one of the world’s leading researchers into omega-3s. She has voiced her concerns about the poor quality of many fish oil supplements saying: ‘Not all kinds of omega-3s have the same health benefits.’

One of the main problems with some supplements she says is that products can contain little, if any of the important forms of omega-3s for human health, EPA and DHA. Look for a supplement that contains 1000mg omega-3s.

Pesticides and purity

USANA BiOmega is mercury-tested and USANA uses a double molecular distillation process that ensures the highest possible purity, unsurpassed in the industry. This revolutionary process removes mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides and other heavy metals. Pollutants are removed without damaging the delicate omega-3 fats.

BiOmega can be used long-term to supplement your daily diet and provide long lasting health benefits.

BiOmega is fortified with vitamin D; it provides 200 IU per daily recommended dosage. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and immune function. Around one in four adults in Australia and New Zealand is short on vitamin D.

USANA BiOmega (Listed in Australia TGA):

usana biomega fish oilContains 1000mg cold-water fish oil rich in the important omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA

  • Each capsule contains EPA 320mg and DHA 230mg
  • Provides a healthy balance of omega-3s
  • Easily absorbed by the body
  • Offers exceptional purity
  • Helps to maintain a healthy nervous system
  • Supports cardiovascular and joint health
  • Important structural component of the brain and eyes

Taking USANA BiOmega

Try a small amount to begin with and build up to the recommended amount.

Take with food to avoid a fishy aftertaste or digestive problems. Large doses of fish oil (above the recommended daily amount) if taken all at once may have a laxative effect, so spread the doses out over the day to improve absorption.

Purchase USANA Biomega from USANA Approved Website.

NutritionX Health Network

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Brilliant bone-building USANA Active Calcium Plus™

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usana active calcium plusArticle from USANA Australia Product News Letter 2016

As well as giving you shape and structure, your bones are the bank where most of your body’s calcium is stored. A massive 99 per cent of your body’s calcium is found in bones and teeth; the remainder stays in the blood and in the cells. This major mineral is not just needed for bone health – it is also vital for many body processes such as muscle contraction and energy release.

Despite its hard exterior, bone isn’t inert. It is constantly being broken down and built up. Part of the reason for this is because your body tries to keep calcium in the blood to within very narrow concentrations. If blood levels fall short, calcium is taken from your bones. And, making too many calcium withdrawals from your bone bank whilst not storing enough of it means that bones will become weaker. So, getting enough calcium is critical for bone strength – it combines and works with other minerals to form the hard crystals that make your bones and teeth.

Calcium – ages, stages and needs

Looking after your bones is important whatever your age. Up to your late teens/early twenties, your skeleton builds up to its greatest possible density. Getting enough calcium during this developmental time helps to build bones that are as strong and as healthy as they can be. It reduces the risk of osteoporosis (porous bones which are more prone to breakage) in the future. USANA-based research has shown that building bone mass by just five per cent can reduce the risk of osteoporosis later on by a massive 40 per cent. Not getting enough calcium in the adult years raises your risk for osteoporosis.

After the age of 30 or so, your body naturally starts to lose bone mass as calcium moves out of the bones. And, during pregnancy, calcium is taken from the mother’s skeleton to build a whole new bone system and teeth for the growing baby (however, calcium absorption from food is much more effective during pregnancy). After menopause, women are especially at risk of bone fractures. Hormonal changes affect bone strength plus women tend to have a smaller skeleton and less calcium compared with men to begin with. About half of all women over the age of 60 years will have at least one fracture due to osteoporosis. But osteoporosis affects men, too – 23 per cent of men have the condition.

Are you getting enough?

usana calciumYour calcium needs vary according to gender, age, health, diet and lifestyle. Teenagers, women over 50 and men over 70 need the most calcium. It gets more difficult for you to absorb calcium with age and more may be lost through urine, so ensuring that you get enough is all the more vital for preventing bone problems. Generally speaking, most adults need at least 1000mg – 1300mg calcium from food and/or supplements daily. Getting enough calcium (and vitamin D) is very important for women in the first few years after menopause as this is the time when bone mass is lost most rapidly.

Factors that decrease your body’s calcium absorption include:

  • Low levels of vitamin D – a staggering one in three adults is low on the so called sunshine vitamin.
  • Medicines e.g. corticosteroids.
  • Certain conditions e.g. coeliac disease and kidney disease. Too much caffeine and alcohol – which can interfere with the way your body retains calcium. Diet – one that is rich in phytates (bran and unleavened bread) and oxalate (spinach and rhubarb) reduces your body’s ability to absorb calcium.

According to the Australian Nutrition Survey, about 90 per cent of women and 70 per cent of children don’t consume the recommended dietary intake (RDI) for calcium. Opting for high calcium foods plus calcium-containing foods can help. Dairy products (such as milk, yoghurt, cheese and cottage cheese) are calcium-rich. But choose low-fat and fat-free dairy options where you can to avoid the saturated fat that comes with full-fat. Aim for three to five servings of dairy or calciumfortified foods each day. One serving of yoghurt or milk or 40g cheese provides around 300mg calcium each.

What about calcium supplements?

Although calcium supplements can’t replace a healthy diet and won’t counteract bad habits like smoking, drinking too much alcohol and not exercising, taking a high quality supplement like USANA’s Active Calcium Plus™ can help to bridge the nutritional gap.

But conflicting media reports mean that lots of people are confused about whether to take a supplement or not.

The results can be difficult to understand but it’s important to look at the whole picture. So, for example, none of the studies that linked an increased risk of heart problems with taking calcium supplements were specifically designed to look at the effects of calcium supplements on heart attack or stroke risk. And, because of this, unanticipated abnormalities in research findings followed.

On the other hand, a large study published online in Osteoporosis International, showed that among 36,282 postmenopausal women, those taking a 1000 milligram supplement of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D were 35 per cent less likely to have a hip fracture. Plus, no increases in heart attack were seen during a seven-year follow-up.

And more expert advice

The experts at Osteoporosis Australia agree saying: ‘Calcium supplementation, especially when it is combined with vitamin D, not only reduces the rate of bone loss and fracture in people who don’t get enough calcium through their diet, but improves the effectiveness of osteoporosis medicines in people who have osteoporosis.’

And that’s fact!

usana calcium sourceUSANA Active Calcium Plus™ – more than just a calcium supplement!

Active Calcium Plus is a carefully formulated, clinically-proven bone-building formula. It contains important cofactors needed for bone health as well as calcium. These vitamins and minerals complement each other for the best absorption and effectiveness.

These nutrients are:

CALCIUM – two kinds of calcium (calcium carbonate and calcium citrate) which are easy-to-absorb to give you the best delivery of essential calcium in the smallest possible tablet.

VITAMIN D – partners with calcium to help your body absorb it in the small intestine and to make bone. We all need vitamin D from infancy into old age. The majority is produced in the skin when sunlight reacts with the skin; only around 10 per cent comes via the diet. Despite our sunny climate, most people in Australia and New Zealand don’t get enough vitamin D – research by Deakin University has shown that around one in three adults is deficient in the vitamin while nearly three quarters (73 per cent) have vitamin D levels considered to be below the optimal for musculoskeletal health.

Children need vitamin D to build strong bones and prevent rickets which causes bow legs, knock knees and weak bones, and to prevent fractures and brittle bones.

Vitamin D also regulates your body’s use of phosphorus, another mineral that’s important for strong bones. You don’t need extra phosphorus – you’ll get plenty from a healthy diet. But getting too much phosphorus compared to the amount of calcium could contribute to bone loss. This can happen if you drink a lot of cola and/or rely on fast foods and convenience foods. The bottom line? Not getting enough vitamin D means that bones become thin, brittle and/or misshapen.

MAGNESIUM – this mineral helps to slow down bone turnover thus reducing loss of bone density. It reduces the breakdown of bone (whilst excess phosphorus speeds it up). Magnesium is also vital to help calcium be absorbed into the bones instead of collecting in soft tissue where it can cause health problems.

VITAMIN K – this fat-soluble vitamin activates the proteins that help to prevent vascular calcification and helps to recycle calcium. It helps to support bone strength. Vitamin K influences the level of bone-building osteocalcin in the boneforming cells. Low intakes of vitamin K may increase the risk of hip fractures in women.

A clinical study led by Dr David Greene at Australian Catholic University (ACU National) found that use of USANA’s Active Calcium Chewable™ improves bone health in young girls.

After six months of supplementation, Active Calcium Chewable improved bone mineral content, bone mineral density and bone strength.

Active Calcium Plus™ carries USANA’s Potency Guarantee, so you know the product is pure, and effective. So, to boost your bone health, give Active Calcium Plus a try!

USANA Active Calcium Plus (112 tablets/bottle)

USANA Active Calcium Plus™ is:

  • Laboratory tested, quality guaranteed. Meets British Pharmacopoeia specifications for potency, uniformity, and disintegration where applicable.
  • Suitable for vegetarians.
  • Kosher certified.

Using USANA Active Calcium Plus™

Take four Active Calcium Plus tablets daily, preferably with meals.

Purchase USANA Active Calcium Plus™ from USANA Australia Authorized website.

NutritionX Health Network

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USANA PhytElle, Hormones, herbs and her

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usana phytelleArticle original from USANA Australia News Letter 2016

Hormones play vital roles in body systems – they’re chemical messengers that relay signals from one cell to another. Even slight fluctuations in the amount or type of hormones produced by the body can trigger big changes – not just to cells but to the functioning of the whole body. Hormonal ups and downs are a fact of life for women at every age and every stage. For women, the main sex hormones are oestrogen and progesterone. The monthly hormonal fluctuations that trigger menstruation and can also produce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Not all women experience PMS – the symptoms are different for every woman and can range from slight tension to extreme tearfulness. Heightened hormonal changes during the menstrual period and post-menstrual time can trigger unwanted symptoms too. Plus, hormonal imbalances towards the end of a woman’s reproductive life, the peri-menopause and the menopause, can also trigger unwanted symptoms like hot flushes.

So what can you do?

For both PMS and menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the form of tablets or patches can help. But there are herbal based treatments, too. Herbalists have been using herbs and plant compounds to treat hormonal problems for centuries. But scientific interest in phytoestrogens (which literally means plant oestrogens) was sparked relatively recently. It happened when researchers noticed that women in Asian countries had far fewer symptoms of menopause compared with women in western countries. A major reason for this, they suggested, could be the larger quantities of phytoestrogens and other plant chemicals eaten as part of traditional Eastern diets. Phytoestrogens are natural herbal compounds thought to mimic oestrogen. Phytoestrogens are thought to have weak oestrogen-like effects and so, dietary phytoestrogens may also help to relieve symptoms associated with hormonal cycles in the child-bearing years, during peri-menopause and after menopause too, when levels of oestrogen and progesterone drop. After menopause, phytoestrogens together with regular exercise, may help to maintain healthy bone mass.

If you’re looking for a more natural alternative, read on.

usana herbs

Black cohosh

First used in its native North America to treat conditions that affect women’s reproductive organs, black cohosh has traditionally been used to ease symptoms relating to menstrual problems and inflammation of the uterus or ovaries. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated that black cohosh may help women with vasomotor symptoms (symptoms that affect the diameter or blood vessels) of menopause and has been found to be both safe and effective.

Dong quai

Sometimes called the female ginseng, dong quai has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Combined with other herbs, dong quai is most often used to treat women’s reproductive problems, to relieve cramps associated with painful periods and to improve circulation. According to the US National Institutes of Health, dong quai has been used for both PMS and menopausal symptoms.

Liquorice root

Liquorice is used in traditional Chinese medicine as ‘Qi’ tonic, and has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Chasteberry

Used for thousands of years mostly by women to ease menstrual problems and to ease breast pain, chasteberry continues to be used for menstrual problems, such as PMS, as well as for symptoms of menopause. According to Victoria Zak writing in 20,000 Secrets of Tea, chasteberry is a popular remedy for the emotional symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome as it works to calm ‘wild emotions’. Specifically, chasteberry has been used to improve emotional symptoms such as depression, tension and distress. One study published in the prestigious British Medical Journal in 2001, Treatment for the Premenstrual Syndrome with Agnus castus Fruit Extract: Prospective, Randomised, Placebo Controlled Study showed significant improvement in PMS symptoms when using chasteberry extract over three menstrual cycles.

Other ways to protect your health:usana exercise

• Enjoy at least two fruits and five vegetable servings daily.

• Protect your bones by: • Ensuring an adequate intake of calcium from low-fat dairy foods and calcium enriched soya products.

• A high intake of animal protein has been found to cause heavy excretion of calcium in urine, so replace some of your dietary protein of meat and eggs with soya products such as tofu.

• A combination of calcium and vitamin D is important for helping to prevent the bone loss associated with menopause.

• Try nuts – they contain magnesium, a mineral that has been shown to low in around half of menopausal women. Magnesium helps the body absorb calcium.

Switch to unsaturated fats from olive oil and opt for two to three portions of oily, omega-3 rich fish each week – great for heart health!

• Don’t smoke. • Watch your alcohol intake.

• Get enough rest.

• Exercise regularly – physical exercise reduces the frequency and severity of hot flushes and studies show regular exercise significantly improves emotional and physical wellbeing. Exercise also burns calories so you can help to control and/or maintain a healthy weight and a more toned shape.

About USANA PhytElleTM

To give you additional support to help combat PMS and menopausal symptoms, USANA’s PhytElle is a great choice! PhytElle is a carefully formulated collection of plant herbs and plant compounds in concentrations designed to reduce unwanted symptoms associated with women’s hormonal changes. PhytElle also contains a combination of herbs that complements the activity of the soy isoflavones: black cohosh, dong quai, liquorice-root extract and chasteberry powder. Together with the isoflavones, these herbs provide support during menstruation and in the peri- and post-menopausal years. Dosage: Take three PhytElle tablets spread evenly throughout the day, preferably with meals. USANA PhytElle for women (90 tablets/bottle) (USANA Australia and New Zealand Item: 129)

• Provides a broad-spectrum comprehensive formula containing phytoestrogens from soy.

• Contains all-natural plant based ingredients with guaranteed high levels of soy isoflavones.

• Addresses a number of women’s health issues relating to hormonal changes and hormone release patterns. • Helps in the maintenance or improvement of general well-being

• Provides relief of menstrual symptoms and pre-menstrual symptoms / syndrome (PMS)

• Helps support women’s health during menopause, providing relief of menopausal symptoms, and relief from hot flushes associated with menopause

• Supports bone health in menopausal women. USE ONLY AS DIRECTED. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. Note: if you are pregnant, consult your physician before taking this product. If you have any concerns or are taking any medications, talk it over with your doctor, and tell him about any supplements you take, so he can check on drug interactions. PhytElleTM is laboratory tested, quality guaranteed. Meets British Pharmacopoeia (BP) specifications for potency, uniformity and disintegration where applicable.

FAQs

Is PhytElle suitable for use during chemotherapy for breast cancer?

PhytElle is not suitable for use in hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis or uterine fibroids. The active ingredients in PhytElle act like oestrogen in the body and so if you have any condition that could be made worse by oestrogen, don’t use plant oestrogencontaining products like PhytElle.

Can PhytElle be used to help younger women with menstrual problems?

PhytElle contains herbs and phytoestrogens and can be used to help younger women with severe PMS symptoms, although generally recommended for women 35 and over.

I am taking hormonal treatment – can I still take PhytElle?

If you are using hormonal treatments such as the contraceptive pill, fertility medicines, HRT, etc. PhytElle is not recommended. Consult your doctor for a recommendation specific to you.

Can eating diet rich in phytoestrogens reduce breast cancer risk?

Conditions like cancer have a number of causes and experts say that the evidence between a link between phytoestrogens and breast cancer is not conclusive. More research is needed before we can be sure if eating a diet rich in phytoestrogens can cut the risk of developing breast cancer.

I am taking hormone therapy for breast cancer – is it safe to eat phytoestrogens?

There is no conclusive evidence about whether women with or without a history of breast cancer should alter their consumption of foods that contain phytoestrogens. And, the effects of the short- and long-term use of these supplements are not certain. So, the best option is to enjoy foods that contain phytoestrogens like peas and beans as part of a healthy, mixed diet. Talk to your doctor for more advice.

Can I take PhytElle whilst breastfeeding?

No – PhytElle contains multiple herbs which are not generally recommended for use during breastfeeding.

Purcahse USANA PhytElle from USANA Approved Website.

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Support Your Vision with USANA VisionEX

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USANA VisionExArticle from USANA website Australia region published 14th, Mar, 2016.

In today’s society use our eyes to stare at computer screens, televisions, tablets and mobile phones more than ever before. This means that our eyes are focused at the same distance for much longer than in the past, which may result in eyestrain, headaches and even a sore back or stiff neck.

The increase in screen-time has not only been linked to eye fatigue but also to an increase in eye related issues. Alarmingly a new study has found that half the world’s population will be short-sighted in 30 years, with one of the main factors being our society’s reliance on technology.

The name for eye problems caused by computer use is computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS is not one specific eye problem. Instead, the term encompasses a whole range of eye strain and pain experienced by computer users.

Research shows somewhere between 50% and 90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least some symptoms of eye trouble. This doesn’t only apply to adults though; kids who stare at portable video games or tablets or who use computers throughout the day at school can also experience eye problems related to screen use.

Computer vision syndrome is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries at work and occurs when you’re carrying out the same motion over and over again. Working at a computer requires that the eyes continuously focus, move back and forth, and align with what you are seeing. You may have to look down at papers and then back up to type, and the eyes have to accommodate to changing images on the screen in order to create a clear picture for the brain to interpret. These all require a lot of effort from eye muscles.

Computer eye problems are more likely to occur if you already have an eye problem, such as nearsightedness or astigmatism, or if you need glasses but don’t wear them or wear the wrong prescription for computer use. Working at a computer also gets more difficult as you get older because the lens of your eye becomes less flexible. The ability to focus on near and far objects starts to diminish after about age 40, this is a condition called presbyopia.

If you have computer vision syndrome, you may experience some or all of these symptoms, and if they are not treated, they can have a real effect on your work performance:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Dry, red eyes
  • Eye irritation
  • Headaches
  • Neck or back pain

USANA Eye AnatomyOther factors that also contribute to eye issues are age, UV exposure and lifestyle choices.

Except for when we are asleep our eyes are constantly exposed to environmental factors such as air pollution, dryness and oxidative stress from sunlight. All of these, and other factors, can damage different parts of our eye structure (see diagram). Some examples of how sunlight can damage the eyes include:

Intraocular melanoma: Although rare, it is the most common eye cancer in adults. It starts in the uveal tract, the middle layer of the eye containing the iris (the part of the eye responsible for eye color) and the pupil, which lies in the center of the iris. Symptoms may include a dark spot on the iris, blurred vision, or a change in the pupil’s shape. Sometimes, however, there are no symptoms.

Cataracts: A progressive clouding and yellowing of the crystalline lens, the eye’s focusing mechanism. At least 10 percent of cataract cases are directly attributable to UV exposure. Cataracts are the most common cause of treatable blindness worldwide, and UVB has been directly linked to cataracts.

Macular degeneration: Often referred to as age-related, or senile, macular degeneration, it is caused by damage to the retina over time. The retina is the ocular membrane where images are formed and transmitted to the brain; the macula, the region of sharpest vision near the center of the retina, is the most likely area to be damaged. Macular degeneration is one of the major causes of vision loss in the U.S. for people over age 60. While further research is required, some studies point to UVA and HEV light as potential causes of macular degeneration.

Keratitis, or corneal sunburn: Excessive exposure to UV from the sun or tanning machines can literally burn the cornea, the eye’s clear refracting surface that admits light and images to the retina. UV-protective lenses are therefore especially a must for anyone who uses a tanning machine, as well as for skiers or snowboarders, since UV is more intense at high altitudes, and since snow reflects back the sun’s rays, so that they hit your eyes a second time.

With so much at stake for our quality of life it’s super important for us to protect and take maximum care of our eyes. Regular eye breaks, checkups, exercise and a balanced diet are all important parts of your overall eye health and wellbeing. There are also many other tips which can help improve your eye health (stay tuned for next week’s blog) including adding more of the following ingredients such as lutein, vitamin C, bilberry and zinc to your diet.

Perhaps it’s time we all took a step back and thought about the last time you looked up from your computer screen, put down your phone or wore the correct sunglasses outside, and start doing something about it. Your eyes will thank you for it.

Tips to improve your eye health

usana eyeWith current social trends showing we are using our electronic devices more than ever before, with some people even admitting to having a screen in front of them for more than 9 hours a day, it’s no wonder that research shows eye related issues are on the rise.

Luckily, there are ways to improve your vision without sacrificing your electronic devices, these include:

1. Walking away: Make sure you take a 10 minute break away from your screen for every hour. It’s important to look away from your screen and blink to give your eyes a chance to lubricate and adjust.

2. Change your settings: Increase your font size on your computer, tablet or phone so your eyes don’t have to strain to read the text. You can also add filters to your screen to cut down the glare which can also be associated with eyestrain.

3. Visit a doctor: Everyone, including young children, should get their eyes examined regularly. This helps you to not only protect your sight but can also lead to the detection of some eye diseases, such as glaucoma, that have no symptoms. Depending on your eye health needs, you can see either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialise in eye care. They can provide general eye care, treat eye diseases, and perform eye surgery. Optometrists provide general eye care and treat the most common eye diseases. They examine eyes for both vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some optometrists also provide low vision care and vision therapy.

4. Eat for your eyes:  Research shows nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E might help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration. Foods which can help your eye health include green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards; salmon, tuna, and other oily fish; eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources; fruits such as oranges and other citrus fruits or berries such as blueberries and bilberries. Since majority of Australians do not consume the recommended servings of fruits and veggies, supplementation is important to meet the nutrition gap. Why not try a supplement like USANA’s Visionex™ which contains guaranteed levels of lutein and zeaxanthin as well as vitamin C, zinc and bilberry extract or USANA’s BiOmega™ which is an excellent way to consume healthy omega-3 fatty acids without the fishy aftertaste?

5. Put your shades on: Sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which is very important as too much UV exposure makes you more likely to get cataracts and macular degeneration. When buying sunglasses you should choose ones which block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound lenses also help protect your eyes from the side and polarized lenses reduce glare when driving.

6. Safety first: You should always wear safety/protective glasses when working with hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home. Certain sports can also lead to eye injury so it’s important to wear eye protection such as helmets with protective face masks or sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses to shield your eyes from any flying objects or even limbs.

By incorporating the above tips in your lifestyle you should be able to improve the health and condition of your eyes. Your eyes are probably the most important of your five senses so it’s important you look after and protect them.

Shop USANA VisionEX now here.

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160217113308.htm

http://www.zeiss.com.au/vision-care/en_au/better-vision/your-comprehensive-guide-to-better-vision/topic-eye-care-prevention.html

http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/for-your-eyes/how-sunlight-damages-the-eyeshttp://patient.info/health/visual-problems

http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/computer-vision-syndrome

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A USANA Vision Of A World Free Of Pain, Suffering And Disease

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usana dr myron wentzArticle original from in USANA Malaysia magazine 2016 Volume 1

In 1992, Dr. Myron Wentz founded USANA Health Sciences to develop and provide the highest quality, science-based nutritional products.

The decision was personal. He lost both his parents to degenerative diseases. And he found nutritional supplements available on the market inadequate and unbalanced. He should know. After all, he’d spent nearly two decades researching how human cells stay healthy.

Today, we are a thriving international family that has achieved many memorable milestones, and is set to become a world leader in promoting health. You are now a part of this family. Learn what this amazing company is about—from the science and manufacturing behind our products to the support and tools that you now have at your disposal. Share USANA with others. Love life, and live it.

PEOPLE TRUST OUR PRODUCTS:

usana scientistsBecause our Formulas Are Backed By Solid Science

Dr. Myron Wentz is a scientist. Our first product—the Essentials—is formulated off his years of research into human cells. Today, our impressive team of in-house scientists is supported by partnership and collaboration with highly-regarded universities and institutions of research. We keep ourselves up to date, so we can provide you with the latest and the best.

You’d Be Impressed By Our In-House Manufacturing

To give you peace of mind, we voluntarily adhere to a higher standard of manufacturing than is legally required for food supplements. Our facility in Salt Lake City, where over 90% of our products are made, is an FDA-Registered Drug Establishment. So you’re sure the supplements you take meet the purity and safety standards of the best pharmaceutical products.

We Innovate

We adopt the best that technology offers. OlivolTM is a patented extract that contains unique antioxidant polyphenols from olives. We developed a patented self-preserving technology so we don’t have to add harsh chemicals to our skin care products. And a patent-pending use of hybridtablet technology allows us to separate incompatible ingredients into different layers in a single hybrid tablet. With MyHealthPak, your supplements come to you in convenient AM and PM packs, each pack personalised with your name and message.

Experts Trust Us. As Do World-Class Athletes

Over the years, we have won so many awards and accolades from independent parties that it is difficult to list them all. It is no wonder those who know nutrition choose USANA. We count many doctors, healthcare professionals, and nutritional experts as customers, and more than 600 elite athletes around the globe rely on USANA to maintain their health. They know that quality nutrition keeps them performing at their best, and we guarantee them what’s on the label is in the product—and nothing else.

You’ll Grow Proud Of Our Products

USANA Essentials

usana essentials healthpak

You’ll want this. The Essentials offer an unparalleled range of potent and bioavailable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all in two bottles. They receive the highest rating among 1,500 North American products in the latest edition of Nutrisearch’s Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements.

USANA Optimizers

The choice is yours. The Optimizers are specific formulations containing nutrients for major body systems. They let you target specific areas of your health based on your personal needs or concerns. All come with a Potency Guarantee: You get what is listed on the label in every tablet, every time.

USANA Foods

usana foodNudge your daily meals in a healthier direction. USANA Foods taste great and are low glycaemic. They supply you with quality protein, carbohydrate and fibre that help control appetite and reduce hunger.

Sensé Skin Care

usana sense skin careYou look radiant when your skin cells are healthy. Sensé skin care products use pure, natural botanical extracts to protect and nourish your skin. You’ll love the gentleness, as we take care not to add chemical preservatives like parabens.

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Up your USANA Supplements and Slim Down

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usana-supplements-for-slim-down Article published in USANA North America Magazine 2015 Vol 6, written by EMILY ALANIZ.

If you’re up to the challenge of shedding a few extra pounds, you’ll want every advantage you can get. This means not only eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and getting more exercise, but also taking the right supplements to support your fitness focused lifestyle. Everyone can benefit from the USANA® Essentials, but don’t stop there if your goal is to shed pounds. USANA offers a variety of supplements to help you with many different aspects of weight loss.

SUPPORT YOUR BONES

Discomfort caused by exercise can discourage you from staying active. Enter calcium and vitamin D. This powerful duo—found in USANA Active Calcium™ and Active Calcium™ Chewable—makes all the difference for your skeletal system. Calcium helps maintain strong bones, while vitamin D enhances calcium absorption and utilization.* Not convinced you need Active Calcium in your life? Some research also indicates that supplementing with these micronutrients may play a role in weight control if your calcium and vitamin D levels are inadequate. That means you have nothing to lose but extra pounds.

INCREASE YOUR OMEGAS

You may already know omega-3s are great for your brain, but they’re also terrific for managing your weight. Omega-3s, such as those found in BiOmega™ and BiOmega™ Jr, can aid weight loss. This might be due in part to the fact that DHA and EPA (components of omega-3 fatty acids) support healthy blood flow to muscles during exercise.* Of course, it’s not a magical fat-melting pill, but when combined with a healthy diet and exercise, a fish oil supplement may help make a difference in your waistline.* On top of this, omega-3s are great for helping you stay active as you age. They can help maintain healthy muscle mass in the elderly when taken in conjunction with exercise.

MIND YOUR MEALS

usana digestive lady

If you want to lose weight, meals have to be about more than just cutting calories. You also have to make sure you’re getting enough fiber. Fiber will keep you feeling full long after you finish your meal. This can help keep you from overeating later in the day, and it can even reduce the total number of calories you consume. If you want a convenient way to get fiber in your meals, make sure to try Fibergy® Plus. It’s quick, easy, and it will set your body on the right track for weight loss.

BENEFIT FROM VITAMIN D

You probably already know and love many benefits of vitamin D, but have you tried it before your workouts? USANA supported a study by The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH) about how vitamin D affects recovery after exercise. The study showed that taking vitamin D before your workout can decrease skeletal muscle fatigue from intense exercise. This faster recovery means you can get out there for your next workout feeling refreshed and ready to challenge yourself again.

BE KIND TO YOUR JOINTS

You won’t get very far in your morning jog if your joints start troubling you, but avoiding exercise is never helpful for a weight-loss plan. That’s why you should check out Procosamine®, USANA’s supplement for joint health. Procosaminecontains glucosamine, which helps maintain healthy cartilage and joints. Curcumin is another natural substance often praised for its joint-supporting abilities. Procosamine’s Meriva®† bioavailable curcumin complex has been clinically shown to have better bioavailability than standard curcumin products.

PUMP IRON

You might think prenatal vitamins are only for pregnant women—but that’s not the case. Many pre-menopausal women can benefit from a quality prenatal supplement with iron, especially women who may have anemia. This is why BabyCare Prenatal Essentials (Not yet available in USANA Australia region) are an excellent choice. The iron provided in the USANA Prenatal Essentials   is necessary for red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. If you’ve ever had a particularly tough workout session in an effort to burn calories, you know your body needs as much oxygen as it can get.* Without a sufficient iron reserve, you could feel tired and fatigued, which will make it even harder to meet any fitness or weight-loss goals you may have. If you’re opposed to prenatal supplements, make sure you get enough iron from dietary sources, such as lean meats, spinach, and beans.

For more information regarding the products, please visit USANA Australia approved online store.

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