Monthly Archives: April 2016

USANA HepaPlus – Could your liver do with a lift?

Share Button

usana hepaplusArticle from USANA Australia Product News Letter 2016.

Your liver lies just under your ribcage and it’s the second biggest organ in your body. The liver performs many functions – from the production of blood proteins and blood clotting factors to the manufacture of bile which helps your body use fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Your liver also helps to regulate blood glucose levels to within very narrow limits.

The liver is also one of the major ways that your body cleanses itself of toxins – think of it as a bit like a large filtering system. So, the more toxins it comes across (for example from alcohol, fatty foods, medicines heavy metals and chemicals like pesticides), the harder it has to work to get rid of them. Putting too much stress on the liver by drinking too much alcohol, for example, can damage this vital organ.

Is your liver functioning at its best?

Often, people only realise that their liver function is not as efficient as it could be until after a routine blood test shows abnormally high levels of liver enzymes. High levels of liver enzymes could be a sign of fatty liver – where fat cells have infiltrated the liver but it can signal other liver-based problems – your GP will advise you.

According to the US organisation, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), conditions that can predispose you to fatty liver include insulin resistance (where the body produces insulin but can’t use it properly), release of toxic, inflammatory proteins by fat cells and oxidative stress (which is associated with cell metabolism) inside liver cells.

Other causes are diet and alcohol for example, by eating too many sugary foods. These foods and called high glycaemic foods (GI) because they are quickly digested and enter the bloodstream fast giving the body little time to keep blood glucose levels steady. They trigger the production of a type of fat called triglycerides. Triglycerides levels can also be raised by drinking too much alcohol. Fatty liver can also result in middle age in those who are overweight or obese. The good news is that liver cells can regenerate themselves to a certain extent. So, make healthy food and lifestyle choices. Enjoy a diet that’s rich in fruit and vegetables to obtain the vital antioxidants. Switch from butter and fatty meats that are rich in saturated fats (from full fat dairy and fatty meat products, pies, pastries and fried foods) to heart-and liver-healthier mono-and unsaturated fats (from olive oil and unsalted nuts plus oily fish like salmon and sardines) to help to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. If you are drinking too much alcohol, it is important to cut down or cut it out altogether.

So what about alcohol?

It’s a much enjoyed part of life for many, but there’s no doubt that drinking too much alcohol can harm your health. In the short-term drinking too much alcohol in one go can cause accidents and falls. In the long-term, excessive alcohol consumption has been linked with cancers of the mouth and throat, breast, bowel and liver. It is also linked with fatty liver and can eventually lead to liver cirrhosis which can be lifethreatening and even fatal.

Older people are more affected by the effects of regularly drinking too much alcohol which can also raise the risk of dementia.

And, if you’re watching your weight, alcohol could be your diet disaster because it’s also calorie-rich (as are some mixers) so you can easily consume more calories than you realise. Overdoing alcohol can also increase your desire for unhealthy foods and weakens your willpower for healthier choices.

Making changes to your diet

Thankfully, a healthy diet and lifestyle can help to support liver health. Here’s how:

Don’t overdo the alcohol. The NHMRC recommends that all adults should not drink more than two standard drinks a day, avoid binge drinking and have at least one or two alcohol-free days per week.

Don’t drink on an empty stomach – this unleashes a rush of alcohol into your system. Eat with a meal as food in your stomach slows down the rate that alcohol is released.

Opt for plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables especially brightlycoloured produce such as spinach, capsicum, sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes and peaches – the orange-coloured pigments appear to have an especially positive effect on liver health helping to protect the liver against free radical damage .

Enjoy plenty of low glycaemic index (GI) foods. This refers to how quickly a food affects your blood sugar levels). Low GI foods provide slow release, longerlasting energy while high GI foods give you a sugar hit followed by a slump. So, go for low GI foods such as whole grains and wholemeal foods such as wholegrain breads, naan, noodles, rice, oats and pulses like red kidney beans, black beans and chickpeas. High GI carbohydrates include sugar, honey, biscuits, cakes, chocolate, lollies, fruit juices and ice creams.

Drink plenty of water to flush out waste products – generally speaking, your urine should be straw coloured if you are drinking enough water. Any darker and you need to drink more water.

Cut the total amount of fat you’re eating. Fat is difficult for the body to break down and this can stress the liver (signs include nausea, bloating and indigestion). Avoid fried foods and foods laden with cream or cheese. Choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead (from peanuts, olive oil and oily fish).

Lose any excess weight you’re carrying to help to take some strain off your liver.

What about supplements?

Conventional medical therapists don’t always agree about how the health of your liver can affect your general health. But ancient far eastern practitioners including Ayurvedic specialists are convinced that there is a direct link between a sluggish liver and feeling physically and emotionally low.

Studies have shown that liver cells can be supported and even protected from damage by herbal and nutritional supplements.

HepaPlus™: a unique formulation

The unique formulation of HepaPlus™ uses breakthrough nutritional hybrid technology to combine two formulations into one bilayer tablet while maintaining the distinctiveness of the formulations. HepaPlus™ is suitable for vegetarians.

HepaPlus™ contains a scientifically-selected range of liver-cleansing ingredients to help support healthy liver function and normal detoxification processes.

Ingredients include:

MILK THISTLE

Made from the dried seeds of a wild flower, milk thistle has been widely used as a liver health booster for over 2,000 years – although it only burst onto the western herbal market relatively recently. The active ingredient, silymarin, is a group of anti-inflammatory flavonoids (antioxidants) that may help to protect liver cells against oxidative stress and even protect new liver cells from being destroyed by toxins. HepaPlus™ close to 200mg of milk thistle extract plus other antioxidants, including green tea extract, broccoli concentrate.

CHOLINE

HepaPlus™ contains choline a substance which helps to emulsify (break down) fats. This helps them to be removed from the liver. Food sources of choline include eggs, beef, salmon, wheat germ and broccoli.

TURMERIC

This yellow root is widely used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an antiinflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems and skin conditions. In animal studies, curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its distinctive yellow colour can slow the changes caused by excessive alcohol consumption that lead to liver damage.

ALPHA LIPOIC ACID

Alpha lipoic acid is a naturally occurring antioxidant that helps neutralise free radicals. Most antioxidants are either soluble in fat or water so they can’t access every part of every cell. Alpha lipoic acid is able to enter both the fatty and aqueous (water-based) sections of the cell, boosting its ability to trap free radicals wherever they are.

Are you ready to make better health changes?

If you’re ready to make positive changes to your diet, take things slowly. Drastic changes are too difficult to keep up in the long-run and can leave you feeling defeated and down. Small, day-to-day changes will have a much bigger and longerlasting effect.

If you’re having trouble making changes, or you’re worried that you’re not getting all the nutrients you need, talk to your GP. They may be able to give you some practical advice or refer you to an accredited practising dietitian who can give you detailed and personal advice.

Febfast – are you up for the challenge?

This month, you can make better choices for your health and help improve the health and the future of young people in Australia affected by alcohol and other addictions. Febfast challenges adults in Australia and New Zealand to go without alcohol for the month of February. You are encouraged to challenge yourself and get friends and family to sponsor you. In the process, you can raise vital funds to help young people with addiction problems whilst boosting your own health and wealth too!

usana happiness

Purchase USANA HepaPlus at USANA Approved Website:   www.buyvitaminsonline.com.au

NutritionX Health Network

 

Share Button

Joint ventures with USANA Procosamine®!

Share Button

usana procosamineArticle from USANA Australia News Letter 2016

The two hundred bones in your body are made from calcium and other minerals. Bones protect, shape and support your body.

Your joints are the point where two bones meet – they’re a bit like hinges, structures that allow for flexible movement. To protect them and maintain suppleness, joints contain fluids and other substances that cushion the area so they can then slide against each other without friction. With age and through injury, for example, your joints can become damaged, causing pain and inflammation. This can lead to a condition called osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis explained

‘Osteo’ is the Latin word for bone and arthritis is a general term that’s used to describe a number of painful conditions affecting the joints and bones. It is associated with discomfort, irritation, swelling and inflammation.

In osteoarthritis, small amounts of cartilage break away from bone so that the bones rub together; this strains the ligaments (strong tissues that hold bones together). The joints can become brittle and bone thickens and spreads forming osteophytes (knobbly growths). Inside the joint, the fluid gets thinner and the space that contains fluid becomes smaller. You feel pain when the bones rub together and/or the joints move out of their natural positions.

usana joint

Ageing cuts the body’s ability to repair and renew cartilage (a flexible type of connective tissue). The breakdown of cartilage reduces the shock-absorbing capacity in the joints and osteoarthritis (OA) can occur. The kind of damage that results from wear and tear tends to affect the large weight-bearing joints most often – the hips, knees and ankles for example. But OA can also affect the hands and the fingers.

Although it isn’t generally life-threatening, osteoarthritis is a major cause of physical disability for millions of people worldwide. And, as our population gets older and heavier, its dramatic influence on healthcare costs and quality of life is likely to get worse.

If you have symptoms, taking analgesics and/or anti-inflammatories and rubbing antiinflammatory cream/gel into the joint can ease pain although your doctor may advise steroids and/or surgery.

What are the symptoms?

Pain or stiffness after sitting or lying down for some time is common in OA. And, mild and/or occasional joint pain and stiffness can progress to more frequent and severe pain with affected joints becoming increasingly difficult to move. The muscles that usually move the joint get tighter and shorter as they are used less and less and it becomes increasingly difficult to straighten the joint.

What can you do?

Get into a healthy weight range

If you have OA and are overweight, getting into a healthy weight range is one of the best things you can do to help your condition.

Enjoy plenty of fruits and veggies, wholegrain cereals, pulses, dairy or calciumenriched soya produce, fish and lean meat or vegetarian alternatives. Try to make fish the dish of the day at least twice a week, especially oily fish like salmon, fresh tuna and sardines. These supply valuable omega-3 fats which have anti-inflammatory effects. Cut down on fatty and/or sugary foods and drinks and alcohol. Speak with your doctor or an Accredited Practicing Dietitian or look into the benefits of USANA’s RESET™ Weight Management Program.

Try modest exercise and supplements

Moderate exercise brings lots of health benefits. For example, if you have OA of the knee, you may have weak leg muscles because you naturally favour the non-painful joint. But doing exercises to strengthen the major muscles may boost your daily activity and your stamina, too.

Studies have found that the ancient eastern practice of Tai Chi can improve fitness, strengthen muscles, boost flexibility, reduce body fat and lower the risk of falls in the elderly. In a study of people with OA of the knee or hip, those who practiced Tai Chi twice a week for three months showed improvement in overall sense of quality of life, less stress/tension and easier self management of arthritis symptoms.

Combining moderate activity with glucosamine, one of the active ingredients in USANA Procosamine® may bring even better results.

One study from the University of Queensland found that people with OA who embarked on a three-day a week walking program and took a glucosamine supplement felt less OA-related pain.

The volunteers in the small study took 1500mg glucosamine daily for six weeks and reported that their pain levels had fallen by 13 per cent. Then, they were asked to start regular exercise as well as continuing to take the glucosamine supplements. At the end of six months, patients said that both their pain and stiffness had been cut by half, as reported in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy.

Lead researcher Queensland University’s Dr Kristiann Heesch said that their findings: ‘Provide preliminary evidence that osteoarthritis sufferers can benefit from a combination of glucosamine sulphate and walking 3,000 steps per day for exercise, in bouts of at least 1500 steps each, on at least three days per week.’ USANA’s Procosamine® provides a high potency vegetarian form of glucosamine to support normal healthy joints and cartilage. So, you can benefit from the same results as taking regular glucosamine sulphate but without the potential for shellfish allergies in susceptible people and it’s suitable for vegetarians, too.

usana arthritis

According to the Arthritis Foundation of Australia… The Cochrane Collaboration, an extremely conservative medical review group has stated that ‘there is good evidence that glucosamine is both effective and safe in treating osteoarthritis.

Glucosamine and Procosamine®

Glucosamine is a substance that’s naturally produced by the body; it’s one of the building blocks of collagen, bone, blood vessels, joints and ligaments. It is also a precursor or substance used to make larger molecules called glycosaminoglycans which are involved in the formation and repair of cartilage and collagen.

Glucosamine maintains the gumminess of joints by inhibiting the enzymes that may breakdown cartilage. We produce less of it with ageing and including it in your diet may be a good way to bolster your body’s natural recovery from daily wear and tear.

Supplementary benefits of Procosamine

Procosamine helps to reduce joint inflammation, reduce swelling and increase joint mobility associated with arthritis not just because of the glucosamine it contains, but also due to its added blend of key joint-supporting minerals.

Turmeric extract. Curcuminoids in turmeric (the bright yellow spice that gives a golden glow to Indian curries and curry powder) contains potent anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Traditional curcumin from turmeric isn’t absorbed well (isn’t able to enter cells easily). So, in to deliver any real benefits you would have to consume very large amounts. Scientists suggest around 10 grams (around two teaspoons) daily to achieve blood concentrations that correspond to preclinical studies. USANA’s Procosamine® contains patented Meriva® Curcumin to enhance curcumin’s health benefits. The active anti-inflammatory ingredient is wrapped in a protective lecithin (fatty substance) layer which helps to prevent it from breaking down in the stomach allowing for better absorption in the small intestine. The Meriva Curcumin complex allows for 29-times better absorption than standard forms of curcumin.

Meriva is an important ingredient that can improve joint comfort and function and support a normal, healthy inflammatory response. OA is a chronic (long-term) condition that requires ongoing treatment, some of which includes pain killers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). NSAIDs and corticosteroids can have severe side effects when used long-term. Meriva is an effective and safe antiinflammatory in the complementary management of OA. Plus, studies of Meriva and NSAIDs have shown a decreased use of NSAIDs in treatment groups. So, Meriva may have a potential use in the reduction of NSAID use for mild-to-moderate OA. Also, a clear reduction of NSAID-associated gastrointestinal problems has been seen in treatment groups. This may be due also to the reduced intake of NSAIDs, to the protective effects of curcumin, or to a combination of both.

Vitamin C. This is a potent antioxidant needed for the production of cartilage and is also an important immune function booster.

Manganese. A mineral that plays a key role in the production of a component of cartilage.

Glucosamine sulphate or hydrochloride – what’s the difference?

Most research has focused on the health benefits of glucosamine sulphate whilst Procosamine contains a vegetarian source of glucosamine hydrochloride. USANA scientists have added potassium sulphate to the Procosamine formulation in order to provide the same benefits as shellfish-sourced glucosamine sulphate.

Vitamins A, C & E

Glucosamine is used to make cartilage which needs the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E and the antioxidant mineral selenium for its production. Glucosamine is essential for bone building and for the production of skin, nails, tendons and cartilage. Boosting A, C and E and selenium may thus help to protect the joints.

Be GUIDE-ed!

The results of a small six month long trial called the GUIDE trial conducted in Spain and Portugal, measured the effects of a 1500mg daily dose of glucosamine sulphate against a 3000mg daily dose of the analgesic (pain killer) acetaminophen (paracetamol) or placebo in 318 people with knee OA. Glucosamine relieved pain significantly better than the acetaminophen or placebo say the researchers.

‘Glucosamine is a safe compound and its use should be considered in the early stages of OA,’ says Gabriel Herrero-Beaumont MD lead author of the GUIDE trial.

Supplementary supplements

USANA Essentials™ contains Vitamin D. This helps the body to absorb calcium for strong bones. Some studies suggest low levels of vitamin D in people with joint diseases. The fluid in an inflamed joint can contain significant amounts of free radicals which are not found in a normal knee joint. Essentials contains a potent and wide-ranging mix of antioxidants.

BiOmega™III contains omega-3 fats. These essential oils are known for their antiinflammatory properties; they are also converted in the body into substances called prostaglandins which may help to improve joint mobility and reduce joint stiffness and resulting pain.

Using USANA Procosamine: take three tablets daily, preferably with meals.

NutritionX Health Network

Share Button