The HealthQuest Newsletter Online is a monthly review of the scientific literature, supporting the use of supplementation for the restoration and maintenance of health.
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NOTE:   The studies we will review are tagged with citation numbers like this: [2]
If you “click” on that red number, you will be transported to the actual study.
Many of the graphics can also be enlarged by clicking on them.

Shaklee Is Better Than Organic

It’s been 8 years since I first stumbled upon a class of protective nutrients called phytoalexins, while I was researching the benefits of organic produce. [1]   These unique compounds rarely appear in conventionally grown fruits and vegetables; they are only found at appreciable levels in organic produce.   [2]

This is because plants only produce these powerful phytochemicals as a defensive “immune response” to an assault by bugs, bacteria, viruses, molds, or mildews.   [3]   (NOTE: User Name and Password are both shaklee )   Without some external threat stimulus, the plant has no need to produce them.

They are also referred to as secondary metabolites, because they are “organic compounds that are not directly involved in the normal growth, development, or reproduction of the plant”.

Biologists have named this defensive plant mechanism “Induced Systemic Resistance”, and this response has recognized for more than 60 years. However, it is only recently that the health-promotional effects of these nutrients have been seriously considered.   [4,   5]

Since the publication of the first (2009) HealthQuest Newsletter on this topic, there has been considerable additional research into the amazing properties of different phytoalexins. Although they are manufactured to protect the plant, or to help the plant recover, they appear to provide enhanced antioxidant protection for humans who consume them.

Numerous studies have shown that they also provide anti-inflammatory protection, unique anti-aging properties, and appear to inhibit the development of various forms of cancer.   These interesting compounds have been identified in about 75 different plant species, including cruciferous vegetables, soybeans, garlic, tomatoes, rice, and certain types of beans.   [6]

Seventy percent of shoppers, interviewed at Whole Foods, state that their #1 reason for purchasing organic products is to avoid exposure to pesticide residue. [7]   That is an extremely rational decision, even if the vitamin levels were relatively similar to their conventional (or sprayed) counterparts.

But, now we know that these organically grown raw materials actually contain other unique phytonutrients that provide additional health benefits, far beyond those usually provided by our old friends, vitamins and minerals.   I believe it is their presence in Shaklee supplements that make then so remarkable.

Organic IS better!

There are thousands of articles about phytoalexins available through the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed search tool. [8]   Most of these articles are devoted to designing or testing synthetic versions of these substances, so that they can be patented as new and expensive “wonder drugs”.   Many others are devoted to the creation of “greener” pesticides.   There appear to be no classic reviews of them as a group, and there is no compiled list of phytoalexins anywhere, outside of a few dated and out-of-print textbooks.

As an example of how frustrating a review of this topic can be, one full-text article, reviewing a single phytoalexin class called terpenoids mentioned that “40,000 individual terpenoids are known to exist in nature”.   [9]

To investigate (and integrate) all the materials written about phytoalexins would require PhDs in organic chemistry, genetics, physiology, cell chemistry, biology and pharmacology.

Fortunately, there are some fascinating reviews of human and animal trials, detailing the effects of phytoalexins on the protection and/or recovery of health.   Amusingly, most of these authors appear to be unaware that the nutrient under their study are actually a phytoalexin.

The Phytoalexins

Resveratrol is found in Shaklee’s
Vivix Liquid Dietary Supplement
(21500 or 22911 Kosher version) and in smaller quantities in Shaklee’s new and improved CoQHeart (22076), is the most researched of all the phytoalexins.

By 2009 there were already 2,000 peer-reviewed articles discussing the various properties of resveratrol.   Today (7-24-2017) there are more than nine thousand (9,749) scientific articles devoted to resveratrol:   [10]

  • 2,726 of them are devoted to its impact on cancer,

  • another 666 on diabetes,

  • 1,159 on cardiovascular disease,

  • 1,063 on inflammation, and

  • 1,302 devoted to resveratrol's antioxidant properties.

Naturally, there is some overlap in these articles, because so many of them review multiple characteristics of this powerful polyphenol.

Resveratrol was first credited with the heart-protecting benefits of red wine (referred to as the “French Paradox”) in 1992.   [11]   The “paradox” refers to the fact that coronary heart disease is relatively low in France, despite a high daily intake of saturated (or “bad”) fats.   The following year (1993), epidemiologists demonstrated a direct relationship between the amount of resveratrol in the wine, and the lower incidence of heart disease.   [12]   Interest in this powerful polyphenol intensified in 1997, with the discovery that resveratrol helps to prevent cancer, by inducing preventive activities at three different major phases of carcinogenesis (or cancer development).   [13]

Then in 2003, researchers at Harvard University discovered that resveratrol is a key longevity molecule, with the ability to activate the sirtuin (or Sir2) gene.   In a series of studies, resveratrol enhanced the vitality, and extended the life span of every species that they tested, even with mice being fed a high fat, high calorie diet!   [14,   15,   16,   17,   18]

The most important take-away from this research is not just about life extension.   The resveratrol-fed mice in this study   [17]   also showed a marked reduction in many of the worst signs of aging. These included

reduced kidney disease,
lowered apoptosis (or cell death) within blood vessels,
increased elasticity of major arteries,
decreased inflammation,
improved motor coordination,
reductions in cataract formation, and the
preservation of bone mineral density in older mice.

That one single molecule can interrupt so many of the underlying causes of disease is simply astounding!

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Your Shaklee

Frank M. Painter, DC

HealthQuest Newsletter
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Alternative Care

La Grange, IL

(708) 352-8237

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Member ID:   DR72118

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