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NOTE:   All 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's Landmark Study

Everyone has heard the expression that “Talk is Cheap”.
This caveat is especially relevant when reviewing the outlandish claims made by supplement manufacturers and their distributors.   Although there are thousands of studies discussing the health benefits of various single nutrients, like beta carotene or vitamin C, no study had ever explored the long-term impact of taking a full-spectrum of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements.   That is, until Shaklee conducted the   Landmark Study.   [2]

Shaklee is unique among supplement manufacturers because they regularly conduct clinical trials to demonstrate the bioavailability and health benefits of their own products, before they are released.   These studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals, following critical scrutiny by leading researchers within the nutrition field.   Each study may cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and may take as long as 3 years to reach publication. Those are a few of the reasons why other supplement manufacturers don’t conduct these types of studies.

Here we are 9 years later, and no other manufacturer has had the courage to put their products through the same rigorous vetting process.   In fact, some of them even cite the Landmark Study as all the proof they need, even though Landmark clearly demonstrated that the “other supplements” couldn't and didn’t deliver those same kinds of health benefits.   But, I get ahead of myself.   We’ll review the pertinent statistics shortly.

The Shaklee Family includes many thousands of individuals who have been using supplements for 20, 30 or even 40 years!   When new owner Roger Barnett (2004) first started meeting with large groups of Shaklee Sales Leaders, he was continually surprised when they finally mentioned their age, because they all appeared so much younger and healthier than their years might suggest.   Impressed with their health and vitality, and seeing the need to show the world what Shaklee supplementation had done for them, a research project was proposed, to compare Shaklee products with other (generic) supplements.

Shaklee contacted the esteemed epidemiologist Dr. Gladys Block [1], from the Berkeley School of Public Health, and asked her to conduct thge clinical trial.   It was agreed that her team would collect and analyze the health histories, physical exams, and blood test results.   Berkeley would run all the statistical analyses, write the paper, and shepherd it through the peer-review process.   Although Shaklee funded the study, UC Berkeley maintained absolute control over the publication of the results, good or bad.

You can't imagine the courage it would take for any supplement manufacturer to expose themselves to that kind of risk.

If their products didn't measure up, it would be published in the medical literature, followed by endless ridicule in the media.   This is another reason why Landmark was a first-of-its-kind study.   No other company had the guts to put their products to the test.   As always, Shaklee leads the pack!

The Landmark Study Contrasted 3 Groups:

Shaklee members, who had been using Shaklee supplements for at least 20 years, were compared with age and gender-matched individuals who took at least one multivitamin a day, and a control group that did not supplement at all.

A Unique Comparison Trial
Shaklee Users
"Other" Supplements
No Supplement Use

Beginning at the 2005 Chicago Convention, they started gathering blood samples and other demographic and physical data from over 300 Shaklee members.   The requirements for eligibility were that participants had to have been using Shaklee supplements for at least 20 years.   The average age in the study group was around 65 years, with an age-range between the 40s to the 80s.   Originally referred to as the 50th Anniversary Study, it is now known as the Landmark Study.   [2] and   [2+]

There are 5 different components to the Study:

  1.   Amount of nutrients found in their blood
  2.   Incidence of disease states
  3.   Quality of life statistics
  4.   Safety of long-term use
  5.   Scores for the Biomarkers of Disease

Nutrient Analysis

Lab analysis revealed that the Shaklee group maintained much higher blood levels of all the essential vitamins, and healthier levels of iron and other minerals.

Table 4 details the results of the nutrient blood test results.   [3]

We will discuss results for the biomarkers of disease shortly.

Demographic Analysis

To gather comparative health statistics, Dr. Block used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database (or NHANES).   Created by the Centers for Disease Control back in the 1960s, NHANES conducts surveys, designed to assess nutritional status and its association with health promotion and disease prevention.   [4]   During the last 50 years, this database has been used to investigate various nutritional behaviors, and their overall impact on health. Data on large groups (up to 50,000 per year) has been gathered since the 1970s.   [5]

The first insight about the relationship between sodium (salt) intake and high blood pressure was revealed by reviewing the extensive NHANES database. [6]   Although considerable information had been compiled about the health impact of multivitamin use, the effects of long-term supplementation had never been explored.   This is what first interested Dr. Block in conducting the Landmark Study.

The Landmark Study — the first-ever study of a rare population of long-term dietary supplement users — revealed that people who take a multivitamin have better health than those who don't... but those who take Shaklee supplements had markedly better health than either comparison group! Shaklee users also fared much better in diagnostic blood tests for the biomarkers of disease. These biomarker tests comprise the standard “medical screen” for disease.   [7]

The Biomarkers of Disease

Table 4 also displays the biomarker blood test results.

High blood homocysteine levels are a key marker for vascular disease, and it is also closely associated with heart attack and stroke [8],   [9], as well as the onset of cognitive decline [10], Alzheimer's disease [11], and Parkinson's disease. [12]

The Shaklee group all had significantly lower blood levels of homocysteine than either control group. That helps explain why they experienced much lower incidences of heart or vascular disease than the 2 control groups.


C - reactive protein (CRP) levels are an indicator
of inflammation, and high levels are strongly associated with many disease processes, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  [13],   [14]

Shaklee members were found to have completely normal CRP levels. The control groups were not so fortunate.

Their remarkable test scores (Shaklee group) awarded them all with a “clean bill of health”.


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Frank M. Painter, DC

HealthQuest Newsletter
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