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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.

Supplementation For
The Prevention of Disease



Negative Press

Almost every year there's a new spate of negative studies about the benefits of supplementation.   Two of the worst examples were papers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reporting on the results of the Physicians' Health Study trial.   The authors enrolled 14,641 male physicians from the United States, aged 50 years or older.

They divided them into 4 groups, so only 3,656 doctors actually received 400 IU (international units) of vitamin E every other day, and 500 mg of “vitamin C” daily.   They tracked this group for 8 years, reviewed their health status, and then published 2 separate studies.



The first, or Heart paper, concluded that vitamin C and vitamin E supplementation
did not reduce the risk for major cardiovascular events.
  [1]

However, their selection of candidates, and their methodology was seriously flawed:

  • The median age of participants was 64.3 years old   [2]

  • 42% had pre-existing high blood pressure

  • 6% had pre-existing heart disease

  • 6% had pre-existing diabetes

  • Men with a history of heart attacks, or previous strokes (indicating vascular disease) were eligible to participate in this study

  • All participants received synthetic ascorbic acid and synthetic alpha tocopherol,   produced by BASF, the “Chemical Company”.



The second, or Cancer paper, used this same exact (flawed) cohort to state that
vitamin C & E supplementation did not reduce the risk of prostate,
or other forms of cancer.
  [3]

The weak points in this study include:

  • 44% were past or current smokers

  • 9% already had pre-existing cancers

  • Men with a history of cancer were enrolled

  • All of them received synthetic supplements   [4],   [5]

  • And although this is unusual, participants received their supplements by mail, and adherence to the program was defined by yearly written reports from the doctors, IF they took least two- thirds of their supplements.   So, the doctors could forget to take their vitamins and could still remain in the program.   It’s quite likely that under-dosing was common.

    Do YOU remember if YOU took all your vitamins last October?   Honestly?



Do you see a pattern emerging?

Using older individuals, who already have the disease you want to prevent, or have multiple risk factors for developing that disease (including advanced age, history of smoking, high blood pressure, uncontrolled cholesterol levels, and high homocysteine levels) is a very effective way to make supplementation look bad.

Numerous other studies, discussed in a previous issue of the HealthQuest Newsletter
(Alternative Approach To Heart Health ~ Issue 25-2) used similar bogus strategies to attempt to discount the real benefits of supplementation.

The underlying flaw with all these types of studies is that they expect single nutrients to act as though they are experimental drugs.

In Nature, vitamins do not exist as single components that act independently.   In reality, Vitamins occur in our foods as complexes.   Vitamin complexes are made up of different components — enzymes, co- enzymes, and co-factors — that need to work together synergistically to produce their intended biologic effects.

It should come as no surprise that synthetic ascorbic acid, all by itself is not very helpful, especially when it is stripped of all the other active agents that are normally bound to it in our food.



Although chemical companies like BASF would have you believe that synthetic vitamins or other manufactured nutrients are identical to the naturally occurring forms, considerable research has clearly demonstrated that the human body recognizes this difference.

Our digestive tract preferentially absorbs LESS of them than their natural counterparts, and the body also chooses to excrete them more rapidly.
[6],   [7],   [8],   [9]  

All of the large prospective studies of the last 40 years have shown that those individuals who eat the most fruits and vegetables also have the lowest incidence of the diseases of aging:   [10]

heart disease, cancer, stroke, pulmonary diseases (including pneumonia), and stroke.

Those are the top killers of everyone above the age of 55.   [11]




The Way It Really Works

Raymond Francis, an MIT-trained scientist, writes in his best-selling book “Never Be Sick Again” about the biologic causes of disease.   [12]

His conclusions are elegantly simple:

There is only one cause of disease — and that is the malfunctioning of our cells.   He goes on to demonstrate that there are only 2 reasons why cells malfunction:

  1. Lack of Nutrients

  2. Exposure to Toxins

The lack of nutrients in “modern foods” occurs because of bizarre food processing techniques (like removing wheat germ from grains before turning them into bleached flour) and industrial farm procedures that use chemical fertilizers and pesticides to force-grow our produce.

Both of these approaches magnify the causes of disease by first reducing the nutrient content in our food, while also increasing our toxic load.

Research clearly suggests that it is the LACK of these nutrients in our diet over time that leads to the cellular breakdown that eventually produces disease states.

And finally... supplementation is not supposed to be THE “cure” for disease! Prevention Models are about reducing risk by making healthy choices.

Numerous studies reported in the peer-reviewed literature have shown that supplementation can reduce disease symptoms and occasionally halt the progression of certain diseases, once they are full-blown, but prevention must always be the first strategy.   [12]

Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, get more of your protein from vegetable sources, and take supplements to fill in the gaps in your diet.   That's what the rest of this newsletter will propose.


A Novel Study To The Rescue

As a reaction against the endless publication of failed single-substance studies, researchers at McMaster University (Canada) and the Institute of Mitochondrial Biology and Medicine (China) decided to explore the impact of taking a broad spectrum of nutrients on 2 groups of mice.   [13]

Their formulation, including 30 different nutrients, was developed to target five key mechanisms associated with ageing:   [14a]

oxidative stress,
inflammation,
mitochondrial function,
insulin resistance, and
cell membrane integrity.   [14b],   [14c]  

Of these, the most serious components of aging involve genetic and cell membrane damage, caused by free radicals.   Cancer cells are produced by damaged DNA strands.

The cell membrane manages transport of food into the cell, and the elimination of waste products out of the cell.   Damage to this transport system can either starve the cell, or pollute it with waste that can’t be eliminated.



These researchers focused on 2 easily observed components of aging:
mental acuity and physical capacity.


The object of this study was to see if supplemented mice would remain more physically and mentally active than the unsupplemented mice.


The nutrients were blended to address two current theories of aging:   The free radical theory and the mitochondrial theory, both which suggest that oxidative damage to our DNA and the cell membranes initiates the cellular decline that initiates the onset of the diseases of “old age”.

The supplements that targeted for mitochondrial performance included
carnitine, coQ10 and fish oil.

The antioxidants that targeted free radical damage included
vitamins A, C and E, selenium, and N-acetyl cysteine.


And the results?

  • In the non-supplemented group, mitochondrial (energy) production dropped to 46 per cent of youthful levels after the first year, where as the supplemented mice, exhibited a “remarkable 56 per cent gain in mitochondrial activity”, along with a significant gains in their physical activity levels.

  • Lead researcher David Rollo noted that the supplemented mice were twice as physically active, and they also seemed to get smarter.

  • When examining their brain tissues, they discovered that the supplemented brain cells experienced significantly less free radical damage — evidence suggesting this supplement cocktail made a big difference.

  • Incidentally, the supplemented mice also lived 11 per cent longer, and when this supplement mix was given to grasshoppers, they lived twice as long as normal!



Here are the ingredients found in their “wonder” supplement:

All eight B vitamins
Vitamin C, D, and E
Alpha-lipoic acid
Bioflavonoids   (some)
Carotenoids   (some)
Coenzyme Q10   (some)
Garlic   (3% of Garlic Complex)
Ginger root
Ginkgo Biloba   (15% of Mental Acuity)
Ginseng
Green tea
N-acetyl cysteine
Omega 3s

Plus these minerals:

Chromium
Magnesium
Manganese
Selenium   [*]

NOTE: Some of these nutrients were somewhat lower doses (garlic, ginger, ginkgo, green tea).



Want the Really Good News?

You can capture those same remarkable health benefits, just by taking:

along with an occasional serving of:

The Theories of Aging

To get a clear idea of why these nutrients reduced the effects of aging in those mice, while also increasing their energy and longevity, let’s review the 3 most-researched theories of aging.

The first theory:

The Free Radical Theory of Aging proposes that we age because our cells accumulate “free radical” damage over time.

Free Radicals are oxygen molecules that have lost (or donated) an electron during one step of a chemical process, and then break free and steal an electron from a nearby molecule.   This attack causes structural damage, and when it happens to mitochondria, cellular DNA, or the cell membrane, cell function will diminish.   [15]



The second theory:

The Mitochondrial Theory of Aging is similar to the free radical theory, but it involves more than just free radical damage.

The mitochondria are the energy producers of the cell
(think Nuclear Reactors). During the process of tearing sugar molecules apart to produce energy, unstable molecules are produced.   Although cellular DNA contains proteins (called histones) designed to repair free radical damage, mitochondrial DNA lacks the histone mechanisms for self-repair.   [16]

Thus, year by year, energy production within the mitochondria declines.   This inhibits the cell’s ability to repair, reproduce, or to manufacture the numerous compounds required for maintaining life and health.



The third theory:

The Telomere Theory of Aging is the most recent theory.
Genetic information is stored within our 23 chromosomes.   Every time a cell reproduces, it has to create matching, identical sets of the chromosomes, before the cell can divide.   This happens as often as twice a day (for highly active cells in our digestive tract), to about every 4 months (for our blood cells).   [17]   To reduce the likelihood of replication errors, the ends of each chromosome contains repetitive “nonsense” sequences that prevent the chromosome from fusing into rings, or binding haphazardly to other DNA in the cell nucleus.   [18]   These protective ends are called the telomere

The process of cell division is called mitosis.   Every time division occurs, the telomeres of the dividing cell gets just a bit shorter.   Once a cell's telomeres have reached a critically short length, that cell can no longer divide.   It’s structure and function begins to fail.   Cells stop reproducing, a condition called senescence.

Scientists have demonstrated that senescence is definitely related to telomere length, because adding telomerase (an enzyme that lengthens telomeres) allows cells to reproduce indefinitely.


Strategies For Maintaining Health

Shaklee added 26 separate antioxidants to the
Vitalizer System and the Shaklee Life Strip to prevent this pervasive damage caused by free radicals.   Each type of antioxidant contributes to a different aspect of our built-in cellular defense mechanism.   Deficiencies in any specific antioxidant will increase cellular damage rates, causing premature aging.

Vitalizer and the Life Strip also contains 80 different vitamins and minerals that were used in the Mouse Study.   It provides sustained-release B and C vitamins, and targeted release of vitamin E, the carotenoids, and all 7 of the naturally occurring omega-3 fatty acids, in significant clinical dosages.

They also provide the most advanced nutrient delivery system on the planet, to make sure that every nutrient is delivered to that portion of the digestive tract where they are best absorbed.


Shaklee’s CoQHeart (22076) is the next important nutrient, because it protects the mitochondria and the circulatory system from damage.   Although our cells can manufacture Co-Q, production begins to decline in our 20s, and by the age of 50, cellular reserves are reduced to about half of what’s required for energy production.   Co-Q is also depleted by drugs used to treat diabetes, and also by beta-blockers, cholesterol lowering drugs, diuretics, and antidepressants.   That includes more than 50% of Americans over the age of 50.

In 2002, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) completed a small placebo-controlled clinical trial with Coenzyme Q10 that suggested that it slowed disease progression in patients with early-stage Parkinson's disease.   Low levels of B vitamins and Co-Q have also been found in the brain tissues of individuals who succumbed to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington's disease and vascular strokes.   [19]   All these disease processes involved significant oxidative damage of the mitochondria.   Reduced Co-Q levels are also associated with chronic fatigue syndrome   [20],   diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease   [21],   and cancer.   [22],   [23]



Shaklee also produces several other products that strengthen the immune system and can also help protect against the ravages of aging:


Nutriferon (20962) is a proprietary blend of natural plant extracts that stimulates the immune system, by increasing the activity of macrophages (white blood cells), and inducing natural interferon production.   [24]   Nutriferon optimizes the immune responses to environmental irritants associated with allergies   [25]   and asthma   [26],   and can also reduce the impact of stress.   [27]   No adverse reactions to these plant extracts have ever been recorded.



The newly improved Vivix cellular anti-aging tonic contains resveratrol and 15 other powerful polyphenols.   This updated formula has been shown clinically to be 30% more effective at blocking AGE protein formation.   You may recall that the formation of advanced glycation end products (or AGE proteins) eventually leads to cell death.   [28]

Clinical testing also demonstrates that the new improved Vivix is 40% more effective than its predecessor at protecting our cellular DNA.



    Click to enlarge.
 


This was measured by Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis assays, also known as the Comet assay.   [ * ]   Simply put, DNA was exposed to oxidative stress, and then observed by fluorescence microscopy.   Undamaged DNA will look like the head of a comet.   (See Left-side of this picture)   However, the more damage that occurs to DNA, the smaller the head becomes, and the larger and more diffuse the tail appears.   (See R-side of this picture)   [**]


Comet testing revealed that DNA, which had first been treated with the new Vivix maintained a bright comet head, with virtually no tail dispersion.   That’s just the kind of protection we all want.

Vivix polyphenols have also been shown to be protective of the liver   [29],   nerve and brain tissue   [30],   and has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancerous human breast, lung, stomach and leukemia cells by up to 73 percent.   [31]


The Landmark Study


Shaklee products have a proven track record for improving health and reducing the incidence of disease.   [32]   Shaklee's Landmark Study clearly demonstrated that long-term Shaklee users had much lower blood homocysteine levels, which naturally led to much lower incidence of vascular disease, heart attacks or strokes in the Shaklee participants.   The control groups were not as fortunate.

ALL the Shaklee users had normal C-reactive protein levels, which is why they had drastically lower incidences of heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, even though the average age of the Shaklee group was 65 years, the typical age when such diseases usually manifest.

The Landmark researchers used self-reported health questionnaires, so that they would be comparing “apples-to-apples”.   When computing the risk factors for a variety of diseases, the Shaklee group scored between 200 to 500% better than the 2 control groups.   More importantly, their actual incidence of coronary artery disease, heart attacks, stroke, and diabetes was also significantly lower.

Finally, when asked to rate their personal health, 85% of the Shaklee users listed it as “very good to excellent”, whereas less than half of the 2 control groups scored themselves that well.   What does that tell you about the state of their health, or the quality of the vitamins they were taking?

The most profound differences between the 3 study groups was revealed by their use of prescription drugs.   The Federal Government compiles prescription statistics through the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys (MEPS)   [33]   These statistics reveal that any person, under the age of 65, who makes any prescription purchase during a given year, will end up consuming at least 12.5 prescriptions during that year.   Far worse, individuals over 65 years of age use TWICE as many prescriptions, at 4 times the cost!   [34]

Although the control groups consumed on average of 19 prescriptions per year, the Shaklee group on average only filled ½ of one prescription per year!

That’s a 3800% difference in their usage patterns!   This is a very significant measure of how much healthier the Shaklee group was, is, and will remain!



Why not take some sage advice from this two-time Nobel Prize laureate:

“I believe that you can, by taking some simple and inexpensive measures, extend your life and your years of well-being.

My most important recommendation is that you take vitamins every day in optimum amounts, to supplement the vitamins you receive in your food.”


-- Linus Pauling, Ph.D.
(1901–1994)

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* Although these statements may have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration,
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