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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.


What Is Health?


In 1948 the World Health Organization (WHO)   [1],   [2]
adopted the definition of health as being:

“A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”


In 2002, the White House Commission on Complementary and
Alternative Medicine Policy
  [3]   released their final report, stating that:

“Wellness is defined in many different ways, but all agree that it is more than the absence of disease.   For some it is the achievement of one's fullest potential, for others it is an integration of body, mind, and spirit.

Wellness can include a broad array of activities and interventions that focus on the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional aspects of one's life.”


I believe that the Habitat Group   [4]
has crafted the most all-encompassing definition of health to date:

“An individual’s health does not occur in isolation.   Rather, many factors combine together to influence the health of individuals and communities.

These factors include social, cultural, economic and physical environments, individual behavior, and biology. Together, these factors are known as the “determinants of health” and they describe where and how we live, and who we live among.

Examples of health determinants include housing standards, employment and education prospects, income and wealth distribution, access to health care resources, clean and safe water and food, relationships with family and friends, pollution, and personal safety.”   [4]

All these evolving concepts of wellness acknowledge that our mental state, economic circumstances, the community we live within, and our genetic heritage all contribute towards our overall health.

Strangely, none of these definitions mention our personal choices of
daily diet, or supplementation.


Although there are hundreds of thousands of peer-reviewed studies discussing the impact of nutrients on our health, the medical community still remains largely skeptical.   That is the major weakness of the scientific method:   evidence is not considered “proof”.

Evidence is suggestive, and that is good, but even the most compelling articles end with the stock statement:   “these results warrant further study, or another review, or another meta-analysis.”   Science is about investigation of cause and effect, and more data will ALWAYS be required.

There will always be more information to come, but in the meantime, we must act
on the information we have at hand
.

In this issue of HealthQuest, we will discuss how the Shaklee lifestyle contributes to our overall health.   It’s about much more than just taking a vitamin.   It’s also about knowing that we make a difference every day for our Planet, because we choose to use non-toxic cleaners.   It’s because we help our friends and family to regain and maintain their health with Shaklee supplements.   It’s about knowing we are part of a community of like-minded individuals, who want to make a difference.



And most importantly, it’s about us taking personal responsibility
for our own Health, each and every day.

That’s the perfect motto for our lives:

Take Charge of Your Health!




Shaklee's Healthy Foundations

With the recent release of the new Shaklee Life Plan, Shaklee has now developed a tiered nutritional option for every customer:   a good, better, or best approach.

This program provides 3 distinct levels of nutritional support:

The first tier is the:   Shaklee Life Plan, (89383 regular, or 89403 kosher)
which provides a full month's supply of the Life Energizing Shake, along with the new Shaklee Life Strip.


The all new Shaklee Life Strip combines all the health benefits of the Vitalizer Strip, along with an additional daily dose of the new Vivix Liquigels (21501) and a double (1000 mg) dose of pure, ultra-concentrated omega-3 fatty acids, in the new OmegaGuard Plus (22078) enteric-coated softgel capsule.

Although the 30-serving pouches involve less disposable packaging waste, I have listed the Life Plan product codes that call for two of the 15-serving canisters, just in case you’d like to enjoy 2 different meal shake flavors during the month.   (89383 regular, or 89403 kosher).

The soy-based shake is available in 4 flavors:
Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry and Café Latte.

The non-soy shake is currently available in 2 flavors:
Vanilla and Chocolate.


The second tier is the:   Vitalizing Plan , (89384 regular, or 89404 kosher),
which provides your choice of Vitalizer (for men, women, or in Gold pack format, with or without vitamin K) along with a month’s supply of the Life Energizing Shake.



The third tier is the:   Essentials Plan (89385 regular, or 89402 kosher),
which provides one canister of Life Energizing Shake. , along with a month’s supply of
Vita-Lea, and OmegaGuard.




All three nutritional platforms are based on Dr. Shaklee’s observation that the core of any health program must include a high quality multi-vitamin AND a plant-based source of high quality protein.

When the Landmark Study [5]   was conducted in 2005-6, remember that every Shaklee participant was taking Vita-Lea, OmegaGuard, a Shaklee Soy protein, along with additional B and C vitamins, and a variety of other antioxidant products. [ 6]   Those statistics became Shaklee’s motivation to create the all-inclusive Vitalizer System and now the new Life Plan.

The Landmark Study ALSO clearly demonstrated that individuals who took Shaklee nutrients had much better health and health outcomes than the control populations, who either took generic vitamins or did not supplement at all.   [7]

This study provided definitive evidence that Shaklee supplements are vastly superior to the ingredient choices made by other supplement manufacturers.


About Vitamins and Minerals

The US Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus website contains a very basic list of the 13 vitamins [8]   and the 15 minerals [9]   that are considered essential to life. The fascinating history of the discovery of vitamins is available at the Nobel Prize website. [10]

Researchers have continued to examine other compounds found in our food, and have discovered an ever-growing list of other beneficial substances referred to as phytonutrients. [11]   While these compounds aren't considered “essential” by the traditional definition, many of them appear to reduce the incidence of the diseases “associated” with aging when we consume more of them in our daily diet.   [12]   Unfortunately, few Americans eat all the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables required to capture those health benefits.

I have written previously about a class of extremely powerful phytonutrients called phytoalexins, a specialized class of phenolic compounds produced by plants as their natural defense mechanism against assault by molds, mildews, viruses, or other micro-organisms. These unique compounds rarely appear at any concentration in conventionally-grown and pesticide-sprayed fruits, grains or vegetables; they are only found at appreciable levels in organic produce.   [13]

Shaklee supplements have always been sourced from organically grown fruits, vegetables, flowers, and grains, and so they have always contained these other amazing phytonutrients. I believe this may be the primary reason why Shaklee supplements provided those unexpected health improvements revealed by the Landmark Study. Some of these added health benefits may have been unanticipated in the early Shaklee products, because those compounds had not yet been discovered, but many other Shaklee benefits WERE designed by the intention of Shaklee scientists. That is why we want to take a closer look at the new Life Energizing Shake.





About the Shake

All 3 of the nutrient plans recommend the Life Energizing Shake.

Here are the basic features of the shake:
  • The new Life Energizing Shake provides 24 grams of protein (when mixed with skim milk) which includes 16 grams of non-GMO soy, with a perfect ratio of all 9 essential amino acids, as demonstrated by Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) testing.   [14]

  • Both new Life Shakes contain leucine to help preserve lean muscle mass during weight loss and to help build muscle mass during exercise.   [15],   [16],   [17]

  • There are now 6 new shake choices, including 4 flavors of the soy-based shake, and 2 new non-soy alternatives, sourced from the protein-rich Sacha inchi seed. PDCAAS testing reveals that Sacha is as perfectly balanced a protein source as soy, and it is ALSO rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the progenitor of all eight of the essential Omega-3 fatty acids.   [18]   ALA provides numerous other health benefits, including improved metabolism, heart and brain health.   [19]

  • Life Shakes also contains a unique combination of pre- and probiotics to support digestive and immune health. [20]

    This last bullet point deserves closer attention.

This unique combination of a pre- and probiotics are referred to as a synbiotic:
meaning that a supplement that combines probiotics and prebiotics creates a synergism of their activity, thus the term Synbiotic.   [*]

This is WHY the new Life Energizing Shake contains a unique strain of beneficial bacteria known as Bacillus coagulans.

The Life Extension Foundation explains:

“While probiotics are essential for optimal health, capturing their benefits from most conventionally available products can pose a technical challenge.   The reason is that many of the living organisms these products are supposed to contain don’t even survive the high heat and pressure common to the manufacturing process.   All too often, the remaining live cells die quickly while sitting on the shelf;   or they cannot survive exposure to stomach acid, or bile in the gut, so that they may survive to colonize the colon.”   [21]

This is why Shaklee and Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical spent more than a year developing the triple encapsulation pearl for their OptiFlora System, (80638) to protect the probiotics, so they can get to the intestine to do their work.

 

Bacillus coagulans is unique in that it arrives in its own protective spore capsule.
Just like a plant seed, they await the ideal environment to sprout
.

The esteemed WebMD website states:

“People take Bacillus coagulans for diarrhea, including infectious types such as rotaviral diarrhea in children; traveler's diarrhea; and diarrhea caused by antibiotics.

Bacillus coagulans is also used for general digestion problems, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), and infection due to the ulcer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

Some people also use B. coagulans to prevent respiratory infections and to ramp up their natural immunity.

It is also used to prevent cancer, or the formation of cancer-causing agents.

There is also some interest in using it as an additive to vaccines to improve their effectiveness.”
  [22]



The research supporting this unique probiotic is extensive:

  • Two major randomized placebo-controlled trials demonstrated that B. coagulans is effective in managing the full spectrum of intestinal inflammatory disorders including irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.   [23],   [24]

  • They also provide powerful anti-inflammatory properties that protect intestinal immune-defense reactions, while also providing powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-tumor forming properties.   [25]

  • A recent placebo-controlled trial demonstrated that it was effective in combatting bacterial vaginal infections. This is especially relevant because these common infections often respond poorly to antibiotic management.   [26]

  • They also support protein, lactose, and fructose digestion, reducing intestinal symptoms in those individuals who are sensitive to certain hard-to-digest carbohydrates.   [27]

  • In a clinical trial, adults who supplemented with B. coagulans for three months experienced reductions in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, while also increasing their (beneficial) high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. This promising finding indicates that it promotes healthy lipid profiles.   [28]

  • Another randomized trial found that individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis lowered their C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, and experienced significant reductions in joint pain.   [29]



All these studies make it clear why Shaklee added this new probiotic to the new shake.

Vitalizer, and now the new Life Strip, both combine the most powerful and well-researched antioxidants AND phytonutrients into a powerful defender of our health.   These select nutrients can inhibit many of the known mechanisms that cause disease, including:

  • Blocking the formation of advanced glycation endproducts (or AGE Proteins)   [30] 7 Limiting oxidative damage of cell membranes, cellular organelles, and the DNA contained within the cell nucleus   [31]

  • The Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 50% of Americans are deficient in the following immune-supporting nutrients:
    Vitamins A, C, E, B-6, B-12 and folic acid, and 73% of us get too little zinc.   [32]


About All of Us

In placebo-controlled trials, half the participants would be given a sugar tablet, believing that they were receiving a new miracle drug.   [33]   It always confounded researchers that as many as 40% of the placebo participants actually improved.   Trying to resolve that confusion finally led to exploring the Mind-Body relationship.

Today it is becoming increasingly clear that HOW we feel about something, our sense of Trust, our sense of Belonging, our sense of Community, and our sense of Making-a-Difference are ALL important contributors to our Health.   [34]

Being part of the Shaklee Community, and participating in creating the Shaklee Effect are all healthy.   Yes, taking your vitamin IS important.   It’s also important to share your approach to health with others.

That is why I salute your commitment to the Shaklee Lifestyle!


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* Although these statements may have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration,
they are all drawn directly from the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and that's good enough for me!