Have you ever thought about your eyes? We rely on them every day, but do we really appreciate them and take care of them like we should? We know that eating fresh organic produce and natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids keep your body and skin healthy and slim. Is there any nutrition that can do the same for your eyes? The answer is YES!
Recent research was done on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts and what foods and supplements could affect the prevention and treatment of eye disease. To get some answers researchers looked at a couple of key studies: Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and AREDS2. In the first study researchers noted the effect of 5 key nutrients on eye health.
The five key nutrients on eye health
- Vitamin C (500 mg) – Vitamin C is highly concentrated in your eye’s lens and has many healing benefits
- Vitamin E (400 IU as alpha tocopherol) – Vitamin E protects against oxidation (oxidation as in rust) and free radical damage. Additionally, higher intakes of vitamin E have been found to increase concentrations within the retina.
- Beta-carotene (15 mg) – Beta-carotene also helps prevent oxidation
- Zinc (80 mg) – Zinc has been tied to many enzymatic metabolic functions within the retina. This likely explains its high concentrations within the retina itself
- Copper (2 mg) – Copper is needed to offset the copper depletion that can happen with increased zinc.
AREDS found that these nutrients lowered the risk for AMD in those patients at the greatest risk for developing the disease. Additionally, a study performed in the Netherlands found that people taking above average dietary intake of the AREDS nutrients had a 56% reduced risk of AMD, while those with below average intake had a 33% increased risk.
With AREDS2, researchers created a five-year, multicenter, randomized trial of nearly 4,000 participants between the ages of 50 and 85. The study began in 2008 and focuses on four key nutrients:
- Lutein (10 mg) – Lutein is a carotenoid found in colorful fruits and vegetables, namely yellow and orange foods, as well as leafy green veggies. Has long been known to help prevent AMD, especially when those nutrients are consumed in the form of foods such as broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. Other additional studies have shown that lutein in particular helps to improve macular pigment density, as well as significantly improve visual acuity and retinal function. It also helped to slow the progression of AMD.
- Zeaxanthin (2 mg) – Zeaxanthin is also a carotenoid found in colorful fruits and vegetables, namely yellow and orange foods, as well as leafy green veggies. It has also long been known to help prevent AMD, especially when those nutrients are consumed in the form of foods such as broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables.
- DHA (350 mg) – DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid found primarily in cold-water fish.help to reduce inflammation and regulate the genetic expression of retinal cells. Of the omega 3-fatty acids, DHA seems to play the bigger role in eye health. There is significant concentration of DHA is both the brain and retina cells’ membranes. If fact, it is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the macula (the center part of the retina), as well as the periphery of the retina.
- EPA (650mg) – EPA is also an omega-3 fatty acid found primarily in cold-water fish. It helps to reduce inflammation and regulate the genetic expression of retinal cells.
Other Nutrients for Eye Health:
- B vitamins – With B vitamins, long-term, daily use of 2.5 mg of folic acid, 50 mg of vitamin B6, and 1 mg of vitamin B12 reduced the risk of mild AMD by 40%.
- Vitamin D3 – 604 IU of vitamin D (from both food and supplements) reduced risk of early AMD.
When it comes to omega-3s overall, studies have shown that these polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce the risk of AMD by up to 38% when taken in high amounts, either as supplements or fish. Other studies have shown that eating fish at least once a week was associated with a 40% reduction in age-related maculopathy.
What’s really interesting is that a fairly recent study found that DHA supplementation alone increased the density of central macular pigment, while lutein alone increased macular pigment density around the fovea (the center of the macula). When taken in combination, increases were seen in both areas.
Cataracts and Antioxidants
It has long been established that a primary factor in the development of cataracts is oxidative damage to the lens. For this reason, much of the research surrounding nutrition and cataracts includes the use of antioxidants.
In the Nurses’ Health and Beaver Dam Eye Studies, researchers found that women/people who:
- Took a vitamin C supplement for 10 years or more had significantly lower incidence of cataracts.
- Used vitamin E supplements for five years also enjoyed reduced progression of cataracts.
- Used a multivitamin that contained vitamins C or E for more than 10 years had a 60 percent lower likelihood of developing cataracts.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin also seem to play a role in protecting against cataracts. One study found that a higher intake of foods containing these two nutrients was associated with a reduced likelihood of developing cataracts.
- Similarly, the Nurses’ Health Study found that women who had high daily intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin (11.7 mg) had a 22 percent reduction in cataract risk.
Here are some things you can do for your diet:
- Eat the rainbow. Focus on yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, as well as leafy greens and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
- Dig into eggs. The yolks are rich in lutein.
- Think seafood. Aim for at least two to three servings of wild-caught, cold-water fish per week.
- Enjoy citrus fruits and berries. These are great sources of vitamin C.
- Go Nuts. Nuts and seeds are good sources of Vitamin E.
On the supplement front:
- Folate (up to 2.5 mg)
- Vitamin B6 (up to 2.2 mg)
- Vitamin B12 (up to 1 mg)
- Vitamin C (360 to 500 mg)
- Vitamin E (400 IU)
- Vitamin D3 (600 IU)
- Beta-carotene (up to 15 mg)
- Lutein (10 to 15 mg)
- Zeaxanthin (2 mg)
- DHA and EPA (1,000 mg combined)
Are you concerned about the nutritional content of your food? If so, you’re not alone. A 1999 survey indicated that 87% of consumers reported changing their eating habits due to specific health concerns. Among the greatest worries were heart health and dietary cholesterol intake. The major dietary concern (reported by almost half of those surveyed) was reducing fat.
It is important to consider the amount, quality and balance of essential amino acids in the proteins that we ingest. Animal protein is a major contributor to the fat in the most people diet. They eat plenty of protein, but it is mostly from meat, eggs, and dairy sources, which are usually high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Animal proteins are easily digested and generally contain a mix of amino acids that is very similar to ours (complete protein source). Plant sources of protein are not as easily digested and more than one source of plant protein is required in order to create an optimum amino acid profile or complete protein. Consuming poor quality protein sources that are either not complete or non-complementary increases the amount of protein required in order to obtain amino acids in the correct proportions to meet our needs.
Thanks to Shaklee, using the newest methods for assessing the quality of protein and equal to that given animal proteins such as those from eggs and milk. Energizing Soy Protein is high in protein that is naturally low in fat, and naturally lactose and cholesterol free. It provides all the amino acids, including the nine essential ones your body needs but cannot manufacture itself. It is also a good source of calcium and iron.
In addition, Energizing Soy Protein provides naturally occurring beneficial plant compounds that are being extensively studied. Soy contains isoflavones, especially genistein and daidzein. These are intriguing to researchers because they are phytoestrogens and may be related to soy’s ability to regulate hormonal balance and deliver long-term health benefits.
Some soy protein products are alcohol-processed, which removes isoflavones. Energizing Soy Protein is water-washed to retain naturally occurring isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein. Shaklee uses only non-genetically modified (GMO) soy protein certified through an Identity Preservation Program (IPP). This program assures that the soy we use is tightly monitored and controlled from planting and harvesting to processing.
The tremendous benefits of soy protein include sustained energy, vitality, and stamina — plus the benefits of naturally occurring isoflavones compounds not present in meat or dairy foods.
Who Might Benefit from Energizing Soy Protein?
- People who are concerned about heart health
- People interested in reducing their intake of the typically high-fat, high-cholesterol animal sources of protein and supplementing their diet with a plant-based protein source that is naturally low in fat and lactose and cholesterol free.
- Vegetarians or vegans looking for a high-quality protein source that contains no animal products
- People interested in the health benefits associated with consuming soy
- Anyone interested in supporting the body’s natural ability to ward off hunger and maintain energy for hours
How Does Shaklee Soy Protein Work to Sustain Energy?
The key to Shaklee Soy Protein’s amazing ability to help people feel energized for hours is something scientists refer to as glycemic response.
Glycemic response describes the effect a food has on blood sugar. Foods like a hot-fudge sundae can cause your blood sugar to spike and then plummet rapidly. A short time after you’ve finished the last spoonful, you feel tired, irritable, and surprisingly hungry considering the number of calories you’ve just consumed. This is exactly the opposite of how you feel after a serving of Shaklee Soy Protein.
In a clinical study, subjects consumed 110 calories from carbohydrates alone and their blood sugar was measured every half hour. As expected, blood sugar shot up immediately and then quickly crashed. It’s this “rollercoaster” response that can lead to feelings of jitteriness, irritability, and hunger.
However, when subjects consumed 110 calories of Shaklee Soy Protein, the results were significantly different. Blood sugar didn’t spike, nor did it plummet. Instead, it remained essentially level. The body’s natural metabolic balance was undisturbed.
Why Choose Shaklee Energizing Soy Protein?
- 14 grams of protein per serving
- Uses only IPP-certified non-GMO soy protein
- Highest-rated protein quality
- Natural vegetarian protein source
- Naturally cholesterol free
- No saturated fat
- 1 gram of total fat per serving
- Naturally lactose free
- 50% of your daily needs for calcium
- All the amino acids, including the nine essential ones you must get from food
- Water-processed to retain naturally occurring isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein
- Choice of Creamy Cocoa or Natural Vanilla flavors
- No artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, or preservatives added
- Kosher certified
Heart Health Benefits of Soy
A meta-analysis of 38 studies indicates that consuming protein from soy foods is linked to retaining normal cholesterol levels. Another study suggests that soy protein may have antioxidant properties that helps protect “bad” (LDL) cholesterol from oxidizing.
Beyond the potential of soy to positively impact the cholesterol that travels through arteries, soy isoflavones may also support the healthy function of the arteries themselves. One study showed that menopausal women taking soy protein supplements (rich in isoflavones) experienced a significant improvement in elasticity of their arteries.
This elasticity has been shown to decline with age, a change that is viewed as a risk factor for cardiovascular health. Some scientists are predicting that these isoflavone effects may prove to be as valuable in supporting heart-healthy aging as their potential to retain normal cholesterol levels.
What Are Phytoestrogens and How Do They Work?
Soybeans are rich in a class of phytochemical compounds called isoflavones, particularly the phytoestrogens genistein and daidzein. Phytoestrogens are remarkably similar in molecular structure to the female hormone estrogen. They are thought to behave in the body like estrogen but at just a fraction of the strength of the powerful estrogens naturally produced by the body. Scientists suspect that it’s the relative weakness of these phytoestrogens that may actually work to support and protect our health.
Body tissues that utilize estrogen for normal, healthy function contain estrogen receptors, which bind to the estrogen that circulates in the blood. Researchers have hypothesized that when a diet is rich in soy foods, phytoestrogens may bind to some of these receptors. Phytoestrogens are currently being studied for heart, bone, and breast health.
Soy and Bone Health
Peoples typically think of dairy products as the best source of calcium, but there are many other good sources of calcium. In fact, Energizing Soy Protein is an excellent source of dietary calcium, providing 50% of the daily value of this important nutrient per serving.
Protein from soy may also offer bone-health advantages by replacing sources of animal protein in the diet. For long-term bone health, calcium intake is only part of the story. Urinary calcium loss is another factor that contributes to a negative calcium balance. High consumption of animal proteins, which are high in sulfur amino acids, appears to be responsible for this effect.
Soy protein, which has less sulfur amino acids relative to meat and other animal protein sources, may result in less calcium being lost in the urine and help keep calcium in the skeleton. In one study, calcium excretion was found to be 30% lower when dietary protein from soy sources was compared to equal amounts of protein from beef, fish, and chicken in healthy adults consuming a constant amount of calcium.
The isoflavones in soy foods may also help support healthy bones. A recent study showed that dietary intake of soy products containing isoflavones had a significant positive impact on bone turnover in healthy postmenopausal women.
Soy and Breast and Prostate Health
It has long been known that many soy-consuming Asian populations have better rates of breast and prostate health than do Western populations. There are many factors involved in prostate health, but a recent, large-scale population-health study suggests soy intake as one of those factors. In this study, men who reported frequently consuming soy milk (which contains isoflavones) were 70% more likely to maintain prostate health during a follow-up period, compared to the men who had little or no soy in their diet.
A recent population-health study conducted in China investigated the relationship between soy intake during adolescence and breast health later in life. After adjustments for known risk factors, higher soy food intakes reported during the teen years were associated with significantly better breast health when these women reached their pre- and postmenopausal adult years. Researchers believe that soy intake starting at a young age and continued throughout life is linked to maintaining breast health.
Another way that soy may promote heart, breast, and prostate health is by providing protection against oxidation damage. The soy isoflavone genistein has been shown to have antioxidant properties.
Soy and Menopause
Cross-cultural studies of menopausal women have found that women in Japan experience a smoother transitional period than women in the West. Soy foods are commonly consumed in Asian countries, providing an estimated 25–45 mg of isoflavones per day for the average person.
For the menopausal woman, soy has particular interest, as it is studied for both its apparent beneficial effect during menopause as well as for bone-building and helping to retain normal cholesterol levels.
Stress comes in many forms and is something we all must deal with. Positive stress gets us moving and doing something, negative stress breaks down our bodies. Unfortunately, negative stress is what we deal with the most. Whether it is from our environments, sickness, our thoughts, or actions, stress puts such a strain on us that we start to feel the effects physically.
When the body is under stress, more free radicals are produced. Free radicals are incomplete and unstable molecules that seek to balance themselves by taking what it needs from other cells. The only thing to stop them is to give them what they need by making sure there is a balance of antioxidants to free radicals. When stress hits, more free radicals are produced by the body, so extra antioxidants can be of great value in stress relief management.
Supporting your body’s defences by getting as many different nutrients as you can from your food is very important in dealing with stress. Many times during stress we have a tendency to over-eat, under-eat, take medication, drink or any number of destructive behaviours. This taxes an already overly worked system and more problems may arise. Binging on healthy foods is okay, but bewares of over processed and heavily preserved junk that contains a lot of sugar.
Getting the basic nutrition we need is difficult today because of the way we eat. Most of the time we eat for taste, not nutrition. It has to be fast and taste the same every time. If we do eat healthy, we have to understand that the nutritional content of our foods is less than what it were 50 or even 30 years ago. Because of this, “basic nutrition” is not what it used to be; we simply cannot get it all from our food. Taking a high quality multivitamin is a good and healthy place to start but by no means the only place.
Stress can be helped by giving our bodies extra support where it needs it most. This means targeting certain areas and using supplements to fill in our dietary holes. Vitamins such as B-Complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin-A, vitamin D3, Calcium, Zinc and others support the areas stress depletes. This article is a comprehensive list of vitamins and supplements you can take to help your body fight stress. You may need them all; or you may only need to add one or two to your daily routine.
If you choose not to supplement, make sure you are getting as much nutrition as possible from what you eat, but realize you may still be deficient. And never underestimate what a consistent good night sleep can do for you. You need to allow your body time to rest and repair itself. The power of a positive attitude can go a long way to reducing stress. Sometimes you need to change the way you see things in order to live longer and healthier.
Supplements for Stress
One of the most important groups of stress fighters are the B vitamins. These water soluble vitamins help regulate metabolic function and are essential in making sure the nervous and immune systems are able to work productively. One important factor in the B vitamins is, they are depleted by stress and since our bodies cannot produce B vitamins, we must get it from our food or another source.
There are eight members of the B family all of which work together. Each helps the other do a better job. If one or another B vitamin is producing an effect you want, do not increase that single B vitamin. For best results you need increase the whole group of B vitamins. The problem is, stress depletes B vitamins, so more is needed during those times.
B vitamins are essential in the synthesis of DNA and new cells. The B vitamins (folic acid, B6, and B12) promote a healthy cardiovascular system by helping to lower homocysteine levels in the blood. B vitamins work to help metabolize energy from carbohydrates, fat, and protein, it aids in the synthesis of DNA and new cells and is essential to initiate nerve transmission.
There are other things Bs are critical for like being essential for growth and development, releasing energy from our foods, regulating hormones, helping to form red blood cells, help form neurotransmitters and steroid hormones, greatly aids the immune system, is involved in cell reproduction, helps depression, and it is vital to mental health.
Symptoms of low B vitamins include increased fatigue, heightened anxiety, being overly irritable, and sickness. You can get some of your B vitamins from fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, whole grains, lentils, potatoes, chili peppers, bananas, leafy green vegetables, and fish. If you choose to supplement choose a high quality supplement like Shaklee’s B-Complex.
Vitamin C is an immune system booster and powerful antioxidant. It is important in helping our bodies deal with stress because all the functions it is vital for takes a beating when stress is involved. C is used by the body to regulate the function of the adrenal glands which produce cortisol and other stress hormones such as epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, which is a neurotransmitter. The body does not manufacture vitamin C on its own, nor does it store it. Therefore it is important to include plenty of vitamin C containing foods in your daily diet.
Vitamin C is also required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is necessary to form collagen, an important protein used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.
C detoxifies harmful chemicals, is essential for tissue growth, development and repair, has lowered cholesterol, aids in bone formation by helping to absorb calcium, reduces inflammation, promotes tissue repair, can lower the risk of stroke, is necessary for the formation of cartilage and collagen (the glue that holds cells together), keeps hair, skin and nails healthy, helps aid in the absorption of iron, “recharges” the fat-soluble vitamin E so it can fight another day, and helps restore stress hormones.
C could be considered our major antioxidant because it is involved in so many conditions believed to be caused by free radicals. Vitamin C helps to counter the effects of these cell-damaging molecules. Free radical toxins are formed by our bodies and are present in everyday situations. They cause deterioration of our immune system, leading to many common ailments and afflictions. In many cases, Vitamin C is made more effective when taken with other antioxidants such as vitamin E, flavonoids, and carotenoids.
Eating fresh fruits and veggies are a great way to get this vitamin, just plan on eating a lot throughout the day. Common sources include papaya, red bell peppers, tomatoes, hot green chilies, broccoli, cauliflower, oranges and all citrus fruits, strawberries, parsley, kale, mustard greens, spinach, cabbage, cantaloupe, watermelon, winter squash, onions, oregano, garlic and certain raw organ meats such as liver and heart. Incorporating as much of these foods as you can into your diet in fresh and interesting ways will keep you in better health. Taking a high-quality vitamin C supplement is a sure way to keep up on your vitamin C.
For the most benefit take at least 500mg a day, but 10,000mg and more has been suggested and tried with no adverse side effects. Of course if you are going to take a lot of C you should spread it out through the day, too much at once can cause diarrhea and stomach upset. If you are already taking nitrate medications for heart disease, you will want to talk to your doctor about taking a lot of vitamin C, a large amount can make them less effective.
Vitamin D3 is not only an amazingly diverse and important vitamin but also a hormone. Recent research shows that vitamin D—the “sunshine vitamin”—offers a multitude of benefits including supporting healthy heart function, immune and bone health. Vitamin D is responsible for the regulation of over 2,000 genes in your body.
But, most of the people nowadays may have insufficient levels of this essential nutrient. The older you are, the more vitamin D you need. With age, your body becomes less efficient in converting vitamin D to a form it can use. People with darker skin are more susceptible to having insufficient vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D is present in certain fish and fortified foods such as cow’s milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals. However, it is difficult to get adequate amounts of vitamin D through diet alone.
The absolute best way to get vitamin D is through direct sunlight on your skin. It’s the most natural way to acquire your D, and your body self-regulates the amount you receive. But due to insufficient exposure to sunlight, people who live farther from the equator have a greater risk of having insufficient vitamin D levels than those who live near it. Even weak sunscreens (SPF 8) can inhibit vitamin D production by up to 95%.
Beta-carotene is a fat-soluble antioxidant, important when dealing with stress because of the vital functions it performs also being vital for immune systems because it keeps skin and mucous membrane cells healthy and moist. Membranes that are healthy stay moist and resistant to cell damage. it helps the body to build up resistance to respiratory and other infections, making it a key nutrient to have during times of increased stress.
It is a member of over 380 compounds called carotenoids. Carotenoids help give the distinctive deep-colour vegetables their colours. Beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A (which is retinol) in the body as the body needs it; so beta-carotene is pre-vitamin A. Another bonus with beta-carotene is that it’s not toxic even at high levels like vitamin A can be.
Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant by helping to protect our cells by supporting skin-cell turnover; the process that keeps cell growth and development running efficiently. As a free radical fighter beta-carotene goes after a couple of free radicals for which no enzyme system exists. It is also unique in that it is not destroyed or made inactive when it quenches a free radical. It is also very effective at interrupting oxidant chain reactions spreading from one molecule to another
Some natural sources of vitamin A or beta-carotene are pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, winter squash, broccoli, apricots, spinach, collard greens, red peppers and blueberries. Kale is another green that cannot be ignored, along with spinach, broccoli and collard greens. If these do not look appetizing, try a beta-carotene supplement. The carotenoids in CarotoMax® are powerful, fat-soluble antioxidants that have been implicated in the long-term health of the eyes, prostate, cervix, lungs, and heart, and provides potent antioxidant protection for lipid-rich areas of cells.
When stress hits, it can cause your body to deplete calcium. Your body uses calcium up and can’t absorb it properly. Proper calcium absorption is vital to help retain normal blood pressure, assist in muscle contraction and nerve transmission, help reduce PMS symptoms such as bloating, cramps, water retention, irritability, and moodiness, support healthy heart function, immune health, healthy cell development, along with supporting colon, breast and prostate health, and maintaining of strong bones and teeth.
Combining vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K, boron, zinc, copper, manganese and other trace minerals with calcium gives it the support it needs to build bone density when you are young and minimize bone loss as you age. Too much calcium running unabsorbed through the bloodstream can cause kidney stones, inflammation and arthritis, and hardening of the arteries. This is why just taking a Tums for calcium can be dangerous if you are not getting enough trace minerals from other sources.
Eating foods such as non-fat yogurt, cheeses like Romano, Swiss, part-skim Ricotta, cottage, cheddar and Parmesan, fortified cereal, soy milk, milk, fish like sardines or salmon, tofu, soybeans, leafy green veggies like broccoli, kale, collard greens, and spinach, nuts like peanuts and almonds, blackstrap molasses, oranges, black beans, baked beans, black eyed peas, green peas and corn tortillas as a part of your normal diet will go a long way to improving your calcium intake.
Vitamin E is an extremely powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, which supports heart, brain, and prostate health and promotes lung, colon, and immune function. Antioxidants are nutrients which block the damage of free radicals in the body. Vitamin E is also essential for normal fertility and reproductive systems, as well as contributing to increased energy levels.
The following are just some foods are rich in vitamin E: Wheat germ oil, Sunflower oil, Safflower oil, Nuts and nut oils, like almonds and hazelnuts Green leafy vegetables, like lettuce, spinach, turnip, beet, collard, and dandelion greens Tomato products, Mangoes, Asparagus, Broccoli, Papayas and Avocados Fish, shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken, liver, and garlic are all good sources of selenium.
The amount of selenium in vegetables is dependent on the selenium content of the soil. Brewer’s yeast and wheat germ, both considered “health foods,” are also good sources of selenium.
Nature’s metabolic workhorse Zinc is present in all cells in the body. As part of enzyme reactions, zinc is involved in such diverse biochemical activities as protein digestion, amino acid metabolism, energy production, bone metabolism, vitamin A utilization, and insulin production. Zinc is necessary for growth and development, and to maintain normal immune function. It is also important for the synthesis of protein and the genetic material DNA.
Adding supplemental zinc to the diets of students led to improvements in both memory and attention span, according to preliminary research conducted at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Centre in North Dakota. In the study, kids given 20 mg of zinc five days a week for 10 to 12 weeks performed better on memory tasks and had longer attention spans than those who did not receive zinc supplements.
Zinc plays an important role in the proper functioning of the immune system in the body. It is required for the enzyme activities necessary for cell division, cell growth, and wound healing. It plays a role in the acuity of the senses of smell and taste. Zinc is also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates.
High-protein foods contain high amounts of zinc. Beef, pork, and lamb contain more zinc than fish. The dark meat of a chicken has more zinc than the light meat. Other good sources of zinc are peanuts, peanut butter, and legumes.
Fruits and vegetables are not good sources, because zinc in plant proteins is not as available for use by the body as the zinc from animal proteins. Therefore, low-protein diets and vegetarian diets tend to be low in zinc.
When stress hits, it effects many aspects of health. Over taxed adrenal glands and constantly high cortisol levels create free radicals that attack without mercy. Have you ever experienced a stress related melt-down? You know, grabbing your hair and screaming wildly while you vent your frustrations? Or are you more the type who keeps stress in? You know, never getting outwardly upset but inside screaming your head off?
Many of us need to find better ways to deal with the stresses of life before getting to the raving lunatic stage. I would love to have a spotless house all the time. I used to get upset that the house did not look the way I wanted it too. I had the extra stress and melt downs, etc. But, thankfully, I realized, it’s just a house; other things more important, like the kids making memories.
When I changed my attitude and perception about the house, my stress level went way down. What am I saying? Not only does nutrition play a crucial role in our health, our minds and thoughts do, too. Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from situations, places or people to be able to relax and get a proper perspective.
Dealing with stress can take many roads, but the foundational one we all need to be on is the one called Nutrition. Try the natural approach first; you will be surprised at how good you feel.
Nowadays we all are bombarded with ways to eat healthy and live longer. What if there was a real and tangible way that can be accomplished inside our bodies? Eating right and exercise are important in staying healthy but there is something that goes right along with healthy living.
The preliminary release of an independent study of how Vivix activates the Nrf2 anti-aging gene and fights high fat diets and stressful lives demonstrates the effectiveness of Vivix, an anti-cellular aging tonic. It would be best to let the good Dr Chaney’s analysis stand by itself. This is a study of Vivix by scientists outside of the company that makes it. What they found is astounding, and I think the information is better served by allowing it to speak for itself.
Dr. Chaney Vivix study and Nrf2!
Many of you have been asking when you will hear about Shaklee’s clinical studies with Vivix. Your wait is over.
At their August 2009 global conference in St. Louis Missouri Shaklee released some results from one of their key clinical studies on Vivix. This was a randomized, placebo controlled clinical study, the most rigorous kind of clinical study. It was also an independent study performed not by Shaklee, but by scientists at State University of New York at Buffalo.
In short, this was the real deal! In this study, a group of volunteers consumed a 910 calorie breakfast from Burger King. One half of the group took Vivix immediately after breakfast and the other half took a placebo. For the group consuming Vivix a key genetic regulator of longevity called Nrf2 (pronounced Nerf 2) increased dramatically within the first 3 hours after the meal. For the placebo group Nrf2 levels actually declined.
If you are feeling a bit under whelmed at the moment, it’s probably because this is the kind of study that needs a bit of additional explanation before you can fully appreciate it. Let’s start with the breakfast, which I have somewhat jokingly referred to as the “breakfast of champions”.
You see that Burger King Breakfast is loaded with the wrong kinds of fat – saturated fat & trans-fat. That’s the kind of fat that clogs your arteries. Not only does it clog your arteries, but it also causes your arteries to contract dramatically right after the meal. If those arteries are already clogged from previous high fat meals…You guessed it…It can trigger a heart attack or stroke.
If you’re lucky it could mean a trip to the emergency room. But, the most frequent symptom of heart disease is sudden death – often triggered by that fat laden “Happy Meal”, If you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor” And it isn’t just Burger King. Almost any fast food meal will do.
Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the protective effects of antioxidants.
In fact, you may have heard about previous clinical studies showing that supplementation with vitamin E or other antioxidants immediately after the “Happy Meal” can prevent that narrowing of the arteries and perhaps save you from that trip to the emergency room.
You might be asking “What does that have to do with Nrf2 and Vivix?” Be patient, I’m getting there. You see when we are young; a “Happy Meal” will trigger an increase in Nrf2 which in turn increases production of our body’s own antioxidant defense mechanisms. Nrf2 also triggers our detoxification pathways so that we can get rid of all of the artificial food additives and preservatives in that “Happy Meal”.
Nrf2 triggers our immune balance pathways (high fat meals depress the immune system and can also cause inflammatory and autoimmune responses). Finally, Nrf2 triggers our anti-stress pathways (high fat meals trigger cortisol production, which can accelerate the aging process) and much, much more.
But when we get older, Nrf2 is no longer triggered by those high fat meals and we lose our natural protective mechanisms. When that happens the aging process, and our risk of heart attack or stroke, is increased by every high fat meal that we consume.
By now you are probably starting to understand why the ability of Vivix to activate the Nrf2 gene is such a big deal. But, I don’t want you to think of Vivix as simply an antidote to a bad diet. You see Vivix turns on Nrf2 whether you are consuming a high fat meal or not.
Just think how much more beneficial it will be to keep your natural antioxidant defense mechanisms, your detoxification systems, your immune system, and your anti-stress systems in tip top shape without wasting those resources having to compensate for the effects of a bad diet.
So let me summarize what this study shows:
- Vivix activates the Nrf2 gene, which is a master regulator of longevity.
- This shows that the dosage of resveratrol and ellagic acid in Vivix is appropriate
- That those beneficial polyphenols get into your bloodstream (they are bioavailable) and that they have their intended anti- aging benefits.
- In short the study shows that Vivix works in real people like you & me.
- Nrf2, in turn, activates the body’s antioxidant defense mechanisms, detoxification mechanisms, immunebalancing mechanisms and anti-stress mechanisms. These are all mechanisms that slow down cellular aging and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases.
- Vivix can reduce the damage caused by a high fat diet, but will be even more effective at slowing the aging process if used along with a good diet and a lifestyle that includes weight control and exercise.
The study actually shows much more than this, but Shaklee can’t release the other data until the manuscript has been accepted for publication. So stay tuned for even more exciting results in the future.
To your health!
Dr. Stephen Chaney, PhD
- All natural–no artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors or preservatives
- Ingredients that are 10X more powerful than resveratrol alone in slowing a key mechanism of cellular aging
- Delivers a broad spectrum of over 15 polyphenols – including ellagic acid, one of nature’s most potent antioxidants
- Patent pending and exclusive to Shaklee
Most people today do not think about being deficient in vitamin C. There are so many available sources we have access to that it doesn’t become a second thought. From citrus fruits to pills, C is in our faces all the time, but are you really getting all the C you need?
When it comes to C deficiency we probably think of the most obvious “old time” disease, scurvy. Without C, collagen (the glue that holds cells together) is too weak to perform its duty leading, in the advance stages, to open, puss filled sores, loss of teeth and eventually death. Unlike most animals who can synthesize their own C, we need to replenish ours because we can only store it for so long before it gets used up. That is why sailors on long voyages, explorers, and soldiers separated from C sources were prone to this disease.
Since the discovery of the benefits of vitamin C we no longer need to worry about major C deficiencies. Yet even mild cases can have symptoms. Weakness, poor healing of wounds, anemia, swollen gums, and nosebleeds are common signs of mild vitamin C deficiency. Edema (water retention), weakness, lack of energy, poor digestion, painful joints and bronchial infection and colds also occur with a shortage of vitamin C. It can also be misdiagnosed as depression.
Vitamin C is measured in food sources by a scientific process called titration. The titration of vitamin C is a process of volumetric analysis used to find out how much vitamin C is concentrated in a vitamin source. This process includes dissolving the vitamin source whether it is a pill, fresh fruit juice, packaged fruits, or natural food sources in water straining it and putting it through a redox reaction, based on an oxidizing agent and a reducing agent; usually using iodine. Basically the C reacts with the iodine and creates a blue color. As more reactant is added the color goes away, thus giving the formula needed to determine the C content.
How much C do we really need? That depends on who you talk to. The Recommended Daily Allowance is 45mg for children ages 4-16 and 75mg to 90mg for adults. Sadly, most people do not get even these minimal amounts. For optimal antioxidant protection we need much more C than the RDA. For those who are exposed to pollution regularly, have a high stress level, who are older, smoke or are around smokers, have a family history of heart disease or cancer, low physical activity, and are exposed to the sun a lot (this list could go on) the more C is needed.
So how much do the researchers take? Dr. Albert Szent who won the Nobel prize in 1937 for isolating pure vitamin C took 1,000mg until his 80’s when he started taking 2,000mg a day. Linus Pauling, one of the most important scientists of the 20th century, suggested anywhere from 450mg to 4,500mg and even up to 10,000mg per day; in his 90’s he took up to 18,000mg per day. Bruce Miller, D.D.S., C.N.S., the author of Antioxidants Made Simple, takes 4,000mg per day and more if he feels a cold coming on.
How is it that these people take so much C without problems? C is a water soluble vitamin that cannot be stored by the body. Once our bodies use it up we need to replenish. What our bodies do not use gets flushed out of our system. That is why it is important to have a consistent intake and why it is not possible to overdose.
How much should you take? 100mg to 500mg a day is a good place to start. For the most benefit take at least 500mg a day, but as you can see 10,000mg and more has been suggested and tried with no adverse side effects. Of course if you are going to take a lot of C you should spread it out through the day, too much at once can cause diarrhea and stomach upset. If you are already taking nitrate medications for heart disease, you will want to talk to your doctor about taking a lot of vitamin C, a large amount can make them less effective.
Eating fresh fruits and veggies are a great way to get this vitamin, just plan on eating a lot throughout the day. Common sources include papaya, red bell peppers, tomatoes, hot green chilies, broccoli, cauliflower, oranges and all citrus fruits, strawberries, parsley, kale, mustard greens, spinach, cabbage, cantaloupe, watermelon, winter squash, onions, oregano, garlic and certain raw organ meats such as liver and heart. Incorporating as much of these foods as you can into your diet in fresh and interesting ways will keep you in better health. Most researchers suggest eating these foods along with taking a high-quality vitamin C supplement as a sure way to keep up on your vitamin C.
Taking a vitamin supplement will assure that you are getting all the benefits of a consistent vitamin C intake. Shaklee has several options for getting all you need to fight the onslaught of free radicals and deficiencies in your daily life. Whether it is a sustained release tablet, a delicious chew-able tablet for those who do not like to swallow pills, or combined with our high-potency iron, we can help.