Wednesday, January 7, 2009

18 Important Health Support Criteria

These are 18 vital health support criteria created from scientific literature that a supplement must meet in order to be considered for 5-star gold standard by NutriSearch. Only four supplement companies out of over 1,500 that have been tested met these stringent criteria. USANA was one of these companies.

  • Completeness- looks to see if the product contains all the Blended Standard nutrients
  • Potency- looks to see how much of each nutrient the product contains compared to the Blended Standard amounts.
  • Antioxidant Support- examines the nutrients that help to prevent or repair cellular damage caused by oxidation, including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, beta-carotene, alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene , coenzyme Q10, and selenium.
  • Bioactivity of Vitamin E- looks to see if the vitamin E is natural or synthetic form. Natural forms include d-alpha tocopherol, while synthetic vitamin E , only half as effective , is usually in the form of d,l-alpha tocopherol
  • Lipotropic Factors- examines those nutrients , including choline, lecithin and inositol, that help remove toxins, including heavy metals like lead. The liver and the brain are two primary targets for the accumulation of fat-soluble toxins.
  • Liver Health- examines those nutrients (including vitamin C, cysteine and n-acetyl-cysteine, selenium, vitamin B2, and vitamin B3) that enhance liver function and optimize levels of glutathione, which helps cells fight off toxic challenges.
  • Metabolic Health- examines those nutrients that help the body handle its daily sugar load, keeping systems responsive to insulin and restoring lost insulin sensitivity. These nutrients include vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, biotin, coenzyme Q 10, chromium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.
  • Mineral Forms- examines the molecules that minerals are bound with to help them cross into the bloodstream. Amino acid chelates and organic acid complexes ( such as citrates and gluconates) mimic the natural mineral chelates that form during the digestive process. Chelated minerals also appear not to block other minerals from being absorbed, unlike many of the less expensive mineral salts ( carbonates, sulphates, and chlorides).
  • Bone Health- examines the nutrients that assist in the bone remodeling, vital to ward off osteoporosis and other disease that weaken the skeletal framework. These nutrients include vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, boron, calcium, magnesium, silicon and zinc.
  • Phenolic Compounds Profile-examines a specific group of phenolic compounds ( polyphenolic acids and their derivatives), known to be exceptionally potent defenders against free radicals. Phenols derived from olives, green tea, and curcumin are also known to improve major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including lowering the impact of inflammation.
  • Bioflavonoids Profile- examines the bioflavonoid family of nutrients , which work throughout the body to attack free radicals and support many bodily functions. These important nutrients include citrus flavonoids, soy isoflavones, quercetin, quercitrin, hesperidin, rutin, bilberry, assorted berry extracts, and PCO's ( including resveratrol, grape seed , and pink bark extract).
  • Inflammation Control- examines the nutrients responsible for reducing inflammation at the cellular level, such as omega -3 oils -including those found in fish oil ( EPA and DHA)-linolenic acid, gamma-tocopherol , alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin C, flavonoids, procyanidolic oligomers, and phenolic compounds. Chronic inflammation can lead to serious degenerative disease, including heart disease, cancers and arthritis.
  • Heart Health- examines nutrients that help protect the heart and cardiovascular system, including vitamin E, beta-carotene, coenzyme Q10, calcium, magnesium, l-carnitine or acetyl-l-carnitine, procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs), phenolic compounds, and lycopene.
  • Occular Health- good eyesight and prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration require adequate levels of several nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A (including beta-carotene), and carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
  • Glycation Control- examines those nutrients ( l-carnosine, alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, vitamin C, and alpha-lipoic acid) that help slow the progress of many degenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
  • Gamma Tocopherol: checks to see if the product includes the gamma form of vitamin E. Studies show that gammatocopherol reduces chronic inflammation and protects against cancers of the colon and prostate. High-dose supplementation with alpha tocopherol alone can reduce the level of gama tocopherol in body tissues.
  • Methylation Support: looks at those nutrients, including vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, and trimethylglycine, required for the body to produce methyl donor molecules. Methyl donors help reduce homocysteine levels in the blood, protecting the arteries and nerve fibers.
  • Potential Toxicities: examines those nutrients that can build up in the body, possibly leading to toxic levels with long-term intake. This includes vitamin A and iron. Accidental overdose of iron-containing supplements is, in fact, a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children. Vitamin A is available safely, as beta-carotene, while adequate iron is easily obtained from foods for most people.

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