Health By Nature…Where Clean Meets Green!

Preventive Measures Increase as Healthcare Costs Increase
July 29, 2009, 2:37 pm
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Despite recent economic woes, sales of vitamins and nutritional supplements have increased.  For many people, a trip to the doctor or filling a prescription is too costly.  So, consumers are turning to preventive measures to keep themselves healthy.  It has been said that for every $1 spent on supplements, one is saving approximately $28 in healthcare costs down the road–no small change, for sure!

Not too long ago, the Washington Post reported on dietician Danielle Omar, who was attempting to create a diet that met the government guidelines for daily nutritional standards, without the aid of a daily multivitamin.  When all was said and done, Omar concluded that supplementation is wise.

For one thing, our food supply is not as nutritionally dense as it was several decades ago.  In an era of convenience, people turn to more prepared  items and processed foods.  Even our fruits & vegetables contain less nutrients than before, due in part to a decrease in soil quality and agricultural practices.  The best insurance to getting adequate nutrients and minerals is a balanced diet partnered with a quality food-based multi.

Not All Multis Are Equal!

If you take vitamins, have you ever given much thought to what goes in to them, or  how they are manufactured?

There are 3 types of vitamins.  The first are test tube or synthetic vitamins, typically found in the drug store aisle.  These are man-made, contain inorganic substances, have no enzymes, and may even contain stimulants or cause side effects. (Doesn’t sound like something I want to put in my body!)

The second category are formed with isolates or extracts, often found in a health food store.  Though weak, these contain some enzymes.  However, they may also use chemical or heat extraction methods, which degrade the quality of the nutrients.  They do contain organic substances, though generally low quality raw materials.  They often still contain harsh binders and fillers.  Labeling can be misleading: these types of supplements need only contain 10% of natural ingredients to be classified as containing *natural ingredients*!

The third category is the most beneficial, because the nutrients are in a natural or unaltered state. They present a strong enzymatic action, and are produced via a low heat and low pressure process.  The organic substances used are of the highest quality raw materials, and because they are as close to nature as possible, they feed and improve cell health.

The previous 2 categories of vitamins are classified by the USFDA as *drugs*; whole food supplements are classified as *food*.  Now which type do you think the body better processes:  synthetic nutrients created in a laboratory, or whole food nutrients?  The answer should be obvious!

Many brands of multis will also skimp on the more *expensive* vitamins, like the B vitamins biotin and folic acid.  In fact, when I looked at the majority of multi labels in the drug store, all but one contained 10% of the DV for biotin, which is a catalyst for energy production!

In 2002, the American Medical Association revised its position on multivitamins.  Previously they maintained that having a balanced healthy diet was enough to consume adequate daily nutrients and minerals.  They now state that regardless of age, health concerns or activity, everyone should take a multivitamin.

In addition to that multi, there are times when additional supplementation may be necessary.  We are often deficient in one area or another.  For a free self-assessment to determine where to start supplementing, send an email to with *wellness profile* in the subject field.


Shaklee Corporation Research Suggests an Important Role of Vitamin D for Supporting Cardiovascular Health

PLEASANTON, Calif. – May 19, 2009 – Research supported by Shaklee Corporation, the number one natural nutrition company in the U.S., shows that a lower blood vitamin D level is associated with metabolic syndrome and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The study results were presented at the National Lipid Association Annual Scientific Sessions in Miami, Florida and suggest an important role of vitamin D nutrition for maintaining cardiovascular health.

“I am so proud to be associated with a company whose heritage has always been about improving people’s health and well-being.  It’s very exciting that Shaklee has helped to bring this important research to the world,”  says Independent Shaklee Distributor, Lisa Hummitsch. “The findings may have significant public health implications related to new understanding about benefits related to vitamin D supplementation,” adds Hummitsch.

In this study, intake of vitamin D from dietary supplements was strongly linked with vitamin D levels in the blood.  The greater the intake of vitamin D from dietary supplements, the higher the amount of vitamin D found in the blood.  More importantly, as vitamin D intakes increased, HDL cholesterol (or “good cholesterol”) levels increased as well.  Future research is needed to determine if vitamin D from dietary supplements can lower risk levels for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

“Our next study, which is already underway, is intended to confirm causality by showing that vitamin D supplementation improves cardiovascular risk factors,” says Dr. Jamie McManus M.D., Chairman of Medical Affairs, Health Sciences and Education, Shaklee Corporation.

Kevin C. Maki, PhD, the study’s Principal Investigator and the Chief Science Officer of Provident Clinical Research, Glen Ellyn, IL, says, “Results from population studies suggest that a low serum vitamin D concentration is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality, but this is the first study to evaluate the relationship between vitamin D status and cardiovascular risk factors in a group that includes a large number of vitamin D supplement users.”  He continues, “Additional research is warranted to assess whether increasing vitamin D intake will improve the metabolic cardiovascular risk factor profile.”

For more information, contact Lisa Hummitsch of Health By Nature in Tinley Park at

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About Shaklee Corporation

Founded more than 50 years ago, Shaklee has been a leading provider of premium-quality natural nutrition products, personal care products, and environmentally friendly home care products. In 2000, Shaklee became the first company in the world to be Climate Neutral™ certified to totally offset its CO2 emissions, resulting in a net-zero impact on the environment. With a robust product portfolio, including over 50 patents and patents pending worldwide, Shaklee has more than 750,000 Members and Distributors worldwide and operates in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and China. For information about Shaklee, visit

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10–or CoQ-10,  is a compound that is naturally produced in the body. Its potent antioxidant properties aid in cell regeneration and protects them against damage that could lead to heart disease, premature aging, and even cancer.

CoQ-10 is rich in foods like sardines, mackerel, spinach, peanuts & sesame.  It helps counteract external factors such as harful UV light and pollution, which can destroy coenzymes and other antioxidants.  Your antioxidant levels drop significantly after age 30, and CoQ-10 is the first to decline, which in turn slows down your cells’ ability to repair themselves.

CoQ-10 also affects your skin.  It helps repair free radical damage, prevent damage from the sun, and limit the destruction of collagen, helping keep skin’s firmness.

Most CoQ-10 supplements are poorly absorbed by the body and therefore offer little, if any, benefits.  Our CoQ-10 supplement uses patented technology to provide enhanced absorption using only natural ingredients–nothing synthetic or artificial.  It also contains resveratrol, believed to be the most beneficial antioxidant. For more info on this and other quality natural supplements, visit the Health By Nature website.

The Glaring Facts about Eyesight

The leading cause of blindness is age-related macular degeneration.  The glare from computer screens, sunlight, and intense headlight beams all take their toll on even the healthiest eyes, and can contribute to macular degeneration.  Carotenoids, found in brightly-colored fruits and veggies, can help combat vision problems.

In a recent study investigating the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, scientists found that supplementing with these carotenoids over a 6-month span significantly increases macular pigment optical density in healthy adults with normal eyesight.

The Women’s Health Study finds that when you add in vitamin E to these carotenoids, it decreases the chance of developing cataracts.  In addition to eating plenty of fruits & veggies (including a variety of leafy greens), our Carotenoid supplement provides maximum potency of 6 of the most beneficial carotenoids, and like all our supplements, do not contain synthetic material.  You’d have to eat 285 servings of pink grapefruit to get the same lutein & zeaxanthin content in one serving of our supplement!

Additionally recommended supplements are the Vitamin E complex or Vitamin E tablet, both with 400 IU of E.

Ditch the Bottles

In our rushed and hurried society, bottled water has become a major product of      convenience.  It is easy and quick to buy a case of bottled water to grab on our way out the  door, or to run in and buy a bottle at a convenience store or at the gas station.  But did you   ever stop and think about the implications of using bottled water regularly?

FIrst, there is an environmental impact.  Significant energy is used to produce, manufacture, and transport bottled water, which in turn uses nonrenewable energy sources.  In addition, about 80% of water bottles end up in landfills, and those bottles that get recycled still require energy  in the recycling process.

Economically, bottled water can put quite a dent in the pocketbook.  Think about the cost of fetching a glass of water from the tap, and then compare it to the cost of a bottle of water, which is often overpriced municipal water.

There are different sources of bottled water.  Spring, mineral, sparkling, purified, and drinking are some of the common varieties.  But surprisingly, water from the tap can be purer and healthier than the bottled variety.

For starters, the plastics used to make many bottles of water contain phthalates, which is why these bottles are meant for one-time use–never wash and reuse them, as the plastic is prone to break down and leach phthalates.  The resin used in the bottle is indicated within the triangle recycle symbol at the bottom. #7 is not recommended, as it may leach BPA (bisphenol A), which is identified as a hormone disruptor.

Using a reusable water bottle and filling it with purified water from the tap is a much better choice over bottled water for environmental, financial, and health reasons.  There are various home water filtration products, from affordable carbon-filter pitchers to mid-range under-counter filtration systems.  Filters can also remove a common contaminant called cryptosporidium, which often gets past municipal water treatments as well as bottled water processing.

When selecting a reusable bottle, there are a number of factors to consider: material safety, weight, mouthpiece/lid, and size.  Aluminum bottles like the Swiss made SIGG have no taste compromise, are lightweight, and have a sturdy construction.  Stainless steel bottles like those made by Klean Kanteen are a bit heavier and sometimes add a slight metallic taste to water.  Plastic bottles should be selected carefully to ensure they are phthalate- and BPA-free.  Popular Nalgene water bottles are phasing out their products containing BPA.  Camelbak uses a BPA/phthalate-free polymer for their bottles.  You’ll also want to consider use; a bottle you  take in the car or to the office will probably be different from one used for biking or exercise.

So resolve to break the bottled water habit.  Make the small investment of some sort of home filtration system and a good travel bottle, and you’ll be making a significant investment in your planet, your health, and your bank account.

Alfalfa: The Father of All Foods

Nicknamed the “father of all foods”, alfalfa has been used as herbal medicine for over 1,500 years.  A highly nutritive plant, its approximately 20 foot deep root system has the capacity to absorb minerals from deep within the soil.

In food form, alfalfa sprouts can be added to salads or sandwiches.  Alfalfa also comes in supplement form, and people who supplement with alfalfa do so for a wide variety of health benefits.  Alfalfa’s high manganese content has been shown to slighly lower blood sugar levels. To manage cholesterol levels, alfalfa can be beneficial because its fibers stick to cholesterol, preventing it from remaining in blood or collecting in blood vessels.  It has been known to strengthen one’s immunity.  Those suffering from asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions have found their symptoms improve or even clear up entirely through a regimen involving alfalfa, a natural anti-histimine.  It can be a mild diuretic; alfalfa may relieve swelling and water retention, and aid in eliminating urinary tract infections.  Because it mimics estrogen, some find it useful for menopausal symptoms.

Alfalfa has an impressive resume of nutritional content. It contains calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, chlorophyll, bioflavonoids, trace minerals and vitamins.  Its leaves and stems are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals as well.

Alfalfa also detoxifies.  It balances and cleanses the blood, alkalizes and detoxifies the body. It can also relieve gout, a painful foot ailment from excess toxins.

Just about anyone can benefit from the use of an alfalfa supplement.  Visit the Health By Nature store for ordering information.

Who Should Supplement?

The short answer: everyone.

Years ago, the AMA’s position on multivitamin supplements was that a healthy diet would be enough to gain all the necessary vitamins and minerals.  In 2002, that recommendation was reversed.  Finally recognizing the health benefits from a good, quality supplement, the AMA now states that everyone, regardless of age or health status, should take a daily multivitamin.  It’s been determined that even with the most ideal diet, we are not necessarily going to receive ALL the needed nutrients from our food.  Our food itself has been experiencing a decline in nutritional value as well, due to farming techniques and environmental causes.

Be aware that not all supplements are created equal.  Supplements are not regulated with stringent standards the way prescription drugs are.  Many cheaper, drugstore supplements are not going to be effective due to potency, formulation, coating, and other factors.  Our supplements undergo rigorous testing for purity, potency, and efficacy.  Many hold multiple patents, and patented coatings that guarantee nutrients get delivered where they are supposed to, when they are supposed to.  If a coating is dissolved too soon via stomach acid, the supplement may be rendered ineffective, which is the problem with many low quality supplements on the market.

Doctors and nurses are supplementing themselves, understanding that supplements play an important role in maintaining and improving health.  In a recent study, 72% of physicians and 89% of nurses reported taking supplements.  So why do only 68% of the rest of us do so?

Supplements from Shaklee,  #1 natural nutrition company in the U.S. are 100% guaranteed, so there is no risk to try them.  A Landmark Study conducted last year concluded that people who used multiple Shaklee supplements over a long period of time had markedly better health overall than both people who either used:

• no supplements or

• another brand of multivitamin/multimineral supplement

as measured by higher blood levels of key nutrients and more optimal levels of key health biomarkers.

To see the study in its entirety, go to

To order supplements, visit