Monday, October 24, 2016

Do You Have A Healthy Gut? Here's How to Achieve That!

This article is a MUST to read, concerning a healthy gut.  Otherwise, many problems can occur when we take digestion for granted and problems occur.

Tips for a Healthy Gut

Written by November 23, 2015 in Dr. Oz, Health & Fitness with 1 Comment

Last Updated 10/21/16
This time of year we tend to focus more attention on holiday entertaining and indulging in calorie-dense foods and beverages and less on healthy eating and exercise.

Have you ever given much thought to how your body digests food? Do you have a well-functioning digestive system?

With the holidays fast approaching, this may be a good time to assess your digestive health so you can maintain a healthy gut.

Here are the basics—the food you eat is a diverse mixture of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats as well as vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients. The function of your digestive system is to break down this diverse combination so the nutrients can provide nourishment and energy throughout your body.

Since you need a variety of nutrients, your digestive system takes these whole foods and breaks them down into small molecules, using a variety of mechanical methods and enzyme-containing digestive juices. You absorb these molecules through the walls of your small intestine and into the bloodstream where they are transported throughout your body to be used for energy, growth, and tissue repair.
StomachUnfortunately, as we age, the digestive process may become less efficient, leading to potential nutrient deficiencies. Maintaining health depends in part on a well-functioning digestive system.

5 Tips to Help Support Healthy Digestion

1: Chew your food thoroughly. Saliva moistens food particles and provides enzymes to start the process of starch and fat digestion. Chewing also signals the production of stomach acid and sets the pancreas and other support organs in motion to prepare to secrete enzymes into the small intestine.

2: An adequate amount of stomach acid is required to break down proteins. A decrease in stomach acid production can become more common as we age, and a variety of diseases and certain medications may also inhibit sufficient stomach acid production, including the overuse of antacids. Use antacids as directed and only when needed.

3: Some studies have shown that the production of pancreatic enzymes may decrease as you get older. Fortunately there are comprehensive enzyme supplements available to help with an age-related decline. However, do not kid yourself—supplementing with digestive enzymes will not make up for overindulging in unhealthy foods. Try starting your meal with fresh fruit or a salad, as fiber is also important for digestive health.
Food Allergies4: Eliminate foods you are allergic or sensitive to. Allergens can cause an immune response that triggers inflammation in the intestinal tract, which may interrupt the digestive process. Getting rid of these foods will help maintain a healthy environment in your GI tract.

5: And finally, especially during this time of year, commit to managing stress effectively. Research has shown that the intestines respond negatively to stress, which may impact the digestive process. Participating in regular exercise and eating meals at regular times in a relaxed environment may help decrease stress levels.
Understanding causes of digestive issues, how to reduce symptoms, and supplementing with a comprehensive digestive enzyme product as appropriate, will help most people enjoy this wonderful holiday season.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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The future of personalized health and nutrition is now available with USANA’s True Health Assessment.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What You Should Know About the Science of Cell Signaling

Infographic: The Science of Cell Signaling

Written by September 21, 2016

Have you heard about cell signaling? It sounds kind of complicated—in fact, if you Google it, you’ll get some confusing results.

But the basic concept is simple. All you really need to remember is that everything you put in your body is basically information for your cells. Intrigued? Check out the infographic below. It explains how nutrition affects cell signaling, and why that’s important.

This infographic was designed by Parrin Habibpour and inspired by a magazine story written by Matt Jaggi and Dr. Kevin Spelman.

(From Deanna Waters - This is about the new breakthrough science at USANA, called InCelligence Technology.  What a powerful gift to your trillions of cells!)

Cell Signaling Infographic

Saturday, September 17, 2016

5 Reasons Why You Need More Fiber in Your Diet

 Written by Austin Catmull June 23, 2016

Fiber. Maybe you’ve heard it in conversations lately, or maybe you haven’t. (Believe me, it’s a pretty hot topic in the nutrition space.)

Whether you talk about Fiber or not, the bottom line is that most people need to increase their fiber intake to hit the recommended levels. Adequate dietary fiber levels for adults is 25 to 38 grams per day. Are your dietary habits within that range?

Higher amounts of fiber can be found in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. With the busy lives we lead, it can sometimes be challenging to get enough fiber from our food choices alone. Fortunately, USANA has an excellent fiber product called MySmart™Shake Fibergy Plus to help boost your fiber intake.

Let’s discuss some reasons why adequate fiber is an important diet goal and what some of the main benefits are.

Keeping it Regular

Alright. First thing’s first. Bowel regularity. There, I said it. Now let’s talk about it.
Fiber aids in normal bowel regularity, which helps move wastes and toxins out of the colon quickly and efficiently. If you don’t eat enough fiber or drink enough fluids, you could experience bowel irregularity (constipation). Not good.*

Growing up, my mother always referred to this concept as eating enough “roughage.” I won’t go into all of the details of those conversations, but the idea stuck with me. We need to eat foods high in fiber that will help clear us out and keep us healthy.*

This is probably the main concept that comes to mind when you think about fiber, but there are many other benefits too.

Get Both Types

Diets high in soluble and insoluble fiber are important for digestive health. But what does that mean? What is “soluble” and “insoluble” fiber?

SOLUBLE FIBER can be found in foods like oatmeal, nuts, beans, and fruit. It absorbs water and turns into gel in the digestive tract. This helps soften stool, making it easier to pass. Soluble fiber also has great benefits for heart health.

INSOLUBLE FIBER can be found in foods like whole-grains and vegetables. This type of fiber helps promote regularity. It also helps control hunger pangs, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Fibergy Plus contains a blend of both soluble and insoluble fiber, so we’ve got you covered.
MySmart Fibergy Plus

Protect Your Most Important Muscle

Nope. I’m not talking about your biceps. Not your pectorals. Not even your glutes. Your HEART is the aim here.

Fiber not only promotes good digestive health but it is also important for the maintenance of heart health. Specifically, soluble fiber binds to cholesterol and helps remove it from the body.*

The FDA states that low-fat diets, rich in fiber-containing grain products, fruits, and vegetables, may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors.*

The heart is one of the hardest working muscles in your body, so boost that fiber intake so you can take care of it better, and it will take care of you.

Feed Your Microbiome

Feed my what?! Don’t get freaked out. You may have heard about this. You have trillions of bacteria in your body at all times called the “microbiome.” In fact, many types of microbes are good for your body and even essential for basic functions like digestion.

You need to eat foods high in fiber to support these tiny, helpful organisms living within your body if you want to maximize the benefits they provide. Dr. Rhonda Patrick is a huge proponent to getting plenty of fiber in your diet to support these microbes:

“You also need to consume enough fiber on a regular basis so that the microbiome in your system is fed regularly. Most foods we eat (fats, proteins) are digested and absorbed fairly early on in the digestive tract. The microbiome is near the end of the digestive cycle, and they need food high in fiber that will make it to them.”

Feel Fuller Longer

Aside from these important benefits listed above, did you know that eating foods high in fiber actually helps you feel fuller, longer?

Do you find yourself snacking a lot throughout the day? If those are healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables, then that probably isn’t a bad thing. But those healthy choices aren’t always within reach, so you might find yourself grabbing a sugar-filled option instead.

Try eating foods high in fiber during your main meals, and see if that impacts your snacking habits. Also, consider adding MySmart Fibergy Plus to drinks or even incorporating it in the food you eat. The high fiber content will leave you feeling satisfied, making it easier to skip unhealthy snacks throughout the day.MySmart Fibergy Plus
Eating a diet high in fiber should be a priority on your Nutrition To-Do List. To ensure you’re hitting those fiber goals, MySmart Fibergy Plus is a great addition to keep on-hand. You can easily add it to juice, drinks, and MySmartShakes to get the benefits of having sufficient fiber in your daily diet.

How do you make sure that you’re getting enough fiber? What are some tasty ways that you add Fibergy to your recipes for a fiber boost?

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
We’re proud to bring you the freshest content on the web! Follow USANA on Twitter, like our USANA Facebook page and enjoy the latest videos on the official USANA YouTube channel.
USANA True Health FoundationLearn what USANA is doing to make the world a better place.

Friday, September 9, 2016

New Era in Nutritional Science Adapts to Your Specific Needs

A New Era of Nutritional Science

Since the introduction of the USANA® Essentials in 1992, USANA has set the standard for excellence in science-based nutrition and wellness products. InCelligence is the next revolution in creating optimal health through products that help your body adapt to your unique needs.*

Led by the visionary Dr. Myron Wentz, our in-house research and development team has integrated advances in the sciences of molecular biology and cell signaling with our expert knowledge of cellular nutrition to develop InCelligence Technology.

Research Resources

These downloadable resources provide additional information about InCelligence Technology and products. Check back here for updates as more studies and information are added.

InCelligence White Paper
InCelligence References
Sanoviv CellSentials Biochemical Marker Evaluation
CellSentials Safety and Quality of Life Survey
Hepasil DTX™ Increases Antioxidant and Detoxification Capacity by Boosting Glutathione and Vitamin C (2)

Research Partners

In addition to ongoing in-house studies, USANA continues to partner with respected research institutions to discover new frontiers of this exciting new science.

Ben A. Bahr, Ph.D., University of North Carolina – Pembroke
Sanoviv Medical Institute

Patents (pending or provisional)

  • Compositions for Upregulating Endogenous Antioxidant Systems
  • Methods and Compositions for Reducing Damage Associated with Oxidative Phosphorylation

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Source: USANA Health Sciences

For further information:  Deanna Waters 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


USANA Health and Science Education
July 26 ·

I have a couple of thoughts before moving on with this. First of all, if you are on warfarin, talk to your doctor before starting a supplement with vitamin K or drastically changing your diet. And, the only blood thinner that has any relation to vitamin K is warfarin (Coumadin). Other blood thinners work by different mechanisms and are unaffected by vitamin K intake.

Recent evidence clearly indicates that vitamin K is crucial not only for proper regulation of blood clotting, but also for optimal bone and cardiovascular health.

One of the most common (and lifesaving, I must add) medications in use is the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin). Unfortunately, because warfarin works by inhibiting the actions of vitamin K in normal clotting, most physicians and patients automatically assume that vitamin K should be avoided and that supplements containing vitamin K at any level should be discouraged. This is so common that we even provide a version of our multivitamin without vitamin K.

However, not only is vitamin K important for other reasons, such as bone and cardiovascular health, but there has been a good amount of research showing that moderate and consistent intake (including moderate levels from supplements) is not only safe but beneficial. 

 Interestingly, it is low and erratic intake of dietary vitamin K is at least partly responsible for the variable response to warfarin in patients with unstable control of anticoagulation.

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston looked at the effect of varying dietary vitamin K intake on the INR (a way of measuring how fast blood clots) in patients receiving anticoagulation therapy with warfarin.

During the study, adults taking warfarin recorded the amounts of all food items and medications consumed, while the researchers recorded week-to-week changes in vitamin K intake, warfarin dose, and INR. Interestingly, as vitamin K intake increased, INR became more consistent and stable. In contrast, as vitamin K intake decreased, INR fluctuated to a greater extent and became more variable.
Why would a diet low in vitamin K make the INR more difficult to manage?

The article link at the bottom provides one of the best explanations of vitamin K and warfarin I have seen, and it gives this explanation:

“Suppose you have a diet that is extremely low in vitamin K. Now suppose you eat a spinach salad at dinner one night. Spinach salad is high in vitamin K, so you have just increased your vitamin K intake for the week. Because your diet is so low in vitamin K, this increase in vitamin K intake represents a huge change in your vitamin K intake for the week.

For example, maybe eating the spinach salad increased your vitamin K intake by 50%. The result of this significant increase in vitamin K will be a significant drop in your INR. On the other hand, say you have a diet that has a moderate intake of vitamin K. In eating the spinach salad, you may have increased your vitamin K intake for the week, but rather than increasing your intake by 50%, you increased it by only 5%.

The bottom line is that if your diet is extremely low in vitamin K, then any changes to your vitamin K intake represent large fluctuations in your vitamin K intake, which may translate to large fluctuations in your INR.”

The take home message is that it is consistency that matters, and if you have a higher, but moderate, intake of vitamin K the fluctuations are likely to be less pronounced and variability in clotting may actually be reduced.

So, rather than automatically avoiding all vitamin K and losing the benefits of this important vitamin, talk to the doctor about a happy medium that allows you to eat healthy, take sensible supplements, and better manage your blood clotting. 

 In addition to the article I referenced, I’ve included a few studies to aid in discussion with your health professional or personal knowledge.

For further information:  Deanna Waters 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

How to Lower the Risk of Stroke for Women

 Here is an important study that shows how the risks for strokes in women can be reduced according to their levels of potassium, magnesium and calcium.  However, in fact, most women would not even be aware of what their levels of these minerals would be.  Doctors don't measure them, and even if they did, where is the data to help them know what to eat and what reliable supplements to take?   Read this study and then my comments below.

The results of a large prospective study show that women with a higher intake of magnesium, potassium and calcium have a lower risk of stroke.

Calcium, potassium and magnesium are the 3 most abundant minerals in the body. Each play roles in the health of the cardiovascular system. Although studies have shown these minerals to have benefits related to cardiovascular health, information on the relation of magnesium, potassium and calcium with stroke risk have been inconsistent. These minerals are often found together in foods, and their intakes are strongly correlated.

In a new recent published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers examined the associations between intakes of magnesium, potassium and calcium with stroke risk in a large population of women.

The participants included 180,864 women that were participants in two studies, the Nurses Health Study and Nurses Health Study 2 (NHS and NHS 2). Follow-up in the NHS was 30 years, and 22 years for the NHS 2. Food frequency questionnaires were used to document intake of each mineral and a combination of the 3 from both dietary and supplemental sources.

During the follow-up period, a total of 3,780 stroke cases were documented. Compared to the women in the lowest 20% of magnesium intake the women with the highest 20% of intake had a 13% lower risk of stroke. Women with the highest potassium intake had an 11% lower risk of stroke. Women with the highest combined mineral score had a 28% reduced risk of stroke.

Based on an updated meta-analysis of all prospective studies to date, the risk of stroke was reduced 13% for each 100 mg/day increase in magnesium intake. For each 1,000mg/day increase in potassium intake there was a 9% reduction in stroke risk. Calcium intake was not independently associated with stroke risk.

The results of this study show that both magnesium and potassium intakes are inversely associated with stroke risk, and that women with a higher intake of the combination of magnesium, potassium and calcium have a significantly lower risk of total stroke.

Thank you to the USANA Health and Education Department for revealing this study.

Note from Deanna:  It would be interesting to see whether studies have been done to see how these minerals affect men as well, and their reduction in the risk of having a stroke.  In the meantime, it would seem reasonable to have your levels of potasium, calcium and magnesium checked.  I have put my faith in the USANA nutritional supplements to boost my health. 
Please contact me for further information.

Deanna Waters


Friday, July 15, 2016


The benefits of most supplemental nutrients are more obvious after chronic long-term use (except correction of deficiencies, of course). Here is a paper showing fish oil having benefits even with short-term intake (6 months).

It is well-known that omega-3 fatty acids can improve long-term heart health

A study published in the medical journal Chest indicates that omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil may improve heart function even after short-term supplementation.

Researchers followed 58 people aged 60 or older who were randomly assigned to take either marine-derived omega-3s (fish oil) or plant-derived omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid) from soy oil. 

The oils were taken as 1-gram capsules, twice daily for six months.
A measure of heart-healthiness called heart rate variability (HRV) was assessed every other day. 

Supplementation with 2 grams a day of fish oil was associated with a significant increase in HRV. The supplementation with 2 grams a day of soy oil also significantly improved HRV, but to a lesser degree than the fish oil.

In addition to other factors known to improve heart health, such as exercise, weight loss, and stress reduction, taking a daily omega-3 oil supplement may therefore reduce the risk of developing irregular heart rhythm or succumbing to sudden cardiac death.

Information provided by the USANA Health and Education Department.

Note from Deanna Waters:  My husband and I appreciate the science behind the USANA BiOmega fish oil supplements, which contain a concentrated dose of two important Omega-3 fatty acids - EPA and DHA - to support healthy cellular function throughout the body.