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Friday, March 5, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS - Your Victory on the McCain Bill

Your Victory on the McCain Bill

We did it!

It's all thanks to the action that you took.

Hundreds of thousands of messages poured into the Senate opposing Senator McCain's bill, the bill that would have wiped out current legislative protections for dietary supplements. More and more messages were arriving by the day. The entire Congress began to take note. Senator McCain was embarrassed by our ad whose headline pointed out that he was misrepresenting and did not seem to understand his own bill.

Word is now racing around Capitol Hill that Senator McCain met with Senator Orin Hatch, a champion of natural medicine, and told him that he is withdrawing his support for the bill he authored, the so-called Dietary Supplement Safety Act (S 3002). This means that the bill as written is now dead.

Is this the end of the story? No. Having given his word to a fellow senator, McCain is not likely to resume his support for the bill. But we do need to see a declaration from McCain himself. We will need to see if McCain will try to offer some modified version of the bill. And there has also been no word from the other co-sponsor of the bill, Senator Dorgan.

We will keep you posted. In the meantime, it is time to celebrate your accomplishment. The democratic process worked. The people spoke and a powerful senator reversed course. It was all because of you, the active citizens willing to take time and make the effort to defend natural and sustainable forms of health and healthcare in the often hostile environment of Washington, DC. As we all know, Washington is ringed today with special commercial interests. They have millions of dollars of campaign contributions to hand out and gigantic lobbying budgets. But in the end, politicians have to answer to the people.

Thank you!

Gretchen DuBeau, Executive Director
Hunter Lewis, President

Alliance for Natural Health USA

Low levels of Vitamin D linked to muscle fat, decreased strength in young people

Low levels of Vitamin D linked to muscle fat, decreased strength in young people

First-of-a-kind study by investigator at The Research Institute of the MUHC finds “epidemic” of Vitamin D insufficiency...

There’s an epidemic in progress, and it has nothing to do with the flu. A ground-breaking study published in the March 2010 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found an astonishing 59 per cent of study subjects had too little Vitamin D in their blood. Nearly a quarter of the group had serious deficiencies (less than 20 ng/ml) of this important vitamin. Since Vitamin D insufficiency is linked to increased body fat, decreased muscle strength and a range of disorders, this is a serious health issue.

“Vitamin D insufficiency is a risk factor for other diseases,” explains principal investigator, Dr. Richard Kremer, co-director of the Musculoskeletal Axis of the Research Institute of the MUHC. “Because it is linked to increased body fat, it may affect many different parts of the body. Abnormal levels of Vitamin D are associated with a whole spectrum of diseases, including cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders.”

The study by Dr. Kremer and co-investigator Dr. Vincente Gilsanz, head of musculoskeletal imaging at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles of the University of Southern California, is the first to show a clear link between Vitamin D levels and the accumulation of fat in muscle tissue – a factor in muscle strength and overall health. Scientists have known for years that Vitamin D is essential for muscle strength. Studies in the elderly have showed bedridden patients quickly gain strength when given Vitamin D.

The study results are especially surprising, because study subjects – all healthy young women living in California – could logically be expected to benefit from good diet, outdoor activities and ample exposure to sunshine – the trigger that causes the body to produce Vitamin D.

“We are not yet sure what is causing Vitamin D insufficiency in this group,” says Dr. Kremer who is also Professor of Medicine at McGill University. High levels of Vitamin D could help reduce body fat. Or, fat tissues might absorb or retain Vitamin D, so that people with more fat are likely to also be Vitamin D deficient.”

The results extend those of an earlier study by Dr. Kremer and Dr. Gilsanz, which linked low levels of Vitamin D to increased visceral fat in a young population. “In the present study, we found an inverse relationship between Vitamin D and muscle fat,” Dr. Kremer says. “The lower the levels of Vitamin D the more fat in subjects’ muscles.”

While study results may inspire some people to start taking Vitamin D supplements, Dr. Kremer recommends caution. “Obviously this subject requires more study,” he says. “We don’t yet know whether Vitamin D supplementation would actually result in less accumulation of fat in the muscles or increase muscle strength. We need more research before we can recommend interventions. We need to take things one step at a time.”

Listen to the interview with Dr. Kremer [1] (mp3)


This study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S, Department of the Army, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Dimensional Fund Advisors Canada Inc (a subsidiary of U.S.-based Dimensional Fund Advisors).

Source URL:

Links:[1][2][3][4][5] [6][7][8]

Shaklee Best Self News! - A “Gold Medal” Partnership

Shaklee Best Self News!
Sam & Bunny Sewell 10202 Vanderbilt Dr, Naples, Fl 34108 239/591-4565

A “Gold Medal” Partnership: Shaklee and the U.S. Ski Team
and U.S. Snowboarding


PLEASANTON, Calif., March 5, 2010 – Shaklee Corporation, the leading natural nutrition company in the U.S., would like to congratulate the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding for taking home an astounding 21 medals, including six Gold medals at the Games in Vancouver. Since 1980, Shaklee has been the exclusive nutritional sponsor of the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding to help these world-class athletes achieve peak performance through optimal nutrition.

Comprised of 14 different men's and women's national teams, the U.S. Ski Team, which includes leading athletes across Alpine, Cross Country, Disabled, Freestyle and Jumping/Nordic Combined categories, and U.S. Snowboarding have long trusted Shaklee Nutrition. This 30 year partnership is a natural fit because both the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding are aligned with Shaklee’s dedication to scientific research, quality control and science-based products.

“I am so proud to be associated with a company whose heritage has always been about improving people’s health and their ability to reach personal goals”, says Independent Shaklee Distributors, Sam and Bunny Sewell. “It’s very exciting to be a part of this wonderful achievement.”

“What makes our partnership so successful is our unwavering commitment to nutritional standards and product safety” says Roger Barnett, Chairman and CEO of Shaklee Corporation. “By conducting over 80,000 quality tests each year, we guarantee the purity and effectiveness of each and every product our athletes and consumers use.”

Working to optimize the athletes’ health and performance, the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding Sport Science Director, Troy Flanagan, works closely with Shaklee to create a nutritional regimen that helps to give them an edge over the competition. “Shaklee products are invaluable to our U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding,” says Troy Flanagan, USSA Sport Science Director. “By working with the number one natural nutrition company in the U.S., we’re confident that we’re providing our athletes with the best, cutting-edge products to help ensure optimal body conditioning.*”

To help maintain health and wellness, the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding nutrition teams recommend that their athletes take several Shaklee nutritional products to boost their immune systems, whether they’re pushing through jet lag, harsh temperatures, tough training or the stress of competition. As the skiers and snowboarders travel four to five months straight each year, the Shaklee nutrient, energy and hydration products help them to perform at the highest level despite rigorous conditions.*

For more information, contact Sam and Bunny Sewell at .

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


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 Neutraltm certified to totally offset its CO2 emissions, resulting in a net-zero impact on the environment. With a robust product portfolio, including more than 50 patents and patents pending worldwide, Shaklee has more than 1.25 million Members and Distributors around the globe and operates in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and China. For information about Shaklee, visit

See Sam and Bunny’s health science blog at

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

RESEARCH - Soy and Heart Health

Prepared by Mark Messina, Ph.D.

Impact of Coronary Heart Disease
In the United States, 13 million people suffer from coronary heart disease (CHD). Among those at least 20 years of age, over 100 million have cholesterol levels above the recommended target goal of 200 mg/dl. In fact, nearly 38 million Americans have cholesterol levels above 240 mg/dl, which officially puts them at high risk of developing heart disease. Approximately one-half of men and one-third of women over the age of 40 will develop CHD in their lifetime. According to the American Heart Association, in 2005 the estimated direct and indirect cost of CHD is $142 billion.

While the statistics are grim, evidence indicates that dietary and lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on lowering the risk and incidence of heart disease. Soyfoods in particular have received widespread attention for their cholesterol-lowering effects and possible role in reducing risk of CHD. The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide perspective on the potential public health impact of the cholesterol-lowering effects of soy protein and to discuss the overall role of soyfoods in reducing CHD risk.

The Soy Protein Health Claim
The first rodent studies1, 2 showing soy protein lowered cholesterol were published more than 60 years ago and the first clinical trial demonstrating a reduction were published in 1967.3 However, health professionals did not start to become aware of this relationship until 1995, when a meta-analysis summarizing the human studies on the hypocholesterolemic effects of soy protein was published.4 Formal recognition came four years later when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim for soy protein and CHD stating that 25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.5 In 2002, a similar claim was approved in the United Kingdom and claims in several other countries are now being considered.

Several meta-analyses have estimated the extent to which soy protein lowers serum cholesterol. For example, in 2005, Zhan and Ho reported that soy protein lowered low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLC) by 5.25 percent.6 This analysis involved 33 comparisons (only post-1995 trials were considered) and 1,749 subjects. A meta-analysis conducted by Tufts University that involved 52 trials found the reduction to be slightly less – approximately 3 percent. These reported decreases are similar to the 1995-meta-analysis referred to in the previous section.4 In that analysis, the overall reduction in response to 47 g/d soy protein was 12.9 percent but the estimated decrease in response to 25 g/d (the amount established by the FDA as the threshold intake for cholesterol reduction) was approximately 5 percent. Of course, the reduction experienced by any given individual may vary as research has shown there is a considerable inter-individual response to cholesterol-lowering diets in general.

Factors thought to specifically impact the hypocholesterolemic effects of soy protein include initial cholesterol level, gender, the total amount of soy protein consumed and the isoflavone content of soy protein. The mechanism by which soy protein reduces cholesterol has not been established, although the reduction does not result from the low-saturated fat content of soyfoods. In most trials the fatty acid content of the control and soy-diets were similar. One hypothesis is that peptides formed from the digestion of soy protein upregulate LDLC receptors in the liver.8-10

Effects on HDLC and Triglycerides
There is widespread agreement that soy protein, in addition to lowering LDLC, lowers triglyceride levels and raises high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC). All three meta-analyses cited above concur on this point. In the meta-analysis by Zhan and Ho for example, triglyceride levels were decreased by 7 percent and HDLC levels were increased by 3 percent. Although modest, the latter effect is particularly noteworthy as it is relatively difficult to substantially raise HDLC levels through dietary modification.

Effects on non-lipid risk factors

Differences in the traditional risk factors – elevated cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking – explain a large part of the variation in CHD risk among individuals, but it is
Soy & Lipid Levels:

The effect of soy on lipid levels is similar to that of soluble fiber, and when combined with other dietary approaches may allow highly motivated individuals to avoid the use of cholesterol-lowering medications. Importantly, even the effects of soy protein alone have public health relevance since:
􀂃 Each 1 percent reduction in LDLC results in a 2-4 percent reduced risk for heart disease
􀂃 The favorable effects on triglycerides and HDLC further reduce risk
􀂃 Each 1 percent increase in HDLC reduces CHD risk by 2-3 percent

Elevated triglycerides are also thought to be an independent risk factor for CHD although there is debate on this point.

increasingly recognized that other factors are also important. Recent research suggests that soy protein, likely in part because of its isoflavone content, may favorably affect several of these. Indirect support for this suggestion comes from a prospective epidemiologic study involving nearly 65,000 women from Shanghai.11 Even after controlling for a wide variety of risk factors, this study found that soy protein intake was associated with a marked reduction (relative risk = 0.14 for the highest vs. the lowest quartile of intake; P for trend = 0.001) in the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction, a protective effect far beyond that which could be expected from a modest reduction in cholesterol. One risk factor that soy may favorably affect is endothelial function.
Endothelial dysfunction is thought to be a global indicator of CHD risk.12 The endothelium is the thin layer of cells that line blood vessels. By secreting several biologically active molecules (such as nitric oxide), the endothelium influences the health of the coronary vessels and, as a result, CHD risk. Endothelial health can be assessed by ultrasonically measuring the ability of the brachial artery to dilate following reactive hyperemia (blood occlusion). Several studies have shown that isoflavone-rich soy protein and isolated isoflavones increase arterial dilation in postmenopausal women – indicating improved endothelial health.13, 14 15, 16

In addition to endothelial function, there are also more speculative data suggesting that soy:
􀂃 Lowers blood pressure (especially in hypertensives)17, 18
􀂃 Improves systemic arterial compliance (increasing arterial flexibility)19
􀂃 Inhibits LDLC oxidation20, 21
􀂃 Reduces LDLC particle size (making LDLC less atherogenic).

While the conflicting or limited data in each of these areas prohibits a firm conclusion from being made, the hypotensive effects of soy protein are particularly intriguing.
Soy Protein and Blood Pressure

Although there is only limited evidence in support of soy protein lowering blood pressure in comparison to other proteins, a recently conducted large 12-week trial involving ~300 prehypertensive and stage 1 hypertensive patients found that in comparison to a carbohydrate control, 40 g/d soy protein significantly lowered blood pressure.17 In the hypertensive subjects, the effect of soy protein (~8 mm Hg ↓) on systolic blood pressure was equivalent in potency to currently used blood pressure medications. Even modest reductions in blood pressure can result in significant benefits; for example, reducing systolic blood pressure by just 2-5 mm Hg reduces risk of CHD and stroke from 4 to 9 percent and 6 to 14 percent, respectively.22

Soy Oil – A Source of Both Essential Fatty Acids
Approximately 56 percent of the fat content of the soybean is comprised of linoleic acid, making soybeans and full-fat soyfoods excellent sources of this essential polyunsaturated fatty acid. Linoleic acid lowers serum cholesterol when added to the diet and when substituted for saturated fat.23 The soybean is also one of the few good plant sources of the essential omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Importantly, a recent meta-analysis found that those subjects who consumed the most ALA were approximately 20 percent less likely to die from CHD as compared to those whose consumption was low.24 The ALA intake difference between the high and low consumers was only 1.2 g/d; three cups of full-fat soymilk provide approximately this amount.

The means by which ALA reduces CHD risk have not been established, but omega-3 fatty acids in general are thought to reduce risk of cardiac arrhythmia.25 Interestingly, one recent study found that soy oil was almost as effective as fish oil in increasing heart rate variability, which decreases risk of arrhythmia.26

Substantially reducing CHD risk through lifestyle modification requires making comprehensive changes. No single food or nutrient is sufficiently potent to produce meaningful reductions in risk. It is clear however that the established coronary benefits of soy protein (reductions in triglycerides and LDLC, and increased HDLC) in combination with the possible benefits (such as reduction in blood pressure and improved endothelial health) justify recommendations to include soyfoods in a heart-healthy diet. For cholesterol reduction, an intake of 25 g/d soy protein is recommended (see Protein Content of Soyfoods table).

1. Meeker DR, Kesten D. Effect of high protein diets on experimental atherosclerosis of rabbits. Arch Pathol 1941;31:147-162.
2. Meeker DR, Kesten HD. Experimental atherosclerosis and high protein diets. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1940;45:543-545.
3. Hodges RE, Krehl WA, Stone DB, Lopez A. Dietary carbohydrates and low cholesterol diets: effects on serum lipids on man. Am J Clin Nutr 1967;20:198-208.
4. Anderson JW, Johnstone BM, Cook-Newell ME. Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein intake on serum lipids. N Engl J Med 1995;333:276-282.
5. Food and Drug Administration. Food labeling, health claims, soy protein, and coronary heart disease. Fed Reg 1999;57:699-733.
6. Zhan S, Ho SC. Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein containing isoflavones on the lipid profile. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:397-408.
7. Gardner CD, Coulston A, Chatterjee L, Rigby A, Spiller G, Farquhar JW. The effect of a plant-based diet on plasma lipids in hypercholesterolemic adults: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2005;142:725-733.
8. Anderson JW. Diet first, then medication for hypercholesterolemia. JAMA 2003;290:531-533. Food Serving size Kcal Protein (g) Tofu, silken, lite firm 1 slice 32 5.3 Tofu, raw, firm ½ cup 183 19.9 Soy burger 1 patty 125 12.5 Soynuts ¼ cup 203 15.2 Edamame ½ cup 127 11.1 Soymilk 1 cup 127 5.5 Protein Content of Soyfoods
9. Manzoni C, Duranti M, Eberini I, Scharnag H, Marz W, Castiglioni S, Lovati MR. Subcellular Localization of Soybean 7S Globulin in HepG2 Cells and LDL Receptor Up-Regulation by Its alpha' Constituent Subunit. J Nutr 2003;133:2149-2155.
10. Duranti M, Lovati MR, Dani V, Barbiroli A, Scarafoni A, Castiglioni S, Ponzone C, Morazzoni P. The alpha' subunit from soybean 7S globulin lowers plasma lipids and upregulates liver beta-VLDL receptors in rats fed a hypercholesterolemic diet. J Nutr 2004;134:1334-1339.
11. Zhang X, Shu XO, Gao YT, Yang G, Li Q, Li H, Jin F, Zheng W. Soy food consumption is associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease in Chinese women. J Nutr 2003;133:2874-2878.
12. Bonetti PO, Lerman LO, Lerman A. Endothelial dysfunction: a marker of atherosclerotic risk. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2003;23:168-175.
13. Walker HA, Dean TS, Sanders TA, Jackson G, Ritter JM, Chowienczyk PJ. The phytoestrogen genistein produces acute nitric oxide-dependent dilation of human forearm vasculature with similar potency to 17b- Estradiol. Circulation 2001;103:258-262.
14. Squadrito F, Altavilla D, Morabito N, Crisafulli A, D'Anna R, Corrado F, Ruggeri P, Campo GM, Calapai G, Caputi AP, Squadrito G. The effect of the phytoestrogen genistein on plasma nitric oxide concentrations, endothelin-1 levels and endothelium dependent vasodilation in postmenopausal women. Atherosclerosis 2002;163:339-347.
15. Colacurci N, Chiantera A, Fornaro F, de Novellis V, Manzella D, Arciello A, Chiantera V, Improta L, Paolisso G. Effects of soy isoflavones on endothelial function in healthy postmenopausal women. Menopause 2005;12:299-307.
16. Cuevas AM, Irribarra VL, Castillo OA, Yanez MD, Germain AM. Isolated soy protein improves endothelial function in postmenopausal hypercholesterolemic women. Eur J Clin Nutr 2003;57:889-894.
17. He J, Gu D, Wu X, Chen J, Duan X, Whelton PK. Effect of soybean protein on blood pressure: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2005;143:1-9.
18. Yang G, Shu XO, Jin F, Zhang X, Li HL, Li Q, Gao YT, Zheng W. Longitudinal study of soy food intake and blood pressure among middle-aged and elderly Chinese women. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:1012-1017.
19. Nestel PJ, Yamashita T, Sasahara T, Pomeroy S, Dart A, Komesaroff P, Owen A, Abbey M. Soy isoflavones improve systemic arterial compliance but not plasma lipids in menopausal and perimenopausal women. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 1997;17:3392-3398.
20. Wiseman H, O'Reilly JD, Adlercreutz H, Mallet AI, Bowey EA, Rowland IR, Sanders TA. Isoflavone phytoestrogens consumed in soy decrease F(2)-isoprostane concentrations and increase resistance of low-density lipoprotein to oxidation in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:395-400.
21. Tikkanen MJ, Wahala K, Ojala S, Vihma V, Adlercreutz H. Effect of soybean phytoestrogen intake on low density lipoprotein oxidation resistance. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1998;95:3106-3110.
22. Stamler R. Implications of the INTERSALT study. Hypertension 1991;17:I16-20.
23. Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: new recommendations from the American Heart Association. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2003;23:151-152.
24. Brouwer IA, Katan MB, Zock PL. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid is associated with reduced risk of fatal coronary heart disease, but increased prostate cancer risk: a meta-analysis. J Nutr 2004;134:919-922.
25. Din JN, Newby DE, Flapan AD. Omega 3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease--fishing for a natural treatment. BMJ 2004;328:30-35.
26. Holguin F, Tellez-Rojo MM, Lazo M, Mannino D, Schwartz J, Hernandez M, Romieu I. Cardiac autonomic changes associated with fish oil vs soy oil supplementation in the elderly. Chest 2005;127:1102-1107.