After Nutrilite, I am now hearing "good" things about products from this company called 'Usana'. some of the arguments raised are actually quite interesting, so I wanted to consult you. their distributors make the following claims:
1. Not all supplements are useful. Infact, most of them are useless. In this book called "Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements" by Lyle Macwilliam (have you read it??), there is the description of a laboratory survey which attempts to rank top nutrition brands in the US and Canada. It is stated that about 50% of the available brands were rejected simply after a preliminary study, and even the remaining 50% had most of them scoring low on criteria such as potency, bioavailability, and some conditions of effectiveness. The point is that most of the research that shows nutrition supplements to be harmful or useless is true because the supplements that were selected for the study were really useless or harmful in terms of quality. so they fail to reflect the usefulness of supposedly good supplements like Usana ! (Usana gets a healthy 96% score in this book !)
2. Natural foods today are no longer very natural. They are mostly grown on soil that is exhausted of nutrients, and the produce is stored and shipped for long periods afterwards. And all this causes significant loss of nutrients before the cooking and washing, and eventual consumption.
3. Many of the studies showing supplements to be not helpful are funded by pharmaceutical companies who have an interest in seeing more people fall sick! Since the implied belief is that good supplements are actually helpful in keeping health, pharma companies fund studies that are designed to erroneously show all supplements to be useless and cause confusion.
I even learned of the following observation made by Russ Barton (MS, CNS, CISSN) at USANA Science Information Services: (please ignore the symbols on the left border. They are copied from my email text)
In response to the question: "Prof Colin Campbell, a famous biochemist/nutritionists, in his book "The China Study", advised against dietary supplementing, claiming that many past research studies on supplement proved that they don't work.
How would you counterbalance/reconcile with his remark?"
Dr. Barton: It is true that there are a number of
> research studies showing no or little benefit of certain nutritional
> supplements or ingredients. That is to be expected since that is how
> science works. Good science dictates that both positive and negative be
> found in the pursuit of the truth. But for every negative study there
> are numerous other studies showing positive effects and potential
> benefits. In a sense, it often comes down to a case of personal bias.
> Dr Campbell is a well known and respected researcher, but he still
> brings some fairly strong opinions and biases to the argument. If one
> were looking to disprove the benefits of supplements, there are plenty
> of studies and research to try and support that side of the argument.
> On the other hand, there are just as many, if not more, research papers
> indicating the importance of good quality nutritional supplementation.
> It would be hard to argue the benefit of vitamin D supplementation
> nowadays. There is overwhelming new research emerging showing
> widespread deficiencies among nearly all populations. And, could you
> really argue against calcium supplementation for many people, especially
> teens and the elderly? What about folic acid and B12 for women of child
> bearing age? The list could go on and on. Simply stating that
> supplements don't work or are of little benefit is very much an
> oversimplifcation. In our mind, there are many factors important to
> ensure the most optimal health, including a healthy, balanced diet,
> proper exercise and rest, and high quality nutritional supplementation.
> Making a general statement that supplements are not beneficial simply
> shows a bias and is overly simplistic.
> For examples of the benefits of nutritional supplementation, we would
> recommend that you visit the following link on our website that contains
> a large amount of published research. In addition, we send out an
> e-mail weekly called Essentials of Health that highlights currently
> research in human nutrition. This link on our website contains dozens
> of these articles that have been posted over the last year.
So ... Jeff, I am in need of your advice again ... Are there studies or facts that specifically address the above issues? Has anyone done studies specificallly with Usana ? Other than the Usana people themselves !
Thanks so much for listening Jeff !