Electrolytes are molecules in your plasma – the liquid portion of your blood – that maintain either a positive or negative charge. These charges allow them to respond to messages from your nervous system by conducting electrical currents through your body, enabling and regulating many bodily functions and systems. Chloride is one of your body’s most important electrolytes. It is located in the extracellular fluid compartments – area outside the cells. Your body’s chloride levels are directly related to its sodium levels.

Functions of Chloride in your body

• Balances the fluid inside and outside cells along with sodium and potassium
• Component of stomach acid
• Generates and conducts electrical signals that play roles in many bodily functions
• Maintains pH balances

Electrolyte Imbalance

It is very important that your body’s electrolytes – such as chloride, sodium, and potassium – remain at their proper levels. Electrolyte imbalance (which is also called electrolyte disturbance) can occur if any of these substances has a sudden, abnormal change. The change can be elevation or depletion of the electrolyte, and may be due to renal failure or water loss, such as from long-time laxative abuse or excessive vomiting, diarrhea, or sweating. Therefore, sufferers of anorexia and bulimia are at particularly high risk. Electrolyte imbalance is usually the result of an underlying problem, such as dehydration or dysfunction of the endocrine system or kidneys, and is usually corrected by treating the initial problem. If an electrolyte imbalance is left untreated, it can cause heart-related issues, organ failure, problems with the nervous system, or death.

Chloride deficiency (Hypochloremia)

Chloride can exit the body through urine, sweat, or vomit, or from kidney or adrenal gland disease. Hypochloremia occurs when too much chloride exits the body, resulting in a deficiency. Although there are often no symptoms, some people experience headaches, nausea, or cardiac arrest. Others experience water loss and dehydration.

Chloride Elevation (Hyperchloremia)

Although there are often no symptoms, some people with elevated levels of chloride also experience dehydration, diarrhea, muscle tension, or kidney disease. Diabetics with elevated chloride levels have a very difficult time maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. There is usually an underlying cause of this disorder, and treatment should involve pinpointing and treating this problem.

Food sources of chloride

Most people get a majority of their chloride from table salt or sea salt. (Salt also contains potassium and sodium). Chloride can also be found in the foods – celery, lettuce, olives and tomatoes.

Because salt is so common in most of diets, it is usually not necessary to take supplements or eat more salt-containing foods. However, some people do need to add salt to their diets. People with adrenal failure, for example, need to increase their salt intake. Your healthcare provider can help determine whether or not you need more or less salt in your diet.

Possible side effects of excess chloride consumption

Any excess of chloride is usually removed from the body in urine. However, be cautious about consuming too much salt, which also contains sodium and potassium, and may contribute to muscle cramps, heartburn, dizziness, high blood pressure, or even electrolyte disturbances in people who are susceptible to this condition.

Many vitamins and enzymes need a mineral co-factor to function properly. The USANA Vitamins Chelated Mineral supplement is a carefully USANA formulated balance of essential minerals and ultra trace minerals sourced from the highest quality suppliers in forms readily absorbed by the body.

Minerals and Calcium


Many important bodily functions require certain minerals in order to operate correctly. Yet minerals, unlike vitamins, cannot be produced by our bodies. Therefore, adequate consumption of minerals is very important for your health.

At the same time, you cannot simply load up on these nutrients. Every mineral is required by your body in a specific amount. This precise amount depends on many factors including diet, mineral content of the oil in which your food is grown, medications, health, and the interaction of the mineral with other substances.

Minerals are divided into two groups: macro (or major) and micro (or minor). Macrominerals are required by your body in relatively high quantities. Generally, people need more than 200 milligrams of these nutrients a day. Calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium are all macrominerals.

Microminerals, on the other hand, are required by your body in trace amounts. Generally, people need less than 200 milligrams of these nutrients a day. Arsenic, boron, chromium, cobalt, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, silicon, tin, vanadium, and zinc are microminerals.


Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body, and an essential component of a healthy diet. It is important that everyone, regardless of age, consumes proper amounts of calcium, but most doctors advise people to increase their intake as they get older. However, your body can only absorb about 500 milligrams of calcium at a time, so your daily intake should be divided into separate doses.

Acid-Creating Foods

The average American diet includes many foods that, once eaten, create acid in your body. If you eat a majority of acidic foods and not enough alkaline foods, your body has to find alkalizing minerals elsewhere to neutralize its PH levels. It often has to resort to suing the calcium and protein in your bones. As a result, your bones can become weakened, possibly irrevocably, and your bodily systems can age at an accelerated pace, resulting in a slew of related problems. The following foods create particularly high acidity levels in your body.

• Chocolate, dairy products, such as butter, cheese, ice cream, milk and yogurt, drinks such as beer, black tea, coffee, and soft drinks, fish, such as haddock, fruit, such as blueberries, cranberries, and dried fruit, grains, such as barley, oats, rice, wheat, and white bread, honey, meat products, such as beef, chicken, ham, turkey, and veal, nuts, such as peanuts and walnuts, processed soybeans, sugar, vegetables, such as corn and white vinegar.

Functions of Calcium in your body

• Activates numerous enzymes
• Helps cholesterol make sex hormones
• Needed for the absorption of vitamin B12
• Plays a crucial role in nerve impulse transmission
• Regulates iron transport in your cells
• Required (along with vitamin K) for blood to clot
• Used by muscles in energy production
• Vital for development of bones and teeth

Symptoms of Calcium Deficiency (Hypocalcemla)

• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Muscle spasms and twitching
• Osteoporosis (bone loss)

Symptoms of Calcium Toxicity (Hypercalcemia)

Since the body is limited in its ability to absorb calcium, there are few short-term effects (namely, constipation and kidney stones) of ingesting too much. However, long-term consumption of too much calcium can result in hypercalcemia – high levels of calcium in the blood. Additionally, combining excess calcium with excess vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium, can be very dangerous. There are also several diseases, such as certain cancers, that can cause calcium toxicity. Blocked uptake of manganese, clogged arteries (which can predispose you to heart disease, constipation, decreased iron absorption, decreased magnesium absorption, decreased vitamin K production, decreased zinc absorption, kidney stones, and problems with your thyroid hormones.

Your body can only absorb 500 milligrams of calcium at a time. Therefore, to fully utilize your ingestion of calcium, the following suggestions for daily calcium consumption should be split into dosages. These amounts refer to your entire calcium intake, including what you eat and the supplements you take.

• Adults: 800 milligrams daily
• Menopausal women: 1,600 milligrams daily
• Premenopausal women: 1,000 milligrams daily
• Pregnant or lactating women: 1,200 milligrams daily

Diseases/disorders that can be treated with calcium – colon cancer, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, leg cramps, osteoporosis, preeclampsia, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Side effects and contraindications

• Decreases absorption of ciprofloxacin and most fluoroquinolone antibiotics
• Decreases aluminum absorption
• Increases the toxicity of digoxin
• Inhibits absorption of tetracycline
• Interferes with the absorption of thyroid medication
• May interfere with the absorption of magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, and phosphorus

Other important factors

• Always use only pharmaceutical-grade supplements. Lower-grade products may be contaminated with lead, mercury, arsenic, aluminum, or cadmium.
• Calcium carbonate is not a good form of calcium because most of its calcium is not bioavailable.
• Calcium citrate and hydroxyapatite are both good sources of calcium. Bioavailability of calcium citrate is 2.5 times that of calcium carbonate.
• Milk is not the best source of calcium because pasteurization destroys up to 32 percent of its available calcium.
• Tums (antacids) are not a good source of calcium because the calcium they contain is poorly absorbed by the body.
• Vitamin C increases calcium absorption by 100 percent.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled USANA study assessed the impact of USANA Vitamins Body Rox Active Calcium Chewable on bone development and bone mineralization in 81 preadolescent girls. After 12 months of supplementation, girls receiving Active Calcium Chewable showed a net gain (1.41 percent) in bone mineral density, while girls in the placebo group showed a net decline (-0.94 percent). Gains in bone mineral content were also greater in the active treatment group than in the placebo group (5.83 percent versus 0.69 percent respectively).

Choline, Inositol and Vitamin C


Choline is an important nutrient that plays a role in almost every bodily system. The important compounds acetylcholine and lecithin are derived from this B vitamin. Acetylcholine is believed to protect against certain types of age-related dementia.

Functions of Choline in your body

• Aids in metabolism of fats
• Allows movement and coordination
• Component of every cell membrane
• Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol
• Precursor to acetylcholine (the main neurotransmitter involved with memory)
• Required for normal brain function

Diseases/disorders that can be treated with choline – Alzheimer’s disease, hepatitis, high cholesterol, liver disease and manic depression (bipolar disease).


Inositol is part of the vitamin B complex. It helps synthesize phospholipids, which are essential to the digestion, absorption, and transportation of fats in the body. Sufficient amounts of inositol are vital for good health – both mental and physical.

Functions of Inositol in your body

• Can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol
• Has a calming effect
• Helps form lecithin, an important antioxidant
• Helps keep arteries from hardening
• Improves quality of sleep
• Involved in augmenting effects of neurotransmitter release
• Involved with metabolizing fats and cholesterol in the arteries and liver
• Supports the metabolism of estrogen and progesterone
• Used to treat depression and panic disorders.

Symptoms of Inositol deficiency – anxiety, depression, difficulty falling asleep, fibroid tumors and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms

Vitamin C

Vitamin C must be consumed in food or supplements because it cannot by made by our bodies. This water-soluble vitamin is essential for many of your body’s system to function properly. The immune system, in particular, relies on vitamin C. Rutin, a bioflavonoid, inhibits the oxidation of this vitamin, making it more useful to the body.

If you are diabetic, you need to take vitamin C. This is because vitamin C and glucose enter your cells through the same pathways. Consequently, vitamin C will be competing with glucose to enter your cells – and glucose will win, leaving the cells deficient in vitamin C.

Functions of Vitamin C in your body

• Aids in the healing of wounds
• Aids in the synthesis of collagen
• Benefits immune system by increasing number of white blood cells and interferons (proteins that can fifth viruses and cancer)
• Decreases adrenal steroid production
• Decreases production of leukotrienes (which contribute to symptoms of allergic reactions)
• Decreases rate of gum disease
• Decreases rate of stomach cancer
• Decrease risk of heart disease
• Helps carnitine synthesis (which breaks down fatty acids and releases energy)
• Helps in the metabolism of tyrosine (an amino acid that synthesizes proteins)
• Helps regenerate vitamin E, glutathione, and uric acid
• Increases fertility
• Increases HDL (good) cholesterol
• Increases nitric oxide
• Enhances the body’s absorption of iron
• Involved in catecholamine synthesis (which prepares the body for activity or to handle stress)
• Involved in production of serotonin (a neurotransmitter involved in many important brain functions, including mood and appetite)
• Is a diuretic
• Is a powerful antioxidant
• Lowers blood pressure
• Lowers incidence of cataracts
• Lowers sorbitol levels, which can prevent cataracts
• Lowers triglycerides
• Needed for progesterone production
• Needed to maintain glutathione levels (which are very important for good health)
• Prevents formation of nitrosamines (compounds which can cause cancer)
• Prevents free radical damage of LDL (bad) cholesterol
• Prevents some forms of lung disease
• Reduces bruising
• Reduces damage (such as diabetes or stiffening tissues) due to glycation
• Reserves the energy-producing capacity of the mitochondria

Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency – bleeding gums, cardiovascular disease, easy bruising, fatigue, frequent infections, impaired wound healing, joint pain, loose teeth, scurvy and weight loss.

Causes of Vitamin C deficiency – aging, antibiotics, aspirin, birth control pills, cortisone, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, high f ever, painkillers, smoking, stress and sulfa drugs

Symptoms of Toxicity

Doses of Vitamin C higher than 5,000 milligrams can be ingested, but may cause diarrhea. Mineral ascorbates and Ester-C are buffered forms of vitamin C that cause less diarrhea.

Vitamin C is water soluble and leaves the body quickly, so it should be taken twice a day. Therefore, you should take 500 to 2,500 milligrams of Vitamin C twice a day.

Side Effects and contraindications

Hemochromatosis occurs when the body accumulates excess iron. Vitamin C can increase this accumulation, so people with hemochromatosis should avoid taking extra vitamin C. If you have a glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, do not have vitamin C given to you intravenously.

USANA Vitamins Proflavanol C100 employs USANA’s innovative Nutritional Hybrid Technology. USANA is among the first in the supplement world to use Nutritional Hybrid Technology.

Vitamins B5 and B6

B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Like the other elements of the vitamin B complex, B5 – pantothenic acid – is involved in the body’s metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It is named “pantothenic”, which is derived from a Greek word that means “everywhere”, because this vitamin can be found, albeit in small quantities, in many, many different foods.

Functions of B5 in your body

• Aids in the formation of antibodies
• Aids in wound healing
• Helps convert food into energy
• Helps with fatty acid transport
• Helps your body use other vitamins
• Needed for synthesis of coenzyme A
• Needed to make fatty acids
• Stimulates adrenal gland
• Used in red cell production
• Used in the synthesis of several amino acids
• Used to make vitamin D

Dosage – 50 to 250 milligrams daily. B vitamins are water soluble and leave the body quickly, so they should be taken twice a day. Therefore, you should take 5 to 125 milligrams of B5 twice a day.

Diseases / disorders that can be treated with B5 – acne, adrenal dysfunction, allergies, cold sores, detoxification, elevated triglycerides, genital herpes, fatigue, infection, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, shingles and ulcerative colitis.

B6 (Pyridoxine)

Pyridoxine acts as a partner for more than one hundred different enzymes. As you get older, the efficiency with which you utilize B6 decreases, so it may be necessary to increase your intake of B6 as you age.

Functions of B6 in your body

• Detoxifies chemicals
• Involved in strengthening connective tissue
• Keys to the synthesis of several neurotransmitters, including the metabolism of tryptophan to serotonin
• Needed for REM sleep
• Needed for the absorption of fats and proteins
• Needed for the immune system
• Needed for the production of hydrocholoric acid
• Needed for the transfer of amino groups
• Used in the metabolism of amino acids
• Used in the methylation process, which lowers homocysteine levels (high levels of which can be a risk factor for heart disease and memory loss)

Symptoms of B6 deficiency – depression, fatigue, hyperactivity, insomnia, irritability, mental confusion, mouth ulcers, nervousness, numbness, skin lesions around the mouth and weakness.

Side effects and contraindications

At too high a dose (more than 500 milligrams a day), pyridoxine can cause a neuropathy (nerve disorder). If you are taking levodopa for Parkinson’s disease, do not take B6 without first consulting your doctor. Also, high dose supplementation of a single B vitamin can cause imbalances of other B vitamins.

Diseases / disorders that can be treated with B6 – asthma, atherosclerosis, autism, carpal tunnel syndrome, constipation, depression, diabetes mellitus, eczema, epilepsy, infertility, irritability, monosodium glutamate (MSG) sensitivity or intolerance, nausea and vomiting related to pregnancy, nervous system dysfunction, osteoporosis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), prevention of calcium oxalate kidney stones, schizophrenia, seborrheic dermatitis and sickle cell disease.

USANA Vitamins Mega Antioxidant contains carefully proportioned B-complex vitamins, which are fundamental to energy production, metabolism, growth, and maintenance of normal homocysteine levels, provided they are normal to begin with.* USANA Mega Antioxidant supplies advanced levels of vitamin B12 at 200 μg in one daily dose.* (*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.)

B2 (Riboflavin) And B3 (Niacin and Niacinamide)

Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is very much involved with your body’s energy processes, as well as many other processes. It is vital, for example, for healthy eyes, the production of antibodies, and proper tissue repair.

Functions of B2 in your body

• Catalyzes several reactions that process carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
• Crucial to the cytochrome P450 system, which metabolizes medications and xenobiotics (environmental toxins)
• Involved in the metabolism of vitamin K
• Needed for energy metabolism
• Needed in the regeneration of glutathione (the strongest antioxidant produced by your body)
• Needed to convert vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin A, and niacin into their active forms
• Required for proper thyroid function
• Used in lipid metabolism
• Used in the formation of aldosterone (a steroid hormone that balances blood) by the adrenal glands

10 to 100 milligrams daily. You need more B2 during illness or athletic training. B vitamins are water soluble and leave the body quickly, so they should be taken twice a day. Therefore, you should take 5 to 50 milligrams of B2 twice a day. High doses supplementation of a single B vitamin can cause imbalances of other B vitamins.

B3 (Niacin and Niacinamide)

Vitamin B3, include both niacin (or nicotinic acid) and its derivative niacinamide. The lists below, however, refer to niacin, a vitamin made from tryptophan, B6, B2, and iron. It is used in at least forty chemical reactions in your body. Niacin has shown to have positive effects on cholesterol levels, particularly when used in conjunction with a statin drug. However, taking niacin by itself may result in increased homocysteine levels.

Functions of Niacin in your body

• Can decrease lipoprotein A (high amounts of which are related to heart disease)
• Can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol
• Decreases fibrinogen (high amounts of which are related to heart disease)
• Involved in energy production
• Lowers triglycerides
• May improve the health of people with diabetes
• Needed for the proper function of the adrenal glands
• Provides energy needed to convert cholesterol to pregnenolone (a hormone that, among other thing, is involved with memory)
• Used in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
• Used in the metabolism of tryptophan and serotonin

50 to 3,000 milligrams daily. However, see your doctor if you want to consume doses greater than 100 milligrams. If you find yourself needing more niacin, try taking NADH, a reduced form of vitamin that is also more active B vitamins are water soluble and leave the body quickly, so they should be taken twice a day. Therefore, you should take 25 to 1,500 milligrams of niacin twice a day.

Side Effects and Contraindications

When you are first beginning niacin treatment, it is fairly common to experience skin flushing, sensations of heat, stomach problems, or dry skin. However, these reactions typically subside within several weeks. Also, taking an aspirin 30 minutes before supplementing with niacin can help prevent skin flushing. High doses of niacin or extended-release niacin can cause liver damage, peptic ulcers, high uric acid levels, or glucose intolerance. Do not take niacin without taking the other vitamins in the B complex because doing so can cause your homocysteine levels to elevate, increasing your risk of heart disease and memory loss. If statin drugs (which lower cholesterol) and niacin are taken together, rhabdomyolysis (a potentially fatal breakdown of skeletal muscle) may occur. Therefore, niacin should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor.

Disease / disorders that can be treated with Niacin

Acne, depression, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, high lipoprotein(a), high triglycerides, intermittent claudicating (leg pains due to circulation changes), low HDL (good) cholesterol, memory loss, osteoarthritis, painful menstrual cycles, Parkinson’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

USANA Vitamins HealthPakTM includes the Essentials™, pre-packed in convenient AM and PM pouches. Provides the full daily dose of the top-rated USANA Essentials (Mega Antioxidant and Chelated Mineral), includes Active Calcium™, a core USANA Optimizer and USANA’s unique AO Booster™ for added antioxidant protection.

Combining food with medication

The food you eat can affect the medication you are taking. You should be aware, for example, that grapefruit can increase the risk of side effects from a wide variety of drugs. The side effects described below can occur from eating grapefruit while on the specified medications.

• Grapefruit can cause flushing, headaches, and increased heart rate if eaten while taking calcium-channel blockers (such as nifedipine, amlodipine, verapamil, and felodipine), which help decrease blood pressure.
• Grapefruit increase quinidine levels.
• Grapefruit can cause irregular heart rhythms if eaten while taking the antihistamine terfenadine.
• Grapefruit can increase levels of benzodiazepines (sedatives that include alprazolam, diazepam, midazolam, and triazolam).
• Grapefruit can cause kidney and lvier toxicity if eaten while taking cyclosporine.
• Grapefruit increases caffeine levels and can cause nervousness and insomnia.
• Grapefruit can decrease the absorption of macrolide antibiotics such as clarithromycin.
• Grapefruit can decrease the absorption of the antihistamine fexofenadine (such as Allegra).
• Grapefruit can increase the medication level of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statin drugs).
• Grapefruit can delay the absorption of Viagra, a male impotence medication.
• Grapefruit can cause hives if taken with the pain reliever naprosyn.
• Grapefruit can increase certain levels, which may lead to nausea, tremors, drowsiness, dizziness, or agitation, if eaten while taking carbamazepine (such as Tegretol).
• Grapefruit may elevate blood levels and cause nausea, drowsiness, tremors, or agitation if eaten while taking amiodarone.
• Grapefruit can increase estrogen levels in both men and women. No interaction with medication is necessary for this to occur.

USANA Vitamins Proflavanol® C100 is USANA’s groundbreaking bioflavonoid and advanced vitamin C supplement.

Combining Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals can interact with each other, as well as with other nutrients. These relationships and interrelationships can have various effects. The following examples show how certain vitamins and minerals interact.

• A certain amount of vitamin C is necessary for your body to use selenium effectively.
• Vitamin C can enhance the availability of vitamin A.
• Too much zinc can decrease calcium absorption.
• Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
• Vitamin D helps your body use zinc effectively.
• Too much copper can decrease the uptake of manganese in your system.
• A vitamin A deficiency can decrease iron utilization.
• Too much iron can lower your manganese and copper levels.
• Too much vitamin B2 (riboflavin) can cause a magnesium deficiency.
• Vitamin B6 can cause a decrease in copper absorption.
• A vitamin E deficiency can decrease absorption of vitamin A.
• A vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency can lead to a decreased use of selenium.
• Adequate phosphorus intake is needed to maintain vitamin D.