USANA – Teaming with TOSH to Break New Ground

Leave the USANA Home Office headed east toward the towering Wasatch Mountains and any one of three routes will put you at The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH) in less than 20 minutes. There are 12 measly miles of road between the corporate headquarters and the medical campus—road that represents a connection deepened by, but not built upon, proximity.

Collaboration is the vocabulary word Tyler Barker, Ph.D., a physiologist and clinical researcher at TOSH, would use to describe the research relationship with his neighbors to the west. It’s a collaboration manifested in shared interest, workload, and desire to be better through a two-heads-are-better-than-one philosophy.

“USANA isn’t just supporting the research, they’re doing it,” Barker said. “It would not be possible without USANA. Sometimes I feel bad because I’m always bugging Brian.”

He’s talking about Brian Dixon, Ph.D., USANA’s director of product innovation, and one of the members of USANA’s Research and Development team Barker works with most closely. Dixon and Barker should be familiar with each other. Both logged time at the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI). They kept in touch after their time in Corvallis, Oregon, and have fostered the collaborative spirit both point to as a strength of the partnership, which officially started in 2009.

But Barker’s relationship with USANA actually goes back further. As part of a research partnership with LPI, USANA funded Barker’s dissertation.

“USANA has brought TOSH to a whole new level. TOSH is world renowned for its surgery and physical therapy, and the research, but I feel like the collaboration with USANA on research has taken that research to a whole new level.” — Tyler Barker, Ph.D., physiologist and clinical researcher at TOSH

A Recipe for the Perfect Collaboration

Although the research partnership between USANA and TOSH is fairly new, the collaborative nature of the relationship is already bearing fruit.

“USANA has brought TOSH to a whole new level,” Barker said. “TOSH is world renowned for its surgery and physical therapy, and the research, but I feel like the collaboration with USANA has taken that research to a whole new level.”

None of it would be possible without the unique expertise and resources Barker and TOSH bring to the table. And since TOSH is a world-class facility on the forefront of orthopedics, their contribution is by no means paltry. There’s the medical-campus setting with physicians, surgery, physical therapy, athletic training, and research under one roof. Then there’s the constant stream of patients that make up a large, varied population—everything from kids getting ready for their first football practice to osteoarthritis sufferers in need of a total knee replacement. Everything adds up to the perfect setting for human clinical research about nutrition and orthopedics, and the perfect partner for collaboration.

“Tyler and his team bring a specific skill set and expertise to a problem, and our team at USANA brings another skill set. It works well,” Dixon said. “You have a physiologist working with a molecular biologist, and Tyler can do things that we can’t do. We can do things that they can’t do. Those are the perfect collaborations.”

Like with anything, the research collaborations between USANA and TOSH start with a good idea. Conversations between Barker and USANA’s team produce ideas that could work for both parties. USANA and TOSH then work to turn those ideas into mutually beneficial research. That means designing a study, manufacturing the supplements, working on blinding and randomization—important steps to assure scientifically valid results—recruiting subjects, and collecting and analyzing the data. So the collaboration runs from conception to publication or presentation of the findings.

“I feel like it’s more on an academic level, as opposed to something marketing-driven,” Barker said of the relationship between the two groups.

Teamwork in Action

The relationship between USANA and TOSH materializes in the four human clinical studies currently underway—all of which explore the convergence of orthopedics and nutrition.

The first study examines whether low vitamin D status impairs recovery from muscle damage, and whether supplementing increases vitamin D levels and improves recovery. Data is only collected in the four winter months, but TOSH has finished subject recruitment and enrollment. Barker is ready to start data analysis, and he’s excited about what he’s seen so far. There have already been presentations at international scientific conferences, and the first manuscript from the study is in print now.

Barker was also able to leverage USANA’s resources to secure $40,000 in additional grant money for the study, getting even more research out of the company’s investment.

Knees are the focus of two other USANA-TOSH collaborations. One study builds on Barker’s dissertation, investigating the role vitamins E and C play in strength recovery following ACL injury and surgery, and whether multivitamin/multi-mineral supplements have an influence on strength recovery, as well. The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the four major ligaments of the knee. The study is approaching 50-percent subject recruitment, and Barker expects to do an interim analysis soon.

The other knee study explores whether multivitamin/multi-mineral supplements influence strength recovery, inflammation, and wound healing following a total knee replacement—a procedure that is increasing in frequency, especially in women. Barker said they are halfway to their goal of 30 subjects.

Data collection is continuing on both knee studies, but is just underway in the final USANA-TOSH collaboration—a vitamin D-osteoarthritis study. There are already 20 subjects, and five have finished their 12 weeks of supplementation—either a custom pack of vitamin D, fish oil, and joint-health supplements, or placebos. It’s a big study that involves several end points and outcome measures. But it’s important because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, osteoarthritis affects an estimated 26.9 million adults in the United States, and is currently the leading cause of disability. This study is so important USANA has committed $250,000, plus the cost of supplements and other sample analysis.

There are other things Barker has going on as well, like a case study exploring vitamin D status in the first subject to enroll in the total knee study. “We’re funding four studies and we expect four conclusions to come out of it,” Dixon said. “But Tyler goes above and beyond. He is consistently reanalyzing the samples he and his team have already collected as new research comes out to verify findings or even make new ones. So we get a lot of bang for our buck.”

And the fact that these studies are happening in humans, in a medical setting, makes the research even more valuable.

“Subjects are coming here to get better—they have a bum knee or a bum hip or something—we want to make their lives better,” Barker said. “But at the same time, let’s do a little research to find out what’s going on and see if we can improve that.”

A Bright, Busy Future

When USANA evaluates which research to support, the phrase “cutting edge” is always part of the conversation. Working with researchers pushing the frontier of science is paramount, and the research with TOSH definitely fits USANA’s cutting-edge mantra. Crossover between orthopedics and nutritional science has been infrequent, but it’s quickly becoming an emerging area of interest—one where TOSH and USANA are already making advances.

“You can probably count all the studies that have examined vitamin D and inflammation in orthopedics on one hand,” Barker said.

Most of the research in orthopedics involves surgery, physical therapy, and biomechanics. There have been a few studies with vitamin C, iron, and folate, but most have been observational, not experimental, in nature. USANA and TOSH are trying to do both and, in the process, produce truly groundbreaking work.

And by no means is that work done. In fact, Barker and Dixon think the future looks bright. USANA funding has already allowed Barker to hire two research assistants to help shoulder the burden of running numerous clinical studies at the same time. Barker usually has about five studies on the backburner, too, and there are indications that some of those might be of interest to USANA.

“We’ve talked about a couple of possible studies, and there’s some additional funding that’s going to be coming TOSH’s way,” Dixon said. “Who knows where nutritional science and patient care is going to go in the future? But we’ll obviously be on that cutting edge.”

Barker would like to get to a point where USANA and TOSH are doing larger phase two and three clinical studies. The specifics aren’t clear, but what is—judging by the glowing way he talks about the collaboration he’s had with USANA—is Barker’s excitement about what the future holds for the partnership.

“USANA has quality supplements and quality people,” Barker said. “And then, with all the subjects and patients that walk through the doors here, basically, what we can do is endless. There are always questions and hypotheses.”

Next week, don’t miss the final Scientific Method story, which looks at research going on inside the USANA Home Office.

Form of Vitamin D

The way vitamin D is made, stored, and utilized in our bodies is unique. That dreaded but marvelous substance, cholesterol, forms the base of a derivative that resides in the fat cells just under the skin. When skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, this derivative is transformed to D3. Diet-derived D2 and D3 each undergo changes in the liver and the kidneys to form both a non-active storage form of the vitamin and the active form (1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin D). In many tissues of our bodies, there are receptors for both forms.

The active form of vitamin D is a steroid, which puts it in a class with other steroids, such as hormones. Since we can get our vitamin D from sources other than diet, some say it is not a vitamin. But if the sun doesn’t shine or we avoid sun exposure by clothing, occupation, or sun block lotions, we must have a dietary source. In latitudes north of San Francisco or south of Buenos Aires, Argentina, UV radiation is very feeble for at least six months of the year. Natural food sources, except for the fish liver oils, are relatively meager.

We are left with the commercial D3 and D2 forms that don’t seem all that attractive when we learn how they are made. Animal skins are treated with organic solvents that extract the cholesterol derivative (7-dehydrocholesterol, the same precursor that resides under our skin), which is then exposed to UV radiation to form D3. D2, said to be derived from plant or “food” sources, occurs naturally in some yeasts and fish, but most of it is obtained from UV radiation of cholesterol derivatives in foods like milk,. Cholesterol extracted from the lanolin of sheep wool, after going through many chemical processes and UV radiation, can generate D2. D3 has greater activity than D2, but both are still in use. The large-dose vitamin D in use now, as a readily available supplement, is the D3 form.

Uses of Vitamin D

The most well known use of the active form of vitamin D, 1,25 D, is its role in bone metabolism. Our bones are a reservoir for calcium, which has many more essential functions than just bone metabolism. If calcium intake is inadequate, or if absorption is poor, the calcium blood level will fall. If the fall is too severe, terrible consequences ensue (tetany, death). Help comes in the form of a hormone released from the parathyroid glands that activates 1,25 D. This reaction quickly relieves the low blood calcium problem, but the calcium is taken from the bone reservoir. The parathyroid hormone also allows enhanced absorption of calcium from the gut, in conjunction with vitamin D. While it causes bone breakdown, it also stimulates the production of bone cells (osteoblasts) to provide new bone growth. This entire metabolic loop is designed as a stop-gap measure and cannot be kept in place for the long term, because the parathyroid glands will continually put out too much hormone and bones will deteriorate. The loop makes it hard to achieve toxic levels, since reserve components of the vitamin are activated only as needed.

Fortunately, long before the mechanism of vitamin D metabolism was understood, doctors and nutrition scientists gave sound prevention-oriented advice. Consequently, we didn’t see rickets. It seems that a long period of complacency followed, without reminders of the grave consequences of vitamin D deficiency. Neither did we have an understanding of vitamin D receptors in the any tissues other than bone. Vitamin D, attached to these receptors, regulates genes responsible for the health of the target organ. Some infants with rickets have heart failure that can be successfully treated and should have been prevented with vitamin D. Besides heart muscle, deficiency affects skeletal muscle and the immune system. Antioxidant production involved in quelling free radical production seems to parallel vitamin D production from the skin. For the last few years it seems a new sue for this “cure-all” vitamin turns up every week. Are these finds new or have they just been ignored for decades?








USANA‘s Vitamin D supplement is made with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), which research suggests is better than competing forms at raising levels of vitamin D in the blood. The most important forms are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. The latter is the form normally found in humans and is also the form used in USANA’s Vitamin D supplement.

USANA Heart Health Supplements

Healthy hearts and are happy hearts

We’ve all been inundated with information about the cardiovascular risks of eating too much saturated fat. That’s not new. It may be shocking to many Americans to realize that the French – whose diets are comprised largely of rich, fatty foods such as cream and cheese and butter – actually enjoy some of the world’s best cardiovascular health. How can this be? The superior heart health enjoyed by the French despite the amount of saturated fats in the typical French diet is known as the “French Paradox.”

Some researchers theorize that the French Paradox can be attributed to the fact that, along with their cheese, the French also enjoy good wine. The average French person consumes about 9 ounces of wine daily. Wine contains antioxidant polyphenols, which promote good heart health. These substances work to protect LD from oxidization, even more so than other popular antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Antioxidants promote the healthy flow of blood through the blood vessels, even those that may be partially constricted by plaque.

The flavinoids that are present in red grapes (the grapes used to make wine) reside in the grape seeds. These flavinoids are called proanthocyanidins and now scientists have been able to extract the proanthocyanidins from the grape seeds so that we can enjoy the benefits of the flavinoids without having to consume alcohol, which can post its own health risks.

In a healthy adult, arteries and other blood vessels expand and contract to deliver blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. In a person who suffers from coronary artery disease (or, CAD) the proper expansion and contraction may not occur. This can be an early indicator that the person may be at risk of suffering a stroke or a heart attack in the future. Researchers in the Boston University School of Medicine conducted research in which they studied the microvascular functioning of the blood vessels in participants’ fingertips, both before and after they began to take supplements. The study showed that within just a few hours after ingesting the supplement, microvascular function had improved. The blood vessels had begun expanding and contracting like healthy blood vessels should. The researchers noticed that the improvement only occurred when epicatechin, a bioflavinoid found in grape seed extract, was also present in the subjects’ blood stream.

USANA scientists and Boston University worked together and discovered that the continuous and regular intake of a supplement that contained both grape seed extract and vitamin C together could improve vascular health. This was achieved by providing antioxidant protection and by promoting healthy microvascular blood flow through the arteries.

USANA Health Sciences, was instrumental in developing the process now used by the company’s suppliers use to create grape-seed extract that is readily available for use by the body. These extracts are contained in USANA’s Proflavanol C100 or Proflavanol C200 tablets.

Proflavanol C is one of USANA’s most popular supplements. It is part of a heart-healthy regime and it also has been shown to promote a healthy immune system and healthy, glowing skin.

Other heart-healthy habits

Taking supplements isn’t the only key to a healthy body. You also have to follow a heart-healthy diet as well.

The adage that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t just an old wive’s tale. It’s true. A recent study found that eating one apple every day can help to reduce LDL, the bad cholesterol in our blood that puts us at risk for dangerous heart attacks and strokes. So grab a Granny Smith, a Fuji or a Gala and get chomping your way to good health!

Another heart-healthy food that you should be incorporating into your daily diet are nuts. Nuts are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and contain high levels of protein and fiber, among other heart-healthy things. Beware, however, that nuts are a snack that should be eaten mindfully and with an eye toward portion control. Nuts contain high levels and fat and, although it is “good fat,” nuts should be consumed in small amounts. Add some to a salad, combine a handful with some dried fruit, or mix a few into some yogurt. Steer clear of heavily smoked, salted or “flavoured” nuts which can derail your healthy-eating intentions. Raw almonds are one of the best choices, weighing in at just 7 calories per nut. Pistachios are another good choice. Because they take some work to get into (never buy them pre-shelled!) you won’t be as tempted to overeat.

Your mother was right

It may be a difficult pill to swallow, but your mother was right when she told you to eat your vegetables. Eating a wide variety of vegetables every day helps to prevent cardiovascular disease. It’s important to know that cooking vegetables reduces the amount of bio-available nutrients in them. Boiling, in particular, leeches the nutrients out of the food and exposure to air sucks away certain vitamins including vitamins A, C, E, K and B. Instead of boiling, cook your vegetables by lightly steaming them over a double boiler. In addition, avoid exposing your vegetables to air by cutting them only right before you plan to cook and/or eat them. Finally, serve raw or lightly cooked vegetables as often as possible, supplementing with fully cooked vegetables less often.

Getting raw vegetables into your diet isn’t as challenging as it may seem. At breakfast, if you put spinach into your omelet, do so at the last moment so the nutrients don’t cook out and add some sprinkles of tomato on top of the finished product. At lunchtime, make a big salad with lots of dark leafy greens, shredded carrot, diced peppers and sliced mushrooms. On your sandwich, add a slice of tomato and some romaine lettuce. At dinner time, always have a big salad on the side of your entree and load your plate with lightly steamed vegetables. Vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, zucchini and eggplant all taste great when they are just barely tender-crisp.

A quick note about tomatoes: A 2002 study found that cooking tomatoes actually helps to bolster the amount of lycopene in tomatoes. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect our cells from the free-radical damage that can occur when our bodies burn oxygen for energy. Easy ways to incorporate cooked tomatoes into your diet are, as already mentioned, in an omelet at breakfast, in a sandwich or soup (homemade, please!) at lunch, and in a simple tomato sauce over whole-grain pasta at dinner time.

USANA’S MyHealthPak

Every aspect of USANA‘s MyHealthPak is geared toward optimizing your health. Their website and packaging system allows customers to custom-design their nutritional supplement backs for both the morning and evening supplements for a system that is truly one-of-a-kind and tailored to each customer’s specific needs.

USANA’s Health Assessment and Advisor was designed by the company’s top-notch scientific team. The program is designed to help customers identify their particular nutritional needs using biometric, lifestyle and health priority information. Based on the answers you provide, the system will provide you with Core, Advanced and Optimal recommendations. You can also select one of the systems pre-determined profiles that is the closest to your health and lifestyle habits. Whichever option you choose – either providing your own information or choosing a pre-determined profile – you have the choice to further customize by dragging and dropping various USANA products into your am or pm packs.

Worried about taking too much of one thing, or the wrong combination of things? Don’t fret! The MyHealthPak Builder keeps careful track of what you are adding to your packs. This will prevent you from adding any unsafe levels of supplements so you don’t have to do the figuring yourself. Once you’ve made the final selections for your packs, you can complete your pack with your name and a message of your choosing. From there, your USANA MyHealthPak is assembled individually by a proprietary packaging machine. The server on the machine receives your order from the website and communicates the order to a high-speed packer. The packer then dispenses the appropriate tablets. Each of the 56 packs and the b ox they come in are labeled with your name and unique bar code so that you can be sure you receive what you order – nothing more, nothing less. You’ll receive a full four-week supply of tablets along with a full information packet about all of your selected tablets. USANA endeavors to make the process not only customizable and quick, but also as user-friendly as possible. Because if it’s too confusing, time consuming or expensive to take supplements, most of us simply won’t do it.

The only unfortunate thing is that MyHealthPak is not (yet) available everywhere. Fortunately, however, USANA is committed to meeting the needs of their worldwide family. In some markets, USANA is required to register every combination of tablets customers could potentially get from their company and because there are so many great products being offered that could amount to hundreds of thousands of possible combinations. That presents a significant challenge in bringing the MyHealthPak idea to certain parts of the world, but USANA continues to strive to find ways to get personalized packs into various world markets.

USANA Health Sciences Business Review

Usana Health Sciences, Inc. (“Usana“) is a multi-level marketing company based out of Utah. The company produces various products in the nutritional, supplements, skincare and vitamins business industries, some of which have been provided to several athletic organizations that the company sponsors. Most of the company’s products are manufactured at their facility in West Valley City, Utah and are sold in markets around the world through their network of independent distributors that the company calls their “associates.” The company, which was founded by immunologist and microbiologist Myron Wentz, is the 24th largest direct-sale company on the planet.

The company distributes and sells its products in much the same way as other multi-level marketing companies. Distributors recruit and profit from other distributors’ sales. The products are only available through the direct-sale channel and are not available in a retail environment. The company has approximately 222,000 associates in its global network, which includes countries such as the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, The Philippines, Mainland China and Singapore. The company earned a place on Forbes’ “200 Best Small Companies” list from 2004 to 2006.

USANA‘s Products

The line of Usana products is comprised of three product categories: Usana Nutritionals (including products like Essentials, Optimizers, and various nutritional supplements), Usana Diet & Energy (including protein bars, RESET meal replacement shakes and Rev3 energy drinks) and Sense personal care (skin care products, hair and body care products and skin treatment products) which contain a combination of botanicals, antioxidants and other ingredients. The company does not use parabens in its products.

Several of Usana‘s products have been certified by NSF International in the Dietary Supplements category. This designation means that the products have the identity and quantity of their dietary ingredients depicted accurately on the label and that the products do not contain any ingredients that are not identified on the label. In addition, several Usana products are also certified under NSF’s “Certified for Sport” certification program, meaning that they contain no prohibited substances.

Usana’s Business model

USANA is a multilevel marketing company. That means it sells its products via sales associates and over the Internet. It is important to note that in this business model, the associates are not employees of the company; they are independent distributors. These associates receive commission based on the products they directly sell as well as earning commission on the products sold by the distributors they recruit, known as their “downlines”.

Usana uses what is known as a binary infinite compensation plan. Under this type of plan, sales associates are awarded points for each sale they make. Associates are required to reach a certain level of points before they will start to earn income. USANA requires each associate to purchase a minimum of 100 volume of products (equal to about $120) every four weeks in order to stay eligible to receive compensation. Failure to maintain this level of product will cause the distributor to lose any points he had accumulated that had not yet been paid on.

USANA‘s sales associates are bound by distributor agreements. These agreements preclude distributors from making any misleading income claims to potential associates and from making health claims for their products.

USANA Company Claims

These are the claims that have earned USANA the honor of being voted Distributor Choice’s “Best Company” in Network Marketing Today and in The MLM Insider Magazine for a whopping 10 years!

Low Start Up

The Company claims to have low start-up costs. Associates are only required to purchase USANA‘s Business Development System, which can be purchased for as little as $30 US.

Simple Compensation Structure

No previous sales experience is required to join the USANA team. The only requirements are a willingness to learn and a desire to help others improve their lives. The company recommends that each associate has two downline associates to start building their profitable business.

Earning Potential

The Company focuses on the earning potential of its associates, comparing the earning potential of their MLM business model to the earning potential of a traditional salaried-plus-commission job. The company prides itself on its award-winning compensation plan, which offers associates six different ways to earn income. Under the USANA structure, unpaid volume carries over week to week and there are no sales quotas. The company views these as a way to make it possible for their associates to succeed.

Potential for schedule flexibility

Under the USANA business model, each associate is essentially the master of his own business. Associates set their own hours, can work from everywhere, and can set their own pace. In this model, the most motivated workers will earn the most income, but with the flexibility the model allows, the company’s hope is that all of the associates will be able to work the model to set themselves up for maximum success. People who can work independently with no supervision and no set schedule can flourish in this system.

Independence, not isolation

USANA wants its associates to know that they are in business for themselves, but not by themselves. To help associates achieve, the company provides its associates with thorough training and offers them access to a wide variety of helpful tools designed to promote success. Those tools include such things as a fully integrated Associate-only website, a website on which associates can stay up to date with the latest company news, receiving additional training, download free tools and take advantage of business management services offered by the company. Other tools offered to USANA associates are frequent web conferences, company events, sales aids, helpful publications and professional multimedia productions and many other things. The company also offers a helpful and experienced customer service team. That team can offer support to the company’s associate network in six languages.


The company’s Autoship program means that the associate will never have to actual handle (or store) inventory. Inventory will be shipped directly to the associate or the customer on a schedule determined by the associate in conjunction with his customer.

Part of a growing industry

Companies involved in manufacturing and promoting wellness products are part of one of the fastest-growing segments of the market. When it comes to direct selling, wellness-related products enjoy an even bigger piece of the pie. According to well-known economist Paul Zane Pilzer, wellness products and services are predicted to be the next trillion-dollar industry in the American economy. The global population is aging, and they are increasingly looking for products that will help them to look and feel their best. In addition, younger generations are seeking products that will help them to stay looking and feeling youthful as long as possible. Our lives are busier than ever, and more and more people are seeking products to help keep them in optimal health so that they can keep pace with the speed of modern life.

Finally, USANA hangs its hat on the worldwide reputation it has earned. The company is a member of the Direct Selling Association and is a solid, publicly traded company whose products appeal to a wide segment of the population. USANA customers are from a variety of age ranges, both genders and from all education levels. They reside around the world and include world-class athletes, best-selling authors, top-tier scientific institutions, leaders in the health and wellness industries and well-respected members of the business community.

USANA offers its associates the opportunity to take their financial futures into their own hands. They offer a thorough support network, flexibility in terms of schedule and earning potential and a lineup of products they truly believe in, products designed to meet the needs of a large segment of the global population. USANA has received, and continues to receive, many accolades from the business community for its business model, its products and for its widespread success.

More on USANA:

USANA Heart Health Supplements

USANA Digestive Enzymes

USANA Vitamins Procosa

USANA Energy Drink

USANA Products Q&A

Healthy Life with USANA

USANA Vitamins for Teens

USANA Vitamins for Kids

USANA Cappuccino Nutrimeal

Is it safe to use USANA’s Vitamin D Product and USANA Essentials or USANA HealthPak?

USANA Proflavanol C 100

USANA Booster C

Do USANA contain artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavorings?

How does USANA ensure product safety

What make USANA Probiotic different from other probiotic supplements?


USANA Diet Products

USANA BiOmega Fish Oil

USANA Pure Rest – Sleeping Better

USANA Skin Care Products

USANA HealthPak


Prenatal Vitamins USANA MultiVitamin

USANA Reset Weight Loss

USANA Essentials

USANA Fibergy

USANA Specials

USANA Chocolate Nutrimeal

USANA Nutrition Bars

USANA Fibergy Plus

USANA Vitamin D

Vitamins QA

Should I take USANA supplements with a meal?

There are several reasons it can be beneficial to take dietary supplements with food or a complete meal. One reason is to buffer the stomach (especially important for those with sensitive stomachs). Another reason is to increase consistency and compliance with the recommended dosage. Many people find it easier to form a habit of taking supplements alongside a meal, as opposed to taking them separately.

Perhaps the best reason to take supplements with a meal is that some nutrients (e.g. fat-soluble nutrients and calcium) typically have improved absorption when taken with a meal or snack.

What is the best time to take USANA supplements?

In general, mineral flux in and out of bone is more active while at rest and some very sensitive individuals may notice a slight relaxation effect from taking mineral supplements (like USANA’s Chelated Mineral product). On the other hand, some individuals feel that the vitamins in USANA’s Mega AO product provide heightened energy, and claim they have trouble sleeping if they take them too late in the evening. Both claims are, unfortunately, difficult to explain with clinical evidence and should not be noticeable by the general population. Vitamins do not contain any stimulants and do not provide direct energy. Similarly, minerals do not contain sedatives or characteristic effects significant enough to cause drowsiness.

Having said this, perception is often quite powerful and even if there is no plausible scientific explanation, there may be individuals who need to adjust their supplement use accordingly. If you experience changes in sleep or energy patterns while using USANA products, USANA scientists recommend trying one of two things – start with a half-dose and gradually work up to a full dose, or take the tablets at a particular time of day (morning for vitamins, evening for minerals) to minimize any effects on energy and/or sleep.

What is the caloric content of the USANA nutritionals?

USANA Nutritional products are not a significant source of calories. For example, an entire daily dose of the Essentials (8 tablets) provides less than one calorie. Most of the supplements provide less than one calorie per daily dose.

Exceptions to this rule include:

USANA BiOmega: 10 calories per tablet, 20 calories per daily dose
USANA Body Rox Active Calcium Chewable: 4 calories per tablet, 16 calories per daily dose
USANA HealthPak: between 1 and 2 calories per daily dose
USANA Usanimals: 4 calories per tablet
USANA OptOmega: 80 calories per serving (as listed on the label)

Tip from the Scientists

It takes approximately 3,500 calories to store one pound of fat.

Why doesn’t USANA publish ORAC scores for its supplements?

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) provides a useful way to measure and compare the overall antioxidant activities of complex foods like fruits, vegetables, and juices containing diverse and often poorly characterized mixtures of antioxidants. ORAC is not a particularly useful method for comparing the antioxidant activities of nutritional supplements in tablet and capsule form (products that are formulated with known amounts of known ingredients). In making these comparisons, it is more straightforward and accurate to compare the daily doses/label amounts of individual antioxidant ingredients.

Moreover, keep in mind that ORAC scores only pertain to antioxidant activity. They do not measure the value of vitamins and minerals. As such, using an ORAC score to evaluate a product like the USANA Essentials would require overlooking the importance of its vitamin D, B vitamins, and mineral content, among others.

In our opinion, nutritional formulas such as the Essentials are best evaluated on the basis of their nutritional content, ingredient by ingredient and dose by dose, not by a single test intended to measure only antioxidant activity.

Benefits of BiOmega

Can I remove the liquid from BiOmega capsules?

The primary concern with breaking open BiOmega capsules is that it can be difficult to empty the capsule completely, which may reduce the amount of active ingredients you receive. (Also, it can be difficult to mask the taste of extracted fish oil.)

Assuming the taste doesn’t bother you and you are able to empty the capsule completely, there shouldn’t be a problem with consuming BiOmega this way. Just be sure to use the liquid immediately, as it was not designed to be exposed to air.

Can I take USANA BiOmega during pregnancy?

Yes, BiOmega can be taken during pregnancy.

Research has clearly shown that essential fatty acids are important for developing babies, and many women don’t get enough from diet alone. During pregnancy, the omega-3 fatty acids in BiOmega will support your child’s brain, eye, and nerve development, particularly during the last trimester.

Can I take BiOmega if I have an allergy to fish?

For individuals with a specific allergy to fatty fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, herring), BiOmega would not generally be recommended except on the advice of a physician.

For individuals with shellfish-specific allergies (e.g. shrimp, crab, lobster), BiOmega should not be a problem as it does not contain any shellfish ingredients.

Can children take USANA Vitamins BiOmega?

Like most of USANA‘s Optimizers (with the exception of USANA Body Rox Active Calcium Chewable and OptOmega), BiOmega is generally not recommended for children under the age of 18. In part, this is because the BiOmega gelcaps are quite large, making them difficult for many children to swallow.

We are aware that under certain circumstances BiOmega may be useful for children, but the recommendation for use should always come from a physician or other healthcare provider.

Does BiOmega contain trans-fat?

All of USANA‘s products, including BiOmega, are completely free of trans-fatty acids.

Does BiOmega contain vitamin A?

No, BiOmega does not contain vitamin A.

Unless added by the manufacturer, only fish oil supplements specifically made from fish liver (such as cod liver oil) will contain vitamin A.

How do I eliminate the fishy aftertaste associated with fish oil supplements?

Lemon oil is added to BiOmega to help reduce the potential for fishy aftertaste.

If you still find the taste bothersome, try taking BiOmega with a meal.

How is BiOmega purified?

BiOmega is purified using high vacuum molecular distillation.

(We actually distill the product twice to ensure a maximum level of purity.)

Is BiOmega free from heavy metals and other contaminants?

Yes, for all practical intents and purposes. It is not possible – nor is it necessary – to have a product that is absolutely and completely free of any contaminants. No matter how much purification is done, a trace can always be found depending on the sensitivity of the testing method.

Take mercury, for example. BiOmega is as purified as it gets with regard to mercury, and is tested to contain a maximum of 0.01 ppm (parts per million). In other words, it is at least 99.999999% free of mercury. This level is thousands of times lower than a typical can of tuna fish and well below the acceptable safe level (1 ppm, as specified by the FDA).

Why does BiOmega contain lemon oil?

Some individuals may notice a “fishy” aftertaste after swallowing a fish oil supplement. Natural lemon oil is added to each BiOmega capsule to improve palatability.

What fish species are used to make BiOmega?

BiOmega is made from deep-sea cold water fish species (primarily anchovies and sardines).

Why doesn’t BiOmega contain omega-6 or omega-9 fatty acids?

Fish oil typically contains minimal amounts of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. If a company were to add dietarily significant amounts of these nutrients to a fish oil supplement, the size and/or number of capsules would have to be increased dramatically.

In addition, omega-6 fatty acids tend to be more prevalent in the diet than omega-3’s, and while omega-9 fatty acids are beneficial and healthy they are not considered “essential” (since the human body is capable of synthesizing them).

If you are interested in a balanced omega 3-6-9 product, a plant-based product like OptOmega would be more appropriate. The flaxseed oil in OptOmega provides substantial omega-3’s, and the combination of other oils provides both omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. OptOmega is also a good option for vegetarians and those with fish allergies.

BiOmega, on the other hand, is less of a “basic” omega fatty acid product and more of a specific (or targeted) product especially useful in cardiovascular health.

Why is vitamin D added to BiOmega?

Vitamin D is manufactured by the human body upon exposure to sunlight. Varying amounts of sun exposure, the regular use of sunscreen, and other factors can influence vitamin D levels.

Many experts now believe that most people do not get enough vitamin D. In addition, vitamin D is not found naturally in significant amounts in fish oil or fish oil products. Both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D are essential to the diet, and fish oil is an ideal delivery medium for vitamin D (because vitamin D is fat-soluble).

Based on a careful consideration of all these factors, USANA has chosen to make vitamin D an integral part of the BiOmega product.