Antioxidants Studies

As everyone knows, eating and drinking are necessary for life. Less well known, however, is the fact that the body generates what are called free radicals in the process of turning food into energy. Free radicals are chemicals that are capable of damaging cells and genetic material. But eating is not the only way free radicals spring into being. The food we eat and the sunlight we feel also generate free radicals.

To be sure, free radicals come in many shapes, sizes, and chemical configurations. The characteristic feature of this chemical is that it soaks up electrons from bodily substances that yield them, which can leave the “loser’s” structure or function radically altered. Free radical damage can change the instructions coded in a strand of DNA; it can also make a circulating low-density lipoprotein (LDL, sometimes called bad cholesterol) molecule more likely to get trapped in an artery wall. Free radicals also have the potential to alter a cell’s membrane, changing the flow of what enters the cell and what leaves it.

Fortunately, we aren’t defenseless against free radicals. The body puts up natural defenses against free radicals by making molecules that smothers the errant chemicals. We also extract free-radical fighters from food. Often called “antioxidants”, certain kinds of food give electrons to free-radicals without themselves turning into electron-scavenging substances. There are many different substances that can act as antioxidants. The most familiar ones are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and other related carotenoids, along with the minerals selenium and manganese. They’re joined by glutathione, coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, flavonoids, phenols, polyphenols, phytoestrogens, and many more.

However, the term “antioxidant” can be misleading. These substances do not emit chemical properties that fight so much as they emit properties that facilitate. Indeed, some substances that act as antioxidants in one situation may be prooxidants—electron grabbers—in a different chemical milieu. Another big misconception is that antioxidants are interchangeable. This is not true. Each anti-oxidant has unique chemical behaviors and biological properties. It is believed, and has been strongly corroborated through scientific study, that anti-oxidants evolved as parts of elaborate networks, each substance having a different role to play. It follows that no single substance can fulfill the function of every other substance.

Health Benefits of Antioxidants: What’s the Buzz?

Antioxidants came to public attention in the 1990s. It was then that scientists began to understand that free radical damage was involved in the early stages of artery-clogging atherosclerosis, and that the chemicals may contribute to cancer, vision loss, and a host of other chronic conditions. A number of studies stated that people with low intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables were at greater risk for developing these chronic conditions than were people who ate sufficient amounts fruits and vegetables. Clinical trials tested the impact of single substances, especially beta-carotene and vitamin E, on cancer, heart disease, and similar maladies. But even before the results of these trials were in, the media, and the dietary supplement and food industries began promoting the benefits of “antioxidants.” Foods such as frozen berries and green tea were hyped as being rich in antioxidants. The consequences of this publicity were predictable: certain foods were labeled as rich in antioxidants and were marketed as such in stores; the makers of dietary supplements began touting the disease-fighting properties of all sorts of antioxidants.

In the meantime, the results of the actual trials were mixed. Most have not found the hoped-for benefits. And research teams reported that vitamin E and other antioxidant supplements didn’t protect against heart disease or cancer. One study even showed that taking beta-carotene may actually increase the chances of developing lung cancer in smokers. However, some of the trials reported benefits. One such study found that taking beta-carotene is associated with a modest reduction in the rate of cognitive decline.

The rather most, if not downright disappointing, results of the antioxidant trials have not stopped the commercial interests from misrepresenting the benefits of antioxidants in order to make money. Antioxidant supplements are a $500 million dollar industry that continues to grow. Antioxidants are still added to breakfast cereals, sports bars, energy drinks, and other processed foods, and they are promoted as additives that can prevent heart disease, cancer, cataracts, memory loss, and a host of other conditions. The claims made by the food and dietary supplement industries often distort the data. It is true that the package of antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and other substances found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains help prevent a variety of chronic diseases; but there is no solid evidence that high doses of antioxidants can accomplish the same feat. The conclusion is clear: randomized, placebo-controlled trials—which, when performed well, provide the strongest evidence—offer little support that taking vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, or other single antioxidants provides substantial protection against heart disease, cancer, or other chronic conditions. The results of the largest such trials have been mostly negative.

Heart Disease and Antioxidants

Vitamin E, beta-carotene, and other so-called antioxidants are not a panacea for heart disease and should not be promoted as such. In the Women’s Health Study, 39,876 initially healthy women took 600 IU of natural source vitamin E or a placebo every other day for 10 years. The results of the study showed that the rates of major cardiovascular events and cancer were no lower among those taking vitamin E than they were among those taking the placebo; however, a 24 percent reduction in total cardiovascular mortality was observed, which can be considered a quite significant result.

Earlier large vitamin E trials, conducted among individuals with previously diagnosed coronary disease or at high risk for it, generally showed no benefit. In the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial, the rates of major cardiovascular events were essentially the same in the vitamin E (21.5 percent) and placebo (20.6 percent) groups, although participants taking vitamin E had higher risks of heart failure and hospitalization for heart failure. (3) Another trial, the Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto Miocardico (GISSI), showed mixed results; there were no preventive effects after more than three years of treatment with vitamin E among 11,000 heart attack survivors. Nevertheless, some studies suggest potential benefits among certain subgroups. A recent trial of vitamin E in Israel, for example, showed a marked reduction in coronary heart disease among people with type 2 diabetes who have a common genetic predisposition for greater oxidative stress. In any case, Beta-carotene, as was shown in the Physicians’s Health Study, does not provide any protection against heart disease or stroke.

There have been combinations, but the findings are complicated and unclear. In the Supplementation en Vitamins et Mineraux Antioxydants (SU.VI.MAX) study, 13,017 French men and women took a single daily capsule that contained 120 milligrams of vitamin C, 30 milligrams of vitamin E, 6 milligrams of beta-carotene, 100 micrograms of selenium, and 20 milligrams of zinc, or a placebo, for seven and a half years. The vitamins had no effect on overall rates of cardiovascular disease. In the Women’s Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study, vitamin E, vitamin C, and/or beta-carotene had much the same effect as a placebo on myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, or cardiovascular death, although there was a modest and significant benefit for vitamin E among women with existing cardiovascular disease.

Cancer and Antioxidants

There is also no conclusive proof that antioxidants help prevent cancer. Scientists need more time to determine the impact of antioxidants on the risk of getting cancer. In the long-term Physicians’ Health Study, cancer rates were similar among men taking beta-carotene and among those taking a placebo. Other trials have also largely showed no effect, including HOPE. The SU.VI.MAX trial showed a reduction in cancer risk and all-cause mortality among men taking an antioxidant cocktail but no apparent effect in women; it is possible that this is a result of the men in the study having low blood levels of beta-carotene at its beginning. A randomized trial of selenium in people with skin cancer demonstrated significant reductions in cancer and cancer mortality at various sites, including colon, lung, and prostate. The effects were strongest among those with low selenium levels at baseline.

Age-Related Eye Disease and Antioxidants

The effects of antioxidants on age-related eye disease may be one of the most hopeful leads scientists have. A six-year trial, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), found that a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc provided some protection against the development of advanced age-related macular degeneration in people who were at high risk of the disease. Lutein, a naturally occurring carotenoid found in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, may also protect vision. It is too early to tell what the impact of lutein supplements may be. The trials of such substances have been relatively short, and their ability to slow or prevent age-related macular degeneration has not been ascertained. A new trial of the AREDS supplement regimen plus lutein, zeaxanthin, and fish oil is underway, and it could yield better information.

Potential Hazards of Antioxidants

There have been a few studies which showed that the consumption of antioxidants, as opposed to being beneficial in all instances or at least harmless in fact can interfere with the health of the consumer. The first trial which showed this possible negative effect was undertaken in Finland where heavy smokers were fed beta-carotene. Because of their smoking habits there was a already a lung cancer risk but it was noticed that a significant increase in the incidence of lung cancer amongst the trial group as opposed to the placebo. The trial was stopped so conclusive results are hard to deduce.

A different test which was conducted with heavy smokers exposed to asbestos being fed beta-carotene and vitamin A. This too shows an increase in the incidence of Lung cancer. It must be emphasized that not all trials of Beta-carotene have been negative. A physicians health study which only had a few smokers did not show any significant differences even when followed up after 18 years.

In a separate study showing possible negative effects of a variety of health supplements showed a higher incidence of skin cancer in women being fed supplements of Vitamins C & E, Beta-carotene, selenium and zinc.

Conclusions to be drawn from the above studies, amongst others, is that it is known that although free radicals have been shown to contribute to the incidence of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and even vision loss, there is no automatic conclusion that can be drawn that antioxidants will fix the problem. And certainly not when consumed away from their normal context.

Studies to date do not show conclusive evidence one way or another but there is certainly no strong evidence to suggest that antioxidants are effective against disease. A rider must be mentioned and that is that the trials conducted till now have been short in duration, conducted with people some of whom had an existing disease.

There has been a noticeable benefit to the consumption of beta-carotene on cognitive ability after 18 years. This is exceptional as it is the only study to have continued so long. (Physicians health follow up study) Nevertheless there is abundant evidence suggests that eating whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—all rich in networks of antioxidants and their helper molecules—provides protection against many of these scourges of aging.

Clarification with regard to supplemental studies

There are any number of studies conducted on any number of vitamins and other dietary supplements that are often contradictory. The picture presented to the consumer is confusing and will often seem frustrating in that instead of clarifying things these studies muddy the waters.

Examining exactly what the vitamins trial study did will often go some way to explaining the varying results. Here are a few items to check when looking at apparently conflicting vitamins studies.

  • What was the precise dosage taken by the participants and how long was the study’s duration. This is significant as few studies will have identical dosages and identical time spans. A study in Vitamin D showed that a dosage of 700 plus IU per day had a significant protection against fractures whereas a study of people taking only 400 IU per day showed no such effect. The same applies to the duration as the build up of the protective mechanisms is not a short process.
  • The age, health and life styles of the participants. Studies drawn from young, active gym going participants is likely to differ significantly from heavy drink and smoking office workers. Exercise and other lifestyle choices such as diet affect out health and how the body responds to vitamins.
  • At what stage is was the supplement fed to a study participant. If studying the effect of a supplement on someone already suffering from a disease it may be found that something taken at the onset has a differing effect from something taken when a disease is far advanced. An example being that Folate supplements are only effective against neural tube defects in the early stages of pregnancy.
  • How were the results tabulated and calculated. This is a significant problem as measurement as to benefit may and probably will vary widely. Heart disease is a wide subject and a measurement of coronary thrombosis may miss out on the incidence of strokes.

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.

What are antioxidants and what do they do?

That’s a very good question. They are both natural substances and synthetic substances that help treat free radicals in the body. Free radicals are a natural byproduct of some cellular metabolism. They’re useful for the immune system for killing foreign cells and bacteria; but if the situation gets out of control, they can be harmful to the body. A free radical is a substance that has lost an electron and is therefore an unstable ion. What it wants to do is become stable again. So it attacks a cell that’s close to it and takes an electron from that cell. Then a game of hot potato starts. A cascade of events occur leading to death within a cell. This causes premature aging and can lead to cancer. Antioxidants are substances that protect plants, for instance, in the environment. For example, they protect plants against smog, environmental pollution and ultraviolet radiation. These same properties that protect plants can be used to protect humans. With consumption of nutrients found within plants — such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene — these natural substances called antioxidants donate electrons and therefore neutralize the harmful effects of free radical damage.

If it works, why aren’t more people taking green tea? Are there any negative effects associated with it?
Green tea has caffeine in it, and caffeine doesn’t agree with certain people. For instance, it can lead to insomnia. It can lead to fibrocystic breast disease in women. It can lead to frequent urination. It can lead to elevated cholesterol and a host of other health problems. It can become addictive. Nevertheless, you will be pleased to know that green tea has one fifth the amount of caffeine that a typical cup of coffee has and one third the amount of caffeine that black tea has. Furthermore, there are extracts available which are virtually caffeine-free. As for why more people don’t take green tea, I don’t think they know about it. The Chinese have known about it for over 4,000 years, but it’s just now becoming available in extract form. People who may not want to drink the six to nine cups of tea that are needed to get maximum benefit can now take it in an extract form — in a capsule form.

Fish oil, Vitamin D, Vitamins C and E and other antioxidants

Fish oil

What you need to know – It has a reputation as a heart helper. Evidence supports the idea that higher intake of fish or fish-oil supplements, with their omega-3 fatty acids, probably reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke and may slow the progression of hardening of the arteries in people with existing heart disease. Omega-3s might also boost mood and help prevent certain cancers, cognitive decline, and eye disease.

Who should consider it People who have heart disease.

How much to take One gram daily, so you’ll probably need several capsules. Other people can generally get enough omega-3s by eating two or more weekly servings of fatty fish such as salmon.

Vitamin D

What you need to know – Calcium might get credit for bone strength, but it’s vitamin D that helps the body take in and use it. Research has found that the combo might help reduce falls in people who are D-deficient and also cut bone loss in people taking corticosteroids. In addition, higher levels of vitamin D have been linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers, diabetes, and heart attack, plus a stronger immune system.

Who should consider it – The sun’s rays help convert a chemical in the skin to vitamin D, but most people still need more, especially those who don’t get much midday sun, who (wisely) use sunscreen, and who live in areas where the sun isn’t intense enough to stimulate D production in winter. Being middle-aged or overweight or having darker skin can also make it difficult to get enough D.

How much to take – Experts suggest getting 800 to 1,000 international units (IU) daily. Few foods are naturally good sources, and even fortified cereal or orange juice usually has only about 100 IU per serving.

Vitamins C and E and other antioxidants

What you need to know – People who eat a lot of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables may have a lower risk of certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases. For many years, scientists have tried to replicate those results using antioxidant vitamins, minerals, and other plant chemicals. Unfortunately, it just hasn’t panned out. In an analysis of 67 antioxidant trials involving 230,000 people, the only positive result uncovered was a reduced mortality risk in some of the selenium trials. Vitamin C appeared to have no effect, and beta-carotene and vitamins A and E were actually associated with an increased risk of death.

Who should consider it – People with mid- to late-state age-related macular degeneration, a progressive eye disease that causes vision loss, might be able to slow its progress with certain supplements. Consider them if you have the disease or a strong family history. What about the popular advice to take vitamin C at the first sign of sniffles? Some studies show a modest reduction in symptoms, but the levels tested – 1 to 8 grams daily – can cause intestinal upset and diarrhea in some people.

How much to take – If you have macular degeneration, ask your eye doctor about antioxidant supplements.

Choline, Inositol and Vitamin C

Choline

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

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.

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.