Dec 03

Shake, Shake…Busted!



Dec 4, 2012 by Dr. Steven Chaney

tier3Hero Shake, Shake...Busted!

I came across an interesting article in NUTRA (November 27, 2012 edition) the other day.

You’ve probably seen the Sensa ads. You just shake these “magic” crystals on your food and the pounds melt away. And, by the way, it’s not salads they are shaking the crystals on. It’s pizza, hamburgers, French fries and the like.

The “magic” crystals are made from maltodextrin (a carbohydrate derived from starch), tricalcium phosphate, natural and artificial flavors, soy and milk ingredients. The manufacturer claims that these crystals suppress appetite and lead to weight loss.

Supposedly, these claims are supported by two clinical studies showing, for example, that people using the Sensa crystals lost an average of 30 pounds over six months while the control group only lost two.

Now if you think these claims sound too good to be true, you aren’t alone. California District attorneys filed a false advertising lawsuit against the manufacturer of Sensa crystals, and last week the manufacturer agreed to settle and pay $800,000 in civil penalties and $105,000 in restitution to California consumers.

According to NUTRA-Ingredients-USA-com, it turns out that neither of the clinical studies was good enough to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. And, the lead researcher for one of the studies admitted in a deposition that she had no scientific training and was not qualified to conduct a nutrition intervention study.

So another great sounding ad bites the dust. There is no magic formula or magic ingredient that will just make the pounds melt away. The physiological equation has not changed. Weight loss occurs when calories out exceed calories in. And permanent weight loss requires lifestyle changes.

The weight loss industry is rife with grandiose claims and hype. Just remember the old saying if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

To Your Health! Dr. Stephen G Chaney

Permanent link to this article:

Nov 26

Does Your Dietitian Use Supplements



Jun 15, 2012 by Dr. Steven Chaney

article new ehow images a07 hr js dietician colleges 800x800 Does Your Dietitian Use Supplements

Dr. Steven Chaney

Many people who I talk to assume that dietitians do not use or recommend food supplements.

However, a recent study (Dickenson et al, Nutrition Journal, doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-14, 2012) shows that nothing could be further from the truth.

This study surveyed 300 dietitians whose business involved seeing clients in private practice or at a clinic.

74% of the dietitians surveyed said that they used dietary supplements on a regular basis, and another 22% said that they used dietary supplements on an occasional or seasonal basis.

The most frequently used supplements (used by 40% or more) were multivitamins, calcium, omega-3/fish oil and vitamin D. Vitamin C, probiotics, B vitamins and fiber supplements were also used by more than 20% of the dietitians surveyed.

And they didn’t just use dietary supplements, they recommended them as well. 97% of the dietitians surveyed recommended supplements to their clients.

The most frequent reasons given by dietitians for recommending supplements were bone health (70%), filling nutrition gaps (67%), overall health and wellness benefits (49%), lowering cholesterol (46%), heart health (46%), dietary pattern – specifically vegetarian or vegan (43%), digestive health (39%), diabetes or glucose control (27%) and eating disorders (19%).

In deciding which supplements to recommend the three most trusted sources of information for dietitians were clinical studies in scientific journals (72%), clinical guidelines from professional organizations (72%) and continuing education conferences (71%).

It is also important to recognize that most of a dietitian’s formal education focuses on foods and design of diets for various clinical conditions. Most dietitians receive relatively little formal education on supplementation.

So it should come as no surprise that 95% of the dietitians surveyed said that they would like to receive more formal education on supplementation – particularly in the areas of drug-supplement interactions, basics of dietary supplementation (including variation in product quality and how supplements are regulated), how to counsel their clients about dietary supplements, weight management, women’s health, men’s health and sports nutrition.

To Your Health!
Dr. Stephen G Chaney

Permanent link to this article:

Nov 19

Worried About Retirement


Oct 26, 2012

 Worried About RetirementBy Allison Linn, TODAY

A survey released Monday shows that Americans aged 35 to 44 are now the most worried about financing their retirement, a stark turnaround from 2009, when people in that age group were among the least worried about money for retirement.

The survey, from Pew Social and Demographic Trends, appears to reflect the lasting impact of the long economic downturn: In general, people of all ages are more pessimistic about retirement than they were three years ago, the researchers found.

About 38 percent of the more than 2,500 people Pew surveyed said they are not that confident they have enough income and assets for retirement. That’s up from 25 percent in 2009, when the nation’s economy officially came out of recession.

Pew Research Center
Gen X has grown the most worried about retirement.

The Pew report found that 49 percent of those 35 to 44 were either not too or not at all confident that they would have enough money to live on in retirement, compared with just 20 percent who had that concern in 2009.

The Pew researchers said one reason the Gen-Xers may be feeling doubtful about retirement is that they are less likely to have retirement accounts. The percentage of people ages 35 to 44 who have a retirement account has fallen 9 percentage points between 2001 and 2010, to 52 percent, according to Pew’s analysis of government data.

Gen X also may be feeling gloomy because they’ve lost so much wealth in recent years.

A Census Bureau study released a few months ago found that those in the 35-44 bracket experienced the biggest percent decline in median household net worth between 2005 and 2010.

Median net worth for those households declined 59 percent during that period, from $80,521 in 2005 to $33,200 in 2010. The figures are adjusted for 2010 dollars.

The Census Bureau report also found that 45- to 54-year-olds saw the biggest hit in terms of actual dollars lost during between 2005 and 2010.

People in that age group also are feeling much more pessimistic about retirement than they were three years ago, the Pew researchers found.

About 43 percent of 45-to 54-year-olds said they feeling less than confident about their chances of having enough to live on in retirement, compared with 33 percent who felt that way three years ago.

The most optimistic group were people over age 65, but even they have grown more antsy. About 28 percent of people who fall in the traditional retirement age window said they were not very confident of having enough retirement savings to live in, compared with 19 percent who felt that way three years ago.


Permanent link to this article:

Nov 15

Holiday Kitchen Tip’s

ewg logo 2 Holiday Kitchen Tips

by Johanna Congleton, EWG

Whether you’re dressing the turkey or just filling up a veggie tray, chances are you’re going to spend some time in the kitchen this holiday season. I know my husband and I will be when we open our home to friends and family for joyful and healthy holiday dinners.

This much cooking means lots of leftovers and plenty of decisions about how to eat healthiest this holiday season. We could all use some tips to help us in the kitchen and in the grocery store – that’s why I worked with my fellow EWG researchers to put together our Holiday Kitchen Tips. These should make it a bit easier for you to shop for healthier foods and stock your holiday kitchen, so that you can truly enjoy peace of mind in this season of joy.

Click here to read EWG’s Holiday Kitchen Tips and learn how easy it is to create a healthy and environmentally friendly kitchen for the holidays.

My kitchen is always full of friends and family during the holidays. As EWG’s toxicologist, I’m constantly looking for ways to teach people how to avoid dangerous chemicals – and cooking together gives me the opportunity to show how eating better doesn’t have to be hard.

Check out our Holiday Kitchen Tips – your guests will thank you and your family, too! You’ll learn how (and why) to:

Getting into the holiday spirit is more fun when you know you’re serving up food that’s better for your friends and family – and the environment.

I hope these tips will make it easier for you to enjoy a healthier, greener holiday season.

Happy Holidays!
JC Sig Holiday Kitchen Tips
Dr. Johanna Congleton
Toxicologist, Environmental Working Group

P.S. At EWG, we want to keep providing you with the information you need to help your family be safe and healthy. But our year-end fundraising deadline is fast approaching and we need to meet our goal to continue the research you count on.

Make a tax-deductible donation of $150 or more to help EWG meet our goal, you’ll get our new 2012 Holiday Gift Box as a special thank you. This limited edition gift is filled with great new products that will help you live greener and cleaner, including Weelicious Cookbook: 140 Fast, Fresh and Easy Recipes. One Family, One Meal, EWG’s A Year of Healthy Living tip booklet, a 4-pack of Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel pint glasses and so much more! And when you donate today, a generous donor will match your gift, doubling your impact!

Permanent link to this article:

Nov 12

Omega 3′s: The Wrong Question!



November 12, 2012

omega 3 oil e1340720199639 Omega 3s: The Wrong Question!

Dr. Steven Chaney

I was somewhat surprised recently to see headlines proclaiming that omega-3 fatty acids do not reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes in high-risk patients.

This was a surprise to me because earlier studies had shown pretty convincingly that omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduced the risk of a second heart attack in 11,300 patients who had recently survived a first heart attack (Lancet, 354: 447-455, 1999 and Circulation 105: 1897-1903, 2002).

So I decided to check out the study (New England Journal of Medicine, doi: 10.1056/nejmoa1203859, 2012).

It was also a fairly robust study. This study enrolled 12,536 patients who were considered to be at high risk of heart attack or stroke because they had diabetes, high fasting blood glucose or impaired glucose tolerance.

The participants consumed 1 gram/day of a high purity omega-3 product consisting primarily of EPA and DHA or a placebo. At the end of 6 years no significant difference in heart attack or stroke was observed between the omega-3 group and the placebo group.

It turns out that I was not the only one to be surprised by the outcome of the study. The authors were also surprised. They had fully expected the results to be similar to the previous studies.

And like any good scientists they described the limitations of their study in the discussion – something that always seems to be missed by the reporters who create the headlines about studies like this one.

In discussing why their results were different from the previous studies they made several important points – two of which I consider worth mentioning.

1) The two previous trials had recruited patients who had a heart attack within the past three months or who already had heart failure – while their study just looked at people who had diabetes or impaired blood sugar control.

While both groups could be considered high risk, the patients in the previous studies were at much higher risk for an imminent heart attack or stroke – thus making it much easier to detect a beneficial effect of omega-3 supplementation.

2) Perhaps more importantly, the standard of medical care for patients considered at risk for heart disease has become much more aggressive in the past few years. Most of the patients in this most recent study were on three or four medications.

These were drugs that lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides and reduce inflammation – which are some of the very same benefits of omega-3 supplementation. Thus, the authors hypothesized that the multiple medications used by these patients may have simply masked the beneficial effects of omega-3 supplementation.

That last point really made me think. Perhaps they were asking the wrong question.

I’m not really interested in knowing whether omega-3 fatty acids are of any benefit if I’m already taking three or four medications. I’d like to whether I can reduce my risk of heart attack and stroke by taking omega-3 fatty acids in place of those drugs – as the original studies had suggested.

I’m sure that there will be more studies of omega-3 fatty acids and heart disease in the years ahead as the scientific community tries to sort out the conflicting conclusions of these studies.

And when you read about the conclusions of those new studies, just be sure that the studies were asking the right question – the one that you actually care about.

To Your Health!
Dr. Stephen G Chaney

Permanent link to this article:

Nov 05

Just 2.5 Minutes of Exercise a Day!


Oct 26, 2012

article 0 031963A60000044D 106 634x286 e1351280861402 Just 2.5 Minutes of Exercise a Day!

The Daily Mail: 25 October 2012

Can’t find the time to get to the gym or don’t want to go for a jog in the rain? You may finally have run out of excuses.

Scientists say that intense exercise for just two and a half minutes a day could help keep the pounds off.

A study shows that concentrated effort can burn as many as 200 extra calories, provided the spurts are broken up with longer periods of easy recovery.

No pain, no gain: During the study the men did 30 seconds of high intensity exercise, followed by four minutes of rest.

It is the latest evidence to support High Intensity Training, whereby a number of short bursts of intense exercise are teamed with short recovery breaks in between.

Although HIT is not new, recent research suggests it can deliver the same physical benefits as traditional endurance training.

Researcher Kyle Sevits said: ‘Research shows that many people start an exercise program but just can’t keep it up.

‘The biggest factor people quote is that they don’t have the time to fit in exercise. We hope if exercise can be fitted into a smaller period of time, they may give it a go.’

Although official guidelines state adults should do 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes of vigorous, exercise a week, three out of four Britons fail to achieve this.

During the three-day study, five healthy men, all between the ages of 25 and 31, lived in a sealed off room so that their oxygen, carbon dioxide and water levels could be monitored to calculate how many calories they burnt.

They were also given a diet precisely tailored to meet their energy requirements. For two of the days, they spent most of their time in sedentary activities, such as using a computer.

On the last day they performed five 30-second sprint workouts at high resistance on a stationary bicycle.


Why you may NEVER shed those extra pounds: Being overweight can flick a switch that keeps you fat forever
Just two glasses of wine a day can nearly HALVE the number of brain cells we produce.

Each burst was separated by a four-minute period of recovery in which the men pedaled slowly with little resistance.
The results found the volunteers burned an extra 200 calories on average over the workout day.

Although the researchers cannot prove the technique leads to weight loss, it suggests that intense, but brief, bursts of exercise could help people maintain their weight.

Mr Sevits, of Colorado State University, which conducted the research, said burning an extra 200 calories a couple of times a week could combat average weight gain of a couple of pounds each year.

‘Motivating yourself can be very hard. The way this could work in the real world is with the guidance of a personal trainer,’ he added.

Experts believe HIT improves insulin sensitivity, which is important for keeping blood glucose levels stable, possibly because it uses more muscles than conventional aerobic training.

It may also help to break down stored glucose in muscles.

But scientists warn not everyone responds to this form of training because genes play a part in determining whether you gain any benefit.

Anyone with medical conditions should seek medical advice before undertaking it, they added.

Permanent link to this article:

Oct 29

Do You Want More Affordable Organic, Healthy Food

ewg logo 2 Do You Want More Affordable Organic, Healthy Food Do you want more affordable organic, healthy food? What about more farmers’ markets and healthier food in your local schools?

Then check out Food Policy Action’s Food Policy Scorecard. It scores members of Congress on critical floor votes related to our food.

This is the first time that federal lawmakers have ever been graded on their votes of food policies. I’m thrilled to join luminaries such as Chef Tom Colicchio and organics pioneer Gary Hirshberg as founding board members of this new initiative. Until now, consumers like you have been voting with your pocketbooks to demand safe and affordable food. Now you have the information you need to support lawmakers who have stood with you, not big food or industrial agriculture.

In the interactive scorecard you can search for lawmakers, learn more about key votes and see who is a Food Failure or a Food Champion.

Click here to find out if your lawmakers made the grade in the Food Policy Action Scorecard.

The scorecard is based on 32 floor votes – 18 in the U.S. Senate and 14 in the U.S. House of Representatives – that impact the food we eat everyday.

The votes, taken over the past two years, cover food safety, hunger, farm subsidies, food labeling, organic farming and local food systems. While other national organizations have graded lawmakers on various federal policy issues, no group has ever analyzed their recorded votes on specific legislative actions concerning food before. Some 50 members of Congress scored a perfect 100.

Click here to see how your elected officials scored and to learn more about key policies on which they voted.

Working together, we can fix our nation’s broken food policies. Knowing how our elected officials have voted is only the beginning.


ewg sig Do You Want More Affordable Organic, Healthy Food
Ken Cook
President, EWG Action Fund

Permanent link to this article:

Oct 22

Banning the “Big Gulp”!


BLOOMBERG articleLarge e1338475062864 Banning the Big Gulp!

I must confess that I’m torn on this one. On the one hand, I’m not a big fan of Big Government. I think at some point we need to get Big G out of our lives.

On the other hand, something has to be done about the obesity problem. It’s devastating.

And then, I do love the idea that more and more people are waking up to the fact that we can’t count on big pharma to cure us of everything.

We have to take some personal responsibility and PREVENT the ever-growing catastrophic diseases.

As a purveyor of all things Shaklee, A PREVENTION WAKE UP CALL can only be a good thing.

What say you?


Permanent link to this article:

Oct 15

Toxic Alert – Dish Soap!

ewg logo 2 Toxic Alert   Dish Soap! We all know cleaning is a chore that just has to get done – but why does picking a safer cleaning product also have to be a burden?

The scary fact is, ingredient labels aren’t mandatory for cleaning products. Some companies don’t list anything, while others list just one or two ingredients or use vague nonsense terms.

No one is making sure these products are safe for you and your family, so Environmental Working Group went to work. EWG’s 2012 Guide to Healthy Cleaning rates more than 2,000 household cleaning products for toxicity and disclosure.

It might not come as a surprise that there are dangerous ingredients in cleaning products – some known to harm the lungs, trigger asthma or are linked to cancer. What may surprise you is how few good options you have. Click here to see if your cleaners – from all-purpose cleaners to laundry detergent – make the grade.

The good news is, EWG wants to give you information you won’t necessarily find on labels. We’ve worked hard to find products that meet our standards.

For more than a year, our staff scientists have scoured the labels and websites of thousands of products to compile a wide-ranging list of chemicals in household cleaners. We’ve conducted extensive scientific reviews of these substances.

When we built our grading system, we looked not only at the toxicity of a product’s contents but also the transparency of its labeling. We created this important tool so you can get the information you need to live healthier – and do it in a matter of minutes.

Click here to check out the brand new EWG’s 2012 Guide to Healthy Cleaning and get real facts about your cleaners’ ingredients.

Thanks to EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning, you can sidestep the worst products out there and reduce the number of harmful chemicals to which you might otherwise be exposed. One less chore for you to worry about when cleaning your home.

EWG thinks you have the right to know what’s in the sprays and scrubs you use at home. We hope our new guide makes shopping smart easier.

ewg sig Toxic Alert   Dish Soap!
Ken Cook
President, Environmental Working Group

Permanent link to this article:

Oct 08

Great News About Resveratrol

DrJamieEmailHeader Great News About Resveratrol


Great News about Resveratrol

Dear Shaklee Family Member,

The most significant human study to date, which supports the health-enhancing benefits of resveratrol that may address many of the chronic age-related diseases of our time, has just been published!

In a study published last month in Cell Metabolism, Dutch researchers showed that taking a resveratrol supplement for 30 days significantly lowered multiple markers associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other chronic diseases. These include markers of inflammation, improved mitochondrial capacity, lowered blood pressure, and blood glucose.

Since inflammation is at the root of literally hundreds of diseases, this has immense potential health implications. And we know that chronic inflammation leads not only to age-related diseases but to accelerated aging, as well! This study also showed reductions in both blood pressure and triglyceride levels, both of which are associated with heart disease risk.

Diabetes has increased a whopping 35% in just the past decade. Until now, the only nonpharmacologic way to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce your risk of developing diabetes has been calorie restriction and weight loss—which is so very hard for people. This study would suggest that adding a high potency resveratrol supplement may help improve your insulin sensitivity and lower blood-sugar levels.

Anyone out there too tired to exercise? Well, this study may provide an answer for this, as well! These study participants showed significant increases in markers of mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are your body’s energy producers that tend to decrease in number and output as we age. The increases seen in this study were similar to those seen with endurance training. So get some of the energy benefits associated with exercise and ramp up your mitochondria just by taking a resveratrol supplement! Sounds too good to be true, but I must say the results here are compelling and exciting.

My advice is that, along with trying to eat better and exercise regularly, it makes better sense than ever to add in a high potency resveratrol supplement to your daily routine.

To a longer and healthier life.

Dr. Jamie McManus, M.D.

Chair, Medical Affairs, Health Sciences, & Education

Permanent link to this article:

Older posts «