Healthy Aging Resources

Live Life to the Full in Optimal Health

  • Sep 25

    Combined Grape Seed Extract and Vitamin C Supplementation Improves Vascular Health

    Grape seed extract (GSE) is rich in flavonoids including epicatechin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help to prevent the oxidation and disappearance of phenol compounds. Recent clinical study demonstrated that the combination of GSE and vitamin C supplement can improve vascular health in people with clinically diagnosed CVD.

    Scientists at Boston University School of Medicine and USANA Health Sciences recently conducted a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled crossover study to examine the effects of GSE in combination with ascorbic acid on the effect of vascular indices including endothelium-dependent vasodilation.

    A total of 42 patients with coronary Artery Disease were treated with an acute dose of GSE (450 mg/day) plus ascorbic acid (1500 mg/day). After a 2-week washout period, patients received either an active (same total dose) or placebo treatment daily for 4 weeks (2 tablets in the morning and 2 tablets in the evening). Blood samples were collected and vascular testing were performed 2 and 4 hours post treatment (Acute) respectively. Tests were repeated after 4 weeks (Chronic) with the last dose taken the morning of the final day of a particular treatment (Acute-on-Chronic).

    The study found that treatment (Acute, Chronic, and Acute-on-Chronic) with the combination of GSE and vitamin C significantly increased serum vitamin C and plasma epicatechin level; Decreased SIN-1 induced 8-isoprostane formation indicating an increase in Plasma Antioxidant Reserve; and improved endothelial function in the peripheral microvasculature (capillaries and arterials).

    This finding is significant because oxidative stress is associated with a variety of chronic degenerative diseases including CVD. Thus, treatment with GSE plus vitamin C significantly increases the capacity to guard against the detrimental consequences of oxidative stress in the plasma. The role of endothelial dysfunction (decreased blood flow) in CVD is well established, therefore the finding that GSE plus vitamin C improves endothelial function (increased blood flow) suggests that GSE plus vitamin C supplementation work in a complimentary fashion to improve indices of vascular health by providing both antioxidant protection and improved microvascular endothelial function in patients with clinically diagnosed CVD.

    Source: Shenouda SM al; Grape Seed Extract Plus Vitamin C Improves Indices of Vascular Health 2009; USANA Clinical Research Poster;; Accessed 6 Sept 2010.

    Disclaimer: The information provided in the article is strictly educational. It may not be used to promote USANA products, nor is it intended as medical advice. For diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, please consult your health care professional. This information may be copied and freely distributed only if all text remains intact and unchanged.

  • May 4

    How do you define wellness and aging? In simple terms, it is the absence of disease. In my early years I took wellness as granted, it did not enter my thoughts that I could become unwell. But in today’s world, people are becoming unwell at an earlier age. For instance, Diabetes Type 2 used to be called ‘Adult Onset Diabetes’ – meaning that diabetes did not become apparent until late adulthood. Unfortunately young people now have the lifestyle disease because of what they are eating and the lack of exercise (and even pets are now suffering from the disease too!).

    There are other lifestyle diseases that are preventing wellness and causing aging. Diseases like heart disease, stroke, arthritis and cancer. Once my parents began suffering from arthritis, high blood pressure and heart disease, I stopped taking my wellness for granted. And when friends from my peer group started dying as a result of cancer, I realized that I had to be more pro-active about my health and fitness.

    What causes aging? One theory is free radicals. Free radicals are produced by our bodies. Dr Ray Strand says that our stressful lifestyles, polluted environment and over-medicated society causes this generation to handle more free radicals than previous generations. We need to supplement our diet to get enough antioxidants to manage the number of free radicals we produce.

    Just like a cut apple goes brown when exposed to the air (oxidation), excess free radicals cause oxidative stress damage and aging to our body’s cells.

    The medical literature now shows us that the optimal level of the antioxidants and their supporting nutrients needed to prevent or decrease the risk of chronic degenerative diseases is much greater than the amount we can obtain from our depleted food supply. Our best option to prevent or slow down this process of oxidative stress is to take high-quality, complete and balanced nutritional supplements the rest of our lives.

    For a more thorough explanation visit Dr Ray Strand’s site.

    Getting down to the cell level…
    Cell Replacement and the role of Nutrition
    The body is designed to heal and repair itself with the aid of proper nutrition. The body requires two vital materials to complete this – energy and raw material. These two requirements are needed to maintain the cell’s proper functions. The body is made up of cells and all cells are living. All living things need food. Each cell needs the proper food to keep it strong. Cells die and replace themselves at various intervals.

    To understand anti-aging and wellness, understand that when a cell replaces itself it has three options:
    1. A cell may replace itself with a weaker cell each time. A cell will do this if it hasn’t had the right nutritional foods/supplements available to it. This process is called degeneration (this causes degenerative diseases like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, diabetes). You could liken this process to a car factory – if your factory was making Mercedes Benz cars and you ran out of parts, so you called into the Skoda factory next door for replacements – would your car still be a Mercedes???

    2. A cell can replace itself with the same strength cell. This means the body doesn’t improve. That is, you have a chronic condition.

    3. The cell is capable of replacing itself with a stronger and better cell. This will happen only if the cell has an abundance of energy and the right raw materials (e.g. optimal nutrition). This process is called regeneration. It creates wellness and anti-aging.

    Find out which advanced quality nutrtional products I use and recommend.

    For women 40+ who want to live life to the full and stay younger longer

    If you would like to find out which nutritional supplements are recommended for healthy aging, please request my free eBook, by completing the form on your top right.

    I trust you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with others by clicking on the Facebook and/or Twitter icons below. And be sure to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you!