Editorial by Dr. Steve Chaney
Dr. Chaney is an active cancer researcher and a Professor of Bio-Chemistry and Nutrition at UNC Medical School, Chapel, Hill, NC
Shaklee leads the industry in clinical trials that prove their products work. Shaklee has funded over 100clinical studies – more than the next 5 companies in our industry put together. But Shaklee isn’t resting on their laurels. They continue doing clinical studies and their studies continue to be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In fact last week was an outstanding week for Shaklee. Two of their studies were published in the same week!
But, I’m not going to talk about both studies in today’s column. This week I’m going to focus on the study with Shaklee’s patented blend of resveratrol and muscadine grape polyphenols.You know this product as Vivix.
This was a completely independent study conducted by Dr. Paresh Dandona and his colleagues at the State University of New York at Buffalo and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (H.Ghanim et al, J. Clin. Endocrin. Metab., doi:10.1210/jc.2010-1812). It is currently available in online form and will appear in print in May 2011.
The fact that it is an independent study is important. That means that Shaklee didn’t control the data. If Vivix had turned out to be no better than placebo, those would have been the results that would have been published! But, of course, Shaklee’s Vivix did perform much better than the placebo and therein lies the story.
In this study a group of young, healthy, normal-weight adults were fed a typical fast food breakfast of egg muffin and sausage muffin sandwiches and two servings of hash browns. That’s a whopping 910 calories with 51 grams of fat (1/3 of that saturated), 88 grams of carbohydrate and 34 grams of protein!
In a previous study (Ghanim et al, Diabetes Care, 32: 2281-2287, 2009) Dr. Dandona had shown that a fast food meal like that turns on genes that cause a massive increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS). The increase in ROS then activates a number of genes that trigger an inflammatory response – including two genes, SOCS-3 and TLR-4, that are thought to interfere with insulin signaling (which can lead to insulin resistance) and damage to the walls that line the arteries (As you might imagine, neither of those responses is good).
And, if that weren’t enough SOCS-3 also interferes with the leptin signaling pathway. Simply put, interference with the leptin signaling pathway means that your brain doesn’t realize that you just ate 910 calories. You will probably want to eat more.
Now we do have a gene called Nrf-2 that is supposed to be turned on when reactive oxygen species are detected. It, in turn, activates a number of antioxidant genes that will neutralize the reactive oxygen species and protect our cells from oxidative damage.
In the cruelest blow of all the fast food meal turns off Nrf-2 and all of the antioxidant genes that it controls. Are you sure that you still want to eat that fast food meal? With that as background, let’s turn to the study that was just published.
Dr. Dandona choose to use the fast food experimental model because fast food meals give such a dramatic response in such a short period of time that it is easy test whether a given food or supplement can prevent inflammation and oxidative damage. Dr. Dandona simply gave one group Vivix and one group a placebo 10 minutes before the fast food meal. As you might suspect, the placebo did not alter any of the bad effects of the fast food meal.
However, when Vivix was taken just prior to the fast food meal:
– The genes that generate free radicals were not turned on.
– The genes that trigger the inflammatory response were not turned on.
– SOCS-3 and TLR-4 were not turned on
– Nrf-2 and the antioxidant genes it controls were turned on.
In other words, Vivix completely reversed the short term bad effects of the fast food meal.
So what is the take home lesson for you? Does that mean that you should just take a Vivix chaser with your next fast food meal? Perhaps, but think how much good Vivix could do for you if you ate a good diet! Even if you don’t eat fast food meals you should know that oxidative damage, chronic inflammation and insulin resistance have many causes. You don’t need to eat a fast food meal to generate that kind of metabolic stress. And it would be foolish to think that Vivix could undo all of the bad effects of fast foods. Vivix simply prevents the immediate effects of a fast food meal. If you continue to eat fast foods on a regular basis you will pack on the pounds, plug your arteries, raise your blood pressure – the list goes on and on.
But, to me the most important conclusion from this clinical study is that Vivix works. It gets into your bloodstream and turns off the genes that need to be turned off and turns on the genes that need to be turned on.
IMPORTANT FINAL POINT:
If you look at the marketplace, you will find all sorts of different potencies for resveratrol products, and you will find resveratrol combined with many different ingredients. And, of course, all of those companies make fantastic claims for their products. But, unless they have published a clinical study like this one, they have no proof that their product actually works.
To Your Health!
Dr. Stephen Chaney