Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements

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9780973253801: Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements

This guide seeks to educate consumers about the science and value of nutritional supplementation, and to provide them with a simple, reliable tool with which to compare nutritional products. Section I: Aging, Oxidative Stress and Degenerative Disease

Section I of this guide discusses the theories of aging and the intricate links between aging, oxidative stress and degenerative disease. The remarkable protective powers of the endogenous and dietary antioxidants and their role in mitigating the aging process are examined. Five degenerative disease processes are highlighted, including recent scientific evidence supporting the use of nutritional supplementation as a preventive measure.

Section II: Criteria for Advanced Supplementation

Section II reviews the substantial scientific evidence employed in developing the fourteen analytical criteria imbedded in the product-rating methodology used in this comparative guide.

Creation of the Final Product Score, based on these fourteen criteria, has been an evolutionary process. With each edition of this comparative guide, we have built on previous research as newly published scientific findings have become available. The result has been the creation of a robust analytical model, based on the scientific literature and the independent recommendations of our seven cited authorities.

In each of the chapters of Section II, the reader is introduced to one of the fourteen criteria and the scientific evidence supporting its use. For those who find the reading a little technical, we refer you to the highlighted text. For those who wish to explore the science of advanced nutrition, we invite you to "dive in."

Section III: How the Comparisons were Made

Section III provides further explanation of the Final Product Score and introduces the Blended Standard, a nutritional benchmark we have created based on the independent recommendations of seven scientific authorities. A brief biographical background of each of the seven authorities and their specific recommendations for optimal daily nutritional intake is also provided.

The use of the Blended Standard, as a benchmark for optimal nutrition and the foundation for the Final Product Score, is featured. The Final Product Score is described in detail in Chapter 17. This fourteen-point score is the heart of our comparative analysis; it provides a rigorous quantitative evaluation and relative ranking of all products, based on the Blended Standard benchmark.

Section III also provides a summary of the 25 top-rated products, listed according to Final Product Score. From this list, the top six products are profiled. These are products of exceptional standing and merit your serious attention as a consumer. Included is a brief profile of each company, with contact information, company history and general information. Points of interest on product formulations, including a breakout of the individual product criteria ratings and information on manufacturing processes (if available), is also provided.

Section IV: Graphical Comparisons

In Section IV, selected products from companies throughout the United States and Canada are graphically compared to the Blended Standard benchmark. With each graph, we have provided the Final Product Score for that product, illustrated as both a percentage ranking and a five-star rating. This allows easy comparison of relative product ratings.

In writing this comparative guide, over 1,000 American and Canadian nutritional products were initially examined. Over five hundred qualifying products, representing the best in the line-up of more than 210 companies, were further evaluated, and their respective nutrient contents were compared to the selected nutritional standards. Two hundred and thirty-two (232) finalists, representing the top-rated product(s) from each manufacturer, were then selected and compared graphically. (Some companies have more than one product represented, if they market in

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About the Author:

Author, educator, speaker and biochemist, Lyle MacWilliam's scientific training took him to the frontiers of research into the biological properties of antioxidants. His scientific investigations focused on the damage caused by radiation to heart cell membranes and the effects of exercise and dietary supplementation with Vitamin E.

MacWilliam is a former Canadian Member of Parliament(MP) and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for British Columbia. He recently served, at the behest of Canada’s federal Minister of Health, on an expert advisory team for natural health products, and helped develop a new regulatory framework to ensure Canadians have access to safe, effective and high quality nutritional products.

His wide-ranging consulting experience includes work in the fields of management and public policy consulting for the British Columbia Science Council, Environment Canada, Human Resources Development Canada and Health Canada.

An accomplished martial artist, MacWilliam is passionate about personal fitness and optimal health. He has authored several previous publications comparing the nutritional profiles of Canadian and American dietary supplements. His writing hits hard at today’s lifestyle and dietary patterns and their role in the development of degenerative disease.

With a scientifically rigorous, no-nonsense delivery, lightened with a gentle touch of humor, MacWilliam has earned praise across Canada, the U.S.A., Australia and New Zealand as a sought-after speaker on the importance of nutrition and lifestyle.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Life is just one damned thing after another.
— Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)
from The Philistine

CHAPTER 1: Aging
Avoidable or Inevitable?

Why do we age?

Why do some of us age more gracefully than others? Why will one person succumb to cancer, heart disease or diabetes early in life, while another will live disease-free and healthy for more than a century? Is there a limit to how old we can grow, or is our allotted time merely blind chance, a fatalistic roll of the dice, or the fixed rhythm of a slow dance etched into our existence? What role do diet and lifestyle play? Can we make a difference to our own futures?

Each of us ponders these questions as we examine our own mortality. Our bodies, although marvellous in their complexity, are nonetheless mere biological machines. Like any machine, our parts wear out, break down and fall off until, like the Skin Horse in Margery Williams' children's classic The Velveteen Rabbit, we become very shabby and our seams begin showing in all the wrong places — we become real. It is all a part of aging.

To understand how the machinery of the cell operates, how it wears out, and how the eventual breakdown of cells, tissues and organs impacts the health of the entire organism, is to begin to understand the aging process itself — the long and winding road from birth to death.

Theories of Aging

Over the years, scientific researchers have put forth several theories of aging that reveal a common thread. These modern aging theories generally fall into two camps: structural damage theories and programmed obsolescence theories.

Structural damage theories are concerned with the molecular damage that accumulates inside cells over time. Programmed obsolescence theories engage the concept that aging and death are the inevitable consequences of the workings of an internal biological clock, programmed at conception, which decides when cells can no longer operate and reproduce at a rate sufficient to maintain health....

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