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More revelations about USANA...

The article that I wrote recently about USANA prompted quite a lot of response. However, there are still a few question marks surrounding certain aspects of their ingredients.

Michael, who was one of the commenter’s, seems to either be a USANA distributor or employee and he made a post responding to parts of my article of the 15th August, and also to another commenter.  Because I think his post and my response will make interesting reading I have given it a new posting.

Now for those readers who are new to this subject you may wish to have a look at the article which you can see by clicking here.  If you wish to have a look at the spreadsheet that is referred to that gives the comparison between Total Balance and USANA’s Health Pak 100 + Visionex you can see that by clicking here.

Here we go…

Comment: from Michael

A few more points to set the record straight about USANA products and nutritional ingredients....

1. They don't use higher levels of Vitamin C just to look impressive, it is there for therapeutic purposes and it is not a cheap filler in fact the polyC complex of 4 mineral ascorbates is much more costly than the cheaper ascorbic acid used by most other manufacturers. You get what you pay for, they are not overpriced.

2. Our therapeutic dosage of selenium at 150mcg to 200mcg is completely safe to take as shown by many long-term studies which show a benefit in halving cancer rates at that level of supplementation. Most people do not get enough from their diet because it has been depleted from our soils. Most of the selenium that enters the body quickly leaves the body, usually within 24 hours. Beyond what the body needs, selenium leaves mainly in the urine, but also in feces and breath. Selenium in the urine increases as the amount of the exposure goes up. Selenium can build up in the human body, however, if exposure levels are very high or if exposure occurs over a long time. The key words here are VERY HIGH and anything around 200mcg per day is well below the levels known to cause a health risk.

3. USANA tablets ARE enteric coated with Hydroxy Propyl Methyl Cellulose.

4. Mike Blunt is entitled to his view about supplement levels but Usana does not use higher levels unless they have been shown to provide a researched health benefit. Dr Wentz's own experience in medical research and human cell culture technology has gone into our formulas so our products show the correct balance and ratios of nutrients based on his knowledge of what our immune systems need to stay healthy in today's polluted environment. That research link that Mike provided relating to pigs from 2004 that showed an increase in osteoarthritis with higher levels of vitamin C should not be used to caution humans about what levels to take. Until we see evidence to the contrary we should use a therapeutic doseage of multiple vitamins and minerals together because taking high doses of single vitamins could lead to problems because it upsets the balance that we need. Unfortunately most researchers only use single vitamin doses in their research because they treat it like researching the effectiveness of single-action pharmaceutical drugs and they don't understand that nutrition does not work in the body like that.
August 23, 2007

Response: from Warren

Thank you for posting this Michael.  I assume by your comment “Our therapeutic dosage of selenium at 150mcg to 200mcg is completely safe…” that you are either an employee of USANA or a distributor.  That is great because you may be able to help me get to the bottom of some unanswered questions.

Firstly I will address some of the issues that you raised in the order that you raised them.

1. Vitamin C.  I had previously made the comment that USANA use a lot of Vitamin C and are influenced in the use due to it being so cheap.  Yes, I agree that the mineral ascorbates are more expensive than ascorbic acid but nonetheless they are still MUCH cheaper than most of the other ingredients.  They are only 25% more expensive than ascorbic acid. 

Let me illustrate just how cheap ascorbic acid and the mineral ascorbates are.  In the comparisons that I did on the spreadsheet the total amount of Vitamin C that is used for the Health Pak and Visionex combined is 1,800mgs a day.  Now, the actual ingredient cost for both the Health Pak 100 + the Visionex  28 day supply for the ascorbic acid would be around US$0.60 and about US$0.75 for the mineral ascorbates.  No, that is not a typo, it is 60 and 75 cents respectively. So, in other words by upgrading to the mineral ascorbates it adds an additional cost of around 15 cents per 28 day supply

Now, given that Vitamin C makes up about 40% of the total formula of Health Pak and Visionex combined and the cost of the two products is US$168.83 do you still feel that your comment  “You get what you pay for, they are not overpriced.” is a fair statement? 

Enough said, I am sure!

2. Minerals: You mentioned the Selenium in the USANA product at 200mcgs per day.   So, do I assume from that the USANA product has 500mcgs of L-Selenomethionine? Because that it how much you have to use to get the 200mcgs of Selenium.  This is why you will note on the comparison that we use 224mcgs of L-Selenomethionine to get 90mcgs of Selenium

If the amounts are indeed elemental that USANA refers to then it would follow that the same principle would apply to the other minerals.  For example, where magnesium is listed at 500mgs a day they would have actually have about 3,500mgs a day of magnesium citrate.  For calcium they would have about 2,000 mgs a day.   They would have to have about 2,400 mcgs of Chromium Nicotinate and so on.   

It may well be Mike that this is what they have done.  It would be great if you could clarify this issue for my readers and myself?  Thanks

By the way with regard to selenium I realise that the 'safe' levels are thought to be higher than the 90mcgs that we use, but not everyone agrees.  For example, a new clinical study suggests that intake of selenium at 200mcgs a day for an extended period can actually increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes.  Remember also that we get selenium in our normal diet.  Details of this study can be reviewed by clicking here

3. USANA’s tablets enteric coated??  Hydroxy Propyl Methyl Cellulose is sometimes used by manufacturers to put a glaze on the tablet and help protect them.  We use a similar coating on our Male Rejuvenator and Viral-Protec which do not need to be enteric coated as they can be released in the stomach.  This coating/glaze is quick and inexpensive but it is not enteric coating. Now, it is conceivable that USANA may add a further process to make their tablets ‘enteric’ other words resistant to stomach acid, but I have not seen reference to this in any of their literature.

If they are enteric coated then they should be able to supply laboratory test results such as the ones that we do that prove that they are resistant to stomach acid but will release in the upper intestine.  The standard that we work to is the British Pharmacopeia which is a tougher standard that the US Pharmacopeia.  The BP protocol can be viewed by clicking here and a copy of a typical test result can be viewed by clicking here.  Do you have a copy of similar results for USANA?

4. Actually Michael there is considerable evidence to suggest high doses of Vitamin C can be detrimental and 1,800 mgs a day with Health Pak 100 + Visionex certainly comes into that high dose category.  Agreed that there are some that argue that high regular doses are OK, but often where there is ‘smoke there is fire’ and when it comes to high doses of individual nutrients it is best to err on the side of caution even if they are combined with other nutrients.

It would be great Michael if you are able to clarify the position re the minerals as that will help set the record straight on that issue.  Thanks


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Reader Comments (41)

I've already said what I needed to in the previous thread.

I just want to go off-topic for a second. I noticed that the website and supplement label is xtendlife, so shouldn't the url and title be moved changed from to Yes, I realize how insignificant this is.
August 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Blunt
We would if we could Mike but unfortunately that domain name was taken before we registered xtend-life back in I think 1999.
August 25, 2007 | Registered CommenterWarren Matthews
I see. In that case, why not just use xtend-life everywhere. You can't really use xtendlife sometimes and xtend-life other times or it looks messy. Oh well, it's really not my biggest concern.
August 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Blunt
We only use xtendlife as part of the logo. Everywhere else we use the hypen. I may revisit this.
August 26, 2007 | Registered CommenterWarren Matthews
Please reply to the comments made by the good people at Xtendlife and forget the the crap with URL's etc.
Looking forward to your response.
August 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSam
You have only reinforced my conviction that xtendlife is the place I will get my nutritional supplements and knowledge. Instead of answering Warren's questions you ignore them and divert attention to a silly issue. Listen to yourself! You only help to convince seekers of the truth that you are not interested in the truth, but only defending what you believe. Solid belief must be supported by facts. That's why I continue to come to xtendlife.
August 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPhil
Well said Phil.
I suspect Mike isnt defending what he believes, he is defending his pocket.
September 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSam
Hi Warren,

I find this all very interesting for these reasons. I lucked into Usana early in their history and found Dr.Wentz and his formulas for nutritional supplements to make the most sense of available supplement systems at the time. Over the years, I noticed many other suppliers either chaging their ingredients or coming on the market with very similar ingredient lists. This I took as support for Usana products.
I did not go in for their marketing hype, an MLM system that focuses on money with a smokescreen of product usefulness. In fact, I began to worry that Dr. Wentz had succumbed to the dollar when more and more products were offered that had nothing to do with health and everything to do with profit. Health food bars, diet suppliments, skin products, etcetera.
Still, I thought his basic supplement system was (is) good and was happy with ten plus years of very few health problems. Given that have been vegetarian since 1980, exercise often and well, it may not be surprizing. Still, as I travel for a living, I cannot guarantee the source of my food, so supplements are a must as far as I am concerned.
Continuing to keep an eye on new products and nutritional research (real research, not that funded by various food producers who have much money to trumpet what they sell backed up by 'independent' research), I ran into you. So, I have been using your Total Balance, Men's Plus for a year or a little more. I do not feel any better than when I was using Usana's basic products, but I expect I am getting a better product at a much better price.
Also, Warren, I very much appreciate this newsletter and the effort you put into it.

Kindest regards,

Barry A. Triplett
September 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBarry Triplett
Thank you Barry. Some people notice a difference when switching from USANA to XTEND but then a lot don't. If your overall health condition is good you are less likely to notice the difference. The differences will only come in time when other people succumb to preventable degenerative disease and you don't.

I appreciate what you are saying about accessing good food when you are travelling. Its hard when sitting in aircraft and having to eat at restuarants where you have no real idea what they are putting in or on your food to enhance the taste. MSG for example.
September 27, 2007 | Registered CommenterWarren Matthews
All I know is that I have bronchitis and when I get a cold it lasts two weeks and I end up on an antibiotic,
Two days ago I had a sinus infection and the start of
bronchial infection. Within taking the Usana products
I started feeling better right away and within two days I was 100% percent better and more. Nothing has worked for me like this before but now I know Usana does.
November 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKristy
Hi Kristy,

This is indeed what I would expect from any quality supplement. My point is that you can, if you do your research get more than what USANA can offer...for less. :)
November 12, 2007 | Registered CommenterWarren Matthews
HI, Warren,

After I post my reply to your first time topic of Usana comparison. I found you have already done some comparison here.

But,after I read the comparison, I would not change what I said. Still is the problem of your attitude. I don't type it again.

So, Warren, if you think that your products are with Golden standard in the world. Please find a product with the Golden standard to compare. Once you find the one, please don't degrade your opponents to upgrade yours. If you know how to compare with BMW and Mercedes-Benz, you should know how to compare your products.


And your comparison doesn't look like a professional comparison. It's like a pupil doing his math. 1+1 = 2.(if one orange + one apple = two orangers(or apples)?) So if this is your attitude to do the research. So how do you to approve your stuff is with a golden standard.

Science is simple to understand and not to misleading.

I really shame here.

Who am I? I am different to that Michael above. And a customer of Usana. I use Usana it because I found a lot of things to approve Usana's quality and its ingredients. I am a very tough consumer.

When I first time get to this blog and found the products of xtend-life. I was very happy and thought there were new product there with same grade as Usana. I might try to use it.

But after read your post here, I am totally disappoint and sick.

Gold is gold. why it's to compare with rubbish, unless it has rubbish's outlook with Gold core. Or golden outlook with Rxxxxxx'x inside.

Once thing I am very appreciate is you are allow different opinion place here.


December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike
I am surprised that you would say "Hi Kristy,

This is indeed what I would expect from any quality supplement. My point is that you can, if you do your research get more than what USANA can offer...for less. :)".

There are many products on the market. Such as Blackmore,Nature Own ....... Are they not worth you to compare rather Usana?

Only one reason is you believe Usana is a good/excellent product in the market and worth you to compare. But if you want to prove your stuff are the NO 1 in the world. There are no necessary to say Usana giving ...... for less after the misleading comparison. That means Usana is not an excellent products, should be classed as same as Blackmore. If Usana is same as blackmore, why need you to compare.

Why not you use Usana Essentials plus Usana other relate products do the comparison again? At least, I can see the result will more favor to Usana rather than yours. Because Usana Essentials only US$40. plus visionex still less than US$65.

I'd better mention to that Usana's Olive Extract is USANA's patented Olivol® (olive-fruit extract). But yours is just the leaf only. This is two different thing to compare. That's why I always say your attitude, your attitude.

There are so many items you just mix them up to compare. As a researcher, you are understanding it is improper. But if you are keep doing by this way, only one thing I must mention out is you try to get Usana's consumer to be your consumer. This is really unethical way.
December 5, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike
Hi Mike,

I am travelling at the moment and only have intermittant internet access and I don't have all my notes to answer your comments in detail...which I will as I am afraid that you have a number of things wrong.

But, I will comment next week when I get back to my office.
December 6, 2007 | Registered CommenterWarren Matthews
Hi, Warren,

It seems that you try to defend yourself. But I am question about your attitude of doing research and the way you are using to upgrade your products at the same time to degrade others brand.

Before you try to answer my question, I would like you what is a comparison.

Such comparison should be compared as same, which means Orange must be with Orange, cannot make it as Orange to Apple. If it has to be done as orange to apple, then the result will different depend on the criteria favour to orange or apple. without such criteria, we cannot say orange is worse or better than apple. Right?

But from your comparison, your products are totally different to Usana, except the price of money amount.

That’s why you are using Healthpak 100 + Visionex rather Essentials($39.95) +Proflavanol($19.94 and 90tablets, daily 3 tablets for 90mg grape seed extract)+Visionex($29.95). It just $90 if use these 3 items, not the $168.33 what your said.

Of course, price is using the best price what call as autoship price from Usana. (And I also know the customer who enrol in autoship program doesn’t mean they have to buy products every scheduled date, as it is said as scheduled so it can be changed always to their favour.

Why you don’t add your Bone-Protec in the comparison, you should realise that Either Healthpak or Essentials both contain very high Calcium, almost 20 time than your Total Unisex. Why you ignore this truth. So your TB + Bone will go up to US$100.

If you try to convince people who know the truth, please do a comparison as your TB + Bone-Protec to Essentials +Proflavanol(not the Proflavanol90) + Visionex. I could see the result from the balance should change a lot.

So that’s why I say your comparison is just like a pupil’s homework of starting learning math.

AS your TB is so different to Usana Essentials(This is the key product not the Healthpak), from the formula to the ingredients as well as their amount.

Such your TB just give 60mg Vitamin C as (Calcium ascorbate), how you can say 60mg Vitamin C is totally enough for body use Vitamin C as antioxidant, and Usana using 2100mg Vitamin C (as Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, & Zinc ascorbates), not 1800mg because Usana Proflavanol90(grape seed extract) will give another 300mg Vitamin C as well.

If you want to show me a number of things wrong. Would you like to just explain this mistake in your comparison.(There must be others mistakes as well, but I don't want to spend my time just go through this misleading comparison)

I can tell you, by doing this way, you are misleading people as:
1. 60mg Vitamin C is enough, and Usana using extra 2040mg only makes the urine more expensive.
2. my 60mg Vitamin C as Calcium ascorbate will work as same as Usana's Calcium ascorbate. the extra Potassium, Magnesium, & Zinc ascorbate will also make the urine more expensive.
3. then will further get a conclusion as Usana is some type of Vitamin C plus something else.
Is it misleading? When you put one item in a same line to compare, that means this item will work at least 85-95% same function or effect.

How about others?
Just show you one more thing:
Your TB is Olive leaf, and Usana is Olive fruit extract( patented). Is it same?

Please do your homework again, boy.

By the way, you claim Usana's label misleading. How about yours?
Olive-Leaf (20% Oleuropein)
(from Olea europaea) 6:1 extract ratio 100mg
How should I understand to your stuff? 100mg Olive-leaf extract, contain 20mg Oleuropein. or 100mg Oleauropein or ......

December 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike
Hi, Warran,

The more time I spend on your blog, the more shame I have what your are telling people here. How can you say you are honest.

Just place your words again:"
Vitamin C. I had previously made the comment that USANA use a lot of Vitamin C and are influenced in the use due to it being so cheap. Yes, I agree that the mineral ascorbates are more expensive than ascorbic acid but nonetheless they are still MUCH cheaper than most of the other ingredients. They are only 25% more expensive than ascorbic acid. "

1. We put one ingredient inside, the purpose is not whether is cheap or SO SO SO cheap. It's how it should perform in our body and what result or effect it can perform and its benefit.

Could you tell us what the raw material price, how different it will be from different supplier?

2. You use only 60mg Vitamin C in your TB as co-factor. That's fine. It's your idea. No one will condemn you because this is your formula. But co-factor is just co-factor. It can not play key role in your TB. But if you use your co-factor to compare to main role in other brand's product. That is serious mistake. It's try to MISLEADING people.

3. IF Vitamin C is so soo sooo Cheap, why not your fomula put it as 200mg, it's not cost you too much and it's cheap and will add more points to your Total Balance.

4. Because you believe 200mg of Vitamin C will more benefit to health, why not just add more 2 times in your TB. I tell you where I found your believe. It's in your Cardio-Klenz. Because you believe Vitamin C will benefit to avoid cardiovascular disease.

5. How about Vitamin B2, B5,B6,B12,Vitamin E, Vitamin K, these all ingredients are all lower in your TB or even not in your TB compare to Usana’s Essentials. How come you could claim your TB will perform by these Vitamin same as Usana. Is it because Usana try to use more cheap Vitamins to make Expensive Urine? If by this reason, why your Cardio-Klenz will increase one or three times amount than your TB. Because you know, these vitamins plus Vitamin C could significantly decrease homocysteine toxicity. And this is main function you claim in your Cardio-Klenz.

That’s why I say Usana and your TB is totally different products. Your products line use a lot of nature stuff. That's fine. Apple is apple, orange is orange. It's hard to compare in a spread sheet. The result is only misleading people.

I am also very surprise to you how you comment about Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, by Lyle MacWalliams. In this book, it has a standard about a nutrition supplements, if benefit to avoid cardiovascular disease, this product should have above Vitamin C, E, B2,B5,B6, B12,K to reduce homocysteine level. Then you will get score in this standard. Such research is not done by MacWalliams, it’s by hundreds scientists and many years research. There are other standard such as benefit to Bone Health, metabolic health especially about avoid diabetes ……. If you have such benefit, you have score.

If I were you, I won’t say that.

Especially, you say your are “HONEST and to the point, and I’ll tell it as it is!”.

It’s not true. You are mixing up the points.

To devalue other brand's products is not the right way. If you agree with something but not tell the truth, it's your ethical problem.

You are a manufacture. So you know the cost than what we know. If you like, you can pick out all the stuff same as Usana Essentials has, giving it how much will cost. So at least, we know how much. We all happy to know the truth, but not misleading.

Tell you what it is the dangerous misleading. That's 99% is the truth but the key 1% is damn wrong. Just like your comparison. Looks 99% is correct. But the 1%, that's "it cannot be compared".

But if you try to compare and devalue your opponent, that will be misleading people and guide yourself to more further end of wrong side.

I am not try to claim Usana how good it is. Maybe very bad in some people's eye as rubbish. It benefit to my health, I happy to use it, that's enough. This is my reason and the only one reason.

But if you happy to compare the Usana as Rubbish as your thought subconsciously, the result is just better than this rubbish as $90 from your comparison. But actually, my calculation from Dollar amount, your one will more expensive though.
December 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike
One more stuff: Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ10),

Your TB has none of it. But Usana get 12mg. And your Cardio-Klenz 40mg.

How do you mention it in your blog recently?
" has the benefit of containing CoQ10 which is essential to take..."

How do you mention why your TB don't contain CoQ10:
"we don't have to, because our foundation product Total Balance helps the body produce its own CoQ10!"

How your statement here can be testified is right. Any study result or just you think.

If your statement is right, Can I say as, "because Usana Essentials already give the Essential nutrients over 40 ingredient, then body is able to absorb Amino Acids from food, Why should we add them" This is not right though.

But your logic just work like this. If it's not misleading. What else?

That's why I am saying, when the start point is wrong, it's only guided to more wrong end.
December 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike have really got yourself worked up over this Mike. I am still travelling and cannot deal with this until the beginning of next week.

You expect me to do all the work justifying the comparision which I did which I still believe was fair but by your own admission you are not prepared to do the work yourself.

If you want to bring the other products of USANA into the equation as well that's fine by me. The reality is that the Health Pak with the Visionex was the closest combination that USANA had to compare with Total Balance.

Nonethess I will as I said deal with this when I get back to the office early next week. In the meantime in the interests of fairness please refrain from further postings until I respond. Then you can have a final shot at me then if you wish.
December 7, 2007 | Registered CommenterWarren Matthews
You can keep traveling. I just point out what:

"The reality is that the Health Pak with the Visionex was the closest combination that USANA had to compare with Total Balance."

Let me tell you how your attitude (or your team) is so problem to do this comparison without any science spirit. Reality? Let's start:

1. List in your comparison:
total items line to compare is: 89.
Both list in same line: 31. (34.5%)
List in TB not in Usana: 38 (42.7%)
List in U not in TB: 12 (13.5%)
Only 4 items with same(similar) amount (4.5%)
they are:
Molybdenum 59.5mcg 50mcg
Zeaxanthin 2mgs 2mgs
Grape seed extract 100mgs 90mg
Bilberry 50mgs 50mgs

2. Just simple list above base on your comparison, I haven't check it whether it's correct or not. But it's enough to point out this nonsense comparison. It's really different thing, how can you compare?

What's your base to compare? Where is your comparison stand on?

3. Let me guess where you try to stand on:
it must be getting some of same ingredients: for example, get the Zeaxanthin,Bilberry; Why these two, because they are in Usana Visionex, and Healthpak don't have or don't list clearly. But these two is in your TB. And very surprise to me is the amount is exactly same. So Visionex must add in to compare.
But you ignore to tell reader, Usana Visionex has Vitamin C and Zine,which benefit to eye health.

But if your logic is correct. Let me do this extra work here to point out,Your BONE - PROTEC should be added in to comparison:
Note, Coral Calcium(in BP) is just a nature Calcium Carbonate, it doesn't contribute to the absorb rate but rather more nature(I cannot say it more safe because the pollution anywhere now)
Calcium 490mg 37.2mg 670mg
Boron 3mg 0.75mg 3.65mg
Magnesium 340mg 10.5mg 500mg
silicon 1.9mg --- 8.5mg
strontium 4mg ---- ----
Vitamin C (Calcium Ascorbate)
80mg 60mg 1800mg
Vitamin D3 300IU 300IU 800IU
Vitamin K2/K 0.1mg --- 0.09mg
Mangosteen Extract
600mg --- ---
Lycopene 2mg --- 1mg
Piperine 4.5mg --- ---

Surprise to my work, All from your material, your comparison. I haven't add anything/comment yet. But you can see, after BP+BT, most of the ingredient still below Usana's. So one Bone-P should contribute to your comparison US$30.

So just for this function of benefit for Bone health, Usana's is much better than yours.

If I tell you further, if using Usana Essentials + Proflavanol + Visionex, The comparison is not much different on ingredient but the amount. As we know above, such amount still very high than xtend-life products.

December 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike
Calculation Problem in Comparison: OR YOU ARE A GOD?
1552mg > 1800mg,

How accurate in your comparison?
For example: Vitamins & Co-Factors; Sum of this item is 1552mgs, But just Vitamin C in Usana Column is 1800mgs.
Sum of all items in Vitamins & Co-Factors is 1552mgs.

Therefore: 1552mgs > 1800mgs

Is it the world is changed? Or I have to start my primary school again.

Do YOUR HOMEWORK AGAIN, Please. If you want to educate all of the world by using your poor math and misleading these people, Shame.

Waste my time again to correct your mistake.
December 8, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike
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