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The Essentials Mega Antioxidant and Chelated Mineral make up USANA’s Essentials of great nutrition. Mega Antioxidant is USANA’s daily vitamin and antioxidant supplement for adults. Chelated Mineral is USANA’s daily mineral supplement for adults. Together, they have repeatedly been given top rankings in the NutriSearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. New USANA customers start with the Essentials to build a strong foundation of health.

The USANA Essentials outperformed the other products tested by providing the highest levels of key nutrients in the most efficacious forms. The gel-based, plant-matrixed, and leading daily supplement all have similar amounts of nutrients listed on their labels. However, it appears that neither the “novel delivery system” nor the various sources of the raw materials affected the bioavailability of the nutrients analyzed for these 3 products. The Essentials provided the largest increase in circulating concentrations for all three nutrients examined. Interestingly, the leading daily multivitamin produced a larger absorption curve for riboflavin than the plant-matrixed, juice-based, and gel-based products, even though all 4 products contain the same amount of riboflavin in their formulations. As seen in the vitamin C curve, only the juice-based product produced an absorption curve that approached that of the Essentials. Plasma antioxidant reserve seems to match the curve for vitamin C, suggesting that PAR is heavily influenced by vitamin C status.

Studies where multiple doses are given over a longer period of time could also provide insight into the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, vitamin K, and the carotenoids, as these vitamins take longer to accumulate in the body. It also appears that for vitamin C, riboflavin, and vitamin B6, the Essentials not only had the best absorption, but also maintained increased levels of the nutrients longer over the time period examined. Therefore, it appears that the USANA Essentials provides optimal levels of the most bioavailable forms of nutrients to obtain blood levels significantly higher than the competition. Thus, if taken twice daily, one could expect to maintain elevated levels of these nutrients throughout the day to help obtain optimal nutritional status.


Study Design
This study was a crossover study that consisted of 10 healthy adult volunteers (8 males, 2 females), ranging in age from 26–50. One supplement was evaluated each week for a total of 5 weeks. Each product was given as directed to include the manufacturer’s recommended daily dose in a single intake. On each study day, subjects were required to complete an overnight fast, donate a baseline venous blood sample, and take the randomly assigned dietary supplement. Additional blood samples were collected 1, 3, and 7 hours later. A standardized breakfast and lunch consisting of a bagel with 20 g of cream cheese was given to subjects at baseline and again after the 3-hour blood draw. Participants were also asked to abstain from physical activity the day of their study appointment.

Nutrient Analyses
Ascorbic acid, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and plasma antioxidant reserve (PAR) were measured at each time point to obtain an absorption curve for each product/nutrient.

Serum Vitamin C
Serum samples were analyzed for ascorbic acid via HPLC according to the CDC’s Laboratory Procedure Manual for vitamin C. Briefly, samples were mixed 1:1 with 10% (w/v) metaphosphoric acid (MPA), centrifuged at 10,000 x g for 10 minutes, and the resulting supernatant diluted 1:5 in MPA. Analyte concentrations were determined relative to authentic samples.

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