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USANA CellSentials Supplement Review: Is it worth the money?

 

USANA Health Sciences has been in the direct sales market since 1992. I've been approached by reps in the past to check out their products, and have always declined. Frankly, I’m tired of the MLM/Direct Sales method. Been there, done that (more than once!). But that has nothing to do with the products!

Then I ran into a dietitian selling them. And read her story about how her family eats well, but these multivitamin supplements really increased their energy level. I trust dietitians. I'm also a tired mom - who doesn't want more energy?! So I thought it couldn't hurt to finally try out their vitamin & mineral supplements for myself.

The Core Minerals & Vita Antioxidant (used to be called Mega Antioxidant and Multimineral Plus, from what I can tell) is the USANA multivitamin mix. It comes  in 2 bottles. You take 2 pills from each bottle, twice a day.

Pros:

1) Consumerlab has a consumer satisfaction survey. Among Direct Selling brands, Usana is normally the winner. These supplements have a pretty good reputation, and many clients love them.

2) The USANA supplements contains 800 IU Vitamin D per day, which is higher than more multivitamins. That’s a good thing .The dietary reference intake is 600 IU per day for adults. I generally recommend about 1000 IU per day for adults (at least in the winter), as it may be linked to prevention of autoimmune disorders, cancer and osteoporosis. If you’re not deficient, you likely wouldn’t need an extra Vitamin D supplement if you’re taking these Usana vitamins.

3) The Mega Antioxidant supplement contains some unique herbal extract ingredients like olive fruit extract, green tea leaf extract, olive fruit and lycopene. Hespereridin is a bioflavanoid from citrus that may be useful for brain health

And Resveratrol is the antioxidant made famous by red wine. These supplements also contains some difficult to find, but essential nutrients like choline and lutein.

4) I like how USANA's advisory council consist of many PHDs and MDs. They have also published a lot of research and partnered with universities to publish many papers.

Cons:

1) With 4 pills a day, I think you can potential to get a high dose of some nutrients. Such as calcium - a total of almost 900mg. Adults need about 1000 mg per day. The jury is still out on whether calcium from supplements can cause a slight increased risk of heart attacks. And if you get enough calcium through your diet, you don’t need this.

If you don’t consume dairy or fortified alternatives, maybe it could be helpful to retain bone mass.

2) I understand why there is no iron in the Multimineral Plus, so this is really just a personal 'con.' Men don't need extra iron. But as a woman, I do. Although I could add that as an additional supplement.

3) Cost. Consumerlab.com lists costs of supplements, which is $1.82/day for this Usana duo. As a comparison, Kirkland multivitamins were also approved, without exceeding any ULs. And cost 0.04 cents per day.

4) Eight pills a day is a lot to swallow. Although they aren't huge, and don't get stuck in your throat like some others I've tried. But it's enough for most people to remember to take supplements once per day, much less twice.

My USANA trial:

I was fairly proud of myself for remembering to take these pills twice daily for a month.

And for my energy levels? I felt they did slightly increase. Not enough to prevent me from wanting that afternoon nap, but maybe.....30% higher than normal, if I had to pick a number. Which I haven't experienced from a multivitamin before.

Why might this be? I don't think it's the B vitamins, as I can tell I peed most of those out (TMI?!). Maybe the green tea leaf extract?

I would continue to take this supplement as a multivitamin/mineral. Although I think the cost is prohibitive long-term.

Have you tried these Usana supplements? What do you think?

Jennifer House is a Registered Dietitian, author & mom of 3. From Baby-led weaning to picky eating and meal planning, she helps you to make feeding your family easier

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