Everything you need to know about celiac disease

gluten-celiacCeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that occurs in some people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.

Nearly a third of Americans are trying to eliminate gluten from their diets (1) because they believe it is negatively impacting their health.

Public awareness about the potential effects of gluten has grown rapidly over the past few years with the spotlight on study results showing how the proteins most commonly ingested through wheat and other grains may be undermining our desire to feed ourselves in a way that feels good and keeps us healthy.

You’ve probably noticed more gluten free options in restaurants and supermarkets, and you may even be avoiding gluten yourself, or at least wondering if it may be causing problems for you.

There’s a lot of conflicting information floating around about gluten, so let’s get the basics straight first.

A protein composite found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt and certain other grains, gluten contains both glutenin and gliadin. Most people with gluten sensitivities have adverse reactions to gliadin.

The term gluten is derived from the word “glue,” which accurately describes how these proteins act when combined with liquid. Gluten facilitates the elasticity of bread dough, holding the separate components together as it rises, bakes and falls fragrantly away from the knife or slicer.

Only 1% of the population experiences gluten sensitivities and reactions severe enough to classify as celiac disease, with symptoms ranging from anemia and fatigue to nutritional deficiencies and a doubled risk of death from other diseases. (2)

Many suffering from celiac disease go undiagnosed; some don’t have symptoms, but experience a host of seemingly random health issues.

Here’s what happens with those who suffer from celiac disease:

  • Gluten in the digestive tract may be mistaken by the immune system as a foreign substance
  • A defensive attack is mounted to protect the body from invaders
  • In celiac reactions, the immune system attacks both gluten proteins and an enzyme in digestive tract cells called tissue transglutaminase
  • Escalated response can turn into an autoimmune disease that results in deterioration of the intestinal walls, causing significant perforations in the gut
  • Undigested food substances leaking into the bloodstream from damaged intestinal tissue can lead to further damage, spiral the body into a cyclic reaction of heightened immune response
  • Energy and resources are diverted to handle the emergency, weakening the system and creating ongoing vulnerabilities and malfunctions

Since the standard American diet focuses heavily on foods containing gluten, much more than 1% of the population may be experiencing adverse effects from everyday fare. (3)

If you’re dealing with unexplained symptoms, you may be wondering if gluten is a problem. Some sources report that between 6 – 8% may be gluten sensitive based on gluten antibodies found in the blood. (4)

It is also possible to test stool samples for gluten antibodies, which can show indications of intestinal damage as well. (5)

True celiacs are twice as common in the elderly population, but up to 40% of us carry genes designated as HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQA, both of which increase the likelihood of developing gluten sensitivities. (6)

Those diagnosed with celiac disease diagnosis are not the only ones whose health can be devastatingly impacted by gluten. Some medical problems often associated with gluten intolerance or sensitivity include:

  • Stomach aches and/or bloating
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Joint or bone pain

Since there is not yet a definitive testing procedure to identify sensitivities, the best way to pinpoint gluten tolerance is to eliminate all foods containing gluten from your diet and pay attention to how you feel.

After a week or two, reintroduce gluten and see how you react. Be alert for any and all changes.

According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, the brain and gut are intimately connected. (7)

Discovering and addressing gluten sensitivity early can help protect brain function and cut your risk of developing serious neurological disorders.

Gluten sensitive idiopathic neuropathy refers to neurological illnesses that can be caused or made worse by gluten intolerance.

In one study of 53 patients suffering from neurological symptoms of unknown origin, more than half tested positive for gluten antibodies in the blood. (8)

Cerebellar ataxia, which damages the cerebellum, is associated with cases of gluten intolerance, and results in problems with speech and motor controls that affect balance and movement. (9)

Several studies show strong links between gluten consumption, sensitivities and cerebellar ataxia; many patients show improvement when they follow a gluten-free diet. (10, 11, 12)

Autistic patients may benefit from avoiding foods with gluten; behavioral problems can decrease, allowing a greater level of normal interaction with others and the environment. (13, 14)

Some schizophrenic patients show significant improvement when gluten is removed from their diets. (15, 16, 17)

Epilepsy has long been treated with ketogenic diets, which are very low in carbohydrates and affect electrical activity in the brain. Gluten intolerance could also be part of the equation; researchers have found some patients experience fewer seizures in the absence of gluten-containing foods. (18, 19, 20)

If you’ve ever had trouble keeping your hands out of the bread basket when you know you’ve had enough, you won’t be surprised to learn wheat is hot on the heels of sugar for triggering food-related addictive responses.

Breaking down gluten in a test tube yields peptides than can activate opioid receptors. (21)

Scientists studying these processes with animals believe there’s a possibility these gluten exorphins may find their way into the bloodstream (perhaps through damaged intestinal walls) and result in addiction. (22, 23)

An autoimmune disorder is any set of circumstances that cause the body to attack part of its own system. This is what happens with celiac disease, the most severe reaction in cases of gluten intolerance.

Autoimmune diseases affect about 3% of the population, (24) jacking up the risk for developing other immune disorders like arthritis, lupus, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. (25)

Summary: Even if full-blown celiac disease isn’t on your radar, gluten sensitivity or intolerance can wreak havoc on a whole spectrum of body systems and result in serious health problems. No two reactions may be quite alike, but if you suspect gluten may be causing problems for you, don’t wait to explore the possibilities.

http://bodynutrition.org/celiac-disease/ http://bodynutritionorg.tumblr.com/post/162302095434

How to get rid of belly fat

belly-fatBeing overweight isn’t always an indication of poor health, but carrying significant amounts of excess abdominal fat raises the risk of developing serious disorders like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. (1)

It’s possible to pack around a few extra pounds without negatively impacting overall health (2); there are also people of normal weight who have the type of metabolic problems usually associated with obesity. (3)

Central or abdominal obesity is defined as having a waist measurement larger than 40 inches for men (102 centimeters) or 35 inches for women (88 centimeters). (4)

Simply wrapping a tape measure around the waist won’t provide the definitive answer to whether or not a person is carrying dangerous amounts of belly fat, but it’s a starting point; obviously large-framed individuals or those with more muscle can have a larger midsection and still be healthy.

If you’re overweight and carrying extra around the middle, check out these strategies for trimming belly fat:

1. Eliminate Sugar

Eating added sugar is a fast and efficient way to damage metabolic health. (5)

Table sugar is half fructose and half glucose; the glucose can be utilized by any cell in the body, but fructose is different. The liver is the only organ capable of metabolizing significant amounts of fructose (6), and overloading it with fructose is a recipe for fat production and storage. (7)

Studies show the fat resulting from excess fructose in the diet tends to accumulate around the waist. (8)

High levels of belly fat and liver fat can lead to a range of metabolic health problems, including insulin resistance. (9)

Liquid sugar in the form of sweetened drinks is the worst. Calories ingested in liquid aren’t perceived by the brain in the same way as calories from solid foods, and this usually leads to greater total calorie intake. (10, 11)

One study showed that children allowed to consume sweetened drinks were 60% more likely to become obese. (12)

Sugary soft drinks aren’t the only problem; drinking sweetened coffee or tea will have the same effect, and fruit juice, sports drinks or any sweet liquid can be problematic.

There’s no need to stop eating whole fruit; the fiber slows down assimilation of sugar, but dropping sweet drinks and cutting sugar consumption will make a world of difference in your waistline.

2. Get Plenty of Protein

Including adequate and even generous amounts of protein in your diet is the most effective way to lose weight. (13)

Studies show eating protein helps reduce cravings by more than half, leading to an average reduction of calorie intake amounting to 441 calories. It can also boost metabolism so you’ll burn up to a hundred more calories each day. (14, 15, 16)

Protein not only helps you lose the weight, it decreases your chances of gaining it back. (17, 18)

People who consume plenty of good quality protein tend to have less fat around the belly. (19)

A European trial spanning five years indicated eating animal protein is especially effective for keeping abdominal fat levels low. This study also showed using refined vegetable oils and carbohydrates led to greater amounts of belly fat, while vegetable and fruit consumption resulted in lower amounts. (20)

Studies tracking protein’s effects on weight loss show best results when subjects take between 25% and 30% calories from protein-rich foods, so it’s smart to include unprocessed fish, seafood, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products in your weight loss plan.

3. Restrict Carbohydrates

Numerous studies show cutting carbs results in lower appetite and effective weight loss. (21)

When data from more than 20 randomized, controlled trials was analyzed, the consensus was clear: people following a low-carb diet lose twice to three times the weight as people eating low-fat diets. (22, 23, 24)

Low-carb dieters lose weight even when they eat as much as they want, while low-fat dieters often experience hunger and cravings.

Water weight flushed almost immediately on low-carb diets can help with motivation, and this approach also targets belly fat. (25, 26)

In most cases, eliminating refined carbohydrates such as those found in baked goods and pasta makes a huge difference. If you want to drop weight super-fast, trim carb count to 50 grams daily; this puts your body in a state of ketosis so it burns mostly fat for fuel. Appetite drops as well.

Low-carb diets have a range of other beneficial health effects as well. (27)

4. Eat Fiber-Rich Foods

Dietary fiber has long been associated with weight loss, but it’s important to note some types of fiber can be more effective in reducing belly fat than others.

Viscous fibers bind water and form a gel that sits in the gut, slowing digestion all the way through the system and making you feel full longer. (28, 29)

One study showed subjects getting 14 grams more fiber daily lost nearly five pounds over a four-month period with no other changes to dietary habits. (30)

Another study conducted over five years indicated getting 10 grams of soluble fiber a day allowed participants to cut belly fat by nearly 4%. (31)

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to increase fiber content in your diet, as well as plant foods like legumes; oats are a high-fiber grain you can also include.

5. Exercise Aerobically

Everyone knows exercise is important for good health, but when it comes to losing belly fat, aerobic exercise has proven particularly helpful. (32, 33)

Don’t waste energy doing abdominal crunches; a six-week study tracked changes in abdominal fat and waist circumference when subjects targeted abs with intense training. There was no difference in size or fat deposits. (34, 35)

If you’re not a runner, try brisk walking; you can also swim, bike, hike, or use cardio machines. Find something you enjoy that elevates your heart rate and do it regularly. Continuing to exercise after you’ve lost the weight will also help prevent regaining it. (36)

The benefits of exercise extend to other aspects of overall health; your risk of developing metabolic disorders drops dramatically when you exercise consistently. (37)

Recap

We all know what we put into our mouths is important, and one of the most common reasons why people don’t lose weight is they’re not being realistic about what they’re eating.

It’s easy to miscalculate portions or even forget exactly what we ate, and some people find record-keeping helpful when they get serious about weight loss. It’s not necessary to sentence yourself to a lifetime of detailed journaling, but it can be an effective tool if you’re feeling stuck or frustrated.

This can be especially helpful in keeping protein intake at 25% to 30% of calories, as well as making certain fiber intake is in recommended ranges.

Summary: Get rid of belly fat by eliminating sugar, cutting carbs, eating plenty of fiber and protein, and moving your body; not only will you like what you see in the mirror, but your overall health will improve drastically.

http://bodynutrition.org/how-to-lose-belly-fat/ http://bodynutritionorg.tumblr.com/post/162301089279

What you need to know about Yakult

Yakult is a Japanese company that makes a probiotic dairy drink, which is also called Yakult.

Founded over 80 years ago, the company is a mainstay at local grocers and markets throughout east and southeast Asia.  “Yakult ladies” market and deliver the product in a hybrid network-marketing style manner, selling cases of the drink off the backs of their bicycles and mopeds.

So did I get on board? This explains everything:

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All good? Let’s continue…

In more recent times, Yakult has expanded internationally, and their products are now available in dozens of countries.

To date, their marketing strategy for English-speaking countries involves only a retail sales model, but given the success of network marketing strategies for similar health and wellness products, plus the increasing popularity of probiotics, it would not be unexpected if the company eventually expands its distribution to include network marketing as well.

Yakult has the slow, steady increase in popularity of a company on the up and up.  Search engine traffic for the company has followed a slow, steady increase year by year.  

A consistent and steady long-term increase in search traffic is also what you see when you track public interest in probiotics–products containing these good bacteria are definitely the next hot thing in health and wellness, since more and more scientific studies attesting their use keep coming out.

Products

Yakult (the company) sells only two products: Yakult (the drink) and Yakult Light.  

Yakult is made by using the Shirota strain of the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus casei to ferment a mixture of sugar, skim milk powder, glucose, and Lactobacillus casei Shirota cultures.  The regular version contains 11 grams of sugar per bottle, while the light version contains only four.  The difference is made up by adding corn dextrin and Stevia to lower the sugar content.  

One important thing to remember, if you are watching your diet, is that not all of the sugar in Yakult is sucrose (a.k.a. cane sugar).  Since this is a dairy product, some proportion of the sugar is lactose, which does not have the same detrimental effects as sucrose or fructose.  

At the same time, the company notes that the lactose content of Yakult is somewhere on the order of that in yogurt, so it’s not nearly as aggravating as regular milk to people who have lactose intolerance.  As a general rule of thumb, if you can eat yoghurt without digestive issues, you can drink Yakult.

When it comes to the science of probiotics, Yakult has some decent footing for its health claims.  A 2006 scientific study published in the journal Clinical and Vaccine Immunology investigated the effects of Lactobacillus casei on the immune system of lab rats.  A probiotic dosage of the bacteria was demonstrated to increase immune system activity, as measured by increases in specific immune-related cells in the body.  

A healthy gut biome is known to help “crowd out” bad bacteria in your body, but research like this suggests that specific probiotic strains have direct immunity-boosting effects.  Other researchers have even used this as inspiration to use the probiotic to boost the immune system’s response to vaccines.

Yakult has also sponsored some of its own research that’s been published in peer-reviewed journals.  A 1998 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied how Yakult affected the gut biome in healthy male test subjects.  

Ten subjects were given Yakult to drink every day, while ten more subjects were given a non-fermented placebo drink.  The subjects’ diets were strictly controlled to ensure that they were not consuming any other fermented foods or beverages, like yogurt, cheese, or beer.

At the study’s conclusion, the researchers found that the men who had been drinking Yakult for eight weeks had a substantially altered gut bacteria population.  

As you’d expect, levels of Lactobacillus casei were much higher in the subjects drinking Yakult.  Levels of a potentially harmful type of bacteria, the Clostridium genus, were down, though there weren’t enough subjects to establish whether this change was statistically significant or not.

If it is significant, though, this means that Yakult could prove useful for people with an unhealthy gut biome that’s causing health issues, like digestive problems.

Unfortunately, markers of immune system activity were unchanged in the human volunteers, perhaps indicating that Yakult doesn’t  modulate the immune system of healthy people.  

Distribution model

Currently, it’s not possible to join Yakult as a network marketing distributor in most of their markets.  However, if you operate a retail store, you can get in touch with their product distribution team and order Yakult wholesale.

If you truly believe that probiotics are going to be game-changers in the health and wellness market, or if you have connections at a local health and wellness store, it could be a lucrative business arrangement to start ordering wholesale and selling locally.  

The real question is whether and when the company will move to a network marketing model, and if so, what their compensation model will look like.  When there’s an answer to that, it’ll be a lot easier to evaluate whether or not Yakult represents a strong income opportunity.

Recap

Yakult’s products are a mainstay of Southeast Asia, and there is at least some scientific evidence that their probiotic bacteria could be a helpful immune-system booster.  Its gut biome altering properties could also be useful for people who have gastrointestinal issues caused by an unhealthy gut biome.

If and when Yakult moves to a network marketing model, the quality of the compensation plan will dictate whether or not it’s a smart business opportunity.

Look, if you’re simply doing it for the money, there are better ways to kill your day job.

You might like this coaching because it shows you the good life without peddling health products to your family and friends.

http://bodynutrition.org/yakult-review/ http://bodynutritionorg.tumblr.com/post/162295085424

Zrii: Legit or just a scam? Full review

Zrii is a multilevel marketing company that is best known for their health and weight loss products.  

The company received increased attention after its Ayurveda-inspired antioxidant drink, Amalaki, was featured by Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Center, which is focused on holistic healing and living.

The company also sells anti-aging skin care creams, but it is best-known for its Amalaki antioxidant drink and its meal replacement shake, Achieve.

So did I get on board? This explains everything:

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All good? Let’s continue…

When it comes to popularity, Zrii is, sadly, on the decline.  Though it was surging in popularity in 2014 and 2015, search engine traffic has slid, indicating a drop in public interest.  However, a return to popularity would not be unprecedented.  The company experienced a spurt of interest in 2007 and 2008 before a precipitous drop-off, only to retool and resurge again.  

Zrii’s initial drop in popularity was rooted in board room politics.  As reported by AOL Finance, a failed hostile takeover by seven of the top distributors for the company the company made for bad press and even worse results in the sales department.  Since then, though, the company rebounded.  Having cheated death by obscurity once, can Zrii do it again?

Products

Zrii’s two best-selling products, and those that it is most well-known for, are its Amalaki “miracle juice” and its Achieve meal replacement shake for weight loss.

Amalaki is a combination of juices from strong antioxidant fruits as well as a number of  herbal supplements.  The juices of interest include pomegranate, concord grape, cranberry, and raspberry.

Though these fruits are the most potent antioxidants included in Amalaki, they aren’t the primary ingredients.  Unfortunately, Zrii uses white pear juice and white grape juice as the most prevalent liquids, which are both sugar-laden and devoid of much nutritional utility.

The herbal ingredients are more varied.  The product’s namesake comes from the inclusion of amalaki fruit extract, which is from a plant native to India that has a long history of use as an herbal remedy.  

Many of the other ingredients are also arcane Indian herbs that are unfamiliar to most people: Jujube fruit, haritaki fruit, and schizandra fruit, just to name a few.  A few herbal ingredients do ring some bells: turmeric and ginger root extracts are both included, though the label does not disclose their amounts.

The health properties of Amalaki are based on the Ayurveda medicine principles, but some of the ingredients are thought to have scientific benefits as well.

Potent concentrations of juice from dark colored fruits, for example, are known to be high powered antioxidants that operate independently of traditional micronutrients like vitamin C.

A scientific article in the journal Food Chemistry demonstrates that non-citrus fruits have high concentrations of compounds called polyphenols, which account for a large proportion of the antioxidant power of those fruits.

Additionally, turmeric extract may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering your cholesterol levels.  An experiment by researchers in Spain fed rabbits with heart disease a standardized turmeric extract and examined its effects.

The researchers found that the turmeric helped prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol (which causes hardened arteries) and lowered their cholesterol levels to boot.  If this translates to humans, it could prove helpful.

The Achieve meal replacement is Ayurveda-inspired too.  Its “NutriVeda” formulation combines standard meal replacement shake ingredients (protein isolates, fiber, flavoring, and traditional weight loss supplement extracts) with Ayurveda-based weight loss blend.

The protein blend includes whey protein, soy protein, and milk protein isolates, among others.  Protein supplements like this are know to help with maintaining muscle mass during weight loss, and fiber is known to increase satiety (feelings of fullness).

Beyond this, some of the other ingredients in Achieve show promise in traditional medical studies of weight loss.  The proprietary Ayurvedic blend includes green tea extract, which has strong fat burning properties.  

As reported in a 1999 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea increases fat oxidation and energy expenditure, and these are caused by both the caffeine content and the content of special compounds called catechins, which both modulate your metabolism.

Compensation plan

To become a distributor for Zrii, you must purchase an enrollment pack.  The cheapest of these is $49.95. But this doesn’t automatically qualify you for bonuses or commissions.  It does qualify you for a 30% retail discount, which you can then turn around and sell for a profit.

To remain active, and thus eligible to get paid, you must maintain a constant flow of of 65 personal volume per month.  As a binary structure MLM, Zrii requires you to have two front line distributors below you, each of which manages their own team.  The weaker of these two teams is what qualifies you to move up the rankings.  

The commission’s structure is better than average: Zrii distributors make 20% commissions on their first level of sales, and 10% on the second level.  However, this is a little deceptive, as half of this commission flows to your upline.  The good news is that you are on the receiving end of that if you build up your two sales teams.

Moving up the ranks at Zrii takes a lot of sales volume.  Even getting to the second rank takes 500 product volume per month from your weakest leg—so at a bare minimum, you’d need to move 1000 product volume per month to reach this.  It only gets more difficult as the ranks increase.  

Recap

Zrii’s products have some health benefits, but they weren’t designed through the lens of modern science and medicine—instead, they’re inspired by the alternative medicine practice of Ayurveda, so the degree to which your customers trust in that practice will determine how useful these products are to them.

The relatively good compensation structure is reflected in the results: According to Zrii’s income disclosure statement, the vast majority of distributors are at the first level rank, but take home an average of $184 per month.

Unfortunately, the compensation doesn’t scale well with sales volume; even high-ranking distributors don’t make a ton of money.

All in all, Zrii is a solid side-hustle bet, but may not be the best when it comes to growth potential.

So if you’re simply doing it for the money, there are better ways to kill your day job.

You might like our coaching because it shows you the good life without selling stuff to your family and friends.

http://bodynutrition.org/zrii-review/ http://bodynutritionorg.tumblr.com/post/162292463094

Youngevity: Everything you need to know

Youngevity is a multilevel marketing company that sells a wide range of products for health and wellness, but many of them are focused on delivering some of the 90 “essential for life” nutrients their founder claims the human body needs.

They’re not just another dime-a-dozen health MLM, the Youngevity company stays well involved with generous charity and non-profit campaigns.

So have I been involved with these guys? This explains everything:

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name=&quot;email&quot; value=&quot;&quot; tabindex=&quot;501&quot; onfocus=&quot; if (this.value == '') { this.value = ''; }&quot; onblur=&quot;if (this.value == '') { this.value='';} &quot; \/&gt;&lt;\/div&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;af-clear&quot;&gt;&lt;\/div&gt;&lt;\/div&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;af-element buttonContainer&quot;&gt;&lt;input name=&quot;submit&quot; class=&quot;submit&quot; type=&quot;submit&quot; value=&quot;Schedule a call&quot; tabindex=&quot;502&quot; \/&gt;&lt;div class=&quot;af-clear&quot;&gt;&lt;\/div&gt;&lt;\/div&gt;&lt;\/div&gt;&lt;\/div&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;display: none;&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;https:\/\/forms.aweber.com\/form\/displays.htm?id=jExMjGwMrMzsbA==&quot; alt=&quot;&quot; \/&gt;&lt;\/div&gt;&lt;\/form&gt;&lt;script type=&quot;text\/javascript&quot;&gt;\/\/ Special handling for facebook iOS since it cannot open new windows(function() {    if (navigator.userAgent.indexOf('FBIOS') !== -1 || navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Twitter for iPhone') !== -1) {        document.getElementById('af-form-1221605376').parentElement.removeAttribute('target'); 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All good? Let’s continue…

The company was founded by Joel Wallach, a former veterinary doctor who became a naturopathic doctor and studies the human body’s needs when it comes to trace vitamins and minerals.  

Youngevity was his solution for providing people with the nutrients he deems vital for health and wellness, though its product offerings have grown considerably beyond that category, thanks to numerous acquisitions and mergers in the company’s history.

Youngevity also operates a nonprofit charity branch called Youngevity Be The Change that provides funding to other nonprofit organizations like the American Red Cross and the Make a Wish Foundation.  

Youngevity donates some of its earnings to this nonprofit, and members and customers can also donate directly to support its cause.

Over the past several years, Youngevity has gradually increased its brand awareness.  Analysis of search engine traffic shows a slow, upward trend in search volume, with no precipitous drops.  It’s not the most popular health and longevity MLM in the game, but its growth looks healthy.

Products

Unfortunately, Youngevity falls into the trap of offering such a tremendous range of products (cosmetics, supplements, jewelry, coffee, etc.) that it can be hard to see the special appeal of the brand.  

Its core products are focused around the “90 for life” philosophy, which posits that there are 90 vital nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

These vital nutrients come from the founder’s personal research in naturopathic healing, and manifest themselves in the products available in the health and wellness category.  The bulk of them are the vitamins and minerals you’ve already heard of.  Three more include omega three, omega six, and omega nine fatty acids, alongside twelve essential amino acids.  

These nutrients are incorporated into supplement capsules, sports drinks, or meal replacement shake powders to be sold as the various products that Youngevity offers.

The products are sold in “Paks,” prepackaged solutions to particular problems like high blood sugar, athletic performance, weight loss, and digestion.  

Some of these categories run the risk of running afoul of Food and Drug Administration rules about what can and cannot be advertised on product marketing materials.  The Blood Sugar Pak, for example, might run the risk of being categorized as a medical treatment for a condition (type 2 diabetes).

The specifics on why Youngevity’s products are superior to your standard, run of the mill supplements is sparse.  The company claims they use “plant derived minerals” from a particular kind of soil, but their explanation of why shale soil is a better source for minerals delves into pseudoscience pretty quickly.  

These minerals are claimed to carry a “natural negative electric charge” which gives them special medicinal properties.  In truth, where a mineral is derived from has no bearing on its electrical charge; this is solely a function of the basic chemistry involved with the compound in question.

As you might expect from a large, somewhat disorganized MLM, the products are pretty expensive.  Other companies offer similar products (multivitamin drinks, omega 3 supplements, meal replacement shakes for weight loss) at lower prices, and the ingredients don’t distinguish themselves from the competition.

For the above reasons, it’s going to be difficult to make a good sales pitch.  You’d need to find a good way to distinguish these products both from each other, and from other competitors.

Compensation plan

The compensation plan is fairly standard. The company pushes its distributor packs pretty heavily, but the cost to join is only $25.  You can easily rack up hundreds of dollars purchasing a “CEO Mega Pak” which includes marketing materials and product samples, but that sounds like a method that primarily makes the company money, not you.

As is typical with large MLMs, there is a minimum monthly product volume you must keep up to remain an active distributor eligible for earnings.  In the case of Youngevity, it’s 50 product volume per month.  Moving up is based mostly on racking up paying customers who order from you, or better, downline distributors.  

Once you have three preferred customers or associates in your downline, the earnings start to look better.

In addition to the 30% wholesale discount that you automatically get for being an active distributor, you can earn commissions as deep as four levels into your downline, and the commission percentages (6-8%) are very competitive.  Many other MLMs only offer 2-5% commissions on sales of this level.

Hard data on the earnings of the typical distributor are difficult to come by.  The company does not produce an income disclosure statement, and based on its relatively unimpressive structure, it’s not likely that the earnings for your average member look very good.  

However, it’s a reasonably popular company, and the compensation structure is decent.

Recap

It’s tricky to square some of the facts about Youngevity.  Their product selection is so broad and so varied that it’s difficult to see any specific pitch or “hook” that would allow you to effectively sell their products to a large number of customers (or have a good reason to start using them yourself).  

On the other hand, search traffic for the company looks favorable, and their compensation structure does reward building up a solid downline.

If you can find a good hook that allows you to effectively market the broad range of products that Youngevity offers, you can take the plunge.  

Otherwise, there are better opportunities out there that have a more clear angle for sales.

You might like our coaching because it shows you the good life without selling health products to your family and friends.

http://bodynutrition.org/youngevity-review/ http://bodynutritionorg.tumblr.com/post/162251561599

You should read this before joining Zija

Zija is a multilevel marketing company that is most famous for its moringa oleifera supplements, a plant native to the Himalayas that is reputed to have a wide range of health benefits.  

However, Zija does not restrict itself to supplements from this plant alone.  

It’s a boutique-style setup, with slick marketing materials and a well-made website that promotes a small number of high-quality products.

So did I get on board? This explains everything:

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All good? Let’s continue…

Aside from their moringa offerings, the company makes essential oils, pre- and post-workout fitness supplements, and personal care items.  Still, moringa oleifera extracts are its flagship offering, and form the backbone of the company’s product line.

Despite a “second wave” revamping of the company that took place a few years ago, the company’s popularity is sliding downwards.  Data from search engine traffic shows that interest in the company peaked in 2013, and public interest has largely slid downward since then.  

Today, traffic is still about 50% of what it was at its peak, so it’s not like the company has vanished into obscurity like some other MLMs tend to do.

Products

There’s no talking about Zija without talking about moringa oleifera.  As mentioned earlier, it’s a plant native to the Himalayas that was popularized in the west in large part thanks to Zija’s efforts.  

There is some scientific research on its potential uses as a supplement, but all of it is at an early stage.

A 2007 review article in the scientific journal Phytotherapy Research summarizes some of the potential benefits of moringa oleifera.  

According to its authors, the plant has been used historically as both a food and a medicine.  The list of its traditional uses if almost comical–it has been used for tooth pain, as a stimulant, for headaches, constipation, and inflammation relief.  No wonder Zija touts it as a miracle plant.  These uses, however, are just anthropological records of the plant’s use.  

When it comes to actual scientific studies, the documented benefits are narrower.  A scientific paper published in the journal Ethnopharmacology studied moringa oleifera’s anti-cholesterol effects in rats.  In the experiment, two groups of rats were fed a high-fat diet in an attempt to induce an obesity-related spike in cholesterol levels.  

Half of the rats had their diet supplemented by a moringa oleifera leaf extract.  The researchers found that the moringa oleifera extract decreased cholesterol levels in the blood, kidneys, and liver (all areas where high cholesterol buildup can cause problems).  

The researchers noted that traditional Indian medical practitioners use the plant to treat obese patients, and that this experiment validated the use of moringa oleifera in obese patients with high cholesterol.  

Moringa oleifera also appears to be a potent antioxidant.  A scientific study by researchers in Germany found that the leaves of moringa oleifera strongly inhibit the activity of free radical species in solution.  

This suggests that the plant, or extracts of it, could be useful in preventing aging and chronic diseases related to oxidative damage, like cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline.  However, larger studies and specific clinical trials are needed to establish the efficacy of the plant.

The actual products from Zija incorporate moringa oleifera in a number of different ways.  The company sells tea, protein powder, and supplements that deliver varying doses of moringa oleifera.  

One problem with this plant is that the optimal dosage has not been determined, so you’ve basically got to trust the scientists and product engineers at Zija when it comes to how much to take.  

If you just want the benefits of the plant and don’t want to drink tea or protein shakes or meal replacement drinks, Zija also sells simple capsules you can take like any other supplement, though they often include other ingredients.  Their XM+ energy supplement, for example, contains caffeine from green tea extract, a known weight loss aid and energizers.

Compensation plan

Joining up as a distributor for Zija is not too expensive: it only costs a yearly fee of $20 to join.  This entitles you to retail discounts of 20-25%, depending on the product.  

However, to be eligible for bonuses, and to earn commission on your downline, you need to keep up 75 product volume per month.  This is all detailed in the compensation plan, which is reasonably understandable (by MLM standards at least!).

Zija is a binary structure MLM, meaning you have two “legs,” or teams of distributors below you.  The structure for earning compensation is pretty aggressive.  You need to accumulate 500 product volume from your weaker leg to earn your first commission.  

After this, you can rack up new commission payments every 100 product volume, but getting past this initial hurdle is a big challenge.  Monthly sales that don’t hit the minimum volume level do carry over, as long as you still move 75 product volume yourself that month.

Because of this, you’re incentivized to build a very “tall” downline, where your strong and weak leg both have multiple levels of distributors below them.

Recap

With the slide in Zija’s popularity and the difficulty of establishing a strong, tall downline structure, it doesn’t seem like it’s a great time to join up with this multilevel marketing company.  

However, given the considerable promise behind moringa oleifera, and the potential payoffs if more advanced research comes out validating its use for something big, like weight loss or arthritis relief, the market could explode.  

Of course, there’s no guaranteeing some other MLM won’t swoop in and offer better or cheaper moringa oleifera products if that does happen.  This MLM is for people who are accepting of risk and vigilant for changes in the market.

But if you’re simply doing it for the money, there are better ways to kill your day job.

You might like this coaching because it shows you the good life without selling stuff to your family and friends.

http://bodynutrition.org/zija-review/ http://bodynutritionorg.tumblr.com/post/162237267509

Everything you need to know about Seacret Direct

Nope, it’s not a misspelling: Seacret Direct is a multilevel marketing company that is known for its anti-aging cosmetics that incorporate minerals sourced from the Dead Sea.

The company’s cosmetic products have a high-end exclusive look to them, and a price tag to accompany it.

But if you could sling a lot of product you could make some decent money.

So have I been involved? This explains everything:

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The company has been experiencing rapid growth in the past several years.  In 2014, its revenue increased by 100%, and it was named the fastest-growing MLM of the year according to Direct Sales News.

The company was founded by two brothers from Israel who capitalized on their connections to Dead Sea minerals and turned them into a line of cosmetic products.

Unfortunately, the company hasn’t been able to sustain its success.  Search engine traffic shows the classic pattern of a multilevel marketing company that hits it big, then slides backwards in relevance.  

Search volume shot upwards in 2012, 2013, and 2014, as the company added distributors and became better known, but by 2015 it was sliding backward.  Currently, search engine traffic is only about one quarter of what it was a few years ago, and the decline shows no sign of abating.

Products

So, what gives? Are the products not all they’re cracked up to be, or is something else causing the company’s decline in relevancy?  We’ll have to pry under the hood to find out.

As mentioned earlier, the products offered by Seacret Direct are very much on the high end.  They come in thick, semi-translucent containers and definitely have a luxury look and feel to them.

The setup for the product line at Seacret Direct is about in line with what you’d expect from an anti-aging cosmetic company.  There are several different products for different areas of the face and neck:  REFRESH moisturizes larger areas of the head, while a product like REGAIN is specifically tuned for the area around your eyes.

The company claims a scientific approach to its cosmetics.  Indeed, they present some pretty impressive-looking photographs and charts.  One study of the depth of wrinkles shows a reduction of over 50% in the depth of wrinkles on the face, as measured by a precise scientific tool that looks at wrinkle depth.

Seacret Direct also claims the results take place very rapidly, so it’s clear that the products aren’t actually healing wrinkles.  It’s merely reducing their appearance (but that’s the end goal anyways, right?).  

It goes about doing this with a special chemical process that happens when you apply a product like RESTORE Age-defying Face Cream.  

Using a combination of ingredients like grape oil, collagens, silk proteins, and others, the product forms a thin film that lays on top of all of the deep crevices on your face, then tightens like an elastic net when it dries.  This lifts up your wrinkles, reducing their depth and giving your skin a smoother, younger look.

The company cites “clinical studies” in support of the efficacy of Seacret Direct cosmetics, but it’s clear that these are all in-house operations.  

Some important parts of the proper scientific method, such as peer review, replication, and placebo control, are not usually part of in-house research, and Seacret Direct’s clinical studies on their products haven’t been published in any scientific journals.

This brings us to what might be the best explanation for the decline in the popularity of Seacret Direct: the price.  Perhaps because of their rare, exclusive ingredients, the anti-aging serums and creams from Seacret Direct are astoundingly spendy.  

One tub of REFRESH, which contains 1.7 fluid ounces of product, costs a cool $250 retail.  Maybe the products do work, but not well enough to justify such a tremendously high price tag.  

Even if they work great, it’s going to be a rare customer that doesn’t buy one or two products and save them only for special occasions.  

Unless you rub elbows with the super-rich on a regular basis, you’re not likely to find anybody willing to shell out hundreds of dollars per month on anti-aging cosmetics.  And if they are…they’re probably just going to get botox!

Compensation plan

The repeat-customer problem starts to come into focus when you look at the compensation plan for Seacret Direct.  The first few ranks of the compensation plan aren’t even set up for anybody looking to make money.  

Referrals and hosting product parties can get you product credit, but to actually earn money, you have to become an “agent” (yes, a Seacret Agent), or distributor in layman’s terms.

Becoming an agent requires referral from another agent, plus paying a $50 annual fee.  After that, you have additional hoops to jump through to make any money.

First, you need to have four active customers per month.  In addition, your weekly sales must be at least 200 product volume, and you need a monthly auto-ship of 35 product volume.  Got all that?  Okay, now you can start making money.  

The retail discounts for Seacret Agents can be huge: nearly 60% in some cases.  The commission’s rates are also tremendously high.  What other MLM offers 20% commission rates? Some don’t even have retail discounts that high!

Recap

With Seacret Direct, the products appear to work well (though there’s no independent research demonstrating it), but the compensation plan makes it really, really tough to make money when you start out.  

You need to sell an incredibly high amount of product, in terms of dollars in sales, to even start earning money.  And as outlined earlier, the fact that these products are so tremendously expensive makes it very hard to consistently sell products.

Unless you have a ton of ultra-rich and ultra-wrinkled friends, steer clear of this MLM.  The business model just isn’t sustainable, and it’s too hard to consistently qualify for earning income.

Bottom line is, there are better ways to kill your day job.

You might like this coaching because it shows you the good life without peddling products to your family and friends.

http://bodynutrition.org/seacret-direct-review/ http://bodynutritionorg.tumblr.com/post/162218740484