Project Body Smart | Digestive Health and Skin Care


digestive health

Digestive Health and Skin Care

Dr Susan Kleiner Insights into Digestive Health & Skin care


Dr. Susan Kleiner,PhD,RD,FACN,CNS,FISS


Digestive Health and Skin Care with Dr. Susan Kleiner

On Wednesday February 21, 2013  I was privy to a webinar hosted by USANA Health Sciences that featured a talk on Digestive Health and Skin Care by Dr. Susan Kleiner who has an impressive set of initials next to her name. She holds a Phd, is a Registered Dietician, Fellow of International Sports Science, a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and CNS. This a person who loves what they do and works as a consultant with Olympic and elite athletes to help them get and stay on track  in their nutritional and  performance needs. She is a Silver Director with Usana Health Sciences.

In a metaphor I have not been able to shirk for days, Dr. Kleiner began her illustrative talk explaining that digestion for the human being actually begins in the mouth and continues via “one long tube”. She made a strong case that humans are essentially one long tube encased by the skin which acts as a passage way from the outside environment to the inner one. While it was a bit odd thinking of myself in that way, there was no denying that my awareness of my own gastro intestinal digestive tract became heightend this past week. Science can certainly be good for a kind of detachment from identification with the  body in the way it picks systems apart.


Complexity of Absorption

There are at least 9 different enzymes manufactured by the body to digest our foods which can be divided into carbs, proteins, fats, dairy and nucleic acids. The sites of release for these enzymes are the mouth, the small intestine and the stomach. Some of these enzymes like lactase are released upon demand. In other words, your body will manufacture enzymes as needed which can explain when introducing a new food into your system why it can feel uncomfortable at first. A period of adjustment is needed to let the “manufacturing plant” know they need to get on the ball and supply that specific enzyme designed to break down a particular food.

The majority of digestion is accomplished before food enters the duodenum or at least should if you have spent an adequate amount of time chewing your food properly. While “wolfing” down your food down may occur from time to time, it’s important to remember that we are not wolves thus we need to chew our food well so as not to suffer from indigestion.


The Landscape of the Body

 Looking at these photographs  was similar to looking at an internal version of the the Grand Canyon I visited a few years ago. It is indeed a complex landscape with it’s own version of jagged terrain. The lumen or the intestinal wall is not flat and is made up of innumerable villi and micro villi. It looks something like peaks and valleys with a textured surface with microscopic and subscopic hairs. The food you eat passes along and through all this surface area of the gasto intestinal tract that is exposed to the outside environment via the mouth and the skin. It’s easy to see why eating adequate amounts of fiber, fruits and vegetables is so very important as food can easily get left behind to lodge and rot in any of this expansive surface!

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

This is why the purity, potency, and  disintegration of any supplement (or food item for that matter) is so very important. Kleiner pointed out that NSF certification, WADA approval and peer reviewed published research papers within the scientific community are critical tools the consumer can use to make sure what you are putting in your body is up to elite athlete standards. It serves as a bar to measure against the run of the mill products that do not pass muster. It was interesting to note that USANA supplements dissolve in water as opposed to vinegar within 35 minutes. This reflects the reality that the average person’s digestive system is so weak in terms of acidic production that it is required that supplements be highly bio available.

So What Does This Have to Healthy With Skin? It’s Probiotics

Dr. Kleiner pointed out that we don’t want to be absorbing contaminants but with so many of us living in urban areas what can be done? Probiotics work together with our immune system and probiotic cells are most heavily concentrated in the gut. They provide anti fungal, anti viral and anti bacterial protection, forming a physical barrier to hinder the invasion of yeasts and bacteria. Probiotic cells also share their genes with our digestive tract as they have a symbiotic relationship.

Eating probiotic foods such as kimchee, pickled products, whole probiotic yoghurts help keep the healthy bacteria in balance. According to Kleiner, the two strains of cultures found in USANA probiotics have proven to be the most efficacious in study after study. So while it may look impressive to have several cultures in a probiotic, this doesn’t mean that they are actually doing you much good. Inuline is important and found in Fibergy plus. Flax seeds are a good source of inuline and she recommends 1 to 2 tablespoons daily.


For Dr. Kleiner using USANA’s Probiotic is a “non – negotiable” item for her patients and recommends it be taken every other day. It can be taken in water or in food although the temperature of the food should not be hot to preserve the beneficial properties of the strains. Grueling travel, hotel stays, variances in food quality and water can make a person uncomfortable and not feeling their best while on the road. The probiotics boosts the bodies ability to not only digest but keep a healthy balance of “bad” and “good” probiotics in the GI tract. If a person is experiencing bloating or gas the Digestive Enzyme is recommended.

If fiber is an issue the Fibergy Plus is an excellent product because it provides the bulk the body needs in the form of insoluble fiber, and choline,  a B vitamin essential as a neuro –  transmitter. Every time you move or have a thought, choline or the lack of it, plays a role. Although I am not an egg eater myself, Dr. Kleiner pointed out that the idea that egg yolks contribute to high cholesterol is a fallacy and that as a nation we suffer from a choline deficiency by – 50%. This is an interesting observation given the increased statistics for Alzheimers and the amont of egg yolks dumped down the drain. Soy lecithin is another way to get adequate amounts of choline in the diet to insure that your noggin and motor skills function optimally. Choline also helps move nutrients into the cells and toxins or waste matter out.



MyHealthpak Beauty Edition and Sense Skin Care

In conclusion, Dr. Kleiner recommends Usana’s  MyHealthpak Beauty Edition and the Sense Skin care line for strong hair, nails, vision and healthy skin.

The MyHealthpak Beauty Edition contains;

– Procosa a non-  animal based version of chondontrin which is an anti –
inflammatory and important for skin health
– CoQ 100 important for maintaining metabolic function as we age
– Visionex for healthy eyes – the highest concentration of lutein is in the eye  Adequate amounts help prevent macular degeneration and
loss of vision
– Proflavanol C 200- A hybrid formula patented by USANA that provides the cells with optimal  bioflavanoids and C for the skin which has many demands placed upon it and has a high cell turnover.
– The topical nutrition that Sense skin care provides in the form of DSR
technology, Regenisomes, Proflavanol – T, Proteo – C help repair the skin.
The packaging is designed to not attract bacteria that can turn into
inflammation or acne.



Be sure to eat High Fiber foods daily such as carrots,winter
squash, dates, tomatoes, romaine, Bibb or Boston lettuce, whole grains
and cereals, fresh fruit with skin on it like apples, pears, fruit juices with the pulp, cabbage, yams and sweet potatoes. Feeding your skin with foods rich in anti oxidants such as almonds, dark chocolate, tomatoes, and rich in omega 3 fatty acids are a must. And don’t forget the pickl



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