For some Amway scientists, their “lab” might be a farm in Asia, the halls of academia, fjords in Norway, a trade show in France or a TED talk in New York.
It’s all about Open Innovation, a non-traditional approach to new product development that has been used at Amway since 2005. It’s built around the idea that new technologies can come from beyond the four walls of a laboratory.
Our Open Innovations team canvasses the planet for what team leader David Groh calls “the game-changers” – things like plants, proteins and prototypes with the potential to transform existing Amway products … or trigger completely new ones.
“We find some pretty amazing technologies out there,” Groh says. “But the bottom line is whatever we bring home and pitch as ‘product potential’ must meet the needs of our customers.”
Last week Dr. Sam Rehnborg, Carl’s son and president of the Nutrilite Health Institute, went back to China to attend a groundbreaking for a new research and development facility in Wuxi, China.
The Amway China Botanical Research Center will focus on traditional Chinese medicine, conducting research on organic farming and the health and beauty benefits of the extracts from Chinese herbal medicine.
The center will be built on 115 acres and include a research lab, a high-end greenhouse and a section that will be open to the public to demonstrate our “Seed to Supplement” method and our organic farming practices.
Part of the ceremony included burying a timecapsule with the placement of the cornerstone. That time capsule is slated to be opened on the 100th anniversary of Nutrilite. So, check back in 2034! Check out a few more photos from the event at our Nutrilite Facebook page.
Successful aging means preserving your capacity to function and enjoying good health. Your nutritional status is a key predictor in that.
A diet for successful aging begins with nutrient dense foods. This helps maintain a healthy weight and provides vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It also limits the amount of added sugars, refined grains and saturated fats.
So, what should be on your plate? Here are five tips:
Fill half with fruits and vegetables:Strive for at least five servings of fruits and veggies daily. That’s easy to do when half your plate is filled with brightly colored vegetables like tomatoes and broccoli or deeply-colored fruits like berries. Produce packs in vitamins, minerals and fiber but also phytonutrients that may help slow the aging process.
Fill one-quarter with lean proteins: Good examples are fish, poultry, lean beef, low-fat dairy products, beans or tofu.
Fill one quarter with whole or enriched grains: Fortified cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and whole grain breads are good choices.
Choose your drink wisely: Fluids like water and low-fat milk should be your primary beverages.
Consider supplements: The vast majority of adults do not meet 100% of their nutrient requirements. Consider a broad-based vitamin and mineral supplement as well as antioxidants, phytonutrients, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.
Aging is unavoidable, but by choosing your foods and supplements wisely, you can do your best to age successfully!
Did you know that Amway products are used on ALL seven continents? Yes, Amway products are even used in Antarctica!
Amway China equips the crew of the Xue Long (or Snow Dragon) with personal care items and NUTRILITE supplements to prepare them for their more than five-month stay at the South Pole.
Because of the temperature conditions, vegetables can only last for 15 days. “Many team members could not get sufficient vitamin intake,” said Wang Jianzhong, captain of the Xue Long. “Amway NUTRILTE products have helped us a lot.”
Since 2002, the China polar scientific expedition team has been provided with NUTRILITE, personal care and homecare products corteousy of Amway China. Here’s what the crew has access to:
NUTRILITE: Protein Powder, Cal Mag, Natural B Complex, Wheat Germ E, Bio C Plus, Double X and Fruit & Vegetable Fiber
PERSONAL CARE: Body Shampoo, Refreshing Body Shampoo, Glister Fluoride Toothpaste, White Tea Toothpaste and Satinique 2 in 1 Shampoo.
HOMECARE: SA8 Delicate Liquid Detergent, SA8 Liquid Laundry Detergent, LOC Condensed Multiple Purpose Cleaner, Condensed Kitchen Scouring Agent, Condensed Dish Drops, Condensed Air Refresher and AS8 Laundry Powder Detergent.
Have you brought Amway products to interesting places? Share your experience in the comments below! And see a few more photos at our Nutrilite Facebook page.
You’ve heard us talk about “seed to supplement.” Well, here is the seed-to-supplement trail of our acerola cherries, the vitamin C-rich fruit used in our products.
An acerola seedling is carefully selected because agricultural research has shown that it will produce the most vitamin C per cherry.
The seedling is cared for in a greenhouse nursery until it has a strong enough stem and root system to be planted in the ground. It is kept moist and cool and protected from the hot sun.
The ground is prepared with fresh compost, weeded and the irrigation is set up to create the perfect home for the seedling in an orchard of its sisters and brothers.
The seedling is lined up exactly with its neighbors so that irrigation can supply just the right amount of water directly to the base of the tree every morning. (Sprinkler irrigation also helps conserve water while giving our plants the most nourishment.)
Every day the young tree grows, until blossoms appear. The bees on our organic farms come buzzing and, along with the local winds, help pollination.
The first small green cherries appear, and the workers start measuring them.
When the cherries are at their largest green state, about the size of a nickel and just before they start to turn color, they are harvested and transported to the on-site processing plant.
At the plant, the cherries are loaded onto a conveyor belt where they are rinsed and milled into small pieces.
The cherry pieces are ground in to a pulp and put into a water extraction process to get our acerola juice concentrate.
The concentrate liquid goes through a spray dryer, and we are left with a beautiful fine powder of 100% acerola concentrate.
The powder is packaged in sealed drums and shipped out to be used in Nutrilite products.
So, next time you take your daily vitamin C tablet, you can picture the path it took before it reached you — seed to supplement! (You also can see photos of the cherries at different stages of growth at our Nutrilite Facebook page.)
Proper nutrition is a key part of achieving your optimal health, But if you’re a runner, it is essential, especially on race day. It’s the fuel that makes your body go. We asked Amway Principal Scientist Dr. Kerry Grann to share some nutrition tips specifically for runners:
Fuel your body with carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the number one nutrient as they help maintain adequate blood sugar levels and act as a fuel for your muscles. One to four hours before a race, all runners should eat meals that provide about 0.5-1.8 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. For a runner weighing 140 pounds, that means consuming between 70 to 252 grams of carbohydrates.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Keeping yourself hydrated during the run is critical to your performance. The amount of fluid lost during exercies varies greaty by individual. The goal is to lose as little body weight as possible during an event. Some commonly used rules of thumb: Depending on your body weight, drink about 16 ounces of fluid 2-4 hours before the event and another 8-16 ounces 15-20 minutes before the race. During the event you should aim for 6-12 ounces every 15-20 minutes. After, drink 24 ounces for each lost pound of body weight.
Protein for muscle maintenance and recovery
Athletes need about twice the amount of protein in their diet compared to non-athletes. This is to ensure there are adequate amino acids available for proper muscle maintenance and recovery. A good range for athletes is 0.5-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day. While proper nutrition before and during the race is mostly about carbohydrates and keeping yourself hydrated, after the race be sure to include some protein into your next snack or meal.
Balance is key
Fat content in your diet should be moderate and comprise 20-35% of calories per day. A good way to ensure an intake of healthy fats to cook with and eat more plant-based foods like nuts, avocados, olive oil, etc.
As training for your next 10K or marathon approaches, remember these tips for a healthy run!
Scientists have long told us one of the best ways to stay our healthiest is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but the thinking on exactly how plant-based nutrients work in our bodies has changed over time.
For example, scientists once thought that antioxidants acted like fire fighters inside our bodies, extinguishing the fires free radicals ignited. The early thinking was that the more antioxidants we consumed, the stronger our defenses would be.
Today, scientists think of antioxidants as triggering the body’s own internal fire alarm, alerting the body to turn on its own defense system against the fires ignited by free radicals.
Nutrition researchers around the world now are pressing to identify what specific fruit- and vegetable-based nutrients most effectively strengthen antioxidant defense mechanisms. But what is clear from a preponderance of evidence is that they do play a key role in our health.
A recent news article, however, focused on the old thinking about how antioxidants work. Dr. Keith Randolph, nutrition technology strategist at the Nutrilite Health Institute, said the author used the outdated view of antioxidants to make his case against antioxidant supplements and other kinds of dietary supplementation.
“A more complete review of the scientific data would conclude that there remains a sound and healthy rationale for vitamin and mineral supplementation for most people,” Dr. Randolph said.
You can read more about Dr. Randolph’s response to the news article here.
People are living longer, but not necessarily healthier, according to a study featured in the July 10 edition of the Wall Street Journal. It’s precisely why Keith Randolph, technology strategist for the Nutrilite Health Institute, thinks that people need to shift from a focus on lifespan to a lesser known term – healthspan.
“Whereas our ability to influence lifespan beyond global trends is somewhat limited, we have a lot of control over the quality of our health (healthspan) during the time that we’re given,” Randolph said.
According to Randolph, there is a very big difference between not being sick and being optimally healthy. Optimal health is your own individual standard of the best health that you can possibly have given your unique situation. The great thing about optimal health is that it’s within everyone’s reach, through regular physical activity and sound nutritional habits that include a lot of plant foods — fruits and vegetables.
“We each make choices every day about how we move our body and what we eat. Though simple, they are not always easy choices. We need to think about those choices as tiny investments in our optimal health,” Randolph said. “There are big payoffs in healthspan that come from small daily health investments.”
Randolph is an internationally known speaker on the topics of health and supplementation. Earlier this year, Amway honored him with induction into the company’s new R&D Distinguished Scientific Leadership Society – the highest honor bestowed by the R&D division.
Amway and our distributors have always focused on three ways to benefit others — with gifts of time, talent and treasure. In 2013, some of the largest U.S. companies will follow our example.
A recent article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy projects modest increases in corporate cash giving with more emphasis on other giving options, such as employee volunteerism and product donations. (The article is available online to subscribers only, but a PDF of the printed article is available here Chronicle of Philanthropy – Amway.) The information comes from a recent Chronicle survey of major U.S. corporate donors that included 106 of the 300 biggest companies as ranked by Fortune.
We’re very pleased to tell you that Amway, Nutrilite and NUTRILITE™ LITTLE BITS™ supplement is featured in the article as an example of this trend of leveraging corporate talent and expertise to solve world issues and support nonprofits: “Amway, a direct-sales company, has created a new product, NUTRILITE LITTLE BITS supplement, solely for philanthropic purposes. The product, a powder full of micronutrients that parents can sprinkle on food, reduces stunting and anemia in children who suffer from chronic malnutrition. It is currently in use in Mexico and Zambia.”
Developed by researchers at Amway and Nutrilite, LITTLE BITS is designed to be part of an integrated health program to combat malnutrition. We’re proud to be helping children live better lives with the hope that they will grow to enjoy a healthy adulthood.
If you talk to one of our researchers about the science behind NUTRILITE™ products, the term “bioassay” will undoubtedly come up. That’s because without them we wouldn’t be able to deliver the quality products you’ve come to expect from us. But what is a bioassay, really?
According to the dictionary, it is the “determination of the biological activity or potency of a substance, as a vitamin or hormone, by testing its effect on the growth of an organism.”
So, a bioassay is a biological test. It uses live cells to test plants for a biological activity that would be beneficial to health. Conducting these bioassays lets us measure the activity of phytonutrients found in plant concentrates in conditions similar to those found in the human body.
We’ve been conducting bioassays for years, using the best of science to bring out the best of nature. We have been able to find new uses for plants by doing these tests. Also, testing a range of botanical samples lets us choose the best plant extract for a particular problem. It’s one step in the seed-to-supplement process that differentiates Nutrilite from our competitors.
Want to know more about bioassays? Watch this video.
Disclaimer: The authors of these blogs are Amway employees. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily reviewed in advance by anyone but the individual author. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the view of Amway or any other person or company.