Frequently Asked Questions • Akea Essentials
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- What is Essentials?
- What is the difference between Akea and other nutritional companies?
- Why was Essentials created?
- Why is Essentials fermented?
- Does fermenting the ingredients make them easier or more difficult to digest?
- What is the shelf life of Essentials?
- Does Essentials need to be refrigerated?
- Why is Essentials provided in powdered form as opposed to a capsule or liquid?
- When I mix Essentials with juice, what is the stuff at the bottom/top of the glass?
- Are the probiotics in Essentials coated or protected to survive the hydrochloric acid in the stomach? I heard that stomach acid can kill probiotics.
- The probiotics, enzymes and minerals in Essentials are not labeled as organic. How are they obtained?
- What is the source of the probiotics that are included in Akea Essentials?
- How do the probiotics in Akea Essentials stay alive?
- How can the probiotics stay alive being exposed to heat during shipping and over a long period of time, considering a two year shelf life?
- Is dairy used during the production of the probiotics?
- Is Essentials considered raw?
- What is the source of the enzymes that are included in Akea Essentials?
- Where are the ingredients grown?
- Juice products vs. Essentials
- What’s the difference between a green food supplement and Essentials?
- How does Essentials compare to other nutritional supplements (nutrition)?
- How does Essentials compare to other nutritional supplements (cost)?
- What is the pH of Essentials?
- What is Essentials’ ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value?
- Is Essentials FDA Approved?
- How does Essentials go from its natural food state to a powder? Does it go through some sort of chemical process to get into a powder form?
- Where is Essentials manufactured?
- Can I buy Essentials in health food stores?
- What if I order Essentials and it doesn’t work for me?
- How much should I take? Is it OK to take more than is recommended on the container?
- When should I take Essentials?
- Should I take Essentials with or without other food?
- Can I drink Essentials in coffee or tea?
- What do you mean by absorption and bioavailability?
- Is Essentials a meal replacement?
- Does Essentials have side effects?
- Does Essentials cause any digestion problems or discomfort?
- Is Essentials safe for kids? How much?
- Is Essentials 100 percent vegetarian?
- Is Essentials organic?
- Is Essentials gluten-free?
- How can Essentials be gluten free when it contains grains and oats?
- Are there any allergens in Essentials?
- Are there any tree nuts or tree nut derivatives in Essentials?
- What sweeteners/sugars does Essentials use? Are they natural?
- What vegetables are included in Essentials?
- What fruits are included in Essentials?
- How many servings of fruits and vegetables do I get taking Essentials?
- What herbs and/or spices are included in Essentials?
- What whole grains are in Essentials?
- What are beta glucans and why are they in Essentials?
- What are phytonutrients?
- What are probiotics? Which ones are included in Essentials?
- What are enzymes? Which ones are in Essentials?
- Why does Essentials contain enzymes?
- What are superfoods? Which ones are included in Essentials?
- What is cacao?
- What is turmeric?
- What is ginseng?
- What is goji berry?
- What are micro-algae chlorella and spirulina?
- What is resveratrol?
- In the ingredients list, under Enzyme Composition, “Nattozymes” includes a trademark symbol. What exactly is NattozymesTM?
- What vitamins are contained in Essentials and do they meet RDA requirements?
- Why aren’t the daily amounts of vitamins and minerals listed on the label?
- Should I continue to take my multi-vitamin?
- Does Essentials contain vitamin K?
- Why do I need minerals for good health? Which minerals are in Essentials?
- What are the sources of the minerals?
- I am currently taking a high quality green supplement. Should I continue or stop taking it?
- If I take Essentials, do I need to take anything else?
- Is Essentials safe to take with prescription medications?
- I currently take medications for my chronic condition. If I take Essentials, should I stop taking those medications?
- Will Essentials prevent, cure, or eliminate this chronic condition?
- I’ve heard that people lose weight on Essentials. Any advice on how to take Essentials for weight loss?
- What does “Hot Spot Healthy” mean?
- There are other places in the world where people live very long and healthy lives. Why does Akea only list nine?
- I heard the FDA will soon be regulating all nutritional supplements prior to 1994 (DSHEA). Can you provide more details?
- Can I get a list of the amount of each ingredient?
- I heard that fermentation feeds parasites.
- Is Essentials heated? If so, to what temperature?
- Why not keep the ingredients live and raw?
- What is the packet inside the can?
- The ingredients in Essentials look great, and I have experienced great results. However, this is anecdotal. What can you provide in the way of hard science?
Essentials is a high-performance therapeutic food. Its components work together, in synergy, to activate the major physiologic processes of the body:
- The probiotics prepare the body to digest and assimilate food efficiently.
- The enzymes activate digestion.
- Fermentation enhances the synergy of the ingredients and delivers enhanced health benefits. Fermentation improves the body’s ability to absorb and assimilate nutrients (bioavailability) and introduces probiotics, the good bacteria essential for healthy digestion.
- The complexity of the whole-foods matrix in Essentials enhances the ability of the genome to adapt to changes in the environment.
- The herbal elements can help modulate the inflammatory system.
Read the full list of ingredients here.
Akea is a lifestyle wellness company. The primary difference between Akea and other companies is that Akea has studied the world’s healthiest people (those living in Longevity Hot Spots) and has developed a lifestyle wellness program that is easy for those with a busy schedule to incorporate into their daily lives. The daily education for the first 60 days takes 10 minutes or less, including the daily videos. Essentials–our whole food, organic, fermented nutritional supplement–was created to support those with busy lives, enabling them to easily and conveniently incorporate fermented foods consumed by the healthiest people on the planet into their daily lives. The main differentiator between Essentials and other nutritional supplements is that Essentials is a fermented, organic, plant-based whole food. The vast majority of nutritional supplements on the market are synthetic, or at the very least, contain synthetics. Second, Essentials includes the specific foods consumed by the world’s healthiest people. Third, Essentials is organic (96%), vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and GMO free. The only ingredients that are not organic are those for which there is no organic certification, such as probiotics, enzymes and minerals. And last, but probably most importantly, Essentials is fermented. The process of fermentation breaks down the nutrition so it becomes highly bioavailable to the body. Please review the following for details on Fermentation and other differentiators:
Essentials was created to bridge the nutritional gap between the Standard American Diet (SAD) and what individuals in Longevity Hot Spots have consumed for millennia. When you take Essentials as recommended, you give your body the nutritional support to help you reach optimal health—the kind of health enjoyed by hot spot residents.
Essentials is fermented to maximize absorption of the nutrition. The fermentation process begins to break down the nutrients making them easier for the body to digest and assimilate. A good analogy is milk and yogurt. Most people who are allergic to milk can have yogurt with no ill effects. Why? After all what is Yogurt? Fermented milk. The process of fermenting the milk breaks down the nutrition making it easier for the body to absorb. Humans have utilized fermentation to preserve and optimize the nutritional value of food since we have been on the planet. Fifty years ago, with the introduction of modern refrigeration and chemical preservatives, we interrupted the habit of canning fruits and vegetables so we would have something to eat over the winter. In so doing, we mitigated the consumption of fermented foods and deprived our body from of the essential benefits that can only be attained through the consumption of fermented foods. Here are some of the benefits of consuming fermented foods:
- Probiotics predigest food, taking macro molecules of food turning them into micro molecules that can be consumed by our cells.
- Probiotics also configure the nutritional molecules contained in food into the right size, shape and form to fit into receptors on the surface of the cells, allowing activation of these receptors; in other words, turn on the cells.
- Fermentation creates hundreds of nutritional metabolites not in the original food. This greatly magnifies the nutritional density of the food. Fermentation provides the body with nutritional metabolites that cannot be attained through any other means. The body’s access to these nutritional metabolites is essential for optimal biologic function.
Fermentation makes foods much easier to digest. Please see our page on fermentation here.
Essentials is a very stable nutritional supplement and is best used within two years of purchase. Because it is live food, it should be stored in a cool, dry place.
For maximum freshness, once opened, refrigeration is appropriate.
If Essentials was encapsulated it would take 22, 500mg capsules per scoop, so the daily recommendation of 2 scoops would equate to 44, 500mg capsules per day. That’s a lot of great high quality nutrition, but no one would choose to take 44 capsules a day. The powder mixes easily in a variety of juices, flavored water and smoothies. Check out recipes for mixers and smoothies here.
Essentials is a whole food, meaning it contains all the vitamins, minerals, fiber and co-factors that naturally exist in the whole plant. Any product that is comprised of a blend of whole food ingredients will inevitably result in some visual residue that appears on the bottom of the bottle. This separation is completely normal. Simply shake well and drink immediately. Think of the difference between whole pulverized apples (apple sauce) and apple juice. If there’s no sediment a lot of nutrition has been extracted. Read the full list of ingredients here.
Are the probiotics in Essentials coated or protected to survive the hydrochloric acid in the stomach? I heard that stomach acid can kill probiotics.
Some people believe that probiotics taken in supplement form are destroyed by hydrochloric acid in the stomach. We believe this concept originates with some probiotic manufacturers who manufacturer proprietary capsules that are said to be resilient enough to make it through the harsh stomach acid to the colon. If this were true, how would we ever get probiotics into our digestive tract? We get our probiotics from food. We ingest living probiotics from a variety of foods that we eat like yogurt and pickled vegetables. The majority of our probiotics live in our colons. If stomach acid destroys probiotics, how would they make it all the way through the digestive tract (and stomach) to the colon? Physicians commonly recommend eating yogurt after taking antibiotics to replenish our probiotics. This would be ineffective if they were killed in the stomach. We believe live probiotics DO make their way through the stomach to the small and large intestines. Additionally, a UCSF (University of California San Francisco) study found that probiotics don’t even need to be alive to have an effect, since they have an immunostimulative role (like dead viruses used for a vaccine).
The probiotics, enzymes and minerals in Essentials are not labeled as organic. How are they obtained?
There is no true classification for “organic” probiotics, enzymes and/or minerals. The probiotics and enzymes used in Essentials are sourced from one of the world’s leader in enzyme and probiotic production. Similarly, there is no organic certification for minerals as they are a natural substance.
The probiotics and enzymes in Essentials are sourced from one of the world’s leaders in enzyme production.
The probiotics in Akea Essentials are produced by cryo-freezing and freeze drying under tightly controlled conditions. The cryo-freezing process maintains and preserves the integrity of the bacterial cells, while freeze drying then removes any remaining moisture through evaporation, which increases the stability of the cultures. We include enough live cultures to assure a count of 3,000,000,000 per serving through the “use by” date on the can.
How can the probiotics stay alive being exposed to heat during shipping and over a long period of time, considering a two year shelf life?
We are experiencing tremendous results with Essentials all over the country, so we are very pleased with the efficacy of our product. Heat is introduced during the process of fermentation, therefore any additional heat exposure during shipping can only possibly effect the ingredients added after fermentation, which are probiotics and enzymes. For living organisms such as probiotics to be affected, the temperature would need to be over 114 degrees, which would rarely happen, if ever. Additionally, a UCSF (University of California San Francisco) study found that probiotics do not need to be alive to have an effect, since they have an immunostimulative role (like dead viruses used for a vaccine).
No. The probiotics used in Essentials are grown in a non-dairy medium. Essentials is completely dairy free.
Essentials is fermented, which requires heat, so it is not considered to be raw. We believe the process of fermentation increases the nutritional value of the foods in Essentials.
Essentials contains plant based enzymes which are created as a byproduct of fermentation.
Our manufacturer is a US company and has thousands of acres of organic farmland in the Midwest and California. The vast majority of ingredients are grown here in the US, and some are sourced abroad from time to time depending on growing seasons and availability. Some of the more exotic ingredients such as goji, for example, are grown outside the US.
Fresh juice from fruits and vegetables are filled with very healthy nutrition such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Unfortunately, the vast majority of juice on the market is pasteurized, which is detrimental to the valuable nutrition. Additionally, the average serving (1/2 cup) of fruit juice contains around 30 grams of carbohydrates, which can elevate blood sugar and contribute to weight gain. Essentials, by comparison, is a whole food containing the entire scope of nutrition including fiber and important co-factors. The best analogy is to consider a juicer vs. a blender. Think of an apple. Let’s say you put the apple in the juicer, what will you have? Apple juice. What is missing? A lot of fiber, vitamins, mineral, antioxidants and other vital nutrition. Now let’s say you put the apple in the blender and liquefy it. Now you have the complete nutrition of the apple. In making Essentials, we start with over 30 fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, etc., and we wash them, dehydrate them (extract the water), then we grind it down to a powder, add minerals, ferment, add active enzymes and probiotics, and package for use. The majority of the valuable nutrition is still intact.
Although Essentials contains green superfoods, it is not specifically a green superfood product. Essentials contains fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, beta glucans, minerals, enzymes and probiotics. It is also fermented, and most green superfoods are not fermented. Please read: (1) Why is Essentials fermented?, and (2) How does Essentials compare to other nutritional supplements (nutrition)?
Essentials is the only Organic, Fermented, Whole Food nutritional supplement derived from the diets of the healthiest people on earth. The vast majority of nutritional supplements on the market are synthetic, meaning their ingredients were manufactured in a laboratory rather than grown on a farm. Even the vast majority of “Whole Food” nutritional supplements contain synthetic ingredients along with the “whole food” ingredients and most are not organic or fermented. When comparing Essentials to other nutritional supplements, you must consider three primary factors:
- Whole Food: The ingredients in Essentials are derived from “whole foods”, which means that the ingredients were not created in a laboratory and pressed out millions per day on a conveyor. The ingredients were once a seed which was planted into the ground, nurtured, harvested, taken to market, cleaned, dehydrated, etc.
- Organic: The ingredients in Essentials are organic, which means that they are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, bioengineering or ionizing radiation, and the farmers use renewable resources and conserve soil and waste. If you’ve ever purchased organic produce at the grocery store, I’m sure you are aware of the dramatic difference in cost. Typically, producing organic fruits and vegetables over conventional produce adds approximately 30% to the overall cost.
- Fermented: Ingredients in Essentials have been fermented for maximum bioavailability. The process of fermentation is delicate, and requires very specialized equipment and a great deal of expertise.
Comparing cost per gram there is no organic, completely whole food nutritional supplement (no synthetics, fillers or sweeteners) on the market that has a lower price per gram for nutrition delivered. Akea Essentials is also fermented, which adds an additional layer of expense. Essentials delivers 11 grams of nutrition in every scoop and contains no synthetics, sweeteners or binders, all of which are very inexpensive to produce. We recommend two scoops daily which equates to 22 grams of nutrition per day. If Essentials were delivered in capsule form it would require 42 capsules daily. There is really no comparable product on the market. Products that are “whole food” usually suggest taking 2 to 4 capsules once or twice daily. This equates to around 1-4 grams of nutrition per day compared to 11-22 grams of nutrition with Essentials. Once volume of nutrition is considered, Essentials is clearly the better value. We have nothing more valuable than our health but it’s important to spend our dollars on health wisely. All things considered, Essentials is a great value when compared with either actual food or “comparable” nutritional supplementation. Akea provides a referral program called 3 and Yours is FREE which allows customer/participants to earn their product free of charge for simply referring other customers/participants. Simply have three friends join you on the BluePrint JumpStart and your monthly supply of Essentials will be free each and every month they continue to participate. This is an attractive option for many.
Akea Essentials has a pH of 8.53.
Essentials was not created specifically to be a high ORAC product although it has a fairly high ORAC simply because it contains very nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. Some companies play an ORAC game of “how high can we go”. However, most recent studies show that extremely high ORAC products reach a point of diminished returns and can even be counterproductive for health, since we actually need some free radicals in our immune system. Additionally, some antioxidants in supplement form are not natural (synthetic) and can become free radicals themselves, which does not happen when consumed from whole food form (an antioxidant becomes a free radical as soon as it donates its electron to neutralize another free radical. Another antioxidant then comes along and neutralizes the new free radical, and so on in a chain. In a food, the antioxidant power will happen and then it will all get neutralized). However, there is no research suggesting the same of high ORAC food. As per usual, if it’s something that would be part of a natural diet, it’s almost certain to be healthy. Each scoop of Essentials has an ORAC of approximately 1250, so two scoops would be around 2500. Where Essentials differs from most HIGH ORAC products is that Essentials is not an isolated nutrient such as a synthetic vitamin supplement or juice. It is estimated that average ORAC in the Hot Spots range between 10,000 to 15,000. The RDA recommend daily ORAC amount is 3500-6000.
Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), dietary supplement manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement is safe before it is marketed. There is no FDA requirement to register products with the FDA nor get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements. Manufacturers must make sure that the product label information is truthful and not misleading, and the FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement. The FDA does regulate the types of claims that can be made about supplements and food. One serving of Essentials qualifies for the FDA’s “heart health” claim.
How does Essentials go from its natural food state to a powder? Does it go through some sort of chemical process to get into a powder form?
When the foods (fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains etc.) arrive at the manufacturing facility, they are cleaned and dehydrated , which is a process of evaporating the water from the plant material. Then the foods are put through a mesh at our specification of fineness. Then the ingredients that are fermented are put into the fermentation vat to be fermented. After fermentation, the probiotics, minerals and enzymes are added and the material is put into the container. Essentials is plant foods that are dehydrated, turned into powder, fermented and packaged. Of course there are no chemicals used in the process.
The manufacturing facility is in the US, and the vast majority of ingredients are sourced from organic farmland in the mid-west United States and California. Some ingredients are sourced outside the US. Goji, for example, does not grow in the US.
Akea is not simply in the nutritional supplementation business. Akea’s mission is to foster a global community dedicated to the health and wellbeing of all participants. In offering Essentials, we do everything we can to keep costs low. Selling direct is the most efficient method. Our goal is to make Essentials cost effective so the benefits can be experienced by as many people as possible.
Akea’s guarantee is as follows: For the initial order of Essentials only, Akea will refund up to 100% of the purchase price of two cans of Essentials (excluding shipping and handling), no questions asked, provided the refund is requested within 60 days of the initial order. On any Essentials order after the initial order, Akea will refund 100% of the purchase price of the product (excluding shipping and handling), provided the product is returned to Akea unopened and in re-sellable condition within 60 days of your order. A return processing fee will be charged ($9 per container of Essentials; $6 per box of Essentials). Refunds will be issued after the product(s) are received in re-sellable condition by Akea. Click here for details.
We recommend mixing Essentials in a liquid of your choice or blending into a smoothie. Essentials does not contain sweeteners or flavorings and has a neutral, natural flavor that takes on the taste of whatever you mix it in. If mixing with liquid such as water or juice we recommend using 8-12 oz. of liquid followed by additional water. If mixing in juice, it is recommended to dilute with water since fruit juice can spike blood sugar. For diabetics and those wishing to lose weight, this is especially important. Pour just a couple of ounces of juice in the BlenderBottle and fill the rest with water. This will be enough juice for flavoring without the additional unwanted calories and spike in blood sugar.
Two scoops (22 grams) is recommended as the optional daily dosage. Since Essentials is a whole food, individuals can take as much as desired.
Ideally Essentials should be taken in two separate servings; one, first thing in the morning and the second, mid- to late afternoon. Two separate servings are recommended; however, they can be combined into one serving if a second serving time is not possible. Follow by drinking an additional 8-16 ounces of water if taking two scoops at once.
Essentials can be taken either with food or away from food. Vitamin pills are suggested to be taken with food because they are void of certain co-factors required to assimilate the nutrition, and synthetic B vitamins can be harsh on the stomach especially taken away from food. Essentials is fermented whole food nutrition and does not have to be taken with food.
Essentials mixes well in most any liquid; however, it is not recommended to mix Essentials in hot beverages (over 114 degrees) as the high temperature may degrade the living probiotics.
Human nutrition is affected by the body’s ability to absorb the food, as well as by the bioavailability of the food. Absorption rates may be better or worse, depending upon the individual’s capacity to absorb nutrients—which can be determined by the condition of the digestive tract and other factors. Bioavailability is a function of the nutritional element—how ready it is to be digested and assimilated by the body. Essentials creates the right environment for optimal digestion and provides the nutritional substrate in the optimal form to be digested and assimilated.
Essentials contains less than 50 calories per serving, with only two grams of protein and virtually no fat. Essentials is micronutrient dense (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients), not macronutrient dense (carbs, proteins and fats). By adding high quality fat such as avocado, flaxseed or coconut and protein such as brown rice protein, pea protein, or hemp protein powder, you’ll enjoy a highly nutritious, high quality, convenient meal.
Fiber in the digestive tract can have varying effects depending on the individual. For some, the bowels may slow, while others might experience a slight laxative effect. This is a normalization process that should moderate over the course of several days. Be sure to drink plenty of fresh water in addition to other healthy beverages. Also for those who are not accustomed to eating fruits, there can be an adjustment period in which it may be best to add Essentials slowly and gradually.
Essentials helps maintain healthy digestion. The soluble fiber in Essentials adds bulk to assist movement through the digestive tract. Drink plenty of water to ensure proper hydration and to avoid any slowing of the bowels due to this increased fiber. In some rare circumstances, individuals predisposed to upper GI issues may experience minor heartburn when taking Essentials. Should you experience this symptom, reduce the dosage and then increase it slowly to allow your body to get used to the quality nutrition found in Essentials. Immediately consult your physician if you experience a negative reaction to Essentials. Akea encourages you to consider any diet or nutrition program as an adjunct to a doctor’s care.
Essentials is a whole food, so there is no problem giving it to children. Graduated dosages should be considered for children. Children over 12 can enjoy one scoop a day while Children under 12 may enjoy 1/2 scoop a day with their favorite juice. Toddlers may enjoy a third of a scoop a day.
Akea uses the freshest and very best ingredients available. Essentials contains just over 90% organic ingredients.
The FDA recommends no more than 20 PPM (parts per million) for products to be considered gluten free. Every production of Essentials is tested for gluten and every production has been under 20 PPM. We find that the majority of people with celiac disease (or gluten intolerance) do well on Essentials. However, as with any medical condition, please check with your physician.
To be considered gluten free a product must be below 20PPM (parts per million). We test every production run of Essentials, and Essentials has always tested below 20PPM.
Essentials contains NO soy, yeast, egg, preservatives, MSG, glutamate derivatives, artificial flavoring, salt, starch, dairy and is GMO free. Nevertheless, individuals can be allergic to virtually anything. If you think you are having an allergic reaction to something in Essentials, stop taking the product immediately. If you are having difficulty breathing, call 911 and get immediate medical attention. If you believe you are having some other reaction and it causes you concern, please discontinue use and seek immediate medical attention.
There are no tree nuts or tree nut derivatives in Essentials.
No sugars or sweeteners are added to Essentials.
Beet juice powder, organic sweet potato, organic Brussels sprouts, organic chicory, organic broccoli sprouts, organic green cabbage, organic kale, organic spinach, organic okra, organic red cabbage.
Organic pomegranate, organic cranberry, organic mango, organic grape, organic papaya, goji berry, organic blueberry, organic noni, apricot and elderberry.
Our daily recommendation of 2 servings (scoops) of Essentials has the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) or antioxidant equivalent of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables as well as the probiotics of 6 servings of yogurt, the Oat Beta Glucans of 8 servings of oatmeal and the resveratrol of 28 glasses of red wine.
Organic chicory, organic turmeric, organic parsley, organic cinnamon, ginger and organic ginseng.
Whole grains are grains that have not had any of the vitamins, minerals, or fiber removed. (Refined grains have had any or all of these elements removed.)
Essentials contains soluble dietary fiber, organic gluten-free amaranth, organic gluten-free quinoa, organic gluten-free millet, organic gluten-free buckwheat, organic gluten-free chia, plus organic whole oat bran with powerful beta glucans.
Beta glucans are polysaccharides. They occur most commonly as cellulose in plants, the bran of grains, the cell wall of bakers’ yeast, certain fungi, mushrooms, and bacteria. Beta glucans have been shown to be very supportive to the immune system. Studies have found they have a role in balancing blood sugar and regulating blood lipids as well as providing a host of additional positive effects on health.
Phytonutrients are nutrients contained within plants. They have been shown to be very beneficial to a wide variety of biological processes. Many pharmaceuticals use phytochemicals as models upon which drugs are designed and produced. When you consume the phytonutrient in its natural state, as you do with Essentials, the plant source still contains all the surrounding molecules that help modulate the effects of the photochemical. This benefit is why herbal and nutritional medicine has very few side effects when taken properly.
Probiotics mean “pro-life.” They are, in many ways, the essence of life. These microbes are the only thing in nature with the capacity to turn inorganic elements into organic, life-giving nutrients. Probiotics help your digestive tract digest and absorb food. They are crucial; without probiotics, digestion would be impossible. Essentials uses probiotics in the processing of our nutritional supplement. This unique process puts the supplement in the optimal form for the body to digest and assimilate. Essentials contains the following probiotics: B. bifidum, B. breve, B. longum, L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. paracasei, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, S. thermophilus. These have been shown to be the most beneficial organisms in supporting optimal digestive and overall health. To keep the probiotics alive and functioning, please keep Essentials in a cool, dry place and do not cook foods containing Essentials. Cooking will kill the probiotics.
Enzymes are mainly proteins that catalyze (i.e., increase the rates of) chemical reactions. Almost all processes in a biological cell need enzymes to be present at significant rates. Enzymes are known to catalyze about four thousand biochemical reactions within the body. You need enzymes to assist in the digestion of your food—to break down what you eat to its constituent parts (amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc.). Essentials contains the following enzymes: amylase, lactase, lipase, NattozymesTM, and protease. These enzymes are essential for optimizing the digestive process.
- Protease breaks proteins down to amino acids.
- Amylase breaks starches and carbohydrates down into simple sugars.
- Lipase breaks fats and oils down into fatty acids.
- Lactase breaks down lactose, making it readily absorbed by the body.
- NattozymesTM are enzymes extracted from nattokinase, a protease compound formed during the fermentation process of natto. Natto provides benefits for the circulatory system, such as increasing blood flow. Natto has been shown to be able to breakdown plaque in the vascular system.
Enzymes are added to aid in digestion as well as to aid in the digestion of other foods that are consumed, as most people eat very few live foods.
Superfoods are high-octane, nutrient-dense foods that have been found to be very potent in promoting health. Essentials provides the following superfoods in every serving: Beet juice powder, cacao, Reishi mycelia, goji berry, ginseng, red wine extract, sweet potato, turmeric, noni, elderberry, green tea extract, ginger, gluten-free buckwheat, blueberry, apricot, Chlorella, Spirulina and resveratrol.
Cacao is the bean from which chocolate is derived. Raw cacao has been found to provide strong health benefits, including powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions. Raw cacao powder contains 955 ORAC units per gram. ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is a rating scale the USDA uses to measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb cell-damaging free radicals. Tryptophan, a naturally occurring substance in cacao, enhances relaxation and promotes better sleep. Researchers have discovered that phenylethylamine (PEA) has a positive effect in enhancing feelings of affection and love. And cacao is an excellent source of PEA. Cacao also contains more magnesium than any other common food. Magnesium is the number one mineral that assists and supports healthy heart functioning. Arginine, the aphrodisiac-like amino acid believed by body builders to build muscle and aid in recovery, also occurs naturally in cacao.
Turmeric is a plant from the ginger family. Various nutritional studies have shown turmeric to have a positive effect on liver and cardiovascular function well as being anti-inflammatory.
Ginseng is an herbal medicine that has been taken for thousands of years as an adaptogen, aphrodisiac, and nourishing stimulant.
Goji berry has been eaten for thousands of years in China and Tibet as a medicinal food. Published studies have reported a wide variety of medicinal benefits of its antioxidant properties.
Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. This form of blue-green, single-celled super-algae offers a concentrated source of complete, balanced protein. Spirulina also offers high levels of the antioxidants beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, plus unique immune-supportive elements. Spirulina has also been shown to offer potent blood-purification properties. It is one of the only sources of the anti-inflammatory, joint-strengthening super Omega-6 fatty acid, GLA (Gamma-linolenic acid). Chlorella is a genus of single-celled green algae. Studies have shown that chlorella has anti-tumor properties in mice. Another study found enhanced vascular function in hypertensive rats who were fed chlorella. Chlorella is a complete protein. It is also packed with calories, fat, and vitamins.
Molybdenum is a trace mineral found in most plant and animal tissues. Molybdenum is an essential cofactor for many of the enzymes involved in protein synthesis and the mobilization of iron use in the body. Molybdenum helps with metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. It plays an important role in the enzyme process for the use of iron in the body, by mobilizing iron from the liver reserves. Molybdenum is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and excreted in the urine. It helps prevent anemia and enhance a general feeling of well-being.
Plants—most famously, grapes—produce resveratrol naturally as a defense against fungi and other threats. In humans, it has shown to be effective in reversing symptoms of aging. It’s believed to be a significant factor behind the French Paradox—why the French can consume diets heavy on calories and saturated fats, yet live longer with a lower incidence of heart disease. The source for the resveratrol in Essentials is Japanese knotweed, which is considered to be the most nutritious source.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Most plants are deficient in one or more amino acids, although quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat are exceptions. They are complete proteins and are all in Essentials. So Essentials contains a complete complement of all amino acids.
In the ingredients list, under Enzyme Composition, “Nattozymes” includes a trademark symbol. What exactly is NattozymesTM?
NattozymesTM is an alternative to nattokinase, a protease compound formed during the soybean fermentation process that is very beneficial for health. Nattokinase is frequently consumed in Okinawa and has been shown to cause a reduction in atherosclerotic plaque.
Essentials is a whole food. It contains all the vitamins and minerals that occur naturally in these fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. RDAs, or recommended daily allowances, are simply generalized measurements of the minimum amounts of nutrients needed—not to be optimally well—but just not to fall ill. The power of Essentials is not so much the gross amount of vitamins and minerals—but it is in the unique manner in which these elements have been combined. Essentials creates a nutritional matrix of profound complexity and bioavailability, meaning the nutrients can go to work for the body almost immediately. In this case, the sum of the parts is much greater than the whole.
The way companies are able to display the exact amounts of each nutrient on the label is because they are synthetic ingredients manufactured to specification in the laboratory. The ingredients in Essentials are food which vary from plant to plant, season to season and from each production run. It would be virtually impossible to list the exact level of each vitamin and mineral for every production run of Essentials.
Akea’s approach with Essentials is philosophically and fundamentally different than the concept of taking high doses of isolated vitamins. Vitamin supplementation was popularized in the 20′s and 30′s based on a couple of factors: one is the concept that nutrition from food contributes greatly to health (which was a new concept at that time) and the other is the discovery that molecules could be isolated from foods and taken in high doses. The thinking was that if vitamin C, for example, is good for you, then high doses of vitamin C will be really good for you. Over time these isolated molecular structures or “isolates” became mass produced by chemical companies rather than extracting the actual molecules from food. Believe it or not, most vitamins today are synthetic and the vast majority are derived from cornstarch, petroleum extracts, coal tar derivatives, and chemically processed sugar.
Fast forward to the present and we have mixed results. There are studies that indicate that high doses of concentrated synthetic vitamins can be effective. However, there are also studies that indicate that the vast majority of vitamin supplements are not absorbed by the body and are simply passed in the urine. There’s an expression that surfaced about a decade ago – “expensive urine” – because people are paying a lot of money for supplements that simply pass through the body without being absorbed. Some studies have indicated that we absorb as little as 5% of these nutrients.
Most recently there have been studies that conclude that not only do we not absorb these synthetics substances very well, but they can actually cause harm. Among others, a very well respected study on vitamin A showed that vitamin A consumed from foods containing high amounts of vitamin A can lower the risk of cancer. However, vitamin A taken in pill form (synthetic) has the opposite effect. It can actually elevate the rate of cancer.
There are two things to consider when discussing the absorption of vitamin supplements. First is that “isolates” are just that; they are isolated molecules. They are isolated from a great deal of other nutrition that we haven’t even begun to understand. All food has other plant chemicals which are loosely referred to as ‘cofactors’ that work synergistically to allow the body to absorb and utilize the nutrition. In nature, vitamins are always bound with cofactors. Vitamin C, for example, is found in fruit along with bioflavonoids. These cofactors enhance the bioavailability of the vitamin – bioflavonoids, for instance, increase the bioavailability of vitamin C by 30 percent. With multi-vitamins these co-factors are absent, which is why it is recommended that multi-vitamins be taken with food. The assumption or hope is that if taken with food, the co-factors in the food will help allow the body to absorb the isolated molecules.
What we have with Essentials, rather than concentrated synthetic molecules, is concentrated Superfoods (actual food.) Many nutritional experts on the cutting edge of nutritional supplementation such as Dr. Maurice Werness and Sally Beare do not prescribe vitamin supplements for their patients. They instead recommend whole food supplementation, unless someone is severely deficient or has a specific “disease” that needs to be addressed. Essentials helps to support a healthy diet by providing supplementation to those who are eating healthy (outlined on the Akea website and BluePrint JumpStart). Taking Essentials to enhance one’s diet is simply a personal choice. The results speak for themselves.
Isolated Vitamin K is not added to Essentials; however, Essentials does contain vitamin K to the extent that vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
Minerals are involved in almost every biological function of the body. The minerals in Essentials are calcium, magnesium, zinc, boron, potassium, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, chromium, iodine, and selenium. Akea included this selection to provide your body with a strong pool of minerals to draw upon. This blend of minerals also encourages your body to draw nutrients deep within its cellular structures.
Calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, potassium chloride, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate ,onohydrate, sodium selenite 1% DCP, chromium chloride hexahydrate, sodium molybdate, dihydrate, and potassium iodide. The difference in the minerals in Essentials compared to most nutritional supplements is that the minerals in Essentials are cultured during the fermentation process. In a nutshell, during the fermentation process microbes ingest the minerals, making them recognizable to the body as food, thereby making them easy to digest. Conversely, non-cultured minerals are very difficult if not impossible to digest.
Essentials is vastly different from a greens-based supplement. Essentials contains a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, beta glucans, minerals, enzymes and probiotics. It is also fermented, and most green superfoods are not fermented. If you like taking a green superfood, continue taking it. However, make certain that it is organic. Whole food nutritional supplements are highly concentrated, which means a non-organic product may contain concentrated amounts of toxicity.
Essentials is perhaps the most comprehensive nutritional matrix ever created. Nevertheless, each of us is biochemically different. There may be individuals in such a depleted state that, in the beginning, additional supplementation may be beneficial. But in the long run, individuals who follow the Akea BluePrint for Life and take Essentials should not need further supplementation.
Essentials is a whole food. It is safe to take with medication. However, if you are taking prescription medication, always check with your physician.
I currently take medications for my chronic condition. If I take Essentials, should I stop taking those medications?
Please do not stop taking medications prescribed by your physician without a physician’s supervision.
We encourage you to seek the advice of your physician regarding any chronic illness or condition. Essentials is a very complete nutritional supplement. Akea designed it to bridge the nutritional gap between the Standard American Diet (SAD) and the diets of individuals living in the Longevity Hot Spots. As part of the Akea community, you are encouraged to adapt the healthy lifestyle and nutrition described in the BluePrint for Life and support your body with Essentials.
I’ve heard that people lose weight on Essentials. Any advice on how to take Essentials for weight loss?
If weight loss is desired, the AkeaBLAST is a very healthy and fast solution to help you achieve your goal. Be sure to take Essentials with water or diluted juice, but NOT with a full serving of fruit juice. When weight loss is desired, you should avoid the extra calories and the blood sugar spike that may result when drinking a large volume of fruit juice.
Hot Spot Healthy means that the product is designed in accordance with the lifestyle and nutritional principles of the people who live in Longevity Hot Spots.
There are other places in the world where people live very long and healthy lives. Why does Akea only list nine?
There are many places where people have very low rates of chronic disease and high rates of longevity. We selected our 9 for a couple of reasons; they are the most well researched and documented and the ones that we are most familiar with as Dr. Werness and Sally Beare have first hand knowledge of most of the ones that we list.
I heard the FDA will soon be regulating all nutritional supplements prior to 1994 (DSHEA). Can you provide more details?
The FDA would like to regulate “supplements” that were developed after 1994 (the year DSHEA was passed), but will have a difficult time doing so. There is a lot of pressure from nutritional supplement manufacturers as well as consumer groups. However, for the moment let’s say the FDA were to regulate nutritional supplements in a similar fashion as they regulate pharmaceuticals. We could tweak Essentials slightly to become a “food” rather than a “supplement”. The only ingredient that makes Essentials a “supplement” is the addition of minerals. Essentials is not a synthetic vitamin pill; it is truly a “whole food” supplement. Several products that we are currently developing can be considered food without subtracting or adding anything to them.
Every ingredient is listed on the packaging and website; however, we do not provide the amount of each ingredient. That essentially would be disclosing our proprietary formula.
To the extent that parasites eat the food that we consume, yes, it feeds parasites, but nothing further. The healthiest people on the planet eat fermented foods with virtually every meal. Fermentation has been shown to break down nutrition so it is more readily absorbed by the cells.
Fermentation requires heat of around 90 degrees Farenheit. Following fermentation, Essentials is heated to 120 degrees to stop the fermentation process.
Fermentation requires heat. The world’s healthiest people consume a fermented food with almost every meal. Essentials is an easy way for people in the US (who consume virtually no fermented foods) to conveniently consume a wide variety of fermented foods.
The packet is an oxygen absorber containing iron which absorbs oxygen. This is included to keep moisture out so the ingredients stay fresh.
The ingredients in Essentials look great, and I have experienced great results. However, this is anecdotal. What can you provide in the way of hard science?
Akea is a wellness company based on five principles that promote health and longevity in the healthiest and longest living people in the world. There is overwhelming anecdotal and scientific evidence that each of the principles we advocate are health- and longevity-promoting. and there is overwhelming scientific evidence that every ingredient in Essentials, as well as the the process in which they were grown and processed, is health-promoting.
|*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.|