Keep Your Heart Healthy

Keeping your heart healthy is a critical aspect of Active Wellness. Cardiovascular disease includes heart attack, stroke or congestive heart failure. 1 A new study shows that one of the main effects of being chronically overweight is that you are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease than those with normal weight. This study is particularly meaningful given that the researchers followed 190,672 participants for at least 10 years and mined the accumulated data. 2

Participants were grouped according to age and weight. After adjusting the data for risk factors such as age, race, ethnicity and smoking status, head research Dr. Sadiya Khan of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and her colleagues found that the higher the BMI (body-mass index), the greater the lifetime risk of some type of cardiovascular event.2

Normal weight and BMI are personal issues and can best be determined with the help of a physician. People at exactly the same height can be at a wide range of weights and still be healthy. Bone structure and musculature may account for much of the variation. Other than staying at a comfortable and healthy personal weight, here are some other tips for heart health:

  1. Aim for seven hours of sleep. According to a study discussed on WebMD, young and middle-aged adults who slept seven hours a night had less calcium in their arteries (an early sign of heart disease) than those who slept five hours or less or nine hours or more. In addition, those who got good-quality sleep had healthier arteries than those who did not sleep soundly.3 Kenko Sleep Products help support restful sleep.
  2. Get your blood pressure checked regularly. The rule of thumb is to get it checked every three to five years if you’re between the ages of 18 and 39; and if you’re 40 or older, to check it annually. If you know you have high blood pressure, definitely check it every year or even more often. Kenzen® Bergisterol™ capsules help support blood pressure that is within normal limits.*
  3. Develop healthy eating habits. Focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein. Limit salt, sugar, saturated fats and alcohol. One of the fastest ways to clean up your diet is to cut out sugary beverages like soda and fruit juice.3 Kenzen Super Ciaga® makes it so easy to quit drinking soda.
  4. Get your blood sugar tested regularly. Millions of people have diabetes and aren’t aware of it until they suffer from a cardiovascular event. Diabetes adds to the risk of heart disease.
  5. Dr. Monika Sanghavi, assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center says, “We now know that even if you exercise for 30 minutes a day, being sedentary for the other 23.5 hours is really bad for your heart.”3 Break up long periods of sitting by standing or walking intermittently.
  6. If you smoke, quit. Don’t replace tobacco with e-cigarettes. They may not have the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, but they still contain nicotine.

Take part in the Super Ciaga® Recipe Contest for a chance to win a six month supply of NEW Kenzen Super Ciaga®!
 We challenge you to come up with your own recipes for Kenzen Super Ciaga® and share them with Nikken. We’re going to pick our favorite submissions and send each winner six months of new Kenzen Super Ciaga® via Autoship. (That’s 12 bottles, a real haul!) There’s no limit to the number of submissions but you only have the month of March to send them. If you send in a photo or video, that increases your chances of winning! Please email submissions to

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*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.





Sleeping Like a Baby is Good for Health

Have you ever wondered why most babies sleep so much? Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This growth hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults.

Sleep plays an important role in our health throughout our lives. For example, sleep is involved in the healing and repair of the heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. 1 There’s nothing fair about it: losing sleep can feel like punishment but to add insult to injury, it even puts us at a higher risk for obesity!

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, one study of teenagers showed that with each hour of sleep lost, the odds of becoming obese increased. Sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity in other age groups as well. Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make us feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When we don’t get enough sleep, our level of ghrelin goes up and our level of leptin goes down. This makes us feel hungrier than when we’re well rested.

Sleep is one of the many topics covered by the National Institutes of Health. Their archives contain multiple studies that attribute weight gain to lack of sleep. For example, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that when people were sleep-deprived, late-night snacking increased, and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks. In another study done at the University of Chicago, sleep-deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least eight hours. Yet another study found that sleeping too little is a trigger to eat bigger portions of all foods, increasing weight gain. And in a review of 18 studies, researchers found that a lack of sleep led to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

As if that’s not bad enough, the stress hormone known as cortisol spikes when we get too little sleep. Cortisol signals our bodies to conserve energy for later use, which tends to make us hold on to fat rather than burn it!

Sleep also affects how the body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls blood glucose (sugar) levels. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase the risk for diabetes. When the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin, processing fats from the bloodstream becomes difficult, and it ends up being stored as fat. In a nutshell, not enough sleep slows down the metabolism and contributes to weight gain.

Kenko Sleep Products are an integral component of Active Wellness lifestyle. From the Kenko Naturest® Mattress Topper and Custom Pillow to our comforters and KenkoTherm® Cocoon, once you try them, you’ll never want to give them up!