08 July, 2011
Shaklee Alfalfa Uses
Shaklee, an international supplement company, offers dietary concoctions aimed at upping your nutrient intake and improving health. The company's Alfalfa Complex is an herbal supplement with alfalfa as its primary ingredient. You can take it in capsule form or drink it as a tea to up your intake of calcium and phosphorus. Consult your doctor before adding Shaklee Alfalfa Complex to your daily routine.
About Shaklee Alfalfa
People typically eat alfalfa as a sprout. Shaklee Alfalfa Complex contains alfalfa in powdered form as well as dicalcium phosphate, maltodextrin, tricalcium phosphate, fructose and spearmint oil. Directions say to take 10 tablets of the supplement a day, which contain 15 calories, 2 grams of carbs and 10 milligrams of sodium. The supplement is also a source of calcium and phosphorus, meeting 30 percent and 20 percent of the daily value per 10-tablet dose, respectively.
As a source of calcium and phosphorus, Shaklee Alfalfa Complex is good for your bones. Most people in the United States have a hard time getting the calcium they need from the food they eat, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements, and supplementation can help up intake and improve bone health. Phosphorus is also important for bone health, but most people don't have a hard time meeting their daily needs, says the Linus Pauling Institute.
Good for Your Heart
Shaklee doesn't make any health claims for its alfalfa supplement, but alfalfa leaves, the main component of the supplement, may offer heart-health benefits by helping to lower blood cholesterol levels. The saponins, a type of phytochemical in alfalfa leaves, may bind to the cholesterol in your digestive tract and drag it out of your body, helping to lower your numbers, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. But most of the research on the saponins in alfalfa comes from test-tube studies, and clinical studies are necessary to substantiate any benefits.
Alfalfa supplements aren't safe for everyone, and you shouldn't take them if you're on the blood thinner Coumadin because of their high vitamin K content. There's also concern that when combined with birth-control pills that contain estrogen, alfalfa may decrease their effectiveness, because alfalfa is a source of phytoestrogen. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible interactions with your medication before taking the supplement.
- David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images