This week’s blog continues a conversation with Dr. Jeremy Johnson, PharmD, PhD., our Scientific Advisor at Utzy Naturals.

We couldn’t be more grateful that Dr. Jeremy is a part of our Product Development Team, and as such, conducts important research and formula advisories for Utzy. His knowledge of botanicals and phytochemicals is vital to what we do here every single day. 

Let’s continue our conversation from where we left off in last week’s blog (for Part 1, click here):


UTZY – Are you involved in clinical research?

Dr. Johnson: "Yes.  As a pharmacist I am very interested in clinical research. My co-workers and I recently completed two different clinical trials evaluating resveratrol, the compound found in red wine, that has been reported to promote health.  One of the things that I have been fascinated to discover is how to best dose these compounds. In many instances, I believe, the recommended dosage is not correct.

 For these very reasons, we recently completed two unique clinical trials evaluating dosing strategies for resveratrol.  The findings should be published soon."


UTZY – How do you figure out the mechanism of action of different antioxidants, such as found in resveratrol?

Dr. Johnson: "To be clear, I evaluate plants and individual antioxidants (i.e. phytochemicals) to understand their mechanism of action.  We grow specific cells in the laboratory (breast, colon, prostate, cartilage, and others), treating these cells with different combinations of antioxidants.  We can then evaluate DNA, RNA, and proteins to understand their mechanism of action."  

– In light of your various researching, what is your favorite botanical at the moment?

Dr. Johnson: "This is difficult because there are so many interesting plants.  One that jumps to mind, that many people probably have not heard of, is an antioxidant isolated from the plant Goldenseal.  The antioxidant is known as Berberine.  It has been studied in clinical trials for supporting healthy cholesterol and sugar levels, a healthy GI tract, a healthy heart, menopause, weight loss and others.  Berberine is one of the antioxidants that is up and coming!"  

UTZY- Just because a single product ingredient has great findings, would it be accurate to say that this doesn’t mean that different company offerings of that raw material are of the same quality? Is this why ingredient source selection is so important at Utzy?

Dr. Johnson: "Yes and yes! Let me give an example: A fruit extract was evaluated for use in an Utzy Naturals product.  According to three different ingredient suppliers the levels of pesticides were below detectable limits. However, when we analyzed them in our laboratory only 1 of the suppliers was truthful in its claim about its pesticide content.  The decision in this case is easy about which one will be used to formulate an Utzy Naturals product."

UTZYLastly, as a researcher on many things nutrition, what advice to do give someone that is just getting back on the path of health & wellness?

Dr. Johnson: "Baby steps in the beginning are the easiest. Slow changes and not drastic ones are key to success. They should be thinking about diet and how to consume different fruits and vegetables – 5-7 daily is a good number. The different colors of fruits and veggies, indicates different types of antioxidants. Also, how many calories one consumes daily is an important question. In the U.S. we consume way more calories than we should.

I would also recommend fiber; almost no person consumes the recommended amounts.

Finally, let me add that natural supplements are not drugs. Therefore, one should consider supplements as a part of a healthy lifestyle."