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Exclusive Swanson® Interview: Peggy Fleming Encouraging Wellness 365 Days a Year

Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products ® with Peggy Fleming

Lee Swanson with Peggy Fleming

Dear Friends and Valued Customers,
Peggy Fleming is a true hero in the world of figure skating—a five-time U.S. Champion, three-time world champion and winner of the 1968 Olympic Gold Medal. After winning gold at 19, she went on to continue in competitions and public performances, as well as providing commentary for ABC Sports for over 20 years. At 62, Peggy remains active as a proponent for health and fitness through her work with the National Osteoporosis Foundation, breast cancer charities, and now as spokesperson for the Kaneka QH® Heart 365 Campaign. Peggy welcomed us to her home in the hills outside of Los Gatos, California, where she lives and operates the Fleming Jenkins Vineyards and Winery with her husband of 39 years, Greg. Below, she shares with us her perspective on supplementation and discusses why she is supporting the effort to raise awareness of Ubiquinol (Kaneka QH), the first stabilized, active body-ready form of CoQ10.

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SWANSON: Peggy, thank you for welcoming us into your home. I can see that family is very important in your life.

Peggy Fleming: It’s good to talk with you, Lee. You’re right—family is the center of our lives. I’ve been married for 39 years to my husband, Greg. We have two sons: Andy is 32 and Todd is 20. Andy and his wife, Jamaica, have three sons, so I’m a very proud grandmother. We’re all blessed with good health and abundant happiness.

SWANSON: Do you still skate?

Peggy Fleming: I skate just for fun with my family. No performing, just for recreation. It’s good, but it’s not like riding a bike. I’m certainly not competitive. Performing, at this point, would take a lot of work.

SWANSON: What other things do you do to stay active?

Peggy Fleming: I exercise a lot. I think that is definitely the fountain of youth. When you get older you’ve got to keep moving, stay flexible and try new things. You’ve got to keep your body strong so that it supports itself, so that you don’t end up with back problems or neck problems, so you maintain your core strength and your posture. I work on that five days a week. I do cardio; I do weight training; I do yoga. I do a lot of hiking.

SWANSON: Are you careful about what you eat?

Peggy Fleming: I am. I’ve always paid attention to what I eat, to exercise, and to making sure that I go to my doctor on a regular basis. I make sure I monitor myself. When you’re an athlete you really are aware of your health and your energy. And although I’m no longer active professionally, I like to feel that way even today. You can achieve it if you work at it on a daily basis. So that’s what we do. We’ve raised our family that way. We have very active boys, and my husband is very active and health-conscious as well. So I think when you’re raising a family in which everyone participates in some type of activity, it just becomes normal life. That’s normal life for us.

SWANSON: Do you use supplements?

Peggy Fleming: I’ve always used supplements, even as a young athlete. My mother was very much into giving me the right vitamins. She even made protein shakes for me. They didn’t taste very good, but protein powders back then weren’t what they are today. But I did feel the difference.

I still use protein powders. I supplement with calcium and I supplement with CoQ10, now actually Kaneka QH (Ubiquinol). I believe that, as you get older, you have to pay attention to how your body’s changing and the needs that it has at certain stages.

SWANSON: How did you become aware of Ubiquinol, or Kaneka QH?

Peggy Fleming: I was introduced to it by Kaneka, the makers of Kaneka QH. We are working on a campaign called the Heart 365 Campaign, which is about raising awareness of the need to take care of your health 365 days a year.

I’ve been using Kaneka QH (Ubiquinol) for about 7 months now. I think that’s important and helps us maintain our health. When we get older, we really have to pay attention to the needs of our bodies and find the energy to do the things our bodies need us to do.

SWANSON: Kaneka QH, or Ubiquinol, is the reduced form of CoQ10, or ubiquinone. Ubiquinone exists in nature and received its name because it’s ubiquitous; it’s present in every cell of our body. But most of the CoQ10 found circulating in the blood is in the active, reduced form called Ubiquinol. When we’re young, we have no problem converting ubiquinone to ubiquinol. But as we age we lose some of this ability. So you’re right on when you talk about understanding what your body needs at different stages.

CoQ10 decrease chart

Peggy Fleming: That’s right. And you know, scientists have recognized the Ubiquinol form of CoQ10 for many years, but it’s a very unstable molecule. That’s what makes Kaneka QH so significant: it’s the first stabilized Ubiquinol supplement ever developed.

Ubiquinol helps to spark 95% of the cellular ATP in our bodies and to make all our systems work. I think it’s probably one of the most important supplements we can take as we get older because our bodies start changing. We start producing less of different things like CoQ10. We do ingest some ubiquinone from our foods, but we also produce it in the body and convert it to Ubiquinol. But we both produce less and convert less as we age. I think it’s important that we understand these things. We have to be constantly evaluating how our bodies are working and make sure that we discuss these things with our physicians.

SWANSON: It’s interesting to note again the conversion of ubiquinone to Ubiquinol and to recognize that we need both forms in our bodies. Kaneka spent over a decade developing this stable Ubiquinol supplement, and that’s really what makes this newsworthy.

Peggy Fleming: Absolutely. Technology is improving and changing things in every aspect of our lives. We’ve got to be aware of all the changes that are happening around us. The healthcare business is changing as well, so we’ve got to keep up. We can take advantage of technological advancements through supplements like Kaneka QH.

SWANSON: Tell us a little more about your role in the Heart 365 Campaign.

Peggy Fleming: I’ve been traveling the U.S., engaging with people at community gatherings and through local media, in support of this message. The idea is to encourage people to think about their health every day of the year and to empower people to know the importance of taking good care of themselves—eating right, exercising regularly, seeing your physician and taking your supplements. Those are the things we need to be doing and we need to be conscious of it 365 days a year so that we can improve our chances of living a long, active and healthy life.

The Heart 365 Campaign also hopes to raise awareness of CoQ10, particularly Kaneka QH, and its role in health. Not only is Ubiquinol important for everyone over 40 but particularly for people like me who are using statin drugs. These drugs block the body’s ability to produce CoQ10, so having a stable Ubiquinol supplement is very important to me and to anyone using these medications.

It really does make a difference. For instance, I played a killer game of badminton yesterday. I beat my 20-year-old son! It’s fun to be able to participate like that with your kids at whatever age. We’ve got three grandsons—10, 5 and 3—so I want to keep active. They’re coming to visit soon and I’m ready for them!

I want to stay healthy and I want to encourage others to stay healthy too. Life is good! The key is to participate. Participate in life, participate in your health, and live.

SWANSON: Thank you, Peggy, for sharing your message with our customers and for all of the work you do in raising awareness for health and fitness. You truly are an inspiration.

Peggy Fleming: Thank you, Lee.