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Health & Wellness Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

<<78910111213141516>> Total issues:151

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September 01, 2012, to September 15, 2012

Developmental Disabilities Often Accompanied By Oral Health Problems, US Study Shows

People with developmental disabilities are potentially burdened with increased oral health problems due to many physical, cognitive, and financial challenges, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association. Results of the study conducted by researchers at Tufts University of School of Dental Medicine and School of Medicine in Massachusetts showed their dental health problems can cause pain, problems with eating, and infection, ultimately causing significant medical issues in the long term. Data shows that 32.2 percent of patients had untreated cavities, 80.3 percent had periodontitis, and 10.9 percent had lost at least some teeth.

India’s Aging – And Increasingly Affluent – Population Benefits Wellness, Personal Care Firms

People over age 40  in India want to be younger-looking – and healthy – as they age, a fact that is benefiting health, wellness and personal care suppliers and services. Customers over 40 are buying anti-aging serums, anti-wrinkle creams, eye rollers and skin repair moisturizers. Benefiting from the trend are product makers such as Hindustan Unilever, L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble, as well as thousands of beauty and slimming salons, a segment that has increased 50 percent in the last year. A recent market research report finds that the 40+ population in India will reach 500 million by 2025.

P & G Joins With Oral Care Promoters To Boost National Awareness Of Hispanic Dental Health

In an effort to boost Washington awareness of lagging Hispanic oral health, Procter & Gamble joined with two oral care organizations to spend a day meeting with Capitol Hill lawmakers. The initiative springs from a survey sponsored by P & G brands Crest and Oral-B that found that two-thirds of Hispanics rated their oral health as excellent or good, though nearly the same percentage said they had experienced at least one “oral health issue” in the previous year. About 30 percent of those surveyed believe that cavities go away on their own with daily brushing. The Hispanic Dental Association and Oral Health America were co-sponsors of the event.

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August 15, 2012, to September 01, 2012

Consumer Magazine Rates 33 Alternatives To Sliced Bread For Nutritional Value

Consumer Reports magazine, which seems to take for granted that white bread is both boring and unhealthy, has tested an array of commercially available alternatives from 16 companies: bagels, croissants, flatbreads, pitas, buns and rolls, and tortillas. All were rated for nutritional – not taste – value per serving (calories, fats, sodium, sugars, iron, calcium and fiber). Products that fell into the Fair category were mostly high In fat. Generally, the magazine gave its Very Good rating to 100 percent whole wheat products or those with whole wheat flour as their first ingredient.

Believing The Mythology Surrounding Prostate Cancer Can Be Dangerous For Men

A mythology has grown up around the causes, preventive measures and treatment of prostate cancer, according to a U.S. expert. For example, consuming lycopene – the nutrient that gives tomatoes their red color – does not prevent prostate cancer. Nor does fish oil, with its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, or selenium or vitamin E. In fact, studies have shown that selenium and vitamin supplements actually increase the risk of prostate cancer. As to PSA diagnosis, one in ten men screened for prostate cancer using PSA tests actually do benefit from treatment, not one in 50 as reported by some researchers.

Physician Says Physical Inactivity Should Be “Medicalized” So Treatments Can Be Prescribed

A Mayo Clinic physician argues that the root cause of many common health problems is physical inactivity, a condition that should be “medicalized” so that treatments can be developed. According to Muchael Joyner, M.D., prolonged lack of physical activity causes the body to become deconditioned – almost unable to exercise – leading to a wide range of adverse structural and metabolic changes. Joyner says if physical inactivity were treated as a medical condition physicians could become more aware of the value of prescribing supported exercise. More formal rehabilitation programs that include cognitive and behavioral therapy would then develop.

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August 01, 2012, to August 15, 2012

Dietitian Recommends “Super-Food” Tofu

A registered dietitian says substituting tofu for animal protein once a week is fairly risk-free and has many health benefits. For example, it helps lower overall cholesterol and so-called “bad” low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. As a soy product, tofu does have a down side: studies have linked intake of large amounts of soy to increased breast cancer risk. But in moderation, tofu is a “super-food” that has little saturated fat, zero cholesterol and lots of protein. Another benefit: it’s very versatile as a cooking ingredient and can be successfully added to any number of dishes.

Natural Therapies May Be Effective In Treating Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – an almost constant feeling of being stressed out and exhausted – affects more than a million Americans, and is most common among people aged 40 to 59. Believed to follow an infection or a period of high stress, the symptoms may last for years, are usually not relieved, even with bed rest, and can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gastrointestinal distress, and depression of the immune system. Some natural and alternative therapies have been found effective in managing the condition: ginseng, kiwi fruit, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils, and relaxation techniques, including meditation.

Supplement Maker To Adapt New Delivery Technology To Its Products

Fuse Science Inc. is licensing its “proprietary delivery technology” to Macular Health, LLC, which makes macular degeneration nutritional supplements. The deal marks the first time Fuse has licensed its technology in the health and nutrition field, and “product formulation work has already begun”. Fuse’s technology will be used to deliver medicines and other nutritional supplements in liquid drops rather than pills. Although there is no cure for macular degeneration, Macular Health says studies have shown that its supplements slow the effects of AMD and improve retina function by 16 percent within 12 to 16 weeks.

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July 15, 2012, to August 01, 2012

U.K. Pastry Shop Says Its Italian Cake Bars Boost The Metabolic Rate

A London-based start-up patisserie claims that its Italian pastries – in the form of cake bars –  contain a blend of natural ingredients that encourage the body to burn calories. The line of nine bars in a variety of flavors contain L-carnitine, guarana and green tea, all of which purportedly boost the body’s metabolic rate. Each bar also packs between 110 and 150 calories, but the bakery doesn’t say whether the calories burned equals the calories consumed. The founder of Klever Kalories says it hopes to expand its product line to cupcakes and savory snacks, such as crisps (AKA potato chips).

Herbs And Spices Can Play A Role In The Global Fight Against Obesity

Presenters at a scientific meeting of the research arm of spice manufacturer McCormick & Company recently reviewed scientific research on the potential weight management benefits of culinary herbs and spices. A University of Colorado scientist said small changes in lifestyle and diet, like eating spices “that increase satiety,” could be both beneficial and sustainable. A Dutch scientist noted that consuming red pepper containing capsaicin induces feelings of fullness. And a University of Illinois researcher listed  the health benefits of compounds found in Latin American herbs, spices and herbal tea.

Move Over Broccoli: Australian Bakery Unveils Low-GI “Super Bread”

The glycemic index (GI) of bread can range from 54 to 87, depending on the type. But a bakery in Queensland, Australia, says it has developed a dense bread whose GI is about the same as broccoli (17), contains seven percent carbohydrates, 26 percent protein – about the same as red meat – and more fat, though from natural seeds. The owners of Ashmore Bakery Club say they developed the bread to “give health-conscious customers an alternative.” A final benefit? “We are extremely happy with the product and its taste,'' one of the owners said, adding that the new formula would “change the baking industry.”

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July 01, 2012, to July 15, 2012

Nutrient Supplement Improves Memory Of Early Alzheimer’s Patients

A nutrient-rich liquid supplement fed to early Alzheimer’s patients improves memory, a two-year European clinical study has found. The supplement mixture, known as Souvenaid (Nutricia, Danone), contains three naturally occurring dietary compounds: choline, uridine and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. The study followed 259 patients for six months. Patients taking Souvenaid or a placebo improved their verbal-memory performance for the first three months, but the placebo patients deteriorated during the following three months. The Souvenaid patients continued to improve. According to the inventor of the supplement, Souvenaid appears to stimulate growth of new synapses, or nerve connections, in the brain. Alzheimer's patients gradually lose those connections, leading to memory loss and other cognitive impairments.

New Lupin-Based Breakfast Cereal Packs A Nutritional Punch

Western Australia university researchers have teamed with a local food manufacturer to produce a lupin-based breakfast cereal that is low glycemic index, gluten free, high in dietary fiber and protein, and low in fat. Other breakfast cereals on the market contain small amounts – two to three percent – of lupins, though a minimum of 20 percent is necessary to provide health benefits. The new Super Lupin cereal contains 30 percent lupins. The product, manufactured by Lupin Nutrition Food, comes in five varieties: plain, blueberry, blueberry with fruit and nuts, tropical, and banana.

Chemicals Found In Personal Care Products Are Linked To Greater Risk Of Diabetes

Chemicals known as phthalates – commonly found in personal care products such as moisturizers, nail polishes, soaps, hair sprays and perfumes – have been linked to an increased risk of diabetes in women. U.S. researchers who analyzed urinary concentrations of phthalates in 2,350 women found that those with higher concentrations in their blood were more likely to have diabetes. Specifically, women with moderately high levels of mono-n-butyl phthalate and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate were 70 percent more likely to have diabetes. However, researchers acknowledged that phthalates are also present in certain medical devices and medications used to treat diabetes.

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June 15, 2012, to July 01, 2012

Researchers Develop Tasty – And Gluten-Free – Baked Goods From Sorghum

Food scientists at Kansas State University – working closely with a student who suffers from celiac disease, a severe reaction to the protein gluten – have developed palatable, gluten-free  baked goods based on the grain sorghum. Products so far include tortillas, breads, Belgian waffles and waffle cones. They have also determined that a specific particle size of sorghum flour has a lower glycemic index rating than grains like wheat, corn and rice. The researchers believe the new uses for sorghum, which is mostly used as animal feed, will also benefit sorghum farmers.

Protein Trend Means Sales Boost For Powder, Bar Makers

America’s demand for protein is surging, thanks to a torrent of advice from physical trainers, diet gurus and weight-loss plans; that means big business for makers of protein powders, shakes and energy bars. The boost in protein demand is also benefiting retail grocers, whose shelves are now packed with protein products, replacing space once stocked with high-fiber and low-fat products. The irony is that, even without the protein powders and bars, Americans already eat plenty of protein, experts say. A diet survey from 2007-2008 shows “men and women commonly consuming more protein than needed, sometimes by a third or more,” the AP reports.

Battle Over Sugary Diets Drags On

Nutritionists, the sugar industry and governments remain locked in a battle for the hearts, minds and wallets of Americans. According to an American Heart Association spokesman, U.S. adults on average consume 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. That contributes mightily to obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and makes it a public health policy issue. But sugar industry representatives, like the Corn Refiners Association and the Sugar Association, say sugars have been "unfairly demonized." America’s obesity problem is "much more complicated," they argue. Agreed, some nutrition experts say: sugar itself is not evil. The critical health problem arises when sugar is consumed in super-size quantities every day.

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June 01, 2012, to June 15, 2012

New Technology Makes It Easy To Test For Celiac Disease

Scientists in Europe say they have developed a quick, effective and cheap “lab-on-a-chip” method to test for gluten intolerance, the main characteristic of celiac disease. Gluten is a protein found in wheat flour. The diagnostic and monitoring system will soon be tested in clinical trials in Slovenia and could be available to doctors, hospitals and clinics in Europe and elsewhere within a few years. The system is the result of a convergence of innovative technologies such as microfluidics, nanotechnology and genetic testing. The researchers say the technology can be adapted for use in other autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, spondylitis, thyroiditis, and even cancer.

Company’s Gelatin-Free Multivitamin With Vitamin D3 Targets Muslim Women

Nutrition Enhancement has introduced a halal-certified gelatin-free multivitamin product with nutrients supporting the health of both men and women of all ages. Nutrition Enhancement Multivitamin is equivalent to leading brands in the market, the company says, but is formulated without gelatin, making it the only halal-certified multivitamin with 1000 IU of Vitamin D3. Vitamin D deficiency problems arise when people do not get enough sun exposure, a problem for Muslim women because of a dress code that requires wearing a scarf or Hijab. The company also makes Halal Omega-3 fish oil.

Fear Of The Dark May Be Significant Cause Of Sleep Disorders

Canadian researchers have found that fear of the dark may be a major cause of insomnia.  The study of Toronto college students suggests that, given this finding, treatment of insomnia may require some new approaches. Researchers measured blink responses of study participants to sudden noise bursts in light and dark surroundings. Good sleepers became accustomed to the bursts, but poor sleepers became tense and anticipated the bursts when the lights were turned off. Nearly half of the students in the study who reported sleep problems said they were afraid of the dark.

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May 15, 2012, to June 01, 2012

Cupcake Craze Is Symbol Of Global Sugar Addiction

British author Damian Thompson (“The Fix: How Addiction is Invading Our Lives and Taking Over Your World”), convinced by scientific evidence and personal observations, believes that sugar – delivered in the form of cupcakes, cookies, cakes, etc. – is as addictive as cocaine and a major global health problem. Perhaps the most obvious example of the problem is today’s cupcake craze. Thompson says people say they like cupcakes because they are so “retro” and are a delicious reminder of their childhoods. On the contrary, he argues, “We like them because they allow us to mainline sugar.”

Dermatologists Say Sunscreen Is Most Effective Weapon In Battle Against Harmful UV Radiation

The organization representing America’s dermatologists has issued an advisory saying that sunscreens are still the most effective protection against the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The American Academy of Dermatology says sunscreens, when used with other forms  of sun protection, are an important way to fight skin cancer, including its deadliest form, melanoma. The group recommends applying a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher, along with sun-safe practices such as limiting sun exposure, seeking shade, and wearing sun-protective clothing, hats and sunglasses.

Legislator Launches Attack On School Pizza Classified As A “Vegetable”

A U.S. congressman from Colorado has introduced legislation in the House that would toughen nutritional standards for pizza served in school lunchrooms. Rep Jared Polis (D) says new standards approved by Congress in a 2011 USDA funding measure categorized pizza containing one-eighth of a cup of tomato paste as a vegetable. He said it was a “ridiculous” decision, considering how much sugar, salt and cheese is in just one slice of pizza. Chastising Congress for caving in to the frozen food business, Polis said “agribusiness should never dictate the quality of school meals.” His bill – the SLICE Act – would declassify pizza as a vegetable.

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May 01, 2012, to May 15, 2012

Reducing BMI By Five Points Cuts The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Though it’s not an easy task, reducing the body mass index (BMI) by five points can significantly cut the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to Swedish/Finnish research. Even severely obese diabetics who lower their BMI have a chance of curing themselves of the disease. Researchers examined data on 2,010 patients who had received bariatric surgery and 2,037 obese patients who received non-surgical interventions. Data were analyzed at two years and then at 10 years. Lower rates of diabetes were found among obese patients who had lost five BMI units by any means. The rate of patients cured of diabetes after losing five BMI units was independent of the starting BMI at all BMI levels measured. This trend was also observed 10 years after surgery.

More Evidence Of Cardiovascular Benefits Of Oily Fish

Eating oily fish at least twice a week offers substantial benefits for the cardiovascular system, according to research studies presented at a recent European medical meeting. Oily fish – salmon, mackerel, herring, trout and sardines –  are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other important nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be anti-inflammatory (reducing the risk of atherosclerosis) and anti-arrhythmic, reducing the risk of heart attack. Researchers reported that fish oil supplements – especially pharmaceutical grade formulas – can also provide cardiovascular benefits, especially for people who do not like eating fish. 

Increased Omega-3 Consumption Associated With Lower Risk Of Alzheimer’s

A Columbia University study has found that the greater the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from a variety of foods the lower the levels of beta-amyloid – a protein related to Alzheimer’s disease – in the blood. Researchers obtained diet information for an average of 1.2 years from 1,219 people over age 65 who were free of dementia. Their blood was then tested for the beta-amyloid. Researchers were especially interested in 10 nutrients: saturated fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, mono-unsaturated fatty acid, vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D. Eating a gram of omega-3 a day (about half a salmon fillet a week) more than the average omega-3 consumed by people in the study was associated with 20 to 30 percent lower blood beta-amyloid levels.

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April 15, 2012, to May 01, 2012

Foods Rich In Resistant Starch Can Help Lower Risk Of Bowel Cancer Among Australians

Higher intake of foods rich in resistant starch, such as beans and other legumes, corn, lentils, and peas, can lower the risk of developing bowel cancer, according to research by Australia's CSIRO Food Futures Flagship. This kind of diet can help address the "Australian paradox," a term that nutritionist David Topping uses to refer to the fact that bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in the country despite Australians' consumption of more dietary fiber than by people in other Western countries.

Consumption Of Sugary And Low-Cal Sodas Ups Risk Of Stroke

A U.S. study of soda and coffee consumption among more than 127,000 men and women found that regular intake of sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas is linked to a higher risk of stroke. The researchers also found that drinking decaf or regular coffee was associated with a lower risk of stroke. The sugar load of sugar-sweetened sodas may lead to rapid increases in blood glucose and insulin that over time may cause glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and inflammation, all of which influence atherosclerosis, plaque stability and thrombosis – risk factors of ischemic stroke. Antioxidant compounds in coffee, however, reduce stroke risk. One serving of decaffeinated coffee was associated with a 10 percent lower risk of stroke.

Study Finds More Potential Benefits From Taking Aspirin

In a preclinical study by a multinational team of researchers, aspirin was shown to increase fat burning and reduce liver fat in obese mice. The active ingredient of aspirin – salicylate – is derived from willow bark. Researchers found that salicylate increases the activity of the protein AMPK, which plays a key role in the regulation of cell growth and metabolism. AMPK is switched on by exercise and by an anti-diabetic drug called Metformin. The findings are important because a large clinical trial is underway testing whether salsalate – a well-tolerated aspirin derivative – can prevent type 2 diabetes.
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