Natural Foods Merchandiser

Supplements & Personal Care News Briefs

Cream of the PC crop
Are they indulgents, seekers or even minimalists? It pays to know. The Natural Marketing Institute's 2006 Evolution of the Healthy/Premium Market for Personal Care study has identified five types of personal care shoppers: Indulgents, Seekers, Naturalaires, Minimalists and Uninvolveds.

Covering just over a quarter of the market (27 percent), Indulgents think natural and organic is appealing, but "those factors are not the main criteria for this highly involved premium-oriented group which splits equally between men and women," NMI reports. The 18 percent identified as Seekers are predominantly female and want results. "Age-defying and clinically proven products produced by a brand they trust should meet with acceptance in this segment. Organic is not a driver, though natural is to some extent." The Naturalaire (21 percent) "is driven by organic and natural personal care components," while for the Minimalists, "convenience, ease and speed are key to their personal care regime." The Uninvolveds (15 percent) are, well, "uninvolved in the category."

A growing resource
With the remarkable—and growing—amount of information available on herbs, it's hard to cultivate, pun intended, and remain current, on all the knowledge. But there is help. The five- organization group known as the HerbDay Coalition has a new Web site at, and the first HerbDay is scheduled for Oct. 14. The coalition includes: the American Botanical Council, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, the American Herbal Products Association, the American Herbalists Guild and United Plant Savers.

This just in …
The European Journal of Cancer Prevention published a study in June that gives more evidence to plant lignans' protection against breast cancer. Researchers looked at enterolactone levels—an estrogen-like substance produced from digested plant precursors—in premenopausal women. Studies link enterolactone with a healthy, high-fiber diet. Premenopausal breast cancer risk dropped as enterolactone levels found in the blood increased. "Using biomarkers of phytoestrogen intake, we confirmed the strong inverse association between enterolactone and premenopausal breast cancer risk as found with dietary intake estimates," researchers wrote. "This result gives support to the potential role of mammalian lignans for breast cancer prevention among premenopausal women in Western populations."

Another study, published in Clinical Cancer Research in August found that altering the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids could reduce the risk of prostate cancer. The study was conducted on mice fed either a typical Western diet ratio of 15-to-1 omega-6 to omega-3 or a 1-to-1 ratio. Mice fed the 1-to-1 ratio diet experienced lower tumor growth rates and final tumor volumes. They also had lower serum prostate specific antigen levels, which translates to lower risk of prostate cancer.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 9/p. 34

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