Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products News Briefs

AER bill update
Having nightmares of being buried alive under mounds of adverse-events reporting documents? Fear not. In January, the National Nutritional Foods Association issued a news release to "clarify some misconceptions" that member retailers and manufacturers had about AER legislation. Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; and Richard Durbin, D-Ill.; are working together to craft AER legislation, but as of yet have not completed their work. According to its release, "NNFA and other industry groups have been closely monitoring the progress of this legislation and will apprise members of the association's position and any action that needs to be taken once the bill has been introduced."

More fish oil fanfare
In January, Chest journal published a study documenting fish oil's benefits for preventing exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (constriction of the airways due to the tightening of the muscles surrounding the lungs) in asthma patients. Sixteen patients with documented EIB received either fish oil or placebo capsules for three weeks. Subjects receiving placebo still experienced EIB. Those receiving the fish oil exhibited "improved pulmonary function to below the diagnostic EIB threshold." There was also a reduced bronchodilator use rate for the fish oil group. "Our data suggest that fish oil supplementation may represent a potentially beneficial nonpharmacologic intervention for asthmatic subjects with EIB," the authors wrote. Previous research had shown fish oil helped EIB in elite athletes.

Where's there's smoke, there's …
The November 2005 issue of Epidemiology published a study that found "Dietary iron, zinc and calcium may play an important role in the development of lung cancer, especially among current smokers." Researchers studied the three minerals, which are all involved in the metabolism of free radicals, in a hospital-based, case-controlled study. When iron and calcium intake were each individually analyzed, researchers found a higher risk of lung cancer. Analyzing zinc on its own found a lower risk. However, when intake of all three were analyzed together, the risk was greater. The researchers also found a similar association with intake of the minerals from supplements combined with diet, as well as intake from diet alone. Also, the effect was stronger among current smokers than among former smokers. "These results need to be confirmed in large prospective studies," the researchers wrote.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 3/p. 110

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