Natural Foods Merchandiser

Supplement & Personal Care News Briefs

Study: Echinacea puts up fight against cold
The latest scientific scoop on echinacea is nothing to sneeze at. A meta-analysis by researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, scheduled to be published in the July issue of The Lancet, found that the herb cut the odds of developing the common cold by 58 percent. It also knocked off more than a day of recovery time for those who did catch a cold. The Lancet study looked at the results of 14 previous clinical trials involving more than 1,600 patients. The results conflict dramatically with a previous study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which claimed the herb was no better than a placebo in fighting upper respiratory tract infection.

'Life ... Supplemented' campaign to launch
The Council for Responsible Nutrition wants the 150 million estimated Americans who take dietary supplements to look at the products as an integral part of their lifestyle. And the Washington-D.C.-based trade association is launching a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign to promote just that. Dubbed "Life … supplemented," the public relations campaign will try to push dietary supplements from the fringe to the mainstream in American consciousness, according to CRN spokeswoman Judy Blatman, in a press release. The campaign will focus on "the 'why and ways' that healthy people incorporate supplements as part of the smart things they do for their well-being," Blatman says. The first phase of the three-year ad campaign, using more than $1 million raised from 25 companies in the industry, will involve the creation of a consumer-oriented Web site that offers information on a healthy lifestyle.

Stevia slips into the mainstream
A company that produces a stevia dietary supplement product appears to be enjoying some sweet success in the mainstream market. Sunwin Stevia International announced in June that its natural sweetener, OnlySweet, would share shelf space with other sweeteners in conventional stores like Kroger and Albertsons. Stevia is not currently approved in the United States as a food additive because of inadequate data on its safety, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, about a dozen countries, including Japan, have approved it as a food additive. Sunwin announced the same month that it had received a purchase order for OnlySweet to be used in a line of soft drinks that will be marketed as dietary supplements. These announcements follow news that Coca-Cola Co. and Cargill will partner to market a stevia sweetener.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 8/p. 38

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