Companies in the News: Boiron Laboratories, Lonza, Unilever, Cardinal Nutrition, Metagenics, Inc., Geni Herbs, Mars, Nutrition 21, Sabinsa Corporation, ConsumerLab.com, Indena, Cargill Health & Food Technologies, Chrysantis(TM), Inc., Glanbia, Martek, Mannatech, Incorporated, Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals, NutraCea, Advitech Inc.
[8/31/2005] Boiron Laboratories Responds to British Journal's Questioning of Homeopathy
France-based Boiron Laboratories has issued a statement in response to last week's editorial commentaries and an article published in The Lancet's August 27, 2005 edition on the basis that the study and data analysis has methodological errors, with a number of trials rejected for consideration leading to the author's unfavorable conclusions.
[8/30/2005] Study Suggests that Supplementation with L-Carnipure® Tartrate During Pregnancy Can Reduce Increased Levels of Plasma Free Fatty Acids
Switzerland-based Lonza has announced results of a new company-supported study conducted by researchers at the University of Vienna, and published in Chemical Monthly 136, 1523-1533 (2005), which indicate that supplementation with L-Carnipure® tartrate during pregnancy can significantly reduce the increased level of plasma free fatty acids, considered the main cause of insulin resistance, a major factor in gestational diabetes in pregnant women. According to the study, L-Carnipure® tartrate supplementation was found to increase the relative mRNA levels of certain enzymes involved in fatty acid metabolism(CPT1, CPT2 and CRAT). Low levels of these enzymes are associated with a raising of plasma levels of free fatty acids.
[8/29/2005] Study: Dairy Peptides Significantly Decrease Blood Pressure
According to an article on Medical News Today citing research published this month in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers examined 131 subjects with high normal blood pressure or mild hypertension, in a double blinded, placebo controlled study, to determine the efficacy of hydrolised casein containing two dairy peptides, Isoleucine-Proline-Proline (IPP) and Valine-Proline-Proline (VPP), in reducing blood pressure after three and six weeks of consumption. The researchers observed that this ingredient (known as AmealPeptide(TM), to be launched by Unilever, under the Flora/ Becel pro.activ brand, was associated with a dose dependent decrease in systolic blood pressure compared to placebo.
[8/26/2005] Homeopathy Under Attack
A study published this week in the Lancet (Lancet, 2005,336: 690-732) describes a review by Swiss researchers of 110 clinical trials using homeopathic remedies and 110 using conventional medicine, concluding that "the effects seen in placebo-controlled trials of homeopathy are compatible with the placebo-hypothesis." The Lancet also published an editorial on the subject entitled "The end of homeopathy" demanding that doctor's recognize the absence of homeopathy's curative powers. The US National Center for Homeopathy has issued a response to the article noting that the approach used is not appropriate for the evaluation of homeopathic medicines and that the quality of the homeopathy was not considered.
[8/26/2005] Study: Selenium and Antioxidant Vitamin Status of Elderly German Women
Researchers in Germany, in a study appearing on-line (advance publication) in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined serum concentrations of alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, selenium and coenzyme Q10 in female seniors, observing that selenium and alpha-tocopherol levels were poor relative to optimal levels while ascorbic acid and beta-carotene status seemed sufficient.
[8/25/2005] Study: Naturally Occurring Sulfur Compound May Help Relieve Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
Researchers from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 50 men and women, have determined that administration of 3 grams of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) twice a day for 12 weeks correlated with modest, but improved pain and physical function in patients with knee osteoarthritis pain. Cardinal Nutrition OptiMSM® was used in the study.
[8/25/2005] New Report on Soy Health Benefits Issued
A new evidence review on soy health benefits, supported by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has been issued which suggests that, in 68 studies examined, there was some indication that consumption of soy protein may result in a small reduction in low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride levels, but, according to the reviewers, the studies were generally too limited in number, of poor quality, or their duration was too short to lead to definite conclusions.
[8/24/2005] Chitosan Examined in Review Article
According to an article on Biocompare.com citing a systematic review of evidence appearing in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a review of 14 randomized controlled trials that included 1,131 overweight or obese adults indicates that those receiving chitosan had an average short term weight loss of almost four pounds more than those on placebo, with concurrent decreases in cholesterol and blood pressure. The review notes that many of the trials were limited by poor methodology and reporting. Three of the four authors of the current review were involved in one of the trials.
[8/24/2005] Study Indicates That Tocotrienol Is More Effective Than a-Tocopherol In Reducing Expression of Adhesion Molecules
A study by researchers at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, published in Atherosclerosis (2005, 180(1): 19-25) indicates that tocotrienols were a more effective form of vitamin E in reducing endothelial expression of adhesion molecules in blood vasculature, compared to the effects of a-tocopherol.
[8/24/2005] Research Examines Bioavailability of Glucosamine
Researchers at Tufts-New England Medical Center, in findings to be published next month in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease, have determined that only a small portion of glucosamine consumed actually becomes bioavailable. According to a 'Healthology' article on ABC News, the researchers examined 18 patients taking 1500 milligrams of glucosamine, determining that patients would accumulate at most 11 micromoles of circulating glucosamine 90-180 minutes later, ten percent of what might ultimately be required for beneficial health effects.
[8/23/2005] Weekly Zinc Supplements Can Reduce Deaths In Young Children
Research published online in the Lancet indicates that giving young children (under two years) in developing countries a weekly dose of zinc can substantially reduce their risk of illness and death, by reducing the incidence of clinical pneumonia and diarrhea.
[8/22/2005] Randomized, Placebo and Antihistamine-controlled Study of Butterbur Extract for Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis
Researchers from Switzerland, in a research article published in Phytotherapy Research, (Volume 19, Issue 6 , Pages 530 - 537) compared the effectiveness of a butterbur extract (Ze 339) and antihistamine (exofenadine) for the treatment of intermittent allergic rhinitis in a randomized, placebo controlled study with a total of 330 participants. The researchers determined that both active treatments were equally superior to the placebo, and were well tolerated.
[8/17/2005] Pungent Products from Garlic Activate Same Sensory Ion Channel as Wasabi and Chili Peppers
According to research appearing in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of California and Swedish researchers have determined, that organosulfur compounds in garlic (allicin and diallyl disulfide), while sharing similar structure to allyl isothiocyanate, the pungent ingredient in wasabi and other mustard plants, in rats, activate part of the same pathway, population and neurons as these compounds, inducing vasodilation and inflammation by activating capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerve endings.
[8/12/2005] Folates More Effective in Limiting Alzheimer's Disease Risk Than Antioxidants, Other Nutrients
Researchers at the University of California - Irvine, in a study appearing in the journal, Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, have used a long-term National Institute on Aging study of diet and brain aging to examine the effect of folate, antioxidants and nutrients in diet and supplementation, and the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. According to the researchers, consuming the daily recommended allowance of folates reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
[8/11/2005] Patients With Severe Asthma May Benefit from Increased Vitamin C Intake
Australian researchers, in a study published in The European Respiratory Journal, compared the dietary intakes and blood concentrations of antioxidants, including vitamin C, in 28 patients with severe asthma compared with 53 mild asthmatic patients and 43 subjects without asthma. They noted that the blood concentrations of vitamin C were markedly lower in patients with severe asthma compared to subjects with mild asthma or those without asthma, and this difference was observed in both males and females.
[8/11/2005] Study Confirms Cinnulin PF Effectively Increases Insulin Sensitivity in Pre-Diabetes Sufferers
A placebo-controlled, double-blind study conducted by the Ohio Research Group examined the effect of supplementation with Cinnulin PF on blood glucose regulation, lipid profiles and body composition in pre-diabetic men and women, indicating that subjects in the Cinnulin PF group noted statistically significant decreases in fasting blood glucose levels, marked improvements in insulin sensitivity.
[8/9/2005] Study: Effect of Garlic on Stomach Cancer Cells
According to a Xinhua News Agency article on china.org.cn, citing a report published in Science and Technology Daily, research conducted at Beijing Genome Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Clinical Tumor Institute of Beijing University, and the Beijing Tumor Prevention and Treatment Research Institute indicates that garlic may prevent the multiplication of stomach cancer cells and cause the cancer cells to die.
[8/8/2005] Research Indicates That Common Turmeric Fights Cancer Cells
Research published this week in the journal 'Cancer' indicates that curcumin, the pigment that gives the herb turmeric its yellow tint, keeps skin cancer cells from dividing and growing and in fact stimulates apoptosis—or intracellular death which causes cancer cells to kill themselves.
[8/5/2005] Taking Folic Acid in Pregnancy Boosts Baby's Birth Weight
According to an article in The Independent Online citing research published in the British Medical Journal, researchers from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, after examining approximately 1000 women and their babies, have observed that mothers with higher folate levels in their blood were more likely to have heavier babies, while low levels of folate were associated with low-weight infants.
[8/5/2005] Study: Vitamin Pills and Infection Prevention in Elderly
According to a Reuters article citing a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2005;331:324-329 (6 August), doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7512.324), researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland examined 900 people over the age of 65, giving half a multivitamin and mineral supplement, and the rest a placebo. The researchers observed that the supplementation had no effect on number of infections or on quality of life after one year.
[8/5/2005] Metagenics Unveils Washington State's First Nutrigenomic Laboratory
US-based nutritional products company Metagenics, Inc. has announced the completion of MetaProteomics, a nutrigenomics research center, on its functional medicine campus in Gig Harbor, WA, the first laboratory of its kind in the state of Washington and only the fourth in the U.S. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour will be held August 10, 2005 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
[8/4/2005] Research Indicates That Unique Bacopa Extract Displays Strong Serotonin Receptor Activity
Research presented at a poster session at the annual meeting of the American Society of Pharmacognosy involving an in vitro study of a standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri, indicates that the extract helps to regulate the activity of specific serotonin receptors, specifically, displacing antagonist [3H]Ketanserin from serotonin receptor 5HT2a isolated from rats, and exhibited even stronger effects in its displacement of agonist 8-OH-DPAT from the 5HT1a receptor. The Bacopa extract used in the study was BaCognize®, made by Geni Herbs.
[8/2/2005] Vitamin D Low in Nearly All Elderly Who Break Hip
According to a Reuters article, Scottish researchers, in a look back study on 548 patients over 60 with hip fractures, examined over the past four years, have determined that 97.8% of these patients had vitamin D levels below normal, in 25% of the cases, unrecordable. The results are reported in Current Medical Research and Opinion.
[8/2/2005] Omega-6 Fatty Acids Promote the Growth of Prostate Tumor Cells in the Laboratory
According to an article on News-medical.net, researchers at San Francisco VA Medical Center, in a study to be published in the September 2005 issue of Carcinogenesis, have observed that when introduced into prostate tumor cells in culture, omega-6 fatty acids causes the production of cPLA2, an enzyme which in turn causes the production of the enzyme COX2, which then stimulates the release of PGE2, a hormone-like molecule that promotes tumor cell growth.
[7/28/2005] Efficacy of Echinacea Questioned in NEJM Study
A placebo controlled study on 399 subjects conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), indicates that Echinacea angustifolia extracts (either alone or in a combination) do not treat or prevent colds (rhinovirus). Reviewing the study, the American Botanical Council (ABC) observed that the results are based on using a specific rhinovirus, the extract was university lab prepared, the dose and dosing intervals might have been sub-optimal, and the population (university students) were not immune challenged. The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) noted the concern expressed by one of the researchers that the dose may have been too low to be effective for use in colds, and suggests that dose or brand selection would have improved the study quality. (The dosage for each of the extracts was 1.5 ml three times daily, representing 300 mg per dose or 900 mg per day of Echinacea angustifolia root.)
[7/25/2005] Mars to Unveil Cocoa Research aimed at Diabetes and Stroke
According to an article on just-food.com, confectioner Mars is set to unveil research at a conference in Switzerland suggesting that flavenols in cocoa could assist treatment for diabetes, strokes and vascular disease.
[7/25/2005] Folate May Protect Against Hemorrhagic Stroke
According to a Reuters Health article, researchers at Umea University, Sweden, in a study published in the journal 'stroke', examined blood and dietary levels of folate and vitamin B12 in 62 patients who had a hemorrhagic stroke and 334 who had an ischemic stroke, noting that blood levels of folate were inversely associated with the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, while no association was observed between vitamin B12 and stroke incidence or between folate and ischemic stroke.
[7/25/2005] China: Research on Traditional Chinese Medicine to Increase
According to an article on SciDev.net, the Chinese government, for the first time, has included traditional medicine in its National Basic Research Programme (also called 973 Programme), indicating it will invest 52 million yuan (US$6.4 million) between 2005 and 2006 to support basic research into traditional medicine.
[7/20/2005] New Study Results Reaffirms Diachrome® Significantly Improves Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors In People With Type 2 Diabetes
Nutrition 21 reported results from a new clinical study that add to the growing body of clinical data demonstrating that daily supplementation with Diachrome®, a combination of chromium picolinate and biotin, can significantly reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes. Findings from the randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, were presented at the 2nd International Symposium on Triglycerides and HDL in New York
[7/20/2005] Sabinsa Corporation's Selenium SeLECT Certified by NSF International
Sabinsa Corporation, announced that its Selenium SeLECT brand L-(+)-Selenomethionine ingredient has been certified by NSF International. NSF conducted rigorous toxicology reviews and purity testing to guarantee that Selenium SeLECT is free of contaminants.
[7/19/2005] ConsumerLab.com Test Menopause Supplements
ConsumerLab.com has released a new report on the quality of supplements used to treat symptoms of menopause, notably hot flashes.
[7/19/2005] Bilberry Extracts: Bitter News For Bad Products With New Validated HPLC Method By Indena
Italian company Indena has developed and validated an HPLC method that allows the identification and the direct quantification of all the bilberry anthocyanins both in plant material and in extracts.
[7/18/2005] Scientists Document Oliggo-Fiber® Inulin’s Ability to Enhance Dietary Calcium Absorption
US-based Cargill Health & Food Technologies has announced that natural chicory fructan inulin from the company’s inulin supplier, Cosucra Group Warcoing, was used in a recently published study by Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea with results that indicated that two 4g servings of this fiber, specifically Oliggo-Fiber® Instant inulin, may increase calcium uptake in post-menopausal women by as much as 42 percent.
[7/15/2005] Chrysantis(TM), Inc. Responds to Lutein, Zeaxanthin Study
US-based Chrysantis(TM), Inc. has issued a response to interpretation of study results published in the Journal of Nutrition (135:1763-1769, July 2005) regarding lutein and zeaxanthin. The authors found that there was a trend for increased risk The authors did find that there was a trend for increased risk only in the 5th quartile of the population they studied (1456 residents of Costa Rica), suggesting that the risk might increase only after a threshold intake or tissue concentration in the 5th quartile of the population they studied, suggesting that the risk might increase only after a threshold intake or tissue concentration, but the journalists interpreted the results to indicate that lutein and zeaxanthin increase the risk for myocardial infarctus.
[7/12/2005] Glanbia Nutritionals Officially Opens Innovation Centre
According to an article on just-food.com, Ireland-based Glanbia has officially opened its Glanbia Group Innovation Centre in Kilkenny, a venture supported by enterprise Ireland expected to involve an investment of over €15m (US$18m)over the next four years.
[7/8/2005] Study Shows Supplementing With Martek DHA(TM) While Breastfeeding Improves Psychomotor Skills in Toddlers
Results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicate that children of DHA-supplemented mothers scored significantly higher on the Bayley Psychomotor Development Index (PDI), when compared to the children of non-supplemented breastfeeding mothers. In the study, the mothers were provided with either placebo or a 200 mg capsule of Martek DHA(TM) daily for 4 months, beginning 5 days after delivery, and at age 2 1/2 years of age, the children were tested for psychomotor development.
[7/8/2005] Mannatech Announces Results of Independent Study on Ambrotose AO(R)
US-based network marketing company Mannatech, Incorporated (MTEX) has reported results of a recent company sponsored dose-response study, conducted by the Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research (ACCMER), on the company's antioxidant product, Ambrotose AO(R). According to the company, the results indicated a significant increase in the antioxidant levels in the blood after supplementation with Ambrotose AO(R).
[7/8/2005] Study Indicates That Pycnogenol(R) Can Help Prevent Leg, Ankle Swelling on Long Airline Flights
A double-blind, placebo controlled study published in the July 2005 issue of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis tested in-flight ankle swelling for 169 participants provided either a Pycnogenol® or placebo before flight. The researchers found that the untreated passengers showed increased ankle swelling almost twice as high as in the group of passengers supplemented with Pycnogenol®.
[7/7/2005] Study Provides Further Evidence That Walnuts Protective for People with Type 2 Diabetes
Research at Australia's University of Wollongong and published in the July 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association indicates that the intake of 30 grams of walnuts a day in conjunction with 350g of oily fish a week enabled participants to achieve recommended levels for fat proportions in an energy-controlled diet for the management of diabetes, and sooner than other dietary interventions studied.
[7/6/2005] Largest Trial of Vitamin E Shows Heart Health Benefit For Women, No Effect For Cancer Risk Reduction
Results of the Women's Health Study (WHS) on 40,000 healthy women, half of whom took 600IU of Vitamin E every other day, appear in the July 6 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The results indicate that Vitamin E supplementation at that level was associated with a statistically significant 24 percent reduction in cardiovascular deaths over a ten year period, and for women over 65, the positive effect was a 49 percent reduction in cardiovascular death and a 34 percent reduction in heart attack. The study also confirmed that supplementation at the level of 600IU every other day did not increase mortality in healthy women. The researcher’s results identify a non-significant 7% risk reduction for major cardiovascular events and no effect on myocardial infarction or stroke, as well as ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, and then note the significant reduction in risk of cardiovascular death. Media coverage (including an article on BBC News) notes that the researchers leading this study observed that the women in this study taking vitamin E experienced no benefits in reduced cancer risk and heart disease risk, observing that there were 482 heart attacks in the Vitamin E group, and 517 in the placebo group.
[7/6/2005] Saw Palmetto and Nettle Root Combination Effective for Prostate and Urinary Problems in Elderly Men
Results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted by researchers at the Institute of Urology in Moscow involving 257 older men treated with a combination of saw palmetto and nettle root extracts, indicates that the combination was effective in treating urinary tract difficulties. The product used in the study, Prostagutt(R) forte (also known as PRO 160/120) in Germany, is manufactured under strict pharmaceutical standards by Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals, and contains 160 mg of WS(R) 1473, an extract of saw palmetto berry, and 120 mg of WS(R) 1031, an extract of nettle root.
[7/6/2005] NutraCea Announces Results of Open Label Trial at University of New Mexico School of Medicine
US-based supplement company NutraCea (NTRZ) has announced the results of an open label circuit trial the University of New Mexico (UNM) School of Medicine on the company's RiSolubles(R) product. According to the company, in 39 patients studied, the researchers observed a 12.31% reduction in total cholesterol and a 10.54% reduction of LDL cholesterol.
[7/6/2005] Advitech Announces Positive Results of XP-828L Study In Psoriasis
Canada-based biotech company Advitech Inc. (TSX-V: AVI), has announced results from its recently completed randomized, multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of XP-828L, its new oral product for treating mild-to-moderate psoriasis, which indicate that the product is effective and safe.
[7/5/2005] Soybean Protein May Lower Blood Pressure
According to a Reuters Health article citing a report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers at Tulane University assessed blood pressure changes in 302 adults randomly selected to take either a soybean protein dietary supplement or an inactive carbohydrate supplement for a period of 12 weeks. The researchers observed a significant blood pressure drop in the group taking the soybean supplement, with the effect most pronounced in those with blood pressure of at least 140/90.