Natural Foods Merchandiser

HBC Notes

Swell News
Researchers recently discovered what may be the cause of rheumatoid arthritis, the painful swelling and deterioration of the joints. Scientists from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston think the disease may result from certain types of carbohydrates, called GAGs (glycosaminoglycans), that are manufactured by the body. These carbohydrates, found in joint tissue, cause inflammation as part of the body's defense system. The researchers believe that rheumatoid arthritis may result from the body's mishandling of GAGs, meaning that rheumatoid arthritis may result from an unusual immune response. The researchers hope that the breakthrough will pave the way for new treatments.

Pile On The C And A, Sister
Women may need antioxidants more than men, according to recent research (American Journal of Epidemiology, 2002). Compared to men, women appear to experience more cellular oxidation—higher levels of free radicals—that can increase the risk of diseases such as heart disease and lung cancer. In fact, the women's oxidation levels tested so much higher than the men's that the researchers found that being female is a more powerful indicator of oxidative stress than smoking. Oxidative stress was lower in subjects who had higher levels of vitamins C and A in their blood. And retailers take note, supplementing with antioxidant vitamins can counteract the oxidation process.

Americans are spending more than ever on personal care—an average of $563.62 per household in 2000—according to American Demographics magazine. Americans shelled out $119.92 on cosmetics, perfume and bath preperations; $51.46 on hair care products; $25.78 on oral hygiene products; and $29.71 on deodorants, feminine hygiene and miscellaneous personal care.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIII/number 11/p. 28

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