Kids’ vitamin D levels might need a boost
New research is questioning the current recommended daily intake of 200 IU for vitamin D in children. The study, published in the June Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found that only when kids’ vitamin D levels were increased 10-fold—from the suggested daily intake of 200 IU to 2,000 IU—did they have optimum vitamin D blood levels. The study looked at both long- and short-term supplementation in 10- to 17-year-old children and reported no adverse side effects from the vitamin. Currently, both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend daily intakes of 200 IU for children. But because deficiency is so common due to low dietary amounts and lack of exposure to the sun, reports in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have called for higher levels. Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption and proper bone development.
Color me changeable
Shampoo that changes colors when it’s time to rinse, or a lotion that turns a certain hue if your skin’s pH is off—it may sound like stuff from a sci-fi film, but products like these are already hitting the mass market. Take Dial Corp.’s new ColorClean soap with foam that changes colors when the user has washed long enough. More products are sure to hit the market soon with a new company, Austin, Texas-based Reveal Sciences, dedicated to color-changing personal care products. Reveal offers manufacturers a technology using biomaterial that reacts to elapsed time, friction, temperature and pH to make a product change colors.
Herbal-supplements sales are growing
Herbal dietary-supplements sales are growing, and they’re growing across multiple channels, according to a recent report published in the American Botanical Council’s journal HerbalGram. Total sales of herbal dietary supplements in all sales channels of the U.S. market were $4.79 billion in 2007, according to the report, which based its findings on data from Information Resources and Nutrition Business Journal (published by The Natural Foods Merchandiser’s parent company, New Hope Natural Media). This figure represents growth of 4.4 percent from 2006. The findings reflect consumers’ increased interest in taking more responsibility for their health, and herbs becoming more mainstream and less “alternative,” said Mark Blumenthal, executive director of Austin-based ABC. —A.S.