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Articles from 2002 In January


Delicious Living

February 1, 2002

NSF, USP Compete Over Label Seal

Washington, D.C.—NSF International and the US Pharmacopeia (USP) are battling it out for organisation-of-choice status for the supplements label stamp-of-approval that will be seen on product labels this year.

USP, founded in 1820, has been the established certifier since it was named in the 1994 Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA) as the national compendium for supplements standards, but NSF has rallied strategic industry support to expedite the process for a reliable mark of quality on product labels.

NSF, founded in 1944, recently formed an alliance with the US supplements trade group National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA), and has also acquired testing methods validators Institute for Nutraceutical Advancement (INA). USP, meanwhile, announced its new dietary supplements verification program starting in November 2001.

The two organisations are endeavouring to build consumer confidence following accusations of discrepancies between listed ingredient quantities and those present in certain products. At least two other independent products testing organisations, consumerlab.com and the Good House-keeping Institute, currently offer varying methodologies toward attaining a seal-of-approval for dietary supplements.

Meanwhile, supplements manufacturers and marketers are evaluating the certification programs for their strengths, costs and market value before deciding which stamp-of-approval process to pursue.

"I'm in favour of all of these programs," says Loren Israelsen, director of the Utah Natural Products Alliance, which represents manufacturers. "These are highly regarded organisations who are taking an interest in our industry, adding value and helping consumers understand what quality means."

Global Guidelines: Can They Ever Work?

Confusion and controversy dog the role of Codex Alimentarius, the international body responsible for setting food standards. Here, Simon Pettman, executive director of IADSA, explains how Codex operates, and the challenges that lie ahead.

Codex has been under attack in the last few months in a way it has never before experienced. The cause is the draft guideline on vitamin and mineral supplements. Advocates for freedom of vitamin therapy have sent tens of thousands of emails, held demonstrations outside Codex meetings, and set up Web sites in an attempt to prevent a proposed Codex ruling. Is all this uproar justified, and will it create a more liberal regulatory environment for marketing dietary supplements and other natural health products?

Codex Alimentarius, established by the United Nations in 1961, links 165 member countries. Its primary purpose is to ensure a fair deal for consumers by improving the quality of food products and to ensure fair and free trade in food through common standards agreements. The member countries are represented in a range of committees that discuss and develop standards, guidelines and other measures that are eventually agreed upon by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Currently, four key Codex initiatives directly affect the dietary supplements sector, with key implications for the functional foods sector: the draft guideline on vitamin and mineral supplements; the draft standard on additives, including those that may be used in supplements; a draft guideline for health claims that can be used for foods, including supplements; and the principles for assessing and managing risks.

A key concern looms over the validity of such discussions at an international level. In light of the industry-at-large's desire to ensure that as many consumers as possible around the world have access to its products, the logical response is that any international guidance which supports this makes sense.

As an industry, we need to get better at clearly defining our product range, and its value to the consumer.

Another concern is whether the current draft Codex measures will contribute to this goal. The answer to this must be vague for now, since all measures are only drafts, some with elements of great concern to the industry. The answer, therefore, depends on the outcome of discussions and the success of lobbyists to garner an appropriate worldwide regulatory framework.

The third question is whether Codex will really make a difference in markets with a liberal regulatory environment. Most likely it will not. For example, the draft Codex guideline on vitamin and mineral supplements is but an advisory document to individual governments, which are not required to introduce it into law. Codex will not restrict vitamin therapy in the US as long as the US administration has not already taken that initiative. Codex also will not restrict vitamin therapy in Germany because it is already restricted under existing German law.

Reality Check
The reality is that Codex exists to help many countries, particularly developing countries, create their own legislation on food. If the Codex model is a good one, it will be enacted into law in many markets across the world. If Codex legislation is restrictive, those markets may be closed or difficult to access.

We need to ensure that regulators understand the substantial volume of data available which underpin our products.
Having been involved in Codex meetings since 1995, I believe the most significant problem is education. As an industry, we need to more clearly define our product range and its value to the consumer, both in industrialised and developing countries. The Stop Codex campaign is unfortunately closing people's minds to important messages. Through bombarding regulators with emails, and making wild claims about Codex day after day, the sympathy level that our industry enjoyed in the past is falling fast. The recent Codex Committee on Nutrition in Berlin was disappointing; the number of governments prepared to support our industry is dwindling.

For Codex Alimentarius to be successful, we need to see even greater international co-ordination on the development of positions and communication of messages relating to the benefits and safety of our products to regulators. This process has been initiated through IADSA as an accredited non-governmental organisation to Codex and should continue. Although Codex progresses slowly, the dietary supplements industry must move faster in those countries where greater education is required.

Simon Pettman is executive director of IADSA, the International Alliance of Dietary Supplements Associations, based in Brussels, Belgium. IADSA brings together 35 associations from 27 countries and is actively engaged in supporting the industry by communicating information, developing common positions and lobbying for an appropriate regulatory framework for dietary supplements. www.iadsa.org. Tel: +32 2 209 11 55 Fax: +32 2 223 30 64

CODEX Guideline On Vitamin And Mineral Supplements

The draft guideline on vitamins and mineral supplements is discussed in the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU), which meets annually in Berlin. The key issues addressed in the draft guideline include labeling as well as calculating minimum and maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in supplements. The draft guideline has been on the table for nearly 10 years and is still only at step three of the eight-step Codex process.

HEALTH CLAIMS: The Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL), which meets annually in Canada, is developing guidelines for health claims for foods, including food supplements. At present, health claims include disease-risk reduction.

ADDITIVES: The additives required to manufacture dietary supplements are a critical yet often forgotten element. Many different additives standards exist across the world, and Codex is developing a common list so that a dietary supplement containing an additive made in one country may be sold in the other 164 Codex member countries. IADSA has submitted to Codex a priority list of additives to be added to this draft list.

RISK ANALYSIS: Science must remain the mainstay of regulation for dietary supplements. The Codex Committee on General Principles is establishing basic principles for risk assessment. This committee is at the centre of a substantial debate on whether the 'precautionary principle' should be introduced into the Codex principles, raising the spectre of arbitrary government decisions on whether a product is safe or not. The precautionary principle may have been defeated for the time being, but our continued work ensures that science remains at the heart of risk analysis.


Q&A With Dan Lukaczer, ND -- February 2002

Orange Blush
Q: I've been juicing and consuming large quantities of carrots, and I'm noticing an orange tint on my palms. What causes this, and is it harmful?

A: The medical term for this condition is carotenemia. In this case, it's probably caused by excessive consumption of carotene-rich foods. The body converts carotenes slowly to vitamin A, so eating a lot of high-carotene foods (or taking a lot of beta-carotene supplements) overwhelms the body's conversion capabilities. The extra carotene is not converted to vitamin A and instead is stored, most often in the palms, soles of the feet and behind the ears. This yellow hue to the skin can look like jaundice, which is a serious condition; however, only jaundice turns the whites of the eyes yellow, and may produce fatigue and itchy skin as well.

Carotenemia is generally benign and goes away a few months after carotene consumption is reduced. However, it can also occur in people with diabetes and hypothyroid disease (low thyroid function), both of which inhibit the conversion of carotene to vitamin A. Although it certainly sounds like your condition is the result of eating lots of carrots, you may want to see a doctor to rule out any more serious problems.

Gauging The Bs
Q: I know that elevated homocysteine levels are associated with heart disease, and B vitamins help. Which B vitamins should I take?

A: Hyperhomocysteinemia has been associated with increased risk for heart disease. The best way to tell if you need extra B vitamins is to get a serum test, which measures homocysteine levels in your blood. If elevated, you can take vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid—the three vitamins studies have most often linked to lowering homocysteine. A repeat test can then determine if the dose is sufficient.

Most people who have elevated levels—10 percent to 20 percent of the population—will probably lower those levels by daily ingesting 10-20 mg B6, 500-1,000 mcg B12, and 800-1,000 mcg folic acid. These doses are well above the recommended daily intake, but there is no literature to indicate long-term harm in taking this combination of nutrients at these levels, probably because they are water-soluble and will not accumulate in the body. A good book to read on the subject is The Homocysteine Revolution by Kilmer McCully, MD (Keats, 1997), who pioneered the concept of homocysteine and heart health.

Do Drugs And Supplements Mix?
Q: My mother takes regular prescription medications as well as supplements. Should she be taking her pills at separate times to avoid unwanted interactions?

A: Interactions between drugs and nutrients are increasingly an issue, because a number of recent studies indicate the need for caution. Certain nutrients can interfere with the absorption of a drug and affect the drug's efficacy. For example, a 20-patient study at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Los Angeles found that calcium carbonate appears to impair the absorption of levothyroxine, a hormone-replacement drug commonly prescribed for hypothyroid patients and analogous to thyroxine (T4)—a principal hormone secreted by the thyroid gland.

Researchers measured patients' levels of thyroxine four times: at baseline while taking levothyroxine alone; at two and three months while taking both calcium carbonate and levothyroxine; and two months after discontinuing just the calcium carbonate. Results showed that calcium supplementation significantly reduced absorption of the medication. These changes were reversed when calcium supplementation was discontinued.

Dan Lukaczer, ND, is director of clinical services at the Functional Medicine Research Center, a division of HealthComm International Inc., in Gig Harbor, Wash.


ARCHIVE: Early Peas With Garlic

Early Peas With Garlic
February, 2002

Early Peas with Garlic Serves 2 / Frozen peas are fine for this dish, but for the best flavor, be sure to use a good-quality olive oil.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
1-1/2 cups frozen baby peas
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a small sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until light brown. Remove garlic from pan and discard.
2. Add peas, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook 5 minutes until heated through. (To reheat, warm on high in microwave for 1 minute.)

Calories 205,Fat 14,Perfat 60,Cholesterol 0,Carbo 15,Protein 6

Feed Your Age: Nutrition And Supplements For Men At Midlife

Recommendation

Notes

Rationale

Eat foods high in essential fatty acids (EFAs).

Cold-water fish (salmon, halibut, mackerel) and flaxseed and hempnut seed oils are omega-3-rich foods.

Omega-3 fats are heart-healthy fats, improving cardiovascular health by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and blood pressure. No need to supplement with arachidonic and linoleic acids, EFAs already abundant in the average diet. Avoid or reduce consumption of saturated fats.

Eat potassium-rich foods.

Virtually all fruits and most vegetables contain potassium.

Increasing dietary potassium can alleviate hypertension, or high blood pressure, by improving the balance between sodium and potassium. Bananas have only about 10 percent more potassium than other fruits, such as oranges.

Use garlic.

Because garlic is a natural blood thinner, discuss its use with your doctor if you take other blood-thinning agents, like coumadin or aspirin.

Garlic (Allium sativum), from the lily family, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, stimulates the immune system, and may help prevent cancers of the gastrointestinal tract and prostate.

Eat foods rich in zinc.

Seafood and liver are excellent sources of zinc. Brewer's yeast, milk, beans and wheat germ also contain some zinc.

Zinc is an essential mineral for human health, especially for prostate function, helping regulate cell division, growth, and the immune system. It is involved in sperm formation and testosterone metabolism. There is no scientific evidence to support the long-standing notion that eating oysters, a zinc-rich food, improves potency.

Take vitamin E supplements.

The antioxidant vitamin E appears to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and may, in conjunction with selenium, reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

In conjunction with vitamin C, vitamin E inhibits the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Vitamin E may also reduce the blood's ability to clot, lowering the risk of heart attacks. Vitamin E may reduce inflammation associated with coronary artery disease. It's difficult to obtain enough vitamin E through dietary measures only. Look for "natural" vitamin E (preferably containing mixed tocopherols).

Get enough selenium.

A diet rich in fish, whole grains and nuts is likely to provide enough dietary selenium.

Selenium, a trace mineral and an antioxidant, appears to play a key role in reducing the risk of cancer, particularly prostate cancer. Make sure the supplement is an organic form from yeast, not sodium selenite.

Sources: Natural Therapeutics Pocket Guide, by James LaValle (Lexi-Comp 2000); UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, www.berkeleywellness.com.



Nutrition 21 Names Eric W. Klar as Business Director of Its Consumer Products Operations

Appointment Continues to Strengthen Nutrition 21's Management Team

PURCHASE, N.Y.-- Nutrition 21 (NASDAQ:NXXI), the leading developer and marketer of chromium-based nutritional supplements, today announced the appointment of Eric W. Klar as business director of its consumer products operations.

Klar is responsible for Nutrition 21's Lite Bites(R) product line (marketed as Brite Bites(R) in the U.K.), which is sold exclusively through QVC's direct-response television and Internet distribution channels. He will lead Nutrition 21's planned growth initiatives to expand its alliance with QVC and to seek new business opportunities for the company's consumer products line.

Gail Montgomery, Nutrition 21's president and chief executive officer, said, "Eric Klar fills another key slot at Nutrition 21, as we continue to strengthen the breadth and depth of our management team. Eric is a seasoned executive with broad-based experience ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. He will play an important role in helping us to penetrate new markets for our consumer products and to capitalize on the emerging growth opportunities we are targeting."

Prior to joining Nutrition 21, Klar was chief operating officer of Sherpa's Pet Trading Company, a leading manufacturer of ultra high-end specialty pet products. At Sherpa's, Klar oversaw the development of the firm's strategic and tactical business plans, and had operational responsibility for sales, marketing, manufacturing, finance, warehousing and public relations.

From 1991 to 1998, Klar was with Greenfield Healthy Foods, a start up company that was sold to Campbell Soup Co. As one of the founding members of Greenfield, he served as vice president of sales and marketing and was later named executive vice president and chief operating officer, responsible for strategic and tactical planning, infrastructure development, marketing, sales, public relations, distribution and syndicated marketing services.

Earlier in his career, Klar held a number of sales and marketing positions at Tambrands and Bristol-Myers.

Klar holds a B.S. from the University of Hartford (CT).

About Nutrition 21
Nutrition 21 is a leading developer and marketer of nutritional supplements whose health benefits have been substantiated by clinical research. Headquartered in Purchase, N.Y., it is the market leader in nutritional chromium, an essential trace mineral critical for the proper function of insulin, the master metabolic hormone. The company's flagship product is Chromax chromium picolinate, a highly bioavailable form of chromium that is sold as an ingredient to manufacturers of vitamins and other nutritional supplements. Nutrition 21 also markets its own proprietary line of chromium-supplemented products, which are sold exclusively on the QVC television network. Nutrition 21 currently holds 33 patents for nutrition products; 23 for chromium compounds and their uses. More information is available at www.nutrition21.com.

Safe Harbor Provision
This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate" and other similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. These forward-looking statements are based largely on the Company's current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including without limitation: the effect of the expiration of patents; regulatory issues; uncertainty in the outcomes of clinical trials; changes in external market factors; changes in the Company's business or growth strategy or an inability to execute its strategy due to changes in its industry or the economy generally; the emergence of new or growing competitors; various other competitive factors; and other risks and uncertainties indicated from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Registration Statement on Form S-3, the Prospectus dated April 25, 2000, its Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2001, and its Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2001. Actual results could differ materially from the results referred to in the forward-looking statements. In light of these risks and uncertainties, there can be no assurance that the results referred to in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will in fact occur. Additionally, the Company makes no commitment to disclose any revisions to forward-looking statements, or any facts, events or circumstances after the date hereof that may bear upon forward-looking statements.

CONTACT:
The Dilenschneider Group
Media: Jim Swords
212/922-0900
Investors: Reid Gearhart
212/922-0900

Rediff.com Launches Comprehensive Resource On Healthcare

MUMBAI, India--Channel offers a collection of value added interest-specific content attracts sponsorship from leading national and multinational brands

Rediff.com India Limited (Nasdaq: REDF), one of India's leading Internet, communications and consumer services companies serving Indians globally, both online and offline has increased its interest-specific content and service offerings, providing users with a comprehensive online healthcare resource.

The new channel can be viewed at http://health.rediff.com

Additionally, Rediff.com is in the process of launching a series of interest-specific channels. These channels are in keeping with the Company's India-strategy of providing its users comprehensive offerings across specific interest areas by forging alliances with trusted, world-class organisations.

Users logging onto the 'health' section at Rediff.com, will have access to health-related issues which includes databank of doctors; alternative health products available in the market; information on holistic healing - ayurveda, homeopathy, unani medicine and self healing; numerous health tools including a calorie meter and a waist-hip ratio formula; a fitness centre focusing on aerobics, yoga, meditation & dietary supplements; information on heart disease, asthma, diabetes, cancer, AIDS and more. Users can also mail in their queries and get expert advice from doctors online.

Rediff.com has alliances with leading pharmaceutical companies like Apollolife, Lupin Laboratories and Johnson & Johnson to provide various content and services to its users, as part of its commitment to continually offer users 'interest-specific' information that enriches the quality of their life.

Rediff.com currently has successful and profitable arrangements with companies focusing on Auctions, Auto, Astrology, Jobs, Tech Education, Technology, Insurance, Lifestyle and Women.

About Rediff.com
Founded in 1996, Rediff.com India Ltd., (Nasdaq: REDF) is one of India's leading Internet, communications and media companies serving Indians globally, both online and offline. Through its online and offline product and service offerings Rediff.com offers interest specific channels, local language editions, sophisticated search capabilities, online shopping, long distance calling cards and Internet based telephony services. It's news publication, India Abroad, is one of the oldest and largest South Asian weekly newspaper serving the Indian American community in the United States. The Company also provides users extensive Internet community offerings all tailored to the interests of Indians worldwide. Rediff.com has offices in New York, Chicago, New Delhi and is headquartered in Mumbai, India.

Except for historical information and discussions contained herein, statements included in this release may constitute "forward-looking statements." These statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those that may be projected by these forward looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to the slowdown in the US and Indian economies and in the sectors in which our clients are based, the slowdown in the internet and IT sectors world-wide, competition, success of our past and future acquisitions, attracting, recruiting and retaining highly skilled employees, technology, legal and regulatory policy, managing risks associated with customer products, the wide spread acceptance of the internet as well as other risks detailed in the reports filed by Rediff.com India Limited with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Rediff.com India Limited and it's subsidiaries may, from time to time, make additional written and oral forward looking statements, including statements contained in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and our reports to shareholders. Rediff.com India Limited does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by or on behalf of the Company.

CONTACT:
Rediff.com India Limited
Debasis Ghosh,
+ 91-22-4449144 Ext. 266

Congress Funds Research Program to Determine Impact of Daily Vitamins on School Performance of At-Risk Children

Murrieta, CA - What if you could improve children’s academic performance; raise their IQ levels, and lower behavioral problems – just by giving them a daily multi-vitamin tablet?

Intriguing recent research suggests that is exactly the case. And now Congress has appropriated $500,000 to find out if this wonderfully simple idea can make a powerful difference for at-risk children.

Sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), this award to The Healthy Foundation of Murrieta, California will underwrite a research program, to begin in late 2002, which will measure improvement in academic performance and behavior in several thousand at-risk American schoolchildren given low-dose vitamin-mineral supplementation.

The Healthy Foundation currently provides daily vitamins to over 5,000 children from low-income families at 87 sites in 33 states. Its national initiative, called Vitamin Relief USA-Children First, is a public private partnership that distributes daily children’s chewable multivitamin/mineral supplements to children at-risk for malnutrition and nutrient deficiency.

Hyla Cass, M.D., president of The Healthy Foundation explains: “Our mission is to improve the health status and quality of life of the at-risk children in our nation. By catching them early, we are very likely saving these children from a lifetime of underachievement – and worse. Vitamins not only help them perform better academically, but they also promote normal growth and development to their full mental and physical capabilities. With more public and private funding, this program, over time, will result in a safer, healthier and more productive America.”

Commenting on the passage of this key appropriation, Senator Harkin said: “The foundation’s program, Vitamin Relief USA-Children First, provides at-risk children with daily nutritional supplements to improve their health and academic success and then evaluates the impact it makes. We already know that sound child nutrition is linked with improved school performance and attendance. This new program just makes sense. We need this type of investment to help ensure a brighter future for every student.”

Congressman Frank Pallone, a strong supporter of the legislation, recently cited Pediatrics Journal’s report that only one percent of 3,300 youths studied met the U.S. RDA for a healthy diet. “We have the opportunity and obligation to make sure the basic biological needs of every citizen are met,” Pallone added. “The Healthy Foundation program offers a simple, low cost solution to a serious problem for America’s underserved children.”

Congressional support echoes the American public’s ongoing enthusiasm for dietary supplements. According to a Harris survey, six out of ten Americans (59 percent) report taking dietary supplements. The same survey showed that 17% of the general population took vitamins and minerals for the first time in 2000 and that 85% of all U.S. consumers used dietary supplements some time in the year 2000.

“We believe The Healthy Foundation’s Vitamin Relief USA-Children First program will validate vitamin/mineral supplements as a viable intervention for improving the academic performance and well-being of American children,” said Dr. Cass.

The vitamins and program sponsors include Longevity Sciences, Tishcon Corp., Natural Factors, Rx Vitamins, Nutrition Formulators, Elan Intl., SETCO, Tim Plastics, Creative Image, Mini Graphics, Optimum Health Int., Cosmo-Pharm, Inc., Package All Corp., MedCorps Intl., the Fetzer Institute, and New Hope Natural Media. Collaborative program partner agencies and organizations include Volunteers of America, Save the Children, Health Care for the Homeless Clinician’s Network, America’s Second Harvest, Head Start programs, K-12 public schools and school districts, and countless other faith-based and community-based groups.

The Healthy Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit foundation committed to improving the health status of children and adults through vitamin supplementation. To support The Healthy Foundation or for further information, please call 877-935-5348 or log onto www.healthfound.org.

Imperial Ginseng Products Ltd. Reports Second Quarter 2002 Fiscal Year Results

VANCOUVER, British Columbia--Jan. 31, 2002--For the three and six month periods ended on December 31, 2001, Imperial Ginseng Products Ltd. reports revenues of $1.7 million and $2.5 million, a net loss of $0.2 million or $0.39 per share and $0.2 million or $0.69 per share, respectively. This compares to revenues of $4.4 million and $4.8 million, a net loss of $0.3 million or $0.44 per share and $0.8 million or $0.98 per share, respectively, for the same periods in the prior year.

Future Outlook
As predicted by the Company, and as at the time of this news release, the world ginseng prices have continued to gain strength. This continued price recovery and the Company's strategic decision to significantly increase seeding at its Ontario farm is expected to reverse its current loss situation within the next 2 to 3 years. Since China now is officially a member of WTO, the Company also plans to take the opportunity to re-enter the China market to maximize its profits and cash flow. With the continued support from our shareholders and bondholders, management of the Company is very optimistic about the long-term financial profitability of the Company.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current expectation regarding future events. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors including, but not limited to the success of the Company's horticultural operations and the strength of the economies and currencies of Asian countries. Investors should consult the Company's ongoing quarterly filings, annual reports and Form 20-F for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to the forward-looking statements. The corporation disclaims any obligations to update these forward-looking statements. The Canadian Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.