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GWI to distribute Chenguang Biotech stevia

GWI to distribute Chenguang Biotech stevia

The New Year started sweet for GWI with a promising partnership: GWI, a leading raw ingredient distributor from La Mirada, Calif., has confirmed an exclusive contract agreement with Chenguang Biotech, one of the world’s best herbal extract manufacturers, to distribute and sell its stevia product in North America.

Being a natural alternative to sugar, stevia sales and demand are higher than ever with a global market volume of $304 million in 2012 and an expected growth to $409 million by 2016, according to Zenith International, an international consultant in the food and drink industry. Major reasons for the market growth are the rising level of obesity and diabetes, but also the growing health awareness and consciousness in today’s consumers.

“We have been looking for a partner in North America for many years on a variety of our herbal products,” said Mr. Qingguo Lu, president of Chenguang Biotech. “With GWI’s customer service, reputation, extensive product line and solid customer base, it was time for an exclusive partnership. We grew our stevia market share in Asia over the past years, and see this as the right time and opportunity to penetrate into the American market, together, with GWI as our strong partner.”

Mr. Lu is known as a legendary Chinese entrepreneur often referred to as the “Pepper King” as he led Chenguang Biotech to become the world’s number-one Paprika oleoresin manufacturer. With its strong infrastructure, Chenguang currently operates 12 agricultural facilities around the world and is aiming to become the number-one natural extracts manufacturer worldwide.

“We are excited about the partnership and to work with Chenguang as their exclusive agent of stevia,” stated Jim Schultz, CEO of GWI. “We trust each other and strongly believe we will strengthen the support for our customers with this agreement. The past few years have shown double-digit growth for the herbal market as well as the supplement industry. As market leader, GWI will play an important role in this trend. By importing high quality herbal products to the U.S. market, we assist our customers in their supply chain management, sourcing and formulating.”

Upon this agreement, GWI will be the only agent in the North American market to provide the high-quality Chenguang stevia in a consistent and reliable manner. GWI also offers green coffee bean, grape seed, lutein, lycopene and red yeast rice from Chenguang Biotech.


Tocotrienols benefit diseased livers

Tocotrienols benefit diseased livers

A groundbreaking human clinical study shows supplementation with a bioenhanced natural full spectrum palm tocotrienol complex at 400mg daily for one year improves fatty liver in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

NAFLD often coexists with metabolic syndrome especially type 2 diabetes and obesity. It is reported to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and affects approximately 30 percent of the population in Western countries. Recently, the University of Hong Kong reported that a staggering 40 percent of healthy Hong Kong population have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, with majority of them not aware of the condition.

This study, conducted at University Science Malaysia, Penang, recruited 87 untreated hypercholesterolemic adults diagnosed with NAFLD by ultrasound. Subjects were randomized into two groups. Over the study period of one year, the control group of 44 subjects and tocotrienols group of 43 subjects were given 200mg twice a day of placebo or mixed tocotrienols softgels, respectively. All subjects underwent a battery of fasting blood chemistry analyses at quarterly intervals and high sensitivity B-mode ultrasonography (USG) examinations at baseline and after one year.

A total of 64 subjects completed the study—34 from control group and 30 from tocotrienols group. Liver ultrasound showed normalized echogenic response in 15 subjects out of 30 in the tocotrienols group (50 percent). In comparison, only eight subjects out of 34 in the placebo group (23.5 percent) showed normalization. The normalisation of hepatic echogenic response was significantly higher for the tocotrienols treated group compared to the placebo group.

As secondary objective, protocol assessment also showed significant rate of remission. Worsening of NAFLD grade was recorded in two patients in the placebo group, but none in the group treated with tocotrienols. No adverse events were reported for both groups.

“In summary, the present study shows that patients assigned to tocotrienols at the current dosage, have significantly benefited in terms of normalization of the hepatic echogenic response in NAFLD compared to placebo during the 1-year treatment,” wrote the lead researcher, Dr Enrico Magosso.

Another group of researchers from the Philippines recently presented a human study (67 subjects) at the Asia Pacific Association for the Study of Liver, (June 2013, Singapore) that shows that lifestyle modification and exercise together with supplementation of 100 mg of tocotrienols for three months is nearly four times more effective in improving liver stiffness in NAFLD patients, compared to lifestyle modification and exercise alone.

While in another study, Japanese researchers reported that simultaneous intake of tocotrienols with alpha-tocopherol synergistically inhibited lipid accumulation, inflammation and fibrosis in the liver of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis rats, which further underscores the importance of tocotrienols and tocopherols in reducing the severity or risk of NAFLD.



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Essential oils beat migraine drugs

Essential oils beat migraine drugs

Next time a headache strikes, even a migraine, skip the aspirin and reach for an essential oil. Clinical trials show, for example, that essential oil of lavender relieves migraine pain and accompanying symptoms by 72 percent.

In comparison, the Migraine Treatment Group reports that Tylenol helps migraines about 50 percent of the time. Ibuprofen works 57 percent of the time. And Imitrex, a drug often prescribed by doctors for migraine relief, is effective only 59 percent of the time.  

A 2012 study conducted by the School of Medicine's Department of Neurology, at Iran's Mashad University of Medical Sciences, enrolled 47 diagnosed migraine patients and randomly assigned them to one of two groups. Trial subjects were told to apply two to three drops of essential lavender oil onto their upper lip, inhale it for 15-minutes and then score the severity of their headache pain every 30 minutes for the next two hours. (Control subjects received similar instructions but were given a placebo to inhale).

Out of 129 reported headaches experienced by trial subjects, nearly 72 percent responded entirely or partially to the lavender essential oil therapy. In the control group, fewer than half of headaches responded to the placebo.

Besides lavender, essential oil of peppermint has been shown in multiple studies to relieve nausea and vomiting associated with migraine as well as the perception of headache and migraine pain. Essential oil of rose has been found to combine well with lavender to soothe migraine pain.

"We definitely see essential oil therapies gaining popularity," reports Kate Vozoff, Premiere Enterprises' director of product development. "They're effective and have no side effects. It's hard to beat that combination." 

Even children ages 5 and up can safely use essential oil remedies like Headache ReLeaf. Vozoff says this should make many parents happy because, "one in six American kids and teens suffer with headaches and sometimes even migraines."  

While lavender is the basic essential oil remedy for all headaches, aromatherapists often combine it with other oils. For example:

  • Tension headaches call for a mix of lavender and peppermint.
  • For migraines, combine lavender with peppermint and rose.
  • Cluster headaches are best treated with a blend of lavender, basil, marjoram, peppermint and rosemary.
  • For sinus headache, use lavender along with eucalyptus, frankincense and rosemary. 

PureCircle helps cut 1.8 trillion calories

PureCircle helps cut 1.8 trillion calories

An industry leader in sustainability initiatives, PureCircle announced its 2013 Calorie Footprint. The global producer of high-purity stevia ingredients reported it has supplied enough stevia sweeteners to enable the food and beverage industry to remove 1.8 trillion calories from global diets.

“In our 2013 fiscal year, we supplied enough stevia to enable a reduction of 500 billion calories from global diets,” explained Ajay Chandran, director of corporate sustainability. “Since we started monitoring in 2006, we’ve supplied enough stevia to help the industry achieve a reduction of approximately two trillion calories in food and beverage products. The pace at which we’re helping the food and beverage industry moderate calories is increasing at a significantly faster rate than we anticipated. As a result, we now have the capability to help the food and beverage industry reduce up to two trillion calories per year. This positions us well to achieve our cumulative calorie footprint reduction goal by 2020.”

Calorie Footprint
The calorie footprint is an estimate of the number of calories that can be reduced within the global diet by modifying the caloric content of a product by replacing some caloric sweetness with zero-calorie plant-based stevia sweeteners. Since high-purity, stevia sweeteners are metabolized by the human body in a way that has almost no caloric impact, a partial replacement of caloric sweeteners with stevia can have a significant caloric reduction benefit overall without losing a natural sweet taste. As part of PureCircle’s 2020 Sustainability Goals, the company has set ambitious goals to positively benefit the broader food industry and the communities in which it operates. Calorie reduction is one of these goals. The 2020 goal for the PureCircle Calorie Footprint is to support the cumulative reduction of 13 trillion calories from food and beverages worldwide, with an interim goal of four trillion by 2015.

Stevia-sweetened product launches
Global new product launches of stevia-sweetened food and beverages continue to grow with penetration across a wide swathe of categories. In 2013, 1,611 stevia sweetened foods and beverages were launched, according to Mintel’s GNPD database. This was a 48 percent increase from 2012. Nearly 3,300 products were launched over the past three years. “Food and beverage companies around the world have continued to seek ways to reduce calories in their offerings and have increasingly found stevia to be the ideal solution to this challenge,” said Jason Hecker, vice president global marketing. “With our broad portfolio of stevia sweeteners and flavors which demonstrate great synergy with natural origin caloric sweeteners, we see strong demand continuing with deeper calorie reductions in the future.”

Sabinsa Australia announces 2 key hires

Sabinsa Australia announces 2 key hires

Sabinsa Australia is pleased to announce that Jon Tilyard has joined the company as general manager and Alison Dear as technical advisor, a newly created position.

Overhauling and reengineering business entities for growth, irrespective of prevailing market conditions, have defined Jon Tilyard’s extensive career in sales and marketing. The tools, methods and strategies to do this were learnt during 11 years with the global giant General Electric Business, a $100 billion-revenue corporation with the core belief that “people make the difference.” Here Jon was trained in many global programs with the Change Acceleration Process the center piece of how GE people constantly reinvent businesses to outperform all others.

Later these skills would be at the forefront of building his own businesses, including the restarting of a gourmet food manufacturing business which now has a product on the shelves of New Zealand’s leading supermarket chain. Recently Jon started up and commercialized the first online recruitment and psychometric testing program in Australia, selling it to one of the world’s leading anti-virus software firms, three of Australia’s largest real estate networks and over 150 companies prior to selling the business.   

Jon is responsible for reorganizing the business unit so commercial activities are well placed to leverage stakeholders across the desired marketing segments for Sabinsa. “I’m extremely enthusiastic about leading the Sabinsa ANZ team into a significant period of sales and profit growth,” Jon said. “Showcasing Sabinsa’s portfolio of science-backed, patented products, I’m networking industry association and influencers to raise the Sabinsa’s profile as a preferred “go to supplier.”   

Alison (Ali) Dear is a highly qualified and well recognized nutritionist, exercise therapist and yoga teacher with 15 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry.  Ali also has the commercial experience to deliver Sabinsa’s technical solutions to customers.

Ali has a degree from Sydney University in Exercise Science, has a Master of Teaching and also a Diploma of Nutrition from the Australian College of Natural Therapies. Career highlights include Eli Lilly— Neuroscience, Roche—learning and development manager, product specialist—Oncology and Rheumatology. As an independent consultant Ali has worked with Australians preparing and competing in the Tour de France, and conducted individual consultations and health programs to corporations including Novartis, Telstra, Paramount Pictures and Manchester Unity.

As the director of Nutriliciouslife, Ali is a published writer on health and well-being for Howard Recruitment, Ride Media, and Cyclist magazine covering topics like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stress.

Ali is to provide comprehensive technical support to sponsors and manufacturers in Australia and New Zealand. She will work with Sabinsa’s regulatory advisers Robert Forbes to gain TGA/NZ listings. In addition to complementary medicines Ali will scope out potential opportunities in cosmeceuticals, selective functional foods and beverage markets.

“We are very pleased with the team we have in place at Sabinsa Australia,” said Neeraja Shetty, Sami labs director and president of strategy and business development, Sabinsa’s R&D-focused sister company. “The experience and talent Jon and Ali both bring to the company will be of significant benefit in expanding Sabinsa’s presence in Australia and New Zealand.” 

PepsiCo swaps out 'natural' for 'simply'

PepsiCo swaps out 'natural' for 'simply'

PepsiCo is replacing the word "natural" with "simply" on some of its products' labels. PepsiCo says the change is no more than a marketing update, but the new labeling comes after several companies faced legal challenges over their use of "natural" labeling including Ben & Jerry's, Bryers and Pepperidge Farm. FDA doesn't define "natural" but doesn't object to products with this label if they don't contain "added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances." It is yet to be seen if the new "simply" labeling will draw the same types of legal challenges as the "natural" labeling.

Associated Press
January 24, 2014

PepsiCo rebrands 'Natural' products with 'Simply'

PepsiCo has quietly gotten rid of the word "Natural" in some of its products and instead is going with "Simply.

The company changed its "Simply Natural" line of Frito-Lay chips to simply be called "Simply," although the ingredients remain the same. Similarly, its "Natural Quaker Granola" got a makeover as "Simply Quaker Granola."

The food and beverage giant says the name changes, which took place last year, are the result of it updating its marketing. But they come at a time when PepsiCo and other companies face legal challenges over their use of the word "natural."

The Food and Drug Administration doesn't have a definition for what constitutes "natural," but says it doesn't object to the word's use as long as the product doesn't contain "added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances." Still, a number of lawsuits recently have challenged whether the ingredients in products labeled as "natural" fit that billing.

Click here to read full article.



Some supplements contain too much vitamin C

Some supplements contain too much vitamin C

It's cold and flu season, which means many people are reaching for vitamin C, as it may modestly reduce cold symptoms (although it won't prevent a cold). What they may not know is that taking too much vitamin C may also cause stomach upset and diarrhea and, if used long-term, potentially, other negative effects.

To make sure that supplements contain and deliver the amounts of vitamin C listed on their labels, recently tested a variety of vitamin C supplements. Many top-quality products were identified, but two vitamin C supplements were discovered to contain 40 percent more vitamin C than listed, increasing the chance that they could cause side effects in some people. also discovered that one supplement contained 15 percent less vitamin C than listed.

Most adults need only 75 mg to 120 mg of vitamin C per day, which is roughly the amount in a glass of orange juice. Children need just 15 mg to 75 mg. A much higher dose (1,000 mg or more) taken daily throughout the cold season has been shown to reduce the symptoms and duration of a cold, which is why many products are designed to deliver amounts ranging from 250 mg to 1,000 mg per unit. However, side effects may occur when daily intake (including that from foods as well as supplements) exceeds just 400 mg for very young children and 2,000 IU for adults. also found that a common dose of vitamin C from a high-quality supplement can cost as little as one cent, or over one dollar.'s Vitamin C Supplements Review is available online. It includes quality ratings and comparisons of 25 vitamin C supplements and explains:

  • Which vitamin C supplements passed testing, and which failed
  • Which high-quality vitamin C supplements are also lowest cost (as low as 1 cent per 500 mg)
  • What vitamin C can and cannot do for your health
  • The potential advantages of forms of vitamin C, such as Ester-C, sodium ascorbate, and slow-release vitamin C
  • The value of additional ingredients, such as bioflavonoids (e.g., quercetin, dihydroquercetin, rutin, and hesperidin), often found in vitamin C supplements
  • The vitamin C dosage to help prevent or treat conditions such as colds, gout, and vitamin C deficiency
  • The potential side-effects of vitamin C and other concerns, including the potential for kidney stones and interactions with drugs and diagnostic tests  

Products in the report include 11 selected by and 14 others that passed's voluntary Quality Certification Program, as well as one other vitamin C supplement similar to one that passed testing. The products included are: Bronson Laboratories Vitamin C Crystals, ChildLife Liquid Vitamin C, CVS Pharmacy C, Douglas Laboratories Ester C Plus, Dynamic Health Laboratories Liquid Vitamin C 1,000 mg, Emergen-C, Ester-C, Finest Nutrition (Walgreen) C Vitamin, Garden of Life RAW Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin C, Gary Null's Suprema C Strawberry, Halls Defense Vitamin C Strawberry, Kirkland Signature (Costco) Vitamin C, Life Extension Vitamin C with Dihydroquercetin, Nature Made VitaMelts Vitamin C, Nature's Plus Animal Parade Vitamin C, Nutrilite Vitamin C Plus, Puritan's Pride C-1000 mg, Rainbow Light Gummy Vitamin C Slices, Rexall Vitamin C, Solgar Ester-C Plus, Spring Valley C, Trader Joe's Chewable Oranges & C, TwinLab C-1000 Caps, Vitacost Vitamin C, Vitafusion Power C, and Vitamin World C-1000 mg.

SuperUlam supports concentration, mood

SuperUlam supports concentration, mood

In research just published by the evidence based Complementary and Alternative Medical Journal, SuperUlam, manufactured by Biotropics Malaysia Berhad, has proven to be effective at supporting concentration, mood and memory.

The clinical study on the efficacy and safety of this blend of natural ingredients aimed at supporting brain health was conducted by Medicus Research, the U.S.-based CRO renowned for its pioneering work in the natural health industries.

“The SuperUlam product appears to have a neurostimulatory and neurocognitive performance enhancement effect, impacting various aspects of cognition and memory at different times between one and five hours after a single dose,” said Principal Investigator, Dr. Jay Udani, CEO and medical director of Medicus Research. “The product also appears to induce a state of relaxation as evidenced by reductions in tension, anger, and depression.”

SuperUlam is a proprietary mixture of extracts from plants shown in laboratory research or traditional use to improve concentration, mood, and/or energy as well as vitamins C and E. Extracts of sireh (Piper betle), turmeric (Curcuma longa), pegaga (Centellaasiatica), curry leaf (Murrayakoenigii), selasih (Ocimumbasilicum), kesum (Polygonum minus), and ulam raja (Cosmos caudatus) are included.

Malaysia has one of the world’s oldest rainforests, which contains an abundance of plants that are commonly used for health purposes. One of the most popular Malaysian foods believed to have broad medicinal merit is an antioxidant herbal vegetable salad known as “ulam.” Many traditional vegetables used in ulam are believed to have significant levels of antioxidant activity. Ulam are usually eaten because of its perceived wide-ranging healing effects.

 In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, Biotropics Malaysia Berhad’s SuperUlam was investigated for its ability to improve concentration and mood in healthy adults aged 35 to 65 years. The aim was to evaluate the effect of SuperUlam on attention, concentration, memory and mood state in sleep-deprived healthy volunteers compared to placebo.

Measurement of cognitive function included computer-based testing of reaction time, complex attention, working memory, sustained attention, and executive functioning. The study concluded that supplementation with SuperUlam is safe to consume with potential benefits to cognitive function and mood.

Mr. Tengku Shahrir Tengku Adnan, CEO of the product manufacturer, Biotropics Malaysia Berhad, said, “We invest heavily in scientifically qualifying our products, in fact the ingredient Polygonum minus in SuperUlam is based on our propriety extract LineminusTM patented for pro-cognitive effects”


Algatechnologies extends shelf life of AstaPure

Algatechnologies extends shelf life of AstaPure

Algatechnologies, (Algatech) Israel, announces the successful completion of stability studies for its AstaPure® line of natural astaxanthin products. The research included the successful increase of a recommended retest date for its leading ingredient, 10 percent astaxanthin oleoresin, to four years at room temperature.

This breakthrough shelf-life extension was approved after completion of more than four years of real-time stability studies, indicating significantly better shelf life conditions than those of other brands.

In order to test how various environmental conditions affect the stability of astaxanthin in finished products, Algatech performed a comprehensive series of experiments on the concentration of natural astaxanthin in AstaPure products to study the influence of air, heat and light, as well as various combinations of these parameters and over extended periods of time.

“In light of the impressive results of the studies, we are able to extend AstaPure’s shelf-life at room temperature with complete confidence, providing that the packages remain sealed in their original containers,” explains Oran Ayalon, PhD., director for R&D at Algatech. “In order to make sure the temperature is controlled and to further extend the shelf life, it is recommended to store the product in refrigerated conditions.”

“The successful completion of the stability tests is an important part of Algatech's continuing efforts to provide customers the best, highest quality, sustainable and, importantly, most stable product,” says Efrat Kat, director of marketing and sales at Algatech.

Unlike artificial astaxanthin, Natural Algae Astaxanthin is a highly potent antioxidant, exhibiting approximately 500 times greater effectiveness than tocopherol (vitamin E). It is much more powerful than other carotenoids. AstaPure Natural Algae Astaxanthin has demonstrated numerous benefits, including enhancing cardiovascular health, improving athletes’ performance, protecting the skin from premature aging and more.

Algatech is a global biotechnology company specializing in the commercial cultivation of microalgae and is a world leader in the production and supply of natural astaxanthin. AstaPure products are used as active ingredients in the dietary supplements, food, and cosmetics industries.

Algatech is a member of NAXA—the Natural Algae Astaxanthin Association—a trade organization dedicated to educating the public and industry about the health benefits of Natural Algae Astaxanthin and the major differences between sources.