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Articles from 2014 In February

Neptune proposes offering of common shares

Neptune proposes offering of common shares

Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. (NASDAQ.NEPT) (TSX.NTB), a biotechnology company engaged primarily in the development, manufacture and commercialization of marine-derived omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, announced that it has commenced an underwritten public offering of its common shares. The offering is being conducted in the United States pursuant to the Company's effective shelf registration statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and in Canada pursuant to a final short form base shelf prospectus filed with the securities regulatory authorities in the Provinces of Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. The number of common shares to be issued and the price of each common share will be determined at the time of pricing of the offering.

Investors are advised to consider carefully the business and risks of the Company before investing.

Roth Capital Partners and Euro Pacific Canada Inc. will act as joint book-running managers and National Securities Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Holdings Inc. (NHLD), will act as lead manager for the offering. The Company expects to grant the underwriters participating in the offering a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15 percent of the number of common shares sold pursuant to the offering to cover over-allotments, if any. The offering is subject to market conditions, and there can be no assurance as to whether or when the offering may be completed, or as to the actual size or terms of the offering.



Another dangerous chemical: nanosilver

Another dangerous chemical: nanosilver

Endocrine disruptors are not the only worrying chemicals that ordinary consumers are exposed to in everyday life. Also nanoparticles of silver, found in e.g. dietary supplements, cosmetics and food packaging, now worry scientists. A new study from the University of Southern Denmark shows that nano-silver can penetrate our cells and cause damage.

Silver has an antibacterial effect and therefore the food and cosmetic industry often coat their products with silver nanoparticles. Nano-silver can be found in drinking bottles, cosmetics, Band-Aids, toothbrushes, running socks, refrigerators, washing machines and food packaging.

"Silver as a metal does not pose any danger, but when you break it down to nano-sizes, the particles become small enough to penetrate a cell wall. If nano-silver enters a human cell, it can cause changes in the cell," explained Associate Professor Frank Kjeldsen and Thiago Verano-Braga, PhD, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Southern Denmark.

Together with their research colleagues they have just published the results of a study of such cell damages in the journal ACS Nano.

The researchers examined human intestinal cells, as they consider these to be most likely to come into contact with nano-silver, ingested with food.

"We can confirm that nano-silver leads to the formation of harmful, so called free radicals in cells. We can also see that there are changes in the form and amount of proteins. This worries us,” said Frank Kjeldsen and Thiago Verano-Braga.

A large number of serious diseases are characterized by the fact that there is an overproduction of free radicals in cells. This applies to cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Kjeldsen and Verano-Braga emphasized that their research is conducted on human cells in a laboratory, not based on living people. They also point out that they do not know how large a dose of nano-silver, a person must be exposed to for the emergence of cellular changes.

"We don’t know how much is needed, so we cannot conclude that nano-silver can make you sick. But we can say that we must be very cautious and worried when we see an overproduction of free radicals in human cells," they said.

Nano-silver is also sold as a dietary supplement, promising to have an antibacterial, anti-flu and cancer-inhibatory effect. The nano-silver should also help against low blood counts and bad skin. In the EU, the marketing of dietary supplements and foods with claims to have medical effects is not allowed. But the nano-silver is easy to find and buy online.

In the wake of the SDU-research, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration now warns against taking dietary supplements with nano-silver.

“The recent research strongly suggests that it can be dangerous", said Søren Langkilde from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration to the Danish Broadcasting Corp.

Made in Nature debuts Ancient Grain Fusions

Made in Nature debuts Ancient Grain Fusions

Made In Nature, the number-one organic dried fruit brand in the U.S., announces the debut of its new Ancient Grain Fusion product line. These convenient, heat-and-serve dishes offer creative, globally inspired flavors that are nutrient dense and flavor rich. The launch will occur during the Natural Products Expo West 2014 show (booth #2828) in the Anaheim Convention Center. This new certified-organic line combines organic grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs in its six meal-sized flavors of Thai Coconut, Moroccan Bazaar, Cuban Mojo, Tuscan Garlic & Tomato, Mediterranean Feta and Southwestern. 
“Made In Nature is deeply rooted in premium, organic, great-tasting products. The challenge with our newest product innovation was to find a way to combine such a complex blend of ingredients into a dish that is ready to eat in only 60 seconds and still preserve its lively textures and lush flavors,” said Doug Brent, president and CEO of Made in Nature. “And with less than 190 milligrams of sodium in each nutrient-dense variety, these dishes are a real breakthrough for consumers who are seeking delicious, healthy and convenient meals.

Ancient Grain Fusions are ideal as an added ingredient to any meal, as a side dish or by themselves for lunch. Available for retail shelves this spring, Ancient Grain Fusions’ SRP is $3.99 for an 8-ounce bag. The Ancient Grain Fusion ingredient lists are simple and never have added sugars, preservatives or artificial colors. Four flavors are certified GMO free by the Non-GMO Project and the remaining two are in the process of GMO-free certification. The company is committed to using only the highest quality, certified-organic ingredients for 100 percent of its products. In addition, its products never include sulfur dioxide, synthetic chemicals or pesticides, or gluten. The new line adds to Made in Nature’s existing line of 12 certified organic dried fruit including Bananas, Pineapples, Dates, Mango plus their Organic Fusion Single Serve Dried Fruit Blends.

Lutein for Every Age turns 1

Lutein for Every Age turns 1

OmniActive Health Technologies is marking one year since it launched its award-winning education campaign Lutein for Every Age™ at Expo West/Engredea in 2013. Aimed at natural products industry members, health care professionals and consumers, Lutein For Every Age raises awareness surrounding the importance of early and consistent lutein supplementation for maintaining proper health over a lifetime. During the past year, OmniActive has enlisted a team of key opinion leaders and scientific experts, including Dr. Jeffrey Anshel, president of the Ocular Nutrition Society and Dr. James Stringham, infant neural and ocular development researcher at the University of Georgia, to speak about the cumulative benefits of lutein when taken over a lifetime with leading publications and at key natural products industry trade shows. 

“We have accomplished a lot over the past year in terms of raising visibility surrounding lutein and its crucial role in overall health, but for us this is just the beginning,” stated Lynda Doyle, global vice president of marketing at OmniActive Health Technologies. “Lutein for Every Age is a long-term campaign that we hope will help close the dietary and generational gap that exists for lutein intake.”

OmniActive will also launch its new curcumin ingredient CurcuWIN™, a turmeric extract powder standardized to 20 percent curcuminoids in the ratio in which they are naturally found in turmeric. In a well-controlled human clinical trial comparing commercial curcumin products, CurcuWIN increased relative absorption of total curcuminoids 46 times over standard curcumin. OmniActive will also be discussing the latest developments surrounding its core products as well including Lutemax Free Lutein®, Lutemax Lutein Esters®, Lutemax® 2020 Lutein with enhanced levels of Zeaxanthin isomers, OmniXan™ Zeaxanthin, and Capsimax® Capsicum Extract, as well as their unique delivery systems UltraSOL™ Nutrient System Technology and OmniBead™ Beadlet Technology.

To learn more visit OmniActive Health Technologies at Expo West/Engredea booth #515, March 7 to 9 in Anaheim, Calif., or visit 


Omega-3s may boost the brain in old age

If Albert Einstein was as addicted to smoked herring as he was to smoking his pipe, perhaps we'd already have flying cars, scratch-n-sniff touch screens and anti-cellulite crème that actually works.

A new study suggests that eating more fish could lead to larger brain volumes in old age – the equivalent to preserving one to two years of brain health.

The journal Neurology published the research, which was noted in the Daily Mail. The research also suggests that higher consumption of omega-3 fatty acids might also provide greater protection against diseases such as Alzheimer's

Researchers at the University of South Dakota in Sioux Falls and Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. in Richmond, Virginia tested the omega-3 fatty acid (including DHA) levels in red blood cells in 1,111 women who were part of the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study. They measured their brain volume with MRI scans eight years later, when the women were about 78 years old.

Those with twice as high levels of fatty acids (7.5 vs. 3.4 per cent) had a 0.7 percent larger brain volume – with the increase measuring up to two inches.

“These higher levels of fatty acids can be achieved through diet and the use of supplements, and the results suggest that the effect on brain volume is the equivalent of delaying the normal loss of brain cells that comes with aging by one to two years,” the study's lead author, James Pottala, of the University of South Dakota, told the Daily Mail.

Not only did the high levels of fatty acids correlate with higher brain volume overall, the subjects with higher levels of omega-3s also had a 2.7 percent larger volume in the hippocampus area, the brain’s key memory center. In Alzheimer’s disease, the hippocampus begins to shrink even before symptoms appear.

“Our study suggests that a higher tissue reserve of omega-3 fatty acids may slow the loss of cognitive function that can accompany brain atrophy,” said Pottala. “It adds to growing literature suggesting that higher omega-3 tissue levels, which can be achieved by dietary changes, may hold promise for delaying cognitive aging and/or dementia.”

The benefits of omega-3 consumption, especially for seniors, does not seem to be limited to the noggin. A recent pilot study produced “striking” results regarding omega-3s and senior eye health.

GanedenBC30 powers 12 product launches

GanedenBC30 powers 12 product launches

Ganeden Biotech is proud to announce that 12 new products fortified with the patented probiotic GanedenBC30 will be introduced at this year’s Natural Products Expo West on March 6 to 9. Offering a wide variety of innovative products throughout the world, our newest partners are using state-of-the-art technology to showcase GanedenBC30’s unique application capabilities.

Introducing the newest products containing GanedenBC30 launching in the United States:

  • Post Foods Great Grains Digestive Blends Cereal: A delicious cereal that combines whole  grains, fiber and GanedenBC30, to support  digestive health.
  • Garden of Flavor Pure Joy Juice (Expo West  booth #6023): These organic, cold-pressed  HPP juices can be enjoyed on their own or as a  part of a cleanse. Three of the seven flavors contain GanedenBC30: Green Harmony, Appleade and Turmeric Tonic.
  • Copper Moon French Vanilla Cappuccino: Utilizing K-Cup® technology, these single-serve Insta-Kups offer the rich wonderful flavor of French vanilla cappuccino along with probiotics to support digestive and immune health.
  • Glutino Gluten Free Breakfast Bars (Expo West  booth #3772): Great for breakfast on-the-go and in four delicious fruit flavors, this good source of fiber is now reformulated to deliver the probiotic benefits of GanedenBC30.
  • Tera’s Whey Healthy Digestion Protein Blend (Expo West booth #1678): Made with the finest organic Greek nonfat yogurt and GanedenBC30, this protein blend will help support digestion, naturally.
  • FlavorPlusProbiotic Spices: The first ready-to-eat probiotic flavoring with a shelf-stable, heat-resistant probiotic. Just sprinkle one of the 10 flavors on your favorite food, adding great flavor and a probiotic all in one.
  • Good ‘n’ Raw Kale Chips: A delicious raw, vegan, and gluten free food; made with only the finest locally grown organic ingredients, in the most sustainable manner possible.
  • Powerful Yogurt Protein Bar (Expo West booth #8070): This is the only yogurt-coated bar with 20 grams of natural protein, and the powerful probiotic GanedenBC30; to support both digestive and immune function.

Internationally, four products are making their debut at Expo West: Next Generation Achieve Protein Formula (Australia), Toyo Biotech Probiotic Sachet (Taiwan), EcoProtein Organic Protein Bar (Denmark) and ActiDiet Probiotic Shake (UK and France).

Please visit Expo West booth #450 to discuss the latest in probiotic technology, and to learn more about all of the foods and beverages enriched with GanedenBC30. Stop by Saturday morning for hot tea and coffee fortified with probiotics. Dr. Howard Cash, Ganeden’s esteemed Application and Food Scientist will be on hand to answer any questions that you may have throughout the show. We hope to see you there! 



Expo West education: 
Real Science vs. Marketing Science

Expo West education: 
Real Science vs. Marketing Science

Supplement science is one of the most daunting topics facing natural retailers today—but it’s also one of your most powerful tools for driving sales and earning customer loyalty. Whether you’re trying to better understand clinical trials supporting the products that line your shelves, or you want the tools that can help customers decipher common supplements terminology, our free education program is focused on boosting supplements knowledge of your customers and staff. 

Join us at Natural Products Expo West for Real Science & Marketing Science: Understanding the Difference on Sat., March 8 at 12 p.m. at the Anaheim Marriott, Platinum Ballroom 3 

Save the date

Get answers to your top questions, including:

  • How can I tell if what it says on the label is really in the product?
  • When a negative study about dietary supplements is published, how do you assess the validity of it and how do you deal with the resulting negative media?
  • Double-blind, open-label, cohort … What are the differences between these types of studies and how do they relate to substantiating product claims?
  • How can I develop trusting relationships with manufacturers?

AHPA board to address diverse agenda

AHPA board to address diverse agenda

The board of trustees (BOT) of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) will meet in Anaheim, CA on Wednesday, March 5. The board will address a very diverse agenda, reflecting the varied interests of the association's membership. 

The AHPA Government Relations Committee will present several items for the board's consideration—including issues related to AHPA's comments to the various rules proposed by FDA to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, GMO labeling issues, and the 20th anniversary of DSHEA. Attention will also be on developing new relationships in Congress, as retirements have been announced by one of the industry's main allies, Sen. Tom Harkin, and two of its most consistent critics, Reps. Henry Waxman and John Dingell.

AHPA's Sports Nutrition Committee, founded in 2010, has brought together numerous of the major brands in the industry and continues to address a variety of issues relevant to the category, including protein calculation and tainted products masquerading as dietary supplements. This committee will be requesting that the BOT consider adoption of a guidance policy for a voluntary standard for calculating and labeling of protein in their products.

"The AHPA Sports Nutrition Committee may well be the broadest coalition of companies in this fast-growing product category," said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. "The committee has been working for well over a year on the somewhat complex issue of protein calculation and will now engage the AHPA Board with its recommended guidance."

International issues coming before the board include a discussion of Health Canada's Natural Health Product Directorate's draft monograph on traditional Chinese medicine, as well as AHPA's involvement with the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). AHPA's International Committee will also report on the opportunity that may exist to have input on the current U.S. negotiations with the European Union under the proposed free-trade agreement known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The AHPA Analytical Labs Committee will continue its focus on several important projects, including the development of the Analytical Labs Capabilities Database, which will make it easy for industry to locate contract labs that can perform testing on herbal ingredients for identity, in-process, and finished product testing, and the AHPA Botanical Ingredient References Compendium. These projects, once active, will bring valuable new resources to the industry on both methods for in-house usage and locating qualified contract labs capable of meeting their regulatory and quality needs.

"The agenda that will be presented to the AHPA board of trustees is indicative of the great diversity of AHPA's membership," commented McGuffin. "The breadth of issues before the board reflects the fact that AHPA's scope of interests is not limited to just "American" or "herbal" matters, since our members continue to seek consensus solutions to the many issues that confront other product categories both in the U.S. and abroad."

Vitamin D deficiency linked to type 1 diabetes

Vitamin D deficiency linked to type 1 diabetes

Low levels of vitamin D are commonly found in people with type 1 diabetes. But even children who have multiple positive islet autoantibodies without manifest type 1 diabetes have lower levels of vitamin D in their blood. This does not appear, however, to influence the progression of the disease from pre-diabetes to diabetes, according to scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich in the specialist journal Diabetologia.

Vitamin D is known as a major regulator of calcium levels and bone metabolism. Furthermore, it also influences the immune system. Previous studies have shown that patients with recently diagnosed type 1 diabetes have significantly lower vitamin D levels. Scientists from the Institute of Diabetes Research (IDF) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München, a member of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), as well as from the Diabetes Research Group at the Technische Universität München (TUM) examined whether a vitamin D deficiency occurs during an early stage of type 1 diabetes, defined by the presence of multiple diabetes-specific islet autoantibodies. Furthermore they also determined whether vitamin D deficiency influences the progression to type 1 diabetes in children with multiple islet autoantibodies. 

Vitamin D deficiency already exists in prediabetes
Children who had not yet developed clinical type 1 diabetes but who have multiple positive autoantibodies in their blood were found to have lower vitamin D levels than children without diabetes-specific autoantibodies. Interestingly, the differences in vitamin D levels were most prevalent in the summer months. These results were obtained from the BABYDIET, BABYDIAB, TEENDIAB and DIMELLI* diabetes studies. The team of scientists headed by Jennifer Raab, Dr. Christiane Winkler and Professor Anette-Gabriele Ziegler compared the vitamin D measurements taken from 108 children who were tested positive for islet autoantibodies with 406 children without autoantibodies. Lower vitamin D levels were also found in 244 children who had recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Progression of the disease remains unaffected
Prediabetes is defined as the presence of multiple islet autoantibodies. If and when the disease progresses, however, does not seem to be influenced by the vitamin D levels. Within the group of children with positive autoantibodies, a few children quickly developed type 1 diabetes – however this was independent from their vitamin D levels.

Recommendation of vitamin D supplementation at an early stage of type 1 diabetes may be considered 
“Vitamin D deficiency precedes the onset of type 1 diabetes. This may be a consequence of an immune response,” Professor Ziegler says. “In the case of prediabetic children, we must therefore be mindful of the risk of vitamin D deficiency and consider recommending vitamin D supplementation at an early stage of type 1 diabetes.”

BrandHive’s Hilton talks functionality at Engredea

BrandHive’s Hilton talks functionality at Engredea

Jeff Hilton, BrandHive cofounder and chief marketing officer, will lead an educational session on the “functional future” of foods and beverages at Engredea as part of Natural Products Expo West 2014.

Hilton’s presentation, “Functional Future: Trends in Functional Food and Beverage Marketing” will open Engredea’s Saturday educational program on March 8, 2014 at 9 a.m. at the Anaheim Marriott. The session aims to educate and inform participants on emerging business and marketing strategies of importance in the functional sector, focusing on consumer products sold at retail. 

“The sales-growth rate in the functional foods marketplace continues to outpace that of traditional foods and beverages, presenting manufacturers and retailers with a tremendous opportunity to tap into a lucrative market that continues to gain momentum,” said Hilton. “However, involvement in the functional market also entails a high degree of uncertainty and risk because products often live or die by their brand positioning, packaging and promotion.”

Co-located alongside Natural Products Expo West and the NEXT Innovation Summit, Engredea showcases new ingredients, technologies, applications and services for healthy foods-and-beverages, dietary supplement/bioactive and nutricosmetic markets. Hilton’s presentation will be part of the educational sessions aimed at retailers, distributors, health practitioners, manufacturers and suppliers.