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Articles from 2002 In March


Delicious Living

April 1, 2002

EU Food Supplements Directive Closer To Reality

LONDON—After more than two years, the European Union Directive on dietary supplements is about to become law after minor amendments were accepted by the lead committee. As FFN went to press, it was expected the bill would be accepted in its current form at a plenary sitting of the European Parliament.

The Directive's progress was endorsed by the European Federation of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM) despite minor reservations about one amendment, which will see pharmaceutical GMPs applied to dietary supplements production.

EHPM's regulatory affairs director, Pedro Vicente Azua, said this amendment was an acceptable concession to ensure the Directive progresses to the final vote. More importantly, he pointed out, the timeframe for the presentation of scientific dossiers had been doubled from 18 to 36 months, which would allow companies valuable time to gather evidence in support of supplement ingredients that may be added to the Directive's positive list (Article 4). It would also allow time for evidence regarding upper safe limits to be presented to the relevant authorities.

"Our members are grateful the Directive has passed through this stage in a manageable form, which is of course only a precursor to further lobbying of the Commission for maximum upper safety limits in the next 18 months," Azua said.

In this time, the details of the legislation will be approved and adopted or amended, he said.

Sue Croft, director of UK-based Consumers for Health Choice, was less enthusiastic. "It's all well and good that the Directive has moved closer to becoming legislation, but from our point of view, the ambiguity remains and there are still more than 300 missing ingredients (from the positive list) that are readily available on UK shelves right now," she said.

While admitting the time extension for submitting dossiers could be beneficial, Croft doubted it would make any substantial difference. "The bottom line is that we are going to lose huge numbers of products," she said.

Soil Savvy

Here are two ways to identify your soil type by touch. For both tests, take a handful of soil and moisten it with water. Work it until it is uniformly wet, then form a 1- or 2-inch-diameter ball.

The Squeeze Test
Squeeze the ball lightly: If the ball breaks easily, the soil is sandy or loamy sand

If it stays together but changes shape easily, it is a sandy loam or silt loam.

If it resists change, it is clay or clay loam.

The Feel Test
If the soil is gritty, there is sand present.

If it is smooth, there is some silt.

If it is sticky, there is clay present.

Contact your county's cooperative extension office if you are interested in a more detailed soil analysis.



Vitamin Supplementation Could Slow Arteriosclerosis in Heart-Transplant Patients

A US randomized trial in this week’s issue of THE LANCET suggests that vitamin C and E supplementation could be of clinical benefit in delaying the onset of arteriosclerosis in the first year after heart transplantation.

Around 70% of patients develop arteriosclerosis within three years after heart transplantation, which is thought to be associated with oxidant stress. James Fang and colleagues from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, USA, proposed that treatment with antioxidant vitamins C and E would slow the progression of transplant-associated arteriosclerosis.

40 patients (0-2 years after heart transplantation) were randomly assigned vitamin C 500 mg plus vitamin E 400 IU, each twice daily, or placebo, for 1 year. The primary endpoint was the change in average intimal index (plaque area divided by vessel area) measured by intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS). Coronary endothelium-dependent vasoreactivity was assessed with intracoronary acetylcholine infusions. IVUS, coronary vasoreactivity, and vitamin C and E plasma concentrations were assessed at baseline and at 1 year follow-up.

Vitamin C and E concentrations increased in the treatment group, but not in the placebo group, as expected. During 1 year of treatment, the intimal index increased in the placebo group by 8% but did not change significantly in the treatment group. Coronary endothelial function remained stable in both groups.

James Fang comments: “Our results suggest that vitamins C and E provide a clinically useful approach to reducing arteriosclerosis after cardiac transplantation. Antioxidant therapy with these vitamins may also be useful in other solid-organ allografts, such as kidney, lung, and liver transplants, in which obliteration of vascular or tubular structures limits long-term success. Further investigations are warranted to investigate whether the beneficial effects of vitamins C and E are sustained over many years when most of the clinical complications resulting from transplant-associated arteriosclerosis occur.”

Source : The Lancet, March 30, 2002.

Contact: Dr James C Fang, Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA; T) +1 617 732 7535; F) +1 617 732 7134; E) [email protected] or Dr Peter Ganz; T) +1 617 732 7133; F) +1 617 732 7133; E) [email protected]

US ARS/ Nutrition research zooms in on zinc

Source: M2 Communications, Inc.

Investigations of zinc - an essential nutrient--may yield a new way to test an individual's ability to use this mineral. The diagnostic assay that research geneticist Liping Huang envisions would measure the amount of zinc-related genetic material that an individual produces. Huang is with the Agricultural Research Service's Western Human Nutrition Research Center at Davis, Calif.

Ideally, the test would require only a small sample of blood, and could be easily administered in a physician's office, according to Huang. In addition, the test would have a fast turn-around, yielding complete results before the patient's brief office visit was over.

Huang is focusing on genetic material called messenger RNA or mRNA. In particular, she's looking at whether the availability of zinc influences the levels of certain mRNA. The human body uses the information in this mRNA to make what are known as zinc transporter proteins. These proteins shuttle zinc from the foods that we eat into the cells that need it. For example, Huang's work with ZnT4 suggests that this zinc transporter protein aids with storage of zinc in the prostate gland. That might help protect against prostate cancer.

According to Huang, measuring levels of the zinc-transport mRNA is a good approach to assess the amount of zinc transporter proteins. The method most commonly employed today to check body levels of zinc isn't sensitive enough to detect a mild deficiency. In the United States, mild zinc deficiency may exist among otherwise healthy infants, toddlers, preschool children, pregnant and lactating women, and seniors, according to Huang.

In addition to physicians working with individual patients, nutrition researchers interested in the nutrient needs of Americans nationwide could use the test. Findings could help update national dietary guidelines for daily zinc intake--from food or supplements--for different age groups.

Huang's research is described in greater detail in the March 2002 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, posted on the World Wide Web at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/mar02/zinc0302.htm

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

Biopolymer Engineering Introduces Imucell(TM) WGP, a Dietary Supplement That Fortifies the Immune System

EAGAN, Minn. -- Biopolymer Engineering, Inc. today introduced Imucell(TM) WGP, a dietary supplement scientifically proven to fortify the immune system. The product contains WGP Beta Glucan, a patented natural carbohydrate whose ability to boost the immune system is well documented in decades of scientific studies. So promising are WGP Beta Glucan's effects, the compound is currently being studied by major universities and research organizations, including Harvard University, the University of Louisville, and U.S. and Canadian Department of Defense agencies.

"Consumers can now do something to boost their immune system," said Richard G. Mueller, President and CEO of Biopolymer Engineering. "In addition to exercising and eating right, taking Imucell WGP every day is one of the best things a person can do for optimal health."

Imucell WGP works directly with the immune system, activating a type of white blood cell called the "macrophage" whose job is to identify and destroy foreign invaders and coordinate the body's other defenders. Millions of macrophages are the body's front-line defenders.

"There's a tremendous amount of science supporting the ability of beta 1,3 glucans to naturally enhance the immune system," said Dr. Gary Ostroff, Biopolymer Engineering Vice President of Research and Development. "And studies show that an enhanced immune system can provide support against a broad range of challenges."

Fred Zinos, Biopolymer Engineering's vice president of consumer retail sales, added that Imucell WGP fills a well-defined void in the natural products arena. "The market is huge. Literally every adult is a good candidate for Imucell WGP. The company has plans to advertise in leading publications and through other consumer media with the objective of driving new businesses into retail outlets."

WGP Beta Glucan is extracted and purified from the cell walls of food- grade Baker's yeast, which is permitted for use in food by the FDA. Imucell WGP is sold in 30-count units of 250 mg capsules, a dosage level based on numerous studies conducted at leading research institutions.

There are no known side-effects associated with taking Imucell WGP. However, persons with known or suspected yeast allergies should not take Imucell WGP. Pregnant or lactating women should consult their health care provider before taking the product.

Imucell WGP is currently available for purchase online at www.imucell.com or by calling 1-800-891-0086. Visit the Learning Center at the Imucell WGP website for more information about WGP Beta Glucan and the research describing the immune-supporting properties of beta 1,3-glucans.

Biopolymer Engineering, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company in the field of natural complex carbohydrates or biopolymers. The company is developing carbohydrate-based products for a wide range of therapeutic, consumer and industrial applications. Founded in 1997 and based in Eagan, Minnesota, the company has built a strong technology platform of patented and proprietary intellectual property relating to its carbohydrate-based products. Website: www.biopolymer.com .

SOURCE Biopolymer Engineering, Inc.

TALKER MAGAZINE Names Danielle Lin in Top 100

Salt Lake City, Utah- Danielle Lin, host of the nationally syndicated program “Danielle Lin...All About Life”, has been named as one of the “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America”. The prestigious list is released once a year by TALKERS MAGAZINE, a radio industry trade publication distributed to all radio stations and their program directors.

The honor comes just as Lin has returned from a ten day tour through Israel as one of only ten U.S. radio hosts invited by the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange. The goal of the program was to discuss the role of broadcasting and how it impacts the peace process in the Middle East. Lin dialogued with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Hillary Clinton, and others.

In 1982, Lin was the first to broadcast “live” from the convention floor at Natural Products Expo West. She recently launched a new concept in retailing “Essentials for Natural Living” in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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ADM Natural Health and Nutrition Announces Global Alliance With Nutraceutix

Agreement Encompasses Development of Patented, Controlled Delivery Natural Supplements

DECATUR, Ill., March 29 -- Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) and Nutraceutix, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: NUTX), have announced the execution of an exclusive licensing agreement for ADM to use Nutraceutix' patented Controlled Delivery Technology (CDT(TM)) to develop and market dietary supplements. ADM will market its products using this technology on an exclusive global basis to dietary supplement manufacturers.

The first product to be marketed is Novasoy(R) Daily Dose(TM). This once- a-day supplement provides a consistent, steady delivery of natural-based soy isoflavones (a phytoestrogen) throughout the day, much like a woman's body naturally produces estrogen. Results of a recent clinical study published in the March 2002 Journal of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concluded that women who took isoflavones three times a day had significant reduction in a variety of menopausal symptoms. In addition, it was determined that isoflavones may help support a healthy cardiovascular system.(1) Novasoy(R) Daily Dose(TM) is designed to provide all the benefits of isoflavones in a convenient, single daily dose.

"Nutraceutix' CDT(TM) technology allows us to tailor the biological delivery of dietary supplements to maximize its health benefits and, in most cases, better simulate the natural function of the human body. We expect to see applications in an entire range of dietary supplements," stated Tony DeLio, ADM Vice President, Marketing and External Affairs. "This represents a significant advancement in supplement technology and demonstrates ADM's continued commitment to bringing innovation and science to supplements and functional foods."

According to David T. Howard, CEO of Nutraceutix, "The Nutraceutix and ADM alliance marries ADM's expertise in the natural nutraceutical market with Nutraceutix' patented CDT to develop better performing dietary supplements. ADM's global reach allows us to make these products available worldwide."

ADM Natural Health and Nutrition's mission is to discover and manufacture scientifically proven ingredients from natural sources that promote health and well being. Its products include Novasoy(R) isoflavones, vitamin E, CardioAid(TM) products, NutriSoy(R) soy protein, Soy7(TM) products and other soy foods.

Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) is a world leader in agricultural processing. The Company is one of the world's largest processors of soybeans, corn, wheat and cocoa. ADM is also a leader in soy meal and oil, ethanol, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and flour. In addition, ADM is building a position in such value-added products as specialty food ingredients, bioproducts and nutraceuticals. Headquartered in Decatur, Illinois, ADM has over 22,000 employees, 275 processing plants and net sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2001, of $20.1 billion. Additional information can be found on ADM's web site at http://www.admworld.com .

Based in Redmond, Washington, Nutraceutix, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that leverages specialized knowledge, proprietary and patented products and technologies such as LiveBac(R) Probiotics and the patented CDT Controlled Delivery Technology platform in order to introduce distinctive and novel OTC products, prescription drugs and dietary supplements. Nutraceutix has established partnerships with pharma, OTC, and supplement companies to co- develop new products with enhanced benefits. Additional information can be found on the Nutraceutix web site at http://www.nutraceutix.com or by calling 1/800-548-3222.

Herbalife Expands New Sign Restrictions to Worldwide Operations

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 28, 2002--Timothy J. Sweeney, Senior Vice President for Finance and Compliance of Herbalife International, Inc. (NASDAQ NM:HERBA)(NASDAQ NM:HERBB), today announced the expansion of its new sign restriction policy on a worldwide basis.

Last week, Herbalife announced a new policy in the United States and Canada to prohibit its Independent Distributors from posting advertising signs on any public property or on any private property without the express permission of the owner, even if such posting is allowed by state or local laws.

Today, Mr. Sweeney announced the expansion of that policy to its Independent Distributor activities in all countries where Herbalife conducts business.

"The expansion of our new policy is a logical step in providing our Distributors with clear and consistent guidance regarding our new sign policies on a worldwide basis," said Mr. Sweeney. "We appreciate the overwhelming support we have received from our Distributors regarding this new policy, as well as the support of the public and numerous Code Enforcement officials throughout the United States and the world."

Herbalife manufactures a wide range of nutritional, weight management and personal care items and markets them in 54 countries worldwide through a network of Independent Distributors who purchase the products directly from the Company. In 2001, the Company had net retail sales of $1.66 billion.

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CRN Complements FDA Consumer Advisory on Kava With Recommendation For Voluntary Cautionary Labels

WASHINGTON, March 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) today recommended voluntary cautionary labels for the popular botanical kava (Piper methysticum) following the recent consumer advisory (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov ) on kava issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The recommended language is consistent with the FDA consumer advisory.

"CRN has been engaged in an ongoing dialogue with FDA, other associations, and outside experts to assess the scientific information and adverse event reports (AERs) on kava," said John Cordaro, president and chief executive officer, CRN. "We agree with the agency's conclusion that even though no causal relationship has been found between kava and liver problems, a consumer advisory is an appropriate and cautionary way for FDA to inform consumers of a potential, but rare, risk. CRN is taking FDA's advice further by recommending voluntary cautionary label elements for the product."

CRN expects that member companies who adopt label recommendations will act swiftly to implement marketplace changes in a responsible and reasonable time frame.

The elements of the voluntary cautionary label are as follows:

      *Council for Responsible Nutrition Proposed Elements of Voluntary Cautionary Label for Kava Products

 

      *Ask a health care professional before use if you have or have had liver problems, frequently use alcoholic beverages, or are taking any medication.

 

      *Stop use and see a doctor if you develop symptoms that may signal liver problems, including jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes) and brown urine. Other nonspecific symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, light- colored stools, unusual tiredness, weakness, stomach or abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.

 

      *Not for use by persons under 18 years of age, or by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

 

      *Not for use with alcoholic beverages.

 

    *Excessive use, or use with products that cause drowsiness, may impair your ability to operate a vehicle or heavy equipment.

CRN also pointed out that most of the adverse event reports (AERs) appear to have included confounding factors, such as use of drugs known or suspected to cause liver injury, or alcoholic beverages.

Prior to recent reports from Europe, there was no reason for concern about kava products. The eight clinical studies that have been conducted on kava supplements do not suggest liver toxicity. A panel of independent experts assembled by CRN recently reviewed the available medical literature on kava and concluded that the product is safe as a dietary supplement.

CRN reminded consumers that FDA has not taken any regulatory or other action regarding kava products, nor has the agency advised against use of kava products.

CRN will continue to maintain a dialogue with FDA and offer to assist in this continuing scientific assessment.