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Articles from 2008 In March

Trace Minerals Research Launches Liquid Mega-Potassium

OGDEN, UTAH, March 31, 2008 — Trace Minerals Research, a leading provider of mineral-based supplements for more than 35 years, has introduced Mega-Potassium, an all natural liquid potassium supplement, providing 60 milligrams of natural ionic potassium chloride per serving, the form of potassium most widely recognized by the body.

“Liquids have become an important part of our product line over the last five years,” said Scott Perkes, Managing Partner, Trace Minerals Research. “Adding a potassium supplement was a perfect addition to the liquid mineral section of our line.”

Mega-Potassium also contains natural sources of Magnesium, Chloride, Sodium, and Sulfate, plus over 70 ionic trace minerals and elements found in seawater that act as natural co-factors. In addition, because of the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), potassium levels are proportionately lower that sodium levels, making it important to supplement the body with potassium for better body balancing. Mega-Potassium comes in a 4-ounce plastic bottle with a metered dropper for dosage safety and flexibility and has as suggested retail price of $11.49.

Trace Minerals Research ( markets and distributes essential minerals harvested from Utah’s Great Salt Lake for supplement use. The company uses these naturally balanced, naturally occurring minerals as the basis for all products in its brand product line. Extensive research supports the need to keep minerals in proper balance throughout the body in order to achieve optimal health. Trace Minerals Research is focused solely on servicing the natural products industry, and the company’s complete line of superior quality nutritional supplements is backed by a “Feel the Difference or Your Money Back” guarantee.

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Nordic Naturals Introduces Two Sizes of Quality Pet Cod Liver Oil

Watsonville, CA (April 1, 2008) Cod liver oil is a valuable source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, and naturally occurring Vitamins A and D for our animal companions. Nordic Naturals, the leading supplier of fish oil products in the natural products industry, introduces two sizes of Pet Cod Liver Oil, 8 oz and 16 oz bottles, made specifically for dogs and cats. Unlike many pet products, the company uses the same oils and quality standards for the manufacturing of both its human and pet products. Nordic Naturals fish oils are independently tested and exceed all quality standards including the Norwegian Medicinal Standard and the European Pharmacopeia, delivering the purest, freshest and most effective omega-3 fish oils on the market.

Available in natural triglyceride form for optimal absorption, Pet Cod Liver Oil is derived from 100% wild Arctic Cod with no artificial flavors, colors or synthetic preservatives added. Each teaspoon supplies 625 mg DHA, 410 mg EPA, 225 mg of other omega-3 fatty acids, and healthy levels of Vitamins A and D. The suggested dose is ¼ teaspoon for cats and 1 teaspoon or less for dogs depending on their weight.

In dogs and cats, omega-3 fish oil supplementation supports heart health, weight management, joint mobility, brain and eye development, plus healthy skin and coat. Scientific research supports fatty acid supplementation for maintenance of healthy skin and coat in both dogs and cats, decreased inflammation and improved immune response in dogs, support for chronic kidney failure in cats, and other important health benefits. These studies and more are available for review at

Typically, a diet of commercial pet food does not provide adequate daily quantities of the important omega-3 fatty acids. According to Jean Hofve, DVM, pet nutrition expert and holistic veterinarian, “We are seeing the same response in dogs and cats as we are in humans. A lack of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, along with excess pro-inflammatory omega-6s, results in an imbalance in the omega-3/omega-6 ratio. This dietary imbalance contributes to chronic inflammation in these animals, which is linked to a plethora of problems including allergies, arthritis and skin/coat issues.”

Nordic Naturals is the leader in omega-3 fish oils and EFA blends with exceptional taste, freshness, and purity levels and has over 80 different fish oil products, including liquids, soft gels, and children's chewables. For information, visit or call 800.662.2544.

Nanotech Foods and Supplements Intrigues Consumers, but Makes Them Wary

Breaking Analysis, Not Breaking NewsTM

New research in the NutraAnalyst E-Newsletter explores consumer attitudes towards nanotechnology. NutraAnalyst found that consumers find benefits of nanotechnology like enhanced absorption of nutrients intriguing, with a small portion of the market even expressing a willingness to pay a modest premium for foods or supplements using nanotech ingredients. However, when the conversation moved away from benefits, consumers made it clear that many aspects of this new technology worry them.

Each edition of the NutraAnalyst E-Newsletter provides subscribers with real-time consumer data, intelligence and analysis on breaking issues like nanotechnology that cannot be found elsewhere. The next issue will focus on whether the heparin / over-sulfated chondroitin scandal could taint joint health consumers’ attitudes.

Critical strategic issues like food safety, sustainability, recession, and skyrocketing raw material costs impact the industry daily. Without actionable information, decision makers are forced to rely on intuition alone.

The NutraAnalyst E-Newsletter:
• Is published twice per month to address issues as they arise;
• Provides real-time consumer data and analysis on each issue;
• Comes in a concise one-page format for busy executives; and
• Has clear, easy-to read charts supporting the analysis.

While each subscription costs $24.95 per month, the first edition is available as a free download on the NutraAnalyst website ( and analyzes consumer attitudes towards Chinese-sourced nutrition ingredients, including country of origin labelling and how it affects purchase intent. In addition, NutraAnalyst offers a deeper analysis of consumer attitudes of each issue in its Consumer Briefings, for companies that need greater segmentation of consumers.

As an added bonus, subscribers will also receive breaking news updates on strategic issues as they happen, often before our subscribers know they are an issue.

You cannot afford to miss the NutraAnalyst E-Newsletter! Get breaking analysis to go with the breaking news that affects your company.

NutraAnalyst is dedicated to producing information tools that help functional food and dietary supplement companies and executives. For more information, visit its website at or contact Lindsay Wright at +1 (801) 474-2570.

Omega-3 Pioneer Receives American Dietetic Association Foundation’s 2008 Edna and Robert Langholz International Nutrition Award

CHICAGO – Jorn Dyerberg, MD, PhD, whose groundbreaking studies on the health benefits of consuming fish oils provided the foundation for research on omega-3 fatty acids, has been named the 2008 recipient of the American Dietetic Association Foundation’s prestigious Edna and Robert Langholz International Nutrition Award.

Dyerberg, who has been called “the inventor of omega-3s,” will be presented with the award during the 15th International Congress of Dietetics, being held September 8 – 11 in Yokohama, Japan.

This is the sixth time the Langholz Award has been presented since its creation in 1992 by the late Edna Page Langholz, a registered dietitian and former president of the American Dietetic Association, and her husband Robert. The Langholz Award carries a $25,000 honorarium.

Between 1970 and 1982, Dyerberg and his colleagues made five trips to Greenland where they discovered that low rates of coronary heart disease in the Eskimo population was related to their dietary habits, particularly the consumption of fish oils and high intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Dyerberg has authored more than 350 published papers on the topic.

“Jorn Dyerberg’s research has had a huge effect on nutrition,” said registered dietitian Susan Finn, chair of the American Dietetic Association Foundation. “His contributions have helped us understand the link between omega-3s and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, inflammatory diseases and many other health issues. He has helped scientists and health professionals around the world understand how we can reduce the risk of these diseases by increasing omega-3 intake. To illustrate the effect of his research on nutrition, in the United States, about 250 new food products containing omega-3s were introduced in 2006 alone, and the market for foods and beverages enriched with omega-3s is estimated to reach $7 billion by 2011.”

Dyerberg earned a medical degree from Arhus University in Denmark and a doctorate in medical science with a specialty in lipoproteins in blood. He worked for 15 years as chief physician in the department of clinical chemistry at Aalborg Hospital in Denmark and for 17 years as chief physician at Medicinsk Laboratorium, now Capio Diagnostik, one of Europe’s leading private health-care providers. He holds a chair as professor in human nutrition at The University of Copenhagen. Dyerberg is now medical and scientific advisor for Cognis Nutrition & Health, including Napro-Pharma Ltd. in Norway.

The American Dietetic Association Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American Dietetic Association. It is a 501 (c) 3 charity devoted exclusively to nutrition and dietetics and the largest provider of scholarships and awards in the field of dietetics. Visit the ADA Foundation at

With more than 67,000 members the American Dietetic Association is the nation’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being. To locate a registered dietitian in your area, visit the American Dietetic Association at


Get in the mood for nutrients

Many nutrients, herbals and other supplements have been linked to improvements in mood and cognitive function — from stress and anxiety to depression and dementia. Paul Clayton, PhD, investigates

A number of studies suggest that taking B vitamins may produce improvements in mood as well as cognitive function.1 Studies indicate that increased intake of thiamine (vitamin B1) provides cognitive benefits, including increased reaction times.2,3 Work has also been done on the co-enzyme form of niacin (vitamin B3) known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH). A small number of short-term studies done with NADH have shown that it has slight to moderate benefits for depression, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and chronic fatigue syndrome.4,5,6,7

Homocysteine, a derivative of the amino acid methionine, has been identified as an important risk factor in both heart disease and age-related cognitive decline.8,9 It has been shown that adequate intakes of folic acid, and vitamins B6 and B12 help to ensure that homocysteine levels are kept low.10 One study investigated the relationship between blood concentrations of homocysteine, vitamins B12 and B6, and folate, and the cognitive performance of 70 male subjects aged between 54 and 81.11 Lower concentrations of vitamin B12 and folate, and higher concentrations of homocysteine, were associated with poorer memory.

S-adenysyl-methionine (SAMe), a compound made from methionine, is a methyl donor involved in the synthesis of dozens of important compounds in the body. It has been suggested that SAMe supplementation may also help in the metabolism of folate and vitamin B12, and thus alleviate such conditions as depression.12 Another methyl donor, dimethyl-amino-ethanol (DMAE), has been shown to help improve mood and motivation in older patients with dementia, though studies show limited impact on memory.13,14,15

Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Around 60 per cent of the brain consists of lipids that make up the cell membrane of every brain cell. The types of fats present in the brain influence the fluidity of the cell membrane, and thus how well brain cells interact and communicate. The fats that make up brain-cell membranes are much more resistant to changes in diet than the fats forming the cell membranes of other tissues in the body. The brain is, for example, able to preserve its fatty composition despite shortages of essential fats in the diet. However, animal studies show it is possible to alter the fat content of the brain through diet.16

Building on this foundation, epidemiological studies suggest that differing types of fat in the diet may be linked to mental state. One study compared fish consumption and rates of depression in a number of countries, and concluded that there is a link between increasing rates of depression, the consumption of increased amounts of saturated fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, and the decreased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.17 (See the Fi exclusive interview with innovative supplier EPAX.)

Other phospholipids
Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is the most abundant phospholipid in brain-cell membranes, comprising about 30 per cent of the total phospholipid content, while phosphatidylserine (PS) makes up less than 10 per cent. Several studies have been done with PC to investigate its effects on memory. The results have not been consistent. Some have shown positive responses,18,19 while others showed no difference in memory or learning after administration of lecithin, a mix of phospholipids derived from sources such as egg, soy and meats in which PC predominates.20

A number of studies have evaluated the role of bovine cortex PS (BC-PS) in cognitive function, particularly in age-associated memory impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Most of these studies have indicated that BC-PS improves memory and cognition in those with age-related cognitive decline, and helps improve memory and recall in Alzheimer's patients.21,22,23,24 (Because of BSE or mad-cow concerns, most of the PS supply today is no longer derived from bovines.)

Carnitine has been identified as helpful to those with Alzheimer's disease, age-related cognitive decline and depression. It helps form the important brain chemical acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is depleted in patients with Alzheimer's, and may also, by improving mitochondrial stability and energy throughput, boost neuronal ergonomics and repair mechanisms.

Animal studies have also found that carnitine can induce the production of nerve-growth factor, a type of protein that helps regenerate neurons.25 Some patients with Alzheimer's are deficient in the enzyme that converts carnitine to acetyl-L-carnitine, and may benefit from carnitine supplements.26 There have been a number of studies on the use of carnitine in treating Alzheimer's, suggesting a slower rate of deterioration for some groups.27,28,29,30 Acetyl-L-carnitine has also been found to improve cognitive function and mood in those suffering from age-related cognitive decline.31,32,33

St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) has as one of its main active components hyperforin (2-4 per cent), which has been shown to inhibit the re-uptake of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. It has therefore been identified as the most likely antidepressant compound in St John's wort.34,35,36,37,38 Hyperforin has been shown to be a dose-related marker for antidepressant efficacy in humans.39,40,41

Another component of St John's wort believed to have antidepressant effects is the flavonoid amentoflavone.42,43 This could exert its antidepressant action by binding benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. Clinical studies have indicated that St John's wort has antidepressant effects, with successful treatment of patients with mild and moderate depression.44,45,46

In an analysis of 23 randomised trials involving more than 1,700 patients, one review found St John's wort to be significantly superior to a placebo and as effective as standard antidepressants with fewer side effects.47 Although it is successful in treating mild to moderate depression, it is not effective in treating severe depression.48,49,50,51,52,53

Kava (Piper methysticum) contains a variety of chemicals known as kavalactones, which influence a number of the brain receptors involved in relaxation and mental clarity. Its anti-anxiety effects have been noted in a number of human studies. One of the most comprehensive human trials, involving giving a course of kavalactones to more than 100 patients with a range of anxiety disorders, found improvements in tension and mood.54

The German Commission E Monograph on herbal medicines has summarized the effects of kava on anxiety as well as on mental alertness and concentration.55 These include enhanced reaction times in dealing with a range of mental and verbal tasks as well as improvements in mood.

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) contains flavonoids, particularly kaempferol, quercetin and isorhamnetin, and terpene lactones, particularly ginkgolides and bilobides. The active ingredients in ginkgo are believed to produce their beneficial effects by acting as antioxidants, preventing red blood cells and platelets from aggregating to form clots, allowing more oxygen to reach neurons, and by inducing relaxation of the muscles surrounding blood vessels.56 Because it improves communication between nerve cells and enhances blood flow to the brain, it has been used in the treatment of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, helping to improve cognitive performance.57

Ginseng has several genera: Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus chinensis) — now commonly referred to as Eleuthero. Studies of ginseng use in humans have shown both improvements in cognitive function, including its use in combination with ginkgo, as well as reduced anxiety, and greater sense of well being.58,59,60,61

(Excerpted from Performance Functional Foods, David H Watson, editor. ISBN 0-8493-1742-8. Published by Woodhead Publishing Ltd, England.

Paul Clayton, PhD, is chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine. He is author of Health Defence (Accelerated Learning Systems, 2004) and After Atkins (Robinson Publishing, 2005).

Carbs: Proof of 'comfort food' concept

There no longer is any doubt that what we eat can influence mood and mental performance. In the context of mood, the intake of carbohydrates and protein has received the most attention — particularly carbohydrates and their effect on brain serotonin synthesis.

Profound effects of an increased intake of carbohydrates on mood have been particularly detected among depressive patients, whereas in nonclinical subjects often no effects, or just slight and contradictory changes in mood, are revealed.1,2,3

The connection between carbohydrate intake and the synthesis of brain serotonin occurs because the production of this neurotransmitter is limited by the availability of its precursor, the dietary amino acid tryptophan. Brain concentrations of this precursor are controlled by the intake of carbohydrates as compared to protein.

Because tryptophan cannot be enzymatically synthesised in mammals, this precursor for the synthesis of serotonin must come from protein sources. However, in a sequence of impressive studies, researchers demonstrated that a balanced or protein-rich diet causes a decline in brain tryptophan and serotonin concentrations. Contrarily, a carbohydrate-rich protein-poor diet caused the opposite effect and was found to increase brain tryptophan and serotonin levels.4,5,6 This apparent anomalous observation is explained because plasma tryptophan competes with the other large neutral amino acids, including valine, tyrosine, isoleucine, leucine and phenylalanine (the LNAAs), for transport across the blood-brain barrier into the brain, because they share the same transport carrier.

In one study, 24 healthy subjects with a high proneness to stress, and 24 healthy control subjects with a low stress proneness participated in an acute-stress experiment using both a carbohydrate-rich, protein-poor diet and a protein-rich, carbohydrate-poor diet.7 Results revealed a significant 42 per cent increase in the plasma tryptophan/LNAA ratio during the carbohydrate-rich, protein-poor diet compared with the protein-rich, carbohydrate-poor diet. During the carbohydrate-rich, protein-poor diet, only stress-prone subjects were prevented from a stress-induced rise in depressive mood and a cortisol stress response. Beneficial effects of this dietary condition on cognitive performance have also been demonstrated exclusively in stress-prone subjects.8

— Rob Markus University of Maastricht The Netherlands

1. Spring B, et al. Carbohydrates, tryptophan, and behaviour: a methodological review. Psychol Bull 1987;102:234-56.
2. Christensen L. The effects of carbohydrates on affect. Nutrition 1997;13:503-14.
3. Bellisle F, et al. Functional food science and behaviour and psychological functions. Br J Nutr 1998;80(1):S173-S193.
4. Fernstrom JD, Wurtman RJ. Brain serotonin content: increase following ingestion of carbohydrate diet. Science 1971;174:1023-5.
5. Fernstrom JD, et al. Correlations between brain tryptophan and plasma neutral amino acids levels following food consumption in rats. Life Sciences 1973;13:517.
6. Curzon G. Effects of food intake on brain transmitter amine precursors and amine synthesis. In: Sandler M and Silverstone T (eds): Psychopharmacology 1991;3:23-8.
7. Markus CR, et al. Does carbohydrate, protein poor food prevent a deterioration of mood and cognitive performance of stress-prone subjects when subjected to a stressful task? Appetite 1998;31:49-65.
8. Markus CR, et al. Carbohydrate intake improves cognitive performance of stress-prone individuals under controllable laboratory stress. Br J Nutr 1999;82:457-67.

Case study: With the right ingredient, functional beverages may take a quantum leap

Functional beverages are soaring: a half-dozen Super Bowl commercials, Vitamin Water doubling its annual sales and then selling to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion last May, stock in Hansen Natural — maker of Monster energy drink — rising by 1,200 per cent in three years.

And yet, the only innovation of late in functional beverages is to add ever-increasing quantities of caffeine to the mix. Look for an innovation that could create a whole new drink category — call it caffeine without the caffeine. It's based on the amino acid L-theanine, which naturally stimulates specific kinds of brain activity associated with relaxation while decreasing brain waves associated with tension and anxiety. Relaxation without drowsiness. Mental clarity without the jitters.

"It's a category that is missing right now in the US," says Scott Smith, vice president of Taiyo International. "The energy-drinks category is saturated. But there's this other category, not far removed from the concept, that fits. It's what people are trying to achieve with caffeine — not just energy but reduced stress, mental clarity and mental focus."

Taiyo pioneered the market for this unique amino acid found in green tea with its Suntheanine brand. It won the NutrAward for best new product in 2002. It was self-affirmed GRAS in 2005 and just last year Taiyo received FDA notification of no objection to its GRAS application.

"While technically GRAS Self-Affirmation allows for the use of our functional ingredients in the food and beverage category, taking the extra step of notifying the FDA is necessary to get formulated into the larger mainstream products," says Smith. "Since receiving the FDA letter of no objection in 2007, we've been working closely with a number of beverage companies in this new category."

This year's Super Bowl saw the introduction of a number of functional drinks, at least one including Suntheanine, having tag lines of calm, focus and control.

As a bonus to beverage formulators looking to tinker with their caffeinated brands, two studies published in February 2008 found that L-theanine reduced the negative side effects of caffeine — headaches and tiredness after the caffeine crash — and enhanced performance more than caffeine alone.1,2

And despite the inclusion of L-theanine into some major brands in 2007, Smith says 2008 will be an even bigger year. Could it be a category-creator, a la Cargill's CoroWise brand sterols' potent combination with Minute Maid orange juice? Only time will tell.

—Todd Runestad

Four functionals with feeling

There is often a blurry line between 'mood' and outright 'depression.' This fuzziness of terms and understanding might be enough of a roadblock to keep the trendy catchword 'mood food' from growing out of its niche. A clear distinction is the temporal, stress-induced nature of the former, and the deeper tenure of the latter. Savvy marketers who can help develop products and position them outside of the clinical realm and into the wellness category likely stand a greater chance of success. Here are four ingredients that are bona-fide players in the mood-food realm.

GABA: Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid produced by the brain, produces a relaxation effect by influencing the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. GABA acts like a brake during times of runaway stress. Indeed, anxiety drugs like benzodiazepines work by stimulating GABA receptors to induce relaxation; low levels can result in anxiety and insomnia.1 GABA production is stimulated by magnesium; GABA activity is increased by L-taurine. In one human study, GABA induced relaxation and reduced anxiety better than L-theanine or placebo; its effects were seen within an hour.2

TeaL-theanine: An amino acid found almost solely in tea plants is also largely responsible for the taste of green tea.3 It has anti-stress effects by blocking glutamate receptors in the brain, reducing psychological and physiological stress responses.4 Other studies suggest theanine releases dopamine in a way that is different from glutamate transporter blockers, though the result is the same: an inhibition of excitatory neurotransmission and relief of stress.5 Theanine has been shown to significantly decrease blood pressure in hypertensive rats.6 A dose of 50-200mg will show effects within 40 minutes.3 Two new studies show that combining L-theanine with caffeine enhances performance in terms of attention switching and the ability to ignore distraction, which would ameliorate the detrimental effects of caffeine overstimulation.7,8 L-theanine is also involved in forming GABA.

Lactium: This milk protein hydrolysate promotes relaxation with no sedative effect. It was found to be the nutrient that makes babies calm after they have nursed. The casein compound has been isolated for its anti-anxiety benefits, and may be used in supplements and beverages. It is the active ingredient in drinks like Dreamerz from Brand New Brands, which also contains melatonin; other similar beverages on the market are using lactium with L-theanine. In animal studies, it improves sleep in rats subjected to chronic mild stress, and was also shown to decrease anxiety in a similar manner but via different mechanism and without the side effects of diazepam (Valium).9,10 Human follow-up trials have demonstrated lactium decreases plasma cortisol concentrations (a measure of stress), maintains heart rate, and lowers blood pressure in patients put in stressful situations.11

Choline: This B vitamin is a component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, as well as a part of phosphatidylcholine, a phospholipid needed by brain cells. Because it is involved in memory, motivation and thinking, deficient levels have been found to correlate with poor memory and concentration. Harvard researchers found antidepressantlike effects of CDP-choline. These effects, found in rats, were heightened when combined with omega-3 fatty acids, to the point where less of each nutrient was required when taken together — a point that should not be lost on product developers. Also of note, there was no effect seen at three or 10 days, but there was by 30 days of treatment.12

—Todd Runestad

1. No authors listed. Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) ? Monograph. Altern Med Rev 2007 Sep;12(3):274-9.
2. Abdou AM, et al. Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans. Biofactors 2006;26(3):201-8.
3. Juneja LR, et al. L-theanine ? a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effects in humans. Trends Food Sci Tech 1999 Jun;10(6-7):199-204.
4. Kimura K, et al. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress resonses. Biol Phychol 2007 Jan;74(1):39-45.
5. Yamada T,e t al. Effects of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on neurotanmitter release and its relationship with glutamic acid neutotransmission. Nutr Neurosci 2005 Aug;8(4):219-26.
6. Yokogoshi H, Kobayashi M. Hypotensive effect of gamma-glutamylmethylamide in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Life Sci 1998;62(12):1065-8.
7. Bryan J. Psychological effects of dietary components of tea: caffine and L-theanine. Nutr Rev 2008 Feb;66(2):82-90.
8. Haskell CF, et al. The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood. Biol Psychol 2008 Feb;77(2):113-22.]
9. Guesdon B, et al. A tryptic hydrolysate from bovine milk alphaS1-casein improves sleep in rats subjected to chronic mild stress. Peptides 2006 Jun;27(6):1476-82.
10. Violle N, et al. Ethological comparison of the effects of a bovine alpha s1-casein tryptic hydrolysate and diazepam on the behaviour of rats in two models of anxiety. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2006 Jul;84(3):517-23.
11. Messaoudi M, et al. Effects of a tryptic hydrolysate from bovine milk alphaS1-casein on hemodynamic responses in healthy human volunteers facing successive mental and physical stress situations. Eur J Nutr 2005 Mar;44(2):128-32.
12. Carlezon WA, et al. Antidepressant-like effects of uridine and omega-3 fatty acids are potentiated by combined treatment in rats. Biol Psychiatry 2005 Feb 15;57(4):343-50.


What's eating you?: The next superfruit application

Fi speaks with Arjan Scheepens, PhD, neuroscientist at HortResearch in New Zealand. He is measuring specific psycho- and bio-active effects of plant-based materials with a view to designing natural nutraceuticals to relieve stress, hypertension and age-related cognitive decline. For the complete conversation, click here.

Fi: What is it in New Zealand fruits that make it 'mood-food'?

LB: A combination of things. Our focus is on designing intelligent synergies between compounds that aid in absorption, and increasing bioavailability and access through the blood/brain barrier. Several targets outside the brain can be targeted more easily with ingested functional foods to alleviate some symptoms of stress and anxiety, such as beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors, classically used to treat hypertension.

Fi: What is the mechanism of action?

LB: It depends on the target. For anxiety we are interested in phytochemicals that increase GABA function or which are directly GABAergic, as well as monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Also, we look at synergies to protect bioactive phytochemicals from metabolic degradation, or enhance their absorption. Some of our more edgy science is in search of plant-derived CRH-R1 antagonists — a hot topic in current clinical pharmacology.

Fi: Are you looking into specific applications?

LB: We want the fruits of our research to end up in a consumer product. Our current clinical trial is with a product that may decrease negative effects of stress and increase cerebral blood flow and thus possibly improve cognition, especially whilst under stress — an enormous problem in today's workplace.

Select suppliers: nutrients to entertain the brain

BI Nutraceuticals
Full line of Identilok botanical powders, identified and confir
med via thin-layer chromatography, microscopic image analysis, organoleptic testing and other quality standards.

Chemi Nutra
AlphaSize alpha-GPC is a choline source; SerinAid PhosphatidylSerine; OmegaAid PS is an omega-3/PS combination.

SharpGPC is alpha-GPC, which adds to the company's cognitive line including PS-DHA conjugate SharpPS gold, and straight-up PS ingredient SharpPS.

Uniquely positioned EPA and DHA portfolio into a range of condition-specific formulations based on specific concentrations of the omega-3s. Its Mood & Mind Health has high amounts of EPA.

Neuravena EFLA 955 is a wild green-oat extract that targets stressed-out adults, helping with tiredness, stress and anxiety.

GAT Food Essentials
Denomega GAT 100 omega-3 EPA/DHA and Pro Corde ALA alpha-linolenic acid are part of its polyunsaturated fatty acid profile.

Home to the world's largest fruit-gene and compound database, New Zealand company researches novel breeding and unique combinations of fruits for beneficial health effects, including a fruit-juice cocktail that appears to reduce stress and improve memory. Licensing is planned.

Lactium brand casein hydrolysate helps regulate stress symptoms, supplied by French dairy developer and marketer of dairy-derived speciality ingredients.

Kyowa Hakko
Cognizin brand citicoline changes brain chemistry and activity in certain areas of the brain, enhancing attention, memory, mood, focus and concentration.

Probio-Stick containing Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52 and Bifidobacterium longum Rosell-175 relieves stress-induced gastrointestinal problems.

French company manufactures and sells plant extracts for the food, flavour and nutraceuticals industries.

Next Pharmaceuticals
Relora is a proprietary blend of Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense used in stress management and stress-related appetite control, without causing drowsiness.

Nutraceuticals International
Bulk supplier of concentrated botanical extracts, amino acids and specialities.

Sigma-tau HealthScience
AminoCarnitines deliver L-carnitine along with a specific amino acid in one distinct molecule, like ArginoCarn and GlycoCarn.

Suntheanine brand L-theanine was the pioneer in supplying this amino acid, which promotes relaxation without drowsiness.

"It" ingredient: fish oil

FI talked with Baldur Hjaltason, EPAX sales manager for North America, Japan and China, on the latest application for omega-3 fish oils.

FI: EPAX has uniquely positioned itself by offering condition-specific formulas with fish oils, all predicated on different concentrations of EPA and DHA. What is its "Mood & Mind Health" concentration, and how does it differ from other condition-specific formulas?

BH: Our "Mood & Mind Health" product EPAX 6015TG contains a high amount of EPA or minimum 530mg/g. This is the highest EPA product that EPAX offers. Many people suffer from mood swings ranging from depression to violent behaviour and are looking for nutritional support to help them stay emotionally balanced. The effectiveness of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of depression comes from several double-blind, placebo-controlled trials conducted by independent groups in different countries. The majority of those trials in adults with unipolar depression have been using eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and have consistently reported significant improvements in their symptoms. We have also studies showing that high EPA intake helps achieve remission in bipolar disorder.

EPAX has been working with several leading individuals in this area including Dr Malcolm Garland, who has demonstrated in a paper published in 2005 that "healthy" people function better, feel less fatigued and have reduced levels of anger, anxiety, confusion and depression when taking omega-3 supplements. EPAX products were also used in trials of Dr Garland on effects of omega-3 fatty acids in patients with self-harm.

FI: How does "Mood & Mind Health" differ from "Cognitive Health" — both from a marketing perspective as well as from a formulation perspective?

BH: While science shows that a lack of EPA causes symptoms such as depression and violent behaviour, the fat in the brain is basically made out of DHA. We know how important it is for the mother, both during and after pregnancy, to consume DHA in order to supply the fatty acids to the fetus and then the newborn child through breastfeeding, but less attention has been paid to what the needs are for maintaining the high DHA content in the brain throughout life. Recent studies clearly show that DHA is needed all your life. Therefore, we are promoting our EPAX 1050TG, which contains a minimum of 430mg/g DHA for cognitive health.

EPAX supported a major study on the effects of high DHA in an elderly population of Alzheimer's patients. This study took one year with 174 patients who took EPAX 1050TG daily. The trials determine the effects of DHA on supplementation in cognitive function on patients with mild and moderate Alzheimer's. The results were clear: DHA slowed the onset of mild Alzheimer dementia and improved quality of life.

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) publishes an annually bibliography of significant advances in dietary supplement research, highlighting 25 of the most significant dietary supplement research advances of the past year. In 2006, EPAX got the award for this study as one of two on cognitive health.

FI: The science behind fish oils is probably strongest in the cardiovascular health arena. Where does "Mood & Mind Health" stack up, and what are its future prospects?

BH: All surveys have shown that the highest awareness of the omega-3 health benefits is in the cardiovascular health area, so more education is needed to show the benefits of in the mood and mind health area. There are several products on the market targeting this area and doing well, especially for bipolar disorder. Those consumers have experienced the improvement when taking their high-EPA products and that they return to their old symptoms if they stop the treatment.

Older people suffer more from mood and mind health problems. Although many of those people are being treated today with drugs, the authorities are getting more and more aware of the links between diet and behaviour and the influence of nutrition on mental health. Therefore we should expect this category to expand rapidly in the coming years.

FI: Why should manufacturers look at fish oils for their mood/stress finished goods product launches vs other non-fish-oil ingredients?

BH: Although fish oils are very effective in treating self-harm and the onset of Alzheimer's, there is no question that there are many other effective non-fish-oil ingredients that will also help those people. The challenge will be to blend those ingredients together to get the benefits from all of them. However, it is still the omega-3 fatty acids from fish that have the best clinical documentation today.

One of the reasons we are seeing such high rates of mood and mind problems as well as Alzheimer's is due to how much we have changed our diets. We used to eat much more omega-3 fatty acids compared to omega-6 fatty acids. The normal ratio should be around 1:4 but is now up to 1:15. This leads the prostaglandin system in the body to produce many inflammatory compounds that give various clinical symptoms. One of the best known effects of EPA is its anti-inflammatory effects.

FI: What is the difference between the triglyceride (TG) and ethyl ester (EE) forms of fish oils?

BH: In order to concentrate EPA and DHA, the fatty acids must be split from the glycerol backbone molecule. As free fatty acids, their boiling points are too similar, making it difficult to concentrate by high vacuum molecular distillation. Therefore, they are turned into ethyl esters, which widens the boiling point difference, making it easier to separate.

Previously, it was not easy to turn the ethyl ester back to a glycerol backbone molecule. This was done chemically, which resulted in products with a lot of impurities. EPAX is now using state-of-the-art technology with lipases to turn back EPA and DHA as well as the other fatty acids to the glycerol molecule, turning them to the same natural form as in the start.

Fish oil concentrates have been sold as both EE and TG. Some countries do not allow EE product to be sold except as pharmaceuticals, partly because the EE form of EPA and DHA is not found in nature. Most studies have shown that there is equal bioavailablity of EE and TG form of EPA and DHA.

FI: Can you site one or two studies that demonstrate support of mood health?

BH: One of the best overviews is an article written by leading scientists in this area including Marlene Freeman, MD, Joseph Hibbeln, MD and Andrew Stoll, MD, titled, "Omega-3 fatty acids: Evidence basis for treatment and future research in psychiatry" and published in J Clin Psychiatry 67:12 December 2006.

Other major articles include:

  • Nemets, et al. Omega-3 treatment of childhood depression: a controlled, double-blind pilot study. American Journal of Psychiatry 2006;163:1098-1100.
  • Peet M & Horrobin DF. A dose-ranging study of the effects of ethyl-eicosapentaenoate in patients with ongoing depression despite apparently adequate treatment with standard drugs. Archives of General Psychiatry 2002;43:315-319.
  • Su KP, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids in major depressive disorder. A preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2003;13:267-71.
  • Stoll AL, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids in bipolar disorder: a preliminary, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arch Gen Psych 1999;56(5):407-12.
  • Fontani G, et al. Cognitive and physiological effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Invest 2005;35:691-9.
  • Garland MR, el al. 2007 op cit.
  • Hallahan B, et al. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with recurrent self-harm. Br J Psych 2007;190:118-22.

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37. Muller WE, et al. Hyperforin represents the neurotransmitter reuptake inhibiting constituent of Hypericum extract. Pharmacopsychiatry 1998;31 (Suppl. 1):16-21.
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45. Hippius H. St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) ? a herbal antidepressant. Curr Med REs Opin 1998;14(3):171-84.
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49. Philipp M, et al. Hypericum extract versus imipramine or placebo in patients with moderate depression: randomized multicentre study of treatment for eight weeks. Br Med J 1999 Dec 11;(8)319(7224):1534-8.
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Mood: The next superfruit application

Fi speaks with Arjan Scheepens, PhD, neuroscientist at HortResearch in New Zealand. Dr Scheepens is measuring specific psycho- and bio-active effects of plant-based materials with a view to designing natural nutraceuticals to relieve symptoms of stress, mental fatigue, hypertension and the cognitive decline associated with ageing, using New Zealand-based agricultural products.

FI: The concept of "mood food" relies on an understanding of how we can affect our mood with combinations of food. Phospholipids or fatty acids are popular here (the brain is mostly comprised of fat, after all), as are various botanicals. What is it in the fruits — New Zealand fruits at that — that are to account for the benefit?

AS: It is not likely to be one compound, but a combination of things. There are actually a lot of phytochemicals that are know to have strong effects on mood but most are either not absorbed at all, poorly absorbed or altered during digestion into inactive metabolites. There's also the problem of the blood-brain barrier, which makes it very hard to get most compounds into the brain at effective concentrations.

Our focus is on designing intelligent synegies between compounds that aid in absorption and increasing bioavailability and access through the blood-brain barrier. There are also several targets outside the brain that can be targeted more easily with ingested functional foods to alleviate some of the symptoms of stress and anxiety, like adrenergic antagonists (beta-blockers) or ACE inhibitors, classicaly used to treat hypertension. We are lucky in New Zealand and especially within HortResearch to have access to a huge number of fresh tropical and sub tropical fruits as well as the more common fruits like pipfruit and stonefruit.

FI: What is the mechanism of action — serotonin, neurotransmitters, receptors?

AS: It really depends on the target — our primary targets are anxiety, depression and the cognitive decline associated with normal ageing. Preferably we would target systems outside the brain as these are a more realistic target for consumed foods. As with most nutraceuticals, it is better to target many systems at sub-pharmacological doses than to target a single system pharmacologically. This also lessens the possiblity of side effects or the possibility for abuse.

With anxiety, for example, we would typically be interested in phytochemicals that increase GABA function or which are directly GABAergic as well as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI's). We would also look at synergies to protect bioactive phytochemicals from metabolic degradation or enhance their absorption; for example, the MAOI's can also protect active plant-derived mono amines from being degraded. Some of our more edgy science is in the search of plant-derived corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 antagonists (CRH-R1), which is a very hot topic in current clinical pharmacology. Classical targets like acetylcholinesterase inhibitors for slowing cognitive decline are also under consideration.

FI: Is any of this based on advanced technology delivery systems, such as nanotechnology or breeding practices? Or is it just a specific combination of fruit juices?

AS: Bioactive molecules, or more likely sets of synergistic bioactives that we discover in the mood food programme, are fed directly back into our plant breeding teams here at HortResearch, who then use selective breeding techniques to enhance the levels or distribution of these in a particular fruit — creating superfruits with defined functionality without the use of genetic engineering. We also have a wealth of experience in plant genetics that allows us to judge the seedlings for suitability using genetic screens well before they are ready to fruit, which would normally take several years. This way we do not have to wait for a seedling to fruit, but can test whether it has enhanced capability when it is only a few months old. This gives us an enormous time and cost advantage over traditional plant breeding methods.

Also, if specific bioactives have a particularly bad taste or poor solubility, then we will consider micro-encapsulation in phospholipids, in which we also have considerable experience.

FI: Is there any element of applied research — that is, into specific applications for the food, beverage or supplements industries?

AS: While we do basic research, it is not just research for research's sake — it is done with products and markets in mind. What we want is for the fruits of our research to end up in a consumer product. We are also involved in clinical trials and our point of difference with most nutraceuticals and dietary supplements is that we will have hard science and well designed clinical trials to prove efficacy before anything is released to consumers. We take this very seriously and have invested substantial amounts of our own money and time into this programme. The last thing the consumer needs is more so called functional foods with only in vitro evidence, or worse, no hard evidence for efficacy whatsoever.

FI: Because the juice combination appears to have the opposite effect as caffeine — it relaxes instead of makes jittery — is there any thought to combining it with caffeine to give the "alert" benefits of caffeine without the "jittery" downside?

AS: The caffeine market is oversaturated with products and is not a target of our work. The current clinical trial is in regards to a product that may decrease the negative effects of stress as well as increase cerebral blood flow and thus possibly improve cognition and executive functioning, especially whilst under stress, which is an enormous problem in today's workplace.

FI: Who is the market for such fruit beverages?

AS: Everyone who gets stressed — our intial target market is:

  • Women
  • 35+
  • Above average household income
  • At least one child living at home
  • Tertiary educated

We chose this because our preliminary research indicated that these women are experiencing high levels of stress trying to balance careers and family, and in general women are more likely to do something about their stress than men.

The World Health Organisation predicts that depression will be the second highest cause of death and disability worldwide by 2020, and numerous surveys put stress near the top of consumers health concerns. For example, the respected HealthFocus survey of Spanish consumers ranks stress as number 4 when asked what conditions personally affected consumers.

New protein sources signal new potential

New research signals new avenues for growth in the ever-topical protein market. With developments emerging in the soy, wheat and hemp markets, and nanotechnology entering the protein world, Mark J Tallon, PhD, discusses the issues that may lead to the next fiscal resurgence

For some time, the leading milk-based protein has been whey, followed by casein. The greater bioavailability and amino-acid profile of whey has held it at the No. 1 spot regarding protein supplementation. However, of late its competitors, including plant proteins and isolated milk-protein bioactives, are leading the way in protein research and novelty. Following is an overview of the latest advancements in trade and academia within the protein markets.

Nanotechnology is often thought of as a next-generation technology, although issues regarding its safety as a food-delivery system are still in question.1 Technology moving toward that of the nano scale is now being applied via the utilisation of protein-based technology to encapsulate vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

Alpha-lactalbumin is protein extracted from milk and is widely used as a food and dietary-supplements ingredient. This protein also has important nutritional values as a calcium ion binder and a rich source of the amino acid L-tryptophan. The amino acid is mostly used in the animal-feed industry, but also has a number of food applications including clinical nutrition (infant formulas) and supplements designed for bodybuilders. Danish firm Arla Foods, the leading alpha-lactalbumin producer, has begun to exploit the unique abilities of this protein to form nanotubes (8.7nm pore size). These nanotubes have the potential to be used in an encapsulation format (controlled delivery), and, based on recent literature, are stable during freeze-drying and certain heating conditions (ie, pasteurisation), as well as being clear when formed into a gel.2 Innovative techniques for food design are becoming increasingly important for food manufacturers — alpha-lactalbumin-based nanotubes are one such application.

Milk fractions
The next step in the infant-formula fortification process may have arrived in the long-touted milk-protein fraction lactoferrin.3 Lactoferrin has an array of biological activities that include growth, immune modulation, and antimicrobial effects.4,5 However, in recent years it has struggled to keep its head above water due to companies' inability to provide significant evidence to achieve acceptance for 'health-claim status,' and even 'acceptable for use in' from a selection of regulatory authorities across the globe. Although there is evidence and many of these issues could be resolved with the right package, it seems only blunt science facts are going to kick the potential of this ingredient back on track.

One new study examined the effect of bovine lactoferrin supplementation in infant formula.3 Healthy, formula-fed infants (>or=34 weeks gestation and

Those infants receiving lactoferrin-enhanced formula had significantly fewer lower respiratory-tract illnesses compared with the 26 regular formula-fed infants. In a first, we have evidence of what I like to call the Tour de France effect, where supplementation actually increased the oxygen-carrying capacity of these infants, and without the aid of altitude training. Following the 12 months of supplementation, hematocrit (ratio of red to white blood cells) levels were significantly higher at nine months in the lactoferrin-supplemented group compared with those on the control formula. These results provide some great insights into the benefits of lactoferrin fortification, and with the right industry backing can raise the profile of this milk bioactive.

Soy gets sporty
Over the years soy has played second fiddle to whey as a protein source, especially in the sports-supplement market. One of the main factors in the success of whey has been the belief that a more complete amino-acid composition provides a more effective protein source than soy for muscle building and recovery. However, research from Indiana University's School of Medicine and State University of New York may change this perception.6

This investigation compared the early response of skeletal-muscle protein synthesis following supplementation with soy + carbohydrate (SC), whey + carbohydrate (WC), or carbohydrate only (CO) after endurance exercise. Rats were split into either nonexercised controls or treadmill exercised for two hours at approximately 75 per cent VO2max. Following exercise, rats were then supplied with one of the three dietary interventions (SC, WC, CO).

One hour after exercise, serum insulin concentrations in WC, SC and CO were greater than in the nonexercised controls. Serum concentrations of branched-chain amino acids in WC and SC were higher than in CO, but amino acids making headlines in the sports-nutrition and weight-loss categories (leucine and isoleucine) were higher in WC than in SC group. However, both WC and SC supplementation promoted the rate of skeletal-muscle protein synthesis and translation (mTOR; eIF4F) significantly more than CO, suggesting both soy and whey are effective for muscle-protein synthesis post-endurance exercise, at least in rats.

The protein high
Hemp isolates provide another useful protein source to give the industry a novel high. Hemp-seed extract delivers a good source of essential fatty acids and an excellent dietary source of easily digestible, gluten-free protein. Its overall protein content of 34.6g/100g is comparable to that of soybeans, and better than other high-protein sources.7 Given the surge of nitric oxide-based products in the personal-care and sports-nutrition markets, the high content of nitric oxide generating amino acids (arginine = 123mg/g protein and histidine = 27mg/g protein) may offer some additional marketing claims above that of other proteins.

In a recent study from South China University of Technology, China has evaluated the compositional properties of this nonobvious protein source.8 Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) protein isolate (HPI) was compared with soy protein isolate (SPI). Edestin, a kind of hexameric legumin, was the major protein component. HPI had similar or higher levels of essential amino acids (except lysine), compared to the amino acids of SPI. The essential amino acids in HPI (except lysine and sulfur-containing amino acids) are sufficient for the FAO/WHO suggested requirements for two- to five-year-old children.

Innovation and growth possibilities still exist within the protein market, but many companies are not capitalising on that potential
HPI contained much higher free sulfhydryl (SH) content than SPI, which affects its water holding; this will influence its application in some food groups. However, the data suggest that HPI can be used as a valuable source of nutrition for infants and children, but has poor functional properties compared with SPI. The message for those in the hemp field trying to make this a fully functional food is to remove a large amount of the free sulfhydryl groups that reduce its applications.

Protein still ISOLATE-d
Innovation and growth possibilities still exist within the protein market but many companies are not capitalising on that potential. This lack of confidence in growth potential is leaving specific segments of the protein market isolated and sales slowing. This has been especially evident in the RTD and MRP segment, where the only innovations are coming from taste and a few bioactives such as DMV's cysteine peption.

Should the industry commit to the R&D path, the recent surge of new protein sources — including wheat, rice, hemp and canola with its own unique bioactive profile — should turn this negative tide and open up the door for the next wave for the protein markets.

Mark J Tallon, PhD, is chief science officer of NutriSciences, a London-based consultancy firm specialising in health-claim substantiation, product development and technical writing.

1. Lanone S, Boczkowski J. Biomedical applications and potential health risks of nanomaterials: molecular mechanisms. Curr Mol Med 2006; 6(6):651-63.
2. Graveland-Bikker JF, et al. Structural and mechanical study of a self-assembling protein nanotube. Nano Lett 2006;6(4):616-21.
3. King JC, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot study of bovine lactoferrin supplementation in bottle-fed infants. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2007;44(2):245-51.
4. Ward PP, et al. Multifunctional roles of lactoferrin: a critical overview. Cell Mol Life Sci 2005; 62(22):2540-8.
5. Gifford JL, et al. Lactoferricin: a lactoferrin-derived peptide with antimicrobial, antiviral, antitumor and immunological properties. Cell Mol Life Sci 2005;62(22):2588-98.
6. Anthony TG, et al. Feeding meals containing soy or whey protein after exercise stimulates protein synthesis and translation initiation in the skeletal muscle of male rats. J Nutr 2007;137(2):357-62.
7. Silversides FG, Lefrancois MR. The effect of feeding hemp seed meal to laying hens. Br Poult Sci 2005;46(2):231-5.
8. Tang CH, et al. Physicochemical and functional properties of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) protein isolate. J Agric Food Chem 2006, 54(23):8945-50.

Pick your pasta


Native to the Andes, quinoa is the seed of a leafy plant related to beets. When ground up and mixed with corn or wheat flour, quinoa produces a mild-tasting, high-protein pasta. Gluten-free eaters should choose brands that contain only quinoa and corn flours. Top it with tofu and organic tomato sauce for a vegan, amino acid-rich meal.

Whole wheat

Typically made of 100 percent durum wheat — a hard, high-quality grain — this dense pasta is higher in fiber, protein, B vitamins, and minerals than semolina varieties, which use only part of the grain. Whole-wheat pasta's hearty flavor and grainy texture make it a good base for pesto and vegetable sauces.


Related to rhubarb, buckwheat has been used for centuries to make noodles in Asia. Japanese soba is the most common type in the U.S., with a nutty flavor and high amounts of protein and dietary fiber. Traditionally, soba is served hot in soup or cold with a soy-based dipping sauce.

Tofu shirataki

Made from a blend of soy protein and yam flour, these Japanese noodles are packaged in water and readily absorb other flavors. A low glycemic-index food, tofu shirataki is particularly high in soluble fiber. Toss the heated noodles with a sweet teriyaki and serve with stir-fried veggies. Note: Noodles must be refrigerated.

Why small farmers


Quite simply, small-scale farmers provide us with high quality, healthy food. They also take care of the land through sustainable farming, which protects forests, soil and watersheds, and helps cool the planet. Small farmer co-operatives encourage democratic decision-making, provide dignified livelihoods for their members, and give opportunities for producers to feel pride in their accomplishments, as well as hope for their futures. These organizations help keep communities healthy and strong, and keep local cultures vibrant. They provide real alternatives to migration, gangs, and the cultivation of coca and other illegal crops.

Today, however, small-scale farmers face tremendous challenges. Many agriculture and trade policies are designed to favor large corporations. The subsidies, credits and tax incentives the government awards to agribusiness dramatically undermine the ability of small farmers to compete in the marketplace. Even our energy policies and consumption patterns, which contribute to global warming, affect small farmers disproportionately. Although they farm in ways that steward the land and keep the planet cool, global warming causes changes in weather patterns which affect crops and crop cycles. Unusual storms have become more frequent and severe, causing a loss of lives, homes, crops and livelihoods.

So what can we do?
We can take steps to ensure that we leave a greener planet for our children. We can take back the food system to maintain our connection to the land, the food we eat, and the farmers who grow it. We can demand the right to know what’s in our food and to have real choices over what we eat and from whom we buy. We can continue to support small farmers by purchasing Fair Trade products, buying from co-operatives, and supporting local farmers in our own communities. We can exercise consumer power through our purchases and reduce our environmental footprints through changes in behavior.

If you’re interested in supporting our farmer partners in their efforts to green the planet, here are two immediate actions you can take:

• Continue to purchase Equal Exchange coffee, tea, chocolate and snacks and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. Starting on Earth Day (April 22, 2007) and going throughout 2008, Equal Exchange will donate 20 cents/package of all purchases of LOVE BUZZ into our Small Farmers. Green Planet. fund. This money will go directly to our farmer partners in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Colombia to support their reforestation, organic conversion, and environmental protection efforts. Read about these projects at

Write a check to Grassroots International and send it to:
Equal Exchange
50 United Drive
West Bridgewater, MA 02379

Learn More:
- Visit the Equal Exchange website at to learn more about the company’s history, mission and products.
- Read more about our campaign for a green and more just food system at
- Visit Equal Exchange’s Myspace page at

Forbes Medi-Tech announces Financial Results for the Year ended December 31, 2007

Vancouver, Canada - Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. (TSX:FMI; NASDAQ:FMTI or NASDAQ:FMTID ) today announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2007 versus the year ended December 31, 2006. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.

Fiscal Year 2007 Highlights

. Reported total revenue of $9.4 million for year ended December 31,
2007 versus $7.2 million for year ended December 31, 2006, a 31% increase.

. Reported net loss of $0.30 per share from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2007 compared to a net loss of $0.48 per share from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2006.

. Continued to expand the market penetration for Reducol(tm) containing products with launches in Portugal, Finland, Taiwan and The Netherlands.

. Furthered the development of early stage compounds focused on asthma and diabetes.

"Despite declining financial market conditions towards the end of 2007, the Company was able to show continued growth in its ingredient business while maintaining progress on its development programs for the FM TP 2000 and 3000 series" said Charles Butt, President and CEO of Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. "The strong emphasis on M&A activities, started in 2007 in both the Nutraceutical and Pharmaceutical sides of the business, will continue through 2008, with the hope of completing a transaction by year-end."

Capital Resources

In previous news releases and public filings the Company has stated that its working capital was sufficient to finance operations through the second quarter of 2008. After taking into account planned expenditures, anticipated revenues, and assuming no unanticipated costs or expenses, but without taking into account the recently announced Non-Dilutive Financing, the Company now considers that its capital resources will be sufficient to finance operations into the beginning of the third quarter of 2008. Assuming that the Non-Dilutive Financing closes as anticipated, and after taking into account the same factors and assumptions, the Company considers that its capital resources will be sufficient to finance operations into the fourth quarter of 2008.
The Company is diligently working to obtain additional funding, as well as enhancing its portfolio of products through potential strategic partnerships and M&A activities.

Revenue Outlook

Forbes reached its 2007 revenue guidance by achieving $8.9 million of sales, consisting of Reducol(tm) and other cholesterol-lowering ingredients plus value added product revenue. Forbes is forecasting continued strong growth in Reducol(tm) and other value added product sales for 2008 with anticipated sales of $9.75 -- $10.5 million. This revenue guidance is primarily based on the contracted and forecasted tonnage of Reducol(tm), and other value added products for sale into the functional food and dietary supplement markets. We have consistently issued revenue guidance in the past in an effort to provide our shareholders with an updated revenue outlook in a timely manner. We caution readers that our revenue guidance is not to be relied upon for any other purpose. The 2008 revenue guidance includes assumptions that the contracted and forecasted amounts will be ordered and shipped as anticipated.

Nutraceutical Business

In 2007, Forbes has introduced and expanded the Reducol(tm) product ingredient into various countries and additional retailers. For example, rye bread containing Reducol(tm) was introduced into Finland and in The Netherlands and Taiwan, milk drinks containing Reducol(tm) were also launched. As a result of these new initiatives, Reducol(tm) containing products can now be found in 12 major countries worldwide.
While the Company continues to launch in key international markets, the U.S. market remains a major focus for Forbes. The Company continues to work with various US food manufacturers but the completion of the product development stage and the timing of product launches is unclear at this point, The Company will update its shareholders in the event of a product launch.

Pharmaceutical Research

Forbes has entered the final stages of compound selection for two of the most rapidly growing therapeutic indications, asthma and type 2 diabetes. Compounds in development are chosen on the basis of selectivity (the ability to home in on one receptor), potency and pharmacokinetics (drug distribution in the body over time). The FM-TP2000 Series targeting type 2 diabetes are based on the neural signal, following a meal, which is known to increase insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells. The FM-TP3000 Series targeting asthma are inhaled VPAC2 agonists. Other investigational VPAC2 agonists have demonstrated immediate bronchodilatation with the potential for anti-inflammatory effects. The compound differs from long-acting Beta2 adrenoceptor agonists by working through a different receptor and mechanism. We now expect confirmation of both lead compounds in the first half of 2008. The Company's strategy is to capitalize on the intrinsic value of selected FM-TP Compounds through collaborative agreements and upfront milestone payments at an early stage