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Articles from 2009 In April

Heart Health Matters, Even in Heart Failure

Healthnotes Newswire (April 30, 2009)—For people with heart failure, even simple tasks such as walking to the mailbox can leave them winded and fatigued. A long-term study has confirmed what many heart health experts have suspected, but which until now had remained unproven: supervised, moderate aerobic exercise is safe for many people with heart failure and may improve health and quality of life.

Easing into exercise

These latest results are presented in two papers that detail a study of 2,331 medically stable 59- to 68-year-old heart failure patients, randomized to receive usual care (control) or usual care plus aerobic exercise training (intervention).

The aerobic exercise included three supervised sessions per week over three months for a total of 36 sessions, followed by a home-based program. Initial sessions consisted of 15 to 30 minutes of walking or stationary biking, performed at 60% of heart rate reserve. After six sessions, exercise was increased to 30 to 35 minutes at 70% of heart rate reserve. The final home exercise goal was five times per week for 40 minutes per session, at a heart rate of 60 to 70% of heart rate reserve.

Better life and function

After following the study participants for approximately two and a half years, researchers found:

• The intervention group exercised an average of 95 minutes per week at six months and an average of 74 minutes per week at 12 months.

• After adjusting for severity of heart failure, those in the intervention group were less likely to die of any cause, to die of heart disease-related causes, or to be hospitalized for any reason, including heart failure.

• Those in the intervention group reported significant improvements in health and quality of life, compared with those receiving usual care.

• Improvements in health were seen after three months and continued throughout the duration of the study.

In summary, exercise appeared safe for those with heart failure, benefited the participants quickly, reduced death and hospital admissions, and improved health.

Getting started

If you have heart failure and you want to begin exercising, keep the following important points in mind:

• Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise plan, even simple walking.

• Heart failure is a serious condition. Certain patients with the most severe heart disease were not allowed to participate in the study, because researchers deemed exercise potentially harmful to their health.

• Most study participants did not meet their exercise goals. Even so, those who exercised at least an hour and fifteen minutes per week benefited from the program.

• For the most benefit, try to stick to the exercise goals outlined by your doctor, physical therapist, or exercise physiologist.

• If you are not meeting your prescribed exercise goals, talk to your healthcare provider about ways to address whatever prevents you from exercising.

• Exercise is no substitute for other components of your heart failure care plan. Continue to take all medications as prescribed and to follow your heart failure diet.

(JAMA 2009;301:1439-50; JAMA 2009;301:1451-9)

Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.

Swine Flu Outbreak Calls for Simple Precautions, Not Panic

Healthnotes Newswire (April 30, 2009)—Everywhere you look are scary headlines about the recent spread of swine flu (influenza). But many people don’t realize that swine flu is primarily newsworthy because it is a new virus, so health officials don’t yet have a strategy for controlling spread and optimizing treatment. It is not a danger to the majority of people, whose best defense is to go about their regular business, protecting their health in the same simple, practical ways they always do.

Putting it in perspective

The swine flu is so called because the virus partly originated in pigs, though it also contains bird (avian) and human genes. You may hear swine flu referred to as H1N1, which is how its genetic make-up is described. It is the genes in a virus that determine how infectious it is, how easily it spreads from person to person, and the symptoms of the illness it causes.

Swine flu generally causes typical flu symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, coughing, sore throat, vomiting, and headaches. Like other influenzas, this strain may be serious if not managed properly. While swine flu is a concern for public health officials worldwide, it may help to consider the recent outbreak in the context of a typical flu season, which runs from November through March. Between 30,000 and 50,000 people die from influenza infection in the United States every year. At this point in the swine flu outbreak, fewer than 1,000 people have died from the infection, worldwide.

Also comforting is that we are much better prepared for a serious flu outbreak than in previous years. Two antiviral medications effective against swine flu are available though standard healthcare channels, we have more supportive medical care available than in years past, and we can coordinate a response to a flu outbreak more easily. And it helps to recognize that pork itself is not dangerous. It is safe to continue eating pork, so long as you follow standard, safe-food handling practices: avoid raw or undercooked pork and avoid cross-contamination between raw and cooked pork.

Prevention is the best cure

What can you do to stay healthy? “Plenty,” says Alan R. Gaby, MD, noted author and physician, and chief science editor at Aisle7. “People tend to focus on the frightening aspects of a flu outbreak that are out of our control, but there are many simple, practical things you can do, from hand-washing to keeping your disease-fighting defenses in top shape with a healthy diet and regular exercise.” Practice the following strategies to help keep you and your family flu-free.

Wash your hands often. Use regular soap with warm water, and wash for 20 full seconds. (About the time it takes to sing the Alphabet Song.)

Take your time. When you hand wash, scrub around your nails and the backs of your hands.

Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizers to be used in a pinch.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your elbow, which prevents contaminating your hands and spreading the germs to other surfaces you touch.

Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes, which can spread germs.

Keep your diet healthy. Antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits—such as broccoli, sweet peppers, carrots, citrus fruits, blueberries, pomegranate, and green leafy vegetables (such as spinach)—can improve your immune function and overall health.

Get more D. Insufficient levels of vitamin D in the body may make us more susceptible to infections, so try eating more D in dairy, eggs, fatty fish (such as salmon), and fortified foods, and consider taking a supplement if you feel your diet may be lacking and you do not get small, regular amounts of sunlight.

Finally, if you are sick, stay home. If you think you have the flu, call your doctor immediately. Antiviral medications work best when taken within two days of getting sick.

(The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Swine Influenza (Flu). Available at:; Virol J 2008:5:29; Age Ageing 2008;37:121-2; Epidemiol Infect. 2006;134:1129-40)

Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.

Ingredient in Probiotic Sweetener Boosts Immune System

Heartland Sweeteners LLC in conjunction with Ganeden Biotech has developed the world's first probiotic sweetener, Nevella(R) with Probiotics, which is designed to boost the immune system and promote digestive health. Additionally, according to a recently published study, the probiotic in Nevella(R) has been shown to provide some protection against certain strains of influenza.

With no calories, Nevella(R) with Probiotics is a healthy alternative to sugar and is a great sugar replacement in coffee, tea and baked goods.
"A healthy digestive system is key to strengthening your immune system," said Mike Servie, President of Heartland Sweeteners. "Nevella(R) with Probiotics is a great alternative to yogurt and dairy drinks that aim to improve immunity."

The partnership between Heartland Sweeteners and Ganeden Biotech, which makes the patented probiotic bacteria, GanedenBC30, was announced in March. GanedenBC30 is uniquely able to survive manufacturing and baking temperatures and maintain the health benefits of bacteria in the digestive tract. Nevella(R) with Probiotics is the first product created by the collaboration. Other offerings are in the works.
Nevella(R) with Probiotics is being distributed nationally in retail grocery stores, and is available online. For retailer and online shipping information, visit

About Heartland Sweeteners
Based in Indianapolis, Heartland Sweeteners, LLC, is a leader in the production and development of innovative food products that are great for the whole family. Heartland produces and distributes branded and private label sweeteners for the food industry. Their branded products of Nevella(R) and Ideal(TM) are great for the whole family, diabetics and people watching their calorie intake. Both Nevella(R) and Ideal(TM) are perfect for baking and are distributed throughout North America and expanding into Europe, Central and South America. Visit Heartland at and

About Ganeden Biotech
Founded in 1997, Ganeden Biotech, Inc, is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and is the largest seller of over-the-counter probiotics in the U.S. through its Digestive Advantage(R) and Sustenex(TM) brands. It also licenses its patented probiotic bacteria, GanedenBC30, for use in commercial food and beverage applications, medical foods, nutraceuticals and in animal health industries. Ganeden Biotech is self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by an independent panel of experts assembled to assess its safety in use as a food ingredient. For more information about licensing, visit For probiotic supplement information, visit or

Eco-friendly pet care

Eco-friendly pet care

Even when the rest of the family has gone green, Fluffy and Fido are often left to wreak a surprisingly massive toll on the environment. The estimated 10 million tons of waste produced each year by dogs and cats have a particularly devastating impact: Unbagged excrement can contaminate groundwater and soil with disease-carrying bacteria and parasites, while bagged waste stagnates in landfills. Meanwhile, pets are often exposed to dangerous levels of toxins because of the food and product choices we make for them. A 2008 study showed that dogs' and cats' toxic loads are often substantially higher and more varied than those of their human owners. So how can you take care of your pets and Mother Nature? Here are four ways to start.

Tip #1: Make their toys

Many foreign-made pet products contain lead and cadmium — which can harm animals who chew on and ingest their toys, says Will Falconer, DVM, a homeopathic veterinarian in Austin, Texas. “Over time, small amounts of these heavy metals can affect the nervous system, red blood cells, and bowels, and can even cause death,” he says. Protect your furry friends by giving them durable, nontoxic, U.S.-made products. Some imagination, organic cotton or wool stuffing, and a sewing machine can transform old jeans — or another durable cotton fabric that will hold up against sharp teeth — into chew toys your pet will love. For the less crafty, gently used socks (no holes!) make it easy to create colorful sock animals. For information about environmentally responsible playthings, see “Safe Products for Pets,”, or find ideas in Eco Dog by Corbett Marshall and Jim Deskevich (Chronicle, 2008).

Tip #2: Feed them organic

Ever since pet food tainted with melamine sickened and killed U.S. dogs and cats in 2007, consumers have become increasingly discriminating when it comes to store-bought pet grub. Although the affected food was recalled, there are other reasons to choose chow wisely. Besides exposing your animal companions to added growth hormones, antibiotics, and synthetic fertilizers, the agricultural implications (think pesticide runoff) of producing conventional kibble's vegetable and meat proteins can also threaten soil and water quality. Choose USDA Organic pet nosh, which meets the same standards as certified-organic human food. Or talk with your veterinarian about making Spot's food from scratch. Cats and dogs require specific mixes of nutrients that vary by animal type, breed, and age. “But as long as it's nutritionally balanced, homemade food is much healthier than anything found in a can or bag because dogs' and cats' digestive systems process fresh, raw food better than cooked food,” says Falconer. “Feeding them balanced raw diets will also increase their bodies' resistance to worms.” Once you've gotten the OK from your vet, find recipes and ideas in Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD, and Susan Hubble Pitcairn (Rodale, 2005).

Tip #3: Pitch poop properly

Though your pet's feces should never find their way into your compost pile, Doggie Dooley and NatureMill offer pet-specific systems that use enzymes and heat to destroy harmful pathogens and convert waste into safe fertilizer. Or bury your pooch's backyard droppings away from vegetable gardens and water sources to avoid human exposure to pathogens, advises Tom Watson, project manager for Seattle's King County Recycling and Environmental Services. When you're out and about, dispose of waste in biodegradable poop baggies made from cornstarch plastic, such as those from BioBag. (The company also offers biodegradable cat-pan liners.) Even though landfill conditions prevent the bags from breaking down quickly, plastic made from cornstarch is a more sustainable choice than petroleum-based polyethylene.

Kitty poop should always be bagged and tossed in the trash because it can harbor an infectious parasite detrimental to fetuses and people with weak immune systems. However, most of the 2 million tons of nonbiodegradable kitty litter sent to landfills annually contains quartz silica — recognized by the California Environmental Protection Agency as a human and pet carcinogen. A good option for cat lovers: biodegradable litter made from recycled newspaper, sawdust pellets, and corn. Or try chemical-free, wheat-based Swheat Scoop litter, available in natural markets. To absorb odors, dust litter with baking soda.

Tip #4: See to fleas

Conventional pest prevention and treatment options are far worse for animals' and people's health than the actual bugs are, says Jen Sass, PhD, a senior scientist and toxicologist at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The NRDC estimates that “hundreds and probably thousands” of pets have been injured or killed because of exposure to the pesticides found in flea collars, aerosol sprays, and other pest-control products. “The Environmental Protection Agency has also acknowledged that these products expose children to unsafe chemicals because kids touch, rub, kiss, and sleep with their pets,” she says.

Rather than using products that contain carbaryl, propoxur, and tetrachlorvinphos, sprinkle brewer's yeast, fresh garlic, or flaxseed oil in your pet's food — fleas hate the smell and taste, Sass says. Fleas also detest the smell of pennyroyal, lavender, mint, rosemary, sweet woodruff, and cedar. So either tie a bandanna filled with these pungent herbs around your pet's neck, or rub the dry herbs into your pet's coat. You can also purchase herbal flea collars at many health food and pet stores. If fleas have infested your home, sprinkle all pet beds and carpets with boric acid salts, which kill flea larvae without hurting people or pets, Falconer says.

Herbal Salves

If you’ve ever wished for a universal remedy that would make bug bites, scrapes, sunburns, diaper rash, and dry skin simply disappear, multipurpose ointments might be what you’re looking for. Often coming in a tube or jar, thick, gel-like topical salves are made from herbs infused in olive oil and then added to a beeswax or cocoa-butter base. The emollient oils soften skin, while the herbs offer antibacterial properties and work to heal irritation. When buying a salve, look for all-natural formulas without petroleum, mineral oil, or synthetic fragrances and colorings, which can irritate skin. Traditional herbal salves fall into these three basic categories.


Formulated to moisturize dry, itchy, and cracked skin, these salves often contain extra-rich emollients such as macadamia nut oil and shea butter. Great for chapped cuticles and lips, salves with soothing herbs also cool sunburns and chlorine-irritated skin. Look for peppermint, hemp butter, and rose essential oil—they smell delicious and may be used anywhere on the body, including lips, heels, elbows, and hands. Other natural skin-healing ingredients include goldenseal and myrrh.

How to apply: Warm the container in your palm until the balm inside is soft, then massage a liberal amount into dry patches. Repeat as needed.

Outstanding salves
· Burt’s Bees Miracle Salve with pumpkinseed oil and wheat germ
· Kiss My Face My Body Olive with olive butter and oil
· Owens Acres Cocoa Butter Hemp Salve with myrrh and goldenseal


To treat cuts and minor burns, as well as flare-ups from bug bites, poison ivy, and eczema, try a salve that contains inflammation-reducing herbs such as calendula, chickweed, and comfrey, which also help reduce pain and speed healing. Also search out antibacterial and antiseptic ingredients, such as goldenseal, echinacea, aloe vera, and tea tree oil. But before use, especially on sensitive children’s skin, test the product on the forearm for signs of allergic reactions.

How to apply: Gently clean and dry the affected area, then apply a thin layer of salve and cover with a gauze pad or lightweight bandage.

Outstanding salves
· Herb Pharm Herbal Ed’s Salve with comfrey root, chickweed, and St. John’s wort
· School Garden Co’s Superhealer with vitamin E, comfrey, sage, and calendula
· WishGarden First Aid Salve for Kids with goldenseal, hops, calendula, and coconut oil


Extra gentle and free of potential allergens or skin irritants, these salves treat the pesky, nearly constant skin conditions that seem to affect all babies at one time or another. Because they are formulated for superdelicate skin, many baby salves are unscented or just lightly scented; they may also be thinner than therapeutic salves. Lightweight nut oils and calming herbs, such as lavender and chamomile, soothe diaper rash and cradle cap, but these options are also ideal for adults with sensitive skin.

How to apply: Clean and dry the affected area, then gently apply a thin layer of salve (a little bit goes a long way). Use regularly for prevention, or as needed to treat outbreaks.

Outstanding salves
· Dr. Bronner Baby Mild Organic Baby Balm with jojoba seed and avocado oil
· Nature’s Baby Organics Organic Soothing Stick with sunflower seed oil and chamomile
· Happy Baby Rash Salve with beeswax or vegan cocoa butter bases

Make your own all-purpose salve
Customize with the herbs of your choice. Like most herbal remedies, this recipe uses “parts” instead of specific measurements, but you can plan on using about a 1/4 cup of each herb.

1 part calendula
1 part comfrey leaf
1 part St. John’s wort
Olive oil
2-4 parts beeswax or cocoa butter
1-2 drops essential oil (for fragrance, optional)

1. Place herbs in a large pot or slow cooker. Add enough oil to cover completely by an inch. Heat on medium-high until oil shimmers. Reduce heat and warm for three hours over low heat. Remove from heat; let cool until lukewarm. Pour mixture through cheesecloth, pressing solids; discard solids.

2. Add beeswax to infused oil and heat to melt. Spoon a small amount of mixture into a small dish; let cool to determine if salve is the right consistency. (It should be thick enough for a small spoon to stand up in it.) If it’s too runny, add more beeswax. Mix in essential oil, if using. Store in sterilized baby-food jars or tins.

Curative herbs
Inflammation and itching: Evening primrose oil, licorice, chamomile
Eczema: Chamomile, calendula, witch hazel
Acne: Calendula, witch hazel
Minor burns and sunburn: Aloe vera, calendula
Wounds and infections: Chamomile, comfrey, calendula, echinacea, goldenseal, St. John’s wort
Insect bites and stings: Comfrey, calendula
Hemorrhoids: Witch hazel, horse chestnut

Vitamin D Linked to HDL Cholesterol

Research shows that a lower blood vitamin D level is associated with metabolic syndrome and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The study results are currently being presented at the National Lipid Association Annual Scientific Sessions in Miami, Florida and suggest an important role of vitamin D nutrition for maintaining cardiovascular health.

Roger Barnett, Chairman and CEO of Shaklee Corporation says, "Shaklee has a 53 year heritage of conducting scientific research as science continues to be the strategic driver guiding our product development and innovation." The scientific community is advocating higher intake of vitamin D to address the suboptimal vitamin D blood levels found in many Americans. Researchers have linked low vitamin D intakes to osteoporosis or brittle bones, high blood pressure, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and certain cancers.

This cross-sectional study assessed the relationships between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and cardiovascular disease risk markers, including the metabolic syndrome and its components, in 257 men and women, most of whom were attending Shaklee's national conference in New Orleans in August, 2008. Total vitamin D intake and intake of vitamin D from dietary supplements were both strongly associated with serum vitamin D level. High density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C or "good cholesterol") concentration increased as vitamin D intakes increased. Each 10 ng/mL increase in serum vitamin D was associated with a 4.2 mg/dL increase in HDL-C and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome decreased significantly as serum vitamin D levels increased.

"Shaklee's heritage has been about improving people's health and well-being and we are proud of supporting this important research. The findings may have significant public health implications related to new understanding about benefits related to vitamin D supplementation," says Dr. Jamie McManus M.D., Chairman of Medical Affairs, Health Sciences and Education, Shaklee Corporation. "Our next study, which is already underway, is intended to confirm causality by showing that vitamin D supplementation improves cardiovascular risk factors."

Kevin C. Maki, PhD, the study's Principal Investigator and the Chief Science Officer of Provident Clinical Research, Glen Ellyn, IL, says, "Results from population studies suggest that a low serum vitamin D concentration is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality, but this is the first study to evaluate the relationship between vitamin D status and cardiovascular risk factors in a group that includes a large number of vitamin D supplement users." He continues, "Additional research is warranted to assess whether increasing vitamin D intake will improve the metabolic cardiovascular risk factor profile."

About Shaklee Corporation
Founded more than 50 years ago, Shaklee has been a leading provider of premium-quality natural nutrition products, personal care products, and environmentally friendly home care products. In 2000, Shaklee became the first company in the world to be Climate Neutral(TM) certified to totally offset its CO2 emissions, resulting in a net-zero impact on the environment. With a robust product portfolio, including over 50 patents and patents pending worldwide, Shaklee has more than 750,000 Members and Distributors worldwide and operates in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and China. For information about Shaklee, visit

Vitafoods Marketing Education Chair Jeff Hilton to Speak at 2009 International Conference

Integrated Marketing Group's co-founder and 2009 Vitafoods Marketing Education Program Chair, Jeff Hilton, has been selected to lead a seminar at this year's International Conference, taking place May 5-7. "Reaching the LOHAS Consumer" will be presented on Wednesday, May 6 from 11:20 to 12:30 in Room K of Switzerland's Geneva Palexpo.

During the 70-minute educational session, Hilton will review the current state of the growing LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) consumer segment, including dominant attitudes, purchase behaviors and values they seek in natural and sustainable brands. The seminar will explore eight initiatives companies can employ to gain and sustain the attention of this discriminating market segment, and will feature LOHAS-specific case studies of successful marketing campaigns and public relations initiatives.

"LOHAS consumers are notorious for their demanding, discerning and well-informed buying behaviors, which can often leave companies confused about how to talk to them," stated Hilton. "This seminar will provide attendees with an improved strategic and practical understanding to help achieve brand recognition and encourage loyalty."

About IMG and Jeff Hilton:
Jeff Hilton is partner and co-founder of Integrated Marketing Group (IMG),, a marketing and brand consultancy created to optimize all aspects of marketing communications including: corporate identity, advertising, public relations, internet marketing, research, packaging, merchandising, sales promotion, educational programs, trade show presence and direct marketing. Hilton has been recognized by Advertising Age as one of America’s Top 100 Marketers and has 30 years of broad-based business experience, including 18 years spent within the natural products industry. In addition to helping build a variety of major national brands, Hilton led IMG to become the first agency in the country to certify in the National Training Institute’s FTC Advertising Compliance Course. Hilton was recently awarded the Personal Service Award from Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ) in recognition for his multiple outreach efforts including editorial contributions, pro-bono work and webinar and speaking engagements within the healthy lifestyles industry. Visit for additional branding articles and resources, and receive live updates from Vitafoods by following

About Vitafoods International:
Now in its 12th year, Vitafoods International is the leading nutraceuticals exhibition in the world and is Europe's largest annual event for the nutraceutical, cosmeceutical and functional food ingredients industry. The conference and tradeshow showcases many new products and ingredients, providing visitors the opportunity to see the latest developments in their industry all at one time, all under one roof. Visit for more information.

NOW Europe Hosts Conference, Features Innovative Products at Finished Products Expo

NOW International-Europe is hosting an informative conference in conjunction with the Finished Products Expo on 4 May 2009 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva, Switzerland.

The schedule for the conference includes educational sessions on NOW Sports products, Informed-Sport Banned Substance Testing For Supplements: Offering Reassurance To Athletes presented by Catherine Judkins, and EU Friendly Formulas workshop chaired by Andy Frampton, Lonza Inc.: Advantages of Carnipure presented by Reto Renggl, and National Enzyme Company on bioactive substances” (i.e. CoQ10, probiotics, Lecithin, amino acids) - presented by Nena Dockery.

Additionally, NOW is beginning a pilot program with HFL Sports Science to test sports products to certify them free of banned performance enhancers. The company will provide a forum for distributors to give their opinions regarding the sorts of products that can be useful in their markets under this program.

“The conference is exclusively for distributors of NOW brand products in Europe and Central Asia, and we look forward to all of our European customers attending,” said Morgan Coghill, NOW International Account Manager-Europe. “The speakers we are featuring were chosen specifically because they can provide a marketing edge to our products that is unmatchable.”

NOW International is sponsoring the New Products Zone at the Finished Products Expo May 5 through 7, 2009 Geneva Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland. The New Products Zone features the latest, most innovative products, and includes a display dedicated to NOW’s product offerings, including:

• NOW® Kid’s Chewable DHA 100 - Each tasty, fish-shaped chewable gel contains 100 mg of DHA, along with 24 mg of naturally-occurring EPA. These softgels have a tasty fruit flavor, with no fishy aftertaste.

• NOW® Red Omega - An innovative new dietary supplement that integrates the effectiveness of three popular compounds into one convenient formula. Red Yeast Rice, Omega-3 Fish Oil, and CoQ10 have each been the focus of extensive research, and are now used by millions of health enthusiasts on a worldwide scope.

• NOW® Natural Resveratrol Liquid Concentrate - Blended with Acai, Mangosteen, and Pomegranate. When combined with these other polyphenols is a powerful antioxidant.

• NOW UCll - UC-II® consists of Undenatured (native) Type II Collagen that works with the immune system to support healthy joints and promote joint mobility and flexibility. NOW® UC-II® is enhanced with Aquamin® Red Algae Minerals, a natural source of calcium and over 70 trace minerals.*

NOW International, the export arm of NOW Foods, currently sells its nutritional products to over 70 countries on six continents. NOW Health Group, Inc. is a leader in the U.S. natural products industry, and it is NOW International’s goal to take this leadership position to a global level. NOW International’s multi-lingual team of professionals assists their distributors in tailoring the NOW® brand message to local markets. The company offers its products in over 15 languages, and has translated its product literature, such as its Quality Catalog, to provide a local voice to a global brand name. NOW believes that this high level of commitment to global brand-building is an important factor in growing its sales an average of 23.5%% over the past 4 years.

Balchem Corporation Announces FY09 Q1 Results

Balchem Corporation reported as follows (unaudited) for the period ended March 31, 2009.

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2009, the company achieved record net earnings of $6.1 million, an increase of $1.5 million, or 31.4%. The $6.1 million generated diluted net earnings per common share of $0.32 versus $0.25 for the prior year comparable period, an increase of 28.0%. Net sales of $53.0 million was a decrease of approximately 6.8% below the $56.9 million result of the prior year comparable quarter, and off a modest 2.0% sequentially from fourth quarter 2008.

Detailing this first quarter of 2009, the Animal Nutrition and Health segment achieved quarterly sales of $35.9 million, a decrease of $3.2 million, or 8.3%, from the prior year quarter. Sales in this segment were negatively impacted by approximately 4% due to foreign currency fluctuation associated with the Italian operation. Within this segment, the specialty animal nutrition and health products, targeted predominantly for ruminant animals, realized approximately 4.1% growth over the 2008 first quarter results and 10.0 % growth sequentially, with continued strong sales of Reashure(r) and Nitroshure(r), in addition to new sales generated from AminoShure(tm)-L., our rumen protected lysine. These increases were partially offset by slowness in international sales of the chelated mineral products. Sales of feed grade choline and industrial derivatives declined approximately 10.3% from the prior year quarter principally due to declines in volumes sold into the well-publicized soft poultry industry, including slower international sales largely related to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in 2009 versus a weakening dollar in 2008. Sales of industrial derivatives (both choline and methylamines) were impacted by softness in the industrial sector, principally caused by the general economic downturn. Through all of these market activities, earnings from operations for the entire ANH segment did increase to $5.0 million as compared to $3.3 million in the prior year comparable quarter, largely due to favorable product mix, strong sales from our Italian operation, and reductions in the cost of certain petro-chemical commodities used to manufacture choline and derivatives.

Sales of the Food, Pharma and Nutrition segment were $8.3 million, a decrease of 10.6% or $1.0 million from the prior year comparable quarter; however, sales did grow approximately 9.6% on a sequential basis. Quarterly comparative sales results for this segment continue to reflect the roller-coaster effect of pipeline fills, inventory level management, and some effects of the worldwide economic downturn. The domestic food sector was up, as we continued to see growth from the launch of Choline into new food applications, as well as growth in the bakery, tortilla and preservation markets. We also saw strong double digit increases in our VitaShure(r) products for nutritional enhancement. These results were offset by slowness in sales of calcium products sold into the over-the-counter pharmaceutical markets. Earnings from operations for this segment were $1.0 million, as compared to $1.5 million in the prior year comparable quarter, due to the softness in sales volume; however, on a sequential basis, this result reflects a 35.8% increase from the fourth quarter of 2008.

The ARC Specialty Products segment generated record first quarter sales of $8.8 million, an increase of 4.1% over the comparable prior year quarter. This growth was particularly due to continued strong sales of ethylene oxide for medical device sterilization. Earnings from operations for this segment, at $3.4 million, improved strongly over the prior year quarter, principally from reductions in the cost of certain petro-chemical raw materials.

Consolidated gross profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 was $16.3 million, as compared to $13.5 million for the prior year comparable period. This increase, from 23.7% of sales to 30.8% of sales, was a result of certain segments' product mix, price increases and declines in certain raw material costs. As previously noted, we continue to focus on gross margin improvement, implementing raw material cost driven price increases, production and supply chain improvements, and sales volume generation through new product launches. Operating (Selling, R&D, and Administrative) expenses at $7.0 million, increased $0.9 million over the prior year comparable quarter, as we had some modest expansion of employees, and as we increased some accounts receivable reserves for international accounts.

Balance sheet ratios and cash flow continue to be strong. Early in 2007, we borrowed $39 million; the proceeds of which were used to fund the Chinook and Akzo acquisitions. At March 31, 2009, our outstanding borrowings were $9.2 million, but zero net of our cash balance of approximately $18.6 million, reflecting accelerated payments of $18.4 million over the scheduled term payments of the loan. We continue to aggressively manage our working capital. Our accounts receivable balance was $25 million at March 31, 2009 and our inventory levels were reduced to $15.3 million, a decrease of 8% from December 31, 2008.

Commenting on 2009, Dino A. Rossi, Chairman, President and CEO of Balchem, said, "This first quarter, while down a consolidated 6.8% in sales, reflects many positives in our business base, which are helping to offset the general global economic pressures. We have continued to focus on driving our cost structure down, not by reducing employee count, but exercising prudent cost control. We are seeing market acceptance of new product launches in both the human and animal sectors, and we continue our technology development in all segments with the target of launching products that will yield cost/value improvements for end markets served. We are staying focused on customer/market needs and global economic drivers. The earnings result of this first quarter is a great start to the year, highlighting the near-term requirement to very aggressively manage our P&L and Balance Sheet to maximize performance, reduce debt and generate cash reserves, to capitalize on other strategic opportunities. Unless there is another significant downturn in the general economies, we expect to see a flat sales result, year over year, but a double digit improvement in earnings for the year."

Quarterly Conference Call
A quarterly conference call will be held on Friday, May 1, at 2:00 PM Eastern Time (ET) to review first quarter and 2009 results. Dino A. Rossi, President and CEO, and Frank Fitzpatrick, CFO, will host the call. We invite you to listen to the conference by calling toll-free 1-877-407-8289 (local dial-in 1-201-689-8341), five minutes prior to the scheduled start time of the conference call. The conference call will be available for digital replay through Thursday, May 7, 2009. To access the replay of the conference call dial 1-877-660-6853 (local dial-in 1-201-612-7415), and use account #298 and replay ID#321719. Both account and replay ID numbers are required for replay access.

Segment Information
Balchem Corporation consists of three business segments: ARC Specialty Products; Food, Pharma and Nutrition; and Animal Nutrition and Health. Through ARC Specialty Products, Balchem provides specialty-packaged chemicals for use in healthcare and other industries. The Food, Pharma and Nutrition segment provides proprietary microencapsulation, granulation and agglomeration solutions to a variety of applications in the human food, pharmaceutical and nutrition marketplaces. The Animal Nutrition and Health segment manufactures and supplies products to numerous animal health markets and certain derivative products into industrial applications.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements, which reflect Balchem's expectation or belief concerning future events that involve risks and uncertainties. Balchem can give no assurance that the expectations reflected in forward-looking statements will prove correct and various factors could cause results to differ materially from Balchem's expectations, including risks and factors identified in Balchem's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008. Forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by the above cautionary statement. Balchem assumes no duty to update its outlook or other forward-looking statements as of any future date.

Delicious Living

May 1, 2009