New Hope Network is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Sitemap


Articles from 2004 In May


Planet Organic Announces 51% Increase in Third Quarter Revenue

EDMONTON, ALBERTA, Jun 1, 2004 -- PLANET ORGANIC HEALTH CORP. ("Planet" or the "Corporation") (TSX Venture Exchange - POH), which owns and operates large natural food supermarkets in Edmonton, Victoria, Calgary and Port Coquitlam announces revenue for the third quarter totaled $3,443,044 a 51% increase from $2,268,572 the corresponding period last year.

On a cumulative basis, revenue for the nine months ending March 31, 2004 totaled $8,691,071 a 50.62% increase over the same period last year.

The increase is due to the opening of the Company's 4th location in Port Coquitlam and same store sales increases of 23%. "The introduction of our new marketing program has proven to be instrumental in capturing additional market share"- reports Planet CEO, Mark Craft. The Company will continue its roll-out strategy of 20 locations throughout Canada over the next 4 years.

ABOUT PLANET:

Planet Organic operates natural food supermarkets in Edmonton, Victoria, Calgary and Port Coquitlam with current revenues for the nine months ended March 31 of $8,691,071. Planet Organic provides its customers with the convenience of one-stop shopping by offering a broad product selection in all merchandise categories. Planet Organic's objectives are to consolidate the fragmented natural and organic foods industry in Canada and the U.S. via acquisitions, mergers and new retail operations. Planet's five-year goal is to have between 15 and 20 stores throughout Canada.

This news release contains forward-looking information. Actual results may vary significantly from estimates.

Arcadia Biosciences Enters into Funded Agreement with SemBioSys to Support Its Program for GLA Safflower

DAVIS, Calif., Jun 1, 2004 -- Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., an agricultural biotechnology company focused on products that benefit people and the environment, today announced that it has entered into a funded agreement with SemBioSys Genetics Inc., a Canadian biotechnology company. Under the agreement, SemBioSys will transform safflower plants using proprietary genes from Arcadia to create improved seed oils with high levels of gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Arcadia will sell the new value-added oils to existing markets for nutritional ingredients and supplements.

GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, is an intermediate in human metabolism and serves as a precursor for a number of biologically active molecules vital to the maintenance of membrane structure and normal cell signaling. Scientific research suggests that GLA may offer benefits for sufferers of blood platelet dysfunction (thromboembolic disease), atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, and in the suppression of tumor growth and metastasis. Current sources used for GLA production - borage oil and evening primrose oil - make the product expensive and difficult to manufacture and have limited its production.

"Clinical studies indicate that certain specialty omega-6 fatty acids are an effective treatment for several debilitating diseases and disorders, but production costs and relatively low concentrations from traditional sources have limited widespread use," said Eric Rey, president of Arcadia Biosciences. "The production of specialty omega-6 fatty acids in new plant seed oils could significantly reduce the cost of the substances and make their health-promoting benefits available to more people. We believe that this agreement brings an affordable source of GLA another step closer to becoming a reality."

Arcadia Biosciences is developing a portfolio of agricultural products that satisfy market needs and at the same time benefit the environment or human health. Its current product portfolio includes technologies that enable plants to grow using significantly less nitrogen fertilizer; plants that grow in soil too salty for conventional crops; castor plants that do not produce the toxin ricin; and oilseed plants that contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids.

About Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (www.arcadiabio.com)

Based in Davis, Calif., Arcadia Biosciences is an agricultural biotechnology company focused on the development of profitable agricultural products that improve the environment and enhance human health. For more information visit www.arcadiabio.com.

Alpha Nutraceuticals Acquires Avidia Nutritional Group

SAN DIEGO, Jun 01, 2004 (PRIMEZONE via COMTEX) -- Alpha Nutraceuticals, Inc. (Pink Sheets:ANUI) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of the business and assets of Avidia Nutritional Group, Inc., a nutritional supplement manufacturer based in Chatsworth, California. The purchase price is being paid in a combination of cash and stock. In the cash portion of the purchase price, Alpha Nutraceuticals paid off a bank note owed by Avidia totaling $135,970 and also assumed certain trade debts totaling $77,096. In addition, Alpha Nutraceuticals issued a total of 60,000 shares of its common stock to the principals of Avidia.

In announcing the acquisition, Alpha Nutraceuticals' president Louis Paulsen said, "We have acquired skilled employees, needed manufacturing equipment, an inventory of work in progress, over $40,000 in receivables, and a business which last year generated sales in excess of $400,000 and which should grow substantially this year. Most importantly, we have enhanced our manufacturing capabilities to the point that we are ready for the expansion which our growth pattern mandates."

Dr. Kurt Donsbach, the formulator of Alpha Nutraceuticals' proprietary product line said, "This should have a very positive impact on our net profits. We have taken a major step in solidifying and integrating our base business which is the manufacturing and sales of specialty dietary supplements."

Alpha Nutraceuticals also announced that it had terminated negotiations to acquire Tempo Laboratories, Inc., another supplement manufacturer. "We found that we couldn't reach an agreement with Tempo that made sense," Paulsen said. "Avidia has proven to be a better acquisition in every respect."

This press release may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, as such statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to certain factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, events and performance to differ materially from those referred to or implied by such statements. In addition, actual future results may differ materially from those anticipated, depending on a variety of factors which include, but are not limited to, our ability to manage our growth, protect our intellectual property rights, attract new customers and general economic conditions affecting consumer spending; results may also differ materially from those anticipated based on governmental regulatory policies and actions. Further information with respect to important factors that should be considered is contained in the Company's Annual and Quarterly Reports on Forms 10-KSB and 10-QSB, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The Company does not intend to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in its expectations, except as may be required by law.

Researchers Find That Protein in Grape Skin Starves Cancer Cells

Scientists at the University of Virginia Health System have discovered how resveratrol, a compound found in grape skins, helps to starve cancer cells by inhibiting the action of a key protein that feeds them. The protein, called nuclear factor- kappa B (NF-kB), is found in the nucleus of all cells and activates genes responsible for cell survival. “We used physiologically-relevant doses of resveratrol and found dramatic effects on human cancer cells,” said Marty Mayo, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics at U.Va.

Mayo said that the resveratrol in one glass of wine three or four times a week is the right amount to block the protein from feeding cancer cells. Drinking much more than that, however, could stop this affect and, in fact, lead to a greater risk of cancer, he said.

The findings, discovered by Fan Yeung, a postdoctoral fellow at U.Va., are published in the May 20 online edition of the Journal of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) found at: http://embojournal.npgjournals.com.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in a number of plants, including grape skins, raspberries, mulberries and peanuts. Its job in nature is to fight fungus during the rainy season, and it is especially prevalent in grapes used in making red wine. Resveratrol is also sold over-the-counter in the U.S. as a nutritional supplement.

For a number of years, scientists have known that resveratrol acts as an anti-cancer agent, but its role has not been well understood. Mayo and his team demonstrated that cancer cells treated with resveratrol died because they became sensitive to a compound called Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFa). The U.Va. Health System researchers found that resveratrol initiated a reaction in the NF-kB molecule that caused the cancer cells essentially to self-destruct in a process called apoptosis.

The use of NF-kB inhibitors like resveratrol also has important implications for increasing the effectiveness of cancer therapy. “Researchers are always looking for ways to improve cancer therapy,” Mayo said. “Current studies are using compounds similar to TNFa in conjunction with resveratrol to kill cancer cells.” Clinical trials using this approach in patients are showing encouraging results, Mayo said, and this researchmay explain why this combined therapy is effective.

Previous studies have indicated that resveratrol can play a role to help control atherosclerosis, heart disease, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders. Mayo believes the inhibition of NF-kB may be responsible in those disorders, as well, since NF-kB can control inflammatory responses.

Mayo’s research on resveratrol was funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the Paul Mellon Prostate Cancer Institute.

Bio-One to Acquire Majority Interest in $10 Million Chinese Company

ORLANDO, Fla., Jun 1, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Bio-One Corporation (BICO) announced today that the company has signed an agreement to acquire a 51% interest in a Chinese herbal medicine company in Guangzhou Province. With reported 2003 revenues of US $10 million, operating profit of US $2.7 million and assets totaling US $4 million, the company is an integrated business that includes research and development, manufacturing, sales and marketing.

Purchase terms include cash and convertible preferred stock priced at US $2.00 and US $3.00 per share, respectively, with lock-up terms regarding sale. The 78-employee business will continue to be run with its present management team. Closing is scheduled to occur upon the completion of the certified audits, which is anticipated to be within 90 days.

The company distributes and markets products on an agency basis. Since 2003, the company's R & D team has developed four new products in the China Class 5 and Class 6 category of new drugs. During 2005, the company intends to expand its distribution channel to market to traditional Chinese drugstores, hospitals and wholesale distributors throughout China.

Bio-One President and CEO Armand Dauplaise said, "This will be our fourth step in establishing a presence in China. We are aggressively pursuing additional synergistic candidates in China as well as in North America that meet our criteria for profitability and revenue growth."

Bio-One announced in April the purchase of majority control of WeiFang Shengtai Pharmaceuticals, a Shandong Province-based manufacturer and distributor of glucose that reported US $16.3 million in revenue in 2003 and a net income of US $2.3 million. Bio-One announced in March that it signed an agreement to acquire a 51% interest in a prominent Chinese herbal medicine company with reported 2003 revenues of US $20 million. In May, Bio-One announced its third step in establishing a presence in China with the signing of an agreement to acquire a 51% interest in a Chinese herbal medicine company in Hebei Province with reported 2003 revenues of US $9 million.

About Bio-One

Bio-One Corporation is a nutritional supplements company serving the preventive and alternative healthcare segments. The company intends to acquire additional businesses in order to provide quality nutraceuticals to consumers through vertical integration of manufacturing, distribution and marketing. Current Bio-One subsidiaries include PNLabs, American Nutritional Exchange, Interactive Nutrition International, Nutrition Sciences Corp. and WeiFang Shengtai Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd.

Bio-One Corporation is committed to its mission of the continuing pursuit of excellence in serving its customers, suppliers, team members and shareholders. Bio-One is confident that it will accomplish its mission and goals through the application of its management philosophy, which is to treat others the way they would want to be treated themselves.

Certain statements released by Bio-One Corporation that are forward- looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Editors and investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties that may affect the company's business prospects and performance. These include, but are not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other risks detailed in the company's registration statements and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. By making these forward-looking statements, the company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release.

Kraft Foods Reports on Its Global Health and Wellness Initiatives

NORTHFIELD, Ill., Jun 1, 2004 -- Kraft Foods Inc. reported on its progress since announcing its global health and wellness initiatives last July. The company is implementing a wide-ranging program to improve the nutrition profile of its portfolio, adjust its marketing practices and policies, provide consumers with more information to help them make informed food and activity choices, and advocate for constructive public policy changes.

Among Kraft's latest actions are:

Improving product nutrition: To enhance the nutrition profile of its broad portfolio, the company is improving the nutrition of existing products, as well as developing new items that meet consumers' health and wellness needs. In less than one year, the company has reduced the fat content in, and made other changes to, about 200 existing, individual products in North America. While noting that this is only a beginning, Kraft estimates that, on an annualized basis, these changes will eliminate more than 30 billion calories from the 200 reformulated products.

As part of its program to reduce or eliminate trans fat, Kraft has reformulated a number of products to meet the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) per-serving standard for zero grams trans fat, among them Triscuit crackers and Reduced Fat Oreo.

In addition, Kraft has fortified some products to help address nutritional deficiencies in various countries. Since mid-2003, the company has added calcium and iron to certain products.

Over the past year, Kraft has introduced or acquired a number of new products with a health and wellness focus, including Fruit20 flavored waters, Kraft StringUms string cheese made with 2% milk, Balance GoMix energy snack mix, and Kool-Aid Jammers 10 with 10 calories per serving.

Implementing smaller-package initiatives: Kraft plans to implement a new, two-fold approach to smaller packages, rather than a plan to cap portion size of single-serve packages. First, the company is offering a broad range of portion-size choices to meet consumers' varied needs, and second, Kraft will use a new approach to the nutrition labeling on its snacks and beverages packages that contain up to four servings. Specifically, in the U.S., Kraft plans to provide labels that communicate the nutrition content of an entire package, so consumers don't have to "do the math" themselves.

Selected smaller packages outside the U.S., where regulations differ, will also carry enhanced information, including the number of servings and total calories in each package.

Establishing product guidelines for in-school vending machines: The company has developed locally appropriate guidelines for vending distributors to use for Kraft products sold in school vending machines.

Eliminating advertising and promotion in schools: Kraft has eliminated these practices in the U.S. and most parts of the world, and plans to end them everywhere by late 2004.

Enhancing nutrition labels worldwide: Kraft is implementing a program to provide nutrition labeling on all products worldwide, even in markets where it's not legally required. All of the company's U.S. and Canadian products are labeled, and about half of its products sold outside these countries now have nutrition labels.

Reaching out to key stakeholders: Kraft is gaining valuable external perspectives on health and wellness by engaging with key stakeholders, including its Worldwide Health & Wellness Advisory Council and legislative and regulatory officials.

Funding and developing community-based health and wellness programs: Kraft has initiated community-based nutrition and activity programs in a number of markets worldwide. U.S. initiatives include "Triple Play," a five-year, after-school health and wellness program with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America funded by Kraft and the Coca-Cola Company, and "Salsa Sabor y Salud," a healthy lifestyle program for Latino families conducted in partnership with the National Latino Children's Institute.

Supporting public policy changes: Among the policy objectives the company supports are the restoration of physical activity and nutrition education in schools; expansion of well-coordinated, government and professional-sponsored consumer education programs; and additional medical and behavioral research to identify effective solutions.

Kraft Foods markets many of the world's leading food brands, including Kraft cheese, Maxwell House and Jacobs coffees, Nabisco cookies and crackers, Oscar Mayer meats, Philadelphia cream cheese, Post cereals and Milka chocolates, in more than 150 countries.

Pharmessen Scientific, Inc. Selects Pharmacorp Internationale S.A. as Central American Distributor

SAN DIEGO, Jun 1, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Pharmessen Scientific, Inc. (Other OTC: PASC.PK), a global nutraceutical and pharmaceutical research company focused on providing leading supplements and medications for better general health, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Pharmacorp Internationale S.A. for the distribution of Pharmessen's products in Central America. While terms of the agreement were not disclosed, the agreement is estimated to represent more than $1.0 million in revenue over the next two years.

"We are delighted to have a partner as prestigious and qualified as Pharmacorp as we look to accelerate Pharmessen's growth in Central America," commented Mr. George Macleod, Chief Executive Officer of Pharmessen. "Pharmacorp is a recognized name in Central America and Pharmessen's association with the company should greatly burnish our reputation as well."

The selection of Pharmacorp further increases Pharmessen's worldwide brand and product awareness and continues Pharmessen's success in partnering with market leaders on a global basis. In addition to Central America, Pharmessen recently expanded into Japan and anticipates continuing its strategic global initiatives in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. According to Mr. Macleod, "Our unique and all natural dietary supplements, compounds, and nutraceuticals are receiving tremendous acceptance worldwide."

About Pharmessen Scientific, Inc.

Pharmessen Scientific, Inc. is a global nutraceutical and pharmaceutical company that was formed to research, develop, produce, and market pure herbal supplements and compounds. At the core of Pharmessen's business are its patented encapsulation technology and "water activation" delay processes, which in combination enable the company's products to benefit from enhanced and extended potency. Utilizing this proprietary blending formula, the company effectively combines herbal oil extracts from organically grown plants to create novel supplements and compounds. Pharmessen is presently developing new anti-microbial and biocide agents in order to improve the treatment of diseases caused by new and multi-resistant pathogens. Additional information can be found on our website, www.pharmessen.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This release contains forward-looking statements with respect to the results of operations and business of Pharmessen Scientific, Inc., which involves risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual future results could materially differ from those discussed. The Company intends that such statements about the Company's future expectations, including future revenues and earnings, and all other forward looking statements be subject to the "Safe Harbors" provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Clinical Study Finds Dietary Supplement Femarelle(TM) Increases Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women

Findings of Published Study Offer Clinically Proven Option for Women Seeking Alternative for Improving Bone Health

YAVNE, Israel, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A recently published clinical study in the Journal of the North American Menopause Society: Menopause (Vol. 10, No. 6, 2003), finds that the dietary supplement Femarelle(TM) (DT56a), described as a "new phyto-selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM)," can increase bone mineral density in postmenopausal women, without affecting more sensitive tissues, such as the breast and uterus.

"Preserving bone mineral density is a challenge that post-menopausal women have been faced with for years," says Israel Yoles, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel, and an author of the article. "With the increased odds of osteoporotic fractures due to the rise in life expectancy, along with the disadvantages and side effects of existing methods of slowing age-related bone resorption and enhancing bone formulation, it is extremely exciting to be able to offer postmenopausal women a safe, clinically proven alternative that not only increases bone mineral density, but also reduces menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and sleep disturbances(1)."

Dr. Yoles, says that following the natural decline in estrogen levels, all women go through a process of increased loss of bone mineral density, the measurement of the mineral content of bones that determines the severity of osteoporosis. Calcium supplements, which are recommended to most women at age 50, will help maintain the level of calcium necessary for healthy bones, but will not build bone density, he adds.

However, Femarelle(TM), which is sold by Se-cure Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in more than 12 other countries since 1999 (also available under the name Tofupill) and now available in the U.S., has been shown through this double-blind, randomized 12-month study to actually increase bone mineral density, offering postmenopausal women a clinically-proven alternative for improving bone health.

"According to the study, after just 12 months of using Femarelle(TM), bone mineral density had increased in the study group by 3.6% in the lumbar spine and 2% in the femoral neck," Dr. Yoles, a medical advisor to Se-cure Pharmaceuticals, explains.

According to the authors of the article, "Tofupill/Femarelle (DT56a): a new phyto-selective estrogen receptor modulator-like substance for the treatment of postmenopausal bone loss", Femarelle(TM), consisting of 322 mg of DT56a* and 108 mg of grounded flaxseed, proved to be an effective treatment of postmenopausal bone loss. Previously published(1), a 12-month-long clinical trial, showed that Femarelle(TM) also alleviates menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, headaches, joint and muscle discomfort and palpitations in about 75% of participants, without changes in the breast tissue, endometrial thickness or in the hormonal blood profile (FSH and E2 levels).

A study of efficacy and safety of DT56a/Femarelle(TM) for menopausal symptoms -- the fourth peer-reviewed report on this phyto-SERM published in 12 months -- has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical & Experimental Obstetrics & Gynecology and will be published in the coming months.

Se-cure Pharmaceuticals Ltd., which manufactures and distributes Femarelle(TM)/Tofupill in the U.S. and abroad, is a research-driven pharmaceutical company headquartered in Israel, whose principal mission is the discovery, development and manufacturing of products that offer safe and innovative solutions to health needs. The company aligns its product development with basic research, including chemical and biochemical research, as well as pre-clinical and clinical studies. The company's vision centers on the development of therapeutic solutions with an emphasis on safety of use and the prevention of side effects following long-term use.


References:
1. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2003:101 (4S):98-99: "Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulation by Tofupill, a Unique Phyto-SERM for Menopausal Treatment"; Yoles I, Chayen B.A.

* DT56a (the active substance in Femarelle(TM)) is the generic name of a compound isolated from tofu. A unique enzymatic process of isolation is employed to ensure that the whole isoflavone family, the lignans and the coumestans, remain in their naturally intact form with a high bio-availability to the body. As such, the product preserves the beneficial effect of the soybean. Femarelle(TM) is a standardized product that provides women with consistent and reliable relief of menopausal symptoms and continuous improvement in bone health.

Sidebar:
Evaluating the efficacy of phyto-SERM DT56a in elevating bone mineral
density (BMD) in postmenopausal women.
* Study sample -- 98 healthy, postmenopausal women randomly allocated on
double-blind basis to receive either 644 mg/d DT56a (study group) or
344 mg/d DT56a supplemented with calcium (control group)
* 12-month period
* BMD assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) of the lumbar
spine and femoral neck before study began and after 12 months treatment
* Endometrial thickness and sex hormone levels were assessed every three
months during the study
* Results: BMD increased in study group by 3. 6% in lumbar spine and by
2.0% in femoral neck; in control group, BMD decreased by 0.6% in both
the lumbar spine and femoral neck. For lumbar spine, the change in
bone density between the groups was significant.
* Neither group showed a change in endometrial thickness and sex hormone
levels nor reported any side effects of treatment

Yo-Yo Dieting May Have a Long-Term Negative Effect on Immune Function, According to Fred Hutchinson Study

SEATTLE — Yo-yo dieting, in which a person repeatedly loses and regains weight, may have a lasting negative impact on immune function, according to new findings by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Conversely, maintaining the same weight over time appears to have a positive effect on the immune system, report Cornelia Ulrich, Ph.D., and colleagues in the June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Ulrich and colleagues at Fred Hutchinson and the University of Washington found that long-term immune function decreases in proportion to how many times a woman reportedly intentionally loses weight. They also found that immune function — as measured by natural-killer-cell activity — was higher among women who had been fairly weight stable over several years.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to show potential long-term effects of yo-yo dieting on health," said Ulrich, senior author of the paper and an assistant member of Fred Hutchinson's Public Health Sciences Division.

For the study, the researchers interviewed 114 overweight but otherwise healthy sedentary, postmenopausal women about their weight-loss history during the past 20 years. Participants had to be weight-stable for at least three months before joining the study, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

"While one weight-loss episode of 10 pounds or more in the previous 20 years was not associated with current natural-killer-cell activity, more frequent weight loss episodes were associated with significantly decreased natural-killer-cell activity," said Ulrich, also a research assistant professor in epidemiology at the UW School of Public Health and Community Medicine. "Those who reported losing weight more than five times had about a third lower natural-killer-cell function."

In contrast, women who maintained the same weight for five or more years had 40 percent greater natural-killer-cell activity as compared to those whose weight had remained stable for fewer than two years.

Natural-killer cells, or NK cells, are a vital part of the immune system. In addition to killing viruses, they have been shown to kill cancer cells in laboratory tests. Depressed NK activity has been associated with increased cancer incidence as well as an increased susceptibility to colds and infections.

Tests to measure this marker of immune function are costly, and so very few studies have been conducted to measure the impact of weight loss on the immune system. Consequently, little has been known about possible negative health consequences of weight fluctuation.

While the findings are intriguing, they are preliminary, Ulrich cautioned. One limitation of the study is its reliance on self-reporting of weight-loss history. Another limitation is the study's cross-sectional design; the analysis was based on blood samples collected from study participants at a single point in time, representing an isolated snapshot of biological activity.

"Following people over time would give us a stronger understanding of how weight cycling impacts long-term immune function," Ulrich said. "If the results of our cross-sectional study could be confirmed in an ongoing longitudinal study, the public-health impact could be substantial for the estimated 50 percent of American women who are currently dieting or recently have attempted to lose weight, often without long-term success."

If long-term studies replicate these results, what are the implications for the millions of Americans who constantly battle the bulge? Would it be safer to carry around a few extra pounds rather than risk the health effects of yo-yo dieting?

"There are indisputable health benefits to reducing body weight among those who are overweight and obese. Our concern is really the pattern of weight cycling or yo-yo dieting that many Americans go through," Ulrich said.

Study co-author Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., a Fred Hutchinson epidemiologist and internist who studies the impact of weight loss and exercise on cancer prevention, echoed Ulrich's sentiments. "The overwhelming evidence is that weight loss among the overweight or obese improves various aspects of health such as risk for diabetes, coronary disease and perhaps cancer," she said. "Therefore, it is still recommended that overweight and obese people try to lose weight but preferably avoid weight regain."

Ulrich and colleagues suggest that people who want to lose weight and keep it off take a sensible approach that combines positive dietary changes with regular exercise.

"A sensible diet is one that works for the individual," McTiernan said. "General guidelines would include consuming an abundant array of non-starchy vegetables and fruits, moderate amounts of lean protein and dairy products, moderate amounts of legumes and whole grains, and few or no refined carbohydrates and saturated fats," she said. "A diet high in vegetables, for example, helps reduce calories while providing most vitamins and minerals."

When it comes to exercise for weight loss and maintenance, 60 minutes of daily aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, is optimal, but any amount is better than none, said McTiernan, a member of Fred Hutchinson's Public Health Sciences Division.

In addition to helping lose weight and keep it off, exercise helps boost immune function in the process of shedding pounds, Ulrich said.

"Previous studies have shown that exercise appears to blunt the negative effects of weight loss on immune function," she said. "Because exercise in combination with dietary change can be effective for promoting weight loss and maintenance, it can help prevent weight cycling and potentially lessen any detrimental effects of weight loss on the immune system."

Note for Media: Postmenopausal women who would like information about participating in future Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center nutrition or exercise studies related to cancer prevention may call (206) 667-6444.

Tips for Losing Weight — and Keeping it Off
Dieters who struggle with the question of how much they can eat and still lose weight might think of calories as money and body weight as a bank account, suggests University of Washington Medical Center clinical nutritionist Erin Shade, M.S., R.D., the first author of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study on yo-yo dieting and immune function published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

"Simply add to the bank account (body-weight account) by the number of calories consumed and subtract by the number of calories burned during exercise and activity. If the average calorie balance is negative, the result is weight loss. If it's positive, the result is weight gain," said Shade, who participated in the research while a graduate student in Fred Hutchinson's Cancer Prevention Research Program.

"Any amount of exercise greater than what you are doing currently will help toward weight loss if your calorie intake remains stable, but if you decrease calories and increase exercise, you'll lose faster," she said.

"For a myriad of health reasons it makes sense to get plenty of moderate, aerobic exercise and eat a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy products with a reasonable amount of protein and beneficial (non-saturated) fats," she said, "but for pure weight loss, it's mostly about total calories consumed."

Shade offers the following tips for losing weight and keeping it off:

Eat only when hungry.
When eating at home, take smaller portions than usual; go back for more if you are still hungry.
When eating out, ask for a to-go box at the beginning of the meal and put half of the food in the box before you start eating.
If you decide to splurge on a donut or pastry, throw half of it away before you start eating. "What's more important — half a donut or your health?" Shade said.
When snacking, don't eat from a large container (a big bowl of popcorn or a large bag of chips, for example). Instead, remove the amount you will eat and put the container away before you start.
Eat at home. Studies show that meals consumed at home are usually lower in calories than restaurant meals.
Don't eat in front of the television. Studies show that people eat larger amounts and less-nutritious foods in front of the tube.
Eat smaller but more-frequent meals to avoid becoming ravenous between meals, which can lead to eating too much too fast.
Include at least one non-starchy fruit or vegetable serving in every meal or snack.
Choose whole grains over refined grains (whole-grain bread versus white bread, for example) because whole grains are more nutritious and satisfying.
Avoid beverages with empty calories such as soft drinks and "juice drinks," which are mostly sugar.
Avoid "fancy" blended, sweetened coffee drinks and instead choose a latte with nonfat or low-fat milk.
Get plenty of sleep. Studies indicate that sleep loss increases the levels hormones such as cortisol, growth hormone and insulin, which can promote fat storage.

###

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of two Nobel Prize laureates, is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical technology to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Fred Hutchinson receives more funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other independent U.S. research center. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the center's four scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. Fred Hutchinson, in collaboration with its clinical and research partners, the University of Washington Academic Medical Center and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest and is one of 38 nationwide. For more information, visit the center's Web site at www.fhcrc.org.

Colgate Completes Purchase of European Oral Care Company

NEW YORK, Jun 1, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL) , world leader in oral care, today announced, as expected, its completion of the purchase of 100% of the outstanding shares of GABA Holding AG for CHF1051 million (US $841 million). Included in the assets of the business acquired is $112 million of net cash. The agreement to purchase GABA, a privately-owned European oral care company, was signed and announced in December 2003.

Reuben Mark, Colgate's Chairman and CEO said, "We are excited to move forward on this strategically important, highly complementary business combination. GABA will help further build our world leadership in the highly profitable, fast-growing toothpaste business."

* * *

About Colgate-Palmolive: Colgate-Palmolive is a leading global consumer products company, tightly focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Household Surface Care, Fabric Care and Pet Nutrition. Colgate sells its products in over 200 countries and territories around the world under such internationally recognized brand names as Colgate, Palmolive, Mennen, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Protex, Sorriso, Kolynos, Ajax, Axion, Soupline, Suavitel and Fab, as well as Hill's Science Diet and Hill's Prescription Diet pet foods. For more information about Colgate's global business, visit the Company's website at http://www.colgate.com.