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Articles from 2009 In May

Natural Foods Merchandiser

Q&A with Anthony Almada

Q: What are the hottest supplements on the market right now?

A: At least from a buzz perspective, superfruits continue to be huge. That includes acaí and different berries and fruit extracts purported to do magical things for your body. The antioxidants in superfruits are not like laxatives. And they don't produce weight loss, help you grow hair or remove fat from your body. They're an insurance buy. You're hoping that 20 years from now they will deliver some manifested benefit. But almost without exception, all the products available contain test-tube antioxidants. Here's the problem with that: Although something may be a wonderful test-tube antioxidant with a massively high ORAC score, it may not work in the body. It's the difference between chemistry and biology.

Q: How can retailers tell which products are backed by good science?

A: It's a simple, five-minute call to the company. Ask them, "Do you have any human studies done by reputable researchers on your actual product—not an ingredient?" If they can't deliver that study in an e-mail, it's smoke and mirrors.

Q: Are there any new ingredients that should be on our radar?

A: There's a significant thrust to find sources of plant-derived omega-3s that are more effectively converted to the forms found in fish. This will give people in the vegetarian community a benefit similar to what they would get if they were eating fish or fish oil capsules. One other big thing to consider will be nonanimal sources of gelatin for capsules. That's continuing to be a big thrust on the encapsulation side. Most capsules out there now are derived from pig or cow gelatin.

Q: With the new Food and Drug Administration staff, there is some talk that supplements law might change—any hopes as to how industry regulation will change during the next few years?

A: I hope that there will be sharper teeth that have more bite force to prevent [supplements makers] from making claims they can't substantiate. Like driving on the interstate, lots of people speed, but that doesn't mean there aren't speed limits. There just aren't enough policemen to pull people over. We've tried for so long to self-police—and that's a complete waste because it's not like there's a little fringe group making unsubstantiated claims. It's virtually everyone. I'd like to see that if you're going to make a claim, you have to study it in humans.

Q: How can manufacturers and retailers work together to better promote the industry in an authentic, transparent way?

A: To me, it starts with the people who promote the actual ingredient in the product. For instance, an Intel processor is an ingredient in a computer, but Intel markets to the consumer because it wants the consumer to look for computers with Intel processors. Second, the marketer of that product needs to communicate that the particular product has been shown to do X, Y and Z in human studies. Now that's a problem, because let's say you have two products like that and 84 not like that. How is that going to look? Either you have to create a separate brand or you say, "Independent of our 84 products, we still need to communicate to the consumer that this product is special. And it's not special because of the colors on the label but because it works." Ultimately, consumers buy dietary supplements or functional foods for the biology—the benefits.

Finally, the retailer can't contribute to the misinformation. Obviously, if you had a store that sold only products shown to work better than placebo or equal to a drug in humans, you'd have maybe 25 products. So you need to integrate that into the way you sell and talk to consumers. If they ask for your opinion on the best way to treat a condition, direct that person to an evidence-based product. Show him the other ones, sure, but tell him that this one has the evidence. Then it's your customer's choice, but you have directed him to the product that has the highest chance of repeat sales, and you've instilled confidence and have provided valuable information.

Natural Foods Merchandiser

Q&A with Laura Batcha

Q: What is happening with regard to food safety in light of the recent outbreaks?

A: OTA has recently convened a Food Safety Legislation Task Force to review various pieces of federal legislation, and is in close contact with Congressional staff. The task force is considering both on-farm and handling practices, and OTA will prepare information for use as Congress moves forward on food safety legislation, which could come as early as the fall.

Q: What are the top issues in organics right now?

A: 1) Increasing the supply of raw materials through conversion to organic production.
2) Implementing the provisions in the 2008 Farm Bill to ensure the organic system enjoys the same administrative support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as nonorganic agriculture does.
3) Fostering international equivalency agreements or recognition agreements where equivalency is not possible.
4) Ensuring Canada's smooth transition to its new organic regulation.
5) Conducting outreach and public education about buying organic products.
6) Maintaining the position of organic agriculture as the gold standard of agricultural production and handling through continual improvement as more nonorganic agriculture and food businesses also improve their practices.

Q: Walmart sources a lot of organics from China. What are the concerns about standards?

A: All product sold as organic in the United States must meet USDA National Organic Program standards. OTA has long advocated for, and recently won in the 2008 Farm Bill, additional resources for USDA to strengthen its international certifier accreditation program, which includes the same provisions for inspection as it does domestically.

Q: What are the issues and challenges that have to be overcome to create a government standard of personal care?

A: The major challenge is establishing USDA NOP jurisdiction over the organic claim for cosmetics and soaps, currently held by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Beyond that, there are several competing private standards in use in the United States and internationally, each of which treats various issues differently. OTA called for a National Organic Standards Board Task Force at the May NOSB meeting to bring together stakeholders that represent the various perspectives.

Q: Is there new research on organics that OTA finds particularly interesting?

A: Among the most compelling and pertinent studies today are those showing that organic practices can help alleviate problems related to global warming, help protect soil and wildlife and offer the most hope to developing nations, raising yields, improving the soil and boosting the income of small farmers. Also, studies by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have shown that organic crop rotations have similar yields to their conventional counterparts.

Meanwhile, although the jury is still out on a definitive answer, there is mounting evidence that organic crops often offer more nutrients [than conventional]. A report jointly produced by The Organic Center and professors from the University of Florida Department of Horticulture and Washington State University provides evidence that organic foods contain, on average, 25 percent higher concentration of 11 nutrients than their conventional counterparts. The report was based on estimated differences in nutrient levels across 236 comparisons of organically and conventionally grown foods. In addition, researchers studying cultivation practices for high-bush blueberries in New Jersey have found that blueberry fruit grown organically yielded significantly higher fructose and glucose levels, malic acid, total phenolics, total anthocyanins and antioxidant activity than fruit grown using conventional methods. Even more recently, a new study from Germany shows that organically produced apples have a 15 percent higher antioxidant capacity than conventionally produced apples.

For more organics research from 2008, go to

Movement Is Migraine Medicine

Healthnotes Newswire (May 28, 2009)—For many people suffering from migraines, exercise may be the last thing on their minds but just what the doctor should order. According to a study in Headache, an exercise program of indoor cycling won’t trigger migraines and may actually help keep them at bay.

Anyone who has migraines can tell you about the disabling pain that comes with them. Often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound, migraines can lead to missed days of school or work, and can interfere with quality of life.

Migraines may be triggered by certain foods, hormonal changes, bright lights, strong smells, too much or too little sleep, changes in the weather or season, and emotional or physical stress, including exercise. Since no studies have assessed specific exercise protocols for people with migraines, the authors of the new study designed a program with the goal of allowing migraine sufferers to improve their physical fitness without making their headaches worse.

Chasing migraine pain away

Twenty-six people took part in the three-month study. In the weeks before the trial, the participants had not been exercising regularly. At each of three weekly work out sessions, they were instructed to warm up for 15 minutes at a pace that the person identified as “moderate exertion,” then cycle at a “somewhat hard” to “hard exertion” level for 20 minutes, and cool down at the moderate level for five minutes. They kept diaries recording medication use and migraine frequency and intensity for one to three months before the trial and throughout the study.

The migraine sufferers improved their aerobic fitness levels significantly and their headaches did not get worse with the exercise. During the last month of treatment, the number of migraine attacks, number of days with migraine per month, headache intensity, and amount of headache medicine used decreased significantly compared with baseline levels. None of the people reported any side effects, and quality of life improved significantly after treatment.

Migraine-free, naturally

Warm up: When exercising, make sure to start slowly to avoid triggering a migraine.

Balance your blood sugar: If you’re prone to episodes of low blood sugar, consider cutting caffeine and refined sugar out of your diet, as these can cause fluctuations in blood sugar that may trigger migraines in susceptible people.

Give riboflavin a try: People who take large amounts (400 mg per day) of riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, could decrease the frequency and severity of their migraines.

Go for an adjustment: Chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy offer benefits of improved circulation and pain relief to people living with migraines.

(Headache 2009;49:563–70)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. She cofounded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, and now sees patients in East Greenwich and Wakefield. Inspired by her passion for healthful eating and her own young daughters, Dr. Beauchamp is currently writing a book about optimizing children’s health through better nutrition.

Gut health and immune health delivered via probiotics

Probiotics today are consumed primarily through fermented dairy products such as yoghurt and kefir, and also in supplement formulations. A growing body of evidence is confirming the positive effects of probiotics in humans, primarily related to two major areas: gastrointestinal and immune health. Amy Fitzpatrick tells all.

Although a variety of bacteria have been commonly consumed through our food supply for millennia, it wasn't until the turn of the century that ingested bacteria were proposed to have a positive influence on the normal microbial flora of the intestinal tract, which in turn would affect the health of humans.

Researchers have now estimated that microflora in the adult human body consist of an enormous biomass of >100,000 billion bacteria of >400 different species, which generate metabolic activity and play an important physiologic role in humans.1

Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are the two genera of greatest research and use regarding human health. These two groups of 'friendly' bacteria live symbiotically in our bodies in a beneficial relationship that enhances our health in a wide variety of ways. Lactobacillus organisms reside mainly in the small intestine, bifidobacteria in the large. The lactobacillus genus contains dozens of species, including such organisms as L acidophilus, L plantarum, L casei, L rhamnosus, L paracasei and L reuteri.

Some of the most important members of the bifidobacteria genus include B longum, B bifidum, B breve, B lactis and B infantis. Scientists are now formulating products that contain one or more species from both genera to improve the colonisation of probiotics in both the small and large intestines.

The best-documented health benefits associated with probiotic use are:

  • decreased incidence or duration of diarrhoea caused by antibiotics or viruses;2,3,4
  • resolved occasional constipation;5,6
  • improved immune function;7,8
  • improved the ability of lactose-intolerant people to digest lactose, thereby improving tolerance to dairy products;9 and
  • when consumed by healthy people, an overall improvement in health, as documented in studies showing
  • reduction of common infections10 and reduced absences from work or day care.11,12,13

Other effects with emerging evidence include:

  • decreased Helicobacter pylori infections of the stomach;14 and
  • improved symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other inflammatory bowel disorders such as ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease,15,16 but the research is conflicting and the extent of these effects require additional confirmation.

It should also be noted that not every well-conducted probiotics study has shown benefit. Examples of equivocacy include trials related to antibiotic-associated diarrhoea, prevention of surgical infections, improvement of symptoms of IBS, remission in Crohn's disease, postantibiotic vulvovaginal candidiasis and improvements in critically ill hospitalised patients. Yet, because other studies have shown a benefit in these health-related parameters using various probiotic species, researchers speculate that failure to show benefit in these specific studies may be due to lack of product activity, improper probiotic-strain choice, inadequate dose, or inadequate treatment timing and/or duration.17

Gastrointestinal health
Consistent and good-quality research supports the use of probiotics for antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and acute infectious diarrhoea such as traveler's diarrhoea or viral-related diarrhoea.18 For instance, a recent meta-analysis of 34 studies found that probiotics reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea by 52 per cent and acute diarrhoea risk in children by 57 per cent and 26 per cent in adults. The species of probiotic shown to be effective were L acidophilus, L rhamnosus GG, L bulgaricus and Saccharomyces boularrdii.19

Another meta-analysis found that these strains were more effective than placebo when given to patients to help prevent and treat antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.18 In addition, a combination of L acidophilus and L casei has been shown to reduce the occurrence of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and length of hospital duration compared to placebo in hospitalised patients.20 Other studies have concluded that probiotics from various lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species could reduce the risk and duration of infectious diarrhoea from various causes (eg, traveler's diarrhoea, viral diarrhoea) in adults.21,22 Studies also indicate that L reuteri and B lactis are effective in reducing the incidence and duration of diarrhoeal illness in children.23

Experimental studies indicate that intestinal transit time (ie, the time it takes for faecal matter to move through the intestines) is prolonged when microflora are absent in germ-free animals compared to those with established microflora.24 The benefit of healthy gut microflora on regularity has also been shown in humans taking specific probiotics. For instance, research supports improvements in gut microflora with the use of L acidophilus and B lactis with accompanying improvements in bowel-movement frequency.25,26,27,28 In addition, at least two trials have found two different strains of L casei can help relieve constipation. One study involved children given L casei rhamnosus and the other study used L casei Shirota in adults with both studies showing improvements in stool frequency and consistency.29,30

Inflammatory bowel
This condition refers to disorders of unknown cause that are characterised by recurrent intestinal inflammation. Such disorders include UC, IBS, Crohn's disease and pouchitis.31 Although some promising findings have been reported with the use of probiotics in these inflammatory conditions, additional studies are needed to confirm which probiotic species function most effectively for each condition, as well as a therapeutic dose range.

To date, the strongest findings are in favour of probiotic use in UC and IBS. In addition, a specific probiotic blend (VSL#3) has been shown to improve remission in patients with pouchitis, an inflammatory condition of the small intestine that can occur after gastrointestinal surgery due to various intestinal problems.32

At least nine randomised, controlled studies have reported a significantly higher remission in UC patients taking probiotics compared with controls, while two studies showed a trend for increased efficacy and five trials did not show any significant difference between probiotic and control groups.15 Interestingly, researchers have documented significant changes in microbial profiles in patients with IBS and indicate that the composition may be correlated with certain symptoms reported by patients.33 Currently, trials evaluating the effect of probiotics in IBS are limited; however, overall researchers report a beneficial effect over placebo in the relief of some IBS symptoms.33

For example, one large controlled trial found that B infantis was significantly more effective at reducing abdominal pain and discomfort in women with IBS compared to those taking placebo.34 Another controlled trial found that L plantarum given to women with IBS for four weeks significantly reduced abdominal pain and improved overall IBS symptoms compared to placebo.35 However, one controlled study evaluating the use of L casei GG did not find any significant improvement in pain, urgency or bloating in women with IBS, but did note a trend in the reduction of the frequency of diarrhoea.36

Benefits of multiple strains
Although isolating and studying single strains of bacteria were the way to go, today scientists have an interest in the benefits of combinations of probiotic strains. As a result, a variety of clinical studies have evaluated the efficacy and safety of multiple-strain probiotic formulations in various populations.10,37,38,39,40,41 In fact, some researchers have suggested that a mixture of probiotics may have a greater effect on the intestine than the individual strains.42,43 Not only have research studies found that multiple strains of probiotics can enhance adhesion of other probiotics to the intestinal wall and increase the richness and diversity of the bacterial microbiota in the gut, but these combinations offer functional benefits as well.43,44,45

For example, experimental research has found that a combination of B bifidum, B infantis, L acidophilus, L casei, L salivarius and B lactis resulted in a wider antimicrobial spectrum, superior induction of anti-inflammatory compounds such as interleukin-10, and silencing of pro-inflammatory cytokines as compared to the individual strains.46 Evidence in humans also suggests that a combination of strains47 rather than a single organism48 may alleviate symptoms of specific gastrointestinal concerns such as those accompanying inflammation of the GI tract. The multi-strain formula contained four strains of lactobacilli, three strains of bifidobacteria and one strain of Streptococcus salivarius ssp thermophilus, as opposed to just a single strain of lactobacilli.

Other studies have found similar results. For example, combinations of lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and S salivarius have been shown to reduce the relapse of recurrent GI symptoms.49 In addition, a probiotic mixture containing L rhamnosus GG, B breve and Propionibacterium freudenreichii ssp Shermanii was effective in alleviating IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain, distension and flatulence.50 Other researchers have found that a similar combination of probiotics (substituting B breve for B lactis) can stabilise microflora levels in IBS patients and reduce abdominal pain and distention.51

Furthermore, a combination of L plantarum and B breve or L plantarum and L acidophilus has been shown to be effective for reducing abdominal pain and symptom severity score in IBS patients.52 A blend of L paracasei and the prebiotic arabinogalactan was also effective in IBS-predominant diarrhoea with significant reductions in bowel movements, pain and IBS scores being reported.53

Other research has evaluated a combination of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria given to individuals put on conventional antibiotic therapy. After eight weeks, the group taking the probiotic/antibiotic combination was able to better tolerate the conventional treatment.54 Furthermore, a multi-strain formula containing B lactis, L paracasei and several other bifidobacteria and lactobacilli species reduced antibiotic-induced microflora imbalance and maintained bifidobacterium levels.55

Jacques Goulet, professor at University de Laval, commented, "From a scientific point of view we are noticing that a single strain won't do the best job in improving health. Scientists are suggesting that probiotic supplements be a mixture of four, five and even eight strains to get the most benefit."56

Not all probiotics are created equal
Products contain different genera (eg, Lactobacillus), species (eg, rhamnosus) and strains (eg, GG or GR-1), and not all microbes sold as probiotics have been tested for health effects, nor should all products be expected to work the same. Therefore, manufacturers that provide clinically validated species of probiotics should specify the intended function and benefit of the strains used on the label and other marketing material, and should recommend the therapeutic dosage of probiotics based on clinical research. In general, research studies have consistently shown that various strains of L acidophilus, L rhamnosus, L casei, B bifidum, B longum, B lactis, L paracasei and others can survive stomach acid and have beneficial effects on gastrointestinal and/or immune health. However, it should be noted that some microencapsulation or coating technologies (eg, enteric coating) have been developed that improve probiotic survival through the acid environment of the stomach, and may influence effectiveness.17

Required doses vary for different strains and the specific health effect under investigation. For example, the most common dosage used in clinicals for antibiotic-associated diarrhoea was 3 billion CFUs daily of L acidophilus or L rhamnosus, but studies using 10 billion CFUs or more daily showed greater effectiveness.18 Clinicals showing a benefit for constipation used at least one billion CFUs daily of B lactis or a combination of L acidophilus and B lactis in doses ranging from 1-200 billion CFUs daily.25,26,27,28 Other strains shown to improve constipation were L casei rhamnosus (two billion CFUs/d)29 or L casei Shirota (6.5 billion CFUs/d).30

Get your formula right
Remember, probiotics offer no benefits if they do not contain the right probiotic strains, right potency, right formula and if they are not acid- and bile-resistant. For the real deal on selection criteria for probiotics — from gene technology to GMPs — written by SK Dash, PhD, president and director of research at UAS Laboratories, click here.

While some research has reported some improvement in IBS with moderate doses of 100 million to 20 billion CFUs/day B infantis and L plantarum, respectively,34,35 much higher doses (ie, 900 billion CFUs/day)57 may be required in individuals that are critically ill or that have more serious conditions such as pouchitis or UC (1,800-3,600 billion CFUs/d).32,58,59

Most importantly, probiotics need to be consumed at least a few times a week, preferably daily, on a regular basis to maintain their effect on the intestinal microecology. For instance, levels of bifidobacteria in the colon have been reported to decline with age 55 and lactobacilli concentrations may be negatively influenced by stress.60,61 Preliminary research has found that supplementing the diet with several probiotic species can restore levels of important immune system markers comparable to levels in younger controls,62 and that probiotics may counteract stress-induced changes in intestinal barrier function.61

Amy Fitzpatrick, MS, RD, is nutritionist & research consultant for Natural Health Solutions. [email protected]

$937 million us condition-specific digestive health supplements market in 2007


How does gut health relate to immune health?
The gastrointestinal tract is the body's primary immune organ with 70-80 per cent of the body's immune cells being localised in the gastrointestinal tract, its glands, mucosa and mucosa-associated lymphoid system.1,2 A substantial amount of research and significant scientific agreement in the literature supports the ability of various probiotic species to help support immunity.3,4,5

Researchers have documented interactions between probiotics and the gut-associated lymphatic or immune tissue. For instance, experiments that compared specific germ-free and normal mice and rats have shown the strong influence of the presence of intestinal flora on the maturation and development of local and systemic immunity and on the regulation of immune functions.3 In humans, probiotics administered to critically ill patients have shown significant improvements in systemic immunoglobulin (ie, IgA and IgG) concentrations with a corresponding reduction in intestinal permeability.6

L acidophilus and B bifidum appear to enhance nonspecific immune activity.5 They seem to do this by stimulating lymphocyte and macrophage activity and modulating cytokine production by mononuclear cells. They also appear to enhance synthesis of antibodies in response to microbial pathogens, particularly secretory IgA.7,8 Various other species, including L plantarum, L rhamnosus, L casei, L bulgaricus, B lactis, and L paracasei, have demonstrated a variety of immuno-regulatory effects that could help bolster an individual's immune protection.9,10,11 For instance, clinical research suggests that L rhamnosus and L casei can enhance natural killer-cell activity.12,13

— AF

1. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Probiotics Monograph. Available at: Accessed on December 17, 2008.
2. Hendler S, Rorvik D (eds). PDR for Nutritional Supplements. Medical Economics: Montvale, NJ; 2001.
3. Rolfe RD. The role of probiotic cultures in the control of gastrointestinal health. J Nutr 2000;130(2S):396S-402S.
4. Marteau PR, et aL Protection from gastrointestinal diseases with the use of probiotics. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;73(2):430S-436S.
5. Bourlioux P, et al. The intestine and its microflora are partners for the protection of the host: report on the Danone Symposium "The Intelligent Intestine," held in Paris, June 14, 2002. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78(4):675-683.
6. Rolfe RD. The role of probiotic cultures in the control of gastrointestinal health. J Nutr 2000;130(2S):396S-402S.
7. Smith CL, et al. Lactobacillus fermentum BR11 and fructo-oligosaccharide partially reduce jejunal inflammation in a model of intestinal mucositis in rats. Nutr Cancer 2008;60(6):757-767.
8. Mengheri E. Health, probiotics, and inflammation. J Clin Gastroenterol 2008;42(3):S177-S178.
9. Kekkonen RA, et al. Probiotic intervention has strain-specific anti-inflammatory effects in healthy adults. World J Gastroenterol 2008;14(13):2029-36.
10. Soo I, et aL VSL#3 probiotic upregulates intestinal mucosal alkaline sphingomyelinase and reduces inflammation. Can J Gastroenterol 2008r;22(3):237-42.
11. Isolauri E, et al. Probiotics: effects on immunity. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;73(2):444S-450S.


Total Probiotics Market for 2008

Expected revenues in 2013

$1.7 billion

Per serving cost of genetic strains


Per serving cost of documented strains


Avg % margin for probiotic foods


Avg % margin for supplements


Degree of competition


Source: Frost & Sullivan, 2007


In 2007, the U.S. prebiotics market was worth $68.9 million. Growth is expected to be strong throughout the forecast period, leading to revenues of $198.3 million in 2014
In 2007, the leading prebiotics products:

  • fructans (inulin and FOS), 43.4% of the volumes
  • MOS accounted for 23.4%
  • Other prebiotcs, 33.2%

Source: Frost & Sullivan, 2007


How probiotics work
A variety of functions have been attributed to probiotic bacteria, including inhibition of the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the gut, creation of substances that help fuel and reinforce the barrier defense of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, assisting in the generation and absorption of certain vitamins, influencing the maturation and maintenance of the immune system, production of anti-inflammatory compounds, and antioxidant and cellular protection.1,2

When probiotics latch on to and temporarily colonise the intestinal mucosa, they help prevent attachment of pathogenic bacteria. This ability of colonic microflora to help resist colonisation of pathogenic bacteria is now well established as an essential function of probiotics. Given the complexity of the intestinal ecosystem, the exact mechanisms have yet to be fully elucidated; however, several mechanisms appear to be involved and to act separately, sequentially, or together, and include:

  • exhaustion or competition for the same substrate or nutrient;
  • competition for mucin adhesion receptor sites;
  • production of a physiologically restrictive environment, for instance with respect to pH, redox potential, hydrogen sulfide production or production of metabolites toxic to other bacteria;
  • in vivo production of antibiotic substances such as bacteriocins;1,3,4,5
  • improvement of the intestine’s immunologic barrier;4,6
  • alleviation of the intestinal inflammatory response;7,8,9,10
  • increased antigen (ie, foreign invader) transport across the gut mucosa, which occurs in the absence of intestinal microflora;
  • the capacity of the gut-associated immune cells to generate protective immune cells, which progressively increase with gut microflora establishment.11


1. Bengmark S. Gut microbial ecology in critical illness: is there a role for prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics? Curr Opin Crit Care 2002;8(2):145-51.
2. Furness JB, et al. Nutrient tasting and signaling mechanisms in the gut. II. The intestine as a sensory organ: neural, endocrine, and immune responses. Am J Physiol 1999;277(5):G922-928.
3. Bourlioux P, et al. The intestine and its microflora are partners for the protection of the host: report on the Danone Symposium "The Intelligent Intestine," held in Paris, June 14, 2002. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78(4):675-683.
4. Isolauri E, et al. Probiotics: effects on immunity. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;73(2):444S-450S.
5. Erickson KL, Hubbard NE. Probiotic immunomodulation in health and disease. J Nutr 2000;130(2):403S-409S.
6. Alberda C, et aL Effects of probiotic therapy in critically ill patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled triaL Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85(3):816-23.
7. Rolfe RD. The role of probiotic cultures in the control of gastrointestinal health. J Nutr 2000;130:396S-402S.
8. Marteau PR, et aL Protection from gastrointestinal diseases with the use of probiotics. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;73(2):430S-436S.
9. Hendler S, Rorvik D (eds). PDR for Nutritional Supplements. Medical Economics: Montvale, NJ; 2001.
10. Foligne B, et aL Correlation between in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory properties of lactic acid bacteria. World J Gastroenterol 2007;13(2):236-43.


Select suppliers: Probiotics, prebiotics and more round out a healthy category
Fibersol-2 digestion-resistant maltodextrin allows an increased fibre content with no change to taste or texture.

AHD Intl
Luravida cranberry products include a high antibacterial PAC value, cranberry-protein powder, cranberry/omega-3 oil, and liquid nanodispersion omega-3.

Beneo Orafti
Orafti inulin and oligofructose are derived from chicory root and come in different grades for different applications.

Vitasugar prebiotic oligosaccharides are used as low-calorie sweeteners for foods and beverages, including baked goods.

Pre-Pro Combo delivers a double-encapsulated solution for synbiotics.

Cargill Health & Food Technologies
Oliggo-Fiber inulin is a line of chicory-derived oligosaccharide products.

Fibruline chicory inulin, Fibruline S20 soluble inulin, Fibruline DS2 desugared inulin, Fibrulose F97 chicory oligofructose and Fibruline XL chicory inulin.

Probiotics supplier has exclusive marketing agreement for the probiotic-straw concept for use with Howaru probiotics. Also offers polydextrose as a dietary fibre.

Decas Botanical Synergies
CystiCran is a concentrated cranberry extract, with a guaranteed minimum content of 30 per cent (PACs). Launched in a partnership between Lallemand Health Ingredients and Decas.

Lafti line of probiotics is formulated for stability, survivability and concentration, and contains L acidophilus (Lafti L10), L casei (Lafti L26), and bifido (Lafti B94).

Ganeden Biotech
GanedenBC30 survives the challenges of food manufacturing, extreme temperatures and the gastric environment, and can safely be integrated into foods.

GTC Nutrition
NutraFlora prebiotic, BioAgave agave fibre, Aquamin calcified mineral source, OatVantage oat bran fibre concentrate with 54 per cent beta-glucan, and Purimume prebiotic GOS for digestive health.

Institut Rosell
Clearly identified and documented strains include those of the genus lactobacilli and bifidobacteria.

Custom-makes triple-layered, enteric, seamless capsules specifically for probiotic supplements.

FiberAid soluble prebiotic fibre with good digestive tolerance and technological properties, is water soluble, stable against a wide pH and temperature range and forms low-viscosity solutions.

National Enzyme Company
Enzyme ingredients range from Dr Howell's original Genuine NZime #1 to the most advanced BioCore Optimum blend.

Natraceutical Group
Viscofiber is a concentrated, soluble dietary fibre from oat grain.

Nebraska Cultures
Custom-manufactured probiotics founded on the DDS-1 strain of L acidophilus. Full line available either individually or in combination, and with or without enzymes, colostrum or phytonutrients.

LiveBac processes guarantee extended shelf life for probiotics, even at room temperature. BIO-tract delivery technology protects probiotic organisms from stomach acid and enables custom-release profiles optimised for probiotics and other active ingredients.

Ocean Spray
Ingredient Technology Group specialises in the sale and use of industrial cranberry ingredients and products.

PL Thomas
FenuPure is 75% soluble fibre from fenugreek for cereals, yoghurts and more.

Probiotic R&D with stomach and gastrointestinal tracts, immune defense, metabolic disorders as well as stress and recovery.

Nutriose is a range of soluble fibres with 85 per cent fibre content (dry substance), which studies show matches up well with probiotics Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.

UAS Labs
DDS-1/DDS probiotics manufacturer since 1979 specialises in L acidophilus, L rhamnosus, L bulgaricus, L casei, L paracasei, L plantarum, L brevis, L salivarius, L lactis, B longum, B bifidum, B lactis, B breve and S thermophilus.

L rhamnosus GG is the most researched probiotic and is licensed to Dannon for the US yoghurt market. The Gefilus family containing LGG is marketed worldwide.


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Lose Weight by Cutting Out Sugary Drinks

Healthnotes Newswire (May 28, 2009)—Many people get a substantial percentage of their daily calories from beverages, often without realizing it. Many weight-loss plans recommend drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, but does this really contribute to weight loss? A new study finds that it does.

Sidestepping sugar supports weight loss

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at the eating and drinking habits of 810 people with pre-hypertension or mild hypertension (120 to 159 mm Hg/80 to 95 mmHg). They received information and counseling about healthy lifestyle and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet, put forth by the US National Institutes of Health, and were followed for 18 months.

At the beginning of the study, beverages provided an average of 19% of total daily calories, and sugar-sweetened drinks were the leading source of beverage calories. Weight loss over the course of the study was more affected by reducing beverage calories than solid food calories: a 100 calorie-per-day decrease in liquid calories was associated with a 0.3 kg (0.66 pounds) drop in weight while the same reduction in food calories was associated with 0.09 kg (0.12 pounds) of weight loss over six months. Only reducing sugar-sweetened beverages, not other caloric beverages, was found to be related to weight loss.

Choose drinks carefully for the greatest effect

Sugar-sweetened drinks are an increasing concern to scientists and health professionals observing the rising trends in overweight, obesity, and type 2 diabetes in Western societies. One reason these drinks are so problematic is that, despite their calorie density, they don’t appear to reduce appetite or trigger a sense of fullness the way solid foods do. Because they tend to be very high in fructose, they can trigger changes in metabolism that lead to more weight gain than foods made with other simple sugars.

The findings from this study suggest that reducing calories from sugar-sweetened drinks can have more than five times the impact of reducing calories from solid foods. Removing sugary drinks from the diet should be a top priority for programs designed to help people lose weight, although overall calorie reduction is essential for people who need to lose a substantial amount of weight. “Our study supports policy recommendations and public health efforts to reduce intakes of liquid calories, particularly from sugar-sweetened beverages, in the general population,” the study’s authors said in their conclusion.

Getting the sugar out of your drinks

• Drink water when you are thirsty—it has no calories, and is ideally suited for keeping your body properly hydrated.

• If you drink other beverages, choose ones that are not sugar-sweetened, like 100% fruit juice and milk. Their calories are less likely to contribute to overweight and obesity. Diluting fruit juices by up to 50% with water can also decrease calorie intake without substantially changing the taste of the beverage.

• Researchers have found that artificially sweetened diet drinks are not associated with weight loss, and might even contribute to weight gain, so use them sparingly.

(Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:1299–306)

Maureen Williams, ND, received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. She has a private practice on Cortes Island in British Columbia, Canada, and has done extensive work with traditional herbal medicine in Guatemala and Honduras. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

CoroWise Naturally Sourced Cholesterol Reducer™ Brand of Plant Sterols Are Now Available in Cardio Chews™

On-the-go convenience has arrived for Americans seeking a way to help lower their LDL cholesterol. Cargill’s CoroWise™ Naturally Sourced Cholesterol Reducer™ brand of plant sterols is now available in individually-wrapped Cardio Chews™. Now adults who enjoy over-the-counter Cardio Chews™ twice daily with meals, and follow a healthy diet of foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may see their cholesterol numbers start to drop in as little as four weeks.

Available in both cherry and chocolate flavors, Cardio Chews™ are sugar free and contain just 30 calories and 0.4g plant sterols per single chew serving. They are available nationwide in a 28-chew package, which is a two-week supply. Cardio Chews™ are initially available at ShopKo and online at,,,,,, and

Backed by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) health claim* and significant scientific research demonstrating their effectiveness at lowering cholesterol, plant sterols are capturing the attention of more and more healthcare professionals who are promoting their use to their patients and clients.

Plant sterols are found naturally in fruits, vegetables, breads and other whole grain products, and most vegetable oils. However, most people, including vegetarians, find it difficult to consume sufficient amounts of plant sterols in these foods daily to have a cholesterol-lowering effect.

The combination of CoroWise™ plant sterols with the on-the-go convenience of individually-wrapped chews, makes it easier than ever for Americans to be proactive in the fight against heart disease, the nation’s number one killer.

"Cardio Chews™ join a rapidly growing list of commonly consumed products that now contain CoroWise™ plant sterols," said Pam Stauffer, global marketing programs & communications manager, Cargill Health & Nutrition. "We look forward to promoting this exciting new product through our brand support outreach programs that reach both consumers and healthcare professionals."

For more information visit And find us on Facebook – search corowise. CoroWise™ plant sterols is proud to be an American Dietetics Association Premier Sponsor.

KGK Adds New Genotoxicity Assays to its Contract Research Services Division

KGK Synergize now offers two new genotoxicity assays conducted in-house, bringing important new research options to its clientele.
Genotoxicity assays are invaluable tools to determine the safety or toxicity of compounds.

Bacterial Reverse Mutation Test/ Bacterial gene mutation test (Ames test)-OECD 471; OPPTS 870.5265; Health Canada TBA-501a:
The Ames test is one of the most established and popular biological assays worldwide to assess the mutagenic potential of compounds. A positive test indicates that the compound might act as a carcinogen and vice versa for a negative test. As cancer is often linked to DNA damage, this test serves as a quick reference to estimate the carcinogenic or mutagenic potential of a compound.

In vitro Neutral Red Assay (NRU)-Health Canada TBA-502:
This test is one of the most used cytoxicity tests with many biomedical and environmental applications. It is based on the ability of viable cells to incorporate and bind the neutral red dye in the lysosomes. An injured cell culture exhibits a decreased ability to incorporate neutral red dye, thus providing valuable information regarding the degree of toxic effect of a compound.

For more information on these or other research services, please contact KGK Synergize at 519-438-9374, or visit our website at

About KGK Synergize Inc:

KGK provides contract research services to the health nutrition, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. These services include both pre-clinical and human clinical trials.

In addition to its contract research capabilities, KGK has a Product Development Division which brings new and innovative natural health products to the point where they are ready to be manufactured and marketed. These products include Sytrinol®, DiabetinolTM and DermytolTM.

Opening of New Danisco R&D Center

Today, Danisco opens a new BioScience Development Center in its site in Dangé-Saint-Romain, France.

In the presence of Ségolène Royal, President of the Poitou-Charentes Region and other regional and local authorities, Doug Willrett, Executive Vice President of Danisco Cultures Division, underlined the importance of this site within the innovation strategy of the group. “The Dangé Saint Romain site is to become a real competence centre in microbiology and biotechnology operating for the whole of Danisco worldwide”, he said.

Started in 2007, the building is now completed and hosts a 2000 m2 centre with up to 30 scientists and technicians. The new facility will contribute to improve the R&D capabilities of Danisco, especially for the activities related to process development, enhanced stability and preservation of microorganisms.

Thanks to the scientific expertise of its research teams and to this new infrastructure, dedicated to culture development and processing, the ambition of the group is to discover new benefits for human health, food protection, to create new textures and tastes and to promote a natural and good quality food.

Many public authorities participated to this key project for the development of the local industrial activities: the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Equipment, the Poitou-Charentes Region, through its regional innovation funds, the General Council of Vienne and the Community of Boroughs of Vienne and Creuse contributed to the successful completion of the project.

New ingredients - June 2009

A new sweetened dried cranberry
Choice SDC is the latest product from Ocean Spray's Ingredient Technology Group. It is a cost-efficient option, the company says, that delivers the same high quality as Ocean Spray's Classic Soft and Moist SDC. Available to food manufacturers, Choice SDC, which contains high levels of bacteria-repelling proanthocyanidins, antioxidants and the anti-inflammatory flavonoid quercetin, can improve the taste, appearance and nutritional profile of baked goods, cereals, bars and trail mixes without impacting processing.

New soluble minerals
Minerals in Solution Technology (MIST) is a ground-breaking patent-pending technology introduced by Minerals USA. MIST converts calcium, magnesium and other insoluble minerals into highly water-soluble forms, allowing any beverage, including plain water, to be fortified with more minerals (calcium, magnesium, zinc and potassium) than any other beverage on the market, creating drinks that provide 100 per cent of the recommended daily value of minerals in a single serving while remaining truly soluble and clear at concentrations.

Advances in joint health
After painkillers and glucosamine with chondroitin, Gelita's Fortigel could well be called the third generation of joint care, the company claims. Fortigel can be formulated in a wide range of products from liquid to solid dietary supplements to enrich foods, and works by specifically stimulating cartilage cells and enhancing the synthesis of cartilage tissue. The ingredient won the 2008 Frost & Sullivan Ingredient of the Year Award, and the company says its effectiveness has been confirmed in numerous studies.

Better brain function
Lipogen and Novastell recently launched DPS, its new combination of phosphatidylserine with conjugated DHA for advanced brain support. It is believed that phosphatidylserine and conjugated DHA work synergistically to increase cognitive abilities including mood, memory, concentration and stress control. The ingredient comes in softgels, capsules and tablets, and will be available to the US, Europe and Asia Pacific markets.

Soy protein-fortified sports drink
Burcon NutraScience's Clarisoy soy-protein isolate has enabled the protein-fortification of many beverages, including three branded sports drinks and two vitamin waters, each containing two per cent Clarisoy. Clarisoy is 100 per cent water soluble and transparent in acidic beverages. It has exceptional flavour characteristics with no bean taste, and is heat stable for warm beverages.

Emulsifier for sparkling beverages
Q-Naturale emulsifier by National Starch Food Innovation now has greater functionality for carbonated soda, juice, water and alcohol. The company says that compared to gum arabic, Q-Naturale can be used at very low usage levels. It is sustainably harvested from Chilean quillaja trees, and is FDA approved/GRAS, non-GMO and organic certified.

Probiotic sweetener
Ganeden Biotech and Heartland Sweeteners are working together to produce a calorie-free artificial and healthy sweetener. The goal is to bring digestive and immune-health benefits to new product offerings. The sweetener will contain GanedenBC30, a patented probiotic bacteria, which has the unique ability to survive manufacturing and baking temperatures and still remain shelf stable.

Cherry powder
Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, a key component in red superfoods that has anti-inflammatory properties, can help with obesity and repairs muscle. Australian Functional Foods has developed sweet cherry-extract powder, made from 100 per cent Australian-grown cherries. Where many food ingredients retain the cherry's colourful redness but reduce the amount of anthocyanin due to the manufacturing process, Australian Functional Foods guarantees that its cherry products retain the fruit's natural anthocyanin.

Organic: Where functional and sustainable meet

A recent study shows that, when it comes to plants, a little stress is good, which may be a boon to the organics' and functional foods' industries. Apparently pampered plants from conventional farms that use modern pest-control measures are lower in phyto-alexins, naturally occurring antibiotics and antioxidants that fight off pathogens. Conversely, organically grown plants are forced to develop a stronger defence system, which boosts phyto-alexin levels.

Phyto-alexins do their damage by puncturing pathogen cell walls, which delays maturation, disrupts metabolisms and prevents reproduction, essentially cutting the pathogen off at the knees before it can invade the plant's normal functions. Interestingly, foods with high phyto-alexin levels do the same in the human body by disrupting cell oxidation and inflammation, which may reduce the incidence of cancer, heart and inflammatory diseases, and elevated cholesterol.

Until recently, this defence mechanism was largely ignored by the plant-science community until the advent of resveratrol, which is perhaps the most well-known phyto-alexin. Red grapes, red wine, and Hu zhang (Chinese herb and prolific weed) are all good sources of resveratrol.

Researchers are connecting the dots and discovering that organically grown foods are notably higher in phyto-alexins, which according to USDA researchers could open the door to a new area of functional foods called phyto-alexin-enriched foods. "Research from our laboratory and others has shown that many plants can produce higher levels of beneficial compounds under conditions of stress or elicitor treatment. By employing the plant's own enzyme factory, many of these compounds can be produced at increased levels and readily incorporated into food products," according to USDA.

Though this new discovery could offer a new functional foods category, the real boon is that evidence is mounting that organic foods are indeed healthier than conventionally grown foods. This month's issue of Functional Ingredients explores where the world of functional and organic meet, whether it is Managing Editor James Townsend's story on emerging organic opportunities out of Africa, or Mark J Tallon's article on organic ingredients.

Lastly, if you haven't already done so, check out our new website! The site is a redesigned robust one-stop shop for all things functional, including global and regulatory news from our reporters in the EU, Asia and North America, as well as expanded features, video, podcasts and radio-style news stories. As always, we welcome your feedback, [email protected].

Functionally and Organically Yours,

Kimberly Stewart
Editorial Director
[email protected]