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Industry News
February 17, 2010

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Vitamin Retailer News
Walking, Supplementation Greatly Improves OA Symptoms
Progressive walking combined with glucosamine sulfate supplementation has been shown to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA), reported Science Daily, citing a recent study appearing in Arthritis Research and Therapy that found that patients who walked at least two sessions of 1,500 steps each on three days of the week reported significantly less arthritis pain and significantly improved physical function.

Dr. Kristiann Heesch worked with a team of researchers from The University of Queensland, Australia, to carry out the trial in 36 osteoarthritis patients (aged 42-73 years). All patients received the dietary supplement for six weeks, after which they continued to take the supplement during a 12-week progressive walking program.

Seventeen patients were randomly assigned to walk five days per week, while the remaining 19 were instructed to walk three days a week.

Researchers found that both groups achieved significant improvement in their symptoms; however, being encouraged to walk five days a week was not more effective than being encouraged to walk three days. “These findings are not surprising given that the three-day and five-day walking groups did not differ significantly in the mean number of days actually walked per week, the mean number of daily steps walked, nor their weekly minutes of physical activity,” Heesch said. “They provide preliminary evidence that osteoarthritis sufferers can benefit from a combination of glucosamine sulphate and walking 3,000 steps per day for exercise, in bouts of at least 1,500 steps each, on at least three days per week.”

Thirty-six low active participants (aged 42-73 years) were provided with 1,500mg glucosamine sulfate per day for six weeks, after which they began a 12-week progressive walking program, while continuing to take glucosamine. They were randomized to walk three or five days per week and given a pedometer to monitor step counts. For both groups, step level of walking was gradually increased to 3,000 steps/day during the first six weeks of walking, and to 6,000 steps/day for the next six weeks. Primary outcomes included physical activity levels, physical function (self-paced step test) and the WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index for pain, stiffness and physical function. Assessments were conducted at baseline and at six-, 12-, 18-, and 24-week follow-ups. The Mann Whitney Test was used to examine differences in outcome measures between groups at each assessment, and the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test was used to examine differences in outcome measures between assessments.

During the first six weeks of the study (glucosamine supplementation only), physical activity levels, physical function, and total WOMAC scores improved (P<0.05). Between the start of the walking program (week six) and the final follow-up (week 24), further improvements were seen in these outcomes (P<0.05) although most improvements were seen between weeks six and 12. No significant differences were found between walking groups.

Bioforce Launches Retail Challenge
Bioforce USA (Ghent, NY) recently launched its “Take the A. Vogel Allergy Relief Challenge” to draw attention to the company’s comprehensive relief against allergy symptoms. A. Vogel Allergy Relief was formulated to address a wide range of allergy symptoms, providing relief for the majority of allergy sufferers.

For retailers, Bioforce USA will provide an eye-catching display and signage as well as an attractive price structure. The display will feature a tear-off sheet featuring a list of 10 symptoms for customers to check off, apprising the manufacturer of the particular symptoms from which they gained relief. They mail that along with the receipt to Bioforce USA and will receive either a $5 rebate check or another Allergy Relief product at no cost.

According to Eileen Sheets, managing director of Bioforce USA, the new promotion arrives at a great time for natural products retailers. “A large number of people who are concerned about costs of doctors’ visits and prescription payments are looking more closely at effective alternatives to fortify their health and homeopathic remedies to alleviate common health issues. With our new ‘Take the A. Vogel Allergy Challenge’ promotion, we are helping retailers position themselves as the natural health specialist in their communities.”

For more information, call (800) 641-7555 or visit www.bioforceusa.com.

Organic Products Retailer News
USDA Reaches Final Rule for Livestock Operations
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced details of the final regulation regarding access to pasture for organic livestock operations. This rule amends the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations to clarify the use of pasture in raising organic ruminants.

The final rule provides certainty to consumers that organic livestock production is a pasture-based system in which animals are actively grazing pastures during the grazing season. The majority of organic dairy and ruminant livestock producers are already grazing animals and maintaining pastures that meet the requirements of this rule, said USDA, but these standards contain clear requirements that will provide greater assurance that all producers are being held to the same standards.

The main components of the rule include:
• Animals must graze pasture during the grazing season, which must be at least 120 days per year;
• Animals must obtain a minimum of 30 percent dry matter intake from grazing pasture during the grazing season;
• Producers must have a pasture management plan and manage pasture as a crop to meet the feed requirements for the grazing animals and to protect soil and water quality; and
• Livestock are exempt from the 30 percent dry matter intake requirements during the finish feeding period, not to exceed 120 days, and must have access to pasture during the finishing phase.

The final rule becomes effective 120 days after publication, June 17, 2010. Operations that are already certified organic will have one year to implement the provisions. Operations that obtain organic certification after the effective date will be expected to demonstrate full compliance.

Although this is a final rule, comments on the exceptions for finish feeding of ruminant slaughter stock may be submitted before April 19, 2010. This 60-day comment period pertains to the finish feeding provisions only. The specific questions to consider and instructions for submitting comments are available on the NOP website at www.ams.usda.gov/NOP.

Copies of the final rule and additional information are on display on line at www.ams.usda.gov/NOP.

NPA Extends Seal to Include Home Care Certification
The Natural Products Association (NPA) recently announced that it is extending its natural seal and standard to include home care products such as household cleaners, laundry detergents, concentrated and ready-to-use hard surface cleaners. Shoppers can expect the seal to begin appearing on certified home care products in the coming months.

Under the new program, products must follow strict guidelines set out by the NPA to merit bearing the seal. The criteria include, but are not limited to:

• Product must be made up of at least 95 percent truly natural ingredients or ingredients that are derived from natural sources, excluding water;
• No ingredients with any suspected human health risks;
• No processes that significantly or adversely alter the natural ingredients;
• Ingredients that come from a purposeful, natural source (flora, fauna, mineral);
• Processes that are minimal and don’t use synthetic/harsh chemicals;
• Non-natural ingredients only when viable natural alternative ingredients are unavailable and only when there are absolutely no suspected potential human health risks; and
• Transparency and full disclosure of ingredients.

The full set of criteria can be found at www.thenaturalseal.org.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
Australian-Based Consultancy Offers Entry Courses
Robert Forbes and Associates (RFA, Sydney, Australia) recently announced that it will be offering training courses in Australian regulations for dietary supplements this March.

Kerry Martin, director of education and training at RFA, will be at Expo West in Anaheim, and will be available to conduct one-day training courses in Australia’s regulations for complementary medicines. The course, available from March 8-11, will serve as an introduction to Australian regulations for listed complementary medicines, and will take attendees through the process of evaluating a product and making any changes required for compliance, through to obtaining the AUST L number required for legal supply in Australia. Labeling requirements, such as those listed under TGO69, and marketing/advertising requirements, as well an overview of the Australian Code of GMP—including permitted ingredients and restrictions, finished product specifications, animal origin material permits and more—and the TGA online listing process will be covered.

Additional courses will also be offered March 15, 16, 17 and 19 in Salt Lake City at trainee premises.

These courses are conducted for one company at a time. The cost is per course (not per person) and up to eight people can be accommodated at each course.

For more information, call +61 2 9660 8027 or visit www.robert-forbes.com.

Magnesium Linked to Asthma Relief
According to recent findings published in the Journal of Asthma, measures of lung capacity increased by about six percent during six months of magnesium supplementation, and improvements were also observed in the bronchial response to methacholine, a chemical that produces constriction of the lungs, said NutraIngredients-USA.

In order to test the hypothesis that magnesium supplements could improve lung function, researchers, led by Alexandra Kazaks from Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, recruited 55 mild-to-moderate asthmatics aged 21-55 to participate in the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either a daily dose of 340mg of magnesium or placebo for 6.5 months.

At the end of the study, a six percent improvement in lung function, measured as the peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), was observed in the magnesium group, and not in the placebo group. Furthermore, 20 percent more methacholine was needed in the magnesium group to produce bronchoconstriction to the same degree as seen in the placebo group.

Quality of life, a subjective measure obtained by questionnaire, only improved in the magnesium group, added the researchers.

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