HEALTH

Angry Birds multivitamins fly onto market

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES — Natrol is launching a new line of chewable and gummy multivitamins for children under a license that will better resonate with today’s tablet-toting mom — Angry Birds.               

The line includes four flavors — watermelon, strawberry, orange and mixed berry — and is formulated with vitamin A, B vitamins and vitamin C to help support normal growth and development, as well as to aid metabolism and support energy production, Natrol reported. The line also is formulated with vitamin D for strong teeth and bones.

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HEALTH

Cashing in on the wellness trend

BY Michael Johnsen

Sales of vitamins and minerals represent a $6.5 billion book of business that’s growing at a 5.2% clip across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 3, 2013, according to IRI.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

Don’t expect that growth rate to taper off anytime soon. Because not only is dietary supplementation a key component of many consumers’ overall health-and-wellness regimens, but dietary supplements also has been projected to save billions of healthcare dollars when healthcare costs are under a microscope.

A recent Frost and Sullivan report determined that supplementation at preventive intake levels in high-risk populations can reduce the number of medical events associated with heart disease, age-related eye disease, diabetes and bone disease in the United States, representing the potential for significant cost savings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75% of total healthcare expenses are spent on caring for people with preventable diseases, with only 3% spent on prevention. That’s a significant upside opportunity.

Currently, product segments contributing large-scale growth to the category are gender-specific multivitamins, biotin, melatonin, Co Q-10, vitamin D, vitamin B-12 and vision formula multivitamins, noted Doug Jones, Pharmavite spokesman.

Probiotics, gummy vitamins and immunity health also are hot categories.

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Mediterranean diet may reduce risk of diabetes

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — Older patients at high risk for heart disease who follow a Mediterranean diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil do not need to restrict calories, increase exercise or lose weight to prevent diabetes, according to an article being published in Annals of Internal Medicine that was released Monday. 

Lifestyle interventions that induce weight loss have been shown to decrease incident diabetes to as low as 50%. Researchers sought to determine if following a Mediterranean diet could reduce incident diabetes without counting calories, increasing physical exercise or losing weight. More than 3,500 older adults without diabetes and at high risk for cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to a Mediterranean diet supplemented with either EVOO or mixed nuts or to a low-fat control diet.  

Participants in the Mediterranean diet groups primarily ate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Their diets were rich in fats from EVOO or mixed nuts. Participants in the control group were instructed to reduce dietary fat intake from all sources. Dieticians provided periodic training sessions to help patients adhere to their diets and participants in all three groups were not required to restrict calorie intake or increase physical activity. 

After four years, participants following the Mediterranean diets had a substantial reduction in the risk for Type 2 diabetes compared to those in the control group. Researchers conclude that a Mediterranean diet may have public health implications for diabetes prevention because it is palatable and sustainable.

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