HEALTH

CDC: Swine flu outbreak caused unique increase in flu incidence for season

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The circulation of the novel H1N1 virus, also known as the swine flu, is responsible for a unique uptick in flu incidence for the 2008/2009 season.

According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of confirmed H1N1 cases in the United States now totals 3,009 cases with three deaths in 45 states.

But for the seasonal picture, influenza activity increased across the United States for the week ended May 2, in part because of the H1N1 virus. For the week, seven states reported widespread activity; 12 states reported regional activity; the District of Columbia and 14 states reported local influenza activity; and Puerto Rico and 17 states reported sporadic influenza activity.

On a regional level, the percentage of visits for influenza-like illnesses ranged from 0.5% to 4.1%. Four-of-the-10 surveillance regions reported an ILI percentage above their region specific baselines.

During week 17, seasonal influenza A (H1) A (H3), and B viruses co-circulated with novel influenza A (H1N1), the CDC reported.

Click here to see a larger version of the CDC flu map.

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Infant cereals without phytate may allow absorption of more nutrients

BY Michael Johnsen

BEIJING A study published April 28 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology indicated that removing phytate from infant cereals may have a beneficial effect on iron and zinc bioavailability when those infant cereals were reconstituted with water.

Cereals are considered a rich plant source of carbohydrate, proteins, vitamins and minerals, and are therefore are usually introduced to an infant’s diet between the ages of four and six months. However, cereals are also rich in antinutrients, which can decrease the absorption of such critical nutrients as iron, calcium and zinc because of their high ability to chelate and precipitate minerals.

The research was conducted by Carmen Frontela of the University of Murcia (Spain).

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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New Elations formula delivers improved joint comfort

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI According to a recent clinical study, newly-formulated Elations drink supplement with increased boron delivers improved joint comfort in as little as six days, the Elations Company stated Monday.

“By increasing the level of boron, which studies have shown helps to address some of the causes of joint discomfort, we are providing consumers a fast, safe, effective way to obtain improved comfort for their joints,” stated Robert Sarama, Elations Chief Scientist. “These benefits coupled with the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin and an easily-absorbed, refreshing, convenient drinkable form, osteoarthritis sufferers are addressing the source of discomfort and creating building blocks for healthier, more flexible joints.”

The new Elations formula will replace the current Elations product on store shelves beginning in May 2009. The addition of boron will not affect the price of the product, the company stated.

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