HEALTH

Council for Responsible Nutrition adopts DHEA marketing guidelines

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Council for Responsible Nutrition announced Monday that its members have adopted a new voluntary program for responsible marketing of dehydroepiandrosterone, an ingredient in many sports nutrition products also known as DHEA.

Under the new program, CRN members agreed to refrain from marketing DHEA products as providing benefits like those of general anabolic steroids, such as muscle enlargement and increase strength. They also agreed not to market the products to children because the chemical is unlikely to enhance their performance.

“This is an important step forward in self-regulation by the dietary supplement industry, and we encourage other companies to join our members in following these guidelines,” stated CRN President and CEO Steve Mister said. “It’s disturbing to see some of the ads in magazines or online that promote DHEA as if it were a drug or anabolic steroid, when the fact is existing research has not demonstrated that kind of effect.”

In 2004, Congress enacted the Anabolic Steroid Control Act, which placed a number of steroid precursors on the Controlled Substances List. Congress omitted DHEA from the list, recognizing that it doesn’t enhance performance or lead to the abuse, addiction or side effects that anabolic steroids cause. Unlike anabolic steroids, DHEA is natural and is the most common steroid hormone in the body. The body recognizes when it achieves normal hormone levels and ignores additional DHEA.

“Research demonstrates that in young, healthy adults, supplemental DHEA does not affect testosterone levels and does not provide performance-enhancing benefits, therefore, it should not be marketed as having an anabolic steroid effect,” Mister said.

According to Nutrition Business Journal, U.S. annual sales of DHEA are $49 million, CRN said.

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Severe sleep apnea increases risk of death

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Sleep apnea can do more than interfere with a sound sleep—it can also increase risk of death, according to a report.

The report, published in the journal Sleep, was the result of an 18-year study that found sleep apnea increased the risk of death from any cause by causing the person’s health to deteriorate over time.

The research team that conducted the study examined 1,522 men and women aged 30 to 60. Among the control group, the death rate was 2.85 per 1,000 people each year. Among those with mild to moderate sleep apnea, it was 5.54 and 5.42 per thousand, while the rate was 14.6 per thousand among those with severe sleep apnea. More than 40 percent of deaths among those with severe sleep apnea resulted from cardiovascular disease.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute estimates that sleep apnea affects 12 million to 18 million Americans.

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NAD recommends changes to Cinnergen claims

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Wednesday recommended that eFoodSafety.com discontinue or modify several advertising claims for the company’s Cinnergen product.

At the outset of NAD’s review, eFoodSafety.com explained that it had substantially reformulated Cinnergen, resulting in a significant increase in certain ingredients, meaning that the clinical studies that would have been applicable to support some of those claims were no longer sufficient.

• “Clinically proven to control blood sugar”• “Over half the patients in our clinical study were able to stop taking prescribed medication.”• “70 percent of people in our study had a decrease in A-1c levels!!!”

The advertiser also agreed to modify those claims that may lead consumers to believe that Cinnergen is a replacement for their normal insulin regimen, specifically that Cinnergen “Helps Insulin work more effectively” and “Cinnergen is a Natural Part of the Diabetics Diet!!”

The remaining claims, the eFoodSafety.com asserted, are supported by clinical trials on comparable doses of key ingredients in Cinnergen.

Following its review of the advertiser’s evidence, NAD noted that while the studies, taken together, reveal that there is emerging evidence that cinnamon supplementation can be beneficial in reducing blood glucose levels and improving insulin sensitivity, NAD determined, among other things, the evidence in the record is not conclusive as to whether daily cinnamon supplementation should be recommended for type 2 diabetics or individuals who are insulin resistant. Accordingly, NAD recommended that the claims “Keeps blood sugar levels in normal range!” be discontinued, as well as the references to “nurtures vital cell generation” and “Guaranteed to Control Blood Sugar Levels” as well as the quantified performance claims which were based on testing of a prior formulation of Cinnergen.

NAD also recommended that the advertiser modify the claims that the product “promotes healthy glucose metabolism” and “[h]elps insulin work more efficiently!” to state that emerging science indicates that cinnamon supplementation may be beneficial in reducing blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetics and avoid conveying the unsupported message that there is conclusive or scientific consensus regarding cinnamon supplementation or Cinnergen’s efficacy. Further, NAD recommended the advertiser modify claims related to diabetes to avoid conveying the unsupported message that Cinnergen is a substitute for insulin or other medications prescribed for diabetics.

As for the antioxidant claims, NAD recommended that the claim “[p]rovides vital nutrients to turn sugar into energy!” be discontinued and that the claim “offers antioxidant benefits!” be modified to communicate that certain ingredients in the product – rather than the product itself –may provide antioxidant benefits.

NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim “Doctor Recommended Formula. Guaranteed To Work!” Finally, NAD recommended the advertiser modify the claim “Natural, Safe & Effective,” to remove the references to “effective” and “safe” and to make clear that the “natural” reference in the claim refers solely to the ingredients.

In its advertiser’s statement, eFoodSafety.com said it is “disappointed … that NAD did not give greater weight to the clinical studies on ingredients in Cinnergen” but that “eFoodSafety.com appreciates the opportunity to participate in the self-regulatory process [and] will modify its advertising consistent with NAD’s decision.”

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