HEALTH

CRN editorial counters report in Annals of Internal Medicine

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Scientists from the Council for Responsible Nutrition addressed a key group of healthcare practitioners regarding recent studies on multivitamin and multimineral supplements in the Annals of Internal Medicine through a review published in the Natural Medicine Journal, the journal of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

CRN’s Duffy MacKay, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs, and Andrea Wong, VP scientific and regulatory affairs, were asked by the journal to respond to three studies and an accompanying editorial published in the December issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. “We felt compelled to write the review, given that the accompanying editorial came to conclusions that were not reflective of what the studies demonstrated," MacKay said. 

None of the three studies suggested that the medical community should abandon using and recommending supplements, yet that’s what the editorial authors called for, MacKay note. The AIM editorial missed the point of why most consumers take vitamins — not for preventing chronic disease, but instead for the very real nutrient shortfalls found in most Americans’ diets.

“Recent government research shows that a large portion of Americans fall below the estimated average requirement for certain nutrients, specifically vitamins A, C, D, and E and magnesium and calcium, even when nutrient intake from diet, fortified foods, and supplements is considered,” MacKay and Wong emphasize in their review. “Intake of some nutrients is low enough to be a public health concern. These include potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D, along with iron, folate and vitamin B12 for specific population groups.”

CRN has published a fact sheet on nutrient shortfalls on its website. 

“The bottom line is that Americans are not getting enough of the key nutrients they need, and supplements can help bring them closer to the levels they need for optimal health,” Wong said.

 

 

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McNeil adds Zyrtec Dissolve Tabs to best-selling allergy brand

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. — McNeil Consumer Healthcare on Wednesday introduced a new form to the Zyrtec portfolio of allergy-relief products — an oral, dissolvable tablet. Delivering the same effective 24-hour relief, Zyrtec Dissolve Tabs are now available at all major retailers and pharmacies.

Zyrtec, the best-selling brand within the cold-allergy-sinus tablet category, generated $317.3 million for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 29, up 1.8% across total U.S. multi-outlet, according to IRI data. 

"Expanding the Zyrtec portfolio to include a dissolvable tab provides the brand an opportunity to reach children as well as the adult consumer who is sometimes caught off guard by their allergy symptoms," stated Colleen Sellers, group brand director, allergy at McNeil Consumer Healthcare. "Zyrtec Dissolve Tabs are ideal for ‘on the go’ situations because they can be taken anytime, anywhere without water."

The launch of the Zyrtec Dissolve Tabs will come to life through various marketing channels, including dedicated digital, television and radio advertising as well as retail activations. The advertising campaign will begin mid-March and will run nationally as well as in strategic regional markets, McNeil reported. 

 

 

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Sam’s Club to host free allergy and health screenings

BY Michael Johnsen

BENTONVILLE, ARK. — On March 8, Sam’s Club will host free allergy and health screenings to members and visitors at Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy — 584 locations — to ease management of allergies this season, the club operator announced Wednesday.

“Seasonal allergies can be the source of distress and discomfort to millions, particularly as flowers and trees bloom,” stated Jill Turner-Mitchael, SVP Sam’s Club Health and Wellness. “Our screening program helps Sam’s Club pharmacy patients pinpoint allergy causes, prevent symptoms and actively maintain daily wellness at an amazing savings.”

While supplies last, free in-club health screenings are valued at up to $200 and include:

  • Allergy IgE screening: An elevated level of total Immunoglobin E may indicate an allergy or parasitic infection is present. This test is useful in predicting positive results of allergen-specific tests for the common allergens such as pollen, dust or pet dander, and certain parasitic infections;
  • Blood pressure;
  • Body mass index; and
  • Vision, where allowed by state law.

In addition to allergy screenings, Sam’s Club pharmacies offer year-round immunizations for adults ages 18 and above. Licensed pharmacists can administer walk-in flu shots and nine important immunizations recommended to help protect against serious diseases like pneumonia, shingles and whooping cough.

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