CRN: JAMA Patient Page on herbal supplements misses the mark
CHICAGO – The Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday updated its "JAMA Patient Page" regarding herbal medications, stating there are numerous concerns on the use of herbal supplements, starting with the fact that "they are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."
Not true, countered the Council for Responsible Nutrition, which issued a release in response to the JAMA page on herbal supplementation. "The authors may not like the way supplements are regulated, but it is innacurate to state they are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," remarked Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN. "Supplements are subject to extensive manufacturing and labeling requirements and FDA has enforcement tools to be sure they are followed."
That's not the only exception CRN took to the new JAMA advice on herbal supplementation, which purported that only one herb – cranberry – has any clinical evidence supporting its efficacy. Cranberry supplements are often taken for the prevention of recurring urinary tract infections, JAMA stated.
"The Patient Page is flat-out wrong to suggest that only one herb is supported by scientific evidence — a quick search of PubMed for any particular popular herb will produce dozens of scientific studies linking these products to research on various health conditions," Mister stated. "Granted, this research may not be focused solely on randomized clinical trials as drug research would, but RCTs are necessary for drugs because they are used to treat disease and can have serious side effects. In contrast, herbs … are primarily used today as dietary supplements to maintain health and for mild health conditions," he noted.
"By focusing on alarmist tactics, cherry-picking the science and spreading misinformation, rather than embracing the patient’s desire to focus on a health-based lifestyle that goes beyond prescription medications, physicians could be losing an important opportunity to ensure that their patients are open about what they’re taking," Mister warned.
However, there is a need for JAMA's "Patient Page," Mister added. Doctors and other healthcare practitioners need to know what their patients are taking, he said, especially as some supplements can reduce the effectiveness of prescription drugs. "So the JAMA Patient Page on Herbal Medications is, in theory, a necessary educational tool that raises some important discussion points for doctors and patients. Unfortunately, its close-minded approach creates a missed opportunity for dialogue and patient trust,” Mister said.
What’s Next: Asian beauty brings U.S. the cushion foundation
BY Lonni Delane
From BB creams to sheet masks, Korea is an established trend setter in the beauty market. Not only have Korean beauty companies introduced many innovative product formats, they also are keen on bringing top-notch and cutting-edge packaging concepts to beauty. The Korean market brings a higher standard when it comes to packaging — no cheap, flimsy applicators find their way into the packaging with these brands. The newest Korean beauty product to sweep through the west is the cushion foundation. Cushion foundations have been cropping up everywhere with several U.S. brands jumping on the trend at every price point. Among them are L’Oréal, Physicians Formula, Philosophy and Lancome.
As Korean foundations tend to do, these makeup bases try to pack it all in with combined skin care and coverage benefits. Consumers will get moisturizer, illuminator and color all in one. These foundations are typically oil-based and deliver the kind of dewy, radiant finish that is so popular with Asian women, but it also makes them less than ideal for humid climates and oily skin.
Even though the cushion foundations are just finding their way into the U.S. market, they have been popular in Asia for several years. Florence Bernardin of Info and Inspiration recalls her first experience with cushion products. As she remembers, “My first cushion was from Iope Air Cushion (Amore Pacific) in 2008 in Korea. Some people say that cushion was invented a long time ago in Japan.”
With all the pumps, tubes and bottles currently available, do we really need a new way to deliver foundation? Is the added value of cushion foundation real or perceived? The basic format for these foundations is a compact where the product floats freely in the bottom half while being kept in place by a cap that has a sponge or “cushion” built into the center. The product is dispensed by pressing on the cushion. The compact makes for a very travel-friendly makeup product. The application sponges that are included are made from Rubicell and offer a quality applicator in a portable form.
“First of all, cushion foundations are refillable and in Korea all cushions are sold with an attached refill,” Bernardin said. “Secondly, the sponge applicator is washable and an extra one is always given when you buy a product. The package itself is compact, light, easy to use — much more convenient than a jar. Nowadays it is also customizable. In Asia you can buy empty cushions and put your own formula inside. The Rubicell sponge really provides freshness to the skin. Cushion has provided a new skin experience for customers which is now expanding to other makeup categories such as lips, concealer, blush and eyeliner.”
U.S. brands Philosophy and Physicians Formula are staying ahead of the curve by offering other cushion makeup products. Physicians Formula has a new cushion eyeliner and Philosophy has introduced their blush called “take a deep breath.” Bernardin also noted that Korean brands are revising the formula to be less glowy for the Chinese market or customers in humid climates like southeast Asia.
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