HEALTH

Green Depot to carry indoor allergen, molds test kit

BY Michael Johnsen

BROOKLYN Green Depot—a Brooklyn-based supplier of environmentally-friendly and sustainable building products, services and solutions—on Wednesday announced it is the official retail distributor of National Jewish Health’s Family Air Care, a first-of-its-kind indoor allergens and mold test kit that enables individuals and families to check their indoor air quality and compare those tests results against other homes nationwide.

Individuals may purchase the kit through Green Depot’s Web site or at any of its five retail centers in Brooklyn, Boston, Philadelphia, Long Island, N.Y. and Newark, N.J.

The company announced the kit’s availability this week in Boston during the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.

“We believe green living begins within one’s home, of which the indoor air quality is of vital importance,” said Sarah Beatty, president and founder of Green Depot. “Family Air Care is a comprehensive, user-friendly solution—the first from a reliable and respected leader in respiratory health.”

To use the kit, individuals attach a small capture device to their vacuum cleaner hose, briefly run the vacuum cleaner in their homes, then mail the collection device to National Jewish Health, a respiratory hospital, in a pre-paid envelope provided with the kit.

The Denver-based hospital then measures the results and posts its findings and comparisons on a secure Web site, which customers may access with a PIN provided with the kit.

In addition to providing specific levels for four allergens (cat, dog, cockroach and dust mite) and a relative “moldiness index” formulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the results also show how customers’ homes compare with homes across the nation. National Jewish Health also provides information on how customers can reduce allergen levels within their home.

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Trial shows aspirin doesn’t help protect Type 2 diabetes patients from heart disease

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO A trial published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined that low-dose aspirin as a primary prevention tool against heart disease was ineffective in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The study followed 2,539 Japanese patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes from December 2002 through April 2008 who had no prior incidence of heart disease. A total of 68 heart-disease events occurred in the group taking low-dose aspirin, vs. 86 events among those not taking any aspirin therapy.

Accordingly, the authors of the study concluded that in patients with Type 2 diabetes, low-dose aspirin as a primary prevention did not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a consumer education post on its web site, states that low-dose aspirin has been shown to be helpful when used daily to lower the risk of heart attack, clot-related strokes and other blood flow problems, so long as consumers consult a healthcare professional to talk about the use of low-dose aspirin on a daily basis.

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Consumer group finds several Ginkgo biloba products don’t meet standards

BY Michael Johnsen

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Recent tests performed by ConsumerLab.com of Ginkgo biloba supplements found that few products meet quality standards. Among the products selected for review, two appeared to contain adulterated material and two others contained less ginkgo than claimed on their labels.

A fifth product failed to identify the part of the ginkgo plant used, a Food and Drug Administration labeling requirement.

Only three ginkgo supplements passed ConsumerLab.com’s tests, the company reported Tuesday.

The results were reported today in ConsumerLab.com’s Product Review of Supplements for Memory & Cognition Enhancement which focuses on three ingredients that have shown some promise in improving memory – Ginkgo biloba, huperzine A and acetyl-L-carnitine. Among the huperzine products selected, two passed testing while a third provided only 14 percent of its claimed amount of the ingredient. All five acetyl-L-carnitine supplements passed testing.

“Ginkgo extract is a moderately expensive ingredient. Some companies put less of it in their products than they claim or use ingredient that has been adulterated with inexpensive material that can fool non-specific tests,” charged William Obermeyer, ConsumerLab.com’s vice president for research. “Highly specific test methods, such as HPLC, reveal these shortcomings, allowing us to direct consumers toward products of better quality.”

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