HEALTH

GSK launches new Tums Dual Action

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare on Wednesday announced the launch of its Tums Dual Action, which contains magnesium hydroxide and 10 mg of famotidine (the ingredient most commonly associated with Johnson & Johnson’s Pepcid formulations), in addition to the Tums mainstay ingredient calcium carbonate.

“Tums Dual Action is a natural extension for the iconic Tums brand, offering a proven solution for occasional heartburn sufferers looking for long-lasting relief from a trusted source,” stated Jack Levy, Tums brand manager. “With it, heartburn sufferers won’t need to think about whether or not lunchtime heartburn will interrupt dinner, or whether they’ll be able to sleep without being bothered by heartburn.”

In addition to providing relief to occasional heartburn sufferers, Tums Dual Action can also help patients who experience breakthrough heartburn while taking other medications like proton pump inhibitors. Despite high compliance with PPIs, 46% or more of PPI users experience breakthrough heartburn, or episodes of heartburn between doses, often at night, GlaxoSmithKline stated.

TUMS Dual Action is currently available nationwide at drug, grocery and mass merchandise stores in both Berry and Mint flavors. The expected retail price for a 25-dose bottle is $8.99, and a 50-dose bottle is $15.49.

Through May 15, consumers also have the opportunity to play an instant-win trivia game at www.tumsdualaction.com. The virtual multiple-choice quiz asks consumers general questions about heartburn-inducing foods, and gives participants the opportunity to win one of 400 instant-win “dinner and a movie” prizes consisting of a $25 gift card for Movie Cash or Fandango and a $25 gift card to Brinker Restaurants (Chili’s Grill & Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina or Maggiano’s Little Italy).

All players will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a grand prize weekend getaway to San Francisco, Chicago or New York.

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Study finds specific probiotic strain safe for human consumption

BY Michael Johnsen

CLEVELAND The results of a safety study to be published in the May issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology demonstrated that the probiotic strain bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 is safe for human consumption, even in massive amounts.

Many experts recognize the health benefits of probiotics, but some have stressed that probiotic strains must first demonstrate safety before recommendations can be made about their widespread use.

“Some probiotics manufacturers want things both ways, suggesting, for example, that clinical studies done on their particular strains apply only to their probiotics, but then staking claim to safety studies conducted on different strains,” stated Andrew Lefkowitz, president and CEO of Ganeden Biotech, which sponsored the study. “It is our belief that both the benefits and the safety of probiotics are specific to individual strains and should be demonstrated by studies.”

Probiotics, also referred to as friendly bacteria, are becoming increasingly popular with consumers for several health benefits. However, safety studies do not exist for many strains of probiotics. Most food manufacturers require some evidence of safety for any ingredient they put into their products, but few probiotic manufacturers are able to cite safety testing on their particular probiotic strains and instead refer to the safe history of use of probiotic strains in general.

“While Bacillus coagulans has always intrigued me as a probiotic strain due to its ability to survive commercial conditions and gastric acidity, I didn’t know much about its safety and efficacy because there was little published data to review,” stated Gary Huffnagle, author of The Probiotics Revolution. “Now that the studies are being published, it will be much easier to recommend it to consumers and to food manufacturers looking to enhance their foods with probiotics.”

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Study reveals babies born to smokers have increased risk of SIDS

BY Michael Johnsen

VICTORIA, Australia Monash University researchers have found that babies born to a mother who smokes are more likely to be slower to wake or respond to stimulation – and this may explain their increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, researchers reported last week.

Scientific director of the Ritchie Centre for Baby Health Research Rosemary Horne and researcher Heidi Richardson compared babies of mothers who smoked both during the pregnancy and after the baby was born, with babies who lived in a smoke-free environment.

Horne said the study suggested that maternal smoking can impair a baby’s ability to respond to external stimuli, which may explain their increased risk of SIDS.

“Those babies whose mothers smoked did not have as many arousals overall and the progression of the arousal response through the brain was also impaired,” Horne said. “Mothers who smoked while pregnant and continued to smoke afterward significantly increased their baby’s chances of succumbing to SIDS.”

The study involved 12 healthy, full-term infants born to mothers who smoked an average of 15 cigarettes per day. Their arousal responses during daytime sleep were monitored and compared with that of healthy infants who were born to non-smoking mothers.

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