HEALTH

Hatch, McCain reach agreement over Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and John McCain, R-Ariz., have come to an agreement around McCain’s Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 (S. 3002) where McCain will not support revisiting or revising the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, according to a letter from Hatch to McCain last week.

“I want to thank you for agreeing to withdraw your support for the provisions of S. 3002 that I believe would do great harm to the dietary supplement industry,” Hatch wrote. “More than 100 million Americans regularly consumer dietary supplements as a means of improving and maintaining healthy lifestyles. Therefore, continued access to these products is extremely important to them.”

Hatch and McCain appear to be joining forces, instead, in calling for full enforcement of existing laws, such as DSHEA.

Late last month, the Council for Responsible Nutrition voiced industry concerns around S. 3002, suggesting that the bill, if passed, may have unintended consequences, including forcing some supplements with a long record of safety off the market.

However, even though it appears that revisiting industry regulation may be off the table, supplement manufacturers should still be communicating with their legislators advised John Gay, CEO and executive director for the Natural Product Association. “[S. 3002] was a wake-up call for the industry, and we had better not fall back asleep,” he said. “Other members of Congress could pick up where McCain … left off. We need to keep up the pressure on Congress, and let them know that S.3002 and bills like it are not acceptable.”

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Arkray USA helps diabetics choose health with new wellness program

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS Arkray USA on Tuesday introduced YouChoose, an exclusive patient wellness program that provides information on diabetes care and management. The free program is from Glucocard, Arkray’s line of blood glucose monitoring devices.

YouChoose is designed to help people better manage their diabetes through education, encouragement and healthy-living tools, the company stated, and includes online and offline support along with a comprehensive “Wellness Kit” that covers a variety of topics ranging from nutrition and recipes to activities and insulin levels.

The program also features “Ask Mary,” a virtual coach on the program’s Web site who offers tips and support through a blog and quarterly newsletter.

“At Arkray, we are on a mission to build a care community that empowers people to effectively manage their diabetes,” stated Jonathan Chapman, president of Arkray USA. “The launch of YouChoose is a significant new way for us to fulfill that promise.”

The patient wellness program is built around a Web site that collects and provides information around managing diabetes. It is designed to be a lifestyle tool, offering resources such as access to a diabetes specialist, a calorie counter and articles, videos and recipes. Visitors also have access to in-licensed content from dLife and Diabetic Living as well as videos on reading food labels, shopping for groceries and making healthy eating and activity choices.

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Study finds most nurse practitioners recommend dietary supplements to patients

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The vast majority of nurse practitioners are actively recommending dietary supplements to their patients, the CRN Foundation, an educational affiliate of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, announced Wednesday.

According to a recent survey linked to its Life … Supplemented 2009 Healthcare Professionals Impact Study, 96% of nurse practitioners recommend dietary supplements to their patients, and their reasons are varied — most often for bone health (63% recommend for this reason), overall health and wellness (47%) and to fill nutrition gaps (44%).

As many as 81% of nurse practitioners personally inquire about which supplements patients are taking (and only 3% stated that no one in the practice inquires about supplements). When asked who brings up the subject of supplements most often, 55% of nurse practitioners said they personally ask, with 28% crediting nurse practitioners and patients equally, and only 17% crediting solely the patient.

 

"Nurse practitioners are very interested in integrative healthcare options, looking at the overall wellness picture, and figuring out how we focus on health maintenance and preventive approaches," stated Barbara Dehn, a practitioner with Women’s Physicians in Mountain View, Calif. and advisor to the "Life…supplemented" program. “I recommend my patients start with the basics: eat right, incorporate vitamins and other supplements and exercise regularly."

 

 

According to the study, nurse practitioners are personally incorporating the three pillars of health into their own lives:  84% said they try to eat a balanced diet, 95% take dietary supplements and 64% exercise regularly.

 

 

More than three-quarters of nurse practitioners are currently supplementing with a multivitamin; 64% are supplementing with calcium; 48% omega 3/fish oils; 23% botanicals like green tea; 18% glucosamine/chondroitin; and 17% fiber.

 

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