HEALTH

Health Savings Act can address nutrient deficiencies, suggests DS Caucus

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Michael McBurney, VP science, communications and advocacy of DSM Nutritional Products last week addressed a crowd of more than 50 congressional staffers and guests on the prevalence of nutrient deficiencies in the United States as part of the Dietary Supplement Caucus luncheon briefing. He also introduced the idea of “hidden hunger,” the tendency of Americans to experience a lack of vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, potentially leading to mental impairment, poor health and decreased productivity.

Roughly one-third of Americans experience at least one nutrient deficiency, McBurney said, especially iodine, vitamin B6 and vitamin D. However, taking dietary supplements, specifically a multivitamin, could help to bridge these nutrient gaps.

“[As many as] 40% of non-supplement users in the U.S. are clinically deficient in one, two or three nutrients,” McBurney said. “If you look at multivitamin supplement users, they are three times less likely to have nutrient deficiencies. Evidence supporting why it’s important to take a multivitamin supplement doesn’t get much stronger than this. It’s not a quick fix for perfect health, but it does address those hidden hunger concerns.”

McBurney noted that the Health Savings Act of 2017, S.403 in the Senate and H.R.1175 in the House, would positively impact the health of Americans if passed. Through this legislation, dietary supplements would be considered deductible medical expenses under Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts. “It’s the simplest and easiest way to empower people to take action and do what they need to do for their health,”McBurney said.

The educational event was the first Dietary Supplement Caucus briefing for the 115th Congress, the 29th since the Caucus was first registered in 2006, and was co-hosted by the leading trade associations representing the dietary supplement industry — the American Herbal Products Association, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the Natural Products Association and the United Natural Products Alliance.

 

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Premama adds gummy multi, sleep aid and pregnancy-friendly energy mix to lineup

BY Michael Johnsen

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Premama on Tuesday announced the addition of three new product innovations to its line of pill-free solutions for preconception, pregnancy and beyond. Debuting at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif., the new products include Premama Prenatal Vitamin + DHA Gummy, a first-to-market prenatal vitamin formulated with DHA and iron in a gummy format, along with Premama Prenatal Sleep Aid Soft Chew and Premama Prenatal Energy Drink Mix.

“Premama continues to make great strides in maternity wellness with better and more natural products,” stated Jamie Schapiro, chief marketing officer, Premama. “From our proprietary formulations to our pill-free delivery systems – such as our groundbreaking gummy prenatal vitamin – these new products truly modernize maternity wellness for both mother and child, and we are very excited to introduce them to the market.”

All three new products will be available at retailers nationwide beginning May 2017 at a suggested retail price of $19.99.

The new Premama Prenatal Vitamin + DHA Gummy is the one of the first gummy prenatal vitamins to include both DHA and iron, the company stated, and provides expectant mothers and the maternity wellness category an entirely new take on prenatal care. A comprehensive daily multivitamin, it is also formulated with folic acid, vitamin B6 for morning sickness relief and other essential nutrients to support mother and baby before, during and after pregnancy. The orange-flavored gummy is vegan, organic, kosher, allergen-free and gluten-free.

Premama will also unveil two new products for prenatal discomfort relief. Premama Prenatal Sleep Aid is a chocolate-flavored soft chew formulated with magnesium, potassium and valerian root to help calm the body and promote quality rest. Premama Prenatal Energy Drink Mix is a watermelon-flavored drink mix formulated with metabolic-increasing ingredients, 30mg of DHA and B vitamins to create a pregnancy-safe, natural stimulant to provide moms with a caffeine-free energy boost.

Now with eight pill-free products in its portfolio, Premama’s offerings also include Premama Fertility and Premama Lactation drink mix supplements, Premama Essentials and Premama Essentials + DHA prenatal multivitamin drink mixes and Premama Digestive Aid, a prenatal probiotic soft chew.

Since inception, Premama has helped develop maternity wellness as a mainstream category and has rapidly grown its retail presence with close to 8,000 stores nationwide.

Most recently, Premama was named Delicious Living magazine’s 2017 Supplement Awards “Best Prenatal” and the 2016 NEXTY Awards’ “Best New Supplement Delivery Format.”

 

 

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Walgreens Flu Index shows evidence of flu season winding down

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — The incidence of flu is beginning to scale back as evidenced by Walgreens' latest Walgreens Flu Index heat map, which shows the West Coast and Northeast United States are back in the "green" in terms of flu incidence.

For the week of March 5, the top 10 markets still showing signs of flu activity were:

  1. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas;
  2. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);
  3. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, N.C.;
  4. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas;
  5. Corpus Christi, Texas;
  6. Shreveport, La.;
  7. Raleigh-Durham (Fayetteville), N.C.;
  8. Greenville-New Bern-Washington, N.C.;
  9. Oklahoma City; and
  10. Tri-Cities, Tenn.-Va.

The Walgreens Flu Index is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranking of those experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country. The Flu Index shows which populations are experiencing the most incidences of influenza each week based on Index methodology. The data does not measure actual levels or severity of flu activity.

The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens locations nationwide. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.
 

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