HEALTH

Kudzu root may become dietary supplement

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Kudzu, the nuisance vine that has overgrown almost 10 million acres in the southeastern United States, may sprout into a dietary supplement, according to an article in the current issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Scientists in Alabama and Iowa are reporting the first evidence that root extracts from kudzu show promise as a dietary supplement for a high-risk condition — the metabolic syndrome — that affects almost 50 million people in the United States.

Michael Wyss and colleagues note in the new study that people with metabolic syndrome have obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and problems with their body’s ability to use insulin. Those disorders mean a high risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other diseases. Scientists have been seeking natural substances that can treat the metabolic syndrome. The new study evaluated kudzu root extracts, which contain healthful substances called isoflavones.

The study found that a kudzu root extract had beneficial effects lab rats used as a model for research on the metabolic syndrome. After two months of taking the extract, the rats had lower cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and insulin levels that a control group not given the extract. Kudzu root “may provide a dietary supplement that significantly decreases the risk and severity of stroke and cardiovascular disease in at-risk individuals,” the article noted.

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Walgreens announces Pharmacy Management Excellence program with Caterpillar

BY DSN STAFF

The news that Walgreens has reached an agreement with Caterpillar to help the company curb healthcare costs for its 70,000 employees, retirees and eligible dependents is one more indicator that the private sector cannot wait for healthcare reform and that pharmacy retailers are taking a greater role on the front lines of health care.

As explained in the article, Walgreens, through its Pharmacy Management Excellence program, will make transparent the prescription drug-pricing model, in turn, eliminating unnecessary and hidden costs for Caterpillar.

Walgreens and Caterpillar are also exploring, through Walgreens Complete Care and Well-Being program, other ways to develop an integrated health care and pharmacy program. The Complete Care and Well-Being program combines worksite health centers, in-store clinics and pharmacies with the discount drug offering

By leveraging its resources, Walgreens is positioning itself along the frontlines of the healthcare and sending the message that retail pharmacy is helping to drive healthcare reform and is a critical player in improving employees’ health and well-being.

As previously mentioned by Drug Store News, the more the private sector leads the way on this, the more likely that reform will work for them, as well as the rest of America.

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Neosporin expands with lip care line

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Neosporin, a Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos. brand, is diving into the dry lip segment with the launch of its new Neosporin Lip Health daily hydration therapy and Neosporin Lip Health overnight renewal therapy.

The new products, which are shipping now, will join a portfolio of existing Neosporin products, including Neosporin LT Lip Treatment for the treatment of cold sores and severely dry chapped lips.

The new lip products are clinically shown to restore visibly healthier lips in three days, according to the company.

Neosporin Lip Health daily hydration therapy contains SPF 20 to protect lips from sunburn and both formulas feature a patented combination of lipids and antioxidants to soften and smooth lips. Peptides, vitamins and emollients also help to nourish and strengthen lips over time.

Both products have a suggested retail price of $4.99.

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