HEALTH

Luna unveils product line with new vitamin D recipe

BY Allison Cerra

BERKELEY, Calif. In response to women’s ever-changing nutritional needs, Luna, the maker of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, announced a new Luna bar recipe with added vitamin D to help support women’s calcium absorption and promote more complete bone health.

Coinciding with Luna’s 10th anniversary, the new recipe commemorates a decade of nourishing women from the inside out. LUNA continues to provide women with the taste they love and the nutrition that their bodies crave.

“Luna has always been dedicated to staying current with the latest knowledge around women’s nutrition to ensure that our food continues to deliver on the nutrients women need most,” said Nicole Pemerl, brand manager of Luna. “The new recipe underscores our commitment to women’s nutrition.”

Luna’s new vitamin D recipe hits shelves this summer in all of the Luna flavors that women have come to love, including White Chocolate Macadamia, Lemon Zest and Nutz Over Chocolate. Each bar is 170 to 190 calories each, rich in antioxidants and high in folic acid, calcium and iron.

Luna bars are sold at select retailers, including Target and REI stores nationwide, and online at www.lunabar.com with a suggested retail price of $1.39.

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FDA approves vaccine for 2009-2010 seasonal influenza

BY Allison Cerra

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it has approved a vaccine for 2009-2010 seasonal influenza in the United States.

The seasonal influenza vaccine will not protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus that resulted in the declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization on June 11. The FDA continues to work with manufacturers, international partners and other government agencies to facilitate the availability of a safe and effective vaccine against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

Although this year’s seasonal vaccine is directed against other strains of influenza expected to be circulating and will not provide protection against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, it is still important for those Americans for whom it is recommended to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine. No vaccine is 100% effective against preventing disease, but vaccination is the best protection against influenza and can prevent many illnesses and deaths, the FDA said.

The six vaccine brand names and manufacturers are: Afluria, CSL Limited; Fluarix, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals; FluLaval, ID Biomedical Corporation; Fluvirin, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited; Fluzone, Sanofi Pasteur Inc.; and FluMist, MedImmune Vaccines Inc.

“The approval of this year’s seasonal influenza vaccine is an example of the FDA’s important responsibility to assure timely availability of vaccine to help protect the health of the American public,” said FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. “A new seasonal influenza vaccine each year is a critical tool in protecting public health.”

Based on those forecasts and on the recommendations of the FDA’s Vaccine and Related Products Advisory Committee, the FDA determines the three strains that manufacturers should include in their vaccines for the U.S. population. The closer the match between the circulating strains and the strains in the vaccine, the better the protection against the disease.

According to the CDC, between 5% and 20% of the U.S. population develops influenza each year. More than 200,000 are hospitalized from its complications and about 36,000 people die. Older people, young children, and people with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for influenza-related complications. Vaccination of these groups is critical.

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Improvita private-label item gets retailers in hot water

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK It’s a reminder that retailers are only one step removed from litigations involving one of their suppliers, especially when that supplier is manufacturing a store brand offering for them.

 

But perhaps more important, it may also be an indicator that like the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission may be a little more proactive in pursuing regulatory actions than they may have under the Bush administration. The FDA so far this year has issued more than 60 warning letters to dietary supplement companies making inappropriate treatment or prevention claims, and that’s just since the inauguration. It’s not as though the regulation isn’t clear — supplement companies cannot make claims that their products cure, mitigate or prevent any disease state. Though to be clear, many of the recent warning letters target online-only supplement distributors making such egregious claims as cancer prevention or a swine flu cure.

 

Dietary supplement manufacturers have already done quite a bit to shed an underserved reputation of shilling snake-oil-type products. The Council for Responsible Nutrition, for example, has funded increased advertising review by the National Advertising Division, a program that’s expected to receive additional funding going forward. The association has also become more aggressive of late in defending the industry by challenging critical news reports that base their criticisms on inaccuracies or faulty meta-analyses, and counter those criticisms with arguments grounded in science.

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