HEALTH

MOM Enterprises Launches Morning Sickness Magic

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. MOM Enterprises last week announced the launch of its morning sickness dietary supplement called Morning Sickness Magic.

“This is the first formula to combine B6, ginger, and other anti-nausea ingredients,” stated Roshan Kaderali, registered nurse and developer of the product. “It’s safe for mothers and their unborn babies—obstetricians across the country are recommending it and distributing it to their patients. It’s actually been the best selling morning sickness formula in the U.S. for the past 5 years. We’ve received tons of emails from expectant mothers who are so relieved that their morning sickness has disappeared,” she said.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, morning sickness affects between as many as 70 percent of women.

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Plan B sees increase in Rx-to-OTC availability

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Over-the-counter availability of Plan B has increased access to the emergency contraceptive, a survey published in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology reported.

The survey, originally published online June 16, found that only 8 percent of pharmacies were unable to provide Plan B within 24 hours in 2007, as compared to 23 percent of pharmacies that were unable to produce the emergency contraceptive in 2005. And the total refusal rate in 2007 was half that in 2005, 2 percent vs. 4 percent.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the Rx-to-OTC switch of Plan B in 2006.

Pharmacists from Atlanta and Philadelphia were interviewed at 1,087 pharmacies in 2005 and at 795 pharmacies in 2007.

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CRN: RCT results don’t necessarily debunk benefits of dietary supplements

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Results of randomized, controlled trials that don’t vet the benefits of dietary supplements as noted in prior observational trials don’t necessarily debunk those benefits, the Council for Responsible Nutrition stated in a release last week.

“Over the past several decades, a series of observational trials resulted in exciting prospects for the benefits of antioxidant vitamins and chronic disease,” stated Andrew Shao, vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN. “These encouraging results led the scientific community to conduct the recently released randomized, controlled trials, which seemed to be the next logical step. While everyone—researchers, industry and consumers—would have been thrilled to see the positive findings from observational studies confirmed, this has not been the case. This leads to more intrigue for the scientific community—to try to determine why the results from these recent RCTs are in apparent conflict with the existing body of data,” he said.

“One explanation is that … RCTs may be inherently limited in their capacity to address the unique challenges presented by nutrients and dietary interventions. Nutrients appear to work best in combination with other nutrients, yet RCTs tend to examine effects of unique chemical molecules in isolation—which is how pharmaceuticals work. Further, in using RCTs to study nutrition questions, there is the challenge of being able to create a true control or placebo group,” Shao noted. “In contrast to pharmaceuticals, it is both impossible and unethical to ensure participants in the control group are not exposed at any level to vitamins and minerals.”

Vitamins play a vital role in promoting overall general health and filling specific nutrition gaps, Shao added. And despite the results from recent studies, there is additional research that suggests antioxidant vitamins may play a role in helping to lower the risk of chronic diseases. “However, vitamin supplements are just one piece of the puzzle, which may be why we didn’t see the results we anticipated from the recent clinical trials,” he said. The other pieces of the puzzle may include pursuing an active lifestyle and practicing good nutrition.

“Perhaps we need to revise our expectations that one single healthy habit will serve as a ‘magic bullet’ and allow us to live disease-free—after all, one piece does not complete the whole puzzle, but we certainly don’t discard the piece just because it doesn’t fit in a particular spot.”

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