HEALTH

Natural innovation: Homeopathy manufacturers roll out new offerings

BY Michael Johnsen

Hyland’s does GOOD for its customers
Hyland’s recently partnered with GOOD+ Foundation to donate up to 100,000 boxes of Hyland’s 4 Kids cough- cold homeopathy products to families in need. “It goes right along with our mission and our vision as a company in that we all work for a higher purpose, we all work for the care of others and we are here to provide and make healthcare solutions easily accessible to all,” Les Hamilton, president of Hyland’s, said. Leveraging the brand’s top-selling products, Hyland’s 4 Kids Cold ’n Cough and Hyland’s 4 Kids Cold ’n Cough Nighttime, the Los Angeles-based company first introduced the offer in time for back-to-school season.

Boiron banks on bruise solution
Boiron’s Arnicare consistently ranks in the top-10 best selling topical analgesics according to IRI, a Chicago-based research firm. The Newtown Square, Pa.-based homeopathic company in the past year launched a line extension called Arnicare Bruise that provides older consumers help for related discoloration, swelling and pain. Bruise relief is an emerging sub-segment within the first aid category, due to three broad audiences. Boiron officials said that in addition to baby boomers, a portion of women are prone to bruises and active individuals are motivated to to keep training or stick to a fitness regimen.

Similasan innovates eye drop delivery
Similasan will soon launch Dry Eye Easy Mist, which creates a dry eye homeopathy solution users can spray on a closed eye lid and blink into the eye. “What’s unique about it, besides the formula, is the delivery mechanism,” Yann Pigeaire, director of marketing at the Highlands Ranch, Colo.-based Similasan, said. “As you get older, people have trouble with the application of eye drops. This is a form that is popular in Europe, and we’re bringing it to the United States.” In addition to making an appeal to those consumers who don’t want to put drops into their eyes, it also works with makeup, as it doesn’t cause makeup to run.

Nelsons launches new formats, flavors
Rescue Plus is the latest launch from Nelsons. Rescue Plus was designed to attract new shoppers, bring new formats, efficancy claims and premium packaging, according to the company. The first three Rescue Plus products to launch include new formats, flavors and combinations, including Rescue Plus Lozenge, which features a natural orange and elderflower flavor; Rescue Plus Effervescent, which contains 15 natural mixed berry-flavored effervescent tablets; and Rescue Plus Sleep Gummy, which the company said helps consumers fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and wake up refreshed.

 

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GHT Companies launch vegan VMS line

BY Michael Johnsen

The GHT Companies on Thursday announced the introduction of Vegan Life Nutrition in an effort to provide nutritional supplements completely free of animal products. Whether consumers identify as vegan or not, VLN was created to meet the growing demand for vitamins that are plant-based.

A Harris Poll conducted in 2016 found that approximately 3% of the U.S. population eats a strictly vegetarian diet, and about a half of those are vegan. The bigger revelation was that 36% opted for at least some vegetarian meals on a regular basis. All of this points to an emerging trend toward a decreasing reliance on animal-based nutrition, the San Diego-based supplement manufacturer suggested.

Choosing to move away from a meat-heavy diet may result in numerous weight loss or a decrease in blood cholesterol. But research has also uncovered a prevalence of potential nutritional deficiencies associated with a plant-based diet, such as vitamins B12 and D3.

VLN’s D3 products are derived from lichen, a plant source; and the B12 products use cyanocobalamin.

According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, two thirds of people who ate a vegetarian diet and 92% of those who followed the stricter vegan guidelines were found to be deficient in Vitamin B12. This same publication reported that vitamin D deficiency is now considered a pandemic, among people who follow all dietary regimens.

The VLN line is available online and through partnerships with medical providers. Plans to expand the product line to offer more vital nutrients in vegan form are “in the works,” according to the company.

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15 states still reporting highest levels of ILI activity

BY Michael Johnsen

At least 15 states are still reporting the highest levels of influenza-like activity even as the percentage of patient visits attributed to ILI dropped to 3.7%. Judging from the second consecutive sharp week-to-week drop in ILI rates nationwide, the season may officially end in the next week or two even as pockets of the nation still contend with a virulent flu season.

Current data indicate that the 2017-2018 flu season peaked at 7.5% in early February (during week 5) and is now on the decline. However 34 states plus Puerto Rico continue to report widespread flu activity and 21 states plus New York City continue to experience high influenza-like illness activity.

“This flu season has been particularly hard,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb testified before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Thursday during a review of national response efforts to this past season. “This year is not the first time we’ve seen vaccines be less effective against H3N2. Recent flu vaccines have proven on average only about 33% effective against H3N2 viruses. Given this, we’re looking at several factors to better understand why effectiveness tends to be lower against this strain.”

While H3N2 viruses remain predominant overall this season, the proportion of B viruses versus A viruses is now about even. In recent weeks, B viruses have been increasing while H3N2 viruses have been decreasing. Early vaccine effectiveness estimates show that flu vaccine has reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor due to flu by 36% overall through Feb. 3, 2018. Effectiveness against H3N2 viruses this season was 25%. Effectiveness against H1N1 was 67% and against B viruses it was 42%.

The FDA is presently exploring the development of a universal vaccine, though a marketable univeral vaccine is still years off, Gottlieb suggested. The FDA is also investigating efficacy studies between cell-based vaccines and egg-based vaccines.

For the current season, the overall hospitalization rate and all age-specific hospitalization rates are now higher than the end-of-season hospitalization rates for 2014-2015; a high severity, H3N2-predominant season. CDC also reported an additional 5 flu-related pediatric deaths during week 9, bringing the total number of flu-related pediatric deaths reported this season to 119.

According to the CDC, flu activity is likely to remain elevated for several more weeks.

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