HEALTH

PATH, WaterAid America report that diarrheal disease is overlooked

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON PATH and WaterAid America released two reports Tuesday finding that the international aid community and developing-country governments are not targeting diarrheal disease, a leading killer of children under age 5 worldwide that is responsible for the deaths of nearly 1.6 million children annually.

“The global health community knows what is necessary to save the lives of children suffering from diarrheal disease,” stated John Wecker, director of the Immunization Solutions and Rotavirus Vaccine Program at PATH. “And now is the time to educate policymakers, donors and international and national leaders about the need to implement the solutions to prevent and treat the most severe causes.”

According to the reporters, there are more lifesaving prevention and treatment solutions for diarrheal disease than any other major childhood killer, including safe water; improved sanitation and hygiene; breastfeeding and optimal complementary feeding; rotavirus vaccines; zinc treatment; and oral rehydration therapy/oral rehydration solution.

The reports coincide with a World Health Organization review of data from studies of vaccines to prevent rotavirus — a common and lethal diarrheal disease — from clinical trials in Africa and Asia. The WHO will consider a global recommendation that every country introduce rotavirus vaccines into its routine immunization schedule based on this data.

“While diarrheal disease is a global killer, today the burden is greatest in developing nations in Africa and Asia where access to clean water, sanitation, and urgent medical care may be limited,” stated Nancy Bwalya-Mukumbuta, program manager at WaterAid in Zambia. “The international aid system and developing-country governments need to come together with a strong voice and respond to diarrheal disease, one of the leading causes of child mortality, in a targeted manner.”

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Infant cereals without phytate may allow absorption of more nutrients

BY Michael Johnsen

BEIJING A study published April 28 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology indicated that removing phytate from infant cereals may have a beneficial effect on iron and zinc bioavailability when those infant cereals were reconstituted with water.

Cereals are considered a rich plant source of carbohydrate, proteins, vitamins and minerals, and are therefore are usually introduced to an infant’s diet between the ages of four and six months. However, cereals are also rich in antinutrients, which can decrease the absorption of such critical nutrients as iron, calcium and zinc because of their high ability to chelate and precipitate minerals.

The research was conducted by Carmen Frontela of the University of Murcia (Spain).

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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New Elations formula delivers improved joint comfort

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI According to a recent clinical study, newly-formulated Elations drink supplement with increased boron delivers improved joint comfort in as little as six days, the Elations Company stated Monday.

“By increasing the level of boron, which studies have shown helps to address some of the causes of joint discomfort, we are providing consumers a fast, safe, effective way to obtain improved comfort for their joints,” stated Robert Sarama, Elations Chief Scientist. “These benefits coupled with the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin and an easily-absorbed, refreshing, convenient drinkable form, osteoarthritis sufferers are addressing the source of discomfort and creating building blocks for healthier, more flexible joints.”

The new Elations formula will replace the current Elations product on store shelves beginning in May 2009. The addition of boron will not affect the price of the product, the company stated.

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