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Research shows green tea may ease sleep apnea symptoms

BY Jenna Duncan

LOUISVILLE, Ky Green tea has chemical components that may help ease symptoms in patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, some U.S.researchers have reported.

A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine said that polyphenols found in green tea, when added to drinking water and administered on oxygen-deprived rats over a 12-hour sleeping period (a method created to mimic symptoms of intermittent hypoxia, or IH)  helped the rats perform better in memory exercises.

The research study was lead by Dr. David Gozal of the Kosair Children’s Hospital Research Institute at the University of Louisville. After receiving green tea water or the placebo, rats were tested for inflammation and oxidative stress, and also were tested in spatial learning and memorization in navigating a water maze with a hidden platform. Rats given green tea tested slightly better in the water-maze test.

Gozal said that the green tea polyphenols “may represent a potential interventional strategy for patients” with sleep-disordered breathing.

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Cargill announces release of sweetener made from stevia

BY Jenna Duncan

WAYZATA, Minn. Cargill today introduced that it will be launching a natural sweetener, Truvia, made from leaves of the South American herb stevia.

Cargill has called the release of the new calorie-free sweetener a “milestone” because of its proposed uses in foods, beverages and for home use.

“We have spent more than two years validating the consumer demand for this new sweetener,” said Marcelo Montero, president of Cargill Health & Nutrition. “Soon consumers will recognize Truvia for quality and great taste, delivering the first natural, zero calorie sweetness people have been asking for.”

Truvia comes from rebiana, the leafy part of the stevia plant which is a shrub native to Paraguay, also grown in China for commercial purposes. A process of drying and then steeping the leaf in water releases the taste of the rebiana, which reportedly has a sweetness 200 times more potent than sugar.

Cargill has announced the release of Truvia the same day that a report was released online by the Food and Chemical Toxicology detailing results of a research study into the safety of rebiana. The study evaluated rebiana use for safety, stability and its effect on metabolism, as well as other health related effects.

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Cheap beer gets boost from bum economy

BY Jenna Duncan

MILWAUKEE Miller Brewing Co.’s chief executive, Tom Long, said Thursday that the company has seen an increase in the sales of less expensive beers, such as Milwaukee’s Best, since January. Long attributed this trend to conditions in the U.S. economy and added that while consumers are spending less on beer, they still seem to want plenty of choices.

“We’re trying to make sure across the portfolio, we’ve got something people are going to want to drink … Whether they’ve got a pocket full or they’re feeling a little bit pinched, that we have the right beer for them,” Long said.

Long reported that his company’s two largest brands, Miller Lite and Miller High Life, each rose 1.1 percent in sales. Sales of Miller Lite account for about 46 percent of the company’s business and High Life accounts sales make up about 14 percent. A newly launched “Take Back The High Life” campaign has helped to turn around a three-year decline for the brand, the company said.

At the close of the last fiscal year, ended March 31, Miller reported its revenue went up 4.8 percent to $5.1 billion. Earnings climbed 27 percent to $477 million for the whole year—however, $33 million came from a settlement.

In October 2007, the New York Times reported that Miller and Molson Coors Brewing Co. had announced plans for a merger. The creation of MillerCoors, combining the second and third place U.S. Brewers’ business, would help the companies stay competitive against No. 1 U.S. brewer, Anheuser-Busch, the companies said. Final approval is needed from the government, but the merger should be on track by this summer, Long said.

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