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Researchers seek to find link between Chinese wolfberries, vision improvement in Type 2 diabetics

BY Allison Cerra

KANSAS CITY, Kan. A Kansas State University researcher is exploring the use of a fruit and its effect on vision deficiencies that are common for Type 2 diabetics.

Dingbo “Daniel” Lin, research assistant professor of human nutrition, is studying wolfberries and their potential to improve damage to the retina. Lin said the fruit may lower the oxidative stress — “known as cell impairment of the production of reactive oxygen” — that the eye undergoes as a result of Type 2 diabetes. The fruit, he added, is known to help rebalance homeostasis, boost the immune system, nourish the liver and kidneys and improve vision.

“I would not say that wolfberries are a medicine, but they can be used as a dietary supplement to traditional treatments to improve vision,” Lin said. “Wolfberries have high antioxidant activity and are very beneficial to protect against oxidative stress caused by environmental stimuli and genetic mutations.

The research has been presented at the 2009 Experimental Biology conference and 2009 American Society of Cell Biology Conference. The project is funded by a grant from K-State’s Center of Biomedical Research Excellence.

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Snickers turns 80

BY Allison Cerra

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. The candy bar known to satisfy hunger has reached a milestone: its 80th birthday.

Snickers, which was first introduced in 1930, cost just 5 cents when it made its candy aisle debut. Now, the brand boasts $2 billion in sales, currently holding the No. 1 selling candy bar spot in the United States, with distrubution in more than 70 countries worldwide.

The candy, which features nougat topped with caramel, roasted peanuts and covered with milk chocolate, is one of Mars’ most popular brands and continues to breathe new life into its brand with spin-off candies, new slogans and promotions ( the most recent being “snackonomics”) to Super Bowl ads. It remains one of America’s most beloved confections.

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Supervalu sues Hershey, Mars, Nestle

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS A grocery chain has filed an antitrust lawsuit against three confectioners and their affiliates, accusing the companies of fixing prices from 2002 until 2008.

Supervalu filed a complaint against Hershey, Mars and Nestle USA, claiming the companies “entered into a conspiracy not to compete in the sale of chocolate candy products.”

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Pennsylvania. Click here to read the full complaint.

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