HEALTH

Sanofi Pasteur: H1N1 vaccine production starts now

BY Michael Johnsen

SWIFTWATER, Pa. Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the Sanofi-Aventis Group, on Wednesday announced it has received the new influenza seed virus, which means production against a possible H1N1 vaccine begins immediately.

“As a company committed to protecting human health, Sanofi Pasteur looks forward to quickly understanding how this virus performs in a vaccine manufacturing environment and developing a working seed that will enable large-scale production,” stated Wayne Pisano, president and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur. “This is an important step for engaging Sanofi Pasteur’s resources and expertise to support public health authorities and the directives they provide us.”

Receipt of the seed virus means that Sanofi Pasteur will begin the development process, called “passaging,” that will yield a “working seed.” Passaging is the process for acclimating virus to grow in a production environment at optimum yield. The passaging process is expected to take approximately two weeks. Following quality controls, Sanofi Pasteur will be prepared to begin industrial production as soon as directed by public health agencies.

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Study finds stress, economy trigger digestive problems

BY Michael Johnsen

MORRISTOWN, N.J. According to a recent Yankelovich survey released by Bayer Consumer Healthcare Wednesday, travel worries and the economy are triggering more concerns over stomach problems.

Close to half of all Americans at some time have had or worried about having stomach problems while on vacation, the survey revealed, and a majority of Americans have experienced increased stress because of the current state of the economy. Nearly 40% of those Americans report they now eat more comfort food, more snacks and more fast food due to their increased stress levels.

Taking a probiotic can help to eliminate that worry, Bayer noted, as probiotics have been shown to help address travel related issues like traveler’s diarrhea.

“Stress and poor diet are triggers that could potentially cause digestive problems,” stated Anish Sheth, assistant professor of medicine, Yale University School of Medicine. “Probiotics can be especially helpful when the digestive system is under stress from all sorts of issues ranging from occasional diarrhea or constipation.”

The survey also revealed that 1-in-4 Americans at some time have made up an excuse for why they’re going to the bathroom in the first place. Men in this group were just as likely to make up an excuse as women.

“Making excuses for bathroom habits could be a sign that something else is going on,” Sheth said. “Millions of Americans experience digestive problems, but few know that the key to digestive health is maintaining a balance between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in the colon, a vital part of the digestive system. But there are things consumers can do such as taking a probiotic to address digestive symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, as well as overall colon health.”

Additional findings included:

  • 10% of those surveyed spend 60 minutes or more in the bathroom a day;
  • Women are only slightly more likely to make excuses for why they are going to the bathroom than men (26% for women compared with 24% for men);
  • Women are more stressed because of the economy than men (60% of women versus 51% of men);
  • And economic stress had a bigger impact on the eating habits of younger Americans than older Americans (61% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 say they eat more comfort food, more snacks and more fast food compared with 29% of Americans ages 55 to 64).

The survey was conducted by Yankelovich, a part of the Futures Company, on behalf of Phillips’ Colon Health Probiotic Supplement. Survey results were obtained through online interviews among a representative sample of 1,042 adults 18 and older.

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Hyland’s launches improved teething gel

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES Hyland’s on Wednesday announced the launch of an improved Hyland’s Teething Gel — an all-natural teething gel that’s been endorsed by well-known pediatrician Jim Sears, one of the doctors featured on CBS’ “The Doctors” daytime talk-show.

“Hyland’s Teething Gel is the only all-natural, paraben-free teething gel on the market,” Sears stated. “This should assure parents even more that they are providing their children with the safest teething gel option, as opposed to products with active numbing agents.”

With no benzocaine, sugar, dyes, coloring agents, parabens or artificial flavoring, Hyland’s homeopathic formula includes chamomile, a popular and effective soothing ingredient for irritability. The medication comes in a tube that contains 50% more gel but at the same suggested retail price as its predecessor on shelf.

Hyland’s Teething Gel is now available in 0.5-oz. tubes in natural food stores nationwide. The product will launch in chain drug and mass market stores later this summer.

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