HEALTH

Shiff survey: Cardiologists recommend supplements to patients

BY Michael Johnsen

SALT LAKE CITY According to a new national survey commissioned by Schiff Nutrition — and conducted by an independent research firm — an overwhelming majority of cardiologists (91%) have recommended dietary supplements to their patients to support cardiovascular health.

The survey found that three-quarters of cardiologists said that if they had to choose one dietary supplement to specifically support the cardiovascular health, they would choose omega-3 fatty acids, far more so than antioxidants (7%), CoQ-10 (2%) and vitamin E (1%).

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Bi-Lo wants shoppers’ health, wellness to ‘thrive’

BY Michael Johnsen

GREER, S.C. Bi-Lo earlier this month coordinated the introduction of its new health-and-wellness initiative called Thrive, which includes a full-time registered dietician on staff to educate shoppers on healthy living alternatives, at the “Grand Re-Opening” of one of its remodeled stores.

Monica Amburn has been tapped to spearhead Bi-Lo’s efforts to offer nutrition and wellness solutions, as well as to provide healthy living alternatives and help shoppers and their families achieve a balanced way of life, the company stated. In addition to interacting with customers in stores and at Bi-Lo-sponsored events, Amburn also will produce a quarterly newsletter featuring healthy eating tips, recipes and other seasonal facts and guidelines.

“Today’s consumers are taking a more active role in managing wellness for themselves and their families,” Amburn said. “Being from the South, I understand the heritage of southern cooking. I’m excited to combine my knowledge and experience in nutrition and healthy eating with the fresh, quality products Bi-Lo offers each and every day.”

Added Michael Byars, Bi-Lo president and CEO, “We are delighted to have [Ambum] on board to help assist our customers and to bring the Thrive program to all Bi-Lo shoppers. The addition of Thrive is just one more example of our commitment to the communities we serve.”

As for the new remodel, shoppers can expect to see a big difference from the moment they arrive in the parking lot — a warmer, richer color palette and decor envelop the store, and upgrades have been made to all of the departments, the grocer noted.

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Surrogate endpoints could be beneficial to dietary supplement industry

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The use of surrogate endpoints to help measure efficacy in clinical trials would be of benefit to the dietary supplement industry, Andrew Shao, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, testified before the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Monday during a discussion forum around the use of biomarkers and surrogate endpoints in clinical trials.

“The lack of validated biomarkers for exposure to nutrition interventions and as surrogate endpoints for chronic disease limits the amount of research that can be conducted, especially using prospective randomized, controlled intervention trials, due to cost and logistical issues,” Shao said. “This, in turn, limits the ability to derive answers to important questions relating to the ability of diet, food and food components to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.”

And that translates into fewer actionable health claims that either patients or their healthcare professionals can reference when constructing a disease-state-preventative wellness diet.

“We anticipate that a formal biomarker evaluation process will add clarity to product development,” Shao told the panel consisting of members of IOM’s Food and Nutrition Board, Board on Health Care Services and Board on Health Sciences Policy.

Surrogate endpoints are used in place of clinical endpoints in the evaluation of a health benefit  — whether it’s used to establish that benefit for new allopathic medicines or the use of dietary supplements — in large part because of the number of years and/or the large patient population necessary to establish that benefit, such as establishing a clinically evaluated benefit against hip fracture rates, for example.

“Therefore, to replace such a clinical endpoint by another that could be measured earlier, more conveniently or more frequently  — and that would adequately reflect the benefit of new treatments on the true endpoint  — seems an attractive alternative,” wrote Tomasz Burzykowski, senior statistician MSource, in a paper explaining the terminology.

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