HEALTH

Studies show underserved population could benefit from multivitamin

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Monday supported the conclusion that those Americans who are economically challenged could benefit health-wise in taking a multivitamin.

The conclusion was recently published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine citing surveys and studies in the “Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Use by Children and Adolescents in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.”

“The supplement industry agrees with the authors that the underserved population could benefit from a multivitamin,” stated Douglas MacKay, CRN VP, scientific and regulatory affairs. “The supplement industry supports the need for vitamins to be available to all individuals, including those of a lower socioeconomic status, through a number of initiatives, including through organizations such as Nourish America and Vitamin Angels, who help provide vitamins to those in need.”

In addition to supporting those initiatives, CRN has lobbied for legislation to include multivitamins with folic acid in the Food Stamp Provision of the Farm Bill, as well as passage of bills that allow purchase of supplements through flexible spending accounts or health spending accounts, MacKay said.

“It is also important to point out that the researchers rely on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey  but fail to point out that other data from the same survey show that many Americans, including children and adolescents, fail to consume recommended amounts of vitamins E, C, and A, as well as calcium and magnesium. A daily multivitamin could affordably and safely help fill these nutrient gaps,” MacKay added.

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CVS/pharmacy promotes awareness of heart disease for American Heart Health Month

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. In recognition of American Heart Health Month, CVS/pharmacy will be educating patients about heart health and preventing heart disease, as well as offering money-saving specials on many heart health-related products in February.

“The term ‘heart disease’ covers a long list of conditions related to the function of the heart, so it is important for patients to educate themselves on heart disease prevention and treatment,” stated Troyen Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., EPV and CMO for CVS Caremark. “We encourage our patients to speak to their pharmacist about medication therapies, prescription or over-the-counter, that they are taking related to their heart health, and to visit one of our in-store MinuteClinic locations for a health screening.” 

In collaboration with The Heart Truth, a national awareness campaign about heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, CVS/pharmacy has created a free educational resource booklet. The booklet, titled “Your Smart Guide to a Healthy Heart,” is available at all CVS stores nationwide. In addition to information on heart disease symptoms, risk factors and healthy lifestyle tips, the booklet features money-saving offers through the CVS ExtraCare loyalty card program on OTC medications, healthy food items and diabetes monitoring products. 

In addition to these resources, CVS pharmacists are available to counsel patients. There are also about 500 CVS stores that have MinuteClinic retail-based health care clinics where nurse practitioners are available to check patients’ blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 

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Survey reveals preference for fish oil supplements, multivitamins

BY Michael Johnsen

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y Among people who use dietary supplements, fish oil supplements are nearly as popular as multivitamins, according to a recent survey released Tuesday by ConsumerLab.com, which also publishes test reports on supplements.

The survey is based on responses collected in November from 6,000 supplement users who receive the company’s e-newsletter. 

“We conduct the annual survey to help direct our lab testing toward products of greatest interest to our subscribers; but the survey also yields unparalleled insight into the preferences of people who use supplements and nutritional products,” stated Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com.   

Among the survey’s key findings: 

•  Multivitamins were used by 73.8% of all respondents, followed in popularity by fish oil (71.6%), calcium (55.3%) and CoQ10 (50.9%) supplements.  Among people using 10 or more supplements each day, use of fish oil (84.8%) exceeded that of multivitamins (75.5%), and use of CoQ10 (78.9%) exceeded that of calcium (67.6%). 

•  Use of most supplements increased with age, while use of multivitamins declined slightly. Dramatic increases with age were seen with vitamin D (use increased from 21% among those under age 35 to 47.4% among those 65 years and older) and CoQ10 (use increased from 28.8% to 60.1% for the two age groups, respectively). 

Ratings were given for 1,087 brands and 380 merchants. Of the brands and merchants that received at least 100 consumer ratings, the following received the highest overall satisfaction ratings within their market segments. 

Top-rated Supplement Brands:•        Catalogue/Internet Brand: Puritan’s Pride•        Direct Selling (MLM) Brand: Nutrilite•        Discount/Warehouse Brand: Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club)•        Grocery Store Brand: Equate (Albertson’s)•        Healthcare Practitioner Brand: Pure Encapsulations•        Health Food Store Brand: Barlean’s•        Mass Market Brand: Nature Made•        Pharmacy Brand: CVS•        Vitamin Store Brand: Vitamin World 

Top-rated Supplement Merchants: •        Catalogue/Internet: Puritan’s Pride •        Direct Sales (MLM): Nutrilite •        Grocery Store: Trader Joe’s •        Mass Market: Target •        Online Retailer: iherb.com •        Pharmacy: Walgreens •        Vitamin Store: Vitamin World •        Warehouse Store: Costco  

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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