HEALTH

Study finds probiotic strain Cardioviva helps reduce cholesterol

BY Michael Johnsen

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — A new study published in the January issue of Nutrition Reviews found that the probiotic L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 (Cardioviva) was found to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. 

Elevated LDL-cholesterol is a major risk factor in heart disease. Most adults (91%) say they care about maintaining a healthy cholesterol level for heart health, but less than half (37%) routinely get their cholesterol tested. 

"People know probiotics for digestive health. They don’t associate them with heart health," stated Doug DiRienzo, lead author of the review. "It’s time to recognize their potential role as a simple and natural tool in cholesterol management."

 

 

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Novartis names new head of sales U.S.

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Novartis Consumer Health on Thursday announced that Todd Hutsko has been appointed head of sales U.S., effective March 1. 

Hutsko succeeds Roger Gravitte, who has been appointed operating unit head for UK/Ireland.

Hutsko joined Novartis in 2012 and was most recently VP U.S. field sales. In his new role, he will report to Rick Lloyd, Novartis Consumer region head, North America, and serve as a member of the North America leadership team. He will continue to be based in Parsippany, N.J.

Grafitte will now be responsible for leading Novartis’ OTC business in the UK/Ireland and will be a member of the European leadership team, with overall country management and operational responsibility. He will be based in Frimley, England.

"We would like to thank Roger for his significant contributions to the U.S. business over the last three years and congratulate both Todd and Roger on their new roles," Lloyd stated.

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CRN: Dietary supplement users consciously seeking overall wellness

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Dietary supplement users take supplement products as just one component of a larger effort to develop a healthier lifestyle, according to a newly published review in Nutrition Journal, a peer-reviewed scientific publication. The review, “Health Habits and Other Characteristics of Supplement Users” (Nutrition Journal. 2014, 13:14), co-authored by Council for Responsible Nutrition consultant Annette Dickinson and CRN’s SVP scientific and regulatory affairs Duffy MacKay, examined data from 20 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and found that, “overall, the evidence suggests that users of dietary supplements are seeking wellness and are consciously adopting a variety of lifestyle habits that they consider to contribute to healthy living.” 

“Compiling the available data on the health habits of dietary supplement users, we gained a sharper insight into the positive lifestyle choices of this large segment — one half to two-thirds — of the American population that takes supplements,” Dickinson said. “Evidence from numerous surveys shows that dietary supplement users are more likely than non-users to adopt a number of positive health-related habits such as consuming healthier diets, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding tobacco products.”

The review indicated that Americans who take dietary supplements are focused on wellness for the long term. MacKay observed, “Dietary supplement users typically make healthful habits part of each day, and many stick with their supplement regimen for years. Their supplement use doesn’t appear to be something trendy, but more of a planned strategy they maintain for the long haul.” 

The results of this review counter concerns that dietary supplement users are operating under a “halo effect” or are somehow short-changing themselves, eating poorly, using the remote control for exercise, and relying on a supplement alone for good health. The data indicate that, in fact, dietary supplement users make better food choices in addition to taking supplements. A report on the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys calculated nutrient intakes of dietary supplement users as compared to non-users and found that people who used dietary supplements had somewhat higher intakes of most nutrients from food alone (not counting the nutrients in dietary supplements) than people who were not supplement users. 

On the flip side, contrary to assertions that supplement users are eating better already and therefore don’t need the supplements they take, the NHANES data shows many Americans failed to consume the Estimated Average Requirement for many nutrients when only naturally-occurring nutrients in foods were considered. Enrichment and fortification of foods decreased the prevalence of intakes below the EAR, and the use of dietary supplements further decreased shortfalls. For example, for vitamin A and calcium, more than half of NHANES respondents fell short. Food fortification lowered the prevalence of shortfalls to 50% for these nutrients. Supplementation drove the prevalence of shortfalls down even further, but 33% of the respondents still fell short. 

“It’s important to give dietary supplement users credit for their efforts to improve their overall wellness profile with thoughtful choices,” said MacKay. “The scientific evidence indicates that they tend to incorporate these products into their lifestyles as part of a broader focus on healthy living, with supplement use just one of a constellation of smart, healthy habits.”

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