HEALTH

Study: Fish oil may aid dental health

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS, Mo. Supplementing with fish oils could help improve gum health, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health found that dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids like fish oil, known to have anti-inflammatory properties, shows promise for the effective treatment and prevention of periodontitis, otherwise known as gum disease.

"We found that n-3 fatty acid intake, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are inversely associated with periodontitis in the U.S. population," said researcher Asghar Naqvi. "To date, the treatment of periodontitis has primarily involved mechanical cleaning and local antibiotic application. Thus, a dietary therapy, if effective, might be a less expensive and safer method for the prevention and treatment of periodontitis. Given the evidence indicating a role for n-3 fatty acids in other chronic inflammatory conditions, it is possible that treating periodontitis with n-3 fatty acids could have the added benefit of preventing other chronic diseases associated with inflammation, including stroke as well."

 

The study involved more than 9,000 adults who participated in NHANES between 1999 and 2004 who had received dental examinations. Dietary DHA, EPA and LNA intake were estimated from 24-hour food recall interviews, and data regarding supplementary use of PUFAs were captured as well. The NHANES study also collected extensive demographic, ethnic, educational and socioeconomic data, allowing the researchers to take other factors into consideration that might obscure the results.

 

 

The prevalence of periodontitis in the study sample was 8.2%. There was an approximately 20% reduction in periodontitis prevalence in those subjects who consumed the highest amount of dietary DHA. The reduction correlated with EPA was smaller, while the correlation to LNA was not statistically significant.

 

 

Foods that contain significant amounts of polyunsaturated fats include fatty fish like salmon, as well as peanut butter, margarine and nuts.

 

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Matrixx reports Q2 decline but hopes new campaign will boost business

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives on Monday reported a decline of 17% in net sales to $21.3 million for the company’s second quarter ended Sept. 30. The decline, Matrixx president and CEO Bill Hemelt explained to analysts Tuesday morning, represented a course correction of sorts. The sales decline was “due to lower upfront buys by retailers,” Hemelt said. Last year, all of the hype around H1N1 drove retailers to heavily stock in cough-and-cold supplies. This year, that industry level has dropped to more historical levels, Hemelt suggested, particularly across the drug channel.

Hemelt shared with analysts the company’s new advertising campaign, which begins airing in earnest a week following the November elections. The new campaign features three iconic TV moms — "The Brady Bunch’s" Florence Henderson, "Family Ties’" Meredith Baxter and "Seinfeld’s" Estelle Harris — who make up the “Mom Squad” and save cold sufferers from various treatment myths, such as “freezing out” a cold or consuming onions to help relieve the cold.

“We believe our new creative will continue to differentiate our products from general symptom relief products and help increase consumer awareness,” Hemelt said. “All of these [initiatives] will be supported by strong retail marketing support that has already begun,” Hemelt added during his conference call with analysts.

 

Last week, Matrixx released a new national survey of U.S. adults that found the majority of Americans are misinformed about what causes the common cold, and how and when they should treat it. Nearly three-quarters of consumers (72%) believed there was not much they could do about a cold except mask the symptoms and wait it out. The top five myths about colds that pharmacists reported were most difficult to debunk:

  • Antibiotics can kill the germs that cause colds;
  • Changes in the weather can cause colds;
  • Getting wet and chilled can cause colds;
  • Sitting in a draft can cause colds; and
  • Avoiding changes in temperatures will help prevent colds.

 

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Strativa enters license, supply agreement with Sobi

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. Strativa Pharmaceuticals is working with a Swedish drug maker to develop and commercialize a prescription vitamin supplement, Strativa said Tuesday.

 

The company said it had signed a license and supply agreement with Swedish Orphan Biovitrum, also known as Sobi, concerning European rights to Strativa’s Nascobal (cyanocobalamin), a vitamin B12 nasal spray.

 

 

The supplement is approved for treating vitamin B12 deficiency, designed as a once-weekly alternative to injections. Vitamin B12 deficiency usually results from pernicious anemia, a strict vegetarian diet and poor absorption of the nutrient resulting from such medical conditions as HIV infection, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and gastrectomy.

 

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