HEALTH

Study: Pharmavite’s CholestOff found to lower LDL

BY Michael Johnsen

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. —  A research study published this month in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics demonstrated the effectiveness of a sterol/stanol ester softgel capsule for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in individuals with high cholesterol levels. 

"This is a significant contribution to our understanding of an esterified plant sterol and stanol based dietary supplements’ role in the reduction of cholesterol levels," stated Kevin Maki of Biofortis, the clinical research arm of Merieux NutriSciences in Chicago.  "Our results show that a softgel capsule can be an effective and convenient way to provide plant sterol/stanol esters in a non-food matrix."

Throughout this study, all subjects followed a heart healthy (National Cholesterol Education Program) diet. In a crossover fashion, all subjects received a sterol/stanol softgel for six weeks and a placebo for six weeks, with the order of treatments randomly assigned. After taking the sterol/stanol softgels for six weeks, reductions were significant versus the placebo period for LDL cholesterol (down 4.3%), non-HDL cholesterol (down 4.1%) and total cholesterol (down 3.5%).

Pharmavite, makers of Nature Made brand dietary supplements, provided the sterol/stanol esters used in this study in the form of its CholestOff softgel dietary supplement. These study results reinforce the findings of earlier similar research and provide reproducible clinical data that healthcare professionals may find useful in making lifestyle recommendations for their patients, the company stated. 

The softgel supplement in this study provided 1.8 g of esterified plant sterols and stanols in two softgels taken twice daily with meals. This dosage is within the range for which positive changes in cholesterol levels in individuals with high cholesterol have been observed in previous studies. Many individuals consuming a typical Western Diet consume as little as 200 mg of plant sterols and stanols each day, a level unlikely to change blood cholesterol levels.

"When Nature Made developed the CholestOff dietary supplement we worked to ensure that the dose provided was consistent with the scientific literature that showed a reducing effect on cholesterol levels," said James Brooks, VP science and technology, Pharmavite. "Previously, a study was published showing that the tablet form of CholestOff lowered cholesterol levels significantly. This new study of our softgels adds to the assurance consumers can have using this product."

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HEALTH

Medline launches Curad Antiviral Face Mask

BY Michael Johnsen

MUNDELEIN, Ill. — Medline on Tuesday introduced the Curad Antiviral Face Mask, a face mask that inactivates flu viruses within five minutes of contact, according to the company.

The Curad Antiviral Face Mask was found to inactivate 99.99% of laboratory-tested flu viruses, including imminent pandemic and seasonal strains of influenza viruses, such as H1N1, this year’s dominant flu strain in the United States. Traditional face masks act only as a simple barrier or filter and do nothing to neutralize the harmful germs that remain active on the mask itself.

"Now, more than ever, people need to break their cold and flu routine and be even more vigilant against flu viruses," stated Martie Moore, Medline chief nursing officer. "The Curad Antiviral Face Mask is an easy, accessible and direct way to break the cycle and help stop the spread of germs." 

One of the main benefits of the Curad Antiviral Face Mask is that it can provide protection from cross-contamination. With conventional masks, the outer facing of the mask is frequently touched by the user, who then touches other things or people passing on the flu germs. Since the CURAD Antiviral Face Mask inactivates 99.99% of the tested flu viruses on five minutes’ contact, the risk of spreading the flu virus is greatly reduced.

The Curad Antiviral Face Mask works by incorporating proprietary technology that uses a combination of three natural and safe ingredients — citric acid, zinc and copper. The outer white active layer absorbs infectious droplets and locks them inside, where they are inactivated by exposure to citric acid. The inner blue active layer contains copper and zinc ions that are toxic to pathogens. The face mask can help protect against flu viruses and has been recognized as a major breakthrough in flu protection, winning the 2012 Chicago Innovation Awards.

"The Curad Antiviral Face Mask should be one of the most important items in any home’s medicine cabinet or traveling first aid kit right alongside hand antiseptics, adhesive bandages, alcohol pads, tape and exam gloves," Moore suggested.

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Economic analysis: Prescription-only status for PSE would drive up physician visits, healthcare costs

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — According to an economic impact analysis released Tuesday by Martin Kennedy, a former professor of economics who spent seven years on the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University, adopting a prescription requirement for pseudoephedrine products in Tennessee would result in an influx of more than 497,000 additional physician office visits at a direct cost of $44.3 million annually.

"A prescription mandate for pseudoephedrine is a costly and ineffective approach to dealing with Tennessee’s meth problem," stated Tennessee State Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet. "With direct costs estimated at over $44 million dollars and indirect costs substantially higher, such a proposal would need to guarantee positive results to even be considered. Yet there is no guarantee that a prescription requirement would truly address the real sources of the overall meth problem since it does nothing to deal with the near-constant flow of meth from outside of Tennessee, or the necessary treatment of those who suffer from serious drug addiction," he said. "State leaders need to focus on balanced policies that don’t burden law-abiding Tennessee families if they are going to make real progress in this fight."

"I approached this study with a very open mind. As a Tennessee citizen and a father of five, I believe very strongly that something more must be done to tackle the scourge of meth production in our state," Kennedy said. "As an economist, however, there’s no question that when conducting a detailed analysis of a prescription requirement, the new costs associated with such a policy change are striking and considerable. I hope that these empirical findings will provide policymakers with a fuller understanding of the potential impacts of the prescription-only approach."

"Members of the Tennessee General Assembly are to be commended for looking for new policy solutions to the state’s ongoing methamphetamine problem," stated Scott Melville, president and CEO for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. "But as Dr. Kennedy’s new analysis makes clear, a prescription requirement for safe and effective cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine would have significant — and in our view — unnecessary economic consequences for consumers, healthcare providers, businesses and the state as a whole," he said. "Tennessee families should not be punished for the actions of a criminal minority."

Kennedy’s study was supported by a grant from CHPA. 

 

 

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