HEALTH

Study: Respiratory Syncytial Virus appears to cause milder upper respiratory illness than influenza

BY Michael Johnsen

MARSHFIELD, Wis. — Respiratory Syncytial Virus appears to cause milder illness than influenza in adults age 50 or older, researchers at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation announced Wednesday.

The study, published online in Clinical Infectious Diseases, also shows RSV is a common cause of respiratory illness in older adults and that the chance of infection increases with age.

"RSV has long been known to cause serious respiratory illness in infants, but much less is known about the illnesses RSV causes in older adults," Edward Belongia, director of the Epidemiology Research Center at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, said. "Knowing that adults’ susceptibility to RSV increases as they age is important for health care providers and public health officials to note as they treat and monitor respiratory illnesses this season."

RSV is a common virus that causes infections of the lungs and breathing passages. The virus is thought to cause about 10% of winter hospitalizations for pneumonia in adults 65 and older. Most healthy people recover from RSV in one to two weeks, but for some infants, children and older adults, RSV causes serious illness. Most children have had RSV by age 2.

Study results suggest flu may cause more severe illness than RSV in older adults. That’s based on two key points — people with RSV delayed seeking treatment after the onset of illness more than patients with flu and fewer RSV patients were hospitalized within 30 days compared to those with flu.

Symptoms of RSV are cold-like in most instances and include congested or runny nose, dry cough, low-grade fever, sore throat and headache. In severe cases, the contagious virus causes high fever, severe cough, wheezing, rapid breathing and bluish color of the skin due to lack of oxygen.

"Influenza gets a lot of attention this time of the year and for good reason – it’s a serious illness that affects thousands of people," noted MCRF epidemiologist Maria Sundaram, one of the study’s lead authors. "Although this study showed RSV may lead to fewer complications than flu, it still has the potential to cause serious respiratory illness, especially in older adults with weakened immune systems or other pre-existing conditions."

 

 

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CRN releases two video statements in response to anti-supplement journal editorial

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — In response to the study "Long-Term Multivitamin Supplementation and Cognitive Function in Men: The Physicians’ Health Study II" and the editorial "Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements," published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the Council for Responsible Nutrition on Tuesday released two video statements.

“The editorial demonstrates a close-minded, one-sided approach that attempts to dismiss even the proven benefits of vitamins and minerals," stated CRN president and CEO Steve Mister. "It’s a shame for consumers that the authors refuse to recognize the real-life need for vitamin and mineral supplementation, living in a fairy-tale world that makes the inaccurate assumption that we’re all eating healthy diets and getting everything we need from food alone."

Mister noted that, with regard to safety issues, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force draft recommendation, the basis for which comes from a study in the same issue of The Annals of Internal Medicine, did not identify safety concerns for vitamins at nutritional doses. Specifically, several scientific authorities have dismissed the concerns raised by the editorial for vitamin E, including this USPSTF report, which states “The USPSTF found adequate evidence that supplementation with vitamin E has little or no significant harm.” 

The concerns around beta carotene are isolated to high doses in smokers, and are not a concern for the majority of consumers taking a multivitamin, Mister noted. 

"We agree enough is enough," Mister said. "Stop the reductionist approach to nutritional research. Stop insinuating there is evidence of harm. Stop ignoring the scientific evidence that demonstrates there is value to getting your essential nutrients. There is plenty of scientific evidence that recognizes that vitamin and mineral supplements have a role in good health for all Americans.”

Response from Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO 

Commentary from Duffy MacKay, CRN VP scientific and regulatory affairs

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RuckPack energy drink backed by ‘Shark Tank,’ Noot! Nutrition gains distribution throughout Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES — During Friday's episode of ABC's "Shark Tank," Noot! Nutrition announced a $4 million distribution deal with Walgreens that will see its RuckPack eneregy shot distributed across the chain's more than 8,600-store base. According to company founder Rob Dyer, this will make RuckPack "an actual contender in the energy drink category." 

If successful, the new energy shot will provide a much-needed jolt to the $389.8 million category, which is down 10.7% in sales for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 3 across total U.S. multi-outlet channel, as defined by IRI. 

Living Essentials' 5 Hour Energy dominates that category with an 85.5% dollar share and $333.4 million in sales. The leading competitor, NVE Pharmaceuticals' Stacker 2 Xtra, possesses a 4.3% dollar share with $16.7 million in sales. Another NVE Pharmaceutical SKU, Stacker 2, has a 2.7% dollar share with $10.6 million in sales. 

Noots! Nutrition received $150,000 in venture funding last year from "Shark Tank" panelists Kevin O'Leary and Robert Herjavec. “This is a huge boost for RuckPack,” Dyer said after the broadcast. “We are indebted to everyone at ‘Shark Tank’ for their belief in the consumer value and future potential of RuckPack. This infusion of funds will help us to expand production to meet the already strong demand, as well as to extend national distribution.”

Dyer was a Marine aviation officer who served two tours of duty in Iraq and two in Afghanistan, where he formed the idea for RuckPack. He launched the product on Veterans Day 2011 while he was completing his MBA in financial management at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

RuckPack is a single serving nutritional shot that sustains energy by supplying the vitamins, electrolytes and ingredients the body needs for peak mental and physical performance, the company stated. 

 

 

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