HEALTH

SuperNutrition launches Facebook contest

BY Michael Johnsen

OAKLAND, Calif. — Supplement manufacturer SuperNutrition on Friday announced the beginning of its new contest via its Facebook page. Contestants who click the "like" button on SuperNutrition’s Facebook page are asked to leave a comment on how they plan to stick to their New Year’s resolution. 

Three grand prize winners will receive a free one year supply of SuperNutrition’s Advanced Formula Multivitamins or Advanced Formula Boosters plus a bonus gift. The three winners will be announced at the end of January 2014.  

SuperNutrition’s Advanced Formula Multivitamins and Advanced Formula Boosters are distributed in the health food industry. SuperNutrition features fast-dissolving fiber wicking tablets, gluten-free formulas and all products independently certified as non-GMO.

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Analysis: Only 1-in-3 adults ages 18 to 64 years get the flu shot

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — An analysis released Tuesday by the Trust for America’s Health found that only 35.7% of adults ages 18 to 64 years got the flu shot last season. By comparison, 56.6% of children ages 6 months to 17 years old and 66.2% of seniors were vaccinated.  

"The trend of low vaccination rates among younger adults is particularly troubling this year, when they are more at risk than usual for the effects of the H1N1 strain of flu that’s circulating," stated Jeffrey Levi, executive director of TFAH.

The analysis determined that overall flu vaccination rates remain low in the United States. Fewer than half of Americans (45%) got a flu shot during the 2012-13 season, which was an increase over 41.8% in the previous (2011-12) season.

During the 2012-13 flu season, vaccination rates were highest in Massachusetts at 57.5%, and lowest in Florida at 34.1%. Only 12 states had vaccination rates of 50% or higher:  Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Tennessee.

There were only three states that had decreases in their vaccination rates from the 2011-12 to the 2012-13 season:  Florida, Kansas and Wisconsin. 

 

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Study: Probiotic in first three months of life reduces incidence of gastrointestinal disorders

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Giving an infant a probiotic during the first three months of life appears to reduce the onset of gastrointestinal disorders and result in lower associated costs, according to a study by Flavia Indrio of the Aldo Moro University of Bari, Italy, that was released earlier this week. 

Infant colic, acid reflux and constipation are the most common gastrointestinal disorders that lead to a pediatrician referral during the first six months of life. They are often responsible for hospitalization, feeding changes, use of drugs, parental anxiety and loss of parental working days, according to the study background.

Researchers randomized 554 newborns in nine pediatric units in Italy to the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 (L reuteri DSM 17938) or placebo for 90 days, and asked parents to record in diary entries the number of vomiting episodes and evacuations, the duration of inconsolable crying and the number of pediatrician visits. Change in daily crying time, vomiting, constipation and the cost benefits of probiotic supplement use was measured during the three-month period.

At 3 months of age, the average duration of crying time (38 minutes vs. 71 minutes), regurgitations (2.9 vs. 4.6) and evacuations per day (4.2 vs. 3.6) differed in the probiotic and placebo groups, respectively. Probiotic use also was associated with a nearly $119 average savings per patient in each family.

"Driving a change of colonization during the first weeks of life through giving lactobacilli may promote an improvement in intestinal permeability; visceral sensitivity and mast cell density and probiotic administration may represent a new strategy for preventing these conditions, at least in predisposed children," the authors concluded.

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