HEALTH

USPSTF: Not enough evidence on taking supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on Tuesday posted its final recommendation statement on vitamin, mineral and multivitamin supplements for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, the Task Force concluded there is not enough evidence to determine the effectiveness of taking vitamins and minerals to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer. 

Many people take vitamins and mineral supplements to improve or maintain overall health. However, this recommendation is limited to use of these vitamins and supplements specifically for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer, USPSTF noted. 

“Cardiovascular disease and cancer have a significant health impact in America, and we all want to find ways to prevent these diseases,” stated Task Force chair Virginia Moyer. “However, we found that there is not enough evidence to determine whether taking single or paired nutrients or a multivitamin helps to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer.”

Additionally, there are two vitamins that the Task Force recommends against using: beta-carotene and vitamin E. “The evidence shows that there is no benefit to taking vitamin E and that beta-carotene can be harmful because it increases the risk of lung cancer in people who are already at increased risk for the disease,” commented Task Force co-chair Michael LeFevre. “Due to the uncertain benefit of vitamin supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer, health care professionals should use their best judgment and consider their patient’s health history, values, and preferences when having conversations about nutritional supplements.”

"The report’s conclusion that there is ‘…not enough evidence…’ for recommendations in the areas of cancer and cardiovascular disease should not be considered as a lack of benefit as there is a big difference between lack of research and lack of positive results," cautioned Duffy MacKay, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition. "Even with a current gap in the research, what few studies there were that met the USPSTF criteria pointed to a potential promise for cancer protection," he noted. "We strongly support both the need for more research and the need for the scientific community to come to terms with a rigorous approach to studying nutrition that may not reflect the current model of studying drugs."

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Omron launches Alvita Ultimate Pedometer

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Omron Healthcare on Monday launched the Alvita Ultimate Pedometer, which replaces its HJ-112 model. The new pedometer uses Tri-Axis technology to count steps accurately almost anywhere the device is positioned, including the hip, pocket or a purse. It has four activity modes for both regular and aerobic activities, and stores up to seven days of information on the display.

Research shows using a pedometer can increase physical activity and be a great motivational tool to help people reach 10,000 steps a day. The new pedometer is smaller than previous models but features a large easy-to-read screen. 

“Exercise enthusiasts have counted on our Dual-Axis HJ-112 model for 10 years, so we knew we had to make the Alvita the best new pedometer on the market,” stated Jill Person, senior product manager, fitness, Omron Healthcare. “Our goal is to make counting steps easy and enjoyable, which is why the Tri-Axis technology is so fantastic — it keeps track of your movements no matter where it is on your body.”

The Alvita Ultimate Pedometer is available in two colors — blue and light gray — for a suggested retail price of $29.99. 

 

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HungerShield adds iced tea to the appetite suppressant mix

BY Michael Johnsen

SCARSDALE, N.Y. — HungerShield recently expanded its diet aid, adding an iced tea flavor. 

"We developed this new flavor because while customers love the original taste of lemon-lime HungerShield, the iced tea version offers the option of a slightly sweeter, less tart variety in a refreshing flavor most people love," said Dafna Chazin, HungerShield co-founder. "We believe that we will be pleasing thousands of current and new customers everywhere with this new, delicious alternative.”

HungerShield is an appetite control drink mix created by four registered dietitians. Designed to curb an appetite until the next meal, HungerShield allows people to diet successfully by reducing their desire for unnecessary snacking between meals. It is a blend of all natural ingredients including protein, fiber and probiotics and contains no artificial sweeteners.  

HungerShield is naturally gluten free, and safe for people who are lactose-intolerant or have diabetes. 

Each box of 28 on-the-go stick-packs retails for a suggested $34.99.

HungerShield is available at Fairway Market, Wegmans and selected health food stores, specialty stores and pharmacies across the nation, the company reported.

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