HEALTH

Church & Dwight Co. report strong Q2 earnings

BY Anna Mcgrath

PRINCETON, N.J. Church & Dwight Co. reported a net-income increase for the quarter ended June 26 to $58.2 million, compared with last year’s $45.8 million.

Net sales for the second quarter rose approximately 5% to $623.1 million.

“We are very pleased with our solid second quarter results, particularly in this difficult economic environment. We were able to increase market share for six of our eight “power brands” in the quarter, achieve continued strong organic sales growth in our household product line and effect a turnaround to positive organic sales growth in our personal care product line. Our results also reflect exceptional gross and operating margin expansion. The improved gross margin reflects lower commodity costs, pricing, acquisition benefits relating to the businesses acquired from Coty and our continuing robust cost reduction programs,” said chairman and CEO James R. Craigie.

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Study finds probiotics may bolster immune system in children

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN BRUNO, Calif. A study recently published in the journal Pediatrics has found that probiotics may be able to bolster the immune system in children well enough to ward off cold and flu viruses, Biocodex reported last week.

Patricia Raymond, assistant professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School, advised to consider the use of Florastor to help strengthen the gut.

“Consider the use of Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii), a yeast-based probiotic supplement commonly sold under the brand name Florastor,” she said. “Data has shown that S. boulardii can modify the inflammation and secretion of the gut, neutralize toxins and decrease various pathogens’ ability to attach to the wall of the intestine.”

Florastor is also available as Florastor Kids, Biocodex stated.

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WHO: Pregnant women infected with H1N1 virus experience fatal illnesses

BY Michael Johnsen

GENEVA The World Health Organization on Friday stated that research — conducted in the United States and published July 29 in The Lancet — outlining increased risk of severe or fatal illness in pregnant women when infected with the H1N1 pandemic virus has been observed in several other countries experiencing widespread transmission of the virus.

Women are at particular risk during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. An increased risk of fetal death or spontaneous abortions in infected women has also been reported. Evidence from previous pandemics further supports the conclusion that pregnant women are at heightened risk, WHO added.

WHO strongly recommends that, in areas where infection with the H1N1 virus is widespread, pregnant women, and the clinicians treating them, be alert to symptoms of influenza-like illness. Treatment with the antiviral drug oseltamivir should be administered as soon as possible after symptom onset. As the benefits of oseltamivir are greatest when administered within 48 hours after symptom onset, clinicians should initiate treatment immediately and not wait for the results of laboratory tests.

WHO has further recommended that, when pandemic vaccines become available, health authorities should consider making pregnant women a priority group for immunization.

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