HEALTH

Martek Biosciences, March of Dimes partner to advocate DHA supplementation

BY Michael Johnsen

COLUMBIA, Md. Martek Biosciences Corp. on Wednesday partnered with the March of Dimes to promote the importance of supplementing with DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

“We’re pleased to support the March of Dimes in their efforts to raise awareness of DHA-omega-3 fatty acids as part of a program to support healthy pregnancies and healthy babies,” stated Steve Dubin, Martek CEO.

The March of Dimes recommends that pregnant women consume at least 200 milligrams of DHA daily to help support fetal brain and eye development. After the baby is born, DHA omega-3 fatty acids consumed through breastfeeding may also help support mental, visual and motor skill development.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in certain types of fish, nuts and vegetable oils. However, DHA is present naturally in specific fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and tuna, as well as algal oil, organ meats and breast milk. Pregnant or nursing women or those planning a pregnancy should eat up to 12 ounces of low-mercury content fish.

For women who are vegetarians, or who have safety concerns about fish, foods fortified with DHA or a multivitamin or supplement containing at least 200 milligrams of DHA are suggested alternatives.

The new March of Dimes awareness effort is supported by a three-year agreement with Martek Biosciences Corp. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. Its mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Martek Biosciences Corp. produces life’sDHA, a vegetarian source of DHA omega-3, for use in foods, beverages, infant formula, and supplements, and life’sARA (arachidonic acid), an omega-6 fatty acid, for use in infant formula.

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Connectyx Technologies launches MedFlash

BY Michael Johnsen

PALM CITY, Fla. Connectyx Technologies Holdings Group on Monday launched MedFlash, an interoperable personal health record storage device with drugstore.com, where it is retailing for $29.95.

“We are very pleased to offer MedFlash through drugstore.com, a leading online drugstore that recognizes the importance of personally managing one’s own healthcare records,” stated Ronn Schuman, Connectyx CEO. “MedFlash is a significant step forward in healthcare that can protect individuals from serious drug interactions, and it’s absolutely invaluable in an emergency.”

MedFlash is designed to simplify and provide peace-of-mind solutions for healthcare with individual access to an Internet portal and a 24/7 emergency hot line.

Consumers recognize the need to be their own advocates, and MedFlash was designed with that in mind, Schuman noted. MedFlash is an easy-to-use, portable personal health and lifestyle record that allows consumers to choose what they wish to store. MedFlash can manage all areas of their lifestyles, focusing on wellness and prevention. It allows members to easily keep their history, medication records, treatments and lifestyle routines up to date on a device that they can carry with them. The device is seamlessly connected to any computer for routine or emergency access to important information. Serious drug interactions can be avoided, allergic reactions prevented and historical records accessed including X-rays, MRIs and CAT scans.

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Dextromethorphan bill passes in House, now awaits Senate consideration

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Just four weeks after being introduced, the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the Dextromethorphan Distribution Act of 2009, which restricts the sale of bulk, unfinished DXM to those distributors registered with the Food and Drug Administration.

“The deadly reality is that our teens think that it’s safe to get high off of DXM because it is a common ingredient in cough syrup – the passage of the DXM bill in the House is an important step in shattering that myth,” stated Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., who introduced the bill March 3. “This is too important an issue not to get done – kids’ lives literally hang in the balance and I urge the Senate to swiftly follow suit. This commonsense piece of legislation will put an end to the bulk sale of DXM over the Internet, and keep our kids safe from the dangers of this type of drug abuse.”

The bill would make it illegal to distribute unfinished DXM to a person or company not previously registered with the FDA, or registered or licensed clinics, compounding pharmacists, pharmacies and researchers. The measure, which passed the House by a vote of 407 to 8, now awaits consideration in the Senate.

“[Today] the House of Representatives took an important step toward controlling the bulk supply of DXM and we urge the Senate to do the same,” stated Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for a Drug-Free America. “This legislation will help reduce the abuse of DXM, a dangerous behavior that 2.4 million teens report engaging in during their lifetime. The work of policymakers, combined with the efforts of concerned parents communicating the risks of DXM abuse to their kids, will have a significant positive impact on this issue.”

Linda Suydam, president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association explained that there is no reason for anyone but “but manufacturers, pharmacists, and researchers to have the raw form of this ingredient.”

“The companies that sell this potent ingredient to kids are unscrupulous online pushers, knowingly providing teens the raw form of DXM as a means to get high,” Suydam said.

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