HEALTH

Better Nutrition names Natrol Carb No. 1 supplement for weight loss

BY Michael Johnsen

CHATSWORTH, Calif. Better Nutrition magazine on Monday named Natrol Carb Intercept as the metabolism and weight loss category winner in the publication’s first annual Best Of Supplements awards.

“Our goal is to give health food store shoppers recommendations of high-quality, effective products in a range of categories,” stated Nicole Brechka, Better Nutrition’s editor-in-chief. “Shopping for supplements isn’t always easy; in fact, it’s often an overwhelming experience. Our Best of Supplements Awards will help shoppers feel confident about their purchases, as well as expose them to new products.”

The magazine conducted extensive interviews with a panel of experts, including naturopaths, medical doctors and supplement industry specialists. These experts also completed a comprehensive supplement survey and provided feedback on various supplements.

Better Nutrition, available in print and online at www.BetterNutrition.com, is an independent health food store magazine.

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HEALTH

AAP advises doubling previously recommended amount of vitamin D for children

BY Michael Johnsen

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday updated a 2003 recommendation on vitamin D consumption—suggesting that children should consume 400 International Units of vitamin D daily from the time they’re born through the time they become teenagers—doubling the previous recommendation.

“New evidence supports a potential role for vitamin D in maintaining innate immunity and preventing diseases such as diabetes and cancer,” the AAP said. “The new data may eventually refine what constitutes vitamin D sufficiency or deficiency.”

The new amount also suggests children may need to boost their vitamin D consumption through supplements. The Academy suggests vitamin D(3), cholecalciferol, which is sourced from fish, has greater efficacy in raising vitamin D levels than does vitamin D(2), ergocalciferol, which is plant derived, and noted that most fortified milk products and vitamin supplements now contain cholecalciferol.

The Academy also noted that while multivitamins may be appropriate for older children and adolescents, vitamin D-only drops totaling 400 IUs may be mos appropriate for use with infants.

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HEALTH

NARAL calls for Ohio pharmacists to broaden availability of, education about Plan B

BY Michael Johnsen

CLEVELAND NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio last week released a survey of Ohio pharmacies regarding the general availability of the emergency contraceptive Plan B to women over the age of 18, finding that less than 5 percent of those pharmacies surveyed refused to fill the request of a Plan B purchase “because someone on staff had objections to the medication,” but that as many as 30 percent of pharmacies surveyed either did not carry Plan B or were out of stock at the time of the survey.

Further, only 8 percent of respondents could correctly identify the three possible ways that Plan B works to prevent pregnancy, though it was unclear whether those respondents were all pharmacists. “[One-quarter] of pharmacists or pharmacy employees stated that [Plan B] is the same as the ‘abortion pill,’” NARAL reported.

Pharmacy investigators conducted phone surveys across 216 pharmacies and “secret shopper” surveys of 107 randomly selected pharmacies throughout Ohio between Nov. 1, 2007 and Jan. 31, 2008. The phone surveys were conducted by an individual caller, and the “secret shopper” surveys were conducted by teams of two female investigators.

Following release of the survey, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Foundation called on more Ohio pharmacies stock the medication; suggested that both pharmacists and pharmacy staff members need more education into the mechanism of action of Plan B; and recommended Ohio consider changing its Medicaid policies so that women covered by Medicaid can get coverage for Plan B as an OTC medicine considering the average retail of Plan B was $43 according to the survey.

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