HEALTH

Church and Dwight introduces First Response digital display early result pregnancy test

BY Adam Kraemer

PRINCETON, N.J. The new First Response Gold Early Result Digital Pregnancy Test features an easy-to-read digital display that tells a woman “Yes” or “No”. Potentially pregnant couples no longer have to wonder if they see a blue line or a pink line or two lines or none at all. In addition, the Early Result Digital Pregnancy Test is the first First Response pregnancy test to feature an electronic “ready to use” indicator, which confirms the test is ready for use.

“A clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response is sure to be a relief for women who are eager to find out if they are pregnant,” said Lisa Masterson, a Santa Monica-based OB/GYN affiliated with Cedars-Sinai, St. John’s and UCLA/Santa Monica hospitals. “The indicator showing that the test is working relieves anxiety for women; letting them know an accurate answer is coming soon.”

Unlike other digital tests on the market, First Response stated, the Early Result Digital Pregnancy Test uses a proprietary gold technology detects two different forms of human chorionic gonadotropin, the pregnancy hormone, including the variant hormone that better predicts early pregnancy. The sensitivity of First Response technology makes it possible to detect the presence of just 18 mlU of hCG in urine. And, as with its proven Early Result Pregnancy Test, the Early Result Digital Pregnancy Test detects hCG up to five days before a woman’s missed period.

The test is more than 99 percent accurate from the day of a woman’s expected period at detecting typical pregnancy hormone levels, the company stated.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the First Response Gold Early Result Digital Pregnancy Test in May 2007 and it will be available on drugstore shelves later this year.

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Burn fat tastefully with fucoPROTEIN bars

BY DSN STAFF

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. Garden of Life has introduced its fucoPROTEIN bar, a dietary supplement that contains fucoxanthin, a natural compound found in brown seaweed that burns fat and boosts metabolism. The bars are an extension of the company’s fucoTHIN supplement, currently the No. 1-selling supplement in the natural products industry, according to SPINSscan Natural, a market research firm.

“Many protein bars are glorified candy bars with little nutritional value,” said Garden of Life chief executive officer Jordan Rubin, author of the recently released book Perfect Weight America. “Not only are fucoPROTEIN bars a nutritious choice because they are made with organic ingredients instead of high fructose corn syrup, soy protein and artificial sweeteners, but they also can boost metabolism and assist with weight management.”

FucoPROTEIN bars are made with native whey protein, raw wildflower honey, acacia and chia seeds, which expand in the stomach and result in a feeling of satiety for hours. However, it’s the fat-burning properties of fucoxanthin that makes them unique in the market.

“FucoPROTEIN bars are an extension of our popular weight management category that includes fucoTHIN,” Rubin noted. Combined with a sensible diet and exercise program, clinical studies have shown that most people lose more weight using fucoTHIN than if they had chosen only to diet.”

For the 12-week period ended Dec. 1, 2007, fucoTHIN was the No. 1-selling product out of 225,000 products analyzed, according to SPINSscan. In clinical, double-blind human studies conducted on overweight women who followed an 1800-calorie meal plan, those taking fucoTHIN lost an average of 14.5 pounds while the placebo group lost an average of only three pounds.

Available in chocolate and peanut butter flavors, fucoPROTEIN bars retail for $2.99 while fucoTHIN has a suggested retail price of $49.99. Both products are available at health food stores nationwide.

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Blue Smarties are back, thanks to natural color additive

BY DSN STAFF

YORK, United Kingdom An all-natural coloring derived from seaweed has put blue Smarties back on the shelves following their removal two years ago in response to concerns over artificial additives.

Nestle Rowntree stopped producing blue Smarties when it promised to remove all artificial colorings from the confectionery amid concerns that they are linked to hyperactivity and may pose other health risks. The blue Smartie was replaced by a white one, while a suitable natural alternative was found to the coloring Brilliant Blue (E133).

“There were a lot of disappointed consumers when blue Smarties were taken out of the range but I am delighted to announce that they are back,” said Graham Walker, Nestle Rowntree UK Trade Communications Manager.

After an extended period of development, Nestle now appears to have found the solution in spirulina, which is produced from two species of cyanobacteria (blue-green lake algae). It is commonly used as a dietary supplement as it contains unusually high levels of protein, between 55 and 77 percent by dry weight. It also is rich in essential fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin C, D and E, and contains potassium and other minerals.

It is not clear if the blue Smarties will maintain any of Spirulina’s health benefits.

A study had concluded that cocktails of food colourings commonly used in confectionery and beverages, and sodium benzoate, can aggravate hyperactivity in children. However, Brilliant Blue was not included in this. Manufacturers have been responding to consumer demand to reduce artificial additives on the back of health concerns and a growing trend to choose natural and organic.

Mintel’s Global New Products Database found that more than 1,000 new food products claiming to be additive- and preservative-free were launched in the United Kingdom last year, according to Mintel, representing almost a quarter of all launches and nearly three times as many as any other European country. 

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