HEALTH

Gluten-free food offerings on the rise, report finds

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Gluten-free products are becoming the norm as the rate of celiac disease has risen, a Nielsen report has found.

Sales of gluten-free products increased 74% from 2004 to 2009, Nielsen said, and are projected to grow from 15% to 25% a year. The gluten-free market is expected to reach approximately $2.6 billion in sales by 2012. In a February report, the consumer research company found that 62% of store brands claim to be gluten-free, totaling $279 million. In 2008, sales of gluten-free products increased 20% — from $1.46 billion to $1.75 billion — during the 12-month period ended June 14, 2008.

Meanwhile, in a 2008 report, Nielsen underscored the rise in private-label sales, specifically in gluten-free and probiotic categories, citing that consumers “continue to make health and wellness a priority and sales show that [such] products resonate with today’s health-conscious consumers, another avenue for private-label products.”

Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which people suffer from gluten intolerance, causes such symptoms as malnutrition and damage to the small intestine. This month is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month.

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IOF reiterates importance of vitamin D use by adults

BY Michael Johnsen

NYON, Switzerland The International Osteoporosis Foundation on Monday released a new position statement around the importance of supplementing with vitamin D for older adults.

The objective of IOF’s statement — published in the leading bone journal Osteoporosis International — was to use and examine all available evidence to support new recommendations for optimal vitamin D status.

“Global vitamin D status shows widespread insufficiency and deficiency,” stated lead author Bess Dawson-Hughes of Tufts University. “This high prevalence of suboptimal levels raises the possibility that many falls and fractures can be prevented with vitamin D supplementation. This is a relatively easy public health measure that could have significant positive effects on the incidence of osteoporotic fractures.”

The best available clinical indicator of vitamin D status is serum 25OHD — vitamin D intake and effective sun exposure are the major determinants of this level. Serum 25OHD levels decline with aging.

The estimated average vitamin D requirement of older adults to reach a serum 25OHD level of 75 nmol/l (30ng/ml) is 20 to 25 µg/day (800 to 1000 IU/day). Intakes may need to increase to as much as 50 µg (2000IU) per day in individuals who are obese, have osteoporosis, limited sun exposure (in other words are housebound or institutionalised), or have malabsorption issues.

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Northwest Natural, Cargill introduce Vitafusion HeartOne

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS Northwest Natural Products last week announced a partnership with Cargill on the introduction of a line of heart-healthy adult gummy vitamins to be called Vitafusion HeartOne.

The gummy vits contain 0.4g of CoroWise, a plant sterol formulation that helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels and will be available through Target in April and Walgreens in May.

“We are happy to partner with Cargill on [a] gummy vitamin for adults made to support heart health and cholesterol levels,” stated Kate Jones, president of Northwest Natural. “The proven power of CoroWise is a great fit with the delicious taste of Vitafusion gummy vitamins.”

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