HEALTH

Iovate Health Sciences launches StrongGirl supplements exclusive to GNC, Lucky Vitamins

BY Michael Johnsen

OAKVILLE, Ontario — Iovate Health Sciences International on Monday introduced StrongGirl, a new line of supplements available exclusively at GNC and Lucky Vitamin Stores. StrongGirl supplements are designed to help the active woman achieve her goals and be the best version of herself, with premium nutrition and effective formulas to help her be beautiful and strong, both inside and out.
 
"StrongGirl is a premium active nutrition brand created exclusively for women by women, and is designed to meet their unique nutritional needs," stated Vito Sanzone, CMO at Iovate Health Sciences International. "Once again we are proud to be chosen by GNC to offer these great products to their customers."
 
This new line of women's supplements will hit GNC and Lucky Vitamin shelves in February, and will be backed by a huge social media presence on Facebook and Instagram and a number of female brand ambassadors, including professional race car driver Danica Patrick, who endorses the StrongGirl Isolate.
 
The StrongGirl brand includes:
 
  • Isolate (chocolate and vanilla ice cream flavors): a complete lean nutritional protein shake formulated with 100% protein isolate, plus biotin, collagen, B vitamins, folic acid, probiotics, digestive enzymes and a fruit and veggie blend;
  • Pre-Workout (strawberry mojito and cosmo fruit punch flavors): a pre-workout that delivers energy, strength and focus; and
  • Smart Weight Loss Pills: a thermogenic that boosts energy and supports metabolism for effective weight loss. 
 

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Industry criticizes NY AG challenge of botanical supplement ingredients

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday called on four major retailers — GNC, Target, Walmart and Walgreens — to stop selling store-brand herbal supplement products in New York that could not be verified to contain the labeled substance by using what the industry describes as a questionable testing method — DNA barcoding. 
 
“These actions today by the New York State Attorney General’s office smack of a self-serving publicity stunt under the guise of protecting public health," stated Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition. "Supposed concerns about the products in question are based on a novel testing method that has been roundly criticized by botanical scientists who question whether DNA barcoding technology is an appropriate or validated test for determining the presence of herbal ingredients in finished botanical products," he said. "Processing during manufacturing of botanical supplements can remove or damage DNA; therefore while a DNA testing method can be useful in some cases, this method well may be the wrong test for these kinds of products."
 
Responsible manufacturers and retailers take careful measures to ensure their consumers can purchase high-quality botanical supplements that contain what is on the label, Mister said. "We stand by the safety and regulation of these products. We urge the New York State Attorney General to subject its own questionable testing methods to the same public scrutiny and peer review that he has called upon for our products.”  
 
Not only is the testing method itself suspect for these kinds of products, Mister added, but the scientist who developed the assay and conducted the testing is not a botanical or a food expert. "He is an evolutionary biologist who specializes in testing DNA in dinosaurs and lizards," Mister said. 
 
According to the AG tests, overall, just 21% of the test results from store-brand herbal supplements verified DNA from the plants listed on the products’ labels — with 79% coming up empty for DNA related to the labeled content or verifying contamination with other plant material. “This investigation makes one thing abundantly clear: the old adage ‘buyer beware’ may be especially true for consumers of herbal supplements,” commented Schneiderman. "The DNA test results seem to confirm long-standing questions about the herbal supplement industry. Mislabeling, contamination, and false advertising are illegal. They also pose unacceptable risks to New York families — especially those with allergies to hidden ingredients. At the end of the day, American corporations must step up to the plate and ensure that their customers are getting what they pay for, especially when it involves promises of good health.”
 
But the DNA testing method does not provide information on the amounts of food contaminants found in the products, countered Mister. "This is important because there are well-established legal thresholds that allow for trace amounts of some ingredients like gluten, and trace amounts of DNA from rice, beans, pine, citrus, etc., are not considered harmful or required on labels. Announcing the detection of minute amounts of these substances unnecessarily alarms consumers without informing them whether the detection of DNA from these substances poses any allergic risk," he said. 
 
"Instead of giving companies a reasonable opportunity to respond to these concerns, the [New York] AG unfortunately chose to label [the four retailers] guilty without a fair trial," Mister added. "Dietary supplement companies are required by law to adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices which include identity testing for all botanical materials used. Different identification test methods, from simple titration to chromatography and mass spectrometry, are appropriate for different stages of the processing — from the whole plant to the extract, to the finished product. Companies identify all incoming materials and keep records of these test results, and those test results could have been shared if companies had been approached in a reasonable manner with a reasonable timeframe," Mister said. "The FDA, which enforces these identity requirements through routine inspections, does not require DNA barcode testing; nor should it, given that this novel approach has not been validated for finished products."
 
 
 
 

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Mederma partners with Dress for Success on ‘Project Confidence’

BY Michael Johnsen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Merz Aesthetics, a division of Merz North America, announced Tuesday that Mederma has partnered with Dress for Success to launch "Project Confidence," a one-year program designed to help at-risk women live more confidently and project their best selves in everything they do.
 
Mederma is donating $100,000 to Dress for Success to support the expansion of its health-and-wellness programs and the development of key initiatives intended to promote healthy habits and self-empowerment among women. Throughout the next year, Mederma will also be donating scar care product for distribution to local affiliates of Dress for Success.
 
“The desire to instill improved confidence in women lies at the core of both the Mederma brand and our entire Merz Aesthetics business,” stated Jim Hartman, VP and U.S. head – aesthetics/OTC for Merz North America. “As partners with Dress for Success in 'Project Confidence,' we look forward to providing funding and support for meaningful health and wellness programs that will inspire disadvantaged women to live confidently and realize a brighter future.“
 
“Mederma is a fantastic addition to the Dress for Success family of partners,” said Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide. “The folks at Mederma understand the importance of fostering confidence in women, and we’re looking forward to working together to bring ‘Project Confidence’ to life.”
 
In the coming months, as part of “Project Confidence,” Mederma will host an online event that will benefit Dress for Success and give participants the opportunity to learn more about the organization’s mission, outreach programs and network of local affiliates. “Project Confidence” will also have a presence at the annual “Power Walk for Dress for Success” in New York, where participants come together in support of the organization and enjoy a day celebrating confidence and empowerment.
 
Dress for Success is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a support network and career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
 
 

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