HEALTH

Lancet review: Vitamin D marker for deteriorating health

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — A review published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endrocrinology last week determined that low vitamin D levels are not a cause but a consequence of ill health. 

"If the health benefits of high vitamin D concentrations shown by data from observational studies are not reproduced in randomized trials … then the relation between vitamin D status and disorders are probably the result of confounding or physiological events involved in these disorders," stated lead author Professor Philippe Autier from the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France.

They found that the benefits of high vitamin D concentrations from observational studies — including reduced risk of cardiovascular events (up to 58%), diabetes (up to 38%), and colorectal cancer (up to 34%) — were not confirmed in randomized trials. According to Autier, "What this discrepancy suggests is that decreases in vitamin D levels are a marker of deteriorating health. Ageing and inflammatory processes involved in disease occurrence and clinical course reduce vitamin D concentrations, which would explain why vitamin D deficiency is reported in a wide range of disorders."

"This systematic review is important because it addresses the fact that when people get seriously ill, they often experience nutrient depletions, including low vitamin D levels," Duffy MacKay, VP scientific and regulatory affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition said. "When this happens, dietary supplementation should be discussed by the patient and a team of healthcare practitioners because vitamin D is not easily obtained through food, and getting it through sunlight can pose risks—making supplementation a viable option," he said. 

"It may be unrealistic to expect vitamin D in isolation from other healthy habits to prevent a disease such as cancer or cardiovascular disease," MacKay noted. "But we know that one component of disease prevention involves a healthy diet, of which vitamin D is a vital part.”

Autier and colleagues analyzed data from 290 prospective observational studies and 172 randomized trials examining the effects of vitamin D levels on non-bone health outcomes up to December 2012.

 

 

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Tennessee politicians and CHPA expand statewide Anti-Smurfing Campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

KINGSPORT, Tenn. — Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Tennessee Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport along with representatives from Food City and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, on Monday announced the expansion of Tennessee’s statewide Anti-Smurfing Campaign.  

"Smurfing remains one of the biggest challenges in the battle against methamphetamine production and abuse," Ramsey stated. "This campaign is an important step towards addressing this critical problem. It’s a voluntary public education program that will be carried out by pharmacies across Tennessee."

The voluntary educational campaign aims to increase public awareness about the criminal enterprise known as "smurfing" — the practice of purchasing cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine on behalf of methamphetamine criminals.

The public-private partnership was developed by CHPA and is carried out by Tennessee pharmacies on a voluntary basis. Supporting the campaign are the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, Tennessee Retail Association, Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association and Tennessee Rural Health Association. CHPA tested anti-smurfing posters to ensure that they communicate impactful messaging without deterring legitimate consumers.

"Our pharmacists are on the front lines of the battle against meth production every day, and we are glad that committed leaders from across the state are joining together to raise awareness about this critically important issue," said Baeteena Black, Tennessee Pharmacists Association executive director. "This campaign is sending a clear message across Tennessee: if you’re buying pseudoephedrine on behalf of a meth cook or dealer, you are committing a serious crime."

The Anti-Smurfing Campaign informs consumers through signage displayed at the point of sale that smurfing is a serious criminal offense and an integral part of the methamphetamine-production process. As a result, the simple act of buying certain cold or allergy products for a stranger can fuel Tennessee’s methamphetamine problem.

The Tennessee Pharmacists Association has already begun distributing campaign signage to retailers across the state.

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BioElectronics gains distribution deal with U.K.’s Boots on ActiPatch Pain Therapy products

BY Michael Johnsen

FREDERICK, Md. — BioElectronics on Monday announced that Boots will be selling its ActiPatch Pain Therapy products in select stores for back, knee and musculoskeletal ailments.  

The ActiPatch provides pain management therapy for common musculoskeletal complaints through duration pulsed electromagnetic therapy in a small device designed for personal extended use.

"ActiPatch brings real innovation to both consumers and customers," stated Paul Screawn, director of GRO-International, European Brand Managers. "[Boots’] input and guidance has been invaluable in ensuring the brand is relevantly positioned to grow in the United Kingdom and broader European markets."

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