New study shows caffeine may fight multiple sclerosis
OKLAHOMA CITY A recently released animal study report said that caffeine might prevent multiple sclerosis, according to a team of scientists at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
Researchers found that mice given the caffeine equivalent of six to eight cups of coffee per day did not develop the animal equivalent of MS, said Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s Dr. Linda Thompson. The finding was reported in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences publication.
Thompson said that coffee was effective in protecting against MS because it prevented adenosine molecules, which make up one of the four parts of DNA, from binding to adenosine receptors on the cellular level.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has described multiple sclerosis as an autoimmune disease that affects about 400,000 Americans.
Researchers said that they hope to use the new finding about caffeine to develop a treatment using drugs that could degrade adenosine, prevent its formation, or block harmful cells from entering the central nervous system.
Dannon group readies for some shelf-assessment
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Dannon yogurt maker has implemented a five-member “shelf-obsession” group whose main purpose is to use shelf space in retailers to better market Dannon products. Laura Santella-Saccone, Dannon senior marketing executive, will name the team that will utilize sales backgrounds and market research to beef up Dannon’s shelf presence.
A company representative, Michael Neuwirth, told the media, “Our ambition is to impact about 3,000 stores in 2008. We need to be able to market this initiative to retailers” and use “heavy leverage market research data about the yogurt category and the opportunity.”
The shelf-obsession team will go beyond sales plans to apply their unique expertise and support to the currently operating sales teams, who, the company said, are more focused on day-to-day customer relationship issues.
Neuwith also said that dairy takes up about 3 percent of grocery store space. Dairy comprises about 9 percent of sales, he said. He said that he believed yogurt and dairy should close that gap, citing for example, that dry grocery takes up 43 percent of grocery store space, but makes 30 percent of sales.
Sources have said that yogurt is seeing a current growth rate of 6.3 percent per year, despite its meager annual shelf space growth rate of 3.9 percent. Neuwirth said that he has seen such growth as the demand for functional items like Activia and DanActive continues to grow.
Online coupons become business driver when money is tight
DADE CITY, Fla. The bad economy means good business for online coupon exposure, the St. Petersburg Times reported this week.
Many businesses are now using the power of the Internet coupon to attract more shoppers to their markets. Sources said that last year 2.6-billion coupons were used by American shoppers. The surge marks the first time in almost two decades that there was not a decline in coupon use.
Hits at various coupon Web sites have increased 66 percent in May compared to the same time last year, said HitWise online-competition research group. Yet Web-based coupon-ing remains a small industry—of the 279-billion coupons issued last year, only 0.2 percent were sent out online.
The biggest online coupon company, Invenda, operator of E-centives.com, has never turned a profit. In fact, as of the beginning of the year, the company faced a deficit of $162-million.
However, The Coupon Clippers, a coupon mailing that has turned into profitable online business, told the Times that it has recently been signing up customers by the thousands. According to the article, The Coupon Clippers’ sales have grown by about 25 percent in the last 12 months. The Coupon Clipper first launched its online presence in 1998.