HEALTH

Pharmavite sponsors free downloads of Oprah’s online class

BY Michael Johnsen

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. Beginning today, consumers who miss Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle’s weekly online class surrounding “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” can download the event for free at Oprah.com or iTunes as part of a sponsorship deal with Pharmavite promoting its new Nature Made Liquid Softgels, Pharmavite announced Monday.

“Ms. Winfrey and Mr. Tolle’s program represents the world’s largest interactive classroom and we’re thrilled to be a part of it,” stated Richard Yoder, marketing director, Nature Made vitamins. “This class fuels people’s spirits and that meshes perfectly with our commitment to help individuals fuel their own greatness. We know people’s lives are busy and they can’t always participate in the live event, so we’re excited to be able to offer free downloads of the weekly classes.”

Each weekly class covers a chapter from “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” and includes a discussion led by Winfrey and Tolle. The discussion can be viewed live on Oprah.com every Monday at 9/8 CDT p.m. through May 5.  People can register for the class at www.oprah.com/anewearth.

In correlation with the sponsorship agreement, Pharmavite also announced Monday the introduction of its new Nature Made Liquid Softgel, a family of softgel supplemeings available in six formulations: Multi Complete, Multi For Her, Calcium 600 mg with Vitamin D, Vitamin C 500 mg, Vitamin D 1,000 IU and Super B-Complex.

“The launch of Liquid Softgels exemplifies Nature Made’s continued commitment to innovation,” Yoder said. “This new line not only addresses consumer demand for easier-to-swallow supplements, but also further bolsters Nature Made’s reputation as a clear industry leader by utilizing new premium products to help drive growth and trial within the vitamin, mineral and supplement arena.”

Nature Made is currently the only major brand offering key letter vitamins and multivitamins in convenient, easy-to-swallow liquid softgel form.

Liquid Softgels will be supported by a comprehensive integrated marketing program totaling about $10 million, Pharmavite stated. National television and print campaigns launch in April. In addition, more than 800,000 14-day supply samples of the products will be available for consumers online. Other key elements of the program include targeted online advertising, broad-based public relations outreach and national in-store consumer promotions. 

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AMO introduces blink Tears eye drops

BY Michael Johnsen

SANTA ANA, Calif. Advanced Medical Optics on Monday announced the U.S. introduction of blink Tears, a new line of over-the-counter lubricating eye drops for the estimated 40 percent of Americans who suffer from occasional or chronic dry eye symptoms.

“The introduction of blink Tears lubricating eye drops is our first entree into the dry eye category and marks an important expansion of AMO’s complete refractive solution of eye care products,” stated AMO chairman and chief executive officer Jim Mazzo.

 “I believe that blink Tears will be a significant improvement to our treatment regimen for managing the symptoms of dry eye,” stated Eric Donnenfeld, who is in private practice with Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island and is a trustee of Dartmouth Medical School. “The unique formulation of blink Tears distinguishes it from other currently available artificial tears because it can provide both a long duration of effect as well as superior visual clarity.”

AMO developed a formula for blink Tears lubricating eye drops that includes a blend of ingredients naturally found in the eye. Product benefits include: long-lasting relief with less blurring of vision; up to 60-minute moisture retention time; restored tear film with each blink; improved tear film stability; and adapts to an individual’s dry eye needs by thickening when the eye is open, and thinning when the eye blinks.

Dry eye syndrome is a common disorder of the tear film, afflicting especially those aged 40 years and older. Symptoms of dry eye may include redness, burning, itching, light sensitivity, excessive tearing, a gritty “foreign-body” feeling and dryness.

It is estimated that women are twice as likely as men to suffer from dry eye, especially as they grow older. Dry eye syndrome also can be associated with other illnesses or conditions. For example, people with diabetes or auto-immune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, may be more susceptible to dry eye. Certain environmental factors can also aggravate dry eye, such as living in an arid climate. The dry air on planes can also make flying uncomfortable for those with dry eye.

One of the most common causes of dry eye syndrome is a dysfunction of the meibomian gland, which produces an oil that coats the eye. It is this oil, mixed with tears, which creates a healthy tear film that keeps one’s eyes properly lubricated. Without this oil, the eye compensates by producing more tears. But even with excessive tearing, a person’s eye is still left feeling dry, itchy, uncomfortable and even painful because the tear film’s moisture is out of balance.

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FDA issues consumer advisory for Total Body dietary supplement products

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday advised consumers not to purchase or consume Total Body Formula in the flavors of Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar, or Total Body Mega Formula in the Orange/Tangerine flavor. The liquid dietary supplement products may cause severe adverse reactions, including significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain and fatigue, the agency stated.

The Total Body Formula products are sold in eight-ounce and 32-ounce plastic bottles. The Total Body Mega Formula is sold in 32-ounce plastic bottles. Both products are distributed by Total Body Essential Nutrition of Atlanta. The company is the sole distributor of the products and has voluntarily recalled Total Body Formula in the flavors of Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar and Total Body Mega Formula in Orange/Tangerine flavor.

The Florida Department of Health recently provided reports to the FDA on 23 individuals who experienced serious reactions to these products seven to 10 days after ingestion. In all cases, the reactions included significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain and fatigue. The FDA subsequently learned and is investigating a report that some individuals in Tennessee using the same products have experienced similar reactions.

FDA laboratories are analyzing samples of the products to identify the cause of the reactions, including the possibility that the products contain excessive amounts of selenium, which is known to cause symptoms such as those described in the adverse events reported to the agency. Selenium, a trace mineral, is needed only in small amounts for good health.

The products have been distributed in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The FDA is advising consumers in all states to avoid using the products immediately and to discard the products by placing them in a trash receptacle outside of the home.

Consumers who have been taking the products and have experienced adverse reactions should consult their health care professional.

The FDA is working with the Florida Department of Health in its investigation.

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