HEALTH

CRN, NAD extend partnership to review dietary supplement ads

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK What it means is a stronger dietary supplement industry sans criticism that the industry is rampant with hucksters trying to talk consumers into the miracle cure du jour. Why it’s important: Well, the industry generates some $6 billion in mass channel sales (food, drug and mass, including Walmart), up 7%, according to Nielsen data, and the more confidence consumers have in this category, the more likely they are to buy.

 

It’s also important because this initiative with NAD accomplishes two objectives — it roots out outlier companies hoping to cash in on a consumer’s ignorance with outrageous claims while at the same time vets claims made by legitimate supplement companies, companies that are much more likely to have supporting clinical studies to back their claims.

 

 

Pair this initiative with some other goings-on within the supplement industry, and you have an industry held in much higher regard than, say, five years ago. Those are initiatives like good manufacturing practices specifically written for the supplement industry, GMPs that require manufacturers to actually have the ingredients, and the quantity of those ingredients, that they claim to have in their formulas. That not only represents improved consumer confidence, but improved efficacy across categories may be a by-product as well. Initiatives like the mandatory reporting of serious adverse events, which will do as much to further excise outliers from the supplement community as it will to establish that legitimate supplements are generally safe.

 

And finally, you have some of CRN’s own initiatives that should further support consumer confidence in the industry. That includes CRN’s “Life … supplemented” consumer awareness campaign; the association’s survey of supplement utilization/recommendation across healthcare professional communities; and CRN’s regular dialogue with Congress leaders around the potential healthy impact supplements can have on reducing chronic disease states.

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Roche launches skin design challenge for meters

BY Michael Johnsen

INDIANAPOLIS Roche Diabetes Care on Thursday announced the launch of the Born in the USA Meter Skin Design Challenge, where diabetics can create a custom skin for their Accu-Chek Aviva blood glucose meter at www.rockmymeter.com.

“We are excited to announce this fun skin design challenge, and encourage both former visitors to the site, as well as newcomers, to try their hand at designing an Accu-Chek Aviva personalized skin design,” stated Roche VP marketing Dan Kane. “The launch of www.rockmymeter.com earlier in the year was such a hit, we decided to create some friendly competition. We’re hopeful some of our Accu-Chek fans will show their pride at using a meter that’s manufactured in the United States by creating fun, patriotic skins that may be included in future Accu-Chek Aviva skin offerings.”

The deadline for consumers to enter a customized skin for consideration is Feb. 28, 2010.

All site visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite designs. From the top 50 vote-getters, Roche Diabetes Care’s marketing management will choose four winners, and those four skins actually will replace four of the five current skins designs in a currently available meter skins pack.

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Researchers find link between gut bacteria, obesity

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS A recent study has found that gut bacteria can lead to obesity.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that after transplanting human microbes into mice, and taking the mice off of a low-fat diet to one made up of high fat and sugars, the microbial makeup of the mice changed within 24 hours. The content of the diet changed the composition of gut bacteria, thus making them rapidly gain weight.

Scientists stress that there are many factors that play a role in weight gain, but this discovery may help scientists have a better understanding and perhaps treat the problem of obesity.

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