Natural Alternatives

New clinical trials show the value of a natural alternative to drugs for patients with mild to moderate hypertension. Lyc-O-Mato® tomato lycopene complex, a natural antioxidant, supplementing a normal diet, has proven to significantly lower systolic blood pressure. Results of the study are especially important, since the subjects previously had been unable to lower their blood pressure using drug therapies alone. Supplementation by tomato extract, with its antioxidant properties, has been shown in these studies to be a safe and effective adjunct therapy to conventional drugs, without the potential for side effects. LycoRed Ltd., Dr. Zohar Nir, +972-8-6296630



Good Fats

A marketing initiative is directed toward making people understand the differences between the various omega-6 fatty acids and how they impact the human body. The initiative, launched by Bioriginal, aims at explaining how the correct balance of omega-3s and omega-6s help the body function. For example, linoleic acid (LA) is converted in the body into gamma linoleic acid (GLA), dihomogamma linoleic acid (DGLA) and arachidonic acid (AA). GLA and DGLA are anti-inflammatories; AA, which we consume in meat and dairy products, is a strong pro-inflammatory agent. High levels of these agents leave us more vulnerable to chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis. AA also inhibits the body's conversion of LA to GLA and DGLA. Therefore, supplementing GLA and DGLA helps restore the natural equilibrium. The highest level of GLA comes from borage oil, which is available in oil, soft gel or powder form. Bioriginal, 306-975-1166, business@bioriginal.com, www.bioriginal.com



Natural Pain Relief

An all-natural analgesic has demonstrated improved results over current homeopathic remedies for pain. Produced from Korean Angelica, used for centuries in the East for pain relief, Decursinol has shown a 68% decrease in studies of subjects with chronic degenerative joint arthritis. Decursinol is also an ingredient in EstroG-100â„¢, a new, natural phytoestrogen derivative to combat peri- and post-menopausal symptoms, improving bone density as well as lowering serum triglyceride levels. Decursinol and EstroG-100 are classified by the FDA as dietary supplements and not drugs. JLM Marketing Inc, Michael Jeffers, mike.jeffers@jlmi.com



Peptide Power

The nutritional value of egg whites has been taken to a new level. Designed to deliver nutrients to the bloodstream more efficiently than standard egg whites, Henningsen Foods' EP-2 Egg White Peptides is an all-natural alternative. An enzymatic process reduces the size of the protein, accelerating the body's ability to absorb the essential amino acids and resulting in faster muscle recovery after exercise. EP-2 Egg White Peptides is easily included in manufacturing processes, is label-friendly and kosher, and ideal for use in health foods and protein drinks. Henningsen Foods, Mike McGuire, 800-228-2769, mikem@henningsenfoods.com



Dairy Diet

Three servings a day of low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt may help adults lower their weight better than just cutting calories alone. A 12-year clinical study involving more than 19,000 healthy men showed no association of weight gain with calcium intake. Additional randomized studies show that following a calorie-controlled diet while including dairy not only improved the results of dieting, but also showed that dairy eaters were less likely to have high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol, and tend to have a higher intake of cereal fiber and vitamin D. Originally from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. For more news items delivered to your e-mailbox, visit www.PreparedFoods.com and register for Prepared Foods' newsletter.



Inside Out

What's good for the inside is good for the outside. An olive-based extract developed jointly by the Italian company Indena and the Japanese firm Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. has implications for both nutritional and cosmetic products. OPEXTAN™ is the result of five years of research and development. Already marketed in Japan by Kanebo Cosmetics as a skin care and supplement line called “Bella Vita,� OPEXTAN will be promoted globally by Indena, which was responsible for the selection of premier olives and processing methods to ensure the highest levels of polyphenols for successful free-radical scavenging. Indena, www.indena.com



Herbs and Kids

Herbs are used to treat children's common ailments far more often than expected, according to a recent study. Nearly half of the low-income Latinos and more than a third of non-Latino parents, clients of WIC (Women, Infants & Children) clinics, treated their children with herbs for ills like diaper rash, teething, nausea and colds. Although caregivers do not encourage herb use with children because of the potential harm some herbs can cause, the study indicates that education on herbs should be offered by the clinics. Most of the information on herb use the clinics' clients reported was obtained from family members and not from health professionals. Penn State, A'ndrea Elyse Messer, 814-865-9481, aeml@psu.edu



GI Joke

Despite a wave of information touting the positive health and weight-loss benefits from following a diet based on the glycemic index (GI) of foods, a new study suggests the efforts may be pointless. A study by the University of South Carolina tracked more than 1,000 individuals at four clinical sites and found the GI of the food the subjects consumed bore little effect on blood glucose. The director of the study recommends moderation, regular exercise and a diet of complex carbohydrates in a healthy diet.

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Hard News on Soft Drinks

British and French agencies testing 230 soft drinks found high levels of the cancer-causing compound benzene in the products. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the trace amounts were eight times the level permitted in drinking water. Benzene, linked to leukemia and other cancers of the blood, can form when ascorbic acid combines with the preservative sodium benzoate. An FSA spokesperson, however, noted the findings posed no immediate health risk.

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