Rather be Blue
Consumers equate blueberries with antioxidant power and readily accept them incorporated into any product. Based on data from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Boston, blueberries are among the fruits with the highest antioxidant activity. More recently, there is growing evidence in the ability of blueberries to slow the aging process, including memory loss, according to the USDA Economic Research Service. The compound that appears possibly responsible for this neuron protection, anthocyanin, also gives blueberries their color and might be the key component of blueberries’ anti-inflammatory properties. These findings could become increasingly important as the U.S. population ages. U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, 800-824-6395, www.blueberry.org

Minimize Symptoms of IBS
Physicians from UND School of Medicine and Mayo Clinic conducted a clinical case study to demonstrate whether using a multi-species probiotic could minimize the symptoms of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is estimated to affect 20-30% of the population; causes are thought to include food intolerance, imbalance of intestinal microflora and colonic malfermentation. Patients were treated with a multi-species probiotic product from UAS Laboratories Inc., Multi-Flora Plus, containing Lactobacillus acidophilus (DDS®-1 strain), Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium lactis, with a combined potency of 12 billion CFU/g.  Patients’ symptom severity was evaluated on a scale of 1-10. Improvement was classified with at least 50% reduction in severity. The most significant improvements occurred after 60 days of treatment with no clinically evident side effects observed, according to the study. UAS Laboratories Inc., 952-935-1707, www.uaslabs.com NS

Participation Rewards
Sponsorship in the “2010 HealthFocus U.S. Trend Study” in the U.S. is now open. The comprehensive survey takes place every two years and forms the basis of many strategic efforts. Critical information collected in the study includes: in the two years between 2006-2008, cognitive health moved to the lead health concern in all age groups; snacking increased, but the guilt associated with it also rose; weight and its impact on health are growing issues, but growing numbers of shoppers believe they can be overweight and still be healthy; and there was a simultaneous growth in interest in both functional food and natural food. Sponsors of this comprehensive, two-part study of shopper attitudes receive distinct benefits. For more information on participating in these results, contact Julie Johnson, julie.johnson@healthfocus.com.