Inhalable vitamins anyone? Coffee? Chocolate? Er, Lobster?

Inhalable vitamins anyone? Coffee? Chocolate? Er, Lobster?

By Shane Starling, 28-Jan-2011

Related topics: Industry, Vitamins & premixes

A French research network called ArtScience Labs has launched ‘Le Whif’, an inhalable vitamin product, believed to be the first of its kind in the world.


The lip-stick shaped product boasts it delivers 100 per cent of recommended daily intakes for A, B1, B2, B3, and B5 with eight puffs of the Le Whif inhaler, and uses an inhaler that was first used to deliver coffee and chocolate. Other potentials include hamburgers and lobsters.

The vitamins come in a highly ground aerosol form and are mixed with teas to add flavour, with a three-day supply retailing at €5.70 (£4.99).

Le Whif, manufactured Breathable Foods has been launched in the UK and other European launches are planned, along with North America.

There are three varieties: green tea with vitamins C and E, hibiscus tea with a multivitamin, and wine tea, which delivers vitamin D and 20 milligrams of resveratrol.

ArtScience posits the idea that because the vitamins are inhaled they miss the digestive system and therefore are capable of delivering a more efficacious.


ArtScience Labs is the brainchild of Harvard University professor in biomedical engineering, David Edwards, and inhalable vitamins are not his group’s foray into inhalability.

It also offers inhalable chocolate, coffee, and insulin that has drawn the interest of the diabetic community.

The idea of inhalability was born in 2007 when Edwards challenged his students to develop ways of inhaling food.

“They took a whiff of everything from pepper to carrots and coughed a lot,” Edwards is quoted in Popular Science magazine.


There are other products that are not in pill, soft gel, liquid or tablet form but are ingested orally such as a US product called Vitamist.

That product dispenses multivitamin, antioxidants, vitamin B12, vitamin C and zinc, colloidal minerals and other nutrients and costs about €20 for a 30-day supply.

Popular Science said the process that allowed the powder to be fine enough to enter the lungs involved a drug called BCG that dehydrated food stuffs and reduced the remainder to a micro-fine powder.

The process was developed by another Edwards group, the non-profit organization, MEND (Medicine in Need), in developing tuberculosis inhalers.

Polyphenol-rich cherry juice may boost exercise recovery

Polyphenol-rich cherry juice may boost exercise recovery

By Stephen Daniells, 27-Jan-2011

Related topics: Research, Antioxidants, carotenoids, Phytochemicals, plant extracts, Energy & endurance

Juice made from Montmorency cherries may boost the recovery of muscle strength after intensive exercise, says a new study from London.

The benefits of the juice are reportedly related to its antioxidant activity, which may reverse the “oxidative damage induced by the damaging exercise”, report researchers from the Sports and Exercise Science Research Centre at London South Bank University and UK Anti-Doping.

Writing in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the London-based researchers report that seven days of consumption of the CherryActive-branded cherry juice prior to, and after intensive exercise produced a significant increase in recovery for knee extension maximum voluntary contractions, compared to an isoenergetic fruit concentrate control beverage.

“Montmorency cherry juice consumption improved the recovery of isometric muscle strength after intensive exercise perhaps due to attenuation of the oxidative damage induced by the damaging exercise,” wrote the authors, led by Dr Joanna Bowtell.

Sports nutrition market

The study supports a number of other studies reporting the potential benefits of cherry, and tart cherries, in particular. Indeed, a previous study (Journal of Nutrition, 2006, Vol. 136, pp. 981-986) reported that daily consumption of 45 cherries could reduce circulating concentrations of inflammatory markers, with the researchers proposing that the flavonoids and anthocyanins in the cherries exert an anti-inflammatory effect and may lessen the damage response to exercise.

The most recent figures available value the global sports nutrition market at a massive US$4.7bn, with North America ($3.2bn) and western Europe ($713.6m) dominating the podium.

Study details

Dr Botwell and her co-workers recruited 10 well-trained men and assigned them to consume the cherry juice or the isoenergetic fruit concentrate beverage for one week before and for two days after a series of single leg knee extensions.

Results showed that the knee extension maximum voluntary contractions (MVC), a measure of muscle function, recovered significantly faster following consumption of the cherry juice, compared with the fruit control. Specifically, the MVC was 90.9 versus 84.9 24 hours after the exercise, and 92.9 versus 88.5 after 48 hours, respectively.

No differences between the groups were observed for the activity of the enzyme creatine kinase, which is involved in the production of energy.

According to the researchers, the potential benefits may be linked to the antioxidant activity of the juice. During intense exercise the production levels of oxidative stress are reported to increase and this may damage muscles. However, this may be attenuated with consumption of the antioxidant-rich cherry juice.

Source: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31820e5adc
“Montmorency Cherry Juice Reduces Muscle Damage Caused By Intensive Strength Exercise”
Authors: J.L. Bowtell, D.P. Sumners, A. Dyer, P. Fox, K.N. Mileva

Science stacks up for robust probiotic benefits

Science stacks up for robust probiotic benefits


Related topics: Probiotics, Research, Probiotics and prebiotics, Gut health, Immune system

Spore-forming probiotics such as Bacillus coagulans with higher heat resistance than commonly used strains have a bright future in sectors such as baked foods, according to a new review study.

Most probiotics – live microbes that improve human health – use lactobacilli or bifidobacteria as their main constituents, where these produce lactic acid alongside other anti-pathogens.

Traditionally, probiotics are used in dairy products such as yoghurts or fermented drinks (or in freeze-dried forms), where due to stability and viability factors, heated products are not usually used as probiotic delivery vehicles.

Accordingly, Keller et al. in a December 2010 study published in the Food Science and Technology Bulletin looked at the ability of spore-forming genus Bacillus coagulans to overcome this problem, where it is claimed to be able to withstand being baked, boiled and even frozen.

This is due to the fact that – according to UK distributor of BC30 Cornelius – the inside of each bacterial cell has a hardened structure, or spore, which is analogous to a seed.

New functional food applications

Keller et al. wrote: “The ability to resist high temperatures and develop spores is attractive from the viewpoint of withstanding baking temperatures and opening up more food delivery systems for probiotic use.”

Starting upon the basis of work by Casula and Cutting (2002) that concluded Bacillus spores had immuno-stimulatory and anti-microbial effects, the authors looked at evidence of the probiotic advantages of proprietary strain of B. Coagulans (GanedenBC or BC30).

Two recent randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies by Dolin (2009), they said, showed that BC30 supported digestive function by relieving abdominal pain and bloating, as well as reducing the number of daily bowel movements.

Meanwhile, Kalman et al (2009) conducted a trial of 61 adults with post-prandial intestinal gas, and found a statistically significant reduction in abdominal pain and a strong trend for improvement of abdominal swelling.

Strong survival potential

BC30 also holds promise for Crohn’s disease sufferers, where of 24 out of 35 patients completing a study, “there was a strong trend in decreasing the Crohn’s disease activity index and total number of daily stools”.

Laboratory tests also showed that BC30 has good survival potential within the stomach and small intestine, with potential to aid the digestion of milk protein, lactose and fructose.

Maathuis et al. (2010) found within a validated stimulated gut model that BC30 showed a high survival rate within milk (70%), despite minimal (10%) spore germination. Survival of the strain in the presence of lactose and fructose was lower (56-59%), although it helped digestion of the sugars, while amounts of digested milk protein available for consumption were higher with BC30.

Work on cultures also showed that BC30 could exert antimicrobial effects against C. difficile, C. perfringens and Listeria (to varying degrees). For instance, in a culture system designed to favour C. difficile growth, the pathogen was repressed by the probiotic (Honda et al. in press).

“We also suggest that the (unique among probiotics) bimodal lifecycle of BC30 may lead to anti-microbial activity in distal [remote] regions of the gastrointestinal tract,” said Keller et al, a factor the researchers said was important given the prevalence of gut disorders in the left side of the large intestine.

Boosts cytokine levels

Human trials also showed positive effects from BC30 upon the immune system, said the authors, where (Baron 2009) ten subjects were each given a dose of the probiotic for 30 days, before their blood (as against samples drawn and tested at the start of the trial) was exposed to antigens: reactivtiy of cytokines (signalling molecules present in the immune system) was then measured, with increases in various types found.

Developed by US firm Ganeden, BC30 is the probiotic ingredient used in its Digestive Advantage and Sustenex products, while the ingredient itself has been added to over 45 functional foods and beverages: including bread, nutrition bars, instant soup mix, hot tea, ice cream, and frozen yogurt.

Source: Food and Science Technlogy Bulletin (December 2010) Bacillus coagulans as a probiotic’ doi: 10.1616/1476-2137.16015

Authors: Keller, S.F, McCartney, A, Gibson, G.

SLEEP what can AID in this

Put a new Link up at the  site and it is on sleep

will put what I can here but if you need more go to the site–some recipes

Recipes for Sleep—Glycine 500mgs + Inositol 500mgs 30 min before bed

Taurine 500mgs + magnesium—Gaba 500mgs + Niacinamide 250-500mgs

Melatonin- Trytophan 500mgs + Niacin 50 mgs Vanilla 10 drops + Lavender tincture 10 drops in 2 oz of water—Passion flower 10 drops + St John’s wort

Valerian tincture + Passion Flower10 drops of each in water—Utilize an of these combinations 30 minutes before going to bed and do not Mix Under any circumstance with anything from the pharmacy that is drug related

for more info got to down load whatever suits you


VANILLA ( vanillin ) POWER

You would never think of this as a healant but it has some unusual properties as well in regard to being a muscle relaxant for those spazing muscles or aches we acquire in life—have a look and enjoy

Vanilla Benefits


Some things Vanilla is Effective for in Health— An actual medicinal use of vanillin for the limited purpose of treating of sickle cell anemia, a blood disorder, has been reported by D. Abraham, et al., “Vanillin, a Potential Agent for the Treatment of Sickle Cell Anemia,” Blood, Vol. 77, No. 6 (March 15) 1991: pp. 1334-1341—-


ðVanilla– ( vanillin) relates to the psychotherapeutic use for the natural product vanillin and derivatives of vanillin. This psychotherapeutic use of vanillin encompasses its use as an anti-anxiety agent, an anticonvulsant, and/or as a sedative (sleeping drug).—It has been found that vanillin can be used as a short term, psychotherapeutic agent in mammalian recipients–In one aspect, the vanillin is administered by injection at a dose of at least about 200 mg/kg body weight of a rodent host, preferably a dose in the range of about 200 to about 1,500 mg/kg. The optimal dose for humans ranges from about 2.0 to about 3.0 mg/kg body weight[U1] . When so administered, vanillin has been discovered to exhibit properties characteristic of CNS depressants in mammalian subjects. These uncovered attributes of vanillin show it to be suitable for use in treatment of anxiety and anxiety disorders, such attributes including short term muscle relaxation and impairment, suppression of small motor movements without affecting gross motor movements in the host, enhancement of the duration of barbituate-induced loss of righting reflex, and anticonvulsant activity. The vanillin molecule is devoid of nitrogen, and it represents a relatively safe, non-toxic tranquilizing agent—It has been found that vanillin mimics the effects of conventional tranquilizers such as those of the benzodiazepine family, in that it relaxes the large skeletal muscles and has a direct effect on the brain. In doing so, vanillin has been found to relax the host and make the host more tranquil, or sleepier (e.g., if used as an adjunct with a sleep-inducing barbituate such as pentobarbital). The vanillin is especially effective for short term duration after administration in these psychotherapeutic uses while being extremely safe and without causing the adverse side effects often associated with many conventional tranquilizers—-

ðVanillin Has Muscle relaxing effect as well – The signs were distinctly observed with appreciable frequency at the highest dose administered of 200 mg/kg. Some of the rats were rendered temporarily unable to walk, although the ability to walk returned within less than 10 minutes. However, a larger number of animals did not initiate ambulation, but could and did move about if prodded. The most prevalent and most persistent effect of vanillin was on grip strength, which was weakened in most rats by the intermediate dose of vanillin and was obliterated by the highest dose. This effect was noticeably diminished within 10 minutes, but some slight effect persisted for 45 minutes or more following the highest dose.— The result suggests a muscle relaxing effect induced by the vanillin


ðActive ingredient in Vanilla

Vanillin has the chemical name 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde and the chemical structure: ##STR1## Vanillin occurs naturally in vanilla beans, potato parings, and Siam benzoin, and is produced synthetically from eugenol or guaiacol or from the lignin waste from the wood pulp industry

ðVanillin is relatively nontoxic; the Merck index reports an oral LD 50 for vanillin of 1580 mg/kg in rats. The relative safety of vanillin is further borne out by the fact that it was given GRAS (i.e., “generally regarded as safe”) status by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturer’s Association (FEMA) and was recognized for food use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In humans, vanillin is converted to vanillic acid in the liver and is excreted in the urine


Commercial Drugs For Sedation– These benzodiazepines are generally effective for relief of symptoms of anxiety, tension, fatigue or agitation and present a low risk of lethality in humans when taken alone (e.g., diazepam has an oral LD 50 of 1240 mg/kg in rats). They nonetheless can have serious adverse side effects. For instance, known reported side effects of these benzodiazepines include the fact that they can be abused if taken for extended periods of time; also withdrawal symptoms can occur upon discontinuance of the therapy; they are subject to certain drug interaction concerns; and they may cause birth defects in first trimester fetuses, and/or make the fetus dependent upon the drug, and they can even be transmitted from a medicated mother to newborn infants through breast milk.

This is what you do not want to use

As for vanilla—the active ingredient in it is vanillin—according to this research the vanillin itself could be used to induce relaxation and rest –to make this just take the dosage levels from a vanilla ( the dose with be either 66 -99 drops ) –

In All ventures a suggested dose does not imply a safe dose –so always start out with less 10-20 drops ( you can always add more if needed )and add to water 2-3 oz before bed—would not suggest to take this if operating machinery or needed to be alert


Recipes For Relaxing and Sleeping—take 10 drops of vanilla and add to water and use 3-5 drops of lavender tincture—Consume this before bed

Other suggestions

Take 5-10 drops of vanilla and take it with gaba 500mgs

Take5-10 drops of vanilla with 500mgs of glycine

Take 5-10 drops of vanilla with 500mgs of taurine

Take 10 drops of vanilla with 5 drops of valerian root tincture

Combine 5-10 drops of vanilla with 200mgs of magnesium

Take 5-10 drops with of vanilla with motherwort 5 drops

Take 5-10 drops with of vanilla with 5 drops of passion flower

Combo any of these  such as glycine and magnesium and add 5 drops of vanilla

Combine  5-10- drops with niacinamide 250-500 mgs

These should have a relaxing impact as well to reduce the inflammatory issues of the days work load as well

Or take alone add 10 drops in water or brandy or wine mix well and drink– you may want to go up or diminsh this will depend on the impact it has with you and your reaction—if minimal then go up 1-2 drops til reaching dose—if to much and you feel overwhelmed then drop of 2-3 drops again til you see the right fit


The data summarized suggest that vanillin possesses some mild anticonvulsant activity, particularly at higher doses. The 300 mg/kg dose of vanillin did appear to afford some protection versus Metrazol-induced seizures—this dose is high– again take the same equivalent of a 150lb person convert to Kilos and you get 330kgs X 300mg and you are in the ball bark or 9900 miligrams or 9.9grams




Evaluation of antioxidant activity of vanillin by using multiple antioxidant assays


BACKGROUND: Vanillin, a compound widely used in foods, beverages, cosmetics and drugs, has been reported to exhibit multifunctional effects such as antimutagenic, antiangiogenetic, anti-colitis, anti-sickling, and antianalgesic effects. However, results of studies on the antioxidant activity of vanillin are not consistent.

METHODS: We systematically evaluated the antioxidant activity of vanillin using multiple assay systems. DPPH radical-, galvinoxyl radical-, and ABTS(+)-scavenging assays, ORAC assay and an oxidative hemolysis inhibition assay (OxHLIA) were used for determining the antioxidant activity.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Vanillin showed stronger activity than did ascorbic acid and Trolox in the ABTS(+)-scavenging assay but showed no activity in the DPPH radical- and galvinoxyl radical-scavenging assays. Vanillin showed much stronger antioxidant activity than did ascorbic acid and Trolox in the ORAC assay and OxHLIA. In the ABTS(+)-scavenging assay, ORAC assay and OxHLIA, vanillin reacted with radicals via a self-dimerization mechanism. The dimerization contributed to the high reaction stoichiometry against ABTS(+) and AAPH-derived radicals to result in the strong effect of vanillin. Oral administration of vanillin to mice increased the vanillin concentration and the antioxidant activity in plasma. These data suggested that antioxidant activity of vanillin might be more beneficial than has been thought for daily health care.

GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Based on the results of the present study, we propose the addition of antioxidant capacity to the multifunctionality of vanillin.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Vanillin enhances TRAIL-induced apoptosis in cancer cells through inhibition of NF-kappaB activation.

Lirdprapamongkol K, Sakurai H, Suzuki S, Koizumi K, Prangsaengtong O, Viriyaroj A, Ruchirawat S, Svasti J, Saiki I.

Laboratory of Biochemistry, Chulabhorn Research Institute, Bangkok 10210, Thailand.


BACKGROUND: Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising anticancer agent which selectively kills cancer cells with little effect on normal cells. However, TRAIL resistance is widely found in cancer cells. We have previously reported antimetatstatic and antiangiogenic effects of vanillin, a flavoring agent from vanilla. Here we have evaluated the sensitizing effect of vanillin on a TRAIL-resistant human cervical cancer cell line, HeLa.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cell viability after treatments was determined by the WST-1 cell counting kit. Apoptosis was demonstrated by detection of caspase-3 activation and cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase using immunoblot analysis. Effect of treatments on TRAIL signaling pathway and nuclear factor kappaB (FN-kappaB) activation was studied using immunoblot analysis and luciferase reporter assay.

RESULTS: Pretreatment of HeLa cells with vanillin enhanced TRAIL-induced cell death through the apoptosis pathway. Vanillin pretreatment inhibited TRAIL-induced phosphorylation of p65 and transcriptional activity of NF-kappaB.

CONCLUSION: Vanillin sensitizes HeLa cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis by inhibiting NF-kappaB activation.

PMID: 20668316 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE




 [U1]Take 2.2 and multiply by body weight in pounds and then multiply that number by either 2 or 3 and you will get a dose ratio-example would be a 150 lb person X 2.2 = 330 X2 = 660 mgs or 330 X3 = 990 mgs so if you were using a dropper to extract this then you would either use 66 drops or 99 drops

Key Enzyme That Affects Radiation Response Identified

Key Enzyme That Affects Radiation Response Identified

ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2011) — Cancer researchers at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) have discovered that targeting an enzyme called uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase (UROD) can sensitize diseased tissue to radiation and chemotherapy, which could mean fewer side effects for individuals with head and neck cancer.

The findings, published online in Science Translational Medicine, are significant because they suggest that targeting UROD — identified for the first time as a key player in human cancers — can selectively boost the effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in head and neck tumors, while minimizing toxicity to normal tissues.

“Our analysis of patient biopsies revealed that UROD levels were significantly higher in tumor tissues versus normal tissues. Cancer patients with lower UROD levels prior to radiation treatment had improved clinical outcome, suggesting that UROD could potentially be used to predict patients’ response to radiation therapy,” says principal investigator, Dr. Fei-Fei Liu, Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Toronto and PMH, and Senior Scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute and The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute.

Lead author Dr. Emma Ito adds: “This means that lower doses of radiation and chemotherapeutic drugs could potentially be administered to patients without affecting treatment efficacy.”

“Despite the advances over the last few decades, the toxic side effects associated with current therapies for head and neck cancer have caused disappointing outcomes in many patients,” says Dr. Ito. Head and neck tumors are often found near critical structures, so destroying the diseased tissue is often a delicate challenge that can lead to life-threatening conditions.

“UROD is an enzyme involved in the production of a molecule called heme, which is vital to all body organs. Targeting UROD creates an opportunity to exploit the heme synthesis pathway, which disrupts the equilibrium of iron and free radical levels in cells which in turn kills cancer cells.” says Dr. Liu.

The research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Elia Chair in Head and Neck Cancer Research, the philanthropic support from the Wharton Family, Joe Finley, and Gordon Tozer, The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.

Natural Growth Factor Enhances Memory, Prevents Forgetting in Rats

Natural Growth Factor Enhances Memory, Prevents Forgetting in Rats

ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2011) — A naturally occurring growth factor significantly boosted retention and prevented forgetting of a fear memory when injected into rats’ memory circuitry during time-limited windows when memories become fragile and changeable. In the study funded by the National Institutes of Health, animals treated with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-II) excelled at remembering to avoid a location where they had previously experienced a mild shock.

“To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of potent memory enhancement via a naturally occurring factor that readily passes through the blood-brain barrier — and thus may hold promise for treatment development,” explained Cristina Alberini, Ph.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, a grantee of the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Alberini and colleagues say IGF-II could become a potential drug target for boosting memory. They report on their discovery in the Jan. 27, 2011 issue of Nature.

“As we learn more about such mechanisms of fear memory formation and extinction, we hope to apply this knowledge to address clinical problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder,” said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D.

The staying power of a memory depends on the synthesis of new proteins and structural changes in the connections between brain cells. These memory-strengthening changes occur within time-limited windows right after learning, when memories undergo consolidation, and also right after a memory is retrieved, a process called reconsolidation.

Hints from other studies led the researchers to suspect that IGF-II plays a role in these processes within the brain’s memory center, the hippocampus, where it is relatively highly concentrated. The little-known growth factor is part of the brain’s machinery for tissue repair and regeneration; it is important during development and declines with age.

To find out how it might work in memory, Alberini’s team employed a standard test of fear memory called inhibitory avoidance training. They tracked the movement of rats in an environment where the animals learned to associate a dark area with mild foot shocks. The more an animal avoided the dark area, the better its fear memory.

This kind of learning boosted the expression of naturally occurring IGF-II in the hippocampus. So the researchers injected synthetic IGF-II directly into the hippocampus during windows of consolidation or reconsolidation, when memories are malleable. Remarkably, the rats’ memory markedly improved — with the effects lasting at least a few weeks. An examination of the animals’ brains revealed that IGF-II had strengthened the cellular connections and mechanisms underlying long-term memory — a process called long-term potentiation.

So IGF-II both strengthened a memory and delayed its normal decay — forgetting, noted Alberini.

The researchers had previously discovered that the fragility induced by memory retrieval requires new protein synthesis in the brain’s fear area, the amygdala — but only if the memory is less than two weeks old. In the new study, they found that memory enhancement triggered by IGF-II during this reconsolidation window depended on new protein synthesis in the hippocampus during the same time period. They suggest that these time-limited effects might be explained by a gradual shift in the site where a memory is stored as it grows older, from the hippocampus to the brain’s outer mantle, or cortex.

The study showed that the growth factor works through its own — also little known — IGF-II receptor and depends on activation of an enzyme (GSK3 beta), and AMPA receptors for the chemical messenger glutamate, both of which are implicated in memory. Evidence suggests that rather than activating new neurons, it appears to work through already activated connections between cells — or synapses — that are regulated by the enzyme and receptor.

Among future directions, researchers could explore whether IGF-II might enhance other types of memory, such as extinction learning, in which a fear memory is replaced by a memory of safety, said Alberini. If so, it might provide clues to new treatments for anxiety disorders like PTSD.

In addition to NIMH, the research was also funded by NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute of General Medical Sciences, among other funders

EU herbal directive will close health food stores, say owners

EU herbal directive will close health food stores, say owners

1 commentBy Shane Starling, 27-Jan-2011

Related topics: Botanicals, Regulation, Phytochemicals, plant extracts

Health food store owners are warning they will be forced to close down after April 30 this year, when the European Union Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD) kicks in.


Companies have had a seven year-grace period since the THMPD entered EU law books in 2004, but EU-wide registrations under the regulation have been chronically low, meaning unless thousands of products register in the coming months, they will be stripped from health store and other retail shelves.

Selwyn Soe of the London-based The Herbal Factory told the BBC: “Unfortunately it looks as if we will have to close down because of this legislation.”

“The problem for us is that although we would have to pay many thousands of pounds for a licence to keep making each product, unlike a drug company we would not have a licence to make that product exclusively. It just will not be worth paying out the money.”

The regulation requires all herbal products making health claims to be registered. As of December 31, 2010, there had been 187 registrations for individual products in the UK. Eighty four products have been approved and none rejected.

The 100 per cent success has been attracting the interest of food supplement manufacturers and herbal ingredient suppliers who have struggled to have their science accepted under the 2006 nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR).

But herbal sector observers and associations have been surprised by the lack of THMPD registration applications – with the UK leading the way, followed by Germany, but many member states recording no applications at all. The relative high cost of registrations has deemed as partly to blame for the situation.

The fact that there is a clear discrepancy between the way science is treated under the THMPD and the NHCR has caused some confusion, and was partially responsible for the European Commission recently removing botanicals from the NHCR process to reconsider how science in the sector should be treated.

That issue is unlikely to be revisited until the end of 2012.

New test may help detect vitamin D deficiency earlier

New test may help detect vitamin D deficiency earlier

By Nathan Gray, 27-Jan-2011

Related topics: Industry

A new diagnostic vitamin D assay to be released in Europe may help to detect early deficiency, and could help to provide more accurate data for dieticians and researchers.

Developed by the diagnostic lab technology company Abbott to detect the amount of 25-hydroxy vitamin D, the ARCHITECT 25-OH Vitamin D is a new diagnostic test to measure levels of vitamin D in blood using an automated instrument system.

Abbot announced Conformité Européenne (CE) marking for the assay, which is intended for the assessment of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in human serum and plasma to determine vitamin D status, but added that currently the test is not approved for use in the US.

Abbot said the assay will provide a quick and accurate gauge of vitamin D status in blood samples – which may provide greater opportunities for preventive and therapeutic interventions in at risk populations.

D deficiency

“Vitamin D deficiency is recognized as a global health problem, and vitamin D supplementation should be considered for all people at risk of vitamin D deficiency,” said Dr Jean-Claude Souberbielle, of the Université Paris.

He added that determination of the serum vitamin D concentration and supplementation according to the measured deficiency level is important for patients with osteoporosis, chronic kidney disease, abnormalities in absorbing food nutrients, and more generally, in those with a disease or a treatment that may impair bone health.

The UK National Institute of Health (NiH) said that whilst testing for levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D is currently the most accurate way to determine vitamin D levels, many assays that are used can be notoriously inaccurate.
“As a major diagnostic lab, serum 25-OH vitamin D has become an increasingly important diagnostic marker to us,” said Dr. Frans AL van der Horst, from the Reinier de Graaf Group, Netherlands.

Brian Blaser, senior vice president, diagnostic operations for Abbott said that the new vitamin D assay is “a valuable and convenient addition” which provides an automated test for samples that may previously have been sent to outside reference labs.

Scientists identify cocoa’s ‘novel mechanism’ for heart benefits

Scientists identify cocoa’s ‘novel mechanism’ for heart benefits

By Stephen Daniells, 26-Jan-2011

Related topics: Research, Antioxidants, carotenoids, Phytochemicals, plant extracts, Cardiovascular health

The potential heart health benefits of polyphenol-rich cocoa powder may be related to a ‘novel mechanism’ of boosting HDL (good) cholesterol, says a new study from Japan.


The new study may extend our understanding of cocoa’s potential heart benefits

Researchers from the Food and Health R&D Laboratories at Japanese company Meiji Seika Kaisha report that cocoa’s potential ability to boost HDL levels is related to a proteins which boost levels of a compound called apolipoprotein A1 (Apo-A1), which is required by the body to produce HDL-cholesterol.

“As cholesterol metabolism is known to be regulated by several different mechanisms, it is possible that cacao polyphenols may act on multiple pathways as a regulatory receptor agonist or ligand, similar to other plant polyphenols,” wrote the researchers in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Cocoa’s benefits

The health benefits of polyphenols from cocoa have been gathering increasing column inches in the national media. To date studies have reported potential benefits for cardiovascular health, skin health, and even brain health.

The majority of science into the potential benefits of cocoa have revolved around cardiovascular benefits of the flavanols (also known as flavan-3-ols or catechins), and particularly the monomeric flavanol (-)epicatechin.

Recently, however, scientists from the University of Reading in England and Mars reported that cocoa may also affect gut microflora and possess prebiotic potential.

The new study takes us back to the health benefit with the strongest supporting science: Cardiovascular health. While it is known that consumption of cocoa polyphenols may boost HDL cholesterol levels, and decrease LDL cholesterol levels, the Japanese researchers state that “the mechanisms responsible for these effects of cocoa on cholesterol metabolism have yet to be fully elucidated”.

Study details

In an attempt to fill this knowledge gap, the Japanese researchers examined the effects of cacao polyphenols such as (−)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin, and procyanidin B2 and C1 in human intestinal cells.

Results showed that the polyphenols increased apo A1 protein levels, while levels of alipoprotein B, the main alipoprotein responsible for carrying LDL cholesterol to cells, decreased.

Digging deeper into the potential mechanism, the researchers add that the cocoa compounds were also associated with an increase in sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs).

“SREBP is primarily responsible for the regulation of genes involved in cholesterol biosynthesis and metabolism,” explained the researchers. “Therefore, these results suggest that cacao polyphenols participate in cholesterol metabolism.”

“These results elucidate a novel mechanism by which HDL cholesterol levels become elevated with daily cocoa intake,” they concluded.

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1021/jf103820b
“Cacao Polyphenols Influence the Regulation of Apolipoprotein in HepG2 and Caco2 Cells.”
Authors: A. Yasuda, M. Natsume, N. Osakabe, K. Kawahata, J. Koga