At the World Health Organization’s (WHO; Geneva) upcoming European Ministerial Conference on Counteracting Obesity, which will be held in November in Istanbul, Turkey, many of the world’s leading health experts will convene to develop new plans for dealing with the obesity epidemic. With any luck, functional foods will be one of the strategies that helps makes a difference.
As the body of peer-reviewed research on cognitive-function ingredients continues to grow, omega-3 is just the tip of the iceberg for natural alternatives to prescription drugs, say industry experts.
As more Americans are turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to address their health concerns, many practitioners have been struggling to remain knowledgeable about the latest research concerning natural products. More than a third of all American adults used some form of CAM from 1997 to 2004, according to a report by researchers from Harvard Medical School (Boston). And while the number of people using CAM has remained relatively steady since the 1990s, the types of CAM therapies they are using have been changing. Herbal medicine—the category that made the largest gains—grew by more than 50% from 1997 to 2004.
One of the most important studies on natural ingredients of the past decade will soon have a postscript. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), published in the October 2001 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, was the first large-scale clinical trial to confirm that antioxidant supplementation may help slow down the progression of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The good news is that there’s growing evidence nutritional supplements can play a key role in treating people with heart disease.
In their quest to create tasty foods and beverages enriched with omega-3s, food technologists, like salmon, have had to swim against the current. The taste of omega-3 fatty acids has been a key stumbling block. Recently, however, manufacturers have been employing several strategies to develop new products.
Eight years ago, Nutritional Outlook honored industry achievements by bestowing the magazine’s first award: Manufacturer of the Year. While it was relatively easy to select 1998’s award winner, Twinlab, it has become more difficult since then to choose just one industry leader.
In many respects, 2005 is beginning to look a lot like 2004. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA; Rockville, MD) is still promising the “imminent” publication of good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for dietary supplements.
The more consumers learn and remember about brain and memory support supplements, the more likely they are to turn to them for a mental boost.
While the ban did eliminate a top-selling ingredient, in the long run it may have ended up helping, rather than hurting, the industry. As manufacturers have backed away from stimulant-based approaches to weight loss, other ingredients have rushed in to fill the void. Moreover, manufacturers are now asking for more clinical and safety data.