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Past News Items - February 2020

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In the News

New Meta-Analysis: Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate Found To Help Improve Endurance Exercise Performance Among Participants In 10 Studies

New Study: Daily Use of Pycnogenol® Provides Benefits for Men Managing ED and Type 2 Diabetes

The Health World Has Embraced Psyllium Husk

Seven Herbal Medicines Are Capable of Killing Lyme Disease Bacteria, According to New Lab Study

Released: 02/21/20

New Meta-Analysis: Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate Found To Help Improve Endurance Exercise Performance Among Participants In 10 Studies

Montmorency tart cherry juice has gained a reputation as a recovery drink among elite and recreational exercisers, with research suggesting benefits for reducing strength loss and improving muscle recovery after intensive exercise. Now, a new first-of-its-kind analysis published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that tart cherries improved endurance exercise performance among study participants.

This new meta-analysis examined 10 previously published studies on tart cherries and exercise recovery. The sample sizes ranged from 8-27, and the average ages of study participants ranged from 18.6 to 34.6 years. Most of the participants were endurance-trained individuals, including cyclists, runners and triathletes. The 10 studies totaled 127 males and 20 females.

After pooling results from the 10 published studies, the meta-analysis concluded that tart cherry concentrate in juice or powdered form significantly improved endurance exercise performance when consumed for seven days to 1.5 hours before cycling, swimming or running.

"The recovery benefits of tart cherry concentrate are well researched, yet evidence on performance enhancement is scarce and results have been mixed," said co-author Philip Chilibeck, PhD, professor in the College of Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan. "The results of this meta-analysis found that tart cherries did help improve performance, and we gained greater insight into the potential mechanism responsible for this benefit."  

Research Methodology
Researchers reviewed existing research related to tart cherries and aerobic endurance sport performance and identified 10 studies that fit the inclusion criteria. To qualify, studies were required to be randomized controlled trials conducted in a healthy adult population and use a placebo as a comparison for tart cherry supplementation (including tart cherry juice, tart cherry concentrate, tart cherry powder and tart cherry powder capsules).

Nine of the 10 studies involved longer-term tart cherry consumption (around two to seven days prior to exercise) and one involved same-day supplementation. Tart cherry dosages varied across studies and included 200 to 500 mg/day in capsule or powder form, 60 to 90 mL/day of tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with 100 to 510 mL water and 300 to 473mL/day of tart cherry juice. The total amount of anthocyanins consumed daily ranged from 66 to 2,760 mg.

Methods of measuring performance differed across studies, and included distance on a shuttle swimming test, time to exhaustion during high-intensity cycling, total work performed during cycling, cycling time trials (time it took to cover 10 km, 15 km and 20 km) and time to complete a full or half marathon. To account for these variations, researchers calculated standardized mean differences and 95% confidence intervals to assess performance changes.

Pooled results across these 10 studies indicated a significant improvement in endurance performance with tart cherry concentrate, with two of the 10 studies reporting significant performance-enhancing effects on their own. While pooled results in the meta-analysis found significant benefits, eight of the 10 studies on recovery did not demonstrate a performance benefit when comparing tart cherry to placebo. This could be related to participant demographics and fitness levels, diet and exercise control, supplementation protocol and measurements of performance. Not all studies used well-trained athletes, and the meta-analysis found the lowest improvement when tart cherry juice was consumed by the lowest trained participants. No dose-response relationship was found between tart cherry concentrate and performance, and further studies are warranted to find an optimal dosing strategy. 

Nearly all of the studies on cherries and recovery or performance have been conducted with Montmorency tart cherries, the most common variety of tart cherries grown in the U.S. These home-grown tart cherries are available year-round in dried, frozen, canned, juice and juice concentrate forms. Other varieties of tart cherries may be imported and not grown locally.

Source: Gao R, Chilibeck PD. Effect of tart cherry concentrate on endurance exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2020. [E-pub ahead of print].  

Cherry Industry Administrative Board
The Cherry Industry Administrative Board (CIAB) is a not-for-profit organization funded by U.S. tart cherry growers and processors. CIAB had no role in the funding of this study. CIAB's mission is to increase the demand for Montmorency tart cherries through promotion, market expansion and product development. To learn more about previous research studies on Montmorency tart cherries, visit ChooseCherries.com.

SOURCE Cherry Industry Administrative Board

Released: 02/21/20

New Study: Daily Use of Pycnogenol® Provides Benefits for Men Managing ED and Type 2 Diabetes

New research shows promising results for those dealing with erectile dysfunction and diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, erectile dysfunction (ED) affects up to 30 million men in the U.S.1, and approximately 1 in 4 new cases of ED occur in men under the age of 40.1 A new peer-reviewed study, published in the Bratislava Medical Journal, shows that daily supplementation with the natural antioxidant, Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all) French maritime pine bark extract, can improve the symptoms of ED. This study adds to a body of research showing the benefits of Pycnogenol® for improving circulation and blood flow, strengthening the vascular system and managing cholesterol.  

"Erectile dysfunction often correlates to other health issues, including stress and lack of sleep, and may be an indicator of a serious underlying condition2 such as hypertension and diabetes. This study shows the benefits of Pycnogenol® for addressing erectile function as well as underlying conditions," said Dr. Steven Lamm, medical director of the NYU Langone Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men's Health, a leading expert on sexual health, and author of The Hardness Factor. "Patients frequently seek non-pharmaceutical options for managing these conditions, and to reduce their dependence on prescription medications."

Research shows that men with diabetes have a three-times higher risk of developing ED1 than average and more than half of all men with diabetes will experience symptoms of ED3 at some point in their lives.

Pycnogenol®, a powerful antioxidant, is shown in numerous studies to support vascular function, a key organ system responsible for circulating blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Pycnogenol® is a standardized form of French maritime pine bark extract that promotes nitric oxide production for vascular health and blood circulation.

The new double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 53 patients with ED. Participants were divided into two groups to examine the effects of Pycnogenol® for individuals with erectile dysfunction alone, and for patients with ED combined with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers analyzed participant improvement using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) questionnaire and blood samples to measure biochemical markers for diabetes. Following the three-month study period, results showed that supplementation with 120mg of Pycnogenol® daily significantly improved erectile function in both test groups, including:

45 percent improvement of erectile function in the diabetes participant group (vs -20 percent decrease in the placebo group)

22 percent improvement of erectile function in the ED-only participant group (vs -16 percent decrease in the placebo group)

Participants reported additional cardiovascular benefits, including:

20 percent reduction of LDL cholesterol in the diabetes participant group (vs >1 percent increase in the placebo group)

14 percent improvement of LDL cholesterol in the ED-only participant group (vs 4 percent in the placebo group)

22 percent improvement of serum glucose in the diabetes participant group (vs >1 percent in the placebo group)

"These are significant findings for men with ED and type 2 diabetes and represent important research for men managing these health conditions. Having a scientifically-supported, effective, natural way to manage erectile quality can give men another option to consider for their overall health and wellness," says Dr. Lamm.

"Nearly 60 percent4 of men avoid regular visits to the doctor's office, but perhaps the greatest male motivator for better living is when an issue hits below the belt. Men should always consult with their physician if they are experiencing ED symptoms to make sure it is not a sign of a greater health issue," says Dr. Lamm. "Blood sugar fluctuations from type 2 diabetes can damage nerves and blood vessels required to achieve an erection. Cardiovascular conditions that affect blood circulation also increase the risk of ED. Addressing it sooner reduces the risk of longer-term damage or effects."

This new research shows the potent circulatory and endothelial nitric oxide enhancing benefits of Pycnogenol® and builds on a comprehensive catalog of research examining its benefits for circulation and men's health. Pycnogenol® is a powerful natural super-antioxidant shown in decades of research to promote healthy blood circulation. To review clinical research and additional information on Pycnogenol®, visit www.pycnogenol.com. Pycnogenol® is available in more than 1,000 dietary supplements and health products worldwide.

About Pycnogenol® 
Pycnogenol®?is a natural plant extract originating from the bark of the maritime pine that grows along the coast of southwest France and is found to contain a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids and phenolic acids, which offer extensive natural health benefits.?The extract has been widely studied for the past 40 years and has more than 450 published studies and review articles ensuring safety and efficacy as an ingredient. Today,?Pycnogenol®?is available in more than 1,000 dietary supplements and health products worldwide. For more information, visit?www.pycnogenol.com.? 

About Horphag Research (USA) Inc. 
Horphag Research (USA) Inc., based in Hoboken, New Jersey, is the North American distributor for Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all) brand French maritime pine bark extract and Robuvit®, French oak wood extract on behalf of Horphag Research. Pycnogenol® and Robuvit® are registered trademarks of Horphag Research Ltd. For its patented ingredient, Pycnogenol®, Horphag Research has been awarded the Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Research Award, Nutraceutical Business & Technology Safety & Quality Award, SupplySide West Scientific Excellence Award and The American Botanical Council's Tyler Research Award.?Horphag Research (USA) has the exclusive rights to market and sell Pycnogenol® in North America and benefits from more than 40 years of scientific research assuring the safety and efficacy of Pycnogenol® as a dietary supplement. For more information, visit www.pycnogenol.com and www.robuvit.com

1 CDC: Men & Diabetes
2 Harvard Medical School: Erectile dysfunction often a warning sign of heart disease
3 Reuters: More than half of men with diabetes have erectile dysfunction
4 Everyday Health: 60 percent of men don't go to the doctor: here's why


SOURCE Horphag Research (USA) Inc.

Released: 02/21/20

The Health World Has Embraced Psyllium Husk

A longtime staple of the health food world, Psyllium Husk has recently risen in popularity, with a predicted sales spike within the next six years. For family-owned supplements brand, Aeternum Nutrition (formerly Bonne Santé), Psyllium Husk has always been a strong seller.

"We have a lot of positive feedback from customers about our Psyllium Husk Capsules," says company CEO Jared Bench. Psyllium Husk is a form of fiber, derived from the seeds of the Psyllium plant, with numerous health benefits. While Psyllium Husk is often sold loose as a powder, Aeternum's capsules make it easy to ingest.

Psyllium Husk is most commonly known as an effective laxative when taken in large doses, and a helpful supplement for regulating digestive health when taken in a daily dose. Since it is a fiber, there are numerous health benefits to taking Psyllium Husk regularly.

Studies suggest that taking Psyllium can greatly improve heart health by helping the body manage cholesterol, improve lipid levels, and control fluctuations in blood pressure. Psyllium is also a powerful prebiotic. Prebiotics act as support for probiotics, the healthy bacteria that live in the human gut-environment, or "microbiome."

Probiotics play an integral role, not only in the health of the digestive system but in the health of the entire human body. For instance, gut bacteria help regulate complex processes like the production of neurotransmitters, the messengers that carry signals to and from the brain. Healthy gut bacteria also helps control skin and hormone issues including acne, so when the gut environment is suffering, either from illness, poor diet, or a host of other external causes, the effects can be devastating.

One of the most common reasons for an unhealthy microbiome is a diet that is lacking in prebiotics. Prebiotic foods are usually fibrous fruits, vegetables, and legumes, but for people who are not able to ingest enough prebiotic foods, taking Psyllium Husk capsules can be a life-saver.

As wellness trends grow to recognize the immense benefits of regularly taking Psyllium Husk, Aeternum Nutrition becomes a stand-out name in the world of supplemental health.


SOURCE Aeternum

Released: 02/21/20

Seven Herbal Medicines Are Capable of Killing Lyme Disease Bacteria, According to New Lab Study

Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the U.S., today announced the publication of new data finding that seven herbal medicines are highly active in test tubes against B. burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, compared to the control antibiotics, doxycycline and cefuroxime. Published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine, the laboratory study was funded by Bay Area Lyme Foundation and supported in part by the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. The study was a collaboration between researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues at the California Center for Functional Medicine and FOCUS Health Group, Naturopathic.

"Since traditional antibiotic approaches fail to resolve symptoms in up to 25% of patients treated for Lyme disease and many suffer disabling effects of the disease, there is a need for novel treatment proven effective against B. burgdorferi," said the paper's co-author Sunjya K. Schweig, MD, CEO and co-director, California Center for Functional Medicine and Scientific Advisory Board Member, Bay Area Lyme Foundation. "Because patients are currently turning to herbal remedies to fill the treatment gaps left by antibiotics, this research is a critical step in helping clinicians, as well as patients, understand which ones may offer the most potential benefit."

According to this laboratory study, carried out by Prof. Ying Zhang's group at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the seven herbal medicines that have the ability to kill B. burgdorferi in test tubes are: 

  • Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
  • Juglans nigra (Black walnut)
  • Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
  • Artemisia annua (Sweet wormwood)
  • Uncaria tomentosa (Cat's claw)
  • Cistus incanus
  • Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap)

It is important to note that each of these products have the potential to produce significant side effects in patients, and should be taken only under advisement of a clinician knowledgeable of their capabilities and toxicities.

Of these products, the Cryptolepis sanguinolenta extract caused complete eradication, while doxycycline and cefuroxime and other active herbs did not. This extract has been used for the treatment of malaria as well as the tick-borne infection Babesia, a malaria-like parasite. This study is believed to be the first time this extract has been documented to have a potential impact on B. burgdorferi, and additional laboratory and clincial studies should be conducted to investigate the potential role Cryptolepis sanguinolenta could play in the treatment of Lyme disease.

Further, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta and Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed) showed strong activity against both growing B. burgdorferi (MIC=0.03%-0.06% and 0.25%-0.5% respectively) and non-growing stationary phase B. burgdorferi.

In contrast, Stevia rebaudiana, Andrographis paniculata, Grapefruit seed extract, colloidal silver, monolaurin, and antimicrobial peptide LL37 had little or no activity against stationary phase B. burgdorferi.

"Our hope is that findings from this study could point to new therapeutic options for doctors and their patients, and pave the way for clinical research to help patients with persistent Lyme disease," said Linda Giampa, executive director, Bay Area Lyme Foundation.

These data may provide a basis for the clinical improvement of patients who take herbal medicines, particularly those whose chronic symptoms may be due to persistent bacteria that are not killed by conventional Lyme antibiotic treatment. However, it is critical to note that additional studies are needed to further evaluate the seven active botanical medicines identified in the study. Patients should not attempt to self-treat with these herbal medicines due to potential side effects and lack of clinical trials with these products.

About the Study
For the study, the researchers tested 14 natural products in test tubes against B. burgdorferi. Plant extracts selected for the study included herbs or agents that: have been previously used to manage the symptoms of patients who do not respond to standard Lyme antibiotic treatment; have favorable safety profiles; and can be absorbed systemically. Additional criteria for selecting compounds included anti-biofilm effects and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. To conduct the study, the plant extracts in concentrations of 1%, 0.5% and 0.25% and antibiotic controls were each tested on growing as well as non-growing B. burgdorferi cultures. The study found that seven of these natural product extracts at 0.25%-0.5% had better activity against the stationary phase B. burgdorferi culture than the control antibiotics doxycycline and cefuroxime, both of which are commonly used to treat Lyme disease.


The paper titled "Evaluation of Natural and Botanical Medicines for Activity against Growing and Non-growing Forms of B. burgdorferi," was written by Jie Feng, PhD, Jacob Leone, ND, Sunjya Schweig, MD, and Ying Zhang, MD, PhD.

About Lyme Disease
The most common vector-borne infectious disease in the country, Lyme disease is a potentially disabling infection caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of an infected tick to people and pets. If caught early, most cases of Lyme disease can be effectively treated, but it is commonly misdiagnosed due to lack of awareness and unreliable diagnostic tests. There are more than 400,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, according to statistics released in 2018 by the CDC. As a result of the difficulty in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, at least two million Americans may be suffering from the impact of its debilitating long-term symptoms and complications, according to Bay Area Lyme Foundation estimates.

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