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The Federal Trade Commission has just announced a settlement with breakfast cereal giant Kellogg’s over claims that just eating a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal could boost a child’s attentiveness by almost 20 percent. Faulting both the science of Kellogg’s study and its interpretation of the results, the FTC charged that Kellogg’s claim are false and in violation of the FTC Act. Chairman Jon Leibowitz adds, “We tell consumers that they should deal with trusted national brands. So it’s especially important that America’s leading companies are more ‘attentive’ to the truthfulness of their ads and don’t exaggerate the results of tests or research. In the future, the Commission will certainly be more attentive to national advertisers.” This is good news for the industry but perhaps bad news for parents who were (or are) eager to find something ‘easy’ to help their children pay attention, learn and develop intellectually. Fortunately, there are some great products and nutritional factors that can help kids learn and concentrate better, but don’t count on Kellogg’s to clue you in. Get an overview in today’s AllStarHealth blog.

PMS + EFAS = AOK

March 13th, 2009

Among the most common questions from our female (and occasionally male) customers concerns the difficulty many women have with PMS, also known as dysmenorrhea; Are there alternatives to drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, and which ones do you recommend? Among the most commonly-used supplements to help ease the cramping, bloating and irritability that characterize PMS/dysmenorrhea are herbs like dong quai and vitex, vitamin B-6 and B-12, minerals like magnesium and potassium and the serotonin precursor 5-HTP. You can find women who get great results with one or a combination of these nutrients, but because PMS has a complex and dynamic set of causative factors that vary from woman to woman, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and probably never will be. However, research suggests that there are two types of nutrients that – besides being good for you anyway – deserve special consideration in terms of easing PMS symptoms.

Last November, a nationwide survey of over six thousand supplement users identified changes in the popularity of different brands and supplement types.

Long before it’s talked about on the evening news, the most promising nutritional research first surfaces in peer-reviewed scientific journals, the ones nobody but doctors, scientists or grad students read. So once a month, AllStarHealth summarizes some of the most promising new findings in our Nutrition Research Roundup.

They say timing is everything. That’s especially true when it comes to certain nutritional supplements.  Taking a supplement at the wrong time can make a big difference in terms of the results you’ll get.  Or, it can make no difference at all.  You’ll know which is which when you’ve checked out our guide to supplement [...]

A New Year has always been the perfect time of year to re-commit to losing excess weight, getting into better shape, getting that blood pressure down, stop smoking, clean up your diet or start taking some supplements. These are all worthwhile, achievable goals. But, suddenly, protecting your health has taken on a new urgency and importance. Suddenly, even with the best health insurance in the world, taking your health for granted, or taking avoidable risks with your health is a very risky proposition.

Dear AllStarHealth,

Help! My doctor’s told me that I have to go on a blood pressure medication. I just looked up the side effects and I think it went up a few more points! I just hate the idea of taking prescription drugs. Are there any supplements I can take instead? I currently take a women’s multi and extra calcium.

The research studies of today form the basis for the supplements we’ll be buying tomorrow. So we’re always looking at what’s coming over the horizon. A periodic search of PubMed and other databases takes a long time but always reveals some surprising (and unsurprising) trends and developments in the fields of nutrition and health. So we’ve summarized some interesting recent findings into a One Minute Research Roundup. Got a minute? Get caught up on what may be coming down the nutrition pike.

People spend billions of dollars each year on skin care products of every description, all in hopes of achieving clearer, healthier or younger-looking skin. But before you spend another dime on an overpriced/overhyped moisturizer, think about this; any skin you can see is dead tissue, and as such, there isn’t much you can put on it to make meaningful, long term changes in its health or appearance. To achieve that, you’ve got to cultivate good skin from the inside out. Here’s your simplified guide to good-skin nutrition.

Commonly Confused Supplements

September 29th, 2008

With thousands of dietary supplements on the market and more emerging every day, there are a growing number of similar-sounding products making it all too easy to buy the wrong product for your needs. For example, there’s calcium ascorbate, calcium pyruvate and calcium d-glucarate, but none of these is actually a calcium supplement. Here’s a guide to help you sort out the most commonly-confused supplements.