Across the Nutra-verse: Omega-3 health claims for blood pressure, NZ supplement trends, and more

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / denphumi
© Getty Images / denphumi
It’s a global industry and there’s a lot happening. We know it’s not always easy keeping up with everything that’s happening around the world. The answer? Our weekly round-up of key news from across the globe.

USA

FDA finally​ approves omega-3 health claim for blood pressure

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a list of qualified health claims for omega-3 fatty acids and their effect on blood pressure​.

The approval, which was announced yesterday, is the culmination of a process that extended for more than five years. The Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) first submitted a petition for the claims in 2014.

The health claim petition was based in part on a meta-analysis of 70 studies on omega-3s and blood pressure that GOED had commissioned and that was published in early 2014 in the American Journal of Hypertension​.

The officially approved claims are:

1. Consuming EPA and DHA combined may help lower blood pressure in the general population and reduce the risk of hypertension. However, FDA has concluded that the evidence is inconsistent and inconclusive. One serving of [name of the food or dietary supplement] provides [  ] gram(s) of EPA and DHA.

2. Consuming EPA and DHA combined may reduce blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension, a risk factor for CHD (coronary heart disease). However, FDA has concluded that the evidence is inconsistent and inconclusive. One serving of [name of the food or dietary supplement] provides [  ] gram(s) of EPA and DHA.

3.a. Consuming EPA and DHA combined may reduce the risk of CHD (coronary heart disease) by lowering blood pressure. However, FDA has concluded that the evidence is inconsistent and inconclusive. One serving of [name of the food or dietary supplement] provides [  ] gram(s) of EPA and DHA.

3.b. Consuming EPA and DHA combined may reduce the risk of CHD (coronary heart disease) by reducing the risk of hypertension. However, FDA has concluded that the evidence is inconsistent and inconclusive. One serving of [name of the food or dietary supplement] provides [  ] gram(s) of EPA and DHA.

4. Research shows that consuming EPA and DHA combined may be beneficial for moderating blood pressure, a risk factor for CHD (coronary heart disease). However, FDA has concluded that the evidence is inconsistent and inconclusive. One serving of [name of the food or dietary supplement] provides [  ] gram(s) of EPA and DHA.

Europe

UK Government to press ahead with folic acid flour fortification

The British government has launched a 12-week public consultation over proposals to fortify flour with folic acid.

“We all want to give our children the best start in life and a birth defect diagnosis is devastating for parents,”​ said public health minister Seema Kennedy

“The simple measure of adding folic acid to flour would help spare hundreds of families from such a life-changing event.”

Folic acid or vitamin B deficiency amongst mothers-to-be is strongly linked to ‘neural tube defects’ with babies being born with brain, spine and spinal cord problems.

A 2010 meta-analysis​  showed an overall 46% reduction in neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly in countries where wheat flour was fortified with this B vitamin.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed the prevention of neural tube defects through flour fortification amongst its list of 10 great health achievements​ in the US for the last decade.

For more on this, please click HERE​.

Asia

Gut health, Ayurveda, and hemp among top NZ supplement trends

According to Kerry Warn, general manager of Natural Health Products NZ, key trends for the New Zealand supplements market include:

Vitamins and minerals: Good growth has been reported for vitamins K and A, albeit from a small base, while vitamin C is booming, she said. On the mineral side, magnesium is increasing in popularity.

Ayurveda: As we’ve seen in the US market, turmeric has been the “blockbuster botanical” growing at a rapid rate in New Zealand over the past three years, said Warn.

Adaptogens: Still niche but showing growth.

Digestive health: Ingredients such as Probiotics and fiber are popular, she said. Interestingly, dosage format in the form of general food, such as kombucha are the preferred choice.

Mind, body and soul: Warn said that there is a move towards fit instead of skinny. Sports nutrition is doing well, but demand for weight loss products is declining. New Zealand consumers are also interested in products that promote relaxation, she said.

Native ingredients: Warn also highlighted some of the interesting local New Zealand ingredients, including horopito, boysenberry, local red grapes, and blackcurrants.

For more on this from NutraIngredients-Asia, please click HERE​.

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