Vitamin Bears™ Nutrition & Healthy Living

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Joints & Bones – Q&A


  • What are the most common joint and bone related conditions?

Osteoarthritis a degenerative disease affecting in particular the hands, feet, spine, hips and knees, is one of the biggest ailments in the UK with more than 8.5 million sufferers.

Among the younger generation, rickets is on the increase. The 17th Century disease was almost eradicated in the 1940s, but has been making a comeback in recent years. It is thought extensive use of sunscreen by parents anxious about skin cancer, children spending more time playing computer games and watching TV and a poor diet are to blame. Sunshine is one of the main sources of Vitamin D, and with the long drawn out winters, lack of sun exposure, children are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency.

In the older population, osteomalacia is also something prevalent, especially with post-menopausal women. Oestrogen provides bone protective properties and after the menopause, bone resorption (breakdown) outpaces the building of new bone.

  • In what way can poor diet and lifestyle contribute to poor joint and bone health?

Lack of exercise can contribute to stiffness in joints. A small amount of exercise as recommended by the department of health can help strengthen the muscles around your joints, help you maintain bone strength.

Certain medication, such as Steroids – certain drugs used to treat seizures (anticonvulsants), blood thinners (anticoagulants), and thyroid medications increase the rate of bone loss if not used as directed. If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor about how to reduce your risk of bone loss through diet and lifestyle changes.

  • Looking at supplementation, what do you consider crucial for people to maintain healthy joints?

A good diet is essential for health, and many complementary and alternative therapists advise on a healthy balanced diet. Diets can help many people with arthritis, both inflammatory types and osteoarthritis. As well as having a healthy, balanced diet, getting additional nutrients from food supplements may help if you have arthritis.

Omega-3 has been known for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Omega-3’s nourish bones and joints as you age.  Dietary omega-3s also have the ability to support articular cartilage and modulate certain chemical reactions, which both lead to joint comfort. New data indicates krill oil may help treat arthritic joint tissue by neutralizing pro-inflammatory activity. Clinical research has shown Krill oil to have up to 6x stronger action on arthritis symptoms than other marine based omega-3’s. In a group of aging individuals inflicted with arthritic pain, 300 mg per day of krill oil alone slashed pro-inflammatory C-reactive protein activity in half after just one month.

Glucosamine is a long standing ingredient with proven benefits for osteoarthritis, especially for the knee. Just 1500mg of Glucosamine per day could help to reduce joint pain and help protect the cartilage from further damage.


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Educating the Trade: Technology Transforming VMS

Skimming through the VMS section in a leading high street retailer, I am bombarded with the range of supplements on offer. Which one to choose? What is the difference? I suspect these are questions many potential consumers face. We are always excited to hear about the latest breakthrough ingredients and their benefits over the usual suspects that we have grown up with. But what about the advancements in technology? The possibility to provide greater efficacy and allow us to continue with the old favourites in a new format?

Looking at the Joint Health category, I selected at least 5 leading brands that contained the same active ingredient at the same level but with different pricing, with one noticeably stating ‘Sustained Release’. Asking the ever keen shop assistant how this would benefit over the others, she stated that the body would utilise this ingredient in the same way and therefore was no different. But I know this isn’t the case. Immediately I took it upon myself to educate the employees of the benefits associated with ‘Sustained Release’ that I had ‘apparently’ read about. Needless to say the assistant felt more enlightened and I felt as though this was a weird parallel universe where our roles had somehow been reversed. Surely it was she who supposed to be duly informing me?!

The product in question was Glucosamine 1500mg Sustained Release, which has a 12-hour release profile providing long-lasting support which has been shown in studies to be more effective than the standard immediate release form.

Bioglan Range of Supplements 2011

Bioglan – If you’re serious about health

The same can be said for Enteric Coated products. Fish oil with an enteric coating, allowing intestinal release of the fish oil rather than in the stomach therefore overcoming any fishy ‘burp back’ or the unsavoury fishy smell associated with most of the fish oils on the market. However as the European market is currently not all too aware of enteric coating, its benefits go unnoticed with the exception of the few who are savvy enough to understand its concept.

So, the real dilemma we face is not only to relay the benefits of the product, which is increasingly difficult with the current regulatory climate – but to educate the consumer, store managers and shop assistants alike about the differences with supplements utilising advanced delivery concepts. Our aim is to drive the whole category forward, to move to away from cheaper supplements that disappoint, to ones which provide real efficacy.

Published article can be found in January 2012 issue of Health Food Business magazine

More information on Bioglan and its range of supplements can be found on their website