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In the News

Morning blue light treatment improves sleep in patients with PTSD

Mindfulness shows promise as an effective intervention to lower blood pressure

New National Survey Shows Strong Public Support for Natural Health Options

Study Finds that 1 in 4 People with MS Routinely Take 5 or More Medications, Potentially Increasing Health Risks

New Research Reveals Common Treatments for Knee Pain are Falling Short, Placing Physical, Social, and Mental Burden on Patients

PLT Health Solutions menatto™ Vitamin K2 is Verified Non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project




Released: November 2022


Morning blue light treatment improves sleep in patients with PTSD

People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced better sleep, a reduction in the severity of PTSD symptoms and more effective treatments after exposure to blue light therapy, according to a new study conducted by researchers in the University of Arizona College of Medicine -- Tucson's Department of Psychiatry and recently published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Sleep is crucial for maintaining physical and mental health, and inadequate sleep over time can impact all aspects of life with serious implications for long-term health, relationships, cognitive abilities such as learning, and healing.

The influence of sleep disruption on PTSD symptom severity is well established. Those who seek treatment to allay their PTSD symptoms often face a vicious cycle where poor sleep interferes with the effectiveness of treatments, negating any lessening of symptoms, which in turn contributes to sleep disruptions. To reduce and eliminate the emotional impact of traumatic memories, the patient needs quality sleep to integrate healing mechanisms achieved through cognitive or exposure therapy treatments.

"This research is exciting and unique because it points to an easy-to-use method for helping those with PTSD to retain the benefits of therapy long after the treatment ends," said psychiatry professor William "Scott" Killgore, PhD, director of the Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) Lab and senior author on the paper, "Morning blue light treatment improves sleep complaints, symptom severity, and retention of fear extinction memory in post-traumatic stress disorder."

Dr. Killgore and the SCAN Lab team conducted a comprehensive assessment of daily morning blue-wavelength light exposure on individuals with clinically significant levels of PTSD. The goal was to ascertain if blue light therapy would help improve sleep and PTSD symptoms and sustain learned fear extinction memories, an analog of therapeutic treatment for trauma.

Study participants committed to 30 minutes of morning light exposure daily for six weeks, with half of the participants using blue-wavelength light and half using amber light. Researchers examined the neurobiological, autonomic and behavioral outcome changes during the study.

The 43 participants who received blue light therapy not only demonstrated significant improvements in the severity of their PTSD symptoms, but also reported improvements in sleep and showed an increased retention of fear extinction memories. In comparison, the 39 study participants who received amber light did not show the same retention of the extinction memories, but rather showed a return of the original fear memories.

"While the limitations of the research include its modest sample size and difficulties monitoring compliance, the possibilities of utilizing a treatment that is relatively simple, drug-free and inexpensive can offer hope for the large population of people living with the intense challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder," Dr. Killgore said.

"The data are thrilling," said Jordan Karp, MD, professor and chair of the College of Medicine -- Tucson's Department of Psychiatry. "This nonpharmacological intervention is a promising life-changing and life-saving possibility for people suffering from PTSD."

 

This study was supported by the US Army Medical Research and Development Command (W81XWH-14-0570).

Released: November 2022


Mindfulness shows promise as an effective intervention to lower blood pressure

A customized mindfulness program that taught participants to apply those skills to have healthy relationships with their diet, physical activity, alcohol use, medication adherence and stress, led to notably lower systolic (top number) blood pressure measures six months after participating in the mindfulness program, according to late-breaking science presented today at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022. The meeting, held in person in Chicago and virtually, Nov. 5-7, 2022, is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science.

Nearly half of U.S. adults have high blood pressure, or hypertension, and many aren’t aware they have it, according to the American Heart Association. High blood pressure - a consistently high force of blood flowing through blood vessels - is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 causes of death in the U.S., respectively.

The mindfulness program focused on training participants in skills such as attention control, self-awareness and emotion regulation, and then applied that training to health behavior change. This approach may offer a novel way to improve blood pressure control, according to lead study author Eric B. Loucks, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology and director of the Mindfulness Center at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

“Mindfulness is non-judgmental, present-moment awareness of physical sensations, emotions and thoughts,” Loucks said. “It is almost like a scientist curiously and objectively observing the information coming in through the sense organs and the mind, and then responding skillfully to that information. Mindfulness also involves the concept of remembering, or in other words, remembering to bring one’s wisdom (wherever it was gained, such as from health care professionals or public health messages) into the present moment. Wisdom in the context of elevated blood pressure levels may include knowledge that evidence-based practices, such as physical activity, diet, limited alcohol consumption and antihypertensive medication adherence, can improve well-being.”

In this study, researchers compared enhanced usual care (e.g., a home blood pressure monitor, blood pressure education material, facilitated access to a physician if needed) to participation in an 8-week mindfulness-based program, customized for people with elevated blood pressure.

This clinical trial, conducted from June 2017 to November 2020, included more than 200 adults recruited from the Providence, Rhode Island area who had elevated/high blood pressure, defined as greater than 120 mm Hg systolic or 80 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure. Participants included men (41%) and women (59%), average age 59 years, 81% were white adults and 73% had a college education.

About half of the participants were randomly assigned to the enhanced usual care group. The remaining participants received the mindfulness program, called Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP). Those in the intervention group went to a group orientation session, eight 2.5-hour weekly group sessions and a 7.5-hour, one-day group retreat. Recommended home mindfulness practice was at least 45 minutes a day, six days a week.

At six months, researchers found:

  • Participants in the Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction group had an average drop in systolic blood pressure of 5.9 mm Hg, compared to a 1.4 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure in the enhanced usual care group.
  • There were no notable changes in diastolic blood pressure measures for either group.
  • Those in the Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction group also reduced sedentary sitting by an average of 351 minutes each week compared to the participants in the enhanced usual care group.

When the researchers analyzed changes in diet including eating a diet consistent with the recommendations in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet (DASH), perceived stress and mindfulness, they found participants in the mindfulness intervention group were more likely to eat heart-healthy foods, report improved perceived stress and levels of mindfulness.

While more research on using the Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction program for blood pressure control needs to be done to confirm these results, the intervention is promising as a blood pressure lowering intervention, according to Loucks.

Among the limitations of the study is that most participants were college-educated white adults, which limits its generalizability to people from diverse racial and ethnic groups or who have other education levels.

Co-authors are Zev Schuman-Olivier, M.D.; Frances Saadeh, M.P.H.; Mathew M. Scarpaci, M.P.H.; WIlliam R. Nardi, M.P.H.; Roee Gutman, Ph.D.; Jean A. King, Ph.D.; Willoughby B. Britton, Ph.D.; and Ian Kronish, M.D., M.P.H. Authors’ disclosures are listed in the abstract.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health Science of Behavior Change Common Fund Program through an award by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

Statements and conclusions of studies that are presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the Association’s policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. Abstracts presented at the Association’s scientific meetings are not peer-reviewed, rather, they are curated by independent review panels and are considered based on the potential to add to the diversity of scientific issues and views discussed at the meeting. The findings are considered preliminary until published as a full manuscript in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, device manufacturers and health insurance providers and the Association’s overall financial information are available here.

Additional Resources:

The American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022 is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science. The 3-day meeting will feature more than 500 sessions focused on breakthrough cardiovascular basic, clinical and population science updates occurring Saturday through Monday, November 5-7, 2022. Thousands of leading physicians, scientists, cardiologists, advanced practice nurses and allied health care professionals from around the world will convene virtually to participate in basic, clinical and population science presentations, discussions and curricula that can shape the future of cardiovascular science and medicine, including prevention and quality improvement. During the three-day meeting, attendees receive exclusive access to more than 4,000 original research presentations and can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME), Continuing Education (CE) or Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credits for educational sessions. Engage in Scientific Sessions 2022 on social media via #AHA22.

About the American Heart Association

 

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

Released: November 2022


New National Survey Shows Strong Public Support for Natural Health Options

A new national poll from a coalition of organizations with an interest in natural health, conducted by the Marist Poll, shows that 70% of Americans are more likely to support a congressional candidate who will protect the public’s access to dietary supplements and other natural and homeopathic remedies. The Marist Poll, one of the first college-based public opinion polls in the United States, is highly respected, with an “A” rating from ABC News’ FiveThirtyEight.

 

“As the poll indicates, 61% of households use our products daily, and 75% use them at least monthly. The poll also shows overwhelming support for candidates for office who support access to these products. At a time when our industry is under attack at the state and federal level, data points like these demonstrate proposals to require pre-market approval or age restrict products are not mainstream,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D. president and CEO of the Natural Products Association. “While our organizations have been successful in blocking these radical proposals, the job is not finished, and we look forward to our continued work taking our message directly to voters, ensuring elected officials know there will be consequences for not supporting the public’s access to our products.”

 

“The survey demonstrates that more and more Americans recognize the importance of dietary supplements and other natural options to maintain and regenerate their health,” says Gretchen DuBeau, Executive and Legal Director of the Alliance for Natural Health USA. “We hope Congress will listen to their constituents and support access to and information about these natural health options.”

 

“Americans are saying something very simple and clear about natural health: We want to have the choice,” says Paola Brown, President of Americans for Homeopathy Choice.

 

“This is a mandate from Americans that they want continued access to the health products of their choice,” says James Gormley, President of Citizens for Health, “and our elected representatives should take notice.”

 

The survey found that the use of supplements and other natural or homeopathic remedies is consistent across all demographic and partisan categories, as is support for congressional candidates who will protect consumer access to these products.

 

 

The poll can be viewed here.  Marist-Poll-Results.pdf (npainfo.wpenginepowered.com)

Released: November 2022


Study Finds that 1 in 4 People with MS Routinely Take 5 or More Medications, Potentially Increasing Health Risks

Researchers at the University of British Columbia wanted to know how often people with MS were prescribed multiple medications at the same time. In the general population, taking 5 or more medications (called “polypharmacy”) increases the risk for hospitalization.

In addition to MS disease-modifying therapies, many symptoms experienced by people with MS are treatable with various medications and rehabilitation strategies. When multiple medications are taken at the same time, there may be unexpected and harmful health effects.

The team examined health claims over one year for more than 14,000 individuals with MS. They found that more than 1 in 4 people were taking 5 or more medications for 30 or more days, and 1 in 20 were taking 10 or more. Most were taking multiple medications for more than 180 days.

The most common types of medications contributing to polypharmacy were antidepressants, antiepileptics (for seizures or pain), muscle relaxants, and medications to treat stomach ulcers, acid reflux, and high cholesterol. Many (43%) had also filled at least one prescription for an opioid. Opioids are strong pain medications. When they are used routinely, it can lead to addiction and other negative consequences.

Polypharmacy was more common in women, in people who were older, in those who had other medical conditions, and in those from neighborhoods with lower incomes.

Polypharmacy is an under-recognized problem in MS. Some previous findings have linked polypharmacy in MS to increased falls, cognitive problems, and fatigue.

 

An accompanying editorial by Drs. Dennis Bourdette and Megan Herink (Oregon Health & Science University) points out the need for more study of this problem, and in the meantime recommends that neurologists:

routinely review the effectiveness of the symptom management medications they are prescribing and stop ones that aren’t helping;

avoid if possible using more than one medication to control a symptom;

use caution prescribing antiepileptics (such as gabapentin and pregabalin) to treat pain;

try non-medication approaches such as exercise for fatigue and stretching to treat spasticity;

engage with people with MS in a process to reduce unnecessary medications (called deprescribing – www.deprescribing.org). 

 

“Polypharmacy and multiple sclerosis: A population-based study,” by Anibal Chertcoff, Huah Shin Ng, Feng Zhu, Yinshan Zhao, and Helen Tremlett, was published online on October 27, 2022 in Multiple Sclerosis Journal. This open-access paper may be read by anyone without the need for a subscription.

 

About Multiple Sclerosis

 

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.

Released: November 2022


New Research Reveals Common Treatments for Knee Pain are Falling Short, Placing Physical, Social, and Mental Burden on Patients

Nearly one in four adults in the United States suffers from chronic knee pain. New research shows the impact is widespread, causing physical, social, and mental burdens for patients on a daily basis, while also revealing that more Americans are living for years without adequate pain relief.

 

Experience the full interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/9104351-pacira-iovera-knee-pain-survey/

The national survey, Standing Up to Knee Pain: The Physical, Social, and Mental Impact of Knee OA, polled 500 U.S. adults who have been treated for chronic knee pain and/or osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. It found that while 100% of patients have tried some form of treatment to address their pain, a staggering number of people (97%) still report that their daily lives are negatively impacted by their condition. The majority of patients (75%) had trouble climbing stairs and exercising, and more than half reported that knee pain impaired their overall health and fitness. Many also claimed it affected their ability to sleep (49%) and work (38%).

 

The Social and Mental Toll

The physical limitations being set by chronic knee pain also have considerable downstream social and mental consequences. In fact, most patients (91%) reported missing out on social events and 28% said their everyday mental health was negatively affected by their ongoing pain. The mental impact of knee pain is particularly concerning when coupled with the fact that 45% of patients reported using opioids or prescription painkillers to manage persistent pain. These co-occurring issues can be especially dangerous as patients with mental health challenges are twice as likely to have, or develop, a substance use disorder.

 

Treatments Falling Short 

With a third (32%) of patients suffering with knee pain for over a decade, the list of treatments tried is extensive, and includes over the counter medications (71%), ice/elevation (64%) and physical therapy (57%). Moreover, of the 50% of patients who reported trying injectable steroids or hyaluronic acid gels to manage pain, one-third (36%) said they received eight or more shots.

 

"This survey illustrates the vast array of negative consequences tied to the detrimental effects of living with inadequately managed pain for an extended period of time. Suffering with long-term knee pain not only has the potential to cause more serious damage or require more invasive procedures – it can also impact patients' overall quality of life," said Brian Carr, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Las Vegas Concierge Orthopedics. "Thankfully, we can prevent this common cycle from occurring. There are innovative non-opioid treatments that offer immediate, long-lasting relief to address this significant unmet need and enable patients to get back to living life on their terms."

 

The Demand for Alternatives

OA of the knee is a chronic, degenerative disease, which means it never goes away and can worsen over time. Because of this, many OA sufferers will require total knee replacement surgery. The survey found that most patients (88%) have concerns about this type of procedure, citing the pain associated with surgery, recovery, and physical therapy as the top worry (69%).

 

"The good news for patients is today we have effective non-opioid options—including drug-free interventions—to help manage chronic or postsurgical knee pain," continued Dr. Carr. "In my practice, I have had a great deal of success using an option called iovera° with patients who are suffering from chronic knee pain or those needing a knee replacement. iovera° is a handheld device that uses only focused cold therapy—no medications—to stop nerves from sending pain signals to the brain. The effect is immediate and can last up to 90 days. It can be used as an ongoing pain treatment but also helps tremendously with recovery after a total knee replacement surgery."

 

About the Standing Up to Knee Pain Survey

In addition to surveying patients, the Standing Up to Knee Pain survey polled 200 orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine physicians. The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Pacira BioSciences, Inc. in September 2022. For additional information on Standing Up to Knee Pain, and to learn more about the available non-opioid options to treat acute and chronic pain, visit YourXFactor.com.

 

To learn more about iovera° visit iovera.com.

 

About iovera°®

The iovera° system is used to destroy tissue during surgical procedures by applying freezing cold. It can also be used to produce lesions in peripheral nervous tissue by the application of cold to the selected site for the blocking of pain. It is also indicated for the relief of pain and symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the knee for up to 90 days. The iovera° system is not indicated for treatment of central nervous system tissue. Additional information is available at www.iovera.com.

 

Important Safety Information for iovera°®

The iovera° system should not be used in people with the following conditions:

 

Blood that thickens when patient is exposed to cold (cryoglobulinemia), blood appearing in the urine when patient is exposed to the cold (paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria), skin rash that appears when patient is exposed to the cold (cold urticaria), narrowing of the blood vessels in the hands and feet when patient is exposed to the cold (Raynaud's disease), and open and/or infected wounds at or near the treatment site

Patients being treated with the iovera° system (a needle-based therapy) may experience certain reactions, including, but not limited to:

 

Bruising, swelling, inflammation and/or redness, local pain and/or tenderness, and altered feeling at the site of application

Proper use of the device as described in the User Guide can help reduce or prevent the following reactions:

 

In the area(s) where you were treated: damage to the skin from being exposed to cold or heat, darkening or lightening of the skin, and dimples in the skin

Outside the area(s) where you were treated: muscles may not work or move normally

 

 

SOURCE Pacira BioSciences, Inc.

Released: November 2022


PLT Health Solutions menatto™ Vitamin K2 is Verified Non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project

PLT Health Solutions, Inc. announced that it has received non-GMO verification from the Non-GMO Project company for its menatto™ Vitamin K2 (MK-7) ingredient. The verification covers raw materials, manufacturing processes and logistics. Introduced in the US market by PLT in March of 2022, menatto brand of Vitamin K2 (MK-7) is manufactured by edible oils producer J-Oil Mills (Tokyo, Japan). menatto was developed in 1997, featuring the world's first fermentation technology to manufacture vitamin K2 from the traditional Japanese food natto. Since then, the ingredient has been the subject of ten human clinical trials covering bioavailability, bone health and cardiovascular health.

 

PLT Health Solutions, Inc. announced that it has received non-GMO verification from the Non-GMO Project company for its menatto™ brand Vitamin K2 (MK-7) ingredient. The verification covers raw materials, manufacturing processes and logistics. Introduced in the US market by PLT in March of 2022, menatto brand of Vitamin K2 (MK-7) is manufactured by edible oils producer J-Oil Mills (Tokyo, Japan).

PLT Health Solutions, Inc. announced that it has received non-GMO verification from the Non-GMO Project company for its menatto™ brand Vitamin K2 (MK-7) ingredient. The verification covers raw materials, manufacturing processes and logistics. Introduced in the US market by PLT in March of 2022, menatto brand of Vitamin K2 (MK-7) is manufactured by edible oils producer J-Oil Mills (Tokyo, Japan).

According to Sid Hulse, Vice President of Product Development for PLT Health Solutions, the move to non-GMO verification for this Vitamin K ingredient is part of the overall effort to build the ideal ingredient and build trust with consumers. "menatto is the world's premier source of Vitamin K2 - from the sustainable, clean-label manner in which it is produced, to the unparalleled clinical support package that allows us to explain its benefits and build trust with consumers," he said.

According to Sid Hulse, Vice President of Product Development for PLT Health Solutions, the move to non-GMO verification for this Vitamin K ingredient is part of the overall effort to build the ideal ingredient and build trust with consumers. "menatto is the world's premier source of Vitamin K2 - from the sustainable, clean-label manner in which it is produced, to the unparalleled clinical support package that allows us to explain its benefits and build trust with consumers," he said.

According to Sid Hulse, Vice President of Product Development for PLT Health Solutions, the move to non-GMO verification for this Vitamin K ingredient is part of the overall effort to build the ideal ingredient and build trust with consumers. "menatto is the world's premier source of Vitamin K2 – from the sustainable, clean-label manner in which it is produced, to the unparalleled clinical support package that allows us to explain its benefits and build trust with consumers," he said. "Our non-GMO verification with the Non-GMO Project helps to underscore the clean label nature of this ingredient," he added.

 

A premium quality ingredient

 

menatto Vitamin K2 is menaquinone-7 (MK-7) is made via a natural fermentation process using a bacterial strain of Bacillus subtilis isolated from the traditional fermented Japanese food natto. Soy protein in the fermentation substrate has been removed in the process of refining Vitamin K2 oil, and it is therefore exempt from soy allergen declaration on the label.

 

Vitamin K2 manufactured by J-Oil Mills using their proprietary process has been the subject of ten human clinical studies.

 

A Vitamin K2 that has been the subject of ten human clinical studies.

 

Vitamin K2 manufactured by J-Oil Mills using their proprietary process has been the subject of ten human clinical studies. Gold standard studies on Vitamin K2 made by J-Oil Mills include:

 

A 3-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of post-menopausal women found that supplementing with low-dose J-Oil Mills Vitamin K2 helped bind calcium to bones, supporting healthy bone mineral density.* This ingredient significantly improved vitamin K status compared to placebo and helped support bone mineral density (BMD) and bone strength.* (Knapen et al, 2013)

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of pre-pubescent children found that J-Oil Mills vitamin K2 effectively raised blood levels of vitamin K2 compared to placebo and helped ensure the proper level of carboxylated osteocalcin, a protein that regulates healthy bone formation.* (van Summeren et al, 2009)

A 3-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of healthy post-menopausal women found that three years of supplementation with J-Oil Mills Vitamin K2 supported healthy blood vessel elasticity by helping maintain the right type of matrix Gla protein in the blood vessel wall.* This action may support healthy blood flow, contributing to cardiovascular health.* (Knapen et al, 2015)

According to Hikaru Asari, Food & Fine Materials Business Unit Executive Expert, at J-Oil Mills, PLT was instrumental in facilitating non-GMO verification by the Non-GMO Project. "PLT Health Solutions has a broad range of marketing, scientific, sales and regulatory capabilities that help their partners achieve success in the North American market. Their team, led by Sid Hulse, was instrumental in helping us achieve Non-GMO Project verification," Mr. Asari said.

 

About PLT Health Solutions

 

Headquartered in Morristown, NJ, USA, PLT Health Solutions is a trusted discoverer, developer, and marketer of high-quality, scientifically supported ingredients that enhance health and functionality. As a leading ingredients innovator, PLT's global network of strategic partnerships provides unique access to impactful solutions. PLT Health Solutions is a purpose-driven company passionate about helping people live healthier, happier lives. By delivering an unsurpassed mix of expertise, resources, and service, PLT is committed to helping its strategic partners and valued customers grow.

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