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Past News Items - July 2023

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In the News

Organic & Natural Health Association Urges Congress to Add Vitamin D to Farm Bill to Build Stronger Families in a SNAP

New MenaQ7® Vit K2 Migraine Clinical Trial Announced

$1.5 Million Donation Supports Research on Effects of Psychedelic DMT on the Brain

Discovery could lead to more treatments to prevent cancer and infectious diseases

Researchers Discover Group of Genes That Influence Pain and Brain Communication Can Also Influence Alcohol Use Disorder Risk

CognoLipid™ from Lipogen™ cognitive specialty support ingredient featured in published review

Released: July 2023

Organic & Natural Health Association Urges Congress to Add Vitamin D to Farm Bill to Build Stronger Families in a SNAP

In a dynamic effort to enhance the nutritional support provided through the farm bill's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Organic & Natural Health Association (O&N Health) has launched the “All for Vitamin D: Building Stronger Families in a SNAP” campaign. This public awareness initiative calls on concerned voters to reach out to their respective members of Congress, particularly those serving on the influential House Committee on Agriculture. The primary objective is to advocate for a crucial amendment: The inclusion of vitamin D3 dietary supplements as part of SNAP recipients' benefits. With an unwavering commitment to empowerment and transformative impact, this campaign strives to ignite a profound shift in the lives of SNAP recipients, championing their well-being and unlocking a future of vibrant health.

"Sufficient vitamin D levels are of paramount importance, as we have witnessed during the pandemic," emphasized Alan Lewis, vice president of advocacy and governmental affairs at Natural Grocers and board member of O&N Health. "Recent data unequivocally highlights the critical role of vitamin D in addressing numerous health concerns. Relying on outdated notions of obtaining vitamin D solely through diet or sun exposure is not only impractical, but also perilous, advice. It is imperative that we embrace the power of dietary supplementation to provide effective and practical solutions for achieving optimal vitamin D levels."

In its quest to promote food security and alleviate hunger, the farm bill's SNAP plays a vital role in providing assistance to millions of low-income Americans. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, ensures that individuals and families have access to nutritious food, but O&N Health calls out crucial nutrition gaps that demand attention, and has partnered with SENPA, Natural Grocers, INFRA and the Council of Holistic Health Educators to address some of these concerns with constituents.

O&N Health Vitamin D SNAP Campaign

While SNAP permits the purchase of a diverse range of foods, encompassing fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and proteins, it lacks explicit guidelines concerning the quality and nutritional value of these items. Particularly, when addressing the challenge of meeting therapeutic vitamin D levels (40-60 ng/ml), SNAP falls short in providing solutions, especially since these vitamin D levels cannot be achieved solely through food or sunlight exposure.

"Empowering SNAP recipients with nutrition knowledge and skills can save lives and taxpayer healthcare dollars," stressed Karen Howard, CEO and executive director of O&N Health. "Vitamin D3 supplements offer an affordable solution to address a range of health challenges faced by families, including preterm births, depression, respiratory infections, asthma, cancer, and chronic diseases like cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes."

Research shows achieving a vitamin D level of 40 ng/ml has significant health benefits such as, reducing preterm birth by 60% and lowering cancer risk by 65%. Recent meta-analyses link higher vitamin D levels to decreased COVID-19 incidence, severity, and morbidity rates. People of color face elevated risk due to melatonin blocking vitamin D absorption, making them more susceptible to chronic diseases and COVID-19 complications.

O&N Health is appealing to health-conscious citizens to rally behind “All for Vitamin D: Building Stronger Families in a SNAP” by urging Congressional representatives on the Agriculture Committee to amend the farm bill to pave the way for disadvantaged American families to obtain vitamin D3 supplements through SNAP benefits. This simple and effective addition to the farm bill has the power to address prevailing nutrition gaps and combat the far-reaching health implications of vitamin D deficiency. With a shared vision of fostering well-being for both people and the planet, O&N Health firmly believes in universal access to essential nutrition, paving the way for a healthier future.

Support the “All for Vitamin D: Building Stronger Families in a SNAP” campaign and urge members of Congress to add vitamin D3 to the farm bill’s SNAP at: Join Organic & Natural Health Association to be an advocate for the health of people and the planet at:


Released: July 2023

New MenaQ7® Vit K2 Migraine Clinical Trial Announced

Gnosis by Lesaffre (Gnosis) is excited to announce a new study protocol[1] published on  detailing a Lebanese clinical trial that will explore the potential impact of vitamin K2 supplementation for migraine sufferers. Gnosis is supporting this novel study, which will use a 360 mcg/daily dose of MenaQ7? Vitamin K2 as MK-7, in conjunction with its partner Omicron Pharmaceuticals. 

More than 10% of the global population is estimated to be affected by migraines, which are three times more common in women than men.[2] The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks migraine as the fifth highest cause of years lost due to disability, with approximately 38% of migraine patients requiring preventative therapy. Unfortunately, therapies currently available, which are not migraine-specific, offer limited effectiveness and significant adverse effects.[3] 

To that end, Lebanese researchers have been exploring the potential of vitamin K2 as a potential therapy based on its impact on arterial stiffness; first, with a 2019 cross-sectional study [4] that presented promising results, and now with a new six-month, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, “Efficacy of K2 Supplementation in Adult Episodic Migraine.” Migraine patients between 18 and 45 years of age will be recruited from the neurology clinic at the Lebanese American University Medical Center-Rizk Hospital, Lebanon, with the purpose of testing if vitamin K2 supplementation might “prevent” migraine attacks, as well as testing the impact of vitamin K2 supplementation on arterial stiffness in this group of patients.

“Several mechanisms have been suggested to explain the condition and its linkage to other comorbidities, including generalized anxiety disorders, restless leg syndrome, chronic pain syndromes, and more serious cardiovascular diseases, but studies have failed to explain with certainty the increased cardiovascular risk and reasons behind augmented large arterial stiffness in patients with migraine,” explains lead researcher Sola Aoun Bahous, MD, PhD, MHPE, Dean and Professor of Medicine at Gilbert & Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine, Lebanese American University. “Vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin that serves as an essential cofactor in the activation of matrix Gla protein (MGP) in the vascular smooth muscle cell, with vitamin K deficiency resulting in impaired MGP carboxylation and, subsequently, an increased calcification effect. Circulating concentrations of dephosphorylated uncarboxylated MGP (dp-ucMGP) are indicative of vitamin K deficiency and associated with the extent of vascular calcification, arterial stiffness, and development of cardiovascular events in specific populations.”

In a previous study published in Headache [4], Dr. Aoun Bahous and her colleagues hypothesized that patients with migraine have higher arterial stiffness and lower vitamin K2 levels than those without migraines, with a possible association between the two markers. When compared with controls, patients with migraine had significantly higher arterial stiffness and increased levels of serum dp-ucMGP, reflecting vitamin K2 deficiency.

“Our [2019] study presented a plausible hypothesis that vitamin K2 deficiency in patients with migraine with aura may contribute to the increased cardiovascular risk observed in this patient population,” she continues. “Furthermore, patients with migraine in general have more vitamin K2 deficiency than their matched controls. With this new study, we hope to explore whether supplementation with vitamin K2 confers cardiovascular protection and reduces migraine episodes.”

In this new study, patients will be randomized to either receive the vitamin K2 supplement (as MenaQ7?) or a placebo for 24 weeks. Arterial stiffness will be measured at the beginning, at 3 months, and at the end of the study. Clinical and standardized questionnaires will be used to assess the frequency of migraines throughout the study. The endpoints are assessment of changes in monthly migraine days as compared to baseline as well as changes in arterial stiffness as compared to baseline.

“This new study presents a new wave of insight for migraine sufferers, and Gnosis is excited to play a role in these efforts,” says Sophie Legrain-Raspaud, Gnosis by Lesaffre Director of R&A. “Our research has identified and demonstrated the cardio-protective mechanism of vitamin K2, and new research is beginning to surface linking this mechanism to having an impact beyond just heart health, including brain and vision support. We share the researchers' enthusiasm that this new study could present strong grounds for discussing this potential relationship with migraine patients to guide their dietary habits or supplementation routines toward improving their vitamin K2 status.”


“We have seen the benefits of MenaQ7 on vascular stiffness since we launched it in the market in 2010,” adds Hisham Ramadan, CEO of Omicron. “We have no doubt that MenaQ7 will help migraine patients since they fall under the same category. MenaQ7 has been shown to reduce arterial stiffness significantly, as well as it help substantially those patients who suffered from aortic valve calcification (AVC), coronary artery calcification (CAC), and chronic kidney disease (CKD).”


1 Vitamin K2 Supplementation in Adult Episodic Migraine (ViKEM)



4 Mansour AG, Aoun Bahous S, et al. Vitamin K2 Status and Arterial Stiffness Among Untreated Migraine Patients: A Case Control Study. Headache. 2019 Nov 25;60(3):589-99.


About Gnosis by Lesaffre

Gnosis by Lesaffre harnesses the power of microorganisms and biotransformation processes like fermentation to cultivate nutritional actives, probiotics, and nutritional and functional yeasts that benefit human health and well-being. The team draws on its focused research and application capabilities to collaborate with nutraceutical and pharmaceutical brands to develop game-changing products for their customers.

Gnosis by Lesaffre – Exploring Life to Improve Living.

About Lesaffre

A key global player in fermentation for more than a century, Lesaffre, with a 2,7 billion euro turnover, and established on all continents, counts 11,000 employees and more than 90 nationalities. On the strength of this experience and diversity, we work with customers, partners and researchers to find ever more relevant answers to the needs of food, health, naturalness and respect for our environment. Thus, every day, we explore and reveal the infinite potential of microorganisms.


To nourish 9 billion people, in a healthy way, in 2050 by making the most of our planet’s resources is a major and unprecedented issue. We believe that fermentation is one of the most promising answers to this challenge.


Lesaffre – Working together to better nourish and protect the planet.


About Omicron Pharmaceuticals

Omicron Pharmaceuticals is a leading regional company in MENA region in the nutraceutical filed addressing different health segment in pregnancy, bone and cardiovascular disease … Omicron has supported many clinical trials in the cardiovascular field specifically arterial stiffness in chronic kidney disease, Kidney transplant patients and coronary calcification.

Omicron Pharmaceuticals-Leading a Healthier Life.   


Released: July 2023

$1.5 Million Donation Supports Research on Effects of Psychedelic DMT on the Brain

UC San Diego Psychedelics and Health Research Initiative received the gift from philanthropist Eugene Jhong to further our understanding of the unique states of consciousness induced by DMT and how it could benefit human health
One of the most powerful psychedelics known, N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) has been described as causing imaginative visuals akin to the dream state. It is typically consumed on its own or in ayahuasca, a ceremonial brew that has been used for spiritual and visionary purposes by indigenous cultures for centuries. Some have expressed that DMT helped address psychological ailments such as depression and addiction, promoting emotional well-being. However, the way that DMT impacts the brain, body and health is largely unknown.

A gift of $1.5 million from Eugene Jhong will help launch a new research program within the UC San Diego Psychedelic and Health Research Initiative to learn more about the biological and psychological effects of DMT in humans.

The peak psychedelic effects of inhaled DMT dissipate within minutes. As part of the research supported by Jhong, the UC San Diego research team will implement continuous intravenous DMT infusion protocols to capture what is known as the “extended state” of visions long associated with DMT.

Led by principal investigators Fadel Zeidan, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at UC San Diego School of Medicine, and Jon Dean, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in the UC San Diego Department of Anesthesiology and director of the Division of DMT Research at the UC San Diego Psychedelic Health and Research Initiative, the study will seek to map the phenomenological, neurological and physiological responses to DMT during the longer windows of time created with infusion protocols.

Interestingly, DMT is present naturally (endogenously) within human bodily fluids. In Dean’s previous research, he discovered that endogenous DMT also exists in the rat brain at levels comparable to serotonin, a neurotransmitter vital to brain function.

“Our goals are to employ multi-modal approaches to study extended state consciousness elucidated by DMT to further appreciate the nature of reality as well as the role of endogenous DMT in the human body. Reliable methods for measuring DMT directly in the human brain and bodily fluids do not exist, so the intriguing possibilities that endogenous DMT may play a role in consciousness, dreaming and protecting the brain from trauma are still scientific speculation,” said Dean.

“We are beyond grateful to Eugene Jhong for his visionary support of this novel research effort,” said Zeidan. “We will learn more about how the unique effects of DMT on consciousness interacts with human physiology to understand how these profound psychedelic effects evoked by DMT impact our well-being. Our long-term objective is to gain a better understanding of how DMT and other psychedelics could be used in a therapeutic manner to address pain, trauma and various medical conditions related to the brain.”

UC San Diego is currently the only university in the U.S. that has a dedicated division to conduct extended-state DMT research. The study is part of the UC San Diego Psychedelics and Health Research Initiative, which will soon be renamed the Center for Psychedelic Research, a newly approved academic center at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Eugene Jhong stated, “I am pleased to support this innovative effort to explore extended DMT and am confident it will shed new and important insight into the question of our true nature.”


Released: July 2023

Discovery could lead to more treatments to prevent cancer and infectious diseases

Researchers have cracked how a particular type of immune cell develops in the body and protects against infection and disease. And the discovery could help in the development of more preventive treatments, according to a new study.

The research, led by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Federation University Australia, has uncovered how these specialised white blood cells operate and can produce an immune response.

Associate Professor Dan Pellicci said by understanding the function of these cells, they could be harnessed to help prevent cancer and highly infectious diseases such as COVID-19, Strep A and tuberculosis.

Published in Science Immunology, the study involved samples donated to the Melbourne Children’s Heart Tissue Bank from heart surgery patients up to 16 years old. From these samples, the researchers looked at the role of ‘gamma delta T cells’ within the thymus gland, a small organ located within the chest, close to the heart.

Associate Professor Pellicci said the study showed for the first time how this organ produced these infection-fighting immune cells.

“We have large numbers of these specialised cells in our blood and tissues, which accumulate as we become adults. Until our study, it was unclear how these cells develop in the body,” he said.

“We have shown how these cells are trained over three stages, similar to receiving a primary, secondary and tertiary education, and fully formulate within the thymus. Following this education, the cells are ready to enter the rest of the body and are completely capable of fighting infections.”

Associate Professor Pellicci said previous studies suggested that these immune cells were mainly derived in the liver during a baby’s development in the womb, but this research debunked that theory.

“Many experts assumed that after birth, the thymus played little role in the development of these cells as we age, but we now know this little unsung organ helps the body prepare for a lifetime of good health,” he said.

“The more we know about these cells the greater the likelihood of unlocking new ways to treat infectious diseases and cancer.”

Researchers from the University of Melbourne, The Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute, Federation University, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne Centre for Cardiovascular Genomics and Regenerative Medicine, The Royal Children’s Hospital and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research also contributed to the findings.

 Publication: Louis Perriman, Naeimeh Tavakolinia, Sedigheh Jalali, Shou Li, Peter F Hickey, Daniela Amann-Zalcenstein, William Wing Ho, Tracey M Baldwin, Adam T Piers, Igor E Kostantinov, Jeremy Anderson, Edouard G Stanley, Paul V Licciardi, George Kannourakis, Shalin H Naik, Hui-Fern Koay, Laura K Mackay, Stuart P Berzins and  Daniel G Pellicci, ‘A three-stage developmental pathway for human Vγ9Vδ2 T cells within the postnatal thymus,’ Science Immunology. DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abo4365

*The content of this communication is the sole responsibility of the Murdoch Children’s and does not reflect the views of the NHMRC.


Released: July 2023

Researchers Discover Group of Genes That Influence Pain and Brain Communication Can Also Influence Alcohol Use Disorder Risk

An estimated 16 million people in the United States have alcohol use disorders (AUDs), according to the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Now, Indiana University researchers have made a substantial discovery in the role genes play in the development of AUDs, finding that alteration of a group of genes known to influence neuronal plasticity and pain perceptions, rather than single gene defect,?is linked to AUDs.


“We know inherited genes are a major contributor to this disease, because past studies have shown family genetics to be directly associated with alcohol dependence within a family,??such as identical twins raised in different?environments,” said?Feng?Zhou, PhD, professor emeritus of anatomy, cell biology and physiology at IU School of Medicine.


Zhou is the lead author, along with?William Muir, PhD, professor emeritus of genetics at the Purdue Department of Animal Sciences, of?a new publication in?Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research?which details their new findings.


Researchers used three different animal models created in the IU Alcohol Research Center?to study how the genes impact desire for alcohol.?The study involved?statistically sorting through?about?3 billion DNA base pairs containing nearly?30,000 genes, in?70?individual animals to identify the handful that were responsible for drinking behaviors.?Thanks to their experimental design, the researchers could?identify?population differences based on?drinking behaviors rather than chance genetic differences or other environmental influences.


“These rat models are all uniquely qualified as criteria for human outcomes,” said Zhou.


The?genes that mediate pain sensation act in concert?with two other groups of neural channel and neural excitation genes?which perform neural communication functions,?the team found.


“The function of these three groups of genes is important for neuroadaptation and neuroplasticity, meaning that they can change brain communications,” Zhou said.


They also discovered a key cohort of genes impacted alcohol use, with some of the genes having silent mutations, meaning they did not alter the amino acid sequence translated, but influenced the rate and conformation of gene transcription, causing changes in the other genes that had an impact on alcoholism.


“This is the first time these multiple models have ever been used for this pursuit,” Muir said. “In?the past, research has focused on a single gene and how it can contribute to alcohol use, but now, we can see that these large groups of genes make a difference, which can help guide future research and clinical care for those suffering from AUDs.”


“The brain must be modified over the drinking period. That kind of modification is similar to drug abuse,” Zhou said. “It is?genetically prone?neural plasticity or neural adaptation to a certain level that makes drinking more pleasurable and more tolerable, or pain relief.”


“The alleviation of pain appears to be one motivation to drink and continue to drink,” Muir said. “Knowing that, it’s possible that early counseling can produce drinking avoidance.”


The new findings raise the possibility of genetic testing for alcoholism. People who?get?tested and know that they have?a high genetic tendency to become an alcoholic might take extra care to?moderate their drinking.


“One future direction is how these animal findings would translate to humans,” Zhou said.?“If verified,?then treatment or prevention can be more focused.”


Other study authors include Chiao-Ling Lo, PhD and Richard Bell, PhD of IU School of Medicine and?the Indiana Alcohol Research Center at IU School of Medicine.


About IU School of Medicine


IU School of Medicine?is the largest medical school in the United States and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.


Released: July 2023

CognoLipid™ from Lipogen™ cognitive specialty support ingredient featured in published review

Ilan Perry, co-owner of Israel-based Lipogen™, an ingredient specialist in phospholipid development, has announced that its brain- and stress-support ingredient CognoLipid™ by Lipogen™ was the subject of a recently published study on select supplements with efficacy for supporting cognitive health. 

Published in Cureus, January 2023, an independent team of neurologists from nationwide U.S. hospitals, conducted an exhaustive review of 1380 cognition studies published between 1982 to 2022. The retrospective review of randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trials focused on various dietary supplements and brain structure. The analysis found only 10 studies, one of which utilized Lipogen’s unique ingredient formulation. A combination of phosphatidylserine (Aqua PS) and phosphatidic (Aqua PA), aka Cognolipid™ from Lipogen™, met their high-quality research criteria and provided positive cognition outcomes. (page 4 and 6:


CognoLipid™ from Lipogen™ consisting of Aqua PS plus Aqua PA, offers numerous research studies. Aqua PS is known to be a vital phospholipid needed for the brain to build and retrieve memory and is also essential for proper nerve cell function. Aqua PA is important in cell signaling, membrane curvature and metabolic regulation in the brain. 

Researchers reviewed a previously published trial comprised of two studies using Lipogen™ CognoLipid™ to assess impact on several areas of cognitive function. The authors explained, “The first study talks about how the Auqa PS plus Aqua PA combination showed significant improvement in the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) scale and the List of Depression symptoms (LDS) scale compared to the placebo. 1, 2

“The other study showed a positive influence on pre-post comparison of differences in Activities of Daily Life (ADL) and changes in deterioration, stability, and improvement. Functioning elderly who scored higher on the WMS scale initially showed more significant memory improvements than their counterparts, emphasizing the need for early intervention of these supplements in AD pathology.” 1, 2  

“The fact that an independent health professional team deems our ingredients and its supportive research to be valuable for supporting brain/cognitive health is a powerful endorsement,” Perry commented. “Cumulative research shows that the state for ideal brain performance is characterized by sharp focus, quick memory, extended concentration, clear cogitation, and balanced mood. Supplementing with CognoLipid™ from Lipogen™ may help product formulators offer consumers of all ages an opportunity to enjoy better brain performance.”

Lipogen™ has been a foremost global nutritional supplement manufacturer for 30 years and the originator of solvent-free, water-based, vegan, and patented Cognolipid™ Aqua PS plus Aqua PA formulation. The company was established on a pledge of customer trust, loyalty, and partnership – producing safe, quality, and effective phospholipid formulas and maintaining the highest ethical standards. Lipogen™ is committed to protecting and promoting individual health, while providing the finest nutritional supplements in the women’s stress, and brain health categories for wellness manufacturers and health professionals. Lipogen™ production facilities adhere to comprehensive standards for quality in manufacturing and control, and its ingredients are manufactured in compliance with international GMP and U.S. FDA cGMP standards for the design, monitoring, control and maintenance of manufacturing processes and facilities, using up-to-date systems and procedures.

For product sales contact Rina Perry at For company information visit and ingredient information at

# # #


1 Chimakurthy AK, et al. “A Systematic Review of Dietary Supplements I Alzheimer’s Disease” Cureus 2023 DOI: 10.7759/cureus.33982


2 More MI, Freitas U, Rutenberg D, “Positive Effects of Soy Lecithin-Derived

Phosphatidylserine plus Phosphatidic Acid on Memory, Cognition, Daily Functioning,

and Mood in Elderly Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia” Adv Ther 2014 31:1247-1262


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