New Products That Promise to Quell the Quease, Cut Cholesterol, Boost Bone Strength and Even Sweeten Your Day

Last month, EN highlighted research presented at the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Philadelphia. This month, we?re filling you in on some new products featured there.

Align. This new probiotic capsule promises to alleviate digestive upsets like the constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating that can accompany irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Clinical trials show it’s effective. It’s not widely distributed yet, but it’s likely to be soon. Meanwhile, you can order it online at http://www.aligngi.com/.

Centrum Cardio. This new multivitamin/mineral is specifically formulated for heart health. Besides the usual Centrum nutrients, it contains phytosterols, natural plant compounds proven to lower LDLs (low-density lipoprotein, the ?bad? cholesterol). Two tablets a day provides 800 milligrams of phytosterols, an amount that may reduce your risk of heart disease. However, it also contains iron, something you won’t find in Centrum Silver, because iron is riskier for older people with undiagnosed iron-storage disease.
    Centrum Cardio is a calorie-free way to get cholesterol-lowering phytosterols in your diet. But since those over 50 are the ones most likely to buy heart disease prevention, wouldn’t it have made more sense to base the formula on Centrum Silver?

[IMGCAP(3)]Promise Activ Supershots. Brought to you by the same company as Promise spreads, these small (3.3 ounces) fruity, smoothie-like “shots” provide 2 grams of phytosterols per serving. As a result, a single “shot” provides more than the 0.8 gram a day shown to lower cholesterol, making calories less of a consideration. The shots contain yogurt; too bad it’s not enough to make it a probiotic.

Silk Plus for Bone Health. Soymilk is a staple for vegetarians. Now, the makers of Silk Soymilk kick it up a notch and offer a product with fructooligosaccharides, a prebiotic that boosts calcium absorption. For 100 calories and 3.5 grams of fat per eight-ounce glass, you get 40% of the Daily Value for calcium?even more than in milk?as well as vitamin D.

Zsweet. This new essentially [IMGCAP(4)]calorie-free sweetener contains erythritol, a ‘sugar alcohol? or ?polyol.? Like other polyols (e.g., sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol), which are often added to foods as sweeteners, erythritol is only partly absorbed, so it provides fewer calories than other carbs. Unfortunately, too much can cause diarrhea?a problem with all polyols. Still, it’s an alternative to artificial sweeteners like aspartame (see story, below), and it can be used in cooking and baking. Available in packets or in bulk, it’s sold at Whole Foods and online at www.zsweet.com.



Updated 12/22/2007

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