New vegetarian Omega 3 launches


London: New vegetarian omega-3 brand Echiomega is five times more effective than flaxseed, according to new research

Igennus has launched Echiomega, a new vegetarian omega 3 supplement that offers similar health benefits to oily fish. While most vegetarian-derived omega 3 oils only offer the benefits of short chain fatty acids, Echiomega, made from Croda Health CareÂ’s IncromegaĂ” V3 echium oil product, converts to long chain fatty acids up to 5 times greater than other vegetarian omega 3 oils.

Echium oil is obtained by refining oil extracted from the seeds of the Echium plantagineum plant (pictured above), a species of the Boraginaceae family, cultivated in the UK

Dr David Cherry, Vice President of Croda Health Care, said: “Now that Croda Health Care’s IncromegaÔ V3 has its Novel Foods approval we are delighted that Igennus is using it in their new supplement Echiomega. IncromegaÔ V3, which goes through Croda’s advanced Super Refining® process, was developed following years of dedicated research into alternative polyunsaturated fatty acids and fatty acid sources.

“Vegetarians, and particularly vegans, consume low levels of essential long-chain fatty acids in comparison to fish eating populations. Whilst supplementing with the oils found in flaxseed increases their consumption levels slightly, they remain significantly lower than those of fish eaters. The nutritional industry has, therefore, long searched for a vegetarian polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acid such as the type provided in Echiomega.”

Dr Jav Nazemi, CEO of Igennus, said: “As Igennus already produced Vegepa, a pure pharmaceutical-grade fish oil supplement, we identified a great demand for a plant-based omega 3 source to cater for vegetarians, and those who prefer not to consume their recommended weekly intake of oily fish.

Echiomega caters perfectly for this market, and is already approved by the Vegetarian Society.” Echiomega is priced at £11.70 for 60 softgel capsules.

· For more information about Incromega V3Ô and fish oil supplements visit

· Echium:

o Echium plantagineum (Purplu ViperÂ’s Bugloss) is a species of Echium. It is an annual or biennial plant growing 20-60 cm tall, with rough, hairy, lanceolate leaves up to 14 cm long. The flowers are purple, 15-20 mm long, with all the stamens protruding, and borne on a branched spike.

· Echium Oil and Benefits:

o Echium oil is a vegetable oil rich in stearidonic acid, an omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that the body converts to longer chain Omega 3 fatty acids, such as Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosapentaenoic Acid (DHA). It is obtained by refining oil extracted from the seeds of the Echium plantagineum plant, a species of the Boraginaceae family, cultivated in the UK.

o EPA is essential for the regulation of brain functioning and plays an important role in controlling the inflammatory and immune systems. While DHA is beneficial for maternal supplementation for infant development, eye health, depression and improving cognitive functions – especially in the elderly.

· Omega 3 and The Western Diet

o The human body requires adequate amounts of omega 3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids for healthy brain and immune function, cardiovascular health and inflammatory response. The highest yielding source is found in oily fish, whereas vegetarian sources of omega 3 (such as nuts, seeds and flaxseed oil) contain high levels of the short-chain omega 3, alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Unfortunately, it must first of all be converted into the long-chain fats before it can offer benefits such as the regulation of inflammation, immunity and cardiovascular health.

o Due to changes in the modern diet and lifestyle we are exposed to several inhibiting factors – including caffeine, alcohol, deficiencies of vitamins and minerals, viruses and stress, which means that many people cannot convert short-chain fatty acids into the more important long-chain fatty acids. As a result, it can be difficult for vegetarians and vegans to maintain sufficient amounts of the beneficial long-chain omega 3s in their diets. Therefore, The Food Standards Agency currently limits omega 3 health claims (including heart and joint health) to the long-chain omega 3 fatty acids typically found in oily fish.

· Croda Health Care’s Super Refined Process:

o CrodaÂ’s growing range of Super Refined® products offer more options for formulation purity. The purity afforded by CrodaÂ’s proprietary Super Refining® process helps to maintain an APIÂ’s chemical profile, reducing the chances for oxidation and offering the promise of an extended shelf life. Starting with Super Refined® Oils in the 1990Â’s, the range of Super Refined® products keeps growing, now including PEGs, Polysorbate 20, 60 & 80 and our newest product – Super Refined® Arlasolve™ DMI. With such a wide range of choices, Croda offers even more high purity options for parenteral, oral and topical applications.

Low fat diet helps prevent prostate cancer in mice


Los Angeles: Us scientists have found that have demonstrated that lowering intake of the type of fat common in a Western diet helps prevent prostate cancer in mice.

UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and the Department of Urology carried out the study, which is published in the April editon of the journal Cancer Research.

Scientists excamined the effects of fat from corn oil, which is made up primarily of omega-6 fatty acids, or the polyunsaturated fat commonly found in the Western diet. Omega-6 fats are found in high levels in baked and fried goods, said William Aronson, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and the study’s senior author.

Researchers fed one group of mice a diet with about 40 percent of calories coming from fat, a percentage typical in men eating a Western diet. The other group received 12 percent of their calories from fat, a figure considered to be a very low fat diet.

The low-fat group had a 27 percent reduced incidence of prostate cancer. They also studied cells in the prostate that were precancerous, or would soon become cancer, and found that the cells in the mice eating the low-fat diet were growing much more slowly than those in the high-fat group.

Previous studies in Mr Aronson’s lab showed that a low-fat diet slowed the growth of aggressive human prostate cancers in mice and helped the mice live longer. However, whether such a diet could prevent prostate cancer was unknown.

“We didn’t know what to expect in terms of the role of reducing dietary fat in preventing prostate cancer,” said Aronson, a professor of urology. “We think this is an important finding and we are presently performing further studies in animal models and conducting clinical trials in men.”

Using a novel mouse model that develops cancer within the prostate over a period of six to nine months, Mr Aronson and his team were able to study cancer incidence and cell growth. The mice were assigned to a dietary fat group at three weeks of age, when they first started ingesting food. The prostates and prostate cells were studied at seven months.

During the growth phase when the precancerous lesions develop, called PIN or prostate intraepithelial neoplasia, Aronson found that mice on the low-fat diet had higher levels of a protein in their bloodstreams that binds to insulin like growth factor, which spurs prostate cancer growth. Aronson believes that lowering dietary fat and increasing levels of the binding protein slows prostate cancer development by cutting off the growth factor that allows prostate cancer to thrive.

“A low-fat, high-fiber diet combined with weight loss and exercise is well known to be healthy in terms of heart disease and is known to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, so that would be a healthy choice to make,” Aronson said. “Whether or not it will prevent prostate cancer in humans remains to be seen.”

Mr Aronson is now conducting a short term study in men who are randomly assigned to a Western diet higher in polyunsaturated fat or a low-fat diet with fish oil supplements. The next step is to see how these diets affect malignant and benign human prostate tissue, Aronson said.

“We’re looking at specific markers and growth factors in human tissue known to be important for development and progression of prostate cancer,” he said. “It’s this work we hope will lead to longer term prevention strategies incorporating dietary changes.”

Oriental beauty that works from the inside out


Beauty from the inside out in the buzz for 2008. Whilst it is the creams and lotions of major high street brands that tend to grab the headlines, there are some more traditional remedies that people have been using for centuries and which can have just as good, if not better results.

Bucking the trend – The Forgotton Omega

Whilst Omegas 3 and 6, the essential fatty acids, have been hailed as the ‘must have’ ingredients for healthy skin, there is another Omega that could play an even bigger role. The richest source of this Forgotton Omega is an oil from a prickly shrub known as Sea Buckthorn, which now it has reached the shores of the UK could quickly find itself as the must have of 2008

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae Rhamnoides) is a well recognized source of traditional herbal medicine, vitamins and nutrients, and has been used in parts of Asia as an anti-aging and medicinal skin care product for many hundreds of years. Whilst the berries of the Sea Buckthorn plant have been hailed as ‘exotic’ superfoods, with numerous uses and being rich in many important nutrients, it is their effect on skin that has received the most attention.

The first person to think of extracting the oil from this prickly shrub and rub it on their skin must have been thought mad by their piers, but due to its high content of nutrients, essential for the metabolism of skin cells, Sea Buckthorn helps to combat wrinkles, dryness and other symptoms of malnourished or prematurely aging skin.

Scientists now believe our most delicate body tissues, especially the skin membranes, use Omega 7 fatty acids as vital building blocks and one of the most concentrated sources of Omega 7 is Sea Buckthorn. Environmental stressors, such as sunlight and pollution, poor diet, and even normal aging, can challenge these sensitive membranes, and Omega 7 fatty acids are now being hailed as important agents to nourish, protect, replenish, moisturise, and restore.

Whilst the body can make Omega 7 itself, unlike Omegas 3 and 6, it is nevertheless thought that supplementation with Omega 7 could have large health implications for the skin and other bodily membranes.

Studies now support the use of Sea Buckthorn Oil1 for problem skin, including conditions such as eczema and dermatitis, and confirm that it is largely the berriesÂ’ high content of Omega 7 that is behind the benefits. This effect of Sea Buckthorn on external membranes has led to further research into how supplementation can help with digestive and genital tract lining problems 2.

Sea Buckthorn also contains Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and has been linked to various other health benefits including boosting the immune system and further anti-aging properties.

So, to give your skin a new start in 2008 and help get it looking fresh and young you should remember the prickly Sea Buckthorn and the Forgotten Omega.

Sea Buckthorn is a new product in the UK, but a high quality Sea Buckthorn supplement is available from Superdragon at < ahref="">

Radiate With Reishi

Hailed as the Oriental secret of youth, health and beauty Reishi remains relatively unknown in the West, but this mystical mushroom could be the key to radiant skin, increased energy levels, lower stress, better sleep, and overall improved health.

There is no doubt that Reishi is big business with annual sales estimated at 3 billion dollars and it is one of the highest regarded remedies in Chinese medicine, but its rarity, until recently, has meant it has not been readily available in the UK. The launch of Mikei Red Reishi Essence may be about to change this though and we could soon be singing the praises of ‘God’s Herb’.

Whilst exotic culinary mushrooms have seen a huge surge of sales in the UK, as we have become more experimental in the kitchen, medicinal mushrooms remain largely undiscovered. With some serious research supporting their benefits however and hundreds of years of medicinal use behind them, we could be seriously missing out.

Reishi is a very rare mushroom and one of the highest regarded remedies in Chinese medicine, having been taken medicinally in extract form for at least 2,000 years. The mushroom plays a central role in Eastern medicine and is known as ‘God’s Herb’ and the ‘Mushroom of Immortality’, with a huge number of health benefits and studies to support its use.

Sceptics will no doubt claim Reishi to be another snake oil, but with literally hundreds of studies and thousands of astonishing testimonials supporting its use, it is hard to argue that there isnÂ’t serious scope for the mushroom to play an important role in improving peopleÂ’s health and lifestyles.

Outside of its medicinal use, Reishi could play an important role in improving peopleÂ’s appearance and lifestyle. Reishi extracts are said to have powerful anti-aging effects3; studies showing the mushroom has strong anti-oxidant properties may be partly behind this, but it may also be related to improved blood flow4, and therefore delivery of important nutrients to the skin.

Extracts of the mushroom have also been seen to help balance blood sugar levels and regulate adrenal responses to create optimal and balanced energy levels throughout the day5. In addition, studies have shown that anxiety can be reduced when using the mushroom regularly, leading to lower stress levels and better sleep6.

Furthermore regular consumption of Reishi is seen to help cleanse the body of accumulated toxins and excess lipids (fats), lower stress and anxiety and help boost the immune system7, 8. It is easy to see then why Reishi was once reserved solely for the use of Emperors.

One of the many pluses of Reishi extracts is that their effects can be seen and felt so quickly and there are no side-effects from its use. Within just a matter of days you should start feeling and looking better in yourself from taking good quality extracts of Reishi.

The quality of Reishi mushrooms can vary dramatically however and it has taken until now for a superior product to reach the UK and be launched mainstream.

Mikei Red Reishi Essence is a Reishi extract that couldnÂ’t be easier to use and comes in ready to swallow vegetable based capsules; for general health and well-being only one capsule needs to be taken daily. Extracted from mushrooms grown in Japan, Mikei Red Reishi Essence is the most concentrated and high quality Reishi extract on the market and is now available in the UK from Haeon Limited. Buy online at or from leading health stores.

From Manchuria 221BC to Hollywood 2008AD

We tend think of the concept of detoxing, the process by which we rid the body of toxins to help us look and feel better, as a new one; but a detox trend that has recently hit Hollywood isnÂ’t so much new as over two thousand years old.

Madonna, Lynsey Lohan, Kirsten Dunst, Meg Ryan and, most recently, Halle Berry are among stars to have been seen drinking a unique health drink called Kombucha.

Whilst modern research has shown that Kombucha may help combat the effects of toxins in the body9, increase life span10 and beat stress induced conditions11 Kombucha tea is in fact an ancient remedy that originates from China. With records of consumption dating back to the Chinese Tsin Dynasty of 221BC, Zen masters declared Kombucha to be a source of ‘Chi’ – life energy which aligns and harmonises the body with the soul.

Kombucha is a totally unique drink, produced in a natural and organic process from an infusion of green tea, black tea and sugar being metabolised by the Kombucha mushroom (a symbiotic colony of friendly bacteria and fission yeasts). As the yeasts breakdown the sugar and combine with the tea, a beautifying and energizing and potent brew of organic acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals is created, which is thought to be behind a whole host of health benefits.

Kombucha is full of probiotic-rich acids12, which help to populate the large intestine with ‘friendly bacteria’ and dissolve harmful micro-organisms. The gut contains a natural level of these ‘friendly bacteria’ which keep levels of possible disease causing bacteria under control. By supporting and increasing the probiotic bacteria in the stomach this helps to re-establish the levels, that can become reduced through over-indulgence, and hence cleanse the body.

A further detox benefit of Kombucha is, because it is packed full of anti-oxidants 13, its action as an adaptogen – a natural substance that increases the body’s resistance to stresses such as trauma, anxiety and bodily fatigue. Adoptogens, and Kombucha in particular, are said to work on a wide array of conditions from wrinkles to diabetes and help to restore balance and support the immune system 13, leading to you feeling better on the inside and out.

Furthermore Kombucha is thought to help curb alcohol cravings; especially useful for those detoxing in the New Year!

The drink itself is a tangy, carbonated beverage. The UKÂ’s leading brand is Gourmet Kombucha Probiotic, which has just been re-launched in January 2008 as GaiaÂ’s Organic Kombucha. It will be available directly from Gaia Brands Ltd at < ahref=""> and from leading independent health stores, in Peach, Blackcurrant and original Green Tea flavours.


1. Skin inflammation: A randomized controlled trial has demonstrated the benefit of supplementation with sea buckthorn on symptoms of patients with atopic dermatitis (Yang et al, 1999).

2. Healthy mucous membranes/vaginal dryness: The benefits of omega-7 PUFAs in maintaining healthy mucous membranes, and in reducing vaginal dryness in menopausal women have been reviewed by Yang & Kallio (2002).

3. Novel antioxidant peptides from the fermented mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (reishi). Sun J; He H; Xie B.

4. Cardiovascular Effects of Mycelium Extract of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi): Inhibition of sympathetic outflow as a mechanism of its hypotensvie action. Lee S Y ; Rhee H M.

5. A randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia. Tang W; Gao Y; Chen G et al.

6. A preliminary study on the sleep-improvement function of the effective ingredients of Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) fruiting body. Jia, W; Wu M et al.

7. The protective effect of Mikei Red Reishi Essence on chemical induced liver injury. Jiang X.

8. Immunomodulating Activities of Gandomerma lucidum (reishi) and its possible mechanisms. Lin Z; Zhang E

9. Lead induced oxidative stress: beneficial effects of Kombucha tea. Dipti P, Yogesh B, Kain AK, Pauline T, Anju B, Sairam M, Singh B, Mongia SS, Kumar GI, Selvamurthy W. Biomed Environ Sci. 2003 Sep;16(3):276-82.

10. P.Studies on toxicity, anti-stress and hepato-protective properties of Kombucha tea. auline T, Dipti P, Anju B, Kavimani S, Sharma SK, Kain AK, Sarada SK, Sairam M, Ilavazhagan G, Devendra K, Selvamurthy W. Biomed Environ Sci. 2001 Sep;14(3):207-13.

11. Effects of chronic kombucha ingestion on open-field behaviors, longevity, appetitive behaviors, and organs in c57-bl/6 mice: a pilot study. Hartmann AM, Burleson LE, Holmes AK, Geist CR. Nutrition. 2000 Sep;16(9):755-61

12. Kombucha fermentation and its antimicrobial activity. Sreeramulu G, Zhu Y, Knol W.
J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Jun;48(6):2589-94.

13. Effect of Kombucha tea on chromate(VI)-induced oxidative stress in albino rats. Sai Ram M, Anju B, Pauline T, Dipti P, Kain AK, Mongia SS, Sharma SK, Singh B, Singh R, Ilavazhagan G, Kumar D, Selvamurthy W. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Jul;71(1-2):235-40.

Omega 3 may slow prostate cancer

Los Angeles: Increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids and reducing omega 6 fatty acides could slow the progression of prostate cancer, according to a new study by the UCLA School of Medicine.

In the study, published in Clinical Cancer Research, mice were implanted with human prostate cancer cells and then divided into two group. One group, fed on a typical Western diet with an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 15 to 1, while the intervention group was fed the fatty acids in ratio of 1 to 1.

The cancer cells in the intervention group grew 22 per cent slow than the others. In addition the rate of growth in tumours, the final size and PSA levels were all lower

Senior author, Dr Willian J Aronson said that the study showed that altering the fatty acid ratio found in the typical Western diet to include more omega-3 fatty acids and decreasing the amount of omega-6 fatty acids reduced prostate cancer tumor growth rates and PSA levels in mice. He said more research was needed before any clinical recommendations could be made for human.



Even though low-fat foods have never been more popular, fat or lipids are essential to our bodies and skin. In fact a lack of them can cause fast ageing of the skin. It should also be noted that heating oils destroys essential fatty acids (EFAs) and if it is smoking hot it becomes carcinogenic (cancer causing).

Bad fats – saturated (hard) fat is found in dairy products and meats. These cause obesity, heart disease, strokes and other illnesses and not necessary for the body. The fat deposits itself in arteries as well as causing weight problems.

Hydrogenated (hardened) fats are liquid fats that have been converted into solids, producing trans fatty acids, which increase blood cholestrol. Many margarines have been hydrogenated and the fat is also found in processed foods. TFAs are linked to heart disease and some cancers

Good fats – unsaturated – contain Essential Fatty Acids and oil the skin from the inside out protecting it against fine lines and wrinkles and lowering cholestrol. They also transport vitamins A, D, E and K around the body. EFAs are found in cold pressed oils, nuts and seeds and oily fish.

The EFA Omega-3 contains three different fatty acids EPA, DHA and ALA and is found in oily fish such as sardines, herrings, mackerel, tuna and salmon, linseeds, walnuts, walnut oil, flax seeds and oil; Omega-6 sunflower and seasame seeds, safflower, soya and linseed.

Studies suggest that an increased consumption of Omega 3, for example, may have positive health benefits, including a healthy heart, supple joints and enhanced learning and concentration in children. It also helps build the brain and eyes.

Souces of Omega 3 include:

Oily Fish

Oily fish is the best source of this vital nutrient. A 150g portion of mackerel or kippers provides 3g of EPA/DHA and you should eat two to four portions of oily fish per week. Girls and women of reproductive age are advised to eat slightly less because of potential pollutants in the fish.. Other good oily fish include salmon and trout, tuna and herring.


Eggs contain small amounts of longchain fatty acids (mainly DHA) but not enough to be a good source. Omega 3-enriched eggs are excellent for boosting intake.

Fruit juice

You will not get any from normal fruit juice but some now have added oils.–

Tinned fish

Choose fish with the whole of the body such as sardines, salmon, mackeral and pilchards. Tuna is not so good because most of the oil has been removed.


Organic milk can be up to two-thirds higher in Omega 3 ALA due to the cows’ clover-rich diet.

Cereal Bars

Many are now enriched with Omega 3 are a great idea for people who do not like oily fish.


Although nuts may be high calorie they contain some good fats, particularly ALA.

Flax seeds

Flax seeds and oil contain a high proportion of ALA. Eaten with thefibre they helo to maintain bowel regularity as well as good blood sugar and lower cholesterol levels.