The UK firm will launch its line of healthy drinks - Logic Juice 4 Joints - in the States in conjunction with Justice & Young public relations, who will lead regional and national publicity campaigns directed at wholesalers and consumers.
Logic Juice 4 Joints is a ready to drink supplement with glucosamine and chondroitin, aimed at the active consumer and designed to improve joint flexibility and mobility.
The company will also begin to market its Peanotz soy snacks on the other side of the pond. Peanotz are soy snacks which contain half the fat of roasted peanuts and are cholesterol-free. The Health Company will market them as main stream snacks competing as a healthier alternative in C-stores and grocers.
"There is a greater need for health food that provides specific benefits, but also tastes great," said Don Stables, the company's president. "The products are aimed at families looking to make a more health conscious decision in their snacks and drink choices."
Stables told NutraIngredientsUSA.com that he did not forsee any problems in entering the US market as the company already sources many of its nutritional products from the States, giving him a good understanding of the market.
He said that he decided to take the joint health drink to the US as he noticed there was "a need for a natural glucosamine supplement".
"We know lots of health food stores over there and saw that there was a real need for this type of product, a preservative free joint health drink," he added.
The Health Company will also distribute Juice 4 Joints in an 11 oz can with a 12 oz bottle available in 7-Eleven stores nationwide. Stables noted that this was the first time that 7-Eleven had taken a functional beverage to sell on its shelves.
In terms of the efficiency of glucosamine and chondroitin in alleviating the pain suffered by arthiritis sufferers, Stables is in no doubt.
"The supplement won't repair anything, but we are not making that claim," he said. "The supplement nourishes the joints and cartiledge and in 90-120 days the patient will be able to feel the difference."
A group of researchers in Canada set the cat among the pigeons last month when they suggested that glucosamine had no long-term beneficial effect.
Their study investigated whether the food supplement could prevent painful flare-ups in patients who had already been taking it for two years on average, with some signs of benefit.
The results showed that there was little difference with placebo: 42 percent of placebo patients experienced flare-ups in the six-month follow-up, compared with 45 percent in the glucosamine group.
In addition, subjects using glucosamine flared as quickly and as severely as those using a placebo, reported the researchers in Arthritis and Rheumatism (15;51(5), pp738-45).
Lead investigator Dr Jolanda Cibere, from the University of British Columbia, said: "Our study shows that even if the supplement was initially perceived by study participants to be helpful, it has no benefit for maintenance and continued use is not effective to control flare-ups".
However the supplement continues to see annual growth of around 10 percent in the joint health category, with consumption of between 4,000-6,000 tons annually.
A major US government-funded trial, called GAIT, investigating at a cost of $14 million the efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin as natural remedies for osteoarthritis, may help to clear up some of the confusion when it releases results next year.
Stables said he was in no doubt that the results of these trials would be positive in the favor of glucosamine and chondroitin. As far as his supplement is concerned it has not yet undergone clinical trials, but he said he was currently in talks and was working on a start date for some trials.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are among the most common chronic diseases, affecting 70 million adults in the US in 2001, and are the leading cause of disability among US adults.
Research by the CDC has shown that if arthritis prevalence rates remain stable, the number of affected persons aged 65 and under will nearly double by 2030, meaning that as many as 41 million people in this age group could be afflicted by arthritis or chronic joint symptoms (CJS).