1. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop under scrutiny over pregnancy supplement claims
Several British media outlets, including The Sunday Times and The Independent, have been covering the controversy surrounding a pregnancy supplement regimen offered by Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop.
According to reports, UK-based Good Thinking Society allege that Goop’s product ‘The Mother Load’ makes “potentially dangerous” advice to sell the product. The charity escalated its findings to National Trading Standards and the Advertising Standards Authority last week.
The Mother Load, which retails on Goop’s website for €99 (£88) states that it contains 110% of the recommended “daily value” of vitamin A for adults.
Nevertheless, advice given by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and similar advice by the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend pregnant women not to take supplements containing vitamin A due to a possible to the unborn baby.
Susan Beck, a nutritionist who works for the company told The Independent the amount of vitamin A the product contained (1,500 international units (IU)), was lower than the 2,000 IU advised by the NHS.
Beck added that the 4,000 IU of beta-carotene in the pills posed no more safety concern than “eating a large number of carrots”.
She also pointed towards The Mother Load’s packaging, which featured a warning instructing pregnant women not consume more than 10,000 IU of vitamin A daily because of the risk of birth defects.
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2. The importance of an infant’s first 2.5 years for gut bacteria development
Data from stool samples collected from 903 children indicated that the microbiome composition and diversity changed over time in three distinct phases: the developmental phase (3–14 months), transitional phase (15–30 months) and stable phase (31 months onwards).
The study also emphasized the benefits of breastfeeding to the immature gut.
“Breastfeeding has long been understood to be good for infants and epidemiological evidence shows being breastfed early in life is associated with lower risk of many later life diseases, such as allergy and obesity,” said Dr Christopher Stewart, from Newcastle University’s Institute of Cellular Medicine.
“Targeting the nutrients in breast milk that encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the infant gut, or providing probiotic containing Bifidobacterium, represent important avenues for future research aimed at restoring the beneficial properties of being breastfed when breast milk is not available.”
A wealth of evidence has firmly established a link between Bifidobacterium and breastfeeding with this approach associated with higher levels of the Bifidobacterium species, B. breve and B. bifidum.
Another bacterial species, Bacteroides is also associated with the developmental phase, with higher levels of Bacteroides fragilis noted in infants delivered vaginally.
Bacteroides are also associated with increased gut diversity and faster maturation, regardless of the birth mode.
3. Lycored eyes APAC’s booming 'beauty from within' sector
Israel’s Lycored is will bring its expertise of the 'beauty from within' sector to ingestible skincare solutions targeting the booming APAC market.
Golan Raz, head of the company's global health division, told our Asian edition: “Lycored has been laying the foundation for ingestible skincare products for over 20 years, during which we've conducted extensive research that has contributed to understanding of the direct link between nutrition and skin wellness.
“While we started our journey two decades, it's only within the last few years that we've really embraced 'beauty from within' as a core element of our brand identity.”
The company claims it has developed a 'second-generation solution for skin wellness' using its proprietary tomato extract, whose primary function is to replenish the skin's antioxidant content and enhance its resilience.
The extract contains a combination of phytonutrients and vitamins: lycopene (responsible for the fruit's red pigment), phytoene and phytofluene — colorless carotenoids known for their skin benefits —vitamins A and E, and rosemary extract.
Raz said, “The tomato oleoresin is oil-soluble so these ingredients are perfectly suited for soft gels, and we have extensive capabilities in microencapsulation that allow us to incorporate vitamins and natural ingredients into other delivery formats.
“Within the skin health portfolio, we offer carotenoid beadlets such as lycopene, lutein and astaxanthin, which are water-soluble and easily incorporated into tablets and other delivery formats.”