Weekly Roundup: Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition to develop prioritization process, Vitamin C recommended for pregnant smokers

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07 Dec 2018 --- This week in nutrition, a study found that vitamin C may reduce the harm done to lungs in infants born to mothers who smoke during their pregnancy. Sabinsa Japan Corp. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support Sabinsa’s expansion in Japan. The Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition is to develop a new prioritization process, to support countries seeking clarification about the regulation of the global trade in nutrition products.

In brief: Research studies
Vitamin C may reduce the harm done to lungs in infants born to mothers who smoke during their pregnancy, according to a study in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. At three months of age, the infants whose mothers took 500mg of vitamin C in addition to their prenatal vitamin supplement had significantly better forced expiratory flows (FEFs). The researchers also discovered an association between the infant FEFs and a genetic variant some of the mothers possessed that appeared to amplify the negative impact of nicotine on the babies before they were born. The researchers note the findings provide a safe and inexpensive intervention to help the lung health of many infants but add that quitting smoking should remain the primary goal.Click to EnlargeVitamin C may reduce the harm done to lungs in infants born to mothers who smoke during their pregnancy. Credit: ATS

In related findings, a study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology is calling for dietary and lifestyle interventions before overweight or obese women become pregnant. The researchers found that for obese and overweight pregnant women taking metformin, a common diabetes medication, weekly pregnancy weight gain was reduced and women were more likely to gain below current recommendations, but this did not reduce the risk of having a baby with a birth weight over 4kg. Nor did it reduce the risk of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes or birth by caesarean. The findings, therefore, reinforce the necessity to consider interventions prior to pregnancy to “break the cycle of intergenerational obesity.”

Nigellin BCS - Amber – Sabinsa’s Black Cumin (Nigella sativa) seed extract – is the most effective of the 10 Nigella sativa (NS) extracts, especially for treating asthma, according to a study published in Frontiers of Pharmacology. It suppressed the release of the most active cytokines and contains inflammatory properties which may possess a favorable effect for asthmatic conditions. Researchers evaluated ten different NS extracts and top-ranked the extract provided by Sabinsa’s parent company and manufacturing arm, Sami Labs. It surpassed the second-ranking extract in terms of the active constituent, thymoquinone (TQ), by more than 300 percent.

In brief: Acquisitions, mergers and expansions
Sabinsa Japan Corp., a division of the Sami-Sabinsa Group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to support Sabinsa’s expansion in Japan. The MOU was signed during the 13th India-Japan Annual Summit, held between the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in Tokyo. “Although we have had an office in Japan for some time, the support of the Government of Japan as we continue our investment in that country will allow us to more quickly make our products to enhance human health available on a wider scale to the people of Japan,” says Sabinsa founder Dr. Muhammed Majeed.

In brief: Miscellaneous
The Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition is to develop a new prioritization process to address the demands placed on it by countries seeking support or clarification about the regulation of the global trade in nutrition products. The committee said it would develop a prioritization process and present it for discussion at the next meeting, which takes place in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 2019. A particular pressure point for the Codex Nutrition Committee is demand from some members for more guidelines and standards that will help them build regulatory frameworks that align globally. In response to this, IADSA has published a new guide on how Codex standards have been developed about food supplements and the ways in which they apply.

By Laxmi Haigh

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