Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Forms of Vitamin K

We recently had an email asking us about Vitamin K:

"I recently heard that there are different forms of vitamin K. I noticed Cooper Complete has vitamin K. Is it vitamin K2? I'm not sure how many different kinds of vitamin K there are."

There are two forms of vitamin K, K1 and K2. The vitamin K in Cooper Complete multivitamin and mineral formulations is K1. Vitamin K1 (phytonadione) is the natural form of vitamin K found in the vegetables we consume, and is our primary source of vitamin K. Vitamin K2 compounds (menaquinones) are made by the bacteria in the human gut and provide a smaller amount of our vitamin K requirement. The prescriptions for vitamin K that some people take are in the vitamin K1 form.

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, watercress, and cabbage are rich in vitamin K, as are cauliflower, green peas, beans, and olives. Cooked vegetables do not have significantly lower levels of vitamin K. Vitamin K is also found in soybeans, meat, cereals and dairy products.

Eat More Fish!

In a study published in the July 12 (2010) journal of Ophthalmology, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore analyzed data from 2,520 adults aged 65- to 84 who had eye exams and completed detailed dietary questionnaires. 15 percent of those in the study were identified as having early- or intermediate- stage Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), while less than 3 percent were in the advanced stage of the disease. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in senior Americans.

Researchers didn't find a clear link between fish consumption and the risk of AMD. However, they did find a connection between diet and the odds of advanced AMD. The subjects with advanced AMD were significantly less likely to consume fish/shellfish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Study participants who reported eating one or more servings of fatty fish each week were 60 percent less likely to have advanced AMD than those who averaged less than a serving a week!

Omega-3 rich seafood choices include salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. There are also good levels of omega-3 in halibut, pollock, shrimp, trout and tuna (including canned or packages of tuna fish). Tilapia and catfish, two very common items on seafood menus, unfortunately have very low levels of omega-3s.


4: Ophthalmology. 2010 Jul 12; [Epub ahead of print]

The Impact of Fish and Shellfish Consumption on Age-Related Macular

Swenor BK, Bressler S, Caulfield L, West SK.

Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

PURPOSE: To determine the relationship between fish and shellfish consumption
and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) status in the Salisbury Eye
Evaluation (SEE) Study participants. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of dietary
and ophthalmologic data. PARTICIPANTS: A random sample of 2520 Salisbury,
Maryland, residents aged 65 to 84 years. METHODS: A food frequency questionnaire
was used to estimate weekly fish/shellfish consumption for each participant.
Age-related macular degeneration status was determined from fundus photographs
obtained at baseline and graded by 2 masked readers for drusen size, retinal
pigment epithelium abnormalities, geographic atrophy (GA), and choroidal
neovascularization (CNV). The association between weekly fish/shellfish intake
and risk of AMD was investigated using logistic regression while adjusting for
risk factors and correlation between eyes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Status of AMD.
RESULTS: The distribution of weekly fish/shellfish consumption was not different
between specific AMD categories compared with controls (P = 0.6, 0.7, and 0.7
for large drusen, pigment abnormalities, and advanced AMD compared with
controls, respectively). Those with advanced AMD (CNV or GA) were significantly
less likely to consume fish/shellfish high in omega-3 fatty acids (odds ratio
0.4; confidence interval, 0.2-0.8). There was no relationship of AMD with intake
of crab and oysters combined, each of which has high levels of zinc.
CONCLUSIONS: These data support a protective effect of fish/shellfish intake
against advanced AMD. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE(S): Proprietary or commercial
disclosure may be found after the references. Copyright (c) 2010 American
Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Basic One tablet is big; what about Basic Two?

We recently received this question:

"Has your company considered manufacturing a smaller sized complete vitamin which would be easier to swallow? Even if one would have to take two pills it would be an improvement over the current option."

The Basic One multivitamin and mineral product you take was introduced several years ago after we had scores of requests for a one-a-day product. When the Cooper Complete product line launched in the late 1990's, we initially had only the 8-tablet a day multivitamin and mineral supplement Cooper Complete.

Our market research continues to suggest that there is a huge population of consumers who simply won't take more than 1 tablet per day. So, because this group is so large, we just don't believe we have the opportunity to re-configure Basic One into a 2-tablet a day product.

There are also a lot of liquid products on the market, and we have tried many times to come up with a liquid Basic One. The issue with the liquid product is that the manufacturers (we have talked with several) keep telling us we will have to significantly reduce the level of the ingredients in order for the product to be tasty. (Vitamins don't all taste great, but All the minerals in the product just don't naturally taste good!)

The good news is that Basic One can be cut or crushed into whatever sized pieces are most comfortable for you to take