Natural Products Expo West 2010March 15, 2010 Written by JP [Font too small?]
This past weekend was a little different than most. Instead of spending it with family or friends, I took a little road trip to Anaheim, California – probably best known as the home of the Angels baseball team and Disneyland. But, my destination was neither a sporting event nor “the happiest place on Earth”. Rather, I was on a mission that would take me deep into the heart of the natural product industry. March 12th through the 14th marked the 30th annual Natural Products Expo West/Supply Expo. I was there along with approximately 56,000 other members of the natural health industry. This is my first report from the field.
Expo West is essentially an enormous trade convention. There are literally thousands of consultants, distributors, exporters, importers, manufacturers and retailers everywhere you look. This disparate mix converges in this same spot once a year to learn about the competition, and to buy and sell an incredible array of raw materials and finished products. But apart from the overt business aspect of the event, there’s also a certain electricity and excitement in the air that is experienced by anyone who truly loves natural health. (1)
The HealthyFellow.com team had a specific, two-fold agenda for this year’s convention. The first goal was to collect as much information about as many products as possible. Secondly, we wanted readers to be able to experience, albeit indirectly, some of what goes on at the show. In order to fulfill the second objective, we acquired samples from a wide array of manufacturers that were presenting new products. We’ll share whatever we’ve been given with you via promotional giveaways on this site and on Twitter.
One of the highlights of the Expo was a lecture given by Dr. Marcus Laux, a best-selling author and naturopathic physician. The topic of his talk was healthy aging. In the middle of his presentation he asked the crowd a provocative question: Who requires more dietary protein? A 16 year old or a 60 year old? I’m proud to say that Mr. Healthy Fellow Sr., also known as my dad, raised his hand and answered the question correctly. If your answer is the 60 year old, you’re right too.
The most recent research suggests that current protein recommendations are likely inadequate. A review in the January 2010 edition of Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care states that the Dietary Reference Intakes (for protein) may be undershooting actual requirements by between 41% – 50%. This is based on a new system for determining protein needs known as “the indicator amino acid oxidation technique”. Other scientists report that age-related muscle loss (sometimes referred to as sarcopenia) caused by chronic inflammation and a relative lack of physical activity may be partly responsible for increased protein requirements. Perhaps this is why Dr. Laux generally suggested aiming for 30 grams of protein per meal. (2,3,4)
Protein powder is a simple and economic way of increasing amino acid intake without adding large quantities of calories to the mix. At the trade show, I was able to acquire some samples of a high-quality, vegan-friendly brown rice protein powder by Jay Robb. This is an exceedingly “clean” product that tastes pretty good in my opinion. Each serving provides 24 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar and absolutely no artificial ingredients. In addition, the brown rice protein is processed without the use of high heat or questionable solvents. Instead, a sprouting and enzyme assisted extraction process is utilized. I also love that stevia is the only sweetener in the product.
There isn’t a great deal of substantive research on brown rice protein in the scientific literature. However, it is generally considered fairly easy to tolerate (hypoallergenic) and a good source of plant-based amino acids. In addition, there are some intriguing studies that point to apparent health benefits stemming from the consumption of “pre-germinated brown rice” – improvements in blood sugar control, learning, liver health, memory and mood quality. Whether or not sprouted brown rice protein will yield similar effects is presently unknown to the best of my knowledge. (5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14)
If you’re interested in trying the Jay Robb Brown Rice Protein, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I currently have an assortment of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla packets available. I also have several copies of Jay Robb’s “The Shake Down Diet” which I’ll add to the package. If protein powder isn’t your “cup of tea”, rest assured that we’ll have additional giveaways in the coming weeks that I hope will better match your interests. There is just one small catch with regard to the free products. I’d really like to have your feedback about the new products you try. This will helpful to me, our readership and the manufacturers that have donated the free products. I’ll look forward to receiving your requests and feedback in the coming days.
Tags: aging, Muscle, Protein
Posted in Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements