Confusion over vitamins, minerals and supplements could discourage Canadians from addressing their top health needs



    TORONTO, June 6 /CNW/ - Less than a third (30%) of Canadians are
extremely or very confident when purchasing vitamins, minerals or supplements
(natural health products) and nearly half (48%) agree they don't understand
which ones are best for them, according to a new survey conducted by Decima
Research for Swiss Herbal Remedies.
    The survey suggests that helping Canadians better understand the health
benefits of specific vitamins, minerals and supplements could improve their
confidence level when shopping and help them address some of their top health
concerns.

    Awareness of benefits

    The survey suggests Canadians would feel much more confident they were
purchasing the right vitamins and minerals for their needs, if they were more
aware of their benefits:
    
    -  a quarter (26%) of Canadians are aware that vitamin D may play a role
       in reducing the development and progression of diabetes, yet among the
       group of people who say they are not confident when shopping for
       vitamins, minerals or supplements, only 10% are aware of this
       potential benefit
    -  44% of Canadians are aware that folic acid promotes heart health, yet
       among the group of people who say they are not confident when
       shopping, only 22% are aware of this potential benefit
    -  20% of Canadians are aware that Co-enzyme Q10 promotes heart health,
       yet among the group of people who say they are not confident when
       shopping, only 7% are aware of this potential benefit

    The survey findings suggest that having more confidence when shopping
might help Canadians meet some of their most basic daily vitamin needs:

    -  Canadians who lack confidence when shopping for vitamins, minerals and
       supplements are twice as likely (55%) as the population as a whole
       (27%) to say they never take them; they are also less than half as
       likely (20%) to take them daily vs. the national average (42%)
    -  Canadians who lack confidence when shopping for vitamins, minerals and
       supplements are less than half as likely (13%) to take vitamin C daily
       as the national average (28%) and are far less likely (15%) to take
       vitamin D daily as the national average (28%)

    "Ensuring Canadians feel more confident that they're finding the right
vitamins, minerals and supplements for their specific health needs could also
help ensure they aren't missing out on many of their well-documented
benefits," says Shawna Darou, a Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Toronto.

    Remedy for confusion

    The survey asked Canadians to evaluate specific steps that could be taken
to help lessen their confusion and improve their confidence when shopping for
natural health products. Among the top ones they most agree would improve
their shopping experience are:

    -  Easy access to store staff and pharmacists - 93%
    -  Providing information alongside products - 86%
    -  Having all in one products - 74%

    New Solutions(TM) for top health concerns

    New all-in-one natural health product options like Swiss Solutions now
group together the most relevant vitamins, minerals, supplements and herbal
ingredients into formulations that address some of Canadians' top health
concerns, such as energy, stress and bone health.
    "Products like Swiss Solutions should save Canadians a lot of time
navigating available vitamins, minerals and supplements and help them align
ingredients with desired health benefits," says Darou. "They should help many
Canadians understand which natural health products are most relevant for
addressing their top health needs."

    Top health needs

    In the survey Canadians identified the top health improvements that would
have a positive impact on their quality of life:

    -  88% say having more energy would have a positive impact on their
       quality of life
    -  75% say the ability to better manage stress would have a positive
       impact
    -  74% say protecting/improving joint health would have a positive impact
    -  74% say improving memory would have a positive impact
    -  61% say improving bone health would have a positive impact
    -  61% say improving digestion would have a positive impact
    

    About the survey

    This survey of n=1,011 adult Canadians was conducted online using
Decima's proprietary online panel - eVox. Data was collected between May 17th
and May 23rd 2007, and with a pure probability sample of 1,011 one could say
with a 95 per cent probability that the overall results have a sampling error
of +/-2.1 percentage points. However this does not take other sources of error
into account.

    About Swiss Herbal Remedies

    Swiss Herbal Remedies Ltd. is a Canadian-owned and operated company that
has been improving consumers' lives for more than 40 years with Natural Health
Products. Swiss Herbal manufactures vitamins, minerals, supplements as well as
exclusive product lines such as Swiss Solutions(TM), Total One(TM)
Multivitamins & Minerals and Natural HRT(R). The products are distributed
throughout Canada and internationally in Europe, Middle East and Asia. The
company head offices are located north of Toronto, Ontario.





For further information:

For further information: about the survey results or to arrange an
interview with Shawna Darou, please contact: Lesley Coen or Simon Hancock,
Harbinger, (416) 960-5100

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SWISS HERBAL REMEDIES LTD.

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