Pressure on healthy lifestyle magnified - yet gaps in immunity knowledge and maintenance
TORONTO, April 28 /CNW/ - Today's women juggle many roles from the elusive work-life balance, to aspiring careers to even the 'yummy mummy' phenomenon. In fact, according to a new international women's poll conducted by Environics Research - commissioned by Multibionta(TM) - women across the globe agree career pressures, expectations for maintaining appearances and a healthy lifestyle are more magnified today versus 20 years ago. And the pressure is mounting. Approximately seven out of 10 women feel expectations in these areas are increasing, starting with health.
According to this global survey, the majority of women worldwide (86%) rate protecting their health as the most important health concern, bringing immunity into the forefront. Yet, understanding how to keep immunity strong is a challenge. Case in point, worldwide more than six out of 10 women do not realize that 70 per cent of their immune system resides in their intestines.
"The connection between immunity and digestive health isn't widely understood," says Dr. Jennifer Malcolm, a Toronto family physician. "However, women know energy is crucial to well-being, and that starts with a strong immune system."
So with wellness expectations on the rise, what do women worldwide know about healthy living and immunity? How do Canadian women fare against the rest of the world? This global survey tackles these questions, and talks to women about their concerns, best practices and solutions for optimal health.
Protecting Health: Immunity Scores
While health protection is the number one concern for women worldwide, France rates it the highest (90%), followed by Japan and the United States (87%), in second place, and Canada (86%), in third. And immunity isn't far behind. Globally, seven out of 10 see immunity boosting as essential, with Japanese women ranking it the highest at 77 per cent. Yet, only half of American women recognize the majority of the immune system resides in the intestines, and the rest of the world ranks even lower at an average of 34 per cent. So while women see the connection to immunity as key, they may not know how to get it.
Making Nutrition a Priority
It's like your mother said - 'eat your veggies'. Eighty-four per cent of all women surveyed say they consume fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Yet, the majority of women (80%) - and 74 per cent of Canadian women admit eating well can sometimes be a challenge. Recognizing this, some are exploring other alternatives. Six out of 10 North American women take a daily multivitamin with additional supplement intake being most prevalent among women in North America (43%) and France (35%). So while the age-old wisdom of eating fruits and veggies still stands true, newer alternatives are also playing a growing role.
Energy and Overall Well-Being
Ninety-five per cent of women polled believe the immune system greatly influences health and energy levels, and that energy is crucial to their well-being. Canadians coast-to-coast take the top spot in wanting to feel more energetic (87%), and British women are a close second (85%). Yet, worldwide - almost three-quarters of women agree it is natural to feel drained and tired at day's end, and attribute stress and lack of sleep as the top energy busters. While energy and well-being may be a top priority for women, the burning question is how to get more of it.
Small Changes - Big Impact
Universally, women are looking for the best ways to boost their energy. So what are those small changes that can lead to feeling revitalized? An extra 30 minutes of sleep is number one for women worldwide (66%), followed by hydration (57%) and 10 more minutes of exercise daily (54%). Women in the United States and France also look to new resources - such as supplements - for increasing their vitality. And both may be on to something - French and American women also believe they have more energy than others.
Probiotics: The Next Generation
The use of probiotics is growing in popularity - and for good reason. These live, healthy bacteria strains can help strengthen the immune system and are usually found in foods, supplements, and multivitamins. While the highest daily probiotic consumption of foods and supplements goes to Canada (51%), multivitamins containing probiotics are more prevalent in the United States and France. That is until now. Multibionta(TM) is the first probiotic multivitamin caplet now available in Canada, combining key vitamins, minerals and probiotics in one daily, easy-to-swallow, triple-layer caplet. And that's a good thing. Half of women polled say overall health would be a strong motivator to try a multivitamin with probiotics, and six out of 10 women cite convenience ('taken once daily') and ease of ingestion as their top motivators.
So What Does This Mean?
With a heightened focus on well-being, idealistic and holistic attitudes are emerging, particularly towards women's own health and vitality. While women worldwide understand immunity and optimal health are connected, there is a lack of awareness around the link to immunity and digestive health. This presents a global opportunity to educate females about the immune system, and what steps can be taken to improve it.
"Our immune system takes a hit each day - stress, poor diet, and even physical strain can deplete the good bacteria that keep the immune system strong," says Dr. Malcolm. "One of the simplest lifestyle changes women can make is adding a replenishing probiotic to their daily routine. However, it's important to understand which probiotic strains you're ingesting, whether yogurt, supplements or combination products. The combination of Lactobacillus gasseri PA 16/8, Bifidobacterium longum SP 07/3 and Bifidobacterium bifidum MF 20/5 ensures coverage along the entire length of the intestines - helping to provide maximum protection."
Understanding the role probiotics play for a healthy digestive system is important. With the intestines being the body's largest immune organ - a strong digestive system and immune system go hand-in-hand. As all probiotic products are not created equally, it's important to look for products that are backed by science to ensure they work.
"A high probiotic count doesn't always guarantee probiotic effectiveness," says Dr. Dagobert Buchert, Research and Development Scientist for Multibionta(TM) Innovation. "While some products may state high probiotic counts, these same cultures are also at risk of being eliminated by stomach acid on route, unless there is a protective delivery system in place. Multibionta(TM) utilizes advanced industry innovation in caplet technology. The triple layer caplet contains a gastro protective film-coating to ensure its natural probiotic strains survive the acidity of the stomach and reach the intestines, where they are needed the most."
The international on-line survey was conducted for Multibionta(TM) by Environics Research between November 22 - 30, 2009. Countries included Canada, United States, United Kingdom, France and Japan with a total representative sample of 1,023 women between the ages of 30-50 (N = 200-220 per country).
In Canada, Multibionta(TM) is part of the Consumer Healthcare Division of EMD Canada Inc. First launched in Europe, Multibionta(TM) is a leading vitamin brand in the United Kingdom and France. Multibionta(TM) is available in many countries worldwide and now for the first time in Canada. It can be found at drug stores and retailers across the country. For more information on Multibionta(TM), please visit www.multibionta.ca.
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