New Survey Shows Many Canadians Purchase Vitamin Supplements to Protect Against Cold & Flu

    Wellness expert says real food provides best defense

    TORONTO, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - Cold and flu is on the minds of Canadians with
flu shot clinics up and running in full force. A new national poll has learned
that more than 70 per cent of Canadians have purchased vitamin and mineral
supplements for themselves or a family member over the last year. Thirty nine
percent cited cold and flu prevention as one of their top reasons for
purchase. Another key reason for purchase was to compensate for poor dietary
habits overall.
    According to wellness expert, Helene Charlebois, RD, supplements should
not be considered a replacement for a healthy diet, especially when it comes
to protecting our health. "There's no doubt that our fast paced lives have us
looking for short-cuts when it comes to health management," says Charlebois.
"And, while there is a role for supplements, they can fall short of
nutrient-packed foods in providing various antioxidants and other components
that help to protect our health."
    The benefits achieved by whole foods were shown in a recent clinical
study of 100 per cent fruit and vegetable juices, which concluded that the
benefits from these juices came from antioxidants called polyphenols, and
could not be replicated with vitamin supplements.(1)
    Charlebois also says that it is virtually impossible to overdose on
micronutrients when attained through food, but cautions that particular care
must be taken when it comes to taking supplements. In fact, a recent Canadian
national food intake study showed supplement users exceeded the Upper Limits
of Safe Intake for some nutrients such as niacin, iron, zinc and Vitamin A.(2)

    Why Canadians purchase supplements?

    The survey of 751 Canadians adults, sponsored by Tropicana(R) brand,
looked at trends among Canadians when it comes to supplement use and
protecting their health. It found that:

    -  78 per cent have purchased vitamin and mineral supplements within the
       last year either for themselves, for a family member, or both
    -  49 per cent cited disease prevention, or managing a health condition,
       as a reason for purchase
    -  39 per cent have purchased supplements to avoid cold and flu
    -  35 per cent have purchased to compensate for poor dietary habits

    This cold and flu season, Charlebois recommends that Canadians look to
their kitchen first versus the medicine cabinet as a first nutritional
defense. Among her top food choices for helping to stay healthy are:

    Hot Tea

    More than just a comfort, tea is high in antioxidants, which can help
fight viruses and relieve inflammation.(2) Add honey, lemon or a splash of
orange juice for an extra boost of protective antioxidants including added
Vitamin C.

    100% orange juice and citrus fruits

    Foods rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants have long been believed to
help guard against colds and flu by boosting the immune system. A glass of
100 per cent orange juice, like Tropicana Pure Premium(R), with breakfast
meets the recommended daily intake level.

    Garlic and onions

    Fresh garlic and onions are powerful antioxidants in the form of
flavonoids. Garlic is believed to be a valuable antioxidant and


    Fresh ginger root has been found to help treat coughing and fever and to
settle an upset stomach. Make your own ginger tea by steeping freshly grated
ginger in boiling water and add a sprig of fresh mint for added flavour.(4)

    Chicken Noodle Soup

    Mom was right, this classic cold remedy helps to reduce inflammation and
relieve congestion. Add extra spice to help thin mucous and clear sinuses.(5)
    "Vitamins can play a role in complementing an otherwise healthy diet,
however, it's important to talk with your doctor about appropriate dosage
levels and realistic expectations," says Charlebois. "If convenience is a
factor, it's just as easy to drink a glass of 100 per cent orange juice. It
provides a full day's supply of Vitamin C and a healthy dose of folate,
potassium and powerful antioxidants."

    About Helene Charlebois, BSc, RD

    Helene is a Registered Dietitian specializing in Medical Nutrition
Therapies (MNT) for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases,
diabetes and obesity. Most recently, she has been applying her nutrition
expertise in the prevention of the Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome "X"). A
graduate of McGill University, she has been a nutrition pioneer in private
practice since 1988. Helene is a member of the College of Dietitians of
Ontario and the president of the Consulting Dietitians of Canada.

    About the Tropicana brand in Canada

    Tropicana is a key brand in the portfolio of Pepsi-QTG Canada, the
nation's leader in beverage refreshment, breakfast and wholesome snacking,
with a roster of Canada's leading brands. Pepsi-QTG Canada markets and
distributes a full line of great-tasting, nutrition juices, juice blends,
juices from concentrate and cocktails under the Tropicana brand, including
Tropicana Pure Premium. Each 1.89L carton of its flagship Tropicana Pure
Premium(R) orange juice contains 18 hand picked oranges - Made by Oranges,
Squeezed by Tropicana. For information visit

    (1) Liu S et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of cardiovascular
        disease: the Women's Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 72:922-8.
    (2) Sebastian RS, Cleveland LE, Goldman JD, Moshfegh AJ. Older adults who
        use vitamin/mineral supplements differ from nonusers in nutrient
        intake adequacy and dietary attitudes. J Am Diet Assoc, 2007 Aug;
    (2) Fujiki, H. J Cancer Research Clinical Oncology. 1999. Nov. Vol 125.
    (3) Tsao SM et al. J Anti Microbiology Chemotherapy 2003. Dec. Vol 52 (6)
    (4) MD O'Hara, Mary; & MSt; David Kiefer, MD; Kim Farrell, MD; Kathi
        Kemper, MD, MPH (1998). "A Review of 12 Commonly Used Medicinal
        Herbs" (HTML). Archives of Family Medicine 7 (7): 523-536.doi:
        10.1001/archfami.7.6.523. PMID 9821826
    (5) CBC - Is chicken soup good medicine? Jan 16, 2001 Producer: Carmel
        Smyth; Researcher: Mike Gordon

    NOTE: The TNS Canadian Facts poll data was gathered between September 15
    and September 22, 2008, through TNS's weekly online omnibus survey.
    Results are based on a national sample of 751 Canadians aged 18 plus who
    belong to the market research firm's consumer research panel. The survey
    data were weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the Canadian
    adult population.

For further information:

For further information: Liz Luzza/Lauren Grant, PraxisPR,, (905) 949-8255 ext. 222/227

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