Animal study may aid preemies

Feeding premature infants a specific amount of nutrients orally may help develop healthy digestive systems, according to preliminary findings from new studies cited by the Children's Nutrition Research Center.

Researches at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the center and in the department of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston studied the intestinal nutrient needs and then compared the results of feeding neonatal animals intravenously with adding minimal oral feedings, too.

"Our studies showed that the neonatal intestine has a much higher requirement for protein than for carbohydrate," said Dr. Douglas Burrin, USDA research physiologist. "We found giving neonatal pups up to 30 percent of nutrients orally helped their digestive system grow properly. We hope this finding will one day help neonatalogists to determine the optimum composition and volume or oral feedings to give premature infants."

3M offers tattoo bandages

3M has introduced a line of 3M Nexcare Waterproof Bandages, complete with tattoo designs to appeal to kids. The designs, which were selected by a panel of kids, include animals, sports scenes and symbols like the peace sign and smiley faces. Once in place, the bandages look like a tattoo, while acting like a traditional bandage.

Firm plans to protect herbs

Frontier Natural Products Co-op has announced creation of the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs, to be located on a 68-acre site in Meigs County, Ohio.

The center will focus on the research and protection of "at risk" herbs as determined by United Plant Savers. An advisory council will try to ensure that new herb research and organic farming methods are both adopted by farmers and promoted within the natural product industry.

Supplement may prevent strokes

Henkel Nutrition and Health Group has announced that a natural supplement may protect people - especially smokers or those with a history of heart disease - from heart attacks or strokes.

That's according to a study presented during the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting.

The release credits pycnogenol, a French maritime pine bark whose extract significantly reduced platelet aggregation, a condition that occurs when the smallest blood cells form clumps. A U.S. patent was just granted based on the research.

Patch offers backpain relief

A medicated patch offers a treatment option for people with chronic low back pain.

The patch delivers a continuous dose of fentanyl through the skin and into the bloodstream over a 72-hour period. The patch is placed on a flat skin surface like the chest, back, side or upper arm. The treatment has already proven to be effective for chronic pain related to cancer.

"The standard oral poioid medications have to be taken every four to six hours, so there are generally peaks and valleys in the level of medication within the system," said Dr. Richard Simpson, associate professor of neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine. "The fentanyl patch is convenient and keeps the medication level con-stant."