Alexandria, Egypt--Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes one’s immune system to attack healthy tissue. Lupus patients on traditional therapies often take corticosteroids and anti-inflammation drugs to relieve symptoms, but the condition has no cure. A group of researchers from the University of Alexandria believe, however, that one’s vitamin D status may have something to do with the disease’s treatment.

A victim of budget cuts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Microbiological Data Program, which since 2001 has analyzed samples of select fruits and vegetables for foodborne pathogens, closed down its operations at the beginning of 2013.

In today’s health-conscious world, consumers are interested in doing everything they can to achieve maximum health and wellness. This trend is certainly playing out in the market for omega-3 supplements, which has experienced significant growth in recent years, and all signs point to further growth in the future. With this growth comes increased demand for fish that supply much of the omega-3 market and, along with their own health, buyers should be concerned about the health of fish stocks around the globe. 

Chicago, IL—Building on WholeFoods’ energy drinks coverage from last month, the American Medical Association has added its two cents about energy drink and caffeine consumption.

Battle Creek, MI—Here’s a new reason why you shouldn’t pass on the avocados during your next meal. Data collected in the 2001–2008 National Health and National Examination Survey (NHANES) suggest that avocados improve diet quality among other positive factors.

Rajinder K. Bammi, Ph.D., friend and mentor to Sabinsa Corporation of East Windsor, NJ, passed away in mid-December. Sabinsa credits Bammi with being “one of the primary people responsible for Sabinsa’s portfolio of health-enhancing ingredients”

Stockholm, Sweden—Researchers from Sweden (Umeå University and Karolinska Institute) published new data in Pediatrics indicating that iron supplements may help ward of behavioral problems in children.

Boston, MA—Nearly every woman is concerned about lowering her risk of breast cancer, and increasing carotenoid levels may be part of the solution.

Sherbrooke, QC, Canada—Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc., which suffered the loss of its krill oil production plant and three employees in November due to an explosion and fire, says its new plant will be up and running within six to nine months. At this time, krill oil production is said to be “significant,” in sharp contrast to an investment Web site’s speculation of “meaningful” production beginning in 2014.