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Rosacea trials show significant improvement after Kiwi honey treatment

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Rosacea trials show significant improvement after Kiwi honey treatment

Related tags: New zealand, Roy morgan, Roy morgan research, Aldi

Rosacea trials show significant improvement after honey treatment

Honey from New Zealand is offering new hope for the 5-10% of adults who suffer from rosacea, a chronic rash that affects the face. 

Conventionally treated with long-term courses of antibiotics, rosacea was found to improve to varying degrees in 65% of cases in which Honevo, a medical-grade kana honey formulation developed by local company HoneyLab, was applied on subjects in trials conducted by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand.

Over one-third of trialists claimed a large improvement, and 13% said the disease had disappeared completely, the study, which was reported in the British Medical Journal Open​, revealed. Improvements were seen within two weeks. 

The results are statistically and clinically significant and at least as good, if not better, than those that have been achieved for standard prescription-only treatments, said HoneyLab science director, Shaun Holt. 

People with rosacea often seek natural treatments rather than prescription drugs, but there are very few natural products that have successfully undergone rigorous clinical trials​,” Dr Holt said

This medical-grade kanuka honey formulation delivers the best of both worlds. It’s not only a natural and safe product, but it’s also one that is proven to be effective to the standards of a pharmaceutical medicine​.”

Rosacea is a chronic red rash on the face, particularly on the cheeks and nose. Though used as the standard treatment for the condition, antibiotics can potentially cause side effects and contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Dr Holt said recent developments in the understanding of the cause of rosacea explained why the kanuka honey formulation was so effective. 

It’s now thought that the underlying causes of rosacea are mites and associated bacteria living deep in the skin in the affected area, and the rosacea symptoms are an inflammatory reaction to these​. 

As medical kanuka honey is effective at killing micro-organisms and reducing inflammation this is an excellent explanation as to why kanuka honey works so well​.”

Aussies would pay more for healthier vending snacks

Australians overwhelmingly believe that range of food on offer in vending machines is “too unhealthy”, with most willing to spend at least the same amount of money on a healthier snack. 

Vend

In a small Australian survey published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 87% of respondents did not think the food in a selection of vending machines was healthy enough.

While 80% said they would be happy to buy a healthier option for the same price, if such a thing were available, around a further third said they would even pay more.

The authors wrote: “Participants' positive attitudes towards healthy vending options are supportive of previous international research that demonstrates consumer interest in healthier vending machine options​.” 

The researchers also found front-of-packet labelling, such as a health traffic light or star system, encouraged people to choose healthier food options, though this did not work in the choice between colas and fruit juice.

Australia must keep up with rivals’ agricultural productivity

Australia must improve its food productivity to stay competitive against global markets.

Rabobank’s latest far-reaching agriculture report says farm productivity growth halved between 1991 and 2011 to 1.4%—below the world average of 1.7%. 

Reviving productivity growth was a “particularly pressing issue​” given the rise of emerging low-cost food and agricultural export competitors, such as those in South America and the Black Sea Region, Rabobank said. 

Moreover, the agri-business bank said Australia needed to stop its decline in public R&D spending and access to technology. Instead, an “enabling” policy environment was needed to turn around productivity in the sector. 

Competitors like Brazil have made massive gains in the past 15 years, largely through R&D and increasing scale. Between 2002 and 2011, Rabobank said, Brazil’s annual average growth was 3.4%—over double that of Australia. 

NZ rules out sugar tax

Health minister Jonathan Coleman has said punishing New Zealand’s sweet-tooths through a sugar tax was not the solution to New Zealand's obesity problem. 

Sugar

While finding ways to tackle New Zealand’s soaring obesity rate is a government priority, Dr Coleman said there was not sufficient evidence to show that a sugar tax would work.

Instead, action needs to be taken on the way sugary products are marketed to consumers through voluntary action by the food industry, he said.

Marketing is an issue but we've got to work with the industry to turn that around. And if you look at the Advertising Standards Authority guidelines, which the industry has signed up to, there's been major changes over time​.” 

What’s Australia’s cup of tea?

Almost as many Australians buy tea as coffee, with those opting for the latter latte, at 45%, just 3 percentage points ahead of tea drinkers, Roy Morgan Research reveals. 

Tea

Regular tea is by far the most popular type of the leaf, bought by 35% of Australians—well ahead of green tea (11%) and herbal or fruit teas (8%). 

Those aged under 25 are least likely to buy tea of any kind—the tendency being especially striking for regular tea, which is purchased by just 15%, compared to 54% of those aged over 65.

Regular tea remains the best-selling type by far, but the proportion of the population buying it in an average four weeks has declined slightly since 2010​,” said Angela Smith of Roy Morgan Research.

Although it is still relatively niche, herbal/fruit tea is being purchased by a higher proportion of consumers than it was five years ago. The market for green tea has been stable since 2010, and people who purchase green, herbal and/or regular tea tend to be more diet-conscious than the average Australian​.”

Aldi setting cat among supermarket pigeons

A German budget supermarket’s share has more than tripled from 3.1% to 11.6% over the last 10 years, while the traditional heavyweights have watched theirs decrease, another study by Roy Morgan Research reveals. 

Aldi

As it did a decade ago, Woolworths holds the largest slice of the market, though this has declined slightly from 40.3% in 2006 to 38.5% this year. Coles’s share has decreased more markedly, from 37.0% to 31.8%. 

Though while Aldi remains a distant third, its planned push beyond the Eastern states suggests that the chain’s upward trajectory is not about to plateau any time soon. 

On average, 35.1% of Australian grocery buyers shop at Aldi’s stores, which are located in just three states. It has been particularly successful in Victoria and New South Wales, with just over 47% of each state’s grocery buyers shopping there.

In the last two years alone, Aldi’s share of the Victorian market has grown from 13.3% to 15.5%. Over the same time period, Coles’ slice of the pie has declined from 36.0% to 31.6%, while that of Woolworths has remained static at around 35%. 

It’s a similar story in NSW, with Aldi gaining ground (from 13.4% to 15.9%), Coles losing ground, and Woolworths flat-lining. 

Aldi shoppers are more likely to buy the store’s own-brand products, and to go out of their way in search of a bargain, with Roy Morgan finding good value and low prices were judged “very important” by Aldi customers.

Coles, Woolworths/Safeway and IGA shoppers, by contrast, were more concerned about a supermarket’s proximity to home.

We expect to see Aussie supermarkets focusing more on ‘customers’ than ever—understanding who they are, what their needs and drives are, and how to communicate with them and engage their loyalty​,” said Michele Levine of Roy Morgan Research. 

Supermarket credit cards are one example of how they are already doing this; another is pre-paid mobile phone services such as ALDImobile​.

Certainly, consumers stand to benefit from this increasingly competitive market, with wider choices and better prices as supermarkets work even harder to consolidate or grow their customer bases​.”

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