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  • 14 Feb 2020 2:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, 12 February 2020, Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) proudly hosted the Healthy People, Healthy Future Parliamentary Breakfast at Federal Parliament, Canberra ACT.

    Attended by industry executives and allied health groups, CMA's Pre-Budget Submission for a more sustainable health system was the major focus of the addresses delivered by leading industry and research professionals.


    The guest of honour, the Health Minister, the Honourable Greg Hunt, said he supported and appreciated the strong working collaboration between the industry, CMA and the government.


    Federal Parliament provided the perfect setting to share insights on the current state of Australia's world-class complementary medicines industry and major priorities of the CMA's Pre-Budget Submission 2020-2021.


    Welcoming the delegation

    CMA's CEO Carl Gibson shared some of the Pre-Budget Submission highlights including:

    • Support for the growth of high-quality Australian exports.
    • Focus on preventive health to build a sustainable health system.
    • Support for investment in complementary medicines research and translation of evidence into clinical practice.
    • A health check of the new Regulatory Reform framework to ensure it is fit for purpose for complementary medicines.


    Ian Chant – protecting clinical trials and encouraging a healthy future

    Ian Chant is the newly elected CMA President, the Managing Director of Aker Biomarine Australia, and former Chair of CMA Export Committee. Ian tasked the CMA with doubling Australian complementary medicines exports – a mission that was achieved – and exports now top $1 billion, equivalent to 20% of all products sold today.


    Ian stressed the need to protect clinical trials for complementary medicines, a move that has been warmly welcomed by industry. “Investment in evidence-based complementary medicines will further boost Australia's research base,” he said. 


    Market exclusivity for new ingredients is important said Ian, this will drive innovation and give consumers access to the latest therapeutic products in the world. And it will continue to put more world-class products on shelves.


    Ian encouraged discussion, debate and collaboration on a healthier future for all Australians.

    “According to the National Institute of Health and Welfare,” he said, “Australia is facing a national crisis of chronic disease, with 50% of Australians now living with at least one chronic condition. Those with chronic conditions make up nine-tenths of all deaths and a third of all hospitalisations,” reported Ian.


    According to the National Health survey, two-thirds of Australian adults and a quarter of Australian children are overweight or obese. These are significant risk factor for diabetes, and the incidence of this chronic condition has tripled in the past 25 years; it now affects 1.2 million Australians.


    Ian went on to stress that frequent exercise is crucial in preventing chronic disease, yet only 50% of men and only two in five women meet their weekly requirements. It's no wonder that in just less than a decade, health costs have grown from $5,000 per person to $7,100 per person – an increase of 42%.


    “The majority of Australians, 73%, use complementary medicines – the highest recorded numbers ever. The reason? Because they trust our products, our regulatory system and the therapeutic products work for them,” said Ian.


    “Our products help people, and we thank the 36,000 natural health practitioners in Australia. We should be proud that together we can make a difference to patients suffering one or more chronic conditions,” he added.  


    Our industry can get Australians moving by preventing and managing injuries, improving recovery and building lean muscle (particularly important for our seniors) and strengthen peoples’ ability to regulate levels of body fat, lower blood pressure and increase muscle and bone density. 


    Peter Hurley – encouraging better nutrition via healthy communities`

    Peter Hurley, General Manager of Herbalife Nutrition Australia and New Zealand, said: "We are honoured to be recognised as a premier global nutrition company that continues to provide high-quality products to meet the demands of today's market. This achievement would not be possible without the great work of our Members and employees. I am proud to be a part of this amazing industry."


    Peter said that many features made Herbalife Nutrition stand out, including the Nutritional Advisory Board (NAB). This global team of nutritional experts provide dietary advice and scientific leadership. He relayed that a representative of the NAB toured Australia on an annual wellness tour of major cities, offering free public talks and the opportunity to share their practical nutritional tips, easy ways to achieve balanced nutrition and ways to incorporate exercise into each day.


    Herbalife Nutrition provides ongoing training and support to the company’s Independent Members; this is achieved through regular meetings and sales training sessions held monthly in each state plus downloadable resources on the member website. 


    The company's sports nutrition brand Herbalife24 demonstrates its commitment to quality assurance. The comprehensive performance nutrition line has been developed to power athletes 24-hours a day. The company is passionate about continuing to take a proactive approach to help people improve their nutritional habits with great-tasting, science-backed nutrition products to help everybody get the right balance of healthy nutrition. He went on to say one of the world's greatest soccer players, Cristiano Ronaldo uses and endorses the products.


    While Peter said that the products can help to boost nutrition for the elite athlete and for the regular exercisers, it did not mean that they would impart Ronaldo's incredible soccer skills!


    Professor Alan Bensoussan – the work of NICM is to benefit the health of all Australians

    Director of NICM Health Research Institute and Lady Cilento Award Recipient, Professor Alan Bensoussan, said that NICM was established with support from the federal and NSW state governments in 2007. He explained that NICM’s role was to provide leadership and support for strategically directed research into complementary medicine. 


    NICM aims to translate evidence into clinical practice and relevant policy to benefit the health of all Australians. The institute provides leadership and support for strategically directed research into complementary medicine and helps translate evidence into clinical practice and relevant policy to benefit the health of all Australians.


    NICM plays a critical national role in ensuring Australians have access to reliable evidence on complementary medicines and treatments in extensive use. It is recognised worldwide for its world-class research and innovations in integrative and complementary medicine. 


    Health Minister, Greg Hunt: Australia has the best regulated Complementary medicines sector in the world

    Introducing the Health Minister, the Honourable Greg Hunt, Carl Gibson stated that the delegation was delighted that he could attend the breakfast meeting since he is also leading the Australian Government response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.


    Mr Hunt spoke about the strong working association between CMA, TGA and the Government. 


    He explained that he was involved in pioneering the introduction of the Medicines and Medical Devices Regulatory (MMDR) reforms and launch of the new Natural Therapies Review. He underlined his belief that complementary medicines play an essential role in the preventative health agenda for all Australians.


    The Minister for Health also spoke about the Australian Government’s National Preventive Health Strategy which is now underway and forms part of the third pillar of the long-term National Health Plan.


    The long-term 10-year plan is formulated to build on strategic work that has already been developed or is currently being drafted. It includes the National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions, the National Obesity Strategy and the National Tobacco Strategy.

    The aim of the Strategy, said Greg Hunt. was to help Australians improve their health at all stages of life, through early intervention, better information, and targeting modifiable risk factors and the broader causes of poor health.


    In closing, the Health Minister said he was proud to work closely with CMA and the TGA to ensure a superior industry. Congratulating Australia's industry sector, Greg Hunt said: "Australia has the best regulated Complementary medicines sector in the world."





  • 13 Feb 2020 10:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A reporter from the Sydney Morning Herald has once again taken a swipe at complementary medicines (https://www.smh.com.au/national/hundreds-harmed-by-glucosamine-as-doctors-warn-stop-taking-it-20200129-p53vq1.html) this time against one of the most popular supplements in Australia.


    The article says that "People who take one of Australia's most popular health supplements for osteoarthritis have been urged to stop taking the pills, with strong new evidence showing it doesn't help symptoms and one study revealing hundreds of people have been harmed by it."


    The Mayo Clinic

    The world-renowned Mayo Clinic in the USA, states: "Glucosamine sulfate might provide pain relief for people with osteoarthritis. The supplement appears to be safe and might be a helpful option for people who can't take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). While study results are mixed, glucosamine sulfate might be worth a try."[i]


    Arthritis Australia

    There is a large body of evidence that supports glucosamine's role in the treatment of mild osteoarthritis.

    Currently, Arthritis Australia says: "Recent studies have shown that the combination of glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin may be effective in slowing the breakdown of cartilage in the early stages of knee OA. Research has also shown that the combination may help in reducing moderate to severe knee pain from OA."[ii]


    From shellfish to vegan forms

    The article says that "The supplement is often made from shellfish and can cause serious allergic reactions." This is true for people who are allergic to shellfish. In Australia, labels state the source of glucosamine, and there are warnings regarding allergic reactions for those allergic to shellfish.

    Furthermore, the Australian complementary medicines industry is moving more and more towards vegan forms of glucosamine. Thus, the potential for allergy is not a concern for those with shellfish allergy if they choose a vegan derived form.


    Numerous governmental requirements

    There are numerous Government requirements for product warning statements generally, and allergen warning statements specifically. This includes substances sourced from/used in the manufacture of/or a known component of fish/crustacea/molluscs/shellfish/seafood/and many other allergens, by both the Department of Health’s Therapeutic Goods Administration for medicines, and by Foods Standard Australia and New Zealand for foods.


    Public health is uppermost

    The Australian Government engages with the industry, medical practitioners and consumers regarding the public health approaches to allergies and the regulatory approach to allergens within products. We at Complementary Medicines Australia regularly respond to the Government on regulatory issues and assist industry members regarding Government requirements.


    Glucosamine, like other active ingredients, can interact with prescribed medications, , which is why we recommend the advice of a healthcare practitioner before taking such supplements. The article says that side effects are rare – this is true and can be observed by searching the Therapeutic Goods Administration adverse-event notification database.


    Look at the label

    The article quotes" The Age and the Herald found several glucosamine products for sale that contained only a note’ they were "derived from seafood" in small print on the back of the bottle."

    In this context it needs to be understand the full range of regulatory requirements required on medicine labels, which include minimum letter height on label statements.

    Supplements are covered by a wide range of laws governing product and allergen warning statements. And, the regulator, the TGA is constantly updating guidelines to ensure Australia’s booming complementary health industry continues to enjoy its status as the most highly regulated in the world. No wonder discerning consumers around the world are choosing Australian complementary medicines.


    A raft of requirements

    A variety of requirements both directly and indirectly about the required declaration of allergens included in the Australian Government legislation, including:

    • Labelling standards for medicines (multiple currently in effect).
    • The Food Standards Code (for food products).
    • Certain Advertising standards.
    • The Therapeutic Goods Act and specific Therapeutic Goods Regulations.
    • Certain Therapeutic Goods legislative instruments (multiple in effect).


    Lastly, CMA reiterates that the industry and the regulator work closely to ensure products meet the highest standards for efficacy and safety.


    CMA has and will continue to work closely with the government and industry to ensure high quality research to ensure the safety and efficacy of complementary medicines made in Australia.


    If consumers are concerned about the source of ingredients in a particular medicine they can contact the sponsor of the medicine for more information.


    In fact, today (12 February 2020) Speaking at CMA healthy breakfast: at Parliament House the Honourable Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health said: “Australia has the best regulated Complementary medicines sector in the world.”



    [i] https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-glucosamine/art-20362874

    [ii] https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/managing-arthritis/living-with-arthritis/complementary-treatments-and-therapies/glucosamine-and-chondroitin/

  • 05 Feb 2020 12:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements could reduce the number of hip fractures in people aged 65 and over according to new research.

    New study shows that calcium and vitamin D supplements can prevent bone fracture

    Supplements can reduce bone fracture by 16%

    The study analysed data from 17 studies, involving nearly 84,000 people. Most people were in their late 60s or older. Results showed that those who took both calcium and vitamin D supplements were about 16% less likely to break a hip and 6% less likely to break any bone[i]. 


    Hip fractures can be life-threatening

    Hip fractures are severe and even life-threatening. In Australia, one in three adults aged 50 and over dies within 12 months of hip fracture[ii]. Older adults are five-to-eight times more likely to die within the first three months of a hip fracture compared to those without a fractured hip[iii]. And the increased risk of death remains for almost ten years[iv].


    Hip fractures set to rise

    An Australian is admitted to hospital with an osteoporotic fracture every five to six minutes. This rate is expected to rise to every three to four minutes by the year 2021, as our population ages and the number of osteoporotic fractures increase[v]. Compared to a fracture of any other bone, a hip fracture results in the most serious of all consequences.


    Nutrition and individualised physical therapy can aid recovery. But with poor appetite and concomitant chronic illnesses consuming a healthy mixed diet can be a challenge.


    Protection against bone breakages

    The study published in JAMA found that the combination of calcium and vitamin D afforded protection. No protection from bone breaks of any sort was found for those who took only vitamin D.


    Optimising nutrition

    Calcium and vitamin D work together. Calcium is the main mineral in bone and important for building strength. Vitamin D is vital to help the body absorb calcium. Sunlight is the major source of vitamin D, but for some elderly people, it can be difficult to get outside to enjoy the sun safely.



    [i] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2757873?utm_source=silverchair&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=article_alert-jamanetworkopen&utm_term=mostread&utm_content=olf-widget_01242020

    [ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28093824

    [iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20231569

    [iv] https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/99/12/4690/2834651

    [v] https://www.arthritisnsw.org.au/osteoporosis/osteoporosis-statistics/

  • 04 Feb 2020 1:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Carl Gibson

    Australia holds a unique opportunity to build capacity in a world-leading complementary medicine research sector and to contribute to informed healthcare choices around the globe. More significant support, encouragement of innovation and investment in Australian complementary medicines are some of the essential aspects of our agenda.

    CMA's CEO Carl Gibson

    Research in complementary medicine – the vital role of funding

    We are fortunate to be home to world-leading research institutions for complementary medicines including the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM) at Sydney’s University of Technology and the NICM Health Research Institute (NICM) at Western Sydney University. ARCCIM is an excellent public health and health services research centre focusing on traditional, complementary and integrative health care; it brings experts in epidemiology and health economics together.

    The envy of the world

    A leading complementary medicine research institute in Australia, the NICM Health Research Institute has created a broad network of significant research partnerships with international organisations, including several prestigious universities, hospitals and other agencies in China, Asia, Europe and the US. The NICM Health Research Institute has recently moved to the Westmead precinct, one of the most significant health, education, research and training precincts in the Southern Hemisphere. The research facilities and capabilities of Australia in the field of natural and complementary therapies are the envy of the world, but funding is needed to capitalise on and cement this reputation.

    Australia also boasts excellent research centres outside of the university sector, such as the Endeavour College of Natural Health, The National Institute of Integrative Medicine (NIIM) and the Blackmores Institute.

    The Endeavour College of Natural Health is a leading higher education provider for complementary and integrative healthcare, in part due to the value placed upon practice-relevant research. In collaboration with universities and other medical bodies, NIIM researches the safety and efficacy of integrative medicine and complementary therapies for the prevention, detection and treatment of disease. It boasts Australia’s largest integrative medical centre, the NIIM Clinic. The Blackmores Institute, the academic and professional arm of Blackmores Limited, was established in 2012 with a vision to improve and promote the quality use of natural medicine via a focus on research and education.

    Probiotics, gut health, yoga and more

    Just a few examples of recently published research include nutrition and supplementation, probiotics and internal gut health, yoga, natural pain relief methods during childbirth, and the benefits of exercise in mental health. A Cochrane Review, published in November 2018, ‘Omega-3 fatty acid addition during pregnancy’ demonstrated high-quality evidence for omega-3 supplementation as an effective strategy for preventing preterm birth, the leading global cause of death in children under the age of five years.

    Given the potential benefits of complementary medicines as a tool towards preventive health, and that we now have world-class facilities poised to take flight in this critical research area, complementary medicines research should be a priority area for funding.

    CMA funding– top three recommendations to government

    As well as the general need for increased funding support for public health research in Australia, we are recommending that particular areas of research become a priority, including targeted additional support for complementary medicine research groups.

    For every dollar invested in Australian health research and development, $2.17 in health benefits is returned. Given the potential benefits of complementary medicines as a tool towards preventive health, complementary medicines research should be a priority area for funding.

    Beyond the general need for increased funding support for public health research in Australia, CMA recommends that particular areas of study be prioritised including targeted additional support for complementary medicine research groups.

    We’ll keep you informed of developments.

  • 31 Jan 2020 11:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    January 2020

    Time to Reveal Preventive Health Reform Vision

    CMA Pre-Budget Submission 2020-21

    Australia’s complementary medicines peak body, the CMA, is calling on the Federal Government to reveal a preventive health vision and invest in building a more sustainable health system for all Australians.

    Releasing the CMA’s Pre-Budget submission for the 2020-21 Federal Budget, CMA CEO Carl Gibson, said today that a greater focus on preventive health is required and to do so will require strong funding and targeted investment. 

    “Healthcare costs will continue to rise unless there is a shift towards early prevention, encouraging healthy and active ageing and supporting individuals in taking control over their health.

    “Australia has one of the highest performing health systems in the world. However, in common with other developed countries, our ageing population and increasing rates of chronic and complex health conditions are an increasing burden on the health system.

    “Preventive health interventions are the most cost-effective use of our health dollars. Investing in prevention and public health keeps people well and out of hospital, improving productivity and reducing pressure on the health system.

    “Preventive health is an essential move towards improving the cost-effectiveness of the health care system, by enhancing Australians’ health and quality of life and reducing preventable illness. In the case of complementary medicines, a thoughtful and rigorous strategy, coordinated by a preventive health body, would further demonstrate the cost-effectiveness and health benefits of complementary medicines for contributing to improved public health.

    “The 2020-21 Federal Budget provides the Government with the ideal opportunity to reveal its preventive health reform vision, through evidence-based and targeted preventive health programs for a more sustainable health system in Australia.

    CMA are pleased to put forward recommendations detailing priorities for the Federal Budget to make real change. Optimal Health of all Australians is the best investment government can make,” Carl Gibson said.

    The CMA’s Pre-Budget Submission sets out a range of recommendations that are achievable, affordable and will reduce costs in health care and serve to grow the economy.

    The CMA’s Pre-Budget Submission 2020-21 is available here.


    For more information, contact:

    Ravinder Lilly corporate marketing communications manager 0418928756

  • 22 Jan 2020 12:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Carl Gibson, CMA CEO

    Australia has one of the highest performing health systems in the world. But, in common with other developed countries, we are also experiencing an ageing population and increasing rates of chronic and complex health conditions. Spending on health has grown from $5,000 per person in 2006-07 to $7,100 per person in 2015-16. Half of all Australians have at least one chronic disease, and the need to place a stronger focus upon preventive health is becoming increasingly important.

    Complementary medicines and therapies are valuable ways to help manage chronic disease, prevent the exacerbation of illness, and to optimise nutrition and wellbeing

    An older and sicker population can only foreshadow higher healthcare costs in the future. That is unless there is a shift towards early prevention, encouraging healthy and active ageing, and supporting individuals in taking control over their health.

    Natural Therapies

    Natural therapies are recognised by the World Health Organization and by governments around the world as effective, appropriate and cost-effective solutions to helping people manage their healthcare. Complementary medicine practitioners emphasise nutrition, lifestyle modifications, and the importance of taking personal responsibility for health as fundamental principles for improving quality of life. Research conducted in Australia has demonstrated that the total number of client consultations is estimated at 16 million annually, contributing over AUD$1.8 billion to the economy each year.

    Rising out-of-pocket costs across the health sector; the ongoing debate

    From 1 April 2019, private health insurers were no longer permitted to provide cover for a wide range of natural therapies, including naturopathy, herbal medicine, yoga and tai chi. All of these have a strong evidence base supporting their use in good health promotion.

    An analysis carried out by PwC found that private health insurance members across all levels of hospital cover who also choose ancillary (extras) benefits for natural therapies claimed $200 per person less every year in hospital and medical costs; for members with top hospital cover it was $430 per person less claimed if they chose ancillary benefits for natural therapies.

    CMA has, strongly recommended, and continues stress to Government, that ceasing the private health rebate for natural therapies, such as herbal medicine and naturopathy, be reconsidered. This is in light of the evidence supporting the use of these natural therapies for cost-effectively contributing to good health.

    Complementary Medicines’ Role in Preventive Heath

    Individuals use complementary medicines as adjunctive therapy to conventional medicine, to help manage chronic disease, prevent the exacerbation of illness, and to optimise nutrition and wellbeing. There is robust evidence that complementary medicines are a cost-effective way to improve health outcomes.

    The 2017 McKell Institute report: Picking the low hanging fruit: Achieving a more equitable and sustainable healthcare system found that targeted, evidence-based uptake of certain complementary medicines results in notable cost savings in Australia, whilst delivering better health outcomes and greater equity. Through addressing some of the social determinants of health, which a poor diet, complementary medicines can play a role in addressing long-term health budget pressures.

    Increased uptake of vitamin D and calcium

    In Australia, between 31% and 58% of the population have vitamin D deficiency, despite the fortification of many foods with vitamin D. D deficiency has been linked to an increased prevalence of a number of chronic diseases, including osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease. The McKell Institute estimates that up to 8,895 fractures annually could be avoided in Australia with increased uptake of vitamin D and calcium, saving the Government up to $142 million in direct health costs.

    Prenatal Vitamins

    Folate, iodine and vitamin B3 are known to prevent neural tube defects. Current Australian guidelines recommend routine supplementation of folate and iodine, with vitamin D and iron supplementation for pregnant women with identified deficiencies. Maternal malnutrition leads to adverse pregnancy outcomes and can lead to a long-term negative impact on growth and development during childhood and increases in the risk of developing chronic diseases later in life.

    CMA supports the recommendation of increasing the uptake of pregnancy vitamins by low-income mothers to help address health inequalities, estimated by the McKell Institute to cost between $26 million and $46 million per year, a small cost given the potential benefits to health equity and long-term savings from stemming the rise in prevalence of chronic diseases.

    National Preventive Health Body

    CMA supports the call to re-establish a National Preventive Health Body to evaluate evidence-based interventions at a population level, which is an important step towards placing good health at the centre of policymaking in Australia. A fundamental aim of any health system should be to prevent disease and reduce ill health so that people remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

    Preventive health is also an essential move towards improving the cost-effectiveness of the health care system, by enhancing Australians’ health and quality of life and reducing preventable illness. In the case of complementary medicines, a thoughtful and rigorous strategy, coordinated by the preventive health body, would further demonstrate the cost-effectiveness and health benefits of complementary medicines for contributing to improved public health. How will we do this? In three ways:

    1. Reinstate the private health rebate for natural therapies, in light of the evidence supporting the use of these natural therapies.

    2. Development of a strategy, in consultation with physician groups, to increase the uptake of vitamin D supplementation amongst at-risk groups, and the introduction of a scheme to provide free vitamins during pregnancy through medical practitioners for women that hold concession cards.

    3. Re-establish a national preventive health body to implement and evaluate population-wide prevention initiatives, improving the health and wellbeing of the community and providing long- term savings for the health budget.

  • 21 Jan 2020 10:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There’s a change in the way that people are using complementary medicines and it’s being led by Millennials – female Australian Millennials to be precise.


    Young Australian women are changing the way complementary medicines are being used

    A major study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine compared the way that young Generation X women (surveyed 1996; aged 18–23 years), and young Millennial women (surveyed 2014; aged 19–24 years) regarding consultations with complementary medicine (CM) practitioners. 

    CM as part of everyday health strategy

    Women in the Generation X range tended to use CMs when their health was poor according to data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Whereas young Millennial women tend to use CMs as part of their everyday health strategy, to maintain and enhance health rather than as a treatment for ill health. This highlights the emphasis Millennials place on wellness. The increased use of CMs may be due to several reasons, from increased availability, more media exposure as well as research into their use and mechanism of action.


    And these young women are using CMs despite them not being publicly funded or subsidised in the Australian healthcare system.


    The study showed that the use of CM by young women was consistently linked with positive health behaviours such as lower smoking or alcohol consumption and higher levels of physical activity - trends which are seen across the Australian population.


    Motivations for health

    Researchers are not sure about the perceptions motivating young women’s decisions to engage in positive health behaviours and why they choose to use CM. It may be that through CM use that women are choosing other healthy lifestyle choices.


    Demonstrating an increased CM utilisation prevalence in young Australian women from 1996 to 2014, the study identified several predictors of CM usage across Generation X and Millennial generations. These include non-urban residence, and the presence of specific health conditions such as back pain, and frequent headaches.


    Clinical benefits

    The researchers suggested that the consistent use of CM by women who report having these conditions may reflect the clinical benefit they experience from their chosen treatments. Equally, being dissatisfied with  available conventional treatments for these conditions may also be driving the higher rates of CM use.


    Obese young women or those who reported regular smoking were less likely to use CM practices say the researchers, who go on to highlight the potential for continued increases in CM use as Millennials approach middle age and beyond.


    CM use in the future

    The authors state: “The potential for unprecedented proportions of Australia women accessing CM in the future is set if current young Millennial women follow CM utilization trends that increase with advancing age. These predicted future increases in CM utilization among middle-aged and older Australian women should be prepared for in urban and rural settings as well as accounted for in Australian health care access and policy planning.”




  • 20 Jan 2020 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By CMA CEO Carl Gibson

    The complementary medicines industry is proud to make a difference to the preventive health agenda, building a more sustainable health system for all Australians.

    As the peak industry body for the complementary medicines industry, Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) represents stakeholders from across the value chain including; brand sponsors, manufacturers, raw material suppliers, distributors, consultants, retailers, allied health professionals and educators. I’m proud to say that we promote appropriate industry regulation and positive Government policies to ensure consumers have access to complementary medicines of the highest quality which make a difference to their lives every single day.

    It is part of our role of CMA to submit recommendations on behalf of industry to the Treasurer for inclusion in the 2019-20 Budget.

    The Australian industry is recognised as a premium brand in the complementary medicines sector, stemming from our strict manufacturing standards and Australia’s well-deserved reputation for a clean and well-regulated environment for food and medicines. 


    Supporting the Growth of Australian Exports  

    Growth in the Australian market expected to continue, increasing innovation-rich manufacturing and providing a significant contribution to our country’s exports. Trade with international markets is crucial for the long-term prosperity of the Australian complementary medicines industry. Our products are well recognised as world leading in the complementary medicines around the world, thanks to strict quality and safety manufacturing standards and Australia’s global reputation for quality and safe products and its trusted regulatory institutions.

    Australian products are increasingly popular in overseas markets, particularly in Asia and the Western Pacific region. Our industry has the ability to continue its positive growth trajectory, growing our high-skilled manufacturing sector, boosting Australian jobs across the industry in product manufacturing, as well as stimulating scientific evaluation and research.   


    Expanding middle-class consumers

    The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market for complementary medicines products in the world. Given the ageing population and growth of the middle class, demand for Australia’s high-quality complementary medicines is expected to remain very strong. By 2030, the Asia-Pacific region will have 3.2 billion middle-class consumers. Great demand is expected in the areas of health and aged care, natural preventive care and high-quality food products.


    Number one in China!

    Australia has now overtaken the USA as the number one importer of complementary medicines into China. The opportunities offered by the Chinese market are significant, with the health food market alone – which includes vitamins and minerals, herbal extracts and Traditional Chinese Medicine – currently valued at US$30 billion and projected to grow by 10 per cent every year until 2025.

    The Chinese Government has made health a priority, with the Healthy China 2030 vision being central to all policy-making. The demand for complementary medicines is also proliferating in China due to an increasingly health-conscious population taking a keen interest in their health and wellbeing.


    Made in Australia

    Consumers in Asia care about the quality of products, and the ability to use a consistent logo and branding in the form of the Australian Made logo offers a competitive advantage in international markets. Thanks to CMA, complementary medicines manufactured and tested in Australia can rightfully claim Made in Australia and use the coveted logo. It represents a very real industry advantage to manufacturing plants, central to our industry, allowing us to retain and protect our Australian identity. The potential cost of not being able to use the Made in Australia logo to our industry could have been $1.2 billion dollar export market to China, future export opportunities, and a workforce that supports a 4.9 billion dollar industry. 

    The Australian complementary medicines industry is asking that the Government ensures to continue to support manufacturers and provide a level of certainty for businesses, in the consistent application of Country of Origin and Australian Made provisions.


     Trade Liberalisation

    CMA strongly supports the growing number of free trade agreements to which Australia is a signatory and the ever-increasing focus on helping to address ‘behind the border’ issues. Continued trade liberalisation will present sizeable opportunities for the Australian complementary medicines industry as the sector is well positioned to compete for emerging opportunities.

    The Indian market presents an incredible export opportunity. Indian consumers look to natural health supplements as an element of their health care choices; India has a long history of such usage through Ayurveda medicine. The Indian natural products market was estimated at approximately US$4 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at 21 per cent CAGR to US$10 billion by 2022.

    A market of over 1 billion people, India is experiencing a rise in demand for nutritional supplements amongst the upper and middle classes, resulting from a rise in lifestyle diseases and a subsequent focus on health and nutrition. Higher disposable incomes, access to information, and the strong reputation of Australian products to be high quality and ‘clean and green’ is facilitating growth.


    Australian health supplements, vitamins and minerals and sports foods 

    Some challenges need to be overcome before the Australian complementary medicines industry can fully benefit from the opportunities offered by the Indian market, on which we will continue to focus. India presents a significant opportunity in the future for the Australian complementary medicines sector. CMA proposes that the Australian Government progresses the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, including tariff reduction and clarification around the application of GST on health products, to support Australian businesses in our sector to benefit from the future market opportunities offered by India.

    India also presents an opportunity for exporting Australian ingredients for high-end products, as there is a demand for high quality and unique ingredients such as tea tree oil, manuka honey, whey protein concentrate and more. Exporting Australian ingredients for high-end products is also a great opportunity since there is a demand for high quality and unique ingredients such as tee tree oil, manuka honey, whey protein concentrate etc.


    Targeted funding for AgriFutures

    AgriFutures (formerly RIRDC) identifies and nurtures research, innovation and collaborative efforts to support new and emerging opportunities for rural industries. This includes support of the emerging Australian seaweed industry, tea tree oil, and native plants such as wattle seed, Kakadu plum and native pepper. Increasing the market capacity for Australian grown raw materials for medicinal herbal ingredients, underpinned by Australia’s ‘clean and green’ branding and reputation for quality provides another opportunity. CMA proposes targeted funding for AgriFutures to work with the Australian complementary medicines industry, supporting additional research and commercialisation to capture the opportunity of locally grown ingredients fully.


    Support Programs for Exporters

    CMA believes that government support programs are vital to assist Australian exporters in conducting business in emerging and growth markets, and in terms of provision of advice, capacity building and expediting export opportunities. Maintaining Austrade as an active organisation is vital to Australia’s economy, as are the continued efforts by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to support Australian firms in building secure international networks.

    Austrade and DFAT’s Australia-China Council have provided instrumental support for our industry in building engagement with Chinese stakeholders, a notable example being the strong presence of Australian brands at the CMA Australian Pavilion at the Healthplex Expo in Shanghai, one of the premier events for companies looking to enter the Chinese market or to raise the profile of their brands. Similar support for building brand awareness in the Indian market would be of great value.


    CMA Budget Recommendations

    • Ensure support for manufacturers and a level of certainty for businesses, in the consistent application of Country of Origin and Australian Made provisions.
    • Secure the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement to support Australian businesses in our sector to benefit from the future market opportunities offered by India.
    • Targeted funding for AgriFutures to collaborate with the Australian complementary medicines industry to increase locally grown ingredients.
    • Back the complementary medicines industry export program with continued investment in Austrade to support Australian exporters and enhance Australia’s global competitiveness. 


  • 10 Jan 2020 4:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There are many ways to reduce your impact on climate exchange and make better use of our precious resources. One is diet. 


    Changing from the traditional Western diet to more sustainable eating could cut greenhouse gas emissions by a massive 70% and water use by 50% [i]


    Simple changes such as eating fewer animal products, using less plastic, eating more fresh produce and reducing food wastage can make a real difference to your carbon footprint.


    Don't waste food

    According to FoodWise, Australians throw away around 20% of the food they buy[ii]. Food waste is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Food in landfill emits greenhouse gasses, including methane. So shop smaller and more often if you can and use leftovers or freeze them for later if possible.


    Use less plastic

    Today, there are many non-plastic alternatives to storing food in plastic. These include using reusable shopping bags and reusable wrapping and coffee cups to avoiding takeout in plastic containers and ditching single-use plastic water bottles. 


    Less meat, more plants

    No doubt, cutting down on meat is one of the most significant ways to reduce greenhouse gases, mainly methane. Research shows that reducing meat intake is one of the best ways to lower your carbon footprint [iii] 


    Dairy products are the second largest contributor to individuals' greenhouse gas emissions after meat[iv]. Ilmi Granoff from the U.K.'s Overseas Development Institute said: "the fastest way to address climate change would be to dramatically reduce the amount of meat people eat."


    Fibre to feed your microbiome

    Those who consume most plant-based foods had the lowest emission of greenhouse gases[v]. These fibre-rich foods provide prebiotics to feed probiotics. Growing your own food – in a garden or community garden – also helps to reduce your carbon footprint. Foods are not transported long distances and packaging is not needed either. 


    Foods rich in prebiotics include onions, garlic, leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, legumes including chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans, bananas, bran, barley, oats, almonds and other nuts. These are examples of fermentable fibre. Try adding nuts and seeds to high fibre breakfast cereal with plant milk, choose wholegrain reads, add legumes to soups salads and stews. Legumes nuts tofu and mycoprotein are great sources of protein as are plant-based protein supplements.


    Plus, recycling rainwater, composting, gardening organically helps too. One study [i] found that the importance of fibre hugely connected with gut microbes. Eating plenty of fibre feeds probiotics which thrive and increase in number and variety. The healthier your microbiome, the thicker the mucus wall. A thicker mucus barrier lowers inflammation throughout the body and probiotics aid digestion.[ii] increasing fibre too quickly can cause digestive problems such as gas, and intestinal blockages. So increase your intake slowly and steadily.


    Go local and in season

    Supporting local producers may help to reduce your carbon emissions since transportation isn't needed. Plus, you may find some local delicacies unique to your area.


    The U.N. believes that a global shift toward plant-based food is vital if we are to combat the worst effects of climate change. Globally, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world's transportation systems combined.



      [i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5094759/

    [ii] https://www.foodwise.com.au/foodwaste/food-waste-fast-facts/

    [iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6408204/

    [iv] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5819206/

    [v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC640820[iii]

      [i] https://www.cell.com/cell-host-microbe/fulltext/S1931-3128(17)30497-3

    [ii] https://www.cell.com/cell-host-microbe/fulltext/S1931-3128(17)30497-3


  • 04 Dec 2019 4:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Fermented foods – foods that contain probiotics - exist around the world. But have you ever wondered about how probiotic supplements came to be? Or some of the startling advances currently being research for future probiotic supplement?

    Yoghurt is thought to have resulted from the storage of milk in animal-based containers

    The past

    • Probiotic comes from the Latin word, which means for life.
    • The ancient Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder, prescribed fermented milk for intestinal problems.
    • Yoghurt most likely resulted from the fermentation of milk carried in animal skin bags in the Middle East.
    • The19th-century scientist Nobel Prize-winner, Ilya Ilyich Metchnikoff, studied villagers in Bulgaria in the late 1800s. Despite extreme poverty, many lived over the age of 100. He concluded that part of the reason might be the beneficial bacteria found in their daily yoghurt drink. The bacteria that isolated was named Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
    • At the time, most other microbiologists were researching disease-causing microbes rather than probiotics.
    • Research into probiotics investigating the gut microbiome – the community of microbes that inhabit the GI tract – began in earnest in the 1990s.
    • Scientists increasingly learnt more about the way dietary microbes interact with the body.
    • In 2001, the World Health Organization issued a formal definition of probiotics, kick-starting even more research.

    The present

    • New microbial strains are being identified
    • Enhanced survival through the gut is aided by encapsulating against stomach acid.
    • Strains that survive stomach acid have been isolated.
    • Prebiotics are added to supplements to feed probiotics and promote other good gut microbes.

    The future          

    • ·Genetic engineering of probiotics is creating enhanced probiotics that break down particular toxins associated with alcohol consumption and other dietary factors (e.g. dairy and bread).
    •  New probiotics are being engineered and tested to ensure they are useful in providing a wide range of specific health benefits
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