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InterNutria addresses women's health concerns.

FRAMINCHAM, Mass. -- As women adopt an increasingly visible role in the workplace and in public life, effective management of their unique health concerns has moved to center stage. InterNutria Inc. is helping meet those needs with specialized nutritional and food products designed to maintain women's health.

"Overall, the supplements industry has evolved toward a pharmaceutical approach," says vice president of sales Wendy Kramer. She notes that the movement is driven by physicians and other health care professionals who want to develop safe, credible ways to treat such nondisease conditions as PMS and menopause.

"As defined in our mission statement, InterNutria's goal is to become a leader in developing and marketing specialized dietary supplements for the management of common health conditions related to improving physical and emotional well-being," she explains. The company positions itself within the "functional food" segment, which exists at the interface of food and drugs.

InterNutria is guided by its scientific founder Judith Wurtman, a research scientist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has focused her research efforts on nutritional approaches to behavioral modification, management of such conditions as PMS and the improvement of athletic performance.

The supplier's research indicates that the U.S. market for functional food - including vitamin-fortified food, biochemically altered food preparations and dietary supplements - totals about $10 billion. Three types of businesses compete for those consumer dollars: food producers, pharmaceutical makers and chemical/biotech firms.

"Food producers are hampered by a limited ability to make health claims and by weak research," Kramer observes. "While pharmaceutical companies have strength in basic research, they do not find the margins in functional food attractive enough for a full-scale effort. On the other hand, nutritional/biotech companies like InterNutria are strong in food research and already have a focus on ingredients and food elements, the fundamental building blocks of functional food."

The target market for lnterNutria's lead product, PMS Escape, consists of the estimated 25 million women who suffer from that condition. While current treatments are focused on such somatic symptoms as water retention and breast tenderness. PMS Escape is designed to address the emotional and behavioral disturbances associated with PMS.

The product comes in a powder that is mixed with water. anti is available in three flavors: raspberrylime, strawberry-kiwi and lemon. It is carried in chain drug stores, supermarkets and discount outlets nationally, with a box of eight 1.75-ounce packets retailing for approximately $10.

The supplier is currently developing a variety of new products. one is Menopause Escape, which contains phytoestrogens designed to nit in the management of physical and somatic symptoms associated with menopause.

Another product is Nutralert. a morning supplement in beverage form that is said to aid and maintain mental alertness and problem-solving abilities by targeting acetylcholine and dopamine. which function as neurotransmitters.

In the sports nutrition category three InterNutria products have been launched nationally: Pro Enhancer, Pro Hydrator and Race Day. The first targets the neurotransmitter acetyicholine and has demonstrated its efficacy in multiple clinical studies, according to a spokeswoman, where it increased athletic performance and vigor and decreased post-exercise fatigue.

Pro Hydrator is a hyperhydration product that contains glycerol as an active ingredient, while Race Day is a complete fluid replacement supplement formulated with choline.

"Our approach is to launch products on a regional basis, and then to roll them out nationally." Kramer says. 'We back the products with direct-to-consumer advertising and a dedicated national sales force."

InterNutria Inc.

550 Cechituate Rd.

Framingham, Mass. 01701

Key contact: Wendy Kramer

Vice president of sales

Phone: (508) 370-0200 Fax: (508) 370-9570
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Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Jun 29, 1998
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