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Svetol Shows Efficacy In Weight Loss

19-Dec-11

French botanical manufacturing company, Naturex has announced that its product Svetol, green coffee bean extract, has shown efficacy in weight loss. According to the company, the product reduces the amount of sugar in the blood stream by preventing the absorption of glucose in the intestine, so that the body uses stored fat for energy. A placebo controlled double blind study was carried out on 50 overweight people aged 19-75 years over a period of 60 days.

 

 

After 60 days of treatment, a mean reduction in weight of 5.7% was observed in the Svetol group corresponding to an average weight loss of 5kg. On the other hand, the placebo group lost only 2.9% of weight. Moreover, those taking Svetol had a 4% increase in lean to fat mass ratio, as opposed to 1.6% in the placebo group. Naturex scientist and food technologist Alvin Ibarra said the green coffee bean uses a different mechanism of weight loss compared to other natural weight management pills.

 

 

"While other diet pills are based on suppressing appetite, stimulating metabolism or providing a sense of fullness through extra fibre, Svetol is unique in its ability to significantly inhibit the absorption of carbohydrates, reducing blood glucose levels and thereby encouraging the body to use stored fat for energy," Ibarra added.

Low Iron Levels Tied To Blood Clot Risk

16-Dec-11

People with low iron levels in their blood may have a higher risk of dangerous clots. A study of clotting risk factors in patients with an inherited blood vessel disease suggests that treating iron deficiency could be instrumental in preventing potentially lethal clots

Mood, Anxiety Disorders Patients Likely To Abuse Painkillers

16-Dec-11

People suffering from mood and anxiety disorders are more likely to abuse opioids or painkillers. They include patients of bipolar, panic and major depressive disorders, according to a new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

DHEA Helps Menopausal Symptoms And Sex Life

21-Dec-11
The hormone DHEA has been found to help relieve menopausal symptoms in women, as well as helping them improve their sex lives, Italian researchers wrote in the Climacteric, the peer-reviewed journal of the International Menopause Society. DHEA stands for Dehydroepiandrosterone, a steroid hormone secreted mainly by the adrenal glands - it is the most abundant circulating steroid in humans.

Professor Andrea Genazzani and team from the University of Pisa, Italy, say that theirs is the first controlled evidence showing that low-dose DHEA can help menopausal symptoms as well as sexual function in females.

Frequency Of Sex In Old Age Predicts Marital Happiness

19-Dec-11

Washington: The more often married individuals above the age of 65 engage in sex, the more likely they are to be happy with both their lives and marriages.

Based on the survey responses of 238 married individuals aged 65 years or older, Adrienne Jackson found that frequency of sex significantly predicted both general and marital happiness.

The link even remained after accounting for factors such as age, gender, health status, and satisfaction with financial situations, said Jackson, assistant professor at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University.

While only 40 percent of individuals who reported no sexual activity in the last 12 months said they were very happy with life in general, almost 60 percent who engaged in sexual activity more than once a month said they were very happy, according to a Florida statement.

Dieting And The Youth Of The Brain May Be Linked

21-Dec-11

Italian scientists have found that the mind can be kept young by eating less. They have discovered the molecular process by which a strict diet may save the brain from the ravages of age.

Diet Patterns May Keep Brain From Shrinking

30-Dec-11

People with diets high in several vitamins or in omega 3 fatty acids are less likely to have the brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer's disease than people whose diets are not high in those nutrients, according to a new study published in the December 28, 2011, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Viagra Against Heart Failure

30-Dec-11

How sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, can alleviate heart problems is reported by Bochum's researchers in cooperation with colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester (Minnesota) in the journal Circulation. They studied dogs with diastolic heart failure, a condition in which the heart chamber does not sufficiently fill with blood. The scientists showed that sildenafil makes stiffened cardiac walls more elastic again. The drug activates an enzyme that causes the giant protein titin in the myocardial cells to relax. "We have developed a therapy in an animal model that, for the first time, also raises hopes for the successful treatment of patients" says Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Linke of the RUB Institute of Physiology.

 

 

"Rubber band proteins" can be influenced
Sildenafil inhibits a specific enzyme (phosphodiesterase 5 A), which causes the increased formation of a messenger substance (cGMP). The messenger substance activates the enzyme protein kinase G, which attaches phosphate groups to certain proteins. This so-called phosphorylation causes blood vessels to relax, which was why the "potency pill" Viagra originally came onto the market. The Bochum and Rochester researchers found that the cardiac muscle protein titin is also phosphorylated through the same mechanism. "The titin molecules are similar to rubber bands" explains the Bochum physiologist. "They contribute decisively to the stiffness of the cardiac walls." The activity of the protein kinase G causes titin to relax. This makes the cardiac walls more elastic. The effect occurs within minutes of administering the drug.

 

 

Heart failure drugs currently not sufficient
"Of all the patients aged over 60 who are in hospital because of a weak heart, half suffer from diastolic heart failure" explains Linke. "Although we know that the decreased distensibility of the cardiac walls is the cause, the disease cannot be treated properly with today's medicines." In the so-called "Relax" study of the Heart Failure Network, the efficacy of sildenafil in people is already being tested. "If, for the first time, the drug is found to have a positive effect on heart failure, we would already have a molecular mechanism on hand to explain the effect" says Linke.

 

Blood Test Might Predict How Well A Depressed Patient Responds To Antidepressants

16-Dec-11

Loyola University Medical Center researchers are reporting what could become the first reliable method to predict whether an antidepressant will work on a depressed patient. The method would involve a blood test for a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). A Loyola study found that among depressed patients who had higher than normal blood levels of VEGF, more than 85 percent experienced partial or complete relief from depression after taking escitalopram . By comparison, fewer than 10 percent of depressed patients who had low levels of VEGF responded to the drug.

Statin Intolerance: Now A Solved Problem

16-Dec-11

Dyslipidemic statin intolerant patients can be treated using various strategies:

 

  1. Decreasing statin dose

  2. Non daily dosing of statins

  3. Other hypolipidemic drugs

  4. LDL apheresis

  5. Life style modifications

  6. Red yeast rice

  7. Coenzyme Q10

  8. Vitamin D supplementation in deficiency states

  9. Other potential new therapies

RBI Set New FDI Guidelines For Indian Pharma Sector

30-Dec-11

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today notified new rules doing away with automatic approval for foreign direct investment (FDI) in existing pharmaceutical companies, according to a BS report, quoting PTI as saying. Tightening the norms, the government had last month done away with automatic approval of FDI in the existing pharmaceutical companies. "FDI, up to 100 percent, would be permitted for Brownfield investment (investments in existing companies), in the pharmaceutical sector, under the government approval route," RBI said in a notification. Under the new rules, for any merger or acquisition, the overseas investor will have to seek permission from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). After six months, it will be the monopoly watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) which will vet such deals. The decision follows directions from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who along with his senior Cabinet colleagues had deliberated on October 10 this year over concerns arising out of several acquisitions of domestic pharmaceutical companies by overseas firms.

For the new investment, 100 percent FDI will be allowed under the automatic route, under which investors only inform the Reserve Bank about the inflows and no specific government nod is required. "FDI, up to 100 percent, under the automatic route, would continue to be permitted for green field investments in the pharmaceuticals sector," the RBI said. The filter was suggested by a high-level committee, headed by Planning Commission Member Arun Maira. Concerns have been raised over the impact of a spate of acquisitions of homegrown firms by multi-national companies. The recent acquisitions include Ranbaxy Laboratories buy out by Daiichi Sankyo of Japan, Shanta Biotech by Sanofi Aventis of France and Piramal Health Care by Abbott Laboratories of the US.

The affordability factor has so far been the hallmark of the Indian generic drugs all over the world, thanks to robust growth of the homegrown players, added the report.

Sun UV Rays May Stop Spread Of Chickenpox

21-Dec-11
If you look at the evidence to date from a different perspective, a virologist at St George's Hospital, University of London in the UK believes it suggests the sun's UV rays inactivate the chickenpox virus on the skin before it has a chance to transmit to another person, thus explaining why the disease spreads less readily in tropical countries. Dr. Phil Rice told the press last week he hopes his findings will lead to new ways to prevent chickenpox and its more severe cousin, shingles.

Requiring Less Blood After Surgery

21-Dec-11
According to study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, individuals who receive surgery require less blood after the procedure than commonly thought. The study compared two strategies for administering blood transfusions after surgery. The researchers discovered that no adverse effects from postponing transfusing were shown until patients haemoglobin concentration falls below 8 g/dL or they develop signs of anaemia. The study was funded by the National Heart and Lung and Blood Institute.

Coffee Consumption May Reduce Endometrium Cancer

19-Dec-11

Washington: Long-term consumption of coffee may be associated with a reduced risk of cancer of the endometrium — or the lining of the uterus or womb, says a 26-year study.

 

The study published online Tuesday in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, said coffee is fast emerging as a protective agent in cancers linked to obesity, estrogen and insulin.

 

"Coffee has already been shown to be protective against diabetes due to its effect on insulin. So we hypothesized that we'd see a reduction in some cancers as well," Edward Giovannucci, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

News Headlines

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the central government need not consult the statutory board on drugs before banning any fixed-drug combinations, an observation that goes against a major legal plank of companies battling against a ban on 344 such products. Fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) are cocktail drugs of two or more therapeutic ingredients packed in a single dose.

The government had banned these 344 FDCs in 2016 in public interest, claiming they were unsafe and "irrational". The action had hit several popular brands like Corex, Saridon, D’Cold Total and Vicks Action 500 Extra, prompting pharma companies to submit over 500 petitions at around 10 high courts, with Delhi receiving a sizeable chunk.

In last December, the Delhi HC set aside the central government notification. The government challenged it in the top court on the ground that the ban was necessary in public interest, prompting the top court to stay the Delhi HC’s order.

Pharma companies such as Glenmark, Pfizer and Procter & Gamble contended that the principle of natural justice required some kind of hearing from stakeholders before the government can take a call on a technical subject like this one.

Before prohibiting fixed-dose combination drugs, the government must consult the statutory bodies provided for in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, the companies argued before a bench of Justices RF Nariman and Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

“Otherwise the power would be unfettered, unlimited,” senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said. “This cannot be done without consulting the stakeholders. Public safety, public risk can only be assessed on the basis of expert inputs.” In the absence of an emergency, such a consultation should be made mandatory, he argued.

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Justice Nariman, however, said such consultations were not specified in Section 26A of the Act, which defines the power of the central government to regulate the manufacture and sale of drugs and cosmetics in public interest. “If we hold otherwise, we will neither be reading the law up or down but reading in, which is legislating.” Justice Kaul said the arguments would have been appealing had the subject matter been anything but drugs.

The court said it was with the government on this legal point. The companies will now likely argue the other legal points against the ban at the next hearing, scheduled for December 6.

“Arguments on December 6 will look at how many FDCs can be excluded from the ban and how many we are not able to justify entirely," a lawyer involved in the case told ET, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The industry is positive about the court''s decision to allow further arguments in this case.

“The judge is open to hearing a little bit from our side as well, which is positive," said RK Sanghavi of lobby group Indian Drug Manufacturers Association. The association on Wednesday submitted a list of 175 FDCs out of the original 344 that it had determined were not only safe for consumption but needed for specific patients, he said.

 


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