Monday, September 27, 2010

POM Wonderful health claims are bogus

GOOD MORNING.. well i should say good AFTERNOON lol. basically its Monday the longest day of the week! and i mean who doesn't have a bad case of the Monday's! interesting article if you are a fan of the POM juice. i know i am. hope everyone had a great weekend.

POM Wonderful isn't quite as wonderful as it claims, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday, after filing a complaint that challenges the company's statements that pomegranate can prevent and treat everything from heart disease to erectile dysfunction.

The agency called the claims -- found in advertisements in print publications and on the Internet -- "false and unsubstantiated" and based on flawed medical research.

In a story this March, the Tribune named POM Wonderful as one of several products on the market that made health claims in its advertising that are permissible only for FDA-approved drugs. Yet, POM Wonderful has staked its name on the fruit's health benefits.

According to POM Wonderful, since 1998 the company has paid $34 million to support pomegranate-related research at universities and by other scientists, yielding approximately 55 published studies.

A spokesman for POM Wonderful said the company will issue a statement later today.

The FTC is asking a judge to issue an order that would require the company to stop making claims that pomegranate products can cure, prevent or treat any disease unless the claims are first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

At the same time, Mark Dreher, POM Wonderful's former head of scientific and regulatory affairs and an expert endorser, has agreed to settle a related case against him for the health claims he endorsed on POM products. Dreher has agreed to stop making those claims, the agency said.

The labor-intensive and messy pomegranate was stuck on the sidelines of the American fruit market until 2002 when Beverly Hills billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick planted enough of the fruit to quadruple the market, simultaneously introducing POM Wonderful juice to consumers.

By 2004, the formerly shy fruit showed up as the hottest flavor for everything from candles to a sprays and was featured on "Sex in the City," Oprah Winfrey's O and even Time magazine.

Among the advertising claims the FTC is challenging are that the product has "super health powers," that drinking an 8 ounce glass of POM Wonderful slows the rate of prostate cancer, that the juice can treat erectile dysfunction and that it has been proven reduce arterial plaque by 30 percent.

"Any consumer who sees POM Wonderful products as a silver bullet against disease has been misled," David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "When a company touts scientific research in its advertising, the research must squarely support the claims made. Contrary to POM Wonderful's advertising, the available scientific information does not prove that POM juice or POMx effectively treats or prevents these illnesses."

The administrative complaint does not mean the company has violated the law, the FTC said. A hearing has been scheduled for eight months from now before an administrative law judge.

Original Article.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kids Exposed to Strain of Cold Virus More Likely to Be Obese

How was every ones weekend. Great i hope! anyways I'm getting very tired on this lazy Monday afternoon aand tha 230 feeling is starting to kick in i should have listening to my sister and drank some caffeine because now I'm suffering lol well anyways here's an article i thought was pretty fascinating.

Children exposed to a particular strain of a common cold virus are more likely to be obese than those not exposed, a new study suggests.

In a study of 124 children, ages 8 to 18, nearly 80 percent of those who had been exposed to a virus called adenovirus 36 were obese. They weighed an average of 50 pounds (23 kilograms) more than kids who were not exposed to the virus, said study researcher Dr. Jeffrey B. Schwimmer, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.
And among kids who were obese, those exposed to the virus weighed an average of 35 pounds (16 kg) more than obese kids who hadn't been exposed to the virus, he said.

"The bottom line is, it's a big number," Schwimmer told MyHealthNewsDaily. "Certainly, it's more than enough to be associated with health problems."

Thirty-five to 50 extra pounds is a lot for a child, considering an average, healthy 8-year-old usually weighs between 50 pounds and 90 pounds (23 kg to 41 kg) to begin with, Schwimmer said.

There are more than 50 strains of the adenovirus, which is the virus most commonly responsible for respiratory illnesses that range from the common cold to pneumonia-like sicknesses. Most people are exposed to some strain of the virus before age 10, according to the Nemours Center for Children's Health Media.

Scientists determined whether children had been exposed to the adenovirus by looking for antibodies in their blood.

The virus may affect obesity by infecting "pre-fat" cells - cells that have the ability to store fat - in the body and causing them to mature more quickly, Schwimmer said. It may also inhibit the cells' ability to break down fat, so fat cells become greater in both number and size.

"The more rapidly they become mature, the more fat cells a person will have," he said.
But that doesn't mean people should panic about being exposed to this strain of virus, he said.

Even if the virus is a causal factor for obesity, not every person will have the same reaction to infection.

Childhood obesity has more than tripled over the last 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Much attention has been paid to factors such as food intake, exercise, sedimentary lifestyles and genetics, but viral infection is another factor that should also be considered, Schwimmer said.

"Body weight regulation is complicated and differs from person to person," he said. "For some people, [exposure to the virus] may be a tremendously important factor, and less so for others."

Previous research has linked adenovirus strains to obesity in both animals and humans, but this study is the first to look at the role of the virus in childhood obesity, said Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar, chief of the Infection and Obesity laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana, who has been studying what he calls "infectobesity" for the past 20 years.

"If there's at least some part of obesity that is caused by infections, then there is a potential to have a vaccine to prevent this type of obesity," said Dhurandhar, who is not involved with the study.

Researchers hope to learn whether children who are obese and were exposed to the virus respond to weight-loss methods differently than children who were never exposed the virus. They also hope to investigate the possibility of preventing the virus with a vaccine, and, if so, explore how to determine who should get it.

Original Article.

Monday, September 13, 2010

FDA Mulls Removing Weight-Loss Drug From U.S. Market

Hello how was everyone weekend i hope well!. summer is almost official over and fall will be here within a week or so. :) recently my sister has been taking some diet pill and this article interested me for some reason. hopefully you enjoy it.

WASHINGTON—A federal advisory panel is being asked to help decide whether Abbott Laboratories' weight-loss drug Meridia should stay on the market.

Meridia has been the subject of an ongoing safety review. Earlier this year, the European Medicines Agency ordered Abbott to remove Meridia from the European market and the FDA toughened warnings on the drugs' label saying it shouldn't be used in patients with a history of heart problems. At the time, the FDA also said the product should be discontinued in patients who don't lose at least 5% of their baseline body weight within the first three to six months of treatment.

Now the FDA is considering whether to remove the product from the U.S. market. Meridia will be discussed Wednesday by the agency's endocrinologic and metabolic drugs advisory committee, which is made up of non-FDA medical experts.

The panel is being asked to vote on what additional regulatory action it thinks the FDA should take, including whether the product should be withdrawn from the U.S. market. The FDA usually follows the advice of its advisory committee but isn't required to do so. The FDA posted background materials for Wednesday's meeting on its website Monday.

The panel will primarily discuss a clinical study known as Scout, which was conducted in patients with a history of heart disease or diabetes. It showed patients in the study had a higher rate of cardiovascular events compared to patients on a placebo medication.

An FDA clinical review of the study said, "in a population of middle-age and older overweight and obese subjects, treatment with [Meridia] for an average of 3.5 years increased the relative risk for major adverse cardiac events by 16%." However, the FDA said the data from the study haven't been fully analyzed.

According to another FDA memo, agency staff said there was evidence that while Meridia improved some cardiac-risk factors, it "may have a detrimental effect on others," such as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Still, the memo said, given the modest decrease in body weight seen with most patients taking Meridia, "even a small increase in cardiovascular risk seems unwarranted."

In a document also posted on the FDA's website, Abbott said use of Meridia in the target population currently described on the product's label is associated with a low rate of cardiovascular events.

The company said it supports placing a boxed warning on the product giving doctors "advice on monitoring and discontinuation of therapy based on blood pressure, pulse, and weight loss parameters." A boxed warning is FDA's toughest warning on a drug label.

Original Article.