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Varenicline may raise CV events in CVD patients: FDA

Posted by weigthloss-diets Friday, August 5, 2011 6 comments

The smoking-cessation drug varenicline (Chantix, Pfizer) may be associated with a small increased risk of cardiovascular events in patients with cardiovascular disease, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [1].

The new safety communication, which will be added to the warnings and precautions section of the drug's label, states that physicians need to balance the known benefits of varenicline—a drug effective in helping patients quit smoking—with the potential risks when deciding to use the drug in patients with cardiovascular disease.

In a review of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 700 patients treated with varenicline for smoking cessation, there was an increased risk of nonfatal MI, revascularization, angina pectoris, and peripheral vascular disease when compared with patients treated with placebo. Although the study was not designed to detect a statistical difference in the clinical end points, cardiovascular events were numerically higher among the 353 patients treated with varenicline.

The FDA states that physicians should speak with patients about seeking medical attention if they experience new or worsening symptoms of cardiovascular disease while taking varenicline.

In July 2009, the FDA required a new boxed warning for varenicline, stating that the drug has been associated with serious mental-health events. Reported symptoms include changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, suicide ideation, and attempted suicide.

Varenicline, an oral nicotine-receptor blocker, was approved by the FDA in May 2006 under the agency's priority-review program.

Two-drug obesity treatment effective: study

Posted by weigthloss-diets Monday, April 11, 2011 5 comments

PARIS (AFP) – A new treatment for obesity that combines two existing drugs resulted in twice as much weight loss as the only approved long-term anti-obesity medication, according to a study released Monday.

A mix of Phentermine and topiramate, sold under the brand name of Topamax, was shown in clinical trials to be twice as effective as orlistat, which is commercialised in some countries as Xenical or Alli, it said.

The drug combo appears to have additional health benefits, including improved "markers," or indicators, for blood pressure, sugar levels, lipids and inflammation, it added.

Phentermine is the most widely prescribed short-term weight drug in the United States.

Topiramate is an anticonvulsant approved for treating seizure disorders and migraines. It has been shown to work well for weight loss in obese patients with type 2 diabetes, but -- taken alone -- has also been linked to cognitive and psychiatric side effects.

Lower doses taken with a controlled-release mechanism and in combination with other drugs would likely reduce those side effects, tests have shown.

Led by Kishore Cadde of the Duke University Medical Centre, in Durham, North Carolina, the new trial was conducted over 20 months with nearly 2,500 overweight or obese adults with at least two major health-risk symptoms.

The patients were divided into three groups.

One was given a once-a-day dose of 7.5 mg of Phentermine and 46 mg of topiramate, while a second group was given 15 and 92 mg of the same drugs, respectively.

The third group were given look-alike placebos.

After 56 weeks of treatment, the low-dose group dropped, on average, 8.1 kilos (18 pounds) while the high-dose group shed 10.2 kilos (22 pounds).

Patients given placebos lost 1.4 kilos (3.0 pounds).

Overall, 62 percent of the low-dose patients lost at least five percent of body weight, while 70 percent in the high-dose cohort crossed the same threshold.

Patients given placebos lost 1.4 kilos (3.0 pounds), with 21 percent sloughing five percent off their total weight.

The two-drug treatment was well tolerated physically, with only sporadic cases of dry mouth and constipation, according to the study, which is published by The Lancet.

The high-dose group, however, showed a higher dropout rate due to adverse cognitive and psychiatric reactions.

Lose Weight with Every Other Day Diet

Posted by weigthloss-diets Friday, March 4, 2011 2 comments

Obesity is a threat to mankind. It reduces the average life of a human being Every Other Day Diet. Apart from that it invites lots of petty to major health issues. And of course it makes you look all unattractive and you shy away from public. Hence takes a toll on your self confidence as well. So getting rid of this excess weight becomes a necessity for the over all well being.

This Every Other Day Diet plan makes use of the calories cycling method to help you loose weight. The basic mechanism of the diet is that you are allowed to eat all your favorite foods on alternate days. The diet is extremely easy to understand. Most of the diets you must have come across will ask you to give up your favorite food and you’ll feel deprived. This deprivation is the sole reason as to why you can’t stick to them for long. The Every Other Day Diets that Work comes in three levels and based on that you get to choose the pace at which you want to loose weight. That makes the diet extremely flexible and you can customize it according to your need.

The Every Other Day Diet makes your weight loss goals very clear and practical. You are not promised a miracle weight loss. You need to stick to the diet diligently to be able to see results. The fact that you are no longer craving for the food that you love is deterring you from binging and hence gaining back the lost weight. If you are tired with the yo-yo diets and want to try something that actually helps; try the Every Other Day Diet. You get a 100% money back guarantee and great bonuses along with the sign up. It’s a risk free venture and all you end up loosing is your excess weight.

Weight Watchers says eat at McDonald's to lose weight (opinion)

Posted by weigthloss-diets Thursday, February 10, 2011 0 comments

Weight Watchers has now officially endorsed Chicken McNuggets as a "healthy meal" in New Zealand, where McDonald's restaurants will begin carrying the Weight Watchers logo on several menu items. This bizarre and inexplicable decision has now made Weight Watchers the laughing stock of the health world where nutrition and weight loss experts normally don't use "McDonald's fast food" and "weight loss" in the same sentence.

As The Guardian reports, "As part of the deal, which the company says is the first of its kind in the world, McDonald's will use the Weight Watchers logo on its menu boards and Weight Watchers will promote McDonald's to dieters."

Nutritionists, not surprisingly, were shocked at the announcement. The idea of eating at McDonald's to lose weight seems a bit ridiculous, and anyone who believes that eating Chicken McNuggets will cause you to lose weight is arguably one nugget short of a Happy Meal. Sometimes you just have to point out the stupidity of these things, even at the risk of offending someone who has convinced themselves that eating more Chicken McNuggets is their ticket to a slim, fit and sexy body.

Weight loss easier when combined with Contrave

Posted by weigthloss-diets Friday, July 30, 2010 1 comments

A new study has stated that weight loss can be triggered even more if along with formal counseling on lifestyle changes, an experimental obesity drug is taken.

About 800 adults were enrolled for the study of a drug called Contrave. Contrave is made by combining the antidepressant bupropion (Wellbutrin) and naltrexone.

It has been seen in trials that Contrave generally has outperformed other placebo pills when it comes to weight loss.

Over a year it was seen that the study participants taking Contrave last about six per cent of their initial weight as compared to those who took placebos.

If the medication is combined with diet counseling and a little changes are made in the lifestyle then weight loss can be achieved.

Contrave was found to be more effective in weight loss when participants in the drug-plus-counseling group lost 9 per cent of their initial weight, which was much more than those who took placebos.

Want to lose weight? Surf the net

Posted by weigthloss-diets 1 comments

According to research, visiting a Website that is interactive can actually help you shed those extra pounds.

Lead researcher Kristine L. Funk of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, said that people lost more weight by using a web-based records keeping resource for about two-and-a-half-years at least once a month as compared to people who did not visit such Websites.

About 348 people were followed for making observations for the study and these were those people who lost weight using Web-based method. They were able to keep off about five pounds after logging once a month.

Funk said, "Consistency and accountability are essential in any weight maintenance program. The unique part of this intervention was that it was available on the Internet, whenever and wherever people wanted to use it."

Co-author Dr. Victor J. Stevens added that it was more difficult to keep the lost weight from coming back when compared to just losing weight. In the study people were able to keep their weight off and this is really good.

How to Lose Weight with Yoga

Posted by weigthloss-diets Wednesday, July 7, 2010 1 comments

Yoga may not conjure up the same images of a calorie-burning, sweat-inducing workout as, say, Buns of Steel or Tae Bo.

But don’t be fooled by yoga’s deep breathing and sometimes-slow poses: Doctors and personal training experts say it can seriously trim and tone your body — and also work on your mind and spirit to help you get healthier overall.

So take in what experts say about how to do yoga for weight loss, and get ready to pare down with some downward dogs.

Go beyond the burn

Calories burned during yoga vary widely — from 180 to 360 per hour — depending on the type of yoga you practice. Fitness director Guy Caracciolo at the Dedham Health and Athletic Complex in Dedham, Mass., places Vinyasa, Ashtanga and other forms of “power yoga” at the top, along with yoga fusion workouts that accelerate calorie burning by mixing it up with dance or kickboxing.

Big Apple Power Yoga owner Nanci Muriello in New York City agrees, recommending power yoga for its weight-loss triple force: strength, flexibility and cardio. During a typical 90-minute session, the deep breathing techniques heat you up inside, helping to flush out toxins and water weight and boost performance of the lymphatic system and organs. “It’s a great physical workout,” Muriello says.

But as with all styles of yoga, there’s a deeper benefit: You’re tuning in to your body.

“Suddenly you actually get the signal that you are full or that a particular food doesn’t digest well, or you notice after you eat something that you feel amazing,” says Muriello.

Sometimes, less is more
“It’s not necessarily the hardcore class that’s going to help,” says Oakland, Calif., physician Baxter Bell, M.D., who’s also a yoga instructor and medical acupuncturist.

Ironically, gentle and restorative yoga can help with weight loss, Bell says — by kicking on the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates breathing, digestion and hormones.

As you jet through the day in fifth gear, your body is often in fight-or-flight mode, and high-octane hormones are circulating. By activating the parasympathetic nervous system, you’re stepping (gently) on your internal brakes, which lets everything take a rest: Hormones rebalance, injuries begin repairing, and digestion proceeds normally — all of which can aid weight loss, Bell says.

Gentle yoga is also a good way to start slowly, which is crucial if you’re new to yoga to avoid injuries that could immobilize you and blow all hopes for weight loss at least for a while — and serving as a enough of a buzzkill that you write off yoga altogether.

Strike a (fat-burning) pose
Certain poses, or asanas, are “killer apps” for weight loss, with “benefits that far exceed mere calorie burning and muscle strengthening,” says Nicole Persley, a teacher at Yoga and Inner Peace in Lake Worth, Fla. “Yoga speeds up the metabolism by stimulating endocrine glands that regulate the metabolic rate,” she explains.

Certain poses can also help with trouble spots. Persley suggests the following:
* Shoulder stand and fish pose: Both rouse the thyroid, helping to boost your body’s metabolism.
* Valrasana (spinal twist), a lengthening child’s pose, and cobra pose: These twisting poses massage the abdomen, target internal organs and aid with optimal digestion.
* The dogs: Downward-facing dog and upward-facing dog poses are particularly helpful in toning hips and thighs.
Ask your doctor before you begin, and then go to a class, get a yoga DVD or get other how-to on basic yoga positions.

But while you’re striking poses — particularly in fast-moving vinyasa or power yoga — it’s crucial that you pay attention to your body, says fitness instructor Patricia Moreno, founder of intenSati and creator of several yoga-fusion and weight loss DVDs for Gaiam.

“Good alignment is always important but when people are too focused on burning calories they sometimes compromise alignment,” says Moreno.

Broaden your goals

Think big picture — considering not only your physical body, but also your spirit. “Ask yourself, ‘Why do I want to lose weight?’” Bell suggests. Is it for self-image, a relationship, to boost energy?

Whatever it is, devise some related goal such as reaching a career milestone or being able to take the stairs or play with your kids without getting out of breath. Then notice your total successes as you move forward, Bell suggests. If, say, your goal was better health and your breathing has improved and your lower back has strengthened due to yoga — even if you haven’t yet lost a lot of pounds — give yourself some credit and keep up the good work.

Expect long-term results

Research shows that yoga can help stop middle-age spread. Overweight folks who regularly practiced yoga for 10 years between ages 45 and 55 lost five pounds on average, compared to a 14-pound gain for those who didn’t, according to a 2005 study from Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

“From my experience, it has to do with the way that yoga makes you more aware of your body,” says Alan Kristal, Ph.D., lead author of the study.

Yoga practioners also simply ate more mindfully — and had a lower body mass index – than non-practioners, explains Kristal. In other words, they notice when they’re full, and more easily avoid eating out of stress or boredom.

“Yoga teaches awareness of the self, which is important for long-term change,” Moreno points out. “Use this higher level of awareness to help you make healthier eating choices and decrease mindless eating.”

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