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Men’s Health magazine lists pharmacists among ‘health detectives’

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A new article in Men’s Health magazine gives tips on how men can find alternatives to seeing their doctors about health problems, and those alternatives include pharmacists.

The article, "The Health Detectives," explains how pharmacists can provide means to help diagnose and prevent disease, such as blood pressure checks, testosterone level checks and services like medication therapy management. Other health professionals recommended include dentists, optometrists and massage therapists.

"The article is right on when it comes to describing pharmacists as ‘health detectives’ because these professionals can help patients take the mystery out of health and wellness," National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steven Anderson said. "NACDS’ research shows that the more patients learn about new and innovative community pharmacy services, the more they appreciate the role of pharmacies as the face of neighborhood health care and as partners with physicians and others. The echo chamber seems to be getting louder and louder when it comes to the value of community pharmacy, and that recognition is vital as emerging delivery models take shape."

 

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Pilot study: Vitamin D improves mood, blood pressure in women with diabetes

BY Michael Johnsen

MAYWOOD, Ill. — In women who have Type 2 diabetes and show signs of depression, vitamin D supplements significantly lowered blood pressure and improved their moods, according to a pilot study at Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing released Tuesday. The study was presented at the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

Vitamin D even helped the women lose a few pounds.

“Vitamin D supplementation potentially is an easy and cost-effective therapy, with minimal side effects,” stated Sue Penckofer, lead author of the study and a professor in the Niehoff School of Nursing. “Larger, randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the impact of vitamin D supplementation on depression and major cardiovascular risk factors among women with Type 2 diabetes.”

Penckofer recently received a four-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health to do such a study. Penckofer and her Loyola co-investigators plan to enroll 180 women who have Type 2 diabetes, symptoms of depression and insufficient levels of vitamin D. Women will be randomly assigned to receive either a weekly vitamin D supplementation (50,000 International Units) or a matching weekly placebo for six months. The study is titled “Can the Sunshine Vitamin Improve Mood and Self Management in Women with Diabetes?"

The pilot study included 46 women who were an average age of 55 years, had diabetes an average of 8 years and insufficient blood levels of vitamin D (18 ng/ml). They took a weekly dose (50,000 International Units) of vitamin D. By comparison, the recommended dietary allowance for women 51 years to 70 years is 600 IU per day.

After six months, their vitamin D blood levels reached sufficient levels (average 38 ng/mL), and their moods improved significantly. For example, in a 20-question depression symptom survey, scores decreased from 26.8 at the beginning of the study, indicating moderate depression, to 12.2 at six months, indicating no depression.

Blood pressure also improved, with the upper number decreasing from 140.4 mm Hg to 132.5 mm Hg. And their weight dropped from an average of 226.1 lbs to 223.6 lbs.

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Vega launches Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer

BY Michael Johnsen

BURNABY, Canada — Vega, previously Sequel Naturals, on Tuesday announced the launch of Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer, a supplement that provides an energy boost along with enhanced mental clarity that is low on calories and carbohydrates.

"We created the new Sugar-Free Energizer as a 5-calorie version of the original for those who don’t need sustained fuel for their workout but would still benefit from a boost in energy and mental clarity," stated Vega founder Brendan Brazier.

Made with stevia for sweetness, Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer is formulated with 10 plant-based performance-enhancing ingredients like green tea, yerba mate, coconut oil and rhodiola, and ginseng that work together to support exercise performance and mental focus without the jitters often associated with coffee, the company noted. 

Vega Sport Sugar-Free Energizer will be available at health food stores across North America starting June 25. It comes in a 4.8-oz. (40-serving) tub, as well as 0.12-oz. single-serving packs in both lemon lime and acai berry flavors.

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