HEALTH

Alka Seltzer

BY Michael Johnsen

As seen on shelf at Walgreens, having a major pharma player like Bayer HealthCare field what essentially is a hangover-relief product adds credibility, not to mention a little more shelf presence, to similar products like Living Essentials’ Chaser Plus.

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USC researchers find link between GERD, obesity

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES Researchers at the University of Southern California determined that obesity is a contributing factor in the diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, according to a Los Angeles Times report published Aug. 13.

“Everyone knows that blood pressure and cholesterol levels are related to obesity, but the strength of the relationship with GERD is every bit as strong or perhaps even stronger,” the authors of the study, Shahin Ayazi and Peter Crookes, told the Times.

The study is published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery.

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New research finds antidepressant may ease symptoms of IBS

BY Michael Johnsen

BEIJING A research article published Aug. 7 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology measured the efficacy of the prescription antidepressant imipramine in the treatment of symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Patients diagnosed with IBS who failed treatment with conventional therapy were enrolled to receive a 12-week course of low-dose imipramine.

The results were significant for showing improvement in global symptoms during and after 12 weeks of therapy with the medication. There also was notable improvement in general quality of life as measured by a standardized questionnaire, researchers reported.

The authors believe that imipramine is a potentially effective treatment for IBS symptoms in patients for whom conventional therapy has failed. This trial was designed and implemented at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon between December 2004 and May 2006. Research funding was provided by a private research fund from the Division of Gastroenterology of the American University of Beirut Medical Center. The preliminary abstract of the trial was selected for oral presentation at the American College of Gastroenterology 71st Annual Scientific Meeting (October 20, 2006, Las Vegas, Nev., USA) and was awarded the American College of Gastroenterology /Novartis Motility Abstract Award.

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