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Study: People with optimal levels of vitamin D have lower diabetes incidence

BY Michael Johnsen

NEUHERBERG, Germany — Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have shown that people with good vitamin D status have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a study released Sept. 30.

The study, carried out in collaboration with the German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf and the University of Ulm, will be published in the October issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

New research on participants of the study by the Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) has shown that people with good vitamin D status have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Inversely, people with too low levels of vitamin D in the blood have an elevated risk. This effect may be partly due to the anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D, the authors reported.

“Vitamin D deficiency is relatively common in Germany because of modern lifestyle factors and the geographic latitude," stated Barbara Thorand of the Institute of Epidemiology II of Helmholtz Zentrum München. "Especially during the winter months, vitamin D levels are often inadequate due to the lack of sunlight,” she noted. “If follow-up studies confirm our findings, a targeted improvement of the vitamin D status of the population could also reduce the risk of diabetes.” 

More than 6 million people in Germany have Type 2 diabetes, the number of undiagnosed cases could be equally high, the report noted.


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Lilly’s Cialis approved for benign prostatic hyperplasia

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new use for a drug made by Eli Lilly for erectile dysfunction, Lilly said Friday.

The FDA approved Cialis (tadalafil) as a once-daily treatment for men with erectile dysfunction and benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as BPH, as well as for BPH alone. BPH is a condition in which the prostate enlarges, which can cause urinary symptoms.

"Since many men who have ED also experience the signs and symptoms of BPH, a single medication approved to treat both may be a significant therapeutic option for men and physicians," University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Department of Urology chairman Claus Roehrborn said. "The FDA approval of Cialis for once-daily use for the treatment of ED and the signs and symptoms of BPH provides a new option that allows men to treat both with one daily medication."


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Merck’s Juvisync approved for Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug that it called the first single-pill combination treatment for Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

The FDA approved Merck’s Juvisync (sitagliptin and simvastatin), manufactured by Merck subsidiary MSD International GmbH Clonmel Co., based in Tipperary, Ireland. Merck operates under the name MSD outside the United States and Canada in order to avoid confusion with Germany-based Merck KGaA.

"This is the first product to combine a Type 2 diabetes drug with a cholesterol-lowering drug in one tablet," FDA Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products director Mary Parks said. "However, to ensure safe and effective use of this product, tablets containing different doses of sitagliptin and simvastatin in fixed-dose combination have been developed to meet the different needs of individual patients."

Of the 26 million Americans with diabetes, about 20 million have Type 2 diabetes and often have high cholesterol levels as well.


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