HEALTH

Study: Resveratrol alone not enough to prolong life

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIMAS, Calif. According to a recent study, consumers hoping to benefit from the red wine supplement resveratrol should take an array of antioxidants with resveratrol for optimum results—a mega-dose of resveratrol administered to mice by itself failed to prolong life, the study concluded.

“While resveratrol, an antioxidant molecule concentrated in red wine, is touted for its health properties, it is not the sole molecule responsible for longevity,” stated Bill Sardi, spokesperson for Longevinex, a leading brand of resveratrol dietary supplement, in a statement released Saturday.

“The total array of red wine molecules found in the best red wine, about 60 milligrams per 5-ounce glass, or 180-300 milligrams in 3 to 5 glasses, is the suggested healthy dosage range,” Sardi said.

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FDA issues warning on weight loss products containing undeclared Rx ingredients

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued an alert to consumers not to purchase or consume more than 25 different products marketed for weight loss because they contain undeclared, active pharmaceutical ingredients that may put consumers’ health at risk.

An FDA analysis found that the undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients in some of these products include sibutramine (a controlled substance), rimonabant (a drug not approved for marketing in the United States), phenytoin (an anti-seizure medication), and phenolphthalein (a solution used in chemical experiments and a suspected cancer causing agent).

Some of the amounts of active pharmaceutical ingredients far exceeded the FDA-recommended levels, putting consumers’ health at risk.

“These tainted weight loss products pose a great risk to public health because they contain undeclared ingredients and, in some cases, contain prescription drugs in amounts that greatly exceed their maximum recommended dosages,” said Janet Woodcock, director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Consumers have no way of knowing that these products contain powerful drugs that could cause serious health consequences. Therefore FDA is taking this action to protect the health of the American public.”

These weight loss products, some of which are inappropriately marketed as “dietary supplements,” are promoted and sold on various Web sites and in some retail stores, the FDA noted. Some of the products claim to be “natural” or to contain only “herbal” ingredients, but actually contain potentially harmful ingredients not listed on the product labels or in promotional advertisements. These products have not been approved by the FDA, are illegal and may be potentially harmful to unsuspecting consumers.

The FDA advises consumers who have used any of these products to stop taking them and consult their healthcare professional immediately. The FDA encourages consumers to seek guidance from a healthcare professional before purchasing weight loss products.

The FDA has inspected a number of companies associated with the sale of these illegal products, and is currently seeking product recalls. Based on the FDA’s inspections and the companies’ inadequate responses to recall requests, the FDA may take additional enforcement steps, such as issuing warning letters or initiating seizures, injunctions or criminal charges.

The health risks posed by these products can be serious; for example, sibutramine, which was found in many of the products, can cause high blood pressure, seizures, tachycardia, palpitations, heart attack or stroke. This drug can also interact with other medications that patients may be taking and increase their risk of adverse drug events. The safety of sibutramine has also not been established in pregnant and lactating women, or in children younger than 16 years of age.

The health risks posed by these products can be serious; for example, sibutramine, which was found in many of the products, can cause high blood pressure, seizures, tachycardia, palpitations, heart attack or stroke. This drug can also interact with other medications that patients may be taking and increase their risk of adverse drug events. The safety of sibutramine has also not been established in pregnant and lactating women, or in children younger than 16 years of age.

Rimonabant, another ingredient found in these products, was evaluated, but not approved by the FDA for marketing in the United States. The drug, which is approved in Europe, has been associated with increased risk of depression and suicidal thoughts and has been linked to five deaths and 720 adverse reactions in Europe over the last two years.

The following list of brand names are associated with the warning:

Fatloss Slimming, 2 Day Diet, 3x Slimming Power, Japan Lingzhi 24 Hours Diet, 5x Imelda Perfect Slimming, 3 Day Diet, 7 Day Herbal Slim, 8 Factor Diet, 7 Diet Day/Night Formula, 999 Fitness Essence, Extrim Plus, GMP, Imelda Perfect Slim, Lida, DaiDaihua, Miaozi Slim Capsules, Perfect Slim, Perfect Slim 5x, Phyto Shape, ProSlim Plus, Royal Slimming Formula, Slim 3 in 1, Slim Express 360, Slimtech, Somotrim, Superslim, TripleSlim, Zhen de Shou, and Venom Hyperdrive 3.0.

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FluidEssentials re-launches natural sleep aid containing tryptophan

BY Michael Johnsen

ESCONDIDO, Calif. FluidEssentials is reintroducing the dietary supplement tryptophan, a natural sleep aid, into the U.S. market after the ingredient was initially banned in 1989, the company announced earlier this week.

In 1989, Japanese manufacturer Showa Denko exported tryptophan containing a harmful contaminant, FluidEssentials stated in a press release. The contaminant caused severe health problems, resulting in an FDA ban on tryptophan imports into the United States that was lifted May 2005.

So now FluidEssentials has launched TotalSleep, a single packet drink mix containing tryptophan.

According to the company, tryptophan is an essential amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier and naturally produces the calming hormone serotonin, which is responsible for healthy sleep, mood regulation, stress reduction and overall well-being. As night falls, tryptophan converts to serotonin, and serotonin to melatonin, resulting in sleep.

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