Tag Archives: drugs

New Weight Loss Diet Pill Acts As “Imaginary Meal”

Obese individuals seeking to lose weight have many FDA-approved prescription drugs to choose from including Belviq and newly approved Saxenda. There is still a long journey for better weight loss as scientists develop new fat loss alternatives every day.

Diet Pill Fexaramine - Ronald Evans

Evans and his colleagues develop Fexaramine, a compound that tricks the brain into feeling full, causing your body to burn fat. Salk Institute photo

Researchers at Salk Institute recently developed fexaramine; a pill that tricks the body into thinking it has consumed calories, causing it to burn fat. This new weight loss pill effectively stopped weight gain, controlled blood sugar, lowered cholesterol and decreased inflammation in mice, making it a great candidate for fast transition into human clinical studies (Evans et al. 2015). Many of the prescription drugs that we have currently on the market like caffeine-based drugs or appetite suppressants dissolve in the blood, but fexaramine stays in the intestines causing lesser side effects.

There was a study published earlier this month on how diet pills or weight loss supplements rarely work without diet or exercise but this new pill could really be an effective option for obesity. “This pill is like an imaginary meal” says Ronald Evans, director of Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory and senior author of the new paper, published January 5, 2014 in Nature Medicine. “It sends out the same signs that normally happen when you eat a lot of food, so the body starts clearing out space to store it. But there are no calories and no change in appetite.”

Evans and his colleagues gave obese mice a daily pill of fexaramine for 5 weeks in which the mice stopped gaining weight, lost fat and had lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels than untreated mice (Evans et al. 2015). Obese patients who have trouble overeating can benefit greatly from fexaramine because they will feel less hungry and the body will burn calories fast with diet and exercise combined.

I agree that fexaramine may be safer in humans because it doesn’t make it to the bloodstream like other FXR targeting drugs. Administered under a physician’s guidance, this drug would work in combination with diet and lifestyle changes, much like weight loss surgeries or other obesity treatments.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: Evans, R. et al. “Imaginary Meal” tricks the body into losing weight” 5 January 2015 Salk Institute

New Weight Loss Drug Saxenda FDA Approved

The new weight loss drug Saxenda (liraglutide) has been approved by the FDA for weight-management in addition to exercise and a low-calorie diet. This drug is approved for adults who suffer from obesity or who are overweight and have at least one weight-related issue such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol (FDA 2014). With more than one-third of adults in America overweight (CDC), this new drug can help millions lose weight and focus on a healthy lifestyle.

Saxenda Weight Loss Drug

New weight loss drug Saxenda is approved by FDA. Photo by PR Newswire

According to James Smith, M.D., M.S., acting director of the Division Evaluation of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “Obesity is a public health concern and threatens the overall well-being of patients.” He then goes on to say that Saxenda provides an additional treatment option for chronic weight management when combined with physical activity and a low-calorie diet (FDA 2014).

What is Saxenda?

Saxenda is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist and should not be combined with any other drug in its class, including Victoza, a treatment for type-2 diabetes. On the other hand, the safety and effectiveness for treating type-2 diabetes has not been established for Saxenda.

In the clinical trials, 4,800 obese and overweight individuals with and without weight-related issues were evaluated. Approximately 50 percent of patients with type-2 diabetes, who were treated with Saxenda, lost at least 5 percent of their body weight compared with 16 percent of individuals treated with placebo (FDA 2014). Patients should be evaluated for 16 weeks to determine if the treatment is working or not.

What are the side effects of Saxenda?

Saxenda should not be used in individuals with a personal or family history of MTC or individuals with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type-2. The most commonly observed side effects were nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low-blood sugar, constipation, and reduced appetite. As any weight loss drug, there will be side effects but I still believe the benefits of Saxenda outweigh the bad and still should be considered as a weight management alternative.

Novo Nordisk manufactures and distributes the drug in Denmark and it is expected to be released in 2015.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer

Source: FDA.gov “FDA approves weight-management drug Saxenda” 23 December 2014 U.S. Food and Drug Administration

“Natural” on Food Labels Doesn’t Mean Anything

“Natural” doesn’t mean anything when looking on the labels of packaged goods according to Consumer Report.

Natural Food - All Natural Chicken

Natural Food – All Natural Chicken

Over 66% of consumers who shop for natural foods think that the word “natural” means something. I even find myself doing this from time to time thinking that the product I am buying is really all-natural! I thought just because the label said “natural” that the food didn’t contain any artificial ingredients, pesticides and genetically-engineered organisms. When I see the word on poultry or meat I never thought about growth hormones, antibiotics or other drugs in the animals’ feed. This whole entire time of being a consumer, I was absolutely WRONG!

 

In fact, the word “natural” doesn’t mean anything when it comes to federal labeling rules. This means that companies can misguide you in a way that is perfectly legal.

Natual - Fat Free - No Preservatives

Natual – Fat Free – No Preservatives

Consumers were asked what the word natural should mean on a label and a shocking 85 percent said that it should mean no pesticides were used when growing it and that it contained no genetically modified or artificial ingredients of any sort. I can honestly say that I thought the same thing when I read the labels. I didn’t really think about how the food was grown and what chemicals were used during the process. I definitely didn’t think about the various hormones that could have possibly been used during the animals feeding process either. This is very different from the current federal rules however.

 

 

 

Natural - Cage Free Eggs

Natural – Cage Free Eggs

Urvashi Rangin, executive director of the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center in Yonkers, said “Our findings show consumers expect much more from ‘natural’ food labels and that there is a strong consumer mandate for better food production practices in general food and label standards that meet a higher bar.”  I know I expected more from products that were labeled natural because I wanted quality for the price. If I am paying my hard-earned cash on a natural product then I expect everything to be natural and not genetically modified.

Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration allow food producers to utilize the word “natural” on labels as long as nothing synthetic or artificial had been added “that would not normally be expected to be in the food” under an informal policy FDA put into place in 1993. The bad thing about this is that the word “natural” sells more than $40 billion worth of food in the United States each year. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t even have an official definition of what “natural” means but explains that it’s difficult to define natural because the food could be processed and no longer a product of the earth.

I am pretty sure there are consumers and other food safety administrations that are fighting to have the word “natural” banned from food labels and other misleading claims. It is very difficult to picture how a farm is kept and how foods are processed unless you have been there. You may think of a perfectly green and sunny farm with fresh fruit and produce but it turn, it’s infested with pesticides, animals are mistreated and the farm itself is a total dump. I believe in local and neighborhood farming because at least you get an idea of where the product comes from and how the farm looks.

Natural - No Hormones - No Antibiotics

Natural – No Hormones – No Antibiotics

I do believe the FDA should still do their part and make sure all food products are safe with no false claims. If a term cannot be defined then it should not be slapped on a label to misguide consumers into spending their hard earned money on it. So the next time you visit your local produce market, watch out for the foods marked “natural” on the labels and read more about it to find out what it really contains.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major
Winter Haven, FL

Sourcehttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/06/24/the-word-natural-helps-sell-40-billion-worth-of-food-in-the-u-s-every-year-and-the-label-means-nothing/