Reading Time: 2 minutes

6267.cover-sourceRecent studies have suggested that gut bacteria play a fundamental role in diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Data are accumulating in animal models and humans suggesting that obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are associated with a profound dysbiosis.[1]

First human metagenome-wide association studies demonstrated highly significant correlations of specific intestinal bacteria, certain bacterial genes and respective metabolic pathways with T2D. Importantly, especially butyrate-producing bacteria such as Roseburia intestinalis and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii concentrations were lower in T2D subjects.

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Almost 2 decades ago, Canadian researchers uncovered that grapefruit interferes with the body’s metabolism of certain drugs, including the immunosuppressant cyclosporine and at least one drug used to treat high blood pressure. [1]

The same group of researchers published an online article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in Dec 2012 that the number of drugs on the market that react adversely with grapefruit has increased substantially in recent years.[2] More than 85 drugs currently approved in Canada have adverse reactions with grapefruit, and 43 have potentially serious adverse reactions, according to David Bailey, PhD, of the London Health Sciences Center in Ontario, and colleagues. The list has expanded to include cholesterol-lowering sta­tins such as Zocor and Lipitor and blood pressure medications such as Nifediac and Afeditab, the study notes.

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Ghost Writing and the Human Cost of Hype

Wednesday, 29 September 2010 by
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The commercial world of pharmaceuticals contains many bright and highly motivated scientists who genuinely want to develop or extend human knowledge to assist with the management or eradication of disease. As with all sectors of society there are those who are more diligent about their work than others, and there are those who seek to make a financial return regardless of the risks involved. A recent article in PLOS exposes the dramatic use of ghost writers and nefarious activities of Wyeth in their promotion of the menopausal hormone therapy Prempro (conjugated equine oestrogens [CEEs] and medroxyprogesterone acetate [MPA]).[1]

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