HEALTH

GNC customers donate more than $300K in support of ‘Amazing Race’ star

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH During the first month of Phil Keoghan’s 40-day bike ride across the United States, GNC customers have donated more than $300,000 to the National MS Society and its Bike MS program in support of Keoghan’s new Ride Across America Presented by GNC, which kicked off in Los Angeles on March 28 and will end May 9 in New York, the day before the finale of his Emmy Award-winning show The Amazing Race 14.

GNC is the main sponsor of Keoghan’s 100-mile-a-day ride, which he says is one of the most physical and grueling challenges he’s ever taken.

“All of us at GNC are thrilled with the response of GNC’s loyal customers to [Keoghan’s] commitment to this important cause,” stated Tom Dowd, EVP stores, operations and development for GNC. “What [Keoghan] is proving every day on his ride is that individuals can make a difference in their lives and in their communities when they ‘Live Well.’”

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Nature & Health Co. announces voluntary, natiowide recall

BY Michael Johnsen

BREA, Calif. Nature & Health Co. on Tuesday announced that it is conducting a voluntary nationwide recall of the company’s supplement product sold under the name Libimax after being informed by representatives of the Food and Drug Administration that Libimax samples could contain tadalafil, the active ingredient in Lilly’s prescription-only erectile dysfunction drug Cialis.

The product is distributed through vitamin stores, grocery stores and liquor stores, according to the company’s Web site.

FDA advised that this poses a threat to consumers because tadalafil may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin) and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. According to the FDA, consumers with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease often take nitrates.

FDA advises that ED is a common problem in men with these conditions, and they may seek products to enhance sexual performance. FDA advises that tadalafil, may cause side effects, such as headaches and flushing.

The recalled Libimax is sold as a 1 capsule individual pack or 10-capsule and 20-capsule plastic bottles in retail stores in California, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Ohio.  The product label neither states it contains tadalafil nor warns consumers with high blood pressure not to ingest the product.

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CDC updates swine flu count

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The number of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States now totals 109, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in an update released Thursday morning. South Carolina has added 10 cases to the tally, brining the number of states affected to 11.

The state-by-state count so far includes Arizona (1), California (14), Indiana (1), Kansas (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (1), Nevada (1), New York (50), Ohio (1), South Carolina (10) and Texas (26), with one confirmed swine flu death in Texas.

“In response to an intensifying outbreak in the United States and internationally caused by a new influenza virus of swine origin, the World Health Organization raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 5 on April 29, 2009,” the CDC stated. A Phase 5 alert is a “strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.”

CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile continues to send antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment and respiratory protection devices to all 50 states and U.S. territories to help them respond to the outbreak, the agency stated. The swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir).

In addition, the federal government and manufacturers have begun the process of developing a vaccine against this new virus, CDC stated.

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