HEALTH

New research finds link between antioxidants, increased diabetes risk

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS A new report in the Oct. 7 issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, found that low levels of free radicals – which commonly are perceived as damaging to a body and the reason behind the consumption of antioxidant vitamins – might actually prevent diabetes by improving the ability to respond to insulin signals.

“Our studies indicate that ‘physiological’ low levels of [free radicals] may promote the insulin response and attenuate insulin resistance early in the progression of Type 2 diabetes, prior to overt obesity and hyperglycemia,” stated Tony Tiganis of Monash University in Australia.

Tiganis said whether antioxidants ultimately are good for people probably will depend on their state of health or disease. “In the case of early Type 2 diabetes and the development of insulin resistance, our studies suggest that antioxidants would be bad for you,” he said.

Under some conditions, treatments designed to selectively increase ROS in muscle – if they can be devised – might even help, he said.

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FDA approves Perrigo’s laxative generic

BY Michael Johnsen

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo on Tuesday announced that it has received final approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its abbreviated new drug application for over-the-counter polyethylene glycol 3350, powder for solution, a generic equivalent to Schering-Plough’s MiraLAX laxative.

Perrigo said it would begin shipping immediately.

Estimated brand sales MiraLAX for the 12 months ended Aug. 28 were $200 million, Perrigo stated.

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Study finds sleep apnea patients may have GI tract conditions

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea also tend to have additional gastrointestinal tract conditions, a new study found.

In a paper presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in San Diego, researchers analyzed prospective clinical study data of 42 adult patients with proven OSA verified in overnight polysomnography. Every patient also underwent an upper GI endoscopy to evaluate their gastrointestinal health.

Pathological GI findings were found in vast majority of patients (83.3%), 59.5% of them showing two or more findings. The most frequent observed pathology was hiatus hernia (64.3% of patients), followed by erosive esophagitis (45.2%), histological esophagitis and erosive gastritis (both 21.4%), duodenal ulcer (7.1%), and biliary reflux (4.8%).

Approximately 12 million Americans have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is characterized by episodes of reduced or no airflow throughout the night.

From their findings, the authors concluded that patients who appear to suffer from OSA should not only be investigated in sleep laboratory, but should also be referred to a gastroenterologist for additional diagnostic exams in order to provide a comprehensive treatment approach.

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