HEALTH

Researchers find link between gut bacteria, obesity

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS A recent study has found that gut bacteria can lead to obesity.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that after transplanting human microbes into mice, and taking the mice off of a low-fat diet to one made up of high fat and sugars, the microbial makeup of the mice changed within 24 hours. The content of the diet changed the composition of gut bacteria, thus making them rapidly gain weight.

Scientists stress that there are many factors that play a role in weight gain, but this discovery may help scientists have a better understanding and perhaps treat the problem of obesity.

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Ophthalmologists note rise in diabetic eye disease incidence

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO On World Diabetes Day, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, through its EyeSmart campaign, is reminding the public that an annual dilated eye exam can help prevent vision loss in people with diabetes.

To promote awareness of the need for an annual eye exam, the Academy, along with its partners the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Macula Society and the Retina Society, has launched EyeSmart EyeCommitted, a social media campaign to encourage people with diabetes to pledge to get an annual eye exam.

“As ophthalmologists, we are concerned that the increase in Type 2 diabetes cases at younger ages could mean people may be facing vision-threatening eye disease in the prime of their lives,” said David W. Parke II, MD, EVP and CEO of the the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “That is why we’re urging people with diabetes to get EyeCommitted. By taking charge of their eye health, Americans can greatly reduce their risk of losing their sight from diabetes.”

The EyeCommitted campaign, which is promoted through social media channels,includes an interactive pledge application that:

  • Encourages visitors to take the EyeCommitted pledge to have an annual diabetic eye exam;
  • Allows users to share the pledge and campaign information with friends and family;  
  • Features important diabetic eye disease information and a new video that tells the compelling stories of two patients with diabetic retinopathy; and,
  • Allows users to post the application onto their preferred social media sites.  

For each pledge, the academy will commit another $1 to its diabetic eye health education efforts.

An estimated 23.6 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes, but nearly one quarter are unaware of it. African-Americans and people of Hispanic heritage are more likely to have diabetes.

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Quigley reports 21.9% loss in net sales

BY Michael Johnsen

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. Quigley on Thursday reported net sales of $5 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, down 21.9% compared with the year-ago period.

“During the third quarter of 2009 we worked diligently to create a strong foundation for the company’s future,” Ted Karkus, Quigley chairman and CEO, told analysts Thursday morning. Karkus had assumed control of Quigley in June, after successfully leading a group of shareholders to oust Quigley’s board and management at the time.

Since taking over in June, Karkus noted he has been working “day and night” for the company, personally meeting with retailers in an attempt to reclaim private-label orders and shelf-space for its primary brand Cold-Eeze. He reported having success in that endeavor at one major retailer during the conference call, though he did not identify the retailer.

As for Cold-Eeze, Karkus suggested there may be some significant changes in store for the Cold-Eeze brand. “We have projects underway to improve our product packaging, product positioning and the communication of the Cold-Eeze message to consumers,” he said. “We are looking for opportunities for future growth that may include expanding our OTC new product pipeline, product acquisitions and other line and brand extensions.”

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