HEALTH

Study: Mortality increases in ICU patients with controlled glucose levels

BY Michael Johnsen

WALTHAM, Mass. Intensive glucose control increased mortality among adults in the intensive care unit, according to a study published Tuesday on the New England Journal of Medicine’s Web site.

A blood glucose target of 180 mg or less per deciliter resulted in lower mortality than did a target of 81 to 108 mg per deciliter.

The findings call into question the optimal target range for blood glucose in critically ill patients, authors suggested. Medicating patients to bring down their blood sugar levels may raise the overall death rate by 10%, according to published reports on the research. Researchers estimated that one in every 38 patients aggressively treated for high blood sugar would die.

The study encompassed 6,104 people in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States — only 20% of the patients included in the study had a history of diabetes.

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New supplement designed for weight-loss surgery patients

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS Undergoing weight-loss surgery means making sacrifices, particularly in the area of food, but this can sometimes place patients at risk for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A company in St. Louis, however, has created a prescription nutritional supplement for patients who have undergone the surgery.

ProBarimin QT, made by Fleming Pharmaceuticals, is a fruit-flavored supplement that dissolves in the mouth.

“Although there are over-the-counter supplements for WLS patients, ProBarimin QT is specially formulated to meet the unique nutritional and intake requirements of WLS patients,” Fleming president Phill Dritsas said.

The supplement includes vitamins such as B12, C and D and minerals such as iron, selenium and zinc.

The patent for the supplement is pending.

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Study: Probiotic strain effective in alleviating IBS

BY Michael Johnsen

CLEVELAND A new study published in the March issue of Postgraduate Medicine found that a strain of probiotic bacteria, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, PTA-6086 was effective in relieving abdominal pain and bloating in subjects with irritable bowel syndrome.

As many as 25% of the U.S. population suffer from IBS, a condition characterized by a number of digestive problems. The new study adds to the growing body of evidence that certain probiotics can help with IBS and provides hope for IBS sufferers of a new option.

“IBS is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder and represents a tremendous public health problem,” stated Nicholas Talley, author of a scientific review article about the impact functional gastrointestinal disorders have on society.

The study found that subjects taking the Bacillus coagulans probiotic strain experienced statistically significant reductions in abdominal pain and bloating versus baseline at each of the weekly measurements taken throughout the 8-week study. Subjects taking placebo experienced statistically significant reductions in just two of the weekly abdominal pain measurements and saw no statistically significant effect in bloating.

“This study helps confirm that Bacillus coagulans is effective in IBS,” stated Larysa Hun, author of the 44-subject study. “A combination of Bacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Streptococcus thermophilus was previously shown in a clinical trial to significantly improve IBS symptoms, but it was not possible to determine what effect, if any, each strain had by itself.”

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