New heart drug to hit the market – Issue 37

Dear Health-Conscious Friend,

Why not start a new year with a BANG and a commitment to improving your health!There’s no better time to resolve to address nagging health problems—or even prevent new ones from cropping up.At Health Resources™, we’re committed to providing the secrets you need to make this year your healthiest year ever!So if you’re resolved to take advantage of all the new year has to offer…

…Check out some of the health tips in today’s Monday Edition of Health News Weekly™. You’re sure to find plenty of information to help keep you in tip-top shape!

New Beta Blocker Drug Receives FDA “Thumbs Up” As High Blood Pressure Treatment

Layne Lowery

There’s a new beta-blocker drug coming soon to a pharmacy near you! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Bystolic™ as a safe and effective treatment for high blood pressure.

According to a December 17, 2007 agency release, this new drug joins a “well established class of medications” in the fight against hypertension.

Beta-blockers work by “blocking” the effects of adrenaline on your body’s beta receptors. This makes your heart beat slower so blood passes through your arteries and veins with less force.

The FDA says Bystolic was proven “safe” in three double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials that ran for up to three months.

In a fourth placebo-controlled clinical trial, participants took Bystolic with up to two other blood pressure medications.

In total, more than 2,000 people received Bystolic during the trials. Its effectiveness during the trials was similar to those of other FDA-approved beta blockers.

The most common side effects reported by patients taking Bystolic in clinical trials were headache, fatigue, dizziness and diarrhea.

But the FDA statement doesn’t mention other possible side effects. According to the Texas Heart Institute, beta blockers have also been linked to:

  • Wheezing, trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Trouble sleeping or nightmares
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Skin rash
  • Sore throat
  • Depression
  • Memory loss, confusion, or hallucinations
  • Impotence

Bystolic is already approved and successfully marketed for the treatment of hypertension in more than 50 countries outside of North America.

Forest Laboratories, Inc. licensed U.S. and Canadian rights to Bystolic from Mylan Bertek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in January 2006.

Forest expects Bystolic to be available to doctors, patients and pharmacies in January 2008.

Men: Excess Body Weight Could Throw Prostate
Test Results Out of Whack!

Roz Roscoe, Staff Writer

Overweight men could be in danger of having undetected prostate problems. This is because a higher body mass index (BMI) could produce low readings on the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test—a standard exam used to detect prostate cancer.

Doctors need accurate PSA readings to determine how much of the PSA protein your prostate is producing.

If your prostate is enlarged—whether from abnormal cell growth or other disorders—you’ll likely have higher concentrations of PSA in your bloodstream. This is why many physicians view PSA readings as a first step in diagnosing prostate cancer.

Heavier men tend to have a higher BMI number—which is often linked to higher plasma volume. This may produce lower PSA levels in obese men, according to a study in the November 21, 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lionel L. Baez, M.D. of Duke University Medical Center and his colleagues wanted to test two theories about lower PSA readings in obese men.

One theory is that obese men have less testosterone—the sex hormone that helps your body make PSA. A second theory is that obese men produce more blood to support their size. This can dilute blood concentration of PSA.

Study participants included men who underwent radical surgery for prostate cancer from 1988 to 2006.

As expected, PSA concentrations were typically lower in the obese patients than in the normal-weight ones.

The researchers found that men with a BMI of 35 or greater had 21 to 23 percent larger plasma volumes compared to normal-weight men. They also had 11 to 21 percent lower PSA concentrations compared to normal-weight men.

After adjusting for multiple variables, study authors concluded that higher BMI was consistently associated with lower PSA concentrations. The research team said they want to confirm this connection using study participants who do not have prostate cancer.

Fast Fact

It’s practically impossible to avoid stressful situations in life. You likely face a list of demands at home… work… and even in social circles.

But you can manage these priorities successfully if you work to build inner peace. This can help make stressful situations bearable.

Victor Frankel, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, credits his inner peace as the force that helped him survive the Nazi Holocaust!

Here are two ways to help manage stress:

  1. Exercise—Daily physical activity, preferably at the beginning of the day, help eliminate pent-up tension and stress.
  2. Learn from difficult experiences—Rather than repeating actions that bring negative results, find more effective ways to handle similar situations that occur.

Garlic is also a great remedy for battling cold viruses. So be generous when you spoon out the garlic during food preparation. Or, if you worry about the strong scent—garlic capsules work well too!

The “Gift of Gab” May Help Keep
Your Memory Sharp!

Haley Whiten, Contributing Editor

If you’re worried about age-related memory loss—the best thing you can do may be to keep your lines of communication open!

A University of Michigan study tested people as old as 96 and found it only takes about 10 minutes of talking with someone to improve your memory.

“In our study, socializing was just as effective as more traditional kinds of mental exercise in boosting memory and intellectual performance,” said Oscar Ybarra, a psychologist at the university’s Institute for Social Research (ISR).

Ybarra was lead author of the study with ISR psychologist Eugene Burnstein and psychologist Piotr Winkielman from the University of California, San Diego.

In the article, Ybarra, Burnstein and colleagues report on findings from two types of studies they conducted on the relationship between social interactions and brain performance.

In one study, they examined ISR survey data to see whether there was a relationship between brain function and social interaction. The survey included information on a national sample of 3,610 people between the ages of 24 and 96.

Researchers used the mini-mental exam to assess brain function. This widely used test measures knowledge of personal information and current events. It also includes a simple test of working memory.

The research team assessed the level of social interactions by asking how often each week they talked on the phone with friends, neighbors and relatives. They also asked how often they got together with other people.

Study findings show the higher the level of participants’social interaction, the better their cognitive functioning. This relationship was reliable for all age groups, from the youngest through the oldest!

The research will be published in the February 2008 issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Health E-Hints

From Plant Poison…
to Best-Selling Cholesterol Drug!

More than 100 million Americans have high blood cholesterol levels, excess homocysteine or other risk factors for heart disease.

Statin drugs are the most popular treatment for high cholesterol—with about 23 million prescriptions issued each year. But you might not know that these drugs come from a plant POISON!

The fungus known as red yeast rice produces a poison called lovastatin. This occurs as a natural response to the threat of a predator. Lovastatin from red yeast rice is a toxin. It causes sickness and in some cases DEATH to predators!

The discovery and isolation of lovastatin from red yeast rice was paid for by government funded research in the 1970’s. The result was the wildly popular cholesterol drugs known as statins!

If doctors say your high cholesterol levels could expose you to heart disease—statin drugs may not be the only answer.

Talk to your physician to get help with adopting a heart-healthy diet. Dr. Jay S. Cohen—author of the book What You Must Know About Statin Drugs & Their Natural Alternatives—says you should also boost your intake of CoQ10… magnesium… omega-3 fatty acids… and folic acid.