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Koreans Overdose on Diet Pills

http://english.chosun.com

Korea's use of slimming pills and appetite suppressants ranks near the top in the world despite an obesity rate of 3.5 percent, only a quarter of the OECD's average 14.6 percent. Production and import of obesity drug Sibutramine rose 11 times from W4.4 billion in 2003 to W49 billion in 2008 (US$1=W1,140). The market for psychotropic appetite suppressants, which are categorized as narcotics by the International Narcotics Control Board, also grew four-fold. It is a paradox that one of the skinniest countries in the world consumes the largest amount of diet drugs. In a survey of 1,000 Koreans aged 15 to 59 by Consumers Korea, 86 percent had gone or were on a diet in 2008, while 13 percent said they had resorted to diet pills. The problem is that even people with average weight take diet pills and doctors prescribe them recklessly.

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FDA Panel to Review Vivus Anti-Obesity Drug

http://online.wsj.com

Vivus Inc. said a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is tentatively set to review the company's new-drug application for its experimental Qnexa obesity treatment. Chief Executive Leland Wilson said the July 15 review will mark a critical milestone for Qnexa and the company. Vivus is one of three drug developers hoping to get regulatory approval of new oral obesity treatments, along with Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. Vivus earlier this year also said that Qnexa was shown to reduce sleep apnea, when breathing stops briefly during sleep, by 69% in a midstage trial. While the sleep-apnea data were preliminary and based on a small set of patients, the results could help Qnexa eventually become the first drug for the condition, currently treated only by devices, and may further bolster Vivus's resume in its search for a large pharmaceutical company partner for the antiobesity drug. Vivus would need FDA approval to market a drug for that use.

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FDA to Review VIVUS Drug

http://www.zacks.com

announced that the New Drug Application (NDA) for its obesity candidate, Qnexa, will be reviewed by the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tentatively on July 15, 2010. The US regulatory authority accepted the NDA filed by VIVUS for Qnexa on March 1, 2010. The NDA was filed in December 2009. A response from the FDA should be out in the fourth quarter of 2010 (action date: Oct 28, 2010). Even though the US agency is not bound to follow the advice of its advisory committees, the recommendation of the panel is usually considered by the agency while deciding on the fate of a drug candidate. Qnexa is VIVUS’ lead pipeline candidate. It is a proprietary oral drug candidate that combines two previously approved products, topiramate and phentermine, to employ a dual mechanism to treat obesity. The drug is designed to address the excess appetite and high threshold for satiety that impact eating behavior. The full dose of Qnexa is a combination of 15mg phentermine and 92mg of a proprietary controlled release (CR) topiramate. Qnexa is being developed to treat other indications also.

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Charlotte Church Reveals Her Diet Secrets

http://www.diet-blog.com

In one of the more surprising diet-related stories of the week, Charlotte Church, who has lost around 55lbs, has revealed the secret of her success. And it doesn't involve pills, surgery, starvation or faddy eating...Instead, Charlotte explained: I just eat better and eat less food than I used to. Charlotte refuted media suggestions that she's had a gastric band fitted. In a refreshing change from the path taken by many celebrities (like Alex Curran with potentially dangerous Sea Kelp diet pills), Charlotte has taken a sensible, level-headed path to safe and sustained weight loss.

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Newcastle University Uses Seaweed Compound For Weight Loss Remedy

http://www.ukmedix.com

Newcastle University scientists have come up with a new way of losing weight using a component found in seaweed. Their research shows that when the dietary fibre found in sea kelp was added to normal foodstuffs such as bread and biscuits the intake of fat by the body was reduced by over 75 percent. The research project which is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and being led by Dr Iain Brownlee and Prof Jeff Pearson involves isolating the compound alginate and adding it to regular foodstuffs. They claim that it was better at stopping the body from absorbing fat than existing weight loss treatments.The interesting thing about this weight loss treatment is that it is different in that it is not a tablet to be taken every day but will just be added to a whole range of foods which overweight people will eat normally along with their regular meals. The idea is that in the long term many different types of bread, biscuits and milk shakes could be produced with this fat reducing compound as fat busting side dishes. So far the treatment has only been tested with an artificially made gut in a laboratory but the scientists are now looking for volunteers.

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Seaweed Fiber: The Newest Key to Weight Loss?

http://www.healthnews.com

Most people identify seaweed with sushi, those delectable rolls of rice, vegetables, and seafood wrapped up in sheets of nori. Rich in calcium and magnesium, this marine algae is capable of so much more, not only in the food world, but in medicine, cosmetics and industrial products. The latest and greatest use of seaweed is the fibrous alginate extracted from sea kelp, which can be added to everyday products such as bread, and reduce fat absorption in the body by 75 percent. The findings, which came out of Newcastle University in the U.K., were presented this week at the American Chemical Society's spring meeting in San Francisco. The conference brings over 17,000 scientists and 12,000 reports on the latest in the fields of chemistry, medicine, health and food. Alginates are proving to be a boon to the weight management field. Research leader Dr. Iain Brownlee said, "This suggests that if we can add the natural fiber to products commonly eaten daily

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