Friday, July 25, 2008

A Promising Obesity Drug from Tree Bark and Orange Peel Extracts

Because of some inherent advantages, we believe that drug therapy could be a much more important tool in the fight against too much body weight. Drug therapy can help those who are not able to lose weight using lifestyle changes. And drug therapy is less traumatic than weight loss surgery.

However, in order for obesity drug therapy to play a larger role, better drugs need to be produced. And in the past, obesity drugs have caused negative side effects for various users.

For example, the drug Fen-phen was expected to be a useful obesity drug. Fen-phen consisted of two drugs, fenfluramine and phentermine. However, because Fen-phen caused heart related problems in some users, in 1997 the FDA requested that fenfluramine be taken off the market. Fenfluramine was removed from the market by the drug manufacturer, American Home Products.

Meridia, another obesity drug which is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, can cause side effects such as headaches, high blood pressure and constipation. And the consumer advocacy organization, Public Citizen, has asked the FDA to have Meridia taken off the market.

Accompli, a promising obesity drug from the company, Sanofi-Aventis, was denied FDA approval in 2007 because of reports of user depression and suicidal tendencies. And although the FDA approved the obesity drug Alli in 2007, the GlaxoSmithKline over-the-counter drug can reportedly cause side effects, including frequent stools and gas.

Therefore, obesity drugs have had their problems. However, because we think obesity drugs have a major role to play in the weight loss and weight management war, we are always interested in drugs that may improve weight loss or weight management. A dietary supplement which is a combination of an extract from an Asian tree bark (Phellodendron amurense bark) and an extract from orange peel (Citrus sinensis peel) shows promise.

The name given to the supplement is NP 06-1. A study was done to determine if the supplement could have cardiovascular benefits. Forty-five persons completed the study. A portion of the persons in the study group was given the supplement, and a portion was given a placebo. Both overweight and normal weight persons took part in the study.

Overall, both the normal and overweight participants who took the supplement lost weight and had decreased blood pressure. Both the normal and overweight participants experienced a decrease in triglycerides and the so-called “bad” cholesterol, LDL. And both the normal and overweight participants experienced an increase in the so-called “good” cholesterol, HDL. So the study results are promising.

We believe this supplement should be monitored by those in the weight loss industry. Indeed, we believe that weight loss centers should pay close attention to this supplement, and other drug therapies. A safe, effective, obesity drug therapy could lessen the sense of failure associated with some weight loss methods, and the trauma associated with others. And a safe, effective, obesity drug therapy could offer a weight loss center an important weapon in the weight loss and weight management fight.
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