Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Scientists Rejuvenate Organ in Old Mice
U.K. scientists who used gene manipulation to rejuvenate a
worn-out organ in older mice said their research could prove
important in improving the lives of older people.
This world-first achievement focused on the thymus, which plays
a crucial role in immune function. The organ shrinks and becomes
less effective with age, making people more susceptible to
The University of Edinburgh team used a drug to boost the
activity of a gene that naturally shuts down as the thymus ages.
Increasing the activity of this gene gave elderly mice the thymus
of a much younger animal, according to the study in the journal
"The exciting thing really is the manner in which it is done. We've targeted a single gene and we've been able to regenerate an entire organ," Dr. Nick Bredenkamp told BBC News.
Avoid Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen Weight Loss Capsules: FDA
Consumers are being warned against using Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen
weight loss capsules because they contain at least one potentially
harmful ingredient that is not listed on the label, the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration says.
Tests on the Chinese-made capsules from various distributors
nationwide showed that they contained one or two undeclared drug
One is sibutramine, which was taken off the U.S. market in 2010
for safety reasons. It is known to significantly boost blood
pressure and/or pulse rate in some patients and may pose a serious
risk to patients with a history of heart disease, heart failure,
heart rhythm problems, or stroke.
The other potentially harmful ingredient is phenolphthalein,
which may pose a cancer risk and is not an active ingredient in any
approved drug in the U.S., the FDA said.
The agency has received dozens of reports of problems
experienced by people taking the capsules, including increased
heart rate, heart palpitations, suicidal thoughts, chest pain,
diarrhea, anxiety, insomnia, increased blood pressure and
Anyone who has suffered harmful side effects while taking the
product should see a doctor, the FDA said.
Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen is sold on the Internet and in various
retail stores, spas and fitness centers. Licensed health care
professionals have also promoted the product. The FDA is
investigating the distribution of the product and may take
enforcement action to halt sales.
"Products that contain hidden drugs pose a real danger to consumers," Carol Bennett, acting director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. "This is especially true when the products have names that mislead consumers into believing they are safe and natural."
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