Alcohol Consumption Decreases While Taking Anti-Smoking Drug
The smoking cessation drug varenicline (Chantix®) significantly reduced alcohol consumption in a group of heavy-drinking smokers, according to a study carried out by researchers at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco. The study was published in the journal Psychopharmacology.
Study participants, who were seeking treatment for smoking and not for drinking, were randomly assigned to take either varenicline or placebo. By the end of the study, participants assigned to varenicline had reduced their average number of drinks per week by 36% compared with those taking placebo. Although varenicline did not change the number of times per week the participants drank, it did change the amount they consumed each time they drank.
The scientists found no correlation between the average number of drinks consumed per week by each participant and the average number of cigarettes they smoked, indicating that varenicline’s effects on drinking behavior were separate from its effects on smoking.
The researchers also noted that the study corroborates earlier Gallo Center research indicating that alcohol and nicotine act through a common pathway in regions of the brain that provide a sense of pleasure and reward. Varenicline acts as a smoking cessation aid by blocking the pleasant effects of nicotine in the brain.
Source.“Anti-Smoking Drug Decreases Alcohol Consumption in Heavy-Drinking Smokers.” (2012, May 3). Retrieved June 27, 2012, from http://www.newswise.com/articles/anti-smoking-drug-decreases-alcohol-consumption-in-heavy-drinking-smokers.
Protein-Rich Meal Replacement Helps Weight Loss and Sugar Control in Type 2 Diabetes
A protein-rich meal replacement made from soy, yogurt, and honey (Almased®) helps patients with type 2 diabetes lose weight, gain better control of their blood sugar, and decrease their daily insulin dose, according to a pilot study presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 72nd Scientific Sessions. Patients in the study also lowered their body mass index (BMI), waist and hip circumference, and fasting glucose levels, while improving their high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides.
The pilot study enrolled 22 men and women with type 2 diabetes who were also obese. For the first week of the study, participants replaced all three daily meals with Almased. In Weeks 2 through 4, they replaced two meals and had a protein-rich lunch. For the last 8 weeks of the study they replaced only one meal with Almased. Fifteen participants (68%) completed the study.
Significant changes were seen at 12 weeks in the various study outcomes measured:
- Average insulin dose decreased from 147 to 65 units per day (p < 0.0001).
- Weight decreased an average of 23 pounds (9%, p < 0.0001).
- Average hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), which is an overall measure of how well blood sugar is controlled, decreased from 8.8% to 8.1% (p = 0.048).
- Fasting glucose decreased an average of 27.6 mg/dL (p = 0.027).
- BMI decreased an average of 2.6 kg/m2 (p < 0.0001).
- Average waist and hip circumferences decreased 2.8 inches (p = 0.0003) and 1.3 inches (p = 0.035), respectively.
- Triglycerides decreased an average of 70.3 mg/dL (p = 0.0001) while HDL cholesterol increased 2.2 mg/dL (p = 0.049).
While the formal study with Almased ended after 12 weeks, investigators followed up with patients after 1.5 years. Four patients who continued to use Almased reported additional decreases in insulin doses, HbA1c, and weight. Two of these patients were able to stop insulin injections completely.
Source.“Study Reports Weight Loss and Improved Sugar Control in People with Type 2 Diabetes Using a Protein-Rich Meal Replacement (Almased®).” (2012, June 11). Retrieved June 27, 2012, from http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120611005288/en/Study-Reports-Weight-Loss-Improved-Sugar-Control.