Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 5 Issue 365 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 31-Dec-2003 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 1-Jan-2004
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Consumer alert: FDA plans regulation prohibiting sale of ephedra-containing dietary supplements and advises consumers to stop using these products
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting the public to its forthcoming determination that dietary supplements containing ephedra present an unreasonable risk of illness or injury, and should not be consumed. The agency has notified firms manufacturing and marketing these products that it intends to issue a final rule prohibiting their sale, which will become effective 60 days after its publication.  more

Questions and answers about FDA's actions on ephedra dietary supplements
FDA has gone to great lengths to obtain and review all of the relevant scientific evidence on ephedra, as well as adverse event information, even though FDA's legal authorities to obtain this information are limited. FDA's analysis of the scientific evidence includes: a comprehensive evaluation of the scientific literature through 2002 conducted by the RAND Corporation; a review of subsequent studies including evaluation of a major study by independent academic experts; and evaluation of adverse event reports.  more


Compound that lacks estrogen's risks discovered
A team of Oregon Health & Science University researchers has discovered a compound that offers the benefits of estrogen but lacks the popular hormone replacement therapy's suspected side effects and risks.  more

Agriculture Secretary Veneman announces additional protection measures to guard against BSE
On 30 December 2003, Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced additional safeguards to bolster the U.S. protection systems against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or BSE, and further protect public health.  more

New genetic 'hit list' may underlie susceptibility to sudden cardiac death
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have discovered that genetic variants associated with instances of sudden cardiac deaths are far more prevalent and diverse than first thought -- especially among minorities. The news comes from a study on a specific cardiac disorder affecting young people -- long QT syndrome -- which may kill as many as 3,000 teenagers and young adults in the United States annually.  more

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