"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Promising Results 

Rimonabant has been on my radar for some time, and now we come to its first major clinical trial. The results are mixed, and unsurprisingly, a matter of some debate, but it seems that rimonabant is of some benefit in terms of weight loss, and, more interestingly, seems to have an independent effect on circulatory lipid levels.

Study participants who received the higher dose of the cannabinoid-receptor blocking drug were seen to lose more weight than those on placebo, and also had significantly lower levels of triglycerides and higher levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol. The latter effects were over and above what is expected from weight loss alone.

Unfortunately, the study had a high drop-out rate, which could skew the results, and also raises questions as to its design and, potentially, the drug's tolerability. In that rimonabant has also shown promise for smoking cessation and other addictions, we will almost certainly learn more soon.

(Insert segue here)

It's already known that carrying water in copper pots fights contamination, but common copper may also help in fighting off the flu. Research suggests that copper surfaces are highly effective at killing off the H1N1 flu strain, a close relative of the H5N1 "bird flu." So, uhm, keep some copper handy?

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