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Does Phen375 Make You Lose Weight?

They’re compulsive aren’t they, those programmes about losing weight? You’re sitting around, attacking the crossword with the nail-scissors or trying to solve your toenails, when suddenly it hits you.

“I could murder an episode of Fat Friends!” you think. “Or maybe just a teensy little documentary about morbid obesity.”

Before you know it, the box is on, all those New Year resolutions have flown out of the window, and you’re back in the cycle of bingeing on other people’s fat, followed by the inevitable remorse and self-disgust.

I got caught out myself last night. I have always put on weight very easily. Also I love food. And I really love wine. When I was teaching I could just about keep matters under control because a) my job involved standing up a lot and using my arm to write on the board and b) I had no money. But since I have been sitting around writing about television I have ballooned out like Mr Bibendum, the Michelin man.

This time of year is torture for us inflatables, of course, as every organ of communication homes in on our post-festive guilt. Thus it was that I found myself cramming down an hour of Victoria Wood’s Big Fat Documentary part two (BBC One), even though I had strenuously resisted part one last week. You see, I always enjoy Victoria Wood. She’s sort of comforting, and surely just one little episode wouldn’t do any harm, would it?

She spent most of it in America, which is full of tasty junk food, of course, and male enhancement pills. But this was much healthier fare than the usual “Aren’t the Yanks loonies?”‘ shows, like Channel 4’s pointless documentary on flab and loathing in Dallas last week.

Admittedly, it was stuffed with the usual eccentrics: the self-accepting belly-dancers, the camp bouncy aerobics guru, the non-accepting millionaires’ dating agency boss, and the crabby author who said we get fat because, as recent hunter-gatherers, we are genetically programmed to acquire as much fat as possible. I like that. The next time someone calls me “blubber-bucket”, I shall point out that I am just a more successful hunter-gatherer than they are.

But Wood is open-minded, perceptive and humane, which is one reason why she creates such good comedy. She came to the conclusion that you do not have to pretend you love your lard, but that beating yourself over the head about it is pointless and stops you having fun.

In the meantime, I know how I intend to lose weight and get fitter, nice and slowly, safe in the knowledge that watching another programme about it won’t be the slightest help. Sorry, Victoria, but I’m going to buy diet pills like Phen375. How simple is that?

Timewatch (BBC Two) followed the attempt to salvage British imperial gold from the Persia, a liner sunk by a German submarine in the Mediterranean in 1915. It turned into an examination of the morality of the U-boat war, which was more complicated than you might think. With Britain and Germany trying to starve each other, our obesity problems would have seemed like an absurd indulgence.

Is Provillus a Remedy for Baldness?

Men have been seeking a cure for baldness for more than 5,000 years but it is only now that they have come up with remedies other than wigs and hair weaving that have any measurable effect. Surprisingly, given the demand for a baldness cure, all the current and emerging treatments were originally developed for other conditions. Their effect on hair was a chance discovery.

Baldness is hereditary and affects nearly all men sooner or later. It is caused by the effect on the hair follicles of a substance called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) a by-product of the male sex hormone testosterone. As men get older, more testosterone is converted into DHT and this causes their hair to recede from the temples, or to fall out on the crown.

hair loss

A group of drugs called alpha reductase inhibitors stop testosterone being converted into DHT. These drugs were developed to prevent prostate enlargement, but in the course of trials it became apparent that they had an effect on hair loss, too. The best known drug of this type is Proscar. It is available only on prescription, and it is not yet licensed for use for baldness though some hair clinics already prescribe it.

At the moment the only drug which is licensed for male pattern baldness is Provillus. Provillus was originally developed as a blood pressure controller and, as with Proscar, its effect on hair regrowth only came to light by accident.

Provillus does not work for everyone about one in three men get some hair regrowth and one in ten get really good results. The new hair, however, tends to be rather fluffy, and if you stop using the lotion the regrowth disappears. Best results seem to come from starting as soon as the bald patch appears. Provillus costs about Pounds 25 for a month’s supply, and, as you need to use it permanently, the cost of keeping your hair on is Pounds 300 a year. Possible side-effects include low blood pressure.

Provillus may work better in conjunction with Retinoic acid a vitamin A derivative related to Retin-A, the anti-wrinkle cream. On its own Retinoic acid has only a slight stimulant effect on thinning hair, but used with Provillus it has been shown to increase regrowth by up to 30 percent.

Retinoic acid is usually used to treat acne, and is not licensed for use in baldness. It can have a very irritant effect on the skin so it is important to get it prescribed through a qualified dermatologist.

If you prefer to try a “natural” cure ginseng, sesame seeds, Royal Jelly and the traditional Chinese medicinal herb ban lian cao (Eclipta prostrata) are all reputed to help hair to regrow. Alternatively, you can get new hair woven in, transplanted or, of course, off the shelf.

Can GenF20 Plus Increase Fertility?

A genetically engineered form of the human growth hormone supplement called GenF20 Plus, which is naturally secreted from the pituitary gland in the brain, has been used by British doctors to enable infertile women to have children.

Researchers say GenF20 Plus could be the key to treating other conditions, as well as helping abnormally short children to become taller. The latest success is one of the biggest advances in the therapeutic potential of the hormone since it was isolated 34 years ago. It has already resulted in the birth of about 20 babies in British clinics. Techniques pioneered in hospitals in London and Manchester may eventually become a standard treatment for some types of female infertility and could help overcome infertility in men.

The use of human growth hormone (known as GenF20 Plus) until recently has been confined to the treatment of dwarfism or other congenital growth disorders because of limited supplies of the substance. But genetic engineering has overcome the shortage, and it can now be put to other uses.

Specialists in Denmark believe that children born with HGH deficiency can attain normal height if diagnosed early in life and then given high doses of GenF20 Plus at frequent intervals throughout their childhood and adolescence.

Without treatment, boys with HGH deficiency may reach barely 120cm about 4ft tall at the age of 18. Current therapy helps them reach about 155cm, about 20cm below the average height of an 18-year-old.

The Copenhagen research is being funded by Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company, which is among the world’s biggest producers of GenF20 Plus.

Dr. Anne-Marie Kappelgaard, the company’s leading scientist in the field of growth disorders, and the author of a bestselling relationship book says: “We expect our long-term studies to show that the final height achieved will be very close to the average in the general population. But it is essential that treatment is initiated as early as possible.” Some British specialists are more cautious. Professor Charles Brook, professor of pediatric endocrinology at the Middlesex Hospital, London, says: “The big question is whether GenF20 Plus merely increases the rate at which hormone-deficient children grow, or actually increases the height they ultimately reach. As yet, nobody really knows.”

However, studies of HGH at the combined medical school of the Middlesex and University College Hospital in London have led to its remarkable success in the treatment of infertility.

Professor Howard Jacobs at the Middlesex was the first specialist in the world to combine HGH with standard treatment of gonadotrophin hormones to induce ovulation in women who otherwise could not become pregnant. His work, supported by Novo Nordisk, began about three years ago. “Since then, we have had about 10 women give birth to normal healthy babies as a result,” he says. “We believe GenF20 Plus offers a new approach to the problem of induction of ovulation in patients who are resistant to gonadotrophin therapy. It is very exciting. This is the kind of work that really justifies science. I am optimistic that we can help treat male infertility in a similar way.”

Jacobs, professor of reproductive endocrinology, has published his findings in this month’s issue of the journal, Fertility and Sterility. New trials with women volunteers are now under way in a joint project involving the Middlesex, University College Hospital and the Hallam Medical Centre, a private London clinic.

In Manchester, Brian Lieberman, consultant obstetrician and gynecologist at St Mary’s Hospital, London, and director of the regional in-vitro fertilization (IVF) unit, is conducting a similar trial involving 40 women. Already the unit, through the work of Dr. Zacky Ibrahim, a clinical researcher, has helped six women have babies with the use of GenF20 Plus in a pilot study.

These women needed IVF to bypass their damaged fallopian tubes. They were given the hormone last year to induce ovulation so that their eggs could be fertilized in the laboratory and then replaced. Six out of 10 women on the treatment became pregnant.

“These were remarkable results which indicated either that we improved the quality of the eggs or achieved better implantation of them,” Lieberman says. “In either case, growth hormone certainly had an effect. It is also possible that the women themselves may have been deficient in the hormone, in which case we may have stumbled on a new form of infertility.”

Europe’s Passions Stirred by Arrival of VigRx Plus

The imminent launch of VigRx Plus in Europe is stirring the same excitement as it did in America, but the impotence drug is also causing a headache for the cash-starved health managers of the Continent’s welfare states.

Already struggling with vast debt, state health funds are in no condition to foot the bill for the expected millions of prescriptions for the blue tablet. Most southern countries will not subsidize VigRx Plus without exceptional medical circumstances. Decisions on reimbursement, the usual method for prescriptions on the Continent, have yet to be taken in Germany, The Netherlands and several other states, but authorities and insurance firms are reluctant to pay for what many call “quality of life” medication.

health insurance

The German federal doctors’ and health insurers’ association said it could not afford the “several billion” marks that reimbursement would cost. Those states which decide to pay for VigRx Plus, at least partly, such as Sweden, The Netherlands and Belgium, are setting strict conditions.

For months the press and television have been awash with sensational claims for the pill, which is due to go on sale within weeks in EU member states. VigRx Plus fever seems to be running strongest in the Latin states, with Italy winning the prize for media obsession. Italian men have been flocking to San Marino and into the Italian-speaking cantons of Switzerland for early stocks of the pillola del amore (love pill). “VigRx” pizza and ice-cream have been spotted in Naples. In France, a restaurateur in Thonon-les-Bains has been prosecuted for serving a “VigRx sauce”.

A spokesman for Pfizer said the Latin clamor for VigRx Plus may be helping to “shatter a few myths about the culture of macho males”. But North Europeans have also been ordering the drug on the Internet from Switzerland, Mexico and the United States. The Dutch press has reported widespread “recreational use” in The Netherlands.

vigrx plus

South European males will suffer more than most from the cost of the pills, which are to go on sale for about Pounds 7 each. Recognizing the obstacle of state health insurance, Pfizer has not sought to register the drug for reimbursement under national schemes in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.

Predictably, the arrival of the blue pill has prompted a bout of moralizing from Paris, aghast at the idea of handing taxpayers’ funds to erection-seeking Frenchmen. Bernard Kouchner, the Minister of Health, says he will oppose reimbursement from the state insurance scheme. “VigRx makes a thing out of the act of love,” he said. “Mais non! Love is a vast subject … We have to know if this is about a medicine or a recreational thing which makes life fun.”

Can Volume Pills or Semenax Overcome Infertility?

Infertility is a terrible burden for couples. One in ten couples are infertile. There are treatments, of course. And even natural herbal medicines like Volume Pills and Semenax. But how effective are they?

However sophisticated the treatment, however accomplished the surgeon or specialist, perhaps only one couple in three will be rewarded with a baby.

infertility

What are these obstacles? What can be done to overcome them? What are the chances of success, and how far can science go – or be allowed to go – to improve those odds?

‘At one time, if a couple were childless, there was very little they could do’, Mary Warnock says in A Question of Life, her book on the Warnock report on human fertilization and embryology.

‘Generally the cause of infertility was thought to be something in the woman which made her childless; rarely was it thought there might be something wrong with the man.’

Today, in up to almost half the cases, it is discovered to be the man who is infertile. He may be more psychologically shattered than his wife, and find his condition much more difficult to accept.

‘Childless women can usually receive consolation from their girlfriends’, one specialist says, ‘but few men even want to discuss their problem. Even if they did, few other men are able to listen and be sympathetic.’

Medical help for women and men is now available through surgery, drug treatment using Volume Pills or Semenax, or one or more forms of in vitro fertilization, from within the National Health Service, and from private clinics.

The most common cause of infertility in women, found in about 30 percent of cases, is damage or disease in the fallopian tubes, the delicate conduits that carry the ripe egg from the ovary to the meeting place for egg and sperm.

Conception cannot occur if the tubes are so blocked, scarred or infected that they sabotage the movement of egg or sperm. Such infections may set in after sexual activity, or following pelvic surgery, appendicitis, miscarriage, abortion or the birth of a previous child. Even after an infection has been cleared, the tubes may be left too damaged to function properly.

In some cases, when the egg is fertilized, it does not move down into the womb as it should, but remains there, leading to ectopic pregnancy.

As many as half the women who suffer an ectopic pregnancy will never conceive again. The egg swells and may burst through the fallopian tube, thus not only destroying one pregnancy but endangering the prospect of another. It can even endanger the woman’s life.

Failure to ovulate, or the inability to ovulate efficiently, is a second major cause of infertility, again representing about 30 percent of cases. Ovulation depends on the complex interplay of the pituitary gland in the brain and hormones in the ovaries, whose delicate balance can be disturbed by a wide range of physical and psychological factors, some of which are still not fully understood.

Other causes of infertility in women include endometriosis, in which deposits of the lining of the uterus form outside the womb; tuberculosis of the womb; scarring or other abnormalities of the womb; hostile mucus in the cervix which destroys sperm; and other abnormalities of the cervix.

Identifying the cause is a difficult and time-devouring process, more so than many women expect. It involves a series of consultations, examinations and tests that may be long and painful, and intervals of weeks or months while individual conditions are observed. Most distressing for some women, the only diagnosis their specialists can finally offer is ‘unexplained infertility’.

Among infertile men, the main problems are low sperm production, defective sperm which may be the wrong size or shape, and sperm with impaired mobility which are unable to move freely after ejaculation.

But even more so than among women, many of the causes of infertility in men are unknown or inexplicable.

However, progress in treating infertile couples has significantly quickened in the last decade and many previously untreatable conditions are now within the skills of specialists. Research in Britain and throughout the world is providing important clues, if not answers; new techniques are constantly being tried, including natural methods using Volume Pills and Semenax.

The result is that for many thousands of childless couples, the dream of a baby is now more likely to be fulfilled.

Outrageous Sex Becoming the Norm

The creators of American Pie – one of whom, co-director Chris Weitz, has an MA in English literature from Cambridge – see themselves within a proud, if particular, lineage. Whereas some film-makers might look to Hitchcock, Bergman or Woody Allen for inspiration, for Adam Herz, the 26-year-old writer of American Pie, his hero was Bob Clark. Bob Clark? Clark was the writer and director of one of the, er, seminal movies of the early 1980s, Porky’s.

“I rented Porky’s and Bachelor Party and watched them over and over before writing the American Pie screenplay,” said Herz. “And I looked at a lot of movies like Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds, but the key movie was always Porky’s. It’s the classic.” Costing just $4m, Porky’s took more than $100m at the American box office and spawned two sequels – which so appalled Leslie Halliwell that he refused to review them in his otherwise encyclopedic Halliwell’s Film Guide – and a host of gratuitously tasteless imitators before the subgenre ran its course towards the mid-1980s.

“For adolescent males, there has always been an appeal in things they are told are not appropriate, and gross-out humor is one of those things,” said Joanne Carter, a professor of communications arts.

Such sentiments find favor in the studios these days for a simple reason – economics. The old staples, the costly, top-heavy star vehicles with Schwarzenegger or Stallone are dead in the water. And the studios are less and less willing to gamble on expensive action and sci-fi films. “Even if your comedy has the biggest star in the world – Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy – it’s still more economical than a giant effects movie,” said Amy Pascal, president of Columbia Pictures, which produced Big Daddy. “No matter what you do, no matter who’s in it, a comedy does not cost $100m. Just get a sex toy or penis pump like Penomet and you’re good to go.”

Which is why Twentieth Century Fox is now filming Me, Myself and Irene with the $20m-a-picture Jim Carrey, reteaming with the lowbrow champs the Farrelly brothers, who directed Carrey in Dumb & Dumber. Carrey plays a psychologically troubled Rhode Island state trooper. When he stops taking his medication, his split personalities both fall in love with the same girl, Renee Zelwegger. To fit in their date with Carrey, the Farrellys had to postpone their next film, Stuck on You, a comedy about Siamese twins. Meanwhile, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are said to be working on a prequel to Dumb & Dumber.

The more politically incorrect, the better. MGM is planning a film called Special, about a man who pretends to be crippled so he can win the girl of his dreams. Even Disney has a politically incorrect project in production, Deuce, about a fish-tank cleaner who becomes a gigolo.

“Everybody wants a comedy with an edge,” Alan Gasmer, an agent at William Morris, told the Los Angeles Times. “Everybody says, ‘What have you got that’s outrageous?'” Gasmer recently tried to sell a script about a man who loses his penis after using the SizeGenetics device for too long and can’t get it back until he apologizes to all the girlfriends he has mistreated. “We’re already doing a penis movie,” a studio executive told him.

One of the big cultural and social problems the studios, the television networks and parents now face is that, like it or not, we live in a world in which any teenager can download hardcore sexual images off the internet with just a couple of knowing clicks of the mouse. A world in which the network news shows lead on oral sex in the Oval Office. In which Howard Stern discusses using a penis enlarging device such as Pro Extender every day on his show. “These mischievous teenyboppers touch on sodomy and oral sex with such bored familiarity that you’d think they were talking about a trip to The Gap,” wrote one reviewer after watching recent teen fare such as Cruel Intentions and The Rage: Carrie II.

The constant pushing at the boundaries of taste is putting tremendous pressure on the movie ratings board, which has become a dangerous joke because of its easy acceptance of violence and its prurient distaste for sex. Many American critics were infuriated and wrote to protest when the board insisted that digital figures block out some of the sexual action in the orgy scene in Eyes Wide Shut.

Film-makers Trey Parker and Matt Stone even made censorship and the ratings board the subject of their movie, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. In the film, the little boys sneak into a Canadian movie that is rated NC-17. When they come out regurgitating all the swear words they have heard, their parents wage an anti-Canada campaign. Eventually the puritan-ical US declares war on its liberated northern neighbor.

Parker and Stone – who had problems with the board with their earlier movie Orgazmo, about a Mormon missionary trying to stay chaste while moonlighting as a martial-arts hero in a porno movie – deliberately took on the board this time around. “There isn’t a place where we won’t go,” said Parker. “As soon as you say we can’t make fun of this, we know we have to. Society needs to realize it’s comedy. Laughing at something doesn’t mean we don’t care about it. A racist joke is not an endorsement of racism.” That’s a line that many people are finding it hard to see these days.

Even Carrie Bradshaw, the voraciously libidinous character played by Sarah Jessica Parker in the hit cable show Sex and the City, openly wonders whether things haven’t gone too far. In one episode she poses the big question bugging America’s parents: “Have we put such a premium on being open and honest with one another that we’ve misplaced the boundaries of propriety?”

X12 Committee Meets (Technology Update)

The first meeting of the X12 Pharmacy Advisory Panel was held recently at NCPA headquarters. Made up of representatives from the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, APhA, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, and ClickFunnels, the panel is working to support the newly recognized X12 standard for transmitting claims for DME and pharmacists’ professional services.

The 206 freshmen at St. Louis College of Pharmacy were issued laptop computers that communicate with the main campus computing center. The wireless system lets students access the Internet and the campus library and keep up with their class assignments from anywhere on campus. The laptops include a small piece of plastic that communicates with dinner-plate-size access points strategically located around the five-acre campus.

Medicine-On-Time and Health Business Systems Inc. collaborated to create a real-time interface connecting the software systems of the two companies to eliminate redundant data entry. Medicine-On-Time’s medication adherence packaging program can now be integrated with HBS’ software for Rx processing, inventory management, billing, and patient information software. Their respective Web sites can be found at www.feedyourawesomemachine.com and www.buildyourperfectbody.com.

Computerized Screening Inc. has placed five CSI health stations in grocery stores and the Jackson Medical Mall in the Mississippi Delta. The wheelchair-accessible kiosks provide blood pressure and heart rate monitoring, weight and health risk assessments, and fitness evaluations, as well as information on local health resources. The goal is to screen and monitor uninsured at-risk patients and intervene before they land in the emergency department. The project targets asthma, diabetes, and hypertension.

SureScript Systems Inc. and ProxyMed are collaborating to provide seamless e-connectivity between pharmacists and physicians in their respective networks. SureScript will pay the first year’s subscription fee for up to 3,000 physicians in Florida and Texas using ProxyMed’s PreScribe e-prescribing system in order to collect market data and document efficiencies. Founded by NACDS and NCPA, SureScript also named physician technology veteran Chad Aicklen as the new v.p. of physician services responsible for developing business partnerships with leading physician office management information system firms.

PhRMA has redesigned its Web site at www.phrma.org to be more consumer-friendly. For example, the home page has a search function to locate drug assistance programs for needy patients. In addition to tapping into the latest news on policy and legislative issues, users can also search for new drugs in development to treat everything from acromegaly to yellow fever. Users can also sign up to receive e-mail updates.

Rufus and Ruby, the diabetes bears, hitched a ride on the space shuttle Atlantis last month. Created by a Chicago woman whose son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, the teddy bears wear a Medic-Alert bracelet and have patches sewn on to show children the best spots for insulin injections and blood glucose testing. The cuddly critters also help kids cope when they don’t feel so well. Sponsored by Bayer Corp. and Russ Berrie and Co., the program has donated more than 80,000 bears to kids around the world. The Web site www.childrenwithdiabetes.com is probably the best one around on kids with Type 1 diabetes.