Friday, December 26, 2008


Dabur in Himachal

Dabur India Ltd, with business interest in healthcare, personal care and food products, has got the green signal from the Himachal Pradesh government to set up another medicine manufacturing unit in the state, a senior official said here Thursday.

"The state government gave Dabur the permission to set up one more manufacturing unit in the state. It will invest Rs 130 crore," industries director Manoj Kumar told IANS. Kumar said the unit would be set up in the Baddi industrial area in Solan district, where Dabur's first manufacturing unit is located.

The single window clearance and monitoring authority for Himachal, cleared four investment proposals on Wednesday worth Rs 177.62 crore, which included Dabur's second plant in Baddi.

As per the company's proposal, Dabur will set up an allopathy and ayurvedic medicine manufacturing unit. "Dabur will provide direct employment to more than 400 people," Kumar said.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Clinical study death

Surendar, a 25-year-old who enrolled in a clinical study to establish the similarity between two versions of widely used blood pressure drug felodipine, died last week after complaining of chest pains.

Surendar was given his first dose of felodipine on 26 November, but he died on 5 December before a second dose could be given, says Hyderabad-based GVK Bioscience, which conducted the study. GVK observes that Surendar used to participate in medical studies by other companies, implying that he might have had doses of other drugs between 26 November and 5 December. Generally, a gap of three months between clinical studies is desirable to avoid harmful drug interactions.

But since there is no system to monitor this, there is no way of knowing if a volunteer, who is paid to participate, has enrolled in more than one study simultaneously or within three months. A biometric fingerprinting system could help track these volunteers who offer themselves for drug experiments to make a quick buck.

Gauri Kamath

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Traditional Mediterranean diet

A traditional Mediterranean diet rich in fruits and vegetables can do miracles for people fighting obesity and obesity-related diseases. But adding nuts to this spread may help manage metabolic syndrome, a group of health problems including abdominal obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high glucose levels, all known as risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The Mediterranean diet has long been associated with a lower risk for metabolic abnormalities. The Mediterranean diet bases mostly on a high intake of fruits and vegetables, grains, fish and poultry, foods said to be high in antioxidants and omega 3, offering the body its most needed elements necessary in keeping it young and thus in preventing diseases.

The new study involved 1,224 people in Spain aged 55 to 80 who were at high risk of heart disease. One group received advice on a low-fat diet while two others followed a Mediterranean diet, one getting an extra liter of alive oil per week and the other receiving an additional 30 grams of mixed nuts daily.

Two thirds of the participants met the criteria for metabolic syndrome at the beginning of the study. However, after one year, the condition decreased by about 14 percent among those who ate nuts compared with 7 percent in the olive oil group and 2 percent in the control group on a low-fat diet. Weight didn’t change among the participants after one year. But those on the Mediterranean diet plus nuts knew a drop in waist size, triglycerides and blood pressure compared with those on the low-fat diet.

By Anna Boyd

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