Pharmacology

Type II diabetes is booming in the developed world and obviously obesity is the primary driver. A new paper contends sugar is a primary driver of that obesity, rather than consuming too many calories and not exercising, and so sugar addiction should be treated just like cigarettes.

While pharmaceutical companies will be delighted by the efforts of scholars in the pay-to-publish journal PLOS ONE to give them a brand new market, claims of sugar addiction, while a popular fad for the last few years, have not really held up. Nonetheless, neuroscience Professor Selena Bartlett from 
Queensland University of Technology


A new survey has documented that black Americans are systematically under-treated for pain relative to white Americans, and the authors allege it is due to the over-prescription and over-use of pain medications among white patients and the under-prescription of pain medications for black patients. Statistics show that black patients are under-treated for pain not only relative to white patients, but relative to World Health Organization guidelines. 


Valeant Pharmaceuticals is in the British Columbia Supreme Court hoping to avoid lawsuit class-action status for ignoring their own scientists and claiming the popular "cold and flu remedy" Cold-fX actually works for cold and flu.

Boston, MA - Botswana appears to have achieved very high rates of HIV diagnosis, treatment, and viral suppression--much better than most Western nations, including the United States--according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and colleagues in Botswana. The findings suggest that even in countries with limited resources where a large percentage of the population is infected with HIV, strong treatment programs can help make significant headway against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


An investigation on the effect of fish oil supplements for muscle growth reveals the tablets do not give gym-goers an advantage in the weight room.

Supplements are a protected class in the United States, easily claiming drug effects without being forced to prove they work the way drugs do. Most are just expensive placebos, more akin to homeopathy and superstition than medicine, though they are heavily promoted by alternative medicine gurus such as Dr. Joe Mercola and Dr. Oz.

Many of the drugs we use in hospitals, such as antibiotics, antifungals and anti-cancer drugs, are produced by bacteria that live in the soil beneath our feet.

A regimen of beta carotene (precursor to vitamin A), vitamins C and E and magnesium has been linked to slow progression of hereditary deafness in the mice with a connexin 26 gene deletion. Mutations in this gene are a leading cause of genetic hearing loss in many populations.

The supplement cocktail had the opposite effect on another mutant mouse modeling AUNA1, a type of hearing loss, according to a paper in Scientific Reports


Antidepressants, commonly used to treat anxiety, pain and other disorders, may play a role in dental implant failure, according to a new pilot study which found that the use of antidepressants increased the odds of implant failure by four times. 

While these drugs are often used to manage mood and emotions, a side effect decreases the regulation of bone metabolism, which is crucial to the healing process.

Each year of antidepressant use doubled the odds of failure.


Researchers have identified a gene which can be used to predict how susceptible a young person is to the mind-altering effects of smoking marijuana, an increasing concern as the cultural movement shifts toward legalization.  Around one percent of cannabis users develop psychosis. It is known that smoking cannabis daily doubles an individual's risk of developing a psychotic disorder, but it has been difficult to establish who is most vulnerable.  


Doctors typically prescribe several drugs to patients with mental health conditions in order to treat the various symptoms. For example, a person with bipolar disorder may be prescribed one drug to treat mania and another to treat depression. But there’s limited evidence on how combinations of drugs interact, or how diet and nutrition influence their effects.