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Thursday February 19, 10:02 am Eastern Time

Drug Safety Concerns Spark Research on Natural Diet Compound for the Treatment of Obesity

Company Press Release

BOISE, Idaho--(BW HealthWire)--Feb. 19, 1998--The FDA approved another diet drug, Meridia, despite the objections of its own scientific advisers, who stated potential side effects make the drug too risky for use by the public. Meridia can cause an increase in blood pressure and pulse rate that may endanger patients with hypertension (high blood pressure) or certain heart conditions, the FDA warned.

In the wake of the removal of the diet drugs Redux and fenfluramine -- the ``fen'' in fen-phen, patients and physicians alike are looking for safe and effective alternatives to potentially dangerous prescription drugs. Redux and fenfluramine were pulled from the market after a Mayo Clinic study showed 24 users had developed serious heart valve damage subsequent to use.

In an effort to respond to the need for safe and effective treatments for obesity, The National Research Council for Health (NRCH), a non-profit organization based in Boise, Idaho, is conducting research on natural compounds designed to aid weight loss. The NRCH research testing program involves study protocols designed to substantiate the effectiveness of natural compounds in a clinical setting using the latest scientific methods.

``The need for a safe and effective natural alternative for the treatment of weight management is of the utmost importance,'' reports Dr. Gilbert Kaats, director of the Health and Medical Foundation, San Antonio, TX, advisory board member of the NRCH and chairperson of the Obesity Health Initiative developed by the NRCH. Dr. Kaats is one of several prominent research scientists and medical doctors who are helping to coordinate obesity research through the NRCH. According to Dr. Kaats, the goal of the NRCH is to design and implement clinical studies which demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of natural compounds in the treatment of obesity.

While many diet drugs can aid weight loss, Dr. Kaats is quick to point out that healthy weight loss involves more than just shedding pounds. ``We've all heard of yo-yo diets, where people regain the weight they've lost. This is common with many of the diet drugs including those that were recently banned. The yo-yo effect occurs in part, because people on those drugs lose both fat and lean muscle. When you lose lean muscle, your ability to maintain your weight loss is greatly reduced.'' Dr. Kaats further explains that the NRCH is currently conducting a number of research trials including one on a new over-the-counter patented natural compound called Biotrol.

In previous clinical studies, subjects taking Biotrol were shown to have lost 69% more body fat and 28% more weight than subjects taking a placebo. Of the nearly 12 pounds of weight the Biotrol group lost, virtually all of it was body fat with no loss of lean muscle mass.

For people following a healthy diet and a moderate exercise routine, the addition of a natural compound like Biotrol provides significant weight loss without the risk of dangerous side effects.

Contact: Sheldon Baker Public Relations Sheldon Baker, 209/325-7191