FDA Approves New Weight-Loss Drug
For the second time in a month, government officials have approved a prescription weight-loss medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration greenlit Qsymia, which is expected to help obese patients drop about 10 percent of their body weight. That's more than any other approved weight-loss drug. Qsymia works by suppressing appetite and increasing the feeling of fullness. It's a combination of two older drugs: the appetite-suppressant phentermine and the anti-seizure medication topiramate, USA Today reports. One concern is that it caused an increased heart rate in some patients taking a high dose. Still, researchers say it can also help reduce blood pressure and the risk of developing diabetes. Qsymia will be available by the fourth quarter of this year; the price has not yet been released. In late June, the FDA approved Belviq, which helps people drop about 5 percent of their starting weight.
Wondrous Ways That Water Can Improve Your Health
Yeah, we know; you've heard it all before, "Water is good for you, blah, blah, blah." But there's more to H2O than simply quenching your thirst, and chances are a few of these tips will surprise you. In fact, they may even help you lose weight. So put down that soda, pick up a glass of tap, and learn how one of Earth's most precious natural resources can help better fuel your life, body, and diet.
1. Water Keeps You Hydrated. We know this seems obvious, but the truth is your body can't function at its most basic level without ample amounts of water. Says Lonny Horowitz, a board certified bariatrician practicing in the Atlanta area: "Every metabolic process in the body, whether it be a muscle contraction or a biochemical reaction in the liver, requires water to be present." So what happens if your body doesn't get enough? Horowitz describes it simply: "If you get dehydrated, you become beef jerky. Your tissues begin to dry, and the actual chemical activity in your body is reduced, so you won't have the energy to do things like burn fat and exercise," he says. But how will you know when you're running low on H2O? According to the Mayo Clinic, if you're thirsty, constipated, tired, or are producing less urine, you may already be dehydrated.
2. Water Makes You Feel Full. Yes, you read that correctly: Drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help you practice portion control. This is a great tip, because many of us, even those who aren't dieting, tend to overeat. "Anything that takes up space in your stomach is going to cause you to feel fuller earlier," says Horowitz. But don't think you can down a glass of water and only eat half of your dinner. "Liquids pass through the body much more quickly, so the effect of feeling full will not be as long term as eating solid food," he explains. So the trick is to eat smaller—but not minuscule—portions. That way you won't be hungry again as soon as the water passes through your system. [Read more: Wondrous Ways That Water Can Improve Your Health]
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How to Heat Up Your Love Life this Summer
As if temperatures weren't torrid enough, this summer has everyone and their mother, literally, reading Fifty Shades of Grey. (The trilogy of erotic fiction has proved particularly popular among middle-aged women.) Making matters sultrier, people may be reading the prurient paperbacks in as little clothing as possible since it's so freaking hot out. This observation leads us to a singular steamy conclusion: There's a lot of sex on the brain these days. Whether there's sex anywhere else is another matter.
And yet, sexual health is critical to overall health. Among its many benefits, sex can boost immunity, circulation, mood, bonding—and even burn calories, says Sheryl Kingsberg, professor of reproductive biology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and chief of the behavioral medicine division in the obstetrics and gynecology department at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
With all that in mind, take a cue from the heat index to get your own fires burning.
Summer, in fact, provides a perfect opportunity for revving up romance. This is when we tend to unwind and get away, seeking the promise of discovery in summer vacation. Plus, more daylight hours mixed with warm weather means we're outdoors more often. [Read more: How to Heat Up Your Love Life this Summer]
Angela Haupt is a health reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.