November 17, 1995
Web posted at: 5:45 a.m. EST
(CNN) -- Nutritionists told the Food and Drug Administration Thursday the fat substitute olestra is safe to eat. The calorie-free fat replacement can be used to make food such as french fries and potato chips.
Olestra looks like regular fat, but it cannot be digested by the human body. Critics say it can cause diarrhea and rob the body of vitamins.
The FDA working group narrowly recommended the drug be allowed to go on sale. The recommendation will be forwarded to an advisory panel on Friday, then the FDA must make a final decision on whether to approve the product.
(CNN) -- Scientists say an experimental drug keeps monkeys from contracting the virus that causes AIDS. The drug, called PMPA, is chemically very similar to the AIDS drug AZT.
However, PMPA was shown to effectively block HIV even when the virus was pumped directly into the monkeys' bloodstreams.
But HIV in the primate form is different than its human counterpart, so drug's effect on humans isn't known. But researchers say the PMPA may begin a precedent that could someday protect health care workers and others from contacting the virus. Human testing may begin next year.
Thursday was the day the American Cancer Society asked the 46 million Americans who smoke not to light up. The organization held its 19th annual "Great American Smokeout." The Society estimated more than 10 million would abstain from cigarettes for the day. Organizers expected one-and-a-half million members of the group will continue their efforts to kick the habit Friday.
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