Interviews with Experts
Since its inception in 2002, the Helfgott Research Institute at National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, has been studying natural medicine the way it is practiced—using a whole-system, whole-person approach. Heather Zwickey, PhD, the institute's director, explains some of the challenges associated with that approach and also discusses exciting new areas of opportunity that exist for integrative medicine researchers.
Jeffrey Dusek, PhD, director of research at Penny George Institute for Integrative Health, shares his insights about the innovations and challenges he sees in integrative medical research.
Abstracts & Commentary
The humble peanut gets its due as a heart-healthy food, thanks to this study in which peanuts were shown to offer the same cardiovascular benefit as tree nuts. With the rising costs of tree-nut cultivation making them more expensive, practitioners can recommend peanut consumption for patients needing heart-healthy and affordable food choices.
A new study using essential fatty acids and antioxidants in women with female pattern hair loss found that these nutrients increased hair density and improved hair growth.
Vitamin C was shown in a recent study to have a profound effect on recovery from cardiac surgery, potentially offering a low-cost, safe way to improve outcomes.
Greater density of trees in London neighborhoods had an inversion association with the use of antidepressant medication among residents in a recent cross-sectional analysis.
Surprising results of a European trial suggest a combination of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride offers better pain relief for knee osteoarthritis than celecoxib.
According to this small study, laughter therapy alleviated symptoms of radiation dermatitis in breast-cancer patients, but in statistically nonsignificant ways. Should practitioners encourage laughter as therapy before larger clinical trials are performed?
Helicobacter pylori overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract is a contributor to the formation of gastric ulcers, gastric cancer, and a unique lymphoma involving the gut mucosa (mucosal-associated lymphatic tissue lymphoma). Extragastric conditions, such as rashes, joint pain, and autoimmune thrombocytopenia have also been linked to H pylori overgrowth. Current treatments to eradicate H pylori include antibiotics, which bring some risk of untoward effects. Natural agents such as bismuth, mastic gum, and oil of oregano may achieve the therapeutic goal of eradication without undue risks.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with a widespread breakdown of glycosaminoglycans, which are normally attached to mucin and help to form a protective barrier separating bacteria from the intestinal epithelium. N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) is a naturally occurring amino sugar precursor for epithelial glycosaminoglycan synthesis. This pragmatic open-label clinical trial assessed the efficacy and safety of NAG and demonstrated that NAG could be an efficacious adjunctive treatment for IBD.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) continues to increase in prevalence. In 30% to 40% of patients, this condition persists into adulthood. These statistics reflect poorly on the standard-of-care therapies that fail to address the root cause of AD and therefore cannot cure it. This overview describes treatment considerations that address the underlying cause, which is imperative to treatment success and patient satisfaction.
In the first of 2 interviews, Dawna L. Jones, MD, FACOG, describes how she tests for food sensitivity in her clinical practice. She also discusses prevalence, symptomatology, and gives some advice on how to effectively diagnose food sensitivity issues. In the second interview, James White, chief executive officer of KBMO Diagnostics, describes how the FIT Test is different from other food sensitivity tests.