June 2010 Vol. 2 Issue 6

Abstracts & Commentary

Flower Power Revisited

by Bill Benda, MD 

Healthcare Perspectives

Confronting Cancer: A Report From the 17th International Symposium on Functional Medicine

by Karolyn A. Gazella The United States Census Bureau projects that between 2000 and 2030 the number of Americans 65 years old or older will double. The aging of our population, combined with many other factors, will likely contribute to a corresponding increase in serious illnesses such as cancer.

Community Profiles

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians Encourages Transformation in Legislation

by Alexis Lynn The landmark healthcare reform bill signed by President Obama in March of this year will provide coverage to an estimated 30 million people who currently lack it. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) is encouraged by the passing of this new bill and sees it as an opportunity to advance AANP’s vision: to transform the healthcare system from a disease management system to a comprehensive health program incorporating the principles of naturopathic medicine.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Citicoline: A Novel Therapeutic Agent with Neuroprotective, Neuromodulatory, and Neuroregenerative Properties

by Irfan Qureshi, ND  Citicoline (cytidine diphosphocholine, CDP-choline) is a novel nutrient with a broad spectrum of benefits for conditions associated with symptoms of neurological dysfunction. An endogenous compound, citicoline is an essential intermediate in the synthesis of cell membrane phospholipids and its formation is the rate-limiting step in phosphatidylcholine synthesis. It plays several important roles in human physiology, including enhancement of structural integrity and signaling for cell membranes, support of acetylcholine synthesis, and synthesis of betaine, a methyl donor.

The Role of Cortisol in Sleep

by Bradley Bush, ND  The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis interacts with sleep in multiple ways. This article reviews the effects of the HPA axis on sleep and the converse. The hormones secreted by the hypothalamus and anterior pituitary that interact with the adrenal cortex are discussed, with implications on sleep disturbances and insomnia. A review of the stages of sleep and sleep architecture is given, and particular attention is paid to the role of cortisol. A dysfunctional HPA and alterations in the rhythm of cortisol production is described as a basis for understanding many cases of insomnia. This abnormal cortisol production and cycling is the basis for the hypothesis and the small body of research on the use of natural therapies to regulate the HPA axis and cortisol production.