August 2010 Vol. 2 Issue 8

Abstracts & Commentary

Vegetables Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence

by Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO  The WHEL study intervention diet included a daily diet of 5 vegetables (a vegetable serving was defined as any 1/2-cup serving of raw or cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables excluding iceberg lettuce and white potatoes), 3 fruits, 16 oz. vegetable juice, 30 g fiber, and 20% energy from fat. The WHEL Study protocol included a baseline clinic visit to assess baseline characteristics. Dietary intakes were then assessed in 24-hour dietary recalls in 4 prescheduled telephone calls. At study entry (baseline), participants completed questionnaires regarding menopause history, use of menopausal hormone therapy, other lifestyle behaviors and cancer occurrence. Cancer outcomes were assessed from annual self-administered questionnaires, with 93% of cancers confirmed with a review of pathology reports.

Selenium Fails to Protect Against Lung Cancer

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO  Preventive medicine practitioners have been big fans of selenium for years and often cite Clark et al 1996 Nutritional Prevention of Cancer (NPC) as the reason for their use of selenium in cancer prevention. The NPC study followed 1,312 patients who had had basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas of the skin. They were randomized to receive either 200 mcg of selenium yeast or placebo and followed from 1983 through 1991.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Pharmacokinetics Produce Unexpected Results

by Steve Austin, ND  Much may be said by critics of natural medicine regarding the findings of this new report. However, I do not believe these findings should affect how we practice. The subjects in the current trial were from the Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT). GAIT, unlike most related trials, found essentially no clinical efficacy for CS or for glucosamine (from GHCl). Given that the clinical outcomes of GAIT were different from most published reports, we would not expect an exploration of the pharmacokinetics of the CS and GHCl used by GAIT researchers to point us toward likely therapeutic mechanisms.

Rethinking Zinc Supplementation as a Treatment for Pediatric Pneumonia

by Jessica Mitchell, ND  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 47.4% of preschool-age children and 25.4% of school-age children worldwide are anemic. Approximately half these anemias are thought to be due to iron deficiency. In the United States, WHO does not consider anemia to be a public health problem, as only 3.1% of preschool age children were found to be anemic. However, poor, minority and immigrant children and toddlers are still at risk for iron deficiency with and without anemia. This study by Sazawal points to a potential solution to the global concern of nutritional deficiencies, and it specifically provides a new insight to anemia treatment and prevention.

Community Profiles

Advancing Natural Medicine Through Research: The Helfgott Research Institute

by Alexis Lynn One of the unique aspects of Helfgott's research is the way clinical trials are conducted. "We are committed to studying natural medicine the way that it's practiced," says Heather Zwickey, PhD, director of research at Helfgott and dean of research at NCNM. "When a naturopath sees a patient, they don't ever give just one thing."

Peer-Reviewed Articles

The Therapeutic Effects of Acetyl-L-Carnitine on Peripheral Neuropathy: A Review of the Literature

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO  Conventional therapies have limited success in preventing or reversing symptoms of neuropathic pain and numbness. In the past decade there has been a surge in publications suggesting acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) may be an effective neuroprotectant and antinociceptive for peripheral neuropathy. This review highlights the uses, doses, and proposed mechanisms of action for the therapeutic effects of ALC in patients with peripheral neuropathy.

Development of the Infant Immune Function and the Effects of Breast Milk

by Catherine Clinton, ND  There is a need for more extensive research into the development of the immune system in infants so that we have a more complete understanding of how to target and prevent immune disorders. Our current understanding points to 4 main areas in the ontogeny of the infant's immune system as potential early intervention points for the prevention of immune disorders.

Interviews with Experts

A Conversation with Mind/Body Pioneer Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, Who Discusses Her Own Lengthy Journey with Crohn's Disease

by Natural Medicine Journal Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. is the author of the "New York Times" bestseller "Kitchen Table Wisdom" and the national bestseller "My Grandfather's Blessings." She is Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine and the Founder and Director of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal.

Exploring the Fascinating Field of Epigenetic Research with Epigenetic Expert Randy L. Jirtle, PhD, Head of the Epigenetics and Imprinting Laboratory at Duke University

by Natural Medicine Journal Dr. Jirtle’s research interests are in epigenetics, genomic imprinting, and the fetal origins of disease susceptibility.