Probiotics are a very significant category of dietary supplements, and integrative practitioners frequently recommend them. Their popularity has fueled significant growth of this segment of natural products. However, as we all know, growth is not always good. In the case of probiotics, this booming growth has introduced a variety of products into the market that span the quality continuum from excellent to harmful.
Abstracts & Commentary
Glucosamine is commonly used for joint support, and it has attracted very little interest for any other use outside of osteoarthritic pain. This large epidemiological study gives us reason to look at other unexpected benefits to this simple molecule. The risk of lung adenocarcinoma was cut approximately in half in those taking glucosamine at least 4 times per week for 3 years.
This study clearly demonstrates the impact of nutritional deficiency and the role it may play in mental health status.
It is possible that higher melatonin levels may be beneficial in people with stable circadian rhythms, but in night workers with unstable rhythms, simple suppression of melatonin may be more beneficial.
Cruciferous plants use sulforaphane to ward off bacterial, viral, and fungal infection. Given the quantity of research that suggests the phytochemical sulforaphane plays a desirable role in promoting health, we should encourage our patients to consume foods or supplements that will provide this chemical. This study adds valuable information on how to do so.
Interviews with Experts
Harvard researcher Eric Ding, PhD, provides an overview of his recent analysis of 21 studies involving cocoa that was presented recently at the American Heart Association Conference. He also discusses cocoa dosage, disease prevention, and cancer.
5-HTP is the precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Commercially available 5-HTP is obtained from the seeds of the plant <i>Griffonia simplicifolia</i>. 5-HTP has been suggested as a treatment for many conditions. This monograph summarizes the research on the 5-HTP, including information on its most and least effective uses.
Some people have charisma. People are drawn to them, listen to them, like them, and follow them. Naturopath Rick Kirschner, ND, is one of those people. In his recent How to Click With People (Hyperion, 2011), Kirschner endeavors to share this gift with the rest of us. What we often find difficult is convincing the patient to follow any of our instructions. Compliance with a naturopathic treatment plan requires far more buy-in from the patient than they may have ever expended when seeing other primary care providers.
Diagnos-Techs Laboratory is a pioneer in the area of salivary testing. Medical Director, John White, MD, discusses the value of salivary testing and explains the most popular and innovative test panels offered by Diagnos-Techs.