December 2012 Vol. 4 Issue 12

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Clinical Applications for Berberine

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO  New clinical applications for the alkaloid berberine have come to light in recent years. Applications related to adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation and berberine's possible therapeutic use in metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipdemia are reviewed in this article. Potential applications related to cancer are not discussed here but are reserved for a second review.

Abstracts & Commentary

Healthcare Provider Empathy and Clinical Outcomes in Diabetes

by Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD, MBA[c]  This retrospective correlational study finds physician empathy to help in reducing serious metabolic complications from diabetes. Groups whose physicians had high empathy scores had significantly fewer patients with acute metabolic complications.

Efficacy of Coriolus Versicolor (Yun Zhi) on Survival in Cancer Patients

by Sara Thyr, ND  The many studies are quite clear: While there is not enough evidence to support using Coriolus versicolor alone for cancer treatment, there are mountains of evidence showing its efficacy as an adjuvant therapy. Particularly in cases of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and gastric cancer, this mushroom therapy should be a component of the treatment plan, both during and after conventional treatments.

Berberine Compared to Metformin in Women with PCOS

by Beth Baldwin-lien, ND  In all 3 groups, total testosterone and free androgen index decreased; sex hormone–binding globulin increased. The berberine and metformin groups showed comparable changes in total testosterone and free androgen index, which were significantly greater than placebo. However, sex hormone–binding globulin increased significantly in the berberine group compared with both metformin and placebo.

Thyroid-stimulating Hormone Fluctuates With Time of Day

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO  A diagnosis could be missed in 3 out of every 10 patients with subclinical hypothyroidism if the blood draw is done later in the day.

Cinnamon and Blood Sugar

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO  The bottom line is that although Akilen’s new study provides the statistical strength to tell us that cinnamon does have an effect, the effect turns out to be modest and is surpassed by other supplements, as well as lifestyle and pharmaceutical interventions. Our patients who think that sprinkling cinnamon on their toast will fix their diabetes are barking up the wrong tree.

Quality Standards

Skip Lot Testing Misses the Mark

by Beth Baldwin-lien, ND  For all other information about potential contaminants in a supplement, the manufacturer is currently allowed to rely on a certificate of analysis from the raw material vendor. The supplement manufacturer does bear the responsibility for verifying the authenticity of the certificate of analysis, but vendors may be “qualified” using a vendor qualification process, after which the manufacturer may perform skip lot testing to periodically confirm this “qualification.”

Interviews with Experts

Dr. Donald Jump Discusses His Recent Review of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

by Karolyn A. Gazella Data regarding omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and cardiovascular health is conflicting. Donald Jump, PhD, describes his analysis that was published this year in the Journal of Lipid Research (Volume 53). He also clears up some of confusion and describes conclusions that can be made regarding the existing scientific data involving omega-3 fatty acids.