February 2014 Vol. 6 Issue 2

Abstracts & Commentary

Vitamin E in the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

by Sarah Bedell Cook, ND  Vitamin E is of interest in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) because of its antioxidant properties. It has been proposed that oxidative stress underlies cognitive decline, and it is well established that vitamin E is a lipid-soluble antioxidant particularly effective at protecting cell membranes and nerve tissue. This study looked specifically at the use of vitamin E in Alzheimer's disease.

Ginseng as a Remedy for Chemo Fatigue

by Amy Loschert, ND  Cancer-related fatigue can be a debilitating condition, and the available treatments for it do not seem to provide significant relief. Recent research has focused on American ginseng as a possible remedy. This current study suggests American ginseng may improve energy levels in cancer patients.

The Effects of Green Space on Stress

by Matthew Baral, ND  The concept that nature provides stress relief gained momentum during the early 19th century when Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, among others, began the transcendentalist movement. Past research has illustrated the many benefits of spending time in greener settings. This study considered the effects of different environments on several measures of stress.

Resveratrol in Diabetes Care

by Heather Hausenblas, PhD  Using a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial, this study examined the effects of resveratrol in lowering blood glucose and other related outcomes (eg, insulin, metabolic markers, cardiovascular risk factors) in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Beet Juice as a Physical Performance Enhancer

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO  The latest in a series of articles on beetroot as a performance-enhancer looked at the effects of the juice on cyclists' performance at high altitude. The study found that drinking beetroot juice increased plasma nitrate and nitrate levels, lowered VO2, and improved speed.

Sponsored Podcasts

Discussing the Evolution of Integrative Oncology

by Natural Medicine Journal In this interview with leading naturopathic oncologist, Timothy Birdsall, ND, FABNO, we discuss the past, present, and future of integrative oncology. Birdsall explains the role of the naturopathic physician in cancer care and describes why this team approach is important.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Identifying and Treating Metabolic Syndrome in Breast Cancer

by Jen Green, ND, FABNO  Metabolic syndrome is a common condition that can increase complications in breast cancer treatment and increase risk of recurrence. While metformin is a promising therapeutic agent, intensive lifestyle interventions and natural therapies can be safely and effectively implemented in people with metabolic syndrome before they become diabetic. Natural medicine interventions such as exercise, dietary counseling, herbal medicine, and dietary supplementation can help optimize outcomes during and after cancer treatment. Strategies discussed in this article include various diets, management of cortisol levels, sleep, avoidance of obesogenic compounds, and use of the nutrients chromium, zinc, vanadium, magnesium, myo-inositol, alpha lipoic acid, fish oil, vitamin D, CoQ10, L-carnitine, herbal bitters, cinnamon, berberine, and green tea.

Healthcare Perspectives

Are Multivitamins a Waste of Money?

by Douglas MacKay, ND  In December, the Annals of Internal Medicine (AIM) published 3 studies evaluating the effects of multivitamin supplementation on chronic disease prevention. These studies were accompanied by an alarming editorial: "Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements." The authors of the editorial claim that the results of the 3 studies, along with previous trials, indicate "no substantial health benefit" of multivitamins and call for an end to further research on multivitamins for chronic disease prevention in well-nourished populations. While the authors of the editorial are correct in concluding that there is not enough rigorous evidence to support that an MVMM alone will prevent chronic disease or death, it is misguided and scientifically inaccurate to overinterpret this to mean that there is no benefit to taking multivitamins or that this line of investigation should stop.