In recent years an increasing emphasis has been placed on scientific studies that derive data from humans rather than from animals. This is in part because many people are uncomfortable with the image of cute little furry creatures being subjected to tortuous experiments (think Watership Down) and also because animal experiments may not predict human responses under similar conditions. Having a contrarian streak buried deep within my genome, I find myself paddling against this tide and often find myself unwilling to ignore animal trials, particularly when they seem to provide useful...Read more
Collagen has been a personal passion of mine since graduate school where my thesis tells the story of how collagen and elastin cross-links are affected by d-penicillamine, a remarkable amino acid.
Collagen has been around since metazoan times. Its structure is elegantly simple and simply elegant. Glycine-proline-Any amino acid is a base unit that, when repeated about 1,000 times, becomes one strand of collagen. Three strands wind together to make a single collagen molecule.
Collagen is a major part of the infrastructure of all mammals, fish, birds,...Read more
When I ran a private naturopathic practice, my stomach churned more at the thought of promoting myself than at eating a Big Mac chased by a box of Twinkies and a 40-ounce Coke.* I dreaded networking events and public talks, terrified that I might appear pushy or salesy. The result? I was the town’s best-kept secret.
As I followed a winding career path into medical writing and content marketing, I learned what I never understood in those early years of private practice. The first step to serving the people who need you most is letting them know that you exist. There are hundreds—even...Read more
We recently had the great pleasure of baking an apple pie in a wood cook stove and sharing it with our good friend and colleague Julianne Forbes, ND, who lives and practices in Bridgton, Maine. We traveled to Maine to check on a log cabin owned by the Schor family and were obligated to spend a cozy week there making sure the fireplace and wood stove were working adequately.
It’s apple season in Maine and Julianne was kind enough to help us eat a pie I had baked and polite enough not to complain that the crust was a bit burnt on one side. It takes a little longer to preheat a wood...Read more
The Rise and Regulation of Natural Skincare Products
As consumers become more and more aware of harmful ingredients in their skincare products, many are turning to “healthier” and “safer” options that include labels such as “natural” and “organic.”1 The term “organic” used in skincare products is not defined by the FDA, and the term “natural” has no legal definition.1,2 Without clear definitions and guidelines, consumers are increasingly swayed by savvy marketing techniques and may think that natural products do not have side effects. While natural products...Read more
This Sunday evening marks the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It will be the start of 5779. We will take time as this year comes to a close to appreciate the good things in our lives and to extend heartfelt wishes that the next year brings goodness to all of you.
There are some foods specific to this holiday that are eaten for their symbolism; we eat pomegranates and apples that are dipped in honey. In particular we eat honey in the hope that the coming year will be sweet.
I am in the habit each year at this time of doing a review of the scientific literature to...Read more
The Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) is an interprofessional association of integrative clinicians who embrace a person-centered, team-based approach to health care. As part of their mission to engage a community of health professionals that embrace global health traditions in the context of evidence-informed, person-centered care, they have created the AIHM Fellowship Program, a 1000-hour hybrid program that combines online learning, retreats, and...Read more
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) follow six guiding principles that influence how they think about medicine, how they make clinical decisions, and most importantly, how they treat you as a patient. Each principle plays a role in guiding naturopathic doctors through diagnosis and treatment. Identify and treat the root cause of illness is one of these six core principles. Read More.
Information provided by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (...Read more
We have had a bountiful year in many ways, but the cherry harvest is among the most fruitful I can recall. I’ve indulged myself with the time to fill our freezer with cherries destined to become pie next winter.
I find myself thinking of all the phrases we use in common language that must have originated to describe aspects of fruit picking. Mankind has been picking one sort of domesticated fruit or another for thousands of years. We have written record of one Lucius Licinius Luculus bringing a cherry to Rome from Anatolla in 72 BC. One might wonder whether this is where the term...Read more
Heart disease, the leading killer for both men and women in the United States, is largely preventable if caught and treated early. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) excel at preventing and treating cardiovascular disease because they focus on identifying the underlying causes of disease and empowering patients to make enduring lifestyle changes to restore and maintain their health. A study investigating the effects of lifestyle changes in patients with atherosclerosis (the buildup of fatty, cholesterol-rich plaque in the arteries) found that after only one year of following lifestyle...Read more