In January 2017, the B vitamin biotin was in the news as a possible breakthrough treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). This positive news was dampened a bit when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a warning regarding the safety of biotin on November 28, 2017.1 The headlines generated from the FDA warning are a bit misleading as biotin is certainly safe, even at the massive doses being used in multiple sclerosis. The safety concern is that high dosages of biotin can significantly interfere with certain laboratory tests. This interference can lead to dangerously...Read more
Pomegranate seeds have been used traditionally in Mediterranean countries and in ancient Ayurveda for a variety of disorders including infertility, insufficient breast milk, hypermenorrhea, and genital pain. Pomegranate seed oil (PSO) mainly contains unsaturated fatty acids such as γ-linoleic acid (Gamma linolenic acid, or GLA) and linolenic acid and phytoestrogens (campesterol, stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol). These phytoestrogens have led some to assert that it could be an effective option for menopause symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, sleep problems, libido and mood. A 2012...Read more
Why is it that so many patients are looking for alternative and complementary medicines and treatments?
Should more studies be conducted on alternative or complementary treatments, or is it a waste of money and time?
Does integrative medicine belong in academic medical centers—should it be taught at all?
These are among the questions that I discussed last month as a panelist on a Medscape Facebook Live event—Both Sides Now with medical ethicist Dr. Art Caplan. The theme: “Alternative Medicine: Should Physicians Embrace or Reject It?” You...
Part I presented compelling data on both the efficacy and the economic savings of naturopathic approaches to reducing cardiovascular risk and chronic back pain. Two more studies are discussed below, followed by data on patient behavior, which indicates significant cost savings for those who seek naturopathic care.
The two other studies did not have companion economic analyses, but they did show significant health improvements. Adjunctive naturopathic care for...Read more
Naturopathic doctors may at times receive this question from their patients. It is nice to know that there is an evidence-based response that says “Yes!”
Rising health care costs have been a fact for some time. Evidence is now emerging that adding or enhancing adjunctive care services can serve to reduce overall costs. Much of the evidence relates to treating chronic conditions that can be major cost drivers within health care. This article highlights the findings from four randomized clinical trials conducted in partnership with a major Canadian corporation and a major union, and...Read more
A steadily growing percentage of the population is choosing to focus on prevention, wellness and natural approaches to managing illness by seeking out practitioners of complementary and integrative medicine. As such, many are seeking the advice of naturopathic doctors to guide this process in a safe and effective way.
Despite the popularity of natural medicine, there is a lot of confusion around what naturopathic medicine is and how naturopathic doctors practice. Below we will address some common myths and misunderstandings about naturopathic medicine.
Myth #1: I can get an...Read more
Whether as parents or the children themselves, a majority of your patient population is either gearing up for (or are already) heading back to school. As beach days get traded for evenings hitting the books, this busy time can be met with excitement, but more likely, a lot of anxiety including high hopes for kids to stay healthy, happy and focused on learning.
To help ease some of this anxiety and support overall health and well-being, our Medical Education team has put together a list of foundational supplements that, in addition to a great multivitamin, should be in every child’s...Read more
Here are some examples of headlines generated by a recent paper about alternative medicine. The headlines are quite imposing, and in some cases plainly misleading:
- “Cancer patients who turn to Alternative Medicine are 2.5 times more likely to die”
- “Alternative Medicine alone as a cancer treatment linked to lower survival.
- “You are more than twice as likely to die from your cancer if you choose alternative medicine. If you have breast or colorectal cancer, you’re more than five times as likely to die.”
- “Cancer is way more likely to kill you if you rely...
The purpose of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the journal Nutrition was to determine the effect of magnesium supplementation on individuals suffering from depression who also had magnesium deficiency.1 Patients were included if they had a depression score of >11 in the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and had a serum magnesium level of <1.8 mg/dL in men and <1.9 mg/dL in women. Individuals were then randomized and given either two 250 mg magnesium oxide tablets per day or placebo for two months.
The Beck Depression...Read more
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies have become increasingly common affecting 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children.1 Allergies are the third most common chronic disease among children under the age of 18. In this audio blog post, naturopathic physician Dr. Todd Born talks about the integrative treatment of inhalant allergies. He describes why inhalant allergies can sometimes be difficult to treat and what integrative medical tools should be considered when treating inhalant allergies.