Glucosamine is a natural compound that is found in healthy cartilage. Glucosamine sulfate is a normal constituent of glycoaminoglycans in cartilage matrix and synovial fluid. Available evidence from randomized controlled trials supports the use of glucosamine sulfate in the treatment of osteoarthritis, particularly of the knee. It is believed that the sulfate moiety provides clinical benefit in the synovial fluid by strengthening cartilage and aiding glycosaminoglycan synthesis. If this hypothesis is confirmed, it would mean that only the glucosamine sulfate form is effective and non-sulfated glucosamine forms are not effective.
The prevalence of eczema has increased during the past few decades and continues to rise. Furthermore, childhood eczema is associated with the development of allergy later in life. As a result, there is considerable interest in identifying effective treatments to prevent eczema and, possibly, halt the progression of allergic disease.
Iodine is an essential element to human health. Globally, a large percentage of the world's population is affected by iodine deficiency disorders. Iodine-rich diets and iodinization of salt around the world has reduced the prevalence of endemic goiters. In the United States, as well as around the world, the most vulnerable populations to the consequences of iodine deficiency are pregnant women and children. Maintaining adequate iodine status while avoiding acute exposure to large doses of iodine may be the most effective means of lessening iodine-related diseases.
Lycopene is present in many fruits and vegetables, with tomatoes and processed tomato products being among the richest sources. This review highlights the scientific documentation of lycopene as a therapeutic agent. Lycopene may alleviate chronic diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease. Lycopene has also been found effective in the treatment of eye diseases, male infertility, inflammation, and osteoporosis. Experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies have also established its role in the management of diabetes and hepatoprotection.
Emerging personalized health strategies utilize glutathione (GSH) as a quantitative indicator of health with the expectation that diet selection, GSH supplementation, and lifestyle approaches can be used to manage GSH status, thereby providing a health dividend by protecting against disease development.
Mast cells play a dual role in cancer, and their presence in tumor tissue may affect prognosis both positively and negatively. What isn't clear is in which situations mast cells aid tumor growth and in which they suppress it. Published studies are reviewed in an attempt to provide a clinically useful understanding for the practitioner.
Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC) is a fermented mushroom extract that is commercially available and promoted for immune support. This review focuses on safety and efficacy results from human clinical trials that have included subjects with a variety of cancers, as well as healthy populations. Animal data are also briefly discussed in the context of recent human data, with an emphasis on the possible applications of AHCC in promoting resistance to influenza virus infection. Available data suggest that AHCC supplementation clearly affects immune outcomes and immune cell populations--especially natural killer cell activity.
There is general agreement within the nutrition science and practitioner communities that ones diet, nutritional status, and lifestyle can substantially predispose one to (or protect against) many chronic diseases and other conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. For decades, the US government has invested, and continues to invest, enormous resources to support programs such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Institute of Medicines (IOM) Dietary Reference Intakes to develop recommendations for diet and nutrient intake levels that will, among other things, reduce chronic disease risk within the population. The nutrient-chronic disease relationship is also addressed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when it reviews Health Claim and Qualified Health Claim petitions, both of which are viewed as broad public health statements. But many questions unique to nutrition still remain when it comes to evaluating the evidence on which these and other recommendations are based.
St. Johns wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a very well studied botanical medicine. Despite the vast body of research, controversy still surrounds its effectiveness, and research for use in pregnancy, breastfeeding women, and children is lacking.This review outlines and summarizes a substantial body of information on hypericum for depressive illness. While studying this research and considering the potential benefits of hypericum for depression, it must be clear that the naturopathic and holistic approach should not focus merely on herbal therapy. Instead, a fully integrative plan should promote a multifactorial, individualized approach that includes diet, lifestyle changes, exercise, spiritual and psychological health, physiologic support using nutrients, and patient-specific modalities that may include homeopathy, acupuncture, massage therapy, or hydrotherapy.
In the past decade, increased research and media attention has been given to the weight loss effects of green coffee bean extract (GCBE). The purpose of our study was to perform a review and meta-analysis of available randomized clinical trials examining the effects of GCBE supplementation on weight loss in both normal weight and overweight/obese individuals.