The current standard of care medical model is a disease-based approach. Diagnosis and determination of appropriate treatment options are complex processes that require a move toward a more patient-centric model of care that includes individualized diagnosis and treatment. The functional medicine model requires a diagnosis, but in addition, an understanding of the unique mechanisms including predisposing genetic factors, biochemical and psychosocial factors, and underlying dysfunctions in order to prescribe appropriate evidence-based therapies to improve overall health. The purpose of this case series is to describe the potential benefits of implementing a functional medicine approach for various chronic, complex pain syndromes.
Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome characterized by loss of lean body mass, which may adversely affect a patient’s overall survival, quality of life, level of physical activity, and ability to receive antineoplastic therapy. Where full eradication of tumor burden is not achieved, multimodal prevention or treatment of cachexia is indicated. This article serves to highlight strategies to consider based on available evidence and treatment goals in cancer cachexia.
The mitochondrial free radical theory of aging is currently one of the more widely accepted theories to explain the aging process. It posits that aging results from free radical damage to mitochondrial DNA that is caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated within the mitochondria during complex I electron transport. Vulnerability to ROS peroxidation, and thus aging, varies with the quantity of polyunsaturated fatty acids incorporated into cellular membranes. The current data in support of this theory suggest that antioxidant intake has little impact on increasing maximal longevity and also that intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids may be associated with faster aging. These implications are relevant to clinical practice.
Restriction of methionine in the diet has been used in animal studies as a mimetic to caloric restriction with similar metabolic effects. Many of these effects, such as lower insulin-like growth factor, should induce favorable outcomes in patients with a history of cancer. This review explores the theory and evidence for a normal-calorie, methionine-restriction diet in the context of cancer care specifically.
The effects and perception of aging are directly reflected in the health and condition of the skin. Beauty and antiaging products largely focus on treatment of the skin with an outside-in strategy. There is demand for “beauty from within” products that support underlying internal processes necessary for healthy and vital skin. This study assesses the effectiveness of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) as an oral supplement on skin health using expert grading, instrumental measurements, and participant self-evaluation.
In this article, the authors review the prevalence of magnesium (Mg) deficiency in patients undergoing platinum-based chemotherapy, summarize research on IV and oral Mg in supportive care, discuss the role of Mg in carcinogenesis, explore different forms of oral Mg, investigate current best evidence on the effect of Mg on survivorship, and review ways for clinicians to identify and remedy early signs of Mg depletion.
The World Health Organization has stated that air pollution accounts for 1.3 million deaths worldwide every year. This article reviews the association of air pollutants with all major causes of death. Those associations understood, it becomes clear that outdoor air pollution is likely to be an even greater cause of mortality across the globe than is currently recognized.
Research has shown that prophylactic treatment, specifically with the probiotic Lactobacillus species, is a viable natural alternative in the treatment and possible prevention of allergic diseases. Lactobacillus acidophilus strain L-92 (L-92), a bacterial strain used widely in dietary supplements, cultured milk, and yogurt in Japan, has been shown to have potent antiallergic activity both in vitro and in vivo. This review summarizes and explores previous published research on L-92, including its proposed mechanisms of action based on animal and laboratory studies and evidence from clinical trials supporting its use in treatment of allergic diseases.
By Mark Davis, ND. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), most commonly known as fecal transplant, is the process of applying microbes from the stool of a healthy person to the GI tract of a sick person in order to restore the patient’s microbial community, and thus the patient, to good health. The US Food and Drug Administration presently regulates FMT as a drug and a biological agent to treat patients with Clostridium difficile infection not responding to standard therapies. In addition to clinician use of FMT, sick people all over the world are preparing FMT retention enemas themselves at home. This article examines the evidence for the safety and efficacy of FMT for various conditions.
Iodine is a dietary mineral required for the production of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for brain development in utero and during early childhood. Iodine deficiency is associated with thyroid dysfunction, and frank iodine deficiency during pregnancy can result in irreversible brain damage and other neurological abnormalities in infants. Scientific evidence pertaining to the consequences of mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency is less consistent, but emerging signals suggest that even moderate iodine deficiency during pregnancy and/or lactation is clinically meaningful. Clinicians who advise pregnant and lactating women play a key role in facilitating public health efforts to eliminate iodine deficiency in North America.