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.
Curcumin, extracted from turmeric, is a popular remedy for combating many inflammatory musculoskeletal-based and nonmusculoskeletal-based health concerns. While attention has been given to the effects of curcumin in relation to the pain and disability associated with arthritis of the peripheral joints, little has been written about its potential to help spinal pain, especially that of degenerative intervertebral disc disease. This brief review redresses this gap in information and offers some support and rationale for the use of curcumin preparations in this common and disabling disease.
Helicobacter pylori overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract is a contributor to the formation of gastric ulcers, gastric cancer, and a unique lymphoma involving the gut mucosa (mucosal-associated lymphatic tissue lymphoma). Extragastric conditions, such as rashes, joint pain, and autoimmune thrombocytopenia have also been linked to H pylori overgrowth. Current treatments to eradicate H pylori include antibiotics, which bring some risk of untoward effects. Natural agents such as bismuth, mastic gum, and oil of oregano may achieve the therapeutic goal of eradication without undue risks.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with a widespread breakdown of glycosaminoglycans, which are normally attached to mucin and help to form a protective barrier separating bacteria from the intestinal epithelium. N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) is a naturally occurring amino sugar precursor for epithelial glycosaminoglycan synthesis. This pragmatic open-label clinical trial assessed the efficacy and safety of NAG and demonstrated that NAG could be an efficacious adjunctive treatment for IBD.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) continues to increase in prevalence. In 30% to 40% of patients, this condition persists into adulthood. These statistics reflect poorly on the standard-of-care therapies that fail to address the root cause of AD and therefore cannot cure it. This overview describes treatment considerations that address the underlying cause, which is imperative to treatment success and patient satisfaction.
The Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) study was the largest prospective randomized controlled experiment examining the effects of a Mediterranean style diet ever conducted. It may be the most valuable clinical trial on diet ever performed. It is important for us to understand the knowledge gained from both the original report and the subsequent publications derived from study cohorts.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a disorder characterized by social, communication, and behavioral impairments, has increased dramatically in recent years. The conventional medical paradigm defines ASD as a neurological disorder. Conventional treatments rely on behavioral therapies and psychotropic medications but have limited success and tolerability. A new paradigm is emerging that views ASD as a multisystem disorder accompanied by metabolic and mitochondrial impairments. A clinical approach to assess and treat metabolic dysfunction in ASD is reviewed here.