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.
Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with some or all of the following symptoms: a depressed mood, a loss of interest in things that once brought pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep patterns, changes in appetite, a lack of energy, and poor concentration. These symptoms lead to impairments in an individual’s ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities and can become chronic or recurrent.