Abstracts & Commmentary

Can Laughter Therapy Reduce Radiation Dermatitis?

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
04-01-2015 
According to this small study, laughter therapy alleviated symptoms of radiation dermatitis in breast-cancer patients, but in statistically nonsignificant ways. Should practitioners encourage laughter as therapy before larger clinical trials are performed?

Can Chondroitin and Glucosamine Rival Cox-2 Inhibitors for Osteoarthritis?

by Sarah Bedell Cook, ND
04-01-2015 
Surprising results of a European trial suggest a combination of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride offers better pain relief for knee osteoarthritis than celecoxib.

Plant a Tree, Ditch the Antidepressants?

by Kurt Beil, ND, LAc, MPH
04-01-2015 
Greater density of trees in London neighborhoods had an inversion association with the use of antidepressant medication among residents in a recent cross-sectional analysis.

Vitamin C Aids Recovery From Cardiac Surgery

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
04-01-2015 
Vitamin C was shown in a recent study to have a profound effect on recovery from cardiac surgery, potentially offering a low-cost, safe way to improve outcomes.

Essential Fatty Acids and Antioxidants Benefit Women With Female Pattern Hair Loss

by Sherry Torkos, RPh
04-01-2015 
A new study using essential fatty acids and antioxidants in women with female pattern hair loss found that these nutrients increased hair density and improved hair growth.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reduces Atrial Fibrillation Risk

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
03-04-2015 
A recent study using data from the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) Trial found that people who consumed more extra virgin olive oil had fewer incidents of atrial fibrillation than those who consumed less.

High Isoflavone Intake May Increase Breast Cancer Growth

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
03-04-2015 
Add another recent study on the effect of soy isoflavones on breast-cancer patients to the debate over whether soy intake is dangerous for this population. Here's an analysis of the study and guidance on how to talk about soy with patients as the debate rages on.

Association Between Mediterranean Diet and Increased Telomere Length

by Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO
02-25-2015 
Many studies have suggested that protection of telomeres leads to longevity. In a study using data from Nurses’ Health, researchers found that participants maintaining a Mediterranean diet had healthier, longer telomeres than those who did not follow that diet—yet more evidence that adherence to a Mediterranean diet leads to longer, healthier lives.

Will Amla Become the Next Weapon Against Heart Disease?

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
02-25-2015 
Amla, Emblica officinalis (Phyllanthus emblica), popularly known as Indian gooseberry, is a traditional rasayana herb used in Ayurvedic medicine and one that hasn't been studied often in the Western literature. In this pilot study, researchers found that smokers who ingested amla fruit showed significant improvement in their cholesterol-related blood work, suggesting that integrative practitioners may soon obtain another safe, effective way to treat their cardiovascular patients.

The Impact of Vitamin C on Endothelial Function

by Daniel Chong, ND
02-25-2015 
This analysis highlights the positive impact vitamin C has on endothelial function, which is good news for some of our most vulnerable patients—those with heart disease and diabetes.

Dark Chocolate Improves Mobility in Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease

by Russell B. Marz, ND, LAc
02-10-2015 
In this study, 20 participants with peripheral artery disease were evaluated for mean walking distance and maximum walking time at baseline as well as 2 hours after ingestion of 2 kinds of chocolate—a dark chocolate containing 85% cacao or a milk chocolate containing 35% cacao of less. The participants ingesting dark chocolate improved significantly in the mobility exercises, a finding that may eventually encourage practitioners to “prescribe” dark chocolate for their cardiovascular patients.

Milk vs Fermented Milk Products in Risk of Mortality and Fracture

by Kate Rhéaume-Bleue, ND
02-04-2015 
In a recent study, researchers observed that milk consumption had a deleterious effect on mortality and fracture risk, but that fermented dairy products did not. Given that milk and fermented dairy products have vastly different nutritional profiles, practitioners would be well advised to reconsider how they talk to patients about dairy in the diet.

Bisphenol A in Beverage Containers May Raise Blood Pressure

by Jessica Tran, ND
02-04-2015 
An alarming study out of Korea showed that even minimal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) can significantly raise blood pressure in people who drink out of BPA-lined cans.

Effects of Sedentary Lifestyle on Telomere Length

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
02-04-2015 
With all the focus on the health benefits of increasing exercise, we may be overlooking a more critical, and simple, way to improve health—standing up.

Is Sperm Quality Influenced by Comorbidities?

by Jaclyn Chasse, ND
02-04-2015 
In this study, men with fertility problems were shown to be more likely to also suffer from endocrine, genitourinary, and dermatological disorders. The study reminds us that treating patients for infertility may often mean treating other “unrelated” health issues.

Essential Fatty Acids Block the Depressive Effect of Interferon Therapy

by Peter Bongiorno, ND, LAc
02-04-2015 
In this Taiwanese study, researchers found that adding omega-3 fatty acids to the diet of patients undergoing interferon-alpha therapy decreased their depressive symptoms significantly.

The Role of Hookworm Infection in Immunomodulation of Celiac Disease Patients

by Mark Davis, ND
02-04-2015 
A recent study inoculated celiac disease patients with hookworm larvae, and the results were promising. Could it be that the human gut’s “old friend,” the hookworm, holds the key to treating celiac disease?

Cannabinoids and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
12-10-2014 
In this retrospective study of prison inmates with PTSD, a synthetic cannabinoid reduced chronic pain, insomnia, and nightmares, in addition to providing other benefits.

Strength-training Regimen Effective at Treating Plantar Fasciitis

by Brian Perry, ND
12-03-2014 
Patients diagnosed with plantar fasciitis experience greater relief of symptoms from strength training than usual treatment—something every integrative practitioner should know.

Does Cancer Treatment Cause Cognitive Impairment?

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
12-03-2014 
“Chemo brain” has been documented in multiple studies, but this is the first to assess pretreatment fatigue and cognition in cancer patients and suggests that cognitive deficits may be part of the disease process itself.