Abstracts & Commmentary

Association of Oral Magnesium with Type-2 Diabetes

by Carolyn Dean, MD, ND
03-01-2011 
Magnesium intake by the study population was inadequate and a high percentage of individuals presented alterations in the status of this mineral.

Shark Cartilage Fails to Benefit Lung Cancer Patients

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
03-01-2011 
Multicenter, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled phase III trial. Three hundred seventy-nine patients with unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were enrolled between June 5, 2000, and February 6, 2006. All patients received chemotherapy, including a platinum-based agent, and radiotherapy. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either 120 ml of AE-941 (Neovastat) (n=188) or an equal dose of placebo (n=191) orally twice daily.

Acupuncture vs Metoclopramide for Postoperative Gastroparesis Syndrome

by Paul Richard Saunders, PhD, ND, DHANP, CCH
02-01-2011 
This is a randomized controlled trial of 63 patients from the Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgical Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China, 2004 to 2007, with postoperative gastroparesis syndrome (PGS) treated with acupuncture or metoclopramide (Reglan). Acupuncture was given to 32 patients, of whom 22 were male and 10 female.

Maitake Induces Ovulation in People with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

by Teresa Silliman, ND
02-01-2011 
Eighty subjects with a diagnosis of PCOS. After dropouts or noncompliance, 72 women participated in the study. Group 1 (n=36) were assigned to receive SX-fraction from Maitake mushroom (MSX) containing 250 mg of dried maitake mushroom powder and 18 mg of MSX per tab at a dose of 3 tabs 3 times daily between meals. Group 2 (n=36) was assigned to receive clomiphene citrate (CC), 50 mg daily on days 5-9 of menstrual cycle.

Hypertension Linked With Learning and Attention Problems in Children

by Erin Psota, ND
02-01-2011 
Data was collected on 201 patients 10 to 18 years of age, referred to the pediatric hypertension clinic at the University of Rochester Medical Center over a 3-year period. Subjects were assessed as either having or not having primary hypertension. Patients were considered hypertensive if either systolic or diastolic measurements were above the 95th percentile at the initial visit with subsequent confirmation by 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, assessment by a school nurse, or home monitoring. Provider-confirmed learning disabilities (LDs) and/or formal treatment for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were assessed per parent report.

Medical Qigong Improves Quality of Life, Mood, and Energy in Cancer Patients

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
02-01-2011 
Randomized controlled trial of 162 patients with various cancers. Average age was 60 years old (range 31-86) All patients had a prognosis >12 months and had never done QiGong before participating in the study. Outcome measures, including quality of life (QOL), fatigue, mood, and an inflammatory biomarker were measured before intervention and at 10 weeks post-intervention.

Risk of Ischemic Stroke Doubles After a Cup of Coffee

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
02-01-2011 
Trained interviewers questioned 390 subjects (209 men, 181 women) a median of 3 days after acute ischemic stroke. Each subject's coffee consumption in the hour before stroke symptoms appeared was compared with his or her usual frequency of consumption in the prior year.

Vitamin D and Depression

by Susan W. Ryan, DO
01-01-2011 
This is a large population cross-sectional study. The study sample initially consisted of 18,875 participants. The final sample size was 7,970 U.S. non-institutionalized civilian participants aged 15-39 years after exclusions for pregnancy and lactation. Serum vitamin D concentrations were measured, and a diagnostic assessment for depression was performed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS).

Aged Garlic Extract Lowers Blood Pressure

by Matthew J. Budoff, MD, FACC, FAHA
01-01-2011 
This study by Ried et al evaluated the effect, tolerability, and acceptability of aged garlic extract (AGE) as an adjunct treatment to existing antihypertensive medication in patients with treated, but uncontrolled, hypertension. They used a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving 50 patients. Patients received 960 mg (containing 2.4 mg S-allylcysteine) of AGE daily or matching placebo for 12 weeks.

Chocolate Intake and Heart Failure Incidence

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
01-01-2011 
Moderate consumption of chocolate (1 to 2 servings/week) might lower risk of heart failure in women, a finding that few will complain about. A number of recent clinical trials utilizing high-polyphenol chocolate suggest that chocolate exerts a blood pressure lowering effect in hypertensive individuals. A meta-analysis published in June 2010 combined data from 13 studies and concluded that "dark chocolate is superior to placebo in reducing systolic hypertension or diastolic prehypertension."

Daily Aspirin May Reduce Risk of Cancer Death

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
01-01-2011 
There are a few salient points in this study that are useful to keep in mind for clinicians. First, the benefit of aspirin did not correlate with the dosage used, so that a minimum dose of 75 mg is expected to be sufficient to confer benefit. Second, the benefit of aspirin was a latent effect, with reductions in deaths beginning after 5 years of follow up. Third, the reduction in deaths correlated with the duration of aspirin consumption, with longer aspirin intervention correlating with greater benefit. There was no benefit seen in those who took aspirin for less than 5 years. Last, reduction in deaths was found for individuals with adenocarcinoma specifically, not other histological types.

Acupuncture and Stroke Recovery

by Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc
01-01-2011 
According to the authors of this study, there are several possible explanations of these findings: acupuncture may be ineffective, existing studies may have been inadequately designed, or treatment may not have been properly administered. For example, several of the trials included patients treated more than 6 months post-stroke, which may be too long after injury to expect to see significant improvements. Additionally, treatment protocols varied significantly in terms of the types of acupuncture treatments applied, whether or not electro-acupuncture was included, number and frequency of visits, and other treatment variables.

Improvement in Cognition and Mood With Multivitamin/Mineral in Healthy Males

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
12-01-2010 
The use of vitamin/mineral supplementation in healthy adults is growing in popularity. Whether this is beneficial in populations assumed to be nutrient-replete and without any pathology is not known. This study, while small, suggests that cognitive and mood improvements may be seen as soon as 1 month after beginning a B complex with vitamin C and calcium/magnesium/zinc. As with any nutrient intervention study, the question of nutrient deficiency in participants prior to the intervention must be asked. This Swiss study is notable for its recruitment of healthy, fully employed males, a population presumed to be adequately nourished.

Coffee Lowers Brain Tumor Risk

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
12-01-2010 
These new data are consistent with a number of earlier publications that suggest both a strong protective effect and possibly a useful therapeutic effect from coffee or caffeine against glioma. Members of the public frequently view coffee in a negative light and will often "give it up" after a cancer diagnosis. At least in the case of glioma, coffee may have benefit, and these patients should be discouraged from discontinuing their coffee consumption.

Infants' Health Affected by Mothers Prenatal Anxiety

by Erin Psota, ND
12-01-2010 
A number of studies have previously established that maternal stress has a negative impact on infant temperament and cognitive development; however this is the first study to explore the effect of prenatal maternal stress on the incidence of infant illness. Evidence from both this and previous studies suggests that it is during the third trimester that the effects of elevated cortisol and maternal stress and anxiety are most influential on postnatal outcomes.

Horse-assisted Therapy Appears to Improve Balance in People With Multiple Sclerosis

by Bill Benda, MD
12-01-2010 
Although therapeutic riding in general, and hippotherapy in particular, do not have the plethora of rigorous research evidence of more conventional therapies, a multitude of centers have been treating tens of thousands of patients for decades with very conclusively positive observational findings. Risk to the patient is very low, and there are no documented side effects of these interventions other than the occasional allergy to horses or other environmental sources such as hay. Given the paucity of beneficial therapies and lack of any known cures, referral to a therapeutic riding center should be made to patients afflicted with these severe neurological disabilities.

Green Tea Consumption and Breast Cancer Risk

by Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO
12-01-2010 
This large-scale, population-based prospective cohort study in Japan, along with 2 other Japanese cohort studies, refutes the results of several prospective trials that have previously shown a statistically significant reduction in the risk of breast cancer in women consuming large quantities of green tea. The results of this study are also at odds with smaller prospective trials that demonstrate statistically significant increases in disease-free survival in heavy green tea consumers previously treated for early stage breast cancer. Additionally, a prospective trial out of China demonstrated statistically significant reduction in premenopausal breast cancer risk in women who consumed large amounts of green tea beginning in their 20s.

Selenium & Prostate Cancer: Untangling the Web of Conflicting Data

by Steve Austin, ND
11-01-2010 
What are we to make of the findings of the new trial? It came up empty-handed, but its findings tell us nothing about primary prevention. Recall that primary prevention was the focus of the original successful trial.

The Use of Curcumin with Gemcitabine in Patients With Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
11-01-2010 
Given the potential of curcumin as both an anticancer agent and a chemotherapy sensitizing agent, there is keen interest in finding the appropriate applications and doses for its use in integrative oncology.

Mediterranean Diet and Mortality: A Second Meta-Analysis

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
11-01-2010 
This paper is an update of Sofi et al 2008, adding data from newly published studies. The increased quantity of data did not have a substantial effect on the original findings.