Peer Reviewed Articles

Lifestyle Interventions Enhance Quality of Life and Reduce Recurrence Risk Among Cancer Survivors

by Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO
11-02-2016 
There are 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States and, according to the American Cancer Society, this number is projected to increase to 20 million by 2026. In recognition of the unique health needs of this growing population, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer has mandated that cancer centers provide survivors with a Survivorship Care Plan. This review provides scientific substantiation regarding key lifestyle intervention strategies that both help cancer centers meet the mandate, and help cancer survivors heal from treatment, reduce their risk of cancer recurrence, and enhance overall wellness.

The Immune System: An Integrative Perspective

by Eric Secor
10-26-2016 
A healthy and intact immune response requires coordination between skin, mucosal barriers, and both the innate and adaptive aspects of immune response. With an overarching mandate of protection, the blueprints of individual immune surveillance systems are inherited through family history and fashioned through interactions with the environment, including lifestyle choices and chemical exposures. The goal of this article is to provide an overview of the immune response and opportunities for assessment, treatment, and management from an integrative medical perspective.

Biodiversity, Nature, and Human Health

by Kristen Arvidson
10-05-2016 
Some recent studies claim biodiversity has a positive effect on human health, whereas human alterations to the natural environment have unfavorable health effects. This brief literature review cites current research that endorses biodiversity for human health and examines the negative consequences of natural environment modification. The review focuses on the health benefits of biodiverse environments, outdoor activity, and plant interactions, as well as the negative health effects of human disturbances, climate change, and urban landscapes.

Asthma’s Perfect Storm

by Matthew Baral, ND
09-21-2016 
Asthma affects approximately 24 million Americans, and 6.3 million of those are under 18 years of age. The reliance on asthma medication as the only treatment for this widespread condition has had virtually no effect on asthma rates, which have continually increased since the 1980s. It is therefore imperative that the medical community at large start to commit to prevention as an equally important measure when considering asthma as a condition. A holistic perspective should take into account all the factors affecting asthma prevalence and expose the connections between them.

Do Genetics Affect How the Body Uses Fatty Acids?

by Kimberly Sanders, ND
09-07-2016 
The effects of dietary and supplemental omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are varied, and some of this variation may be explained by the genetics of fatty acid metabolism. In particular, the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) enzyme has genetic variation that may influence the rate at which omega-3 and omega-6 precursors are metabolized downstream into long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Evidence-Based Treatment of Digestive Symptoms in Pancreatic Cancer Patients

by Heather Wright, ND, FABNO
08-03-2016 
Patients with pancreatic cancer experience symptoms of disease and treatment-related symptoms that can reduce quality of life and negatively impact survival. This paper discusses practical tools for supporting patients in digestive tract symptom reduction with safe interventions such as nutritional counseling and evidence-based supplements. Patients and caregivers who are provided knowledge about digestive tract physiology, nutritional education, and detailed instructions for use of pancreatic enzymes may more effectively utilize treatment plans at home. Supporting overall nutritional status and maximizing digestive function with use of pancreatic enzymes and supplements such as probiotics and melatonin may help reduce suffering in pancreatic cancer patients and support quality of life.

Grapefruit Juice-Drug Interactions: A Practical Review for Clinicians

by Sarah Bedell Cook, ND
06-01-2016 
The serendipitous discovery that grapefruit juice could dramatically increase the bioavailability of orally administered medications resulted from the findings of a 1989 clinical trial on the pharmacodynamics of felodipine. Grapefruit juice is now estimated to pose a nutrient-drug interaction with more than 85 different medications. The primary mechanism of this interaction is inhibition of cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), but grapefruit juice also inhibits organic anion-transporter polypeptides (OATPs). These mechanisms can increase bioavailability, decrease bioavailability, or reduce the metabolic activation of certain medications. Many commonly prescribed drugs interact with grapefruit juice, and these interactions can produce clinically significant effects. Consumption of a single glass of juice is sufficient to alter drug metabolism, and the effect can last as long as 3 days. Practical implications of grapefruit juice-drug interactions are reviewed here.

Breast Cancer and Fat Intake

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
05-04-2016 
In the 1980s national policies directed at lowering fat consumption emerged. One of the many reasons for recommending fat restriction was the apparent association between high dietary fat and breast cancer incidence—an association based on epidemiological and case control data. We now know that epidemiological studies and case controlled studies are poor predictors of how dietary patterns influence cancer risk. Furthermore, newer, prospective studies no longer support the association between dietary fat and breast cancer except in a small subset of cancers.

Navigating the Complex Terrain of Cancer Cachexia

by Rebecca Lovejoy, ND, LAc
03-16-2016 
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.

Integrative and Functional Medicine in Refractive, Chronic, Complex, Pain Syndromes

by Leigh Arseneau, ND, FMP
03-02-2016 
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.

A New Look at the Free Radical Theory of Aging

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
02-03-2016 
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.

The Role of Methionine in Cancer Growth and Control

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
12-02-2015 
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.

Effects of Oral Supplementation With Methylsulfonylmethane on Skin Health and Wrinkle Reduction

by Michael Anthonavage
11-04-2015 
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.

Identifying and Treating Magnesium Deficiency in Cancer Patients Receiving Platinum-based Chemotherapy

by Jen Green, ND, FABNO
10-07-2015 
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.

Air Pollution, Disease, and Mortality

by Walter Crinnion, ND
09-16-2015 
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.

The Impact of Lactobacillus acidophilus Strain L-92 on Allergic Disease

by Ginny Bank, MS
09-02-2015 
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.

Clinical Applications of Fecal Transplant

by Mark Davis, ND
08-05-2015 
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 Supplementation During Pregnancy and Lactation

by Douglas MacKay, ND
07-01-2015 
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 Reduces Degenerative Disc Disease Pain

by Marcus Webb, ND, DO
06-03-2015 
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.

Successful Eradication of Helicobacter pylori With Over-the-counter Products

by Mark Liponis, MD
05-06-2015 
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.