Peer Reviewed Articles

Perioperative Probiotics in Abdominal Surgeries

by Rebecca Lovejoy, ND, LAc
04-05-2017 
The use of probiotics to support general health is widespread, and quite a bit of research has been conducted on the use of various strains and doses in various contexts. Based on available research, some guidelines have been developed on clinical use of beneficial bacteria under specific disease or treatment circumstances, regarding strains, doses, and expected outcomes. This article highlights available evidence related to the use of probiotics in abdominal surgery as an addition to standard perioperative procedures, such as prophylactic antibiotic administration, with special attention to the use of probiotics in the perioperative gastrointestinal (GI) oncology setting, a narrow focus that lies beyond the scope of current guidelines.

Ideal Dosing: The Sweet Spot of Natural Medicine

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
03-01-2017 
Although we instinctively understand that you can have too much of a good thing, sometimes our approach to natural remedies is to assume if a little bit helps, more is better. This analysis introduces principles related to optimal dosing and reviews recent literature.

Recognizing Autoimmune/Autoinflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA)

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
02-01-2017 
Autoimmune/Autoinflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants (ASIA) is a relatively new entity introduced in 2011. Diagnosis of ASIA is based on major and minor criteria encompassing generalized signs and symptoms such as persistent fatigue, cognitive difficulties, neurological deficits, myalgias/arthralgias, and dry mouth. As the name implies, an immune adjuvant is requisite, although the adjuvant itself may or may not be identified. ASIA is thought to be a rare entity, which makes the identification and study of those affected challenging. Knowledge of ASIA may help clinicians identify patients with underlying immune dysregulation.

A Hydrolyzed Casein Standardized to Lactotripeptides for Support of Vascular Health

by Ginny Bank, MS
12-07-2016 
Lactotripeptides (LTPs) found in fermented milk have been shown to have potential antihypertensive properties by acting as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. A standardized LTP product, with levels of LTP higher than what is available from dairy products, has also been shown in both in vitro and animal models to induce nitric oxide (NO) production and attenuate atherosclerosis. Clinical research has confirmed that LTP can promote vasodilation, improve endothelial function, and mitigate arterial stiffness in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects. In this review of published research on the standardized LTP product, we discuss its established mechanisms of action and the randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials that document its potential beneficial effects on cardiovascular health.

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.