Peer Reviewed Articles
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.
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.
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.
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.
04-01-2015 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.
03-04-2015 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.
02-25-2015 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.
02-04-2015 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.
12-03-2014 This review highlights inositol, specifically in the forms of myo-inositol and d-chiro inositol, in order to provide up-to-date information that can be applied to a clinical setting for the naturopathic treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
11-05-2014 Studies have consistently demonstrated that cancer-related fatigue is one of the most common debilitating side effects of radiation and chemotherapy, as well as the malignant process itself. Quality of life can be significantly and negatively impacted in cancer survivors who experience fatigue and other common symptoms, including sleep disturbance, pain, depression, and anxiety. Presently, pharmacological options are limited and are often associated with further side effects. An integrative approach that, in addition to optimizing lifestyle, employs specific natural agents can safely and effectively enhance energy levels after conventional cancer treatments.
10-01-2014 The purpose of this trial was to determine if a combination of naturally occurring antimicrobials can allow reduction and suppression of the invading microorganisms under physiological conditions, so when the combination is given to a patient before eating, the nutrients will be broken down and used by the body, the body will have time to heal, and the probiotics will establish control over the pathogenic bacteria.
09-03-2014 This review summarizes the pathophysiological connection of galectin-3 and cancer presently in the literature, as well as the potential clinical value of galectin-3 as a prognostic oncology biomarker. Based on the preliminary data, the galectin-3 assay could become a contributing tool to help clinicians monitor treatment response and tumor progression, but further clinical studies evaluating galectin-3 levels and cancer progression are warranted.
08-28-2014 Osteoporosis is estimated to affect more than 10 million Americans, with postmenopausal women at particular risk. Osteoporotic fractures can lead to postural changes, emotional distress, and chronic pain. Currently all medications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of osteoporosis carry slight to modest risks depending on the individual, the duration, the dosage, and the drug being used. Estrogen replacement therapy is not currently indicated for the treatment of osteoporosis, but it is approved for osteoporosis prevention. Interest in bioidentical hormone replacement as an alternative to conventional hormone replacement has increased in the last 12 years, although not always for logical or scientific reasons. The purpose of this review is to bring clinicians up to date on current information on the efficacy and safety of bioidentical hormones for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis.
08-06-2014 Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is subdivided into nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In the United States, prevalence of NAFLD is 10% to 46% of the population. Worldwide prevalence is 6% to 35% (median 20%). There is a need to increase understanding of liver disease and its many causes, which will help to improve patient outcomes and reduce the stigma many patients experience. This article discusses epidemiology, etiologies, suspected pathogenesis, and risk factors, along with conventional and naturopathic therapeutic treatment options.
07-02-2014 Poor blood circulation often manifests as small but chronic temperature differences in the peripheral extremities, and the surface of the skin may be an indication of abnormal blood flow and more serious vascular or circulation disorders. This study investigates the effect of Oligonol, a highly bioavailable source of low–molecular weight polyphenols extracted from lychee fruit, on peripheral blood circulation using skin thermography. The results suggest that Oligonol might act as a vasodilator and be an effective treatment for a variety of vasoconstriction symptoms such as cold hands and feet, shoulder discomfort, and diabetes-related vascular problems.
06-04-2014 Iodine is an essential element in human physiology. Its role in thyroid function is well known and heavily weighted in the literature. Its putative role as an anticarcinogenic agent is just beginning to be widely appreciated. The molecular effects of iodine as well as ongoing epidemiological evidence points to its probable role in prevention of cancers through its antioxidant, antiinflammatory, prodifferentiating, and proapoptotic effects. This is particularly evident with stomach and breast cancers but may be relevant for many other cancers that have yet to be substantially studied.
05-07-2014 Coconut oil, and many other portions of the plant Cocos nucifera L, have been hypothesized to have antimicrobial and antifungal activity. Medium-chain fatty acid constituents of coconut oil including lauric acid, capric acid, and others provide antimicrobial effect by disrupting bacterial, fungal, and viral cell membranes, leading to cell death. This review summarizes in vivo and in vitro studies of topical anti-infective properties of coconut oil and the medium-chain fatty acids contained within, and describes the proposed use of coconut products for dermal infections.
04-02-2014 A multi-pronged approach to generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is considered the most effective and safest way to treat anxiety due to the wide range of causal factors and dysregulation of various neurotransmitters that are often involved. With a focus on correcting neurotransmitter imbalances in the limbic system, as well as hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction, clinicians can choose from several scientifically supported nutrients and herbs the ones that are most appropriate for each patient to modulate these pathways and change the course of this disorder.
03-01-2014 In the past decade, increased research and media attention has been given to the weight loss effects of green coffee bean extract (GCBE). The purpose of our study was to perform a review and meta-analysis of available randomized clinical trials examining the effects of GCBE supplementation on weight loss in both normal weight and overweight/obese individuals.