Peer Reviewed Articles

Clinical Applications for Berberine

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
New clinical applications for the alkaloid berberine have come to light in recent years. Applications related to adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation and berberine's possible therapeutic use in metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipdemia are reviewed in this article. Potential applications related to cancer are not discussed here but are reserved for a second review.

Nutrient Profile: Bitter melon (Momordica charantia)

by Tori Hudson, ND
Bitter melon has many historical and theoretical uses, ranging from an abortifacient to a hemorrhoid treatment. It also has a long history of use as a hypoglycemic agent. Its hypoglycemic effects have been explored to the greatest extent and have aided in our understanding of its pharmacology and mechanism of action, leading to several studies looking at bitter melon as a hypoglycemic agent in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Aloe Vera Gel Research Review

by Oliver Grundmann, BPharm,ms,PHD

Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder in Women: A Clinical Perspective

by Tori Hudson, ND
Anxiety disorders are among the most common primary care challenges in a women's health practice. A comprehensive approach includes identifying the symptoms, characterizing the disorder, and evaluating whether the patient has a medical condition such as hyperthyroid, substance abuse, supraventricular tachycardia, or asthma that manifests as anxiety.

Breast Thermography: History, Theory, and Use

by Debi Walker, ND
More than 50 years has passed since the hypothesis of thermography in breast imaging was proposed. During this time, thermography has gone from a legitimate, promising technology to one relegated to the shadows outside conventional medicine. While thermography is not well evidenced for use as a screening tool, its use as an adjunctive imaging procedure alongside mammography should be considered, particularly for those with dense breast tissue. However, validation of protocols, equipment, and analytical techniques is needed in the context of large, randomized trials before its use can be considered truly evidence-based.

Assessing Egg Quantity with Anti-Mullerian Hormone

by Setareh Tais, ND
Diminished ovarian reserve, a natural process by which the follicular pool diminishes with time, is often clinically asymptomatic but presents a challenge to those wanting to become pregnant. Although pelvic ultrasonography and day 3 serum hormone testing have long been common methods of assessing ovarian reserve, there is promising research to suggest the utility of anti-Mullerian hormone testing to identify patients with diminished ovarian reserve.

Primary Risks of Oral Contraceptives and HRT

by Gina Cushman, NMD, PHD
Long-term use of oral contraceptives (OCs) and of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have been linked to increased blood coagulation, with its increased risk of cardiovascular problems. Their long-term use also has been linked to altered immune and inflammatory factors, suggesting an increased risk of chronic immune disorders with an inflammatory component, including cancer. This report reviews these various risks.

Colorectal Cancer in Primary Care

by Tina Kaczor, ND, FABNO
The incidence of colorectal cancer is highest in Western populations. It is thought that the reason for this is largely modifiable lifestyle factors. Primary care practitioners are uniquely positioned to influence the habits of their patients. Screening and early diagnosis have profound effects on the prognosis of individuals with colorectal cancer, and recognizing those at high risk may save lives through early detection. In addition, many evidence-based nutritional interventions exist that may reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer in those at high risk.

Red Yeast Rice for Cardioprotection

by Michael Traub, ND, DHANP, FABNO
With the growing popularity of red yeast rice (RYR) as a lipid-lowering agent, it is important to ensure that this dietary supplement is safe and effective. The objective of this review was to provide current evidence-based guidance on the use of RYR. PubMed was searched for RYR studies published 2009–2011. The review confirmed that RYR is safe and efficacious for dyslipidemia and has other potential cardioprotective applications.

Siberian Ginseng: A Review of the Literature

by Natural Standard
Siberian ginseng is a small, woody shrub native to southeastern Russia, northern China, Korea, and Japan. Although Eleutherococcus senticosus is not related to true ginseng (Panax ginseng), the name Siberian ginseng became popular because the two plants shared some similar properties.

Facts and Myths About Fevers in Children

by Erin Psota, ND
Fever in children is one of the most common reasons that parents and caregivers seek the advice of healthcare practitioners. As an adaptive immune response against infectious agents, fevers are a beneficial process and a positive indicator of healthy immune function. Because of the risk of serious bacterial illness, it is of utmost importance that naturopathic physicians working with the pediatric population have clear guidelines for treating and referring their pediatric patients.

Lavender Oil for Anxiety and Depression

by Jeremy Appleton, ND
Anxiety is a common complaint and may range from every day stress to clinically relevant symptoms requiring medical intervention. Patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can experience excessive anxiety and worry associated with the stresses of everyday life.

Astaxanthin: A Review of the Literature

by Natural Medicine Journal

The Research Behind Vitamin E

by Natural Standard
Vitamin E has been proposed for the prevention or treatment of numerous health conditions, often based on its antioxidant properties. Ongoing research is investigating its use in numerous diseases, particularly in cancer and heart disease. Concerns have been raised about the safety of vitamin E supplementation, particularly in high doses. Evidence suggests that regular use of high-dose vitamin E supplements may increase the risk of death from all causes by a small amount, although human research is conflicting.

Aspirin to Prevent Breast Cancer Recurrence

by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO
Research now suggests that regular aspirin use protects against breast cancer, possibly lowering risk of development and, more significantly, preventing disease recurrence. Study data from Holmes et al have shown a clinically significant protective effect against breast cancer recurrence to the degree that recommendations to take aspirin may become more common despite some inconsistencies in past research. Potential risks vs. possible benefits should now be considered in women at high risk for primary breast cancer, and especially in those women at risk of recurrence.

Specific Applications of Omega 3s for Cardiovascular Disease

by Tori Hudson, ND
The protective effects of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil supplementation on cardiovascular risks and diseases has been a topic of robust research for the past 30 plus years. This paper cites select research to review trials in coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, arrhythmias, hypertension, heart failure, and dyslipidemia to encourage among clinicians and consumers a more specific utilization of dietary advice and fish oil supplementation.

Vitamin B12

by Natural Standard
Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that is commonly found in a variety of foods, such as fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, and dairy products. B12 plays an important role in supplying essential methyl groups for protein and DNA synthesis.

The Many Uses of 5-HTP

by Natural Standard
5-HTP is the precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Commercially available 5-HTP is obtained from the seeds of the plant <i>Griffonia simplicifolia</i>. 5-HTP has been suggested as a treatment for many conditions. This monograph summarizes the research on the 5-HTP, including information on its most and least effective uses.

Turmeric and Frankincense in Inflammation: An Update

by Jeremy Appleton, ND
Botanical remedies have been used for centuries to treat various inflammatory conditions. This review describes some recent advances in our understanding of the actions and efficacy of 2 ancient anti-inflammatory herbs--turmeric (Curcuma longa) and frankincense (Boswellia serrata)--with modern examples of the evidence of their efficacy in osteoarthritis.