ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE APPROACHES TO DISEASE
 
   

Alternative Medicine
Approaches to Disease

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Make comments or suggestions to
  Frankp@chiro.org

NOTE: The following articles are culled from Alternative Medicine Review, the premier alt-med journal.   Most of these articles recommend nutritional supplementation as a component of case management.   Please refer to the Nutrition Section for more information regarding specific nutrients of interest.   Would you like to Search the Alt-Med Section?

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If there are terms in these articles you don't understand, you can get a definition from the Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary.   If you want information about a specific disease, you can access the Merck Manual.   You can also search Pub Med for more abstracts on this topic..



Jump To Alternative Medicine Approaches for:
AIDS Allergy Arthritis/Osteoarthritis Asthma
Attention Deficit Autism Birth Defects Cancer
Candida Chronic Fatigue Cognitive Dysfunction Colds and Influenza
Cystic Fibrosis Depression Detoxification Diabetes
Digestive Disorders Eating Disorders Emphysema Environmental Toxins
Epilepsy Erectile Dysfunction Female Issues Fibromyalgia
Healing Heart Disease Hemorrhoids Hepatitis C
Hypertension Immune System Infertility Inflammatory Bowel
Insomnia Interstitial Cystitis Liver Disease Metal Toxicity
Multiple Sclerosis Neurodegeneration Ocular (Eye) Disorders Osteoporosis
Parkinson's Disease Peripheral Neuropathy Polycystic Ovary Prostate Cancer
Prostate Disease Psoriasis Restless Leg Syndrome Rheumatoid Arthritis
Seasonal Affective Stress Systemic Lupus

 

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   AIDS/HIV

   AIDS Wasting Syndrome as an Enterometabolic Disorder:
The Gut Hypothesis

Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Feb);   3 (1):   40-53 ~ FULL TEXT

There is an interesting relationship between the HIV virus, the health of the gastrointestinal tract, and AIDS wasting syndrome, involving Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF alpha), specific and non-specific immunity in the gut, gut permeability, and oxidative stress. It is hypothesized that the progression of HIV to full-blown AIDS may be impacted by maintaining a healthy gut.


Nutrients and HIV Series

   Part I:   Beta Carotene and Selenium
Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Dec);   4 (6):   403-413 ~ FULL TEXT

Micronutrient deficiencies are common in HIV/AIDS, resulting from both malabsorption and virally-caused depletion. Beta carotene and selenium deficiencies, two of the most common nutrient deficiencies, are important due to their dual function as nutrients necessary for immune modulation and as antioxidants.


   Part II:   Vitamins A and E, Zinc, B-Vitamins, and Magnesium
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Feb);   5 (1):   39-51 ~ FULL TEXT

There is compelling evidence that micronutrient deficiencies can profoundly affect immunity; micronutrient deficiencies are widely seen in HIV, even in asymptomatic patients. Direct relationships have been found between deficiencies of specific nutrients, such as vitamins A and B12, and a decline in CD4 counts.


   Part III:   N-Acetylcysteine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid,
L-Glutamine, and L-Carnitine

Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Aug);   5 (4):   290-305 ~ FULL TEXT

The role of antioxidants in preventing apoptosis and viral activation in HIV is well documented. N-acetylcysteine, glutathione, and alpha-lipoic acid have been shown to interrupt the process of viral activation and CD4 cell death. L-glutamine has been shown to improve glutathione levels and significantly increase lean body mass in HIV infection.

   Refer to the Immunity and Nutrition Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Chiropractic and Immune Function Page for more information.

 
   


   Allergy

   Natural Treatment of Chronic Rhinosinusitis
Alternative Medicine Review 2006 (Sep);   11 (3):   196-207 ~ FULL TEXT

Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is one of the most common long-term illnesses in the United States, affecting approximately 14 percent of the population. CRS is a challenging condition to treat, partly due to its multifaceted, poorly understood pathophysiology. Treatment goals include maintaining open drainage and decreasing inflammation while improving tissue integrity and limiting causative factors. This review covers the etiology, pathology, and diagnosis of CRS, as well as mainstream and alternative treatments. Discussion of alternative therapeutics includes nutrients and botanicals (ascorbic acid, bromelain, N-acetylcysteine, quercetin, undecylenic acid, and Urtica dioica and other herbal medicines) and procedures (nasal irrigation and naso-sympatico treatments). The influences of diet and air quality on CRS are also discussed.


   Evaluating the Clinical Relevance of Food Sensitivity Tests:
A Single-Subject Experiment

Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Jun);   9 (2):   198-207 ~ FULL TEXT

A number of tests are available to identify food sensitivities. This article presents an analysis of the diagnostic value of nine different food sensitivity tests run concurrently on a healthy 33-year-old female with a previous diagnosis of environmental allergies. This case study evaluated conventional allergy tests (skin prick and serum IgE), tests of other immune-mediated reactions (serum IgG and salivary IgA), and tests that claim to measure the energetic reaction of the whole person to particular foods (kinesiology, Vega, and Carroll testing). The results of an elimination/challenge test were used as indicators of true food reactions in order to calculate the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV) of each test. This study shows a number of tests may be useful in identifying foods to which a patient is reactive; however, no one test is likely to identify all reactive foods.


   Clinical Outcomes of a Diagnostic and Treatment Protocol
in Allergy/sensitivity Patients

Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Apr);   6 (2):   188-202 ~ FULL TEXT

This level II outcome study was conducted to examine the efficacy and toxicity of a diagnostic and treatment protocol using electrodermal screening (EDS) in allergy/sensitivity patients. This protocol demonstrated efficacy without serious toxicity and no long-term adverse effects. It is natural, non-invasive, and does not require long periods of avoidance of offending foods or environmental stimuli. The desensitization protocol is a low-cost, effective therapy for the treatment of patients suffering from symptoms of allergy/sensitivity disease.


   The Role of Hidden Food Allergy/Intolerance in Chronic Disease
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Apr);   3 (2):   90-100 ~ FULL TEXT

A large body of medical literature has indicated that hidden food allergy is a frequent cause of a wide range of physical and mental conditions. Hidden allergies can be "unmasked" by means of an elimination diet, followed by individual food challenges. Although the concept of hidden food allergy remains controversial, the evidence strongly suggests that identification and avoidance of allergenic foods can relieve a number of common and difficult-to-treat medical problems.


   The Pathogenesis, Clinical Implications, and Treatment
of Intestinal Hyperpermeability

Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Oct);   2 (5):   330-345 ~ FULL TEXT

Normally, the gastrointestinal epithelium provides a semi-permeable barrier which allows nutrients to be absorbed while preventing larger, potentially toxic, antigenic, or pathogenic molecules or organisms from crossing into the bloodstream. Pathogenicallyincreased intestinal permeability predisposes the individual to diffusion of antigenic food molecules and translocation of bacteria and/or yeast from the gut to extra-intestinal sites, including mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and systemic circulation. This can be secondary to drugs, microbial overgrowth, radiation, stress, alcohol intake, enteral/parenteral nutrition, or injury. Increased intestinal permeability occurs commonly with diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, asthma, eczema, food allergies, alcoholism, trauma, and surgery. Glutamine, phosphatidylcholine, flavonoids, soluble fiber, and fish oil, as well as probiotic organisms, including Lactobacilli and Saccharomyces boulardii can assist in correcting this abnormal permeability.

 
   


   Arthritis/Osteoarthritis

   The Use of Glucosamine, Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens), and
Acupuncture as Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Osteoarthritis

Alternative Medicine Review 2011 (Sep);   16 (3):   228–238 ~ FULL TEXT

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common chronic inflammatory conditions seen in the general population. Current pharmacological treatments focus on reduction of pain and increased mobility to improve overall quality of life. However, the relief afforded by current standard care is often insufficient and can be associated with significant side effects. Many patients, therefore, seek the option of non-standard therapies, such as nutritional and herbal supplements, acupuncture, and exercise regimens. Glucosamine, Harpagophytum procumbens, and acupuncture are among the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine approaches utilized by patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Their clinical relevance, safety, and potential mechanisms of action are discussed in this review.


   The Effect of Nutritional Supplements on Osteoarthritis
Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Sep);   9 (3):   275–296 ~ FULL TEXT

Conventional management of OA primarily focuses on the relief of symptoms, using agents such as analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs, however, are associated with significant side effects and fail to slow the progression of OA. Several nutritional supplements have been shown to be at least as effective as NSAIDs at relieving the symptoms of OA, and preliminary evidence suggests several of these supplements may have a role in influencing the course of OA.


   Alternative Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Dec);   4 (6):   392–402 ~ FULL TEXT

Conventional treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) present a number of problems, in terms of both safety and efficacy. A number of different alternative therapies have been studied, including dietary modifications, nutritional supplements, botanicals, and antibiotics. While the response to these treatments is variable and often unpredictable, some patients have shown dramatic improvement or even complete and long-lasting remission.


   Natural Treatments for Osteoarthritis
Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Oct);   4 (5):   330–341 ~ FULL TEXT

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of joint disease. Although OA was previously thought to be a progressive, degenerative disorder, it is now known that spontaneous arrest or reversal of the disease can occur. Conventional medications are often effective for symptom relief, but they can also cause significant side effects and do not slow the progression of the disease.


   The Role of Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfates
in the Treatment of Degenerative Joint Disease

Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Feb);   3 (1):   27–39 ~ FULL TEXT

Glucosamine sulfate's primary biological role in halting or reversing joint degeneration appears to be directly due to its ability to act as an essential substrate for, and to stimulate the biosynthesis of, the glycosaminoglycans and the hyaluronic acid backbone needed for the formation of proteoglycans found in the structural matrix of joints. Although glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfates are often administered together, there is no information available to demonstrate the combination produces better results than glucosamine sulfate alone.

   Refer to the Glucosamine Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Joint Pain and Nutrition Page for more information.

   Refer to the Chiropractic And Degenerative Joint Disease Page for more information.

 
   


   Asthma

   Research Perspectives in Asthma: A Rationale for the Therapeutic
Application of Magnesium, Pyridoxine, Coleus forskholii and Ginkgo
biloba in the Treatment of Adult and Pediatric Asthma

The Internist 1998 (Sep);    5 (3):   14–16 ~ FULL TEXT

Combination therapy utilizing the compounds previously discussed could be the best approach for the chronic asthmatic patient; especially pediatric situations where stimulating modalities (eg. theophylline and ephedrine) may cause a range of side-effects.


   The Etiologies, Pathophysiology, and Alternative/Complementary
Treatment of Asthma

Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Feb);   6 (1):   20–47 ~ FULL TEXT

Antioxidant nutrients, especially vitamins C and E, selenium, and zinc appear to be necessary in asthma treatment. Vitamins B6 and B12 also may be helpful. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, the flavonoid quercetin, and botanicals Tylophora asthmatica, Boswellia serrata and Petasites hybridus address the inflammatory component. Physical modalities, including yoga, massage, biofeedback, acupuncture, and chiropractic can also be of help.


   The Role of Hidden Food Allergy/Intolerance in Chronic Disease
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Apr);   3 (2):   90-100 ~ FULL TEXT

A large body of medical literature has indicated that hidden food allergy is a frequent cause of a wide range of physical and mental conditions. Hidden allergies can be "unmasked" by means of an elimination diet, followed by individual food challenges. Although the concept of hidden food allergy remains controversial, the evidence strongly suggests that identification and avoidance of allergenic foods can relieve a number of common and difficult-to-treat medical problems.

   Refer to the Magnesium Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Ginkgo biloba Page for more information.

   Refer to the Chiropractic and Asthma Page for more information.

 
   


   Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

   Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies for Children
With Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Alternative Medicine Review 2011 (Dec);   16 (4):   323-337 ~ FULL TEXT

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a commonly diagnosed childhood disorder characterized by impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. ADHD affects up to 1 in 20 children in the United States. The underlying etiologies of ADHD may be heterogeneous and diverse, and many possible risk factors in the development of ADHD have been identified. Conventional treatment usually consists of behavioral accommodations and medication, with stimulant medication most commonly being prescribed. Parents concerned about the side effects and long-term use of conventional medications are increasingly seeking alternatives to pharmacologic treatment. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) offers parents various treatment options for this condition, including dietary modifications, nutritional supplementation, herbal medicine, and homeopathy. CAM appears to be most effective when prescribed holistically and according to each individual’s characteristic symptoms. Possible etiologies and risk factors for the condition also need to be considered when developing a treatment plan. This article serves to highlight the latest research regarding the most commonly used CAM for children with ADHD.


   The Effects of L-theanine (Suntheanine®) on Objective Sleep Quality
in Boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):
A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial

Alternative Medicine Review 2011 (Dec);   16 (4):   348-354 ~ FULL TEXT

This study demonstrates that 400 mg daily of L-theanine is safe and effective in improving some aspects of sleep quality in boys diagnosed with ADHD. Since sleep problems are a common co-morbidity associated with ADHD, and because disturbed sleep may be linked etiologically to this disorder, L-theanine may represent a safe and important adjunctive therapy in childhood ADHD. Larger, long-term studies looking at the wider therapeutic role of this agent in this population are warranted.


   Outcome-based Comparison of Ritalin versus Food-supplement Treated
Children with ADHD

Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Aug);   8 (3):   319-330 ~ FULL TEXT

The dietary supplements used were a mix of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids, essential fatty acids, phospholipids, and probiotics that attempted to address the AD/HD biochemical risk factors. These findings support the effectiveness of food supplement treatment in improving attention and self-control in children with AD/HD and suggest food supplement treatment of AD/HD may be of equal efficacy to Ritalin treatment.


   Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children:
Rationale for Its Integrative Management

Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Oct);   5 (5):   402-428 ~ FULL TEXT

Nutrient deficiencies are common in ADHD; supplementation with minerals, the B vitamins (added in singly), omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, flavonoids, and the essential phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS) can ameliorate ADHD symptoms. When individually managed with supplementation, dietary modification, detoxification, correction of intestinal dysbiosis, and other features of a wholistic/integrative program of management, the ADHD subject can lead a normal and productive life.


   The Role of Hidden Food Allergy/Intolerance in Chronic Disease
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Apr);   3 (2):   90-100 ~ FULL TEXT

A large body of medical literature has indicated that hidden food allergy is a frequent cause of a wide range of physical and mental conditions. Hidden allergies can be "unmasked" by means of an elimination diet, followed by individual food challenges. Although the concept of hidden food allergy remains controversial, the evidence strongly suggests that identification and avoidance of allergenic foods can relieve a number of common and difficult-to-treat medical problems.

   Refer to the ADD/ADHD Page for more information on this topic.

 
   


   Autism

   Biomarker-Guided Interventions of Clinically Relevant Conditions
Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders and
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Alternative Medicine Review 2010 (Apr);   15 (1):   15-32 ~ FULL TEXT

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are common and complex neurodevelopmental conditions. Diagnostic criteria for these conditions have traditionally relied solely on behavioral criteria without consideration for potential biomedical underpinnings. Newer evidence, however, reveals that ASDs are associated with: oxidative stress; decreased methylation capacity; limited production of glutathione; mitochondrial dysfunction; intestinal dysbiosis; increased toxic metal burden; immune dysregulation, characterized by a unique inflammatory bowel disease and immune activation of neuroglial cells; and ongoing brain hypoperfusion. Many of these same problems are common features in children with ADHD. These medical conditions, whether co-morbidities or etiopathogenic, would be expected to have synergistically negative effects on the development, cognition, focus, and attention of affected children. It is likely these biological abnormalities contribute significantly to the behavioral symptoms intrinsic in these diagnoses.


Autism, An Extreme Challenge to Integrative Medicine Series


  
Part 1:   The Knowledge Base
Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Aug);   7 (4):   292–316 ~ FULL TEXT

Autism, archetype of the autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by socially aloof behavior and impairment of language and social interaction. Often accompanied by epilepsy, cognitive deficits, or other neurologic impairment, autism manifests in the first three years of life and persists into adulthood. Prenatal toxic exposures (teratogens) are consistent with autism spectrum symptomatology.


  
Part 2:   Medical Management
Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Dec);   7 (6):   472–499 ~ FULL TEXT

Many nutrient supplements are beneficial and well tolerated, including dimethylglycine (DMG) and a combination of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and magnesium, both of which benefit roughly half of ASD cases. Vitamins A, B3, C, and folic acid; the minerals calcium and zinc; cod liver oil; and digestive enzymes, all offer benefit. Secretin, a triggering factor for digestion, is presently under investigation. Immune therapies (pentoxifyllin, intravenous immunoglobulin, transfer factor, and colostrum) benefit selected cases. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids offer great promise. Current pharmaceuticals fail to benefit the primary symptoms and can have marked adverse effects.

   Refer to the Chiropractic And Autism Page for more information on this topic.

 
   


   Birth Defects

   Methionine and Homocysteine Metabolism and the Nutritional Prevention
of Certain Birth Defects and Complications of Pregnancy

Alternative Medicine Review 1996 (Nov);   1 (4):   90-100 ~ FULL TEXT

Defective metabolism of the essential amino acid methionine, resulting in overt hyperhomocysteinemia or situational hyperhomocysteinemia (after a methionine load), has been established as an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic heart disease. Nutrients involved in the pathways of homocysteine degradation, including folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 all have a connection to negative pregnancy outcomes, which may be related to their impact on homocysteine. Dietary intake and metabolism of folic acid, the nutrient most closely identified with neural tube defects, has been studied in depth for the past fifteen years. The information from these studies has illuminated the mechanisms of these congenital defects, and has lead to the discovery of connections with other nutrients related to homocysteine metabolism which may also be involved in negative pregnancy outcomes, including spontaneous abortion, placental abruption (infarct), pre-term delivery, and low infant birth weight.

 
   


   Cancer

   Pharmacologically Active Natural Compounds for Lung Cancer
Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Sep);   9 (4):   402–419 ~ FULL TEXT

This article consists of an analysis of the available scientific research on botanically derived compounds that have potential efficacy in the treatment of lung cancer. The mechanisms of activity reviewed include alkylating agents, topoisomerase poisons, DNA synthesis inhibitors, protein synthesis inhibitors, immunoceuticals, and lipoxygenase inhibitors. Selection criteria include: (1) products whose activity have at least minimal scientific confirmation – preclinical (in vitro, in vivo) or clinical; (2) products with a well-defined chemical composition; or (3) products with a well-known or scientifically plausible mechanism of activity.


   Selenium Biochemistry and Cancer:   A Review of the Literature
Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Sep);   9 (3):   239–258 ~ FULL TEXT

In recent years, the role of selenium in the prevention of a number of degenerative conditions including cancer, inflammatory diseases, thyroid function, cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, aging, infertility, and infections, has been established by laboratory experiments, clinical trials, and epidemiological data.


   Cancer Prevention and Therapeutics:   Panax Ginseng
Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Sep);   9 (3):   259–274 ~ FULL TEXT

Panax ginseng has been used as a medicinal plant in China for thousands of years. Current use in Western countries has been diverse, with focused research on cancer therapeutics. P. ginseng apparently mitigates cancer through anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and apoptotic mechanisms to influence gene expression. Additional mechanisms of investigation include influence on neurotransmission and immunosurveillance. Low toxicity and positive studies in concomitant use with other chemotherapeutic agents is promising. Although there is no conclusive evidence of P. ginseng curing cancer, research has continually found tumor inhibition, especially in the promotion and progression phases.


   Nutritional Support for Chronic Myelogenous and Other Leukemias:
A Review of the Scientific Literature

Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Oct);   7 (5):   404-409 ~ FULL TEXT

Several nutrients and botanicals have been studied for use in CML, including vitamin A and all-trans retinoic acid (Retin-A), vitamin D3, vitamin E, vitamin B12, indirubin (found in herbs including Indigofera tinctoria and Isatis tinctoria), and Curcuma longa. This article briefly reviews the scientific literature on the therapeutic use of these nutrients for CML.


   Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids:
Impact on Cancer Chemotherapy and Radiation

Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Feb);   7 (1):   4-21 ~ FULL TEXT

Preclinical studies have shown that certain polyunsaturated fatty acids may actually enhance the cytotoxicity of several antineoplastic agents and the anticancer effects of radiotherapy. These effects are possibly mediated by incorporation of the polyunsaturated fatty acids into cancer cell membranes, thus altering the physical and functional properties. In addition, certain polyunsaturated fatty acids may also reduce or prevent some of the side effects of these therapies, and administering antioxidants to prevent polyunsaturated fatty acid-induced oxidative stress may further enhance the impact of chemotherapy and radiation.


Natural Agents in the Prevention of Cancer Series

   Part I:   Human Chemoprevention Trials
Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Feb);   6 (1):   7-19 ~ FULL TEXT

Appropriate use of supplemental nutrition, along with attention to pertinent dietary and lifestyle risk factors, comprise for the average person perhaps the best presently available strategy for prevention of the common types of malignancy.


   Part II:   Preclinical Data and Chemoprevention for Common Cancers
Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Apr);   6 (2):   167-187 ~ FULL TEXT

Many over-the-counter dietary supplements have been shown to have significant chemopreventive activity in preclinical studies. Few side effects are associated with even long-term use of these agents. Along with dietary and lifestyle risk-reducing strategies, nutritional supplementation appears to be a viable intervention for those considered to be at high risk of developing cancer.


   Ascorbic Acid in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Jun);   3 (3):   174–186 ~ FULL TEXT

Proposed mechanisms of action for ascorbic acid (ascorbate, vitamin C) in the prevention and treatment of cancer include enhancement of the immune system, stimulation of collagen formation necessary for "walling off" tumors, inhibition of hyaluronidase which keeps the ground substance around the tumor intact and prevents metastasis, enhancement of the effect of certain chemotherapy drugs, reduction of the toxicity of other chemotherapeutic agents such as Adriamycin, prevention of free radical damage, and neutralization of carcinogenic substances.


Recent Progress in Treatment and Secondary Prevention
of Breast Cancer With Supplements

Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Jan);   2 (1):   4–11 ~ FULL TEXT

This article discusses five naturally occurring agents that are currently being studied to evaluate their potential in the treatment and/or secondary prevention of breast cancer. Preliminary data have been published suggesting that high dose coenzyme Q10 may have anti-cancer activity in women with node-positive breast cancer.


   The Biochemistry of Green Tea Polyphenols and Their Potential
Application in Human Skin Cancer

Alternative Medicine Review 1996 (May);   1 (1):   360-370 ~ FULL TEXT

The American Cancer Society estimates that in the 1980s more than 4.5 million Americans died of cancer. In addition, there were nearly nine million new cases and about 12 million people were under medical care for cancer. With cancer being the second most common cause of death in the United States population, the possibility that readily-available natural substances may be beneficial in the prevention of cancer warrants closer examination. A growing body of research has demonstrated green tea polyphenols to be powerful antioxidants with anticarcinogenic properties. These polyphenolic compounds, specifically the catechins epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC), and epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), which account for 30-40 percent of the extractable solids of green tea leaves, are believed to mediate many of the cancer chemopreventive effects.


Antioxidants and Cancer Therapy Series

   Part I:   Their Actions and Interactions With Oncologic Therapies
Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Oct);   4 (5):   304–329 ~ FULL TEXT

There is a concern that antioxidants might reduce oxidizing free radicals created by radiotherapy and some forms of chemotherapy, and thereby decrease the effectiveness of the therapy. The question has arisen whether concurrent administration of oral antioxidants is contraindicated during cancer therapeutics. Evidence reviewed here demonstrates exogenous antioxidants alone produce beneficial effects in various cancers, and except for a few specific cases, animal and human studies demonstrate no reduction of efficacy of chemotherapy or radiation when given with antioxidants.


   Part II:   Quick Reference Guide
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Apr);   5 (2):   152–163 ~ FULL TEXT

There are only three presently known examples in which any agent classifiable as an antioxidant has been shown to decrease effectiveness of radiation or chemotherapy in vivo. The vast majority of both in vivo and in vitro studies have shown enhanced effectiveness of standard cancer therapies or a neutral effect on drug action.


   Part III:   Quercetin
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Jun);   5 (3):   141–166 ~ FULL TEXT

Quercetin is a flavonoid molecule ubiquitous in nature. A number of its actions make it a potential anti-cancer agent, including cell cycle regulation, interaction with type II estrogen binding sites, and tyrosine kinase inhibition. Quercetin appears to be associated with little toxicity when administered orally or intravenously.

      Refer to the Cancer and Nutrition Page for more information on this topic.

      Refer to the Chiropractic and Cancer Page for more information.

 
   


   Candida

   Gastrointestinal Candidiasis:   Fact or Fiction?
Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Oct);   2 (5):   346-354 ~ FULL TEXT

While Candida albicans has long been acknowledged as a cause of vulvovaginitis, the clinical significance of gastrointestinal candidiasis (GIC) has been a subject of controversy. Although it is acknowledged that GIC can produce a disease state in immuno-compromised patients, it now appears pathologic GIC may be more prevalent than has been generally acknowledged. In recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, there is ample evidence suggesting GIC is a major contributing factor, and that vaginal treatment is unlikely to cure the condition unless the intestines are also treated. There is also considerable evidence GIC can cause systemic symptoms in non-immuno-suppressed humans, and is capable of translocation from the gastrointestinal tract to internal organs.

 
   


   Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

   Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Oxidative Stress and Dietary Modifications
Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Oct);   6 (5):   450–459 ~ FULL TEXT

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness characterized by persistent and relapsing fatigue, often accompanied by numerous symptoms involving various body systems. The etiology of CFS remains unclear; however, a number of recent studies have shown oxidative stress may be involved in its pathogenesis


   Nutritional Strategies for Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Apr);   5 (2):   93–108 ~ FULL TEXT

A detailed review of the literature suggests a number of marginal nutritional deficiencies may have etiologic relevance. These include deficiencies of various B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, sodium, zinc, L-tryptophan, L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, and essential fatty acids. Any of these nutrients could be marginally deficient in CFS patients, a finding that appears to be primarily due to the illness process rather than to inadequate diets. It is likely that marginal deficiencies not only contribute to the clinical manifestations of the syndrome, but also are detrimental to the healing processes.

 
   


   Cognitive Dysfunction

   A Review of Nutrients and Botanicals in the Integrative Management
of Cognitive Dysfunction

Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Jun);   4 (3):   144-161 ~ FULL TEXT

Dementias and other severe cognitive dysfunction states pose a daunting challenge to existing medical management strategies. An integrative, early intervention approach seems warranted. Whereas, allopathic treatment options are highly limited, nutritional and botanical therapies are available which have proven degrees of efficacy and generally favorable benefit-to-risk profiles. This review covers five such therapies: phosphatidylserine (PS), acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC), vinpocetine, Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE), and Bacopa monniera (Bacopa).


   The Methionine-Homocysteine Cycle and Its Effects on Cognitive Diseases
Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Feb);   8 (1):   7-19 ~ FULL TEXT

Information has been emerging regarding a connection between homocysteine metabolism and cognitive function, from mild cognitive decline (age-related memory loss) to vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Significant deficiencies in the homocysteine re-methylation cofactors cobalamin (B12) and folate, as well as the trans-sulfuration cofactor vitamin B6, are commonly seen in the elderly population, with a resultant increase in homocysteine with advancing age.

   Refer to the Vinpocetine Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Ginkgo biloba Page for more information.

   Refer to the Vitamin B-Complex Page for more information.

 
   


   Colds and Influenza

   Colds and Influenza: A Review of Diagnosis and Conventional,
Botanical, and Nutritonal Considerations

Alternative Medicine Review 2007 (Mar);   12 (1):   25-48 ~ FULL TEXT

The common cold is the leading cause of doctor visits in the United States and annually results in 189 million lost school days. In the course of one year the U.S. population contracts approximately 1 billion colds. Influenza infection is still a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, accounting for 20-25 million doctor visits and 36,000 deaths per year in the United States. Conventional therapies for colds and flu focus primarily on temporary symptom relief and include over-thecounter antipyretics, anti-inflammatories, and decongestants. Treatment for influenza also includes prescription antiviral agents and vaccines for prevention. This article reviews the common cold and influenza viruses, presents the conventional treatment options, and highlights select botanicals (Echinacea spp., Sambucus nigra, larch arabinogalactan, Astragalus membranaceous, Baptisia tinctoria, Allium sativa, Panax quinquefolium, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Andrographis paniculata, olive leaf extract, and Isatis tinctoria) and nutritional considerations (vitamins A and C, zinc, high lactoferrin whey protein, N-acetylcysteine, and DHEA) that may help in the prevention and treatment of these conditions.

 
   


   Cystic Fibrosis

   Cystic Fibrosis:   Therapeutic Options For Co-management
Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Mar);   2 (2):   104-115 ~ FULL TEXT

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a cruel and deadly disease affecting the respiratory system, digestive system, endocrine system, and reproductive system. CF is a disease of greatly varied symptomatology due to the many possible mutations contributing to genotype and phenotype. This creates a disease complex with a wide range of disorders that can ultimately include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, CF-associated liver fibrosis, diabetes mellitus, cholelithiasis, and arthritis. The primary destructive component, however, is seen in the lungs, resulting in the uncertain life span associated with this disease. Controlling bacterial infection and managing the status of macro- and micronutrients remain a constant challenge. Due to the severity of this recessive disorder, conventional medical treatment is mandatory. However, many alternative medical options, such as coenzyme Q10, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, antioxidants, and amino acid therapies have proven to be significant contributors to the treatment of one of the ultimate co-management diseases of our time.

 
   


   Depression

   Neurobehavioral Aspects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Possible Mechanisms
and Therapeutic Value in Major Depression

Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Nov);   8 (4):   410-425~ FULL TEXT

Omega-3 fatty acids have been the subject of volumes of international research, the results of which indicate these substances may have therapeutic value in a number of medical conditions. An emerging area of research is examining the neurobehavioral aspects of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic, docosahexaenoic) and the critical role of these essential fats in the functioning of the central nervous system.


   St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum): Clinical Effects
on Depression and Other Conditions

Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Feb);   3 (1):   18-26 ~ FULL TEXT

Hypericum has been favorably compared to numerous antidepressant drugs, the studies having revealed equivalent results and a much more favorable incidence of side effects. Studies have also demonstrated its efficacy in treating seasonal affective disorder. In vitro investigations of Hypericum show antiviral activity, although there is evidence these promising results might not occur in vivo. Traditional actions and uses include enhancement of wound healing, as well as anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity.


   Use of Neurotransmitter Precursors for Treatment of Depression
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Feb);   5 (1):   64-71 ~ FULL TEXT

This article briefly reviews the published research on the efficacy of neurotransmitter precursors in treating depression, highlights the findings of studies, and discusses issues regarding the interpretation of those findings. The nature of the studies makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions regarding the efficacy of neurotransmitter precursors for treating depression. While there is evidence that precursor loading may be of therapeutic value, particularly for the serotonin precursors 5-HTP and tryptophan, more studies of suitable design and size might lead to more conclusive results. However, the evidence suggests neurotransmitter precursors can be helpful in patients with mild or moderate depression.

   Refer to the St. John's Wort Page for more information on this topic.

 
   


   Detoxification

   The Detoxification Enzyme Systems
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Jun);   3 (3):   187-198 ~ FULL TEXT

The human body is exposed to a wide array of xenobiotics in one's lifetime, from food components to environmental toxins to pharmaceuticals, and has developed complex enzymatic mechanisms to detoxify these substances. These mechanisms exhibit significant individual variability, and are affected by environment, lifestyle, and genetic influences. The scientific literature suggests an association between impaired detoxification and certain diseases, including cancer, Parkinson's disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue/immune dysfunction syndrome.

   Refer to the Milk Thistle Page for more information on this topic.

 
   


   Diabetes

   The Safety and Efficacy of High-dose Chromium
Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Jun);   7 (3):   218–235 ~ FULL TEXT

The beneficial effects of chromium on serum glucose and lipids and insulin resistance occur even in the healthy. Serum glucose can be improved by chromium supplementation in both types 1 and 2 diabetes, and the effect appears dose dependent. Relative absorption of various chromium compounds is summarized and the mechanism of low molecular weight chromium binding substance (LMWCr) in up-regulating the insulin effect eight-fold is discussed. There is evidence of hormonal effects of supplemental chromium besides the effect on insulin. Chromium supplementation does result in tissue retention, especially in the kidney, although no pathogenic effect has been demonstrated despite considerable study.


   Insulin Resistance:   Lifestyle and Nutritional Interventions
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Apr);   5 (2):   109-132 ~ FULL TEXT

Insulin resistance appears to be a common feature and a possible contributing factor to several frequent health problems, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, polycystic ovary disease, dyslipidemia, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, certain hormone-sensitive cancers, and obesity. Modifiable factors thought to contribute to insulin resistance include diet, exercise, smoking, and stress. Lifestyle intervention to address these factors appears to be a critical component of any therapeutic approach.


   Alternative Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes
Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Feb);   7 (1):   45–58 ~ FULL TEXT

As an alternative approach, medicinal herbs with antihyperglycemic activities are increasingly sought by diabetic patients and health care professionals. Commonly used herbs and other alternative therapies, less likely to have the side effects of conventional approaches for type 2 diabetes, are reviewed.


   Mitochondrial Factors in the Pathogenesis of Diabetes:
A Hypothesis for Treatment

Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Apr);   7 (2):   94-111 ~ FULL TEXT

A growing body of evidence has demonstrated a link between various disturbances in mitochondrial functioning and type 2 diabetes. This review focuses on a range of mitochondrial factors important in the pathogenesis of this disease. The mitochondrion is an integral part of the insulin system found in the islet cells of the pancreas. Because of the systemic complexity of mitochondrial functioning in terms of tissue and energetic thresholds, details of structure and function are reviewed.


   Nutrients and Botanicals in the Treatment of Diabetes
in Veterinary Practice

Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Sep);   6 (Suppl):   S17-S23 ~ FULL TEXT

Diabetes mellitus can be frustrating to treat in veterinary practice, but botanical and nutritional supplements may offer assistance in stabilizing difficult patients. While dogs are typically subject to type 1 diabetes, cats develop type 2 diabetes as much as 70 percent of the time. Whereas treatment adjuncts to insulin may address carbohydrate metabolism from glucose absorption to insulin receptor function, success may depend on the type of diabetes present in the patient.


   Type-I Diabetes: Prevention of the Disease And Its Complications
Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Jul);   2 (4):   256-281 ~ FULL TEXT

Type-I diabetes mellitus (IDDM) is a chronic degenerative disease with complications which can be devastating. There is an increasing body of research suggesting that prevention of IDDM by the avoidance of cow’s milk and by the supplementation of niacinamide may be possible. This article will explore this research. The course the disease takes also may not be inevitable. Modification of diet and lifestyle factors as well as a comprehensive program of nutritional and botanical supplementation may help prevent the complications often encountered, such as neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy, micro- and macroangiopathy, and cataracts. This article will review the research on specific nutrients, botanicals, dietary and lifestyle factors, and their application in type-I diabetes.


   Nutrition and Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
from an Anthropological Perspective

Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Oct);   2 (5):   378-399 ~ FULL TEXT

Homo Sapiens is considered to be adapted to a Paleolithic hunter-gatherer diet, and was present in anatomically modern form more than 100,000 years before the adoption of agriculture. The causative factors for non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) relate to adopting Western dietary standards based on abundant, processed agricultural foods. Ethnic minorities adopting Western diets have uniform increases in NIDDM incidence, but there are also intrinsic differences in NIDDM incidence between various ethnic groups. Insulin sensitivity correlates positively with membrane unsaturation and omega-3/omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in phospholipids, and negatively with intramuscular triglyceride and central obesity. Omega-3 PUFA supplementation is recommended for NIDDM, including long-chain PUFA. Chromium (Cr) is required for normal insulin function; however, we require more Cr than is provided by the typical Western diet. Cr supplementation well above the Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake (ESADDI) of 50-200 mcg/day may be required to prevent and treat NIDDM.

   Refer to the Resveratrol Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Antioxidants Page for more information.

   Refer to the Chromium Page for more information.

   Refer to the Alpha Lipoic Acid Page for more information.

 
   


   Digestive Disorders

   Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD):
A Review of Conventional and Alternative Treatments

Alternative Medicine Review 2011 (Jun);   16 (2):   116-133 ~ FULL TEXT

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), a common disorder in the Western world, can lead to complications that include esophageal stricture and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Multiple challenges are associated with GERD treatment. First, lack of symptoms does not correlate with the absence of or the healing of esophageal lesions. Second, proton pump inhibitors, the current standard of care for GERD, are ineffective for the majority of GERD patients who have non-erosive disease. This article discusses these challenges, investigates the mechanisms of damage in GERD, and explores the existing data on unconventional forms of treatment, including melatonin, acupuncture, botanicals, and dietary interventions.


   The Pathogenesis, Clinical Implications, and Treatment
of Intestinal Hyperpermeability

Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Oct);   2 (5):   330-345 ~ FULL TEXT

Normally, the gastrointestinal epithelium provides a semi-permeable barrier which allows nutrients to be absorbed while preventing larger, potentially toxic, antigenic, or pathogenic molecules or organisms from crossing into the bloodstream. Pathogenicallyincreased intestinal permeability predisposes the individual to diffusion of antigenic food molecules and translocation of bacteria and/or yeast from the gut to extra-intestinal sites, including mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and systemic circulation. This can be secondary to drugs, microbial overgrowth, radiation, stress, alcohol intake, enteral/parenteral nutrition, or injury. Increased intestinal permeability occurs commonly with diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, asthma, eczema, food allergies, alcoholism, trauma, and surgery. Glutamine, phosphatidylcholine, flavonoids, soluble fiber, and fish oil, as well as probiotic organisms, including Lactobacilli and Saccharomyces boulardii can assist in correcting this abnormal permeability.


   Gastrointestinal Candidiasis:   Fact or Fiction?
Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Oct);   2 (5):   346-354 ~ FULL TEXT

While Candida albicans has long been acknowledged as a cause of vulvovaginitis, the clinical significance of gastrointestinal candidiasis (GIC) has been a subject of controversy. Although it is acknowledged that GIC can produce a disease state in immuno-compromised patients, it now appears pathologic GIC may be more prevalent than has been generally acknowledged. In recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, there is ample evidence suggesting GIC is a major contributing factor, and that vaginal treatment is unlikely to cure the condition unless the intestines are also treated. There is also considerable evidence GIC can cause systemic symptoms in non-immuno-suppressed humans, and is capable of translocation from the gastrointestinal tract to internal organs.


   Microbial Ecology and Dysbiosis in Human Medicine
Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (May);   2 (3):   296-305 ~ FULL TEXT

Microbial ecology and dysbiosis are topics worthy of study. This review article will be the first of a two-part series that will discuss normal flora and threats to its ecology resulting in dysbiosis. Microorganisms are generally required to attain critical population increases before they threaten the host. The research on the role of bacterial microorganisms which are considered to be part of normal flora and their importance in inhibiting potential pathogens will be discussed. This article also explores potential threats to healthy microbial flora, including dietary influences, anxiety and depression, and pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Defense mechanisms and their role in preventing translocation of infection from the GI tract to distal sites are also discussed. The role of probiotics in keeping a balanced microbial flora will be the subject of a future article.

   Refer to the Acidophilus and Pre/Probiotics Page for more information on this topic.

   Chiropractic And Crohn's Disease Page for more information.

 
   


   Eating Disorders

   Eating Disorders: A Review of the Literature with Emphasis
on Medical Complications and Clinical Nutrition

Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Jun);   7 (3):   184-202 ~ FULL TEXT

The etiology of eating disorders is complex and appears to include predisposing genetic factors and serotonin dysregulation, as well as psychological factors that include a history of trauma and childhood sexual abuse. Both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are medical conditions complicated by multiple neuroendocrine dysfunctions, nutritional deficiencies, and psychiatric diagnoses. Medical complications, specific nutritional deficiencies, and research involving the therapeutic use of inositol and zinc are reviewed.

 
   


   Emphysema

   The Use of Nebulized Glutathione in the Treatment of Emphysema:
A Case Report

Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Oct);   5 (5):   429-431 ~ FULL TEXT

We present the case of a 95-year-old man with an acute respiratory crisis secondary to emphysema and apparent bronchial infection. Treatment with nebulized glutathione led to a rapid resolution of the crisis, as well as a marked improvement in the chronic course of the disease. This treatment has been used since for a number of patients with emphysema. The safety and bioavailability of this method of delivery have been established in human studies.

 
   


   The Environmental Medicine Series

Chemical compounds ubiquitous in our food, air, and water are now found in every person's body. The bioaccumulation of these compounds can lead to a variety of metabolic and systemic dysfunctions, and in some cases outright disease states. Learn more from these 4 Full-Text articles from the Alternative Medicine Review.

   Part I:   The Human Burden of Environmental Toxins
and Their Common Health Effects

Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Feb);   5 (1):   52–63 ~ FULL TEXT

Chemical compounds ubiquitous in our food, air, and water are now found in every person. The bioaccumulation of these compounds in some individuals can lead to a variety of metabolic and systemic dysfunctions, and in some cases outright disease states. The systems most affected by these xenobiotic compounds include the immune, neurological, and endocrine systems.


   Part II:   Health Effects of and Protection From Ubiquitous
Airborne Solvent Exposure

Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Apr);   5 (2):   133–143 ~ FULL TEXT

L Chemicals known as solvents are part of a broad class of chemicals called volatile organic compounds. These compounds are used in a variety of settings, are ubiquitous, and off-gas readily into the atmosphere. Asa result of their overuse, they can be found in detectable level virtually all samples of both indoor and outdoor air. Certain of these compounds are detectable in adipose samples of all U.S. residents


   Part III: Long-Term Effects of Chronic Low-Dose Mercury Exposure
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Jun);   5 (3):   209–223 ~ FULL TEXT

Mercury is ubiquitous in the environment, and in our mouths in the form of "silver" amalgams. Once introduced to the body through food or vapor, mercury is rapidly absorbed and accumulates in several tissues, leading to increased oxidative damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cell death. Mercury primarily affects neurological tissue, resulting in numerous neurological symptoms, and also affects the kidneys and the immune system.


   Part IV: Pesticides - Biologically Persistent and Ubiquitous Toxins
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Oct);   5 (5):   432–447 ~ FULL TEXT

Although the use of pesticides has doubled every ten years since 1945, pest damage to crops is more prevalent now than it was then. Many pests are now pesticide resistant due to the ubiquitous presence of pesticides in our environment. Chlorinated pesticide residues are present in the air, soil, and water, with a concomitant presence in humans. Organophosphate and carbamate pesticides - the compounds comprising the bulk of current pesticide use - are carried around the globe on air currents.

   Refer to the Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Toxins Page for more information on this topic.

 
   


   Epilepsy


  
Natural Approaches to Epilepsy
Alternative Medicine Review 2007 (Mar);   12 (1):   9–24

This article reviews research on the use of diet, nutritional supplements, and hormones in the treatment of epilepsy. Potentially beneficial dietary interventions include identifying and treating blood glucose dysregulation, identifying and avoiding allergenic foods, and avoiding suspected triggering agents such as alcohol, aspartame, and monosodium glutamate. Nutrients that may reduce seizure frequency include vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese, taurine, dimethylglycine, and omega-3 fatty acids. . Supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, vitamin D, and L-carnitine may be needed to prevent or treat deficiencies resulting from the use of anticonvulsant drugs.

 
   


   Erectile Dysfunction

   Nutrients and Botanicals for Erectile Dysfunction:
Examining the Evidence

Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Feb);   9 (1):   4–16

A review of the available empirical evidence reveals most naturally occurring compounds lack adequate clinical trials to support efficacy. However, arginine, yohimbine, Panax ginseng, Maca, and Ginkgo biloba all have some degree of evidence they may be helpful for erectile dysfunction.


   Chinese Herbs Enhance Sexual Vitality
Nutrition Science News ~ March 1999

The newest prescription rage—Viagra®—is bringing the issue of sexual potency and vitality into the limelight. This interest is also bringing to light some of the oldest natural remedies for both sexual dysfunction and enhancement. Traditional Chinese herbalists treat sexual imbalances such as impotence or reduced desire by improving adrenal energy, muscle strength and endurance with herbs that increase vitality and immunity. For improved sexuality, herbal adrenal tonics are often combined with moistening or blood-building herbs that reduce stress and increase sexual fluids. Harmonizing sexual drive and capacity with sexual fluids is said to bring happiness, compassion and love.

 
   


   Female Issues

   Cervical Dysplasia: Early Intervention
Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Mar);   8 (2):   156-170 ~ FULL TEXT

Cervical dysplasia, a premalignant lesion that can progress to cervical cancer, is caused primarily by a sexually transmitted infection with an oncogenic strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Not all women with the virus develop cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer. It has been postulated there are multiple host factors that contribute to progression of disease. Many of these factors, such as nutrient deficiencies, can be reversed, which will result in regression of dysplastic lesions. Studies have shown dietary intervention and nutrient supplementation to be effective in preventing cervical cancer.


   Hot Flashes — A Review of the Literature on Alternative and
Complementary Treatment Approaches

Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Aug);   8 (3):   284-302 ~ FULL TEXT

Although more definitive research is necessary, several natural therapies show promise in treating hot flashes without the risks associated with conventional therapies. Soy and other phytoestrogens, black cohosh, evening primrose oil, vitamin E, the bioflavonoid hesperidin with vitamin C, ferulic acid, acupuncture treatment, and regular aerobic exercise have been shown effective in treating hot flashes in menopausal women.


   Evaluation of the Effects of Neptune Krill Oil
on the Management of Premenstrual Syndrome and Dysmenorrhea

Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Mar);   8 (2):   171-179 ~ FULL TEXT

Neptune Krill Oil can significantly reduce dysmenorrhea and the emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and is shown to be significantly more effective for the complete management of premenstrual symptoms compared to omega-3 fish oil.


   Premenstrual Syndrome: Nutritional and Alternative Approaches
Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Jan);   2 (1):   12-25 ~ FULL TEXT

Since it was first identified in the 1930s, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has presented the clinician with challenges from an etiological as well as treatment perspective. To know the cause is to know the cure. The cause of PMS appears to be a complicated interplay among hormones, neurotransmitters, nutrients and psychosocial factors. To complicate the picture further, the same imbalances are not present in every person suffering from PMS. This article is a review of the literature, citing numerous studies, sometimes with conflicting views, of the etiology and non-drug treatment for premenstrual syndrome. Specific nutrients and botanicals are discussed as they relate to particular neuroendocrine imbalances. In view of the fact that there appears not to be one particular deficiency or excess which can be identified in each case of PMS, the most reliable method of treatment involves a comprehensive approach which includes dietary changes, supplementation of specific nutrients and botanicals, and when indicated, use of identical to natural hormones such as progesterone.


   Methionine and Homocysteine Metabolism and the Nutritional
Prevention of Certain Birth Defects and Complications of Pregnancy

Alternative Medicine Review 1996 (Nov);   1 (4):   90-100 ~ FULL TEXT

Defective metabolism of the essential amino acid methionine, resulting in overt hyperhomocysteinemia or situational hyperhomocysteinemia (after a methionine load), has been established as an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic heart disease. Nutrients involved in the pathways of homocysteine degradation, including folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 all have a connection to negative pregnancy outcomes, which may be related to their impact on homocysteine. Dietary intake and metabolism of folic acid, the nutrient most closely identified with neural tube defects, has been studied in depth for the past fifteen years. The information from these studies has illuminated the mechanisms of these congenital defects, and has lead to the discovery of connections with other nutrients related to homocysteine metabolism which may also be involved in negative pregnancy outcomes, including spontaneous abortion, placental abruption (infarct), pre-term delivery, and low infant birth weight.

   Refer to the Women's Health Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Chiropractic and Female Issues Page for more information.

 
   


   Fibromyalgia

   Fibromyalgia and the Serotonin Pathway
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Oct);   3 (5):   367-375 ~ FULL TEXT

Fibromyalgia Syndrome is a musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder manifested by diffuse myalgia, localized areas of tenderness, fatigue, lowered pain thresholds, and nonrestorative sleep. Evidence from multiple sources support the concept of decreased flux through the serotonin pathway in fibromyalgia patients.


   The Use of Ascorbigen in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia Patients:
A Preliminary Trial

Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Oct);   5 (5):   455-462 ~ FULL TEXT

Twelve female fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) patients were given 500 mg per day of a blend containing 100 mg ascorbigen and 400 mg broccoli powder in a preliminary, one-month, open-label trial. The reduced sensitivity to pain and improvement in quality of life measured in this study appear to be clinically relevant and a larger, double-blind study is warranted.

 
   


   Healing

   Bromelain Monograph
Alternative Medicine Review 2010 (Dec);   14 (4): 361-368 ~ FULL TEXT

Mechanisms for bromelain’s physiological effects appear to include interactions with inflammatory, immune, cell signaling, and coagulation molecules and pathways. Bromelain also appears to have effects on cell surface antigens. Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory action is in part a result of inhibiting the generation of bradykinin at the inflammatory site via depletion of the plasma kallikrein system, as well as limiting the formation of fibrin by reduction of clotting cascade intermediates. [3-5] Experiments suggest that bromelain reduces leukocyte migration into inflamed areas and, secondary to its ability to remove cell surface molecules including the CD128 chemokine receptors, prevents firm adhesion of leukocytes to blood vessels at the site of inflammation. [6] In vitro evidence suggests bromelain might be a specific inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) expression [7,8] and might induce a significant decrease of substance P concentrations. [9] Bromelain induces a significant decrease in prostaglandin E2 concentrations in vivo. [9]


   Bromelain: A Literature Review and Discussion
of its Therapeutic Applications

Alternative Medicine Review 1996 (Nov);   1 (4): 243-257 ~ FULL TEXT

First introduced as a therapeutic compound in 1957, bromelain’s actions include: (1) inhibition of platelet aggregation; (2) fibrinolytic activity; (3) anti-inflammatory action; (4) anti-tumor action; (5) modulation of cytokines and immunity; (6) skin debridement properties; (7) enhanced absorption of other drugs; (8) mucolytic properties; (9) digestive assistance; (10) enhanced wound healing; and (11) cardiovascular and circulatory improvement. Bromelain is well absorbed orally and available evidence indicates that it’s therapeutic effects are enhanced with higher doses. Although all of its mechanisms of action are still not completely resolved, it has been demonstrated to be a safe and effective supplement.

 
   


   Heart Disease

   Cardiovascular Disease - Toward a Unified Approach
Alternative Medicine Review 1996 (Sep);   1 (3): ~ FULL TEXT

Much information has been disseminated in the past two decades regarding nutrition and cardiovascular disease, mainly atherosclerotic disease. A great deal of this information has addressed cholesterol and fat intake (saturated vs. poly-and-monounsaturated fats) and their impact on blood lipids and the development of heart disease. In addition to these studies, a number of scientists have been investigating the connection between micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, flavonoids, coenzymes) and heart disease. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol has been linked to vascular damage leading to atherosclerotic plaques. Antioxidant activity and subsequent inhibition of LDL oxidation has been attributed to the dietary and supplemental intake of specific micro-nutrients, including vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin B6, glutathione, flavonoids, beta carotene, lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10.


   Homocysteine Metabolism: Nutritional Modulation and Impact
on Health and Disease

Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Jul);   2 (4): 234-254 ~ FULL TEXT

Interest and research into the causes and treatment of hyperhomocysteinemia has increased dramatically in recent years, as increased plasma homocysteine has joined smoking, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and obesity as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In addition, elevated homocysteine levels have been implicated in a number of other clinical conditions, including neural tube defects, spontaneous abortion, placental abruption, low birth weight, renal failure, rheumatoid arthritis, alcoholism, osteoporosis, neuropsychiatric disorders, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, and complications of diabetes. Nutritional intervention with the cofactors required for optimal metabolism of the methionine-homocysteine pathways offers a new, integrated possibility for primary prevention and treatment. Supplementation with betaine, vitamin B12, folic acid, and vitamin B6 assists in optimizing methyl- and sulfur-group metabolism, and might play a significant role in the prevention and treatment of a wide array of clinical conditions.


   The Role of Coenzyme Q10 in Clinical Medicine:   Part II
Cardiovascular Disease, Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, and Infertility

Alternative Medicine Review 1996 (Sep);   1 (3):   168-175 ~ FULL TEXT

This review discusses the role of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and infertility. Deficiencies of CoQ10 have been documented in patients with heart disease. Administration of CoQ10 has been shown to prolong survival and improve quality of life in patients with cardiomyopathy. In patients with congestive heart failure, CoQ10 ameliorated symptoms, reduced the number of hospitalizations and appeared to increase the survival rate. Treatment with CoQ10 may also reduce the number of anginal attacks in patients with stable angina pectoris. CoQ10 has been shown to prevent adriamycin cardiotoxicity and to reduce the incidence of postoperative cardiac dysfunction in patients undergoing heart surgery. Several studies indicate that CoQ10 may also have a role in the treatment of essential hypertension. This nutrient may be of value for patients with diabetes mellitus or male infertility, but additional studies are needed in these areas. CoQ10 status may be adversely affected by treatment with certain cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, and phenothiazines.


   Cardiovascular Disease: C-reactive Protein and the Inflammatory Disease Paradigm: HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, Alpha-tocopherol, Red Yeast Rice, and Olive Oil Polyphenols. A Review of the Literature
Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Jun);   6 (3):   248-271 ~ FULL TEXT

Alpha-tocopherol also significantly lowers CRP levels in diabetics and nondiabetics, and minimizes other aspects of the acute phase response and inflammatory damage involved in atherosclerosis. This may account for alpha-tocopherol's positive effect on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Finally, polyphenolic compounds present in virgin olive oil also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects in cardiovascular disease. The phenolic compounds in virgin olive oil may explain some of the protective effects found in epidemiological studies.


   Therapeutic Uses of Vitamin E in Prevention of Atherosclerosis
Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Dec);   4 (6):   414-423 ~ FULL TEXT

On the basis of the literature search, the authors recommend 400 IU or more per day of vitamin E to patients at high risk or already diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Vitamin E supplementation may also be beneficial in the prevention of cerebro- and peripheral vascular diseases.


   Milk and Other Dietary Influences on Coronary Heart Disease
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Aug);   3 (4):   281-294 ~ FULL TEXT

While dietary links to ischemic heart disease (IHD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality have been studied for many years, the correlation has not clearly been resolved, especially for older populations. In this paper, a multi-country statistical approach involving 32 countries is used to find dietary links to IHD and CHD for various age groups aged 35+.

   Refer to the Vitamin E Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Resveratrol Page for more information.

   Refer to the Antioxidants Page for more information.

   Refer to the Coenzyme – Q10 Page for more information.

   Refer to the Vitamin B-Complex Page for more information.

 
   


   Hemorrhoids

   Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins: A Review of Treatment Options
Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Apr);   6 (2):   126-140 ~ FULL TEXT

Oral dietary supplementation is an attractive addition to the traditional treatment of hemorrhoids and varicose veins. The loss of vascular integrity is associated with the pathogenesis of both hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Several botanical extracts have been shown to improve microcirculation, capillary flow, and vascular tone, and to strengthen the connective tissue of the perivascular amorphous substrate. Oral supplementation with Aesculus hippocastanum, Ruscus aculeatus, Centella asiatica, Hamamelis virginiana, and bioflavonoids may prevent time-consuming, painful, and expensive complications of varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

 
   


   Hepatitis C

   Hepatitis C: Epidemiology and Review of Complementary/
Alternative Medicine Treatments

Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Aug);   4 (4):   220–238 ~ FULL TEXT

Hepatitis C is emerging as a serious worldwide problem. In the United States the current mortality figures may triple in the next ten years, rivaling HIV. The use of the botanical components glycyrrhizin, catechin, silymarin and phytosterols, and the antioxidants N-acetylcysteine and vitamin E are reviewed for their efficacy in treating chronic hepatitis and affecting liver damage.


   Hepatitis C: A Retrospective Study, Literature Review,
and Naturopathic Protocol

Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Aug);   5 (4):   355–370 ~ FULL TEXT

The standard medical treatment of hepatitis C infection is only associated with sustained efficacy in a minority of patients. Therefore, the search for other treatments is of utmost importance. Several natural products and their derivatives have demonstrated benefit in the treatment of hepatitis C and other chronic liver conditions. Other herbal and nutritional supplements have mechanisms of action that make them likely to be of benefit.

 
   


   Hypertension/High Blood Pressure

   Natural Approach to Hypertension
Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Dec);   6 (6):   590-600 ~ FULL TEXT

Hypertension is a common problem facing many Americans today, with two million new cases being diagnosed each year. Although billions of dollars are spent annually in the United States for the treatment and detection of cardiovascular disease, current conventional treatments have done little to reduce the number of patients with hypertension. Alternative medicine offers an effective way to decrease the rising number of people with high blood pressure. Research has found a variety of alternative therapies to be successful in reducing high blood pressure including diet, exercise, stress management, supplements, and herbs.

   Refer to the Chiropractic and Blood Pressure Page for more on this topic.

 
   


   Immune System

   Plant Sterols and Sterolins:   A Review of their
Immune-modulating Properties

Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Jun);   4 (3):   170-177 ~ FULL TEXT

A proprietary Beta-sitosterol (BSS) and its glycoside (BSSG) mixture has demonstrated promising results in a number of studies, including in vitro studies, animal models, and human clinical trials. This phytosterol complex seems to target specific T-helper lymphocytes, the Th1 and Th2 cells, helping normalize their functioning and resulting in improved T-lymphocyte and natural killer cell activity. A dampening effect on overactive antibody responses has also been seen, as well as normalization of the DHEA:cortisol ratio.


   Can CAM Therapies Help Reduce Antibiotic Resistance?
Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Feb);   8 (1):   28-42 ~ FULL TEXT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the consumption of 235 million doses of antibiotics in 2001. It is estimated that 20-50 percent of these were unnecessarily prescribed for viral infections. A large portion of antibiotics are dispensed by pediatricians treating common outpatient infectious diseases. The overuse of antimicrobials is beginning to be discouraged as scientific evidence is emerging to support the use of other therapies. In pediatric practice an emphasis on accurate diagnoses, control of environmental risk factors, and utilization of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies could reduce antibiotic prescribing.


   Larch Arabinogalactan: Clinical Relevance of a Novel
Immune-Enhancing Polysaccharide

Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Apr);   4 (2):   96-103 ~ FULL TEXT

Experimental studies have indicated larch arabinogalactan can stimulate natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity, enhance other functional aspects of the immune system, and inhibit the metastasis of tumor cells to the liver. The immune-enhancing properties also suggest an array of clinical uses, both in preventive medicine, due to its ability to build a more responsive immune system, and in clinical medicine, as a therapeutic agent in conditions associated with lowered immune function, decreased NK activity, or chronic viral infection.


   Immunological Activity of Larch Arabinogalactan and Echinacea:
A Preliminary, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial

Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Apr);   7 (2):   138-149 ~ FULL TEXT

The immunomodulating effects of two Echinacea species, E. purpurea and E. angustifolia and larch arabinogalactan extracted from Larix occidentalis were examined in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospective four-week clinical trial at a naturopathic medical school research center.


   Larch Arabinogalactans Monograph
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Oct);   5 (5):   463-466 ~ FULL TEXT

Larch arabinogalactan is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a source of dietary fiber, but also has potential therapeutic benefits as an immune stimulating agent and cancer protocol adjunct.

   Refer to the Immunity and Nutrition Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Chiropractic and Immune FunctionPage for more information.

 
   


   Infertility

   Male Infertility:   Nutritional and Environmental Considerations
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Feb);   5 (1):   28-38 ~ FULL TEXT

Studies confirm that male sperm counts are declining, and environmental factors, such as pesticides, exogenous estrogens, and heavy metals may negatively impact spermatogenesis. A number of nutritional therapies have been shown to improve sperm counts and sperm motility, including carnitine, arginine, zinc, selenium, and vitamin B-12. Numerous antioxidants have also proven beneficial in treating male infertility, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, glutathione, and coenzyme Q10.


   Selenium Biochemistry and Cancer:   A Review of the Literature
Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Sep);   9 (3):   239–258 ~ FULL TEXT

In recent years, the role of selenium in the prevention of a number of degenerative conditions including cancer, inflammatory diseases, thyroid function, cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, aging, infertility, and infections, has been established by laboratory experiments, clinical trials, and epidemiological data.


   The Role of Coenzyme Q10 in Clinical Medicine:   Part II
Cardiovascular Disease, Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, and Infertility

Alternative Medicine Review 1996 (Sep);   1 (3):   168-175 ~ FULL TEXT

This review discusses the role of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and infertility. Deficiencies of CoQ10 have been documented in patients with heart disease. Administration of CoQ10 has been shown to prolong survival and improve quality of life in patients with cardiomyopathy. In patients with congestive heart failure, CoQ10 ameliorated symptoms, reduced the number of hospitalizations and appeared to increase the survival rate. Treatment with CoQ10 may also reduce the number of anginal attacks in patients with stable angina pectoris. CoQ10 has been shown to prevent adriamycin cardiotoxicity and to reduce the incidence of postoperative cardiac dysfunction in patients undergoing heart surgery. Several studies indicate that CoQ10 may also have a role in the treatment of essential hypertension. This nutrient may be of value for patients with diabetes mellitus or male infertility, but additional studies are needed in these areas. CoQ10 status may be adversely affected by treatment with certain cholesterol-lowering drugs, beta blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, and phenothiazines.

   Refer to the Chiropractic and Infertility Page for more information on this topic.

 
   


   Inflammatory Bowel/Ulcerative Colitis

   Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in Adults:
Conventional and Complementary/Alternative Approaches

Alternative Medicine Review 2011 (Jun);   16 (2):   134–151 ~ FULL TEXT

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder with a range of symptoms that significantly affect quality of life for patients. The difficulty of differential diagnosis and its treatment may significantly delay initiation of optimal therapy. Hence, persons with IBS often self-treat symptoms with non-prescribed pharmacological regimens and/or complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) and by modifying diet and daily activities. In addition, most common pharmacological approaches target IBS symptom management rather than treatment, and prescribed medications often result in significant side effects. The purposes of this review article are to: (1) address current issues related to IBS, including symptom presentation, diagnosis, and current treatment options; (2) summarize benefits and side effects of currently available pharmacological regimens and other symptom management strategies, with an emphasis on commonly used CAM therapies and diet modification; and (3) outline recommendations and future directions of IBS management based on systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and research findings.


   The Causes of Intestinal Dysbiosis:   A Review
Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Jun);   9 (2):   180–197 ~ FULL TEXT

Alterations in the bowel flora and its activities are now believed to be contributing factors to many chronic and degenerative diseases. Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis have all been linked to alterations in the intestinal microflora. The intestinal dysbiosis hypothesis suggests a number of factors associated with modern Western living have a detrimental impact on the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract. Factors such as antibiotics, psychological and physical stress, and certain dietary components have been found to contribute to intestinal dysbiosis. If these causes can be eliminated or at least attenuated then treatments aimed at manipulating the microflora may be more successful


   The Pathogenesis, Clinical Implications, and Treatment
of Intestinal Hyperpermeability

Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Oct);   2 (5):   330–345 ~ FULL TEXT

Normally, the gastrointestinal epithelium provides a semi-permeable barrier which allows nutrients to be absorbed while preventing larger, potentially toxic, antigenic, or pathogenic molecules or organisms from crossing into the bloodstream. Pathogenically increased intestinal permeability predisposes the individual to diffusion of antigenic food molecules and translocation of bacteria and/or yeast from the gut to extra-intestinal sites, including mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and systemic circulation. This can be secondary to drugs, microbial overgrowth, radiation, stress, alcohol intake, enteral/parenteral nutrition, or injury. Increased intestinal permeability occurs commonly with diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, asthma, eczema, food allergies, alcoholism, trauma, and surgery. Glutamine, phosphatidylcholine, flavonoids, soluble fiber, and fish oil, as well as probiotic organisms, including Lactobacilli and Saccharomyces boulardii can assist in correcting this abnormal permeability.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease Series

   Part 1:   Ulcerative Colitis--Pathophysiology and Conventional
and Alternative Treatment Options

Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Aug);   8 (3):   247–283 ~ FULL TEXT

Ulcerative colitis (UC), a subcategory of inflammatory bowel disease, afflicts 1-2 million people in the United States, and many more worldwide. This article reviews potential unconventional treatments - transdermal nicotine, heparin, melatonin, DHEA, probiotics, fiber, dietary changes, botanicals, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients - that may be considered in conjunction with conventional approaches or as part of a comprehensive alternative treatment protocol.


   Part 2:   Crohn's Disease--Pathophysiology and Conventional
and Alternative Treatment Options

Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Dec);   9 (4):   360–401 ~ FULL TEXT

Conventional medications are not curative but can contribute to resolution of acute flare-ups and help maintain remission. Because significant side effects are associated with many these medications, more natural interventions to help maintain remission should be considered. Associated nutrient deficiencies, dietary interventions, and nutrient and botanical supplementation are discussed.

   Refer to the Acidophilus and Pre/Probiotics Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Chiropractic And Crohn's Disease Page for more information.

 
   


   Insomnia

   Treatment of Insomnia:   An Alternative Approach
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Jun);   5 (3):   249-259 ~ FULL TEXT

Conventional medical treatment for insomnia includes psychological and pharmacological approaches; however, long-term use of frequently prescribed medications can lead to habituation and problematic withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, herbal and other natural sleep aids are gaining popularity, as herbs commonly used for their sedative-hypnotic effects do not have the drawbacks of conventional drugs. Whether alternative therapies possess activity similar to conventional therapies needs further evaluation.

 
   


   Interstitial Cystitis

   Interstitial Cystitis:   Understanding the Syndrome
Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (Nov);   8 (4):   426-437 ~ FULL TEXT

Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic pain syndrome that affects close to a million people in the United States. The syndrome presents differently in many individuals, with the unifying factor being chronic pelvic pain and disruption of daily life activities. Many etiologies have been proposed as causative factors for IC, although it is likely triggered by more than one process. Treatment for many individuals revolves around symptom management and improving quality of life; however, it is imperative to remove aggravating factors such as food and daily stressors. Treatment will vary for individuals, as symptoms and etiology will differ. This article discusses nutritional and other non-toxic approaches to treating IC.

 
   


   Liver Disease

   A Review of Plants Used in the Treatment of Liver Disease:   Part I
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Dec);   3 (6):   410–421 ~ FULL TEXT

Clinical research in this century has confirmed the efficacy of several plants in the treatment of liver disease. Basic scientific research has uncovered the mechanisms by which some plants afford their therapeutic effects. Silybum marianum (milk thistle) has been shown to have clinical applications in the treatment of toxic hepatitis, fatty liver, cirrhosis, ischemic injury, radiation toxicity, and viral hepatitis via its antioxidative, anti-lipid peroxidative, antifibrotic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulating, and liver regenerating effects.


   A Review of Plants Used in the Treatment of Liver Disease:   Part II
Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Jun);   4 (3):   178–189 ~ FULL TEXT

Botanical medicines have been used traditionally by herbalists and indigenous healers worldwide for the prevention and treatment of liver disease. Clinical research in this century has confirmed the efficacy of several plants in the treatment of liver disease, while basic scientific research has uncovered the mechanisms by which some plants provide their therapeutic effects. This article is Part Two in a review of botanicals used in the treatment of liver disease. Curcuma longa (turmeric), Camellia sinensis (green tea), and Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) are reviewed in this installment. Silybum marianum (milk thistle) and Picrorhiza kurroa (kutkin) were reviewed in Part One.


   Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Relationship to Insulin Sensitivity and Oxidative Stress. Treatment Approaches Using Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Betaine
Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Aug);   7 (4):   276-291 ~ FULL TEXT

Nonalcoholic steatotic hepatitis (NASH), the most prevalent form of progressive liver disease in the United States, is considered to be a manifestation of insulin resistance syndrome. There is increasing evidence that steatosis in NASH is a result of the pathology in fat metabolism occurring in obesity and insulin resistance. For steatosis to progress to necroinflammation and fibrosis, however, the theory of mitochondrial oxidative-stress induced cellular damage is receiving wide acceptance. Treatment approaches that address these etiologies are reviewed: betaine, magnesium, and vitamin E.

   Refer to the Milk Thistle Page for more information on this topic.

 
   


   Metal Toxicity

   Cysteine Metabolism and Metal Toxicity
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Aug);   3 (4):   262-270 ~ FULL TEXT

Chronic, low level exposure to toxic metals is an increasing global problem. The symptoms associated with the slow accumulation of toxic metals are multiple and rather nondescript, and overt expression of toxic effects may not appear until later in life. The sulfhydryl-reactive metals (mercury, cadmium, lead, arsenic) are particularly insidious and can affect a vast array of biochemical and nutritional processes.


   Dimercaptosuccinic Acid (DMSA), A Non-toxic, Water-soluble Treatment
for Heavy Metal Toxicity

Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Jun);   3 (3):   199-207 ~ FULL TEXT

Meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) is a sulfhydryl-containing, water-soluble, non-toxic, orally-administered metal chelator which has been in use as an antidote to heavy metal toxicity since the 1950s. More recent clinical use and research substantiates this compound s efficacy and safety, and establishes it as the premier metal chelation compound, based on oral dosing, urinary excretion, and its safety characteristics compared to other chelating substances.


Mercury Toxicity and Antioxidants Series

   Part I: Role of Glutathione and Alpha-lipoic Acid in the Treatment
of Mercury Toxicity

Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Dec);   7 (6):   456-471 ~ FULL TEXT

Although the toxicology of mercury is complex, there is evidence for antioxidant protection in the prevention of neurological and renal damage caused by mercury toxicity. Alpha-lipoic acid, a coenzyme of pyruvate and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, has been used in Germany as an antioxidant and approved treatment for diabetic polyneuropathy for 40 years.


   Toxic Metals and Antioxidants Part II:
The Role of Antioxidants in Arsenic and Cadmium Toxicity

Alternative Medicine Review 2003 (May);   8 (2):   106-128 ~ FULL TEXT

The metabolism and excretion of these heavy metals depend on the presence of antioxidants and thiols that aid arsenic methylation and both arsenic and cadmium metallothionein-binding. S-adenosylmethionine, lipoic acid, glutathione, selenium, zinc, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), methionine, cysteine, alpha-tocopherol, and ascorbic acid have specific roles in the mitigation of heavy metal toxicity. Several antioxidants including NAC, zinc, methionine, and cysteine, when used in conjunction with standard chelating agents, can improve the mobilization and excretion of arsenic and cadmium.

   Refer to the Antioxidants Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Alpha Lipoic Acid Page for more information.

 
   


   Multiple Sclerosis   Information

   Multiple Sclerosis, An Autoimmune Inflammatory Disease:
Prospects for its Integrative Management

Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Dec);   6 (6):   540–566 ~ FULL TEXT

The time-proven MS diet meticulously keeps saturated fats low, includes three fish meals per week, and eliminates allergenic foods. Dietary supplementation for MS minimally requires potent vitamin supplementation, along with the thiol antioxidants, the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and adaptogenic phytonutrients. Gut malabsorption and dysbiosis can be corrected using digestive enzymes and probiotics.


   Cerebrospinal Fluid Protein Changes in Multiple Sclerosis
After Dental Amalgam Removal

Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Aug);   3 (4):   295-300 ~ FULL TEXT

A relationship between multiple sclerosis (MS) and dental silver-mercury fillings has been suggested by some investigators, but never proven. This study documents objective biochemical changes following the removal of these fillings along with other dental materials, utilizing a new health care model of multidisciplinary planning and treatment. The dramatic changes in photolabeling of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins following these dental interventions suggest CSF photolabeling may serve as an objective biomarker for monitoring MS. The clear-cut character of these changes should also encourage more research to better define this possible association between dental mercury and MS.


Transdermal Histamine in Multiple Sclerosis Series

   Part I:   Clinical Experience
Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Dec);   4 (6):   424–428 ~ FULL TEXT

Histamine has a long history of therapeutic use in many diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). Recently, transdermal histamine has been successfully employed for the amelioration of symptoms of both relapsing-remitting and progressive multiple sclerosis. This paper summarizes preliminary experiences with transdermal histamine for MS at the Tahoma Clinic: 67 percent of 55 patients using histamine transdermal cream had improvements in one or more areas, including extremity strength, balance, bladder control, fatigue, activities of daily living, and cognitive functioning, sustained for periods of up to three months.


   Part II:   A Proposed Theoretical Basis for Its Use
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Jun);   5 (3):   224–248 ~ FULL TEXT

This paper discusses how impairment of histamine synthesis might lead to symptoms of MS, and conversely how exogenously administered histamine might alleviate symptoms. Various mechanisms of action are suggested, including: enhanced gastric acid and pancreatic enzyme secretion, augmentation of subnormal cerebral tissue levels of histamine, improved electrical function of demyelinated fibers, increased cerebral blood flow, suppression of aberrant autoimmune responses, and stimulation of remyelination. We also discuss the observed failure of digestive function in MS and point out that pathological changes which parallel CNS findings have been found in the enteric nervous system (ENS) of patients with Parkinson's disease. Similar parallels might exist between the CNS and ENS in multiple sclerosis.

   Refer to the Chiropractic and Multiple Sclerosis Page for more on this topic.

 
   


   Neurodegenerative Diseases

   Neurodegeneration from Mitochondrial Insufficiency: Nutrients, Stem Cells, Growth Factors, and Prospects for Brain Rebuilding Using Integrative Management
Alternative Medicine Review 2005 (Dec);   10 (5):   268-293 ~ FULL TEXT

Degenerative brain disorders (neurodegeneration) can be frustrating for both conventional and alternative practitioners. A more comprehensive, integrative approach is urgently needed. One emerging focus for intervention is brain energetics. Specifically, mitochondrial insufficiency contributes to the etiopathology of many such disorders. Studies of the brain in Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Down syndrome, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Friedreich’s ataxia, aging, and constitutive disorders demonstrate impairments of the mitochondrial citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) enzymes. Orthomolecular nutrients involved in mitochondrial metabolism provide clinical benefit. Among these are the essential minerals and the B vitamin group; vitamins E and K; and the antioxidant and energetic cofactors alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10; CoQ10), and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, reduced (NADH). Practical recommendations are presented for integrating these safe and well-tolerated orthomolecular nutrients into a comprehensive dietary supplementation program for brain vitality and productive lifespan.

   Refer to the Resveratrol Page for more information.

   Refer to the Antioxidants Page for more information.

   Refer to the Coenzyme – Q10 Page for more information on this topic.

 
   


   Ocular (Eye) Disorders

Natural Therapies for Ocular Disorders Series

   Part I:   Diseases of the Retina
Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Oct);   4 (5):   342-359 ~ FULL TEXT

Diseases of the retina are the leading causes of blindness throughout the world. Evidence points to potential benefit from nutritional and botanical interventions for the prevention and treatment of several of these conditions, including macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of the newborn, and retinitis pigmentosa. Epidemiological evidence points to the potential of antioxidant vitamins E and C, carotenoids, zinc, and selenium in the prevention and possible treatment of macular degeneration.


   Part II:   Cataracts and Glaucoma
Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Apr);   6 (2):   141-166 ~ FULL TEXT

Pathophysiological mechanisms of cataract formation include deficient glutathione levels contributing to a faulty antioxidant defense system within the lens of the eye. Nutrients to increase glutathione levels and activity include lipoic acid, vitamins E and C, and selenium. Cataract patients also tend to be deficient in vitamin A and the carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin.

   Refer to the Carotenoids Page for more information.

   Refer to the Chiropractic and Blindness and Other Visual Disorders Page for more on this topic.

 
   


   Osteoporosis

   Can Manipulation of the Ratios of Essential Fatty Acids
Slow the Rapid Rate of Postmenopausal Bone Loss?

Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Feb);   6 (1):   61-77 ~ FULL TEXT

The rapid rate of postmenopausal bone loss is mediated by the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. Dietary supplementation with fish oil, flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil in animals and healthy humans significantly reduces cytokine production while concomitantly increasing calcium absorption, bone calcium, and bone density. Possibilities may exist for the therapeutic use of the omega-3 fatty acids, as supplements or in the diet, to blunt the increase of the inflammatory bone resorbing cytokines produced in the early postmenopausal years, in order to slow the rapid rate of postmenopausal bone loss.


   Soy and Its Isoflavones: A Review of Their Effects on Bone Density
Alternative Medicine Review 2002 (Aug);   7 (4):   317–327 ~ FULL TEXT

Menopausal hormone decline contributes significantly to the risk of osteoporosis. Therapies for treating osteoporosis, such as hormone replacement therapy (estrogen or combination estrogen-progestins), inhibit bone resorption. Both animal and human studies demonstrate phytoestrogenic soy isoflavones favorably impact bone health. The exact mechanism is still unclear. Additional research is needed to determine if isoflavones are an effective alternative to hormone replacement therapy for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. This paper reviews in vitro, animal, and human studies involving isoflavones and bone health.


   Understanding Osteoporosis and Clinical Strategies to Assess,
Arrest, and Restore Bone Loss

Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Jan);   2 (1):   36-47 ~ FULL TEXT

Osteoporosis is the most common metabolic bone disease, affecting over 20- 25 million, mostly older, Americans and is projected to cost $30-40 billion dollars annually by the turn of the century. Women have a four-times greater risk of developing osteoporosis than men, with post-menopausal women at greatest risk. Osteoporosis is an end-stage disease, caused by a chronic disruption of skeletal homeostasis. Significant contributors to this degenerative process include nutritional, endocrine, physical, lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors. The current medical treatment mainstay, hormone replacement therapy, slows bone loss and reduces fracture incidence, but must be taken for ten or more years to realize this benefit. Unfortunately, this approach subjects women to a long-term therapy that poses significant concern due to increased risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer and side effects. The only practical and economic approach is a prevention and treatment strategy which addresses an often complex etiology and includes educating patients in diet, exercise and lifestyle factors that enhance bone density.

   Refer to the Soy Protein Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Calcium Page for more information.

 
   


   Parkinson's Disease

   Parkinson's Disease as Multifactorial Oxidative Neurodegeneration:
Implications for Integrative Management

Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Dec);   5 (6):   502-545 ~ FULL TEXT

Rational, integrative management of Parkinson's Disease requires: (1) dietary revision, especially to lower calories; (2) rebalancing of essential fatty acid intake away from pro-inflammatory and toward anti-inflammatory prostaglandins; (3) aggressive repletion of glutathione and other nutrient antioxidants and cofactors; (4) energy nutrients acetyl L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, NADH, and the membrane phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS), (5) chelation as necessary for heavy metals; and (6) liver P450 detoxification support.

   Refer to the Resveratrol Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Antioxidants Page for more information.

   Refer to the Coenzyme – Q10 Page for more information.

   Refer to the Chiropractic and Parkinson's Disease Page for more information.

 
   


   Peripheral Neuropathy

   Peripheral Neuropathy:
Pathogenic Mechanisms and Alternative Therapies

Alternative Medicine Review 2006 (Dec);   11 (4):   294-329 ~ FULL TEXT

Peripheral neuropathy (PN), associated with diabetes, neurotoxic chemotherapy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/antiretroviral drugs, alcoholism, nutrient deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, and other etiologies, results in significant morbidity. Conventional pain medications primarily mask symptoms and have significant side effects and addiction profiles. However, a widening body of research indicates alternative medicine may offer significant benefit to this patient population. Alpha-lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, benfotiamine, methylcobalamin, and topical capsaicin are among the most well-researched alternative options for the treatment of PN. Other potential nutrient or botanical therapies include vitamin E, glutathione, folate, pyridoxine, biotin, myo-inositol, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, L-arginine, L-glutamine, taurine, N-acetylcysteine, zinc, magnesium, chromium, and St. John's wort. In the realm of physical medicine, acupuncture, magnetic therapy, and yoga have been found to provide benefit. New cutting-edge conventional therapies, including dual-action peptides, may also hold promise.

   Refer to the Alpha Lipoic Acid Page for more on this topic.

 
   


   Polycystic Ovary

   Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:   Clinical Considerations
Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Jun);   6 (3):   272-292 ~ FULL TEXT

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most frequently encountered endocrine disorders occurring in women of reproductive age. Research consistently demonstrates that the first line of treatment for this condition is weight loss. Weight loss and dietary changes appear to affect all parameters of hormonal fluctuation. Due to the vast array of side effects associated with many pharmaceutical agents typically prescribed to treat PCOS, natural therapeutics including nutrient supplementation and botanicals may be a less invasive and equally effective approach. Due to the seriousness of this syndrome when left untreated, prompt evaluation and treatment is essential.

 
   


   Prostate Cancer

   An Ecologic Study of Dietary Links to Prostate Cancer
Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Jun);   4 (3):   162-169 ~ FULL TEXT

The etiology of prostate cancer has not been fully resolved in the scientific and medical literature, although the non-fat portion of milk and calcium are emerging as leading dietary risk factors, with lycopene (found in tomatoes) and vitamin D apparently being risk reduction factors.

 
   


   Prostate Disease

   Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: Nutritional and Botanical Therapeutic Options
Alternative Medicine Review 1996 (May);   1 (1):   18-25 ~ FULL TEXT

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, benign prostatic hypertrophy), a non-malignant abnormal growth of the prostate gland, affects almost all men in some degree as they age and can cause a significant disruption of lifestyle due to urinary outflow obstructive and irritative symptoms. An accumulation of estrogen in the aging prostate, along with increased conversion of testosterone to its more active metabolite dihydrotestosterone (DHT) seems to induce this aberrant hyperplasia. Fatty acid deficiencies, zinc deficiency, and amino acid deficiencies may also contribute to the disease process. Numerous studies confirm the mechanisms and efficacy of Serenoa repens, Pygeum africanum, and Urtica dioca in reducing DHT conversion and/or binding to nuclear receptors, and reducing or relieving BPH symptoms.

   Refer to the Saw Palmetto Page for more on this topic.

 
   


   Psoriasis

   Psoriasis - Pathophysiology, Conventional, and
Alternative Approaches to Treatment

Alternative Medicine Review 2007 (Dec);   12 (4):   319-330 ~ FULL TEXT

Psoriasis is a common T-cell-mediated immune disorder characterized by circumscribed, red, thickened plaques with an overlying silver-white scale. It occurs worldwide, although the incidence is lower in warmer, sunnier climates. The primary cause of psoriasis is unknown. During an active disease state, an underlying inflammatory mechanism is frequently involved. Many conventional treatments focus on suppressing symptoms associated with psoriasis and have significant side effects. This article reviews several of the researched natural approaches to psoriasis treatment, while addressing its underlying cause. (The natural treatments include diet, nutritional supplementation [essential fatty acids, folate, vitamin D]


   Medical Nutrition Therapy as a Potential Complementary Treatment
for Psoriasis--Five Case Reports

Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Sep);   9 (3):   297-307 ~ FULL TEXT

The dietary protocol, based on Edgar Cayce readings, included a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, small amounts of protein from fish and fowl, fiber supplements, olive oil, and avoidance of red meat, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates. Saffron tea and slippery elm bark water were consumed daily. The five psoriasis cases, ranging from mild to severe at the study onset, improved on all measured outcomes over a six-month period when measured by the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, the Psoriasis Severity Scale , and the lactulose/mannitol test of intestinal permeability. These results suggest a dietary regimen based on Edgar Cayce's readings may be an effective medical nutrition therapy for the complementary treatment of psoriasis; however, further research is warranted to confirm these results.

 
   


   Restless Leg Syndrome

   Restless Legs Syndrome: Pathophysiology and the Role
of Iron and Folate

Alternative Medicine Review 2007 (Jun);   12 (2):   101-112 ~ FULL TEXT

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a common movement disorder characterized by an urge to move the limbs, usually the legs. Pregnant women, patients with end-stage renal disease or iron-deficiency anemia, and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) have a significantly higher prevalence of RLS. The classic presentation includes the onset or worsening of symptoms when at rest and the circadian pattern of exacerbation of symptoms at night. These symptoms reflect a circadian fluctuation of dopamine in the substantia nigra. Patients with RLS have lower levels of dopamine in the substantia nigra and respond to iron administration. Iron, as a cofactor in dopamine production, plays a central role in the etiology of RLS. Folic acid administration has also been shown to alleviate the symptoms of RLS and may play a role in the treatment of primary (familial) RLS.

 
   


   Rheumatoid Arthritis

   A Case Report of a 53-Year-Old Female with Rheumatoid Arthritis
and Osteoporosis: Focus on Lab Testing and CAM Therapies

Alternative Medicine Review 2011 (Sep);   16 (3):   250-262 ~ FULL TEXT

A 53-year-old female presented with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Additional conditions and symptoms included Raynaud syndrome, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome-associated constipation (IBS-C), gastroesophageal re!ux (GERD), menopausal symptoms, chronic urinary tract and upper respiratory infections, and weight gain. She was taking Arthrotec 75® (a combination of diclofenac and misoprostol – for pain and in!ammation), Fosamax Plus D® (alendronate with vitamin D3 – recently prescribed because of low bone density), and Catapres® (clonidine – for menopausal symptoms). Against the advice of her rheumatologist, she had recently discontinued taking Plaquenil® (hydroxychloroquine), methotrexate, and prednisone, due to significant side effects. Lab tests to identify underlying imbalances and to direct treatment were ordered. Treatment included dietary, nutritional, hormonal, and mind/body support. After one year of therapy, the patient experienced improvement with all of her presenting conditions and symptoms, which enabled her to discontinue several medications. She became versed in identifying and avoiding the environmental triggers of her disease, including foods (dairy, wheat, eggs, and soy), molds, and emotional stress. Antinuclear antibodies were normalized. She experienced a 7.5-percent improvement in left trochanteric bone density – comparable to bisphosphonate therapy. Mild improvements were also noted in the spine and bilateral femoral neck.

 
   


   Seasonal Affective Disorder

   Epidemiology, Etiology, and Natural Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Alternative Medicine Review 2005 (Mar);   10 (1):   5-13 ~ FULL TEXT

In a significant portion of the population of the northern United States, the shorter days of fall and winter precipitate a syndrome that can consist of depression, fatigue, hypersomnolence, hyperphagia, carbohydrate craving, weight gain, and loss of libido. If these symptoms persist in the winter, abate as the days grow longer, and disappear in the summer, the diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can be made.

 
   


   Stress

   Nutrients and Botanicals for Treatment of Stress: Adrenal Fatigue,
Neurotransmitter Imbalance, Anxiety, and Restless Sleep

Alternative Medicine Review 2009 (Jun);   14 (2):   114–140 ~ FULL TEXT

Research shows a dramatic increase in use of the medical system during times of stress, such as job insecurity. Stress is a factor in many illnesses - from headaches to heart disease, and immune deficiencies to digestive problems. A substantial contributor to stress-induced decline in health appears to be an increased production of stress hormones and subsequent decreased immune function. Non-pharmaceutical approaches have much to offer such patients. This article focuses on the use of nutrients and botanicals to support the adrenals, balance neurotransmitters, treat acute anxiety, and support restful sleep.


   Nutritional and Botanical Interventions to Assist
With the Adaptation to Stress

Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Aug);   4 (4):   249-265 ~ FULL TEXT

Prolonged stress, whether a result of mental/emotional upset or due to physical factors such as malnutrition, surgery, chemical exposure, excessive exercise, sleep deprivation, or a host of other environmental causes, results in predictable systemic effects. The systemic effects of stress include increased levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, a decline in certain aspects of immune system function such as natural killer cell cytotoxicity or secretory-IgA levels, and a disruption of gastrointestinal microflora balance.


   Insulin Resistance:   Lifestyle and Nutritional Interventions
Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Apr);   5 (2):   109-132 ~ FULL TEXT

Insulin resistance appears to be a common feature and a possible contributing factor to several frequent health problems, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, polycystic ovary disease, dyslipidemia, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, certain hormone-sensitive cancers, and obesity. Modifiable factors thought to contribute to insulin resistance include diet, exercise, smoking, and stress. Lifestyle intervention to address these factors appears to be a critical component of any therapeutic approach.


   Natural Approach to Hypertension
Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Dec);   6 (6):   590-600 ~ FULL TEXT

Hypertension is a common problem facing many Americans today, with two million new cases being diagnosed each year. Although billions of dollars are spent annually in the United States for the treatment and detection of cardiovascular disease, current conventional treatments have done little to reduce the number of patients with hypertension. Alternative medicine offers an effective way to decrease the rising number of people with high blood pressure. Research has found a variety of alternative therapies to be successful in reducing high blood pressure including diet, exercise, stress management, supplements, and herbs.


   The Causes of Intestinal Dysbiosis:   A Review
Alternative Medicine Review 2004 (Jun);   9 (2):   180–197 ~ FULL TEXT

Alterations in the bowel flora and its activities are now believed to be contributing factors to many chronic and degenerative diseases. Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis have all been linked to alterations in the intestinal microflora. The intestinal dysbiosis hypothesis suggests a number of factors associated with modern Western living have a detrimental impact on the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract. Factors such as antibiotics, psychological and physical stress, and certain dietary components have been found to contribute to intestinal dysbiosis. If these causes can be eliminated or at least attenuated then treatments aimed at manipulating the microflora may be more successful


   The Pathogenesis, Clinical Implications, and Treatment
of Intestinal Hyperpermeability

Alternative Medicine Review 1997 (Oct);   2 (5):   330–345 ~ FULL TEXT

Normally, the gastrointestinal epithelium provides a semi-permeable barrier which allows nutrients to be absorbed while preventing larger, potentially toxic, antigenic, or pathogenic molecules or organisms from crossing into the bloodstream. Pathogenically increased intestinal permeability predisposes the individual to diffusion of antigenic food molecules and translocation of bacteria and/or yeast from the gut to extra-intestinal sites, including mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and systemic circulation. This can be secondary to drugs, microbial overgrowth, radiation, stress, alcohol intake, enteral/parenteral nutrition, or injury. Increased intestinal permeability occurs commonly with diseases including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, asthma, eczema, food allergies, alcoholism, trauma, and surgery. Glutamine, phosphatidylcholine, flavonoids, soluble fiber, and fish oil, as well as probiotic organisms, including Lactobacilli and Saccharomyces boulardii can assist in correcting this abnormal permeability.

   Refer to the Stress and Nutrition Page for more information on this topic.

   Refer to the Chiropractic and Stress Page for more information.

 
   


   Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

   Natural Medicine and Nutritional Therapy as an Alternative Treatment in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Oct);   6 (5):   460-471 ~ FULL TEXT

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystem autoimmune disorder without a known cure. Conventional medicine typically approaches the disease with a treatment plan that includes the use of corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antimalarial drugs, and chemotherapeutic agents. The results vary and safety is questionable. Conservative treatment methods, such as the use of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, have been shown to have an impact on the activity of the disease.



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