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Medicine X: Transforming Healthcare’s Inertia into Innovation

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

For all its high-tech tools and trappings, American medicine is still stuck in the 19th century. The Medicine X conference--a healthcare transformation think-tank bringing together technologists, administrators, entrepreneurs, practitioners, and most importantly, patients--hopes to change that.

The Best of Medicine X 2016

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

The annual Medicine X conference is a great place to learn about potentially transformative new medical technology. Here are a few that captured our attention this year.

Medicinal Mushrooms: Nature's Original "Smart Drugs"

By Isaac Eliaz, MD, Contributing Writer

With a therapeutic legacy spanning millennia and a body of scientific research that continues to expand, medicinal mushrooms have earned a rightful place  as broad-spectrum adjuncts. Think of them as nature’s original “smart drugs.”

SNP Secrets: Five Genes Every Clinician Should Know

By Monya De, MD, MPH, Contributing Writer

You do not have to become a gene wizard overnight to begin interpreting personal genetic data. Becoming familiar with a few key SNPs will give you points of entry into the fascinating world of genomics.

The DSHEA Disconnect: What Doctors Don’t Know About Supplement Regulations…but Should

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

Ever wonder why the language describing dietary supplements always seems so vague, ambiguous, and…well…dodgy? It’s because federal law requires it to be so.

Ancient Medicinal Mushroom Improves Renal Function

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

The Poria fungus--little known in the West but long-used in traditional Asian mediicne--has recently attracted the attention of health researchers and practitioners. Compounds in this unique mushroom have particularly positive effects on the kidney.

Excess Pyrrole Production May Underlie Some Autism Cases

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Pyroluria, a biochemical abnormality stemming from an overproduction of pyrrole molecules during hemoglobin synthesis, may play an etiologic role in the development of autism spectrum disorders, at least in some cases.

STRAIN: A New Tool for Psychosocial Stress Assessment

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Chronic stress can wreak havoc on the body, and emerging field of human social genomics is illuminating the mechanisms. A new tool called the Stress and Adversity Inventory (STRAIN) can enhance clinicians' abilities to assess the impact of stress in patients with chronic disease and identify points of leverage for reducing the toll it takes.

“CredibleMeds” – New Private-Public Project Aims to Reduce Antibiotic Side-Effects

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

An online drug safety information resource called CredibleMeds is an important tool for helping physicians and other healthcare practitioners reduce the risks associated with prescription medications, particularly antibiotics.

The Fed’s Misguided “War on Pain,” And What We Can Do Instead

By Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, Contributing Writer

About a decade ago, with roughly one-quarter of all Americans suffering some form of chronic pain, the US government did what it does best, and declared a “War on Pain.” Doctors responded by doing what they do best: prescribing painkillers. The result? Thousands of preventable deaths due to overdoses and side-effects, a surge of addiction, and even more people in chronic pain. Fortunately, as pain expert Jacob Teitelbaum points out, holistic and integrative medicine offers many safer, more effective options.

Regulatory Actions Signal Storms Ahead for Integrative Medicine

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

Over the last six months, federal agencies have made regulatory moves that could have significant impact on the practice of holistic, functional, and integrative medicine in the coming years. While none represent a direct threat to practice freedom, they set precedents that could greatly limit access to foundational practice tools.

Fracking for Natural Gas Linked to Surges in Asthma

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Living in close proximity to natural gas fracking sites worsens asthma symptoms, according to a new study published by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Stop Fighting, Start Restorative Healing: A Functional Approach to SIBO

By By Russell Jaffe, MD, Contributing Writer

The key to helping people dealing with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is to initiate restorative healing of the affected tissues. We need to shift physiology so that the internal environment no longer favors the overgrowth of hostile bacteria in the small intestine. If we fail to do that, treatments aimed at eradicating the bugs will have little long-term efficacy

Hypermethylation: Are We Overdoing It with Methylation Support?

By Romilly Hodges, MS, CNS, Contributing Writer

Over the last few years, clinicians have become increasingly aware of the importance of methylation as a determinant of health. In general, that's a good thing. But over-methylation, driven by zealous use of supplements like methylated folate and methylcobalamin (vitamin B12), can be as much of a problem as under-methylation.

Strong Fathers, Glass Ceilings & the Neurobiology of Politics

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

Cognitive scientist George Lakoff has spent four decades studying how the human mind makes meaning, and how that factors into politics. He concludes that while people may believe they are “voting their conscience,” for the most part they are voting their “un-conscience.”

Goji Berries May Prevent Diabetic Retinopathy

By Julia Powers, Contributing Writer

Tasty and nutrient-packed, Goji berries might a have a role in preventing retinal damage associated with diabetes, according to a new line of research from Oklahoma State University.

Obama in JAMA: Reform Has Achieved Two Main Goals, Says Prez

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

Outgoing President Barack Obama became the first American president to publish an article in a major peer-reviewed medical journal.

And not just any old medical journal, but the Journal of the American Medical Association. In it, he claims that healthcare reform has more or less succeeded in achieving its two main goals: expanding insurance coverage and curbing costs. But other health policy analysts aren't so sure.

Meditation: A Low-Cost, Low-Risk “Blockbuster” Therapy

By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

For many people, the word “meditation” sounds like something that requires a great deal of practice, patience, time, and effort. So people put it off.  But it is really very simple, and the health benefits are profound. If it were a drug, it would be a "blockbuster."

To Prevent Burnout, Get Rid of “Junk” Emotions

By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

Feelings of resentment, anger, and envy are really just “junk” emotions. Like junk food, these junk emotions are  bad for one’s health. In their new book, Psychological Nutrition, psychologists Shoba Sreenivasan and Linda Weinberger explain that many people--including a lot of healthcare professionals-- live in a state of “psychological malnutrition.” As with physical food, changing the emotional diet can make a big difference.

Ph360: Can “Phenomics” Give Clues to Better Health?

By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

ph360 is a new algorithm for determining phenotypes and epigenetic profiles, and then figuring out custom-tailored exercise, and lifestyle plans. “The real key to our health is written in our body’s unique code. And we’ve cracked it," says company founder Matt Riemann. HPC's Dr. Madiha Saeed test-drives the system with her patients and shares her experience. 

Anti-Inflammatory Side-Effects Carry High Price Tag

By Rachael Adams, Contributing Writer

Anti-inflammatory drugs hold the top spot for specialty drug spending in the US, accounting for 23% of all dollars spent on specialty medications. They're also among the most common culprits when it comes to adverse effects, and those end up costing us billions---$2.2 billion to be exact.

Lead Astray: Environmental Toxins Threaten Community Health Nationwide

By Isaac Eliaz, MD, Contributing Writer

The toxic drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, recently put the danger of lead contamination in the national spotlight. While the situation in Flint was arguably the most dramatic and egregious example of careless and negligent environmental policy, it is by no means the only one. Not by a long shot. And the fallout is showing up in clinics all over the country.

Omega-3 Plus Curcumin Equals Effective Equation for Resolving Inflammation

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

In recent years, spending on prescription anti-inflammatory medications has increased dramatically. Unfortunately, it’s become clear that the price paid doesn’t end with the drugs themselves; the side effects they cause -- which can range from fatigue and pain to severe infections -- are very costly.

Labeling Advocates Vow To Fight GMO “DARK” Act

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

Late in July, President Obama signed a nationwide GMO disclosure law that critics say does just the opposite. GMO labeling advocates, as well as the attorney general from Vermont--the only state to fully implement a true GMO labeling requirement--have vowed to fight it.

Probiotics: Benefits Beyond Gut Health

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Probiotics are widely touted for their capacity to improve digestive function and strengthen gastrointestinal health. But according to new research, the effects of beneficial bacteria extend far beyond the gut alone.

CBD Reduces Seizures in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

According to research published earlier this year in The Lancet Neurology, cannabidiol -- a compound found in marijuana -- may help lower the frequency of seizures in young patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy.

Is Marijuana a Viable Remedy for Migraines?

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

In recent years, both an upsurge in medical cannabis research and also changes in the plant’s legal status in many US states have led health practitioners and patients alike to shift their views of cannabis from goofy recreatinal drug to serious medicine. 

Insulin Index Helps Women Get a Grip on PCOS, Weight Loss

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

For women suffering from insulin resistance, a novel food classification tool may offer relief from painful and worrisome symptoms. 

New Urine Test Detects Roundup Residue

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

First marketed as a commercial product in the mid-1970s, glyphosate now has the dubious honor of being the most widely sprayed synthetic herbicide in agricultural history. For years, prevailing scientific consensus was that this weed killer was harmless -- but increasing reports of toxicity associated with glyphosate exposure suggest otherwise. Recently, the Kansas-based Great Plains Laboratory (GPL) introduced a new urine test that allows for more accurate assessment of an individual's glyphosate exposure.

Black, White & Green: Race Has Major Impact on Physician Income

By Erik Goldman

American medicine has a long way to go in terms of racial and gender pay equity. According to a new study published in the British Medical Journal, White male doctors earn nearly 35% more than their Black male counterparts, and that's across all specialties and practice settings. Female doctors earn, on average, 40% less than males, again after adjusting for specialty, practice setting, and patient volumes.

Insulin Resistance Biomarkers Improve on Paleo Diet

By Kristen Schepker

Following a Paleolithic diet may help obese, postmenopausal women lose weight and lower their future risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to a study presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Boston earlier this year.

Practitioner-Focused Supplement Brands Struggle with Online Retail

By By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

Practitioner-only supplement brands are in a difficult fight with a complex and powerful adversary: Amazon.

Mushroom-Derived Compound Offers Promise for Chronic Fatigue Patients

By Sara Lovelady, Contributing Writer

A glucan-based compound derived from Shiitake mushrooms might provide a sorely needed new option for people with chronic fatigue syndrome.

CDC: Demand for Holistic Medicine is Surging—Even Among the Poor

By Erik Goldman

Data from a new Centers for Disease Control report based on interviews with almost 45,000 Americans indicate that public engagement with “complementary” practitioners and natural products is surging---and not just among affluent people.

Low FODMAP Diet Offers Road to Relief for IBS

By Kristen Schepker

When it comes to treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), prevailing wisdom encourages eating more dietary fiber to help manage unpleasant digestive symptoms. But new research indicates that a group of fermentable carbohydrates referred to as FODMAPs -- found in many high-fiber foods -- might actually make IBS symptoms worse.

Losing Ourselves to Diabetes…Then Alzheimer’s

By Erik Goldman

Alzheimer’s affects about 5.4 million Americans, and that number is expected to rise. In part, it’s being driven by the rampant prevalence of diabetes.The epidemiology is clear: people with type 2 diabetes are nearly twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as non-diabetics.

Three Safe & Simple Ways to Detox

By Russell Jaffe, MD, Contributing Writer

There are simple steps our patients can take can take that could go a long way in reducing their overall toxic burden. These steps, combined with diligent efforts to limit the uptake of toxins--whether pollutants, pesticides or heavy metals—can and should be a part of anyone’s overall health maintenance and disease prevention strategy.

Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: A New Tool for Resolving Inflammation

By Robert G. Silverman, DC, MS, Contributing Writer

Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, represent a portion of the omega-3 fatty acid spectrum that has a powerful effect on reducing inflammation. As such, SPMs taken as dietary supplements, are an important new tool for regulating the inflammatory response in our patients.

Should Metformin Come with a B12 “Prescription”?

By Sherryl Van Lare, Contributing Writer

Metformin, a first-line drug treatment for type 2 diabetes, has been prescribed to over 120 million people worldwide.It’s a safe bet that a large proportion of those people are deficient in vitamin B12, thanks to the use of this medication.

Link Between HPV Vaccines & Ovarian Failure Raises Concern

By Jessica Best, Contributing Writer

The vaccine against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) may possibly be associated with ovarian dysfunction and the rare condition of premature ovarian failure (POF), according to a statement released earlier this year by the American College of Pediatricians.

FDA Squelches Home Cancer Tests, Encourages Physician-Guided Liquid Biopsies

By Gina Cushenberry, Contributing Writer

Should consumers have free access to at-home cancer testing kits without physician oversight? Definitely not, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The agency has moved to squelch the marketing of direct-to-consumer cancer tests, at least for the forseeable future. At the same time, FDA has given the green light to the further development of so-called “liquid biopsies” provided they're ordered and interpreted only by physicians.

Wearable Fitness Trackers: They’re Popular, But Are they Accurate?

By Leandro Pucci, Contributing Writer

Wearable fitness trackers are everywhere these days. Consumers are using them to monitor exercise, sleep, and a host of other health-related parameters. Sure, they're popular, but are they reliable? Can we trust the numbers they give us? Leading researchers weigh in on that question.

“Farm to Clinic” Model Brings Healthful Bounty to One Oregon Community

By Julia Powers, Contributing Writer

A unique partnership between health clinics and small farms in Portland, Oregon, is proving that helping people make the connection between their food choices and their health can lead to meaningful changes.

Antioxidants Attenuate Potential Risks of EMF Exposure

By Isaac Eliaz, MD, Contributing Writer

The dramatic increase in the use of mobile phones, wireless networks, and smart devices around the world in the past decade has fueled concerns about the potential of electromagnetic fields (EMF) to adversely influence human physiology. Fortunately, a wide variety of foods, herbs, and botanicals can provide antioxidant support to attenuate the potential oxidative stress caused by EMFs.

Early-In-Life Probiotics Reduce Risk of Diabetes, Otitis Risk

By Kristen Schepker

In recent years, the popularity of probiotics has surged dramatically in the US. Their burgeoning reputation as powerful health-enhancing tools is backed by a growing body of microbiome research into the manifold benefits these friendly bacteria can confer.

AMA Proposes Ban on Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads

By Kristen Schepker

Last winter at the American Medical Association’s annual Interim Meeting, the physician’s group agreed to adopt a resolution that surprised healthcare professionals and members of the public alike.

Prenatal Antibiotics Raise Risk of Childhood Obesity

By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

A recent study shows that prenatal exposure to systemic antibiotics can be associated with a marked increase in risk that a child will become overweight or even obese.

Psoriasis is a Real (Migraine) Headache

By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

People with psoriatic disease — autoimmune conditions characterized by over-expression of proinflammatory cytokines — also had an increased risk for migraine. The connection? Chronic systemic inflammation.

Zika, Climate Change, and the Need for Planetary Stewardship

By William B. Miller, Jr, MD

Zika is all over the news these days, despite the fact that there have not yet been any locally transmitted cases in the US. Some people argue that the threat is overblown. Yet, Zika is rightfully making headlines. Its greater significance extends beyond any current spread.

Mediterranean Diet Fuels Healthy Microbiome, Reduces Diabetes

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Commonly extolled for its cardiovascular benefits, the Mediterranean diet may also foster good metabolic health by promoting a healthy intestinal microbiome.

Will FDA Start Regulating Fitness Trackers?

By Gina Cushenberry, Contributing Writer

Fitness and Health trackers hit the market strongly a few years ago, and they are evolving far faster than the federal regulatory framework for health-related products. Are they "medical devices" or "general wellness products?" FDA's recent draft guidance provides clues to the futurre regulation of these popular products.

Glyphosate: A Root Cause of Chronic Inflammation?

By Zach Bush, MD, Contributing Writer

Glyphosate, the herbicidal compound in Roundup, is dumped on us at the rate of 300 million pounds per year, almost one pound for every person in the US. In the intestines, glyphosate is a profound zonulin stimulator. It damages the epithelial tight junctions on contact, weakening the intestinal barrier function, and fueling chronic inflammation.

Breastmilk Biomarkers: A New Indicator of Health Status?

By Kathleen Jones, MS, Contributing Writer

For rougly $200, new mothers can now get a basic run-down on the nutrient spectrum and the potential toxins in their breast milk, thanks to a new company called Happy Vitals.

"Cleaner" Proteins Scrub Arteries, Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

By Jessica Best, Contributing Writer

Patients at risk of atherosclerosis may have new hope for cleaner arteries thanks to a naturally occurring “scrubber” protein that exists within the body. Alpha-1-microglobin (A1M), referred to as a "circulating wastebasket," scavenges free radicals as well as blood fats that have already been oxidized, potentially opening up a new avenue for reversing atherosclerosis.

Fast-Forward: Insulin Resistance Speeds Cycling in Bipolar Patients

By Gina Cushenberry, Contributing Writer

Insulin resistance may be the reason so many bipolar patients do not respond to treatment. It leads to greater morbidity, chronicity and disability, and also lowers treatment response to Lithium.

EMR Systems Not Worth the Trouble for Many Holistic Practitioners

By Erik Goldman

Half of all holistic healthcare professionals still do not have electronic medical records in their practices--and many of them have no real intention of ever incorporating EMRs, according to data from Holistic Primary Care's 2016 practitioner survey.

Blueprint for Lifelong Health Is Drawn During Gestation

By Trisha Nakano, MS, MA, Contributing Writer

The blueprint of an infant’s future health can be found in her mother’s health status during pregnancy.

Why Probiotics Don’t Always Work

By Zach Bush, MD, Contributing Writer

The optimally healthy human gut should contain between 20,000 and 30,000 species of bacteria. Variety is key. The greater the diversity, the healthier the microbiome. Zealous use of probiotics, while reflecting a positive trend overall, could be causing problems by "monocropping" the GI tract with a relatively small number of species at the expense of ecosystem diversity.

Documenting Hope: New Film Profiles Families That Beat Chronic Disease

By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

Asmorechildrenarediagnosedwith chronicdisorders — 1 in every 2 kids according to some statistical models — an ever-growing number of parents are witnessing the light in their childrens' eyes grow dim with the burden of disease and medication. Butin every darkness, therecan be a light. One organization is giving parents a glimpse of hope and prove that kids with a wide range of chronic conditions can get better with lifestyle and nutritional changes.

Is Allulose the Next Sweet Thing?

By Amy Burkholder, Contributing Writer

Allulose, a naturally-occurring sugar found in small quantities in jackfruit, figs, and raisins, that was recently introduced into the world of food production. Manufacturers say this monosaccharide is absorbed via the small intestine but not metabolized by the body, rendering it essentially calorie-free. But novel no-cal sweeteners have a spotty track record in terms of overall health effects. Is allulose a godsend for the calorie-conscious or just another metabolic trickster?

SharePractice: Putting “Experience-Based Medicine” in Your Pocket

By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

Ever wish you could hold the entire field of medicine in your hand? Tap into the wisdom of longtime doctors who’ve “seen it all?” Get the shortcuts on what really works and what doesn’t? With SharePractice, Dr. Andrew Brandeis has taken that wish list and put it into a smartphone app.

Facing Huge Demand, Cleveland Clinic Doubles Its Functional Medicine Center

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

Faced with, "unbelievable pent-up demand," the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine (CFM) will be doubling its physical size and patient care capacities in the coming year.

The Myths & Realities of Precocious Puberty

By Kathleen Jones, MS, Contributing Writer

Early puberty—especially in girls—has become a topic of mainstream conversation, one that has raised significant concern for many parents, and everyone concerned with the issue has a pet theory about what’s to blame.

The downward shift in female pubertal age been well documented epidemiologically, and in recent years it has received considerable media attention.

But is it really a new phenomenon? Probably not. Does it have real health consequences? Very definitely.

Anticholinergic Meds: Bad News For Aging Brains

By Jeannie Hall, Contributing Writer

People who take Benadryl every night to sleep should probably think seriously about an alternative method….if they can remember to do so. A recent report published in JAMA Internal Medicine,  provides convincing evidence that frequent and long-term use of anticholinergic drugs like Benadryl raise the risk of dementia.

Eating for 10 Trillion: How Diet Affects the GI Microbiome

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

When making dietary choices, a food’s potential benefits to the gut should be a key part of the decision, urged Tom O’Bryan, DC, at Holistic Primary Care’s 7th annual Heal Thy Practice conference.

Crowdfunded Research Shakes Medicine's Ivory Towers

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

For most of its history, medical and scientific research has been funded by grants from government institutions, nonprofit foundations, and private companies. But an emerging trend suggests a new potential source of future funding: the internet.

Lower Target for Blood Pressure Reduction May Help Save Lives

By Kristen Schepker

Practitioners often advise patients to “know your numbers.” But when it comes to blood pressure, researchers aren’t entirely sure what numbers some patients should be aiming for.

Healthcare’s Balloon-Twisters Blow It on Cost Assessments

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

Like clowns at children's birthday parties, there’s a whole cadre of healthcare policy professionals who ply a statistical version of balloon-twisting

They take claims data sets and twist them into forms that purport to be evidence-based pictures of the medical system. By extension, these statistical balloon-twisters are tweaking the lives of actual practitioners and patients because federal healthcare programs and private insurers use these statistical balloon animals to shape and re-shape healthcare payment systems. 

When the balloon doggie pops--and it turns out the statistics are wrong--the tears start to flow.

State Boards Eye Informed Consent for Telemed Consults

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

In a landscape of increasingly complex medical procedures and treatments, healthcare practitioners are advised to pay close attention to informed consent regulations in their states--especially those pertaining to remote teleconsultations

Fish Beats Wolf: Omega-3s Reduce Fatigue in Lupus Patients

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

A daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids may improve quality of life for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), according to a study published recently in Nutrition Journal.

Want to Gain Weight? Drink Diet Soda

By Amy Burkholder, MS, Contributing Writer

Contrary to public expectations, consumption of diet sodas might actually be causing weight gain, rather than promoting weight loss. According to a recent study from the University of Texas, we may be able to fool our tastebuds, but we cannot fool our microbiomes.

CoQ10: A Valuable Ally for Male Fertility

By Kelly Kremnizer, Contributing Writer

CoEnzyme Q10 positively impacts all three of the basic semen parameters (morphology, concentration, motility) and seems to have the greatest overall effect on motility. The majority of clinical studies of Q10 in infertile males have indicated positive outcomes on semen parameters and/or pregnancy rates.

Postpartum Depression: When a “Bundle of Joy” Brings Bushels of Despair

By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

For about 1.3 million new mothers, the long-anticipated bundle of joy is also accompanied by a bushel of sadness and woe. Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common complication of childbirth but unfortunately, only five percent of physicians screen for it. With her new documentary film, Dark Side of the Full Moon, Dr. Shoshana Bennett sheds healing light on the shadow side of the motherhood dream.

X-Ray Selfies and Uber-Docs: A Glimpse of Medicine’s (Near) Future

By Monya De, MD, Contributing Writer

Each year, the Medicine X conference invites tech- and social media-savvy practitioners, patients and business leaders to explore the new frontiers of healthcare technology and the ways in which it is transforming medical practice and the lives of people with chronic disease. Dr. Monya De, HPC's HolisTech correspondent shares the latest from the 2015 MedX gathering. 

For Practice Success, Know Thy Biller!

By Kristen Schepker, Contributing Writer

A good billing service can make the difference between a thriving integrative practice and one that flounders. This is especially true when utilizing "incident-to" billing to obtain reimbursement for services given by non-MD practitioners. Not all billers are the same, and it’s crucial that practitioners align with billers who share their values.

Mercury & Adjuvant-Free, A New Flu Shot Offers Cleaner, Greener Option

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

This flu season, practitioners have a new adjuvant-free option to offer people who’ve been reluctant to take conventional flu shots. The new vaccine, called Flublok, delivers up to three times as much antigenic protein as other flu shots, without additives like thimerosal or aluminum. And, no chicken eggs are involved in its production.

Vegan Diet Reduces Neuropathic Pain In People with Diabetes

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

A vegan diet can markedly reduce neuropathic pain in people with diabetic neuropathy, while conferring a number of other benefits including significant weight loss and improved lipid profiles. 

Gluten Sensitivity, Food Allergies & The Gut-Brain Connection

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

To improve the care of patients struggling with food intolerances and to help them restore their health, clinicians need to understand the gut-brain axis and the ways in which allergen-induced inflammation ripples out through multiple organ systems, including the brain.

NSAIDs Implicated in Female Infertility

By Sara McNulty, MS, Contributing Writer

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs trigger temporary but reversible reductions in female fertility. Women wishing to conceive but having difficulty should avoid taking these ubiquitous medications.

Zonulin: An Objective Indicator of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

By Erik Goldman

Zonulin, an endogenous protein that regulates the size of intestinal tight junctions, could be useful as a serum marker for non-celiac gluten sensitivity—a condition that has been the subject of much controversy in recent years.

Peanut Patch Provides Relief for Allergic Kids

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

An innovative new product that delivers peanut protein directly onto the skin but not into the bloodstream, could transform the treatment of children who suffer from peanut allergy.

Citicoline Reduces Cocaine Use In Bipolar Patients

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Citicoline, a readily available over-the-counter nutritional supplement may help reduce illicit drug dependency in patients with psychiatric illness, according to researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Probiotics Quell Fire of Childhood Chronic Disease

By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

One in every two American children has a diagnosed chronic illness and the numbers keep rising. As a result, many parents are searching for ways to prevent and heal these conditions. The answer lies in the microbiome, which affects and alters functions from the immune system to the nervous system, and deeply affects gene expression, inflammation and the likelihood of chronic disease.

When Confronting Lyme, Think Beyond The Spirochete

By Russell Jaffe, MD, Contributing Writer

One of the key features of LD is the broad impairment of the affected individual’s innate immune response. The usual process of phagocytosis and lysosome recycling does not occur properly. Without improved immune defense and repair functions, the remissions obtained with antibiotics alone will seldom be more than fleeting.

Restoring Health Where the Heart Meets the Brain

By Erik Goldman

Cardiovascular disease and neurocognitive problems may be more alike than they are different, says physiologist Scott Minton, PhD. The key to a more holistic and multi-system treatment approach for both types of disorders is to look at physiological mechanisms that modulate cell membrane receptors, channels, and associated signal transduction pathways.

In Hypertension, Kidneys Are Often “Villains,” Not Victims

By Anne Williams, ND, Contributing Writer

Most scientific research portrays the kidneys as victims of high blood pressure. Yet, the evidence and good logical thinking suggest that kidney disease can act as the "perpetrator" in hypertension.

Clinicians Play Catch-Up With the Genome Revolution

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 1, No. 2. Summer, 2015

genomics graphicIt's an increasingly common scene, playing out in clinics all over the country: A patient comes in with a worried look and a fat printout from 23andMe. She wonders what all those scary red boxes mean, and whether cancer, Alzheimer's, or some other bad disease is lurking in her genes.

Rethinking the Role of Stress in Stomach Ulcers

By Kristen Schepker | Assistant Editor

New research published recently in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology provides strong evidence that psychological factors need to be brought back into the clinical picture of peptic ulcer disease.

Oral Contraceptives May Triple Risk of Crohn's Disease

By Madiha Saeed, MD | Contributing Writer

Women may be three times more likely to develop Crohn's disease if they have used oral contraceptive pills for five years or more, according to data from a Harvard University study.

Oral Contraceptives May Triple Risk of Crohn's Disease

By Madiha Saeed, MD | Contributing Writer

Women may be three times more likely to develop Crohn's disease if they have used oral contraceptive pills for five years or more, according to data from a Harvard University study.

The Five Keys to a Thriving Integrative Practice

By Erik Goldman

Successful integrative clinics—no matter their size, geographic location or clinical offerings-- have five things in common, says practice development consultant, Miriam Zacharias.

Metabolic Medicine for Monday Morning

By Erik Goldman

Based on more than 3 decades of clinical practice experience, the Metabolic Code is a system for reframing clinical lab information in a way that enables physicians to choose treatment approaches that will have the most impact for each patient.

How Doctors Can Heal Corporate America’s “Chief Complaints”

By Erik Goldman

The world of corporate wellness, already a $200 billion industry, is growing at a rate of about 20% per year, and it provides an ideal setting for holistically-minded clinicians to do what seems impossible in conventional medicine: teach real lifestyle change and prevent disease.

Largely Ignored, Massive VA Analysis Confirms Statin-Diabetes Link

By Erik Goldman

A large—and largely ignored--study involving nearly 26,000 military veterans shows that otherwise healthy people taking statin drugs for primary heart disease prevention had an 87% increased risk of new-onset diabetes.

Probiotic Lozenges Improve Oral Health

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

The rapid surge of microbiome science in recent years has spurred an equally rapid growth in the number of probiotic supplements, foods, and beverages hitting the consumer market.

High-Dose Calcium May Raise Macular Degeneration Risk

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Daily high-dose calcium supplementation may increase seniors risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published last month in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Five Keys to a Thriving Integrative Practice

By By Erik Goldman, Editor

Master these five core competencies, and your clinic is much more likely to thrive, regardless of the specific practice model you’ve embraced, says Heal Thy Practice facultymember, Miriam Zacharias.

Want Smarter Kids? Breastfeed!

By By Madiha Saeed, MD, Contributing Writer

Babies who are breast-fed for at least one year grow up to be significantly more intelligent than those breast-fed for less than one month, according to a Brazilian study published in The Lancet Global Health.

Probiotics May Help Prevent Diabetes

By Kristen Schepker

A drinkable probiotic formula containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS) may help prevent type 2 diabetes, according to a study published earlier this year in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Breaking the Mold: How to Get a Grip on Household Mycotoxins

By Jill Carnahan, MD, Contributing Writer

Indoor air pollutants, including mold and mycotoxins, may be contributing to more than 50% of our patient’s illnesses. All too often, though, we clinicians are unaware of it. Fortunately there are effective strategies that can help us help our patients "break the mold" and minimize the negative effects of mycotoxins.

Vitamin K Improves Glycemic Control in Pre-Diabetics

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Supplementation with a form of vitamin K may help to improve glycemic status in premenopausal women with prediabetes.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Linked to Microbiome Changes

By Kristen Schepker

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), one of the most common autoimmune diseases, may be triggered by changes in the microbial composition of the gut, specifically the overgrowth of an organism called Prevotella copri.

Healthcare IT: What It Can--and Cannot--Do For Your Practice

By Erik Goldman

If the proliferation of new health info technology has your head spinning, don’t worry. You are definitely not alone. Many doctors these days are suffering from "Future Shock." Dr. Paul Abramson, whose San Francisco-based practice is positioned squarely at the crossroads of IT and integrative medicine, offers insight on how to choose IT that will really make a difference in your practice.

Testing Takes Guesswork Out Of Omega-3 Supplementation

By Janet Gulland | Contributing Writer - Vol. 1, No. 2. Summer, 2015

For many practitioners, omega-3 fatty acids are a standard part of patient care, especially when working with people at high risk of heart disease or inflammatory conditions like arthritis or chronic pain.

The Alkaline Way: Ten Tips for Reversing

By Russell Jaffe, MD | PhD Contributing Writer - Vol. 1, No. 2. Summer, 2015

There's a lot of talk these days about following an "alkaline" diet as a way of restoring health and prolonging life. In principle a lot of the core ideas behind this approach make good physiological sense.

AG Action Triggers New Wave Of Supplement Scrutiny

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

SchneidermanNew York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's crusade against herbal products earlier this year has triggered a number of state and federal moves that could significantly change the way dietary supplements are regulated.

How to Test for Dysbiosis

By Madiha Saeed, MD | Contributing Writer - Vol. 1, No. 2. Summer, 2015

Disturbance of the gut microbiome, also known as dysbiosis, has a major detrimental effect on human health. As microbiome research continues to explode worldwide, we are learning that microbial dysregulation within the gut is an important contributing factor in a wide range of common disorders.

B Vitamin Reduces Skin Cancer Risk

By Kristen Schepker

A widely available and inexpensive form of vitamin B can reduce the risk of some types of skin cancer, according to new research from Australia.

B Vitamin Reduces Skin Cancer Risk

By Kristen Schepker

A widely available and inexpensive form of vitamin B can reduce the risk of some types of skin cancer, according to new research from Australia. 

Glucosamine/Chondroitin Equals Celecoxib for Knee Arthritis

By Kristen Schepker

The combination of chondroitin and glucosamine may be as effective as a commonly prescribed NSAID in treating painful knee osteoarthritis, according to data from a large multicenter trial headed by investigators at the University of Maryland.

Glucosamine/Chondroitin Equals Celecoxib for Knee Arthritis

By Kristen Schepker

The combination of chondroitin and glucosamine may be as effective as a commonly prescribed NSAID in treating painful knee osteoarthritis, according to data from a large multicenter trial headed by investigators at the University of Maryland.

Making Clinical Sense of the Microbiome

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 1, No. 2. Summer, 2015

It's "the greatest turnaround in science and medicine in the last 150 years," says Raphael Kellman, MD, of the current microbiome revolution.

Heal Thy Practice Spotlight: Temecula Center for Integrative Medicine: "We Need Other Clinics to Do This, Too!"

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 1, No. 2. Summer, 2015

"There is such a big need for this kind of care. We need other clinics to be doing this too!" says Erik Lundquist, MD, of the comprehensive interdisciplinary model he developed for his new Temecula Center for Integrative Medicine.

Aluminum, Alzheimer's & Autism: Understanding the Connection

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 1, No. 2. Summer, 2015

Back in the late 1890s, James Tyler Kent, a forefather of American homeopathy described the nature of someone suffering from aluminum toxicity as follows: "There is confusion of mind, a confusion of ideas and thoughts...The consciousness of his personal identity is confused... he is in a dazed condition of mind... Confusion and obscuration of the intellect."

Ancient Tree Earns New Reputation as Modern Superfood

By Kristen Schepker

For centuries, indigenous African peoples have recognized the vast medicinal and cultural value of the ancient Baobab tree. Widely utilized as a both traditional food crop and a source of medicine, shelter, and clothing, little was known of the prehistoric plant outside its native continent -- until recently.

Surging Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Pediatric Deaths

By Kristen Schepker

Throughout all developmental stages, adequate vitamin D intake is essential for optimal bone health and immune regulation. The medical community has long known that among infants and children, the consequences of vitamin D deficiency can be dire, ranging from rickets -- characterized by softened, weakened bones -- to unexpected death.

FDA Rethinks Homeopathy Regulations

By Erik Goldman

For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Food & Drug Administration is actively considering the possibility of revising how homeopathic medications are regulated.

Teen Asthma Strongly Linked To Insulin Resistance

By Madiha Saeed, MD

Data from a recent cross-sectional study shows a strong link between insulin resistance and poor pulmonary function in a large cohort of adolescents. The correlation held for kids with asthma and, alarmingly, also in those without the disease.

Vitamin D May Improve Colon Cancer Survival

By Kristen Schepker

Among its many other known benefits, vitamin D may improve survival among colon cancer patients, according to new research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's 2015 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

Vitamin B12 Improves Homocysteine Levels, But Not Cognitive Outcomes

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

B vitamins are widely promoted for the treatment and prevention of many forms of dementia. But new research raises questions about the efficacy of B vitamins for slowing cognitive decline.

Vitamin B12 Improves Homocysteine Levels, But Not Cognitive Outcomes (2)

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

B vitamins are widely promoted for the treatment and prevention of many forms of dementia. But new research raises questions about the efficacy of B vitamins for slowing cognitive decline.

NIH Center to Confront Fears Of Herb-Drug Interactions

By Erik Goldman, Editor

“Misplaced fear” about herb-drug interactions is keeping many practitioners from recommending potentially beneficial botanical medicines, said Josephine Briggs, MD, director of the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

Clinical Cannabis: As More States Legalize, Practitioners See Green Light

By Laura Lagano, MS, RDN, Contributing Writer

Whatever your personal, political or professional stance on the issue, the reality is that medical marijuana is in your state, soon-to-be in your state, or coming to a state near you very soon. Clinicians around the nation are trying to figure out if cannabis is, indeed, “real” medicine.

Resveratrol Improves Insulin Sensitivity

By Andrea Strohecker | Contributing Writer

Resveratrol, a polyphenolic compound found in red wine and widely touted for its antioxidant and cell signaling effects, also improves insulin sensitivity, according to a recent study by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.

Not Just a Personal Problem, Practitioner Burnout is a Public Health Issue

By Marnie Loomis, ND | Contributing Writer

What can you do if you are feeling burned out?

This is not just a personal question; it's one that has profound implications for patient care. As research reveals more about the negative effects of professional burnout on patient outcomes, medical mistakes, practitioner health, turnover rates and even practitioner suicide, it is increasingly evident that burnout poses a serious risk to patient safety.

How to Bring Intelligence to Antioxidant Supplementation

By Russell Jaffe, MD Contributing Writer

It is a basic fact of physiology that the efficiency of any biochemical pathway is limited by the chemical substrate that is most essential and least available. This is known as Von Liebig's Law of Limiting Substances, and as clinicians we would do well to keep it in mind.

You Don't Have to Be Smarter, Just Give Better Care

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

The key to success in holistic & functional medicine is simply to give better care than the other doctors in your area. Given how utterly dysfunctional mainstream medicine is, these days, it shouldn't be hard, quipped Mark Menolascino, MD, at Holistic Primary Care's 6th annual Heal Thy Practice conference.

Eating Disorders May Signal Autoimmune Conditions

By Lindsey Davis | Contributing Writer

People being treated for eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating appear to be at increased risk for autoimmune disorders including chronic gasteroenterological, ocular, dermatological, connective tissue, neurological, and hematological autoimmune conditions, according to a new study from Helsinki University.

Eating Disorders May Signal Autoimmune Conditions

By Lindsey Davis | Contributing Writer

People being treated for eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating appear to be at increased risk for autoimmune disorders including chronic gasteroenterological, ocular, dermatological, connective tissue, neurological, and hematological autoimmune conditions, according to a new study from Helsinki University.

Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine: A Test Kitchen for Healthcare’s Future

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

From the outside, there's nothing about the Cleveland Clinic's new Center for Functional Medicine that suggests a healthcare revolution in the making.

NY Attorney General Assails Herbal Medicine

By Erik Goldman - Vol. 16, No. 1. Spring , 2015

eric schneiderman smJust weeks after ordering big-box giants Walmart, GNC, Target, and Walgreen's to stop selling some of their "store-brand" herbal supplements, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman furthered his assault on herbal products by ordering major manufacturers to turn over data on the authenticity and purity of the products they make.

Calif. Counties Declare a Different "War on Drugs"

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Drug overdose is the leading cause of injury-related death among Americans. While a portion of overdose deaths result from recreational drug use, a growing body of research points to prescription drugs--particularly opioids-- as an equally significant culprit.

Got Fractures? Milk Raises Risk

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

From a young age, Americans are taught that milk is an essential component of a healthy, well-rounded diet. But new research on the long-term health effects of drinking dairy questions some age-old assumptions about milk’s protective benefits.

10 Cokes a Day Equals 20+ Pounds in a Month

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

In a quest reminiscent of Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 film Super Size Me, a Los Angeles resident set out to raise awareness about sugar consumption by drinking 10 cans of Coca Cola daily for 30 days. The result is not pretty.

Metabolic Syndrome Raises Endometrial Cancer Risk

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Older women with metabolic syndrome may be at increased risk for developing endometrial cancer, according to new research from the National Cancer Institute.

Mushroom-Derived Compound Shows Promise Against HPV

By Wendy Romig, Contributing Writer

Researchers at  the University of Texas Health Science Center have found that a compound derived from Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes), can eradicate human papilloma virus (HPV), a leading cause of cervical cancer.

“Everything Wrong with Medicine Can be Traced to This”-- A Conversation with Dr. Leo Galland

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

According to Leo Galland, MD, an early pioneer in the now burgeoning field of functional medicine, conventional diagnostic thinking has become so rigid, so codified, and so fixated on the notion that diseases are discrete entities, that it is doing more harm than good.

Are Oats Really Gluten-Free?

By Cara Lynch, Contributing Writer

As gluten awareness has grown in recent years, so has the controversy over one common grain: oats.

Medical Drones Bring Aid from “Above”

By Kristen Schepker, Contributing Writer

Drones, aka Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, have a bad rep these days, conjuring up images of warfare and surveillance. But medical technologists are developing new and innovative ways to turn remote-controlled flying objects into tools for healing.

PLMI Leadership Consortium: Notes from a Parallel Universe

By Niki Gratrix, BA, DipION, mBANT, Contributing Writer

With a stellar line-up that included leaders in preventive health science research, biotech, academia and functional medicine, last Fall’s Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute (PLMI) Thought Leaders Consortium was a vivid snapshot of life at the crossroads of communication technology and whole-systems biology.

Special MD Mortgages Give New Meaning to “Medical Homes”

By Kristen Schepker, Contributing Writer

A growing number of banks are creating specialized mortgage loan programs specifically for young doctors.

Eat Bugs, Improve Health, Save the Planet, Says UN

By Kristen Schepker | Assistant Editor

Scientists project that by 2050, the world's population will reach a staggering 9 billion people. Our growing presence will undoubtedly impact the health of the planet in untold ways, raising significant questions regarding land use, agricultural production, and food security.

Big Ag, Junk Food Interests Spend Big to Defeat GMO Labeling Bills

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

For many people concerned with food, health, and the environment, the main focus of the mid-term elections was not on which party would dominate Congress, but rather on which states might pass GMO labeling laws.

Starbucks Takes Heat for Non-Recyclable Hot Cups

By Kristen Schepker | Assistant Editor

On its iconic white cups, Starbucks urges consumers to "help us help the planet." But in recent years, the coffee shop mega-chain has come under fire for its allegedly eco-unfriendly approach to recycling.

Carotenoids May Prevent Macular Degeneration & Dementia

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

kale-smDaily supplementation with plant-derived carotenoids can reduce the risk of age-associated macular degeneration, and may also have a role in prevention of Alzheimer's disease, according to James Stringham, PhD, of the Nutritional Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Georgia, Atlanta.

Stanford’s Medicine X Conference: Fostering Healthcare’s “Moon Shot”

By Mette Dyhrberg | Contributing Writer

Health is a big topic everywhere we turn today—especially in the tech sector. Aging demographics, rising healthcare costs, and rapid technological innovation are fueling tremendous momentum in Silicon Valley, as tech-minded entrepreneurs reckon with the nearly $4 trillion healthcare sector in the US.

Honeybees Are Allies in Fight Against MRSA

By Kristen Schepker | Assistant Editor

Swedish researchers recently discovered 13 unique lactic acid bacteria in fresh honey and in the honey-producing organs of bees that are strongly active against several virulent human pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

What to Do When Patients Demand Unnecessary Antibiotics

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

It's a common clinical scenario—especially this time of year.

A patient comes in with a respiratory infection---most probably viral—and requests--make that demands--a Z-Pak, saying that he cannot afford to be absent from work, and that antibiotics have "always worked" well in the past.

Carotenoids May Prevent Macular Degeneration & Dementia

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

Daily supplementation with plant-derived carotenoids can reduce the risk of age-associated macular degeneration, and may also have a role in prevention of Alzheimer's disease, according to James Stringham, PhD, of the Nutritional Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Georgia, Atlanta.

How Bias and Stigma Undermine Healthcare

By Dennis Rosen, MD | Contributing Writer

Anthropologist Janelle Taylor got it right when she observed that, "Physicians' medical knowledge is no less cultural for being real, just as patients' lived experiences and perspectives are no less real for being cultural."

More than ten years on, her essay, Confronting 'Culture' in Medicine's 'Culture of No Culture' (Acad. Med. 2003;78:555–559), remains one of the most penetrating analyses of one of healthcare's most challenging issues: practitioner bias and how it affects patient outcomes.

Naturally Gluten-Free, Sorghum Packs a Powerful Nutritional Punch

By Kristen Schepker | Assistant Editor

Every day, an estimated 100 million people consume sorghum worldwide. Most of them are not in the United States.

But that could change very soon, as Americans begin to discover sorghum's tremendous potential to support both human and environmental health.

Starbucks Takes Heat for Non-Recyclable Hot Cups

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

On its iconic white cups, Starbucks urges consumers to “help us help the planet.” But in recent years, the coffee shop mega-chain has come under fire for its allegedly eco-unfriendly approach to recycling.

Maternal Iron Deficiency Linked to Autism Risk

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Iron supplementation may reduce a woman’s risk for having children with autism spectrum disorders.

Probiotics Plus Vitamin C Prevent Colds

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Cold and flu season can be a dreaded time of year for families with young children. But according to new research published last month in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin C and probiotics can be real allies for parents wondering how to protect their kids from common school-borne illnesses.

With GMO Law, Green Mountain State Has Industry Seeing Red

By Kristen Schepker | Contributing Writer

Earlier this year, the small state of Vermont passed an historic GMO food labeling bill with huge implications for business and agriculture nationwide.

Fed Vitamin D Guidelines Off by an Order of Magnitude

By August West | Contributing Writer

The Federal RDAs for vitamin D are, "grossly inadequate" for most ordinary people, let alone people with pronounced vitamin D deficiencies, according to a detailed analysis of 3,885 episodes of vitamin D supplementation in over 1,300 individuals.

Fed Vitamin D Guidelines Off by an Order of Magnitude

By August West | Contributing Writer

The Federal RDAs for vitamin D are, "grossly inadequate" for most ordinary people, let alone people with pronounced vitamin D deficiencies, according to a detailed analysis of 3,885 episodes of vitamin D supplementation in over 1,300 individuals.

Mastering the Omega-3/Omega-6 Balancing Act

By Russell Jaffe, MD | PhD Contributing Writer

Anthropologists and medical historians agree: Healthier people consume about equal amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. This is true for all cultures, ethnic groups and geographies that have been studied. In industrial societies like ours, Omega 3s, which soothe and repair, tend to be low in peoples' diets while Omega 6s, which activate and inflame, are high.

Making Sense of MTHFR Polymorphisms

By Jill C. Carnahan | MD Contributing Writer

Heart attack and stroke. Multiple miscarriages. Chronic migraine headaches. irritable bowel syndrome. Depression. Autism.

Iron Deficiency Often Overlooked in Irritable Bowel

By Elizabeth Credi | Contributing Writer

As many as one-third of all patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have iron-deficiency anemia (IDA), and primary care clinicians can play a key role in identifying and remedying this common but often overlooked comorbidity.

The Greatest Job in the World

By Lillie Rosenthal, DO | Contributing Writer

I have the greatest job in the world. I'm a doctor. I love my work and I look forward to walking to my office each day to take care of my patients.

SAFE or DARK? Federal GMO Labeling Bill Raises Questions

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

Public voices demanding greater disclosure of genetically-modified ingredients in food products have definitely reached ears in Congress.

Cleveland Clinic Gets "Functional"

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

The Cleveland Clinic has teamed up with functional medicine pioneer, Mark Hyman, MD, to establish a multi-million dollar Functional Medicine Institute, slated to open on September 23, 2014.

Dietary Supplements Benefit from Innovations in Capsule Technology

By Janet Gulland | Contributing Writer

As the number of people taking dietary supplements has grown, and products such as omega-3s and probiotics have become a more common part of clinical practice, there has been increasing scrutiny on the quality of the ingredients that comprise them.

Welcome to the Microbiome: Holistic Medicine’s New Frontier

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

DANA POINT, CA -- Think of it as a physiological version of cloud computing, says functional neurologist, David Perlmutter, MD.

"The microbiome in the human gut represents over 3 million different genes.

Heal Thy Practice 2014: Skill-Building for Empowerment

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief

Holistic Primary Care's sixth annual Heal Thy Practice conference, on October 17-19, at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel, just north of New York City, will focus on clinical and practice management skills that empower practitioners to cultivate better health for their patients, their communities and themselves.

Oral Immunotherapy Highly Effective for Childhood Peanut Allergy

By August West | Contributing Writer

Oral immunotherapy is a safe, highly effective modality for desensitizing children with peanut allergy, according to data from a recent UK trial.

Fed Vitamin D Guidelines Off By Order of Magnitude

By Erik Goldman

The Federal RDAs for vitamin D are “grossly inadequate” for most ordinary people, let alone people with pronounced vitamin D deficiencies, according to a detailed analysis of 3,885 episodes of vitamin D supplementation in over 1,300 individuals.

Forget the 'Triptans, Treat Migraines Gingerly

By Meg Sinclair, Contributing Writer

A 250-mg dose of powdered ginger can be just as effective as sumatriptan in staving off the severity of acute migraines, according to a new study of 100 adult migraine patients.

Questioning a "Diseased Illusion:" An Interview with Jeff Bland

By Niki Gratrix, BA, Dip ION, mBANT, Contributing Writer

With his newest book, The Disease Delusion, functional medicine pioneer, Jeff Bland, PhD, endeavors to help practitioners and patients alike fundamentally change how we view illness, health, and healing. HPC correspondent, Niki Gratrix, caught up with Dr. Bland for an in-depth interview.

Probiotics Add Punch To Treatment of H. Pylori

By August West, Contributing Writer

Two new studies indicate that adding oral probiotics to the therapeutic mix boosts the efficacy of conventional drug protocols in eradicating Helicobacter pylori, the most common bacterial pathogen worldwide, and a main driver of peptic ulcers.

Lymphocyte Response Assay: A Window on Tissue Repair Capacity

By Russell Jaffe, MD | Contributing Writer - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

Though it is most often thought of as the body's defense department, the immune system also serves many important repair functions, identifying and neutralizing foreign substances and repairing the body's tissues from daily wear and tear.

Overmedication: An Underrated Problem Among Seniors

By Bettina Krasner | Contributing Writer - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

It's no secret that medication management is a major health concern for seniors.

Making Sense of Natural Non-Nutritive Sweeteners

By Erik Goldman, Editor - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

The following article is an excerpt from, Supplementing Dietary Nutrients—A Guide for Healthcare Professionals, a new book by Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD.

Tissue-Culture Cuisine: The Implications of Lab-Grown “Meat”

By Kristen Schepker | Contributing Writer - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

When the Oxford English Dictionary released a list of contenders for its prestigious 2013 Word of the Year award, among the runners-up was the word "schmeat." Defined as, "a form of meat produced synthetically from biological tissue" schmeat ultimately lost out to the far more ubiquitous "selfie."

“Tricorders Are Not Sci-Fi Anymore:” Tech Tips for Today’s Clinicians

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

"In the near future, we won't just be prescribing drugs, we'll be prescribing apps," says physician-futurist Daniel Kraft, MD.

Mymee App Reveals Disease Clues Hidden in Daily Life

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

Anyone involved in healthcare knows that patient self-reporting is the least reliable form of data collection. Yet in many cases, that—and a few lab measures—is all a clinician has to guide medical decisions.

European Ash Tree Holds New Key for Better Glucose Control

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

The fruits and seeds of the European Ash tree, long used in traditional botanical medicine for their digestive, urinary and hepatic benefits, could be a valuable new herbal ally in the effort to stem the tide of diabetes.

Coconut Oil: From Food to Medicine and Back

By Kristen Schepker | Contributing Writer - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

For thousands of years, indigenous peoples in tropical regions have recognized the vast nutritional and medicinal value of the coconut palm. Referred to as the "tree of life" among tropical cultures, virtually all parts of the coconut palm have found use in traditional foods and medicines.

Coconut Oil: From Food to Medicine and Back

By Kristen Schepker | Contributing Writer - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

For thousands of years, indigenous peoples in tropical regions have recognized the vast nutritional and medicinal value of the coconut palm. Referred to as the "tree of life" among tropical cultures, virtually all parts of the coconut palm have found use in traditional foods and medicines.

Is Neuro-Regeneration a Reality?

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

For generations, the prevailing medical wisdom has been that neurodegeneration is irreversible, and that adults simply cannot re-grow lost or damaged neurons.

Is Neuro-Regeneration a Reality?

By Erik Goldman | Editor in Chief - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

For generations, the prevailing medical wisdom has been that neurodegeneration is irreversible, and that adults simply cannot re-grow lost or damaged neurons.

HPC Readers on ObamaCare: So Far, So So

By August West | Contributing Writer - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

How is the rollout of the Affordable Care Act affecting holistically-minded primary care clinicians?

Errors in Heart Risk Assessment: All-Too-Common, Easily Avoided

By Mark J. Tager, MD | Contributing Writer - Vol. 15, No. 2. Summer, 2014

Ancient Chinese philosophy defines two basic types of error: "Near-error," characterized by a myopic focus on what is closest at hand to the exclusion of the bigger picture and; "Far-error," an obsession with the horizon at the expense of what is in proximity.

An Ancient Grain Eases A Modern Ailment

By Janet Gulland, Contributing Writer

Data from a randomized cross-over trial indicate that Khorasan wheat, an ancient Near Eastern grain better known by its commercial name, Kamut, appears to be a much better option than conventional wheat for people with irritable bowel syndrome.

Medical Marijuana for MS: “There’s a Place For It”

By Erik Goldman, Editor

New guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology hold that there is a place for cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds as therapies for multiple sclerosis. A comprehensive systematic review suggests that cannabis can attenuate muscle spasms, pain and bladder symptoms asssociated with the disease, though it does not appear to reduce frequency or severity of MS tremors.

Dr. Dog & Dr. Jenny Join the Diabetes Care Team

By August West, Contributing Writer

Specially trained Diabetes Alert Dogs and the commercial weight loss programs marketed by Jenny Craig are proving to be highly effective elements in comprehensive self care for people living with diabetes.

Rheumatoid Arthritis in Women: Looking Beyond Hormones

By Janet Gulland, Contributing Writer

New lines of research are prompting a re-think on the issue of gender disparities in incidence of rheumatoid arthritis. X-linked genetic factors, as well as greater thymic activity early in life, appear to play as much of a role as hormones.

Minty Fresh & Symptom-Free

By Erik Goldman

Peppermint can help take some of the “irritable” out of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, according to a recent metanalysis of 9 randomized trials.

In Praise of Alligator Pears

By Erik Goldman

There are many reasons to love avocados: they're tasty and satisfying; they're packed with healthy fats, B vitamins, potassium. lutein and zeaxanthin; and they fit nicely into a wide freshavocados logorange of culinary styles.

But did you know that inclusion of half an avocado in one's lunch can markedly increase satiety and reduce the desire to eat over the next 5 hours? Or that consumption of avocados can mitigate post-prandial insulin spikes, providing plenty of calories without substantially raising blood glucose levels? Or that they can increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins from other foods? Or that they're the only fruit source of monounsaturated fats?

Or how about the fact that addition of fresh avocado to a hamburger lunch will substantially reduce post-meal inflammatory cascades, improve peripheral vascular blood flow, and attenuate the triglyceride surge that usually follows consumption of guac-less burgers.

You can discover these and dozens of other reasons to eat more avocados on the brand new Avocado Central website, sponsored by the Hass Avocado Board (and note that it's "Hass" not "Haas"....named after a postman named Rudolph Hass, who began planting the small, black & bumpy variety in the 1930s).

recipe sweet-potato-and-avocado-empanadasUnder the banner "Fresh Avocados: Love One Today," the Avocado Central site amasses just about everything known to mankind about the versatile and delicious "alligator pear." There's a host of in-depth nutritional analysis, summaries of scientific studies aimed at healthcare professionals, avo-centric meal plans and culinary lessons, how-to videos, and of course bushels of recipes--many from renowned chefs--that go way beyond guacamole (who knew avocados could be combined with chocolate to make gluten-free fudgy bread?).

You can be sure that Avocado Central will have some impact here at the Upshots test kitchens, and we're looking forward to expanding our culinary "avocacy."

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Climate Panel: “Uncertainties Are Mostly on the Bad Side”

By Erik Goldman

A new report from the American Academy for the Advancement of Science strikes an urgent tone on climate change. The generally conservative organization holds that there's a near unanimous consensus among top climate scientists that: A) serious change is real and largely man-made; B) we’re pushing the limits of the planet’s adaptive capacity; and C) there’s much we can still do to avert disaster if we act right now.

There's a NAC to Treating COPD

By August West, Contributing Writer

Twice daily supplementation with N-Acetylcysteine improves respiratory function and markedly reduces morbidity in elderly people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to data from a large, year-long, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

“Tricorders Are Not Sci-Fi Anymore:” Ten Tech Tips for Today’s Clinicians

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

In the near future, we wont just be prescribing drugs, well be prescribing apps, said physician-futurist Daniel Kraft, MD, at the recent NEXT Innovation Summit. Dr. Kraft said that a Star Trek-esque world of tricorder-enabled Dr. McCoys tailoring treatments and tweaking human biology based on real-time physiologic data is already here. Its just not evenly distributed.” Dr. Kraft also reviewed 10 essential tech advances that should be part of any practitioner's digital tool bag.

23 Skidoo: FDA’s Genomics Clampdown Gets Mixed Reviews

By Erik Goldman - Vol. 15, No. 1. Spring, 2014

skidoo-main-imageThe FDA’s recent regulatory action against popular genomic testing company, 23andMe, is generating mixed responses among integrative clinicians. While many share regulators' concerns over the validity of the tests and the public's unguided use of genomic information, they also believe in peoples' right to know how to read their genomic "Book of Life."

Clearing the Air? The Benefits & Risks Of Electronic Cigarettes

By Kristen Schepker - Vol. 15, No. 1. Spring, 2014

In recent years, there has been an explosion in the popularity of electronic cigarettes. Marketed as a trendy alternative to traditional tobacco products, electronic cigarettes--known as e-cigs--are often touted as a safer, healthier habit.

How One Physician Changed Aetna’s Attitudes on Holistic Medicine

By Erik Goldman - Vol. 15, No. 1. Spring, 2014

A few years ago, it would have been a pipe dream to suggest that a naturopathic physician might have a hand in shifting attitudes—and policies--of one of the nation's largest health insurers.

Homocysteine: Rethinking a Predictive Biomarker

By Russell Jaffe, MD, PhD - Vol. 15, No. 1. Spring, 2014

In 1968, Dr. Kilmer McCully, a Harvard researcher, reported that a genetic defect that caused sharp elevations in homocysteine led to early, aggressive atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. This was the first of many studies that pointed to homocysteine as an independent risk factor for heart disease.

Restoring the Therapeutic Alliance

By Amber Vitse, LMT, CN - Vol. 15, No. 1. Spring, 2014

LONG BEACH, CA -- A wealth of new practice models are erupting in the field of integrative medicine, as more physicians and other practitioners seek ways of practicing that are more holistic and embracing of all aspects of their patients' lives.

Heart-Healthy Beverages: Think Before You Drink!

By Erik Goldman | Contributing Writer - Vol. 15, No. 1. Spring, 2014

When it comes to cardiovascular disease risk, what someone drinks can be as important as what he or she eats. But too often, clinicians overlook the beverage factor when making nutritional recommendations, says Steven Masley, MD, director of the Masley Optimal Health Center in St. Petersburg, FL, and author of the new book, "The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up (Hachette)."

Heart-Healthy Beverages: Think Before You Drink!

By Erik Goldman | Contributing Writer - Vol. 15, No. 1. Spring, 2014

When it comes to cardiovascular disease risk, what someone drinks can be as important as what he or she eats. But too often, clinicians overlook the beverage factor when making nutritional recommendations, says Steven Masley, MD, director of the Masley Optimal Health Center in St. Petersburg, FL, and author of the new book, "The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up (Hachette)."

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