Functional Medicine

Plant-Based Planet: The Food Industry's (Brave) New World

By Erik Goldman, Editor in Chief

At a time when meat has never been cheaper, the food industry has discovered "plant-based" living. US sales of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives topped $4.5 billion this year. But today's vegan offerings are very different from the kale salads and tofu sausages of yesteryear.

Zinc Carnosine Prevents Oral Mucositis

By Janet Gulland

Oral administration of polaprezinc (zinc L-carnosine) can prevent oral mucositis in cancer patients undergoing radiation or high-dose chemotherapy, according to a series of studies from researchers in Japan. The compound may also be useful in preventing or minimizing more common oral lesions like canker sores.

A Guide to the Endocannabinoid System

By Jamie Corroon, ND, MPH & Jake Felice, ND

Interest in the medical use of phytocannabinoids from Cannabis Sativa L. (Cannabis) has reached an all-time high. These exogenous, plant-derived ligands interact with endogenously produced proteins, receptors, enzymes and endogenous ligands, in one of the most evolutionarily preserved biological systems known to the life sciences: the endogenous cannabinoid signaling system, better known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Webinar: The Broken Promise of Vitamin E--Why Annatto-Sourced Tocotrienols Are the "21st Century E"

By Erik Goldman

Barrie Tan Webinar Pic

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Over the years, vitamin E supplementation has been promoted for prevention or mitigation of everything from cardiovascular disease to Parkinson’s. In clinical trials, however, vitamin E has rarely lived up to its potential.

That’s because most studies only use alpha-tocopherol---just one of the eight tocopherols and tocotrienols that comprise vitamin E. Recent research suggests that alpha-tocopherol may not be the most powerful of the eight. Taken alone, it may actually be detrimental.  

Annatto (Bixa Orellana), an Amazonian tree that produces bright red seeds, has been used as a source of food and oil since 3,600 BCE. Modern research shows that annatto contains tocotrienol, a phytonutrient with extraordinary antioxidant properties. Annatto is the only plant source to provide exclusively the delta- and gamma-tocotrienols-- the most potent forms of vitamin E. Annatto is also free of tocopherols, an important feature since alpha-tocopherol interferes with tocotrienol biochemistry.

This webinar will cover milestones in vitamin E research, with special emphasis on distinguishing between tocopherols and tocotrienols, and the ways in which the widely used alpha-tocopherol interferes with tocotrienol function.

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Dr. Barrie Tan, one of the world’s experts on vitamin E, will share clinically relevant data on tocotrienol’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in the context of cardiometabolic disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cancer, bone health, and overall cellular health. An overview of the latest randomized trials will highlight annatto tocotrienol’s role as the “21st century vitamin E.”

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • The origins of vitamin E, it’s 8 isomers, and the diverse sources from which they’re derived.
  • How the widely use alpha-tocopherol interferes with tocotrienol functions
  • The impact of annatto tocotrienol on cardiometabolic and cellular health
  • The benefits of annatto-derived tocotrienol with regard to healthy aging, and cardiometabolic, liver, bone, and cellular health.
  • Guidelines for appropriate tocotrienol dosing for practitioners and consumers

Dr. Barrie Tan is a trailblazer and the world’s foremost expert on vitamin E. A scientist first and foremost, he earned his PhD in Chemistry/Biochemistry from the University of Otago, New Zealand and spent several years as a professor at UMass. Credited with discovering a form of vitamin E called tocotrienol in three major sources – Palm, Rice, and Annatto, Dr. Tan was dubbed the “Tocotrienol King” by Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a highly respected integrative cardiologist. Dr. Tan is the President of American River Nutrition, a natural health R&D company he started with his wife, Elizabeth, in 1998. Today, his research focuses on lipid-soluble nutrients that reduce and slow chronic conditions.

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The Fast-Mimicking Diet & the Science of "Juventology"

By Becky Wright, Contributing Writer

New research into fasting, and specifically an approach called the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD), is shedding light on how to use foods and diet patterns to promote longevity and prevent or reverse degenerative diseases. It's an approach that is catching on with functional medicine practitioners—and their patients.

Confronting the Hidden Epidemic of Fatty Liver Disease

By Carrie Decker, ND, Contributing Writer

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) often goes undiagnosed because it may not be accompanied overt symptoms or by liver enzyme elevations. Clinicians who are not specifically looking for it, are not likely to detect it. But over the long term it can have devastating consequences. Fortunately, there are many botanical and nutraceutical interventions that can help.

From the Mystical to the Medicinal, Mushrooms are Having Their Moment

By Ellen Kanner, Contributing Writer

Worldwide, there are 2,000-plus species of cultivated and wild edible mushrooms. All provide solid nutrition—even the seemingly vacuous white button variety. Some produce medicinal compounds. Whether in the kitchen or the clinic, mushrooms are the subject of rising popular interest these days.

Neurotransmitter Testing Holds Keys to Understanding Chronic Inflammation

By Decker Weiss, NMD, FASA, Contributing Writer

Clinically, we blame most chronic diseases on inflammation. Yet the ways we diagnose, measure, and monitor diseases associated with inflammation--including heart disease and cancer-- have not evolved to a truly clinically useful level. By looking upstream at neurotransmitter levels, we can gain important information about what's really happening with our patients.