Functional Medicine

Can Probiotics Regulate Lipid Metabolism?

By Carrie Decker, ND, Contributing Writer

There’s ample data to show that gut bacteria affect mood, immune system health, sleep cycles, and response to stress. It turns out that the gut microbiome—at least certain microbial species within it—also play a role in lipid metabolism, suggesting that some types of probiotics may have heart health benefits.

Is Leaky Gut a Cardiovascular Risk Factor?

By Becky Wright, Contributing Writer

Leaky gut syndrome has been getting a lot of attention during the last several years for its role in the etiology of chronic conditions like inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) and even diabetes. A new line of research suggests that intestinal permeability may contribute to cardiovascular risk. The key? Gut bacteria and bacterial endotoxins that enter the blood stream and inflitrate the epicardium, the vascular endothelium, and atheromatous plaques present in the vessels.

Choline, Carnitine & the Heart: Is TMAO Really a Risk Factor?

By Russell Jaffe, MD, Contributing Writer

Recently, I was asked if I had any concerns about elevated levels of TMAO—trimethylamine N-oxide--with a diet high in eggs. This is a reasonable question given that elevated TMAO levels have been linked to increased cardiovascular disease and stroke. As with most physiologic functions, however, the answer is nuanced and highly individualized. It’s not a simple “good or bad” subject.

Functional Formularies Offers Organic, Plant-Based Options for Tube-Feeding

By Ellen Kanner, Contributing Writer

A small independent company based in Ohio launched a feeding tube formula called Liquid Hope, comprised entirely of organic whole foods like chickpeas, sprouted quinoa, almond butter, turmeric, kale, sweet potato, and other high-energy, anti-inflammatory ingredients. Unlike most conventional enteral nutrition formulas, Liquid Hope is free from sugar, corn syrup, omega-6 laden oils, and dairy ingredients. It is making a profound difference in the lives of many patients. 

Hemp & CBD: Evidence, Evangelism & Extreme Exuberance

By Erik Goldman, Editor

If you are confused about the therapeutic value of hemp oil, cannabidiol (CBD), and other cannabis-related substances, and you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what’s legal and what’s not, that’s good: It means you’re paying attention.  Yes, there is some evidence, but there's also a lot of evangelism. Clinicians face the challenge of separating the scientific realities from the hype. 

Cannabis: State of the Science

By Erik Goldman, Editor

Is there any solid science to support the use of phytocannabinoids in clinical practice? The answer is yes….and no.

It depends on how you define “cannabis” and “cannabinoids;” whether you’re talking about inhaled (ie, smoked or vaped), ingested, or sublingual delivery; and of course, which diseases you’re considering.

Cannabis & Hemp: A Regulatory Update

By Erik Goldman, Editor

The year 2018 was a landmark in the history of hemp and cannabis in the US. It was the year the FDA approved the first natural cannabis-derived prescription drug, and Congress passed a Farm Bill that included provisions legalizing cultivation of, and interstate commerce in, low-THC hemp. But the laws and regulation around hemp and cannabis remain a confusing patchwork, and some states are taking regulatory actions that run counter to the new federal provisions.

Cannabis, Hemp, Marijuana: What's in a Name?

By Erik Goldman, Editor

Amid the current rage for all things cannabis, there is a lot of confusion about the terminology used to describe this plant and compounds extracted from it.

Part of that confusion arises from the Farm Bill of 2018, which changes some federal definitions. These changes have major implications for legal and regulatory policy.  Here’s a guide to common cannabis-related terms and their current definitions.

"I Expect My Patients to Be Outliers": Applying Nutrition to Improve Cancer Outcomes

By Erik Goldman, Editor

“I expect my patients to be outliers, to defy the statistics, to defy the odds,” says Nalini Chilkov, LAc, OMD, a practitioner of oriental medicine and nutrition counseling, who specializes in working with cancer patients.

Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Dr. Chilkov has treated thousands of people with diverse forms of cancer. She’s witnessed first-hand the positive impact that thoughtful, carefully-tailored diets and supplementation protocols can have. She shares a wealth of clinical pearls on how to use nutritional interventions to improve health outcomes for people with cancer.

Why Are Women Still Suffering Through Menopause?

By Decker Weiss, NMD, Contributing Writer

Why do some women seem to move easily through menopause while others suffer greatly? Why do some menopausal women respond well to hormone therapy while others get little relief? The answer may have less to do with sex hormones and more to do with imbalances in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-thyroid (HPAT) axis.