Functional Medicine

Confronting the Hidden Epidemic of Fatty Liver Disease

By Carrie Decker, ND, Contributing Writer

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. 

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.