Vitamins & Supplements

“Next-Generation” Microbes & Probiotics for Metabolic & Immune Health

By Erik Goldman

The gut microbiome exerts profound influence on immunological and metabolic health.   Recent research points to two “next generation” microbes– Akkermansia muciniphila and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii –as especially important metabolically and immunologically. In healthy people, these organisms are plentiful.  But they are found at much lower levels in people with obesity and other metabolic and inflammatory diseases. […]

Helping Patients Heed COVID’s Wake-Up Call

By Russell Jaffe, MD, Contributing Writer

We are nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, it’s worth looking into what goes on in the body and how the immune system works in critical situations like COVID-19. The pandemic has certainly put the functioning of the immune system to test, but it has also brought to light the […]

The Phytochemical Equivalency Controversy

By Elan Sudberg, Contributing Writer

Is it truly equivalent? It’s a question currently being applied to chemical compounds, formally known as phytochemicals, that have historically been made exclusively by plants, but are now–through recent advancements in genetic engineering—being manufactured by genetically modified yeasts, or protozoans like euglena. A host of widely used vitamins, amino acids, sweeteners, essential oils, and bioactive […]

Managing “Mitochondriopathy” For Healthier Aging

By Erik Goldman

What is the common theme underlying nearly all of the diseases associated with aging? Mitochondrial dysfunction. It is a simple biological fact that mitochondrial function tends to decline with age.  This affects every organ and every tissue in the body. But clinicians often fail to consider “mitochondriopathy” as they treat the various diseases that their […]

Standardization vs Synergy: The Paradoxes Of Botanical Identity Testing

By Elan Sudberg, Contributing Writer

I have a nerdy fascination with the subject of zoopharmacognosy—the study how we humans gained knowledge of which plants are food, which are poison, and which are medicine, by observing the animals around us. Other creatures seem to know what to eat, and what to avoid. Some have figured out ways to self-medicate by chewing […]

New Collaboration Promotes Chromatography for Herb Quality

By Erik Goldman

The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) and the American Botanical Council (ABC)—two of the nation’s leading herbal medicine advocacy groups—have joined forces with the International Association for the Advancement of High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC Association) to promote greater consensus and wider use of this important analytical technique. According to an AHP press release announcing […]

The Future of Probiotics

By Erik Goldman

“It’s hard to develop new probiotics. It takes a lot of work, and a lot of expertise,” says Wesley Morovic, leader of the Probiotic Genomics team at IFF, an international ingredient company that owns the Howaru brand of probiotics. From its humble beginnings as an offshoot of dairy production, the probiotics industry has evolved into […]

Rethinking Osteoporosis

By Russell Jaffe, MD, PhD, Contributing Writer

Osteoporosis is often called “The Silent Killer,” because in and of itself, it has no symptoms and most people who have it are quite unaware that they are losing bone until they experience a fracture. As we all know, a major fracture in advanced age raises the risk for a wide range of sometimes deadly comorbidities. […]

Ahiflower Oil: A New Option for Boosting Omegas & Reducing Inflammation

By Lisa Rankin, MD, Contributing Writer

Ahiflower oil, derived from the seeds of a plant called Buglossoides arvensis, provides a new vegan-friendly, sustainably sourced option for boosting essential fatty acid levels and mitigating pro-inflammatory physiological states. The research shows that Ahiflower—so named because it represents a plant-based alternative to omega-rich oils from fatty fish like the Ahi tuna–provides the richest, most […]

COVID Pandemic Stokes Surge in Supplement Use

By Janet Gulland, Contributing Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a massive surge in supplement use across the United States, according to data from a new Harris Poll sponsored by the Samueli Foundation. The survey gathered responses from 2,053 US women and men, representing a broad range of ages, ethnicities, and geographical locations. Over three quarters of the respondents (76%) […]