Isoflavones reduce postmenopausal insomnia, hot flashes

Alternative Medicine, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
In a past blog, Natural Medications (Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements) for Menopausal Symptoms, I discussed the data supporting a trial of isoflavones in women with menopausal symptoms. However, there was not a lot of data. Now, Medscape is reporting, "Isoflavones may reduce insomnia symptoms" in postmenopausal women, according to a small study in the journal Menopause. (more…)
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Less Than 25% of Valerian Herbal Sleep Supplements Pass Tests For Quality

Alternative Medicine, Mental Health
Long-time readers of this blog know of my admiration for, a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of natural medications (herbs, vitamins and supplements). In fact, I use their findings almost daily in my practice to recommend natural medications to my patients. In its most recent evaluation of a natural medication, valerian, ConsumerLab found that MOST of the valerian herbal supplements tested contained less of the herb than expected and/or were contaminated with lead. Valerian is a popular herbal sleep aid used by approximately 6% of the U.S. population. Valerian accounted for $68 million in sales in the U.S. in 2009, up 10% from the prior year, according to Nutrition Business Journal. Among nine leading and best-selling products selected by for review, only TWO passed testing.…
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My Recommendations for Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and SAMe for Osteoarthritis

Alternative Medicine
Several readers have requested that I post the advice that I both use in practice and teach other healthcare professionals when it comes to a topic on which I frequently teach, Natural Medications for Osteoarthritis: An evidence-based evaluation. This year I've given this talk in several hospitals and to state and national gatherings of physicians and PAs. Let's start with the take home recommendations: The Bottom Line Take Home Point #1 All patients with osteoarthritis should take part in an active exercise regimen and reduce weight (if overweight or obese). I also recommend they begin a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and low in unsaturated fats. Antioxidants in pill form probably won't help. Instead, I advise patients to boost consumption of vegetables and fruits that provide lots of vitamin C, vitamin E,…
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A hot product on the Internet, but should you consider L-methylfolate instead of plain old folic acid?

Alternative Medicine, Nutritional Health
My favorite natural medicines website is the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. The NMCD has new information about L-methylfolate which is being heavily promoted, especially on the Internet, by some manufacturers as a more active form of folic acid. Are they telling the truth? Here's the information from NMCD: L-methylfolate is in many prenatal vitamins such as Optinate, Neevo DHA, Prenate Elite; and regular vitamin supplements including Optimized Folate, MegaFolinic, and others. It's also being used in medical foods for memory loss or depression, in products such as CerefolinNAC and Deplin. According to the NMCD, "folates" are a mixture of different forms of the vitamin that occur naturally in food. Most supplements contain folic acid, a synthetic form of the vitamin. In the body, all of these forms are converted to…
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Study Links Herbal Medicines to Lead Poisoning. How can you find safe herbs?

Alternative Medicine, General Health, Health Headlines, Medical Economics, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
Fox News is commenting on a study published in the August 27 issue of JAMA in which medical researchers say that one-fifth of Ayurvedic herbal medicines sold on the Internet contain dangerously high levels of lead, arsenic and mercury. How’s a consumer to protect themselves? My Take? (more…)
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