With Conventional Back Care Better for Back!
Persistent low back pain is a common, incapacitating, costly, and difficult to treat condition. However, in a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, results showed many patients might benefit significantly from a combination of alternative and complementary therapy (e.g., chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists) with conventional care. Researchers from the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, MA), Group Health Research Institute (Seattle, WA), and Brown University (Providence, RI), compared two patient groups which were either put on conventional therapy alone — defined as “usual care” – or a combination of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies plus usual care. They reported significant differences between the two randomized patient groups in outcomes which included pain, functional status, and difficulty performing routine, self-identified challenging activities.
CAM therapies were provided by a trained team of healthcare practitioners and included acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, mind-body techniques, and nutritional counseling. Usual care consisted of treatments provided by subjects’ primary care physicians and typically included non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), physical therapy and bed rest as needed, education, and changes in activity levels.
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News (2012, April 24). Complementary and alternative medical therapy combined with conventional medical care may significantly improve treatment of lower back pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2012/04/120424121906.htm
Herbal Supplements and Chemo – Bad Combo?
According to a new report presented at the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, Acai berry, cumin, herbal tea, turmeric and long-term use of garlic — all herbal supplements commonly believed to be beneficial to your health — may negatively impact chemotherapy treatment. Researchers from Northwestern Memorial hospital say there is growing evidence that these popular supplements may intensify or weaken the effect of chemotherapy drugs and in some cases, may cause a toxic, even lethal reaction. June M. McKoy, MD, geriatrician and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine at and lead investigator of the study, said. “What people don’t realize is that supplements are more than just vitamins and can counteract medical therapies if not taken appropriately.”
He added, “Patients need to tell their doctors what medications they are taking — including vitamins and supplements — to avoid any possible interaction,” Herbal supplements, defined as plant or plant parts used for therapeutic purposes, can interact with chemotherapy drugs through different mechanisms. While culinary herbs used in small quantities for flavoring are generally safe, consuming large amounts for prolonged periods of time may have a negative effect on the body when going through chemotherapy. “
Recent research shows that 50 percent of patients undergoing chemotherapy did not tell their doctor they were taking alternative therapies.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital (2011, August 17). Popular herbal supplements may adversely affect chemotherapy treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2011/08/110817101937.htm
Cordyceps To Fight Cancer?
Your humble wild mushroom called cordyceps might be a good weapon against cancer. Researchers from the University of Nottingham have found that cordyceps may be an effective treatment for cancer. In traditional Chinese medicine, cordyceps is used for a wide range of conditions including fatigue, sexual dysfunction and coughs. In vitro and animal studies have showed antitumor, radioprotective, and antidiabetic effects from cordyceps. In addition, a recent study showed cordyceps to improve renal function in patients with chronic allograft nephropathy, a leading cause of kidney failure.
Cordyceps was originally formulated into a cancer drug called cordycepin back in the 1950s. Though the drug version was ultimately found to be ineffective because of rapid degradation inside the body once it was administered, the active components from the mushroom continue to be effective cancer fighters.
Depending upon dosage levels, cordyceps mushroom extracts directly impact the process of cell protein development, impeding the production of the mRNA molecules that create them. At high doses, cordyceps inhibits protein development directly, essentially eliminating the ability of cancer cells to function and survive.