In this study, the authors evaluated the effectiveness and safety of outpatient balneological treatment consisting of hydrotherapy and peloid therapy in elderly patients with osteoarthritis (1). Hydrotherapy was applied as head-out immersion in a tap water pool at 36-38 °C for 20 min and then peloid therapy was applied as a local peloid pack on the painful region or joint at 42-43 °C for 20 min, on each weekday for 2 weeks. Patients were evaluated before and after the treatment and outcome measurements were pain, patient's global assessment, physician's global assessment, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities index, Lequesne hip index, Waddell index, neck pain and disability scale, and health assessment questionnaire. In total, 235 osteoarthritis patients were included in the analysis. The authors found significant improvements in pain and function scores in generalized, knee, lumbar, cervical and hand osteoarthritis.
- 25 Mar 18
- 20 Mar 18
Constant exposure to various stressors are leading to an increase in immunocompromising health conditions (1). In this review, the authors discuss the role of herbal immunomodulators. Synthetic chemotherapeutic agents, which are widely available in the commercial market, may be highly efficacious, but most are immunosuppressive and exert many side effects. Numerous herbs used in ethnoveterinary medicine can be successfully employed as adjuvant rehabilitators to negate the deleterious effects of chemotherapeutics. Globally, many studies have been conducted on these herbs and have revealed unique active constituents that activate the innate immune system through the stimulation of macrophages and lymphocytes, and modulation of the cytokine profile, which leads to a state of alertness with a subsequent reduction in the incidence of infection.
- 15 Mar 18
In this study, the authors reported on the long-term (up to 1 year) outcomes of acupuncture as a primary and independent treatment in patients with insomnia. The patient was evaluated with polysomnography. In this study, the diagnosis of chronic insomnia was based on the International Classification of Sleep Disorders insomnia. The patient had no obvious differential diagnosis. Acupuncture treatment was planned for this patient who refused to take medical treatment with chronic insomnia. So the patient received 1 hour of acupuncture treatment for 12 weeks. Polysomnographic evaluation was performed at baseline and 3 months, and 1 year after acupuncture treatment. He was asked to keep a diary of all his insomnia-related symptoms. All outcome measures substantially improved. Moreover, during the observation period, the patient's sleep quality did not worsen. The authors conclude that acupuncture is a viable therapy for chronic insomnia.
- 10 Mar 18
In this study, the authors evaluated which factors predicated a high patient throughput to add more evidence to the body of naturopathic evidence (1). It was a cross-sectional study sampling 1096 practitioners in Germany. Besides, sociodemographic data and practice characteristics topics like job satisfaction and feeling for the job were evaluated. This was supplemented with an evaluation of patient traits which were perceived as challenging. The results showed that the naturopathic practitioners were very satisfied with their job. Naturopathic practitioners described that 40% of their patients are challenging.
- 05 Mar 18
Based on a growing body of evidence implicating low vitamin D status in the development of cardiovascular disease, the authors hypothesized that in Canadian HIV-positive adults, low vitamin D concentration would be associated with increased subclinical vascular disease progression (1). In this study, they analyzed the association. The results showed mean progression was 0.027 mm/year. Only 13.3% of participants were vitamin D deficient (25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L), whereas 61.7% had a 25(OH)D exceeding the sufficiency threshold (75 nmol/L). The authors conclude that baseline vitamin D was associated with carotid intima-media thickness progression in this relatively vitamin D replete, predominately white and male, Canadian HIV-positive population.
(1) Huff H, et al. Vitamin D and progression of carotid intima-media thickness in HIV-positive Canadians. HIV Med. 2018;19(2):143-151.
- 02 Feb 18DHA mediates the protective effect of fish in new episodes of depression In a longitudinal cohort study of young Australian adults, the authors reported that for women higher baseline levels of fish consumption were associated with reduced incidence of new depressive episodes during the 5-year follow-up (1). Fish are high in both n-3 fatty acids and tyrosine. In this study, they tried to determine whether n-3 fatty acids or tyrosine explain the observed association. During 2004-2006, a FFQ (nine fish items) was used to estimate weekly fish consumption among 546 women aged 26-36 years. A fasting blood sample was taken and high-throughput NMR spectroscopy was used to measure 233 metabolites, including serum n-3 fatty acids and tyrosine.02 Feb 18Acupuncture for severe constipation Acupuncture has been shown to help with chronic severe functional constipation (CSFC). Which patients have a better response is unclear and this study examined that (1). The authors performed a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial, in which patients received electroacupuncture or sham electroacupuncture. Responders were defined as participants with an increase of at least one complete spontaneous bowel movement in week 20 compared with the baseline period. The results showed that the responder rate was significantly greater in the active group. Both age and comorbidity were negatively associated with clinical response: with every one-year increase in age, the likelihood of clinical response was reduced by 1.2% and patients with comorbidities were approximately 42% less likely to respond to treatment.02 Feb 18High-dose oral multivitamins and minerals after heart attack This study examined a subgroup of the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) (1). It looked at oral multivitamins and minerals after heart attack to see if they improved outcomes and included patients not on statins. There were 460 (27%) of 1,708 TACT participants not taking statins at baseline, 224 (49%) were in the active vitamin group and 236 (51%) were in the placebo group. The intervention was a daily high-dose tablet, 6 per day. The primary end point of TACT was time to the first occurrence of any component of the composite end point: all-cause mortality, MI, stroke, coronary revascularization, or hospitalization for angina. The results showed better outcomes in the vitamin group.02 Feb 18
Pretreatment of myoinositol is a very new method that was evaluated in multiple small studies to manage poor ovarian response in assisted reproduction. This study was to determine the efficacy of myoinositol supplement in infertile women undergoing ovulation induction for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or in vitro fertilization embryo transfer (IVF-ET) (1). A meta-analysis was conducted and 7 trials were included. Inositol was associated with improved clinical pregnancy rates, as well as other positive factors. There were no differences in total oocytes retrieved. The authors conclude that myoinositol supplement increase clinical pregnancy rate in infertile women undergoing ovulation induction for ICSI or IVF-ET.02 Feb 18Vitamin B12 after gastric bypass Many guidelines recommend vitamin B12 injections in those with gastric bypass surgery. This study reviewed the efficacy and to see if oral B12 is adequate (1). The authors examined medical databases and obtained 19 articles to review. The results showed that oral vitamin B12 at doses of less than 15 mcg are insufficient to prevent deficiency in bypass patients. Higher supplementation doses showed better results, and in particular, doses of 1000mcg per day lead to an increase in B12 levels and was sufficient for prevention of deficiency.26 Jan 18Folic acid supplementation for stroke prevention in patients with cardiovascular disease This study examined the effect of folic acid supplementation on stroke prevention in patients with cardiovascular disease (1). Multiple medical databases were searched to identify appropriate studies. Relative risks were used to examine the association. Statistical analyses were conducted. The results showed that 11 studies with 65,790 patients were included. Folic acid supplementation was associated with a significant benefit in reducing risk of stroke in patients with cardiovascular disease. Greater effects were seen in participants with decreased homocysteine concentrations, those with doses of less than 2mg, and populations in regions with no or partly fortified grain.26 Jan 18Evaluating smoking cessation interventions in those with chronic diseases In this study, the authors evaluated the effects of a psychological intervention and psychological plus drug intervention on smoking cessation among male smokers with a single chronic disease (1). 509 male smokers were divided into groups, according to their will. Physicians provided free individual counselling and follow-up interviews with brief counselling for all the subjects. Some patients also received buproprion or varenicline to quit smoking. The outcomes were self-reported. The results showed that at 7 days, abstinence rates were higher in the psychological plus drug group. The 3 month continuous abstinence rate was not statistically different between the groups.26 Jan 18Andrographis for the relief of acute respiratory infections In this study, Andrographis Paniculata was examined for its uses in cough, cold, and influenza (1). The authors suggest it should be helpful in respiratory tract infections (RTIs). They performed a systematic review to evaluate its clinical effectiveness. They searched numerous medical databases and the primary outcomes were improvement in ARTI symptoms and adverse events. They performed statistical analyses. The results showed that 33 randomized controlled trials were included. Most examined Andrographis as a monotherapy or as a herbal mixture. It was shown to improve cough and sore throat when compared to placebo.26 Jan 18Herbs for obese patients with type 2 diabetes Berberine is a component of the herb Berberis aristata, and shows effects on cholesterol, blood sugar, and insulin (1). It has low bioavailability, so it was combined with milk thistle in this study. The study was placebo controlled and aimed to see if this combination could help patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Patients were tested before and after taking the herb, over 6 months. All parameters tested, including fasting blood glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, cholesterol, and abdominal fat, improved.26 Jan 18Japanese Herbal Medicine for Gastrointestinal Cancer This study was a systematic review on the use of Daikenchuto (DKT) on gastrointestinal motility in patients undergoing abdominal surgery, to see if it could help relieve postoperative ileus (1). The researchers identified pertinent studies in several medical databases and applied statistical analyses. The results showed that there were 7 studies with 1134 patients who were included. Overall, DKT significantly reduced the occurrence of postoperative ileus, in comparison to those who did not receive it, or those who received placebo.
ReferencesReferences (1) Ishizuka M, et al.