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IL, you're right, there are SEVERAL webinars available on the website (Check them out here I think the next time I am studying a subject for school, I will refer to these webinars as a source of extra information (especially since CAM information is often overlooked when learning about disease states).
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2011 on Complimentary Webinars at Natural Standard Blog
Here is a great booklet for patients interested in the DASH diet: It even includes some recipes!
Good point, BB. If the study did not mask the scent then I can see how that may have affected the blinding of the participants. The abstract does not state that it was a blinded study, so we can consider this a limitation of the study then.
I wish I enjoyed dark chocolate! Unfortunately, I do not. I'll have to try some better quality dark chocolate and see if I can acquire a taste for it. I know chocolate sold weekly at the Davis Square farmer's market (held on Wednesdays), so now I'll make it a point to try some samples next week.
I personally have never tried aromatherapy but have always been curious about it. I took a course in pain and palliative care last semester, and I wish we had talked more about alternative therapies for pain during our lectures. I am interested to see more evidence and studies behind this use of lavender.
I would highly recommend participating in this training session. It really helps with understanding how to navigate the website. There are many features that you don't realize exist, and this will hopefully point out some of those to you. A great introduction for anyone new to Natural Standard's resources, or also a great refresher for the more seasoned users.
Toggle Commented Sep 15, 2011 on Natural Standard Training at Natural Standard Blog
I will certainly have to check out Jessica's presentation. I would like more information so that I can counsel breastfeeding patients better.
Toggle Commented Sep 15, 2011 on Complimentary Webinars at Natural Standard Blog
All of the comments so far are great... I agree that there are many compounding factors that you must think about when looking at the results of this study. I am also wondeirng, for example, how much the relaxation/euphoric effects of moderate alcohol consumption may have lead to more positive outcomes in this population. Did moderate alcohol consumption provide consistent mind/body relaxation during the week for these individuals, and did that have cumulative effects over time? We know that proper rest and relaxation is important to have in our daily lives and can lead to positive health benefits.
BB, thanks for the clarification. I didn't understand why the U.S. RDA recommendations and WHO recommendation would be so different... but now it makes more sense.
KK, I agree, it's crazy to think that patients only take the possibility of drug interactions casually. However I think this very fact emphasizes the need for improved patient education by health care providers. Every patient that starts warfarin therapy needs to be made aware of the risks and benefits from the very beginning. They need to be sent home knowing to be fully aware of potential drug and supplement interactions. Pharmacists can play a major role here, and I hope that in the future more hospitals, clinics, etc. will incorporate pharmacists in their health care teams so that they may serve in this patient education role.
I always knew vitamin A was important, but I didn't realize how important it could be during childhood. According to Natural Standard's Bottom Line monograph the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs), established by the U.S. Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, are: for children 1-3 years old, 300 micrograms (1,000 IU) daily; for children 4-8 years old, 400 micrograms (1,300 IU) daily. This is less than the WHO recommended doses, stated in the study article, which are up to 100 000 IU for children aged 6-11 months and 200 000 IU for children aged 1-5 years.
Another question that came up in my mind is how exactly 'adherence' to the diet was measured. According to the text of the study, the aMED score was used. I am not too familiar with this score but the article gives a pretty good description of the components. However, one thing that isn't mentioned is whether or not the study subjects self-reported their daily food intake. If so, I am wondering how the study ensured that the study subjects were being truthful and/or accurate about their food consumption. These are small nuances that may affect the validity of the aMED score.
I like the fact that this study did not just focus on the diet, and rather encouraged multiple healthy lifestyle habits. I think there is a common misconception that improving one aspect of lifestyle should guarantee results, while in reality improving a combination of these is more likely to be beneficial.
BR, you make a great point. It's important to always remind and encourage patients, family, and friends to know about what they are consuming. And that goes for medications, supplements, food, etc. (You are what you eat!) I would encourage everyone to keep a list of the medications and supplements you are taking handy. There are many examples of a medication list, and you can find several templates online. Here's one (developed by ASHP and the ASHP Foundation) that I like in particular: It's always a good idea to review your list with your doctor(s) and pharmacist(s). And it really helps your health provider take better care of you when he/she has a clear picture of exactly what medications and supplements you're taking.
Another article I enjoyed reading in this month's issue was the one entitled The World in a Capsule ( I can't believe that some products may contain the same ingredient from multiple countries. I always knew the lack of standardization with these products caused issues, but this article gave me a better picture of how this all impacts what ends up on the local store shelves (and our bodies!).
I enjoyed learning about tart cherries in this issue of the journal. I just had my first one the other day, in the Natural Standard office! (Clearly I am not the 'average' American that eats 1 pound of tart cherries every year.) Here is a direct link to the specific article on tart cherries:
According Natural Standard database, there is better evidence for cayenne use in conditions such as low back pain and post-operative pain in the dosage form of a plaster... I didn't think about this an another way to topically apply cayenne!
This webinar is a great review of drug interaction information on warfarin. Whenever I have counseled a patient taking warfarin, I have always made it a point to specifically ask about other supplements that patient might be taking - and so I appreciate that this webinar summarizes the key issues that every health provider should be aware of. Also, here is a link to a great patient information booklet published by AHRQ: I have provided this frequently to patients initiating warfarin therapy.
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Sep 1, 2011