Recently Published Research Archives

Continue To Take Your Vitamin D!

There is a study making headlines today that we do not need more than 600IU of vitamin D per day. You probably have seen the headlines. What is ridiculous is that this study only looked at bone health as a marker and ignored the thousands of other metabolic functions that vitamin D plays. Ignore the headlines – take your vitamin D and get it measured properly!

I’ll let the experts reply to this article, but I cut and pasted below a response to this study from the Vitamin D Council.

(Do get your vitamin D levels checked, but when you do make sure you do not take any in supplementation form for at least 2-3 days prior to the blood draw.  Also it is the 25(OH)D level that is important although in some people the ratio of D2:D3 may be important such as some autoimmune diseases)


After 13 year of silence, the quasi governmental agency, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), today recommended that a three-pound premature infant take virtually the same amount of vitamin D as a 300 pound pregnant woman. While that 400 IU/day dose is close to adequate for infants, 600 IU/day in pregnant women will do nothing to help the three childhood epidemics most closely associated with gestational and early childhood vitamin D deficiencies: asthma, auto-immune disorders, and, as recently reported in the largest pediatric journal in the world, autism. Professor Bruce Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina has shown pregnant and lactating women need at least 5,000 IU/day, not 600.

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Using traditional acupuncture for breast cancer-related hot flashes and night sweats.

de Valois BA, Young TE, Robinson N, McCourt C, Maher EJ.

Supportive Oncology Research Team (SORT), Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre (LJMC), Mount Vernon Hospital, Middlesex, United Kingdom.


OBJECTIVES: Women taking tamoxifen experience hot flashes and night sweats (HF&NS); acupuncture may offer a nonpharmaceutical method of management. This study explored whether traditional acupuncture (TA) could reduce HF&NS frequency, improve physical and emotional well-being, and improve perceptions of HF&NS. DESIGN/

SETTINGS/LOCATION: This was a single-arm observational study using before and after measurements, located in a National Health Service cancer treatment center in southern England.

SUBJECTS: Fifty (50) participants with early breast cancer completed eight TA treatments. Eligible women were ≥ 35 years old, ≥ 6 months post active cancer treatment, taking tamoxifen ≥ 6 months, and self-reporting ≥ 4 HF&NS incidents/24 hours for ≥ 3 months.

INTERVENTIONS: Participants received weekly individualized TA treatment using a core standardized protocol for treating HF&NS in natural menopause.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Hot Flash Diaries recorded HF&NS frequency over 14-day periods; the Women’s Health Questionnaire (WHQ) assessed physical and emotional well-being; the Hot Flashes and Night Sweats Questionnaire (HFNSQ) assessed HF&NS as a problem. Measurements taken at five points over 30 weeks included baseline, midtreatment, end of treatment (EOT), and 4 and 18 weeks after EOT. Results for the primary outcome: Mean frequency reduced by 49.8% (95% confidence interval 40.5-56.5, p < 0.0001, n = 48) at EOT over baseline. Trends indicated longer-term effects at 4 and 18 weeks after EOT. At EOT, seven WHQ domains showed significant statistical and clinical improvements, including Anxiety/Fears, Memory/Concentration, Menstrual Problems, Sexual Behavior, Sleep Problems, Somatic Symptoms, and Vasomotor Symptoms. Perceptions of HF&NS as a problem reduced by 2.2 points (standard deviation = 2.15, n = 48, t = 7.16, p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: These results compare favorably with other studies using acupuncture to manage HF&NS, as well as research on nonhormonal pharmaceutical treatments. In addition to reduced HF&NS frequency, women enjoyed improved physical and emotional well-being, and few side-effects were reported. Further research is warranted into this approach, which offers breast cancer survivors choice in managing a chronic condition.

Acupuncture reduces crying in infants with infantile colic: a randomised, controlled, blind clinical study.

Landgren K, Kvorning N, Hallström I.

1Department of Health Science, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether acupuncture reduces the duration and intensity of crying in infants with colic. Patients and methods 90 otherwise healthy infants, 2-8 weeks old, with infantile colic were randomised in this controlled blind study. 81 completed a structured programme consisting of six visits during 3 weeks to an acupuncture clinic in Sweden. Parents blinded to the allocation of their children met a blinded nurse. The infant was subsequently given to another nurse in a separate room, who handled all infants similarly except that infants allocated to receive acupuncture were given minimal, standardised acupuncture for 2 s in LI4. Read the rest of this entry

Antibiotics As A Last Resort

I get frustrated and sad when I hear a friends kid is on antibiotics, especially if they are under 2 years of age.   There is little doubt that antibiotics cause stress to the gut mucosa lining.   There is also clear indication that antibiotics may not be useful for the common infant/toddler ear and sinus infections.   The good news is that many pediatricians are cautious to only use antibiotics as a last resort.  There are other options such as dietary changes (often sugar or cow’s dairy can be a culprit), increasing vitamin D levels and using essential oils.   Chinese Medicine has a 2000+ year history of treating common infant/toddler issues that existed a millennium ago as they exist today.   There are many alternatives before one subjects their child to antibiotics. Read the rest of this entry

DHA Importance During Breast Feeding

For many years I’ve strongly recommended to my perinatal patients that they take a high dose DHA fish oil supplement. DHA is docosahexaenoic acid found in fatty fish which is one of the beneficial longer chain fatty acids we get from fish – the other being EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). I’m not sure where I first learned of the benefits of DHA for the brain and using it during pregnancy, but it makes sense given the plethora of research on its neurological benefits.

I had my wife take a high DHA fish oil throughout pregnancy and 2 years of breast feeding. The proof is in the pudding as our child will be attending Harvard next fall. He is only 2 years old.
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Stress Reduces Chance of Conceiving

A recent study has shown that women who are the most stressed have the least likely chance to conceive.   Basically stress plays a huge role in conception which is why so many people that try and try to conceive cannot.   Then they go away on vacation and get pregnant.  We’ve heard these stories many times and I and others believe this is true, but the recent study has now given it more credence.

In this study they checked a marker of stress called alpha-amylase.   It is an enzyme made in the mouth that helps us digest carbohydrates.   But it has also been shown to increase during times of Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) dominance – meaning the flight or fight stage we’ve heard about.   Researchers use this marker for determining the stress response in the body because it is easy to measure and it is quick to respond.    Women who had the most trouble getting pregnant had higher levels of alpha-amylase than women who conceived.
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Watercress – A Powerful Chemopreventive

It is widely knows that the phytonutrient known as isothiocyanates have powerful anti-cancer effects.   Isothiocyanate are found in mustard, horseradish, and onions to name a few.  It is what gives the herb its powerful biting taste.    However another anti-cancer phytonutrient that doesn’t get as much attention is phenethyl ITC (PEITC).  Watercress contains high amounts of PEITC.  A recent study looked at what happens in women’s blood after ingesting watercress.  In particular they looked at a specific blood marker that shows a  reduction in cancer cells.   What they found is marked inhibition in cancer cell activity, even stronger inhibition than what is found with isothiocyanates.

So next time you have the opportunity to buy fresh watercress please do so.   Add some to your salad to give it some bite and reduce your cancer risk as well.    Besides watercress is delicious! Read the rest of this entry


From British Journal of Dermatology
Background: Previous reports have suggested that certain probiotics given to mothers and children at risk of atopy halves the incidence of atopic dermatitis (AD) at two years of age.

Objectives: The purpose of this trial was to examine if probiotics given to pregnant women in a non-selected population could prevent atopic sensitization or allergic diseases during the child’s first two years.

Methods: In a randomised, double-blind trial of children from a non-selected maternal population ( identifier: NCT00159523), women received probiotic milk or placebo from 36 weeks of gestation to three months postnatally during breastfeeding. The probiotic milk contained Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus acidophilus La-5 and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bb-12. Children with an itchy rash for more than four weeks were consecutively assessed for AD. At two years of age, all children were assessed for atopic sensitisation, AD, asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC). The intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis was enabled by multiple imputations. Read the rest of this entry

There are many possibilities as to why acupuncture is so effective for many pain conditions.  No doubt it isn’t just one or two mechanisms at work but several that may be different depending on the individual.    A recent article found that adenosine which is a pain receptor modulator is expressed during acupuncture.      This study was done in mice which may or may not translate to humans, although it is very likely this is one of the mechanisms at play.

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