The Integrative Therapeutics blog is your destination for staying current on topics within the integrative medicine community.
// Christopher Oswald, DC, CNS, CFMP
Botanicals and herbs are consistently used with the goal of supporting a wide variety of health processes. The use of botanical supplements is broadly reported throughout history in the application of numerous folk and natural remedies, with the oldest evidence pointing to use approximately 5,000 years ago. Review a recommendation of what type of evidence to focus on when looking to use or recommend a botanical or herb.
// Lauren Martin, MS, CNS and Corey Schuler, RN, MS, CNS, DC
Let’s set the record straight: turmeric, curcuminoids, and curcumin are not interchangeable terms. Curcumin is a small, potent, and important part of turmeric. This distinction has implications when looking to select a nutritional supplement, when educating patients, as well as for clinical dosing.
// Anne Thiel, ND
Mitochondria are the last stop for extracting energy from food and oxygen. There are a multitude of reasons mitochondria may fail to perform efficiently, ranging from nutrient deficiencies to genetic mutations. Lab tests, including the organic acid test, combined with a thorough history and exam, are important in helping understand how mitochondrial function might be compromised and how to best direct potential treatment plans.
// Anne Thiel, ND
One particular component of the mitochondria that may be especially sensitive to oxidative damage is cardiolipin, a phospholipid located in the inner mitochondrial membrane that appears to stabilize respiratory chain complexes and increase the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation, among other essential functions.1 Follow the role cardiolipin plays in supporting energy.*
// Sarah Cook, ND
CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) is an endogenously produced, lipid-soluble compound that is concentrated in mitochondrial membranes, plasma membranes, and circulating lipoproteins. CoQ10’s roles as a mitochondrial nutrient and a systemic compound justify its use to replenish known drug-nutrient depletions and to support cardiovascular, neurological, and muscular health.* Further explore the dosing and lesser known benefits of CoQ10.
// Sarah Cook, ND
It should come as no surprise that mitochondrial function plays a central role in the liver, kidneys, and heart. Effective mitochondrial function relies on a variety of cofactors, including l-carnitine, α-lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).* CoQ10 is of particular interest because it not only supports the mitochondrial respiratory chain but also acts as a powerful antioxidant in mitochondrial membranes.*7 Read further about the role of CoQ10 in mitochondrial function.
// Christy Williamson, MS
Alpha Lipoic Acid, or ALA, is not classified as a vitamin, yet is synthesized by the body and is conditionally essential. It is perhaps best known to support glucose metabolism.* 1,2,3. As a chiral molecule, it can be found in both isomeric forms (S and R) while the majority of non-specified supplemental forms are a racemic mixture of both. Explore the dosing and benefits of alpha lipoic acid.
// Lauren Martin, MS and Corey Schuler, MS, DC, CNS
N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC) helps to replenish intracellular glutathione, a vital cellular antioxidant.* More recently, clinical studies have reported on the use of NAC as a free radical scavenger, most notably where there appears to be a need for glutathione repletion.*1,2 As with scientific inquiry, evidence develops on both sides of a hypothesis. NAC is no different. Mounting evidence supports its role in healthy glutathione levels, but not all investigators have come to the same conclusion.
// Christopher Oswald, DC, CNS
Energy level fluctuations are a feeling that most humans must deal with at one time or another. Modern day puts people in situations in which they must continue to press on, even though their body is sending gentle signals it is time to throttle back and take some time to rest and rejuvenate. The challenge with this type of lifestyle is understanding when the body has been pushed too far, when the symptoms of occasional physical and mental fatigue have crossed the threshold, and all, or most, redundant systems have been exhausted and must be addressed with focused evaluation and appropriate support to maintain an individual’s health.
// Tori Hudson, ND
Many practitioners are familiar with the essential roles L-carnitine plays in energy production, oxidative stress, and glucose metabolism.1 Acetyl L-carnitine is thought to provide additional clinical applications. Perhaps less familiar, is that L- carnitine supplementation has been used to support glucose metabolism* and some research has shown that L-carnitine insufficiency is even a contributing factor to related health status.7 Learn more here.