Advocates for naturopathic remedies say their treatments can help fight menopausal symptoms, depression and also cancer. For example, “bio-identical hormone therapy” looks promising for relieving the symptoms of menopause, one research found, while an age-old herbal remedy for malignancy is proving effective — at least in the laboratory and in animals. That’s according to naturopathic doctors presenting their research at the American Association of Naturopathic Doctors annual meeting, held previously this month in Portland. Ore. Naturopathic physicians are been trained in “natural” healthcare at accredited medical colleges, based on the AANP. Their strategy is based on the belief that it is the character of all what to return to balance. Treatments include dietary changes, guidance for lifestyle modification, herbal medicine, natural supplements and homeopathy.”Bio-identical hormones,” a natural option to synthetic hormone alternative therapy, had been effective in reducing the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, said lead researcher Dr. Jan M. Seibert, a naturopathic physician in Pleasant Prairie, Wis. She gave the hormone regimen, which includes estradiol/estriol via a skin cream or in drops, plus a progesterone cream and a multivitamin, to 50 ladies who had been either menopausal or perimenopausal. Seibert’s group after that followed the women’s improvement for one season.”Eighty-two percent of the ladies showed improvement in estrogen-related symptoms, such as incredibly hot flashes,” she said. “Seventy-four percent demonstrated improvement in progesterone-related symptoms such as for example irritability and water retention.”Seibert also looked at symptoms related to low thyroid functioning, that may affect women at menopause. “When the thyroid begins to have complications, it can cause a condition of depression and weight gain,” she described. In the study, “44 percent demonstrated improvement with thyroid-related symptoms and 8 percent got worse. The other 48 percent acquired no change.”What is needed next, Seibert said, can be a large, randomized trial of natural hormone therapy to discover if it works as well as synthetic hormone therapy without the medial side effects. Long-term hormone substitute therapy (HRT) with synthetic estrogen and progesterone boosts risks for breast malignancy and stroke, as the large-scale Women’s Wellness Initiative study found.
That research was stopped early in 2002, and its troubling outcomes caused many older women to abandon HRT. “That is a great start in terms of providing preliminary proof benefits for menopausal problems,” stated Dr. Wendy Weber, a research associate professor of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University, Seattle, who was not involved with Seibert’s study but is familiar with its findings.”Based on this study, it seems there is likely to be benefits, but we are still lacking [data upon] the efficacy and basic safety.” And, she mentioned, the study didn’t have a control group, which could have allowed a primary head-to-head assessment of bio-similar and synthetic hormones. The study is “interesting” however, not amazing, added Dr. Rick Frieder, a gynecologist at Santa Monica–UCLA INFIRMARY and a clinical instructor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.”It doesn’t convey anything new,” he said. Whether hormone replacement is usually synthetic or the more natural “bio-identical” compounds, he said, they are known to be effective in enhancing the symptoms of menopause, such as for example hot flashes. One drawback to the analysis, he said, is that they studied several items and doses, rather than have a more scientific approach, such as comparing one dose of bio-similar hormones to the same dose of synthetic medications. In another study presented at the conference, the herbal formula Essiac — used by cancer patients for decades — was found to involve some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity along with the capability to kill cancer cells in the laboratory, said Deborah Kennedy, the lead author of the laboratory study and a co-author of another study looking at the effect of the remedy in animals. The research were funded by the maker of Essiac. Kennedy discovered that the formula, when used on ovarian and prostate malignancy cellular lines, did kill the cells. “We were able to slow down and trigger the ovarian and prostate cancer cellular lines to die,” she stated. When the formula was found in animals, they discovered it protected the stomach but did not boost the disease fighting capability considerably.”The in vivo [lab] study found antioxidant activity,” noted Dr. Christine Girard, chief medical officer at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Ariz., who chaired the research committee for the meeting. She called the results “encouraging,” and noted that the formula also appeared to have an anti-inflammatory effect.”It’s a good first step,” she said, but added that it’s tough to translate pet leads to humans. In the pet study, the formula did demonstrate gastric protection and safety to the liver, she stated. Not everyone is convinced Essiac fights malignancy.
The American Cancer Society declined comment, noting that the analysis had not undergone peer review and was merely submitted for presentation at a gathering. On its Web site, however, the ACS cautions that, “There have been no published medical trials showing the potency of Essiac in the treatment of cancer.” While it notes that a few of the herbal products in the mix have shown anti-cancer impact in lab research, it notes that no scientific proof exists to support its use in human beings with cancer. Study after study, conducted in pets by researchers in the U. S. Nationwide Cancer Institute and additional prestigious institutions, have concluded there is no evidence the formula works, based on the American Cancer Culture. In other presentations at the meeting:A researcher
at the University of Toronto warned that St. John’s wort, a popular herb used to treat depression symptoms, ought to be used with caution by pregnant and breast-feeding women, as it can interact with some medications recommended during pregnancy and could trigger colic or drowsiness in babies. The analysis received no outside funding. Another Canadian study discovered that naturopathic care — acupuncture, relaxation exercises and lifestyle changes — relieved low back discomfort better than standard care in a report of 80 Canadian postal workers. Low back pain declined by 20 percent in the naturopathic group after the 12-week research but improved 8.8 percent in an organization receiving standard care. The analysis was sponsored by the Canadian govt and the postal employees union. A team at the National University of Naturopathic Medicine discovered that three common herbs — Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceus and Glycyrrhiza glabra — helped improve crucial lymphocytes in the blood, which are the basic blocks of the immune system. In the analysis, 16 healthy individuals were assigned to get an herb just, all three, or a placebo. Each got a 7.5 milliliter dose twice daily for seven days. Blood lab tests showed all three herbs boosted the disease fighting capability. The study was funded by a grant from the American Medical Association.