Orthomolecular Medicine/ Natural Health Products | CCNM

Orthomolecular Medicine/ Natural Health Products

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No improvement in disclosure of natural health product use to primary care medical doctors in the last 15 years: A survey of naturopathic patients


The use of natural health products (NHPs) is common in North America. In 2003, we found that 42% of NHP users had not disclosed this information to their primary care medical doctors (MDs). We repeated our survey in 2018/2019 to explore if the rate of NHP use disclosure had improved.


From November 2018–February 2019, a 21-item survey about NHP use and disclosure was administered to adult patients who visited the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto, Canada.

Favouring Responsible Publishing: A Protocol for Creating a Database of Researchers and Surveying their Knowledge, Attitudes and Opinions towards Open Access Publishing and a New Field-Specific Journal


As a new publication, the Journal of Natural Health Product Research (JNHPR) sought to develop a two-step protocol that (1) creates an international database of natural health product (NHP) researchers and (2) surveys their perceptions, needs, and preferences for a legitimate, broad-based, open access scientific journal in their field. This protocol could be useful to other researchers and publishers and can be adapted to establish similarly legitimate journals within their academic discipline.

The safety of over-the-counter niacin. A randomized placebo-controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Niacin is widely available over the counter (OTC). We sought to determine the safety of 500 mg immediate release niacin, when healthy individuals use them as directed. METHODS: 51 female and 17 male healthy volunteers (mean age 27 years SD 4.4) participated in a randomized placebo-controlled blinded trial of a single dose of an OTC, immediate-release niacin 500 mg (n = 33), or a single dose of placebo (n = 35) on an empty stomach. The outcomes measured were self-reported incidence of flushing and other adverse effects.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency in elderly patients.

Vitamin B12 or cobalamin deficiency occurs frequently (> 20%) among elderly people, but it is often unrecognized because the clinical manifestations are subtle; they are also potentially serious, particularly from a neuropsychiatric and hematological perspective. Causes of the deficiency include, most frequently, food-cobalamin malabsorption syndrome (> 60% of all cases), pernicious anemia (15%–20% of all cases), insufficent dietary intake and malabsorption.

The treatment of migraines and tension-type headaches with intravenous and oral niacin (nicotinic acid): literature review.

BACKGROUND: Migraine and tension-type headaches impose a tremendous economic drain upon the healthcare system. Intravenous and oral niacin has been employed in the treatment of acute and chronic migraine and tension-type headaches, but its use has not become part of contemporary medicine, nor have there been randomized controlled trials further assessing this novel treatment. We aimed to systematically review the evidence of using intravenous and/or oral niacin as a treatment for migraine headaches, tension-type headaches, and for headaches of other etiologic types.

Natural health product-drug interactions: a systematic review of clinical trials.

Interactions between natural health products (NHP) and prescription medications are of increasing concern. This paper aims to identify all clinical trials of NHP-drug interactions. To determine the prevalence and outcomes of clinical investigations of NHP-drug pharmacokinetic interactions, electronic databases were searched from inception through March 2004, as well as reference lists from published reports and experts in the field for unpublished studies. Eligible studies were clinical investigations of the interaction between a NHP and the metabolism of a regulated medication in humans.

Milk thistle and indinavir: a randomized controlled pharmacokinetics study and meta-analysis.

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether ingestion of milk thistle affects the pharmacokinetics of indinavir. METHODS: We conducted a three-period, randomized controlled trial with 16 healthy participants. We randomized participants to milk thistle or control. All participants received initial dosing of indinavir, and baseline indinavir levels were obtained (AUC(0-8)) (phase I). The active group were then given 450 mg milk-thistle extract capsules to be taken t.i.d. from day 2 to day 30. The control group received no plant extract.

Disclosure of natural product use to primary care physicians: a cross-sectional survey of naturopathic clinic attendees.

OBJECTIVE: To determine factors that predict disclosure of natural product use by patients to their primary care physicians. METHODS: An 18-item survey about health care use and communication was distributed to patients who presented to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in March 2003. We examined correlations between responses and created a multivariable logistic regression model to explore which factors were associated with patients' discussion of natural product use with their primary care physicians.

Meta-analysis of flavonoids for the treatment of haemorrhoids.

BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of flavonoids on those symptoms important to patients with symptomatic haemorrhoids.METHODS: A comprehensive search strategy was used. All published and unpublished randomized controlled trials comparing any type of flavonoid to placebo or no therapy in patients with symptomatic haemorrhoids were included. Two reviewers independently screened studies for inclusion, retrieved all potentially relevant studies and extracted data.RESULTS: Fourteen eligible trials randomized 1514 patients.

Double agent niacin-its beneficial effect upon the lipid profile, but its adverse effect upon plasma homocysteine: a case report

Niacin (nicotinic acid) in large pharmacological doses (500 mg or more per day) favorably modifies the lipid profile. Niacin lowers total cholesterol, lowers low-density lipoprotein, raises high-density lipoprotein, lowers triglycerides, and lowers lipoprotein(a). It also modifies other known cardiovascular risk factors such as fibrinogen and C-reactive protein. Unfortunately the hypolipidemic effects of niacin increases plasma homocysteine levels, which would potentially increase the risk of cardiovascular events.


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