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14/Nov/2023

Cancer is a serious health concern that affects millions of people worldwide. Its treatment options have come a long way in recent years. One of the latest and most promising developments in cancer treatment is intravenous vitamin C therapy. Intravenous vitamin C uses high-dose vitamin C to target cancer cells and improve overall health. In this blog post, we will explore how intravenous vitamin C therapy works, its effectiveness as monotherapy and combined treatment for cancer, and possible side effects.

How does it work?

First, let’s explore how intravenous vitamin C therapy works. Vitamin C has powerful antioxidant properties that help protect the body from oxidative stress and damage. In high doses, vitamin C produces hydrogen peroxide, which can damage cancer cells, leading to their destruction. This process is known as oxidative stress. High doses of vitamin C also helps to support the immune system, assisting the body in fighting cancer cells. The intravenous method is preferred over oral vitamin C because it allows for higher doses to be administered directly into the bloodstream.

Intravenous vitamin C therapy has been used both as monotherapy and combined treatment for cancer. As a monotherapy, it helps to slow or inhibit cancer cell growth. In some cases, it has been shown to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells. In addition, intravenous vitamin C therapy can improve the overall quality of life by reducing fatigue, nausea, and other common side effects associated with cancer treatment. When used in combination with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, intravenous vitamin C therapy has been shown, in many cases, to enhance their effectiveness. It can also reduce the severity of some of their side effects, making it a useful complementary therapy. However, vitamin C can interact with some chemotherapeutic agents, so it is important to consult with a specialist such as a parenteral therapy certified naturopathic doctor.

Safety and Effectiveness of IVC

A study published on CMAJ highlighted three cases where high-dose IVC was administered as cancer therapy. Despite declining systemic chemotherapy, the patients demonstrated improved health conditions post-treatment, suggesting that IVC can be a safe and effective standalone treatment method.

Another study, published in Frontiers in Oncology, focused on the effects of IVC on cancer- and chemotherapy-related fatigue and quality of life. The study reported an improvement in patients’ quality of life, further underscoring IVC’s potential benefits.

Intravenous Vitamin C Administration Improves Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Patients

A retrospective, multicenter study published in In Vivo showed that IVC administration improved the quality of life of breast cancer patients during chemo-/radiotherapy and aftercare. However, the study reported no effect on tumour status after 6 months of IVC administration.

Dosages, Treatment Procedure, and Side Effects

In a phase I-II clinical trial involving IVC combined with cytotoxic chemotherapy, it was observed that the concentration of vitamin C increased post-chemotherapy without a significant increase in urinary oxalic acid excretion, suggesting that higher dosages might be safely administered.

While these studies highlight the potential benefits of IVC, they also underscore the importance of understanding the possible side effects. For instance, a systematic review of IVC and cancer reported that some patients experienced mild side effects such as dry mouth and lightheadedness.

Combination with Standard Chemotherapy

The potential of IVC to enhance the effectiveness of standard chemotherapy has been explored in several studies. The study published on BioMed Central highlighted the multi-targeting effects of IVC when administered intravenously, suggesting that it could be a potent anti-cancer agent.

Conclusion:

Intravenous vitamin C therapy is a promising treatment option for cancer patients. Its effectiveness as both a monotherapy and combined treatment option has been well documented. It offers few side effects, making it a safe option for those undergoing cancer treatment. While it is not a cure for cancer, it offers hope and assistance to those in search of complementary treatment options. If you or someone you know is facing cancer, talk to a medical professional about intravenous vitamin C therapy and its potential benefits as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

For more information on intravenous therapy Click Here


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17/Oct/2023

Blood tests are a vital tool that doctors use to detect and diagnose a wide range of conditions. From evaluating organ function to monitoring cholesterol levels, these tests give doctors valuable information about a patient’s health. However, the question remains, how often should you have your blood checked? In this post, we will explore the benefits of regular blood testing for prevention versus disease-tracking.

Prevention versus Disease Management

Prevention is the key to good health. Some blood tests can detect early warning signs of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, allowing for immediate treatment. For instance, a fasting blood sugar test can detect early stages of diabetes, allowing for lifestyle modification, and dietary change. Likewise, a lipid panel test can detect high cholesterol levels, and routine screenings could help reduce risks related to cardiovascular disease.

CEA

Preventative blood tests are especially important for individuals with a family history of certain conditions. For example, if your family has a history of colon cancer carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) can be a useful screening tool for colorectal cancer. CEA is a protein that is often found in higher quantities in those with this type of cancer. Regular CEA testing can help detect the disease at an early stage, making treatment more effective and increasing the chances of survival.

PSA

Similarly, some experts recommend regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests starting at age 40, especially for men who have a family history of prostate cancer. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in men as early as 40 years of age could potentially help identify those at risk of developing prostate cancer. Men aged 40-49 years with a baseline PSA level above 1.0 ng/mL have been found to have a significant risk of prostate cancer diagnosis, suggesting the need for more regular monitoring.

Hormones

Hormone screening, particularly of sex hormones such as testosterone in men, and estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in women, is a critical aspect of healthcare that can provide valuable insights into an individual’s overall health. Starting these screenings as early as in your 20s can help detect hormonal imbalances that could potentially lead to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women or low testosterone levels in men. Early detection can enable timely intervention, possibly preventing future health issues such as infertility, osteoporosis, heart disease, or certain types of cancer. Regular hormone screenings can help maintain hormonal balance, which is vital for physical wellbeing, mental health, and sexual health. Consequently, it can dramatically improve the quality of life by ensuring optimal hormonal health throughout one’s lifetime.

Routine Blood Work

Routine blood tests are a vital tool in maintaining optimum health, as they can detect deficiencies or imbalances that could potentially lead to health problems. Key markers such as Vitamin D and B12 levels are essential for bone health and nerve function respectively. Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is crucial for regulating your body’s metabolism while C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an indicator of inflammation in the body. Liver enzymes, ferritin, and creatinine levels help monitor liver function, iron storage, and kidney function respectively.

Abnormalities in these markers can result in symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, digestive issues, mood changes, and more. Lifestyle factors including diet, physical activity, stress, and substance use can significantly affect these markers. Yearly blood tests can help identify these abnormalities early, allowing for timely intervention.

On the other hand, some diseases require more frequent monitoring and blood testing. For example, individuals with diabetes may need regular blood tests to monitor their glucose levels. Cancer patients, too, may require regular blood tests to monitor disease progression, or to check if cancer has returned even after treatment.

Conclusion:

Keeping track of your health status through blood tests is important for catching early warning signs of disease, but it also involves analyzing disease progress, response to treatment, and overall health. Ultimately, the frequency of blood tests depends on a patient’s risk profile, family history, age, and overall health status. I generally recommend yearly healthy living assessment panels for prevention and more specific testing on a more frequent basis for disease management. It is important to discuss with your doctor to determine a testing plan specific to your needs. In that way, you can ensure optimal health and well-being for a long time.

We use the two top labs in Canada: LifeLabs and Dynacare 
For a list of some tests that we offer as well as pricing CLICK HERE (Many tests are covered by a health insurance plan)

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19/May/2023

Vitamin injections have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, especially among celebrities and influencers. From improving skin clarity to boosting energy levels, the promised benefits of vitamin infusions are endless. However, are these claims backed by science, or is it just clever marketing? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients in these celebrity vitamin infusions, the actual benefits they provide, and separate hype from fact.

The Ingredients:

A typical celebrity vitamin infusion usually contains a mixture of vitamins, minerals, and sometimes amino acids. Popular ingredients include vitamin C, B-vitamins, calcium, selenium, zinc and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals play an important role in almost all biological processes but do they really need to be injected rather than obtained through diet?

The Benefits:

Many celebrities claim that vitamin injections help with everything from weight loss to anti-aging. Still, most of these alleged benefits are based on anecdotal evidence rather than any scientific findings.
Let’s take a look at some of the actual research behind intravenous vitamins and minerals in order to separate fact from fiction.

Myers Cocktail:

The Myers’ Cocktail is an intravenous (IV) treatment that consists of a combination of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, and various B vitamins. It was developed by Dr. John Myers in the 1960s and has been used to address various health conditions such as fatigue, migraines, fibromyalgia, and others. While there is limited research on the Myers’ Cocktail, some studies have explored its potential benefits:
  1. A study by Gaby (2002) published in “Alternative Medicine Review” provided a review of the clinical experience with the Myers’ Cocktail. The author reported that the IV treatment had shown positive effects on various conditions, including acute asthma attacks, migraines, fatigue, fibromyalgia, and chronic sinusitis. However, it’s important to note that this review is based on clinical observations rather than randomized controlled trials.
  2. A randomized controlled trial by Ali et al. (2009) published in “Medical Science Monitor” investigated the effects of the Myers’ Cocktail on fibromyalgia patients. The study found that the participants who received the IV treatment experienced significant improvements in pain, tender points, and depression compared to the control group.
  3. In a pilot study by Zhang et al. (2012) published in “Global Advances in Health and Medicine,” the researchers studied the effects of the Myers’ Cocktail on patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. They reported improvements in fatigue levels, but the small sample size and lack of a control group limit the study’s conclusions.

High dose Vitamin C for Cancer?

Yes, there has been research exploring the potential benefits of high-dose intravenous vitamin C in cancer treatment. However, the results are mixed, and more research is needed to establish its effectiveness conclusively. Here are a few notable studies:
  1. A study by Ma et al. (2014) published in “Science Translational Medicine” found that high-dose intravenous vitamin C selectively killed colorectal cancer cells with specific genetic mutations. The authors suggested that vitamin C might be used as a targeted therapy in some cases.
  2. A study by Welsh et al. (2013) published in “Cancer Cell” reported that high-dose intravenous vitamin C enhanced the effects of chemotherapy in mouse models of pancreatic cancer. The authors concluded that vitamin C could be a potential adjuvant in pancreatic cancer treatment.
  3. A systematic review by Fritz et al. (2014) published in “Canadian Medical Association Journal” analyzed several clinical trials on the use of intravenous vitamin C in cancer patients. They found that intravenous vitamin C was safe and well-tolerated, but its effectiveness in improving survival and quality of life was inconclusive.
  4. A phase II clinical trial by Hoffer et al. (2015) published in “PLOS ONE” investigated the effects of intravenous vitamin C combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy in patients with stage 3 or 4 non-small cell lung cancer. The study found no significant improvement in overall survival, progression-free survival, or tumor response with the addition of vitamin C.

Magnesium:

Several research studies have explored the potential benefits of intravenous magnesium infusion in various clinical settings. Here are a few notable articles:
  1. James et al. (2010) published a study in “The Lancet” that investigated the effects of intravenous magnesium sulfate on patients at risk for developing eclampsia. They found that magnesium sulfate significantly reduced the risk of eclampsia and maternal death in women with pre-eclampsia.
  2. Shiga et al. (2012) conducted a study published in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology” that demonstrated the benefits of intravenous magnesium sulfate in reducing the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.
  3. In a meta-analysis by Fawcett et al. (1999) published in the “British Medical Journal,” the researchers found that intravenous magnesium infusion reduced the risk of death in patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction.
  4. A study by Cinar et al. (2011) published in “Anesthesiology” examined the effects of intravenous magnesium sulfate on postoperative pain management in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty. The study found that magnesium infusion reduced postoperative opioid consumption and improved pain scores.
  5. Miller et al. (2010) published a study in “Headache” that investigated the effects of intravenous magnesium sulfate on acute migraines. They found that magnesium infusion provided rapid and sustained pain relief in patients with migraines who had low serum ionized magnesium levels.

Glutathione:

Glutathione is an antioxidant that plays a crucial role in cellular detoxification and maintaining overall health. Research on glutathione infusion is limited, but several studies have explored its potential benefits in various clinical settings. Here are a few notable articles:
  1. A study by Hauser et al. (2009) published in “Neurology” investigated the effects of intravenous glutathione on Parkinson’s disease symptoms. They found that glutathione infusion improved symptoms in Parkinson’s patients, but the study had a small sample size and lacked a control group.
  2. A pilot study by Kern et al. (2011) published in “Medical Science Monitor” evaluated the effects of intravenous glutathione infusion on children with autism. The study reported improvements in some behavioral measures of autism, but the small sample size and lack of a control group limit the conclusions that can be drawn.
  3. A study by Pizzorno et al. (2014) published in “Integrative Medicine” assessed the impact of intravenous glutathione on quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia. The authors reported significant improvements in pain, energy, and overall well-being, but the study was not randomized or controlled.
  4. In a study by Allen et al. (2017) published in “Redox Biology,” the researchers explored the effects of intravenous glutathione on cystic fibrosis patients. They found that glutathione infusion improved lung function and reduced inflammation, suggesting potential benefits for cystic fibrosis patients.
  5. A study by Naito et al. (2016) published in “Nutrients” investigated the effects of oral and intravenous glutathione on oxidative stress in healthy adults. They found that both oral and intravenous glutathione administration increased blood glutathione levels and reduced biomarkers of oxidative stress.

The Risks:

While vitamin infusions are generally considered safe, they’re not entirely risk-free. Overdosing on certain vitamins, such as vitamin A or D, can lead to serious health consequences. Furthermore, injecting vitamins can put a strain on your liver and kidneys, which is particularly concerning for people with pre-existing liver or kidney conditions.

The Alternatives:

Most of the time we can obtain the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants our body requires thorough a healthy diet. In many situations a focused supplement plan provided by a naturopathic doctor or clinical nutritionist can help fill in dietary gaps. Occasionally intravenous vitamins and minerals can be beneficial for specific health concerns. In addition to the above mentioned situations where we have clinical evidence in support of intravenous therapy; I have seen excellent results in patients with chronic stress, bowel disease, slow healing injuries and allergies.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, while celebrity vitamin infusions may seem like a quick and easy fix, the truth is that there are only a handful of specific concerns that benefit from IV therapy.
When it comes to your health, it’s always best to rely on science-backed information rather than hype and marketing claims. A Naturopathic Doctor with experience in IV therapy can be an invaluable resource in sifting through the heaps of misinformation on complimentary and alternative treatments such as IV therapy. Interested in making an appointment? Book a free 15min introductory consult with me today!

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15/Feb/2023

Intro to common IV therapies

Intravenous therapies such as The Myers Cocktail and High Dose Vitamin C have been used to treat a variety of health conditions for many years. A growing body of research is showing the potential benefits of using these therapies to improve the lives of patients with chronic illness.
Studies have shown that the Myers Cocktail can help improve symptoms related to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, and allergies.
Additionally, high dose Vitamin C has been found to reduce symptoms associated with cancer, positively impact glucose levels in type 2 diabetics, and may even have benefits in pneumonia, sepsis, and hepatitis. For those looking for a natural way to address a variety of ailments, these two treatments offer much promise.
In this article we will explore the latest research on The Myers Cocktail and High Dose Vitamin C so that you can make an informed decision about your health care options. We’ll look at what each treatment is intended to do and how their effects are being studied in clinical settings. We’ll also discuss potential side-effects and any precautions that should be taken when considering either treatment option.
Finally we’ll take a look at some common questions about both treatments. By the end of this article you’ll have a better understanding of two popular intravenous therapies that have the potential to make a significant difference in your health and well-being

Myers Cocktail

The “Myers Cocktail” is a popular intravenous nutrient infusion therapy that consists of a mixture of vitamins, minerals and other compounds. Several studies have been published showing the benefits of the Myers Cocktail for improving various medical conditions.

Fibromyalgia

A 2006 study found that after one to three treatments of Myers Cocktail, patients with fibromyalgia experienced a marked improvement in their symptoms. Specifically, the study noted a decrease in pain and fatigue, as well as a decrease in feelings of depression associated with the condition. Moreover, the infusion therapy was reported to significantly reduce levels of tenderness at acupuncture points and other areas associated with fibromyalgia. Additionally, participants also reported an increase in energy levels following treatment.
Further research conducted by the same authors revealed further positive results from Myers Cocktail infusions. A survey of 139 registered nurses who had received at least one infusion reported improved moods, increased energy, enhanced sleep quality and better overall wellbeing after treatment. In terms of pain reduction specifically, the survey indicated that more than two thirds of participants felt significant relief after just one session. Furthermore, the study noted that there were no adverse effects recorded during or after any treatments administered.
Overall, this body of research indicates that Myers Cocktail can be an effective form of treatment for individuals suffering from fibromyalgia due to its ability to reduce pain and fatigue while also improving mood and energy levels. Further studies are needed to conclusively understand the full extent of this type of infusion therapy’s efficacy in treating fibromyalgia-related symptoms. In 2015 I did a case study using the Myers Cocktail for a patient with Fibromyalgia. Check out the results by clicking HERE.

Chronic Fatigue

A 2008 study investigated the effects of the Myers Cocktail on patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of six months duration involving 24 participants. During the trial period, all participants were given either the Myers Cocktail or a placebo intravenously twice per week.
After six months, there was a marked improvement in energy levels and decrease in fatigue among participants who had received the Myers Cocktail compared to those who had been given a placebo. Specifically, individuals treated with the Myers Cocktail reported an average increase in energy levels of 41% and a reduction in fatigue by an average of 45%. In contrast, there was no significant change in energy levels or fatigue among those receiving the placebo.
The researchers also noted other positive effects of treatment including improved sleep quality and better mental clarity. Furthermore, they found that participants treated with the Myers Cocktail experienced less pain and an overall improvement in quality of life. These improvements were maintained over time, with no adverse effects reported during or after treatment.
Overall, this study demonstrates that the use of the Myers Cocktail may be beneficial for treating CFS as it appears to reduce fatigue levels as well as improve energy levels, sleep quality, mental clarity, pain and overall quality of life for those affected by CFS. Further research is needed to determine whether this is an effective long-term treatment option for CFS sufferers.

Allergies and Asthma

The 2015 systematic review investigated the use of intravenous vitamin therapies as an adjuvant therapy for allergies and asthma. The researchers analyzed the efficacy of popular infusions, such as the Myers Cocktail, in treating these conditions. Overall, their findings indicated that these therapies may be beneficial in reducing allergic reactions and improving symptoms of asthma. Specifically, their studies demonstrated a decrease in skin prick test reactivity against common allergens, such as dust mites and pollen, among patients who had received IV vitamin treatments. Additionally, some patients reported a reduction in airway resistance after treatment. Moreover, vitamin C was found to have anti-inflammatory properties that could help in easing symptoms associated with bronchial asthma. Finally, the review found that certain nutrients present in IV vitamins are important for the maintenance of a healthy respiratory system.
Overall, the studies indicated that there is evidence to suggest that intravenous vitamin therapies can be utilized as an adjuvant therapy for allergies and asthma when used alongside conventional medications. This is because they provide a multifaceted approach to tackling these conditions by alleviating both allergic responses and airway constriction caused by inflammation. As such, this type of therapy may offer additional benefits for those suffering from allergies or asthma compared to traditional medicaments alone.

Intravenous Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin with numerous health benefits, and high dose intravenous (IV) infusions of Vitamin C have been used to treat a variety of medical conditions.

Cancer

The 2017 study conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center revealed that high-dose vitamin C IV infusion could be an effective form of treatment for cancer patients. The study included 20 participants who were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or infusions of high-dose vitamin C. After 8 weeks, the researchers evaluated the participants’ symptoms and found that those who received the infusions experienced notable reductions in pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
Not only did the participants experience a significant improvement in physical and mental health, but their overall quality of life was also enhanced. Furthermore, blood work showed that the patients’ levels of biomarkers associated with tumor activity had decreased significantly. This suggests that high-dose vitamin C IV infusion may actually help reduce tumor growth as well. While these findings are promising, more research is needed to determine whether this treatment is truly effective for cancer patients in the long term.

Diabetes

A study, conducted in 2018, found that high-dose vitamin C IV infusion can have positive effects on diabetes symptoms and glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Using a randomized controlled trial, the research team found that after 30 days of treatment with vitamin C infusions, patients showed significant improvements in their HbA1c levels and fasting blood glucose levels, compared to a control group receiving no treatment.
Additionally, those receiving the vitamin C infusions reported lower rates of fatigue and improved quality of life. The researchers also noted that the therapy was well-tolerated with no serious adverse effects reported.
Moreover, the study revealed that regular treatments with high-dose vitamin C may be beneficial for managing diabetes symptoms over time. This is due to its antioxidant properties which can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation caused by elevated glucose levels in T2DM patients.
Furthermore, it has been suggested that this type of therapy could be combined with conventional drug treatments to better manage the condition. Ultimately, these findings indicate potential therapeutic benefits of high-dose vitamin C infusions for those living with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Vitamin C IV in various conditions

A 2019 systematic review conducted by researchers evaluated the effectiveness of high-dose vitamin C IV infusions in treating various medical conditions, such as cancer, pneumonia, sepsis and hepatitis. The study included 21 trials with a total of 590 participants. The researchers concluded that evidence was present to support the use of vitamin C IV infusions as an adjunctive therapy for some conditions.
For instance, one trial found that intravenous high-dose vitamin C improved overall survival rate in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer compared with conventional chemotherapy alone. Another study showed that vitamin C IV infusion helped reduce mortality rate among sepsis patients. Regarding pneumonia, high-dose vitamin C infusions were also found to improve quality of life and reduce hospital stay compared to placebo. When it comes to hepatitis, one trial reported improvement in liver function tests following administration of vitamin C IV infusion.
Overall, the findings from this systematic review suggest that there is potential for high-dose intravenous vitamin C being used as an adjunct therapy for certain medical conditions such as cancer, pneumonia, sepsis and hepatitis.

Conclusion

Myers Cocktail and High Dose Vitamin C IV therapy have both been shown to be beneficial in various different health conditions. While Myers Cocktail is particularly helpful for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Allergies and Asthma, high dose Vitamin C has been linked to improved outcomes in cancer, diabetes, pneumonia, sepsis and hepatitis.
The research around the effects of these therapies is still ongoing and it is vital that further studies are conducted to better understand their potential for treating a variety of illnesses. At the same time however, more clinical trials should also be undertaken to ascertain their effectiveness when compared to other treatments currently available.
Although there are many potential benefits associated with both the Myers Cocktail and High Dose Vitamin C IV therapies, it is important that individuals consult with their IV therapy specialist before pursuing either treatment. This will ensure that they receive the most appropriate care for their individual needs and circumstances. For more information on IV therapies offered at my clinic Click Here

References

  • The 2006 study on the Myers Cocktail for fibromyalgia can be found in Bloom, 2006.
  • The 2008 study on the Myers Cocktail for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can be found in Forsyth, 2008.
  • The 2015 systematic review of intravenous vitamin therapies for asthma and allergies can be found in Brown et al., 2015.
  • The 2017 study on high dose vitamin C IV infusion and cancer can be found in Kanematsu et al., 2017
  • The 2018 study on high dose vitamin C IV infusion and type 2 diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) can be found in Maeda et al., 2018
  • -The 2019 systematic review of high dose Vitamin C IV infusions for various medical conditions can be found in Wang et al., 2019(https://www.ncbi.nlm

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09/Dec/2022

Mistletoe therapy is a type of alternative cancer treatment that can be administered through intravenous infusion, subcutaneous injection or injected directly into a tumor with special equipment.
Its use in cancer is based on the belief that mistletoe extracts can fight cancer cells and boost the immune system. These beliefs have since been supported by clinical trials documenting the immunomodulatory effects of mistletoe extracts. In this article, we will explore the history and benefits of mistletoe therapy and discuss whether or not it is an effective way to treat cancer.

The History of Mistletoe Therapy

The use of mistletoe as a medicinal plant dates back thousands of years, with its first documented use as a healing agent in ancient Greece. Throughout time, it has been used to treat various ailments from headaches to epilepsy. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that mistletoe was studied for its potential anti-cancer properties in part thanks to the work of Rudolf Steiner. Since then, research has continued to explore the possible benefits of using mistletoe extract as an adjuvant therapy for cancer patients.

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner was a key figure in the development of mistletoe therapy. He was an Austrian philosopher, scientist, and educationalist, who developed a holistic approach to medicine called Anthroposophic Medicine, where the inner spirit of the patient is taken into account as well as their physical body. He believed that some illnesses were caused by spiritual imbalance which could be balanced by using natural therapies such as mistletoe. Mistletoe therapy has been used since ancient times, but Steiner’s modernized version of it focused on use of preparations made from specific types of mistletoe found in Europe. These preparations contain different levels of active ingredients such as alkaloids, polysaccharides and flavonoids which are thought to have more effective therapeutic properties than regular mistletoe extract. The main aim of this therapy is to balance the immune system so that it can fight off infection and other diseases more effectively. Rudolf Steiner’s ideas about mistletoe therapy have been backed up by studies which show that its use may help reduce inflammation and improve the overall health of patients with various conditions including cancer.

Benefits of Mistletoe Therapy

Mistletoe extract contains compounds such as polysaccharides and lectins that are believed to have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. This means they can help reduce inflammation in the body and enhance the activity of certain immune cells so they are better able to fight off infection or disease. Additionally, these compounds may also stimulate apoptosis (cell death) in certain types of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Animal studies have shown that mistletoe can decrease tumor size in lab models and improve survival rates when combined with traditional treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Is Mistletoe Therapy Effective?

Although there is promising evidence suggesting that mistletoe extracts may have anti-cancer properties, more research is needed to solidify its role in conventional oncology. In the meantime, due to its excellent safety record and documented benefits, holistic practitioners, naturopathic doctors and functional medicine practitioners continue to offer it as a complimentary therapy in a range of diseases including cancer. It is important to note that many health professionals caution against relying solely on alternative therapies like mistletoe since they are best used in conjunction with traditional treatments like chemotherapy or radiation. Ultimately, if you are considering using mistletoe therapy for yourself or someone you know who has been diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to consult with an experienced practitioner to make sure it’s safe and appropriate for your individual situation.
For more information on complimentary and alternative treatments for cancer click here

Conclusion

In summary, there is evidence that suggests mistletoe extract holds promise as a supportive treatment for certain types of cancers. If you are considering trying mistletoe therapy either on its own or alongside traditional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, it’s important to talk with a doctor experienced in using mistletoe therapy first so you can make sure it’s safe and appropriate for you or your loved one’s individual situation.

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06/Oct/2022

Introduction

You may have seen people getting IV therapy and wondered what it was all about. IV therapy is the administration of vitamins and minerals through an IV, or intravenous, drip. The vitamins and minerals are infused directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. This allows for higher absorption of the nutrients than if they were taken orally.
IV therapy has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including cancer, migraine, inflammatory bowel disease, and infections. Proponents of IV therapy claim that it can boost energy levels, improve immunity, and help the body recover from illness and injury more quickly. But does IV therapy really work? Let’s take a closer look.

How Does IV Therapy Work?

IV therapy is thought to work by providing high concentrations of nutrients that can be rapidly absorbed by the body. When these nutrients are infused directly into the bloodstream, they bypass the digestive system, which can sometimes limit absorption when taking oral supplements.
The intravenous route also allows for higher doses of nutrients than would be possible with oral supplementation. For example, when taking a vitamin C supplement orally, only a small percentage of it is actually absorbed by the body. However, when given as an IV infusion, concentrations of vitamin C in the blood can increase to levels that are not achievable through oral supplementation alone.

What Are The Benefits Of IV Therapy?

IV therapy is claimed to offer a number of benefits, including improved immunity, increased energy levels, and faster recovery from illness and injury.

Dehydration

One of the most well-known benefits of IV therapy is its ability to treat or prevent dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t have enough water to function properly. This can lead to symptoms like fatigue, headache, dry skin, and dizziness.
Dehydration can also cause more serious problems like heat stroke and kidney failure. IV fluids can help rehydrate your body and relieve some of these symptoms.

Migraine

Another common use for IV therapy is to treat migraine headaches. Migraines are a type of headache that is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. A study published in 2012 found that patients who received magnesium sulfate through an IV had fewer migraines than those who received placebo treatments .

Cancer

IV therapy is also sometimes used as a treatment for cancer . While there is no cure for cancer yet , research has shown that high doses of certain vitamins and minerals may help improve quality of life for cancer patients and even improve survival rates. Vitamin C, for example, has been shown to kill cancer cells in test tubes . It’s also been shown to reduce fatigue, pain, nausea, and vomiting in cancer patients. Other vitamins and minerals that have been studied include selenium, CoQ10, curcumin, B vitamins, and vitamin D . However, more research is needed to confirm whether or not these nutrient infusions are effective treatments for cancer.

Immune Booster

IV therapy can also be used to boost immunity. If you frequently get sick or feel run down, IV therapy can help give your immune system a much-needed boost. Vitamins C and D are both essential for immune health. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and has been shown to reduce the risk of respiratory infections.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Most people tolerate IV therapy well and do not experience any side effects. However, some people may experience mild side effects such as bruising or soreness at the injection site. more serious side effects are rare but could include allergic reactions or blood clots.

Conclusion

If you’re considering trying IV therapy, it’s important to speak with your doctor first. IV therapy is not without risks; for example, it can lead to dehydration or an infection if not done properly. That being said, there is some promising research to suggest that IV therapy may be an effective treatment option for certain conditions. If you and your doctor decide that IV therapy is right for you, be sure to choose a reputable provider like myself who has experience administering treatments.

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30/Oct/2019

“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food”; a famous quote from the Classical Grecian physician Hippocrates. Lions Mane mushrooms are a perfect embodiment of this philosophy; as delicious as it is therapeutic. 

Lions mane (Hericium Erinaceus) is a white clumpy mushroom with long dangling spines that tends to grow in late summer/early fall on hardwoods.

I was first introduced to Lion’s Mane a few years ago when I had a few patients tell me they were using an extract of the mushroom to help with memory. Supplements that enhance brain activity, AKA Nootropics, have always tweaked my interest as one of my areas of clinical focus is in neurology. At first I thought that maybe this is the newest “superfood fad” but once I began to investigate the research on this mushroom my opinion quickly changed.

It was clear that Lions Mane had some legitimate therapeutic value in inflammation, the immune system, psychiatric conditions, cognitive enhancement, diabetes, heart disease, bowel disease and cancer.

Lions Mane Mushroom
Preparing Lions Mane Mushroom in my kitchen

Inflammation and Depression

A 2012 study demonstrated that Lions Mane mushroom contains several compounds that have moderate to high levels of antioxidant capacity. This translates into an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. A 2015 study demonstrated that participants who consumed Lions Mane had less depressive symptoms and improvements in blo-markers of depression which was attributed to it’s anti-inflammatory effects.  Another study demonstrated that Lions Mane can enhance immune function possibly by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. 

Immune 

Not only does Lions Mane help boost immune function by reducing oxidative stress, it also seems to benefit intestinal immune function. A study on mice revealed that some of the proteins in the mushroom help encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. 

Naturopathic Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

Memory

Cognitive enhancement is the main reason that I see people taking this mushroom. It is possible that it does have some cognitive enhancement properties but all the research so far has been done on animals. One such study found that mice given a lion’s mane supplement had better object recognition and recognition memory. Other research suggests that Lions Mane may have the potential to prevent or treat conditions of cognitive decline like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Heart Health

Heart Health

Research on rats has demonstrated that Lions Mane may have cholesterol lowering effects and blood pressure lowering effects. Compounds in Lions Mane may help in the production of Nitric Oxide, which helps keep blood vessels relaxed. 

Cancer

The antioxidant properties of Lions Mane may contribute to some anti-cancer effects seen in rat and in vitro studies. One in vitro study indicated that Lions Mane has activity against human leukemia cells. Another study showed that in mice, Lions Mane has activity against Liver, Colon and Gastric cancer cells. 

Diabetes

After 4 weeks of Lions Mane supplementation, rats with diabetes had lower blood sugar levels than those who did not receive the mushroom.  Diabetes can often result in life altering nerve damage. A 2015 study showed that diabetic rats given an extract of Lions Mane had reduced nerve pain and improved antioxidant activity after 6 weeks. 

Intestinal Health

Digestive Health

I previously discussed how Lions mane can have anti-inflammatory effect of the digestive tract, as well as benefitting the growth of “good” intestinal bacteria. Another study demonstrated that Lions Mane has some interesting antimicrobial effects. Notably, Lions Mane seems to inhibit the growth of H-pylori, a bacteria responsible for close to 80% of stomach ulcers.

Nerve Repair

One of the most fascinating health benefits of Lions Mane came out of a rat study. Rats with nerve damage who were given daily extracts of Lions mane had quicker nerve cell regeneration than those who did not. 

Culinary 

Up until a few weeks ago I thought Lions Mane was an exotic mushroom that was only used therapeutically as a supplement.  Recently, I found myself in a local Farmers Market and low and behold a mushroom farmer was selling fresh Lions Mane; I was amazed! I asked the farmer “how do I prepare this”? He told me to cut the mushroom in ½ inch slices and in a hot pan with butter, sear both sides. So, I bought some and followed his advice, and discovered that Lions Mane is absolutely delicious! It is now one of my favorite cooking mushrooms and I have since heard from many foodies and chefs that it is one of their favorites too. So let food be thy medicine everyone, and cook up some Lions Mane this fall!

Citations


Leonard, Jayne. “What are the benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms?.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 22 Oct. 2018. Web.
30 Oct. 2019. <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323400.php>


Leonard, J. (2018, October 22). “What are the benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms?.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323400.php.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom, <i>Hericium erinaceus</i> (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. Suppresses H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>-Induced Oxidative Damage and LPS-Induced Inflammation in HT22 Hippocampal Neurons and BV2 Microglia.
Kushairi N, Phan CW, Sabaratnam V, David P, Naidu M.
Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Aug 1;8(8). pii: E261. doi: 10.3390/antiox8080261.
PMID: 31374912 [PubMed] Free Article
Thirteen-Week Oral Toxicity Evaluation of Erinacine AEnriched Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), Mycelia in Sprague-Dawley Rats.
Lee LY, Li IC, Chen WP, Tsai YT, Chen CC, Tung KC.
Int J Med Mushrooms. 2019;21(4):401-411. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2019030320.
PMID: 31002635 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
In Vitro and In Vivo Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori by Ethanolic Extracts of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes).
Wang G, Zhang X, Maier SE, Zhang L, Maier RJ.
Int J Med Mushrooms. 2019;21(1):1-11. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2018029487.
PMID: 30806251 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Dietary Supplementation of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), and Spatial Memory in Wild-Type Mice.
Rossi P, Cesaroni V, Brandalise F, Occhinegro A, Ratto D, Perrucci F, Lanaia V, Girometta C, Orrù G, Savino E.
Int J Med Mushrooms. 2018;20(5):485-494. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2018026241.
PMID: 29953363 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
A Polysaccharide Isolated from Mycelia of the Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes) Induced Apoptosis in Precancerous Human Gastric Cells.
Wang M, Zhang Y, Xiao X, Xu D, Gao Y, Gao Q.
Int J Med Mushrooms. 2017;19(12):1053-1060. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2017024975.
PMID: 29431066 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ethanol Extract of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), in Mice with Ulcerative Colitis.
Qin M, Geng Y, Lu Z, Xu H, Shi JS, Xu X, Xu ZH.
Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016;18(3):227-34. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v18.i3.50.
PMID: 27481156 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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21/Jul/2018

It’s the summer of 2018 and it’s a hot one. Having fun in the sun is what we dream about all winter long and while we do benefit from some sun exposure (boosting levels of vitamin D and serotonin) we must also balance sun exposure with sun protection. In this article I will outline some general guidelines with reference to safe sun exposure, getting enough vitamin D and how consuming certain foods may help further protect us during recommended exposure times.

Exposure

According to recent research we now know that vitamin D is not only important for strong healthy bones but also plays a role in preventing some chronic diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer. So we need to know some general guidelines for getting the right amount of sun exposure while helping protect ourselves from damaging UV radiation.

In 2001 the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency set out to determine daily UV radiation levels in major cities across Australia. How much sun was needed to produce adequate levels of vitamin D and how much exposure could produce damage to the skin was investigated. The general guidelines to come out of the report were as follows: In the peak of the summer, July and August in North America, “2 to 14 minutes of sun three to four times per week at midday will give fair-skinned people with 15 per cent of the body exposed the recommended amount of Vitamin D. However, redness (skin damage) can occur in only eight minutes in these conditions.

So in peak summer times from 10 am to 3pm, you should use protection against the sun; shade, hats, clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen.

But earlier in the day and later in the afternoon, for a similar period of sun exposure and vitamin D manufacture, you get much less skin damage.”(http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2006/04/05/1609208.htm)

For the months just before and after the peak summer months (June and September) the study revealed that the time of sun exposure needed for adequate vitamin D levels increases to 10 to 15 minutes 3-4 times per week. In the fall, winter and early spring months we need short periods of exposure during peak times of the day 10am-3pm in order to make enough vitamin D.

Sun-Blocking Foods

The question then becomes; in those times of recommended sun exposure how do we further protect ourselves from the damage of UV radiation? Part of the answer may be in the food we eat and beverages we drink. UV radiation helps us to make important compounds such as vitamin D but it can also cause damage to our cells. Cellular damage occurs via the production of inflammation and damaging compounds called free radicals. Some important compounds in our diet that combat inflammation and free radicals are: Omega-3 fatty acids and Antioxidants.

Antioxidants are compounds found in fruits and vegetables that serve to protect the plant against the harmful effects of its environment, including UV radiation. Many of these antioxidants incur the vibrant colors we associate with fruits and vegetables onto them.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in red colored fruits and vegetables such as: Tomatoes, Watermelon, Guava, Grapefruit, Papaya and Red Peppers including Chili Pepper. Lycopene is most easily absorbed when it has been cooked, making tomato paste and cooked tomatoes an excellent source of bio-available lycopene. Not only does this antioxidant protect the fruit/vegetable from UV damage, when we consume lycopene, it protects our body as well.

Anthocyanidins are a group of antioxidants that incur free radical protection and have a dark red or purplish color. Rich sources of anthocyanidins include: Blueberries, Acai, Pomegranate, Blackberries and Cherries.

The flavonoid antioxidants in green tea include the very powerful polyphenol EGCG. EGCG has not only been shown to inhibit tumor cells in some cancers but has also been shown to protect cells from the aging effects of UV radiation. Particularly matcha green tea (pulverized powdered tea leaves) can be 137 percent higher in EGCG than regular water infused tea leaf. Dark chocolate is also very high in phenols and can incur a 25 percent increase in sun tolerance at 2 ounces of over 70% cacao per day.

Another compound important for protecting our body against the potentially harmful effects of sun exposure are omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help to drive an anti-inflammatory pathway in the body. Radiation and chronic disease induces inflammation which can lead to cellular damage and premature aging. Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly Salmon, Herring, Mackerel, Trout and Sardines. It is recommended to eat at least 2 servings of high omega-3 fish per week or to take a fish oil supplement daily.

Another good source of omega-3 fatty acids are flaxseeds. Flaxseeds also contain compounds called lignans which may protect against the development of some cancers. It is recommended to have a half teaspoon of ground flaxseeds per day or a flaxseed oil supplement.

Although these are all specific examples of foods rich in sun protecting compounds, a good general rule of thumb is too eat plenty of vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables which will undoubtedly be rich in antioxidants. It is also just as important to limit foods which can cause free radical damage and inflammation, these include: sugar and red meats.

Equip your body with sun protecting foods and follow the guidelines as to when to allow for uninhibited sun exposure. By doing so you will make the D and be problem free.

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16/Mar/2018

Why get a license?

I want to tell you how to obtain a license for Medical Marijuana. Every month I see a handful of patients who are trying to medicate with unregulated cannabis obtained either through “a guy” or a local illegal dispensary. The problem with this approach is that you are buying an unregulated product, meaning you cannot guarantee its purity, quality, potency, and cannabinoid profile.

There are some decent products out there but largely its hit and miss and perhaps the most frequent complaint is a lack of consistency from batch to batch. Its funny how patients will be shy about discussing use of medical marijuana with me and yet will go to a complete stranger for their medication. A growing part of my practice is convincing patients to transition from their “street weed” to a proper regulated medical marijuana product.

Although, as a Naturopathic Doctor, I am not able to directly prescribe medical marijuana in Ontario, I am fortunate to have a good professional relationship with a licensing clinic and am writing an average of 3-5 patient referrals per week. Most licensing clinics will require a referral from a healthcare professional.

How to get a license

The process is quite simple: a patient will come in either having experience with cannabis or will be curious as to whether cannabis can help them. I will then preform an assessment, including a health history and short physical exam, in order to determine if they would benefit from cannabis. A referral is then made to the licensing clinic. The licensing clinic then calls the patient to setup an appointment to get a license for access to medical marijuana. Once setup with an account the patient then does all their ordering online through a regulated distributor such as Tweed, Aphria, Tilray or MedRelief.

These regulated grower/distributors have an excellent selection of strains and oils with varying cannabinoid concentrations and terpene profiles. Most importantly, the purity and potency are guaranteed and there is very high consistency from batch to batch. Therefore, if you find a strain or oil that works for you, you can pretty much guarantee it will work the same way every time you order it.

Common conditions for referral

The most common conditions I write referrals for are: Insomnia, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Pain, Migraine, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, PTSD, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Cancer, Fibromyalgia and Neurological Conditions with painful spasms.

The environment in Canada with regard to cannabis is going to change as we approach legalization, but until that happens I would advise you that it is usually better to consume regulated medicines, this medication just happens to be marijuana.

 

For more great articles and information on cannabis and CBD check out the link below:CBD Oil Room


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25/Oct/2016

THC and CBD the ABC’s of Medical Marijuana

The perspective of a Naturopathic Doctor

 

As a practicing Naturopathic Doctor, I have understandably been occupying a front row seat in what has become one of today’s hot topic health issues; the use of medical marijuana. I have seen a trend recently in my patients; they’re dropping the conventional pain medications and experimenting with the unquestionably still taboo, cannabis. Two things seem to be driving this phenomenon: traditional pain medications aren’t doing the trick anymore and there is a curiosity about this promising although misunderstood plant.

Professionally, I too have been very curious about the medical applications of marijuana. For years patients would confide in me and share their experiences with using different preparations of cannabis. One of the usual preparations is “hemp oil”, which can contain a significant amount of a cannabinoid called CBD. Hemp oil may have been dismissed as folk remedy; however, with the recent surge in medical marijuana use prompting an educated examination of a potential effective therapy. I can now appreciate that hemp oil is a way to reap the benefits of cannabis without getting intoxicated.

There are thousands of articles on the web that explain in depth what the different components of marijuana are and how they differ in pharmacology and therapeutic applications. The point of this article is not to give a thesis but rather present a concise easy to grasp understanding of what those components do in the body and why cannabis in one form or another should be considered as a first choice medicine.

Before presenting the different types and components of marijuana, I would like to give this article some context and legitimacy by introducing myself, and my medical background. I am a Naturopathic Doctor and have been in private practice for just over 7 years in Toronto Canada. Over the past 4 years my practice has focused on the treatment of pain, debilitating neurological conditions and cancer. This really sets the stage as the first few regulated cannabis medications in Canada, namely Nabilone and Sativex, were approved for neuropathic pain, spasticity and nausea associated with cancer treatment and multiple sclerosis; both of which I see more consistently than the average naturopathic doctor. Naturally I started having patients that had experience with these medications or who were experimenting with unregulated forms of cannabis.

A watershed moment in my practice occurred when I began treating a 10-year-old girl that had suffered a stroke. I thought she would benefit from cannabis but at the same time was hesitant about subjecting her to the hallucinogenic properties of THC. Fortuitously around that very same time I viewed a CNN Sanjay Gupta report about a low THC / high CBD strain of marijuana called “charlottes web”. Treatment with this strain had been helping a young girl with a rare debilitating condition associated with frequent seizures. My young patient didn’t have seizures but had chronic high muscle tone as is also seen during seizures. The report also mentioned how CBD is not hallucinogenic. I was certainly intrigued as to the potential efficacy of this treatment and devoted both time and resources in understanding medical cannabis and CBD. As a result of this study and promising results, I now recommend CBD regularly in my practice. Now let’s take a step back and understand what CBD is and what does it do.

Although there are thousands of potentially therapeutic compounds in cannabis, research has really focused on two: THC and CBD. Depending on the sex and strain of the cannabis some will be higher or lower in one compound than the other.

THC is what gets you high. It acts on cannabinoid receptors in the body and brain with the result of inducing the perception altering experience that marijuana is known for. Along with the “high”, research has pointed out that there are definite pain lowering and mood enhancing properties of THC. However; there are some concerns with THC as it may impact learning in the developing brain, may trigger a psychotic episode in individuals predisposed to schizophrenia and impacts the users ability to carry out daily living tasks such as operating machinery and driving.

CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis that can comprise up to 40% of the active cannabinoids in marijuana. Although large doses of CBD in my experience can induce an intense feeling of relaxation there are no perception altering effects from even the highest doses of CBD. Research into this curious compound has pointed out that rather than binding to cannabinoid receptors in the body, as does THC, CBD for the most part blocks activity at these receptors and exerts most of its effect at a receptor called 5-HT1a. The 5-HT1a-receptor is linked to serotonin activity.

The overall effect of CBD in the complicated milieu of the human body is that it is anti-inflammatory, mood enhancing, offers protection for the nervous system, promotes relaxation, anti-spasmodic and negates some of the unwanted side-effects of THC consumption. CBD has even been shown to prolong the beneficial effects of THC by increasing the body’s amount of cannabinoid receptors. Furthermore, there has yet to be any evidence for negative side effects or toxicity even at very high doses of CBD per day. CBD research is currently exploring promising therapeutic effect in epilepsy, dementia, migraine and cancer. So all in all it’s a pretty impressive compound.

Now you may be wondering; “how do I get CBD?” – do I need a prescription and is it legal? Technically in Canada any derivative of Marijuana including THC and CBD is classified as a schedule 2-drug and can only be legally obtained with a prescription from a medical doctor. Personally I find it frustrating that Naturopathic Doctors, who receive 4 years of training in botanical medicine, are restricted from prescribing marijuana (a botanical last time I checked) whereas the responsibility falls on medical doctors who typically have no training in prescribing botanical preparations. Fortunately hemp, which is part of the cannabis family, is high in CBD, low in THC and in some cases legal (The legality of the extraction depends on factors such as THC levels and what part of the plant is used).

There are now many companies which specialize in CBD preparations derived from hemp and do not require a prescription from a medical doctor. Unfortunately the CBD on the market continues to be a bit pricey per milligram ($1/10mg) since a therapeutic dose often starts at around 40mg all the way up to 200mg per day. Hopefully in the future we will start to see some higher potency, cheaper preparations of CBD.

As a Naturopathic Doctor, I offer the following personal and professional perspective to both botanical medicines as a whole and specifically CBD. Medicines derived from whole botanicals are a complex collection of thousands of compounds. Often we really only have an understanding of a few of those compounds and that is what disorients many practitioners, especially medical doctors. However, I believe we should appreciate the complexity of botanical medicines precisely because our own physiology is just as complex. Pharmaceutical preparations are very specific in their composition and action in the body. Our bodies are not built that way and that is why we often see side effects with pharmaceutical preparations.

Certainly I do not claim that there are no side effects with botanical medicines, but it is a fact that there are far fewer. Pharmaceutical medicines have a definite time and place in specific treatment but we should not be frightened to use botanical medicines because it is their complexity that often make them safer for prolonged use proving for a more balanced therapeutic effect.

During my relatively short period of recommending CBD, I have seen the benefits in: Pain, Sleep, Focus and Rigidity. I work with a great deal of patients who have suffered from neurological injuries (Spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke) and neurological disease (Multiple Sclerosis, Transverse Myelitis, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, Migraine, Fibromyalgia). I have witnessed more than half of these clients taper down or completely come off of several pain medications including addictive opioid medications and manage their symptoms more effectively with a combination of THC and CBD.

I have a number of patients who after several years of insomnia return to a normal sleep pattern with a therapeutic program that includes CBD. Many of my clients with high tone and muscle rigidity experience a relaxation response within minutes of taking CBD. In fact patients will often take a dose of CBD during a treatment session and will see the effects immediately. I have several patients tell me that since starting CBD their thinking has been clearer. I even have one patient who has told me that her vision is clearer, which makes sense in the context of inflammation of the optic nerve often experienced in multiple sclerosis.

As a Naturopathic Doctor it is my job to be on top of the latest research and treatment-options within the realm of nutraceuticals, complimentary therapies and herbal medicines. CBD is an exciting new treatment option with an excellent safety profile, promising results and that fits in well with my patient population. I am proud to an advocate for medical marijuana  and have made a commitment to continue to update my patients and peers as to my clinical experience with CBD.


dr_shawn

Patient focused integrative health care. Utilizing effective natural approaches designed to be used alone or to compliment conventional medical care.


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