Latest News

Amino Acids and Mental Health

A recent study entitled ‘Dietary intake of branched-chain amino acids in relation to depression, anxiety and psychological distress’ was published in the Nutrition Journal. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between dietary Branch Chain Amino Acids and psychological disorders including depression, anxiety, and psychological distress in a large sample of Iranian adults. Depression, anxiety, and psychological distress are among the most common psychiatric disorders affecting emotion and behavior. Prescribed medicines are not effective enough in the treatment of common mental disorders. Therefore, there is a great need for adjunctive treatment. Dietary intervention is one such therapy. It is well-documented that adequate amounts of nutrients are necessary for the production of neurotransmitters. Studies show that amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine might be useful in treating depression by producing neurotransmitters. This is the first study to examine the relationship between BCAAs intake and psychological disorders in humans The results of the study suggest that there may be an association between dietary BCAAs and the incident of depression and anxiety.

Reference: Glareh Koochakpoor, Asma Salari-Moghaddam, Ammar Hassanzadeh Keshteli, Hamid Afshar, Ahmad Esmaillzadeh and Peyman Adibi, Dietary intake of branched-chain amino acids in relation to depression, anxiety and psychological distress, Nutrition Journal 2021

To view the full article click here

Homeopathic Treatment as an Add-on Therapy for Cancer

The results of a clinical trial on Homeopathic Treatment as an Add-On Therapy May Improve Quality of Life and Prolong Survival in Patients with NonSmall Cell Lung Cancer: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo Controlled, Double Blind, Three Arm, Multicenter Study WAS published in the Journal ‘The Oncologist’, October 2020. The trial involved patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Homeopathy was used alongside conventional treatment with the aim of helping to alleviate side effects. The objective of the study was to investigate if patient quality of life and survival might improve.

The study concludes that quality of life improved significantly compared to the placebo and survival was longer in the homeopathy group versus the placebo and control. A higher quality of life may have contributed to the prolonged survival. Further studies are necessary.

Reference: Michael Frass, Peter Lechleitner, Christa Gründling, Claudia Pirker, Erwin Grasmuk Siegl, Julian Domayer, Maximilian Hochmair, Katharina Gaertner, Cornelia Duscheck Homeopathic Treatment as an Add-On Therapy May Improve Quality of Life and Prolong Survival in Patients with Non Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo Controlled, Double Blind, Three Arm, Multicenter Study, The Oncologist, October 2020.

To view the full article, click here

CAM Therapy- Mental Health

A recent study carried out in Sweden and published in the Journal, Issues in Mental Health Nursing investigates the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in Psychiatric Units in Sweden.

Mental illness has been termed the pandemic of the 21st century. Many people who suffer with depression, anxiety and other mental health problems consult CAM therapy. This study is based on a survey which was distributed to all heads of private and public healthcare units treating patients with psychiatric symptoms across Sweden in 2019. The outcomes of the study identified that the main motivations for CAM use were symptom relief, meeting patients’ requests and a reduced demand for drug therapy. The study confirms the need for further research about CAM and for CAM education and training among healthcare workers.

Reference: The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in Psychiatric Units in Sweden, Maria Warrell, Ann Olsson, Kajsa Landgren, Issues in Mental Health, 2020

To view the full article click here

New research – Glutathione supplementation and COVID-19

A study published in the Journal Antioxidants identifies the role of glutathione in protecting against severe inflammatory responses triggered by COVID-19. A common similarity in all conditions associated with COVID-19 appears to be an impaired redox imbalance and accumulation of reactive oxygen species. Glutathione is a key antioxidant and plays a fighting role against oxidative stress. Glutathione levels could be critical in reducing the inflammation that triggers organ failure in COVID-19. Further research is needed to identify the possible use of glutathione as an adjunctive treatment to the current treatment modalities in COVID-19 patients.

To view the full article click here

Complementary Therapies & Oncology Research by UCC

The Cork Area Hospital Group, supported by funding from the Irish Cancer Society, have launched a Research Project to access the level of demand and clinical outcomes from the use of CAM Therapies in Oncology Services. The Research is being conducted by UCC (University College Cork)
Participation is open until the end of March and submissions are invited from the following groups who would have used all modalities of complementary therapies alongside standard treatment protocols:

• People who currently have or have had cancer.
• Survivors of cancer.
• Family members who care for cancer patients.
• Oncologists, doctors, cancer specialists and other professionals who provide services to people who are undergoing cancer treatment. (This
includes CAM Therapists who provide services to cancer patients.)

Please register online – click here

The survey will be emailed out within 2 days of registering. You could also request a telephone survey. It will take about 50 minutes. There will be a space near the end where you can add your own comments and suggestions. All data provided will be kept confidential.
We recommend all CAM Therapy users participate in this project, regardless of the services used, be that yoga, massage, nutritional therapy, kinesiology, reiki or whatever has proved valuable.
We will have staff available to provide explanations where necessary or to assist people when completing the survey.
Participation from all CAM users within this community is necessary if we are to help create better support for Irish cancer patients and have improved outcomes acknowledged by public policy makers.
Thank you for your time.

New research – Microbiome and COVID-19

COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory illness but new research is emerging which suggests that the GI tract may be involved. A study published in the Journal ‘Gut’ has found an association between the gut microbiome and COVID-19 host immune responses. This study concluded that gut microbiota dysbiosis after COVID-19 resolution could contribute to persistent symptoms indicating a need to understand how gut microorganisms are involved in inflammation and COVID-19.

Reference: Yun Kit Yeoh et al. Gut microbiota composition reflects disease severity and dysfunctional immune responses in patients with COVID-19

To view the full article click here

Vitamin D deficiency- Cancer Patients

A recent study published in the Journal ‘Nutrients’ addresses the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in critically ill cancer patients requiring ICU admisssion. The researchers aimed to explore if ICU survivors may benefit from supplementation.

Low levels of Vitamin D are common in cancer patients due to prolonged hospitalisations, avoidance of sunlight following radiation therapy and impaired nutritional status.

Reference: Wohlfarth. P., et al ‘Prevalence and Impact of Vitamin D deficiency in Criticall Ill Cancer Patients Admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

To view the full article click here

Homeopathy: Effective and Economical

Securvita, is one of Germany’s leading health insurance companies and promotes itself as a ‘pioneer of naturopathy and provider of modern medicine. The company has released an analysis of data from its policy holders that shows that those who receive homeopathic care are significantly better off and need fewer conventional medicines than those who receive ordinary conventional care without homeopathic treatment.

A new study, ‘Studie zur Homöopathie: Wirtschaftlich und Wirksam’ (Economical and Effective), compares the data of nearly 16,000 Securvita policy holders who have been regularly treated by homeopathic health insurance physicians for at least three years with an equally large control group that has received ordinary conventional care without homeopathic treatment. It shows the real life benefits and improvements of homeopathic treatment which has been documented in the insurance data over several years.

The full study has been published in German here

Vitamin C and COVID-19

The Global Campaign VitaminC4COVID backed by a consortium of Vitamin C researchers, doctors and healthcare professionals makes a plea for regulators to bring vitamin C into the therapeutic realm of measures in the battle against COVID-19. The campaign cites over 100 research papers on Vitamin C trials as published in the Journal Nutrients some of which are specific to COVID-19 and upper respiratory system infections. Renowned nutrition spokesman and author, Patrick Holford leads this campaign. It is his hope that within a year Governments and health authorities will have incorporated Vitamin C into prevention and early treatment for COVID-19 and similar viral infections. Holford suggests that Vitamin C is proactive in keeping one’s immune system strong which is a critical part of any anti-viral strategy.

A full review article as published in the Journal Nutrients, October 2020, Anita Carr and Sam Rowe ‘The Emerging Role of Vitamin C in the Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19’ can be viewed here

Vitamin D reduces COVID-19 infection and death rate!

A group of Health Science and Medical experts from the U.K., U.S. and Europe have sent an open letter to world Governments stating that there is clear evidence that Vitamin D reduces Covid-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths. The letter indicates that global patterns and risk factors for the COVID-19 pandemic and Vitamin D deficiency match precisely due to the impact on immune function. This group of scientists are calling for immediate and widespread increased intakes of Vitamin D i.e. 4000 iu per day.

The main organisers Dr. Karl Pfleger (USA) and Dr. Garreth Davies (UK) have published the letter here

Christmas Deliveries

We are advised the following dates for posting, however, please note An Post are still advising delayed delivery times, with some areas experiencing up to 7 days delay:
Ireland – December 21st
Northern Ireland – December 19th
Great Britain – December 18th
Europe – December 12th
Rest of the world – December 7th

COVID-19 and Obesity

A Review paper, as published in the Journal ‘Frontiers in Nutrition’ supports the clinical potential of supplemental nutrients as adjuncts of therapy in high-risk COVID-19 for obese patients in particular. The incidence rate and comorbidity of COVID-19 rises in the obese patient. This article suggests that micronutrients may boost host immunity against viral infections including COVID-19.

A deficiency of micronutrients due to malnutrition has the potential to increase the severity of viral infection. Adequate nutrition is important for the appropriate functioning of the immune system. Obese COVID-19 patients are more susceptible to inflammation, lung diseases and insulin resistance than lean patients. Some studies investigated in this review paper suggest that specific nutrients (vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, B vitamins, fatty acids, zinc, zelenium, magnesium) might exhibit protective effects against COVID-19 infection.

Reference: Emre Sahin, CEMAL ORHAN, Mehmet Uckun, Kazim Sahin , Clinical Impact Potential of Supplemental Nutrients as Adjuncts of Therapy in High-Risk COVID-19 for Obese Patients, Frontiers in Nutrition, Oct 2020.

To view the full article click here