The practice and science of natural medicine

Integrative Health &
Applied Nutrition
magazine (IHCAN)

Since 2002, Integrative Healthcare & Applied Nutrition magazine (formerly known as CAM magazine) has kept professional practitioners in-the-loop every month with its mix of news, views and fully referenced features.

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IHCAN magazine June 2023 cover
The practice and science of natural medicine

 Integrative Health &
Applied Nutrition
magazine (IHCAN)

Since 2002, Integrative Healthcare & Applied Nutrition magazine (formerly known as CAM magazine) has kept professional practitioners in-the-loop every month with its mix of news, views and fully referenced features.
IHCAN magazine February 2024 cover

Editor’s note
April 2024

So much research, and so much dross…

It’s been a mad month in the journals…so our packed 64-page issue is awash with reports on the latest research, covering everything from circadian rhythms, biofeedback and biofilm disruptors, to many new findings on the microbiome – yes, they keep coming –  including a study showing that inulin and FOS supplements improve over-60s’ brain function in just 12 weeks!

That simple intervention may come in handy, as more stats confirm we are in the middle of a mental health meltdown, as Patrick Holford calls it.

A study in Lancet Neurology reveals neurological conditions are the leading cause of ill-health and disability worldwide. The World Health Organization says around 43% of the world’s population is affected, as numbers continue to rise and estimates 1 in 3 people now has a nervous system disorder.

Two-thirds of UK incapacity benefit claims are for mental and behavioural disorders. Hundreds of thousands are signing on (or should that be signing off?) with anxiety, depression and the like, never to work again.

Governments’ random and illogical responses to COVID haven’t helped, as a University of Oklahoma College of Medicine study not only found that many people hospitalised with COVID-19 experienced a high rate of gut problems, but had also become afflicted with PTSD.

Medics are now dealing with DGBI, or Diseases of the Gut-Brain Interaction, caused by impaired communication between the brain and the gut via the nervous system – in both directions.

“Obviously, the early months of the pandemic were very fearful and traumatic, but it is significant that patients were still experiencing trauma more than a year after they were hospitalised”, said lead researcher Prof Bill Tierney.

They get paid to do this “research”?

But you should see the studies we didn’t report! Those are often the ones that make the biggest headlines in the mainstream media. There was

...Read more...

the “Obese people have shorter strides than lean people” one. The “Sunlight is bad for you” one. There was the headline generated by the dunces at the American Heart Association: “8-hour time-restricted eating linked to a 91% higher risk of cardiovascular death”.

Then I got a release from the University of East Anglia’s Psychology Department, who had somehow managed to find out that women can get a little emotional around period time. Look, they said it, not me. The exact words were they “report heightened feelings of anger”. Yes, they did a study to “discover” this AND got it published in a peer-reviewed journal.

OK, I’ll admit to the full story. You CAN read about this (page 43), because as well as their stunningly obvious and unoriginal “finding”, they rescued themselves slightly by tying it all into sleep disturbance, claiming “valuable insights into the complex interplay between menstrual cycles, emotions, and sleep and the impact of hormonal fluctuations on women’s well-being”.

I know, it’s borderline. I still can’t believe academics get paid to run these projects, let alone get them published. Especially, in this instance, as the “new” study seems to be identical to a paper published by the same authors in 2022. Ah well.

About these non-doctors…

Following my October 2023 editor’s rant titled, “The non-doctor will see you now”, we were happy to report in December the BMA calling for an immediate ban on Physician’s Assistants in general practice. But now doctors are furious again.

It seems that PAs and other MAPS (Medical Associate Professionals) are now working in hospitals – and are actually replacing doctors on shifts.

As a result, the British Medical Association has urged the government to launch an independent inquiry into hospitals’ use of PAs to replace doctors on medical rotas. The association has asked health and social care secretary  Victoria Atkins to examine how widespread the practice is in England, how it has been allowed to happen, and what action is needed to end it.

The BMA is making the call in response to reports from members of gaps in medical rotas being filled by PAs and to an investigation by the Telegraph that reported: “Leaked paperwork from more than 30 NHS sites shows that the practice of placing non-medics on doctors’ rotas is widespread”.

Early last month, the Daily Mail also revealed that trainee physician associates are being employed by the NHS to work with patients despite having no medical training. They are being recruited to learn-on-the-job “apprenticeships” in GP surgeries. The Mail highlighted how a University of Plymouth course  “described as ‘an innovative pathway’ to become a PA, involves just four weeks on campus during the 30-month course for ‘intensive clinical skills training and assessment’”. The rest of the course is completed at home and/or online. Starting salary for an apprenticeship advertised by the Midlands Partnership NHS Trust: up to £32,934 a year. PAs as a profession are unregulated.

BMA chair of council Prof Philip Banfield says its members are reporting that staff who are not medically qualified are being used in place of ones who are. “We know the NHS is experiencing a devastating workforce crisis, but this is not the way to solve it”, he said.

Our concern remains the hypocrisy of the NHS trying to ease its chronic disease crisis by throwing the public at two-year trained non-medical personnel while ignoring the specialist knowledge and degree-level and post-grad training that our nutrition practitioners have.

We have the answers; they don’t want to know.

SIMON MARTIN, EDITOR
Keep up with Simon on Twitter@simoncamedit

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“I consider IHCAN magazine to be a good reference source because the authors
are reputable, sound-thinking experienced clinicians. I read it to keep
up-to-date with current trends. Keep up the good work!”

Susan Farrer

We’re always fully referenced

We don’t put a big emphasis on being “evidence based” in the conventional sense, mainly because the bulk of the evidence used in meta analyses and systematic reviews and to produce “guidelines” is not to be trusted. As Prof Richard David Feinman puts it, the meta-analysis is the “most dangerous” activity plaguing modern medical literature. And RCTs are of no use in assessing complex conditions that we address with multiple interventions – such as Dr Dale Bredesen’s Alzheimer’s protocol. Likewise, we highly value the hard-won clinical experience of multiple practitioners accumulated over the years and handed down over generations of evolving natural medicine practice. That said, we do put a lot of effort into referencing our features. References are online to save space, available within our members area.

We’re always fully referenced

We don’t put a big emphasis on being “evidence based” in the conventional sense, mainly because the bulk of the evidence used in meta analyses and systematic reviews and to produce “guidelines” is not to be trusted. As Prof Richard David Feinman puts it, the meta-analysis is the “most dangerous” activity plaguing modern medical literature. And RCTs are of no use in assessing complex conditions that we address with multiple interventions – such as Dr Dale Bredesen’s Alzheimer’s protocol. Likewise, we highly value the hard-won clinical experience of multiple practitioners accumulated over the years and handed down over generations of evolving natural medicine practice. That said, we do put a lot of effort into referencing our features. References are online to save space, available within our members area.

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