KARA FITZGERALD, ND completed a post-doctorate in nutritional biochemistry/laboratory science with Richard Lord, Ph.D. Author: Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine, contributing author: Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine; IFM’s Textbook for Functional Medicine. She lectures globally on functional medicine; is on faculty at IFM and practices in Connecticut.

Cake that looks like a brain

Your Brain Remembers Where High-Calorie Food Is Located: Don’t Bring it into Your Home

People appear to subconsciously remember the location of high-calorie foods better than other, healthier foods, suggesting that bringing these foods into your home may sabotage even the best intentions and strongest will for healthy eating or weight loss.   A study published in Nature investigated “high-calorie spatial memory bias” to better understand whether human memory is biased toward…

Woman having painful stomach ache during working from home,Female suffering from abdominal pain,Period cramps,Hands squeezing belly,Stomach pain

Uterine Fibroids: Mechanisms, Treatment Challenges and the Power of Embracing a Functional Approach

Uterine fibroids are a huge, underappreciated issue. They are the most common gynecological disorder, affecting nearly half of women younger than 40 years old, and far more (~80%) for those older. Frankly, I don’t think we are doing enough to help these patients. Fibroids are the leading indication for hysterectomy in the US, accounting for 39% of all hysterectomies each year, and while some are asymptomatic, symptoms include heavy and prolonged periods, difficulty with intercourse, bowel dysfunction, non-cyclic pelvic pain, low back pain, urinary frequency and urgency, and constipation. Because not all fibroids cause heavy bleeding, their impact can be missed, think: refractory constipation or incontinence. Conventional treatments include pharmacotherapy, surgical interventions, and uterine artery embolization, however, these treatments leave much to be desired. Oral contraceptives are used to manage bleeding, and even after myomectomy, fibroids often recur and 10% of women will undergo hysterectomy within 5 – 10 years.

gene-expression

Epigenetic Reprogramming Restores Age-Related Vision Loss in Mice

Intriguing new research shows that it is possible to reverse age-related cellular dysfunction in vivo, specifically age-related vision loss. This suggests that modifying epigenetic expression is a powerful tool to counteract the damage of aging. The study published in Nature sought to reset the epigenome and DNA methylation patterns by expressing transcription factors, which help…

Podcast cover art

The Future of Healthcare Policies & Advocating for Reform with John Weeks

I had the honor to sit down and chat with a leader in our field regarding public health policy and advocacy, John Weeks. What a tremendous force behind the movement of bringing integrative and functional medicine to the forefront of healthcare – and with his 40 years of insight, it was a gift to get a sit-down to discuss where we are, and where we’re going – and how we can get there together. Listen in as we discuss how to create a collaborative and unified vision to light the path for the future of medicine – which will help patients, clinicians, and our entire community. The conversation left me invigorated and inspired and I’m confident it’ll do the same for you. Listen in, and let us know what you think by leaving a comment, review, or shooting us an email. Thanks as always, for the gift of your time. ~DrKF

vitamin D

Vitamin D Deficiency Increases Risk of Severe COVID Infection & Mortality

More research confirms that maintaining optimal vitamin D levels is extremely important for reducing the risk of infection with SARS Cov-2. A six-week observational study of 154 people published in Nature found that 97 percent of individuals with severe COVID-19 had vitamin D deficiency (mean concentration was 14 ng/mL) compared to 33 percent of people…

Vegan foods

JAMA Article Attributes Dietary Benefits to Veganism But Misses Other Potential Contributors

The results from a newly-published trial on the effects of a dietary intervention in overweight adults are impressive: 14 lbs weight loss, increased insulin sensitivity, a 19.3 mg/dL reduction in total cholesterol, 15.4 mg/dL reduction in LDL cholesterol, and reduced fat distribution in the liver and muscles (associated with reduced risk for fatty liver and…

cancer therapy

Nearly Half of New Cancer Therapies Approved by FDA Lack Randomized Clinical Trial Evidence & Only Prolong Life by Weeks

A large number of cancer therapies are approved by the FDA without randomized clinical trials and only increase median survival by 2.4 months, according to a new review article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). This may come as a surprise and disappointment considering the urgent goals of cancer research to…