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  1. Monograph update: Trigger Point Therapy

    Check out our recently updated trigger point therapy monograph to learn about the latest evidence supporting its use for back pain and tension headache.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  2. Amazon Testing Policy Changes

    Amazon recently updated their testing policy for dietary supplement sellers. Sellers were previously able to submit evidence that a product was third-party verified – but no longer. They will now only accept certificates of authenticity (CoA) directly from third-party testing companies that they partner with. Amazon has been plagued by tainted products in recent years. These new requirements may impact what types of products are available in the marketplace. Stay tuned.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  3. Cardiovascular Concerns with Cannabis

    Talk to patients about new data linking regular cannabis use with serious cardiovascular adverse effects. As the DEA considers the rescheduling of cannabis, and access is greater than ever, it’s important to remind patients that regular use doesn’t come without risks.

    A recent study in adults 18-74-years-old suggests that daily cannabis use is linked with a 25% increased chance of heart attack and a 42% increased chance of stroke when compared with nonuse, regardless of cigarette smoking history. This chance decreases as cannabis is used less frequently – a point worth highlighting to daily users. Most participants in this study reported smoking cannabis, so it’s unclear if this link also applies to other forms, such as edibles. But previous studies have linked edible products containing very large doses of THC, 50 mg or more, to both heart attack and abnormal heartbeat.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  4. Extra Sunscreen Needed: Photosensitizing Ingredients

    The summer months are upon us. Just like some medications, certain supplements can increase sun sensitivity. This is a good time to remind patients to use extra sun protection – particularly if they use alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), bergamot, or St. John’s wort.

    AHAs are a group of natural acids found in foods, including citric acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid. They’re commonly used in topical anti-aging products, with glycolic acid having the strongest evidence of benefit – applying glycolic acid to the skin seems to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. But like all AHAs, it can also increase the risk of getting a sunburn. Tell patients to use extra sunscreen and protective clothing if they use any products containing AHAs.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  5. Avoid these Supplements Before Surgery

    Surveys suggest that 4 out of 5 Americans use dietary supplements. Providers should always counsel patients about potential interactions with medications, but this is especially important before, during, or after surgery. Supplements that have sedative effects, increase the risk of bleeding, or affect blood sugar control should be on your radar. Here are some of the most common culprits.

    Ask patients if they take any supplements for relaxation, such as valerian or kava. Both of these natural medicines have sedative effects that might cause additive CNS depression when combined with anesthesia and other medications used perioperatively. Possible liver damage is also a concern with both kava and valerian. Tell patients to stop using these and other common sedatives like cannabis and ashwagandha at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

  6. What is Shilajit?

    Get ready for questions about shilajit – a sticky substance found in the cracks of the Himalayas and other high mountain ranges of Asia. It’s an increasingly popular ingredient in supplements – here’s what you should know.

    Shilajit is considered a humic substance made of a mixture of decomposed plant, animal, mineral, and microbial material. While its exact makeup varies depending on where it’s found and the temperature, crude shilajit is mainly humic and fulvic acid. Fulvic acid is believed to have antioxidant effects, which may play a role in shilajit’s suggested clinical benefits as well as its traditional use as an adaptogen in Ayurvedic medicine.

    For more information, visit www.naturalmedicines.com.

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