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  • 18 May 2020 11:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Complementary Medicines Australia has warmly welcomed the Government’s commitment to introduce new rules which will boost innovation, with the protection of intellectual property.


    Australia is set to become the Innovation Nation for Complementary Medicines


    Australia is set to introduce five years protection for clinical trials for complementary medicines; which will boost Australia’s research base and lead to greater innovation of world-class Aussie complementary medicine products. 


    Carl Gibson, Chief Executive of CMA said; “This initiative is truly ground-breaking. Australia is leading the world by rewarding investment and protecting research.  In a world first Australia will protect clinical trials for complementary medicines.  So no more copycat cut and paste -  but rewards for companies with the evidence base. 


    Taken together with the recent introduction of market exclusivity for new propriety ingredients, and a new “Aust-Listed Assessed” Registration pathway which provides higher level claims for higher levels of evidence; Australia is set to become the Innovation Nation for Complementary Medicines.


    Industry has been campaigning since the 1980s for better protection of clinical trials and this is fantastic news, a real boost for the industry for the next generation.

  • 04 May 2020 11:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Experienced, award-winning naturopath, mentor and keynote speaker, Keonie Moore, is the pioneering founder of ReMed, one of Australia’s leading naturopathic clinics. She and her team are committed to lifting the standards of naturopathic and complementary medicine in Australia and meeting the individual and changing needs of each individual.


    "Many people are battling stress and also exacerbation of stress and anxiety, whether directly or indirectly due to the pandemic,"


    Keonie’s first career was in the Australian army where she worked in electronics systems. The mum of four now-adult children, Keonie recalls that her second child often needed hospital treatment for gastroenteritis; part of his treatment included antibiotics. 

    “I read a lot about the condition and then consulted a naturopath in search of help for my son. The naturopath did a full consultation and recommended herbs, zinc and other nutrients. We were all delighted when his condition improved.”


    Thirst for knowledge

    Inspired, Keonie continued to read and her thirst for knowledge led her to studying naturopathy at Southern Cross University. That was 14 years ago and Keonie has built on her passion for paediatrics which is now her professional speciality.

    Keonie and her team are seeing patients via video conferencing and the practice remains busy. While Keonie’s patients have taken to this new form of consultation, the team has observed a few changes to patient needs.


    Direct and indirect impact of the pandemic

    “Many people are battling stress and also exacerbation of stress and anxiety, whether directly or indirectly due to the pandemic. Some people have had their whole life turned upside down.

    Take for example, two working parents with two children trying to manage their work and online education. Families have lost their support structures and have needed to rapidly adapt, which naturally causes stress for everyone involved,” Keonie says.

    “A lot of the families I work with have multiple children with one or more affected or unwell child. The family may be trying to manage home-schooling and both parents working from home all at the same time,” she adds.


    Individual treatment for individual needs

    From the treatment of constipation, eczema and food intolerances and other more generalised approaches to children’s health over years, Keonie became interested in neurological conditions which has led to her passion for treating the Clinical Management of Paediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS). She also specialises in working with children with OCD, anxiety ADHD and those on the spectrum.

    Each person is treated according to their individual needs. But the focus is on a full, healthy diet including a variety of fruit and vegetables. Other dietary changes may include the removal of food allergens and MSG in particular if there are behavioural challenges. Treatment may also involve supplementation and the use of herbal medicine as well as the use other principles of naturopathic medicine.


    Working with specialists and GPs 

    “From my perspective, it is important to take a holistic approach to treatment focussing on the many components of health. Finding the underlying causes and understating that the body is always doing the best it can, our strategies help it do that.” Keonie says.

    For her it is not a case of natural vs. conventional health – it’s about doing the best for the individual – and working with specialists and GPs can be a part of that.

    “Working together is important,” stresses Keonie. “Different modalities bring different strengths, so if I need to get another professional involved, then it is important to do so for the patient. GPs, for example, are great at diagnostics and that is out of the scope of a naturopath. Building strong cohesive relationships equips the patient with what they need. Real strength comes from helping patients to build better diet and correct lifestyle behaviours,” Keonie says.

     

    Conducting and publishing more whole-practice research 

    “Certainly there significant global evidence for complementary medicines but what is going to be called complementary medicine – it’s not just one thing, there are so many modalities involved. Evidence already exists for herbs and nutrients such as fish oils and cardio vascular health but we need more a whole-practice research in a real-life setting with multiple strategies involved – as that is how we practice. We need to get better at conducting and publishing more whole-practice research to show the results of how we manage health conditions clinically,” ends Keonie.

  • 21 Apr 2020 2:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The repeated publication of newspaper articles based on a study result published almost exactly one year ago have made a number of blanket statements about dietary supplements. The articles reference a US National Institute of Health study published on April 18, 2019, Dietary Supplements Aren't Associated with Lower Mortality.

    Supplements should be taken as recommended – at the recommended dosage as advised on the label or as prescribed by a healthcare practitioner.


    Clearly, there are many beneficial roles for supplements, particularly when used to address a specific deficiency or health requirement. However, supplements should be taken as recommended – including in the recommended dosage as advised on the label or as prescribed by a healthcare practitioner.

     

    A healthy diet – the cornerstone to good health

    The first-line of defence against disease is a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle. But certain nutritional supplements are important for those of us who don’t consume the recommended daily nutrients from diet alone – and this is the vast majority of Australians.

     

    Most Australians don't consume the recommended intake of fruits or vegetables. A nutritional short-fall can occur due to several reasons, including the sheer variety of foods and the large number of calories that must be consumed to meet the complex requirements, which also change with ages and stages. Nutrient requirements can vary according to ages, stages, lifestyle factors, cultural requirements (such as the covering of skin due to cultural reasons) and even the existence – and the treatment of – chronic conditions.

     

    CMA reiterates that an integrative approach to taking medicines including complementary medicines, rather than one over the other, speaks to the fundamentals of Quality Use of Medicines principles.

     

    The correct dosage

    Just as with conventional medicines, the correct dosage and length of supplementation is essential. A concentration that is sub-clinical will not have the claimed effect.


    Similarly, as with conventional medication, it is important not to consume concentrations that are higher than recommended – unless specifically prescribed by a healthcare practitioner. Following the recommendations as directed by the healthcare practitioner is vital, given many people – especially people who are older or unwell – may also be taking concurrent conventional medicines, sometimes more than one prescribed medication and may or may not have issues with absorption. 

     

    Recommended supplements 

    Numerous large random controlled trials have confirmed an essential role in the reduction of the occurrence of neural tube defects (NTDs). Whether women can get sufficient folate in their diets is debatable thus government experts recommend a folate supplement, ideally before conception and during the first three months of pregnancy when the neural tube and other organs are being developed. For women taking certain medicines (e.g. for epilepsy) this requirement is much higher. 

    In Australia, there is no question that certain supplements are recommended for groups of people, including:

    • Pregnant women
    • Breastfeeding mothers
    • Those who drink alcohol more than the limit approved for reducing the risk of disease (i.e. one standard drink per day for non-pregnant women and two for men)
    • Smokers
    • Those who take illegal drugs
    • Those who are consuming severely restricted diets and those crash dieters or low-calorie diets long-term
    • The elderly (including those who are disabled or chronically ill)
    • Vegetarians or vegans (some)
    • Women with excessive bleeding during menstruation
    • Those with allergies to certain food/food groups
    • Those who have a health condition that means the body can’t absorb nutrients needs (for example, chronic kidney disease/ people on dialysis)
    • Those with malabsorption problems such as diarrhoea, coeliac disease, pancreatitis and more.

    Examining study results

    The participants in the referred to study were U.S. adults who answered questions on their dietary supplement use in the previous 30 days, and about nutrient intake from foods and supplements. However, the reporting of dietary supplement use is subject to recall bias. 

    Plus, poor diet in those already diagnosed with cancer in the past was a major confounder in the study. Participants were more likely to be cancer survivors, smokers, physically inactive, diabetic, and in poor general health.

    Even in a sample size of 30,000 people, the trend associating risk of death with number of supplements did not achieve statistical significance. The study itself concludes: “Use of dietary supplements is not associated with mortality benefits among U.S. adults,” – it does not state that that supplements are harmful.


    The positives

    Some of the study results were positive – such as the role of lycopene in reducing cancer risk. In the study, the use of vitamin E supplements in combination with multivitamins was associated with lower risk of death. These facts were not included in the article.


    Last word

    CMA CEO Carl Gibson ends by saying: “To conclude, there is no question that certain supplements are recommended for people according to their ages, stages, and lifestyle and medication intake. In Australia, it is recommended that people seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner to guide individuals about their personal needs.” 

  • 03 Apr 2020 4:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our ancestors used plants as medicines at least 60,000 years ago. Several ancient remedies are now used as conventional medicines – here are three of them.

     

    Ancient roots: willow bark

    The ancient physician considered to be the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates (460–370 BC), described many diseases and their treatment. He prescribed chewing willow-tree bark to lower fever and pain. He also recommended a tea brewed from willow bark for women to lessen pain during childbirth.

     

    Modern medicine: aspirin

    It wasn’t until the 1970s that scientists begin to uncover the chemical makeup extracted from willow; it contains salicylic acid a pre-cursor to aspirin (methyl salicylate).

    Sir John Robert Vane FRS (1927-2004), an English pharmacologist, led the way to the understanding of how aspirin produces pain-relief and its anti-inflammatory effects. New treatments for heart and blood vessel disease and the introduction of ACE inhibitors were developed as a result of his work. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1982.

     

    Ancient roots: foxglove

    As early as 1250, a Welsh family, known as the Physicians of Myddvai, collected different herbs for medicine. One was extracted from the flowering European plant, foxglove. The flowers can be fitted over the tip of a finger (digit) which relating to the scientific name Digitalis purpurea, given to the plant by German botanist Leonard Fuchs in 1542.

     

    Modern medicine: digoxin

    In the 18the century, English physician and botanist, William Withering, isolated digitalis from the foxglove leaf, which later became a standardly prescribed drug in medical practice. It was used to primarily treat “dropsy,” which medical texts explain as a cardiac malady causing irregular or weak heartbeats. Affected patients’ drowned’ in their fluids due to the build-up oedema.

     

    In the 1800s, William Withering went on to publish a monograph describing the clinical effects of the extract of the foxglove plant.

     

    Later, in the twentieth century, health practitioners linked foxglove and congestive heart failure (CHF), and medicines derived from the plant were then developed into prescription drugs.

     

    One of the active ingredients is digoxin, a cardiac glycoside, was approved by the USA’s FDA in 1954.

     

    Ancient roots: wormwood  (Artemesia annua)

    For more than 2,000 years, it has been used to treat fevers and was part of a herbal medicine formulated in the fourth century AD. Wormwood or qinghao is derived from the Asian plant Artemisia annua, an aromatic plant with fern-like leaves and yellow flowers. In 1596, Li Shizhen recommended a tea made from qinghao to treat malaria.

     

    Modern medicine: Artemisinin

    In 1972, the Chinese chemist Tu Youyou announced the discovery of a substance, artemisinin, derived from Artemesia annua, which inhibits the malaria parasite. This discovery saved millions of lives and earned Tu Youyou the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2015.

     

    Note

    This article is a historical snapshot and for informational purposes only – we do not encourage anyone to use therapeutic agents, including herbs or medicines, inappropriately.  These herbal remedies are no longer used for the treatment of serious conditions. However, many plant materials continue  to show promise for use in future complementary or prescription medicines.

     

    References

    1  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15685783

    2 See https://www.who.int/traditional-complementary-integrative-medicine/about/en/

    3 Shi Q.W., Li L.G., Huo C.H., Zhang M.L., Wang Y.F. Study on natural medicinal chemistry and new drug development. Chin. Tradit. Herb. Drugs. 2010;41:1583–1589

     

     

  • 23 Mar 2020 4:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A recent feature in the Daily Telegraph suggests that vitamins are a waste of money because people can get all the nutrition they need from a healthy diet. The article, Supplements No Magic Pill, But Play a Beneficial Role, is not only misleading, but it overlooks several factors. It ignores the many ways that people use supplements to meet their health needs – to bridge nutritional gaps yes, but they are also used preventively and therapeutically.


    Australians use vitamins and supplements for a wide variety of reasons - not only to bridge nutritional gaps


    1.      Bridging the gaps

    A healthy mixed diet is the most critical factor in healthy nutrition, but many Australians don’t meet the recommended requirements. In 2014/15, almost half (49.8%) of adults aged 18 years and older reported consuming the recommended two or more servings of fruit daily while just 7.0% met the guideline for daily vegetable intake.1 Also, less than half of all Australian adults get their recommended daily intake of calcium.2 Vitamin D deficiency in Australia is said to affect over 30% of adults having a mild, moderate or severe deficiency according to Osteoporosis Australia, and which can be addressed through various means including safe sunlight, diet, and supplementation.3

    2.      Preventive health

    Various life stages alters the need for certain nutrients. Pregnancy, for example, increases the need for antenatal folic acid and in the first trimester. Folic acid and folate (the naturally occurring form) through dietary means and/or supplementation at the required dosage helps reduce the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs). Women may also need to take extra calcium and iron in individual cases.

    3.      Dietary choices and lifestyle factors

    Vegetarians and vegans may benefit from supplementing with vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, iron, calcium and zinc. Increased stress, whether physical (such as intense exercise) or other may trigger increased excretion of magnesium and thus increased dietary need. Males aged 19 years and over are more likely than females of the same age group to have inadequate intakes (41% compared with 35%).6

    Vitamin C and other antioxidant vitamins defend against free radicals, neutralising them and helping to prevent or minimise damage.7

    4.      Correcting a deficiency

    Nutritional deficiencies can occur for a variety of reasons. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the nutrients of particular concern for women include calcium, with three in four women not meeting requirements, as well as vitamin D and iron.8

    5.      Offsetting losses caused by lifestyle or medication factors

    Some healthcare professionals recommend particular nutrients that are indicated to address lowered levels associated when clinically indicated, also taking into account patient preference and choice.9

    6.      Therapeutic uses – CoQ10

    The antioxidant CoQ10 produces energy and stabilises cell membranes. The average Western diet provides around three to six milligrams per day10 (organ meats and oily fish are good sources). Clinical studies have used supplemental doses of 100mg daily or more. 

    Researchers report that CoQ10 may have benefits for heart health.11 

    CoQ10 has also been shown to benefit migraine patients in clinical studies taking 100 mg CoQ10 three times a day over the three month study period compared with those who took a placebo.12

    7.      Therapeutic uses – omega-3s

    One of the most investigated chemical groups are fish oils. Rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs), they may help to reduce inflammation in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids may benefit  heart health.13

    1.5 g/day of EPA + DHA daily is equivalent to 100g of salmon.

    Final word

    As with all supplements, it is important for individuals to seek the advice of their healthcare practitioner. With much clinical research having occurred and still underway, many consumers choose to purchase complementary medicines due to a range of factors including personal awareness and choice and healthcare recommendation, and use them as part of their healthcare routine.

    References 

    [1] https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/about-us/what-we-do/heart-disease-in-australia/fruit-and-vegetable-consumption-statistics

    [2] https://osteoporosis.org.au/sites/default/files/files/Calcium%20Fact%20Sheet%202nd%20Edition.pdf 

    [3] https://www.osteoporosis.org.au/vitamin-d

    [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922396/) (https://www.elsevier.es/en-revista-porto-biomedical-journal-445-articulo-the-impact-folic-acid-supplementation-S2444866417300399)

    [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28545876)

    [6] https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.008~2011-12~Main%20Features~Magnesium~406

    [7]https://www.nci.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27529239

    [8] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-supplements-for-vegans

    [9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4149948/

    [10] https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/coenzyme-Q10

    [11] https://www.longdom.org/open-access/coenzyme-q-for-cardiovascular-prevention-2329-6607.1000e125.pdf

    [12] https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/185

    [13] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/omega-3/art-20045614

  • 19 Mar 2020 2:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Autumn is a great time to check on your health in preparation for the colder months. But can you boost your immune system?

    The immune system is a complex, interrelated system, not a single entity. For optimum functioning, it requires balance and harmony. There's still a lot to learn about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. But general approaches to good health are a great way to start.

     


    Practice good hygiene

    Experts urge us to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to prevent passing on germs. Dry your hands. Use hand sanitiser and avoid touching the face. Wipe down commonly used equipment before and after you use it and try to avoid person-to-person contact. In the light of current infectious pandemic, this is more important than ever. 

     

    Eat smart

    A healthy mixed diet is vital to support healthy immunity. One that's rich in vegetables and fruit, whole grains, legumes, healthy protein and healthy fats such as olive oil. Citrus fruits, berries and leafy greens and capsicums are particularly high in vitamin C.

     

    According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, autumn is the season for white foods; root vegetables, onions, garlic, white beans, cauliflower, turnip, tempeh and tofu.

     

    White vegetables are rich in allicin which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and antibiotic properties. But a rainbow of produce has many health benefits - providing an array of vitamins minerals and plant pigments. 

     

    Prebiotics

    Since 80 per cent of the immune system is located in the gut, it's important to support gut health. Prebiotics feed probiotics, live microorganisms that help to increase the number of good microbes in the digestive tract helping to boost beneficial microbes or probiotics, especially lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria, in the gut. Whole grains, Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, onions, leeks and asparagus.

     

    Enjoy mushrooms

    Mushrooms contain beta-glucans, naturally occurring polysaccharides. Some types have been found to support the body's immune defences. These glucose polymers enhance macrophages and natural killer cell function.  

     

    Turmeric

    Used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is a cousin of ginger. Curcumin, turmeric's active ingredient is an antioxidant that has been shown to help reduce free radical damage.

     

    While many of these studies focus on very concentrated preparations of curcumin supplement form (powders, tablets and extracts), eating turmeric as part of your daily diet is also a great way to enjoy curcumin's health benefits.

     

    Curcumin's effect on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has also been shown to have potential use in depression treatment by reversing detrimental brain changes that occur in depression. Some people find the approaching colder and darker months may affect their mood.

     

    Omega-3 fats

    Oily fish is rich in omega-3 fats; experts recommend eating oily fish two to three times per week. 

     

    Omega-3s may affect mood. Researchers suggest that this may be due to their effects on serotonin and serotonin receptors in the brain. Others studies indicate that the mechanism of action is due to the anti-inflammatory impacts.

     

    Manage your stress 

    Some stress is vital for life, but prolonged periods increases circulating cortisol levels, increasing inflammation and decreasing the number of white blood cells, one way that the body combats infection. Do what you can to help reduce stress – whether this involves yoga and mindfulness to finding time to yourself and relaxing.

     

    Exercise regularly

    Regular exercise is a vital component for general good overall health – it improves general health helps to lower hypertension, aids the maintenance of a healthy weight and reduces the risk of several chronic conditions. 

     

    Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise also boosts circulation, allowing the cells and immune system substances to move through the body freely and do their job more effectively. However, intense exercise can negatively impact the immune system. So exercise smarter, not harder.

     

    Vitamin D

    Less sunlight means less vitamin D, although it is still essential to practice safe sun exposure. A vitamin D supplement may help you boost your immune defences since low vitamin d status can reduce the ability to resist winter germs. 

     

    Echinacea 

    Echinacea is the name of a group of flowering plants in the daisy family. Used by North American natives, studies have linked the compounds in Echinacea to health benefits, such as reduced inflammation.


    Another herb used in Chinese medicine is Astragalus; it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties; research suggest that the root can boost resistance to infection.


    Get enough sleep

    Adequate rest is key to a healthy immune system. Cytokines – proteins that help to fight infection and inflammation – released during sleep. 

     

    Of course, there are no guarantees when it comes to avoiding infection, but smart decisions can help put the odds in your favour.


  • 13 Mar 2020 4:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    To mark International Women's Day, NICM Health Research Institute held an incredible one-day symposium, Influential Women in Natural Therapies: A Legacy for the Future.

    Presented by NICM Health Research Institute Western Sydney University and The Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies, this inaugural one-day Symposium was held in the new Jacka Foundation Conference Centre; it brought together some of Australia's most influential women in natural therapies.


    This extensive and celebrated line-up of women shared their professional journeys, epitomising resilience, peace, strength, political savviness, building bridges and inspiring hope. Many of the touching life-altering stories of bravery and support had a common thread – to support each other and go for it!


    Among the stellar line-up of speakers were:

    Judy Jacka, Vice-Chair, Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies

    Through the five decades of her life dedicated to natural therapies, Judy's passion has seen her consult with up to 90 clients per week. Experienced author on health and healing, Judy has led the development of an integrated approach to research in natural therapies.


    Associate Professor Vicki Kotsirilos AM, NICM HRI Research Committee Member and Adjunct

    At just 28 years of age, Vicki founded the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA). She spoke about the consumer-led shift to healthcare in Australia. Detailing her approach, which is advocating for change gently, respectfully and harmoniously, Vicki spoke about her passion for her patients and providing a holistic approach to individual patient care. She added that the side effects of complementary medicines are real and rare. However, most adverse medicine reactions – 98 per cent – are from prescription medicines. She advocated practising simplicity and self-care.


    Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, NICM HRI Advisory Board Member

    Speaking about integrative medicine politics in Australia, Kerryn outlined her approach, which has always been to listen to patients since patient care is a two-way education.


    Kerryn stressed that the anti-complementary medicine lobby group, Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM), doesn't reflect peoples' own experiences. She further highlighted the opportunity to raise issues and harness evidence, knowledge and logic as the consumer-led firepower needed to counteract what is being thrown at integrative medicine.


    Petrea King, Founder, Quest for Life Foundation

    Petrea championed the need to understand and value self-care to best access the most valuable characteristics of an entrained brain – insight, intuition, wisdom, humour, spontaneity, creativity and compassion.


    Gail O'Brien AO, Patient Advocate, Board of Directors, Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

    Gail shared the vision of her late husband, Dr Chris O'Brien, who was one of Australia's leading head and neck surgeons. In her moving presentation; Walk in My Shoes, How to Reach Truly Patient-Centred Care, she recounted that Chris used his own cancer experience to forcefully advocate for better cancer care. His vision for a not-for-profit comprehensive, integrated cancer treatment centre saw the opening of the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse.


    Gail relayed its background and evolution to the current day, and the many lessons learnt. By enshrining empathy, compassion and an experiential understanding of the cancer patient's journey into its culture and operation, the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse continues to strive to be a place of healing as well as curing. Her take-home statement? Treat the whole person, not just the disease and do it with passion.


    Lucy Haslam, Cofounder and Director, United in Compassion and Founder, Australian Medicinal Cannabis Alliance Health

    Lucy and her family were devastated when their youngest son, Dan, was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. The family's unconditional love saw no bounds. Her nursing background and her husband's police background meant that they were fervently against the prohibited drug, cannabis. But when a friend suggested Dan try it to ease symptoms, she was determined to do whatever was needed to try and relieve Dan's suffering. Her young son experienced instant and unexpected relief that reduced his pain and nausea and improved his appetite.


    Lucy has researched and advocated for the need to review the framework for medicinal cannabis in Australia, which remains a highly political subject and heavily reflective of vested interests.



    Dr Christabell Yeoh, Medical Director, Next Practice Care of GenBiome; Integrative Doctor, Invitation to Health

    Christabell detailed her deep interest in nutrition and environmental medicine. People cannot be healthy in an unhealthy environment, she said. And people demand so much more after experiencing unsatisfactory outcomes. People are also open to trying different approaches. Functional and integrative medicine is fast becoming the new springboard for determining lifespan, resilience and allowing for beneficial outcomes said Christabell. She called for collaboration and unification of healing modalities held together by a positive and optimum environment.


    Associate Professor Lesley Braun, Director, Blackmores Institute

    When she was studying pharmacy in the 1980s, so-called alternative medicines were viewed by medical doctors and pharmacist as unproven quackery said Lesley. Since her passion also lay in naturopathy, Lesley soon understood that no single approach would fulfil the needs of any individual patient.


    She spoke about the need to build bridges and find shared common ground to facilitate greater acceptance of different approaches in conventional and complementary medicine. Recalling her student life, Lesley spoke of the need to be bi-lingual – to be able to talk in the language of the pharmacist and also be fluent in naturopathy. No one has a monopoly on cure; patients deserve better, she said.


    Leah Hechtman, Director, the Natural Health and Fertility Centre and Author

    The power to change both medicine and the health of future generations lies in supporting female fertility said Leah. Women have always been the healers, the epicentre of the family, she said. Speaking from the heart, she stated that disrespect needs to change. The more involved and collaborative integrative medicine becomes, the greater the service to our community and our people.



    These are just some of the incredibly passionate and visionary women that spoke at this unique event. All have a story to tell and have a passion, a driving force to become a part of our life; this can only come about if we are supported.


    Medicine is an art – we have no ownership of it. Being there for all our patients is the beginning of healing. There is so much that integrative medicine can offer, and this can only continue to grow.


    The common threads that ran through this incredible event were resilience, peace within love, strength, political savviness, and building bridges. 


    We thank these pioneering women for sharing their passionate and touching stories of bravery and support.


  • 25 Feb 2020 2:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In Australia, the regulation of complementary medicines falls within the remit of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which has the responsibility of regulating all therapeutic goods, including medicines and medical devices. The TGA is committed to contributing to Australia’s health system through best practice regulation of health products, and safeguarding the health of all Australians through effective, timely and risk proportionate regulation of therapeutic goods.  

     

    The Australian complementary medicines industry, with high-quality products supported by one of the most rigorous regulatory frameworks in the world


    Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation

    CMA acknowledges the significant work that has been undertaken to date by the TGA on the Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation (MMDR) reforms. 

     

    The main objectives of the MMDR were to improve the timely and safe access to quality therapeutic goods for consumers while ensuring that any legislative framework is commensurate with the risk of such goods, and to minimise the regulatory and administrative burden for business;  This is consistent with the need for Australia to remain competitive on the global stage. 

     

    Decreasing regulatory and administrative burden

    Central to the MMDR was the decrease in regulatory and administrative burden for businesses. While industry recognises that reforms create additional work for both the regulator and for companies, an unnecessary burden is currently being created due to staggered time frames for implementation of the numerous rule changes. This is creating a level of complexity and financial burden for industry, the significance of which, particularly for smaller and medium-sized entities, cannot be overstated. 

     

    Additional regulator resources to upgrade eBusiness Services

    Unless specifically exempt, complementary medicines supplied in Australia are required to be entered onto the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) maintained by the TGA. Unless they are included on the ARTG, complementary medicines cannot legally be imported, exported, manufactured, or supplied to consumers. Because the vast majority of complementary medicines are in the lower risk AUST L category, sponsors access the eBusiness portal to include, update or amend product listings. 

     

    Under the MMDR, the TGA has established a list of ‘permitted indications’ from which sponsors must exclusively draw when listing an AUST L product on the ARTG. This, among other changes to eBusiness, has led to an increasingly overwhelmed, prolonged and creaking system. Anyone who has spent 40 minutes on hold on their telephone can appreciate the frustration and loss of productivity for a business that has to update many listings routinely. 

     

    The TGA is experiencing issues with the TGA Business Services portal The TGA is currently experiencing issues within the TGA Business Services (TBS) portal. We are working on resolving the issues as quickly as possible and apologise for any inconvenience.

     

    The best of natural health

    In a supportive business environment, the Australian complementary medicines industry is expected to continue its positive growth trajectory, increasing innovation-rich manufacturing and providing a significant contribution to our country’s exports.

     

    Robust evidence in several areas shows that complementary medicines are a valuable and cost-effective way to improve health outcomes. An ageing population and increasing rates of chronic disease foreshadow higher healthcare costs in the future unless there is a focus shift towards early prevention, encouraging healthy and active ageing, and supporting individuals to take control over their health.

     

    To fully realise the contribution that complementary medicines can make to the health of our communities, research is essential for continuing to establish their safety and efficacy, to contribute to understanding best practice for integrative health care, and to develop innovative new products.  The Australian complementary medicines industry, with high-quality products supported by one of the most rigorous regulatory frameworks in the world and exceptional research organisations, has much to offer – quite simply, the best of natural health. 

     

     

  • 20 Feb 2020 5:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The probiotics that live on your skin in your gut and your mouth could reveal your age according to new research1.

     

    The skin's microbiome provides the best prediction of age


    In the largest study to date, researchers analysed data on the microbiota from 8,959 samples in 10 different studies. Over 4000 stool samples, over 200 saliva samples and nearly 2,000 skin samples were studied.  

     

    Shi Huang, a bioinformatician from the University of California, San Diego, said: "Intriguingly, the skin microbiome provides the best prediction of age."

     

    "The big question here could be if you know your microbiome, what is the difference between yours and what's normal?" adds Shi Huang.

     

    The study revealed that:

    ·         Skin samples could predict age to within 3.8 years

    ·         Saliva samples could predict age to within 4.5 years

    ·         Gut bacteria could predict age to within 11.5 years.

     

    Beneficial at the molecular level

    Other research suggests that probiotics may benefit skin at the molecular level. Animal studies and human clinical trials are building a case for their role in intrinsic and extrinsic ageing by restoring skin pH, alleviating oxidative stress, attenuating photo ageing, improving skin barrier function, and enhancing hair quality.2

     

    References

    1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6702293/

    2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26741377

     

  • 19 Feb 2020 2:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Researchers at Sydney University writing in Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism A Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics have found that “Despite some of the herbal medicines showing statistically greater weight-loss than placebo, weight loss was less than 2.5kg and therefore not of clinical significance.”

    A total of 54 randomised controlled trials comparing the effect of herbal medicines to placebo for weight loss in over 4000 participants.


    The majority - 67 per cent - of Australians are overweight or obese.


    The researchers note that there is currently not enough evidence for herbal medicines for clinically significant weight-loss. However, many of the included studies were small, of poor design and methodological quality, with inadequate reporting of the herbal medicine interventions.” said the authors, led by Dr Nick Fuller (PhD) of the university’s Boden Collaboration for Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders.


    Overweight and obesity in Australia

    In 2017-18, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Health Survey showed that two thirds (67.0%) of adults were overweight or obese. Plus, 55 per cent of Australians don’t meet the recommended guidelines for exercise. A substantial 8.4 per cent of the burden of disease is due to being overweight or obese in this country. 


    Multifactorial and complex

    Weight gain – overweight and obesity – is multifactorial and complex. The first step to getting to a healthy weight range is to enjoy a healthy diet and regular exercise. It also requires a real and ongoing commitment by the individual trying to make healthier lifestyle habits.


    Weight-loss fails

    There are many reasons why attempts at weight-loss fail, including setting unrealistic goals, emotional eating, negative self-image, self-doubt and underlying physiological and chronic health conditions, as well as medication for chronic conditions. The search for a quick or easy fix is also another reason that so-called ‘diets’ fail.


    Complementary medicines – a useful adjunct

    Herbal and dietary supplements can be a useful adjunct to healthier living. These have been used for centuries to aid weight-loss, and significant historical data backs herbal and nutritional supplements.


    Major commitment

    To reiterate, there is no question that weight-loss requires commitment. Weight-loss supplements can be useful when taken by people who also adopt sensible lifestyle changes. Seeking and selecting approaches to weight-loss including treatments can be a major sign of commitment to losing weight for an individual. As well as losing weight, maintaining the weight-loss also requires ongoing behavioural, and lifestyle changes. A health professional's advice can provide important and expert guidance and support to achieve and maintain weight-loss goals.

     

    References

    https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/Overweight-and-Obesity

    https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/behaviours-risk-factors/physical-activity/overview

    https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/behaviours-risk-factors/overweight-obesity/overview


     


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