Living Well Blog: Saratoga's Holistic Health Forum

Healthy Minds and Brain Using Nature's Medicine


Naturopathic Fun Facts

By Sarah A LoBisco, ND

Fish Oil and Children

Omega-3 fatty acids are an important building block to healthy brain function. In a recent meta-analysis involving 699 children with ADHD, researchers found a small but significant positive effect in children who supplemented with high dose EPA fish oil. They concluded:

Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, particularly with higher doses of eicosapentaenoic acid, was modestly effective in the treatment of ADHD. The relative efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was modest compared with currently available pharmacotherapies for ADHD such as psychostimulants, atomoxetine, or α(2) agonists. However, given its relatively benign side-effect profile and evidence of modest efficacy, it may be reasonable to use omega-3 fatty supplementation to augment traditional pharmacologic interventions or for families who decline other psychopharmacologic options.

Bloch MH, Qawasmi A. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for the treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptomatology: systematic review and meta-analysis (abstract).J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry (online). 2011 Oct;50(10):991-1000. Epub 2011 Aug 12.Accessed July 2012 at: PMID: 21961774

Spice and Fat Help Nerve Health (Science Daily)

Our not-so-furry friends provided clues into how fish oil and curry spice might modulate degenerative nerve changes. Specifically, the little critters on rat feed supplemented with these ingredients preserved their walking ability after spinal-cord injury!

ScienceDaily (June 26, 2012) -- UCLA researchers discovered that a diet enriched with a popular omega-3 fatty acid and an ingredient in curry spice preserved walking ability in rats with spinal-cord injury. Published June 26 in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, the findings suggest that these dietary supplements help repair nerve cells and maintain neurological function after degenerative damage to the neck.

Science Daily. Curry Spice, Omega-3 Fatty Acid Preserve Walking Ability Following Spinal-Cord Injury. June 26, 2012.

Source Article: Holly LT, Blaskiewicz D, Wu A, Feng C, Ying Z, Gomez-Pinilla F. Dietary therapy to promote neuroprotection in chronic spinal cord injury. Laboratory investigation. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, Published online June 26, 2012, ahead of print DOI: 10.3171/2012.5.SPINE1216

Alzheimer's and Green Tea (J of Medicinal Food)

Another study in brain health showed the benefits of green tea extract and l-theanine (LGNC-07) on subjects affected with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Specifically, the following randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study compared a group of ninety-one MCI subjects who received the brain elixir verses those who didn't. The subjects were evaluated by comparing pre and post cognitive exam scores along with a brain EEG. Those who received the intervention had more favorable outcomes. According to the researchers:

Brain theta waves, an indicator of cognitive alertness, were increased significantly in the temporal, frontal, parietal, and occipital areas after 3 hours in the eye-open and reading states. Therefore, this study suggests that LGNC-07 has potential as an intervention for cognitive improvement.

Sang-Ki Park, In-Chul Jung, Won Kyung Lee, Young Sun Lee, Hyoung Kook Park, Hyo Jin Go, Kiseong Kim, Nam Kyoo Lim, Jin Tae Hong, Sun Yung Ly, and Seok Seon Rho. A Combination of Green Tea Extract and l-Theanine Improves Memory and Attention in Subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study Journal of Medicinal Food. April 2011, 14(4): 334-343.

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About Dr. Sarah Lobisco

Dr. LoBisco has been in holistic healthcare for over 10 years. She became interested in holistic medicine when she was able to heal two herniated discs through nutrition, yoga, supplementation, and chiropractic. She has mentored with holistic practices throughout New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. In addition to her Naturopathic and Functional Medical training, Dr. LoBisco has extensive training in a variety of healing modalities, including therapeutic essential oils, nutraceuticals, herbs, whole food supplements, nutritional medicine, and mind-body therapies. She is a graduate of the accredited, four year post-graduate program in Naturopathic Medicine at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. This program includes clinical rotations and a demanding scientific curriculum in integrating conventional and natural medicine. Dr. LoBisco holds her license from the state of Vermont.

Dr. LoBisco is a candidate for certification in Functional Medicine through the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM). Dr. LoBisco is also certified in Applied Kinesiology and holds a BA in psychology from SUNY Geneseo. She has contributed as an item writer for the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE)and has several articles that have been published in the Naturopathic Doctor News and Review Digest (NDNR) and the Townsend Letter, both physician- based journals. Dr. LoBisco is also a hired speaker on integrative medical topics for medical professionals.

Dr. LoBisco currently incorporates her training in holistic medical practices and conventional medicine through writing, researching, private practice, and through her independent contracting work for companies regarding supplements, nutraceuticals, essential oils, and medical foods. She has a small, private wellness consultation practice through telephone and Skype. Dr. LoBisco also enjoys continuing to educate and empower her readers through her blogs and social media. Her upcoming book, BreakFree Medicine, is set to release within the next year. Please inquire here for more specific information.