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Vitamin D deficiency has been reported in nearly 50% of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with IBD severity and complications, leading researchers to suspect that vitamin D may influence the clinical course of IBD.

Metabolic syndrome is defined as a combination of abdominal obesity, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and dyslipidemia but is also characterized by chronic inflammation and oxidative stress—collectively increasing a person’s risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It has been proposed that nutritional supplementation aimed at reducing the effects of inflammation and oxidative damage might be an appealing option for patients with metabolic syndrome.

Adherence to a traditional Mediterranean diet has been associated with a lower risk of hip fracture. Olive oil is one of the primary fats consumed in the Mediterranean diet, and its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols may partly explain the beneficial effect of the Mediterranean diet on bone health.

Brain injury after ischemic stroke can cause both short-term and long-term debilities. The injurious effects of ischemic stroke can be mitigated by immediate treatment with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA), a serine protease that degrades fibrin clots. The treatment window for rt-PA is narrow, however, and administration after 3 hours of stroke onset can have severe adverse effects, including cerebral edema, disruption of the blood-brain barrier, and intracerebral hemorrhage.

The use of complementary health modalities is common for patients with mental health conditions in the United States, with one study reporting more than 50% of patients with anxiety or depression to have tried a complementary approach within the last year. Naturopathic medicine represents a unique system of healthcare that relies on holistic principles and provides both natural and conventional treatment options. 

Platelet chemokines contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by recruiting leukocytes to the site of endothelial injury and by inducing the inflammatory response within atherosclerotic plaques. Furthermore, plasma levels of various platelet chemokines, such as CXCL4, CCL5, CXCL5, CXCL1, CCL2 and CXCL8, are increased in hypercholesterolemia. Reducing platelet chemokines is therefore one feasible approach to reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.

Phytoestrogens are polyphenolic compounds that offer a potential option for managing symptoms of menopause. Isoflavones are a category of phytoestrogens and daidzein is one type of isoflavone. Intestinal bacterian metabolize daidzein into the active equol. It has been suggested that the health benefits of dietary isoflavones depend on individual differences in the ability to produce equol in the intestines—an ability that is generally greater in Asians and in vegetarians. In addition, direct supplementation with equol (10mg/d) has demonstrated benefit for menopausal symptoms in previous clinical trials.

Eating can be an emotional activity. Studies have found, for example, that when people are in a better mood, they choose more nutritious foods. Food can also be used as a form of self-medication to regulate emotions. Chocolate is one of the most commonly craved foods, possibly because of its pleasurable effects on mood. A 2006 study by Macht and Dettmer found that participants experienced a more positive mood after eating a chocolate bar than after eating an apple or nothing at all. Another study found chocolate to be more effective than water at improving mood after watching a sad movie.

Experimental studies have demonstrated biological plausibility of vitamin D as an immune-modulating and anticancer agent. Epidemiological studies examining the relationship between vitamin D status and risk of initial breast cancer occurrence have produced mixed results, but there is sound evidence that low serum vitamin D levels correlate with advanced tumor stage and triple-negative subtype at diagnosis. The relationship between vitamin D status and breast cancer prognosis was the subject of the study reviewed here.

Obesity is associated with a state of chronic and low-grade inflammation, which likely contributes to the associated risks for insulin-resistance, diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis. The inflammation of obesity is mediated, in part, by cytokines and chemokines produced by adipocytes themselves, but the mechanisms are complex. A 2016 study published by Polus, et al. explored the effects of omega-3 supplementation on circulating inflammatory proteins, pro-resolving mediators, and genetic expression in women with obesity.

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