By Tech Talk’s Kathleen Kihmm Connolly, PhD
Research conducted by the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) department has demonstrated that a dietary supplement containing 5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) has the potential to prevent or delay the progression of diabetes in pre-diabetic populations (Rodriguez et al. 2012). In their study researchers demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in two hours post-oral glucose tolerance test levels in those that took the dietary supplement. The decreases were shown in comparison to participant baseline levels and between the experiment and control groups. Results contribute to knowledge on the benefits of 5-ALA as a safe and potentially effective dietary supplement to help prevent the progression of diabetes.
The CAM department at JABSOM focuses on evidence-based theory, research and clinical approaches to complementary care and alternative therapies, such as this study exploring the use of 5-ALA and diabetes. Other types of therapies that the department practices include acupuncture, harp therapy, Chinese herbal supplements, nutrition therapy, Ayurvedic Medicine (traditional healing arts of India), and scalar field therapy (therapy using electromagnetic energy fields). The CAM department is committed to research, education , clinical care, and promotion of complementary and alternative therapies in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. Other recent publications by CAM faculty include include a case study describing the application of scalar field therapy to a pediatric patient with a history of seizures. Application of the scalar field therapy resulted in a dramatic reduction of and duration of seizures (Ludlum, Shintani, & Harrigan, 2012). Another recent publication examined the validity of a highly cited paper on the relationship between chocolate consumption and acne. Their findings suggests that the study was methodologically flawed (Goh et al., 2011).
For more on this story including a Question-and-Answer with Dr. Terry Shintani, see “JABSOM TECH TALK”, Dr. Connolly’s monthly update on research at JABSOM, under the RESEARCH tab on UHMEDNow, or directly at THIS LINK.
Our main photograph features JABSOM’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department (left to right) Noelani Ludlum, MD; Nuela Mead; Department Chair Rosanne Harrigan, PhD; Amy Brown, PhD; Terry Shintani, MD, MPH.