Posted by: Chris Maloney | April 14, 2012

Alternative Health Trends for 2012 Examining Dr. Oz’s Predictions

Traditional moxibustion set from Ibuki (Japan)...

Traditional moxibustion set from Ibuki (Japan) where mogusa is produced since old times. A thick incense stick is used to light the moxa cones. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alternative Health Trends for 2012 | The Dr. Oz Show.

Dr. Oz took out his alternative medicine crystal ball and made predictions about what will be hot in 2012 (just in time for the end of the world on December 21st).

I thought he’d go for something like a return of juicing, or maybe Kundalini TaiBo or juggling medicine balls, or whatever.  But he stuck with some strange new trends.

Ok, here they are:

1)  home moxibustion

For the uninitiated, moxibustion is a pretty intense practice where a qualified Chinese Medicine practitioner takes a small pyramid of mugwort, places it on an acupuncture point on your bare skin, and lights it on fire.  That’s right, flaming acupuncture.  It’s very important to only do this with a qualified practitioner who has a fire extinguisher close at hand.  I remember it was popular with alternative medical students who suffered from brain fog.  The moxibustion would happen – I couldn’t make this up – on the top of their heads.  I don’t know how you couldn’t respond to having something flaming amidst your hair, so I imagine it was fairly successful.

So, walk with me on this one.  Home moxibustion.  Not thinking that’s such a “hot” idea.  What Dr. Oz describes is more of a rub-on-a-poultice and apply heating pad.  That’s not really moxibustion.

2) ubiquinol (active COQ10)

Hey, we realized not everyone wanted to buy COQ10, so now we’ve switched to the active form.  The problem is still that manufacturers want an arm-and-a-leg for this stuff.  It is ubiquinone in the cells of the foods that we eat.  So a quick glance at those foods (scroll down the wiki page) shows that people do want this compound – in food.  I think the COQ10 ship is already well out of port, and we won’t see a huge increase in this supplement’s sales.  But maybe, with the Oz “bump?”

3) bonito fish proteins (ACE inhibitors)

Fish proteins.  Haven’t we heard this one before?   Now they’re ACE inhibitors (a type of blood pressure medication)?  Ok, the rat studies are promising.  Promising that Bonito may have a weaker and variable effect on blood pressure compared to an ACE inhibitor.  Given the lack of standardization, the chance of toxic compounds in my Bonito, and the lack of oversight on this one, I’m not sure it’s going to take off.  We’ve got other studies showing better effects from salmon.

Now that Dr. Oz has had his fun with the crystal ball, I think I’ll take a gander myself.  Here’s what I see as “alternative medical trends” this year.


1)  increased home gardening due to being poorer (remember that spice patch).

2)  increased walking/biking due to higher gas prices (car pooling – where are the online trip matching sites?  Hitchhiking with a matchmaker.)

3)  an increased interest in hydrotherapy (water treatments that cost nothing).

Here are some Bonito studies.

Chemosphere. 2011 Dec;85(11):1713-8. Epub  2011 Oct 17.


Department of Dioxin and PCBs, National Food Reference Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, 06170 Yenimahalle, Ankara, Turkey.


The concentrations of indicator polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine insecticides were determined in bonito (Sardasarda L. 1758) and anchovy (Engraulisencrasicolus L. 1758) from the Black Sea, Turkey. Concentrations of total indicator PCBs ranged between <1-17.0 in bonito, and <1-17.5 ng/g fresh weight in anchovy, and total of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis-chlorophenyl-ethane and its metabolites’ (DDTs) concentrations ranged between 13.4-26.3, and 2.96-19.0 ng/g fresh weight in bonito and anchovy respectively. PCB 52, p,p’-DDE and endosulfan (α+β) were found dominant in both of the fish species. Except endosulfan, and some DDT metabolites, none of the studied organochlorine pesticides was detected in the fish samples. Concentrations of PCBs in anchovy were found higher than those in bonito, whereas DDT and endosulfan concentrations were found similar in both of the fish species. All of the fish samples had residue concentrations below the maximum residue limits (MRL) recommended by FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 22004730
Metabolism. 2011 Aug;60(8):1122-30. Epub  2011 Feb 8.


Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Cardiology Axis of the Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec (Hôpital Laval) and Metabolism, Vascular and Renal Health Axis, Laval University Hospital Research Center, Quebec, Canada G1V 4G2.


Mounting evidence suggests that the benefits of fish consumption are not limited to the well-appreciated effects of omega-3 fatty acids. We previously demonstrated that cod protein protects against the development of diet-induced insulin resistance. The goal of this study was to determine whether other fish protein sources present similar beneficial effects. Rats were fed a high-fat, high-sucrose diet containing protein from casein or fish proteins from bonito, herring, mackerel, or salmon. After 28 days, oral glucose tolerance tests or hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps were performed; and tissues and plasma were harvested for biochemical analyses. Despite equal energy intake among all groups, the salmon-protein-fed group presented significantly lower weight gain that was associated with reduced fat accrual in epididymal white adipose tissue. Although this reduction in visceral adiposity was not associated with improved glucose tolerance, we found that whole-body insulin sensitivity for glucose metabolism was improved using the very sensitive hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique. Importantly, expression of both tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 was reduced in visceral adipose tissue of all fish-protein-fed groups when compared with the casein-fed control group, suggesting that fish proteins carry anti-inflammatory properties that may protect against obesity-linked metabolic complications. Interestingly, consumption of the salmon protein diet was also found to raise circulating salmon calcitonin levels, which may underlie the reduction of weight gain in these rats. These data suggest that not all fish protein sources exert the same beneficial properties on the metabolic syndrome, although anti-inflammatory actions appear to be common.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21306751
Immunopharmacology. 1999 Oct 15;44(1-2):123-7.


Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry, Osaka, Japan.


It has been previously documented that the thermolysin-digest of “Katsuo-bushi”, a Japanese traditional food processed from dried bonito possesses potent inhibitory activity against angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE). The present authors isolated eight kinds of ACE-inhibitory peptides from it. Of these isolated peptides, LKPNM (IC50 = 2.4 microM) was found to be hydrolyzed by ACE to produce LKP (IC50 = 0.32 microM) with 8-fold higher ACE-inhibitory activity relative to the parent peptide or LKPNM, suggesting that LKPNM can be regarded as a prodrug-type ACE-inhibitory peptide. For assessment of relative antihypertensive activities of LKPNM and LKP to that of captopril, they were orally administered to SHR rats to monitor time-course changes of blood pressures, whereby it was evidenced that both LKPNM and captopril showed maximal decrease of blood pressure 4 h after oral administration and their efficacies lasted until 6 h post-administration. In sharp contrast, however, maximal reduction of blood pressure occurred as early as 2 h after administration of LKP. Minimum effective doses of LKPNM, LKP and captopril were 8, 2.25 and 1.25 mg/kg, respectively. When compared on molar basis, antihypertensive activities of LKPNM and LKP accounted for 66% and 91% relative to that of captopril, respectively, whereas in vitro ACE-inhibitory activities of LKPNM and LKP were no more than 0.92% and 7.73% compared with that of captopril (IC50 = 0.022 microM). It is of interest to note that both of these peptides exert remarkably higher antihypertensive activities in vivo despite weaker in vitro ACE-inhibitory effects, which was ascertained by using captopril as the reference drug.


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