Integrative Medicine: The Medicine for the 21st Century and for Total Wellness

If you still wonder about your next medical appointment, and are not certain whom to call for your basic medical care and needs, stop here. Analyze your choices. Look at what medicine has for you to offer. Look back and study the history of medicine. Study how medicine is practiced in various nations and cultures.

Wondering about choices in medical treatment? Should it be Allopathic? Ayurveda? Acupuncture? Conventional? Alternative and Complementary? European Botanical Medicine? Naturopathic Medicine? Homeopathic? Chiropractic? Chinese Herbal Medicine? Light therapy? Gene therapy? Balneotherapy? Krenotherapy? Hydrotherapy? Psychotherapy?

New medical research methods, utilizing the best of scientific discoveries, explain the scientific basics of the healing power of vitamins, herbs and other natral cures. At the same time millions of people are discovering gentler and kinder treatment options, ones that tap the enormous therapeutic power of nature and natural remedies.

Numerous attempts to create synthetic alternatives to potent herbal remedies often fail, as natural remedies are often too complex to be re-created in the best of pharmaceutical laboratories. On the other hand, some semi-synthetic alternatives of botanical products have become prescription drugs. Many of these have side effects, however, and so are available by prescription only.

In the meantime, the art and science of growing high quality botanical products and manufacturing natural remedies has been perfected, assuring a steady supply of premium quality natural supplements and treatments. Of the great importance to me is also the fact that botanical medicines are based on naturally growing plants that have no negative environmental impact, unless someone will wander into poorly charted territory of genetically engineered foods and plants. Those may bring on biological disasters by contamination by cross-pollination of native and valuable agricultural plants.

Botanical medicines are in general very safe and most of them have absolutely no known side effects. While they may be available as nonprescription products, they should still be used with respect and complete knowledge, as many of them are potent drugs.

European and Chinese medical practices do not recognize an "alternative medicine": there, the acupuncture, the use of botanical products and vitamins are considered to be an integral part of their conventional medicine. European countries (in example) have vast scientific and clinical experience with the use of botanical medicines that spans over several centuries. Meditation, yoga, drinking various mineral waters (krenotherapy), microclimate therapy, sanatoriums and preventoriums are all effectively used by physicians in many countries to help their patients heal, recover, or at least get much better. This must be combined, when appropriate, with carefully selected allopathic treatments.

I agree. In my opinion, botanical medicine and vitamin use, based on good science is not alternative or alien, but a basic and integral part of Medicine, and it always has been.

On the other hand unsafe treatments modalities, natural or synthetic, should be rejected after careful scrutiny and without prejudice.

Our goal at the Oregon Center for Integrative Medicine is to empower you. We will help you identify your individual problems and needs through a careful history review, detailed medical examination, and any appropriate tests. We combine the best possible preventive measures and the power of clinical nutrition with the most effective and also the gentlest possible treatment modalities.

Our mission is to help you to maintain or achieve, safely, optimum health.

Primary Prevention

Curious to know what is or what is not Primary Prevention in regards to breast cancer?

Mammogram, as well as thermography (frequently used in Europe), is excellent for detecting small or large tumors that are already present. Instead, a diet low in animal and saturated fats, and rich in fruits and especially cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, and soy products would be considered primary prevention.

Breast cancer presently affects one out of nine women. Exercise, weight control, drinking plenty of pesticide-free water, and supplementation of vitamin E, selenium, and certain other potent and extremely safe nutrients qualify as excellent prevention of this condition.

In addition to the above, I urge you to perform monthly breast self-examinations. Yearly mammograms (or thermograms, used in Europe and recently available in the US) are valuable methods of early detection.

Low Level of Vitamins Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

According to a Swedish study recently presented in Neurology journal, elderly people with low levels of folic acid and vitamin B-12 have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Other conditions are also implicated in compromising mental status. Those are: untreated hypothyroidism, head trauma and cerebrovascular accidents.

Elevated homocysteine level, which I find frequently in patients with extensive coronary heart disease, is another culprit. This genetic lack of a certain enzyme allowing conversion of the amino acid methionine into a harmless substance, with consequent accumulation of homocysteine, is also considered a significant risk factor for diabetes and hypertension. Homocysteine level is also found to be elevated in people with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, so-called age-related memory loss, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and depression. Further studies will better explain this relationship.

Meanwhile, homocysteine level may be corrected through dietary changes, especially by adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet and taking folic acid, vitamin B-12, B-6 and in some resistant cases, additional supplements. It is also prudent to avoid substances and drugs that are known to lower the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B-12.

Be proactive. Detect and correct vitamin and mineral deficiencies. There is no point in enduring premature “graceful aging” when a condition may be preventable or reversible.

Fiber, Magnesium and Hypertension

According to the studies of 30,000 U.S. men conducted by Ascherio A et al and published in November of 1992, men (this particular study involved men) who consumed more than 24 gm of fiber per day had a 57% lower incidence of hypertension, as compared to those who consumed less than 12 gm per day.

Men who consumed more than 400 mg of magnesium per day had a 49% lower incidence of hypertension, as compared to those with intakes of less than 250 mg per day.

Men who consumed more than 3.6 gm of potassium per day had a 54% lower incidence of hypertension compared to those with intakes of less than 2.4 gm per day.

Calcium consumption of over 1100 mg per day resulted in a 17% lower incidence of hypertension than consumption of less than 500 mg per day. Patients were followed for 4 years to observe long term effects.

Good sources of fiber and magnesium are whole grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables. One of the best sources of calcium are dark green vegetables. Among dairy products, yogurt delivers the most calcium.


Magnesium deficiency in the U.S.A. is of epidemic proportions. This condition affects about 70 percent of people of all ages. The cause? We consume extensively processed foods that are nutrient and magnesium-poor. It is the lack of magnesium that is contributing to deadly forms of arrhythmias, severe agitation, atrial fibrillation-related strokes, painful muscle spasms, devastating blood clots, chronic migraines not responding well to treatment, and many more. It is pitty that hypomagnesemia, the condition so easy to diagnose and correct contributes to so much disability, misery and death.

Deficiency of magnesium plays a role in numerous conditions, among them: atrial fibrillation, other arrhythmias, atherosclerosis (plaque formation), myocardial infarction, stroke, migraines, hypertension, kidney stones, fibromyalgia, and osteoporosis. Magnesium deficiency is very common in people who use diuretics--the commonly prescribed blood pressure medications.

Increasing magnesium intake (correction of magnesium deficiency) also improves or relieves conditions such as: anxiety, insomnia, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, asthma, coronary artery spasm, chronic fatigue syndrome, leg cramps, painful myalgias including fibromyalgia, chronic lower back pain, restless leg syndrome, delirium tremens, psychosis, seizures, diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, mitral valve prolapse, PMS, and vertigo.

You can assure a good dietary supply of magnesium by consuming whole grains and apples. When blood magnesium level is too low, consider supplements in the form of highly bio-available chelates, such as magnesium citrate. Supplements in the form of micronized powder in vegetable capsules will have highest absorption rates. In the presence of magnesium (and vitamin D in sufficient amounts), calcium will be deposited where we want it to be--in the bones. However, supplementing calcium and vitamin D without enough magnesium may actually be damaging, promoting deposition of calcium in the blood vessels!

Low Bone Density and Coronary Artery Calcification

(Toronto) Low bone mineral density at the spine, but not at the hips, is associated with a high degree of coronary artery calcification. These findings were reported by Dr. Douglas P. Kiel at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Women with the highest bone mineral density index had the least coronary calcification.

Comment: Dr. Kiel’s report gives us another good reason to enjoy a daily serving of salad or other green leafy vegetables, as well as to take adequate amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. For significant bone mass loss I advise use of enhanced calcium products.

Dr. Radzik advises that you combine proper nutrition, active lifestyle, and other preventive measures with the appropriate medical care that only your physician can and will provide. Although prevention makes great difference, do not underestimate the benefits of early detection. Here, primary example is early detection of colon polyps and early stage of colon cancer. There are many other conditions that are easy to control with a proper nutritional and lifestyle modification program.