The Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) held their annual conference in San Diego, CA from Oct. 30 – Nov. 4, 2016 recently with the theme of “People, Planet, Purpose: Global Practitioners United in Health & Healing.” Over the course of four days, more than 50 research posters were presented and nearly 900 healthcare providers, across the spectrum of clinical training and backgrounds, attended a meeting that blended the art and science of integrative health and medicine. Integrative Medicine, through prevention and by addressing upstream factors of health, serves public health initiatives and works to optimize patient outcomes and wellbeing.

The conference had a range of lectures, workshops, expert panels and small group sessions on many varied topics which provided attendees a wealth of subjects to choose from and learn about. Dean Ornish, MD, spoke about the effects that lifestyle medicine has on the epigenetic regulation of gene expression, telomerase activity and telomere length. He noted that comprehensive lifestyle changes have been shown to up-regulate and down-regulate the expression of hundreds of genes as well as actually increase telomere length. Another widely known clinician and researcher, Mark Houston, MD discussed cardiovascular risk factors, while Joseph Pizzorno, ND, taught about toxin bioaccumulation, chronic disease, and clinical laboratory assessments. Patrick Hanaway, MD spoke on the short and long-term effects of probiotics, prebiotics and diet on the gut microbiome. His workshop presentation was entitled, “Healing the Gut Microbiome,” which emphasized use of the 5R GI Restoration Program, a protocol pioneered by Metagenics. MHICN also presented two original clinical research posters at this meeting: “Effects of a novel hops extract & undenatured collagen combination in a case series of subjects with chronic arthritic joint discomfort” by co-investigators Anuradha Desai, PhD and Lewis Chang, PhD and the second, “A Novel Nutritional Formulation Containing the Human Milk Oligosaccharide 2’-Fucosyllactose Reduces Gastrointestinal Symptoms, Increases Short-Chain Fatty Acids, and Beneficially Alters the Gut Microbiome in Adults with Gastrointestinal Dysfunction” from co-investigators Jennifer N. Ryan, ND, MS and Nikhat Contractor, PhD.

The goal of the AIHM committee chairs, Mimi Guarneri, MD and Bess Marcus, PhD, was to demonstrate how integrative medicine, through prevention and addressing upstream factors of health, serves public health initiatives and unites the many voices in integrative health to build bridges between professions and offer a credible educational program for all healthcare providers.


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