Why is Menthol So Cool?

Ethos Ho, BSc Pharm Candidate What is Menthol? Menthol is one of the most well-known additives used in consumer products. It’s added to confections such as chocolate, oral-care products and medicinal products for its cooling and biological effects. The aromatic plant from which menthol is derived has been shown to exhibit various properties, including antibacterial, antifungal, antipruritic…

The Use of Probiotics in Transplant Patients

Ethos Ho, BSc Pharm Candidate How Safe are Probiotics Really? In last week’s article, we discussed that while the use of probiotics is generally safe for most patients, caution is advised in individuals who are immunocompromised or have a severely damaged gastrointestinal tract. Today, we’re going to delve deeper on the safety of probiotics in immunocompromised…

Probiotics for Treating Diarrhea

Ethos Ho, BSc Pharm Candidate What are Probiotics? The word “probiotic” means “for life” as opposed to “antibiotic” which means “against life.” In medicine, probiotics refer to products containing live microorganisms that help improve the balance of intestinal microorganisms.1 In contrast to antibiotics, probiotics promote the growth of essential gut bacteria, instead of eradicating microorganisms. If…

Fighting Fire with Fire – Opioid Replacement Therapy for Treating Opioid Addiction

Ethos Ho, BSc Pharm Candidate   The Battle with Addiction Amidst the ongoing opioid crisis, which began shortly after the discontinuation of OxyContin® by Purdue Pharma L.L.P. and leading to the rise in fentanyl, many individuals in the aftermath are struggling with opioid addiction. As we’ve talked about before, addiction is complex and involves many…

Following the Opioid Crisis – New Health Canada Requirements

Ethos Ho, BSc Pharm Candidate Mandatory Warning Labels and Information With the rise of the opioid crisis, Health Canada has passed a new requirement regarding the dispensing of prescription opioid medications by pharmacists and other healthcare providers. Effective October 2, 2018, all prescription opioids, such as morphine, hydromorphone, and oxycodone, mandate mandatory warning stickers and…

Improving Cardiovascular Health with Qigong

Ethos Ho, BSc Pharmacy Candidate What Is Qigong? Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice that dates back around 7000 years.1 The word “Qi” means “vital energy” or “life force,” while “gong” means “work” or “discipline.”1,2 Generally speaking, the practice of Qigong incorporates:1,2 Meditation Rhythmic movements Low-moderate intensity exercises and postures Coordination of various breathing patterns Since Qigong…

The Effectiveness of Dark Chocolate in Cardiovascular Health and Diabetes Management

Ethos Ho, BSc Pharm Candidate Some Sweet News If you have a sweet-tooth for dark chocolate, then you’ll be happy to hear that there is a growing amount of scientific evidence encouraging regular consumption of dark chocolate. Recent research has been focusing on the therapeutic benefits of dark chocolate on cardiovascular health and diabetes management…