Inner Environment 1:

Optimising Health with Herbal, Nutritional and Environmental Medicine

Week 2-1 Presentations

The Microbiome & Immune Function
Prof Luis Vitetta

Using Prebiotics & Probiotics to Enhance Immunity
Dr Jason Hawrelak

Optimising Immunity with Therapeutic Nutrition
Dr Shideh Pouria PhD (UK)
BSEM (British Society of Ecological Medicine)

Integrating Western Herbalism into Your Clinical Practice
Dr Iggy Soosay

Week 2-2 Presentations

Phenolics and Immunity:
The intertwined Evolution of Plants and the Immune System
Professor Daniel Weber

Soy in integrative medicine and future proofing health
Professor Omer Kucuk

Herbs for Maintaining Immune and Respiratory Health
Dr Kerry Bone

Chinese Herbal Medicine: Addressing Imbalance
Prof Kylie O'Brien

Week 2-3 Presentations

Therapeutic Uses of Heat to Boost
Immunity and Inhibit Viruses
Prof Marc Cohen

Cannabis for Immune Health

Col Dr Philip Blair (US)

Cancer and the Environment – A Multi-Scale Relationship
Emeritus Professor Mustafa Djamgoz

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – It's Mitochondria not Hypochondria
Dr Sarah Myhill (UK)

Panel Discussion


How to Shore Up Your Immune System with Nutritional Medicine Approaches

Moderator: Prof Kylie O'Brien


Dr Philip Blair (US)
Dr Kerry Bone (US)
Ms Sandra Dillon (Aust)
Professor Omer Kucuk (Aust)

All-Access pass to ACNEM Online Conference only $295
Emeritus Professor
Mustafa Djamgoz
Cancer and the Environment – A Multi-Scale Relationship
The pathophysiology of cancer is complex, involving the impact of the environment at a hierarchy of levels. At the 'maxi' level, the geochemical environment can exert both negative and positive influences upon the cancer process through, for example, man-made endocrine-disrupting chemicals and natural trace minerals such as selenium, respectively. At the 'midi' level is the body's internal biochemistry. A significant factor here is the acidity of body fluids. Finally, at the 'mini' level are the interactions of cancer cells with immune cells, neurones etc. within the tumour mass. Importantly, all these interactions are two-way and highly dynamic.
Omer Kucuk
Soy in integrative medicine and future proofing health
Soy food intake has been associated with a low risk of several cancers. In addition, soy food consumption during cancer treatment may result in better outcomes and longer survival. These observations led to in vitro and in vivo mechanistic studies to elucidate the biological actions of various compounds in soybeans.

Soy isoflavones have been found to have profound biological effects and modulate many of the pathways involved in cancer development and progression. In addition to their selective estrogen receptor modulatory effects, these compounds have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and epigenetic effects, which may explain their potential role in cancer prevention and treatment.

Soy foods and soy isoflavones can be easily taken together with conventional cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted agents and immunotherapeutic agents. They may enhance the efficacy and reduce the toxicities of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and other conventional cancer treatments.

Soy isoflavones should be investigated in symptom control, quality of life, palliative care, survivorship and integrative oncology research In addition to their benefits in cancer prevention and treatment, soy foods may also have potential uses in the prevention and treatment of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer's disease. Soy isoflavones have also been shown to have anti-bacterial, and anti-viral effects and modulate the immune system promoting better immune function
where needed and suppressing overactive immune function such as in inflammation and autoimmune disorders because of its unique epigenetic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

In summary, soy foods are not only excellent source of high-quality protein and valuable nutrition, but also provide many bioactive compounds with potential benefits for the entire body, ranging from infections and immunologic diseases to cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Key Messages
  • Soy foods are excellent source of high quality protein and multiple bioactive compounds
  • Soy isoflavones have multiple mechanisms of action including epigenetic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
  • Soy foods may be useful in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of acute and chronic diseases
Kerry Bone
Herbs for Maintaining Immune and Respiratory Health
In this presentation, Kerry will review how key immune herbs interact with the immune system and the clinical evidence that supports their use to both prevent and treat acute respiratory viral infections. The critical role of Echinacea root is emphasized and whether herbs can truly deliver antiviral activity will also be mentioned. The issue of herbs and cytokine storm risk is explored, based on a thorough review of the scientific and traditional literature (provided as a handout). Simple to use botanical immune support strategies are provided.
Key Messages
  • Understand the limitations of in vitro research as it applies to medicinal plants
  • Identify the key Western herbs that support immune function and apply their safe and effective use to prevent and reduce infection
  • Analyse the key factors behind herb use and cytokine storm risk and safely navigate this issue in clinical practice
Col Dr Philip Blair
Cannabis for Immune Health
Cannabidiol modulates the immune system producing a balanced response for maintaining health and fitness. The equilibrium between inflammation and resolution is key to homeostasis. CBD with its multitude of targets appears able to restore the natural equilibrium essential to recovery. It's known to relieve intracellularly oxidative stress better than vitamin C and it suppresses activators involved in immunologic disease. CBD also interferes with the virulence of pathogens, toxins and even DNA defects. With Cannabidiol patients can experience a trifecta of immune, inflammation, and pain control using a safe product. Cannabidiol offers significant potential but requires better understanding by health professionals.
Key Messages
  • CBD modulates the immune system through ECS and independent mechanisms.
  • Adverse effects, interactions, including immune suppression are rare with normal cannabidiol use.
  • CBD provides a holistic approach by supporting, stress relief, sleep, activity, cognitive clarity, and
    mood enhancement.
Kylie O'Brien
Chinese Herbal Medicine: Addressing Imbalance
Chinese herbal medicine can be used to optimise health as well as treat illness. Chinese medicine has its own notions of health,  fundamentally as a balance of 'yin' and 'yang', and treats the root cause of illness as well as the symptoms/signs. Chinese herbal medicinal formulae are combinations of herbs, and their actions are understood in terms of Chinese medicine theory as well as modern pharmacology. This presentation examines how Chinese herbal medicine may be used to address imbalance in the body, and will also discuss how it is being used in China to help treat COVID-19.
Dr Daniel Weber
Phenolics and Immunity:
The intertwined Evolution of Plants and the Immune System
The concept that the immune system can be 'boosted' or strengthened is a false premise. The immune system is enormously complex. Boost what? Innate or adaptive, cell-mediated or humoural? This presentation investigates immune function through the interaction of proinflammatory and antiinflammatory cytokines. Cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 are inflammatory bodily responses to pathogenic factors but when becoming chronic, are responsible for many modern degenerate diseases. Antiinflammatory cytokines are suppressed in this process and individuals are then more prone to infectious disease.

Using phenolic compounds, we will examine how to regulate the pro/anti balance and the impact on immune function through that regulation through epigenetic manipulation and antioxidant status.
Key Messages
  • Phenolics are antioxidants, which are present in most food groups and have diverse health
  • Immune complexity means there are few straight forward answers to immune regulation
  • Regulation requires balancing multiple factors in application
Luis Vitetta
The Microbiome & immune Function
It is now well-documented that the human microbiome especially that part that occupies the intestines is comprised of a complex cohort of commensal and potentially pathogenic bacteria. The microbiota produces fundamental signals on the induction, training, and function of the host immune system. Specifically, microbial interactions in the intestines provide the necessary cues for the development of regulated signals in part by reactive oxygen species] that promote immunological tolerance, metabolic regulation and stability, and other factors, which may then help control local and extra- intestinal end organ (e.g., kidneys, liver) physiology.

In return, the immune system has largely evolved as a means to maintain the symbiotic relationship of the host with a cohort of highly diverse and evolving microbes. When operating optimally, this immune system-microbiota alliance allows the induction of protective responses to pathogens and the preservation of regulatory pathways involved in the maintenance of tolerance particularly to innocuous environmental antigens. Lifestyle, such as unconsidered dietary practices, and the lack of physical activity and the overuse of antibiotics can lead to a microbiota that lacks the resilience and diversity required to establish balanced immune responses. This phenomenon is proposed to account for some of the dramatic rise in autoimmune and inflammatory disorders in parts of the world where the symbiotic relationship with the microbiota has been the most affected.

Key Messages
  • The mammalian immune system has a complex and dynamic bidirectional
    relationship with the microbiome.
  • Commensal microbiota functions not only to serve as targets of host immunity
    but also as active participants in regulation of host physiology and immunity as a
    result of long-term co-evolution of the host and microbes.
  • Recent human cohort studies suggest that most of the variability in human
    immune response to stimulation is derived from the genome, however at least
    10% of the variability in immune response is derived directly from interactions
    associated with the microbiome.
Dr Iggy Soosay
Integrating Western Herbalism into Your Clinical Practice
Western Herbal Medicine has a lot to offer in the management of chronic disease. The practitioner can integrate herbal medicine easily into clinical practice and can do it simply with some basic herbal combination available in tablets or go deeply to making up combinations of liquid herbs. Here we will be discussing the differences between conventional drugs and herbal medicine and the evidence for the use of a few herbs that can be used immediately to give the novice a taste of the efficacy of herbal medicine.
Key Messages
  • It is important to understand the difference between herbs and drugs
  • There is ample research into some herbs that allow confident use
  • Basic cautions addressed
Dr Shideh Pouria
Optimising Immunity with Therapeutic Nutrition
The immune system is deeply embedded within the biochemical and physiological
matrix of living organisms and therefore amenable to modulation through
biochemical interventions. Whilst the scientific literature is rich with evidence of
intricate interactions between immune function, biochemistry and nutrition, in clinical
practice little consideration is paid to these factors as effective levers for enhancing
immunity. In this talk nutrients such as vitamins and minerals and biochemical
pathways which may be harnessed therapeutically to support immunity against
infections will be discussed. Special reference will be made to fatty acids, short chain
fatty acids, and phospholipids.
Key Messages
  • The immune system does not operate in isolation from biochemical and
    physiological processes within the body
  • Therapeutic nutrition is an effective yet underutilized means of heightening
    immune function at every level from the mucus membranes to cellular membranes.
  • Fatty acids represent a unique therapeutic pathway for boosting immune defence
    and producing an effective barrier against invasive pathogens.
Marc Cohen
Therapeutic Uses of Heat to Boost Immunity and Inhibit Viruses
Viruses are deactivated by temperatures tolerable to humans and all mammals use fever to deal with viral infections. Heat has been used throughout human history to prevent and treat respiratory infections and there is a wealth of evidence to support the use of heat to treat and prevent viral infection. This lecture will discuss potential cellular, physiological and psychological mechanisms behind the use of heat, and present practical ways to use heat and heat-stress to support immune defences, build physiological and psychological resilience, and inhibit viral infection that could be developed and implemented rapidly and inexpensively on a wide sale.
Key Messages
  • Temperature and humidity are important for supporting the first line of defence against viruses.
  • Heat-stress mimics fever and activates both innate and acquired immunity.
  • The low cost and wide availability of heat-based treatments presents an opportunity to integrate
    modern and traditional medicine with wellness interventions and reduce the impact of the current and future pandemics.