About the Research Databases

The Wellness Evidence team of doctor consultants selected four of the most respected evidence-based medicine databases that are also particularly useful for wellness-focused research: Natural Standard, The Cochrane Library, PubMed and the TRIP Database.

Please read “Important Things to Know,” including info on each database.

We’ve made researching a particular therapy simple by pre-searching the evidence at each database. (See evidence below.) However, please note that evidence-based medicine relies on a research hierarchy, because not all evidence is created equalLearn more about how the medical experts classify this research.

We’d like to hear from you. If there is a Wellness Evidence discipline you would like to see on these pages, please email us.

Natural Standard

An international research collaboration that systematically reviews (and limits its focus to) scientific evidence on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Founded in 2000, Natural Standard assigns a grade to each CAM therapy, reflecting the level of available scientific data for or against the use of each therapy for a specific medical condition.

Natural Standard is subscription-based, and each of the database’s monographs aggregates data from other resources like AMED, CANCERLIT, CINAHL, CISCOM, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, HerbMed, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, Medline and NAPRALERT – and 20 additional journals. Data analysis is performed by healthcare professionals conducting clinical work and/or research at academic centers, using standardized instruments pertaining to each monograph section

Theory

Abundant research has shown benefits of exercise in preventing heart disease and cancer, as well as cognitive decline with age and even viral and bacterial infections. It has also been shown to be beneficial in recovering from heart attacks and in treating heart failure. Contrary to popular opinion, exercise is also beneficial in relieving pain and inflammation from arthritis.

Standards for fitness have been developed based on research. Basic fitness to prevent heart disease and cancer requires exertion to the point of mild shortness of breath and sweating, 30 minutes a day for five days a week. This is independent of the type of exercise.

A major goal in the modern era is to reduce obesity and Type II Diabetes, which are primarily caused by a more sedentary lifestyle. The requirement to actually reduce weight and to keep it off requires a full hour of mild shortness of breath and sweating, five days a week

In both cases, the days off are important for body recovery and prevention of injury.

Interestingly, the first 90% of health benefits occur in the first 10% of activity above sedentary levels. In other words just getting off the couch and going out for a vigorous hike or gardening or playing Frisbee has more benefit than rigorous training to high performance as a runner, swimmer, or soccer star. That increased training provides even more benefits, but the most significant decrease in health risk comes from that very first level of activity and exercise.

There is a movement in recent decades to exercise more, often identified with gym memberships and purchase of treadmills or ellipticals for home or hotel fitness rooms. These are better than nothing, but often this type of exercise is a rather grim discipline. Since sustaining the exercise is critical, the most important ingredient is enjoyment. All exercise is valuable, including dancing, hiking, gardening, swimming, house cleaning, as well as playing sports. People should do what they can enjoy for its own sake.

If there were to be one essential discipline, it would be to “suit up” five days a week. This means to put on the clothes you would wear for the exercise activity. Psychology is such that then you are most likely to proceed with the activity; indeed, if you have suited up and then discover you do not feel up to it, the best thing to do is to stop because your body is coming down with something or is not optimal in some way that might lead to injury. On the other hand, the worse eventuality would be to sit and read or watch TV while deciding not to work out today. That leads to a habit that prevents exercise.

Safety

The way to be safe is to just suit up, and then listen to your body. If you cannot enjoy the exercise, it is fine to stop without guilt. Exercise can be harmful if there is impending heart disease or heart failure or other chronic conditions. Listening to the body is the best way to avoid consequences. Ask your Holistic doctor if there are any reasons you should not exercise, and if so what sort of activity program you could safely engage in. Even if all you can do is a slow walk, start there. If persistence you will be able to expand and extend your exercise.

Cochrane

British epidemiologist Archie Cochrane is regarded as the originator of the Evidence-Based Medicine concept (in the 1950s). And the Cochrane Library is a collection of very high-quality medical databases, which have, at their core, the Cochrane Reviews, systematic reviews and meta-analyses which summarize and interpret the results of well-conducted, randomized controlled trials… the ‘gold standard’ in Evidence-Based Medicine.

The Cochrane Library is a subscription-based database but offers free access to abstracts.

PubMED

A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, PubMed was released in 1996 as a free digital archive of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. PubMed comprises 20-million-plus citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals and online books from around the world. Some 11.5 million articles are listed with their abstract and 3.1 million articles are available in full-text for free.

TRIP

The TRIP Database, launched in 1997, is a search engine designed to allow clinicians to quickly find answers to their medical questions using the best available evidence. Trip’s founders realized medical professionals were being forced to perform time-consuming searches at multiple websites to get at the most relevant information. So, they designed TRIP as a meta-search engine, allowing users to both simultaneously search thousands of databases, medical publications and resources, as well as easily filter the results: limiting searches to the most stringent, highest-quality medical evidence or expanding them to include results like patient information, news articles, etc.