Newsletter Archives > ChiroPlanet.com Monthly Health Newsletter: January 2014 Health Newsletter

January 2014 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
» Vitamin E Helpful In Treating Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Disease
» Chiropractic For Persistent Headache

» Common Knee Surgery No Better Than Sham Surgery?
» Young Becoming Slightly More Healthy - Barely

ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
Alpha-Lipoic Acid

What is alpha-lipoic acid? Why do we need it?

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant manufactured in the body. It is sometimes referred to as the ?universal? antioxidant because, unlike most antioxidants, it is soluble in both fat and water. In addition to being manufactured by the body, it can be found in some foods and supplements (see below).

ALA has several benefits, particularly for people with diabetes. It enhances glucose uptake in people with type-2 diabetes, inhibits the process of glybosylation (in which sugar molecules attach themselves to proteins), and can reduce nerve damage and pain caused by diabetes. Preliminary evidence suggests that ALA can improve visual function in people with glaucoma. Test-tube studies show that ALA can stop the HIV virus from replicating, but whether ALA supplements can help people infected with HIV remains unclear at this point.

How much alpha-lipoic acid should I take?

As of this writing, there is no clear evidence that any particular dose of ALA provides a benefit for any particular condition. In the abovementioned glaucoma study, researchers provided subjects with 150 mg of ALA per day. Other studies typically use between 750 and 800 mg per day. Some practitioners recommend 20-50 mg of alpha-lipoic acid daily to provide general antioxidant protection.

What are some good sources of alpha-lipoic acid? What forms are available?

Small amounts of alpha-lipoic acid are produced naturally by the body. Some red meats ? particularly liver ? are believed to be good sources of ALA; supplements are also available.

What can happen if I don't get enough alpha-lipoic acid? What can happen if I take too much? Are there any side-effects I should be aware of?

Because alpha-lipoic acid is produced naturally in the body, deficiencies are not known to occur in humans. However, for people who take large doses of ALA supplements, some side-effects may occur, including skin rash, and diabetics run the risk of suffering hypoglycemia. Long-term use of alpha-lipoic acid in animals has been shown to interfere with the actions of the vitamin biotin, but research on humans has yet to be conducted.

As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before you begin taking alpha-lipoic acid or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.


References

  • Busse E, Zimmer G, Schorpohl B, et al. Influence of alpha-lipoic acid on intracellular glutathione in vitro and in vivo.Arzneimittelforschung1992;42:829-31.
  • Filina AA, Davydova NG, Endrikhovskii SN, et al. Lipoic acid as a means of metabolic therapy of open-angle glaucoma.Vestn Oftalmol1995;111:6-8.
  • Lykkesfeldt J, Hagen TM, Vinarsky V, et al. Age-associated decline in ascorbic acid concentration, recycling, and biosynthesis in rat hepatocytes - reversal with (R)-alpha-lipoic acid supplementation.FASEB J1998;12:1183-9.
  • Nichols TW Jr. Alpha-lipoic acid: biological effects and clinical implications.Altern Med Rev1997;2:177-83.
  • Packer L, Witt EH, Tritschler HJ. Alpha-lipoic acid as a biological antioxidant.Free Radic Biol Med1995;19:227-50.

Author: Nichols
Source: TYH
Copyright: TYH 1997


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Vitamin E Helpful In Treating Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Disease


In a new double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, randomized clinical trial involving 613 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease (AD), Vitamin E was shown to slow the functional decline of Alzheimer's. AD affects approximately 5 million older Americans and is marked by irreversible, progressive deterioration in memory and thinking skills. In this study, mild to moderate AD patients received either 2,000 IUs of vitamin E daily or a placebo. Over the average follow-up time of 2.3 years, researchers estimated those patients receiving the vitamin E had slowed their functional decline in activities of daily living (ADLs) by 19%. ADLs include things such as making meals, getting dressed and holding a conversation. According to researchers, this translated into a delay in progression of mild to moderate AD by 6.2 months. Another significant finding was that caregiver time was reduced by approximately 2 hours per day in the vitamin E group. Previous studies have also shown Vitamin E effective in those with moderately severe AD. It's important to note that those considering vitamin E supplementation to treat AD only do so under the supervision of a physician as vitamin E can interfere with blood thinners, cholesterol drugs and other medications.


Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA. 2014;311(1):33-44.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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Chiropractic For Persistent Headache


Most people are aware that chiropractors are experts in dealing with back issues. As shown in a recent case study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, chiropractors are also equally trained in successfully diagnosing and treating many cases of headaches. In this case study, chiropractic care was delivered to a 54-year-old woman suffering from chronic debilitating headaches for the previous 11 months. After just five chiropractic manipulative therapy and adjunct treatments over 6 weeks, the patient experienced resolution of the headaches. If you or someone you know if suffering from headaches, call your local chiropractor today for a no obligation consultation.


Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Journal of Chiropractic Medicine Volume 12, Issue 4. December 2013.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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Common Knee Surgery No Better Than Sham Surgery?


When going under the knife, the expectation would be to treat and/or cure a problem that can't be treated successfully through less invasive means. However, new research indicates that many surgeries involving the knee are often times no better than doing no surgery at all. In a new study, 146 patients aged 35 to 65 years with knee symptoms consistent with a degenerative medial meniscus tear where knee osteoarthritis was not present underwent either an arthroscopic partial meniscectomy or sham surgery. Fast forward a year after the real or sham surgeries and researchers found no significant difference between those two groups. Arthroscopic surgery on the meniscus, the cartilage in the knee joint, is the most common orthopedic procedure in the US. This study highlights the need to consider and try more non-invasive treatments prior to undergoing surgery, which has it's own associated risks.


Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: N Engl J Med 2013; 369:2515-2524. December 26, 2013.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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Young Becoming Slightly More Healthy - Barely

According to statistics among children and teens recorded over the last 10 years, kids are becoming healthier. Results come from surveys conducted on sixth through tenth graders taken in 2001-2002, 2005-2006 and 2009-2010. Improvements were seen in several areas including the number of days kids were physically active for at least 60 minutes, number of days they ate breakfast, number of hours of TV watched per day and the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed. Unfortunately, while the numbers improved, they did so only very slightly. Also, the percentage of kids considered obese from 2005-2006 through 2009-2010 did not change from 12.7%. So while we've seen a slight improvement in certain areas, researchers say there is still much to do and much room for improvement.


Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Pediatrics, online September 16, 2013.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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