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

July 2014 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
» Back Pain Sees Little To No Benefit From Steroid Injections
» Acute Low Back Pain - What's The Prognosis?
» More TV Equals Less Life


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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Back Pain Sees Little To No Benefit From Steroid Injections

Back pain is a widespread debilitating condition affecting millions of individuals annually. Relief from back and related leg pain is offered in numerous forms by many different provider types. Unfortunately, some of those solutions arenít all that effective, if at all. Newly published research from the prestigious medical journal New England Journal of Medicine has found steroid injections for the treatment certain types of back pain provides little if any benefit and in some cases has serious side effects. Researchers followed 400 patients from 16 different locations throughout the U.S. who suffered from lumbar central spinal stenosis with moderate-to-severe leg pain and disability - a condition where the space for the nerve roots in the lower spine has narrowed causing impingement on the nerve roots resulting in back and leg pain. Patients received an injection of either lidocaine (a pain killer) or lidocaine with a corticosteroid.  The results not only indicated no significant difference in pain within the two groups, it also revealed five times the number of infections and sickness (ten vs. two) in those receiving the corticosteroid.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: N Engl J Med 2014; 371:11-21July 3, 2014
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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Acute Low Back Pain - What's The Prognosis?

According to a newly published study the previous low back pain (LBP) practice guidelines used by physicians have underestimated the likelihood of acute bouts of LBP recurring as well as turning into longer term chronic LBP. In the study, researchers followed 605 acute LBP patients who had an average pain intensity score of 5.6 out of 10 and a disability score of 15.8 out of 24. Eight percent had declared sick leave between pain onset and the baseline interview. Thirteen percent of 521 patients (86% follow-up) experienced chronic pain at 6 months and 19% of 443 patients at 2 years. At 6 months, 54% had experienced at least 1 LBP recurrence, and 47% in the subsequent 18 months. So what does this all mean? Simply, that LBP has a high tendency to return as well as turn into something more serious and more long term. Don't take a chance and think your back pain is just temporary or that taking a substance to mask the pain is the fix. Chiropractors are highly trained to evaluate and provide care for the back and spine. Chiropractors look to the source of LBP and focus on correcting the cause and not just simply masking the symptoms. Get proactive with your health and call your local chiropractor today!

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Spine: April 15, 2012 - Volume 37 - Issue 8.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2012


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More TV Equals Less Life


Watching TV may bring short-term enjoyment but too much TV time can not only be bad for your health, it can also shorten your life. Spanish researchers have found those who watch 3 or more hours of TV daily double their risk of an early death. Data from over 13,000 adults with an average age of 37 was analyzed to determine if time watching TV was related to an increase in earlier death. The results were substantial. As compared with those individuals watching an hour or less of TV per day, those watching 2 hours per day increased their risk of early death by 40 percent and those watching three or more hours daily doubled their risk for early mortality. According to researchers, a less active sedentary lifestyle increases body fat, reduces muscle and makes the body less responsive to insulin. As a result, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers become more prominent, all of which are leading causes of death. So get up, get out and get active - and donít forget to turn off the TV!


Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Journal of the American Heart Association, online. June 25, 2014.

Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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