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

August 2014 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
» Back Pain Not Related To Weather
» Conservative Care First: A Sensible, Effective Approach to Back and Neck Pain
» Sleep Longer For A Healthier Brain


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 Not Related To Weather


According to new research, unlike certain arthritic-related aches and pains, back pain doesn’t appear to be associated with changes in the weather. With more than 80 percent of the population affected by back pain at some point in their lives, researchers are always looking to better understand those things that alleviate or exacerbate back pain. In this new study, Australian researchers reviewed specific health data on close to 1,000 adults with low back pain. They compared that data, including the days when back pain was first noticed as well as one week and one month prior to that date, with weather data during those times including temperature, humidity, precipitation, air pressure and wind direction. For the most part, researchers found little to no significant association between the weather and a worsening or improving of the subjects’ back pain. Researchers concluded that back pain sufferers should not worry about the weather affecting their back pain. Rather, back pain sufferers should be more concerned with other factors such as lifting techniques, stress and fatigue - things that have been shown to have an effect on back pain.


Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Arthritis Care & Research; Online July 10, 2014.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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Conservative Care First: A Sensible, Effective Approach to Back and Neck Pain
American Chiropractic Association Launches Public Health Awareness Campaign - Arlington, Va.—During National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) this fall, the American Chiropractic Association is working with the more than 130,000 doctors of chiropractic (DCs), chiropractic assistants (CAs) and chiropractic doctoral students nationwide to help educate the public and policymakers about the value of a “conservative care first” approach to health care. This health care model encourages emphasis on more cost-effective and safer approaches over potentially addictive medications for pain management and health enhancement. Conservative management of painful conditions may include chiropractic manipulation combined with exercise and stretching prior to moving on to procedures involving higher risk. During NCHM in October, chiropractic physicians will be provided resources to help them share their conservative care first approach and why it is especially significant to today’s health care consumers. This in turn will help patients have well informed conversations with their health care providers, empowering them to become their own advocates by insisting on information about conservative treatment options. Why is “Conservative Care First” more important today than ever in facing our nation’s healthcare challenges?


    •    Numerous recent studies have clearly shown the dangerous overreliance in the U.S. on prescription painkillers that simply mask pain, but do not cure. This has tremendously increased Americans’ risk for overuse, and abuse, of these drugs if taken for long periods, leading to more than 17,000 related deaths in 2010 (more than heroin and cocaine combined). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls the abuse of prescription pain medications an “epidemic.”


    •    Recent evidence questions the overuse--and in some cases the effectiveness--of more invasive treatments such as spinal fusion surgery and spinal steroid injections for back pain. It is reasonable for patients to exhaust more conservative options before undergoing these costly procedures.


    •    Chiropractic physicians are the highest-rated healthcare practitioners for low-back pain treatments with their patient-centered, whole-person approach that provides greater interaction and communication for appropriate diagnosis and developing more cost-effective treatment planning.


“People need complete information about their treatment options,” said ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC. “During National Chiropractic Health Month, DCs are encouraging patients to ask questions and learn about safe, effective conservative approaches that may help them avoid riskier and more costly treatments.”
For more tips on healthy, pain-free living, and references visit www.ChiroHealthy.com.

Author: American Chiropractic Association.
Source: American Chiropractic Association. July 28, 2014.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association. 2014


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Sleep Longer For A Healthier Brain


Numerous sleep studies have been conducted to determine how sleep affects the human body and overall health. However, no studies have specifically looked into how sleep affects the brain in aging adults. In efforts to answer this question, Chinese researchers reviewed MRI scans, health questionnaires and cognitive tests on 66 Chinese adults over the age of 55. They then repeated this 2 years later and compared the data. Their findings indicate that those who slept less had more age-related brain shrinkage and an increased decline in cognitive performance. Sleep plays a crucial role in cellular repair and memory consolidation. Lack sleep and you’ll starve your body’s ability to heal, repair and regenerate. Researchers offered the following tips to those who struggle with adequate sleep - Avoid napping during the day, keep your bedroom dark and quiet, have a comfortable mattress, avoid alcohol and cigarettes, and avoid activities that excite your brain and body close to bedtime.


Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Sleep. July 1, 2014.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014


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