Newsletter Archives > ChiroPlanet.com Monthly Health Newsletter: January 2016 Health Newsletter

January 2016 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
» Change Your Diet: Why Low-Fat Diets Don't Contribute to Lifelong Weight Loss
» Why Fruit & Veggie Consumption in Young People is Important for Long-Term Health
» Ditch the Cola: How Your Favorite Sodas Can Lead to Heart Failure

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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Change Your Diet: Why Low-Fat Diets Don't Contribute to Lifelong Weight Loss

A low-fat diet feels like a natural choice for losing weight, but completely eliminating certain nutrients over time may not be the answer. In fact, one study concluded that low-fat diets did not have a greater impact on weight loss than diets with higher fat contents. Of the 68,000 participants studied, low-carb diets revealed a similar average weight loss to low-fat diets, showing only a 2.5 pound increase in loss. Over time, nutrient-restricting diets like these tend to drop off after the first year, leading to little or no results. So what goes wrong?Any diet that requires the elimination of nutrients, like fat, needs to fill that void with a healthy substitute to help maintain long-term weight loss. Unfortunately, many low-fats diet programs fill that void with snacks stuffed with sodium and sugar. This can decrease the physical and mental endurance needed to sustain a successful low-fat diet over time. That's why it's important for any nutrient-restricting diet to include a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals. This can help provide the energy and mental focus needed to sustain a successful diet over the long-term.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, online October 29, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Why Fruit & Veggie Consumption in Young People is Important for Long-Term Health

Young people are notoriously picky about eating fruits and vegetables, but a diet packed with at least 4 servings of fruits and vegetables per day can preserve long-term cardiac health. While plenty of research on this subject has been done on the older adult population, little research was available for the 18 to 30 demographic until the CARDIA study at the Minneapolis Heart Institute. This study narrowed in on the problem of Coronary Artery Calcium, or CAC, in this age group since CAC analysis helps doctors determine if a patient is more at risk of heart failure. Starting in 1985, this program studied the fruit and vegetable intake of over 5,000 people in a 20-year period. At the conclusion of the study, participants were asked a series of questions about their dietary habits and went under CAC tomography scanning to determine the levels of artery calcium buildup. The study divided the participants into two groups; the first group had a high fruit and vegetable intake of 7 to 8 servings, and the second group had a lower intake of just 2 to 3 servings of fiber per day. Using data collected from interviews and CAC scans, researchers discovered that people with eating habits like those in the first group were less at risk of developing a CAC condition by 26%.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Circulation, online October 26, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Ditch the Cola: How Your Favorite Sodas Can Lead to Heart Failure

Sugary sodas may feel like the perfect thirst quencher, but prolonged soda consumption can actually have serious consequences in the long run. Over time, studies have shown increasing links between soda consumption and the risk for high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and even heart problems. In fact, one Swedish study observed the soda consumption of 42,000 men over the course of 12 years. There were roughly 3,600 new cases of heart failure during the 12-year long study, and it concluded that men who regularly drank two or more servings of soda per day had a 23% greater risk of experiencing heart failure in their lifetime.  Women are strongly advised to ditch the soda as well. Long-term soda consumption in women has been strongly linked to a rise in insulin problems, high blood pressure, obesity, and type-2 diabetes, all of which are triggers for major heart problems. Heart failure occurs when the heart does not have the strength to pump enough oxygen and blood. 23 million people across the globe already deal with heart failure, and it will only continue to worsen with the regular consumption of processed foods, sodium, and sugary beverages like soda.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Heart, online November 2, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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