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

April 2016 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
» Chiropractic Care Shown To Be Cost Effective
» Obesity Grows Around The World
» Research Says Fitness Trackers May Not Be Accurate

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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Chiropractic Care Shown To Be Cost Effective

Looking for effective, safe and affordable care to treat those aches and pains? New research indicates chiropractic care could be the answer. A group of scientists recently published a study to determine whether chiropractic treatment was linked with lower healthcare costs for older patients with low back pain. The study looked at more than 72,000 patients ages 66 and older to determine whether chiropractic treatment was a good option. The results determined that older patients who used chiropractic therapy for lower back pain had lower overall healthcare costs along with shorter pain episodes. The cost of care per episode day was also lower. Those who combined convention medical care with chiropractic care also saw lower costs of care. Interestingly, the cost of treatment was higher for people who did not use any chiropractic treatment at all. The findings show that chiropractic care alone or used in conjunction with other forms of care are a cost effective, viable method for those who want to manage and lessen their pain.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JMPT February 2016 Volume 39, Issue 2, Pages 63–75.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Obesity Grows Around The World

In early 2016, the global population totaled more than 640 million obese people. These new totals now show that more than half the world is overweight. This increase in obesity means that one in seven women and one in 10 men are obese, with a body mass index of more than 30 (overweight is 25). During the last 40 years, the average male BMI has risen from 21.7 to 24.2 while females saw a rise from 22.1 to 24.4. That totals to an average of 3.3 pounds gained per decade. The study looked at almost 20 million adults worldwide. It's an epidemic that has seen worldwide attention as countries address food labeling practices, food pricing, taxes on unhealthy foods, and government nutrition recommendations. At the same time, many of the world's poorest are underweight, suffering from a lack of food. Obesity can have both health and economic effects. As healthcare costs rise, problems due to an unhealthy weight can affect the economic stability of millions of households. But it doesn't have to be this way. Leading a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and a smart diet can allow you to live a longer and better life.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters, online March 31, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Research Says Fitness Trackers May Not Be Accurate

Fitness trackers are exploding in popularity, tracking everything from heart rate to steps taken. But a new study from the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo shows that this technology isn't always accurate at tracking energy expenditure. Researchers tested 12 fitness trackers against current methods of detecting energy expenditure. The results suggest that these trackers can both under and overestimate energy expenditure, sometimes by hundreds of calories. Some devices underestimated calories burned by almost 600 calories while others overestimated by around 200. Researchers say it is possible the trackers are inaccurate due to people taking them off during the day. For people who use fitness trackers to make health decisions based on fitness level, both over and underestimates can be harmful. Those trying to lose weight could be actually burning too few calories. Those watching their activity levels due to heart problems may be too active. There’s not much research on trackers yet, and devices could vary from brand to brand. Either way, people using fitness trackers to make health decisions should be cautious about relying too much on device data.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, online March 21, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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