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May 2016 Health Newsletter


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» ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
» Natural Treatments for Back Pain Show Promising Results
» Sitting and Diabetes Linked by Inactivity
» CDC Warns Against Opioid Use

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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Natural Treatments for Back Pain Show Promising Results

It's easy in this modern age to jump right to drugs or surgery for stubborn back pain, but there are many other options to consider before going under the knife. Scientists from the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle tested two mind-body therapy techniques for the reduction of low back pain and found positive results. Mindfulness-based stress reduction and cognitive behavioral therapy have both been shown to be helpful when patients don't respond to other therapies. In the study, 342 adults were split into three groups to either cognitive therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, or no therapy at all. For the two groups in therapy, more than half saw meaningful improvement to their pain. Though many may brush off these alternative treatments, an open-minded doctor could find that these methods may have some benefit for patients for whom nothing else works. Safe, natural care for back and spinal pain from natural therapies, including those provided by doctors of chiropractic, can be a new treatment option for many. These alternative natural therapies are not only effective, they have the benefit of virtually no side effects or recovery time, unlike standard treatments.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA, online March 22, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Sitting and Diabetes Linked by Inactivity

Danish scientists recently found that time spent sitting is linked to developing type 2 diabetes, but generally only among people who are inactive or obese. Those who sit for more than 10 hours a day saw a 35 percent heightened risk of diabetes, but those who had a healthy weight and exercised saw that risk minimized, even with prolonged sitting. The risk of developing diabetes was completely eliminated when people moderately or vigorously exercised for at least 150 minutes per week. During the study period, those who sat for more than 10 hours a day were also more likely to be generally physically inactive, drink alcohol, smoke, and be overweight. So if you can't avoid sitting at work, there is evidence that getting a few hours of moderate exercise per week outside the office along with a healthy weight can protect you from developing type 2 diabetes. But there is still much to gain by breaking up your sitting time with short periods of movement. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it's important to move your body often. Take breaks, walk around the office, and get exercise when you can. Reducing your level of sitting and adding more activity is a smart way to stay healthy for life.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: British Journal of Sports Medicine, online February 23, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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CDC Warns Against Opioid Use

Pain medications can often come with a long list of possible side effects ranging from manageable to severe. Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent have focused in on the overuse of opioids for chronic pain. It's a serious matter, as at least 40 people in the U.S. die each day from an overdose of these strong drugs. The number of people on these drugs has quadrupled since 1999, fueling a crisis in side effects and misuse. In a new set of guidelines, the CDC is urging non-opioid therapy for the management of chronic pain along with the lowest possible effective dose when it can't be avoided. The side effects for these powerful drugs can include physical dependence, increased sensitivity to pain, confusion, depression, and many others. The American Chiropractic Association is encouraging patients to look at chiropractic therapy as a safer, alternative tool to opioids used to treat back, spinal and other soft tissue related pains. With virtually no side effects, alternative therapies can reduce or even eliminate the need for strong drugs.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: ACAToday.com, online March 18, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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