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January 2017 Health Newsletter


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» ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
» Pediatric Chiropractic Care: Is It Safe?
» Opioid Pain Killers and Crash Risk in the Elderly
» What Mattress Is Best For Your Back Pain?

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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Pediatric Chiropractic Care: Is It Safe?

Chiropractors are no strangers to the question: "Is chiropractic care safe for children?" Extensive research on the subject of chiropractic care and techniques tailored to the unique bodies and needs of children indicates yes. One common concern regarding pediatric chiropractic care is based upon a misunderstanding that everyone, regardless of age, receives the same techniques and treatments. However, just as a child sees a pediatrician, receives child-appropriate doses of medications, and responds differently than adults to different medical treatments, so too do children require tailored chiropractic care. The field of pediatric chiropractic care is enormously large and effective, and has helped children across the globe. And just as different bodies young and old have different needs, chiropractors modify techniques depending on the age and development of the child. Childhood chiropractic care has resulted in high improvement of conditions from musculoskeletal pains to GI ailments, and has been employed to successfully treat childhood asthma as well as pain in the back, joints, and soft tissues. This summer, the Chiropractic Board of Australia and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) released statements about the safety and efficacy of pediatric chiropractic care, asserting that the practice is gentle and effective. The ACA further cited over 115 years of scientific literature investigating adverse events in pediatric chiropractic care, and illustrated that such adverse events were "exceedingly rare." Pediatric chiropractic care has been demonstrated as an important component of childhood health care, and supports the wellbeing of young people through safe, gentle, and effective treatments.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JMPT Volume 39, Issue 6, Pages 401410
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Opioid Pain Killers and Crash Risk in the Elderly

Opioid use has been in the spotlight recently. From over-prescription, to abuse and addiction, to devastating long-term effects, the conversation about these controversial medications has even reached the federal level through opioid legislation. But the drug is now receiving attention in a new topic of discussion: motor vehicle accidents. A new study from the Oxford Journal Age and Ageing has demonstrated a possible link between opioid use and increased vehicle crash risk for individuals 50-80 years old. The results of this study demonstrated that older drivers using opioid medications doubled their risk of a single-vehicle crash against those using non-opioid analgesics. Previous studies have also suggested possible increased risk associated with driving while taking opioids, which further reinforces the known risks of opioid medications. For doctors of chiropractic, seeing patients who are taking opioid medications is all too familiar. This is because opioids are very commonly prescribed for back and neck pain, and are often taken long-term. However, these drugs can have devastating side effects such as depression, dependence, and even damage to the brain. Fortunately, chiropractic care presents a solution. Rather than prescribing long-term medications or invasive procedures, chiropractic care relies on non-invasive, sustainable, and effective treatment measures that don't just mask the symptoms of pain, but treat the actual source of discomfort. Particularly for the elderly, the understood risks of opioid usage are increasing. But chiropractic care presents a solution that is safe and effective for all ages, eliminating the risks associated with these medications, and resolving pain from the source. By minimizing or eliminating the need for pain medications, chiropractic care can effectively increase safety for elderly patients and increase their quality of life.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Age and Aging, online July 26, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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What Mattress Is Best For Your Back Pain?
According to a recent study, waterbeds and body-conforming foam mattresses appear better for those individuals who suffer from back pain as compared with hard mattresses. The study included more than 100 subjects who were randomly assigned a waterbed, body-conforming mattress or hard mattress. Subjects slept on their assigned mattresses for 30-days and were evaluated by researchers before and after the 30-days. Things evaluated included the subjects' reported back pain levels, daily functioning and amount of sleep achieved per night. While researchers found no significant difference between those sleeping on waterbeds and those sleeping on foam mattresses, they did find them both superior to the hard mattress. And while everyone responds differently, those suffering from back pains who sleep on a hard mattress may wish to consider changing to a softer, less stiff foam containing mattress or perhaps even those once very popular waterbeds.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Spine. 33(7):703-708, April 1, 2008.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2008


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