Newsletter Archives > ChiroPlanet.com Monthly Health Newsletter: February 2017 Health Newsletter

February 2017 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
» Concussion Symptoms in Soccer After “Heading"
» Cardiovascular Health May Begin with Breakfast
» Preventing Cognitive Decline with Mental Stimulation

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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Concussion Symptoms in Soccer After “Heading"

Concussions in soccer may not only come from unintentional hits to the head. "Heading" is a common action taken by soccer players where they intentionally take hits to the head from the soccer ball. In 2013, a study called the Einstein Soccer Study was conducted to research the effects that heading has on soccer players. For over a year, researchers collected information from 222 participants. These participants were asked to answer surveys regarding any accidental or intentional heading, and any symptoms that followed in a given two week span. The participants of the Einstein Soccer Study were predominantly males ages 18-55, and resulted in a total of 470 surveys. Although the study did not unearth the long-term effects of heading on soccer players, it did discover some interesting findings on the primary effects of heading. Of the male participants in the study, 37% claimed to take hits from the ball unintentionally and reported intentional heading an average of 44 times. While 43% of women participating in the study claimed to take hits from the ball unintentionally, and reported intentional heading an average of 27 times. 20% of the participants claimed to experience moderate to severe concussion symptoms after intentionally heading the ball and unintentional hits to the head. Researchers found that the participants who experienced the most hits through unintentional hits and intentional heading, correlated directly with those experiencing concussion symptoms. In the future, studies may be conducted to research the longterm effects of heading and the complications it may cause. For now, it is evident that there are short-term effects on soccer players experiencing both intentional and unintentional hits to the head.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Neurology, online February 1, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Cardiovascular Health May Begin with Breakfast

There are several ways to lower the risks of heart attack, cardiovascular disease, blood vessel diseases, and stroke. Although it is important to watch the kind of food that goes into the body, many studies have shown that it may be equally as important to pay attention to the timing of meals. Here are three ways to boost cardiovascular health:
1. Meal Planning. According to a statement released by the American Heart Association, planning the meals and snacks that you have throughout the day can help lower the risks of cardiovascular disease. This is due to the metabolic rates of the body throughout the day.
2. Eating Breakfast Daily. Several studies have found correlations between increased cardiovascular health and people who consume breakfast regularly. There is a much lower risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure associated with those who consume breakfast daily.
3. Lowering Food Consumption in the Evening. At night it is harder for the body to digest and process various foods. Many studies have shown that this may be due to a decreased metabolic rate in the evening. For this reason, lowering the amount of food eaten in the evening can lead to better cardiovascular health.
Using these methods to carefully plan meals and snacks for each day can help reduce the many risk factors surrounding cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and insulin complications such as insulin resistance.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Circulation, online January 30, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Preventing Cognitive Decline with Mental Stimulation

With the increasing global concern surrounding dementia and related cognitive problems in the elderly, being able to successfully prevent these issues is of great importance. JAMA Neurology conducted a study to research the effects of various forms of mental stimulation on cognitive delays in elderly participants. The study found several forms of mental stimulation that can reduce the risks of cognitive problems in the elderly. For instance, playing games and participating in regular social events was found to decrease the risk of cognitive delay by more than 20%. While participating in crafting activities can lower the risk by 28%, and learning to use a computer can reduce the risk as much as 30%. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by choosing to eat healthy and exercise regularly has also been proven in many studies to reduce cognitive delay. Combining this with regular mental stimulation is a great way to help reduce the risks even further. According to Dr. Denise Park of the University of Texas, participating in new activities or tasks may be more effective than the repetition of familiar activities in preventing cognitive problems. Overall, it is important for older adults to participate in mentally stimulating activities and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise. This may prove to be their best defense against cognitive decline.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Neurology, online January 30, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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