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

April 2017 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
» For Low Back Pain, the ACP Recommends Drug-Free Treatments First
» Multi-Tasking Surgeons: What People Donít Know
» Research Shows Link Between Obesity and Developing 11 Types of Cancer

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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For Low Back Pain, the ACP Recommends Drug-Free Treatments First
The American College of Physicians (ACP) recently released brand-new guidelines regarding treatment for low back pain.† The Annals of Internal Medicine published the ACP's updated guidelines, which are based on a "systematic review of the evidence." This means that a variety of studies were reviewed that examined the effectiveness of both non-drug and drug-based low back pain treatments. Overwhelmingly, non-drug treatments came out ahead.† The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) fully backs these new recommendations, as chiropractic champions treatments without drugs and conservative approaches to back pain. Likewise, the guidelines recommend trying treatments like acupuncture, massage, heat therapy, and others for relief. If these don't work, then patients can try treatments like muscle relaxants or over-the-counter pain medication, like ibuprofen.† For patients who still have pain after trying all of the above, prescription drugs like opioids should only be used as a final measure. The reason is that opioids are notorious for being highly addictive and come with a risk of overdose Ė negatives which make them highly undesirable and to be used in extreme cases as a last resort option. As the ACA notes, the ACP's guidelines push the current in the right direction, as chiropractic has been proven effective for a wide array of bodily pain. Common treatments include spinal manipulation, physical therapy, and a combination of healthy diet and lifestyle changes

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: American Chiropractic Association, online Feb 14, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Multi-Tasking Surgeons: What People Donít Know

A recent study by the Journal of the American College of Surgeons looked at how many people had heard of something called "overlapping surgery." Overlapping Surgery is when a surgeon performs a critical part of an operation, then leaves a non-critical part to a different surgeon in training, or a physician's assistant, so they can head to a totally different surgery and do the same thing. A common scenario is when the main surgeon leaves closing incisions to an underling so they can move to a different procedure with a different patient. According to the study, although common practice, only a tiny margin of the people surveyed had heard of this practice (4% out of over 1,400 respondents). Almost all of the respondents thought that the patient should be informed of it before going under the knife. Specifically, they thought that patients should know who will perform what aspect of the surgery, including who would be in the room and the role of trainees. Therefore, if you or a loved one is going under the knife, ensure to thoroughly ask who will be involved with all aspects of the surgery so you remain fully informed.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Journal of the American College of Surgeons, online Feb 11, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Research Shows Link Between Obesity and Developing 11 Types of Cancer

According to a recent review of research by The BMJ, the tie between obesity and 11 different types of cancers has been strengthened. According to Reuters, the review looked at a larger group of hundreds of studies published in the past that specifically examined the relationship between obesity and 36 types of cancers. Scholars looked for signs that the already-established link between cancer and obesity had been exaggerated, and in the process found a stronger correlation between obesity and 11 specific cancers. In particular, cancers of the organs in the digestive tract as well as womenís reproductive organs were found to have the strongest links to obesity. These include kidney, colon, pancreas, and rectal cancer as well as bone marrow, ovarian, and breast cancer. In addition to these findings, the research review also found a strong connection between a high BMI (body mass index, which measures the ratio of weight to height) and cancers in the pancreas, kidney, esophagus, liver, and bone marrow. Excess weight carried around the midsection also has risk factors for cancer, as women with extra weight and belly fat were found to have an increased chance of developing endometrial cancer. In fact, the risk increases the higher the waist-to-hip ratio (the measurement for belly fat). The takeaway? People can lower their risk for cancer by staying at a consistently healthy weight.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The BMJ, online Feb 28, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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