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

August 2017 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
» New Study Sheds Further Light on the Risks of Opioid Use
» More Exercises Are Proving Helpful for Optimal Brain Health & Function

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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New Study Sheds Further Light on the Risks of Opioid Use

As you have probably heard, the country is currently in the grips of a massive opioid epidemic. In 2010, 16,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose. That was four times as many as in 1999. By 2015, that number had nearly tripled to 52,000 deaths. The death toll continues to rise. This problem is formally recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services. This past March, the governor of Maryland even went so far as to declare a State of Emergency because of the problemís severity. While the epidemic is full of complexity, one factor certainly playing a role in its growth is that these powerful medications are prescribed to many patients after only minor operations.†

Factors That May Lead to Opioid Abuse

According to a recent study, patients are equally likely to become chronic opioid users after minor operations as they are following major ones. Among people who are prescribed opioids for reasons unrelated to surgery, only 0.4% will develop a problem. After a major surgery, the rate is 6.5%. However, that is only slightly higher than the rate for patients who have had minor operations, which is 5.9%. A better identifier for who will become a chronic user seems to be the personís history with chronic pain. Those who became addicted to opioids after any type of surgery were 50% more likely to have previously suffered from arthritis or chronic back pain. Smoking also played a role. Smokers were 34% more likely to abuse opioids they were prescribed following surgery. For those who had preexisting substance or alcohol use problems, the odds of becoming addicted were also 34% higher.† These factors have led many experts to call for better screening practices before opioids are prescribed.††

Donít Risk Becoming a Victim of the Opioid Epidemic

No one plans to become addicted to opioids, but when you combine the strength of these drugs and the pain people are often in when they begin taking them, itís not hard to see how we got to a crisis. It also shouldnít come as too much of a surprise that people with chronic back pain are especially susceptible to becoming addicted. The pain can be so severe that patients will accept just about any fate if it means some kind of relief. Fortunately, if you experience pain, your local chiropractor may be able to help. Their noninvasive treatments can be quick, are often highly effective, and importantly donít involve the use of prescription medications. In fact, some patients feel better than they have in years after just one adjustment. Call your local chiropractor today if youíre suffering from pain that wonít seem to go away.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Surgery, online April 12, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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More Exercises Are Proving Helpful for Optimal Brain Health & Function

How can you boost brain power? Itís an important question to ask, especially with the rise of dementia and Alzheimerís diseases. Is there really anything that can be done to achieve optimal brain health in an effort to ward off these debilitating diseases? Indeed there is! Reuters recently reported on a study that found more and more physical exercises are proving useful for brain health. Tai Chi seems to dominate the cognitive function category. But theyíre definitely not alone Ė which is great news for people who like activities that are more energetic. A variety of strength training and aerobic exercises have been shown to slow cognitive decline in adults over the age of 50. Neurons in the brain fire whenever people are engaged in a form of physical activity. Even something like walking regularly can have a profound effect on brain function. The neurons in the brain fire whenever people have to balance and contract their muscles. Not only does the rapid firing help the body to perform these functions even better, they keep the brain active and healthy. The Harvard Health Blog recommends walking at the very least. If people arenít into that, they can try:

  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Tennis
  • Aerobics Classes

 

And even hiring a personal trainer. The goal here is not so much what type of physical activity a person engages in, but the regularity in which they do it. Exercising at least three days a week is a good start for achieving optimal brain health.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: British Journal of Sports Medicine, online April 24, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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