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

October 2017 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» ALPHA LIPOIC ACID
» Walking and Cycling Linked to Reduced Risk of Being Hospitalized with Sciatica
» Mindful Coffee Consumption Can Lead to Better Health

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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Walking and Cycling Linked to Reduced Risk of Being Hospitalized with Sciatica

Perhaps youíre already aware that a number of lifestyle factors increase a personís risk of developing sciatica, including smoking and obesity. However, new research reveals that cycling and walking could have an equally effective opposite effect. A recent study followed a group of over 35,000 people for up to 30 years. It discovered that the risk of being hospitalized for sciatica was increased by 33% if people smoked or were obese, while regularly commuting to work by bicycle or on foot lowered their risk by 33%.

The Risks Involved in Developing Sciatica
The study reported that up to 5% of people suffer from sciatica, an often painful condition. Sciatica normally originates from a compressed nerve root and herniated disc, which causes shooting pains along the sciatic nerve. This extends from the lower back right down the back of a personís legs. Even though it rarely leads to hospitalization or surgery, itís often considered a more severe and long-lasting source of low back pain. Four long-term studies were analyzed by the team in Finland, with a total of 1,259 hospitalizations for sciatica occurring during the follow-up time of 12-30 years. The researchers looked at various risk factors, including occupation, education, sex, age, obesity, body mass index, and smoking, along with the duration, intensity, and frequency of physical activity. Although smokers saw an increased risk of 33%, former smokers didnít share this same risk. Furthermore, the risk of hospitalization was increased by 36% in obese patients Ė with abdominal fat increasing the risk to 41%. However, regardless of any other activity or the body weight of the patient, commuting to work via bicycle or on foot reduced their risk by 33%.

Overcoming Sciatica
Speaking about the study, lead author, Dr. Rahman Shiri, said they were surprised to see that no effect on hospitalization was witnessed by any other form of leisure time physical activities. However, they believe this may be due to the fact that regular, moderate activities like cycling and walking donít add strain to the back as opposed to higher-intensity exercises that will. Although the study was limited by the fact that it only used self-reported data and couldnít verify additional health factors for sciatica hospitalization, it does emphasize the benefits of moving around frequently, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking. Furthermore, studies have indicated that sciatica patients noticed a significant improvement when they underwent a number of treatments, including spinal manipulation. This process is carried out by a licensed doctor of chiropractic to reduce the nerve irritability that causes pain, muscle spasm, inflammation, and other symptoms associated with sciatica. If your sciatica is causing you discomfort and pain, contact your local chiropractor today.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: American Journal of Medicine, online July 24, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Mindful Coffee Consumption Can Lead to Better Health
Mindfulness is a popular concept these days, and it is often used as a way to help individuals make better life and health choices. And while itís no secret that reducing your sugar consumption can help with weight loss and general improvement in health, both are often easier said than done. A recent study conducted at the University of Minnesota has shown that mindfully consuming your coffee without sugar may help with not only weight loss but also a more focused approach to choices.

Drinking Unsweetened Coffee Can Lead to Mindfulness
Participants in the University of Minnesota study were divided into three groups. One group went cold turkey and immediately began drinking unsweetened coffee. A second group was allowed to gradually reduce the amount of sugar they added to their coffee. A third group was taught how to discern different flavors and tastes in coffee, and was instructed to mindfully drink their sugar-free brew by focusing on the sensations and the different flavors that were present in the beverage. They learned how to be mentally present to the action of drinking coffee, and in some cases to enjoy the beverage more than they had in the past.† After one month, the mindfulness group drinkers were more likely to enjoy their coffee and the drinking experience. They also continued to drink coffee sugar free more often than the other two groups who immediately eliminated or gradually reduced the amount of sweetener they added to their coffee.

Reducing Sugar Intake can Help Promote Food Awareness
Researchers suggest that the combination of reducing sugar intake as a tool to promote health, in conjunction with being mindful about the action, may lead to a longer-term healthier lifestyle. It is believed that making a conscious decision, in this case eliminating sugar in coffee, focuses attention on actions and being a participant in the choice, which can lead to mindfulness in other life choices. In an interview one of the researchers noted that beginning a lifestyle change is relatively easy, but sustaining change is very challenging. Researchers anticipated that most participants would go back to adding sweetener to their coffee, yet the majority of participants in the mindfulness group continued drinking their coffee sugar-free.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: J Health Psychol 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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