Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Scientific American January 9, 2009
Epidemiology January 2009, Volume 20(1) pp 84-90
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Sea vegetables, better known as seaweed, are the leafy greens of the sea. Though not technically a vegetable (they're actually classified as algae), seaweed is loaded with nutrition and has a unique, slightly salty flavor that’s been a staple in Japanese cuisine for more than 10,000 years!
In the U.S. seaweed is most widely known for its roll as a sushi wrapper, but it has many other culinary uses as well.
In ancient China, meanwhile, sea vegetables were a delicacy reserved for honored guests and royalty. In fact, numerous cultures that live near their coasts have been enjoying sea vegetables for quite some time. This includes not only parts of Asia but also Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, coastal South America, Scotland, Ireland, and the Pacific Islands.
In the Western world, you can find sea vegetables in health food stores, Asian markets and even some local grocery stores, in a variety of ocean and freshwater varieties such as kelp, wakame, arame and dulse. Some of the most popular varieties are:
Nori: The deep purple type used to make sushi rolls
Kelp: Light brown to dark green, often in flake form
Hijiki: Small, black wiry strands
Kombu: Sometimes used as a flavoring for soups, often sold in strips or sheets
Wakame: Most often used to make miso soup
Arame: A lacy, wiry shape and mild flavor
Dulse: Reddish brown with a soft, chewy texture
Why might you want to think about adding sea vegetables to your family’s dinner table?
Seaweed contains the broadest range of minerals of any food -- the same minerals found in the ocean and in human blood. For instance, seaweed is rich in:
Pantothenic acid and riboflavin -- two B-vitamins needed for your body to produce energy
Lignans, which have cancer-fighting properties
The Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables
Sea vegetables contain a unique blend of potent nutrients for your health.
Protect Against Cancer
The lignans in seaweed inhibit blood cell growth, which can nourish tumors and spread cancer cells. They have also been shown to fight breast cancer and other hormone-related cancers. Meanwhile, sea vegetables contain folic acid, which may help reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Promote Healthy Thyroid Function
Seaweed is rich in iodine, which is essential for the proper functioning of your thyroid glands. In short, it helps your thyroid to synthesize the amino acid tyrosine to create hormones.
Prevent Heart Disease and Birth Defects
Folic acid in seaweed is not only essential for protecting against birth defects, it is also needed to breakdown a dangerous chemical called homocysteine. Homocysteine can damage blood vessel walls and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Sea vegetables also contain magnesium, which helps reduce high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks.
Relieve Menopausal Symptoms
The magnesium in sea vegetables can help relieve sleep trouble due to menopause. Further, the lignans are phytoestrogens, which can help to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
Why Choosing Organic Sea Vegetables is Important
Sea vegetables actively take up minerals from the water in which they grow. Unfortunately, they can also pick up pollutants in the surrounding waters, including heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and cadmium. In fact, sea vegetables are so efficient at absorbing contaminants that some marine ecologists use them as a monitor to determine levels of heavy metal pollution in water.
Sea vegetables come in a variety of forms, such as fresh, powdered, flakes, and sheets.
Because many waters are now polluted, it’s recommended that you eat only organic varieties of sea vegetables to avoid these risks.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Previous research linked high plasma levels of vitamin C with lower blood pressure among middle-age and older adults, typically those with higher than optimal blood pressure readings, Block and colleagues report in the Nutrition Journal.
The current study involved 242 black and white women, between 18 and 21 years old, with normal blood pressures, who were participants in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study. The girls had entered the trial when they were 8 to 11 years old. Over a 10-year period, their plasma levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and blood pressure were monitored.
At year 10, Block and her colleagues found that blood pressure, both the systolic and diastolic (top and bottom reading), was inversely associated with ascorbic acid levels.
Specifically, women with the highest levels of ascorbic acid had a decline of about 4.66 mm Hg in systolic and 6.04 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure compared with women with the lowest ascorbic acid levels. This difference still held true after researchers allowed for differences in body mass, race, education levels, and dietary fat and sodium intake.
Women with the lowest levels of plasma ascorbic acid likely consumed average amounts of fruits, vegetables, and fortified foods while those with the highest plasma ascorbic acid levels likely ate diets rich in fruits and vegetables or took multivitamins or vitamin C supplements, the researchers note.
Further analyses of vitamin C and blood pressure changes over the previous year, "also strongly suggested that the people with the highest blood level of vitamin C had the least increase in blood pressure," Block said.
Since these findings infer a possible association between vitamin C and blood pressure in healthy young adults, Block and colleagues call for further investigations in this population.
SOURCE: Nutrition Journal, December 17, 2008
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Doctor and Technology Offer a Breath of Fresh Air
(January 19, 2009, Canton, GA). Dr. Curtis Fedorchuk, a chiropractor from Dahlonaga, Georgia armed with technology that has been used by NASA, has made remarkable inroads in the battle against asthma. Fedorchuk’s research was recently published in The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research and detailed the wonderful transformation of his star patient — a 7-year old girl who had suffered from severe asthma and chronic cough for almost her entire life.
Before encountering Dr. Fedorchuk, this little girl was using multiple oral medications and inhalers that totaled 24 inhalations per day — yet her symptoms persisted. Her parents were not only shouldering the financial burden of their daughter’s care, but the hours of lost sleep caused by asthma attacks impacted the entire family. Concerned about the volume of medications that their daughter was consuming, the parents sought help from Dr. Fedorchuk.
Following an examination using the Insight Discovery Subluxation Station (the diagnostic tool that has not only benefited the Space program, but has been used by chiropractors treating Super Bowl champions and Olympic gold medalists), the young girl began receiving chiropractic adjustments. By nightfall after her first adjustment, the little girl’s coughing ceased. Over the next three weeks (while visiting Dr. Fedorchuk for adjustments 2-3 times per week), the little girl’s mom reported no attacks, an increase in activity levels, and a decrease in the need to use an inhaler. After 4 weeks, she was no longer using the inhalers. Her teachers noticed the change in the child’s demeanor, while swimming and running became part of her everyday life. Subsequent tests showed an increase in lung capacity and the little girl’s visits to the chiropractor became less frequent. Within 10 months of from the onset of care, Dr. Fedorchuk’s young patient was no longer using any medications — only carrying Albuterol in the event of an emergency.
“Childhood asthma is a prevalent in the United States with nine million people under the age of 18 suffering from this debilitating lung ailment, four times as many as 20 years ago,” noted Dr. Mike Headlee, a Canton-based chiropractor whose has invested in the Insight technology. “For some, this leads to a lifetime of
suffering or, for those less fortunate, death. There are approximately 5,000 deaths annually in the U.S. that are linked to asthma. After reading about Dr. Fedorchuk’s research, I wanted to do more for those in my community who fight respiratory ailments,” continued Headlee.
“The use of technology identifies areas of disturbance in the nervous system that could be caused by stress, trauma or toxins. Asthmatics have more frequent incidents of misalignment of the upper and lower thoracic region, which is the area of the shoulders and below,” explained Headlee. “That condition can lead to dysponesis — best described as a short circuit effect between the brain and muscles — which in turn causes abnormal tonic muscle activity. Shoulder tension triggers a decrease in lung volume, which increases the likelihood of respiratory ailments. The patient simply has less air to breathe. Since dysponesis can lead to asthma, we can now help prevent or manage the disease by treating its underlying cause,” he added.
Today’s medical treatment of asthma remains largely pharmacological. Despite the increase in prescription drug usage, the prevalence of asthma increased 75% from 1980-1994. Direct health care costs for asthma-related illnesses in the U.S. amount to more than $11.5 billion annually — with over $5 billion of that figure being directed towards prescription drugs.
“Aside from the obvious physical benefits this little girl derived from her chiropractic adjustments, one can’t dismiss the financial ramifications during this time of economic woe. Her need for medication decreased along with her medical bills. With all that in mind, you might say that chiropractic care for asthmatics is a breath of fresh air,” concluded a smiling Headlee.
Curtis Fedorchuk, “Correction of Subluxation and Reduction of Dysponesis in a 7 Year-Old Child Suffering From Chronic Cough and Asthma: A Case Report,” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, November 26, 2007.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People who sleep less than seven hours a night are three times as likely to catch a cold as their more well-rested friends and neighbors, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.
The study supports the theory that sleep is important to immune function, said Sheldon Cohen and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Volunteers who spent less time in bed, or who spent their time in bed tossing and turning instead of snoozing, were much more likely to catch a cold when viruses were dripped into their noses, they found.
People who slept longer and more soundly resisted infection better, they reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
"Although sleep's relationship with the immune system is well-documented, this is the first evidence that even relatively minor sleep disturbances can influence the body's reaction to cold viruses," Cohen said in a statement.
"It provides yet another reason why people should make time in their schedules to get a complete night of rest."
Cohen's team tested 153 healthy volunteers, locking them in a hotel for five days after infecting them with a cold virus.
They had been interviewed daily for the previous two weeks to get details on their sleep patterns. They were tested for cold symptoms after the five-day lockup and had blood tests for antibodies to the virus.
The men and women who reported fewer than seven hours of sleep on average were 2.94 times more likely to develop sneezing, sore throat and other cold symptoms than those who reported getting eight or more hours of sleep each night.
Volunteers who spent less than 92 percent of their time in bed asleep were 5 1/2 times more likely to become ill than better sleepers, they found.
Sleep disturbance may affect immune system signaling chemicals called cytokines or histamines, the researchers said.
"Experiments that explore the relationship between sleep and immune function often involve sleep deprivation or study subjects with sleep disorders, which are often rooted in psychiatric conditions that influence other aspects of health," Cohen added. "This research points to the role played by ordinary, real-life sleep habits in healthy persons."
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Eating vitamin C-rich foods may protect your knees from osteoarthritis, reports a recent study in Arthritis Research & Therapy. Here's why: They're packed with antioxidants, which protect cells from oxidative damage, and oxidative damage breaks down cartilage, the "shock absorber" in the knee joint. Vitamin C slows down deterioration by strengthening cartilage and reducing inflammation in the joint. "To get the full benefits, eat food with lots of vitamin C on a daily basis," says Marissa Lippert, MS, a dietitian in New York City. But oranges have stolen the vitamin C spotlight for far too long. Here's how to sneak the top five runner-ups into your diet:
- Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell Peppers
- Brussel Sprouts
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Crash Victim Responds to Chiropractic Care
(January 9, 2009, Canton, GA). A Canadian doctor has authored a study detailing the positive impact that chiropractic care has had on those suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). The article – published in The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research – highlights the incredible recovery of a 55-year old woman with a severe brain injury caused in a horrific car accident. What makes the case even more remarkable is the fact that the noticeable strides in the healing process began nine years after a half-ton truck had plowed into her parked car – and only after chiropractic care was initiated.
A TBI occurs when an external force causes damage to the head by inducing motion of the brain within the skull. TBI’s are divided into two sub-categories: primary and secondary. The primary injury occurs at the point of the trauma while secondary injuries occur after trauma and produce effects that continue for long periods of time.
“There are physical, biochemical and emotional stresses associated with Traumatic Brain Injuries,” noted researcher Dr. Andrea Ryan from her Barrie, Ontario practice. “Since one of the aims of chiropractic care is to reduce those stresses and find a balance in a person’s life, it has proven to be a vital component to the healing process of anyone afflicted with a TBI,” she added.
“In 1910, D.D. Palmer – the Founder of chiropractic – stated that if the spinal column is free of interference that compromises neural integrity, then the human body is able to adapt to its inner and outer environment to the best of its ability,” said Dr. Mike Headlee, a Canton-based chiropractor. “Dr. Ryan’s work really illustrates this long held chiropractic principle,” continued Headlee.
And, there is no greater example than Dr. Ryan’s star patient.
Nine years after her dehabilitating accident, the aforementioned 55-year old woman came to Dr. Ryan still suffering from significant neurological and neuromuscular symptoms including disturbed vision, dizziness when bending over or standing too quickly, and pain throughout much of her body.
She was forced to walk with a cane or walker. Her quality of life deteriorated to the point where depression set in and she attempted suicide.
“Dr. Ryan was able to identify and monitor nerve interference through the use of chiropractic technologies called surface electromyography and thermal scanning. These technologies have proven invaluable to the likes of NASA and professional sports teams who seek to maximize the physical capabilities of their employees. Today, they are benefiting those in the general public,” explained Headlee, whose practice features such state-of-the-art equipment.
Dr. Ryan’s course of care included chiropractic adjustments twice a week. Within a month, the woman’s dizziness had decreased dramatically. After seven months, the patient reported spectacular health improvements including no dizziness and increased muscle strength in her shoulders, arms and legs – all while living virtually pain free. She became more stable and comfortable while walking (although she still used a cane). Her quality of life improved to the point where she could accomplish numerous daily activities – and depression was a thing of the past.
“Dr. Ryan’s work offers hope to those afflicted with Traumatic Brain Injuries. And, the case of the accident victim is a vivid account that underscores the value of her research. But, it is important to note that chiropractic care did not cure anything that ailed the woman involved. The adjustments she received decreased or eliminated nerve interference which in turn allowed her body to adapt and function as it was intended – which is exactly the premise that D.D. Palmer defined nearly a century ago,” summarized Headlee.
“And, as impressive as today’s technology that allows chiropractors to effectively evaluate the nervous system may be, there is nothing more impressive than the human body itself,” he concluded.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Get a Better Job
Get a Better Education
Drink Less Alcohol
Quit Smoking Now
Reduce Stress Overall
Reduce Stress at Work
Take a Trip
Volunteer to Help Others
Monday, January 5, 2009
New article in the FASEB Journal shows that caffeine during pregnancy affects heart development and function
A new study published online in The FASEB Journal shows that the equivalent of one dose of caffeine (just two cups of coffee) ingested during pregnancy may be enough to affect fetal heart development and then reduce heart function over the entire lifespan of the child. In addition, the researchers also found that this relatively minimal amount of exposure may lead to higher body fat among males, when compared to those who were not exposed to caffeine. Although the study was in mice, the biological cause and effect described in the research paper is plausible in humans.
According to Scott Rivkees, Yale's Associate Chair of Pediatric Research and a senior researcher on the study, "Our studies raise potential concerns about caffeine exposure during very early pregnancy, but further studies are necessary to evaluate caffeine's safety during pregnancy."
To reach their conclusion researchers studied four groups of pregnant mice under two sets of conditions for 48 hours. The first two groups were studied in "room air," with one group having been injected with caffeine and another injected with saline solution. The second two groups were studied under conditions where ambient oxygen levels were halved, with one group receiving caffeine and the other receiving saline solution. They found that under both circumstances, mice given caffeine produced embryos with a thinner layer of tissue separating some of the heart's chambers than the group that was not given caffeine.
The researchers then examined the mice born from these groups to determine what long-term effects, if any, caffeine had on the offspring. They found that all of the adult males exposed to caffeine as fetuses had an increase in body fat of about 20 percent, and decreased cardiac function of 35 percent when compared to mice not exposed to caffeine.
"Caffeine is everywhere: in what we drink, in what we eat, in pills that we use to relieve pain, and even in candy," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "This report shows that despite popular notions of safety, there's one place it probably shouldn't be: in the diet of an expectant mother."
The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org/) is published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)
Sunday, January 4, 2009
A new study by researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City suggests a biological explanation for why certain people tend to live life on the edge — it involves the neurotransmitter dopamine, the brain's feel-good chemical. Dopamine is responsible for making us feel satisfied after a filling meal, happy when our favorite football team wins, or really happy when we use stimulating drugs like amphetamines or cocaine, which can artificially squeeze more dopamine out of the nerve cells in our brain. It's also responsible for the high we feel when we do something daring, like skiing down a double black diamond slope or skydiving out of a plane. In the risk taker's brain, researchers report in the Journal of Neuroscience, there appear to be fewer dopamine-inhibiting receptors — meaning that daredevils' brains are more saturated with the chemical, predisposing them to keep taking risks and chasing the next high: driving too fast, drinking too much, overspending or even taking drugs.
David Zald, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt, studied whether the brains of those thrill seekers differed in any way from those of the less adventuresome when it comes to dopamine. He gave 34 men and women a questionnaire to assess their novelty-seeking tendencies, then scanned their brains using a technique called positron emission tomography to figure out how many dopamine receptors the participants had. Zald and his team were on the lookout for a particular dopamine-regulating receptor, which monitors levels of the neurotransmitter and signals brain cells to stop churning it out when there's enough.
Earlier studies in rats had shown that animals that tend to explore and take more risks in new environments also tend to have fewer of these inhibitory receptors, and Zald wanted to find out if the same was true in people.
"This is one of those situations where the data came out essentially perfectly," he says. "The results were exactly as we predicted they would be, based on the animal data." That is, like the rats, humans who were more spontaneous and eager to take risks had fewer dopamine-regulating receptors than those who were more cautious.
The findings support Zald's theory that people who take risks get an unusually big hit of dopamine each time they have a novel experience, because their brains are not able to inhibit the neurotransmitter adequately. That blast makes them feel good, so they keep returning for the rush from similarly risky or new behaviors, just like the addict seeking the next high.
"This finding is really interesting," says Dr. Bruce Cohen, director of the Frazier Research Institute at McLean Hospital in Boston and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "It's a piece of the puzzle to understanding why we like novelty, and why we get addicted to substances ... Dopamine is an important piece of reward."
Cohen suggests that a better understanding of novelty-seeking behavior may even help researchers find more effective treatments for addiction. If future studies validate Zald's findings and show that addicts also have fewer dopamine-inhibiting receptors than average, then medicines designed to replace the function of those receptors may help bring their dopamine levels down to normal and weaken their addiction.
On a more theoretical level, Zald's results may also help inform a long-ranging debate in the addiction field. Some experts believe that addicts suffer from a natural deficit of dopamine and self-medicate with drugs; others think addicts' brains make normal amounts of the neurotransmitter but just can't break it down and regulate it properly.
"We think a person who finds novelty and excitement more rewarding does so because he gets more dopamine release, or more of a boost," says Zald. "But it's one of the big controversies in the field of addiction research now." And it's yet another area for researchers to explore in trying to come up with a better treatment for substance abuse. -CNN
Saturday, January 3, 2009
(January 3, 2009, Canton, GA). A study of public safety personnel placed under chiropractic care reveals an improvement in the overall health of these workers.
Changes in Physical State and Self-Perceptions in Domains of Health Related Quality of Life among Public Safety Personnel Undergoing Chiropractic Care — authored by Spartanburg, SC Drs. Wesley McAllister and W.R. Boone — was published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. The firefighters, emergency and public utility workers who took part in the study averaged 5.5 months of chiropractic care. The patients ranged in age from the mid-20’s to the late-60’s. They were assessed on a weekly basis and adjusted when necessary.
The research demonstrated that chiropractic care coincided with a decrease in back pain and other physical ailments after a relatively short period of time. The research also revealed that the patients themselves gave their general health and well-being a higher rating following care.
“Even in the short term, chiropractic care benefited the health of the study group,” commented Dr. Mike Headlee, a Canton-based chiropractor. “The study depicts the workers’ significant physical improvements and enhanced self-perceptions of their overall wellness — combining one’s physical, mental and emotional status,” added Headlee.
“This is yet more research that defines the chiropractic profession,” he stated. “Chiropractic in itself is not a cure, but a means of allowing the human body to operate as it was designed. And, when operating at peak efficiency, the human body can do great things — as these public safety workers came to find out,” added Headlee.
Before the first physical assessment (cervical and lumbar range of motion, spinal balance, leg length, orthopedics, motor strength, reflexes and sensory tests) by their chiropractor – and then again at the end of the trial study — each patient was asked to rate his or her overall state of health. They were also asked to assess physical and mental well-being, stress level, quality of life perception and overall life enjoyment.
The report found that, as a group, the individuals’ physical discomforts decreased. Most importantly, all participants assessed their overall health and wellness to be much better than before they underwent regular chiropractic care. And, the subjects reported an improvement in their job performance and a substantial decrease in stress.
“We have a vested interest in the well-being of our emergency and public safety personnel,” said Headlee. “Regular chiropractic care can have tremendous positive effects on a patient’s performance level, which translates into fewer sick days, a decreased risk of injury — and, with that, substantially lower medical expenses,” he continued.
“Public safety workers endure stress and stress-related injuries — both physical and emotional,” concluded Headlee. “But, in this case, the chiropractic care they were afforded allowed their bodies to operate at a higher level. It just goes to show you that if you treat your body right, your body will take good care of you.”
Wesley McAllister and W.R. Boone, “Changes in Physical State and Self-Perceptions in Domains of Health Related Quality of Life among Public Safety Personnel Undergoing Chiropractic Care,” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, August 6, 2007
Thursday, January 1, 2009
When Little Johnny Shouldn’t Drink Milk…
(January 1, 2009, Canton, GA). The results of a decade long study conducted in the Norwegian town of Stavanger offers this simplistic option to parents with children suffering from hyperactive disorders including ADHD: Change their diet.
23 children from Norway’s southwestern region — ages four to 11 and all diagnosed with hyperactive disorders — were put on milk-free and/or gluten-free diets based on theories developed by Dr. Karl Ludvig Reichelt. Reichelt believes that children afflicted with such disorders suffer from a metabolic problem that hinders the adequate breakdown of certain proteins. So, eating certain foods like milk and gluten may accelerate ADHD (and other disorders) because these children lack an enzyme that breaks down proteins like casein (which is found in milk and enables milk-clotting to make cheese). Reichelt felt that reducing the intake of foods containing proteins would assist proper digestion thus allowing the patients’ hyperactivity to be controlled.
22 of the Norwegian children taken off milk products and other foods containing casein showed an almost immediate improvement in their mental health (including overall behavior), an enhanced attention span plus increased learning capabilities. But, the symptoms returned as soon as the foods were reintroduced into their diets. Most of those involved in the study had been taking medications like Ritalin to treat their diagnosed disorders prior to changing their diets. However, after adjusting their food intake, they were soon taken off the medicine.
Long-term monitoring of these children has found their disorders to be manageable while the challenges they once faced have virtually disappeared.
The study’s result came as no surprise to Dr. Mike Headlee, a Canton-based chiropractor. “There are three types of stress that impact how our bodies perform. Psychological stress is commonly enhanced by money problems, struggling relationships or issues at work. Our ability to deal with those problems has a positive impact on our bodies. Physical stress is remedied by how we care for our bodies through exercise, etc. The children described in the study battled bio-chemical stress fueled by what they put into their bodies. The food and medicines we intake directly affect how we function,” states Headlee.
Similar international research has already linked the protein disorder with autism and schizophrenia. Now, this study points to ADHD and its kind stemming from the same digestive disorder.
“Be fit. Eat right. Think well. That’s the road towards good health. Like those 22 children in Norway, it is often enough to simply adjust our diets before administrating any medications. The old cliché, ‘You are what you eat,’ is a fairly accurate statement,” concluded a smiling Headlee.
“Diet Changes Give Hyperactive Kids New Taste for Life in Norway,” by Nina Larson, AFP and Yahoo! News, Feb. 24, 2008.