Newsletter Archives > Monthly Health Newsletter: July 2015 Health Newsletter

July 2015 Health Newsletter

Current Articles

» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» U.S. Adults Fail To Reach Recommended Amount Of Fruits And Vegetables
» Small Study Determines Aerobic Exercise Is Good For Asthma
» Good News! Chances Are Your Workouts Earn You More Food Than You Thought

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

March 16, 2007 -- A special chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure, a placebo-controlled study suggests.

"This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination," study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. "And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems," adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.

Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients with early-stage high blood pressure had significantly lower blood pressure than 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment. Because patients can't feel the technique, they were unable to tell which group they were in.

X-rays showed that the procedure realigned the Atlas vertebra -- the doughnut-like bone at the very top of the spine -- with the spine in the treated patients, but not in the sham-treated patients.

Compared to the sham-treated patients, those who got the real procedure saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number).

None of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the eight-week study.

"When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn't believe it. It was way too good to be true," Bakris says. "The statistician said, 'I don't even believe it.' But we checked for everything, and there it was."

Bakris and colleagues report their findings in the advance online issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension.

Atlas Adjustment and Hypertension

The procedure calls for adjustment of the C-1 vertebra. It's called the Atlas vertebra because it holds up the head, just as the titan Atlas holds up the world in Greek mythology.

Marshall Dickholtz Sr., DC, of the Chiropractic Health Center, in Chicago, is the 84-year-old chiropractor who performed all the procedures in the study. He calls the Atlas vertebra "the fuse box to the body."

"At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the brain -- if the Atlas gets locked in a position as little as a half a millimeter out of line -- it doesn't cause any pain but it upsets these centers," Dickholtz tells WebMD.

The subtle adjustment is practiced by the very small subgroup of chiropractors certified in National Upper Cervical Chiropractic (NUCCA) techniques. The procedure employs precise measurements to determine a patient's Atlas vertebra alignment. If realignment is deemed necessary, the chiropractor uses his or her hands to gently manipulate the vertebra.

"We are not doctors. We are spinal engineers," Dickholtz says. "We use mathematics, geometry, and physics to learn how to slide everything back into place."

What does this have to do with high blood pressure pressure?

Bakris notes that some researchers have suggested that injury to the Atlas vertebra can affect blood flow in the arteries at the base of the skull. Dickholtz thinks the misaligned Atlas triggers release of signals that make the arteries contract. Whether the procedure actually fixes such injuries is unknown, Bakris says.

Bakris began the study after a fellow doctor told him that something strange was happening in his family practice. The doctor had been sending some of his patients to a chiropractor. Some of these patients had high blood pressure. 

Yet after seeing the chiropractor, the patients' blood pressure had normalized -- and a few of them were able to stop taking their blood pressure medications.

So Bakris, then at Rush University, designed the pilot study with 50 patients. He's now organizing a much bigger clinical trial.

"Is it going to be for everybody with high blood pressure? No," Bakris says. "We clearly need to identify those who can benefit. It is pretty clear that some kind of head or neck trauma early in life is related to this. This is really a work in progress. It is certainly in the early stages of research."

Dickholtz has been teaching, practicing, and studying the NUCCA technique for 50 years. He says high blood pressure is far from the only thing an Atlas misalignment causes.

"On the other hand, if people have high blood pressure, there is a tremendous possibility they need an Atlas adjustment," he says.



Author: Health News by Daniel J. DeNoon
Source: Rush University Hypertension Center Chicago IL
Copyright: Journal Of Human Hypertension 3

page toppage toppage top

U.S. Adults Fail To Reach Recommended Amount Of Fruits And Vegetables

It may not come as a surprise that most adults don't eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day. Across the nation, less than 15 percent are meeting the recommendations set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC's new way of studying adults' intake of fruits and vegetables includes examining each state individually instead of getting the national average. Southern states are overwhelming falling short of their recommended daily values. In Tennessee, only seven percent of adults are eating the right amount of fruits, while in Mississippi only 5.5 percent are eating enough vegetables. California comes out on top with 17.7 percent of adults getting enough fruits and 13 percent eating enough vegetables. So how much should adults be really consuming? The Dietary Guidelines of America suggest inactive adults should consume 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits and two to three cups of vegetables each day. The more active a person is, the more they should be increasing these amounts.

Source: CDC, online July 10, 2015
Copyright: LLC 2015

page toppage toppage top

Small Study Determines Aerobic Exercise Is Good For Asthma

With over 235 million people suffering from asthma across the globe, finding new treatment options is a priority in the global healthcare system. A recent, small study has determined that for people who suffer with moderate to severe asthma, aerobic exercise can make it easier for asthma sufferers to manage their asthma. Of the 43 patients who took part in this study, all of them were required to take yoga-breathing classes twice a week, and half were required to walk on a treadmill for 35 minutes twice a week. The study found that the participants that added walking into their routine, in addition to their regular medications they take to treat their asthma, saw a decrease in heightened sensitivity in the airway, as well as inflammation. Asthma sufferers should consult with their doctor prior to implementing an aerobic exercise regimen as that itself could actually lead to an asthma attack. While asthma attacks were not mentioned in the study, Dr. Simon Bacon, who was not a part of the study, says people with asthma may need to use their inhaler before or during their exercise.

Source: Thorax, online June 10, 2015
Copyright: LLC 2015

page toppage toppage top

Good News! Chances Are Your Workouts Earn You More Food Than You Thought

A small study posted in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants struggled to estimate how many calories they burned in a workout and how much they could eat to replenish those calories burned. 50 adults and 49 children were asked to choose the size of chocolate and how much of a sports drink they believed their one-hour workout would allow them to consume. The majority of participants selected a piece of chocolate and sports drink that was half the size of what their workout would allow them to eat or drink. The study's findings show that not only do people not understand how many calories their workout will burn, they also don't understand the number of calories in food or beverages simply by looking at the product. Senior author Craig Williams pointed out that in many cases, participants underestimated the number of calories in the chocolate and sports drink because they believed it was the correct answer, but they also would eat more than what they had indicated in the study.

Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online July 1, 2015
Copyright: LLC 2015

page toppage toppage top

Articles 1-4 of 4 << first < previous next > last >