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January 2016 Health Newsletter


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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Change Your Diet: Why Low-Fat Diets Don't Contribute to Lifelong Weight Loss
» Why Fruit & Veggie Consumption in Young People is Important for Long-Term Health
» Ditch the Cola: How Your Favorite Sodas Can Lead to Heart Failure

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


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Change Your Diet: Why Low-Fat Diets Don't Contribute to Lifelong Weight Loss

A low-fat diet feels like a natural choice for losing weight, but completely eliminating certain nutrients over time may not be the answer. In fact, one study concluded that low-fat diets did not have a greater impact on weight loss than diets with higher fat contents. Of the 68,000 participants studied, low-carb diets revealed a similar average weight loss to low-fat diets, showing only a 2.5 pound increase in loss. Over time, nutrient-restricting diets like these tend to drop off after the first year, leading to little or no results. So what goes wrong?Any diet that requires the elimination of nutrients, like fat, needs to fill that void with a healthy substitute to help maintain long-term weight loss. Unfortunately, many low-fats diet programs fill that void with snacks stuffed with sodium and sugar. This can decrease the physical and mental endurance needed to sustain a successful low-fat diet over time. That's why it's important for any nutrient-restricting diet to include a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals. This can help provide the energy and mental focus needed to sustain a successful diet over the long-term.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, online October 29, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Why Fruit & Veggie Consumption in Young People is Important for Long-Term Health

Young people are notoriously picky about eating fruits and vegetables, but a diet packed with at least 4 servings of fruits and vegetables per day can preserve long-term cardiac health. While plenty of research on this subject has been done on the older adult population, little research was available for the 18 to 30 demographic until the CARDIA study at the Minneapolis Heart Institute. This study narrowed in on the problem of Coronary Artery Calcium, or CAC, in this age group since CAC analysis helps doctors determine if a patient is more at risk of heart failure. Starting in 1985, this program studied the fruit and vegetable intake of over 5,000 people in a 20-year period. At the conclusion of the study, participants were asked a series of questions about their dietary habits and went under CAC tomography scanning to determine the levels of artery calcium buildup. The study divided the participants into two groups; the first group had a high fruit and vegetable intake of 7 to 8 servings, and the second group had a lower intake of just 2 to 3 servings of fiber per day. Using data collected from interviews and CAC scans, researchers discovered that people with eating habits like those in the first group were less at risk of developing a CAC condition by 26%.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Circulation, online October 26, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Ditch the Cola: How Your Favorite Sodas Can Lead to Heart Failure

Sugary sodas may feel like the perfect thirst quencher, but prolonged soda consumption can actually have serious consequences in the long run. Over time, studies have shown increasing links between soda consumption and the risk for high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and even heart problems. In fact, one Swedish study observed the soda consumption of 42,000 men over the course of 12 years. There were roughly 3,600 new cases of heart failure during the 12-year long study, and it concluded that men who regularly drank two or more servings of soda per day had a 23% greater risk of experiencing heart failure in their lifetime.  Women are strongly advised to ditch the soda as well. Long-term soda consumption in women has been strongly linked to a rise in insulin problems, high blood pressure, obesity, and type-2 diabetes, all of which are triggers for major heart problems. Heart failure occurs when the heart does not have the strength to pump enough oxygen and blood. 23 million people across the globe already deal with heart failure, and it will only continue to worsen with the regular consumption of processed foods, sodium, and sugary beverages like soda.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Heart, online November 2, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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