Monday, December 29, 2008

Nutritional Deficiencies May Weaken Immune Response

Researchers at Cornell University reported that nutritional deficiencies may weaken immune response. They noted the importance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and probiotics to support immunity. (Calder PC, Kew S. "The immune system: a target for functional foods?" Br J Nutr. 88 Suppl 2:S165-77, 2002)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chiropractic Christmas Poem

Chiropractic Christmas Poem
Author Unknown
T'was the day before Christmas,
but there was no cheer.
No jingle bells jingled, no sound of reindeer.
The word had got out that Santa was sick.
There'd be no friendly visit from jolly St. Nick.
The people were sad; no gaiety sounded.
For Christmas had come,
but Santa was grounded.
He walked down the street,
and what should he see?
On a small sign was printed, Dr. Tang.
Now, Santa was not one to like a new tactic,
But all else had failed, so he'd try Chiropractic.
He entered the office and saw at a glance
In a place such as this illness hasn't a chance.
For all were smiling; the music was snappy,
With all the patients contented and happy.
In a very short time, to judge by the clock,
He was in the adjusting room, talking to Doc.
"It must be the hurry, the tension and all.
I simply can't seem to get on the ball.
Life used to be easy, just toys, guns and whistles.
Now I have to dodge fall-out,
space ships and missiles."

"And Doc, take a look at the size of this pack!
Have you any idea what it does to my back?"
Poor Santa was miserable; just barely able
With the help of the doctor, to get to the table.
The doctor was gentle. Without fuss or tussle
He examined the vertebrae
and relaxed the muscles.
He spotted the trouble, and then with a click,
Started aligning the ailing St. Nick.
And Santa felt aches and pains slipping away.
In no time at all he began to feel gay.
The air was a tingle with a new fallen snow.
And a healthy Kris Kringle was rarin' to go.
As he went out the door, he threw all a kiss.
Why, it has been centuries since
he'd felt as good as this!
Then once more he shouldered the bag full of toys.
His heart overflowing with true Christmas joys.
So, may we, your friends, echo this cheer?
Merry Christmas to you
and to all a good year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Depression Linked to Increase in Abdominal Fat

Dutch researchers made the connection after studying adults
ages 70 to 79

(HealthDay News) -- There may be a link between depression and
abdominal obesity in older people, according to researchers in
Holland who studied almost 2,100 adults in their seventies.

The participants were screened for depression at the start of
the study (four percent had depression) and their levels of
abdominal and overall body fat were recorded and then checked
again five years later.

After the researchers adjusted for socio-demographic and other
factors associated with weight change, they concluded that
depression was associated with an increase in abdominal fat and
visceral fat (fat between the internal organs).

"Such an association was not found for an increase in overall
obesity and also appeared to be independent of changes in
overall obesity, suggesting that depressive symptoms are rather
specifically associated with fat gain in the visceral region,"
wrote Nicole Vogelzangs, of VU University Medical Center in
Amsterdam, and colleagues.

There are a number of ways that depression may increase
abdominal fat, the researchers said. Chronic stress and
depression may activate certain brain areas, resulting in
increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which promotes
accumulation of visceral fat. Or it may be that people with
depression have unhealthy behaviors, such as a poor diet, that
interact with other physiological factors and boost levels of
abdominal fat, the study authors said.

"Our longitudinal results suggest that clinically relevant
depressive symptoms give rise to an increase in abdominal
obesity, in particular visceral fat, which seems to be stronger
than and independent of overall obesity," the researchers

"This could also help explain why depression is often followed
by diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Future research should
further disentangle these mechanisms because this will yield
important information for prevention or treatment of
depression-related health consequences."

The study was published in the December issue of Archives of
General Psychiatry.

About 10 percent to 15 percent of older adults have depression,
the researchers said.

Common Knee Injuries, Uncommon Sense

The growth of organized amateur sports over the past 30 years has spawned an unexpected and unwanted increase in sports-related injuries. Many young athletes suffer sports-related injuries that can turn into lifelong problems.
To learn why our knees are injured so frequently, it's important to know how the knee works. The knee joint is composed of four bones: the femur, the tibia, the fibula and the patella. Cartilage covers the joint and provides a smooth, lubricated gliding surface so the knee can move. The shape of the knee joint is stable, but to function properly, the ligaments have to be in good shape, too! Those ligaments include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL).
While the ACL works as the main stabilizer when the knee is bent, the PCL works as the main stabilizer when the knee is extended. The collateral ligaments are used when you move side to side. The medial and lateral menisci are located within the joint and act as "shock absorbers" and also influence knee stability. The most commonly injured parts of the knee are the ACL and the medial meniscus. Tears of the meniscus usually take place during twisting, pivoting, or decelerating movements, or as a result of direct impact.
A vast majority of people, young and old, excessively pronate. This means that when the foot hits the ground, it flattens out or unlocks, rolling inward and creating a twisting stress up the leg and into the knee. These twisting stresses do three things to the knees: stretch the ACL, stretch and twist the medial meniscus, and inhibit contraction of the quadriceps muscle.
Common sense tells us to prevent the excessive damaging motions by supporting the foundational structures (your feet) so they function within the functional range of motion. Many chiropractors now evaluate the quality of the arches of the feet. If the arches aren't supporting the legs and pelvis sufficiently, it can create stresses that lead to injury or joint wear and tear. It's just like the foundation of your house; if it settles too much, it creates stress in other parts of the structure.
Take a proactive step to avoiding injuries and preserving the health of your knees, hips and spine. After all, you know what they say about "an ounce of prevention." Ask your doctor for a thorough foot evaluation, particularly if you're experiencing knee pain or participate in activities that put you at risk for a knee injury.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Escape the Stress Web

Stress affects nearly everyone, but some people handle it better than others. And the simple truth is the people who are good at dealing with stress live healthier and happier lives compared to people who struggle with stress. The good news is if you are one of the many people who get caught up in life's sticky web of stress, you can get untangled and stay untangled. Keep these tips in mind the next time you're feeling the pressure:
Stay clear of the drama. As Rudyard Kipling writes in his poem "If," if you can "keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you," you'll be able to keep your cool under pressure and tackle your challenges much more effectively.
Lighten up! Many of the things you worry about won't occur, and worrying cannot help those problems that invariably do take place.
Say or do the opposite of what you are feeling. When someone or something pushes your hot buttons, you may feel justified to react with anger, but this negative reaction only brings more stress to the situation.
Override your pride. Think of a time in your life when you insisted that you were right and another person was wrong. Did this really bring you more happiness, or did it just create more stress for both of you?
Appreciate life's little detours. Each time you have to pick yourself up to get back on track, you learn important lessons and develop new skills that will help you in life.
Stress in many forms is common in society, and it's a problem because it can rob you of your health, happiness and potential for greater success. Talk to your doctor about ways to minimize stress and escape the stress web for good.

30 Minutes a Day May Keep Strokes Away

As little as half an hour a day of moderate exercise may reduce your risk of suffering a stroke, say researchers at the University of South Carolina's Prevention Research Center. Thats good news because stroke is the nation's third leading cause of death.
The research was presented recently at the International Stroke Conference in New Orleans. Researchers studied more than 61,000 adults at the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas. After taking an initial treadmill test to assess fitness, study participants periodically answered health surveys. The study divided subjects into four levels of fitness and then looked at how many of them suffered strokes, following them for an average of 18 years. Overall, there were 863 stroke events during the study: 692 in men and 171 in women.
The study found that the most fit men had a 40 percent lower risk of stroke than the least fit men, while the most fit women had a 43 percent reduction in their risk of stroke compared with women in the least fit group. For moderate levels of fitness, the risk reduction ranged from 15 percent to 30 percent for men and 23 percent to 57 percent in women. These risk reductions held true even when considering other known risk factors for stroke, such as smoking, weight, high blood pressure, diabetes and family history.
Many people think they don't have the time to exercise regularly, but all it takes is 30 minutes a day, five days a week - definitely worth it, considering the health and wellness benefits. Your doctor can help outline an exercise program appropriate to your fitness goals.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Reading Is Fundamental

We eat for a variety of reasons – because a particular food tastes good, as part of socializing, boredom, or just because the clock says, "Time to eat!" Occasionally, we even eat because we are actually hungry. Unfortunately, too many Americans consume foods (processed and packaged) that contain one or more of the following ingredients: enriched wheat, trans fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) and high-fructose corn syrup. These three ingredients are prevalent in our food supply – yet they are basically "empty calories," lacking any nutritional value. In addition to the health benefits of avoiding these three ingredients, you can also avoid many chemicals and additives by association.

Enriched wheat: The word enriched actually sounds pretty healthy. The whole wheat contains the bran, germ and endosperm. The refined wheat kernel has had the bran and germ removed. The majority of the nutrients are in the bran and the germ. These include many B vitamins, healthy fats, minerals, fiber and more than 99 phytonutrients known to prevent disease. What is left is the endosperm. The endosperm is ground into flour and bleached to produce the popular white flour. Most flour is then enriched with five ingredients: niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid.The enrichment of five synthetically produced nutrients from questionable sources, (thiamin mononitrate is derived from coal tar from China) does not make this enriched grain a source of superior nutrition.

Trans fats: Trans fats are clearly not superior nutrition. On the front of a food package, the manufacturer may state, "Zero trans fats." However, when you look at the list of ingredients, you may still see the words "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil," which is just another name for trans fat. This means even though the front of the package promises zero trans fats, the product actually contains trans fats! Because it is less than 0.5 g the government has allowed them to ROUND DOWN.

High-fructose corn syrup: Most people are consuming gallons of it in their sodas, fruit juices, cakes, cookies, breads and even health food products. HFCS entered our food supply in the early 1970s. This man-made sugar is exceptionally sweet, so manufacturers can use less. It is also very cheap, so manufacturers have higher profits. HFCS metabolizes differently than sugar and may be responsible for higher triglycerides. It also does not cause the release of the hormone leptin, which makes us feel full. Therefore, a person can eat a package of cookies and several sodas and not feel full, which, of course, can contribute to obesity.
So, what can you do? Avoid all products with these three ingredients. Choose more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, dairy, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains. Flavor them when necessary with natural sweeteners and fats that have not been created in a laboratory. Remember, if people have been eating it for hundreds of years, it is probably OK to eat, because humans are still here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Toxins in the news TODAY

I can't believe 3 consecutive news articles in USA Today 12/8/08 talks about toxins. More reasons to detox. News - Top Stories
» Health risks stack up for students near industrial plants
The growl of air-monitoring equipment has replaced the chatter of children at Meredith Hitchens Elementary School in this Cincinnati ...
Read article:   Standard  |  Mobile
» 'Weird' smell set off probe at Ohio school
The toxic chemicals that led to the closure of Meredith Hitchens Elementary School here became impossible to ignore in 2004, ...
Read article:   Standard  |  Mobile
» Toxics can affect kids, adults differently
Outside almost every school in the country, the model used by USA TODAY indicates the presence of at least one or two chemicals ...
Read article:   Standard  |  Mobile
» Militants: Camp tied to Mumbai attacks raided
Two militants say Pakistani troops have seized a camp used by the extremist group blamed in the Mumbai attacks.
Read article:   Standard  |  Mobile
» More than 2,000 gather at Pearl Harbor to mark 1941 attack
About 40 survivors of the 1941 Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday marked the anniversary of the assault that ...
Read article:   Standard  |  Mobile