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October 2019 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia
» National Chiropractic Health Month: Take Steps to Better Musculoskeletal Health
» Vegetarians May Live Longer
» “BPA-Free” Plastics Potentially Worse

Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter

What if a few servings of broccoli a week could help prevent, even fight off prostate cancer? New research indicates there may just be truth to this. A team of British researchers from the Institute of Food Research found dietary broccoli consumption of 400 grams per week activated genes that control inflammation and cancer formation in the prostate. According to researchers, when people get cancer some genes are switched off and some are switched on, and, what broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer development and switching off other genes that help it to spread. Thus, dietary broccoli consumption was able to affect the expression of cancer formation/inflammation/spreading genes in a positive manner. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men with approximately 680,000 men diagnosed worldwide.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: PLoS One. July 2, 2008.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2008


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"Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia

A form of 'mind-body' therapy that focuses on the role of emotions in physical pain may offer some relief to people with fibromyalgia, a small clinical trial suggests.

The study, of 45 women with fibromyalgia, found that those who learned a technique called "affective self-awareness" were more likely to show a significant reduction in their pain over six months. Overall, 46 percent of the women had a 30-percent or greater reduction in their pain severity, as measured by a standard pain-rating scale.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome marked by widespread pain -- including discomfort at specific "tender points" in the body -- along with symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel and sleep problems. It is estimated to affect up to 5 million U.S. adults, most commonly middle-aged women.

The precise cause of fibromyalgia is unknown -- there are no physical signs, such as inflammation and tissue damage in the painful area -- but some researchers believe the disorder involves problems in how the brain processes pain signals.

Standard treatments include painkillers, antidepressants, cognitive- behavioral therapy and exercise therapy. However, many people with fibromyalgia find that their symptoms -- pain, in particular -- persist despite treatment.

Part of that, according to the researchers on the new study, may be because standard treatments do not specifically address the role psychological stress and emotions can play in triggering people's pain.

That is not to say that the pain people with fibromyalgia feel is "all in their head," stressed Dr. Howard Schubiner, of St. John Health/ Providence Hospital and Medical Centers in Southfield, Michigan.

"The pain is very real," Schubiner said in an interview. But, he explained, pain and emotions are "connected in the brain," and emotional factors may act to trigger "learned nerve pathways" that give rise to pain.

Past studies have found that compared with people without fibromyalgia, those with the disorder have higher rates of stressful life events, such as childhood abuse, marital problems and high levels of job stress. There is also evidence that they are relatively less aware of their own emotions and more reluctant to express their feelings, particularly anger.

For the new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Schubiner and his colleagues tested the effects of affective self-awareness -- a technique Schubiner developed and uses in treating certain chronic-pain conditions -- on fibromyalgia.

They randomly assigned 45 women with the condition to either undergo the therapy or go on a wait-list for treatment, serving as a control group. Women in the treatment group each had a one-on-one consultation, then attended three group meetings to learn the affective self-awareness techniques so that they could carry them out on their own.

The therapy involves an educational component where patients learn about the emotion-pain connection. They learn specific techniques -- including mindfulness meditation and "expressive" writing -- for recognizing and dealing with the emotions that may be contributing to their pain. Patients are also encouraged to get back to any exercise or other activities that they have been avoiding due to pain.

Schubiner's team found that six months later, 46 percent of the treatment group had at least a 30-percent reduction in their pain ratings compared with scores at the outset. And 21 percent had a 50-percent or greater reduction.
None of the women in the control group had a comparable improvement.

The study is only the first clinical trial to test affective self-awareness for fibromyalgia, and it had a number of limitations, including its small size. In addition, the control group received no active therapy to serve as a comparison.

That is important because it is possible for patients to benefit from simply receiving attention from a healthcare provider, or being part of small-group sessions with other people suffering from the same condition, for example.

Schubiner also acknowledged that this general "model" for understanding and addressing fibromyalgia pain is controversial.

He said that he and his colleagues have applied for funding to conduct a larger clinical trial comparing affective self-awareness with standard cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Affective self-awareness and cognitive-behavioral therapy have similarities, according to Schubiner. Both, for example, try to show patients that they have the power to improve their own health.

A key difference, Schubiner said, is that affective self-awareness asks people to "directly engage" the emotions that may be helping to drive their symptoms.

Another difference is that, right now, only a small number of healthcare providers practice affective self-awareness, according to Schubiner.

Some components of the technique, such as teachings in mindfulness meditation, are more widely available. But whether those practices in isolation would help fibromyalgia patients' pain is not clear.

Author: Reuters
Source: Journal of General Internal Medicine, online June 8, 2010.
Copyright: Reuters 2010


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National Chiropractic Health Month: Take Steps to Better Musculoskeletal Health

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and chiropractors nationwide are encouraging the public to take simple steps toward better musculoskeletal (MSK) health during National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) this October. The MSK system is comprised of the spine as well as all the muscles, bones and joints of the body. Keeping this vital system strong is the focus of 2019’s "Strength. Stability. Success." campaign.

When the MSK system functions well, we feel stronger and healthier; however, when there's a problem we might experience pain and even disability. More than one in two adults report experiencing an MSK condition such as back pain, neck pain, joint pain, arthritis or osteoporosis. They are the most commonly reported medical conditions among those under age 65 and the second most common condition for people age 65 and older. Low back pain alone is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

"Chiropractors provide care that helps people improve musculoskeletal health and relieve conditions such as low back pain naturally, sometimes enabling them to avoid or reduce the need for riskier treatments such as prescription opioid pain medications and surgery," notes ACA President Robert C. Jones, DC.

This October, set yourself up for future stability and success by taking steps to improve the strength of your musculoskeletal system:

  1. Move more. Bones, muscles and joints need movement to stay healthy. The U.S. surgeon general recommends adults get at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate physical activity (such as walking, yardwork, recreational swimming) or at least 75 minutes of intense weekly activity (jogging, hiking uphill, basketball).
  2. Eat a balanced diet. Proper nutrition is just as important to musculoskeletal health as it is to overall health. Eat a balanced diet that includes whole fresh foods and try to avoid processed foods. Be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D for your bones and lean protein to build and maintain strong muscles.
  3. Go outside. The sun helps our bodies produce Vitamin D, which in turn helps us to absorb calcium and strengthen bones.
  4. Do weight-bearing exercises. Walking, jogging and resistance exercises such as weightlifting can improve bone density. Planks and squats can also strengthen core muscles. (Non-weight-bearing exercises such as swimming and biking can benefit the MSK system as well, especially for people unable to walk or jog while recovering from back, hip or knee pain.)
  5. Stay hydrated. Drinking water makes muscles stronger by carrying oxygen to the cells of the body. It also helps lubricate and cushion joints.
  6. Quit smoking. Smoking contributes not only to cardiovascular disease but also osteoporosis and bone fracture as we age.
  7. Get adequate rest. A good night's sleep enables your body to repair muscles and joints that are strained or injured during the day.
  8. Don’t drink too much alcohol. Drinking alcohol excessively can lead to osteoporosis and bone fracture.

We can also reduce the risk of pain and injury to our MSK system by improving our posture and movement techniques as well the ergonomics of our work and home environments. Learn more at www.acatoday.org/NCHM.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: Acatoday.org. September 10, 2019.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2019


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Vegetarians May Live Longer

A five year study of people's eating habits suggests that people who limit or eliminate meat from their diets are less likely to die over time. Researchers at Loma Linda University in California studied data from over 70,000 participants and found that people who eat mostly fruits and vegetables enjoyed a reduced risk of heart disease and other diet-related causes of death. In the test group, 8 percent of subjects described themselves as vegans who didn't eat any animal products, 29 percent were lacto-ovo-vegetarians who didn't eat fish or meat but did eat dairy and egg products, and 15 percent occasionally ate meat and fish. The researchers found that while seven out of 1000 individuals died in any given period of time, the death rate among vegetarians and occasional meat-eaters dropped to five or six individuals in the same time period. However, the researchers were reluctant to attribute the effect solely to the test subject's diet choices. They pointed out that the vegetarians also generally worked out more, were better educated, less likely to smoke and weighed less, all of which contributed to their decreased mortality rate. Still, they concluded that the data suggests that reducing or eliminating animal products from your diet could lead to healthier overall outcomes.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, online June 3, 2013.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2013


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“BPA-Free” Plastics Potentially Worse

If you’ve purchased plastic related drinking containers you’ve surely noticed many products touting their "BPA-free" status. BPA or bisphenol-A is a chemical used to harden plastic and has received much bad press over the recent years due to studies linking it to brain and behavior issues in children and infants, altered hormone levels, obesity and cancer, to name a few. Unfortunately, new research from Canada shows the replacement being used for BPA, BPS or bisphenol-S, has now also become a cause for concern. Researchers from the University of Calgary have now found BPS to cause changes in the brain development of zebra fish embryos at extremely low doses. Authors of the study state their findings are directly relevant to humans, especially for women in their second trimester of pregnancy.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Jan 12, 2015.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2015


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