December 2020 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» B Vitamins Good For Memory
» Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Could Help Your Low Back Pain
» Why Fruit & Veggie Consumption in Young People is Important for Long-Term Health
» Studies Prove Daily Consumption of Nuts Reduces Inflammation

B Vitamins Good For Memory

While not necessarily giving your average Joe a photographic memory, results from a new Australian study indicate taking folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements over the course of several years may enhance the memory in a number of aging adults. The study examined more than 700 individuals aged 60 to 74 years who showed mild signs of depression. Participants were provided with pills containing either 400 micrograms of folic acid and 100 micrograms of vitamin B12, or a placebo pill containing no B vitamins or active ingredients. Participants were never informed which pills they were receiving. After one year no differences were detected between the two groups in various mental test scores. However, after two years those taking the pills containing the B vitamins began showing larger improvements in their memory test scores. Although more research is needed, this study seems to suggest there may be some cognitive related benefits for certain individuals who take B vitamin supplements longer term.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online December 14, 2011.


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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Could Help Your Low Back Pain

If you struggle with back pain, you may be surprised to learn that there’s a very popular, nonintrusive practice that could help you realize real relief. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs have grown in popularity lately, but they’ve been in use all over the world for decades. As a mind-based approach to the problem, MBSR can also be used as a complement to other physical methodologies for improving back pain.

What Is MBSR?

MBSR is a mental practice whereby people discipline themselves to only focus on the present moment, not the past or future. It’s an offshoot of mindfulness meditation that shares certain tenets with cognitive behavioral therapy. Practitioners use meditation to practice “staying present” and then incorporate this ability into their everyday lives. This form of treatment usually involves some version of yoga, as well.

Does MBSR Work?

Dennis Anheyer of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany and a team of researchers looked at seven previously published studies on MBSR. In total, these studies involved 864 patients. They concluded that participants enjoyed small improvements after MBSR treatments for short periods of time. Some studies even resulted in patients experiencing meaningful improvements to their mobility, though they didn’t necessarily last for the long term. When MBSR was paired with yoga, the results for those with disabilities and other physical limitations were even better than when MBSR was used on its own. Dr. Judith A. Turner from the University of Washington in Seattle has also studied MBSR’s benefits. She points out that, compared to other low back pain treatments (e.g. opioid medication and surgery), MBSR involves minimal risks. It can also teach patients new ways to approach their chronic pain that can help lower its perceived severity. While more research into MBSR may be necessary, there’s certainly no reason not to try it. Countless other people have over the past several decades and, as Dr. Anheyer mentioned, it’s certainly safe. He did add, though, that if you meditate or exercise, you should do so regularly.

Spinal Manipulation Helps Relieve Back Pain

Another way you can definitely experience pain relief in your low back – or any area surrounding your spinal column – is to visit your local chiropractor. Spinal manipulation is proven to work, so, after just a single adjustment from a chiropractor, many experience reduced pain and improved mobility, in many cases even after struggling with chronic pain for years.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Annals of Internal Medicine, online April 25, 2017.


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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.


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Studies Prove Daily Consumption of Nuts Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is a major contributing factor in many diseases, from heart disease and diabetes to chronic body pain and migraines. Reducing the inflammatory process is an important key in achieving optimal health. But how can a person go about doing this? In a 2016 analysis by the American Society for Nutrition, nuts were shown to be an important component in the inflammation-lowering process. An earlier study (2014) proved that nuts specifically reduced the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and death, but researchers weren’t exactly sure why. The 2016 study evaluated the correlation between nuts and inflammatory biomarkers. Researchers found that substituting meat, processed foods and dairy products with nuts 3 or more times per week significantly reduced the levels of inflammatory biomarkers. In fact, C-reactive proteins were reduced by 20 percent when participate ate nuts 5 days a week. Another inflammatory marker, interleuin-6, was reduced by over 15 percent. What are some ways people can start adding healthy nuts to their diet? They can add 1 ounce of nuts to their daily diet in the following ways. 

  1. Eat them plain as a snack. They will boost energy and provide a great source of protein.
  2. Add nuts to salads. They offer a delicious crunchy texture and are a tasty compliment to vegetables.
  3. Top yogurt with nuts and fruit. This healthy parfait can be eaten as breakfast, a snack, or even as dessert.
  4. Add a variety of nuts to granola or trail mix. 

Inflammation is a major area of concern for chiropractors. A reduction can result in more effective chiropractic adjustments and overall improvements in health and pain levels for their patients.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Am J Clin Nutr ajcn134205, July 27, 2016.


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