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Health-E-News. August 2010
empowering you to optimal health

As part of the experiment, investigators focused on two blood chemical indicators (lipid peroxidation and catalase activity). Lipid peroxidation is the process of free radicals oxidizing lipids, leading to cellular damage. Catalase is an enzyme that neutralizes the cell-damaging free radical hydrogen peroxide.

The study included 22 men with neck pain. The study participants received 6 sessions of Chiropractic adjustments 3 times a week for 2 weeks. According to the study, "blood samples were drawn from the cubital vein before treatment in the first session and after the third and sixth sessions. Neck pain improvement was assessed using a visual analog scale and the Neck Disability Index questionnaire.

"Results showed no change in lipid peroxidation. Nevertheless, the catalase activity was increased by the Chiropractic adjustments. The same treatment reduced pain perception and disability in these subjects."

"The results support the beneficial role of Chiropractic adjustments in the treatment of patients with neck pain," conclude the study's authors.

JMPT – May 2010;33:300-307.


Chiropractic Adjustments Cause Less Neck Strain Than Normal Motion

Preliminary research conducted at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada suggests that chiropractic adjustments place far less strain on the vertebral artery than critics of chiropractic have speculated.

The researchers used a specialized ultrasound technique to measure strains in the human vertebral artery (VA) within the cervical transverse foramina of a cadaver. Measurements were taken during cervical spine range of motion testing, vertebrobasilar insufficiency testing and chiropractic adjustments.

Strain to the VA was lower during the adjustment than during passive range of motion rotation testing. These results were consisted for 2 chiropractors each repeating the adjustments and testing 3 times.

The study's authors explain that "elongation and shortening of adjacent VA segments were observed simultaneously and could not be explained with a simple model of neck movement. We hypothesized that they were caused by variations in the location and stiffness of the VA fascial attachments to the vertebral foramina and by coupled movements of the cervical vertebrae."

"Although general conclusions should not be drawn from these preliminary results, the findings of this study suggest that textbook mechanics of the VA may not hold, that VA strains may not be predictable from neck movements alone, and that fascial connections within the transverse foramina and coupled vertebra movements may play a crucial role in VA mechanics during neck manipulation," explain the researchers. "Furthermore, the engineering strains during cervical spinal manipulations were lower than those obtained during range of motion testing, suggesting that neck manipulations impart stretches on the VA that are well within the normal physiologic range of neck motion"

JMPT – May 2010;33:273-78.


Low Vitamin D Ups Risk of Flu

Vitamin D may help reduce the incidence and severity of viral respiratory tract infections including influenza, according to a new study conducted by investigators at Greenwich Hospital and Yale University School of Medicine.

The study followed 198 healthy adults during the fall and winter of 2009-2010.

In the double-blinded study, participants had blood samples drawn monthly using a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test to accurately measure vitamin D levels. Participants did not know that vitamin D was being measured, and the investigators did not know the levels until the end of the study. All participants were asked to report any evidence of an acute respiratory tract infection (nasal congestion, sore throat, and/or cough with or without fever, chills, fatigue and general malaise).

Of the 18 participants who maintained vitamin D levels of 38 ng/ml or higher during the study period, only three (16.6 %) developed viral infections. Of the 180 other participants, 81 (45 %) developed viral infections. Those with the higher vitamin D levels also experienced a marked reduction in the number of days ill.

PloS One – June 14, 2010;Epub.


B Vitamins May Stave Off Depression

An increased intake of the vitamins B6 and B12 may ward off depression, say scientists.

Researchers tracked 3,503 older adults for up to 12 years. The subjects were free of depression at the study onset. Over the course of the trial 11% to 14% of subjects developed depression. Every 10-microgram (mg) increase in daily B6 and B12 vitamins from food or supplements was associated with a 2% lower risk of depression. On the other hand, no link was evident between folate intake and the risk of depression. These findings held after adjustment for age, sex, race, education, income, and antidepressant medication use.

"Our results support the hypotheses that high total intakes of vitamins B-6 and B-12 are protective of depressive symptoms over time in community-residing older adults," write the study's authors.

AJCN – June 2, 2010;Epub.


Normal Daily Activity Seems To Be The Best Way For Patients With Low-Back Pain To Get Better

Doctors of chiropractic have long encouraged patients with low-back pain to avoid bed rest whenever possible. Now, a Cochrane review study upholds this recommendation.

"Normal daily activity seems to be the best way for patients with low-back pain to get better," says lead author Kristin Thuve Dahm.

The comparison between bed rest and normal activity for low-back pain without sciatica used data from three studies that included 481 patients. All three found improvements in pain intensity with both treatments, with no significant differences between them.

In comparing treatments for sciatica, the reviewers analyzed data from two studies of 348 patients. No difference existed in pain or disability.

"The available evidence neither supports nor refutes that advice to stay active is better than resting in bed for people with sciatica," Dahm notes. "However, considering that bed rest is associated with potential harmful side effects, we think it is reasonable to advise people with sciatica to stay active."

Researcher Joel Press, MD adds that "we're almost always better moving than not moving. Structures in your back get their nutrition from movement; they have no real vascular system and are supplied with blood by motion, soaking it up like little sponges."

Pooled data of three studies including 931 low-back pain patients found little or no difference in pain or ability to function between patients on bed rest and those prescribed exercises.

Similarly, results of a single trial with 186 patients suggested that "exercises add no clinically relevant benefit for patients with acute low-back pain when compared to advice to stay active," the authors wrote.

They came to the same conclusion about physiotherapy compared to either bed rest or activity for sciatica, from a single study involving 167 patients.

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews – June 14, 2010:6.



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