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» Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia
» Latest Research Shows Chiropractic Decreases Need for Opioids for Lower Back Pain Up to 90%
» Skipping Breakfast May Lead to Essential Nutrient Shortfall
» Preventing Cognitive Decline with Mental Stimulation

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.


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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.


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Latest Research Shows Chiropractic Decreases Need for Opioids for Lower Back Pain Up to 90%

A recently published five-year study published evaluated claims from patient visits, pharmacy claims, and inpatient and outpatient procedures. The study followed well over 200,00 patients across the USA, some of them seeing medical doctors while others sought natural alternative care, including doctors of chiropractic.

The end result? Those who initially sought chiropractic care for low back pain (LBP) needed up to 90% less opioid prescriptions.

The study explained that patients who received initial treatment from chiropractors decreased odds of short-term and long-term opioid use compared with those who received initial treatment from a primary care physician (PCP). Compared with PCP visits, initial chiropractic care was also associated with decreased odds of long-term opioid use, too.

Prescription opioid use has ballooned into an epidemic since the 1990s, according to the CDC. Overdose deaths have been on the rise since at least 1999 with spikes in 2010 and 2013. Over 191 million opioid prescriptions were dispensed to American patients in 2017. The CDC said on their website, "To reverse this epidemic, we need to improve the way we treat pain."

Chiropractic services can vary from clinic to clinic, but the common denominator is to effectively treat each patient without the use of drugs or having to resort to surgery. Core chiropractic care reduces pain and inflammation while helping you recover range of motion and increase flexibility.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: BMJ Open 2020;10:e028633corr1


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Skipping Breakfast May Lead to Essential Nutrient Shortfall

It is commonly held that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but until recently the prevailing argument was simply that breakfast eaters started the day with sounder cognitive function and set themselves up for overall better performance and achievement as the day progressed.

However, a recent study out of Kings College London in the UK suggests that children who skip breakfast on a regular basis are likely missing out on all recommended essential nutrients throughout the day.

In general studies conducted over many years, skipping breakfast has been proven to increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, reduced memory function, and weight gain. However, only recently have studies of nutrition shown the effects of missing out on micronutrients such as vitamins C, D, E, B-complex and K, folic acid and beta-carotene, and the correlation of obtaining these nutrients beginning with a meal at breakfast.

Iron and Calcium Deficiencies May Be Linked to Skipping Breakfast
Detailed statistics of participants in the Kings College study show that more than 30% of children who skip breakfast are low on iron, and more than 20% of the children are deficient in calcium. Comparatively, only 3% of children who eat breakfast regularly were low in iron and or calcium. Not surprisingly, fat intake throughout the day was higher when children did not eat breakfast.

Researchers determined that older children, those aged 11 to 18 years, were more likely than their younger peers (ages 4 -10 years) to skip breakfast. And girls were more likely than boys to begin their day without a meal. But the missing micronutrients in the younger breakfast skippers was greater than in the older group, indicating that the younger you are, the more important it is to eat breakfast so that your body can derive and process nutrition throughout the day.

Even children in the study who ate a nutritionally balanced diet despite not eating breakfast were still found, when tested, to be lacking in essential nutrients, further indicating that breakfast may be key to establishing efficient and balanced dietary intake. The study also indicated that children who did not eat breakfast ended up consuming the same number or fewer total calories as children who ate breakfast every day.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: British Journal of Nutrition, online August 17, 2017.


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Preventing Cognitive Decline with Mental Stimulation

With the increasing global concern surrounding dementia and related cognitive problems in the elderly, being able to successfully prevent these issues is of great importance. JAMA Neurology conducted a study to research the effects of various forms of mental stimulation on cognitive delays in elderly participants. The study found several forms of mental stimulation that can reduce the risks of cognitive problems in the elderly. For instance, playing games and participating in regular social events was found to decrease the risk of cognitive delay by more than 20%. While participating in crafting activities can lower the risk by 28%, and learning to use a computer can reduce the risk as much as 30%. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by choosing to eat healthy and exercise regularly has also been proven in many studies to reduce cognitive delay. Combining this with regular mental stimulation is a great way to help reduce the risks even further. According to Dr. Denise Park of the University of Texas, participating in new activities or tasks may be more effective than the repetition of familiar activities in preventing cognitive problems. Overall, it is important for older adults to participate in mentally stimulating activities and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise. This may prove to be their best defense against cognitive decline.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Neurology, online January 30, 2017.


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