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October 2020 Health Newsletter

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» Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia
» Get 'Active and Adaptive' During National Chiropractic Health Month
» Cardiovascular Health May Begin with Breakfast
» Women: Want to Avoid Heart Failure? Try Walking

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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Get 'Active and Adaptive' During National Chiropractic Health Month

During this October's National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM), the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and chiropractors nationwide are encouraging the public to get "active and adaptive" to maintain their musculoskeletal health and function in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Since March, many people have incorporated changes into their daily routines to reduce their potential exposure to the novel coronavirus: avoiding crowded public spaces, working from home, forgoing air travel for long car trips, ordering food and supplies online, and avoiding gyms and health clubs.  Because of this new normal, many are moving less and experiencing musculoskeletal pain.  Polls conducted by ACA confirm that chiropractors are seeing an increase in musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches since the beginning of the pandemic. When asked what they believe is contributing most to these conditions, ACA members cite lack of movement, stress and poor posture as key factors.  During NCHM, chiropractors are encouraging the public to choose healthy ways to adapt to the new normal by getting enough movement during the day, being aware of posture and ways to improve it, getting adequate rest, and managing stress naturally.  Learn more by visiting Hands Down Better and follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #ActiveAdaptive.  "Inactivity has been a growing problem worldwide, even before the pandemic.  While the coronavirus may limit our options, finding ways to incorporate more physical activity, as well as improved posture, throughout the day can benefit our health now and into the future," said ACA President Robert C. Jones, DC.  National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) is a nationwide observance held each October.  NCHM educates the public about the importance of musculoskeletal health and raises awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care and its natural, patient-centered and drug-free approach to pain management, health and wellness.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: Acatoday.org, September 9, 2020.


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Cardiovascular Health May Begin with Breakfast

There are several ways to lower the risks of heart attack, cardiovascular disease, blood vessel diseases, and stroke. Although it is important to watch the kind of food that goes into the body, many studies have shown that it may be equally as important to pay attention to the timing of meals. Here are three ways to boost cardiovascular health:
1. Meal Planning. According to a statement released by the American Heart Association, planning the meals and snacks that you have throughout the day can help lower the risks of cardiovascular disease. This is due to the metabolic rates of the body throughout the day.
2. Eating Breakfast Daily. Several studies have found correlations between increased cardiovascular health and people who consume breakfast regularly. There is a much lower risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure associated with those who consume breakfast daily.
3. Lowering Food Consumption in the Evening. At night it is harder for the body to digest and process various foods. Many studies have shown that this may be due to a decreased metabolic rate in the evening. For this reason, lowering the amount of food eaten in the evening can lead to better cardiovascular health.
Using these methods to carefully plan meals and snacks for each day can help reduce the many risk factors surrounding cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and insulin complications such as insulin resistance.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Circulation, online January 30, 2017.


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Women: Want to Avoid Heart Failure? Try Walking

New research suggests that women who exercise regularly, including walking, may lower their risk for heart failure. The study from researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York looked at over 137,000 women aged 50-79, of which over one-third had high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors such as smoking and diabetes. After a follow-up period of 14 years, researchers found that the women who got some form of physical activity were less likely to suffer from heart failure (11%). Women with the highest levels of physical activity, meanwhile, were the least likely to suffer from heart failure (35%), as compared to women who got no exercise at all. In addition, women who got the most physical activity were the least likely to develop a sub-type of heart failure called reduced ejection fraction (32%) as compared to women who never exercised. 33% of the same group of women were also the least likely to develop another sub-type of heart failure called a preserved ejection fraction. One of the biggest findings from the study, however, is that walking works just as well as other forms of exercise, including more vigorous types. To discover how much exercise the women got, researchers studied answers to a questionnaire about exercise that every participant completed. As it turns out, walking was the most common type of physical activity reported.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JACC: Heart Failure, online September 5, 2018.


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