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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Tag Archives: supplementation

Flu Prevention

Did you know, in this region, the norovirus has ran rampant at several schools and recently caused the closing of a local high school?  The controversy around flu vaccines will always be prevalent however in an article in our local paper, a physician said “truth be told”, the flu shot rarely prevents the flu.  However, there are some herbs and foods that can help combat the risk of catching the flu.  For instance glycyrrhiza lepidota (licorice plant), helps the body stimulate anti-virus compounds and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can raise blood pressure, so if you take BP meds, consult your doc. Red Korean ginseng helps reduce the symptoms and duration of upper respiratory infections however it too can increase blood pressure. Cranberries and elderberries are directly toxic to the influenza virus and can be used without contraindication. Echinacea  tea is often used to fight flu symptoms, as it can enhance the immune system with its anti-viral properties.  If you are allergic to ragweed you may want to avoid this. Just a couple things you can do to fight back during the cold and flu season and don’t forget the usual Vitamins C, D and zinc!!

Fish Oil is good for you….again!!

I’ve talked about the benefits of fish oils countless times but now a new study shows another possible benefit.  Did you know a study showed that women taking fish oil during the last three months of pregnancy had children who were less likely to develop chronic wheezing problems, such as asthma by age 5, compared to placebo.  Though the researchers do not know the reason, they suggest that there is a reduction in the inflammation which can reduce airways passages. There were also fewer cases of bronchitis, pneumonia, and other infection with those in the fish oil group.  Though more studies should be performed to verify these findings, this study goes along with many other studies that tout the benefits of the Omega-3 fatty acids!!

Stress & Acupuncture

Christmas always brings out the best or worst in people depending on if Santa has you on the naughty or nice list.  Of course trying to be nice all year can be difficult and stressful.  Did you know that acupuncture is great for stress?  There are specific acupuncture points for patients that can help reduce the feeling of anxiety and stress associated with the holidays or those incidents in life that affect us. Also certain supplements are good at helping reduce stress symptoms such as B-complex, Valerian root, melatonin, magnesium and lemon balm among the many that are effective. Finally, laughing and smiling also seem to be good stress relievers.  Don’t you just love the joyful sounds of children laughing during any occasion? Hopefully, your holiday season will be filled with love, laughter, fun, thankfulness and significantly less stress!

Probiotics…are they right for you?

Many people with digestive issues use probiotics for gut health.  Probiotics are generally safe to use and effective for some but they are not always effective for others.  Research is very skewed in this area because there really isn’t much quality research on this topic.  Using probiotics is kind of a buyer-beware situation because they have various effects from person to person.  One legitimate study showed that those kids who drank a probiotic milk had fewer colds and flu like infections compared to the control group however there was no major effect on gastrointestinal infections or diarrhea. The quick bottom line is that, if you try them and they work for you, keep using them as they are safe.  However, if you have never tried probiotics and have the money to spend, it would be worth a shot….as they are safe to use and may work wonders for you!!

Zinc and Cold Protection

Wow!! Goodbye summer, hello fall…!  Obviously the colder weather will soon be upon us and along with that is the increased risk of catching a cold.  A recent review of some nutritional studies has connected zinc with reducing the severity of colds.  In fact, zinc lozenges containing 75 mg or more of zinc acetate, has been associated with reducing the number of days experiencing cold symptoms from 7 to 4.  It also was shown to prove effective regardless of cold severity.  One thing to know, is to find zinc lozenges without citric acid because citric acid can reduce the ability to absorb zinc.  I personally take 30 milligrams of zinc daily, year round and can honestly say it helps protects me from catching a cold.  Also remember my blog on consuming more spinach which also is considered a super-nutrient food that would be great for the cold and flu season also.

Nutrition, Pain and Anxiety

Many of my patients have issues related to anxiety or depression due to pain or from relative nutritional deficiencies.  Neurotransmitters, (serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine and nor-epinephrine) are almost always a problem with these disorders, as well as fibromyalgia, migraine headaches and a host of other chronic disease states.  Amino acids in specific dosages and blends can improve the nutritional state of these individuals and improve their health and function because they are the building blocks for the neurotransmitters.  Medications can deplete they very neurotransmitters that are needed for the health of the person using them.  Do not try to balance neurotransmitter issues on your own because using one amino acid by itself will deplete a different amino acid, thus creating a worse nutritional state and prolonging the disease state. I have helped many patients with their nutritional issues, and utilizing amino acids properly, works wonders for so many patients!

Supplements and Injury

Just read an article that states about 5% of all pharmaceutical ER visits are due to dietary supplements.  This accounts for about 23,000 visits yearly.  This also means 95% of those ER visits (roughly 440,000) are from prescription meds.  Supplements are unregulated by the FDA however the manufacturers cannot make unsubstantiated claims not backed by scientific study.  Many however do.  I utilize supplements in my practice for a variety of reasons however all are used for therapeutic value and based upon studies that show efficacy.  When taking supplements, one should research the ingredients and decide what particular need is being addressed, what the supplement is used for, what its effects are and are those effects going to impact your particular problem. Also know that some supplements can interfere with meds and vice versa. Stay informed!

Chiropractic and Health and Vitamins

I read an article in our local paper on multivitamins which said that the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force released a report that concluded there was no correlation between taking vitamins and better health. In fact, the USPSTF did put out a statement late last year stating, ” based upon lack of evidence, the Task Force determined that it cannot recommend FOR or AGAINST taking vitamins, and minerals, alone, in pairs or in multivitamins in order to prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer.” So it was very misleading story, not about a general health statement but a statement on two specific health diseases. We often have to dig a little deeper to find the real story. The statement went on to say that patients should talk to their physician about using these supplements. If you do talk to your doctor, make sure they have experience using them with patients. Many Chiropractors utilize supplements with their patients!

Restless Leg Syndrome and Kids

Kids often get something we call restless leg syndrome (RLS).  It is basically an issue with the legs constantly moving, or feeling terribly uncomfortable, especially during rest and sleeping. It also happens with adults and can interfere greatly with sleep. A very small study showed that increasing the iron (ferritin) levels in the blood using iron supplements could effectively controlled the problem within about 4 months. We have also used acupuncture along with combination of calcium, magnesium, Valerian root and passion flower for adults which is also quite effective.