Thursday, September 10, 2009


Studies done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that the typical American diet does not provide a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals. Okay, that comment falls under the common sense category; however, even people who eat the right foods can suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Those same studies indicate that 92 % of American’s are deficient in one or more nutrients under the Recommended Daily Allowance(RDA). The levels set under the RDA are the minimum levels needed to prevent rickets and scurvy. They are far from what is needed for someone to feel even 50% healthy.
The vitamin deficiencies I’m talking about don’t cause acute diseases like scurvy and rickets but the chronic type of diseases. These are the types of diseases that sneak up on you over the years because you basically feel fine. These diseases include: blindness, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and more.
The best place to start in preventing these diseases is a high quality multivitamin. It’s very confusing since there are many choices out there. Some of the essential things you want the multivitamin to have are mixed carotenoids, which include lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as at least 400 mcg of folate and a mixed B vitamin-complex. You also want to look for a multivitamin that comes from whole food sources. This is a new concept in the industry which involves not separating the vitamins and minerals from their food source. In this way, the body can absorb nutrients the way it is meant to.
There are many good multivitamins on the market. I take “Nature’s Way Alive Whole Food Energizer.” This doesn’t have the mixed carotenoids. I get those through another supplement, “Nature’s Plus Ultra Source of Life Liquid with Lutein.” I order both of these through If you know any other good multivitamins please let me know so I can pass it on. So far, these are the ones I have used. They have worked well for me.


There are many preventive drugs for migraine headaches -- calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, anti-seizure medications, and antidepressants. These all work poorly, if at all, and are often accompanied by frequent side effects. Attempts at providing relief for migraine headaches has gone as far as injecting Botox into the neck muscles to ease the patient’s symptoms.

Recently, new medications have been developed that can stop a migraine after it has started. These are part of a new class of drugs called triptans. They include Imitrex, Maxalt, and Zomig. While these new drugs do work much better, they have potential side effects which include strokes. They are also incredibly expensive and very addictive.

The challenge with migraines is that they are treated by doctors more as a cause than a symptom. Migraines can be caused by a number of dysfunctions in our bodies which include: food allergy/bowel and gut imbalances, chemical triggers, hormonal imbalances, magnesium deficiency, mitochondrial imbalances, structural problems

Often patients have migraines following a recent car accident, but often it is not this clear cut. For instance, if you have a chronic migraine associated with tight, irritable, crampy symptoms, this may point toward a nutritional deficiency in magnesium. If your migraine is associated with your period, along with severe PMS, bloating, sugar cravings, breast tenderness, and irritability your migraine might be due to hormone imbalances such as an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone.

In other words, migraines are a huge problem but are also very preventable. The answer is taking the time to investigate, not simply applying a medication or short chiropractic adjustment that may only work to successfully mask the symptom.

How cholesterol really works

Cholesterol may not be the best way to measure one’s risk of heart disease. Studies on the use of statin drugs are showing that controlling inflammation is the mechanism by which the risk of heart disease is decreased. In fact, a study of a nonstatin drug called Zetia showed that drugs designed solely to reduce cholesterol without reducing inflammation actually increase ones risk of heart disease. (1) Zetia, in particular, while lowering cholesterol, actually increased the accumulation of fatty plaques in the arteries and increased the patient’s risk of a heart attack. Another new nonstatin drug, torcetrapib, was recently pulled from the market in 2006. Studies of this drug showed that, while raising HDL levels and lowering LDL in the 15,000 people, the cholesterol altering effect of the drug, in fact, caused more heart attacks and strokes.(2)
The best way to battle heart disease is not to focus on lowering cholesterol numbers but to focus on lowering inflammation with a proper diet and appropriate exercise. Statin drugs are still effective at lowering inflammation but should be used only as a last resort.

(1) Ridker PM, Cannon CP, Morrow D, Rifai N, Rose LM, McCabe CH, Pfeffer MA, Braunwald E; Pravastatin or Atorvastatin Evaluation and Infection Therapy-Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction 22 (PROVE IT-TIMI 22) Investigators. C-reactive protein levels and outcomes after statin therapy. N Engl J Med. 2005 Jan 6;352(1):20-8.
(2) Kastelein JJ, van Leuven SI, Burgess L, Evans GW, Kuivenhoven JA, Barter PJ, Revkin JH, Grobbee DE, Riley WA, Shear CL, Duggan WT, Bots ML; RADIANCE 1 Investigators.Effect of torcetrapib on carotid atherosclerosis in familial hypercholesterolemia. N Engl J Med. 2007 Apr 19;356(16):1620-30.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Immune System and Chiropractic

The link between the body’s central nervous system and the immune system is critical. Sympathetic activity in the nervous system releases immune regulatory cells into the blood circulation which alters immune function.(1) Numerous osteopathic and chiropractic studies support the link between spinal adjustments and the immune system. This blog entry will summarize a study that dealt with HIV patients.
In this study, conducted at the Sid Williams Research Center in 1994, a group of HIV positive patients received upper cervical (neck) spinal adjustments over a 6 month period. The study measured the number of CD4 cells (an important component of immune system function) before and after the 6 month period. The blood measurements were taken at the patient’s independent medical facility where they were receiving medical supervision for their condition. The results of the study showed a 7.96% decrease in CD4 cell levels in patients who were part of the control group (no actual spinal adjustments were made). Patients who had received actual spinal adjustments showed a 48% increase in CD4 levels.
(1) Korr IM: "Andrew Taylor Still memorial lecture: Research and Practice - a century later." J Am Osteopathy Assoc 1974 73:362.
(2) Selano JL, Hightower BC, Pfleger B, Feeley-Collins K, Grostic JD. "The Effects of Specific Upper Cervical Adjustments on the CD4 Counts of HIV Positive Patients.” The Chiro Research Journal; 3(1); 1994.