Newsletter Archives > ChiroPlanet.com Monthly Health Newsletter: July 2010 Health Newsletter

July 2010 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» Artifical Sweetners what you need to know!
» October is National Chiropractic Health Month, but ACA Asks: Why Weight?
» Glucosamine Doesn’t Appear To Lessen Low Back Pain
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia

Artifical Sweetners what you need to know!

  Aspartame producer Ajinomoto is launching a new initiative that will rebrand the sweetener as “AminoSweet”. Aspartame is used in many foods and beverages marketed as low calorie or sugar-free. However, its reputation has been clouded somewhat by studies that have investigated reports of ill effects. Just to remind you, the side effects of aspartame can include:

  • Headache
  • Change in vision
  • Convulsions and seizures
  • Hallucination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Joint pain
It can cause many, many other problems as well. Aspartame is the most controversial food additive in history, and its approval for use in food was the most contested in FDA history. In the end, the artificial sweetener was approved, not on scientific grounds, but rather because of strong political and financial pressure. After all, aspartame was previously listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent! It’s hard to believe such a chemical would be allowed into the food supply, but it was, and it has been wreaking silent havoc with people’s health for the past 30 years. The truth is, it should never have been released onto the market, and allowing it to remain in the food chain is seriously hurting people – no matter how many times you rebrand it under fancy new names. The Deceptive Marketing of Aspartame Sold commercially under names like NutraSweet, Canderel, and now AminoSweet, aspartame can be found in more than 6,000 foods, including soft drinks, chewing gum, table-top sweeteners, diet and diabetic foods, breakfast cereals, jams, sweets, vitamins, prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Aspartame producer Ajinomoto chose to rebrand it under the name AminoSweet, to “remind the industry that aspartame tastes just like sugar, and that it’s made from amino acids – the building blocks of protein that are abundant in our diet.” This is deception at its finest: Begin with a shred of truth, and then spin it to fit your own agenda. In this case, the agenda is to make you believe that aspartame is somehow a harmless, natural sweetener made with two amino acids that are essential for health and present in your diet already. They want you to believe aspartame delivers all the benefits of sugar and none of its drawbacks. But nothing could be further from the truth. How Aspartame Wreaks Havoc on Your Health Did you know there have been more reports to the FDA for aspartame reactions than for all other food additives combined? In fact, there are over 10,000 official complaints, but by the FDA’s own admission, less than 1 percent of those who experience a reaction to a product ever report it. So in all likelihood, the toxic effects of aspartame may have affected roughly a million people already. While a variety of symptoms have been reported, almost two-thirds of them fall into the neurological and behavioral category consisting mostly of headaches, mood alterations, and hallucinations. The remaining third is mostly gastrointestinal symptoms. This video will familiarize you with some of the terrifying side-effects and health problems you could encounter if you consume products containing this chemical. Unfortunately, aspartame toxicity is not well-known by doctors, despite its frequency. Diagnosis is also hampered by the fact that it mimics several other common health conditions, such as:

Multiple sclerosis

Parkinson's disease

Alzheimer's disease

Fibromyalgia

Arthritis

Multiple chemical sensitivity

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Attention deficit disorder

Panic disorder

Depression and other psychological disorders

Lupus

Diabetes and diabetic complications

Birth defects

Lymphoma

Lyme disease

Hypothyroidism

How Diet Foods and Drinks CAUSE Weight Problems

In recent years, food manufacturers have increasingly focused on developing low-calorie foods and drinks to help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity. Unfortunately, the science behind these products is so flawed, most of these products can actually lead to increased weight gain!

For example, researchers have discovered that drinking diet soda increases your risk of metabolic syndrome, and may double your risk of obesity – the complete opposite of the stated intention behind these “zero calorie” drinks.

The sad truth is that diet foods and drinks ruin your body's ability to count calories, and in fact stimulate your appetite, thus boosting your inclination to overindulge.

Unfortunately, most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States recommend these toxic artificial sweeteners as an acceptable alternative to sugar, which is at best confusing and at worst harming the health of those who take their misguided advice.

Even More Toxic Dangers of Aspartame

Truly, there is enough evidence showing the dangers of consuming artificial sweeteners to fill an entire book -- which is exactly why I wrote Sweet Deception. If you or your loved ones drink diet beverages or eat diet foods, this book will explain how you've been deceived about the truth behind artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose -- for greed, for profits, and at the expense of your health.

As mentioned earlier, almost two-thirds of all documented side effects of aspartame consumption are neurological.

One of the reasons for this side effect, researchers have discovered, is because the phenylalanine in aspartame dissociates from the ester bond. While these amino acids are indeed completely natural and safe, they were never designed to be ingested as isolated amino acids in massive quantities, which in and of itself will cause complications.

Additionally this will also increase dopamine levels in your brain. This can lead to symptoms of depression because it distorts your serotonin/dopamine balance. It can also lead to migraine headaches and brain tumors through a similar mechanism.

The aspartic acid in aspartame is a well-documented excitotoxin. Excitotoxins are usually amino acids, such as glutamate and aspartate. These special amino acids cause particular brain cells to become excessively excited, to the point that they die.

Excitotoxins can also cause a loss of brain synapses and connecting fibers. A review conducted in 2008 by scientists from the University of Pretoria and the University of Limpopo found that consuming a lot of aspartame may inhibit the ability of enzymes in your brain to function normally, and may lead to neurodegeneration.

According to the researchers, consuming a lot of aspartame can disturb:

·The metabolism of amino acids

·Protein structure and metabolism

·The integrity of nucleic acids

·Neuronal function

·Endocrine balances

Furthermore, the ester bond in aspartame breaks down to formaldehyde and methanol, which are also toxic in their own right. So it is not surprising that this popular artificial sweetener has also been found to cause cancer.

One truly compelling case study that shows this all too well was done by a private citizen named Victoria Inness-Brown. She decided to perform her own aspartame experiment on 108 rats over a period of 2 years and 8 months.

Daily, she fed some of the rats the equivalent (for their body weight) of two-thirds the aspartame contained in 8-oz of diet soda. Thirty-seven percent of the females fed aspartame developed tumors, some of massive size.

How to Ditch Artificial Sweeteners, and Satiate Your Sweet Tooth

If you suffer from sweet cravings, it’s easy to convince yourself you’re doing the right thing by opting for a zero-calorie sweetener like aspartame. Please understand that you will do more harm than good to your body this way.

First, it’s important to realize that your body craves sweets when you’re not giving it the proper fuel it needs.

Finding out your nutritional type will tell you exactly which foods you need to eat to feel full and satisfied. It may sound hard to believe right now, but once you start eating right for your nutritional type, your sweet cravings will significantly lessen and may even disappear.

Meanwhile, be sure you address the emotional component to your food cravings using a tool such as the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT). More than any traditional or alternative method I have used or researched, MTT works to overcome food cravings and helps you reach dietary success.

And, if diet soda is the culprit for you, be sure to check out Turbo Tapping, which is an extremely effective and simple tool to get rid of your soda addiction in a short period of time.

Non-Acceptable Alternative Sweeteners

I have written a few articles on fructose earlier this year, and I will be writing many more, so please be aware that I am absolutely convinced that fructose ingestion is at the core of our obesity epidemic.

And I’m not only talking about high fructose corn syrup, which is virtually identical to table sugar. The only major difference between the two is HFCS is much cheaper so it has contributed to massive increase in fructose ingestion, far beyond safe or healthy.

 

 

 

Please understand you need to keep your fructose levels BELOW 25 grams per day. The best way to do that is to avoid these “natural” sweeteners as they are loaded with a much higher percentage of fructose than HFCS.

·Fruit Juice

·Agave

·Honey

Please note that avoiding these beyond 25 grams per day is crucial, even if the source is fresh, raw, and organic. It just doesn’t matter, fructose is fructose is fructose…

Acceptable Alternative Sweeteners

For those times when you just want a taste of something sweet, your healthiest alternative is Stevia. It’s a natural plant and, unlike aspartame and other artificial sweeteners that have been cited for dangerous toxicities, it is a safe, natural alternative that's ideal if you’re watching your weight, or if you’re maintaining your health by avoiding sugar.

It is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and truly has virtually no calories.

I must tell you that I am biased; I prefer Stevia as my sweetener of choice, and I frequently use it. However, like most choices, especially sweeteners, I recommend using Stevia in moderation, just like sugar. In excess it is still far less likely to cause metabolic problems than sugar or any of the artificial sweeteners.

I want to emphasize, that if you have insulin issues, I suggest that you avoid sweeteners altogether, including Stevia, as they all can decrease your sensitivity to insulin.

Lo han is another sweetener like Stevia. It’s an African sweet herb that can also be used, but it’s a bit more expensive and harder to find.

So if you struggle with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight, then you have insulin sensitivity issues and would benefit from avoiding ALL sweeteners.

But for everyone else, if you are going to sweeten your foods and beverages anyway, I strongly encourage you to consider using regular Stevia or Lo han, and toss out all artificial sweeteners and any products that contain them.

If you have experienced an adverse reaction to any aspartame product, call the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your area.

Author: Dr. Mercola
Source: Dr. Mercola.com
Copyright: Dr. Mercola 2010


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October is National Chiropractic Health Month, but ACA Asks: Why Weight?

National Chiropractic Health Month, sponsored by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), is a nationwide observance held each October. This year's theme—"Why Weight? Get Healthy!"—and activities will focus on how doctors of chiropractic can play an important role in preventing and treating obesity.



More than 60 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese, according to CDC statistics, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and some types of cancer. However, many people don't know that even modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10 percent of a person's total body weight, could improve blood pressure as well as blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. That's only 10 to 20 pounds for a person who weighs 200 pounds.



Yet losing weight can be a struggle, and many people wonder where to begin. The answer for some may be in the office of a doctor of chiropractic (DC). Consultation with a DC is particularly important when you consider that the effects of obesity on the musculoskeletal system—osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain and joint pain—often cause overweight and obese people to avoid physical activity and exercise when they need it most. DCs also counsel their patients on good nutrition and offer dietary and lifestyle advice in addition to expert structural care.



"If you're carrying more weight than the load-bearing structures of your body—spine, legs, etc.—can handle, there's going to be pain, loss of movement and degeneration in the joints," explains James Powell, DC, a member of ACA's Wellness Committee. "Particularly if you're carrying most of your weight in your abdomen, the low back and the spine will need to work harder to hold you upright. This adds extra stress and tension on your muscles, which in turn creates stiffness."



Each year in October, ACA and its members raise public awareness of chiropractic care by observing National Chiropractic Month. Starting this year, the association will celebrate National Chiropractic Health Month in an effort to promote a broader understanding of chiropractic's approach to patient care—as natural, whole-body, patient-centered health care.



"National Chiropractic Health Month is an important opportunity to educate the public on the general health benefits of chiropractic care, which include so much more than simply the expert hands-on care that DCs are so well known for," said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. "Doctors of Chiropractic focus on changing patients' habits—postural, physical activity, nutritional, etc.—to promote health and wellness, short-term and long-term. Patients are tired of quick fixes that don't produce lasting weight loss and better health; and they are always delighted to discover how doctors of chiropractic promote total health and wellness over a lifetime."



For more information about National Chiropractic Health Month, visit www.acatoday.org/NCHM. The American Chiropractic Association, based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: Acatoday.com. July 6, 2010.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2010


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Glucosamine Doesn’t Appear To Lessen Low Back Pain

With 80 percent of the population experiencing back pain sometime during their life, it would be nice if taking a natural supplement would be the cure. New research shows that supplementing with glucosamine, while potentially beneficial to the joints, doesn’t appear to be the silver bullet for low back pain. When Norwegian researchers randomly gave a group of 250 patients with chronic low back pain either glucosamine or a sugar pill for 6 months, there was little difference in pain outcomes. At both 6 and 12 months, there was no significant difference between those receiving the glucosamine or those receiving the sugar pill. And while glucosamine may still possess other benefits including success in certain cases of knee osteoarthritis, its ability to specifically lessen lower back pain does not appear to be one of them. If you’re suffering from back pain, don’t give up hope. Consult your local licensed doctor of chiropractic today to discover other safe and natural alternatives to reducing and eliminating your back pain.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters. July 7, 2010.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2010


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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.
Copyright: Reuters 2010


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