MONTHLY HEALTH UPDATE
Do Coffee Drinkers Live Longer?
Chad Abramson, D.C.
Whole Body Health
Do Coffee Drinkers Live Longer?
There has been great debate over the years about the pros and cons of drinking coffee. The
confusion is justified, as one study will report on the negative affects while the next will highlight its
beneficial attributes. So here we go again, but this time, the focus is on whether or not the compounds
found in coffee can help you live longer.
In a 2017 study published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Imperial College London, researchers surveyed 520,000 people from ten European countries and concluded that drinking coffee does appear to promote a longer lifespan. According to the study, other significant health benefits associated with coffee consumption include lower mortality rates from liver and digestive disease in both men and women; decreased mortality from cancer, circulatory disease, and cerebrovascular disease (stroke) in women; and a reduced suicide rate for men. Coffee consumption also lowers inflammatory markers and other negative biomarkers in the blood, giving us some insight on how the compounds in coffee may promote longevity.
The other study, this one funded by the National Cancer Institute, included a diverse set of subjects, as the survey included more than 185,000 adults from various ethnic backgrounds. The authors of this study also concluded a link between coffee consumption and living longer.
Regarding the dosage of coffee required to achieve the most benefits, the European study found the more coffee consumed, the better. They observed that participants who consumed three cups a day had better protection against all-cause death than those consuming less, especially when compared with the non-coffee drinkers. Also, because the researchers surveyed people from many different parts of Europe, it didn’t appear to matter what brand of coffee the particpants consumed, how it was prepared, or the serving style.
The United States-based study echoed many of the same findings as it reported that individuals consuming two to four cups a day had an 18% lower risk of early death in comparison with the non- coffee drinkers, regardless of the ethnicity, coffee type, or preparation style.
Not to burst your bubble about the health benefits of coffee, but moderation is still recommended regarding your daily indulgence. Nutritionists also warn that adding heavy cream and sugar may nullify many of the health benefits of black coffee plus add unnecessary calories to your diet.
Look for future research to focus on determining which compounds found in coffee provide the most benefit and if they can be consumed as a supplement for people who are not coffee drinkers.
What You NEED to Know About Whiplash
Whiplash injuries are very common and are primarily associated with car and rear-end
collisions in particular. This is what happens when you’re rear ended…
1) At 0-50 milliseconds (ms): As the car is initially propelled forward, the seatback pushes the torso forward while the head remains in its original position, which straightens or flattens out the cervical curve.
2) At 50–75 ms: As the torso accelerates forward, the head/neck moves backwards forming an S-shaped curve with flexion of the upper cervical region and extension of the lower cervical region, stressing the ligaments in back (upper) and front (lower) cervical spine regions.
3) At 150-175 ms: The torso is at its maximum forward position in reference to the neck and the head/neck is forced into peak extension (backward bending). The head may contact the head restraint or ride over it if of the torso slides up the back a reclined seat. This can further damage the ligaments in the front of the cervical spine.
4) At 200-600 ms: The head and torso are then thrown forward by the rebound off the seatback, hyperflexing the neck (and mid- and/or low-back) and potentially causing further injury to the ligaments in the back of the spine. Depending on whether or not a seatbelt is in use, the head may strike the steering wheel and/or windshield causing further injury.
It may seem logical to think that if we can anticipate an impending MVC, then less injury will occur. Unfortunately, this doesn’t hold true because the total length of time it takes for the sequence described above to occur is about 600 ms and we cannot voluntarily contract our muscles in less than 800-1000 ms. Therefore, you simply won’t have time to brace yourself for impact.It may seem logical to think that if we can anticipate an impending MVC, then less injury will occur. Unfortunately, this doesn’t hold true because the total length of time it takes for the sequence described above to occur is about 600 ms and we cannot voluntarily contract our muscles in less than 800-1000 ms. Therefore, you simply won’t have time to brace yourself for impact. If cervical rotation occurs at the time of impact, such as looking into the rearview mirror, then the risk for injury may increase. There is recent evidence suggesting that it is difficult to avoid rotation of the cervical region during a collision because the diagonal path of the chest restraint promotes trunk rotation in the later stage of whiplash as the torso rebounds forward. Nonetheless, looking straight ahead at the time of impact may reduce the degree of injury in some collisions. To achieve the best long-term outcome, treatment should emphasize movement and exercise as soon as possible. In addition to treatments performed in the clinic, doctors of chiropractic commonly recommend whiplash patients to perform home exercises, home cervical traction, and other self-help methods with the objective of returning to a normal lifestyle as quickly as possible. If cervical rotation occurs at the time of impact, such as looking into the rearview mirror, then the risk for injury may increase. There is recent evidence suggesting that it is difficult to avoid rotation of the cervical region during a collision because the diagonal path of the chest restraint promotes trunk rotation in the later stage of whiplash as the torso rebounds forward. Nonetheless, looking straight ahead at the time of impact may reduce the degree of injury in some collisions.
To achieve the best long-term outcome, treatment should emphasize movement and exercise as soon as possible. In addition to treatments performed in the clinic, doctors of chiropractic commonly recommend whiplash patients to perform home exercises, home cervical traction, and other self-help methods with the objective of returning to a normal lifestyle as quickly as possible.
Neck Pain / Headaches
Migraine Headaches and Nutrition?
According to a World Health Report, migraines are the nineteenth most common
patient complaint worldwide with an 18% of women and 6% of men in the United States
experiencing at least one migraine headache episode each year.
There is evidence that patients with migraines have an energy deficit disorder associated with their glucose intake. As such, adopting a strict ketogenic diet (in which ketones are the primary source of energy for the body in place of glucose) does appear to benefit patients with migraines.
A 2017 study set out to determine if it was the absence of glucose or the increase in ketone bodies that made the difference for patients. In the study, researchers provided four female migraine patients with a specially designed ten-gram beverage containing a specific type of ketone called B-hydroxybutyrate or bHB twice a day for four weeks.
After one month, their migraine frequency rate dropped 50% to eight days/month on average without any serious side effects. The patients also lost weight, presumably due to consuming less glucose in their diet. An additional benefit of higher levels of ketones in the body is that they have an anti-inflammatory effect.
A larger double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial is now underway with a group of 90 patients that will last three months The goal of the study is to determine if this nutritional supplement is capable of reducing migraine headaches without the significant side effects and associated disabilities that are currently associated with many migraine medications.
Chiropractic care often includes nutritional counseling as an important part of caring for the whole person. In fact, there is research supported evidence that spinal manipulation alone has a very positive benefit for migraine headache patients as noted in the 2010 and 2014 UK studies regarding the effectiveness of manual therapies. Based on the outcome of this large-scale study, the use of ketone-based supplementation for migraines may become a new standard.
Knee Pain and Jumping Injuries
The term "jumper’s knee" was first coined in 1973 to describe an injury to the
tendon that attaches the lower (most common) to the prominence (tibial tuberosity) on the
proximal shin bone (tibia) or the upper pole of the knee cap or "patella" to the quadriceps
Jumper’s knee is one of the more common tendinopathies that affect up to 20% of all adult athletes in sports with frequent jumping, typically among adolescent basketball and volleyball players. Individuals who are obese or who are bow-legged or knock-kneed or whose lower limbs are unequal in length have a higher risk for jumper’s knee. Poor jumping technique can also increase the risk for this condition as can cause overtraining, especially on hard surfaces.
The disease process for jumper’s knee can be divided into four stages: 1) pain only after activity without disability; 2) pain during and after without disability; 3) prolonged pain during and after which affects function; 4) complete tendon tear that requires surgical repair.
Treatment for jumper’s knee can include: 1) reducing jumping activity; 2) icing the knee for 15-30 minutes, four to six times a day, especially after the activity; 3) a thorough exam of the hip, knee, ankle, and foot to assess joint function; 4) stretching the hamstrings, calf, quadriceps, hip flexors, gluteal (buttocks), iliotibial band, and tissues around the knee cap; 5) strengthening exercises focused on specific parts of the quadriceps (vastus medialis oblique especially) and other leg muscles; 6) ultrasound and other therapies that may help speed recovery; and 7) taping to help patellar tracking.
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to evaluate and treat the whole person and frequently treat athletic injuries. A successful treatment outcome for jumper’s knee requires both local knee care and the management of the entire lower "kinetic chain" which includes the foot, ankle, knee, hip, and pelvis.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - More Than Just a Wrist Problem
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that affects around 6-12% of the
population and can result in significant pain and disability. The financial costs associated with CTS
can be staggering – ranging from $45,000 to $89,000 per patient over a six-year period when
productivity loses are taken into account.
Historically, doctors and researchers have described CTS as the result of compression of the median nerve as it travels through the bony carpal tunnel at the wrist. However, there is recent evidence that CTS is a more complex pain syndrome with multiple studies showing women with CTS exhibit widespread pressure pain hypersensitivity, thermal pain increases, and what’s called "enhanced wind-up in extra-median nerve territories." In other words, the central nervous system seems to be involved, affecting the whole body, not just the wrist and hand.
Traditionally, the management of CTS has included conservative interventions primarily focused on relieving wrist and hand symptoms using splints, manual therapies, modalities (ultrasound, laser), and exercise—with surgery recommended if the patient fails to respond treatment.
In looking at CTS as a product of the central nervous system (CNS), therapies that target desensitizing the nervous system may be more effective.
A 2017 randomized clinical trial compared manual therapy with surgery for improving BOTH pain and central sensitization ("nociceptive gain") in CTS patients. Here, researchers randomly assigned 100 women to either a manual therapy group who received one session per week for three weeks including "desensitizing manoeuvres of the CNS" or a surgical intervention group (50 in each group). The research team evaluated pressure pain thresholds (PPT), thermal pain thresholds (hot or cold – HPT or CPT), and pain intensity at baseline, three, six, nine, and twelve month intervals following the intervention.
After one year, those in the manual therapy group experienced higher increases in PPT over the carpal tunnel at three, six, and nine months and greater decreases in pain intensity at three-months than those who underwent a surgical procedure. Otherwise, the outcome measurements were similar for both groups.
The significance of this study supports that a non-surgical, manual therapy approach (in which chiropractic specializes) is more effective in the short term and equally effective in the long term as surgery for BOTH pain and central sensitization (PPT only – not HPT/CPT for either group).
Low Back Pain
A Simple Remedy for Chronic Low Back Pain?
Low back pain (LBP) affects about 80% of adults at some point in their life, and its
impact on work, recreation, and overall quality of life can be devastating if it transitions into
chronic LBP (low back pain that persists for more than three months).
So, is there really a simple remedy for chronic LBP (cLBP)? Since back pain is often multifactorial in its causation, the simple answer is "probably not". BUT, a 2017 study reports that simply taking vitamin D can offer significant benefits for the cLBP patient.
In the study, researchers provided participants (68 patients with a history of cLBP and low vitamin D levels) with an oral dose of 60,000 IU of vitamin D3 every week for eight weeks. The research team measured pain intensity and disability using common outcome assessments at baseline and at two, three, and six months post treatment. They also collected blood samples to measure vitamin D serum levels.
The data show that not only did the patients’ vitamin D levels improve from 12.8 ng/mL (+/- 5.73) at baseline to 36.07 (+/- 12.51) at eight months with 45 (66%) of the patients attaining a normal level of >29 ng/mL, but the participants also report significant improvements in pain and disability throughout the course of the study.
The authors conclude that vitamin D supplements can improve pain and function in cLBP patients with vitamin D deficiency. Hence, this is a VERY SIMPLE remedy!
It is well known that vitamin D deficiency is a very common problem, with up to 75% of teens and adults having suboptimal levels. Past research has demonstrated vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for many disorders including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. It appears that we can now add cLBP to the long list of conditions that vitamin D supplementation may benefit.
Chiropractic services frequently include nutritional counseling, diet management, and other wellness-related services in the quest of optimizing patient health, well-being, and quality of life.
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This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.