Your Health Bulletin is information from scientific literature to make sense of the right choices for your health. It is a reminder to consider periodic check-ups of your spine, joint mechanics and appropriate exercise. Maintenance is better than repair!
The “Chocolate Cure” for Emotional Stress
Released: 1/22/2010 1:00 PM EST. Source: American Chemical Society (ACS) From a clinical trial published online in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research: It was found that eating about an ounce and a half [40 grams] of dark chocolate a day for 2 weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed. Antioxidants and other beneficial substances in dark chocolate may reduce risk factors for heart disease & other physical conditions. Many studies have demonstrated the potential health implications of dark chocolate constituents. For instance, cocoa is rich in flavonoids, mainly flavan-3-ols (epicatechin, catechin & their oligomers), which are associated with benefits on cardiovascular health by maintaining low blood pressure, improving endothelial function, and by reducing thrombotic state, oxidative & inflamma-tory states. Benefits of cocoa on improvement of insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance are also reported. Other biochemically active molecules naturally occurring in chocolate include theo-bromine, a bitter alkaloid also known to reduce blood pressure, phenylethylamine, a monoamine alkaloid which can act as neurotransmitter, and N-oleoyl- and N-linoleoyl-ethanolamine that slow the breakdown rate of anandamide, a brain neurotransmitter.
REFERENCE: Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects J. Proteome Res., 2009, 8 (12), pp 5568–5579 The research also demonstrates that dark chocolate induces improvement in energy homeostasis, gut microbial activity and the metabolism associated with stress.
COMMENT Before we all go out and celebrate the positive medicinal effects of dark chocolate, consider that this research was funded by industry. Another source of info for you is from the book “Foods that fight Cancer.” Cocoa is the source of beneficial plant compounds and is a better source of antioxidants than green tea, which is often not well tolerated. Chocolate too may not be well tolerated due to a variety of ingredients which may include milk solids, soy, nuts etc. Certainly, cocoa is a better choice. Raw organic cocoa is the best, available in our office, and 1-2 tbsp in a cup of hot water is a nice treat. The next best choice is a dark Belgian cocoa also available in office which can be used for a variety of recipes including cocoa fudge as follows: 3/4 c sugar,1/4 c cocoa, 1/4 c water – bring to 106 ºC and cool in a cold water bath with intermittent to continuous stirring to beat air into mixture until too thick to stir anymore – this is a treat and makes about 320 grams of fudge, about one week’s worth of consumption – be careful! Note for those of you that have done the urine/saliva testing it appears that this cocoa will effectively lower an excessive rh2 or redox reading, [When this measurement is above 28 then the individual is experiencing excessive oxidative stress due to consumption of immune reactive foods, heavy metals, hydrocarbons or other oxygen radicals and needs to be counteracted with antioxidants].
The science behind dietary omega-3 fatty acids
Marc E. Surette PhD in CMAJ • January 15, 2008 • 178(2)
Omega-3 fatty acids are being increasingly promoted as important dietary components for health and disease prevention. Key points of the article are:
• Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that cannot be synthesized in the body and must be obtained from the diet.
• Dietary omega-3 fatty acids are incorporated into cellular membranes of all tissues. The extent of incorporation into tissue membranes is dependent on dietary intake.
• The enrichment of membranes with omega-3 fatty acids can modulate cellular signalling events, membrane protein function and gene expression.
• Consumption of recommended intakes of omega-3 fatty acids may lead to a general increase in the overall health and well-being of the population.
There are 2 types of essential fatty acids [that means our body cannot make them] we must get in our diet, omega 6 & omega 3. We get too much omega 6 which make pro-inflammatory eicosanoids—if you came to the Wednesday night infosession Feb.3, you know what I am talking about. This will be reviewed in next Wed. tutorial Feb.17 at 7pm; we will also discuss how the wrong food damages the gut.
All about cranberries
From the Medical Post Dec.15,2009
Cranberries contain plant chemicals called proanthocyanidins [PACs] which differ from other similar food PACs. These PACs inhibit the attachment of E-coli to the lining of the urinary system thereby preventing/treating UTIs, urinary tract infections. 473 ml of cranberry juice offers up to 10 hours protection, and 1serving per day could reduce UTIs by 35-50%. Cranberries have also been found to prevent the bacterium H Pylori from attach-ing to the lining of the stomach, thereby preventing ulcers and stomach cancer. It also prevents bacteria from attaching to tooth surfaces, reducing gum disease and cavities, as well as benefiting gastrointestinal health and protection against fungal and viral diseases. Further cranberry PACs protect against 8 different cancers – so eat them, as juice or sauce etc. on regular basis. Another reference to cranberries is in “Foods that Fight Cancer”.
From the treatment room:
Often while correcting an original problem such as back pain, other problems are mention-ed. For example, recently an individual commented that right fingers 4 and 5 were often weak & numb and had been that way for the last 10 months. Medication and exercise had already been tried without success, and the only advice had been to “live with it”. After checking the mechanical chain /properties that may be involved it was determined that the primary difficulty was adhesions in the lower arm muscles, with secondary trouble in the shoulder and upper back/neck involving both the muscles & joints. Interestingly, one action that had aggravated the patient from the start was squeezing his mid-finger knuckle. This difficulty also interfered with his playing the guitar which was apparently more of a con-cern than anything else. Immediately after correcting the adhesions in both muscles and joints he had relief for the first time. He was shown exercises to help, and advised that it would take several corrections. Comment: As you know, repetition of joint & muscle correction is necessary to retrain the adaptation that the brain has coordinated in response to the injury/strain, followed by exercise and periodic monitoring to maintain the tissue.
The bird-dog exercise is one of the main exercises to strengthen the core muscles to protect the low back. If you do not remember me showing you this exercise make sure I do next time you are in the office. It must be done properly, otherwise it could make the back worse. Briefly the key to this exercise is that as you raise the opposite arm/leg while on your hands & knees both hips must be level & the head should be in extension i.e. held up & backwards. These types of strengthening exercises should only be done after the adhesions in both muscles and joints have been corrected, otherwise if resistance exercise is introduced too soon you can make the problem worse.
REMEMBER MAINTENANCE IS EASIER THAN REPAIR – SEE YOU IN A MONTH – and don’t forget the Feb. 17 infosession!