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Why Most Diets Fail…

6 Sep

Dieting can be one of the most frustrating things ever.  You eat and exercise EXACTLY the way your friend does.  He or she loses weight and looks great—you gain weight.  How is this possible?  Many will say you must not have done the same things and that you were cheating on your diet or not working out as hard.  If you are doing the same things, you would get the same results…

Now researchers are saying this is probably not true.  New research indicates that individual genes play a role in what foods make a person fat. Dr. William Barrington, a researcher from North Carolina State University who conducted this work in the laboratory of Texas A&M University’s Dr. David Threadgill notes, “There is an overgeneralization of health benefits or risks tied to certain diets. Our study showed that the impact of the diet is likely dependent on the genetic composition of the individual eating the diet, meaning that different individuals have different optimal diets.” 

In the study, mice from different genetic strains all consumed one of several diets. For six months, the rodents received food equivalent to today’s Western diet, a traditional Japanese diet, a traditional Mediterranean diet, or a high-fat, low-carb Atkin’s-like diet known as a ketogenic diet. Additionally, some mice received standard mouse chow to act as a control group. The subjects could eat as much food as they wanted, but the researchers kept tabs on how much they consumed each day for later analysis.

They found that mice with different genetic backgrounds had different results from the same diet. Some gained weight, some did not. The researchers believe this is akin to two genetically different people eating the same diet and one getting fat and the other staying thin. Dr. Barrington adds, “We’ve largely viewed diet the same way for the last 100 years—assuming that there is one optimal diet… Now that we’ve identified that this is likely not the case, I think that in the future we will be able to identify the genetic factors involved in the varying responses to diet and use those to predict diet response in humans.”

Remember, we’re always here to help your body heal and maintain the pain free body you deserve.

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.

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Positive Emotions Can Improve Memory

9 Aug

The way we understand learning has changed quite drastically over the years.  One big change has been moving away from stressful, pressured rote memorization to a cognitive and fun thought process.  The process of thinking through a situation and actively coming up with a solution is much different than simply memorizing dates and names.  The results are also much different when the student is actively engaged because they are having fun and being rewarded, versus being forced to achieve a result out of fear of punishment.  While this all makes sense, is there any proof?  Well, a new study adds evidence to the power of positive emotion in learning.

According to Science Daily:  “Combining a positive emotional component with a given stimulus promotes memory for future stimuli of the same type, report scientists.  Rewarding learning today can improve learning tomorrow; this is one of the conclusions reached by researchers from the Cognition and Brain Plasticity research group of the Institute of Biomedical Research of Bellvitge (IDIBELL) and the University of Barcelona (UB) in their last work on the impact of emotions on the way we remember things. The study, published in the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory journal, demonstrates for the first time in humans that the effects of the association of positive emotions in the process of acquisition and consolidation of memories extend selectively and prospectively over time.”

Here is what lead researcher Dr. Javiera Oyarzún had to say, “Our brain works as a sorting machine. Every time we expose ourselves to a stimulus, our brain sorts it out in a category, such as people, animals, objects, etc. This way, whenever we receive new information we can integrate it with similar available information thanks to our ability to generalize, and then anticipate our responses to similar stimuli that may occur in the future.  When storing these stimuli, it is known that emotionally charged events are remembered better than neutral events. For example, we usually do not remember the details surrounding our usual way back home, but if during that time we receive a phone call with good news, or we witness a car accident, we will remember those details with much more precision.” 

In one part of the experiment, researchers showed subjects pictures in different categories. For one particular category, the participant received a reward every time it was shown to associate those particular images with a positive action. As expected, the participants remembered images linked to rewards much better. However, the positive effects that rewards have on memory were not seen until about 24 hours later, suggesting that sleep may play an integral part that is necessary for the memory enhancing effects to take place.  So, is it better to tell a child to get an “A” or he or she is grounded or if they get an “A” they will get something they really want?    According to this study… the latter is probably the way to go.

Foods You Can Eat to Reduce Inflammation

14 Jul

A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Florida may give another reason why older people complain about pain more than those who are younger.  The small, preliminary study has suggested for the first time that inflammation may occur quicker and at a higher magnitude—and stays around longer—when seniors experience pain.  This might mean that older adults are more susceptible to developing chronic pain.  It also gives yet another reason to attempt to decrease inflammation as soon as possible.  Getting treatment as quickly as possible after an injury or the onset of pain may be critical in decreasing the chances of the pain getting worse and becoming chronic.

While reducing inflammation following an injury is important, inflammation isn’t just associated with pain. Higher than normal levels of inflammation can trigger many disease processes including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

One of the best things a person can do to help keep inflammation in check is eat foods with anti-inflammatory properties. According to ScienceDaily, a study by scientists from the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Aging and Chronic Disease, “has identified food stuffs that can help prevent chronic inflammation that contributes to many leading causes of death.”  Their work shows that diets rich in fruits and vegetables, which contain polyphenols, protect against age-related inflammation and chronic diseases.  According to researcher Sian Richardson, “The results of our study suggest that (poly)phenols derived from onions, turmeric, red grapes, green tea, and açai berries may help reduce the release of pro-inflammatory mediators in people at risk of chronic inflammation.  Older people are more susceptible to chronic inflammation and as such they may benefit from supplementing their diets with isorhamnetin, resveratrol, curcumin, and vanillic acid or with food sources that yield these bioactive molecules.”

Remember, we’re always here to help your body heal and maintain the pain free body you deserve.

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.

Yoga Isn’t Just Good for Your Body, It’s Good for Your Mind Too!

10 Jun

In a time when most people are looking to improve their physical fitness, yoga is an option with a long list of health benefits. Here are just a few that go beyond improved strength, flexibility, and balance:

Improves reaction times and cognitive tasks. Researchers found an immediate benefit to brain function after a single 20-minute session of yoga. Study lead Dr. Neha Gothe writes, “It appears that following yoga practice, the participants were better able to focus their mental resources, process information quickly, more accurately and also learn, hold, and update pieces of information more effectively than after performing an aerobic exercise bout.”
Reduces stress by inhibiting inflammation. In a study that involved caregivers who commonly experience a high level of stress, researchers found “a reduced activity of those proteins linked directly to increased inflammation” among study participants who performed twelve minutes of yoga a day for eight weeks.
Helps manage chronic pain. The National Institutes of Health’s Dr. M. Catherine Bushnell reports that those who practice yoga have better function in several areas of the brain, including those involved in pain modulation.
Decreases depression symptoms in pregnant women. Pregnant women who participated in a mindful y10oga routine that focused on poses for the pregnant body experienced improved mood and a stronger attachment to their developing babies. With 1 in 5 women suffering from major depression during pregnancy, researchers believe that mindful yoga may be one of a few alternatives to treating mood disorders during gestation.

Remember, we’re always here to help your body heal
and maintain the pain free body you deserve.

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.

Two Simple Methods to Grow “Cancer Killers” in Your House

12 Apr

In the main story, we discussed the research showing how the sulforaphane found in cruciferous vegetables can help prevent and fight several types of cancer. One of the best sources of sulforaphane is broccoli sprouts. It would be great to eat them several times a week, if not every day, but it can be a hassle (and expensive) to constantly buy a fresh supply. That’s why many people are choosing to grow their own. But, isn’t that even more of a hassle? No, not at all. In fact, it is quite simple, and you can grow sprouts in just three to five days. Here are two ways to do it—one with soil and one without.

WITHOUT SOIL: Put one to two tablespoons of seeds in a wide mouth jar or a large mason jar. Add 1 cup (237 ml) of water, mix up the seeds a little, and cover with a mesh cloth. Let the seeds soak for two to three hours and then drain well. Be sure to not soak the seeds for more than three hours because this can affect germination. Twice a day, fill the jar with cool water, mix a little by moving the jar around, and drain again. The seeds will sprout and be ready in four to five days. The sprouts can be stored in your refrigerator, but make sure to dry them a little first.

WITH SOIL: For this method, the first thing you want to do is soak the seed in water for 24 hours and then use a fine strainers to rinse them with fresh water. Cover the bottom of a shallow tray or container with a thin layer of moist potting soil. Spread the soaked broccoli seeds on top of the soil and then cover the seeds with another thin layer of soil.   Cover the tray (or whatever container you are using) with clear plastic wrap. It is advised to poke a few small hole in the plastic wrap to keep excess moisture from building up. Store the container in a place without direct sunlight but between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius). When leaves appear (or after four days, whichever comes first), move the tray somewhere where the sprouts can get some sunlight, but not direct sunlight. Direct sunlight is too strong and will kill them. Sprouts should be picked within one to two days after leaves appear. Simply pick the sprouts by hand and wash them off in a bowl of fresh water. Swishing them around in the water will cause the hulls to come off and float to the surface. Skim the hulls off and throw them away. You don’t want the hulls on your sprouts when storing them because they contain too much moisture. Once again, you can eat the sprouts immediately or store them in the refrigerator for a little while. The sprouts are still alive and will continue to grow and gain nutritional value.

Remember, we’re always here to help your body heal and maintain the pain free body you deserve.

Are Females the Stronger Sex? One Study Shows Estrogen Protects Against the Flu!

10 Mar

The debate has raged for centuries. Which is the stronger sex? Now, science has evidence that females are tougher than males, at least when it comes to the flu virus.

When an individual comes into contact with the flu virus, whether or not they experience symptoms depends on how much the virus can replicate in they body before succumbing to the immune system. In other words, the more times it replicates itself, the more damage the virus can do. Accordingly, the less the virus replicates itself, the less damage it will do and the less it will make you sick. Less replication also means less chance of spreading from person to person.

Here’s why females seem to have protection against the flu…

A research team gathered nasal cells—the cell type that the flu virus primarily infects—from male and female donors. The researchers then exposed the cells to the virus along with estrogen, the environmental estrogen bisphenol A, or selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM), which are compounds that act like estrogen that are used for hormone therapy.

The researchers found that estrogen, SERM compound raloxifene, and bisphenol A reduced flu virus replication in the nasal cells taken from women but not in those from men.

Dr. Sabra Klein of Johns Hopkins University writes, “Other studies have shown that estrogens have antiviral properties against HIV, Ebola, and hepatitis viruses. What makes our study unique is two-fold. First, we conducted our study using primary cells directly isolated from patients, allowing us to directly identify the sex-specific effect of estrogens. Second, this is the first study to identify the estrogen receptor responsible for the antiviral effects of estrogens, bringing us closer to understanding the mechanisms mediating this conserved antiviral effect of estrogens.”