Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What to avoid if you want to make it to 90

An article published in the February 11, 2008 issue of the American Medical Association journal Archives of Internal Medicinereveals that avoiding five modifiable factors can significantly increase the odds of living to the age of 90.
Laurel B. Yates, MD, MPH, of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston and associates evaluated data from 2,357 older participants in the Physician’s Health Study, a trial of aspirin and beta-carotene as cardiovascular disease and cancer preventives in 22,071 male physicians. Demographic information, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes and angina history, exercise frequency, smoking status, body mass index, and other data were obtained upon enrollment between 1981 and 1984. Follow-up questionnaires were completed annually to ascertain changes in health or lifestyle habits, or the occurrence of chronic diseases or risks through March, 2006.
Nine hundred-seventy men in the current investigation survived to age 90 and beyond. The research team identified five controllable factors associated with failure to reach 90: smoking, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and a sedentary lifestyle.
Not surprisingly, smoking more than doubled the risk of dying before the age of 90. Diabetes, obesity, and hypertension also significantly elevated mortality risk, while regular exercise lowered it by 30 percent compared to those who rarely or never exercised. Men who survived to 90 had a healthier lifestyle, less chronic disease, and were older when disease was diagnosed. They also experienced improved late-life function and well-being.
From the results of this study, the researchers estimated that a 70 year old nondiabetic nonsmoker with normal weight and blood pressure who exercised two to four times per week had a 54 percent probability of living to age 90. The presence of three of the identified risk factors conferred a 14 percent probability, while having all five resulted in only a 4 percent chance.
“Although the impact of certain midlife mortality risks in elderly years is controversial, our study suggests that many remain important, at least among men,” the authors write. “Thus, our results suggest that healthy lifestyle and risk management should be continued in elderly years to reduce mortality and disability.”
In an accompanying editorial, William J. Hall, MD notes that the fastest-growing group of older Americans is aged 85 years and older. “This unprecedented increase of the oldest old is occurring in an era of extraordinary rapid development of new knowledge of the human genome, holding tantalizing promise for novel solutions to human disease and even increased life extension,” he writes. “This study suggests that adherence to sound medical management and lifestyle modification pays enormous dividends in life extension and probably substantial reductions of aggregate medical care costs.”
Here again is a solution to our nation's health care crisis. It's not the lack of the availability of drugs and surgery but rather the daily care we provide to ourselves. Let's grow old together!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Increased calcium intake associated with lower mortality from all causes over 10 year period

An article published online on February 19, 2010 in the American Journal of Epidemiology reports an association between greater intake of calcium and a reduced risk of all cause mortality among Swedish men during 10 years of follow-up.

Alicja Wolk and associates at the Karolinska Institutet evaluated data from 23,366 men aged 45 to 79 who enrolled in the Cohort of Swedish Men between 1997 and 1998. Questionnaires completed by the participants were analyzed for calcium and magnesium intake from diet alone. Cause-specific mortality was determined for deaths that occurred between enrollment and December, 2006, and all-cause mortality was analyzed through 2007.

Over the follow-up period, 2,358 deaths occurred. Through 2006, there were 819 deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and 738 by cancer. Men whose calcium intake was among the top one-third of participants at an average of 1,953 milligrams per day had a 25 percent lower risk of dying from any cause than those whose intake was among the lowest third, which averaged 990 milligrams. When deaths were analyzed by cause, having the highest calcium intake was associated with a 23 percent lower risk of dying of cardiovascular disease compared to the group with the least intake. No association was found between calcium intake and cancer risk, and between magnesium and mortality.

The authors suggest that the protective effect of calcium suggested by this study could be explained by the mineral's ability to aid in the reduction of blood pressure, serum cholesterol and glucose. Greater calcium intake has also been associated with a lower risk of diabetes, a disease that has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality during specific periods studied. Dr Wolk and colleagues note that the lack of an association between magnesium and mortality observed in the current research could be due to the absence of deficiency in this study population.

The authors note that the study's findings are in line with results from the Women's Health Initiative randomized trial. "They are also in line with results from a prospective cohort study of 34,486 postmenopausal US women, in which the highest versus the lowest quartiles of dietary and total (diet plus supplements) calcium intake were associated with statistically significant 37% and 33% lower mortality from ischemic heart disease, respectively," they write. “Similarly, in an ecologic study, a high level of calcium in drinking water was associated with a statistically significant lower risk of noncerebrovascular (10%) and cerebrovascular (14%) causes of death among elderly people from the southwest of France."

"This population-based, prospective study of men with relatively high intakes of dietary calcium and magnesium showed that intake of calcium above that recommended daily may reduce all-cause mortality," they conclude.

Dale Giessman, DC
350 John Muir Pkwy., Suite 265
Brentwood, CA 94513

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Red wine and dark chocolate cancer killers

Agence France-Presse


Cabernet and chocolate are potent medicine for killing cancer, according to research presented here Wednesday.

Red grapes and dark chocolate join blueberries, garlic, soy, and teas as ingredients that starve cancer while feeding bodies, Angiogenesis Foundation head William Li said at a prestigious TED Conference.

"We are rating foods based on their cancer-fighting qualities," Li said. "What we eat is really our chemotherapy three times a day."

The Massachusetts-based foundation is identifying foods containing chemicals that evidently choke-off blood supplies to tumors, starving them to death.

Li cited a Harvard Medical School study showing that men who ate cooked tomatoes several times weekly were 30 to 50 percent less likely to have prostate cancer.

"There is a medical revolution happening all around us," Li said. "If we're right, it could impact on consumer education, food service, public health, and even insurance agencies."

About a dozen drugs are already in use to deprive tumors of blood supplies in a treatment tactic called "anti-angiogenesis.

The foundation pitted some foods against approved drugs and found that soy, parsley, red grapes, berries and other comestibles were either as effective or more potent in battling cancer cells.

Eaten together, the foods were even more effective in fighting cancer.

"We discovered that Mother Nature laced a large number of foods and herbs with anti-angiogenesis features," Li said.

"For many people around the world, dietary cancer treatment may be the only solution because not everyone can afford cancer drugs."

The foundation also discovered that anti-angiogenesis properties of foods melt away fat, which relies heavily on blood flow to sustain itself.

Tests showed that mice genetically prone to be chubby could be trimmed to average mouse size using the approach.

"It got weight down to a set point for normal mice," Li said. "In other words, we can't create supermodel mice."

Dale Giessman, DC
350 John Muir Pkwy., Suite 265
Brentwood, CA 94513

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Laser Therapy Effective for Reducing Neck Pain

Laser Therapy Effective for Reducing Neck Pain
Reduces acute pain immediately, chronic pain up to 22 weeks following treatment, concludes literature review.

A literature review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo or active-treatment controlled trials concludes that low-level laser therapy "reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain" and compares favorably with other forms of therapy for neck pain - particularly pharmacological interventions.1 The authors of the review study, published in the Lancet, note that clinical benefits take place when laser therapy is administered as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with an exercise/stretching program, and that adverse effects from treatment are mild and similar to placebo.

Delta Spine & Sportcare uses the Irradia Low Level Laser which was developed by Lars Hode, Phd, the worlds leading authority on low level lasers for medical use.

Dale Giessman, DC
350 John Muir Pkwy., Suite 265
Brentwood, CA 94513