2010 – August Newsletter

Posted on: August 1st, 2010
Chiropractic Care
Dr. Brian C. Baker     133 Reef Road     Fairfield, CT
Healthy Living
August 3, 2010
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Grassroots Health


Paleo Diet

Massage Therapy

We offer massage therapy and soft tissue services with licensed massage therapist Beth Shine on Tuesdays and supervised University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic intern Raluca Dumas on Saturdays. In some cases this is covered by Insurance.

“Too many people resign themselves to living with chronic pain or relying on a steady diet of medication to get through the day.  I believe there is a better way.  We offer a knowledgeable diagnosis and evaluation with actual hands-on care along with lifestyle counseling  focused on your well being.”

                                     Dr. Baker

Sunscreen update

OK.  Who threw away their sunscreen after reading my last newsletter?  I had several patients take me to task for the headline “Throw Away the Sunscreen”.  Perhaps a bit too provocative?  The point was to read the research about sunscreen and cancer prevention.  I do not advocate throwing away your sunscreen!  Just more judicious use.  Here’s what I recommend:  When you go outside try to get full body sun exposure for about 20 minutes before applying the SPF 45.  The point being, we need sunlight to produce vitamin D.  20 minutes of sun can provide as much as 10,000 IU of D.
Want to see what happens when sunscreen is not properly applied?  Stop in to see my face after 5 hours of sailing with no protection last Sunday.  Hurry, the peeling is just beginning!

New Exercise Options
Tired of running on a treadmill? Check out these exercise options to spice up your workout routine: 

Practice yoga. You can venture into a yoga studio or find yoga workouts on-line so you can stretch in the privacy of your own home. With a variety of styles and poses, yoga can fit into many different lifestyles and address a variety of health and fitness needs. The physical benefits of yoga, such as increased flexibility, strength, endurance and balance, make it an excellent option for athletes to complement the often-repetitive motions of training. The same benefits are valuable to less active people looking for a way to add more movement to their days.
Swim. Diving in for a few laps is a great workout option because it provides cardio and resistance training without any added stress on your joints. You can also “run” in the water for even more variation. Either strap on a flotation device and hit the deep end for minimal resistance while running, or try the shallow end (with the water level hitting about midthigh) for much stronger resistance.
Do weight training. You can use free weights or grab those soup cans from the cupboard and fill an old gallon milk jug with water to create your own. Start small—with light weights and only a few repetitions—and work your way up to more sets with heavier weights.
Go for a bike ride. Biking is good for your body because, like swimming, it provides a great cardio workout without putting extra stress on your joints. You can hit the trails for an outdoor ride or try a spin class at your local gym for a more structured workout.
Take Zumba classes—or any kind of dance. Zumba is a dance fitness program combining Latin and international music styles such as salsa, merengue, cumbia and reggaeton. Classes are fun, so you won’t realize you’re exercising and you can make the workouts as high impact as you’d liked like. 

American Chiropractic Association
Daily aspirin use linked to increased risk of Crohn’s disease
Individuals who take aspirin on a daily basis may be at a significantly increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease, according to a new study presented at the Digestive Disease Week conference.

In an effort to better understand the effects that aspirin has on the bowels, lead author Andrew Hart, senior lecturer in gastroenterology at the University of East Anglia, and his colleagues analyzed the medical data of more than 200,000 healthy adults who took part in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer & Nutrition (EPIC) study.

The researchers found that participants who took daily aspirin tablets for at least one year were more than five times as likely to be diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. They found no association between aspirin use and ulcerative colitis.

“This work suggests that regular use of aspirin may be one of many factors in the development of some cases of Crohn’s disease,” said Hart. “We are working to understand the etiology of Crohn’s disease looking at many factors including aspirin and diet.”

However, the investigators acknowledge that they only identified a link between aspirin use and the bowel condition, and cannot definitively say that one causes the other. 


Diet Soft Drinks Increases Urinary Calcium
 Drinking too many diet soft drinks may result in a negative calcium balance, a marker of low bone mineral density.  Calcium excretion over three hours after drinking diet cola was 6.85 mg higher than after drinking water, Noelle Larson, MD, of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in Washington, and colleagues reported at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.

In addition,phosphorous excretion was higher in the cola group. Larson said that she became interested in the topic after seeing responses on informal surveys of young women medical students some of whom reported drinking 20 to 24 Diet Cokes a week.

She noted that several cross-sectional studies show cola beverages are associated with increased fracture risk and decreased bone mineral density.  In an earlier investigation, the researchers had looked at the hormonal effects of diet cola ingestion on parathyroid hormone, calcium, phosphorus, insulin, alkaline phosphotase, and ghrelin.

With results from that earlier study as the impetus, Larson and colleagues undertook the current study, for which they recruited 20 healthy women, ages 18 to 40.

The participants were randomized to drink 24 ounces of either water or diet cola on two study days. Urine was collected for three hours after ingestion of the designated beverage and checked for calcium, phosphorous, and creatinine.

Although the study was small, “it does look like there was a statistically significant rise in urine calcium,” said Larson. “The important part about that is that Diet Coke has no calcium content.  Compared with milk, which also causes a rise in urine calcium but is replacing calcium at the same time, diet colas “would [create] an overall negative body calcium balance and that could partially explain why they appear to be bad for bones,” she said.


Question of CT Scans and Radiation Exposure

Through the authorship of Rebecca Smith-Bindman, M.D. comes a perspective article in the July 1, 2010 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine addressing the question of CT scan use, safety, regulation and oversight that is entitled simply “Is Computed Tomography Safe?’.
The article begins by recounting the experience of a woman who underwent a CT scan for concerns related to facial paralysis. The scan was negative, the matter was concluded to be  Bell’s Palsy and it resolved in two weeks, but…the scan she received provided her with a radiation exposure 100 times greater than a normal CT scan, 10 times greater than a brain-perfusion scan and 3 times greater than a radiation treatment dose for cancer. She is now part of a class action against manufacturers and various facilities.  For more info on problems with brain CT scan over dosage check out this recent article in the New York Times.

Dr. Smith-Bindman’s NEJM article provides some very interesting and shocking numbers, for example:

*”Radiation doses from CT scans are 100 to 500 times those from conventional radiography (x-ray),  depending on what part of the body is imaged.”
*”Technical advances such as increased imaging speed have led to new CT scanning techniques that have also boosted doses. For example, the brain-perfusion scan undergone by Ms. C. uses sophisticated techniques for assessing regional blood flow and, even when done correctly, delivers a dose 10 times that of a routine brain CT.”
*”My colleagues and I calculated the actual radiation doses delivered by commonly performed CT studies and quantified the associated cancer risks using the NRC’s models. We found that the risk of cancer from a single CT scan could be as high as 1 in 80″
*”Currently, each year in the United States, approximately 10% of the population undergoes a CT scan, with a total of 75 million scans conducted; moreover, the use of CT continues to grow by more than 10% annually.”
Let’s do the math based on these data…radiation dosage can be 100-500 times greater than convention radiography and with a brain perfusion scan it could be  ten times greater than that…100 x 10 to 500 x 10 or 1,000 times to 5,000 greater than conventional radiography! 
Let’s go back to the math…75 million scans annually with a 1 in 80 cancer risk equals an annual cancer risk in the US alone of 937,500 cases-persons. These numbers are increasing by 10% annually, so next year that number would be 937,500 +93,750 or 1,031,250 cases. 

Conclusion: When someone tells you or a loved one that a CT scan is needed, be cautious especially if multiple scans are being ordered. It may be the case that the risk of the situation may easily outweigh the risk of the radiation exposure and then again, it might not be the case….ask lots of questions, get dosing data from the scan, keep good records for yourself.

New York Times

FDA Weighs In on Antibiotics and Livestock
Meat producers should use certain antibiotics only to assure animal health and stop using the drugs to increase production and promote growth, the Food and Drug Administration said.

The recommendation to cut back on the use of antimicrobial drugs comes amid rising concern that extensive use in animals contributes to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria afflicting humans.  “The development of resistance to this important class of drugs, and the resulting loss of their effectiveness as antimicrobial therapies, poses a serious public health threat,” the FDA said in a draft statement.

The FDA guidance applies to antibiotics deemed “medically important” because they also are useful in treating human illness.  It calls on meat producers to consult more closely with veterinarians about when to use drugs and which compounds to employ.

Not surprisingly, the FDA statement upset a leading meat industry group.  The
National Pork Producers Council said the FDA guidance was overly
burdensome and would rob the industry of drugs important to the health
of animals.

“There is no scientific study linking antibiotic food use in food
animal production with antibiotic resistance,” the council said in a statement.
Mellon of the Union of Concerned Scientists called that assertion
“patently untrue. There is a mountain of studies linking the use of
antibiotics in animals to the evolution of resistant pathogens that
cause human disease.”

The Union was calling for sharper restrictions on the use of antibiotics. The recommendation could fuel legislative efforts to more strictly regulate the use of antibiotics in the food chain.

Mellon chided the FDA for moving tentatively, with recommendations rather than with actions to cut down on the use of antibiotics.

“I was expecting an action plan. I was disappointed that all we have here are principles,” Mellon said. “They’re apparently expecting voluntary action. It’s my belief that the industry’s not going to act until it has to.”
Fresno Bee

Cholesterol drugs don’t help the healthy
Are you otherwise healthy and told you need a cholesterol-lowering
drug?  New research shows you maybe need to take a holiday from a
drug regime that may be doing you no good.  


Two studies released late last month added more nails to the coffin of the cholesterol hypothesis, which has been claiming for years that anyone, even healthy people with elevated cholesterol, should be taking drugs — commonly known as statins — to alter their cholesterol.

One of the studies, a major meta-analysis, or overview of 11 major trials of the effects of drugs such as Crestor, Lipitor, Pravachol or Zocor examined the effects of statins in more than 65,000 men and women. These drugs, designed to lower levels of “bad” cholesterol and raise levels of “good” cholesterol work to prevent undesirable health outcomes such as heart attacks and strokes. Ultimately, people swallow them daily to avoid the most important outcome of all: Death.

But is there convincing proof that statins will help people with high cholesterol yet without established heart disease live longer?

The answer is a resounding “no.”  Read More

The Vancouver Sun
Health News Review


Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved. Dr. Brian C. Baker

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