Archive for the ‘2010’ Category

2010 – October Newsletter

Posted on: October 1st, 2010



October Healthy Living Newsletter    


Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter.  Hopefully I can inform you, entertain you and support you in healthy living.  Take a look at the articles and please feel free to contact me if you want more information.  I’ve done my best to present what I feel are interesting topics over the past month, but I welcome your ideas as well.  Please forward this newsletter to your friends.


Flu Prevention: Think Vitamin D

In recent years, studies have shown that vitamin D is an important modulator of immune function. Some authorities suggest it has the potential to reduce the risk of life-threatening influenzas based on the initial observation that influenza normally strikes in countries during the colder (winter) months, when vitamin D production in the skin declines. This happens because the most generally available source of vitamin D is sunlight. Reduction in skin production of vitamin D due to reduced or no exposure to daily sunlight is accompanied by a decline in blood levels of vitamin D.


Some vitamin D experts suggest adults should supplement with 2,000 IU vitamin D per day (especially during the winter) as a means to maintain more optimal vitamin D status in general, strengthen immune function and help reduce the risk of influenza and its invasion into the lung cavity.


Anyone who’s suffered through the flu knows that it’s not only potentially dangerous; it can be downright miserable. Next time you’re here, ask to assess your current vitamin D status and discuss the value of vitamin D supplementation, particularly during the flu season. Whatever your strategy, it won’t eliminate your risk altogether, but why not do everything you can do naturally to protect yourself and your loved ones?


Learn more about Vitamin D here.





We Are What We Eat

“Most of the antibiotics sold in the United States — 70 percent — go

to the animals we eat, especially pigs and chickens. To speed up growth and to prevent the spread of disease in crowded conditions, growers put small amounts of antibiotics into animals’ daily feed. The result is nearly the same as if we were eating the antibiotics ourselves: an increase in antibiotic resistance in humans and the emergence of drug-resistant microbes.”  New York Times editorial


October 11, 2010 




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. Brian Baker






 133 Reef Road  Fairfield, CT



Chiropractic: The Spinal Dentist?

Consider for a moment everything you did today. Almost every movement you made, from getting out of bed in the morning until you got back into bed at night, required your spine to work in very complex ways that you’ve probably never thought twice about. Not only did your spine perform delicate mechanical functions, but it also facilitated the majority of your nerve function, another aspect of proper spinal function that most people never consider … until there’s a problem.


If your spine were just one solid bone, it couldn’t perform any of the variety of body movements; but as a stack of 26 bones, your spinal column can twist and bend to accommodate your every activity. This is accomplished by each spinal segment doing its job. When your spine moves, each movement of your vertebrae is choreographed through the rest of your body via a wonderfully designed system of muscles and ligaments that work together. 


Your spine also has 31 pairs of spinal nerves that exit at some point from your spinal column.  These delicate spinal nerves can become irritated, or inflammation can occur, when your spine fails to function properly.  These irritations or inflammation are thought to impact the nerve flow to the vital organs throughout your body.


In a healthy spine, each vertebra moves just a little each time you bend or twist. Even when you use your arms and legs, your spine plays a role. When you walk, your spine rotates just enough to allow your feet to move forward without tripping on the ground. The nerves inside and around your spine are protected and function comfortably when your vertebrae move within their normal range.


If you’re listening, your body usually will warn you when your spine is not functioning normally. This warning will come in the form of pain, discomfort, stiffness or a lack of function in your spine or extremities. Rather than address the problem, some people ignore their body’s warnings by taking pain relievers. Others just ignore the pain until their body adapts to the discomfort and the pain goes away.


The body puts the spine in a state of spasm to protect the delicate nerves and allow the inflammatory process to subside. Removing the pain often causes more problems because the body’s protective mechanism has been removed. It’s similar to pulling out the wire under the dashboard of your car when a warning light comes on. The light is no longer visible, but the problem remains and will continue to get worse.


Pain is your body’s way of telling you there’s a problem. Reducing the pain doesn’t necessarily address the problem. A problem ignored is a problem that will only become worse. The time to act is when you first begin to feel pain or discomfort, before it becomes chronic and much more serious.


When you do experience pain, recognize that your body is communicating a problem and address that problem immediately. Just as your teeth need regular brushing and a regular appointment with your dentist, your spine needs good nutrition, posture, flexibility and a periodic spinal checkup. It’s the way to your highest quality of life.


Water Intake and Health

According to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj,  author of Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, “THE SIMPLE TRUTH IS THAT DEHYDRATION CAN CAUSE DISEASE.” So here are some water facts to ponder: 


Muscle is 70 percent water. Sixty percent of body weight is water. Every cell contains water. The more muscle, the more glycogen stored; therefore, the more water that is needed for usage and storage.

Water aids in digestion and metabolic processes. Water transports nutrients to cells and takes wastes away from the cells. Water curbs the appetite.  Dehydration may mimic hunger. Proper water intake prevents this response.  Water aids in healthy kidney function. During dehydration or insufficient water intake, the kidneys must compensate and kidney stones may form.  More than one-third of older adults (age 60 or older) have inadequate water consumption


Filtered water is the preferable choice.  Pharmaceuticals are the most common chemicals found in U.S. waterways.  Chlorine, feces, bacteria, iron and lead are definitely not needed through your water intake. Chlorine adversely affects enzymes in food and whole food supplements.  We need enzymes for superior digestion.  Bottled water may not be cleaner than tap water.  Water in typical plastic Nalgene bottles and all polycarbonate plastics can leak Bisphenol A (BPA), potentially causing birth defects, tumors, breast tissue disturbances and changes in chromosomes.


There isn’t any specific research that supports drinking eight glasses of water per day.  If you are over 100 pounds, the simplest method is to take half of your body weight in pounds and drink that number of ounces.  For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you would need at least 60 oz of water (7 ½ cups).

Another method is to monitor your activity levels: 8-10 cups/day for the normal, less active person; 10-12 cups/day for more active people; and 4-8 oz of water every 15-20 minutes during exercise.  A third way of deciding how much water to drink: Consume 1 milliliter of water/kcal of expenditure.


Humor and Fun


Autonomic Nervous System Test 

If your palms don’t sweat watching this …call immediately.






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2010 – September Newsletter

Posted on: September 1st, 2010



Healthy Living Newsletter    


Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter.  Hopefully I can inform, entertain and support you in healthy living.  Take a look at the articles and please contact me if you want more information.  I’ve done my best to present what I feel are interesting topics over the past month, but I welcome your thoughts as well.  You may also forward this Newsletter to a friend .

Six Rules For Eating Wisely

Once upon a time Americans had a culture of food to guide us through the increasingly treacherous landscape of food choices: fat vs. carbs, organic vs. conventional, vegetarian vs. carnivorous. Culture in this case is just a fancy way of saying “your mom.” She taught us what to eat, when to eat it, how much of it to eat, even the order in which to eat it. But Mom’s influence over the dinner menu has proved no match for the $36 billion in food-marketing dollars ($10 billion directed to kids alone) designed to get us to eat more, eat all manner of dubious neofoods, and create entire new eating occasions, such as in the car. Some food culture.  Read more…



Home Food Handling Safety

Foodborne diseases remain an important cause of illness and disability in the United States. An important contributor is improper food handling and preparation practices in kitchens at restaurants and in private homes. 


The Home Kitchen Self-Inspection Program from the Los Angeles Department of Health includes a Food Safety Quiz.  The content of the questions are guided by food safety education principles from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: clean, separate, cook, and chill.  The quiz emphasizes such food handling practices as the need to clean and sanitize cutting boards after handling poultry, the safe handling of raw eggs, and appropriate methods for the refrigeration of cooked and uncooked foods. The quiz also provides valuable instruction about better ways to maintain home food safety.


Here are some quiz results so far.  When queried regarding food handling and preparation practices, approximately 27% reported not storing partially cooked foods that would not be used immediately in the refrigerator before final cooking, 28% said they did not remove all jewelry from hands and/or did not keep fingernails trimmed when cooking, and 26% reported that their kitchen shelves and cabinets were not clean and free from dust. Approximately 36% of respondents said that they did not have a properly working thermometer inside the refrigerator. Approximately 9% reported that they had flies inside the home; 6% reported cockroaches; and 5% reported rodents inside their homes.


If home kitchens were graded similarly to restaurants and were required to post letter grades in the kitchen based on results from the quiz, 34% of respondents would have received an A rating, 27% a B, 25% a C; 14% would have received a numeric score because they scored lower than 70%.

September 17, 2010 




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. Brian Baker






 133 Reef Road  Fairfield, CT



Why You Need Chiropractic, Not Drugs, For Aches and Pains

Short-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was associated with an increased risk of stroke in a Danish population study that included only healthy individuals. Results showed that NSAID use was associated with an increased risk of stroke. This increased risk ranged from about 30% with ibuprofen (ie: Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (ie: Alleve) to 86% with diclofenac (ie: Voltaren, Arthrotec). 


“First we found an increased risk of MI (heart attack) with NSAIDs.  Now we are finding the same thing for stroke. This is very serious, as these drugs are very widely used, with many available over the counter,” said the lead researcher Dr. Gislason.  “We need to get the message out to healthcare authorities that these drugs need to be regulated more carefully.” He did not find the results that surprising in view of the accumulating evidence of increased MI risk with these drugs, adding that the mechanism was probably the same.


Gislason noted that there was also a dose-relationship found, with the increased risk of stroke with doses of ibuprofen over 200 mg and with diclofenac doses over 100 mg.  He pointed out that the results were particularly striking, given that this study was conducted in healthy individuals. 


For the current study, Gislason and colleagues examined the risk of stroke and NSAID use in healthy individuals living in Denmark. His team started with the whole population of Denmark aged over 10 years. To

select just the healthy individuals, they excluded anyone admitted to the hospital within the past five years or those prescribed chronic medications for more than two years. This left a population of around half a million, who were included in the study. By linking to prescribing registries, the researchers found that 45% of these healthy

individuals had received at least one prescription for an NSAID between 1997 and 2005. They then used stroke data from further hospitalization and death registries and estimated the risk of fatal and nonfatal stroke associated with the use of NSAIDs.  


Gislason feels that there is reluctance among the medical profession to limit the prescribing of these drugs. “The problem is that we don’t have randomized trials, and it is very hard to change the habits of doctors. They have been using these drugs for decades without thinking about cardiovascular side effects.” 


He also stressed that the public needs to be protected by not allowing NSAIDs to be bought without a prescription. He has had some success in this regard in Denmark at least, where diclofenac became available over the counter recently, but after some of the MI data came out, Gislason’s group campaigned the health authorities, and it has now become a prescription-only drug again. But he noted that many more NSAIDs are available over the counter in the US. 


He believes the harmful effects of these agents are relevant to huge numbers of people. “If half the population takes these drugs, even on an occasional basis, then this could be responsible for a 50% to 100% increase in stroke risk. It is an enormous effect.” 

Vitamin E and Dementia.  Vitamin D and Parkinson’s

A high intake of foods rich in vitamin E may lower the chance of dementia; high blood levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease and cognitive decline. These are the new, preliminary findings from three studies published recently in Archives of Neurology and Archives of Internal Medicine.


The first study, which concentrated on blood levels of vitamin D, included 638 Italians over the age of 65 living in Tuscany. Their cognitive function was assessed at the start of the project and twice thereafter over the next six years. Here’s the bottom line: Those whose blood tests showed a severe deficiency of vitamin D were the most likely to show declines in thinking, learning, and memory.This is the first study to look at the association between dementia and vitamin D, which has long been known to be important to bone health. (Earlier research showed the lower the blood levels of vitamin D, the higher the incidence of a wide range of disorders including cancer, vascular disease, infectious conditions, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and obesity.


The second study found a relationship between higher vitamin D levels and a reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. More than 3,000 Finnish men and women, age 50 to 79, participated in this study, which was conducted in a region of Finland with limited sunlight exposure. After 29 years of follow-up, 50 people developed Parkinson’s disease. “Our results are in line with the hypothesis that low vitamin D status predicts the development of Parkinson’s disease.” Put another way: The study showed the higher the blood levels of vitamin D, the less likely the participants would have symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.


The third study found that high consumption of foods rich in antioxidants is associated with lower risk of dementia. The authors of this study explain why they chose not to study antioxidant supplements: “Although clinical trials have shown no benefit of antioxidant supplements for Alzheimer’s disease, the wider variety of antioxidants in food sources is not well studied relative to dementia risk; a few studies, with varying lengths of follow-up, have yielded inconsistent results.”  Read the article.



Humor and Fun


This Tee Shirt kind of says it all…


Madame Guillotine   Check out the actor/singer who loses his head.  I think he’s pretty good!




2010 – August Newsletter

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

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

2010 – June Newsletter

Posted on: June 1st, 2010
Chiropractic Care
Dr. Brian C. Baker     133 Reef Road     Fairfield, CT
Healthy Living
June 8, 2010
Quick Links

Grassroots Health


Paleo Diet


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

“My purpose is to provide exceptional, personalized care with practical treatment frequency and duration.   I expect our patients to have a positive experience and feel confident when referring friends and family to our office.


Dr. Baker
Welcome our latest UBCC intern and front desk staff
I‘d like to welcome Raluca Demas to the office.  Raluca is a third year University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic student and she will be working here on Saturday mornings doing some stretching, massage therapy and assisting, as well as learning office procedures.  Say hello if you see her!
Also welcome to my son Luke Baker who is working the front desk on Saturday mornings.  People notice a slight resemblance.  Let me know what you think if you meet him.

Check out our new website
Take a look at  I hope you will share it with friends and family who may need chiropractic care.  If you’re due for an adjustment it’s time to call and get in.  Summer is a good time to get a tune-up so you can enjoy the outdoors. 

Throw away the sunscreen!
Two independent studies published in the Feb. 2005 issue of the
prestigious Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) squarely contradict the popular myth that UV light causes melanoma.

The first study evaluated the hypothesis that UV radiation increases
your risk of developing lymphoma – a hypothesis that had become widely
accepted in the 1990s and early 2000s. After studying nearly 7,000
subjects, the authors concluded that the opposite is actually true:
increased sun exposure reduces the risk of
non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) by up to 40%. What’s more, the reduction
in risk was dose-related, which means that the more sun
exposure someone got, the lower their risk of cancer

The second study looked at the link between sun exposure and the
chances of surviving melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin
cancer. Guess what? The researchers concluded that increased sun
exposure decreases the chance of dying from skin cancer
by approximately 50%. Here’s the study PubMed and here’s the article The Healthy Skeptic

Omega 3 Fats and Glucosamine
New research shows that omega-3 fats and glucosamine work together to
provide additional benefits for people with

Scientists gave 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate to the
study participants, but some also received 200 mg of omega-3 fats. Both
groups had about the same number of participants who reported a 20 percent
or less reduction in pain.

However, when researchers asked those who experienced an 80
reduction in pain, those in the glucosamine plus omega-3 group reported reduced morning stiffness and pain in the hips and knees by
between 48.5 and 55.6 percent, compared to 41.7 to 55.3 percent for
those in the glucosamine only group.”  New research shows that omega-3 fats and glucosamine work together to
provide additional benefits for people with

BTW, we carry a product from Pure Encapsulations that has glucosamine and omega 3 combined in one capsule specifically made for arthritis.


Are Too Many People Taking Heartburn Drugs?
Too many people in the U.S. may be taking stomach-acid-suppressing
drugs such as Nexium and Prevacid, new research suggests. The drugs,
known as proton pump inhibitors, help those with serious stomach and
digestive problems, but the risks may outweigh the benefits for people
with less serious conditions, experts say.
Proton pump inhibitors
can have rare but serious side effects, including an increased risk of
bacterial infection and bone fracture.

According to several new studies
in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 
proton pump inhibitors are associated
with an increased risk of infection from the bacterium Clostridium
difficile, a hard-to-treat intestinal infection that can occur in people
taking antibiotics. C. difficile typically results in severe diarrhea
but can lead to removal of the colon or even death in extreme cases.   Read the full article here: Are too many people taking heartburn drugs?


Can we eat to starve cancer?

That is the title of an interesting talk given by William Li at a recent TED conference.  He presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases:
anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a
tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods
that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game.  Watch it here.
On a side note.  TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design and they are “devoted to ideas worth spreading”.  If you have never checked out the TED website than do yourself a favor and start exploring the various themes and speakers that are available 

The Color of Salmon
Wild salmon are a gorgeous salmon pink because the fish eat marine
krill, tiny crustaceans loaded with pigments – mainly one called
astaxanthin but also another called canthaxanthin. These get
incorporated into the salmon’s flesh and can be identified by testing

Farmed salmon, alas, are not fed krill. Instead they are fed pellets
like the ones fed to cats or dogs. As a result, their flesh is an
unattractive gray color. Research on the industry-important question
of what best sells salmon demonstrates two things: the darker its pink
color, the more likely you are to choose it over more lightly colored
salmon; and if the salmon is gray, you will not buy it at all.

So salmon farmers resort to cosmetics.


Blood Pressure Drops when Sugary Drinks are Reduced
Cutting down on sugar-sweetened soft drinks was associated with a drop
in blood pressure, researchers found.  In a cohort of U.S. adults, those who reduced daily intake of the
beverages saw a significant drop in both
systolic and diastolic pressure over an 18-month period, according to
Liwei Chen, MD, PhD, of Louisiana State University Health Science Center
in New Orleans, and colleagues.
On average, American adults consume 28 fluid ounces a day of
sugar-sweetened beverages, or some 2.3 servings, Chen and colleagues
noted.  As part of the trial, participants’ blood pressure was measured at
baseline and at three, six, 12, and 18 months. They were also questioned
about their dietary intake — including soft drinks — at baseline,
six months, and 18 months.  Over the course of the study, the average participant cut down on
sugar-sweetened drinks by 6.0 fluid ounces a day at six months and 2.8
fluid ounces at 18 months. At the same time, consumption of diet
beverages was reduced by 2.3 fluid ounces a day at six months but
increased by 1.5 fluid ounces a day at 18 months.
On average, systolic blood pressure fell by a mean of 9.8 at six months and 8.2 at 18 months, compared with the baseline
values. For diastolic blood pressure, the corresponding declines were
5.4 and 5.6, respectively.

Good Chocolate Does a Heart Good
Within just hours of eating a flavonol-rich chocolate bar, patients with
congestive heart failure had measurable improvements in vascular
function, researchers reported.  Andreas Flammer, MD, of University Hospital in Zurich and his colleagues evenly randomized 20 heart failure patients to 80
grams of flavonol-rich chocolate bars or cocoa-free, flavonol-free
placebo bars specially manufactured to resemble and taste like a
chocolate bar.

He noted that the dose — 80 grams — is “a lot of chocolate” and
may be more than many people — especially elderly congestive heart
failure patients — could easily consume. A Hersey bar, for example,
is 43 grams.

Moreover, Flammer said that the chocolate bar used in the study “is
commercially available in Europe, but not in the U.S.” The closest U.S.
available product, Flammer said, would be Lindt dark chocolate bars —
“80 grams would be almost all of a Lindt bar.”

And he said that the key to finding flavonol-rich chocolate is not,
“the cocoa content, it is the flavonol content.”

Flammer noted that candy makers have responded to news stories about
the health benefits of chocolate by increasing the cocoa content in
chocolate and prominently displaying the cocoa content on labels. “But
the manufacturers boost cocoa content by increasing cocoa fats, not
cocoa itself,” he explained. That process does not, he said, increase
the flavonol level.

He noted, for example, that the daily chocolate intake had no adverse
effect on other parameters including total cholesterol, triglycerides,
blood pressure, and — most interestingly — there was no weight
gain associated with the chocolate regimen.

Flammer had an explanation for the lack of weight gain. “They weren’t
hungry after eating the chocolate,” he said.


Thanks to John C.
Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved. Dr. Brian C. Baker

2010 – May Newsletter

Posted on: May 13th, 2010
Chiropractic Care
Dr. Brian C. Baker     133 Reef Road     Fairfield, CT
Healthy Living
May 6, 2010
Quick Links

Grassroots Health


Paleo Diet


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

“My purpose is to provide exceptional, personalized care with practical treatment frequency and duration.   I expect our patients to have a positive experience and feel confident when referring friends and family to our office.


Dr. Baker
Check out our new website
I’ve put together a new website that I’d like your opinion about.  Take a look at  I hope you will share it with friends and family who may need chiropractic care.  If you’re due for an adjustment it’s time to call and get in.  Spring is a good time to get a tune-up so you can enjoy summer.  Anne is standing by waiting for your call!

World Health Organization: Defining Health
At an FDA tobacco meeting a while back, Howard Koh, MD, assistant secretary of health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) started his speech with the World Health Organization’s definition of “health.
Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
I like this concept of health and have often quoted it when I gave health talks.  In the current climate of healthcare reform, I hope that the discussion focuses on what it takes to be healthy.  Preventive care, healthy lifestyles and addressing metal and spiritual well being, are at the foundation of what it means to live and stay healthy. 
Breastfeed and Be Part of Saving America $13 Billion
That’s the mundane detail; the important statistic is that 900 babies lives could be saved if 90% of new moms breastfed for the first six months of their child’s life. As far as the economics are concerned, $13 billion could be saved if moms nursed for the first six months!

The Journal of Pediatrics carried an April 5 article, written by Dr. Melissa Bartick of Harvard, detailing the study results. Breast feeding was suggested to help with stomach viruses, asthma, ear infections, juvenile diabetes, SIDS, and leukemia.
Not to blame mom…but only 12% of new moms follow the federal recommendations that babies only receive breast milk for the first six months while 43% of moms do at least some breast feeding for six months.


Bottom Line Health and Stroke Risk

The March issue of Bottom Line Health focused on matters related to stroke and related risk factors. The last item they discussed in the article was “chiropractic adjustment”. In a remarkably refreshing bit of journalistic integrity, the author, Stephen Meese, M.D., cited the Cassidy study (Spine 2/15/08) and noted, “A study of 818 people found that those under age 45 who had suffered vertebral basalar artery (VBA) strokes and were hospitalized for that type of stroke were three times more likely to have seen a chiropractor or a primary care physician before hospitalization than people without VBA strokes.” (Emphasis added, although he did note it in italics). He went on to add, “In people over age 45, VBA stroke was associated with visits to primary care practitioners.”
The point being made was that the study did not find any associated risk with seeing a chiropractor and that chiropractic manipulation is not a likely cause of strokes.
Meese’s specialty is neurology and in particular vascular neurology. He should be complimented for accurately and evenly expressing the Cassidy et al. findings.

New Life for the Appendix

A researcher from Duke University, William Parker, theorizes that the appendix is a storehouse for “good” bacteria that are available to replenish the intestine following infection or an upset of the normal balance of critters in the colon. Essentially, he recognizes the appendix as an extension of the immune system…in a related consideration, surgeons at Texas Southwestern Medical Center have analyzed appendicitis and the flu and found that there is an association. These folks suggest a viral infection somehow impacts the appendix, upsets its normal function and allows for invasion by harmful microbes. They will soon begin a trial to treat with antibiotics rather than surgery, but did you know that in many states of these here United States, if a surgeon opens a belly, he or she must take the appendix out as part of the price for being in the neighborhood. No joke, dats a fact, Jack!

National Drinking Water Week – May 2–8, 2010
From the CDC. The United States has one of the safest public drinking water supplies in the world.  Tap water not only provides water for daily activities such as drinking, bathing, and cooking, but it also benefits the entire community by providing water to serve businesses, schools, and hospitals, and to promote dental health. May 2–8, 2010, is National Drinking Water Week, an annual observance whose theme “Only Tap Water Delivers” underscores the many services provided by public drinking water systems in the United States.

Disinfection and treatment practices, as well as the environmental regulation of water pollutants, have substantially improved domestic water quality over the past century and led to a dramatic decrease in the incidence of waterborne diseases such as cholera. Despite these improvements, sources of drinking water still can become contaminated and lead to adverse health effects.

New challenges to the U.S. water supply include aging drinking water infrastructure, climate change impacts on water availability and quality, chemical contamination of water sources, emerging pathogens (e.g., Cryptosporidium), and the development of new ways to obtain and use water. National Drinking Water Week is a time to highlight the importance of safe drinking water and recognize that protecting and reinvesting in water infrastructure is crucial to the health of persons living in the United States. 

Children’s Cold, Pain, and Allergy Medicines Recalled
In response to concerns about a possible breach of manufacturing quality standards, McNeil Consumer Products is voluntarily recalling a number of liquid infant’s and children’s over-the-counter products.
The FDA characterized the recall as precautionary and noted that it has receivedno reports of adverse events linked to the products, moreover the agency said that based on the information “received at this time, the potential for serious medical problems is remote.”

Included in the recall are Tylenol Infants’ Drops, Children’s Tylenol Suspensions, Children’s Tylenol Plus Suspensions, Motrin Infants’ Drops, Children’s Motrin Suspensions, Children’s Motrin Cold Suspensions, Children’s Zyrtec liquids in bottles, and Children’s Benadryl Allergy liquids in bottles.

The FDA cautioned that some of the “products included in the recall may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than specified; others contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles.”

McNeil recalled several varieties of Children’s Tylenol last September because of possible contamination with a Gram-negative bacteria, Burkholderia cepacia, and earlier this year the manufacturer recalled a wide variety of products, including Children’s Tylenol, because of consumer complaints of “an unusual, moldy, musty, or mildew-like odor.”


Several people have sent me this link to amazing photos from Iceland.
Take a look : Eyjafjallajokull 


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

2010 – April Newsletter

Posted on: April 1st, 2010
Chiropractic Care
Dr. Brian C. Baker     133 Reef Road     Fairfield, CT

Healthy Living

March 4, 2010
Quick Links

Check out our new website:



Grassroots Health


Paleo Diet


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

“My purpose is to provide exceptional, personalized care
with practical treatment frequency and duration.
   I expect our patients to have a positive experience and feel
confident when referring friends and family to our office.


Dr. Baker
Analgesic Use and the Risk of Hearing Loss in Men
Hearing loss is a common sensory disorder, yet prospective
data on potentially modifiable risk factors are limited. Regularly used
analgesics, the most commonly used drugs in the US, may be toxic to the ear and contribute
to hearing loss. Regular use of aspirin, NSAIDs, or acetaminophen increases the
risk of hearing loss in men, and the impact is larger on younger individuals.
Avandia and Heart Attack
GlaxoSmithKline finds itself
defending its product Avandia following a recent U.S. Senate report citing an
FDA estimate that Avandia resulted in 83,000 heart attacks between 1999 and
2007.  The Senate report cites GSK for
their failure in that they “had a duty to sufficiently warn patients in a
timely manner.” The report indicates that not only did they fail to notify
the public in a timely manner of the drug’s risks, but that the company tried
to downplay the potential risks.

This report, which was two years in the making, follows a 2007 NEJM

article that detailed a 43% higher risk of heart attack for patients taking

MRI, CT and PET Scan Use Increases
by 400

In the period between 1996 and
2006, the use of MRI, CT and PET Scans in emergency room visits increased by
400%; in individual offices and clinics, the increase was 300%. In 2006, there
were 8,000 MRI machines in the U.S., an increase of 100% in ten years. In the
period from 2003 to 2006, the number of CT scanners jumped to 10,100, an
increase of 20%. Medicare spends $12 billion on the scans and they are starting
to get concerned!

A CT can run between $500 and $1,000 for the technical component. Then be sure
and add in the professional component for the total cost. MRI and PET scans are
more expensive…an MRI in Japan costs about $100. Hmmm. The big player
manufacturers in this area also build and sell smaller versions of the scanners
themselves for way less money in Japan…these aren’t even available in the
U.S. market.

Fish Oils and Psychosis

I know you have all read the Archives
of General Psychiatry
and that you were likely thrilled as I was about the
February 2010 edition-what a page turner! Nonetheless, I feel compelled to
review with you one of the more interesting articles from Austrian authors who
identified and followed 81 patients between the ages of 13 and
25 that demonstrated warning signs for psychosis. Of the 81
patients, 41 were given a fish oil supplement and the other 40 were given
a placebo. At the one-year mark, 2 of the 41 patients receiving the fish oils
had deteriorated into a psychotic state. In the control group, 11 of 40 had
deteriorated into a psychotic state. Based on these findings, the researchers
have expanded the study to eight cities and are in the process of attempting to
replicate the outcome in a larger, more geographically diverse population.

The study and its findings support the hypothesis that schizophrenia may be, in
part, an aberration of fatty acid metabolism. It was suggested that
psychiatrists may begin recommending fish oils as there is a potential benefit with
no known downside. What a wonderful thing if something so simple could address
a circumstance that can be so devastating.

Insurers kickin’ butt during the

A report from an advocacy group
Health Care for America Now, dated February 2010, detailed the profits of the
top five insurers in America–which increased by 56% in 2009–and the fact that
these insurers dropped 2.7 million persons.

“The five largest U.S. health insurance companies
sailed through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression to set
new industry profit records in 2009, a feat accomplished by leaving behind 2.7
million Americans who had been in private health plans. For customers who kept
their benefits, the insurers raised rates and cost-sharing, and cut the share of
premiums spent on medical care. Executives and shareholders of the five biggest
for-profit health insurers, UnitedHealth Group Inc., WellPoint Inc., Aetna
Inc., Humana Inc., and Cigna Corp., enjoyed combined profit of $12.2 billion in
2009, up 56 percent from the previous year. It was the best year ever for Big

The full report can be found at Health Care for America Now

Serving Size Sleight of Hand

When you read the nutrition
label on food packaging and see how many calories you’re eating, do you ever
take into consideration what the manufacturer considers a serving size?  Well you should. Here’s an interesting video
that discusses the problem of serving size as it relates to our total calorie
intake.  New York Times video

Actual Medical Records

A collection of documentation statements actually found on patient’s charts during a recent review of medical records. 
These statements were written by various health care professionals including a doctor or two at
several major hospitals:

  • The baby was delivered, the cord clamped and cut and handed to the pediatrician, who breathed and cried immediately.

  • Exam of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

  • The skin was moist and dry.

  • Rectal exam revealed a normal size thyroid.

  • She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until 1989 when she got a divorce.

  • The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of gas and crashed.

  • I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.

  • The patient lives at home with his mother, father, and pet turtle, who is presently enrolled in day care three times a week.

  • Bleeding started in the rectal area and continued all the way to Los Angeles.

  • She is numb from her toes down.

  • The patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

  • Exam of genitalia was completely negative except for the right foot.

  • While in the emergency room, she was examined, X-rated and sent home.

  • The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

  • The patient was to have a bowel resection. However he took a job as a stockbroker instead.

  • Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.

  • Coming from Detroit, this man has no children.

  • Examination reveals a well-developed male lying in bed with his family in no distress.

  • Patient was alert and unresponsive.

  • When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.
  • She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
  • Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  • On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.
  • The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
  • The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
  • Discharge status: Alive but without my permission.
  • Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year old male, mentally alert
    but forgetful.
  • The patient refused autopsy.
  • The patient has no previous history of suicides.
  • Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.
  • Patient’s medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only
    a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.
  • Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
  • Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.
  • The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
  • Skin: somewhat pale but present.
  • The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.
  • Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Blank, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.
  • Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.
  • Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

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

2010 – January Newsletter

Posted on: January 1st, 2010
Chiropractic Care
Dr. Brian C. Baker     133 Reef Road     Fairfield, CT

Healthy Living

January 26, 2010
In This Issue


Quick Links


Grassroots Health


Paleo Diet


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

“My purpose is to provide exceptional, personalized care
with practical treatment frequency and duration.
   I expect our patients to have a positive experience and feel
confident when referring friends and family to our office.


Dr. Baker
Chiropractic and Stroke
Assault on Chiropractic
Recently the news has been covering the subject of risk of stroke from chiropractic adjustments.  The sudden media interest stems from hearings that the Connecticut Board of Chiropractic Examiners held to address the question of mandatory informed consent that  addresses the risk of  stroke when a chiropractic physician performs a neck adjustment. 
First a little background.  Over the past few years a group calling themselves Victims of Chiropractic Abuse (VOCA) has been placing billboards and advertisements around the state asking if you’ve been injured by a chiropractor or warning that chiropractic adjustments cause strokes.   In addition they have repeatedly attempted to pass informed consent legislation that singles out the chiropractic profession and stroke.  After multiple Public Health Committee hearings, they have not been successful.  Interestingly, this group never approached the Connecticut Chiropractic Association to discuss their concerns.
Last June the Connecticut Chiropractic Association (CCA) chose to file a petition with the Department of Public Health and the Chiropractic Board of Examiners asking for a Declaratory Ruling on the issue of informed consent for cervical spine manipulation and stroke.  At the same time the CCA and VOCA signed an agreement to allow due process of the petition and hearings without either group having any direct contact with the board or the media.  Apparently someone broke the agreement.  Any guess who it was?
So what really is the risk from a cervical adjustment?  The risk of stroke has been estimated at one in 4 – 5 million chiropractic neck adjustments.  Other injuries?  Well the odds of suffering a serious complication from a chiropractic neck treatment are about one in 2 million. These numbers are no exaggeration.  In other words, the risk is remote.
A better risk indicator may be the cost of malpractice.  The average malpractice
insurance rate for doctors of chiropractic across the country is
$1,500. For general physicians (MDs), rates range from $10,000 to
$20,000–depending on the area of the country.  Here in Connecticut I pay about $2,000 through the Connecticut Medical Insurance Company.
In my opinion, VOCA and the recent media blitz intends to scare people away from chiropractic care and may in fact put them at much greater risk of injury from treatment like over-the-counter and prescription anti-inflammatory and pain medication.  They have no intention of protecting the public and their agenda is to smear chiropractic.  I also find it offensive that a group would call themselves Victims of Chiropractic Abuse.  The many chiropractic physicians that I know are dedicated to their patients’ health care and take this responsibility very seriously.  I know I do.
Check out CTChiro for the current research.

Back Surgery
Back Surgery Compared to Non-Surgical Treatment

People with severe back pain due to a ruptured disk usually recover
whether they have surgery or decide to wait it out, though an operation
brings immediate pain relief. And contrary to what many people are told
by their surgeons, avoiding surgery does not result in nerve damage.
These findings are from a large clinical trial published in November 2006 in
the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Many back surgeons criticized this trial before it began because
they were convinced of disk surgery’s benefit. Some refused to refer
their patients to a trial they saw as unethical because surgery would
be withheld from some study participants, a necessary component to a
study intended to randomly assign half to non-surgical treatment.

But the research team led by James N. Weinstein, DO, Dartmouth
Medical School, had these justifications for going ahead: 1) ruptured
disks are often seen on the CT or MRI scans of people without any back
symptoms and these scans also show that untreated ruptured disks can
regress in time; 2) the rate of disk surgery in some regions of the
U.S. is 15 times higher than that of other regions and other Western
countries, thus raising suspicion that many disk operations are

The clinical trial went forward despite surgeons’ objections, and
2,000 people were treated at one of 13 U.S. spine clinics. All had
scan-confirmed disk herniation and the persistent back and leg pain of
sciatica for at least six weeks. Some of the participants agreed to be
assigned randomly to receive either back surgery or non-surgical
therapy (physical therapy and counseling and anti-inflammatory
painkillers). Other participants, however, wanted to choose their own
treatment, and they formed the basis of a separate trial called an
observational study.

The results did not identify one treatment as superior to the other
because so many study participants “crossed-over.” Only 50% of the
people assigned to undergo surgery actually had the operation, and 30%
of those assigned to non-surgical therapies decided to have the

A co-author of the observational study Richard A. Deyo, MD,
Professor of Medicine and of Health Services, University of Washington,
Seattle, was asked for the take-home message of both trials. “Most
people got better, regardless of whether they had surgery. Surgery
typically offered faster relief, but by two to four years, people are
the same whether or not they had surgery,” he responded in a telephone
interview. Surgery can be avoided, if the pain is tolerable and the
patient is “risk averse,” he explained, referring to the small but
definite risks of surgery, such as nerve injury, scarring, and
anesthesia mishaps.

The risks of surgery, though small, are greater than any risk of the
wait-and-see approach, he continued. “Many people have the impression
they will become paralyzed or [suffer] permanent muscle weakness if
they delay, but patients needn’t worry.”

Will the new findings reverse back surgeons’ opinions? “This study
replicates a trial done in Norway 30 years ago with much the same
results,” said Dr. Deyo, noting that many American back surgeons could
be unaware of this trial. “It might bring some surgeons up to date,” he
said, answering the question of whether the findings will reduce the
country’s high number of herniated disk operations, estimated to be
300,000 yearly.

“But it’s spinal fusion surgery that is now the most controversial,”
said Dr. Deyo, referring to another back surgery now done in excess.
“It has exploded [in growth] over the last decade, and there is no
evidence for it.” There are huge financial interests involved in terms
of equipment, hospitals, and physicians, explained Dr. Deyo, and the
circumstances for which the operation may be warranted, such as
spondylolisthesis (vertebrae out of alignment), spinal fracture, and
cancer metastasis to the spine—are all uncommon.
Center for Medical Consumers

High Dose Fish Oil for Back and Neck Pain
Alternative to NSAIDs
Investigators at the University of Pittsburgh have treated chronic pain patients with high doses of omega-3 fatty acids – the ingredient found in many cold-water fish species such as salmon.  The researchers say their findings suggest that this could be the answer to the adverse effects seen with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors, which have been associated with potentially catastrophic adverse effects.

Patients who took high doses of omega-3 oils were impressed enough with the outcomes that they chose to continue using the oils and fore go the use of NSAIDs. The 250 study patients suffered from chronic neck or back pain but
were not surgical candidates, and they had been using daily doses of NSAIDs.

This research was published in the medical journal Surgical Neurology in April 2006.  Comments from the abstract include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain.
  • The use of NSAIDs are associated with “extreme complications, including gastric ulcers, bleeding, myocardial infarction, and even deaths.”

  • An alternative treatment with fewer side effects that also reduces the inflammatory response and thereby reduces pain is believed to be omega-3 EFAs found in fish oil.
  • At an average of 75 days on fish oil, 59% discontinued taking their prescription NSAIDs for pain and 88% stated they would continue to take the fish oil.
  • There were no significant side effects reported.
  • “Our results mirror other controlled studies that compared ibuprofen and omega-3 EFAs demonstrating equivalent effect in reducing arthritic pain.”

  • Omega-3 EFA fish oil supplements appear to be a safer alternative to NSAIDs for treatment of nonsurgical neck or back pain.

We use a concentrated Omega-3 from Pure Encapsulations that provides a much higher dosage with less risk of burping.


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