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July 2020 Health Newsletter

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» Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia
» Get Out Of The House
» Alcohol Consumption Gets A Long Needed Cut
» Choose Water, Not Diabetes

Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter

What if a few servings of broccoli a week could help prevent, even fight off prostate cancer? New research indicates there may just be truth to this. A team of British researchers from the Institute of Food Research found dietary broccoli consumption of 400 grams per week activated genes that control inflammation and cancer formation in the prostate. According to researchers, when people get cancer some genes are switched off and some are switched on, and, what broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer development and switching off other genes that help it to spread. Thus, dietary broccoli consumption was able to affect the expression of cancer formation/inflammation/spreading genes in a positive manner. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men with approximately 680,000 men diagnosed worldwide.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: PLoS One. July 2, 2008.


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"Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia

A form of 'mind-body' therapy that focuses on the role of emotions in physical pain may offer some relief to people with fibromyalgia, a small clinical trial suggests.

The study, of 45 women with fibromyalgia, found that those who learned a technique called "affective self-awareness" were more likely to show a significant reduction in their pain over six months. Overall, 46 percent of the women had a 30-percent or greater reduction in their pain severity, as measured by a standard pain-rating scale.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome marked by widespread pain -- including discomfort at specific "tender points" in the body -- along with symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel and sleep problems. It is estimated to affect up to 5 million U.S. adults, most commonly middle-aged women.

The precise cause of fibromyalgia is unknown -- there are no physical signs, such as inflammation and tissue damage in the painful area -- but some researchers believe the disorder involves problems in how the brain processes pain signals.

Standard treatments include painkillers, antidepressants, cognitive- behavioral therapy and exercise therapy. However, many people with fibromyalgia find that their symptoms -- pain, in particular -- persist despite treatment.

Part of that, according to the researchers on the new study, may be because standard treatments do not specifically address the role psychological stress and emotions can play in triggering people's pain.

That is not to say that the pain people with fibromyalgia feel is "all in their head," stressed Dr. Howard Schubiner, of St. John Health/ Providence Hospital and Medical Centers in Southfield, Michigan.

"The pain is very real," Schubiner said in an interview. But, he explained, pain and emotions are "connected in the brain," and emotional factors may act to trigger "learned nerve pathways" that give rise to pain.

Past studies have found that compared with people without fibromyalgia, those with the disorder have higher rates of stressful life events, such as childhood abuse, marital problems and high levels of job stress. There is also evidence that they are relatively less aware of their own emotions and more reluctant to express their feelings, particularly anger.

For the new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Schubiner and his colleagues tested the effects of affective self-awareness -- a technique Schubiner developed and uses in treating certain chronic-pain conditions -- on fibromyalgia.

They randomly assigned 45 women with the condition to either undergo the therapy or go on a wait-list for treatment, serving as a control group. Women in the treatment group each had a one-on-one consultation, then attended three group meetings to learn the affective self-awareness techniques so that they could carry them out on their own.

The therapy involves an educational component where patients learn about the emotion-pain connection. They learn specific techniques -- including mindfulness meditation and "expressive" writing -- for recognizing and dealing with the emotions that may be contributing to their pain. Patients are also encouraged to get back to any exercise or other activities that they have been avoiding due to pain.

Schubiner's team found that six months later, 46 percent of the treatment group had at least a 30-percent reduction in their pain ratings compared with scores at the outset. And 21 percent had a 50-percent or greater reduction.
None of the women in the control group had a comparable improvement.

The study is only the first clinical trial to test affective self-awareness for fibromyalgia, and it had a number of limitations, including its small size. In addition, the control group received no active therapy to serve as a comparison.

That is important because it is possible for patients to benefit from simply receiving attention from a healthcare provider, or being part of small-group sessions with other people suffering from the same condition, for example.

Schubiner also acknowledged that this general "model" for understanding and addressing fibromyalgia pain is controversial.

He said that he and his colleagues have applied for funding to conduct a larger clinical trial comparing affective self-awareness with standard cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Affective self-awareness and cognitive-behavioral therapy have similarities, according to Schubiner. Both, for example, try to show patients that they have the power to improve their own health.

A key difference, Schubiner said, is that affective self-awareness asks people to "directly engage" the emotions that may be helping to drive their symptoms.

Another difference is that, right now, only a small number of healthcare providers practice affective self-awareness, according to Schubiner.

Some components of the technique, such as teachings in mindfulness meditation, are more widely available. But whether those practices in isolation would help fibromyalgia patients' pain is not clear.

Author: Reuters
Source: Journal of General Internal Medicine, online June 8, 2010.


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Get Out Of The House

With Covid-19 and the resulting changes to our day-to-day activities, many of us are spending more time indoors on or in front of electronics and less time exploring and living life.  Kids and teens are statued in front of TVs engaged in Fortnite Battle Royales.  Moms and dads aren't far behind, binging on Netflix and eating up every last available byte of their neighborhood's shared bandwidth.  During these times, let's not forget how to live, to move, to explore.  If you're going stir crazy, if you're stuck indoors consuming copious amounts of bandwidth, we encourage you to take a break from all that heavy streaming of bites and bytes, and take some time to enjoy some living.  Get out of the house.  Throw on a mask and take a walk, a jog, a run or go for a drive.  Check out the birds, the squirrels, count some clouds, get some sun.  Be safe, social distance, but remember to get out of the house!



Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: ChiroPlanet.com


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Alcohol Consumption Gets A Long Needed Cut

Since 1990, U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommended no more than two alcoholic drinks for men and one drink for women daily. However, after 30 years that's about to change. The committee of experts responsible for these guidelines now recommend both men and women limit their alcohol consumption to a maximum of one drink per day, at most. A primary reason for this change is the link to cancer. According to researchers, alcohol consumption is the third most common cause of preventable cancer, aside from smoking and obesity. It's also important people understand these guidelines are not recommending adults drink one alcoholic beverage daily. Instead, the guidelines are for those who already consume alcohol to ensure they don't over indulge, as the data shows this increases their risk of death. In fact, the committee experts now explicitly discourage the drinking of alcohol for any reason.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee


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Choose Water, Not Diabetes

New research based on tracking more than 80,000 women over a decade indicates replacing sugary drinks such as fruit juice and soda with water lowers the risk of developing diabetes. This finding does not appear to be based on higher water consumption in the diet. Instead, the reduction in developing diabetes appears to be related to the reduction in consuming sugary beverages. The more sugar-based drinks and fruit juices consumed the higher the risk of developing diabetes. Specifically, researchers found an approximate 10 percent higher incidence for diabetes with each cup of sugary drink / fruit juice consumed per day. Researchers also found that one cup of coffee or tea was a good replacement for one cup of sugary drink / fruit juice. So by swapping that soda, fruit juice or other sugar-based beverage with water, coffee or tea, additional calories can be eliminated from the diet and more importantly, a reduction in diabetes risk can be obtained.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online May 2, 2012.


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