"If you aren't seeing a chiropractor, you must be on drugs."

July 11, 2006 [Volume 7, Issue 15]

In this issue of To Your Health:

  • Chiropractic: Hitting It Big With College Athletes
  • Five Ways Men Can Lower Their Risk of Heart Disease
  • Dairy Foods and Diabetes in Women: Think Low-Fat

Chiropractic: Hitting It Big With College Athletes

It's estimated that more than one-third of the American public uses the services of doctors of chiropractic and other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers each year. Among those who take full advantage of CAM's benefits are professional athletes; in fact, many pro sports teams now have chiropractors and other CAM providers as part of their medical or training staff. A new study shows that chiropractic and other types of CAM are extremely popular among athletes on the college level as well.

In this study, researchers gave a survey to more than 300 college athletes attending a Division I school in Hawaii. The survey asked the athletes about their use of different types of CAM in the previous year, along with their use of traditional medical care. Fifty-six percent of the athletes reported using some type of CAM within the past 12 months, with more women using CAM than men. Chiropractic was the second most popular form of CAM, just behind massage; 29 percent of the athletes said they had used chiropractic at least once in the past year.

While considerable evidence suggests chiropractic can improve the performance of elite athletes, there's just as much evidence which shows chiropractic care is effective for a variety of everyday problems, too. Back pain, neck pain and migraine headaches are just a few of the many conditions that can be treated with an adjustment by a well-trained doctor of chiropractic. If you suffer from any of these conditions, make an appointment with your chiropractor today.

Nichols AW, Harrigan R. Complementary and alternative medicine usage by intercollegiate athletes. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine May 2006;16(3):232-7.

Five Ways Men Can Lower Their Risk of Heart Disease

Listen up, men! You probably know you don't eat as well as you should or exercise as much as you should. You also probably know that a poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and other bad habits significantly increase your risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease later in life.

The good news is that the damage isn't irreversible; in a recent study, researchers tracked the incidence of heart disease in a group of more than 42,000 middle-aged men for 16 years. By analyzing a series of questionnaires, the scientists found five specific "lifestyle factors" or habits that appeared to lower the risk of heart disease:

  • not smoking;
  • having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or less;
  • exercising regularly (at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily);
  • drinking in moderation; and
  • eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, fiber, chicken and fish, and low in trans-fats and saturated fats.

Just how important were these factors? According to the study, men who accomplished all of the above were 87 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease compared to men who followed none of the habits. Even adopting just two healthy habits reduced the risk of coronary heart disease by 27 percent.

In other words, it's never late to change. If you're looking to make significant changes to your lifestyle, talk to your chiropractor; he or she will be happy to work with you in creating an exercise program, making changes to your diet, or other changes that will improve your health and fitness levels.

Chiuve SE, McCullough ML, Sacks FM, et al. Healthy lifestyle factors in the primary prevention of coronary heart disease among men. Circulation 2006;114:160-167.

Dairy Foods and Diabetes in Women: Think Low-Fat

According to the American Diabetes Association, up to 9.2 million in the United States have type 2 diabetes, which increases the risk of heart disease, kidney damage and other disorders. The results of a new study suggest that a diet that contains high amounts of low-fat dairy products can provide some protection against developing type 2 diabetes, and that the more dairy products a women eats, the lower the risk.

In this study, scientists examined the dietary records of more than 37,000 women who were participating in a national health survey. The scientists looked at the intake of various dairy foods and calcium, and then compared those statistics with the number of women in the study who developed diabetes over a 10-year follow-up period.

According to the analysis, women who consumed the highest amounts of dairy foods were 21 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women who ate the lowest amounts of dairy foods. Each serving-per-day increase in dairy products reduced the risk of diabetes by 4 percent. Low-fat dairy foods appeared to be more effective in lowering diabetes risk. Most high-fat dairy foods, on the other hand, showed little to no benefit, or actually increased the risk of developing diabetes.

Liu S, Klevak A, Choi HY, et al. A prospective study of dairy intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Diabetes Care July 2006;29(7):1579-1584.