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

May 3, 2005 [Volume 6, Issue 10]

Older Adults Choose Chiropractic

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among consumers has been steadily rising for the last few years, and new research presented at the annual meeting of the American Council on Consumer Interests shows that about 70 percent of adults over the age of 50 use some kind of alternative medicine, including chiropractic, acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Researchers from Ohio State University used data from the 2000 Health and Retirement Survey conducted by the University of Michigan in which 848 people responded to questions about their use of six types of alternative medicine: chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, breathing exercises, herbal medicine and meditation.

The study found that chiropractic was the most frequently used form of CAM, as indicated by 43 percent of respondents. The research also discovered that those who indicated they were in "poor health" were more likely to use alternative medicine. Among the "poor health" population, 65 percent said they used some form of alternative medicine they considered "preventative or curative." Additionally, 63 percent of those who reported feeling unsatisfied with their health care tried preventive or curative forms of CAM.

This research emphasizes the continued growth of CAM therapies, especially chiropractic care, among older adults. So, listen to your elders and make an appointment to see your chiropractor today. Chiropractic care can help relieve back pain, chronic headache, allergies, and a host of other debilitating ailments.

Reference: About 70 percent of older adults use alternative medicine. Newswise. April 6, 2005.

Yogurt Consumption Helps Reduce Weight, Body Fat

Recent studies have shown that calcium intake plays a role in weight loss, especially when the source of calcium comes from dairy products. To further assess this, researchers studied 38 otherwise healthy obese adults to determine if yogurt would induce calorie restriction, thereby accelerating weight and fat loss.

Study subjects were randomized into two outpatient regimented dietary groups for a period of 12 weeks. The yogurt-diet group's food intake consisted of 500 fewer calories per day than assessed at baseline; three 6-ounce servings of fat-free yogurt; and a calcium intake of 1,100 mg per day. The control group's diet consisted of 500 fewer calories per day than assessed at baseline; 0-1 servings of dairy products per day; 400-500 mg of calcium per day; and three servings of a sugar- and calcium-free, prepackaged flavored gelatin, as placebo. In both groups, calcium came from food sources. Body weight, body fat, fat distribution, blood pressure and circulating lipids were measured at baseline and at the conclusion of the 12-week study.

The researchers found that "all participants lost body weight and body fat due to the daily energy deficit of 500 kcal/day. However, both weight and fat loss were significantly increased by the yogurt diet compared to the control diet." The researchers note that lean tissue loss was reduced by 31 percent on the yogurt diet, while trunk fat loss was augmented by 81 percent on the yogurt diet vs. the control diet, resulting in "a markedly greater reduction in waist circumference," and the amount of fat lost from the trunk was higher in those on the yogurt diet.

Reference: Zemel MB, Richards J, Milstead A, et al. Dairy augmentation of total and central fat loss in obese subjects. International Journal of Obesity 2005;29:391-397.

Using an Electric Toothbrush May Improve Oral Hygiene

You brush three times a day, floss after every meal, and see your dentist twice yearly, but if you aren't using an electric toothbrush, you might be cheating yourself. A recent review of several studies shows that some electric toothbrushes might help reduce plaque by 11 percent and gingivitis by 17 percent over manual toothbrushes.

The review included 42 studies and 3,855 participants, which compared manual, electric and battery-powered toothbrushes with various types of bristle arrangements and motions. The review of the literature concluded that regular brushing with powered toothbrushes containing circular bristle heads that rotate in alternating directions were better at removing plaque and reducing the risk of gum disease than brushing with manual toothbrushes alone.

Although electric toothbrushes may help reduce incidences of plaque and gingivitis, the researchers emphasize the importance of regular brushing "whether the brush is manual or powered" and further indicate that "the results of this review do not indicate that toothbrushing is only worthwhile with a powered toothbrush."

Reference: Robinson P et al. Manual versus powered toothbrushing for oral health. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 2.