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28 December 2012

7 Signs You’re Exercising Too Much

When it comes to healthy habits, too much of a good thing can backfire, and that applies to exercise as well. While most people suffer from lack of exercise, once you get going, it can be addictive and some people do end up exercising too much — either by exercising too intensely, and/or too frequently.
However, a really important part of creating optimal fitness is recovery. An equation to keep in mind is that as intensity increases, frequency can be diminished.
For example, as a weak beginner, you can do high intensity exercise three times a week and not put much stress on your system. But once your strength and endurance improves, each exercise session is placing an increasingly greater amount of stress on your body (as long as you keep pushing yourself to the max).
At that point, it’s actually wise to reduce the frequency of your sessions to give your body enough time to recover in between. In fact, you need to allow your body to fully recuperate in between sessions in order for the exercise to remain productive.

Seven Signs You May Be Overdoing it

The featured article by personal trainer Jennipher Walters addresses signs of overtraining that are commonly overlooked or misdiagnosed. The following seven symptoms may signal that you need to cut back a bit and allow your body to recover between sessions:
  1. Exercise leaves you exhausted instead of energized.
  2. You get sick easily (or it takes forever to get over a cold)
  3. You have the blues
  4. You're unable to sleep or you can't seem to get enough sleep
  5. You have ''heavy'' legs
  6. You have a short fuse
  7. You're regularly sore for days at a time

24 December 2012

Five amazing ways probiotics can protect you this flu season

(NaturalNews) Right on time; flu season is once again upon us, and no doubt you're already getting bombarded with calls to get your "flu shot" so you can be "protected" from this year's strain of influenza.

Well, you can do that if you choose, or you can take a more proactive approach to warding off the bugs and viruses this year by employing probiotics to help defend you.

What are probiotics? Simply put, it is the good bacteria that resides in your gut and battles infection caused by viruses, yeast, fungi and parasites. And it, like bad bacteria, is killed off with antibiotics, often leaving you more vulnerable for the next bug that comes along.

21 December 2012

Importance of Magnesium is Far Greater than Previously Imagined

By Dr. Mercola
You don't hear much about magnesium, yet an estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this important mineral and the health consequences of deficiency are significant. One reason could be because magnesium, like vitamin D, serves so many functions it's hard to corral.
As reported by GreenMedInfo1, researchers have now detected 3,751 magnesium binding sites on human proteins, indicating that its role in human health and disease may have been vastly underestimated.
Magnesium is also found in more than 300 different enzymes in your body, which are responsible for:
Creation of ATP (adenosine triphospate), the energy molecules of your bodyProper formation of bones and teethRelaxation of blood vessels
Action of your heart musclePromotion of proper bowel functionRegulation of blood sugar levels

The Health Benefits of Magnesium have Been Vastly Underestimated

A number of studies have previously shown magnesium can benefit your blood pressure and help prevent sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke. For example, one meta-analysis published earlier this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition2 looked at a total of seven studies collectively covering more than 240,000 participants. The results showed that dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with risk of ischemic stroke.

17 December 2012

What You Need to Know About Vitamin K2, D and Calcium

By Dr. Mercola
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin most well known for the important role it plays in blood clotting. However, many do not realize that there are different kinds of vitamin K, and they are completely different.
The health benefits of vitamin K2 go far beyond blood clotting, which is done by vitamin K1, and vitamin K2 also works synergistically with a number of other nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D.
Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, a naturopathic physician with a keen interest in nutrition, has authored what I believe is one of the most comprehensive books on this important topic, titled: Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life
"I tuned in to the emerging research about K2 early in 2007," she says. "Not long before, I had read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price. When I learned about vitamin K2, I thought:
"Hey, you know what? I'm sure Price talked all about this in his book." I went to the book, looked through it, and didn't find any reference to vitamin K2. I was really stumped.
A little bit later in 2007, I read a brilliant article by Chris Masterjohn that links vitamin K2 to Prices' work on Activator X.
Once I realized that link, the light bulb went on about how important this nutrient is, and how overlooked it's been for so long. It really provides the missing piece to the puzzle of so many health conditions, and yet it was being completely overlooked, despite the overwhelming amounts of modern-day research."

5 December 2012

Artificial Sweeteners Cause Greater Weight Gain than Sugar, Yet Another Study Reveals

By Dr. Mercola
Are you using artificial sweeteners and opting for low-cal "diet" foods in an effort to control of your weight?
If so, you may be surprised to learn that research has repeatedly shown that artificial no- or low-calorie sweeteners are anything but good news for weight loss... Contrary to popular belief, studies have found that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame can:
  • Stimulate your appetite
  • Increase carbohydrate cravings
  • Stimulate fat storage and weight gain
Now, yet another study1 has been published showing that saccharin andaspartame cause greater weight gain than sugar.
The belief that artificially sweetened foods and beverages will help you lose weight is a carefully orchestrated deception. So if you are still opting for "diet" choices for this reason, you are being sorely misled. Ditto for diabetics, as recent research has shown aspartame also worsens insulin sensitivity.
The fact that these are still being promoted as "diet" flies in the face of any rational behavior. One wonders why the FTC doesn't come down like a ton of bricks on these companies for massively fraudulent marketing.

New Study Negates Weight Management Claims of Artificial Sweeteners

The featured study, published in the January 2013 issue of the journal Appetite2, was done by a Brazilian research team with the Faculty of Medicine of the Federal University do Rio Grande do Sul. Rats were fed plain yogurt sweetened with either aspartame, saccharin, or sugar, plus their regular rat chow, for 12 weeks.
"Results showed that addition of either saccharin or aspartame to yogurt resulted in increased weight gain compared to addition of sucrose, however total caloric intake was similar among groups," the researchers write.3
The reason for the similar calorie consumption between the groups was due to increased chow consumption by the rats given artificially sweetened yoghurt. This type of compensation has been found in previous studies4 as well, indicating that when your body gets a hit of sweet taste without the calories to go with it, it adversely affects your appetite control mechanisms, causing increased food cravings. The authors concluded that:
"Greater weight gain was promoted by the use of saccharin or aspartame, compared with sucrose, and this weight gain was unrelated to caloric intake. We speculate that a decrease in energy expenditure or increase in fluid retention might be involved."

3 December 2012

Exercise Helps Your Immune System Protect Against Future Cancers

By Dr. Mercola
If you are like most people, when you think of reducing your risk of cancer, exercise probably isn't at the top of your list. However, there is compelling evidence that exercise can not only help slash your risk of cancer, but can also help cancer patients get well sooner, and help prevent cancer recurrence.
Research has also shown it may help minimize the side effects of conventional cancer treatment.
A preliminary study presented at The Integrative Biology of Exercise VI meeting in mid-October1 helps shed light on why exercise is so effective for decreasing the risk of secondary cancers in survivors, or why it can decrease your risk of getting cancer in the first place.

Exercise Improves Your Immune System's "Cancer Surveillance"

29 November 2012

The Soda Ban Debate: What Does It Mean for Your Health?

The New York City Board of Health will decide this week whether to implement Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial proposal to limit the sale of super-sized sodas.

14 November 2012

Solving the Mystery of Aging: Longevity Gene Makes Hydra Immortal and Humans Grow Older

ScienceDaily (Nov. 13, 2012) — Why do we get older? When do we die and why? Is there a life without aging? For centuries, science has been fascinated by these questions. Now researchers from Kiel (Germany) have examined why the polyp Hydra is immortal -- and unexpectedly discovered a link to aging in humans.

23 October 2012

Chiropractic vs. Medical Management of Scoliosis: Let's Look at the Numbers

For more than 100 years, chiropractors have been treating adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis. Both myself and my colleagues, current and former, have realized and reported within the profession remarkable and often dramatic positive results.
But only recently has the viability of chiropractic treatment for scoliosis been documented through research and reported in the indexed medical literature.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown. Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly. Children who have mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually with X-rays, to see if the curve is getting worse. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. Some children will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to straighten severe cases of scoliosis."1
Scoliosis xraysThree-dimensional lateral curvatures of the spine affect 2-3 percent of the adolescent population.2Utilizing 2000 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the number of adolescents in the United States is 41,747,962. If 2.5 percent of all adolescents have scoliosis based on the 2-3 percent estimate, this equates to 1,043,699 (1.04 million) children facing issues as a result of scoliosis.3 Yet keep in mind that "only 10% of adolescents diagnosed with scoliosis have curve progression requiring medical intervention."4
Lou, et al., state: "Brace (orthotic) treatment is recommended for growing children with curves of 25-45 [degrees] Cobb angle. Surgery is the final treatment option for curves greater than 45° and its goals are to obtain safe correction, to produce a solid spinal fusion of the curve region, and to bring the spine and body into a more balanced position."2However, they conclude, "Although brace treatment for scoliosis has been used for more than fifty years, its effectiveness is still debatable. ... Most studies used the amount of curve progression (as measured by the Cobb angle) to determine the effectiveness of brace treatment. Some defined success as 5° or less curve progression."2
Bracing in adolescent males had unsuccessful results in 76 percent of the cases, with 46 percent requiring surgery for idiopathic scoliosis.2 The overall surgical rate for failed bracing was 23 percent when used as a treatment for idiopathic scoliosis.6 "A retrospective review of 16,536 individual costs and charges, including overall reimbursements, for 125 consecutive patients who were managed surgically for the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis by three different surgeons between 2006 and 2007.... The mean age of the patients was 15.2 years." Costs ranged from $29,995 to $33,652, averaging $31,832.50 per case.7
The total number of hospital discharges in 2009 for idiopathic scoliosis for children under 18 years of age was 6,709. However, the estimated number of children undergoing spinal fusion was 38,000, with 85 percent being a result of idiopathic scoliosis. That means the total number of children being operated on is 32,300, with a national price tag of more than $1 billion ($1,028,189,750).
Scoliosis bracing is estimated to be used for 30,000 children. If we take the same statistic of 85 percent for idiopathic scoliosis, the approximate number of children braced for idiopathic scoliosis is 25,500. According to MG Labs, a prosthetic and orthotic lab in New York, the national average cost of a thoracolumbosacral orthosis is $2,100. That places the national cost for bracing at over $53 million ($53,550,000).
The estimated number of physician visits for scoliosis is 600,000.9 Again, if we take the 85 percent statistic for idiopathic scoliosis, the number of physician visits is 510,000. Omitting X-rays, MRIs and other required services for scoliosis, the average cost for a doctor's visit is conservatively $100, averaging both primary and specialist care. This would be for a range of E&M codes for initial visits including 99203-99204 and 99205. The national price tag is thus $51 million. (Note: For this review, we aren't considering the negative sequellae of radiation exposure for tracking the scoliosis as the adolescent matures.)
While allopathic medicine is still entrenched in the debatable practice of bracing and eventual surgery with the inevitable progression of scoliosis, there are proven solutions. A 2011 study concluded that as a result of chiropractic spinal adjusting and chiropractic spinal manipulation, a thoracolumbar curvature (scoliosis) averaged a 17.2° reduction that was maintained for 24 months, the length of the study. Across all spinal groups, an average 10° reduction persisted for 24 months, again the length of the study. It was also concluded that pain scales reduced by 60 percent at 24 months and function improved by 70 percent, while respiratory capacity increased by 7 percent.10
The real issue is that if adolescents have their curvatures reduced by between 10° and 17.2°, then a significant amount of bracing and surgery will no longer be an option because it will not be indicated. As bracing has been deemed questionable in the literature and now the literature reflects chiropractic as a highly effective modality, the standard of care across professions should be chiropractic care for scoliosis as the first-line treatment option and should be standardized in every discipline.
Considering the overall national cost of idiopathic scoliosis of $1,132,739,750 ($1.13 billion), excluding imaging studies and the research results on chiropractic care, the conclusion is that as a society our money can be better spent while simultaneously helping our children. The question remains, "Will politics and prejudice or facts rule the day?"
  1. Scoliosis: Definition. The Mayo Clinic, 2009.
  2. Lou E, Hill D, Hedden D, Mahood J, Moreau M, Raso J. An objective measurement of brace usage for the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Medical Engineering and Physics, 2010;33(3):290-294.
  3. ACT for Youth Center of Excellence. U.S. Teen Demographics, 2011.
  4. Lenssinck M, Frijlink AC, Berger MY, Bierma-Zeinstra SM, Verkerk K, Verhagen AP. Effect of bracing and other conservative interventions in the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis in adolescents: a systematic review of clinical trials. Physical Therapy,2005;85(12):1329-1339.
  5. Karol LA. Effectiveness of bracing in male patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Spine, 2001;26(18):2001-2005.
  6. Dolan LA, Weinstein SL. Surgical rates after observation and bracing for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: an evidence-based review. Spine, 2007;32(19S):S91-S100.
  7. Kamerlink JR, Quirno M, Auerbach JC, Milby AH, Windsor L, Dean L, Lonner BS. Hospital cost analysis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis correction surgery in 125 consecutive cases. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 2010;92 (5:1097-1104.
  8. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2009 Hospital Stays for Children Only - Principal Only.
  9. National Scoliosis Foundation. Information and Support.
  10. Morningstar M. Outcomes for adult scoliosis patients receiving chiropractic rehabilitation: a 24-month retrospective analysis. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2011;10(3):179-184.

Dr. Mark Studin is a 1981 graduate of New York Chiropractic College. He is the co-founder and former executive director of the New York Chiropractic Council. Currently, he is president of CMCS Management. Contact Dr. Studin with questions and comments regarding this article at .

25 September 2012

Vitamin D: Possible cure for baldness?

Researchers investigating what causes hair follicles to go dormant are helping lead us toward a potential cure for baldness.

Current treatments for baldness prevent further hair loss but don’t actually increase hair growth. Several research teams are working to uncover ways to “wake up” existing dormant hair follicles. Scientists are finding that vitamin D and vitamin D receptors are crucial to continuing hair growth.

Typical hair growth follows a cycle. Hair follicles produce hair for two to six years before the hair falls out after which the follicles lie dormant for a short period. After a few weeks to a few months a new hair emerges. Sometimes the hair follicles permanently stay “asleep”, resulting in baldness.

Research so far has been encouraging. Dr Kotaro Yoshimura and colleagues at the University of Tokyo studied rats and found more stem cells became hair follicles when vitamin D was used in the final phase of growing the cells, when compared with those not treated with vitamin D. They also found that more of the follicles eventually produced hair, suggesting a potential role for vitamin D in hair transplants.

The key is the vitamin D receptor, not vitamin D alone. The receptor activates hair growth, so the next step will be to focus on activating the vitamin D receptor to possibly initiate hair growth.

Dr Yoshimura and colleagues are currently planning a clinical trial which will investigate new hair transplantation techniques involving their recent vitamin D research.

To read the full story click here.


The Wall Street Journal. The search for a baldness cure. September 2012.

23 August 2012

CadenceMed Announces Top Ten Chiropractic Facebook Pages of 2012

After reviewing countless Facebook pages, we have identified our Top Ten Chiropractic Facebook Pages for 2012. These Facebook pages have unique strengths that deserve special recognition, so instead of ranking them #1 through #10, we decided it would be best to simply pinpoint what they do best.
So without further adieu, here are the chiropractic Facebook pages that we “Like” the most and why. Learn, share and enjoy!
Best Facebook Status updates for ChiropractorsBest Status Updates
BodyWise Chiropractic
What we like
Unlike most businesses on Facebook, these guys are rarely pushing their products and services. Instead, they are posting content that is thought-provoking, funny, educational and graphical. The end result? A large and engaged community of fans.

What we like
Isn’t it obvious? We like their “Likes.” Although the number of Likes a page has can be a vanity metric (what really matters when it comes to investing time and money on social media is if you are able to generate business, improve patient outcomes or increase patient satisfaction), it can be a decent indicator that the business is doing something correct. With over 23,000 Likes and status updates that fans are positively responding to, these guys appear to be doing more than just racking up a high Like number.
What we like
This Louisville chiropractor just opened up shop earlier in the year, but he is making a splash with his practice’s attractive website and growing Facebook page. The combination of their aesthetically-pleasing profile picture and personal Timeline Banner image evokes a professional and emotional first impression.

Best Facebook Youtube Integration for ChiropractorsBest YouTube Integration
Executive Express Chiropractic
What we like
Facebook Timeline Tabs often go underutilized, but not in this case. The team at Executive Express Chiropractic are integrating YouTube with their Facebook page in a wonderful way: by presenting patient testimonials. Third-party social proof is one of the most effective ways for an individual or business to validate the quality of its products and services. Video testimonials are among the most potent forms of social proof because they are more personal than written or audio testimonials; nice work!

Best Chiropractor Ecommerce IntegrationBest E-Commerce Integration
Dr. Kevin Lau
What we like
Dr. Kevin Lau is the author of a number of books on scoliosis. He gives his Facebook visitors the opportunity to buy products right from his Facebook page. All his visitors need to do is visit his “Online Store” tab, which is powered by Amazon.

What we like
Probably the best sign of a healthy Facebook business presence is a highly engaged fan-base. Few chiropractic practices do a better job at posting content that gets their contacts “Liking,” commenting and sharing as well as LiveWell Wellness Centers do on their Facebook page. As of posting this article, 1,178 people were talking about LiveWell Wellness Centers – now that is what we call a thriving community of fans!

Best Use of Facebook Tabs for ChiropractorBest Use of Facebook Tabs
Maui Spa & Wellness Center
What we like
We like how these folks are using their Facebook tabs to share more information about their spa, services and upcoming events. It makes a strong first impression and answers most of the key questions a prospective patient might have.

best patient education facebook badgeBest Patient Education
Portland Chiropractic Neurology
What we like
Pay special attention to their page’s “Patient Resources” tab. It is chocked full of rich information about health disorders that their prospective or existing patients would likely find interesting and valuable. The layout of the information – with a header, a short passage of content and then a “Learn More” button is brilliant. This provides a Facebook visitor with just enough information to become interested before referring them where most practices really want their traffic to go: their websites.

So that’s it: our ten favorite chiropractic Facebook pages? Do you agree? Disagree? Share with us on Twitter or Facebook.
Also, don’t forget to subscribe below. Next week we will be announcing our Top Ten Dental Facebook Pages of 2012!
To the health of your practice and its patients,
The CadenceMed Team

21 August 2012

Exercises for scoliosis in teens

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a rare (2% to 3% of the general population) spinal deformity affecting young people aged 10 through the end of the growth period. The deformity may continue into adulthood. AIS is characterised by one or more three-dimensional spinal curves. Disability, cosmetic deformity, pain, activity limitation, quality of life issues, breathing problems and the possibility of the scoliosis remaining with the person into and throughout adulthood are commonly associated with this condition. The cause of AIS is unknown.

Treatment for AIS varies according to the degree of severity of the curves. Just the same, exercise is almost always a part of the treatment plan. In milder cases, exercise may be the main treatment, and in more severe cases it may serve as an adjunct. In the UK and the US, physical therapy for scoliosis consists mainly of general strengthening and stretching exercises, along with exercise protocols with which the treating therapist is familiar. There is a corresponding feeling among practitioners in these geographical locations that physical therapy for scoliosis is not effective.

Scoliosis specific exercises (SSEs) are individualised exercises aimed at reducing the deformity. SSEs are taught in clinics that specialize in scoliosis. The exercises work by changing the soft tissue that affects the spine. SSEs are also thought to work by altering control of spinal movement. There are no known side effects or risks to using SSEs .

The purpose of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of SSEs in reducing curve progression and postponing or avoiding invasive treatment such as surgery in adolescents with AIS. Two studies involving 154 patients total were included. The review found no evidences for or against SSE. The two included studies yielded very low quality evidence that SSEs added to other treatments are more effective than electrical stimulation, traction and posture training for avoiding curve progression, and that SSEs as a standalone treatment yield almost the same results as general physiotherapy.

Possible limitations of this review included the small number of studies that met the inclusion criteria and a high risk of bias, particularly selection bias. More randomised controlled trials are needed in this area, along with a deeper understanding of the types of SSEs useful for the adolescent with AIS.

Comment from Dr. Kevin Lau: I have seen time and time again that therapies that merely focus on the physical deformity and imbalance to be ineffective... Treating scoliosis at its source involves diet and lifestyle changes which can affect how genes are expressed. For more info read my book.

7 August 2012

Scoliosis sufferer writes for latest Chicken Soup

With an enormous, plastic back brace strapped around her torso, covering everything from just under her breasts to above her thighs, this 11-year-old Andover girl sought refuge from what she remembers as feelings of humiliation.
"The Andover Bookstore is where I went, where I would escape to," said Alyson Gerber, who was especially thrilled when the children's author Barbara Cooney visited and signed her book "Hattie and the Wild Waves."
"It meant so much to me...I was always there (at the Andover Bookstore)," said Gerber, who still has the treasured book.
Now 27 and living in Manhattan, she's a writer herself. Her experience growing up in Andover with scoliosis, an abnormal curving of the spine, is part of the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books. This edition ($14,95) is called "The Magic of Mothers & Daughters."

10 July 2012

Radiology Second Opinion Service Online

How would you or your Doctor like the ability to upload all your radiology exams, including MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, Mammograms and Ultrasounds and receive a detailed second opinion report?

Well, now you or your Doctor can upload your exams conveniently. These reports are prepared by Metis MD board-certified sub-specialized radiologists with 10 years or more experience. Metis MD is an online service providing a second opinion on all your medical imaging.

Because this service is online, it is available to patients anywhere worldwide. Your report will include detailed anatomic descriptions that focus on both the patient's and doctor's specific concerns. These radiology exams are compared with other exams, by experts, making solid recommendations based on correlations between the scans and the patient's medical history. These experts will explain their findings to the patient and/or physician, rating the quality of the scan.

"This service breaks new ground in consumer healthcare" stated Gregory Goldstein, MD, Metis MD founder and president. Dr. Goldstein went on to explain "Giving patients direct access to highly skilled board-certified radiologists has not been done like this before".

Medical imaging plays a key role in medical care and patients have an extremely important say on who and where they receive healthcare from. Patients should receive the very best information in order to, confidently, make the best treatment decisions along with their physicians.

With more and more patients wanting to have more control over final decisions regarding their treatments, Metis MD is giving them the second opinion they are looking for. Second opinions offer patients the power to decide what avenues they have and which ones they wish to take. Metis MD will offer clear, concise findings with expert advice based on the patient's medical history and the findings by the report.

Metis MD will offer you the very best service at very affordable rates, all online. You no longer have to wait for a service to pickup your exams from your Doctor and take weeks to get the results back. Or travel a great distance to sit in a waiting room for hours for a second opinion. Your particular situation is handled with the highest confidentiality and highest expert opinions.

22 June 2012

Child's Scoliosis Stresses Patients, Parents: Study

THURSDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Having to wear a body brace for the treatment of scoliosis (curved spine) causes stress for teen patients and their parents, a new study finds.
But parents worry most of all. While teen girls dislike wearing a hard plastic brace around their torso, parents are more worried than their children about scoliosis itself, said the researchers at Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland.

The study, published June 15 in the journal Spine, included 63 girls with scoliosis who wore a brace to prevent the spinal curve from worsening. Their average age was 14. In such cases, patients generally must wear the brace at least 12 hours a day until they finish growing.
The girls in this study wore their braces an average of nearly 16 hours a day. After about 14 months of brace treatment, the patients and their parents were asked to rate their levels of emotional stress associated with the brace treatment and with scoliosis itself.

Scoliosis question from readers:

I had surgery on my upper back before, but now my lower back had a curve too. Does the book help me to prevent? Just by eating healthier will it help?

Dr. Kevin Lau's reply: 
The diet portion of the book has 2 actions depending on the age of the person. For a child who is going through their growing years it would help supply them with the necessary building blocks for a developing spine. The diet for adults on the other hand is for preventing age related degeneration. I highly recommend whether you have scoliosis or not to eat healthier to prevent most degenerative conditions.

For scoliosis prevention using the diet and exercises prescribed in the book is important. This is because the intervertebral discs between each vertebra have poor blood supply and require movement to pump fluid and nutrients into these discs to keep them healthy.

If you have any other questions email them to:

In good health,
Dr. Kevin Lau

11 June 2012

This Is Your Brain On Sugar: Study Shows High-Fructose Diet Sabotages Learning, Memory

ScienceDaily (May 15, 2012) — A new UCLA rat study is the first to show how a diet steadily high in fructose slows the brain, hampering memory and learning -- and how omega-3 fatty acids can counteract the disruption. The peer-reviewed Journal of Physiology publishes the findings in its May 15 edition.

"Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think," said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. "Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage."

While earlier research has revealed how fructose harms the body through its role in diabetes, obesity and fatty liver, this study is the first to uncover how the sweetener influences the brain.

Sources of fructose in the Western diet include cane sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup, an inexpensive liquid sweetener. The syrup is widely added to processed foods, including soft drinks, condiments, applesauce and baby food. The average American consumes roughly 47 pounds of cane sugar and 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Curcumin as effective as drug for RA sufferers, study shows

by Nora Simmons in New Hope 360 Blog

As more research shows the connection between inflammation and many diseases—from cancer to cognitive decline—it’s increasingly important that researchers continue to explore ingredients that promote a healthy inflammatory response.

A recent human clinical trial published in the March 2012 edition of Phytotherapy Research, demonstrated that BCM-95, a highly bioavailable form of curcumin, was as effective in alleviating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as diclofenac sodium (branded Voltaren, a leading pharmaceutical NSAID treatment).

The single-blinded pilot study was designed to determine whether twice daily supplementation with 500mg capsule of curcumin separately and in combination with diclofenac sodium (50mg) for eight weeks would improve Disease Activity Scores in patients diagnosed with active RA.

Forty-five participants were randomized to three groups (curcumin only, curcumin in combination with diclofenac sodium and diclofenac sodium only) and after eight weeks of therapy their DAS scores were reassessed along with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for reduction in tenderness and swelling of joints.

The BCM-95 curcumin group experienced the most improvement, though the score change wasn’t sufficiently higher than the combination and drug-only scores to call it an out-and-out winner, explained Cheryl Myers, chief of scientific affairs and education at EuroPharma, makers of CuraMed which uses BCM-95 to promote a healthy inflammation response.

Nonetheless, “the findings of this study are significant, as these demonstrate that curcumin was not only safe and effective, but was surprisingly more effective in alleviating pain compared with diclofenac,” wrote the study authors Binu Chandran and Ajay Goel.

24 May 2012

Stem Cells for Spine Surgery: 7 Points From Dr. Richard Hynes

How we got here
Dr. Hynes was one of the many spine surgeons who participated in Medtronic's original trials for BMP-2 in the 1990's.  While scientists have known about the ability of stem cells and BMP to generate bone for several years, Medtronic was the first company to develop a safe and effective molecule to stimulate cell growth.  After completing the pre-market approval trials, the Food and Drug Administration granted approval for the BMP-2 product, Infuse, in 2002 for creating fusion in the Lumbar Spine placed through an anterior approach in a LT cage.

"In the original study, I experienced 100 percent of enrolled patients in my Practice achieving bone growth when combining BMP with the local cells that were already there," says Dr. Hynes.  "Local 'stem cells' respond to BMP and become activated thereby creating bone.  When I saw it worked in 100 percent of my enrolled patients, I was a true believer.  I have used it in my practice since the study and FDA approval going back greater than 10 years."

What has changed is our ability to concentrate stem cells; Dr. Hynes harvests the stem cells from the iliac crest to combine with the BMP.  It takes less than five minutes for his physician's assistant to harvest the cells, which are spun in a centrifuge while he begins the operation.  After 10-15 minutes, the cells are ready and Dr. Hynes adds a small amount to the surgical field along with the BMP.  The collagen sponge is placed within an interbody LT cage to keep the material from migrating.

"This has been an effective Bone Graft method and it has been an advantage for my patients who can avoid Iliac Bone Graft surgery and Donor Bone issues and cost," says Dr. Hynes.  "It doesn't add to my usual procedure time.  It does add a small cost, but I find it's worth the value proposition."

Since its inception and release, surgeons have been experimenting with its use in several different capacities, on- and off-label.  However, articles published in The Spine Journal in July 2011 suggest complication rates may be higher than the original studies reported.  Several physicians have reported positive and negative events based on individual practice date, and further research into its use will be necessary going forward.  As with all products, on label and off label use is routine practice and common place.  When used correctly, minimal side effects of swelling, seroma and osteolysis occur.

21 May 2012

Exposing Fetus To Plant Estrogen May Lead To Infertility In Women

A paper published in Biology of Reproduction's Papers-in-Press describes the effects of brief prenatal exposure to plant estrogens on the mouse oviduct, modeling the effects of soy-based baby formula on human infants. The results suggest that exposure to estrogenic chemicals in the womb or during childhood has the potential to affect a woman's fertility as an adult, possibly providing the mechanistic basis for some cases of unexplained female infertility

Earlier research suggested that neonatal exposure to plant estrogens or other environmental estrogens (synthetic substances that function similarly to the estrogen naturally produced in the body) may have long-term effects on adult female reproductive health. Wendy N. Jefferson, a researcher in the lab of Carmen J. Williams at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, previously demonstrated that neonatal exposure to the plant estrogen genistein results in complete infertility in female adult mice. Causes of infertility included failure to ovulate, reduced ability of the oviduct to support embryo development before implantation, and failure of the uterus to support effective implantation of blastocyst-stage embryos. 

The team now reports that neonatal exposure to genistein changes the level of immune response in the mouse oviduct, known as mucosal immune response. Some of the immune response genes were altered beginning from the time of genistein treatment, while others were altered much later, when the mouse was in early pregnancy. Together, those changes led to harmfully altered immune responses and to compromised oviduct support for preimplantation embryo development, both of which would likely contribute to infertility. 

These findings raise the possibility that exposure to low levels of environmental or plant estrogens during sensitive developmental windows can alter the balance of the mucosal immune response in the uterus and oviduct. 

In the mouse, the window of development during which these changes can occur is found only in the neonatal period; in humans, development of the reproductive tract continues through the onset of puberty. Therefore, estrogenic chemical exposure to the female fetus, infant, child, and adolescent all have potential impacts on mucosal immunity in the reproductive tract and, therefore, on adult fertility. The authors present the view that limiting such exposures, including minimizing use of soy-based baby formula, is a step toward maintaining female reproductive health. 

How to Protect Your Back While Working at a Computer

If you start to think about how much time you spend sitting in front of the computer, you will probably feel guilty for reading the rest of this article as it will require even more of your time. By all means – get up and walk around a little bit. That is an easy way to take care of your back while sitting at a computer. So go ahead, go get a glass of water (properly hydrating will always contribute positively to pain management), but make sure to come back and read the rest to pick up some valuable tips:
  • Lumbar Support – Everyone's back is different, but everyone's back needs some sort of lumbar support. This does not require some sort of spongy pillow or an improvised, crumpled-up jacket. Actually, many people (including myself) prefer a hard, straight-backed chair, such as a dining room table chair. Next time you sit down for dinner, try to keep your lower back pressed flat against the back of the chair. Like chairs around the table, a computer chair's back inclines at a gradual angle away from you; engaging your abs and bracing your lower back flat against the base of the chair will make you sit straight – also useful for avoiding a chiding Mother at dinner.
  • Avoid Eyestrain Believe it – eyestrain will affect your back and here's how. Tension developed in the head and neck through ocular strain will cause your shoulders to tense up. Most people also have their hands extended towards the keyboard and mouse and rest their forearms on the desk in front of the keyboard. Basically, this is tension in the shoulder girdle, which attaches to the scapula and the back of the thoracic rib cage. This method of helping back pain already alluded to, but getting up or gazing out the window or at your office crush will contribute to a less painful back. 
  • Relax – You do not need me to tell you that working is stressful. Healthcare professionals conclude that stress has a measurable and real effect on your body's health. Make sure you do something to relax while working: a favorite Pandora station, listening to a random baseball game on, or making fun plans for after work always helps me to relax. 
  • Exercise – So, this one is not readily done while at the computer, although it is a great idea to move your legs around. Keeping your knees pent past 90 degrees for a long time can lead to back pain because the resulting knee pain will affect the way you walk. Straightening your legs out and flexing your feet at the ankle joint is a great way to keep your calves loose. Otherwise, you really need to have an exercise program in order to keep your back muscles strong. Abdominal exercises are great for keeping your back healthy, but make sure to strengthen your lower back and external oblique muscles just as much. For your upper back, exercises that involve rolling or pulling your shoulders back are great after extending your arms for so long towards the computer. Rowing machines and bent over rows (I suggest using a straight bar rather then an Olympic bar or dumbbells) are great for back strength. Know your limits though, and for those strong men out there, it’s a good rule of thumb to never lift over your body weight – even when deadlifting. Avoid injury at all costs.

14 May 2012

Spinal Fusion Surgery on the Rise, But is the Risky Procedure Necessary?

A study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found spinal fusion surgeries are on the rise. Unfortunately, these risky and complicated surgeries are not necessary for many patients receiving them. The study found this procedure is often performed on patients suffering lower back problems connected to aging and arthritis -- patients who may not be good candidates for the procedure.
Instead, the procedure is designed for patients suffering from fractured vertebrae or damage caused by scoliosis or tumors. Such misuse of the procedure could lead to an increase in spinal cord injuries.
Spinal fusion is a type of surgery that permanently joins two or more vertebrae in the spine. This is done by grafting bone material into part of the spine, generally held in place by metal rods, screws, plates or cages until the grafts are fully incorporated into the spine.

The 6 Types of Pills Big Pharma Wants You Hooked On for Life

By Dr. Mercola
What would you say if you knew someone had killed 60,000 people? Would you call it a felony of the worst kind, times 60,000? If you totaled up the value of all those lives in criminal court, what would you say they're worth?
Billions? Trillions?
Or—how about a measly $321 million in exchange for a guilty plea to a misdemeanor? When you consider that this involves the second-largest drug maker in the U.S.—Merck—and its deadly drug Vioxx, then you'll probably agree that a misdemeanor and a $321 million fine amounts to nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
Business analysts were estimating a $25 billion judgment when the drug was taken off the market, but even when combined with the $4.85 billion in payouts to patients who suffered heart attacks and strokesi, the final bill is nowhere close to original estimates of the damage.
Yet that's the plea agreement Merck recently made with a federal court in Boston on April 19ii, after being charged with illegal promotion of Vioxx for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, before it was approved for that use.
The sad tale brings up memories of what I tried to warn readers about in 1999, when I showed that people taking this drug were at a massively increased risk of dying from heart disease and stroke. It's tragic that Vioxx was removed only AFTER 60,000 people died.
It's even more tragic that a court would consider Merck's illegal promotion of the drug a misdemeanor rather than a felony, since this tactic clearly exposed far more people to the dangerous drug than it would have otherwise. And, adding insult to injury, instead of the billions that Merck anticipated paying out, it got away with such a paltry sum.

Hired Writers Responsible for Some of Merck's Vioxx Studies?

12 May 2012

An Essential Guide for Scoliosis and a Healthy Pregnancy USA Edition

About Dr Kevin Lau

Dr Kevin Lau DC is the founder of Health In Your Hands, a series of tools for Scoliosis prevention and treatment. The set includes his book Your Plan for Natural Scoliosis Prevention and Treatment, a companion Scoliosis Exercises for Prevention and Correction DVD and the innovative new iPhone application ScolioTrack. Dr Kevin Lau is a graduate in Doctor of Chiropractic from RMIT University in Melbourne Australia and Masters in Holistic Nutrition. He is a member of International Society On Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT), the leading international society on conservative treatment of spinal deformities. In 2006 I was awarded the "Best Health-care Provider Awards" by the largest Newspaper publication in Singapore on October 18 2006 as well as being interviewed on Primetime Channel News Asia as well as other TV and Radio. For more information on Dr Kevin Lau, watch his interviews or get a free sneak peek of his book, go to:

Yogurt diet leads to ‘swaggering’ mice with larger testicles

Researchers who recently undertook a study with mice in hopes of confirming earlier reports that eating yogurt can help prevent age-related weight gain have discovered a number of unexpected side-effects in their rodent subjects.
First, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists realized that the yogurt-eating mice had shinier, silkier, and thicker coats than the non-yogurt-eating control mice. Then they noticed that the male mice were walking with a “mouse swagger,” which turned out to be due to testicles that were 5% heavier than those of mice fed a standard mouse diet and a full 15% heavier than those of mice forced to live on high-fat, low-nutrient junk food.
And finally they conducted mating experiments and found that yogurt-eating males “inseminated their partners faster and produced more offspring,” while yogurt-eating females gave birth to larger litters and were more successful in raising them to the age of weaning.
Researchers Susan Erdman and Eric Alm have not yet determined the source of yogurt’s ability to enhance rodent sexuality, but they toldScientific American that they “think that the probiotic microbes in the yogurt help to make the animals leaner and healthier, which indirectly improves sexual machismo.”
A team of Harvard researchers has already begun investigating whether yogurt can also improve semen quality in human males and reports that “so far our preliminary findings are consistent with what they see in the mice.”
Photo by Steve Beger (originally posted to Flickr as Albino Mouse) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Exercise Keeps Muscles Young, Even in Elderly Heart Patients

A new study shows that contrary to previous belief, even elderly heart patients can benefit from regular exercise.
Dr. Stephan Gielen, deputy director of cardiology at the University Halle/Wittenberg in Germany, and his colleagues say that physical activity can help protect heart patients over age 70 from muscle wasting, a condition that in many cases can worsen these patients’ health and impede their recovery.
Over the course of a lifetime, muscle is constantly made and degraded, and with age, the deterioration becomes dominant, leading to weakness and difficulty in maintaining cardiac and respiratory health. In previous studies, Gielen and his colleagues showed that inflammation, which can occur after heart failure, can accelerate the wasting of muscle, so in the current study, they wanted to document what effect, if any, exercise might have on this process.
Gielen and his team recruited 60 patients with heart failure and 60 healthy controls, each in two age groups: people 55 years old and younger, and those 65 and older. Half the participants in each age group were assigned to a four-week aerobic exercise program of stationary cycling; each participant cycled for 20 minutes, four times a day on weekdays, and also had a 60-minute group exercise session involving walking and calisthenics. The other half received the usual clinical care by their physicians.
To study changes in muscle physiology, the researchers took biopsies of muscle from each participant’s leg and analyzed them for certain enzymes related to muscle maintenance. After the four weeks, as the researchers report in the journal Circulation, those in the exercise group showed marked improvement in their muscle enzymes; they showed lower levels of a muscle breakdown protein than those who didn’t exercise, even though the heart patients had higher levels of this protein to start.
The exercise participants also showed lower levels of inflammation in the muscle, and increased muscle strength. This translated to physiological benefits as well; the heart failure patients under age 55 increased their peak oxygen intake by 25%, while those over age 65 increased this measure by 27%. The key is an enzyme system that monitors the balance between muscle strengthening and degradation, and exercise can tip the balance in favor of muscle strengthening.
“What surprised us was the speed of onset of these effects,” says Gielen. “We believed that with a short term program of four weeks, the effects would be much more limited. But it was surprising for us that we got nearly all the effects of exercise training after just four weeks. So this is a very rapid system, and even at advanced ages, there is a high plasticity of the muscle system.”
That means that regardless of age, says Gielen, heart patients can benefit from exercise, and rather than worsening their condition, as doctors intuitively thought for decades, physical activity actually improves their health and may even speed their recovery. Gielen and his team studied the benefits only of aerobic exercise on muscle mass, but other studies have also hinted that weight-bearing or resistance training can also help elderly patients maintain their muscular strength.
Having a potential regulatory pathway also makes it possible to develop drug targets that may boost muscle conditioning, says Gielen, if additional studies confirm these results. “This plasticity of the muscle system is underused in medicine at the moment,” he says. But perhaps not for much longer.
Alice Park is a writer at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @aliceparkny. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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