Tag Archives: depression

Supplement Series #2: The Good Bacteria

probiotic211

ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENT OF THE MONTH

PROBIOTICS

  • WHAT ARE THEY?
  • The beneficial or “good” bacteria that reside in your digestive tract.
  • 80% of your IMMUNE SYSTEM lives in your gut, and a large portion of this is due to the presence of this bacteria.
  • WHY?
  • They aid in digesting food, particularly hard-to-digest foods and foods to which some individuals are more sensitive.
  • Without proper digestion we are not receiving the nutrients and fuel that we are consuming the food for. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies lead to systemic repercussions.
  • Support your immune system
  • The “gut” is one of the four main barrier systems in your body to protect you from outside invaders whose presence can lead to things conditions like AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.
  • Mounting research pointing towards a strong relationship between your gut health and brain health. Inflammation or permeability (aka “leaky gut”) in the gut has been shown to lead to the same in the brain.
  • This is why there is a growing correlation between gut health and conditions like DEPRESSION and ALZHEIMER’s
  • Promotes vaginal health in women
  • (the same “good” bacteria that populate the gut also populate the vaginal region)
  • Antibiotics, drinking or swimming in chlorinated water, chronic blood sugar spikes, consuming inorganic, GMO and processed foods all wage a war in your healthy gut flora (aka probiotics)

 

  • FOOD SOURCES:
  • Fermented (UNPASTURIZED FOODS: sauerkraut, kimchi, various UNPASTURIZED dairy)

As we’ve stated in the past, it would be ideal to keep the number of supplements to a minimum while obtaining all the externally derived nutritional support from our diet.  However, due to poor quality of our food source as well as the hazards we are exposed to, certain supplements would be advantageous to our wellbeing.  A couple of months ago we started this list with a daily dose of high quality Omega 3 fatty acids.  (https://clarkechiropracticwellness.com/2014/03/12/supplement-series-the-good-fats/)

The second supplement that virtually everyone can benefit from is a high quality probiotic.  This term has become somewhat of a buzz word in the mainstream as more and more research emerges backing the benefits behind making sure your “good” bacteria is at a premium.

As with all supplements, you want to make sure you’re spending your money and efforts on a quality product.  Certain strains of bacteria are more likely to survive the stomach acid bath en route to your intestines, so you want to make sure those are included on the label.

You also want to be wary of certain foods (yogurts are notorious for this) that falsely tout the added benefit of various live cultures or strains of bacteria.  If a product is pasteurized, which most dairy is, the beneficial bacteria which they use as a selling point have most likely been destroyed by the heating process.  Unpasteurized is becoming a selling point like organic or gluten free so if it doesn’t make mention of it, assume it’s pasteurized.

In addition to the immune and digestive benefits (which should not be understated) the gut – brain connection is a major reason why a good probiotic makes my list of essentials.  We carry and take the brand pictured at Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness.  However, if you have questions about another brand or supplement, your inquiries are always welcome.

Supplement Series: The Good Fats

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ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENT OF THE MONTH

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS (aka Fish Oil)

  • Literally thousands of studies have demonstrated that a deficiency in Omega 3s can contribute to:
    • DEPRESSION
    • MEMORY and CONCENTRATION PROBLEM
    • HEIGHTENED RISK OF ALZHEIMER’s:
    • Our brains are 60% fat, and require an adequate source of the Omega 3 fatty acids: DHA in order to function properly.
    • WEIGHT GAIN
    • CANCER
    • HEART DISEASE
    • ALLERGIES
    • ARTHRITIS
    • DIABETES
    • INFLAMMATION (pain, swelling, etc.)
    • ATHEROSCLEROSIS and BLOOD CLOTS

Ideal to have 1:1 ratio of Omega 3: Omega 6 for better HEALTH and LONGEVITY.

Unfortunately due to our lifestyles and dietary choices, the ratio favors Omega 6s, which tilts the scale in favor of a PRO-INFLAMMATORY environment and all of the conditions listed above.

Food sources of Omega 3s are inferior due to toxic accumulations in wild fish, the pro-inflammatory Omega 6 rich diet fed to farmed fish, and the additional step required to convert the ALA found in plants (flax, chia, hemp, etc.) to the desired Omega 3s (EPA and DHA).

That’s why REGULAR SUPPLEMENTATION with a good source of OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDs is imperative to HEALTH, WELLNESS and LONGEVITY.   

At Clarke Chiropractic and Wellness we encourage all to obtain our nutrients from whole food sources.  However, we also recognize a few supplements that appear to be so beneficial that supplementation may be advantageous.

We carry and recommend that most patients regularly supplement with Omega 3 Fatty Acids.  However, this is always based on the patient’s individual condition and health status.  You should never start or stop any supplements and/or medications without consulting with your trusted healthcare professional first.

If you are interested in confirming whether or not you are a candidate for some Omega 3s or any type of supplements in your life, feel free to give us a call (321-848-0987) and we’ll sift through what you need and don’t need.

Live Life.

Some Thoughts on Depression, Pain and Stroke

We’ll take it easy on you with this week’s post as we head into another weekend.  Sometimes I have to repeatedly re-read some of the facts and figures during my constant investigation of the ever growing and changing research.  These are a few of those “double take” paragraphs that I have compiled and felt compelled to share.  Take it in, embrace the empowerment and make the necessary changes.

DEPRESSION – INFLAMMATORY DIET LINK

For 12 years, researchers tracked the diet habits and health outcomes of more than 43,000 women — none of whom had depression at the start of the study period. Here’s what they found: Women who sipped soft drinks, ate fatty red meat, or consumed refined grains (like pasta, white bread, crackers, or chips) daily were 29 to 41% more likely to be diagnosed or treated for depression than those who stuck to a healthier diet. Blood tests revealed that women who ate the above foods also tested significantly higher for three biomarkers of inflammation.

http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/certain-foods-linked-inflammation-and-depression?cm_mmc=MSN-_-PVN_News-_-Pass%20The%20Pasta–And%20The%20Prozac-_-Pass%20The%20Pasta–And%20The%20Prozac%20SL

GOT PAIN?  PATIENT BEWARE

Back pain accounts for more than $100 billion in annual U.S. healthcare costs and is the second leading cause of physician visits and hospitalizations.

What Happens When Physicians Don’t Know How to Treat Pain?

They resort to the only treatment they know: prescription drugs to treat inflammation, arthritis, back pain, stress, and autoimmunity. And now we’re facing another epidemic on top of chronic pain: prescription drug abuse.

The latter has been called the fastest-growing drug problem in the US by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as the number of deaths from opioid painkillers like hydrocodone and oxycodone rose nearly four-fold between 1999 and 2009.  Pain medications were involved in 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008.

The overdoses now kill more people than cocaine and heroin combined. As USA Today recently reported, more US states are now taking action to try and stop this growing problem.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/10/states-prescription-drug-painkiller-abuse/2961389/

STROKE: MORE EVIDENCE TO GET UP, MOVE AND NOT BE A STATISTIC

The American Heart Association reports 800,000 Americans suffer from stroke each year. Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the US and the fourth leading cause of death. Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable, because for the most part, strokes are the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Recent research published in the journal Stroke found that, if you’re inactive, you have a 20 percent higher risk for having a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack) than people who exercise enough to break a sweat at least four times a week.

The study involved more than 27,000 Americans for an average of 5.7 years, male and female, Caucasian and African-American.  It included a larger proportion of people from the “Stroke Belt” states, where stroke rates are higher (Virginia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, and Alabama).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23868271?dopt=Abstract

Get out there and move! Have a great weekend.

Do It Yourself Brain Protection

As we know, the brain serves as the master control center for virtually all bodily functions.  However, when most think of the brain, the immediate association pertains to things like thinking, learning, “intelligence,” memory, etc.  Naturally, when we speak of the increasingly prevalent Alzheimer’s and various forms of dementia, we refer to a loss of memory and a decline in function that all stems in the brain.

Well, what if I told you that there is mounting research backing a “do it yourself” method for potentially preventing and even reversing various aspects of cognitive decline?

What if I told you there is a simple way to actually promote growth in your brain and potentially attenuate the degree of inevitable dementia that is a consequence of our body’s mandatory, lifelong breakdown?

What if this remedy cost you nothing but a little bit of time and effort? (I fear I may have lost some right there.)

Would you be interested?

Would you take it a step further and actually do it?

Well my friends, I’m prepared to disclose this ground breaking technique to you all right here, right now, out of the kindness of my heart.  This is a technique that is also one of the top all natural methods to combat other potentially debilitating and life altering conditions such as depression and diabetes.

I’m speaking of a crazy little thing called EXERCISE.  That’s right, I said it.  My apologies if you were expecting more, but why make it more complicated than it is?

As highlighted in a recent article by Dr. Mercola, the powerfully positive affects of physical activity continue to encompass more and more aspects of our health, and now the brain can be included in that impressive list.

“Recent research reveals that exercise promotes a process now known as neurogenesis, i.e., your brain’s ability to adapt and grow new brain cells, regardless of your age.

The hippocampus, a brain area closely linked to learning and memory, is especially receptive to new neuron growth in response to endurance exercise.

In essence, physical activity produces biochemical changes that strengthen and renew not only your body but also your brain—particularly areas associated with memory and learning.

Non-exercise activity and movement is also critical for optimal health, as explained by Dr. Joan Vernikos. Sitting for extended periods of time is actually an independent risk factor for poor health and premature death. Even if you exercise regularly and are fit, uninterrupted sitting for a great percentage of the time increases your risk of dying prematurely.

Simply standing up, a minimum of 30 times a day is a powerful antidote to long periods of sitting.  The good news is that there are virtually unlimited opportunities for movement throughout the day, from doing housework or gardening, to cooking and even just standing up every 10 minutes.

Ideally, you’d want to make exercise a regular part of your life from as early on as possible. But it’s never too late to start. Even seniors who take up a fitness regimen can improve their cognitive function.

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START…

For example, a team at the University of Edinburgh followed more than 600 people, starting at age 70, who kept detailed logs of their daily physical, mental and social habits. Three years later, their brains were imaged for age-related changes, such as brain shrinkage and damage to the white matter, which is considered the “wiring” of your brain’s communication system. Not surprisingly, seniors who engaged in the most physical exercise showed the least amount of brain shrinkage.

Similarly, Kirk Erickson, PhD of the University of Pittsburgh, found that adults aged 60 to 80 walking moderately (just 30 to 45 minutes, three days per week for one year) increased the volume of their hippocampus by two percent. The hippocampus is a region of your brain important for memory.

Ideally, you’ll want to strive for a varied and well-rounded fitness program that incorporates a wide variety of exercises. As a general rule, as soon as an exercise becomes easy to complete, you need to increase the intensity and/or try another exercise to keep challenging your body.

Additionally, as mentioned earlier, more recent research has really turned the spotlight on the importance of non-exercise movement. Truly, the key to health is to remain as active as you can, all day long, but that doesn’t mean you train like an athlete for hours a day. It simply means, whenever you have a chance to move and stretch your body in the course of going about your day—do it!”

As always, this is truly empowering information.  However, the potential power can only be unlocked if you take action and apply the information, SO GET MOVING!!!

Exercise is one of the most important pieces to the holistic puzzle that is your health, and one that is universally applicable to some degree or another.  Piece it together with proper nutrition and neuro-musculoskeletal health and you are well on your way.

If you have any questions about getting started with any of this, please take me up on my offer to help.

I’m here when you’re ready.

REFERENCES:

http://www.neurology.org/content/79/17/1802

http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20120716/exercise-may-reduce-risk-alzheimers

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/10/25/exercise-for-brain-health.aspx

Posture: The Window to Your Health

In business, excellent posture is a universal sign of confidence and power, yet few truly realize the importance of posture to our health and performance.  Good posture goes way beyond simply sitting and standing up straight.
Of the 680 muscles in our body, only a few are specifically designed to hold the body upright and relaxed, but most of us tense dozens of the wrong ones when we sit, stand and move.  Over the course of a typical work day this results in an enormous waste of personal energy.
With poor posture, your body begins to adapt to the imbalances.  This results in chronically misaligned bones and over stressed muscles.  (You know, that tight neck and aching low back many feel after a long day.)
Improper posture also hinders our lungs ability to fully expand, leading to a decrease in vital lung capacity (meaning less oxygen being delivered throughout the body) which leads to increased fatigue and a global reduction in function.
Poor posture limits our range of motion and causes stiffness in our joints, contributing to pain syndromes such as headaches, jaw pain and muscular aches.
Due to this less-efficient positioning we assume, an altered weight-bearing takes place and the load of our bodies and gravity becomes less uniformly distributed.  This leads to a severe increase in work load for certain bones and joints. Early osteoarthritis anyone?
The reduction of oxygen and blood flow to the brain can be especially troubling,  Remember, the brain requires fuel by way of oxygen and glucose (both delivered via blood) in order to function.  As expected, less fuel to our master control center leads to things like impairments in thoughts, concentration and emotional control, decreased creativity, slowed reaction times, reduced alertness and productivity.
It can even foster a tendency towards cynicism, pessimism, drowsiness, and even depression.  Think of those four descriptive terms in the previous sentence, and then think of how that looks posturaly.  Now think of things like confidence, optimism, pride and positivity and how that traditionally translates into a particular posture.  This is not a coincidence, the linkage clearly exists.
The more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy is available for thinking, metabolism and healing.  What this means is that you can’t even think you are operating at your highest level while precious resources are being consumed due to poor posture.
With our increasingly seated, computer-attached lifestyles, poor posture has become epidemic with signature forward displaced skulls and hunched shoulders.  With a professional, you can identify and begin to correct that head tilt and those unlevel hips and shoulders so that you won’t fall victim to the laundry list of symptoms mentioned above.
Poor posture, particularly the oh so common forward collapse, can also be a sign of decreased function within the brain. This is why that stooped forward posture is a main characteristic in so many neurodegenerative diseases.
Posture is the window to our health and a by-product of a nervous system program.  We can tell people to stand and sit up straight all day long, and they will in the moment, but as soon as they give up that consciences thought, they will revert back to what’s comfortable.  Until you address and re-program the brain via neurologically based chiropractic care, you will be continually fighting an uphill battle.
Optimal posture consists of no tension or stiffness at all.  It provides an exhilarating feeling of moving smoothly and comfortably in space.  Doesn’t that sound oh so lovely?
Posture is yet another piece to the holistic puzzle that we account for when treating the entire individual.  Do you know and care about someone with suboptimal posture?  Maybe it’s you?  Remember, just because it’s deemed “normal” by sheer way of numbers doesn’t mean it’s right or mandatory as a part of aging.  Let’s get to work on that posture or any other issues that are of concern.
As always, I’m here when you’re ready.