Tuna That Could Cause Harm to Health

Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography studied the amounts of toxic material in yellowfin (YF) tuna. The findings from the Gulf of Mexico and Northeast Atlantic ocean YF tuna were not good. YF tuna from those regions contained 36 times the normal amount of contaminants! Contaminants include pesticides, flame retardants, and chemicals (banned in 1979) from coolants and electronics.

Who Are at Risk from Contaminated Tuna?

Health advisories are being sent due to the increased amount of toxic materials. Health advisories are present for regular consumers, the pregnant, and women who breast feed. Consequently, there is a link between high toxic load and many health issues like immune deficiencies.


How Can You Avoid Toxic Contaminants?

 As a Structural chiropractor, it’s my professional obligation to recommend a plan to create optimal spinal alignment and overall good health. They go hand in hand. Therefore, I recommend my patients take Core Chiropractic’s Omega-3 fatty acids. Why? Our Omega-3’s are moleculary distilled. As a result, our fish oil supplement is absent of toxic contaminants. It’s similar to reverse osmosis water filters. Distillation removes unwanted materials.

Size Matters

Our product doesn’t stop at molecular distillation. The fish processed in our Omega-3’s is Alaskan Cod which is a much smaller than your average tuna species. Why is this important? Small fish feed on smaller plants and fish, while tuna feed on larger fish. Therefore larger the fish, the more contaminants. It’s like a trash can vs a dumpster. The larger the receptacle the more trash there is.
In conclusion, I recommend you eat the smallest fish in the coldest waters possible. These fish include sardines or salmon. Colder water results in fatty fish which contains beneficial omega 3’s. Eating fish has numerous health benefits like increased heart health.

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Fasting Breast Cancer Re-occurrence

Fast? A Simple Way to Reduce Cancer Re-occurrance

We fast every day. Hence the word, breakfast.  Whether you break your fast at 7 or 11 AM, it may be good to track the amount of time between dinner and breakfast. The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study involving 2413 women diagnosed with breast cancer. Data shows the mean fasting time (time between dinner and breakfast) averaged 12.5 hours.

Fast Breast Cancer Re-occurrence


How Long Should You Fast?

Fasting less than 13 hours increases chances of cancer re-occurrence by 36%. 36%!  A simple change like eating one day’s ration of food within a 10-11 hour period could reduce chances of cancer by 36%. That’s eye opening. Not to mention, 13 hour fasting reduced HbA1c (diabetic marker) and increased nighttime sleep. What does this mean for those who haven’t been diagnosed with breast cancer?

Fasting With Other Studies

Studies involving mice and humans have also shown positive effects. Patients with relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS) followed prolonged fasting and ketogenic diets. The article cited “clinically meaningful improvement” on MS Quality of Life- 54 scores.
Mice showed improvement of MS symptoms by undergoing a fasting mimicking diet. The diet lowered the number of damaging immune cells and regrow the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is the protective covering for nerve communication. The sheath is similar to the plastic covering of a power cord.
These studies have sparked larger clinical trials looking into an array of health issues that can be improved by fasting. I believe these studies are fascinating given the ease of application and the potential health benefits. Can you eat all of your calories within a 10 hour time frame? Definitely.

How Does Fasting Work?

Why do these trials show so much promise? Scientist hypothesize that cells under a fasting state will undergo cellular protection or death. Cells that are abnormal/damaged are more apt for death in a fasting state. Therefore a cellular reduction from apoptosis (cellular death), will stimulate stem cells (parent cells) to make new healthy cells.
With modern day food science, calories are plentiful. Maybe we need to take a longer break for our body to metabolize calories. It’s seems reasonable because a constant or excessive feeding of our cells is unhealthy. In conclusion if you plan to change your diet, please consult your physician especially if you have a preexisting condition.
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An Egg a Day Could Change Infant Growth Rates

I’m at the age where a lot of my friends have kids. Lots of adorable pictures pop on social media of babies and toddlers. All different sizes. Tall, chunky (my favorite), and tiny. Baby checks always include growth rate metrics like height-age, weight-age, and weight-height to name a few. That data is collected and compared to the national average. Luckily for them stunted growth isn’t a problem.


Growth Rates for Infants

Unfortunately stunted growth is more prevalent in developing countries due to lack of quality nutrition. A research study gave babies 6 to 9 months old, eggs to eat and compared them to a control group (no eggs). Children given eggs were 47% less likely to have stunted growth.  Researchers use eggs due to there abundance and low cost. This study may not have much relevance to people reading this because nutritional resources and support are ample in this country, but I believe this speaks more to the nutritional value of an egg.

Eggs Are Great Source of Nutrition, Period

You’ve read the many differing opinions on eggs. It’ll raise your cholesterol and increase your risk for heart disease etc. As you’ve probably guessed, my opinion is different. Eggs should be a part of your daily routine. They are a cheap source of a nutritionally dense food. One egg contains approximately 75 calories, and is packed with 13 essential vitamins and minerals. Also add  6 grams of protein to boot. Stop using the egg whites only. The yolk has all the important nutrients.
Let’s say after reading this article, You’re going to start eating eggs and giving them to your children. First, check to see if your toddler has an egg allergy by mixing the egg and placing a dab on the forearm. After 24 hours check to see if there is a rash. If there is no rash, it’s safe to consume hard boiled eggs . Second, solids should be introduced to babies starting at month 6 of age and beyond. No solids including eggs should be consumed before then.

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Why Are You Sleepy After Lunch

Need A Nap? Why Are You So Sleepy After Lunch?

After lunch, do you have this insatiable feeling of needing to nap? If you do, you will probably nod off staring at your computer while trying to look like you are doing work. You may even try to crawl into the dark cavernous depths under your work desk. Among the thoughts of counting sheep, you should be thinking about what you had for lunch.

Foods Causing You to Nap?

Let’s say a typical work desk lunch is a soda, chips/pretzels, and a sandwich. That combination is a recipe for a post lunch nap. Why? Glucose. Sugar in the soda, carbohydrates (carbs) from potatoes, and carbs from sandwich bread all add up to a big helping of glucose. Do you drink diet soda?The diet soda may be harmful to your weight goals and your cardiovascular health. Diet soda has been linked to unfavorable studies causing: increased stroke and dementia and no weight loss.

Anyways, a glucose filled meal inhibits or decreases a brain signaling structure called orexin. Orexin plays a role in sleep/wake cycle as well as feeding behavior and reward system. People with chronically low levels of orexin can suffer from narcolepsy. Narcolepsy causes extreme daytime drowsiness.

Protein Can Curb Drowsiness

So, if you eat a pasta filled lunch (carbs-glucose) you’ll feel sleepy. On the other hand, protein increases orexin. So a lunch of vegetables and protein will decrease the likelihood you will “nod off” after lunch. Not only will you feel more awake; you are more likely to be active. If you are stuck at work, at least you’ll be more productive.

I’m not saying your lunch is the only reason why you are sleepy. You may have watched a creepy episode of The Walking Dead. Who knows? Your circadian rhythm, amount of nighttime and daytime light, and food quality are all factors of general drowsiness during the day. Reconsider your lunch before taking drastic measures to stay awake.

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Should I Supplement Vitamin D for Immune Health?

This article is a couple months late due to flu and respiratory tract infections sweeping across the U.S. I’ve been reporting the benefits of vitamin D3 (VD3) for quite a while. Not only is it necessary for optimal skeletal bone formation, but it has protective immune effects as well. VD3 is so important that I’ve begun selling the supplement in the office. Enough chest puffing though. What about the study?

Vitamin D3 Is For Immune Health Too

The British Medical Journal published a study on February 15th citing vitamin D’s (VD) role in the protective effects against acute respiratory infections. The effects of daily to weekly VD showed better results in participants with lower levels of VD. This is not the only study that cites strengthened immune responses with VD supplementation. In fact, this study used data from 25 randomized control trails (gold standard of research) using 10,933 participants.

Should I Supplement With Vitamin D for Immune Health-

Should I Take a Vitamin D Supplement?

There is no recommended daily amount of VD. Thus it is hard to say exactly how much to take. Dosage depends on weight, skin color, season, and daily exposure to sunlight. The darker the skin the more sun you need to get optimal amounts of VD. If your job requires you to be indoors and it’s winter of fall, then you are more susceptible to a vitamin d deficiency. Also you will need more VD if you have a high percentage of body fat.

Taking A Safe Dose

Journal articles have shown safe amounts in the range of up to 10,000 IU. I recommend 2,000-3,000 IU of VD3 which is more bio-available than vitamin D2. Ultimately, it’s hard to gauge an optimal level since there is much disparity between individuals and seasons. If you want to get a good idea of your VD3 levels get a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test. A reading of 32 ng/ml or less is deficient, so 40 to 50 ng/ml is optimal.

Lastly, I recommend a supplement with VD3 with K2. Vitamin K2 directs calcium into the bone instead of other places in the body.

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Sweeteners and Sugar: The Good and Bad

 Sugar and Sweeteners- The Good and Bad

During the 1960’s sugar wasn’t blamed. In 1967, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) put the blame on saturated for heart disease on fats. Consequently, heart disease research from a food science and public health perspective is flawed. Most of all, the NEJM is one of the largest and respected medical journals in the world.

What’s Wrong With Sugar?

The Sugar Research Foundation compromised this study by giving a total of $19,000 to the head researchers. $19,000 is equivalent to $50,000 today. This study combined with bad research by Dr. Ancel Keys results in the many low fat diets seen today. Improper benefits and bad research put the public at risk by blaming the wrong substance on heart disease. Fortunately, emerging science continues to minimize the connection between saturated fat and heart disease.

Reverse the Fear: Sugars and Processed Carbs

Let’s say the bad studies linked the heart disease epidemic to sugar. Government agencies would have stricter limits on sugar and carbohydrate intake. “Warning, sugar increases the likelihood for heart disease. ” Would the U.S. still be one of the unhealthiest countries in the world? Would the obesity rates of our kids and teenagers still be high and increasing? I think not. Let’s break down common sweeteners and which are the best.

Common Sweeteners

The sweeteners listed below are highly processed. Processed means to heat, freeze, ferment, or add chemicals to make a product.

  • Sucrose aka table sugar
  • Saccharin and dextrose (Sweet N Low)
  • Sucralose and dextrose (Splenda)
  • Aspartame (Equal)
  • Maltodextrin
  • Erythritol

Evidence shows a link between artificial sweeteners and oxidative stress and inflammation which cause damage to organs and the brain. Furthermore, artificial sweeteners increase risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type two diabetes, and heart disease. Also, high use of artificial sweeteners alters good gut bacteria. Since sweeteners are widespread in processed foods and drinks, high accumulation is attainable.  Studies using Splenda and mice showed evidence of reduction in beneficial gut flora and reduced fecal PH (acidic). Normal body PH is alkaline. There is enough evidence to suggest removing these harmful substances from your diet. Make sure to check your ingredient labels too!

Best Sweeteners

  • Stevia rebaudiana (Sweetleaf)
  • Honey

Stevia is a popular plant because it’s sweet and may be medicinal. The healthy compound in Stevia is steviol glycosides. Stevia is an antioxidant, natural preservative, antimicrobial, and anitfungal. Stevia is thermostable therefore cooking with it will not change the chemical structure. It’s stable at 392 degrees Fahrenheit. When comparing stevia to other artificial sweeteners, stevia is much healthier by far.

I recommend Sweet Drops by SweetLeaf. Sweet Drops uses Stevia extract with natural flavors.The natural flavors contain ingredients from herbs, fruits, and vegetables. In conclusion, avoid artificial sweeteners and use SweetLeaf or local honey.

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Cranberry Juice

Cranberry Sauce or Juice?

Cranberry JuiceThanksgiving is this Thursday! Bring on the turkey, dressing, and desserts. Oh yeah, your relatives will be there too! A Thanksgiving day is not totally complete without cranberry sauce. Personally I never eat it. Something that slides out of a can and maintains its tubular shape isn’t appetizing to me, but there is a large segment of the population that obviously enjoy the taste. This article isn’t about cranberry sauce. In this article we will discuss some of the health benefits of cranberry juice.

Dental Caries and Gum Disease

Like most dark colored fruits, cranberries are loaded with polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. The polyphenols in cranberries reduce the affects of bacteria that form plaque buildup on your teeth. Also cranberry juice provides gum protection because the polyphenols inhibit the process of gum inflammation and the destructive enzymes that damage the gums.

Breast Cancer

Eating fruits and vegetables has an inverse risk for chronic diseases and cancer. In this study cranberry extract was used on breast cancer cells. The cranberry extract significantly decreased breast cancer cell replication/ reproduction. This study used cranberry extract; thus this study is limited in benefits for actual cranberry juice.

Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

This study shows low calorie cranberry juice reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors. Risk factors included blood pressure, c reactive protein (inflammation marker), triglycerides, and glucose concentrations. Low calorie cranberry juice has shown to have similar effects of an ACE inhibitor/high blood pressure medications.

The power of the cranberry is a result of the antioxidants it possesses. That’s why it’s so important to eat dark colored fruits and vegetables. Not only are you optimizing many cellular functions through its vitamins and minerals, but you’ll also be receiving the fiber you need. Drinking cranberry or pomegranate juice is a convenient way to get these important micro nutrients. Pass on the cranberry sauce, and drink 3-4 oz daily of cranberry juice. You can eat them whole which would be more beneficial. When you buy cranberry juice (try this one) make sure it’s not from concentrate or has added sugars.

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Heavy Backpacks to Blame for Chronic Low Back Pain?

Heavy Backpacks to Blame for Chronic Low Back Pain?

Heavy Backpacks to Blame for Chronic Low Back Pain?

Attention parents. I have some homework that could influence your child’s health. How much does your child’s backpack weigh? If a child who weighs 100 pounds is wearing a 10 to 15 pound backpack, then that child is at an increased risk for low back pain or back pathology. Studies show that 92% of children carry backpacks that are 10% to 22% of their body weight. I was in school once, and I remember lugging around 3 to 4 heavy books, 2-3 binders, and a lunch box. Who knows, I may have been packing some Pogs or a Yo-Yo too. Let’s examine some backpack strategies to keep your kids healthy.

What Damage Can Heavy Backpacks Cause?

When a child’s backpack is over 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, the body’s normal center of gravity is shifted backwards or posteriorly. As the normal center of gravity is shifted posteriorly, abnormal loading of the spine will cause compression of the discs and associated spinal structures like articular facets. Along with spinal compression; children will compensate the weight by rounding their shoulders and jutting their head forward. Have you heard of the analogy, “As the twig is bent so grows the tree?” There is a lot of truth to that because minor spinal shifts or deviations of the spine will progress causing secondary conditions or symptoms if not corrected.

Chronic rounded shoulders can cause abnormal shoulder mechanics leading to shoulder injury. Permanent forward head posture or Anterior Head Syndrome (AHS) can cause spinal pathology and other symptoms such as headaches. Take a look at Justin Bieber’s lateral mugshot. It saddens me to see kids and teens with AHS because without a comprehensive plan to fix the shifts of the spine; spinal degeneration will accelerate at a more rapid pace. Anterior Head Syndrome is no different than your car being out of alignment. This will cause abnormal wear and tear on your tires and may cause your car to veer to one side.

Backpack Tips that Can Prevent Injury

  • Backpacks shouldn’t be big enough to hold all of your child’s books. Purchase a backpack that is just large enough to hold a few books, a binder and a lunch box.
  • Purchase a backpack that has large, padded shoulder straps. A backpack that is too heavy with narrow straps can compress nerves and arteries. With that said, use both shoulder straps. No Zack Morris backpack wearing.
  • Limit backpack weights below 10% of your child’s body weight.
  • Place the heaviest objects closest to the child’s back. This will limit changes in center of gravity  which normally is just below your belly button.
  • When picking up your backpack use the Lumbar Saving Lift.
  • Check with the teacher or child about the books needed to bring home for homework.
  • Adjust the straps so that the backpack is positioned 4 inches above the child’s waist line. Wear your backpack like NBA All-Star Kevin Durant.

You could try roller backpacks, but apparently those can be tripping hazards and may be hard to lug up stairs. A child with back pain or neck pain is extremely worrisome. Thus, it’s important to take the steps necessary to prevent future spinal problems.

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Sleep Tips for Kids

Sleep Tips for Kids

Sleep Tips for Kids

Sleep plays a vital role in health outcomes for children and adults. Unfortunately most school aged kids are getting less sleep as they progress though school. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following: 10-13 hours for 3-5 year olds (including naps), 9-12 hours for 6-12 year olds, 8-10 hours for 13-18 year olds. The National Sleep Foundation cited 75% of 18 year olds reported getting less than 8 hours per night. While there are a number of strategies to help sleep, let’s go over a few things that may hinder sleep first.

What Should I Avoid?

In 2006 adolescents reported having at least one electronic device in their bedroom. With the popularity of iPhones and tablets, it’s safe to say that number has increased. The problem with electronics is the emission of blue light. Blue light affects the secretion of melatonin which regulates your internal clock (24 hour cycle). Meletonin levels are highest at night and lowest during the morning. Blue light emitted from electronics at night will set back your internal clock delaying sleep and decreasing melatonin secretion when it’s most needed.

TV shows, movies, and video games can increase emotional arousal delaying sleep and lower sleepiness. Try watching Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead and immediately falling asleep. Good luck! In addition to emotional arousal, blue light screens will decrease melatonin levels.

The last one is obvious, but try to limit caffeine after 12 PM (noon). This includes soft drinks, coffee, and energy drinks.

Sleep Tips For Kids

Set a schedule or routine for bedtime. This is the most important tip for kids and adults too. It’s best to keep a visual schedule for the whole family to see. The steps you choose will get your children relaxed and prepared for sleep. Routines can start with infants. Studies show that infants who had a bedtime routine reduced sleep latency (time to fall asleep) and number/duration of night wakening. That will make happy parents! Routines can include bathing, putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, reading a story, using the bathroom, and listening to calming music. Routines should be short and should be no longer than 1 hour. Start at 15 minutes for infants and add time continuing up to teenage years. If possible, follow your routine every night even on weekends.

Decrease the room temperature to 60-67 degrees. This is the temperature range for optimal sleep. Heat exposure increases wakefulness and decreases the amount of time spent in stages of sleep like Rapid Eye Movement (dreaming occurs) and Non-Rapid Eye Movement (deepest part of sleep).

Wear socks to bed. If your feet are cold, wear socks to dilate the blood vessels in your feet. Dilation triggers your brain to prepare itself for sleep.

Keep your the kid’s bedroom as dark as possible. As you know, light in your room can affect your melatonin levels. If you use a night light, go with a red light. Red lights have the least effect on your internal clock. Try this night light.

Do not eat or drink anything at least an hour before bed. Your body has to process anything you ingest,so if you eat or drink something before bed, your body will have to digest it. Also eating or drinking will increase risk of having to use the bathroom late at night.

Deep breaths before bedtime will help prepare your body for sleep. Try 5 slow inhales and exhales. If you inhale for 5 seconds try to exhale for 10 seconds. Parents can use this breathing exercise as part of the nightly routine.

What Happens When Sleep is Optimized?

Studies show that declarative memory is enhanced in children when recommended amounts of sleep are met. Declarative memory is the ability to remember facts or events. Wouldn’t this be helpful in school? Unfortunately there are no studies that show a positive correlation between sleep and non-declarative memory. Non-declarative memory is used in the learning of languages or learning a skill.

Also the risk for diabetes, anxiety, obesity, and depression all decrease with the recommended amount of sleep. Immunity is strengthened with better sleep. This is why you should get plenty of rest if you are starting to feel sick.

If you truly want better sleep for kids, it all starts with the parents or guardian. Enforcing the bedtime routine and setting a good example is of utmost importance. A good night’s rest is an integral part of learning and performance. Implementing these tips could set your child up for future success in and beyond school.

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Tony Romo Back Injury Analysis

Tony Romo Back Injury Analysis

Tony Romo Back Injury Analysis

College football has kicked off! Now it’s time for the pros to play starting this Thursday! Unfortunately, a few major injuries took place during preseason football. Last year, Green Bay Packer star wide receiver Jordy Nelson tore his anterior cruciate ligament running a route. This preseason Tony Romo succumbed to injury during the preseason. Let’s take a look at how the injury took place.

How Did the Injury Happen?

During the first quarter of the preseason game, Tony Romo scrambled to his left escaping the pocket. This exposed Romo’s back to defensive end Cliff Avril. Romo was starting to slide to give himself up (end the play without getting hit). Romo’s slide naturally made his chest and legs converge causing slight lumbar spine flexion. As Romo was about to slide, Cliff Avril hit Romo around the shoulders and neck causing hyper-flexion of Romo’s lumbar spine. You can watch the injury video here. Pardon the 30 second commercial.

Back Injury Analysis

Arrows represent the superior and inferior vertebral endplate

Mechanics of Injury

Romo hit the ground forcefully causing a compression fracture. Compression fractures of the spine are usually caused by a hyper-flexion injury as seen on the video. During forceful hyper-flexion, the vertebral endplates will drive toward each other creating a fracture.

How Was the Injury Confirmed?

The imaging used for Romo’s back was Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). There are two types of MRI. T1 and T2 weighted MRI show the area of compression and fluid build up representing an acute or recent injury. Imagine a halfway crushed can. That’s what Romo’s L1 vertebrae probably looked like through MRI. Romo will avoid surgery. The best treatment for a stable compression fracture is rest. The timetable for Romo’s return looks to be week 8 or 10.

How Does a Structural Correction Chiropractor Help?

As long as the compression fracture is stable, there are no contraindications to Structural Correction chiropractic. Structural Corrective adjustments at Core Chiropractic are specific and gentle with a major focus being on the top vertebral bones. If the top vertebral bone, the atlas, is directed to a more normal position the rest of the spine will be affected as well. The spine works like links of a chain. Moving the top link will affect or move the rest of the links. Structural Corrective adjustments will stabilize and align the spine to it’s most optimal position; thus, decreasing pressure on the nerves (yellow structures above) improving or correcting secondary conditions or symptoms.

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