Soluble drugs full of salt

November 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

Take an aspirin to prevent high blood pressure and a stroke and possibly get one at the same time.

Soluble versions of aspirin and paracetamol are laden with salt and can sharply increase patients’ risk of high blood pressure and stroke, a BMJ study suggests.

Published 26 November 2013, the study showed a 22% elevation in incident stroke rates over seven years among patients who took any sodium-containing medications – including soluble, effervescent and dispersible versions – compared with those taking ordinary tablets. “This increased risk of stroke was probably associated with the increased risk of hypertension”. These patients also had 28% higher rates of all-cause mortality, the study found.

Recommended doses of some of the painkillers were found to contain 50% more salt than the safe daily limits for adults.

soluble drugs full of salt BMJ

Click here to read the Spinewave report on high blood pressure

The researchers behind the study, carried out by University College London and the University of Dundee, are now warning patients to avoid regularly taking soluble painkillers. The finding has prompted calls for stricter labelling of drugs’ sodium content, and for doctors to use non-soluble versions where possible.

Reference: Association between cardiovascular events and sodium-containing effervescent, dispersible, and soluble drugs: nested case-control study. BMJ 2013;347:f6954

You have to break a sweat

November 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

boot camp exercise chiropractorA one hour high-intensity workout provides the same fitness benefits as 50 hours of walking, a major Flinders University study has found.

An hour of high-intensity exercise results in the same amount of fat loss as 2 hours of moderate-intensity exercise.

High-intensity exercise is defined as exercise which pushes your heart rate up to 75% of its maximum capacity or more.

The study, led by Flinders health sciences lecturer Dr Lynda Norton with researchers from the University of South Australia, measured the health benefits gained from every minute of vigorous activity compared to the same time spent in moderate-intensity exercise. They assessed the affects on four disease risk factors; body fat and weight, cholesterol, hip and waist girth, and aerobic fitness.

More than 620 adults completed the six-week exercise program, with participants divided into two groups and asked to perform either a one hour high-intensity workout, such as circuit training, boxing or step classes, three times a week or 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking, seven days a week.

While the moderate-intensity exercisers still gained some health benefits compared to 135 adults who did not participate in the program, Dr Norton said significantly greater benefits were achieved by the high-intensity exercise group.

“Most physical activity guidelines recommend a 30 minute daily walk but we found that it would take 50 hours of walking to achieve the same aerobic fitness that you could get from just one hour of high-intensity or vigorous activity,” Dr Norton, based in Social Health Sciences, said.

“When we looked at cholesterol, we found it would take five hours of walking to see the same improvements as one hour of vigorous exercise, and for body mass index, it was the equivalent of about eight hours of walking,” she said.

Dr Norton said that while the benefits of high-intensity exercise are well documented, the study was the first of its kind to measure the magnitude of change across major risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases when directly compared to walking.

The study has just been submitted for publication in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Cognitive Reserve

November 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Spinewave Bulletin 

chiropractic cognitive reserveThe word “stress” is a misnomer. There are too many neurological mechanisms around how one processes information and how one feels about it.

Everybody is different. A stressful situation for one person may not be stressful for another. So the broad stroke term “stress” doesn’t work when assessing how a person is functioning (or whether they are well or not). People are so used to the smooth functioning of their brain and nervous system that rarely is attention paid to what is going on under the hood – until it starts failing.

3 key brain systems are critical to normal function:

  1. Working memory. The type of memory that allows us to both hold information in mind and work on it at the same time.
  2. Focused attention. Trying to divide attention between too many tasks results in performance errors.
  3. Emotional and cognitive self-regulation. Emotion tells us how important something is and cognition tells us what to do about it.

For the person who has experienced no obvious trauma, or perhaps just “wakes up one day” with a particular problem, the clinician has to be smart about how this might have come about besides the hand-wave diagnosis of “stress”, because invariably the person will report they are not under any overt stress; however they have problem.

Problems might include fatigue, exhaustion, insomnia, tremor, headache, backache, hyperventilation, anxiety, depression, constipation, diarrhoea, impotence, frigidity, vertigo or tinnitus just to name a few. Read more

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