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PLEASE NOTE: Our new clinic website is up and running. A few tweaks here and there and it should be completed. In the interim you can check it out. It has many additional benefits for patients. We will present these in detail shortly.
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 High-protein diet may help some people shed pounds

Dieters who eat meals and snacks high in protein might lose a bit more weight than those who get less protein and more carbohydrates - all other things being equal, a new analysis of past studies suggests.
Researchers found that over an average of 12 weeks, people assigned at random to a high-protein diet lost about 1.8 extra pounds, and more body fat, than those assigned to a standard-protein diet.
There was no difference, however, in how much participants' blood pressure, cholesterol levels or markers for diabetes risk changed based on the protein content of their diets.
Thomas Wycherley from the University of South Australia in Adelaide, the lead author on the study, said in an email to Reuters Health that the extra weight loss in the high-protein group was "only modest," but that "it may still represent clinical relevance on a population level."
For the study, he and his colleagues analyzed 24 past trials that included a total of 1,063 people.
Participants were all put on a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet designed to help them lose weight. About half were prescribed a high-protein version of that diet - containing about 85 grams of protein per day for a 150-pound person - and the other half a standard-protein diet, with 49 grams per day, on average, for a 150-pound person.
Across all trials, high-protein and standard-protein diets were designed to provide the same calorie reduction.
Depending on the study, participants lost an average of anywhere from 2.4 to 25.1 pounds, according to findings published last week in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
It's not obvious why a higher protein-to-carbohydrate ratio might help people shed more pounds - and one obesity researcher not involved in the new analysis questioned whether the trials were even robust enough to make that conclusion.
"The studies are generally far too short to tell impact," Dr. James Levine from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, told Reuters Health in an email. What's more, he added, "many are inadequately conducted to be relevant."
Wycherley said it's possible the body may spend more energy, and burn more calories, processing protein compared to carbohydrates. Another potential explanation for the link his team observed is that eating protein helps preserve muscle mass - and muscle mass burns more calories, even when the body is resting, than other types of mass.
He said people in the studies tended to get protein from a variety of animal and vegetable sources. Vegetable sources of protein include beans and other legumes.
Substituting protein for carbohydrates as part of an energy-restricted diet, Wycherley said, is one option for people hoping to lose weight.
But given the limitations of the current evidence, Levine said, "it makes no real difference which of the (weight-loss) approaches one chooses."
SOURCE: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online October 24, 2012.
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 Antibiotics Don't Ease Coughs in Kids With Common Cold: Study
No treatment is sometimes the best option, experts say
Although they are not effective in treating this type of cough, researchers in Italy said many children are prescribed antibiotics anyway.
Antibiotics are also overprescribed to children in the United States, other experts have said.
The findings were presented Monday at the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) annual meeting in Atlanta.
"In our experience, antibiotics are often prescribed by the general practitioner to treat cough in children, many times to pacify parents," study lead author Dr. Francesco de Blasio, of the Clinic Center Private Hospital in Naples, Italy, said in an ACCP news release. "However, antibiotics show very little effectiveness at treating cough due to your average head cold."
It's not hard to understand why this can occur, a U.S. expert noted.
"As parents, it is difficult to watch our children suffering from a terrible cough, but turning to antibiotics is not always the answer," added Dr. Darcy Marciniuk, ACCP president-elect, in the release. "Depending on the underlying cause of the cough, a health care professional can recommend the best treatment options for a child, which, in some cases, may be no treatment."
The study involved 305 children who were treated in their pediatrician's office for a bad cough due to the common cold. Of these kids, 89 were given antibiotics, and 38 received both antibiotics and either an anti-cough medication that affects the central nervous system (codeine, cloperastine) or a "peripheral" medication called levodropropizine.
Meanwhile, 44 children received only an anti-cough drug. The remaining 55 children were not given any treatment.
Although there was no difference in outcomes among the kids taking anti-cough medication alone or with antibiotics, the study revealed the children who were treated with antibiotics alone recovered from their cough more slowly.
The researchers noted that levodropropizine was significantly better in treating the children's cough than centrally acting anti-cough drugs.
"Few drugs are effective as cough suppressants, and antibiotics are no more effective in relieving cough than the use of no medication," de Blasio concluded.
The study authors said that antibiotics are helpful in treating underlying infections that may result in a cough, but they should not be overused.
"Using antibiotics as a treatment for cough without suspected infection is unnecessary and can be harmful," de Blasio said. "Repeated use of antibiotics, especially when they are ineffective, can lead to adverse allergic reactions or a resistance to the medications."
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
SOURCE: American College of Chest Physicians, news release, Oct. 22, 2012
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Antioxidants in Fruit, Veggies and Tea Might Fight Prostate Cancer: Study

Preliminary research found men who consumed more flavonoids had milder form of the disease

Prostate cancer patients who, before their diagnosis, routinely consumed hefty helpings of the flavonoid compounds found in plant-based foods and drinks may be at lower risk for the most aggressive form of the disease, new research suggests.
But the research has significant limitations, the study authors noted, so it's too soon to say that a plant-based diet protects against prostate cancer.
Flavonoids are found in vegetables and fruits, as well as in tea, wine, juices and cocoa. Researchers have long theorized that these particular antioxidants may help reduce cancer risk by fighting inflammation, oxidation, cell death and tumor cell growth.
The new study did not assess the ability of flavonoids to prevent the onset of cancer as a whole. But the investigation, involving about 1,900 patients newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, found that those whose diets included the highest amount of flavonoids were 25 percent less likely to have been diagnosed with the fastest-moving and harshest form of the disease compared to those who had been taking in the fewest flavonoids.
"We compared men with low-aggressive disease to high aggressive," said study lead author Susan Steck, associate professor at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health. "We did not have a healthy comparison group. So while we think that consuming more fruits and vegetables will improve the odds of not getting prostate cancer altogether, we can't say that based on our study results."
"But what we are seeing here is the impact of flavonoids on reducing the risk for aggressive prostate cancer," she added. "They may not affect your risk for getting the cancer, but it may mitigate against the kind of cancer you would get."
Steck and her colleagues are scheduled to discuss their findings Wednesday at the annual cancer prevention meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, in Anaheim, Calif.
The authors looked at self-reported dietary habits already in place at the time of diagnosis among their patient pool, which included 920 black men and 977 white men. No dietary intervention was imposed after diagnosis.
All the men had been enrolled in the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project.
The new study found that smokers and men younger than 65 appeared to receive the most protective benefit from fruit and vegetable consumption.
The authors identified green and black tea, as well as orange and grapefruit juice, as the prime sources of flavonoids consumed by study participants. Strawberries, onions, cooked greens, kale and broccoli also were popular flavonoid-rich foods.
No single class of plant-based food was linked on its own to the observed protective effect, leading the team to conclude that the benefit was rooted in a dietary mix of flavonoids.
Dr. Lionel Banez, assistant professor of urologic surgery at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., said the study design makes it hard to read much into the findings.
It is "difficult to be confident about the conclusions," he said, given that the current study was a backward look at patients' recollections of their pre-diagnosis diets.
Banez suggested that the findings of a flavonoid benefit would be more reliable if they had stemmed from a highly controlled study of risk levels among patients who were proactively placed on a specific dietary plan, and then tracked for the future onset of cancer.
"These results are not enough to warrant recommending plant-based diets as regimens to treat prostate cancer or prevent aggressive prostate cancer," he said.
Although the study found an association between flavonoids and risk for a form of prostate cancer, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Because the study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
SOURCES: Susan Steck, Ph.D., M.P.H, R.D., associate professor, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.; Lionel Banez, M.D., assistant professor, urologic surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.; Oct. 17, 2012, presentation, American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, Anaheim, Calif.
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 NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ELLENBROOK at Ellenbrook Chiropractic and Wellness Centre
Noninvasive  cold or LLLT is used as a phototherapy that is painless to the patient.  As of July 2012 Kyoto University of Medicine  has described cold laser "as a procedure indispensable to the treatment of various pain syndromes." (1) Come and see why institutions like Kyoto, Harvard & Sydney Universities are all researching  the benefits of cold laser. For more information or an appointment for cold laser call 9296 7999 or visit us at 12 Main Street Ellenbrook opposite Subway.
Ref: Hosokawa T, Kawabata Y. Pain treatment with LLLT.Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine Kyoto. Masui . July:61(7): 718-27
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Curcumin (Tumeric) capsules found to curb diabetes risk

Supplements containing a compound in curry spice may help prevent diabetes in people at high risk, a new clinical trial suggests.
Researchers found that over nine months, a daily dose of curcumin seemed to prevent new cases of diabetes among people with so-called prediabetes - abnormally high blood sugar levels that may progress to full-blown type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity.
Curcumin is a compound in turmeric spice, and lab research has suggested it can fight inflammation and so-called oxidative damage to body cells. Those two processes are thought to feed a range of diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, included 240 Thai adults with prediabetes who were randomly assigned to take either curcumin capsules or a placebo (identical-looking capsules with no active ingredient).
After nine months, 19 of the 116 placebo patients had developed type 2 diabetes. That compared with none of the 119 patients taking curcumin.
The researchers, led by Dr. Somlak Chuengsamarn of Srinakharinwirot University in Nakornnayok, Thailand, see the findings as an endorsement.
"Because of its benefits and safety, we propose that curcumin extract may be used for an intervention therapy for the prediabetes population," the researchers write.
"This looks promising, but there are still a lot of questions," said Constance Brown-Riggs, a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
One issue is that the trial lasted only nine months, Brown-Riggs told Reuters Health. And it's already known from longer-lasting, larger trials that lifestyle changes - including calorie-cutting and exercise - can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.
Brown-Riggs said her concern is that people with prediabetes will see a quick fix in curcumin capsules.
"If I was talking to a patient about this," she said, "I'd say concentrate on eating healthy and overall lifestyle. Include more herbs and spices in your diet, and use them in place of sodium."
In this study, people took six supplement capsules per day, each of which contained 250 milligrams of "curcuminoids."
But beyond those issues, Brown-Riggs said that her worry is that people will ignore the diet and exercise changes they need for overall health in favour of a "magic bullet."
"I think right now the best way to include this is in your diet," she said. "Try experimenting with Asian cuisines" - which often contain turmeric and curcumin.
That said, Brown-Riggs thought research into curcumin capsules should continue. "This study is compelling, and the good news is there seemed to be minimal adverse effects."
One study participant on curcumin reported "itching," two had constipation and one reported vertigo. It's not clear that the supplement was to blame.
And if curcumin does help battle diabetes, the reason for that is not fully clear.
But the researchers did find that the supplement seemed to improve the function of beta-cells - cells in the pancreas that release the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin.
They speculate that the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin help protect beta-cells from damage.
SOURCE: Diabetes Care, online July 6, 2012.
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BPA Exposure Impacts Pregnant Women's Thyroids, Study Suggests

New research finds that BPA -- a chemical widely used in the manufacture of hard plastics, cans and even store receipts -- is associated with lower levels of thyroid hormone in both pregnant women and their newborn boys.
At this point, the implications of the findings to human health are unclear, although abnormal thyroid hormone levels have been associated with changes in thinking skills, behavior and growth, according to the research, which was published online Oct. 4 in Environmental Health Perspectives.
This is the first study to show an association between BPA (or bisphenol A) and thyroid hormone in pregnant women, according to the study's lead author, Kim Harley, an adjunct associate professor of public health at the University of California, Berkeley.
Almost all -- 95 percent -- of women of reproductive age have enough BPA in their urine to be detectable. BPA has also been found in placental tissue and amniotic fluid and is known to have estrogen-like activity.
There has been concern that BPA may be linked with reproductive and developmental problems and, in July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.
In the new study, researchers measured BPA levels in the urine of 335 pregnant women, once during the first half of pregnancy and once in the second half.
They also measured levels of thyroid hormones in the women and their newborn babies.
Although thyroid hormone levels fell within a normal range, higher levels of BPA exposure were associated with lower thyroid levels in both mothers and newborn boys, though not girls, the investigators found.
It's not clear why the gender difference but one hypothesis, Harley said, "is that boys may be less able to detoxify BPA than girls."
The hormone changes seen in the mothers weren't overly dramatic, but the exposure to the fetus could be another story entirely, an expert suggests.
"We have increasing concern about endocrine-disrupting chemicals," said Dr. Keith Cryar, an endocrinologist with Scott & White in Temple and in Round Rock, Texas. "We know that very small differences can sometimes have profound effects on the developing fetus."
The researchers also found that the effects of BPA on thyroid hormone were transient.
"It's good news in the sense that, if we were able to stop exposure to BPA, there might not be a long-term effect on the human body," said another lead author, Jonathan Chevrier, a research epidemiologist at UC Berkeley's Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health. "On the other hand, what we're experiencing right now is that people are being continuously exposed to BPA so it's not necessarily good news in the present state of things."
Because the study was limited to poor immigrant Mexican-American women and their babies, the authors pointed out that the findings cannot necessarily be generalized to other populations.
Nor can the study prove that BPA causes declines in thyroid hormone levels.
But the findings do provide some revelations about BPA.
"BPA has gotten a lot of attention for being an estrogen, but it's more complicated than that," Harley said. "We know from laboratory studies that it interferes with other hormones, including thyroid hormone."
The findings, said Robin Dodson, a research scientist with the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, Mass., "are important to understand the health effects of BPA."
And the good news is that there are ways to limit exposure to BPA, including adding fresh foods to your diet while avoiding packaged foods, Dodson added.
Harley said this is the first of several studies on BPA scheduled to come out in the coming months. The next two studies will look at the effects of BPA on neurodevelopment in children and on obesity.
SOURCES: Kim Harley, Ph.D., adjunct association professor of public health, University of California, Berkeley; Jonathan Chevrier, Ph.D., research epidemiologist, University of California, Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health; Keith Cryar, M.D., endocrinologist, Scott & White, Temple and Round Rock, Texas; Robin Dodson, Sc.D., research scientist, Silent Spring Institute, Newton, Mass.; Oct. 4, 2012, Environmental Health Perspectives, online
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 Why Some Mothers (Wrongly) Let Kids Try Alcohol

Early introduction may lead to problem drinking in teen years, researchers say

Many parents wrongly believe that allowing young children to taste alcohol may discourage them from drinking when they're teens, a new study finds.
"The idea that early exposure to alcohol can discourage a child's interest in drinking has a strong foothold among some parents of elementary-school-aged children," lead author Christine Jackson, a social ecologist at RTI International, a nonprofit research organization, said in an RTI news release.
Early introduction to alcohol is a major risk factor for problem drinking during the teen years, the researchers warned.
They analyzed interviews conducted with 1,050 mothers of third-grade children and found that one-quarter of them said allowing their children to taste alcohol would discourage their curiosity about it because they would not like the flavor and because it would remove the "forbidden fruit" appeal of it.
The researchers also found that 40 percent of the mothers felt that not allowing their children to taste alcohol would only increase their desire to have it, 22 percent believed children who taste alcohol at home with their parents would be better able to resist peer pressure to drink alcohol, and 26 percent thought it would make their children less likely to experiment with risky drinking in middle school.
Nearly 33 percent of the children in the study said they had tasted beer, wine or other alcoholic drinks. There was a strong association between parents who were in favor of allowing their children to taste alcohol and children's reported alcohol use.
"These findings indicate that many parents mistakenly expect that the way children drink at home, under parental supervision, will be replicated when children are with peers," Jackson said. "More research is needed to understand how parents acquire these ideas and to understand the relationship between early sipping and alcohol use in adolescence."
The study was published online Sept. 17 in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
SOURCE: RTI International, news release, Sept. 19, 2012
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Heavy drinkers may risk brain bleed at a young age

People who drink heavily may be at risk of suffering a brain hemorrhage at a relatively early age, researchers reported Monday.
Heavy drinking has long been considered a risk factor for stroke.
In the new study, French researchers focused on drinking habits among people who'd suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage - a type of stroke where ruptured blood vessels leak blood into the brain. It accounts for 10 percent of the 800,000 strokes per year in the U.S.
Among the 540 patients they followed, one-quarter were heavy drinkers before the stroke - downing the equivalent of at least four drinks per day.
And their brain hemorrhage typically struck at the age of 60, versus age 74 among patients who were not heavy drinkers, the researchers report in the journal Neurology.
"Chronic heavy alcohol intake increases the risk of bleeding at a very young age," senior researcher Dr. Charlotte Cordonnier said in an email.
Heavy drinkers were not only younger when they had their brain hemorrhage - they were also relatively healthy, added Cordonnier, of the University of Lille Nord de France.
Compared with patients who were not heavy drinkers, they were less likely to have any history of heart disease, stroke or "mini-stroke" symptoms.
A neurologist not involved in the study said the findings cannot prove that heavy drinking, itself, leads to brain hemorrhage at an early age.
"There may be other things these individuals were doing that would affect their risk," said Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, director of the Duke Stroke Center in Durham, North Carolina, and a spokesperson for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
He pointed out that heavy drinkers in the study were often smokers: 42 percent were, versus 12 percent of other patients.
And there could have been other, unmeasured differences between heavy drinkers and people who drank moderately or not at all.
Still, the findings are in line with what's known about alcohol and stroke risk, and there are reasons to believe that heavy drinking, itself, is the problem, according to Goldstein.
The habit can feed high blood pressure, a known risk factor for stroke. It may also affect the blood's ability to clot, which could raise the odds of a hemorrhage-type stroke.
And in this study, heavy drinkers had lower levels of certain substances that allow blood to clot - though those levels were still within normal range.
The bottom line, according to Goldstein, is that moderation is the way to go.
"Excessive alcohol consumption is bad for your brain, in a number of ways," he said.
In general, experts recommend that women have no more than one alcoholic drink per day, while men should limit it to two.
In contrast to what's seen with heavy drinking, studies have linked such moderate drinking to a lower risk of heart disease and possibly stroke as well. But it's not certain that the alcohol deserves the credit.
"You shouldn't start drinking to try to get health benefits," Goldstein stressed.
Besides suffering brain hemorrhages at a younger age, some of the big drinkers in this study also had a worse prognosis.
When the stroke occurred in a deep part of the brain, heavy drinkers younger than 60 were more likely to die within two years, versus other patients their age. More than half died, compared with about a third of those who did not drink heavily.
When the researchers accounted for certain other factors, like smoking habits, the heavy drinkers were twice as likely to die.
Again, it's not clear that people's past drinking habits were the reason, since the study could not account for all the potential differences between heavy drinkers and moderate ones.
But the message on drinking remains the same, Goldstein said.
SOURCE: Neurology, September 11, 2012.
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Common Screens Miss Spread of Breast Cancer: Study

Bone scans, liver ultrasounds and chest X-rays only caught small number of cases

 In a new study, three types of screening methods used to determine whether breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body only spotted a small portion of tumors that had done so.
This may mean that bone scans, liver ultrasounds and chest X-rays may not have a significant role to play in tracking the stage a breast cancer is at, particularly for tumors that are diagnosed earlier, the researchers added.
"Very low detection rates, particularly for stage I and II breast cancer, really question the utility of these three [techniques]," said study author Stuart-Allison Moffat Staley, a medical student at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.
Moffat Staley presented her findings Tuesday in San Francisco at the 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium, sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
Extravagant ordering of tests can also result in unnecessary biopsies and anxiety, sometimes resulting in more harm than good, added Dr. Andrew Seidman, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Both Moffat Staley and Seidman, who is also an ASCO official, spoke at a Tuesday news conference.
When it spreads, breast cancer often travels to the bone, liver and lung, hence the use of these particular scans to assess metastases, Moffat Staley explained. These three techniques are significantly less expensive than two other options that are available, CT scans and MRIs, he noted.
Of course, when used in thousands of breast cancer patients (some of whom undergo all three scans) the practice becomes costly, not only to the health care system but also to individual patients, she added.
In the research, Moffat Staley combined data from eight studies and found detection rates of only 0.51 percent, 0.82 percent, 2.43 percent for chest X-ray, liver ultrasound and bone scans, respectively.
Detection rates were higher for Stage III cancers: about 4.6 percent, 4.2 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively.
At some point, screening will be needed to make sure there's no metastases, as this will determine what kind of treatment a woman will get, noted Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She was not involved in the study.
Bone scans, liver ultrasounds and chest X-rays are not necessarily the tests of choice for many doctors. CT scans and PET scans are also often used, Bernik noted.
Moffat Staley stressed that more studies need to be done on this issue, specifically research that compares these three screenings against CT scans, MRIs and PET scans.
Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary because it hasn't undergone the scrutiny of studies published in peer-reviewed journals.
SOURCES: Stephanie Bernik, M.D., chief, surgical oncology, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Sept. 11, 2012, news conference with: Stuart-Allison Moffat Staley, MPH, medical student, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, and Andrew Seidman, M.D., medical oncologist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City
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