March 2005


  • Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger States Support for Chiropractic
  • Methylphenidate (Ritalin) Linked to Chromosomal Changes
  • Chiropractic Care Helps Body Physiology and DNA Repair - Study Shows
  • Smoking in Late Pregnancy Linked to Lower IQ
  • Study Shows Chiropractic More Effective Than Medication or Acupuncture
  • Including Chiropractic to Save Money

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger States Support for Chiropractic

Once again for 2005 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared as the feature speaker at the International Chiropractors Association Sports and Fitness Symposium.  The event was held March 4-5, 2005 in conjunction with the Arnold Bodybuilding and Fitness Classic.  For each of the past 13 years Arnold, (now Governor Schwarzenegger) has taken time out of his Fitness Classic to make an appearance and speak to the chiropractors. In addition to his speech he also takes the time to take a picture with each chiropractor present.

Governor Schwarzenegger has been a long time supporter of chiropractic and has said so on many occasions. He strongly believes that chiropractic is a natural approach to health and many people benefit from chiropractic care.

“I am so happy to be back among such good friends because we are really partners in the same mission, getting people well and keeping them healthy through natural means," said Governor Schwarzenegger. " As partners, we know the relationship between exercise and health, and chiropractors are the best profession to help make this happen. Chiropractors are truly the most noble of health professionals because of the good that you do.  I know in my own experience, and with my own family, chiropractic has helped me and kept me going when other people would have had to just give up because they couldn’t make it.  You all know Dr. Franco Columbu is a great chiropractor and he has been with me for so many years, in competitions, in making movies; he is like my own personal chiropractor, always there to take care of me, and that has been a big part of my success.” 

This year Governor Schwarzenegger also made a special point of speaking about school lunches. He stated that he believes that children should not have junk food present in the school.  He said that children should have healthy food to help them live healthier lives.


Methylphenidate (Ritalin) Linked to Chromosomal Changes

The February 28, 2005 Medical News Today reported on a new study that linked methylphenidate, the most widely prescribed of a class of amphetamine-like drugs used to treat ADHD, with chromosome abnormalities, occurrences associated with increased risks of cancer and other adverse health effects.  Methylphenidate is the generic name for a group of drugs that includes Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate CD and others.

The article noted that researchers at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), said they undertook the study because, even though methylphenidate has been approved for human use for more than 50 years, “there are surprisingly few studies” in either animals or human beings “on the potential for serious side effects,” such as causing mutations and cancer.

In this Texas study researchers drew blood from children diagnosed with ADHD before they started taking methylphenidate in order to measure the level of chromosomal abnormalities.  Then three months after the children had begun taking methylphenidate, the researchers drew the children's blood again and tested it a second time, then compared it to the levels before the drug was taken. All of the children in the admittedly small study showed an increase in chromosomal damage within three weeks.

Lead author Randa A. El-Zein, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of epidemiology at M.D. Anderson who performed the blood studies using several techniques, noted, "A higher frequency of aberrations is reported to be associated with an increased risk of cancer down the line." El-Zein continued, "It was pretty surprising that all of the children taking methylphenidate showed an increase in chromosome abnormalities in a relatively short period of time."


Chiropractic Care Helps Body Physiology and DNA Repair - Study Shows

The March 7, 2005 Medical News Today reported on a study that shows that chiropractic helps body physiology and DNA repair.   The study, published in the February 18, 2005 scientific periodical, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, (JVSR), was a collaboration between chiropractors and researchers at the University of Lund in Sweden. In this study researchers found that chiropractic care could influence basic physiological processes affecting oxidative stress and DNA repair.

The article noted that serum thiols are primary antioxidants. Higher antioxidant levels can serve as a way of measuring human health status and DNA repair enzyme activity, which has been shown to correlate with lifespan and aging.  In this study researchers measured serum thiol levels in 21 patients, some of these with a variety of health issues or pain, who had undergone short-term chiropractic care.  Researchers also evaluated a group of 25 asymptomatic patients who had undergone long-term chiropractic care. These results were then compared to a control group of 30 people who had not received any chiropractic care.

The study results showed that, as the researchers expected, patients who were in pain had the lowest antioxidant levels.  However, those patients who were under longer term chiropractic care had statistically significant higher antioxidant levels than both the short term patients with pain, as well as those without pain who did not receive chiropractic care.

One of the authors, Dr. Christopher Kent, explained, “Going through life, we experience physical, chemical, and emotional stress. These stresses affect the function of the nervous system. We hypothesized that these disturbances in nerve function could affect oxidative stress and DNA repair on a cellular level.”  Kent continued, "Oxidative stress, metabolically generating free radicals, is now a broadly accepted theory of how we age and develop disease.”


Smoking in Late Pregnancy Linked to Lower IQ

The March 5, 2005 issue of the British Medical Journal reports on a study that shows that mothers who smoke in late pregnancy risk having children with lower intelligence.  The research found that young men whose mothers smoked 20 or more cigarettes a day had IQs that were on average 6.2 points below those of sons of non-smokers. 

The study noted that the more the mother smoked, the more it affected IQ of the offspring when they grew to an adult.  Additionally, the study noted that there was no real difference in socio-economic levels related to the loss of IQ and smoking during late pregnancy.

Erik Mortensen, researcher and one of the authors from Copenhagen University Hospital, Indiana University, commented, "Our results reveal significant long term effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy on mental development. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with lower adult intelligence and there appeared to be a dose-response relationship between maternal smoking and offspring intelligence."

The study noted that the reason for this finding was not totally understood, but the authors did say an adverse effect on the central nervous system and brain may be a factor: "It seems justified to assume that part of the effect of maternal smoking on offspring cognitive development is a direct result of the effect of substances in cigarette smoke on the fetal central nervous system."


Study Shows Chiropractic More Effective Than Medication or Acupuncture

Research published in the January 2005 issue of the scientific periodical the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (JMPT) showed that patients with chronic spinal pain syndromes did markedly better than patients who received either medication or acupuncture.

Participants in this study were those who had pain for more than 13 weeks.  These participants were divided into three groups who exclusively received one type of care.  One group got medication, one group received acupuncture and one group received chiropractic care.  The participants were evaluated using standardized questionnaires.  These questionnaires were given initially when the participant entered the study, then again 9 weeks after the initiation of care.  These results were then compared to repeat questionnaires given to the same patients 12 months later.

Researchers were extremely careful to exclude patients who were receiving multiple forms of care for their problem.  Their intent was to have the results only reflect benefits from a single type of care.  In this way outside factors could be minimized and the results should be attributed exclusively to the type of care the patient received.

Results showed that 12 months later, only the group that received chiropractic care was still experiencing significant improvement. Researchers noted that all three groups had experienced some short term benefits from their various care.  They also noted that the patients who got acupuncture did better than those who were in the group that received medication.  However, they noted that the group receiving chiropractic are showed the best results.  The authors concluded "Overall, patients who have chronic mechanical spinal pain syndromes and received spinal manipulation gained significant broad-based beneficial short-term and long-term outcomes."


Including Chiropractic to Save Money

Several stories have surfaced where chiropractic care is being included in health care plans in an effort to drive down the overall cost of health care. In one story from the February 22, 2005 Business Wire, California Assemblyman Paul Koretz (right) introduced legislation designed to reduce skyrocketing health care costs by including chiropractic as a mandatory benefit. The report notes that the bill, AB 1185, was prompted by a new study reporting that health care spending soaks up 24% of the growth in the economy.  Another recent study showed that adding chiropractic care to an insurance plan actually helps lower the costs of the plan.

California Senator Elaine Alquist is also in support of this concept and added, "Everyone who must grapple with the astronomical costs of health care -- insurers, patients, employers, and the government -- will benefit from wider access to chiropractic care, which can provide proven cost savings to the health care system."

California is not the only place where the trend of including chiropractic to save money has caught on.  As reported in another Business Wire report on March 3, 2005, American Specialty Health (ASH), a leading complementary health care organization, is debuting new health plan coverage that allows employers in the state of Virginia to offer low-cost insurance benefits for complementary health care including chiropractic. 

The offering makes good business sense.  The report notes that according to George Devries, president and CEO of American Specialty Health, a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that employees with chiropractic insurance coverage had 41 percent fewer hospitalizations for back pain than employees without chiropractic coverage. Employees with chiropractic coverage also had 32 percent fewer back surgeries and significantly lower utilization rates for expensive procedures such as CT and MRI scans as well as X-rays when compared with employees without chiropractic insurance. "With the growing consumer demand for complementary health care and employers' increasing needs for cost-effective health coverages, our company is stepping in to meet a need that is often unfulfilled by mainstream insurers," said Devries. "As a result, coverage is becoming easier for employees to get."


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