Five Reasons Why Incorporating Nutrition Will Launch Your Success, Plus One Tip on Getting Started
Written by Charles C.DuBois   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 01:19
ommy Thompson, former United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, and current United States Senate candidate is enthusiastic about wellness and prevention.
nutritionsuccess“Seven out of 10 deaths are caused by chronic diseases, and more than 75 percent of health care costs are spent treating conditions that are preventable,” Thompson said during an event held at Standard Process Inc. last year. “There’s so much more we could be doing, especially in the area of nutrition, to prevent these diseases from ever occurring versus treating them after the fact. It’s encouraging to see that we’re finally ready to invest in keeping people well in the first place.”
According to the Nutrition Business Journal’s recently released 2011 Integrative Medicine Report, “The power brokers in Washington have clearly warmed to integrative approaches to healthcare, and the industry stands posed to dramatically benefit from its mounting contribution to public health in the United States.”
How are you contributing towards keeping your patients well? Are you doing enough, or all that you can?
Here are five reasons that you should seriously consider adding nutrition to your practice, plus a piece of advice on how to get started today.
1. As a chiropractor, you are different than many other health care professionals. Your education and training have taught you to be committed to the health and wellness of the people you treat, not just to the treatment and management of disease.
It makes sense then that close to 70 percent, of chiropractors use nutrition in their practices – they see it as a valuable tool in treating the whole person and keeping their patients free of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and obesity. It is in your patients’ best interest to see that nutrition and chiropractic go hand in hand toward prevention, just as the majority of chiropractors have already seen.
2. If you want to thrive as a chiropractor, you need to build your reputation. Using nutrition in your practice will give you an advantage because patients will view you as more well-rounded. By using a more complete approach to wellness, you will be able to give higher quality patient care.
This in turn, will build your credibility faster and enhance your reputation within the community you serve. When people see benefits from your holistic approach, they’ll refer more friends and family to you. That’s a win-win for all involved!
3. Chiropractors are finding that problems treated solely by chiropractic manipulation do not respond as well without nutrition, especially today, as they do when nutrition is incorporated.
“More and more, I’m seeing that I can be more effective as a chiropractor by using nutrition with patients,” says Dr. Jeffrey Fedorko, who has been growing his Canton, Ohio practice for 30 years, and served as the past president of the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations (COCSA). 
Dr. Fedorko adds, “Patients just aren’t as healthy as they were when I first started, and many are not responding without the addition of good nutrition. When I do add nutrition, the results are amazing and my patients take notice!”
4. Consumers’ attitudes are changing as health care costs and frustration with the conventional “sick care” system continue to rise. More and more people see natural, holistic care as analternative to high prescription and surgery costs.

Nutritional supplement companies are ready, willing, and able to help chiropractors learn more about nutrition and how to take this worthy wellness and prevention path to elevate their practices.

“People today are more aware of the importance of being proactive about their health, and they’re realizing they can do this by making better choices in their lifestyles,” says Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, president of Parker University. By incorporating nutrition into your practice, you can help your patients understand which choices will have the biggest impact on their health. And, when you have a positive impact on their health, you’ll have a positive impact on your business.
5. It makes good business sense. Here’s why. As a chiropractor, you make a living using your own two hands. While that’s very commendable, it’s also risky. When you go on vacation, you take your hands with you, and the business stops, but the bills don’t stop.
On the other hand, if you have developed a solid nutrition practice in addition to the musculoskeletal work you do, then you still have an income stream, even when you are out of the office for an extended period of time. Many chiropractors have been able to increase their income by 25-30 percent by incorporating nutrition into their practices. In addition, it adds value to your practice when you decide to retire, because the business is more than you and your two hands.
Tip to get started: “Just begin; don’t be afraid,” Dr. Fedorko advises chiropractors who are interested in incorporating nutrition into their practices. “Start with one condition and allow your practice to dictate where you go next,” he says. “As your patients ask ‘What about this?’ learn about the next issue and the next. Or, pick an area of nutrition that is of particular interest to you, or that you really enjoy, and learn more about it. The most important thing to realize is that to be more effective, you need to begin using nutrition.”
Nutritional supplement companies are ready, willing, and able to help chiropractors learn more about nutrition and how to take this worthy wellness and prevention path to elevate their practices. 
Many offer webinars, training modules, and best practices information that will help you get started and grow. They also offer patient brochures, PowerPoint presentations, and training on how to communicate with your patients about nutrition. Use these valuable tools to add nutrition to your health care toolbox. You’ll be helping your patients achieve a higher level of health and creating a healthy bottom line for your practice.

Charles C. DuBois is president of Standard Process Inc. He is honored to be the leader of a company that is committed to carrying on the philosophy of Dr. Royal Lee founding father of Standard Process, so that health care professionals and their patients will continue to receive the best in whole food nutrition. For more information about Standard Process, please visit the company’s new website at or call 800-848-5061. 
Nutrient Intake and Plasma Beta-Amyloid Neurology
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Written by Dr. Dan Murphy, D.C.   
Friday, 03 August 2012 18:44
alzheimersColumnist Review by Dr. Dan Murphy, D.C. 
Y. Gu, PhD, N. Schupf, PhD, S.A. Cosentino, PhD, J.A. Luchsinger,MD, N. Scarmeas, MD: From the Department of Neurology and Department of Medicine, Columbia University, New York

Key Points From This Study:
  1. An important pathological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is B-amyloid (AB) peptide (mainly AB40 and AB42) deposition in the brain, resulting in formation of plaques.
  2. It is not easy or practical to measure brain AB levels, but plasma AB is easy to obtain and minimally invasive.
  3. These authors examined whether dietary intake of nutrients was associated with plasma AB levels in a cross-sectional analysis of 1,219 persons 65 years or older. Participants were in a community-based multiethnic cohort.
  4. Plasma levels of AB were measured and analyzed against stringent and comprehensive nutrient and supplement data collection.
  5. The associations of plasma AB40 and AB42 levels and dietary intake of 10 nutrients were examined using linear regression models, adjusted for age, gender, ethnicity, education, caloric intake, apolipoprotein E genotype, and recruitment wave.
  6. Nutrients examined included saturated fatty acid, monounsaturated fatty acid, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), omega-6 PUFA, vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin D.
  7. Higher intake of omega-3 PUFA was associated with lower levels of AB40 (24.7% reduced risk) and lower levels of AB42 (12.3% reduced risk). [Total AB reduced risk of 37%]
  8. Other nutrients were not associated with plasma AB levels.
  9. “Our data suggest that higher dietary intake of omega-3 PUFA is associated with lower plasma levels of AB42, a profile linked with reduced risk of incident AD and slower cognitive decline in our cohort.”
  10. “There is increasing evidence to suggest that diet may play an important role in preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.”
  11. “The nutrient intakes from foods and from supplements were separately estimated, and only the nutrient intake from foods was used in the current analysis.”
  12.  “Participants with higher omega-3 PUFA also had lower levels of AB40.”
  13. Higher intake of omega-3 PUFA was significantly associated with reduced plasma levels of both AB40 and AB42.
  14. “In this cross-sectional study of a group of elderly participants without dementia, we found that higher dietary intake of omega-3 PUFA was associated with decreased plasma AB42 levels, independent of age, gender, ethnicity, education, and APOE genotype.” [This indicates that even in those with genetic markers of increased Alzheimer’s risk, increasing levels of omega-3 fatty acids reduces the associated risk]
  15. A dietary pattern characterized by high omega-3 PUFA was associated with a nearly 40% reduced risk of AD.
  16. “Higher dietary intake of omega-3 PUFA might lead to lower plasma levels of AB42 (and possibly AB40) and a subsequent lower risk of AD.”
  17. There was no persistent association for other nutrients, suggesting that the nutrients might have little or no association with AB-related mechanisms.
  18. “In the current study, we found that higher dietary omega-3 PUFA intake was associated with lower plasma AB42 level, suggesting that the potential beneficial effects of omega-3 PUFA intake on AD and cognitive function in the literature might be at least partly explained by an AB-related mechanism.”
Comments From Dr. Dan Murphy:
This is yet another article indicating that low levels of omega-3 fatty acids increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It is projected that as the Baby Boomer generation (1946-1964) continues to retire, about 14 million of them will suffer from Alzheimer’s, a burden to our society that threatens to bankrupt our country. I believe that all Americans should have their omega-6/omega-3 ratio checked and we should all strive to keep our ratio below 4/1.

Dr. Dan Murphy graduated magna cum laude from Western States Chiropractic College in 1978. He received Diplomat status in Chiropractic Orthopedics in 1986. Since 1982, Dr. Murphy has served part-time as undergraduate faculty at Life Chiropractic College West, currently teaching classes to seniors in the management of spinal disorders. He has taught more than 2000 postgraduate continuing education seminars.  Dr. Murphy is a contributing author to both editions of the book Motor Vehicle Collision Injuries and to the book Pediatric Chiropractic. Hundreds of detailed Article Reviews, pertinent to chiropractors and their patients, are available at Dr. Murphy’s web page:
An Easy Way to Add Nutrition to Treat Your Patients in Pain
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Written by David R. Seaman, DC, MS, DABCN   
Saturday, 28 January 2012 06:32

ow back pain is one of the most common reasons patients visit all physicians in the United States and it represents a substantial financial burden on society (1). The most common treatments are pharmaceuticals, which are either prescribed or self administered, and manual care, which is delivered largely by chiropractors. Nutrition is not generally considered in the treatment of low back pain and, in fact, there are few trials that have specifically studied the effect of diet and/or supplements. This leads some to incorrectly view that nutrition may not be useful. The problem with this view is that no matter where the pain may be, the same peripheral and central nervous mechanisms are involved, which includes the release of chemical mediators, such as prostaglandins and cytokines (2), which are known to be modulated by diet and supplementation (3). In this article, three different types of common pain patients will be discussed. Those whose back pain begins without obvious injury; those who suffered an obvious strain that led to pain; and individuals with chronic aches and pains that vary in intensity and generally make life miserable.

Reduced caloric intake

nutritiontotreatpainIn human and animal studies, caloric restriction has been associated with the reduction of pain and inflammation (4-6). The precise mechanisms are not known for sure; however, it is clear that overeating nutrient-free and calorie dense foods will lead to postprandial elevations in glucose and triglycerides, which is associated with inflammation and is referred to as postprandial dysmetabolism (7). Americans spend most of their waking hours in the postprandial dysmetabolic state (7). While postprandial dysmetabolism is largely studied in the context of heart disease and diabetes, it can be applied to all conditions associated with inflammation. In other words, it makes no sense for patients with pain to live their lives in the postprandial inflammatory state. Identifying these patients in advance is helpful; they are overweight and sedentary, which is the majority of patients. These patients overeat sugar, flour, and excessively fatty foods at the expense of vegetables and fruit.Perhaps a chronic postprandial dysmetabolic inflammatory state is why patients are less responsive to spinal adjustments today, compared to yesteryear. This has been suggested to me as a possible reason by numerous DCs in the past twenty years who had been in practice for at least 40 years.  Modest caloric restriction immediately reduces postprandial inflammation (7), a practice that should be adopted by all patients in pain. Simply cut out the high calorie dessert foods and snacks and increase the consumption of whole foods, particularly vegetables and fruit.

Back pain that develops without obvious injury

Many patients present with back pain that slowly develops without an obvious inciting injury. Many of these patients have tried anti-inflammatory medications without success and so decide to give chiropractic a try. It is important to remember that many of these patients enter your office in the postprandial dysmetabolic inflammatory state. They likely need mechanical and chemical care as outlined in Table 1.

Table 1. Back pain that develops without obvious injury
Spinal manipulation
Reduced caloric intake
White willow bark extract (1000 mg)

White willow bark is a good choice for this category of back pain patient and should be taken as needed to help modulate the pain. Back pain guidelines and review articles have identified that white willow is no less effective than medications and is associated with less side effects (1,8). Important to note is that white willow bark should not be viewed as a “natural aspirin.” The beneficial effects of white willow are thought to be due to its unique flavonoid profile that offers a novel analgesic effect (9).

Back pain that develops due to an obvious injury

When patients state that a specific mechanism of trauma was responsible for their back or other pain, the key term to be thinking about is “acute inflammation.” Clearly, these patients need to avoid the postprandial dysmetabolic inflammatory state. Care should be given to delivery of manual care as the tissues are acutely inflamed and can be further injured. Table 2 also includes the use of proteolytic enzymes as a component of the treatment approach.

Table 2. Back pain that develops due to an obvious strain
Spinal manipulation
Reduced caloric intake
Proteolytic enzymes

Proteolytic enzymes include bromelain, trypsin, chymotrypsin and papain. Research has identified multiple mechanisms of action. The most notable in the context of acute inflammation is that proteolytic enzymes help to activate plasmin, which degrades fibrin and can help control tissue fibrosis after acute injury (10). Proteolytic enzymes should be taken on an empty stomach at least three times per day. A very safe dose ranges from 600-2000 mg per day (10) for about a week. In a study on ankle sprains, subjects that took enzymes were back to work in less than 2 days compared to over 4 days for those taking the placebo. And those taking enzymes were back to exercising again in under 10 days versus almost 16 days for the placebo group (11).

Chronic aches and pain

As people age, they become accepting of aches and pains as if they are normal. This view is not accurate. In most cases, their musculoskeletal pains can be effectively modulated with manual treatments and nutritional interventions. The majority of these patients do not realize that they have lived in a postprandial dysmetabolic inflammatory state for perhaps decades. Reducing caloric intake is as important as lifestyle. I would suggest making their college or high school body weight the goal to be achieved.

Table 3. Chronic back pain
Spinal manipulation
Reduced caloric intake
Ginger, turmeric, boswellia, etc.

Table 3 includes various botanicals in addition to manipulation and caloric reduction. Ginger and turmeric are two of the most studied botanicals (12,13). Typically about 1-2 grams per day are recommended and should be taken on a continuous basis. Substantial pain reduction has occurred for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and general musculoskeletal pain (12).


Dr. Seaman is a Professor of Clinical Sciences at the NUHS branch campus at St. Petersburg College in Florida. He is also a Clinical Consultant for Anabolic Laboratories. He has written numerous articles on the treatment options for chronic pain patients, with a focus on nutritional management. He can be reached at .



  1. Chou R et al. Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Ann Intern Med. 2007; 147:478-91.
  2. Marchand S. The physiology of pain mechanisms: from the periphery to the brain. Rheum Dis Clin N Am. 2008; 34:285-309.
  3. Seaman DR. Nutritional considerations in the treatment of soft tissue injuries. In Hammer WI. Editor. Functional soft-tissue examination and treatment by manual methods. Boston: Jones & Bartlett; 2007:717-734.
  4. Kjeldsen-Kragh J et al. Controlled trial of fasting and one-year vegetarian diet in rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet. 1991; 338:899-902.
  5. Hargraves WA, Hentall ID. Analgesic effects of dietary caloric restriction in adult mice. Pain. 2005; 114:455-61.
  6. Fontan-Lozano A et al. Molecular bases of caloric restriction regulation of neuronal synaptic plasticity. Mol Neurobiol. 2008; 38:167-77.
  7. O’Keefe JH, Bell DS. Postprandial hyperglycemia/hyperlipidemia (postprandial dysmetabolism) is a cardiovascular risk factor. Am J Cardiol. 2007; 100:899-904.
  8. Bogduk N. Pharmacological alternatives for the alleviation of back pain. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2004; 5(10):2091-98.
  9. Nahrstedt A, Schmidt M, Jäggi R, Metz J, Khayyal MT. Willow bark extract: the contribution of polyphenols to the overall effect. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2007; 157(13-14):348-51.
  10. Maurer HR. Bromelain: biochemistry, pharmacology, and medical use. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2001; 58:1234-45.
  11. Bucci LR. Nutrition applied to injury rehabilitation and sports medicine. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1995: p.
  12. Srivastava KC, Mustafa T. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders. Med Hypotheses. 1992; 39:342-8.
  13. Goel A, Kunnumakkara AB, Aggarwal BB. Curcumin as “curecumin”: from kitchen to clinic. Biochem Pharmacol. 2008; 75:787-809.
How Well Do You Know Your Ginseng? Maybe Not So Well... Here's Why
Written by Dr. Ron Gilbert D.C., David C. Konn   
Saturday, 19 November 2011 03:26
hat is Ginseng? There is good reason why you may not know your ginseng so well.  Although ginseng is one of the most well known herbs or supplements it is also the most misunderstood.  Most people have heard of “ginseng”, for example it ranks #1 in the Ebay search word for “herbs and botanicals”.  
ginsengrootGinseng has a remarkable history going back over 2,000 years in written medical documentation, and many estimates place its use as a natural healing herb going back over 5,000 years!  Ginseng has been used to prevent and cure an extraordinary catalog of human ailments, from diabetes to mental/neural dysfunction, to sexual function and waning libido, fatigue, cardio vascular health, adrenal stress, and even cancer. Ginseng is considered by many herbalists as the world’s most complete adaptogen.  Wait!!! Before you compare ginseng to your favorite adaptogen, one point needs to be clarified: not all ginseng is the same!
Over 5,000 Clinical and Research Studies
In the 20th Century, Japanese and Russian scientists discovered and cataloged the active ingredients unique to ginseng: plant saponins called Ginsenosides.  This began an explosion of research, resulting in over 5,000 published clinical and research studies to date and growing.  There is a substantial body of scientific literature published primarily in Korea, Japan, China and Russia.  In the last 15 years there has been a growing number of German and American studies. 
What is Ginseng? Is All Ginseng the Same?  What Does It Do?  
First let’s look at ginseng’s official classification, which is revealing: “Panax Ginseng”.   Panax comes from the Greek word Panacea, which, according to Webster’s, is “a remedy for all ills or difficulties, a cure-all.”  Wow, that is quite a name.  Why this name?  For over 2,000 years ginseng was used as the leading medical treatment for both physical and mental illness.   In the last 30 years much of ginseng’s efficacy has been verified by scientific research. 
The Ginseng Challenge
Here is the ginseng challenge: Not all ginseng has the same efficacy.  In fact, its efficaciousness varies widely depending on classification and how it is processed.  So let’s take a look at what makes the difference.
Classes of ginseng vary primarily according to where it grows.  What are the different types?  Korean Ginseng: “Panax CA Meyer”, Japanese Ginseng: “Panax Japonicus”, American Ginseng: “Panax Quinquefolius”, Chinese Ginseng (AKA Pseudo-Ginseng or Tianqi in Chinese): “Panax Notoginseng”.  Are we missing Indian Ginseng? No, that’s not ginseng it is “Ashwaganda”.   Surely we are missing Siberian Ginseng? No, that’s also not ginseng, that is “Eleuthrococcus senticosus”.  
How do classifications compare?  Classifications are determined mainly by where the Ginseng is grown which affects the shape and the ingredients.  The key difference is the number of different types of main Ginsenosides. Korean Ginseng has 38, American has 13, Chinese has 14 and Japanese has 6.   Why is this important?  At its core ginseng is an adaptogen which brings your body into homeostasis, where healing is optimized.  The more types of Ginsenosides, the broader range of adaptogenic effect. In this limited article we will focus on Korean Ginseng, “Panax Ca Meyer” which has the most types of ginsenosides. We also will focus on cultivated ginseng since wild-grown ginseng is very rare and not generally available.
Processing of Korean Ginseng
Here is one of the main ginseng misconceptions: Most people think that Red Panax Ginseng from 6 year roots that are peeled is the best ginseng.  However, science tells a completely different story.  Red ginseng is processed with high temperature steam that creates the red color.  White ginseng is only sundried with no extraneous heat, creating the white color.  The optimal harvest time is 4-5 years for maximum Ginsenoside density and balance, by 6 years the root has less density and balance.  Whole roots are far superior to peeled roots, as the fine rootlets carry some of the most important ingredients.   The hot steam used to make red ginseng does help to liberate Ginsenosides, but it destroys all of the vitamins, removes all of the organic Germanium, and degrades the amino acid profile. 
There is a very important final process used to create high-efficacy white ginseng extract.  This is a slow, low-heat vacuum extraction process which results in the extract providing more Ginsenosides than red ginseng extract. (Analysis of Ginsenosides of White and Red Ginseng Concentrates, Chung Ang Department of Food Science and Technology, Chung-Ang University, 4/14/03) 
Beyond Ginsenosides
One point is very important regarding why Ginseng works.  It is not just the Ginsenosides, it is all the ingredients in combination which provide such a remarkable effect:  the phenols, lipids, 18 essential fatty acids, 6 vitamins, 7 amino acids, 8 essential amino acids, fatty acids, and 18 minerals, including organic gemanium and polyacetylene. Many of these ingredients are reduced and lost with the high heat steaming used to make red ginseng. 
A key word in considering the efficacy of ginseng extracts is “balancing”.  The most efficacious ginseng extract comes from whole unpeeled 4- or 5-year-old roots extracted using slow low-heat vacuum extraction. This kind of extract has the broadest range of Ginsenosides and retains all the other ingredients and the broadest adaptogenic affect.
This combination of 4-year roots, not peeling, sun drying, slow low-heat vacuum extraction is a very expensive and time-consuming process.  The result is a ginseng extract that provides the most powerful, uniform and reliable homeostatic results.
A Common Misconception about Korean Panax Ginseng
ginsengroot2When we study the history of Korean Panax Ginseng we find that it is a completely balancing herb and considered a sweet herb with both Yin and Yang characteristics, depending on how it is processed.  “Sheng Nung Pen Ts’ao Ching” (book of herb)
However, in today’s red-ginseng-dominated market, there is a broad consensus among herbalists, chiropractors, and TCM physicians that Korean Panax Ginseng is a very Yang and heating herb and therefore it should be used for a toning purpose for a short time, mainly for those who are “Yang deficient”.   The concept is that American Ginseng, “Panax Quinquefolius”, is a less Yang affecting and more Yin herb and should be used for ongoing daily use.   However, the concept applies to the predominant red ginseng and red ginseng extract.  It does not apply to the white ginseng extract process described above.
Confusion in Ginseng Research
In reviewing the clinical research on ginseng you will find that many studies offer mixed results.  As you have learned above, there is a broad difference in efficacy between the different types and processes for ginseng.   Another significant factor surfaces when you study the clinical research.  The amount of ginseng used in Western studies is normally only 1/3 or less than the amount used in Eastern studies.  This also creates lack of consistency in the findings.
A final area of concern is the predominance of in vitro in animal studies, a common problem with natural products vs. pharmaceuticals due to the well-known financial structure of our healthcare system.  However, ginseng results are so universal that more human trials are underway.   
Research Opportunities
In 2001 the Herbal Botanical Council completed a study testing various types of ginseng for strength and ingredi­ent profile.­tion_Program.pdf?docID=241 
Today, Doctors can participate in a longitudinal case study being performed by the Bio Energy Medicine Research Institute “BEMRI”. Each participating physician receives over $1,200 worth of an enzyme fermented high-absorption ginseng (patent pending) for testing with 3 patients.  

To learn more Contact BEMRI at (440) 463-1083 or go to
Ronald K. Gilbert, D.C., CCSP, NMD
B.S. 1984, Va Commonwealth Univ.
1985, Diplomate, National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
D.C 1986, Northwestern College
CCSP 1988, Parker College, Sports Medicine
1992 , American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics
NMD 2002, St Luke School of Naturopathic Medicine,,
ND 2002, Commission on Certification of Naturopathic Physicians
2002 ,100 hr. Post-Grad Internal Medicine, National University of Health Sciences.

David C Konn
Double Major Psychology and Kinesiology
Macalester College, St Paul MN
CEO Neuro Energies Inc.
Regional President of Empowered Doctor
Managing Director, Ilhwa North America
Obesity: Why Exercise Doesn’t Work!
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Written by Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., M.S., and Rick Bramos   
Saturday, 19 November 2011 02:40
re you guilty of recommending exercise to help your overweight patients lose unwanted fat? The answer could have a major impact on your clinical outcomes. Do you really believe that juggling balls for a few minutes daily—as seen on NBC recently—will burn enough calories to get the job done?
exercisedoesnotworkDo you not find the advice to buy a pedometer to track how many steps you can add to your walk every day an endless, boring journey? The fact is focusing on calories burned to lose weight is a bunch of pseudo-science BS that is guaranteed to short circuit any chance of your patients  reaching their goals. Scientific literature shows little evidence of exercise being very effective in promoting weight loss.
I can confirm this fact, having over the years watched tens of thousands of exercisers struggling to lose weight with the typical exercise recommendations made by the healthcare system. The fact is many people don't like exercise anyway, and certainly not our overweight patients. 
What if you could design an exercise program for your patients that would help them lose weight, that didn't require jogging, sit ups, aerobics or stretching, one that would increase your patients’ strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility, would increase their "heart reserve," protecting them from a heart attack, a program that required little will power, commitment, or  perseverance to stick with, could be accomplished with two short workouts weekly, and would have your patients singing your praises to all they know.
It is possible!
But before recommending this hypothetical exercise program, your patients need to understand why the archaic exercise and eating plans of the past few decades are not working. They need to know why they are getting fat in the first place and why their bodies are holding on for dear life to this fat, even "trapping" it in fat cells.

Impress on your patients that the reason for this is that their bodies are being overwhelmed by sugars, hidden sugars and carbohydrates at every meal and with every snack. Explain to them that the body will use some of this sugar immediately for energy, but the excessive sugar presents a problem and must be dealt with right away, as it is toxic to the cells, arteries and tissues. Explain that the response by the body to sugar in our blood is to excrete "insulin" from the pancreas.
The overall action of insulin is to take this excess sugar and store it in the muscle and liver. But there is only so much room there and the excess gets stored in the fat cells.
But here is the real damaging part to their weight loss goals: Insulin also serves to keep the fat stored in the fat cell, "locked up" so to speak until the blood sugars are low again. If most of what we are eating is being locked away in the fat cells due to the high sugar diets we are consuming, this leaves us with very little energy available for our muscles and organs.
The result is we are going to be constantly hungry.  If we continue eating the same foods that promoted the high sugar problem in the first place, well, this fat storage process will continue on indefinitely. Our body does have another option when faced with a dwindling energy supply: It can slow down all functions, conserving energy at the cellular level and making us lazy.
Or our body can respond by becoming both hungry and lazy...sound familiar?

Now, if our goal is to lose fat, not just weight, and we don't want to lose muscle, we must find a way to get at the fat that is locked away in the fat cells and use it for energy. 
Here is where it gets interesting: The weight loss industry's focus on reducing calories to lose weight may not hold water.
When our muscles and organs are not receiving enough energy from the foods we are eating, due to this energy being locked up in the fat cells, our body will compensate by conserving energy, and our metabolism, which is every cell in our body, will slow down. This conservation of energy may offset any reduction in calories (dieting) resulting in no weight loss.
We also know that the body can and will use sources other than fat for energy.

The lean tissues of the body, such as the muscles and organs, will be recruited as raw material for energy production, therefore resulting in no reduction in fat!

The final nail in the coffin for the obese patient is the addition of exercise into the mix. 
If there is little fat available because it is locked up in the fat cells, and we begin eating less food, thinking this will help us lose weight but only results in the body just slowing down, and now we add exercise, where do we get the energy for the exercise? Again, muscle and organs such as the heart will now be used as a source of energy. The patient may now begin losing weight, but it will be lean tissue weight as a result of starving it. This also leaves these tissues susceptible to deficiencies.
Although this may sound simplistic, the answer to most of  our weight loss problems (outside of the bio-chemical glitches of the body such as thyroid) is simply a matter of  being able to access our fat reserves by eliminating the foods that are stimulating excessive insulin. Why?  Because, again, insulin serves to keep fat locked up in the cells.
So why exercise? 
If the greater influence to losing weight is the diet, one could say that the overemphasis on exercise may be having a negative effect on weight loss, as exercising while the fat stores are locked up may only serve to make us hungry, lazy and fatter.
If we can create an environment in which the fat stores are now available for use for energy, it would seem that adding exercise into the weight loss protocol would be a good way to reduce fat stores and therefore weight. Although "effective exercise" can aid in weight loss and benefit quality of life, all exercise beyond the ability of the body to adapt is counterproductive! 
So what is "Effective Exercise"?

In other words, workouts should be designed to be invigorating, not overwhelming, long and fatiguing.

A practical, effective exercise approach to health and fitness is to SIMPLY focus on muscle retention, and even adding a few pounds of muscle, as it is the most critical element of human fitness. 
Skeletal muscle plays key biological roles in keeping you strong, functional and healthy.  Muscle is obviously needed for physical movements, participates in the regulation of blood sugars, uses fat for energy and keeps us from becoming insulin sensitive or diabetic.
For the population that does not particularly like exercise and has limited time, resistance exercise can be safely performed and results in more parameters of fitness being influenced than any other exercise protocol.
This results in improvements in strength, endurance, flexibility, conditioning, muscle tone, stress relief, limited repetitive activity on joints, minimized oxidation, tapping into the fat stores effectively through "protein synthesis" and improved cardiovascular parameters.
What is interesting is that science and my practical experience with thousands of clients has demonstrated that these benefits can be had with as few as two workouts a week. 
By being realistic with our patients about exercise limitations in supporting weight loss, we can now recommend a program that will give them all the benefits of exercise with only two effective workouts a week.
This implication could dramatically improve compliance for a population that does not necessarily like exercise or would shy away from the types of exercises that are not appropriate or prudent for them, such as jogging, aerobics, boot camp type classes, etc. 
By not overemphasizing the volume of exercise as most programs do, which only sets our patients up for failure from the get-go, we can finally put the emphasis on the real problem and address the foods that are contributing to fat deposition.
With the emphasis on the foods that will keep insulin levels low and an exercise program that challenges the largest muscles of the body twice a week, large amounts of fat will be recruited to provide the energy to recover from this type of workout, even on the days you are not exercising. The typical game plan of walking or riding an exercise bike for 30-60 minutes daily, along with a few "toning" exercises, will probably not do the job. If you do get some results they will be the result of a tremendous cost in time and energy which eventually leads to giving it up and weight gain.
It is important to note that high-intensity, short-duration exercise has a stimulating effect on the metabolism, whereas the body perceives long-duration workouts as an unrelenting stressor, a cue to shut down metabolic activity and hormonal output to conserve energy (the same shut down caused by fasting or even low calorie diets).
In other words, workouts should be designed to be invigorating, not overwhelming, long and fatiguing.
By using reverse psychology and prescribing only two exercise sessions a week for your patient, by eliminating their hunger by not dieting, and by recommending effective exercises that are prudent and appropriate for their fitness level, the chances for long-term compliance is greatly improved, which inevitably will lead to better clinical outcomes.
The Cochrane Collaboration review: Pirazzo et al. 2002. The USDA analysis:

Kennedy et al. 2001:419 (table 11) Only one study tracked participants for more than a year: Jeffery et al. 1995 The WHI report on weight: Howard, Manson, et al. 2006
Haskell, W.L., I. M. Lee, R.R. Pate, et al. 2007 "Physical Activity and Public Health: Updated Recommendations for Adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association." Circulation. Aug 28: 116(9):1081-93
Wilder, R.M. 1993. "The Treatment of Obesity". International Clinics. 4:1-21
Nussey, S.S., and S.A Whitehead. 2001. Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach. London: Taylor & Francis.
Berson, S.A., and R.S. Yalow. 1970. "Insulin 'Antagonist' and Insulin Resistance." In Diabetes Mellitus: Theory and Practice. ed. M. Ellenberg and H. Rifkin, pp. 388-423. New York: McGraw-Hill
Yakovlev, 144, Breitbart et al., 163, Booth et al., 159
Brooks, 1997; Westcott, 1996

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., M.S., is medical director of Functional Medicine University. If interested in improving your diagnostic skills and increasing your community reputation and recognition, we strongly recommend subscribing to our Free Clinical Rounds Series. These challenging case studies will give you the unique opportunity to test your clinical skills and, at the same time, improve your ability to handle many of the most difficult cases. Go to the following link to get your free access:
Rick Bramos, U.S.  Army Coach ('73), Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor  certifications from the American Council on Exercise (A.C.E.).  One of  the first men Certified to teach Step, Body Pump and Spinning ('92). FREE BOOK CHAPTERS

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