Michael J. Vipond, B.Sc., D.C.
E-mail: [email protected]
#215-2902 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6K 2G8
15157 Roper Ave
White Rock, BC V4B 5C9
Bits and Bytes Newsletter for October 2014
Better With Age
Masters athletes (> 40 years old) are proving that as much as 50 percent of age related decline, maybe even 70
percent , is due not to aging but to deconditioning- losing physical fitness by doing very little. Indeed, tests of
masters athletes in their VO2 max, muscle, and athletic performance can in fact be similar to those of peoples in
their 20’s. A lot of research now shows that training- aerobic, anaerobic, and strength- has effects on the human
body at any age. Exercise can help keep you young. Of course our bodies will still age eventually, that’s
unavoidable. But people who stick with their exercise program can delay the decline. We have to work for it,
but it’s worth it.
Source: Runners World, Oct 2014
Breaking: New Evidence Links Artificial Sweeteners to Obesity, Diabetes
In a breakthrough study published in Nature, scientists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute have demonstrated
how artificial sweeteners can lead to obesity and diabetes. Artificial sweeteners do not directly harm us, but
they do have a critical effect on our microbiome, the population of trillions of bacteria residing in our gut. The
changes in our microbiome then lead to various changes in the host’s body. A series of tests on mice, that were
given aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose for a week, and then given a regular sugar load, produced a much
higher level of blood sugar compared to control groups. Exposure to artificial sweeteners led to a highly
increased risk of glucose intolerance, which leads to weight gain and diabetes. To further cement the role of the
microbiome in this response, the gut bacteria of mice that had consumed artificial sweeteners was transplanted
to mice that had grown in sterile conditions. The recipient mice quickly developed the same glucose intolerance.
In a test on a tiny group of people (just 7) who normally don’t consume artificial sweeteners, drinking
beverages with large amounts of artificial sweeteners over the course of a week led to glucose intolerance in 4
individuals. Additionally, in reviewing the gut bacteria of 400 people, marked differences were found between
those who regularly consume artificial sweeteners and those who don’t. Some people may have higher
propensity for obesity and diabetes than others simply based on the bacteria that colonizes their gut. The use of
artificial sweeteners enables the “unhelpful” bacteria to thrive. The researchers are stressing that their findings
are very preliminary, and that we still don’t really understand the mechanisms by which the bacteria populations
change or affect the body’s glucose response. Additionally, these findings are by no means a recommendation
for diet soft drink fans to return to full calorie soft drinks. However one thing is certain- the perceived safety
and efficacy or artificial sweeteners has once again been challenged.
Boy gets the first 3D- printed Vertebra implant
3D-printed implants just got one of their biggest real-world tests to date. Peking University Third Hospital has
successfully implanted the first 3D- printed vertebra in a 12-year-old boy with cancer in his spinal cord. The
bone substitute is made from titanium powder, like many orthopedic implants, but promises both safer and
longer-lasting replacements. Since it’s designed to mimic the shape of the child’s original vertebra, it doesn’t
need cement or screws to stay in place; healing should be faster too. The construct is full of small holes that let
natural bone grow inside so it will eventually become a more permanent, stable part of the spine that won’t need
further attention at some point down the road. The full results of this surgery won’t be known for some time.
He’ll have to wear gear that helps his head & neck for the next 3 months, and it will likely take much longer
than that before we know how well the implant holds up in real world conditions. If everything goes smoothly,
though, the surgery will be proof that 3D-printed bones are useful virtually anywhere in the body—and, in some
circumstances, might save your life.
The hand is quicker than the sneeze in spreading disease
Researchers put a tracer virus on one or two surfaces in a building (for example a doorknob or push plate) at the
beginning of the day. After two to four hours, the virus could be detected on a majority of commonly touched
surfaces such as light switches, coffee pot handles, phones and computers. What was very apparent was that the
hand is quicker than the sneeze in the spread of disease. The alarming speed with which the virus goes from a
surface to the hands of anyone- workers and visitors in office buildings, schools, hotels and hospitals- serves as
an important reminder to wash hands and disinfect surfaces frequently. Viruses such as diarrhea, the flu and the
common cold can cause illness when people have the viruses on their hands and then touch their faces, which
they do about once every three to four minutes.
Source: The Province, September 17, 2014
3 Surprising Habits That Cause Back Pain
1. The Habit: Sleeping on An Old Mattress
According to the National Sleep Foundation, a good mattress will last nine to ten years. Haven’t replaced yours
since Mash and Cheers first aired? Chances are that your spine isn’t getting the support it needs.
The Fix: Replace your old mattress with one that’s not too hard or too soft- the former won’t allow the curves of
your back to sink in, and the latter won’t offer enough support. A memory foam topper can also be helpful
because it’ll contour your body, allowing your spine to stay straight throughout the night.
2. The Habit: Holding a Grudge
Still mad at your friend for bringing three bacon dishes to your vegetarian potluck? Your back may be suffering
too. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that people who practice forgiveness experienced
fewer feelings of anger, resentment depression- and fewer aches and pains. “Our emotions, muscle tension, and
thoughts can directly influence the strength of our pain signals,” explains researcher James W. Carson, PhD.
The Fix: Not only are grudges bad for you physically, they don’t do much for you emotionally either. Start the
process of giving up a grudge by setting an intention to do so, encouraging even the smallest feelings of
forgiveness, and replacing negative thoughts with reasons to let go.
3. The Habit: Too Much Junk Food
Not surprisingly, an excess of high-calorie, low nutrient foods lead to weight gain. And that weight gain can
put a load on your back too- excess weight around the midsection causes the pelvis to pull forward, creating
stress for the lower back. Overweight people are also at an increased risk of osteoarthritis.
The Fix: The good news? Dropping even five to ten percent of your body weight can greatly improve your
health. Start with small healthy habits that’ll stick. The food you eat is utilized by the cells of your whole body.
Better food provides better “fuel” for your back muscles, bones and nerves.
It was reported by The New York Times, that when a group of 566 runners was asked who had experimented
with barefoot or minimalist footwear and been injured, nearly one-third of them answered affirmatively. If you
like to run wear proper running shoes!