Although the blueberry is small it has the potential to provide huge health benefits. The basic science and clinical science published this year underscores their importance. In summary the research demonstrates the value of blueberries in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of clinical conditions. They play a role in lowering blood pressure, improving age related memory loss, preventing atherosclerosis, preventing or impeding cancers, promoting colon health, and reducing oxidative stress and inflammation associated with physical activity.
Research from previous years suggests additional benefits from consuming the fresh or frozen berries as well as blueberry juice. Some of the underlying mechanisms include increases in anti-inflammatory cytokines, improving human immune markers including natural killer cells, reducing oxidative stress, improving insulin resistance, etc. As one review article noted, “Recent studies demonstrated the benefit of blueberries to prevent the age-related chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, neurodegeneration, obesity, and osteoporosis through its apoptosis, antioxidant, anti-inflammation, and antiangiogenesis effects. Blueberries can eradicate microorganisms for the prevention of symptomatic urinary tract infections in women.” There is not a single drug on the market that can come close to doing all of that.
With each passing year, research provides evidence that many natural foods make profound but previously unknown contributions to prevention, treatment and promoting human health. The 2010 Practice Analysis of Chiropractic reported that over 94% of chiropractors give dietary or nutritional advice to their patients. In view of the growing body of evidence supporting the therapeutic and preventive properties of blueberries, they should be considered as a dietary recommendation for many chiropractic patients.
We’ve come a Long Way from Ouija Boards or Have We?
Diagnosis is a challenging art with often very little scientific evidence to support the process. This appears especially true for the diagnosis of neuromusculoskeletal conditions like low back pain. In fact there is a duel problem. The first is that few of the orthopedic tests in common use by medical, chiropractic, or other health providers have been found to be reliable. Because of the reliability problem, some studies suggest using a battery of tests for diagnosis. If, for example, 3 of 5 tests are positive you would likely have an idea of what condition the patient has. This varies considerably from one condition to another. Pain provocation utilizing static palpation appears to be the most reliable test.
To further complicate the diagnosis issue, there is a second and equally significant problem. The literature and text books don’t agree on the meaning of many of these tests or what they test for. This confusion was investigated in a recent paper published in the Fall 2011 issue of the Journal of Chiropractic Education. The study found an astounding diversity in the opinions of college faculty regarding what diagnosis a positive test suggests. Given the tests are largely unreliable and we don’t agree on what they mean, the Ouija Board is looking a bit better than before.