Supplement Safety: Is It Time to Give Big Pharma a Chance?
Why in the world would I, a chiropractor, consider Big Pharma when I make a vitamin / supplement recommendation to a patient? There are several supplement manufacturers at every chiropractic conference, even at some of our schools.
A Little More Chiropractic, A Lot Less Pain
Why should I visit a doctor of chiropractic when I'm not experiencing pain or other symptoms? That's the question many patients still ask themselves, despite the growing body of research supporting the value of chiropractic maintenance care.
The Carcinogen Most Patients Consume
A known carcinogen is being naively consumed by many, if not most of your patients, who have little to no understanding of how dangerous it really is. Depending on the age of the patient, this carcinogen is a leading, if not the leading, risk factor for death and disability.
Renying-Cunkuo Pulse: The Essential Pulse Method of the Ling Shu
The Ling Shu is a Han Dynasty classic book on the practice of Chinese medicine. It presents five main channel systems: Muscle Channels, Chapter 13; Luo Collaterals, Chapter 10 and others; The Main Channels, Chapter 10 and many more; Separate Channels (Divergent Channels) Chapter 11; and the Eight Extraordinary Channels, referenced in chapters throughout the book (there is very little theory).
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Leon Chaitow (1937-2018)
After months of declining health, Dr. Leon Chaitow – clinician, author and teacher – passed away on Sept. 20, 2018 at the age of 80.
How to Address the Question, "Do You Accept Insurance?"
Do you ever dread getting asked the question, do you accept insurance—when you only accept cash, or when you are out-of-network? As part of my daily practice, mentoring acupuncturists to grow their practices faster and more effectively, I talk to a lot of practitioners.
Pregnancy Health: Looking at the Lower Extremities
When patients tell us they are pregnant, many times we focus on the obvious pregnancy signs and symptoms related to their current trimester of pregnancy, and the biomechanical impact on the spine and pelvis.
Procuring a Place for the Future
As the acceptance of acupuncture continues to grow in the U.S. it is important that the profession be licensed in every state, and nationally board certified.
A New NCCIH Director ... One That Backs Acupuncture
The third time is a charm—the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced it's newest director, Dr. Helene Langevin.
Exercise Therapy Following Motor Vehicle Trauma (Pt. 1)
In the absence of acute trauma, a usual strength-building session includes concentric, eccentric and isometric exercises. Popular exercise programs typically include concentric movements as the major muscle contraction and should constitute approximately 70-75 percent of the workout time.
Paradise Lost: AWB Relief in Hawaii
In November, 2014, Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) was hosting a training seminar on Oahu. A couple of us from the big island (aka "Hawaii" County) contacted AWB because the big island was in the middle of a crisis.
Manual Muscle Testing for Cervical Radiculopathy (Pt. 2)
Dr. John Bandy developed a protocol that associated specific muscles with myotomal nerve root levels. The deltoid is associated with the C6 nerve root; the triceps with the C7 nerve root; and the finger abductors with the C8 nerve root.
World Acupuncture Day: A Meeting in Paris
World Acupuncture Day is an event organized by the World Acupuncture Day Organization (WADO) in response to the eighth anniversary that UNESCO has included acupuncture and moxibustion on it's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Creatine: Muscle Fuel No Longer Just for Athletes!
Erase that image of the 20-year-old, muscle-bound bodybuilder using creatine. Replace it with the image of a lean, strong, fit 80-year-old hiking up a mountain. Creatine, a staple of athletes for more than 50 years, is now being used by athletes and non-athletes alike to help slow normal age-related muscle loss, improve exercise recovery, increase strength, and live a more active lifestyle.
Travel-to-Treat Coverage Finally Becoming a Reality?
Long-awaited legislation poised to hit the president's desk extends liability insurance coverage from one state to another for DCs and other state-licensed health care professionals who care for athletes / athletic teams that cross state lines.
NBCE Exams: Better, Shorter, More Opportunities
The NBCE's Written Exams department, led by Bruce Shotts, DC, developed a solution to computer-based testing on college campuses. Their work has resulted in 11 exam opportunities per year. CBT exams are on schedule to begin January 2019 as follows:
The Husband/Wife Imbalance
The Husband/Wife Imbalance, like Aggressive Energy, is an energetic block that will result in death, unless cleared, as its presence indicates that nature has given up the fight against the internal or external pathogenic factors that have assaulted the body/mind/spirit of the patient.
Case Study: Osteoporosis and the Role of Orthotic Support
The following is the second of three case studies by Dr. Wong on conservative management of lower-extremity complaints. Article #1 (September issue) explored chiropractic management of patellofemoral arthralgia.
Bait & Switch: Are You Guilty?
One of my three sons recently shared a story with me regarding an experience with a chiropractor, which stimulated me to write this ethics article. According to my son, he called a chiropractor's office and asked if his insurance was accepted at the office.
Cyberthreat Checklist: 10 Key Steps to Defend Your Practice
Living in an Internet-connected society brings many conveniences and benefits. The power of the Internet to connect us with customers, store data and find information has opened the door for many small-business owners to grow and flourish.
Vertebral Subluxation: Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Vertebral subluxation: have any other words caused as much turmoil and controversy in the chiropractic profession? As a chiropractic term, vertebral subluxation did not make its debut until six or seven years after the profession's founding.
Chiropractic Integration a Big Success, Suggests Research
Whether chiropractors should integrate with other health care professionals in medical / multidisciplinary settings remains a contentious issue, depending on whom you ask, but there's no denying two realities.
An Effective Herb for Stress
We all know stress has become a significant factor in the increasing number of reported mental health disabilities and a contributor to various physical health conditions, such as ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and so on.
On Point: Acupuncture Theory & Discussion
Welcome to my new column for Acupuncture Today, which will focus exclusively on the theoretical discussion and clinical application of acupuncture theory and acupuncture points. One of the most common questions I encounter from novice to experienced practitioners is "how do I choose the correct acupuncture point?". I hope this column can help answer some of these questions.
The NCCIH Seeks Participants for Acupuncture RCT
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is seeking participants for a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)—a Randomized Control Trial (RCT), which will evaluate the impact of, and strategies to best implement acupuncture treatment of older adults (65 years and older) with chronic low back pain (CLBP).
Checking Your Posture: A Wholistic View From Head to Toe
As you begin reading this article, what position is your body in? Are you sitting down, standing up, lying down, or walking down the street perhaps? Whatever position you are in, stop and observe your posture.
Avoid These New-Patient Turnoffs (Before It's Too Late)
I can't believe this doctor is making me watch this video in a room by myself, your new patient thinks to herself as she texts her best friend.
The Road to TCM, A Talk With Bob Doane
Bob Doane, a veteran acupuncturist, talks about his journey to TCM, the evolution of this medicine, and what he foresees in the future.
Cynicism, Burnout and the Search for the Ideal Patient (Pt. 1)
There is a video on the Internet that has gathered 6 million views as I write this article (so likely millions more by the time you read it). The video is of a doctor in an ER mocking a patient who is extremely weak and distressed.
Placebos, Presence and the Zero Point
We spend a huge amount of time learning the techniques and methods of acupuncture and Chi-nese medicine, and are given professional licenses based on our ability to remember and accu-rately apply them.
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Leon Chaitow (1937 – 2018)
After months of declining health, Dr. Leon Chaitow – clinician, prolific author and teacher – passed away on Sept. 20, 2018 at the age of 80.
News in Brief
The Next Generation of Chiropractic Researchers: Historic NIH Grant; Cleveland University – Kansas City VP Joins CCE Site Accreditation Team; NUHS Opens Second Veterans Clinic; R.I. Chiro. Society Celebrates 100 years.
December, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 12
The Power of Vitamin K
By James P. Meschino, DC, MS
You may have heard rumblings in recent years that vitamin K helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, and is administered intravenously by some integrative medical doctors who combine it with high-dose vitamin C in cancer treatment.
Our original understanding of vitamin K involves its established role as a coenzyme in specific carboxylation reactions required for the synthesis of several clotting factors. In fact, drugs such as warfarin (and related vitamin K epoxide reductase inhibitors) work by limiting the ability of vitamin K to synthesize prothrombin and several other clotting proteins (Factors VII, IX and X). As such, these drugs act as blood thinners and are accompanied by the potential for certain side effects, such as easy bruising and internal bleeding.1 So, how then might vitamin K also be associated with osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and cancer treatment?
Primary Forms of Vitamin K
You must first recognize that there are three primary forms of vitamin K, known as vitamin K1, vitamin K2 and vitamin K3. To make it more confusing, there are several forms of vitamin K2. Here is the overview:
Vitamin K1: Phylloquinone is found in appreciable amounts in plant foods, especially green, leafy vegetables (broccoli, lettuce, collards, spinach, Brussels sprouts, etc.), as well as soybeans, soy products, lentils, canola and olive oil and several other foods (liver, salad dressing, coleslaw). Absorption is surprisingly low (5–20 percent, depending on the food).
Vitamin K2 Menaquinone – There are several forms of menaquinone:
Menaquinone-9 (MK-9) is produced by intestinal bacteria, but not absorbed to any appreciable degree by the body.1
Menaquinone-7 (MK-7), derived from fermented soy (especially natto), is absorbed well and appears to play a key role in bone density via osteocalcin synthesis. MK-7 is also sold in supplement form is some countries.2
Menaquinone-4 (MK-4) is formed within animal bodies, often after they are injected with vitamin K3 (synthetic vitamin K, known as menadione). Menadione is put into poultry and swine rations, and appreciates in their tissues. These animals convert much of menadione to MK-4. Much of the vitamin K2 found in the body is usually from these sources (not gut bacteria-synthesized). Possibly gut-synthesized vitamin K2 (MK-9) is synthesized too far down the intestinal tract to allow absorption, whereas MK-4 found in poultry, swine products, and MK-7 from fermented soy products (natto) and vitamin K2 supplements (vitamin K1, MK-7 and prescription MK-4 in Japan) are absorbed in the small intestine within chylomicrons, upon concurrent consumption of fat. MK-4 shows impressive anti-cancer properties, such as apoptosis in leukemia and other malignant cells lines, and it appears to have a stronger influence on osteoblastic activity than does phylloquinone (K1).1
Vitamin K3: Menadione is a synthetic vitamin K. Menadione is no longer administered to humans who have a vitamin K deficiency, or injected into newborns shortly after birth, because it is associated with toxicity.1 Vitamin K does not pass from the placenta to the fetus very well. In a significant number of pregnancies, breast milk is virtually devoid of vitamin K, and newborns have no bacterial flora to synthesize their own vitamin K. Thus, classic vitamin K deficiency bleeding in the newborn usually occurs after 24 hours (usually the second day), and as late as the first week, with an incidence ranging between 0.25-1.7 cases per 100 births.1,6
Newborn infants were originally given an intramuscular injection of vitamin K3, but it caused hemolytic anemia, liver damage and brain damage (from excess bilirubin) as a side effect in some cases. Vitamin K is now administered to newborns as vitamin K1.1,7 Vitamin K1 is also the form of vitamin K used to correct vitamin K deficiencies in adults.1
However, vitamin K3 (menadione) is the form of vitamin K used intravenously, along with high-dose vitamin C, in cancer treatment (ratio is 100:1 of vitamin C: vitamin K3) by integrative practitioners, as discussed below.
To consume the amount of vitamin K associated with a decreased risk of hip fracture in the Framingham Heart Study (about 250 mcg/day), an individual would need to eat a little more than 1/2 cup of chopped broccoli or a large salad of mixed greens every day, which is very attainable. This provides evidence that vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 from food alone, may be all that is required to support bone density function.1 This fact is intriguing when you consider that the average intake of vitamin K from the mixed North American diet is estimated to be between 300-500 mcg per day.3
In Japan, oral doses of 45 mg of MK-4 are given to osteoporosis patients, which has resulted in increased bone density and/or reduced fractures, and increased markers of bone formation. The pooled evidence involving seven Japanese trials shows that vitamin K2 supplementation has shown a 60 percent reduction in vertebral fractures and an 80 percent reduction in hip and other non-vertebral fractures. Thus, MK-4 administration to patients with osteoporosis may be an additional method to help manage their disease.7
Calcification of the fibrous cap is a late and significant step in the atherosclerosis process. Preventing arterial calcification may reduce deaths from vascular events. Once again, vitamin K2 appears to play a more important role than vitamin K1 in this regard.
Many vitamin K enthusiasts argue in favor of taking a vitamin K2 supplement to help prevent, slow or reverse the development of atherosclerosis, and to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Vitamin K2, in the form of MK-7, is available in Canada. In the U.S., only vitamin K1 is available in supplements, according to Medline Plus (National Institutes of Health).5
Protein S is also synthesized by osteoblasts, but its role in bone metabolism is unclear. However, children with inherited protein S deficiency suffer complications related to increased blood clotting, as well as decreased bone density.1
The anticancer effects of sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) and vitamin K3, administered separately or in combination, on human ovarian, breast, endometrial and skin cancer cells lines has been demonstrated. When given separately, vitamin C or K3 has a growth-inhibiting action only at high concentrations, but when combined into a single lower-concentration mixture, they exhibit synergistic inhibition of cell growth that is 10-50 times greater that the single administration of vitamin C or vitamin K3 applied individually.
Studies show that these vitamins are toxic to certain cancer cells, but not to normal human cells in experimental studies. The combination of sodium ascorbate and vitamin K3 may also been shown to prevent metastasis in experimental studies.
Vitamin K3 appears to kill cancer cells via a mechanism called autoschizic cell death. Autoschizis, is a novel type of cell death characterized by exaggerated cell membrane damage and progressive loss of cell contents. During this process, the nucleus becomes smaller and cell size decreases by one-half to one-third of its original size. Co-administration of sodium ascorbate and K3 induces a cell cycle block on cancer cells, making it harder for them to grow and divide. This is called a G1/S block.
Antibiotics and Vitamin K Deficiency
A pre-existing low vitamin K state increases the risk of vitamin K deficiency with antibiotic use. As such, patients taking antibiotics should ensure they are eating sufficient dark green, leafy vegetables to acquire some additional vitamin K.1 In addition, they may also be inclined to supplement with vitamin K during this period.
Click here for previous articles by James P. Meschino, DC, MS.
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