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Oakland Spine News

Dr. Brad’s Weekly Health Update: Kids Feeling Stressed? A Dog May Help

Pet Dogs Help Children Feel Less Stressed

Pet dogs can provide valuable social support for kids when they’re stressed. Researchers randomly assigned children to experience stressors, such as public speaking or a mental task, with either their dog or a parent present for social support, or no one at all. They found that children who had their pet dog with them reported feeling less stressed compared with having a parent for social support or having no social support. Furthermore, saliva tests revealed reduced cortisol levels among children who spent more time with their dog. Social Development, May 2017

Make Your Backyard Safe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these suggestions to help reduce the risk of injury in your backyard: keep outdoor stairways clear and install handrails on both sides; keep all walkways, porches, and stairs well lit; always watch children; and keep your yard free of tall grass, litter, and brush to discourage animal nests. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2017

Chocolate May Guard Against an Irregular Heartbeat

Atrial fibrillation is a common heart rhythm disorder described as an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can elevate the risk of stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. In this study, researchers tracked approximately 55,000 people in Denmark for over 13 years and found that those who ate a one-ounce serving of chocolate one to three times per month had a 10% lower risk of atrial fibrillation than those who ate less than one ounce of chocolate per month. Furthermore, among participants who ate two to six serving of chocolate per week, the risk of atrial fibrillation decreased by 20%. Lead author Dr. Elizabeth Mostofsky adds, “Our study adds to the accumulating evidence on the health benefits of moderate chocolate intake.” Heart, May 2017

Lifestyle Factors Contribute to Back Pain in Elderly

A recent study set out to investigate if comorbidities and lifestyle factors could predict the course of low back pain in older men. Among a sample of 1,685 older men living in suburban Sydney, Australia, researchers found that the odds of persistent back pain increased with each additional alcoholic drink per week a participant consumed and with each additional unit of their body mass index (BMI). They also found that those with one or more chronic conditions had an elevated risk for developing back pain over the following two years. Pain, May 2017

Coffee Compounds May Reduce Liver Cancer Risk

In a new study, researchers reviewed data from more than 26 observational studies, which included information on more than 2.25 million adults, and found that drinking one cup of coffee per day was associated with a 20% reduced risk of hepatocellular cancer (HCC), drinking two cups of caffeinated coffee daily was linked to a 35% reduction in HCC risk, and the risk of HCC was halved with consumption of up to five cups of caffeinated coffee every day. The researchers speculate that the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic compounds found in coffee may help to explain the link between coffee intake and a lower risk of hepatocellular cancer. BMJ Open, May 2017

Our mission is to help our patients to live longer, healthier, happier, pain-free lives

Yours in health,

Dr. Brad Butler, DC