Numerous studies have found that antioxidants are important to achieving and maintaining maximum health. Put simply, they take their extra electron and use it to stop the chain reaction of free radicals (which create damage by stealing electrons from healthy cells), thereby neutralizing them and providing your immune system the strength it needs to fight off a variety of illnesses, ranging from a simple cold to cancer. Now, a new study suggests that chiropractic may play a key role in the process, potentially boosting the activity of the antioxidants designed to protect you.
For purposes of the study, researchers looked at 23 subjects ranging in age from 26 to 50 who suffered with chronic pain in their backs or necks. Each individual participant engaged in low-amplitude spinal manipulations provided by an experienced chiropractor twice a week for a period of five weeks to see what effect, if any, this type of treatment had on the subjects’ antioxidant activity.
Blood samples were taken both before and after the treatment sessions, noting the participant’s levels of three specific antioxidants: superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). All three of these are known to provide protection to your cells, defending them against free radicals most effectively “when an appropriate balance between the activities of these enzymes is maintained,” according to a paper previously published by Free Radical Biology & Medicine.
Researchers discovered that while the participant’s levels of activity of the antioxidant catalase didn’t change after just over a month of chiropractic treatment, the activity levels of both SOD and GPx did. This suggests that undergoing regular chiropractic care can boost the function of antioxidants in your body, thus providing you greater protection from major medical conditions and issues.
Additionally, another way to increase your antioxidant “punch” is to eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Some great options to consider include sweet potatoes, asparagus, and broccoli as they are all high in carotenoids; berries, cantaloupe, and peppers which are loaded with vitamin C; and spinach, carrots, and nuts, which all contain a good amount of vitamin E.
Do these two things and you’ll help protect your body’s health—in a big way.
Kolberg C, Horst A, Moraes MS, Duarte FCK, Riffel APK, et al. Peripheral oxidative stress blood markers in patients with chronic back or neck pain treated with high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2014;doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2014.11.003
Michiels C, Raes M, Toussaint O, Remacle J. Importance of Se-glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and Cu/Zn-SOD for cell survival against oxidative stress. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 1994;17(3):235-248.