Chiropractic and healthy eating go well together
Susan St. Claire, D.C., a West Campus professor and 1984
graduate, strongly believes that proper nutrition and chiropractic
care complement each other. She is a board certified nutritionist
and has written extensively on the benefits various nutrients
provide our bodies. Most recently she wrote a chapter on
nutrition for a public health textbook by former West Campus
professor Michael Haneline, D.C.
“Eating well is one of the top ways to prevent disease and be
healthy,” said Dr. St. Claire. “D.D. Palmer emphasized that toxic,
unhealthy food can cause subluxations and make us sick.”
Since 1986, Davenport Campus Nutrition Professor Moin
Ansari, Ph.D., and Physiology Professor Saeed Faruqui, M.S.,
Ph.D., have each played an integral role in the coordination of
Palmer’s six Nutrition and Chiropractic Symposiums. These events
gathered chiropractors and other healthcare practitioners to share
and exchange information on food and its nutrients.
Said Dr. Faruqui, “The precursors for the synthesis of neurotransmitters
are nutrients, most of which come from our dietary
intake of food. Removal of the subluxation by a chiropractor
will have optimal effect if the patient has balanced nutrition.”
Nutrition: An important side item to offer
Along with recommending stretching techniques, giving advice on fitness programs and taking
part in community activities, encouraging healthy eating has become one of the many ancillary
services chiropractors use to support and augment the adjustments they perform.
“As chiropractors, we promote health and wellness,” said Davenport Campus Coordinator
of Clinical Academics Nancy Kime, D.C. “It is very logical for us to promote all aspects of
health, including healthy eating.”
Steven Silverman, D.C., Davenport ’95, a Davenport Campus associate professor, is currently
pursuing a Master’s degree in nutrition and finds that it’s only natural that chiropractors
are big supporters of good nutrition. “Nutrition provides the
body with the building blocks to heal and maintain health,” he
said. “Without proper nutrition, a healthy state is not possible.”
The influence dietary choices have on the body’s inflammatory
process has been a continuing theme for Florida Campus Parttime
Instructor David Seaman, D.C., in class, at his practice and
in the papers he has written. He recommends diets that largely
consist of lean animal protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts and supplements
as an alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). “This
is because NSAIDs inhibit the enzyme that converts inflammatory
dietary fatty acids into inflammatory prostaglandins,” he said.
For Steve Osterhout, D.C., Davenport ’04, an interest in learning
about and doing research on nutrition began at the age of
12 when he developed diabetes. As an undergraduate student,
he added appropriate supplements to his diet and noticed
“My positive results motivated me to do further research and
pay extra attention during my biochemistry courses at Palmer,”
said the board certified clinical nutritionist, who does public
health presentations and practices in Kalamazoo, Mich. “Since I
personally experienced the benefits of appropriate nutrition I
was eager to add it into my chiropractic protocol with patients.”
Practice what you eat
“Each and every one of us could do better, by avoiding fast foods
and fatty foods,” said Casey Crisp, D.C., Davenport, ’97, who is a
staff clinician in the Davenport Clinics. “The more you take care
of yourself, the better you’ll be able to talk to your patients about
ways they can improve their lives.”
He also shares the belief of other D.C.s we interviewed, that the
only person who should bring up a patient’s weight is the patient.
“You have to work up to it, adding advice when that person’s
diet comes up,” he said. “A lot of times, though, a patient with
a weight problem who has tried many things
to address it will say, ‘What else can I do?’
That helps open the door to a wholehealth
How to add a daily serving of nutrition to your practice
Davenport Campus Associate
Professor and Clinician
Henry Mueller, D.C.,
Davenport ’86, has written
on a number of nutrition topics, such as how
prenatal and infant nutrition is negatively affected by
trans fat. He suggests that D.C.s starting a program to
promote healthy eating should begin by recommending
nutritional literature to their patients that’s in sync with
chiropractic and holistic health.
Ron Boesch, D.C., Davenport ’91, the assistant director of the
Academic Health Center on the Davenport Campus, encourages
alumni to promote nutrition to non-patients as well through
public events like health talks.
“You can make nutrition a part of a comprehensive health talk,”
he said. “For example, a health talk about headaches could
cover the common causes of headaches, such as subluxation,
stress, neck muscle strain, toxins in the body and foods that
may trigger them.”
Davenport Campus Biochemistry Instructor Lia Nightingale,
Ph.D., who has written on and about a number of nutrition topics,
suggests that any patient interested in developing a healthy
nutrition plan should be urged to have realistic expectations.
“Get your patients to see the long-term benefits without focusing
on the long road to get there,” she said. “Instead focus on
short-term, easily attainable goals. Tell them, ‘This month try
to eat one more serving of vegetables a day, then next month
Soon, you’re likely to notice some benefits yourself.
Said Dr. Osterhout of his own efforts to guide his patients to
eat healthfully, “Implementing nutrition into your practice is a
great way to help patients achieve their wellness goals as well
as create long-standing patient relationships.”
A taste of the latest
from Palmer faculty
Nutrition and muscle protein
synthesis: a descriptive review
Davenport Campus Dean of Academic Programs
Dan J. Weinert, D.C., Davenport ’96
J Can Chiropr Assoc 2009 August; 53(3): 186-193.
Since exercise causes muscle to break down and rebuilds protein
in response to the stimulus, Dr. Weinert finds promise in new
scientific evidence that can optimize the relationship between
stimulus and response. It is his belief that the combined effect
of protein consumption and exercise “promotes protein synthesis
and may impact patient outcomes.”
Dr. Weinert stresses those individuals who participate in intensive
exercise but avoid eating soon afterward, or consume less
than 25 grams of good quality protein shortly after a workout
in an attempt to be healthy, are actually doing the opposite.
He demonstrates this point by referring to a study where those
people who received no nutrition for two hours after exercising
experienced decreased lean body mass, while the group that
consumed 10 grams of protein immediately after exercising
increased their lean body mass.
Nutrition for Asthma – The Evidence
Florida Campus Part-time Instructor David Seaman, D.C.
Michigan Association of Chiropractors Journal, February 2007: 18-19.
A specialist on anti-inflammatory foods and supplements, and
their positive effect on the musculoskeletal system, David Seaman,
D.C., draws on decades of research that points to inflammation
being the primary pathophysiology in asthma. To reduce inflammation
and prevent asthma, he recommends eating a diet that
consists primarily of vegetables, lean or omega-3 meats, chicken,
fish, nuts and potatoes.
“The goal with this approach is to reduce the pro-inflammatory
state, which then allows for normal tissue healing to occur,”
Davenport Campus Biochemistry Instructor
Lia M. Nightingale, Ph.D.
Case Correlations I & II, Summer 2009 Course
In this presentation, Dr. Nightingale advocates adults eat foods
that provide them with a total of 800 International Units of
Vitamin D a day. She draws on recent studies that have found a
correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and chronic low back
pain, muscle pain and weakness, osteoporosis, depression,
Alzheimer’s disease and several cancers.
To avoid Vitamin D deficiency, Dr. Nightingale recommends a diet
containing salmon, milk fortified with Vitamin D, eggs and oatmeal.
Because Vitamin D is fat-soluble, she recommends consuming
5 to 10 grams of fat, such as a glass of 2% milk, along with
Vitamin D-containing foods or supplements for greater absorption.
Key ingredients for promoting healthy eating in your practice
- Refer your patients to well-recognized nutrition
resources on the Web, such as www.nutrition.gov,
- Incorporate proper nutrition into your health talks.
- Photocopy the list of healthy eating tips on the
right and hand them out to your patients during
their visits. Copies of the page also are available
online at www.palmer.edu/eatwell.
- Set out brochures that demonstrate the
importance of a healthy diet.
- Consider pursuing a Diplomate in Nutrition.
Information on this and other diplomates is
available at www.palmer.edu/ce.