IMMUNE FUNCTION AND CHIROPRACTIC
 
   

Immune Function and Chiropractic

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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  Frankp@chiro.org

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Chiropractic Research Results for Immune Function
 
   

Maintenance Care, Wellness and Chiropractic
This page is devoted to reviewing articles that support wellness (and maintenance) care.


Immune Responses to Spinal Manipulation
Dynamic Chiropractic ~ May 6, 2011

For many years, chiropractors have observed in their own practices that their patients sometimes demonstrate improvements of complaints related to immune problems: the disappearance or lessening of allergy symptoms, quicker recovery from or less frequent and severe colds and other respiratory infections, and so on. In the scientific literature, there have been occasional case reports that corroborate such findings, but no sound evidence to really document their veracity. These clinical observations remain suspended in that grey area unsubstantiated by scientific data to confirm their validity. Significant limitations of changes attributed to spinal manipulation in individual patients include 1) there is never a control group; 2) there is no blinding; 3) the improvement may simply be due to time; 4) they may be a nonspecific effect of care and attention; 5) it may be a regression to the mean; or 6) the result may be due to something other than spinal manipulation.


Interleukin 2-regulated In Vitro Antibody Production Following
A Single Spinal Manipulative Treatment in Normal Subjects

Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010 (Sep 8);   18:   26

The induction and regulation of immune responses involve complex interactions between the immune and nervous systems mediated by the biologic action of numerous humoral factors including neurotransmitters and immunoregulatory cytokines. [1, 2] It has been suggested that systemic somatoautonomic reflex effects following spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) might include modulation of immune reactions. [3, 4] Animal studies have found efferent sympathetic stimulation to be immunosuppressive [5]and it has been suggested that depressed levels of natural killer (NK) cells observed in low back patients [6] might be related to somatovisceral reflex stimulation. However, mechanisms of SMT action on immune modulation have remained illusive. [7]


Early Life Infections Improve the Function of the Immune System
American Journal of Clinical Chiropractic 2006 (Apr); 16 (2): 2225

This collection of medical citations presented by Dan Murphy, DC demonstrates that early exposure to antibiotic use and Pertussis vaccination contribute to the development of atopic disorders such as asthma, and hay fever, and may also be associated with the onset of pediatric lymphoblastic leukemia. Our thanks to the American Journal of Clinical Chiropractic for releasing this article exclusively at Chiro.Org!


Spinal Manipulative Therapy Reduces Inflammatory Cytokines but Not Substance P
Production in Normal Subjects

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2006 (Jan);   29 (1):   1421

Over the study period, a significant proportion (P ≤ .05) of sham and control subjects demonstrated progressive increases in the synthesis of tumor necrosis factor alpha and IL-1beta. Conversely, in a comparable proportion of cultures from SMT-derived subjects, the production of both cytokines decreased gradually. Normalization of the observed alterations to reflect the changes relative to self-baselines demonstrated that, within 2 hours after intervention, the production of both cytokines increased significantly (P < .001 to .05) in both controls. In contrast, a significant (P < .001 to .05) reduction of proinflammatory cytokine secretion was observed in cultures from SMT-receiving subjects. In all study groups, serum levels of SP remained unaltered within 2 hours after intervention. SMT-treated subjects show a time-dependent attenuation of LPS-induced production of the inflammatory cytokines unrelated to systemic levels of SP. This suggests SMT-related down-regulation of inflammatory-type responses via a central yet unknown mechanism. This work was originally funded by the   Consortial Center of Chiropractic Research (CCCR)


Reflex Effects of Vertebral Subluxations:
The Peripheral Nervous System. An Update

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000 (Feb);   23 (2):   101103

In contrast to others who manipulate the vertebral column, history records that a unique feature of the chiropractic profession is that many of the clinical activities of chiropractors have developed from a clinical hypothesis proposed by Palmer [1] concerning vertebral misalignment. Although others who manipulate the vertebral column may do so for other reasons, it is important for the chiropractic profession to determine the validity of the chiropractic vertebral subluxation hypothesis for 3 principle reasons.


Reflex Effects of Subluxation: The Autonomic Nervous System
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000 (Feb);   23 (2):   104106

Recent neuroscience research supports a neurophysiologic rationale for the concept that aberrant stimulation of spinal or paraspinal structures may lead to segmentally organized reflex responses of the autonomic nervous system, which in turn may alter visceral function.


The Effects of Specific Upper Cervical Adjustments on the CD4 Counts
of HIV Positive Patients

Chiropractic Research J 1994;   3 (1):   3239

These tests were performed by the patients independent medical center where they were under medical supervision for the regular group were dramatically increased over the counts of the control group. A 48% increase in CD4 cells was demonstrated over the six month duration of the study for the adjusted group.


The Effects of Chiropractic on the Immune System:
A Review of the Literature

Chiropractic Journal of Australia 1993 (Dec);   23 (4):   132135

This paper outlines the many components of the mammalian immune system and the anatomical and physiological connections suggesting that the nervous system plays a role in the modulation of immune response. The few studies attempting to measure the effect of chiropractic or manipulative treatment on the immune system are reviewed. Their results suggest that chiropractic or manipulative treatment may influence T and B lymphocyte numbers, NK cell numbers, antibody levels, phagocytic activity and plasma beta-endorphin levels.


Enhanced Neutrophil Respiratory Burst as a Biological Marker for
Manipulation Forces: Duration of the Effect and Association with
Substance P and Tumor Necrosis Factor

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1992 (Feb);   15 (2):   8389

A critical need in assessing the clinical utility of manipulative therapy for back pain is the identification of biological changes associated with the forces applied by spinal manipulation. Such changes could then serve as markers for both sham treatment and manipulation.


Enhanced Phagocytic Cell Respiratory Burst Induced by Spinal Manipulation:
Potential Role of Substance P

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1991 (Sep);   14 (7):   399408

The effect of spinal manipulation on the respiratory burst of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) and monocytes from treated adults was measured by zymosan-stimulated chemiluminescence (CL). Peripheral blood was collected 15 min before and 15 min after treatment (sham manipulation, thoracic spine manipulation, or soft tissue manipulation), the cells were isolated, challenged with a standardized, opsonized luminol-containing suspension of zymosan, and monitored for CL.


Immunologic Correlates of Reduced Spinal Mobility:
Preliminary Observations in a Dog Model

FCER's International Conference on Spinal Manipulation, 1991;   118121

To avoid severe distortion of the spine, we have developed an experimental model which focuses on reduced spinal flexibility. Reduced spinal mobility was produced by fusing selected posterior facet joints of young adult male beagles with a non-toxic, non-immunogenic fibrin sealant. This report presents the preliminary results of measures of immune cell function in four dogs whose facet joints were fused compared with immune cell function in control dogs who underwent sham spinal fusion.


Functional Ability of Natural Killer Cells as an Outcome Measure
for Chiropractic Treatment Efficacy

FCER's International Conference on Spinal Manipulation, 1991;   8496

Previous work in our laboratory suggested that both the percentage and the absolute numbers of NK cells were significantly lower in patients presenting to the main clinic of The National College of Chiropractic (NCCC) than in asymptomatic controls (6). However, these results were obtained using conventional fluorescence microscopy. Using flow cytometry to quantitate cells and a standard cytotoxicity assay to measure cell function, we are currently assessing the numbers and functional ability of NK cells. The purpose is to develop sensitive cellular outcome measures for use in future clinical trials.


An Overview of Neuroimmunomodulation and a Possible Correlation with
Musculoskeletal System Function

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1989 (Aug);   12 (4):   289292

Activation of these receptors can be stimulatory or inhibitory depending on the neuroactive substance. The immune system may be able to communicate with the nervous system using neuromodulators and neurohormones secreted by lymphocytes. Sympathetic innervation of lymphoid tissues is not restricted to blood vessels and smooth muscle, but directly supplies lymphocytes and blood precursor cells. It is theorized that spinal fixations may adversely affect the immune response through somatosympathetic reflexes. Spinal manipulation can correct the spinal fixations and may eliminate the adverse affects of somatosympathetic reflexes.


Review More Abstracts on Chiropractic and Immune Function
Review abstracts about chiropractic and a variety of organic and visceral disorders at the wonderful International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) website

 
   

Other Management Approaches for Immune Enhancement
 
   

The Immunity and Nutrition Page
This compilation in the Nutrition Section details the impact of a variety of substances from Co-Q10 to Vitamin E on improving immune function.


Early Life Infections Improve the Function of the Immune System
American Journal of Clinical Chiropractic 2006 (Apr); 16 (2): 2225

This collection of medical citations presented by Dan Murphy, DC demonstrates that early exposure to antibiotic use and Pertussis vaccination contribute to the development of atopic disorders such as asthma, and hay fever, and may also be associated with the onset of pediatric lymphoblastic leukemia. Our thanks to the American Journal of Clinical Chiropractic for releasing this article exclusively at Chiro.Org!


Nutrients and HIV


Part I:   Beta Carotene and Selenium
Alternative Medicine Review 1999;   4 (6):   403413 ~ FULL TEXT

HIV infection involves a progressive immune dysfunction and loss of CD4 T cells leading to opportunistic infection, wasting syndrome, malignancies, or CD4 depletion significant enough to qualify as CDC-defined AIDS. Several research studies have indicated that the apoptosis of CD4 cells contributing to HIV progression does not result solely from HIV infection, but largely from antioxidant imbalances in the host.1-3 Activation of latent HIV state can be stimulated in the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS) through the stimulation of oxygen-responsive transcription factors, specifically NF-kB, which induces HIV replication in the infected T-lymphocyte. The number of reactive oxygen species can be reduced by restoring proper redox balance through adequate availability of antioxidants.


Part II:   Vitamins A and E, Zinc, B-Vitamins, and Magnesium
Alternative Medicine Review 2000;   5 (1):   3951 ~ FULL TEXT

Vitamin A deficiency is a common occurrence in HIV infection, and serum levels appear to decrease as the disease progresses. 1 Low serum levels of vitamin A were found in 12-19 percent of HIV-positive, asymptomatic subjects in the United States. 1,2 Vitamin A deficiency was found in an increasingly higher proportion of women than men (p< .01) in an HIV-infected, intravenous drug-using population.


Part III:   N-Acetylcysteine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, L-Glutamine, and L-Carnitine
Alternative Medicine Review 2000;   5 (4):   290305 ~ FULL TEXT

HIV infection and the progression to AIDS involves a long period of latent infection characterized by low levels of viral replication that slowly increase to the point of immunosuppression. 1 This progression is accelerated if the latent (non-reproducing) provirus in the nuclei of the lymphocyte is activated. 2 Oxidative stress induces both viral activation of HIV and DNA damage, leading to immunosuppression. 3-5 It is now generally accepted that a central pathologic feature of HIV disease involves oxidative stress, leading to programmed cell death (apoptosis) and depletion of CD4 cells. 6,7 It has been hypothesized by Montagnier and others 8,9 that the majority of T-helper (CD4+) cell loss (the cell most susceptible to fatal injury by HIV) actually occurs by apoptosis and not by direct HIV infection. This phenomenon has been seen in in vitro culture and in peripheral blood lymphocytes from HIV-infected patients.


Nutritional Interventions to Assist with the Adaptation to Stress
Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Aug);   4 (4):   249265 ~ FULL TEXT

Prolonged stress, whether a result of mental/emotional upset or due to physical factors such as malnutrition, surgery, chemical exposure, excessive exercise, sleep deprivation, or a host of other environmental causes, results in predictable systemic effects. The systemic effects of stress include increased levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, a decline in certain aspects of immune system function such as natural killer cell cytotoxicity or secretory-IgA levels, and a disruption of gastrointestinal microflora balance. These systemic changes might be a substantial contributor to many of the stress-associated declines in health.


Plant Sterols and Sterolins:
A Review of Their Immune-Modulating Properties

Alternative Medicine Review 1999 (Jun);   4 (3):   170177 ~ FULL TEXT

Beta-sitosterol (BSS) and its glycoside (BSSG) are sterol molecules which are synthesized by plants. In animals, BSS and BSSG have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-neoplastic, anti-pyretic, and immune-modulating activity.
You also might enjoy this more recent 2001 Monograph.


The Detoxification Enzyme Systems
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Jun);   3 (3):   187-198 ~ FULL TEXT

The human body is exposed to a wide array of xenobiotics in one's lifetime, from food components to environmental toxins to pharmaceuticals, and has developed complex enzymatic mechanisms to detoxify these substances. These mechanisms exhibit significant individual variability, and are affected by environment, lifestyle, and genetic influences. The scientific literature suggests an association between impaired detoxification and certain diseases, including cancer, Parkinson's disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue/immune dysfunction syndrome.


Aging Gracefully With Antioxidants
Living well includes getting enough relaxation, exercise, community spirit and nutritious foods. It may also include taking vitamins. An avalanche of research data suggests that high intakes of antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables and supplements lowers the risk of old-age diseases.


Bacteria That Strengthen The Immune System
As a practicing physician and nutritionist, I hear that question at least three times a day. The good news is we can strengthen the immune system's resistance to infection by taking supplements of Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium bifidum, two breeds of "friendly" bacteria that normally live in the human gastrointestinal (G.I.) tract.   You may also enjoy these other Probiotic Abstracts.


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