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FOOD TOXINS AND THEIR HEALTH IMPLICATIONS (using Applied Kinesiology muscle testing)


 Michael P. Lebowitz, D.C., Ami D. Kapadia, M.D.



Michael P. Lebowitz, D.C.

2550 I Road Grand Junction, CO 81505

phone #: (970)-257-0311


ABSTRACT: It is well known in the holistic medicine world that food intolerances/sensitivities can contribute a great deal to patient symptomatology.  Unfortunately, all of the current methods used for food sensitivity testing (including laboratory testing) can result in many false negatives, as well as false positives at times. While elimination diets are helpful in diagnosis, they are also not perfect and can be very challenging if multiple food sensitivities are present. Through applied kinesiology testing with the use of specific “food toxins”, we have been able to increase the accuracy of food sensitivity detection. We have found that using these specific food toxins, rather than testing with the actual food substance, has yielded many more positive findings with subsequent amelioration of symptomatology in patients who follow the prescribed diet. The specific food toxins that will be discussed include: alpha-solanine, methylxanthines (caffeine family), gluten/gliadin, casein/lactose, ovalbumin (egg protein) and zein (corn protein).


KEY WORDS:  food toxin, food allergy, methylxanthine(s), caffeine, theobromine,

theophylline, paraxanthine, dimethylxanthine, trimethylxanthine, green tea, tea, coffee,

cola, chocolate, cocoa solanine, alpha solanine, glycoalkaloid, solanaceae, nightshade(s),

Norman Childers, arthritis, dairy, casein, lactose, wheat, wheat flour, gluten, gliadin, ovalbumin, egg, corn, zein.



Identifying food sensitivities/intolerances can be very challenging as well as inaccurate with currently available methods.  Applied kinesiology, using whole food substances, can give some helpful findings.  However, often patients know that they are intolerant of certain foods, but kinesiology testing does not show that the food is a problem.  We have attempted to improve the accuracy of and decrease the number of false negative tests with applied kinesiology testing for food sensitivities.  In order to do this, we have isolated certain “food toxins” that represent the major known food allergens.

In Part 1 of this paper, we will discuss these common “toxic components of food.” The following food toxins will be discussed: alpha-solanine, methylxanthines (caffeine family), gluten/gliadin, casein/lactose, ovalbumin, and zein. The potential allergenicity and aberrant reactions of these food toxins will be reviewed.

In Part 2 of this paper, we will discuss two surveys. The purpose of the first survey was to see, on a more or less random group of 50 patients, how often we would get a positive muscle test on the following substances: alpha-solanine, gliadin, casein, lactose, and/or at least one of the 4 methylxanthines (caffeine, paraxanthine, theobromine and theophylline). A positive test consisted of either a “weakening” of a strong indicator muscle or a strong indicator muscle becoming “hypertonic” (spindle cell approximation does not “turn it off”). We also checked to see how often the positive test was negated by takesumi (carbonized bamboo which is an effective toxin, chemical, and metal chelator).

The second survey uses a different group of 50 patients (some overlap) and compares testing some of these food toxins biomagnetically with testing the foods themselves both biomagnetically and orally. We will also discuss some clinical observations and results.




Alpha-solanine is classified as a neuro-toxin. The members of the plant family that contain alpha-solanine that might practically affect us (much of this family is not consumed by humans) are tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers (all except black pepper), paprika, tobacco, goji berries and ashwagandha. The amount of solanine present in the above foods varies tremendously depending on growing conditions, time harvested, storage conditions, cooking techniques, etc.

Solanines are not water soluble, are not destroyed by cooking and are not broken down inside the body but must be excreted as alpha-solanine. (1) (2) Different people have different degrees of sensitivity to them, and different efficiencies in being able to excrete them. How or in what way they will affect you will be a matter of genetics, as well as lifestyle and nutritional status.  If you test positive for this problem, the probability is very high that at least one of your parents will have the same condition. The average daily intake of alpha-solanine is approximately 13mg and the average daily excretion is 5% the first day and 1-2% daily thereafter with a half-life of about 1-2 months. (2)

Considering that is for one day’s dose, it is estimated that the average body burden is at least 50mg. (2) It can be much higher in people who consume large amounts of these foods on a daily basis. There has been no definite established “safe” or “toxic” level of solanine consumption because of the variations in individual sensitivity and capability to excrete this chemical. (1) Alpha-solanine is stored in most organs (with a special affinity for the thyroid gland) as well as most soft tissue including skeletal muscle. (1) (2)

Most “foods” that contain alpha-solanine also contain at least 5 other neurotoxins including atropine and nicotine. Acute solanine poisoning can result from ingesting green or sprouted potatoes or green tomatoes, with symptoms including: cramps, nausea, diarrhea, headache, dizziness and sleepiness.  In severe cases, partial paralysis and coma can result. (1) (2)

Solanine acts as an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor (similar to Malathion, Parathion and other “nerve gases”), allowing acetylcholine (Ach) to build up in the synapses. (2) Ach is a chemical neurotransmitter that is released from a pre-synaptic neuron and attaches to a receptor site on a post-synaptic neuron resulting in transmission of a nerve impulse.  AChE is the enzyme that breaks down ACh resulting in the subsequent detachment of this neurotransmitter from the post-synaptic neuron.  However, solanine inhibits AChE, which effectively results in continued attachment of ACh to the post-synaptic neuron and a disruption of normal nerve impulse transmission. (2)

As with all other food toxins discussed in this paper, testing with alpha-solanine via applied kinesiology yields many more positive tests than testing with the food itself. We have found that avoidance (based on a positive alpha-solanine test) yields many positive clinical outcomes and as a result we have come to prefer this method of testing.

For a more complete discussion with references, see our 2010 ICAK paper or view our website paper Solanine Toxicity Syndrome.



Caffeine is the most consumed, socially-acceptable stimulant in the world.  Approximately 90% of adults in the world consume caffeine in their daily diet.  More than 150 million people in the US drink coffee on a regular basis, averaging 2 cups a day, which is the equivalent of 280 mg/day of caffeine. (3)

Caffeine, as well as theobromine, paraxanthine and theophylline, are part of the methylxanthine family and can be labeled as psychoactive stimulants. These substances in varying amounts and complexes are found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, yerba mate and guarana. (4)

Coffee contains caffeine and theophylline, but no theobromine, while tea and chocolate are higher in theobromine. Tea actually contains more caffeine then coffee, but since it is brewed weaker, the average cup of tea has less than the average cup of coffee.

Caffeine Biochemistry and Pharmacokinetics 

Caffeine is metabolized in phase 1 liver detoxification by the cytochrome P450 oxidase enzyme system (the 1A2 isozyme) into the following compounds with approximate percentages: paraxanthine (84%), theobromine (12%) and theophylline (4%).

Caffeine is readily absorbed in the GI tract after oral administration. Its bioavailability is almost 100% through oral administration. (5) The average half life of caffeine is 5 hours, with a range of 3-7 hours. (6) Defects in the CYP1A2 enzyme can be associated with impaired caffeine metabolism and a prolonged half life. (7) There are also genetic polymorphisms in the CYP1A2 pathway that could explain some of the varying effects of caffeine on different individuals. (4) For example, a study of 120 healthy volunteers found that CYP1A2 activity, gender, and smoking influenced whether or not individuals experiences toxic effects of caffeine.  Females and nonsmokers who had experienced toxic effects of caffeine were found to have lower CYP1A2 activity compared to females and nonsmokers who did not experience toxicity symptoms. (8)

Once it is absorbed through the GI tract, and enters the bloodstream, caffeine’s main effects occur through its action as an antagonist of adenosine receptors (blocks adenosine receptors) in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The caffeine molecule is structurally similar to adenosine, and binds to adenosine receptors on the surface of cells without activating them (thus, acting through an antagonist mechanism of action at the adenosine receptor site). Therefore, caffeine acts as a competitive inhibitor. This results in stimulation of excitatory neurotransmitters. (6)

Symptoms associated with too much caffeine (too much ingested or impaired breakdown of it) include: headache, anxiety (including generalized anxiety disorder), depression, panic attacks, tremors, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, muscle twitching and GERD.  (4) (9) Both acute and chronic ingestion of caffeine influences mood and cognition. (4) (9) In addition, heavy coffee (>2 cups/day) intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals. (10) (11) Finally, it has been shown that excess caffeine consumption (>200 mg/day) during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage. (12)


While theobromine and caffeine are similar, theobromine is weaker in both its inhibition of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases and its antagonism of adenosine receptors. Therefore, it can be postulated that theobromine may have a lesser, but still significant, impact on the human central nervous system. While theobromine is not as addictive as caffeine, it has been cited as possibly contributing to chocolate addiction.


In susceptible individuals, theophylline can cause nausea, diarrhea, an increase in heart rate, arrhythmias, and CNS excitation with resultant headaches, insomnia, irritability, dizziness and lightheadedness.


Paraxanthine is not produced by plants and is only observed as a metabolite of caffeine in animals.  After caffeine intake, approximately 84% of the original compound is demethylated at the 3-position to yield paraxanthine, making paraxanthine the chief metabolite of caffeine.

For a more complete discussion with references, see our 2010 ICAK paper or view our website paper Methylxanthine Toxicity Syndrome.



One of the most common food allergens is gluten. Sensitivity to gluten can cause a wide range of symptoms that can affect almost any organ system. While most would think primarily of Celiac Disease and symptom manifestations in the gastrointestinal tract, the nervous system is actually the most commonly affected system outside of the gastrointestinal tract and is often involved in sensitive individuals. (13) Some of the symptoms/diagnoses that can be involved with gluten sensitivity include: headaches, behavior changes, seizures, muscle cramps, neuropathy, malnutrition, fatigue, malaise, depression, chronic digestive problems (abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, IBS, difficulty gaining/losing weight, reflux, nausea, vomiting, etc.), apthous ulcers, Sjogren’s Syndrome, osteoporosis, infertility, miscarriage, thyroid disorders, schizophrenia, autism and dermatitis herpetiformis. (14-16)


If gluten sensitivity is found, it is necessary to avoid all gluten containing grains, including: barley, rye, oats (unless certified gluten-free), wheat and spelt. Oats do not contain gluten but do contain a similar prolamine and many gluten-sensitive people cannot tolerate oats. You may want to have them avoid oats in the beginning and then add them in after a few weeks(certified gluten-free types). At that time, you can check them with applied kinesiology and look for symptomatic changes.


There are a few proposed mechanisms involving how gluten can affect various organ systems. One theory involves a peptidase enzyme called DPP4. If there is a failure or insufficiency of DPP4, the body cannot efficiently break down the proteins in gluten. DPP4 activity can be low or absent for several reasons including: effects of toxins such as mercury, hypochlorhydria (HCl is needed to activate enzyme), poor pancreatic function, or zinc deficiency (zinc is also needed to turn on these enzymes). A poorly functioning DPP4 enzyme results in an undigested fragment of protein from gluten. The immune system can be fooled by a sort of molecular mimicry as the undigested protein fragment can be mistaken for a virus. As a result of this, antibodies are aimed at the protein and can cause damage to tissues in an autoimmune type of reaction. (14) Another mechanism by which gluten can cause problems involves the theory that the undigested gluten peptide can resemble an opiate-like molecule called a gluteomorphin that can alter brain chemistry. Gluteomorphins can cause cognitive symptoms as they can act like opiods in the body. These undigested peptides can be found in the urine of some individuals with autism and schizophrenia.  (14, 16)


Interestingly enough, applied kinesiology testing for gluten yields a very high percentage of false negatives as we will present at the end of this study. Gluten is composed of a combination of glutenins and gliadins and testing with gliadin yields positive tests much more frequently than does testing gluten. We know these are not false positives due to the clinical improvement that results from avoidance. As a result of this increased sensitivity while using this more specific food toxin, we use gliadin for our testing.



 Casein is the predominant phosphoprotein that accounts for nearly 80% of the proteins in cow’s milk. There is casein in the milk of other species- goat, sheep etc. of a slightly different nature, but the intolerance can carry over in many sensitive people. Therefore, when casein is positive, we avoid all dairy products of all species (many people react to supposedly casein free foods like ghee so we avoid these too).  Like gluten, casein sensitivity can also cause symptoms in just about any organ system. Specifically, casein sensitivity can contribute to: ear infections, sinus conditions, asthma, eczema, headaches, arthritis, chronic digestive problems, rhinitis, hay fever, depression, mood swings, ADHD, bedwetting and eczema. (14-16) Similar to how gluten derived peptides cause trouble if the DPP4 enzyme is not sufficient, casein derived peptides can also cause problems when this enzyme does not break it down properly.  Undigested casein peptides can pass into the bloodstream and provoke similar autoimmune type reactions as well as mimic opiates (called “caseomorphins”) just like gluten. (14, 16) Besides having a casein sensitivity, an individual can have a lactose intolerance in which only the gastrointestinal tract is involved (whereas with a casein sensitivity, any organ system can be involved). The main symptoms of lactose intolerance can include bloating, gas, diarrhea, and even vomiting. If this is the case, it is much simpler to address as the patient can simply use lactose free milk or take a lactase enzyme when consuming dairy products. (14) Remember, a lactase enzyme may be a fungal derivative that is not well tolerated.



Ovalbumin is the major protein in egg (comprising approximately 54% of egg protein). Just like all the other foods discussed in this paper, just testing egg yields many false negatives and ovalbumin is the preferred test. In sensitive people, ovalbumin can cause villous atrophy, depletion of mucosal oligosaccharidases, impaired absorption of xylose and depressed serum complement levels. Asthma, as well as most other common symptoms of food intolerance, have been linked to ovalbumin sensitivity. There have been documented cases of nephropathy that have reversed with egg avoidance.



Zein is a class of prolamine protein found in corn. It is also known as corn gluten and even though it too is a prolamine, zein is not chemically identical to wheat or other glutens. Therefore, it can have its own unique effects on the body. As you will see in our statistics, zein will test positive much more than corn with applied kinesiology and is the preferred method of testing. Symptoms associated with corn sensitivity can include: headaches, asthma, facial inflammation, rashes, hives, most gastro-intestinal symptoms, fatigue, joint pains and sinus congestion.



From the clinical testing results and improvement in patients as you will see below, we feel this (testing with the isolated food fragment) is a very helpful way to test for these sensitivities. There may be other additions in the future; soy and rice come to mind as possible substances where isolated protein fragments may need to be tested. For now, we have been sticking with these vials, as the diets involved can be quite challenging for the average patient.  Most patients with long term chronic symptoms have been willing to give it a trial period of a month or two. As stated in previous papers, these are typically not the type of sensitivities for which we can do a desensitization technique and re-introduce the food quickly. Our hypothesis is that by helping the patient become dysbiosis free and avoiding these foods, we will have significant restoration of gastro-intestinal integrity making the person more immune to dysbiotic microbes in the future and allowing them to re-introduce some if not many of these foods. When trying to answer the question: which came first- the dysbiosis or the food toxin intolerances, it can go in either direction and for optimal results both should be comprehensively addressed.



Survey 1:

The purpose of the first survey was to see, on a random group of 50 patients, how often they would test positive on various “food toxins”. A positive test was either a weakening of a “strong” indicator muscle or a “strong” indicator muscle becoming hypertonic and to see if Takesumi (carbonized bamboo- a popular generic detoxification product from Japan) negated a positive test.


Results are as follows (Fig. 1 and 2):

56% + on alpha solanine (S) with 65% of these negated by Takesumi

62% + on methylxanthine (M) with 68% of these negated by Takesumi

66% + on gliadin (G) with 76% of these negated by Takesumi

54% + on casein (C) with 56% of these negated by Takesumi

18% + on lactose (L) with 56% of these negated by Takesumi


Most people were positive on a combination of various “toxins”. The breakdown is listed below (Fig.3).


Figure 1: patients “weakening” or becoming “over facilitated” on each substance


Figure 2: Percent of the positive patients from figure 1 whose

test was negated by takesumi


Figure 3: Number of patients positive on various combinations of substances:

+ on all 5- 1:+ on S,M,G,C-10; + on S,M,G,L 3;+ on M,C,L-3;+ on S,G,C-2;+ on S,G,L-1;+ on S,M,G-3;+ on S,M,C-1;+ on S,M-1;+ on S,G-4 ;+ on S,C-1; + on S,L-1;+ on M,G-4; + on M,C-3; + on G, C-2; + on M only-2; + on G only-3; + on C only-4; + on none of them-1


1. The one person that was positive on all 5 substances (solanine, methylxanthine, gliadin, casein and lactose) and the 10 people positive on the following 4: solanine, methylxanthine, gliadin, and casein – are all chronic patients with significant health problems. These include environmentally ill patients with migraines—3, chronic GI problems with recurrent dysbiosis -2, chronic pain/disabled- 1, rheumatoid arthritis-1, multiple sclerosis-2, pain and depression 1, alopecia and environmental illness-1, chronic pain not disabled -1. These “food toxin sensitivities or intolerances,” in my opinion, are major contributors to their chronic conditions and if they had been found earlier the patient may have avoided some of these conditions. Present avoidance of the “toxins” may help alleviate their symptomatology and allow healing to occur.

2. On multi-generational families I tested, if both parents were positive on a given “toxin”, so was the child (in almost 100% of cases). If the child was positive, at least one parent was.

3. Only two patients were relatively asymptomatic (if you exclude acne and PMS) that had both positive solanine and gliadin tests, though they were college age and could easily develop symptoms later.


Survey 2:

The purpose of the second survey was to compare testing foods in 3 different fashions. We were checking for weakening of a “strong” indicator muscle (we did not check “hyper facilitation”) when checked in one of three ways:

1- substance placed orally on the tongue

2- same substance placed under the south pole of a magnet over GV-20

3- “food toxin” vial placed under the south pole of a magnet over GV-20


4 different categories were tested:

1- a piece of popcorn and the zein vial

2- gluten flour, wheat flour, and the gliadin vial

3- granular coffee, dried green tea and the caffeine and theobromine vials

4- ground red pepper and the solanine vial


People were also asked what symptoms they experienced from eating any of these substances.


Below are the results from 50 random consecutive patients (Figures 4, 5, 6, 7):


Figure 4: 2+ on oral testing of corn (4%), 3+ on biomagnetic testing of corn (6%), 17 + on biomagnetic testing of zein (34%)

Figure 5:  5+ on oral testing of whole wheat flour (10%), 4+ on oral testing of gluten flour (8%), 9+ of biomagnetic testing of whole wheat flour (18%) 8 + on biomagnetic testing of gluten flour (16%), 26+ on biomagnetic testing of gliadin (54%)


Figure 6 3+ on oral testing of coffee (6%), 2+ on oral testing of green tea (4%), 5+ on biomagnetic testing of coffee (10%),  5+ on biomagnetic testing of green tea (10%), 31+ on biomagnetic testing of caffeine (62%), 30+ on biomagnetic testing of theobromine (60%)


Figure 7: 4+ on oral testing of red pepper (8%), 7+ on biomagnetic testing of red pepper (14%), 30+ on biomagnetic testing of solanine (60%)

There was a fairly close correlation between oral testing of the food with biomagnetic testing of the food, though in each case, positive biomagnetic tests outnumbered positive oral challenges. In almost every case in which the food tested positive orally, it also tested positive biomagnetically. There were more cases where the biomagnetic test was positive but the oral test was negative. The most significant difference was between testing the whole food versus the “food toxin component”. In all the tests performed, there were only two times when the whole food tested positive and the food toxin was negative. Both times were on the same patient where coffee and tea were positive (positive biomagnetically but negative orally) but caffeine and theobromine were negative. There were many times the food toxin was positive while the food was negative; in fact, this was the case with the vast majority of findings. A little but certainly not all the difference between whole food and food toxin results could be due to the fact that I have a well informed patient load and many of them do restrict their intake of methylxanthines, solanines and gluten to some extent. Perhaps this decreases the number of positive tests on the food itself but not the isolated “toxin”, though not to the degree shown in the results. Many of these patients still eat the foods in limited quantities and report symptoms from eating the whole foods though they still test negative on them. Often avoidance for as little as 24 hours can turn a positive whole food test to a negative one thus accounting for some of the false negatives.


To make sure the food toxin testing was not just getting false positives, we had the patients report back on symptoms they experienced that improved significantly on avoidance of the related food. The following is what was reported:

1-Patients that had positive solanine tests but negative on the food itself (some reported by one patient, some by multiple) found alleviation of: headaches, spitting up (infant when mother avoided it), overall pain level, stiff joints, fibromyalgia pain, crohns disease, intestinal pain and ankylosing spondylitis. Also reported were: cessation of acute soft tissue inflammation to the point of disability, cessation of wrist pain, enhanced ability to play the cello, cessation of shoulder pain of 7 year duration and cessation of rectal bleeding.

2- Patients that had positive gliadin tests but negative on whole wheat and gluten reported significant decreases in: (some reported by one patient, some by multiple)  fatigue, depression, anxiety, baby spitting up (if mom ate gluten), exhaustion, acute intestinal pain, 50% less need for chiropractic adjustments,  burning bowels and headaches. Also reported were: cessation of intestinal pain and swelling of 30 years duration, ability to eat raw food without pain was restored, and being much easier to adjust (chiropractically).

3- Patients that had positive caffeine/theobromine tests but negative on the food itself (some reported by one patient, some by multiple) found a decrease in: insomnia, cervical subluxations,  tenseness, throat pain, headaches, moodiness, anxiety, itching, diarrhea, baby spitting up (if mom had it), nausea, low back pain,  and overall feeling “lousy”. Also reported were: cessation of chronic foot and axilla pain, and a cessation of thumb pain. One husband thanked me profusely for the change in disposition of his wife.

4- Patients that had positive zein tests but negative on the food itself (some reported by one patient, some by multiple) found  a decrease in: fatigue, joint pain, stomachaches, baby spitting up, sacro-iliac pain, headaches, brain fog and sinus congestion.




1.    Food challenges with applied kinesiology can yield false negative tests.

2.    Using isolated food substances such as alpha-solanine, theobromine, caffeine, theophylline, paraxanthine, casein, lactose, zein, ovalbumin and gliadin can yield many more positive results.

3.     Eliminating these foods can bring improvement or elimination of various chronic problems.

4.    Re-introduction of the foods without recurrence of symptomatology may or may not be possible.

5.    Taking takesumi if the patient will not avoid the positive substance may lessen the negative effects of ingesting the substance.



1. Food Toxin Kit from AK Test Kits 1-888-323-0625

2. Takesumi Supreme 1-800-922-1744

3. Diagnostic Magnet 1-800-922-1744


Ways to test for food toxins

  1. Weakening a strong muscle in the clear when tested biomagnetically over GV27
  2. Causing a weak or strong muscle to go hypertonic when tested over GV27
  3. Weakening or causing hypertonicity when tested over symptomatic area
  4. Weakening indicator muscle when tested over GV27 during movement of a symptomatic joint or muscle.
  5. Causing recidivism of a subluxation (spine, extremity, cranial), specific muscle test, or reflex you had just corrected


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  2. Fowler, M. Nightshade Free Pain Free! Michael Fowler; 2007.
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  5. Fredholm BB, Battig K, Holmen J, Nehlig A, Zvartau EE. Actions of caffeine in the brain with special reference to factors that contribute to its widespread use. Pharmacol Rev 1999: 51; 83-133.
  6. Giardina E. Cardiovascular effects of caffeine. 2009.
  7. Cornelis MC, El-Sohemy A, Kaagambe EK, Campos H. Coffee, CYP1A2 genotype, and risk of myocardial infarction. JAMA 2006; 295: 1135-1141.
  8. Carrillo JA, Benitez J. CYP1A2 activity, gender and smoking, as variables influencing the toxicity of caffeine. Br J Clin Pharmacol 1996; 41: 605-608.
  9. Broderick P, Benjamin AB. Caffeine and psychiatric symptoms: a review. J Okla State Med Assoc. 2004; 97 (12):538-42.
  10. Cannon ME, Cooke CT, McCarthy JS. Caffeine-induced cardiac arrhythmia: an unrecognized danger of healthfood products. Med J Aust 2001; 174: 520-1.
  11. Chopra A, Morrison L. Resolution of caffeine-induced complex dysrhythmia with procainamide therapy. J Emerg Med 1995; 13:113-117.
  12. Weng X, Odouli R, D-K Li. Maternal caffeine consumption during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage: a prospective cohort study. A J Obstet Gynecol 2008; 198: 279.e1-279.e8.
  13. Hadjivassiliou A, Chattopadhyay A, Davies-Jones G, et al. Neuromuscular disorder as a presenting feature of coeliac disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1997: 63; 770-775.

14.  Baker S. Detoxification and Healing. Revised Edition. McGraw-Hill; 2004.

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Low back pain- why it happens and how- Roseland Online article 3

Ever wondered why you get low back pain and how it occurs? Understanding this can be a step in managing your pain if you are a sufferer, of which about 80% of us suffer from at some point in time. This is at immense cost to the NHS and particularly those cases that are poorly managed due to either wrong referral, poor services or lack of understanding and compliance of the person suffering.

Research is positive for all the therapies that support back pain care and I am very respectful to the gamut of professionals out there that are part of the package of care available, however sometimes we could work better together with the patient as the primary focus, and that is my intention here.

What I hope to do in this article is to make clear from a chiropractors viewpoint where patients benefit from our services so that those that do not receive it can make the choice of whether they need our services or not and where they should be for the best outcome of their back pains, as these pains can change our lives and often I find they don’t need to with the right intervention.

The back is a chain of joints sitting on top of a ring pelvis. If you can imagine the spine twisting like a wet towel being rung out then this is what happens when we get back pain and that twist is triggered usually by one joint, or muscle associated to a joint, which is the primary trigger in this twist. The pelvis is like a chassis of a car, which has its own twist along the line of the hips. As chiropractors we specialize in the diagnosis of which bone, or muscle and bone (as it is never one or the other as I am often asked) is involved in the lower back pain. This ‘misalignment’ causes pressure in the joint, tissue, disc or nerve and the degree of pressure in these small segments relates to how much pain you suffer or degenerative arthritis occurs in these spinal joints.

Many people think back pain occurs, then it goes. I’d like to bust that myth once and for all as this leads to the start of mismanagement. A free check at our clinic to anyone who’s acute pain has diminished would show segments of their spine where the body has lost normal motion still present even if they are improving. This applies more often to the chronic sufferer (if you’ve had it more than once) and less so to the ‘one off’ that only lasts a day or two. Dysfunction of the bony structure in our spine or any joint is a process that occurs over time due to changes in our shape, weakness that occurs over time, bad habits of posture, emotions (the fight or flight response) or trauma. If this dysfunction had a cumulative scale of 1-10 you would say that the chronic back pain person who had an acute attack would be at 10 (some sufferers say 11!) when in pain and would drop back to lets say 7 or 8 out of 10 as their normal, ie close to maximum joint dysfunction or tolerance and pain. A pain free person would be at 0 or 1 in their adaption to life but often like a ratchet, many of us are tightening until we cannot take any more change. Then comes the sneeze, the shoe or whatever triggers that pain and ‘voila’ it’s the shoe or book to blame! Not so.

Once these parts have been specifically re-organized so that the pressure in between the vertebrae has been eased people are often restored to a new sense of themselves that has not been felt for many years. If this specific investigation of the movement of your bony parts has not been done then rest assured you are in some degree of adaption that is cumulative. No one else does this type of fine tuning and I often compare us to the dentist where families join, receive the acute frequent care package to put things right, then use the service when pain arrives again, or more cautiously joins an ‘MOT’ programme of say one checkup regardless of pain every 3 months. No dysfunction means no MOT.

I feel privileged to be in a profession that is having progressive positive outcomes in evidence for our part in the management of back pain and am proud to say that in 2009 NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence which advices health centers on what therapies/ medicines have enough evidence to be used in the NHS) advised GP’s that we should be referred to if lower back pain persists longer than 6 weeks. Osteopaths are included in this advice. Add to this the patient satisfaction that we receive indicated by our in house survey that 80% of our new patients come from other patients who enjoyed recovery with chiropractic and it’s a good recipe in the right hands. Due to all this positive coverage I am also proud to have completed our first ever application for chiropractic to be funded on the NHS and am awaiting the outcome for my clinics to be accepted. With this our service will inevitably be curtailed somewhat and again like dentists, we will be able to offer a cut down service offering quick simple sessions of chiropractic but more comprehensive care in a private setting. If funds are low then joining us through the NHS funded option may be possible, thereafter a self funded ‘MOT’ of infrequent care will finalize your best outcome.

Hopefully I haven’t medicallised back pain so much that you have fallen into a stupor but our next chat will be about the mystical!!

Kind regards in health,

Mike Noone, Chiropractor, BSc, DC

Pregnancy and Posture

These are a few articles that give advice on how to avoid injuring your back when pregnant or looking after a small child. There are also a few clever ideas that making carrying and working with children easier.


Mind Your posture – Parents and posture outdoors Mind Your posture – Parents and posture pregnancy

Mind Your posture – Parents and posture indoors

Mind Your posture – Parents and posture outdoors

If you’d like any further information visit the BCA website


carrying, posture, pregnancy, relaxin, sleep, cot, feeding, playing, sling, papoos, pram, car.

Do you need to lower your cholesterol?

Over the last two decades low fat and low cholesterol diets have been promoted as the way to reduce cholesterol levels. Despite this, cholesterol levels and the incidence of heart disease have increased. A 10% reduction in LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol could decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 20%, but rather than reducing your cholesterol intake, recent research indicates that the biggest influence upon cholesterol metabolism is the type and mix of fats and carbohydrates that you eat. Follow these tips to naturally lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

  1. 1.     Eat a high fibre diet

Fibre binds with cholesterol in the gut and carries it to the large intestine where it is expelled in faeces. Foods rich in fibre include fruit and vegetables, beans and pulses, unrefined cereals and grains, and nuts and seeds.

  1. 2.     Consume inulin-rich foods (artichokes, onion, garlic, chicory and asparagus)

Some fruit and vegetables contain inulin, a type of fibre which is very effective at carrying cholesterol out of the body. To reduce cholesterol levels, eat inulin-rich foods daily.

  1. 3.     Eat foods high in anti-oxidants to reduce oxidized cholesterol

Oxidized cholesterol is a serious contributor to cardiovascular disease. However, anti-oxidants can counteract cholesterol oxidation, and many studies illustrate that a high anti-oxidant intake improves arterial health. Fresh fruits and vegetables tend to have the highest anti-oxidant level, particularly berries, green vegetables and orange-coloured fruit and vegetables.

  1. 4.     Eat foods naturally rich in phytosterols

Compounds called phytosterols found in whole grains, legumes (e.g. peas, lentils, soya beans) and nuts compete with cholesterol for absorption into the body. It is these phytosterol compounds that are added to margarines and yoghurts to help lower cholesterol.

  1. 5.     Eat low GI, unrefined carbohydrates

Low carbohydrate diets have been shown to be more effective than low fat diets in reducing the amount of oxidized cholesterol in the arterial wall. A pooled analysis of 11 studies (344,696 participants) found a slightly increased risk of heart disease when saturated fat was decreased and carbohydrates were increased, and Mediterranean-style low-glycaemic diets have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol.

  1. 6.     Eat healthier fats

A recent meta-analysis involving 347,747 subjects showed no association between saturated fat intake and increased risk of heart disease, stroke or cardiovascular disease, although research suggests that changing the type of fat in your diet may be more effective than simply reducing saturated fat intake, and this is more effective when combined with an overall reduction in fat intake.



To find out what you really need to do to lower your cholesterol level, read ‘Cholesterol: The Essential Guide’, available at, or book an appointment with Sara at the Newquay Chiropractic Clinic. Call 07919 110440 for further information.


Healthy recipe – Asparagus and roasted garlic soup with griddled asparagus spears

Serves 2



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

6 fat garlic cloves

Half a litre of vegetable stock

A handful of fenugreek seeds

400g of asparagus spears, chopped, plus half a dozen more asparagus spears to griddle for each person.


Method for the soup

1. Rub a little olive oil over the garlic cloves (keeping the skin on), and roast the garlic in an oven at 180°C for 30 – 40 minutes or until soft. Allow to cool.

2. Heat the oil and cook the onion until soft and translucent.

3. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the inside of the cloves into the pan and stir to mix in. Discard the skins.

4. Add the asparagus, stir and cook for 2 minutes.

5. Add the water or vegetable stock and simmer for another 7-8 minutes or until the asparagus is cooked through.

5. Puree the soup in a blender or with a hand whisk and serve, sprinkling fenugreek seeds on top.


Meanwhile, for the asparagus spears…

1. If asparagus spears are thick (more than 5mm across mid-stem), either blanche them in boiling water for a couple of minutes or cut them in half lengthways.

2. Brush the asparagus with olive oil.

3. Place under a hot grill, or roast in a pre-heated oven (180°C) until slightly charred. Alternatively, you can put the asparagus spears on a skewer and BBQ them for approximately 3 minutes on each side.


You can squeeze fresh lemon juice over the asparagus, or add lemon juice and/or fenugreek powder to phytosterol-enhanced plain yoghurt to make a dip.


You can find more healthy recipes and a 7 day eating plan to reduce cholesterol in Sara’s book ‘Cholesterol – The Essential Guide’, available at .

Weight loss – simple but not easy! Sarah Kirkham, Nutritionist

Weight loss – simple but not easy!

Managing weight is a simple equation: if the calories consumed equal the calories used up, you stay the same weight. Reduce the intake or increase expenditure and you lose weight. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy.


First of all, there are barriers to making changes, things to trip us up, and social events put there, I’m sure, just to sabotage healthy eating plans. Just when you’re on a roll (no, not a bacon one), a wedding/night out/birthday comes along to cancel out that negative calorie balance you’ve tried so hard to achieve; friends kindly (?) offer biscuits when you visit, and trying to cook healthy foods the rest of the family will eat… well, need I say more?


Weight loss is a psychological challenge, in fact, if you can understand the emotional and mental rationale of your eating habits, you are more likely to lose weight and successfully maintain it. It’s all very well knowing how many calories are in a cream bun but that doesn’t diminish the craving to eat it! Knowing what a healthy diet is, is one thing; following a healthy diet is another kettle of fish.


So how do you get past these barriers?

  • Keep a food diary. See if you can make connections between high calorie/fatty/sugary foods eaten and how you were feeling or the time of day. Figuring out why you ate something and removing what created the craving is more effective than using will power to stop eating it.
  • Plan ahead. So many poor food choices are made because it is left to chance. Make a shopping list, buy healthy foods, avoid the biscuit/cake/chocolate aisles and pre-prepare meals if possible.
  • Out of sight out of mind. Not having ‘problem’ foods in the house removes temptation; for snacks in the house, keep them in a place you don’t use often. Seeing your favorite foods every time you open the cupboard or fridge is not going to help.


Help yourself (but not to another biscuit!) by thinking about why you make certain food choices, setting small but achievable goals, and making small changes in your eating habits. Remember, small steps in the right direction are better than thinking you have to run a marathon and never starting it!


If you need help, support or motivation to lose weight, why not book a weight loss appointment with Sara, or get a copy of the 5-star rated ‘Weight Loss – The Essential Guide’ – guaranteed to help you achieve your weight loss goal.

Sara Kirkham is a qualified nutritionist and published author with a BSc. (Honours) in Nutritional Medicine, and practices nutritional therapy at the Newquay Chiropractic Clinic. Call 07919 110440 for further information.


Back Pain- Are you loving yourself enough? Do you need to be more selfish? Roseland Online article 2

Hi again! As this is my first practice related story I thought I would bring up the subject of who looks after us with regards to back pain, whether lower, middle or upper back pain. Also I would like to pose the question of how many pills cure a back pain? Do we follow that add on telly saying ‘just pop in and we’ll scale your pain and marry up some drugs for you to merrily go on your way!’….can anyone sense my frustration in these adds yet??


Looking after ourselves is about being a little selfish, or in some instances (and more often than you can imagine), loving ourselves enough in order to put ourselves first so that this wonderful body of ours is managed properly with the right ingredients, food, thought, exercise and rest. It does take a little discipline to put everyone else off for a little while in order to do those strength exercises, cook a healthier meal rather than a quick fix dinner, read around how to improve our mind, join a class of some physical benefit or meditate. Whatever suits!


The typical case I see and love is the person who arrives who is totally at their whit’s end, depressed (often on antidepressants), in pain physically and doesn’t know where to turn. They are either over worked due to a burning desire to achieve beyond their tolerance or they have so many tasks that they simply come last and end up totally burnt out. The typical person is the mum, the professional person or the grandparents! Is this similar to the outcome in your life?


Today I saw a lady in her 30’s I’ll call Mrs Y. I’ve called her Mrs Y because you might ask why she got herself in this mess but if you know this character trait you will believe everything is out of your control and it just happens. Like juggling a too many balls and someone toss’s you another! Somewhere something has to give. In her case she was all the above, depressed, in pain in her lower back, chest and neck and couldn’t stand being touched for fear of pain. A professional woman with a character to take on anything in the sales world. Examining her showed she had a short leg she was not aware of causing a lifelong distortion in her pelvis and spine, a food sensitivity to her most common daily food wheat and gluten (also found in oats) which would link potentially to brain chemistry and depression, poor absorption of minerals and vitamins, poor blood sugar balance leading to exhaustion and finally changes in her hormone balance due to the crossover between blood sugars and hormones released. Consequently her periods were irregular.


The solution? 2 pills? 20 pills? Relatively simple but not immediate. I gave her one month to avoid ALL wheat and gluten, put a heel lift in her shoe and manipulated both softly and moderately the joints that had been misaligned for years. A plan for further care was made along with confirmation that she was seeing a councilor to resolve historical issues that drove her beyond her tolerance into burnout. Various therapies I use from chiropractic to cranio-sacral will be used and I am anticipating a great journey for this lady to a place where she has changed her life and is off antidepressants, enjoys abundant energy, beams with health and probably suffers manageable minor pains but one tenth of what she is experiencing now. Odd visits to us during the year as an ‘MOT’ will keep things rolling and keep her on track with her wish (similar to a dentist check up). This will be entirely relative to her discipline in the programme but one hell of a change to be involved in as a chiropractor. A life turned around.


The alternative? For her to take pain killers given by a high street pharmacy or GP, akin to covering up the red light on the car dash and keeping on driving. A sure fire way to an early demise, more pain, more depression and further misunderstanding of the subtle communication between ourselves and our body which we only get once we start the journey of self repair, self management and optimization. And why not? Its just prioritizing a bit of time for ourselves, it’s not selfish but rather respecting what has been given to us and loving ourselves more!


So who looks after us, when and where do you go? That’s where a good chiropractor comes in so why not give one a try? You just call up, book an appointment and the journey begins…

Health is our greatest wealth-Roseland Online article 1

Hello, I’d like to introduce myself to all of you on this growing website of Roseland Online. Thanks to Mark for the invitation to share my beliefs with you on health and wellbeing which are both a passion to me and a job…how lucky am I?! I am a chiropractor with clinics in Truro (Kernow Chiropractic Clinic) and Newquay (Newquay Chiropractic Clinic) and those names reflect a love for ‘proper’ Cornwall and also the opportunity to mix surfing into everyday life…well, a bit less now I have a trio of kids!

Our present health to me is the perfect expression of how we have stimulated our bodies, i.e. the health we are experiencing right now is relative to what we have ‘put in’ causing the body to naturally and perfectly respond. So bad stuff in means bad stuff out and visa versa. Nature simply works according to how we look after ourselves! Present day science is unravelling such wonders about how our genes are influenced by the foods we eat and even the emotions we experience so that means the health we presently enjoy, or the lack of, is often down to our actions. If you have ever got fitter in spring after a winter of chocolate and ever increasing belt sizes you’ll know what I mean when your body starts to feel lighter, more energised and more rewarding like you’ve shed the old you and ‘voilà’ some how life feels that bit sweeter when you walk up a flight of steps and feel you could do that twice…or even run it! Age is less of an anxiety when you see a muscle in places where there haven’t been any! Ultimately we are a use it or lose it machine and with nature balancing us precisely to how we feed ourselves both nutritionally, mentally and physically, so the wealth in our health pays dividends to our sense of wellness, confidence and self belief if we get that balance right. You only have to look at a book store ‘Health’ section to realise how much is written about self improvement.

As a chiropractor my profession treats the poor movement in the spine which creates problems such as back pain, sciatica, neck pain and headache, but extends to arthritis in the injured or elderly, growing pains in kids and colic in infants. Having a sound medical-like training in chiropractic allows us to run clinics where people can walk off the street with any physical ailment, we can diagnose and offer advice, sometimes with X-rays, and treat there and then, gives us a lot of scope beyond drugs and standard NHS physiotherapy. As the spine is the switchboard to the body this interface has resounding implications on nerve function when spinal movement goes wrong through injury and chiropractic care influences both bone muscle and nerve in its treatment, often seen as that ‘sense of wellbeing’ patients describe along with resolution of their physical pain.

Being interested in the art of this work as equally as the science I have been on courses where further integration of our general wellbeing has been shown to me such as how emotions are carried in our injuries, how teeth upset the balance of our whole body leading the average therapist to chase (and charge!!) after your symptoms on often too frequent a basis. This bringing together of ways of treating the body effectively, often immediately and most important naturally is what we all want from health care now and in the future, and that is why I believe we see an 80% referral rate at the clinics from patients who have used our services due to this sense of direct action, positive outcome and clear patient involvement. Sometimes the journey can take long but each step is exciting as that daily pain diminishes, or we find out about how our body works through the explanations given and hope starts to rise.

I also realise more and more that no one person knows everything and for this reason have personally chosen other therapies that align with chiropractic to work from the clinics. So referral for massage if the condition is more muscle related, acupuncture, kinesiology or nutritional therapy for weight loss, diabetes or heart disease management becomes more apt. Outside referrals for physiotherapy, GP or counselling services are also used as I have had the pleasure to work with a large network of effective therapists who are all on my mobile phone to text your details or call to ask about your case or inform them of particular issues that may need more direct explanation. All of this is done discreetly, in confidentiality and only once your consent is given.

So I hope this is a great start to springboard into future topics the clinics have success with on a daily basis and if I am talking to the converted then any stories about back pain recovery through chiropractic would be greatly appreciated for my next article where I will share some of the wonders of this body of ours through the hands of a chiropractor.

May you be blessed with action to trigger your best health!
Michael Noone

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