Accessibility View Close toolbar

30 Philadelphia Drive Suite A

Chico, CA 95973 US


Open mobile navigation

Fruits and Vegetables

Nutritional Research Update

Fruits and Vegetables

By Larry E. Masula, DC Board Qualified Chiropractic Neurologist and Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN

Americans are not getting the message. Only 20 percent of the population consumes five servings per day.1

Diabetes. In a study of adult-onset diabetic patients (average age 64 years) who suffered from systemic distal polyneuropathy, the patients were placed on a low-fat, vegetarian diet (no animal products and no more than 15 percent fat).

Eighty percent had a complete resolution of polyneuropathic pain along with weight loss, decrease in triglycerides of 23 percent, and a decrease in cholesterol of 15 percent after only two weeks on the diet. Half of the patients also were able to reduce the amount of insulin they needed. In a follow-up study, the patients who maintained the diet continued to be free of neuropathy. This study really drives home how important fruits and vegetables are for patients who are sick.2

Fruits and vegetables also protect against stroke with the incidence of stroke decreasing as the amount of servings of fruits and vegetables increases. In a recent study it was found that people who consumed over eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day had a significantly lower risk of stroke (30 percent) than those who ate the recommended five servings. In turn, people who ate five servings a day of fruits and vegetables had 40 percent fewer strokes than people who ate from zero to two servings.3

Those patients who are strict vegetarians should be aware of possible B12 deficiency. Signs and symptoms include symmetrical paresthesias in the toes, feet, hands, and fingers. Patients will typically complain of tingling, burning, numbness, stiffness, and weakness, along with tight, band-like sensations that can involve other extremity joints including the knees, ankles, wrists, and elbows. Symptoms can manifest as memory loss, mood swings, and paranoia.

In a recent study, 47 of 78 adult vegetarians had low vitamin B12 levels. Furthermore, when people change from a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet to a vegan diet, their B12 levels dropped another 35 percent. Finally, when they gave oral B12 supplements (150 mcg) to the patients, those who chewed their vitamin B12 had higher serum levels than those who swallowed their vitamin B12.4 I do not know what brand of B12 was used in this study. I do know that many of the companies that service our industry have oral B12 that is highly absorbable whether it is swallowed, given sublingually, or chewed.

Preventing Bone Loss There was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, two-year study on 59 postmenopausal women. They were divided into four groups and given either (1) placebo, (2) 15 mg of zinc, 5 mg of manganese, and 2.5 mg of copper, (3) 1000 mg of elemental calcium, or (4) 1000 mg of calcium plus the trace minerals zinc, manganese, and copper. Bone loss was calculated at L2 and L4. At the end of the study the placebo group had a 3.53 percent loss of bone density. The trace mineral group had a 1.89 percent loss of bone density. The calcium group had a 1.25 percent loss of bone density.5 The calcium and trace mineral group had a 1.48 percent GAIN in bone density. This is very impressive by itself and even more impressive when one considers that patients did not receive any magnesium, boron, vitamin D, or other "bone friendly" nutrients. Supplementation can make a difference in preventing slowing or reducing bone loss. It is never too late to start. If you have a choice, I recommend women begin a bone-building program in their early teenage years.

Circadian Calcium In a very interesting study, when women were given 1,000 mg of calcium citrate at bedtime or in the morning, it was found that supplementation altered the circadian increase in parathyroid hormone.6 Parathyroid hormone increases bone resorption. By taking calcium at bedtime, bone resorption was reduced.

It will be interesting to see if this finding can be reproduced. In the meantime, what we do know is that calcium anytime is better than no calcium, and calcium with minerals is healthier than calcium alone.

Osteoarthritis and B Vitamins Twenty-six patients with osteoarthritis for at least five years under the care of rheumatologists were given either lactose or folic acid and vitamin B12. All the groups used acetaminophen for pain control. But, only the group who took B12 (20 mcg) with folic acid (6.4 gm or 6400 mcg) reported a reduction in the number of tender joints with increased grip strength equivalent to what nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories produced without NSAID side effects. We have all learned that folic acid and B12 work well together. It is amazing that such a small amount of B12 could make such a big difference, especially when the amount of folic acid given was significant. I wonder what would have happened if vitamin B6 would have been added to this mixture. Finally, anyone who reads this column or keeps up with nutrition at all realizes that there are many ways to nutritionally help patients with arthritis. Those of you who ignore the nutritional component of arthritis management are doing yourselves and your patients a disservice.7 Note: patients were taking acetaminophen in this study and this substance can build up and cause liver problems. The antidote for acetaminophen poisoning is N-acetylcysteine, which can be purchased from many of the nutrition companies that supply our industry, or in some health food stores.


  1. Serdula, M. Fruit and vegetable intake among adults in 16 states: Results of a brief telephone survey. American Journal of Public Health. February 1995. 85(2):236-239.
  2. Crane & Sample. Regression of diabetic neuropathy and total vegetarian (vegan) diets. Journal of Nutritional Medicine. 1994. 4:431-436.
  3. Gillman. A protective effect of fruits and vegetables on the development of stroke in men. JAMA. April 12, 1995. 273(14):1113-1117.
  4. Crane. Vitamin B12 studies in total vegetarians. Journal of Nutritional Medicine. 1994. 4:419-430.
  5. Strause & Saltman. Spinal bone loss in postmenopausal women supplemented with calcium and trace minerals. Journal of Nutrition. 1994. 124:1060-1064.
  6. Blumsohn et al. The effect of calcium supplementation on the circadian rhythm of bone resorption. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 1994. 79(3), 730-735.
  7. Flynn et al. The effect of folate and cobalamin on osteoarthritic hands. Journal of theAmerican College of Nutrition. 1994. 13(4), 351-356.

Call Today!

Discover what chiropractic wellness can do for you! Sign-up using the form or call us at 530-342-6441 to learn more about us.

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule


8:30am - 12pm



8:30am - 12pm



8:30am - 12pm

2pm - 6:00pm


8:30am - 12pm

2pm - 6:00pm


8:30am - 12pm









Find us on the map


  • "I had terrible back problems for many, many years. I was going to the chiropractor 2 or 3 times a week. I changed to Masula Chiropractic and soon after he got his decompression machine. I went throught the series of decompression treatments and my back has NEVER been better! I just can't tell you how much better it is! It's unbelievable! It REALLY worked for me and hopefully it works for anybody else that tries it. Thank you Masula Chiropractic!"
    ~Lynn S.~

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • Back to School and Mental Wellness

    Summer is a subjectively fleeting season and school days are upon us once again. For children, this bittersweet time marks the completion of a period of relative freedom and the beginning of a new set of responsibilities. For adults, the onset of late summer and early fall signals yet another turn of ...

    Read More
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries

    A repetitive motion injury (or overuse injury) involves doing an action over and over again, as with a baseball pitcher throwing a baseball, a tennis player hitting a tennis ball, typing at a computer keyboard, and most notoriously, typing with your thumbs on the tiny keypad of your phone. It may be ...

    Read More
  • Left-Handers Day

    Left-Handers Day Left-Handers Day, celebrated on August 15th, was launched in 1992 by the Left-Handers Club, an organization based in the United Kingdom. Since then, Left-Handers Day has become a worldwide event and social media phenomenon. Around the world, approximately one in ten persons is left-handed. ...

    Read More
  • Peak Experiences

    Peak Experiences The American philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau roamed far and wide over the hills and mountains of his native Massachusetts and neighboring New Hampshire. In his masterwork, "Walden," Thoreau famously stated that we must "reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical ...

    Read More
  • Dynamic Warm-ups

    In a common occurrence, you bend over to pick up the pencil you inadvertently dropped on the floor. Or you bend over to pick up the soap bar that has slipped through your fingers in the shower. Or you bend over to lift a bag of groceries out of your automobile trunk. These are all daily events. But on ...

    Read More
  • Summer Sports

    Summer Sports In the summertime, everyone's thoughts turn to the outdoors. We want to get out in the sun and have some fun. Some people do exercise outdoors, such as running, walking, and biking, all year long regardless of the weather.1 For others, summer's warmer temperatures make activity outside ...

    Read More
  • Wellness Gardens

    Wellness Gardens When time is spent in an office or indoors day in and day out, some can lose that connection to the outside world. And that loss of connection can lead to higher stress levels and more health ailments without even realizing it. But when that the gap between office life and outdoor life ...

    Read More
  • Smart Shoulders

    Our shoulder joints have the greatest range of motion of any of the musculoskeletal joints in our bodies. The shoulder joint is really two joints, the glenohumeral joint between the arm bone (humerus) and the shoulder blade (scapula) and the acromioclavicular joint between the acromion (a bony projection off the scapula) and the collarbone (clavicle). The glenohumeral joint is a ball-and-socket joint and the acromioclavicular joint is a gliding joint. ...

    Read More
  • A Book and Its Cover

    A book cover may not necessarily tell the whole story and may not accurately portray the nature of the contents within. Publishing companies pay high salaries to their marketing staff to create cover copy that will entice prospective buyers to make a purchase. But many times the book itself does not ...

    Read More
  • When Your Spine Is In Line

    Good spinal alignment means good biomechanical health. Essentially, your spine is the biomechanical center of your body. Your legs are connected to your spine via two large and strong pelvic bones. Your arms are connected to your spine via your shoulder blades, ribs, and numerous strong muscles and ligaments. ...

    Read More

Newsletter Sign Up