We investigated the effects of hot spring water drinking in Kawayu on blood glucose levels and insulin secretions. Kawayu hot spring water is characterized “acid alum vitriol hydrogensulfide” with a pH of 1.98. First, a glucose tolerance test (GTT) was performed on eight non-diabetic people and nine diabetic patients after drinking of tap water or Kawayu hot spring water at a one-week interval. Plasma glucose levels after pre-drinking spring water showed significantly (p=0.05) decreasing compared with those after pre-drinking tap water. Serum immunoreactive insulin (IRI) levels after predrinking hot spring water were tend to be higher at the early phase of GTT than those after pre-drinking tap water. And, we confirmed the correlation between the total decreasing of blood glucose levels and the reactions of insulin secretion at early phase of GTT after spring water drinking. Second, GTT was performed on seven diabetic patients before and after four-week drinking of Kawayu hot spring water. The results showed that hemoglobin A1c levels and total cholesterol levels ware decreased significantly (p<0.05). Total blood glucose levels of tested GTT were, however, almost similar before and after drinking treatment. These findings suggest that drinking of Kawayu hot spring water is beneficial for diabetic patients.
Spa could have direct effects for physical and mental health but also non-daily pleasure with a visit to spa itself and surroundings. Therefore, the visit should be strongly related with quality of life (QOL) as well as general health status. First of all, this study was conducted to clarify these relationships. Secondly, the QOL was investigated as a confounding factor to health effects of spa. Subjects of this study are about all 6, 000 citizens older than 40 years of age living in Japanese J-town. Self-administrated questionnaires were distributed to the subjects at once and collected for the analysis (Response rate; 94.5%). With regard to the spa visit, (1) no visit at all recently in two or three years, (2) once a year, (3) twice or three times a year and (4) once a month, (5) twice or three times a month were classified. With regard to QOL (Quality of Life), a questionnaire of WHO-QOL was used. The present study demonstrated the visitors to spa have significantly higher WHO-QOL for each subcategory; physical health, psychological status, social relationship, and environment status compared with non-visitors. Therefore, the visitors have had higher total scores of WHO-QOL compared with non-visters. With regard to past history of fracture, the visitors have had significantly lower it's prevalence compared with non-visitors. However, the significance of prevalence was cancelled in adjusting the WHO-QOL. WHO-QOL relating to the frequency of spa visit as well as the prevalence of fracture was identified as a confounding factor to health effects of spa.
Purpose It has been reported that the excretion of urinary uric acid is increased by the ingestion of bicarbonated salt spring water or bathing in radioactive spring water. Furthermore, uric acid is considered to play an important role in diminishing oxidative stresses. We therefore investigated the influence of bathing water on the excretion of uric acid from the aspect of urinary oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). Methods 1. Nine volunteers (three males and six females) aged 22 to 26 were divided into three bathing groups: in sulphur spring water, in bicarbonated salt spring water, and in tap water. Urine specimens were taken six times from 0600 to 1600 while repeating bathing and taking meals alternatively at intervals of 2 hours. ORP, pH, and the concentrations of uric acid and creatinine in urine specimens were measured. 2. ORP, pH, and the concentrations of uric acid and creatinine were measured in the urine specimens taken from the seven subjects in the bicarbonated salt spring and sulphur spring bathing groups early in the morning everyday during the stay at the spa. In addition, serum uric acid levels were measured at the beginning and the end of the stay. Results 1. The average ORP was 527mV in tap water, 407mV in bicarbonated salt spring, and 145mV in sulphur spring bathing. The urinary ORP increased obviously after bathing in tap water and decreased after bathing in sulfur spring water. The average urinary ORP was 257mV after bathing in tap water, 220mV after bathing in bicarbonated salt spring water, and 216mV after bathing in sulfur spring water. Urinary uric acid/creatinine ratio showed a significant and negative correlation with urinary ORP in all three kinds of water. Urinary pH after bathing varied randomly. Urinary uric acid/creatinine ratio exhibited a significant positive correlation with the urinary pH in all three kinds of water. 2. While serum uric acid elevated after a short stay at the spa of less than 10 days, it decreased after a long stay of more than 2 weeks. Discussion and Conclusions Urinary ORP immediately reflected the ORP of bathing water. The urinary uric acid/creatinine ratio possessed a negative correlation with urinary ORP. Because the ORP of spring water is commonly lower than that of tap water, bathing in spring water may increase the excretion of uric acid and as a result, may lower the serum uric acid levels after the long stay at the spa. The urinary uric acid/creatinine ratio exhibited a significant positive correlation with urinary pH. The results suggest that if the urinary pH gradually becomes alkaline after a long period of ingestion of alkaline spring water, the excretion of uric acid will be promoted, resulting in a lowered serum uric acid.
We investigated the difference between muscle-EAT and nerve-EAT basically and clinically. A basic study was performed on healthy adult males. The skin blood flow, deep-tissue temperature, deep hemodynamics, heart rate, and deep-pain threshold were adopted as indexes, and they were compared for a total of three groups: the muscle stimulation-EA group, nerve stimulation-EA group and control group (no stimulation). An acupuncture needle was inserted into the gastrocnemius muscle for muscle stimulation-EA and another needle into the tibial nerve in the femoral region for nerve stimulation-EA. Electric current was then applied at 1Hz for 15 minutes after the flexibility of the foot joint was conformed. Each index was measured after it became stable and was recorded from 10 minutes before starting stimulation until 20 minutes after ending stimulation. A clinical study was performed on 41 patients with cervical radiculopathy. Muscle-EAT was applied to the patients as the first choice. Cases graded five points or less in pain score (10-point method) after one month were included in the muscle-EAT group. Cases graded six points or more were subjected to nerve-EAT and were included in the nerve-EAT group. The therapeutic results in these two groups were examined for a period of three months at intervals of one month based on the pain score and the evaluation criteria for the results of treatment of cervical radiculopathy. As a result, we found that the skin blood flow significantly increased on the stimulated side in both the muscle stimulation-EA and nerve stimulation-EA group. The increase was greater in the nerve stimulation group than in the muscle stimulation group. The deep-tissue temperature rose significantly on the stimulated side in the nerve stimulation-EA group. Regarding the deep hemodynamics, deoxy Hb decreased significantly in the nerve stimulation-EA group. No difference was found in heart rate between the two groups. The deep-pain threshold was significantly raised by nerve stimulation. Patients with cervical radiculopathy who did not respond to continuous muscle-EAT for one month were subjected to nerve-EAT. After three months (two months after changing to nerve-EAT), similar improvements were found in both groups. Significant improvement of paresthesia was obtained with nerve-EAT. These results suggested that the nerve-EAT influences the peripheral circulation and the deep pain threshold more effectively, enhancing the clinical efficacy.