Dr. Mark Stengler's BestHealth Nutritionals

Nutritional Supplements and natural formulas from Dr. Mark Stengler, NMD

Unlock the benefits of exercise in just 3 minutes

A three-minute workout that really works

Think “exercise” means spending painful hours in the gym?

Think again!

Think “exercise” means spending painful hours in the gym?

Think again!

The latest research shows you can get major improvements in your fitness and slash your heart risk at the same time.

And you can do it in just THREE MINUTES!

You don’t need a gym. You don’t need “workout clothes.” You don’t even need a single piece of equipment.

All you need is a staircase, because the new study finds that one of the best “workouts” you can get is climbing up and down those stairs for very short periods of time.

The workouts in the study were so simple anyone could do them: Climb up and down the stairs for 60 seconds. Rest for about a minute. Then do it again. Rest another minute, then hit the stairs one more time.

That’s it, you’re done.


You don’t have to do it every day. In the new study, the women who took part repeated the workouts just three times a week.

With a short warm-up and cool-down, each session lasted only 10 minutes — but just three of those minutes were spent doing the actual “exercise.”

You’d think there wouldn’t be much benefit to that.

After all, how much of a workout can your body get in nine minutes per week?

Turns out, quite a bit — because after six weeks, these women had major improvements in their overall cardiorespiratory fitness.

That’s a key measure of cardiovascular health.

The better it gets, the better your heart health. And the better your heart health, the lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack and heart failure.

And you can enjoy that in just THREE MINUTES of climbing stairs!

There is a catch here. There’s always a catch, right?

You can’t just leisurely stroll up or down the steps like you might in the department store.

You need to put a little effort into it, like you’re in a department store on sale day.

Don’t go crazy and risk hurting yourself. The last thing I want is for you to fall on that staircase.

But push yourself a little. It might be tough, but you’re only doing it for a minute at a time.

If that’s all you do, you’re already doing more exercise than the average American — and, as the new study shows, you’ll enjoy big benefits, too.

But why stop there?

To maximize your health, spend a little time active and on your feet every day — because daily movement is the best way to protect your heart, slash your risk of stroke, prevent cancer and even cut your dementia risk.

And you can do it one step at a time.

Acupuncture works for pain and depression

Stunning new study backs drug-free pain relief

It sounds too good to be true.

But in this case, it IS true, because new research proves there’s a single therapy that can beat pain in the knees, back and neck… migraines… and even depression.

And it’s NOT a drug.

Acupuncture has been used for centuries in China for those very same conditions and more. Ask anyone over there, and they take it as given that it works.

Here in the United States, docs don’t seem to believe in anything that doesn’t come in a pill — so even though modern studies back what the Chinese knew ages ago, it still hasn’t gained mainstream acceptance.

But the new analysis of 29 clinical trials could help to change that, showing how this time-tested therapy can help fight some of the most common forms of pain out there, especially for seniors.

Take osteoarthritis, for example.

Between 30 million and 50 million Americans have at least some form of this pain condition, especially in the knees — and many find themselves in so much agony they face physical limitations.

Even if they want to go out, they often can’t.

They’re in too much pain. And when they do make it out, they often regret it and have to gobble painkillers later on to deal with the agony.

Acupuncture can change that.

The study finds it can cut pain, improve mobility, reduce disability, and help slash the number of times you’ll need to pop those pain pills.

And that’s not all.

The same study finds it can also help ease back and neck pain.

And for migraine patients, acupuncture helps to both reduce the overall number of headaches and ease pain during attacks.

I do have one bone to pick with this study.

It looked at acupuncture when combined with “conventional” treatment, which in most cases means drugs. It found that adding acupuncture offers far more pain relief than you’d get from the drugs alone.

But I wish they had looked at acupuncture on its own, or combined with other natural pain-fighters such as topical MSM instead.

I think they’d find that in many cases, patients can skip the meds completely or at least cut back.

Along with pain, the researchers also looked at the effects of acupuncture on depression — and for this, they conducted their own study, comparing acupuncture and counseling to medication.

They found that acupuncture and counseling not only worked, but they worked so well that the benefits lasted for a full year AFTER the treatment ended.

That’s incredible. But I’m not surprised; I have an acupuncturist on my staff here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine and I see results like this all the time.

And if you’re battling pain or depression and haven’t gotten anywhere with conventional treatments, maybe it’s time to see those results for yourself.

Sleep apnea linked to cognitive decline

How sleep problems can lead to dementia

The biggest health problems are usually the ones we never knew we even had.

You might be aware — constantly — of arthritis, thanks to that ever-present knee pain.

But that’s nothing next to the damage that could be quietly unfolding inside your brain, and as it’s happening, you don’t feel a thing.

Not at first, anyway.

By the time you notice anything wrong, you could already be slipping into cognitive decline. And by then, it could be too late to stop it.

Now, the latest research shows one warning sign you can look for right now — a symptom that could mark your risk for cognitive decline years before you actually notice yourself slipping.

And it begins… with a YAWN!

You might THINK you’re getting the sleep you need each night. But if you find yourself a little drowsy at all the wrong times… or you really need a cup of coffee after lunch… it could be a sign that your sleep isn’t as good as you think it is.

More specifically, it could be a warning sign of sleep apnea, a condition where you briefly stop breathing in the night, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of times per night.

The new study in Neurology finds that cognitively healthy seniors are much less likely to have apnea or any other nighttime breathing troubles.

Seniors battling cognitive problems, on the other hand, are more likely to have apnea.

The study doesn’t prove that apnea causes cognitive decline, but it certainly finds a link — and it fits in with basic human biology.

Your brain is only 2 percent of your body weight — maybe less — but it sucks up as much as 25 percent of the oxygen flowing in your blood.

You could hold your breath briefly right now and it won’t matter much. But if it happens repeatedly — as it does with apnea — you’ll have less oxygen to go around inside your body.

And that means less oxygen for your brain.

Over a few nights, it might not do any lasting damage.

But over years, it could slowly turn down the power where you need it most and set the stage for cognitive decline.

So, watch for those yawns. If you’re tired when you shouldn’t be, or wake up groggy after what should’ve been a full night of sleep, you could have apnea.

Other common warning signs include headaches and sore throats, especially in the morning.

A doctor can confirm it with a night in a sleep lab. But if you even suspect you have the condition, there’s an easy solution: Lose some weight.

Apnea is almost always caused by excess weight, and is often eased or even cured by dropping a few pounds.

Alzheimer’s damage slowed with grapes

A grape way to fight Alzheimer’s

You never know where the next great “medical miracle” will come from — because sometimes, the CURES for today’s most tragic diseases are found in the humblest of places.

Take the latest research on Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most devastating conditions facing older Americans.

The drug industry has spent billions trying to cook up a cure; and so far, they’ve come up empty.

But a new study finds one incredibly simple way to block this disease, especially if you start early: All you have to do is stock up on grapes.

Make them your daily snack, because over six months they can actually STOP the earliest damage of Alzheimer’s in the brain itself and even ENHANCE certain parts of your cognitive function.

The new study finds that grapes — yes, plain old grapes — can block the metabolic decline that slams the brain as the disease starts to take hold.

Good? Hold on, because this gets even BETTER. Those same grapes also can BOOST other parts of the brain affected by the disease.

The study included a placebo, but the folks who took it didn’t see any improvement. Just the opposite: Their gray matter practically melted away, according to scans.

Now, it’s one thing to see changes on bunch of brain scans, but it’s quite another to see improvements out in the real world.

Once again, it’s grapes to the rescue.

The folks who got the supplements had boosts in both attention and that all-important working memory so essential to your overall cognitive function.

Obviously, we need to see more research before we get too excited over this. But the early word is clearly encouraging — even exciting.

And if you’re at risk, there’s no harm in boosting your intake of these great grape nutrients.

The jury might still be out on their brain benefits, but we know they can help protect the heart, improve circulation, and fight the damage of oxidative stress.

The only downside to the new study is that you’ve got to eat A LOT of grapes to see these results, as the amounts used were equal to 2.5 cups per day, or nearly a pound of grapes daily.

That’s a lot for anyone, so the study actually used a powdered form to make it easier — but there were no magic ingredients.

It was literally powdered grape.

You can find similar supplements easily yourself, or you can consider an antioxidant blend that combines the best of the nutrients found in grapes — including age-fighting resveratrol — with other essential vitamins.

Heart failure getting worse

Your TRUE risk of heart failure

Don’t have heart failure? Don’t rest too easy.

We might be making a lot of progress in the fight against killer diseases, helping the folks who have them to live longer and better than ever.

Even cancer is no longer the killer it was back when folks wouldn’t even say the “c word” aloud out of fear.

But heart failure is another story.

It’s NOT getting better — and, in many ways, it’s getting WORSE!

Two new studies show what we’re up against, and it’s not a pretty picture — because this disease is about to reach epidemic proportions.

The first study finds the number of heart failure cases are rapidly growing, jumping by 800,000 over the past five years — and by 2030, that number’s expected to shoot up by another 46 percent.

That means plenty of new patients will be learning they have heart failure. And they’re also going to learn something else: There’s not a lot that mainstream medicine can do to help.

The second study finds the survival rate for heart failure hasn’t changed in nearly two decades!

Since 1998, 80 percent of folks diagnosed with this disease have made it through their first year.

But by the second year, nearly half are dead. And within 10 years, less than 30 percent of heart failure patients are still alive.

In other words, the “latest and greatest” treatments haven’t done a thing to improve survival.

That’s some pretty grim news… for most folks.

It’s grim for them because they don’t know what they’re up against.

But not you.

You’ve got me in your corner, and I’ve got three common-sense steps you can take right now that will practically guarantee that you never develop heart failure or face the risks that come with it.

STEP 1: Quit the sandwiches. The chemicals and preservatives in lunchmeats are so deadly that just two and a half ounces per day — roughly five slices of ham — will increase your risk of heart failure by 28 percent.

STEP 2: Say goodbye to sugar. The sweet stuff isn’t so sweet for your ticker, and the most common source of sugar — soda — can lead to heart failure. Just two glasses per day will boost the risk by 23 percent.

STEP 3: Get moving. You don’t need to join a gym. Just get out and on your feet each day, because 60 minutes of moderate activity — even a brisk walk — will cut the risk of heart failure almost in half.

If you already have heart failure, it’s not too late — because coenzyme Q10 supplements can improve the flow of blood to the heart, and vitamin D will help improve the flow pumping out.

Combine those nutrients with the same steps above that could have helped prevent heart failure in the first place, and you can beat the statistics and survive this disease.

Alzheimer’s disease linked to pollution

Dementia… in the AIR?

In some parts of the country, it’s so common that you start to get used to it — and that includes my neighbors up in Los Angeles.

It’s those dull gray skies.

It’s not fog. It’s smog.

Don’t get too used to it, my friend, because new research shows how one of the most common air pollutants… one inhaled every single day by nearly half the nation… can wreck your brain and set the stage for dementia.

It’s a form of particulate matter known as PM2.5, and it’s produced by everything from car exhaust to power plants.

Odds are, you have at least some amount of this poison in the air around you right now. For half the population, those levels are higher than what they should be — and, in some cases, MUCH higher.

Now, the new study shows just what it can do to your brain.

Experiments on mice found that PM2.5 damages the neurons in the all-important hippocampus, or the part of the brain where you keep many of your memories.

But this wasn’t just a study on mice.

They also looked at data on more than 3,600 older women living across 48 states to see the real-world effect of pollution on the brain and memory.

They found women living in cities with higher levels of PM2.5 have an 81 percent increased risk of global cognitive decline.

Even worse, they face nearly DOUBLE the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

These pollutants can get inside your brain, where your own internal defense system tries to boot them out.

One part of that process, of course, is inflammation.

And if you’re exposed to a little pollution every now and then, it might not matter much.

The junk will get chased out and the inflammation will fade.

But most folks are exposed daily, or almost daily, so the inflammation is constant — and chronic inflammation can cause the damage that leads to cognitive decline and dementia.

Particulate matter also contains trace levels of metals, which are absolutely toxic to your brain.

As scary as that is, you might think there’s nothing you can do about it.

You can’t clean the air, right?

In reality, there are three steps you can take to reduce your exposure and cut the risks that come with it.

First, keep an eye on air quality. In some areas with known pollution, they might tell you the levels during the weather reports. You can also check online on sites such as AirNow.gov.

When the pollution levels rise, stay inside as much as you can.

Second, use a quality air purifier with a HEPA filter at home. Don’t forget to clean or replace the filter regularly.

And third, use plenty of olive oil. Studies show it can fight the damage caused by pollution inside your body, especially in your arteries, and even reduce the inflammation triggered by pollutants.

Frailty linked to taking 5 meds or more

Multiple meds mean maximum risks

You’re not going to let age slow you down. You’ve got plans, and now you’ve finally got the time to see them through.

Maybe you want to travel… maybe you’re taking up new hobbies… or maybe you just want to kick back and do whatever strikes your fancy for a change.

But there’s one thing that can put a stop to all of it, fast.


The best-laid plans can come crashing down around you if you’re too weak to see them through — and new research shows exactly how it happens.

It’s not your age.

It’s not even a health problem.

It’s your meds!

The new study shows how common medications, when taken together, can make you slower… sicker… weaker… and eventually frail.

And the more of them you take, the higher those risks.

A third of all Americans over the age of 55 take five or more meds; and, according to the study, that common number will cause your risk of turning frail to jump by 50 percent over three years.

If you take 10 or more, that risk DOUBLES.

Bring frail won’t just force you to slow down and cancel your plans. It can also increase your risk of a fall — and because you’re weaker, you’re more likely to do some serious damage to yourself if you take a spill.

That can lead to disability, and in some cases even death.

And along with physical problems, frailty can lead to mental ones including confusion, delirium, and dementia.

Of course, the mainstream won’t always blame the meds. They’ll blame your age… or the conditions that led to the drugs.

But that’s simply not true, because you can EASILY end up on five or 10 meds these days, even if you’re generally healthy by most mainstream measures.

It happens fast: a statin, two blood pressure meds, a baby aspirin, and an antacid, and you’re already on five meds.

Other commonly-used drugs — especially among older folks — include painkillers, antibiotics, antidepressants, sleep aids, allergy meds, asthma drugs, and more.

Once a diagnosis like heart disease or diabetes enters the picture, the number shoots up even higher — with some folks taking 20 medications or more every day!

That means a higher risk of side effects, and a higher risk of interactions.

Next thing you know, you can practically feel the strength and energy leaving your body.

Truth is, most of those meds — even the ones that are supposed to “manage” a chronic disease — aren’t necessary. Some can be replaced with natural therapies or lifestyle changes, and some may not even be needed at all!

If you’re taking multiple meds, work closely with a holistic doctor who can help you figure out what you need… what you don’t… and what can be replaced.

And if you’re in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in the area? I’m also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

Back pain isn’t helped by NSAIDs

This common drug does NOTHING for back pain

If you’ve had those on-again, off-again battles with back pain, you know the score.

You’re never truly free of back pain.

The best you can hope for is to free yourself from it… FOR NOW.

At least, that’s what the mainstream will have you think — because the best they can do is give you some meds for the symptoms until the pain goes away on its own.

For now.

Then, when it comes back, it’s more meds and more waiting.

I’ve got something better, and I’ll share my secret in a moment.

First, the latest research shows why you’re never truly free of that pain if you rely on painkillers: They don’t work!

The study looked at 35 clinical trials involving some 6,000 patients and found that NSAID medications such as the wildly popular drug ibuprofen do absolutely zip for most of the people who take them.

In fact, FIVE out of SIX patients get no benefit at all!

Don’t be tempted by the idea that you might be the lucky winner — because even if you are that one out of six who gets relief, you could end up with something worse.

NSAIDs will boost your risk of dangerous intestinal problems such as stomach ulcers and internal bleeding.

This particular study focused on NSAIDs, but your other options for pain pills aren’t much better.

The same research team previously looked at acetaminophen — a.k.a. Tylenol — and found that drug also won’t help much. Same goes for opioid painkillers, which are only slightly better than a placebo but come with a risk of overdose, addiction, and death.

It might seem like you’ve got no place left to turn.

But I promised you something better, and I’ve got it.

I recommend a two-step approach to fight the immediate pain now, while attacking the cause so it doesn’t come back later.

First, for quick relief when pain comes on suddenly, try natural anti-inflammatories such as topical MSM. For relief of ongoing back problems, consider nondrug therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic, and cold laser.

And second, work with a doctor who can help figure out why you’re in so much pain in the first place. It could be something as simple as poor posture — especially if you spend a lot of time sitting — or as complex as an old undiagnosed injury.

Once you find and fix that problem, you’ll never have to worry about being pain free “for now.”

You’ll be pain free for good!

NSAIDs linked to heart attack

Meds can turn a winter cold into a cardiac emergency

Is there anything worse than the misery of yet another mid-winter respiratory infection?

It certainly doesn’t feel like it… not when you’re coughing up a lung… battling a fever… and trying to cope with what feels like pain in every muscle.

But there IS something far worse — and if you pop some painkillers to fight that fever or ease those aching muscles, you can get a firsthand lesson in what it is.

New research exposes another risk of common NSAID drugs, finding that taking them while battling the flu, a cold, or any other type of respiratory infection can increase your risk of a heart attack.

Pop them at home, and your risk of a heart attack more than triples.

And if you’re so sick that you’re hospitalized… and those drugs are given to you intravenously… your heart risk jumps by SEVEN TIMES.

Think you’re in the clear if you’re not sick?

Think again — because the study finds that even if you’re not battling any kind of respiratory infection, NSAIDs can STILL increase your heart risk by 50 percent.

Of course, respiratory infections — even without painkillers — can also take a toll on your ticker. An infection alone can cause your risk of a heart attack to jump by 2.7 times, according to the study out of Taiwan.

But overall, the risk is highest — by far — in folks who take the meds while battling an infection.

The researchers behind the new study are calling on docs to warn their patients of the risk, which is just common sense.

Most of them will no doubt ignore that warning, and others will simply tell their patients to switch from one bad med to another.

Instead of NSAIDs, they might recommend a drug such as acetaminophen, which comes with more than a few risks of its own.

It’s time to take a different approach.

There’s a safe way to fight respiratory infections and avoid all those risks, and it starts with that old cliché: The best OFFENSE is a good DEFENSE.

Right now, while you’re healthy, boost your immune system with natural infection fighters such as vitamin D and a quality probiotic supplement. In addition, I recommend 600 mg of N-acetylcysteine twice a day during winter to prevent flu, cold and other respiratory infections, including bronchitis.

If you happen to get sick, increase the dose to between 2,000 mg and 3,000 mg per day for up to a week and you’ll get better quicker.

I’m not done with the risks of painkillers yet.

Keep an eye on your inbox — because later today I’ll have some news you won’t believe.

Thyroid cancer doesn’t always need treatment

Thyroid ‘cancer’ ISN’T always cancer

Watch out!

Docs have been pushing a new “thyroid awareness” scam — and it’s one that could mess up your body’s hormone production for the rest of your life.

Reports across the media are warning Americans to look for the early-warning signs of thyroid cancer.

The “experts” are even urging folks to drink a glass of water while looking in the mirror, tipping your head back a little and watching for signs of lumps and bumps (just don’t be alarmed if you spot the Adam’s apple).

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that.

These lumps and bumps CAN be a sign of something wrong… and, sometimes, they DO need attention.

But that’s not what these doctors are all about.

Thyroid cancer has become the latest mainstream moneymaking scam. If you or your specialist spots a lump, they’ll want to pluck it out ASAP — and most patients are happy to let them do it.

After all, “thyroid cancer” certainly sounds scary.

It’s not as bad as it sounds.

TRUE cases of thyroid cancer of course need treatment, but studies increasingly show that most of the “tumors” and “nodules” detected these days are harmless.

One study last year in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine found that up to 80 percent of cases of “thyroid cancer” are over-diagnoses, especially in women.

According to mainstream guidelines, many of those cases shouldn’t have been called “cancer” at all — and they didn’t always need treatment, either.

So, the “cancers” are mostly harmless… but the treatments are another story.

The thyroid produces essential hormones needed for energy. You need it for heart, muscle, and even just your basic metabolism.

Once your thyroid is gone, it’s gone.

You don’t have those hormones anymore, so you’ll need to take medication
— and deal with the side effects — for the rest of your life.

That’s why if you spot something wrong with your thyroid, it’s important to be careful and get multiple opinions.

In many cases, you may not need aggressive treatment at all.

If there’s a lump that needs to come out, the best option is often a simple procedure to remove what’s known as the “capsule” — a pack of fibrous tissue in the thyroid that can look like cancer — while leaving most of the thyroid completely intact.

Ironically, the same docs over-treating thyroid “cancer” are ignoring another far more common problem — and that’s a thyroid so overworked that it’s practically burning out.

If you find you have problems with energy, and seem to gain weight for no reason, speak to a holistic medical doctor about natural options for thyroid support.

And if you’re here in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in the area? I’m also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

And don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook!

Heart surgery risks cut with vitamin C

Don’t have heart surgery without this!

It’s Valentine’s Day, so let me speak from the heart… about your heart.

Surgery on the heart today is far safer than it was years ago — but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security.

Even the “routine” operations your surgeon will claim he can do blindfolded are serious business, because ANY surgery on the heart comes with very real risks.

But new research reveals a simple, inexpensive, and 100 percent natural way to come through that operation with flying colors and slash the risk of one of the most serious complications.

All you need… is vitamin C!

Taking this powerful antioxidant after surgery can prevent atrial fibrillation, or AFib — a condition that causes your heart to beat wildly out of rhythm.

It’s not just frightening.

It’s downright DEADLY, increasing your risk of a stroke by as much as 500 percent.

Nearly a third of heart patients develop AFib after surgery, and some studies place that risk even higher.

But you can avoid it completely… if you just work with a doctor on raising your C intake after surgery.

There are two main ways to get this stuff.

One you already know about, and that’s the same ordinary vitamin C capsules you probably turn to for an immune boost during cold season or any time you feel yourself lagging.

These basic pennies-a-day supplements can slash your risk of atrial fibrillation after heart surgery by a stunning 73 percent, according to the new study.

There’s another way to get even higher levels of C more quickly and more effectively. It’s intravenous C; and while it’s generally superior for treating conditions such as cancer and infection, the new study finds it’s not quite as good as capsules after your heart surgery.

But it’s still pretty impressive, with IVC cutting the risk of atrial fibrillation by 36 percent.

The same new study finds BOTH forms of vitamin C can also help get you back on your feet and out of the hospital faster — but this is where IVC comes out on top.

You’ll be back in the comfort of your own home a day and a half SOONER if you have IVC after heart surgery, while oral supplements will cut the duration of your stay by about half a day.

Since C in any form is very safe — even for heart patients — there may come a time when this is a routine part of heart surgery.

Until it is, however, you’ll have to ask.

So, if you’re going in for a procedure, be sure to talk to your doc about vitamin C.

Camping can fix sleep problems

Reset your sleep… this weekend!

Trouble sleeping? Don’t go looking for the answer at your local CVS.

Try the KOA instead!

A trip to your local campground could be the best way to reset your body’s clock — and the latest research shows how a simple camping trip can get your sleep schedule back on track.

The study — done in winter — found that over a week of winter camping, volunteers began to fall asleep a full 2.5 hours earlier than they did at home.

The researchers did a similar study in the summer with similar results — except, in winter, the folks not only went to sleep earlier.

They stayed asleep longer.

The reason is simple: Our bodies were designed to recognize night and day — and the way they know the difference is the rise and fall of the sun.

As the sun goes down, our bodies start to crank out the “sleep hormone,” melatonin.

But these days, that whole process is thrown off by the fact that we’re indoors and under lights all day and well into the night.

Even worse, the lights of LED screens such as those used in electronics are heavy in the blue end of the spectrum, the color our body recognizes as daylight.

Some people never produce the right levels of melatonin at the right time.

The results are all around you: Sleep disorders are one of the most common health problems facing the nation, in nearly every age group.

In the new study — and the old one — the researchers found that as folks spent more time outside on those camping trips, they began to naturally produce more melatonin.

While the studies each lasted a week, the researchers found in their earlier work that even a weekend in the great outdoors will help to reset your internal body clock and kick off melatonin production.

Of course, not many people can take off for the woods for a full week or even a weekend; and some folks just don’t want to go camping (especially in winter).

That’s OK. Camping’s nice… but it’s not a requirement.

Just spend more time outside, especially in the afternoon and evening, and have a “lights off” time indoors at night and your body will start to recognize when it’s time to sleep (just don’t cheat with those electronic devices).

If you need a little more help, melatonin supplements are inexpensive and widely available. Use a sublingual form if you need help falling asleep faster, or the time-released version if you find you’re waking up in the middle of the night.

Prostate cancer options worse for anxious men

Don’t lose your nerve when it comes to your prostate

Guys, when it comes to prostate cancer, there’s one thing you really need to watch out for.

And it’s NOT the disease itself!

Turns out your own anxiety could hurt you more than the cancer ever will, as new research reveals how too much angst over the disease could lead to a treatment you never needed.

It doesn’t matter that the early-stage tumors are rarely dangerous.

It doesn’t even matter that multiple studies back the “watch-and-wait” approach as both safe and effective.

It doesn’t even matter that treatment packs lasting and even permanent side effects such as impotence, incontinence, and more.

Once uncertainty rears its ugly head and a guy gets anxious over the disease, he starts to panic.

And panic, we all know, leads to terrible decisions.

As a result, the study of more than 1,500 men with localized prostate cancer finds the higher your anxiety levels, the more likely you’ll let yourself get rushed into a treatment you never really needed, such as surgery and/or radiation.

It’s easy to blame the guys here.

But it’s not really their fault.

This is where your doctor is supposed to step in and offer some reassurance.

A good doctor will let you know the score. He’ll reassure you that you’ve got little to worry about — and that active surveillance is a safe, reasonable option backed by years of solid research.

But not every doctor is a good doctor, and urologists in particular — the ones who profit off needless surgeries — have become experts in making patients nervous.

Many of them won’t come right out and push surgery and other treatments for early-stage cancers anymore.

They know that’s too obvious, especially these days with so much information out there about the benefits of the watch-and-wait approach.

So, they instead play up the uncertainties.

“Sure, surveillance is a terrific approach for many men,” they’ll admit. Then, in almost a stage whisper: “The problem is we still don’t know who it helps most — because we don’t know which tumors will suddenly become more aggressive.”

Once they plant that seed of doubt, many men opt for surgery.

Most of them don’t know studies show that even if the tumor suddenly turns more aggressive, it’ll be caught in plenty of time for treatment with the watch-and-wait approach.

They don’t know it… because they’re NEVER told!

So, don’t let anxiety cloud your decision.

It’s time to slow down, get more opinions and information, and make a careful decision about which treatment is best for you… including the very real possibility that the BEST treatment could be NO treatment at all.

Diabetes deadlier than we thought

Urgent new warning for diabetics

If you’ve got diabetes, it’s time to stop putting it off.

You know what I’m talking about, right? You’ve been putting off the changes you KNOW you need to make.

Well, my friend, you’re running out of time. You need to take action NOW, because the latest numbers show how you’re in far worse shape than anyone — even your doctor — has let on.

We all know diabetes is a killer disease, but it turns out we’ve all badly underestimated it.

Even the CDC has gotten it wrong!

A new study reveals how diabetes is actually THREE TIMES DEADLIER than the official numbers show!

The reason is simple: death certificates for the most part show one main cause.

Many diabetics ultimately die not of diabetes, but of other conditions such as heart attack or kidney failure.

As a result, that’s what gets listed on the death certificate.

Diabetes doesn’t get a mention, even if that’s what actually caused the heart attack or kidney failure in the first place.

The new study fixes that. They dug up the true numbers and found that 12 percent of all American deaths are from diabetes — which would make it the nation’s NUMBER THREE cause of death.

The effect is so massive that the researchers wrote in PLOS One that diabetes and obesity are actually having a measurable effect on our overall life expectancy.

For much of the 20th century, that life expectancy grew steadily.

But in recent years, the growth slowed… and last year, our life expectancy actually fell slightly for the first time in decades.

So now you know what’s truly on the line.

The bigger question is: What can you DO about it?

Your doc will point to this study as an excuse to throw every med in the pharmacy at you.

But that’s not going to do anything to turn your diabetes around.

If anything, relying on meds — and only meds — will pretty much guarantee that the disease will ultimately get worse!

It’s time for a new approach.

You can stop the damage of diabetes and even reverse the disease completely… IF you take action now.

So, let me give you two quick tips on how to seize control, gain the upper hand in the fight against diabetes, and then reverse it so you don’t become one of these ugly new statistics.

First, make the switch to a modified Mediterranean diet with no added sugars and zero grains (not even whole grains). Certain supplements such as chromium can also help.

And second, work on attacking the real cause of your out-of-control blood sugar… and it’s not always what’s on your plate.

It’s the toxins already in your body!

I’ve come up with a natural detoxifying plan so effective that it can actually REVERSE nearly every major symptom of diabetes within 30 days. Learn more about it right here.

Depression boosts cancer death risk

The cancer battle your doc WON’T tell you about

When you’ve got cancer, you know you’ve got to fight the tumor. You’ve got to stop it from growing and spreading.

And that’s pretty much ALL your doctor will focus on.

But new research shows how that’s only half the battle — because your MOOD could actually play a key role in whether or not you survive this disease.

Depression, stress, and anxiety can all unfortunately show up before and during a battle with cancer — and these conditions can make the struggle even tougher.

And, according to the new study, it can make the cancer deadlier, too.

If you’re battling these mood disorders yourself, your risk of dying from cancer can jump by an average of a third overall.

In some cases, however, the connection is even stronger.

Depression and anxiety can nearly TRIPLE your risk of death from pancreatic cancer and QUADRUPLE the risk of dying of leukemia. It can also more than double your risk of death from prostate and esophageal cancers, and increase the risk of dying from colorectal cancer by 84 percent.

Now, there’s a little bit of a chicken-or-the-egg argument here.

It’s not clear if the depression and anxiety help cause the cancer in the first place… or if the cancer itself leads to mood changes.

My bet is that there’s a little of both going on.

It’s natural to feel stressed and depressed when you’re locked in a battle with a deadly disease. Those mood disorders, in turn, are known to cause inflammation and can even mess up your immune system, both of which can help cancers to form, take hold, and spread.

Either way, it’s a clear sign that you should never try to “tough it out” when you’re facing mood problems, whether you have cancer or not.

Get help.

If you don’t have cancer, mood problems are often a sign of nutritional or hormonal issues. If you’re fighting cancer and depression rears its ugly head, it could be a mix of stress from your diagnosis and side effects from your treatment.

In either case, most mainstream docs will try to hand you an antidepressant and send you on your way.

This is exactly how NOT to fight depression!

The drugs packs side effects of their own, and some have even been linked to breast cancer. And for the icing on the cake, many don’t even work!

Work instead with a holistic doctor who can address the root cause of the condition safely and naturally.

If you’re in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in the area? I’m also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

Beat colon cancer with moderate exercise

How to survive advanced colon cancer

It’s one of the most common forms of cancer in the nation, one that strikes nearly one in 20 Americans at some point in their lives.

And unfortunately, it’s also one of the deadliest.

Colorectal cancers can often be treated and defeated IF they’re caught early; but since many people avoid colonoscopies, it’s not always found in time.

As a result, some 50,000 Americans die every year from this cancer.

Now, the latest research offers new hope to people with the deadliest form of this disease.

It spots a way to dramatically cut the risk of death from advanced colorectal cancers.

It’s not a new drug… it’s not radiation… and it’s not chemotherapy.

This “therapy” is 100 percent natural and comes with no side effects, other than a boost in your overall health.

It’s ordinary activity!

Simple exercise — including activities you normally wouldn’t even think of as exercise — can cut the risk of dying in patients who have advanced colon cancer, according to the study presented at the Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

It doesn’t take much to get a big benefit, either.

If you have this disease yourself, moving for just 30 minutes per day will slash your risk of dying from the cancer by 19 percent.

Get a little more activity, and you can get an even bigger benefit.

If you move for five hours a week — just 45 minutes per day — your risk of dying from this disease will plunge by 25 percent.

I know any battle with cancer can make it tough to get around, and a battle with advanced cancer is even harder.

The disease takes a toll on your mood, and the treatments can sap you of energy and fill you with pain.

But you don’t have to do too much to get these life-saving benefits — because the study finds even moderate levels of ordinary activity will do the trick.

That includes normal exercise, if that’s what you prefer — and if you feel like hitting the gym or the stationary bike, more power to you.

But the study finds everyday movements will also give you the same life-saving benefit, including simple stuff like gardening, cleaning up around the house, and even plain old walking.

Just keep it moderate, because more isn’t always better. In fact, in the new study, vigorous exercise actually didn’t help at all!

If you don’t have colon cancer, great — but you’re not off the hook.

You should make it a goal to avoid getting it, and exercise can help there as well.

Studies show that steady daily movements — including moderate activities like the ones in the new study — can slash your risk of at least a dozen forms of cancer, including colorectal cancers.

Toothpaste chemical linked to precancerous lesions


Sparkling white.

That’s how we want our teeth, right? So, of course we love when our toothpaste is snowy white.

The same goes for our chewing gum.

But while that sparkling color might look bright and pure, the truth is much darker.

That color usually comes from a powerful little chemical coloring agent — and new research shows it can do a far more than make toothpaste and chewing gum white.

It could set the stage for colon cancer!

This color is called E171, and it’s a form of titanium dioxide. Along with toothpaste and chewing gum, it’s also used in anything else food makers want to turn white.

It’s often found in breads, cheese, candy, and more.

Let that white color be a warning from now on — an advertisement to steer clear from this unnaturally clean shade — because the new study on rats finds it can lead to the development of precancerous lesions.

Just as the name will tell you, these growths aren’t cancerous… and they don’t always become cancer.

But they certainly CAN turn into colorectal cancers, so you want as little to do with them as possible.

In the new study, rats were given either clean water or water laced with a little E171.

When I say “a little,” I mean a little. They weren’t deliberately dosed with excessive levels, but instead were given amounts equivalent to what you might be exposed to through food and cosmetics.

None of the rats given clean water developed those lesions, but a stunning 40 percent of the rats given the E171 water developed the condition, according to the study conducted by France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research.

That’s already bad news, but the damage didn’t stop there.

In rats that already had those lesions, E171 made them grow even faster.

And that’s STILL not all — because these rats also had weaker immune systems, as if the chemical had dialed it down, making them less able to fight infection and disease.

And that could include the cancers that could take hold as a result of those lesions.

Of course, this study alone isn’t proof that E171 will cause precancerous lesions or cancer in humans.

But it’s certainly not very comforting, either — especially when you consider that E171 is just one of the dozens of potentially dangerous and poorly-researched “hidden” additives in your food.

Other chemicals and coloring agents have been linked to cancer, allergic reactions, headaches, and more; and some can trigger behavioral problems in kids.

Your best bet is to avoid them completely.

That’s no easy task if you eat anything in a package, so call it one more reason to make the switch to whole, fresh foods — ideally organic as much as you can.

Along with fewer chemicals, your food will have higher levels of nutrients… helping to protect you from disease instead of causing it.

Glyphosate linked to liver damage

New risk linked to GMO chemical

Don’t be distracted!

The media is playing a shell game when it comes to genetically-modified foods, trying to pull your attention away from the REAL issues.

They’re not only HIDING studies that show the risks of these unnatural Frankenfoods, they’re also IGNORING the much bigger issue — and it’s not just the foods themselves.

It’s the chemical that’s dumped on them.

It’s a dangerous weedkiller called glyphosate, a.k.a. Roundup, already so widely recognized as toxic that the World Health Organization’s cancer agency has listed it as a “probable carcinogen.”

Now, the latest research uncovers ANOTHER risk — and if you’re exposed yourself (as you almost certainly are if you routinely eat genetically-modified foods), you could be facing serious, severe, and potentially deadly liver damage.

The study on rats finds glyphosate can increase your risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that’s expected to become the nation’s leading cause of liver transplant in the coming years.

It didn’t take much to cause the damage, either.

Even what the researchers called “extremely low doses” triggered the condition in the rats within two years.

The chemicals industry and Big Ag will of course point out that this is a study on rats… and they’re right.

You’re not a rat.

But most of what’s toxic to a rodent is also toxic to us, which is why scientists use them in these studies.

One major difference is that rats age more rapidly than we do, so we wouldn’t see the same damage in just two years (if we did, the danger would be so obvious that even the mainstream wouldn’t be able to cover it up).

In humans, that damage could take decades.

And guess what? Glyphosate has now been in use for a few decades — and the cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are on the rise. They doubled between 1988 and 2008, and they’re expected to jump by another 50 percent by 2030.

Not all of this is from glyphosate, of course. Obesity and poor diet are still by far the biggest risk factors for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

But if the new study is any indication, the exposure to glyphosate could certainly be playing a role.

Don’t let this garbage chemical increase your risk.

Despite efforts by leading consumer groups, the processed foods industry has resisted the push to label GMOs. Some companies are now doing so voluntarily; but if you want to be 100 percent sure you’re not eating glyphosate, there’s just one thing to do.

Go organic.

Cut heart risk with fruit

Berry good news on heart health

High cholesterol? Forget statins!

Just take two blueberries, and call me in the morning — because new research has revealed the secret to cutting heart risk, especially in folks with high cholesterol. And it’s not one of those muscle-melting cholesterol meds
— it’s a powerful nutrient locked inside berries, as well as other dark-colored fruits and vegetables.

They’re called anthocyanins, or antioxidants that have been repeatedly linked to better heart health.

According to the new study, taking 320 mg of purified anthocyanins per day for six months can slash the levels of platelet chemokines, or blood chemicals linked to heart and artery risk.

These nutrients cut the levels of five different types of chemokines. And in some cases, the anthocyanin supplements can be 10 TIMES more effective than a placebo!

These blood chemicals are linked to the immune response and inflammation, especially the type of inflammation that causes arteries to harden, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

More specifically, the study finds anthocyanins cut levels of both C-reactive protein and interleukin 1 beta, inflammation markers linked to heart problems, dementia, cancer, and more.

And that’s not all.

Anthocyanins can also increase your levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, according to the study.

The study focused on folks with high levels of LDL cholesterol, or people who would likely be given statins.

This is in many ways a much better approach, because LDL alone isn’t the heart risk factor it’s been made out to be — and blindly lowering those levels can in some cases do more harm than good.

You need a certain amount of LDL to transport fat-soluble nutrients. It can also help your immune system fight infection, and low LDL has even been linked to cancer.

Starting off with a natural therapy is far more effective, and other studies back this approach. Research published just last year even found that boosting your anthocyanins intake can cut your risk of a heart attack by 14 percent.

The 320 mg per day used in the new study isn’t much. It’s what you’d find in about 3.5 ounces of blueberries.

Because anthocyanins are deep red and purple pigments, they’re easy to spot in other foods. You’ll find them in berries, cherries, pomegranates, red and purple grapes and plums as well as eggplant, red cabbage, and red onions.

If you want to get more for your money, go organic. You’ll get safer food free of pesticides and herbicides. More importantly, organics also contain 51 percent more anthocyanins as well as higher levels of other key nutrients.

Breast cancer treatment side effects are too common

Beat the toxic side effects of cancer treatment

Ladies, the worst part of breast cancer isn’t always the disease itself.


And if you ever need treatment for breast cancer, new research shows what you’re in for.

I have to warn you… it’s not a pretty picture.

But don’t worry — I’m going to help change that in a moment.

First, here’s what you’re up against: Nearly every woman treated for breast cancer, including the common early-stage tumors, faces side effects.

In the new study, 93 percent of women treated for early-stage breast cancer said they had at least one of these symptoms: nausea and/or vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, pain, arm swelling, shortness of breath, and skin irritation, especially on the breasts.

That’s no picnic… but this gets even worse.

HALF of these women didn’t just have one or more of those side effects. They had SEVERE forms of those side effects.

The most common severe side effect was pain, unfortunately — and, having worked with breast cancer patients, I can tell you that many mainstream treatments are practically MADE of pain.

Others suffered from severe skin reactions, while some had extreme forms of constipation.

And for one in 20 of these women, those side effects were so severe that they needed to go to the emergency room.

The study only looked at the side effects I mentioned, but those aren’t the only ones that women face from breast cancer treatment.

Many other women suffer from fatigue, which can be severe and even debilitating. And it’s not just the overall physical fatigue as treatment takes its toll on your body, but a mental one, too.

Then there’s that “chemo brain,” the notorious effect of chemotherapy that can steal your memory and make you feel as if your head’s trapped in a thick fog.

Most folks assume the worse side effects come from chemo, and that’s often true.

But not always.

In fact, the study finds a full third of women who DIDN’T have chemo STILL had severe side effects.

So, what can you do about it?


First, be sure to get a second and even third opinion, because many early-stage breast cancers don’t need treatment at all. Even when they do need treatment, a simple lumpectomy will often do the job.

And second, if you do choose to get treated, be sure to add a holistic medical doctor to your care team.

Your oncologist will focus on the cancer, but a holistic doctor will focus on YOU — helping not only to guide you through less invasive options, but also offering natural therapies that can lessen the side effects of toxic cancer therapies.

And if you’re in the San Diego area, I can help. I have two decades of experience helping cancer patients overcome both the disease and the side effects of treatment.

Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in the area? I’m also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

And don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook!