Dr. Mark Stengler's BestHealth Nutritionals

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

Falls can increase death risk

What a fall can REALLY do to you

Think you’ve survived a fall? Think again!

What happens NEXT is often what counts most — because even if you make it back home in one piece, you could still suffer lasting, crippling, and even DEADLY consequences.

Now, the latest research shows just what’s on the line.

It shows how falls can set the stage for MORE falls, as well as other health problems. Folks who “survive” a fall even have a higher risk of DYING in the months that follow.

The new study finds that 7.7 percent of fall victims suffer from serious problems within a week.

That means 92.3 percent DON’T have any issues right after a fall — and they might think they’re in the clear.

They’re not, because the study finds the number actually JUMPS over time.

The very folks who think they’ve escaped serious injury are facing more risks than they realize. Within a month of a fall, the number of adverse events actually triples, with 1 in 5 folks battling those problems.

And within six months, MORE THAN HALF suffer from serious health problems.

Nearly a quarter of them fall again, which of course can lead to still more injuries. As a result, more than 40 percent end up right back where they started: in the emergency room.

The best way to avoid all of these risks, of course, is to keep yourself upright and make sure you don’t fall in the first place.

That can seem like a tall order as you get older and less steady on your feet, but don’t blame your age for your risk.

In most cases, it’s not your age at all.

It’s your meds!

Blood pressure medications increase the risk of head injuries, hip fractures, and other serious injuries from falls by as much as 40 percent. Painkillers, allergy pills, sedatives, cold remedies, and mood meds such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and benzodiazepines can also increase the risk of a fall.

Many folks, especially those who are a little older, aren’t just on one of those meds.

They’re taking SEVERAL of them — and the new study finds that multiple meds will also increase the risk of falls and serious problems after a fall.

The shame of it is that most of those drugs aren’t even needed — so, you could suffer a fall for no reason at all.

If you’re on any of these meds, speak to a holistic medical doctor about your other options.

And if you’re in the San Diego area, I can work with you on a personalized plan to minimize meds and cut your risk of a fall at the same time. 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!

Sunburn damage reversed with vitamin D

Beat sunburn… with the sunshine vitamin!

It can happen in a matter of minutes.

If you’re outside just a little bit longer than you intended, you can start to bake… and even burn right up.

Next thing you know, you’re battling the agony of sunburn — and the days of pain, itching, and peeling skin that follow.

Now, the latest research reveals a promising natural treatment that can help cool the burn, ease the pain, and bring real relief.

It’s not some chemical spray or medicated ointment.

It’s plain old vitamin D!

How’s that for irony? The sunshine vitamin — made by exposing your skin to the very same sun that CAUSED the burn — just might actually help to reverse it!

Obviously, you don’t want to run back outside to get more D. It could turn your skin even crispier.

But ordinary D supplements taken within an hour of your sunburn can help stimulate healing and undo the damage of sunburn.

In the new study, folks had their arms placed under a UV lamp and deliberately burned.

Sixty minutes later, they were given either high-dose D supplements or a placebo.

Two days later, the folks who had the supplements had less inflammation and redness — and skin biopsies revealed less structural damage in the skin itself, including lower levels of two key markers of damaging inflammation.

That’s all good news, since vitamin D is perfectly safe and completely natural… but there are a couple of catches here.

First, the doses in the study were very high. The best results came at a dose of 200,000 IU in a single day.

That’s not a dangerous dose when taken only rarely, but since it’s much higher than normal — by a factor of as much as 100 — you’ll definitely want to talk to your doc before trying this at home.

And second, the study only had 20 people in it.

So, while it’s certainly interesting, I’d need to see more human studies before I’d consider recommending high-dose D for sunburns (but do be sure to get your normal doses of the sunshine vitamin each day, even if you haven’t gotten sunburned).

Meanwhile, you’ve got other options for easing the agony of sunburn, including natural aloe. Just be careful with the store-bought gels — because tests earlier this year found that many contain little to no aloe.

Buy an aloe plant instead.

They’re low-maintenance and pleasant to look at — and when you need some aloe, you can get it right from the source by breaking off a branch and squeezing out the gel that’s inside.

Vitamin D additives might not help you

The dirty secret about the vitamin D in your food

You’re supposed to get your vitamins from food, right?

That’s the ideal… but watch out, my friend, because new research exposes a little-known trick when it comes to one key nutrient.

And if you fall for this scam, you could end up quietly battling a serious vitamin D deficiency even when you THINK you’re getting enough!

The sunshine vitamin isn’t found naturally in too many foods, but you wouldn’t know that from reading labels. Everything from orange juice to margarine to cereals contain vitamin D.

Or so you think.

What those labels don’t always reveal is that the D isn’t there naturally.

The foods are fortified, which means the vitamin is added during processing — and that might sound fine, until you realize that they’re not putting the good stuff in there.

They’re dumping in something called vitamin D2, which is derived from a fungus, instead of the honest-to-goodness D3 used in many supplements.

The food industry will tell you they’re both the same.

But the new study shows how eating foods with D2 can leave you badly deficient in this essential vitamin.

In fact, it’s less than HALF as effective at raising D levels inside your body!

In the new study, hundreds of women from both Europe and Asia were given D2, D3, or a placebo during the winter, when low sun levels leave many of us deficient in D.

The D3 raised the body’s levels by roughly 75 percent, which is exactly what we want to see.

The folks who got the vitamin D2, on the other hand, only saw their levels of the nutrient jump by a third.

Obviously, you want D3 and not D2.

The problem is finding it — because while all labels will tell you how much vitamin D is inside, very few will list the type of D.

Watch out especially for vegetarian foods. Since D3 comes from animal sources, most vegetarian products — including many milk substitutes — contain vitamin D2.

Cow’s milk, on the other hand, often contains D3 — but since many folks have problems digesting lactose, it’s often not a good option, either.

That leaves supplements, which generally DO list which form is used right on the label. Look for a quality D3 supplement from a maker you trust.

I’ll have more on vitamin D and the surprising way it can help you this summer coming up in tomorrow’s House Calls.

Keep an eye on your email. If you spend any time outside on sunny days, you won’t want to miss this one!

Beat depression with natural hormones

How older women can beat mood problems

When it comes to one of the most common conditions facing older women, the mainstream has just two answers.

There’s psychotherapy for the depression and other mood problems that often strike in your later years — which is BAD, because it never really tackles the true cause.

And that means it’s often ineffective, too.

But what’s WORSE is when they give you antidepressant drugs, which also don’t do a thing about the cause and come with big risks and side effects to boot.

Now, new research backs a completely different approach — and it’s the very same one I use right here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

It’s not psychotherapy. It’s not even a drug.

The answer is in restoring what your own body is missing!

The new study uncovers the TRUE cause of depression for many older women, and finds a direct link to many of the problems that strike after menopause.

Some 80 percent of women battle hot flashes during menopause — but for many, those problems don’t end once “the change” is over.

They experience them for years after.

And if those hot flashes keep slamming you past the age of 65, your risk of depression jumps by two-thirds, according to the study.

It’s not just hot flashes.

Other problems — including some many older women are too embarrassed to discuss — can also boost the risk of depression. Vaginal dryness and some types of urinary problems — including the dreaded “leak” — can also up the odds of mood problems.

What do all of these conditions have in common?

The answer is often estrogen.

As hormone levels drop during menopause, all of those other problems… the hot flashes… the vaginal dryness… and even pelvic floor issues… can pop up. When they linger after menopause, it can be a sign that estrogen levels have dropped too low.

Restoring those levels can often help resolve most — if not all — of those conditions at once and help improve mood at the same time.

In some cases, that means natural hormone replacement therapy, but many women don’t need to go that far.

Natural treatments can often stimulate the body into producing its own estrogen again, and the most natural one of all is to improve your diet. A mix of weight loss and good nutrition can often get your body back on track, especially when combined with herbal remedies and homeopathic medicine.

If you’ve tried all that and still have mood disorders and other signs of low estrogen, then it may be time to consider natural bio-identical hormone therapy under the care of a skilled holistic medical doctor.

Red yeast rice under attack by mainstream

A real alternative to statins that works

Another day, another baseless attack on supplements.

The mainstream has launched an all-out war on red yeast rice, a natural therapy that can help lower cholesterol without many of the risks of drugs.

The secret, of course, is that red yeast rice naturally contains very low levels of monacolin K, a substance that closely resembles a statin drug.

Now, a new report claims to have tested 28 brands of red yeast rice from four major retailers — Walgreens, Walmart, GNC, and Whole Foods — and found that the levels of monacolin K vary from brand to brand and aren’t listed on the label.

They’re acting as if this is some kind of crime.

I’m not sure what the big deal is.

Of course they will vary. Different brands use different formulations.

And as for those labels, there’s a reason you won’t find monacolin K listed.

They’re not allowed to even mention it!

It’s a dirty little trick from Big Pharma’s pals at the FDA. The agency claims monacolin K is so similar to a statin drug that it actually IS a drug — and if red yeast rice contains more than “trace” levels, it’s considered adulterated with a pharmaceutical.

Yes, it’s “adulterated” with itself!

That’s fine since most patients get big results — and minimal side effects — from even those trace levels.

But what’s NOT fine is the fear-mongering and grandstanding the mainstream is pulling over this analysis.

They made all these wild and alarming claims about 28 products but didn’t supply a single name!

The also claimed that five of the formulas tested contained more than “trace levels” of monacolin K, although three only barely topped those amounts. Two of them, they claimed, contained the same amount of monacolin K as would be found in a prescription drug, although the amount matches a dose so low few patients are given it.

In any case, if these researchers were TRULY concerned about the health and safety of American consumers, they would have tested multiple batches AND provided the names of each brand tested along with those results.

So, let me do what they didn’t and give you the real scoop on red yeast rice supplements.

I’ve recommended this natural treatment to my own patients for years now, and I have the test results to prove it delivers on the promise of low cholesterol. I’ve also seen that it works in many patients without the notorious risks of statin drugs.

So, if your cholesterol is a little high and you haven’t had much luck bringing it down on your own, don’t be afraid to ask a holistic medical doctor about red yeast rice from a trusted manufacturer.

It just might save you from a lifetime of cholesterol meds.

Lung cancer risk cut with carotenoids

Slash your risk of the deadliest cancer

We all do what we can to keep healthy now.

But let’s face it: That wasn’t always the case.

Most of us have had bad habits at some point or another. And while we all know smoking is bad today, millions of Americans are living with the long-term consequences of a tobacco habit.

Even folks who quit ages ago.

Smokers, ex-smokers, and even people who’ve lived with smokers and inhaled the secondhand smoke are all facing a higher risk of lung cancer, the number one killer cancer in the nation.

But now, the latest research shows a quick and easy way to stimulate healing in the lungs and slash your risk of this killer cancer.

And all you have to is make sure there’s plenty of color on your dinner plate!

The carotenoid nutrients that give fruits and vegetables their distinctive colors can also dramatically slash your risk of lung cancer — and it works even (or perhaps I should say ESPECIALLY) in folks who’ve had a tobacco habit.

The more of those nutrients you have, the lower your risk of developing lung cancer.

Specifically, you want the beta carotene and alpha carotene found in carrots, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, squash, and pumpkin… the beta-cryptoxanthin found in pumpkins, papayas, and peppers… the lycopene in tomatoes, watermelon, and guava… and the vitamin C in citrus, papaya, peppers, and Brussels sprouts.

Overall, folks who’ve smoked who have high intakes of these nutrients are 25 percent to 35 percent less likely to develop lung cancer.

That’s an incredible level of protection when you consider that smoking is responsible for between 80 percent and 90 percent of all lung cancers. Even secondhand smoke will increase your risk of the disease by as much as 30 percent.

But a healthy diet can cause those increases in risk to go up in smoke!

The study finds you may not need to take a supplement — and, in some cases, you don’t even need huge amounts. In women, for example, the biggest cut in risk was linked to moderate levels of beta-cryptoxanthin and lycopene as opposed to the highest amounts.

Of course, if you still smoke or live with a smoker, it’s not enough to just boost your nutrients and hope for the best.

There’s a far more important step you need to take first, or else none of this will matter much.

You already know what it is: It’s time to quit… before it’s too late.

Nutrient defeats heart disease inflammation

Beat the damage of heart disease… naturally!

If you want to fight aging — and who doesn’t? — forget the years on the calendar.

You’re obviously not going to change those.

But you CAN take action against one of the other signs of aging, and it’s the one responsible for just about all of the chronic diseases you face as you grow older.

Inflammation can play a major role in heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and more.

That gum disease that’s threatening your teeth? Even THAT’s a sign of inflammation!

Now, new research reveals a simple nutrient that can fight inflammation wherever it strikes, essentially slowing or even blocking one of the hallmarks of aging inside your body.

It’s a carotenoid called lutein.

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a key ingredient in many vision supplements. Lutein and zeaxanthin are both found naturally inside the macula of your eye, and boosting your intake of both can slash your risk of macular degeneration and slow the progression of the disease if you have it.

But today, let’s focus on the rest of your body, especially your heart, as the new study finds higher lutein levels can cut damaging inflammation down to size — and not just in healthy people.

What makes this study truly exciting is that it zeroes in on the folks who TRULY need help most.

It examined nearly 200 older patients already suffering from some of the worst effects of inflammation: They all had coronary heart disease.

For these folks, cutting inflammation can be a matter of life or death in a very real way… and the lutein helped them do just that by slashing levels of interleukin-6.

IL-6, as it’s known, is a major marker of inflammation that’s strongly linked to heart disease and a risk of serious complications in folks who already have the condition, such as the people in this new study.

And of the six carotenoids tested, only ONE was able to slash those IL-6 levels: lutein.

If you’re at war with heart disease, it’s time to arm yourself for battle with this nutrient — and the best way to do that is to eat more spinach. It’s absolutely packed with the stuff.

You’ll also find it in greens like kale and collards as well as certain herbs such as parsley.

Pumpkins, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, squash, and peas all contain lutein as well, but in much lower levels. A cup of spinach has about 15 times the lutein of a cup of broccoli.

All of those same foods will give you some other carotenoids as well, especially the zeaxanthin that so often goes hand-in-hand with lutein.

For a bigger boost, lutein is available in supplements, especially vision-protecting formulas.

Coming up later today, I’ll have more on carotenoids and how they can protect against one of the nation’s leading killers.

Keep an eye on your email!

Dry eyes eased with natural treatment

The all-natural cure for dry eyes

It’s something many folks never mention to a doctor… but not because it’s embarrassing.

They don’t speak up because it’s so common!

Dry eyes can seem too minor to mention to a doctor, so many people don’t. It’s not something doctors routinely ask about, either, so many people — maybe even millions — suffer in silence.

And make no mistake about it: The suffering is real.

While it might seem minor, dry eyes can have a direct impact on your quality of life by making it hard to enjoy yourself. The very things you love to do in your spare time, like reading or watching TV, can make the condition worse.

The condition can even interfere with driving.

While eye drops can help, they don’t always make much difference. Sometimes, it can feel like you could dump a bucket of drops into your eyes, and they’d STILL be dry and sore.

Now, the latest research reveals and a quick and natural way to help bring tears to your eyes in all the right ways.

It’s called bilberry, and don’t be put off by what might sound like a silly name.

These berries are crammed with vision-protecting antioxidants, and the new study shows how those same nutrients can keep your peepers moist — so you finally get some relief from that irritation.

In a new study, bilberry went up against a placebo and improved the amount of tears formed in the eyes, easing the dryness.

What’s especially encouraging here is that the drier the eyes, the better it worked — so, if you’re having serious problems with your peepers, you might want to give this stuff a shot.

You’ll find it available both on its own and as part of vision-protecting formulas that include other eye essentials, such as lutein and zeaxanthin.

For even more relief, don’t stop with bilberry. Consider preservative-free lubricating drops to help keep your eyes moist.

Odds are, you need them.

As we get older, the ducts around our eyes stop working at full capacity, as if all the tears have been squeezed out of them over the years.

That can lead to more than just dry eyes. Those same tears protect your peepers from germs and other problems. Lose those tears, and you face a higher risk of nasty infections such as pink eye.

Along with bilberry and eye drops, a warm compress over your eyes can help moisten and stimulate those overworked tear ducts. It’s simple, safe, and free, and it’s a pleasant way to start and end each day.

Chemotherapy device can protect your hair

Finally! An END to one of chemo’s worst side effects

It’s one of those things people who’ve never had cancer don’t really understand.

It’s not the toll of the disease itself, but the toll of the treatment… and the most visible sign is the hair loss that so often accompanies chemotherapy.

Those who’ve never had the disease might assume it’s no big deal.

What’s a little hair loss compared to losing your life?

But to those who suffer chemo and live with its toxic and debilitating side effects, hair loss is a constant reminder of what you’re going through — one literally staring you in the face every time you gaze into a mirror.

Now, the FDA has expanded its approval for a treatment that will help you keep most or even all of your hair.

It’s not a drug, and it’s perfectly safe.

As someone who works with cancer patients every day and sees the emotional toll hair loss can take on someone’s lifestyle, all I can say is…

It’s about time!

The treatment isn’t a drug. It’s a device called DigniCap Cooling System — and, at first glance, it might look like a swimmer’s cap with a chinstrap.

It’s actually a little thicker than a swimmer’s cap, because it has two layers and a hose coming off it. The hose pumps in coolant that rushes between the layers and — as the name says — cools your head.

I’ve heard from patients that when it first goes on the head it’s a little like stepping into a cool pool. It’s cold — and not quite pleasant — but, much like stepping into that pool, you quickly adjust.

After a few minutes, it’s not bad at all.

The “cold cap” was approved two years ago for breast cancer patients, and now the FDA has given it the go-ahead for folks undergoing chemo for other solid tumors as well.

That means less stress and anxiety for more people, as two-thirds of the patients who try this treatment keep at least half of their hair, and many keep more.

Some folks hardly lose any — and you can make this even more effective if you combine it with other natural treatments known to ease chemo damage.

One option is a supplement made from a mushroom called maitake, which has been proven in studies to ease the pain, nausea, and hair loss that accompany chemotherapy.

No one has studied maitake in combination with the DigniCap — yet — but since the two work in different ways, it stands to reason that they would be more effective together than either would be alone.

Maitake can also help fight the cancer itself, preventing the spread of the disease and slowing or even stopping the growth of the tumor.

This mushroom is perfectly safe — but if you’re battling cancer, be sure to speak with your doctor before adding anything to your treatment.

Heart attack can follow a broken heart

How a “broken heart” can actually break your heart

It’s not just a figure of speech.

We’ve all heard of folks who “died of a broken heart.” You might even know of someone who died shortly after the loss of a spouse, family member, or close friend.

Now, the latest research shows how it happens — how the genuine emotional agony of heartbreak can, in a very real way, quite literally BREAK your heart!

The new study finds the damage inside the body is very similar to what we see in heart attack patients.

There’s reduced function that can last for months or longer, and there’s even scarring — which, in some cases, is permanent and will increase the chances of heartbreak turning into an actual heart attack.

Researchers did heart scans on 52 people with what’s more formally called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy but is better known as “broken-heart syndrome.”

These are folks enduring extreme stress, often from loss. While some people literally die of the disease, up until now, most of the damage was believed to be temporary.

Turns out that may not be true at all.

Ultrasounds and MRIs revealed that the heart’s ability to pump is reduced, with a delay in what’s known as the “wringing” part of each heartbeat.

The means the heart isn’t squeezing as well or as fast as it should, which what we see in many heart attack patients.

Even worse, the scans revealed scarring on the heart itself.

That’s exactly the kind of damage we see in patients who’ve had an actual heart attack — and if that scarring doesn’t heal, it can lead to a permanent loss of function.

Those scars are why heart attack patients have a higher risk of having another heart attack, and they help explain why folks who suffer from a “broken heart” also have a higher risk of a heart attack.

Of course, it’s one thing to know about this.

It’s quite another to be in a position to do something about it.

If you have a friend or loved one around you battling the stress of loss, be there and be supportive. Make sure he or she takes care of himself despite the heartache.

When it happens to you — and some loss is inevitable in life — don’t be afraid to turn to those around you for the support you need. And of course, never forget the healing power of prayer. A few moments in the presence of God can ease some of the heaviest burdens.

But there’s also something you can do that’s a little more concrete: take fish oil supplements.

Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce scarring in heart muscle after a heart attack, so it would stand to reason that it SHOULD do the same for folks with broken-heart syndrome, too.

Acid reflux meds increase the risk of death

Frightening new risk linked to PPIs

It’s just about the worst “side effect” you could have from a drug.

If you’ve ever taken heartburn meds, you could be at risk RIGHT NOW — and, odds are, you won’t even know it.

New research shows how the proton pump inhibitors taken by millions — drugs such as Prilosec, Prevacid, and Nexium — can increase your risk of death.

But it’s NOT in an obvious way — and even if you’ve taken those meds yourself and never suffered so much as a single hiccup from them, you COULD be at risk!

This is a risk that could pop up years later, even if you’re no longer on the medication.

The only thing that matters is that you DID take a PPI at some point… and the longer you took it, the higher your risk of meeting your maker sooner rather than later.

Over the long haul, these drugs will increase your risk of premature death by 25 percent, when compared to taking another type of stomach acid drug called H2 blockers.

But the longer you take these meds, the higher the risk grows.

If you’ve been on a PPI for three months or less, you have no increased risk at all. But once you hit the three-month mark, it jumps to 17 percent.

Take the meds for six months or longer, and your risk of dying too soon climbs again — this time rising by 31 percent.

And if you’re on them for a year or longer, the new study finds you have a 51 percent higher risk of death!

Of course, you’re not SUPPOSED to take the drugs for a year or more. It says right on most of the packages that they’re for short-term use.

But in the real world, many people are on them for MONTHS or even YEARS at a time.

One reason is the very nature of the drugs themselves: It can be almost impossible to stop taking them!

When you try to quit, your acid could return with a vengeance. When that happens, some folks think it’s the drugs that had been “protecting” them… and that the new attack is “proof” of how much they need the meds.

In reality, the drugs caused it. The condition even has its own name, “acid rebound” — and when folks feel that rebound, they end up right back on the PPIs.

And that’s exactly how long-term habits are formed.

Don’t let yourself fall into that trap. Even if you escape the death risk, these meds have been linked to bone loss, magnesium deficiency and more.

There are far safer ways to treat stomach acid problems, starting with complete testing and treatment for food sensitivities from a holistic medical doctor.

If you’re in the San Diego area, I can run those tests 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!

Antioxidant eases multiple sclerosis

MS patients can be helped by lipoic acid

You gotta love the mainstream. If something works, it MUST be a drug, right?

They just can’t bring themselves to admit that non-drug treatments can be better than meds — so if you’ve seen headlines about a “new drug” discovery for multiple sclerosis, I’ve got news for you today.

It’s NOT a drug!

It’s not even new, for that matter.

It’s a natural antioxidant called lipoic acid, an ordinary and inexpensive vitamin-like compound already known for its power to protect the nerves from the painful neuropathy that often strikes people battling diabetes.

In the new study, 27 patients with MS were given 1,200 mg per day of lipoic acid, also known as alpha lipoic acid or ALA. Another two dozen were given a placebo.

The folks who got the real supplements got some real benefits right where it’s needed most: deep inside the brain.

MS is known to go after your gray matter, practically eating it up and causing atrophy, a.k.a. “brain shrink.”

But the folks who got the real supplements had a 68 percent improvement in the shrink rate compared to those on the placebo.

That’s what you can measure.

But what you can FEEL and SEE is just as important, and the supplement passed those real-world tests with flying colors: The folks who took it had fewer falls and faster walking speeds.

Now, it’s one thing for a treatment — whether it’s a drug or a natural therapy — to show a little improvement over the short haul.

It’s quite another when you look at the big picture, because many promising treatments that deliver early on often fizzle out over time.

Not ALA.

This wasn’t a short-term study. It lasted a full two years!

This might be the most encouraging news for MS patients in ages, especially when you consider that many folks with this disease have so few options.

Until now, the biggest “breakthrough” in recent years was a new drug that can cause dizziness, headaches, seizures, nausea, loss of muscle strength, headache, and more.

If those all sound like the symptoms of being poisoned, you’ve got the right idea — that same “treatment” is actually a compound that’s been used as bird poison!

ALA is the opposite of poison. In folks with diabetes, this same antioxidant can help prevent the nerve damage that leads to painful neuropathy and even help control blood sugar.

With benefits like that, you can bet Big Pharma is already hard at work cooking up a plan to create a synthetic version of this nutrient, slap a patent on it, and then jack up the price by several thousand percent.

Why bother?

You’ll find ALA widely available in any decent vitamin shop, as well as online. Speak to your doc about adding this to your routine and what dose might be right for you.

Doctors often make decisions without evidence

Does your doc treat mainstream guidelines like gospel?

I just don’t get it.

Mainstream docs claim to rely on science — and yet they’ll thumb their noses at any natural therapy, even when it’s backed by gold-standard research.

Now, the latest research exposes how what they say and what they do are actually do very different things.

It turns out the most common treatments they offer — the decisions they make every single day — aren’t backed by solid scientific evidence AT ALL!

Researchers carefully examined 721 topics from the medical reference used by mainstream family docs. That’s what they rely on every single day to make decisions about everything from common conditions such as arthritis and pregnancy to life-or-death situations such as heart disease.

To many mainstream docs, this may as well be their Bible.

But this one’s a false religion — because the analysis finds that FOUR out of every FIVE treatment guidelines have no sound science backing them up.

In many cases, the researchers found only weak to moderate evidence — AT BEST.

And barely half — just 51 percent — had guidelines based on outcomes reported by patients, despite the fact that those are the outcomes that matter most.

A patient will tell you when he’s feeling better or worse. A patient will tell you when he’s had side effects and what they were.

But 49 percent of the studies used in those guidelines skipped those measures completely and relied solely on numbers from a lab that measure things like cholesterol and blood sugar.

Basing any medical recommendation on something that hasn’t worked on a patient is like cooking recipes that no one’s ever actually tasted!

Sure, it should work, IN THEORY. But it doesn’t always work out that way.

Call it one more reason to never… never… take anything for granted, even in your own doctor’s office.

Ask questions. Be a bit of a pest. If your doc has any confidence in himself and his decisions, he won’t mind at all.

He’ll welcome it — because GOOD doctors want their patients to be engaged in their health.

So, ask why he wants you to follow a certain treatment… what the evidence shows… and whether you might face risks and side effects (and which ones, while you’re at it).

And most importantly of all, always ask about your other options — including nondrug treatments and natural therapies.

If he’s not willing to talk about them or dismisses them all out of hand… if he’s the type to turn up his nose at natural medicine… it may be time to get a second opinion from a skilled holistic medical doctor who relies on science and not the flimsy false evidence that makes up more than 80 percent of mainstream medical decisions.

Dementia can be stopped

STOP dementia with this easy, 3-step plan

Dementia isn’t a disease you get overnight.

It’s takes years — sometimes decades — to unfold, and, in most cases, you won’t spot the warning signs until it’s too late to do anything about them.

But I’m going to change that.

Today, I’m going to reveal the secret to stopping the disease before you even know it’s there.

And you’re not going to believe how easy it is.

Researchers have nailed three key factors that can delay the onset, slow the progression, and maybe even help you avoid this disease completely.

Entire books will be written about this groundbreaking research in the coming years.

But I’m going to save you time and money and lay it all out for you right here for free:

Step #1: Keep your BP down

Most folks associate hypertension with stroke and heart attack, but high BP can also damage the delicate small blood vessels of the brain over the long-term. That, in turn, can set the stage for dementia.

Just don’t turn to meds for blood pressure control. Some of those drugs can actually CAUSE memory loss. There are better ways to bring your BP down, including weight loss and boosting your potassium and magnesium intake. Hawthorn berry and gingko biloba can also help cut blood pressure without the risks of meds.

Step #2: Get some movement

You don’t have to be Jack LaLanne, carrying out rigorous workouts into your 90s. But a little movement each day is a good way to keep your circulation flowing as smoothly as a mountain creek, so your blood can deliver oxygen and nutrition to your brain.

Just pick something you enjoy and do it at least four or five times a week. Tennis, biking, hiking, golf, and more all count. Gardening and housework are “exercise,” too, if they keep you up and moving. Even a brisk daily walk will do the trick.

Step #3: Train your brain

Your brain needs exercise as much as any other part of your body, and giving it a mental workout can keep your mind sharp. There are brain quizzes that might help, and studies even back some of them. Certainly, you can give them a try (many are free).

But really, the answer isn’t in a game or quiz so much as challenging yourself daily to think, learn, and remember as much as you can. Dial phone numbers from memory instead of using the address book… figure out tips without a calculator… and remember where you parked.

The new study doesn’t go beyond those three tips.

But I will.

Like any other part of your body, your brain needs good nutrition to keep functioning. That means essential omega-3 fatty acids as well as B vitamins, both of which have proven to help protect the brain from the damage that leads to dementia and slow cognitive decline.

Wallpaper fungus can release toxins in your home

The poison hiding in your home

Are you secretly being POISONED?

I know that sounds paranoid… possibly even insane.

But it could be happening to you, right now — and you won’t even know it!

This isn’t the kind of poison you see in the movies, where one sip of a spiked drink can make you sick. But odds are, there are some hidden toxins around your home — and the latest research shows one of them could be in the very air you breathe.

And it starts in your wallpaper.

Yes, your wallpaper.

A new study finds that the mold that can grow around wallpaper can contain mycotoxins, a byproduct of fungi that can make you sick.

But they don’t stay there on the wallpaper.

Fungi like to spread via tiny microscopic spores that break free, float away, and land somewhere else — or get inhaled — where they can form a new colony, with those mycotoxins in tow.

The new study finds that the mycotoxins can hitch a ride on those spores and float off together — so, when you inhale them, you’re getting a double dose of BOTH fungus and mycotoxins.

In many cases, inhaling them won’t make you sick right away.

But over the long term, they can wear you down and make you ill, causing chronic infection and illness that your own doctor might struggle to explain.

The new study finds these fungus-riding mycotoxins could even play a key role in “sick building syndrome,” or buildings with so many hidden toxins that the people who live or work in them become ill.

So, what can you do to stop your own home from becoming a sick building?

Four things:

  1. Give it a top-to-bottom cleaning regularly to eliminate as many toxins and pollutants as possible. Be sure to wear a dust mask while you do so.
  2. If your wallpaper is looking a little ragged, it might be time for more than just a cleaning. So, get it replaced.
  3. Buy a quality air purifier with a HEPA filter that can be cleaned or replaced.
  4. Watch for the dark patches around your home that indicate mold. This fungus can grow almost anywhere, so look closely at the walls, including corners and ceilings (and, as the new study shows, examine your wallpaper carefully).

Be sure to check around windows as well as in basements, attics, and bathrooms.

If you see any signs of mold or other growths, don’t mess around. Get them cleaned up, even if that means having to spring for some professional help.

Acid reflux drugs linked to dementia

What they WON’T tell you about PPIs

Heartburn drugs DON’T cause dementia? Don’t bet your brain on it!

A headline-making new study claims the proton pump inhibitors given for heartburn and reflux are not only safe, but can actually PROTECT the brain from dementia in older patients.

But don’t start popping those pills just yet.

This study sounded a little fishy to me, since there’s plenty of research that shows just the opposite. A pretty solid study published last year found PPI drugs can raise the risk of dementia by as much as 52 percent.

So, I dug into the details of this one, and I found a couple of little tricks they pulled to make these drugs look much safer than they REALLY are.

First, the study’s larger group included folks aged 50 and over, and people at the younger end of that range are unlikely to get dementia to begin with — especially since they were only tracked for between two and six years.

Someone aged 50 is not very likely to develop cognitive impairment by the age of 56, no matter what medications he takes.

But the researchers were probably prepared for that, so they isolated a group of patients aged 75 and older from that larger group. And in those folks, taking the drugs either intermittently or regularly actually cut the risk of cognitive decline.

Sounds like a win for the meds, right?

Not so fast!

In order to be put into that subgroup, the folks had to a) use PPIs and b) have no sign of dementia at the age of 75.

In other words, anyone who may have already gotten dementia before the age of 75 — whether from the drugs or not — was DISQUALIFIED from this part of the study!

All this really proves is that if you take PPIs and make it to the age of 75 without dementia, then you probably won’t develop the disease over the next two to six years.

I wouldn’t exactly call that reassuring.

Besides, dementia is just one of the many risks linked to PPI use — and it’s not even the biggest one.

These drugs alter digestion so drastically that your body can no longer get all of the nutrients it needs from your food, in some cases leading to severe deficiencies. The FDA has even warned that PPI users are at risk of a magnesium deficiency so bad it could lead to seizures and heart problems.

There are far safer ways to battle reflux, including supplements containing a full-spectrum blend of enzymes to help improve digestion and stop the acid from bubbling up. In addition, I suggest complete testing for undiagnosed food sensitivities, which can cause or worsen reflux.

Work closely with a holistic medical doctor.

For complete testing and treatment in the San Diego area, 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!

Alzheimer’s stopped with olive oil

All-natural secret can STOP dementia damage

Is there anything a little olive oil CAN’T do?

Some extra virgin olive oil and a sauté pan can transform lifeless veggies into a side dish everyone in the family — even the picky one — will love.

But what olive oil does to your greens is nothing compared to what it can do for your gray — as in, the gray matter of your brain.

And if you’re concerned about dementia… if you’re worried you could be at risk for Alzheimer’s disease… you might want to hit the local Costco and buy the biggest container of EVOO they have.

Because olive oil can STOP the damage of Alzheimer’s disease!

It doesn’t take massive doses of this stuff to do the trick.

Just the normal amounts you can get from food — if you use it daily — can trigger an incredible process inside your brain.

It’s called autophagy, and it’s your brain’s natural detox system.

Think of it as the sanitation department sweeping out cellular debris, toxins, and other junk clogging up the streets of your brain.

In a groundbreaking new study, mice bred specifically to have Alzheimer’s disease — including the same key symptoms in the brain we see in humans — were given either a normal diet or the same diet with EVOO added to the mouse mix.

The mice on the normal diet developed the disease right on schedule, along with everything that comes with it — like the telltale plaques and tangles that mark a brain full of debris.

And, of course, they had memory loss.

But that wasn’t the case for the mice given extra virgin olive oil.

They did far better on tests of learning and memory — and when researchers opened them up to check on those brains (this is why it wasn’t a human study), they found out why those mice aced the tests.

The autophagy system was chugging along on all cylinders… working overtime to wipe out debris and toxins… leading to far fewer of those junky plaques and tangles linked to memory loss and dementia.

We need to see some human studies before we can say for sure if the same thing happens in our own brains. But there’s a good chance that it does, because the one diet naturally loaded in olive oil is already known to slash the risk of dementia.

One study found the EVOO-rich Mediterranean lifestyle cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 54 percent.

The key, of course, is that if you wait for dementia to kick in, it might be too late. The mice in the study were given EVOO before the FIRST signs of damage, so if you think you’re at risk — or just want to make sure you aren’t ever at risk — make the switch to a natural diet with plenty of olive oil today.

Glyphosate weed killer added to cancer list

It’s on your food… and now it has a CANCER warning!

It’s one of those basic things we all THINK we can take for granted.

Our food is safe, right?

Well, friend, your food is NOT safe — and if you’re eating non-organic fruits and vegetables, you could be swallowing a chemical so dangerous that it now has an OFFICIAL cancer warning!

Last week, California added glyphosate to the state’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer, a move that could soon lead to a warning label on every single container of this weed killer sold here in the nation’s agricultural capital.

This is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, and to say it’s widely used would be a vast understatement.

Last year, it became the single most-used agricultural chemical in all history. Nearly two million tons have been dumped on crops in the United States alone since the chemical came out in 1974, and nearly 10 million tons have been sprayed worldwide.

It’s commonly used on corn and soy, but it has also been dumped onto fields of nuts, melons, berries, citrus, grapes, and more.

Monsanto, of course, is howling mad at California.

They’ve been trying to block the designation for years, but they’re out of options now — and the reason is that they don’t have a leg to stand on.

In 2015, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency officially listed glyphosate as a chemical that is “probably carcinogenic” to humans.

And that’s not the only risk.

A study on rats earlier this year found that “extremely low doses” of glyphosate can damage the liver and cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

That’s STILL not the only risk!

The glyphosate is dumped on genetically-modified crops that have been altered by scientists to withstand it. That’s great for the plants, since it helps them survive that chemical assault.

But it’s not so great for you, because the modifications alter the crops in fundamental ways that could lead to health risks when eaten by humans. Already, GMOs have been linked to cancer, immune problems, allergic reactions, and more.

All from the food you take for granted — food you assume to be safe.

It’s tough to avoid GMOs and glyphosate, especially since Big Ag has fought tooth and nail against sensible labeling laws aimed at helping consumers make more informed choices.

It’s tough… but it’s not impossible.

By law, farmers can’t dump chemicals of any kind onto organic foods. And by law, those same organics can’t be genetically modified.

Make the switch to fresh organic fruits and vegetables, and you can kill two birds with one stone by avoiding both the glyphosate and the GMOs at the same time.

You’ll have to pony up a little extra cash, but you’ll get better, safer and more nutritious food in the bargain.

Rheumatoid pain eased with fish

One key nutrient can slash rheumatoid pain

It’s one of the most devastating pain conditions you could face — one that leaves you writhing in agony as the disease literally EATS at your joints.

But new research reveals one quick way you can STOP the damage and EASE the pain as effectively as meds, but without the risks and side effects.

And it starts with what you eat!

If you or someone you love are struggling with rheumatoid arthritis, it’s time to put fish on the menu — because the new study finds that delicious, fresh seafood could help deliver real and lasting pain relief.

The more you eat, the more you can expect this condition to ease.

And if you can boost your intake of fresh fish — not counting fried fish and shellfish — you can expect to seize control over your pain and get your life back.

In fact, the new study finds that eating fish at least twice a week will lead to LESS pain and LESS swelling from this often-debilitating condition. Those are the two biggest symptoms of RA, and eating more fish knocked them both down a couple of pegs.

It wasn’t some small and barely noticeable improvement, either.

It was IDENTICAL to the boost typically seen in folks who take methotrexate, the main drug given to patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

There are likely two big reasons that fish are so helpful to rheumatoid patients. One is very obvious and direct, while the other is much subtler.

First, the obvious one: Omega-3s are natural inflammation fighters, so boosting your intake can reduce the swelling that marks rheumatoid. That leads to less damage and less pain.

If you don’t like fish, you can get that benefit easily enough by popping some omega-3 supplements daily.

The other, less obvious way fish helps won’t come from a supplement. It’s a matter of what it means for your overall lifestyle, and not just the fact that people who eat more fish tend to eat healthier in general (although that certainly helps, too).

It’s that when you eat more fish, you’re eating something natural and healthy… which means you’re NOT eating something unhealthy and processed that can cause more and worse inflammation.

That’s especially important if you have a food sensitivity, where certain ingredients can cause your immune system to overreact and attack your joints.

Other common conditions that cause or worsen RA include undiagnosed infections and overgrowth of certain bacteria in the gut.

Most mainstream doctors don’t routinely test for these and other rheumatoid triggers. If yours is one of them, contact a holistic medical doctor experienced in treating this condition.

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.

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

Frailty can be avoided with Mediterranean diet

This ‘diet’ tip can save your muscles

It’s the leading cause of misery in seniors — responsible for crippling weakness, devastating injury, and often a complete loss of independence.

And it’s not even a disease!

Nothing — and I mean nothing — can rob you of your joy and vitality faster than frailty.

But I’m not about to let this happen to you.

New research reveals the key to preserving your strength and restoring your energy. It works so well that if Big Pharma could bottle it, it’d cost thousands.

But mainstream docs can’t bottle it… and they can’t stop me from telling you that the REAL key to keeping strong ISN’T a drug and WON’T cost you a cent.

This completely safe and 100 percent natural “therapy” is something I’ve shared with you before, and I hope you took my advice… because the Mediterranean diet can slash your risk of turning frail and weak.

The new study focused on 560 folks 75 and older who were all pretty healthy at the start.

You know how quickly things can change at that age.

In just two years, 79 of those folks — nearly 15 percent — turned frail.

That means they had at least three major life-sapping symptoms, such as exhaustion, slowness, weakness, low levels of activity, and unexpected weight loss.

But when the researchers dug into the details, they spotted a clear pattern in the folks who managed to avoid that fate.

Many of them were following the Mediterranean diet.

The closer they stuck to this healthy lifestyle, they better the odds they’d age with their vitality and independence intact.

And the seniors who followed it mostly closely were TWO-THIRDS less likely to turn frail!

The biggest benefits show up exactly where you want them as you get older: This diet will give you more strength and a burst of energy. More specifically, following it will slash your odds of turning slow, weak, and inactive.

That’s good.

But this gets better. While the study didn’t look at specific nutrients, the research team behind it said adding a multivitamin with minerals into the mix along with a vitamin D supplement could also help you keep strong and cut your risk of frailty.

I couldn’t agree more.

I’ll add one more way to make this even better: While the Mediterranean diet allows for whole grains, I’d urge you to cut them out completely. They’re really not much better than refined grains, and the jumps in blood sugar they cause are no good at any age.

You’ve got better options on this diet anyway, including fresh produce, nuts, lean poultry, and fatty fish.

I’ll have more on the benefits of that last one coming up later today — and if you or someone you love is struggling with rheumatoid, you won’t want to miss this one.

Keep an eye on your inbox!