Dr. Mark Stengler's BestHealth Nutritionals

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

Heart disease risk factors linked to omega-3 levels

This simple test can reveal your heart risk

It’s the low-cost test that’ll give you the clearest picture yet of your heart risk.

You can ask your doctor next time you’re in for a visit, or you can order online and take it from the comfort of your own home for about $50.

New research reveals that this simple blood test – one that can be done with a couple of drops from a finger-prick test – is far more accurate than the standard cholesterol panel most doctors use.

That’s because it doesn’t test for cholesterol in any form.

Instead, it peeks into your blood cells to see how much omega-3 fatty acid is stored inside.

You already know that these healthy fats can cut heart risk. Now, this game-changing new study puts some very specific numbers on it.

It shows just how much they can help, and it reveals the exact levels you need for maximum protection.

If you hit that target, your risk of death from cardiovascular disease will plunge by 39 percent. Even better, those same targets will cut your risk of death from ANY cause by more than a third!

The cholesterol tests that your doctor relies upon won’t deliver anything close to those results.

In fact, in the study, cholesterol levels didn’t deliver any results at all! It found ZERO link between cholesterol and heart risk, including heart attack and death.

Yet most docs obsess over cholesterol… and will even drug you for it… while never testing for omega-3 fatty acids.

Most won’t even mention them!

Now, here’s the best part: While most people DON’T have the optimal levels found in the new study, it’s NOT impossible to reach them.

In fact, you can hit these targets with minimal effort!

The biggest benefits and lowest risks go to folks with an omega-3 index (that’s the number an omega-3 test will give you) of at least 6.8 percent — ideally 8 percent or higher.

The biggest risks, on the other hand, go to folks who have an omega-3 index of below 4 percent.

If you’re in that bottom category, don’t panic.

Eat more fish!

Just 3.5 ounces of omega-3-rich fish such as wild salmon per day is enough to bump you up from the lowest category to the highest.

Don’t eat that much fish? Don’t eat any fish at all? You can get that same jump from a supplement with 1,300 mg of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA per day.

New superbug threat identified by CDC

Could this ‘nightmare’ germ outbreak reach your backyard?

It’s the nightmare scenario everyone in medicine has feared – and it’s no longer “coming someday.”

It’s HERE, right now.

The CDC has sounded the alarm over a devastating new superbug: It’s picked up reports (from at least 27 states!) of hundreds of cases of a new form of a drug-resistant superbug called CRE, or Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.

This deadly strain of CRE is known for two things.

First, once you get it, there’s little your doc can do except pray. There’s not a single drug on the planet that can treat it.

While some germs are resistant to one, some, or most antibiotics, this one is far rarer: It can resist EVERYTHING.

As a result, the CDC says that this nightmare germ has a 50 percent death rate.

And second, everyone around you is at risk once you get it, too – because it spreads faster than a rumor in a middle school.

It can rip through hospitals and other care facilities like a tornado, leaving a trail of destruction behind it.

I know that it seems like the news can’t get any worse.

But it does, because that’s not the only way it spreads.

After this germ has sickened and killed patients, it can do something else: It can pass along its drug-resistance gene to OTHER types of bacteria it meets.

When that happens, doctors at an affected hospital aren’t just dealing with a single deadly superbug outbreak.

They have two… three… or four on their hands, one right after the other or even all at once.

Superbugs already sicken already 2 million Americans and kill 23,000 of us every year – and if CRE continues to spread, their toll could be about to rise.

That one bug in particular has now become “virtually untreatable with modern medicine,” warned the CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat.

And right there, hidden in her warning, is the one answer the CDC hasn’t looked at yet: These infections might be untreatable with “modern” medicine, but there’s an ancient trick that can help prevent you from getting sick even if you’re exposed.

It’s a potent and inexpensive defense system against infection that works even when drugs fail.

Good bugs can kill off the bad ones!

Heathy bacteria can wipe out dangerous germs — even superbugs — or at least keep them under control so that they never sicken you. If you’re not taking a probiotic supplement daily, it’s time to arm yourself with this powerful natural weapon.

We also have many other weapons in the vast field of natural medicine, such as antimicrobial herbal extracts like artemisinin and intravenous therapies such as ozone and vitamin C.

These, not drugs, are the best weapons we have.

Beer is turning into a GMO monstrosity

Something to fear lurking in your beer

Love beer?

I’ve got some news you’re going to hate – and maybe a reason to kick the can, break the bottle, and ditch the habit for good.

Scientists have just cooked up something that’s being celebrated as a “breakthrough” by the beer industry.

But it could turn out to be a nightmare for your body!

They’ve developed a genetically modified yeast… which already sounds like something out of a ’50s sci-fi horror flick.

The Yeast That Ate St. Louis… in 3-D!

Researchers at University of California Berkeley – a.k.a. “Berserkley” – took on the role of mad scientists, smashing the genes from mint and basil plants into brewer’s yeast.

The result?

A yeast that gives beer the bitter bite of hops… but without any actual hops.

Brewers at Lagunitas – a popular brewery here in California – said that the beers they made with this yeast are actually hoppier than their normal brews despite having no actual hops.

That’s being celebrated by the beer industry.

Hops are a cash crop with prices that can rise sharply at times. Some years, there have even been shortages.

Yeast, on the other hand, can be grown and cultivated in a lab, saving both time and keeping costs down.

Notice what’s missing from their goals?

YOU!

They really don’t care about your HEALTH.

If they did, they wouldn’t remove the hops… because they’re the only thing even remotely healthy in beer!

Hops can fight inflammation and help beat pain, including muscle aches and joint woes. They’re also rich in dietary silicon, which can help build, repair, and strengthen bone.

That’s not to say that you SHOULD drink beer — it generally contains only very small amounts of hops, so you’re better off taking a quality supplement if you want those benefits.

But it’s just amazing that they want to remove the healthiest part of the beer and replace it with a yeast that could turn each mug into a franken-brew monstrosity.

Since genetically modified foods don’t have to be tested in clinical trials, the new yeast could have health risks that we’ll never know about.

And you could be facing those risks right now, because while this yeast isn’t on the market yet, many beers are already loaded with GMOs in the form of genetically modified corn, corn syrup, rice, and more.

With no laws requiring labels for GMOs, you won’t even know when you’re drinking these potentially poisonous potions.

Throw in the fact that alcohol in general – and beer in particular – is a bad habit, and there’s just no need to mess around with this stuff.

Dump the suds — and if you’re not willing to give up booze entirely, limit yourself to an occasional glass of a quality organic wine.

Cancer survivors age faster

The risk every cancer survivor needs to know about

If you’re a cancer survivor, congratulations.

But even if the cancer never returns… even if you remain tumor-free for life… you can’t let your guard down.

Cancer and cancer treatments can leave behind something far worse than any scar.

While those scars may fade over time, the disease and many of the toxic therapies people turn to for help can cause invisible damage.

And over time, it doesn’t fade.

It gets WORSE.

The latest research reveals how cancer and cancer therapies can speed up your biological clock, leading to faster aging and a whole new set of serious health risks long after your fight with the disease.

In this study, researchers put aging Americans who survived having cancer to the test against peers who never had the disease.

The unfortunate reality is that the cancer survivors often did worse by several key measures.

In walking tests, they took 14 seconds longer and felt worse afterward, getting winded more easily while showing more fatigue and less endurance.

Compared to the folks who never had cancer, it was as if they had 1.6 times the normal decline in speed and endurance you’d expect from age alone.

While it might seem like it’s “only” a walking test, it’s not just a matter of moving slower and having less energy (although both of those conditions could have an impact on day-to-day living).

They’re also indications of the aging process accelerating in your body on a cellular level.

They’re such reliable warnings that a simple walking test on its own – regardless of whether you’ve had cancer – can often measure your risk for everything from heart problems to dementia.

The new report is also right in line with other studies that show how cancer survivors often suffer years later from declines in key functions in the brain, heart, and more.

Many folks who’ve survived the disease know and expect it. They think it’s the price of beating cancer.

But it’s not.

You can fight cancer, win, and come out the other side feeling better than ever.

The key is to make sure that detoxifying therapies are part of your plan, both during your cancer treatment and in the months and years that follow.

These treatments can restore lost function, give you back your energy, and help you to thrive despite the disease.

And if you’re in the San Diego area, I can help both during your cancer battle and after, even if your treatment was years ago.

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

Not in Southern California? 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!

Testosterone gets a big boost from the mainstream

Guys, this could solve ALL your problems

FINALLY!

One of the BIGGEST health problems facing older men is getting some big-time recognition from the mainstream.

It’s the “secret” cause of just about ALL of the problems that pop up once you cross the other side of 50, from sagging energy to low mood to that notorious “spare tire” that won’t deflate no matter what you try.

This single hidden condition can make you slower, weaker, and sicker.

It’s also responsible for those infamous bedroom issues.

For YEARS, doctors have tried to ignore this silent problem.

But now, the mainstream media has just come clean and admitted that this ONE ISSUE alone could solve practically all of your problems at once.

The New York Times published a stunning report that admits that testosterone can be a game-changer for older men.

The newspaper’s lengthy article may be the first of its kind from such a mainstream news organization. And it comes right out and says it: If you’re low in testosterone, this therapy can bring back your vim and vigor.

Being the Times, there is a downside to the report: It starts out by saying that testosterone “probably” won’t help you.

The reason?

First, the article says that it ONLY works if you go from low to normal. If you’re already in the zone, it claims, boosting it won’t help.

The truth is a little more complicated, but that’s not the biggest problem with the story.

That comes next: The Times claims that the problem isn’t all that common, with only 5 percent of men between 50 and 59 being low in testosterone.

The newspaper failed to note that the numbers jump dramatically from there, with the risk QUADRUPLING once you hit 60.

Some 20 percent of men between 60 to 70 years old are low, along with nearly a third of men in their 70s and up to half of guys in their 80s.

That adds up to more than just a massive quality-of-life issue.

It’s also a life-or-death issue, as older men with low testosterone have a higher risk of heart problems and death.

If you haven’t been tested yet, it’s time to get checked out, especially if you just “don’t feel right.”

Your doctor may have dismissed it as age, but as the new report shows, it’s not just the passage of time at fault.

It’s your hormones. And if you’re low, your levels can be replaced in two ways.

First, natural therapies and a little weight loss can get your body to produce more of the hormone entirely on its own.

If that doesn’t quite solve the problem, the second step is natural hormone therapy in the care of an experienced doctor.

If you’re in the San Diego area, I run one of the most complete hormone testing and treatment programs in the nation right here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in Southern California? 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!

God bless,
Dr. Mark Stengler

P.S. After years of research, my colleague and fellow HSI panelist Dr. Allan Spreen has come up with a way that you can live your life FREE from achy joint pain and discomfort. In fact, he says that his new breakthrough can help you live life to the FULLEST… without being trapped in a body that won’t let you do what you want. To hear more about it from Dr. Spreen himself, click here.

Olive oil can extend your life

The kitchen swap that will add years to your life

A better… healthier… and LONGER life.

Who doesn’t want that?

Well, friend, today I’ve got a quick tip that can deliver exactly what you’re looking for, and you won’t believe how simple it is.

All you have to do is make two swaps in your kitchen – two little changes that I guarantee will be barely noticeable.

Here’s what you need to do: Get out your shopping list. Scratch out the vegetable oil or canola oil if those are what you normally use (and if you have them in your kitchen now, toss whatever’s left). Add olive oil and/or avocado oil to your list as a replacement.

Either one is great, but both are even better and will give you more versatility with your cooking and on your salads.

Next, scratch out the milk and write almond milk – and if you have any moo juice in the fridge, send what’s left down the drain.

That’s it.

You’ll barely notice any difference in taste in foods cooked with olive and avocado oils. And while almond milk does taste different – better, if you ask me – you won’t miss normal milk once you make the adjustment.

But your body will notice the difference.

You’ll get healthier where it matters most, which is why new research from Harvard University finds that these two easy-to-make changes will help you to LIVE LONGER!

The key is in the heart-friendly, artery-clearing monounsaturated fatty acids, a.k.a. MUFAs you can find in things like avocados, olives, and nuts.

While some animal products and fresh dairy contain MUFAs, the new study finds they won’t help.

Only high-quality plant sources will do the trick, and you won’t find anything better than the ones I just mentioned.

Replace some of your dairy and meats with these MUFA sources, and your risk of dying early will plunge by about 25 percent.

Even replacing just 5 percent of your calories with these terrific sources of heathy fats can cut your risk of death by as much as 15 percent!

One note of caution here: Canola is also billed as a terrific source of MUFAs, and it certainly looks like it on the label. As well, it’s often a whole lot cheaper than extra-virgin olive oil and avocado oil, but don’t give into that temptation.

Canola is a genetically modified source of ugly trans fats, which can be present even if it says “trans fats-free” on the label.

Stick to the real thing.

EVOO and avocado oil might cost a little more, but they’re worth every penny.

Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to thyroid dysfunction

Is THIS why you’re exhausted all the time?

Doctors CAN’T explain it. And some of them WON’T acknowledge it.

Yours may even try to tell you that chronic fatigue syndrome isn’t real.

It’s enough to make you want to smack him… if only you had the energy!

But while he’s pretending that CFS is a made-up disorder, new research reveals a way to treat it.

It’s not what he’s been using. In what’s often the ultimate insult on top of injury, many mainstream docs give antidepressants to women with chronic fatigue syndrome.

It’s a sure sign that they think the problem is all in your head.

Turns out, that’s off the mark by about 8 inches.

It could be an issue just below your head, in the thyroid gland sitting inside your neck, as the new study finds a link between chronic fatigue and low levels of all-important thyroid hormones.

But here’s the catch: Your doctor won’t notice it because he’s running the wrong test!

Even if he’s “with it” enough to check in on your thyroid function, he’ll almost certainly only test for levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

That’s the hormone cranked out by your pituitary gland when your levels of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 drop. Just as the name suggests, it’s supposed to “stimulate” the thyroid into picking up the pace and making more.

When TSH levels are normal, most mainstream docs assume T3 and T4 are in order, too.

But that’s not the case with chronic fatigue. The study finds that patients can have perfectly normal TSH levels… while being desperately low in T3 and T4.

That means that any doc who looks only at TSH will miss the problem entirely!

The researchers are hoping that this will lead to new treatments for chronic fatigue. No doubt, some docs will start offering synthetic thyroid hormones.

But that’s not the answer here.

A natural herbal therapy called ashwagandha can improve levels of TSH and boost production of both T3 and T4 naturally.

It can also do something even more important.

While there may certainly be a thyroid component to chronic fatigue, many cases are a sign of problems in another gland.

Chronic fatigue is often caused by overworked and stressed-out adrenal glands – a.k.a. adrenal fatigue – and that’s where ashwagandha really shines. This powerful natural remedy is proven to boost sagging adrenal function, restore energy, and renew your vitality.

If often works wonders on its own, but for adrenal support I find it’s even more powerful when combined with other natural stress-busters such as Rhodiola rosea, Eleutherococcus (a.k.a. Siberian ginseng), and vitamin B12.

Antibiotics linked to heart risk in women

What UTI treatments could do to your heart

A urinary tract infection may not seem like a major health problem.

Sure, it’s irritating and painful. It can even make you miserable. But it’s not a deadly heart condition.

Right?

But ladies, your life could be on the line just the same… and it’s not because of the infection itself.

It’s the TREATMENT!

The very antibiotic drugs you rely on to keep those infections away could put the hurtin’ on your heart — and maybe even kill you.

That’s not a risk ANYONE should face — not when frequent UTIs have a much simpler answer that’s just as effective, which I’ll get to in a moment.

But that’s the risk YOU’RE facing, right now, if you’re taking these meds over the long-term, whether it’s for urinary infections or any other reason.

And for women over 60, the risks start in just two months.

Take antibiotics for that long (or longer) yourself, and your risk of death from heart disease will jump by 58 percent… and the odds of death from ANY cause will rise by 28 percent.

This isn’t something you’ll face just while taking the meds.

It lingers.

It hangs around so long that you could face a higher risk of death for a full EIGHT YEARS after a long-term antibiotic prescription.

The reason for the risk isn’t clear, but it seems pretty obvious that it’s an indirect “side effect” of how the drugs work.

They kill off bacteria, as you know, but they don’t just target the germs that are making you sick. They also kill off the GOOD bacteria you need, leading to dangerous imbalances in your body that can cause chronic health problems, including heart disease.

Ironically, these drugs that are supposed to fight infections can actually CAUSE other types of infections – including some that may be far more dangerous than the UTI you’re trying to avoid.

But you don’t have to swap one risk for another.

You can beat even the toughest-to-treat UTIs without any drugs at all!

One study found that 500 mg of cranberry extract taken every day is just as effective as the antibiotic trimethoprim for frequent UTIs. Just make sure you use actual cranberry extract, not the “juice drinks” sold in supermarkets that contain more sugar than cranberry.

For even more infection-fighting power, combine cranberry with a quality probiotic supplement.

Specifically, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 have shown in studies to cut the average number of UTIs in women prone to them by nearly as much as antibiotics and without the risks.

Heart disease linked to ear wrinkles

Here’s a chance for you to play doctor, because there’s a way that you can spot the sign of arteries turning to stone.

And you don’t need to visit the clinic for this “test.”

No appointment. No driving. No copay.

All you need is a mirror!

Take a peek at your reflection. There you are. Still perfect after all of these years!

Be proud of every mark and wrinkle. Those are signs of good living, and plenty more are still to come.

But there’s one specific little wrinkle you need to hunt for.

Take a close look at your ears. Focus on your earlobes.

What you’re searching for is a wrinkle that looks like a line or a crease. It might run straight across, or it might run down at an angle, but it’ll look as if your earlobe had been folded and then reopened.

It’s a little line called Frank’s sign, named for the doc who discovered it.

Believe it or not, that little easy-to-spot mark is about as reliable as big-money testing in a doctor’s office.

Frank’s sign is usually an indication of too much plaque accumulating in your arteries, causing them to harden and leading to atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke in turn.

A recent report on CNN notes that more than 40 studies have found a link between Frank’s sign and hardening arteries, and emerging evidence has recently made a connection to stroke risk.

If you see the sign… and haven’t been to the doctor in a little while… don’t mess around. Make an appointment ASAP.

I don’t want to alarm you too much here — this sign doesn’t mean you absolutely, definitely have atherosclerosis.

But it certainly could be an indication that you’re headed there.

Either way, if you’re healthy enough to read this, you’re healthy enough to take action, get treatment, protect yourself, and cut those risks.

The best treatment for atherosclerosis will depend on the cause and severity, but natural therapies can make a dramatic difference.

Start with magnesium.

It’s pretty basic. We all know that we need it, yet 80 percent of older Americans fall short.

One 2014 study found that over six months, magnesium supplements led to dramatic improvements in artery stiffness when compared to placebo in overweight to obese patients.

Vitamin K2, which you can get from chicken and eggs or a supplement, can also help clean out arteries – but don’t take it without speaking to a doctor first, as it doesn’t mix well with the blood thinner warfarin.

Spinal fusion won’t cut your painkiller use

Popular back pain surgery flunks major study

Don’t sign up for that back surgery just yet!

New research exposes the dirty truth about one of today’s most common — and most EXPENSIVE — operations.

If you have chronic back pain to the point where you’re taking meds for it, your doc has almost certainly mentioned a spinal fusion.

Maybe you even have this procedure scheduled.

All I can say is call up and cancel it while you still can, because the new study shows that it’s about as good for your back as bathing in the light of the full moon.

Actually, I take that back. At least the moonlight won’t hurt you!

Surgery, on the other hand, leads to painful recovery and infection risk.

If it actually eliminated or even eased chronic pain, you might consider it just the same.

But don’t count on it.

The new study finds that if you need powerful opioid drugs for your back pain, you’ll still need them long after this operation.

Seven months after surgery, more than three-quarters of regular opioid users are still in so much pain that they keep taking the meds.

Only 9 percent quit.

Some of that, no doubt, is testament to the addictive power of these drugs.

But if the operation really worked — if it REALLY cut pain and made life better — you’d see much better numbers than 9 percent.

The mainstream is already making excuses, claiming this is just a problem with follow-up care and not a sign the operation itself failed.

But that’s not what’s going on here.

The spinal fusion has been put to the test before… and it flunked every time. In one study, this expensive operation went head-to-head against a smaller and simpler procedure called decompression.

Over two years, the patients had the exact same outcomes.

Despite failing these and other studies, docs keep doing the surgery anyway. Nearly half a million spinal fusions are done every year, making it an industry worth more than $40 billion annually.

To put that into perspective, imagine the revenue of every Starbucks in the world… combined.

DOUBLE it.

That’s how big a business spinal fusion is!

With that kind of cash on the line, you can see why they’re trying desperately not to rock the boat. Some docs literally make a living off this operation — and a pretty good one — and they’re worried that if patients knew the truth, it would all come to an end.

But now, YOU know the truth.

You can get real and lasting relief — and give up meds — without surgery if you turn to natural inflammation-fighters such as curcumin and MSM combined with nondrug therapies like acupuncture, massage, and osteopathic spinal manipulation.

Diabetes linked to weaker bone in women

The diabetes risk your doctor can’t fix

Ladies, your doctor might not have warned you about this risk.

He might’ve even specifically said that you’ve got nothing to worry about when it comes to your bones.

But if you’ve got diabetes, there’s something he doesn’t know.

This disease can launch a “secret attack” on your bones, weakening them and eventually destroying them.

But this silent damage WON’T show up on the standard bone-mineral density tests your doctor will use.

That means that you could be at risk, RIGHT NOW, without either you or your doctor knowing!

New research reveals how women with diabetes are falling through the cracks when it comes to fractures and breaks.

They’re NOT getting the help they need — and it’s at least in part because they don’t know that there’s a problem.

Women with diabetes often pass bone-mineral density tests with flying colors, and that’s partly because they tend to be heavier, which often leads to denser bone.

But density isn’t the ONLY measure of bone strength. You’ve also got to worry about bone QUALITY.

Unlike density, there’s no single test for quality… so it often gets the short end of the stick.

The result: Millions of older women with diabetes are at risk due to low-quality bone, but they aren’t getting the help they need to cut that risk.

They’re getting the opposite, because as bad as diabetes is for bone, there’s something even worse.

It’s the TREATMENT!

Some of the most popular drugs given to patients with diabetes can also turn bones brittle and weak, setting the stage for devastating breaks or fractures that can lead to agonizing pain and the kind of injury that can literally take you off your feet and put you in a wheelchair.

Emerging evidence finds that a class of medication called sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors — a.k.a. SGLT2 drugs such as canagliflozin (Invokana) — can increase the risk of fractures.

Ditto goes for an older class of medication called thiazolidinediones, which includes pioglitazone (a.k.a. Actos). The researchers behind the new study are urging docs to avoid these meds in people at risk.

No kidding.

But again, what if people don’t even know that they’re at risk in the first place?

Take two steps: First, avoid these meds and limit your need for other diabetes drugs by making diet changes such as avoiding processed foods (especially carbs).

Second, give your bones what they need to keep strong — and I don’t mean the bone drugs being pushed by the mainstream.

Some of them can break the very bones they’re supposed to protect!

Use natural therapies — including a mix of calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K — instead.

Alzheimer’s drug fails new clinical trial

Dementia risk? What WON’T work… and what WILL

They’re giving up on you.

If you have dementia… if you’re at risk for Alzheimer’s disease… if you’re even CONCERNED about the possibility… the mainstream has a message for you.

There’s NOTHING you can do!

They’re shelving all of their most promising treatments and therapies because they keep flunking in clinical trials.

The latest failure: a targeted gene therapy that’s injected directly into the brain itself.

In folks with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, these “brain injections” (picture that!) didn’t make a bit of difference over two years.

They didn’t improve cognitive scores, and they didn’t improve or extend lives.

By some measures, the folks who got the treatment actually did slightly WORSE!

Just about the only positive thing they can say about this science-fiction treatment is that — wait for it — it didn’t HURT anyone.

Not going to lie here — given how dangerous so many common drugs are, that actually IS a major achievement.

But if it doesn’t HELP, what’s the point?

If you’re at risk, this might seem like frightening news. It can seem hopeless when the mainstream gives up and walks away, claiming there’s no cure and no treatment.

But I’m not giving up, and I’m not walking away.

I’m here to restore hope with safe, natural, proven, and highly effective ways to slow, stop, and in some cases even reverse dementia.

They’ll work at preventing the disease. And more importantly, they can work if you’re already in the early stages — even if you can already feel your mind slipping a little more every day.

Some of them you can get on your own: Age-fighting resveratrol supplements, for example, can often help slow the damage.

In one study of patients with full-blown Alzheimer’s disease, these safe and inexpensive supplements slowed the functional decline. That allowed folks to continue caring for themselves and handling everyday tasks on their own — so they could live in their own homes longer.

Other treatments require a little more help.

Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases, including Parkinson’s, are often caused or worsened by metals that build up in the body and then head into the brain.

Natural detoxifying therapies such as chelation can pull out the toxins and slow the damage, leading to dramatic improvements.

None of these treatments — from chelation to nutritional supplements — are very profitable, so the mainstream isn’t interested in offering them.

But you can get them with help from a skilled holistic medical doctor.

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 Southern California? 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!

Statins get new push for older patients

Not on statins? They’re LOOKING for you!

They’re coming for you!

If you’re not on statins yet, expect a big push from just about every direction.

The talking heads on TV… the “experts” with their drug-friendly guidelines… and even your own doctors… are ALL getting ready to put you to the screws.

They’re stunned and shocked by new numbers that show how after years of toeing the line and taking their meds, patients are starting to revolt.

And they’re being led by America’s seniors!

The latest stats show a mass rejection of cholesterol drugs.

Barely half of all the folks who’ve been told that they have high cholesterol and need the meds are actually taking them. Of people with “very” high cholesterol, less than a third are following orders and swallowing their pills.

Mainstream docs are floored by this.

Independence! Free-thinking patients! Who can allow that?

They’re now expected to launch into a new drive to get these “missing” patients to shut up and take their medicine.

But they’re not concerned about YOU.

Not really.

Docs are concerned about what happens when patients start doing their own homework and having their own ideas about health — ideas that aren’t straight from mainstream guidelines.

They WANT — correction, they NEED — you to obey, but it’s not because they want you to be healthy.

It’s because their jobs and profits depend on it. If you can stay healthy without meds, their margins shrink.

But you can do it. Despite their howls of profit-driven protests, you DON’T need those cholesterol drugs (which don’t even have anything close to the track record they want you to believe).

Even when they cut cholesterol, they don’t always cut risks. And even when they “help,” they can cause serious side effects.

They can even cause diabetes!

Maybe THAT’S why they want so many millions to take the drugs. Nothing keeps people more dependent on doctors and medications quite like diabetes.

Let me cut to the chase and tell you what they won’t about your cholesterol: Docs who focus on the numbers alone are missing a BIG part of the picture.

Your health doesn’t depend on a specific target, as they want you to think.

It’s about what’s happening to the LDL cholesterol particles inside your body.

If those particles are getting slammed by damaging free radicals, it really doesn’t matter what the numbers are. You’re facing big risks, as free radicals cause LDL to oxidize and clog your arteries even when you have “low” cholesterol.

If they’re NOT oxidizing, on the other hand, they’ll keep moving — and even so-called high levels of LDL cholesterol won’t hurt you.

So, don’t blindly attack the number.

Attack the REAL problem instead. Turn to natural treatments that can block free radicals, stop oxidation, and truly protect your heart and save your life.

Pain relievers taken for arthritis linked to heart risk

New warning for arthritis patients

I’ve got a new warning about the common drugs taken every day by Americans who are battling arthritis, especially in the knees.

Docs will tell you that these meds are better than opioid drugs.

They’ll say that they can bring quick relief without the risk of addiction.

But while prescription NSAIDs may not be quite as risky as powerful opioid drugs, they pack plenty of risks of their own — especially when you have to turn to them regularly for knee pain.

Today, I’ve got two new studies that everyone who takes these drugs needs to see.

The first shows a dangerous new risk linked to common prescription-strength NSAIDs.

And the second shows a way off the drugs so that you can avoid those risks — a way to ease your knees, drain the pain, and feel better again.

Let me start with that warning, because it really hits home for so many Americans with arthritis.

The new study finds that prescription-strength NSAIDs may damage the top chamber of the heart, which can cause it to start beating wildly at times.

It’s a frightening condition, called atrial fibrillation, that can increase your risk of a deadly stroke — and taking NSAIDs regularly can increase your risk by 18 percent.

While the study finds that the risk is linked to prescription doses, it’s easy to reach those levels without a prescription.

If you’ve ever taken the “normal” dose listed on the label of an over-the-counter NSAID… and then popped one or two more when it didn’t work or didn’t work fast enough… you’ve given yourself a “prescription” dose.

And if you’ve done that regularly, you’re facing big risks — including risk of bleeds in the brain and gut, as well as the heartbeat problems found in the new study.

Clearly, you don’t want the meds.

But just as clearly, you NEED pain relief — and that’s where the second new study comes into the picture.

It finds that a compound locked away inside a humble spice can be just as effective as those NSAIDs!

After focusing on folks who play rugby, the new study finds that curcumin can ease the pain of sports injuries.

You might not be playing rugby… but if you have arthritis, this study applies to you, too.

It’s not just that fact that it worked that matters here.

It’s HOW it worked: by fighting inflammation, one of the key reasons for the pain of arthritis.

As a result, the researchers behind the study say that this compound should work for other pain conditions related to inflammation, including arthritis.

That’s not your only option. Combine it with other proven therapies, including UC-II collagen, and you could feel like you have a brand-new set of knees… with no drugs or surgeries needed.

Grilling can raise blood pressure

Barbecuing? Read this first!

Here in San Diego, every season is grilling season.

But throughout most of the nation, the covers are only just now coming off of the barbecues as the snow melts, the temperatures rise, and you can go outside without dressing like an Eskimo.

And honestly, is there anything better than fresh food cooked over an open flame?

Well, not so fast.

Now, I’m not here to drain your propane. And I’m not about to throw cold water on your charcoal. But I DO have a caution on HOW to use your grill, because new research reveals a hidden risk behind foods cooked at high temperatures.

Meats that hit the heat can practically cause your blood to boil!

The new study finds that high-temperature cooking — including barbecuing, grilling, roasting, and broiling — can cause chemicals including heterocyclic aromatic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to form in your food.

And the more of these compounds you eat, the higher your risk of high blood pressure.

Eating these meats 15 times a month will cause your risk of high blood pressure to jump by nearly a fifth.

And that’s not the only reason to limit the heat.

The same study finds that eating well-done meat — no matter how it’s cooked — will increase your risk of high blood pressure by 15 percent.

Obviously, very few people are lighting up the grill every other day on average (even in the summer).

But since this includes broiled, roasted, and well-done meats, it’s easy to hit those 15 overcooked meals without realizing it.

Not worried about blood pressure? You should still worry about how your food is cooked.

Burned and charred meats — especially the crispy edges that come from a hot grill or broiler — might be delicious, but those chemicals I mentioned earlier that form when food is burned are part of a class of compounds called advanced glycation end products.

We call them AGEs for short, and that’s exactly what they do: They age cells. Rapidly.

In your body, those AGEs can trigger internal changes that lead to all of the risks of aging, including deadly chronic diseases such as cancer and dementia.

I’m not out to ruin anyone’s barbecue, especially if you’ve been waiting all winter to light that grill.

Just be sensible about it. A couple of times a month should be fine if you’re otherwise healthy.

You may also want to make a couple of modifications:

  • Cook healthier BBQ dishes (like fish and veggie kabobs instead of ground chuck and processed franks).
  • Don’t overcook your food — meat or otherwise.
  • Consider avoiding direct contact with the grill by cooking your food atop something like a salt block or a cedar plank — so you can get heat and flavor without the dangerous char.
  • Try marinating your meat, as some studies show that it can reduce the number of unhealthy compounds that form during high-temperature cooking.

Follow any number of these tips, and you’ll do a good job avoiding “well-done.”

Heart surgery patients need vitamin D

What EVERY heart patient needs before surgery

It’s the science-backed therapy that can make a life-or-death difference if you’re having heart surgery.

It’s safe… it’s cheap… it’s readily available… and it comes with no side effects.

Odds are, though, you won’t get it unless you ask!

New research proves once again that high doses of vitamin D before heart surgery can boost blood levels in patients who are low, but that’s not all.

That boost will do something else that’s every bit as important.

It will help keep you high in D during and even AFTER the operation, when levels of this critical heart-pumping hormone may rapidly plunge and lead to dangerous complications.

You can prevent those risks — and all you have to do is ask your doc for high-dose D before the operation.

He’ll have a hard time saying “no” in light of this new study!

Patients going in for heart surgery were given either a placebo or three daily 50,000 IU doses of vitamin D.

That’s a high dose, but it’s not dangerously high in short-term situations.

In fact, just the opposite: In this situation, it’s a VITAL dose!

While folks who were given the placebo saw their levels of D drop to dangerous levels during and after the surgery, the ones given the supplements kept normal levels.

The study didn’t track other outcomes, though there’s another trial doing just that right now.

But you don’t need to wait for those results to know that D is critical before heart surgery.

Other studies have already proven that high D levels before surgery can make a life-or-death difference.

In one study a few years back, bypass patients with even moderately low levels of D had more than TRIPLE the risk of death after their operations… while those with very low levels had FOUR TIMES the risk of dying in the three months following surgery.

If you’re having some other form of surgery — even an operation that has nothing to do with your ticker — it’s still a good idea to load up on D.

A study that looked at all forms of surgery found that every 5 ng/mL jump in D levels will cut your risk of complications by 7 percent, including the risk of serious infection, cardiovascular events, and death.

Those are just a couple of examples.

Clearly, you need it. But just as clearly, most patients aren’t getting it.

So, if you’re going in for surgery, talk to your doctor about D levels. Get tested for your current levels, if possible. And work on a strategy to keep those levels high before, during, and after your procedure.

Your life may depend on it.

Plantar fasciitis eased without pricey inserts

Save your feet and save money, too!

Even the name sounds expensive.

When a doc says “custom orthotic,” you can almost feel the cash slipping out of your wallet.

These things can cost hundreds of dollars, and they’re usually not covered by insurance.

Now, the latest research shows that you don’t have to shell out all of that cash.

You can give your feet the support they need… and end the pain and agony of conditions such as plantar fasciitis… for a fraction of the price.

And you don’t even need to visit a specialist to get the relief your feet so desperately need.

The new study finds that expensive custom orthotics are nothing more than cash cows for podiatrists — because they’re no more effective than the plain old off-the-shelf inserts that you can buy in Target or Walmart!

The customized ones don’t ease heel pain better. They don’t restore movement more effectively. They don’t help you recover more quickly.

They don’t do anything better than the cheap-o inserts — and the study finds that even THOSE might not be needed, either!

This isn’t to say that you should ignore plantar pain.

But the study finds that basic treatments without specialized inserts or orthotics also work just as well — especially these three, which won’t cost you much at all:

  1. Supportive shoes: This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you wear flimsy footwear or haven’t bought a new pair of shoes in a while, it’s time to give yourself an upgrade. Even without inserts, a supportive pair of shoes can ease pain, restore movement, and prevent the injury from coming back.
  2. Night splints: These are, essentially, elaborate socks with Velcro straps to keep your foot stretched as you sleep. Most cost under $20 and can be especially helpful at preventing the burning “first step” pain that a plantar injury can give you in the morning.
  3. Stretching: Flex your feet a few times a day, but don’t do any old random stretches. Not all of them will help (and some may hurt). Here’s one easy stretch that targets right muscles: Take off your shoes and socks, sit down, and raise your foot high enough so that you can grab your big toe. Gently pull it back and slowly release it a few times, then do the same on the other foot. You can look online for more proven plantar stretches.

If you have plantar pain, these tips will help you recover — although it can still take a few months, so be patient.

And if you don’t have the condition, you might want to follow these steps anyway to help ensure that you never get it.

Falls are often caused by meds

How to solve a $50-billion problem

It’s the $50-billion-a-year problem that’s wrecking the healthcare system.

And the mainstream is blaming YOU for it!

A new report confirms that falls are a major risk for older people… leading to ER visits, hospital stays, surgeries, disability, and even death.

No disputing that.

The study also confirms that the cost of these falls is about a billion dollars per week — with the bulk of it coming out of the Medicare system.

And tragically, fatal falls cost more than $2 million a day.

But when it comes to WHY 3 in 10 seniors suffer a fall every year, the mainstream wants you to think that it’s simply because of your age.

Of course, not one of us is as steady on our feet as we used to be.

But the idea that age alone is the main cause of falls — more importantly, the main cause of INJURY falls — is pure nonsense.

The real reason isn’t the number of candles on your birthday cake.

It’s the number of pills in your organizer!

Yes, friend, if mainstream docs want to point the finger, they should point it at themselves for all of the guidelines that push so many meds on seniors.

And there’s one class of medication that’s the worst of the lot.

It’s often unneeded… and it can be reduced… or even eliminated.

Yet the mainstream just expanded the guidelines to put MILLIONS of new patients — especially older folks — onto these drugs.

Blood pressure meds can make you so unsteady that you not only fall… but fall so hard that you could suffer the kind of injury that can destroy your life.

A 2014 study found that these drugs — including ACE inhibitors, diuretics, and beta-blockers — can cause you to fall and crack your skull or hip, increasing those risks by 40 percent.

The fall risk of these meds is often greater than the risks of the hypertension itself, especially if your BP is only a little on the high side.

In some cases, those slight elevations in BP can be safely ignored.

In others, you can bring your levels down quickly and without drugs: Lose a little weight and consider natural therapies including calcium, potassium, and magnesium from diet and/or supplements.

Of course, don’t stop taking any meds without speaking to your doctor first.

Another way to cut your risk of falls is to watch your feet — and I’ll have a money-saving tip on how to do just that coming up later today.

Keep an eye on your email!

Artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain

This ‘diet’ switch can make you fatter

It’s the vicious cycle that leads to weight gain… obesity… and diabetes.

And it could be CAUSED by trying to STOP it!

Crazy, right?

But new research shows how there’s a right way and a wrong way to stop weight gain and prevent the onset of diabetes.

And many people unknowingly pick the wrong one.

Maybe you’ve done it yourself: You step on the scale, shriek at the number, and vow to make big changes.

The first change many people make — the ONLY change that some might make — is to swap sugary drinks and snacks for low- and no-cal versions.

Out with the Coke, in with the Diet Coke. Instead of sugar in your coffee or tea, you pick a packet: blue, yellow, or pink.

And, of course, there are plenty of treats out there with many of those same substitutes.

They certainly SOUND better, and you don’t have to quite give up the things you love if you make the switch.

But that’s exactly what you SHOULDN’T do.

Studies show that people who make the switch to no-cal chemical sweeteners often keep gaining weight. One study from a few years back found that just three large diet sodas a week can increase the risk of diabetes by as much as 60 percent.

The new study shows one reason for it: Those fake sugars damage your body on a cellular level, altering the stem cells that normally turn into muscle, fat, bone, or cartilage.

When exposed to an artificial sweetener — in this case, the study used sucralose (a.k.a. Splenda) — those cells suck up fat like a sponge.

The more sweetener they’re exposed to, the more fat they absorb.

That leads to fat production — exactly what you DON’T want — and the study finds that the risk is highest in the cells of people who are already overweight or obese.

In other words, the very people looking for help from fake sugars… the people who need to LOSE fat… could actually gain it.

That’s not all that they found, either.

Tests on fat cells taken from human volunteers found that the sweetener also caused oxygenation inside the cell, which slows metabolism and can cause fat to build up.

While this was a test on cells, it verifies what we’ve seen in studies on people, as artificial sweeteners often do just the opposite of what you expect, making it harder to lose weight and easier to gain it.

If you’re looking to drop a few pounds… or just looking to keep healthy… give up all of these sweeteners and get back to an all-natural diet low in all forms of sugar and sugar substitutes.

And if you’re looking for a sweet drink to replace your pop, try fruit-infused waters or club soda.

Prostate biopsy can be avoided with MRI

Good news, guys: You can avoid that biopsy!

It’s not just one of the most uncomfortable tests a guy can get.

It’s also dangerous… and often completely unnecessary.

Now, the latest research finds that many men may be able to completely avoid the dreaded prostate biopsy.

No stress. No needle. No risk.

And most importantly, NO CANCER!

An MRI test can often do more to sort out who’s at risk than a biopsy ever will, and that could mean that many men will never need the needles… and never have to live through the anguish of a false cancer diagnosis.

If you’re at risk… if your doc is about to send you out for a biopsy… this new study could be just the news you’ve been waiting for.

The research focuses specifically on men with very high PSA scores who would normally be sent out for biopsies pretty much automatically.

But in this study, some of the men were sent off for an MRI first, which in many cases ruled out cancer.

More than 1 in 4 men were completely cleared. They DIDN’T need the biopsy.

It’s not a foolproof system, and clearly some men will need biopsies anyway.

But cutting down by even this amount would be a major victory, because biopsies themselves aren’t harmless procedures.

In one study, 94 percent of men called them “painful,” which is no surprise given that a needle goes in you-know-where and then has to poke a few holes to pull out some samples. (Don’t do a Google search for picture of that needle — you don’t even want to know what it looks like.)

That pain lasts for days, sometimes weeks — and that’s not the worst of it.

Because of where it’s going, inside a part of the body that’s not exactly known for being clean, there’s a risk of moving bacteria around, sending it into places that it shouldn’t go and causing an infection.

Some men end up hospitalized after their biopsies because of these infections.

Fewer biopsies, with those remaining concentrated on those who need it most, will cut down on both the pain and infection risk.

But this new approach also means something else.

The researchers say that it can also help cut down on detecting — and treating — harmless cancers, as it’s better at sorting out the rarer high-risk cancers that may really need treatment.

While some docs have already been using MRIs for prostate cancer and other forms of the disease, it might be some time before the practice becomes standard.

For now, that means that you may have to take action on your own: If you’re at risk for cancer or have a warning sign that a doc wants to check out, ask if an MRI might be a better option for you.