Dr. Mark Stengler's BestHealth Nutritionals

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

Cataracts linked to diabetes

Stop your cataracts… BEFORE they start!

It’s one of the leading causes of vision loss on the entire planet.

And because it sinks in so slowly, you could be at risk for this condition right now… and not even know it!

Now, the latest research exposes one of the biggest risk factors for cataracts.

It’s not just age, as most doctors will tell you.

It’s not just meds, even though some of them — including statin drugs — can wreck your eyesight even faster than age.

It’s another disease, one that 100 million Americans either already have or are at risk of getting.

It’s diabetes — and if you’ve got it, you could be developing cataracts right now, even if you’ve never so much as needed a pair of reading glasses.

The new study finds that folks with diabetes not only face double the risk of cataracts or more, but they can start at earlier-than-ever ages and become more severe when they do strike.

It’s easy to see how it happens, too.

When you have diabetes, you’re often struggling to keep up with all of the risks you’re facing.

There are heart problems… pain problems… infection problems… and even a chance of amputation.

If that’s not enough, diabetes can also wreck your brain from the inside, leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

With all of those risks to worry about, it’s easy to see why cataracts get overlooked.

By the time you realize what’s happening, they’re already forming — and soon, you’re left struggling to see. You may even be unable to drive.

If there’s any good news here, it’s that cataracts can be knocked out with a simple surgery.

It’s certainly better than going blind… but it’s no picnic, either.

But there’s another option — a way to avoid both the cataracts and the surgery — and I’m going to help you do just that.

The new study doesn’t show why diabetes causes those cataracts, but it’s almost certainly the excess blood sugar, which can damage your eyes in any number of ways.

Keep your glucose under control, and you can help stop those cataracts from forming.

Even better, you can help cut your risk of diabetic retinopathy, another major cause of blindness. And unlike cataracts, retinopathy can’t be fixed with a quickie operation.

Despite what your doc might tell you, the best way to control blood sugar isn’t with your meds.

It’s with your diet.

Make the switch to a grain-free, low-sugar, and limited-carb diet based on the Mediterranean lifestyle, and you can help bring your glucose under control and protect every part of your body… including your eyes.

Breast cancer treatment puts heart at risk

URGENT: New warning for breast cancer survivors

It’s the one thing they WON’T tell you about breast cancer treatments.

Sure, your docs will admit that you’ll be in for some of the worst days of your life. They’ll warn that you’ll be run-down and worn-out with fatigue. And they’ll tell you straight up that you could lose everything from your hair to your memory.

But they almost certainly WON’T warn you about what happens next!

Long after your hair grows back… and the fatigue starts to fade… one of the biggest risks of all will linger.

And your doctor may have never mentioned it!

Now, a new statement from the American Heart Association exposes the ugly truth about mainstream breast cancer therapies.

There’s a deadly “side effect” that can damage your heart in ways that won’t be immediately obvious.

You won’t see it, feel it, or even know it’s there until something goes wrong — and by then, you could be in a whole new fight for your life.

And because these risks can take years to kick in, you might never even link it to your cancer treatment!

Now, the new 23-page statement warns that breast cancer therapies come with real, serious, and potentially deadly heart risks like abnormal rhythms, valve problems, and even one of the deadliest conditions of all: heart failure.

The organization is urging women to consider these risks EARLY — even BEFORE treatment — and consider making decisions based on those potential risks.

More importantly, it’s calling out doctors and ordering them to stop pretending the risk isn’t there.

It’s practically commanding them to step up their game and monitor cancer patients more closely in two ways.

First, the AHA want docs to keep close watch during treatment and monitor for any sign of heart trouble. If anything pops up — as is certainly possible — it’s calling on docs to slow and, in some cases, stop or switch treatments.

Second — and much more importantly — the organization wants doctors to keep close tabs on their cancer survivors long after treatment, since most of these risks can take seven years or more to kick on.

Any move to protect patients is a good move in my book.

But what’s galling here is that none of this is new. The mainstream has known about these risks all along!

It’s known and done nothing — and I have a hard time believing that’ll change just because the AHA published a statement.

That’s why it’s absolutely ESSENTIAL to have a holistic medical doctor on your team when you undergo cancer treatment.

There are safe and natural therapies that can help limit the damage of cancer therapies, from immediate side effects of fatigue and memory loss to the long-term risks to your heart.

If you’re in the San Diego area, I can help. I have more than two decades of experience helping cancer patients overcome not only the disease itself… but also the treatments.

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!

Alarming new tumor risk linked to cellphones

Cellphones in alarming new tumor link

Your cellphone is safe!

That’s what a new study claims, anyway, with researchers saying that constant exposure to cellphone radiation WON’T give you a tumor.

And the media — which treat every new iPhone launch like a national celebration — are eating it right up.

No doubt, millions of Americans are relieved by the news.

Unfortunately, I have to step in with a reality check here… because those rosy headlines declaring cellphones to be safe don’t tell the full story.

In fact, the study also found just the opposite!

That’s right. The same headline-making new report being used to claim that the radiation from cellphones doesn’t trigger tumors also found that radiation from cellphones CAN, in fact, lead to tumors.


Don’t worry. I’m here to clear it all up for you.

Despite the big headlines, this wasn’t a human study, so we can only take this one so far. It was a study on rats, and it found that constant exposure to cellphone radiation over long periods of time can lead to a rare form of tumor near the heart.

A full 6 percent of the male rats exposed to cellphone radiation developed these rare tumors — versus NONE of the rats that weren’t exposed.

The study even found a small-but-alarming increase in the risk of brain tumors, which is the same form of the disease that has been so worryingly linked to cellphone use before.

What’s the truth?

It’s complicated, but every bit of science we have — including this new study — shows there’s at least SOMETHING worth worrying about when it comes to cellphone radiation.

A 2014 study found that cellphone use for 15 hours a month — just 30 minutes a day — can double or even triple your risk of a brain tumor over five years. Another study found that regular use over a decade can boost the risk of a potentially deadly type of brain tumor, known as a glioma, by 40 percent.

In other words, don’t take too much comfort in those headlines declaring the devices to be safe.

There’s very clearly cause for concern… and even if the risk is low, why risk it at all?

You can keep your phone and cut the risks at the same time with a few simple safety precautions: Don’t keep it on your body when you’re not using it, and don’t hold it up to your head for calls.

Use a headset or speakerphone instead.

And while you’re making precautions, boost your intake of healthy antioxidants, which can help fight off the cellular damage caused by age, toxins and — here’s the big one for today’s purposes — radiation exposure from smartphones.

Flu immunity boosted with omega-3s

Fight the flu with this secret from the sea

It’s the “secret sauce” in your flu-fighting strategy… a powerful series of compounds that can arm your immune system so that it’s locked, loaded, and ready for battle.

And yet this key benefit gets almost NO attention!

When people talk about fish oil, you’ll hear them sing its praises over how much it can help your heart, brain, and circulation.

Those are all terrific benefits, of course — but the same omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can do so much more, especially now, in winter.

They can help give your immune system just what it needs to fend off infections, including the cold, flu, and “winter yuck” spreading faster than a rumor right now.

New research shows how one omega-3 in particular, DHA, can help activate an essential component of your immune system.

Boosting your DHA intake flips the “ON” switch on your B cells, which are a type of white blood cell needed to fight off infection.

Once triggered by that DHA, those B cells then stimulate antibody production by your immune system, according to the new study.

In some ways, that’s exactly how a vaccine is supposed to work… yet you can get this same response from a safe and natural omega-3 fatty acid… and not from a needle filled with mercury and other toxins.

But that’s not all it can do.

The same study finds that DHA can also enhance your immune system in at least two other critical ways.

First, it can stimulate the secretion of another essential immune system component, called TNF-alpha, which your body calls on to fight off everything from viruses to cancer cells.

And second, DHA can also get your immune system to crank out an inflammation-fighting compound called interleukin-10.

To cap it all off, the study finds that the benefits go to the very people who need help the most: those who are overweight and obese, who often get sick more easily from the toll of the extra weight.

But it’s that B-cell boost that might be the most important part of this study, as that’s the very same defense mechanism your immune system relies on to protect you from everyday infection threats.

And B cells are especially critical when it comes to flu. As a 2011 study in the Journal of Immunology points out:

    “Each particular aspect of influenza infection is countered by a complex set of B cell responses that can prevent infection from occurring; when infections do occur, they can suppress early viral replication, help clear the infection, aid in tissue repair, and generate potent memory responses.”

In other words, one key to an infection-free winter is in arming your B cells.

And as the new study shows, there’s nothing out there better for those Bs than the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil.

Aspirin can hurt heart failure patients

The first advice given to heart failure patients is dead wrong

It’s the first piece of advice the docs will give you when they send you home from the hospital after heart failure: Take your aspirin!

Daily aspirin isn’t merely “recommended” after a heart attack or heart failure.

It’s practically assumed.

You know what happens when you assume, right?

Well, it’s just happened again… because researchers finally put that advice to the test in a long-overdue study… and it FLUNKED in a big way!

The new study finds that if you have heart failure without atrial fibrillation, your doctor’s insistence that you take daily aspirin might not be helping you at all.

In some cases, it could be hurting you.

It could even KILL you!

The study finds that aspirin after heart failure WON’T cut your risk of stroke — and believe it or not, that’s actually the best news in the study.

At least that’s a neutral.

When it comes to two other very crucial outcomes, aspirin patients do worse.

Much worse.

Taking aspirin after heart failure without a-fib will INCREASE your risk of heart attack by 34 percent and boost your odds of going back to the hospital for heart failure by a quarter.

The researchers behind this study were so stunned by the results that they ran a second set of numbers on JUST the heart failure patients with a history of ischemic heart disease.

If anyone should see a benefit from aspirin, it would be them… right?


They didn’t see a benefit at all.

In fact, the numbers were just as dismal.

There’s no getting around it: Aspirin in these cases is no help and all harm.

But that’s been the story with aspirin all along. The supposed benefits of the “wonder drug” fall apart anytime someone wonders enough to actually do some research.

Even the millions who take it for “primary prevention” — avoiding a first heart attack — are buying into a myth, because studies show that the drug is far more likely to hurt you with serious bleeding problems than it is to help you by preventing a heart attack.

So, it doesn’t work for people at risk… and it doesn’t work for people who already have heart failure.

But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless when it comes to protecting yourself.

If you’ve had a heart attack or heart failure, what works best for you will depend specifics including — as the new study shows — whether you have atrial fibrillation.

If you don’t have a-fib, you might be able to avoid aspirin by instead taking natural therapies such as vitamin D, CoQ10, and fish oil and following the common-sense Mediterranean diet proven to cut the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Work closely with a holistic medical doctor.

For some one-on-one help that’s tailored to your specific needs and risks, make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in the San Diego 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!

Breast cancer defeated with omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3s can fight breast cancer… but only if you get the right kind

Time for a label-check, ladies, and if you’re taking an omega-3 supplement — as I hope you are — I want you to pay extra close attention to the fine print.

Don’t just look for how much is in there.

Look for where it comes from.

There’s a BIG difference between the omega-3s you get from plants (ALA) and the kinds that come from fish (EPA and DHA).

And if you’re not getting the second one, you could completely miss out on one of the most important benefits of an omega-3 supplement — and that’s its ability to fight off the most dangerous forms of breast cancer.

It’s a benefit that could save your life, but new research shows how you’ll ONLY get it if your omega-3s come from fatty fish, like salmon.

In one major clinical trial published in 2010, women who took omega-3 supplements had a 32 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who didn’t.

In some cases, that risk was cut by as much as 50 percent!

Now, the new study takes it a step further as researchers looked to see HOW and WHY certain omega-3s can slip inside a tumor and wipe it out.

For this one, they used mice. While I’m generally not a fan of animal studies, these help to confirm the effects we’ve seen in multiple human trials and show how it works against a tumor and how to maximize your use of fish oil to target this deadly disease.

The researchers found that when ALA — the plant form of omega-3 fatty acid — was given to mice with one of the deadliest forms of breast cancer, it hardly made a difference at all.

It only started to work at very high doses — levels you wouldn’t get from diet and, in most cases, even a supplement.

That wasn’t the case for EPA and DHA.

These cancer-fighting fatty acids went in and went right to work, shrinking these aggressive tumors by as much as 70 percent and reducing the number of tumors by nearly a third.

These two fatty acids together were EIGHT TIMES more powerful than the ALA!

What’s more, it didn’t take ridiculous levels to get the benefit.

The equivalent amount in humans would be an omega-3-rich fish such as salmon, tuna, or trout for dinner just three times a week.

If you don’t like fish… or you just don’t eat it that often… you can get what you need from an omega-3 supplement. Just make sure that it’s from fish and not from plants.

Breast cancer fueled by processed meats

Breast tumors LOVE this common food

Don’t bring home the bacon, ladies.

No, I’m not about to say something controversial about women in the workplace. I mean that literally.

Bacon — and all other processed meats, for that matter — pack big-time health risks.

You know that. I know that. We all know that, right?

But many folks eat processed meats every now and then anyway, thinking that just a little on occasion won’t hurt.

A new study shows just how wrong they are — and ladies, this one’s especially important for you.

Even very small amounts of processed meats… amounts so low you won’t even think twice about eating them… can increase your risk of one of the leading killer diseases in women.

And if you eat these foods yourself — whether it’s bacon, sausage, lunchmeat, or even a pepperoni Hot Pocket — you could find yourself locked in a battle with breast cancer.

Overall, the study finds that eating 9 grams of processed meat per day will increase your risk of breast cancer by 21 percent.

When they worked in results from 10 other studies, they also found an effect in older women — with processed meats increasing the risk of breast cancer by 9 percent after menopause, even after accounting for other risk factors.

All from just 9 little grams of meat per day, which really isn’t much.

That’s just a third of an ounce, or the equivalent of two sausages — not per day, but per WEEK.

Just have a sausage or a couple of slices of bacon with breakfast on Sunday and a sandwich with some lunchmeat once during the week, and you’re already at — or maybe far beyond — that 9 grams per day average.

And that means you’re already at risk.

Fortunately, this is just about the easiest habit to fix.

None of these foods are essential or necessary. They’re just convenient — and even when it comes to convenient foods, it’s pretty easy to avoid processed meats by making some better choices.

Stick to fresh meats, focusing on healthier meats such as chicken or fish instead of those tempting sandwiches, sausages, and microwave meals (especially those Hot Pockets).

If there’s any good news, it’s that the study doesn’t find any link between fresh red meat and cancer.

That doesn’t mean you can load up on it. It’s still a source of unhealthy saturated fats, but a lean steak every now and then is a reasonable indulgence.

Just don’t wrap it in bacon!

That’s one way this form of cancer is caused. Next up: How to PREVENT or even CURE it naturally. Keep an eye on your inbox!

Vitamin D eases irritable bowel syndrome

Bowel problems? This vitamin is just what you need!

It’s one of the most common reasons people see a doctor — responsible for nearly 10,000 office visits every DAY.

Yet it gets almost no attention in the media.

It’s time to change that.

Up to 45 million Americans suffer from some degree of irritable bowel syndrome. While many seek treatment when it gets bad, the vast majority are too embarrassed to even mention it to a doctor.

Believe it or not, sometimes they’re the lucky ones.

When you DO ask a doctor for help, he could put you on meds that are even worse than those stomach struggles!

Well, friend, I’m here with a little relief — and it’s not a drug with side effects.

It’s an ordinary vitamin that you might be taking anyway… just not in the right amount!

A new analysis of seven studies confirms that many people battling the gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, and more that mark irritable bowel syndrome are also low in vitamin D.

Not only that, but the study also does something even more important.

It proves that taking D supplements can help ease the worst the condition can throw your way.

Three of the seven studies in the new analysis were clinical trials that tested supplements in IBS patients, and 2 in 3 found big-time benefits. The vitamin eased the worst of the symptoms, making the condition less severe and improving overall quality of life.

The researchers behind the new study say that we need more research, and I won’t argue with that.

Let’s just make sure that it’s the RIGHT KIND of research!

Too many studies — especially on vitamin D — use very low levels, often just a few hundred IUs per day.

If that doesn’t work — or, rather, WHEN that doesn’t work — they can claim that the D didn’t help.

OF COURSE it didn’t. That’s barely enough to make a dent in your deficiency.

In reality, you need much higher doses to get any benefit at all. Even without IBS, most people need between 2,000 and 5,000 IUs per day, and some may need more in winter, when sun levels are low (and especially if you’re fighting off a chronic illness or are taking certain meds that can sap you of your ability to absorb D).

Along with increasing your intake of the sunshine vitamin, be sure to take other steps to control the symptoms, including a high-quality probiotic blend and extensive testing for food sensitivities in the care of a holistic medical doctor.

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

Light therapy defeats cancer-related sleep problems

Make cancer treatment side effects VANISH with this DIY therapy

It’s often one of the worst parts of a fight with cancer… and it’s not the tumor itself.

Many tumors have no symptoms at all. You might not even know that they’re there without screening.

It’s not the disease. It’s not even the anxiety of knowing you have it.

No, the ugly reality is that the worst part of any cancer battle has nothing to do with the disease.

It’s the treatment!

The very therapies that are supposed to save your life can feel like they’re ruining it.

Chemo and drugs don’t just make you tired. They can leave you feeling as if every last bit of energy has been sucked out of your body.

Today, I’m going to help you fight back with a safe and effective way to ease that soul-sapping fatigue — so you not only beat this cancer, but you feel great while you do it.

All it takes is some light.

Not just any old light, mind you, but the specific wavelengths given off by a therapeutic light box.

They’ve already been proven to ease everything from mood disorders to skin problems. And now, the latest research confirms that they can help cancer patients, too.

Just half an hour of sitting under the warm glow of a light box can charge you up and give you the energy you need to face the day, even as you fight off cancer treatment side effects.

Many cancer treatments can disrupt your circadian rhythm, or the signals your body relies on to know when it’s time to sleep and time to wake up.

That leads to a plunge in what’s known as sleep efficiency, or the amount of time in bed spent actually in slumber.

Instead of hitting the pillow and dozing off, you can toss and turn all night long. Even when you fall asleep, you could wake up too often and/or too early.

Those 30 minutes under the light can turn it all around, giving your body the cues it needs to get back in rhythm.

In the new study, 86 percent of the cancer patients who got genuine light therapy early in the morning not only improved after a month, but they were able to get back to normal sleep habits.

Just 21 percent of folks in a control group given a dimmer non-therapeutic light saw improvements.

That makes the light box four times better than a placebo!

The only downside is that the effects wear off if you stop — so if you have cancer, you’ll have to set aside half an hour every morning during your treatment.

Light boxes are portable, safe, and inexpensive. You can find one in any medical supply shop or online.

Stroke survivors run higher risk of dementia

The hidden damage of a stroke… and how to STOP it

Baseball spring training starts up this week, and everyone knows the rule when you’re at the plate: three strikes and you’re out.

Out in the real world, you don’t always get a third strike.

When it comes to one major health risk, it could be two STROKES and you’re out!

Many people survive a first stroke, but a second one will double the risk of death within two years.

Even if you do survive a stroke — whether it’s your first, second, or third — you could face major health risks including a much higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia in the years that follow.

Now, the latest research reveals one way to bring that last risk back down.

It’s an easy-to-make lifestyle change that can preserve your brain to help you avoid the dementia that’s so common in stroke patients.

Even better, this same change can also help prevent another stroke!

The key is in what researchers like to call the MIND diet (because everything needs a gimmicky nickname these days).

In reality, it’s very similar to the tried-and-true Mediterranean diet you’ve heard so much about here in House Calls. (And the acronym “MIND” actually stands for “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.”)

It combines the Mediterranean diet with the lower-salt DASH diet aimed at cutting blood pressure, which can also help cut the risk of both stroke and dementia.

At its heart, however, it’s essential a very lightly modified version of the Mediterranean diet that focuses heavily on fish, olive oil, vegetables, and berries… while severely restricting red meat, butter, and cheese… and turning pastries, fried stuff, and anything you can get from a drive-thru window into “forbidden” foods.

According to the new study, stroke survivors who closely follow the basics of this lifestyle have a much slower rate of cognitive decline than those who don’t stick to the diet.

That’s right in line with the rest of the evidence for this diet, which finds that it can cut the risk of Alzheimer’s overall by 35 percent even in people who haven’t had a stroke.

There is one flaw with the diet: It allows for whole grains. For maximum benefits (including a lower risk of stroke, heart attack, and dementia), avoid ALL grains — even whole grains — not only because of the gluten that so many folks are sensitive to, but also because they drive blood sugar levels up (a.k.a. they have a high glycemic index).

Never had a stroke? Don’t wait for one to strike to make changes! This same healthy diet can cut your risk of having one by nearly half.

That’s a home run.

Alzheimer’s disease linked to daytime drowsiness

Is a nap actually an urgent warning?

Everyone loves a nap, right?

A quick daytime doze can help you recharge and get you ready for the rest of your day.

But there’s a difference between snoozing because you WANT to… and knocking out because you HAVE to.

And if your own naps are more of the latter these days, it’s time to pay attention to what your body’s telling you.

It might not be saying that it’s tired.

It could be warning you that you’re at risk for Alzheimer’s disease!

New research finds a direct link between poor sleep habits and the damage in the brain that can ultimately lead to dementia.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that this study also shows that this could be one the earliest possible warning signs — giving you plenty of time to recognize the problem, take action, protect your brain, and prevent the disease.

In the new study, researchers examined the brains of nearly 200 seniors who had no signs of dementia.

Not yet, anyway.

Roughly 50 of them were on their way there, even if they didn’t realize it. They didn’t suffer from memory loss — yet — but they had signs of damage inside the brain. They had the beta-amyloid plaques that can clog up cells and short-circuit the system.

Too many of these plaques can lead to cognitive struggles and memory loss, and — eventually — they can jam your brain’s internal communications network, and dementia takes hold.

The one common link among these 50 people with that damage? Sleep.

Rather, POOR sleep.

They had lousy sleep-wake cycles. Some of them woke up too often at night. Some dozed off during the day for those involuntary naps.

More than a few had both problems.

If you have these sleep issues yourself, don’t pour yourself another cup of coffee to keep yourself awake.

And don’t swallow a sleeping pill to keep yourself knocked out.

Poor sleep is often a warning sign of other problems, and most of them can be fixed… if your doctor knows where to look.

Frequent daytime dozing, for example, can often be caused by sleep apnea, a major risk factor for chronic disease and early death.

If your sleep loss is linked to apnea, a little weight loss can usually fix it. If you don’t know why you’re missing out on sleep, you could have a problem with diet, nutrition, or hormones — all of which can be fixed with testing and treatment from a holistic medical doctor.

I’ll have more on dementia coming up later today.

If you or a loved one have ever suffered from a stroke, you won’t want to miss this one.

Keep an eye on your email!

Painkiller overdoses common even with OTC drugs

Did you overdose today… without even knowing it?

It’s the OTHER painkiller crisis — the one that’s not getting anything close to the attention given to the opioid epidemic.

But this one is bigger, more common, and in many ways far worse.

Because this one is much more likely to affect YOU.

Even if you’ve never touched an opioid… even if you’ve never so much as dreamed of swallowing a prescription pain pill… you could STILL suffer from a problem with painkillers.

A new study shows how MILLIONS of Americans are overusing and outright abusing common over-the-counter painkillers, especially NSAIDs such as ibuprofen for everyday pain conditions.

Yet most of them have no idea that they’re doing anything wrong!

The study finds that 15 percent of the people who take NSAIDS actually overdose, even if they don’t realize it.

They take more than the maximum daily limit at least once in any given week.

Going by individual drugs, more than 1 in 10 who use ibuprofen — a.k.a. Advil and Motrin, not to mention dozens of popular store brands — take more than the maximum daily dose.

And in folks who use naproxen (a.k.a. Aleve) the number is even higher: Nearly 1 in 4 top the maximum daily dose at least once a week.

Some of them pop a pill before they’re even due for the next dose.

Some end up knocking back two kinds of NSAIDs, like naproxen with an ibuprofen chaser, thinking they’ll get double the relief. Since more than 60 percent don’t know that both are NSAIDs, they don’t realize that combining these meds can be just as bad as an overdose.

These aren’t people who think they have a problem.

They’re people just like you — people with recurring aches and pains that come and go. Maybe it’s back and neck pain. Maybe it’s a headache. Maybe it’s joint pain. Or maybe it’s an injury.

Whatever the cause, they’re in pain, so they hit the bottle of ibuprofen that’s supposed to be just the thing for these situations.

Then they hit it again.

And again.

And again.

After all, these aren’t opioid drugs. They’re not even prescription drugs. They’re supposed to be safe.

But they’re not safe.

Taking too much can cause side effects in the short term, including painful bleeding in the gut and kidney damage.

And over the long run, NSAIDs in normal doses can even increase the risk of serious problems up to and including heart attack.

There are much safer options for dealing with those stubborn aches and pains that keep showing up, including topical painkillers such as MSM.

For even more relief, make anti-inflammatory supplements such as curcumin and fish oil part of your daily routine.

CDC conflicts exposed as director forced out

The ugly truth behind CDC boss being forced out

There it is, the ugly truth finally laid out in the open for everyone to see.

The people in charge of the nation’s health advice and initiatives — the top bureaucrats supposedly protecting Americans from today’s leading killers — are literally PROFITING off of the diseases they’re supposed to prevent and the drugs that are prescribed to treat them.

CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald was forced to quit last week because she was caught investing in the drug giant Merck — as well as a tobacco company, a food distributor, and a health firm.

The bombshell report detailing these blatant conflicts of interest shocked the public.

But in reality, this is EXACTLY how the agency operates!

A report from a couple of years back found that 97 percent of disclosures filed by CDC advisors were missing critical information. In 2007 (one of the years looked at in that analysis), the agency failed to resolve 64 percent of potential conflict-of-interest cases among those advisors.

That’s not all.

Shortly after leaving the CDC, one of Fitzgerald’s predecessors, Julie Gerberding, went on to become the head of Merck’s vaccines division.

Seems like that Merck name just keeps coming up, doesn’t it? Makes you wonder if it’s really just an innocent coincidence that the CDC loves hyping Merck products — including the dangerous Gardasil vaccine linked to illness, disability, and even death.

That’s STILL not all.

The current head of the Department of Health and Human Services — the very person who announced Fitzgerald’s resignation — is a walking example of everything wrong with this twisted process!

He was at the agency before, rising to the level of deputy secretary under President George W. Bush. Five months after he quit in 2007, he became a lobbyist for Eli Lilly… and eventually the head of the company’s entire U.S. division, which recently came under fire for more than doubling the price of insulin.

Now, somehow, he’s not just back at the HHS. He’s in charge of the place!

And that’s STILL not all. Not even close! In fact, these are just A FEW of the most egregious examples.

HHS, the CDC, the FDA, and the rest of the alphabet soup agencies are so rife with conflict that it’s no longer easy to tell where the food and drug industries end… and the government begins.

Bear that in mind every time the CDC urges you to get a flu shot (or any other vaccine, for that matter).

Keep that in your head next time your doc is excited over a hyped-up new medication just approved by the FDA.

And definitely don’t forget that when a government bigshot from HHS gets on TV and urges Americans to do this or that to overcome whatever the crisis of the moment happens to be.

Be smart. Be informed. Ask questions. And make your own decisions.

Flu can spread just from breathing

Frightening new flu study shows how fast it spreads

Here’s some news that’s absolutely NOT going to make your day: It’s a whole lot easier to spread the flu than scientists had realized.

And that means it’s a whole lot easier to CATCH it, too!

I’m not here to spread alarm. In a moment, I’ll give you a quick science-backed tip that’s guaranteed to cut your flu risk even in light of this latest news.

But first, the new study that’s making big headlines right now, smack in the middle of one of the worst flu seasons in years.

Most folks — even docs and scientists — previously thought that the main way you spread the virus in the air is through coughing and sneezing.

Turns out, the virus is a whole lot trickier.

If you’re even NEAR someone with the flu, it can practically jump out and attack you even if they don’t cough or sneeze.

Just BREATHING can spread the virus!

The flu almost makes its own aerosol. When that guy sitting next to you exhales, tiny flu-infected droplets float out into the air, creating an invisible cloud of infection around both of you.

OK, no big deal. Don’t hang around someone with flu, right?

Well, not so easy.

In what just might be the scariest part of the study, this FLU MIST is at its worst when you FIRST get sick!

You know what it’s like early on. You know something’s up, but you don’t quite know what it is yet. It might feel like allergies or a cold. It might not feel all that bad, and people around you might not even notice that you’re sick.

But you’re sick. You don’t know it yet, but you’re sick — and as the new study shows, the virus is already working to spread itself.

You’re practically a flu machine!

Call it one more reason to stay home when you’re sick — and a BIGGER reason to avoid family and friends who are getting ill, even if it doesn’t seem “all that bad.”

Of course, you don’t always know when you’re around people who are sick, so take three steps to protect yourself.

First, that virus can’t get in your body if you cover up, so don’t be shy about wearing a surgical mask out in public, especially if flu is spreading fast where you live.

Second, wash up… and wash often. Use alcohol-based sanitizers when you’re out and plenty of soap and water when you’re at home.

And third, juice up your immune system with the flu-fighting protocol you read all about in last month’s Health Revelations, including both vitamin D and NAC supplements taken every day, especially here in flu season.

Cravings? Diet drugs are a bad idea

Diet drug combo is a double dose of bad news

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner!

I’ve just found the worst study of the year in a bonkers new report that’s already being used to push American dieters onto TWO bad drugs.

And it’s all for a benefit that may not even exist!

In what has to be the most irresponsible piece of nonsense ever published, researchers claim that this two-drug cocktail can help ease food cravings in overweight or obese dieters.

Now, I’m not going to slam the idea of targeting cravings. They’re a big part of the picture and a key reason why so many people struggle with their diets.

But you don’t need drugs to ease those cravings, and I’ll explain why — just as soon as I’m done running this study through the shredder.

In this one, researchers tested the diet drug lorcaserin on its own for cravings, and then they tested it in combo with phentermine, a.k.a. the “phen” in the disastrous diet-drug combo fen-phen.

Over 12 weeks, the lorcaserin helped to control cravings, then it worked even better when combined with phentermine.

But don’t celebrate victory just yet.

First, they never put lorcaserin up against phentermine alone. For all we know, just that second drug by itself could be just as effective (not that I’d recommend it in any case).

Second, they never put the combo up against a placebo. None at all. So, we have no idea if these meds are any better than a sugar pill.

Third, everyone received diet counseling and exercise advice. Everyone.

How much of a role did the counseling play in this study? My guess is quite a bit, since many people are helped by counseling… but it’s just a guess. We’ll never know for sure because they didn’t have a group of dieters who had counseling without drugs.

And fourth, everyone was put on a diet.

Like counseling, diet alone over time can reduce cravings. Would the diet alone have reduced cravings as effectively even without the drugs?

Once again, we’re left to wonder.

You also have to wonder why they cut those corners.

Could it be because the study was funded by the company that makes lorcaserin? Or because two of the authors are employed by the firm?

You’d have to ask them that, but it looks to me like they went out of their way to make sure their med never faced any actual competition.

I’ve got a better way to fight cravings.

Supplements can help break the most powerful craving of all. It can help break your sugar habit so that you eat better and aren’t tempted to cheat on your diet. Blood sugar-balancing nutrients such as chromium and soluble fiber products work well.

If you need a little more help, there’s that counseling I mentioned earlier, but don’t forget the greatest counselor of all: God.

Put your faith in Him, and you’ll get the strength you need to break your cravings.

Curcumin eases memory loss

Protect your memory… even if it’s already slipping!

It’s the brain-boosting breakthrough that every senior has been waiting for!

New research reveals what may be the ultimate key to protecting your memory as you get older.

This simple, safe, and inexpensive natural compound can help you keep sharp… even if you already feel like you’re starting to slip.

More importantly, it can also protect against the damage that leads to Alzheimer’s disease.

The answer is a funky little ingredient with an even funkier little name.

It’s called curcumin, and it’s the natural pigment locked inside the spice turmeric, which is used to give so many Indian foods their distinct yellowish tinge.

If you eat plenty of curry, then odds are good that you’re getting plenty of curcumin.

If — like most Americans — you’re not, you can also find it in a capsule, which is how it was tested in a new study of older folks suffering from the worrying signs of cognitive problems.

These folks between the ages of 50 and 90 didn’t have dementia, but all of them had the mild memory loss that can be so frustrating and frightening as you get older.

Some were given 90 milligrams of curcumin twice a day, while the rest took a placebo.

Over the next year and a half, the folks who got the fake stuff continued to struggle with their memories.

But not the folks who took the curcumin.

They not only suffered LESS decline in their memory… they actually IMPROVED!

Over those 18 months, their scores on memory tests jumped by 28 percent.

There’s no drug in the world that can promise that benefit! But curcumin can, and that’s not all it can do.

Mood and memory are closely linked. When one slips, the other often follows along… and when one improves, so does the other.

That’s exactly what happened here, as the seniors who took the curcumin also had boosts in mood over those 18 months.

That’s already impressive, but the changes under the hood are even more amazing.

Brain scans revealed that the folks taking the supplements developed fewer junky proteins in the brain, including the amyloid and tau accumulations linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The benefit was concentrated right where you want it: in the amygdala and hypothalamus, or the regions of the brain that act as the control center for both memory and mood.

Believe it or not, that’s still not all curcumin can do.

The new study focused on brain health, but curcumin is also a powerful anti-inflammatory that can ease pain, protect joints, improve your cardiovascular health, and more.

If you’re not into Indian food, you can make like the folks in the study and take a supplement.

And for some one-on-one help with keeping sharp as you get older, 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!

Gluten-free diet has one big flaw

What’s wrong with your gluten-free diet

I’m not the type to go around endorsing fads. How dumb are most of them?

Whoever came up with the “man bun” should be charged with crimes against humanity… or at least a crime against masculinity.

But there’s a trend out there that even I can get behind.

Millions of Americans have gone gluten-free. Even more amazingly, this might not be some flash-in-the-pan trend.

While men are already chopping off those man buns (thank God), most folks who go gluten-free are sticking to it.

But a new study reveals the downside to the widespread popularity of this diet: Big food companies have caught on and are now mass-producing junk food and slapping “gluten-free” on the label to boost sales.

The result?

Many gluten-free packaged foods are actually LESS HEALTHY than the gluten-filled ones they replaced.

Sure, the gluten’s gone, but that means a loss in taste and texture for many common foods.

To help make up for that, food manufacturers dump in some other stuff that’s just as bad… and maybe even worse.

As a result, the study of more than 1,700 products finds that, in general, gluten-free packaged foods contain higher levels of salt, sugar, and fat.

They’re not only less healthy, but they’re also more expensive, costing an average of 159 percent more.

Don’t let this study scare you away from the diet.

You can go gluten-free and eat healthy at the same time, and this new report shows how.

One reason so many people make the switch and end up eating poorly is that they don’t make big changes to their diet. They simply swap “normal” junk foods for the gluten-free versions of those same unhealthy foods.

Case in point: breads.

When you go gluten-free, you’re SUPPOSED to give that stuff up, right?

But today, with the wide popularity of this diet, big companies are busy pumping out gluten-free versions of breads, cakes, and other snacks… and they’re even WORSE than normal breads, cakes, and other snacks.

The study finds that gluten-free breads and gluten-free flours have some of the highest levels of both fat and sugar.

Instead of breaking bread, you’re better off making a clean break away from it instead.

Same goes for everything else in your diet with gluten.

A good diet isn’t about switching from one set of unhealthy foods to another set of unhealthy foods.

It’s about getting back to an all-natural lifestyle.

Once you truly go gluten-free the right way, you’ll never look back. Along with easing digestion and helping you to avoid uncomfortable and embarrassing gas and bloating, this same diet will can help improve everything from sleep to memory.

You could even lose some weight!

But you’ll only get those benefits if you do it right.

Sleep struggles aren’t getting much better

The one big factor that unites nearly all Americans

By day, it can feel like America is more divided than ever before.

By night, there’s something that unites us all.

None of us can sleep!

A new report shows just how much — or rather, how little — progress we’ve made in the bedroom in recent years.

Today, the average American spends four extra days per year asleep than they did 15 years ago.

But don’t throw a slumber party yet.

That works out to an average of just 17 extra minutes per night… and most Americans STILL aren’t getting nearly enough sleep.

Even worse, a full third of Americans are missing out on so much sleep that they’re actually sleep-deprived.

You could be one of them without even realizing it. So many Americans have been falling short for so long that we’re all starting to forget what a good night of sleep really is!

People have become conditioned to waking up groggy and not “feeling right” until they’ve chugged some coffee.

If that sounds a little too familiar, it’s time to make some changes — because lost sleep is more than just a recipe for an unhealthy caffeine dependency.

Missing out on sleep regularly can increase your risk of serious health problems including obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes.

It could also hit you upstairs, slamming your brain in two dangerous ways.

There’s the immediate risk of grogginess, which can lead to everything from poor decisions to accidents.

Then there’s the long-haul risk of missed sleep: cognitive struggles and even dementia.

Poor sleepers even have a higher risk of cancer!

All of those risks are completely unnecessary, as sleep improvements are some of the easiest to make.

I know that it doesn’t SEEM that way when you’re tossing and turning in bed, so desperate for rest that you might consider turning to sleep meds.

But it is — if you look in the right places.

The first place is around you. Make sure you’re don’t have bad habits that can harm sleep, including evening caffeine, alcohol, and using digital devices before (or in) bed.

The second is inside you. Make sure your body has what it needs for a full night of rest, starting with melatonin. That’s often called the “sleep hormone” and for good reason: Your body uses it as a signal for sleep.

Many people — especially older folks — often struggle to produce the melatonin they need, which keeps the brain on “alert” even when your head is on a pillow.

Melatonin supplements can help fix that deficiency so that your brain kicks into sleep mode and you get the rest you need… and if you do it right, you’ll get more than just 17 minutes.

You’ll get a full night of shuteye, every night.

Probiotics can ease both constipation and diarrhea

Smoother moves in the bathroom without gassy laxatives

Nothing — and I mean nothing — can ruin your day so quickly and completely as a tough session on the toilet.

You can end up aching on both sides — with cramps in your stomach and a very real pain in your behind.

Now, the latest research reveals one quick tip that’ll help keep you regular and end the pain in both gut and butt from constipation and diarrhea.

It’s not a laxative.

You know the score on those. They taste terrible and can give you the opposite problem. They can get things moving so well that you’ll have to set up camp in your bathroom.

And it’s not a fiber supplement.

While we should eat more fiber, you might know the problem with those supplements. They can give you embarrassing gas.

No, the real key to staying regular is in something smaller.

Much smaller.

The new study finds that healthy bacteria in your gut can ease the pain and frustration of both constipation and diarrhea, and they can do the job without any of those unpleasant side effects.

What I like so much about this study is that it focused on the most common forms of constipation and diarrhea, which are often the toughest to treat.

Those are the occasional troubles that seem to come and go on their own… without rhyme or reason.

When a stomach problem sticks around, there’s usually an obvious cause — whether it’s a drug side effect or something in the diet.

We can find it AND fix it.

But when it comes and goes, it’s a little tougher to nail down, especially since many people never mention it to a doctor — or it’s gone (for now) by the time they see a doctor.

That’s where those bacteria come in handy.

The new study finds that supplement of a probiotic strain called Bacillus subtilis can lead to major improvements in folks with this frustrating and sometimes mystifying form of constipation.

Overall, volunteers who took the supplements saw their percent of “normal” movements jump from 54 percent to 64 percent. Guys saw an even bigger “movement improvement,” from 56 percent all the way up to 80 percent.

That’s good.

But we can make this even better.

While Bacillus subtilis is a good strain, it’s just one strain… and there’s only so much a single type of bacteria can do. That’s why those numbers aren’t as impressive as they should be.

The REAL key to good digestion is in having a wide range of healthy bacteria working together in your gut.

So, rather than go out shopping for Bacillus subtilis, look for a broad-spectrum probiotic that contains multiple human-tested strains in one formula.

Bone breaks on the rise in older women

Here’s why your fracture risk is getting worse

It’s like trying to figure out where the rain’s coming from… and looking in every direction but UP.

The mainstream claims that it’s absolutely STUMPED by stunning new numbers on bone breaks in older women.

Despite new and powerful drugs… and despite more docs putting more focus on bone health… the number of breaks and fractures in recent years hasn’t dropped.

Just the opposite has happened.

While those numbers started to dip downward a decade ago, they’re now actually INCREASING!

The new study finds that from 2002 until 2012, the number of bone breaks and fractures steadily dropped.

But from 2012, something unusual happened.

The number of breaks began to CLIMB.

Between 2014 and 2015 alone, the break rate jumped by 2.5 percent in women in their mid- to late- 60s and by nearly 4 percent in women ages 70 to 74.

The mainstream claims they can’t figure it out.

Maybe it’s the patients’ faults (they love blaming patients) for not taking more bone drugs.

Maybe it’s the doctors’ faults for not doing enough bone scans to figure out who’s at risk… then putting those women on drugs (always back to the drugs).

They’re looking in every direction but up!

Let me give you my own theory: Those bone drugs simply aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

In 2002, the first year of the study, there weren’t too many of those meds out there.

But starting in 2005, the FDA went through an approval frenzy, signing off on a series of drugs that got wildly popular over the following years.

By 2008, the first big bone drug from the 90s — Fosamax — went generic, so the market went from few (and expensive) choices in 2002 to a whole slew of choices, including cheap generics, by 2008.

More women were on the drugs than ever before.

Given that fractures are a long-term risk, it would take a few years to see any widespread benefit in the statistics that we could credit to the drugs.

But a few years later, look at what happened.

This isn’t just a theory. Even the FDA has been forced to admit that the long-term use of these drugs can actually break the very bones they’re supposed to save.

The mainstream has claimed that this risk is rare.

The new numbers tell me that it’s NOT as rare as mainstream docs want you to believe!

Bone drugs also hurt in another very real way. Women think they’re protected and stop focusing on the basic nutrients needed to maintain strong bone.

Doctors are calling for more drugs. I say that it’s time to call for more of those basics, and not just calcium. Good bone health also requires vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium, along with hormone balance and weight-bearing exercises.