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Lyme disease and more are on the rise

Feds warn: Common insects can make you SICK!

Can you believe the NERVE of these people???

For years, those of us in natural medicine have been fixing the mainstream’s biggest mistakes.

Its docs have botched the job when it comes to bugs, pretending that insect-carried illnesses such as Lyme are overblown… overstated… over-diagnosed… and over-treated.

Patients have suffered as a result… until they go to a holistic doctor who knows what’s really going on.

Now, the mainstream has just accidentally confessed to its own incompetence, with the CDC itself exposing the TRUE toll of infections carried by ticks and mosquitoes.

These diseases have TRIPLED in recent years!

In 2016 alone, close to 100,000 Americans were diagnosed with infections caused by ticks and mosquitos, and the agency admits that’s only what’s been reported to them.

The true number is likely far higher.

These diseases aren’t just dangerous. They’re DEADLY.

Some are names you’re probably familiar with, including Lyme disease, which can have a devastating long-term effect on your health. That’s especially true if it’s not properly diagnosed early on, as is all too common.

The CDC has already admitted that Lyme has 10 times as many victims as it had previously estimated.

Others are diseases you’ve probably never heard of, like anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Powassan — all spread by ticks.

Of course, there are also mosquito infections like Zika – which is still moving north – West Nile, chikungunya, and more.

There are four steps you can take to limit your exposure and cut your risk.

First, if you have pets, never let them run free into tall grass and weeds, where they can pick up ticks and bring them into your home. When possible, limit their contact with unfamiliar pets to cut the risk of fleas, which can carry plague in addition to being irritating.

That’s right – PLAGUE!

Second, when hiking or out enjoying nature, avoid tall grass yourself. Wear light-colored clothing and – no matter how hot it is – long pants tucked into your socks so you can more easily spot ticks if they get onto your clothing.

They can be as small as poppy seeds, so look closely.

Third, clear your yard of sources of standing water to give those pesky skeeters fewer places to hide. This won’t keep them out of your yard entirely, as they can fly in from around the neighborhood, but it will reduce the numbers.

When outside, light citronella candles – especially if you’re outside during the evening.

And finally, use natural insect repellents to keep away ticks and mosquitos. Citronella, cedarwood, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemongrass are all natural bug-busters that won’t hurt your skin. You can find them available in blends that smell pleasant – or at least tolerable – to humans but will keep the bugs away.

I use a product called Buzz Away, which you can find online or in the summer/seasonal aisle of your favorite big-box store.

Pneumonia linked to PPI drugs

This popular drug could CRUSH your immune system

It’s one of the most powerful natural defense systems inside your body – one so effective that it could be BLOCKING a potentially deadly infection RIGHT NOW.

When it’s working, you don’t even know it.

You don’t notice a thing, because you don’t get sick.

But new research shows how it could be short-circuiting, falling apart, and about to collapse.

And the reason for this critical failure? One of today’s most commonly used medications (especially among older Americans)!

When you have reflux, stomach acid might seem like the last thing in the world you need.

In reality, it’s your first line of defense.

The same acid that bubbles up and burns your throat can boil invading germs – including the nasties that you fear most.

When you take a drug to cut your acid levels, you might get a little reflux relief… but it comes at a huge price.

Dangerous bacteria are more likely to survive, increasing your risk of pneumonia.

The new study finds that proton pump inhibitors – a class of medication that includes top-selling drugs such as Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid – can increase the risk of this potentially deadly infection, especially in folks over 60.

One in every 420 older folks who take PPIs will end up with pneumonia because of the drugs.

This new study focused on healthy folks. At least, the folks THOUGHT they were healthy.

They had no idea trouble was brewing deep inside their guts as their own meds set the stage for a fight with pneumonia.

If you’re less than healthy… or have had some on-and-off battles that have sent you to the hospital from time to time… the risk could be even greater. Studies have shown that seniors in hospitals who take PPIs are up to 30 percent more likely to suffer from pneumonia.

That’s not the only infection linked to the drugs, either.

Those same low acid levels could also set the stage for C. diff, a powerful germ responsible for diarrhea that’s severe enough to kill you.

In addition, PPIs can block the absorption of key nutrients, including magnesium. They can lead to weak and brittle bone, setting the stage for a fracture.

They’ve even been linked to dangerous heartbeat conditions.

And in a sick way, they’re addictive, triggering a condition called “acid rebound” in which the reflux comes back with a vengeance if you try to quit, practically forcing you back onto the meds.

There are far better ways to tame acid problems without facing any of these risks, and they all start with complete testing and treatment for food sensitivities in the care of 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!

Chocolate can boost the brain and immune system

This ‘guilty pleasure’ could save your brain

Good news, chocolate lovers: Your favorite treat isn’t just a guilty pleasure.

And if you enjoy it in moderation, you have nothing to feel guilty about!

A little chocolate could BOOST your brain, PROTECT your memory, FIGHT stress, and POWER your immune system — all at once!

But there’s a catch, and I’ll get to it in a moment.

First, the good news… the VERY good news if you love chocolate. (And really, who doesn’t?)

Two related studies have just found that eating 1.7 ounces of dark chocolate – roughly the amount in a normal-sized chocolate bar – stimulates the brain in some very real, immediate, and measurable ways.

The first looked directly in the brain right after eating chocolate.

You know how you feel when you eat a sweet treat. Good, right? Sugary snacks all activate parts of the brain that stimulate pleasure, but this study worked to specifically isolate the effects of cocoa flavonoids.

Researchers found that both 30 minutes and two hours after eating dark chocolate, the brain’s gamma activity jumps.

That’s a sign of improved neuroplasticity, or your brain’s power to form connections and make repairs.

The second study looked at what happened on a genetic level, with the cocoa nutrients triggering the switches that activate immune-boosting, infection-fighting T cells and fighting inflammation.

Together, the researchers say, the two studies show that cocoa has the power to boost cognition, memory, mood, and the immune system… all at once!

But like I said, there’s a catch.

It’s one the snack industry hopes you don’t find out about.

It’s banking on the fact that people will see the happy headlines about the magical powers of chocolate and stock up on their favorite candy bars.

Put down the Twix.

The key to the benefits isn’t in any ol’ chocolate in any ol’ form. As I mentioned earlier, it’s in DARK chocolate – specifically, 70 percent cacao and higher.

The darker the chocolate, the bigger the impact on everything tested in the new research, including mood, memory, cognitive function, immune system, and more.

That means that milk chocolate won’t do the trick here, and don’t even waste your time and money on “white” chocolate (which technically isn’t even chocolate at all).

The new study tested high-quality chocolates with organic ingredients — not your typical supermarket checkout counter candy bar.

Dark chocolate is not everyone’s taste, especially at 70 percent. But once you adjust your buds to it, you could find that you enjoy the richer and more complex flavors… in addition to the boost in brainpower.

Allergies can be stopped without meds

Beat your allergies WITHOUT drugs!

The moment you sneeze, you can hear it.

Not the “God bless you!” that you’d expect… but the advice coming from every direction from everyone else with allergies.

And they’re almost always talking up some drug or other as if it’s some kind of spring miracle, right?

It’s not just well-meaning friends wanting to give you unsolicited advice.

You’ll find it on TV, in the newspapers, and online, like a report that’s just come out — just in time for allergy season — that looks at four different options.

Surprise, surprise: All four are drugs.

The Medical News Today report compares cetirizine (Zyrtec) to loratadine (Claritin), and then it compares both to diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and fexofenadine (Allegra).

It’s as if researchers think you don’t have another choice!

The report essentially concludes that cetirizine and loratadine are less likely to make you drowsy than the two other meds… and that they’re both about as effective… although cetirizine is slightly more likely to make you want to snooze.

Let me share with you what they left out: There’s a completely natural solution that’s gone head-to-head against one of those meds.

Butterbur supplements went up against cetirizine in a clinical trial published in BMJ, one of the world’s most respected mainstream medical journals.

The butterbur was just as effective, and that’s with zero sleep-inducing side effects!

Now, being “just as effective” doesn’t make something better. It just makes it the same.

But there are two areas where butterbur comes out on top.

First, it’s far safer. In addition to being less likely to make you want to reach for a pillow and blanket, butterbur supplements are also much less likely to lead to side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and dry mouth (a.k.a. when you feel like you’ve been sucking on cotton balls).

Butterbur can contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which may be harmful to the liver, but any quality formula will have removed these compounds (look for “PA-free” or “no pyrrolizidine alkaloids” somewhere on the label or in the fine print).

Second, it’s far cheaper. I just did a quick search online and found that cetirizine is up to 10 times more expensive than the most common PA-free formulations of butterbur.

Given that many people need to take something for their allergies almost every day during the spring, that price difference can add up fast.

On the other hand, if your allergies are that severe, you might want to consider a more intensive approach such as isopathy, a homeopathic form of immunotherapy that “trains” your immune system to handle allergens so that they no longer give you those irritating sniffles and sneezes.

The best option for you will depend on your triggers, so you may need to mix and match or try multiple formulas at once for maximum results.

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.

Pesticides in new toxin scare

The dangerous hidden chemicals in ‘fresh’ foods

There’s a new pesticide scandal that’s about to explode.

The latest research blows the lid off of an ugly little loophole that’s kept the true risks of chemicals used on food crops HIDDEN from consumers.

These “SECRET” ingredients can HURT you and your loved ones.

And yet they’ve been given ZERO attention.

Until now.

It’s not a problem with the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides themselves (although they’re certainly bad enough on their own).

It’s that ALL of them are also loaded with a mess of OTHER chemicals and hidden ingredients.

And many of them have NEVER been tested in humans!

That’s the loophole: The industry only has to test the “active” ingredients.

Those are the actual pesticides, herbicides, fungicides — whichever ingredient kills the bugs, weeds, or whatever.

But those aren’t the ONLY ingredients in the final formulas sold to both farmers and consumers.

They contain other “inactive” ingredients called adjuvants, which are added to the mix to make the formulas easier to spray and use, as well as to add color and stop them from foaming.

You eat all of these “inactive” chemicals with every bite of conventional produce that’s been sprayed with pesticides.

Yet there’s NO requirement to test those secret ingredients!

Glyphosate alone, for example, is already so dangerous that this weedkiller is listed as a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s cancer agency.

But all of the adjuvants added to the formulas sold for actual use on crops can be 1,000 times more toxic to human cells, according to the new study.

The scientists behind this study are calling for more research to expose these risks, and that’s great.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on those studies.

Take action now.

The best way to avoid pesticides — and all the other chemicals routinely dumped onto “fresh” produce — is to go organic.

Realistically speaking, that’s not always possible.

It’s not just a matter of cost. Sometimes, organic versions of the foods you want and need simply aren’t available.

In those cases, you’ll need to wash them — but don’t waste your money on the supermarket produce washes.

Studies show that they don’t work!

There are, however, a few tricks that will. The simplest of all is mixing baking soda and water and then soaking your fruits and vegetables in the blend for about 15 minutes.

This wash won’t always remove all of it — especially in cases where the chemicals have seeped under the skin and into the fruit or vegetable itself — but it will help to minimize your exposure and the risks that come along with it.

Vitamin D needs magnesium

Is your vitamin D supplement failing you?

The word is out: Most folks know they need vitamin D, and many are now taking supplements.

But are you REALLY getting what you need?

Odds are, you’re NOT!

Sure, you might be taking the 2,000 to 5,000 IUs per day that I recommend to my own patients here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

You might even be getting some sun each day to help your body produce its own D.

But new research reveals a “catch” when it comes to vitamin D, and it’s something that I’ve shared with you before here in House Calls: Vitamin D can’t work alone.

All of the supplements in the vitamin shop and all of the sun in the Sahara won’t help much if you’re missing out on magnesium.

You know that it’s an essential mineral responsible for keeping your heart beating, your bones strong, and your muscles in shape.

But that’s not all it can do.

Magnesium plays a key role in some 300 functions in the body, including a few that don’t always get the attention they deserve.

A new study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association changes that.

It shines a light on how magnesium and vitamin D work together.

D by itself will pretty much go to sleep inside your body. It reverts to its inactive form, which is just what it sounds like.

It sits around, doing nothing.

When it does nothing, it’s not just useless. It’s dangerous, because “active” D is needed to help make sure calcium reaches the bone. When it’s inactive, that calcium can stay in the blood, which eventually leads to calcification.

Magnesium is the alarm clock. It wakes up the D by converting it into the active form so that it can get to work moving calcium around — not to mention all of its other functions, from heart protection to immune system support.

It’s pretty easy to get the magnesium you need.

The problem, however, is that most people don’t even come close.

The new study finds that 50 percent of Americans fall short in magnesium, which means that half the country can’t get the right levels of active vitamin D even if they take a supplement.

If you’re not taking a magnesium supplement yet, it’s time to consider one. I find that magnesium glycinate is gentler on the stomach and more easily absorbed by the body than other forms.

Your doc can help figure out how much you need each day and how best to get it.

Flu season is still here

What you STILL need to know about flu season

March is here, but don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet.

Flu season ISN’T over!

One of the worst years in recent history is still in full swing, killing up to 4,000 Americans a week at its peak.

And while it’s starting to tail off — just a little — we’re still well ahead of where we normally are, and thousands of Americans are still falling ill every day.

With numbers like that, you’d think that the feds would want you take real action to protect yourself.

NOPE!

They just made a major announcement and managed to contradict their own advice within minutes.

First, they warned that flu season is still with us and urged that Americans get vaccinated ASAP, saying it’s not too late.

Second, they ADMITTED that the vaccine they just recommended DOESN’T work.

What kind of sense does that make?!?

The CDC said that this year’s flu shot is only 36 percent effective overall, or nearly half its usual effectiveness rate, and that’s not even the worst of the numbers.

Against this year’s dominant strain… against the H3N2 virus responsible for so much illness and death… it’s only 25 percent effective.

Believe it or not, those numbers are even WORSE than they sound.

It doesn’t mean that the shot protects 36 percent or 25 percent of the people who opt in.

That would practically be a miracle.

It means that it cuts your overall risk by 36 percent or 25 percent.

The risk is low to begin with. Most years, it’s around 2 to 3 percent. They haven’t released numbers this year, but let’s throw a figure out there and say it’s all the way up to 4 percent.

A shot that’s 25 percent effective means that it’ll cut your risk of getting flu from 4 percent down to 3 percent, and even that could be a wild exaggeration.

Data from other countries shows that this year’s flu shot might be only 10 percent effective, cutting that theoretical 4 percent risk down to 3.6 percent.

They might as well recommend wishful thinking. At least THAT’S free of mercury!

Clearly, the flu shot isn’t helping.

But you’ve got more than wishful thinking in your corner.

You’ve got ME — and I’ve got a two-step solution that can slash your risk of flu, colds, pneumonia, and every other nasty infection spreading like pollen right now.

First, arm your immune system with NAC, which is proven to wipe out the flu virus, cutting your risk of getting sick even if you’ve been directly exposed to the germs.

And second, some old-fashioned good hygiene will limit your exposure to the virus and cut your odds of getting sick. Wash your hands often (especially before eating), don’t rub your eyes, and carry around an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you’re out and about.

Travel without getting sick with these simple tips

How to travel without getting sick

If you’ve got travel plans coming up, you know you need to watch out for the flu.

But that’s not the only little nasty out to get you right now!

A new study looks at some of the germs you’ll find on aircraft and in airports any time of year… and let’s just say that it’s enough to make you want to cancel your travel plans and stay home.

Just about every surface you might touch from the moment you arrive at the terminal to the moment you land at your destination could be absolutely crawling with pathogens.

Let’s start with your arrival at the airport. The study finds that the nastiest places in the whole airport are the touchscreens on the ticket kiosks.

Many boarding passes are now available to download and show on your phone instead of printing them out. So, if you have that option… USE IT!

So many fingers touch those screens, and you don’t even want to know where most of them have been: Swab tests found 253,857 colony-forming units of bacteria on the touchscreen surfaces.

How bad is that? A typical bathroom doorknob… touched by people who may or may not always wash their hands… usually has 203 CFUs.

That means that those kiosk screens are about 1,300 times nastier than bathroom doors!

The kiosk screens may have been the worst of the lot, but they’re not the only trouble spots.

The tests carried out at multiple airports and on aircraft from multiple airlines also found an average of 21,630 CFUs on the armrests or chairs in waiting areas… and 19,181 on drinking-fountain buttons.

Inside the plane, it wasn’t much better.

Those little buttons that noisily flush the toilet contain 95,145 CFUs. And your tray table — where you place your FOOD — contains nearly 12,000 CFUs.

Heck, even the belt buckle has more than 1,100 CFUs.

Many types of bacteria are harmless, of course, but many of the germs found in airports and airplanes are not.

One of the most common types discovered was the gram-positive cocci known for pneumonia and infections on the skin and in the ears and sinuses.

It’s tempting to cancel your travel plans, but you don’t have to turn into a shut-in to stay healthy, whether it’s flu season or any other time of year.

You just need to take some common-sense safety precautions: Wash up and wash often, don’t rub your eyes or put anything in your mouth unless your hands are clean.

For those times you can’t get to some good old soap and water, carry around some hand sanitizer.

And don’t forget to load up on immune-boosting antioxidants before traveling, whether it’s right now in flu season or any other time of year.

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.

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.

CDC’s flu advice could be deadly

CDC flu advice could turn out to be DEADLY

It’s downright maddening.

Lives are on the line — right now — but instead of working to PROTECT at-risk Americans and PREVENT more deaths, health officials are working on marketing gimmicks.

They’re pushing a flu shot that they’ve already admitted doesn’t work to protect against a strain of the virus that’s one of the worst in years.

Here in San Diego, we’ve had six times the usual number of flu cases and more than triple the number of deaths for this time of year, with the infection already claiming more than a dozen lives.

Around the country, it’s the same story. More people are getting sicker earlier in the season.

This is no time to mess around.

Yet that’s just what the CDC is doing.

They’re using this crisis to sell flu shots, even though the protection rate this year could be as little as 10 percent, making it one of the worst flu vaccines ever.

That’s going to DOOM more people to infection and illness!

My outrage doesn’t end there, either.

The CDC is also urging doctors to stock up on anti-viral drugs, despite the fact that studies show the meds don’t work very well AND come with terrible side effects.

That’s not going to save lives — it’ll make patients more miserable than ever!

It’s also guaranteed to cause hundreds — maybe even thousands — of unnecessary deaths, because every patient who gets a useless shot or a dangerous drug is a patient who ISN’T getting effective protection against the flu.

So, let me step in…do what they won’t… and give you a fighting chance against this nasty illness.

If you’re a Health Revelations reader, you’ll find all the details on my science-backed flu-fighting protocol in this month’s edition, just in time for flu season.

But if you haven’t had a chance to look it over just yet, let me give you a cheat sheet.

One of the best ways to beat the flu and other viruses is with a powerful natural therapy I take myself called n’acetylcysteine.

Don’t worry about trying to pronounce it or even trying to spell it.

It’s called NAC for short, and a study found that it can prevent flu infection in older folks even when they’ve been injected with the actual virus.

I recommend 600 mg twice a day on an empty stomach.

If you get sick anyway, boosting the dose to between 2,000 and 3,000 mg a day will cut the duration and severity.

And given how nasty this year’s virus is, consider calling in the big guns right away if you get sick: Visit a holistic medical doctor for intravenous vitamin C to turbocharge your immune system to fight off the infection, ease the symptoms, and cut the risk of complications.

Pollution can kill you

Death is in the air — but not for you!

One day soon, I hope that they treat daily pollution levels like the weather and give you a forecast each day before you step outside.

It’s not just good information to have.

New research shows how knowing what’s out there — and how to avoid it — just might save your life!

Even small day-to-day changes in pollution levels can add up to big risks, especially for older folks — and not just over years of exposure.

Just a single day of exposure to common pollutants can KILL you, according to the new study.

This isn’t the risk in a smoggy nightmare of a city in some distant country. The study didn’t focus on places like Shanghai or Mumbai.

It looked at what happens when levels of two common pollutants rise right here in the United States.

Specifically, the study focused on ozone, which is a hazy smog formed by pollution reacting with sunlight, and the particulate matter 2.5 made of soot, smoke, dust, and dirt.

When either one rose on any given day, the death rate in that specific zip code jumped — and not just on “really bad” days.

Even small increases — levels that didn’t exceed the EPA’s safe limits — caused people to die.

Every small jump in PM 2.5 increased the death rate by an extra 1.42 per million people, and every rise in ozone levels increased those deaths by 0.66 per million people.

Those might not sound like big numbers, but those figures aren’t per year.

They’re per DAY… and they can add up fast.

In real numbers, the research team believes that pollution is responsible for 800 deaths across the country just in summer, when it’s often at its worst.

There are two quick steps you can take to protect yourself, reduce exposure, and minimize the risk.

First, look online for a decent source of air quality monitoring system so you know what you’re facing on any given day and can prepare accordingly.

If the levels rise, avoid going out during peak pollution hours, which tend to follow rush hour traffic patterns. When they’re especially high — or when you have an extra factor such as the fires we’ve been experiencing here in California — there may be times when it’s better to stay inside all day if you can.

And second, while your home provides decent protection, it may not be enough.

If you live in or near a city or industrial area, invest in a quality air purifier with a HEPA filter, and don’t forget to clean or change it regularly.

COPD risk cut with tomatoes

Slow aging in your lungs with this one delicious fruit

An apple a day may not keep the doctor away… but two tomatoes are another story.

Enjoy a pair a day, and you just might avoid the pulmonologist!

New research shows how working a pair of tomatoes into your meals each day can protect your lungs from two kinds of damage you might be experiencing right now, even if you’re not aware of it.

The first is something we all suffer: After 30, lung function drops a little bit every year.

The more it drops, the higher your risk of breathing problems and chronic disease such as COPD.

The second is the damage from bad habits such as smoking — and that’s damage you could have right now, even if you don’t smoke.

If you have lived or worked with smokers… or had a tobacco habit of your own years ago… your lungs might still have that damage inside them right now.

Combine the two — aging and tobacco exposure — and you can suffer an even bigger drop in lung function and higher risk of COPD.

But not if you eat tomatoes!

The new study finds that eating more fruits and vegetables of any kind can slow the damage in the lungs caused by aging and tobacco… but the best of the bunch are tomatoes.

Just two a day will slow the rate of decline, essentially making your lungs YOUNGER so that you stay healthier and breathe easier. That, in turn, can slash your risk of becoming one of the 155,000 Americans who die of respiratory diseases every year.

Others forms of fresh produce will also do the trick.

That apple a day? It’s not quite enough to help lung function — not by itself, anyway.

But you’re on the right track. Three apples a day… or three daily servings of any fresh fruit at all… can also help protect lung function.

The biggest protection goes to former smokers, according to the study. If you’re recovering from an old bad habit, you might want to up your intake of delicious fresh fruits and vegetables to help reverse the damage and avoid the lung problems so many former smokers face.

But even if you’ve never smoked, you could still be quietly suffering from the decline in function caused by aging, which can leave you struggling to catch your breath at times.

Avoiding that risk could be as simple as eating more fruits, especially tomatoes.

These delicious foods are rich in the age-fighting nutrients that can also protect the rest of your body, including your heart — so, take a deep breath, and enjoy.

Antibacterial soap contains a dangerous chemical

The dirty secret about your soap

It’s so dangerous that it’s about to get banned. But first… expect to find it just about everywhere!

I know. That makes ZERO sense.

Yet that’s exactly what’s happening right now, as the FDA gets ready to take long-overdue action against a dangerous chemical that’s widely used in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers.

It is finally getting ready to enact the ban on triclosan that it’s been talking about for nearly four years now.

The reason for the ban will make your skin crawl — perhaps literally — because this chemical agent has the power to slip through your skin when you wash with it.

From there, it can enter your bloodstream and travel anywhere in your body.

It can mimic estrogen and thyroid hormone, which can throw your hormonal balance out of whack and boost your odds of chronic disease.

It can even cross the blood-brain barrier, where it can strangle the neurons that help deliver signals between the brain and muscle, according to animal studies.

Some studies have even found evidence that it might reduce heart function.

Obviously, banning this junk is a GOOD thing, and I’m all for it — even if it’s taken way too long to get the job done.

Better late than never.

Yet the FDA’s not quite banning it. Not yet, anyway.

While triclosan has already been pulled from the market for consumers, the agency left a massive loophole in place that allows it to continue to be sold for “healthcare” settings.

Now, finally, the FDA is claiming that it is pulling it off the market for those uses, too, except it hasn’t really.

The feds are giving the companies that make antibacterial soaps for healthcare a FULL YEAR to get rid of the triclosan, and you know what that means.

They’re going to pull out all the stops to sell their entire inventory — so they’re not left with warehouses full of triclosan once the ban kicks in. Expect to find it in everything for a while, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this stuff leaks back onto the consumer market.

Sure, the label will say it’s for healthcare settings, but some consumers won’t realize what’s really going on, and they’ll snap it up fast, thinking they got a great deal on a powerful soap used in hospitals.
Plain old soap and water has shown to be just as effective as antibacterial soaps containing triclosan. Just make sure you lather up and give your hands a good scrubbing for at least 30 seconds.

If you like hand sanitizers, check the ingredients and avoid anything with triclosan. Stick to the ones that contain germ-killing alcohol as the only active ingredient.

Flu hits men harder than women

This flu risk is no laughing matter

OK guys, which do you want first: the bad news or the WORSE news?

Don’t worry — it all will end with good news.

For now, let me start with the bad news. As you’ve no doubt heard by now, this flu season is shaping up to be one of the worst in recent memory, with more people — especially older folks — getting sicker sooner than usual.

Tests confirm double the number of cases from this point last year, and the spread of the virus seems to be picking up speed.

If you hear someone coughing nearby… you best get out of range!

Don’t count on the flu shot to pull you out of this one. It’s never very good even in the best of years — but with an even lower protection rate, it’s already proving to be a poor match for this year’s virus.

That’s the bad news.

The worse news is for the guys. We’ve all heard jokes about the so-called “man flu” that is supposed to be a funny term for how men act sicker to get a little more TLC from their wives.

But a new study finds that it’s no joke at all.

It’s real.

An analysis of both human and animal studies finds that women are better equipped to fight off certain viruses, especially the ones that attack the respiratory system.

Guys, on the other hand, are more likely to pick up those viruses… and more likely to get sick from them after being exposed.

The differences don’t end there, either.

That same little weakness in the immune system means that guys are more likely to get sicker and encounter more severe symptoms and a higher risk of complications from infections such as the flu.

Making matters even worse, men are more likely to be hospitalized for flu.

Worst of all, men are more likely to die.

Like I said, this ends with good news.

There IS a way to beat the flu, even if you’re already sick with this year’s nasty strain of the virus.

As I explained in this month’s edition of Health Revelations, there are natural therapies to ease the symptoms, fight the infection, and recover faster. One of the best is a syrup made from elderberry, which studies show can help break the flu a full four days earlier.

The key is to start early — within 48 hours of infection. Don’t wait until you’re sick to go out shopping for this stuff.

Stock up now, so it’s on hand for flu season and available right when you need it.

Fasting can boost health in as little as 2 days

Try this trick the day after Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Today, we celebrate the moment God sent his one and only Son to our sin-filled world to redeem us with the promise of everlasting life.

It’s a time to be surrounded by family and other loved ones — and I hope tonight you all sit down together for a big feast.

But tomorrow, consider doing something else entirely.

The first day of winter last week marks the start of a new season, and that’s the perfect time to consider a fast.

It’s not just a good idea after weeks of holiday overeating.

It’s also a powerful way to enhance your health, and new research shows how a fast can wipe away some of the risk factors for today’s leading killer diseases, including both heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers from Texas Tech University reviewed years of science and confirmed just about everything you’ve read about this healthy and revitalizing practice here in House Calls.

Right off the bat, there’s the obvious benefit: Fasting can kick-start your metabolism, helping you to lose weight right out of the gate.

And it’s not just while you’re fasting — you can keep burning off calories even as you start eating again.

Long-term fasting diets can also can cut total cholesterol by as much as a fifth… LDL by up to a third… triglycerides by as much 42 percent… and blood pressure by as much as 10 percent.

But you don’t need a long-term fasting diet to enjoy real and lasting benefits.

The same new study found that fasting over the shorter term — even for as little as two days — can cut your weight, reduce body fat, and improve your LDL particle size, which is a much more important risk factor than LDL levels alone.

Two days! Start tomorrow, and you’ll be back to your normal diet on Thursday.

Short-term fasting can even reduce C-reactive protein, a dangerous marker of inflammation linked to everything from heart attack to dementia.

And if you have diabetes… or if you’re at risk for the disease… fasting can help bring your blood sugar levels under control.

The new study focused on intermittent fasting, or mixing fast days with days of normal eating, and very-low-calorie diets that mimic fasting.

But you don’t have to get fancy here.

I’ve found that you can get nearly all of the benefits by fasting for two or three days just a few times a year — without the need for “alternating” or “mimicking” diets.

The start of each new season is often a good time to give it a try.

Bear in mind that “fasting” doesn’t mean “starving” — and it doesn’t mean eating and drinking nothing it all.

Speak to a holistic doctor who can help you fast properly to ensure proper nutrition.

Flu linked to heart risk

Could the flu give you a heart attack?

Getting the flu is like getting a punch in the chest from a heavyweight fighter.

It can knock you down for the count, and not just when you’re exhausted in bed as you battle the hacking, wheezing, coughing, and sneezing that mark the illness.

A new report shows how it can leave something else behind that can linger after all those symptoms fade.

It can lead to a decline in your health, causing serious and even deadly problems — and some of them can be far worse than the flu itself.

An expert from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville told UPI that flu patients — especially seniors — face major risks after recovering that might seem to have nothing to do with the infection.

But clearly, there IS a link — because between two weeks and one month after you recover from the flu, your risk of a heart attack jumps by as much as 500 percent.

Not only that, but your odds of a stroke triple.

It can even increase your risk of other serious problems, including disability.

The mainstream is calling this an urgent reason to get a flu shot ASAP.

Of course it is. That’s the answer for everything: Get a flu shot.

Yet the very same week this new report about flu risks came out — just as all the experts lined up to warn seniors to get the shot — a second report emerged that didn’t get nearly as much attention.

This one says that the shot mainstream docs are pushing is a total dud, with an effectiveness rate of just 10 percent.

That’s right. It doesn’t work, and it might actually turn out to be one of the least effective flu shots of all time (and that’s saying something).

Put it together, and you have health officials urging Americans to get a shot that they now admit won’t help.

You just can’t make this stuff up!

I’ve got a better idea, and it works year after year — no matter which strain of the flu becomes dominant.

It can cut your risk of getting the infection and lessen the blow if you do get sick.

I’ve developed a groundbreaking vaccine-free protocol to fight off the flu and other common winter infections. I use it myself this time of year, and I almost never get sick despite constant exposure to these viruses.

My plan starts with a science-backed natural immune-booster called N-acetylcysteine, or NAC. Take 600 mg per day to prevent the flu. If you happen to get ill anyway, up the dose to 2,000 and 3,000 mg per day for a quicker recovery.

Probiotics and vitamin D can also help your body to fight off the cold, flu, and more… so you stay healthy all winter long.

Want more? You got it! Check out the January 2018 edition of Health Revelations for everything you need to know about flu protection.

Allergies can get worse in winter

Winterize your body against allergies

If you’re suffering from allergies, the “most wonderful time of the year” could also turn into a season of sniffling.

While spring is known for the pollen boom, we’re also surrounded by potential triggers right now.

If you live in a milder climate, the leaves are still piling up. If you’re in a cooler place, you might have a big pile of them decaying behind your house. If you’re up North, where it’s already snowing in some places, you can end up with a damp and moldy basement or attic.

All of them can lead to allergy attacks.

Even your Christmas tree can be coated in allergens!

A new report from the University of Alabama says that one of the most common triggers of allergies this time of year is in what nature is doing all around us, especially if you’re doing work around your yard to get ready for winter.

All of that back-breaking leaf-raking can do more than leave you aching and sore — it can leave you sniffling, sneezing, and, in some cases, gasping for air.

The team at Alabama says you should know your triggers and prepare.

Well, no kidding.

But how, exactly, do you know what’s lurking in that mess of a yard out there?

You’re best off preparing for anything — so, if you’re prone to allergies, treat that leaf pile like a pollen bomb. If you’re going to clean it up yourself, wear a mask.

Once inside, toss your clothes in the laundry right away, or those pollens and mold spores will settle all around your home.

Don’t sit down yet. You’re not done.

It’s time to inspect the attic and basement for leaks and signs of mold, which can trigger constant cold-like misery all winter long.

OK, phew, that was a lot of work, right? But it’s not break time yet.

We’ve got one more job here, and that’s your Christmas tree.

Some folks are allergic to the tree itself — and if you’re one of them, you probably know it all too well.

But that’s not the only risk. That’s not even the biggest risk.

The tree can pick up dust, mold, and pollen from anywhere along the way on its journey from the forest to the lot to your living room.

Some lots will blow them off or hose them down for you. If they don’t, do it yourself out back and give it a day or two to dry off before you bring it in.

You might not be able to eliminate every possible trigger. But with a day or two of work around your home and some careful planning, you can certainly minimize them — so you can breathe easy this holiday season.

Cough remedies that really work

Read this before your next winter cold

Cold and cough season is here, and the mainstream has a message for you: Don’t even bother!

A new study claims that there’s nothing you can do for what’s often the worst part of any winter bug: the relentless bone-rattling, body-shaking coughing fits that announce your illness to anyone within earshot.

The new analysis of clinical trials and other studies finds that nothing works.

And since nothing works, you may as well save your money and just deal with the coughs as they come.

Translation: If you get sick, you’re stuck.

On the plus side, the report from the American College of Chest Physicians isn’t yet another plug for drugs.

In fact, it comes right out and says that cough syrups, decongestants, painkillers, and other common, over-the-counter medications WON’T ease your hacking.

That’s a breath of fresh air.

But then the cough report chokes, claiming that natural remedies are just as ineffective.

The best researchers can say is that honey might help some kids, but it won’t help adults. And while adults MIGHT get a little relief from zinc lozenges, they say, the evidence is so weak that they can’t actually recommend them.

That’s a shame — and a missed opportunity — because there IS plenty of evidence that natural remedies can help adults and kids alike to overcome coughing and other common cold symptoms.

And you can start with those zinc lozenges.

One reason they may not have been impressed is that the doses used in some studies are too low, and the periods are too short, to see any benefit.

When the Cochrane Collaboration looked at 15 studies on zinc lozenges, it found that they can cut cold symptoms by around a day.

That’s not going to knock anyone’s socks off, right?

But then the Cochrane crew looked ONLY at studies where people got the right doses at the right time.

The results were nothing to sneeze at: Zinc lozenges cut cold duration from seven days down to four and symptoms (such as the coughing that’s the focus of the new study) from five days all the way down to two.

The key with zinc is in finding the right balance, because too much can cause loud gas and explosive diarrhea, a combo that might be much worse than a run-of-the-mill cough.

The best studies show you need about 100 mg a day, so do a little math. If each lozenge has 5 mg, you need about 20 a day (or about one every 45 minutes or so while you’re awake) to get all of the benefits without those embarrassing side effects.