Topic 1

  1. Taking blood pressure can predict dementia risk

    The earliest warning sign of dementia?

    No one wakes up suddenly with heart disease or diabetes. You get warning signs first -- usually plenty of them -- and if you heed those warnings, keep taking your blood pressure, and make some changes, you can avoid the diseases.

    It's not as easy with dementia.

    By the time the most obvious warning sign -- memory loss -- is noticeable, cognitive decline is already setting in and dementia is often (but not always) on the way.

    Some doctors will tell you dementia is impossible to reverse or even slow. That's just not true, as readers of my Health Revelations newsletter will find out next month. (And if you're not a subscriber yet, sign up here and make sure you don't miss it.)

    But since dementia is one of the most difficult diseases of all to slow, the best approach isn't to wait until you get it before you take action.

    It's to take action now.

    The warning signs of dementia may not be as obvious as the ones for heart disease and diabetes, but they can be found -- and one of them can be found by taking your blood pressure.

    Not your normal blood pressure, mind you (that would be easy to spot), but central blood pressure, which  is taking blood pressure that measures the pressure of the flow of blood from your heart to the brain through the central arteries such as the aorta and the carotid arteries.

    Central blood pressure tends to rise a bit as those arteries stiffen with age. But if they get too stiff, the blood pressure going to the brain can get too high -- and if it gets too high, your brain could actually be damaged by it.

    As a result, people with higher central blood pressure tend to have lower scores on cognitive tests, according to one new study.

    Specifically, high central blood pressure can slow both your thinking and recognition abilities -- two risk factors for more serious cognitive problems, according to the study of nearly 500 Australians.

    Clearly, you want to keep an eye on your central blood pressure -- but it's not as easy as keeping on eye on your regular blood pressure. Until relatively recently, measuring central blood pressure was an invasive procedure.

    Now, there are some noninvasive techniques for taking blood pressure  that can get the job done, and your own doctor may even have some of them available in his clinic.

    If yours is high, you'll want to take action to reduce it. Along with increasing the risk of cognitive problems, high central blood pressure can also lead to problems in the eyes, kidneys, and (of course) the heart.

    Reducing central blood pressure isn't as difficult as it might sound. In fact, most of the same lifestyle changes that can reduce ordinary blood pressure will do the same with central blood pressure.

    Start with diet. Eat real, fresh foods and skip processed junk, and your numbers will almost certainly decline.

    (I recommend the delicious and healthy Mediterranean Diet. Click here to learn more.)

    In addition, be sure to eat plenty of the dark blue, red, and purple fruits and vegetables. They're rich in the pigment anthocyanin, which has been shown to reduce central blood pressure (especially in women).

    Finally, don't forget to exercise. Aerobic exercise in particular is great for reducing central blood pressure as well as your normal blood pressure. It's also a great way to lose weight and keep fit -- and that, in turn, will also slash your dementia risk.

  2. Taking magnesium can reduce your heart risk by a third

    Slash your heart risk with this inexpensive mineral

    If a new drug was shown to slash the risk of heart disease by nearly a third, you can bet it would be hailed by the media as a "miracle" -- and the breathless coverage would turn the medication into Big Pharma's next billion-dollar blockbuster.

    But there IS something that's proven to slash that risk, and it's not a drug. It's taking magnesium.

    It's safe, widely available, inexpensive, and backed by hundreds of studies -- including a new analysis from Harvard University -- and yet it gets almost no coverage.

    So let me turn the tables here and give magnesium the attention it really deserves, because the new analysis of 16 studies finds that every 0.2 mmol/L increase in taking magnesium will slash your risk of heart disease by 30 percent.

    And if that's not enough of a benefit, increased magnesium will also cut your risk of ischemic heart disease by 22 percent, according to the study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

    Having or taking magnesium, of course, is essential to heart function. It literally helps keep your heart beating, and other studies have shown that high levels can not only prevent heart disease, but also lower your risk of death from the disease.

    It's also been shown to help prevent cancer, control insulin, boost the immune system, strengthen bone, prevent migraines, and more -- so much more, since taking magnesium plays a key role in some 350 functions in the body that we know of so far.

    The researchers behind the new heart study of course say the best way to get magnesium is from food rather than supplements, and no one would argue with that.

    But to end the advice there ignores the reality of the situation: The modern diet is painfully low in magnesium -- so low that up to 80 percent of Americans don't even get minimal recommended levels, much less the higher optimal levels we see in research.

    So while you should certainly increase your intake of magnesium-rich foods such as leafy greens like spinach, be sure to add a supplement as well. And when choosing a supplement, be sure to turn the bottle over to see which form it contains, as there are several.

    The one you want is called magnesium glycinate, which is more easily used by your body.

  3. Cholesterol meds may cause diabetes

    New research confirms that statin drugs -- including some of the best-selling drugs in the world -- can increase the risk of diabetes.
  4. Olive oil benefits vs. fish oil benefits

    A new study claims to find no benefit for fish oil -- but that's only thanks to some shady research tricks. Get the real story here.
  5. Chamomile tea benefits turn off cancer cells

    A new study finds that a compound extracted from chamomile tea can switch off the defect that allows some cancer cells to survive and thrive.
  6. Feeling depressed doubles stroke risk

    A new Australian study finds that depression may double stroke risk in women... even younger ones in their 40's and 50's.
  7. Getting fit slashes risk of cancer and heart disease

    A new study finds that keeping fit can dramatically slash your risk for lung and colon cancer as well as heart disease.
  8. B vitamins can help protect against memory problems

    A new study confirms that ordinary B vitamins can fight dementia slowing down the physical deterioration in the brain that goes with it.
  9. Opioid painkillers linked to low testosterone levels

    A new study has uncovered a link between opioid painkillers, low testosterone, and erection problems.
  10. Anticholinergic drugs linked to dementia in seniors

    A new study finds that anticholinergic drugs like Tylenol PM and Benadryl could boost your odds of cognitive decline or dementia in as little as two months.
  11. Sugary drinks could be one of the causes of kidney stones

    A new study links sugar sweetened drinks like soda and fruit punch to a rise in kidney stone risks.
  12. New cholesterol drug isn’t for you

    A new cholesterol med combines two old ones -- but you don't need any of these drugs to get your LDL under control.
  13. Chain restaurants use too much salt

    New data shows chain restaurants haven't cut back on salt as promised. In fact, levels have actually increased.
  14. How fish oil can stop oxidative stress

    The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil can give the brain the power it needs to fight the oxidative stress that can lead to dementia.
  15. Are chemicals in food safe?

    Chicken meat is routinely sprayed with and/or soaked in a chemical stew that's supposed to kill bacteria. But are those chemicals safe for humans?
  16. 1 in 8 seniors fighting memory problems

    New numbers show 1 in 8 Americans over 60 are battling brain fog. Here's your guide to making sure you're not one of them.
  17. Sleep disorder boosts prostate risk

    Poor sleep habits increase the risk of prostate cancer, including potentially deadly advanced tumors.
  18. Exercise and how to avoid kidney stones

    Close to 1 in 10 of us can expect to battle kidney stones -- but if you do even a little exercise, you can slash your risk of getting them yourself.
  19. 20 million seniors fighting pain, find natural pain relievers now

    New numbers show that close to 20 million American seniors are battling chronic pain. You don't have to be one of them.
  20. Air pollutants cause heart and brain damage

    Living near a major road can expose you to pollutants that can damage your heart and brain.

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