Topic 1

  1. Vitamin D benefits: proven to work

    Vitamin D study falls short

    A pile of garbage is a pile of garbage -- and adding more trash doesn't transform it into something better.

    It just makes it a bigger pile of garbage.

    That's what's really behind the new study on vitamin D benefits that claims vitamin D supplements are unnecessary and don't work.

    Sure, it sounds impressive when they say they used data on thousands of patients from hundreds of studies. But if the studies themselves are all flawed, then it hardly matters how many they used.

    It's just a bigger pile of garbage.

    In most of the studies of vitamin D benefits in the analysis, patients given supplements were given just 400 IUs per day.

    If you take a vitamin D supplement yourself (and I hope you do) you know how low that is. That's lower than the 600 IUs per day recommended by the Institute of Medicine -- a level rightfully criticized as being far too low even by mainstream medical voices.

    The Harvard School of Medicine, for example, recommends between 1,000 IUs and 4,000 IUs per day.

    That means many patients in the new analysis were given just 10 percent of what they really need. And in the biggest study in the analysis, they didn't even get that much -- because a full 60 percent admitted they didn't take their supplements as directed.

    This sounds more like a bid for attention than a scientific study. And if that was their goal, it worked, because the study is making headlines around the world.

    But forget the sensationalism. Let's stick to the science -- the hundreds of studies that show the very real vitamin D  benefits supplements that these researchers managed to ignore.

    For example, D supplements are so critical to bone health that clinical trials have shown they can reduce the risk of a fracture by 20 percent.

    The sunshine vitamin is also so essential to your immune system that D supplements are 800 percent more effective than the flu shot -- and unlike the shot, vitamin D can prevent the common cold, too.

    It's also a proven cancer fighter, forcing cancer cells to turn into ordinary cells and killing any that don't make the switch. It's so powerful against the disease that one leading expert in the UK is urging all women to take D supplements to prevent breast cancer and death from breast cancer.

    He should have given the same advice to men -- because D can also protect against colorectal cancers, lung cancer, prostate cancer and more.

    Vitamin D is also essential to the heart, brain and more. But if you don't get enough, you can't get the benefits.

    And most people don't get nearly enough.

    The best source of D is sunlight, but most people don't get enough sun exposure to make the D they need. And of course, relying on sun for D could increase the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

    Since you can't get much D from food, that leaves supplements.

    I recommend an absolute minimum of 2,000 IUs per day of vitamin D3, and some people may need more -- as much as 5,000 IUs per day, especially if you have darker skin or live towards the north, and especially in winter.

    Your doctor can help you figure out the amount that's best for you.

  2. Too much insulin can damage the brain

    How diabetes turns into dementia

    I've heard of dementia referred to as "type 3 diabetes" because up to 70 percent of all diabetics eventually end up with it.

    Now, new research shows why -- and it's just what I've been warning you about -- too much sugar causing too much insulin. 

    It's the damage caused by spikes in your blood sugar levels. More specifically, it's the damage caused by your body's attempts to control that excess sugar.

    When your blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas is forced to work harder. It pumps out more insulin to deal with the sugar. If it happens too often, even the extra insulin becomes ineffective and you develop insulin resistance -- and, ultimately, diabetes.

    But that's not all that happens when you have too much insulin.

    Some of the excess insulin can slip out into your brain, where it doesn't belong. That requires your brain to use an enzyme to clear it out.

    Trouble is, your brain also needs that enzyme to clean up excess protein. When it's used on insulin instead, the protein builds up -- specifically the beta amyloid proteins that turn into the infamous "brain plaques" that mark the damage of dementia.

    The more plaques you have, the more memory you lose -- and the higher your risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

    In the new study of the effects of too much insulin, researchers watched this process unfold in diabetic rats until eventually they showed signs of memory loss and the rodent equivalent of dementia.

    The researchers say the results show that diabetics should start taking Alzheimer's drugs even before memory loss kicks in -- but I think that's missing the point.

    Most of those drugs don't even work in the first place.

    The real answer here is to get control of your blood sugar so there won't be too much insulin to do that damage in the first place. And if you're not diabetic, that goes for you as well -- because studies have consistently shown that even slightly elevated blood sugar levels can eventually lead to memory loss and dementia.

    Those are the levels that are above normal, but well below anything that would be considered diabetes or pre-diabetes.

    Your doctor may be happy with blood sugar readings below 100, but even that's too high. Aim for 90 or less.

  3. The sleep disorder that can kill you

    Heavy snoring can increase your risk of serious heart problems by 80 percent and double your risk of stroke, according to a study.
  4. Magnesium over cholesterol meds

    Magnesium can slash your risk of death from heart disease and stroke -- and it can do it without the risks of cholesterol meds, according to new research.
  5. Benefits of probiotics improve mental health

    Probiotic supplements can boost your mood, ease stress, fight depression and beat anxiety, according to a new review.
  6. Stomach acid meds and vitamin B12 deficiency

    Common stomach acid meds taken by millions can leave you deficient in vitamin B12, a nutrient needed by your heart, brain and more.
  7. Beat problems with ObamaCare by switching doctors

    ObamaCare may be unaffordable to many -- but a holistic doctor isn't. Find out how to make the switch today.
  8. Effects of obesity can kill you

    Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and death even if you appear to be healthy by every other measure.
  9. Stomach issues? Tell your doctor!

    Chronic stomach problems such as cramps, gas and diarrhea could be a sign of a more serious condition.
  10. Omega 7’s raise low HDL cholesterol

    Heart superstar omega 7 could reduce inflammation, sweep your arteries clear of dangerous buildup, and raise your good cholesterol. And now, rumor has it, one of America's top TV docs may feature this "new" omega on his popular TV show.
  11. Benefits of exercise help hip problems

    A little bit of movement can postpone or even cancel hip replacement surgery in seniors with osteoarthritis, according to a study.
  12. Natural remedies for headaches

    Doctors are being told to skip CT scans and pass on painkillers for migraine patients. So what's the real answer?
  13. How to spot sudden cardiac arrest before it starts

    Sudden cardiac arrest isn't always sudden -- and you could have warning signs up to a month beforehand. Learn them now.
  14. Kidney damage symptoms strike 1 in 10 Americans

    There's been a massive rise in the number of kidney disease patients -- and common processed foods and sugary drinks are to blame.
  15. The new trans-fat ban

    The FDA's ban on trans fats doesn't mean the end of trans fats. Learn about the loophole that could kill you.
  16. How to get on the path to healthy aging

    More than 20 million Americans are disabled because of osteoarthritis -- and in many cases, the condition is caused or worsened by obesity.
  17. Acetaminophen and alcohol can damage kidneys

    The painkiller acetaminophen when taken with booze can damage the kidneys and double your risk of kidney disease, according to the latest research.
  18. High-dose flu vaccine falls short

    The new high-dose flu shot aimed at seniors is being billed as more effective, but new numbers show it's really not very effective at all.
  19. Effects of depression speed aging of your cells

    Depression can make you old before your time, speeding the aging process on a cellular level and taking as much as six years off your life, according to new research.
  20. New guidelines for statins

    There's a new push to put tens of millions of new patients onto cholesterol meds -- even if they're largely healthy and don't have high cholesterol.

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