Topic 2

  1. Smoking cigarettes damages mental health

    Quit smoking cigarettes, boost your mood

    When I ask patients who smoke why they continue with a habit they know is so bad for them, there's one answer I hear more than any other.

    "It makes me feel good," they say.

    Many smokers believe smoking cigarettes helps them to relax, fight stress and enjoy a better mood, but it's just not true.

    Smoking actually does just the opposite. And if you feel a little lift when you light up, it's not because the cigarette is relaxing you or enhancing your mood.

    It's because it's calming the nicotine craving the habit caused in the first place.

    Now, a new review of 26 studies confirms that once you manage to break free of that addiction, you'll enjoy less stress, lower levels of anxiety, a sunnier mood and even a better overall quality of life.

    It's as if a cloud has been lifted -- and I guess in a way it has. You've finally cut through the haze of tobacco smoke and can get back to enjoying life naturally and without the struggles and cravings caused by your addiction.

    Of course, a mood boost isn't the only reason to quit. It's not even the best reason -- because smoking cigarettes can cause heart attack, stroke, lung cancer and oral cancers. It's also responsible for gum damage, rotting teeth, chronic bad breath and no shortage of social problems (especially if you smell like cigarette smoke all the time).

    Quit, and quit now. Once you give up, your body starts to undo the damage of smoking cigarettes, reversing even years of damage and helping to restore your vital organs, even your heart and lungs.

    You can learn more about your body's amazing capacity to heal itself in this free report from my House Calls archives.

  2. Breakfast can help you avoid metabolic syndrome

    Good health starts at breakfast

    Mom always said breakfast was the most important meal of the day -- and you know what? She was right.

    A good morning meal can set your body up for the rest of the day, giving you energy, controlling your blood sugar and cutting off cravings before they even start.

    Now, new research shows what happens if you spend years skipping breakfast, and it's not pretty: You could gain a whole bunch of weight and even find yourself battling metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

    In the study, researchers tracked a group of teens for an average of nearly three decades. That's from high school right up through middle age. And by the time these "kids" were pushing 50, the ones who ate breakfast regularly were in much better shape overall.

    The ones who skipped it? They were pictures of poor health, up to 68 percent more likely to be suffering from metabolic syndrome than the ones who followed mom's advice to eat breakfast every day.

    That means missing breakfast could put you on the path toward diabetes, heart disease and an early death. And while the patients in the study were kids -- at least at the start -- other studies have found similar results at nearly every age.

    It's even true over the short term. For example, dieters who think skipping breakfast will help them to lose weight actually find just the opposite is true.

    One recent study even found that dieters who make sure to eat breakfast every day lose weight faster than dieters who skip the meal -- in part because when you force yourself to go hungry, you overcompensate later on.

    And by the end of the day, you're eating everything in sight -- up to 20 percent more at lunch alone, according to another recent study.

    So go ahead and eat your breakfast. Just be sure you eat right. Toast and cereal washed down with OJ might make for the kind of breakfast you see in TV commercials, but a truly healthy breakfast starts with eggs.

    Eggs can help you feel fuller longer, so you don't overeat later in the day. You can read more about that in this free report from my House Calls archives.

  3. Moderate alcohol can cause skin cancer

    Even a moderate drinking habit can increase the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer, according to new research.
  4. Shivering helps produce brown fat

    Crank up the AC: Shivering can boost production of brown fat -- and brown fat can burn energy and help you to lose weight.
  5. Gastric band patients often suffer from poor nutrition

    Stomach-shrinking surgeries can increase the risk of serious nutritional deficiencies.
  6. Reverse ‘brain shrink’ with fish oil

    The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can slow the brain shrink that comes with age – and maybe even slow cognitive decline along with it.
  7. Vitamin D benefits fight MS

    Vitamin D can cut the number of MS attacks by more than half and help protect the brain at the same time, according to a new study.
  8. The four keys to health and happiness

    Happiness and good health often go hand-in-hand -- and if you can stay happy as you age, you can stay healthy, too.
  9. Moderate drinking can speed cognitive decline

    Two drinks a night can age the brain and speed the onset of cognitive decline, according to a new study.
  10. Flavonoids can prevent diabetes

    Certain flavonoids can help control blood sugar and may prevent diabetes, according to a new study.
  11. Obesity can take years off your life

    Being obese can increase your risk of death, especially death from heart disease.
  12. Your doctor could be spreading C. diff

    A quarter of all doctors and other healthcare workers in hospitals have dangerous disease-causing poop germs on their hands, according to a new study.
  13. Chronic anxiety could trigger a stroke

    Chronic anxiety can increase your risk of a stroke by up to a third, according to the latest research.
  14. Cardiovascular disease boosts dementia risk

    Heart disease and other heart problems can increase the risk of dementia, at least in women, according to new research.
  15. Apnea surgery is the wrong approach

    A new surgery claims to cure apnea -- but it involves a pacemaker in the chest and electrodes throughout the body. There's a much easier solution.
  16. Lower your heart risk with these foods

    Fiber-rich foods can slash your risk of heart disease, according to the latest research.
  17. Antioxidants prevent vision problems

    Boost your antioxidants and you could cut your risk of cataracts by 13 percent, according to a new study.
  18. Aging and moderate drinking

    The patients most commonly sent to the ER because of booze-related problems aren't college kids. They're middle-aged folks and even seniors.
  19. Hearing loss one of the effects of obesity

    Obesity can increase the risk of hearing loss, especially in women, according to a new study.
  20. ADHD meds can cause penis problems in kids

    Boys as young as 8 who take ADHD drugs could suffer from a frightening penis condition called a priapism -- or an erection that could require emergency hospitalization.

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