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  1. Green tea repairs DNA damage

    Everyone knows green tea packs an unbeatable health punch-- and a new study shows why, because researchers say this great-tasting drink can actually undo genetic damage inside your body.

    And all it takes to get started is just a month of tea- sipping.

    The two-part study in the British Journal of Nutrition involved a placebo-controlled trial along with an in vitro lab experiment, and they both revealed the same thing: Tea can actually fight off the oxidative stress associated with aging and disease.

    In the trial, 18 volunteers were given either a green tea drink (specifically, the somewhat pricey Longjing variety) or water every day for four weeks. Blood and urine samples taken before and after the study period revealed the true power of tea: a 20 percent reduction in DNA damage after that single month of sipping.

    For the other part of the study, researchers incubated human blood cells with green tea. Then, they exposed those cells to hydrogen peroxide, a damaging oxidation agent-- and found that the cells exposed to tea were better able to resist damage from oxidation.

    Stress and damage from oxidation leads to aging and disease. The fact the tea can actually undo that damage helps to explain a study published earlier this year, which found that found green tea drinkers have "younger," less- damaged cells.

    And that's not the only benefit of tea. The polyphenols in tea--especially green tea, which can have up to 10 times as much as black--have been linked to cancer prevention, vision health and even longer lives. Some studies have also found that green tea may reduce the risk of diabetes, dementia, depression and so much more.

    The best way to awaken the polyphenol powers of green tea is with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sugar--but if you're having problems with your waistline, skip the sugar and stick to the lemon.

    And if you're not--make teatime the only time you use the stuff.

  2. Why your drugs don't work

    Ever get the sneaking suspicion that maybe your meds aren't doing a thing for you?

    You're not alone, and it's more than just a suspicion. The simple truth is that many meds just don't work.

    Most of us who have been watching this industry for decades have seen this unfolding, but a recent article in Wired magazine lays out the body of evidence – and it's big enough to stretch from here to the horizon on a clear day.

    Today, half of the most promising drugs that make it deep into the testing process end up being shelved once they face the ultimate competitor: the placebo.

    And that's not even the worst part.

    The worst part is the number of popular drugs already on the market, some now in use by tens of millions of people, that are now proving to be no better than placebos in new tests. Some of these meds never would have been approved in the first place if those initial trials resembled the tests taking place today.

    Big Pharma is pretending that the placebo effect has somehow gotten stronger – implying that some major change in human biochemistry has taken place within a single generation.

    But the reality is, many of their meds were never very effective to begin with – and those trials that helped bring them to market were most likely flawed from the get-go.

    But what's truly remarkable here is not the sheer number of drugs that fail the placebo test, but the number of conditions that pass it. What I mean is this: In many cases, the placebo response is so good that we shouldn't be looking for a drug to beat it – but treatments that can repeat it.

    Even doctors know about this effect, and have used it to keep patients off some meds. A 2007 poll of doctors in Chicago found that half of them admitted to using drugs that don't work, or doses so low as to be ineffective, simply to stimulate the body's placebo response.

    One study on irritable bowel syndrome found that a sham treatment given by a kind and optimistic doctor was just as effective as two of the leading prescription meds.

    But that doesn't interest Big Pharma – there's nothing to sell, so nothing to pursue.

    The fact is, the human body has a remarkable capacity to heal itself, and the placebo response is just the tip of the iceberg. Your body wants to heal itself. It just needs a little help from you to carry out these daily miracles – and I'm not talking about meds.

    When something goes wrong, your first instinct should be to help your body replace what's missing – because many conditions are caused by a nutritional or hormonal deficiency.

    Other conditions are the body's response to an allergen or toxin in the environment. Again, the answer isn't to use a pharmaceutical that masks the symptoms, but to identify the cause and eliminate it.

    When your body works on its own to fight off illness and disease, that's true healing.

  3. Dangerous heartburn med leaves lingering effects

    If you're taking medication to relieve acid reflux, you might be getting something a whole lot worse in the bargain.
  4. Ignorance isn't bliss when it comes to doctor's appointments

    A University of Michigan study that looked at how 3,000 patients made decisions about their health found most of them to be badly informed.
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