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Heart attack risk jumps in the ‘healthy’ obese

The BIG risk factor for heart attack hiding in plain sight

It’s time to bust a major medical myth… one that millions of Americans believe right now.

You might even be one of them.

It’s called “fat but fit,” or the idea that you can be obese but still healthy.

This isn’t a matter of being in denial, mind you.

You might know that you’ve got a little too much around the middle… maybe even WAY too much around the middle… but you can still get around well and have a mostly healthy (even active!) lifestyle and no bad habits.

No smoking, not a touch of booze, and no symptoms or signs of any chronic disease.

You might even have perfect results on blood tests and no other obvious risk factors for disease beyond your weight.

It’s tempting to think that you’re one of the lucky ones, especially when you read the occasional study about how some overweight and obese people can actually live longer.

Well, friend, new research hopefully puts this myth to bed once and for all.

You might THINK that you’re healthy… but you’re NOT!

The new study shows how chronic disease is just waiting to happen.

Guys, every 4.3-point jump in your BMI past 22 increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other nightmare health problems by 13 percent. If your BMI is 35, that’s a jump in risk of nearly 40 percent even if you seem to be otherwise healthy and have NO SIGN of heart problems.

Ladies, your risk of those same problems jump for every 5.2 points you grow on the chart. If your BMI is between 32 and 33, you’re facing a 26 percent increase in the risk of heart attack, stroke, and more.

It’s the same for your waistline.

Ladies, every 5 inches past a 29-inch waistline will increase your risk of heart disease by 16 percent. Guys, every 4.5 inches past 33 will boost those odds by 10 percent.

The study also found similar links for waist-to-hip ratio and overall body fat – and it all held true regardless of other “conventional” risk factors.

In other words, the “fat-but-fit” myth is just that. It’s a myth — and if you’re a little overweight yourself, it’s time to take action to shrink your waistline and cut your risks.

The best way to do that is with a healthy and enriching Mediterranean lifestyle, the only diet not only proven to help you lose weight but also cut the risk of today’s leading killers including heart attack, stroke, and cancer.

Need some one-on-one help? I’m here for you! If you’re in the San Diego area, make an appointment to see me 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!

Cancer linked to sudden weight loss

Is this your FIRST warning sign of cancer?

Everyone’s looking to lose weight, so if your own waistline starts to shrink by itself, you probably won’t question it.

You’ll CELEBRATE it!

Well, friend, maybe we should put that party on hold.

If you’re NOT on a diet… if you’re not eating less, moving more, and actually TRYING to lose some weight… you might not have a situation worth celebrating.

That shrinking stomach may not be a sign of good luck.

It could be your first, best, and maybe ONLY early warning sign of a cancer battle.

New research finds that unintended weight loss is one of the biggest risk factors for cancer, especially in folks over the age of 60.

Guys, you’re facing the biggest risk on this one.

The study finds that 14 percent of all cases of unexplained weight loss in older men are linked to cancer.

In older women, that number is 7 percent.

That’s high enough to make it the second-highest risk factor for four especially deadly forms of cancer: colorectal, lung, pancreatic, and renal.

Weight loss is also linked to prostate, gastro-esophageal, ovarian, and biliary tree cancers, as well as blood cancers like myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Now, not every case of unexplained weight loss is cancer, so don’t stress yourself out over this.

Sometimes, it’s a change in dietary habits that you didn’t even notice.

Or it could be caused by infection, parasites, thyroid dysfunction, and more.

All of these conditions have one thing in common: They can be cured.

Even cancer can often be treated and defeated.

But the longer you wait… the harder it can be… so don’t put this off.

Get yourself checked out – but make sure that the doctor REALLY goes to work on you, because the study finds that there’s also a “catch” when it comes to cancer and the link to weight loss.

Many docs miss it!

While weight loss from a virus or parasite might have obvious symptoms that demand immediate attention, cancer is a little different.

Early on, the weight loss might be the only thing out of place.

If you’re seemingly healthy otherwise, your doc might just send you home with a shrug and a few reassuring words, not realizing that this is the earliest warning sign of cancer and the BEST opportunity to catch and treat it.

He may not figure it out until other symptoms pop up… and by then, it could be much tougher treat.

It might even be too late.

So, don’t just get checked out. Insist on full testing or visit a specialist.

Diet solutions don’t work over the long term

Lose weight WITHOUT a diet!

Everyone’s looking for an edge when it comes to weight loss.

There are plenty of things you CAN and SHOULD do to get that advantage and drop those stubborn pounds.

Now, new research shines a light on something else.

It’s not something you SHOULD do — it’s something you SHOULDN’T.

Yet odds are, it’s the very first thing you tried!

Turns out, radical dieting is a terrible idea as a long-term solution for weight loss

You might already know that on some level. You’ve been on diets before, right? And how did they work out?

Exactly.

You’re not alone, and the new study confirms it. It shows that dieting is the fastest route to failure – and if that’s your approach to weight loss, there’s another failure in your own future.

The study weighed young adults, looked at their habits, and then checked in on them a full decade later as they hit their middle ages.

They found just what you’d think: No one’s ever as thin as they used to be!

Weight gain was common across the board. Most people gained, some held steady and very few lost anything.

Then, they looked into their habits over that decade and found something every dieter needs to see.

The folks who were most likely to hold steady or lose weight WEREN’T the people who tried dieting over that decade.

Just the opposite: People who dieted were more likely to GAIN weight.

The real key to success, the new study reveals, isn’t in finding the “right” diet.

It’s in having steady, regular, and healthy eating patterns.

And if you think about it – if you think about your own dieting ups and downs – it makes perfect sense.

Many people lose a little weight on a diet, but most regain it because diets are short-term “tricks” rather than long-term habits.

Now, I won’t say never diet. There are short-term diets that can kick-start weight loss, burn fat, and help you reach your goals. But they only work as part of long-term plans that involve changing your lifestyle — not as quick tricks for dropping a few pounds.

And that, once again, is why I’m such a big fan of going Mediterranean.

It’s NOT a diet. It’s not even close to a diet.

It’s a true lifestyle that requires little effort for long-term success. And because it allows so many of the filling foods you already love, you’ll actually WANT to stick to it.

The Mediterranean lifestyle is also proven to fight cancer, protect the heart, and cut the risk of stroke… so this isn’t just good for your waistline.

It’s great for your whole body, too.

Artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain

This ‘diet’ switch can make you fatter

It’s the vicious cycle that leads to weight gain… obesity… and diabetes.

And it could be CAUSED by trying to STOP it!

Crazy, right?

But new research shows how there’s a right way and a wrong way to stop weight gain and prevent the onset of diabetes.

And many people unknowingly pick the wrong one.

Maybe you’ve done it yourself: You step on the scale, shriek at the number, and vow to make big changes.

The first change many people make — the ONLY change that some might make — is to swap sugary drinks and snacks for low- and no-cal versions.

Out with the Coke, in with the Diet Coke. Instead of sugar in your coffee or tea, you pick a packet: blue, yellow, or pink.

And, of course, there are plenty of treats out there with many of those same substitutes.

They certainly SOUND better, and you don’t have to quite give up the things you love if you make the switch.

But that’s exactly what you SHOULDN’T do.

Studies show that people who make the switch to no-cal chemical sweeteners often keep gaining weight. One study from a few years back found that just three large diet sodas a week can increase the risk of diabetes by as much as 60 percent.

The new study shows one reason for it: Those fake sugars damage your body on a cellular level, altering the stem cells that normally turn into muscle, fat, bone, or cartilage.

When exposed to an artificial sweetener — in this case, the study used sucralose (a.k.a. Splenda) — those cells suck up fat like a sponge.

The more sweetener they’re exposed to, the more fat they absorb.

That leads to fat production — exactly what you DON’T want — and the study finds that the risk is highest in the cells of people who are already overweight or obese.

In other words, the very people looking for help from fake sugars… the people who need to LOSE fat… could actually gain it.

That’s not all that they found, either.

Tests on fat cells taken from human volunteers found that the sweetener also caused oxygenation inside the cell, which slows metabolism and can cause fat to build up.

While this was a test on cells, it verifies what we’ve seen in studies on people, as artificial sweeteners often do just the opposite of what you expect, making it harder to lose weight and easier to gain it.

If you’re looking to drop a few pounds… or just looking to keep healthy… give up all of these sweeteners and get back to an all-natural diet low in all forms of sugar and sugar substitutes.

And if you’re looking for a sweet drink to replace your pop, try fruit-infused waters or club soda.

Kaufmann diet attacks cancer at its root

Destroy cancer with this groundbreaking at-home therapy

It’s the cancer-fighting secret that EVERYONE will be talking about in the near future.

But today, I’m going to put you ahead of the curve.

I’ve got tomorrow’s news today — because I’ve got the scoop on the groundbreaking research behind a proven technique that attacks the hidden cause of many cancers.

This simple, easy-to-follow program will FIGHT the tumor at its root and CRUSH it.

This cutting-edge cancer cure isn’t a drug with side effects.

It’s not even a vitamin or supplement.

The secret is a natural diet designed to specifically SEEK and DESTORY the pathogenic fungal infections we now know are often the cause of so many cancers.

It’s called the Kaufmann diet, and it was developed by researcher and mycotoxin expert Doug Kaufmann. It’s specially designed to starve these infections so that the cancer cells die off — and it’s proven to work if you HAVE cancer, if you’re at RISK for cancer, or if you’re just concerned and want to make sure that you NEVER get this disease.

Kaufmann’s diet came about after he discovered striking similarities between cancer and fungi, including how they both thrive on sugars.

More importantly, they both DIE without those same sugars.

Of course, sugar isn’t just the white stuff in a porcelain bowl in your cupboard.

In addition to that sugar itself, carbs such as grains — including whole grains — are converted into sugars inside your body.

As a result, the first phase of the Kaufmann diet severely restricts sugars and carbs.

Alcohol is also forbidden. Not only is booze a top cause of the disease, but the sugars in alcohol can help feed the fungal infections at the root of these cancers.

You also need to avoid yeast, which will be less of a problem without bread and beer (but watch ingredients carefully — you’d be surprised how often they sneak it in), as well as fungi and mushrooms (for obvious reasons) and peanuts, which can contain fungal mycotoxins.

Patients are also given anti-fungal medications and/or supplements in this phase.

Without the sugars, the fungi behind many cancers in the body choke and die, killing tumors at the same time.

And that’s not all.

This phase also works in three other ways:

  1. It boosts your immune system so that your body is better equipped to fight cancer.
  2. It slashes your levels of the damaging inflammation that helps tumors to thrive.
  3. It protects your DNA from the damage of the fungal infection.

Once this phase is complete — and you’re feeling better than you have in years — dieters can slowly restore low levels of healthy carbohydrates.

For more on this powerful cancer-fighting regimen, visit Doug Kaufmann’s website, knowthecause.com.

And for another way to kill off cancer cells with dietary changes, you can read about another approach to eating, the ketogenic diet, in the forthcoming April issue of my Health Revelations newsletter.

Keep an eye on your inbox.

Excess belly fat linked to death risk in women

A deadly case of… muffin top?!?

Ladies, you KNOW that the muffin top that turned up after menopause is unsightly, so I’m sure that you want it GONE.

But that’s not the only important reason to make that muffin crumble, as new research shows how that extra layer of fat around the middle isn’t just a nuisance.

It could also be DEADLY!

I’ll help you melt away that excess belly fat in a minute, but first, here’s what the latest scientific findings have to say.

The new study confirms how too much fat anywhere on the body is, of course, a risk factor for heart problems… but it ALSO reveals how SOME types of fat are WORSE than others.

If it’s building up around the middle… if you develop the “apple” shape that so many women get after menopause… you could face a higher risk of a deadly heart problem.

Compared to just BMI alone, a higher waist-to-hip ratio — a sign of too much fat building up right in the muffin zone — will increase your risk of a heart attack by 18 percent.

Guys don’t quite have that same risk. A higher hip-to-waist ratio “only” boosts the risk of a heart attack by 6 percent.

And when you put men and women in head-to-head — or hip-to-hip — competition, women with muffin tops are 15 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack than the guys.

Even going by waist circumference alone — another sign of fat building up in the wrong places — the Journal of the American Heart Association study says that women are 7 percent more likely to have a heart attack than men.

So, what can you do about it?

The American Heart Association responded to the new study by saying that women should cut the carbs, sugar, and booze.

No arguments here. That’s certainly a good start.

But you can quit all three of those things and find that stubborn muffin still won’t go away.

There’s a simple reason for it, and that’s the hormonal changes that hit you after menopause.

You could have had the perfect shape all your life, but once the estrogen and progesterone levels drop, the fat in your body starts to shift around and hug your hips.

Eventually, you end up with an “apple” shape — a.k.a. the dreaded muffin top.

If you’re on the other side of menopause… and have struggled to lose weight even on a sensible diet… speak with a holistic doctor who can test your hormone levels and treat you if necessary.

There are natural therapies that can get your body to produce hormones again on its own, or in some cases, you may need natural bioidentical replacement therapy.

If you’re in the San Diego area, I run one of the nation’s most complete hormone testing and treatment programs 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!

‘Mindful’ diet won’t help you lose weight

Chew on this crazy new diet advice

Sometimes, I just can’t believe the nonsense I read.

A new report in The Washington Post, of all places, claims that your diet isn’t about WHAT you eat.

It’s about HOW you eat it and how you FEEL about your food.

Now I understand where the “fake news” label comes from!

This bit of nutty business comes from several strange reports on the concept of “mindfulness,” or the notion that some level of thoughtfulness about what and how you eat can directly influence your weight loss.

I’m not going to dismiss the notion of putting a little thought into your food.

And I’d love it if “mindfulness” meant that they were calling on people to say grace before their meals.

But you know that’s not what they’re talking about.

It’s just the usual New Age mumbo-jumbo that the mainstream just loves to prattle on and on about. The Washington Post even claims that studies show that this “mindfulness” — including meditation — can help dieters lose weight and keep the pounds off.

Think that’s bad?

Wait… it gets worse!

Just when you think that the report couldn’t get any more ridiculous, it praises the concept of “slow chewing.”

That’s when slower eating supposedly helps you lose weight.

The newspaper even cited a study that claims fast chewers who slow down can cut their risk of obesity by 42 percent.

Sounds good, right?

Here’s what it didn’t mention: In order to make that claim, the study had to come up with a completely NEW definition of obesity!

This wasn’t just a minor change, either. Researchers behind the study shifted the BMI for obesity from 30 all the way down to 25, a difference of between 25 and 40 pounds depending on your height.

That means they must’ve started out with folks who have a BMI even less than that — people who are already very slender and not as prone to weight gain in the first place.

You can’t take a study like that seriously.

Yet The Washington Post sure did.

Here’s the real deal: You absolutely SHOULD put some thought into your food, and nearly all of us could slow down a little (in everything, not just food).

But if you want to lose weight… if you want to drop the pounds and keep them off… the answer isn’t in “mindfulness” or “slow chewing.”

It’s action!

Switch to the varied and delicious Mediterranean lifestyle, which is modified to eliminate grains (even whole grains). Make that switch today, and you’ll lose weight without having to worry about your chewing speed.

And it never hurts to say grace.

For one-on-one diet advice, make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in the San Diego area? 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!

Researchers’ ‘best’ diets are both duds

Why the two ‘best’ diets DON’T work

It’s the battle of the diets, and we have a winner.

A new study put two of the most popular diets up in a head-to-head match over one-year clinical trial.

Some of the dieters went low-fat. The rest went low-carb. And the results are surprising a lot of people.

There were almost no differences between the two.

At the end of the year, the low-carb dieters lost about half a pound more than the folks on the low-fat diet. Both sets of dieters also improved by nearly every other key measure: They cut body mass index, body fat percentage, and waistlines.

They also had similar improvements in blood pressure, insulin, glucose, and blood fats (although the low-carb dieters had bigger improvements in both HDL cholesterol and triglycerides).

That’s enough for the media to declare that BOTH diets are winners.

But take one look at the actual results, and I think we can reach another conclusion altogether.

Both diets LOST!

Everyone may have improved, but they didn’t improve by much.

In fact, at the end of the study — one full year later — the folks who went low-fat lost a little less than 12 pounds, while the folks who went low-carb lost a hair over 12 pounds.

I’m not going to knock it — losing weight is always great.

But a pound a month of weight loss over the course of a year is not exactly what I’d call a success story.

I’m not surprised by those results. There’s a reason neither of these diets succeed over the long haul for most people.

They’re impossible to stick to.

Sure, they both have their plusses. The low-fat diet restricts saturated fats, which really should be limited. The low-carb diet restricts sugars, grains, and other carbs, which are also bad for you.

But they also have some pretty big minuses.

When you go low-fat, you often end up feeling hungry. When you go low-carb, there are too many off-limits foods.

Eventually you get frustrated and start to cheat. And eventually, the weight loss stops and some of the weight might even return.

That’s why I’m such a fan of the Mediterranean lifestyle. It allows for a sensible amount of fats — even a little saturated fat — so you feel full and satisfied as you lose weight.

It also doesn’t restrict too many foods aside from the truly unhealthy processed junk (although for best results, I would also urge you to severely limit grains, even whole grains).

That makes it the kind of diet you can stick to for a lifetime. And in addition to helping you to lose weight, it will also cut your risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and more.

You can do it on your own. I know you can. But if you need some one-on-one help, make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not here in the San Diego area? 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!

Weight-loss plans can backfire, and here’s why

Why is it so easy to gain weight back? (It’s not what you think!)

Losing weight is a battle for every pound.

When you’ve fought hard to burn a little off, the last thing in the world you want is to give any of it back.

Not even an ounce.

Yet as any dieter knows… it happens. It happens so often that most people who lose weight end up gaining much of it back.

Some even end up with more around the middle than ever.

Now, a new study shows why, and it’s not just a return of old bad habits.

Your diet success is quietly being undermined by hidden poisons.

They’re all around you right now — possibly in your food and even in the very chair you’re sitting in.

They’re chemicals called perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, and they’re found in furniture… clothing… non-stick pans… and more.

PFASs are even used in fast-food wrappers.

In the new study, researchers tracked more than 621 dieting overweight and obese people to see how they did it. More importantly, they also tracked them afterward to see who gained the weight back, and why.

Overall, the folks with the highest blood levels of the chemicals also had the highest risk of regaining their weight.

And ladies, you’re facing the biggest risk here: Women with high levels of PFASs in the blood regained nearly five extra pounds when compared to women with low levels.

Tests also revealed the reason for it, showing how these chemicals can slow your metabolism to a crawl, making it harder to burn off weight and easier to gain it back.

If that’s not reason enough to worry about PFASs, they’ve also been linked to other health risks, including cancer and immune system problems.

You want to avoid them as much as you can.

The real question is: Can you?

Odds are, you can’t eliminate them completely, but you can take steps to cut your exposure dramatically.

First, avoid packaged foods — especially fast foods, as the chemical is often found in the wrappers.

Second, dust often — and wear a mask when you do — since the PFASs in your furniture upholstery slowly break down over time and get released into the air, where they join your house dust and can be inhaled.

Consider furniture covers made of natural materials that can help limit the release of the chemicals into the air around your room.

And third, choose products less likely to have PFASs. “Non-stick,” “oil-repelling,” and “stain-resistant” are all phrases that should trigger warning bells — whether they’re listed on cookware, clothing, or anything else — as they’re almost always a sign of PFASs at work.

Pain eased with a little weight loss

Ease ANY pain with this ONE little change

Here’s one from the Department of No Kidding: Lose a little weight, and you can expect to have less pain.

Not just certain types of aches, mind you.

Name that pain, and it’ll disappear down the drain!

From common joint and back problems… to aches in your arms and chest… shedding a few pounds can help ease it all, according to the latest.

You don’t say!

The new study finds that weight loss can even help improve pain in oddball places such as your jaw.

Now, of course, if you’re already at your ideal weight, then losing a few more pounds won’t make much difference when it comes to pain.

But that’s not a problem most folks have.

The average American is now overweight or even obese, and those extra pounds are taking a real toll on your body, which is why the new study of 123 obese patients finds that losing even a little weight can dramatically ease just about any form of pain.

The study finds that you can see real and lasting benefits by losing 10 percent of your body weight over 12 weeks.

If you’re at 200 pounds, that’s just 20 pounds. If you’re at 250 pounds, your target is 25 pounds.

If you can get it done, you can enjoy less pain — and that’s not all. The study also finds that weight loss can boost your energy and improve your mental health, too.

As I said, NO KIDDING.

OF COURSE weight loss packs all of those benefits. That same 10 percent drop in weight loss can also help with everything from sleep to hormone function, too.

And let’s not forget that losing weight will also cut your risk of chronic and deadly disease, including diabetes and heart disease.

But it’s the pain benefit that’s getting all the attention right now, in part because the mainstream can’t seem to figure out why it works.

Sure, it understands how losing weight can take the load off the knees, hip, and back and chase away joint pain. But its members are scratching their heads over why it can also ease other types of aches and agonies, including that jaw pain.

The easy answer is that extra weight — and the conditions that come along with it — are among the biggest drivers of inflammation in your body.

And inflammation is a major source of pain.

So, for maximum benefits, don’t just lose weight. Lose weight with an all-natural diet with minimal processed foods, which can help to reduce inflammation more dramatically, leading to bigger, better and faster improvements in everything from your waistline to your pain levels.

Weight loss slashes breast cancer risk

Cut your breast cancer risk by 42 percent

Ladies, it’s being billed as the easy way to slash your risk of some of today’s leading killer cancers.

One quick procedure, and you can wipe out cancer before ever has a chance to take hold.

I bet you’re thinking there’s a catch.

Of course there is… and it’s a doozy!

The “quick and easy” way is neither as quick nor as easy as doctors would have you believe.

It’s weight-loss surgery, as new research on older women finds that stomach-shrinking procedures will bring your overall cancer risk down by a third.

For some of the deadliest forms of the disease, the numbers are even more impressive.

Your risk of breast cancer will drop by 42 percent, while your odds of facing endometrial cancer will plunge by up to 50 percent. The same procedure will cut your risk of colon cancer by 41 percent and pancreatic cancer by 54 percent.

Tempting?

Don’t fall for it! The real reason for the drop in risk, of course, has nothing to do with the actual surgery.

It’s all about the weight loss.

Obesity is one of the biggest preventable risk factors out there. One new report from the CDC finds that extra weight plays a role in at least 13 forms of the disease, including some of the deadliest cancers in women.

The report links obesity to cancers of the breast, uterus, and ovaries in women… as well as brain, colon, esophagus, gallbladder, kidneys, pancreas, stomach, and thyroid in men and women alike.

The study finds that 40 percent of all cancers in the nation have SOME link to obesity!

Obviously, that makes losing weight one way to rapidly cut your risk of both getting this disease AND dying from it. But while surgery might help you lose weight and cut the risk of cancer at the same time, it can increase your risk of a whole lot of other problems.

There are short-term complications such as the risk of infection. Some people even die during the procedure itself.

Then there are the long-term risks that often follow surgery, including a common condition where the smaller stomach can no longer effectively absorb nutrients from food.

That leads to dangerous and potentially deadly deficiencies.

There’s a simpler, safer, and far more effective way to lose weight and prevent cancer at the same time.

Try the Mediterranean diet. This healthy lifestyle is not only filled with many of the foods you already love, it’s also proven to help shrink your waistline, protect your heart, prevent a stroke, and slash your risk of cancer — including cutting your risk of the deadliest form of breast cancer by 40 percent.

The only knife you’ll need is a dinner knife!

Burn fat with berberine – not drugs!

Turbo-charge weight loss with this potent herbal secret

It’s the supposed breakthrough that the clueless media claim will lead to a powerful new weight-loss drug.

Pop this magic pill, and your dangerous and unsightly layer of fat will transform into a calorie-burning machine.

And you’ll have a slimmer, trimmer you in no time at all.

But don’t get your hopes up yet… because I’ve got the skinny on what this attention-getting new report really means.

Hint: It’s not going to do much for your waistline.

Don’t worry. There IS a way to transform your waistline, and I’ll give you the effortless belly-shrinking secret in a moment.

First, let me chew the fat on this new report.

The media are all excited over what they’re already predicting will become the future of weight loss… but this is just one itsy-bitty little study on mice, not people, and it’s got some pretty big flaws in its paws.

In the study, researchers found that blocking a protein in the mice called PexRAP triggered a reaction inside the cells of white fat, causing it to turn into beige fat.

That’s not a process that gets much attention, but it’s an important one.

White fat is the “stored” stuff that builds up around your middle. It’s the main fat found in people who are overweight and obese, and it’s been linked to metabolic syndrome and other risks.

Beige fat is more like brown fat. It’s a healthy form of fat that turns up the heat in your metabolism, helping to burn off that unsightly and unhealthy white fat.

And that’s exactly what happened in these mice when that protein was blocked.

Of course, there’s a huge downside to doing this in humans — one not getting nearly as much attention as the headline-making weight loss potential.

This same protein plays a role in your body temperature. If you block it, you’ll get bone-shattering chills, and your body temperature will jump off the charts.

Does that sound like fun to you?

Me neither!

Clearly, this “discovery” is not even close to ready for prime time — and even if it does someday turn into some kind of treatment, it’ll likely be a med with risks and chilling (perhaps literally) side effects.

There’s a better solution available right now, with no risk of chills and fever.

An herbal remedy called berberine can trigger the reaction that helps convert white fat into the better and more efficient brown fat, leading to faster weight loss — especially if you combine it with a sensible back-to-basics diet.

Weight loss accelerated with olive oil

Speed weight loss with this simple salad topping

It’s the simple secret to weight loss: Just sprinkle this stuff onto your food, and you can watch your waistline practically shrink before your eyes.

It tastes great… and it’s available at every supermarket in the nation.

The secret? Plain old olive oil!

For years, researchers have been baffled by why the Mediterranean diet is so effective at helping people lose weight.

After all, it doesn’t restrict calories. It allows for plenty of healthy, filling fats. It even lets you drink wine and eat chocolate (in moderation, of course).

Now, a new study reveals one of the key reasons for that inexplicably easy weight loss.

It’s that olive oil!

While olive oil is loaded with healthy compounds, researchers from Virginia Tech have found that one in particular can speed your weight loss and burn unsightly fat right off your waistline.

It’s a called oleuropein, and the study finds that it triggers glucose-stimulated insulin secretion inside the beta cells.

In plain talk, that means it helps with the entire process of managing sugar in your blood, ensuring it gets burned off instead of stored as fat.

Naturally, the researchers are already saying this may someday be used to develop new treatments for obesity.

Why wait for “someday”?

Olive oil is already easy to get — and, odds are, you already have some on hand in your own kitchen.

The only problem is that most people only use it occasionally, and that’s simply not enough to get the benefits.

So, let me give you three quick tips on maximizing the effectiveness of your olive oil.

  1. Look for extra virgin olive oil, and don’t get the cheapest brand or a discount label. Believe it or not, many of them are mixed with lower-quality plant oils and some contain little to no actual olive oil.
  2. Once you’ve found a good brand, don’t let it gather dust in the corner of your pantry. Keep it on hand and use it often. Cook with it… drizzle it on your vegetables… and work it into your meals.
  3. Remember: This is olive oil, not a miracle oil. You can’t drip some of this stuff onto a bacon double cheeseburger and expect to lose weight.

Make olive oil part of a healthy and balanced diet — ideally the science-backed, time-tested Mediterranean lifestyle — and you’ll find the benefits go beyond faster, better weight loss.

Olive oil will also protect your heart… slash your risk of diabetes… chase toxins out of your body… and even help give you stronger bone, cutting the risk of a fracture as you get older.

Disability linked to being sedentary

How to hold onto your independence as you get older

MOVE it… or LOSE it!

When it comes down to it, that’s the most important piece of advice I could ever give you — especially if you’re a little older.

Sure, you need to eat right and watch your nutrition. Those are important parts of the “big” picture, including protection from killer conditions such as heart disease.

But if you want to not only live longer but also keep your independence into your 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond, you need to do something more.

You need to get up on your feet and move around.

New research confirms that the sedentary lifestyle is one of the single biggest risk factors for mobility loss — and even crippling disability — in older Americans.

In other words, if you DON’T move it… you WILL lose it!

You may not feel it happening. In fact, you probably won’t, since it doesn’t happen overnight. It can take years for the damage to sink in, which is why the new study didn’t last just a year or two.

It tracked older folks for a full decade, until many of them were in their late 70s and early 80s.

If you move less than three hours per week, you’re facing a higher risk of mobility loss when compared to folks who move more often, according to the study.

If you spend too much time watching TV, you’re also at risk. Your risk of mobility problems jumps by 65 percent if you’re glued to the tube for five or more hours per day.

And if you have both bad habits… if you move less than three hours a week and watch five or more hours of TV per day… you’re facing TRIPLE the risk of mobility loss.

This isn’t a call to arms to join a gym or sign up for an exercise class. You don’t need to learn Jazzercise, Zumba, or Tai chi… and you don’t have to become a long-distance runner or take up tennis.

Of course, you certainly CAN do any and all of those things if you enjoy them. But you don’t HAVE to — because the real key to lasting health benefits isn’t in some gung-ho workout program.

And the new study confirms it. As you’ve read right here in House Calls, it’s in simply getting on your feet in any way you can.

A casual walk, working in your garden, or just taking care of chores around the home will all count about as much as true “exercise” and help cut your odds of mobility problems and the other risks of a sedentary lifestyle.

If you’re looking for another way to keep on your feet, get a dog. The two or three walks a day will force you to keep moving, and a dog is an excellent companion — especially if you live alone.

Simple trick to fitness can stop deadly disease

Get fit in just 21 minutes a day

Change your health… and change your LIFE… in just 21 minutes?

I know that sounds too good to be true, but new research reveals the effortless 21-minute secret to better health, stronger muscle, and a lower risk of chronic disease.

It’s so easy that anyone can do it. It won’t cost you a penny, and you don’t have to break a sweat.

All you have to do is get up!

One of the biggest risk factors for chronic disease and an early death is one of the easiest ones we can change: sitting.

The more time you spend parked in a chair or sofa, the higher your risk of disease and death.

That’s no state secret. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the studies on the dangers of the sedentary lifestyle, including a few I’ve shared with you right here, in House Calls.

But the new report goes much farther.

It doesn’t just show the risk — it also reveals how easy it is to turn it around and improve your health.

Just 21 extra minutes on your feet, even if all you do is walk in circles, can improve some key markers of your health.

The new study focused on office workers. Who sits more than a desk jockey, right?

But you don’t have to work in an office — or even work at all — to be sedentary yourself. The sad reality is modern life has made it all too easy to spend most of the day seated, no matter what you do.

If you’ve fallen into that trap, here’s your escape plan: Just make a little bit of an effort to move just a little bit more.

The new study finds that getting up for just 21 minutes a day — even if it’s not all at once — can lead to three key changes deep inside your body.

  1. It can lead to an improvement in your fasting glucose levels, cutting your risk of diabetes. The change isn’t huge, but it’s a change in the right direction.
  2. It can improve a key cholesterol marker linked to heart risk, known as your Apolipoprotein B-to-Apolipoprotein A-1 ratio.
  3. It can even help to maintain muscle mass in the leg.

There’s not a drug in the world that can promise all that!

A control group of patients in the study who didn’t increase their activity didn’t see those changes. In fact, by some measures, they got worse.

The folks in the study were given activity monitors to track how much they moved. You can buy one yourself cheaply enough. T hey not only track your activity, but they can nudge you when you’ve been sitting too long and remind you to move.

But you don’t need a gadget to get the benefits. You just need to get up.

Testosterone levels sink due to common chemical

This ‘hidden’ chemical can sap your manhood

Guys, you know what “right” feels like… and right now, it feels like everything has gone wrong at once.

You’ve got less energy than a high schooler during exams week. You’re gaining weight like a bear heading into hibernation. And your libido seems to have clocked out for a break — years ago — and still hasn’t returned.

Your doc will tell you all these warning signs of low testosterone are a normal part of aging.

He’ll even tell you that you just have to learn to live with it.

But I’ve got news for him today, my friend: Not only is he WRONG about the cause, he’s even MORE wrong when he says you have to live with it!

New research exposes a key reason for that dip in hormone levels, and it’s exactly what I’ve warned my own patients of and worked to correct for years now.

It’s not just your age.

While age alone can certainly sap you of those essential hormones, they’re also coming under assault from other factors that are completely within your control.

And one major risk factor could be sitting on the little shelf in your shower right now.

Many soaps, shampoos, and other “personal care” products are loaded with a class of chemical preservatives called parabens.

In the new study, guys with the highest levels of parabens in their urine had lower levels of the “manly” hormone testosterone.

The most immediate and obvious effect is visible in a microscope: Men exposed to parabens have abnormal sperm, including sperm that are misshapen, too small, and too slow.

The sperm even had DNA damage!

That’s bad news if you’re trying to start or extend your family.

But even if you’re well beyond those years, that’s a warning sign that things are going wrong deep inside your body — because low testosterone means more than just trouble with fertility.

It leads to the infamous “spare tire” around the stomach… low energy… and troubles with both desire and your ability to “do it.”

You can see and feel those symptoms, but low testosterone does something even worse that you can’t see or feel: It can increase your risk of heart problems.

Your doctor might tell you to just get used to it… but that’s not my advice.

Low testosterone can be reversed with three simple steps.

  1. First, minimize your exposure to parabens and other hormone-disrupting toxins. You can search online to learn which products are safer.
  2. Second, you can get your body to produce more testosterone on its own with a mix of weight loss, a little activity, and some natural therapies, such as acetyl L-carnitine and propionyl L-carnitine.
  3. And third, if you haven’t had your hormone levels checked, get tested by a holistic medical doctor. If you’re low and can’t increase those levels enough on your own, you may be a candidate for safe and effective natural testosterone therapy.

I can run some tests here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine to see if this treatment is right for you.

Not in the area? 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!

Weight-loss devices linked to deadly risk

WARNING: Weight-loss treatment linked to death risk

There’s an urgent new warning for anyone considering the “latest and greatest” weight-loss method.

This one’s getting plenty of attention because it has a sales pitch that’s tough to beat.

You DON’T have to follow any restrictive diet… and you DON’T need any real surgery. But you DO lose weight — and lots of it, with the glossy brochures claiming you can drop as much as 81 pounds in just six months.

So far, so good, right?

They’re called weight-loss balloons. In a single outpatient procedure, docs use a tube to drop an empty balloon into your gut, and then they fill it with a solution, such as saline.

Since your stomach is always semi-full, you have less room and don’t eat as much.

Six months later, they use a tube to pull the balloon out in another outpatient procedure.

Too good to be true? You bet it is: The FDA is now investigating at least FIVE DEATHS linked to two types of weight-loss balloons.

Three of them died within three days of the balloon being dropped in, while two others died within a month.

The FDA says it doesn’t know why these people died, and it doesn’t know if the deaths had anything to do with the balloons.

But the agency knows of at least two other deaths it can link to the balloons: In one case, the procedure poked a hole in the gut. In the other, they punctured the esophagus.

The feds also issued a safety alert earlier this year warning of other unexpected problems, including pancreatitis.

I know the idea of a quick fix is tempting, but this isn’t even much of a fix to begin with.

That claim of 81 pounds of weight loss? That comes with a huge asterisk — because that extremely optimistic scenario is not even close to what MOST folks experience.

In one of the studies used to get the balloons approved, patients lost an average of 14 pounds over six months, or a little more than two pounds a month.

That’s already nothing to write home about.

But this gets even worse: The control group in the same study lost seven pounds, making the TRUE benefit a hair over a pound a month.

And as the new FDA warning shows, that tiny bit of extra weight loss — just a quarter of a pound a week — could come with deadly risks.

Don’t give in to the “quick fix” temptation on this one. If you need to lose weight, do it the right way with diet and exercise.

It’ll work better… it’s far safer… and you can save the balloons for the big celebration when you achieve your goal.

How soda messes up your metabolism

Just ONE soda can do this to your body

It’s 2017, and no one’s under any illusions anymore.

Soda’s bad, right?

We all know that, yet I bet you’ve had a soda at some point recently.

Don’t be too hard on yourself over it — soda’s a multi-billion-dollar industry, so you’re hardly alone.

The reason it remains popular is simple: While we all KNOW soda is bad, most people think an occasional pop might not be too bad. If you’re one of them, you might order one, for example, just when you’re eating out.

But new research shows how that’s exactly when you SHOULDN’T have one!

While there’s no GOOD time to drink soda, the foods they’re often served with tend to be high in fat and high in protein.

Y’know… fast food. Big Mac and a Coke, right?

Eating any form of high-fat fast food with water would be bad enough, but the study finds that if you suck back a soda while you eat that junk, you’re not just getting extra calories from sugar.

This combo also slows the body’s fat oxidation by 8 percent.

That’s just what it sounds like: How you break down fat. When that process slows, you store more of that unsightly blubber, especially around your middle.

In other words, there’s more than a little truth to the old saying, “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips!”

That’s not the only damage, either.

In the study, volunteers were given meals with either a sugary drink or a sugar-free one while in a sealed chamber to measure their metabolism. Those tests revealed that the body fails to burn about a third of the calories that come from the drink itself.

And to complete the ugly picture, the body uses less energy overall when digesting a meal with a sugary drink.

Again, that’s everything you DON’T want. It means you’ll store more energy — in other words, your body will create more fat — instead of working off the meal and soft drink.

Don’t be tempted into thinking that diet soda is the healthier choice, simply because its immediate effects aren’t as bad.

Diet soda is, in many ways, just as unhealthy as regular soda. In some ways, it might even be worse.

Instead of losing weight, diet soda drinkers can often gain it — and studies show some may have a higher risk of diabetes to boot. One study earlier this year even found that diet soda can triple the risk of one form of stroke and boost the odds of dementia.

Drink water instead. Try infusing fruit or using herbal teas for flavor… or club soda if you need some fizz.

Dust chemicals linked to weight gain

You won’t believe what else could be making you fat

You know how all the wrong foods and drinks can make you fat.

But most folks don’t realize that you could stick to a perfect diet and STILL struggle to lose weight.

In some cases, you might even gain it.

One reason for it isn’t in something you’re eating.

It’s in the very air you’re breathing!

The “dirty” truth about house dust is that it’s not just dirt. It’s often a mix of chemicals and pollutants both from inside and outside your home.

Now, the latest research reveals how common pollutants floating around in the air in your home right now could trigger the very process that causes weight gain.

Researchers from Duke University in North Carolina took special cells from mice called “preadipocytes,” which can become fat cells in the right circumstances.

And, boy, did they find those circumstances!

They exposed those cells to 11 samples of dust — not from a construction site, industrial complex, or even their own lab.

They went door-to-door and collected dust from typical American homes right there in North Carolina.

Only ONE of those 11 samples caused no reaction at all.

The rest did at least something — and, in most cases, it was something not good for your health.

In seven of the samples, the dust caused precursor fat cells to transform into fully mature fat cells — exactly the kind of cells that build up around your middle as you gain weight.

They’re also the ones that stubbornly resist all your attempts to burn them off.

And that’s not all that happened.

I’m sure you know a little something about triglycerides, dangerous blood fats you want to reduce as much as possible.

Instead, the fat cells exposed to the dust sucked up the triglycerides and stored them.

Nine of the samples even started to divide, which means they were making MORE fat cells.

And all this fat was being cranked out not because of bad food or sugary soda.

It was from house dust!

When the researchers examined just what was inside the dust, they found 44 different chemicals.

Most of them are bad for you in some way. But three of them — a pesticide called pyraclostrobin, a flame-retardant chemical in furniture called tert-butylphenyldiphenyl phosphate, and the dibutyl phthalate used in plastics and solvents — had the biggest effect on stimulating those fat cells.

Unfortunately, they’re also three of the more common chemicals found in U.S. homes. So, odds are, they’re hiding in your own house dust right now.

If you haven’t given your home a good top-to-bottom cleaning recently, it’s time. You just need three things: a surgical mask, cleaning cloths, and a white glove.

Put on the mask so you don’t inhale… clean up good… and then do the “white glove test” to check your work.

Weight loss protects against heart failure

Spot your heart risk with this one easy step

You can’t get a heart scan any old time you feel like it.

But you CAN get a glimpse of the health of your heart easily enough — and it’s with something that’s probably sitting in the bathroom right now.

It’s your scale.

Some folks step on it every morning. Others are afraid to even look it.

If you’re in that second group, it’s time to set aside the fear… dust off the scale… and check your weight.

New research shows how even SMALL changes in your weight over time can lead to BIG increases in your risk of serious heart problems.

Gaining even a few pounds could even increase your risk of heart failure!

The key is 5 percent.

A 5 percent jump in your weight — 7.5 pounds if you’re 150 pounds or 10 pounds if you’re at the 200 mark — can cause your heart to grow thicker walls on the left side.

Thicker walls might be better for your home — especially if you have noisy neighbors — but it’s not so good for your heart. The thicker the walls, especially on the left side, the higher your chance of heart failure.

In the new study, the folks who had those thicker walls also had a drop in the ability to pump blood, which is another key marker of heart failure risk.

The reason is just basic biology. When you gain weight, your heart has to work harder to pump blood. Like any other muscle in your body, the muscles that power your heart will get thicker when they work harder.

Over time, that strain can take a toll. Your muscles keep working harder, but eventually they just can’t keep up. Your heart stops pumping blood as effectively, setting the stage for eventual heart failure.

And, as the new study shows, this entire process can start with a gain of just 5 percent of your body weight!

OK, that’s the scary part.

But you know me. I don’t like to focus on fear. I’m all about what you can do right now to change your circumstances — and the study shows that, too.

Just as gaining weight can thicken the walls, losing it can make them thinner and healthier.

So, do two things.

  1. First, weigh yourself regularly. You don’t have to obsess over it and step on the scale every morning, but at the very least check a couple times a week.
  2. And second, if you notice it’s starting to tick upward, make some tweaks to your dinner plate to bring it back down.

After all, it’s a heck of lot easier to lose a few pounds now, when you first spot weight gain, than a few dozen later when you’ve let yourself go too long.