allergic reactions

  1. Aspirin therapy can hurt as many as it helps

    New aspirin risks exposed

    For years, aspirin was the "wonder drug" that could ease pain, prevent heart attacks and keep flowers fresh with little to no risk.

    Now, the more we learn about the drug, the more clear it becomes that we should save it for those flowers -- because those risks aren't so little after all. They're very real and very dangerous, and a new study confirms the drug can actually hurt as many people as it helps.

    Italian researchers compared data on roughly 186,000 non-diabetics over the age of 30 who were taking daily low-dose aspirin to 186,000 non-diabetics who didn't get the drug.

    Over six years, there were close to 7,000 hospitalizations due to bleeding -- including nearly 4,500 cases of stomach bleeding and nearly 2,500 brain hemorrhages.

    And as you can probably guess, those who took aspirin were far more likely to be among them. The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients given "aspirin therapy" had a 55 percent higher risk of stomach bleeds and 54 percent higher risk of brain bleeds than those who weren't taking the drug.

    Overall, the researchers say the drug caused two serious bleeding problems for every 1,000 patients and prevented two heart events for every 1,000 patients.

    That's a pretty miserable track record if you ask me.

    A drug should help more people than it hurts. The benefit should be real and clear, while the risks should be low to nonexistent. Aspirin, on the other hand, has minimal to nonexistent benefits -- especially when given to healthy people -- and some very real risks.

    Along with that bleeding risk, aspirin has been linked to hearing loss, vision problems, allergic reactions and even erectile dysfunction.

    Stick to healthy nutrients with proven benefits instead. Fish oil, for example, is a natural anti-inflammatory and an effective blood thinner. Magnesium is not only needed to help keep the heart beating, but one recent study found it can cut your risk of death by heart disease in half.

    Another nutrient I often recommend for heart protection is coenzyme Q10, and a recent study found that this supplement combined with the trace mineral selenium can also cut your risk of dying of heart problems in half.

    I'll have much more on the risks of aspirin and how to thin your blood naturally in an upcoming issue of my printed newsletter, Health Revelations. Sign up now and you'll not only be among the first to get it, but you'll also receive access to all my back issues online.

  2. Natural solutions for gout

    Gout used to be known as "the rich man's disease" because it usually struck the wealthy -- the only ones who could afford to over-consume the foods that cause this painful form of arthritis.

    Today, you don't have to be rich (or even a man) to suffer from gout -- just fat. And since more people are fatter than ever before, more people are also battling the foot pain that marks this condition.

    New numbers show that 4 percent -- or 8.3 million Americans -- fought gout in 2008, compared to just 1 percent between 1988 and 1994.

    That's a 400-percent increase inside of a generation -- and in the coming years, it could get even worse. Recent government numbers show 21 percent of us have high levels of the uric acid responsible for gout.

    That's an increase of 700 percent from the surveys taken between 1988 and 1994.

    But whatever you do, don't turn to Big Pharma's solution for gout. Drugs designed to treat the problem have been known to cause nausea, joint pain, and even liver problems. They've also been linked to chest pain, vomiting, bruising, constipation, allergic reactions, and even more gout flare-ups.

    There are better ways to beat gout, and you can get some of the most immediate relief with something that was often dismissed as a folk remedy -- until a recent study found it really worked.

    Researchers say 20 cherries eaten over 48 hours can reduce the risk of a gout attack by 50 percent, while cherry extract slashed the odds by 40 percent. I've noticed cherry juice popping up on supermarket shelves, so feel free to give that a try. Just make sure it's 100 percent cherry juice and not cherry-flavored sugar water.

    If you don't have any cherries handy, try celery. Celery can keep the enzyme that produces uric acid in check, and some people have reported gout relief from as little as a single stalk.

    Others need more -- nearly an entire bunch -- and all the peanut butter in the world won't make it any easier to eat that much. If that's the case, try 75mg of celery seed extract, twice a day, instead.

    You don't have to be rich to get gout. And since celery -- and celery seed -- is cheap and plentiful, you don't have to be rich to beat it, either.

  3. New instructions for Tylenol

    J&J says the changes it will make -- next year, mind you, not today -- will help stop the overuse that's turned the drug's main ingredient, acetaminophen, into the leading cause of liver failure in the United States. But they're not changing the drug.

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