1. The natural way to help keep blood sugar in check

    Tame your blood sugar with this antioxidant

    Sports fans check scores as if their lives depend on them. Diabetics check blood sugar scores because their lives really do depend on them.

    So naturally, many of them turn to drugs to make sure those levels stay where they need to be.

    But drugs aren't always the answer here, and they're certainly not the only answer -- because there are natural approaches that can help keep blood sugar levels in check so you can reduce or even eliminate your need for those drugs.

    Take resveratrol, for example, the antioxidant famously found in red wine. Studies have found it can help diabetics in a number of ways, and the latest research shows how it can help improve critical hemoglobin A1c levels.

    Researchers recruited 62 patients with type-2 diabetes and gave half of them 250 mg of resveratrol to take each day along with their usual meds. After three months, hemoglobin A1c levels fell from an average of 9.99 to 9.65 in patients who were given the supplement, versus no change among those who just took their drugs.

    The difference might seem small, but it's a very real one -- and one that could get even bigger when combined with other natural approaches for blood sugar control, such as cinnamon and chromium.

    But let me stick to resveratrol for today, because the benefits go way beyond blood sugar levels. It can also tame blood pressure -- in diabetics and nondiabetics alike -- and in the new study, the patients who took it saw their systolic BP (that's the top number) fall from an average of 139.71 down to 127.92.

    That's a difference that brings them from right on the border of hypertension down to a much more manageable number -- and, for the icing on the cake, they also saw improvements in their cholesterol levels.

    Again, that's only the beginning of the benefits. In other studies, researchers have found that resveratrol can help fight everything from heart disease to cancer, and it may even help slow the aging process.

    But just because this stuff is known as the "red wine antioxidant" doesn't mean you'll find it in a wineglass -- because in reality, red wine often contains just 1 mg of resveratrol or less in every glass.

    You'd literally die long before you got close to the 250 mg a day used in the new study, much less the higher levels used in other research.

    Fortunately, you can get your resveratrol with water instead of wine, as supplements are inexpensive and widely available -- and come with no risk of a hangover.

  2. Why you need more vitamin C

    Time to boost your C intake

    Everyone knows how important vitamin C is. It says so right on the orange juice container.

    But not everyone knows how much they should get -- because the "100 percent US RDA!" listed on the OJ package isn't close to what you need for good health and a strong immune system.

    Now, there's a big push to change the RDA as researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University call on health officials to more than double the current recommended guidelines, to 200 mg a day for adults.

    That's up from the current RDA of 75 mg a day for women and 90 mg a day for men.

    Writing in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, the researchers say there's no risk at all to raising those C levels -- but plenty of benefits.

    One recent study found that people with the highest C levels have a 60 percent lower risk of death by heart disease. Another found that people with low C levels are 62 percent more likely to die of cancer than those with high levels.

    As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C can fight off the damage of oxidative stress and protect the body from chronic inflammation as well as the all the conditions that come along for the ride.

    It's also a world-class immune booster that can help keep away illness, including the common cold. If that's not enough, this vitamin can protect the lungs, eyes, and skin and lower blood pressure.

    Delivered intravenously, it can help fight infections and even kill cancer cells.

    Personally, I think 200 mg a day is still a bit on the low side. You can take 1,000 mg or more daily -- speak with your doctor about how much you need and the best way to get it.

  3. Extra virgin olive oil is often mixed with cheaper oils

    People pay big money for extra virgin olive oil, but new tests find many of the priciest brands are actually diluted with cheap low-quality oils.
  4. Oregano can kill prostate cancer cells

    Oregano is a powerful antioxidant that packs antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties into every little green flake. It's even shown promise in the battle against cancer -- and the latest research shows it could be an especially potent weapon in the war against prostate cancer.
  5. Curry favor with your heart

    It's the help your heart needs when your heart needs help the most: A new study finds that the curry spice turmeric can help you survive bypass surgery and avoid a heart attack during your recovery.
  6. Green tea speeds weight loss

    There are no miracles when it comes to weight loss -- but that doesn't mean you can't get a little help. Green tea has been shown to boost the metabolism and help the body burn off fat -- and the latest research on mice shows why: One of the compounds in green tea can stop the body from absorbing fat and even help the body to better use the fat it does absorb.
  7. Seaweed for heart health

    But in Asia, this nuisance is on the menu -- and with good reason, too: Seaweed is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and a new review of the research finds it can boost your heart health like nothing else.
  8. 'Wine antioxidant' can lower blood sugar

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    Resveratrol has been called the "fountain of youth" for its anti-aging powers--but the benefits of this great antioxidant are more than just skin deep. And now, researchers say it might even help diabetics keep their blood sugar levels in check.
  9. Pink isn't just for princesses

    Researchers say a common source of the color, a pigment that comes from undersea algae, could help prevent dementia.
  10. Berries cut hypertension risk

    It's not often you find something super-sweet that's also super-good for you... so consider this permission to indulge in delicious berries.
  11. For-profit dialysis comes with risk

    If you're a dialysis patient, you probably already know you're facing rough odds: Twenty percent of these patients die each year, most of them waiting for a kidney transplant. But a new study found that where you get your dialysis mean the difference between life and death. Researchers say patients at nonprofit dialysis clinics have a 13 percent lower risk of death than those who visit for-profit chains.

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