B vitamins

  1. Simple ways to end migraine pain

    I've said it before, and the latest research proves it again: You don't need powerful, dangerous and addictive meds to beat the relentless pain of migraine headaches.

    All you need is a new approach: either more activity in the form of exercise, or less activity in the form of relaxation.

    Either way, you come out ahead -- because the latest research shows both of those approaches are every bit as effective for migraine relief as topiramate, the anti-seizure drug often given to patients who battle these debilitating headaches.

    Swedish researchers randomly assigned 91 women suffering from migraines to either 40 minutes of exercise on a stationary bike three times a week, relaxation therapy or topiramate -- and after three months, the benefits were even across the board.

    Some women in each group even saw improvements of up to 75 percent, according to the details in the journal Cephalalgia.

    But while both exercise and relaxation therapy come with other benefits -- they can fight stress, lift the mood and boost overall health -- the drug comes with an endless series of risks.

    Eight of the women who took the med -- a third of the group overall -- experienced side effects, versus none in the other groups. And for three of the women, the side effects were so bad they had to quit the study.

    There's no word on what specific side effects the women experienced, but topiramate has been linked to kidney stones, urinary problems, loss of vision, vertigo, back pain, depression and more.

    Now, if you're like me, the idea of any time at all on a stationary bike -- much less 40 minutes every other day -- sounds a lot like torture.

    The good news is, studies have consistently shown that you don't have to get gym-style exercise to get the benefits of exercise... and I'd be surprised if that didn't apply to the migraine-beating benefits as well.

    Just find something you enjoy doing that gets your body moving and your blood pumping -- everything from sports to gardening counts.

    And if that doesn't work for you and you've had no luck with relaxation therapy, you still don't need to spin the wheel of side effects with a migraine med.

    As I've told you before, there are plenty of safe and natural options for beating the pain -- and you can get all the details, for free, in my online archives:

  2. B vitamins beat dementia

    I know plenty of seniors who would pop pretty much any pill -- risks and costs be damned -- if it meant they'd never have to battle Alzheimer's disease.

    But it turns out they may not have to face any risks at all to get a leg up on dementia -- because the latest research confirms that simple, safe and widely available B vitamins can dramatically slow the rate of cognitive decline.

    Researchers gave 266 men and women older than 70 either a placebo or a blend of B vitamins -- 0.5mg of B12, 0.8mg of folic acid, and 20mg of vitamin B6 -- and tracked them for two years.

    Those who got the real vitamins did 70 percent better on memory tests than those who took the placebo. They improved in just about every way, with real boosts in semantic memory (the memory of facts and concepts) as well as overall global cognition.

    And the biggest boost of all came in "episodic memory," or the part of the mind we use to remember our daily tasks. That's the first part of the mind to go in dementia patients, so you can see why these results are so exciting.

    The good news doesn't stop there: In some cases, patients who were already battling memory lapses before the study actually improved their memory after two years of B vitamins.

    The researchers say the biggest benefits were seen in patients with the highest levels of homocysteine at the start of the study. (Homocysteine is an inflammation marker with strong links to dementia, heart disease, and more.) Those benefits went well beyond anything measured on cognitive tests.

    In fact, patients who took the vitamins had real and visible changes in the physical structure of the brain itself.

    Before I get into that, a little background: All our brains shrink a little as we age. It's a frightening thought, but it's perfectly normal.

    In dementia patients, however, the brains often shrink at a much faster rate -- so researchers believe anything that can slow that loss of gray matter may also slow or stop the disease itself.

    And the vitamins were able to slow that loss of gray matter by an average of 30 percent overall and 50 percent in those with high homocysteine levels -- with one patient seeing a shocking improvement of 500 percent.

    It's clearly too early to say whether B vitamins can stop or even slow Alzheimer's disease. But it's also pretty clear you need more of the Bs than the tiny levels the powers-that-be recommend -- so talk to your doctor today about adding a B complex to your regimen.

  3. The myth of the 'senior moment'

    The "senior moment" -- it's one of the most common stereotypes in movies and on television. But the "senior moment" used so often for cheap laughs isn't nearly as "common" as you've been led to believe. In fact, most seniors barely experience any significant form of cognitive decline over the years.
  4. 8 ways to reduce your dementia risk

    There's no surefire way to keep dementia at bay, but there are steps you can take to dramatically slash your risk -- including the following lifestyle changes you can make, starting today.
  5. 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.
  6. B12 for dementia prevention

    It's the ordinary B vitamins--particularly B12, the wonder nutrient that can help save both hearts and minds.
  7. Red meat for healthy hearts

    In a big victory for the low-carb crowd, Indian researchers have found that vegetarians have a dramatically higher risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
  8. How 'B' can beat dementia

    There may "B" an answer to Alzheimer's after all--and it might even be something you're taking right now. Researchers have found that high levels of three common B vitamins can dramatically slash the brain shrinkage associated with dementia and related conditions.
  9. "B" your key to good health

    A new study finds that simple, common B vitamins can help save your life.

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