1. Acupuncture and hypnosis proven to help quit smoking

    Go alternative to quit smoking

    I can think of plenty of great reasons to quit smoking -- and I can think of just as many fruitless ways to try to achieve that goal.

    From dangerous drugs to worthless patches, it's easy to get frustrated when you think you've tried "everything," but still find yourself puffing away on your cancer sticks.

    Don't give up, because a new study shows that some of the safe and natural anti-smoking therapies I recommend all the time are far more effective than anything the mainstream has to offer.

    Researchers say their review of 14 studies finds that both acupuncture and hypnosis are more effective than going cold turkey with no treatment. In some cases, the acupuncture patients had triple the success rate of those who didn't get any help quitting.

    The new analysis doesn't offer a direct comparison of either acupuncture or hypnosis to nicotine patches and gums, but a 2008 study on laser acupuncture found that 55 percent of those who received the treatment were not smoking within six months.

    That's remarkable -- because up to 93 percent of smokers who try nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gums are either back to smoking or still smoking six months later.

    That makes the acupuncture eight times more effective.

    Surprised? Not me -- I see it all the time. I have a terrific acupuncturist on my staff who has helped plenty of my patients kick butts for good.

    And if any of my patients smoke but aren't trying to quit, they hear it from me every time they walk in.

    It's not that I want to be a nag. It's that in addition to the obvious risks -- cancer emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, smoker's cough, bad breath, and more -- smokers face a number of other serious health concerns.

    Cigarettes expose smokers -- and those around them -- to toxic heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. Cigarettes from tobacco grown with certain fertilizers can also contain polonium, a radioactive element.

    And let's not forget all the other dangerous chemicals and additives deliberately put into cigarettes. I've seen estimates that there are up to 4,000 chemicals in each cigarette.

    That's a lot of toxins gathered in one place, all headed into your body every time you inhale.

    You don't want that. Quit now -- while you still can.

  2. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can slash cancer risk

    New studies show more benefits of fish oil

    Eat fish, avoid cancer.

    It's not quite that simple, but it's pretty clear that a healthy seafood habit can help keep the disease at bay -- and a new study makes the link yet again.

    In this case, researchers say data from 41 studies published since 1990 finds that people who eat the most fish have a 21 percent lower risk of rectal cancer and a 4 percent lower risk of colon cancer.

    Those are very treatable cancers if caught early -- and very deadly if they're not, so if fish can help prevent them, I say put some salmon on the grill tonight.

    The study didn't look at why fish lower the risk of these cancers, but it's not much of a mystery -- it's the omega-3 fatty acids. The two main fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are well-known cancer-beaters.

    And back in 2002, researchers found that both fatty acids -- but especially DHA -- can stop the growth of human colon cancer cells in mice.

    But let's get back to today's research, because omega-3s are making headlines for more than just their cancer-fighting powers (as if that's not enough).

    Do you smoke? Know someone who does? If you do, I have two pieces of advice.

    1. Quit now.
    2. Up your fish oil intake ASAP.

    Another new study finds that two grams of fish oil a day can reduce smoking-related damage to arterial elasticity and improve arterial stiffness.

    Don't take this as a license to keep smoking as long as you take fish oil -- fish oil is good, but it's not that good.

    Just quit -- and I'll have more on the best ways to do it later this week, so keep an eye on your in-box. And if you find the very thought of trying to give up depressing, fish oil can help there too.

    Studies have found time and again that omega-3 fatty acids can lift the mood and slash the risk of depression. Now, a new study confirms it, with researchers saying that any fish oil consumption at all can slash the risk of mood problems.

    In this case, the study of 10,480 adults found that EPA and DHA supplements -- and not actual fish -- lowered the risk. In fact, breaded fish can increase the risk of depression -- and I'd have to guess that it's the bread, and not the fish, behind that one. Carbs will do that to you.

    Finally, one more new study on fish oil confirms what I've seen before: Fatty acids can help men produce better sperm and may even help them overcome infertility.

    Researchers engineered mice to lack an enzyme that allows them to convert the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, ALA, into the DHA their bodies need.

    The process is much the same in humans.

    The DHA-less mice produced fewer sperm, and the ones they did create were defective -- so much so that they were essentially infertile.

    That's because making sperm without DHA is like building a brick wall without bricks. It's that critical -- and when the mice were given DHA supplements, they were effectively cured.

    The study was on mice, but we're not much different in that department. Not only is DHA an essential part of our sperm, but it's also critical to the acrosome -- the part of the sperm that can fertilize an egg.

    That's just the new research. Other studies have found that fish oil can help your heart, brain, immune system and even your gums.

    Since studies on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids often use high levels, it's a good idea to take a supplement even if you're a regular fish eater -- just to make sure you get what you need.

    PS: There's one more incredible benefit to fish oil that I'm dying to tell you about, especially if you're a senior. This one's so big I don't have the space here -- but you can read all about it later this summer in my printed newsletter, Health Revelations. Don't miss out -- sign up here.

  3. New diet drug lorcaserin is not effective for weight loss

    New drug lorcaserin, approved by an FDA panel for weight loss, fails to meet even minimal FDA standards for effectiveness and is linked to cancer and heart problems.
  4. How supplements can save you from cancer

    I was just about to celebrate the American Cancer Society's new common sense guidelines for disease survivors on the role of exercise and nutrition in preventing a recurrence -- until they started taking potshots at supplements.
  5. 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.
  6. Do cellphones cause brain tumors?

    I remember 12 years ago a friend of mine was scheduled for thyroid cancer surgery. He was relatively young, had no strong family history of the disease and no exposure to any major source of radiation... except for one. As we spoke, I found out he was using his cellphone for buying and selling for 8 hours or more every day!
  7. Too much of this mineral can be bad for the brain

    Most nutrients are not only safe in high amounts, they're necessary -- because too many people simply don't get nearly enough of the essentials from diet alone.
  8. Green tea can keep you on your toes

    Drop for drop, it's hard to top green tea when it comes to health benefits. The drink has been shown to help fight cancer, boost the immune system, and even help you to live longer. And now, a new study shows that it can keep you active and on your feet -- especially if you're getting up there in years.
  9. Broccoli beats breast cancer

    I recommend cruciferous vegetables for detoxification so often that I'm sure some of my patients think I own stock in a broccoli farm.
  10. When cholesterol gets too low

    So you've followed your mainstream doctor's advice and brought your LDL cholesterol levels crashing down to meet the latest guidelines, probably with the help of drugs such as statins. And now, instead of good health, you're sicker than ever.
  11. Soda scare: Sugary drinks linked to new heart risk

    Any time I use the words "soda" and "study" in the same sentence, it's never good news for soda. I can't recall a single study that shows soda benefits anything other than the bank accounts of the people who sell it. And the latest research is no exception.
  12. The true risks of soda

    Sugar is probably the most dangerous ingredient in most sodas -- but I have to say "probably" here, because it's got some pretty tough competition. Most sodas aren't drinks so much as water mixed with a collection of ingredients that seem like they belong in chemistry kits instead of food and beverages.
  13. Dying to get some sleep

    Some people are lucky enough to fall asleep the moment their head hits the pillow. I've never been one of them, but I've never had to rely on sleep meds to get my rest, either, and that's a good thing: The latest warning finds that these drugs come with one whopper of a death risk.
  14. Diet soda in new health scare

    Let's face it: There's nothing "diet" about diet soda. It won't make you healthier and it won't even help you to lose weight -- and that's been proven.
  15. The one cancer screening that works

    Over screening for cancer is nothing short of a national disaster. But there's one screening that's different -- a screening that can detect a deadly cancer and remove it at the same time.
  16. How to avoid pancreatic cancer

    They're called "trace" elements for a reason: Tiny amounts of the right stuff can boost your health and save your life... while even a drop of the wrong stuff can end it. Now, the latest research shows how these same trace elements can play a major role in your risk of getting or avoiding one of the deadliest forms of cancer on the planet -- pancreatic cancer.
  17. The tests seniors should skip

    Even as the mainstream moves away from routine cancer screenings for men and women alike, there's one group of Americans that are still getting screened regularly for cancers that almost certainly won't hurt them. And that's the elderly.
  18. TSA refuses new study on airport scanners

    It's outright insane if you stop to think about it: In order to "protect" air passengers, the U.S. government is blasting them all with dangerous levels of radiation from full-body X-ray scanners.
  19. Spine drug linked to cancer risk

    It's like a nightmare, except you never get to wake up: A drug used during a common back procedure has been linked to cancer -- including one of the deadliest forms of the disease on the planet.
  20. Prostate biopsies double your infection risk

    Imagine fighting for your life after a cancer scare... only to find out you didn't even have cancer in the first place. Well, imagine no more: If you're a man getting a prostate biopsy, you're putting your life on the line -- because a new study finds the biopsy itself can double your risk of a life-threatening infection in the month after the procedure.

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