chronic fatigue

  1. Low magnesium levels can boost your heart risk

    Cut your heart risk in half at dinnertime

    I recently had a patient who had been to doctor after doctor for her chronic migraines and fatigue and gotten nowhere.

    The first thing I did was order up a red blood cell magnesium test. Sure enough, she was deficient -- and once we boosted her levels, she was back to feeling like herself again.

    Amazingly, none of her other doctors had bothered with the test despite the fact that low levels of this essential mineral have strong links to both conditions -- and headache and fatigue are only the beginning.

    Magnesium is essential for heart health, and the latest research confirms that people with the lowest levels have a dramatically higher risk of death by heart disease.

    Researchers tracked nearly 60,000 healthy Japanese people between the ages of 40 and 79 for up to 15 years, and found that those with the highest magnesium levels had half the risk of death from heart disease.

    Other studies have found similar results, including one that found women with high dietary intake of magnesium have a 34 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death -- and women with high plasma levels of this mineral have a 77 percent lower risk.

    This is not just a statistical coincidence. Magnesium literally helps keep your heart beating. It can also lower blood pressure, slash levels of inflammation, and improve circulation.

    Like I said, it's essential for heart health -- and if that's not enough, it can also help prevent stroke, cancer, and diabetes, strengthen bone and muscle, and boost your immune system.

    That's still not even close to all it can do: As my patient learned, it can also fight fatigue and prevent headaches -- not to mention everything from lifting your mood to protecting your hearing.

    In fact, magnesium plays a critical role in more than 300 functions in the body, and we're learning of new ones all the time.

    The best sources of magnesium are the foods too many people no longer eat -- like fresh greens, especially spinach. You'll also find it in nuts, grains, and beans.

    But there's one place you won't find much at all, and that's in your multivitamin. Magnesium just takes up too much room in the capsule.

    If you're not getting enough from diet alone, don't rely on your multi. Add a magnesium supplement to your regimen -- ideally magnesium glycinate, a form that's most easily used by your body.

  2. Low-carb bad for the heart? Don't swallow this one

    Is a low-fat diet better for your heart?

    You can bet your ticker it's not – but you won't learn the truth by reading the latest study to hit the mainstream media.

    The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, compared the maintenance phases of three diets: the low-carb, high-fat Atkins diet, the more moderate South Beach Diet, and the low-fat Ornish vegetarian diet. 

    It found the Atkins diet to be least heart-friendly.

    You might think they followed hundreds or even thousands of people on these diets for years at a time. But it turns out they looked at 18 people, each of whom tried each diet for four weeks, with a four-week "washout" period in between each one.

    That's it – just 18 people for four-week periods. Do you feel cheated yet? I know I do. 

    What's more, they based their findings on cholesterol levels and blood vessel dilation measurements in the arm.

    The trouble is that those changes in blood vessel dilation can be caused by any number of things, such as a problem in the adrenal glands. In a group as small as 18 people, all it takes is one person experiencing one of those causes to skew the results one way or another.

    Dr. Atkins was in many ways a visionary. He had the right idea when the declared that carbohydrates, not fat, are the enemy. Especially those refined carbs in all our processed foods. And he was bold enough to speak out against low-fat madness at a time when it was very unpopular to do so.

    But there is still so much more to a diet than just fats versus carbs, just like there's more to a diet than caloric intake. Nutrients and minerals play a crucial role in our bodies, yet few dieters consider that when planning their meals.

    For example, our potassium to sodium ratio should be at 7 to 1. But most people take in far less potassium because our processed foods are packed with sodium. And a potassium deficiency can have a direct impact on your heart, no matter what kind of diet you stick to.

    Correcting this potassium deficiency can also help you put a permanent end chronic fatigue. I've outlined a simple, 90-day cure for fatigue in the June issue of Health Revelations.

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