Fight diseases before they start

The best way to beat any disease is to avoid getting it in the first place, of course. Easier said than done? Not exactly... because your body has a way of letting you know when you're on a collision course with illness.

Chronic inflammation is a warning sign of any number of conditions throughout the body, including biggies such as heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.

Since that inflammation often shows up first, you can often fight the disease before it starts by fighting the inflammation itself.

And one of the best ways to do that is with B vitamins.

Vitamin B12 usually gets most of the attention here, but a new a study finds B6 can do the job too -- and in some ways might be even better than the rest of the B family when it comes to fighting inflammation.

Simply put, the men and women in the study with the highest levels of B6 had the lowest levels of overall inflammation. And those with the lowest levels of B6 had the highest levels of inflammation.

What makes this study so interesting is that researchers didn't just look at a single major marker of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein.

They looked at 13 different markers -- and found that B6 slashed levels of 12 of them, including oxidative stress, cytokines, and even that CRP I just mentioned.

The best sources of B6 include squash, spinach, bell peppers, and mushroom as well as tuna, chicken, turkey, and beef. But of course, you can also get it from either a B6 supplement or a B complex that includes a number of B vitamins, including B12 and folate.

The therapeutic doses I recommend are between 50mg and 200mg a day. Note that extremely high doses -- 500 mg a day, or 25,000 percent of the recommended intake -- can cause nerve problems, so don't go overboard.