1. Sitting down can increase diabetes and heart risk

    Stand up while you read this

    I know it's hard to believe, but one of the worst things you can do to yourself is nothing at all.

    The simple act of sitting down is a major risk factor for disease and an early death -- and a new look at data on nearly 800,000 people who took part in 18 studies confirms that sitting can actually double your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

    Too much sitting down can also raise the risk of kidney disease, especially for women. And to top it all off, people who are sitting down the most have the highest risk of death from all causes, according to the study in the journal Diabetologia.

    Now, I know some people think this doesn't apply to them -- they exercise.

    But that's not quite how it works. Even if you jog, run, or spend time in the gym each day, sitting down the rest of the time will more than cancel out all your hard work -- and the new study proves it: Even people who engaged in moderate or vigorous exercise shared the risk of diabetes and heart disease if they spent most of the rest of the time sitting down.

    And that's why being active means so much more than getting a burst of exercise in the morning or in the evening. It also means getting yourself moving during the day -- simple stuff like standing up for a stretch or a brief walk.

    That's easy enough for couch potatoes. You don't even have to turn off the TV to get a little more movement (although you should). Just get up and move around the room.

    For office workers, it's a little tougher...but it's certainly not impossible.

    Try walking across the office to visit a co-worker instead of solely relying on phone calls and email. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. And just get up and stroll the corridor for a few minutes here and there (as long as that trip doesn't end up in front of the vending machine).

    Make getting more movement a priority as if your life depends on it -- because in many ways, it really does.

  2. Gut bacteria may play a big role in diabetes

    It doesn't seem fair, but some people make all the wrong choices and never face diabetes -- while others who are careful about everything they eat and drink end up in a fight for their lives with the disease.

    That's because diabetes isn't always caused by what you put into your stomach. In some cases, it could be caused by what's already there -- like the 3.3 pounds of bacteria sitting in your intestine right now.

    The balance of bacteria in the stomach can have far-reaching effects throughout the body -- from the obvious stuff, like digestion, to less obvious conditions such as your mental health and diabetes.

    It's that last one we're interested in today, because a new study out of China finds that diabetics are far more likely to have an excess of bad bacteria in the stomach than people who don't have the disease.

    It doesn't prove the bugs cause diabetes -- but it does show a link. To see if it's more than just a link, the researchers plan to give gut bugs from diabetic humans to healthy mice next, and you can bet I'll keep you posted on that one.

    In the meantime, it's important to remember how even small changes to your gut can affect your overall health. Poor diet, an untreated infection, or even a single course of antibiotics can tip your own balance of bacteria in the exact wrong direction.

    The problem is, most people have no way of knowing when their own balance is leaning the wrong way -- and that's why it's critical to be proactive about gut health.

    And that means you need to take a probiotic supplement every day.

    Avoid anything in the supermarket, where "probiotic" has become a marketing buzzword, and get yours from a health food store or vitamin shop -- and make sure you stick to a strain that's been tested and proven in human beings.

    I wrote extensively about probiotics earlier this year in my printed newsletter, Health Revelations. It's too late for me to mail that issue to you -- but if you sign up for a subscription now, you can read that and all my other back issues in my online archives.

  3. Generic Actos could put millions at risk

    The FDA has signed off on a generic version of the diabetes drug Actos despite research linking it to a higher risk of bladder cancer.
  4. Magnesium helps control insulin and cut cancer risk

    The mineral magnesium can slash the risk of colon cancer, especially in overweight patients.
  5. Ginseng can ease fatigue in cancer patients

    Up to 90 percent of all cancer patients battle fatigue, but new research shows that ginseng can help restore those energy levels.
  6. Poor sleep habits raise stroke risk

    Poor sleep has been linked repeatedly to poor health, and new research shows how not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of a stroke.
  7. Feeling tired? Could be your statin

    Women who take statins have a higher risk of fatigue, with up to 40 percent experiencing the condition while on the cholesterol-lowering meds.
  8. Waist size can be more important than BMI for diabetes risk

    Obesity causes diabetes -- but too much belly fat can bring on the condition as well, even if you're not obese. Measure your true risk here.
  9. Easy ways to avoid diabetes now

    You can stop pre-diabetes from turning into real diabetes with these simple, safe and all-natural approaches.
  10. Needless statins put you at risk for diabetes and more

    Researchers are trying to push a plan to give cholesterol meds to everyone -- but the risks are too great, and natural therapies are far more effective.
  11. How to avoid kidney stones

    More people than ever can expect to battle kidney stones, with new numbers showing the risk has nearly doubled over 16 years. Here's how to avoid them.
  12. Coffee drinkers live longer

    A new study shows that people who drink the most coffee live the longest -- but you have to drink a lot of coffee to get that benefit.
  13. Low magnesium levels can boost your heart risk

    Low levels of the essential mineral magnesium can double your risk of death by heart disease -- and you probably have low levels.
  14. Testosterone can help with obesity and other health problems

    Testosterone can help men overcome everything from obesity to sexual dysfunction -- and even lower levels of cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.
  15. Actos risks highlighted in lawsuit over diabetes drug

    A new lawsuit accuses the makers of Actos of hiding data on the diabetes drug's heart and cancer risks, giving diabetics a new reason to turn to natural help.
  16. New warning over diabetes med

    If you're taking diabetes meds, there's an urgent new warning out there that you just have to see.
  17. Natural cholesterol treatments go mainstream

    You don't need to be in alternative medicine to know that statin drugs are a bad idea. And now, "mainstream" doctors are turning to what was once dismissed as "alternative" medicine to bring cholesterol levels down -- including the simple lifestyle changes that I've been advocating from the beginning.
  18. The wrong way to 'cure' diabetes

    Despite what you've heard, type-2 diabetes doesn't have to be a lifelong sentence. You don't have to live with the disease or even "manage" it. It can be cured -- and I mean really, truly cured: No more drugs, and no more insulin.
  19. 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.
  20. Eye disease linked to brain disorders

    Keep an eye on your eyes -- because your peepers just might be the first part of your body to spy dementia coming.

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