heart problems

  1. Feeling depressed doubles stroke risk

    Depressed women face bigger stroke risk

    I've never understood it myself, but many people still feel shame and embarrassment when it comes to depression. They won't talk about feeling depressed, and they certainly won't seek help.

    Well, I'm here to tell you that you've got nothing to be embarrassed about -- and there's certainly no shame in seeking help.

    The real shame is in what could happen to you if you just let it go, because depression can lead to other serious health risks, especially in women. And ladies, if you're feeling depressed right now, you could face double the risk of a stroke, according to one new study out of Australia.

    We've seen this link made before. But in other studies, it's generally been found in older women. One study a couple years back found that depression increases the risk of stroke in senior women by nearly a third.

    In the new study, however, the higher stroke risk was found even in younger women who were feeling depressed -- including women in their 40s and 50s.

    Now, to be clear about this, not all cases of stroke linked depression are caused by the condition. In some cases, it could be caused by treatment -- because depression meds, especially common SSRIs, are also known to raise the risk of stroke in women.

    But whether it's the drugs or the condition, it's pretty clear to me that there are two actions everyone -- men and women alike -- needs to take when facing serious mood problems.

    First, never let depression go untreated. Along with increasing your risk of stroke, unchecked depression can also lead to serious heart problems.  People who are feeling depressed are also more likely to engage in unhealthy behavior, including excessive drinking, smoking, and poor diet.

    And second, avoid medications if you can (especially those SSRI drugs I just mentioned) and turn to natural therapies instead. While drugs do little to correct the underlying causes of depression, supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins can actually give the brain exactly what it's been lacking -- easing the depression and improving your overall health at the same time.

    For more tips on easing depression naturally read my free special report here.

    Some people may need additional treatment, but even in those cases drugs may not be necessary. What you really need is a skilled doctor who can diagnose other potential causes of depression, such as nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances.

    I recommend a holistic physician who specializes in natural hormone therapies. And if you're in the Southern California area, I can help. Contact my clinic at 855-DOC-MARK for more information or to make an appointment.

  2. Alcohol-free wine can help blood sugar

    The benefits of wine -- without the alcohol

    If you drink because of the supposed health benefits of booze, I've got some sobering news for you today: You can get all those benefits -- and more -- without touching a drop of alcohol.

    It's true.

    For example, red wine lowers blood sugar. We know that -- but it's not because of its alcoholic content. It's because of all the great polyphenols and antioxidants in the drink, including resveratrol.

    Now, a new study proves it again as researchers find that wine without the alcohol is just as good as regular wine when it comes to blood sugar control.

    Researchers asked 67 men with a high risk of heart problems to spend four weeks drinking either gin, red wine, or dealcoholized red wine. Then, they spent four weeks drinking one of the other drinks… and four more weeks drinking the third beverage.

    Both red wine and the dealcoholized red wine had the same effect on insulin resistance, lowering it by up to 30 percent when compared to their levels at the start of the study, and up to 22 percent compared to the gin drinkers.

    That's not the only way the healthy compounds in wine can help you. In another study I told you about recently, the same resveratrol that can help reduce insulin resistance helped reduce hemoglobin A1c levels and lower blood pressure levels in patients with type-2 diabetes.

    And in that study, the patients didn't drink any wine at all -- they used supplements. I know I talk about the importance of getting nutrition from diet, but in this case supplements are actually better -- and not just because they're alcohol-free.

    It's because wine itself actually contains only very low levels of resveratrol and other antioxidants. Enough to get a benefit, sure -- but the real benefits found in many studies come from the much higher levels that you can only get from a quality supplement.

    Bottom line here is that you can feel free to have an occasional drink -- as long as you understand that there's always a chance any benefits will be offset by the risks. And if you're really just interested in those benefits, get them without the booze.

  3. New risks linked to common chemicals

    Chemicals such as BPA and triclosan are everywhere -- but they're both dangerous, and new research identifies even more risks.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The peanut butter cups of bad meds

    For drug makers, it must have been a "you got your peanut butter in my chocolate" moment -- but instead of "two great tastes that taste great together," you're about to get two bad meds that are even worse together.
  7. A choice you don't have to make

    Millions of seniors facing heart problems are forced to choose between bad and worse -- they're told to pick between aspirin and warfarin.
  8. A stroke while you sleep

    The only thing scarier than a stroke is having one and not even knowing it. It's the so-called "silent" stroke -- given the name because it comes and goes with no symptoms.
  9. An up-close look at apnea

    If just the thought of losing your breath as you sleep is frightening, you should see what it looks like when it really happens.
  10. The trans fat lie harming your health

    Everyone's terrified of trans fats these days, and it's not hard to see why: They've been so vilified that some places are actually banning them. Must be something to it, right? There is -- because the trans fats that come from hydrogenated vegetable oils are every bit as bad as their reputation, and then some: They'll up your odds of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, depression and more.
  11. How depression breaks your heart

    The proverbial broken heart can actually do the job for real: Depressed people have double the risk of heart attack and a much higher risk of heart problems overall than non-depressed people.
  12. The next wave of cholesterol meds

    If you thought statin meds to lower LDL cholesterol were useless, you should see what they're cooking up next: drugs to raise your HDL levels.
  13. New push to drug children

    Statins for kids? The very idea is insane, yet millions of children are already taking these "adult" meds -- and a new set of guidelines aims to give these drugs to millions more, including kids still in elementary school.
  14. Rejected diet drug returns from the grave

    A "no" from the FDA never quite means "no" -- not when it comes to the agency's drug-industry pals, anyway. Case in point: The feds said "no" to the diet drug Contrave earlier this year over its potential for heart risk -- even after an FDA panel signed off on it.
  15. Eyes linked to heart risk

    When it comes to heart disease, it looks like the eyes have it. Researchers say they can spot who's more likely to suffer the life-threatening condition by simply checking for yellow spots on the eyelids. People who have them face a 50-percent increase in the risk of a heart attack.
  16. Diet soda linked to weight gain

    If the FDA won't go after diet sodas for all the dangerous chemicals they contain, maybe the FTC can take action for false advertising. There's nothing "diet" about diet sodas. After all, studies have linked them to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart problems, and more.
  17. Heart drug in death risk

    Here's an urgent warning for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who've taken the heart drug Multaq: The FDA says it may double the risk of death in some patients.
  18. How not to quit smoking

    A long list of risks just got even longer: The feds now say the anti-smoking drug Chantix can boost the odds of a heart attack.
  19. Waking up to wee? You're not alone

    In fact, researchers now say that more than 1 in 5 U.S. men--21 percent in all-- wake up at last twice a night to urinate, a condition known as nocturia.
  20. Unapproved meds sold by the millions

    The prescription drugs approved by the FDA are bad enough. But just think about the drugs that never even went through that process.

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