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  1. Small dietary changes can help keep gout away

    Little adjustments can make a big difference for gout

    There's good news and bad news for gout sufferers. Here's the bad news first: A new study confirms that some of your favorite foods -- including beef and fish -- can bring on the pain.

    Now the good news: You don't have to give those foods up.

    The new study offers one of the most detailed looks yet at how gout attacks begin in people prone to the disease -- and of course, it starts with eating too many foods rich in purines.

    But we already knew that.

    Where this new study differs is in the numbers -- because for the first time, we can see the actual tipping point, and it's 0.07 ounces of purines over two days.

    When the 633 men in the study had a gout attack, it was almost always after passing that level. And in random two-day periods that didn't precede an attack, they averaged 0.06 ounces or less.

    Those numbers might sound incredibly small, and they are since even purine-rich foods contain very low levels of the stuff.

    The 0.07 ounces responsible for gout attacks equal what you'll find in 3.8 pounds of beef or 7.9 pounds of spinach, while 0.06 ounces of purines are what you'll get from 3.1 pounds of beef or 6.4 pounds of spinach.

    Obviously, you're not going to be eating just beef and spinach (not to mention you shouldn't be eating close to 2 pounds of beef a day even if you're not prone to gout). And of course, these are averages, so your own tipping point might be a little higher or lower.

    But the new study offers an excellent starting point for working on your own purine-restricted diet -- and you can start by getting to know not only which foods contain purines, but how much you'll find in each serving.

    In general, the foods with the highest levels include organ meats such as liver as well as seafood such as sardines, mussels, anchovies, and herring. Chicken has some as well, but not quite as much.

    Vegetables have much lower levels, but the ones with the most include spinach, mushrooms, lentils, asparagus, and cauliflower.

    You'll also find it in pasta and yeast. And, sorry beer lovers, but your favorite suds are bubbling over with purines.

    If despite your best efforts you cross your own gout tipping point, there are natural ways to beat the pain -- including cherry, especially sour cherry, and celery seed extract.

    And as I have written before, people with high blood sugar levels are more prone to gout, so get those under control as well.

    For more on keeping gout at bay, read my free report "The right way to beat gout."

  2. Choline on your mind

    Some nutrients, like vitamin D, always seem to be making headlines -- while others, you just never hear about.

    Take choline, for example.

    When was the last time you heard about that one? Possibly never -- but you might want to add it to your vocabulary, because this B vitamin found in egg yolks, liver, and chicken may have the power to protect your brain and keep dementia at bay.

    Researchers looked at data on some 1,400 adults between the ages of 36 and 83 who were tracked for nearly a decade and given MRI exams along with tests to check both memory and cognitive ability.

    You might want to stock up on eggs: The patients with the highest dietary choline intake did much better on those memory tests than those with the lowest. What's more, the MRIs revealed fewer signs of "white matter hyperintensity" in the brain.

    That's a blood vessel problem that may be linked to both stroke and dementia.

    Sounds great, right? But there's just one catch: The choline levels were calculated based on food surveys, and food surveys simply aren't good science. They rely too much on guesses, estimates, and memory.

    That last one's a little ironic given that memory tests were part of the study. Can those who did the worst on those tests really be relied on to give an accurate accounting of their food intake?

    On the other hand, this study doesn't come out of the blue, either -- because choline is needed by the brain to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in everything from muscles to memory.

    Some studies have shown that Alzheimer's patients lose the ability to turn choline into acetylcholine, and some promising experimental research has looked into finding ways to correct that -- although if the problem is in the conversion, then choline supplements on their own won't stop the disease.

    But if they can prevent it, we're on the right track -- and earlier studies have shown that rats given choline in the womb go on to develop more powerful brains later.

    Since choline is also essential for everything from your heart to your liver, you might want to add this to your supplement list. After all, it's unlikely you're getting enough from diet alone -- unless you're eating plenty of egg yolks.

    By the way, choline isn't the only B vitamin that can play a key role in stopping and even reversing cognitive decline: Seniors given a blend of B6, B12, and thiamine did significantly better on memory tests and had fewer signs of the brain shrinkage linked to dementia.

    Learn more here.

  3. The natural way to beat inflammation

    Inflammation has gone from a condition you should worry about to a marketing buzzword used to sell everything from drugs to juice to cereal. Well, at least they got it half right: You should worry about inflammation, and do what you can to bring your own levels down.
  4. Fat genes… we've all got 'em

    If you had any doubt at all about what's making everyone so fat, scientists are now claiming the answer is our DNA.

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