1. Pollution can kill you

    Death is in the air -- but not for you!

    One day soon, I hope that they treat daily pollution levels like the weather and give you a forecast each day before you step outside.

    It's not just good information to have.

    New research shows how knowing what's out there -- and how to avoid it -- just might save your life!

    Even small day-to-day changes in pollution levels can add up to big risks, especially for older folks -- and not just over years of exposure.

    Just a single day of exposure to common pollutants can KILL you, according to the new study.

    This isn't the risk in a smoggy nightmare of a city in some distant country. The study didn't focus on places like Shanghai or Mumbai.

    It looked at what happens when levels of two common pollutants rise right here in the United States.

    Specifically, the study focused on ozone, which is a hazy smog formed by pollution reacting with sunlight, and the particulate matter 2.5 made of soot, smoke, dust, and dirt.

    When either one rose on any given day, the death rate in that specific zip code jumped -- and not just on "really bad" days.

    Even small increases -- levels that didn't exceed the EPA's safe limits -- caused people to die.

    Every small jump in PM 2.5 increased the death rate by an extra 1.42 per million people, and every rise in ozone levels increased those deaths by 0.66 per million people.

    Those might not sound like big numbers, but those figures aren't per year.

    They're per DAY... and they can add up fast.

    In real numbers, the research team believes that pollution is responsible for 800 deaths across the country just in summer, when it's often at its worst.

    There are two quick steps you can take to protect yourself, reduce exposure, and minimize the risk.

    First, look online for a decent source of air quality monitoring system so you know what you're facing on any given day and can prepare accordingly.

    If the levels rise, avoid going out during peak pollution hours, which tend to follow rush hour traffic patterns. When they're especially high -- or when you have an extra factor such as the fires we've been experiencing here in California -- there may be times when it's better to stay inside all day if you can.

    And second, while your home provides decent protection, it may not be enough.

    If you live in or near a city or industrial area, invest in a quality air purifier with a HEPA filter, and don't forget to clean or change it regularly.

  2. Pollution particles cause brain damage

    Keep this common pollutant out of your brain

    We've got so much to worry about that we CAN see -- from expanding waistlines to shrinking bank accounts -- that it's sometimes tough to get worked up over "invisible" threats.

    But make no mistake about it. What you can't see certainly CAN hurt you... and maybe even kill you.

    If you live in or near a city, odds are you've got some pollution in the air.

    The sun might be shining and the sky a picture-perfect blue... but you could still find yourself inhaling damaging microscopic particles with every single breath.

    Now, the latest research shows how one of the most common pollutants -- dangerous particles routinely found in the air right here in the United States -- can go up your nose and into the brain.

    It's called magnetite, and it forms anywhere you have combustion. Car engines, power plants, factories, and more all churn our magnetite.

    And if you live near these things -- as most of us do -- you could have millions of particles of this damaging pollutant in every single gram of brain tissue, according to the new study.

    This is alarming because magnetite isn't any old pollutant. It's iron -- and iron accumulation in the brain leads to neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.

    One study a few years back even found that iron destroys the tissue that protects your neurons.

    That's not the only damage pollution can cause, either.

    Common pollutants have been linked to cancer, heart problems, and more. One study earlier this year even found that pollution can cause calcium to build up in your arteries 20 percent faster.

    Short of moving out to the country, you might think there's little you can do to avoid the damage caused by pollution.

    The air you have is the air you have... and you have to keep breathing, right?

    Well, you DO have to keep breathing. But you CAN take steps to clean your own air and limit the damage of the toxins you're exposed to.

    Let me give you three easy steps anyone can do that'll help fight pollutants and protect your health:

    1. Invest in a high-quality air purifier with a HEPA filter. Be sure to clean the filter regularly or change it, depending on the model you have.
    2. Dust and vacuum often, and wear a surgical mask when you do it. Many pollutants are hiding in the dust around your home -- and the less of it you have, the less you'll inhale.
    3. Use plenty of olive oil. It's not only healthy, but a study last year found it can cut the damage caused by pollution in your arteries.

    And don't forget the basics: A diet rich in detoxifying antioxidants can help your body protect itself from pollutants by fighting them on the inside.

    Given how widespread pollution is, it's not a bad idea to get tested for metals exposure.

    If you're in Southern California, I can run those tests right here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine. If you have any level of metals in your body, I can custom-craft a detox plan that's right for you.

    Not in the San Diego area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

  3. Pollution damages arteries

    Pollution can damage your arteries, causing stiffening deposits to build up 20 percent faster.
  4. Pollution plagues 166 million Americans

    Pollution is a bigger problem than most realize, with 166 million Americans inhaling contaminated air every day, leading to everything from asthma to heart problems.
  5. Air pollutants cause heart and brain damage

    Living near a major road can expose you to pollutants that can damage your heart and brain.
  6. Smog makes overweight people sicker

    If you're overweight and suffer from high blood pressure, first look to your waistline... but then look to the skies.
  7. Clearing the air on asthma remedies

    Researchers from the West Virginia School of Medicine recently took a group of kids with allergies and asthma and moved them from an Italian city to the countryside for a week of camp.

7 Item(s)