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. Low magnesium levels can boost your heart risk

    Cut your heart risk in half at dinnertime

    I recently had a patient who had been to doctor after doctor for her chronic migraines and fatigue and gotten nowhere.

    The first thing I did was order up a red blood cell magnesium test. Sure enough, she was deficient -- and once we boosted her levels, she was back to feeling like herself again.

    Amazingly, none of her other doctors had bothered with the test despite the fact that low levels of this essential mineral have strong links to both conditions -- and headache and fatigue are only the beginning.

    Magnesium is essential for heart health, and the latest research confirms that people with the lowest levels have a dramatically higher risk of death by heart disease.

    Researchers tracked nearly 60,000 healthy Japanese people between the ages of 40 and 79 for up to 15 years, and found that those with the highest magnesium levels had half the risk of death from heart disease.

    Other studies have found similar results, including one that found women with high dietary intake of magnesium have a 34 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death -- and women with high plasma levels of this mineral have a 77 percent lower risk.

    This is not just a statistical coincidence. Magnesium literally helps keep your heart beating. It can also lower blood pressure, slash levels of inflammation, and improve circulation.

    Like I said, it's essential for heart health -- and if that's not enough, it can also help prevent stroke, cancer, and diabetes, strengthen bone and muscle, and boost your immune system.

    That's still not even close to all it can do: As my patient learned, it can also fight fatigue and prevent headaches -- not to mention everything from lifting your mood to protecting your hearing.

    In fact, magnesium plays a critical role in more than 300 functions in the body, and we're learning of new ones all the time.

    The best sources of magnesium are the foods too many people no longer eat -- like fresh greens, especially spinach. You'll also find it in nuts, grains, and beans.

    But there's one place you won't find much at all, and that's in your multivitamin. Magnesium just takes up too much room in the capsule.

    If you're not getting enough from diet alone, don't rely on your multi. Add a magnesium supplement to your regimen -- ideally magnesium glycinate, a form that's most easily used by your body.

  3. Apples top pesticide list

    I know it feels like summer has only just begun, but fall is right around the corner -- and that means apple season is almost here. Don't be fooled by the apples you'll find in the supermarket year 'round -- most of them are actually months old... and you won't believe the tricks they use to keep them fresh.
  4. Slash your diabetes risk with this simple vitamin

    It's so easy it seems unreal: A key weapon in the fight against diabetes might be hovering right outside your window, right now. It's the sun -- the primary source of vitamin D, and a new study shows how this pancreas-boosting super nutrient can help stop the disease before it starts.

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