Saturday, December 31, 2016
By Dr. Mercola Happy New Year! Have you made any New Year's resolutions yet? About half of Americans make them, but by the time February or March rolls around, many have already abandoned their efforts. Overall, it's estimated that 92 percent of Americans fail to achieve the goals they commit to on New Year's Day.1 For this reason, I propose making a commitment to simply make healthier choices and live better this year. Changing your lifestyle is an ongoing process, and not something you can achieve overnight or even in a few weeks. Rather, it's a lifetime plan that you stick with over the long haul. 10 Healthy Lifestyle Strategies to Implement in 2017 Are you ready to start fresh in 2017? Then read on. The 10 positive changes that follow are the crème de la crème of lifestyle strategies that will allow you to live a longer, healthier life, boosting your happiness and well-being all the while. 1. Give up soda Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver damage, osteoporos
Recipe From Margaret LaValley
Friday, December 30, 2016
By Dr. Mercola The BBC documentary, “Surgery’s Dirty Secrets,” which originally aired in 2011, investigates the sources of surgical tools, and highlights flaws in British safety regulations. If you’re like most, you probably assume that surgical instruments are made to the very highest, exacting standards. The reality of where and how these tools are made is downright shocking.
By Dr. Mercola A dry climate or cold weather may increase the amount of static cling you find in your clothes. While this can be a nuisance in your sweaters, suits and shirts, common over-the-counter treatments may trigger damage to your health and the environment. Fortunately, there are alternatives that are both less expensive and safer. Manufacturers take advantage of two of your senses to boost sales when they develop dryer sheets and fabric softeners — smell and touch. Your sense of smell is a primal and powerful ability, allowing you to recognize and remember up to 1 trillion different smells.1 Psychologists understand that scent has the power to evoke a positive or negative reaction within milliseconds.2 When manufacturers combine positive feelings about the softness and scent of your clothing with their product, you're more likely to buy it. However, while static cling is frustrating, there are other natural, less expensive and less hazardous ways of treating your clothing d
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Grapefruits are delicious– they are a treat on their own and are a wonderful addition to any salad. They are packed with nutrients, too. Like other citrus fruits, grapefruit can also be converted into an essential oil, which is packed with antioxidants and provides numerous practical uses and benefits. What Is Grapefruit Oil? Grapefruit is known by its scientific names Citrus Racemosa and Citrus Maxima. The latter was given to larger varieties to emphasize their size.1 The history and origin of grapefruit is shrouded in mystery. However, some accounts show that the fruit was first bred in Jamaica. It was later on given the name "grapefruit" because it looked like clusters of grapes hanging on trees.2 Grapefruit oil is commonly used in aromatherapy. It is extracted from the peel of the grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), not its pulp or flesh.3 Like other citrus oils, grapefruit essential oil is obtained through compression and possesses similar therapeutic properties.4 Uses of Grapefruit
By Dr. Mercola Recent research shows that American doctors are still over-prescribing many different kinds of drugs,1 especially antibiotics and opioid pain killers, despite repeated calls for prudence. U.S. health care expenses have also risen, hitting $3.2 trillion annually as of 2015, and rising prescription prices combined with over-prescribing are significant drivers of these rising costs, according to a government report.2,3,4,5 While psychiatric drugs were not included in that report, statistics reveal a very clear trend of over-prescribing here as well. According to recent research, 1 in 6 Americans are now on antidepressants or some other type of psychiatric drug, and most appear to be taking them long-term.6,7,8,9,10 That's quite an extraordinary number, and a significant increase, nearly doubled, from 2011 when 1 in 10 American adults reported using a psychiatric drug.11 According to lead author Thomas J. Moore, a researcher at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices:12
By Dr. Mercola In the quest for happiness, many people put their hopes on the attainment of material possessions when what may matter most of all, according to new research, are things that money can’t buy, namely good health and strong relationships. In the new Origins of Happiness study, findings of which were presented at the London School of Economics (LSE) well-being conference in December 2016, survey data collected from four countries revealed the key determinants of people’s life satisfaction.Good Friends, Mental and Physical Well-Being Matter More Than Income LSE economist Lord Richard Layard, who led the report, said the findings suggest governments should be focused not on wealth creation but on well-being creation.1 By focusing on people’s physical and mental health, along with their relationships, the corresponding reduction in depression and anxiety could reduce misery by 20 percent, compared to just a 5 percent reduction if the focus was on eliminating poverty.2 T
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
By Dr. Mercola Chronic pain is a significant challenge in the U.S., affecting more people than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.1 Up to 80 percent of the U.S. population will experience back pain at some point in their life.2 Overall, pain costs the U.S. between $560 billion and $635 billion each year.3 The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that half the adult population in the world has experienced a headache in the past year.4 To control pain, many turn to ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) often prescribed after an injury, to treat menstrual cramps and to calm a headache. Sales of over-the-counter (OTC) analgesic medications, used to treat discomfort and pain, have continued to rise over the past decade. In the past three years alone, annual sales have jumped by $300,000. Many of the available pain relief medications come with a long list of potential side effects. In recent research, scientists have linked the use of ibuprofen and acetamin
By Dr. Mercola Buying a car seat for your child should not have to involve worrying about toxic chemicals. It is ironic that the seat you depend upon to protect your child in case of a car accident may expose your child to toxic chemicals known to trigger serious health damage, particularly to young children. The products you depend on may be loaded with phthalates, flame retardants and bisphenol A (BPA). Instead of being held accountable for toxic exposures, these companies are given the green light for production and distribution to an unsuspecting public. Following a study in 2011 in which researchers discovered at least 60 percent of the more than 150 car seats tested contained at least one toxic chemical,1 car seat manufacturers began reducing the most toxic of these.2 It is important that you continue to use a car seat to transport your children as this is the safest way to protect your child in case of a car accident. However, there are several ways to help reduce your child's
By Dr. Mercola There has been a dramatic and concerning increase in the rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the last 30 years and experts believe the rates will continue to increase. When I was in medical school more than 35 years ago, the incidence of autism was 1 in 10,000. According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), data collected from the 2007 and 2011–2012 National Survey of Children's Health suggested 1 in 50 children between the ages of 6 and 17 had ASD.1,2 In April, 2016, the CDC reported an ASD rate of 1 in 68.3 However, that rate is only based on 8-year-olds in 11 states (Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin). Despite that limitation, the 1 in 68 prevalence is the one listed on the CDC's Autism Data and Statistics website,4 and the one most frequently reported in the news. Meanwhile,
Monday, December 26, 2016
By Dr. Mercola “The next generation of Europe’s children are safe from toxic dental mercury,” proclaims Charlie Brown, president of Consumers for Dental Choice and the umbrella World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry.
By Dr. Mercola In December 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. After easily passing through the House of Representatives during the summer of 2015, the bill (H.R. 34) stalled in the Senate until the end of November, 2016, when it was put on a fast track and pushed through the Senate with a 94-5 vote. The nearly 1,000-page Act touts some impressive-sounding rhetoric, like a $1.8-billion investment in cancer research and another $1 billion pledged to fight the abuse of opioids, heroin and other addictive drugs. Over the next decade, the 21st Century Cures Act pledges $6.3 billion in spending and will “streamline” drug and medical device approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).1 Unfortunately, drug, vaccine and medical device manufacturers and lobbyists are the big beneficiaries of the Act, as the International Business Times (IBT) reported:2 “Originally conceived as a bill to boost research, the law has b
By Dr. Mercola In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is the research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), determined glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, to be a "probable carcinogen" (Class 2A). This determination was based on evidence showing the popular weed killer can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and lung cancer in humans, along with "convincing evidence" it can also cause cancer in animals. Monsanto has maintained that the classification as a carcinogen is wrong and continues to tout glyphosate (and Roundup) as one of the safest pesticides on the planet. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), meanwhile, has yet to take an official position regarding the virtually unchecked use of this poison on U.S. soil. The EPA postponed — at the behest of the industry — a series of public meetings it intended to hold earlier this year to discuss glyphosate research, particularly that linking it to cancer.
Sunday, December 25, 2016
By Dr. Mercola New science reveals that red cabbage sprouts contain 40 times more vitamin E and six times more vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid, than the same veggie as a fully mature plant. That’s a lot of colds prevented and inflammation decreased. Microgreens represent a fairly new buzzword in the world of healthy nutrition. When you grow your own veggies and notice the tender, young plants emerging from the earth, you may be amazed to learn that not only is it OK to harvest them while they’re still only a week or two old, but they also have superior health benefits. The vitamins in full-grown veggies transfer to your body to boost your nutrition, but eating these mini greens can also help prevent weight gain, as well as reduce risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. Red cabbage microgreens impart more polyphenols and glucosinolates and help optimize cholesterol levels and lower liver triglycerides, just as they did in the mice in a study conducted by researchers at the
By Dr. Mercola A recent European study revealed that young people have an inexpensive and rather silver-bullet shot at preventing the development of high blood pressure by stepping up their intake of one high-octane nutrient: omega-3 fatty acids. The study,1 presented at the American Heart Association's 2016 Scientific Sessions, involved measuring the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood of 2,036 young, healthy adults. When each subject's blood pressure was assessed, scientists found that those with the most omega-3s in their blood had the lowest systolic blood pressure (the top blood pressure reading). Conversely, those with the lowest amount of omega-3s in their blood had the highest diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number). Dr. Mark Filipovic, a researcher at the University of Zurich and Cantonal Hospital of Baden in Switzerland, said even a reduction in blood pressure as little as 5 mm Hg could prevent the number of strokes and heart-related events people experience. Fur
By Dr. Mercola Beets and raw beet juice are typically recommended in limited amounts due to high sugar content. However, when fermented, beets may be among the healthiest vegetables out there, as most of the sugar is then gobbled up by beneficial bacteria during the fermentation process while leaving other health-boosting ingredients intact. Fermented foods are also chock-full of probiotics or good bacteria. A large number of studies have demonstrated how the ideal balance and diversity of bacteria in your gut forms the foundation for physical, mental and emotional well-being, and fermented beet juice has many additional benefits beyond probiotics. Raw Beets Boost Heart Health
Saturday, December 24, 2016
By Dr. Mercola Christmas Day is a time for family, friends and others who have touched our lives deeply. On this day, I hope you are sharing in the joy of the season with loved ones, and I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for subscribers like you, who help, support and share our vision for a naturally healthier, happier world, every day of the year. Mercola.com seeks to be your trusted source of reliable and accurate health information, supported by the best available science. But it is only because of you, our family of subscribers, that our influence has spread not only in the United States, but in other countries as well — now serving over 13 million unique visitors each month. It is my sincere hope that, with our continuous service, you will stay motivated to take control of your health, and help others do the same. It’s a sad fact that medical and health truth can take years, and frequently decades, before gaining widespread recognition. By shedding light
Friday, December 23, 2016
By Dr. Mercola Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, is an herbicide like no other, as more tons of it have been sprayed worldwide than any other herbicide before it. Writing in Environmental Sciences Europe, scientists noted that in the U.S. and likely globally, "no pesticide has come remotely close to such intensive and widespread use."1 "Glyphosate will likely remain the most widely applied pesticide worldwide for years to come," they continued earlier this year, which is alarming as its environmental and public health risks become increasingly apparent. Glyphosate is used in large quantities on genetically engineered (GE) glyphosate-tolerant crops (i.e., Roundup Ready varieties). Its use actually increased nearly 15-fold since such GE crops were introduced in 1996.2 Glyphosate is also a popular tool for desiccating (or accelerating the drying out) of crops like wheat and oats. Unbeknownst to many, glyphosate is sprayed onto many crops shortly before harvest, whi
By Dr. Mercola Pepper can make you sneeze. So can a cold, cat dander and dust. But bright light from the sun, a flash photo or a flashlight beamed in your eyes? That might be a new one, to some, but not to 18 to 35 percent of the population. I happen to be one of them, although mostly when I was young. Nearly every time I would go outside I would sneeze once. It hasn't happened for quite some time since I radically improved my diet and health but I always wondered why it happened. This anomaly hasn’t been researched much, and it’s not really a big deal as syndromes go, but it is a syndrome, known as photic sneezing. It’s a genetic malady1 and can’t really be put in the same category with painful, uncomfortable or debilitating problems, because it’s none of the above. Recently, a study on this odd phenomenon was published in the Archives of the Spanish Society of Ophthalmology.2 However, only 12 people were involved, and all of them were members of the same family, so scienti
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Anise’s therapeutic benefits and licorice-like flavor were recognized and used by many ancient civilizations. Today, many pharmaceuticals seek to take advantage of anise’s benefits by adding the herb to certain drugs, like cough syrup and throat medications.1 However, as far as pharmaceuticals go, these drugs are neither all-natural nor safe. For you to maximize the benefits of this herb, I recommend you use it in its natural form, or as anise oil. What Is Anise Oil? Anise essential oil is derived from the perennial herbal plant anise or aniseed (Pimpinella anisum). Although anise originated from Asia, it is prevalent in Mediterranean nations. Today, it is produced in Spain, France and Russia, but also grows in the wild in other countries. It was the Romans who introduced anise to Europe, while early settlers brought it to North America. One of its primary uses was to promote digestive health. In ancient Rome, anise was often added (together with cumin and fennel) to a cake that w
By Dr. Mercola Losing sleep is detrimental to your health, and research continues to pinpoint exactly why your body suffers when deprived of enough quality sleep. Many are at risk, including those who struggle with insomnia as well as people who work long, erratic hours or night shifts. Emergency medicine personnel often fall into the latter category, and research presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America revealed the toll it can take on their hearts. Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany took images of radiologists’ hearts before and after a 24-hour shift, during which they got only about three hours of sleep. Significant heart strain, a precursor to heart problems, was noted following the sleep deprivation.1 Other concerning changes, including an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and thyroid hormones, which is indicative of a stress response, were also noted.What Happens to Your Heart When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep? Peop
By Dr. Mercola Inside the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of your brain, which is part of your hypothalamus, resides your master biological clock. Based on signals of light and darkness, your SCN tells your pineal gland when it's time to secrete melatonin, and when to turn it off. Your melatonin level inversely rises and falls with light and darkness, and both your physical and mental health is intricately tied to this rhythm of light and dark. When it's dark, your melatonin levels increase, which is why you may feel tired when the sun starts to set. Conversely, when you're exposed to bright artificial lighting at night, including blue light emitted from TV's and electronic screens, you may have trouble falling asleep due to suppressed melatonin levels. Many sleep problems can be resolved by making sure you avoid blue light exposure after sunset and sleep in total darkness. Interestingly, being exposed to very dim light during sleep — even if it does not noticeably seem to impair your
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
By Dr. Mercola Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial grade chemical used in epoxy resins, hard clear plastics and the protective lining of some food and beverage cans. The theory is that the BPA makes the products safer and easier to use, while in fact the chemical has demonstrated significant side effects that damage your health. Although it was first discovered in the 1890s, it wasn't until the 1950s that chemists found it could be added to polycarbonate plastics to make them stronger and more resilient.1 Although exposure to BPA has demonstrable effects on the brain, behavior, increased blood pressure2 and fetal and infant development, the FDA continues to say it is safe in low doses.3 Unfortunately, as BPA is found in multiple products in your home, such as food containers, baby toys, plastic bottles and containers, acquiring only "very low" doses may be a challenge. Added to which, being labeled BPA-free does not necessarily mean the product does not release BPA or substitute endocr
By Dr. Mercola If you're using e-cigarettes, there's a chance you're doing so to reduce your risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals, or to experience smoking without the risk of using tobacco. However, in either case, you may be putting yourself at just as much risk of dangerous health conditions. For instance, diacetyl is an artificial flavor used for adding a buttery taste to microwave popcorn. It has been linked to respiratory damage, including inflammation and permanent scarring of the airways, dubbed "popcorn lung," in workers at a microwave popcorn plant.1 Diacetyl is just one of the chemicals used to flavor e-cigarettes.2 Unfortunately, the perception that e-cigarettes are safe has fueled the rise in middle school and high school student use. From 2011 to 2015 the use of e-cigarettes (vaping) in middle school rose from 0.6 percent of students to 5.3 percent.3 At the same time, the use of traditional cigarettes declined from 4.3 percent to 2.3 percent among students. Sparked by
By Dr. Mercola For the first time in two decades, life expectancy has declined in the U.S.1,2,3 Obesity appears to have a major role along with the rising rates of eight leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia, the latter of which rose by 15.7 percent rise between 2014 and 2015. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) show life expectancy for both men and women in the U.S. dropped between 2014 and 2015, from 76.5 years in 2014 to 76.3 in 2015 for men, and from 81.3 to 81.2 for women. As noted by BBC News:4 “A decline of 0.1 years in life expectancy means people are dying, on average, a little over a month earlier — or two months earlier for men.” Rises in Preventable Deaths Push Life Expectancy Downward In all, there were 86,212 more deaths in 2015 compared to 2014, and as of 2015, the U.S. ranks 29th out of 43 countries for life expectancy,5 lagging behind countries like Chile, Costa Rica, Slovenia, Korea and
Monday, December 19, 2016
By Dr. Mercola Your right to vaccine exemptions is under attack in many states, from Texas to California, with lawmakers increasingly pushing for mandatory vaccination in the name of public health.
By Dr. Mercola Antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect at least 2 million Americans every year. At least 23,000 die as a result.1 The growing threat of antibiotic-resistant disease is one of the biggest health threats facing the globe, yet, unlike some other pressing health threats, it has a clear and well-known cause: overuse of antibiotics. “The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, explaining “simply using antibiotics creates resistance.”2 The drugs are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in human medicine, and up to 50 percent of the time they’re prescribed when not needed or using incorrect dosing or duration, according to the CDC. This is problematic, but it pales in comparison to the use of antibiotics in food animals, which is driving rates of antibiotic-resistance sky high.Antibiotics Transform Farm Animals Into ‘Disease Factorie
By Dr. Mercola Immunotherapy drugs are considered the latest and greatest breakthrough in conventional cancer treatment. Chimeric antigen receptor technology (CAR-T) has raised a great deal of hope, and an equal measure of concern. CAR-T involves genetically reengineering a patient’s immune cells to target tumor-associated antigens, thereby destroying the malignant cells. Alas, while these therapies appear to be quite effective at attacking and destroying malignant cells, they can also take a toll on healthy tissues and organs, leaving many patients struggling for their lives, albeit for an entirely different
Sunday, December 18, 2016
By Dr. Mercola Sunlight is good for you. Seriously good for you. In fact, a new study shows that people, teens in particular, who spend time outside basking in the sun have better vision later in life. Conversely, those who don’t get a lot of sun when they’re in their teens or early 20s can expect the opposite. The types of vision problems the study1 showed improvement on included myopia, a type of nearsightedness. Researchers from King's College London, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and other universities reviewed 371 Europeans with nearsightedness, as well as 2,797 people without the condition, all 65 and older. Each participant underwent an eye examination, had blood samples taken and had an interview about their health behaviors in previous years, primarily to estimate their exposure to ultraviolet B rays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Those with the most ultraviolet B exposure, especially when they were teenagers and young adults
By Dr. Mercola The low-carb diet made its initial appearance as a weight loss aid some 25 years ago. At the time, most people recommended replacing non-vegetable carbohydrates with high amounts of protein, and these low-carb, high-protein diets (such as Atkins) worked quite well for the purpose of shedding weight. Indeed, eating more protein is still frequently recommended for weight loss as it does help reduce appetite,1 and may slow down digestion of carbohydrates, thereby preventing harmful blood sugar spikes.2 The problem with this recommendation is that eating too much protein also has significant drawbacks. One of the most significant problems you may encounter when eating excess protein is that it stimulates the most important nutrient signaling pathway in your body: mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin).
By Dr. Mercola Nuts and their many varieties are a wonderful commodity from nature, providing delicious versatility and crunchy nutrition to an amazing array of dishes. Not much was needed to increase their selling points, but try cracking these statistics: In a review of 29 published studies, scientists recently revealed that, in comparison with people who don’t eat many nuts, those who eat just 20 grams — as little as a handful a day — lower their risk of several serious conditions by astounding percentages: ✓ Coronary heart disease by 29 percent ✓ Cardiovascular disease by 21 percent✓ Cancer by 15 percent ✓ Respiratory disease by 52 percent✓ Diabetes by 39 percent✓ Infectious disease by 75 percent The amounts considered healthiest comprise an average of about two dozen almonds or 15 pecan halves per day; the studies added that there isn’t an increased benefit from eating more than that. In fact, “It’s not large amounts that are needed, so it’s a small diet
Saturday, December 17, 2016
By Dr. Mercola We have an epidemic of heart disease in this country and the conventional treatments, such as the use of statin drugs and surgeries involving artery bypasses and stents, typically do not work well. So, what does? Dr. Thomas Cowan is a family physician and a founding member of the Weston A. Price Foundation. In his book, "Human Heart, Cosmic Heart: A Doctor's Quest to Understand, Treat, and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease," which is also available as an audiobook from Audible, he helps answer that question. It's a fascinating book, and not overly technical, making it an excellent addition to any layman's health library. "Basically, the book has three parts," Cowan says. "For whatever reason, my destiny in my career is that I take on some of the biggest accepted wisdoms … [and] I try to figure out whether they're actually true or not. The first part is my [personal] story … [In] the second part, I examine the theory that the heart is a pump. I say that the heart is not
It’s thick, creamy, and has a sweet-spicy flavor that goes well with the festive season. For many people, holiday celebrations are just not complete without a glass of eggnog. Dating back to 14th century England, it was first called “posset,” a beverage made by mixing curdled hot milk and sherry-like wine.[i] Eventually, raw beaten eggs were added to the mixture, resulting in a creamier drink.
Friday, December 16, 2016
By Dr. Mercola For many years, orange juice was the "go-to" beverage for breakfast. In the 1950s and '60s, it was considered one of the world's most nutritious drinks. Many people had special miniature glasses in their cupboards just for this purpose.
By Dr. Mercola Consumption of olive oil has increased more than 10-fold in the U.S. over the past 35 years, from 29 metric tons (MT) in 1980 to 327 MT in 2015.1 The popularity of the Mediterranean diet has made olive oil a $16 billion-a-year industry. Unfortunately, this popularity has also led to fraud and corruption.2,3 In his book, “Real Food/Fake Food,” Larry Olmsted, an investigative journalist and food critic, reveals the dark side of this otherwise healthy food. Olives and olive oil are well-known for their many health benefits, especially for your heart,4 but using adulterated olive oil will hardly do your health any favors. In general, people believe the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is policing and regulating food fraud, but that’s actually not the case. Its primary focus is making sure the ingredient label is accurate and tracking food-related disease outbreaks. The FDA does little in terms of preventing illegally adulterated foods from being sold. Vast Majo