Real Advantage Nutrients

Real Health News from Medicine's Most Notorious Myth-Buster

Berberine acts as a natural antibiotic

Ancient Chinese herb kicks infections to the curb

Q: Isn’t what you call “Emperor’s Salt” just berberine? What else can it do besides lower my blood sugar?

GR: Berberine is a major active component (for the technically inclined, a “plant
alkaloid”) of actually several herbs, including goldenseal, Oregon grape, barberry, and Coptis chinensis (a.k.a. “Chinese goldthread”).

The Chinese have used it for literally thousands of years — and, as I’ve mentioned many times here in eTips, the tremendous potential of berberine (a.k.a. Emperor’s Salt, or coptic salt) has been shown in the modern scientific literature, too.

In fact, it can slash the blood sugar levels of diabetics so well, it’s gone head-to-head with metformin!

But since berberine is a powerful multitasking herb, that’s not all it can do.

It’s been heralded for its ability to cleanse and purify — and this “natural antibiotic” deals a serious blow to common infectious organisms, like “staph,” “strep,” Chlamydia, diphtheria, salmonella, cholera, diplococcus pneumoniae, pseudomonas, gonorrhea, candida, trichomonas, and many others.

The power of berberine doesn’t stop there, though. It’s been also shown to fight cancer!

This remarkable compound interferes with the signaling mechanisms of cancer cells, triggering the cells to essentially “commit suicide” in a process known as apoptosis.

In one in vitro study using myeloma cells, berberine was found to hasten cell death by actually changing the DNA of the cancer cell, causing an important form of metabolism in the cells to slow down.

There are literally hundreds of scientific articles in the literature documenting the effects of berberine on malignant cells.

And because it has zero toxicity of its own, the body can easily absorb it — without causing side effects.

Smoking can make your brain bleed

Kick the habit to save your brain

You know that smoking is bad. It can lead to cancer and heart disease — but, of course, you know that, too.

You may have even tried to quit already. But once cigarettes have got you in their stronghold, they’re a tough habit to kick.

Well, I’m here to give you a little more motivation to try a little harder — because it turns out that smoking can increase the risk of BLEEDING in your BRAIN.

When you’ve got one of those brain bleeds, blood starts “leaking” in the area surrounding your brain, causing your “worst headache ever” — as well as confusion, vomiting, double vision, and even seizures.

It hits without warning — and its survivors are often left with severe disabilities. About half the victims of brain bleeds die.

And if you’re a heavy smoker — about a pack a day — you need to pay attention to this.

Last year, researchers in Finland reviewed data on more than 65,000 adults and found that women who smoked 21 to 30 cigarettes a day were more than EIGHT TIMES more likely to suffer a brain bleed.

Think you can just “cut back” a little? Sure, you’ll reduce your risk — but you won’t eliminate it.

Because the women who smoked 11 to 20 cigarettes a day still QUADRUPLED their risk of a brain bleed. And those who smoked only 10 cigarettes or fewer a day — just a half a pack — still TRIPLED their risk of a brain bleed.

Men weren’t in the clear, either — because heavy smoking also increased the risk of a brain bleed in guys by three times, compared to non-smoking men.

The safest route here is to never start smoking, especially if you’re a woman. But if you already smoke, then your best bet is to quit… and to quit now.

Because ladies and gentlemen, if you kick the habit now, you can reduce that risk.

Don’t try to do it on your own — but don’t ask your doc for a prescription for a pill that’s loaded with risks, either.

You might even be tempted to try the patch, the chewing gum, or “vaping” — but then, you might just end up trading one habit for another.

Your best bet is to go “cold turkey” and talk with a holistic doctor who can recommend natural methods, like acupuncture, to curb those cravings.

As a medical acupuncturist, I’ve seen first-hand how this ancient Chinese therapy can work!

Green tea can stop breast cancer in its tracks

This popular Asian sip could save your life

Ladies, being told that you have breast cancer is one of the scariest things you could ever hear.

But as if that weren’t bad enough, it gets even worse if your doc tells you that your cancer is “ER negative” (ER-) — a more aggressive type with a lower survival rate.

In ER- breast cancer, your cancer cells lack estrogen receptors, meaning your cancer may not respond to mainstream drugs that target them, like tamoxifen.

Of course, that may seem like a blessing in disguise, since tamoxifen has been linked to everything from endometrial and uterine cancers to hot flashes and strokes. But there’s nothing that can pull the rug out from under you like getting diagnosed with breast cancer and having few to no treatment options for it.

Fortunately, according to a new study, that isn’t entirely true.

Because it turns out that a natural compound in your favorite afternoon pick-me-up can kill ALL types of breast cancer cells, even ER- ones.

I’m talking about green tea.

In the new study out of South Korea, the researchers collected both healthy and cancerous tissues from 74 breast cancer patients, a third of whom were ER-.

In the lab, those cells were then exposed to one of the most abundant antioxidants in green tea, a catechin called “epigallocatechin gallate,” or EGCG for short.

It turned out that EGCG not only SLOWED the growth of those cancer cells… but it actually caused them to shrivel and DIE.

And it gave a one-two punch to both ER- and ER+ cells.

It appeared that the green tea component suppressed a protein known as B-catenin, which is important in the growth of cancerous tumors.

We already know from previous studies that drinking green tea may actually prevent women from developing breast cancer in the first place. But these new results take that a step further — giving you even more reason to get brewing!

And the benefits of green tea don’t stop with cancer-fighting: The antioxidant-packed beverage can also slash your risk of dementia in half, protect your bones, and reduce your risk of coronary artery disease.

I also like to support my patients with an EGCG extract as they are detoxing their livers, since its antioxidant properties can provide quite a bit of protection against potentially harmful compounds.

If you’re usually a coffee drinker in the morning, try swapping that “cuppa joe” for a mug of green tea. And since green tea has about a third of the caffeine as coffee, you can drink it later in the day without bouncing off the walls at bedtime.

Green tea is delicious hot or iced. Just stay away from sweetened green tea drinks and treats like green tea ice cream — because sugar can feed cancerous tumors, helping them to grow and spread.

You can also find green tea extract supplements in capsule form — as well as organic green tea powder (sometimes called “matcha”) — at your local health food store.

Running can boost your bone health

Strengthen your bones in just 1 minute flat!

You probably don’t think about your bones much — that is, until you break one.

Any fracture — even a minor one — can be debilitating, especially if you’re on the older side. But if you break a major bone, like your hip, it could even put you into an early grave.

Even if you haven’t yet been diagnosed with osteoporosis — the bone-thinning disease that affects 1 in 4 women over age 50 — your bones might already be brittle and fragile.

It’s a vicious cycle. If you’re worried about breaking a bone, you might not get around much anymore… but the less you get up and around, the more likely you are to develop osteoporosis.

But according to a new study, what you should be doing to protect your bones is the exact opposite of treating yourself like a china doll — because you can boost your bone health and cut osteoporosis off at the pass by going for a short run.

And I mean a very short run — one that takes just ONE MINUTE of your time.

British researchers recently measured the activity levels and bone health of over 2,500 women and found that the women who ran each day — for just A MINUTE OR TWO — had 4 percent better bone health than those who ran less than a minute (or not at all).

And the women who ran more than two minutes a day had 6 percent better bone health than those who ran under one minute.

Those may seem like small benefits, but remember: The women achieved those “bone boosts” in half the time it takes you to brush your teeth.

And it didn’t matter whether the women in the study had already gone through “the change” — because both reaped the benefits.

It turns out that BRIEF bursts of high-intensity activity can have a significant impact on your bones… and that impact can add up over time.

Now, the thought of running — even for 60 seconds — may sound like torture to you, but you don’t have to become a “runner.”

Start by increasing your walking activity first. Then, when you’re feeling pretty sure in your stride, you can add a few running steps to the walk — just like you were speeding up to catch the bus.

Slowly, you can work your way up to the activity levels recommended by the researchers: a medium-paced run for pre-menopausal women or a slow jog for post-menopausal women.

Regardless of which intensity you choose, it’s still just a minute-long run.

And there’s another reason a quick run can be good for your bones — because stepping out into the sunshine will allow your body to convert UV rays into vitamin D (a.k.a. the “sunshine vitamin”), something that’s also important in keeping your bones strong.

Plant estrogens ease menopause symptoms

Tame your hot flashes with this wild plant

Ladies, if you’re going through “the change,” every day might feel like a heatwave… even when it’s cool out.

As your body’s estrogen levels are falling, the mercury is rising on the surface of your skin — and each “hot flash” makes you break out into a sweat, lose sleep, and feel more than just a little irritable.

But according to a new study, you can dial down the symptoms of menopause naturally with a wildflower known as red clover.

In the new study, Danish researchers randomly divided 60 menopausal women who suffered from at least five severe hot flashes daily into two groups. Every day for three months, half drank five ounces of fermented red clover extract, while the other half drank a placebo.

By the end of the study, the red clover group had significantly FEWER hot flashes, compared to the controls — and the ones they did have weren’t as severe.

The theory is that red clover works on these menopausal symptoms because it contains isoflavones — a.k.a. “phytoestrogens,” which are plant-based chemicals that have effects similar to estrogen in your body.

Sadly, hot flashes may not even be the least of your woes while you’re going through “the change.” Your bones may become thinner… and your cholesterol might go through the roof.

But previous studies have shown that red clover can address those menopausal complications, too — not only by slowing bone loss and increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, but aso by making arteries stronger and more flexible!

And in this latest study, before-and-after scans of the women’s spines and hips showed less bone loss in the red clover group, compared to the placebo control group.

So, if you can’t stand the heat for one more day… or soaked sheets for one more night… give red clover a try.

The study used a Danish fermented red clover product — which is more digestible, more easily absorbed into the bloodstream, and therefore more potent — but if you can’t fly out to Denmark anytime soon, no need to worry.

You can easily find red clover supplements in capsule or liquid extract form at your local health food store or online.

I also recommend a number of other phytoestrogenic supplements like flax, alfalfa, and black cohosh. You can usually find them together in one well-balanced menopause support formula.

And while you can also find isoflavones in soy, I typically recommend eating more soy-based foods (like tofu or edamame) rather than taking soy supplements.

Talk to a doc who’s well-versed in integrative medicine about the right dosage for you.

Dementia can be prevented for 1 in 3

Improve your odds by making these simple changes NOW

You can’t seem to get your checkbook balanced… or keep your appointments straight… or figure out how to record your favorite TV program.

Life’s little details can be overwhelming for everyone from time to time!

But if you find yourself confused, absentminded, or flustered by everyday tasks more and more often, these “brain burps” could signal the start of something more serious.

There’s no magic bullet that can keep your “senior moments” from turning into full-blown dementia, but according to a new study, there are several things you can do right NOW to slash your risk.

Now, earlier today I shared with you the story of how country star Glen Campbell just succumbed to Alzheimer’s, which is just one of the many forms of dementia.

And, at least “officially,” the Alzheimer’s Association says that there’s no way to prevent it.

But the new study, published in The Lancet and conducted by 24 international experts on dementia, found that 1 in 3 dementia cases actually CAN be prevented.

So, even if those “senior moments” haven’t started stacking up yet, there’s no time like the present to make some changes that could stop dementia in its tracks.

All you have to do is:

  • Stay in school until at least over age 15
  • Reduce hearing loss, obesity, and high blood pressure in mid-life (age 45 to 65)
  • Avoid smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation, and diabetes later in life (age 65+)

According to the study, both protecting your hearing and snuffing out cigarettes can make the MOST difference in keeping your brain sharp.

The theory is that hearing better makes things more stimulating for your gray matter, so hold onto your hearing by avoiding loud noises and wearing earplugs in noisy places. Since painkillers like ibuprofen (a.k.a. Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (a.k.a. Tylenol) can contribute to hearing impairment or loss, skip them unless you really need them.

It makes sense to quit smoking to protect your brain, since it’ll cut down your exposure to neurotoxins, improve your heart health, AND boost your brain health. The best way to “kick the habit” is to stop cold turkey — but since that’s easier said than done, you can get a little extra help from acupuncture.

Address obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes by going Paleo. By eliminating grains, sugars, and processed junk and switching to foods our caveman ancestors would have eaten, you’ll shed some pounds, which will keep your blood pressure in check and get your blood sugar under control.

You can knock out depression, physical inactivity, and social isolation in one fell swoop by learning yoga, which can both ease depression and protect against cognitive decline. And while you’re at it, take a group class, where you can make new friends and feel more connected to the outside world!

Finally, I’m pretty sure your high school days are a faded memory by now, but why not take this opportunity to pass that wisdom on to your grandkids now, while they can still hit the books and protect their noggins?

Celebrity death shines spotlight on Alzheimer’s

Too many senior moments? Don’t struggle in the shadows

Last week, we had to say goodbye to the “Rhinestone Cowboy” himself, Glen Campbell.

Even if you’re not a fan of country music, you’ve got to give it to the guy — he could really pull at your heartstrings with the way he sang hits like “By the Time I Get To Phoenix” and “Wichita Lineman.”

Since the 1960s, he was a fixture on TV and on the stage — that is, until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

He was still touring for a while, but then he’d become disoriented on stage, forget lyrics, or hit the wrong note for songs he’d played thousands of times.

And six years after announcing his struggle to the world at age 75… retiring from performing… and ending up in a care facility… the 81-year-old finally succumbed to the disease.

Now, we don’t know the nitty gritty details of what Mr. Campbell went through in those last years — but we do know that earlier in his life, the country star lived a pretty “rock and roll” lifestyle.

He publicly struggled with drug use and alcohol addiction — and while we can’t say that either of those things CAUSED his Alzheimer’s, they certainly didn’t help protect his brain.

You might be surprised to know that Alzheimer’s has become the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. — and, what’s more, it’s the only one out of the Top 10 that is considered unpreventable and incurable.

When a celebrity passes, we all mourn. And, as the Alzheimer’s Association put it so aptly, this particular star worked “to bring Alzheimer’s out of the shadows and into the spotlight.”

His “openness and honesty” about the disease — which many suffer from in silence — will hopefully help folks who are experiencing brain fog or other cognitive issues that are making them feel just “not right” say something about it.

And sooner, rather than later. Even Mr. Campbell later reported that he’d been experiencing short-term memory loss for YEARS before he was diagnosed.

Now, if you’re having a few too many “senior moments” yourself… DON’T PANIC. It’s not necessarily Alzheimer’s, as other diseases (like Lyme) as well as medications can cause cognitive impairment.

And as I shared with you in the August 2016 issue of my Nutrition & Healing newsletter, Alzheimer’s itself could be caused by a VIRUS.

So, it’s important that you keep your immune system strong enough to fight off infections, toxins, and anything else that might drain your brain.

In fact, taking just 20 mg of zinc and 1,000 mg of vitamin C over a long period of time can be your “apple a day” that will, indeed, keep the doctor away.

As well, a compound found in the “yellow curry” spice turmeric, called curcumin, has also been shown in both lab tests and animal studies to fight the inflammation associated with dementia and the “plaques” found in the brains of those suffering specifically from Alzheimer’s.

And while it’s important to keep a “cool” head if those “brain burps” are becoming more frequent, don’t waste time by ignoring the signs in you or your loved ones.

Rosacea may be more than a skin condition

Could digestive problems be showing up on your face?

Q: What do you recommend for dealing with rosacea?

GR: Rosacea affects about 10 percent of lighter-skinned folks — especially women in their middle age.

If your face is generally red all over… or most noticeable on your forehead
and cheeks… your dermatologist has probably diagnosed it as acne rosacea and
put you on some type of prescribed medication.

But common skin conditions can often be a warning sign of more serious health problems that we need to treat early.

And those medium- to large-sized, acne-type bumps almost always signal low stomach acidity.

As I shared with you last month, our stomachs stop producing adequate levels of hydrochloric acid and pepsin as we get older. And that means that taking supplemental hydrochloric acid and pepsin to “replace” them will not only help aid digestion but also, in all likelihood, help combat acne rosacea.

I have my patients take one capsule (5, 7-1/2, or 10 grains) of either betaine hydrochloride-pepsin or glutamic-acid hydrochloridepepsin just before meals. If there are no problems, then we gradually increase the dosage over several days to the recommended amount (40 to 90 grains per meal).

This kind of treatment should always be carefully monitored by a physician.

As well, a study published in JAMA Neurology last year found that folks with rosacea are twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease — and, when they do, it’s two years earlier than those with perfectly clear skin.

As I’ve shared before, I’ve been battling Parkinson’s for years, and I’ve devoted a lot of study to both the biological processes and the environmental toxins — like mold — that can trigger it. And through my own research, I’ve been able to keep it from progressing.

And you know what else can irritate your skin? Environmental toxins.

Finally, before you start a treatment protocol with your doctor, make sure it’s actually rosacea and NOT adult acne that’s keeping your skin from being clear. Adult acne can be caused by anything from your prescriptions to hormonal changes (like menopause) to allergies.

Work with a doctor who’s well-versed in integrative medicine to reduce your body’s toxic load with a safe detox program, which may involve chelation.

Have a question for me? Drop me a line at, and I might answer yours next.

Diabetes can hit men below the belt

High blood sugar can be a bedroom buzzkill

Gentlemen, if you’ve been having problems in the bedroom, your ego can really take a blow.

Having trouble “in the moment” is a real mood killer, and you might beat yourself up for not being able to “perform.”

But it’s not that you’re not man enough… or that you’ve lost your “mojo.” Because what’s ruining the moment time and time again could be a warning sign of something ELSE going on in your body.

We already know that a little too much dormancy “downstairs” can be an early signal of cardiovascular disease. After all, you need good circulation to get enough blood flowing where you need it most when Cupid comes calling.

And according to a new study, a limp “member” may also be one of the first indications of something else that may seem completely unrelated: diabetes.

The meta-analysis, published in Diabetic Medicine, reviewed 145 studies involving a total of nearly 90,000 men.

Turns out that more than half of diabetic men also suffer from this emasculating condition — making it all boil down to not much more than a coin toss when your blood sugar is out of control.

According to the data in this latest review, men with diabetes were also three and a half times MORE likely than men without the disease to deal with this frustrating condition.

Not only that, but they started having troubles with their tentpoles an average of 10 to 15 years EARLIER than men who didn’t have diabetes.

That may be because diabetes can damage nerves and blood vessels everywhere in your body — including “down there.”

So, if you “can’t get no satisfaction,” get checked for diabetes in the exam room… before you give up on “action” in the bedroom.

And if you already know you have diabetes, I can’t think of a better motivator to get your blood sugar under control.

Switching to the Paleo diet — which eliminates the sugars and grains that can spike your blood sugar — is a simple way to stay on track. And you’ll still feel more than satisfied by enjoying plenty of fish, meat, eggs, and dairy, as well as nuts, vegetables, and fruit.

Cooking with cinnamon… drinking tea… and even taking the supplement berberine (a.k.a. “Emperor’s Salt”) are all perfectly natural, non-toxic ways to help regulate your blood sugar, too.

Staying active and shedding some extra pounds can do a world of good as well. Just 30 minutes of walking a day will cut your risk of diabetes by almost a third — and once you’ve got your blood sugar in check, there’s another great form of exercise that will help keep it that way.

And it’s the very thing you haven’t been able to do!

If you still want a little help in the bedroom after controlling your blood sugar, studies have shown that a “cocktail” of safe and natural ingredients — including L-arginine, pycnogenol, and red ginseng — can lead to an improvement by as much as 90 percent.

Breast cancer? Here’s why you should exercise

Get moving to boost your energy — and your brain

Ladies, when you’ve got breast cancer — or if you’ve already survived it — the thought of exercising probably sounds about as appealing as getting a root canal.

Fighting the cancer… enduring the chemo… and suffering the insomnia that so often accompanies your treatments has got you more than wiped out.

To add insult to injury, you might also feel as though your brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, a complaint known as “chemo brain” that’s common among those getting chemotherapy.

But even though you’re feeling dazed and dog-tired, it turns out that the best thing you can do to feel better is probably the last thing you feel like doing: EXERCISE.

Because according to a new study, doing some moderate-to-vigorous physical activity — even just taking a brisk walk — can ease your fatigue and, in turn, perk up your brain.

The study out of the University of Illinois tracked the physical activity of nearly 300 breast cancer patients and survivors for one week and measured their performance on a bundle of cognitive tests.

By the end of the study, those who had the highest levels of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity reported the LEAST fatigue!

And there was a domino effect, too: Less fatigue translated into BETTER performance on cognitive tasks, including those that involved memory and “executive function,” which is a set of mental skills that helps you get things done.

Even 10 minutes a day of brisk walking was enough to improve both fatigue AND “chemo brain”!

What’s more, previous studies have shown that regular exercise may even SAVE your life — because those who were active on a regular basis slashed their risk of dying from breast cancer by 40 percent.

So, if you’re battling breast cancer, don’t assume that exercising will tire you out more or worsen your “brain drain.”

Instead, pull yourself up off the couch for a true “pick-me-up”!

You don’t have to train for a triathlon — start easy by just taking a brisk walk outside. As a bonus, your body will convert those UV rays you soak up under the sun into vitamin D (a.k.a. the “sunshine vitamin”) — shown in other studies to improve your chances of surviving breast cancer.

You can even try a yoga class. Studies show that twisting your body into funny-named yoga poses also gives your brain a boost.

And if insomnia is an issue, you might want to check out a tai chi class. The graceful exercise has been shown to ease insomnia in breast cancer survivors and boost cognitive function, too.

Aim for the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week for the most benefits.

And if you lose a few pounds in the process, all the better — because keeping your weight in check itself lowers the risk of breast cancer recurrence.