Real Advantage Nutrients

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

Relieve psoriasis without compromising your immunity

Why disable your immune system to clear up your skin?

Q: I don’t like the idea of compromising my immune system to possibly find partial relief from my psoriasis. Are there any safe natural treatments available?

GR: When you’re suffering from “The Heartbreak of Psoriasis,” your painful, itchy skin irritations can become so inflamed that everything from getting dressed to even just moving around can be downright painful.

It’s no wonder that so many of the seven million people suffering with psoriasis are desperate for SOMETHING to alleviate their symptoms and clear up those dry, red patches of skin.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease — which basically means your immune system has turned AGAINST you instead of working FOR you. It attacks healthy tissue instead of infection-causing agents (bacteria and viruses, for instance), causing inflammation that can manifest in a variety of ways.

Most conventional doctors will have you think that your only recourse is, then, to shut down your overactive immune system with drugs.

But, of course, that leaves you open to all sorts of infections and other issues that may follow.

Last week I answered a question about one of the most common autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis. And much of what I said about addressing the underlying causes and restoring the health of the immune system applies here, too.

Supplementing with vitamin D3 and probiotics can also help rebalance a dysfunctional immune system — as will switching to a diet that’s naturally an inflammation fighter, like Paleo.

Undiagnosed allergies are very often a secret trigger to an autoimmune reaction — so, identifying those and then avoiding the allergen can get to the root of the problem.

Once allergies have been determined and treated, there are a number of vitamins, minerals, and herbs that can drastically improve — and even eliminate — psoriasis.

For instance, natural anti-inflammatories like curcumin, fish oil, and white willow bark can help tame a psoriasis flare-up when it occurs.

Also helpful in treating psoriasis are vitamin B12 and folic acid (though it can take two to three months to experience results). Because the dosages required are fairly large, you might need a prescription from a doctor skilled in nutritional medicine.

Research has also shown that low quantities of the natural element nickel can safely and substantially improve psoriasis — or even make it disappear completely — with very few adverse reactions when combined with another natural substance, called bromide.

One non-drug, non-toxic treatment the mainstream does use for psoriasis is UV light therapy. UV radiation works well for this condition because it penetrates the skin and slows the abnormal rate of skin cell growth that occurs in psoriasis.

Exercise benefits Parkinson’s patients

Parkinson’s? Thrive… with exercise!

A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease can feel like the rug being pulled out from under you.

You wonder what will happen once your body is completely taken over by alternating tremors and stiffness… and if you’ll be able to continue enjoying a “normal,” fulfilling life.

I know, because it happened to me. I got my diagnosis 12 years ago, and I’ve successfully managed the disease since then through detoxification, nutritional approaches, and other lifestyle changes.

That’s why I take special interest in sharing news with my readers about how to live a long, independent life — while taking steps to ensure the disease progresses as slowly as possible.

And I’m pleased to announce the latest development: The Journal of Parkinson’s Disease just published a massive study that analyzed 30 years’ of Parkinson’s research to determine if there’s one lifestyle change we can make that could actually help physical capabilities, cognitive function, and quality of life.

And that’s getting regular physical activity.

I’ve shared this topic with you before because there have been some very interesting developments in customizing some of these activities specifically to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s — which has included everything from bicycling to boxing.

In this new meta-analysis, researchers once again have found overwhelming evidence that exercise can improve your strength, flexibility, motor control, balance, and endurance when you’ve got Parkinson’s.

Maintaining strength and motor control will help you keep doing the things you love and spending time with people, which will prevent you from slipping into depression — as many people with Parkinson’s do.

And it’s not just depression, but all sorts of shifts and swings in mood. I’ve found that, as the disease progresses, so does your anxiety about your ability to maintain balance and to interact with people without drawing too much attention to yourself.

It’s a vicious cycle — because anxiety can keep you from getting out and being active. And that’s the thing you need the most.

The best way to combat anxiety, and keep your body operating at its best, is to NOT let Parkinson’s slow you down. Whether it’s walking, gardening, taking the grandkids to the park, or taking a yoga class for seniors, find a form of exercise you enjoy and stick with it.

You’ll get a nice boost to your mood from the release of endorphins and from sun exposure, if you can manage to get some activity outside.

Exercise is also a great way to sweat out toxins in your body — and, as you know from my story, there’s a direct connection between toxic exposure and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.

I wish I could say that exercise alone could also help prevent the onset of Parkinson’s, but that’s probably not the case. But when you combine it with a natural detoxifying diet like Paleo AND avoiding environmental toxins — especially heavy metals like aluminum, lead, and mercury — the odds are most certainly in your favor to dodge the disease, or beat it if you’ve already got it.

Parkinson’s Disease Patients Benefit from Physical Activity

Exercise May Be Real Medicine for Parkinson’s Disease

eTips referenced:1919

Any amount of exercise is better than nothing

Put THIS in your planner right now

You know that exercising regularly is good for you. That’s never been in question.

It can help prevent countless deadly diseases, keep your brain young, and keep your bones strong.

But the reality is that while daily exercise is ideal, it’s not always possible.

And once you’ve been derailed by the weather… or a twinge of pain… or just not enough hours in the day… it’s easy to give up on the routine altogether and never go back.

However, according to the latest research, WHATEVER you manage to do — even if it’s only a day or two a week — can extend your life.

That makes sense to me, since a study last year found that playing just one round of golf a week can help ward off disease and improve your cardiovascular, respiratory, and metabolic health (including your cholesterol).

And another study found that just 15 minutes of exercise is enough to make a big difference in both your health today and your chances of seeing many more tomorrows.

In this new study, British researchers tracked years of health and lifestyle data for nearly 64,000 older adults and found that those who crammed a week’s worth of moderate exercise into one or two days were 30 percent less likely to die during the study than the folks who were sedentary.

The same was true even for the participants who DIDN’T exercise as much as what’s recommended over the course of the week — but at least exercised even A LITTLE.

That means if you haven’t got 15 minutes to spare Monday through Friday, you’re better off spending an hour gardening or golfing on Sunday than writing off the entire week.

The bottom line is that life is never black and white. Your choice isn’t between being a couch potato and being a triathlete. It’s not even a choice between exercising every day and being a “weekend warrior”!

Find a comfortable place for you somewhere in the gray zone. Don’t do NOTHING, but don’t expect too much out of yourself, either — especially if you’re just getting back into a physical routine or you’ve never really been active at all.

If you’re inactive now, start out small to get the greatest benefit. Every little bit helps, as they say.

And who knows? Maybe at some point, your five-minute walk will turn in 10 or 15.

But you’ve got to take that first step.

And if you miss a day, don’t consider it a failure. There’s always tomorrow.

‘Weekend warrior’ workouts tied to longer life

Pain relievers linked to hearing loss

Losing your hearing? It might be your pain pills

I swear, sometimes it seems like the mainstream medical world is trying to make patients deaf, dumb, and blind.

First of all, they want you to take their “treatments” — which usually involve any number of prescription pills — without a word of complaint. You’re expected to smile and nod in obedience without question or objection.

Then, it turns out that some of the pills they want you to take (statins and inhaled corticosteroids, just to name two) can increase your risk of vision-stealing diseases like cataracts and glaucoma.

And now, a new study shows that some common pain remedies they’re peddling could increase your risk of losing your hearing.

If you’ve been relying on pills to deal with everyday aches and pains for a long time now, you’ll want to pay close attention — especially if you’re a gal in her senior years.

A study out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that older women using ibuprofen (a.k.a. Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (a.k.a. Tylenol) for at least six years were at highest risk to develop hearing impairment.

Guys, you’re not off the hook — because previous studies have shown similar results for men.

This is in addition to the risk of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) damaging your heart and causing problems with your gut (including the risk of gastric BLEEDING).

If it’s chronic pain you’re trying to tackle — for years on end — you have other options.

For osteoarthritis (the “wear and tear” version of the disease), the natural supplement chondroitin can not only ease joint pain, but actually slow cartilage loss. Instead of just masking the pain, chondroitin actually gets to the root of the problem!

Curcumin and resveratrol can also reduce inflammation in the tissue around your joints, which is the main cause of arthritis pain.

As well, nowadays there’s good research backing up what people in some cultures have known for hundreds of years: that acupuncture is effective for many health issues, including chronic pain management.

Last year, a study showed that acupuncture treatments on their own brought serious pain relief in patients with RA. And it was even more effective when combined with the traditional Chinese herb called “Moxibustion” or “Moxa” (that’s a version of the herb mugwort that can be burned on the end of acupuncture needles).

This combo treatment resulted in a drastic reduction in pain and swelling for a whopping 83 percent of patients in the study. Try getting that kind of relief from ibuprofen or acetaminophen!

Acupuncture has even outperformed OPIOIDS in previous studies.

What’s more, you won’t risk losing your hearing with these natural treatments. Nobody ever went deaf from regular acupuncture sessions.

In fact, acupuncture is often used as a therapy to TREAT hearing loss!

Everyday Pain Relievers May Be Linked to Hearing Loss in Some Women

Black-eyed peas combat metabolic syndrome

Don’t miss this “lucky” New Year’s dish

There are so many holidays we associate with food.

Whether it’s the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas goose, or the Easter ham, these dishes are often as symbolic as they are delicious.

But there’s one culinary tradition that occurs in January and has incredible health benefits — and if you’ve never heard of it, it’s not too late to get started on it now.

Ringing in the new year by cooking black-eyed peas is popular in the American South and in the Southwest as a way to bring prosperity for the coming year. Some folks serve them with collard greens, representing money, and corn bread for gold.

But according to the latest research, the bounty of black-eyed peas doesn’t end there — because they contain compounds that can help alleviate symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Brought to the U.S. from Africa generations ago, these tasty little legumes actually aren’t peas at all, but beans — with a distinctive, ivory-colored skin and a little black “eye” in the middle (hence, their name).

Like all beans, they’re packed with fiber and protein, plus potassium, magnesium, and iron. They’re also full of natural antioxidant compounds called polyphenols.

And a recent data review conducted by French scientists found that a diet rich in polyphenols can help alleviate symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is not a disease per se, but a cluster of health conditions or characteristics that are known to significantly raise your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.

These conditions include obesity — especially extra weight around the belly — plus high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. When they exist together, these conditions can form a perfect storm for chronic and deadly diseases.

The study examined the effects of polyphenols on different features of MetS, and found that different types of polyphenols improved different symptoms of MetS.

While just eating foods rich in polyphenols can’t destroy MetS on its own, when combined with regular exercise and an all-around healthy diet — that’s a recipe for success

It’s never too late to celebrate with a “lucky” meal that showcases black-eyed peas. Go for dried rather than canned, and soak them in water for a few hours. Then simmer in broth with some chopped onion, seasonings, and a little bacon for rich flavor, until they’re tender. You can even make them in the slow-cooker.

Other delicious examples of polyphenol-rich foods include green tea, citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, brightly colored berries, dark cocoa powder, and cinnamon.

You can also find plenty of cell-protecting, inflammation-busting polyphenols in red wine and dark beers… so go ahead and propose a toast to 2017. Cheers to a healthy year!

Effects of dietary polyphenols on metabolic syndrome features in humans: a systematic review

Green tea boosts metabolism

Jump-start your metabolism with this ancient Asian garden secret

Just two weeks ago, you were probably FULL of motivation.

You were going to join a gym… clear the junk out of the fridge… and finally buy a new pair of shoes for walking.

But, as they say, life happens.

Maybe you got hit with one of those epic winter storms that’s kept you inside. Maybe you haven’t had the time (or the money) to replace everything in your kitchen with healthy organics.

Whatever it is that’s sapped your get-up-and-go, don’t fret. The days are already getting longer, and spring is just a couple of months away.

In the meantime, research shows that there’s a cheap, simple way rev your body’s calorie-burning engine — all while you relax and put your feet up.

And it’s a great way to warm up after coming in from the cold, too.

I’m talking about drinking a nice, hot cup of green tea. It costs just pennies and takes a few minutes to make, but you’re going to love what it can do for you.

The latest scientific findings have confirmed what we’ve been saying all along: that a compound that’s commonly found in green tea, called EGCG, can boost your metabolism.

In their review of eight trials involving 268 volunteers, Japanese researchers analyzed the effect of green tea on two different measures of metabolism: energy expenditure (EE) and respiratory quotient (RQ).

They found that at doses between 300mg and 800mg, EGCG helps increase your metabolic rate — and, therefore, burn more calories, even when you’re resting (though not by a lot).

Listen, ideally you could get out in the crisp winter air and get moving a little more — but that’s not always possible. So if you’re going to curl up with a steaming cup of something, why not make it green tea?

Besides, this is yet another feather in the cap of this antioxidant powerhouse. We’ve known for a while now that in addition to protecting your cells from damage and helping to prevent cancer, green tea can also calm the inflammation that causes flare-ups of pain from rheumatoid arthritis.

Its compounds have also been shown to help reduce anxiety.

You can get 300mg EGCG from a cup or two of green tea — but to get the most benefit out of it, go for good quality, loose-leaf tea imported from China or Japan, not cheap teabags.

Green tea delivers about one third the caffeine jolt of coffee, so you can drink as much or even a little more of it without getting the jitters.

Review supports metabolic benefits of EGCG from green tea

Physiological effects of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) on energy expenditure for prospective fat oxidation in humans: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Probiotics help manage anxiety and more

Feed your belly bugs to get through stressful times

Most of us spend more time worrying than we would like to.

Whether it’s about money… family… politics… or health… sometimes it can feel like everything is crashing down on you at once.

And this time of year, when you haven’t got many distractions to keep your mind of off your worries, can be especially stressful.

It’s natural to feel sad or stressed when times are tough. But that doesn’t mean you have to tough it out.

And you don’t have to jump right to filling the prescriptions for antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds that your conventional doc may give you — because according to new research, there’s a safe and natural option that can have you feeling back to yourself.

And you can do it without those high copays or dangerous side effects.

A recent analysis of seven different clinical studies found a significant link between taking probiotics and getting some relief from symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, as compared to placebo.

You see, the massive colony of helpful bacteria that live in your GI tract can not only affect bodily processes like digestion and even systems like your immunity — but they can also influence how you THINK and FEEL.

That may sound far-fetched, but solid science has been backing this up for a while now.

In a clinical trial published last year, people who took a month’s worth of probiotics along with vitamin A, several B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, iron, selenium, and magnesium felt some relief from stress and fatigue.

What’s more, participants STILL reported feeling better a full month AFTER they stopped taking the supplements.

Now, these types of studies are, by nature, subjective. We’re not measuring levels of anything in the bloodstream. We’re not testing for antibodies, and we’re not taking any samples of anything.

We’re just asking volunteers to report how they feel.

But the risks of taking probiotics are so low — and their health benefits are so far-reaching — that this falls under the category of “why not?”

It’s not a matter of choosing probiotics over prescription meds. But taking probiotics is most definitely better than doing NOTHING — which is what a lot of older folks do when they’re cracking under the pressure.

Sad feelings can often just run their course, but anxiety in particular can be hard to get rid of. And the more that it lingers, the more anxious you can become about your anxiety.

So, do yourself a favor by doing something simple, safe, and affordable now — before it gets worse. You can get lots of good probiotics from fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, sour pickles, and kimchi (Korean spicy pickled cabbage).

As well, choose a probiotic supplement from a maker you trust — preferably one with multiple strains of live bacteria in the billions, not millions — and take it every day with plenty of water.

Probiotics have a ‘positive effect’ on stress and anxiety: Meta-analysis

Control multiple sclerosis safely and affordably

What to do when your immune system turns against you

Q: A friend has had several treatments from a doctor for her newly-diagnosed multiple sclerosis — at an out-of-pocket cost of $10,000 per treatment. Are there any natural cures that might be worth looking into for MS?

GR: Too often, doctors treat autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis by crossing their fingers and hoping for the best. They load patients up on heavy-duty medications that come with dangerous (or even deadly) potential side effects — even though they don’t treat the actual underlying cause of the illness!

I prefer to start by identifying and eliminating triggers to the immune system — but this can be tricky, since our environment is PACKED with so many irritants.

In terms of MS in particular, we know that the factors that have been implicated can be dietary, environmental, and even viral (including Epstein-Barr virus, which I’ll share more about in the next issue of Nutrition & Healing).

For example, eating too many chemical-laden processed foods has been shown to lead to multiple sclerosis (and other severe autoimmune health issues).

So, one good thing that anyone with MS can make is to cut out processed foods. Switch to a naturally anti-inflammatory diet like Paleo, which focuses on fresh meats and produce and eliminates processed foods and added sugars.

There’s also a significant association between exposure to organic solvents and an increased risk of developing an autoimmune disease, so switch to organic paints, pesticides, and cleaning products.

Of exceptional importance for anyone with MS are a basic high-potency multivitamin plus extra vitamin C (1000 mg per day) and vitamin E (400 IU per day). Taking some extra vitamin B12 (along with folic acid) might be a good idea because it’s so important for nerve function.

Other natural options you can get pretty affordably include:

  • NAC (N-acetylcysteine), which may protect nerve cells
  • zinc and copper, which may help reduce inflammation
  • flaxseed oil and borage oil, which are anti-inflammatory and help build strong nerves
  • coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which helps provide cellular energy and protect nerves
  • magnesium, which will help soothe muscle spasms.
  • Siberian ginseng, an herb that can help increase overtaxed energy reserves, and
  • ginkgo biloba, which acts as an antioxidant and enhances blood flow to the nerves.

The final step — after treating symptoms and eliminating triggers — would be to restore the health of the immune system. I like to use an extract called paeoniflorin, as well as white peony extracts (called peony glucosides), vitamin D3, fish oil, soy isoflavones, colostrum, and probiotics, since a large portion of your immune cells reside in your gut.

While I love sharing my own integrative approaches with my readers, it’s always best to work directly with your own doctor who’s well-versed in holistic medicine.

Have a question for me? Email it to me at and I may choose it to answer next!

Vitamin D improves metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome? Eating lean WON’T be enough to combat it

If you were to ask me which nutrient would make the biggest difference in your health on its own, I’d be hard-pressed to pick just one.

But among my top choices would be the vitamin you can get plenty of just by going outside: vitamin D, the so-called “sunshine” vitamin.

It’s rare to find anything that’s got so many health benefits and yet comes with no harmful side effects.

Try putting any prescription med to that test!

But vitamin D can also make a huge difference in people’s health — because most of us are actually deficient in it.

And while we’ve known that a vitamin D deficiency can be a blow to both your immunity and your mood, a recent study shows that it’s also linked to a serious health concern that is killing Americans at an alarmingly high rate.

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, in collaboration with Sichuan University in China, conducted a trial on mice to test for a connection between vitamin D and metabolic syndrome.

And they found that the mice could NOT develop metabolic syndrome without ALSO having low vitamin D levels.

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by excess fat around the middle, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. It’s not technically a disease, but rather a perfect storm of risk factors that can put you on a path to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

And those are some of the top causes of death in the U.S.

As for vitamin D, the most natural way to get it is by exposing your skin to direct sunlight for 10 to 20 minutes a day. But with much of the country in a “deep freeze” lately, if you’re getting outdoors at all, you’re probably not showing a lot of skin.

So, a vitamin D supplement — I recommend 2,000 IU per day — will help make up the difference.

And while eating a lean diet may not be enough to combat metabolic syndrome on its own, neither will vitamin D if you’re still eating whatever you want. Instead, adopt a healthy diet like Paleo that restricts carbs and sugar while giving you plenty of filling proteins and other nutritious foods.

I also recommend supplementing with CoQ10, curcumin, and flaxseed, which are all powerful weapons against metabolic syndrome.

This, along with regular exercise and plenty of sleep, is enough to keep you out of the MetS red zone and on the road to a long, healthy life.

Vitamin D improves gut flora and metabolic syndrome

Saunas slash dementia risk

What the Finnish know about preventing dementia

Near the top of the list of things people fear about aging is dementia.

As you start to decline, you lose your precious memories — not to mention your independence.

But worrying about it won’t do any good. It won’t reduce your risk… it won’t slow the progression… and it won’t reverse the symptoms.

And, according to the latest research, one therapy that CAN accomplish all of those is also one of the most relaxing things you can do.

It’s time to start planning your next spa day, because a recent study out of Finland discovered a link between frequent sauna use and reduced dementia risk.

And what could put your mind at ease more than that?

Reviewing data from about 2,000 men who sauna regularly, researchers found that men who “took a schvitz” as frequently as every other day or every day were 66 percent less likely to develop any type of dementia than those whose habit was limited to once a week.

And that includes the type of dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

This was the first time that the connection between saunas and dementia had ever been studied, but previously research has shown that this “spa secret” can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, death due to coronary artery disease and other cardiac events, as well as death from any cause.

That’s because sitting in a hot sauna room can lower your blood pressure if it’s high… improve your blood flow if you’ve got congestive heart failure… and help you sweat out toxins through your pores.

And it’s perfectly safe to do — even if you’re a little bit older and may already have heart disease or the early signs of cognitive decline.

Just don’t go alone — and don’t stay in there too long. The time spent in a sauna (which is usually set to a very hot, dry temperature between 180 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit) ranges from five to 20 minutes per session.

Now, it’s not surprising that this research is coming out of Finland. After all, the Finnish were the ones who invented the sauna — and they’ve been enjoying its restorative and purifying benefits for about two thousand years.

But you don’t have to hop a plane to a Nordic country to reap the benefits of sauna. You can find public ones right here in the States at many spas, gyms (especially ones with a pool), and even by the fitness center in a hotel.

If you prefer some privacy, you can also get a small sauna that you can buy and install at home, usually found wherever hot tubs and jacuzzis are sold.

And if a “dry heat” isn’t really your thing, you can also fill the tub with hot water, turn down the lights, and treat yourself to a long soak. Taking a nice, hot bath has been shown to control blood sugar just as well as exercise.

That’s another good way to sweat out the toxins, too.

Frequent sauna bathing may protect men against dementia, Finnish study suggests