Herbs and Supplements

  1. Exercise Nuts Turn to Coffee for Less Painful Workout

    Exercise Nuts Turn to Coffee for Less Painful Workout

    Listen up, exercisers: Jog, pedal, or row down to your local Starbucks

    If I could offer only one word of advice to all those exercise
    nuts
    out there who risk pain, injury, or even sudden death by
    heart attack or stroke as they're pounding the pavement,
    pedaling themselves into a lather, rowing like water-bugs, or
    pumping iron like they're the Governor of California, it would
    be this: QUIT!

    But if they won't do that, here's a second word of advice:
    COFFEE!

    What, not WATER?

    Nope. Although the mainstream has been pestering us (especially
    those among us that exercise) to guzzle eight glasses of water or
    more per day, no one seems to know exactly WHY. And the really
    funny thing is that some of the same paternalistic leftists who
    are urging us toward daily water intoxication are the same folks
    who are worried about the global "water crisis." Heck, if
    they're so concerned about an H20 shortage, why aren't they
    telling people to only drink the BARE MINIMUM amount of water
    needed to survive? But I digress

    I'm not here to disparage these gaunt, misguided fitness
    fanatics, but rather to offer them an alternative to the "water
    torture" they've been enduring - one that's tasty, energizing,
    and above all, good for you! Believe it or not, coffee is that
    drink, especially if you're an exercise fanatic

    Why? Because the caffeine in coffee blocks a key biochemical
    called adenosine that is produced in large quantities during
    strenuous exercise - which greatly reduces pain and muscle
    soreness, according to a recent University of Georgia study
    published in the Journal of Pain. Your morning "cuppa joe" is
    also chock-full of other benefits - things like reducing your
    risk of colon cancer and gallstones, plus infusing your cells
    with as many disease-fighting antioxidants as 3 fresh oranges.

    Now, you may be thinking: Doc, if you don't want people to
    over-exercise, why are you telling them about how the caffeine
    in java makes it LESS painful to exercise? Look, don't get me
    wrong - if you like exercising, great. If it makes you feel good
    (or good about yourself), then by all means don't stop. Just don't
    go overboard. And don't flush away with H20 all of your morning
    coffee's benefits because the health nuts say you should.

    It is funny, though (and tragic), that most of those in the
    mainstream who are fanatical about their health are CUTTING OUT
    the healthy coffee and caffeine, while risking the consequences
    of exercising more and more in the name of health

    When they SHOULD be doing the exact opposite.

    Another feather in the fish oil cap

    Folks, you know I'm just about the biggest fan ever of fish oil
    - whether taken by the spoonful the old-fashioned way (Yum!) or
    consumed in delicious, freshly-cooked trout, salmon, cod, tuna,
    and other cold-water fishes

    As anyone who's read the Daily Dose (or my newsletter) for any
    length of time can tell you, the Omega-3 fatty acids in these
    fishes are one of the biggest keys to overall health I know of -
    and even the mainstream agrees. The benefits of the Omega-3s and
    other vital nutrients in these finny critters to your heart,
    arteries, brain, and digestive system are simply too numerous to
    name. And here's another one to add to the list:

    Fish oil fats can help cancer patients gain back the weight that
    the disease and its treatment can waste away!

    According to findings recently published in the medical journal
    Gut (great name, huh?), patients with pancreatic cancer
    who consumed Omega-3 rich supplements for eight straight weeks
    actually gained back a measurable percentage of muscle tissue
    and bodyweight when compared to a control group that consumed
    the same quantity of identical supplements without the
    Omega-3s.

    That's good news for anyone battling cancer, especially that of
    the pancreas.

    Actions to take: Whether you're in the pink of health or
    fighting for your life against the ravages of disease,
    Omega-3-rich fish oils and supplements can do you good. If you're
    supplementing, try four cod-liver oil capsules twice a day. One
    caution though for the live variety: Try to buy trout, salmon,
    tuna, etc. that have been harvested from wild, deep-water
    sources - not fish farms. These "free-ranging" fish tend to be
    much lower in mercury,lead, and other heavy metals that could
    potentially do you harm

    Nothing "fishy" here,
    William Campbell Douglass II, MD

  2. The Lies Behind Pharmaceutical Marketing

    Lies, damn lies, and marketing

    Ah, Twain. The father of so many of our oft-used turns of phrase, including this gem (which he attributes to Disraeli, though it's not present in any of that statesman's published works) from his autobiography:

    "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics."

    Well I'm here to tell you that ALL THREE KINDS of lies (and more) are routinely told about prescription drugs. And innocently enough, all of these shameless prevarications bear the same innocuous name: Marketing. Now, I know what you're thinking: C'mon, doc, this is nothing new. Companies always lie-with or without the statistics-to try and sell you something

    That's true. In fact, you may remember me saying the exact same thing about the cancer drug Tamoxifen. Touted as the "magic bullet" for breast cancer prevention (some claimed a cancer risk reduction of up to 50%), in reality even the most favorable studies showed Tamoxifen cutting breast cancer risk by only 1%. Oh, and it INCREASED the risk of other female-specific cancers into the bargain-a fact that I'm sure wasn't exactly front-and-center in the sales brochure

    So how can drug companies get away with overstating the so-called "benefits" of their poisonous products? With the magic of statistics-specifically, by obscuring the distinction between RELATIVE risk and ABSOLUTE risk. Confusing, I know, but bear with me and I'll explain-using a current example you're sure to hear a lot more about in the near future: A new "wonder drug" for heart disease called the Polypill.

    The Polypill is nothing more than a "cocktail" of existing heart drugs whipped up into a once-a-day pill patients will be expected to take for years on end-maybe even the rest of their lives (cha-ching! $$$)-for the prevention of heart disease and coronary events. The claims made by this drug's makers are awesome indeed. Among these is a claimed 34% rate of prevention for heart attacks. What's this based on? Smoke and mirrors. Here's what I mean

    In one study, the Polypill group suffered heart attacks at a rate of 2.7%, while the placebo group endured a slightly higher rate of 4.1%. The ABSOLUTE risk reduction associated with the drug is a paltry 1.4%. Hardly enough benefit to sell billions of dollars worth of pills. But since 2.7 is only 66% of 4.1, the RELATIVE risk reduction is 34%. Much more impressive when you say it that way, isn't it? Meaningless, but impressive.

    Now, which of these numbers-1.4% or 34%-do you imagine is most likely to show up in the marketing materials (both to doctors and directly to consumers) of this new "miracle drug?"

    The big, dramatic, and TOTALLY MISLEADING one, of course.

    Folks, this is par for the course for drug marketing. And what's even scarier is that this kind of statistical charlatanism is becoming so slick and so polished that even formerly credible sources like peer-reviewed medical journals are often unwittingly co-opted into becoming marketing accomplices for the drug giants. Don't believe me?
    One need look no further than the June 28th issue of the British Medical Journal for proof. In it, the editor of that magazine is so swayed by the one-sided presentation of the "evidence" supporting Polypill that he wrote an editorial praising it himself!

    So much for objectivity, huh?

    ****************************************

    What you didn't know about the mainstream's favorite vitamin

    I've been talking a lot about vitamin C lately-like in the last 30 years or so.
    And although a lot of mainstream sources have long touted this miraculous antioxidant for things like boosting immunity to colds and flu (a perfectly good use for it, by the way), I feel they've been missing the boat on the vitamin's other major benefits. Why, just in the last year, I've told you about how significant daily doses of C can help prevent cataracts and control hyperglycemia

    Well, here's some even better news about vitamin C's power to help you live longer and healthier: A recent large-scale study proves that vitamin C helps cut heart disease risk in women (but surely in men, too) by as much as 28%! As reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the 16-year study of over 85,000 women measured a distinct correlation between SUPPLEMENTAL vitamin C and a reduced risk of heart disease.

    Notice I stressed the word supplemental. That's because the study noted virtually no reduction in heart risk simply from increased vitamin C in the diet. This proves what I've been saying all along-that it would be extraordinarily difficult for most people to get optimum amounts of vitamin C from FOOD ALONE. To really reap the healthy benefits, you must add at least 1,200 (but 2,000 is better) milligrams a day of a quality, easily absorbable supplement.

    Skeptics will say that these findings are worthless because this landmark study isn't double blind/placebo controlled. But I know better-powerful antioxidant vitamin C is one of the things I've counted on for years to help keep my ticker in tip-top shape

    C-ing the absolute truth,
    William Campbell Douglass II, MD

  3. EVERYBODY'S FAT NOWADAYS!?

    I know, I know - this isn't exactly breaking news. It's still scary, though. The latest data show that more than one fourth of the men in this country and more than one third of all American women are clinically obese.
  4. Liquor laced with aphrodisiacs!

    Liquor laced with aphrodisiacs! That's right, starting this spring in the U.K. (but almost certainly soon to follow here in the states), some makers of alcoholic beverages will be spiking their concoctions with herbal libido-boosters …
  5. Benefits of Vitamin D and the Sun

    I've often wondered -- and more than once in print -- how the human race ever managed to survive and thrive if what the mainstream says about sunlight is really true.
  6. Avoid Doctor Caused Deaths, by Treating Yourself

    Despite this, the fact remains that iatrogenic (doctor-caused) reasons account for more deaths in this country than all other causes -- except heart disease and cancer….Should people try to diagnose and treat themselves for illnesses?
  7. The Homocysteine/Heart Disease Connection

    By now, you've probably heard about homocysteine. I've been writing about it for nigh on 20 years, and unless you're new to alternative medicine, you've probably heard a bit about how it relates to heart disease…
  8. The Effects of Dietary Fiber Supplements and Fiber Enriched Foods are Unknown

    For some reason, in this country, we've adapted the misconception that "fiber is good for you and prevents colon cancer." The truth is that the effects of dietary fiber supplements and fiber-enriched foods are unknown, and potentially very dangerous.
  9. Low Vitamin C, Increases Risk of Cataract Formation

    If you're still not convinced that you need more vitamin C than the puny doses recommended by the so-called government experts, perhaps the following will help bring you to your senses.
  10. Natural Weight Loss for Dogs

    Duchess' owner enrolled her in a study on weight reduction in dogs. The researchers tested the ability of dehydroepiandrosterone, better known as DHEA, to help Duchess lose weight.

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