Herbs and Supplements

  1. Melatonin improves cognitive function in Alzheimer's cases

    The 'sleep hormone' can sharpen your brain

    Everyone feels scattered from time to time -- and as we age, a few of those little "senior moments" are par for the course.

    But if your brain feels like it's "sleeping on the job" more and more often, it could be a sign of something more serious.

    According to a new study, though, there's a natural way to perk up your mind -- because a hormone that helps regulate your sleep can also improve cognitive function in those with Alzheimer's.

    I'm talking about melatonin, the hormone your body produces to help you fall asleep.

    In the study out of China, researchers gave melatonin to mice with Alzheimer's-like brain changes. By the end of the study, it turned out that this so-called "sleep hormone" significantly improved the mice's cognitive function -- and the results gave clues as to how and why it helped turn things around.

    Now, we don't know exactly what causes Alzheimer's, but we do know that it's associated with the appearance of "tangles" and "plaques"... damage to mitochondria... and the unnatural, massive death of nerve cells in your gray matter.

    In the study, the melatonin appeared to shield the mice's mitochondria from damage AND decreased proteins involved in both cell death and the formation of tangles and plaques. And, of course, the LESS damage to your brain there is... the BETTER your cognitive function.

    But that's not all that melatonin can do for Alzheimer's -- because previous studies have shown that supplementing with melatonin can also lessen the symptoms of agitation and confusion that tend to come on in the evening hours (a.k.a. "sundowning").

    And, of course, since melatonin is known as the "sleep hormone," it can also help you get more shuteye -- which is important not only for those with Alzheimer's but for ANYONE who wants to slash their risk of developing it.

    That's because past studies have shown that not getting enough of a sleep phase called "REM sleep" boosts your chances of dementia.

    And you need to be asleep for 90 minutes straight before REM sets in!
    Since your levels of melatonin decline with age -- and decline even further with Alzheimer's disease -- boost your supply by eating Paleo-friendly foods like pineapples, bananas, oranges, sweet corn, and tomatoes.

    You can also try drinking tart cherry juice, which contains melatonin and can help you get a better night's rest. It's also been shown in studies to improve memory and cognition in older adults with mild-to-moderate dementia.

    But to be on the safe side, take a melatonin supplement. They're available at most drug stores for just pennies a day.

  2. Herbal remedies help empty your bladder

    Leftovers... in your bladder? Get rid of them with these herbs

    Q: My husband's urologist wants him to take a drug to help him empty his bladder completely. The side effects of these drugs are scary, so are there any natural solutions you can recommend?

    GR: When you can't empty your bladder completely, you get what I call a "leftover urge" -- and sometimes it's bad enough to wake you up at night!

    You THINK you have to go pee, but then you TRY to go and... nothing.

    And now you're up.

    As a man, there can be no more frustrating experience than standing in front of the toilet... never really "finishing"... and always feeling that nagging urge to go.

    The technical term for it is "urinary retention," but you could certainly use some more colorful language to describe those bladder spasms and urges that drive you crazy and deprive you of sleep.

    But it's more than just a nuisance -- and when you don't completely empty your bladder, you can set yourself up for a urinary tract infection (UTI).

    There are plenty of things that can restrict urinary flow, including a narrowing of (or damage to) the urethra, or even stones in the urinary tract. Only a medical exam could tell you for sure what it is.

    But, by far, the most common cause of urine retention in men is prostate enlargement (a.k.a. benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH for short).

    With BPH, your prostate swells and basically pinches the urethra. That restricts urinary flow and prevents full bladder emptying.

    Unfortunately, the problems don't stop there. Over time, this can cause changes to the tone of your bladder wall that can result in incontinence and other issues.

    When BPH is the problem, there are some good natural solutions available. In one clinical trial, guys with BPH who took a combination of stinging nettle and saw palmetto (240mg/day of extract of nettle root, 320mg/day fatty saw palmetto extract) for 24 weeks saw a 23 percent increase in peak urine flow.

    That was six times better than guys taking a placebo.

    In another study, this supplement combo performed just as well as the drug finasteride, which is commonly prescribed for BPH.

    You can find both stinging nettle and saw palmetto at just about any health store -- and they're often combined in many prostate formulas with other prostate-friendly herbal ingredients, such as Pygeum africanum and even cranberry extract.

    That cranberry can also help if you do develop a UTI, but I've got another natural alternative that can be up to 50 times more effective than cranberry juice -- and that's something called D-mannose.

    I shared the full story on this unusual sugar molecule with you in the May 2016 issue of my Nutrition & Healing newsletter, so explore the archives to get the scoop.

    I've got lots more natural cures to share with you, so send your questions to askdrrothfeld@nutritionandhealing.com and keep an eye on your inbox for the answers!

  3. Antioxidants can rescue damaged kidneys

    Dialysis? Your kidneys need this hero Q: Is there a way to replace the nutrients that my husband loses through dialysis? GR: The two bean-shaped organs in the middle of your back are so incredibly critical to your daily life and well-being, but not many people pay a lot of attention to them. At least, not until it's way too...
  4. Special type of mushroom fights cancer

    The benefits of this fungus are mushrooming It's rare that I have anything good to share about cancer. But today, it turns out that I have some GOOD news that, in a way, is actually OLD news. You see, there's a mushroom called Cordyceps militaris that's been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries (since the Ming Dynasty, to be...
  5. Vitamin E and omega-3s can help reverse prediabetes

    Put prediabetes in reverse with this dynamic duo Getting diagnosed with prediabetes is like a case of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The Good: Your blood sugar is not quite high enough to put you into the diabetic category. The Bad: If you don't make some changes to your diet and lifestyle soon, that's almost certainly where you'll...
  6. Nature relieves stress and boosts brain health

    Stressed? This will tame your brain's 'caveman' impulses Sometimes, it seems like there's no escape from stress. No matter how organized your life is... how much wisdom you've gained... and how much you try to "accentuate the positive," a lemon always manages to drop out of the sky. And if you live anywhere but the countryside, that lemon might take...
  7. Heartburn meds promote chronic liver disease

    PPIs could light a fire in your liver You've just had a big, satisfying meal... and a couple of drinks... and the next thing you know it's "Burn, baby, burn." And no, I don't mean a "disco inferno" out on the dance floor -- I'm talking about the blaze that's burning in your chest! Heartburn, acid reflux, GERD -- whatever...
  8. Flu vaccine doesn’t work, but these 3 herbs do!

    Are you a sitting duck for the flu? Q: Do you recommend people get the flu vaccine? Do you get it yourself? GR: This cold and flu season, no matter where you live, your doc and even your friends and family will all tell you the same thing: "Get a flu shot!" But as it turns out, that's a big...
  9. Omega-6 fats can lower diabetes risk

    Fight diabetes... with FAT? Happy Halloween! I hope you can share in the joy of the little ones in your life who still get a kick out of dressing up and trick-or-treating. Go ahead and join in on the fun -- but just stick to bobbing for apples and leave the chocolate bars by the door for the neighborhood ghouls...
  10. Herbs boost immunity and soothe allergies

    Clear the goop in your throat with these herbal remedies Q: Is there anything I can do about the excessive mucus in my throat? GR: Well, we're getting ready to wrap up October -- and, in most parts of the country, cold and flu season is in full swing. That means we'll be blowing our noses and hawking up loogies...

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