1. Strawberries improve knee osteoarthritis

    A "berry" good new year ahead... for your knees!

    As we prepare to close the book on 2017, I'm sure you're looking back fondly on the memories you've made this year.

    Maybe you traveled to a bucket-list place... tried something out of your comfort zone... or let the good times roll with friends and family.

    And as you've beaten new paths, you've also undoubtedly racked up some mileage.

    I'm not talking about your trusty ol' SUV, though -- I'm talking about the wear and tear on your KNEES!

    You see, as the years pass, the cartilage that cushions your joints can break down, wear away, and leave you with bones that rub painfully against one another, a.k.a. knee osteoarthritis (OA).

    Now, if the pain of OA has brought you to your knees this year, don't despair -- there's hope for relief next year.

    Because according to a new study, something that tastes delicious with your New Year's champagne toast can ease the ache of OA naturally... and even turn back the clock on your condition.

    I'm talking about strawberries!

    In the study out of Oklahoma, a group of folks with knee osteoarthritis was randomly divided in two. Every day for three months, half of the group ate a compound of powdered strawberries -- the equivalent of about a quarter cup, or a small handful, of fresh berries -- while the other half ate a similar compound that contained strawberry flavoring but no actual fruit.

    By the end of the study, ONLY the strawberry eaters experienced changes in their conditions -- and those changes were all for the better.

    First off, no matter whether their knee pain was constant or came and went, members of the strawberry group reported a REDUCTION in their aches.

    What's more, their markers of cartilage breakdown DECREASED, suggesting that the fruit may actually help preserve the cushioning in your knees.

    The theory is that anti-inflammatory compounds in strawberries can prevent oxidative damage to your cartilage -- confirmed by the fact that the strawberry eaters' biomarkers of inflammation also plummeted.

    Strawberries are also full of fiber, and we know from previous studies that high-fiber diets can protect you from OA... or slow its progression if you already have it.

    And the berry's benefits don't stop there. This juicy, red powerhouse has also been proven to fight cognitive decline... slash your risk of heart attack and stroke... and even help prevent certain cancers.

    So, if your knees are aching from OA, don't reach for a bottle of pain pills. Grab a pint of strawberries instead!

    They're not in peak season until June, but you can find them pretty much year-round at many grocery stores. Just be sure to buy organic strawberries -- because conventionally grown berries are typically contaminated with pesticide residues.

    Slice fresh ones onto spinach salads... swirl a homemade compote into your Greek yogurt... or blend frozen strawberries into your smoothies.

    Just stay away from strawberry-flavored treats like hard candies, which don't contain any actual fruit.

  2. Heavy metal dangers of MRI test... revealed!

    Action hero sounds the alarm on dangerous medical testing

    From one action-packed blockbuster to another, Chuck Norris is the kind of action hero whose rugged characters always seem to save the day.

    And recently, the Walker: Texas Ranger actor has traded Hollywood for a much bigger fight -- one that has hit a little too close to home.

    You see, after Chuck's wife Gena underwent several MRI scans about four years ago, she developed mysterious burning and tingling all over her body... memory problems... muscle wasting... and even kidney damage.

    The culprit? A heavy metal called gadolinium, sometimes used in contrasting agents that docs inject into your body to help get a sharper picture of your insides during an MRI.

    Now, the companies that make gadolinium-based contrasting agents (GBCAs) have been saying for years that they're completely safe and that -- unless you have kidney problems -- you'll pee out every drop of gadolinium within days of the procedure.

    But as Gena's experience demonstrates, that's not always the case -- and she and Chuck are now suing 11 companies that manufacture GBCAs to hold them accountable.

    In my own practice, I've seen patients suffering from the effects of ridiculously high levels of gadolinium in their bodies... sometimes YEARS after they've had an MRI.

    And the latest research has confirmed that this toxic stuff really sticks around.

    One study found gadolinium in the hip bones of patients who'd had MRIs... another found it could accumulate in your body tissues... and even the FDA admitted in a review earlier this year that it can wind up in your BRAIN.

    And once this heavy metal sets up shop, it can form new molecules that crystallize and lead to a buildup of fibrous tissue in your muscles and joints, making you feel like you're wearing tight gloves on your hands and tight socks on your feet!

    You could even get a paralyzing condition called "nephrogenic system fibrosis," in which your own skin turns hard like wood.

    And if that fibrous tissue builds up in your brain, you're looking at neurological symptoms ranging from brain fog to hearing and vision changes.

    It's true that in patients with normal kidney function, GBCAs have a decent safety record, but there's a chance that they can wreak havoc on your kidneys, too.

    So... why roll the dice?

    If you've already had an MRI scan with GBCAs, be on the lookout for symptoms like body pain (especially of the lower arms and legs)... headaches that don't quit... and cognitive issues.

    Don't worry, though -- you won't need a black belt to sweep this toxic metal from your system, because chelation therapy from an integrative doctor may be enough.

  3. Herbs can help ease muscle cramps

    Is this nighttime annoyance a dead giveaway for a deficiency? Q: Is there anything I can do about the muscle cramps so that I can sleep through the night? GR: I get lots of questions about muscle cramps -- and when they interrupt your sleep (as they usually do), they can really derail your energy levels and overall health. As...
  4. Air pollution ups your risk of fractures

    Big city traffic spells big trouble for your bones On the path of life, you've endured everything from break-ups and breakdowns to plenty of tough breaks. You've GAINED a lot of wisdom about how to deal with life's hard knocks... but you may have LOST a lot of bone over the years! And that could leave you vulnerable to some...
  5. Rheumatoid arthritis can raise your risk of COPD

    The fire in your joints can spread to your lungs Today, I want to talk about inflammation. It's your body's response to injury and infection -- and it's supposed to be the first step in any healing process. But when you've got an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), that inflammatory response never fully shuts off. And in the case...
  6. Hypertension linked to stress-induced activity in gut bacteria

    How belly bugs use the 'stress hormone' to hijack your BP Every day, it seems, science uncovers something new about how the bugs that live in your belly can meddle in your health. Sometimes, it's in a good way... and sometimes, it can get pretty bad. If you've been reading my eTips for a while now, you already know that...
  7. Nightshade veggies can worsen arthritis

    Joint pain? Try eliminating these foods from your diet Q: I learned the hard way how nightshade vegetables like tomatoes and green peppers can flare up my arthritis, but I'm still confused as to why. And are there any other "nightshade" foods I need to avoid? GR: In the 1950s, Norman Childers, Ph.D., found that eliminating so-called "nightshade" vegetables from...
  8. Weight loss improves gout

    Shave off pounds to save your joints Your big toe is red, swollen, and throbbing out of your shoe. When you've got a gout flare-up, it's tough to put your best foot forward... AND figure out which direction to head for relief. We know that gout is caused by an excess of uric acid in your blood, which can form...
  9. Devil’s claw eases gout without drugs

    Take the "ow" out of gout with this African herb Q: I get gout pain regardless of what I eat. What can I do for it besides take the pain pills my doctor prescribed? GR: Once known as the disease of kings, gout can make it feel as if someone is stabbing you in the toe with a sword. The...
  10. Severe psoriasis can raise your risk of dying

    Could clearing up your skin save your life? From the itching and burning... to the scaling and peeling... having psoriasis can really get "under your skin." It can be unsightly and embarrassing -- but you might comfort yourself with the notion that this inflammatory illness is only "skin deep." The worst that can happen is that those red and scaly...

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