fight depression

  1. Stop dementia before it starts

    B12 drops Alzheimer's risk

    Save your brain: Grill a steak.

    Yet another study has found that vitamin B12 can lower your Alzheimer's risk -- and since you can't get this key nutrient from bunny chow, find yourself a good butcher now.

    He can do more for your health than most doctors ever will!

    Swedish researchers tracked 271 Finnish patients between the ages of 65 and 71 who didn't have any sign of Alzheimer's disease at the start of the study.

    Over seven years, 17 of them came down with the condition -- and the researchers found that those with the lowest levels of B12 had the highest risk.

    Each increase in blood B12 levels by a single tiny unit -- called a "picomole" -- led to a 2 percent dip in Alzheimer's risk, according to the study in Neurology. What's more, the researchers found that every micromolar rise in the inflammation marker homocysteine upped Alzheimer's risk by 16 percent.

    Since B12 is known to lower those homocysteine levels, you'd have to be a card-carrying PETA activist not to see the answer here: Steak, steak and more steak, because it's loaded with the stuff.

    Just make sure you serve them so rare you can practically hear the moo, because well-done steaks can actually boost those homocysteine levels.

    This isn't the first study to find that B vitamins can beat Alzheimer's -- I've been recommending B6, B12, and folic acid as the ultimate dementia defeaters for years now.

    Recent studies back me up on that -- researchers have even found that those three Bs can actually stop your brain from shrinking, a key risk factor for dementia.

    Since B vitamins can also boost your mood, fight depression, improve your memory, and help keep your heart strong, there's no reason not to make every night steak night.

  2. Massage beats pain meds

    I'm not one to question the health benefits of a good massage -- and if anyone wants to rub my back, I won't say no.

    Volunteers, feel free to drop me a line.

    Meanwhile, a new study finds that the hands-on treatment doesn't just feel great -- it can actually bring more relief for back pain than powerful drugs.

    Researchers assigned 401 back pain patients to either the "usual" care -- aka drugs and generic advice -- or one of two forms of massage: Swedish or structural.

    If you know anything about this stuff, you know that the Swedes aim for relaxation (it's in their nature), while structural massage tries to ease damaged tissue.

    If you forget which is which, don't worry -- because 10 weeks of either was enough to chase the pain away, boost mobility, and improve function better than the usual care.

    The researchers cut the massages off at the 10-week mark -- how cruel! -- but the benefits actually lasted for four more months.

    A year later, however, and the patients were back to square one -- but just how long do you expect 10 weeks of massage to last anyway? The lesson here is to keep at it as long as it feels good.

    I should warn you, however, that massage does come with at least one big drug-like risk: It can be highly addictive. I'm a massage junkie myself and I don't think I'll ever be able to shake the habit.

    I'll let you decide which addiction is healthier.

    Even if you're not battling back pain -- and congratulations, by the way, because you're in the minority -- don't feel left out: massage can ease stress, boost the immune system, fight depression and more.

    What I'm trying to say here is you don't need much of an excuse -- now go get yourself a massage.

    Doctor's orders.

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