1. Vitamin C lowers BP

    When a drug drops BP levels by a few lousy points, docs throw a party. When a vitamin does the same thing they claim, "it's only a few lousy points."

    Which is it?

    These days, docs are turning up their noses at an analysis of 29 studies that found 500 mg of vitamin C a day can trim 5 points off the systolic blood pressure (the top number) in patients with "high" blood pressure.

    I'm not one to get excited over 5 points myself, but those same docs will tell anyone 5 points over the threshold -- a threshold that seems to get lower every year -- that they need medication.

    So this should be good news to them, right?


    "(B)efore we can recommend supplements as a treatment for high blood pressure, we really need more research to understand the implications of taking them," study author Edgar "Pete" R. Miller III, MD, PhD, wrote in a news release.

    Really, Pete?

    If there's any vitamin as well understood as vitamin C, I can't name it. You need this stuff, and plenty of it -- and while I've seen analysts claim the 500 mg a day in the study is a high dose, it's nothing of the sort.

    It's what I call a "good start," because most people need about 1,200 mg a day -- and if you get that much, you might even shave a few more points off those BP levels.

    But take it because you need more C -- not because you're worried about BP. In fact, if you're just 5 or so points off the target, you've got nothing to worry about.

    If your levels suddenly shoot up for a reason that's not immediately obvious and then remain high, you might need a little more help -- and I don't mean a vitamin OR a med.

    You need a doctor who can figure out why it happened. I suggest using a naturopathic doctor. You can find one in the directory on the Web site of the American College for Advancement in Medicine.

  2. Revolutionary approach to Alzheimer's

    Treat patients like human beings, and they'll behave like human beings -- no matter how sick they are.

    Stunning? Of course not. But this is what passes for cutting-edge Alzheimer's care these days.

    Care facilities are slowly waking up to the fact that these patients don't need the risky antipsychotic meds usually forced on them, the blaring alarm systems used to prevent them from wandering, or even the diapers these patients are routinely required to wear whether they're incontinent or not.

    All they really need are the same things the rest of us want: A little time, attention, and TLC.

    The facilities that are making the switch from drugs to hugs are seeing remarkable transformations -- so naturally, they're catching hell for it.

    State health officials in Arizona went after the Beatitudes nursing home in Phoenix for offering some patients chocolates instead of meds -- they even threatened a citation, according to a recent report in the New York Times.

    But Beatitudes stood its ground -- insisting that chocolate can be as effective as Xanax.

    The approach is part of a philosophy where the staff will allow Alzheimer's patients just about anything that brings them comfort -- even a sip of booze at night, according to the Times report.

    And the results speak for themselves -- because even patients that have been tossed out of other facilities for poor behavior thrive with little to no medication in Beatitudes.

    One expert told the newspaper that Beatitudes has virtually no sundowning -- the delusions and agitation that many Alzheimer's patients experience in the evening.

    Hmmm... fewer meds, fewer delusions, less agitation, and better behavior. Anyone else see a connection here?

    This stuff should be considered basic -- it should be the starting point for dementia care.

    Instead, it's revolutionary.

  3. What's REALLY causing your memory loss

    A new study has discovered that common medications known as anticholinergic drugs may cause seniors to lose their thinking skills more quickly.
  4. The Most Over-Diagnosed "Disorder" on Earth

    Are drugs for an invented disorder causing REAL deaths?

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