1. Want better bowels? Head south

    The science on irritable bowels is clear as day: Meds do absolutely nothing for this condition.

    Yet docs keep dishing them out anyway. And when one doesn't work, they'll try another... and another... and another.

    It's a waste of everyone's time -- and meanwhile, your bowels are not only madder than ever, you're battling drug side effects to boot.

    Now, new research confirms what I've been telling you all along: Low vitamin D levels play a critical role in any number of bowel disorders, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

    Americans who live in the sun-soaked south are 52 percent less likely to come down with Crohn's and 38 percent less likely to get hit with ulcerative colitis than folks who live up north, according to the study in the journal Gut.

    This gels with other studies, which find that Crohn's is rare in the sunniest climes along the equator, and gets more common the further north you go (Sorry, Canada).

    Of course, there's a lot more to a healthy gut than adequate vitamin D levels. Naturally, diet plays a major role as well.

    The best way to find out which foods are behind your pain is with a food elimination diet -- a painstaking and time-consuming diet that involves starting with almost nothing and then slowly adding foods to see which ones send you running for the toilet.

    I won't lie -- it's a lot of work. If you're not ready to go through all that, try my shortcut: I had the inside scoop on the five ingredients most likely to cause bowel trouble in the December 2010 issue of my Douglass Report newsletter. Click here to get all the details.

  2. Seniors poisoned by common meds

    Take enough meds, and one's bound to hit you the wrong way -- and if it hasn't happened to you, that only means it hasn't happened to you yet.

    More than 100,000 seniors are rushed to ERs every year because of their own meds -- and who knows how many millions suffer in silence at home due to drug side effects.

    Now, new numbers show that some of the most commonly used meds are, of course, the meds most likely to leave seniors sick or dead -- and at the top of the list is a class of meds you don't even need in the first place: blood thinners.

    Close to a third of all drug hospitalizations of seniors are due to these drugs, and I can't say I'm surprised. The most common blood thinner of all, warfarin, is actually RAT POISON for crying out loud.

    If you see it less frequently in the hardware store these days, it's because rats are actually starting to develop a resistance to it.

    Humans, not so much.

    The rest of the meds on the list are every bit as unnecessary: antiplatelet drugs like aspirin and Plavix were involved in 13 percent of the cases, while a quarter of the incidents involved diabetes drugs such as insulin and oral hypoglycemic agents.

    It ticks me off just thinking about all these seniors putting their lives on the line for no reason -- because whether you need to thin your blood, protect your heart or even beat diabetes, you can do it without meds.

    And it's a lot easier than you think.

    An experienced naturopathic physician (make sure he's got either an MD or a DO after his name) can ease you off toxic meds and replace them with safe and natural alternatives, like fish oil instead of rat poison.

    Your own doctor will tell you this is nuts. Tell him that taking rat poison is even nuttier.

  3. The creepy-crawly way to beat MS

    Researchers around the world have been testing parasitic worms as a treatment for multiple sclerosis -- and as crackpot as that may sound, the early word is pretty promising.

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