mood swings

  1. What apnea really looks like

    Want to see something really scary? Check out this video.

    The night vision security camera might make it look like the latest edgy documentary-style horror flick -- but there's no paranormal activity here.

    This is 100 percent real.

    It's a man with sleep apnea. Watch as he stops breathing. Try to hold your breath along with him -- just don't try too hard, because you might pass out: The man stops breathing for a full 40 seconds.

    But here's what's truly frightening: This could be happening to you repeatedly every single night... and you might not even know it.

    Unless your spouse has seen you gasping for air in the night or -- like the man in this video -- you've spent a night in a sleep clinic, there's no way to know for sure whether or not you have this breath-robbing condition.

    But if you're overweight or obese, you're playing with fire already -- because weight is the top risk factor for sleep apnea. And as this condition sucks the air from your lungs, it cuts off the flow of oxygen to your brain and heart, putting both at risk.

    That's why apnea has been linked to dementia, heart problems, depression, mood swings, an early death and more.

    One new study finds that women with apnea have a 350 percent higher risk of death from heart disease than women without it. Other studies have found a similar story for men.

    You can try to fight it with an oxygen mask, but who wants to sleep with one of those every night?

    Lose the weight instead -- and do it before you find yourself starring in the next apnea horror video.

  2. Do statins reduce dementia? Don't bet your life

    Do statins reduce dementia? Don't bet your life

    Check out this latest study on statins: According to a report in the journal Neurology, researchers are claiming that stains can reduce the risk of dementia. The study followed 1,674 people over 60 years old for five years and found that those on statins had half the incidence of dementia as those not on statins.

    I'm sure Big Pharma couldn't be happier about the results - especially on the heels of more and more studies showing that cholesterol isn't the killer the medical community (and statin drug manufacturers) have made it out to be.

    This is the perfect bit of news for them to be able to take their already $22 billion per year industry to the next level. After all, taking statins to prevent dementia rather than just to treat high cholesterol opens up an almost limitless market of potential customers. And with the growing fear of dementia, I'm sure plenty of people would be willing to risk the drug's known side effects - depression, mood swings, and strokes, to name a few - for the chance to preserve their sanity.

    The lead researcher, Dr. Mary Haan of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, said that this is just "another brick in the wall, in the sense that there is mounting evidence, primarily from observational studies, that there is at least some benefit for prevention of dementia."

    Another brick in the wall? I'm not sure what wall she's looking at, but the one I see is stacked with evidence showing the exact opposite.

    A study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington found that there was ZERO reduction in the incidence of dementia among patients who were on statins. Another study on Catholic clergy members found the same thing.

    A Boston University study found mixed results: Some statin drugs lowered the risk of dementia, while others didn't.

    And still other reports, like one from the American Heart Association, showed that a common statin actually had harmful effects on brain function.

    Obviously there's no clear-cut medical consensus on the role statins may or may not play in the prevention of dementia. And I'm sure that we've only begun to see the "battle of the headlines" - one saying that statins do prevent dementia, and the next saying that they don't. Back and forth.

    Of course, this kind of faulty evidence never slowed Big Pharma down much. If they ever did start to tout statins as a cure for cholesterol AND Alzheimer's, they would surely be dubbed a wonder drug rivaling only aspirin and penicillin in significance and impact.

    And, of course, Big Pharma would have a brand new license to print money.

    My advice, as always, is to forget about statins. You'll thank me in the end.

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