1. Study claims laughter is dangerous

    Keep laughing -- it's good for you

    Laughing... can hurt you????


    A good belly laugh is some of the best medicine around -- so naturally, some killjoys are trying to get you to stop.

    They're out with a new review of studies going back to 1946 that claims laughing can cause all kinds of suffering, pain and misery.

    One woman, for example, passed out and died after a laughing fit. But she was suffering from a severe racing heart condition. Laughter may have played a role, but a coughing or sneezing fit probably could have done it as well.

    The study also claims that laughing too hard could cause ruptures in vital organs, including the heart. Laughter, they say, might also tear the esophagus or maybe even lead to a hernia.

    Believe it or not, they're not done with the so-called risks of laughing. Laugh too loud, long or hard and you could supposedly suffer from asthma attacks, epileptic seizures and incontinence.

    But if you're going to laugh at anything, laugh at these risks -- because they're so remote they're practically unreal.

    The benefits of laughter, on the other hand, are very real.

    A good laugh can lift the mood, ease stress, fight pain and stimulate the immune system. It can help with everything from blood-sugar control to fertility, and a hearty laugh can even burn off calories.

    Cautioning people against it because of a few extreme cases is like cautioning against getting out of bed because of someone who died after hitting his head on the dresser while getting up.

    It's stupid.

    So go ahead and have a laugh. Laugh often and laugh hard. And laugh at anyone who tells you not to laugh.

  2. How probiotics can ease stress and anxiety

    Boost your mood and gut at the same time

    Merry Christmas. I hope you're enjoying some time relaxing with the family today -- but if you're like too many people, the holidays also bring plenty of stress.

    So here's my Christmas present to you: A safe, easy and natural way to fight stress, depression, anxiety, in-laws and other mood disorders -- even depression -- and improve your gut health at the same time.

    They're being called "psychobiotics," which sounds like a catchy nickname created by a marketing department somewhere.

    In reality, they're just certain types of probiotics -- friendly bacteria that live in your gut, but in this case they do more than just help improve digestion and fight infection.

    They can help boost your mood -- and one new review of the research finds that taking them for just 30 days can ease stress and slash your levels of cortisol, the hormone released in response to stress (and in-laws).

    Another study finds mood improvements in as little as three weeks, and other studies in the review show how psychobiotics can ease everything from anxiety to chronic fatigue syndrome.

    The researchers are calling for more studies on this. Fine; let them research it to their belly's content.

    But don't waste your own time waiting for the results, because I can tell you right now that you almost certainly need a probiotic. Most people do, because the modern diet and meds such as antibiotics -- including antibiotics hidden in food -- have left our guts dangerously unbalanced.

    And that's true even if you're not yet showing any warning signs -- physical or mental.

    So be proactive about probiotics.

    The best natural sources include raw milk, cheese and yogurt (real yogurt, not that "fruit at the bottom" garbage).

    You can also take supplements. And if you're interested in a psychobiotic, the early word is that Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and B longum can fight stress and L rhamnosus will ease anxiety.

    For in-laws, I recommend turning out the lights and pretending you're not home.

  3. Veg-heavy diet leads to depression

    A diet rich in greens can leave you deficient in iron, boosting your risk of depression by 700 percent, according to one new study.
  4. Anger fits boost heart risk

    People who throw temper tantrums have a much higher risk of a heart attack than people who stay calm.
  5. Carbs in new dementia link

    Seniors who eat the most carbs have a 400 percent higher risk of cognitive impairment -- while those who eat the most fats and proteins have a lower risk.
  6. How animal fats and nutrients keep your brain functioning

    The B vitamins found in meats are proven again to be the best natural source of brain protection around.
  7. Foods that will leave you depressed

    A new study confirms that a life of junk will leave you battling the blues. Spanish researchers tracked nearly 9,000 people without depression at the start of the study. Six months later, however, 493 were diagnosed with the condition -- and many of them were even taking meds for it.
  8. How shock therapy beats depression

    Nothing will get you branded a quack faster than vocal support of shock therapy -- so here I go again: Quack, quack. Now, a new study backs me up on this as researchers for the first time have identified exactly how it is that shock therapy helps the brain overcome depression.
  9. Fat feels good

    A new study finds that nothing can raise spirits quite like fats -- but naturally, the media managed to botch the story completely, giving credit to the worst sorts of junk food.

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