1. Oxygen could reverse stroke damage

    New therapy could revolutionize stroke recovery

    The only thing worse than suffering a stroke is recovering from one. It's a long and painful process, and sometimes even years of intensive rehab and therapy can't undo all the damage.

    There's not a drug in the world that can speed the process, even if stroke victims are given plenty of them anyway.

    But there's one thing that CAN help -- something that's all around you right now: oxygen.

    In a series of revolutionary experiments, oxygen was so effective at reversing stroke damage that it even restored life to parts of the brain long given up for dead.

    The only problem with oxygen-as-therapy is that you can't just take a few deep breaths and start to heal -- because the damage from the stroke means your brain isn't getting enough oxygen the old-fashioned way in the first place.

    So in the new experiments, the oxygen was delivered in pressurized chambers, 90 minutes a day, five days a week, for two months. It increased blood oxygen levels by 10 times, allowing it to reach and restore the brain.

    It led to real improvements in both neurological function and the all-important quality of life, in both patients who started the treatments immediately as well as patients in a control group that had to delay therapy as part of the study.

    The only risks included some ear pain due to the pressurization and, for patients with history of seizures, mild convulsions -- something to consider, sure, but I'd say those risks are pretty minor compared to the benefit of getting your life back.

    Of course, the researchers say more study is needed. They always say that -- but if you or a loved one is recovering from a stroke, you want help NOW. Speak to a naturopathic physician about hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

  2. The hormone that'll save your heart

    Why testosterone isn't just for men

    The moment I write the word "testosterone," I can sense all my female readers skipping ahead to the next story.

    Do so at your own risk because the so-called manly hormone isn't just for male sexual health and sports cheats. EVERYONE needs it -- and a new study proves what I've been saying all along: It's positively critical for heart health.

    Some 200 patients battling heart failure were given either testosterone supplementation (via patches, gels, or injections) or a placebo for between 12 weeks and a year.

    Those who got the hormones were able to walk 50 percent further -- 177 extra feet on average -- and had higher levels of oxygen in their bodies during a six-minute walking test when compared to those on the placebo.

    I realize that 177 feet may not sound like much if you've never suffered a serious heart problem before. But trust me, for someone recovering from heart failure it's a world of difference.

    It can be the difference between getting out and staying in. And who the heck wants to stay in?

    Although most of the patients in the study were men, researchers say it's pretty obvious the benefits extend to women.

    No kidding.

    I was prescribing testosterone supplementation for women probably before those researchers were even born, because the benefits in men and women alike go way beyond 177 extra feet of walking power.

    Just don't wait for the heart to fail to boost your own levels of the hormone -- because testosterone can help prevent heart problems from happening in the first place. Since testosterone also helps keep blood flowing, it can ward off strokes as well.

    And if you're a lady, here's a couple more reasons to make sure you've got enough: Testosterone can keep osteoporosis at bay and even prevent breast cancer.

    Women need levels between 50 and 100 nanograms per cc. Don't go any higher; this stuff will literally put hair on your chest if you do. Gents, you need about 10 times as much -- for your heart and, of course, "down there."

    A doc who knows his hormones can get you sorted out and back on track no matter if you're a man or a woman.

  3. What apnea really looks like

    Want to see something really scary? Check out this video. 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.
  4. Dementia-apnea link? Not so fast!

    Resting easy? No such thing when you're battling the nightly airless misery of sleep apnea. But let's not get carried away over a new study that links this breath-robbing condition to dementia, either -- because there's a lot more to this one than meets the eye.
  5. Green tea battles Alzheimer's

    Another study on green tea has found that it could be a weapon in the battle against Alzheimer's disease.
  6. Pass the salt!

    The lie that salt is bad for you has achieved "common knowledge" status among the misled public.

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