1. Vitamins boost brainpower

    Multis and B vitamins supercharge your brain

    Big Pharma has pumped billions into the hunt for a brain-boosting drug, and all they have to show for it so far is a bunch of tax write-offs.

    But there is something you can pop right now to get your brain juices flowing, and it's the cheap little pills you should be taking anyway -- your daily vitamins.

    A series of new studies in the British Journal of Nutrition, Psychopharmacology, and Human Psychopharmacology finds that ordinary vitamins -- like the kind I hope you're already taking -- can increase your mental powers.

    And if you're not taking one now, it's not too late to start -- because the benefits kick in after just a few weeks.

    In one of the studies, researchers found that women given multivitamin and mineral supplements improved in both accuracy and speed on multitasking tests. Children between the ages of 8 and 14 showed better accuracy in tests that require attention.

    And for men, a B complex was enough to boost their scores on cognitive tests and improve their mental vigor so they weren't "worn out" at the end of those tests.

    This is nothing new, of course, especially the part about the B vitamins. I've recommended B6, B12, and folate for brainpower and dementia protection in men and women alike for years now -- and if you're not taking a quality B complex yet, add one today.

    But don't stop there.

    Be sure to add some of my other favorites, like the omega-3 fatty acids. In another of the new studies, brain scans revealed that people who took between 1 and 2 grams daily of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA had increased blood flow to the brain.

    That's a sure sign of big-time long-haul benefits -- and a reason why studies have shown that lifelong fish eaters have healthier brains and a lower risk of dementia than people who don't eat fish.

    So whether you're interested in long-term brain protection or just want a boost for next month's Scrabble rematch, follow mom's advice -- and don't forget to take your vitamins.

    By the way, there's one other nutrient you need for brain protection, and you're almost certainly not getting enough. I'll have all the details this summer in my Douglass Report newsletter.

    Don't miss out -- subscribe now.

  2. When two-for-one is a bad deal

    Aspirin-Prilosec duo brings double the risk

    Pills and more pills. First you've got the pills you're supposed to take, and then you've got the pills you've got to take to deal with the side effects from the first ones.

    It would be comical if it weren't so deadly.

    Now, one company is trying to solve the problem -- not by cutting down on meds or making them safer, but by putting both a drug and the drug for its side effects together in one mega-pill.

    How's that for missing the point?

    The first drug is the aspirin millions of heart patients are told to take every day despite all the clear risks. These drugs have a long list of side effects, one of which is that daily use can leave your stomach in shreds.

    If that's not enough, aspirin can cause heartburn -- so the second drug in the new pill is Prilosec, a proton pump inhibitor that's even more dangerous than aspirin.

    As I've been warning you, PPIs can actually make stomach acid problems worse in the long run. It's a problem so common it has its own name: "acid rebound."

    PPIs can also mess with your stomach acid levels so badly that some studies have found a link to the serious infection Clostridium difficile, and they're known to block the absorption of critical nutrients, including calcium and magnesium.

    There's even evidence PPIs block aspirin, which could be why the new pill isn't the standard 81mg "baby" aspirin given to heart patients. It's a whopping 325mg instead.

    So maybe you'll avoid the heartburn -- for now -- but at that dose, you'll have a much better chance of battling the many other side effects of aspirin, such as gastrointestinal bleeding and tinnitus.

    What's crazy about all this is I'm sure the drug will be a big seller despite the fact that there's a much easier way to avoid heartburn and all the other risks of aspirin: Don't take the darned aspirin in the first place!

    Ordinary cod liver oil can thin the blood every bit as effectively with none of the risks -- and you won't need a second pill to counteract it.

  3. The two-in-one med that's double the trouble

    Diabetics, you know the score: The more pills you take... the sicker you get. Well, now Merck wants to "help." They're cutting back on the number of pills -- but don't get too excited: They're not actually reducing the number of drugs.
  4. Pain in the aspirin

    Like variety? Then you'll love aspirin -- because there are so many ways it can send you to the ER or even kill you.

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