Women's Health

  1. Heart disease boosts brain risk

    Heart attack doubles risk of cognitive decline

    They say men think with their you-know-whats and women think with their hearts -- and now we've got proof of at least the second half of that: New research finds heart problems can lead to thinking problems in women.

    Ladies, a heart attack will double your risk of cognitive problems such as memory loss or a decline in thinking skills, and heart disease will boost that risk by nearly a third.

    Bypass surgery, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes and more will also up those odds, according to the study in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

    I was half kidding with what I said earlier about men and women; the only reason the study finds the link in women alone is that it looked at only senior women. I'm sure you'd find similar numbers for men, because heart problems and brain problems often go hand-in-hand in men and women alike.

    Heart problems often involve inflammation, and inflammation alone is a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. The heart also pumps blood and oxygen to the brain (and everywhere else, for that matter). And when the brain doesn't get enough, it starts to starve.

    Heart problems can also disrupt the production of the cerebrospinal fluid needed to clear toxins from the brain.

    That's the downside.

    But I'm not here to be a downer. There's GOOD news here, and that's the simple fact that protecting your heart today will save your brain tomorrow.

    The answer is easy-peasy: Eat more animal fat. These healthy fats will protect your heart (and your brain, by the way, which is practically made of fat). While you're at it, limit the carbs and avoid sugars and you'll have a healthy heart and a brain so sharp you'll never have to think with your you-know-what again.

  2. Fight cataracts with these nutrients

    The key to saving your vision

    If your eyes feel like they need a defogger, then you've probably got cataracts.

    You're hardly alone. Some 20 million seniors -- and half of everyone over the age of 80 -- are peering through cataract haze right now.

    If you don't have them yet, let's keep it that way. You can start by boosting your intake of antioxidants, because new research finds these critical nutrients can slash your cataract risk.

    The healing power of antioxidants is built right into the name: they fight the damage caused by oxidative stress -- precisely the damage that leads to cataracts.

    As a result, the study finds women who get the most of these nutrients from diet have a 13 percent lower risk of the condition. (If the study bothered with men, I'm sure it would've found the same thing.)

    That sounds a little on the low side to me, and that's because it didn't look specifically at the best antioxidants for eye protection -- only total antioxidants. So if you REALLY want to make sure you don't get the condition, focus on the great granddaddy of all antioxidants: vitamin C.

    One major study found that every 1 mg/dl boost in blood levels of C will slash your cataract risk by more than a quarter.

    If you want to up your own intake, pass on the orange juice. It's more sugar than C. The best food sources of this vitamin aren't oranges anyway -- they're bell peppers, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

    To get what you really need, however, take a supplement. Shoot for at least 1,200 mg per day. If you find it makes you gassy, split the dose into 600 mg twice a day or 400 mg three times a day.

  3. Vitamin D can cure cancer

    Vitamin D can cause cancer cells to turn into harmless cells -- preventing and even curing the disease.
  4. Beware the 'female Viagra'

    The drug industry is pushing a new sex med aimed at women -- but this one packs more problems than solutions.
  5. Multivitamins beat breast cancer

    Taking a multivitamin with minerals can slash your breast cancer risk by nearly a third.
  6. Heart attack without chest pain

    Heart attacks and acute coronary syndrome can strike without chest pain, especially in women, according to new research.
  7. Women need testosterone

    Testosterone might be the "manly" hormone, but new research confirms that older women can benefit from supplements as well.
  8. Some docs should avoid saying 'cancer'

    Not all cancers will kill you, and many won't even hurt you -- but when docs throw around the "c" word, people panic and want treatment... especially breast cancer patients.
  9. Breastfeeding slashes risk of obesity

    Children breastfed for at least six months are less likely to be obese by the age of 8 than kids given formula, according to new research.
  10. Eating fish can prevent rheumatoid

    Women who eat fish are less likely to get rheumatoid arthritis -- and women with the highest omega-3 levels have half the risk of the disease.

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