More On The Blue Zones

A recent article published in The New York Times is entitled “The Island Where People Forget To Die.” In this fascinating true story, the author writes about Stamatis Moraitis, a Greek American who returned to his native island of Ikaria after a diagnosis of terminal lung cancer in his mid-60’s. That was in 1976; although Moraitis hoped for nothing more than a peaceful death on the island that he loved, he instead found his way back to health. Today, at 97, Moraitis continues to thrive on Ikaria.

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Dandelion: Much More Than A Weed

My oldest coffee mug is decorated with a big picture of a dandelion and emblazoned with: “If you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em.”

Many people consider the humble dandelion to be a pesky weed, and attempt to eradicate it from their lawns and gardens with toxic herbicides. But no matter how many poisonous chemicals are dumped onto dandelions, the bright yellow flowering plants not only survive, they thrive.

The scientific name for dandelion is Taraxacum officinale, which translates as “the official remedy for disorders,” acknowledging the esteemed position that dandelion has held as a medicinal herb. For centuries, dandelion (both the leaf and root) has been used in traditional healing in cultures around the world.

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Are Statins Safe?

Hand with Heart

The straightforward answer to this question is “NO.” Statins are not benign, health protective medications, as the pharmaceutical companies would have you believe. If the decision were left up to the makers of Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, Pravachol, and other cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins would be prescribed for every American (including children), handed out with fast-food meals, and added to our water supply. I’m not exaggerating—these absurd measures have actually been suggested at one time or another. The pharmaceutical industry, mainstream medicine, and even many governmental agencies are pushing the belief that lowering cholesterol (most often with statins) is the best way to protect against heart disease.

As a result, statins have become wildly popular drugs, so much so that Lipitor is the world’s all-time biggest selling prescription medication. An astonishing one out of every four Americans over the age of 45 currently takes a statin drug.

It’s time to dispel some popular myths regarding cholesterol, heart disease, and statin drugs.

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Does Surgery Spread Cancer?

When someone is confronted with a diagnosis of cancer, in the vast majority of cases doctors recommend surgery—often, as quickly as possible. The goal is to remove the cancer, with the hope that the person can go on to live a normal, cancer-free life. But unfortunately, the reality is often otherwise. For far too many people, cancer recurs; either at the primary site, or the cancer metastasizes, arising at sites distant from where the cancer originated, often in life-threatening areas, such as the lung, liver, brain, or bone.

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The Many Benefits of Herbal Adaptogens

“Feel better! Have more energy! Live longer!” Sounds like a late night infomercial, or the claims made for patent medicines in the late 1800’s, doesn’t it?

But in truth, there is a class of herbs that will increase your energy, help to prevent disease, and even likely extend your lifespan. These herbs are called “adaptogens”, and I recommend them to everyone for increasing vitality and well-being.

Adaptogens got their name from their unique ability to buffer the effects of stress—they actually help the body adapt more readily to the demands of life. Everyone experiences stress, whether it’s everyday worries about work, money, and relationships; the physical demands of athletic competition; or the emotional and physical stressors of chronic illness.

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Herbs and Nutrients to Keep Your Memory Sharp

If you’ve ever walked into a room and couldn’t remember why you were there; misplaced your keys (or even your car in a parking lot); or forgotten the name of an acquaintance, you might have momentarily wondered if you were losing your mind. If you’re over the age of 50, you might even be seriously concerned about the possibility of Alzheimer’s.

It’s a valid concern. According to the 2008 Alzheimer’s Association figures, more than five million Americans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, approximately 500,000 Americans under the age of 65 suffer from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

Although a decline in memory and brain function is generally regarded as an inevitable part of growing older, in reality, brain aging is caused by poor cerebral circulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, oxidative damage, and decreased levels of anabolic-repair hormones, including DHEA and testosterone. All of these factors contribute to changes in the brain that lead to neuronal degeneration and cognitive impairment.

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