What You Must Know Before You Cut Carbs

A large new study has just confirmed what I’ve been saying for years: Mainstream medicine’s diet advice is largely bunk.

I recently wrote to you about how saturated fats aren’t the main culprits in heart disease… sugar is. Now this big study confirms that carbs (sugar is a carbohydrate) are also what make you fat.

In fact, getting a third of your calories from fats may actually promote a longer life than eating a low-fat diet. While eating a high-carb diet actually boosts your risk of early death.

With obesity at epidemic levels, I’m worried folks may simply replace carbs with fats. But before you do, you need to know a few details. Details your doctor – who may still be on the low-fat bandwagon – may not have learned yet.

Because there’s a better, safer way to lose weight. But first…

Is the Ketogenic Diet for You?

Over the last few years, so-called ketogenic diets have become more popular. These are diets designed to trigger your body to burn fat instead of carbs for energy.

There are a lot of good points in favor of these diets. But they have drawbacks, too. To begin with, it can take weeks to train your body to depend on fat as its main source of energy. And you may not feel great while you make the adjustment.

Studies show these high-fat diets boost your body’s oxygen demand, which can lead to lower physical performance. If you’re counting on working out to boost your weight loss, that could be a consideration.

New information published in The Journal of Physiology showed a ketogenic diet also caused the livers in test animals to grow fattier. The number of mitochondria – cellular “energy factories” – in their liver cells also dropped.

In the past, I’ve suggested a ketogenic diet might be worth trying for some people. But with this new information, I’d give these high-fat options a pass.

So how do you safely lose weight?

Balance Is Everything

I don’t recommend a high-protein diet. But I do recommend ensuring you get enough lean protein. Which is probably more than you’re getting now.

I’m not talking about greasy burgers. Instead, think of free-range poultry… grass fed beef or lamb… and wild-caught fish.

Three to four 3-ounce servings of these protein foods are a good start on a healthy diet. Especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Because a little extra protein will help you preserve lean muscle while you lose fat.

A low-carb diet with a little added protein helps you feel fuller longer… triggers loss of at least as much weight as a low-fat diet… promotes lean muscle growth… and helps you lower triglyceride (a type of blood fat) levels better than a low-fat diet.

Some studies have shown a faster drop in fat mass with a higher protein diet, too.

You can lose weight on a low-fat diet… but it may not offer the health benefits of a low-carb diet.

Focus on fresh vegetables, a moderate amount of fruit and lean protein, and eat as few refined carbs as you can. Tree nuts make a good snack. Or an ounce or so of hard cheese. You’ll get plenty of fat eating this way… but without getting fat.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


“International study shows moderate consumption of fats and carbohydrates best for health,” McMaster University, via Eurekalert.org. Aug 29, 2017.

Burke, L.M., et al, “Low carbohydrate, high fat diet impairs exercise economy and negates the performance benefit from intensified training in elite race walkers,” J Physiol. May 1, 2017; 595(9): 2785-2807.

Kurosaka, Y., et al, “Characterization of fat metabolism in the fatty liver caused by a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet: A study under equal energy conditions,” Biochem Biophys Res Commun. May 20, 2017; 487(1): 41-46.

Layman, D.K., et al, “A Reduced Ratio of Dietary Carbohydrate to Protein Improves Body Composition and Blood Lipid Profiles during Weight Loss in Adult Women,” J. Nutr. Feb 1, 2003; 133(2): 411-417.

Noakes, M., et al, “Effect of an energy-restricted, high-protein, low-fat diet relative to a conventional high- carbohydrate, low-fat diet on weight loss, body composition, nutritional status, and markers of cardiovascular health in obese women,” Am J Clin Nutr. Jun 2005; 81(6): 1298-1306.

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This Dirty Drug Secret Plays Russian Roulette With Your Health

Imagine for a moment you need a car. You have a certain model in mind. It’s absolutely perfect: price, performance, and features. But the dealer only has one in stock… and it has no windshield.

“Look,” the salesman says, “buy the car today, and we’ll install the windshield as soon as we get one in stock.”

He knocks a point off the interest rate on your loan, throws in free tires for life… and you sign on the dotted line. The car isn’t quite perfect, but how long can it take to get a new windshield?

In our little scenario here, the answer is maybe up to 12 years. Or, worse, there is no windshield… and there never will be.

Welcome to the exciting world of fast-tracked drugs. Where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves drugs before they’re fully proven. With the promise the maker will deliver the proof in a reasonable amount of time.

Except they often don’t. Or provide inadequate proof. Or finally reveal the drug is unsafe or simply doesn’t work.

But don’t worry. It’s only a problem if you – or anyone you know and love – have to take the drug. Then you’re immersed in a giant game of Russian roulette.

What’s going on here?

Fast-Track Is Great in Theory

Big Pharma puts a lot of effort into developing billion-dollar drugs. Drugs that hit two targets are especially profitable…

  • Many people are affected by a health issue, and
  • There’s no known cure or especially effective treatment for the condition.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a good example. About 10 million Americans carry the defective gene that causes this disease. And tens of thousands of them suffer with CF.

The problem gene causes thick, sticky mucous to build up in organs – with the lungs and digestion most often affected. Medical advances have extended the lives of folks with CF. But just a few years ago; the average life expectancy of someone with CF was 12 years. And those years were miserable.

The FDA developed their fast-track program for diseases like this. A drug company may develop a promising drug for CF… but jumping through the FDA’s normal hoops can take years. Years during which people may be suffering needlessly.

So drugs that show promise early on for diseases in desperate need of an effective treatment can be fast-tracked. The deal being that the drug company has to provide the rest of the proof within a reasonable span of time.

And that’s where the trouble starts.

… but Often Sucks in Practice

Let’s say you’re a Big Pharma executive. Your company developed a CF drug, and the FDA has approved its use via the fast-track process. Now you’re making money hand-over-fist with a rare FDA-approved drug for this awful disease.

Your shareholders are happy. But they still expect another big winner to be in the pipeline. Here’s where fast tracking seems to go wrong. Because once that drug is in play, there’s less incentive to focus on follow-up trials.

A study of cancer drugs approved under the FDA’s fast-track approval process looked at drugs approved between 1992 and 2010. The drugs proved useful for 26 of the 47 “indications” originally approved. But the follow-up studies on these drugs took up to 12.6 years to complete.

Meanwhile, the drugs were found to be useless for 21 – almost half – of their applications.

A researcher in India uncovered weaknesses in the fast-track system from half a world away. But his research was strong enough to be included in the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s files.

This scientist found, “Many drugs that are relatively new to the market [find] their way out as fast as they entered it.”

He found the FDA sometimes approved drugs based on “trivial” data submitted by marketers. He also listed a number of quickly approved drugs that had to be withdrawn for serious side effects.

More Fast-Track Problems Uncovered by Top Experts

If I told you the London School of Economics and Harvard Medical School had a problem with the FDA’s fast-track process, you’d probably take note. These are two of the most trusted academic institutions in the world.

Scientists from these two schools published fast-track concerns in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers looked at drugs given fast-track approval between 2009 and 2013. And they found some disturbing trends…

  • Post-approval studies tended to be small (less reliable)
  • Only 42% of post-approval trials showed the drugs were effective
  • One-third of the original benefit claims remained unproven after 5 years

Finally, a study published in BMJ – formerly the British Medical Journal. This flagship medical journal published a study from Yale, Harvard, and other leading medical sources. The results weren’t pretty…

Speaking to FDA fast-track approval, the study found “… few controlled studies published after approval that confirmed efficacy using clinical outcomes for the original FDA approved indication.”

In other words, fast-track approval can have little connection to reality.

So, what’s your best option? Probably taking the approach that many in the medical profession do. And that’s to avoid taking any drug that’s been on the market less than 5 years. (Fast-tracked or not.)

Then, there’s at least a fair chance any problems will have already come out.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


Johnson, J.R., et al, “Accelerated approval of oncology products: the food and drug administration experience,” J Natl Cancer Inst. Apr 20, 2011; 103(8): 636-644.

Chary, K.V., “Expedited drug review process: Fast, but flawed,” J Pharmacol Pharmacother. Apr-Jun 2016; 7(2): 57–61.

Naci, H., et al, “Characteristics of Preapproval and Postapproval Studies for Drugs Granted Accelerated Approval by the US Food and Drug Administration,” JAMA. Aug 15, 2017; 318(7): 626-636.

Pease, A.M., et al, “Postapproval studies of drugs initially approved by the FDA on the basis of limited evidence: systematic review,” BMJ. May 3, 2017; 357: j1680.


© Copyright 2017 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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The Big Fat Lie That Can Wreck Your Heart

For some 60 years, it’s been the bedrock of nutrition and health. Just ask your doctor. He (or she) will tell you: Saturated fats raise your cholesterol. And that raises your risk of heart disease. And your chances of dying young.

There’s just one little problem with this advice. It’s probably a lie.

Not that your doctor will budge an inch – even after she (or he) reads the facts. Which he (or she) probably hasn’t. In medical school, they’re taught that saturated fats are bad. And that’s where it usually ends.

So what is the truth? Well, it’s not cut and dried. But there’s good research out there showing saturated fats simply aren’t behind the heart disease epidemic. But it all starts with one landmark study…

The “Seven Countries” Study – and Why It’s Untrustworthy

Ancel Keys was a well-known and respected physiologist. In the 1950s, he led the famous “Seven Countries” study that linked saturated fat (sat fat) to heart disease.

In Keys’ study, people with the highest intakes of sat fats also had the highest rates of heart disease. And with data from seven countries, the evidence seemed overwhelming.

But a couple of problems have come out.

First, Keys didn’t have data from just seven countries. He had data from many others. But his study only included the countries where sat fat appeared linked to heart disease.

Second, Keys study was observational. That is, he relied on second-hand reports and statistics, not on actual in-person experiments. At best, the Seven Countries Study could suggest a link… but not show a cause.

Finally, many other studies have come to a different conclusion. Including more rigorous and exacting studies.

In fact, the data behind an overlooked study from the 1970s has just been uncovered. And it sheds a whole new light on the sat fat debate. It’s the most rigorous study on sat fat and heart risk to date. And it found the opposite of Dr. Keys’ results.

Sat Fats – Not So Evil After All

The 1970s study – led by Dr. Ivan Frantz – followed 9,423 for nearly 5 years. Because all the volunteers lived in institutions, Dr. Frantz was able to control exactly what they ate.

The volunteers were put into one of 3 groups. The first group ate a standard diet including average levels of sat fats. The second group ate foods with a set amount of sat fats replaced with unsaturated plant fats. In the third group’s diet, doctors replaced twice as much sat fat as in the second group’s food.

Sure enough, cutting sat fat lowered cholesterol. An average of about 14%. But it didn’t cut the risk of clogged arteries. Or heart attack.

In fact, for every 30-point drop in total cholesterol, the risk of early death went up by 22%.

Yet this study – considered far stronger than Keys’ earlier work by today’s standards – only saw print in one small journal article. And most of the supporting data didn’t see the light of day until this year.

Oddly enough, Ancel Keys actually worked on this overlooked study. But never changed his tune about sat fat and heart risk.

Of course, not every study disagrees with Keys landmark “Seven Countries” study. But there have only been 5 other randomized, controlled trials testing for a link between sat fat and heart risk. And none managed to find one.

What Does the Science Say?

As I said, we don’t have universal agreement. But a remarkable number of studies say cutting sat fat is not the solution.

A 2015 study from Ontario’s McMaster University is typical.

These Canadian researchers didn’t find any link between sat fats and “death, heart disease, stroke, or Type 2 diabetes.” But they did find a link.

With trans fats.

In other words, every time mainstream medicine told you to swap margarine for butter, they were boosting your risk of heart trouble.

A cardiology specialist at London’s Croydon University Hospital reported much the same in the British Medical Journal. He pointed out:

  1. Keys’ research was only observational, which cannot show cause.
  2. Swapping polyunsaturated fats for sat fats does lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, but…
  3. It only lowers levels of large (Type A) LDL, and not the smaller, denser – and far more dangerous – Type B particles.

Finally, a team including experts from the University of California and the Harvard School of Public Health weighed in. They found…

  1. Swapping sat fats for polyunsaturated fats hasn’t been shown consistently to lower heart risk
  2. This swap also lowers levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Which lowers your body’s ability to clear LDL cholesterol from arteries.
  3. Substituting carbs – especially refined carbs – for sat fats can make the problem even worse by raising your risk of clogged arteries, insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes.

So, what should you do?

Promoting Greater Heart Health – and a Longer Life

First, don’t focus all your attention on lowering cholesterol. Or on your saturated fat intake. One number – or one nutrient – isn’t the answer to good health.

You need cholesterol. It’s a key building block of cell walls. And your diet has a limited impact on cholesterol levels. Unless you tend to excess.

Eat a variety of richly colored vegetables. A moderate amount of fruit. And 3 – 4 servings of lean protein foods daily. (3 ounces is considered a serving.) Focus on grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and other meats raised naturally. They’re higher in essential nutrients.

Try to get at least two protein servings a week from wild-caught fatty fish – such as salmon or mackerel. They provide significant amounts of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.

If you don’t have a reliable source of wild-caught fatty fish, consider a fish oil supplement. The EPA and DHA they contain offer many heart-health benefits.

Keep carbs – especially refined carbs – to a minimum. Ditto for added sugars. These foods are your heart’s enemies.

The important point is not to buy into the big fat lie the mainstream has pushed for the last 60 years or so.

Cutting sat fats won’t magically protect you from heart trouble. In fact, sat fats may not be the problem at all. Lowering cholesterol isn’t a useful goal… unless you know which type you’re lowering. And diets based on B.S. – like the Seven Countries Study – won’t get you anywhere.

Instead, focus on eating habits that optimize health. To get the right balance, you may have to take a few supplements. But, in the end, it’s better than giving in to a big fat lie that could wreck your heart.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


Begley, S. “Records Found in Dusty Basement Undermine Decades of Dietary Advice,” Scientific American. Apr 19, 2017.

“Trans Fats, but Not Saturated Fats, Linked to Greater Risk of Death and Heart Disease,” McMaster University, via Newswise.com. Aug 7, 2015.

Malhotra, A., “Saturated fat is not the major issue,” BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6340.

Siri-Tarino, P.W., et al, “Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease,” Am J Clin Nutr. Mar 2010; 91(3): 502–509.


© Copyright 2017 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Nature’s “Secret” Defense Against Cancer

Mainstream medicine wants you to think you only exotic drugs battle cancer. But there’s a simple, natural answer that blocks cancer from developing. Which could save you a lot of pain… and a fortune in treatment costs.

This may explain why the mainstream doesn’t endorse this simple, safe, and natural cancer buster.

In the next few moments, I’ll reveal what this anti-cancer substance is. And how you can use it to boost your chances of avoiding years of suffering and a painful end.

Insanely Effective Protection

Most health professionals look at scientific studies for answers to health questions. You probably do, too.

So when someone publishes a recipe… you might be a little skeptical.

Unless, of course, that “someone” is the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Dana Farber is one of the most respected cancer research centers in the world. Yet they’ve published a remarkably simple cancer-fighting soup recipe on their website.

What kind of soup could this be? Perhaps some sort of chemo-drug soup?

No. It’s creamy tomato soup.

The secret ingredient? Tomatoes. That’s right… tomatoes.

According to Dana Farber, chemicals in tomatoes are linked to a lower risk of cancer.

And they’re not alone.

Research from the Endocrine Society shows how tomatoes may work to fight cancer. They boost levels of certain hormones linked to lower cancer risk.

Eating a tomato-rich diet for 10 weeks raised adiponectin levels by 9%. This hormone helps regulate fat and blood sugar levels. And higher levels of adiponectin are connected to lower risk of certain cancers.

In this study, getting 25 milligrams of lycopene (from tomato) had a bigger impact on cancer risk than getting 40 grams of soy protein.

According to the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine, lycopene has been linked to lower risk of several cancers. They’ve found evidence pancreatic, colon, esophogeal, oral, breast, and cervical cancers may all be linked to lycopene intake.

Getting more lycopene – which is abundant in tomatoes – could lower your risk of all these cancers.

Multiple Benefits – And Perhaps Stronger With Whole Tomato Products

A 2016 study in the journal Tumor Biology is typical. It links lycopene to a lower risk of prostate and breast cancers. Doctors found lycopene blocked enzymes linked to higher cancer risk.

A 2013 study got a little more specific. This study linked lycopene to a lower risk of prostate cancer. But it found whole tomato products were even more effective.

Cooked tomato products lowered prostate cancer risk more than lycopene alone. And raw tomato products were even more effective.

A 2012 review of studies showed lycopene lowers risk of stomach cancer. But a 2015 animal study revealed other tomato substances are involved. This study linked an entirely different tomato ingredient to lower risk of colo-rectal cancer.

In a 2017 study, researchers said they don’t know how tomatoes cut skin cancer risk. But mice given high levels of tomato in their diets were less likely to get skin cancer.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, showed lycopene slashed cancer risk. But they found lycopene was just part of the equation.

The Best Protection Available

Cancer studies seem to show lycopene is an effective way to cut your risk of many cancers.

But studies that compare lycopene to whole tomato products favor whole tomatoes. And not just for cancer prevention.

In 2014, scientists from several hospitals and universities – including the Harvard School of Public Health – looked at lycopene vs. whole tomato. In this case, they looked at heart risk.

The team found whole tomato products delivered better protection than lycopene alone. Lycopene came out on top for blood pressure. But whole tomato products won out for every other measure of heart risk.

So, if you’re looking for a solid defense against cancer, lycopene is a good choice. But you’re probably better off with whole tomato products. The same holds true for heart health.

If you have an issue with acid, lycopene may be a better choice. There are many supplements with lycopene to choose from. If not….

Daily servings of whole tomato products may be one of your best defenses against cancer. Far better than lycopene alone. We’re just scratching the surface of how tomatoes work.

Either way, the evidence suggests you’ll cut your cancer risk… safely, naturally, and without serious side effects.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


“Creamy Tomato Soup,” Dana Farber Cancer Institute. 2017.

“Diet Rich in Tomatoes May Lower Breast Cancer Risk,” Endocrine Society. 2013.

“How Lycopene Helps Protect Against Cancer,” Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Assar, E., et al, “Lycopene acts through inhibition of IκB kinase to suppress NF-κB signaling in human prostate and breast cancer cells,” Tumor Biology. Jul 2016; 37(7): 9375–9385.

Chen, J., et al, “Lycopene/tomato consumption and the risk of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies,” J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2013; 59(3): 213-223.

Yang, T., et al, “The role of tomato products and lycopene in the prevention of gastric cancer: A meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies,” Medical Hypotheses. Apr 2013; 80(4): 383-388.

Kim, S. P., et al, “The Tomato Glycoalkaloid α-Tomatine Induces Caspase-Independent Cell Death in Mouse Colon Cancer CT-26 Cells and Transplanted Tumors in Mice,” J. Agric. Food Chem., 2015; 63(4): 1142–1150.

Copperstone, J.L., et al, “Tomatoes protect against development of UV-induced keratinocyte carcinoma via metabolomics alterations,” Scientific Reports 7. Article number: 5106 (2017).

Basu, A. and Imrhan, V., “Tomatoes versus lycopene in oxidative stress and carcinogenesis: conclusions from clinical trials,” Eur J Clin Nutr. Mar 2007; 61(3): 295-303.

Burton-Fereeman, B.M. and Sesso, H.D., “Whole Food versus Supplement: Comparing the Clinical Evidence of Tomato Intake and Lycopene Supplementation on Cardiovascular Risk Factors,” Adv Nutr. Sep 2014; 5: 457-485.


© Copyright 2017 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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You’re in Big Pharma’s Cross Hairs Again

There’s a good reason if you sometimes feel like you have a target on your back. You do.

Big Pharma put you in their sights back in November 2013. That’s when the latest cholesterol guidelines were published.

The expansion would have added 13 million Americans to those taking statin drugs. Including half the population between 40 and 75. It also called for larger doses of statins in many cases.

That’s not news. But the tactic their allies are using is. It comes right out of the political playbook. They’re using smears and name-calling. Like a recent press article calling opponents of expanded statin use “science deniers.”

This may not sound like much. But it could have serious effects. Because, you see, the smears cover the truth about statins.

They’re not all they’re cracked up to be. Here’s what the mainstream doesn’t want you to know…

What They’re Not Telling You About Cholesterol

First, let me go on record as agreeing very high cholesterol isn’t a good thing. But your doctor probably doesn’t even measure the number that may matter most. And that’s oxidized LDL cholesterol. That’s the real culprit behind plaque build-up.

You doctor may not have discussed your cholesterol ratio, either. And that’s another important number. HDL – or “good” – cholesterol helps clear excess LDL out of your system. So if you have more HDL in relation to LDL, your risk of heart trouble may be lower.

Finally, here’s something I can almost guarantee your doctor hasn’t mentioned. In fact, he probably doesn’t even know it. It’s a percentage…

75%

That’s the percentage of people who had “good” or “ideal” LDL levels in a 2009 study from the University of California, Los Angeles. Why is that meaningful? Because these 136,905 people had all been hospitalized for heart attacks. Healthy LDL levels didn’t protect them.

Of course, the mainstream immediately called for lowering target LDL numbers. But this study isn’t exactly an outlier.

 “Science Deniers”… or “Truth Speakers”?

Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital has a world-class reputation. Doctors there often work hand-in-hand with top scientists from Harvard University.

Apparently, it’s also a breeding ground for “science deniers.” Because two researchers there ran the numbers on the latest cholesterol guidelines… and discovered the calculations are off. Way off.

In fact, they found the calculations could overestimate your heart risk by up to 150%.

Last year, 16 researchers from hospitals and universities around the world reviewed the effects of LDL cholesterol in people over 60. They looked at 16 studies with 68,094 total subjects. Their findings were unpopular in the drug industry.

You see, they found that most adults over 60 with higher LDL cholesterol live as long – or longer – than those with low LDL.

Writing in The World Journal of Cardiology in 2015, two researchers also pointed out, “Often overlooked is the fact that numerous studies of cholesterol lowering have failed to demonstrate a mortality benefit and the benefits of statins may have been overstated.”

Who are these two science deniers? One is a cardiologist at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. The other teaches medicine at France’s University of Grenoble.

And speaking of overstated benefits, there’s the 2016 review that looked at seven large statin trials. On average, taking statin drugs cut the subjects’ risk of death by 0.49%. And, no, that decimal point isn’t a mistake. Statins, on average boosted survival rates by less than a half-percent.

Should You Take Statin Drugs?

Doctors today seem to be trained to turn to drugs first. Losing a few pounds, exercising more, and eating a healthier diet can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and more. And these actions come with numerous side benefits.

Foods like garlic and red yeast rice are also proven to lower cholesterol levels. The fact is, you have many natural options… and they work for most people.

If your doctor suggests statins to lower your cholesterol, don’t be afraid to discuss natural options. They’re effective… they can save you a small fortune… and most don’t have the negative side effects linked to statin use.

Side effects? Muscle pain is the most common. But statins also lower your CoQ10 levels, which may harm your mitochondria – the tiny “energy factories” in your cells. And studies have found statin use may also raise your risk of Type II diabetes.

Finally, a study published in Expert Review in Clinical Pharmacology found statins may actually contribute to atherosclerosis and heart failure!

If you’re already taking a statin drug, don’t stop without talking to your doctor. But do discuss your options. After all, why spend money on questionable drugs if you don’t have to?

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


“13 million more Americans would take statins if new guidelines followed: Study,” CBS News. Mar 19, 2014.

Champeau, R., “Most heart attack patients’ cholesterol levels di not indicate cardiac risk,” UCLA Newsroom. Jan 12, 2009.

Kotz, D., “Doctors at odds on heart-disease risk calculator,” Boston Globe. Nov 19, 2013.

RAvnskov, U., et al, “Lack of an association or an inverse association between low- density-lipoprotein cholesterol and mortality in the elderly: a systematic review,” MJ Open. Jun 12, 2016; 6(6): e010401.

Warren, J.B., et al, “Cholesterol trials and mortality,” Br J Clin Phamracol. Jul 2016; 82(1): 168-177.

“Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology,” Explore Taylor & Francis Online. Aug 21, 2016.


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This Insurance Industry Secret Could Condemn You to Death

What do you look for in a healthcare plan? If you’re like most people, price is your number one concern.

That’s only natural. Very few people expect to get cancer or have a heart attack. But they clearly see the benefits of saving a few hundred dollars on insurance.

Insurance companies – whose only real goal is profit – understand this. And they’ve come up with all sorts of tricks to provide “cheap” healthcare plans.

One of those tricks is called “narrow networks.” That’s when a health plan has a very limited pool of providers… which helps insurers control costs. And offer you a lower premium.

But there’s a catch. One, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania (UP) found could make the difference between life and death. Here’s what you need to know about narrow networks.

Save a Little Today… Gamble With Your Life Tomorrow

Narrow network plans are popular on healthcare exchanges because they offer a lower cost than most other plans. The UP researchers found something else that was lower in narrow networks.

Top-rated cancer care.

In a survey of 248 plans on the exchanges, about a third qualify as narrow network. That is, they include less than 25% of an area’s providers.

In the wider networks, 34% of included oncologists were affiliated with a top-rated cancer center. In narrow networks, only 17% were.

Which means your chances of getting what’s considered the most advanced cancer care are a lot slimmer in narrow networks. With rare or hard-to-treat cancers, that could decide whether or not you survive.

That’s not the only way you can lose out in a narrow network, either.

Bargain Basement Healthcare

As two surgeons recently wrote in the Neurosurgery Blog, narrow networks have nothing to do with value or quality of care. In these networks, insurers negotiate deep discounts with a handful of healthcare providers. So it’s really about cheap healthcare.

Patients have limited choices. And, in rural areas may have to travel unreasonable distances to find “in network” services.

The Affordable Care Act set standards for network adequacy. It requires plans to provide a network wide enough to ensure necessary care without undue hardship. But the language is vague.

So patents may be barred from top-rated healthcare… or face huge out-of-network costs. They may also have to travel significant distances for individual services (bloodwork, x-rays and CAT scans, etc.) when those services are available nearby… but “out of network.”

This bargain basement approach isn’t limited to the lowest coverage tier on the exchanges. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found 41% of the silver (mid-tier) plans had small or “extra-small” networks.

Here’s a practical example I’ve used before…

You need surgery. You consult with an in-network surgeon. You have the operation done at an in-network hospital. Then you’re hit with an unexpected bill for thousands of dollars, because the anesthesiologist isn’t in your plan’s network.

The narrower the network, the more likely you’ll have this problem. So what can you do?

Be Aware and Be Prepared

First, check with your state’s insurance commission. About half the states have rules requiring – and defining – adequate coverage for at least some marketplace plans.

Second, before you choose a plan, don’t just look at the price and services covered. Check on the in-network healthcare providers. If a plan doesn’t meet your needs, you could easily spend more in out-of-pocket costs than you’ll save on premiums.

Finally, don’t assume that all providers and services at your in-network hospital are covered by your plan. Double-check to ensure you don’t face any nasty surprises.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


“Insured, But Still Barred From Top-Tier Cancer Centers,” MedlinePlus. Jlu 20, 2017.

Benzil, D.L. and Schimer, C.M., “Narrow networks have no connection to quality or value,” Neurosurgery Blog, via KevinMD Blog. Apr 28, 2017.

Polsky, D. and Weiner, J., “The Ski


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Common Chemicals Boost Men’s Risk of Heart Disease and More

Imagine a group of chemicals that protect cancer cells and help them proliferate. That are toxic to your heart. That damages semen quality – even in healthy men.

Next, imagine these chemicals have been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and type II diabetes in men.

Finally, imagine the government watchdog tasked with protecting you from such dangers apparently hasn’t reviewed the science since 2005.

That’s right. 2005. But the science didn’t stop in 2005. And most of it has been disturbing.

Here’s what men need to know to protect themselves against these insidious chemicals.

How About a Side of Heart Disease With That… Everything

Phthalates are plasticizers. That is, they make plastic products more durable, more transparent, and more flexible.

Phthalates are used in tens of thousands of products. Everything from nail polish to toys… from vinyl flooring to blood bags and other medical devices… from shower curtains to shampoos and lotions.

There’s no escaping phthalates because the properties that make them effective plasticizers also enable them to leach out of products into the environment. And into your body. Studies routinely show unnatural levels of phthalates in urine samples from people of all ages and cultures.

Actually, the only natural level of phthalates is zero. And pretty much nobody can claim levels within a country mile of that level anymore.

Now, a brand-new study from Australia shows phthalates are even more dangerous than we’d thought. The study is to be published in the October 2017 issue of Environmental Research. And it links phthalate levels to serious health problems in men.

These problems include high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and heart disease.

The study looked at 1500 men in South Australia. 99.6% of the men tested showed phthalates in their urine. And the higher the phthalate level, the more likely the men were to have high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and heart disease.

The researchers adjusted their findings for weight… for smoking… for alcohol use. But no matter how they parsed the numbers, the results were the same. Phthalate levels were closely linked to the risk of these diseases.

The Science Is Moving a Lot Faster Than Uncle Sam

The last phthalate data the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appears to have looked at last came from 2002. They published their assessment was published in 2005.

So what’s been discovered about phthalates since 2002? Let’s look at some of what we’ve discovered just this year…

  • Phthalates protect and promote proliferation of cancer cells
  • Phthalates trigger the death of heart cells
  • Even “safe” levels of phthalate exposure damage semen

There have been plenty of other discoveries. Like the 2008 study that revealed 81% of infants tested had detectible levels of phthalates. Infants!

Yet thousands of products still contain phthalates. For example, the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” database includes more than 1,000 cosmetic products that contain phthalates.

And that’s just cosmetics. Thousands of other products – toys, food packaging, household products, etc. – also contain these chemicals.

So, maybe the FDA is behind the times, but what about Uncle Sam’s other branches?

Well, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only lists references up to 2004. And their website doesn’t raise any red flags. In spite of compelling recent science.

It appears the dangerous effects of phthalates aren’t a priority for your government “protectors.” In spite of the evidence that phthalates can cause serious health problems.

So what can you do?

Effective Phthalate Defenses

One nutrient appears to block at least some of the effects of phthalate exposure. That’s vitamin E. In a recent Chinese animal study, vitamin E helped block the damage phthalates typically do to male reproductive cells.

But your best option is to avoid products that contain phthalates. The EWGs Skin Deep database can help you avoid phthalates in cosmetics. But there isn’t much help otherwise.

So, avoid plastics whenever you can. Buying fresh foods – rather than pre-packaged foods – is a good first step.

Use a stainless steel water bottle (double-walled), rather than buying plastic water bottles. When you can, buy children’s toys with minimal – or, ideally – zero plastic.

Choose wooden or steel products over plastic alternatives. And be sure to get plenty of vitamin E. It appears to be your best defense against at least some of the effects of phthalates.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


“Everyday chemicals linked to chronic disease in men,” University of Adelaide. Jul 12, 2017.

Wei, N., et al, “Long-term di (2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate exposure promotes proliferation and survival of HepG2 cells via activation of NFκB,” Toxicol In Vitro. Aug 2017; 42: 86-92.

Wu, X., et al, “Mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate induces autophagy-dependent apoptosis through lysosomal-mitochondrial axis in human endothelial cells,” Food Chem Toxicol. Aug 2017; 106(Pt A): 273-282.

Chen, Q., et al, “Phthalate exposure, even below US EPA reference doses, was associated with semen quality and reproductive hormones: Prospective MARHCS study in general population,” Environ Int. Jul 2017; 104: 58-68.

Sathyanarayana, S., et al, “Baby Care Products: Possible Sources of Infant Phthalate Exposure,” Pediatrics
Feb 2008; 121(2).

“Phthalates,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dec 23, 2016.

Wang, Y., et al, “Protective effects of vitamin E against reproductive toxicity induced by di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate via PPAR-dependent mechanisms,” Toxicol Mech Methods. Sep 2017; 27(7): 551-559.


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The Village That Beats Okinawa for Longevity

You’ve probably heard the stories: The centenarian who credits their long life to eating bacon, eggs, and fried potatoes for breakfast every day… or the one who’s smoked a pack a day for most of their life.

These make for good stories, but we all know the way to stretch your years is to eat right, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, and drink in moderation. Sure, a few exceptions will sneak by. But it’s not like there’s a whole town full of 100-year-old rule-breakers.

Oops… There is.

A town where 3 out of every 20 citizens are 100 or older. And where more people live to 110 than perhaps anywhere else on Earth.

How can this be? Well, science isn’t sure yet. But we have some tantalizing clues. Clues that might help you add more healthy years to your life.

Stumbling On Italy’s Best-Kept Secret

About 70 miles south of Naples, as the crow flies, the village of Acciaroli is tucked tightly between the mountains and the sea. About 2,000 people live in and around the village. And, as I said, some 300 of them have lived a century or more.

In 2012, a doctor from the University of California San Diego visited Acciaroli while on vacation. When he stepped on the beach, he was flabbergasted.

“I was at the beach,” he told the NY Post, “and I saw all these leather-necked, tanned people in their 90s and 100s who looked nine months pregnant and were smoking cigarettes.”

Dr. Alan Maisel had stumbled across a small town where 15% of the residents were 100 or older. And 60 were at least 110!

In the U.S., a whopping 0.02% of the population is 100 or older. So these numbers seemed almost impossible.

But they’re real. And they led Dr. Maisel to partner with an Italian university to study how so many people in the village could live so long. One thing’s for sure: They’re not following all the rules.

Nobody’s Paying the Piper for Living Well

The people of Acciaroli aren’t whooping it up every night. They’re not drunkards. But the do break a lot of the “rules.”

In general, they don’t exercise. They drink plenty of wine. Many smoke. And as Dr. Maisel discovered, they love the sun.

But he also discovered some ways they are “following the rules.” And maybe a few new rules the rest of us should consider.

Most folks in the village don’t exercise… but they are active. They walk all around the village and in the nearby mountains.

They eat simply, and two components of their diet stood out to Dr. Maisel. They eat a lot of anchovies… and a lot of rosemary. (More on this in a moment.)

Folks in Acciaroli also live remarkably stress-free lives. They gather often with family and friends. Evenings at the village gathering-spots are filled with friendly conversation and laughter.

In short, people in Acciaroli live “the good life.”

Is Rosemary the Secret to a Long, Healthy Life?

Dr. Maisel and his colleagues have only begun their work. But they’ve found even Acciaroli’s oldest residents have remarkably good circulation. By some measures, centenarians have circulation similar to most people in their 20s or 30s.

And that’s where all that rosemary may come in.

You see, high blood sugar – now common in most developed nations – leads to production of Advanced Glycation End Products – AGEs. These molecules can block tiny blood vessels. This can deny nutrients to key tissues.

But rosemary contains natural acids that block formation of AGEs… which promotes healthy circulation. Especially in those critical tiny blood vessels.

Anchovies stand out for their Omega-3 content. If you don’t like anchovies, try another wild-caught fatty fish, such as salmon. Higher Omega-3 intakes is linked to heart health, mental clarity… and even less joint pain.

And, of course, staying active and eliminating stress are also big steps towards healthy aging.

It may be years before we know the whole story. Till then, adding a couple of simple lessons from the people of Acciaroli to your life may just add years, as well.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


Laneri, R., “If you want to live forever, move to this Italian town,” NY Post. Apr 12, 2016.

“Remote Italian village could harbor secrets of healthy aging,” University of California, San Diego Health Sciences,” ScienceDaily.com. Mar 29, 2016.

Cockburn, L., “Scientists ‘Find Key to Longevity’ in Italian Village Where One in 10 People Live Beyond 100 Years,” The Independent. Sep 7, 2016


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This “Banned” Chemical Is Still In Use… And a Potential Threat to Your Health

When is a ban not a ban? How about when a banned substance is still legally out there… and still potentially adding to a growing health crisis.

You probably saw last year’s headlines, when the Food and Drug Administration banned triclosan, the active ingredient in some antibacterial products.

Well, that’s what most headlines told you. But that’s not what actually happened. There’s a huge gap between the headlines and reality. And you need to know about that gap… because the danger is still there. And so is the “banned” chemical.

What the FDA Really Banned

To give the FDA credit, they started out on the right foot with this one. In 2013, they proposed a rule to limit use of antibacterial chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban.

The FDA was worried about spreading resistant bacteria, and the hormonal effects of these chemicals.

So the FDA asked antibacterial soap makers to prove their claims. They couldn’t. In fact, many studies showed washing with plain soap and water works as well as using antibacterial soaps.

With no proof of added benefit, the FDA’s final rule banned 19 chemicals from consumer soap/wash products.

But it didn’t ban any of them from use in healthcare… or in other consumer products. So you may encounter triclosan at your doctor’s office… in an outpatient clinic… or in the hospital.

You may also encounter these 19 “banned” chemicals in deodorants… hand wipes… and your toothpaste.

The FDA may have protected you from antibacterial hand soap. But you can still spread these chemicals under your arms and all around your mouth.

Where they help build stronger bacteria and may affect your hormones… exactly as they would spread on your hands.

And the story just got a little worse.

A Horrific Discovery: Cross-Resistance

Quinolones are potent, broad-spectrum antibiotics. That means they work against a lot of dangerous bacteria. They block their ability to replicate DNA. This shuts down their ability to reproduce.

But scientists in the U.K. recently found something alarming about bacteria that become resistant to quinolones. They also become resistant to triclosan.

According to the researchers, “The worry is that this might happen in reverse and triclosan exposure might encourage growth of antibiotic resistant strains.”

In other words, what if triclosan were helping breed germs that could shrug off quinolones, too? As one of the doctors points out, “…triclosan has become ubiquitous in the environment and even human tissues in the last 20 years.”

We could easily find ourselves up this creek without a paddle.

But you can lower your exposure to these chemicals.

Use This Resource to Protect Yourself From Dangerous Chemicals

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has an online cosmetics database. It includes more than 69,000 products. And it’s not just make-up.

Almost every personal care product you’ve ever heard of is included. And you can search by ingredient. For example, I searched for “triclosan.” I got dozens of results. Including popular brands of toothpaste and deodorant.

The EWG database isn’t perfect. But it’s a lot better than anything from Uncle Sam. According to N.J. Senator Frank Lautenberg, only 1% of the 84,000 chemicals in use today have been studied for safety.

Meanwhile, antibacterials – with little or no proven benefit – still threaten our health. Because a ban isn’t always a ban.

To help protect yourself and your family, visit EWG’s Skin Deep website.  It’s at https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. You’ll discover more than products that still have triclosan. You’ll also find products with formaldehyde releasers… potential cancer triggers… hormone disruptors… and more.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


“FDA issues final rule on safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps,” FDA.gov. Sep 2, 2016.

Hartmann, E., “Banned antimicrobial chemicals found in many household products,” CNN.com. Jan 25, 2017.

“New study links antibiotic resistance to common household disinfectant triclosan,” University of Birmingham. July 3, 2017.

“Everyday chemicals may be harming kids, panel told,” CNN.com. Oct 26, 2010.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database, Environmental Working Group. Accessed Jul 3, 2017.


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Two Simple Ways to Slow Aging

How many times have you heard someone joke about “getting their resveratrol” as they pour a second – or third – glass of wine? It’s an old joke… but I still hear it all the time at dinner parties.

What makes this joke sad is the drinkers are getting the exact opposite result they would with a resveratrol supplement. New research shows alcohol ages your body at the cellular level.

And there’s such a tiny amount of resveratrol in a glass of red wine, you’d probably have to drink gallons of it to offset the damage of a single glass.

Moderate alcohol intake may have a few health benefits, but a new study suggests you’ll be better off avoiding the stuff altogether.

Alcohol Speeds Up Your Cellular “Aging Clock”

Inside your cells, your chromosomes contain your genetic code. The DNA that makes you, you. Every time a cell divides, it makes a copy of this code. And each division wears down a bit of your chromosomes’ protective ends called telomeres.

At a certain point, the telomeres wear down too much. They can no longer protect your genetic code. So, to protect you from badly copied DNA, that cells stops dividing, falls “silent,” and eventually dies. That’s a big part of the aging process.

The longer your telomeres, the more times your cells can divide. Which gives those cells a longer life. And keeps your body acting younger longer.

According to new research from the Research Society on Alcoholism, the more you drink, the shorter your telomeres will be. Which means your cells have fewer divisions left before they shut down.

Japanese doctors compared 134 alcoholics to 121 non-alcoholic adults for this study. The subjects ranged in age from 41 to 85. In aged-matched comparisons, alcohol was clearly linked to shorter telomeres.

Shorter telomeres are also linked to age-related diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. So cutting back on alcohol – or cutting it out altogether – is an easy way to slow the aging process.

But it’s not the only way doctors have recently confirmed.

Maybe the Gym Rats Were Right After All

University scientists in Finland recently explored the connection between brain and brawn. And they found physical strength is closely tied to staying mentally sharp.

The researchers studied 338 adults, averaging 66 years old. They tested their subjects’ strength three ways.

First, they tested handgrip strength. Studies often use this simple measure to compare volunteers’ physical strength. But the Finnish researchers also measured their subjects on three lower-body exercises and two upper-body exercises.

They discovered handgrip strength didn’t accurately reflect cognitive function. In other words, grip strength didn’t relate to memory or information processing abilities.

But overall upper or lower body strength did. The study showed adults with greater upper or lower body strength were linked to better cognitive functioning.

What does this mean to you? It means adding strength training to your weekly activity may help you keep your mind and memory sharper.

What it doesn’t mean is you have to start going to the gym. Any exercise that builds muscle will do – including isometrics, dumbbells, or classic exercises like pushups and crunches.

Adding 20 minutes of strength training three times a week should be enough. If you cut down on alcohol at the same time, you’ll have taken two giant steps towards putting the brakes on aging.

About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.


“Drinking Makes You Older at the Cellular Level,” Research Society on Alcoholism via Newswise.com. Jun 19, 2017.

“Greater muscle strength – better cognitive function for older people,” University of Eastern Finland. May 11, 2017.



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