When Health Experts Get It Wrong… And They Do

A lot of what the so-called “experts” have told you about nutrition is wrong.

Take trans fats, for instance. Back in the early 1980s, coconut oil was in practically everything. It was cheap, easy to use, and the foods it was in tasted good.

Then the experts came along. We had to stop using coconut oil, they said. It’s full of saturated fat… and it’ll wreck our hearts. Instead, they told us, use “healthy” trans fats.

The cure turned out to be far worse than the disease. Trans fats raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Plus, the saturated fat in coconut oil doesn’t act like animal fat. Studies suggest it’s good for your heart.

That’s just one of many missteps the “experts” have made over the years. Here’s another whopper they’ve been telling you for decades…

A Calorie Is a Calorie Is a Calorie

Uncle Sam’s nutrition experts have it down to a science. The “average person” needs about 2,000 calories a day. Eat much more than that, and an average person will gain weight. Eat a bit less, and they’ll drop some weight.

Of course, your size and metabolism make a difference. But it’s a good average. Beyond that, a calorie is just a calorie.

Except it isn’t. Because different foods have different “side effects.”

For example, sugars and starches raise blood sugar. This can lead to weight gain. Even if you’re not eating too many calories. It’s just that too many of them are from the wrong source.

Fructose and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) have a different effect. Your body processes them differently from other sugars. Fructose won’t cause blood sugar spikes. But that’s because it’s processed through your liver.

Your liver converts a lot of the fructose you eat into stored fat. Which is not what happens with other sugars. So foods with added fructose – which includes just about everything in a package these days – tend to pack on the pounds.

The end result? 100 calories from spinach have a very different effect than 100 calories from spaghetti or foods with added HFCS.

But the news isn’t all bad. Some foods are high in fat and calories, but deliver remarkable side effects. Look at avocados…

Lots of Fat… Lots of Calories… and Lots of Benefits

The latest news about avocado just came out. A review in the journal Phytotherapy Research found avocados may help battle metabolic syndrome – or “pre-diabetes.”

Besides promoting healthy cholesterol levels, avocado appears to lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels… fight high blood pressure… support artery health… promote weight loss… and much more.

In 2016, Air Force researchers reviewed 10 avocado studies. They found solid evidence that swapping avocado for other fats led to healthier blood fat levels. Triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL levels all dropped when people began eating avocados.

Researchers at Ohio State University showed avocado has an unusual health effect. It helps you absorb some key nutrients.

In this study, people who ate avocado boosted absorption of lutein by more than 5x. And they absorbed Beta-carotene more than 15x better. Both these nutrients are key to maintaining healthy vision. Which makes adding a little avocado to your salad a great way to defend your eyesight.

Other recent studies suggest avocados may help protect nerve cells from damage… could have unique cancer-fighting powers… and may promote weight loss and healthy aging.

So don’t always accept “expert” advice at face value. Low-fat and low-calorie don’t always mean “healthy.”  Sometimes guilty pleasures – like avocados – turn out to be a better option.

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.


“Avocados May Help Combat the Metabolic Syndrome,” Wiley News Room. Apr 10, 2017.

Peou, S., et al, “Impact of avocado-enriched diets on plasma lipoproteins: A meta- analysis,” J Clin Lipidol. Jan-Feb 2016;10(1): 161-171.

Unlu, N.Z., et al, “Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil,” J Nutr. Mar 2005; 135(3): 431-436.

Ameer, K., “Avocado as a Major Dietary Source of Antioxidants and Its Preventive Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases,” Adv Neurobiol. 2016; 12: 337-354.

Ding, H., et al, “Selective induction of apoptosis of human oral cancer cell lines by avocado extracts via a ROS-mediated mechanism,” Nutr Cancer. 2009; 61(3): 348-356.

Dreher, M.L. and Davenport, A.J., “Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects,” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2013; 53: 738–750.


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

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These “Healthy” Foods May Be Killing You

“Eating right” can be a minefield. One day, a food is good. The next, it’s a killer. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just unmasked a few unexpected killers.

The new report looks at foods that may put your blood pressure through the roof. And don’t say, “I know… don’t eat potato chips. Because salty snacks only ranked 7th on the list.

So far nobody I’ve talked to has even come close to guessing the #1 food. It’s just not on anyone’s radar. Because it’s one of the most popular “healthy” foods in the world.

But it could be slowly killing you.

Just How Much Sodium Are You Getting?

We all know chips are loaded with sodium. So is ham. And pretzels. It’s pretty easy to avoid an enemy when you know what it is. But we’re not so good at avoiding hidden enemies.

That’s why the average American eats 3,409 mg of sodium a day. And that’s sodium… not salt.

The CDC says you shouldn’t get more than 2,300 mg a day. Two-thirds of the average intake. And the American Heart Association says a maximum of 1,500 mg per day is ideal. That’s less than half of what most Americans get now.

But just a cup of soup and a turkey sandwich blows your entire day’s allotment of sodium. That’s without chips. Without oyster crackers. But it’s still 2,200 mg of sodium.

And that’s just one light meal.

Chances are you’re getting a lot more sodium than is healthy. And it’s not all coming from the foods you’ve been warned against.

For instance, take the #1 culprit in boosting your sodium intake…

The “Sodium Sneaks” Threatening Your Heart

You probably avoid salty snacks. You stay away from salty French fries. And you don’t salt your food at home.

Good for you! You’ve cut out the #7 and #22 contributors to sodium… and the only healthy salt in your diet. (Table salt is the #1 source of iodine.)

But that still leaves a whole lot of sodium in your diet. For example, the #1 source of sodium in the American diet is… bread.

That’s right. Even multi-grain breads are a major source of sodium. Plus, carbs like wheat, rice and potatoes drive up your blood sugar… and can help lead to insulin resistance and Type II diabetes.

Pizza takes the #2 spot for sodium. Pepperoni may be a popular topping, but it’s a major source of sodium and unhealthy fats. All the salt in the crust and cheese don’t help, either.

The #3 spot goes to sandwiches… because they contain bread and – often – processed/cured meats. Which may help explain why cold cuts and other cured meats take the #4 slot.

#5 goes to soups. Yup. Healthy, good-for-you-in-winter soups. They’re jam-packed with sodium

In the #6 spot, we find burritos and tacos. The growing Hispanic population is making some fairly unhealthy options very popular.

Of course, restaurants usually don’t serve the same tacos and burritos a Mexican family might eat at home. And those packaged “kits” aren’t exactly low-sodium, either. You really have to go “old school” to get a healthy burrito.

Prepare for Some Real Surprises…

One of the big surprises of the CDC report is that salty snacks – like potato chips – are way down in 7th place.  But spots 8 – 10 will probably surprise you, too.

In 8th place comes chicken. Not just fried chicken. Plain old chicken. It’s followed by cheese in 9th place.

In 10th, we have eggs and omelets.

Cheese, chicken, and eggs are all “healthy” foods… but they add a lot of sodium to the average American’s diet.

So what can you do?

Eating for Heart Health

To begin with, build your meals around fresh vegetables. Eat lots of brightly colored veggies and leafy greens. But go light on root vegetables.

Also eat two or three servings of fresh fruit every day. Focus on fruits you eat with the skin on – like berries, apples, and pears.

Include a moderate amount of unsalted nuts – an ounce or so several times a week. And 3 – 4 servings of lean protein daily. Organic, grass-fed or free-range options are best.

You need sodium to survive. But too much can harm your heart. The more you eat fresh, organic, unprocessed foods, the better. Eating this way will also help control your blood sugar.

When you go fresh, you can even add a little table salt to get the iodine your body desperately needs.

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.


Quader, Z.S., et al, “Sodium Intake Among Persons Aged ≥2 Years — United States, 2013–2014,” Weekly. Mar 31, 2017; 66(12); 324–238.


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How To Avoid Dying in the Hospital

Hospitals are supposed to be places of healing. But an awful lot of people die in – or shortly after leaving – the hospital. But what if you could cut your risk of becoming a mortality statistic?

You can. In the next few moments, I’ll reveal three ways to increase your chances of surviving a hospital stay. But first, you may be interested in what brought this up in the first place…

A Small Shift That Makes a Big Difference

A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at patient deaths among more than 1.7 million patients. The researchers looked at the 30-day survival rate for patients admitted during two periods.

The doctors chose similar patients admitted for similar health issues. Some were admitted during unannounced hospital inspection weeks. Others were admitted in the weeks before or after inspections.

You see, a group called the Joint Commission (JC) accredits most – but not all – U.S. hospitals. The JC periodically sends survey teams to accredited hospitals. These teams make sure the hospitals meet the minimum standard for accreditation.

The study looked at 1,984 hospitals over four years. And they found a small, but significant, difference. The overall risk of dying dropped an average of almost two-tenths of a percent during inspection weeks. In large teaching hospitals, the drop was almost a full half-percent.

Now, that may not seem like much, but there were 36.5 million U.S. hospital stays in 2012. Two-tenths of one percent of 36.5 million is 730,000. That’s how many lives might be saved each year. If only hospitals performed as well every week as they do during inspections.

Obviously, you can’t schedule hospital visits during unannounced inspections. But, I wondered, are there other ways to cut your risk? The answer is yes.

Step 1: Choose an Accredited Hospital

Not all hospitals are equal. As I mentioned, the Joint Commission accredits most U.S. hospitals. But not all. In fact, 18% of U.S. hospitals – about 1,000 in all – are not accredited.

Which means you have no assurance they meet the minimum standard of care.

Does accreditation matter? According to a 2011 study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, it does. The study looked at overall hospital performance from 2004 and followed up for five years.

Accredited hospitals scored higher on initial quality. They also improved more over five years than unaccredited hospitals. And wouldn’t you prefer a higher-scoring hospital for your care?

Step 2: Go High-Volume

Let’s say your $60,000 luxury car starts making an odd noise. If you’re like most people, you want somebody who knows what they’re doing working under the hood. So you take it to the dealership – or a qualified garage that specializes in your brand.

The logic is obvious. They work on these cars every day. So you know they’ll likely find – and fix – the problem quickly.

The same goes for hospital care.

In 2013, Italian scientists searched through thousands of studies and reviews. They found 47 reviews that compared success rates among hospitals that performed procedures often or rarely.

Overall, they found pretty strong evidence that hospitals where procedures are done most often also offer the highest chance of a good outcome. The procedures included coronary bypasses, cancer surgeries, heart attacks, repair of hip fractures, and more.

Generally speaking, your risk is lower when you go to a hospital where your procedure is done most often.

Step 3: Try a Teaching Hospital for Your Heart

Finally, major teaching hospitals may give you an extra edge. Especially if your heart is concerned.

That’s what Harvard researchers found when they compared results at on-teaching hospitals vs. small and major teaching hospitals. Results were better at large teaching hospitals for heart failure, heart attack and stroke.

Big teaching hospitals also sent patients home sooner after a heart attack.

Of course, your best bet is to stay healthy. But as you get older, chances are you’ll make a trip or two to the hospital. But if you choose where you go wisely, you can really cut your risk of becoming a statistic.

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.


Weiss, A.J. and Elixhauser, A., “Overview of Hospital Stays in the United States, 2012,” Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Oct 2014.

Barnett, M.L., et al, “Patient Mortality During Unannounced Accreditation Surveys at US Hospitals,” JAMA Internal Medicine. Mar 20, 2017; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.9685.

Schmaltz, S.P., et al, “Hospital Performance Trends on National Quality Measures and the Association With Joint Commission Accreditation,” Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2011; 6(8): 454-461.

Amato, L., et al, “Volume and health outcomes: evidence from systematic reviews and from evaluation of Italian hospital data,” Epidemiol Prev. Mar-Jun 2013; 37(2-3 Suppl 2): 1-100.

Polanczyk, C.A., et al, “Hospital outcomes in major teaching, minor teaching, and nonteaching hospitals in New York state,” Am J Med. Mar 2002; 112(4): 255-261.

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How Big Pharma Is Robbing You Blind

If you take one of the world’s top 20 best-selling drugs, you pay about 3x more than someone in Britain… 6x more than a patient in Brazil… and up to 16x more than you would in India.

Does it cost 16x more to make a drug in the U.S. than in India? No. And it doesn’t cost 6x more than in Brazil… or 3x the cost in Britain.

So what’s going on here? Why are patients in the U.S. being charged so much more for the exact same drugs? And what can you do about it?

Hang on… because you’re about to take a wild ride through Big Pharma’s underbelly. And – trust me – you’ll need a barf bag.

Case in Point: Daraprim

A couple of years ago, Martin Shkreli was the most despised man in America. Why? Because, as the head of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he raised the price of Daraprim – an anti-infective drug – by over 50 times.

This life-saving drug was $13.50 a pill. Overnight, Shkreli raised the price to a whopping $750 a pill. Why? Because he could.

The need for Dararim is relatively small. But for the few thousand a year who need it, Daraprim is the difference between life and death. For these people, a jump from $1,700 a bottle to $75,000 a bottle can be a death sentence.

There was no rational reason for driving the price so high. But Turing has a monopoly on the drug. So they can charge whatever they want. And financially raping consumers in a life-or-death situation was apparently too tempting to pass up.

 CNN reports Turing as saying they were trying to “balance patient access to our existing drugs with investment in research and value generation for our shareholders.”

If this were an isolated case, maybe we could move on. But it’s not. It’s just the most notorious of many similar moves. Arbitrary price hikes on life-saving drugs has become an industry standard, as Big Pharma tries to milk every last penny out of its investments.

Along with these massive, money-grabbing price hikes come the excuses. As Turing claimed, “investment in research” was an important driver of price increases.

But is it really? Let’s look at the numbers.

Where Big Pharma Is Really Putting Its Money

For decades, drug companies have used research costs as an excuse for the high drug prices. But the truth looks a little different.

What does Big Pharma really spend its money on? Marketing.

The drug industry spends $3 billion a year in the U.S. marketing directly to consumers. But they spend $24 billion marketing to doctors. Because they know you’ll take whatever your doctor tells you to take.

How does this $27 billion compare to R&D budgets? It’s a lot bigger.

According to GlobalData, a healthcare research firm, 9 of the 10 biggest drug companies spend more on marketing than on R&D.

  • Johnson & Johnson spent $17.5B on marketing in 2013. That same year, they spent only $8.2B on research and development.
  • Novartis spent a third more on marketing than R&D.
  • Pfizer’s marketing budget was nearly double its R&D expenses that year.

Roche was the only top-ten drug company that spent more on R&D than marketing in 2013. And R&D spending only topped marketing by a measly 3%.

And how does Big Pharma use its marketing money to sway your doctor to prescribe its drugs?

Your Health for Sale… for the Price of a Pizza

Drug companies spend a lot on trinkets such as pens, flying disks, stress balls, and other items emblazoned with their product logos.

They also invest in “education” for health professionals. Chances are, many – if not most – of your doctor’s continuing education requirements are met by drug company seminars and conferences.

It’s a sweet deal, too. Doctors often attend “conferences” at resorts for free or a nominal fee… and wind up with plenty of time for golf, amusement parks, and other recreation.

But one of Big Pharma’s most effective weapons is insanely cheap. It’s meals.

Drug company sales reps regularly buy lunch for doctors and their staffs. Even small practices may get a free lunch once or twice a week. And it works.

Big Pharma also pays many doctors directly. The payments may be for “consulting” or other services. But they have a disproportionate effect.

According to watchdog ProPublica, studies show doctors who take money from Drug Companies are far more likely to push their patron’s product on their patients. Even when there are far less expensive generics available.

But there’s one more way Big Pharma gets you. And it’s possibly the most disturbing of all.

Congress for Sale… at Your Expense

There’s one other little problem in getting you affordable drugs.

The United States Congress.

You see, almost every developed nation negotiates drug prices for citizens in programs like Medicare and Medicaid. But not in the U.S.

Congress passed a law banning Medicare and Medicaid from negotiating with drug companies. So they have to accept whatever price the drug companies decide on.

If this sounds like lunacy to you, I won’t argue. Almost a third of drug spending in the U.S. comes from Medicare. With that large a share of the market, Medicare could easily bring drug prices down to European levels.

But Big Pharma’s lobby has so much influence, Congress won’t let it happen. And it’s all at your expense.

Still, you can fight back.

Congress Listens When They Have To

If you want to frighten you Congressman/woman, just make them think they may not be re-elected. Keeping this cushy job seems to be priority 1 for most members of Congress.

You can leverage this fear to your advantage. Contact your representatives in Washington and let them know you’re not happy. Let them know your vote will go elsewhere if they don’t address the problem. If enough people speak out, Congress will act.

You can have an effect on a local level, too.

When your doctor prescribes a non-generic drug, ask him or her why. Ask which drug companies he or she has accepted gifts or money from. An honest doctor will tell you. If they hesitate – or refuse – maybe you need another doctor.

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.


Hirschler, B., “Exclusive – Transatlantic divide: how U.S. pays three times more for drugs,” Reuters.com. Oct 12, 2015.

Mclean, R., “Martin Shkreli on drug price hike: ‘$1 billion here we come,’” Money.CNN.com. Feb 3, 2016.

Swanson, A., “Big pharmaceutical companies are spending far more on marketing than research,” The Washington Post. Feb 11, 2015.

Jones, R.G., “Another Study Finds Link Between Pharma Money and Brand-name Prescribing,” ProPublica.org. May 9, 2016.

Cubanski, J. and Neuman, T., “Searching for Savings in Medicare Drug Price Negotiations,” Kaiser Family Foundatoin. Jan 23, 2017.


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

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Doctor’s Rarely Mention This Until It’s Too Late

1 in 4 Adults Suffer With This Serious Medical Problem…
But Doctors Rarely Mention It Till It’s Too Late

Imagine for a moment a medical issue that affects 1 in 4 adults… with the numbers skewed heavily against adults of retirement age. A medical issue that can rob you of your independence… land you in a nursing home for life… or even end your life years early.

There’s a 1-in-4 chance you’ll suffer with this problem. Perhaps from a fairly young age. But your doctor probably won’t bring it up until you have it. Even though many cases – if not most – could be easily avoided.

Even if you subscribe to health newsletters, there’s a pretty good chance you haven’t read about this problem there, either. Why? Because it’s not sexy. But it is serious. Heck; anything that can steal your independence is serious.

And for millions of adults, the solution is so insanely simple.

The Epidemic Nobody Talks About

Doctors tend to address fear more than reality. For example, men in the U.S. have a 14% chance of developing prostate cancer. But virtually every man hears about it from his doctor.

You have about an 11% chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease… but everybody’s talking about it.

So when there’s a 25% risk of a health issue, don’t you think you should be concerned? Don’t you think someone should be talking about it?

This issue isn’t deadly as often as prostate cancer. It may not steal your independence as consistently as Alzheimer’s. But recent studies show it diminishes social function and lowers quality of life. And it involves pain, hospitalizations… and sometimes death.

And while prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s disease are difficult to deal with, this problem can often be solved with insane ease.

Just get new shoes.

Don’t Get Stopped in Your Tracks

Two new studies from Spain highlight just how serious the issue of foot pain can be. The studies found…

  • 83% of seniors wear the wrong shoes
  • Up to 87% of seniors suffer with serious foot problems
  • 73% have nerve-related foot pain

The researchers also discovered that simply wearing the right size shoe can make a big difference.

You see, as you get older, your feet change. You lose some of the fat and muscle that pad the bottom of your feet. Your feet tend to get wider. And you may even wind up with two different size feet.

But if you’ve worn a size 9 all your life, you’ll probably stick with a size 9. Even if one – or both – of your feet has become a 9-1/2.

A Welsh study from 2008 discovered a heel of just 1-3/4” was enough to throw more mature women off balance. This can lead to falls… and potentially serious injuries. The same study also found soft-soled shoes made walking more difficult. Again, this can lead to falls and injury.

Other studies found orthotics and custom insoles can reduce pain, ease stress on joints, and cut the risk of falls.

One More Way to Hang on to Your Independence

I know a lot of you ladies won’t appreciate this. As pretty as they may make you feel, high heels are not your friends. Study results vary, but even the most generous results show high heels lead to more foot pain.

Let’s be honest here. If you’re in pain, you’ll move around less. So the best-case scenario is that high heels are severely limiting.

But plenty of studies say they’re more than that.

A 2016 international study found high heels boost instability at the ankle. Which raises your risk of accidents. And a review of studies determined high heels may be linked to bunion problems, foot/ankle pain, and a higher risk of injuries.

Your bottom line? It’s your independence that’s at risk here. Wearing “sensible” shoes – with lower heels and a firm sole can cut your risk of foot pain and injury. Custom orthotics may help compensate for changes that lead to foot pain and restrictions on your mobility.

Finally, don’t let pride keep you out of the podiatrist’s office. Or keep you in shoes that don’t fit any more. It’s your independence that’s at stake here. Sure, foot pain isn’t sexy… but ignoring it can have dire consequences.

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.


López-López, D., et al, “Impact of shoe size in a sample of elderly individuals,” Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). Nov 2016;62(8): 789-794.

López-López, D., et al, “Impact of shoe size in a sample of elderly individuals,” Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). Nov 2016; 62(8): 789-794.

Menant, J.C., et al, “Effects of footwear features on balance and stepping in older people,” Gerontology. 2008; 54(1): 18-23.

Riskowski, J., et al, “Arthritis, foot pain and shoe wear: current musculoskeletal research on feet,” Curr Opin Rheumatol. Mar 2011; 23(2): 148-155.

Hatton, A.L., et al, “Footwear interventions: a review of their sensorimotor and mechanical effects on balance performance and gait in older adults,” J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. Nov-Dec 2013; 103(6): 516-533.

Borchgrevink, G.E., et al, “Does the use of high-heeled shoes lead to fore-foot pathology? A controlled cohort study comprising 197 women,” Foot Ankle Surg. Dec 2016; 22(4): 239-243.

Sun, D., et al, “Effect of Heel Heights on Female Postural Control During Standing on a Dynamic Support Surface With Sinusoidal Oscillations,”  J Mot Behav. Sep 2016; 2(1-7).

Barnish, M.S. and Barnish, J., “High-heeled shoes and musculoskeletal injuries: a narrative systematic review,” BMJ Open.Jan 13, 2016; 6(1): e010053.


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

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Soy’s Dirty Secret – And How To Beat It

Everybody “knows” soybeans are good for you. They’re loaded with protein and raising soybeans is gentler on the environment than raising animal protein.

Unfortunately, what everybody “knows” is wrong.

Soy may arguably leave a lesser environmental footprint… but it’s definitely not good for you. Not unless it’s processed the traditional way. And that happens very little these days.

You see, soy contains anti-nutrients. And they can cancel out any benefits soy may offer. Here’s what you need to know before you start chowing down on this health food.

This Plant Is Not People Food

The Chinese have been eating soy forever, right? Not really. For countless generations, they used it to enrich the soil between harvests. Chinese farmers knew that planting soy – then plowing it under – enriched the soil.

Basically, soy was a cheap and easy way to ensure a better harvest of their real crops.

Eventually, someone discovered that boiling soybeans made them edible for livestock. So farmers planted soy… harvested the beans for cattle feed… and then plowed the plants under to enrich the soil for real crops.

This tradition made its way to Japan. Then, about 1,000 years ago, soldiers made an accidental discovery.

According to legend, a famous general’s staff was boiling soybeans to feed to their horses. It was late at night, after a long day of battle.

Suddenly, an alarm was raised. The enemy had launched a rare nighttime attack. The general and his staff broke camp. Knowing their horses were already overworked and hungry, they dumped the soybeans into rice-straw sacks and headed for safety.

The next day, the weary soldiers opened the sacks to feed their horses. The soybeans had become sticky, and smelled slightly sweet. They tasted the beans and were surprised… they were good.

This is the legend of the discovery of natto, the first fermented soy food.

Bacteria Turn Non-food Into Food

What these soldiers – and countless generations after them – didn’t know was bacteria had begun to ferment the soybeans. And the fermentation process made the beans safe for people to eat.

The fermentation process eliminates most of the anti-nutrients in the soy. And, in the case of natto, triggers production of vitamin K and nattokinase – a unique enzyme linked to improved blood flow.

But it’s breaking down the anti-nutrients that concerns us today.

Soybeans contain protease inhibitors, which make proteins less digestible. They also contain phytates, which block absorption of key minerals. And these are just two of at least four anti-nutrients in soy.

Soybeans also contain phytoestrogens – substances that mimic estrogen. These chemicals suppress testosterone production. Which can be a serious issue for men.

The traditional fermentation process clears out almost all the anti-nutrients in soy. But natural fermentation is too slow for modern food producers. So most soy sold in the U.S. isn’t fermented naturally… and thus still contains high levels of anti-nutrients.

Naturally fermented soy – such as natto – provides plenty of protein without the side of anti-nutrients that makes most soy products a very bad deal.

Should You Eat Soy Foods?

Products such as soy flour, soy nuts, most tofu and soy milk, and soy sprouts are unfermented. They contain a full complement of anti-nutrients. That means you’ll get less protein, absorb fewer key minerals, and possibly lower your testosterone levels.

Some soy milk and tofu products are made with fermented soybeans. But if the label doesn’t specifically say so, assume the soy is unfermented.

By definition, natto, miso, and tempeh are fermented. These soy foods contain far fewer anti-nutrients, and typically will deliver more useable protein per gram.

Finally, be wary of soy sauces. Traditional soy sauce is fermented. But fewer and fewer makers are using traditional fermentation. Use tamari instead. This “original” soy sauce is made from miso “run-off,” and is thus made from fermented soy.

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.


Daniel, K.T., “The Whole Soy Story: the Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food,” American Nutritional Association. 2005; 38(2). (Review)

Daniel, K., “Plants Bite Back,” WestonAPrice.org. Mar 29, 2010.

Messina, M., “Effect of Fermented Soyfoods on the Microbiota,” SoyConnection.com

Mukherjee, R., et al, “Role of Fermentation in Improving Nutritional Quality of Soybean Meal — A Review,” Asian-Austalasian Journal of Animal Sciences. Dec 2015.

Adeyemo, S.M. and Onilude, A.A., “Enzymatic Reduction of Anti-nutritional Factors in Fermenting Soybeans by Lactobacillus plantarum Isolates from Fermenting,” Nigerian Food Journal. 2013; 31(2): 84–90.

Lee, J.O., et al, “New fermentation technique for complete digestion of soybean protein,” J Microbiol Biotechnol. Nov 2007; 17(11): 1904-1907.


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A Simply Way To Save Your Bones

As a Discovery Health Report reader, you probably know that inflammation is linked to many of the so-called “diseases of aging.” Your risk of arthritis, diabetes, heart disease – and many more – skyrockets in the presence of inflammation.

Similarly, anti-inflammatory nutrients lower your risk. Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, are known to lower levels of inflammatory molecules.

So following an anti-inflammatory diet is a great idea. Plus, you now have another good reason to get more anti-inflammatory nutrients. New research from The Ohio State University shows it could help keep your bones stronger for years longer.

Let’s take a quick look at the study. Then I’ll show you an easy way to calm inflammation – and potentially slow aging to a crawl.

Anti-inflammatory Foods Preserve Bone Mass

The new study looked at data for 10,290 women aged 50 – 79. The Women’s Health Initiative – a large study of post-menopausal women – provided years of data on the volunteers.

The study’s authors grouped their subjects by the foods they ate. Those who ate the most pro-inflammatory foods… those who ate the most anti-inflammatory foods… and several steps in between.

Diets were ranked by the Dietary Inflammatory Index. The index ranks nutrients based on their anti- and pro-inflammatory activity.

Over time, the group who ate the most anti-inflammatory foods lost less bone tissue than the others. And the difference was significant compared to women eating diets higher in pro-inflammatory foods.

This held true, even though the anti-inflammatory group had less bone mass to begin with. (The authors think this was related to the pro-inflammatory group being heavier in general at the start.)

So, what should you eat – and what should you avoid – to take advantage of this bone-sparing benefit?

Dietary Dos (and Don’ts) For Better Bone Health

There are lots of food lists out there. But memorizing long lists of “good” and “bad” foods can drive you crazy. And who really wants to tote a booklet around with them to look everything up before you order a meal?

Here’s a simpler idea. It’s not perfect… but almost anyone can remember six simple items, right?

Eat plenty of these three types of food…

  1. Leafy green vegetables. Chard, spinach, kale… The darker green, the better.
  2. Fruits – especially berries. Blueberries, strawberries, cherries… They’re all loaded with antioxidants.
  3. Fatty fish. Mackerel, tuna, salmon… These “oily” fish provide lots of healthy Omega-3s. Shoot for three servings a week.

On the other hand, try to avoid these three food types…

  1. Fried foods. Most frying is done in vegetable oil – high in pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fats.
  2. Refined carbs. Most breads, pastas, and sweets should be off your list.
  3. Added sugars. Manufacturers add sugar to thousands of packaged foods. Stick to fresh foods whenever possible.

Again, this list isn’t perfect. You could add items to either list. But if you focus on just these six simple items, you’ll be well on your way to beating inflammation. And that’s the simplest way I know to slow the aging process.

Even for your bones.

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.


Simonopoulos, A.P., “Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases,” J Am Coll Nutr. Dec 2002; 21(6): 495-505.

Crane, M., “Anti-inflammatory diet could reduce risk of bone loss in women,” The Ohio State University. Jan 26, 2017.

“Foods that fight inflammation,” Harvard Health Publications. Jun 2014.


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Medical Mistakes: More Common Than You Think

Protect yourself from everyday medical catastrophes

When it comes to medical mistakes, mainstream medicine sees their glass half-full. As a patient, you may have a different view.

The reported error rate is down 20% since 2010. That’s pretty impressive. But there’s still an 11.5% chance you’ll be injured in some way during a hospital stay. That’s right. More than 1 in every 10 patients is hurt in some way during their stay in the hospital!

You probably won’t hear about it from the industry. So here’s what you need to know about “HACs” – and how to cut your risk.

They Must Be Doing Something Right… Right?

A “HAC” is a Hospital Acquired Condition. That’s government speak for “someone screwed up your healthcare.”

HACs include such common problems as leaving an instrument inside a surgical patient. Infections from neglected IV lines. And bedsores, which they gently refer to as “pressure ulcers.”

As I reported to you not long ago, a recent study found medical errors are now the 3rd most common cause of death in the U.S. So the drop in HACs must be from a major effort to improve, right?

Well, maybe not. In reporting the numbers, the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) says, “The reasons for this progress are not fully understood…” And 2 of the 4 “likely” reasons they give are…

  • Medicare and other insurers have created financial incentives. In other words, hospitals get paid less if they screw up.
  • Hospital error rates are now reported publically.

So, the government believes two of the main reasons hospitals have brought medical mistake rates to “just” 11.5% of patients are making more money and embarrassment.

Heartwarming, isn’t it?

A Quick Look at the Numbers

HHS reports 3,775,400 patients experienced a HAC in 2015. That’s more than the entire populations of Seattle, Denver, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, Portland, OR, and Washington, DC combined!

According to a 2013 article in TIME magazine, diagnosis issues are the top cause of healthcare mistakes. Up to 160,000 people per year suffer permanent damage from wrong or late diagnoses. Which makes getting a 2nd opinion for any serious health issue a must.

Surgeries are another high-risk venture. On average, Americans undergo 20 incorrect surgeries per week. They also suffer 20 surgeries on the wrong part of their bodies, and leave surgery with a “foreign object” still in their bodies. Every week.

Many of these mistakes can be avoided by meeting with your OR team before surgery. And going over the procedure. Mark your operations site with permanent marker and have your doctor initial the site. And be sure your doctor uses a checklist to account for every item used in your surgery.

Some 1.7 million Americans leave the hospital with an infection they didn’t have on admission. Every year. Many – if not most – could be avoided by frequent hand washing by both patients and staff.

Simple answers to potentially fatal mistakes. But they’re often overlooked. So are the most common causes of medication errors.

The Most Dangerous Drugs Probably Aren’t the Ones You Think

Which drugs cause the most emergency room (ER) visits? Morphine? Oxycontin? Codeine?

None of these are even in the top 10. But insulin is (#1). So are aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen (#4, #7, and #8). The drugs that most often make trouble are mostly common… often non-prescription… and usually drugs we assume are safe.

I tell you this to point out how you can’t take any drug for granted. Especially prescription drugs. Because when there’s a mistake with some of these drugs, the results can be catastrophic.

Insulin is the #1 cause of ER visits among all drugs. It’s also the top drug for medical errors. Insulin may be administered incorrectly… one brand may be mistaken for another… and the “u” for “units” is often mistaken for a zero (0) on a prescription.

Making mistakes with drugs is easy. So be sure your doctor – and any doctors you deal with in the hospital know all the drugs and supplements you’re taking. Ask your doctor to write out complete instructions for any drug he/she prescribes. And double-check at the hospital that you’re being given the right drugs at the right times.

The bottom line? Be a “problem” patient. Ask questions. Stay informed. And double-check everything you can. Medical professionals are only human. They make mistakes. But if you take charge of your own healthcare, there’s a lot less risk they’ll make one with you.

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.


“National Scorecard on Rates of Hospital-Acquired Conditions 2010 to 2015: Interim Data From National Efforts to Make Health Care Safer,” Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dec 2016.

Sifferlin, A., Diagnostic Errors Are the Most Common Type of Medical Mistake,” Time. Apr 24, 2013.

Leighton, J.E., “5 Most Common Medical Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Being a Medical Mistake Victim,” sfllegalguide.com. Jul 1, 2016.

Hahn, K.L., “The ‘Top 10’ Drug Errors and How to Prevent Them,” Medscape.org. May 16, 2007.


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The Alzheimer’s Treatment They Won’t Tell You About

Other than cancer, I can’t think of a diagnosis met with more fear than Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve heard it described as a death sentence for the mind.

There’s no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But there is a treatment that helps. It’s known to slow memory loss… and even bring back lost memories. It protects nerve cells from damage. And it’s even been shown to ease the build up of the plaques linked to Alzheimer’s damage.

But there’s probably not one chance in ten thousand any doctor in the U.S. will mention it to you. Even though study after study has shown it’s effective.

Today, I’ll reveal what that treatment is. And show you some of the research that proves its effectiveness.

Clearer Memory, Healthier Nerves

Huperzia serrata is a moss. It’s small and easy to overlook. But for Alzheimer’s sufferers, it’s the biggest news in a very long time. Because it holds a compound that fights Alzheimer’s disease in several ways.

The compound is Huperzine A – or HupA for short. And HupA is the biggest breakthrough in Alzheimer’s management for a very long time. Except in China.

Use of this moss to boost memory and mental clarity goes back countless generations. And in China, HupA has been a licensed treatment for Alzheimer’s disease for years.

Scientists have tested HupA with several conditions linked to memory problems and brain fog. In every case I’ve seen so far, HupA helps with these cognitive problems.

For example, serious depression can cloud mental clarity. Giving patients with major depressive disorder didn’t clear up their depression… but it did improve their cognitive issues.

The toughest test comes with Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s virtually erases memories and clarity of thought… bit by bit.

Here’s where the really good news comes in.

HupA Attacks Alzheimer’s from Many Angles

I don’t want to get too technical here, but bear with me for a moment.

An enzyme called cholinesterase appears to be closely linked to the advance of Alzheimer’s disease.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter – a chemical that moves messages from one nerve cell to another. Cholinesterase breaks down this messenger molecule. In people with Alzheimer’s disease, blocking the action of cholinesterase eases the advance of the disease.

HupA blocks the action of cholinesterase. So, in that way, it may slow the advance of Alzheimer’s.

HupA also blocks the formation of Beta-amyloid plaques. Beta-amyloid is a protein linked to Alzheimer’s… and many scientists think it’s a main cause of the disease.

Studies also show HupA protects cells from free radical damage linked to Alzheimer’s… and even defends the cells’ mitochondria – the tiny structures that produce all your cells’ energy.

HupA fights one other problem linked to Alzheimer’s. One you probably haven’t heard about.

The Alzheimer’s Path Nobody’s Talking About

Back in 2013, scientists at UCLA – the University of California at Los Angeles – made a shocking discovery.

Alzheimer’s disease may be linked to a common mineral. One you need to stay alive. But one – if you have too much – can destroy your life.

The mineral is iron. And the UCLA team used MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) pictures of brains to show a build-up of iron is closely linked to Alzheimer’s.

Too much iron can lead to free radical damage. And the UCLA study showed an iron build-up in parts of the brain of Alzheimer’s-effected people… but not in similar people without Alzheimer’s disease.

Then, in 2014, a Chinese study showed HupA blocked Beta-amyloid build-up… a build-up of tau proteins (the 2nd protein linked to Alzheimer’s)… and iron build-up.

That’s right. HupA appears to block all three of the most-possible causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

Yet the chances are slim your doctor will ever mention HupA.

The Good News for Alzheimer’s Sufferers… And Those Who Love Them

HupA is a licensed medicine in China. But it isn’t in the U.S.

Here in America, it’s available as a nutritional supplement. And it’s easy to get. Cheap, safe, and remarkably effective, it could be your answer to the question, “How do I deal with this?”

Talk to your doctor – and your pharmacist – about HupA if you or a loved one have had that dreadful diagnosis.

But be ready for your doctor to dismiss HupA without reading any of the literature. If so, seek out a second opinion from a doctor who’s open to alternative treatments. You want a reasoned opinion… not a knee-jerk reaction.

Chances are, HupA can add a 2nd line of defense at a minimal cost. And possibly add years of enjoyment to your life.

HupA is readily available online and at health food stores. Just be sure to choose a brand with a good reputation for purity and potency. After all, it’s your mind that’s at risk here.

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.


Zheng, W., et al, “Huperzine A for treatment of cognitive impairment in major depressive disorder: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials,” Shanghai Arch Psychiatry. Apr 25, 2016; 28(2): 64-71.

Wang, B.S., et al, “Efficacy and safety of natural acetylcholinesterase inhibitor huperzine A in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: an updated meta-analysis,” J Neural Transm (Vienna). Apr 2009; 116(4): 457-465.

Ha, G.T., et al, “Huperzine a as potential treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: an assessment on chemistry, pharmacology, and clinical studies,” Chem Biodivers. Jul 2011; 8(7): 1189-1204.

Wheeler, M., “UCLA study suggests iron is at core of Alzheimer’s disease,” UCLA Newsroom. Aug 20, 2013.

Huang, X.T., et al, “Reducing iron in the brain: a novel pharmacologic mechanism of huperzine A in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease,” Neurobiol Aging. May 2014; 35(5): 1045-1054.


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Why Are Older ER Patient’s Dropping Like Flies?

If you’re retirement age or older, and generally healthy, you need to know this:

Over 10,000 of you die every year within a week of visiting a hospital emergency room. That’s an average of 27 per day. And that number doesn’t include anyone with a life-limiting condition, over 90, or who’s been in nursing care.

We’re talking 10,093 generally healthy folks who visit the ER and are sent back home. But a week later, they’re gone.

Nobody can say exactly why this is happening. But I can tell you ways to cut your risk. Because it appears a lot of these deaths are easily avoidable.

Low Admissions Linked to Higher Death Rates

A new study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reviewed more than 28 million U.S. ER visits over 5 years. The authors then weeded out factors – like those above – that could reasonably lead to early death. But that still left them with well over half (about 16 million) of the original records to review.

Now, before I go any further, these weren’t “fringe” researchers or doctors with an axe to grind. They’re respected professionals. Top tier, in fact. They work at Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and Harvard University. They’re as solidly mainstream as you can get.

And they uncovered some telling facts…

  • Busy ERs didn’t have higher death rates. You’re more likely to die if you’re discharged from a lower-volume ER.
  • Visiting the ER at a huge, “impersonal” university hospital raises your risk of survival.
  • Pricier hospitals with higher admissions rates have lower death rates among post-ER patients.
  • The risk of death within 7 days was higher for hospitals that served a generally healthier population!

Basically, your risk of unexpected death rises when you visit the hospitals insurance companies love the most. Low cost and low admission rates seem to equal a better chance of dropping dead within a week.

“But 10,000 People Isn’t That Many”

Looking at raw numbers is dangerous. It’s easy to lose sight of the human beings behind a number. There are 7.4 billion people on Earth. 10,000 is a drop in the bucket.

Unless one of those 10,000 is someone you love. Or if it’s you.

Just over 84% of all the towns and cities in the U.S. have less than 10,000 citizens.

Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and the entire population of Aspen, CO had disappeared. Or everyone in Bar Harbor was gone. Or if Pigeon Forge, TN – home of Dollywood – was a ghost town. Everyone from the FBI to the National Guard would be out in force. And none of these towns has a population even close to 10,000.

But when people disappear here and there, one person at a time, we hardly notice. As I said, unless it’s someone we love.

What makes this study even more heartbreaking – as with others before it – many of these deaths are probably avoidable.

Risks, Red Flags, and Avoidable “Accidents”

The Harvard group’s study only looked at deaths after ER visits. But thousands also die each year after being discharged from the hospital.

For example, 1 in 5 adult patients can expect to experience an “adverse event” after the hospital discharges them. That is, they’ll have a medical problem directly related to their care or a prescribed medication.

A 2005 Canadian study found more than half of those events are directly related to drugs. Another study from Canada pegged the number at almost three-quarters. And a 2008 Canadian study split the difference. This study found medication errors among 41.3% of patients at discharge.

The Harvard/Brigham study found about 232 deaths due to narcotics overdoses among their subjects. Every year. And remember: This only includes Medicaid users under 90 who are generally healthy when they visit the ER.

Combined with the red flags listed above, you can add prescription drugs to your list of risks. But where does that leave you.

What Can You Do?

First and foremost, if your problem is even remotely life threatening, don’t quibble. Get to the nearest ER immediately. Sooner, if possible.

But many people visit the ER for other reasons. Back pain, itchy rashes, minor injuries… These issues may require medical care, but they may not be life threatening in any way. In those cases, the nearest ER may not always be your best choice.

(Note: Always err on the side of caution. If you’re unsure, treat an illness or injury as serous enough to warrant the quickest medical care possible.)

But when you can, it may pay – risk-wise – to choose a busier ER… one linked to a university… or one with a higher admission rate.

Upon discharge – whether from an ER or after a hospital stay – get all instructions in writing. Go over them step-by-step with a medical professional. Especially where prescription drugs are concerned.

And, as always, double-check any prescription with your pharmacist. Let them know any supplements, prescription, and OTC medications your taking. They can help ensure you don’t take any dangerous combinations.

Finally, don’t ignore any signs of sickness after an ER visit. A second visit could very well save your life.

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.


Obermeyer, Z., et al, “Early death after discharge from emergency departments: analysis of national US insurance claims data,” BMJ. 2017; 356: j239.

Tsilimingras, D. and Bates, D.W., “Addressing postdischarge adverse events: a neglected area,” Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. Feb 2008; 34(2): 85-97.

Forster, A.J., et al, “Adverse drug events occurring following hospital discharge,” J Gen Intern Med. Apr 2005; 20(4): 317-323.

Forster, A.J., et al, “Adverse events among medical patients after discharge from hospital,” CMAJ. Feb 3, 2004; 170(3): 313.

Wong, J.D., et al, “Medication reconciliation at hospital discharge: evaluating discrepancies,” Ann Pharmacother. Oct 2008; 42(10): 1373-1379.


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