When “Proof” Is Pure BS – Deception and Fraud Appear Rampant in Published Studies

You or a loved one are sick. A new drug shows promise for treating your condition. But it’s fairly new. Is this drug effective? Safe? Proven?

Our system of studies and trials should answer these questions. But a growing body of evidence says they don’t always.

In fact, the evidence suggests a surprising number of studies depend on results that are faked… researchers who fail to report negative results… and other omissions that skew findings.

Here’s what you need to know…

Up to Half of Scientists Know About Fraud… But It’s Rarely Reported

When scientists talk to other scientists, the stories of phony study results come thick and fast. Input from scientists shows about a quarter of studies may involve faked data, phony results, or important information simply left unreported. One study showed 9 out of 10 scientists were aware of colleagues faking results.

In another survey, about a quarter of researchers admit they’ve committed one of the “top ten” forms of misconduct in reporting a study.

A technician at Duke University was implicated in one shocking case of falsification.

The results of 8 years of scientific research – and $112.8 million in funding – came under a cloud. And that was just at Duke. Another $120.9 in research grants to other labs was also involved.

In the end, the researcher was convicted of embezzlement… and years of environmental research became suspect.

A 2009 study uncovered widespread misconduct in scientific research. About a third of scientists said they knew of colleagues faking data. And three out of four were aware of other types of misconduct.

Ferreting Out Fraud in Medical Research

In 2015, scientists at Stanford University uncovered patterns linked to scientific fraud. Certain words, they found, appear more often in fraudulent papers than in honest ones. Fraudsters also avoid certain other words. And use less precise language.

They discovered fraudulent studies contain about 60 more “jargon” words than honest ones. That may not sound like much… but when you know what to look for, it’s a huge red flag.

This research may become the basis of a computer program to test studies. But it’s probably years away. Meanwhile, we have to depend on surveys and similar research.

For example, Britain’s Telegraph newspaper reported on a study that reviewed 21 studies. The study found a third of scientists admitted to omitting results that didn’t agree with their earlier work. And two percent said they had changed or invented data to bolster a desired result.

In other words, 1 of every 50 scientists is willing to lie to back the results they want. And about 1 in 3 will omit data if it looks bad.

So, what does this mean to you?

Don’t Fall for Phony Research

If you’re like many of our other readers, you’re interested in the latest health research. But if so much research is suspect, what can you do? It can take years to uncover faked results.

Here are a few simple tips to avoid falling victim…

  1. Don’t rely on the first or only study on a topic. Until other scientists can duplicate the study, consider the results unproven.
  2. If a study gets very different results from similar studies, be cautious. Similar research should yield similar results.
  3. Find out who sponsored the study. Industry-sponsored studies are more likely to suffer from bias than those independently funded. (This bias rarely rises to the level of fraud.)

We like to think of scientists as champions of truth. Most of them probably are. But there are enough bad apples, you need to be careful. You don’t want to trust your health to phony science.

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.


George, S.L. and Buyse, M., “Data fraud in clinical trials,”  Clin Investig (Lond). 2015; 5(2): 161–173.

“EPA-funded lab faked research results on respiratory illnesses, whistleblower lawsuit claims,” Fox News.
Jul 04, 2017.

Fanelli, D. “How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data,” PLoS ONE. 2009; 4(5): e5738.

Carey, B., “Stanford researchers uncover patterns in howscientists lie about their data,” Nov 16, 2015.

Alleyne, R., “Scientists faking results and omitting unwanted findings in research,” The Telegraph. Jun 4, 2009.


© Copyright 2018 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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The Medical “Blind Spot” Holding You Hostage

You’ve probably never heard of Ignaz Semmelweis. But you – and anyone else who visits a doctor, clinic, or hospital today – owes him a lot. Maybe your life.

You see, back in the 1840s, Semmelweis was put in charge of two maternity wards. One was staffed by doctors; the other by midwives.

Early on, Semmelweis noticed women attended by doctors were five times more likely to die from “childbed fever” than those cared for by midwives. He set himself to find the difference.

After testing every variable, Semmelweis found the difference. The doctors often delivered babies after performing autopsies. Could “cadaver particles” be causing the fevers that killed new mothers?

Semmelweis took a simple step. He had the doctors wash their hands before attending a birth. The death rate among new mothers dropped like a stone. But when Semmelweis left his position, the hospital abandoned hand washing.

Twenty years later, Scottish surgeon Joseph Lister wrote an article for The Lancet. In it, he proposed doctors should clean their hands and instruments after each surgery. His article was based on his own experience… saving limbs and lives with the simple act of washing.

Like Semmelweis, Lister’s idea faced resistance from the medical establishment. But by 1875, the washing of hands and surgical instruments was widely accepted.

We often think of stories like these as showing how far we’ve come since “the old days.” But here’s the thing… The same attitudes doctors had in Lister’s day are still alive and well in the medical community. And they could be holding your health hostage.

You see, mainstream medicine has a blind spot. One that’s been around for a long time.

Modern Medicine Killed George Washington

After leaving office, our first president went back to working his farm. Late in 1799, after a day outside in wind, rain, snow, and hail, Washington became ill.

Three doctors were called to his bedside. Washington had chills, a cough, fever, and shortness of breath. There was just one thing to do, the doctors agreed. It was the standard medical practice.

They bled him. Four times. In all, these medical professionals drained 40% of Washington’s blood. Is it any wonder he died?

But here’s the thing: These men were absolutely certain they were performing a sound medical procedure on the ailing president.

Half a century later, the mainstream scoffed at Semmelweis and Lister. Because they knew better.

And that’s mainstream medicine’s “blind spot.” They generally think what they “know” is set in stone. Except it’s not.

Take vitamin B9, for example.

The Folate Folly

Mainstream medicine says you shouldn’t get more than 1 mg of folate (vitamin B9) per day. If you get too much, they tell us, it can cause nerve damage.

Except a brand new study from Queen Mary University and the University of London finds that’s not true. In fact the study suggests there’s no need at all for an upper limit for folate intake.

The researchers discovered the upper limit was established using a flawed logic. You see, the limit is based on studies involving people with a vitamin B12 deficiency… but treated with folate (B9).

It appears any nerve damage was due to the shortage of B12 and not from getting too much folate.

Look at it this way, if your car ran out of gas, would you fill the tank with diesel and expect it to run well? After all, they’re both petroleum products.

Of course not. But that’s exactly what these studies did. And when the substitution didn’t work, they blamed the wrong side of the equation.

There’s no upper limit for other B vitamins, the study’s authors point out… and there’s no need for a limit on folate, either. But for years, mainstream medicine “knew” too much folate causes nerve damage.

Another recent study reveals where the mainstream may “know” something that’s simply wrong.

Sugar and Cancer

Back in the 1920s, a German doctor and chemist named Otto Warburg made several cancer breakthroughs. One of the most important is known as “The Warburg Effect.”

Warburg discovered that cancer cells use a different form of respiration than healthy cells. Instead of using oxygen – or aerobic respiration – cancer cells largely ferment sugar to create energy. In simple terms, cancer cells have a different metabolism than healthy cells.

But cancer research has focused on genetic factors since Crick and Watson described the structure of DNA in the 1950s. And Warburg’s work has been largely ignored.

Now a team at Duke University has confirmed sugar does play a major role in cancer survival. But not just by providing energy through fermentation.

Sugar, they discovered, also has a role in cell signaling in tumors. Even tiny amounts can help ensure survival of cancer cells.

It’s a discovery that might have been made decades ago. If the mainstream’s blind spot hadn’t blocked out Warburg’s work.

The Warburg Effect is just one of his cancer breakthroughs. Now you can discover how his ideas could lead to the elimination of cancer… how mainstream medicine has suppressed this vital information… and why the Cancer Industry doesn’t want a cancer cure.

You’ll find it all here in “Life Without Cancer”.

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.


“The Doctor Who Championed Hand-Washing And Briefly Saved Lives,” National Public Radio. Jan 12, 2015.

Eschner, K., “The Idea of Surgeons Washing Their Hands is Only 150 Years Old,” Smithsonian.com. Mar 16, 2017.

“Dec. 14, 1799: The excruciating final hours of President George Washington,” PBS News Hour. Dec 14, 2014.

Apple, S., “An Old Idea, Revived: Starve Cancer to Death,” New York Times. May 12, 2016.

“Starving Cancer Cells of Sugar – Does It Work?,” Duke-NUS Medical School. Jan 27, 2018.


© Copyright 2018 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted in Cancer

How Medical Tourism Could Become a Date With Death

Healthcare costs in the U.S. have spiraled out of control. Medical-related bankruptcies have become common… and there’s no end in sight. No wonder more and more people seek healthcare options overseas.

Medical tourism can seem like a dream come true. You visit a beautiful country for bargain-basement medical treatment, add in a “vacation” to recuperate, and still save thousands of dollars.

Maybe tens of thousands of dollars.

But there’s a dark side to this discount healthcare bonanza. A side most folks pushing medical tourism would rather you didn’t talk about. What don’t they want you to know?

How easily this “vacation” trip could turn into your swan song.

When Opportunity Becomes Life-Threatening Risk

We’ve seen the brochures. We’ve read the glowing reviews. We’ve also seen the less publicized results. Medical tourism may save you money, but it’s riskier than most folks are willing to say.

Even plain international travel may put you at risk.

CBS News reported in January 2017 on a woman from Nevada who traveled to Asia. During her trip, she became ill. She was hospitalized several times before returning home. Shortly after her return, she died.

The cause? An antimicrobial resistant “superbug.”

According to an expert from Johns Hopkins Hospital, the benefits of medical tourism may now be overshadowed by the risks. Too many people are coming back to the U.S. with bacteria that our toughest antibiotics can’t knock out.

Medical tourists are bringing death-dealing microbes home with them. And it doesn’t take long to pick them up. Or even a stay in a hospital.

The Spread of Death-Dealing Superbugs

A 2016 article in NewScientist paints a dire picture.A study of 122 international travelers revealed alarming news:

Fifty-five Dutch volunteers showed just 10% carried antibiotic-resistant genes when they left for their travels. But up to 55% carried these genes on their return.

The same researchers tested a group of travelers daily on trips to Asia and Canada. Within just two days, many of them picked up superbugs genes.

After trips to India, for instance, genes resistant to quinolones – key “last resort” antibiotics – remained in some travelers’ guts for up to a month.

Other studies found genes resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics in South-East Asians jumped from 2% to 70% in just 10 years.

The bottom line? Drug-resistant genes are spreading. And at an alarming rate. They seem to be spreading most quickly in Asia… especially in less developed countries.

Medical Tourists Beware

In 2010, a professor from Wales’ Cardiff University reported a drug-resistant strain of a bacterium went from extremely rare to infecting up to 3% of the population with the bacteria in India in just 3 years.

Moreover, Professor Tim Walsh notes the resistant strain moved from India and Pakistan to the U.K. And, yes, medical tourism was involved.

Some of the U.K. carriers of this drug-resistant bacterium had traveled to Asia for everything from bone marrow transplants to burn treatments to cosmetic surgery.

That’s right: Cosmetic surgery. The truth is, that nip or tuck could cost you a lot more than the price on the label. Like that poor woman from Nevada, you could wind up dead.

Think Before You Jump

According to Australia’s Deeble Institute, a billion people travel internationally every year. Medical tourism accounts for a significant number of these travelers. But this travel carries some heavy risks.

To begin with, many medical tourists travel to less developed countries to save as much as possible on the cost of medical procedures.

Plus, these people are exposed to high-risk environments. Hospitals are more likely to harbor antibiotic-resistant bugs than other locations. So having procedures done at hospitals in less developed countries could raise your risk of exposure.

To protect yourself, take some simple measures…

  • Don’t rely on companies selling medical tourism services. In general, they’ll paint the rosiest picture possible.
  • Avoid less developed countries. Yes, procedures may be less expensive there. But the risk of exposure may be much higher.
  • Do your research. An hour or two following online links could save you years of suffering. Or even death. Find out all you can about your options.
  • Consider in-country options. You can often find services within the U.S. that run thousands less than your local hospital. Don’t overlook this option – which could save you a world of pain.

Medical tourism is popular… and it does offer some advantages. But you should weigh those advantages against the risks.

Whatever you do – don’t take some salesman’s word on safety. This is your life we’re talking about. You need to make the most informed decision you can.

And that rarely depends on the information provided by someone selling medical tourism services.

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.


Welch, A., “Woman died from superbug resistant to all available antibiotics in U.S.,” CBS News. Jan 13, 2017.

Coughlan, A., “Tourists pick up antibiotic- resistance genes in just two days,” NewScientist. Jun 24, 2016

Boseley, S., “Antibiotics’ efficiency wanes due to global  spread of drug-resistant bacteria,” The Guardian. Aug 10, 2010.

Senanayake, S., “Antibiotic resistance: how did we get here and what can we do?” Deeble Institute. Apr 12, 2013.

Suliyang, H., “Asia’s leading destination for advanced medical care,”  miphidic.com. Nov 6, 2016.


© Copyright 2018 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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The Cancer Scam: A Story of False Hope and Financial Ruin

Cancer is expensive. In 2015, the average cost of a course of chemotherapy cost a staggering $140,000 per year. That’s $2,692 per week… or a crippling $384.62 per day.

Think that’s bad? Just one year later, the average cost of chemo treatment jumped to $172,000 per year. That’s $471.23 per day – a rise of more than 22% in just one year!

But it’s worth it, right? I mean, how do you put a price on extending – or at least improving – the life of a loved one.

I hope you’re sitting down.

Because a study released last year showed the 48 new cancer drugs approved in Europe between 2009 and 2013 have a miserable track record.

These drugs improved quality of life (QoL) in only 10% of their applications. And they showed no benefit at all in 57% of the applications for which they were approved. Half (49%) showed no improvement in survival or QoL after approval.

In other words, many of these new drugs add to the cost of cancer treatment. But they provide virtually no meaningful benefit.

Yet the cost of these drugs is driving many cancer patients – and their families – into financial ruin. But you know who’s doing okay?

Big Pharma. Stock prices are way up… based, in part, on cancer drugs that do almost nothing.

But Drug Research Is Expensive, Isn’t It?

For years, drug companies have excused predatory pricing with the excuse that bringing a new drug to market is prohibitively expensive.

They’re forced to spend so much to prove a drug’s safety and effectiveness, they say, that new drugs have to be priced at stratospheric levels.

But, as the Washington Post pointed out in 2015, 9 out of the 10 biggest drug companies spend more on marketing than on research and development (R&D).

Johnson & Johnson shelled out 113% more, for example, for marketing activities than for R&D in 2013. Pfizer spent 73% more on marketing than on R&D. And Novartis dropped 47% more on marketing programs than on R&D.

The only exception in the top ten? Roche. They spent a whopping 3% more on R&D than on marketing in 2013.

Much of this marketing money is paid – directly or indirectly – to doctors. How much? In 2012, drug companies spent 8 times more money marketing to doctors than to consumers. And you can’t turn around without seeing a drug company ad on TV or in a magazine.

The 2012 total? An incredible $24 billion to market drugs to doctors.

So the chances are good any doctor you see has been marketed to heavily by drug companies – and that includes doctors treating you or a loved on for cancer.

Plus, a recent study found the industry claim that it costs $2.6 billion to bring a new drug to market is simply wrong. The CEO of GlaxoSmithKline – a major drug manufacturer – called Big Pharma’s cost claims “one of the great myths of the industry.”

The truth is, you’re paying much of the cost of cancer drug development already.

According to Dr. Hagop Kantarjian, of the University of Texas-MD, the average drug company invests about 15 times more into marketing than into basic research.

Instead, Dr. Kantarjian notes, most basic research is funded with taxpayer dollars. And about half of all breakthroughs aren’t made by drug companies. Instead, these breakthroughs happen in university labs.

Dr. Kantarjian points out Big Pharma invests about 20% of its income in marketing and advertising… which only drives the cost of drugs higher.

Don’t Get Ripped Off While You or a Loved One Suffers

I’ll be honest here. It’s not easy to be completely rational when you or someone you love is suffering with cancer. So it’s easy just to do what the oncologist recommends.

But keep in mind these doctors are human. And they’re susceptible to any influence that you or I might be. Including the influence of drug companies offering them goodies.

Drug companies don’t buy medical offices lunch because they feel bad for the hard working medical pros in the office. They don’t offer doctors “educational” weekends at resorts out of the goodness of their hearts.

It’s good business, pure and simple. Big Pharma knows even doctors are swayed by benefits. They wouldn’t spend that $24 billion unless they thought the doctors they market to would return at least that much in business.

But all that money leads to use of better drugs, right?

Hardly. The Houston Chronicle looked at the numbers. The FDA approved 72 cancer drugs between 2002 and 2014. On average, these drugs extended the life of patients by just two months. And the Chronicle notes a 2015 study that found no link between new drugs’ cost and their effectiveness.

As hard as it may be, if a loved one is stricken with cancer, you need to research drug options. And don’t be afraid to ask the oncologist what they receive from the company that makes the drugs they recommend. (Including free samples, lunches, and other “small” gestures.)

In many cases, older, far less expensive drugs will provide the same – or even better – results. Your loved one will still have the best QoL available. But you may be able to avoid the financial ruin tied to new, overpriced cancer drugs with little of no discernable benefit.

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.


Zand, B., “Why are cancer drugs more expensive than ever?” Houston Chronicle. Jan 22, 2018.

Davis, N., “Over half of new cancer drugs ‘show no benefits’ for survival or wellbeing,” The Guardian. Oct 5, 2017.

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

Hirschler, B., “GlaxoSmithKline boss says new drugs can be cheaper,” Reuters. Mar 14, 2013.


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Posted in Cancer

5 Simply Tricks to a Longer, Healthier Life

“Live fast, die young, have a good-looking corpse.”
– Novelist Willard Motley (1947)

Chances are, you couldn’t agree less with the sentiment of Motley’s famous line. You may want to “live fast” and even “have a good-looking corpse,” but dying young isn’t in your plans.

The problem, though, is most prescriptions for a long, healthy life are no fun at all. Nutritionists tell you to avoid all the foods you love. Trainers tell you to spend endless hours on the treadmill. And most doctors probably tell you to do both.

Can’t you enjoy your life, while taking care of yourself? It turns out there are quite a few simple ways to support a longer, healthier life… without making yourself miserable. Today, we’ll explore five simple ways to promote a longer, healthier life.

And, unlike traditional advice, you may find some of them downright fun.

Have Seconds on Steak, Not Pasta

The folks at Ontario’s McMaster University are pros at turning the health world on its ear. We’ve known for years it’s carbs – not fat – that makes you fat. But now McMaster researchers have shown it’s also carbs that make you dead.

Or, at least, increase your risk of an early death. In this large study, a high-carb diet boosted your risk of early death by 28%. While a high fat diet cut risk by 23%. Folks who got up to 35% of their calories from fat also cut their risk of stroke by 18%.

The study also found that a diet very low (less than 7%) in saturated fats may actually be unhealthy.

The study’s authors emphasize balance is important in your diet. Still a second small portion of steak – instead of pasta or white rice – could be a smart move. The protein is more filling than carbs… and a little more fat may be a safer choice than carbs.

Walk the Dog

I don’t usually give business advice, but I’ll make an exception here. If you’re retired and don’t own a dog, consider starting a dog-walking business.

Why? Because dog-walking could make the difference between being active and independent and… Well, you know.

Scientists at the University of East Anglia discovered that people who walked their dogs were more active than those who didn’t. That’s not news. But they found dog walkers were more active on the worst weather days than non-dog walkers were on the best days.

Don’t have a dog? Don’t want a dog? That’s okay. Even if you just offer to walk a dog for a friend or two. As long as you’re consistent about it.

The increased activity could easily make the difference between remaining independent and a life on the sidelines.

Feed Your Gut to Save Your Heart

Would you like to strengthen your heart and lower your risk of heart disease? It may be as easy as eating more onions.

Onions? Yes – seriously.

You see, onions and some of their relatives are high in a type of fiber your body can’t digest. But it’s like candy to some of the “friendly” bacteria in your gut.

These fibers – particularly inulin and fructooligosaccharides (or FOS) – cause healthy bacteria in your gut to thrive. This helps these “good” bacteria to out-compete dangerous bacteria. One of the results? Support for better heart health.

According to recent research, cultivating a healthy “garden” in your gut also fights the effects of aging on your heart.

Garlic, onions, bananas, asparagus, oats, apples, and flaxseed are among the richest source of FOS. Adding more of these delicious foods to your diet may be the easiest – and tastiest – way to defend your heart from the effects of aging.

Defend Your Vision With… Guacamole?

Once upon a time, eating avocado was an indulgence. But this fruit is loaded with healthy fats. So it’s okay to eat a moderate amount regularly.

New research suggests avocado may even give your eyes a boost.

Scientists at the US Department of Agriculture tested avocado with older adults. Those who ate avocado daily saw an increase in macular pigment.

Why does this matter? Because macular pigment is the substance that protects your retinas from ultraviolet (UV) damage. The thicker your layer of macular pigment, the better protection for your vision.

Avocados make a great addition to salads. Or enjoy some guacamole with celery and carrot sticks. Just keep in mind you’ll be adding a fair amount of calories. So maybe you’ll want to skip dessert.

A Shortcut to Defeating Depression

If you’ve ever suffered through a bout of depression, you know how paralyzing it can be. When you’re depressed, nothing feels “worth it.” Consequences don’t matter. And you may even think the unthinkable.

Researchers at the University of New South Wales have good news. You may be able to stave off depression with remarkably little effort.

The study looked at more than 11,000 people over 11 years. And it found a very small amount of exercise can beat depression. In fact, the researchers found just an hour of exercise a week could have prevented 12% of the cases of depression in the study.

An hour a week is less than 10 minutes a day. And the study found that the exercise didn’t need to be high intensity. Any level of exercise seemed to work.

Beating depression may not help you live longer (though it could)… but it will certainly help you live a happier, healthier life.

And it’s just one of several new discoveries that show boosting your overall health and longevity can be easier than the so-called “experts” claim.

Live Longer; Live Better

Let’s be honest. If you don’t like vegetables, you probably won’t force yourself to eat them because your doctor says you should. And spending hours at the gym is only “fun” for a very small group of people.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t take small-but-effective steps to improve your life and health.

If you love dogs, walking a dog is fun. The fact that it boosts your fitness is beside the point. And the fact it’s a viable part-time job is a bonus.

Maybe you really like avocados. But you only eat them occasionally because of the fat content. Now you know you’re probably better off cutting out other foods and eating the avocados you love. Protecting your vision is a bonus.

Living a fulfilling life and a long, healthy one isn’t mutually exclusive. As these studies show, there are many ways to promote a longer life… while enjoying it, too.

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.


“Diet Study Suggests It’s Carbs, Not Fats, That Are Bad for You,” MedlinePlus. Aug 29, 2017.

“Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life,” ScienceDaily. Jul 24, 2017.

“New strategies to optimize and slow cardiovascular aging,” ScienceDaily. Aug 12, 2017.

Scott, T.M., et al, “Avocado Consumption Increases Macular Pigment Density in Older Adults,” Nutrients. 2017; 9(9): 919.

“One hour of exercise a week can prevent depression,” ScienceDaily. Oct 3, 2017.


© Copyright 2018 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted in Diet

Why You Should Stop Fearing Fat

Baby Boomers have seen a lot of changes in their lives. Digital photography… cell phones… heart transplants. None of these existed when Boomers were born.

Our diets have changed, too. TV dinners were popular when most Boomers were young. Instant everything came in a box. And slabs of fatty meat were the centerpiece of almost every meal.

Then we got the bad news: All those fat-laden foods we loved were killing us. Almost overnight, fat became the villain of the dinner table. Eating fat makes you fat. Fat causes heart disease. The foods we loved most turned out to be our worst enemies.

Thus began decades of fear of fat. Chances are your doctor is still telling you to avoid fats. Most do. Uncle Sam still does. Even though, we’ve seen them get the fat story wrong time and again.

Here are just two reasons you shouldn’t fear fat any more…

The “Experts” Sent Us From the Frying Pan Into the Fire

Mainstream medicine told us there were good fats and bad fats.

Saturated fats – like those found in animal products and tropical oils – were especially unhealthy. Polyunsaturated fats – like those found in many vegetable oils – were good.

So the food industry pulled most of the “unhealthy” saturated fats out of their products and replaced them with a healthier alternative: partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs).

PHVOs replaced the saturated palm and coconut oil we used on movie theater popcorn. Margarine – the wartime substitute for butter – was in vogue. Most packaged foods changed over, too.

Before long, PHVOs were everywhere. Best of all, they were more than just good for us. They were cheap and kept longer than saturated fats.

Except the experts got it all wrong.

PHVOs are loaded with trans fats. Trans fats are far worse for you than saturated fats. And – unlike the saturated fat scare of the 1950s – there’s actual scientific evidence to back that claim up.

But here’s where it gets weird. Because – in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary – the mainstream continues to push thoroughly debunked advice on fats.

Yes, the mainstream tells you to avoid trans fats. But they’ve never gotten around to admitting they were wrong about saturated fats. For example, a major review of studies revealed this spring that saturated fats don’t raise your risk of heart disease or stroke.

Now we’re finding even more common wisdom about fats is wrong.

Omega-3 vs. Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Everybody knows Omega-3 fatty acids are good for you. Especially EPA and DHA – the two “marine” Omega-3s. The especially health-conscious among us also “know” that Omega-6 fatty acids are a problem.

Both Omega-3s and Omega-6s are essential fatty acids. They’re called essential, because your body can’t make them. But you need them to survive. So you have to get them from your diet.

The argument is that Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory, while Omega-6s are pro-inflammatory. And we’re getting far more Omega-6s than our ancestors did. At the same time, we’re eating far fewer Omega-3s.

So, the logic goes, most of us have a pro-inflammatory diet… which encourages arthritis, heart disease, and other diseases linked to systemic inflammation.

Today’s “progressive” mainstreamers have jumped on this bandwagon – just as they did the anti-fat bandwagon of 70 years ago. There’s just one problem with their logic.

It’s wrong.

Studies show the link between Omega-6 fatty acids and inflammation is pretty weak. In fact, it doesn’t exist at all for the most common Omega-6 in our diets.

The Truth Keeps Ruining All Our Good Theories

First, we do get more Omega-6s – and less Omega-3s – than our ancestors probably did. And, yes, most of us don’t get enough Omega-3s. But Omega-6 fatty acids are getting a bum rap.

In fact, some of the healthiest foods are also high in Omega-6s. Such as nuts (including peanuts), flax, and spices like cayenne and red pepper.

But do Omega-6 fatty acids boost systemic inflammation? A review of 76 studies says, “No!”

The review found people eating a diet high in Omega-6 fats had a lower risk of heart trouble than people eating a diet high in healthy fats like olive oil.

In this study, diets high in trans fats actually had the closest link to heart disease.

The worst fats turned out to be those the mainstream pushed on us decades ago. Meanwhile, saturated fats hardly moved the marker.

And a high intake of Omega-6s cut heart risk significantly.

Here’s some of the truth on fats you may never hear from a doctor…

  • April 2017 – Saturated fat intake isn’t linked to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, or death from either. Or to your risk of type II diabetes.
  • August 2015 – Omega-6 fatty acid intake is inversely related to a key marker of heart risk.
  • January 2016 – Higher Omega-6 levels are linked to lower heart risk.
  • November 2017 – Men with higher Omega-6 levels have a lower risk of heart trouble.

So, what’s the bottom line here? Stop fearing fat. Just use your common sense…

Fats Are an Essential Part of Your Diet

I’m not saying you should eat unlimited amounts of saturated fats… or ignore the Omega-3 – Omega-6 imbalance. But fat is essential for your good health.

Naturally occurring fats have a place in your diet. PHVOs – and their associated trans fats – don’t.

Don’t give up walnuts because they’re high in Omega-6s. Just eat them in moderation. Don’t avoid tropical oils. They’re far healthier than PHVOs. And don’t swear off steak if you love it. Trim the fat. Or buy a leaner cut.

Finally, to get more Omega-3s in your diet, select grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, and wild-caught fish. A quality fish oil supplement wouldn’t hurt, either.

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.


Malhotra, A., et al, “Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions,” British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2016; dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2016-097285.

Chowdhury, R., et al, “Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” Annals of Internal Medicine. 2014; 160(6): 398-406.

Kubota, Y., et al, “Serum Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Composition and Serum High- Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein Levels in Healthy Japanese Residents: The KOBE Study,” J Nutr Health Aging. Aug 2015; 19(7): 719-728.

El-Saed, A., et al, “The Associations of C-Reactive Protein with Serum Levels of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Trans Fatty Acids Among Middle- Aged Men from Three Populations,” J Nutr Health Aging. Jan 2016; 20(1): 16-21.

Virtanen, J.K., et al, “The associations of serum n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids with serum C-reactive protein in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2017; doi:10.1038/s41430-017-0009-6.


© Copyright 2018 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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The Scandinavian Secret For a Longer, Healthier Life

Most Americans don’t know a lot about Finland. This small Scandinavian nation usually flies under our radar. But Finland has more than a few claims to fame.

Take Paavo Nurmi, for instance. Nurmi was known as “the Flying Finn.” He won 9 gold and 3 silver Olympic running medals. He’s the only runner ever to hold the world records in the 10,000 meters… 5,000 meters… and mile… at the same time.

Finland is also the home of Santa Claus. Rovaniemi, a Lapland village, is a popular with tourists as the host of “Santa Claus Village” – where Santa lives. In the hardy Finnish tradition, this town on the Arctic Circle is open year round!

Another of Finland’s claims to fame? The sauna. A traditional session follows the moist heat of the sauna with a plunge into the “bracing” waters of one of Finland’s many lakes.

Finns swear this ritual keeps them younger and healthier. This may sound a little crazy. But the latest science says it’s not.

Because research shows the sauna delivers remarkable health benefits. Benefits that can literally turn the clock back on the aging process.

Feeling Great Is Good for You

Almost everyone I’ve ever met who’s been in a sauna agrees. It’s about as relaxing an experience as you can imagine.

A half-hour or so in a sauna relaxes your muscles, eases your joints, and leaves you feeling about as flexible as you can be. Even if you start your sauna with strangers… they’ll probably be friends by the time you step out.

Physically, though, the effects are profound. Research shows you gain many benefits from a visit to the sauna… Or, at least, regular visits to the sauna.

A single half-hour sauna can lead to big health gains. For example, a 2017 study found a single 30-minute sauna improved blood pressure levels and lowered arterial stiffness.

Another study found men who enjoy four or more saunas have lower blood pressure.

And that’s just for starters…

Saunas Help Ease Many Health Issues

Frequent sauna is linked to a lower risk of dementia. In fact, a two-thirds lower risk.

Over 20 years, men who took a sauna at least four times a week were two-thirds less likely to suffer with dementia than those who only visited the sauna once a week.

In a related study, men who took saunas at least four times a week were also nearly two-thirds less likely to die from heart problems.

Analysis of a major study of heart risk factors found regular sauna use lowers overall cardiovascular risk…

And a lower risk of death from cardiovascular problems.

A 2017 study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology showed remarkable drops in blood pressure after just a single sauna session.

Subjects showed a 7-point drop in systolic blood pressure – and a similar drop in diastolic blood pressure – after a sauna.

A 2015 study in the journal Internal Medicine also found frequent sauna use was linked to a lower risk of early death.

Not too bad for enjoying a relaxing half-hour or so a few times a week.

The No-Workout Workout

Perhaps most remarkable, your body seems to react to a 30-minute sauna the way it does to exercise. While you’re sitting, enjoying the heat, the sauna is literally changing your body. For the better.

It’s all laid out in a study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension.

Taking a sauna may seem like an indulgence. But it’s not. It’s an investment in a longer, healthier life.

Countless generations of Finns have shown the sauna is a reliable way to build a healthy future. And this Scandinavian secret is all benefit… so why not take advantage? In as little as 30 minutes, you could be on your way to better health.

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.


Laukkanen, T., et al, “Acute effects of sauna bathing on cardiovascular function,” Journal of Human Hypertension. 2017; doi:10.1038/s41371-017-0008-z.

“Frequent sauna bathing keeps blood pressure in check,” Am J Hypertens. Jun 13, 2017; doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpx102.

“Frequent sauna bathing protects men against dementia,” University of Eastern Finland. 2016; doi: 10.1093/ageing/afw212.

“Frequent sauna use protects men against cardiac death,” University of Eastern Finland. 2015.


© Copyright 2018 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Can You Eat Your Way to Happiness?

I’m sure you know what you eat is important to your health. You’ve probably heard that sugar is poison to your body. (It is.) That carbs make you fat. (They do.) And that the Standard American Diet promotes inflammation and early death. (It does.)

So here’s some good food news for a change…

You can eat a delicious and filling diet and be happier for it. And I don’t just mean the happiness that comes from knowing you’ve done well. I mean you can actually improve your mood by eating tasty, filling foods.

With the holidays upon us, here’s how to eat to get the most good feelings out of your year-end celebrations.

Eating and Mood – A Proven Link

Folks like to say, “You are what you eat.” And there’s some truth to that. But what you don’t hear so often is that you also feel what you eat.

Back in 2015, University researchers in Spain looked at data on more than 15,000 volunteers. These college students were all free from depression at the start of the study, and were followed for an average of 8.5 years.

About 10% of the students were diagnosed with depression over a 10-year period. Among those, certain dietary patterns stood out.

Volunteers who followed the Mediterranean diet – high in fruits and vegetables, low in red meat, etc. – were 16% less likely than average to suffer with depression.

Those who ate a primarily vegetarian diet cut their risk of depression by 26%.

And those who scored high on the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI-2010) were a whopping 40% less likely to develop depression.

AHEI-2010 ideally includes eating 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, a serving of nuts each day, focusing of healthy fats, and going easy on red meat and dairy foods.

The results of this study were published in BMJ Medicine.

Two years later, the same journal published another study. This study was much smaller but focused on the effect of diet on existing depression.

Volunteers suffering with depression were divided randomly into two groups. One group ate a modified Mediterranean diet for 12 weeks. The others received social support. This consisted of “befriending.”

Befriending offered neutral social support without using any recognized psychiatric practices.

At the end of the 12 weeks, those following the modified Mediterranean diet had significantly lower depression scores than the befriending group.

Happiness May Grow on Trees

In a 2016 study of 12,000 Australians, food proved a major factor in happiness.

Eating lots of fruits and veggies can boost your health in many ways. It lowers your risk of cancer, high blood pressure, and many other ailments. But what’s the quickest result?

Apparently, it’s boosting your mood.

Over two years, people who added the largest amount of fruits and vegetables to their diet also boosted their satisfaction with their lives the most.

“The results showed that there was a direct impact,” said New York City nutritionist Antonella Apicella, “in terms of the amount of fruits and vegetables someone had and their overall well-being.”

A study just published in BMC Public Health showed similar results in children.

The study found that kids who ate less sugar and fat – and more fruits and veggies – had higher self-esteem, and fewer problems with their emotions and even bullying.

Simply put, healthy eating was clearly linked to greater emotional health.

And, yes, I have some specific suggestions.

The Experts ID Foods That Make You Happier

According to the folks at Healthline.com, you can boost happiness with a few simple tricks.

First, eat at regular intervals to keep your blood sugar as level as possible. Try to eat at the same time every day – including snacks. Also, don’t skip meals. According to doctors at the Mayo Clinic, hunger can lead to a bad mood – and overeating at your next meal.

Next, avoid foods that can kill your mood. Cleveland Clinic experts say “white foods” – such as refined flour and white rice – and simple sugars should be off your diet. They can lead to mood-killing blood sugar swings.

Instead, focus on lean proteins, vitamin-dense foods – especially foods rich in B vitamins and D – and foods rich in fiber.

During the holidays, you’ll probably be tempted by foods high in fat and sugar. But resist. If you go for the healthy options I’ve listed here, you’ll actually wind up happier for the holidays.

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.


Sánchez-Villegas, A., et al, “A longitudinal analysis of diet quality scores and the risk of incident depression in the SUN Project,” BMC Medicine. 2015; 13: 197.

Jacka, F.N., et al, “A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ trial),” BMC Medicine. 2017; 15: 23.

Blaszczak-Boxe, A., “Eating More Fruits & Veggies May Make You Happier,” LiveScience.com. Jul 14, 2016.

“Healthy eating linked to kids’ happiness,” ScienceDirect.com. Dec 13, 2017.

“Mood Food: Can What You Eat Affect Your Happiness?” Healthline.com. Jun 2, 2016.


© Copyright 2018 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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“Life Saving” Medicine is the #3 Cause of Death in the U.S.

In the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life, a young George Bailey saves two lives. He saves his brother from drowning. And he saves an innocent person from being poisoned.

Mr. Gower, the town’s druggist receives bad news, gets drunk, and nearly poisons a patient. George – who works as Gower’s delivery boy – sees the error and doesn’t make the delivery. Mr. Gower reacts violently at first. But then George reveals the truth, and his anger turns to regret and gratitude.

It’s a touching cinematic moment. Unfortunately, in real life, medication errors aren’t at all rare. And there may not be a George Bailey to step in if it happens to you or a loved one.

Medication errors happen at least 1.3 million times each year in the U.S. And retirees are hit especially hard. Almost half of all fatal medication errors in the U.S. involve people over 60.

“Life-Saving” Medicine Is the #3 Cause of Death in the U.S.

According to experts at Johns Hopkins, medical errors are now the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. Only heart disease and cancer lead to more deaths. A shocking 9.5% of deaths in the U.S. are linked to medical errors.

Mistakes involving drugs lead the pack.

More than 4 of 10 fatal medication errors involve wrong dosages. Giving someone the wrong drug entirely came in 2nd at 16%.

How can you give someone a completely wrong drug? Well, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) keeps a list of commonly confused drugs. The list currently runs to 9 pages – with 2 columns per page. The list totals over 800 entries!

And with more than 10,000 drugs to choose from, you can probably see why there might be some confusion.

The ISMP also keeps a shorter list of “high-alert” drugs. These are drugs that can cause serious harm with even small slip-ups. And the list isn’t laden with exotic drugs for rare diseases. They include some of the most common drugs you could imagine. Such as…

  • Epinephrine – The drug used by millions to reverse allergic reactions.
  • Oxytocin – A common opioid pain reliever.
  • Insulin U-500 – A potent form of insulin used to control blood sugar.

The list also includes classes of drugs… such as oral hypoglycemic (to lower blood sugar)… all injected insulin… anticoagulants (so-called “blood thinners”)… and even some forms of sodium chloride (salt) and water!

Errors with these drugs may not be more common than with other drugs. But when they happen, the results can be especially serious.

And here’s one more disturbing fact…

Half of All IV Drug Use Involves an Error

In 2016, BMJ Quality & Safety – a publication of the British Medical Journal – published a multi-hospital study.

Researchers found errors occurred in 60% the uses of IV drugs. Even when so-called “smart pumps” were used.

Smart pumps were developed to prevent errors. But that didn’t prevent errors in almost two-thirds of these cases.

Most of the errors – 65% – involved violations of hospital policies. And – fortunately – most weren’t serious enough to lead to patient harm.

Still, the review showed that even the “smartest” technology can’t overcome all human error. And that human error is a very common problem.

So what can you do?

Protect Yourself From Drug-Related Mistakes

First and foremost, keep in mind nobody – even the highest paid doctor in the world – is mistake-proof. And realize many mistakes happen when a decision maker doesn’t have all the facts. So…

Be sure all your doctors know what drugs you’re taking – as well as any vitamins or other supplements. That should help you avoid any negative drug interactions.

Next, ask anyone who prescribes a drug to spell out the name for you, the dose, and when to take it. Write it down. Many drugs have similar names. And small differences in dose can take you from healthy to hurtful.

Don’t be afraid to ask why any drug is being prescribed, either.

If you land in the hospital, keep a list of your prescriptions – What you’re taking, how much you should take and when. Double-check anything you’re given with your list. If it doesn’t match, find out why before you take it.

Medical professionals take pride in their work. And most of them get it right most of the time. But they’re human. Mistakes happen. Someone takes a shortcut… or misreads instructions… or picks up the wrong drugs for the wrong hospital room because they’re in a hurry.

When it comes to drugs, small mistakes can have big consequences. If you stay alert and ask the right questions, you can cut your risk of suffering those 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.


“Study Suggests Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.,” Johns Hopkins Medicine. May 3, 2016.

“Medication Errors,” AHRQ. Jun 2017.

Anderson, P. and Twonsend, T., “Preventing high-alert medication errors in hospital patients,” American Nurse Today. May 2015; 10(5): 18-23.

“ISMP List of High-Alert Medications in Acute Care Settings,” ISMP. 2014.

“ISMP’s List of Confused Drug Names,” ISMP. Feb 2015.

“Majority of IV Medication Errors Linked to Clinical Practice Not Technology,” AAMI. Mar 8, 2016.

Binder, L., “The Shocking Truth About Medication Errors,” Forbes. Sep 3, 2013.

Stoppler, M.C., “The Most Common Medication Errors,” MedicineNet.com. Dec 1, 2014.


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

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A Rare Disease, But a Common Prescription

It sounds like the plot of one of those Oscar season “prestige” movies…

Crusading journalists discover sales of a drug for a rare condition have skyrocketed in the last few years. About half those sales – 14 million pills in 2016 – went to long-term care facilities. Sales to these facilities are up 400% in 4 years.

Meanwhile, the pill’s maker has been plowing money into non-profits that deal with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A move medical ethicists say is common, but clearly unethical in this case.

And here’s the clincher: The pills are mostly given to elderly patients who don’t have the rare condition it’s designed to treat. And that’s the only approved use for this drug.

But, as you guessed, this isn’t the plot of some Hollywood Oscar bait. It’s real life. And the crusading journalists are from – wait for it – CNN.

That’s right. The news source many folks laugh off as “the airport news network,” has done you a big favor if someone you love is in long-term care.

Here’s what you need to know…

A Rare Disease, but a Common Prescription

Earlier this year, I wrote to you about “off-label” prescribing. That’s when a doctor orders a drug for a condition it hasn’t been approved for.

Off-label use is legal… but open to question. Many off-label uses for drugs are backed by skimpy – if any – evidence.

The drug in this story is Neudexta. The rare condition it treats is PBA – pseudobulbar affect. Less than 1% of Americans have this disorder. It’s mostly found in people with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) or multiple sclerosis.

People with PBA experience episodes of uncontrollable laughter or crying. These outbursts are a nerve system disorder, and not caused by ordinary emotional triggers.

Neudexta is the only drug approved for PBA, and by all reports, it helps.

Here’s where the problem arises. The drug’s maker would like to see it prescribed for other neurological conditions… such as agitation in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Which is why giving money to non-profits devoted to curing these diseases creates a conflict of interest.

So much so, the CNN exposé has led to an investigation by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.

Then there’s the bigger question…

Why the Explosion of Off-Label Use?

The drug’s maker, Avanir, claims it doesn’t promote off-label use. Which is illegal. Yet 400% growth in four years for an off-label use is, let’s say, unusual.

According to CNN’s medical sources, PBA is uncommon among dementia patients. Regulators also report some doctors have falsely diagnosed PBA in order to prescribe Neudexta. Apparently in hopes of making patients easier to manage.

But that’s open to question. Creighton University reports on one trial using Neudexta with agitated Alzheimer’s patients. The Neudexta group fared better than those taking a placebo. But the difference was so small it’s unclear it rises to statistical significance.

The study also left open questions about safety. The researchers found some evidence it may increase the risk of falls in the elderly.

Then there’s the cost. The New York Times reports a month’s supply of Neudexta costs over $700.00. In spite of it just being a combination of two fairly inexpensive drugs. The Times found buying those two drugs separately would cost about $20.00 a month.

The more you learn, the more this sounds like a classic case of greed gone wild.

If one of your loved ones is in long-term care, find out what drugs they’re on. If they’re taking Neudexta, their doctor should have some explaining to do.

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.


Jason Kennedy

Ellis, B. and Hicken, M., “Drugmaker’s ties to nonprofits pose ‘conflict of interest’,” CNN Investigates. Nov 3, 2017.

Ellis, B. and Hicken, M., “The little red pill being pushed on the elderly,” CNN Investigates. Oct 12, 2017.

Hein, D., “Off-Label Uses of Neudexta® (Dextromethorphan/Quinidine),” Long-Term Care Updates, Creighton University. Mar 2017.

Applby, J., “How a Drug to Treat Crying Sent Sales Soaring,” The New York Times. May 12, 2017.


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

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