Reality Health Check

Vitamin D is still your safest defense against COVID-19

Speaking of messages I plan to keep repeating until I’m certain they’ve sunk in… today I want to focus on the deadly risks of vitamin D deficiency.  And those risks are especially apparent right now, while the coronavirus pandemic is still in full swing.   You may recall recent research that showed how being deficient in D increases risk of both infection and severe illness with COVID-19.  [...]

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ALERT: Asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 is a bigger threat than you might think

It’s no secret that universal mask wearing is vitally important while we’re still in the grips of COVID-19. But today, I want to share a new finding that underscores that message in bright red ink.   As I mentioned on Tuesday, the main purpose of wearing a mask isn’t to protect yourself from infection. (Though it certainly does confer some protection to you.) The real goal is to keep […]

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It’s a scientific fact that masks save lives

Even at the risk of sounding like a broken record, today, I’m reiterating the critical importance of wearing masks in the age of coronavirus. In fact, until I can walk my dog, Remington, without seeing a single uncovered face while this pandemic is still kicking, I will continue beating that drum—loud, and often.   Here are just two of the latest reasons why…  All […]

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The devastating truth behind the latest COVID-19 numbers

In an era where terms like “alternative facts” and “fake news” have become common parlance, it’s no wonder that some people believe the number of reported deaths from COVID-19 have somehow been inflated.    But hopefully I’m able to change your mind today with clear, unadulterated facts.   Because while the number of deaths may be shocking, they’re nothing to turn a blind eye to. And [...]

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Five simple ways to protect your kidneys

I think it’s safe to say that a lot us take our kidneys for granted. Even the medical community seems to be guilty of it. I mean, how many campaigns have you seen advising you to protect your kidneys?   It seems our hearts are always getting all the attention. But then again, maybe that’s not such a bad thing… because according to one recent review, the same strategies […]

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These 30 minutes could save your life

Today, I want to share two more new studies that prove, once again, how beneficial exercise is to your overall health.   But this time, research shows it isn’t just short bursts of strenuous exercise that make a difference. Rather, the slow and steady path to a longer life is every bit as reliable…  Intensity isn’t everything  Researchers recently discovered that older people […]

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Transform your metabolic health in just 12 minutes a day

It’s no secret that I’m an avid proponent of exercise. And I realize I might sound like a broken record when I bring it up time and again. But I talk about it on a regular basis here in the Reality Health Check and in my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter because it’s just that important to your health. And by sharing research on the topic, […]

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A nourished microbiome offers critical protection

It’s important to pay attention to (and nourish) your microbiome for various health reasons. Not only does good gut health help combat depression, low mood, and anxiety, but now, a new study shows it may help keep your levels of vitamin D in check, too.  And given vitamin D’s vital role in combatting COVID-19—and with sunshine in short supply until summer—I think it’s safe […]

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A key to happiness hides in your gut

The “winter blues” seem to hit every year as soon as the holidays end. And this year? Well, I think it’s safe to say we have a double whammy headed our way.   The crises of 2020 didn’t just evaporate when the calendar flipped. And these cold, dark winter days deepen many people’s struggle with depression, low moods, and anxiety.   So today, I thought we should talk about one tiny […]

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Two surefire ways to lose weight in 2021

Well, another holiday season is over. And it’s back to business as usual. (That is, as usual as any business has been since COVID-19 came to town.)   Without a doubt, 2020 has changed life for everyone—one way or the other. But I have to admit, not all of those changes have been bad. For one thing, many people really started focusing on cooking healthy meals in their […]

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Here’s one thing 2020 didn’t change…

Happy New Year!   I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be more thrilled to close the door on 2020—even with all the uncertainty that still remains ahead.  If nothing else, it’s a welcome reminder that all things eventually come to an end. And that one day soon enough, this pandemic will come to an end, too. But […]

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Better sleep habits can cut heart failure risk in half

Given what we just talked about on Tuesday, it’s pretty clear that the message about the effects of poor sleep on your overall health still hasn’t sunk in.    So today, let’s talk about another eye-opening study that recently found its way into my inbox: According to new research, adults with healthy sleep habits have a nearly 50 percent lower risk of suffering heart failure when compared [...]

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The lethal stereotype that’s sabotaging men’s health

Okay, guys. Yesterday, I explained why it’s so important to take your erectile dysfunction seriously. So today, let’s talk about your sleep habits. Because I recently came across a study that concerned me deeply… and yet didn’t surprise me at all.  The fact is, most Americans clock fewer than seven hours of shut eye each night, with nearly half complaining that they suffer the consequences, [...]

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Attention men: ED threatens more than just your sex life

Occasionally, I like to throw in a few conversations just for the men out there—and of course, for those who love them.   Because let’s face it: Men are notoriously bad at taking care of their own health. Yes, there are plenty of exceptions. (And yes, I consider myself one of those exceptions.) But I’d estimate that a good 70 percent of my practice is women.   Not to mention, [...]

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A delicious way to ward off cognitive decline

Merry Christmas!   I hope you got everything on your wish list this year, and that you are blessed with good health and good company. With that in mind, allow me to bring you some additional tidings of joy…   Iowa State researchers published a new study in a recent issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s one of the first large-scale analyses to connect specific foods to sharper [...]

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Make your Yuletide even merrier by doing this one simple thing

If you’re a regular reader of mine, then this latest news won’t surprise you one bit.   And really, it shouldn’t surprise anyone. But if I’ve learned anything in my 30-some years of practice, it’s that nearly everyone underestimates the deadliness of sugar until the consequences smack them right in the face. (And often times, not even then.)   Well, here comes another sucker punch: New [...]

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A small silver lining during this bleak, COVID Christmas

If you’re looking for a silver lining in the middle of a rather blue holiday season, let me take a moment to remind you of one thing we can all be grateful for: Even as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are soaring across the U.S., we have yet to see the death rate increase significantly.    Of course, by the time you’re reading this, the situation could have already […]

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Mask-wearing and due diligence remain critical this holiday season

Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my head around how, in the middle of a lethal pandemic, wearing a mask is now seen as a political statement rather than an exercise of good, common sense.  Because really, it’s not much to ask. And doing so shows care and concern for the health and safety of your fellow citizens—as well as yourself.   Simple protection for everyone  As you […]

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High blood pressure today may bring brain damage tomorrow

Without a doubt, smart nutrition can—and does—make a very real difference to your brain’s health. But without robust microcirculation, your cognition will still suffer the consequences.   So, you have to protect the blood vessels that supply your brain with oxygen and nutrients. Because as research shows, the damage will catch up with you down the line if you don’t… and your white matter will [...]

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This Christmastime “guilty pleasure” could shave 30 years off your aging brain

Since we spent the first half of this week talking about how supposedly healthy Frankenfoods will hijack your metabolism and put you on the fast track to disease, I thought I’d turn the tables today… and talk about one “guilty pleasure” that actually does your body a whole lot of good.   In fact, this treat has been linked to everything from heart health to improved circulation. And now, a [...]

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Sugar kills… no matter how it’s being disguised

“Diet” soda may be marketed as a healthier alternative to its sugar-sweetened counterpart. But it’s way past time we started to think of so-called “diet” drinks the same way we think of cigarettes. (In other words, as something you definitely do not want in your body.)  I realize we just talked about this yesterday. But I also know that it still hasn’t sunk in for everyone. And seeing as how [...]

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Warning: Packaged foods kill

Over the years, we’ve talked a lot about how artificial sweeteners are no improvement over sugar where your metabolic health is concerned.   In fact, if forced to pick my poison, I would probably choose sugar, since at least it’s natural—something you certainly can’t say about most of the chemical monstrosities we use as substitutes.    Still, the myth persists that artificial sweeteners are [...]

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Attention women: Menopause takes a toll on your liver, too

Today, let’s shift our focus just a bit. In light of the new research I shared with you yesterday on fatty liver disease, I’ll be sending another urgent warning. But this time, to a much different demographic: menopausal women.  As it turns out, fatty liver disease is now on the list of risks that accompany this particular change of life. And just like osteoporosis and heart disease, it’s [...]

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Fatty liver weighs down one in five young adults

Today’s discussion should be eye-opening, to say the least.   That’s because recent research shows just how common one serious condition has become among young (and supposedly healthy) adults…   Sick teens, sicker adults  Fatty liver disease refers to a dangerous build-up of triglycerides in this organ. And aside from alcoholism, the leading cause of this condition is obesity and the [...]

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Ignoring childhood obesity is a form of neglect

By now, you probably know how much I love the U.K.—and particularly, their sensible approach to healthcare.   While doing some of my medical school training there, it was always interesting to see their perspective on how to stretch healthcare dollars—and how to find ways to make the public healthier, rather than just slapping expensive band–aids on them when they got sick.  So today, I [...]

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One specific blood test could ward off an early grave

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the importance of vitamin D lately—not least of all because of its pivotal role in the fight against COVID-19.  Still, I wanted to take some time to remind you that this nutrient is a lifesaver… even in non-pandemic times. And as the latest research illustrates, maintaining optimal levels will help to keep you alive long after the novel coronavirus is [...]

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Yet another reason to pass on plant-based diets

Since we’re talking about the incredible benefits of weight loss this week, I thought I would take a moment to remind you of one particularly trendy strategy you should avoid at all costs.   “Plant-based” diets are all the rage these days—but while eating more veggies is always a good idea for your health, going vegan isn’t. And […]

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Even small weight loss could save your life

I realize I talk about weight loss and diabetes a lot.    But “diabesity” was easily the most urgent health crisis facing the Western world pre-pandemic. And let’s face it… it still is—because as I’ve shared here before, obesity and diabetes are the two most lethal pre-existing conditions to have in the age of COVID-19.  And now, new research is once again showing us what we already [...]

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Happiness and health are a package deal

There’s a reason I decided to devote this week’s discussions to the power of gratitude and positivity—and it’s not just because Thanksgiving is only two days away. Times are tough for a lot of people this year—for a lot of reasons that are out of our control. But there’s one thing you can control: your […]

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Key differences between a cold and COVID-19

While we’re on the subject of staying healthy through the winter, let’s start today’s discussion with some good news: In the Southern hemisphere, flu season is ending. And you know what? Turns out, there was hardly even a flu season at all. Scientists consider this a silver lining of the pandemic life that we’ve all […]

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My foolproof plan to staying healthy all winter long

Last week, I reminded you to double down on vitamin D supplementation over the winter—and during this winter, in particular. That’s because, among many other health benefits, this nutrient is especially protective against COVID-19. But as we head into another (albeit atypical) holiday season, I figured I would revisit my overall immune-boosting plan in greater […]

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