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Things to be learned from Tony Robbins Lectures

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Things to be learned from Tony Robbins Lectures

I read an article about Tony Robbins lectures and the author noted these things which I think can be useful to anyone.  I am not advocating people going to spend the enormous amount that TR demands from his followers and being forced to do his seminars and sessions, but there is some core information that all people should internalize.  I have distilled the long article to these ideas:

Six Core Human Needs

Tony states that he “discovered” that there are really six core human needs.  How we align them and how we pursue fulfillment of them determines much about our life satisfaction.  Here they are in no order of importance:

  • Significance is the desire to feel important and recognized. We desire to be significant to the world and to be acknowledged for what we’ve contributed. If it’s your first or second human need, as it was for me, you may be living for the acclaim and recognition of others, which for me led to less happiness, hence the need for a shift.
  • Certainty is the desire to feel stable or that we can rely on certain things to happen that are predictable and reliable.  I board a plane with a sense of certainty that I will safely arrive at my destination. I enter into a romantic relationship with a certain expectation and hope of certainty that my partner will honor our relationship and I’ll do the same.
  • Uncertainty is the need for variety in our lives. Whether we are aware of it or not, we all have this need. It doesn’t mean we’re all daredevils, but we all long for a bit of variation to keep our lives from becoming stale.  Some have a huge need for variety, others less so.
  • Love and Connection is the need to feel connected to other people on a deep level. This goes without saying, but love and connection remains one of the most fulfilling needs, if not the most.  To the core of who we are as humans, we long to give love and to feel connected to others—humans, our pets, our purpose.
  • Contribution is the need to make a difference and to contribute to the world. When we make a difference in the worl, that gives meaning and depth to our existence.  There’s a deeper and more profound joy when generosity is a core element of how we live.
  • Growth is the inner ache to push ourselves to become new or greater. When we grow, we feel happy. We feel alive.   Think of how alive a young child is when he’s discovering the endless variety of things as simple as the animal kingdom.  Or how we sometimes fondly reflect on high growth seasons of our lives and realize they were among the most fulfilling.


There’s hardly anything in the world that is more powerful than to start your day off with gratitude and to live with gratitude. Recognition to anyone or anything for your life on this planet is an important part of being a member of a community and society in general.


If I lead my life asking myself, “How can I give? How can I add value?” and, “How can I contribute?”, the dynamics of my entire life change. This includes friendships, relationships, and business. We all need purpose in our lives.  It’s a timeless principle that  pays dividends externally and internally.

It is my belief that not having a purpose in life is what accelerates the decline we see in old people.

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Large Study Links Brown Fat With Lower Rates of Cardiometabolic Disease

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Large Study Links Brown Fat With Lower Rates of Cardiometabolic Disease

People who have brown fat detected on imaging seem to be at reduced risk of cardiac and metabolic conditions, ranging from type 2 diabetes to hypertension and coronary artery disease, with a notably strong effect in people with obesity, according to a new study in more than 52,000 individuals who had PET/CT scans as part of cancer evaluation.

Although studied for decades in newborns and animals, only in the past decade have scientists appreciated that some adults have brown fat, typically around the neck and shoulders.

The new study, by far the largest of its kind in humans, appears to confirm the health benefits of brown fat suggested by previous studies, say Tobias Becher, MD, and colleagues from Rockefeller University, New York City, in their article published online January 4 in Nature Medicine.

“Our study indicates an important contribution of brown adipose tissue to cardiometabolic health and suggests…[it] has therapeutic potential in humans,” they state.

Brown Fat Detected in 10% of Participants

Contrary to white fat, which stores energy, brown fat is thermogenic, activated by cold conditions, and instead burns energy. And although animal studies have shown a link between brown fat and improvements in glucose and lipid homeostasis, the effects of brown fat in humans are not well understood.

Becher and colleagues explain that large-scale studies of brown fat have been practically impossible because the tissue only shows up on medical imaging and it would be unethical to expose people to radiation just to study brown fat.

Does Brown Fat Mitigate Some Harms of Obesity?

Among those with brown fat, the rate of type 2 diabetes was 4.6% compared with 9.5% in those with no detected brown fat (P < .0001), and in a multivariate analysis, the odds ratio (OR) for type 2 diabetes in the presence of brown fat was 0.44.

The occurrence of coronary artery disease was significantly lower in those with brown fat (OR, 0.68; = .0002), as was cerebrovascular disease (OR, 0.77; P = .0317), congestive heart failure (OR, 0.62; = .0043), and hypertension (OR, 0.85; P = .0014).

Brown fat was also associated with notable improvements in glucose, triglycerides, and HDL-C levels (all P < .0001), while no differences were seen in measures of LDL-Cs or total cholesterol.

Leukocyte and platelet counts were significantly decreased in individuals with brown fat (both P < .0001).

The findings “suggest potential roles for brown adipose beyond regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism,” the authors write.

Most notably, the effects were more pronounced in people with obesity. For example, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in those with obesity and brown fat was less than half the rate in those with obesity without brown fat (7.5% vs 20.3%; P < .0001).

This could indicate that brown adipose tissue “might play a role in mitigating the deleterious effects of obesity,” the researchers state.

Nature Med. Published January 4, 2021. Abstract

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Dr. Lane’s Thoughts XXVIII

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1) Betsy DeVos resigned from the Trump administration “bravely”(?) with 13 days to go before it is over – a hypocrite of such oily loathsomeness that in comparison the Costra Nostra would be just a few businessmen concerned about your well-being.

Betsy DeVos is a rich, privileged woman chosen to be Education Secretary (a cabinet-level position with Trump) only because she was Erik Prince’s sister.  Who is Erik Prince? Erik Prince was the founder of Blackwater (now Academi) – a paramilitary mercenary organization favored by Trump which was basically a private military-for-hire.  [I can only guess that he thinks that they are “cool”.]  She was unusually unqualified in a cabinet role for Trump who was known to favor highly unqualified people to serve him in important positions – for Trump it was loyalty over education, training, or knowledge of the post to put a person in charge of.  To be worst than the usual idiots he chose for these cabinet posts is a low bar to not be able to jump over.  

Her only connection to having an actual education of her own was a BA in education economics from an unknown private school called Calvin College in 1979.  Calvin College, as of 2021, is noted for having a very high acceptance rate (79%) and a very low graduation rate (65%) which typically indicates a poor-quality college.  Any other school with such poor credentials would be closed based on their performance.

What is a degree in education economics?  I cannot figure it out. You are not a teacher, or an administrator; you do not impact on students or learning. What does the degree do?  What is it used for?  It seems DeVos found a way to have it pay off – chasing students with student loans to force repayment.  Not just any students but students with useless degrees that Betsy DeVos also funded  – she had investments in the for-profit schools that they got those degrees from!

Ms. DeVos is the wife of the son of the founder of Amway which meant she is a billionaire through her husband.  She had only one interest in her role as Education Secretary – keeping for-profit educational institutions out of legal trouble and easing their enormous debts for their role in bankrupting gullible students with student loan debts and useless educations.  She had bankrolled several of these schools such as Laureate Education—a private for-profit college operator.

She also has a financial stake in a company that, until recently, held a lucrative contract from the U.S. Department of Education to pursue the loans of defaulted student borrowers. DeVos has money in Apollo Investment Corp., which currently has investments in Delta Educational Systems Inc., a company that operates several dozen private for-profit college campuses. According to a spreadsheet of the first official gainful employment results from the Office of Federal Student Aid, Delta has 40 programs at risk of losing access to federal financial aid under the gainful employment regulation. Moreover, Delta also has accreditation through ACICS.

ACICS (Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools) is known principally for accrediting Reagan National University (formerly Si Tanka University) – an accredited institution of higher education in Sioux Falls, South Dakota – which does not exist, and has no students, faculty or classrooms. It may be a visa mill.  It is only two rooms in a building with no people inside, though it has a website showing a campus, lists of classes with professors assigned, a financial aid office, and student population  – all of which were fake. 

The ‘school’ was accredited by the ACICS – a disreputable organization with a history of accrediting fake schools.  Attempts were made to shut down ACICS but were rebuffed by DeVos.  To be accredited by ACICS it had to be viewed during a site visit and would have spent years of submitting paperwork to obtain credentialing.   Ms. DeVos has a great deal of explaining to do about how a disreputable organization approved a fake school!

While she had billions of dollars to spend from her husband, it would seem that she wanted to make her own money so she went into the usurious world of funding for-profit colleges to offer useless overpriced degrees paid for though US government student loans and then funded companies to chase those same students to get the money back!

She fought against dismissing student loan debt for all students in the US and made this clear in her farewell letter of Early January 2021 upon resigning as Education Secretary in the last days of the Trump administration.  She quit only because of the storming of the Capital on January 6, 2021.

For someone this corrupt to resign from Trump’s administration because of ethical concerns is a joke.  It is like a skunk quitting a skunk-owned company because it strongly feels that the other skunks stink too much.

2) Concerning the attempt by followers of Trump to invade the US Capitol and possibly overthrow the government (they claim they were protesting the November election), no one summed it up better than Arnold Schwartzenegger, an immigrant to the US.  Please watch his remarks here:

3) There is a word being tossed around concerning Trump and his actions – the word “pardon”.  Many people believe that a pardon releases a person from the law for their actions.  No, it does not release a person from the law, it only releases them from the punishment.

A pardon is an admittance of guilt.  by accepting a pardon you have accepted that you are guilty of the crime you are being pardoned for; you are no longer going to be punished for that crime.  A pardon does not release the person from financial responsibility for their crime or reimbursement.

If Trump attempts to ‘self-pardon” himself (if this is possible, which is unknown) he is accepting that he committed a crime or would be convicted if he is tried before a court for a crime.

Innocent people do not request a pardon or expect one, especially proactively.

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Easy Exercises – 10 – to End Back Pain and Tone Your Abs!

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Easy Exercises – 10 – to End Back Pain and Tone Your Abs!

The causes of back pain can vary but often it happens because the spine doesn’t get enough support from surrounding muscles. The core muscles, especially the obliques, are connected to the lower back muscles, and the stronger these muscles are, the more support the spine gets. And by doing these exercises, you’ll hit 2 birds with 1 stone: get a perfectly toned core and reduce back pain!

Here at Chiropractic Lane, we’ve prepared some exercises to help you tone your abs and ease back pain at the same time. Do them a couple of times a week and don’t forget to check out the bonus section as well.

The pictures are beautiful and really show you which muscles are being used!

1. Crunches

Crunches are a very effective, isolated core workout that target the rectus abdominis muscle in the midsection.

  • Lie down with your knees bent and feet slightly apart.
  • Place your hands behind your head or on your chest.
  • Inhale and lift your upper body up — the movement should be slight and slow.
  • Pause for a few counts.
  • Exhale and lie back to the initial position.
  • Don’t pull your head up and perform the movement by engaging the core muscles.
  • Repeat 12-15 times.

Note: If your neck gets sore, it means that you’ve been using the neck muscles instead of isolating your abs. Be sure to review your technique.

2. Mountain climbers

Mountain climbers are a great ab exercise because you’re constantly working on your core while staying in the plank position the entire time.

  • Start in the plank position.
  • Bring your left leg up as if you’re about to raise it.
  • Switch the legs in a jumping motion.
  • Try not to lift your middle up and keep your body as straight as possible.
  • Repeat 12-15 times on each leg.

Note: The faster you go, the more effective your workout will be, but you should never compromise the technique.

3. Side to side crunches

Side to side crunches give your obliques a great workout.

  • Lie on your back and place your hands beside your body.
  • Lift your upper body to a high crunch position.
  • Bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor.
  • Shift your torso side to side.
  • Repeat 12-15 times on each side.

Note: Stay in the crunch position for the entire exercise.

4. Criss-cross crunches

Criss-cross crunches work on your entire midsection.

  • Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head.
  • Bend your left knee up and bring it to your chest.
  • Rotate your torso so your right elbow gets close to your left knee.
  • Switch sides.
  • Repeat 12-15 times on each side.

5. Dead bug

The dead bug exercise targets the erector spinae muscles, obliques, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis — in other words, practically the entire core!

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended toward the ceiling and your knees bent at 90°.
  • Extend your left leg straight out and move your right arm overhead, keeping them just off the floor.
  • Switch the arm and leg.
  • Repeat 12-15 times on each side.

6. Side plank hip dip

Side plank hip dips are great for strengthening the obliques.

  • Get in the side plank position while keeping your elbow directly under the shoulder.
  • Engage your core and drop the hips down, keeping the legs and hips slightly above the floor.
  • Slowly lift the hips up toward the ceiling as high as you can.
  • Repeat 12-15 times on each side.

7. Bicycle kicks

Bicycle kicks primarily work on the rectus abdominis and obliques.

  • Lie down on your back and place your hands alongside your body.
  • Lift your shoulders and back off of the floor, supporting yourself with your elbows.
  • Lift the legs up.
  • Bend your right knee, bringing it toward your chest.
  • At the same time, lower the left leg while keeping it straight.
  • Change legs.
  • Repeat 12-15 times on each leg.

Note: If you feel strong enough, keep your arms behind your head and slightly twist your torso every time you switch legs.

8. The bridge

The bridge is a very simple exercise but highly effective if you do it right. It works on multiple muscle groups including the core and lower back.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  • Engage your core muscles and raise your hips up off of the floor until they make a straight line with your knees and shoulders.
  • Hold this position for 3 deep breaths.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat 15 times.

9. Static “V” hold

The static “V” hold targets the rectus abdominis.

  • Start in a seated position.
  • Engage the core muscles and lift the legs up while keeping them straight.
  • Lean back while keeping your back straight and shoulders relaxed.
  • Reach your arms toward your shins.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can.

10. Plank

Everybody loves a plank — it’s simple and one of the most effective core exercises.

  • Lie face down with your forearms on the floor, keeping your elbows directly under the shoulders.
  • Keep your body straight.
  • Hold this for as long as you can.



Always stretch for 5-10 minutes after doing any exercise to reduce muscle tension and prevent a build-up of lactic acid. Specialists believe that after workouts, stretching is essential and should never be skipped.

Which workout are you going to try first? Or maybe you have another favorite core exercise that could be added to this list. Make sure that you mention it in the comment section below.

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Belly Fat

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Belly Fat

Researchers think the amount of deep fat around your middle is a better gauge of whether you’re at risk of serious health problems than either your weight or your BMI (body mass index). Not only can belly fat make your jeans too tight, too much of it could mean you’re more likely to get: Diabetes. Fatty liver disease.

Myths and Facts About Belly Fat

probably seen these statements in magazines or you might hear them at
the gym. Here is the truth behind these belly fat facts.

or Fiction: Whole Grains Help Reduce Belly Fat

statement may be truth in some dieters.
study published
in the 
Journal of Clinical Nutrition
calorie-controlled diet
in whole-grain foods helped obese research subjects lose more weight
from their middles than those who ate the same diet, but ate 
of whole grains. The researchers concluded that whole-grain foods may
make it easier for the body to mobilize fat stores.
But weight loss
happens when you reduce your calorie intake, so your whole grains
should be part of a complete low-calorie program to slim down.

or Fiction: Sit-ups Reduce Belly Fat

statement is fiction.
Unfortunately, doing tons of sit-ups or
crunches won’t actually 
your belly area
you are overweight.
If your abdominal muscles are covered with excess
fat, strengthening them won’t make your belly area look slimmer.
However, if you’re at a healthy weight, doing abdominal exercises
correctly and consistently will help your stomach area look more
toned. But, spot-reducing doesn’t eliminate belly fat.

or Fiction: You Must Follow One Special Diet to Reduce Belly Fat

statement is fiction.
Some diets might make you feel like you are
losing weight only in the belly area. For example, 
Atkins, Mediterranean, DASH, or the 
Beach Diet
popular programs with people who want to slim down in their

when you lose weight, you can’t choose where you will get smaller.
Since many dieters store a large amount of excess fat in the
abdominal area, it’s the first place a change is noticed.
A diet plan
can’t target any one area of the body where weight loss will occur.

or Fiction: You Have to Do High-Intensity Workouts to Burn Belly

statement is fiction, but
there is some truth that hard workouts are
good for fat loss. Reducing belly fat doesn’t require high-intensity
exercise, but some vigorous workouts are very effective for

you can lose weight simply by putting one foot in front of the other.

at Louisiana State University found that walking for two and a half
hours per week was able to shrink belly fat by one inch in just a
month in their test subjects.

scientists say that
walking even appears to reduce abdominal fat
before it’s reduced in other areas
. Wake Forest University
studied 45
obese women and found the ones who walked between 30 and 55 minutes
three times a week cut the size of their abdominal fat cells by
almost 20 percent.

Your workout doesn’t have to be complicated. You might walk briskly for an hour a day. On a treadmill, you can set the incline higher for a metabolism boost.

or Fiction: Belly Fat is More Dangerous than Other Fat

statement is fact. Belly fat is dangerous because of its location.
Belly fat, often called 
surrounds your organs and increases your risk for heart
Research from
the National Institutes of Health said that women with a midsection
that measured more than 28 inches were twice as likely to die from
heart disease than their slim-stomach counterparts. You can find out
if your belly fat increases your risk for heart disease and other
illnesses by 
your waist circumference
by calculating your waist-hip ratio.

Apple Cider Vinegar Won’t Help

Apple cider vinegar has many clever uses. Reducing belly fat probably isn’t one of them, though trendy diets may say so. The tangy liquid comes from apples that are mashed, distilled, then fermented. Some people think the acetic acid it contains might boost health in some ways. Studies on animals have shown a glimmer of hope that it might help burn visceral fat

What Waist Measurements Mean

You can’t tell how much visceral fat you have just by measuring your waist. That’s because the fat near your skin’s surface (called subcutaneous fat) is also part of your girth. But your measuring tape can give you a hint if you might end up with belly fat-related health issues. For women, waist measurements over 35 inches can raise a red flag. For men, it’s 40 inches.

or Fiction: Less Dietary Fat Means Less Belly Fat

statement is both fact and fiction.
If you 
fat in your diet
you may also reduce the number of calories you consume each day. If
you will probably lose weight
. But, 
dietary fat in moderation
also help you stick to your weight loss program. The key is the
right kind of fat
like nuts and olives. 

Don’t Blame Beer

Beer often takes the rap for a tubby tummy — hence the term “beer belly.” Studies suggest it’s a bit more complicated than that, though. The foamy stuff has plenty of calories. So it might make you gain weight. But it doesn’t necessarily make the fat settle around your middle. A more likely culprit? Sodas and other sweetened drinks. Some research has suggested that sugar can boost belly fat.

Swap Soda for Green Tea

To trim belly fat, be smart about your diet — eat sensible portions, lots of veggies, and little junk food. And instead of soda, consider green tea. A few studies have suggested that catechins, antioxidants found in green tea, might help (a little) to burn visceral fat. 

that there is no magical pill, potion or product that will help you
lose weight only from your belly. The best way to reduce belly fat is
with traditional methods like a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.

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U.S. mothers underestimate role breastfeeding plays in curbing breast cancer

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U.S. mothers underestimate role breastfeeding plays in curbing breast cancer

The majority of women in the United States remain unaware of the benefits breastfeeding offers in reducing the risk of breast cancer, reported Adrienne Hoyt-Austin, DO, and colleagues at University of California, Davis.

Using nationally representative data collected from the 2015-2017 National Survey of Family Growth, Dr. Hoyt-Austin and colleagues analyzed responses to the question: “Do you think that breastfeeding decreases a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer a lot, a little, or not at all, no opinion, or don’t know?” A total of 5,554 female respondents aged 15-49 years participated. The response rate was 66.7%.

Multiparous status and education play a role in decreased awareness

Those who had given birth more than once, who had no more than a high school education, or who were U.S.-born Hispanic had the lowest level of awareness, believing that breastfeeding offers only “a little” protection. Of those who were aware of the link, 44% reported that breastfeeding provides “a lot” of protection, and foreign-born participants as well as those who breastfed for more than a year were more likely to conclude that breastfeeding offers “a lot” of protection. The researchers found that neither mammogram or personal family history of breast cancer had any bearing on awareness.

Although multiple studies have found breastfeeding to confer a lower rate of cancer risk, morbidity and mortality, with a 26% lower lifetime risk for those mothers who breastfeed for 12 months or longer, only 36% of women in the United States actually breastfeed.

Limited data indicate whether respondents were breastfed themselves

“Public health initiatives must consider the complex roots of disparities in breastfeeding,” noted Dr. Hoyt-Austin and colleagues. They acknowledged the subjectivity of perceptions of “a lot” versus “a little” and noted that the study was limited by a lack of data on whether participants were breastfed themselves.

Clinicians have an opportunity to play a key role in better educating families concerning the benefits of breastfeeding, both for mother and child, they advised. According to one recent study, just 5 minutes of counseling on the benefits of breastfeeding “significantly strengthened women’s intentions to breastfeed.

In a separate interview, Amy E. Cyr, MD, FACS, section of surgical oncology at Washington University, St. Louis, noted that “many breast cancer risk factors – age, sex, family history, and age of menopause – are nonmodifiable.” And while other risk factors, including alcohol use, diet, and exercise are controllable, “pregnancies and breastfeeding don’t always go as planned,” Dr. Cyr added.

“Although Dr. Hoyt-Austin et al. observed that many women aren’t aware that breastfeeding decreases breast cancer risk – or to what extent (they cite a 26% cancer risk reduction after 12 or more months of breastfeeding) – most studies haven’t shown that large a drop in breast cancer risk,“ she pointed out, adding that “I think it’s an overstatement to suggest that breastfeeding reduces cancer risk by ‘a lot,’ as one of the survey choices offered in the study suggests.”

Whether or not a woman breastfeeds depends not only on desire but on social and economic support and biology; for some, breastfeeding simply isn’t an option. “I agree that we should educate women about the benefits of breastfeeding so they can make an informed decision for themselves and their infants, but we also need to acknowledge the complexity of this issue,” she cautioned.

One coauthor reported a travel stipend by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America; Dr. Hoyt-Austin and the other authors had no conflicts of interest to report. Dr. Cyr had no conflicts of interest to report.

SOURCE: Hoyt-Austin A et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Dec. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004162.

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Sip This for a Stronger Immune System (Grape Juice)

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Sip This for a Stronger Immune System (Grape Juice)

Orange juice isn’t the only beverage you can grab when you want to help your immune system fight off illness and infection.

New research suggests that grape juice may be an immune system booster, too. In a study, people who sipped Concord grape juice daily for 9 weeks had higher blood levels of a special type of infection-fighting cell.

Bolster Your Defenses
The study involved middle-aged folks who were basically healthy. But something interesting happened when they added about 1½ cups of grape juice to their daily diet. After 9 weeks, they had significantly more T cells compared with the control group. T cells are a type of white blood cell that fights off infections. And in the study, drinking grape juice increased participants’ levels of specialized T cells called “surveillance” cells, found mostly in the lungs, intestines, and gastrointestinal tract. Researchers think that these cells act as the first line of defense against invading pathogens. When surveillance cells detect trouble, they stimulate other immune cells to defend the body. (Here are more foods that muscle up your immune system.)

Cellular Soldiers
Researchers think the polyphenols in grape juice should probably take the credit for the immune-boosting effects in the study. But keep in mind that the levels consumed in the study do have some drawbacks. A cup and a half of grape juice adds over 250 calories and 60 grams of sugar to a person’s day. So to keep your overall calorie intake from inching up, use the juice in place of high-calorie, low-nutrition items currently in your diet. Or just sip the occasional glass of grape juice to help boost your body levels of polyphenols a bit. And practice a well-rounded variety of other immune-boosting habits, such as exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, and reducing stress. (Help wounds heal faster with these three effective stress busters.)

Feeling sick? Do this to help speed your recovery from colds and flu.

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How to Save Your Hearing

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How to Save Your Hearing

Rates of hearing loss doubled in America between 2000 and 2015. So if you find yourself cranking up the TV volume or asking friends and family to SPEAK UP, you’re not alone. Half of all adults over age 50 have some hearing loss and according to the National Institutes of Health for 25 percent, it’s disabling,

Yet two out of three don’t realize that everyday habits, such as using earbuds to listen to music at top volume, can steal your hearing before you know it. Hearing loss isn’t just inconvenient. It can boost your risk for falls and depression, isolate you from friends and family and even boost your risk for dementia.

These research-proven steps can help you protect your precious sense of tuning into the world and find solutions if you’re experiencing hearing loss.

Upgrade your earbuds. Harvard researchers warn that one-third of adults who use portable music devices turn the volume up to levels that damage fragile sound-sensing cells. Switching to noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds with rubber tips can help because they quiet background noise so you won’t have to crank up your music so loud. It’s also smart to practice the 60-60 rule: No more than 60 percent volume (50 percent is even better) for no more than 60 minutes a day. And give your ears frequent breaks.

Keep ear-plugs in your backpack, purse, car glove box or console and airplane carry-on. Exposure to sounds louder than 70-85 decibels — like yard equipment (as loud as 99 decibels), rock concerts (120 decibels), sports events (115 decibels) and even airplane cabins (86 decibels) – harms the tiny hairs in your inner ear that convert sound waves into electrical signals. Keep foam earplugs on hand to block the noise. (We do — Dr. Mike pops his in on airplanes before take-off.)

Keep blood pressure and blood sugar at healthy levels. Diabetes doubles your risk for hearing problems; prediabetes increases it 30 percent. The connection could be elevated blood glucose-related damage to the inner ear. Meanwhile, high blood pressure seems to accelerate age-related hearing loss by restricting blood flow to your inner ear and to brain regions involved with hearing.

Healthy weight matters. Overweight and obesity can increase odds for hearing loss 17-25 percent according to a 2013 study of more than 68,000 women. Extra pounds and high-calorie foods may harm hearing by boosting inflammation and restricting the flow of blood and oxygen to delicate ear structures. Include exercise in your weight management plan. Women in the study who logged two or more hours of walking per week lowered their risk of hearing loss by 15 percent.

Get a hearing test. Talk to your doctor if you, or a loved one, notices that your hearing’s not what it used to be. She can look for fixable problems and refer you to a hearing specialist if necessary. For mild hearing loss, assistive devices and smartphone apps may be all you need to better hear conversations, concerts and your favorite shows.

Take care of fixable causesImpacted earwax deep in your inner ear can muffle hearing. So can fluid build-up from an ear infection or taking any of more than 100 different prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including ibuprofen, “loop” diuretics for high blood pressure and some antibiotics. Your doc can help correct these problems.

Say yes to hearing aids. Do what you can to get them. Tuning back into the sounds of the world will keep you connected with others, active and smarter. There are more options (including lower-priced models) than ever before, so you’re bound to find some that fit your budget and feel comfortable. Hearing aid users wait 10 years, on average, before getting this important equipment. Why you shouldn’t: Research suggests that tuning back into the sounds of the world can reduce depression and worry, increase social activity (hey, it’s easier to play bridge when you can hear your partner!) and even sharpen thinking skills.

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The DASH Diet: Eat This Way to Prevent Pain

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The DASH Diet: Eat This Way to Prevent Pain

You’ve heard the rumors. Or maybe experienced the misery yourself. A kidney stone attack is like no other pain on earth. But a simple choice may help keep you in the clear.

Eat a DASH diet. It’s the one recommended for people interested in controlling their blood pressure. A study showed that practitioners of the DASH diet may have a lower risk of the painful stones.

Dash Away Pain
After combining the data from three large long-term studies and reviewing the health and eating habits of over 200,000 adults, researchers found that people whose diets most closely matched the principles of the DASH diet were as much as 45 percent less likely to develop kidney stones. The DASH diet places emphasis on fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean sources of protein. Not a bad way to go, regardless of your health goals.

Stopping Stones
It’s a bit unclear why eating this way would help prevent a kidney stone attack, because certain fruits, veggies and nuts contain oxalate—a chemical compound from which some types of kidney stones are made. But researchers note that eating fruits and veggies increases the level of citrate in your urine as well, which can help stop the formation of calcium stones. Regardless, clear any diet with your doctor if you have a history of kidney stones

And if you want to give the DASH diet a try, these tips help make it easy-breezy:

Medically reviewed in September 2019.

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The Quick-Fix Mediterranean Diet

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The Quick-Fix Mediterranean Diet

Adding international flair to your diet could quickly lead to a healthier heart.

After only 3 months of eating a Mediterranean diet, study participants reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by approximately 15%. A Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, low-fat dairy, and olive oil. Planning your meals around these items may be even better for your heart than a low-fat diet.

In a recent study, two groups of participants with moderate risk factors for cardiovascular disease were placed on a Mediterranean diet or a low-fat diet for 3 months. By the end of the study, members of both groups experienced improvements in body mass index (BMI), blood lipids, and other risk factors. While those in the low-fat diet group reduced their risk for cardiovascular disease by an estimated 9%, participants in the Mediterranean-diet group lowered their disease risk by approximately 15%.

The abundant disease-fighting nutrients found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, and fish make a Mediterranean diet one of the healthiest around. Whole grains are rich in fiber, magnesium, and B-vitamins; fruits and vegetables are filled with heart-healthy antioxidants; and olive oil, fish, and nuts provide artery-friendly mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Make these delicious and healthful foods the foundation of your diet. In a few short months, you’ll be on your way to reaping the long-term benefits.

Medically reviewed in March 2019.

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