Blood pressure drugs appear to increase risk of age-related macular degeneration

Keep your eyes on the prize of vision health

If you’ve got a serious health problem and the solution puts your vision at risk, what do you do?

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This is an urgent warning for the millions of people who are treating high blood pressure with patent meds. Your daily pills might be leading you down a dark path to age-related macular degeneration. And as you probably already know, AMD is the leading cause of blindness as we navigate our 60s, 70s, and beyond.

Previous research has spotted a link between AMD and high blood pressure. But could the link actually be tied to the drugs that treat high blood pressure? In the journal Ophthalmology, University of Wisconsin researchers reported their stunning analysis of more than 20 years of data collected from a major National Eye Institute study. And their results tore through the medical mainstream like a lightning bolt.

The use of vasodilator drugs to treat BP was linked to a 72 percent higher risk of early-stage AMD. And beta blocker use was linked to a 71 percent jump in advanced AMD risk.

That’s all there is to it, but it’s huge.

Now of course the Wisconsin team notes that we need more research. And mainstream lackeys (who will try anything to protect Big Pharma’s giant money bins) joined in that chorus of caution.

Caution? What about the millions who are taking these drugs? How about a little caution for all of them and their eyesight?

They can start by calling their doctor and checking to see if they actually have high blood pressure at all. Late last year, the Eighth Joint National Committee changed high BP guidelines. The EJNC raised the threshold of high blood pressure from 140/90 to 150/90 for people 60 and older.

This simple change meant that nearly six million Americans no longer had high BP. Boom. Gone. Just like that. But I’ll wager a paycheck that MANY among those millions haven’t heard the news.

You can read more details about the guideline change at this link where you’ll also find a recommendation from Dr. Wright about a powerhouse nutrient that often works as well as drugs at keeping BP in check.

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Statins should be ditched by cancer patients fighting for survival

Longer life — better life

A stunning new study probably made more than one Big Pharma executive choke on his frosted flakes when he glanced at the morning news recently.

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Without intending to do harm to the drug industry, the research reveals how cancer patients can save hundreds of millions of dollars every year. All they have to do is stop taking one unnecessary drug. And they might be able to toss out a few others while they’re at it, saving millions (billions?) more.

Oh, and on a side note, patients will live longer too. That’s kind of an important detail!

Duke Medicine researchers recruited about 380 cancer patients who were expected to survive less than a year. All the patients were statin users. Half of them agreed to stop using the drug.

Now, if statins were the miracle lifesavers they’re made out to be, those in the non-statin group should have fared pretty badly, right? Going months without their statin protection would supposedly put their hearts at terrible risk.

Well…not so much.

This study was meant to question the “wisdom” of using certain drugs in terminal patients. But inadvertently, the study put a spotlight on the elephant in the room: Statins are very likely to do more harm than good.

Here’s how the study played out… Those who stopped using statins IMPROVED their overall quality of life. And their lives weren’t shortened because they didn’t take the drugs. Just the opposite. Those in the non-statin group lived WEEKS longer than patients who continued using the drug.

As benefits go, you won’t get much better than the two things that every cancer patient longs for: more life and better life.

How can this be? Well, if you haven’t heard, statins are bad news, even when you’re in excellent health. You can go here to catch up on the blood sugar problems, muscle problems, cognitive health problems, CoQ10 depletion problems, kidney problems, liver problems, cataract problems (yes the list goes on and on and on) linked to statin use.

And then there’s the savings. Patients in the Duke study who quit using brand name statins saved more than $700. And nearly $630 was saved by those who quit generic statins. Researchers estimate that if terminal patients stopped using these drugs, the combined savings would easily top $600 million per year.

The message couldn’t be clearer: Statins are a dubious choice for healthy people, and a terrible choice for anyone who’s ailing.


Dr. Burzynski’s cancer treatments get a rare FDA breakthrough

You spoke up and turned “No” into “Yes”

Sometimes things have a way of working out. Against all odds, this is one of those times.

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Earlier this year, Dr. Wright made an impassioned plea to e-Tip readers to help push the FDA to do the right thing. And that push paid off — big time! It’s a little early for an all out celebration, but this is a solid victory for natural medicine and the groundbreaking cancer research of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski.

Years ago, Dr. Burzynski discovered that the blood of cancer patients doesn’t contain natural tumor-fighting substances found in the blood of healthy individuals. That led to a remarkable lifesaving therapy for many patients who were told there was no hope for recovery using conventional treatments.

But as Dr. Wright has noted, this success made Burzynski dangerous in the eyes of the FDA.

Last January, Dr. Wright helped lead the charge in a letter-writing campaign, urging Congress to pressure FDA officials who had blocked the compassionate use of Burzynski’s therapy for a handful of patients. These patients included 12-year-old McKenzie Lowe who had a rare form of brain stem cancer that had not responded to chemotherapy or radiation.

I won’t lie to you, friends. Things looked bleak. The FDA and Dr. Burzynski have butted heads long and hard over his therapy. The appeal to Congress was a last ditch end run for McKenzie and these other desperate patients.

But you came through. You, me, and many others raised our voices and it appears we were heard, loud and clear. And now we have two victories to show for it.

In March, the FDA decided to allow McKenzie and several other patients to go ahead with Burzynski’s treatments. (And as happy as I am to tell you this, it’s still maddening that patients, whose lives are on the line, would have to grovel before the FDA, pleading for approval to get the treatment that could save their lives.)

The second victory came just a few weeks ago. After an interview with Burzynski, FDA officials agreed to allow a Phase III trial of his therapy to go forward.

There’s no other way to put it, friends. This is huge. It means that Burzynski’s therapy will get the trial it deserves so that future cancer patients without hope might have an alternative to the brutality of chemotherapy and radiation.

As I say, it’s too early to pop the corks. We’ll need to send up a few prayers for McKenzie and the other patients who are now getting treated. And we’ll look forward to hearing about the trial results.

I’ll be following all of this closely and will let you know what happens as soon as I hear. Meanwhile, a group of cancer survivors known as the Burzynski Patient Group has set up a website ( where you can read about the success stories of patients who owe their lives to the treatment they received at Dr. Burzynski’s clinic.


Alcohol in moderation protects the heart in almost every society on earth

Pour one for your heart

When it comes to alcohol, remember the Goldilocks rule: Not too much and not too little is just right.

Now you might think you’ve heard all this before, but this study is different. That’s because neurologists in Austria collected data from thousands of people in more than 50 countries. About 12,000 of these subjects had been hit with one heart attack. Their drinking habits were compared to more than 15,000 heart healthy subjects — no heart attacks or other cardio events.

Oddly, the Goldilocks rule held firm worldwide except for South Asia. Moderate drinking showed no benefit in India, Pakistan, and other countries in the region. But for the rest of the world, one drink per day for women and two per day for men resulted in nearly 15 percent lower risk of heart attack compared to nondrinkers.

And of course — no surprise — excess was deadly. Six or more drinks in a 24 hour period boosted heart attack risk by 40 percent. And the risk went even higher for people who drank at this rate past the age of 65.

Writing in the journal Circulation, researchers describe the evidence as “solid.” Wine, beer, scotch, moonshine — whatever your pleasure, your heart seems to like it in small portions on a daily basis.

This might surprise some red wine tipplers. They’re used to hearing that their favorite beverage is the best choice for the heart. Not so, apparently. However, a glass of wine might be best for encouraging a sunny disposition.

Last year I told you about an alcohol study from Spain. Researchers there found that drinking one glass of alcohol per day (which was primarily wine in their study) was linked to a significantly lower risk of depression.

I should note that all these researchers caution that the results shouldn’t be taken as a recommendation to begin drinking. Everyone is different, so some moderate drinkers won’t reap the benefits.

But as long as you really do keep it moderate, it can be enjoyable finding out whether or not you’re in the benefit group.


Chemotherapy causes grueling nausea, but there are ways around it

Smoothing out your gut reaction

They say, “Fight fire with fire.” But personally I’d rather go with water. Seems like a much better choice, doesn’t it?

I thought of that old “fire with fire” saw when I read about a trial for a drug called Emend.

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It’s supposed to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. But according to the Emend website, one of the “most common side effects” of the drug is… nausea.

That’s got Big Pharma insanity stamped all over it. Fight nausea with nausea? I don’t think so.

Emend users might also have “trouble breathing or swallowing”– two things that are kind of necessary for survival. But those aren’t “common” side effects. Other items on the “common” list include tiredness, hair loss, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.

Gee, that sort of reads like a list of chemo side effects. And this drug is supposed to be your RELIEF from chemo! Oh, and of course, you’re going to pay dearly for all this. Like any other cancer-related drug, Emend comes with a whopping price tag.

Okay– let’s get real.

There’s a way to reduce nausea caused by chemo without using drugs, and it’s free. Oh and as an added bonus — it doesn’t cause nausea.

University of Southern California researchers have shown that a two-day fast before chemo sessions prompts a natural cell function they call “shield mode.”

Your cells recognize fasting as a starvation threat and respond by circling the wagons, so to speak. The USC team found that when this shield is engaged, it also happens to protect cells from the toxins in chemotherapy. The result is reduced nausea and fatigue in some patients.

And there might be one more surprising advantage, and it’s a HUGE one. While protecting healthy cells, the shield appears to leave cancer cells more vulnerable. So fasting might actually improve the cancer-killing effectiveness of chemo. (Researchers caution that fasting isn’t right for everyone, so patients should talk with their oncologists before trying a pre-chemo fast.)

In addition to fasting, cancer patients can also try ginger, which has been shown to relieve chemo-related nausea. Most anti-nausea drugs work by blocking signals to the brain, but ginger has a localized effect on the stomach. Small doses repeated often will give the best results.

And finally, intravenous vitamin C (IVC) can be a game-changer for many cancer patients. You can click here to learn how IVC curbs nausea, helps ease chemo-related fatigue, and reduces toxicity to the brain, bone marrow, and major organs.


COPD can be fatal, but two natural solutions might be lifesavers

Big problem, simple solutions

I know this is kind of a grim guessing game, but hang in there with me because there’s a hopeful point to it all. Here’s the question…

Can you name the third leading cause of death in the U.S.?

Most people can’t. The first two are obvious, of course. Heart disease is number one. Cancer comes in close behind it.

After that?

It’s not stroke. It’s not diabetes or Alzheimer’s. It’s not even accidental death. It’s COPD — chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — a progressive lung disease that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or both.

Okay, that’s the grim part. Now for the hopeful news…

First of all, you can treat COPD without patent drugs. As usual, Dr. Wright has led the way in COPD therapy with his recommendation to use nebulized inhaled glutathione, a powerful antioxidant. When glutathione is dispersed in a fine mist and inhaled, it usually stops COPD progression. You can read more details at this link, along with Dr. Wright’s recommendations for other supplements that can help arrest COPD.

And now COPD patients have another ally.

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The Lung Flute is a relatively new device that helps COPD patients expel their worst enemy: mucus. In COPD, lung airways become inflamed or corrupted, which traps mucus making it hard to breathe.

The design of the “Flute” couldn’t be simpler, or more ingenious. The device is just a foot-long tube with a thin sheet of plastic inside. When the patient blows into the mouthpiece, the plastic begins flapping. This creates a vibration that shakes up mucus and thins it out, making it much easier to eject.

The inventor of the Lung Flute — acoustic engineer Sandy Hawkins — spent years experimenting with elaborate sound systems, hoping to create just the right vibration. As these things tend to happen, he stumbled on the easy solution one day when he was testing a mouthpiece.

The rest is history, which includes an FDA approval. The downside of the approval is that you have to get a prescription to order one. But on the upside, it’s more likely to be covered by your insurance.

In any case, the price is modest. Apparently Hawkins isn’t aiming to become a billionaire. (How refreshing!) You can find more information at


Testosterone therapy is even more dangerous than we thought, says the FDA

The good the bad and the ugly

Men, any way you cut it, it’s a colossal mess.

Every guy who’s using (or thinking of using) testosterone therapy must be wondering if the wheels are coming off the Big T band wagon.

Just days ago, the results of a large study found no heart attack risk for older men who use testosterone therapy. But this is the exact opposite finding of another large study reported earlier in the year.

Other testosterone research is just as confusing. Some studies show heart attack and stroke risk, some don’t.

If there’s anything close to a tie breaker here, it’s a disturbing warning the FDA released about two weeks before the new study results hit the news. Agency officials warned that users of testosterone products run the risk of blood clots. But this is unrelated to a previous warning that these products might create a red blood cell abnormality that also causes blood clots.

In other words, these products might cause blood clots in two different ways!

But if you’re a guy who has found himself in the line of fire of these lab-created Franken-hormones you should know that you can leave them far behind and still have your testosterone levels topped off using the bio-identical testosterone Dr. Wright has been recommending for years. Check this link for a comparison of bio-identical testosterone and the risky FDA-approved stuff.

In addition, there are several T-boosting supplements Dr. Wright recommends you add to your routine…

* Zinc (30-50 mg daily)
* Vitamin A (40,000-50,000 IU daily)
* Boron (3 mg daily)

And for good measure you can add these two botanicals…

* Tribulus terrestis (250-750 mg daily)
* Ginseng (100 mg, two to three times daily)

And finally, losing excess weight — especially visceral fat (that flabby stuff around the midsection) — can raise testosterone, sometimes significantly. Unfortunately, visceral fat is the hardest weight to lose, but if you do it, you’ll also improve blood sugar control and reduce heart disease risk.

That’s a rock solid, proven, method for raising testosterone without boosting your blood clot and heart attack risk at the same time.


Omega-3 levels in your body can be monitored with a test you can do at home

No half measures for your heart

Q: My wife and I take an omega-3 supplement, but so many of these supplements have different potencies. We usually eat salmon or some other fish once or twice each week, but it varies. How can we be sure we’re getting enough omega-3 to be effective?

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The evidence is hard to argue. Research that started as a medical/anthropological investigation of why Inuit peoples in Greenland have a dramatically lower risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular illness has exploded into multiple thousands of studies. And the sum of all this research has proven beyond a doubt the value of fish oil for cardiovascular disease prevention.

And now there’s a simple blood test available through your physician (or you can even order it yourself) that can tell you if you’ve been eating enough fish and fish oil to significantly reduce your own cardiovascular disease risk.

The test is called the “HS-Omega-3 Index®.” It measures the omega-3 fatty acid content of your red blood cell membranes (which is a very good reflection of the omega-3 fatty acid content of your entire body).

The “omega-3-index” changes as you increase or decrease your fish and fish oil consumption, so you can monitor how you’re doing from time to time, and determine any adjustments you need to make to your diet to stay in a “low risk” zone for cardiovascular disease.

You can have the omega-3 index done by your physician, your local clinical laboratory (if you live in one of the 27 States which “allow” competent adults to order their own lab tests without a “note from Mother”), or order it online at, or by calling (800) 949-0632.

And finally, here’s a tip to help keep your omega-3 levels high: Always take your omega-3 supplement with 400 to 800 IU of vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols) in order to keep the fish oil from breaking down too quickly.

The Soda ban in New York City was ridiculous and doomed from the start

It was doomed from the start, doomed every step of the way, and now it’s all done — game over.

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Remember New York Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to stop obesity? A couple of years ago he tried to ban sales of extra large sodas in the city. But this wasn’t a soda ban — it was a “portion” ban. So New Yorkers could still drink soda by the barrel if they wanted to. They just couldn’t drink it out of a super large cup.

Now that alone is pretty ridiculous. But one other detail was as dumb as any I’ve ever heard…

In spite of the ban, you could still buy a super size soda if it was diet soda. So what did Bloomberg expect? Did he really think undercover detectives were going to stake out diners and convenience stores to make sure no jumbo cups were filled with regular soda?

It’s completely clueless! And it’s a perfect example of why nanny state regulations can never put a curb on bad dietary choices. Two reasons…

1. They can’t force people to do what’s right for their own good. If officials ban what people want, people will figure out another way to get it. Tax what they want and they’ll pay the tax. (And then, if they’re smart, they’ll vote out the taxers.)

2. When officials decide what’s right, they usually get it wrong. Mayor Bloomberg thought it would be fine for people to drink mega-size diet sodas. Oh brother! How wrong can you possibly be? In case you missed it, read here why that would be a dietary disaster.

But all that is history now. A year ago, the NY Supreme Court tossed out Bloomberg’s regulation. Bloomberg appealed it. Then a few days ago a NY appellate court sided with the Supreme Court and sunk the Bloomberg plan for good.

The New York Times called it “a major victory” for the soft drink industry.

A major victory? Oh come on. Not even close. The soft drink industry never stood to lose a thing. Nothing.

It’s just another misguided nanny state plan that opened wide and bit the dust.


Alzheimer’s can now be detected early

Six steps to turn back the clock on dementia

In about 20 minutes, would you like to know if you have early signs of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia?

I’m not saying it takes 20 minutes. It actually takes less than that. What I mean is, about 20 minutes from right now you can have your answer. It costs nothing, and nobody else will ever see your results unless you decide to share them.

Researchers at Ohio State University created this simple test that only takes about 10 minutes to complete. They call it SAGE (for Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination). And their trials show that results are about 80 percent accurate in spotting people who have memory and thinking problems.

The test doesn’t diagnose dementia, but it can give you a clear signal that it might be time to do some follow up testing with a doctor.

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The answer to that one is pretty predictable if you’re reading The New York Times or some other mainstream mouthpiece. According to a Times article about the SAGE test, there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, but “there are drugs that may help treat its symptoms.” Or you might be eligible for one of the drug trials in progress.

Yep — those are your ONLY two options: drugs and untested drugs. End of story.

Well, it’s the end of the drug story. But fortunately there’s plenty you can do that the mainstream is clueless about. In fact, there are six steps you can take right now. And for some people, just a couple of these steps could turn everything around.

Step 1: Banish all drugs that aren’t necessary. As I’ve mentioned before, many patent drugs have side effects that can mimic dementia. Some are obvious (like tranquilizers), but others are not (statins). And the odds of dementia mimicking side effects climb higher when several drugs are taken at the same time. Many misdiagnosed “dementia” patients improve dramatically when drugs are discontinued.

Step 2: Banish the salt ban. If you’re on a severe sodium-restricted diet, start using salt again immediately. Restricting junk forms of sodium (especially MSG) is good for your brain. But extremely low salt intake can cause dementia symptoms.

Step 3: Exercise daily. You don’t need to join a gym — just get moving. Take a walk every day. Activity supports your brain as much as your muscles.

Step 4: Eliminate foods with added sugars and simple carbohydrates from your diet. This will help cut back insulin resistance which appears to play a role in Alzheimer’s development.

Step 5: For Alzheimer’s prevention, Dr. Wright recommends two key supplements: B vitamin complex and fish oil. The B reduces homocysteine (which promotes amyloid brain plaque in AD patients) and fish oil helps repair brain cells while also reducing inflammation. And some vitamin E will help too since E can actually slow Alzheimer’s progression.

Step 6: For excellent brain protection, Dr. Wright recommends a lithium supplement. He calls it “the mineral that no brain should be without.” If you’re a Nutrition & Healing subscriber, you can read the specific details about Dr. Wright’s lithium recommendation at this link, along with further suggestions for Alzheimer’s prevention. If you’re not yet a subscriber, click here to find out how to start receiving your own copy of Nutrition & Healing every month.

So, knowing that you have all these brain-saving strategies on your side, are you ready to take the Ohio test? If so, just go to the Ohio State website ( and search “SAGE.” It’s a brief, simple test, but it could help you take control of the rest of your life.