3 Myths About Waxing You Need To Stop Believing

The idea of applying wax on your skin and then yanking it out to get rid of unwanted hair might sound daunting and even painful, but it’s actually no big deal. Let us help you get the facts right, allay any fears you may have and send you on the road to silky smooth skin (because it’s going to be worth it)!

Myth: It pulls the skin and causes wrinkles
 When wax is pulled off, your skin should be firmly held taut for effective hair removal, and not involve any pulling or stretching. Beeswax treatments glides smoothly onto your skin and shrink-wraps around the hair as it cools down, further minimising any tugging on the skin and quickening the process.

waxing_0Myth: I can’t wax if I have sensitive skin
 You can wax, but choose a treatment suitable for sensitive skin, such as one that uses beeswax as its key component. Beeswax is popular as a skin-conditioning agent with moisturising properties, so you will walk out with silky smooth skin after!

Myth: It’s excruciatingly painful
 We’re not going to lie; yes, it can be painful especially if you’re a first-timer or getting hair removed above the lip and at the bikini line. However, some women feel that it is more comfortable than tweezing or threading. Give arm or leg waxing a go if it’s your first time.

Is It Better To Exercise Inside Or Outside?


This time of year, debating between hitting the gym and kicking it outside can be as tricky as choosing between hot or iced coffee. Here to make your life easier? Research. Check out the perks and pitfalls of both, so you can get exactly what you want from your workout.


Perk: More Intensity. Without natural distractions that are annoying (gah, wind) or cool (what a view!), you can laser-focus on your routine, allowing you to maintain your level of ferocity.
Perk: Better Results. Increased intensity brings greater physiological changes, as in more fat loss and a stronger cardiovascular system.
Pitfall: Are We Done Yet? There’s not much stimulation to keep you motivated on the treadmill—though endorphins, in any setting, do help.


Perk: Reduced Stress. Studies show people have less anxiety after exercising alfresco. Green spaces are inherently calming, giving your antsy mind a rest.
Perk: Stick-to-it-iveness. That soothing feeling? It’s pretty addictive. If you’re starting a new program, begin outside to lock down the habit—then take it indoors when temps plummet.
Pitfall: Ugh, Rain. You have to prepare yourself for unexpected variables that may cramp your game. Not ideal if you’re training for speed.

Get Rid of Toxins to Reduce Risk of Stroke

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.

Effects of Toxins

I’ve been warning you about the toxins in our environment for years.

They cause inflammation

They make you gain weight…

They cause you to feel fatigued…

Our exposure to them starts before we’re even born.

One study found 287 chemicals and toxins in the blood of newborn babies.1 It’s shocking.

What is in the air we breathe?

We breathe in toxins and air pollutants every day. Carbon dioxide, lead, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter (PM).

Causes of Stroke

Now, a new study reveals that air pollution is responsible for as many as one-third of all strokes.2 That’s because it contributes to high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, which can lead to stroke.


Another study looked at the effects of air pollution on heart disease. Six hundred thousand people were exposed to higher levels of PM for three months. Doctors then looked at blood samples from them. They found the people had increased blood sugar, triglyceride levels, and other factors that raise heart disease risk.3

They also had lower levels of HDL cholesterol. And HDL is important for protecting your heart.

Seems to me like air pollution is creating a booming business for Big Pharma and mainstream medicine.

Once you have symptoms of heart disease or if you’ve had a stroke, they have a pill for you!


For stroke victims, your doctor might put you on a blood-thinning drug like warfarin. But studies prove that warfarin actually increases your risk of stroke.


And if you have heart disease, your doctor has a lot of different kinds of drugs to choose from. Beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, statins…

Effects of Prescription Drugs

But look at what these drugs actually do…

  • Beta-blockers decrease your cardiac output by blocking hormones that allow your heart to beat faster and harder
  • ACE inhibitors make you tired, weak and short of breath
  • Statins deplete your heart’s cellular energy and steal its power to pump

Naturally Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

There are a lot of safe, natural ways to reduce your chances of heart disease and stroke. You can do this through proper nutrition, exercise and supplements that support a healthy heart.

How to Rid Your Body of Toxins

But if you want to get rid of the dangerous toxins in your body, your best bet is chelation therapy.

I recommend both IV chelation and oral chelation for my patients.

Chelation is the best way to detoxify your body.


What is chelation?

Chelation therapy is a treatment used to remove heavy metals from the blood.

The word “chelate” comes from the Greek word that means “claw.” And that’s what chelation does. The toxins are “clawed” painlessly out of your body.

How does chelation work?

At my clinic, I use calcium disodium EDTA for IV chelation. EDTA is a synthetic amino acid used to reverse heavy metal poisoning. The EDTA grabs hold of toxins while they’re in your bloodstream and carries them out through your kidneys.

You can also do oral chelation at home with an agent called DMSA. It comes in pill form.

First, you’ll be tested to see what heavy metals are in your system. Then you’ll be given a prescription for DMSA. Your exact dosage will be based on your weight, and will usually be administered over the course of several months.

Detox Your Body With Herbs

Call the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine at 561-784-7852 to schedule IV chelation or to arrange to do oral chelation at home — no matter where you live.

No matter which form of chelation you choose to do, here are some herbs that are natural detoxifiers. A few I recommend to my patients undergoing chelation are:

  1. Barley leaf. The leaf of the barley plant (not the grain) has amino acids that bind to toxins like chemicals and heavy metals. They then pull them out of your body. I suggest mixing 1-2 teaspoons of barley grass powder into your favorite juice or your morning smoothie.


  1. Blue-green algae. A blue-green algae called spirulina helps detoxify the blood and maintain energy levels. It also helps improve circulation and maintain healthy blood pressure. Spirulina is usually sold as 500 mg tablets. I recommend 4-6 tablets spread throughout the day.


To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS

1. “Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns,” The Environmental Working Group, July 14, 2005
2. The Lancet. “For the first time, air pollution emerges as a leading risk factor for stroke worldwide.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2016
3. Sade M.Y., Kloog I., Liberty I.F., Schwartz J., Novack, F. “The Association Between Air Pollution Exposure and Glucose and Lipids Levels,” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2016; jc.2016-1378

Sex and Medicine

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.


Health Alert 31

You may be taking a medication causing sexual dysfunction. Over 200 prescription drugs are known to cause sexual problems in both men and women. Common over-the-counter medications can also have side effects in the bedroom.

Many categories of prescription drugs can affect both sexual desire and sexual performance including:

  • Many blood pressure drugs
  • Almost all antidepressants
  • Some indigestion drugs
  • Most sedatives

Even ordinary drugstore antihistamines can cause this unwanted side effect.

Most patients I encounter aren’t aware that their medications are responsible for their loss of sexual desire, stamina or performance. They were never informed to look for this side effect and never suspected that their medications were the cause, once the side effect began.

Here is a list of some of the worst offenders.

  • Common Medications
  • That May Cause Impotence
  • Blood Pressure Norvasc
  • Vasotec
  • Lopressor
  • Antidepressant Zoloft
  • Prozac
  • Buspar
  • Antihistamine Dramamine
  • Benadryl
  • Digestion Zantac
  • Muscle Relaxant Norflex

If you are taking one of these drugs, your best bet of maintaining your sexual health is to find alternatives. But if you have to take them, there are natural remedies for the sexual problems they create.

* Herbal Libido Enhancers *

For centuries, people around the world have been improving their sexual health with herbs. Both men and women can use herbs to enhance libido naturally and safely.

If you are a man, the two best herbs to boost your libido and sexual capacity are:

  • Yohimbine
  • Muira Puama

Yohimbine is derived from the bark of an African tree. It has been used for years to restore sexual vigor and desire. Many studies have shown that yohimbine works. A German study examined 83 men with erectile dysfunction. The men took either yohimbine or a placebo for 8 weeks. 71% of the men who took yohimbine had an improvement in sexual function.1

I recommend 250 mg of yohimbine extract daily. It can easily be found in health food or vitamin stores.

Muira Puama is derived from the bark of a bush that grows in Brazil. Brazilian tribes use the extract as a cure for impotence. Researchers have given more attention to muira puama in recent years. One French study looked at muira puama’s effect on impotence. 262 impotent men were given muira puama for 2 weeks. Over half of the men reported an improvement in their erectile dysfunction. 2 I recommend 100 mg of muira puama extract daily. It can also be found in health food or nutrition stores.

If you are a woman, you can improve your sex life with:

  • Damiana
  • Ginkgo

Damiana leaves come from an aromatic shrub native to Mexico. For generations, the leaves have been made into a tea to increase sexual desire. Damiana is traditionally known as an energizer and aphrodisiac. You can now find it in supplement form.

Ginkgo has become popular for memory improvement in recent years. Ginkgo promotes circulation, improving blood flow to the brain. But, the brain is not the only body part that can benefit from an increase in blood flow. Gingkos aphrodisiac qualities may derive from improved blood flow to the genitals.

A recent study examined an herbal supplement containing both Damiana and Ginkgo. Women participants received either the supplement or a placebo. After one month, over 73% of the women receiving the herbal supplement experienced a marked improvement in their sexual satisfaction. 3

I recommend taking 400 mg of Damiana and 250 mg of Ginkgo. If your sex life is suffering from the side effects of drugs, talk to your doctor about stopping the drug. If you can’t, with a little help from Mother Nature, you may not need to suffer.

Al Sears, MD

1 Vogt H. et al., Double-blind placebo controlled safety and efficacy trial with yohimbine hydrocloride in the treatment of nonorganic erectile dysfunction. Int J Imot Rs 1997; 9: 155-161

2 Waynberg J. First International Congress on Ethnopharmacology, Strabourg, France June 5-9, 1990

3 Ito T. A double blind placebo-controlled study of a nutritional supplement for enhancement of female sexual function. J Sex Marital Ther 2001 Oct-Dec; 27(5): 541-549

Which Antioxidants Do I Take?

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.


Health Alert 36

Patients often ask me, “Doctor, which vitamins do you take?” This is what I tell them:

• I have taken a multivitamin every day for 30 years.

• Periodically, I have to change the formula that I take. The adjustments reflect changes in the science of nutrition and preventative medicine.

• The most important change in the last 10 years has been the addition of antioxidants.

Antioxidants are your body’s free radical fighters. Free radicals are fragments of oxygen, which are byproducts of normal metabolic processes. Free radicals destroy the cells in your body. Along with a multivitamin, I take the following antioxidants. They should become a part of your regimen too.

* Vitamin A *

Vitamin A is in a family of compounds called carotenoids. It is fat-soluble and very important for health maintenance. Vitamin A is best known for aiding in good eyesight. But this vitamin does much more. Here are some other attributes of Vitamin A:

• Prevents night blindness by preventing free radical damage in the eye.

• Acts as a powerful free radical scavenger in fat soluble tissues

• Lowers the risk of macular degeneration, which is the most common cause of blindness in the elderly.

• Decreases the risks of lung and breast cancer by supporting the immune system.

• Maximizes skin health by playing a key role in the integumentary system.

Vitamin A can be found naturally in meat, milk, eggs, liver, carrots, and spinach. I recommend taking 2,500 IU of Vitamin A per day.

* Vitamin E *

The term Vitamin E is actually a generic word for a group of eight compounds. These compounds include four types of tocopherols and 4 types of tocotrienols. Put simply, tocopherols and tocotrienols are specific types of Vitamin E. Vitamin E has been shown to:

• Fight free radicals that cause diseases of inflammation (such as rheumatoid arthritis)

• Lower risk of heart disease by increasing blood circulation

• Lower risk of cancers in the prostate, colon , and breast

The best way to get Vitamin E is as a mix of the four tocopherols and the four tocotrienols. It is important to note that too much of one tocopherol in the body can stop the absorption of the other tocopherols. So a good mix is to your greatest advantage. I recommend 400 IU of Vitamin E a day.

* Vitamin C *

Vitamin C was discovered over 70 years ago. Since then, it has gained a reputation as a preventative for colds. But it has more important tasks. Vitamin C is required for many of the body’s life-sustaining functions. Humans are among only a handful of animals that do not naturally produce Vitamin C. So we have to get Vitamin C from our diet. Here are some of Vitamin C’s important functions:

• Fights free radicals before they can do damage

• Maintains body structure by being an important ingredient in collagen (collagen’s integrity is dependent on Vitamin C)

• Helps the immune system by stimulating antibodies and other immune system cells

• Aids the nervous system by contributing to the production of amino acids that regulate the nervous system.

• Helps to break down histamines with are the inflammatory element of allergic reactions

Vitamin C is found in an array of foods including oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and bell peppers. For antioxidant amounts of Vitamin C, you’ll have to take additional amounts in supplement form. I recommend 500 mg twice a day. Take it with food to avoid an upset stomach.

* Alpha Lipoic Acid *

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) was discovered in 1951. It plays a vital part in the production of cellular energy. It has been dubbed the “Universal Antioxidant” because of its ability to fight free radicals in both the fatty and water areas of cells. Here are some other functions of ALA:

• Lowers the risk of atherosclerosis, lung disease, and neurological disorders by fighting the specific free radicals that contribute to these afflictions.

• Recycles and extends the life of other free radicals like Vitamin C, E, and CoQ10.

ALA is most commonly found in red meat. I recommend taking 100 mg of alpha lipoic acid every day.

* Coenzyme Q10 *

I have talked about Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in past Health Alerts. CoQ10 is crucial in the creations of energy that cells use to exist. CoQ10 is produced naturally in the body. The body cannot survive without the presence of CoQ10. Coenzyme Q10 is has also been found to:

• Destroy free radicals in the cell membranes.

• Preventing arteriosclerosis by protecting against the accumulation of oxidized fat in blood vessels.

• Successfully treats heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

CoQ10 is found in fish and in the organ meats of animals. I recommend taking 30 mg of CoQ10 every day.

* Lutein *

Like Vitamin A, Lutein is a member of the carotenoid family. It is a one of several carotenoids that makes pigment in vegetables. It also contributes to pigment in your retina. Lutein is a crucial part of eye health. Lutein:

• Protects vision by neutralizing free radical in the lens and retina of the eye.

• Acts like sunglasses by shielding the eye from harmful sunlight.

• Lowers the risk of certain cancer and cardiovascular disease by stopping free radical damage that contributes to these diseases.

Lutein can be found in red grapes, egg yolks, squash, peas, and oranges. I recommend taking 20 mg of lutein every day.

* Lycopene *

Lycopene is also part of the carotenoid family. It is the pigment in many vegetables. And is most commonly found in tomatoes. Once absorbed, lycopene is widely distributed in the body. It is concentrated most in the liver, lungs, prostate, colon, and skin. Lycopene’s many functions include:

• Prevents coronary artery disease by stopping the oxidation of LDH (bad) cholesterol.

• Reduces the risk of prostate and pancreatic cancers by fighting free radical damage.

• Aids in preventing macular degeneration by neutralizing free radicals in the eye.

Lycopene is found in tomatoes, guava, peppers, watermelon, and pink grapefruit. I recommend taking 20 mg of lycopene a day for maximum health.

All of these antioxidants except for Vitamin C are oil soluble. All the oil soluble antioxidants should be taken in gel cap form. Try to find as many of them as you can together in a single supplement. Take them with a teaspoon of flaxseed oil or peanut butter for best absorption. Or taking them during a meal with fat will do the trick.

Al Sears MD

Why is the butterfly pea flower effective?

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.


If you have been following my story, you know I love traveling. One reason is I love to explore.


Another reason?

I love to eat!

One of the great things about traveling the world is getting to sample the local cuisine. When I was living with the Guarani tribe in Peru, I drank beer made of yucca root that the native women spit into the ground and let ferment. I ate raw worms and grubs.

I’ve eaten the “Food of the Gods” in the Amazon. An incredible fruit called cupuaçu that tastes like a heavenly blend of chocolate and vanilla.

I’ve sampled so many unusual foods that it’s hard to surprise me. But that’s exactly what happened in Bali when I was served “blue rice” topped with coconut for dessert.


It was so bright and vivid I thought it had to be food coloring. And it was.

Sort of.

The brilliant blue color came from the butterfly pea plant. The flowers of the butterfly pea are the most spectacular of all the flowers in Bali. And that’s no small feat!


My friend Lelir, a “Balian” known as a local healer on the island of Bali, grows her favorite flower in her own garden.

But as I learned from my friends Westi and Lelir, the butterfly pea plant is beloved in Bali for much more than its beauty.

The Balinese call it “Bunga telang.” It comes from the Indonesian words meaning having clear vision. Traditional herbalists on Bali use the roots to cure eye ailments and the flowers to cure eye infections like conjunctivitis, or “pink eye.”


But that’s just the beginning. Bunga telang is a medicinal mainstay in Balinese culture. I was amazed when Lelir told me about all the different ways the Balinese use it. So I decided to do some research of my own.

And what I found only added to my amazement. I included the butterfly pea in my book Healing Herbs of Bali, but the truth is I could have written an entire book just on this one plant!

Click here for more natural remedy articles.

Why is the butterfly pea effective?

Butterfly pea is one of the few plants that has cyclotides in it. These are peptides that have antitumor properties and cause cancer cell death because they can penetrate the cancer cell membrane.

A recent study in China found butterfly pea to be very effective against certain lung cancer cell lines.1 Other studies have shown that a powder made from the ground-up leaves of the butterfly pea can enhance memory and brain power. 2


A team of researchers in India found that butterfly pea increases the levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.3 Acetylcholine is important for communication in your brain. And it’s one of the brain chemicals that decreases the most as you age.


How does the butterfly pea improve your thinking?

The less of it you have, the slower the messages will travel in your brain. They might even break down and stop traveling altogether.

Low acetylcholine levels can cause loss of memory and coordination as you get older. Butterfly pea improves your thinking and balance naturally because it reverses this process.

Effects of butterfly pea

Here are just a few of the other healing properties of the butterfly pea plant:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Anti-asthmatic
  • Pain relieving

It’s like a full-stop natural drugstore in one gorgeous little plant.

Growing the butterfly pea

Butterfly pea can grow year-round in the warmer parts of the U.S., like where I live in South Florida. But because it’s such a fast grower, many people in colder climates plant it as an annual in the warm summer months. It makes a nice, quick covering for a lattice, trellis or chain-link fence.

If you grow butterfly pea in your garden, you can dry the flowers yourself and store them for future use. You can also order dried butterfly pea flowers online.

How to use butterfly pea flower

There are so many ways to get the healing power of the butterfly pea plant. You can add the petals to a salad or brew a beautiful blue tea. Here’s how I do it:


How to make butterfly pea flower tea

  1. Steep about a dozen butterfly pea flowers in hot water until the flowers turn pale. About 10 minutes. The water will turn a bright blue.
  2. Strain the liquid and discard the flowers.
  3. Add honey to taste.

It’s great served warm, but I like it best over ice.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS

1. Sen Z, Zhan X, Jing J, Yi Z, Wanqi Z. “Chemosensitizing activities of cyclotides from Clitoria ternatea in paclitaxel-resistant lung cancer cells.” Oncol Lett. 2013;5(2):641-644.
2. Jain N, Ohal C, Shroff S, Bhutada R, Somani R, Kasture V, Kasture S. “Clitoria ternatea and the CNS.” Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003;75(3):529-36.
3. Rai K, Murthy K, Karanth K, Nalini K, Rao M, Srinivasan K. “Clitoria ternatea root extract enhances acetylcholine content in rat hippocampus.” Fitoterapia. 2002;73(7-8):685-9.

Your Youthful Mind

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.


Health Alert 39

Did you know that too much stress kills brain cells? Research is showing stress to be one of the leading causes of mental deterioration with aging.

For most people, effective anti-aging has to address living better as we age not necessarily living longer. We want to retain the independence and abilities of our youth. For the elders I talk to, loss of mental capacity is the most frightening symptom of aging.

Fortunately, the loss of mental faculties is not inevitable. The most important thing you must do to keep your brain healthy and your mind sharp is avoid excess stress.

* The Physiology of Stress *

Stress has serious physiological effects on the body. When you are stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. In moderate amounts, cortisol is not very harmful. But cortisol is secreted excessively in response to chronic stress. In these larger amounts, cortisol is extremely toxic.

Cortisol actually kills and disables your brain cells. Over your life span, cortisol ruins your brains “biochemical integrity”. Chronic exposure to cortisol causes the mental haziness, forgetfulness, and confusion that is associated with aging.

In anti-aging, most hormonal manipulation involves supporting declining levels. Almost all hormone levels fall as you age. Cortisol is one of the very few exceptions. Cortisol actually rises as you grow older. To regain and keep a youthful mind, you must lower the cortisol levels in your body.

* Attaining Your Mental Clarity *

You can lower levels of cortisol in the body by reducing stress. Here are some simple, but effective ideas to lessen stress:

Use breathing techniques: Breathing techniques can help to calm your body. They aid in releasing stress. I often recommend breathing techniques to my patients. They are simple to do, and are very effective. Once you learn the techniques, you can do them anywhere.

Dr. Andrew Weil has some very good breathing tapes. You can learn more by visiting his website at www.DrWeil.com.

Let it out: Writing down problems or talking about them is also effective stress management. Write down your problem and how you feel about it. You will be surprised at the therapeutic effect.

Talking through your problems can also help. An understanding friend or a family member can make a good listener.

Do your favorite thing: Most people have one thing in life that they like to do most. It is the thing that relaxes you and lets you forget about your worries. Golfing, painting, gardening, visiting a special place, or having a picnic can release your mind of the stress of daily living. Set aside time for your favorite thing and do it more often.

Meditate: Meditation can be very simple. It is a time that you use to focus within yourself. Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Listen to your breathing and follow it. Or repeat a word or short phrase that means something. You can speak it or just think it in a rhythm that is comfortable. Clear your mind of worries, and focus on relaxing.

Take 10 or 15 minutes out of your day to do this. You can even meditate as you lie in bed at night. It will be time well spent.

Take care of yourself: Eat a healthy diet and make sure to exercise. Health Alerts 18 and 28 explained my approach to nutrition and exercise. Also remember to take your multivitamin and antioxidants as I described in Health Alert 37. A healthy body and mind go hand and hand.

With these techniques, you should be able to reduce your stress. This eliminates the number one age associated killer of brain cells. It will help you keep a sharp and focused mind at any age.

In a future Health Alert, we will discuss nutrition for the brain.

Al Sears MD

A Way to Save Money and Improve Your Health

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.


Health Alert 27

The markups on prescription drugs are appalling. A drug that costs you $5 a tablet may have ingredients worth less than one cent.

The reason – They are outrageously expensive to you because they are sold at an outrageous profit.

You will be shocked to find out how much your prescription drugs actually cost the manufacturer. Many of the drugs sold in the U.S. contain active ingredients that are produced in other countries at exceedingly low cost.

The same prescription drugs are available for much lower prices all over the globe. Most are manufactured in countries with higher laboratory standards than the U.S. But the FDA has made it very difficult for Americans to obtain these drugs.

Remember from Health Alert #10, The Fox Guarding You Hen House that much of the FDA’s budget for policing drug companies comes from the big drug companies themselves.

After you see the profit margin that pharmaceutical companies enjoy, you’ll understand why they are willing to pay for the FDA’s employees and pay for doctors’ perks for prescribing their drugs.

The mark-up for Prozac is 455,400 %. The manufacturer can’t possibly claim that they are still recouping development cost. The drug was already in widespread use when I worked in a psychiatric ward 16 years ago.

The popular anxiety medication Valium has active ingredients costing less than 2 cents for a month’s supply. It has been sold for several decades but still carries a mark-up of over 100,000%.

* Cheaper Alternatives Are Also Safer*

I have recommended that you find alternatives to your prescription drugs because of their danger of serious side effect. I have also said that drugs for chronic problems are not health enhancing and over the long run are a burden to your liver and kidneys. Very high costs at outrageously high profit margins are another reason.

If you are taking prescription drugs, ask your doctor about alternatives. Most of the natural alternatives have very little or no side effects. If your doctor won’t tell you about alternatives, it may be time to consult a new doctor.

If you have an acute problem, you may need the more powerful effect of a prescription drug for a short time. If you have a long-term problem, you can usually find natural alternatives for drugs.

For example, those five very expensive drugs with the outrageous mark-up in the above table? Here are some easy to find, safe and inexpensive alternatives that have worked well in my patients.

• Claritin is an antihistamine used to subdue allergy symptoms. Herbs make great alternatives. My favorite is nettle.

• Norvasc is a blood pressure medication. Here a nutritional approach is the best alternative. I use coenzyme Q10 as first line therapy. 50% of patients coming to see me already on blood pressure medications stop their drugs with nothing more than substituting Co Q10.

• Paxil and Prozac are similar antidepressants. The popular herb St. John’s wort works in a similar manner. But I have an even better solution. The nutrient SAMe has been shown to work as well as antidepressant drugs in 9 European studies.

• Prilosec is used for heartburn. If you have heartburn, you need to find out why. It usually has something to do with your eating habits. If you are drinking caffeine, stopping it may be all you have to do. I like the herb peppermint. You can use capsules but I prefer the tea or fresh leaves. You can place a wad of the leaves between your molars and chew it for a minute before swallowing. The calming effect on your stomach is almost immediate.

Al Sears MD

Source: Faloon, W. The FDA Versus the American Consumer Life Extension October 2002.

Why Should You Take Supplements?

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.


Health Alert 11

So you eat your vegetables, you don’t smoke or drink to excess. You avoid junk food and you exercise. So do you really need to take vitamins?

You’ve heard the arguments pro and con. You’re probably ready to throw your hands in the air and conclude that no one really knows. Before you do, look at some pearls collected by someone who has spent his life studying this issue in detail. I think you will find, as I do, the evidence is quite convincing.

? A USDA study done in 1992 concluded that only 4% of the 22,000 Americans studied were getting even the minimum recommended daily allowance (RDA) of their essential vitamins.

? A more recent US government survey found that out of the 21,000 people surveyed, none of them managed to eat the recommended daily allowances (RDA) of all the ten basic nutrients studied.

? On any given day, 91% of Americans do not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, with 70% not consuming any vitamin C rich fruits, and 80% not consuming any carotene containing vegetables.

? Today, foods have much less nutritional value than in the past due to modern agricultural methods. You’d have to eat 60 servings of spinach to get the same amount of iron you would get from just one serving in 1948.

? In order to get the RDA for vitamin E today, you’d have to eat 25 cups of spinach a day.

? 65 % of American diets are deficient in zinc, which is important for proper immune system functioning.

? Americans often eat the same small number of foods every day, without much variety.

The bottom line is that unless you are a very rare exception, you’re probably not getting even the minimum requirement of all your important vitamins and minerals. And that’s just part of the story.

* Vitamins For Disease Treatment, Prevention, And To Keep You Young *

There is a growing mountain of evidence that vitamins can have other health benefits beyond preventing deficiency.

Nobel laureate Linus Pauling was right when he said, “recommended daily allowances only give levels of vitamins and minerals that will prevent death or serious illness from vitamin deficiency. To get real health benefits from vitamins, you need to get more than just the minimal recommended amounts.”

In 1997, the Western Journal of Medicine published a study that showed that $20 billion dollars in hospital charges could have potentially been prevented by taking proper amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin E, for instance, has been shown to be beneficial in treatment of coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. These health benefits only come at antioxidant doses of at least 200 IU. Antioxidant doses of vitamin E are virtually impossible to get in the diet. You would have to eat 2 pounds of sunflower seeds every day.

In larger doses, niacin has been shown to be very effective in lowering cholesterol.

I have seen many cases of high blood pressure completely resolve with CoQ10 eliminating the need for medications.

* What You Should Do *

I have taken a multivitamin nearly every day for 30 years and you should too. You should choose a multivitamin that also has 100% of the required minerals. If you are beyond the age of 35, you should take doses larger than the RDA for antioxidants. It is possible to find all the required vitamins and minerals at antioxidant levels in a single supplement.

My antioxidant recommendations are: mixed carotenes 25,000 IU, vitamin C 1000 mg, vitamin E 400 IU, selenium 200 mcg and CoQ10 30 mg.

It will be easier on your gut if you take your multivitamin with a meal.

Store your multivitamin in the refrigerator. It will stay active longer and help remind you to take it regularly.

One further piece of advice – unless you have been diagnosed with iron deficiency, choose a multivitamin without iron. You don’t need additional iron and it can interfere with the absorption of other minerals, give you constipation and leave a foul taste in your mouth.

Al Sears, MD

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