How to Take Control of Your Health

News and Expert Advice
from the UC Berkeley, School of Public Health

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The Wellness Letter

With the Wellness Letter, you'll benefit from the expertise of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley—as well as other top researchers, doctors, and wellness experts from around the world.

Rather than giving you just quick news stories on the hot new health trends, our editors pride themselves on extensively reviewing the best studies available and presenting the evidence on both sides of the news. With recommendations like ...

  • Don't count on those popular zinc lozenges as a cold-cutting remedy.
  • Folic acid, a B vitamin, prevents birth defects, but hopes about its anti-cancer and heart benefits have not panned out. In fact, it may be a nutritional chameleon—protective in some circumstances, dangerous in others.
  • Choose blueberries—they're bursting with nutrients. They may even promote better vision.

More good science and good sense to keep you and your family well

In every fact-packed issue, we'll brief you on two dozen health and wellness topics—far more than other newsletters! So month after month, you'll be out of your armchair and into action.

You'll know:

  • The only way to know if you're getting enough vitamin D (most people are falling short).
  • The bottom line on hormone therapy and its alternatives.
  • The best—and worst—ways to defend against germs.
  • What acupuncture can be good for.
  • The one-cent wonder drug.
  • Is olive oil a wonder drug, too?
  • How to protect yourself against colon cancer—fiber is not the answer, but these nutrients look promising.
  • Which "super-food" berry—açaí or goji—lives up to its claims (neither).
  • Is your indoor air making you sick? What about your tap water?
  • The truth about lactose intolerance.
  • Kidney stones: myths & facts.
  • Will exercise make you hungrier?
  • Why ginkgo biloba is NOT a miracle "brain booster"

And discover fascinating articles like these:

  • The nutritional supplement that could increase a smoker's chance of lung cancer.
  • New drugs to treat osteoporosis—how to compare the side effects.
  • What common ailment could boost your risk of senile dementia (it goes untreated 50% of the time).
  • Eye drops that relieves dryness and redness—without causing chronic eye problems.

Not only will we have you out of your armchair, we'll have you moving in the right direction—despite all of today's conflicting health news!

At the Wellness Letter, we try to make the best recommendations possible. And as new facts emerge, we will revise our position if necessary to make sure you get the latest in scientific thinking.

Watch out for myths and misconceptions that are downright dangerous

You'll have the facts. That's why we won't waste your time—or risk your health—by acting on flawed research that often gets hyped as indisputable truth. As examples, you may remember these headlines:

LOW-CARB DIETS KEEP YOU HEALTHY. Beware of wild claims packaged in scientific-sounding diet books. The diets may (or may not) help you lose weight for a few months. But they will NOT reverse cancer, heart disease or multiple sclerosis. A sensible "good-fat, good-carbohydrates" eating plan, however, will make a difference—to looks AND longevity.

STATIN DRUGS CAUSE CANCER AND ALZHEIMER'S—or do they prevent them? Studies flipflop between possible dangers and potential protection from statins. The worries usually linger longer, amplified on Internet message boards and on websites promoting alternative cholesterol "remedies."

SPICY FOODS BURN OFF GERMS. Just because researchers found that garlic, onions, hot peppers, and spices kill off some bacteria in the test tube, it doesn't guarantee you'll be protected from contaminated foods. Rely on proper food handling and cooking practices to keep you safe.

Know your options and opportunities

Month after month, we help you look at all your choices with mainstream medicine, alternative therapies and preventive strategies. You'll have the information to make the right decisions based on your own lifestyle and health. And benefit from no-nonsense facts like these:

  • Taking low-dose aspirin to protect your heart? Don't take ibruprofen (such as Motrin) or naproxen (such as Aleve) frequently, since that can block the aspirin's anti-clotting effect.
  • Think you don't need a flu shot just because you're under 50 and healthy? Think again.
  • Wondering which garlic supplement to buy? Several well-designed studies showed no benefits from "garlic in a pill."
  • Want to know which plastic bottles are safe to use? Most of the rumors about dangers don't hold water, but you're better off avoiding one type of plastic.
  • Looking to lower your cholesterol? We rate the foods and supplements that can definitely help.

Take more control over your health ... and your future

For over 30 years, the Wellness Letter has translated leading-edge research into practical tips for daily living. Put these easy tips into action and you'll see results—from higher energy to lower doctor bills.

From the moment your first Wellness Letter arrives, you'll be in a stronger position to promote and protect your health. You'll find it's easier to make good choices, ask the right questions, and be more of a partner with your doctor.

For example ...

Ask your doctor about these tests that could save your life ...

Colon cancer is the #2 cancer killer of Americans and Canadians. One screening test can actually PREVENT the disease—or at least treat it in time. Unfortunately, too few people take advantage of it. Be sure to talk with your doctor about the various tests—and how often you need them.

According to an important study, you might benefit from being on cholesterol-lowering drugs even if your blood cholesterol level is within the normal range and you have no risk factors for heart disease. Could these drugs help you prevent a heart attack—and even save your life?

You benefit from more than just "medicine"

One of the reasons the Wellness Letter is recognized as the #1 health letter is our emphasis on WELLNESS. Of course we cover the latest medical research and the most effective ways to prevent some chronic ailments. But we look at your whole life. That's why we'll also give you stress-easing, safety-boosting ideas such as:

  • Best bets for protecting memory and brain health.
  • How to choose the most healthful chocolate bar.
  • What lack of sleep can mean to hand-eye coordination.
  • 7 myths about food safety guaranteed to make you sick.
  • Why most people can eat an egg a day—or even two—without worrying about their cholesterol.
  • What you must know about today's "pumped up" soft drinks and bottled waters.
  • Apple or pear? What your body shape means for your risk of heart disease, cancer, and even dementia.

Powerful advice that protects you and your family

The Wellness Letter translates even the most complex scientific findings into plain English. That's why it's so easy to trade Armchair Wellness for real protection. And it's protection you can count on, because we count our subscribers as members of our family. You'll be among the first to know ...

NEW ADVICE ABOUT OSTEOPOROSIS. More women should get a bone-density test ... What to do about moderate bone loss (osteopenia) ... Why too much vitamin A can weaken bones.

VEGETARIAN? Make sure you're keeping up with the six key vitamins and minerals that can run low in a vegetarian diet.

ARTIFICIAL FINGERNAILS COULD DIG UP TROUBLE. Acrylic nails contain an ingredient that can cause swelling, pain, and risk of fungal infections.

Our special relationship with our subscribers can be seen in every article, every month—especially in our ASK THE EXPERTS column. This is your direct link with one-on-one answers to questions like these:

  • If you have diverticulosis should you avoid seeds and nuts? The surprising answer is no—if you follow this daily advice.
  • What's special about sea salt? The price—it's far more expensive than regular salt without offering better taste or nutrients.
  • Will avoiding nightshade vegetables ease arthritis? No dietary regimen has ever been shown to alleviate or prevent arthritis.
  • Will chromium supplements bring down blood sugar levels in diabetics? Maybe, maybe not. Best advice: eat more whole grains.

Commonsense cures for Armchair Wellness

Each issue of the Wellness Letter is brimming with practical, money-saving tips you can put into action today—at home, during your walk, at your fitness class or in the grocery store. For instance, you'll ...

  • Know that spending more on brown sugar or honey won't buy a nutritional advantage over regular sugar.
  • Pass up those antibacterial soaps and "disinfectant" sponges.
  • Choose the yogurt that eliminates 100 sugary calories while boosting the amount of calcium in each serving.
  • Save money with canned vegetables and still keep nutrition high.
  • How to get the most nutrients from raw leafy greens—and greatly reduce your risk of getting food poisoning from them.

And yes, we're a little more conservative

We'd like it if there were a "magic bullet." A miracle pill you could pop, a food you could munch, an instant exercise. But there isn't. That's why we're a bit more conservative than other publications, particularly those that are advertising-supported. For example ...

  • Antioxidants: beyond the hype. Countless food packages, dietary supplements, even cosmetics boast about their antioxidants that are supposed to fight off chronic disease and help keep you young. But recent research suggests that antioxidants can sometimes do more harm than good. That's why the Wellness Letter stopped recommending vitamin C and E years ago.
  • Soy: HRT alternative? It's far from certain that phytoestrogens like those in soy reduce risk of heart disease and cancer or delay bone loss. No one knows the long-term effects of high doses of phytoestrogens. We therefore recommend avoiding phytoestrogen supplements. But soy, in moderation, remains a good food.
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University of California, Berkeley,
School of Public Health

The Wellness Letter is published by the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. The newsletter is an outgrowth of the School's commitment to help improve the health and wellness of our community of readers by publishing expert advice on prevention, diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of ailments and disorders. We provide trusted, authoritative health guidance from leading physicians and researchers at America's top medical centers and hospitals.

The School of Public Health is consistently rated among the best in the nation. The faculty includes approximately 150 investigators who are among the leading scholars in their respective fields,. Among our faculty are Institute of Medicine members, American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows, Fulbright fellows, and National Academy of Sciences members. The School enrolls approximately 575 graduate students a year, as well as educating about 425 undergraduate students through the upper-division public health major. The School's more than 15,000 graduates can be found working throughout the world, both in the public and private sectors.

The School of Public Health, believes that everyone, everywhere, has the right to a healthy life. Your subscription to the Wellness Letter will help support the School of Public Health faculty and students in their work to confront the major health challenges of our generation. A significant portion of every sale goes to funding scholarships and your purchase will therefore directly benefit not only your own health, but the health of your community now and in the future.

You can count on the Wellness Letter to bring you medical information
that is trustworthy, impeccably researched and current.

But you don't just have to take our word for it. Order your RISK-FREE subscription to the Wellness Letter, and see for yourself just how much you learn from it.

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365 Tips Cover

Because we're committed to being more careful with your health,
we want you to have Wellness Made Easy: 365 Tips for Better Health ...

YOURS FREE! When you order today.

This amazing guide gives you a full year of tips from the Wellness Letter—each based on the best scientific studies and translated for your busy life:

  • If you have frequent headaches, avoid freshly baked yeast products and two other popular foods. (Tip #20)
  • Take these four quick steps to enjoy grilled meats without worrying about cancer causing HCAs. (Tip #12)
  • Don't take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) continually for months. Heavy use can damage the kidneys and liver. (Tip #269)
  • After using eye drops, keep your eyes closed for about 3 minutes. Otherwise, your eyelids will pump out the medication. (Tip#194)
  • To get the most from microwaving, be sure to do this. (Tip #22)
  • And 360 MORE!

You get 16 risk-free issues of the Wellness Letter and Wellness Made Easy: 365 Tips for Better Health for only $14.95 (US), $33.00 (Canada), $36.00 (Internationally). Your satisfaction is guaranteed: if for any reason you wish to cancel your subscription, simply notify us to receive a full refund.