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Dr. Oz and Andrew Weil talk health scares: Wi-Fi, cell phones, saturated fat

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Dr. Oz always enjoys exploring cutting-edge health topics. On the Dec. 3 episode of the Dr. Oz Show, he discussed controversial health scares with alternative-health expert Dr. Andrew Weil.

Dr. Oz asked Dr. Weil what is the single most important health issue people should be aware of. Weil said sugar tops his list.

"There's so much research about the dangers of sugar," Weil told Dr. Oz. "Stop drinking sugary drinks, including sweetened tea, fruit juice, coffee, and energy drinks."

Prescription For Happiness

Dr. Oz then asked Weil what was the most common question people ask him. Weil, author of Spontaneous Happiness, replied, "The commonest question I get is, 'How can I be happier?' "

My simple advice is this: Spend more time with people who are happy. Scientific research shows moods are contagious, so it's worth your while to seek out people in whose company you feel happier and more optimistic."

Cell Phones and Wi-Fi

Dr. Oz and Dr. Weil then discussed the health dangers of cell phones and Wi-Fi systems. Dr. Weil said there's no clear-cut scientific evidence linking the electromagnetic fields emitted by Wi-Fi systems and cell phones to cancer, but he thinks they are a bigger threat to our health than we realize.

As a precaution, Weil recommended the following:

  • Keep Wi-Fi routers outside the bedroom.
  • Keep cell phones away from your head.
  • Use an ear piece for cell phones.
  • Don't use electric blankets, mattress pads, or heating pads.

On the Dec. 6 episode of the Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz discussed how carrying a cell phone in your bra can cause breast cancer. His guest was a 23-year-old woman who developed breast cancer after storing her cell phone in her bra every day for four years.

Airport Scanners Are Potential Danger

Next, Drs. Oz and Weil examined the hidden dangers of airport scanners. Dr. Weil said airport scanners only use small amounts of ionizing radiation (the kind used in X-rays and CT scans), but said you should ask for a pat-down instead of going through a scanner as a precaution. Research has shown that ionizing radiation can damage DNA and fuel cancer.

Dr. Oz then asked whether the fluoride in toothpaste causes bone cancer. Dr. Weil said he doesn't think this is a credible health danger, and said the teeth-protecting benefits of fluoride outweigh the miniscule risk of bone cancer.

Andrew Weil: Saturated Fat Does Not Clog Arteries

Finally, Dr. Oz asked Weil, a lacto-pesco vegetarian (a vegetarian who eats fish and milk), whether saturated fat clogs arteries and fuels heart disease. Dr. Weil said he does not think healthy saturated fats like olive oil clog arteries, but trans fat definitely does.

Weil echoed the sentiments of neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, who said a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet can prevent or even reverse heart disease, Alzheimer's and ADHD. Dr. Perlmutter detailed his research in his book, Grain Brain.

Weil said sugar and simple carbs such as flour are responsible for spurring heart disease, and said we should feel free to consume healthy saturated fats such as salmon, cheese, and olive oil in moderate amounts.

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