US Health in Crisis

US Health in Crisis



Want to radically transform your health and become metabolically fit? Do what 93% of Americans aren’t doing by making these four simple changes in your routine.


By Dr. Joseph Mercola



  • In 2017 to 2018, only 6.8% of U.S. adults had optimal cardiometabolic health, which means more than 93% of U.S. adults are metabolically unfit
  • In my interview on the “Good Morning CHD” daily news show, I discuss simple ways to radically improve your health if you fall into that metabolically unfit category
  • The basics to restoring metabolic health are to use time-restricted eating, avoid processed foods and linoleic acid, and get daily sun exposure
  • Time-restricted eating involves limiting your eating window to a set number of hours during the day; I recommend getting down to a six- to eight-hour eating window with stopping all eating at least three hours before bed
  • I also share three essential compounds that should be in your emergency medicine kit — methylene blue, melatonin and nebulized hydrogen peroxide



A landmark study came out in July 2022, showing that as of 2018, only 6.8% of U.S. adults had optimal cardiometabolic health.¹ What this means is that more than 93% of U.S. adults are metabolically unfit, and the actual percentage is probably over 95%, as we don’t have the 2022 data yet — but do know that cardiometabolic health in the U.S. is “poor and worsening.”²


This health crisis in the U.S. formed the foundation of my recent discussion with Polly Tommey, director of programming for Children’s Health Defense (CHD) TV, as part of their “Good Morning CHD” daily news show.³ Before I got into how to radically improve your health if you fall into that metabolically unfit category, I shared two essential compounds that I believe everyone should keep in their medicine cabinet.


Keep These on Hand: Methylene Blue and Melatonin


Methylene blue is the parent molecule for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, off-patent drugs commonly used to treat not only malaria but also COVID-19. Methylene blue is actually the oldest drug in the world. It was discovered in 1876 and used as a textile dye for blue jeans, but it has many important medicinal benefits.


It is a highly effective agent against urinary tract infections (UTIs), as it is excreted by your kidneys into your bladder where it reaches very high concentrations and becomes a potent oxidant stress that kills virtually any pathogen in the bladder — without disrupting the microbiome the way antibiotics do.


Methylene blue is also the only known antidote for cyanide poisoning, but the reason why you absolutely should have it in your medicine cabinet has to do with cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes.


When you have a heart attack or most strokes, it is due to a blood clot that results in loss of blood flow to the heart or brain. If the amount of tissue is significant it will result in death. Reestablishment of blood flow is essential to salvage these tissues. However, reestablishing blood flow, or reperfusion, itself paradoxically causes further damage, threatening function and viability of the heart or brain.


Reperfusion injury is also called ischemia-reperfusion injury or reoxygenation injury. The absence of oxygen and nutrients from blood during the ischemic period creates a condition in which the reestablishment of circulation results in inflammation and oxidative damage through causing oxidative stress rather than restoring normal function.


If you take methylene blue, you can significantly decrease the tissue damage that occurs. However, dosage is important, as you only need a small amount and you don’t want to overdose on it. I recommend using a microspoon for measuring the proper amount, and I discussed dosing suggestions in my interview with Francisco Gonzalez-Lima, Ph.D., who is an expert on methylene blue.


Low doses, 0.5 milligram (mg) to 1 mg per kilo of bodyweight, are recommended for nonacute, longer-term treatments, including the prevention and treatment of dementia, post-stroke and other brain injuries, cognitive enhancement, and the general optimization of health if you’re already healthy.


The second compound that I recommend keeping on hand is melatonin — in a 10 mg sublingual dose. It’s a powerful antioxidant and will limit the reperfusion injury if taken right away after a heart attack or stroke. It’s important that the methylene blue is also administered quickly, ideally within minutes, of the heart attack or stroke.


The longer you wait after the injury the less likely it will provide benefit, which is why it’s essential to keep these items on hand, in your emergency medicine kit.⁴


Which Type of Methylene Blue Is Best?


There’s industrial grade methylene blue, which you don’t want to get because the manufacturing process typically results in heavy metal contamination. There’s also pharmaceutical grade, but it’s difficult to find or expensive in a powder form. Then there is chemical, or sometimes referred to as lab-grade which, depending on the company, can have very low heavy metals.


You can purchase methylene blue that’s already dissolved in water, but that’s not as good as buying the powder itself and putting it into water. Remember, you’ll need a microspoon for precise measurements.


Time-Restricted Eating Is the Secret



Time-restricted eating (TRE) involves limiting your eating window to a set number of hours during the day. I recommend getting down to at least a six- to eight-hour eating window — and ensuring that you stop eating at least three hours before bed.


Most people reading this can benefit from embracing TRE, with the exceptions being if you’re underweight or pregnant. When you’re metabolically unfit, your body primarily relies on glucose, or sugar, as fuel, instead of using fat as a primary fuel.


Even though the fat is there in abundance, your body doesn’t have the metabolic capacity to access it. For most people, surplus fuel stored in your body is stored in the form of fat. However, no one has more than about two days’ worth of glucose in the form of glycogen, stored in their tissues in their liver and muscles. This is why, when you first start fasting, and you’re unable to access your fat stores, you’ll quickly exhaust your glycogen stores and can experience low blood sugar.


Your body has the ability to make glucose in your liver (gluconeogenesis), but that process takes a while to ramp up and, as a result, most people get relatively hypoglycemic when they first start fasting. You may experience dizziness and fatigue as a result, which are signs that you’re not metabolically flexible. If you were, your body would have more than enough capacity to produce all the fuel you need to keep your brain happy and healthy.⁵


In the interview, I also pointed out that if you’re obese, you can typically safely go on three-, five- or even seven-day water fasts. Many experts are predicting upcoming food shortages and economic collapse come fall, and I wanted to reassure people that most who fall in this category could probably not eat for months, some people for up to a year, if they’re grossly overweight, and they would be significantly healthier for it.⁶


Again, fasting isn’t recommended for people who are underweight, pregnant or breastfeeding. You also need to use caution if you’re taking certain medications, such as those for blood pressure or blood sugar.⁷ Interestingly, when you’re metabolically inflexible and unable to use fat for fuel, your body generates a molecule called acetyl-CoA when it’s breaking down fats — and that happens to be one of the cofactors for your body making melatonin.


So when you’re metabolically inflexible, your body produces far less melatonin — a potent anticancer agent — in the mitochondria where you need it, because that’s where almost all the damage that causes cancer is caused — due to oxidative stress from the process of generating energy within the mitochondria.⁸


What to Avoid Eating to Protect Your Health


TRE is so powerful that rat studies suggest changing the eating window leads to beneficial effects on health,⁹ regardless of what’s eaten during that time. That being said, your results are going to be best if you’re eating healthy food. With respect to food, the most important change to make is cutting out industrially processed seed oils, which are misleadingly labeled as vegetable oils.


Examples of seed oils high in omega-6 PUFAs include soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, rapeseed (canola), corn and safflower. ¹⁰ Omega-6 is considered to be proinflammatory because of the most common variety, linoleic acid (LA), which will radically increase oxidative stress and cause mitochondrial dysfunction.¹¹


In order to avoid LA, you’ll need to avoid eating processed foods and focus on real food instead. If you eat real food and use TRE, your body will become healthier because it’s designed to do this if you provide it with what it needs. If you don’t follow these ancestral guidelines to good health, it predisposes you to disease.


Now, if you eat real food, use TRE and get about one hour of daily sun exposure, that’s going to reduce your risk of 90% to 95% of chronic diseases.¹² If you want to get more advanced, you can add in sauna usage, which helps you eliminate toxins and activates beneficial heat shock proteins that refold your proteins to prevent diseases like dementia.


The wavelengths from a near infrared sauna, which heats your body the most effectively, actually penetrate your skin about 3 to 4 inches and get into your mitochondria, causing your mitochondria to make melatonin. About 95% of the melatonin in your body is made in the mitochondria, and near infrared saunas are the only type that have this added benefit of also increasing melatonin.¹³


Fine-Tuning Your Healthy Lifestyle


As you focus on eating real food and restricting your eating window, it is important to avoid making the mistake of going no-carb or low-carb, as your body needs carbohydrates. While you may initially improve if you cut out carbs, over time it will raise your cortisol levels and can actually lead to insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance.


Foods like watermelon, apples and blueberries can help you add nutrient-rich carbohydrates to your diet. Many people also wonder about coffee, which can be consumed outside of your eating window because it has almost no calories. The coffee should be organic, black and mycotoxin-free.


As for alcohol, it will break your fast if you consume it outside of your eating window. Small amounts may be OK to consume inside of your eating window, but it may impair your sleep if you consume it too close to bedtime, and be aware that wine is a source of the toxic chemical glyphosate. Ideally, I believe alcohol is better off avoided.


Finally, one additional compound that should be added to your emergency medical kit is hydrogen peroxide and a nebulizer. Like methylene blue and melatonin, nebulized hydrogen peroxide is something you’ll want to have on hand for immediate use when you need it. I use nebulized hydrogen peroxide most mornings, but if you start feeling sick, you can use it every few hours, or more, to ward off illness.


If you get these basics down — time-restricted eating, avoiding processed foods and LA, and getting daily sun exposure — you can significantly reduce your risk of becoming chronically ill, and even join the 6.8% of Americans who have been able to maintain good cardiometabolic health.


Access this content 48 hours faster by subscribing to the FREE Mercola Health Newsletter today.


Subscribe to Mercola Newsletter

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked.
The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Dr. Mercola encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. The subscription fee being requested is for access to the articles and information posted on this site, and is not being paid for any individual medical advice.
If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.


1  J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Jul 12;80(2):138-151. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2022.04.046
2  J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Jul 12;80(2):138-151. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2022.04.046
3  Rumble, Children’s Health Defense, Good Morning CHD, Episode 82 July 22, 2022
4  Rumble, Children’s Health Defense, Good Morning CHD, Episode 82 July 22, 2022, 4:58
5  Rumble, Children’s Health Defense, Good Morning CHD, Episode 82 July 22, 2022, 17:32
6  Rumble, Children’s Health Defense, Good Morning CHD, Episode 82 July 22, 2022, 11:15
7  Rumble, Children’s Health Defense, Good Morning CHD, Episode 82 July 22, 2022, 39:40
8  Rumble, Children’s Health Defense, Good Morning CHD, Episode 82 July 22, 2022, 20:14
9  Rumble, Children’s Health Defense, Good Morning CHD, Episode 82 July 22, 2022, 22:52
10  Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Feb; 21(3): 741
11  BMJ Open Heart 2018;5:e000946. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2018-000946
12  Rumble, Children’s Health Defense, Good Morning CHD, Episode 82 July 22, 2022, 22:52
13  Rumble, Children’s Health Defense, Good Morning CHD, Episode 82 July 22, 2022, 34:52