In the last two blogs you have just read about ways to waste your health care dollars. How about health products that are actually worth the money you spend? I am writing here about items which you can purchase in your local store.

You would think that I could easily come up with a list of at least ten things. Yet, I find myself scratching my head after just six. There are without a doubt zillions of products out there. Some claim to rebuild your muscles; others to give you the skin of a baby  and yet others will heal your arthritis just like that. The awful truth is that you can say whatever you want, but if you want to walk the walk you’ll need to prove your claims. The studies sponsored by many of these products are anything but scientific and unless published in a peer reviewed journal with valid data should simply be forgotten. Still, I freely admit that there might be other health care items of value.

Without any further ado, here are six health care products which just might be worth the money:

1.Acetominophen and Ibuprofen, otherwise known among other names as Tylenol and Motrin, do a reasonable job in reducing pain with fewer side effects than other products. Acetaminophen has no antiinflammatory activity but will not harm your stomach. As with any pill, beware of side effects! Ibuprofen, for example can cause bleeding ulcers, harm your kidneys and cause high blood pressure.

2. Eucerin cream or ointment, especially the unscented version does help moisturize your skin, which over the long haul may help your skin to appear younger. No fancy product design here and no dermatologists in white coats with French accents proclaiming its virtues, but just an effective workhourse for your skin. Vaseline by the way does a great job in preventing nosebleeds and cracked lips. Aloe vera works reasonably well for skin allergies.

3.  Benadryl or diphenhydramine is an antihistamine which helps with simple skin allergies and also can tone down a cough. It causes drowsiness so should not be used when driving and it like any other pills can have some nasty side effects including seizures. A  purported non sedating version called Zyrtec is not quite as strong in terms of treating allergies, but is also not as sedating.

4. Antacids do work for immediate relief of stomach discomfort caused by gastric acid. If you’re willing to wait a few hours, Zantac or ranitidine will work as well. If you’re really patient and are willing to wait a day or two Prilosec will work and work longer. All of these drugs have side effects, so beware. Also, if  the stomach pain doesn’t improve, see your doctor.

5.  Fish oil helps lower your cholesterol and thus reduce the risks of diseases associated with elevated cholesterol. It also has some unpleasant side effects, but overall for those with high cholesterol would be worth a try.

6. Vitamin D with or without calcium should be taken by most womenand those who do not get much sun exposure.