Q: This is more of an answer than a question. Several years ago, I happened to see a segment on TV about the benefits of kiwifruit. The host was talking about a study that showed eating two kiwifruit a day for eight weeks would increase your good HDL cholesterol by 10 percent.

Since my HDL had decreased in my most recent blood testing to 43 (getting near the worry level of 40), I decided to try the recommendation. I started eating two kiwis a day for three months before my next scheduled lipid test. My HDL increased to 49.

Since then, my HDL values have been 50, 57, 53, 63 and 66. I have changed nothing else in that period. I did continue with the two-kiwi-a-day regimen. Beyond being very tasty, kiwifruit has additional benefits of being excellent sources of vitamin C and potassium.

A: Thank you for sharing your experience with kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa “Hayward”). You are right that there is data to suggest that kiwifruit can have a positive impact on so-called good HDL cholesterol levels (International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, December 2009; British Journal of Nutrition, June 28, 2013; Nutrition Journal, Sept. 15, 2015).

That said, a recent review of the medical literature concluded that kiwifruit did not improve overall metabolic health (Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, online, Jan. 23, 2019). There was a trend toward reduced blood pressure and improved lipid levels, though such results weren’t statistically significant.

Since kiwifruit tastes delicious and your HDL cholesterol levels have improved, we are pleased to share your results with our readers. Some people are allergic to kiwifruit, though. They may develop a skin rash or a tingling feeling in the mouth or throat. In this case, kiwis should be avoided!

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Q: I learned from a friend of mine who reads your column that I should drink pure grape juice with pectin two to three times a day for joint/arthritis pain. My question is: What does the pectin have to do with the grape juice? Can grape juice alone do the trick?

A: We first heard about the “purple pectin remedy” over two decades ago. A reader had tried gin-soaked raisins with no success. He and his wife then switched to Certo (plant pectin used to thicken jams and jellies) in grape juice. He reported that this combination eased their joint pain.

We have subsequently heard from other readers that this remedy dates back to the 1940s. Goodness knows who came up with the formula originally.

Grape juice does have some anti-inflammatory properties (Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, September 2015). We suggest you do your own personal experiment. Try purple grape juice for a couple of weeks and then add Certo to the mix. Let us know if you experience any additional benefit.

To learn more about this and many other natural approaches to easing joint pain, we suggest you review our eGuide to Alternatives for Arthritis. This electronic resource even has a video about how to mix Certo and grape juice. It can be found in the Health Guide section at PeoplesPharmacy.com.

Q: Years ago, I lived next door to a little girl who had lots of warts. She had been to many doctors without success.

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My little boy brought her to me (he thought I knew everything). I told her I would buy them for a dime, but she never could have them back. I made a big thing about buying them, and sure enough they all disappeared.

A few months later I met her dad in a store, and he whispered to me, “Are you a witch?” Just too cute.

A: “Buying” warts is a trick that goes back generations. Suggestion can be powerful medicine.