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Sunscreen information and guidance

Sunscreen

Ultraviolet rays are responsible for a wide variety of effects on the skin. Acute responses to UVR are photo-damage, erythema, mutation, immunosuppression, synthesis of vitamin D and tanning. And chronic responses are photo-aging and photocarcinogenesis.

There are 3 types of ultraviolet (UV) rays, UVA, UVB, and UVC.

UVA rays are the ones that cause premature aging and photo-sensitivity. This UVR is not life threatening, but excessive time in the sun can lead to wrinkles, a leathery texture to your skin, hyperpigmentation (liver spots and aging spots) and sagging.

UVB rays are the rays that are out from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and are the ones most responsible for sunburn and skin cancer year round. At higher altitudes and reflective surfaces can increase UVB intensity.

UVC rays are the most damaging of the UV rays and are protected by the ozone layer and do not reach the earth’s surface.

Studies have shown that skin cancer is more prevalent in lighter skin individuals it does not discriminate on darker skin individuals. You should determine your skin type and what SPF you need.

There are 4 types of skin cancers.

Actinic Keratoses (AK) – Look like dry scaly patches.

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) – Look like a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump or a pinkish patch of skin.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) – Looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then reopens.

Malignant melanoma (deadliest) – Looks like a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin.

  • Reasons to wear sunscreen:
  • Decreases your risk of getting skin cancer
  • Protects your skin from sunburn
  • It sets an example for children
  • The ozone layer is depleting
  • Keeps your skin tone even
  • Keeps you looking young

Skincancer.org suggest applying sunscreen frequently, not going out into the sun with certain medications and many other interesting facts.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671032/#R5

https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/learn-about-skin-cancer/types-of-skin-cancer

http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/the-skin-cancer-foundations-guide-to-sunscreens

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Toxic ingredients to avoid in your shampoo (2 min read)

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Natural and eco-friendly products are all the rage these days with environmentally concerned consumers. People are becoming more aware of these toxic chemicals in shampoos and how they pose a problem with their hair and their health. Consumers are looking for healthier and more eco-friendly products, not just shampoo.

I use to love to go and get the latest and greatest traditional shampoo, but then I started noticing how my hair was really dry, my color was fading quickly, my hair was being stripped of oils and wasn’t shiny. That was when I started ready the labels.  I was in shock and concerned.

Did you know the government does not require any tests on all personal products? They can put any damn chemical they want into a personal product, so it is important to know what you are using.

Pros of Organic Shampoo

  • Contains organic and natural (plant-derived) ingredients.
  • If your hair is colored, organic shampoo does not fade the color like traditional shampoos.
  • Promotes new hair growth by naturally stimulating the hair follicles and making your hair thicker.
  • Botanical ingredients enrich and infuse skin cells and hair follicles with natural oils, vitamins, and minerals to maintain moisture and improving the overall condition.
  • Makes your hair shiny and beautiful.
  • Organic shampoo infuses natural oils, minerals, and herbal extracts into hair follicles. It contains all natural ingredients, is a non-allergenic product, which makes it suitable for sensitive and allergy prone skin and provides nutrients.
  • Natural shampoos are environmentally friendly because they contain bio-degradable materials rather than harsh chemicals.

 

Cons of traditional shampoo

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests avoiding these chemicals in shampoo:

For starters they suggest any words ending in “paraben”, to stay away from and

  • DMDM hydantoin.
  • Imidazolidinyl urea.
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone.
  • Methylisothiazolinone.
  • Triclosan.
  • Triclocarban.
  • Triethanolamine (or “TEA”)
  • Ingredients that start with “PEG” or have an “-eth” in the middle (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
  • These pertain to fragrance – “FRAGRANCE,” “FD&C,” or “D&C.”

The EWG created a Skin Deep Database which I think you will find very useful for finding what NOT TO BUY. They have spent many hours on research to bring you this list and it’s not just for shampoo.

 

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Are You Taking Synthetic Supplements?

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In this day and age with poor nutrients in our foods from overuse in our fields, our food is getting less and less nutritious. The pesticides limit the action needed from microbes in our soil to help plants draw in the nutrients they need. With processed and refined foods (make food last longer) and Genetically Modified Foods (GMO’s) making our food addictive, so we crave certain types of refined, processed or GMO foods. Humanity has been eating whole foods for thousands of years. Since refined and processed foods have come into play, we are now seeing issues such as food allergies, auto-immune disorders and, obesity.

If you go to the BIG chain stores, I pretty much guarantee, most all of the vitamins there are synthetic. The problem with synthetic vitamins because they are made from isolates, which is difficult for your body to absorb. They also contain chemical compounds that are not meant for human consumption. It is important to look for certified organic or natural supplements, so that you are not taking any synthetic vitamins. Make sure the manufacturing meets stringent USDA-NOP standards and it will be labeled as such. Whole food supplements are far superior to vitamins because whole food supplements are blends of concentrated and dehydrated whole foods which give the ability to absorb them better. Whole food supplements provide you with a concentrated source of nutrition, which includes vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, phytonutrients and, enzymes to aid in digestion.

There is a big misconception out there with labels reading “Whole”,” Natural” or “Organic”.

The USDA Organic states: USDA organic products have strict production and labeling requirements. Organic products must meet the following requirements.

Organic – Produced without excluded methods, (genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge). Policy on genetically modified organisms-GMO’s (pdf)

Produced using allowed substances. The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List).

Overseen by a USDA National Organic Program-authorized certifying agent, following all USDA organic regulations.

The Organic Consumers Organization breaks down the difference sources and forms, Food Vitamin Supplements, Potency and Purity, Additives, Nutrients needed, Minerals, antioxidants, Fiber and enzymes and more.

It is important when looking for a whole food supplement to investigate their ingredients and supplement facts on the back label.  Just because they say they are “natural” or “whole food”, doesn’t necessarily mean they are. As long as they have 10% its ingredients are from natural, plant-derived ingredients, but the other 90% can be, and most times are, synthetically made in a laboratory. Manufacturers are also putting in Hydrogenated Oils as fillers, in them.

Natural – Look for labeling that states 100% natural. Look for a food source label of natural food sources, then the product is synthetic. Look for food sources such as yeast, fish, vegetable and citrus.

Whole – Some whole food supplements do contain “synthetic” vitamins. Always read the list of ingredients on whole food labels you’ll probably see that vitamins A and D and the B vitamins have been added. They might include yeast-derived, which counts as a natural process; others would say that isolating those vitamins requires a synthetic, industrial process.

Common Synthetic vitamins to avoid:

  1. Vitamin A: Acetate and Palmitate
  2. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Thiamine Mononitrate, Thiamine Hydrochloride
  3. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavin
  4. Pantothenic Acid: Calcium D-Pantothenate
  5. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  6. Vitamin B12: Cobalamin
  7. PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid): Aminobenzoic Acid
  8. Folic Acid: Pteroylglutamic Acid
  9. Choline: Choline Chloride, Choline Bitartrate
  10. Biotin: d-Biotin
  11. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Ascorbic Acid
  12. Vitamin D: Irradiated Ergosterol, Calciferol
  13. Vitamin E: dl-alpha tocopherol, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate or succinate

The letters “dl” that appear before the name of an ingredient indicates the supplement is synthetic.

So the verdict is out! Read, read, read the ingredients on the labels.

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Do you know what’s in your soap?

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Whether its dishwashing, hand, body or even clothing, what is in your soap should be of big concern to you and your family. As you know, skin is the biggest organ (integumentary system) and is super absorbent.

If you are living an organic lifestyle, then I am sure you watch what you eat and what you are absorbing systemically. But for those who don’t, you will be alarmed at what ingredients soaps contain.

Conventional Soaps can contain Triclosan, Dioxane, Sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), Diethanolamine (or DEA), Formaldehyde, Parabens, Fragrance, PEG 6 and more. I’ve listed some of them individually below with synonyms so you can read the label on products and have a better understanding of what you are looking for. Knowledge is power!

Triclosan – Triclosan is an antibacterial agent and preservative used in personal care and home cleaning products; persistent in the environment and may be associated with endocrine (hormonal) toxicity. Synonyms are:

2,4,4′-TRICHLORO-2′-HYDROXY DIPHENYL ETHER; 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) – PHENOL; 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) PHENOL; PHENOL, 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) -; PHENOL, 5CHLORO2 (2,4DICHLOROPHENOXY) ; 2,4,4′-TRICHLORO-2′-HYDROXYDIPHENYL ETHER; 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) PHENOL; CH 3565; IRGASAN; IRGASAN DP300; PHENOL, 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY).

DioxaneDioxane is a chemical is an unwanted byproduct of an ingredient processing method called ethoxylation. Synonyms are:

1,4-DIETHYLENE DIOXIDE; 1,4-DIOXACYCLOHEXANE; DI (ETHYLENE OXIDE) ; DIETHYLENE DIOXIDE; DIETHYLENE DIOXIDE (OSHA) ; DIETHYLENE ETHER; DIOKAN; DIOKSAN (POLISH) ; DIOSSANO-1,4 (ITALIAN) ; DIOXAAN-1,4 (DUTCH) ; DIOXAN.

Sodium laurel sulfateSodium laurel sulfate is a widely used and inexpensive chemical found in many mainstream personal hygiene products such as shampoos, toothpaste, mouthwashes, body wash, soaps, detergents, and body wash. Synonyms are:

MONODODECYL ESTER SODIUM SALT SULFURIC ACID; SODIUM DODECYL SULFATE; SODIUM DODECYL SULPHATE; SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE; SODIUM SALT SULFURIC ACID, MONODODECYL ESTER; SULFURIC ACID MONODODECYL ESTER SODIUM SALT; SULFURIC ACID, MONODODECYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT; AI3-00356; AKYPOSAL SDS; AQUAREX ME; AQUAREX METHYL.

Diethanolamine (DEA)Diethanolamine is a chemical that is used as a foaming agent in soaps, shampoo, and as a thickener for conditioners and similar products. Synonyms are:

2,2′-DIHYDROXYDIETHYLAMINE; 2,2′-IMINOBISETHANOL; 2,2′-IMINODIETHANOL; DEA (EWG) ; ETHANOL, 2,2 IMINOBIS; N,N-DIETHANOLAMINE; 2,2′-DIHYDROXYDIETHYLAMINE; 2,2′-IMINOBISETHANOL; 2,2′-IMINODIETHANOL; 2- (2-HYDROXYETHYLAMINO) ETHANOL; BIS (2-HYDROXYETHYL) AMINE.

FormaldehydeFormaldehyde is a preservative. Synonyms are:

DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol ), 5-Bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane, Hydroxymethylglycinate .

ParabensParabens are chemicals that have been used to prevent bacteria and act as a preservative in deodorants, lotions, lipsticks, shampoos, scrubs, and more. Synonyms are:

4-HYDROXY- PROPYL ESTER BENZOIC ACID; 4-HYDROXYBENZOIC ACID, PROPYL ESTER; 4-HYDROXYBENZOIC ACID, PROPYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT; BENZOIC ACID, 4-HYDROXY-, PROPYL ESTER; BENZOIC ACID, 4-HYDROXY-, PROPYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT; BENZOIC ACID, 4HYDROXY, PROPYL ESTER; BENZOIC ACID, 4HYDROXY, PROPYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT; POLYPARABEN; POTASSIUM PROPYLPARABEN; POTASSIUM SALT PROPYLPARABEN; PROPYL 4-HYDROXYBENZOATE.

FragranceFragrance is a mixture with various scents that make up a scent for personal care products. Synonyms are:

AROMA, PARFUM.

 

PEG 6PEG 6  is a polymer of ethylene oxide. Synonyms are:

OXIRANE; 1,2-EPOXYAETHAN (GERMAN) ; 1,2-EPOXYETHANE; AETHYLENOXID (GERMAN) ; ALPHA,BETA-OXIDOETHANE; AMPROLENE; ANPROLENE; ANPROLINE; DIHYDROOXIRENE; DIMETHYLENE OXIDE; E.O.

All of these chemicals above are going into our eco-system. Think about it, when you wash, the lather goes down the drain along with the pollutants.

So what are you looking for? Soap that is without chemicals, additives, animal products and are cruelty-free.  Natural soaps are normally made with ingredients such as botanical oils such as palm, coconut, jojoba, olive oil and more. Natural soaps do not wash away your natural oils, which is helpful for psoriasis, skin eczema and for people with sensitive skin. And don’t worry if your soap lathers as it might have an ingredient called Bentonite clay in it. Bentonite clay binds with and removes toxins from the body.

You can make your own natural soap and here are 3 methods:

Melt and Pour method – Buy a pre-made soap base, melt the soap base into a liquid, add extra ingredients like soap dye, essential oils, herbs, and nutrients. Then you’ll pour the soap into a mold, decorate it and let it harden. No patience needed here because as soon as it hardens, you can use it.

Cold Process method – Is mixing fixed oils like Olive, Coconut or Palm Oil with an alkali (Sodium Hydroxide or Lye). The process called Saponification where oils change with the help of Sodium Hydroxide or Lye to create a bar of soap. This process takes approx. 4 to 6 weeks of curing and can be dangerous due to the chemical process. Limiting design options are available and when creating cold press soaps when using fragrance oils, essential oils, and colorants.  The soapqueen.com explains more in depth about this process, dangers, safety, and tools needed. In this process, patience is needed.

Hot Process method – This method entails melting the oils and blend in the lye solution without having to check temperatures. This method requires blending it until thick and then cooking it until it’s super thick. Then scoop it into a mold and let cool. You can cut it as soon as it’s hard and that’s why it is a perfect no patience method.

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10 tips for aging skin

Anti Aging

As we get older our skin changes with age. Lifestyle, hereditary, photo-aging, and diet are a few that contribute to it. Wrinkles, sagging, loose skin and lines it can be difficult to age without the worry of how we look.

Makeup is meant to enhance our features, not have negative effects. With aging, if you aren’t applying your makeup correctly, you can look much older than you really are. Wanting to hide our complexion is natural as we age and applying it sparingly is helpful.

Sagging, loose skin, wrinkles, and lines happen when we lose our youthfulness that is why it is so important to have a healthy regimen every day. Each and every day you are out and about your skin is being polluted by toxins in the air and your pores are clogging. When this transpires you end up with a dull canvas so to speak. By cleaning your face daily you can get this build up off of it and start with a clean canvas.

  1. I like using my vibration facial brush for exfoliation as it gets the dead skin off and revives my face and lips.
  2. The next step is moisturizing. An organic antioxidant anti-aging moisturizer is ideal for aging skin and an essential in moisturizing. Don’t forget to apply in circular motions.
  3. Always use a face primer those crevasses and wrinkles won’t show up as much and give you a smoother face before applying makeup. Don’t forget the eyelids, if you apply eyeshadow.
  4. The foundation you pick is imperative. DO not apply a thick foundation. You want a light and not flaky looking foundation. SO pick a color that is as closest to your natural skin color as possible and remember less is more.
  5. Under eye concealer can build up and show more wrinkles, but the primer should help. If you do use under eye concealer, I suggest not putting any powder under your eyes or on top of your foundation as it will harden your look and will show more wrinkles. Keep your face looking dewy with aging skin.
  6. Blushes for aging skin should be in a cream to go with your dewy look.
  7. Lipstick colors should stay in the neutral shades. By applying dark lipstick, you are just asking for people to dissect your face even more. Smooth, soft, dewy and moisturized is the look you want.
  8. Frosted, sparkling eyeshadow is a definite no, no. These will definitely enhance your wrinkles. Stick with neutrals on your eyelids.
  9. Eyeliner too dark can make your eyes look droopy.  I suggest a line on top and if you have to put it on the bottom, a sharpened eyeliner will be your friend.  Remember, less is more.
  10. Mascara is a must, I feel. For a more natural look, you could use a brown. Otherwise, if you like black or no mascara at all. By all means though whether you are using mascara or not an eyelash curler is a must.

The other alternative, of course, is going under the knife and getting surgery to correct our aging skin. Some chose to and some don’t.

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Essential Oils are aromatic botanicals for physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.

Essential oils

An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing variable aroma compounds from plants and has been used for thousands of years by various cultures. There are many uses for essential oils ranging from beauty care, household cleaning, aromatherapy and natural medicine.  The important thing is getting the oils from an organic farmer that knows how to properly distill them, don’t use chemicals in the extraction process and that each batch has the proper phytochemical constituents. Essential oils contain phytochemicals which are plant-based chemicals and may belong to a specific category from Terpenoids, Alkaloids, Phenolic compounds, Glycosides, Carbohydrates, Proteins, Lipids, Nucleic acids and much more.  Each phytochemical has different properties such as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial.

There are over a hundred ways to use essential oils.  Common practices include topical application, aromatic diffusion, and dietary consumption. I’ve listed just a small few to start with below.

Health and Healing

  • Lime – Great for boosting your mood, energizing and it’s fresh.
  • Frankincense (Olibanum)  –  used for respiratory and cough.
  • Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) – Uplifting and used for combating depression.
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia / Lavandula Officinalis) – Used for relaxation, fight stress and promote sleep.

Aromatherapy

  • Car – Add a couple of drops to a cotton ball and clipping it to the air vent.
  • House – Put your favorite scent on your faux flowers, in the closet or in a drawer for a fresher smell.
  • Candles – After the candle has been lite for a few minutes add a few drops to melted wax, close to the wick with your favorite essential oil.

Carrier Oils

Carrier oils are a vegetable oil derived from the fatty part of the plant (seeds, nuts or kernels). There are several different types of carrier oils for specific therapeutic needs. Carrier oils are vegetable oils important for diluting essential oils, so they are safe to apply to your skin and/or ingest. The best carrier oils are refined with no additives and carrier oils should be cold pressed as they hold on to the properties because they aren’t subjected to heat. I use almond oil, Apricot, Jojoba, avocado, coconut, grapeseed, argan, and sunflower.

It is very important to understand how to combine your essential oils with carrier oils and aromaweb.com is a great place to find out how to properly use them. They also have Guides, Articles, Recipes, Books, Essential Oil profiles, Carrier Oil profiles, Hydrosol profiles and Resource links. 

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4 facts on XingPiJieYu, a Chinese herb for depression, chronic stress, memory and learning.

Chinese Medicine

Depression – Is a mood disorder that causes a constant feeling of sadness and no interest in day to day routines.  It affects how you feel, behave and think.

Depression is usually treated with monoamine-based antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) which are known as Citalopram (Celexa), Escitalopram (Lexapro), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), Sertraline (Zoloft) and Vilazodone (Viibryd) and about  1/3 of depressive patients are not responsive to these anti-depressants.

Side effects from SSRI’s consist of drowsiness, nausea, dry mouth, insomnia, diarrhea, nervousness, agitation or restlessness, dizziness, sexual problems, such as reduced sexual desire or difficulty reaching orgasm or inability to maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction), headache and blurred vision.

Memory and Learning – In Asia, they have been treating depression with Traditional Chinese Medicine, specifically a Chinese herb called XingPiJieYu (XPJY) for many years and in a recent 21-day study on rats, studies are showing XingPiJieYu is improving memory and learning by improving the signaling pathway in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a small organ located within the brain’s medial temporal lobe and forms an important part of the limbic system, the region that regulates emotions. The hippocampus is involved in the storage of long-term memory, which includes all past knowledge and experiences.

Chronic Unpredictable Stress (CUS) – According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), There were past studies that showed XPJY improved behavior and depression in CUS in rats, which they say, is as good as sertraline.

The NCBI conclusion read as follows “XPJY has a regulatory effect on depressive behavior in the sucrose preference and open field exploration, and learning and memory in Morris water maze, and the expression of cAMP, PKA, CREB and BDNF in the hippocampus of model rats. The effect is probably achieved mainly by activating cAMP-PKA-CREB-BDNF signaling pathway. This study provides experimental evidence for the clinical application of XPJY in the treatment of depression and related learning and memory impairment.

Red Rice

Are you eating red rice or taking red rice supplements?

Red Rice

Every day we look for things to help us with our health without being prescribed prescriptions from our physicians. And if you’re not, you should be!  I know I am concerned about my health, as I am getting older. Rather than going to doctors all the time, I changed my diet years ago.  I watch what I eat instead of just taking a pill that the big pharma has concocted.

I think in this day and age we are learning that when our grandparents or maybe even our parents were young, they were raised with whole foods. Whole foods are much more nutritious and healthier than processed. This is why you are seeing more and more people turn toward organic and watching out for pesticides and GMO’s.  I’m going to touch on red yeast rice and red yeast rice supplements to hopefully engage you and take some things into consideration. One being, that if you are taking red yeast rice supplements, be aware of what ingredients and how much are in them.  And two, if you are eating red yeast rice, beware of who you are purchasing it from.

Red yeast rice is a Chinese rice that is fermented, also called “Went Yeast” and is colored by the anthocyanin content. People in China have used it to improve blood circulation, improve digestion and as an anti-inflammatory in Eastern medicine.

Researchers are not sure if red yeast rice lowers cholesterol because of the statin-like chemical or, because of other things in red yeast rice like Monacolin K, unsaturated fatty acids, isoflavones, and phytosterols.

The French have issued the following warning regarding red yeast rice.

Brown rice and red rice are very similar as they both have fiber, B vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron, manganese, selenium, magnesium and other nutrients. You may find that you like the taste of brown rice better than red rice as it is very bitter tasting.  Red rice is different, though, because it being enriched with antioxidants, which helps fight damaging free radicals in our bodies.

Now according to WebMD, it was withdrawn from the market because it contains monacolin K, which is found in lovastatin.  Lovastatin is considered a “Statin drug” for lowering cholesterol and many people are finding it hard to purchase.  Lovastatin is normally very well tolerated however, it can give you abdominal pain, constipation, muscle aches or pains, nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, weakness, blurred vision, rash, dizziness and muscle cramps.

People are still able to purchase it on the internet though or from other countries, despite the FDA’s attempts.

According to the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), not all red rice has monacolin K in it.

You need to keep in mind from whom you are getting the red rice from. You need to know that the product uniformity, purity, labeling, and safety cannot be guaranteed.

The research on RYRE (Red Yeast Rice Extract) (dietary supplement) is in its early stages of research. And the NNCIH’s clinical trials, (studies on people) “the products lowered blood levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the so-called bad cholesterol that is linked to increased heart disease risk). It is important to emphasize that all of these clinical trials used products that contained substantial amounts of monacolin K. A 2011 analysis showed that some of the red yeast rice products on the market contain very little monacolin K. These products may have little or no effect on blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, even though the participants in the clinical trials were able to lower their cholesterol levels by taking red yeast rice, you might not be able to achieve the same results”. NNCIH also found that “In one of the clinical trials, the tested product produced a cholesterol-lowering effect greater than would be expected based on its monacolin K content. Further investigations, supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), suggested that other monacolins or other substances present in the product may have contributed to its cholesterol-lowering effect.”

The University of Maryland Medical Center gives an overview of their findings and thoughts.

Is this “red rice” even worth it?  I know of many other things that can lower your cholesterol without having to worry all the problems associated with red rice. Try eating some of these examples:

  1. oat bran
  2. fiber
  3. nuts
  4. tea
  5. beans

Safety –  Many people in Asian countries have been eating red rice for centuries and aren’t scared of it and are very healthy. Since there are so many varieties of red rice and red rice supplements on the market, my concerns would be what amounts are safe for one to take, and where I am getting it? I suggest speaking with your physician.

 

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Scientific studies prove broccoli fights cancer

Broccoli

There have been studies on broccoli since the 1990’s. Scientists have found by eating broccoli and broccoli sprouts because of the significant amounts of sulforaphane (a sulfur compound was shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits by killing cancer stem cells) to be the hero of the anti-cancer activity.  Although broccoli is the richest sources of this potent compound, broccoli sprouts are 20 times greater than broccoli because the sprouts show more glucoraphanin (glucosinolate precursor of sulforaphane that influences carcinogenesis and mutagenesis).

Sulforaphane supports normal cell function and detachment while causing opoptosis (programmed cell death) in colon, prostate, breast and tobacco-induced lung cancer cells.  Sulforaphane boosts cell enzymes that protect against molecular damage from cancer-causing chemicals.

In breast cancer, Sulforaphane reduced positive cell population from 65% to 80% in a study conducted by the National Center of Biotechnology Information.  In colon and lung cancer by eating broccoli and broccoli sprouts has shown a significant reduction in cancer.  In prostate cancer, by eating broccoli sprouts 4 times a week, protect men from prostate cancer. Keep in mind though that you should decrease your intake of red meat, drinking alcohol, sodium nitrate (found in processed meats, bacon, hot dogs and salami for example). Intake more fiber from whole foods, take a vitamin D supplement and eat more fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that by eating more vegetables that are non-starchy and fruits have a lower risk of getting digestive system cancer and colorectal cancer.

You can also find other vegetables that contain sulforaphane (Kale, Brussels sprouts, Collard Greens, Cabbage, Mustard Greens, Cauliflower, Turnip, Bok Choy, Watercress, Kohlrabi, and Radishes. However,  broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain the most.

Scientific proof has shown time and time again, that food is the best medicine. There is so much we can learn from Mother Nature.

 

 

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Facts about Ginger and its Medicinal Benefits

 

GingerMore and more people are turning to alternative medicine realizing its health benefits. One of those, which is ginger, was originated in Southeastern Asia and can be found in Asian and Indian cuisine. Ginger has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties.

Ginger comes from the Zingiberaceae family, is along side with the turmeric and cardamon family. Ginger root contains a very high level of total antioxidants and has a strong, spicy and aromatic smell that comes from essential oils and phenolic compounds such as gingerols, shogaols, and paradols in the root.

Ginger’s health benefits include:

Gastrointestinal relief – the phenolic compound in ginger have been shown to relieve gastrointestinal irritation.

Cell death in Colorectal Cancer, lymphoma, hepatoma, breast cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer, and bladder cancer.Studies have shown that ginger and its parts have the ability to induce apoptosis, cause cell-cycle arrest, decrease proliferation, and suppress activator protein.

Nausea and vomiting – Ginger is known for helping nausea and clinical studies have shown that it helps with chemotherapy, when used with other anti-nausea medications. It has in the past helped with post- surgery nausea, nausea caused by motion, chemotherapy, pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.

Muscle pain from physical activity – Ginger is known to help relieve the pain in muscles because of its anti-inflammatory results.

Osteoarthritis – Studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory in ginger has shown the reduction in pain from the anti-inflammatory, but not more so that ibuprofen.

Anti-diabeticStudies have also shown reduced significantly lowered blood glucose, serum total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, and triglycerides in rats. It also showed reduced levels of insulin, body weights and cholesterol.

Ginger can have some side effects as shown in studies at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.