Sunday, June 25, 2006

Skin alert: Vitamin K1 for your skin. Is it good?

Vitamins are good for us! So much that we all tend to take boosting mixes with a complete set of them (plus minerals, plus this and that…) - just to make sure that we don’t miss anything. Swallowing these super-mixes (often I wish supplements manufacturers were more considerate and were making SMALL pills, so that I don’t choke!) comforts us because then we know it arms us to face stress, fatigue and all kinds of abuses.
In fact vitamins are so good that some companies started putting synthetic vitamins in high concentrations in skin care products. That’s right! What’s good for the body should be good for the skin! And a new era began of everyone looking for vitamins-boosted creams.
Bad news for those of you who think it’s better for your skin to use new vitamin-boosted creams: it looks like not every single vitamin is good to put on your skin. Or at least, that’s what French equivalent of FDA deducted from recent studies on Vitamin K1!

"Cosmetic products that include vitamin K1 can represent a serious threat to human health…". That’s a statement from the French Health regulator AFSSAPS. Following the discovery it recently put a total ban on the production and distribution of the vitamin K1 for cosmetic products. In fact, if you take anti-coagulants or treatments for hemorrhaging conditions, using cosmetics with vitamin K1 is putting your health at risk.

All this fuss began because in the past few years AFSSAPS has been overwhelmed by reports of severe allergic reactions to creams and lotions containing vitamin K1. Six of the sufferers were so severely affected that hey had to be hospitalized. Scientific studies carried out separately in Italy and Spain showed evidence of sensitivity to this vitamin.
But what prompted these very severe cases of allergic reaction to vitamin K skin care products?

  • Is it the amount of vitamin K in the product?

  • The synthetic origin of the vitamin?

  • The way the natural vitamin K has been extracted and processed?

  • Something else?


Whatever it is, think twice before using a Vitamin K loaded cream or lotion and remember that you can get plenty from natural source like olive oil, cooked broccoli, leaf lettuce, watercress and parsley.

Enjoy your salad!

To read more about Vitamin K visit the very good Linus Pauling Institute Website at:
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminK/index.html

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Dreadful Wedding Planner

This storyis the true chronicle of a young bride who went from paradise to hell in the span of a few days. If you are about to get married, read carefully what you should not do to avoid living the same nightmare. Choose your wedding planner very carefully...

"I thought I was having a heart attack." The young woman was recounting her symptoms to the tall red-haired woman who had known her all her life. "I was so scared, "the patient whispered, her eyes filled with tears. One night, she woke up with an intense pain on the left side of her chest. She called her husband and the pain was so intense they thought of going to the ER right away. But the pain disappeared as mysteriously as it came. Instead, she decided to call her regular doctor the next morning.Dr Jeffrey Engel saw her two days later. The patient was 25, had no medical problems and had recently come back from a honeymoon in the Caribbean. Other than some pinches above her left breast, she was fine: she wasn't tired or in pain, she had good appetite, no swollen lymph nodes, no fever, clear lungs and the heartbeat was OK, although a little fast.Dr Engel knew that healthy young women aren't supposed to have heart attacks. But what did his young patient have? She just had a few very high-energy months with a passionate romance quickly followed by a wonderful wedding and a dream honeymoon. Could it be stress? Or perhaps heartburn which can cause intense chest pain that is often interpreted as a heart attack? He ordered a chest X-ray and EKG and prescribed a heartburn medicine.

Things got really bad by the time she got the result of the X-ray which showed a mass in the left lung. The pain got steadily worse and by the day she went to see her doctor and godmother at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, she felt like she was wearing an old-fashioned corset, laced up really, really tight. She had excruciating pain in the left part of her chest when she was trying to take a deep breath. The X-ray and the following CT-scan showed a mass on the left side of her chest. Her godmother and the radiologist wondered if this was lung cancer, or metastasis from somewhere else, or an infection, or a virus? They decided they needed a biopsy. However, the regular biopsy wasn't enough to clearly state what the mass was. To really understand what it was, doctors needed to do a surgery, and the godmother of our heroine dreaded cancer. It's only when they analyzed the cells taken from this mass, which really looked like cancer, under the microscope that they understood it wasn't cancer. It was a special type of pneumonia, which came from a potentially deadly allergic reaction, usually to a medication. The godmother and doctor told her beloved patient that she needed to stop any medication she was taking. Besides her birth-control pill, the young bride couldn't remember taking any medication. Then, it came back to her: her wedding planner suggested to see a dermatologist to make sure that she would have a perfect skin on the wedding day. Even though she never had acne, her local dermatologist gave her an anti-acne medication called minocycline, just to be on the safe side. It's considered relatively safe, except for a few reported cases of severe allergic reactions like with this young unfortunate bride.As soon as she stopped the medication, the symptoms improved and finally, the mass disappeared. She celebrated her first anniversary last summer. "I feel fine - but a little silly," she said. "and pretty upset, I'd never had taken this medicine if I'd known about this. Even if it's a one-in-a-million chance - when you're the one, it's bad."

If you don't want to be that one (but who wants to risk his/her life to prevent the presence of small pimples on the D day?) and you still want to be more beautiful than ever for your wedding, Nature can help you! Start using clay masks weekly and Wild Musk Rose oil daily and 6 months before the wedding day. Clay will purify and refine your skin naturally. Wild Musk Rose oil will regenerate your skin, lighting radiance and beauty on your face. You won't have to fear any deadly allergic reaction to some doubtful medication, and your skin will look better than ever.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Prevent tooth decay with licorice root toothpaste

I've never enjoyed dental work and I prefer to be safe than sorry so I'm always on the look for the best preventive solution for my oral care. Less dentist visits = more joy!
So let me share with you my latest find and you won't have to fear your next appointment with your dentist. If you are proactive, he (or she) won't find any tooth decay to work on in your mouth. Wouldn't it be a dream to just go to your dentist for tooth cleaning without dreading that the hygienist may give you some bad news (and ask to make a few extra appointments to fix these tooth decays of yours!).

If you think fluoride in your tap water and toothpaste is good enough to protect your teeth, you may want to reconsider once you know that fluoride represents unreasonable health risks. There is even evidence that it may be linked to a rare type of bone cancer in boys.

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria and a lot of natural herbal extracts have potent anti-bacteria properties. So you can protect your teeth from decay thanks to natural herbal extracts. Among these herbs, Licorice root is a gem for your mouth health. It protects the teeth not only from decay, but also from plaque. A new scientific study froma research group at the University of California, Los Angeles showed that licorice root extract contains at least 2 compounds which efficiently kill a bacteria responsible for tooth decay: Streptococcus mutans.

The taste of Licorice is similar to the sweetish taste of aniseed and fennel. Licorice root has been known and used by Greeks, Egyptians and Chineses for a long time as a rich source of beneficial compounds. Traditional Chinese Medicine grants Licorice with of harmonizing properties. It is used to fight throat ache and cough, inflammation, viruses, ulcers and even cancer. In traditional medicine, people were using licorice roots as a toothbrush to clean their teeth and protect them from decay at the same time. Today,science is only rediscovering what our ancestors have known for a verylong time. So by choosing a certified organic toothpaste with licorice, clay and ginseng, you actively protect your teeth and gums from decay, bleeding, infections and inflammation. This toothpaste doesn't contain any detergent, fluoride or sugar which the cavity bacteria love and thrive on!) and only includes the best natural extracts to clean, detoxify and protect your teeth and gums. This is the best and easiest way to avoid painful extra visits to your dentist. A clean mouth is a healthy mouth.

TIP: Don't forget to brush your tongue while brushing your teeth. Tongue cleaning reduces bad breath and helps prevent plaque.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Why Organic: Body Burden and Cosmetics?

It sounds fancy and cool, slightly on the hippie side to be Organic and Natural. For some, organic and natural lifestyle is exotic, extravagant, for some excessive, for some - good excuse to be skeptically sarcastic. Today, scientists and government agencies are discovering that some of these chemicals are toxic. Just think of it. The "father" of DDT received a Nobel prize in 1948 and now days this compound considered at the time "our future" is outlawed in all developed countries!. If you think the organic and natural lifestyle is not for you, you are overlooking very important health issues. These dangerous chemicals are everywhere. Who wants to be sick, pay huge amount of money to doctors, pharmacies and hospitals? Not me! Better be safe than sorry, don't you think so?

You may find interesting to know that more and more studies detect the presence of toxic chemicals in babies through the umbilical cord blood. The results are alarming because they show that before we are even born, synthetic chemicals and heavy metals of all kinds are building up in our body.

Body Burden: the Pollution in people

You may or may not be part of the more than 36% of the American population (and still growing!) who understands the pollution problem and the importance of eating natural and organic. However, do you know which chemicals you put on your skin and your hair or in your mouth? Have you read the ingredient list?
Two recent studies in the US led by a prominent medical school in New York and by a major government health agency analyzed the presence of hundreds of chemicals and pollutants coming from everyday products in the blood and urine of volunteers. All subjects have healthy lives and none worked with chemicals. Yet, each person tested contained an average of 91 compounds, most of which did not exist 75 years ago. No wonder your grandparents did not care about it.

Where do these toxic chemicals come from? Everywhere! Computer, toys, T-shirts, shoes, perfume, nail polish. An expecting mother passes these toxic chemicals to her developing fetus through the placenta. A well known and often quoted world expert in toxicology says: " The fetus is the weak link when it comes to exposure to hazardous substances"1

The persistence of chemicals in people's body is now called Body Burden. Some chemicals or their breakdown products (metabolites) stay in your body only for a short while, and get excreted rapidly. But others don't break down and persist in our bodies forever. That's the ones you should worry about. For example, chlorinated pesticides such as DDT can remain in body for 50 years. No one would care unless it was discovered that DDT is a hormone disruptor, which may be responsible for sterility and pregnancy issues. Which sadly is the truth. And it's not the only hazardous chemical which quietly resides in your body, slowly accumulating. Even though DDT is not produced in developed countries for the last 30 years, yet you find DDT in some personal care products which contain lanolin.

Shocking? Yes! And this is just the beginning, you've just opened the Pandora's box.

But you can now take action and protect yourself and your family by paying attention to what chemicals you are exposed in your everyday life. From water containers to laundry detergents, food and personal care products. There are specific ways to lower and even eliminate your Body Burden. This should give you a good head start for a long and healthy life.
Watch out for the next edition of Nature Purity Blog, because we'll tell you more.

References and resources

1 Dr Vyvyan Howard is a world expert in toxicology and the Head of Research in the Developmental Toxico-Pathology Research Group at the University of Liverpool, UK. Greenpeace

For more information about DDT and other toxic chemicals, visit
www.ourstolenfuture.org
http://ewg.org/issues/siteindex/issues.php?issueid=5004
http://www.safecosmetics.org
body burden information page

You can read the full article at on our website where you an also find organic and natural personal care products

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Eczema Help 101

Dermatitis, eczema, rash, allergies? ... These are problems one doesn't like to hear about. Do you know that 15 million Americans – of which 10-20% of kids - are plagued with eczema (also called topical dermatitis)? If not you are lucky. That's quite a lot of people and that's really too many kids! It is about every 17th of us!

Does it make you feel like you are in a crowd of like-sufferers? If so... Read on!!! I'll tell you about a simple and yet very effective cure.

To make things, in mainstream medicine there is no cure for these conditions. And with so many people affected, it is amazing that there is even no effective relief. The most common proposed treatment is to avoid scratching! - This is easier said than done. You know what I mean if you have eczema! And you can imagine what kind of torture it is for kids - not to be able to scratch.

The only solution your doctor has to help you is a panel of drugs ranging from OTC cortisone ointments to cyclosporine A. The latter kills the immune system and has terrible side effects. Some other recommendations to prevent eczema:
- moisturize frequently and reduce stress
- avoid harsh soaps, detergents, solvents and scratchy clothes (e.g., wool or other irritants)
- avoid environmental factors causing allergies (e.g., pollens, molds, mites, animal dander) and sudden changes in temperature or humidity
- be aware of any foods that may cause an outbreak

But even the dermatology experts of the American Academy of Dermatology recommend first and above all to moisturize your skin, especially after bath or shower. That might help, but
there is a very simple solution which will save you a lot of pain and misery
Nature has crafted some very special plants packed with soothing and moisturizing and healing ingredients with no side effects. 100% good stuff!
Shea butter is the best example of Nature's solution to eczema and damaged skin. This plant butter is extracted from the nuts of the Karite tree growing in Africa. African people have been using it for centuries to heal, beautify and feed themselves (yes, they even use it in food!).
This creamy butter is full of vitamin A, C, D, E and F and (most importantly!) phytosterols. If you have never heard of phytosterols, they are anti-inflammatory plant hormones. The very unique composition of shea butter makes it more soothing and moisturizing than anything else: a little dab of pure shea butter will immediately calm your itching, nourish and protect your skin. You will feel relieved from the eczema itching in less than 30 seconds and shea butter will leave a silk-soft protecting film on your skin. This nature wonder is also hypoallergenic, anti-aging and regenerating. It is even a mild sun-protector.

But ... yes! There is a but: you MUST get the pure, raw, unrefined shea butter, organic grade. This shea butter is golden color and has a very specific smell. You see… for the shea butter to work you need these phytosterols, the vitamins and the other specific ingredients. Most shea butters you will find today in stores are white and don’t have any smell or have slightly sweetish vanilla smell. This whiteness is achieved through extracting the butter from the nut by dissolving it in chemicals. Chemical extraction also takes the specific smell away, but it destroys the precious phytosterols which could take the itching and inflammation away.

You can read more about shea butter here. So try this simple solution from Nature and feel the relief.

Besides being a very powerful cure for eczema and dermatitis, shea butter is also great for:
• winter bite healing
• extremely rich skin moisturizer for dry feet and hands and very dry skin
• skin irritation pacifier for baby’s diaper rash, insect bites and after shave
• chapped and damaged skin treatment for cracked skin, cold sores
• effective hair revitalizer for dull or damaged hair

Monday, December 05, 2005

Fatty Future for Most in US ?!

Have you check your BMI (Body Mass Index) lately? If not, you can do it here or here

Have you always been in the normal range, do you eat healthy and do you exercise regularly? Even if you do it does not necessarily mean you are SAFE! Here is bad news for you: it looks like you are still at risk for overweight and obesity in the future - this is conclusion of a new study of the Framingham Heart project.

The study surved 4000 patients over 30 years. And overeating and lack of exercises aren't the only culprits for the epidemics of overweight and obesity in the US! Good news is that you can do something about it! Medical studies show that the exponential exposure to toxic chemicals plays a major role in overweight and obesity. Why? - It is simple! A lot of these chemicals are fat-soluble and your body uses fat to store them because it cannot get rid of them. This is because most of our everyday chemicals didn't exist 50 years ago...so your body may not be equipped to eliminate all of them properly. More importantly, some of these chemicals (like hormone-disrupting pesticides or phthalates that you can find in some personal care products and perfumes) are well-known to sabotage the natural weight-control mechanisms of the body and to promote weight-gain.

Dr Jerrold J. Heindel from the prestigious US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences wrote in one of his articles: "(Science) provides fascinating examples of chemicals that have been tested for toxicity by standard tests that resulted in weight gain in animals at lower doses than those that caused any obvious toxicity. These chemicals included heavy metals, solvents, polychlorinated bisphenols, organo-phosphates, phthalates and bisphenol A).
Here comes the good news: we are not all doomed to be fat or even very fat! The above is just statistical projection and luckily not everything projected happens. For this statistics does not apply to you, you have to take action.

What can you do to help your body have its weight under control? DETOXIFY REGULARLY! Detoxifying means to flush toxic chemicals and toxins out of your body.

Clay is a very potent and safe detoxifier. It has been used for millennia all over the planet to heal and cleanse people and animals. Taken internally (yes, it's safe and beneficial to drink it) or used externally, it acts as a sponge and a sticky paper for toxins and chemicals (as well as for some bacteria, viruses and parasites). When you start a detox cure, take clay at least for 3 weeks daily and drink a lot of water. The only contra-indications are pregnancy, high blood pressure and chronic constipation.

Go ahead, use clay regularly with a healthy diet and a reasonable amount of exercise. This way, you give yourself the best chances to stay slim or to get back to slenderness.

Links: About Clay | Clay for internal use | Clay for external use

Monday, November 21, 2005

Have You Kissed a Dead Chinesse Convict Lately?

I don't know about you, but I would definitely freak-out if I discovered that the cream or lipstick I use everyday contains executed Chinese convicts' parts.
How would you feel to find out you were virtually kissing a dead person from another continent for the last X weeks? If you never cared to check whether your cosmetics carry the label "NO ANIMAL by-products", it may be the right time to do it. If it doesn't... Well, you might be doing just that: being kissed by a dead Chinese convict!

You've heard for years that collagen is a very important part of the skin. It's known that when the skin ages, its collagen and elastin fibers get broken down and disappear. Collagen has been used on facial creams for years because it retains water and seems to hydrate the skin's surface. Because it lies on the top of the skin (it is too big to penetrate the skin), it also "fills in" fine lines and small wrinkles, giving the skin a smoother look.
So, that should be good enough to justify you using it everyday and be happy with it!
Yes, certainly. But have you wondered where the collagen in this cream jar on your counter comes from? No?
Listen to this:
The UK's Guardian newspaper reported that a sales agent from a Chinese cosmetic company is using skin harvested from the corpses of executed convicts to develop beauty products for sale in Europe.
Agents for the firm told a researcher for the paper who posed as a potential buyer that it is developing collagen for lip and wrinkle treatments from the skin taken from prisoners after they have been shot (Good that at least they did not take it before!).
The agents said some of the company's products have been exported to the UK, and that the use of skin from condemned convicts is "traditional" and nothing to "make such a big fuss about", according to the Guardian.

So next time you want to do collagen injections, think twice! You may feel more comfortable with cosmetics guaranteed not to contain any animal (and human) by-products.