Your Skin Care Products may be Causing Skin Cancer!

A study in the “The Journal of Investigative Dermatology” found that topical applications of moisturizers such as Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, Vanicream, or other lotions containing Mineral Oil could increase skin cancer risk.

In the study mice were irradiated with UVB, basically receiving a sunburn, and were treated with the mineral oil containing moisturizers exhibited a significant increase in their rate of tumor formation and increase in tumor size per mouse. Treatment of the mice with these lotions for 17 weeks increased the total number of tumors by 69 percent.

Mineral oil is a known carcinogen and applying it to sunburned skin appears to greatly increase this effect.

In light of the potential tumorigenic effects of mineral oil on UVB-exposed skin, it stands to reason that this is NOT an ingredient you want in your suntan lotion or tanning oil. However, that’s just what you’ll find in many tanning products. Unfortunately, just because you don’t see it on the label, it doesn’t mean it’s not in there. Mineral oil has countless different names, but each has the same effect… one you’ll want to stay away from!

Alternate names include:

  • Adepsine oil
  • Albolene
  • Drakeol
  • Lignite oil
  • Liquid paraffin / paraffin oil
  • Mineral seal oil
  • Petrolatum
  • White oil
  • Baby oil
Mineral oil also clogs your pores and can cause blackheads as well as preventing the absorption of any beneficial ingredients which may be in the products.
I think back on my high school and college days laying on the beach slathered in baby oil.
We’re fortunate now though that our skin care line doesn’t contain any mineral oil, by any name.

Skin care: Five tips for healthy skin

Good skin care — including sun protection and gentle cleansing — can keep your skin healthy and glowing for years to come.

Don’t have time for intensive skin care? Pamper yourself with the basics. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay the natural aging process and prevent many skin problems. Get started with these five no-nonsense tips.

1. Protect yourself from the sun

The most important way to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, freckles, age spots and rough, dry skin. Sun exposure can also cause more-serious problems, such as skin cancer. For the most complete sun protection:
  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. You might also opt for special sun-protective clothing, which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays while keeping you cool and comfortable.
  • Use sunscreen when you’re in the sun. Apply generous amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, after heavy sweating or after being in water.

2. Don’t smoke

Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients, such as vitamin A, that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — may contribute to wrinkles.
If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.

3. Treat your skin gently

Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin, so keep it gentle:
  • Limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm — rather than hot — water.
  • Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild cleansers.
  • Shave carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it. Of course laser hair removal eliminates the need for shaving daily.
  • Pat dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
  • Moisturize dry skin. Find a moisturizer that fits your skin type and makes your skin look and feel soft. We recommend a skin health line we carry in our salon. It is free of all chemical preservatives as well as free from “Natural” preservatives which are safe, yet irritating to skin such as tea tree oil, lavender, etc.

4. Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between diet and acne is clear — research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and a broad spectrum of antioxidants and low in fats and carbohydrates may promote younger looking skin.

5. Manage stress

Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results may be more dramatic than you expect.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Improve Outcomes in Pregnancy

Several studies in the US and Europe demonstrat that higher intakes of omega-3 fats from fish oil are associated with a reduced risk of depressive symptoms in the postnatal period.  These same studies also show improvement in the cognitive development of their offspring. Researchers are always trying to find out exactly what is responsible for these positive effects.  A study reported in the October 20, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at whether DHA was the most important nutrient.  They studied over 2400 pregnant women in Australia and followed their pregnancies and postpartum recovery.  These researchers concluded that their was no difference in outcomes whether the mothers consumed DHA fish oil capsules or vegetable oil capsules that also contained omega3 fatty acids.  The conclusion is that fact that pregnant mothers should be taking omega-3 fatty acids in supplementation during their pregnancy; however, it does not matter if they are fish oil capsules or vegetable oil liquid or capsules.

Get your Vitamin D levels up before you break a bone.

The October 6, 2010 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reports that nearly half of orthopedic surgery patients are deficient in vitamin D, a condition that impairs bone healing, muscle function and surgery recovery.

Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and chief of the Metabolic Bone Disease Service at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery Joseph Lane, MD and colleagues reviewed the charts of 723 men and women scheduled for orthopedic surgery from January, 2007 to March, 2008. Forty-three percent of the patients had insufficient preoperative vitamin D levels, defined as 20 to 32 nanograms per milliliter, and 40 percent had deficient levels of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter. Younger individuals, men, and those with dark skin were likeliest to be low in vitamin D.

Dr Lane explained that healing of bony tissue takes place two to four weeks following bone surgery, and sufficient vitamin D is needed for this process. “In the perfect world, test levels, fix and then operate,” Dr Lane stated. “If you are really aggressive right before surgery, you can correct deficient levels quickly, but you have to correct it, measure it, and then act on it.”

Sixty percent of trauma service patients had insufficient levels and 52 percent were deficient. A high percentage of vitamin D insufficiency was also observed in Sports Medicine and Arthroplasty (hip and knee replacement) services. “We frequently see stress fractures in the Sports Medicine Service and if you want to heal, you have to fix the calcium and vitamin D,” Dr. Lane noted. “With arthroplasty, there is a certain number of patients that when you put in the prosthesis, it breaks the bone adjacent to the prostheses, which can really debilitate patients.

“This study should serve as a wake-up call to orthopedists that vitamin D deficiency is widespread, not necessarily tied to age, sex or background and screening for it should be part of routine presurgical care for adults,” Dr Lane stated. “Meanwhile, patients who are planning to undergo any orthopedic procedure can request a screening (specifically, a blood test called the 25 hydroxyvitamin D test) or ask to be placed on a medically supervised vitamin D supplement regimen prior to surgery.”

“The take home message is that low vitamin D has an implication in terms of muscle and fracture healing, it occurs in about 50 percent of people coming in for orthopedic surgery, and it is eminently correctable,” he concluded. “We recommend that people undergoing a procedure that involves the bone or the muscle should correct their vitamin D if they want to have an earlier, faster, better, result. What we are saying is ‘wake up guys, smell the coffee; half of your patients have a problem, measure it, and if they are low, then fix it.'”

Vitamins D & E show cognitive benefits

The research keeps pouring in on the benefits of Vitamin D

Eating food rich in vitamin E may reduce the risk of developing dementia, while insufficient levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of cognitive decline, say two new studies.

People who consumed the highest average intakes of vitamin E from the diet were 25 percent less likely to develop dementia than people with the lowest average intakes, according to new data published in the Archives of Neurology.
The benefits are reportedly related to the antioxidant activity of vitamin E, postulate scientists from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherland, which counters the oxidative stress induced by a build up of beta-amyloid protein.
The build-up of plaque from beta-amyloid deposits is associated with an increase in brain cell damage and death from oxidative stress. This is related to a loss of cognitive function and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia and currently affects over 13 million people worldwide.
The direct and indirect cost of Alzheimer care is over $100 bn (€ 81 bn) in the US, while direct costs in the UK are estimated at £15 bn (€ 22 bn).
The study follows hot on the heels of findings from a Swedish study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, which found that a combination of different vitamin E forms could help prevent cognitive deterioration in advanced age.
There are eight forms of vitamin E: Four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). Alpha-tocopherol (alpha-Toc) is the main source found in supplements and in the European diet, while gamma-tocopherol (gamma-Toc) is the most common form in the American diet.
Tocotrienols are only minor components in plants, although several sources with relatively high levels include palm oil, cereal grains and rice bran.
Study details
For the new study, the Rotterdam-based scientists analysed data on the intakes of antioxidants – vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and flavonoids – in 5,395 people aged 55 and older. Questionnaires and meal-based checklists were used to establish intakes of these micronutrients.
The participants were followed for about 10 years, during which 465 people developed dementia, of which 365 cases were for Alzheimer’s disease.
After crunching the numbers, the researchers calculated that people with an average intake of 18.5 milligrams of vitamin E per day were 25 percent less likely to develop dementia than the people with an average of 9 milligrams per day. On the other hand, no associations were observed for dietary intake levels of vitamin C, beta-carotene and flavonoids.
“The brain is a site of high metabolic activity, which makes it vulnerable to oxidative damage, and slow accumulation of such damage over a lifetime may contribute to the development of dementia,” wrote the authors.
“In particular, when beta-amyloid (a hallmark of pathologic Alzheimer’s disease) accumulates in the brain, an inflammatory response is likely evoked that produces nitric oxide radicals and downstream neurodegenerative effects. Vitamin E is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant that may help to inhibit the pathogenesis of dementia.”
D and cognitive decline
The current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine also carries new data from British researchers, who report that seniors with low levels of vitamin D may be at an increased risk of cognitive decline.
Our cognitive performance declines naturally as we age, but new data from David Llewellyn and his colleagues at the University of Exeter in England indicated that insufficient levels of vitamin D may accelerate this decline.
The Exeter-based scientists analysed vitamin D levels from blood samples of 858 adults aged 65 or older. Cognitive tests were undertaken at the start of the study, and again after three and six years.
The data showed that severe vitamin D deficiency, defined as blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) of less than 25 nanomoles per liter – were associated with a 60 percent increase in the risk of substantial cognitive decline.
“If future prospective studies and randomized controlled trials confirm that vitamin D deficiency is causally related to cognitive decline, then this would open up important new possibilities for treatment and prevention,” concluded Llewellyn and his co-workers.
In an accompanying editorial, Andrew Grey and Mark Bolland from the University of Auckland said it was now time to test the various hypotheses generated by observational studies of vitamin D in order to establish the potential public health benefit of raising vitamin D levels.
“Very importantly, such trials will also provide an opportunity to systematically assess potential harms of vitamin D supplementation, an issue that has been largely overlooked or dismissed. We should invest in trials that provide the best possible evidence on the benefits and risks of vitamin D before we invest in costly, difficult and potentially unrewarding interventional strategies,” wrote Grey and Bolland.
Sources: Archives of Intern Medicine 
Vol. 170, Issue 13, Pages 1135-1141 
“Vitamin D and Risk of Cognitive Decline in Elderly Persons”
Authors: D.J. Llewellyn, I.A. Lang, K.M. Langa, G. Muniz-Terrera, C.L. Phillips, A. Cherubini, L. Ferrucci, D. Melzer
Archives of Intern Medicine
Volume 170, Issue 13, Pages 1099-1100
“Vitamin D – A Place in the Sun?”
Authors: A. Grey, M. Bolland
Archive of Neurology
Volume 67, Issue 7, Pages 819-825
“Dietary Antioxidants and Long-term Risk of Dementia”
Authors: E.E. Devore, F. Grodstein, F.J.A. van Rooij, A. Hofman, M.J. Stampfer, J.C.M. Witteman, M.M.B. Breteler

Vitamin D for the weekend warrior

Here is a news segment that aired In Salt Lake City yesterday about a study underway there to study Vitamin D and its effect on muscle recovery in weekend warriors.  http://www.abc4.com/news/local/story/Vitamin-D-could-help-muscles-recover/dHXwMxl8IEWCIGmF1tdf_Q.cspx There is the short print article then a more complete video  in the top right corner.
Research is quickly accumulating which is showing just how important this little vitamin is. Up until a few years ago there were only half a dozen studies a year on Vitamin D, over the last couple of years that has grown to be hundreds of studies a year.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter Offers Advice for Maintaining Vitality: How to Age Without Getting Old

NewsRx.com

07-01-10

Aging without getting old? It’s largely possible, according to the June issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Certainly, some diseases affect the quality of life and shorten life spans, but for the majority of adults, age is what one makes of it. Consider that some people seem old in their 50s and 60s, while others waltz through their 80s and 90s with a spring in their steps. The Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers ingredients for an “anti-aging potion.” Exercise: Being active and getting regular, moderately intense exercise is probably the No. 1 way to slow the aging process and improve vitality. Exercise can lower blood pressure and improve bone strength and cholesterol numbers. People often experience increased energy and strength with just a few sessions of physical activity. Exercise also can reduce stress and improve mood and sleep. A plan that includes at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise, such as walking at a brisk pace, on most days of the week is recommended. The benefits are even greater when the exercise regimen includes strengthening exercises two or three times a week. Healthy diet: A healthy diet is the foundation for maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight if needed. For those who are overweight, weight loss from even a small reduction in body fat – about 5 to 10 percent – may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Regular doctor visits: Regular visits allow a doctor to watch for signs of disease, through activities such as screening for certain cancers and other problems. And regular visits are important to managing ongoing medical concerns and medications. Brain challenges: Staying mentally fit falls into the “use it or lose it” category. Brains benefit from challenges, such as regularly reading, taking classes, learning new skills or engaging in stimulating conversations. Research shows that older adults with normal brain aging can learn just as well as younger adults, and it’s possible to increase brain cell connections regardless of age. Social connections: Social connections play a vital role in health and well-being, especially during times of change and transition that occur with aging, such as retirement, death of a loved one or downsizing a home. Connections with friends, relatives, a religious community or even a pet are motivators to stay healthy. Social connections can reduce stress and anxiety, protect against mental decline and provide a sense of purpose. Optimistic attitude: Although pessimism can be deeply ingrained in one’s personality, it’s never too late to examine thoughts, viewpoints and actions that sour one’s attitude. Bad things happen to everyone, but optimists tend to look for the positive, count their blessings, savor good times and simple pleasures and practice kindness to others as a way to direct thoughts beyond themselves (see also Mayo Clinic).

Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today’s health and medical news. To subscribe, please call 1-800-333-9037 (toll-free), extension 9771, or visit www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com.

fish oil supplements beat mental illness

An important new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry reveals that fish oil supplements beat mental illness. The study involved 81 people deemed to be at high risk for psychosis. The randomized, placebo-controlled study provided fish oil supplements to half the study subjects for just 12 weeks (the other half received placebo supplements). The results? While 11 people in the placebo group developed a psychotic disorder, only 2 in the fish oil group did.

Although the study was relatively small, it helps demonstrate the wide-ranging benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to be the key nutritional factor in fish oils. We already know that omega-3 fatty acids / polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) help protect people against cardiovascular disease. We also know they can play a role in preventing diabetes and cancer. It’s little surprise that they also protect against mental illness, given the importance of healthy fatty acids for the functioning of the nervous system.

As the BBC reports, Alison Cobb, from the mental health charity Mind, said in response to this study: “If young people can be treated successfully with fish oils, this is hugely preferable to treating them with antipsychotics, which come with a range of problems from weight gain to sexual dysfunction, whereas omega-3s are actually beneficial to their general state of health.”

She’s exactly right: Antipsychotic drugs actually cause diabetes. They promote blood sugar disorders and weight gain, among other problems. Some psychiatric drugs have also been linked to school shootings and violent outbursts (suicides, murders, etc.). They’re also expensive and they pose an environmental hazard, since many of the chemicals used in those drugs pass right through the body and end up in waters downstream.

Fish oils have none of these negative side effects. In fact, they have positive effects throughout the body. That’s why fish oils are such a remarkable solution to replace antipsychotic drugs: They’re safer, cheaper and they work better!

You’re supposed to keep taking drugs, says Big Pharma

The drug companies, of course, are terrified that people might learn this truth. They want to keep patients on expensive, patented antipsychotic drugs while discrediting “natural remedies” like fish oils or nutritional supplements. The entire war being waged against nutrition and supplements is, of course, nothing more than the pharmaceutical industry trying to protect its own turf by destroying the competition.

Because, let’s face it: For (virtually) every popular pharmaceutical on the market, there’s a nutritional supplement that works better (and that’s also safer and more affordable). Antipsychotic drugs can be replaced with fish oils. Cholesterol drugs can be replaced with B vitamins. Anti-cancer drugs can be replaced with vitamin D and medicinal mushrooms. Diabetes drugs can be replaced with a healthy plant-based diet and targeted supplements. The list goes on and on…

Nutrition works so well that in this study, subjects experienced a protective effect from fish oils for an entire year even though they only took those fish oils for 12 weeks! Imagine how much better the outcome might have been if they continued on the fish oils for the entire year…

Get quality fish oils

Of course, when it comes to fish oils, don’t settle for just any cheap fish oil supplement. Many of the cheaper store-bought brands are largely made of olive oil filler combined with a tiny amount of fish oil extract. Search out quality supplements or oils from companies that follow pharmacutical GMPs and are certified by NSF.

Make sure your supplements are free from heavy metals, pesticides and other residues. Make sure they are harvested in a truly sustainable way, and make sure you can trust the source to provide consistent quality.

Fish oils can provide astonishing health benefits. If the medical industry were truly honest about researching what works for patients rather than what makes money for drug companies, they would have openly prescribed fish oils long ago (and abandoned many of the antipsychotic drugs they still push).

But as you already know, the pharmaceutical industry isn’t interested in what works for people unless it’s something they can sell at monopoly prices. They don’t want people to know about natural remedies, nutritional cures or healing foods. They would much rather see people stay ignorant about those things while pumping their minds full of advertisements and propaganda that ridiculously suggests the human brain is somehow deficient in Big Pharma’s patented chemicals and that the only way you’ll ever be truly healthy, happy or sane is to keep swallowing their pills for the rest of your life.

The real insanity in the world is not in the minds of mental patients; it’s in the evil plans of the FDA, the WHO and the pharmaceutical cartel — all of whom conspire to peddle dangerous medications when far safer, more natural and more effective alternatives are readily available.

Fish oil and healthy skin

Fish oil containing the Omega 3 essential fatty acid EPA helps to prevent wrinkles and can delay the aging process of the skin according to recent research published in the Journal of Lipid Research in 2005. Scientists have also found that fish oil containing EPA can limit the damage to the skin produced by overexposure to the sun and help to reduce the negative effect of UV rays. This has particular relevance when we consider the recent and dramatic rise in cases of skin cancers caused predominantly by exposure to the suns harmful rays.

Essential Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are known to play a critical role in promoting healthy skin. They help to regulate cellular function and maintain elasticity and suppleness in the skin. Consequently, a fatty acid deficiency will show up as skin problems. Most of us do not get enough of the Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet whereas Omega 6 fatty acids are in plentiful supply. Symptoms of Omega 3 fatty acid deficiency include skin problems like eczema, dandruff, dry and flaking skin and poor wound healing.

Three reasons why EPA is so beneficial to the skin?

  • EPA is known to reduce inflammation by helping the body to produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. These are hormone-like substances that are responsible for regulating all the cells in our body.
  • EPA helps to inhibit the production of androgens, which are hormones that influence the production of sebum in the hair follicle. Excess sebum production can lead to acne and other skin problems.
  • EPA helps to limit production of Arachidonic acid, which is responsible for pro-inflammatory responses in the body, high levels of which are found in people with inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis.

The Omega 3 fatty acids are ALA, EPA and DHA. Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) is found in dark green leafy vegetables and algae. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) can be found in oily fish such as salmon, herring, anchovies, mackerel and Tuna. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can also be found in oily fish. We can convert ALA to EPA and DHA but the conversion is very inefficient and dependent on a number of factors. However, we can convert EPA into DHA if we get enough EPA.

Supplementing with fish oil that contains EPA can alleviate the symptoms of skin disorders such as dry and flaky skin, psoriasis, eczema and acne as well as many other inflammatory skin conditions. However, it is important to choose a fish oil that is high in EPA as DHA has been shown to reduce the effectiveness of EPA.

Fish oil supplements can contain mercury. To be safe take only a pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement.

The Top 6 Things You Can Do for Cold Prevention

Okay! Here is the culmination of scientific research and many years of pharmacy experience to sift out what really works for cold prevention and what doesn’t.
Remember, you want to do these things all the time, because you need to prevent the cold in the first place. Treating a cold is impossible. All those things in the drugstore can only help you feel a little better when you have one. There is nothing that can actually make it go away any faster.

I would venture to say that most of the recommendations in this list are not going to shock any of you. Most of them are common sense. Of course, knowing you’re supposed to do these things and actually doing them are two totally different things, right?
But seriously, if you regularly follow all of these recommendations, you’ll be amazed at the difference. They’re all important, but I would say that #1 and #6 are probably the most important.
These recommendations are based on the fact that the best way to both prevent AND treat a cold is to have your immune system functioning at peak efficiency.
So here’s how to do that:

  1. Wash Your Hands A Lot!!!!!
    This is absolutely the #1 most important thing you can do for cold prevention. 95% of the time, a cold virus gets into your body through touch. You touch something that has a cold virus on it, then you touch a mucus membrane (eyes, nose, mouth) and Voila! The cold virus has now entered your body.
    So for sure wash your hands before you eat. But also try to do it after you’ve been in “high-risk” situations: around someone you know who already has a cold, in a doctor’s office or hospital, after wheeling the shopping cart around the grocery store… I think you get the idea.
    For the same reason, keep your hands away from your face. If you don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, the cold virus can’t get in.
    If you already have a cold, please please wash your hands even more. The best cold prevention is to have the “Typhoid Marys” not spread it around in the first place. Every single time you blow your nose, wash your hands. If you need to sneeze or cough, cover your mouth. But NOT into your fist- you get all the germs on the inside of your hand and then you just spread them around to everything you touch. Cough or sneeze onto the back of your hand or your forearm.
  2. Get Enough Sleep
    When you’re sleep-deprived, your immune system suffers (along with many other things).
    Everyone is different, some people only need 6 hours a night- others need 10. I’m sure you’ve figured out how much you need by now. Even an hour or two less increases the stress on your body and it adds up.
  3. Drink lots of fluids.
    I know you’ve all heard this a million times before. Yet still MOST people are going through life chronically dehydrated- an estimated 75%.
    Your body functions best when it’s fully hydrated. Even mild dehydration will slow down your metabolism, speed up aging, reduce muscle recovery after exercise and reduce resistance to disease (hence its importance in cold prevention). Dehydration is also a major cause of headaches, daytime fatigue, muscle cramping, mid-day munchies (thirst is often mistaken for hunger), and problems with concentration and memory. Do I need to go on? Your body is mostly water- this should not be a surprise for anyone.
    If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
    The 8 glasses a day rule is actually a little low, but you usually get a glass or two of fluid from foods or juices also. To figure out what you need, take your weight in pounds and divide it in half. That’s how many ounces you need every day. Most glasses are 8 ounces, so if you divide that number by 8, that’s how many glasses you need. For example: 150lbs. divide by 2= 75 ounces per day divide by 8= just over 9 glasses per day.
    Don’t do it all at once or you’ll be running to the bathroom constantly and you’ll quit. Increase by a glass or two every week.
    Water is of course the best choice. It’s exactly what your body needs, it has zero calories and it doesn’t have other things in it that can actually make matters worse. Like caffeine & salt. I know coffee & tea have some good antioxidants in them, BUT moderation is key. Caffeine is a diuretic, so it is actually dehydrating. For every caffeinated drink you have, have an extra glass of water.
    And don’t even get me started on carbonated drinks… Most people drink way too many of these. If you’re having more than 1 per week (and that’s being generous), it’s too much in my opinion. Definitely daily is insane. There is NOTHING good about these things (and lots of bad things). Added to the huge list of problems that they cause, they are also dehydrating (even if it’s not caffeinated). Nuff said.
  4. Get regular exercise.I know you’ve all heard this a million times before too. Yet still MOST people are going through life as virtual couch potatoes.
    How do you expect your body to function optimally if most of it never gets used regularly? Would you expect your car to run properly if it hadn’t been used in several years?
    If you’re “lazy”, your immune system is lazy too. When you exercise regularly, your body keeps everything in your body in top shape (including your immune system), not just your heart and muscles. That’s why you need it for cold prevention.
  5. Relax and de-stressOkay, first I tell you to exercise, then I tell you to relax. No, these do not contradict themselves.
    First of all, regular exercise decreases your body’s release of “stress” hormones (cortisol) and increases release of “happy” hormones (endorphins).
    And it’s mental relaxation and stress I’m talking about.
    Basically, just take time to do things that you enjoy and relieve stress.
    People that run themselves into the ground (you know the kind I’m talking about) get sick much more often because their immune systems aren’t functioning properly due to the constant presence of “stress” hormones in their body.
    So kick back, relax and take some “me” time. And if anyone asks, just say you’re doing some cold prevention.
  6. Take a high quality supplement that has LOTS of antioxidants.This would actually be my #2 most important thing to do for cold prevention. But I’m putting it last on my list so you’ll remember it.

    Taking the right antioxidant supplement will give your body everything it needs to function optimally.
    Again, if your body is functioning optimally, so will your immune system. And an optimally functioning immune system will destroy cold and flu viruses before they have a chance to take hold.

    And this isn’t just theory- I can personally vouch for this. As a pharmacist, I used to get 4 or 5 colds per year, being around all those sick people everyday. Once those colds took hold, I was miserable for at least 1 week and the cough would hang around for 2 or 3 weeks. And I was a pretty healthy person to begin with- I was doing the other 5 things on this list…
    My family and I started taking high quality antioxidant supplements because I knew it was important to protect our good health. We never expected to feel any better- we already felt great!
    After 8 or 9 months, I realized that nobody in the family had been sick since we started taking them! Amazing! Especially when you consider that my daughter had been sick for 4 straight months the year before. (No, I’m not exaggerating. She caught every cold that went through her class, I’m sure.)
    Now, my husband and I get only 1 cold per year and our children get only 2 or 3 (they’re still young and in school and haven’t figured out the importance of rule #1 yet- handwashing!). AND when we get a cold now, it’s barely noticeable- your nose is just runny for a few days. No more being stuffed up and I don’t even get a cough anymore- we don’t feel miserable and it doesn’t even slow us down. Done and over with in 4 days. That’s the bonus of having an optimally functioning immune system- it gets going faster and doesn’t let the virus get too far along.
    This phenomenon is not exclusive to our family either. As you may have noticed by now, I am quite passionate about the importance of antioxidant supplements, so I have recommended them to my friends and family. They all report the same results of not getting sick when everyone else around them is.
    So for cold prevention alone, it’s totally worth it to take high quality antioxidant supplements. The added health benefits and disease prevention you’ll get are an added bonus (albeit an important bonus).

    If you follow these 6 rules, you’ll be the healthiest person you know. Not only do they work for cold prevention, but many other diseases as well…

—————-
Thanks to Kathy Russ for this information. She is a pharmacist with 15 years experience.

Aerobic exercise no big stretch for older adults but helps elasticity of arteries

EDMONTON, Oct. 25, 2009 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) —

Just three months of physical activity reaps heart health benefits for older adults with type 2 diabetes by improving the elasticity in their arteries – reducing risk of heart disease and stroke, Dr. Kenneth Madden told the 2009 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Dr. Madden studied adults between the ages of 65 to 83 with controlled Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol to see how increased activity might affect stiffness of the arteries.

“The theory is that aerobic activity makes your arteries less stiff and makes artery walls more elastic,” says Dr. Madden, a geriatric specialist at the University of British Columbia.

An improvement was seen in the elasticity of the arteries of the group that performed the activity compared to those who didn’t exercise. “There was an impressive drop in arterial stiffness after just three months of exercise. In that time we saw a 15 to 20 per cent reduction.”

The subjects were divided into two groups to either receive three months of vigorous physical activity (one hour, three times per week) or to get no aerobic exercise at all. Subjects were classified as sedentary at the beginning of the study but gradually increased their fitness levels until they were working at 70 per cent of their maximum heart rate, using treadmills and cycling machines. They were supervised by a certified exercise trainer.

Dr. Beth Abramson, spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, stresses the importance of lifestyle factors on heart health, especially with our aging population. “Almost everyone can benefit from active living,” she says. “The Foundation recommends that, like adults of any age, older adults – with the consent of their physicians – need 30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.”

Dr. Madden says that the exercise requirements may be viewed as controversial because of the age of the participants but the exercise level was safe and well tolerated. “There seems to be a knee-jerk reluctance to getting these older adults to exercise yet we used a vigorous level of activity and didn’t have any trouble keeping participants in our study. They enjoyed the activity,” Dr. Madden says. “People always underestimate what older adults can do.”

Dr. Madden notes that realistically, seniors need someone to help them get started. “We need to learn how to do it effectively and how to do it safely,” he says. “It could mean visiting your family doctor to find out about provincially funded programs, or joining programs for seniors that are offered at many local community centres.”

Dr. Abramson recommends that seniors choose activities they enjoy, such as walking, gardening, golfing, dancing, or joining a yoga or tai chi class. If weather is a barrier, she suggests climbing stairs at home, joining a mall-walking group, or strolling the halls of their apartment building or retirement residence.

In his next project, Dr. Madden wants to find out if there is a less expensive but equally effective way to reduce the stiffness of arteries in older adults. “Our first step was to prove that it was at all possible for older adults to have reduced narrowing in their arteries due to exercise,” he says. “Now we want to find out just how rigorous the levels of activity need to be to demonstrate the same results. The next step is to try studying a home-based walking program using pedometers. This is something easy for doctors to prescribe and cheap and easy for participants.”

The HeartWalk Workout, a special activity program developed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to help people with cardiovascular problems get regular, healthy physical activity is available online at heartandstroke.ca. It helps people slowly build up exercise tolerance until they can walk at least 30 minutes, five times a week.

Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CCS policy or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.

SOURCE: HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION OF CANADA

Fifteen facts you probably never knew about vitamin D and sunlight exposure.

Fifteen facts you probably never knew about vitamin D and sunlight exposure.

Vitamin D prevents osteoporosis, depression, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and even effects diabetes and obesity. Vitamin D is perhaps the single most underrated nutrient in the world of nutrition. That’s probably because it’s free: your body makes it when sunlight touches your skin. Drug companies can’t sell you sunlight, so there’s no promotion of its health benefits. Truth is, most people don’t know the real story on vitamin D and health. So here’s an overview taken from an interview between Mike Adams and Dr. Michael Holick.

1. Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight.
2. The healing rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in your skin) cannot penetrate glass. So you don’t generate vitamin D when sitting in your car or home.
3. It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body.
4. A person would have to drink ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into their diet.
5. The further you live from the equator, the longer exposure you need to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the UK and most U.S. states are far from the equator.
6. People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 – 30 times as much exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D. That’s why prostate cancer is epidemic among black men — it’s a simple, but widespread, sunlight deficiency.
7. Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.
8. Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body’s bones and nervous system.
9. Even weak sunscreens (SPF=8) block your body’s ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. This is how sunscreen products actually cause disease — by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body.
10. It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs.
11. If it hurts to press firmly on your sternum, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now.
12. Vitamin D is “activated” in your body by your kidneys and liver before it can be used.
13. Having kidney disease or liver damage can greatly impair your body’s ability to activate circulating vitamin D.
14. The sunscreen industry doesn’t want you to know that your body actually needs sunlight exposure because that realization would mean lower sales of sunscreen products.
15. Even though vitamin D is one of the most powerful healing chemicals in your body, your body makes it absolutely free. No prescription required.

On the issue of sunlight exposure, by the way, it turns out that super antioxidants greatly boost your body’s ability to handle sunlight without burning. Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful “internal sunscreens” and can allow you to stay under the sun twice as long without burning. Other powerful antioxidants with this ability include the superfruits like Acai, Pomegranates (POM Wonderful juice), blueberries, etc.

Diseases and conditions cause by vitamin D deficiency:

* Osteoporosis is commonly caused by a lack of vitamin D, which greatly impairs calcium absorption.
* Sufficient vitamin D prevents prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, depression, colon cancer and schizophrenia.
* “Rickets” is the name of a bone-wasting disease caused by vitamin D deficiency.
* Vitamin D deficiency may exacerbate type 2 diabetes and impair insulin production in the pancreas.
* Obesity impairs vitamin D utilization in the body, meaning obese people need twice as much vitamin D.
* Vitamin D is used around the world to treat Psoriasis.
* Vitamin D deficiency causes schizophrenia.
* Seasonal Affective Disorder is caused by a melatonin imbalance initiated by lack of exposure to sunlight.
* Chronic vitamin D deficiency is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia because its symptoms are so similar: muscle weakness, aches and pains.
* Your risk of developing serious diseases like diabetes and cancer is reduced 50% – 80% through simple, sensible exposure to natural sunlight 2-3 times each week.
* Infants who receive vitamin D supplementation (2000 units daily) have an 80% reduced risk of developing type 1 diabetes over the next twenty years.

Shocking Vitamin D deficiency statistics:

* 32% of doctors and med school students are vitamin D deficient.
* 40% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient.
* 42% of African American women of childbearing age are deficient in vitamin D.
* 48% of young girls (9-11 years old) are vitamin D deficient.
* Up to 60% of all hospital patients are vitamin D deficient.
* 76% of pregnant mothers are severely vitamin D deficient, causing widespread vitamin D deficiencies in their unborn children, which predisposes them to type 1 diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia later in life. 81% of the children born to these mothers were deficient.
* Up to 80% of nursing home patients are vitamin D deficient.

What you can do:
Sensible exposure to natural sunlight is the simplest, easiest and yet one of the most important strategies for improving your health. I urge you to read the book, “The UV Advantage” by Dr. Michael Holick to get the full story on natural sunlight. You can find this book at most local bookstores or through BN.com, Amazon.com, etc. Note: This is not a paid endorsement or an affiliate link. I recommend it because of its great importance in preventing chronic disease and enhancing health without drugs or surgery. This may be the single most important book on health you ever read. If more people understood this information, we could drastically reduce the rates of chronic disease in this country and around the world. Sunlight exposure is truly one of the most powerful healing therapies in the world, far surpassing the best efforts of today’s so-called “advanced medicine.” There is no drug, no surgical procedure, and no high-tech procedure that comes even close to the astonishing healing power of natural sunlight.

And you can get it free of charge. That’s why nobody’s promoting it, of course.
(Compiled by Mike Adams, based on an interview with Dr. Michael Holick, author, The UV Advantage)

Unfortunately most people can’t get enough Vitamin D from the sun, so supplements are available.

More active kids have easier time falling asleep

If you’re one of those parents who likes to let their kids run themselves ragged so they fall asleep more easily, you may be onto something: the more activity kids get, the faster they’ll drop off to sleep, according to a new study.

The study, in 591 seven-year-olds, also found that kids who spent more time in sedentary activities took longer to actually fall asleep after they went to bed.

Up to one in six parents of school-aged children report that their child has difficulty falling asleep, Dr. Ed A. Mitchell of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health by email. The study’s findings, he said, emphasize that physical activity isn’t only important for fitness, heart health, and weight control, but also for good sleep.

Mitchell and his team had children wear an activity-measuring device around their waists for 24 hours. They report their findings in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Most children took about 26 minutes to fall asleep after bedtime, they found. The more activity a child did, the less time it took him to fall asleep.

“We showed that one hour of vigorous activity (equivalent to running) reduced the time to fall asleep by almost 6 minutes,” Mitchell said.

“However, the average amount of vigorous activity was only 43 minutes,” Mitchell said. Also, he added, the children tended to be active in short bursts. “Their activity might better be described as stop-go rather than continuous as an adult might do when they exercise.”

And for every hour a child spent each day being sedentary, it took them 3 minutes longer to get to sleep.

The researchers also found that children who took less time to get to sleep stayed asleep for longer, and vice versa.

“Fortunately, difficulty getting to sleep wasn’t associated with other health problems,” Mitchell said, although getting less sleep has been linked to obesity.

SOURCE: Archives of Disease in Childhood, September 2009.

This also works for parents and adults too. If you exercise regularly you’ll find you sleep better, the only precaution is don’t exercise late in the evening – best to exercise in the morning and it will rev up your metabolism for the entire day and you’ll sleep like a baby.

Five Types of Parabens Detected Intact in Human Breast Tumors

From Cornell University – Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research.

Background

Parabens have been used as preservatives since the 1920s. Parabens are used to prevent the growth of bacteria in a wide range of consumer products, including a variety of foods and pharmaceutical drugs. The most prevalent use has been as a preservative in cosmetics, including facial and body cosmetics, skin care products, shampoos and conditioners, sunscreens, underarm products (antiperspirants and deodorants), colognes and perfumes, and soaps, including liquid hand soap. One of the most widely quoted sources of information on use, exposure and safety of the four most commonly used parabens was published in 1984 in a report authored by Elder (1). This report estimated that parabens were used in over 13,200 different cosmetic products.

Parabens have been widely accepted and used because of past reports of their effectiveness as preservatives, low cost, and rapid excretion from the body (both human and animal testing). However, recently some scientists have raised concerns that further assessment of parabens may be needed. This is based on recent evidence from over a dozen scientific studies indicating that several types of parabens can bind to the estrogen receptor and can cause estrogen-like responses when tested in laboratory animals or in a variety of tissue culture assays (see http://envirocancer.cornell.edu/Bibliography/Bibliography.cfm under Endocrine Disruption Bibliographies). In whole-animal studies, the estrogenic effects of parabens were not seen when fed to the animals, but only when applied to or injected under the skin. But, these were short-term, high-dose studies. Little to no information exists on whether use of products with low levels of parabens over many years results in accumulation of parabens in body tissues and whether there are or are not any health effects associated with use of paraben-containing consumer products.

Overview

The study by P. Darbre and colleagues (2) was conducted to assess whether any of the six parabens commonly used in consumer products in Europe could be detected in human breast tumors. The names of the parabens studied were: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben and benzylparaben. The prefix (e.g. “methyl”) indicates the name of the side-chain structure of each paraben. In this study, 20 samples of human breast tissue were obtained from patients undergoing surgery at the Edinburgh Breast Unit in Scotland, UK. The samples were frozen, and then tumors were minced and homogenized to help break up the tissue. Solvents were used to extract the parabens from the tumor sample, followed by the use of thin-layer chromotography to isolate any of the parabens present in the samples. Another method called high-pressure liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry was used to identify the type and the concentration of each paraben. For each batch of samples, a blank was included that had no tumor tissue, which was run through the same extraction and detection procedure. The authors were surprised that the blank was not zero, but had some parabens. The authors thought parabens in the hand soap used by technicians or in the detergent used to clean the glassware may have contaminated the laboratory equipment. Blank values were subtracted from sample paraben values to correct for this problem. At least one type of paraben was detected in 19 out of 20 tumors. Methylparaben was the most commonly observed paraben (18/20) and was detected at the highest average level.

Commentary

This study is the first report of the detection of parabens in human breast tumors. The authors are careful to point out that the results of this study do not show that any of the parabens caused breast cancer in these women. This study is not evidence of cause and effect. The study did show that five of the six parabens widely used in consumer products can be detected intact (not changed or metabolized) in human tissues. This is an important initial finding, but more research is needed to see if exposure to parabens does or does not affect breast cancer risk.

For instance, this study did not show if levels of the parabens in breast tumors were any different from nearby normal breast tissue in these women. Also, this study did not include any women without breast cancer. To evaluate breast cancer risk, a study would need to compare levels of parabens in women with breast cancer (cases) to women of similar age without breast cancer (controls). This study was very small, with only 20 tumor samples. A larger, case-controlled study would be needed to more fully evaluate whether parabens do or do not affect breast cancer risk. This study did have some other problems, such as the contamination of the blank samples mentioned above. Another problem reported was in the analytical method. An important way to measure the ability to accurately detect the chemical includes adding (spiking) a known amount of paraben to a sample to see how much of the known amount can be recovered from the sample. For instance, if you add 100 units, you would like to have a high recovery of over 90%. In this study, the recoveries of added paraben averaged just under 50%. Hence, the method used to extract the parabens from the sample needs to be improved.

This study has received attention in the popular press because the authors are interested in exploring the hypothesis of whether estrogenic parabens used in underarm products (like deodorants and antiperspirants) increase breast cancer risk. This study did not test this hypothesis. The results did show that intact parabens can be detected in human tissue. It did not however, make any attempt to find out the source of the parabens. The women who donated the tumor samples were not interviewed. In fact, no reports of their age or tumor status were included in this study. No information on other factors that may have influenced their breast cancer risk, or information on past use or patterns of use of products with parabens was obtained. It is not known if the major exposure was due to the parabens from food or via topical application of a certain type or a variety of personal care products.

Better studies are needed of whether or not long term use of paraben-containing consumer products affect human tissue levels. Given the ubiquitous nature of paraben use in consumer products and recent evidence of the estrogenicity of parabens, I would agree with other scientists who have called for a reassessment of the safety of parabens. Most of the risk assessments conducted on the safety of parabens were done before it was known that parabens can act as an environmental estrogen and before it was known that levels are detectable in human tissue. A recent study on the safety of propylparaben does acknowledge the estrogenicity of this chemical, but does not fully explore possible human health risks (3). More recent data is needed to update the 1984 study by Elder, which is one of the few reports estimating exposure to parabens from food, drug and cosmetic products. While use of parabens is widespread, product-to-product use is variable. In a survey of products in my own bathroom and kitchen, I found a type of paraben listed as an ingredient in liquid hand soap, two hand lotions, one out of three shampoos (the “natural” brand was the one with the paraben), one out of two hair conditioners, and three out of five sunscreens (including two made for use by children), but in none of the three antiperspirants that my family uses.

At this point in time we do not have information on whether or not paraben-containing products are used at a level that affects human health. But, research indicating that several parabens can act as weak environmental estrogens and the preliminary results of this study do support the need for more vigorous research in this area. Unlike other environmental contaminants, use of personal care products represents a choice made by the consumer and a choice by the manufacturer who determine the ingredients of the product.

1) Elder, RL. Final report on the safety assessment of methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben, Journal of the American College of Toxicology, vol. 3, pp. 147-209, 1984.

2) Darbre, PD, A Aljarrah, WR Miller, NG Coldham, MJ Sauer and GS Pope, Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumors, Journal of Applied Toxicology, vol. 24, pp. 5-13, 2004.

3) Soni, MG, GA Burdock, SL Taylor, NA Greenberg, Safety assessment of propyl paraben: a review of the published literature (Review), Food and Chemical Toxicology, vol. 39, pp. 513-532, 2001.

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There are some companies which produce paraben free skin care, but often they use formaldehyde releasing agents, or natural oils to preserve the product.

CoQ10 Improves Aging Skin Health

Did you know that aging skin is functionally anaerobic. Skin cell energy metabolism shifts to a predominantly non-mitochondrial pathway and is therefore functionally anaerobic with advancing age. Since coenzyme Q10 positively affects cell metabolism, it is is beneficial for human skin as it rapidly improves mitochondrial function in skin in vivo. In other worlds, taking Coenzyme Q10 will help your skin keep looking younger.

Want to imporve your skin? The Great Skin Diet

This article from Self Magazine shows you what to look for, and what foods to AVOID to improve your complexion. And to optimize the results from your diet, don’t forget to supplement with omega-3, coenzyme Q10 and grape seed extract and use skin care products that are safe for the skin!

The great-skin diet

All sorts of supplements, special eating plans and complexion drinks promise glowing skin from the inside out. But not everything that is being dished out is based on science. SELF digested the research and polled experts to determine which foods to add to your diet to truly benefit skin, which may be worth an occasional munch and which to pass up. Get ready to eat, drink and be beautiful!

By Beth Janes
From the October 2008 Issue

Proven complexion perfecters

Pile these on your plate. All pack nutrients essential for healthy skin.

Strawberries, citrus fruits, red peppers, broccoli

Beauty benefit: a smooth texture
Eat-right evidence: Vitamin C, plentiful in this produce, is vital for the production and formation of collagen, skin’s support structure, says Toby Amidor, R.D., director of nutrition for DietTV.com in New York City. And a strong support layer helps smooth what’s on top and prevent wrinkles, she says. Aim for: two 1-cup servings of fruit and 1 cup of red peppers and/or broccoli a day

Sunflower seeds and almonds

Beauty benefit: sun protection
Eat-right evidence: These seeds and nuts are loaded with vitamin E. Collectively, antioxidants act like an army, protecting skin from UV-spawned free radicals. But E is on the front lines; skin’s top layers contain high levels that guard cells’ outer membrane so cells stay healthy. Plus, strong membranes hold water in, keeping skin hydrated. Aim for: 2 tablespoons hulled seeds or 23 almonds daily

Dark orange, leafy green and red veggies

Beauty benefit: a fresh complexion
Eat-right evidence: Squash, sweet potatoes and spinach are full of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Your body converts it to vitamin A, which regulates cell production and turnover so skin’s surface is smooth, says Valori Treloar, M.D., coauthor of The Clear Skin Diet (Cumberland House Publishing). Carotenoids may also decrease skin’s sensitivity to sun. Aim for: three 1-cup servings a day

Fortified cereal, lean meat, pork, poultry, oysters

Beauty benefit: a youthful glow
Eat-right evidence: You’ll get zinc and iron, minerals key to skin functioning. Zinc contributes to cell production, plus natural cell sloughing, which keeps dullness at bay. Red blood cells need iron to carry oxygen to skin, helping give you a glow, says David Bank, M.D., a derm in Mount Kisco, New York. Aim for: 1 serving of cereal (a cup), 1 palm-sized serving of meat or poultry or 3 oysters per day

Water

Beauty benefit: dewy skin
Eat-right evidence: Skin cells contain mostly water, and if you’re dehydrated, skin will look and feel parched, too. But you needn’t chug 8 cups a day; University of Pennsylvania researchers found no studies to back up the recommendation. Simply ward off dehydration—and dryness—by drinking when you’re thirsty. Aim for: 6 cups a day. It’s a good starting point, says Keri Gans, R.D., of NYC.

Smart skin suggestions

New research hints at these foods’ beauty power, but effects aren’t totally proven yet. No need to wait, though; the goodies are part of a healthy diet.

Wild salmon, Atlantic mackerel, walnuts

Beauty benefit: fewer wrinkles
Eat-right evidence: These fish and nuts, plus fortified eggs, are bursting with omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation in the body caused by sun and stress. “Inflammation produces free radicals, and free radicals contribute to aging by attacking collagen,” says Susan Taylor, M.D., a dermatologist in Philadelphia. But research still needs to connect the dots definitively and show that the anti-inflammatory abilities of omega-3s translate to younger-looking skin, she says. One study did find that older people who consumed more fish and veggies over their life had fewer wrinkles than those who ate more meat, the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reports. The research didn’t focus solely on fish, however; vegetables’ antioxidants, for example, may have been a factor. Aim for: two 5-ounce servings of fish per week; on other days, 1 oz of walnuts or 2 omega-3 eggs

Whole wheat and grains

Beauty benefit: clearer skin
Eat-right evidence: In the past, derms have maintained that unless you wipe greasy fingers on your face, food doesn’t cause zits. But some are rethinking the party line: Australian researchers found that a low-glycemic diet (more whole grains, protein and produce versus refined carbs such as white bread) may reduce acne. One explanation: Low-glycemic foods keep insulin steady, and refined carbs and sugar spike it. The surges may boost production of androgens, hormones that, when elevated, can cause zits. After 12 weeks of a low-glycemic diet, subjects’ pimple counts dropped 20 percent, a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes. More studies are needed to prove the link, but no doctor will discourage you from eating whole grains and veggies! Aim for: 3 servings a day (one serving equals a slice of bread or 1/2 cup cooked grains)
Today’s special: gorgeous skin If your complexion could choose everything you ate for the day, here’s what would be on the menu, says Keri Gans, R.D., who put together this plan.

Breakfast

  • 1 cup whole-grain, fortified cereal such as Total
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries or 1 medium grapefruit
  • 1 cup green tea

Lunch

  • Grilled chicken sandwich
  • 5 oz chicken breast
  • 2 slices whole-grain bread
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 1 leaf lettuce
  • 1/8 of avocado
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 medium apple

Dinner

  • 5 oz wild salmon
  • Spinach salad
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • Toss with 1 tbsp each olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium baked sweet potato

Snacks/dessert

  • 8 oz nonfat plain yogurt or 1 part-skim string cheese
  • 1 oz sunflower seeds
  • 1 small orange or 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 oz dark chocolate or 1 glass red wine

Beauty treat or trouble?

Guess if the following foods are good or bad for your skin—and find out the reasons why.

Sweets

Trouble Chowing candy and other sugary snacks may make you feel like a kid, but it’s likely aging you. The rush of glucose into your bloodstream sets off a process known as glycation, in which sugars attach to proteins and form advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These molecules naturally build up in skin as you get older, but the more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you have. Bad news: They cross-link with collagen and elastin fibers, making the normally resilient tissues weak or inflexible, Dr. Bank says. And skin that doesn’t bounce back easily leads to wrinkles and sagging. In fact, the study showing fish lovers had fewer wrinkles revealed the opposite for those with a sweet tooth.

Dark chocolate

Treat Although there might be some truth to the claims that sugar-laden chocolate contributes to acne (and wrinkles), the high-quality, dark variety—70 percent or more cocoa—may actually be good for your skin. Preliminary studies found that cocoa’s flavonols (a potent type of antioxidant) can help increase blood flow, supply skin with oxygen, improve skin hydration and reduce sun sensitivity. But dark chocolate is high in calories, so treat yourself to only 1 oz a day.

Milk

Trouble Got acne? Milk may not be doing your skin good. Three new studies have found a connection between teens’ milk intake and pimples. This could potentially translate to adults; however, it’s not been proven. More research is under way, but the probable explanation is hormone-related. Androgens naturally found in milk (even organic versions without added hormones) may add to a drinker’s own level of androgens, which are associated with oily skin and acne. Milk also raises insulin levels and contains growth factors that act like insulin, Dr. Treloar says. Both may lower the production of molecules that bind to and deactivate hormones—meaning there may be more free-roaming androgens able to cause pimples. It’s too early to prescribe a dairy ban for anyone zit-plagued. But it may be worth experimenting with a milk-free diet if you have excessive, stubborn breakouts, Dr. Treloar says. (Be sure, however, to take a calcium supplement with vitamin D.)

Spicy foods

Trouble Rosacea sufferers know to avoid five-alarm meals. But if you have fair, sun-damaged skin, hot-and-spicy foods may lead to the condition or to a red, blotchy complexion. “UV exposure weakens blood vessel walls. If your skin then repeatedly flushes, which swells vessels, they may not be able to shrink back down,” Dr. Treloar says.

Wine

Treat Reds are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that help fight skin-damaging free radicals. But sip no more than one glass a day, says Katherine Brooking, R.D., of NYC. Excessive alcohol halts your body’s release of its antidiuretic hormone. As a result, you make extra visits to the ladies’ room and end up not only feeling dehydrated, but having skin that looks dry, with a dull tone and more visible wrinkles. So enjoy wine in moderation—and make a toast to great skin!

What if you can’t get all the right foods every day? Then a high quality pharmaceutical grade supplement which provides optimal levels of all the essential nutrients should be part of your daily diet.

Fish oil during pregnancy may slash infant allergy

Supplements of omega-3-rich fish oils during pregnancy may reduce the risk of food allergy and eczema in children, according to a new study from Sweden.

The occurrence of eczema and food allergies was 16 and 13 per cent lower, respectively, in infants of mothers receiving the fish oil supplements during pregnancy and the early months of breast-feeding, compared to placebo, according to findings published in the journal Acta Paediatrica.
“This randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study shows that omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy and lactation may reduce the risk of developing allergic sensitization to egg, IgE-associated eczema and food allergy during the first year of life,” wrote the authors, led by Catrin Furuhjelm from Linkoping University.
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is the predominant antibody associated with an allergic response.
The new study adds to the ever-growing list of studies supporting the potential health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA. Much of its healthy reputation that is seeping into consumer consciousness is based largely on evidence that it can aid cognitive function and may help protect the heart against cardiovascular disease.
From mother to child
Furuhjelm and her co-workers recruited 145 pregnant women with allergies, or with partners or other children with allergies. Starting at the 25th week of their pregnancy, and continuing for between three and four months of breastfeeding, the women were randomly assigned to receive either daily fish oil supplements providing 1.6 g of EPA and 1.1 g of DHA (Bio Marin capsules from Pharma Nord, Denmark), or placebo.
Using a range of tests, including clinical examination, skin prick tests, and blood tests for IgE, the researchers observed a 2 per cent prevalence of food allergy in the omega-3 group, compared to 15 per cent in the placebo group.
Furthermore, the incidence of IgE-associated eczema was only 8 per cent in the omega-3 group, compared to 24 per cent in the placebo group.
“Our findings suggest that the mechanisms leading to sustained IgE antibody production early in life may be inhibited by the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA,” wrote Furuhjelm.
What’s happening?
Commenting on the mechanism, the Linkoping-based scientists proposed several possibilities. Both DHA and EPA may produce changes in the fluidity of the membranes of immune cells, and reduce the levels of the omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA). By inhibiting the metabolism of AA, the formation of the less inflammatory eicosanoids is favoured, which may be linked to lower allergic sensitization in the children, said the researchers.
“Additional anti-inflammatory effects of EPA andDHA in early immune development through bioactive lipids, lipoxins, neuroprotectines and resolvins, have been discussed but it is not clear whether those are plausible explanatory mechanisms regarding our findings,” they said.
Food allergy rises
The number of allergic disease has also been rising, with an estimated eight per cent of children in the EU suffering from food allergies, according to the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations.
The most common food allergen ingredients and their derivatives are cereals containing gluten, fish, crustaceans, egg, peanut, soybeans, milk and dairy products including lactose, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame seed, and sulphites.
Source: Acta Paediatrica
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01355.x
“Fish oil supplementation in pregnancy and lactation may decrease the risk of infant allergy”
Authors: C. Furuhjelm, K. Warstedt, J. Larsson, M. Fredriksson, M. Fageras Bottcher, K. Falth-Magnusson, K. Duchen

The danger with many Omega-3 fish oils available on the retail shelves is the risk of mercury and other heavy metal contamination. Make sure that you purchase a pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement which is guaranteed to be mercury free.