Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids and Cosmetics

"comfrey contains substances called pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are both toxic to the liver and carcinogenic.5-12... Pyrrolizidine alkaloids ... can be absorbed through the skin. ... it may be prudent to avoid topical comfrey products entirely. ... Last reviewed August 2013. Last Updated: 07/15/2014"

"BBB - Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids" - ingestion, FDA
"Reports of acute poisoning in the United States among humans are relatively rare. Most result from the use of medicinal preparations as home remedies. ... Mass human poisonings have occurred in other countries when cereal crops used to prepare food were contaminated with seeds containing pyrrolizidine alkaloid."

"Success Stories: Disease Detectives in Ethiopia, Part 2", ingestion, CDC
"The disease is now called “pyrrolizidine alkaloid-induced liver disease” (PAILD) for the toxic PA that causes the illness. More important, grain farmers in Ethiopia now have the information they need to protect themselves and their families from a once mysterious and sometimes fatal disease."

 "Chickweed Healing Salve contains comfrey, which may increase the risk of systemic toxicity"

"Comfrey (Symphytum spp.)"
"Alkaloids may also be absorbed through intact skin, so precautions should still be taken." 

A number of plants contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids besides comfrey, e.g. coltsfoot and alkanet (alkanna), and are used in some cosmetics in varying amounts. The use of such plants tends not to be in mainstream cosmetics. I have seen alkanet listed as the colorant used in handmade "organic" lip and cheek cosmetics on the market. Ironically, their inclusion can frequently be found in alternative cosmetics touting safety by being free of other ingredients, proven to be safe.

I see no valid reason for ingredients containing hepatoxic, carcinogenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids to be used in cosmetics, given the risks. Avoid!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Oil Pulling

Love the title! "Oil Pulling Your Leg", 2014
"I did come across one other published paper on oil pulling – a report of recurrent lipoid pneumonia from oil pulling. ... Oil pulling for general health or any other indication is pure pseudoscience. Detox claims are based on nothing, as are all detox claims. There is no evidence or plausible rationale to recommend oil pulling for any indication other than as a poor substitute for oral care."

"Lipoid Pneumonia And Oils: Important Health Information", 2012

"Of the types of oils that can be aspirated, animal oil causes more problems than vegetable oil, which causes more than mineral oil."

"Oil instillation pneumonia - A social evil", 2009, from the above blog post, full text. Oils named - "Gingilli oil" (sesame), "Coconut oil", "Neem oil"

"eighty seven percent of the patients with oil instillation were acutely symptomatic; 10% of them required mechanical ventilation for worsening hypoxia and respiratory failure of which three (4.1%) expired. ...Though, this issue was highlighted way back in 1973 by Balakrishnan [1], oil-aspiration pneumonia is still a health problem in countries where infants are forced to receive vegetable or animal oil due to traditional belief."
3 children died.

Oil pulling has a risk, which is reputably documented. That is not widely disseminated in articles on the topic but should be included. Scammers are too busy promoting an oil with misinformation to research properly, or care. No amount of fake followers, celebrity, or a congenial demeanor can make up for misinformation, lies, or undisclosed facts. Caution is advised!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Contact Lenses and Make-up

"Cosmetics and Contacts"
"Avoid frosted, pearlized, iridescent, or other glittery types of eye shadow, which may contain ground oyster shells or tinsel when can get trapped under your lens and scratch the surface of the eye. ... Avoid using loose powder on the face. ... Avoid lash-extending mascara, which has fibers that can irritate the eyes, and waterproof mascara, which cannot be easily removed with water and may stain soft contact lenses."

"Contact Lenses and Cosmetics"
"Choose an oil-free moisturizer. ... Choose water-based, hypo-allergenic liquid foundations. Cream makeup may leave a film on your lenses."

"Q: My niece has just started using contact lenses and she alreadyuses makeup. Can you suggest any tips for eye safety?", CNIB 
"Keep in mind that there is no real difference between high- and low-end brands. Any brand of makeup can pose a risk if expired or not applied properly - proper use is critical to keeping your lenses clean and your eyes healthy."

"Cosmetic advertising, labelling and ingredients"
"Hypoallergenic" is neither a legal nor a scientific term. It simply means that the manufacturer has chosen ingredients to produce a finished product with minimum potential for causing allergy. This does not guarantee that the product will not cause an allergic reaction in some individuals"

"go big or go home"? (first definition) NO! Tell it like it really is or don't bother because someone else will do so!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fraud and Health

Fraud is not just unethical, illegal. It can cause harm, cost lives. Scammers lie, misinform, use fake followers, anything, to lure victims. Fraud is everywhere. Scammers are into everything. Online they have 0 reputable health information (easy to check out), and lots of fake followers. Anyone can get some fake followers. Profiles get duplicated for fakes but they do not generate more followers because they are fakes. On Twitter for example, count the number of eggheads (no profile), plus those irrelevant for the account subject matter, and new followers but otherwise inactive accounts, by scrolling through the followers list. Hundreds of fakes on an account with not all that many followers, or accounts followed proportionately is a sure sign of purchased fake followers. I have never bought any followers and I will not buy them. They are filler to impress. I am not impressed that easily.

Lies are often easy to spot - inconsistent and contradictory information because scammers have forgotten what they said previously, usually in the promotion of a sponsor, or would be (hoped for) sponsor. It is all in the details. Alluring images are often used to sell or promote products. However, what is actually being offered must be supported by facts to have any value.

There is no difference between media fraud and other fraud. Both are about making money fast, and misinformation is irrelevant. Fraud is abuse! It capitalizes on people's emotional responses to yield profit, whether the topic is "raw" cacao (it is NOT healthy), or cancer "cures". There is money to be made - often at the cost of lives. One such lost life is too many.

THIS is preliminary research, 1999
"to date no vaccine or cure has been found for Ebola. ... anyone caught administering fake vaccine or tablets and even spreading wrong information on the Ebola disease would face prosecution."

I absolutely agree! Stop fraud in its tracks before more people die or become ill by not following approved recommendations Prosecution will not remedy disease and illness. It may however help prevent illness and death by fraud. It is "organic" and nontoxic too!

FRAUD says it is a drugs versus plants war. REPUTABLE science creates drugs FROM plants. Research can be promising. It has be proven to work.

WHO | Ebola virus disease
"No licensed vaccine for EVD is available. ... No specific treatment is available ... New drug therapies are being evaluated."

"Cancer patients who use alternative medicine die sooner"

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Health and Diet Extremism

"Ask Well: Does Boiling or Baking Vegetables Destroy Their Vitamins?"
"Several studies have shown that while cooking can degrade some nutrients, it can enhance the availability of others. As a result, no single cooking or preparation method is best, and that includes eating vegetables raw."

Love this! Read banana ingredients!

"Food Fears"

Some people who only eat raw food ignore real toxins by not doing research because "all chemicals are "bad", and they do not realize chemicals are in EVERYTHING, including raw food. Processes (cooking, baking, pasteurization, etc.) do not necessarily make food less nutritious. They can make it more so, and SAFE to eat.

It is not a good idea to indulge in buckwheat sprouts, or adopt extremism in health or diets, ignoring reputable science.
From the pdf 
"Since there is no accurate toxicological information on fagopyrin, safe intake of buckwheat sprouts can be estimated on the basis of hypericin phototoxic doses if further consideration of molecular differences ... to hypericin is not done. Taking this into account, the consumption of 0.14 g of dry mass sprouts per kg body mass per day can be estimated, which corresponds to approximately 40 sprouts. The intake of 10 g of dry mass (or approximately 30 g of fresh mass) of buckwheat sprouts may, on the other hand, cause severe phototoxicity, but this might strongly depend on the exposure to sunlight, body mass and age."

See also the Townsend Letter, 2004, which the pdf research published in 2013 backs up, and poses more questions.

Email Reply: What is raw cacao?
"Arguably one of the biggest scams to emerge out of the so-called ‘health’ movement."  

"Can you substitute cacao powder for cocoa powder in recipes?"
See comment by Cocoa Lady
"Maybe that is why bigger, more serious companies don't have this product, since they do not want to be liable for false advertising ... I just disagree with misleading the general public just to make juicy profits."
So do I! Kudos to you!

"Raw" (it is usually just less fermented) cacao has not been proven beneficial, just the opposite. Many raw food enthusiasts have also researched it, and abandoned it as a "superfood".

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease, 2014

"Does aluminum in pans and antiperspirants lead to Alzheimer’s disease?", 2014

“If aluminum plays any role, it’s very small,” ... “And there are many other, much more important risk factors to study.”... You can try to limit your aluminum consumption by choosing aluminum-free products, Perl says, “but we don’t really understand enough about [aluminum’s possible association with Alzheimer’s disease] to make good recommendations.”  For what it’s worth, Perl and Borenstein haven’t replaced their cookware, changed their antiperspirants or given up using aluminum foil. Savory hasn’t, either"

This 2014 study is over hyped a number of places in media.
"While it is impossible to know if high levels of brain aluminium instigated disease in either of these cases it is highly likely"

"Highly likely" is not definitive, or proven. My mother and grandmother used aluminum cookware most of their lives. Neither developed Alzheimer's disease. Occupational exposure is significantly different to using cookware, aluminum foil and antiperspirants. More research is the key. Not scams!

Detox Scams, 2014

"The Detox Scam: How to spot it, and how to avoid it", 2014  

"Is Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) protective of hepatocytes (liver cells) in patients with active or chronic liver disease and if so, how does it work?"

"Milk thistle", 2013, with cautions

"Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)" 2013

"Silymarin in non alcoholic liver disease", 2013
"The effects of silybum marianum and vitamin E on some biochemical indices of atherosclerotic progression must be confirmed by other experiences performed on a wide range, even though these metabolic data may be reported"
In other words, more research is needed!

Email Reply: Detox cosmetics?
, 2013

Don't be scammed! Be informed and aware!