Archive | March 2014

Acupuncture Became a California Essential Health Benefit (EHB)

Acupuncture became a California Essential Health Benefit (EHB) as of January  2014. This means all insurers in California must  include acupuncture services as a benefit in new policies. The average benefit allows for about twenty treatments per year with $30 co-pays.

Since more than 3 million Californians have enrolled in insurance and have acupuncture benefits just waiting to be used. If you have previously not considered it as a healthcare choice, the addition of acupuncture as an essential health benefit may boost your confidence in its effectiveness and affordability.

This is great news since I am a Grad student pursuing a degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine which will enable me to become a Acupuncturist.

Acupuncture-needles-in-a--001Needles for acupuncturist shown on Chinese health sign.

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DOES ALUMINUM IN ANTI-PERSPIRANT DEODORANT CAUSE BREAST CANCER?

Does Aluminum in Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Cause Breast Cancer?


“I just got information from a health seminar that I would like to share. The leading cause of breast cancer is the use of antiperspirant. Yes, ANTIPERSPIRANT. Most of the products out there are an anti-perspirant/deodorant combination so go home and check your labels.” (Email that went Viral)
Why did I choose to investigate this topic?
My Initial Hypothesis Before Research for this Report
How I Investigated?
Topics:
1. Why do we sweat? –
    -Why do we use Anti-Perpsirant ?
2. What is Aluminum Chlorohydrate?
3. Why is it used in Deodorant?
 4. How does it affect us? (Kidney disease caution dangers)/ FDA findings/ Studies/Cancer Fears
     – Antiperspirants and Cancer
     – What Does FDA Say?
 5. Benefits of using natural alternatives
6. Conclusion/ My Thoughts
 
Why did I choose to investigate this topic?
I decided to do research on the topic of Aluminum in deodorant and if it is a contributing factor in Breast cancer because my mom has Kidney Disease and developed Breast cancer a few years later. Also I would occasionally develop lumps under my arm when I used deodorant brought from the store. So  my grandmother would tell me to take a lemon and put baking soda on it and rub under my arm then apply a little vitamin e, cut a aloe vera leaf open and rub it gently under your arm instead of  using the store brought kind.
My Initial Hypothesis Before Research 
If the body naturally wants to sweat ..maybe it should.  But if you are sweating too much than ou have some other underlying health conditions that needs to be addressed. Also if your sweat stinks and you are constantly covering it up with the deo and fragrance that is something else that needs to be addressed. Usually a person who drinks a good amount of water and eats healthy balance meals and exercise regularly tend not to have funky sweaty smells under the arm. I believe that the chemicals used in Deo does affect the estrogen in the breast, but I think that its not the main factor when it comes to breast cancer. I think that its just another toxin that the body has to filter. I believe that cancer is caused by our bodies being subjected to many toxins daily. So I would say as best you can to try to eliminate toxins when you can. I know that DEO has caution on its label to consult your doctor if you have kidney disease if you are using DEO. They do this because aluminum is a toxins that the kidney flushes out the body and when using DEO this can build up in your system when you have kidney disease and can cause dementia and estrogen changes in your body.
 How I Investigated?
I read respected medical website on the matter such as cancer.org, WebMD, US National Library of Medicine Government website, other respected natural way of life advocates, and my own experience with aluminum based deodorants (See references at the end of report).
 
Topics 
 
 1. Why do we sweat? –
Sweating is normal.  Everyone needs this bodily function to naturally cool off and get rid of excess heat from working muscles, detoxify dissolved solids, and send sodium (salt) back into the blood to maintain salinity in the body. There are over 4 million sweat glands in the human body; you can find them everywhere except on your actual lips.
Perspiration or sweat is controlled by your sympathetic nervous system. Sweat glands are long, coiled tubes that are found in your in the skin. There are several sweat glands that are located in various parts of the body.
Why do we use Anti-Perpsirant ?
Antiperspirants are designed to prevent our body from producing sweat by blocking sweat from reaching the skin. Aluminum is the active ingredient found in most antiperspirants. Aluminum blocks the pores so that sweat cannot pass through.
 2. What is Aluminium Chlorohydrate?
Aluminum chlorohydrate is a simple form of aluminum-based salts that is used to provide wetness protection in underarm antiperspirant products. Aluminum chlorohydrate is also widely used in water purification to remove dissolved organic material. Aluminum chlorohydrate is typically mined and purified from the naturally occurring mineral bauxite. Aluminum is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust behind oxygen and silicon. As previously noted, the primary source for aluminum is from the bauxite ore. In this product, we are using an aluminum chlorohydrate prepared from recycled aluminum (recycled in the USA), which was originally from bauxite ore. Aluminum, like many of earth’s resources, is finite. Using recycled aluminum reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas production as compared with sourcing aluminum from bauxite ore and helps to manage depletion of a global finite resource.
 
3. Why is it used in Deodorant?
Aluminum chlorohydrate is one of the 18 wetness protection ingredients approved by the Food and Drug Association for use in over the counter underarm antiperspirant products. Clinical studies show that people who use antiperspirant stick have significantly dryer underarms. Aluminum chlorohydrate reduces the amount of sweat on the skin surface, the ingredient also creates a skin environment which is hostile to the growth of malodor-producing bacteria to help reduce underarm odor as well.
 4. How does it affect us? (Kidney disease caution dangers)/ FDA findings/ Studies/Cancer Fears
WebMD put the question to several experts, and discovered that the rumors about antiperspirants don’t stand up to the science. Antiperspirant worries center on the active ingredient …. aluminum- which plugs the sweat ducts and prevents you from sweating.
Ted S. Gansler, MD, MBA, director of medical content for the American Cancer Society,
said “Worrying about antiperspirants shouldn’t distract women from addressing the real breast cancer risks, especially the ones they can control, like eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and limiting alcohol.”
Others say that since the aluminum blocks the sweat glands the body is not allowed to
detox via the underarms, also when you shave the aluminum can be absorbed in the body and affects the estrogen levels in women.
Antiperspirants and Cancer
 
Is it Non-sense?
A few studies in recent years have said that aluminum-based antiperspirants may increase the risk for breast cancer. Cancer-causing substances in antiperspirants are absorbed through razor nicks from underarm shaving. These substances are said to be deposited in the lymph nodes under the arm, which are not able to get rid of them by sweating because the antiperspirant keeps you from perspiring. This causes a high concentration of toxins, which leads to cells mutating into cancer. Also those chemicals may then interact with DNA and lead to cancerous changes in cells, or interfere with the action of the female hormone estrogen, which is known to influence the growth of breast cancer cells.There are no strong epidemiologic studies that link breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, and very little scientific evidence to support this claim. Ted S. Gansler, MD, MBA, director of medical content for the American Cancer Society said “There is no convincing evidence that antiperspirant or deodorant use increases cancer risk,”
A carefully designed epidemiologic study of this issue published in 2002 compared 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women without the disease. The researchers found no link between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, deodorant use, or underarm shaving
But it isn’t clear that much aluminum is absorbed through the skin. One study that looked at the absorption of aluminum from antiperspirants containing aluminum chlorohydrate applied to the underarms found that only a tiny fraction (0.012%) was absorbed. The actual amount of aluminum absorbed would be much less than what would be expected to be absorbed from the foods a person eats during the same time.
According to Scientific studies or medical journals, at this point, no clear link has been made between antiperspirants containing aluminum and breast cancer.
Is it a reality? Can Aluminum cause cancer?
INTERESTING MEDICAL FACT: Breast cancer tissue contains more aluminum than normal breast tissue.
Cancer researcher Philippa Darbre, PhD, of the University of Reading in England says “the evidence is mounting that the aluminum-based active ingredient in antiperspirants can mimic estrogen in the body. Lifetime exposure to estrogen is the risk factor which is tied most strongly to breast cancer, If the aluminum salts in antiperspirants enter the body and mimic estrogen it stands to reason that constant exposure over many years may pose a risk.”
Dr. Darbre says her own cellular research shows that aluminum salt exposure can influence estrogen activity. Because antiperspirants are used so closely to the breast, and are often used by women directly after shaving , which might allow for easier absorption. She also says it is reasonable to question whether antiperspirant exposure could influence breast cancer risk. She adds that women should consider cutting down on their antiperspirant use or cutting them out entirely.
 
Do antiperspirants keep a person from sweating cancer-causing toxins out through their underarm lymph nodes?
 
Lymph nodes help clear out bacteria, viruses, and other possible threats to the body, but the lymph nodes do not release waste or toxins through sweating. In fact, lymph nodes are not connected to sweat glands. Sweat glands are located in the skin, not in the lymph nodes.
INTERESTING FACT: Most cancer-causing substances that enter the body are removed from the blood by the kidneys and by the liver. Substances removed by the kidneys are released into urine, while those taken by the liver are released into bile. The bile then mixes with and is eliminated with feces. So the real problem may be that people  kidneys and liver are not cleansing properly. The cancer causing toxins are building up in the system, but at the same time putting small amounts of toxins on our body on a daily will not benefit us.
What Does FDA Say?
“We are aware that many people are concerned with the safety of aluminum-based underarm products as a small number of studies have linked the use of such products with the occurrence of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Based on a thorough review of all the literature available, and the recommendations of the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer’s Association, we believe that the use of our product is absolutely safe. As recommended by the FDA, you should consult with your doctor about the use of antiperspirant if you suffer from kidney disease. Since the kidneys play an important role in eliminating aluminum from the body, the FDA decided it was prudent to alert consumers who have kidney disease to the fact that their exposure to aluminum from use of antiperspirants might need to be discussed with their physician in order to make sure that the aluminum will not accumulate in the body. As with any OTC product, antiperspirants should be kept away from children.”
FDA requires antiperspirant labels to carry a warning that reads, “Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease.” Yet this warning is only meant for people whose kidneys are functioning at 30% or less.
A spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation says “In reality, it’s almost impossible to absorb enough aluminum through the skin to harm the kidneys. Unless you eat your stick or spray it into your mouth, your body can’t absorb that much aluminum”.
A comment made from a anti-perspirant advocate “If you’d prefer to go natural, you could try an aluminum-free antiperspirant alternative, or even rub items from your kitchen such as tea or lemon under your arms. Just be warned: The resulting aromas and wet spots could cause your friends to flee. A lot of people may want to try things, but if they want to be dry, then they need to use an antiperspirant”.
 5. Benefits of using natural alternatives 
These are some of the benefits I see you get from using natural/homemade deodorant.
* No harmful chemicals
* All Ingredients can be actually digested in the body
* Self -Sufficiency
* No Yellow stains in your shirts (which is caused by your sweat and the chemical used)
* No clogged up pores
* No lumps or irritated underarms
* Reduce exposure to unnecessary toxins
 
What are the alternatives?
Many local stores carry alternatives. Some brands are Tom Maine, JASON and others. I prefer to use homemade products. Here are some links below:
Most recipes include Baking Soda NaHCO3 (sodium bicarbonate), Corn Starch, coconut oil and Shea Butter and Tea Tree Oil.
Why are the following Ingredients used in homemade Deodorant
 
Baking soda – Helps to better control wetness without clogging up pores
 
Corn Starch – Helps to thicken deodorant
Coconut Oil – The lauric acid in coconut oil kills odor-causing bacteria.
 
Shea Butter – Moisturize the underarm because the Baking soda can cause irritation
Tea Tree Oil – Anti-bacterial (reduce or eliminates order) and adds aroma/scent
 
Natural recipes for deodorant:
 
My Conclusion/Thoughts
I believe that under Ideal conditions Aluminum in deodorant may not cause breast cancer. Ideal meaning that the persons kidneys and liver are functioning at optimal levels. However, many people today systems are already burdened with so many environmental toxins.
The concern should not be on covering up the sweat and odor, but the question should be asked…why does my odor stink? Am I not drinking enough water, eating enough fruits and veggies, should I eat less processed foods? As far as sweat ….we all sweat normally ..as a society we need to except that fact and not make a big deal of spotting a person with a bit of a sweaty arm pit.
I have a couple of Ethiopian friends say that they never used deodorant in their country and they didn’t stink or sweat that much until they moved to the USA and started to eat the American food they started to stink when they sweat. Our food choices and quality of food defiantly affects our odor.
So despite the medical studies I would still choose to go the natural way and do my best to eliminate toxins when I can and do my best to strengthen my liver and kidneys which help to cleanse out cancer causing toxins.
References:
 http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/antiperspirant-facts-safety
This entry was posted on March 10, 2014. 1 Comment

EXPLORING THE COLOR OF FOOD IN MY KITCHEN

Exploring the color of food in my kitchen

Colors in my kitchen 

So I walked in my kitchen and wrote down basically all the food I currently have. Check out the list below.


Green:
Pears, kale salad, Brussel sprout, grapes, chives, collard greens, avocados

White:
Milk, eggs, salt, garlic, flower, sugar, coconut milk, mayo, tarter sauce

Yellow:
Pineapple, curry spice, turmeric, mustard

BROWN:
Rice, bread, pasta, pinto beans, cheerios, cashews nuts, peanut bars

Red:
Kidney beans, grape juice, strawberries, ribs, lamb, chicken

Purple:
Gourmet potatoes, onions

Orange:
Carrots,

Black:
Chocolate

I believe that ones diet should consist of a variety of colors and moderation. I firmly believe in the eat clean lifestyle, basically eat wholefood, stay away/limit refined and process anything, drink plenty of room temperature water and incorporate exercise into your daily life. I am not perfect but I strive on a daily basis to implement it.

THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

The Mediterranean Diet

 
Evidence shows that people adopt the whole diet like the Mediterranean Diet have a lower chance of heart attacks and cardiovasular issues. Researchers studied information from 1957 to 2014 to study the relationship between food and heart disease. The study showed higher intake of saturated fats increased heart disease. They also found that a low fat diet lowered cholesterol, but the whole diet approach like the Mediterranean one had a greater reduction of heart disease.

What really is the Mediterranean Diet?

It mainly focuses on increasing intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fresh pasta, fish and less meats. It also encourages intake of good fats like avocados and nuts.

Despite all these scientific test basically we all need to eat whole food and each food in moderation

Is Food Medicine?

Is Food Medicine?

 
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” -Hippocrates




Food is tasty, delicious, physically fulfilling, satisfying on a cellular level…..food is healing to us. Our bodies need vitamins and nutritents and whole food provides it to us in the right amounts.

 Disease takes place when our bodies lack sufficient nutrients (which can be caused by not eating proper foods, chemicals in our food, a body under too much stress etc). When we make an  assement of ones health, if they are having aliments, no matter what technique used to help them, their nutrition must be addressed. Nutrition is what feeds our cells and if our cells are happy ….we are healthy and happy.

Whole foods make Happy cells. Whole foods heals our cells. Food is medicine 🙂