Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Your Brain is at Risk with Certain Foods and Cosmetics

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Your Brain is at Risk with Certain Foods and Cosmetics

titaniumdioxide

Millions of tons of titanium dioxide are produced globally each year. It adds whiteness and brightness to products and also helps them resist discoloration. Titanium dioxide also reflects ultraviolet (UV) light, which is why it’s often used as an ingredient in sunscreens.

 

Most titanium dioxide (close to 70 percent) is used as a pigment in paints, but it’s also added to cosmetics, toothpastes, pharmaceuticals, paper and food.

 

Titanium dioxide is generally considered to be a relatively inert, safe material, but an increasing number of products are now using titanium dioxide nanoparticles, and that may change everything.

 

Nanoparticles are ultramicroscopic in size, making them able to readily penetrate your skin and travel to underlying blood vessels and your bloodstream.

 

Evidence suggests that some nanoparticles may induce toxic effects in your brain and cause nerve damage, and some may also be carcinogenic.

 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies titanium dioxide as a Group 2B carcinogen, which means it’s “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” This was based on an animal study showing inhaling high concentrations of titanium dioxide dust may lead to lung cancer.

brain

Is Titanium Dioxide in Foods Dangerous?

Candies, sweets and chewing gum have been found to contain the highest levels of titanium dioxide. White powdered doughnuts, candies and gums with hard shells, products with white icing and even bread, mayonnaise, yogurt and other dairy products may contain titanium dioxide.

 

As such, one analysis of exposure to titanium dioxide through foods found children receive the highest exposure levels (two to four times more than adults) because it’s so commonly added to sweets.1 Only a “limited number” of the products tested in one study listed titanium dioxide on the label.2

 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration actually allows manufacturers to use up to 1 percent food-grade titanium dioxide without declaring it on labels.3

 

It should be noted that many titanium particles used in food products are not nanoparticles (defined as smaller than 100 nanometers in diameter). However, some are.

 

According to research published in Environmental Science and Technology, up to 36 percent of the titanium dioxide found in nearly 90 food products was of the nanoparticle variety.4

 

It’s unclear what health risks may be linked to ingestion of titanium dioxide nanoparticles, but research suggests there’s cause for concern.

 

One animal study published in Cancer Research, for instance, found titanium dioxide nanoparticles may induce clastogenicity (causing breaks in chromosomes), genotoxicity, oxidative DNA damage and inflammation.

 

The researchers suggested they may be a cause of cancer or genetic disorders and concluded:5

 

“These results have been observed after only 5 days of treatment via drinking water, and in multiple organs suggesting a systemic effect …

 

We also showed that in utero exposure to TiO2 NPs [titanium dioxide nanoparticles] results in an increased frequency in DNA deletions in the fetus.

 

… These data suggest that we should be concerned about a potential risk of cancer or genetic disorders especially for people occupationally exposed to high concentrations of TiO2 NPs

 

…[A]nd that it might be prudent to limit ingestion of TiO2 NPs through nonessential drug additives, food colors etc.”

 

Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles May Harm Your Brain

The use of nanoparticles is increasing rapidly, and titanium dioxide nanoparticles are the second most produced engineered nanomaterial in the world.6

 

Its usage in consumer products has outpaced the research into its safety, such that humans are being repeatedly exposed before we know the consequences. What is known, however, is that titanium dioxide nanoparticles are capable of moving from your lungs or gastrointestinal tract to other organs.7

 

Further, animal studies indicate significant accumulation of nanoparticles in the brain, while toxicity studies have shown the particles have negative effects on brain cell viability and function.8

 

One recent study even showed titanium dioxide nanoparticles induced “an increase in reactive oxygen species generation, and a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, suggesting mitochondrial damage.”

 

The researchers believe exposure to the particles may lead to neurological dysfunction.9 Specifically, the nanoparticles were found to harm astrocyte cells, which help regulate serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters.

 

High levels of exposure (100 parts per million) killed two-thirds of such brain cells within one day. It also harmed the cells’ mitochondria, which may ultimately lead to cell death.

 

Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Damage

The study also revealed that astrocyte cells that weren’t killed were left damaged; they became unable to absorb glutamate, a neurotransmitter, such that it accumulated outside the cell, which may be implicated in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.10

 

Other research also suggests titanium dioxide nanoparticles may have hidden brain risks. For instance:

 

Prenatal exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles may result in alteration to the cerebral cortex, olfactory bulb and brain regions intimately related to dopamine systems of offspring mice.11

Exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles may alter oxidative and inflammatory responses as well as the renin-angiotensin system in the brain (which plays a role in cardiovascular health, including hypertension, and aging), thereby modulating brain function.12

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) induce strong oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage in glial cells in your brain. According to research published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine:13

“TiO2 NPs can enter directly into the brain through the olfactory bulb and can be deposited in the hippocampus region …

 

TiO2 NPs … produced morphological changes, damage of mitochondria, and an increase in mitochondrial membrane potential, indicating toxicity.”

 

What About Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles in Personal Care Products?

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles are found most often in personal care products such as toothpaste, sunscreen and, to a lesser extent, shampoos, deodorants, and shaving creams. As with food, use of these nanoparticles in personal care products is on the rise.

 

In 2005, about 1,300 metric tons were used in personal care products, but this had increased to 5,000 metric tons by 2010 and is expected to continue increasing until at least 2025.14

 

Although most studies suggest titanium dioxide does not penetrate human skin, even in nanoparticle form, one study found that the nanoparticles could possibly penetrate the outer layer of skin depending on the particle coating and skin (with or without hair).15

 

As further reported in Environmental Science and Toxicology:16

 

“The only FDA-stipulated limitation for sunscreens is that the TiO2 concentration be less than 25%. Most have a lower concentration, between 2% and 15%.

 

With the wide prevalence of sunscreen use and the lack of a distinction between TiO2 nanomaterials and larger-sized particles, the general public is being exposed to nanomaterials of which they are largely ignorant.”

 

Environmental Risks Are Unknown

Also concerning is what happens when all of the nanoparticles in personal care products (and excreted after they’re consumed in your food) are washed down the drain and flushed down the toilet. Study author Paul Westerhoff, a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and The Built Environment at Arizona State University and Senior Sustainability Scientist to the Global Institute of Sustainability, told Nanowerk:17

 

“… [W]e can expect the percentage of TiO2 [titanium dioxide] that is produced in or near the nano range to increase. TiO2 nanomaterials in foods, consumer products, and household products are discharged as feces/urine, washed off of surfaces, or disposed of to sewage that enters wastewater treatment plants.

 

While these plants capture most of the TiO2, nanoparticles measuring between 4 and 30 nm were still found in the treated effluent. These nanomaterials are then released to surface waters, where they can interact with living organisms.”

 

Tips for Avoiding Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles are ubiquitous in processed foods, so the best way to avoid them is to eat real food. To avoid these particles in your toothpaste, consider making your own out of coconut oil. As for sunscreen, the other major source, first realize that titanium dioxide (and zinc oxide) is a top choice for sun protection (and doesn’t carry the same risks as hormone-disrupting sunscreen chemical oxybenzone).

 

To be on the safe side, however, look for non-nanoparticle titanium dioxide that is tested and guaranteed to be non-nano. Further, minimize your sunscreen use as much as possible, using it only when you’ll be in the sun for extended periods and the use of clothing to cover-up or going into the shade aren’t options.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Talking Heads Know Nothing

talkingheads

The Talking Heads Know Nothing

 

Why the Standard American Diet (SAD) Triples Your Alzheimer’s Risk

 

There’s nothing more frightening to so many of us as the threat of losing brain function. While I avoid dwelling on what “could happen” in regards to my cognition, I definitely examine the risk factors for Alzheimer’s and strongly guard against them.

Currently, more than 46 million people have Alzheimer’s disease and the number is expected to hit 130 million over the next three decades. A person is diagnosed every 3 seconds!

 

Chilling facts about this epidemic…

 

Neurodegenerative disease is not a normal part of the aging process. Alzheimer’s is not being a bit forgetful, it is the systematic destruction of your brain function.

Currently, the United States lists Alzheimer’s as the 6th most common cause of death.

Early onset cases of Alzheimer’s account for approximately 5% of cases and strikes people under the age of 65 – often as young as in their thirties.

Most patients live less than ten years after they are diagnosed. With ongoing damage to the brain, simple skills such as eating, talking, and breathing become a struggle.

Alzheimer’s patients often wander away from a safe environment and are unable to find their way back. This contributes to higher risk of death.

 

The Talking Heads Know Nothing (By Their Own Admission)

 

The pharmaceutical industry offers several drugs to alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s but they’re proven to be effective for less than a year and are completely ineffective to many patients from the start.

Doctors uniformly insist that nothing can “stop or slow” disease progression. I always find it interesting when the medical or scientific industries shout about the “danger” or “quack science” of holistic or alternative treatments while outright admitting they can do nothing to help patients.

 

It’s well known that researchers have yet to identify the root cause of Alzheimer’s or other devastating neurodegenerative diseases. They don’t how to slow or stop it and can barely help alleviate deterioration of language skills, memory, and mood.

Despite this complete lack of anything useful, the conventional medical industry “is certain” that vaccinations, heavy metal poisoning, and chemical toxins aren’t the culprits.

Then they acknowledge that lifestyle, environment, genetics, and diet could play a part. Their ignorance and duplicity is incredibly frustrating.

 

 

Don’t Believe the Hype

 

There is much you can do – right now – to lower your personal Alzheimer’s risk factors. If I was diagnosed with a disease of my brain, I’d try every natural treatment imaginable rather than just suffer the increasing symptoms or wait to die.

Doctors who blithely suggest you do the opposite are negligent. How dare they dismiss even a glimmer of hope for patients essentially given a death sentence that will drag on for years, causing the patient and their loved ones horrific pain and stress.

I refuse to be so arrogant or close-minded.

If a holistic treatment helps even a little bit without side effects, what is the harm? If alternative modalities ease even a bit of the agony caused by slowly losing control of your own mind, why cast them aside with such disdain?

And what of prevention? Does this figure nowhere in their grand decrees?

 

Lowering Alzheimer’s Risk Factors – Naturally

 

First, let’s talk about the Standard American Diet (SAD) – an apt acronym if I ever saw one!

This is the diet known to include exorbitant amounts of sugar, unhealthy fats, few vegetables (and even those are generally over-processed), junk food laden with chemical additives, fast food restaurants on every corner, artificial sweeteners, genetically modified foods (GMO), and antibiotics in our cattle products.

There are so many things wrong with the SAD that it’s impossible to list them all. However, if you track the hijacking of our food supply, you’ll see the substantial climb of our worst diseases and conditions.

 

Heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, obesity, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes, and so much more can be laid at the feet of our garbage diet and the deplorable devolving condition of our environment.

The introduction of thousands of chemicals to our food supply, destructive cleaning products, personal care items with known carcinogens, and the rampant pollution of our soil, air, and water have devastated our immune systems and re-written our body chemistry.

If you want to lower your risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other diseases, the prevention playbook is pretty simple. Each of these factors have been studied by researchers around the world and determined to have a hand in our declining health.

You can choose (or not) to follow these common sense suggestions in your daily life. I promise you – as a doctor and a man in excellent health – there’s nothing here to harm you, only help! These are things you can incorporate now, for little or no money, to improve the way your mind and body function.

 

The Alternative Doctor’s Tips to Prevention

 

  1. Strip down your entire diet. You don’t need or want the Standard American Diet in your life. Not now, not ever. All it’s done is make people sick. Choose whole foods and opt for organic options if you have them (especially in regards to animal products). Get rid of foods in bags or boxes. Kick out all artificial sweeteners. Avoid those fast food joints. A truly healthy diet consists of proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and very few (or none) refined sugars and carbs. Drink half an ounce of water for every pound of body weight every day and don’t stop!
  2. You must get more sleep. There have been hundreds of studies that confirm the massive toll sleep deprivation takes on your body and mind. Without enough sleep, you’re unable to get “downtime” to store memories and repair damaged cells. Starving humans of sleep is a known method of torture. It increases your risk of every major disease.
  3. Clean out your house. Discard the chemical cleaners, toxic personal care products, and use natural substances wherever you can. Never use antibacterial products (you get far too many unwanted antibiotics as it is). If you live in an old house, make sure you check for mold and lead paint. Mold must be remediated (that’s some dangerous stuff) but lead paint can be sealed behind fresh coats of paint if you’re unable to have it fully removed. Get rid of very old room carpeting and always filter your tap water with a quality carbon filter.
  4. Purge negativity in your inner self. Your emotional and mental state directly impacts your physical health. Ongoing depression, anxiety, and stress raises inflammation that is a listed root cause of every modern disease. No matter where your turmoil originates, you can take back control. Remove toxic people, evaluate what you need for yourself, and let go of what you can’t change. Holding onto past fears, guilt, and sadness will never allow you to be happy. There’s no room for true peace if all the available space is taken up with negativity.

 

  1. You need activity in your daily life. Even mild to moderate exercise has an extraordinary impact on your overall mental and physical health. Yoga, tai chi, swimming, or a walk will give you movement and boost your emotional state. As important as physical activity is, keeping your brain active is crucial to keeping your neurons firing properly well into oldest age. By pushing even an elderly mind to engage socially, work on puzzles, or read, it “flexes” the basic cognitive functions and makes them stronger. Never stop learning and never stop moving.

Naturally, there are some obvious steps you can take such as quitting tobacco, limiting alcohol, and avoiding burning your skin but I wanted to talk more about the areas that seem hardest for people to implement.

You don’t have to be a super human. You simply have to care about what you eat, what you put on your body, and make a concerted effort to love that only home you’re ever going to have.

Can you do all these things and still get sick?

Unfortunately,. Even otherwise healthy people can be diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. However, I guarantee that these steps absolutely lower your risk factors for Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and more. That’s a fact.

It’s not a bulletproof plan but it’s a better plan than convention medicine shrugging their shoulders and telling you, “Sorry, nothing can be done.”

Take an active role in your own life. Start these prevention measures now.

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Prof. Keith Mumbly

312-972-WELL

Foods, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Pomegranate

pomegranate

 

Secrets Revealed: The Powerful Health Benefits of the Pomegranate

 

One of the oldest known fruits, found in writings and artifacts of many cultures and religions, the pomegranate (punica granatum) is an original native of Persia. This nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life.

 

If you’re not familiar with the pomegranate, it is a red fruit with a tough outer layer; only the juice and the seeds inside are edible. Pomegranate juice is available year round, but you can purchase fresh pomegranates in most grocery stores from September through January. When refrigerated in a plastic bag, pomegranates keep for up to 2 months. Try tossing the seeds on a salad for a brilliantly colorful, crunchy, and nutritious addition.

 

Seeding a pomegranate may seem like a lot of work for just a piece of fruit but think again, getting at those seeds may be well worth it. The pomegranate is a nutrient dense food source rich in phytochemical compounds. Pomegranates contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols, potent antioxidants offering protection against heart disease and cancer. A glass of pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries, and cranberries.1

 

Amazing Clinical Results This fantastic little fruit recently made its way back into the news after some spectacular clinical results. Here’s what you need to know:

 

A compound found only in pomegranates called punicalagin is shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Punicalagin is the major component responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits. It not only lowers cholesterol, but also lowers blood pressure and increases the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melt away.

 

Recent medical research studied heart patients with severe carotid artery blockages. They were given an ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year. Not only did study participants’ blood pressure lower by over 12 percent, but there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque. Just as astounding, participants who did not take the pomegranate juice saw their atherosclerotic plaque increase by 9 percent.2

 

In other studies, potent antioxidant compounds found in pomegranates have shown to reduce platelet aggregation and naturally lower blood pressure, factors that prevent both heart attacks and strokes.3

 

Not only are pomegranates good for your heart and blood vessels but they have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and to prevent vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab animals.4 Several in vitro studies have shown this remarkable anti-cancer effect.5 Additional studies and clinical trials currently taking place are hopeful to reveal this fascinating effect on humans.

 

Also of note, pomegranate juice contains phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression and increasing bone mass in lab animals.6

 

Health Benefits of the Pomegranate

 

Most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits

Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects

Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease

Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors

Lowers blood pressure

Shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies

May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis

Many studies show that the pomegranate is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health. These clinical findings clearly show a correlation between pomegranate compounds and their positive effect on both human and animal cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal health. This is one fruit that you can’t afford to exclude from your diet!

 

Seeding a Pomegranate

 

Cut the crown (protruding blossom end) off the pomegranate, removing with it some of the pale-yellow pith. Take care not to pierce the seeds within.

Lightly score the skin in quarters from stem to crown end.

Immerse the scored fruit in a large bowl of cool water and soak for 5 minutes. Holding the fruit under water, break sections apart with your fingers, separating the seeds from membrane. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl.

Discard skin and membranes. Drain the seeds and dry on paper towels.

 

Antioxidant Rich Smoothie

Serves: 2 Preparation Time: 5 minutes

 

Ingredients:

8 cups organic baby spinach

1 cup pomegranate juice

1 cup blueberries, frozen

1 cup strawberries, frozen

8 dates, cut in half

2 tablespoons flaxseeds, ground

1/2 avocado, optional

 

Instructions:

Blend all ingredients together. This is delicious & very healthy!

 

 

Please feel free to share with family and loved ones.  Call us for help and assistance with yours and your families health concerns and needs.

Health and Wellness Associate

Archived: 14

312-972-WELL

Health and Disease, Lifestyle

Less Sleep, Faster Brain Aging

lesssleep

Less Sleep, Faster Brain Aging

This troubling finding comes from a Singapore-based study showing that losing sleep with advancing age elicits changes in a region of the brain that is a marker for faster cognitive decline. The 66 Chinese seniors who participated had MRIs to measure their brain volume in conjunction with an evaluation of their cognitive function every two years. They also reported how many hours they typically slept. The researchers, from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, reported that study participants who slept fewer hours showed evidence of brain ventricle enlargement and declines in cognitive performance. This study was the first to look at the effect of sleep on brain ventricle enlargement, a known sign of cognitive decline. The investigators cited research elsewhere as showing that seven hours of sleep is associated with the best cognitive test scores in more than 150,000 adults, but noted that it is not yet known whether seven hours is optimum for overall physiology and long term brain health.

My take? This study adds a serious risk to the list of dangers posed by sleep deprivation throughout life. We know that lack of sleep increases the risk of accidents caused by fatigue and that not getting enough sleep is a risk factor for weight gain, perhaps by disrupting production of the appetite regulating hormones ghrelin and leptin. Sleep deprivation can also disrupt the body’s regulation of blood sugar, which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. And laboratory studies suggest that not getting adequate rest may also elevate levels of stress hormones, boost blood pressure, and increase inflammation – all changes that may lead or contribute to health concerns later in life. If you’re not getting enough sleep, the sooner you establish new habits, the better for the long-term health of your mind and body. Here are my recommendations for getting optimal sleep.

Want To Age Gracefully? It’s not about the lines on the face – it’s about the wisdom behind them. Don’t lament the passing of the years, celebrate all you have achieved, learned and earned, for your benefit and the benefit of others. Sources: June C. Lo et al, “Sleep Duration and Age-Related Changes in Brain Structure and Cognitive Performance.” SLEEP, 2014; DOI: 10.5665/sleep.3832