Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Sunscreen! Really?

sunscreen

 

Sunscreen!   Really?

 

Sunscreen Mistakes That Pose A Serious Risk To Your Health

 

The dog days of summer have arrived for most of us and that means lots of time spent out in the sun having fun. It can also mean a painful sunburn if you are not careful. Too much time, unprotected in the sun can lead to premature aging and damage to your skin. While there are a plethora of types of sunscreens to choose from, you must be careful not to make sunscreen mistakes that will end up doing more harm than good.

 

While it is a good idea to protect the skin from the damaging impact of UV radiation from the sun, you need to know the in’s and outs of sunscreen so as to avoid costly mistakes. Remember, we need the sun to help our bodies make vitamin D3, the nutrient that boosts our immune system, elevates our mood and fights cancer. The key is to stay safe and still get enough sun to keep your vitamin D levels in a healthy range.

 

Here is a look at the top mistakes you might be making when it comes to sunscreen.

 

Using chemical sunscreen instead of natural sunscreen

Sunscreen is a huge market and everyone wants to get a share of it. This means that some sunscreens are actually just a toxic cocktail of chemicals that could end up hurting you. The number one mistake you might be making when it comes to your sunscreen is which type of sunscreen you actually purchase and use.

 

Surprisingly, some studies have indicated that risk of malignant melanoma was highest amongst those who used the most sunscreen. This is undoubtedly due to the chemical makeup of the sunscreen.

 

According to a 2014 Environmental Working Group guide to sunscreen, over 75% of all sunscreen sold contains toxins capable of increasing the risk of cancer. Here is what they had to say:

 

“Our review…shows that some sunscreen ingredients absorb into the blood, and some have toxic effects. Some release skin-damaging free radicals in sunlight, some act like estrogen and disrupt hormones, and several can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. The FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients.”

 

Here is a list of just some of the toxic ingredients you might find in conventional sunscreen:

 

Parabens

Para amino benzoic acid

Octyl salicyclate

Cinoxate

Phenylbenzimidazole

Homosalate

Menthyl anthranilate

Octocrylene

Oxybenzone

Methoxycinnamate

Dioxybenzone

Natural sunscreen products or mineral-based sunscreen products generally contain zinc or titanium. They do not break down in the sunlight and are not absorbed by the body. To stay safe, it is best to choose a natural, or mineral-based sunscreen that will not disrupt hormones, are not allergenic and offer effective protection.

 

Our recent round-up of the best natural sunscreens led to the conclusion that these were the best:

 

Badger All Natural Sunscreen

Tropical Sands Natural Sunscreen

Beauty By Earth Facial Cream

Kiss My Face Mineral Sunscreen

Suntegrity 5 in 1 Natural Sunscreen

 

Using spray-on sunscreen

 

Although they go on easy, spray sunscreens have hidden dangers. According to safety experts at Consumer Reports, spray on products contain some potentially dangerous ingredients that could be damaging if inhaled, especially to children.

 

According to  Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at Environmental Working Group, “These high-alcohol formulas could irritate the lungs, and their ingredients could be absorbed into the bloodstream.”

 

You wait to apply sunscreen until you arrive at the beach or the pool

 

Take the time to apply sunscreen before you head outside. This will allow you to be sure that you are well-covered. Too many people wait to get to the pool or the beach to apply their sunscreen and end up missing spots because they are in a hurry to get in the water or engage in other activities.

 

You only use sunscreen when you are headed outdoors

It is a good idea to use some form of natural sunscreen year-round, not just when you are headed to the beach or out on a boating trip. According to Cheryl Gustafson, MD, a chief dermatology resident at Emory University,”The sun’s rays can still reach your skin, for example, while you drive or sit by a window.”  There are a number of natural moisturizers that contain some sort of sunscreen. It is a good idea to get into the habit of using these daily, no matter what you are doing.

 

You apply sunscreen with your clothes on

It is always best to apply sunscreen to your entire body when you are naked. According to Noelle Sherber, MD, a consulting dermatologist for the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center it is best to apply sunscreen naked in front of a full-length mirror because this “helps ensure you entirely cover tricky spots like the mid-back and backs of the legs.”

You pass over your lips

Many people do a good job of protecting their body and face from the sun but neglect their lips. Lips are highly sensitive to the sun and require special TLC from the sun. However, don’t use the same stuff you put on your body. It is best to purchase an organic lip balm with SPF protection (such as these Organic Lip Balms from Sky Organics) and apply it frequently when exposed to the sun.

 

You rely too much on sunscreen

Too many people rely on sunscreen for complete protection from the sun. There are a number of things that you can do to enhance your protection including:

 

Wear long sleeve shirts, pants, and a hat when participating in outdoor activities. There are many options available for lightweight clothing that offers protection. In addition, always wear a hat when outdoors in the sun.

Stay indoors or in the shade during the hottest time of the day. The sun is hottest during the hours of noon and 3 pm.

Eating foods that offer sun protection and build UV resistance can also help protect you from the sun. These foods include green and white tea, blueberries, red grapes or wine, salmon and fish oil, almonds, asparagus and pumpkin seeds, bell peppers and carrots.

Yes, the sun is fun, yes, we need the sun for vitamin D production,to build up an immune system in y our children, but we have to be very careful during the hot days of summer not to overextend our time in the sun.   Chemincals in most commercially marketed sunscreens, are absorded in your skin and the liver tries to filter them out, and cant.  You only have one liver

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Sierra Bright

Dr Jay Jaranson

312-972-Well

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/ 

 

 

 

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Kaiser Permanente Calls Out Sun Avoidance as “Misguided”

sunexpoosure

 

Kaiser Permanente Calls Out Sun Avoidance as “Misguided”

 

Over the past 40+ years, dermatologists have promoted the idea that you should never be exposed to direct sunlight because it will damage your skin and cause skin cancer.

 

You might wonder, well what about vitamin D?  No problem, as according to the American Academy of Dermatology, vitamin D deficiency can easily be addressed with vitamin D supplements.1

 

What they fail to acknowledge and appreciate is that when you’re exposed to sunlight, many important biological processes occur in your skin, not just vitamin D production.

 

This is separate from swallowing oral vitamin D, which is an important but, according to many experts, clearly inferior alternative. While it will improve your vitamin D status, you forgo the many benefits sunlight offers aside from vitamin D production.

 

Weighing the Risks and Benefits of Sun Exposure

 

Unfortunately, the entire focus of most dermatologists is preventing skin damage, which means ignoring the other side—the benefits—of the sun exposure equation.

 

This includes heightened protection against a number of internal cancers and other chronic diseases, including heart disease, which kills far more people than melanoma does.

 

Ironically, recent research shows that vitamin D also improves survival outcomes for melanoma patients.2,3 It’s also important for cognitive health, immune function, healthy pregnancy and infant development, and strong, healthy bones, just to name a few.4

 

As noted in a recent news report:5

 

“Fifteen to 20 minutes in sunlight a day helps your body produce the vitamin D it needs to absorb calcium and promote bone growth and keep the heart healthy. But sunscreen – important to protect against skin cancer — reduces the body’s ability to manufacture the vitamin.

 

Doctors can be torn on recommending time in the sun when too much and too little both have consequences.”

 

Sun Avoidance Decreases Melanoma Risk But Increases All-Cause Mortality

 

A recent study6,7 driving home these benefits was completed in Sweden. More than 25,500 Swedish women between the ages of 25 and 64 were followed for 20 years. Detailed information about sun exposure habits and confounding factors were obtained and analyzed in a “competing risk” scenario.

 

Overall, women who got regular sun exposure had a lower all-cause mortality risk—likely due to their increased vitamin D levels.

 

Women with active sun exposure habits ended up having a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and non-cancer death compared to those who avoided the sun. Of particular note:

 

“Nonsmokers who avoided sun exposure had a life expectancy similar to smokers in the highest sun exposure group, indicating that avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking.

 

Compared to the highest sun exposure group, life expectancy of avoiders of sun exposure was reduced by 0.6–2.1 years.” [Emphasis mine]

 

Other Research That Puts Melanoma Risk Into Perspective

 

Previous research has shown that when sunlight strikes your skin, nitric oxide is released into your bloodstream8 and nitric oxide is a powerful blood pressure lowering compound.

 

This has led researchers to conclude that sun exposure may prolong your life by significantly cutting your heart attack/stroke risk. One 2013 study9 mentions an absolutely stunning statistic.

 

For every one skin cancer death in northern Europe, between 60 and 100 people die from stroke or heart disease, related to hypertension. Knowing your risk of dying from heart disease or stroke is 80 times greater on average than from skin cancer really puts it in perspective.10

 

While higher vitamin D levels correlate with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, oral vitamin D supplements do not appear to benefit blood pressure, and the fact that supplements do not increase nitric oxide may be the reason for this.

 

According to researcher Richard Weller:

 

“We suspect that the benefits to heart health of sunlight will outweigh the risk of skin cancer. The work we have done provides a mechanism that might account for this, and also explains why dietary vitamin D supplements alone will not be able to compensate for lack of sunlight.”

 

Lack of Sun Exposure May Be Driving Tuberculosis Epidemic

 

Cardiovascular disease is not the only disease influenced by sun exposure that kills far more people than melanoma. Did you know that some 4,100 people die from tuberculosis (TB) EVERY day around the globe?11

 

In 2014, there were 1.5 million TB-relblated deaths worldwide. Compare that to the 438,000 who died from malaria—a well-known global infectious disease—and the 55,100 who die from melanoma each year (worldwide).

 

Tellingly, TB rates are particularly high among miners and prisoners, two populations exposed to far less sunlight than the average person. African miners have the highest incidence of TB in the world.12

 

One of the reasons why TB isn’t on everyone’s radar is because it’s been around for hundreds of years, and the disease (spread by airborne bacteria that settle in the lungs and result in long-term infections) doesn’t evoke the same drama as HIV or Ebola.

 

The reason it should be on everyone’s radar is because it’s now the No. 1 infectious disease out there.

 

No one is safe from it, and with rising antibiotic-resistance, it may just be a matter of time before TB can no longer be treated with antibiotics, in which case the death toll is likely to skyrocket even further—especially if sun avoidance continues to be aggressively promoted.

 

Tuberculosis—A Global Health Threat That Could Be Counteracted With Sun Exposure

 

What people seem to have forgotten is that, traditionally, TB was treated with sunlight, and it’s a well-established fact that UV light is anti-infective. For example, a 2009 study13,14 found that UV light could reduce the spread of tuberculosis in hospital wards and waiting rooms by 70 percent.

 

Other studies have similarly concluded that UV light and blue light has potent antibiotic activity. It can even be used to disinfect water15 in lieu of harsher disinfection chemicals like chlorine. In 2012, researchers announced UV light helps kill 90 percent of drug-resistant bacteria in hospital rooms.16

 

Vitamin D from sun exposure also increases your body’s production of naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides that destroy the cell walls of viruses and bacteria. Sun exposure also increases blood levels of germ-destroying lymphocytes (white blood cells).

 

Auguste Rollier began using sunlight therapy to treat TB in Switzerland in 1903. The treatment was so successful that over the course of the next 40 years, his methods were adopted by hospitals worldwide, including in the United States.

 

Of the 2,167 patients who were under his care for tuberculosis following World War II, 1,746 completely recovered their health, an astonishing number for the time, with the only failures being those who were already in the most advanced stage of the disease.

 

Vitamin D Supplements May Also Help Combat Drug Resistant TB

 

Studies have shown that metabolizing vitamin D can restrict the growth of tuberculosis within cells.17 In one study, Indonesian scientists found that treating tuberculosis patients with 10,000 units of vitamin D daily (instead of the much smaller amount usually advocated by conventional medicine) led to a cure rate of 100 percent — everyone in the study.18 Quite impressive indeed!

 

Other recent research19 suggests vitamin D may enhance your body’s ability to kill drug-resistant TB—an effect thought to be related to the fact that vitamin D helps decrease inflammation in your body. Tuberculosis is not the only disease documented to be influenced by vitamin D and UV radiation. Sunlight has also been shown to be effective against anthrax, cholera, E. coli, dysentery, influenza, staphylococcus, streptococcus, and other infectious illnesses.

 

The time honored tradition of hanging your clothes outside to dry even works as a natural germicidal to kill off potential pathogens. This is especially important for your bed clothes, and if you have the ability, I highly recommend hanging your laundry out to dry when the weather permits.

 

Breaking News—Kaiser Permanente Calls Out Sun Avoidance as ‘Misguided’

 

While the American Academy of Dermatology, the Skin Cancer Foundation, and the U.S. Surgeon General20,21 have all declared UV radiation harmful and said sun exposure should be avoided altogether, Kaiser Permanente is now bucking the status quo by recommending sun exposure. In their March 10, 2016 “Positive Choice” newsletter covering cancer prevention and general wellness, Kaiser Permanente states, in no unequivocal terms:22

 

“It is true that too much sun exposure, and especially sun burns, contribute to skin cancer. But the message to avoid the sun altogether may be misguided. Our increasing knowledge about vitamin D, the sun, and how they affect our immune system has us re-thinking the recommendation to avoid the sun completely.

 

Our ancestors were outdoors far more often than indoors. How could we have evolved and survived as a species if we were that vulnerable to something humans have been constantly exposed to for their entire existence? Like all living things, we need sunshine.

 

Much as plants harness the sun’s rays through photosynthesis, our bodies use the UVB radiation in sunshine to stimulate increased production of vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed to build bones, quell inflammation, bolster the immune system, and protect against disease.”

 

Sun Exposure is ‘Vital,’ Kaiser Permanente Says

 

Kaiser goes on to note that vitamin D deficiency is widespread—as many as 70 percent of American children may have insufficient levels—and lists a number of adverse health effects thereof, including the following. Kaiser also notes that “infants that are born from vitamin D deficient mothers and remain vitamin D deficient for the first several months after birth have a greater risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases later in life.”

 

 

Heart disease  High blood pressure    Type 1 diabetes

Multiple sclerosis       Depression      Asthma

Osteoporosis   Cancer Autoimmune disease

As if taken straight out of my own newsletter, Kaiser notes: “Most people have heard of the studies that connect sun exposure to skin cancer. But there are many studies that suggest sun exposure (and maximizing vitamin D levels) plays a role in decreasing risks of at least 16 different types of cancer including lung, pancreatic, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancers.

 

Without question sun exposure and the vitamin D we make when in the sun is vital to health. But how much do we need? … Some experts recommend blood serum levels as high as 75 ng/ml … The Institute of Health recommends blood serum levels at 40 ng/ml, the amount that meets the needs of most people. Using either value, many Americans are deficient in vitamin D …

 

For healthy people, moderate sun exposure (2 to 4 times a week for 15 to 30 minutes) is not a problem. Just as important as not avoiding the sun all together, it is important to not just bake away. Rather follow healthy sunbathing tips…

 

The benefits we receive from the sun have focused primarily on its ability to stimulate vitamin D production, but there may be other benefits we get from the sun that are not yet well understood. Even if you supplement with vitamin D, it’s still a good idea to get some sunshine as well.”

 

Kaiser Permanente Issues Healthy Sunbathing Tips

 

Kaiser’s “healthy sunbathing tips” also follows the same guidelines I’ve promoted for many years, including:23

 

Only get sensible sun exposure and always avoid sunburn.

Build up your tolerance by starting early in the spring, and gradually increase the time you spend in the sun to avoid getting burned. Once your tolerance has been built up, aim for 15 to 30 minutes of unprotected exposure two to four times per week, around mid-day, to maximize vitamin D production

Expose as much skin as you can, not just your arms and face

Avoid burning

Boost your “internal sunscreen” by eating antioxidant rich foods and healthy fats. As noted by Kaiser: “These foods strengthen skin cells, helping to protect them from sun damage. On a regular basis eating several servings of vegetables and fruits such as blueberries, raspberries … and supplementing with green powdered mixes (wheat grass, barley grass, seaweed powders, etc.) and fish oils are great options when going into the sun.”

As a general rule, the best time to get sun exposure to optimize your vitamin D levels is close to solar noon, which is 1 p.m. in those states that foolishly use Daylight Saving Time. So, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. from March through October. November through February, you will not be making vitamin D if you live north of Atlanta, Georgia, and even at southern latitudes, you’ll only be making 10 to 20 percent of your summertime norm.

 

During winter months, your alternatives are to use a tanning bed, or take an oral vitamin D3 supplement. If you opt for a supplement, remember that you also need to increase your vitamin K2 intake. I strongly recommend getting your vitamin D level tested at least once or twice a year, say during the winter and summer, to make sure your chosen strategy is providing you with enough vitamin D. Ideally, you’ll want your level to be between 40 and 60 ng/ml year-round.

 

Sun Exposure for Vitamin D and Beyond

 

If you look at the spectrum of sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface, UVB radiation is responsible for making vitamin D. But UVA, while being responsible for most of the skin damage also helps modulate your immune system, and UVA and UVB in combination improves beta-endorphin production in your skin, which makes you feel good.

 

Sun exposure on bare skin also produces nitric oxide and carbon monoxide that cause vascular relaxation, improves wound healing, and helps fight infections among other biologic processes. The carbon monoxide your hemoglobin molecules release in response to UV radiation also acts as a neurotransmitter, and has beneficial effects on your nervous system. Like nitric oxide, it causes relaxation, and has anti-inflammatory activity.

 

The blue wavelength of sunlight is particularly important for regulating your circadian rhythm and suppressing melatonin levels; it helps improve your mood, and reduces depressive symptoms. Light therapy has been shown to be effective not only against seasonal affective disorder (SAD) but also non-seasonal major depression. So all in all, sun exposure provides a wealth of health benefits over and beyond mere vitamin D production, although that’s certainly a big part of it.

 

Clearly, when you weigh the risks and benefits, sensible sun exposure does more good than harm, and I’m quite pleased to see Kaiser Permanente push against the misguided advice to stay out of the sun, just to lower your risk of melanoma. At the end of the day, your risk of dying from melanoma is FAR lower than your risk of dying from other diseases associated with sun avoidance, such as TB and heart disease for example.

 

The Role of Vitamin D in Disease Prevention

 

A growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them, as well as vitamin D receptors located throughout your body.

 

According to one large-scale study, optimal Vitamin D levels can slash your risk of cancer by as much as 60 percent. Keeping your levels optimized can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers.

 

Please share with family and loved ones.  If you have any questions please contact us.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-Well

Rx to Wellness

Castor Oil: The Best for You

castoroilpic

What Is Castor Oil?
Throughout history, castor oil’s most popular use has been for treating skin infections, lowering constipation and boosting the appearance of hair health, but research has shown that castor oil has even more important applications for supporting the immune system. Castor oil is capable of increasing white blood cells and the count of T-11 cells (a type of special white blood cells that act like antibodies) produced within the body’s lymphocytes that help kill viruses, fungi, bacteria and cancer cells.
Many of castor oil’s benefits come down to its chemical composition. It’s classified as a type of triglyceride fatty acid, and almost 90 percent of its fatty acid content is a specific and rare compound called ricinoleic acid. Castor oil is considered to be pretty unique because ricinoleic acid is not found in many other substances, and it’s such a dense, concentrated source. It is produced by cold-pressing the seeds and subsequent clarification of the oil by heat.
Aside from its primary constituent, ricinoleic acid, castor oil also contains certain beneficial salts and esters that function primarily as skin-conditioning agents. At the same time, they help stabilize the texture and consistency of products, which is why castor oil is used in so many cosmetics, hair and skin-care treatments.
According to the International Journal of Toxicology, castor oil and hydrogenated castor oil reportedly were used in 769 and 202 cosmetic products, respectively, during the time of an analysis in 2002! Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil is the name given to the type of castor oil used in cosmetics, which you might find listed on the ingredient label, especially in lipsticks.
Castor Oil Benefits
As an unsaturated fatty acid, ricinoleic acid found in castor oil has many healing abilities, including:
supporting the lymphatic system
increasing circulation
preventing the growth of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and molds
fighting skin disorders and infections
helping to kill ringworm, keratoses, skin inflammation, abrasions and fungal infections
healing acne
helping hair grow
reducing itching and swelling on the skin
fighting toenail fungus
easing constipation
hydrating chapped lips
reducing painful sunburns
helping with pregnancy and inducing labor
and many more
If you need help determining whether this is best for you, or the amount, please contact us and we will help.
Please feel free to share with family and friends
Health and Wellness Associates
Archived Article
JA
P. Carrothers
Foods

To Avoid Sunburn Eat This

pomegranate

These sweet tart treats are rich in ellagic acid,

a natural sunscreen proven to increase skin’s UV protection

by 26 percent. Ellagic acid also speeds the repair of sunburned skin.

You only need 1/2 cup daily.  Time saver: You can buy ready to eat seeds,

either fresh or frozen in grocery and whole foods stores or sip 2 oz of juice daily.

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL