Did you know that most shampoo is a chemical mixture of many toxic ingredients? These chemicals are very harmful to you and to the environment.
Even shampoos claiming they have “all-natural ingredients” aren’t safe and dangerous. Manufacturers of these still use things ammonium laurel sulphate. Doesn’t sound all-natural, right? My rule is – if you can’t eat it, then you shouldn’t put it on your body.
Here are the main toxic ingredient you’ll want to avoid in shampoo:
– Sulfates – Sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates are foaming agents and can be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a probable carcinogen.
– Certain preservatives – These preservatives including parabens are linked to breast cancer and hormone disruption. Parabens have been discovered in low concentrations in breast cancer tumors and have the ability to weakly mimic estrogen.
– Artificial fragrances – The term fragrance is a term for thousands of chemicals that include hormone disrupting phthalates, as well as skin irritants and allergens.
Petroleum products – Ingredients that come from non-renewable resources are not environmentally friendly.
WORST SHAMPOO BRANDS LINKED TO BRAIN AND KIDNEY DAMAGE, HEADACHES, ALLERGIES, AND LIVER TUMORS
If you are experiencing some health issues, the culprit may be your shampoo or other personal care products.
Ingredients in most shampoo brands can cause asthma symptoms, sinusitis, allergies, and could even lead to cancer.
Since your body can not recognize these ingredients, these chemicals wreak havoc with the immune system, causing viruses, colds, , and even fungal infections.
YOU MUST DETOX FROM THIS LIFE LONG EXPOSURE
According to the Environmental Working Group, the average newborn baby has 287 known toxins in his or her umbilical cord blood. Can you imagine how many chemicals and toxins you have been exposed to in your life?
The most effective and inexpensive way to detox your body is to take spirulina. According to many recent scientific studies,spirulinahelps support healthy detoxification of built up toxins from the body by binding to them. Thus, these toxins are carried out of the body through natural processes of elimination.
Disney continue to rule the world thanks to all of the Marvel and Star Wars and Pixar releases, while the high benchmark of quality horror set by 2017 has continued to power on through to this year too, with some of the very best and very worst releases to be found in that genre.
So without further ado, here are our top five and bottom five movies of 2018 so far…
#5 – BLOCKERS
It was a toss up between this and Game Night, but we had to give this one the edge, simply because the trailer was so horrendously awful, that the really-very-funny final product came as a total shock.
Plus, the female-centric coming-of-age sex comedy gave us a new angle on a done-to-death sub-genre. Plus there was butt-chugging, and that’s never not funny.
#4 – ANNIHILATION
The guy behind Ex Machina returns with a Netflix exclusive about an all-female scientist group sent into the woods to find out why every other scientist group that has gone in there have never come back. One of the most visually beautiful horrors ever made, and with the kind of IQ that is probably exactly the reason why they kept it away from the cinema in the end.
Natalie Portman delivers a brilliant performance, but really this is another feather in the cap for writer/director Alex Garland.
#3 – YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
The best movie nobody went to see. Resident cinematic oddball Joaquin Phoenix plays a .. well, a bit of a total oddball in Lynne Ramsey’s first movie since 2011’s We Need To Talk About Kevin. The writer/director of Movies With Very Long Titles gives us a super-grimy revenge story, with Phoenix playing a kind-of-assassin, who ends up diving headlong into a child sex ring and the powerful men who run it don’t want him snooping around.
This kind of film that requires a shower immediately afterwards, but also one that will have you talking about it non-stop for days.
#2 – A QUIET PLACE
John Krasinski pulled off triple-duty here, playing writer/director/star for this minimalist horror with a face-palm’ingly obvious, why-didn’t-anyone-think-of-this-before premise. Monsters will kill you if you make any noise, so silence is your friend.
The movie forced audiences to let their popcorn go uneaten as the fear of making any noise spilled into reality, as the Krasinski and real-life wife Emily Blunt managed to get you on the family’s side almost immediately, and then follow through with some of the most insanely tense set-pieces you can imagine.
#1 – HEREDITARY
Despite the many shocking scenes, Hereditary is so much more than that. Oscar-worthy performances. Absolutely beautiful imagery. A thoughtful drama on the stresses of family and the damages passed on down from parents to their children. And then there is the horror aspect, which creeps under your skin just enough to be constantly setting off goosebumps, all the while building up a constant sense of dread.
Normal horror movies, there is a build up, and then there is a scare, and then our tension is reset to zero. In Hereditary, there is a build up, and then a scare, but there is no relief. It simply continues to build up the tension until you’re convinced you’re going to have a panic attack. More endurance test than entertainment, and all the better for it.
From people captured with technological devices centuries before being made, or famous celebrities pictured before they were even born – these images are just some of the best examples.
But recent research has cast doubt on their reliability in certain cases and even raised questions as to whether some may even have been hoaxed.
But what do YOU think?
1. Swiss watch found in ancient Chinese tomb
Chinese archaeologists were alleged to have found a small, but perfectly formed metal watch when they opened a previously undisturbed giant coffin in the 400-year-old Si Qing tomb in Shangsi County, China in December 2008.
They were reportedly shocked to find the object with its time frozen at 10:06 and ³Swiss² engraved on the back.
Suggestions were made at the time that the only plausible explanation was a time traveler had gone back from the future with the watch, and somehow, who over’s tomb it was had at some point obtained the futuristic timepiece from the time traveler.
However, it is now widely accepted the watch was a clever and original digitally-edited addition.
Despite, this the picture still makes it onto several sites as “proof of time travel”.
2. Time-traveling trendy
Does someone look out of place here?
At first glance, nothing seems to odd about this old black and white photo which turned up on the Virtual Museum of Canada website.
It was said to be of the early 1940s reopening of South Fork Bridge in Gold Bridge, British Colombia.
On closer inspection, one of the crowd appears to be out of place with modern urban clothing, complete with shades and logo-emblazoned top.
It was also billed as being proof of time travel, as surely no one from that era would have been dressed like that.
But further research concluded his appearance may not have been so unusual for the time.
It was established that the style of sunglasses had been available from the 1920s – so 20 years earlier.The “modern printed T-shirt” was also found to probably be a sweater with a sewn-on emblem, and of the type worn by sports teams of the period.
It was even found to be similar to one used by the Montreal Maroons, an ice hockey team of the day.
Or was he just a trend setter for his time?
3. Woman on mobile phone in 1928
“Can I call back? We are in the middle of filming.”
In October 2010 a YouTube film claiming to prove time travel went viral and led to many TV news and newspaper reports.
George Clarke from Northern Ireland uploaded the clip entitled “Chaplin’s Time Traveler”.
It was made from a new DVD release of the Charlie Chaplin film The Circusbonus, inclusing previously unreleased footage.
This included recordings taken at the film’s Los Angeles premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 1928.
During these scenes, a woman walks by, holding an object to her ear.
Mr Clarke concluded she was speaking into a modern mobile phone, so could possibly be a time traveller caught on camera.
But Nicholas Jackson, associate editor for The Atlantic, later decided it was probably a portable hearing aid, as the technology, including rectangular-shaped ear trumpets, was just being developed back then.The picture was later found to have been hoaxed
Dupont [who owns the factory in the video] had a telephone communications section in the factory.” “They were experimenting with wireless telephones. Gertrude and five others were given the phones to test out for a week
Planetcheck, alleged granddaughter of the 1938 woman on a mobile phone
With the majority of women giving birth to one baby at a time, twins, triplets and any more seem like a miracle to most of us. But, one woman really can claim a miracle when she gave birth to her triplets.
What happened to this lady was something the doctors and delivery staff around her will probably never see again in their lifetime. Thankfully it was captured on film. The images are amazing but not for the faint hearted.
The amniotic sac surrounds us in the womb ensuring a protective layer; it’s a protective yolk-like sac that forms around the baby in the early stages of development and provides nourishment. When it’s time for baby to enter the world it breaks free of the sac, as it’s no longer required.
In this case two of these rare triplets were born still in their amniotic sac or en-caul. It’s not dangerous and the doctor can easily pop it like a balloon but it’s extremely rare.
Dr. Rodrigo da Rosa Filho delivered a boy Joaquim, who was born with an intact sac and was quickly freed but his sweet sister Adeline, who was also en-caul, was sound asleep and the doctor didn’t have the heart to wake her.
Staff waited patiently and eventually she was ready to open her eyes!
Approximately 1 in 80,000 births are en-caul, with the majority of them being earlier-than-expected deliveries. It these cases it’s actually a good thing, because experts believe that being immersed inside the sac actually helps protect premature babes against mom’s strong contractions.
You can even see the nurse tickling the baby girl’s feet and even that doesn’t wake her, she’s very content in her protective sac.
In a translation of the doctor’s Instagram post, he tells everyone:
“Yesterday we birthed the triplets! And Joaquim was born veiled (when the waters/sac does not break). We were delighted. But then came Adeline…she was also born en caul, and left us all admiring her as she slept soundly. We stayed (that way) for seven minutes observing her behavior as if it were still inside her belly. It’s the magic of life.”
It took seven minutes before Adeline was finally ready to make her grand entrance. But she had already entertained staff with her amazing slumber while still in her sac.
This footage is so rare and we’re so lucky that Dr. Rodrigo da Rosa Filho has shared it with the world. Please continue to spread this amazing footage and share with all those who you think would appreciate it.
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Linked to Skin Rashes
Since the early days we have always valued homemade skincare recipes. Whether it be strengthening hair masks to moisturizing makeup removers, going all-natural and non-toxic seems like such a no-brainer! Especially when you hear horror stories about big-name hygiene and cosmetic companies whose products cause dramatic hair loss or skin damage.
On May 2 2018, a brand we are all familiar with – Neutrogena – came under fire after a Facebook user by the name of Jamie Potts made a post that has since gone viral. Amassing over 22,000 reactions, 82,000 comments and 170,000 shares, Potts is warning others about a certain product that allagedly gave her daughter, Alyssa, a severe allergic reaction.
Mother’s Post About Daughter’s Severe Reaction to Neutrogena Makeup Remover Goes Viral
The product in question in Neutrogena’s makeup remover cleansing towelettes. Sometimes, these kinds of stories are one-in-a-million. Before jumping to any conclusions, Potts, like any smart consumer, took to the internet and did some research.
While on Neutrogena’s website, specifically the makeup remover cleansing towelettes page, she soon discovered that her daughter was not the only one facing this problem… Hard to believe for a product that is hailed as “THE #1 CHOICE OF MAKEUP ARTISTS” and Allure’s 2017 “Best of Beauty Award Winner.”
According to Neutrogena, their “gentle, ultra soft makeup remover wipes effectively dissolve 99.3% of your most stubborn makeup, even waterproof mascara – for clean, fresh looking skin in just one simple step. It leaves skin thoroughly clean with no heavy residue, so there’s no need to rinse! Plus, they’re gently enough to use around the sensitive eye area, even if you wear contacts.
Ingredients Found in Neutrogena’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
Although the ingredients may not be complete, the main ones include:
– Cetyl Ethylhexanoate
– Isostearyl Palmitate
– Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate
– Isononyl Isononanoate
– Hexylene Glycol
– PEG-4 Laurate
– PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides
– Sucrose Cocoate
– Sodium Hydroxide
– Benzoic Acid
– Dehydroacetic Acid
– Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
– Fragrance (EU 1279)
Interestingly, many of the 400+ product reviews are from people who have used and praised this product for more than a year and suddenly started having adverse side effects. For many consumers, this begs the question of whether they have altered the formula. Below, we’ve listed quotes pulled from Neutrogena’s product reviews specifically for the makeup remover cleansing towelettes in question.
Frightening Consumer Reviews
“I went to the dermatologist literally yesterday (May 10, 2018) for a serious rash around my eyes and down my cheek. I had no idea about the “viral” post (I’m not on any social media). My dermatologist quickly pinpointed the Neutrogena makeup removing cleansing towelettes. I bought the “fragrance free” product only to have my dermatologist show me that they are, in fact, not fragrance free. I’m now on day two of a prescription to try to clear up my rash. Very disappointing.”
“I used these towelettes along with the bottled makeup remover. On some days my eyes will get all puffy and red and itch like crazy, I couldn’t figure out why as I had used both products before. I finally started to just use the towelettes and on the first day, BAM! my eyes were swollen and itchy. I’ve stopped using and have had no problems.”
“I’ve used them before and never had an issue, but this time my skin started drying out and flaking off within a few days… I switched face washes, laundry detergents, and scheduled a doctor’s visit. I’ve even started putting pure coconut oil on my face to ease the dryness and burning! …The fact that Neutrogena is claiming they haven’t changed their ingredients for this product despite the enormous amount of recent cases similar to mine is very suspicious. 10/10 would NOT recommend.”
“I’ve used this product for years and until recently started having skin reactions, my skin looked like it was severely breaking out and irritated. Neck was itchy. I stopped using them, skins going back to normal.”
“I’ve been using this product for years to remove my makeup and it has started giving me a bad rash and swollen eyelids with hives!!!! It almost feels like a chemical burn.”
So, What Should You to Do Avoid Severe Reactions?
Just based on those concerned and heartfelt reviews, it seems that there might be something new in the formula.
While we always suggest opting for healthier alternatives, if you do use this product, you may want to hold off for a while until more light is shed on the topic.
Neutrogena has not provided any real responses to the spike in recent reactions, but they encourage consumers to share their experiences. While Snopes has not received an answer to the claims, a representative sent this to Allurer:
“We are deeply concerned about recent Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes complaints and ask that if consumers experience an adverse reaction, please call us at 1-800-582-4048 or send us a DM @Neutrogena immediately as we gather more details and get answers. Our brand promise — we will respond to every complaint as soon as we have more information to share.”
In the meantime, you can protect and nourish your skin in a few other ways!
1. Stop using chemical-filled skincare products
2. Research hygiene products before making a purchase, even if they’re award-winning
3. Start using natural makeup removers with safe ingredients from your kitchen
4. Visit a dermatologist for a “patch test” to determine chemical(s) that may be triggering allergic reactions.
Butter Nutrition 101: Is Butter Bad for You or Is Butter Good for You?
Everything is better with butter! How many times have you heard that before? People’s perceptions of butter haven’t always been positive, though. Falling under the “saturated fats” umbrella, butter has gotten a lot of flak for apparently skyrocketing cholesterol levels, clogging arteries, and increasing risk for heart disease.
Between government recommendations and cardiologists’ advice and mainstream media influence and personal opinions, the overall stance on butter seems split. However, some doctors and scientists believe that you shouldn’t be demonizing saturated fats. New research even says we got cholesterol all wrong and debunks the myths of saturated fat.
If saturated fat is not as bad for our health as we’ve been led to believe, then where does that leave beloved butter on the good-or-bad spectrum? Based on the evidence, the pros of butter seem to be outweighing the cons.
Is Butter Bad for You or Is Butter Good for You?
What is butter? The rich and flavorful dairy product used for spreading, cooking, or baking is milk fat that has been churned and separated from the milk’s other components such as protein and carbs. Despite the negative light that governments and corporations have shone on butter over the last few decades, its 10,000-year history is not unlike its flavor – rich.
“Thirsty from a long, hot journey, the weary herdsman reached for the sheepskin bag of milk knotted to the back of his pack animal,” wrote Nicole Jankowsky covering an NPR story about the history of butter. “But as he tilted his head to pour the warm liquid into his mouth, he was astonished to find that the sheep’s milk had curdled. The rough terrain and constant joggling of the milk had transformed it into butter — and bewilderingly, it tasted heavenly.”
On top of tasting divine, the Weston A. Price Foundation has come into the public eye for its stance of why butter is better. The foundation believes that butter actually has, is, and continues to protect those who consume it against many illnesses and diseases. Published on January 1, 2000, their in-depth and evidence-based defense of butter proves that they saw something the average consumer could not. In it, they claim that butter can benefit:
– Heart disease
– The immune system
– The thyroid gland
– Gastrointestinal health
– Weight gain
– Children’s growth and development
Healthy Butter Nutrition Facts: Spread the Word
Although that article was written almost two decades ago and butter has served a social, cultural, economic, and traditional purpose in various cultures, why someone would question whether butter is still an essential staple of the Western diet is understandable. We would like to argue that it is…
Not only is butter rich in nutrients and full of healthy fats, but research has also proven that it can help fight against heart disease and obesity. If you’re still on the fence, then keep on reading to find out the answer to this question: Is butter good for you?
1) Butter Is Rich in Vitamins
– Butter’s highest vitamin content is vitamin A. Studies have shown that vitamin A can help preserve your ability to see at night (i.e., night blindness) and help protect your vision, especially as you age. This powerful vitamin also helps boost your immune system which helps fight against infections.
– Vitamin D, which is also found in butter, has been shown to boost weight loss due to its appetite-suppressing effect and lower overweight people’s risk of developing heart disease. Researchers have also found that vitamin D can help improve symptoms of depression. (It starting to seem like everything really isbetter with butter.)
– Another powerhouse in butter is vitamin B12, a nutrient that studies have shown to slow down mental decline in early-stage dementia patients as well as improve bone health and preventing osteoporosis. More importantly, this nutrient may even help improve heart health thanks to its ability to decrease homocysteine levels (i.e., an amino acid in the bloodstream) which can rise when you have a vitamin B12 deficiency. (We should also note that butter should not be your only source of B12. Relying on butter alone will not give you sufficient amounts of this important vitamin.)
– Interestingly, butter can be rich in vitamin K, a nutrient that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in modern Western diets. It’s even better if you consume butter that comes from grass-fed cows because it has an even higher vitamin K content. Plus, this nutrient can help fight against coronary heart disease, prostate cancer, and an increased risk of bone fractures.
2) Butter Contains Short-Chain Fats Ruminant Trans Fats
“Milk fat contains approximately 400 difference fatty acid, which make it the most complex of all natural fats” said study author Helena Lindmark Månsson in a 2008 study published in Food & Nutrition Research. “Almost 70% of the [milk] fat… is saturated of which around 11% comprises short-chain fatty acids, almost half of which is butyric acid.”
One form of butyric acid known as “butyrate,” which is found in butter, can help reduce digestive inflammation – even in individuals who have Crohn’s disease.
Also known as “dairy trans fats,” ruminant trans fats are actually healthy, at least compared to processed food trans fats. One of the more popular ruminant trans fats is CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid.
Scientists have conducted laboratory studies showing that CLA may help protect animal and human cells against melanoma, colorectal, breast, and lung cancer. Another study suggests that CLA may even be a powerful healthy fat for fat loss.
Major Health Benefits of Butter
Filled with all of those vitamins and healthy fats, it’s challenging to see why some people want to shut butter down.
Of course, it’s always important to consume foods like this one in moderation. But to steer entire populations away from a historically healthy food seems a little over the top. Especially seeing as it’s been proven to help fight against two of North America’s greatest public health crises.
Butter and Heart Disease
It is true, butter contains significant levels of saturated fat. However, contrary to many cholesterol-rising and heart-disease-inducing claims, researchers are finding more health positives than negatives.
A meta-analysis study of 60 controlled trials published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that saturated fats actually increased participants’ levels of HDL, otherwise known as good cholesterol, which lowers the risk of heart disease.
Another study published in the same journal found that saturated fats increased LDL or “bad” cholesterol. However, to the researchers’ surprise, the saturated fats continued to convert those LDL particles into large ones, which scientists have yet to prove are associated with heart disease.
Butter and Obesity
Another one of the anti-butter narratives is that it’s not good for your health due to its high calorie count and fat content. On the contrary, a 2012 review published in the European Journal of Nutrition might make you question that belief. Obviously, if someone is having a main order of butter with a side of toast instead of a main order of toast with a side of butter, they’re going to run into problems.
However, researchers found that when individuals ate normal amounts of butter in combination with a healthy diet, believe it or not, “high-fat dairy products (like butter) were linked to a reduced risk of obesity.”
New Butter Beliefs?
Whether you are pro-butter, anti-butter or still on the fence, we hope you have found this resource helpful.
Consuming excessive amounts of butter – no matter how deliciously rich it is – is not a wise lifestyle choice. But, as you have seen, adding a healthy amount of butter to a balanced diet can have immense benefits for your body and mind. What would be a healthy amount?
“The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of saturated fat you eat to less than 7% of your total daily calories,” wrote Dina Spector for Business Insider. “So, if you eat around 2,000 calories a day, that’s 16 grams of saturated fat. There are around 7 grams of saturated fat in one tablespoon of butter.”
When it comes to the best type of butter to eat, organic and grass-fed is best. However, as it can sometimes be significantly more costly, consuming organic butter is just fine. Oh, and for anyone who has lactose or dairy protein sensitivities, ghee is a great healthy alternative.
Is everything better with butter? Who knows… Only you can decide that for yourself. We humans are stubborn after all. After seeing all of those health benefits listed along with the scientific studies to back them up, there is one thing we know for sure: butter is not your enemy.
Dealing with a drug addict is hard. It’s a hundred times harder when it’s a loved one. Read this 4-step guide for helping an addicted relative or friend.
Dealing with drug addiction is a very difficult thing to do. Research has shown that 1 in 10 Americans have had a drug abuse problem, and illicit drug use is on the rise. Something needs to change.
If your loved one is in the grip of addiction, you’ll be wondering what you can do to help them. Dealing with a drug addict isn’t easy, and it can leave you feeling exhausted.
But with your support and help, you can help them on their way to recovery. There are lots of things you can do to support them and help them break free from addiction.
Dealing with a Drug Addict
Those who suffer from addiction may also suffer from mental health issues too. They may also have physical pain, both of these may be short-term or could be long-lasting.
There are a lot of different drugs people can get addicted to. Everything from heroin to alcohol can wreck people’s lives. We’re aware of the opioid and benzodiazepine crisis America is facing right now. This addiction is damaging and although they’re prescribed, it doesn’t mean they’re safe.
No matter what they may be addicted to, you can do something to help. Here are 4 ways you can help.
1. Stage an Intervention
The first step is to let them know they have a problem and need help. They may be in denial about their addiction and need someone to open their eyes to it.
It doesn’t have to be like the interventions you see on TV where they gather everyone the addict knows. It can be one on one but you need to let them know they have a problem.
Seeing their family and friends so concerned may be the push they need to seek help.
2. Help Them Trust You
Addiction is a demon to battle with and can make people difficult to deal with. They may not want to admit that they’re addicted. They may find it embarrassing to discuss their problem. They may fear the repercussions of going public with their addiction.
But if you can help them trust you, they might open up more. Don’t judge them or put them down. Don’t nag or criticize them. Don’t engage in addictive behaviors yourself either. Don’t try to control them or they’ll pull away from you.
If they have someone to trust, it will help them through the battle.
3. Communicate Your Feelings
An addict won’t seek help unless they actually want it, and you can’t force them to seek it. But, you can communicate your feelings with them and encourage them to get better.
Remind them about how much you and others love them. Let them know that they have a problem and that you’re there to help them through the recovery process.
Don’t let them feel threatened by this. Be gentle and tell them that their addiction is hurting them and others around them. Keeping an open line of communication can help them open up and get them to seek help.
4. Seek Treatment
If your loved one does decide to get help, there are lots of treatment options you can choose.
There’s therapy, self-help, medication, rehabilitation and more. There are lots of ways to go depending on how severe the addiction is and you can help them through it. They may want to involve you with their recovery or they may not.
You need to respect their decision either way and let them know that you’re there for them. Respect their privacy and don’t put any big expectations on them. Be supporting and optimistic and in time, they could beat their addiction for good.
Help Them Beat Addiction for Good
Dealing with a drug addict isn’t easy, but you can help them get better. These four steps are great ways to show you love and care for them and want them to get better. With your support, you can help them break free from their addiction.
If you google “aspartame,” the results will take you literally days to wade through-believe me, I know. I’ve been sifting through it for days. There’s more than enough information, research, and speculation out there on the subject to fill volumes, and this is just a small article.
So rather than simply rehash everything that has been written about aspartame (I’ve included some links at the end of this article, and within it, for those who want more information), I wanted to take a different approach. I wanted to focus on a small part of the debate, and then follow it through to wherever it took me.
I wanted to look at the folks who keep assuring us that it’s safe: the experts. Experts in the government, experts in the medical field, the people who keep patting us on the head and telling us not to worry, that if aspartame was dangerous, they’d tell us.
The problem was, I’ve always been something of a skeptic. The more someone pats me on the head, the more I start looking for something up his sleeve.
But, as skeptical as I am, what I found startled me: a concerted effort, on the part of those at the highest levels of our government and those at the highest levels of the medical community, to mislead us about the safety of aspartame.
Let me be clear: We have been deceived about the safety of a dangerous product, and all in the name of corporate profits.
Before you read on, check out this video:
Where did aspartame come from? It was first developed by the pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle. But Searle had difficulty getting their product approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency responsible for making sure our food and drugs are safe: Apparently, the monkeys and mice the substance was tested on developed brain lesions, tumors, and seizures, and even died from it. The company’s applications for approval were rejected for 16 years, but they persisted in offering their “proof” that aspartame was safe until the FDA finally asked the Department of Justice to prosecute G.D. Searle for submitting fraudulent test data in their efforts to get the substance approved. (An FDA senior toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross, once told Congress, “Beyond a shadow of a doubt aspartame triggers brain tumors.”)
But then G.D. Searle, producer of aspartame, made Donald Rumsfeld its CEO-yes, that Donald Rumsfeld. When Ronald Reagan took office and brought Rumsfeld with him as part of his transition team, a new FDA commissioner was appointed immediately. In one of his first acts as head of the federal agency, the new FDA commissioner approved aspartame, the artificial sweetener made by the company that Donald Rumsfeld was now the head of, over the objections of the FDA scientific board.
And here’s a strange bit of trivia: When it looked like aspartame would be approved later on for use in carbonated beverages, the National Soft Drink Association itself objected, saying it wouldn’t be safe because aspartame is very unstable in liquid form and breaks down into, among other things, formaldehyde. Monsanto bought G.D. Searle and Co. in 1985, and the NutraSweet Company operated as part of Monsanto until 2000, when Monsanto sold it to J.W.
Childs Equity Partners, where it remains today.
And in all this time, the FDA has compiled a list of 92 symptoms associated with aspartame consumption, including nausea, dizziness, blindness, deafness, weight gain, and even death. And aspartame is still here, and it’s showing up in more and more products.
In fact, the Aspartame Resource Center, at www.aboutaspartame.com, notes that it is found in more than 6,000 products worldwide. And they should know: the Aspartame Resource Center is actually a public relations and “information” arm of Ajinomoto, one of the world’s largest producers of aspartame, the other being the NutraSweet Company. (Ajinomoto is also known for its other additive, monosodium glutamate, or MSG.) The ARC site is full of cheerful information on the safety of aspartame, and they even have a section labeled “Meet the doctors,” which lists their “medical advisory board.”
In that section, the ARC says, “The Aspartame Information Center Expert Medical Advisory Board was created to help guide the Center’s communications to health professionals and the public about aspartame benefits, safety and role in a healthy diet. The board members provide counsel on current medical and nutrition science, as well as insight on tools that help address the needs of health professionals in their work. Their backgrounds span critical areas of medicine and science, and each has unique experience in health and nutrition.”
But, wait. Are they confused about who they are? What is this “Aspartame Information Center” they mention? I looked it up: www.aspartame.org. They, too, have a laundry list of “experts” they use to back up their claims that aspartame is safe, including our very own FDA and something called the Calorie Control Council. In fact, the Calorie Control Council owns the Aspartame Information Center site and is listed on the bottom of every page as the copyright holder.
But back to the ARC. The Aspartame Resource Center offers all sorts of “fact” sheets you can download, including one called “Straight Answers About Aspartame.” It was prepared by the American Dietetic Association . . . and the Calorie Control Council. At the bottom, the fact sheet notes that it has been sponsored by aspartame.org, that is, the Aspartame Information Center, a.k.a. the Aspartame Resource Center, a.k.a. Ajinomoto, one of the world’s biggest producers of aspartame.
Ajinomoto, in cahoots with the American Dietetic Association? Let’s see who’s behind the Calorie Calorie Control Council. Here’s what their own site, at www.caloriecontrol.org, says: “The Calorie Control Council, established in 1966 . . . represents 60 manufacturers and suppliers of low-calorie, low-fat and light foods and beverages, including the manufacturers and suppliers of more than a dozen different dietary sweeteners . . .”
Go further, and you’ll see another site connected to the Calorie Contol Council, called Calories Count, at www.caloriescount.com, which lists as its sponsors . . . wait for it . . . Ajinomoto, NutraSweet, Splenda, and Sweet ‘N Low. You can take a look at their sponsorship page here: http://www.caloriescount.com/support.html.
Because it’s hard to keep the players straight in the aspartame follies, let’s recap. The folks at the FDA thought aspartame was dangerous, so they wouldn’t approve it. They changed their minds when the president at that time and his buddy, Donald Rumsfeld, who just happened to be the head of the company that made aspartame, appointed a new head of the FDA. Miraculously, aspartame was approved not long afterward, after sixteen years of being rejected. And when we look for information on aspartame, to allay our concerns, we find Web sites full of comforting information showing us how safe the stuff is, written by reliable organizations like the American Dietetic Association, and sponsored by . . . aspartame.
Got that? Okay, but there’s more. Because I was trying not to get lost in the organizational rabbit hole, I backed out again to the Aspartame Resource Center and its expert medical advisors. After all, these were the medical professionals, the people who had the scientific knowledge, not to mention the connections with both the governmental agencies that protect our health and the largest medical and health organizations. Surely, they were to be trusted.
Skeptical, I started with the first name on the list, and I fell into yet another rabbit hole that seems, even now, to have no end. In fact, I never got past that first name.
The first name on the list? C. Wayne Callaway, M.D.
I went first to his own Web site. Once you get past the introductory quote from Hippocrates, you can find all sorts of interesting information there. In fact, he has very helpfully posted his entire curriculum vitae for all and sundry to see.
C. Wayne Callaway, M.D., received his medical training at Northwestern University, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and Harvard University. Very impressive. He’s board certified in Internal Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, and Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and has held academic appointments at Harvard Medical School, Mayo Medical School, and George Washington University.
He also works with the Mayo Clinic, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the USDA; he was an advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General and helped develop dietary guidelines for the USDA. He served as chair of the Public Information Committee of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition and the American Society for Nutrition Sciences, has been a member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Nutrition, has been a committee member at the American Heart Association, has been an advisor to the American Medical Association.
And he’s served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, among other medical journals. Whew-busy man. Want more? His publications have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Annals of Internal Medicine, the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, and the International Journal of Obesity, among others.
The separate biography on his site tells us that Dr. Callaway “has offered his expert views on nutrition on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, ESPN, and numerous affiliates, and has appeared on the McNeill-Lehrer Newshour, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Phil Donahue, Larry King Live, and other nationally syndicated news and talk programs.” His opinions on nutrition and health are “frequently published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and Wall Street Journal, as well as in numerous magazines (Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Business Week, Vogue, Elle, Glamour, People, Self, Health, Prevention, and others).” You know, the mainstream media.
Callaway’s bio says, “Dr. Callaway is a member of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition.” And remember, we also saw that he served as chair of the Public Information Committee of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition.
But looking for the American Society for Clinical Nutrition takes you directly to the American Society for Nutrition, www.nutrition.org. They publish the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “the highest ranked peer-reviewed journal in nutrition and dietetics,” and the Journal of Nutrition, “which provides the latest research on a broad spectrum of topics of vital interest to researchers, students, policymakers and all individuals with interests in nutrition.”
Sounds impressive, until you start poking at it, as I did. If you keep going deeper down that particular rabbit hole, you find that the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, A.K.A. the American Society for Nutrition, is supported by what they call “sustaining members,” which, they say, “[provide] corporate financial support for the society’s activities in education/training, scientific programs and professional outreach.” The site says that sustaining members have “the ability to sponsor educational opportunities, grants and other items.” Oddly, they don’t specify what those “other items” might be, but I’d be willing to bet that research is one of them.
Would you like to know who some of the sustaining members are? Get ready: The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Cadbury Schweppes. Campbell Soup Company. ConAgra Foods. Dannon. Eli Lilly. General Mills.
Gerber. GlaxoSmithKline. Kellog. Kraft. Mars. McCormick. Monsanto (of course!). The National Dairy Council.
Nestle. PepsiCo. POM Wonderful (maker of those nifty pomegranate juices). Procter & Gamble. The Sugar Association. Unilever. Wrigley. Wyeth.
To recap, because the players are getting a bit confusing now, Dr. C. Wayne Callaway is a recognized expert in nutrition, such an expert, in fact, that he testifies before Congress and appears on national television to expound on his views on food and nutrition. His views are published nationally, and frequently. He is, in short, a national expert, and his views are taken very, very seriously, and published in well respected medical journals. And he pats us on the back and tells us not to worry, aspartame is safe.
And he works with and writes for the folks who are “supported,” a.k.a. “paid by,” the food industry that uses aspartame. Indeed, he is a “medical expert” on the safety of aspartame, one hired by the aspartame industry to go before the mainstream media and tell us how safe aspartame is.
Dr. Callaway’s resume lists these as government agencies that he consults for: the Department of Health & Human Services; the National Insitutes of Health, or NIH; the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences; the U.S. Congress; the USDA, and, oddly, the U.S. Postal Service, to catch us, perhaps, if we try to send stevia through the mail.
Oh, and one more agency he consults for: the FDA. His Web site also helpfully lists the industry folks he consults for, a.k.a. “is paid by.” They include the American Institute of Wine and Food; Mars; Mead Johnson Nutritional Group; the Milk Industry Foundation; the Monsanto Corporation; Nabisco, Inc.; the National Dairy Council; the Nestle Foundation for Nutrition and Health; Ocean Spray; Parke-Davis; Proctor & Gamble; Quaker Oats; the United Dairy Industry.
Oh, and one more: NutraSweet.
To recap once again, a nationally recognized expert on nutrition who says, in his extraordinarily frequent public appearances, that aspartame is safe, is paid by Ajinomoto and NutraSweet, the two largest producers of aspartame, to say that aspartame is safe. (And, this may be helpful for some of you, he’s also spoken about the safety of Olestra. Just, you know, fyi.) I said earlier that we were being misled in the name of corporate profits. Where do the profits come in? It is projected that the U.S. market for artificial sweeteners, with aspartame leading the charge, will be about $1.1 billion by 2010. That’s in this country, only; worldwide, it’s projected to be over $3 billion. That’s a lot of money for an easily concoted chemical.
So how do you know if a product contains aspartame? The Aspartame Resource Center says simply looking at the ingredient list will tell you if the product contains aspartame, and indeed, the FDA requires that aspartame be listed on the label. Right, that ARC, that FDA. But just in case a company hasn’t listed it, if the label mentions “phenylalanine” at all, which is a component of aspartame, then the product contains aspartame.
But you’ll need to be vigilant, especially given the tiny print on most ingredient labels. And given the propensity of aspartame to turn up where you least expect it, such as in the vitamins you give to your child, or your liquid antibiotics, or your Metamucil.
The bottom line is, your vigilance is the only thing standing between you and your unwilling ingestion of a dangerous product. Our government and our medical experts are in the very deep pockets of the industry that makes and sells that dangerous product, and no help is going to come from them. None.
At the top of the home page for the Aspartame Information Center-which, don’t forget, is actually Ajinomoto, one of the two biggest producers of aspartame-we see this quote: “Few compounds have withstood such detailed testing and repeated, close scrutiny, and the process through which aspartame has gone should provide the public with additional confidence of its safety.”
It’s attributed to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Pat, pat, pat.
Looking for additional information? Check out this video:
Nowadays, we often hear about coconut oil, coconut water, coconut shreds, coconut butter, coconut cream, coconut milk and coconut flour. This list seems endless!
Recently, there is no doubt that the popularity of coconut oil has skyrocketed, and there is a great reason for that.
Actually, there are at least 127 good reasons for it! Coconut (C. Nucifera) is a part of the Arecaceae (Palmae) family and belongs to the subfamily Cocoideae.
Its flesh is rich in healthy acids, and its composition of fat may vary depending on its processing process and type.
Namely, medium-chain saturated fatty acids are around 90% of its content, combined with a small portion of polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. The human body easily digests, absorbs and uses medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFA’s), as they freely cross the blood-brain barrier in the unbound form, meaning that they may be used to promote neurological health and provide energy.
Virgin (unrefined) coconut oil is extremely useful, and at the same time, it is tasty, cheap, readily available, and entirely natural.
Moreover, it has powerful health-promoting properties, such as:
– Anti-inflammatory properties
Antioxidant properties (prevents the formation of free radicals and the damage they cause)
– Anti-microbial/ Infection-fighting properties ( it effectively kills viruses, yeast, bacteria, protozoa and parasites)
– It enhances the absorption of nutrients (it is easily digestible; and makes fat-based vitamins, like vitamin K, E, D, A, more available to the body)
– It is nontoxic to both, animals and humans,
– Powerful anti-carcinogenic properties (inhibits the spread of cancer cells and boosts the immune system)
Therefore, this oil is absolutely remarkable for use in numerous cases.
Internal Health Problems If taken internally, coconut oil prevents, alleviates and helps numerous health issues, as follows:
1.Chronic and adrenal Fatigue
2.Diabetes – coconut oil prevents food cravings
3. Stabilizes blood sugar levels
4.Cystic Fibrosis and Bronchial Infections
5.Asthma – in both, adults, and children
6.Acid Reflux/ Indigestion – In this case, consume coconut oil after meals
7.Mild Depression and Cognitive Disease –In this case, take coconut oil in combination with fish oil, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and other treatment methods
8.Bowel function –gut infections, constipation, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
9.Cancer – Studies have demonstrated that coconut oil prevents breast and colon cancer
12.Allergies – seasonal hay fever
13.Cholesterol – improves the ratio of HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) to LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) in individuals with high cholesterol levels
14.Gas – The imbalance of bacteria in the gut often leads to foul gas. This oil has mild anti-microbial properties and thus re-establishes healthy gut flora
15.Colds and Flues – Coconut oil has potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and is extremely useful in case of colds and flu
16.Flaky, dry skin- Insufficient amounts of oil lead to dandruff and dry skin
17. Poor Circulation – If you constantly feel cold or in the case fo edema, particularly in the extremities, apply this oil to the skin in a circular motion towards the heart.
18.Gallbladder Disease – Dietary oils raise the bile flow, which is beneficial in the case of gallbladder problems
19.Kidney Disease and Stones – it is really helpful as it dissolves small stones in the kidneys
20.H. pylori – In this case, take coconut oil orally.
You should all know that you need to stretch, whether you are a chronic sitter, a weekend warrior, or a daily exerciser. Stretching helps your blood reach your muscles and your joints move through their full range of motion, but it also improves your posture and athletic performance and reduces the risk of injuries and pain.
How do you know which muscles you are actually stretching or if you are performing each stretch the right way while you do yoga or the flexibility routine?
Well, here is a little knowledge on the topic, and having this in your back pocket, you can opt for the best stretches that best fit your goals. In case you start feeling pain, and not the regular, good pain, but the stretchy one when you know that something does not feel right, you should pinpoint the muscle that gives you the trouble and change the technique you have been using in order to avoid getting injured.
These stretches should be felt in the belly of your muscle. However, you should not feel pressure or strain in your joints, and if you do, it means that you are pushing too far. During the stretching, concentrate on your breathing and make sure these movements are as natural as possible.
Stop thinking about the time you are holding the stretch, but instead, start concentrating on feeling your muscles relaxing and returning to their natural, resting length. This may take about five to thirty seconds. If a stretch does not feel like it is doing something for your body muscles, change it and try another one.
The beautiful illustrations we present you are made by Vicky Timon, a yoga expert and author of “Encyclopedia of Pilates Exercises”, and James Kilgallon, CSCS, creator of Mazio’s Body Maintenance Program, contributed by giving the expert commentary.
1. Camel Pose
Muscles emphasized: Rectus Abdominus and External Obliques. This stretch is though most appropriate for people who already have a good flexibility. Sitting on your heels, put your hands behind you, pushing your hips up and forward. Do not put too much pressure on your lumbar spine. Also, in case you have problems with your neck, do not drop your head back.
2. Wide Forward Fold
Muscles emphasized: adductors. This exercise is great for stretching the adductors and the hamstrings, and you just need to open the hips. Start with your knees bent, holding your spine straight. As you start feeling your muscles starting to release, straighten your legs, round out your back and reach for your feet. Pull easily on the bottom of the balls of your feet in order to release the calf muscles. If you are beginner, you might not be able to reach your feet, so then you will need to use a belt or a towel. This stretch can also be performed while you lye on your back and push your legs up the wall.
3. Frog Pose
Muscles emphasized: adductors. This stretch for your groins can put pressure on your knees as well, so it is recommended that you perform it on a soft surface. Rest your hands and knees, and then bring your knees wider until you feel your groin muscles well stretched. You will feel a bit differing stretches as you actively push your hips back and forward.
4. Wide Side Lunge Pose
Muscles emphasized: adductors. Begin by putting your both feet forward in a wide stance, holding your legs as straight as possible. With your hands, walk to your right foot and then bend your right knee and rotate your left toes up to the ceiling, sitting in your right hip. Make sure your right foot maintains flat on the ground.
5. Butterfly Stretch
Muscles emphasized: adductors. Sitting, bring the soles of your feet together and sit tall through your sit bones. Develop this stretch by putting pressure on your knees, using your hands. If you want to stretch your groin muscles better, hold your feet closer to your body. Now, make sure your feet are far from your hips and slowly round your upper body to loose your back muscles.
6. Forearm Extensor Stretch
Muscles emphasized: Forearm extensor. Pack your shoulders and your back down and rotate the shoulder towards outside in order to get into the optimal position to stretch the forearm muscle. After you have managed to bring your body into this position, put pressure on your other hand to start the stretch. You can develop this stretch by touching the tips of your fingers together in the shape of a tea cup.