Tuesday, March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day!
Click on the Comments (or “No Comments”, as the case may be) section at the bottom of the page to leave your answers. First with all 10 right wins a fabulous NEW, ENVIRONMENTAL CAR:
Tuesday Cosmetic Uh-Oh:
This was widely reported (US News and World Report, WebMD, etc.) but I missed it at the time. Let’s see if I can summarize this study. Sh*t. I hate when this happens:
Last August (2008), Rutgers University researchers were developing the protocol for a study to see if caffeine could be preventative for skin cancer. They were using mice whose skin had been irradiated to mimic the cumulative effects of sun damage.
Before they tested the caffeine-infused creams, they felt it prudent to test the cream bases first, without caffeine, to make sure they were not reactive themselves. Uh-oh. All 4 moisturizers they tried stimulated the growth of squamous cell carcinomas. This was…… umm…. rather unexpected. To be clear here, the creams did not CAUSE the cancer (that came from radiation exposure), but they stimulated FASTER and MORE PROLIFIC tumor growth.
- Dermabase (prescription emollient) increased the total number of tumors by 69%.
- Dermovan (prescription emollient) increased the total number of tumors by 95%.
- Eucerin (OTC emollient) increased the total number of tumors by 24%.
- Vanicream (OTC emollient) increased the total number of tumors by 58%.
The researchers suspected two ingredients: sodium lauryl sulfate and mineral oil. They worked with Johnson & Johnson to make a custom-blended cream without those ingredients and that cream, when tested, did NOT promote tumor growth. Here is a section of the article on Medscape:
“The multimillion-dollar question is, what about humans?” (researcher) Conney asks. “The answer is, we don’t know. Our study raises a red flag and points out the need for epidemiologists to take a look at people who use moisturizing creams. And the companies that market these products should take a look at animal models and see if their products promote tumors.”
Dermatologist Keyvan Nouri, MD, director of dermatologic surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and author of the best-selling book Skin Cancer, agrees that companies that make moisturizers should test their products.
“This study could definitely be a warning to alert these companies to consider testing moisturizing creams with some sort of assay,” Nouri tells WebMD. “These creams need to be tested first before they come to market.”
Moisturizers are classified as cosmetics by the FDA, which does not require that they undergo the same safety and efficacy tests required for drugs.”
As for us out in consumerland, trying to buy clean products, here’s where it gets even more troubling… one of the moisturizers used, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, rates a 2 on Cosmeticsdatabase.com. It contains mineral oil, which may be getting a more severe rating if more research shows similar results.
Well, let’s look at it this way…. we are slowly gaining ground in knowing what we DON’T know, and that will hopefully lead to some definition of what we DO know.
Tuesday Nutrition Tip:
Do we all need to take supplemental omega-3s? It’s likely that we all should at this point. Why? In the last 150 years our intake of dietary fats have changed DRAMATICALLY. It has to do with ratios. We used to consume much more omega-3’s than we do today. For every 3 or 4 parts of omega 6 fats (vegetable oils) we ate, we would eat at least 1 part of omega 3’s (fish, flax, nuts, grass-fed [not grain-fed] beef), giving us a 4:1 – some argue even 1:1 – ratio. Today that ratio has skyrocketed… 20:1, 30:1 or higher is not uncommon.
According to Dr. Joseph Hibbeln of the NIH, a full EIGHTY PER CENT (80%!!) of fats consumed in the US come from soy and other vegetable oils, and he states that this can promote inflammation and disease. Brain chemistry is dependent on the DHA part of omega-3’s, and depression and heart disease are on the front lines of this imbalance as well. Here’s a list of symptoms that may be related to poor omega 3 intake:
- Soft, cracked, brittle nails
- Dry, itchy, scaling or flaking skin
- Hard or excessive ear wax
- Small bumps on back of arms or on trunk
- Aching or stiff joints
- Thirsty much of the time
- Constipated (less than TWO(!!) bowel movements a day)
- Light colored, hard or foul-smelling stool
- Depression, ADD/ADHD, and/or memory loss
So… to simplify…
REDUCE packaged foods (which most often use inexpensive vegetable oils, often hydrogenated),
USE flaxseed or walnut oil (try it instead of olive oil) for salad dressings whenever possible (DO NOT HEAT the omega-3 oils, as heating the oil can reduce or remove the benefits….use your olive oil for cooking). But really concentrate on the fish sources, as they provide the highest amounts of the two most beneficial omega 3’s – DHA and EPA.
If you don’t eat a lot of fish, consider supplementing. How much? There’s lots of opinions out there, and no definitive answers. But Dr. William Connor of Oregon Health Sciences University conducted a study on fish oil supplements and found that people could reap the benefits of omega-3 oils from an intake of 2 grams a day. (That is higher than many recommendations out there, but it’s what I take.) Dietary sources include :
Salmon, flax seeds and walnuts are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Very good sources of these healthy fats include scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, cloves and mustard seeds. Good sources of these fats include halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, soybeans, tofu, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts.
An excellent and extensive site on what can be rectified by proper omega 3 intake is here.
Cautions on omega 3s are listed as the following on the National Institutes of Health website:
Before taking omega-3-acid ethyl esters,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to omega-3-acid ethyl esters; fish, including shellfish (clams, scallops, shrimp, lobster, crayfish, crab, oyster, mussels, others); any other medications; or any of the ingredients in omega-3-acid ethyl ester capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin; aspirin or aspirin-containing products; beta-blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal); clopidogrel (Plavix); diuretics (‘water pills’); estrogen-containing contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, and injections); estrogen replacement therapy. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you drink more than two glasses of alcohol each day, or if you have or have ever had diabetesor liver, thyroid, or pancreatic disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking omega-3-acid ethyl esters, call your doctor.
- ask your doctor about the use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking omega-3-acid ethyl esters.
Props to Pat M. for this link… You’re as old as your lifestyle habits allow you to be….We have looked at many of these same issues in another virtual age calculator program, but it’s always fun to do again… not sure I agree with their calculations (they have me ready to do a keg stand at the next frat party I attend, as you can see in the screenshot of my results below), but the questions are all good reminders that what we sow today, we reap tomorrow… AND, I can warn my kids that I’m not going anywhere anytime soon 🙂
Every Tuesday Matters:
Here is the next installment on how to do simple things that make a difference from the “Every Monday Matters” book and website:
PARTY WITH A PURPOSE
- Every week there are:
- 5,812,037 birthdays
- 42,884 weddings
- 79,623 births
- Birthdays are the #1 reason people celebrate
- There are millions of other gift-giving/receiving occasions every year, such as bat and bar mitzvahs, graduations, funerals, retirements, and debutante balls.
- Every year, nearly 140 million people purchase and/or receive a gift card with an average value of $59.
- $747 is the average amount spent annually on holiday gifts.
SO…. INSTEAD…..TAKE ACTION TODAY
- SELECT a charity, cause, or purpose you wish to support. Or, support the Every Monday Matters Foundation.
- DECIDE which holiday or occasion for which you would like your friends and family to make a donation instead of giving you a gift.
- SEND a free email invitation.
- PROVIDE your friends and family with the proper charity information to make their giving easier— website, phone number, or address.
- If there is not a specific reason for having a party, make one up. Simply have guests bring a food dish or beverage along with money for your charity of choice or for someone in need.
IF EVERYONE gives up their birthday gifts this year, $3 billion dollars or more can be donated to worthy causes or needy people. Friends and family donating money in your name can be much more rewarding than getting material gifts. Giving is a lot more gratifying than receiving, no matter the occasion.
Tuesday Funny Stuff:
My #1 favorite, and perhaps the best clip of all time…. a real classic
TRIUMPH AT STAR WARS