Straight from the Guru's mouth!
Per Dr. Weil and multiple scientists/environmental experts (including those at the EPA),
"Even those products labeled "green" emit hazardous compounds not listed on the labels, report researchers from the University of Washington. They detected 133 chemicals in 25 popular products they analyzed, including laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, soaps, hand sanitizers, lotions, deodorants, shampoos and air fresheners. More than half the products studied were the top sellers in their categories. All the products emitted at least one chemical classified as toxic or hazardous, the investigators noted, and 11 of them emitted at least one chemical considered a probable carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The study didn't examine the health consequences of the chemical emissions. However, two earlier studies published by the lead investigator found that 20 percent of the U.S. population reported adverse reactions from air fresheners and about 10 percent complained of negative effects from laundry products. Complaints were about twice as high among asthmatics. Under current law, manufacturers aren't required to disclose the ingredients in cleaning supplies, and the Food and Drug Administration doesn't require labels to list ingredients used in fragrances in personal care products. The study was published online on October 26 in the journal Environmental Impact Assessment Review.
My take? If you're chemically sensitive or have allergies or respiratory sensitivities, you may want to create and use natural cleaning products to avoid exposure with compounds that can trigger your symptoms. But even if you have no sensitivities that might be activated by conventional cleaning products, you might want to rethink your use of those that contain carcinogens or suspected carcinogens. The danger these chemicals pose depends on the extent of your exposure - how often you use the products and how long you're in contact with the fumes."
Thanks, Dr. Weil! Now for my own interpretation of this information: Avoid products with phthalates, parabens, EDTA and lauryl/laureth sulfate as these have been shown to impact hormones and possibly cause cancer. Yes, the products may cost more, but ILLNESSES COST A LOT MORE (just ask any of my patients!)!!! Consumer demand for safer products can and will drive manufacturing processes. Demand also ultimately will lead to legislation that bans these products and forces companies to create safer ingredients.
I've said it once and I'll say it again...Demand more for yourself, your family and the environment! It helps ALL of us in the end!Happy Turkey/Tofurkey Weekend! I wish you nothing but a safe, healthy and meaningful holiday season!
Rates of breast cancer incidence (the number of cases diagnosed per unit of specified time) are increasing in the U.S. and around the globe. This is thought to be due to multiple factors including increased rates of screening (ie, more mammograms), environmental factors such as toxins from chemicals and cosmetics as well as the increasing rates of overweight and obesity among industrialized countries (and developing countries, although to a much, much lesser degree). It is no surprise that this is occurring, as cancer is now seen as a disease of industrialization...something man-made.
It does, however, surprise me to see the vast differences in the rates of breast cancer incidence among women in the U.S. and South American women - "76 women per every 100,000 in the US (adjusted for age) were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, compared to just 44 women per 100,000 in South America" - almost DOUBLE the rate in the U.S.!! After all, some S. American countries are relatively developed - Argentina and Chile, to be exact - and some have had huge increases in their economies - ie, Brasil, Peru - in recent years.
Therefore, this article is SHOCKING and one that I hope sticks into the minds of Americans across the nation...Basically, we (U.S. citizens) are killing ourselves with food and chemicals! And women are one of the heaviest hit groups...not only do we suffer from increasing rates of breast cancer, but also endometrial (uterine) and ovarian cancers, along with the cancers we share with men - lung, colon, brain, pancreas and blood (lymphoma, leukemia). Yes, we are lucky to have early screening measures and treatments in effect in our great nation, but, do you really understand what it's like to be told you have cancer, have a body part removed to get rid of it and/or had to live your life as a cancer survivor? Let me tell you, from my experiences in medicine thus far (including a month of just cancer screening clinics at MD Anderson and now cancer survivorship clinics)...it's extremely anxiety-provoking and in no way glamorous!!
It is time for us to hold ourselves accountable for the damage we have caused to our health and the environment and to try to work to reverse it! It is time to demand more from ourselves, each other and our governments! Read more about the toxins in our food and environment, talk to each other about it (we all know women are great at communicating with each other!), write your Congressmen and GET INVOLVED!
Here is the article I am referencing: http://www.aicr.org/site/News2?abbr=pr_&page=NewsArticle&id=19381&news_iv_ctrl=1102&fp20100816. Read it and browse the AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research) website for invaluable, evidence-based information and let me know how YOU can get involved in helping turn the incidence rate of cancers around! If not for others, do it for yourself!
As if you needed another reason besides good heart health, lower risk of diabetes, etc., to increase your omega-3 fatty acid intake! But in case you do...here it is!
Taken from Andy Weil's website, "Steaks, burgers and fries may be portrayed as a manly meal, but all the saturated fat those foods contain seems to result in a lower sperm production than in men whose diets include fish and healthier omega-3 fatty acids. Investigators from Harvard analyzed the sperm of 91 men who were attending the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center in Boston, and gathered information about their diets and the types of fats they ate. The researchers then found that the men with the highest intake of saturated fat had 41 percent fewer sperm than men who ate the least saturated fat. Men with the highest intake of monounsaturated fat had 46 percent fewer sperm compared with men with the lowest intake of monounsaturated fat. Interestingly, participants whose intake of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats was highest had sperm with greater motility (they swam around more vigorously) and those with a higher intake of omega-3s had sperm with the best size and shape. The findings were presented at the October 26, 2010 meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine."
Another benefit was discussed in a different article showing that those with high intake of Omega-3's were at less risk of gum and tooth disease. So, basically, it's a win-win situation with fish oil. In fact, I don't know a single health care practitioner who'd be against it (and that is a strong statement!). So, get out there and get some fish oil! My favorite brands are Nordic Naturals and Spectrum. They are easy to take and don't make you burp up any fishy tastes. You can get fish oil at the local grocery store or pharmacy but you may experience a burpy aftertaste depending on the brand. Consult with your health care practitioner or pharmacist to see if they have a recommended brand. There is always fish oil by prescription too! Enjoy!
Acoording to a British physician group, among all drugs of abuse, alcohol is the most harmful overall by a wide margin. The article that was published in The Lancet (a well-respected peer reviewed journal) found that among 20 prescription and illicit drugs that are frequently abused, the nongovernmental Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) determined that, for users, alcohol is not quite as dangerous as crack cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine, but it is far more damaging to others.
The committee's review gave alcohol an overall "harm score" of 72. Heroin came in second with a score of 55, with crack cocaine a close third at 54. This elevated score is due to the effects that alcohol has on other people (ie, accidents, violence, economic effects, etc). The authors of the paper call for revisions in governmental drug policies to address alcohol's harms to others.
And I agree...although bootlegging didn't exactly help to decrease the harms to others (read: stronghold of the Mafia and their crime sprees/monopolies). Alcohol dependence is a serious medical and public health problem, despite its social acceptability. We all need to step up and realize that alcohol is a TOXIN and in such, it leads to many other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, weight gain, cirrhosis of the liver, dependence issues, etc. Moderation is acceptable in its use, but it can and often does become a problem for those with "addictive personalities".
Just something to think about...
Dr. Maltz earned a Medical Degree and Master in Public Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX. She completed a combined Internal and Preventive Medicine Residency at UTMB in June, 2011. She then completed a 2-year Integrative Medicine Fellowship at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT, during which she simultaneously underwent an intensive 1000-hour curriculum created by The University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Program founded by Dr. Andrew Weil.