The Lipstick Lead Test is Wrong

lipstickLike many of you, I have seen the lead in lipstick test on youtube. For those of you who don’t know what it is, there are a few videos on line touting a way to test your lipsticks and other cosmetics for lead and other heavy metals by simply wiping the creamy cosmetic over the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and then swiping a paper towel over it. If the makeup on the paper towel has black specks in it then the cosmetic has lead in it.

While I am usually good at fact checking up front, I heard this tip from a trusted friend, tried it and low and behold! Lead in my lipstick! It seemed like a good way to quickly test my make up and even my child’s face paint and I didn’t think twice about it. Then a friend of mine tried the test on her daughter’s lip balm and it came up with the black specs. Wanting to call the company and complain she wanted to make sure what she was going to complain about was accurate so I took a closer look at the test and couldn’t find any scientific based evidence to back it up. Yikes!

I then reached out to Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and was put in touch with Ena Do, Director of Marketing & Communication for the Breast Cancer Fund. You can read our interaction here:

Hi,

I’ve been asked about the lipstick on aluminum foil test as a way to see if there is lead in the lipstick. Is that an accurate test? Thank you!

Vanessa Parsons
TheHealthNetwork.org

Vanesa thanks for the inquiry and checked with our scientists and here is what we can tell you:

– We can’t find any evidence of this as definitive or true test.  Aluminum is a pretty reactive metal but could react with other elements in lipstick. We do not think a simple rubbing test would be specific at all and definitely is not what we would use. Here is a link to the tests we did. The tests used by the Campaign and the FDA to assess lead in lipstick: http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc2009open/cc060n04/p00405-p00414.pdf

Hope this helps
Thank You

Ena Do

Even though the aluminum foil test for lipstick was not accurate there are organizations out there like the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics doing a great job of listing which companies still use heavy metals, like lead, in their makeup. They also have wonderful petitions you can sign in support of removing these heavy metals. Spread the word!

Think All Children’s Vitamins are created equal? Think Again.

Shaklee Incredivites

Guest Post by Amanda Aymar

In November of last year,  we were invited to do a Workshop at the East Orange Public library by Nassan’s Place a non profit organization that supports parents of children with Autism.

A Nurse who was in the library attended the workshop out of curiosity…..  At the end of the workshop she asked what we would recommend for her 10 years old daughter that suffered form epileptic episodes and was medicated for them. I suggested Incredivites and suggested that in many cases extra B complex had worked in cases of Epilepsy because medications increased the gap in B Vitamins.

We sent her information, and she eventually purchased both products.   In my follow up, she told me her daughter did not want to take the vitamins….or the B complex, and she had decided to use the B complex herself.  Upon further follow up, she told me was seeing some results with the B complex and felt less stressed especially on her long shifts at work.

Yesterday, she called me to say that she wanted to re order because her daughter had started using the Incredivites and she had noticed that there had not been any epileptic episodes in over 3 weeks!!  She also wanted to know what multivitamin she could give her 14 year old son…. and what multivitamin she could take herself.  Additionally she asked about minerals, magnesium specifically and I recommended our VitalMag ( which she was pleased to know is only $ 10).

I suggested she try to add extra B complex for her daughter because that will help her repair her lack of this important nutrient.  I also suggested she may want to look into adding a protein into their routine, a smoothee that the 3 of them can start the day with.

She is grateful for our information, and follow up.  She is already sharing her results with other moms at work and mentioned a mom with a 9 year old who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia….  She is a NURSE she knows the drill….and it is a pleasure sharing our information with her, because she reads it and knows it to be valuable.

Don’t Supplement your Diet Until You Read This

Over 80 percent of Americans agree that good health is the single most important aspect of quality living. But… what is the real state of health in America? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)…

Every year about 720,000 Americans have a heart attack.
About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year… that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
Each year, approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke and more than 140,000 of these die.
Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.
Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2010 and the numbers are going up.
Striking one in every five adults and 300,000 children, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States.


When you think about good health, most people have a lot of questions like…

  “Is diet alone enough?”    “Do I need to take food supplements?” 
 “If so, what kind?
Aren’t they all the same?”  
  “How does my family’s
nutritional needs differ from my own?”  
 


Here are a few guidelines (and a checklist) to help you find the answers.

What we know…

To build good health the human body needs an abundant daily supply of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and water. These nutrients must be in a bioavailable form. In other words, your body must be able to metabolize and utilize the nutrients you consume. One study published in the journal Nature1 proved that nutrients found in whole foods exist with a huge plethora of other substances such as enzymes and coenzymes, micronutrients, activators, and many other unknown substances that are all needed for the nutrient to actually be absorbed and utilized by the cell. David Heber, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles, says, “Vitamin C is provided in a matrix in fruits with many other beneficial substances.”

Unfortunately, the bioavailability factor is usually not even considered when most vitamin manufacturers “create” a supplement to market.
We also know that individual needs vary… an infant’s nutritional requirements are vastly different from the professional athlete’s.
Factors such as genetics, lifestyle habits, age, stress levels, weight, fitness and environ-mental toxins also have a major impact upon the nutrients we need for good health.

In addition, many of our modern foods are severely deficient in vital nutrients. Most are grown on soil depleted of minerals. Chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides are not only sprayed on the soil and plants, now they are actually incorporated into the seed itself through genetic engineering. If that weren’t enough, many fruits and vegetables are harvested prematurely, put into cold storage until needed, then gas ripened and transported to your grocer. How nutritious can they be?

To add to the dilemma, Dr. Mark Hyman states, “In 1900, 2 percent of meals were eaten outside the home. In 2010, 50 percent were eaten away from home and one in five breakfasts is from McDonald’s. Most family meals happen about three times a week, last less than 20 minutes and are spent watching television or texting while each family member eats a different microwaved ‘food.’”

One thing we all need to do…

While most people are aware that they need to improve their diet, very few do enough. That’s why… in today’s world… food supplements are essential! And why choosing Shaklee can be the best gift you can give yourself and your family! If you don’t already know Shaklee this is a good time to get to know the company and finally take that deep breath because you just found someone who truly has your family’s best health as their mission.

1 Published online 20 April 2007 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news070416-15  


Yes, I am unabashedly an advocate for Shaklee because their products have changed my life and of all those who decided to join me in this healthy journey. Be well my friends.

— 

Lead and Cadmium in CHOCOLATE!

chocolateLEAD AND CADMIUM IN FOOD

Responding to published research showing high levels of heavy metals in commonly eaten food items, As You Sow began extensive independent laboratory testing of 42 chocolate products for lead and cadmium. We found that 26 of the chocolate products (~62%) contain lead and/or cadmium at levels in which one serving exceeds the California safe harbor level for reproductive harm. We filed notices with 16 manufacturers, including See’s, Mars, Hershey, Lindt, Godiva, Whole Foods, and others, for failing to provide required warnings to consumers that their chocolate products contain lead, cadmium, or both.

Lead and cadmium were found in popular chocolate products.

See the products we tested in the tables below.

No level of lead is safe for children. Lead exposure has been a significant public health issue for decades and is associated with neurological impairment, such as learning disabilities and lower IQ, even at low levels. “No amount of lead ingestion is ‘safe’ for children,” states Sean Palfrey, MD, a pediatrician and professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at Boston University School of Medicine. “Pregnant women and young children with developing brains in particular should avoid any ingestion of lead.”

Cadmium is also known to cause reproductive harm. Chronic exposure to cadmium has been to kidney, liver, and bone damage in humans. Children are more susceptible to exposure effects from low doses of cadmium over time. Companies are not doing enough to keep their products safe and below California’s safe harbor level for reproductive harm for these toxic heavy metals.

As You Sow, a consumer health protection organization, commissioned an independent state-certified laboratory to measure levels of lead and cadmium in 42 chocolate products available at retailers across California. The charts indicate whether, pursuant to test results, the product requires a warning under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.

WARNING REQUIRED

Bissinger’s All Natural 60% Dark Chocolate Whole Almonds

Earth Circle Organics Organic Balinese Cacao Nibs Cold Pressed

Ghiradelli Intense Dark 72% Cacao Twilight Delight Chocolate Bar

Ghiradelli Chocolate Premium Baking Bar 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate

Godiva Chocolatier 50% Cacao Dark Chocolate Sea Salt

Godiva Chocolatier 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate

Scharffen Berger Semisweet Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate (62% cacao)

Scharffen Berger Extra Dark Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate (82% cacao)

Dagoba Organic New Moon Rich Dark Chocolate (74% cacao)

Lake Champlain Chocolates Dark Chocolate (57% cocoa)

Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa Excellence Extra Dark

Dove Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar

Green & Black’s Organic 85% Cacao Bar

Moonstruck Dark Chocolate Chile Variado (68% cacao)

See’s Candies Premium Extra Dark Chocolate (62% cacao)

Private Selection 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Swiss Bar

Theo Organic Fair Trade Pure 85% Dark Chocolate

Trader Joe’s Swiss 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar – Toffee With Walnuts and Pecans 70% cacao

Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Dark Chocolate

Trader Joe’s Pound Plus, 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate 73% Cacao Super Dark

Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar (85% cacao)

Wild Ophelia All Natural New Orleans Chili – Dark Chocolate Bar (70% cacao)

 

NO WARNING REQUIRED

Wild Harvest Organic Rich Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix

Flipz 50% cacao Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Endangered Species Natural Dark Chocolate (72% cocoa)

Ferrero Collection Fine assorted Confections

Ghiradelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie (86% Cacao)

Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate

Reese’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Jo’s Candies Dark Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers “All Natural”

Toblerone Swiss Milk Chocolate Bar with Honey and Almond Nougat

Lindt Excellence A Touch of Sea Salt Dark (with Fleur de Sel sea salt crystals)

Snickers

CocoaVia Daily Cocoa Extract Supplement

Green & Black’s Organic Milk Chocolate (34% Cacao)

Nestle Crunch

Ovaltine Classic Malt Mix

Starbucks Dark Chocolate Covered Grahams

Source: As You Sow

Stress Can Wreak Havoc on Your Metabolism

Shaklee Stress ReliefSheila Viers spent most of her high school, college, and young adult years searching for a successful weight-loss solution. “I wasted thousands of dollars on diets, programs, tests, pills, and supplements,” said the Los Angeles-based holistic health coach. “I eventually ended up having all sorts of digestive and hormonal issues. I went to doctors and alternative practitioners and couldn’t find a long-term fix. They just kept finding more and more things that ‘might’ be wrong. I remember feeling so defeated and hopeless.”

The turning point came when Viers stopped looking for some out-there answer and began tuning in to her own body. Her conclusion: The anxiety she was feeling was a factor in her lack of progress. “Stress blocks your system from being able to function optimally,” said Viers.

How stress affects your metabolism

Your central nervous system has two branches, the parasympathetic (think: peace) nervous system and the sympathetic (think: stress) nervous system. The two work like a switch – when one is turned on, the other is off.

The sympathetic nervous system is associated with the rapid release of stress hormones, slowed digestion, and faster breathing and heart rate. “This is the state you are in when you are speeding through your day stressed out and multitasking like crazy to get everything on your to-do list done,” Viers told Yahoo Health, adding that the human body isn’t built to operate in this constant state of stress. Our system gets out of whack – hormones go haywire, we don’t sleep well, we have major mood swings, and our metabolism slows down.

Muscle – your body’s metabolic machine

In addition, changes within your muscles and loss of muscle mass – due to aging, inactivity, doing the wrong kinds of activity, or some combination of those – also have a significant impact on your metabolism. “From age 20 to 60, relatively sedentary adults lose about 30 percent of their muscle mass,” said Tim Fischell, MD, professor of medicine at Michigan State University and author of Burn Calories While You Sleep. Muscle that hasn’t been actively stressed also burns about 30 percent fewer calories over three to four decades, he added.

“When you add up the loss of muscle and the loss of metabolic activity in the residual muscle that you have left, you are therefore looking at close to a 45 percent total loss of calorie burning between 20 and 60 to 70 years of age for relatively sedentary adults,” Fischell told Yahoo Health. “This is gradual and continuous starting in one’s 20s or 30s.”

Biopsies of sedentary adults in their 70s have also found a surprising discovery: Their muscle cells are actually missing mitochondria, the cellular powerhouses that convert fuel to energy. “As such, you are now not only lacking muscle fibers, but what you have left is metabolically inactive,” Fischell said.
Fortunately, these changes aren’t inevitable. Follow these tips to jump-start a sluggish metabolism.

Step 1. Give yourself a break

Do you always feel like you’re moving at 100 miles an hour, rushing from one task to the next? Your sympathetic nervous system is probably on overdrive. “I used to think I didn’t have time for things like a bubble bath, yoga, an hour of window-shopping at my favorite outdoor mall, or a massage, but now I realize that I don’t have time not to do these things,” Viers told Yahoo Health.

The key is to take responsibility for your own self-care, Viers explained. “You have nothing to give if your tank is empty, and it’s nobody else’s job to fill your tank but your own,” she said. “When you treat yourself with love and kindness, your body responds. It spends less time in the stress mode. When you’re not stressed, you open yourself up to not only feeling amazing but also freeing your body from the baggage of that stress, too.”

Step 2. Practice regular resistance training

Loss of muscle mass and strength is largely preventable and even reversible, Fischell said. However, low-intensity activities like walking – while they have other benefits – will have only minimal effects on muscle loss. “It requires high-intensity muscle stress, with strong muscle contraction and to the state of exhaustion of the muscle fibers, to rebuild metabolically active muscle and to rebuild muscle mass, regrow and retain mitochondria,” Fischell explained.

Research has consistently shown that resistance training, such as weightlifting, is an effective way to prevent these changes. But high-intensity activities like vigorous swimming, running, and power yoga may also delay muscle loss, Fischell added.

3. Stop feeling guilty about what you eat

When you eat under emotional or physical stress, your body never receives the signal to begin the digestive process. As a result, your body doesn’t digest food as well and may have problems processing the nutrients you need to function your best. “If you feel guilty about eating a food and you eat it anyway while feeling bad about it, the brain will send signals through the body via the sympathetic nervous system, causing digestion to shut down, which means it cannot fully metabolize the food,” Viers said. Her advice: Eat foods that you feel good about.

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Another Reason Why Fish Oil Supplements are a Good Way to Get Omega 3’s

omegaIn June, the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration proposed a minimum weekly level for fish consumption for the first time. Women who are pregnant, breast-feeding or trying to become pregnant, it said, should eat up to 12 ounces of fish per week. After all, fish is a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

The problem: Fish also can be a good source of mercury – and, in an article published Thursday, Consumer Reports is taking issue with the new guidelines.

“We’re particularly concerned about canned tuna, which is second only to shrimp as the most commonly eaten seafood in the United States,” said Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. “We encourage pregnant women to avoid all tuna.”

The National Fisheries Institute, which represents seafood companies and restaurants, disputed the findings by Consumer Reports, saying the publication’s warning flies in the face of independent, peer-reviewed science.

In a statement, the institute said: “Though we urged CR to do a thorough, balanced and science-based job, that obviously did not happen. Minimal research would have presented reporters literally hundreds of independent seafood studies from the FDA to the World Health Organization that clearly demonstrate the net benefit gained from eating seafood, like tuna.”

The FDA’s new recommendation comes after an FDA study revealed one in five women were avoiding fish during pregnancy. “Emerging science now tells us that limiting or avoiding fish during pregnancy and early childhood can mean missing out on important nutrients that can have a positive impact on growth and development as well as on general health,” said Stephen Ostroff, the FDA’s acting chief scientist, in a statement.

The FDA lists on its Web site the average amount of mercury found in different types of fish. Most types of tuna have relatively high mercury levels. Unfortunately, according to Consumer Reports, the FDA may be underestimating the danger.

When the magazine analyzed the FDA’s data, they found 20 percent of the light canned tuna samples tested since 2005 have almost twice as much mercury as what the FDA said is the average amount. Just as some samples have higher mercury than the average, some may have lower levels of mercury. But consumers can’t know whether the cans of tuna they’re buying might have an above average amount.

“The brain undergoes a series of complex developmental stages that need to be completed in the right sequence and at the right time,” according to Philippe Grandjean, an adjunct professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. He told Consumer Reports that the mercury in fish consumed by the mother could reach the fetus within hours and do permanent damage.

What isn’t contested: Like other large fish, tuna absorb a type of mercury called methylmercury, a product of industrial pollution, in their fatty tissues.

What is: Whether it’s really safe to eat tuna.

This isn’t the first time Consumer Reports has flagged the issue. They issued similar warnings in 2006 and 2011.

The FDA is standing by its guidance. “Based on a review of the latest science, we have concluded that it is possible for pregnant and breast feeding women, and women who might become pregnant, to increase growth and developmental benefits to their children by eating more fish than these groups of women typically do,” the agency said in a statement provided to Consumer Reports. “This can be done while still protecting them from the potentially  harmful effects of methyl mercury in fish.”

 

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Proper Dental Health for Children Begins with their Parents

by Amanda Merritt, Contributing Writer and Fantastic Friend

elmo brushesFor the past 8 years I have been working in the dental field and I have seen it all. I have worked on babies, adults and a lot of geriatric patients and what they all have in common is decay. I always wonder why patients don’t focus on preventing decay as much as they focus on fixing it. In my home we fix what we have to fix of course but prevention is the most important part of our oral care. My husband has great teeth and a killer smile. Me, not so much. I have fillings, crowns, root canals and even two rounds of braces. I don’t want any of that for my son, so we focus on prevention with him and I wanted to share what I know and practice in my own home. One thing I won’t go into is fluoride because it’s just too complicated. The link with brushing techniques does recommend it as well as the ADA but do your own research and find out what is best for you and your family.

  • Do you think your child’s baby teeth aren’t important?
  • Did you know parents should be brushing their children’s teeth for them until the child is 7 years old?
  • Does your child eat a well balanced diet with limited sugars?

Many parents don’t bother taking care of their children’s primary (baby) teeth because these teeth eventually fall out but there are many important reasons to care for these teeth. Unfortunately, a child’s primary teeth as just as important to take care of as their adult ones.

Healthy Primary Teeth:

  • Help with speech development.
  • Allow children to chew properly aiding them in good nutrition.
  • Save space in the jaw for their adult teeth to come in properly (straight.) Basic metal braces cost between $5000-$6000 dollars.
  • Builds a child’s self confidence and a lifetime of happy smiles.
  • Not all children develop all of their adult teeth. Some adults still have a baby tooth in their mouth and may be able to keep it past their 30’s and 40’s. I have worked for two dentist that actually have had baby teeth in their mouths and I can tell you, there is nothing cuter than a baby tooth in an adults mouth!

Brushing two times a day and flossing once a day is the current American Dental Association recommendation. Floss your child’s teeth before you brush and make sure you get down on the gum line.

Make brushing fun for them! Pull out your phone or Ipad and Youtube “Elmo toothbrush” and let them watch the video while you brush. Their are great books that explain brushing to children that you can check out at the library. Need more help? Visit a dentist! Did you know your child should have their first dental visit when they get their first tooth? There are so many great pediatric dentists that make the whole experience fun and enjoyable for everyone. I understand brushing can sometimes be a challenge but stick with it and your child will eventually comply.

Is your child consuming a lot of sugar? Cut it out!

tooth-decay-600x420Not only is it bad for their health is bad for their teeth. Candy, soda, juice, crackers and anything else that has sugars in it can cause decay. The idea that we should all be eating healthy is not news. Did you know your child’s adult teeth start developing at around 3-4 months of age? Poor nutrition can cause problems for the developing teeth as well. A few other poor habits for children that parents should be aware of are “baby bottle rot” and pacifiers/thumb-sucking. Does your baby take a bottle at night? Your child could be at risk for decay. Early Childhood Decay. If you child is using a pacifier and/or thumb sucking then check out the following article for more information. Thumb sucking and pacifier information.

I believe in teaching children good habits at an early age. This way we avoid teaching an “old dog new tricks.” My teeth were not taken care of as a child and getting in the habit as and adult was difficult, painful and very expensive. Check out the following links for more information and fun!