Women, what you wear and eat may be killing you and your loved ones

Dr. Joseph Mecola always comes up with an interesting problem and advice in his weekly newsletter. This week is an exception–there are more than two. As the title of this post indicates, only two will be covered here.

The Poison Kiss: Lead in Lipstick

Last year it was revealed that many lipsticks sold in the United States contain lead. And these were not off brands from a discount store, either.

More than half (61 percent) of 33 name-brand lipsticks tested in September 2007 contained lead levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm). And one-third of them had more lead than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy.

It may sound shocking, but the FDA has not set a lead limit for cosmetics, including lipstick!

Yes, you put it directly on your lips. And yes, you ingest it when you wear it (the average women ingests 10 pounds of lipstick in a lifetime). But it can contain as much lead as the manufacturers see fit, and it doesn’t have to say so on the label.

Among the U.S. lipsticks with the highest lead levels were:

* L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red” –- 0.65 ppm
* L’Oreal Colour Riche “Classic Wine” –- 0.58 ppm
* Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red” –- 0.56 ppm
* Dior Addict “Positive Red” –- 0.21 ppm

I think names like “Toxic Red” or “Maximum Lead Red” would be more fitting, don’t you?

Dr. Mecola suggests that women watch out for the following particularly harmful ingredients in their lipstick:

* Paraben, a chemical found in underarm deodorants and other cosmetics that has been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, which can drive the growth of human breast tumors.

* Phthalates, plasticizing ingredients (present in nearly three-quarters of 72 products tested by the Environmental Working Group), which have been linked to birth defects in the reproductive system of boys and lower sperm-motility in adult men, among other problems.

* Mercury, used in mascara, gels, and even eye drops, this metal can damage your brain function. Look for it listed as “thimerosal.”

* Musks, used as fragrances, can accumulate in your body, and have been linked to skin irritation, hormone disruption, and cancer in laboratory studies.

* Artificial fragrances, which are among the top five known allergens, and can cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks. Fragrances can also contain neurotoxins and cause hormone disruption.

* Petroleum byproducts, used in makeup, shampoo (even baby shampoo), face creams and more, these chemicals have been linked to cancer.

* Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), a chemical used in shampoo to prevent bacteria from developing, which may have detrimental effects on your nervous system.

Dr. Mecola says, “Your cosmetics should be just as pure as the food you eat because ultimately they both end up in the same place: your body.” Yes, but what is happening to the bodies of those you lovely women kiss?

Dr. Mecola recommends visiting Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. More information about these two organizations and about this issue can found at Dr. Mecola’s online newsletter.

Okay. So you have wowed the guy of your dreams with your charm and good looks and maybe a few smooches. You married the sap, danced the tango in bed, and now your expecting yout first, second, or … whatever born child.

Dr. Mecola says, Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy

In recent health studies, researchers found that daily consumption of nut products increases the odds that a child will have wheezing by 42 percent, shortness of breath by 58 percent, and steroid use to ease asthma symptoms by 62 percent. Overall, the odds of developing asthma symptoms for a child whose mother ate nuts daily are 47 percent.

I think it’s important to realize that while DAILY consumption of nut products increased the odds that a child would develop asthma, the researchers did not find an association between rare or regular consumption of nuts, wrote Dr. Mecola.

After reviewing thousands of medical studies, Dr. Mecola is convinced that “the single most important dietary influence for prenatal nutrition is adequate omega-3 fats. Optimizing your omega-3 intake will virtually guarantee that your baby is full term.”

He claims that birthing premature babies can be easily avoided by consuming optimal dietary amounts of Omega-3 oils. He believes the best source of omega-3 is krill oil, which also contains essential fatty acids DHA and EPA. Other sources are flax seeds and walnut but he warns that walnuts can kill a weight loss or weight maintaining diet. He advises to avoid trying to substitute animal omega-3s with those plant types mentioned.

“So, to recap, if you’re healthy, seeds and nuts are likely to be fine in SMALL quantities, however you may want to avoid nuts altogether during pregnancy if you have a family history of asthma,” says Dr. Mecola.

To read Dr. Mecola’s article, go here.

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