Is Common Chemical One Of The Risk Factors In Diabetes?

Intriguing news on the environment and the risk factors in diabetes. A Swedish study finds that high blood levels of phthalates, a chemical found in many everyday products has the potential to double the risk of type 2 diabetes for older people.

Working to support a standing hypothesis that chemicals in the environment can contribute to developing diabetes, the current research appears to have done just that. Most of us come into contact with phthalates every day according to study lead Monica Lind, an associate professor of environmental medicine at Uppsala University.

To conduct the research the team gathered information on over 1,000 Swedish men and women, aged 70 years old. The team took measurements of subjects’ blood sugar, insulin levels and the levels of toxins that are a part of the breakdown on phthalates.

It came as no surprise to find subjects who were overweight and had high cholesterol levels had a higher diabetes risk. But the team also saw a link between blood levels of a number of phthalates and type 2 diabetes, and this held even after accounting for smoking status, exercise, cholesterol numbers and obesity. Phthalates retained their association with type 2 diabetes risk.

For those who had high phthalates, the risk of diabetes was almost twice that compared to those with lower levels of the chemical in their blood. Some of the phthalates were also associated with disrupted production of insulin, the hormone that delivers blood sugar to body cells for energy. When you don’t have insulin, or don’t have enough, there’s too much sugar in the blood and this condition starts diabetes on its way.

Even at what you might think are low levels of these chemicals, the risk of diabetes goes up according to the study findings.

Phthalates are used in all kinds of things. Vinyl flooring and wallpapers, detergents, food packaging, pharmaceuticals, lubricating oils, as well as medical supplies like blood bags and tubes according to the Food and Drug Administration.

You’ll also find these substances in many of the personal care items you use everyday – shampoos, hair sprays, some soaps and nail polishes. At present the FDA doesn’t have compelling evidence that phthalates pose a safety risk.

You should also know that in the U.S., no company is required to test a chemical for long-term health effects before using it in a product. This means things get on the market before anyone is aware of a potential danger. Lind would like to see the health effects of such chemicals tested before they get into a consumer product.

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Medical Doctor Reveals The Shocking Truth

The real reason you can’t shift those stubborn pounds has nothing to do with a lack of willpower, eating too much or not eating the right kinds of foods – absolutely nothing.

It’s because your gut is full of plaque and parasites that work against you, no matter what you do, making it impossible to lose weight.

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A Common Plastic Chemical Ups Diabetes Risk… Continued…

The take home message of the work, especially if you’re concerned about diabetes is to try to cut down on the plastics you use, and select personal care products that are free of scent. The trouble is, the print on ingredients labels can be way too small too read – other products don’t have labels even though required to by law.

Nonetheless, here are some of the chemical names to watch for:

- mono-methyl phthalate (MMP)

- mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP)

- mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP)

- dimethylphthalate (DMP)

- diethyl phthalate (DEP)

- di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP)

Before we can be sure that phthalates are really one of the risk factors in diabetes, more research will be needed. Experts will also want to know more about the biological mechanisms that are involved in such connections.

Breast Cancer Diet To Include Cruciferous Vegetables

More reason to eat those veggies! Women who follow a breast cancer diet and eat a lot of cruciferous (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy) veggies are more likely to live longer and have less chance of their cancer recurring according to a large new study. The more veggies the better says researcher Sarah J. Nechuta, MPH, PhD. who is a postdoctoral researcher from Vanderbilt University.

Experts from the American Cancer Society estimate there will be almost 290,000 new cases of cancer of the breast in the United States this year. Nearly 40,000 patients will lose their lives to the disease.

The work included almost 5,000 Chinese survivors of breast cancer who were aged 20 to 75 years old who had been diagnosed between 2002 and 2006. They completed detailed dietary questionnaires when the study started, and then again at the 18-month and 36 month point. The subjects were divided into five groups based on their cruciferous veggie intake.

At about the five year point after diagnosis, those women in the top fifth (150 grams of cruciferous veggies a day) were 42% less likely to have died from the disease, and 58% less likely to die from any cause compared to those who had the lowest intake (under 54 grams a day).

The women in the top fifth were also 19% less likely to have a cancer recurrence.

The team of researchers also looked at other things that can impact breast cancer recurrence and survival – including how old you are, the stage of your cancer, your treatment, how active you are and other factors in your diet.

The good news is that it’s very simple to add 150 grams of these vegetables to your diet… and you might even like them. A cup of cooked broccoli or cauliflower or the more exotic mustard greens cabbage, kale and good old Brussels sprouts all have just about 150 grams per serving.

This research isn’t the first time experts have suggested that eating these delicious veggies might help patients with breast cancer – it is one of the largest however, and was presented at the 2012 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Encouraging as the work is, it does not prove that cruciferous veggies made the difference. Those who eat this way might have other healthy habits (or advantages) that weren’t measured by the study.

Also, the Asian diet is quite different from the one we eat here in America. Some of the popular cruciferous veggies in China include turnips, Chinese cabbage/bok choy and greens. And Asians do eat more veggies overall than are in most Western diets.

So why are veggies so beneficial?

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WARNING: The truth about Moles, Warts and Skintags…

There are so many “scare” stories that it’s sometimes hard to know what to believe. Which is why this is so timely…

Announcing the breakthrough solution by Chris Gibson, a respected natural health practitioner, that gets rid of moles, warts and skin tags without any expensive medical procedures or over-the-counter products.

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The Latest News About Cruciferous Veggies And Breast Cancer… Continued…

They contain high amounts of compounds known as glucosinolates. When ingested, these change into other compounds called isothiocyanates and Indoles that have been found to have lots of anti-cancer properties – at least in the laboratory.

If you’re worried about your chances of getting breast cancer, do what you can to reduce your risk. While there are factors like age and genetics that you can’t change, there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself including following a breast cancer diet. You should also aim to keep your weight in the healthy range – being overweight or obese brings up your risk of breast cancer. Be more active on a regular basis as evidence continues to point to this as cutting breast cancer risk. You’ll also want to limit your alcohol intake (not more than 1-2 drinks a day), and discuss the risks and benefits of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy after menopause with your healthcare team.

Health Benefits Of Berries On Brain Function

Yet another example of the power of the health benefits of berries. Two of the tastiest berries, blueberries and strawberries, appear to contain a potent natural ingredient that may well offer protection against Parkinson’s disease. The actor Michael J Fox is a well known sufferer of this debilitating condition.

Just two (or more) servings of these berries a week may be enough to get the benefit according to new work from a team out of Harvard University and the University of East Anglia who have just published their work in the journal Neurology.

Parkinson’s is a neurological disease that most often develops after age 50, caused when brain cells that make dopamine are destroyed over time. Without the dopamine the nerve cells in this area of the brain can’t send messages and this brings the loss of muscle function.

Symptoms include the hallmark tremors as well as trouble with movement, coordination and walking that starts out mild, getting progressively worse over time. While there is no cure today for Parkinson’s disease, there are treatments that increase levels of dopamine in the brain and help control the disruptive symptoms.

Berries are known to be a rich source of antioxidants (flavonoids to be exact) that may protect brain cells from damage. Flavonoids are a natural part of many plant based foods and beverages – not just berries, but apples, red wine and tea.

The latest work included over 130,000 male and female subjects, 49,281 men from the Health Professional Follow-up Study, 80,336 women from the Nurses’ Health Study who were followed for 20 years. Flavonoid intake was measured with an updated food composition database and validated food frequency questionnaire. During the study period just over 800 of the subjects got Parkinson’s disease.

After a detailed analysis, the researchers found that adults who ate berries two times a week, or more, were almost 25% less likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease than those who had less than a serving of berries per month.

When the team examined the data for men and women by themselves the benefit of consuming these delicious fruits went to the men. Men who had the highest levels of flavonoids in their diet were 40% less likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s than those who had the lowest intake.

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Announcing: Doctor Approved Store Cupboard Remedies that Really Work…

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In Fight Against Parkinson’s, Berries Are A New Weapon… Continued…

For women, flavonoid intake had no impact on Parkinson’s risk. Researcher Xiang Gao, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School points out that the take home message from the research is that berries are associated with a lower risk of this debilitating disease. Of course the findings only show a link, not cause and effect, so more work will need to be done before anyone will suggest eating berries for Parkinson’s.

Likewise no one knows if the benefit that comes from eating berries is a combined effect of different types, or something in the whole food itself.

The good thing is that there’s no downside to enjoying berries as part of your diet. Add them to your morning cereal or yogurt or enjoy them topped with whipped cream as a sweet, yet not too indulgent desert. On their own both strawberries and blueberries are delicious as well.

Other experts are cautiously optimistic about the health benefits of berries; encouraged by the idea that flavonoid intake might help with reducing the risk of such a devastating disease. Today Parkinson’s disease is one of a group of chronic conditions that changes the lives of one in 500 of us, with new cases being diagnosed every day. Encouraging that intake of these tasty foods might someday be found to bring down these numbers.

Mental Benefits Of Exercise

Science has taken us all to some amazing places over the years, and yet relatively little is known about the brain, and how it ages. While this most vital three-pound organ isn’t technically a muscle, exercise has been shown to benefit both memory and other cognitive skills according to some new research on the mental benefits of exercise. What’s more, the exercise doesn’t have to be something rigorous.

Experts do know that during late adulthood a part of the brain that’s involved in memory, known as the hippocampus, begins to get smaller. Earlier work has shown that a year after older adults started regular workouts this region grew. And the growth was accompanied by better memory.

In the latest work, 68 inactive middle aged subjects (men and women aged 40 to 56) were randomly assigned to either cycling or a stretching/coordination routine to be done for 2 hours a week for a period of 6 months, while 18 non active adults were used as a control group.

At the start of the research all the subjects got a heart fitness test as well as tests measuring memory and other cognitive skills.

The stretching/coordination program started with a warm up, followed by work to make the major muscles of the body stronger. Coordination exercises were complex movements of both arms and legs to improve balance and the session ended with relaxation exercises.

The cyclists were told to work at their target heart rate for about 45 minutes, ending with a cool down. The fitness test from the start of the study gave them the target heart rate to use.

The exercisers were found to have improvements in both memory and other cognitive skills according to researcher Kirsten Hotting, Ph.D. a psychology lecturer at the University of Hamburg in Germany.

The cyclers improved their heart fitness by 15% while the inactive and stretching/coordination group had no discernable change in fitness level. But both exercising groups had improved performance on memory tests and learning than did the inactive group. The increase in the test scores was tied to the improvements in fitness.

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Have You Seen Linda Allen’s new Candida System yet? It’s called “Yeast Infection No More”

I’ve read the whole thing (all 150 pages) and there’s some great information in there about how to naturally and permanently eliminate your yeast infection without drugs, creams or any kind of gimmicks. I highly recommend it – it’s very honest and straightforward without all the hype and b.s. you see all over the net these days.

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Improve Brainpower With Exercises Like Cycling And Stretching… Continued…

A surprise? The stretching group did better on a test of attention than did the group that did the cycling. It was a paper and pencil exam where you had to find and mark specific letters as quickly as possible.

A strength of the study is the length of the training the subjects did (6 months) and the focus on middle aged adults who often worry about memory issues. The take home message from the research is that being active is something is good for the brain and is something we can do to help ourselves stay sharp.

The study findings support earlier work according to Scott Small, MD from Columbia University who reviewed the research but was not involved in the project. In his own work, Small has found inactive subjects who get active can help increase the blood flow to their brains, and they are then able to score higher on memory tests.

If you haven’t been active in a while, talk with your healthcare team before you begin any kind of exercise program. They’ll be able to give you guidance and advice on what activity is best for you. Once you start, slow and steady is the best approach – in a matter of weeks you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come, and the mental benefits of exercise.

Top Superfoods For Weight Loss

Part of the struggle of any diet is how food becomes SO important… you’re trying not to eat carbs, and find yourself dragging and thinking about them every minute. Candy appears out of nowhere. Your car breaks down outside a favorite fast food place. So many have experienced diets as miserable, endless tests of endurance, but they don’t have to be. Not if we change our attitude and introduce a few top superfoods into the mix.

You’ve likely heard the term a lot, but aren’t quite sure if it’s a bit of marketing hype or something real. The word “superfood” was coined in 2004 by Dr. Steven Pratt in his first book. To be a considered a superfood, the food must have three things…

- Be readily available to everyone

- Contain high concentrations of crucial nutrients that are known to help you live longer

- Health benefits that are proven by peer reviewed studies

Health benefits that include lowering your cholesterol, cutting your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and deadly cancer. Some might even help your mood.

Pratt points to salmon, broccoli, spinach, berries and green tea as a few of the best superfoods, but there are plenty more. And though weight loss wasn’t something he was concerned with at first, that’s what everyone Pratt met wanted to talk about. The most common comment was how much weight people lost without even trying – and that these are foods you can enjoy over a lifetime.

Just don’t expect a superfood to melt the pounds all by themselves. They are no free pass to eat all the junk you like. But when added to other weight loss efforts can really enhance your efforts at dropping those pounds.

When it comes to weight loss, some advocate taking the focus off what foods are forbidden, and what are allowed, and instead think about what foods can give your body.

You can add superfoods like nuts, berries and whole grains that have loads of fiber, protein and other key nutrients to your diet, as well as avoiding processed foods, eating more fruits and veggies and replacing white bread with whole wheat – all smart moves that keep the focus on the positive, not the negative.

This approach could change the way we think about losing weight.

Continues below…

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The “secret” to losing belly fat…

You’ve been lied to. Lied to by the fitness magazines, lied to by the government and lied to by the food industry.

Lies such as…

-> You need to eat “low calorie” to lose fat
-> You should do long, slow cardio to put your body in the “fat burning zone”
-> You should eat plenty of whole grains to stay healthy and lean
-> Losing fat is a slow & steady process

Well Vic Magary who is one of the go to fat loss experts just put up a video exposing all of these myths…

Vic is a former Army soldier and he knows what works and what doesn’t – and spills all of his biggest secrets in the video…

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Add Superfoods To Your Diet And Lose Weight… Continued…

Author of a new weight loss book, The Drop 10 Diet, Lucy Danziger, compares eating superfoods to putting premium gas in your car. All of us want to be choosing foods that give more than calories – ones that can help keep your body running well and free of disease.

What’s more, experts agree that as you feel better, you’ll do more. Be more active. Eat better. Start to feel the difference in your stamina and energy level.

When you think about it, we all make investments in our wardrobe, our grooming… so why not make an effort to do the same for your body? Seeking out the top superfoods are a smart way to go, and if you add them to your diet, you’ll be amazed at how you feel.

Losing Weight When Obese

How do obese dieters lose the weight? A new study on losing weight when obese finds that many Americans considered obese who work to lose weight succeed, at least for the short term.

The researchers were working to identify strategies associated with successfully dropping from 5% to 10% of their starting body weight by examining the diet strategies of over 1,500 obese people who’d lost this amount of weight.

The strategies identified were:

- Eating a diet that has less fat

- Exercising more often

- Taking prescriptions diet medications

- Joining a commercial weight loss program

The study relied upon data from a nationally representative sample taken during the years 2001 to 2006 known as the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an ongoing investigation that gathers details about health, healthy habits and other lifestyle information on Americans.

The body mass index (BMI) of the respondents was computed, based on their self reported height and weight values, and the researchers focused on those with a BMI of 30.0 or above, as this is considered obese.

The respondents were asked it they had made any attempts at weight loss during the past year, and if they had, what strategies had been used.

Of over 4,000 obese participants, more than 2,500 said they had worked at losing weight over the last year. Of these, almost 1,000 (40%) reported being able to drop at least 5% (or more) of their body weight. What’s more, over 500 of the respondents had lost 10% (or more) of their body weight in the last year – and these people had used one or more weight loss strategies (eating right, exercise, prescription medications) and also joined a commercial weight loss program.

What didn’t work for weight loss?

Continues below…

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The “secret” to losing belly fat…

You’ve been lied to. Lied to by the fitness magazines, lied to by the government and lied to by the food industry.

Lies such as…

-> You need to eat “low calorie” to lose fat
-> You should do long, slow cardio to put your body in the “fat burning zone”
-> You should eat plenty of whole grains to stay healthy and lean
-> Losing fat is a slow & steady process

Well Vic Magary who is one of the go to fat loss experts just put up a video exposing all of these myths…

Vic is a former Army soldier and he knows what works and what doesn’t – and spills all of his biggest secrets in the video…

Click through now and check out this free video and discover the secret to losing stubborn belly fat…
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*

Obese Dieters Do Succeed, Here’s How… Continued…

Liquid diets, nonprescription diet aids or fad diets were shown to be unsuccessful. There’s absolutely no evidence that those “quick, easy” weight loss options work at all.

The strategy used for the loss was important, but so too was a dieter’s commitment to the approach chosen according to investigator Jacinda Nicklas who is a clinical research fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as well as Harvard Medical School.

Today we know that over a third of American are carrying enough weight to be considered obese. You might think trying to lose all that weight is futile, but this study suggests that this isn’t the case.

For someone considered obese, a loss of from 5% to 10% of body weight is significant and can provide measureable benefits to the body such as lower blood pressure.

The good news that comes from this study is that weight can be lost.

If you’re obese and struggling to drop those unhealthy, unsightly pounds, experts advise you to look at all the possible strategies out there and choose one or two that seem the least painful and easiest to incorporate in your everyday life. Stick with those and set small, measureable goals. Another tactic for losing weight when obese that appears to work is taking on a new persona, such as becoming a marathoner or health advocate.

Overcoming Excuses Not To Exercise

We all know that exercise is an important part of keeping our bodies healthy as the years pass. But doing it… well, that’s another story. We can always find excuses not to exercise and put off the workout… traffic, overwork, conflicting schedules, fatigue… and thus keep ourselves from getting the many health benefits of being more active on a regular basis.

Here are 6 of the most common exercise excuses and how you can counter them.

1. I don’t have time - the all time favorite in today’s busy, over-scheduled world. Yet experts wonder how much time you make for other things, like watching TV. During TV time, use resistance bands, or walk on a treadmill. You might try Tivo so that you can watch a show after the workout, and be able to skip the commercials – making an hour show just 40 minutes long.

If it’s work that’s keeping you from workouts, try to get active on the job – visit the gym at lunch, take the stairs instead of the elevator, don’t drive if you can walk and generally try to increase how much you move on a regular basis.

2. I’m too tired – also popular, and though it might not sound sensible, working out will actually leave you with more energy than when you started. Once you start moving, that fatigue will slip away like it was never there. That’s because your body is benefiting from the release of endorphins, as well as getting your circulation going. You might also try exercising in the morning, before you start your day and energy levels drop.

3. I don’t get a break from the kids - to which experts suggest taking them along, doing your exercise while they are playing. Take a walk around the field or playground, or if possible, walk the kids to school instead of driving them.

Also try to do active things with your kids during family time – ride bikes, play badminton, sign up as a family for local charity runs or enjoy backyard games. Being more active isn’t just good for you, it’s good for your kids too.

4. It’s boring - only if you let it be. You need to find an activity you genuinely love, forget strenuous and unpleasant and think things like inline skating, ballroom dancing, gardening, joining a sports team. There’s something for everyone, the trick is to find it. Working out with others is also helpful for many people. You can always mix up your workouts so you don’t get bored.

Continues below…

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Overweight? Shocking Proof that it may not be your fault

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How To Get Past Common Exercise Excuses And Get Moving… Continued…

5. I don’t like to move - hard, because there are people who genuinely enjoy not being active. They like hobbies such as knitting, reading or watching TV. If it’s the sweating you don’t like… try swimming or low-sweat activities like yoga. If workouts hurt, start by exercising in water and as your muscles get stronger, they’ll be better able to support your joints, and the pain will diminish.

Athletic trainers can also work with those with more serious limitations and help them enjoy some safe, easy exercise. If you’re self-conscious about how heavy you are, start the workout at home, where no one can see, and keep in mind that gyms today claim to be very different – no Spandex, and women only places are common now.

6. I always end up quitting - can be fought by setting small, attainable goals so that you can enjoy some successes. If you workout for five minutes a day for a week, you’ll feel good and maybe want to try ten minutes a day the week after. It also helps to keep a log of activity and put is somewhere where everyone can see it (even Facebook) so that you can get encouragement from those you know. Logs also help you see when you start to fall off, and get you back on track.

The U.S. Surgeon General suggests healthy adults do at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week. And while this might sound like a lot, it works out to a little over 20 minutes a day. Three ten minutes workouts are just as good as a single twenty to thirty minute one, and these shorter stints might be far easier to fit into your crowded schedule.

In the end, those who avoid excuses not to exercise make workouts a priority in their lives. They make time for exercise, because people always can find time for things they value.

Natural Acne Cure Found In Produce Aisle

Here’s an unexpected idea. The next natural acne cure you use might be found not in the pharmacy but in the produce area of your local market. Thyme is an herb that is naturally loaded with lots of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The intriguing findings of research into the three natural compounds that fight against acne-causing bacteria was presented at the Society for General Microbiology 2012 Spring Conference held in Dublin.

We all know acne as a skin condition that causes unsightly pimples. It happens when the pores on the surface of the skin get clogged, and while most common during the teen (3 of 4 teens have acne) years can hit at any age… even babies. It does not come from chocolate, nuts or greasy foods. Still, you should know that diets high in refined sugars might be related to acne.

A team of researchers out of the U.K’s Leeds Metropolitan University steeped thyme, marigold and myrrh to create a tincture. A tincture is made when plant material is soaked in alcohol for days or weeks. The process draws out the active compounds of the plant.

They then tested the tinctures, as well as an alcohol control, on the bacteria that are known to cause acne. These mixtures were all able to kill off the acne-causing bacteria after five minutes, but thyme was by far the most potent. The thyme tincture also had a greater antibacterial effect than standard preparations of benzoyl peroxide.

If the findings hold up, thyme could be a natural alternative to treat acne. Current treatments with benzoyl peroxide come with the potential side effect of burning and skin irritation – common in many patients and especially those with sensitive skin.

Study leader Dr. Margarita Gomez-Escalada believes an herbal preparation is going to be less hard on the skin because of the anti-inflammatory properties of the plants being used. And they can be just as, maybe more, effective than the treatments available to patients today.

Continues below…

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Announcing: Doctor Approved Store Cupboard Remedies that Really Work…

Do you buy over the counter drugs?

Stop right now and don’t waste any more money.

Did you know that you can easily treat illness without side effects, using only natural herbs, vitamins and nutrients?

Charles Silverman N.D. Certified Naturopathic and Herbalist Doctor has taken his 18 years research and experience and condensed it into a home remedy encyclopeida of the most powerful, and more importantly proven, home remedies.

You can eliminate the Flu virus, boost your immune system, and recover faster from colds using these doctor-approved home remedies…

As well as sleep better, look younger and treat any skin problem with your own skin care home remedies and recipes.

Click through now to discover the “hidden” kitchen cupboard cures – proven by clinical trials.
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*

Latest: Thyme Can Fight Acne Causing Bacteria… Continued…

Still dermatologists are quick to point out that while promising, this study is preliminary, and thyme-based acne treatments are still some years away.

There are certainly those, such as Michele Green, MD, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, who think a thyme-based acne treatment cannot come soon enough. Benzoyl peroxide is irritating and very drying, so an herbal treatment would be a fantastic option to offer patients.

In the meantime, if you deal with acne, the first thing you need to do is visit the skin care area of your local pharmacy. Choose a cleanser with salicylic acid, followed by a mild benzoyl peroxide product that you leave on your skin. If using these products doesn’t show any results after a week or so, you need to take the next step, seeing a dermatologist to get a prescription strength medication.

And even the experts who conducted the study warn people not to use thyme at home as natural acne cure. Just because it works in the lab doesn’t mean what you’d buy and apply to your skin will do the same thing. More clinical testing needs to be done before we can have an effective, gentle and natural treatment for acne… but it seems we’re on our way.

Toxic Nail Polish Health Fears

Something to watch for. A new report out of California has found toxic nail polish that is labeled “Toxin-Free”, though the industry says the report is short on perspective. The labeling doesn’t seem to match the ingredients in the bottles according to Valetti Lang who is acting manager of a branch of the Department of Toxic Substances Control for the California EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

Here’s how the study was done. The team of researchers bought 25 nail products in May 2011 and sent the samples to an independent laboratory who examined the samples for three chemicals known as the toxic trio – dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde. These substances have been a concern because of the potential health effects, especially to the salon workers who are constantly exposed to them.

The state investigators from California’s EPA tested nail color or lacquer as well as top coats, base coats, top coat/base coat combinations, polish thinner and nail art. Twelve of the products tested said they were free of one, two or all three of the chemicals. The other 13 made no such claims.

The only two products where the claim on the label matched the product in the bottle were:

- Color Madnic Luscious nail lacquer

- Zoya professional nail lacquer

Here are the products that made no claims on the label, but also didn’t have any of the three substances in the bottles:

- OPI Birthday Babe nail lacquer

- Cali nail polish thinner

- Essie Starter Wife 596 nail lacquer

- Out the Door topcoat

The products that didn’t measure up with claims of being free of either one, two or three of the toxic trio…

- Sation 99 base coat

- Sation 99 top coat

- Dare to Wear nail lacquer

- Chelsea 650 Baby’s Breath nail lacquer (fast dry)

- Poshe fast dry base coat

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As you can see, the researchers found that in many cases the label was inaccurate. What’s more, some products not labeled as “toxic free” had none of the three chemicals at all. The team does not know if their samples are representative of the industry at large.

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Some Nail Care Products Could Contain Toxic Chemicals… Continued…

The report will give information to the San Francisco Department of Environment’s recognition program, a voluntary one, for nail salons that use safer products on customers. This program was begun after the city (and county) of San Francisco enacted such an ordinance at the end of 2010. To be recognized as a safe salon, the establishment must use products without the toxic trio and other chemicals as well.

The Nail Manufacturers Council does not approve of inaccurate labeling. They also said that none of the levels given in the DTSC report offer a significant health or safety risk.

A statement from the Professional Beauty Association’s Nail Manufacturers Council said that the brands tested aren’t major brands and aren’t available in every salon. You can buy the products at beauty supply shops or online. Just be aware that chemicals with well-known health concerns could be in the products you buy, even if the label says “toxic free”.

Toxic nail polish and other toxin containing nail products are a bigger concern for salon technicians than consumers, still it’s smart to be aware and informed. There are other products besides nail care items that have these chemicals, and exposure can accumulate. If you’re worried, you might consider limiting the number of manicures or pedicures you get. Of course if you’re pregnant, you’ll want to skip the nail salon altogether.

Is Your Job Increasing Your Diabetes Risk?

Some of the strongest evidence yet that short (or disrupted) sleep is bad for your metabolism. While this is the norm for almost 15 million Americans who work outside the standard “9 to 5″ schedule, a new study appearing in the journal Science Translational Medicine finds that such a schedule dramatically raises your blood sugar levels, and this in turn raises your obesity and diabetes risk.

The research saw that adults who were otherwise healthy but where sleeping on schedules that were at odds with the natural biological clocks made 32% less insulin than they did when they were properly rested. Sleep deprivation caused blood sugar to rise significantly and in some instances the increase went into the pre-diabetic range.

What’s more, the numbers of calories their bodies burned while at rest went down almost 8%, which over the course of a year, could well appear as a weight gain of almost 13 pounds.

What this tells experts is that the modern world with its excess work hours, loads of unrelenting pressure and no sleep is not good for us metabolically according to associate neuroscientist Orfeu M. Buxton, PhD from the division of sleep medicine out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

The study involved 21 men and women (half in their 20s, the other half in their 60s) who remained in a sleep lab, under carefully controlled conditions for a month.

All were well rested and healthy when the study started. The subjects lived in dimly lit spaces that didn’t have windows, so their bodies could not naturally adjust to daytime and nighttime.

For three weeks the team kept the subjects awake for 28 hours at a time so that they were eating in the middle of what should have been night, and sleeping during what should have been daytime. They weren’t allowed to sleep more than 6 hours in each 24 hour time period, a schedule intended to create sleep deprivation.

The researchers used blood testing to monitor blood sugar before and after meals, and to measure hormones tied to appetite, stress and energy regulation. The study subjects had higher blood sugar levels, regardless of age or sex, after being deprived of sleep than they did when well rested. What’s more, during times of sleep deprivation, participants burned fewer calories at rest than they did when they’d gotten enough sleep.

Earlier research on sleep and metabolism has found blood sugar does rise after a poor night’s sleep because our muscles are less sensitive to insulin. Insulin resistance brings on many problems in the body, including polycystic ovary syndrome, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Sleep deprived people have less energy for exercise, and have also been shown to eat more snacks and drink sugared beverages, while eating less of the good-for-you fruits and veggies.

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Shift Work Could Set You Up For Obesity And Diabetes… Continued…

Not getting the sleep your body needs seems to keep the pancreas from making the right amount of insulin to meet your energy demands. The pancreas “is tired” according to Buxton and this is why it can’t respond properly. It does not appear to be a problem with supply of insulin, but rather an inability to sense the real glucose level of the body, or an inability to respond as it would normally. Why the organ gets fatigued remains unexplained.

The study also found that the metabolic disruption reverses after the subjects were allowed to get the proper amount of sleep on a regular schedule. This suggests that people need to make sleep a priority if they want to stay healthy.

So if you work the night shift, you have to be very serious about protecting that time during the day when you sleep – don’t let other things eat into that time. Try to limit rapid changes in work schedule – ideally you’d be able to work an extended period on the same shift so your body can adapt. Also, eating a balanced diet and making time for exercise will help, as these things are so important to long-term health and for reducing diabetes risk.