26 Scientific Studies on Avocado

avocados

Avocados

Native to South America and the Caribbean, the avocado tree produces a fruit that is actually a large egg-shaped berry with a sizable seed at its center. Its use among pre-Incan and other ancient Mesoamerican cultures has been dated to about ten thousand years ago by archaeologists. The Aztecs considered avocado to be a fertility booster.

Though dozens of avocado cultivars are harvested, the Hass cultivar accounts for three-fourths of all avocados consumed. Mexico remains by far the biggest producer. Avocados contain much more potassium than bananas, are high in monounsaturated fats and B vitamins, and have a high fiber content. They have proven health benefits in many areas, particularly in lowering levels of harmful LDL and triglycerides and raising levels of beneficial HDL.

Anti-Inflammatory

AV119, a Natural Sugar from Avocado gratissims, Modulates the LPS-Induced Proinflammatory Response in Human Keratinocytes. Donnarumma G, Paoletti I, Buommino E, Et al. Inflammation. 2010 Oct 9 (Epub ahead of print). Key Finding: “Our data show that AV119, a patented blend of avocado sugars, is able to modulate significantly the proinflammatory response in human keratinocytes, blocking the NF-kB activation in human keratinocytes.”

Atherosclerosis

Hypoglycemia and hypocholesterolemic potential of Persea Americana leaf extracts. Brai BI, Odetola AA, Agomo PU. J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2):356-60. Key Finding: “These results suggest that aqueous and methanolic leaf extracts of P. Americana (avocado) lower plasma glucose and influence lipid metabolism in hypercholesterolemic rats with consequent lowering of T-CHOL and LDL-CHOL, and a restoration of HDL-CHOL levels. This could represent a protective mechanism against the development of atherosclerosis.

Cancer (oral; prostate)

Selective induction of apoptosis of human oral cancer cell lines by avocado extracts via a ROS-mediated mechanism. Ding H, Han C, Guo D, Chin YW, Ding Y, Kinghorn AD, D’Ambrosio SM. Nutr Cancer. 2009;61(3):348-56. Key Finding: “Avocados have a high content of phytochemicals with potential chemo preventive activity. Previously we reported that phytochemicals extracted from avocado meat selectively induced apoptosis in cancer but not normal, human oral epithelial cell lines. In the present study, we observed that treatment of human oral cancer cell lines containing high levels of reactive oxygen (ROS) with D003 increased ROS levels twofold to threefold and induced apoptosis. These data suggest that perturbing the ROS levels in human oral cancer cell lines may be a key factor in selective apoptosis and molecular targeting for chemoprevention by photochemical.”

Chemoproventive characteristics of avocado fruit. Ding H, Chin YW, Kinghorn AD, D’Ambrosio SM. Semin Cancer Biol. 2007 Oct;17(5):386-94. Key Finding: “Our recent studies indicate that phytochemicals extracted with chloroform from avocado fruits target multiple signaling pathways and increase intracellular reactive oxygen leading to apoptosis. This review summarizes the reported phytochemicals in avocado fruit and discusses their molecular mechanisms and targets. These studies suggest that individual and combinations of phytochemicals from the avocado fruit may offer an advantageous dietary strategy in cancer prevention.”

Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract: role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances. Lu QY, Arteaga JR, Zhang Q, Huerta S, Go VL, Heber D. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jan;16(1):23-30. Key Finding: “Avocado contains numerous bioactive carotenoids. Because the avocado also contains a significant amount of monounsaturated fat, these bioactive carotenoids are likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream, where in combination with other diet-derived phytochemicals they may contribute to the significant cancer risk reduction associated with a diet of fruits and vegetables.”

An avocado constituent, persenone A, suppresses expression of inducible forms of nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase in macrophages, and hydrogen peroxide generation in mouse skin. Kim OK, Murakami A, Takahashi D, Nakamura Y, Torikai K, Kim HW, Ohigashi H. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2000 Nov;64(11):2504-7. Key Finding: “This study suggests that persenone A, an avocado constituent, is a possible agent to prevent inflammation-associated diseases including cancer.”

Cholesterol (and Hypercholesterolemia)

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) size and composition are modified in the rat by a diet supplemented with “Hass” avocado (Persea Americana Miller). Perez-Mendez O, Garcia Hernandez L. Arch Cardiol Mex. (Spanish). 2007 Jan-Mar;77(1):17-24. Key Finding: “The inclusion of avocado in the diet decreased plasma triglycerides increased HDL-cholesterol plasma levels and modified HDL structure. The latter effect may enhance the antiatherogenic properties of HDL.”

Effects of a vegetarian diet vs. a vegetarian diet enriched with avocado in hypercholesterolemic patients. Carrznza-Madrigal J, Herrera-Abarca JE, Alvizouri-Munoz M, Alvarado-Jimenez MR, Chavez-Carbajal F. Arch Med Res. 1997 Winter;28(4):537-41. Key Finding: “All three diets reduced HDL levels. To obtain beneficial effects on lipid profile with avocado, lower amounts of carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fatty acids are probably needed.”

Monounsaturated fatty acid (avocado) rich diet for mild hypercholesterolemia. Lopez LR, Frati Munari AC, Hernandez Dominguez BC, Cervantes MS, Hernandez Luna MH, Juarez C, Moran LS. Arch Med Res. 1996 Winter;27(4):519-23. Key Finding: “High lipid, high MFA-avocado enriched diet can improve lipid profile in healthy and especially in mild hypercholesterolemic patients, even if hypertriglyceridemia (combined hyperlipidemia) is present.”

Effects of avocado on the level of blood lipids in patients with phenotype II and IV dyslipidemias. Carranza J, Alvizouri M, Alvarado MR, Chavez F, Gomez M, Herrera JE. Arch Inst Cardio Mex. (Spanish). 1995 Jul-Aug;65(4):342-8. Key Finding: “Avocado is an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids in diets designed to treat hypercholesterolemia with some advantages over low-fat diets with a greater amount of carbohydrates.”

Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. J Nutr. 2005 Mar;135(3):431-6. Key Finding: “Adding avocado fruit can significantly enhance carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa, which is attributed primarily to the lipids present in avocado.”

Hypertension

Cardiovascular effects of Persea Americana Mill (Lauraceae) (avocado) aqueous leaf extract in experimental animals. Ojewole JA, Kamadyaapa DR, Gondwe MM, Moodley K, Musabayane CT. Cardiovasc J Afr. 2007 Mar-Apr;18(2):69-76. Key Finding: “The findings of this study tend to suggest that P. Americana leaf could be used as a natural supplementary remedy in essential hypertension and certain cases of cardiac dysfunctions.”

Effect of an avocado oil-rich diet over an angiotensin II-induced blood pressure response. Salazar MJ, El Hafidi M, Pastelin G, Ramirez-Ortega MC, Sanchez-Mendoza MA. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Apr 26;98(3):335-8. Key Finding: “Avocado oil-rich diet modifies the fatty acid content in cardiac and renal membranes in a tissue-specific manner. Diet content can be a key factor in vascular responses.”

Osteoarthritis

A potential role for avocado and soybean based nutritional supplements in the management of osteoarthritis: a review. Dinubile NA. Phys Sportsmed. 2010 Jun;38(2):71-81. Key Finding: “Basic scientific research studies and a systematic review and meta-analysis of the available high-quality randomized clinical trials indicate that 300 mg of avocado and soybean unsaponifiables per day (with or without glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate) appears to be beneficial for patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis.”

Symptomatic efficacy of avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) in osteoarthritis (OA) patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Christensen R, Bartels EM, Astrup A, Bliddal H. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2008 Apr;16(4):399-408. Key Finding: “Based on the available evidence, patients may be recommended to give avocado/soybean unsaponifiables a chance for e.g., 3 months. Meta-analysis data support better chances of success in patients with knee OA than in those with hip OA.”

Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis. Angermann P. Ugeskr Laeger (Danish). 2005 Aug 15;167(33):3023-5. Key Finding: “These studies indicate that ASU has an effect on the symptoms of knee and hip osteoarthritis but not on the structural changes caused by osteoarthritis.”

Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) for osteoarthritis—a systematic review. Ernst E. Clin Rheumatol. 2003 Oct;22(4-5):285-8. Key Finding: “The majority of rigorous trial data available to date suggest that avocado/soybean unsaponifiables is effective for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis.”

Structural effect of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables on joint space loss in osteoarthritis of the hip. Lequesne M, Maheu E, Cadet C, Dreiser RL. Arthritis Rheum. 2002 Feb;47(1):50-8. Key Finding: “Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables significantly reduced the progression of joint space loss as compared with placebo in the subgroup of patients with advanced joint space narrowing.”

Symptoms modifying effect of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) in knee osteoarthritis. A double-blind, prospective, placebo-controlled study. Appelboom T, Schuermans J, Verbruggen G, Henrotin Y, Reginster JY. Scand J Rheumatol. 2001;30(4):242-7. Key Finding: “The efficacy of ASU at a dosage of 300mg/day and 600mg/day was consistently superior to that of placebo at all endpoints, with no differences observed between the two doses.”

Modification of articular cartilage and subchondral bone pathology in an ovine meniscetomy model of osteoarthritis by avocado and soya unsaponifiables (ASU). Cake MA, Read RA, Guillou B, Ghosh P. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2000 Nov;8(6):404-11. Key Finding: “These findings support other studies which have proposed that avocado and soya unsaponifiables may exhibit disease-modifying anti-osteoarthritis activity.”

The possible ‘chondroprotective’ effect of the unsaponifiable constituents of avocado and soya in vivo. Khayyal MT, el-Ghazaly MA. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1998;24(1):41-50. Key Finding: “An experimental in vivo model for studying cartilage destruction has been used to study the possible chondroprotective effect of the unsaponifiable constituents of avocado, soya and their combination. The unsaponifiables of both avocado and soya significantly reduced the degenerative changes induced by the granuloma tissue on the implanted cartilage in control animals. The effect was even more marked when animals were treated with the combination of the two unsaponifiables at a 1:2 ratio.”

Efficacy and safety of avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. A prospective, multicenter, three-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Blotman F, Maheu E, Wulwik A, Caspard H, Lopez A. Rev Rhum Engl Ed. 1997 Dec;64(12):825-34. Key Finding: “One of the objectives of symptomatic slow-acting drugs for osteoarthritis is to reduce the need for drugs with a less favorable safety profile, mainly analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables reduced the need for these drugs in patients with primary femorotibial or hip osteoarthritis. The functional index showed a significantly greater improvement in the active (avocado/soybean) group.”

Psoriasis

Vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil in the therapy of plaque psoriasis. Stucker M, Memmel U, Hoffmann M, Hartung J, Altmeyer P. Dermatology. 2001;203(2):141-7. Key Finding: “The results of this clinical trial provide evidence that the recently developed vitamin B (12) cream containing avocado oil has considerable potential as a well-tolerated, long-term topical therapy of psoriasis.”

The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism. Werman MJ, Mokady S, Nimni ME, Neeman I. Connect Tissue Res. 1991;26(1-2):1-10. Key Finding: “The effects of various avocado oils on collagen metabolism in skin were studied in growing rats. Rats fed the unrefined avocado oil extracted with hexane from the intact fruit, its unsaponifiables or the avocado seed oil, showed significant increases in soluble collagen content in skin.”

Schleroderma

Natural remedies for schleroderma. Gaby AR. Altern Med Rev. 2006 Sep;11(3):188-95. Key Finding: Avocado/soybean extract is a promising natural treatment for scleroderma, an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue characterized by fibrosis and thickening of various tissues.

Wounds

Wound healing activity of Persea Americana (avocado) fruit: a preclinical study on rats. Nayak BS, Raju SS, Chalapathia Rao AV. J Wound Care. 2008 Mar;17(3):123-6. Key Finding: “Avocado oil is rich in nutrient waxes, proteins and minerals, as well as vitamins A, D and E. It is an excellent source of enrichment for dry, damaged or chapped skin. This study aimed to evaluate the wound-healing activity of fruit extract of Persea Americana in rats. Rate of wound contraction, epithelialization time, together with the hydroxyproline content and histological observations, supports the use of Persea Americana in the management of wound healing.”

source: Lindsay Johnson, Hippocrates Health Institute

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Insects To Welcome In Your Garden

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Gardeners often clump insects together, viewing them all as pests. Yet there are plenty of beneficial insects that can help crops thrive and turn any garden into a well functioning ecosystem.

Plant health depends on beneficial insects that are often mistaken for pests. Be sure not to spray harmful insecticides, or you will be doing more harm than good. Not only are these beneficial insects good for your garden, but they also help take care of pest problems for you.

 

Syrphid or Hover Flies

HOver Flies_tnThese little insects are often mistaken for bees, but they are actually flies. The easiest way to tell the difference is by looking at their wings. Syrphid flies only have 2. The adults can often be seen hovering in mid-air, before darting off. The larvae of these creatures feast on aphids, while the adults spend their time darting from flower to flower, aiding in pollination.

 

 

Lady Beetles or Ladybugs

ladyBug_tnThese beetles and their larvae thoroughly enjoy feasting on aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites. Ladybugs are attracted to fennel, dill, cilantro, caraway, angelica, tansy, wild carrot, yarrow, and dandelion. The ladybug in the photo is a Spotted Pink Lady Beetle. They can often be found munching on pest larvae such as Colorado potato beetle eggs.

 

 

Parasitic Wasps

ParasiticWasps_tnThere are several species of parasitic wasps, and although their name may sound scary, they have no interest in hurt humans. The amount of pests that can be controlled by parasitic wasps is nothing short of amazing. They can effectively control aphids, scale, whiteflies, sawfly larvae, ants, leaf miners, and many types of caterpillars. This bugs also parasitize the larvae of several pests, including tomato hornworms, codling moths, cabbage loopers, and cabbageworms.

These pest eating wasps are attracted to dill, cilantro, fennel, and many more flowering plants and shrubs.

Green Lacewing

GreenLacewing_tnThis is one of the prettiest beneficial insects you will find in your garden. This delicate little insect has large translucent wings and it can devour a deceptively large amount of soft bodied pests, like aphids, scale, and thrips. The larvae of these insects can also help keep caterpillar populations down in your garden.

 

 

Ground Beetles

Ground Beatle_tnGround beetles are wonderful for any garden! They generally come out at night and forage through the soil, eating cutworms, caterpillars, maggots, and slug eggs. These beetles will patrol your soil and keep your plants safe.


 

 

 

Source: via health freedoms alliance

Analysis of more than 1.5 million people finds meat consumption raises mortality rates

Death rates higher when red and processed meats are eaten daily, according to Mayo Clinic reviewers

American Osteopathic Association

A review of large-scale studies involving more than 1.5 million people found all-cause mortality is higher for those who eat meat, particularly red or processed meat, on a daily basis. Conducted by physicians from Mayo Clinic in Arizona, “Is Meat Killing Us?” was published today in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

The authors analyzed six studies that evaluated the effects of meat and vegetarian diets on mortality with a goal of giving primary care physicians evidence-based guidance about whether they should discourage patients from eating meat. Their recommendation: physicians should advise patients to limit animal products when possible and consume more plants than meat.

“This data reinforces what we have known for so long – your diet has great potential to harm or heal,” said Brookshield Laurent, DO, assistant professor of family medicine and clinical sciences at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. “This clinical-based evidence can assist physicians in counseling patients about the important role diet plays, leading to improved preventive care, a key consideration in the osteopathic philosophy of medicine.”

While findings for U.S. and European populations differed somewhat, the data found the steepest rise in mortality at the smallest increases of intake of total red meat. That 2014 study followed more than one million people over 5.5 to 28 years and considered the association of processed meat (such as bacon, sausage, salami, hot dogs and ham), as well as unprocessed red meat (including uncured, unsalted beef, pork, lamb or game).

A 2014 meta-analysis examined associations with mortality from cardiovascular disease and ischemic heart disease. In that study of more than 1.5 million people, researchers found only processed meat significantly increase the risk for all-cause mortality.

Combined, the findings of these studies are statistically significant in their similarity, the reviewers noted. Further, a 2003 review of more than 500,000 participants found a decreased risk of 25 percent to nearly 50 percent of all-cause mortality for very low meat intake compared with higher meat intake.

They also found a 3.6-year increase in life expectancy for those on a vegetarian diet for more than 17 years, as compared to short-term vegetarians.

Open access to the full review is available until July 1, 2016: http://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2517494

About The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) is the official scientific publication of the American Osteopathic Association. Edited by Robert Orenstein, DO, it is the premier scholarly peer-reviewed publication of the osteopathic medical profession. The JAOA’s mission is to advance medicine through the publication of peer-reviewed osteopathic research.

Caffeine Consumption & Miscarriage

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A woman is more likely to miscarry if she and her partner drink more than two caffeinated beverages a day during the weeks leading up to conception, according to a new study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Ohio State University, Columbus. Similarly, women who drank more than two daily caffeinated beverages during the first seven weeks of pregnancy were also more likely to miscarry.


However, women who took a daily multivitamin before conception and through early pregnancy were less likely to miscarry than women who did not. The study was published online in Fertility and Sterility.

“Our findings provide useful information for couples who are planning a pregnancy and who would like to minimize their risk for early pregnancy loss,” said the study’s first author, Germaine Buck Louis, Ph.D., director of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The researchers analyzed data from the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study, which was established to examine the relationship between fertility, lifestyle and exposure to environmental chemicals. The LIFE Study enrolled 501 couples from four counties in Michigan and 12 counties in Texas, from 2005 to 2009.

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For the current study, researchers compared such lifestyle factors as cigarette use, caffeinated beverage consumption and multivitamin use among 344 couples with a singleton pregnancy from the weeks before they conceived through the seventh week of pregnancy.

The researchers reported their results using a statistical concept known as a hazard ratio, which estimates the chances of a particular health outcome occurring during the study time frame. For example, the researchers evaluated caffeinated beverage consumption in terms of the daily likelihood of pregnancy loss over a given time period. A score greater than 1 indicates an increased risk for pregnancy loss each day following conception, and a score less than 1 indicates a reduced daily risk.

Of the 344 pregnancies, 98 ended in miscarriage, or 28 percent. For the preconception period, miscarriage was associated with female age of 35 or above, for a hazard ratio of 1.96 (nearly twice the miscarriage risk of younger women). The study was not designed to conclusively prove cause and effect. The study authors cited possible explanations for the higher risk, including advanced age of sperm and egg in older couples or cumulative exposure to substances in the environment, which could be expected to increase as people age.

Both male and female consumption of more than two caffeinated beverages a day also was associated with an increased hazard ratio: 1.74 for females and 1.73 for males. Earlier studies, the authors noted, have documented increased pregnancy loss associated with caffeine consumption in early pregnancy. However, those studies could not rule out whether caffeine consumption contributed to pregnancy loss or was a sign of an unhealthy pregnancy. It’s possible, the authors wrote, that these earlier findings could have been the result of a healthy pregnancy, rather than caffeine consumption interfering with pregnancy. For example, the increase in food aversions and vomiting associated with a healthy pregnancy led the women to give up caffeinated beverages.

Because their study found caffeine consumption before pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, it’s more likely that caffeinated beverage consumption during this time directly contributes to pregnancy loss.


“Our findings also indicate that the male partner matters, too,” Dr. Buck Louis said. “Male preconception consumption of caffeinated beverages was just as strongly associated with pregnancy loss as females’.”


Finally, the researchers saw a reduction in miscarriage risk for women who took a daily multivitamin. During the preconception period, researchers found a hazard ratio of 0.45 — a 55-percent reduction in risk for pregnancy loss. Women who continued to take the vitamins through early pregnancy had a hazard ratio of 0.21, or a risk reduction of 79 percent. The authors cited other studies that found that vitamin B6 and folic acid — included in preconception and pregnancy vitamin formulations — can reduce miscarriage risk. Folic acid supplements are recommended for women of childbearing age, as their use in the weeks leading up to and following conception reduces the risk for having a child with a neural tube defect.


Source(s): http://www.healthfreedoms.org; nih.gov; dailysabah.com

 

 

Fragrance Folly – The New Second Hand Smoke

Fragrance folly

A look at the not-so-pretty side of the personal care industry

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My biggest grievance with the personal care industry is its rampant use of synthetic fragrance. It is in everything from hand soap to shaving cream and can also be found in numerous household items like garbage bags and laundry detergent. It’s impossible to escape because even if you keep your home fragrance-free, you will encounter it in public through other people’s perfume and air fresheners. It is everywhere and we are only beginning to understand the health impacts.

I spent many years loving perfume. This changed when I discovered essential oils and fell in love with the true aromas of plants. As my interest in aromatherapy grew, I started to feel like we had all been ripped off with these fake petrochemical versions of fragrance that have dominated the industry. Not only did I develop a distaste for these artificial scents but I also developed a sensitivity by not being exposed to them for a period of time. I first noticed it while walking through a store’s beauty department where the typical barrage of perfume occurs. A strange headache appeared. I am not alone; 30 per cent of Americans report experiencing adverse health effects from fragrance. Some of the symptoms include headaches, tightness of chest and wheezing, asthma and exacerbation of asthma, and infant diarrhea and vomiting. You have to wonder what else it’s doing to our bodies.

One of the challenges of researching fragrances is that the ingredients are not disclosed by the manufacturers for proprietary reasons. It is difficult to know what toxins are involved when the ingredients aren’t required on the label. Fortunately, some researchers have been able to break down some of the formulas and the results are alarming. In a 2009 study, fragrances in 6 top-selling air fresheners and laundry detergents were analyzed. Of the 50 unique components found, ten were regulated as toxic or hazardous under US federal laws, and among those, three were classified as Hazardous Air Pollutants – acetaldehyde, chloromethane, and 1,4-dioxane.

The Environmental Working Group in the United States released a report called Not So Sexy: The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrance, which found numerous potential toxins in the 17 popular perfumes tested. Diethyl phthalate, an hormone disruptor found in 97 per cent of Americans tested, was contained in 12 of the perfumes. This is a chemical that has been linked to abnormal reproductive development in baby boys and sperm damage in men. I shudder to think of pregnant women using fragrance and unknowingly putting their babies at risk. The report found that each perfume tested had an average of four hormone-disrupting chemicals including galaxolide and tonalide, synthetic musks that accumulate in the body and can even be found in the cord blood of newborns.

Whether or not you expose your own body to these chemicals is your choice, but keep in mind that you are exposing others to them as well. It’s similar to second hand smoke. Scent is very important to humans so it’s understandable that the fragrance industry is so large. We simply need safer options. Thankfully, you can get the benefits of a nice smell from essential oils and plant extracts and many companies are using them instead of synthetics. There are even some amazing perfume companies creating 100 per cent natural blends, something I see growing in popularity. There are also many unscented products on the market to choose from.  When reading labels, always check for ingredients listed as ‘fragrance’, ‘parfum’ or ‘natural oils’ (if it’s truly natural, it will be listed as its botanical name).

~Source: Alternatives Journal

New Research on Chemical Hair Dye & Cancer

New Research on Chemical Hair Dye & Cancer

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by Alicia Di Rado

Keck School preventive medicine researchers may have propelled numerous policy changes on the use of hair dye throughout Europe.

According to a study published in last February’s issue of the International Journal of Cancer, the USC research team found that women who use permanent dyes at least once a month for a year or longer have twice the risk of bladder cancer as non-users even after adjusting for smoking. Those who used dyes more often and for longer periods, as well as hairdressers (who use dyes on their clients), face an even higher risk. Study authors in preventive medicine included J. Esteban Castelao, Manuela Gago-Dominguez, Ronald Ross, Mimi Yu and Jian-Min Yuan. The findings were part of a continuing study on bladder cancer incidence.

The hair dye study results raised concerns in Europe, where as in the United States about one-third of women over age 18 dye their hair.

The European Commission, a body that drafts legislation for members of the European Union, quickly asked for a review of the research. The commission’s Scientific Committee for Cosmetic Products and Non-food Products Intended for Consumers then declared in June that the research was sound, and the results call for more investigation into the components of hair dyes.

“We’re pleased that European officials want to look further into the relationship between hair dyes and bladder cancer,” said Gago-Dominguez, lead author of the study. USC researchers found that the use of permanent dyes not temporary or semi-permanent dyes were associated with an increased risk of the malignancy.

Noting the cancer risk was “of concern,” the European Commissions committee has demanded data from manufacturers about the exact chemicals contained in the dyes and how the human body absorbs them.

Officials also called for follow-up epidemiological studies in the European Union, and requested that the European Commission take further steps to control the use of hair dye chemicals.

Legislators have not taken similar action in the United States, where regulatory policies differ. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only regulates cosmetics after they are released to the marketplace, and it does not have authority to require manufacturers to file data on ingredients or report cosmetic-related injuries.

The FDA provides general information on hair dye ingredients as well as requirements for safety and labeling on its Web site, atwww.cfsan. fda.gov/~dms/cos-prd.html.

~ Source: Morrocco Method

Grow your own Organic, NON-GMO Fruits & Vegetables, YEAR-ROUND, without DIRT

“Say Hello to the TOWER GARDEN :)”

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How does it work?

Unlike hydroponics aeroponics uses no growing medium. Water and nutrients are continuously cycled through the tower, showering the plants’ roots.

  1. SET UP

Tower Garden comes with everything you need to start growing, including a seed starter kit and a specially formulated plant food called Tower Tonic. It takes no more than 20 to 25 minutes to assemble, following the step-by-step instructions.

 

  1. GROW

You’ll start seedlings using the seed starter kit. Use the non-gmo seeds provided or use any of your own seeds. Depending on what you’re growing, you’ll transport the ceilings into your Tower Garden approximately 1 to 3 weeks later.

 

  1. HARVEST

When your produce is right, just pick it off the Tower and enjoy fresh, nutritious produce for your family! Join the tower-to-table movement!

What Can I grow?

Tower Garden is versatile enough to grow almost any fruit or vegetable that doesn’t grow on a tree (such as apples) or in the soil (like potatoes) as well as a variety of herbs and flowers. Here’s a very partial list.

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FRUITS & VEGETABLES

  • Beans, such as Lima, bush, pole, shell, fava, green
  • Broccoli
  • Chard (Swiss)
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Melons
  • Peas
  • Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

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HERBS & FLOWERS

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Lavender
  • Lemon grass
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Marigolds
  • Sunflowers

 

WHAT IS A TOWER GARDEN?

Tower garden by Juice Plus+ is a state-of-the-art vertical aeroponic growing system. It’s perfect for rooftops, patios, balconies any relatively sunny place outside (or inside with the addition of the growing lights). It grows vegetables, herbs, flowers, and many fruits in less time than it takes in soil.

Tower Garden gives you more control over your family’s health by making it easy to grow fresh, nutritious produce that is nutrient dense and ready to harvest whenever you are.

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It’s Healthier !

Eating more fruits and vegetables is the best way to get the nutrition you need to be healthy. By providing vine-ripened produce right outside your backdoor, tower garden makes it convenient to eat more fresh, healthy food.

Tower Garden produce is also better-tasting, better looking – even better –looking– so your family, including the kids, will want to eat more fruits and vegetables.image5

You can grow up to 20 plants with your standard Tower Garden. Pick your family’s favourites, from lettuces to luscious tomatoes, strawberries and melons.

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It’s Easier !

A which tower garden, there’s no weeding, tilling, kneeling, or getting dirty. Assembly is easy, and it’s compact design fits almost anywhere. Plus, it comes with everything you need to start growing.

Each 5-foot-tall tower garden holds 20 plants because of the patented aeroponic growing system the plants will grow in less time that it would take and soil so you get more produce for less work. (Let’s face it, it’s pretty much self-sufficient).

Plus, when you purchase Tower Garden, you get a full range of customer support at your fingertips – including guidance from your Tower Garden representative and a comprehensive online resource center – to help and sure you will have a successful growing experience.

It’s Smarter !

Built to last a lifetime, Tower Garden is a smart for investment for you. Growing some of your own produce with tower garden will not only save you money versus store-bought, but you can also cost a lot less than investing in tools and products needed to cultivate a traditional garden.

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Tower Garden is smarter for the environment too! It’s patented aeroponic growing system recycles nutrients and water, and it’s vertical design reduces the space required. Tower Garden plants use less than 10% of the water and land commonly used in conventional gardening. Since the Tower Garden is soil free, you won’t need traditional pesticides and herbicides either. You control the growing.

Click here for more information and pricing on your own personal tower garden.

Hand Sanitizers: Are they safe?

Have you noticed that in almost every hospital, supermarket, doctor’s office, dentist’s office, airport, and many other public places there is always a bottle of hand sanitizer sitting on a stand or at a desk?   We even have personal sized sanitizers that you can throw in a bag in case of emergencies.    Funny thing is that we don’t even remember ever seeing hand sanitizers growing up  – we used to just wash our hands.   So is this this just a cash grab for the manufacturers?   Do they really work and are they safe.

 

purellFirst off, washing your hands with soap and water is the most effective way to clean your hands and disinfect them.   Can you imagine getting prepped for surgery and just as you are going under you see the surgeon squirting some sanitizer on their hands.  Of course they wouldn’t do this, because it’s not as effective as washing their hands.   It’s your choice what type of soap you want to use, but it is still better to wash your hands instead of coating them with hand sanitizer.   Also, hand sanitizers are not as effective if you have dirt or grime on your hands anyway.

 

So whats in these hand sanitizers that may concern people.  Well there is alcohol, parabens, fragrances, colouring agents – just to name a few.

Parabens

Parabens are synthetic preservatives found in foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products such as deodorants, moisturizers, shampoos and hand sanitizers.  Their function is to allow the product to be shelf stable for months or even years.  That’s all great, but these parabens are also absorbed into our bodies and mimic estrogen which can disrupt our hormone system and endocrine system.   Endocrine disrupters such as parabens can lead to early puberty in adolescent girls and boys, as reported by the New York Times.   So is this what we should be putting on our skin?  I think not.

Triclosan

Triclosan is an anti-microbe agent added to many soaps, hair care products, sanitizers and hand lotions for anti-bacterial purposes.  It can also be found in toys, clothes and furniture to help prevent fungal growth.  It is effective to a certain degree but it can also lead to bacteria building immunity to it and creating a superbug that is immune to anti-biotics.   Triclosan is also a hormone and immune system disrupter.

Fragrances

Lets put it this way,  you will never know what’s in a chemical fragrance because manufactures don’t have to disclose this info – since it’s proprietary property.   You can only imagine what you are putting on your skin when it comes to chemical and natural fragrances.

Colouring Agents

Although some colouring agents are deemed safe by Health Canada their are independent tests that show otherwise according to Dr Oz.   “The researchers and their parents found a significant increase in hyperactivity in the children during the weeks that they consumed the drink with the artificial colors.  This research correlates with an analysis of different studies done at Columbia University and Harvard University. The analysis affirmed that removing foods and products that contain artificial food coloring can help relieve the symptoms of children already diagnosed with ADHD.”

So what can you do if there is no soap and water to wash your hands and you need to sanitize them right away?

ISS Ionic Silver Solution 6PPM

ISS-1527-2Ionic Silver Solution (I.S.S.) is a pure solution of Sub-Atomic Silver Ions making it the most powerful and bio-available form of Silver on the market today! Ionic Silver Solution contains 99.9% silver ions in a soluble state and are 400 times smaller than your red blood cells allowing them to easily pass through cell membranes where viruses reside!

Most antibiotics kill only six or seven different disease-causing organisms, but silver is known to kill as many as 650 of these organisms. This includes bacteria, fungi, yeasts, viruses and parasites. These micro-organisms are suffocated rather than poisoned which prevents resistant strains from mutating. This process is accomplished within minutes.

Ionic Silver Solution contains a solution of silver ions thousands of times smaller than non-ionic Colloidal Silver in turn delivering a superior inter-cellular transport process

 

Or you can try the product below as an anti-baterial hand soap.

 

Silver Hand Soap™ (with ionic silver) – 7oz Bottle

VIP-6001-2A farm hand on the Tooth Soap® Urban Farm told us a few years ago that he has never used a soap that was as effective as Silver Hand Soap™. It cleans up your hands like nothing else!

7 ounces of super rich and thick Silver Hand Soap™ is loving hand-crafted and ready to clean up. Packaged in a plastic, BPA-free, pump bottle.

Ingredients: Saponified organic extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, distilled water, Original Himalayan Crystal Salt® and ionic silver, 5 PPM.

 

 

We always carry a small container of both of these products when we are traveling to avoid the use of chemical soaps and hand sanitizers.

Saying Good bye to Steve Meyerowitz ‘The Sproutman’

This is one blog that we have put off writing since Thursday morning. We thought it would be a normal Thursday morning at work, until we got the call letting us know that Steve Meyerowitz, The Sproutman had passed away in the early evening of Wednesday September 9th, from a car accident. The shock and ensuing silence in our offices passed throughout the whole day and rest of the week.

Steve-Meyerowitz-Sproutman

Although many of you knew Steve on some level through a book, course, lecture, or as his friend, for those of you who may not know:  Steve was pronounced “Sproutman®” by Vegetarian Times Magazine in a 1979 feature article that explored the why’s and wherefores of his 100% sprout diet.

Steve was interested in natural foods after a 20 year effort to correct chronic allergies and asthma with conventional medicine. He made dramatic changes in his diet and within two months of eating a strict “living foods,” vegetarian diet, his lifelong symptoms vanished. He continued to practice a 100% raw foods diet (nothing cooked, packaged, canned, frozen, or processed) for five years. During that time, he also experimented with other extreme diets such as fruitarianism (just fruit), juice fasting for as long as 100 days, and briefly, breatharianism (no food, no water).

Steve’s innovative kitchen gardening techniques and the cuisine he developed from them, gave rise to a “School for Sprouts.” He began teaching indoor gardening 12 stories above the streets of New York City. He called his no-cooking school, The Sprout House, since so much of his cuisine included vegetables from his kitchen garden-sprouts.

Steve invented two home sprouters, The Flax Sprout Bag and a tabletop greenhouse called, Sproutman’s Kitchen Garden Salad Grower. He also supplied his growing kits and a full line of organic sprouting seeds via mail order.

Steve sold the mail order business and he and his family moved to breathe fresher air in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. Much of the information from his teaching years have been related in his books. He has the most popular books on sprouts, including Sprouts the Miracle Food, Sproutman’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook, and Wheatgrass Nature’s Finest Medicine, to name a few. But he also has other books on subjects such as fasting and raw juice therapy.

Steve has been featured on Web MD, Renegade Health Show, Hippocrates Health Institute, PBS, QVC, the Home Shopping Network, TV Food Network, and in Prevention, Better Nutrition, and Organic Gardening magazines and countless lectures across North America. In 3 minutes on QVC, 953 people ordered his Cookbook and Kitchen Garden Salad Grower.

We will never forget the day we met Steve. We already knew of him and happily carried his wonderful sprouters and books to the public. Just getting ready to start at a health expo, up walks a man with a twinkle in his eye, and says, “I think we should work together”. Really, how could we resist listening to someone that had sprouts growing out of his hat and spiraling up his tie? And that is exactly how we replied. From that point on, over some raw vegan food and green juice, we discovered we had found a truly kindred spirit, or rather he found us. And so our walk together began.

A year later brought us distributing his products in Canada, and featuring him at all of the big health shows, we always thought he was a rawk star and let him shine his light. We cannot express the joy we experienced at every single event together. Seeing his kindness and care to every individual, and his patience and fortitude in calming stressed out or beginner “sprouters” needing help, showed us his passion for making a difference any way he could. And although many people have a public persona that drastically differs from their personal one, we want to emphasize to everyone – Sproutman really loved speaking to and helping you all – he was truly genuine. Behind the scenes was a man full of love and admiration for others, and so passionate about helping others. He often spoke about his family with so much respect and love, we almost felt that they were with us at events. In fact, he had suggested including one of his sons to join us at the expos. From the way he spoke of his children and their accomplishments, we could easily tell what a good parent he was. A role model for everyone. His focus and determination to be a shining light in our dark times was so strong you could feel it with every idea he sprang at us.

IMG_0726
We will never forget our trip to California at a large expo, we just showed up randomly to surprise him. The fun we had getting lost trying to find a raw food restaurant in California driving in endless circles without realizing it, laughing the whole time. Nor will we forget his astounded look when we recited prayers in Hebrew at a fancy dinner.  That evening we toasted our champagne glasses of green juice with smiles in our hearts and memories to treasure.
We are so blessed to have kept company with a man of such integrity that really ‘walked his talk’ and became one of the changes he wanted to see in the world.  We have the utmost respect and gratitude for all of his good works and dedication to healing our planet and all of its inhabitants.

Steve, we will truly miss you and keep walking the path and spreading the light.

Tools for a Healthy Kitchen: Part 1

We have many people ask us about how to transition into a healthier diet or raw vegan lifestyle from a traditional over processed, hormone filled, GMO laced, pesticide and herbicide filled traditional North American diet.   People want to know as much info as possible in as little time as possible on how to make the change and want to do everything  overnight.

salad

 

Although it is possible to change your lifestyle and eating habits overnight and stay on track, it is much easier to transition into a healthier lifestyle by taking smaller steps at the beginning so that you can adapt easier to the changes and not get overwhelmed and give up from the get go.   There is a lot to learn and there is also tons of information on the internet, in books and through many courses that are offered by institutions such as The Tree Of Life (http://treeoflifecenterus.com/) or Hippocrates Health Health Institute (http://hippocratesinst.org/) just to name a couple.

stuffed tomatto

The idea here is to slowly wean people off nutrient deficient, vitamin deficient, mineral deficient highly processed overcooked foods and back to fresh home-made foods – using the most nutrient dense chemical free ingredients possible.    We at Upaya Naturals like doing this by breaking things down into smaller steps by first making sure people have the right tools in their kitchen to make the transition easier.   These tools will help create awesome recipes – from desserts, smoothies, crackers, pastas,  juices, chips and pizzas to full gourmet meals.

rawfooddish

 

After we finish this 3 part blog,  hopefully people will realize that some conveniences such as a microwave oven may not actually be doing anything good to the food that is being used to feed the body.   Others may realize that it’s not a good idea to cook their food to death using an oven or stove top.    In fact, if you come into our kitchen you won’t find a microwave or stove.   You will find lots of fresh fruits, veggies, sprouts and some cool tools that we use to make our raw vegan recipes that we have been using for the past 15+ years since we transitioned over to a vegan then raw vegan lifestyle.

eating death

Looking back over the last 15+ years we have learned a lot from various gurus such as Dr Gabriel Cousens.  Dr Cousens is a true raw food guru in our eyes and is an inspiration to us on a daily basis as we continue our journey into a healthy lifestyle and into our spiritual evolution.    We have gone from eating death and ingesting the fear of animals (just before they are slaughtered) to eating more compassionately by removing death from our system and eating a plant based diet.    Hence, this is where the word UPAYA in Upaya Naturals comes from.  Upaya means “compassion” and/or  a “means to enlightenment”.  Compassion for animals, humans and all living beings and eating a plant based diet as a means to enlightenment.   We suggest reading “Spiritual Nutrition” by Dr Cousens to further expand on the topic of spirituality and the link to food.

spitual nutrition

So now that we have touched on a few ideas,  what kitchen tools can we use to transition into a healthier lifestyle.   What can these tools replace in the kitchen?  What would you need to get your greens on.    Stay tuned for next week’s blog for more info.