Sunburn protection is traditionally associated with staying indoors especially during intense daylight hours from 10am to 3pm, wearing sun screen, and covering the body with clothing such as hats to block the sun from hitting the skin. Ultraviolet light from the sun is the form of solar radiation that causes most of this damage, ranging from evident sunburns to hidden but accumulating genetic damage that can cause skin cancer. The common sun protection methods mentioned above can be very effective at preventing sunburns and reducing damage to the skin.
In recent years, consumers have come to depend upon the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) ratings printed on sunscreen products sold in the United States. People think that SPF 30 provides more protection from sun damage than SPF 15 and may make purchases accordingly. Unfortunately, this perception can be totally inaccurate due to the egregiously flawed design of the US Food and Drug Administration’s SPF rating system.
If you’re getting ready for the upcoming flu and cold season, be sure to check out the current sale on selected immune boosting products at Swanson Health Products. The sale runs through midnight on September 21, 2009. Enter SEPTSAVE for the coupon code for the sale. This article highlights astragalus root and zinc lozenge products on sale and provides pointers to articles on other immune boosting supplements such as vitamin D3, N-acetylcysteine, elderberry, and others.
(NOTE: Updated some of the products and vendors mentioned on July 25, 2010.)
N-Acetylcysteine is an inexpensive and highly absorbable form of the amino acid cysteine which has numerous health benefits. Previously, I’ve mentioned NAC for use as a preventive measure against the common cold and flu infections (see Preventive Measures for Swine Flu), to help prevent liver damage from Tylenol (see Health Risks from Tylenol, Acetaminophen, and Paracetamol), and to detoxify your body of the mercury in dental fillings, predatory fish, and high fructose corn syrup (see High Fructose Corn Syrup is Dangerous for Many Reasons).
NAC Also Useful in Mental Health
It turns out that NAC also has uses in mental health and psychiatry, too. There is now clinical trial evidence that it can be used to treat trichotillomania, an impulse control disorder involving pulling the hair out of one’s head, eyelashes, eyebrows, or elsewhere on the body. This disorder affects somewhere between 1% and 5% of the world’s population and is strongly female predominant. Estimates are that 70% to 93% of trichotillomania patients are female. There is a belief that the disorder may have genetic origin, but so far the related genes found don’t explain all cases of the disorder.
Autism is a set of child developmental delays and disabilities. It includes impaired social interaction and communications, delayed and impaired verbal and language skills, and focus on repetitive activities. Autism is just one of several related disorders in the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) classification. Asperger’s Syndrome is the second most common ASD illness after autism and generally differs from autism because language development is not affected as severely.
The incidence of autism has been rapidly increasing in many places. Although there appears to be no single cause for this, nutritional modifications both for pregnant women and children have been found to exert significant improvements on outcomes both in terms of lowering rates of autism and helping children overcome some of the developmental and behavioral problems it causes.
|Child Abuse, Children, Courts, Crime, Domestic Violence, Family, Government Abuse, Health & Nutrition, Legal, Psychology, Religion|
A recent study by the National Institutes of Health explored the connection between telomere lengths in the human immune cells known as leukocytes (white blood cells) and the use of multivitamins. The data used came from 586 participants in the Sister Study of healthy sisters of breast cancer patients. The women’s ages ranged from 35 to 74 years. Women who used multivitamins on a daily basis had leukocyte telomeres on average 5.1% longer than those who did not use multivitamins.
In May 2009, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a small study involving 40 participants conducted by German and American researchers on the effects of antioxidant supplementation with 1000 mg/day of vitamin C and 400 IU per day of vitamin E on the impact of exercise. In particular, the study examined the impact of a combination of exercise and vitamins C and E on insulin sensitivity and other parameters of diabetic illness and as well as endogenous (body-produced) antioxidant defenses include superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase.
(Updated August 3, 2009, with additional information on the use of vitamin D3 to boost immune system response to prevent or reduce influenza infection and symptoms.)
With growing worldwide concern over a possible pandemic of swine flu (also known as H1N1 flu), you might be wondering what you can do to keep your family and you healthy. Obvious measures already mentioned in much news coverage include washing hands frequently, avoiding contact with people with flu and cold like symptoms, and staying home when you are sick. Although there is no vaccine for this new swine flu strain, there are immune system boosting measures that you can take at low cost which are likely to help you avoid getting flu and to speed recovery if you do get it. We’ll discuss several options you have to help stay healthy despite a flu outbreak. By the way, these suggested measures all apply to other types of flu, too.
What is High Fructose Corn Syrup?
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a widely used sweetener in the United States. As corn prices plummeted in the 1970s, HFCS was developed to make use of the corn crop in other products. It’s used in an increasingly wide variety of products in the last three decades, from soft drinks to baked goods. It is often one of the largest ingredients in sweet products, frequently taking the first to third place on the food products ingredients labels mandated in the United States.
You might think that such a widely used product with a 30+ year track record would be safe. The HFCS manufacturers in the United States have been running a campaign to convince the public that’s the case. You can take a look at the web-based portion of this campaign at HFCSfacts.com: You’re in for a Sweet Surprise.
HFCS May Be Implicated in the US Obesity and Diabetes Epidemics
The reality is that HFCS has for years been suspected to be involved in the epidemic rise of obesity and diabetes in the United States. Numerous studies have found indications that the increasing use of HFCS may correlate with the increase in obesity and diabetes over a similar period of time. Unsurprisingly, HFCS manufacturers refute this, claiming that there is no credible scientific evidence to support such conclusions.
HFCS is Often Contaminated with Mercury
However, much more alarming news about HFCS has been announced this month. Recent studies of samples of HFCS and food products containing it in the United States conducted via two studies found that between 31% and 45% of the samples contained mercury. Mercury is toxic in even small quantities. For years, there have been suspicions that mercury used in vaccines may be related to the rise in autism in the United States. But this mercury contamination issue is much bigger and affects common foods widespread throughout the nation’s food supply. Products tested from big-name manufacturers such as Minute Maid, Coca-Cola, Hershey’s, Quaker, Hunt’s, Manwich, Smucker’s, Kraft, Nutri-Grain, and Yoplait had detectable levels of mercury.