Fresh or Fatal? How fragrances in the products you use every day could be making you sick…very sick.

Fresh or Fatal? How fragrances in the products you use every day could be making you sick…very sick.

What’s your favourite scent?

Maybe it’s the warm, rich tones of a chocolate cake baking in the oven?  Maybe it’s your signature oriental perfume or the aftershave that guy at work always wears?  Maybe it’s the vanilla bodywash that leaves you smelling like freshly-baked cookies or imagining you’re in a field of flowers as you wash your hair? Maybe it’s the lemony freshness of your favourite cleaning spray or toilet cleaner that reminds you of the smell of the pine Christmas tree from your childhood.  Whatever it is, there’s no doubt that fragrances carry strong associations with them – good & bad.  Our sense of smell is connected to the limbic area of our brain – the same area responsible for memories & emotions – and product manufacturers know just how powerful this connection is.  Often, the way something smells will determine if we’ll buy that product again.

Layers, Donkey!  

Think for a moment about the products you use each day that are fragranced in some way, whether you use them on your body, in your home or at your workplace.  Here’s a list of things that the average person might use:

  • soap or body wash
  • shampoo & conditioner
  • hair styling products
  • deodorant
  • perfume / cologne / aftershave
  • skin care products
  • cosmetics
  • sunscreen
  • washing powder/liquid
  • fabric softener
  • kitchen cleaning products
  • bathroom cleaning products
  • air freshener (home/work/car) &/or scented candles

Most of those products will be scented.  If you read the ingredient list on the packaging, it may just say “fragrance” or “perfume”. Hmmmm, it’s just Apple & Berry Shampoo, right?  They must just use apple & berry extracts to make it smell like that? Sadly, not so much.

Say it 10 times fast: “Lax Labelling Laws”

One “fragrance” be created from any number of the 3100 chemicals used by the fragrance industry. Can you imagine how much room the products would take up in your home if the packaging was large enough to list each one of those ingredients?  Would you even buy the product if you knew how many chemicals were in there?  The manufacturers are only required to list “fragrance” or “perfume” as an ingredient.  The cosmetics industry (including fragrance manufacturers) is self-regulated & they are not legally obliged to list each component of the fragrance. There is also no requirement for these fragrances to be tested for human safety.  Now, while it’s unlikely that you’ll find all 3000+ chemicals in one fragrance, the average fragrance product tested contained 14 chemicals not listed on the label.  Multiply that by the number of scented products used each day & you can start to see the burden upon our bodies.

Phthalatest news

About 20 per cent of the population are allergic or sensitive to chemical fragrances. Symptoms can include a skin rash, hay fever, asthma, migraine, nausea, dizziness, fatigue or difficulty concentrating. These hypersensitivity reactions generally occur soon after exposure to the product, so it doesn’t take long to work out the trigger.

What’s more worrying are the longer-term effects these chemicals can have.  Many people these days are aware that BPA in plastics is not a good thing, so ‘BPA free’ has become a strong marketing point.  The main issue with BPA is phthalate (pronounced tha-late). Diethyl phthalate also happens to be one of the main ingredients in synthetic fragrances as it makes the fragrance longer-lasting.  It’s also a strong endocrine disruptor & a report by the WHO in 2012 showed links to early-onset puberty in girls, reproductive defects in boys (400% increase, mainly testicular issues), reduced sperm count in men (40% reduction), PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids & infertility. Around 70% of women have a hormonal disorder & 1 in 7 are classified as infertile.  Those who do get pregnant will detox via the foetus, as when fat stored on the mother’s body goes to the foetus for growth, it takes with it all the fat-soluble chemicals stored within.

Weight a minute…

Not only are we seeing unprecedented rates of endocrine disorders, cancers, autoimmune disorders & neurological issues, rates of obesity continue to rise.  Do you know how the body locks away excess chemicals that it can’t quickly excrete?  It stores them in fat cells.  And not the type of fat that’s easily converted to energy; the type that will maintain its integrity the longest to keep us safe.

Did you know that body fat is not inert?  It acts as an endocrine organ & interacts with the rest of the endocrine system to affect hunger, satiety, blood sugar regulation & general metabolism. Research suggests different obesogenic compounds may have different mechanisms of action, some affecting the number of fat cells, others the size of fat cells, and still others the hormones that affect appetite, satiety, food preferences, and energy metabolism.  Some obesogenic effects may pass on to later generations through epigenetic changes that affect when and how genes are expressed in cells, without altering the actual genetic code.

The products we use every day are potentially causing metabolic mayhem, regardless of diet & exercise, not only for us, but our unborn kids & grandkids.  It is even more important for women who want children to be aware of this when you consider that if you conceive a girl, the eggs that she will use to conceive her own children are developing when she’s still inside you!

Have we fallen into a mesmerized state that makes us accept as inevitable that which is inferior or detrimental, as though having lost the will or the vision to demand that which is good?
Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Generation (Lyn)x

I remember the obsession with scented body sprays as a teen.  It’s an age when most people are acutely aware of their own body odor. With kids reaching puberty at an earlier age than ever before, they start using deodorant products earlier, which exposes them to endocrine disruptors for a longer period of their lives than any generation before them….right at a time of their life when there are significant hormonal changes already happening.  These chemicals are also neurotoxic & puberty is a time of significant changes in the brain, with the brain not considered fully developed until the early-mid 20’s.

I was recently helping my daughter with a costume change during a dance class.  We walked in to the bathroom where the girls were changing in the cubicles & I could hardly breathe.  They were spraying various deodorants on & I heard one of the girls say she had six different products in her bag!

It’s not just girls & women who love scented products.  Again during a dance class, a young man walked behind me as he entered the room & I immediately started sneeze-coughing.  I can only imagine how much cologne he’d sprayed on himself.  Now it’s no secret that teenage boys have a unique aroma all of their own, but they don’t realise that the very products they use to cover that aroma could be costing them their fertility or that of their children.

Thirty years ago, I wouldn’t have given a second thought to using these sorts of products, but knowing what I do now, I feel driven to get this message out.  I had the pleasure of meeting another Naturopath earlier this year at a business presentation & she shared a story about how she convinced her teenage grandson to ditch his popular brand of deodorant.  I re-tell the story in the video below:

Not only that, but think about when you go to the supermarket.  You KNOW when you’re in the cleaning products aisle, often an aisle or two before you get there.

For so long, we have associated these smells with ‘clean’, ‘fresh’ & ‘healthy’, but we now know the reality is far from that.

What you can do

These chemicals are insidious.  There’s probably nowhere left on the planet where you could completely avoid them.  What’s important is minimizing your exposure as much as you can through the choices you make:

  • Choose certified organic products when possible. They need to be free of synthetic chemicals as part of the certification process.  This is especially important for baby care products (this is a great range)
  • Choose unscented products, such as the deodorant in the video above
  • If you do want/need to use scented products, look for those which are lightly scented & use only pure essential oils
  • Make your own cleaning products without scents or use small amounts of essential oils. If DIY is not your thing, there’s a fantastic range of household cleaners here.
  • Replace regular perfumes with those made with essential oils, either blended yourself or pre-blended.
  • Avoid those products you don’t really NEED, such as fabric softener which are highly scented.
  • Ditch the plug-ins, room sprays & scented candles. If your house is in need of freshening up, the first step is improved ventilation, but there are safer products such as this & this.
  • Use bicarb to absorb smells from carpet & shoes instead of fragranced powders & sprays.
  • Download the Chemical Maze app to instantly identify dangerous cosmetic (and food) ingredients with ease
  • Download the Think Dirty app which looks at the ingredients of 550,000+ products from over 3,800 brands

I also highly recommend you listen to this podcast with Therese Kerr from The Divine Company.  Therese speaks passionately about this topic as it is her mission to educate our young people so they do not have to go through significant health challenges as she did.

There is also a brilliant 8 minute video here that covers this topic so well.

Some people are so shocked when they learn about the health consequences of fragranced products that they want to throw everything in the bin immediately.  If that’s not a viable option for you, just replace one thing at a time as you finish it.  The products that you’ll want to change first are those left in contact with your skin – deodorant, facial care, hand & body cream, make-up, sunscreen & laundry detergent (residue on clothes).

Comment below if you have any sensitivity to fragrances, of if you’ve noticed any changes in your health after switching to non-toxic products.

Also, please share this post with friends & family, especially those with existing health conditions or those planning on having children one day, to improve the health of future generations.

 

Fresh or Fatal? How fragrances in the products you use every day can make you sick...very sick | www.unitywellness.com.au

 

 

Sources

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2008C0024

http://www.ewg.org/research/not-so-sexy

http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2010/07/15/2954502.htm

http://davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/fragrance-and-parfum/

http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2007/11/01/2078330.htm

https://www.fmtv.com/watch/depression-and-anxiety-therese-kerr

https://www.drdingle.com/blogs/dr-dingle-blog/toxic-chemicals-cause-weight-gain

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3279464/

 

Images Credit – © Jan Pietruszka @ www.fotosearch.com

 

 

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Unity Wellness provides health-related information to assist people in making their own choices.  While we have exercised due care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, it is not intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.  Unity Wellness does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

AFFILIATE & ADVOCATE LINKS

This post/site may contain Affliate links or links to my Independent Advocate store. By clicking these links, you pay no more for the products/services, but I will receive a commission on purchases to keep this site running & support my family (thank you!).  I will never promote any products or services that I would not be happy to use myself.

 

The Dark Side of Chocolate

The Dark Side of Chocolate

 

Pretty much straight after Christmas, the shops start filling their shelves with Easter goodies – usually starting with hot cross buns, but the chocolate easter eggs & rabbits are never far behind.

While I prefer to avoid those that are filled with sugar & soy lecithin, or the brands that are not Fair Trade &/or support child slavery, I’m certainly not immune to the temptation of the cacaophany (see what I did there  ;-)) of cocoa-based offerings.

However, I was reading a report recently which showed that many brands of chocolate contain heavy metals like lead & cadmium.  Of 70 products tested in an independent laboratory, 45 of them had levels of lead &/or cadmium at levels higher than allowed under Californian law (Prop 65), including some organic brands (brands that are available not only in the US, but here in Australia & other countries).  Although heavy metal contamination of soil is not uncommon these days, there is no known safe level of lead for children or pregnant women.  Some of the health effects of lead toxicity include:

  • neurological damage, sometimes irreversible
  • lowered IQ
  • kidney damage
  • developmental delays, both psychological & physical, including ADHD that can persist into adulthood
  • decreased blood haemoglobin levels, which reduces the oxygenation of blood
  • increased risk of hypertension
  • interferes with Vitamin D, which affects multiple processes including cell maturation & skeletal growth
  • anaemia
  • abdominal pain
  • immunotoxicity
  • impaired fertility

The other metal of concern is cadmium, a known human carcinogen, which is also correlated with:

  • kidney dysfunction
  • gut irritation – nausea, vomiting, salivation, abdominal pain & cramping, diarrhoea
  • anaemia
  • decreased bone density
  • endocrine disruption
  • chromosomal damage

Heavy Metal Easter | www.unitywellness.com.au

Source – www.freakingnews.com

Although eating a bit of chocolate is unlikely to result in the worst outcomes of chronic lead exposure – coma & death – it is important to reduce over-all exposure, especially for children. This is why it is so important to have ‘truth on labels’.  Good health comes from making informed choices. Although lead & cadmium exposure can happen at any point, from “bean to bar“, I find it interesting that with the products tested, there were different results (some passed, some didn’t) from different products made by the same brands, which would presumably use the same source of cocoa for their products & use the same processing facilities.  That being said, there are some brilliant health benefits to eating small amounts of quality chocolate & there are obviously some reputable sources of chocolate available.  Part of my mission is to seek out & promote with those companies who hold your health at the core of everything they do.

Rather than panicking about “heavy metal chocolate” this Easter, here are some alternatives:

 

Make Your Own

Making your own chocolate is rewarding & super-easy (especially if you have a Thermomix or similar)!  You could either do some sneaky chocolate making “Easter bunny style” while the kids are at school or sleeping, or you could get them involved in the process of making goodies for friends & family.  I have some great childhood memories of helping my Mum to make chocolates as gifts for Easter & Christmas!

As well as traditional molded chocolate & eggs, there are plenty of ways to show your creative flair – think chocolate bark with different combinations of nuts, seeds & dried fruits….bliss balls made with raw cacao & medjool dates then shaped like eggs & rolled in coconut or finely chopped nuts (DIY Ferrero Rochers!)….Rocky Road with macadamias & home made marshmallows.

One of my favourite recipes is Jo Whitton’s Dairy-free raw chocolate on her Quirky Cooking blog.  To make it, you’ll need:

  • 200g Raw cacao butter (you can use coconut oil for a more budget-friendly option, or a combo of the two, but the chocolates must then be stored in the fridge so they don’t melt)
  • 50-60g Raw cacao
  • 100g Raw honey, pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup
  • Vanilla bean paste or natural extract
  • Fine sea salt

You can find the instructions here.

Chocolate Making Ultimate Pack | www.unitywellness.com.au

There’s also a fantastic special from Changing Habits available which you can use to make your chocolates, or give it as a gift!  Treat yourself to the Chocolate Making Ultimate Pack with all the ingredients & instructions you need to make your own healthy, delicious chocolate at 20% off RRP!

 

Drink It

As an alternative to solid chocolate, give a gift that can be enjoyed right through the cooler months, long after Easter has passed. Perfect for those wanting or needing to avoid sugar such as diabetics, there’s now a superfood hot chocolate powder available that combines the well-known benefits of chocolate with hormone-balancing maca & immune-boosting reishi mushrooms.

After Midnight Dark is organic, non-GMO & low-GI/low carb as it’s sweetened with xylitol.

Another great chocolatey drink option is the Changing Habits Cacao Quick Hunger Fix. High protein, low GI and full of essential nutrients like magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, copper & dietary fibre.  It’s also Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Egg Free, Grain Free & Vegan.  You can read more about the ingredients & buy it here.

Both powders are also great to use when making other snacks like bliss balls, chia puddings, raw slices, biscuits, etc or mixed into smoothies.  In my experience, coconut milk or coconut cream make the best tasting chocolate drinks & coconut water is fabulous in smoothies, but you can use any liquid you prefer .

 

Wear It

Cacao doesn’t only have benefits when consumed. Having a higher antioxidant capacity than green tea, black tea, or red wine, raw cacao helps to prevent against free radical damage in the skin & has UV protectant qualities when used topically.  It also helps protect collagen in the skin & increases blood flow, giving skin a brighter, more youthful appearance.  Skin hydration & elasticity improves & your skin loses that dry, scaly look.

One skin product I LOVE that contains cacao is the Zk’in Brightening & Hydrating Masque.  I remember the first time I tried it.  I’d just used their Clarifying Exfoliator which has coffee grounds in it & although I don’t like to drink coffee, the combination of the coffee aroma with the mandarin essential oil was DIVINE!  I was already in Heaven from the smell of that when I opened the Masque. O…M…G!  It was like liquid chocolate covering my fingers.  I smoothed the silky, chocolately gel with soothing aloe vera & hydrating Tasmanian seaweed extract across my face & just inhaled deeply for 10 minutes.  After rinsing it off with water, my skin was deliciously soft & smooth.  I think it would make a gorgeous Easter gift either on it’s own, as part of a smaller gift set with the Exfoliator & brilliant Line Smoothing Serum, or the amazing ‘Complete Pack For Her‘.

Here’s a video so you can see the chocolately goodness for yourself:

So as you can see, there are many options for a healthier Easter, free of heavy metals & sugar comas.  I’d love you to share this post so we can get this information out to as many people as possible & feel free to comment below if you have any questions or have tried any of these products yourself.  I love to hear feedback so I can keep providing you with value & bringing you information that positively impacts you & your family.

Ny xx

The Dark Side of Chocolate | Heavy Metals & healthier alternatives | www.unitywellness.com.au

Sources

http://www.asyousow.org/our-work/environmental-health/toxic-enforcement/lead-and-cadmium-in-food/

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs379/en/

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=7&po=10

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp5-c3.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadmium_poisoning

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=6&po=10

https://draxe.com/reishi-mushroom/

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2012/906252/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4145303/

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-cacao-for-skin-hair-and-health/#gref

 

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Unity Wellness provides health-related information to assist people in making their own choices.  While we have exercised due care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, it is not intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.  Unity Wellness does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

AFFILIATE & ADVOCATE LINKS

This post/site may contain Affliate links or links to my Independent Advocate store. By clicking these links, you pay no more for the products/services, but I will receive a commission on purchases to keep this site running & support my family (thank you!).  I will never promote any products or services that I would not be happy to use myself.

This website is owned and operated by an independent InnerOrigin Advocate and is not endorsed by InnerOrigin Pty Ltd or InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their respective associated companies. Any opinions expressed on this website are made by, and are the responsibility of, the individual Advocate and should not be construed as a representation of the opinions of InnerOrigin Pty Ltd, InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their associated companies.

About Me

Nyree Yali

Nyree Yali

Hi, I'm a former Naturopath-turned-unschooling-parent to a toddler & a tween living in the beautiful South of Tasmania. I'm now helping others on their own journey to wellness & abundance through connecting with their community. I look forward to getting to know you better!Read more...

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The Heart of Health – Dr Ross Walker’s 5 Keys to Good Health

With all the health-related information available these days, do you ever wish someone would just simplify it all into a few easy steps you could understand?

I’ve had the pleasure of listening to Sydney Cardiologist, Dr Ross Walker speak twice in as many months.  The first time, I was blown away! Although I certainly knew of him, as someone who does not have (known) heart issues, I’d never listened to his radio show or discovered his view on health issues.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he’s been championing preventative medicine for 20+ years.  He’s very much a man of science & that science backs up the power of lifestyle choices in maintaining optimal health.

On the second training call last night, he spoke again about what he believes are ‘The 5 Keys to Good Health’:

 

He says by following these five keys, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by a massive 83%!!!!!  Given that 1 person has a heart attack every 12 minutes in Australia and 1 in 3 people will have a heart attack in their lifetime, that’s a lot of lives that can be saved….as well as a lot of tax-payer dollars.

To reduce the risk even further, one of the products he’s been involved in developing is Bergamet Pro+, based on the bergamot fruit which grows only in the rich volcanic soil of Calabria, Italy.  He’s had some amazing clinical results with his patients who are able to reduce or stop other medication.  He recommends it for anyone over the age of 50 because of the following effects:

  • It activates AMP-Kinase (AMPK) which is the master metabolic switch that triggers the breakdown of sugar & fat in the gut.  This results in a reduction in belly fat
  • It inhibits PDE-3 & opens the arteries to improve blood flow (no more ‘little blue pills’ for the older men)
  • It contains 5 polyphenols which have antioxidant properties
  • It converts the small, dangerous cholesterol particles into the large, desirable variety & reduces triglycerides
  • It protects against fatty liver – something 1 in 4 people in Western society have to some degree
  • Used as a treatment for metabolic syndrome (sometimes called ‘Syndrome X’).  30% of white people, 50% of Asian people & 100% of black people have the gene for insulin resistance.  From an evolutionary standpoint, this was useful as it allowed us to store belly fat for energy until we could hunt/gather our next meal.  However, these days there’s an abundance of food & we tend to be much more sedentary, so that benefit has become a liability.

There are a number of complementary supplements he also recommends particularly for people aged 50+, but also for anyone with ongoing lethargy:

  • Ubiquinol – Active form of CoQ10.  Increases mitochondrial energy production which decreases significantly around the age of 50 due to hormonal changes. Low ubiquinol levels result in tiredness & muscular aches.  Statin medications also reduce ubiquinol levels, so anyone on statins MUST supplement with ubiquinol.  Insufficient ubiquinol can result in heart failure.
  • Magnesium Orotate – increases CoQ10 levels in the body
  • Vitamin K2 – decalcifies arteries & returns the calcium to the bones (better at preventing osteoporosis that calcium supplements, which increase the risk of heart attack in women by 30% with no reduction in the risk of bone fractures)
  • Ateronon – excellent source of lycopene (equivalent to 30 tomatoes per dose) which is a well-recognised antioxidant.  It reduces risk of breast & prostate cancer & is beneficial for men with prostatic enlargement (BPH).  Also acts as a vasodilator to improve blood flow & reduce blood pressure.

Heart Health Pack } www.unitywellness.com.auBecause he knows how effective these products are not only individually, but synergistically, he has bundled them together in a ‘Heart Health Pack‘, available here.

**UPDATE 15 March 2018** Dr Walker has now released his own brand of supplements, which can be purchased individually or as a pack.  You can see the full range HERE under ‘Shop > Supplements’.

As always, check with your health care provider to ensure the products are suitable for you (and get some “before” blood tests), but if you try the products & love them, leave a review on the website & also comment below.  I’d love to hear what a difference they make to you 🙂

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Unity Wellness provides health-related information to assist people in making their own choices.  While we have exercised due care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, it is not intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.  Unity Wellness does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

AFFILIATE & ADVOCATE LINKS

This post/site may contain Affliate links or links to my Independent Advocate store. By clicking these links, you pay no more for the products/services, but I will receive a commission on purchases to keep this site running & support my family (thank you!).  I will never promote any products or services that I would not be happy to use myself.

This website is owned and operated by an independent InnerOrigin Advocate and is not endorsed by InnerOrigin Pty Ltd or InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their respective associated companies. Any opinions expressed on this website are made by, and are the responsibility of, the individual Advocate and should not be construed as a representation of the opinions of InnerOrigin Pty Ltd, InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their associated companies.