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Pharmaceuticals Don't Work - Natural Vitamins-Minerals, Superfoods and Healthy Living Do!

America is undergoing a massive experiment to determine whether pharmaceuticals really work -- basically... a large percentage of our population are just lab rats. Hopefully, every rational thinking person is coming to the conclusion that pharmaceutical drugs really don't improve the health of those who take them and that the use of super foods, natural vitamins and minerals and a good healthy lifestyle are the answer to our nation's health problems.

The sad fact of the matter is that the more pharmaceuticals you take, the sicker you will eventually be. That's because pharmaceutical drugs create imbalances in our bodies that eventually lead to even more and worse side effects that we originally took the drug for. It is pretty ironic that many of the drugs people take actually cause the very things they claim to prevent. Osteoporosis drugs cause hip fractures. Cancer drugs cause cancer. Antidepressants cause suicidal thoughts. Steroids, etc.cause more problems to those with auto-immune diseases such as arthritis and more obscure diseases such as itp (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura). The list goes on ad infinitum.

It is really difficult to comprehend that nearly half of all Americans now use prescription drugs on a regular basis as documented by the Center for Disease Control in a report just recently released. (1) More than one in ten Americans use five or more prescription drugs regularly and amazingly almost a third of the citizens of the US consistently use two or more drugs. No wonder we are such a sick nation!

In the same CDC report, it was revealed that nine out of ten seniors are on drugs....and the most sickening news is that one in five children are regular users of prescription drugs. The total combined cost of our "drug" habit is over $234 billion in 2008. Honestly, what is our country doing? The most commonly used drugs were:

• Statin drugs for older people

• Asthma drugs for children

• Antidepressants for middle-aged people

• Amphetamine stimulants for children

America as a nation has become one big drug addict! Senior citizens are being drugged for nearly every symptom a doctor can locate, children are being doped up with (legalized) speed, and men and women are popping anti-depressants at an alarming rate.

Prescription drug addictions are on the rise, as well. And it's getting worse all the time. But just wait til the new health reform insurance regulations come into effect. Most of the bill was designed to give favor to the pharmaceutical industry, so that more people can be put on medications.

This mass drugging of America has virtually reached the point of no return where the future of the US is in grave danger. Pharmaceutical drugs are known to cause cognitive decline, and when most of the nation gets to the point that their thinking is disrupted...our country will fall apart.

And what about the financial cost of America's drug addiction: The more drugs you take, the more added sickness and symptoms you have, the more drugs you take and so on until it eventually kills you. Just about one out of every five dollars out of the entire U.S. economy now being spent on sickness and disease. America is stuck on the vicious hamster wheel of sickness and high priced drugs that actually cure no one... stuck in a cycle of high-cost drug treatments and eventual destruction of the health.

No one ever gets healthier from taking prescription drugs. They don't cure and they don't prevent disease, only hide symptoms. Pharmaceuticals only maintain patients in a kind of "pre-death state" where they're alive just enough to keep buying more drugs. Pharmaceutical companies don't want you dead because that would reduce their profits. And they certainly don't want you to be healthy either, because then they wouldn't have any customers.

It is a known fact that people manage to get the best nutrition and natural supplements are the ones who live a healthy and drug free life. Why do you think they keep lobbying congress to introduce horrible bills that control the natural health industry. It is certainly not for the good of the people, only so that they can control the population and increase profits. Pharmaceutical drugs are designed with one thing in keep you in a continual diseased state without curing your condition but also without killing you outright so that you will remain a sick and dependent drug user to increase their bottom line.

You just barely chemically exist, spending massive amounts of hard earned money while your memory fades, and your health declines. Pharmaceuticals don't work! Don't you think it's obvious? If they really did work to improve health, then wouldn't it be logical to conclude that over half of the US that uses pharmaceutical drugs should be the healthiest half? And that those people living naturally and consuming natural vitamins and minerals would be the unhealthiest? Hmmm? Something is not adding up!

Modern medicine and specifically the Pharmaceutical industry, is ravaging our country at record speed. The obvious "cure" for this problem is to get rid of what is not working (ie: pharmaceuticals) and start re-building our nation's health with the things that are working to keep us healthy...Precisely, nutrition, natural vitamins minerals, super foods and a natural lifestyle.

Additional sources:

(1) National Center for Health Statistics: "NCHS Data Brief No. 42, September 2010."

Natural Skin Care - More Than Skin Deep

Does Natural in Skin Care naturally mean Good?

Although Webster defines "natural" as "not artificial, synthetic, [or] acquired by external means," it is the rare cosmetic ingredient that fits that description. Even water used in cosmetics is generally distilled, deionized, or otherwise purified. All along the continuum of "natural" products, choices have been made to emulsify, stabilize and preserve--to make the products smooth and creamy, keep them fresh, and give them an acceptable shelf life. Even if consumers want products that need to be refrigerated, distributors and retailers will not order them because of the added costs of shipping, storing and greater liability. A growing number of consumers who seek that kind of freshness have been firing up their blenders and following recipes for homemade treatments.1[1] Even these, however, call for essential oils, alcohol, glycerin, lanolin, etc., which are a long way from their natural origins. As reported in Strong Voices, the newsletter of the Breast Cancer Fund, "Approximately one-third of cosmetics and bodycare companies position their products as natural in one way or another . . . But, as you might expect, some companies are more natural than others" (Volume 7, Summer 2005).

Most people who seek out "natural" products are looking for ingredients whose sources they recognize, and that is why many companies now list the source along with the scientific name of the ingredient, as in sodium laurel sulfate (from coconut), or lanolin (from wool). Turpentine comes from pine trees. My grandmother, born in 1901, swore that turpentine helped her arthritic hands, and she may have rubbed them with lard (from bacon) afterwards to keep them as soft as I remember. Perhaps lard and turpentine are "natural," but are they good for the skin, and along with that, what is the definition of "good?" Again, there are no simple answers. If you have found this article through the Eco-Mall, it is safe to assume that you seek out skin care that:

(1)     is friendly to the environment ("eco-friendly"); (2)     does no harm to animals (commonly referred to as "cruelty-free"); and (3)     does no harm to the human body and ideally does good (is "body-friendly").

Let us examine "natural" skin care in light of each of these issues.

Eco-Friendly An issue rarely addressed by the cosmetic industry is whether products are environmentally friendly. The LA Times2[2] has reported that consumer products, including cosmetics, pump 100 tons of pollutants daily into southern California's air, second only to auto emissions. These pollutants come not just from the propellants in sprays and aerosols, but also from fluorocarbons, ethanol, butane, acetone, phenols and xylene. Here's how it works: These chemicals evaporate, and when the sun shines they combine with other pollutants to form ozone, a primary component of smog that can cause headaches, chest pain and loss of lung function. This happens outdoors and indoors, which can severely compromise the air quality in our homes and offices.

There is a class of chemicals called PPCPs (pharmaceutical and personal care products) that until recently have received relatively little attention as potential environmental pollutants. PPCPs comprise all drugs (prescription and over-the-counter), diagnostic agents (e.g., X-ray contrast media), nutraceuticals, and other chemicals, including fragrances, sunscreen agents, and skin anti-aging preparations. When phthalates, for example, get into rivers and lakes, they are known to affect the reproduction of aquatic species; and musk fragrances are known to bioaccumulate.3[3] Skincare products may contain botanical ingredients grown with pesticides and chemical fertilizers that are not friendly to the environment, and some may use genetically modified plants in their botanical ingredients.

Cruelty-Free "Cruelty-free" is generally understood to mean that the products are not tested on animals; sometimes also that there are no animal-derived ingredients in the products. Taken literally, this would imply the absence of lanolin (from wool), beeswax or honey, dairy products, etc. Some labels specifically state there are no animal ingredients.

Body-Friendly We suggest four criteria for evaluating "body-friendly" skin care products:

·         Toxicity ·         Occlusiveness ·         Comedogenicity ·         Effectiveness


In our July article we discussed several ingredients which we prefer to avoid in skin care products. To recap, we listed mineral oils, petrolatum, propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates, SLS and SLES. We also called sunscreens into question.

Toxicity (to humans) of skin care ingredients may be divided into three distinct categories:4[4]

a.        Carcinogenic, referring to ingredients contributing to cancer b.       Endocrine-disrupting, which refers to chemicals that disturb the body's hormonal balance, and may interfere with its ability to grow, develop, or function normally. Endocrine disruptors may also be carcinogenic. c.        Allergenic, irritating or sensitizing, meaning consumers may have allergic reactions or contact dermatitis (itching, redness, rash, etc.). Individuals with multiple chemical sensitivities may become very ill when exposed to certain of these chemicals.

There are many "natural" skincare companies who include parabens, SLES, and other of these ingredients in their products.

A general note about preservatives: By their very nature preservatives are toxic. They must be toxic to bacteria, molds and yeast to keep the products from spoiling. Another preservative that is gaining use as an alternative to parabens is diazolidinyl urea. This preservative has not been banned from use in Europe, although some authors claim it is carcinogenic because it is a formaldehyde donor. Although formaldehyde is a chemical which occurs naturally in the human body, formaldehyde in the gaseous state is a known carcinogen. From all studies we have read, diazolidinyl urea, when it forms formaldehyde, does not form formaldehyde gas. Nonetheless, when used in high enough concentrations, or even in low concentrations by persons who are especially sensitive to it, diazolidinyl urea-along with almost every other preservative-has been shown to cause contact dermatitis. There are also "natural" products who claim to use no preservative. Most of these contain grapefruit--or other citrus--seed oil extract. As mentioned in Part I of this series, cosmetic chemists I have spoken to insist that these citrus seeds would turn rancid if they were not sprayed with preservative; that that preservative is concentrated in the oil when it is extracted; that this preservative in the extract is what is actually preserving the skincare product; and that the preservative used is generally a paraben.

There are also skincare products that are sold in sealed containers with airless pumps or sprayers. Although it can add significantly to the cost of a product, this type of packaging and delivery is highly desirable, as it keeps air and airborne contaminants out of the product and makes it possible to significantly decrease or even eliminate the use of preservative.

Of the large list of possible cosmetic ingredients, a relative few individually pose high risk, but many people use an array of products every day. It may be that these risks are adding up, or that single ingredients react with others to create toxic combinations, known as synergistic toxicity.

2.Occlusivity The skin is the body's largest organ. The lungs breathe, and so does the skin, so to speak: The "breathing" skin provides an exit for toxins and chemicals--respiration in the form of perspiration. Lotions and salves that occlude this exit may initially soften the skin by keeping moisture from escaping, but may actually inhibit the overall health of the individual, besides weighing down the skin and causing it to sag and age. Nutrients applied to the skin that improve the skin's health may have a positive effect on the whole body, because they are absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin. When we choose body-friendly skin care, two important criteria come into play: that the products not be toxic to our skin or our bodies, and that they not be occlusive-allowing nutrients in and toxins out.5[5] The bonus comes when the ingredients that are allowed in also bring the skin into balance and nourish it. This is the topic of Part III of our series of articles: What Nutrients and Ingredients are Important for Healthy Skin? (late September 2005). Here we address ingredients common to "natural" skin care that may be occlusive and/or comedogenic.

Look up "occlusivity" on the web and you will find hundreds of references to occlusivity and its benefits. The reason companies tout the benefits of occlusivity is that it holds water in the skin. When water can't escape, the skin stays soft and moist, and that sounds like a good thing. Imagine wrapping your skin with plastic wrap and wearing it around all day-an extreme example of occlusivity. Pretty soon it would start to stink in there as the toxins that usually escape with perspiration and generally evaporate into the air get trapped between the skin and the plastic. Now imagine that those same toxins can't leave the bloodstream because the skin's normal respiration is blocked. Where will they go? In some cases, they fester under the skin and form deep-down blemishes; in extreme cases, where occlusive lotions are used all over the body for extended periods, they may deposit in the liver and add to the body's toxic load.

Sometimes it may be beneficial to use occlusive salves for a limited time. If you want to climb Mt. Everest, for example, or ski at high altitude where the air is thin and dry and you are close to the sun, it's a good idea to wear a lotion that holds the water in the skin. For babies with diaper rash, it's good to use a salve that keeps the water away from the skin! For most of us, these are not constant conditions, and treatments that hold water in over time are undesirable. Standard cosmetics experts may disagree with this reasoning. Paula Begoun in Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me (5th ed., 2001) states: "According to many 'natural' cosmetics companies, mineral oil (and petrolatum) comes from crude oil (petroleum), is used in industry as a metal-cutting fluid, and therefore can harm the skin by forming an oil film and suffocating it. . . . This foolish, recurring misinformation about mineral oil and petrolatum is maddening. After all, crude oil is as natural as any other earth-derived substance. . . Mineral oil and petrolatum . . . can keep air off the skin to some extent, but . . . it doesn't suffocate the skin!" (pp. 11-13). She also states that antiperspirants "cannot absorb into the skin . . ." (p. 14). I maintain that anything rubbed onto the skin will be absorbed, as long as the molecules are small enough to pass through the skin membrane; this is how patches work to deliver medication. Although Begoun makes a good point that crude oil is "natural," I believe in making educated choices of which earth-derived substances we apply to the skin, and crude oil is not on my list.

It should be noted that there are degrees of occlusivity: If an ingredient is occlusive when used by itself, it will be less so when used in combination with non-occlusive ingredients. A small amount of beeswax used to emulsify jojoba and water will be far less occlusive than rubbing beeswax alone onto the skin. With that in mind, besides mineral oil and petrolatum, here are some of the more common occlusive ingredients found in "natural" skin care:

a.        beeswax and other waxes b.       castor oil c.        cocoa butter d.       dimethicone e.        honey f.         lanolin g.       sunflower oil and other vegetable oils

3.        Comedogenicity Unlike occlusive oils like mineral and sunflower oil, which do not penetrate, comedogenicity refers to the tendency of a substance to get into the skin's pores and clog them. This is especially bothersome in face care products, where clogged pores may lead to acne and blackheads. The word comedo is the medical term for blackhead, so comedo+genic means "friendly to blackheads." Some cosmetic-ingredient glossaries equate "non-comedogenic" with "non-occlusive," but that is a misunderstanding; while beeswax, mineral oil and zinc oxide (among others) are known to be occlusive, they are non-comedogenic. This is because they lie on top of the skin and do not penetrate. Others, like sunflower oil, may be both occlusive and (somewhat) comedogenic. Below is a list of the relative comedogenicity of some common "natural" cosmetic ingredients6[6] (source:

Very Comedogenic Somewhat Comedogenic Not Comedogenic

Capric/caprylic triglyceride Anhydrous lanolin Allantoin Cocoa butter Avocado oil Beeswax Lanolic acid Capric & caprylic acid Cyclomethicone & Dimethicone Linseed oil Castor oil Ethanol Olive oil Coconut oil Glycerin Peach kernal oil Corn oil Jojoba Sweet almond oil Grape seed oil Kaolin (clay) Glyceryl stearate Mineral oil (USP) Hexylene glycol Oxybenzone Lanolin alcohol & oil Panthenol Mineral oil, cosmetic grade Petrolatum (USP) Mink oil Polysorbates Peanut oil Propylene glycol Safflower oil SD alcohol Sesame oil Sodium hyaluronate Sunflower oil Sodium PCA Tocopherol (vitamin E) Sorbitol Squalane Titanium dioxide Waxes   "Note: Even somewhat or very comedogenic ingredients can be present in non-comedogenic formulas when used at percentages low enough that the end formula won't clog pores" (ibid.). The important point is to look at their relative position in the ingredients list. If a comedogenic ingredient is toward the top, then it is probably present in a quantity large enough to clog pores. Unfortunately it is impossible from the ingredients list to know whether for example ingredient #5 represents 20% of the formula or 2%. Thus we need to be able to trust the manufacturer when the label states "non-comedogenic."

4.        Effectiveness Let us assume that every skincare company's raison d'etre (before or after the profit motive) is to create products that make the skin feel and look good, and that probably means it's soft and not dry. Add some additional goals--anti-aging, anti-acne, skin-smoothing--and you've covered most of the bases. Most skincare products, "natural" or otherwise, achieve these goals by using occlusive ingredients that hold moisture in and keep the skin soft and "plump." If, however, we are looking for the beauty of overall glowing good health in the skin, we need to ask for more than this from our skin care.

We agree with Charles DePrince, president of GoForLife Labs, who states: "The idea of 'natural' could mean a product containing all natural ingredients; however, I believe there should be a more significant meaning to the idea. I think the natural course to attaining beauty is a healthier and potentially more lasting one than with the use of harsh or radical treatments such as Botox, face lifts and peeling. The 'natural' idea would be to support the living and natural cells of our skin with nutrients that could support such things as the body's natural ability to retain moisture, to support natural collagen development, or to reduce hyperpigmentation. This way, by supporting the natural health of the skin, I believe the cumulative effect would be to develop healthier skin as both the path to and result of beauty."7[7]

Green Tea A Natural Remedy

The natural health researchers at Institute for Vibrant Living (IVL) have investigated the health benefits of natural green tea. Here is their report:

Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and green tea (GT) has been touted to be among the healthiest types of tea. The benefits of drinking tea are many. It is chock full of antioxidants and has been considered by residents of India, China and Japan to possess properties that prevent many illnesses.

The health-promoting benefits of green tea extract include: destruction of harmful free radicals in the body, protection from digestive, respiratory and bacterial infections and enhancement of metabolism.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) Benefits

More than 2 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, pain, stiffness and occasional joint damage. The prevailing treatment for RA has been nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS).

However, extended use of these drugs can cause discomfort and unfavorable side effects, like gastrointestinal disturbance and kidney problems. Also, these medications do not change the course of RA or prevent joint damage. Recent studies have shown that drinking GT may be a specific alternative for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Researchers from the medical school at the University of Michigan conducted preliminary lab tests showing that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a compound found in GT, may have potential as a treatment for RA. They studied groups of joint cells that had been affected by rheumatoid arthritis, treating one group with EGCG and giving a control group no treatment.

The Research

Both groups were exposed to an inflammatory chemical linked to RA for 24 hours. The cells that were treated with EGCG produced significantly lower levels of molecules in the immune system that contribute to inflammation caused by RA. In fact, the highest dosage of EGCG treatment virtually stopped production of these molecules during the course of the study.

It was further shown that EGCG inhibited a chemical reaction associated with joint damage concluding that it may be of potential therapeutic value in managing joint damage linked to RA. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) sponsored studies at the University of Maryland and Rutgers University to examine the benefits of drinking green tea on rheumatoid arthritis in rats.

Those in the experimental group consumed the tea in their drinking water while the control group rats drank only water for one to three weeks prior to an injection of mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra to induce arthritis. It was determined that polyphenols in the green tea significantly reduced the severity of arthritis in the experimental group as compared to the control.

Unlike black tea, GT is not fermented. It is simply dried and then heated, which retains the healthy polyphenols. One teaspoon of green tea steeped in hot (not boiling) water gives 100 to 200mg of powerful EGCG compounds. Do not add milk, as it has been found to negate the healthful benefits of drinking green tea. If you are not a fan of tea, you can experience the benefits of GT extract in a supplement.