Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Coconut Oil

DIY Skin & Beauty Care with Coconut Oil

by Sarah Shilhavy
Health Impact News
Coconut oil is often praised for its many health benefits and its versatility in cooking and baking. While these many benefits may have gotten you to commit to always keeping some coconut oil in your pantry, coconut oil has a big place outside of the kitchen as well.
Coconut oil’s healing, antibacterial, and cleansing properties take on an entirely new personality when used topically, making it the ideal multiple-products-in-one item to add to your skincare and personal grooming regimes. Since coconut oil is gentle on the skin and not laden with chemicals and ingredients you have to watch out for (like most of the skin and beauty care products sold today), this is a safe and easy oil for anyone to use and experiment with.
Here are 4 popular ways coconut oil can be used to replace the dozens of pricey, and often ineffective, products sitting in your bathroom.

1. Cleansing with Coconut Oil

Many facial soaps and cleansers on the market are made with harsh chemicals and an overabundance of alcohol that will strip your skin of its natural oils, causing an overproduction of oil that can lead to skin issues such as acne and clogged pores. Coconut oil is the perfect cleanser for any skin type, even oily, as it will gently wash away all dirt, impurities, and even the toughest makeup, but not every last bit of your natural oils. This will leave your skin soft and moisturized but clean, with enough of your own oils left to stop your skin from going into panic mode.
How to use coconut oil as a cleanser: take a small, 1/2 measuring teaspoon amount of coconut oil and emulsify between your fingers and massage gently into skin and wash off with warm water using gentle circular motions until all dirt is washed away. Pat dry. Adjust coconut oil amount used as needed.

2. Waterproof Makeup Remover Using Coconut Oil

Removing waterproof mascara and eyeliner can be one of the most irritating things about the end of your day, and even worse, good waterproof makeup removers are pricey and the knockoffs with reasonable price tags just don’t do the job well. Not only that, but if you take look at the ingredients list, you will find a plethora of ingredients that you cannot pronounce and definitely wouldn’t eat. So why let you skin eat it? Coconut oil, however, will wash off even the most stubborn, clingy, waterproof makeup with ease, as well as moisturize and condition the skin and lashes.
How to use coconut oil to remove makeup: for eye makeup, coat and cover lashes and eyelids with coconut oil and gently massage for a few seconds to loosen makeup, or apply and wipe with a cotton pad. Wash off in warm water and repeat steps for skin.

3. Moisturizing with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil makes a great skin moisturizer on its own, with a blend of other oils, or as a carrier for essential oils. Additionally, this can also be added to lotions and creams that need extra moisturizing properties. For the same reasons that coconut oil makes a great cleanser for all skin types, it also works as a moisturizer for any skin type. The key is to know how much your skin needs and how. Oily skin may need drier carrier oils such as argan or olive, while dry skin will probably drink coconut oil all up.
How to use it to moisturize your skin:
Face: rub a small amount between fingers and pat on to freshly washed skin, adjusting amount used as needed. If you’ve used the coconut oil cleansing method and have plenty of oil left on your skin after washing, you can simply pat dry and skip the additional moisturizing step.
Body: emulsify oil between palms until warm and melted and apply to skin, or melt down and add to your favorite lotions and creams before applying.

4. Shaving with Coconut Oil

Shaving creams, foams, and gels all have an alarmingly long list of ingredients and are full of toxic chemicals that you do not need on your skin. These products may be extremely convenient, but there are healthier alternatives that work just as well and are safe for highly sensitive areas, namely coconut oil. This method is best used with wet shaving after the skin has been run under warm water to soften the skin and hair. Not only will coconut oil give you a smooth, close shave, it will also save you a lot of money on pricey cans of shaving gels that run out so quickly with daily use.
How to use coconut oil for shaving: apply enough oil to coat skin and shave as usual.

Summary

Using coconut oil as a facial cleanser, makeup remover, moisturizer and shaving “cream” are just small samples of all the harmful (and expensive!) beauty care products you can replace with coconut oil. If you’ve been fighting skin issues, have highly sensitive skin, or just need to cut back on the spending, give coconut oil a try and see if the results aren’t worth it for yourself.
Note on type of coconut oil: use a high quality virgin coconut oil. Refined coconut oils (non-virgin) could have chemical residues.

Should You Be Taking Statins?

Although statins get a lot of flak in the Primal health community, you have to hand it to them. They may not cure cancer, or single-handedly save the economy and bring back all the jobs, or render entire populations totally immune to cardiovascular disease, but they do exactly what they’re meant to do: lower cholesterol. And they’re very good at what they do. You want lower LDL without changing what you eat or how much you exercise, or trying that crazy meditation stuff? Take a statin. Do you want to hit the target lipid numbers to lower your insurance premium? Take a statin.
Except that statins lower cholesterol by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, a crucial enzyme located upstream on the cholesterol synthesis pathway. If that were all HMG-CoA reductase did for us, that’s one thing. At least we’d know what we were getting ourselves into when we filled the prescription. But the “cholesterol pathway” isn’t isolated. Many other things happen along and branch off from the same pathway.

Some would deem those other products of the pathway inconsequential when you have the opportunity to lower cholesterol. Okay; that’s a normal reaction given the widespread hysteria surrounding blood lipids. Still, I maintain that we should give the benefit of the doubt to our physiology and assume the unfoldment of the body’s processes happens for a reason, even when we’re unaware of the “benefits” or existence of a particular process. There are a lot of moving parts in the meat sack your consciousness calls home. Probably a good idea to let them happen, or at least know what’s going on down there.

What else is downstream of HMG-CoA reductase?

CoQ10: Statins block CoQ10 synthesis. Because CoQ10 production is downstream from HMG-CoA reductase, statins interfere. This is a problem, for CoQ10 is an endogenous antioxidant and vital participant in the generation of cellular energy. It helps us generate ATP to power our cells, tissues, and structures. Muscle contractions require it. Deficiencies in CoQ10 have been linked to heart failure and high blood pressure. Luckily, supplemental CoQ10 is both widely available and, according to many studieseffective at countering some of the muscle-wasting effects of statins.
Squalene: Since squalene is the precursor to cholesterol, blocking squalene production is an expressed purpose of statin therapy. Good if you want to lower cholesterol at all costs, bad if you enjoy the antioxidant effects of squalene.
Vitamin K2: Statins interfere with vitamin K biosynthesis. The pathway inhibited by statin use is the same pathway used to convert vitamin K into vitamin K2, which is protective against cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, the sites in the body where statin-related adverse effects predominate – the brain, kidney, pancreatic beta cells, and muscles – also happen to be typical storage sites for vitamin K2.
Vitamin D: Since vitamin D synthesis in the skin upon UV exposure requires cholesterol, statins may impair it. This hasn’t been studied yet, save for one short term study where statin users’ vitamin D levels were monitored for a month. Although no changes were noted, changes in CoQ10 production take months to appear after statin therapy and vitamin D production may require a similar time frame to show changes.
Testosterone: Steroid hormone production is also dependent on cholesterol, and statin therapy is associated with a small but significant reduction in circulating testosterone levels in men.

What are some possible side effects of statin therapy?

Statins may cause myalgia, or muscle pain. If you listen to anecdotes from people who’ve taken statins, this is probably the most common side effect. On the other hand, most clinical trials suggest that muscle pain is rare. What can explain this discrepancy? Mild symptoms… such as fatigue, myalgias, or mildly elevated CK (creatine kinase, a marker of muscle damage), are usually not reported to the US Food and Drug Administration in a drug’s postmarketing period,” suggesting that “clinical trial estimates of these adverse events are an underestimation of the real world event rate.” In some cases, statins even lead to rhabdomyolysis, a severe, often fatal type of muscle damage which overloads the kidneys with broken down muscle protein.
Statins impair adaptations to exercise. When you add statins to an aerobic exercise routine, the normal improvements in cardiovascular fitness and mitochondrial function are attenuated (PDF). Furthermore, due to the possibility of musculoskeletal pain and/or injury, exercise also becomes less attractive and enjoyable. It’s no fun working out – or even going for a walk – when you ache all over.
Statins increase the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. In a recent study, statin users (characterized by use of a statin for at least 90 days) were more likely than non-users to develop musculoskeletal pain, injuries (dislocations, strains, tears, sprains), and diseases. Another study found similar results for statin use and osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and chondropathies.
Statins increase fatigue. In one recent study, a group of over 1000 healthy men and women aged 20 and older took either statins or placebo. Those taking statins reported reductions in overall everyday energy and the amount of energy they were able to muster during exercise. These effects were more pronounced in women taking the drug.
Statins increase the risk of diabetes, with stronger statins having a greater effectThree mechanisms have been proposed. First, statins reduce glucose tolerance and induce both hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. Second, certain statins change how insulin is secreted by pancreatic beta cells. Third, the reduction in CoQ10 impairs cellular function all over the body, leading to dysfunction. These are features of statins. They may not all lead to full blown diabetes, but these mechanisms occur uniformly across statin users to varying degrees, and the longer you adhere to your statin therapy the greater the risk.
Statins may increase the risk of certain cancers. Amidst flashy, misleading headlines claiming that statins could lower the risk of breast cancer based entirely on an association between high cholesterol levels and breast cancer from a study that didn’t even examine statins, we have long term usage of statins actually increasing breast cancer rates in women and overall cancer mortality in the elderly enough to offset the reduction in cardiovascular mortality.
Everything we know we only know because the pharmaceutical companies deign to provide it.
They control the flow of information. They have the raw data and release only the published research that’s been picked clean and gone over with a fine tooth comb. Actually, we don’t know what’s happening, what’s been removed, and what’s been omitted because we don’t have access to it. Seeing as how pharmaceutical companies have both the opportunity and motive to omit or downplay unfavorable results, I’m not confident we’re getting the whole story on statin side effects. For one thing, large statin trials will often have a “run-in period” where people who show poor tolerance of the drug are eliminated from inclusion in the full trial. That’s just crazy. We need trials specifically looking at, or at least including, the statin-intolerant. Side effects certainly are rare when you exclude the people who are most likely to have them.
Okay, okay. Even with the potential for side effects, surely the benefit to heart health makes it all worthwhile. Right?
It depends.
Even though statins can reduce mortality from heart disease in certain populations, they consistently fail to reduce all-cause mortality in everyone but people with an established clinical history of heart disease. For primary prevention in people without prior history of heart disease, even those considered to be at the “highest risk” (high LDL and such), statins do not reduce all-cause mortality. Same goes for the elderly (who seem to suffer more depression and cognitive decline when taking statins). Nor do statins lower the total number of serious adverse events (PDF), which include death (from any cause), hospital admissions, hospital stays, permanent disability, and cancer.  That’s the story, time and time again. You might be less likely to die from a heart attack, but you’re more likely to die from something else. It’s a wash in the end – unless you have prior history of heart disease/attacks. 
What does this mean for you?
If you’re currently on statins and notice any of the possible side effects listed above, talk to your doctor about cycling off. Your doctor works for you, not the other way around. Express your concerns, come armed with a few studies printed out, and suggest a trial period without statins to see how you respond under his or her guidance. Keep them apprised of your status with frequent updates. Turn it into an N=1 self experiment. Maybe it becomes a case study, even. Maybe you change your doc’s mind about the realities of statin side effects; good documentation tends to do that. Or maybe you realize that statins weren’t the problem after all.
Statins may not hurt you. They may even help, if you’ve already had a heart attack and you’re not elderly. I’m not saying you shouldn’t take them. I’m only suggesting that if you’re experiencing any of the issues mentioned above, you should probably consider not taking them with the help of your doctor to see if they resolve. And if your doctor is pushing you to take statins because of some mildly elevated cholesterol numbers, think about all the important physiological processes that occur along the same pathway whose inhibition you’re considering.
The narrative seems to be changing, though. Yeah, they want to give statins to pregnant women and there’s been chatter for years about putting them in drinking water, but things are getting better. The pill-pushers have overreached. Their latest curated guidelines for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, which looks suspiciously similar to the guidelines you’d come up with if your primary goal was getting as many people taking your drug as possible, are receiving considerable push back from physicians in the UK. Mainstream doctors who write for TheHeart.org are publicly questioning the utility of statins.
Statins have their place. I won’t deny that. But they’re not for everyone and there are consequences, and I think people deserve to know that

Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-evidence-continues-to-mount-against-statins/#ixzz390sxL8pn

Monday, July 14, 2014

Still Waiting

It's been a long and difficult 2014 for so many of us. Lots of
challenges and life lessons to deal with and learn. We are still waiting and
hoping that someone will step up and take over the support group.
We know that everyone is very busy these days, and has a lot on
their list, but it is important to look at the long term picture. We need
to have all the help and support in our lives that we can. Helping one
another is what we should be doing every day, it makes us stronger
and healthier in every way! Please consider volunteering a little of
your time to help others as well as yourself. We can all work together
to revive our group and make it even bigger and better than before.
Think positive and take a minute to contact Kristi Curtis asap...
justus323@yahoo.com or 360-518-0464. 
Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year

It's hard to believe that today is March 1st already, the New Year
is really going by fast! The weather up here in Redmond, WA has been
crazy today, lots of snow, rain and hail. Yesterday if felt like Spring, ah
the joys of the Northwest, we just never know what to expect!
We are still hoping for some new people to step up and take over
GIGSWWA asap. Please call and talk to Kristi Curtis as soon as you can
about doing what you can do to revive the support group. So many people
need the help and support, and we know that we all have a heart and
want to help.Thank you! Kristi Curtis: justus323@yahoo.com 
or 360-518-0464.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Waiting & Hoping for Help!

It's the end of the year, that means 2014 is almost here!
We are still hoping some passionate people will step up to take over
GIGSWWA. Please don't leave us in suspense any longer...we need you
to care! We want you to be a part of a very good and important cause!
We do learn from one another and we all take comfort in knowing 
that others do care and want to help. This group must go on...
Please contact Kristi Curtis ASAP: justus323@yahoo.com or
360-518-0464.
Thank you for your support!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Beat Sugar Cravings

Try Gymnema. This vine, native to India, seems to reduce
sugar cravings. Add 30 to 40 drops of gymnema tincture
(sold at health food stores) to a little water, swish in your
mouth for 30 seconds, and then swallow. Repeat every
2 or 3 hours as needed. Because gymnema only works when
it comes in contact with the tongue, extracts in pills or capsules
won't work.

Take Bitters. Bitters may counteract your craving for sweets.
Shake a few drops into water or club soda. Try Urban
Moonshine's elixirs. You can also try Angostura bitters from
the supermarket.
-Prevention Magazine, January 2014

Green Tea Brain Boost Smoothie

1 cup Salada Green Tea Brain Boost
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
6 ounces plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Start by pouring 1 cup of cooled green tea into
a blender.
Next, add blueberries, Greek yogurt & chia seeds.
Blend for about one minute until it's nice & smooth.
Pour into a tall glass, take a nice big sip & help improve
your brain function to get through the rest of the day!
For a thicker smoothie, try adding 3-4 ice cubes.