The Many Uses of Shea Butter for Beauty and Health

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Skin Superfood and Healer

Shea butter is one of the best moisturizing, anti-aging regenerating and protecting natural product in the World! It protects your skin from UV sunlight, harsh climate, dehydration and pollution damages. Let’s say in short that it is one of the best anti-aging agents for you skin. It strengthens your skin by stimulating the production of collagen, which is the youthful scaffolding protein in your skin. It makes it more supple, more alive, nourished and radiant. If you have wrinkles, fine lines and crow feet or if your skin is dry, very dry, damaged or devitalized, Shea butter will make all of these problems vanish and bring your skin back into life and beauty. It is the most moisturizing skin care product in the world, so choose Shea butter over over powerful anti-aging skin care products like Wild Musk Rose oil, or Argan oil during the cold and sunny seasons.

Shea butter is also one of the best skin care for winter and after-sun care. It provides the extra moisture, vitamins, nutrients and protection your skin needs during the cold season and summertime. It is also the perfect lip balm to protect your lips from the cold and dry weather and keep them beautiful.

Since Shea butter is all natural and so rich and moisturizing, it is ideal for baby care. It is natural, gentle and soft for every type of skin, but it is specially adapted for the delicate and sensitive skin of babies. It is perfect for after bath skin care and as a healer in case of eczema or diaper rash for babies and kids. African women have used it for millennia to protect and nourish their babies’ skin. Using pure Shea butter on your baby guarantees you of a totally natural and chemical-free skin care. Given that lots of baby care products contain toxic chemicals, Shea butter is the best ally for eco-conscious moms.

Hair Revitalization

Thanks to its deeply moisturizing qualities, Shea butter is the bestrevitalization cure for your hair. Dry, dull, falling, lumpy or damaged, your hair will always benefit from a Shea butter mask. Either the pure Shea butter mask or a Shea butter conditioner will give vitality, suppleness and shine back to your hair. The Shea butter cure is good anytime, but especially during summertime or in the tropics because of the stress your hair has to sustain from the sun and ocean, lake or rive water. Prolong the cure after you come back from vacation.

The Body Healer

Given its high content in anti-inflammatory and healing components, Shea butter helps the healing of skin disorders and problems like:

  • eczema
  • psoriasis
  • rash
  • hives
  • insect bites
  • poisonous plants contact dermatitis
  • skin cracks
  • burns
  • minor cuts

Moreover Shea butter is deeply soothing and calming on any irritation and inflammation. Because it helps the healing of the skin, it can take care of heel and skin cracks in record time. But it does even more…

Shea butter is very beneficial for sportive men and women, as it prepares the muscles before the workout and helps them to recover faster after. It also helps to reduce muscle aches as it stimulates the elimination of toxins from the muscles.

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6 Scary Sunscreen Ingredients

sunscreen

As the summer sun warms and waxes, protecting your skin from sunburn and UV damage should be a hot priority. While slathering your skin with the nearest SPFmay seem like a keen idea, many sunscreens are loaded with some seriously questionable ingredients that can induce adverse effects on your skin and body, (i.e., allergic reactions, hormone disruption, and premature aging), and might even increase your cancer risk. However, experts agree that the sun is still your greatest risk.  Luckily, not all SPF products are harmful, and not all sunscreens are created equal. There are two categories:Physical sunscreen, or sunblock, contains natural minerals such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that cover the surface of skin to physically block or reflect broad spectrum of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Unless you’re using high-end physical SPF products, sunblock can be thick and messy to apply, sometimes leaving a white sheen and residue that can clog pores and require scrubbing and rubbing to remove.

Chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, contains synthetic ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are absorbed into the skin to filter and absorb UV rays, effectively protecting deeper layers of skin. Because it is absorbed, chemical sunscreen can lead to skin irritation and other adverse reactions. Plus, the ingredients can generate cell-damaging free radicals when exposed to the sun.

To reap the benefits of sunscreen and sidestep the potential side effects, avoid these dubious ingredients before slathering up this summer:

6 SCARY SUNSCREEN INGREDIENTS

Oxybenzone This penetration enhancer (i.e., chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin) undergoes a chemical reaction when exposed to UV rays. When oxybenzone is absorbed by your skin, it can cause an eczema-like allergic reaction that can spread beyond the exposed area and last long after you’re out of the sun. Experts also suspect that oxybenzone disrupts hormones (i.e., mimics, blocks, and alters hormone levels) which can throw off your endocrine system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 97 percent of Americans have this chemical circulating in our bodies, as it can accumulate more quickly than our bodies can get rid of it.

Octinoxate One of the most common ingredients found in sunscreens with SPF, octinoxate is readily absorbed by our skin and helps other ingredients to be absorbed more readily. While allergic reactions from octinoxate aren’t common, hormone disruption is: the chemical’s effects on estrogen can be harmful for humans and wildlife, too, should they come into contact with the chemical once it gets into water. Though SPF products are designed to protect skin from sun-induced aging, octinoxate may actually be a culprit for premature aging, as it produces menacing free radicals that can damage skin and cells.

Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate) Just like the vitamin A we eat, retinyl palmitate is an antioxidant. As an ingredient in sunscreen, it’s function is to improve the product’s performance against the aging effects of UV exposure, However, certain forms of vitamin A found in sun protection products—namely retinyl palmitate, a combination of retinol (vitamin A) and palmitic acid, an ingredient found in tropical plants such as palm and coconut—can be cause for concern. When exposed to the sun’s UV rays, retinol compounds break down and produce destructive free radicals that are toxic to cells, damage DNA, and may lead to cancer. In fact, FDA studies have shown that retinyl palimitate may speed the development of malignant cells and skin tumors when applied to skin before sun exposure, so steer clear of skin sun products that harbor the stuff.

Homosalate This UV-absorbing sunscreen ingredient helps sunscreen to penetrate your skin. Once the ingredient has been absorbed, homosalate accumulates in our bodies faster than we can get rid of it, becomes toxic and disrupts our hormones.

Octocrylene When this chemical is exposed to UV light, it absorbs the rays and produces oxygen radicals that can damage cells and cause mutations. It is readily absorbed by your skin and may accumulate within your body in measurable amounts. Plus, it can be toxic to the environment.

Paraben Preservatives Associated with both acute and chronic side effects, parabens (butyl-, ethyl-, methyl-, and propyl-) can induce allergic reactions, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity. While butylparaben was reported to be non-carcinogenic in rats and mice, but it has been previously suspected that parabens and other chemicals in underarm cosmetics may contribute to the rising incidence of breast cancer.

 

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List of the More Widely Known Dangerous Ingredients in Body & Food Products

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This list only contains the more widely known chemicals and additives in body and food products. There are thousands more in use. Many of the chemicals listed below are suspected or known carcinogens, toxins, hormone disruptors, poisons and contaminates.

Acesulfame K 
Sugar substitute found in pudding, chewing gum, non-dairy creamers, instant coffee mixes, tea mixes and gelatin desserts. May increase cancer in humans.

Acetone
Also known as Dimethylketone, 2-Propanone, Beta-Ketopropane. Inhalation of moderate to high amounts, even for a short time results in entry of acetone into bloodstream where it is carried to all other organs. Nose, throat, lung and eye irritant, headaches, confusion, increased pulse rate, effects on blood, nausea, vomiting and unconsciousness, coma. Shortens the menstrual cycle in women. Effects of long-term exposure include kidney, liver and nerve damage, increased birth defects, metabolic changes and coma. Found in nail polish remover.

Acetaldehyde
Found in many nail care products. Known to cause cancers in humans and experimental animals.

Acrylamide/polyacrylamide
Acrylamide, produced naturally in some foods when cooked at high temps. Manufactured for use in polyacrylamide gels, sometimes used as a treatment for drinking water and/ or wastewater. Acrylamide causes cancer in animals and in large doses, nerve damage in humans. Smoking is a major acrylamide producer as is frying, deep frying or extended micro-waving.

Alcohol
Implicated in oral cancer. Found in mouthwash, astringent, toothpaste, cleansers.

Alkyl-phenol Ethoxylades 
May reduce sperm count. Found in shampoo and bubble bath.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid 
Destroys skin cells and leaves skin more susceptible to damage from the environment and skin cancer. Actually ends up aging skin. Found in anti-aging facial creams and lotions.

Aluminum
Heavy concentrations may be linked to Alzheimer’s dementia. Aluminum is in many antiperspirants and prevalent in water supplies. Processed foods contain dietary aluminum.
Sodium aluminum phosphate appears in pickles, cheese and baking soda.

Ammonium Glycolate 
A photosensitizer with potential to increase risk of sunburn and skin cancer by intensifying UV exposures in deep skin layers. This sensitizer can instigate immune system response that includes itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin. It is also a penetration enhancer which alters the skins’ structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin, thus increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream. Found in body products.

Ammonium Persulfate
Found in hair color and bleaching kit sensitizer – can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin, lung sensitizer – can instigate immune system response that can include asthma attacks or other problems with the lungs and airways.

Immune system toxin, respiratory toxicant, skin or sense organ toxicant, classified as toxic in one or more government assessments.

Aspartame
Genetically Modified, synthetic sugar substitute. People report dizziness, headaches and even seizures. Scientists believe it can alter behavior due to altered brain function. Long term effects of this genetically modified organism on human health has not been studied or tested. Found as a sweetener in foods and some body products, such as shaving gel. 

Benzalkonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride and lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagenFound in hair treatment products. Both are toxic and allergenic.

Benzene
Inhalation of high levels can cause headaches, rapid heart rate, tremors, confusion, unconsciousness and death. Hodgkin’s and Lymphomas result from inhalation. Used in detergents, drugs, pesticides and adhesives.

Benzoic Acid 
Inhalation affects nervous system and is moderately toxic by ingestion. Severe eye and skin irritant. Used as a food preservative and in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics

Benzoic / Benzyl / Benzene
Contains carcinogens, endocrine disruptor, may cause birth defects. Found in shower gels, shampoos, bubble bath.

Benzoyl Peroxide
In acne treatments, bar soap, facial cleansers and food additives! Highly toxic/ irritant.

Bisphenol A or BPA
Toxic plastic chemical used as a can lining in brands of some infant formulas. Also found in water bottles, this chemical is used to produce polycarbonate and epoxy plastics. For babies, check food container labels and beware of polycarbonate plastic baby bottles. Chemical reactions can occur when plastic is heated.

BHA – BHT 
Banned in other countries, these two preservatives are considered carcinogenic but remain in U.S. manufactured foods that contain oil as they retard rancidity. Found in foods and body products.

Bronopol
May break down into formaldehyde, may form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Found in body products.

Butylparaben
Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development, increased risk for certain cancers, itching burning and blistering of skin. Found in body products.

Carboxymethylcellulose
Causes cancer in animals. Used in cosmetics, inhalation could cause chemical pneumonitis.

Coal Tar Dyes – (includes D&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 33, etc.)
Even though their carcinogenicity has recently been proven, the 1938 Act includes a specific exemption for them. Severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, lack of concentration, nervousness, increased risk of Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Found in bubble bath, hair dye, dandruff shampoo, toothpaste and foods. 

Cocamidopropyl Betaine 
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products, itching, burning and blistering of skin. Synthesized from coconuts, this chemical is found in body products and may be labeled natural or organic.

Coumarin
Formerly the active ingredient in rat poison. A carcinogenic ingredient used in the manufacturing of deodorants, shampoos, skin fresheners and perfumes.

D&C Yellow 11 
Found in: Lip gloss, polish remover, nail polish, bath oil/salts/soak, body spray, mositurizer, lipstick, styling gel/lotion, bar soap, after sun products, cologne, nail treatment. Color safe for external use only, found in ingested products, Color not approved for use around eyes, in eye products

DEA: Diethanolamine 
A chemical used as a wetting or thickening agent in shampoos, soaps, hairsprays and sunscreens, blocks absorption of the nutrient choline, which is essential to brain development in a fetus.

Diacetyl
An additive that tastes like butter causes a serious lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn workers’ lung. Found in foods, especially microwave popcorn.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) 
A chemical used to keep nail polish from chipping, has been connected to cancer in lab animals as well as long-term fertility issues in newborn boys. Banned in Europe, but still in use in the U.S. Found in nail polish.

Dimethicone
A silicone emollient, which coats the skin not allowing toxins out. May promote tumors and accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes. Found in lotions and creams.

Dioforms
Damage and weaken tooth enamel allowing more staining and discoloration to take place. Found in tooth whitening products.

Disodium EDTA 
Harmful if swallowed or inhaled, causes irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory tract. Found in cosmetics.

Diazolidinyl Urea
Found in facial cleansers, shampoos and conditioners. Linked to neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity

DMDM Hydantoin
Contains formaldehyde , an ingredient linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity. Allergenic, can be an irritant to eyes skin and lungs. Common in manicure/pedicure products and hair treatment packages.

Ethylacrylate
Found in some mascaras’s suspected as a cause of cancer in humans, based on studies of human populations or laboratory animals.

Elastin
Suffocates skin by not allowing moisture in or out. Found in facial creams and body lotions.

Fluoride
May contain lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Accumulates in body and contributes to bone disease. Carcinogenic. Found in toothpastes.

Formaldehyde
Suspected carcinogen and neurotoxin, it may be fatal if swallowed, absorbed through skin, inhaled or swallowed. Can cause spasms, edema, chemical pneumonitis and is extremely destructive to tissue of the mucous membrane, this chemical is found in many nail care products. Known to cause cancers in humans and experimental animals. Found in baby shampoo, bubble bath, deodorants, perfume, cologne, hair dye, mouthwash, toothpaste, hair spray, nail polish.

Fragrances (Synthetic) 
Some perfumes / fragrances contain hundreds of chemicals. Some, such as methylene chloride are carcinogenic. Some cause brain damage or are neurotoxins. Avoid unless you can be sure they are not carcinogenic.

Glycolic Acid 
Penetration enhancer which alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin, increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream, skin or sense organs. As a sensitizer it can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin. Toxicant, neurotoxin, kidney toxicant, gastrointestinal or liver toxicant. Found in creams, lotions, cosmetics.

GMO/Genetically Modified Organism 
Plants, animals or foods that have been genetically modified, genetically engineered or BT/Biotechnology modified. Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way that does not occur naturally. Minimal testing shows that animals fed GMO feed, refuse to eat it. When force-fed the feed (corn, soy, tomatoes etc.) the animals developed stomach lesions and malformations of organs. GMO food is not labeled as such in the U.S. Almost all other countries have banned the use of GMO in food and body products due to insufficient testing. 

Hydroabietyl Alcohol
Found in styling gel/lotions. Unsafe for use in cosmetics according to the fragrance industry’s International Fragrance Association.

High Fructose Corn Syrup/HFCS
High fructose consumption has been fingered as a causative factor in heart disease. It raises blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. It makes blood cells more prone to clotting, and it may also accelerate the aging process. 

Hydrogenated/Partially Hydrogenated Oils 
Hydrogenated oils contain high levels of trans fats. A trans fat is an otherwise normal fatty acid that has been radically changed by high heat. Trans fats are poison: just like arsenic. Partially hydrogenated oils will not only kill you in the long term by producing diseases like multiple sclerosis and allergies that lead to arthritis, but in the meantime they will make you fat!

Hydroquinone
A severely toxic and very powerful chemical. Banned in the United Kingdom, but still used in the U.S. Found in skin lightening products and hair dyes, this chemical alters the skins natural structure inhibiting the production of Melanin. Without natural protection, the skin is more susceptible to skin cancer. Prolonged use of Hydroquinone will thicken collagen fibers damaging the connective tissues. The result is rough blotchy skin leaving it with a spotty caviar appearance.

Hydroxymethylcellulose
Used in cosmetics. Inhalation could cause chemical pneumonitis.

Imidazolidinyl Urea
This allergenic chemical finds its way into deodorants, shampoos, hand cream and some mascaras.

Isobutylparaben
Potential breast cancer risk. Itching, burning and blistering of skin. Found in body products.

Isoproponal/Isopropyl Alcohol 
Moderately toxic chemical causing flushing, pulse rate decrease, blood pressure lowering, anesthesia, narcosis, headache, dizziness, mental depression, drowsiness, hallucinations, distorted perceptions, respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting and coma. Used to clean/disinfect skin, lower temperatures. Found in some body products.

Kajoic Acid 
A chemical that inhibits melanin production. Used in skin lightening products, it damages the skin and makes it more susceptible to cancer.

Lacquer
Can cause eyelashes to fall out. Found in mascara.

Lanolin
While lanolin itself is skin beneficial, it may contain carcinogenic pesticides such as DDT, lindane, dieldrin and other neurotoxins. Can cause rashes. Found in body products.

Lye
Can dry and damage skin. Found in bars of soap.

Magnesium Stearate / Stearic Acid 
May contain phosphatidyl choline which collapses cell membranes and selectively kills T-Cells which breaks down the immune system. An execeptant that is used to bind medicinal tablets and make them smooth it is also used in pharmaceuticals, foods, talcum powder, ammunition, and as a drying agent in paints.

MEA: Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA, Linoleamide DEA, Oleamide DEA
NDEA (N-nitrosodiethanolamine) forms when DEA reacts with nitrosating agents or the actual addition of nitrite as a preservative. As there is no way to determine if NDEA has been formed, it is imperative to avoid all products containing DEA as it is a known carcinogen. Often used in cosmetics to adjust the pH, and used with many fatty acids to convert acid to salt (stearate), which then becomes the base for a cleanser.

Methylisothiazoline, or MIT 
Causes neurological damage. Found in shampoo.

Methyl Methacrylate 
May cause fingers and nails to inflame. Found in nail polish.

Methylparaben 
Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development of fetus, and increased risk for certain cancers, itching, burning and blistering of skin. A close cousin of benzoic acid: poisonous and moderately toxic it is found in body products.

Mineral Oil 
A derivative of petroleum, this additive clogs pores, locks in toxins, suffocates and dries skin and inhibits your skins natural oil production further increasing dehydration. Causes testicular tumors in the fetus, deposits accumulate in the lymph nodes and prevent absorption of vitamin A from the intestines. Found in blush, baby oil, lotions, foundation and creams.

Monosodium Glutamate/MSG 
MSG is an excitotoxin, which causes nerve damage and allergic reactions. Found in hundreds of foods, often under other names.

MTBE
Gasoline additive. Known as a “likely” human carcinogenic.

Neotame
Neotame is a reformulated aspartame that will require smaller amounts than aspartame to achieve the same sweetness. Neotame, like aspartame, contains aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and a methyl esther. Animal studies reveal aspartic acid and glutamic acid load on the same receptors in the brain, cause identical brain lesions and neuroendocrine disorders, and act in an additive fashion. People who are sensitive to processed free glutamic acid (MSG) experience similar reactions to aspartame, and people who are sensitive to aspartame experience similar reactions to MSG. People who currently react to MSG and/or aspartame should expect to react similarly to Neotame. Found in soft drinks, pharmaceuticals, processed foods of all kinds.

Nitrate – Nitrite 
While nitrate itself is harmless; it is readily converted to nitrite. When nitrite combines with compounds called secondary amines, it forms nitrosamines: extremely powerful cancer-causing chemicals. The chemical reaction occurs most readily at the high temperatures of frying. Nitrite has long been suspected as being a cause of stomach cancer.

Nitrosamines
Extremely powerful, cancer-causing chemicals formed at high temperatures when the preservative nitrite combines with compounds called secondary amines.

Olestra
While fat-free, this additive has a fatal side effect: it attaches to valuable nutrients and flushes them out of the body. Some of these nutrients, called carotenoids, appear to protect us from such diseases as lung cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. Olestra replaces fats in ‘fat-free’ foods.

Padimate-O (PABA) 
Nitrosamines, potent carcinogens, may form in products that contain Padimate-O. There is no way of knowing if they have formed. Found in cosmetics and sunscreens.

Paraffin
Possible carcinogen. Found in cosmetics and food.

PBDE
Toxic flame retardant, used in baby bedding to slow advance of fire. Residue found in breast milk.

Perchlorate
It is rocket science! Perchlorate is a by- product of rocket fuel, discovered in over 90% of the U.S. lettuce and milk supply. It interferes with thyroid function can cause thyroid cancer and or hypothyroidism.

PEG Stearates
Potentially contaminated with or breaking down into chemicals linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in cosmetics, creams and foods.

PEG (Polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, oxynol: any ethoxylated compound, including SLES)
May contain ¼-dioxane which is a possible carcinogen, estrogen mimic and endocrine disruptor. Can only be removed from a product through vacuum stripping during processing. Avoid all ethyoxylated products as a precaution. Found in foods and body products.

PEG-12 Distearate 
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in creams, lotions, cosmetics and foods.

PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems, gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards. Found in cosmetics, creams, lotions and foods.

PEG-14M 
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in foods, lotions, creams and cosmetics.

Petroleum (Petrolatum) 
Suffocates skin and traps toxins in body, clogs pores. Found in lotions, skin creams, and body jelly.

PFOA or C8
Used when processing polytetrafluroroethylene (PTFE) or Teflon. This toxic chemical remains in animals and humans for indefinite periods.

PFOS
Perflurooctanotane sulfonate. A fluorocarbon used in producing repellents and surfactant products, like stain resistant fabric.

Phenoxyethanol
Possible connection to reproductive or developmental harm to fetus, potential for reduced fertility, classified as toxic and an irritant, potential risks to wildlife and environment through excretion of body product toxins and disposal of cosmetics.

Phthalates
Accumulates in the body; proven damage to liver, lungs, kidneys and reproductive systems. Appears in vinyl flooring, plastic wallpaper, perfume, hair spray, deodorant, nail polish, hair gel, mousse, body and hand lotion. Look for it in children’s toys, as; DEHP, BBP and DBP.

Polyethylene Glycol /PEG 
Moderately toxic, eye irritant and possible carcinogen. Many glycols produce severe acidosis, central nervous system damage and congestion. Can cause convulsions, mutations, and surface EEG changes. Found in cosmetics, body products, foods, lotions.

Polypropylene
Possible carcinogen. Found in lipstick, mascara, baby soap, eye shadow.

Polyscorbate-60 
Used in cosmetics. Inhalation could cause chemical pneumonitis .

Polyquaternium-7 
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in body products.

Potassium Bromate 
An additive that increases the volume and crumb of bread, is banned worldwide except in the U.S. and Japan. Considered carcinogenic.

p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) 
Very toxic substance, used in hair dyeing, shampoo’s and hair spray. Highly carcinogenic, developmental and reproductive toxicity, it is allergenic and can cause skin irritation issues.

Propylene Glycol 
Kidney damage, liver abnormalities, inhibits skin cell growth, damages cell membranes causing rashes, surface damage and dry skin.

Absorbed into blood stream and travels to all organs. Many glycols produce severe acidosis, central nervous system damage and congestion. Can cause convulsions, mutations, and surface EEG changes. It is derived from petroleum products. The Material Safety Data Sheets on propylene glycol warns against contact with eyes, skin and clothing. It also says inhalation can cause irritation of nasal passages, ingestion can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Research also shows that it alters cell membranes and causes cardiac arrest. Found in shaving gel, lotions, shampoo, conditioners, foods, deodorant.

Propylparaben
Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development, and increased risk for certain cancers, itching burning and blistering of skin, gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazard. A close cousin of benzoic acid: poisonous and moderately toxic. Found in body products.

PVC/ polyvinyl chloride
When produced or burned, this common plastic releases dioxins, may cause cancer, affect immune and reproductive systems.

Quaternium-7, 15, 31, 60 etc. 
Toxic, causes skin rashes and allergic reactions. Formaldehyde releasers. Substantive evidence of casual relation to leukemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers. Found in body products.

Sodium Chloride 
Table salt (processed at high heat). Eye irritation, some hair loss, and dry and itchy skin. Found in shampoo as a thickener.

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate 
Potentially contaminated with or breaking down into chemicals linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in facial moisturizer, facial cleanser, facial treatments, skin fading and lightening products, anti-aging products, eye makeup remover, concealer, makeup remover, around eye cream, acne treatment, shampoo, conditioner, styling lotion and gel, styling mousse and foam, hair spray, hair relaxer, tanning oil and sunscreen, after tanning products, body cleanser and wash, body exfoliants, body firming lotion, baby soap, baby lotion, baby wipes, baby bubble bath, pain and wound products, hand sanitizer.

Sodium Nitrite
Makes meat look red rather than gray, and gives meat an overly long shelf life of months. Clinically proven to cause leukemia, brain tumors and other forms of cancer.

Soy
Contains several naturally occurring compounds that are toxic to humans and animals. Soy foods block calcium and can cause vitamin D deficiencies. One health agency estimates than 100 grams of soy protein provides the estrogenic equivalent of the pill. Processing and all modern soy foods contain MSG, which cause neurological problems. Soy products inhibit thyroid function, which may lead to fatigue and mental issues. Infants on soy formula are vulnerable to developing autoimmune thyroid disease when exposed to high amounts of isoflavones over time. These Isoflavones have been found to have serious health effects, including infertility, thyroid disease or liver disease, on a number of mammals. Long term feeding with soy formulas inhibits thyroid peroxidase to such an extent that long term elevated thyroid stimulating hormone levels can also raise the risk of thyroid cancer. It is said that two glasses of soy milk a day over the course of a month contains enough of the chemical to change the timing of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Only eat soy if it has been fermented: such as soy, misu and tamari and if it is labeled as organic or non-GMO.

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate)
Builds up in heart, lungs, brain and liver from skin contact and may cause damage to these organs. Corrodes hair follicles and may cause hair to fall out. Damages immune system. Contain endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimics. Impairs proper structural formation of young eyes. May contain carcinogenic nitrosamines. This is a detergent derived from coconut oil and may be labeled natural or even organic. Found in toothpaste, soap, shampoo, body wash, bubble bath, facial cleansers.

SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
Ether mixtures may contain carcinogenic nitrosamines. Avoid ethoxylated compounds as a precaution. May form 1.4 dioxane, a potential carcinogen, endocrine disruptor and estrogen mimic. Allows other chemicals to penetrate skin more deeply and enter bloodstream. May cause hair loss when applied to scalp. Found in shampoo, toothpaste, bubble bath, body wash, soap.

Stearalkonium Chloride
Toxic and causes allergic reactions. Used in hair conditioners.

Sulfites
Can cause reactions in asthmatics, and lead to death. Sulphites are now banned on all foods except raw potatoes, wine and dried fruit.

Talc
Carcinogenic when inhaled, may result in fallopian tube fibrosis. Found in blush, condoms, baby powder, feminine powders, foot and body powders.

Thimerol
At one time in most vaccines for children. Still believed to be in many vaccines. This form of organic mercury, functions as a preservative. It is highly toxic as it metabolizes into methylmercury.

TEA: Tea, Triethanolamine
TEA causes allergic reactions including eye problems, dryness of hair and skin, and could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time. These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects (although still in use in the U.S.)

Repeated skin applications of DEA-based detergents resulted in a major increase in the incidence of liver and kidney cancer. Found in shampoos, skin cream, bubble bath, shaving gel, conditioner, lotions.

Toluene
Poison to humans. Hallucinations, bone marrow changes, may cause liver and kidney damage and birth defects, endocrine disruptor and potential carcinogen linked to brain cancer. Irritates respiratory tract. Found in nail polish and cleaning products.

Triclosan
Found in a lot of antimicrobial soaps and toothpaste products, it can react with chlorine in the tap water to create Chloroform. This is a toxic chemical that can give you cancer. If you breathe enough chloroform, you will die. When you wash your hands with antibacterial soap that contains Triclosan, you are getting the fumes emitted from this chemical reaction.

Vinyl chloride
Used to create PVC (polyvinyl chloride) a known carcinogen. Often found in toys. Children chewing on toys can release toxins into their bodies. * see PVC

Zinc Stearate
Carcinogen. Found in blush and powder foundation

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coconut

Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.”

Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health.

This includes fat loss, better brain function and various other amazing benefits.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of coconut oil that have been experimentally confirmed in human studies.

1. Coconut Oil Contains a Unique Combination of Fatty Acids With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated (1).

However, new data is showing that saturated fats are harmless. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was a myth (2).

Additionally, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak.

No, they contain so-called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length.

Most of the fatty acids in the diet are so-called long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently.

They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.

Bottom Line: Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently and can have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders.

2. Populations That Eat a LOT of Coconut Are Among The Healthiest People on The Planet

Coconut is kind of an “exotic” food in the Western world, primarily consumed by health conscious people.

However, in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.

The best example of such a population is theTokelauans, which live in the South Pacific.

They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.

These people are in excellent health, with no evidence of heart disease (3).

Another example of a population that eats a lot of coconut and remains in excellent health is the Kitavans (4).

Bottom Line: Plenty of populations around the world have thrived for multiple generations eating massive amounts of coconut.

3. Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy Expenditure, Helping You Burn More Fat

Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.

While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are critical too.

It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie.

The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats (56).

One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day (7).

Bottom Line: The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.

4. The Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections

Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid.

When coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it also forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin.

Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi (8).

For example, these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans (910).

Bottom Line: The fatty acids and breakdown products in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, potentially helping to prevent infections.

5. Coconut Oil Can Kill Your Hunger, Making You Eat Less Without Even Trying

One interesting feature of coconut oil is that it can reduce your hunger.

This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing effect (11).

In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men.

The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average (12).

Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch (13).

These studies were small and only done for a short period of time. If this effect were to persist over the long term, it could have a dramatic influence on body weight over a period of several years.

Bottom Line: The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term.

6. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Are Turned into Ketones, Which Can Reduce Seizures

A so-called ketogenic (very low carb, very high fat) diet is currrently being studied to treat various disorders.

The best known therapeutic application of this diet is treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children (14).

This diet involves eating very little carbohydrates and large amounts of fat, leading to greatly increased concentrations ofketone bodies in the blood.

For some reason, this diet can dramatically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even those who haven’t had success with multiple different types of drugs.

Because the MCTs in coconut oil get shipped to the liver and turned into ketone bodies, they are often used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet (1516).

Bottom Line: The MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic children.

7. Coconut Oil Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels and May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought.

Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype (1718).

In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil (19).

There are also rat studies showing that coconut oil reduces triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, increases HDL and improves blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status (2021).

This improvement in cardiovascular risk factors should theoretically lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over the long term.

Bottom Line: Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.

8. Coconut Oil Can Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen

Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it.

Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.

Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of the skin (22).

Coconut oil can also be very protective against hair damage and one study shows effectiveness as sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays (2324)

Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath (252627).

Bottom Line: Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as mouthwash.

9. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and occurs primarily in elderly individuals.

In Alzheimer’s patients, there appears to be a reduced ability to use glucose for energy in certain parts of the brain.

Ketone bodies can supply energy for the brain and researchers have speculated that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for these malfunctioning cells and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s (28).

In one 2006 study, consumption of medium chain triglycerides lead to an immediate improvement in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s (29).

Other studies support these findings and medium chain triglycerides are being intensively studied as potential therapeutic agents in Alzheimer’s disease (3031).

Bottom Line: Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketone bodies, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieving symptoms.

10. Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat, Especially The Dangerous Fat in Your Abdominal Cavity

Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help youlose weight.

Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.

This is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many Western diseases.

Waist circumference is easily measured and is a great marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.

A study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL (1 ounce) ofcoconut oil per day lead to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks (19).

Another study in 20 obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day (32).

This number may not seem too impressive on the surface, but be aware that these people aren’t adding exercise or restricting calories. They’re losing significant amounts of abdominal fat simply by adding coconut oil to their diet.

11. Anything Else?

If you want to enjoy the immense health benefits of coconut oil, then make sure to choose organic, virgin coconut oil… NOT the refined stuff.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg. People are using coconut oil for all sorts of things with incredible success.

Feel free to add to the list in the comments!

Top 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

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