By Natural Advocate | May 31, 2010 - 5:56 am - Posted in Environment

The news about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill just seems to be getting worse and worse.  Even though BP supposedly stemmed off the oil spill a few days ago by putting a mile long tube down the hole that it is coming out of (who knows, that may have proven unsuccessful even as I write this though), there are now millions of gallons of oil in the beautiful ocean.  There have been several huge plumes of oil discovered under the surface as well, which means that the oil is probably soaking the sea floor.

This translates into a lot of sea life, including shell fish, fish, the plankton on which fish and other sea creatures feed, and coral reefs that are the treasure of the ocean may be endangered as they are coated in oil.  The problem is that these massive plumes of oil that are drifting along the sea floor and are several miles wide are actually destroying the oxygen in the water, which could wipe out any sea life within the space it occupies.

This could mean devastation to the ecosystem, and is bad news for the fish market as well. It has already gotten a lot of local fisherman up in arms about their livelihood, so this is definitely also going to have an economic impact. Since BP has made about 6 billion dollars in profit in just one quarter though, the 500 million dollars the oil spill has cost to clean up is pretty much a drop in the bucket for them.

The finger pointing that happened between BP, Haliburton, and the rig’s owner, Transocean has been pretty much a spectacle as well, even President Obama has said they should be ashamed for engaging in counterproductive finger pointing when such a tragedy has occured that requires the utmost attention from all involved. Of course, what else would you expect when major corporations are fighting for their reputations, or potentially fighting for who’s going to pay for the mess that was created.

The latest on the cause of the oil spill is that a methane gas bubble caused the explosion that started the leak.  Only time will tell to what extent the oil spill has damage the flora, fauna, marine life, and coral reefs of the gulf. Let’s hope that mother nature has a plan for cleaning up massive man made screw ups like this.

By Natural Advocate | May 29, 2010 - 6:24 am - Posted in Medical News

Walgreens, one of the fastest growing, and my personally favorite drugstore chain, has decided to put plans on hold for selling a new DNA saliva swab kit that they were planning to sell in their stores, probably bringing them to the forefront as the only drugstore chain to sell such a unique product. Why would people want a test like this, you ask?

Well, DNA testing is becoming more and more popular as a way to detect whether you have damaged DNA and might be more likely to contract different diseases, or even be more prone to things like breast cancer and other inherited types of disease.

I must admit, when I first read about it, I thought maybe it’s primary use would be to confirm paternity of a child or something like that, but it looks like it’s being marketed as mostly a medical tool to see what your likelihood of deadly disease is. Walgreen’s plans to market this unique product, however, were snatched by the FDA and put on hold.

The FDA, who evaluates new drugs to be put on the market (I’m not sure why they concerned themselves with this one then), says that the kit has not been proven effective, and that they are concerned that people will base medical and treatment decisions on the outcome of these DNA tests, and not know if they are truly accurate or not.

I wonder if there is really another aspect at work here, as I’m naturally skeptical of most government agencies and their hidden agendas. Other genetic tests and evaluations have been sold for several years now, unencumbered by the FDA, however, since this new genetic test by Pathway, would be mass marketed and available in a retail, widely available market, they feel that crosses the line and warrants their review of the product.

The total evaluation of your genetic code from your saliva would cost about $275, which makes it cheaper than the other options out there. It’s hard to tell whether this would be a blockbuster item or not, as not many people are really aware they can do this kind of stuff yet anyways. I wonder, would I really want to know if I’m predisposed to certain diseases? I already try to live a healthy, preventive lifestyle, would it really change the way I live my life that much anyway?

By Natural Advocate | May 26, 2010 - 10:16 am - Posted in Hair Loss Treatments

I started taking Biotin tablets about one month ago, because I wanted something that would help my hair be thicker and shinier, and I read that out of the hair loss and hair regrowth vitamins, Biotin, which is a form of B vitamin, was one of the most important to add to your diet. So, I snatched up a bottle (actually two, they were buy one get one half off), and tried my luck with this hair growth vitamin.

Let me be clear that I was not looking to regrow hair or grow my hair super long or anything, I just wanted something that would make the hair on my head look better, because it seemed to have gotten dull and dry over the past few weeks due to coloring and highlighting. I’m not sure if any of my dietary changes were to blame, but I figured I could at least give biotin a try.

You see biotin in a lot of topical hair care products too, like shampoos and conditioners, because it is also known to be beneficial to the hair’s luster and shine and health on the outside as well. I figured hey, what do I have to lose?

Well, it’s been about one month, and I haven’t noticed my hair growing any faster, but I think I’ve noticed that my hair seems stronger and more resilient to breakage, whereas before it seemed like the strands might snap in half if I even ran a brush through it a little too roughly. It also seems to have more luster to it, and I don’t know why, but it seems slightly more manageable as well.

I am also combining this with using ultra moisturizing shampoos, whereas before I was using these non-sulfate shampoos that sometimes seemed to dry out my hair more if that even makes sense. Overall, I’d say biotin is great for your hair health, but if you are looking for accelerated hair growth and regrowing lost hair, you may want to try a supplement for hair growth that is geared for this.

By Natural Advocate | May 23, 2010 - 11:55 am - Posted in Antioxidants, Foods

This is an interesting one. I did not know that my love for tomatoes (pretty much since the day I was born) would probably help me to prevent getting sunburn, or at least cut down on the odds of my skin burning.

Well, apparently the beneficial antioxidant found in tomatoes in abundance, lycopene, helps your body to defend itself against sunburn, which in turn helps you to prevent the free radical damage that goes along with sunburn, and the DNA damage as well, which may help cut down on your risk of getting skin cancer.

A recent study showed that study participants who consumed tomato paste (5 TB) a day for three months had about a quarter more protection against getting sunburnt than their counterparts who did not consume any tomatoes in that time period. This leads them to believe that the lycopene in tomatoes helps to prevent the skin from undergoing the radical damage that it undergoes when it become burnt by the sun.

In fact, many antioxidants may also help you to prevent sunburn and also free radical damage when your skin is exposed to the sun’s rays. We need sun, we need the UV rays to not only produce energy, but also to help our bodies produce the ever increasingly important vitamin D, which has been linked to helping the body defend against DNA damage and cell damage.

So, eat up on the tomatoes. Tomato season is coming up, and I’ve got my plants ready for planting, just need to be sure that the last frost is over and in August it’ll be tomatoes galore here at our house – love it! I could eat a whole tomato, just sliced up with nothing on it, they’re so delicious when they’re garden fresh and organically grown.

By Natural Advocate | May 21, 2010 - 7:25 pm - Posted in Natural Anti Aging

Apparently pharmaceutical companies have been hard at work on a new pill that they think may help you live into your 100’s without suffering debilitating disease. Instead, they think that this type of pill may actually help you prevent any major illness like heart disease and cancer, and not live out the last few years of your life in a sickly, unenjoyable state, instead dying suddenly when you have reached a pretty old age (past a hundred).

The research behind these pills actually started with alzheimers treatment studies. They found that certain combinations can help to extend cell life. Cell death is the reason that we age, and if we can prevent cell death or even cell mutation (such as cancer) then we may be able to propel human life well past the eighties and nineties, when our bodies naturally tend to degenerate and become sickly, and live healthy, active lives well into our one hundreds.

Some people – well, wealthy people – have already tried to harness one hormone to help them live longer and prevent aging – HGH injections, and these are actually quite popular among those that are looking to help extend their life and bring some youthful bounce and vigor with it.

With this new “longevity pill” that is under development, people would most likely start to take it in their forties or fifties, once a day, to help extend their lives and make them less prone to disease and degeneration. Wow, if this works, it’ll be the biggest news since, well I don’t know what – it would be amazing if it actually worked. Look for this to start being tested in the next couple of years, according to reports.

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