Thursday, June 17, 2010

Immunity and pregnancy

I've already written a million times about my late-great immunologist, Dr. Alan Beer, who put together many of my underlying health mysteries; Chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme, secondary infertility. The infertility community, like many medical communities, can be very closed and resistant to change--and why? Just like with cancer, their success rates are lousy. I always felt bac about how Dr. Beer was so hounded at the end of his life when all he wanted to do was help (and many of my allergy symptoms and CFS improved quite dramatically on his fertility regimen).

But I even remember my local OB saying "He's a charlatan!" And of course not even know what he was talking about. Interestingly, much of the science in a lot of illness and dysfunction is coming back to the immune system. This is from Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (May 29, 2010) — Researchers at Yale School of Medicine and their colleagues at the Society for the Investigation of Early Pregnancy have helped clarify the function of a unique protein called Preimplantation Factor, which is produced by healthy embryos to direct embryo attachment and help the mother adapt to pregnancy.

These findings are published fast track for the benefit of the scientific community in the current issue of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. They were first presented orally in February at the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine Scientific Meetings in Chicago by lead author Michael J. Paidas, M.D., associate professor and co-director of the Yale Women and Children's Center for Blood Disorders.

The research showed that Preimplantation Factor modulates maternal immunity, promotes attachment of the early embryo, and influences remodeling of uterine cells.

read more here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Natural Hair Products that Actually Work II

I love almost everything about the Sea Chi line, which is made with real raw organic kombucha and love by its owner.

Her peppermint shampoo makes your scalp feel nice and tingly, it balances you out, and I am actually trying to wash my hair as little as possible, as a dab will do it.

More info here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sunscreens with acceptable amounts of chemical glop

I actually don't use sunscreen for myself or the family--hard to get Vit D as it is, we've managed to escape burns even at the beach. But if you do, it's important to find a sunscreen without chemicals OR "supplemental" add-ins like Vitamin A that sounds good but may actually make the sun's rays MORE cancerous! Environmental Working Group did a thorough study and sadly found few to recommend but here's the whole report.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Natural Hair Products that Actually work

Yes, if you follow this blog you must have read the zillion posts about all the endocrine-disrupting, cancer-causing, caustic chemicals in our lovely haircare products, many chemicals that are banned in places like Europe. I also loved how BP couched the safety of its chemical dispersant (hello, also banned in Europe) but NOT wanting to tell us what's in it but assuring us it's the same stuff as in a lot of "household products." E.g., lye, antifreeze, etc.

I have hair that can turn frizzy in humidity, but no silicone gel things for me. Unfortunately a lot of natural products just turn goopy, heavy, or attract dust. I tried a lot of things and found that a lot of the "natural" stuff that sort of worked actually had chemicals like dimethicone, etc., in it--cheaters!

However, here's a product that I love and that helps condition your hair:

john masters organics Shine On Leave-In Treatment for Supernatural Shine & Softness 4 oz (113 g)

It's made of seaweed and super conditioning carrot oil, and the more you use it, the more conditioned your hair becomes, instead of just laying on more chemicals and junk. It also adds volume and makes your hair not only look healthier but actually healthier. It's a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way.

Okay, you cannot expect it to work like a silicone-based creme, but this is really good, trust me.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Antiradiation Shield means there be Radiation, right?

Um, should we be worried about radiation from out computers if now all these companies are making New York Times approved antiradiation shields for pregnant women? Should computers come with warning labels?

From the New York Times (small item in Sunday Times, also from the Gadgetwise blog):

Belly Armor, based in Singapore and New York, makes blankets and T-shirts for expectant mothers from a conductive textile made of fibers and metal. This creates a barrier much like a Faraday cage, a metal enclosure that protects those inside it from radiation.The idea is to neutralize environmental radiation before it reaches the fetus.

Belly Armor is available online and in stores in Asia, and will appear next month in some maternity boutiques in the United States.

read more here.

Friday, June 04, 2010

High Doses of Vitamin D may help protect pregnancy

Vitamin D is in the news for all sorts of things--cancer, osteoporosis. Wow, it's thought pregnant women should get *10* times the former recommendation. From Medscape:

May 5, 2010 — Women who take high doses of vitamin D during pregnancy have a greatly reduced risk of complications, including gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and infection, new research suggests.

Based on the findings, study researchers are recommending that pregnant women take 4,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D every day -- at least 10 times the amount recommended by various health groups.

read more here.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Toddlers now on psychiatric drugs

It's a little bit strange to me that uninformed random commenters often pillory me for using medical cannabis (read more here) with our son, as "it might screw up his brain." Cannabis has been used for thousands of years, including for things like labor pains, and it's about as safe as safe gets.

Now kids as young as two are being put on powerful antipsychotics, for which NO ONE knows the long-term effects. Also, someone here at Brown was actually cataloging pediatric DEATHS from these kinds of drugs (I think they were up to 45). From Natural News:

(NaturalNews) Children between the ages of two and five are being treated with antipsychotics at twice the rate they were ten years ago, according to a study conducted by researchers from Columbia University and published in the journal Health Affairs.

"It is a worrisome trend, partly because very little is known about the short-term, let alone the long-term, safety of these drugs in this age group," researchers Mark Olfson said.

Although a handful of antipsychotics have been approved by the FDA for use in children, they are intended for older children because few if any studies have been conducted into the effectiveness or safety of the drugs in younger children.

read more here.