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On the attached pages you will find a number of articles - one per month - covering subjects very close to my heart. I hope you find them interesting and if you would like any further information on any of the topics please just send me a an email.

Please select your Article

Collagen

I have never taken Collagen because of the animal products in it, instead I have now found. REDOX RADIANCE, which is pure plant-based alternative.

 

Did You Know?

Did you know our body’s ability to produce its own collagen decreases significantly starting in your 20s. As result, the collagen supplement industry has exploded! However traditional collagen supplements either contain Animal Collagen made from hooves, hides and bones, or Marine Collagen made from fish scales and skin!

Plant Based Amino Acids

Collagen is a structural protein made of Amino Acids and makes up a third of total protein in your body. Collagen is a key building material present in bones, organs, muscles, hair, skin, and nails.

When you consume Collagen, your body must first digest the dense fibers into smaller fibers called Gelatine. Your stomach then processes it even further turning it into Peptides and then finally Amino Acids. Your body can then use these Amino Acids to start the process in reverse, building its own Peptides, Gelatine and finally Human Collagen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Redox Radiance we take a short cut to collagen production, starting at Step 4! Providing your body with plant-based Amino Acids in ratios perfect for building its own collagen for hair, skin, and nails! It only takes 1g of targeted Amino Acids to be equivalent to 8 – 9g of traditional collagen, with no stress or discomfort on your stomach.

 

In addition to the perfect collagen building amino acid profile, Redox Radiance contains additional synergistic ingredients that are critical for the collagen building process.

Maqui Berry – the most potent antioxidant superfruit in the world. Protecting your precious collagen from degradation.

Rice Ceramide -Ceramides are the “glue” that holds your skin together. By adding this important ingredient, you will experience smoother, more hydrated skin, usually within the first 2 weeks.

Zinc & Vitamin C – Important co-factors that synergistically work with the amino acids to help build strong collagen fibers.

Copper – Is a critical piece of the collagen building puzzle. It is necessary to cross link individual collagen fibers together, forming the stable triple-helix structure of the collagen molecule.

Achieve your beauty goals and empower your natural beauty with REDOX Radiance—a daily collagen support supplement that is beauty-focused, body-optimized, and stomach-friendly. By using the same collagen profile as your body and delivering exact amino acid ratios for skin collagen support, this plant-based formula also provides natural antioxidant support thanks to Powered by Redox™ ingredients like Chilean maqui berry and copper. And we’ve added minerals like zinc and vitamin C to promote collagen production and protection. Simply add one stick pack of REDOX Radiance to 8-12 oz of water and enjoy a more radiant complexion!

To order this amazing product just go to https://shopasea.com/need4change

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Fascial Mask - Redox Clay Mask

REDOX CLAY MASK

Launching this month in Europe and the UK is a brand-new Face Mask in the Beauty Industry. You might be saying, so what is so exciting about a face mask!

What makes this Clay Mask different ? 

This is the only mask in the world that contains what is called Redox Signalling Molecules which are native to your own body.

Redox Clay Mask contains active redox signalling molecules. By using these powerful cellular messengers, which are native to the human body, your skin will be beautified and cleansed and which is gentle to the skin.

The patented process creates vital molecules by taking refined salt and purified water molecules and reorganizing them into redox Signaling molecules that our own cells actually make. The problem is that as we age, we begin to make less and less of these very important Redox Molecules, and we begin to see the signs of aging.

By using a product with Redox Signalling Molecules, you begin to supplement those very important molecules for keeping our cells healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



This new Clay Mask, which has its launch here in the UK this month, contains Sodium Bentonite clay from the earth. This is an absorbent clay that is formed from aged volcanic ash and has been used for thousands of years as a detoxifying skin treatment.

Bentonite clay works like a magnet on your skin. It attracts and draws out dirt, oil, and makeup residue while preparing your skin for the signalling molecules in the Redox Clay Mask.

 Skin care is critical for helping women and men of all ages look younger. By focusing on overall wellness from the cellular level and properly maintaining your skin, you will have a healthier overall appearance and feel more confident.

When skin is healthy at the most basic, cellular level way below the surface, it gives you a beautiful glow. Unfortunately aging slows down your skin cell renewal process which can cause wrinkles, dark spots, dryness, and loss of elasticity, making it difficult to rejuvenate skin cells so they can operate at their optimal level. People often talk about the need to eat well and exercise to improve overall health and beauty, however the focus on skin is often on a superficial appearance and not enough about the actual health of the skin and body. When you are healthy at the most basic level i.e.  the cellular level way below the surface, it gives you a beautiful glow. This brand-new Clay Mask gets your cells taking once again.

 

For more information https://shopasea.com/need4change

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FRANKINCENSE

I studied Aromatherapy at length in my Beauty Therapy Course years ago and I thought I would write about the healing properties of the Sacred Oils from the scriptures.

 I am starting with Frankincense – (Olibanum-Boswellia carteri)

The Hebrew word for Frankincense is Levonah,(sometimes translated as incense) and it is found in the Bible twenty -two times.

Frankincense is one of the oldest essential oils and has a variety of uses. It has often been used in religious ceremonies and is considered an incense, mood enhancer, stress reducer, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial and digestive aid. Frankincense oil also works well on the skin to heal wounds and reduce scarring, itching, and swelling and even help with cancer.

 

Essential oils are great for beautiful skin. The conventional cosmetic and body care industry contains products that are loaded with dangerous chemicals that can disrupt hormones, cause cancer, and even destroy your skin.

Frankincense essential oil has a broad range of uses, from enhancing spiritual and meditative practice to use in beauty routines. Frankincense has an earthy, uplifting aroma that’s perfect for grounding and spiritual connectedness. It creates a safe and comforting environment by breathing in this oil’s empowering aroma, particularly when you are seeking purpose or engaged in meditation. In addition to elevated spiritual experiences, Frankincense oil can help you maintain the appearance of radiant skin.

I only recommend Young Living Therapeutic Oils after 50 years in the industry and having worked with many different company oils in the past these oils for me are the top grade of all aroma therapy oils. After I met the founder, I know how pure they are. Young Living sources Frankincense resin from the Boswellia Carterii trees located in northern Africa, near the Arabian Peninsula. After the bark is cut back and the sap is released, it is left to harden for up to 3 months. The hardened sap is then harvested, brought to their partner farms in Europe and steam distilled, resulting in pure Frankincense essential oil. This sought-after oil contains the naturally occurring constituent alpha-pinene, which is what gives it its distinctive, rich, balsamic scent that makes it a crucial ingredient in many of Young Living’s well-loved essential oil blends.

  • Properties: A rich, sweet, and balsamic aroma that helps create a grounding environment.

  • Perfect for: Skin care; massages, and meditation.

  • Blends beautifully with: Ylang Ylang and Bergamot for a sweet, grounding smell, or Cedarwood and Lavender for a rich, layered aroma.

  •  In case of sensitivity, dilute 15 drops in 10ml of Young Living V-6®.

Suggested Use:

  • Inhale: Rub a few drops into your hands, cup lightly over your nose, and breathe deeply to enjoy the rich aroma that promotes a sense of grounding and purpose.

  • Beauty: Add a few drops to your favourite moisturiser to promote the appearance of healthy-looking skin and help reduce the appearance of uneven skin tones.

  • Massage: Combine with Young Living V-6® and massage into skin after activity.

  • Meditation: Use during yoga or meditation to promote feelings of peace and relaxation.

  • Those looking to improve the appearance of their skin.

Frankincense—

“Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense with all powders of the merchant.” Song of Soloman 3:6

 

For any more information please contact me at colette@need4change.com

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ESSENTIAL OIL - MYRRH

 

 

MYRRH is a resin produced by a small, tough, scraggly tree (Commiphora Myrrha or Commiphora Moimol Tree) that grows in the semi-desert regions of North Africa and the Red Sea and it is closely related to Frankincense. Myrrh is the Arabic word for bitter, and it is considered as a wound healer because of its strong antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. In Chinese it is known as Mo Yao and has been used for centuries by the Chinese to treat wounds, bruises, and bleeding and to relieve painful swelling.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Egyptians made myrrh famous in Biblical times, having acquired it around the fifteenth century B.C. from Africa where Commiphora trees were abundant. The Egyptians used it in incense, perfumes, and holy ointments and it is recorded in the Ebers Papyrus for its medical properties. The Egyptians used it as an embalming material, for mummification.

Myrrh was one of the burial spices of Jesus (John 19:39). Nicodemus ordered 100 lb of Myrrh and Aloe to anoint Jesus’s body which was a custom by the Jews during that period. The resin for the saviour.  Research in Italy demonstrated that myrrh has pain-relieving properties as well, which is probably why it was administered to Jesus prior to his crucifixion.

The Hebrews would mix Myrrh in their wine and drink it to raise their state of consciousness before participating in religious rituals. This mixture was also given to criminals a few hours before their execution to ease their mental suffering. Myrrh is mentioned for its therapeutic properties in the Old and New Testaments as well as the Koran and the Greek and Roman texts. In ancient Greece, soldiers would use a paste made with myrrh to heal battle wounds.

Myrrh Essential Oil
The oil of myrrh is thick, sticky, and red, and like the resin the oil has a smoky, earthy scent.

In Egyptian times Myrrh was used by Queen Hatshepsut from the 18th dynasty and it is recorded that she rubbed myrrh on her legs to make them fragrant. Theophrastus and Pliny both inform us that Myrrh was a chief ingredient for three Egyptian cosmetics and these where Egyptian perfume, Mendesian ointment and another substance called Mageleion.

Like frankincense, myrrh oil is used for respiratory problems, in steam inhalations or in chest rubs to help relieve coughs and to expel mucus. The essential oil has the same antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties as the resin, and it can be added to homemade creams for dry and cracked heels, dry skin on elbows and knees, and for athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.

One of the main uses of myrrh is in healing gum infections and mouth ulcers. Tincture of myrrh (available from many natural health stores or herb and aromatherapy suppliers) is a traditional natural remedy for mouth ulcers. Apply it directly on the ulcer using a cotton bud or dilute it to use as a mouth wash.

Myrrh resin is still used as incense today and it is an ingredient in many incense sticks, often combined with Frankincense. Myrrh and Frankincense essential oils work well together in essential oil blends with Bergamot and Lavender.

Principal properties and indications for Myrrh

  • Athlete’s foot

  • Cracked and chapped skin

  • Inflamed skin

  • Rejuvenating, anti-ageing, mature wrinkled skin

  • Ulcers and wounds

  • Weeping eczema

Contra indications
Avoid during pregnancy.

For more information or wanting Therapeutic Oils contact me at colette@need4change.com

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Looking after our GUT

 

Over the previous issues I have written about our gut health and taking a really good Biome to help keep our gut in tip top condition.

On Saturday 12th March 2022 Dr. Michael Mosley wrote in the Daily Mail – Why looking after your Gut could protect your Brain from Dementia.

I can’t write the whole article here, but he said, “Fortunately there are plenty of scientifically proven things you can do to reduce your risk. Research points to a surprising new place where you might want to start - by improving your gut health”.

There are at least 100 trillion bacteria viruses and fungi living in our guts, with a mix of “good” and “bad” microbes. Very recently scientists have begun to appreciate that these microbes not only affect your gut but your brain as well.

This is just one paragraph from Dr. Mosley’s article, and it just shows why they call the gut the second brain because it has a direct link to our brain cells.

The fact that oxidative stress plays such a significant part in our health is not new news. For many years scientists have known this to be the case and we have been consuming the latest superfoods, antioxidants, supplements, and vitamins to try to combat oxidative stress. However, these antioxidants are only part of the solution. You need the materials (the good nutrition) and the labour (the body's ability to put those materials to good use). Redox signaling molecules gives us that opportunity to supplement the body with what it needs to do the labour.

Our cells produce these molecules constantly to maintain our cellular health. However, as we age our bodies become less efficient at producing redox signaling molecules due to factors such as stress, poor diet, toxins, pollution, sun damage and lack of exercise. Being able to supplement with these molecules really is a game changer when it comes to improving our health and incorporating a Biome that works in conjunction is essential.

The balance of your microbiota, and overall microbiome health and function, is extremely important, affecting nearly every system in our body. An imbalance (often referred to as dysbiosis) of the gut microbiome and microbiota has been connected to many issues in the body including:

  • Allergies

  • Depression /Autism

  • Obesity and weight gain

  • Digestive disorders (GERD, IBS, etc.)

  • Yeast overgrowth

  • Compromised immunity

  • and much more!

 

Therefore, by using a Biome that works in conjunction with these redox molecules you are giving your body the best equipment possible to help keep you healthy and wealthy. The Biome that I take each night before going to sleep has in each capsule 16 probiotics and 3 prebiotics which is the correct food to get the best results from the probiotics. For further information go to: https://shopasea.com/need4change

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Turmeric

Many people today are consuming turmeric as a supplement these days. Consuming turmeric appears to be beneficial for maintaining wellness and avoiding some diseases.

But how much do you need?

The average Indian eats approximately half a teaspoon of turmeric per day. Many researchers believe this could be one of the reasons that, compared to the United States and Europe, India has dramatically lower rates of death from Alzheimer’s as well as cancer.

But turmeric is a strong-flavoured spice and eating a half-teaspoon of it per day can feel daunting to the uninitiated taste buds.

For this reason, many people have started taking curcumin supplements. But it’s important to keep in mind that not all studies use the exact same curcumin formulations. One distinction that’s not often considered is the question of whether a study used curcumin exclusively or a formula that included the other components of the turmeric root.

 

The words “turmeric” and “curcumin” are sometimes used interchangeably, as if they refer to the exact same thing. But curcumin is not the only compound in turmeric that has profound medicinal benefits. In fact, studies suggest that other compounds in turmeric could help regulate epigenetic factors as well.

So it could be that the best option is actually to take both — or to choose a full-spectrum curcumin supplement that includes the components of the raw turmeric root that are typically removed during the curcumin extraction process. It appears that the whole turmeric root’s natural components work together synergistically, and when they’re all present in a supplement, its bioavailability may be enhanced.

Given curcumin’s potent effects on a wide range of conditions, why aren’t more people using this remarkable natural treatment to help them address their health problems?

One reason might be the cost, though perhaps not in the way you might think. In addition to being incredibly effective, curcumin is quite affordable. But doctors have been slow to embrace this powerful medicinal plant substance.

According to Dr. Aggarwal, some doctors simply struggle to believe that curcumin can perform as well as (or better than!) drugs that cost $45,000 to $50,000 per dose. He also predicts that pharmaceutical companies will be the biggest impediment to the widespread use of curcumin since they won’t be able to profit from it in the way they profit from costly treatments like chemotherapy.

Curcumin may not be healthy for pharmaceutical companies’ profit margins, but consuming turmeric, and/or incorporating a high-quality curcumin source into your wellness regimen, may certainly benefit your health.

A Word of Caution:

Turmeric is a natural blood thinner. If you’re currently taking blood-thinning medications, if you are pregnant, have gallstones, or are susceptible to kidney stones, you may want to moderate your turmeric consumption or take it under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

For any more information please contact me at colette@need4change.com

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Avoid these chemicals in your Skin Care.

 

 

What we put on our skin and into our skin is extremely important. Often it can be difficult to know exactly what we are using. Over the years after qualifying as a Beauty Therapist more years ago than I wish to remember I have been banging the drum for safe skin care products. Over the years I have seen products come and go, as well as nail polish, fillers, and Botox just to name a few.

Cosmetic companies’ sneak in nasties to their creams, exfoliators and body washes all the time. We bloodstream for good or bad.

Products to avoid with these ingredients in them!

SLS and SLES

SLE (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) or SLE (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) these are from the petroleum industry, and they can be from a plant source such as coconut and palm oil. It is used to create a lather in shampoos, body wash, mouthwashes, toothpastes. These ingredients strip the skin of its natural oils and can cause major skin irritation and contribute to acne.

BHA

BHA is Butylated Hydroxyanisole and is used as a synthetic antioxidant in foods, cosmetics, and skincare exfoliant products to prolong its shelf life. The National Toxicology Program has found that BHA is anticipated to be a human carcinogen. Please read your labels carefully.

Parabens

These are at last a taboo in the beauty world. Parabens are a chemical to prevent the growth of bacteria but once they penetrate the skin, they mimic oestrogen in the body and disrupt our hormonal balance and can potentially cause breast cancer and decreased sperm count. Look on your labels and if you see words such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and ethylparaben then please do not use.

Retinol

This was the anti-aging secret by speeding up the cell turnover making the skin look younger. Retinol is a highly reactive molecule and when exposed to sunlight and air it actually ages the skin faster and can be found in sun creams, moisturisers, and anti-aging creams.

 

Fragrance

We all love a beautiful fragrance but in the beauty world they do not have to define the ingredients that make the fragrance. The problem here is that this undefined ingredient has the potential to be one of the most irritating ingredients in a product. My advice here is that if you have a sensitive skin go for an unscented product.

Mineral Oil

This sounds great but it is actually a byproduct of crude oil and if you like smearing crude oil byproducts onto your skin you might want to think again. Mineral oil is often contaminated with other chemicals that are used to produce crude oil and this byproduct was difficult to dispose so they sell it to the cosmetic industry for pennies.

These are just a few of the skin care ingredients to avoid and now is the time to come over to a greener healthier skincare regime. By investing in beauty products that are vegan, organic, natural with no hidden nasties you will not only be helping yourself but the planet as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for a safe natural skincare product, just go to https://shopasea.com/need4change and investigate The Renu Advanced Skin Range, it is amazing.

For any more information please contact me at colette@need4change.com

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Introduction to Redox Signalling Molecules:

In the intricate tapestry of cellular communication, redox signalling molecules emerge as pivotal players, orchestrating a symphony of biochemical interactions within the body. The term "redox" itself derives from the fusion of "reduction" and "oxidation," reflecting the fundamental processes through which these molecules exert their influence. At the heart of redox signalling lies a delicate balance of electron transfer, a phenomenon that governs the dynamic interplay between oxidation and reduction reactions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Redox signalling molecules are a class of compounds that serve as messengers, transmitting critical information between cells to regulate various physiological processes. Unlike traditional signalling pathways mediated by hormones or neurotransmitters, redox signalling operates at the molecular level, relying on the exchange of electrons to convey messages. This unique mode of communication allows cells to swiftly respond to changes in their environment, adapting and coordinating their activities in real-time.

Key players in redox signalling include reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), both of which are generated as natural byproducts of cellular metabolism. While traditionally viewed as harmful entities associated with oxidative stress, recent research has unveiled their dual nature as essential signalling molecules. The delicate equilibrium between oxidants and antioxidants defines the redox balance within cells, influencing critical functions such as gene expression, immune response, and cellular proliferation.

Understanding the intricate dance of redox signalling molecules provides insights into the physiological processes that underpin health and disease. Dysregulation of redox signalling has been implicated in various pathological conditions, ranging from inflammatory disorders to neurodegenerative diseases. Harnessing the power of redox signalling may open new avenues for therapeutic interventions, offering a nuanced approach to modulating cellular responses and promoting overall well-being.

In this exploration of redox signalling molecules, we delve into the fascinating realm where chemistry meets biology, unravelling the mysteries of electron transfer and its profound impact on cellular communication. Join us on a journey through the intricate pathways that govern redox signalling, as we seek to unveil the secrets encoded in the language of electrons within the complex web of life

ASEA Redox Signalling Molecules

ASEA redox signalling molecules claim to offer health benefits by providing a supplement that supports and enhances the body's natural redox signalling processes. Redox signalling is a vital aspect of cellular communication and regulation, involving the transmission of signals through the exchange of electrons. ASEA, as a product, asserts that it contains stable and bioavailable redox signalling molecules, primarily reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS), which can positively influence cellular function. While scientific research on ASEA specifically may be limited, understanding the general principles of redox signalling provides context for potential health improvements.

  1. Cellular Communication: Redox signalling molecules act as messengers that facilitate communication between cells. By optimizing this communication, ASEA claims to support the body in responding more effectively to stress, maintaining a balanced immune response, and promoting overall cellular health.

  2. Antioxidant Defence: ASEA's redox signalling molecules are suggested to function as antioxidants, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals that can damage cells and contribute to oxidative stress. By enhancing the body's antioxidant defence mechanisms, ASEA may contribute to a reduction in oxidative damage and inflammation.

  3. Gene Expression: Redox signalling plays a role in regulating gene expression. ASEA proposes that by influencing redox signalling, it may positively impact the expression of genes related to cellular repair, regeneration, and overall wellness.

  4. Mitochondrial Function: The mitochondria, often referred to as the powerhouse of the cell, are critical for energy production. ASEA suggests that by supporting redox signalling, it may help optimize mitochondrial function, potentially leading to increased energy levels and improved cellular efficiency.

  5. Immune System Modulation: Redox signalling is intricately linked to the immune system. ASEA claims to support a balanced immune response by modulating redox signalling, which could contribute to a more effective defence against pathogens and a reduction in inappropriate immune reactions.

 

It's important to note that while there may be anecdotal evidence and testimonials supporting the health benefits of ASEA redox signalling molecules, scientific research on this specific product may be limited or inconclusive. As with any health supplement, individuals considering its use should consult with healthcare professionals, and reliance on scientific evidence is crucial for assessing the product's efficacy and safety.

For any more information please contact me at colette@need4change.com

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Exercise & Free Radical Damage

Those of you who exercise, do marathons, walk 10,000 steps a day or play any sport have to take into consideration Free Radical Damage in regard to your body and health.

 

 

 

Free radicals cause damage through stress (that is also putting the body under stress through exercise), toxins and pollutants to name just a few. Free radicals are unstable molecules that exist in our cells. They attack other molecules stealing an atom to become stable again. When the attacked molecule loses that atom, it becomes a free radical. This begins a chain reaction.

Antioxidants are the protective shield against free radical damage. Some common antioxidants are vitamin A, C, and E, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, kale, goji berries, Pecan nuts, red cabbage, dark chocolate and of course Redox Molecules.

What we know today is that we are not living in the same world as the world our grandparents lived in. We are exposed to more chemicals and in far greater concentrations than any other previous generation. Everyday thousands of tons of man-made chemicals and industrial pollutants are poured into our environment and our food supply daily. With this onslaught of man-made chemicals pouring into out oceans. Pollutions saturating our air and genetically modified foods, flavourings, sweeteners, preservatives, colourings, and additives in virtually everything we eat, we can assume that the same thing is happening to our cells on a daily basis. Therefore, understanding the effects of free radicals is so important.

Free radicals have the ability to change the instructions coded in a strand of DNA. Or it can alter a cell’s membrane, changing the flow of what enters the cell and what leaves the cell.  Dr. Lester Packer Ph.D. father of antioxidant theory PhD microbiology and Chemistry at Yale university who is a pioneer in this science of free radicals states, Free radicals are a major culprit in the aging process.

There is an answer to helping the cells maintain their protection from free radical damage with glutathione. It has been scientifically proven that Redox Signalling Molecules can increase your own glutathione production by up to 800%.  

Free radicals are a major culprit in the aging process. With free radical damage it builds up over time causing tiredness, aches and pains within the body, and that general feeling of just being run down.  This shows that damage has been going on for a very long time.

Characteristics are feelings of fatigue, needing coffee to function, aches and pains, sleep problems. If you or a loved one is at this point, there is an answer that is easy and safe to implement. Glutathione is one of the key principles for health and anti-aging.

Anti-aging specialist Dr. Don Colbert says: Optimizing our glutathione levels is very important if we want to keep living to our full life expectancy.

When we take glutathione pills it is almost completely destroyed by the digestive tract no matter the cost. Our own bodies are the MOST EFFECTIVE GLUTATHIONE PRODUCING MACHINE ON EARTH.

If you do not have access to natural mineral hot volcanic baths as in Iceland the best way to supplement and help reduce free radical damage especially after exercise is to supplement with Redox and to let your body make the glutathione it needs. For more information just contact me at info@need4change.com or on Facebook.

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H.R.T. from a different perspective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having watched and listened to the reports on the TV about the shortage of H.R.T. products this got me thinking.

 

Having gone through this period that all women face it is not a pleasant experience and because I was put into the menopause over night it was an even worse experience for myself. Beginning someone who is very aware of what I put on my body and what I take inside my body this research became rather like a nightmare when you are trying to navigate what your brain and body are experiencing.

 

To start with I tried the patches, and I was allergic to them causing very uncomfortable welts on my body that became very sore. Taking the tablets for about 3 months my gynaecologist after extensive tests said I could take any form of H.R.T. so for me it was back to drawing board.

 

I was suffering with; Brain Fog, Fatigue, Hot Flashes during the day and at night, not sleeping well, increasing in weight, and just feeling what is the point in living.

 

I started to take Black Cohosh, extra vitamins, St. John’s Wort but nothing really was really helping with the brain fog, 15 to 20 hot flashes per day and waking up in the night every few hours it was extremely draining.

 

I eventually found Progessence Plus Serum which is thoughtfully designed specifically for women and as an Aromatherapist I knew it was natural. Made with natural, bioidentical progesterone from wild yam, this product promotes well-being and feelings of relaxation, harmony, and balance. Featuring some of Young Living’s most-loved premium essential oils, including Frankincense, Bergamot, and Peppermint, this plant-based serum features naturally derived ingredients that support the skin’s natural moisture cycle and help nourish and moisturize skin.

 

FEATURES & BENEFITS

  • Designed especially for women and made with natural, bioidentical progesterone from wild yam

  • Promotes well-being and feelings of relaxation, harmony, and balance

  • Easily absorbs and contains skin-nourishing premium essential oils and vitamin E

  • 100 percent plant-based and naturally derived vegan formula

  • Formulated without parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic preservatives, synthetic fragrances, or synthetic dyes.

The Progessence Plus Serum was helping but not completely I need something more to help me. I was then introduced to the redox signaling molecules I started taking these molecules and within days I was sleeping through the night. Hot flashes went from around 15 a day to none at night and down to about 7 a day and gradually they stopped completely. After about a month on the molecules my brain fog was lifting, and I was having more energy and pains in my joints were beginning to disappear.

 

My daily routine was as soon as I woke up I would drink 4 oz of Redox Molecules, shower and from head to toe I would cover my body with the Redox gel Renu 28 and when I was dressed I would use the Progessence Plus Serum around my throat twice a day.

 

“Needless to say, after that, my love for everything redox molecules only continued to blossom after being on this supplement for 6 years I will not stop with it.”

 

I do hope this is helpful for you all and if you want to know where to get these products, I can certainly help you. For the Progessence Plus Serum please contact me.

 

Colette Garside: colette@thegarsides.net or https://need4change.myasealive.com

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Taking Care of Your Liver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conventional mindset has always been that drinking pure fruit juice is healthy. We purchase fruit juice smoothies in the store, thinking that will help our health and weight loss, and start our days with a large glass of OJ—for the vitamin C. We ‘juice’ vegetables and fruit for the perfect healthy drink. We think we are giving our kids a healthy alternative by letting them drink box after box of “pure fruit juice”. It’s pure fruit juice, so it’s good for us, right?

Juice, whether it is store bought (the worst), or freshly made at home seems to be a healthy choice. But, contrary to popular thinking, juice, purchased from the store, is not far from a drink made of pure liquid sugar. And in truth, it’s not much better than drinking a soda. So, in spite of the fact that you or your children may be drinking a drink that says “100% pure fruit juice”, it may as well say “pure sugar”. So though you may have thought you were making a healthier choice over sodas or other processed drinks with added sugar, you may be drinking something equally as bad.

The sugar that comes from fruit is fructose. Same as the sugar in high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is not a healthy sweetener, in spite of its natural source. Fructose, unless it is wrapped up in a whole fruit, is bad news for your body and your waistline. Fructose is a non-essential dietary sugar. Fructose is actually known to be a strong contributor to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Additionally, it is thought that fructose has some very definite and sinister ties to cancer. And while it’s okay in fruit, because you are not get large, concentrated quantities of it, drinking in tons of fructose in the form of fruit juice will lead you down a path of poor health.

When you drink a glass of juice, let’s say, for example, a 12 oz glass of orange juice, you hit your system with a whopping 37 grams of sugar in the form of mostly fructose. And when you have a 12oz glass of apple juice, you are gulping down an astronomical 40g of sugar! That’s as much as a can of soda! But wait, that’s not the worst of it—a similar sized glass of grape juice–white or red–contains almost 60g of sugar! That’s like having a can and a half of soda!

Drinking a mixed juice ‘cocktail’ is no better, even if it only contains pure fruit juice. Most often concentrated white grape juice, or apple juice is added for sweetness. That adds even more sugar to the mix! Check out the sugar grams in Tropicana Berry Punch, or Ocean Spray 100% Cranberry Juice. It’s a massive amount of sugar! And don’t be mistaken into thinking the calories and the sugar grams, are worth the vitamins, they are not. There is little vitamin C, antioxidants of anything else of benefit in bottle fruit juice.

One of the biggest problems here is that fruit juice contains NO fiber and is a very concentrated source of liquid sugar—the worst kind. It is extremely easy to consume massive amounts of sugar from juice in a very short time. Fructose gets sent straightaway to the liver for processing and some of it is quickly turned into fat cells. Some of the sugar just goes right into your bloodstream and causes insulin to be released—which stores fat cells. The perfect recipe for quick weight gain.

A lot of those new fat cells are stored in the liver, creating a fast track to fatty liver disease. The rest of those fat cells turn into triglycerides, one of the precursors for heart disease, and due to the release of insulin, many of these fat cells are quickly stored in various parts of the body—i.e., bellyfat, hips, thighs, etc. This particular study shows that just one glass of grape juice a day caused insulin resistance and increased waist size in just three months. Not only that, but 2 servings of juice a day also doubles your chance for developing painful gout.

And the biggest problem with liquid calories is that you still continue to eat as much or more. They just don’t make you feel full—on the contrary, juice just makes you want to eat more, making sugary drinks like juice is one of the most fattening things you can put in your body. Drink juice, eat more.

This study in children showed that the risk of obesity was increased by 60% for each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages. And you are not doing your kids any favors by allowing them to drink juice to their heart’s content. It does the same thing as a sugar-sweetened beverage. If you want to reduce the chances that your child will be obese or develop type 2 diabetes, eliminate the juice drinks, according to this study, and this study. One of the growing problems in the U.S. and other countries is the high rate of childhood obesity, and one of the biggest contributors to this is sweet drinks such as juice and soda. Kids don’t need to be sucking down a box of juice every time they are thirsty, water works fine!

Let’s chat a bit about how most juice is made. It doesn’t get squeezed or pressed straight from the farm into a carton, let me tell you. Most processed juice—even 100% juice–that you buy in a store, undergoes a very UNnatural process to get from the fruit to your glass, and it’s not really even 100% pure juice. As an example, orange juice is picked from the orchards, the juice extracted out, heated and pasteurized, and then stored in gigantic vats, where the oxygen is removed so it can be stored for up to a year or more.

Removing the oxygen removes a lot of the flavor, so big juice companies hire flavor and fragrance people to formulate “flavor packs” that make the orange juice taste like oranges again. That is why big juice companies like Tropicana and Minute Maid, always taste exactly the same. It is because of a flavor pack added to some virtually tasteless liquid that has been sitting in a huge tank somewhere. Yummy. These flavor packs are made from orange byproducts, although they are chemically altered and those in the juice industry will even tell you the flavor packs don’t resemble anything in nature.

Other juices are no healthier. If they are bottled and sold in a store, they are all heated and pasteurized to kill off bacteria, yeasts, and other pathogens, thus reducing the beneficial antioxidants, enzymes, and other healthy compounds. Then the fiber is removed as well, which further degrades the juice. Fiber slows the absorption of the sugar in the fruit, as well as containing healthy fiber to feed your gut bacteria.

Even if you think you can buy ‘healthy’ fruit juice smoothies, they are still very high in sugar, and heated and pasteurized so they can be bottled. They lose most all their antioxidants and vitamins from the pasteurization process, along with just the amount of time they sit on a store shelf. They usually add ‘filler’ high sugar juices like apple juice and grape juice to make them taste better. Most often, even if it is labeled as a smoothie, it may be more fruit juice (read “high sugar”) than actual whole fruit and fiber. So basically, you get a lot of sugar and a little flavor and not much more in a so-called ‘healthy’ smoothie you buy from the store.

All in all, if you are thirsty, or your kids are thirsty, drink water. You can make your own flavored waters by using spring water, chopping up an orange or dropping in a few raspberries, or even slicing up a cucumber to give the water some added flavor. Try adding a squeeze of a real orange slice to your sparkling water or even a lemon or lime wedge.

And if you just can’t do without lots of flavor, try drinking kombucha tea. This fermented tea is reasonably low in sugar (about 1/8th the amount of sugar of juice), but full of gut-healing probiotics, cancer-fighting compounds, and a good dose of healthy phytochemicals.

Kombucha is gaining in popularity, so most stores sell lots of different flavors to suit every taste. Just watch the sugar content, because while most of the sugar in these drinks has been gobbled up by the fermentation process, some could still have some added sugar.  However, most brands seem to have anywhere from 2 grams to 8 grams of sugar in 1 cup of kombucha, which makes it very low in sugar compared to a glass of juice or soda.

In the long run, you may be shocked at how many sugar calories you and your kids may have been drinking. You and your kids will be far better off if you steer clear of the juices and sugary drinks.

The popularity of kombucha is growing very fast, and it’s not uncommon to find kombucha even at many corner stores and gas stations these days.

For any more information please contact me at colette@need4change.com

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The Dangers of Canola Oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canola oil has practically taken over as the food processing industry’s oil of choice. Whether it’s mayonnaise, chips, or salad dressings, canola oil is usually the first, second or third ingredient on the list. Unfortunately, the health dangers of canola oil are far beyond what we’ve been led to believe.

So if there aren’t any actual health reasons to use it, why would it be so widely used throughout the food industry? As with most reasons certain ingredients are used over others – the price. Canola oil is extremely inexpensive to grow and harvest. It is also very easy to grow, due to its genetic modifications and the fact that insects won’t go near it!

Canola oil was first created in the early 1970s as a natural oil. But in 1995, Monsanto created a genetically modified version of canola oil. By 2009, over 90 percent of the Canadian canola oil crop was genetically engineered.

What is Canola Oil?

Canola oil comes from a descendant of the rapeseed plant, a member of the Brassicagenus, along with some of our favourite vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Rapeseed oil was put on the market for human consumption in the 1950s, but not many people wanted to consume it due to its strong flavour and off-putting colour.

Scientists at the time began to discover that erucic acid, one of the major fatty acid components of the oil (over 50%), was damaging to heart tissue. Meanwhile, olive oil started being marketed as the next big thing in health. So what did marketers do for rapeseed oil? Give it a makeover of course! After some selective breeding and careful marketing, rapeseed oil was now low in erucic acid, high in oleic acid (just like heart-healthy olive oil), high in omega-3 fats and also neutral tasting. The name rapeseed was replaced with canola (the term can from canada, and ola for oil).

While canola oil has been marketed as a health-food oil, low in saturated fats and a source of omega-3 fatty acids, it is very far from that. Canola oil is not only genetically modified, but it is highly processed and refined, both of which contribute to major health problems in the body.

8 Health Dangers of Canola Oil

Canola oil isn’t the healthy oil you’ve been led to believe. There are so many dangers of canola oil, that anyone in their right mind would stay away from it. Here are just a few reasons why canola oil should never set foot in your home again.

1. Canola Oil is Hydrogenated Oil

If they’re not “cold-pressed” or “extra-virgin,” the oil is considered refined. This process includes caustic refining, bleaching, and degumming – all which involve high temperatures or chemicals that are damaging to the human body. Last but not least comes the deodorization process. Because canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, it becomes easily rancid and foul-smelling when subjected to oxygen and high temperatures. The standard deodorization process removes a large portion of the omega-3 fatty acids by turning them into trans-fatty acids (3).

If you’re consuming any vegetable oils that are oxidized from heat and light in processing, you are also exposing your body tissues to oxidized or rancid products. This contributes to degenerative diseases and chronic inflammation.

2. Genetically Modified Product

Almost all canola oil is produced from genetically modified crops. More than 90% of all canola oil is produced from genetically engineered crops. While genetic modification was successful at lowering the erucic acid content, it also increased the amount of oleic acid.

Health concerns linked to oleic acid include:
– Retarded growth (banned in infant formulas)
– Abnormalities in blood platelets
– Damage from free radicals
– Increased risk of developing certain cancer types

Genetically engineered foods also pose some very serious health concerns like allergic reactions, immuno-suppression, toxicity, and loss of nutrition through the foods we eat.

3. Increased Risk of Developing Cancer

Canola oil is extremely unstable under heat, light and pressure, which causes oxidation and releases free radicals inside the body. When canola oil is heated (aka. when we cook with it), it produces high levels of butadiene, benzene, acrolein, formaldehyde and other nasty compounds. These chemical compounds, combined with increased free radicals create the perfect environment for cancer growth.

Researchers have found that cancer cells feed on the oleic acid in canola oil. The acid causes the cancer cells to become stronger and maintain malignancy. Additional research has also shown that oleic acid promotes tumour progressions .

With the amount of free radicals released in canola oil after cooking, it’s no wonder this oil is a trigger for cancer growth. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that play a major role in cancerous cell mutation.

4. Contributes To Heart Disease

While genetic modification has lowered erucic acid levels in canola oil, it is still a major source of the acid. Erucic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid that has been linked with heart damage, specifically Keshan disease (a thickening and scarring of connective tissue within the heart). Studies have shown that in areas where people are prone to Keshan, erucic acid levels are higher, and selenium levels are lower.

Canola oil is also capable of promoting high levels of inflammation in the body, as well as arterial calcification. Any oil that is partially hydrogenated has the capability to do so. As you might have guessed, systemic inflammation and calcification are major risk factors for coronary heart disease.

5. Interferes with Healthy Brain Function

A new study out of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and published in the journal Scientific Reports has linked canola oil with a decrease in memory and learning indicative of Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia (10). The study found that the brains of canola-oil treated mice had higher amounts of amyloid plaques as well as diminished contact between brain neurons.

Canola oil, being an inflammatory food, contributes to poor brain function. Chronic inflammation, as you might already know, is detrimental to the body. It attacks healthy cells, blood vessels and tissues instead of protecting them. It can shut down energy production in brain cells and slow down the firing of neurons, contributing to ADHD, anxiety, brain fog, depression, memory loss and Alzheimer’s.

6. Hypertension and Strokes

As a major contributor to inflammation in the body, canola oil takes a toll on our cardiovascular system – particularly blood pressure. Studies have found that canola oil  shortens the life span of stroke-prone and hypertensive animal subjects.

One study explored the relationship between rats fed canola oil and rats fed non-canola oil diets. The catch? All rats were bred to have high blood pressure and proneness to stroke. Rats who were fed canola oil died sooner, and rats fed the non-canola oil-based diets lived longer.

Another study published in Toxicology Letters looked at the effects of canola and soybean oil on blood coagulation time and erythrocytes (type of red blood cell) in stroke-prone hypertensive rats. The study found that there was a “canola oil-induced shortening of blood coagulation time and increased fragility in [red blood cell membranes],” which may trigger strokes in animal subjects who are stroke-prone.

7. Compromises Our Detox Organs

Being a genetically modified food product, canola oil takes a toll on our liver and kidneys.

2011 review of 19 different studies that involved mammals being fed genetically modified soy and corn for a period of 90 days, found that GMO foods can disrupt kidney and liver function. The review, published in Environmental Sciences Europe, stated that in the trials mentioned, kidney function was reduced by 43.5%, while liver function was reduced by 30.8%.

Vegetable oils also lack oxidative stability, so they quickly turn rancid if left untreated. Food manufacturers found their way around this problem by adding synthetic antioxidants like TBHQ, BHA and BHT. When consumed in large doses, these preservatives can cause liver tumours, as well as liver enlargement.

While the preservatives in canola oil are not enough to cause adverse effects, the accumulation of such products is enough. We can easily surpass acceptable preservative limits if our diet subsists of lots of processed foots. The amounts build up over time, and as a result, our health suffers. If you want your detox organs to work properly, avoid canola oil, processed foods with added vegetable oils, and other GM products.

8. May Hamper Normal Growth in Children

Erucic acid in canola oil was the main reason canola oil was banned from use in infant formula. The erucic acid in canola oil is harmful to infants, due to an inability to properly break it down. While the FDA previously made canola oil illegal for use in baby formula, that isn’t the case anymore. As of a few years ago, canola oil made it to the generally recognized as safe list (17), meaning that infant formula companies can use all the canola oil they want in their formula.

Best Oils to Substitute for Canola Oil

So which oils can you use? It depends on what you’re using it for!

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is best when it is cold-pressed and virgin. Try your best to avoid refined coconut oil. Coconut oil has a high heat threshold, meaning it doesn’t turn into trans-fatty acids when heated. Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids, too, which support a healthy nervous system, and also encourage fat loss.

2. Olive Oil

While I would never personally cook with olive oil (due to its delicate nature), it makes a great non-cooking option. Look for an organic extra-virgin or cold-pressed olive oil that’s available in dark-coloured glass. Some fake olive oils are mixed with cheaper, GMO vegetable oils, so always make sure it is GMO-free and organic.

3. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil has a high smoke point like coconut oil, so it can safely be cooked with at high temperatures. Alternatively, you can also use this oil in its raw form on salads and the like.

4. Sesame Oil 

Sesame oil is another great option to cook with. It has a high melting point, and isn’t hybridized like canola and other vegetable oils. Sesame oil works great in stir-frys and make a great salad dressing with coconut aminos and some ginger!

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FLUORIDATION: A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER

by Bob Woffinden of the Guardian Newspaper (June 7,1997)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fluoride first entered the public consciousness as part of a post-war new dawn, when science would unerringly lead the way to a better life for all. It came to assume almost magical properties as a wholly salutary chemical. Today, every science textbook and encyclopaedia refers to its capacity for inhibiting dental decay, especially among children.

The experts told us that fluoride both helped the remineralisation of enamel (the outer layer of the teeth), and also prevented the production by bacteria in dental plaque of the acid that causes decay. As the dental authorities became ever more zealous in the promotion of fluoride, it was delivered to the population, either through the fluoridation of the public water supply, or by fluoride in toothpaste and other dental supplements.

Fluoridation was essentially a socialist health policy. It made scant difference to the teeth of children from secure backgrounds, who already benefited from the twin advantages of nutritious diet and regular dental hygiene; but fluoride looked after all the others. In the phrase often cited by dental professionals, it gave poor kids rich teeth.

There were those who counselled caution, on the grounds that fluoride is a cumulative poison; and that, in any case, rates of dental decay were also falling dramatically in countries that did not espouse its use. But in Britain these countervailing arguments went unheeded. The concept of fluoride as a supremely benign aid was instilled in generations of dental students.

The idea was an American import. As a whole, Europe has never been persuaded. Only about 2 per cent has artificially fluoridated water supplies, and virtually all of that is accounted for by Britain (10 per cent of the country) and Ireland (66 per cent). In England, Birmingham fluoridated in 1964; Britain's second city was desperate to be first at something. Newcastle followed a few years later. Thus, today, the main fluoridated areas are the West Midlands and the North-East, and other discrete parts of the country: Crewe and Nantwich, west Cumbria, Scunthorpe and parts of Lincolnshire and Bedfordshire. Some areas also have naturally fluoridated water.

There have been no recent fluoridation schemes in Britain, but this hasn't been for lack of trying by the British Fluoridation Society (BFS), the body funded by the Department of Health that spearheads the pro-fluoride campaign. To improve dental health still further, the BFS wants other urban areas to be fluoridated - there is a working party to fluoridate inner London - so that one in four of the population receive fluoridated water rather than the present level of just one in ten.

Yet, on one obvious level, the fluoridation of the public water supply is an absurd concept. We all know what happens to the nation's water: about one-third is lost in leakages before it ever gets anywhere; seven-eighths of the rest is used by industry, and much of the remainder literally goes straight down the toilet. The proportion that reaches our teeth is tiny indeed.

Those with special requirements will be badly inconvenienced. Some industries - notably those dealing with photographic or X-Ray equipment - need first to remove the fluoride. People on dialysis cannot receive fluoridated water. Mothers with newly-born babies are best advised not to make up compound baby feed with fluoridated tap-water.

And this isn't all that is bizarre about fluoridation. Assuming, for the moment, that fluoride actually achieves everything that is claimed for it with respect to teeth, how do those fluoride ions know that, when they come cascading into the body, they must strengthen the resistance of teeth to decay, but do nothing else at all. Isn't it, on the contrary, common sense to assume that if teeth are being affected, then so are other parts of the body? In fact, Birmingham, with its long-time fluoridated water, does very well nationally in terms of dental decay; but in several other measurements of public health, it performs poorly. A number of scientists believe that these factors are not unconnected.

Amid all the claim and counter-claim about fluoride, there are some indisputable facts. The first is that, of all the fluoride taken into the body, about 50 per cent is excreted. The rest remains. In its major 1993 report, Health Effects Of Ingested Fluoride, the US National Research Council (NRC) pointed out that, `Half the fluoride [taken in by the body] becomes associated with teeth and bones within 24 hours of ingestion. In growing children, even more of the fluoride is retained.' For many years, dental authorities have confidently asserted that whereas fluoride's impact on the teeth is striking and wonderfully beneficial, its impact on bones, even over a lifetime, is non-existent. There is now increasing evidence that this is exactly what it seems: an illogical proposition.

During the Nineties, a steady trickle of scientific reports has found a `statistically significant' association between water fluoridation and increased risk of hip fracture. The suggestion is that the hip needs tensile strength, but that this is destroyed by fluoride. One study monitored the hip fracture rates of white women across 3,000 counties in the US. Another compared the incidence of hip fracture among mainly Mormon communities in Utah. This was of particular interest because it could exclude confounding factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption. (Smoking is generally thought to increase the risk of osteoporosis.) The study found a `small but significant' additional risk of hip fracture among both men and women exposed to artificial fluoridation at one part per million - precisely the level at which water is fluoridated in the UK.

In England, a study concluded that there was no association; but, after revising their statistics and weighting them for population density, the researchers concluded that there was `a significant positive correlation between fluoride levels and [hospital] discharge rates for hip fracture'.

These were potentially disturbing findings. Andrew Thomas, consultant surgeon at Birmingham's Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, commented that there was a need for further and more specific research. `What we need to do,' he explained, `is to look at patients with osteoporosis, to look at the levels of fluoride in their bone so that we can assess whether there really is a problem or not.' The urgent need for further investigation was made even plainer by the publication of a fresh and more alarming study by the University of Bordeaux, published in the Journal Of The American Medical Association. This measured rates of hip fracture among elderly citizens in 75 parishes of south-western France, and compared the concentrations of fluoride in the water (which, in this case, was naturally fluoridated). The study found that people living their lives in fluoridated areas suffered 86 per cent more fractures than those living in non-fluoridated parts.

One irony of this research is that those who lobby in favour of fluoridation always refer to the savings to the National Health Service in costs of dental care - however, if fluoridation does indeed lead to an increased incidence of hip fracture, then the overall costs to the NHS would be far greater than these projected savings. Hip fracture, a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition, is one of the most expensive items on the NHS budget.

Nor is it just hip fractures that may result from the impact of fluoride on bones. Cases of crippling skeletal fluorosis, a condition directly caused by fluoride, are exceptionally rare, except in countries of naturally high fluoride levels such as India; but the early stages of the condition could perhaps be triggered by artificially-fluoridated water supplies. Fluoride, which is deposited in mineralising new bone more easily than existing bone, distorts the natural regeneration of the bone. As fluoride accumulates, so the bones become thickened and develop outgrowths. Tendons and ligaments may then be affected, and nerves may become trapped and damaged.

The result could be a mounting toll of skeletal problems - from occasional stiffness or pain in the joints, to backache and osteoarthritis. These problems collectively form one of the major causes of absence from work in this country, so their impact on the economy - even aside from the well-being of the individual - is considerable.

Scientists have also considered whether fluoride has further incapacitating effects. Research undertaken in the US for the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in 1990 and 1991 showed `a possible increase in osteosarcomas in male rats' exposed to fluoride. Osteosarcoma is rare, but it is one of the principal cancers of childhood. As a result of the NTP report, the Department of Health in New Jersey commissioned work to assess the incidence of osteosarcoma in the state in relation to water fluoridation. The results were astonishing: they indicated that in male children (under the age of 20), the risk of osteosarcoma was between two and seven times greater in fluoridated water areas

Dr Sheila Gibson, of the Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital, reported further serious findings in a paper in Complementary Medical Research. By adding sodium fluoride to blood samples, she demonstrated that fluoride impaired the functioning of the immune system. Then there is concern about the genotoxicity of fluoride, and its possible role in the cause of increased levels of infant mortality and Down's Syndrome births. Certainly, Birmingham has very good antenatal facilities; yet, as the West Midlands Perinatal Audit commented, the city has `significantly higher' rates of stillbirth and neonatal mortality than the average for England and Wales.

Could this be attributable to fluoride? In an as-yet unpublished paper, Ian Packington, a toxicologist on the advisory panel of the National Pure Water Association (an anti-fluoride campaign group), records that in the years 1990-92 perinatal deaths in the fluoridated parts of the West Midlands were 15 per cent higher than in neighbouring unexposed areas such as Shropshire and Herefordshire (even though the latter had higher `Townsend scores' - an index of social deprivation). From an analysis of Department of Health statistics, he also concluded that in the period 1983-86 cases of Down's Syndrome were 30 per cent higher in fluoridated than non-fluoridated areas.

These were not isolated findings. In the 1970s, Dr Albert Schatz reported that the artificial fluoridation of drinking water in Latin American countries was associated with increased rates of infant mortality and deaths due to congenital malformation. As long ago as the 1950s, Dr Ionel Rapaport published studies showing links between Down's Syndrome and natural fluoridation.

The fluoride ion - unlike the fluorine molecule, one of the most reactive elements in the periodic table - is very stable. It was unclear how it could potentially cause ante-natal damage of this kind - until, in 1981, the Journal Of The American Chemical Society reported fresh research that fluoride could form strong hydrogen bonds. This could indeed have serious repercussions for biological systems, with the consequences of affecting proteins, other molecules and DNA. Dr John Emsley, the scientist conducting the research, wrote that, `We believe we have found an explanation of how this reputedly inert ion could disrupt key sites in biological systems.' Even so, worse was still to come. The NRC report on the effects of fluoride clearly conceded that there were `inconsistencies' in the data about fluoride toxicity and `gaps in knowledge'. One area it did not examine at all was the effect of fluoride on the brain and central nervous system - even though the results of relevant Russian studies in the 1970s were by then widely known. These demonstrated that workers suffering from exposure to fluoride in the workplace exhibited signs of impaired mental functioning.

The NCR's omission was put into sharp perspective with the publication in 1995 of work by the neurotoxicist, Dr Phyllis Mullinex. In the 1980s, she developed a sensitive test using animal models to ascertain the effects of neurotoxins on the central nervous system. As a result, she was recruited to head the department of toxicology at the Forsyth Dental Institute in Boston. Everything went well until she stepped into politically-sensitive territory by using her system to test the effects of fluoride.

She noted disruption to the behaviour patterns of rats, and concluded that fluoride adversely affected the brain. She went on to show that fluoride accumulated in brain tissue, and that its effects depended on the age of exposure (the younger were more vulnerable). She also determined that these effects were measurable at a lower level of exposure to fluoride than was necessary to produce damage to the bones.

In order to receive her next tranche of funding, she presented her interim findings to representatives of the major manufacturers of toothpaste. She was asked, `Are you telling us that we're reducing children's IQs by putting fluoride in toothpaste?' She replied, `Well, basically, yes.' She did not receive further funding. And, although her paper was peer-reviewed and subsequently published in Neurotoxicology And Teratology, she was told that her work was `not relevant to dentistry' and sacked from her post at the Forsyth. (She retained her second post, at Harvard Medical School.) She sued the Forsyth for wrongful dismissal, and last month won what is believed to be a substantial out-of-court settlement.

The disturbing conclusions of her work have lately been buttressed by new studies from China, published in the magazine Fluoride. Researchers compared the IQs of children in areas of low and high natural fluoridation, and discovered that children in the low fluoride area had higher IQs. There was some criticism that this work had not taken sufficient account of possible confounding factors. So a small-scale study was initiated, comparing two villages, Sima, with a high level of natural fluoride, and Xinhua. The results were the same as before. The children exposed to higher levels of fluoride had lower IQ levels.

Paul Connett, who was born in Brighton, is today professor of chemistry at St Laurence University in New York state, and an international authority on environmental toxins. Until it was proposed to fluoridate his own community, he had always avoided the fluoride debate. `I now realise that, because the pro-fluoride lobby has successfully portrayed the anti-fluoridationists as a bunch of crackpots, people have been kept away from this issue. In fact, once I looked into the literature and was, quite frankly, appalled by the poor science underpinning fluoridation, I had grave concerns about the wisdom of putting this toxic substance into our drinking water. The dental authorities say there is no scientific proof of harm. That's like the joke about the guy who jumps out of a 20-storey building and, as he's passing the ninth floor, says, `Okay, so far'.' In the US, at the same time that the first fluoridation scheme was being introduced, scientists were admitting (in documents hitherto secret, but now disclosed under the Freedom Of Information Act) that they had no idea what the effects of low-level exposure would be. The first such scheme was introduced in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1945 as a long-term pilot study. Over a 15-year period, it was to be compared with an unfluoridated control city, Muskegon, to determine whether fluoride actually did benefit dental health. The Americans couldn't wait 15 years, however; or even two. The following year, six cities opted to fluoridate. In 1947, 87 did, including Muskegon. In a prime example of the bureaucrats pre-empting science, the authorities decreed that it was unfair to deprive its citizens of the `benefits' of fluoridation. The 15-year study had run for just 18 months.

Thus there has never been a single long-term, scientifically inviolable study of fluoridation. And this is against a background of steady improvements in dental health, with the widespread, indeed ubiquitous, availability of fluoride toothpaste. But since cleaning one's teeth is always beneficial, how much real additional advantage does the fluoride confer? There are, of course, those who argue that the Grand Rapids study was not allowed to run its full course precisely because the results would have capsized the pro-fluoride arguments.

In New Zealand, Dr John Colquhoun, chief dental officer of Auckland, examined the dental records of all schoolchildren from 1980-90, the better to promote his objective of fluoridating the whole country. To his surprise and concern, he discovered errors in study design, some fabrication of statistics, and no advantage at all from fluoridation. He subsequently reversed his opinions about fluoride, and founded the International Society For Fluoride Research.

Similarly, Dr Richard Foulkes, special consultant to the health minister in British Columbia, Canada, recommended mandatory fluoridation. It didn't happen, however, for in most parts of the province, the populace was opposed. Almost 20 years later, the director of dentistry examined the records and discovered the public's instinct had been correct. The records of schoolchildren from fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas suggested that there was no benefit in fluoridation.

All this naturally begs the question: why has there been such unrelenting administrative pressure to fluoridate? Conspiracy theorists would point to the confluence of interests of the sugar industry, keen to identify any method of improving dental health which did not involve consuming less sugar, and huge industrial concerns, such as aluminium manufacturers, petro-chemical and fertiliser industries, for all of whom fluoride was a waste product and a dangerous pollutant. Accordingly, they welcomed the opportunity both to launder the image of fluoride and (in some instances) to sell to water companies something they would otherwise have had to pay to get rid of.

The dental profession itself tells a very different story. In 1945, a physician noticed something different about the teeth of children living in high fluoride areas: they were mottled and discoloured. The condition - fluorosis - was caused by fluoride attacking the enamel of the permanent teeth while they were being formed in the gums. When they erupted, they had unsightly stains on them.

However, the physician also believed that the children with fluorosis had fewer dental caries. Thus, the link was made, and the aim was formulated of trying to fluoridate to a uniform level for the benefit of dental health. The optimal level, at which benefits to teeth could be reconciled with an acceptable level of fluorosis, was determined as one part per million of fluoride in water.

From the outset, the danger of fluorosis was inherent in the dental lobby's advocacy of fluoride - it was recognised that some children would need to sacrifice their appearance for what was deemed to be the greater good. In recent years, however, dental fluorosis (the majority of cases are only mild) has been increasing. In the US, the NRC expects fluorosis to occur, albeit in a mild form, in 10 per cent of the population. Statistics showed that in one (unnamed) city with a fluoride concentration of twice the recommended level, the prevalence of dental fluorosis in children was 53 per cent. In Britain, there is now a national register of children suffering from fluorosis.

Fluorosis is considered a cosmetic and not an adverse health effect (and thus treatment cannot be obtained on the NHS, which seems churlish when it was the health authorities that caused the problem in the first place). However, this definition is increasingly being questioned, especially on two grounds. First, fluorosis strikes when the child is at a psychologically vulnerable age. At an international conference on fluoridation in Birmingham in 1995, evidence was presented that, in Australia, `even mild [fluorosis] was associated with psycho-behavioural impacts'. Second, dental fluorosis is merely the visible sign of fluoride's effects - so is that the extent of the problem? Or is there other damage which cannot be seen? The worldwide increase in fluorosis is hardly surprising, as exposure to fluoride from sources other than the water supply has increased immeasurably over the past 25 years. Even for those of us not living in fluoridated areas, there is constant exposure from toothpaste, from other dental products, from fruit and vegetables, on which the pesticide residues will contain fluoride - and from drinks such as tea, which has naturally high fluoride levels as tea grows best in a fluoride soil.

In 1945, the dental authorities set the optimal level for fluoridation at one part per million; and the optimal level today is still one ppm. Logically, that cannot be correct, because overall exposure has increased so much in the interim. Moreover, the absolute level of fluoride exposure is of critical importance because the whole debate is so finely balanced. As Professor Connett explained: `From a toxicological point of view, the gap between the therapeutic dose - the level at which fluoride is supposed to benefit teeth - and the toxic dose, at which it begins to do serious harm, is very small. Usually, you want a factor of a hundred between the two. In this case, it's tiny. The optimal level in drinking water is one ppm. The maximum contaminant level, as prescribed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, is four ppm. That gap is far too small for public safety.' Faced with accumulating information of this kind, the dental administrators and pharmaceutical companies have been quietly moving the goalposts. Neither the general public, nor even qualified pharmacists, probably have any idea what the current recommendations are.

In the first place, no one should be taking fluoride supplements, and particularly not if they live in a fluoridated area. The problem here is that many millions of people probably have no idea whether they're living in a fluoridated area or not, because no one has ever had the courtesy to tell them. Second, to quote the leading textbook Essentials Of Dental Caries, `topical fluoride preparations [toothpaste et al] should be applied carefully because of their potential toxic effects'. Children should be supervised by parents when brushing their teeth. They should use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste - though no one would ever suppose as much from watching the television commercials - and should on no account swallow it. The chairman of the British Fluoridation Society, Professor Mike Lennon, blames the increased incidence of dental fluorosis on children `abusing' (that is, swallowing) toothpaste.

Since it is difficult not to swallow toothpaste, and since fluoride is in any case absorbed through the gums, parents may instead like to purchase non-fluoride toothpaste - were it not that this is almost impossible in many parts of the country, as the supermarkets and pharmaceutical retailers have severely restricted consumer choice.

So, the real route to lasting dental health remains, as ever, regular dental hygiene and a nutritious diet. In fact, the most remarkable aspect of the conduct of the dental lobby has been not its unquestioning espousal of fluoride but its cowardice in not confronting the huge commercial sugar interests. After all, dental caries were unknown before refined sugars. We would all be able to improve our dental records and lead healthier lives if food manufacturers were forced to state, clearly and unequivocally, what percentage of each product (an ostensibly healthy carton of yoghurt, for example) was composed of sugar.

To risk so much for the sake of so little (whoever wants to prevent the occasional filling if children's mental development is at stake?) really is extraordinary. The possible subtle effects of long-term exposure to low levels of fluoride can no longer be ignored. Those who wish to extend fluoridation schemes throughout the country tell us that there's `no evidence' that it causes harm; we must bear in mind how carefully the authorities have avoided gathering the evidence.

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