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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE September 15, 2007
Leave Antibacterial Soaps Alone
Weight Loss Study
Leave Antibacterial Soaps Alone
Super Clean is Not Good
In an effort to fulfill the age old saying "cleanliness is next to Godliness," the use of antibacterial soaps is on the rise. The liberal use of soap is a good thing; but antibacterial soaps present several major risks. As early as 2005, researchers at Virginia Tech found that the active chemical ingredient in antibacterial soaps, triclosan, can cause two major health problems. First, consumers who use the soaps may be exposed to significant quantities of the cancer causing substance chloroform. Also, long term use of these soaps creates an unhealthy balance of antibiotic resistant bacteria on the skin.
The researchers found bacteria resistant to some of the more popular antibiotic drugs like chloramphenicol, ampicillin, tetracycline and ciprofloxacin.
Dr. Peter Vikesland, an environmental chemist at Virginia Tech had this to say about antibacterial soaps, "This is the first work that we know of that suggests that consumer products, such as antimicrobial soap, can produce significant quantities of chloroform. There are numerous potential exposure pathways that can be envisioned, such as inhalation and skin exposure, when using antimicrobial soaps to wash dishes or when taking a shower. There is also risk of exposure when using triclosan laden moisturizers as they may also react with chlorine in the water."
What is Triclosan?
Triclosan is a synthetic antimicrobial agent found in a wide variety of products. Its broad spectrum, bacteria fighting ability has made it popular in an ever increasing number of personal care products, cosmetics, antimicrobial creams, acne treatments, lotions, hand soaps, and dish soaps. Triclosan goes under the trade name Microban®, when used in plastics and clothing and Biofresh® when used in acrylic fibers. Even though Triclosan is effective at killing bacteria, it is registered as a pesticide with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pesticides are chemicals designed to kill some type of life form. The EPA considers triclosan a high risk for human health and the environment.
Why is Chloroform so Bad?
When triclosan, the active ingredient in antibacterial soaps, reacts with chlorine in the tap water, chloroform is created. Chloroform is a central nervous system depressant and cancer causing compound. The U.S. Department of Labor has strict guidelines when it comes to contact with chloroform. Chronic inhalation of chloroform may cause psychiatric and neurological symptoms, including depression, hallucinations and moodiness. In one study, liver enlargement was demonstrated in 17 of 68 workers exposed to chloroform at low levels for 1 to 4 years. Alcoholics are more at risk from chloroform because ethanol increases chloroform's toxic effects.
Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
When bacteria are exposed to low doses of antibiotics, some of them can develop antibiotic resistance. These resistant bacteria do not respond to a particular antibiotic and must be treated with other, sometimes stronger antibiotics. In rare instances, there is no known medication that will kill the bacteria. It is wiser to use antibiotics sparingly and for shorter duration. Constant use of antibacterial substances, as found in the antibacterial soaps, creates a potential long-term health hazard.
Avoid Antibacterial Soaps Like The Plague
The bacteria on your skin serve a useful purpose as a part of your skin's natural defense mechanism. Your skin uses healthy bacteria to keep colonies of unhealthy bacteria at bay. Without the healthy bacteria, the unhealthy ones can take over and create infections and other skin problems. Destroy all the healthy bacteria with antibacterial soap and you set yourself up for big problems. The constant use of antibacterial soaps is similar to using antibiotics for every little cold or sneeze. All antibacterial products should be used sparingly so that resistant strains of bacteria do not develop. Using them only when needed ensures they will remain effective if the need arises.
Fresh Start helps you reduce stress and live a healthier lifestyle. Fresh Start uses a complete approach to improving your health; helping you Get Active, Eat Healthier and Reduce Stress. Fresh Start benefits include lower cholesterol, increased bone density, improved muscle strength, increased metabolism and healthy weight loss. Make the most of your activity time while balancing your lifestyle and maintaining good health at any age.
For more information contact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to Woody@SequoiaHealth.com.
The Vitamin Deception
The Need For Vitamins
It is difficult to get adequate nutrition just from food these days. Most people need to take a vitamin supplement due to poor eating habits, the lowered nutritional value of food and high stress living. The question anymore is not if you need to take vitamins but which ones and how much? Are all vitamins created equally? What about safety?
There are no simple answers to these questions because no two people have the same lifestyles, health habits, eating styles and activity patterns. Nutritional and vitamin requirements are as different as the person taking them.
Vitamins Are Not a Food Substitute
First and foremost, vitamins do not substitute for healthy eating habits. Good heath first requires healthy eating habits supplemented with vitamins. Busy schedules are not reasonable excuses to preclude you from maintaining healthy eating habits. Nutritious foods are important to your body as building blocks for repair of cells as well as fuel for work and play. If you decide to allow meetings, sports events or other activities to encroach on eating a healthy diet, eventually you'll pay for it with increased health problems. High quality food also contains enzymes and cofactors that are not present in even the very best vitamins. Vitamins by their very nature do not and should not act as a food substitute.
Do I Need a Multivitamin?
Most people (probably all) should start by taking a multivitamin. Multivitamins, especially a complete one, are an excellent starting point for supplementing healthy food intake. If you have more serious health concerns, you'll need higher levels of certain vitamins than even the best multivitamin can provide. But what is a complete one? A recent article in Health Magazine came to the incorrect conclusion that name brand vitamins like One-a-Day and Centrum are your best bet. Unfortunately, even though these vitamins may have received high safety scores, their potencies are inadequate to benefit most people's health. Taking a vitamin and believing it's providing for your nutritional needs when it doesn't, just gives you a sense of false security.
To read more about vitamin reviews go to http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/08/22/healthmag.multivitamins/index.html
What About Potencies?
If you have a health condition, most name brand multiple vitamins are not potent enough to make a significant change. The basic reason for this is just sheer size and number. It is easy to get a small amount of a vitamin in a small, easy to take pill. To provide adequate potencies for most people, One-A-Day would have to call itself Twelve-A-Day.
As you can imagine, Twelve-A-Day would be a much harder marketing project. So as the potency increases, so does the size and generally the number of vitamins pills needed.
As an example, a review of the literature shows if you are using a statin drug to lower cholesterol like Lipitor, Crestor, Lescol, Mevacor, Pravachol and Zocor, you should take 100mg of CoQ10 to counter some of the negative side effects. Looking at the contents for One-A-Day and Centrum shows no CoQ10 in their formulations. Brand name vitamins alone would be inadequate in this case.
The Last Word on Vitamin Deception
Many of the "name brand" vitamins are formulated on conservative, out dated vitamin research. This makes the legal department happy but it doesn't do you the consumer much good. Vitamin D and its beneficial effects on Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis and immune strengthening is another good example. Most researchers now recommend an intake of 1000 to 2000IU of vitamin D per day. Again, looking at the nutritional contents for Centrum, it shows 400IU and One-A-Day women's formula shows 800IU. Neither multivitamin has enough potency to give you the currently recommended vitamin D levels. The best way to ensure adequate nutrition is to take a healthier approach to eating while working with a healthcare professional who can advise you on optimum supplement intakes based on your needs.
Ask The Experts
We are offering a new service called Ask The Experts. If you have a question about health,
fitness, diet, supplements or any medications you may be taking, send us an email to
info@SequoiaHealth.com with your questions. Our team of health and fitness experts will
send an answer directly to you via email. We may even use your question
(with permission of course) for our next newsletter. We hope you enjoy this new service.
Non-Surgical Weight Loss Study
It's little wonder obesity is on the rise given the current ineffective approach to solving
the problem. We are looking for 12 participants who have tried with no success to lose weight
with diet and exercise. Participants in the study must be at least 21 years of age, 30 pounds
over weight, willing to accurately chart their progress and be open minded to trying a
completely new weight loss approach. To see if you qualify, please email Woody McMahon at Woody@SequoiaHealth.com
with your complete diet history, the reasons you would like
to try a different way and why you think you over eat.
Continued Good Health,
The Sequoia Advisor
Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Dive
Herndon , VA 20170
Required Disclaimer: The material provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis,
treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The material is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to matters relating to their health or well-being other than suggesting that readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The material and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound at the time of publication, based on the best judgment available to the authors. However, readers who rely on material in this publication to replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult with health-care professionals, assume all risks of such conduct. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.
Copyright (c) 2006-2007 by Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.