Tag Archives: health

Eating Whole Grains Is Great For Your Health

I’ve long been a fan of whole grains.  Eating whole grains helps you stay fuller longer making you significantly less likely to constantly eat.  Your body takes longer to digest the whole grains.  Look for the whole grain seal on bread, cereal, oats, etc. and make sure you are eating your whole grains!

Whole Grains Each Day Linked to Longer Life

Eating a diet rich in whole grains may reduce your risk of dying early, a new meta-analysis finds.

No Copyright Infringement Intended

People who reported eating at least three servings of whole grains daily were 20 percent less likely to die early from any cause compared with people who reported eating less than one serving a day, the researchers found. The analysis included 14 previous studies; all of the studies were at least six years long, and many were more than 10 years long.

The researchers also looked at specific causes of death. They found that eating three servings of whole grains a day was associated with a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, and a 14 percent lower risk of death from cancer, compared with eating one serving or less of whole grains daily. 

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend eating three or more servings of whole grains each day.  However, Americans eat, on average, less than one serving a day, according to the study, published today (June 13) in the journal Circulation.

No Copyright Infringement Intended

Indeed, “these findings lend further support to the U.S. government’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which suggest high consumption of whole grains to facilitate disease prevention,” Dr. Qi Sun, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and the senior author on the study, said in a statement.

The studies in the meta-analysis included a total of more than 786,000 people. There were nearly 98,000 deaths in all of the studies, including more than 23,000 from heart disease and more than 37,000 from cancer.

“Multiple individual studies consistently revealed a reduced risk of death among people who consumed more whole grains,” Sun told Live Science.

Moreover, each serving, or 0.5 ounces (16 grams), of whole grains a day was associated with a 7 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from any cause, a 9 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from heart disease and a 5 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from cancer, the meta-analysis found.

The researchers noted that the types of whole grains people ate varied from study to study. However, in the U.S., more than 70 percent of whole grains that people eat come from breads and cereal grains, which include oatmeal, rice and barley, according to the study. 

This is not the first study to suggest whole grains have health benefits, nor is it the first meta-analysis to do so.

Two previous meta-analyses, for example, found that whole grains were associated with lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels and lower amounts of body fat, the researchers wrote.

A number of compounds found in whole grains could contribute to the foods’ effects on health, the researchers wrote. Fiber, for example, may lower cholesterol and help people feel fuller so they eat fewer calories. Magnesium may help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure. And other minerals and antioxidants may help fight oxidative stress, they said.

Based on the new findings, “health care providers should unanimously recommend whole grain consumption to the general population, as well as patients with certain diseases, to help achieve better health and perhaps reduce death,” Sun said.

In addition, whole grains should replace refined carbohydrates in a person’s diet, because these carbohydrates have been shown to have negative health effects, the researchers wrote.

(via Live Science via Yahoo! News)

Advertisements

Major Brand Must Pay $72 Million for Cancer Death Linked to Talcum Powder

This sad case is an example of a chronic exposure (exposed to something over a long span of time) and how it can be detrimental to health.  Many ingredients are not harmful in small doses (acute exposure) but if they accumulate in the body they can cause harm.  The claims against Johnson & Johnson are worrisome and bring to the forefront (again) deceptive practices companies use to benefit their sales–something that has been seen in other consumer product industries. 

Copyright Reuters

Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a Missouri state jury to pay $72 million of damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades.

In a verdict announced late Monday night, jurors in the circuit court of St. Louis awarded the family of Jacqueline Fox $10 million of actual damages and $62 million of punitive damages, according to the family’s lawyers and court records.

The verdict is the first by a U.S. jury to award damages over the claims, the lawyers said.

Johnson & Johnson faces claims that it, in an effort to boost sales, failed for decades to warn consumers that its talc-based products could cause cancer. About 1,000 cases have been filed in Missouri state court, and another 200 in New Jersey.

Fox, who lived in Birmingham, Alabama, claimed she used Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene for more than 35 years before being diagnosed three years ago with ovarian cancer. She died in October at age 62.

Jurors found Johnson & Johnson liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy, the family’s lawyers said. Deliberations lasted four hours, following a three-week trial.

Jere Beasley, a lawyer for Fox’s family, said Johnson & Johnson “knew as far back as the 1980s of the risk,” and yet resorted to “lying to the public, lying to the regulatory agencies.” He spoke on a conference call with journalists.

Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman, said: “We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers, and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial. We sympathize with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.

Trials in several other talc lawsuits have been set for later this year, according to Danielle Mason, who also represented Fox’s family at trial.

In October 2013, a federal jury in Sioux Falls, South Dakota found that plaintiff Deane Berg’s use of Johnson & Johnson’s body powder products was a factor in her developing ovarian cancer. Nevertheless, it awarded no damages, court records show.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc now owns the Shower to Shower brand but was not a defendant in the Fox case.

The case is Hogans et al v. Johnson & Johnson et al, Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, No. 1422-CC09012.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Additional reporting by Jessica Dye in New York; editing by Steve Orlofsky and Alan Crosby)

via Reuters http://news.yahoo.com/j-j-must-pay-72-million-cancer-death-154301727–finance.html;_ylt=AwrC0CZlGdZWpgkAzmzQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByaWg0YW05BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwM4BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

 

 

The Parmesan Cheese You Sprinkle on Your Penne Could Be Wood

Color me shocked! …Not! Is it that surprising that the “parmesan cheese” you buy from Kraft/Walmart/etc. that does not need to be refrigerated is not authentic parmesan? Nope. At least it is just cellulose, which is relatively harmless! This article reminds me of the claims about faje olive oil about 2 years ago.  This shines a bright light on the disparity between providing quality and creating/increasing revenue. Labels are often misleading, which is why many consumers are so confused when it comes to making food and beauty choices.  On another note, sit and ask yourself about how a product is made, thinking of the human, environmental, and economic input and outputs.

By Lydia Mulvany–February 16, 2016

No Copyright Infringement Intended

Acting on a tip, agents of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration paid a surprise visit to a cheese factory in rural Pennsylvania on a cold November day in 2012.

They found what they were looking for: evidence that Castle Cheese Inc. was doctoring its 100 percent real parmesan with cut-rate substitutes and such fillers as wood pulp and distributing it to some of the country’s biggest grocery chains.

via Yahoo Finance.

The cheese police are on the case.  One might be tempted to think of this as a ripped-from-the-headlines episode of “NYPD Bleu,” except that the FDA wasn’t playing. Some grated Parmesan suppliers have been mislabeling products by filling them with too much cellulose, a common anti-clumping agent made from wood pulp, or using cheaper cheddar, instead of real Romano. Someone had to pay. Castle President Michelle Myrter is scheduled to plead guilty this month to criminal charges. She faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

German brewers protect their reputations with Reinheitsgebot, a series of purity laws first drawn up 500 years ago, and Champagne makers prohibit most vineyards outside their turf from using the name. Now the full force of the U.S. government has been brought to bear defending the authenticity of grated hard Italian cheeses. Which is good news for Neil Schuman.

For years, Schuman has been a one-man Reinheitsgebot, insisting that the fragrant granules Americans sprinkle on their pizza and penne ought to be the real thing; if not, the label should say so.

The stakes are 100 percent real for him. Schuman’s Fairfield, New Jersey-based company, Arthur Schuman Inc., is the biggest seller of hard Italian cheeses in the U.S., with 33 percent of the domestic market. He estimates that 20 percent of U.S. production — worth $375 million in sales — is mislabeled.

“The tipping point was grated cheese, where less than 40 percent of the product was actually a cheese product,” Schuman said. “Consumers are innocent, and they’re not getting what they bargained for. And that’s just wrong.”

How serious is the problem? Bloomberg News had store-bought grated cheese tested for wood-pulp content by an independent laboratory.

Cellulose is a safe additive, and an acceptable level is 2 percent to 4 percent, according to Dean Sommer, a cheese technologist at the Center for Dairy Research in Madison, Wisconsin. Essential Everyday 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese, from Jewel-Osco, was 8.8 percent cellulose, while Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Great Value 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese registered 7.8 percent, according to test results. Whole Foods 365 brand didn’t list cellulose as an ingredient on the label, but still tested at 0.3 percent. Kraft had 3.8 percent.

“We remain committed to the quality of our products,” Michael Mullen, a Kraft Heinz Co. spokesman, said in an e-mail. John Forrest Ales, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said he questioned the reliability of testing a single sample and that Wal-Mart’s “compliance team is looking into these findings.”

Jewel-Osco is also investigating, spokeswoman Mary Frances Trucco said in an e-mail. “We pride ourselves on the quality of products we deliver for our customers,” Trucco said.

“We strongly believe that there is no cellulose present,” Blaire Kniffin, a Whole Foods Market Inc. spokeswoman, said in an e-mail, adding that it could have been a false positive. “But we are investigating this matter.”

According to the FDA’s report on Castle, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, “no parmesan cheese was used to manufacture” the Market Pantry brand 100% grated Parmesan Cheese, sold at Target Corp. stores, and Always Save Grated Parmesan Cheese and Best Choice 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese, sold by Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., which along with its subsidiaries supplies 3,400 retail stores in 30 states. Instead, there was a mixture of Swiss, mozzarella, white cheddar and cellulose, according to the FDA.

Castle has never been an authorized Target vendor, according to Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder. “We are investigating the information provided in the report,” she said in an e-mail. Jeff Pedersen, an executive vice president of Associated Wholesale Grocers, had no comment.

DairiConcepts, a Springfield, Missouri-based cheese maker that’s a subsidiary of Dairy Farmers of America, said on its website that in a test of 28 brands, only one-third of label claims about protein levels in grated parmesan were accurate. The company blamed fillers such as cellulose.

Until recently, there was little incentive to follow labeling rules. Criminal cases are rare. That’s because the FDA, which enforces the country’s food laws, prioritizes health hazards, said John Spink, director of the Food Fraud Initiative at Michigan State University. But civil lawsuits abound. A Jan. 29 complaint accuses McDonald’s Corp. of selling pure mozzarella sticks that contain starch, considered a filler, a claim the company denies.

Cheese makers commit adulteration because it saves money.

Marty Wilson, chief executive officer of New York-based Sugar Foods, which buys cheese from Schuman and supplies major pizza chains with to-go packets of parmesan, said whenever his contracts come up for renewal, competitors peddling ersatz cheeses surface. And he has lost business to them. “We’re constantly battling cheap imitators across all of our product lines,” Wilson said.

Bob Greco of Cheese Merchants of America said competitors hawking bastardized products have underbid him by as much as 30 percent. “The bad guys win and the rule-followers lose,” Greco said.

The FDA regulates what can legally be called Parmesan or Romano according to standards established in the 1950s to ensure that manufacturers wouldn’t sell cheeses wildly different in composition.

Americans love their hard Italian cheeses. Last year, U.S. Parmesan output rose 11 percent from 2014 to around 336 million pounds, while Romano production grew 20 percent, to 54 million pounds, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Italian producers, however, aren’t loving it as much. The Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, a trade group based in Rome, asked the European Union in December to protect its manufacturers against U.S. companies that were using the names of their cheeses and Italian flags on their packaging. “A deceit” is how the organization’s president, Giuseppe Alai, characterized Americans’ use of Italian names and symbols.

Of all the popular cheeses in the U.S., the hard Italian varieties are the most likely to have fillers because of their expense. Parmesan wheels sit in curing rooms for months, losing moisture, which results in a smaller yield than other cheeses offer. While 100 pounds of milk might produce 10 pounds of cheddar, it makes only eight pounds of Parmesan. That two-pound difference means millions of dollars to manufacturers, according to Sommer.

Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania-based Castle produced mainly imitation cheeses for nearly 30 years. The company, whose factory was adorned with crenelated battlements and curved archways to look like a medieval castle, had $19 million in sales in 2013.

The trouble started in 2010 when it began making what it called 100 percent grated Parmesan. A plant manager designed flawed recipes, and after Castle fired him in 2012, he alerted the FDA, the company said in a December 2012 letter to the agency, obtained through the FOIA.

The FDA accused Castle Cheese of marketing as real grated Parmesan what was in fact a mixture of imitation cheese and trimmings of Swiss, white cheddar, Havarti and mozzarella. After the probe, Castle stopped production of the problematic cheeses and dumped inventories. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2014.

A lawyer for Michelle Myrter and Castle Cheese didn’t respond to requests for comment. In the 2012 letter to the FDA, Castle said there was inadequate documentation, and the FDA could note only the potential that the products weren’t 100 percent pure.

Lauren E. Sucher, an FDA spokeswoman, said the agency couldn’t comment on pending legal cases. “The FDA takes economic fraud very seriously,” she said in an e-mail.

The FDA’s investigation may be the spark that changes things, said John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

“The industry wants to be known for a wholesome, safe, honest product — it’s what’s kept the industry growing for 100 years,” he said. “The wholesomeness of dairy products is a treasured part of our story.”

—With assistance from Craig Giammona and Leslie Patton.

(via Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance)

Review: Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner

Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner

This product was purchased by Nature’s Pulchritude. All opinions are that of Nature’s Pulchritude and have not be influenced in any way, shape, or form.

“Oh, Honey. It’s a natural humectant… nature’s gift for glowing, supple hair. Ah, Hemp Oil. With an incredibly rich array of Fatty Acids to ensure well-nourished tresses. Oh! Ah! Oyin’s Honey-Hemp Conditioner! How could it possibly be improved? Perhaps by adding just the smallest touch of Silk Protein and a generous dollop of Aloe Vera Gel… just to take the succulence over the top. ;o)”

NPOyinHoneyHemp2

I first started using this product about 4-5 years ago. I wanted to try the products for a few month and eventually got my hands on their ‘snack pack.’ I have since purchased 2 of the 33 ounce bottles. This product was pivotal on my natural hair “journey” and has been a staple. I use this conditioner both as a rinse out and deep conditioner, and have also experimented with using it as a leave-in. It is a fantastic moisturizer and leaves my hair feeling like silk!

Product

This is a fantastic conditioner. Great ingredients, great quality all around. This product does what it claims. The 33 ounce bottle is very convenient because it has a pump. A little goes a long way. 1 33 ounce bottle last me about a year with minimum biweekly use. It has a moderately thick consistency–not runny, not stiffly thick, just right and easily spreadable.

1 Globe

Scent

Sweet Citrus. That is the best way to describe how Honey Hemp conditioner smells. It smells really, really, really good. Depending on the products you use after conditioning the faint scent of the product will linger in your hair.

1 Globe

NPOyinHoneyHemp1

Moisture

Nourish and Moisture. Check, Check. This product does a great job moisturizing my hair. It works well as a rinse out, but works better as a deep conditioner. 30 minutes underneath a hooded dryer is enough. The moisturized feeling is not from a heavy silicones, waxes, etc. but from true moisturization! My hair feels moisturized after completely rinsing the product out of my hair. [Author’s Note: My hair type is predominately 4a, normal porosity, moderate density]

1 Globe

Detangling

I typically don’t use this product to detangle but it does work well for detangling. My hair is so well moisturized it does not re-tangle at all after detangling, which makes styling much easier.

1 Globe

EnviroFactor
Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Behentremonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (emulsifier derived from colza oil), Honey, Virgin Hemp Oil, Coconut Oil, Vegetable Glycerine, Hydrolized Silk, Citrus Essences, Fragrance, Optiphen (preservative), and LOVE!

The only questionable ingredient in this product is optiphen, which is a mixture of Phenoxyethanol and Caprylyl Glycol. Phenoxyethanol is widely used in natural products and prompted my series “Preservatives in Natural Products.” I don’t think this ingredient is cause for concern, but I’d still like more unbiased peer reviewed studies to fully deem this ingredient Safe!

.85 Globe

4.85/5 Globes

Nature’s Pulchritude All-Star!

Highly recommended!

Have you tried this product? What did you think?

Review: Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Soap

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Soap

This product was purchased by Nature’s Pulchritude. All opinions are that of Nature’s Pulchritude and have not be influenced in any way, shape, or form.

NubianHeritageCocoPapay4

I picked this product up in the natural product section of a local grocery store. I had been thinking about switching from castile soap to a true (saponified fat) bar soap and stumbled upon Nubian Heritage soaps. This product didn’t catch my eye when I was looking at their line online, but I figured I should try their soaps before I went making a big order.

NubianHeritageCocoPapay5
Product

This is a very high quality product. This soap fully cleanses my skin, but does not leave it feeling stripped. It leaves it feeling quite moisturized. The soap lasted through about 6 weeks of regular, exclusive use.

1 Globe

NubianHeritageCocoPapay1

Scent

I cannot pin point exactly what this smells like. It doesn’t quite give me coconut and likely leans more papaya. I’m not quite sure. The smell is moderate in the shower and does not linger on the skin afterwards, which can be a positive or negative depending on the person. It did not bother me much.

1 Globe

NubianHeritageCocoPapay3

Lather

This soap lathers really well! 2 rubs on a wet wash cloth and it was enough later for a full body cleanse. I often find that surfactant based soaps and my old castile soap need a bit more effort to lather well, and must be relathered at least 3 times. That was a big reason I decided to stop purchasing castile soap.

1 Globe

EnviroFactor

NubianHeritageCocoPapay2

This product is a true soap, where fats (in this case organic coconut oil, organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter, and palm oil) react with an alkali, typically Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) or Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH). The alkali no longer remains after the reaction. No questionable ingredients, it is cruelty free, ethically sourced, and all ingredients are naturally derived. This is a winner!

1 Globe

4/4 Globes

Nature’s Pulchritude MVP!

Have you tried this product? What did you think?

How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XLVI

You have had enough of your dry cracked hands from this winter weather! You stop by the beauty section of your favorite organic/natural grocery store to see if they have any good hand creams. You figure, considering the store, anything you pick up is sure to be a safe bet. Does the first hand cream you scan meet your standards? This is Label Poise–how to walk the walk, talk the talk, and buy products that meet YOUR standards, whether natural, organic, or safe enough.  For instructions on Label Poise visit our Label Poise page.

The Label

LabelPoise45

The Ingredients

Purified Water: Safe!   Water is the ultimate moisturizer and is a key ingredient in many moisturizing products.

Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice: Safe!  This ingredient is used for its nutrient content and moisturizing properties.

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil: Safe!  Coconut oil is used for is skin conditioning and moisturizing properties. It is high in vitamins E and K.

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil: Safe!  Sunflower Oil is comprised of triglycerides (esters of glycerol and fatty acids) and has a high Vitamin E content.  It primarily acts as an emollient and assists the skin in retaining moisture.

Glyceryl Stearate Citrate:

Cetearyl Alcohol: Safe! Typically naturally derived from Coconut and Palm Oils (though it can be derived synthetically), it is a mixture of Cetyl and Stearyl fatty alcohols.  This ingredient acts as a thickener and moisturizer in personal care products.  In pure form,  this ingredient can be a slight skin irritant and permeator, and is toxic to mucous membranes.  The is no data available on human toxicity, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, developmental toxicity, and teratogenicity.  (MSDS)

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil: Safe! Sweet Almond oil is high in oleic acid and is primarily used as an emollient.

Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil: Safe!  Safflower oil is made from safflower seeds and is high in monounsaturated fatty acids. Safflower oil helps the skin retain moisture and promote elasticity. It may be a slight skin and eye irritant, though it is not known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, or a developmental toxin.  (MSDS)

Cetyl Esters: Beware!  This ingredient is derived from vegetable sources, such as coconuts, and is typically used as a thickener in cosmetics.  It is comprised of various fatty alcohols and fatty acids.  It is typically 1 to 3% of the weight of the formula.  There is no data regarding toxicity, carcinogenicity, or mutagenicity.  (MSDS)

Natural Fragrance: Safe!/Beware! Without knowing what flavors were used and assessment of toxicological information and benefits cannot be determined.

Natural BEESWAX (cera alba):Safe!   This ingredient is derived from worker honeybees within a bee hive.  It is used as a thickener and skin barrier.

Vegetable Glycerin: Safe!  This ingredient is derived from palm, coconut, soy, or other vegetable fats.  It is used as an emollient and has the ability to draw moisture and oxygen to the skin.  There is no information in mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, developmental toxicity, or teratogenic effects.  In pure form is can be a skin, eye, and lung irritant, and may be toxic to the kidneys with prolonged exposure.  It is typically used in concentrations of 2 – 5% of the formula and is a minimal concern.  (MSDS)

Glyceryl Oleate: Safe!  This ingredient consists of oleic acid and glycerin both from vegetable sources as indicated on the bottle.  It is used as an emollient, emulsifier, and fragrance ingredient.  (MSDS)

Lauryl Laurate:

HONEY (mel): Safe!  Honey is a humectant that draws moisture into the hair, which helps to maintain elasticity, shine, and overall health of hair.

Xanthan Gum: Safe!  This ingredient is a polysaccharide (carbohydrate consisting of sugar molecules) secreted by Xanthomonas campestris (a bacterium). It is not known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, or cause developmental toxicity, though it can be an eye, skin, and lung irritant in pure form. There is a risk of long term biodegraded products being more toxic than pure Xanthan Gum. (MSDS)

Glyceryl Caprylate:

Sodium Levulinate:

Potassium Sorbate:  Safe!/Beware!  This ingredient is the potassium salt of sorbic acid, which is likely synthetically derived though it is naturally occurring in some berry species. It is widely used as a preservative in food, wine, and personal care products. It is known to be a skin, eye, and lung irritant in pure form, though it is not generally considered to be a carcinogen, mutagen or teratogen in humans, however, additional research suggests that is is mutagenic and genotoxic in human blood cells (in vitro). It is typically not used in concentration above 0.2%, so it should be fine in this product.  (MSDS)

Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil: Safe!  This oil is made from the kernels of the argan tree found in Morocco. It is high in oleic and linoleic fatty acids and is renowned for its hair repairing and moisturizing properties. (MSDS)

Sodium Phytate (from rice bran):

Nature’s Pulchritude’s Verdict: This product doesn’t look half bad. The top 5 ingredients are all moisturizing, hopefully the beeswax down the list will help the skin retain that moisture. There are a few ingredients that we have not come across before (intentionally left blank). We’ve been doing this series for a while, and yet we are always coming across new ingredients! What are your thoughts on having 5 ingredients that the 44 other Label Poise’s have not covered? Check back tomorrow for the details on those ingredients!

EOS lip balm caused blisters, rash, lawsuit claims

I’m not at all surprised by this article. If you’ve been following Nature’s Pulchritude, you’ve heard about my own negative experience after using an “all natural” lip balm. Just because a product is all natural does not mean it is not a skin irritant or toxic!

(By Meghan Holohan–January 14, 2016)When it’s cold out, we grab the lip balm and apply. And apply. And after the umpteenth application, we may wonder why our lips feel even more dry than before we started.
That recently happened to a woman using EOS lip balm — only when she reapplied, she claims her mouth broke out in blisters and rashes.

EOS, otherwise known as the Evolution of Smooth, is “anything but smooth,” according to a lawsuit filed on Jan. 12 in Los Angeles.

Copyright Fox News

The class action suit claims the “Summer Fruit” version of the lip balm company—which pays celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears to promote its cheerful, egg-shaped varieties—caused blisters and a rash to erupt all over the mouth of a woman named Rachel Cronin.

Copyright Evolution of Smooth

According to the document, after first applying the balm, “within hours, her lips became substantially dry and coarse, what Ms. Cronin describes as feeling like “sandpaper,” causing her to apply more of the balm on her lip to achieve the results of becoming “sensationally smooth.”

Image via Facebook

Cronin’s lips began cracking on the edges and, by the next day, the surrounding skin had “severe blistering and rashes causing her to seek medical care on Dec. 7, 2015.” The condition lasted for approximately 10 days, according to the lawsuit.

The suit asks for damages, claiming the company deceived consumers and misrepresented the product as natural and organic.

On Wednesday, the website TMZ posted pictures of a young woman’s face, allegedly show irritation caused by the balm.

The company claims its lip balm products are 99 percent natural, organic, and gluten free. On Wednesday afternoon EOS Products tweeted its reaction to the suit.

However, even products that are natural, organic, and gluten free can still cause irritate or cause allergic reactions, dermatologists say.

“Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is safe. Anthrax is natural but not safe,” said Dr. Adam Friedman, associate professor of dermatology at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Organic refers to food—not skin care products—and no agency regulates whether beauty products are organic, he said.

So what possibly caused a bumpy, painful-looking rash?

Allergic contact dermatitis, which resembles eczeme, occurs when people touch something—natural or artificial—they are allergic to.

“Contact reactions are not that uncommon and can even happen with natural products,” said Dr. Apple Bodemer, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Don’t lick your lips!

Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology in New York City, says there’s also a rash known as lip lickers dermatitis.

“Anything that has a flavor is potentially irritating and anything with a flavor in it will make you lick your lips,” she said.

When people lick their lips, their saliva spreads over the lips and mouths.

“[Saliva] is basically digesting away your lips,” she said. This makes it easier for people to contract a bacterial or viral infection.

Hooked on lip balm?

Yet, the lip products themselves often create a vicious cycle of skin problems and dependence.

“It’s not uncommon that lip balms and ChapSticks and lip plumpers can cause severe irritation on the lips and the skin around the lips. Some of the ingredients can actually dry out the lips —menthol, camphor, and phenol— that gives the tingling sensation.

That is actually a signal to the brain you are having a reaction,” Bowe said.

This reaction is actually one of the reasons why people become hooked on lip balm. After the tingling and irritation, lips feel dry and cracked again, causing people to reach right for the lip balm.

The cure for irritation, unsightly rashes, and lip balm addiction?

Petroleum jelly.

“No one has ever been shown to have a reaction to petroleum jelly,” said Bodemer.

According to Dr. Aleksandar Krunic, a dermatologist at Swedish Covenant Hospital and dermatology professor at University of Illinois College of Medicine, these are the simple, safest ingredients to look for in a lip balm:

    Paraben-free moisturizers like beeswax (cera alba)
    ceramides (fats that help retain water)
    Up to 5 percent of humectants — which help prevent cracked skin and reduce skin irritation — like urea or glycerin
    Dimethicone, which helps prevent drying and makes the product last longer
    Lanolin and cocoa butter
    Sunscreen

[Nature’s Pulchritude Note: The accuracy of this statement is questionable. Beeswax does not moisturize!]

(via CNBC

Chobani Simply 100 vs. Dannon Light & Fit Greek vs. Yoplait Greek 100

Nature’s Pulchritude is kind of into ingredients. Okay, we are really into ingredients! I thought Chobani’s digs at Yoplait and Dannon were interesting and are a prime example of companies realizing that ingredients and associated perceived quality are a marketing strategy for companies. Of course, you cannot call out other companies if your ingredients are no better. Let’s see how these greek yogurts stack up! All flavors listed are for Peach. I am not affiliated with any brands in any way shape or form, have not received any compensation for this post!

Chobani Simply 100

Copyright Chobani

Nonfat Yogurt (Cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Live and Active Cultures: S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus and L. Casei), Peaches, Chicory Root Fiber, Water, Evaporated Cane Juice, Pectin, Natural Flavors, Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Monk Fruit Extract, Stevia Leaf Extract, Fruit And Vegetable Juice Concentrate (For Color).

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 5.3oz (150g)
Servings per Container 1
Amount per Serving %DV*
Calories 100 Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g-
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Potassium 240mg 6%
Sodium 65mg 3%
Total Carbs 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 7g-
Protein 12g 24%
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 15% · Iron 0%

About Chobani Simply 100® Blended Non-Fat Greek Yogurt

  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Only natural non-GMO ingredients
  • 75% less sugar than regular yogurt based on USDA data*
  • Excellent source of protein and fiber
  • Made with milk from cows not treated with artificial growth
  • hormones**

  • Includes probiotics and live cultures
  • No preservatives
  • Gluten free
  • Kosher certified
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Less than 5% lactose

Ingredients
One of the first things I noticed about this product was that it was sweetened with Stevia extract. Chobani’s other product lines more or less only use evaporate cane juice. Stevia is used because it provides a sweet taste (150x sweeter than sugar) without the added calories. (Learn more about stevia). That also explains why it is the last ingredient. Pectin is a thickener, typically derived from fruit though it is not specified here. Locust Bean Gum and Guar Gum are also thickeners. Monk Fruit Extract is another “natural alternative to sugar” sweetener, that has a similar controversy around it like stevia. I don’t see a preservative listed, Chobani uses salt in their other products.

One drawback is Chobani claims the milk used in their yogurt is non-GMO, however, they are NOT certified by the Non-GMO Project, the most known non-GMO certification in the US. They are instead certified by a european certifier. This could be good or bad. Chobani could have gone with a european certifier (eurofins) because they are more rigorous than the non-GMO Project. Or, Chobani’s products may not meet non-GMO Project standards. Expect a post on this in the near future.

Nutrition
Overall this is good. High in fiber and protein, and much lower in sugar than Chobani’s other products.

Dannon Light & Fit Greek

Copyright Danone

Ingredients
Fructose. Typically naturally derived but not the best ingredient. Corn starch is a thickener. Malic acid is used to enhance flavor. Sucralose was specifically pointed out by Chobani. Sucralose,commonly referred to as Splenda, is a zero calorie sweetener that is 320-1,000 times sweeter than sucrose. Sucralose is the new alternative to aspartame another zero calorie sweetener that has received a significant amount of scrutiny. Sucralose is manufactured from Sucrose. Stevia and Monk Fruit Extracts are the “naturally derived” versions of Sucralose. Potassium Sorbate is a synthetically derived preservative that is commonly used in natural ingredients. Acesulfame Sorbate is another artificial zero calorie sweetener. This product very likely uses GMO milk and peaches.

Nutrition
This product is high in protein, but has no fiber. Sugar is the same amount as Chobani Simply 100 (7 grams).

Yoplait Greek 100

Copyright Yoplait

Ingredients
Not much difference in this product than the Dannon Light & Fit Greek.

Nutrition
Yoplait Greek 100 is high in protein, though 4 grams less than Dannon & Chobani, with no fiber, and 9 grams of sugar, 2 grams more than Chobani and Dannon.

Nature’s Pulchritude’s Verdict: Chobani Simply 100 is head and shoulders above Dannon Light & Fit Greek & Yoplait Greek 100. The ingredients in Dannon and Yoplaits yogurts are standard across the mass produced food industry–filled with artificial and synthetic ingredients. Chobani clearly perceives their products to have better ingredients, though the jury is still out on Stevia extract and Monk Fruit extract. They may be naturally derived compared to sucralose and acesulfame sorbate but that does not mean they different on impact on the body. I recently tried the Simply 100 and it was pretty bland, it could have done without the 7 grams of sugar, assuming some of that sugar is not attributed to the peaches. This is coming from someone who eats plain Greek Yogurt, which is quite bland with less sugar.

I encourage you to read labels, and look beyond the nutritional facts. Artificial ingredients may not have fat and calories, but that does not mean it is good for you, better than products that use real ingredients, or most importantly that it is not negatively impacting your body!