Saturday, 20 May 2017

What Everybody Ought To know About Sun Protection Factor SPF

Sun protection factor (SPF) is the most important ingredient in sunscreen products.  SPF is important in fighting against skin cancer, eye damage and aging skin.  So far study has shown that the sun emits harmful ultraviolet rays but there are two types of sun rays that the scientists are most concern about and these are UVA and UVB.

What is UVA or UVB?

UVA  is ultraviolet rays that is part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun, it's wavelength is 320- 400 nm,  UVA penetrates the skin layers, going through the epidermis then entering the dermis layer until it reaches the subcutaneous layer.  This results in damages to the skin cells and changes the DNA hence resulting in premature  skin aging.  People are subjected most to the UVA rays, since 95% of the rays to penetrate the earth comes as UVA rays.  A lot of people feel that tanning in the salon is better, less harmful alternative to direct sunlight but it is the UVA rays that emits from the technology of the tanning beds.

Image result for uv radiation on skin

Like UVA, UVB  is ultraviolet rays that is part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. UVB wavelength is shorter at between 290-320 nm.  UVB has slightly more energy than UVA rays. They can damage skin cells’ DNA directly, and are the main rays that cause sunburns. They are also thought to cause most skin cancers.  These are the rays predominantly responsible for skin reddening, sunburn and painful episodes, which can sometimes get infected if not treated immediately.  To protect oneself from the dangers of the sun rays, we use sunscreen products, of which there is a variety to choose from.

What is the best level of SPF to use?

“The SPF [sun protection factor] of a sunscreen is derived by taking the time it takes you to burn with a sunscreen and dividing it by the time taken for you to burn without a sunscreen. For example if you burn in 300 minutes with a sunscreen and 10 minutes without a sunscreen, this is 300/10 = 30. So the sunscreen will have an SPF of 30".  On the market one can find so many different brands with so many different variations of ingredients and all saying that that particular product is the best all rounded sun protector.  An all rounded sun protector would be a product which has the SPF that protects effectively against UVB, can protect aginst UVA, has the best ability to moisturize the skin, is waterproof  and stays on for numerous hours without having to reapply often.   Due to these promises there is usually a debate about the different brands and whether or not they deliver on their promises.  One of the biggest debates however, is what strength of SPF really stops the UVB sun rays from bodily damages, since there are products with SPF from 15 -100 ?  Well, most studies have shown that SPF 30 and over is most effective,  However, one would think that SPF 100 would have to be the best but studies have shown that after about 40 - 50, it does not matter.  ''According to Spencer, a SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays. "After that, it just gets silly," he says. Sunscreens with higher SPF ratings block slightly more UVB rays, but none offers 100% protection".  To make sure you are getting effective UVA protection  as well as UVB coverage, look for a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, plus some combination of the following UVA-screening ingredients: stabilized a avobenzone, ecamsule (a.k.a. MexorylTM), oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide.

A person should apply sunscreen 30 mins before exposure and reapply sunscreen after about every two hours. One should also wear UPF  (ultraviolet protection factor) protective clothing with conscientious coloring (this is for another topic).  Stay in the shade, especially between 12 pm -3 pm. and make sure babies and children are well protected, for they are more vulnerable to the sun's damages. 

Take a look at Cosmopolitan list of its 24 best sunscreen choices.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017


The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. “Ketogenic” is a low-carb diet, similar to the Atkins diet. The theory is that you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You cut back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, pasta, soda, pastries, and white bread.

When you eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day, your body eventually runs out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use quickly. This typically takes 3 to 4 days. Then you’ll start to break down protein and fat for energy, which can make you lose weight. This is called ketosis.


Board-certified neurologists, believe the Ketogenic Diet happens to be a proven treatment for epileptic seizures in kids. They believe the diet remedies a metabolism imbalance in brain cells when ketones are produced. Dominic D’Agostino, a Ph.D. and associate professor at University of San Francisco. According to website, D’Agostino believes the diet remedies a metabolism imbalance in which brain cells are starved of, or unable to process, glucose, causing the brain to go haywire. Live brain cells are extremely difficult to study (for obvious reasons), but researchers have been able to tease out some clues from the petri dish about why keto diets are good for the brain. Aside from being an energy source, ketones are also important neural signaling molecules and gene transcription facilitators. Ketones also seem to modulate the stress response in neurons and make them more resilient to excitatory nerve transmissions—the kind that can cause seizures. D’Agostino also found that ketones can elevate levels of the calming neurotransmitter GABA.


Dr, Thomas Seyfried, strongly believes what Otto Warburg discovered over 90 years ago., with regard to tumors relying on glycolysis for their nutrition/energy from the oxidative phosphorylation of cells. 
Cancer cells are unlike normal cells in many ways, but one of their traits that is most unique regards insulin receptors. They have ten times more insulin receptors on their cellular surface. This enables cancer cells to gorge themselves in glucose and nutrients coming from the bloodstream at a very high rate. As you continue to consume glucose as your primary diet source, cancer cells will continue to thrive and spread. It is no surprise that the lowest survival rate in cancer patients is among those with the highest blood sugar levels.

Dr David H. Gorski, MD, PhD, FACS is a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute specializing in breast cancer surgery, where he also serves as the American College of Surgeons Committee on Cancer Liaison Physician as well as an Associate Professor of Surgery and member of the faculty of the Graduate Program in Cancer Biology at Wayne State University. He believes that although there is something believable about Dr. Seyfried's theory, he is not buying into it because, Dr Seyfried clinical trial results are very poor.  Dr.Gorski believes that "cancer is complicated, real complicated. The relative contributions of genetic mutations, metabolic derangements, immune cell dysfunction, and influences of the microenvironment are likely to vary depending upon the type of tumor and, as a consequence, require different treatments. In the end, as with many hyped cancer cures, the ketogenic diet might be helpful for some tumors and almost certainly won’t be helpful for others. Dr. Seyfried might be on to something, but he’s gone a bit off the deep end in apparently thinking that he’s found out something about cancer that no one else takes seriously—or has even thought of before".

Friday, 28 April 2017

Preventing cancer

Vitamin D

Vitamin D refers to a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calciumironmagnesiumphosphate, and zinc. In humans, the most important compounds in this group are vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).

Vitamin D status is defined by the circulating concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations is linked to health outcomes such as hip fracture, heart attack, cancer, and death. 

Higher levels of vitamin D are associated with a reduction in cancer risk of more than a 65%, according to a study published online April 6 in PLOS ONE.
The finding comes from a pooled analysis of results from a randomized trial and a prospective cohort study, and the higher levels of vitamin D are serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) above 40 ng/mL.
"Higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations have been associated with a lower risk of many different cancers, for example breast, colon, and lung, across a range of concentrations," said researcher Cedric Garland, DrPH, from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and the Moores Cancer Center.
"We have been studying this since the 1980s, when my brother, Frank Garland, who is now deceased, and I observed that cancer was mainly due to a deficiency of vitamin D, the same way that scurvy was due to a deficiency of vitamin C," Dr Garland told medscape.
Most people get at least some of the vitamin D they need through sunlight exposure. Dietary sources include a few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, such as fatty fish, fish liver oil, and eggs. However, most dietary vitamin D comes from foods fortified with vitamin D, such as milk, juices, and breakfast cereals. Vitamin D can also be obtained through dietary supplements.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies has developed the following recommended daily intakes of vitamin D, assuming minimal sun exposure (1,2):
  • For those between 1 and 70 years of age, including women who are pregnant or lactating, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 15 micrograms (μg) per day. Because 1 μg is equal to 40 International Units (IU), this RDA can also be expressed as 600 IU per day.
  • For those 71 years or older, the RDA is 20 μg per day (800 IU per day).
  • For infants, the IOM could not determine an RDA due to a lack of data. However, the IOM set an Adequate Intake level of 10 μg per day (400 IU per day), which should provide sufficient vitamin D.
Although the average dietary intakes of vitamin D in the United States are below guideline levels, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that more than 80 percent of Americans had adequate vitamin D levels in their blood (2).
Even though most people are unlikely to have high vitamin D intakes, it is important to remember that excessive intake of any nutrient, including vitamin D, can cause toxiceffects. Too much vitamin D can be harmful because it increases calcium levels, which can lead to calcinosis (the deposit of calcium salts in soft tissues, such as the kidneys, heart, or lungs) and hypercalcemia (high blood levels of calcium). The safe upper intake level of vitamin D for adults and children older than 8 years of age is 100 μg per day (4000 IU per day). Toxicity from too much vitamin D is more likely to occur from high intakes of dietary supplements than from high intakes of foods that contain vitamin D. Excessive sun exposure does not cause vitamin D toxicity. However, the IOM states that people should not try to increase vitamin D production by increasing their exposure to sunlight because this will also increase their risk of skin cancer.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Warning: Thyroid link to Alzheimer's disease

The truth: Alzheimer's does not discriminate. it does not care if you are a rocket scientists, a genius, professor. or the person with the lowest IQ. It annihilates cerebrum cells and causes memory changes, whimsical practices and loss of body capacities. It gradually and horrendously takes away a person's personality, capacity to interface with others, think, eat, talk, walk and drive.  Sadly it can make a person forget his/her children faces. Unfortunately Alzheimer's can result in death of a person 8-10 years after diagnosis.

The thyroid gland is central and essential to the endocrine system. The thyroid produces and releases hormones that regulate the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.  It helps in the regulation of body temperature, energy levels and various hormone levels.  It even plays a role in fertility, and a vital role in the development of a normal, healthy fetus.  The thyroid gland, is a single gland with two main globes, fairly easy to locate when palpating the neck on either side of the voice box or larynx. Your doctor will often palpate the thyroid gland during medical visits to check for any evidence of inflammation, nodules or tumors.  The thyroid gland helps regulates weight, and the production of the hormone called calcitonin helps to regulate the metabolism of calcium, which maintain the integrity and density of bones.  The thyroid is also responsible for the regulation of sleep, since excess production of  thyroid hormones can lead to restlessness and insomnia, while a low production of these hormones can cause a person to feel very sleepy and exhausted all the time.  I have just touched the surface of the vital roles that the thyroid hormones play in the body.

When there is a suspected thyroid gland problem the first test requested, is the analysis of blood to detect the level of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the body.  Usually the normal levels in the body should range from 0.45 - 4.12uIU/ml.  Two other thyroid hormones that are important in the diagnosis of thyroid dysfunctions are free t4 hormone (Ft4), normal range 0.6 - 1.3ng/dl and the hormone triiodothyronine (T3), normal range 2.5 - 3.9pg/ml. If the laboratory results show an elevated TSH level i.e >4.12uIU/ml, a low Ft4 i.e <0.6ng/dl  and a low T3 level i.e < 2.5pg/ml, this indicates a condition called primary hypothyroidism. On the other hand, if the lab results show a low TSH i.e <0.45uIU/ml, and normal levels of Ft4 and T3 this usually indicates a hyperthyroidism disorder.  This is just a touch a all the different diagnoses of thyroid dysfunctions.

Despite numerous efforts to form a consensus among doctors to make thyroid hormone (TSH) screening part of one's routine medicals, the expert panels have disagreed. Some doctors feel there is no need for such dramatics, just test when there are symptoms presenting; some feel it should be after age 35 or age 65; and some labs feel it is wasting reagent, which is very expensive.  Let us hope that they take this link to Alzheimer's seriously and start routine TSH screening but even if the doctors do not, I sincerely hope that you do, since Alzheimer's cases is increasing.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Help anti-aging with spinach

Spinach is a great source of flavonoids - antioxidants which help destroy the free radicals in the body.  These harmful free radicals accumulate in all parts of the body and cause havoc.  They are responsible for all type of ailments especially cancer, brain deterioration which leads to mental conditions such as alzheimers and other forms of dementia.  Free radicals are also responsible for how fast we age.


Spinach is rich in anti-cancer carotenoids - epoxyxanthophylls, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.  These help with aging of the skin, hair and vision, bones etc.  by cleaning the blood.   They are powerful against acne , scars and wrinkles.  They  work in unison to protect the skin and eyes from damage cause from sunlight and its harmful UV rays.  

Spinach is also rich in iron which keeps the body from being anaemic by building red blood cells. Spinach also contains high levels of glycoglycerolipids, which helps to line the stomach thus protecting the stomach lining from damage which can result in cancer.  It also has oxalic acid which can be fatal if consume in high dosage so to avoid any danger with the levels just boil spinach for a minute before use.  

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Anti-aging Simplified

Aging is one thing we all have in common but unfortunately everyone does not have the same factors to play with to make it fair.  Genes play a major role in how "well" we age, for some persons their "good "genes allow them to age gracefully, while for others not so lucky to born with "good" genes, aging is a noticeable change from mid twenties. 

Another major factor in anti-aging is the socio-economical circumstances that we were born into and live out our lives.  Some of us are born into families who are "well off" financially, due to this lucky start they are usually less stressed; able to have their illnesses diagnosed and "cured" faster, to defy all odds; able to eat from healthy choices; buy products and services to treat the skin and hair from birth to old age; have the time to have a structured exercise program; have relaxing vacations and last but not least , the ability to buy clothes to compliment his/her body.

Then we have those of us who are born into families who are struggling financially, living under the worst of conditions.  Due to these socio-economical circumstances, persons are highly stressed from birth. Most of us are aware that stress is the underlying factor for all things bad for one's body and overall health.  Under these unfavourable conditions a person has to start work from a early age, hence work and education usually occur together; hardly ever have a vacation; no structured exercise program; no product that can actually work for skin or hair, since all you can squeeze out of your wages is something cheap that does not have any ingredients to do the job; make-up that damage skin; can not afford a certain level of health care, hence illnesses are diagnosed later and the long aggressive treatments take a toll on a person's skin and overall body.  As for clothing, a person with certain financial challenges does not get to make much choices, therefore what this person can afford might not compliment his/her body.