Tag Archives: health

Types of Alcohols in Skincare and Hair care (Meladerm reviews)

alcoholinskincareAlong with dryness and irritation, most people also associate alcohol with redness and think of isopropyl, or rubbing, alcohol. Some people even avoid using skin and hair products with any alcohols, thinking that they will end up drying out the skin and hair. However, contrary to popular belief, not all alcohols are drying or irritating. Alcohols are used in skin and hair products for several reasons, including acting as stabilizers and emulsifiers or as a delivery system for hair products to be released from the packaging (e.g. with an aerosol hairspray). Here is a breakdown of the most commonly used alcohols for both skin and hair products:

Skin

  • Cetyl, cetearyl, cetostearyl, cetyl 40 alcohol – usually derived from coconut oil, these are called fatty alcohols and have a long molecular chain. These act as hydrators and emulsifiers to create a creamy consistency for facial and body moisturizers, and shampoos and conditioners.
  • C12-15 alcohol.
  • Stearyl alcohol – acts as a moisturizing agent.
  • Lanolin – derived from the sebaceous (oil) glands from sheep and acts as an emollient.

Hair

  • SD alcohol 40 – a high concentration of ethyl alcohol that is denatured and therefore unfit for human consumption. Used in hair products such as styling gels to provide even distribution and quick drying upon contact, and to leave little to no residue and provide maximum hold. This is the most commonly used alcohol in hair products and can cause the hair cuticle to become rough, due to the quick evaporation of water. Therefore, this is the alcohol that some people avoid using in hair care products.
  • Lauryl, cetyl, myristyl, stearyl, cetearyl and behenyl alcohol – all fatty alcohols used to give hair products a smooth, creamy feeling and to help seal the hair shaft and smooth down the cuticle.

The belief that alcohols will overdry the skin comes from the use of low molecular weight, or short chain, alcohols, the ones that will dry out the skin and hair since they evaporate very quickly. Low molecular weight alcohols include:

  • SD alcohol and SD alcohol 40.
  • Isopropyl alcohol.
  • Benzyl alcohol.
  • Ethanol – found in some hairsprays.
  • Ethyl alcohol.
  • Denatured alcohol (alcohol denat).
  • Methanol.

If these ingredients are found at the top of the list of ingredients for a product, it is safe to say that they will be too drying. But dermatologists and skin and hair experts emphasize that if they are found toward the bottom or last of the list, they were probably used as a degreasing agent and to help with the formation of a product.

The main concern of alcohol, especially with skin care, is when it is consumed – while people are aware of the health effects, drinking excessive amounts can cause a flushed appearance and dilation and eventual rupture of blood vessels. Excessive alcohol intake will also decrease the absorption of vitamin A (important for the anti-aging process) and cause increased toxicity of vitamins A and B carotene.

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How Is C-Reactive Protein Related to Heart Disease?

C-Reactive Protein

Prior to testing for C-reactive protein (CRP), many individuals suffered heart attacks, strokes and other life threatening events without a single hint of warning. But when researchers discovered normal cholesterol levels were found in nearly half of heart attack patients, it meant there had to be an additional unknown factor at work. That’s when inflammation was identified as the underlying contributor to the onset of a heart attack.

C-Reactive Protein’s Relationship to Heart Disease

Inflammation results when excess bad cholesterol, or LDL, makes its way into the bloodstream through the arterial wall. Once LDL is there, the inflammatory response is triggered and cholesterol accumulates on the arterial wall at a rapid pace, leading to an arterial blockage and, eventually, a heart attack. During this process, C-reactive protein is released. This discovery has led to a widespread change in protocols related to heart disease screening and testing.

C-Reactive Protein Testing

Because of its direct connection to arterial inflammation, studies indicate CRP could be a better indicator of heart disease than cholesterol levels. In 2002, a Harvard study found that women with elevated C-reactive protein levels were more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke as women with low levels. When tested against cholesterol’s ability to predict the development of cardiovascular events, C-reactive protein was approximately 40% better than cholesterol testing.

Benefits of C-Reactive Protein Testing

Not only is C-reactive protein testing more efficient, but also provides physicians and patients with the following benefits.

  • Inflammation – When compared with other tests to measure inflammation, using the CRP test has produced superior results.
  • Sensitive – As technology advances, the ability to test for increasingly smaller quantities of C-reactive protein draws near. Currently, levels as low as 1 mg per liter can be detected.
  • Practical – Unlike expensive laboratory testing, C-reactive protein tests are cost-effective and only require a tiny bit of blood to measure levels.

Live Heart Healthy

Natural ways to achieve healthy cholesterol levels include proper diet, regular exercise and healthy lifestyle habits. If you have high cholesterol or know someone who does, choosing the right plan of action can be confusing and overwhelming. While a variety of prescription medications are available, they’re not always the best option, as they can sometimes pose serious health risks.

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Does Grape Seed Extract Improve Cholesterol?

Grape SeedGrape seed extract has been found to positively affect overall health, particularly for individuals who suffer from metabolic disorders. For more than a millennium, this substance has been used in Europe to treat a variety of illnesses, from poor circulation to the improvement of vision in diabetes patients. Grape seed extract has been used for thousands of years. Today, it’s often taken as a supplement and is widely available over the counter.

Does Grape Seed Extract Improve Cholesterol?

Preliminary studies suggest grape seed extract paired with chromium could be an effective method of lowering total cholesterol and LDL, or “bad cholesterol.” Experts believe the flavonoids found in grapes (a significant factor in the health benefits of red wine) could play a key role in reducing bad cholesterol in the blood. Despite a number of promising studies, the scientific community has not yet made an official decision regarding the effectiveness of this extract in cholesterol reduction.

Active Ingredients in Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract packs a powerful combination of flavonoids, linoleic acid and vitamin E. Together, these active ingredients make up the restorative properties of grape seed extract and, among other things, may be capable of treating the following conditions.

  • Cancer – Though not yet tested in humans, early scientific evidence points to grape seed extract as a potential future treatment for cancer. Studies suggest the growth of certain types of cancer, including colon and prostate cancer, may be hindered by administering grape seed extract.High
  • Blood Pressure – Similar to resveratrol, studies show grape seed extract might protect blood vessels from damage. If scientifically confirmed in the future, this revelation could result in lower instances of high blood pressure in the overall population.
  • Vision Problems – Further research is needed, but early studies suggest supplements may help treat vision problems, which is good news for diabetes patients.

Risks of Taking Grape Seed Extract

As with all supplements and medication, there is a potential for side effects. However, grape seed extract’s known side effects are relatively mild and include dizziness, nausea, headache and an itchy scalp. Of course, those allergic to grapes should not take this as a supplement to prevent an allergic reaction.

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How To Calculate Total Cholesterol

Calculate Total CholesterolThe human body doesn’t only differ in genetics from male to female, but also physiologically. While women are blessed with estrogen a hormone that prolongs life, men are cursed with Testosterone a hormone that not only gives rise to violent behavior, but also to cholesterol related issues that shorten life.

The term cholesterol might scare many out of their wits and neither men nor women are safe from it, but in reality there are two completely different kinds of cholesterol that affect both men and women differently. To explain the actual facts about cholesterol and what is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, we have come up with a helpful guide for you.

What is Cholesterol

The word cholesterol can strike fear in the heart of the masses, the first signs of cholesterol indicate the entrance into old age and the beginning of a life long battle. Cholesterol is actually produced by the liver and not by the heart. Few food products also contain high amounts of cholesterol, which travel along the blood stream and get lodged in the heart vessels.

Cholesterol is produced in the human body at one thousand cc a day, to help build the walls of cells and it also helps the body to produce its own vitamin D. But like the con to every pro, excess amount of cholesterol can result in tissue and fat deposits in the arteries of the heart, making the heart weak and even resulting in heart attack.

One thing should be kept in mind that not all cholesterol levels are bad and there are few good cholesterols also that helps the body to function properly. So what is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, and how do they help or effect the body should be understood to live a healthy life.

What is Good and Bad Cholesterol?

  • Good Cholesterol – The term cholesterol does not only mean bad things as High Density Lipoprotein or HDL is considered to be a good cholesterol and the bodies waste disposal unit. HDL carries fat cells, tissues and LDL out of the arteries of the heart and blood and disposes the waste product through the liver. High levels of HDL can prevent many heart diseases and even heart attack. Studies from time and again have shown that low levels of HDL at 40% in men and 50% in women, have been the major cause of multiple heart diseases and even heart attacks in both genders. The best way to raise HDL level in the blood, is to exercise, reduce excess weight and eat fruits and vegetables.
  • Bad Cholesterol – Bad Cholesterol or LDL has become one of the leading causes of heart diseases and even heart attacks in many cases. As people grow older their metabolism slows down and excess amounts of LDL which carries fats and tissues, clog the arteries of the heart , giving rise to heart disease and even heart attack. As the modern day progresses, so does our dependency on junk food, many times due to the poor eating habits and excessive consumption of junk food can lead in raised levels of LDL in the blood stream, causing various ailments.

No matter how & what is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol is, it should be tried to be kept at normal levels to avoid any heart related issues. Which is why doctors on a regular basis advice to avoid junk food, eat healthy and exercise as much as possible to live a long and healthy life.

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