Probiotics May the Next Big Thing in Skin Care

During the past few years, the probiotic supplement market has experienced an astounding amount of growth due to the now well-known health benefits of the “good bacteria.” Now, the tiny-but-mighty microorganisms are making their way into our cosmetic products. The evidence collected so far has shown promising results in the treatment of several inflammatory conditions of the skin, so we may expect to find them in a growing number of beauty products, including skin care and makeup products. But, before you rush to spread kefir on your face, you should read more about the role of bacteria on your skin and why probiotics can be so beneficial.

Our Skin is Covered in Bacteria

As scary as it may sound, our skin is covered in microorganisms that under normal conditions (when the skin is healthy) live in harmony. They are called the skin microbiome. Most of these organisms are completely harmless or even beneficial to the skin. However, under certain circumstances, which include environmental factors, use of antibiotics, and certain cosmetic products, the skin microbiome can become compromised. Pathogens (harmful organisms) may grow and cause inflammation. Inflammatory conditions of the skin, such as acne, dermatitis, psoriasis and even skin cancer, may develop or worsen.

The Skin Barrier

The skin barrier (also known as the acid mantle, which has a protective function against environmental aggressors) is located in the outer layer of the skin. In order for the barrier to function properly and effectively to protect the skin from harmful organisms, the pH of the skin has to be slightly acidic (between 4.5 and 6.5). When the pH becomes too acidic or too alkaline, the barrier function is compromised and pathogens can grow, leading to the inflammatory conditions mentioned above.

One factor that can influence the skin’s pH is sebum production — what we typically call oil. Oily skin types tend to have a more acidic pH, while dry skin types tend to have a higher, more alkaline pH. Topical probiotics may also help to reduce the skin’s pH, discouraging the growth of pathogens and favoring the growth of the resident (beneficial) bacteria.

What Can Topical Probiotics Do for Your Skin?

In patients with certain inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne and rosacea, topical probiotics can form a protective shield preventing pathogens on the skin from provoking an immune reaction. Topical probiotics may also have antibacterial properties that can kill harmful bacteria and prevent the inflammation from occurring.

Face Masks for Glowing Skin

Having healthy, glowing skin depends largely on lifestyle factors, such as diet, sleep, and exercise. Topical treatments can also be very effective, but they are relatively expensive. If you enjoy DIYs or if you have a limited budget, you can do facial treatments at home with inexpensive ingredients that offer well-known skin benefits that even professionals acknowledge as effective.

The Problem: Dull Skin

Dull skin is often the result of the piling up of dead skin cells. Yogurt is a natural source of lactic acid, which provides gentle exfoliation, helps to reduce inflammation, and brightens the skin. The enzymes contained in the yogurt break down the substance that holds dead skin cells together, peeling them off and revealing fresh skin. A study evaluated how a face treatment containing yogurt affected the skin and it was found to successfully improve brightness and elasticity of the skin.

You’ll Need:

  • Plain yogurt, preferably local and organic
  • Cotton ball
  • Bowl
  • Optional: honey, preferably local and organic
  • Spoon

The Problem: Dry skin

If your skin lacks luminosity because it is dry or because it has been exposed to environmental factors like wind, sun, and extreme temperatures, avocado is a great ingredient to include in your homemade face mask. Avocados are very rich in nutrients such as Vitamin A, E, B12, K, C, and fatty acids. It’s softening, nourishing properties help with replenishing and healing the skin.

The Remedy: Avocado + Honey Mask

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Fork
  • Knife

The Problem: Sun-Damaged Skin

If you have overdone your daily dose of sun and you have noticed photo damage, you can naturally renew your skin to get a glowing complexion with the help of green tea. Green tea has excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which early studies have shown effectively help the skin cells to heal and regenerate. It is also considered an effective anti-aging ingredient because it counteracts the effect of free radicals.

The Solution: Green Tea Masks

Here are two simple green tea-based masks to choose from that you can make by mixing the green tea powder with either honey (best for oily/blemish prone skin types), or avocado (best for dry/mature skin types).

HealthEvent – Pharmatex 2008

PHARMATEX is Ireland’s largest pharmaceutical industry conference and exhibition. Although still in its second year, the trade event serves as a multi-disciplined event offering insights into the future of business and technology of both the pharmaceutical as well as the bio-pharmaceutical industry.

Ireland being a knowledge-based economy is slated to remain a major contributor to the Pharmaceutical and (bio) pharmaceutical sectors which thrive on education innovation and technology transfer.

To take a stock of Ireland’s leadership position. Consider the following facts:

* At present 13 of the top 15 companies in the world have significant operations in Ireland.
* There are 83 facilities in Ireland that employ over 17,000 people.
* 12 out of 25 of the world’s top selling drugs are manufactured in Ireland.

The Exhibition

The companies present at the exhibition include those supplying technologies, services or equipment to both pipeline and existing manufacturing facilities. The event is a perfect venue to meet with new and existing customers. If you’re interested in building or expanding your Irish and European customer base then this is the event to make it happen.

The Conference

The conference is an informative and and insightful event delving into and contemplating about the future of innovation, technology and corporate strategy of the bio-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries. For this it banks upon the opinions and experiences of international as well as local business leaders and advisors to chart a decade’s road-map.

The profile of the attendees during the previous year’s show has included international leaders, directors and managers from Ireland based facilities including engineering consultancies, government representatives, representatives from top-notch academic institutions, in addition to representatives from supplier and industry support base. To learn more about the health care trade event, kindly visit my blog “Smiling Health.”

Natural (Holistic) Health Care – Key Purpose

Natural Health Care (Holistic Health Care) has many modalities that were developed and perfected from the beginning of human existence. Nutrition and herbs, that are used to boost your metabolism or enhance your natural ability to ward off diseases, are the mainstay to creating and maintaining good health.

Many other modalities such as: Hypnosis, Meditation, Reiki, Chi Kung, Qi Gong, Dowsing, I Ching, Yoga, Ti Chi date back thousands of years B.C.E, Acupuncture is rooted in the Taoist tradition, which is believed to be over 8000 years ago.

Such modalities as Reiki, Body Stress Release, and other energy transmuting techniques are valuable tools for practitioners to provide non-invasive and natural health care remedies. Reiki was discovered by Dr. Usui during a mystical experience on Mt. Kurama, a sacred mountain north of Kyoto, Japan in March 1922. Body Stress Release (BSR) was developed in South Africa, 1981, by Gail and Ewald Meggersee, American trained chiropractors.

The key purpose of Natural Health Care is to assist the body’s ability to heal itself by eliminating the roadblocks that are preventing the body from doing the job it was designed to do. Sometimes the remedy is so simple, most people are suspicious, because of their indoctrination and conditioning that it takes a huge blast of a powerful drug.

Many times the remedy is to simply learn how to tune into your intuitive self using the different tools like Intuition, Hypnosis, Meditation, Tarot Cards, Runes (believed to be used as early as 200 B.C.E), or other forms of divination techniques to allow your subconscious mind the ability to communicate with the affected body part and bring the cause of the symptom and remedy to the conscious level.

The connection between Mind, Body and Spirit has been established for thousands of centuries. Hippocrates, 400 B.C.E, believed that the root of all illness had a physical and rational explanation. Thus, his practice was based on observations and the study of the body. He rejected the views of the times that considered illness to be caused by superstitions and by possession of evil spirits and disfavor of the gods.

Your lifestyle, nutrition, stress, thoughts, values and beliefs all influence your health – either positively or negatively. That is why natural remedies are 100% effective as it treats the whole person rather than treating the symptoms of the dis-ease or illness.

An Appreciation of Adolf Just’s Return to Nature

Alternative health care doctors often share the message of people who love nature. Nature lover Adolph Just (1859-1936) wrote the book Return to Nature that became a best seller, It went through many editions and eventually was translated into many languages worldwide bringing millions of people a message of health and happiness.

Just believed nature held the answer to happiness, health and the Jungborn (the fountain of youth.) Just’s naturopathic retreat in the Hartz Mountains of Germany sold the following self help products to help get close to nature:
o Porous clothing
o Air Shoes
o Clay Packs
o Jungborn Bread

Just had suffered from repeated bouts of neurasthenia (fatigue, loss of memory, aches and pains) that allopathic medicine did not relieve. He tried several nature cures from various nature cure doctors that helped some, and then he added his own version that included:
o A light and air hut
o Long barefoot hikes into the mountains
o Baths in a babbling brook

Just improved and his health was regained.

Condemned by Just were things not in accordance with a natural life as:
o Polluting automobiles
o Closed in modern housing
o Deforming styles of dress
o Modern chemical agriculture

Just believed that too much time was spent talking, disputing, writing, studying, meditating, and investigating, etc and those activities should be discontinued. He recommended that we should be a part of nature and devote ourselves to the pleasure nature offers, with brotherly love as the focus.

His greatest contempt was directed against medical science, especially vivisection and vaccination. His nature cure philosophy brought him fame. Adolph Just was a teacher, humanitarian, and living example to follow. His simplicity, sincerity, and love for his work are still remembered. His sun and air cure, advocacy of nude living, and natural raw food diet live into modern times.

Dental Health for Kids

Dental care is an essential, yet sometimes neglected, aspect of a kid?s overall health. Tooth decay affects in excess of one-fourth of U.S. children aged 2-5 and half of those aged 12-15. The key to effective brushing habits in kids is to start an oral health care program early itself. Good oral hygiene habits should be insisted as early as infancy and constant right through the life. This ensures that kids are not infected with cavities or gingivitis.

The American Dental Association advises parents to start cleaning their baby’s mouth the first few days after birth. Healthy teeth and gums in kids are important for proper chewing of food and clarity of speech. Parents should schedule regular oral health appointments starting around the child’s first birthday. A pediatric dentist may be more suited to your child’s needs during the early years. After each meal the baby’s gums should be wiped with a wet washcloth. This is helpful in removing plaque that accumulates on the gums. When the baby’s teeth begin to erupt, brush them gently with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.

Parents should encourage the kids to spit out the toothpaste at a young age. The other alternative for young children is to use non-fluoridated toothpaste, until they are spitting the toothpaste out. Kids require supplemental fluoride after they are six months old to help prevent cavities. At the age of two or three, parents can begin to teach their kids proper brushing techniques. Parents will need to follow up with brushing and gentle flossing until the age of eight or nine, till the child develops the capability to do it all alone.

An early visit to the dentist can educate you about your child?s oral health and proper hygiene, including avoiding nighttime bottles, proper brushing, and a diet that promotes good dental health. Parents must emphasize the importance of good, healthy eating habits and teach children how to eat properly.

Calcium Needs At All Life Stages

It is the most abundant mineral in the body, present mainly in the bones and teeth. From the start, toddlers have an increased need for dietary calcium to support bone growth and skeletal development that takes place rapidly in the early years of life. This development and its need – continues into the teenage years and is particularly crucial for adolescent girls who need to stock their calcium supplies to prevent osteoporosis later in life. Adequate intake at this stage is needed to support ongoing bone growth and to achieve peak bone mass. It is an essential dietary element required in optimal amounts for good bone health, efficient nerve and muscle function, and overall cardiovascular health. Without enough of it throughout life, a person’s bones can begin to weaken over time. That can make it more difficult to stay active while also creating a higher risk of fractures and osteoporosis. A person’s bone density will generally reach its peak at roughly age 30, and then begin to fade after that. Adequate daily intake can help maintain proper bone density and help prevent osteoporosis – which creates porous and fragile bones. It makes up about three percent of the earth’s crust and is a basic component of most animals and plants. Eating a diet rich in calcium helps to restore it to the bones; supplements can help as well.

Why is calcium necessary?

It is known mostly for its role in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, but it is also required for proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system. It plays a role in maintaining normal blood pressure, regulating blood clotting. It is also associated with relieving mood swings, food cravings, and decreasing the pain, tenderness and bloating associated with premenstrual syndrome.

What are the deficiency signs?

Deficiency symptoms (also known as hypocalcemia) range from minor – numbness or tingling of the fingers, muscle cramps, lethargy and poor appetite – to more severe, including mental confusion, skeletal malformations, dermatitis, and in infants, delayed development. Illnesses such as osteoporosis (brittle, thin, porous bones that easily break) and rickets are also associated with a deficiency.

How much, and what kind, does an adult need?

If vitamin D levels are optimal, most adults should be able to meet their daily calcium needs via a varied diet. When individuals are unable to get enough of it through a diet or for those who may need more than the recommended daily allowance, supplements can help. Doctors recommends women supplement with 500 to 700 mg of calcium citrate in two divided doses taken with meals for a total of 1,000-1,200 mg a day from all sources. Supplementing with its citrate form, which is more easily absorbed than other forms, taken with half the dosage amount of magnesium.

How much does a child need?

The normal daily recommended intake for children is as follows: infants through three years of age is 400-800 mg; children between 4 and 10 years of age is 800 mg; adolescent males is 800-1,200 mg; and adolescent females is 800-1,200 mg daily.
How do you get enough from foods?

An abundant source of this mineral in the American diet is dairy products – two glasses of milk per day provide 1,000-1,200 mg. If you choose to get via dairy products – and this is not essential, as there are many other calcium-rich foods – make sure you use only hormone-free, organic dairy products to reduce your exposure to the antibiotics and hormones found in many dairy products. Non-dairy foods include: greens such as collards, mustard, kale, and bok choy; canned salmon (with bones) and sardines; tofu, soy milk, fruit juice and cereals; blackstrap molasses; and broccoli.

Are there any risks associated with too much?

Its supplements can be constipating, and should be balanced with magnesium as discussed above. Excessive amounts in the blood may have negative effects, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and increased urination. More serious complications include kidney toxicity, confusion, and irregular heart rhythm. Studies indicate that men who take too much may have an increased risk of prostate cancer, and should limit their dietary intake to 500-600 mg daily from all sources.

Who should we take it as supplements?

It is an important mineral for the human body. It helps build and protect your teeth and bones. Getting enough of it over your lifetime can help prevent osteoporosis. Most people get it through their normal diet. Dairy foods and leafy green vegetables have high levels of calcium. Your health care provider will tell you if you need to take extra dose id required.

TYPES OF CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS

Forms of calcium include:
Calcium Type
Pros
Calcium citrate (21% calcium)
Most easily absorbed
Calcium carbonate
Least expensive; has more elemental calcium

Calcium carbonate. Over-the-counter (OTC) antacid products contain it and these sources of it do not cost much. Each pill or chew provides 200 mg or more of calcium.

Calcium citrate. This is a more expensive form of calcium. It is absorbed well on an empty or full stomach. People with low levels of stomach acid (a condition that is more common in people over age 50) absorb this better than other forms.

HOW TO TAKE HIGHER DOSE

Increase the dose of your supplement slowly. Your provider may suggest that you start with 500 mg a day for a week, and then add more over time.Try to spread the extra dose you take over the day. DO NOT take more than 500 mg at a time. Taking it throughout the day will:

Allow more calcium to be absorbed

Cut down on side effects such as gas, bloating, and constipation
The total amount adults need every day from food and supplements:
19 to 50 years: 1,000 mg/day
51 to 70 years: Men – 1,000 mg/day; Women – 1,200 mg/day
71 years and over: 1,200 mg/day

SIDE EFFECTS AND SAFETY

DO NOT take more than the recommended amount of it. Try the following if you have side effects from taking extra calcium:

Drink more fluids.

Eat high-fiber foods

Switch to another form of calcium if the diet changes do not help.

Always tell your provider and pharmacist if you are taking extra dose. Its supplements may change the way your body absorbs some medicines. These include certain types of antibiotics and iron pills.

Are there any other special considerations?

Vitamin D is key to absorbing and so make sure to get adequate intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is actually a fat-soluble hormone that the body can synthesize naturally. There are several forms, including two that are important to humans: D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is synthesized by plants, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is synthesized by humans when skin is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. The active form of the vitamin is calcitriol, synthesized from either D2 or D3 in the kidneys. Vitamin D helps to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.

Vitamin K2 is a beneficial form of Vitamin K for bones. Unlike Vitamin K1 which is used to activate blood clotting proteins, Vitamin K2 is beneficial for activating proteins which help bind calcium to bones. Vitamin K2 is found in food but not in anywhere near the concentration found in Osteo-K. Taking Osteo-K helps boost daily intake of vitamin K2 to support bone health. Older people may need to take it in extra larger doses because they do not absorb it as well as younger people.

If you take oral vitamin D,you also need to take vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 helps to move calcium to proper areas where its needed and removes it from sites where it shouldn’t be present like arteries and soft tissues. When you take vitamin D, your body creates more of these vitamin K2-dependent proteins, the proteins that will move it around. They have a lot of potential health benefits. But until the K2 comes in to activate those proteins, those benefits aren’t realized. So, really, if you’re taking vitamin D, you’re creating an increased demand for K2. Vitamin K2 deficiency is one of the reason why people suffer from vitamin D toxicity symptoms which includes improper calcification leading to hardening of arteries. And vitamin D and K2 work together to strengthen your bones and improve your heart health.

It seems likely that 150 to 200 mgs of vitamin k2 is enough to activate your K2 dependent proteins to shuttle calcium to proper areas.

How can you tell that you are deficit of vitamin k2?

There is no specific tests for finding it. By assessing the lifestyle and diet you eat,one can find whether he is lacking the critical nutrients needed for the body. If you face following health conditions then you are likely deficient in vitamin K2.

Do you have osteoporosis?

Do you have heart disease?

Do you have diabetes?

If you are facing such symptoms, its better to think on deficiencies and take necessary steps.

The Oregon Plan: Health Care Rationing in a Medicaid Population

The Oregon Medicaid program in the 1980’s instituted a type of rationing of health care that determined a finite list of services that were provided to an expanded number of recipients. This was novel in that it openly and overtly admitted that the resources available to pay for services in their state’s Medicaid program were limited, and that they were going to spend those dollars on the services that were determined to be the most cost-effective.

By doing this they attempted to provide a level of health care services to all residents who were below 100% of the federal poverty level, while reducing services for which the individuals currently receiving health care insurance through the state’s Medicaid program. The reduction was accomplished by not paying for services that fell below a cutoff for cost effectiveness of the service.

Essentially all health care services were analyzed and a measurement of the benefit and cost of the services was given a grade. All of the services were put into a list from the most value for cost being #1 on down to the least value for the cost. Then an estimate of the number of persons who would require the services was used to calculate the cost of each service. The number of dollars available for Medicaid was used to determine which of the services would be covered.

The services that were not covered were at times controversial, and at times heartbreaking. Certain transplants and therapy for some cancers brought great anguish to patients in need of these services. Initially the decisions about which services to cover were made based strictly on the best evidence available. As these various emotional issues came up legislation mandating coverage of various conditions eroded the integrity of the list of covered services.

The Importance of Doctor’s Visits For Children

Every child is unique and has different health care needs throughout childhood. Some children are born with weak immune systems, some with an adventurous spirit that often results in injury, and others with a preexisting medical condition. To be sure that each has his or her special needs attended to, all children should have regularly scheduled visits with a doctor.

How Minor Can Become Major

If not properly treated, small scrapes and cuts can become infected. Minor coughs and colds can develop into pneumonia or other sicknesses. A lightly fractured wrist can become a broken bone or a permanent injury. Whatever small medical problems your child is facing, they may develop into larger problems if they go untreated or are improperly treated. A doctor can immediately determine the cause of the problem and advise you on how it should be treated so that your child can fully recover. With regular doctor’s visits, recurring problems, such as allergies or asthma, can be diagnosed early to prevent potentially life-threatening health problems later on.

Paying for Your Child’s Health Care

Almost all parents understand that doctor’s visits are an important part of ensuring a happy, healthy childhood. However, office visits and medical treatment can be expensive. A health insurance plan can help you pay for your family’s health needs so that you don’t have to carry the burden yourself. In the case of a severe injury or illness, a child’s medical bills can build up very quickly to the point that you cannot afford to pay. Health insurance can protect your family from facing high medical costs.

Explore Your Options

Find the most affordable insurance for your children’s needs.

Regenerative Medicine and the Thymus Gland

In the field of modern medicine, debilitating musculoskeletal injuries are becoming less of a threat to long-term vitality thanks to advancements in knowledge of the body’s own intrinsic recuperative mechanisms. Now, increasing awareness about the body’s own healing processes has revealed a vital but still poorly understood regenerative mechanism initiated by the thymus gland. While still undergoing extensive study, clinical research has revealed its function in physiological protection and regeneration. Proteins produced by the thymus gland play key roles in rehabilitation and recuperation from all types of musculoskeletal injury.

Thymus proteins are produced naturally by the thymus gland early in life, with most production ceasing before the onset of puberty. Also referred to as Tβ4, they exhibit a myriad of cellular functions that assist the repair and recovery of wounded tissue. These include the enhancement of new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis), cell migration, stem cell differentiation, and gene expression. When the body suffers a physical injury (for example, a torn quadriceps), these proteins are found in greater concentrations near the wounded area, where they facilitate healing through the aforementioned mechanisms. Clinical studies have shown them to consistently facilitate the healing and recovery of damaged bodily tissue.

For instance, a 1999 study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that the thymus gland accelerates wound healing through the process of angiogenesis. Researchers observed that treated subjects’ wounds contracted by a minimum of 11% more than control subjects’ wounds by the one week mark. Though the study was conducted on rats, the researchers concluded that the thymus gland was a wound healing factor with multiple activities.

Further, a 2014 study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research showed that the thymus gland was able to enhance bone fracture healing in mice test subjects. The study found that treated mice had a 41% increase in peak force to failure and had up to 26% more new mineralized tissue than the control group. Importantly, researchers noted that the findings of their study indicated that thymus proteins played a key role in the healing of bone fractures.

Moreover, additional studies have demonstrated that thymus proteins have potent anti-inflammatory effects as well. A 1999 study published in Nature Medicine sought to explore the action mechanisms of Tβ4 as anti-inflammatory agents. After the study’s conclusion, researchers noted that the thymus may have far-reaching effects on the body’s inflammatory processes.

Certainly, research on the thymus gland’s healing mechanisms may have a beneficial impact on our knowledge of the body’s regenerative processes. Again, though still in the early phases, clinical study to this point has shown the thymus gland to be a key part of the body’s natural recuperative mechanisms. Currently, several research centers are invested in further clinical study to yield greater knowledge of the thymus gland.