A Guide to Magnesium Oil

Magnesium oil is extremely beneficial to your body, as you can be certain of its absorption. It is not actually an oil, but rather a super concentrated form of topical magnesium, used directly on the skin.

There are three different methods of applying topical magnesium for the best absorption.

The best way to apply magnesium is by spraying it directly on the skin, preferably in places where skin is thinner, such as the wrists, ankles, and underarms. After about twenty minutes, it is safe to wash off the residue with a wet washcloth. If you have some time to spare, it is also advisable to completely strip down and coat your entire body with a liberal amount of magnesium oil. This needs to be done when you have about thirty minutes before you need to shower. Simply rub the topical magnesium over your entire body, except, of course, sensitive areas. Then have thirty minutes of “me time.” Watch TV, read a book, or spread some towels on the couch and rest. After the allotted time, take a warm rinse in the shower, using no soap, to wash off the residue.

Another great way to absorb magnesium is to add six to eight ounces of the oil to your bath for a relaxing soak. Adding up to 32 ounces, however, is still fine, due to the amount of dilation.

For some additional pampering in your life, add six to eight ounces of magnesium oil to a foot soak. One tip to remember, though: Keep the water heated. Warmer water will bring more circulation to the feet and keep your pores open, enhancing absorption.

Stinging

Magnesium oil sprayed directly on the skin has been known to sting a bit. The stinging will probably subside after a few doses, but has been known to be quite uncomfortable. This has usually been noted in cases when a person is magnesium-deficient; the sting may subside as your body reaches a point in which the magnesium level is adequate. If it is too uncomfortable at first, though, you may consider diluting the magnesium with water. Remember that this will mean you are getting less magnesium per spray. Another option would be to consider a soak in the tub or a foot soak. Keep in mind through this how good magnesium is for you!

Maximizing Absorption

Using a natural vegetable bristle brush to slough off dead skin cells is an excellent way to prepare your skin for absorption. Not only will this remove dead skin, it stimulates blood flow to the skin and stimulates the lymphatic system. For best results, do this only on dry skin immediately before applying magnesium oil.

Massaging is also beneficial when applying magnesium oil, since it stimulates blood flow not only to the skin, but also to the tissues, thereby enhancing distribution of the magnesium oil.

Another suggestion would be to shower before applying magnesium oil. Showering prepares the skin for absorption.

Things to Avoid

Applying lotion to the skin before applying magnesium will saturate the cells and hinder the absorption of the magnesium oil. Also, applying magnesium oil to freshly shaved skin will most likely enhance the stinging sensation.

Usage

For the first two to four months, one to two ounces per day applied directly to the body is ideal. The reason you need so much in the beginning is that your body is most likely magnesium deficient. You must first build a store of magnesium in the body before you can cut back and use magnesium oil as maintenance. Many factors affect magnesium levels, so personal usage amounts should vary according to your personal needs.

Magnesium may certainly be used more than once daily. It is almost impossible to have excess magnesium, as your body will excrete what it doesn’t need.

Shocking Statistics About The Frequency of Illness Along With A Possible Solution

As Americans we want to believe that we are a healthy society. After all we have access to some of the best doctors, latest prescription medicines, and most advanced hospital facilities in the world. But despite all these advantages we are still one of the sickest according to a recent study which found that 51 percent of working Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 have at least one chronic disease, or are in generally poor health.

Sound shocking doesn’t it! But if you were to take an inventory of your friends and family how many of them have at least one chronic illness, or are in poor health. Examples of chronic illnesses would be (arthritis, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, gall bladder disease, blood sugar issues, diabetes, gout, breathing disorders such asthma or emphysema, or atherosclerosis). I think the answer for most would be well over half.

For the those over 65 the numbers are even worse with virtually all suffering from one or more chronic degenerative diseases.

Another interesting fact is that a recent study found that our brains are shrinking as well. That is good news for me in trying to explain to you why this article may have a couple of typos. A small brain does have some advantages I guess. Now let’s get back to business.

Perhaps we are focusing in the wrong area

Billions of dollars in research along with countless human capital has been spent to cure diseases are ailments such as cancer and the common cold. But would you believe that a British research team during a quite large research study has found that the spice curry prevents the common cold. They also found that when curry was taken when cold symptoms were raging it not only reduced the symptoms but dramatically reduces the length of infection. So in other words after years of pharmaceutical missteps it appears mother nature has had the solution all along.

As far as cancer goes no one has stumbled upon a natural cure though cayenne pepper, the herbs Huang Qi, Indian ginseng, and milk thistle, along with herbal remedies for liver detoxification all have been mentioned as possibilities.

Another example of a natural substance for promoting preventative medicine and wellness are the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil supplements. For years medical science wondered why certain populations of people had a very low incidence of heart and artery disease. Now we are starting to realize their diets contained moderate, but consistent, amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Research has also determined that omega 3 fatty acids work to reduce inflammation in many areas of the body including our cells, brains and our joints.

A fourth examples would be chondroitin and glucosamine for rebuilding cartilage and preventing cartilage related diseases. These two are perhaps the best example of all of naturally occurring substances that prevent dangerous life alternative condition such as osteoporosis which are still treated with drugs to mask the symptoms, or others which attempt to rebuild bone but may ultimately cause bone death and bone deterioration.

In conclusion, what we should realize is that the path we are taking really isn’t working very well. As a society we can do much better but this may require a change in perception for doctors, researchers, and the general population thinking more in terms of preventative medicine rather than continue down the same old path of reactive prescription medication and treatment.

Do Vitamin Users Get More Cancer?

The latest study on vitamins and health is out. It isn’t pretty. This research adds to other studies suggesting that multivitamins don’t improve health. They may, in fact, increase risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and heart failure.

By the Numbers

Researchers in Sweden examined the connection between multivitamin use and breast cancer risk. They followed more than 35,000 women for an average of 10 years. The women were free of cancer and 49 to 83 years old at the beginning of the study.

The researchers collected and adjusted for other factors that can affect breast cancer risk. This includes family history of breast cancer, body weight, vegetable and fruit intake, physical activity levels, and use of tobacco and alcohol.

Not Best for Breast Health

After ten years, the study indicated that the women who had taken multivitamins were 19% more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer compared with the women not taking multivitamins.

It is important to note that this is an observational study. Study participants were not randomly assigned to take or not take multivitamins. The study does not prove cause and effect. It shows an association between multivitamin use and higher breast cancer risk.

Nonetheless, the study authors noted that a connection between multivitamins and breast cancer risk is plausible. Also keep in mind that this is not the first study to show that multivitamins and other supplements may pose a risk to health.

The Bigger Picture

The first hint that isolated nutrient supplements may harm health came in the mid-1990s. Two large, randomized, placebo-controlled trials looked at this question. The trials included a total of more than 47,000 study subjects between them. They examined how beta-carotene and vitamins A, C, and E affected lung cancer risk in people at high risk for the disease. High-risk study subjects included current and former smokers and asbestos workers.

The researchers expected the vitamin supplements would decrease risk of lung cancer. They found the exact opposite. The men who had been randomized to take the supplements had a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer. They also had a higher risk of other types of cancer. They had higher risk of heart disease and stroke too. Back to the drawing board!

Since that time, studies have continued to demonstrate that antioxidant supplements can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. This is especially true for people who smoke or have smoked in the past.

Not So Fast

“Great,” you say, “I’m not a smoker anyway. I’ll keep taking my vitamins and beta-carotene pills.” Not so fast.

Don’t forget about the Swedish study. It points to the possibility that multivitamins increase breast cancer risk. And if you’re not a woman or not concerned about breast cancer, there are plenty of additional studies showing problems with multivitamin and antioxidant supplements.

A 2007 comprehensive research review concluded, “Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality.” A similar review that same year stated that clinical trials of antioxidant supplements, “should be closely monitored for potential harmful effects.”

Other studies have shown that vitamins C and E do not decrease risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Unfortunately, vitamin E does increase the risk of heart failure in people with vascular disease or diabetes. Many US adults have, or are at high risk of, these conditions.

Are Isolated Antioxidant Nutrients Friend or Foe?

Multivitamins and other sources of isolated antioxidant nutrients may be problematic for several reasons. One of the most likely is that they can have a dual nature. To understand why this matters, it helps to understand oxidation.

Oxidation is a damaging process that can occur inside the body. A good way to think of oxidation is to think of rusting. But instead of causing damage to metal in the environment, oxidation causes damage to your cells. Excess oxidation is believed to contribute to the major diseases that plague us today.

This means that antioxidants, which prevent damaging oxidation in the body, should be a good thing. This is true only if they act like antioxidants. Unfortunately, when taken in isolation, antioxidants actually may become pro-oxidants. Under some conditions, antioxidant supplements promote oxidation, not stop it!

Singles Lack Synergy

Another potential issue multivitamins and antioxidant supplements is that these products lack synergy. Synergy refers to the idea that two or more things can work together in a way that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual parts.

Food is so incredibly complex. Trying to duplicate it in a vitamin pill is something of a fool’s errand. Consider the carotenes. Beta-carotene is the most well known of the carotenes. But there are several hundred carotenes found in nature and in the foods we eat.

Taking a pill that provides just one, two, or three carotenes is nothing like eating a beta-carotene-rich food. The food provides many carotenes plus dozens of other nutrients. And don’t forget about the fiber.

Polyphenols are another large group of nutrients. Research suggests polyphenols provide numerous health they come from food. Taking one or two polyphenols really misses the “nutritional boat.” There are thousands of polyphenols in hundreds of foods. Polyphenols are found in foods as diverse as apples to tea and onions to berries.

Why Food Rules

And so we come back to food. Food is the ideal way to nourish our bodies. Make it a priority to fill two-thirds to three-quarters of your plate with nutrient-rich foods. Think of the bounty of the garden to guide your choices.

Brilliant orange carrots and ruby red tomatoes, shiny green pea pods and deep magenta beets, bright purple blueberries and deep purple blackberries…these are the very foods that will give your body what it needs. And getting what you need is the greatest nutritional gift you can give yourself.

Relief Remedies – Drugs and Their Efficacy

When we are looking for relief remedies for a medical condition many in the community turn to their medical practitioner to help them find a remedy for their problem. In this they make the assumption that their doctor is the best person to advise them as to what can make them better. As a result of this belief most expect that any drug prescribed by their doctor will be effective, but is this the case?

That very much depends on what you mean by effective. As a health researcher I have been looking at this question for more than a year. Most people I ask expect a prescribed drug to be 90-100% effective, otherwise why would the doctor prescribe it? Doctors become very uncomfortable when I give these figures as they know that few drugs are that effective. They do understand that a high belief is likely to improve the outcome for the patient, but they also recognize that that is not what it necessarily all about. I have often heard them say, “Patients have unrealistic expectations of what drugs can do.”

There are a number of issues here. The first is the matter of evidence. The second is the matter of who is allowed to say what the evidence is and how this impacts on what can be offered to people who want to improve their health.

While this is obviously a very large topic I would like to draw out just a couple of points.

I accept that most medical practitioners mean well and care for their patients. However most medical practitioners, their employers and the pharmaceutical companies make enormous profits out of people who are ill. Whenever billions of dollars are at stake then we have to recognize the moral hazard that exists. It is just too easy to turn a blind eye to the lack of good outcomes and worse, the level and severity of side effects to say nothing of the effect of the cost on the patient’s wallet.

For example chemotherapy only adds just over 2% to the average 5-year survival rate of people with cancer with horrendous side effects for the vast majority of patients. Breast cancer patients have an average life span of 20 years and a 78-85% 5-year survival rate in Australia but chemotherapy only contributes 1.5% to that survival rate. A range of cancers for which chemo is prescribed add NO additional survivors. It is time that these figures became well known. Chemotherapy drugs are not the cancer remedies most of us have come to believe.

Statins, a drug prescribed to lower cholesterol levels also has very low rates of effectiveness. When I searched dozens of the top medical journal papers looking at the cholesterol issues, and buried right down into the data (ignoring the positive titles, introductions and discussions), I was gobsmacked. Firstly, the drugs had no improvement in death rates for women or the elderly. And secondly for men the number needed to treat to save one life was 250 for five years on the drugs. 1250 years of drug taking with many suffering side effects to save one life?

As a third example, the package insert of the H1N1 monovalent vaccine says [Section 12.1 Mechanism of Action] “the administration of the flu vaccine has not been correlated with protection from influenza illness”. This is amazing in its audacity. Here we have the government promoted drive for mass vaccination and its own covering paperwork says that there is no evidence that it offers protection.

These examples are just a few showing the moral hazard from profit making – pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors and government are all involved.

So what does this mean to us as individuals? If you have an expectation of 90-100% efficacy for a drug prescribed then you need to tell the doctor – you are paying for their time and the drugs, after all. If you are asked to go on long term medication then you might like to ask for evidence in writing that the drug does come up to standard. When my own doctor tried to scare me into taking a particular medication and provided me with the scientific papers I discovered they didn’t say what the drug companies and doctor said they did. When I discussed the results with her she was quite perplexed.

Perhaps one way to think of it is that if the relief remedies being offered are bio-identical to what the body produces or is a nutrient normally found in foods known to be good for you then you can be reasonably comfortable in taking it. However if it is a pharmaceutical drug, then exercise caution and demand to see the “rigorous scientific evidence sufficient to substantiate the claims.” You want the actual medical journal papers, not the government guidelines. Even if you can’t make much sense out of the paper, it makes your doctor think several times before making unrealistic claims.

Believing This Could Raise Your Cancer Risk

Do Fruits and Vegetables Prevent Cancer? Or Not?

We’ve been told again and again that eating more fruits and vegetables will protect us from cancer. But headlines about recent findings from the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study suggest otherwise:

“Fruits and Vegetables Have Only Weak Effect in Cancer Prevention”

“Cancer Protective Effect of Fruits and Vegetables May Be Modest at Best”

“Fruits and Veggies Have Small Effect on Cancer Risk.”

What gives? Do fruits and vegetables protect us against cancer or not? It turns out the devil is in the details.

Contrarian Views Sell More News

When you read media stories about medical and nutrition science research, it helps to keep in mind that contrary headlines sell. For example, a low-fat diet has been touted for years as the best way to beat heart disease. If a study shows that a low-fat diet is not useful for decreasing heart disease risk, this is big news.

You can bet that the media will trumpet these headlines, which are contrary to conventional wisdom.

Looking Beyond the Headlines

Another consideration?

Most health and science journalists are not trained scientists. They are not trained in complex statistics. They are not trained to fully understand the strengths, weaknesses, and caveats of different study designs. And they typically do not report on putting the new study into context with other research on the topic.

As Dr. Ralph Moss, PhD, who is a research scientist, points out, “According to the EPIC study, conversion to a moderately high fruit-and-vegetable diet could ideally save hundreds of thousands of people from getting cancer each year. This astonishing fact was hardly conveyed by the negative press reports on the EPIC study.”

Dr. Moss, author of the respected website Cancer Decisions, further explains, “if the subjects had increased their fruit and vegetable intake by just 150 grams per day, they would have reduced their risk of getting cancer by 2.6 percent (men) and 2.3 percent (women). Now, 150 grams is the weight of one apple.”

Nearly 1.5 million men and women were diagnosed with cancer in the United States last year. The EPIC study results suggest that one apple per day could prevent approximately 36,000 of these cancer cases every year. “Is it a small thing to keep more than 36,000 Americans from getting cancer at such a minimal cost?” asks Dr. Moss.

Which Cancer?

When assessing whether it’s worth the effort to eat more fruits and vegetables, we also need to look at the type of cancer studied. It turns out the type of cancer was “every type.”

According to Susan Higginbotham, RD, PhD, Director of Research at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), “We’ve known for some time that fruit and vegetable intake is probably protective against some, but not all cancers. So when you look at its effect against all cancers, as this study does, those overall numbers are going to look low.”

By lumping together every single type of cancer into one study, including the ones that are least likely to be related to diet, we can’t see much of an effect of fruits and vegetables on risk. If we consider the cancers that do appear to be related to diet, the percentages are significantly higher.

In fact, the World Health Organization states, “Dietary factors account for about 30% of all cancers in Western Countries and approximately up to 20% in developing countries; diet is second only to tobacco as a preventable cause.”

The cancers most convincingly related to diet include those of the mouth, pharynx and larynx, stomach, esophagus, lung, and colon and rectum. Colorectal cancer alone takes the lives of approximately 50,000 Americans every year. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in this country.

Straight From the Horse’s Mouth

Whenever I see media reporting that downplays important nutrition research, I consult my friend and colleague Diana Dyer, MS, RD. I value her opinion. Diana is not only a scientist and a dietitian; she’s also a 3-time cancer survivor. After one childhood cancer and two breast cancers (the last one over 10 years ago!), she speaks with authority on issues of cancer and nutrition. In her blog about the recent EPIC study, Diana raises points that those touched by cancer should consider.

“Cancer is a tough task master. Not all cancer is preventable. Risk reduction is the name of the game. Do not put all your eggs (or fruits and vegetables) in one basket. Don’t look for one ‘magic bullet’. Cancer risk reduction needs to be multi-focused by creating a healthy lifestyle that consists of quitting (please don’t start!) smoking, working toward achieving or maintaining a healthy weight, daily exercise, finding an enjoyable way to handle the stresses in life (we all have ’em!), and eating a healthy diet filled with healthy foods.”

Wise words indeed! To this she adds, “Small percentages are real, and I’ll take them. I would rather be nuancing over the variety of apple… than debating the side effects of various chemotherapy regimes that may also offer only a few small % points of potential benefit…(ugh – been there, done that, twice, not fun).”

Real Life is Messy

As a final note, we should bear in mind that EPIC is an observational study. This type of study has major flaws and weaknesses. For many reasons, it’s often the best we can do.

A randomized controlled trial is the “gold standard.” Unfortunately, nutrition research is messy. It does not lend itself to this type of study. Of the several large-scale, randomized nutrition studies of the last few decades, nearly all have had problems keeping the intervention group on the intervention diet.

Sadly, our food environment is so toxic and difficult to navigate that almost nobody can be assigned to a healthy diet and actually stick to it.

And nutrition studies cannot be blinded. Simply by changing their diet, the people in the intervention group are fully aware that they are in the intervention group.

This doesn’t even touch on the problems we might see in the “control” group. This is the group of people assigned to go on living life normally. They are not supposed to make changes to their diets. Unfortunately, in this type of controlled nutrition trial, the control group commonly becomes “contaminated.” They end up attempting to follow the healthier diet themselves!

People in the control group may think, “If the intervention diet reduces disease risk, I want that advantage too.” In the end, both groups end up consuming a fairly similar diet. The study won’t find anything significant because the two diet groups aren’t significantly different from one another. So, we are left with observational studies, which are, admittedly, imperfect.

With nutrition and disease we have to consider the totality of the evidence and the consistency of the findings from other studies on the topic. And for now, the totality of the evidence very strongly points to fruits and vegetables reducing risk of several types of cancer (mouth, pharynx and larynx, stomach, esophagus, lung, and colon and rectum). And heart disease. And stroke. And hypertension. And diabetes. The list goes on.