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Shampoo Makes You Fat?

The World Health Organization estimated that, in 1995, there were 200 million obese adults worldwide. By 2000, that number had grown to 300 million. What has this number grown to today? It is very strange, indeed, that this epidemic coexists with under-nutrition, affecting nearly every nation, rich or poor, and that it is affecting women more than men. What is causing this rapidly increasing global obesity epidemic?

Over the past few decades, scientists have been urgently investigating the effects of the many synthetic personal care product chemicals found in our tap water and in our lakes, rivers, oceans—ALL of our waterways. Scientists around the world have now linked these hormone disrupting chemicals from personal care products to a growing global health crisis, causing life-threatening and costly metabolic and neurological disorders. There is a new word—obesogen—that was created specifically to address the endocrine disruptors that affect the lipid metabolism and are contributing to the body's fat creation and distribution, and dietary food cravings.

Obesogen definition from Wikipedia:

"Obesogens are foreign chemical compounds that disrupt normal development and balance of lipid metabolism, which in some cases, can lead to obesity. Obesogens may be functionally defined as chemicals that inappropriately alter lipid homeostasis and fat storage, change metabolic setpoints, disrupt energy balance or modify the regulation of appetite and satiety to promote fat accumulation and obesity."

What types of products contain these harmful chemicals? The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other international scientists have reported finding synthetic hormone-disrupting chemicals in many types of products. We are most concerned about the hormone-disrupting chemicals found in hair care products—shampoo, hair styling, conditioning and coloring agents; hand and body cleansers; sunscreens; preservatives; fragrances; etc., as many personal care products are unnecessary, but are used every single day.

Personal care product chemicals are washed into our waterways every day and, as a result, they never go away—they are persistent because of daily replenishment via washing, bathing, swimming and urination. Sadly, of the 80,000 plus chemicals used in products, just a tiny fraction were ever fully tested for toxicity, let alone for their hormone interference potential. Typically, toxicity tests do not evaluate endocrine disrupting effects, so even so-called “tested chemicals” can have unidentified hazardous health effects. You should be aware that the phrases “no known toxicity” or “no known health effects” do not necessarily mean that a synthetic chemical substance is harmless—it usually means that the chemical has not been tested. It is important to note that there are hundreds of new chemicals introduced every year that are not required to be proven to be safe before they are released into the marketplace, and that have no long-term history of safe use.

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Scientists are very concerned about antimicrobial preservatives. In recent years, the most noted and notorious preservatives have been the paraben family—alkyl-p-hydroxybenzoates. Parabens are ubiquitous—found in cosmetics, skin creams, sunscreen lotions, shampoos—even pet food. The EPA has stated that all parabens—methyl, propyl, butyl—have been proven to have endocrine-disrupting effects. Scientists are also concerned about the hormone-disrupting effects of other preservative and personal care chemicals: nonoxynol (nonyl phenol)—found in hair colorings, shampoos, and spermicides—and certain sunscreen chemicals such as benzophenone (oxybenzone) and methoxycinnamate. It is disturbing to learn that many of these chemicals can be found in personal care products that claim to be “natural” and “organic.”

What is an endocrine disruptor? Endocrine disruptors are chemical substances, primarily man-made unnatural synthetic chemicals, that interfere with the function of the endocrine system (in humans AND wildlife). These synthetic chemicals, typically derived from petroleum sources, are created in environmentally unfriendly industrial processes using toxic catalysts and reagents. Many synthetic chemicals have been found to mimic, block or disrupt the actions of human (and animal) hormones and, unexpectedly, can do more damage at low levels of exposure than at high levels. These chemicals work in sinister, subtle ways by disrupting the body’s ability to produce adequate quantities of hormones or by interfering with the body’s hormonal pathways. One single chemical can affect many parts of the endocrine system. Often minute amounts of several of these environmental hormone chemicals can combine to create effects thousands of times more potent than a single chemical.

The endocrine system regulates every function of the body. It consists of the thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands, the pancreas, the ovaries and the testes, all linked to the hypothalamus in the brain. The hypothalamus is like the mainframe computer of the body, sending signals to the glands that provide the instructions for creating hormones, which are the natural chemical messengers that tell your cells what to do. The various endocrine glands send the messenger hormones via the bloodstream to different parts of the body where they bind to specific receptors that control all cellular functions. One messenger hormone, estrogen, is secreted by the ovaries and plays a major part in the regulation of menstruation, fertility, pregnancy, and fat cell activity.

When you rub synthetic chemical body care products on your body or chemical hair dye on your scalp you absorb or inhale the synthetic endocrine disruptor chemicals which can send false signals to your body’s endocrine glands. When your glands and cells are confronted by the chemical hormone mimics they are confused and cannot function normally and serious health problems result. In addition, when you bathe, the excess chemicals that aren’t absorbed by your body through your skin are washed down the drain into the drinking water supply, where they have caused a cascade of negative environmental problems. These endocrine disruptor personal care product chemicals are also affecting algae and other aquatic microscopic life along with fish, whales, other sea animals/creatures, birds and other wildlife that live in or drink the water. Humans are exposed when they drink the water and eat the fish contaminated by personal care product chemicals, or bathe or swim in contaminated water. On a related note, scientists have found sunscreen chemicals in fish and human breast milk.

Endocrine disruptors are stored in a body’s fatty tissues and do not get flushed out with water, thus they accumulate over the years. It is now recognized that the dramatic increases of breast cancer, non-Hodgkins lymphoma and thyroid cancer have been linked to exposure to environmental estrogens. In the past thirty-five years in the US, alone, thyroid cancer has increased more than 45%, with more women being affected than men (of note, women use far more personal care products every day than men), and has become the number one cancer in children under age twenty, many of whom suffered from fetal endocrine disruption exposures.

How can you protect yourself? Read every ingredient on every personal care product label and be suspicious of every chemical ingredient. If it looks like a chemical ingredient, is difficult to pronounce and is not a plant or mineral—it is a chemical! Ask yourself if you would eat that ingredient because, when you rub products onto your body, 60% of the product may end up in your body. When your bottle of body lotion is empty, where did all of the lotion go? (Hm-m...that lotion absorbed quickly, didn't it?)

So, read the product labels and question the synthetic chemical ingredients. Take some time to research the effects of synthetic chemicals on humans, wildlife and our planet. Tell your family and friends about the chemicals that are affecting them and their children. Remember true organic products never contain toxic chemical ingredients. True organic products are always made from pure water, real organic botanicals—herbs, oils, butters—along with natural minerals/clays/baking soda/real rock salt, and organic beeswax or carnauba wax.

Protect yourself and our planet! Make a fresh, healthy change today! Use only our Terressentials artisan crafted, small batch true organic products.



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