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What Happened When I Tried Eating Meat Again After 6 Years Without It

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    After years of being vegan, I was convinced to try eating meat again to heal digestive issues. Although I knew this didn't make any sense, something pushed me to try it anyway.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you notice how meat affects your body? Do you pay attention to the subtle details? Have you tried being off meat long enough to know what it feels like? Do you feel meat is actually a healing food?

What would happen if you didn’t eat meat for a long time and then tried eating it regularly again? I’m not talking about taking a bite of chicken, I’m talking eating it day in and day out for at least a few weeks.  This was a question I thought I’d never personally get an answer to within my own experience when I chose to stop eating meat ten years ago.

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I encourage you to read this whole story, as it’s important given how many people I see experiencing exactly what I experienced. As a spoiler, I did stop the consumption of meat after 30 days, to be honest I knew where it would lead within my story, but I was intrigued to try and put it to the test. Read on!

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First a little history. I grew up eating a diet that would be considered pretty healthy by Western standards. I rarely ate fast food, 90% of my meals were home cooked, and my mom had a good sense of how to balance a meal in ways many would consider fabulous — small portions of meat with a grain and veggies. Every meal had veggies. We ate things like pasta, chicken with broccoli and rice, lasagna, homemade burgers, and other simple foods without a ton of processing. I ate almost any type of vegetable you can think of and fruit as well. By far, my and my family’s worst habit was having a Coca-Cola at dinner.

I share this because many people might feel I ended up the way I did, with digestive issues, because I ate a ton of junk my whole life. But I didn’t, and that’s an important note. It’s also an important note that I didn’t have consistent and obvious problems with dairy or wheat my whole life; rather, they slowly built up over time.

So what happened to me? I was gassy all the time. Not just farting, but burping constantly. My burps came after every meal and would last for hours. To me this was normal, and I saw so many people around me doing the exact same thing that I was sure this was just how it was supposed to go. Farting, burping, bloating — I thought it was just a factor of eating. Heck, everyone makes jokes about how often people fart and burp so I thought it was normal to do it daily.

I also noticed I was getting tired a lot, but then again I thought that was normal, too. Coming home after school or work and wanting to have a quick nap or wanting to sleep after meals, I watched as everyone around me was doing the same thing, so again, I thought this was normal.

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As I made my way to my twenties, I started to notice it all got worse. Finally around 20 or 21, it was hitting a wall.

I would literally get bloated from dairy, meat, wheat, fruit, veggies, EVERYTHING. When I would eat things like dairy, meat, or bread, I definitely felt much worse, but everything was truly an issue. But again, as I would talk to people, other than when I had my burping fits and stomach pain from bread, everything seemed normal compared to what everyone else felt too.

I Knew Something Wasn’t Right, But Didn’t Know What to Do

Deep down I knew this wasn’t right. Feeling this way, seeing everyone feel this way, it didn’t make sense to me. In my experience, it took having these strong stomach pains and burping fits to finally do something, but for many, it’s still seen as completely normal, and as I cut all these things out of my diet, I watched myself change and could see the insane difference between my previous life and my new one — including when I compared myself to how others were feeling eating my old diet.

I cut out meat, dairy, bread, even things like legumes for a while. I mainly focused on a whole food, plant-based diet. Every now and then over the first couple years I ate eggs and had fish maybe one or two times a month, but for long stretches I ate neither.

I saw a HUGE difference in my digestion, energy, consciousness, clarity, mental ability, intuition, and athletic ability. They all increased dramatically as I continued. But something still wasn’t quite right, and after five years, I decided to find out what it was.

I started to notice that when I ate a lot of food, for example, a cup of rice, a good amount of tempeh, steamed kale, and maybe some potatoes, I would get bloated and tired. Maybe this is normal to some extent, but to be honest, it wasn’t even as much food as most would consider a lot. My daily caloric intake was only at about 2,300-2,400 calories and I was working out almost every day.

Regardless, I could see my body wasn’t digesting certain food combos well or even certain foods in general. Not only that, but some things would sit in my stomach and eventually make me quite gassy, so I began going through many different options to find out how to stop the bloating. Intermittent fasting, cutting out carbs, not mixing fats and fruit, eating small meals, using digestive enzymes, using probiotics — you name it, I likely did it. I did this for nearly two years.

At a very frustrated and hopeless point in January of 2016, I eventually I found myself in front of a health practitioner who also had a ton of digestive issues, telling me to try something similar to a paleo diet, as that’s what she was doing. Had it worked for her yet? No, but I kept listening, for some reason (we’ll find out later.) Of course, I was hesitant, since it didn’t feel like the right fit for me and I was sure it would cause a ton of issues. I intuitively knew it wasn’t going to work and I had done all the research to prove it, but some part of me still felt called to do it anyway. After weeks of debate, I eventually decided to try what she recommended. I learned a lot in the process and have much to share, which is a big part of why I felt called to actually go through with it.

I Tried Eating Meat

So after six full years of no meat, I began having small portions of chicken every other day and bone broth pretty well every day. 

At first I thought I might have an issue with digestive enzymes, as I’ve heard many times before that if you stop eating meat, you can’t digest it well if you start again. But I had never done the research on this. The truth is, thus far, the scientific perspectives are quite mixed and few proper studies have been done. The prevailing wisdom seems to be that enzymes used to break down fat and protein don’t differentiate between sources. Thus, enzymes needed for plant proteins versus meat proteins are the same. Some say you may need a few specific ones for meat, but they would return to the body in a matter of days after going back to eating meat.

During this meat eating experiment, I had organic, ethically raised chicken (or as ethical as you can get when you are using animals for food), I kept my meals insanely simple, and I cut my daily caloric intake to about 2,000 – 2,200 calories. A meal might look like a plate of steamed broccoli or kale and some chicken. I had smoothies in the morning that contained between two and four ingredients, with no heavy fat. I consumed no dairy. I also cut out gluten completely.

So this really should address my digestive issues, as I had very little irritants or inflammatory foods (other than the meat) and I wasn’t eating much to tax my system. I was also intermittent fasting. So here’s what happened.

What I Started to Notice

Firstly, I’m sharing my story because I want to tackle a deeper side to meat eating that is spoken about less and that I believe carries importance. I knew From all my previous research and feelings that this was what was going to happen, but like I mentioned before… I was open to try. From a health perspective, it’s quite obvious by now, providing you are eating a proper diet that does not contain low quality processed foods, that the less meat you eat, the better your health. When it comes to dairy, avoid it, it’s scary. But I also reaffirmed a few things for myself during this experiment.

I’m not saying everyone will experience what I’m going to cover below, but it’s what I experienced. We all have to focus on what’s right for us, but I believe we have to be willing to actually figure that out, beyond what our ego wants to identify with or do.

Digestion Improved: Although not perfect, my digestion did start to improve. I felt like things didn’t sit forever and my energy wasn’t being spent trying to digest all the time. Was I getting more nutrient uptake? Tough to say, but if I had to guess, maybe a little.

Less Bloating: Because I was eating much less and eating simpler, I wasn’t as bloated. This was a nice feeling for me. Even though I did bloat a little still, it was an improvement for sure.

Less Gas: Because my digestion was working better and there was less confusion in there, my gas slowed down. But, when I did have it, the smell was worse before. Regardless, this was still a welcome improvement.

Sleep Improved: Going back to digestion again, because my body was having an easier time with things, it wasn’t spending energy at night trying to digest. So I slept better. Again, a welcome improvement, because sleep was tough to come by at times.

Aggression, Anger, Irritability: Ask anyone around me — I’m not aggressive, I don’t get angry, and it’s VERY difficult to irritate me. But after 7-10 days of eating meat again, I started to experience these things. This was where things got very interesting to me, as it had been so long that I had forgotten the energetic and personality type changes that come with eating foods like this. To preface this a little more, I meditate a lot and have spent a lot of time practicing presence. With this I’ve built a pretty good muscle for sensing energetic changes in my body and being. Noticing how the energy of meat, even good quality meat, was changing these parts of me was fascinating. It also helped me understand others better too, as I could relate again to what they go through and feel with their diet.

Brain Clarity: I wasn’t sure what to call this one. It wasn’t that I had brain fog per se, but my sharpness and quickness in thought and creativity weren’t as strong. I was used to feeling pretty light in my mind. Except for when I ate too much bread or was in a really bad bloating fit, my mind was very sharp and clear on a plant-based diet. So this was a noticeable change.

Density: Again, I wasn’t sure what to call this one, but my energy was different. I felt slower, heavier, denser. This might be hard to explain or relate to without a clear reference point (i.e. six years of a plant-based diet), but simply put, my energy not the same. If you have ever fasted for long periods of time and felt the shift in consciousness that comes from that, this was like noticing the same, only on the opposite side.

Less Deep Meditation: Perhaps relating to the previous one about density, I noticed that my meditations were not quite as deep. Once again, I’m not sure how to describe this, as it’s very experiential, but there are obvious energetic changes that take place when you change aspects of your diet. This was a noticeable change in frequency that, in my experience, changed the depth and clarity of my meditations.

Summary: At the end of the month experiment, I had not seen enough of a physical improvement to continue. My bloating began to increase again and my discomfort was still there. I was noticing other changes, like those mentioned above, that I really wasn’t enjoying, so it became clear to me that I wanted to stop. But I was still left with digestion that wasn’t where I wanted it to be. That’s when I tried one more thing… that worked.

Why I Stopped Meat Again and What Did Work

I attended a sweat lodge ceremony held by a friend of mine a few weeks after this experiment, and during the sweat, I set one of my main intentions to be getting over my digestive issues. During the second round of the sweat, a ton of clarity began to come through about old worries and fears of my past, including some present ones that were held in my stomach. As I began to release them, I was already sensing the energy change in my stomach and being. After that ceremony I had felt some energetic and spiritual work was certainly done on the issue, and now I had to turn to the physical.

Days later, I ended up coming across something called The Master Fast (not The Master Cleanse). It’s essentially a protocol where you drink about 1L of grape juice with lemon in it each day for as long as you choose to do the fast. The protocol also contains regular enemas or colonics, herbal tinctures, dry fasting, and a specific timing protocol so that your key cleansing organs are pushed to clear out, effectively allowing your body to heal more easily. I should note, if you do decide to do this fast, please do your research first. I spent about two weeks researching before starting and it makes all the difference. There are no quick fixes or magic pills; you have to be in it to win it all the way.

I went on the Master Fast for 17 days, as that’s when my body instructed I was done for now. I had passed parasites, a ton of mucoid plaque, and felt incredible. After slowly easing my way back into foods, I was no longer experiencing any of the bloating, gas, or digestive issues that I had in the past.

I went 17 days without food to help clean up my past digestive issues. It worked.

Final Thoughts

I found this experience to be very helpful for me. Regardless of the fact that it went against my intuitive feeling that it wasn’t going to solve my issue, I still went in open to the possibility and I gained some great insight as a result. Again, I was well aware of the consequences of eating meat but felt I had tried many things and nothing had worked. I chose this experience as a great reminder. Seeing again what I did, firsthand, about how meat changed my body, frequency, and overall clarity, was helpful in my not only being able to share my story, but continuing on a path that I know resonates with me more deeply.

We talk a lot about the physical health implications of eating meat, but we don’t often talk about the energetic or spiritual side of it. While I don’t believe in casting any judgment about this, I encourage reflection and experimentation on this, as it can be quite profound, and given what I intuitively know, learned, and saw during my experiment, I know it would be a game changer for our society if we were not ingesting this type of energy.

What I can also say, fruits are the most healing foods on the planet. While they get a bad rep by people who often don’t understand how they work, and who are trying to sell products in the paleo or keto marketplaces, they truly are natures medicine. Explore the healing power of fruit and do proper research. I recommend checking out Dr. Morse as a great place to start.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Alternative News

Norway Investigates 29 Deaths in Elderly Patients After Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccination

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Norway has registered a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first Covid-19 vaccination shot, raising questions over which groups to target in national inoculation programs.

  • Reflect On:

    Should freedom of choice always remain here? Should governments and private institutions not be allowed to mandate this vaccine in order to have access to certain rights and freedoms?

What Happened: 29 patients who were quite old and frail have died following their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, Norwegian officials have since adjusted their advice on who should get the COVID-19 vaccine.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to many given the fact that the clinical trials were conducted with people who are healthy. Older and sick people with co-morbidities were not used in the trials, and people with severe allergies and other diseases that can make one more susceptible to vaccine injury were not used either. It can be confusing given the fact that vaccination is being encouraged for the elderly in nursing homes and those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that “There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.”

On the 15th of January it was 23 deaths, Bloomberg is now reporting that a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first COVID-19 shot. They point out that “Until Friday, Pfizer/BioNTech was the only vaccine available in Norway”, stating that the Norwegian Medicines Agency told them that as a result “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine.”

“There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed,” the agency said. All the reported deaths related to “elderly people with serious basic disorders,” it said. “Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”

Madsen also told the BMJ that,

There is a possibility that these common adverse reactions, that are not dangerous in fitter, younger patients and are not unusual with vaccines, may aggravate underlying disease in the elderly. We are not alarmed or worried about this, because these are very rare occurrences and they occurred in very frail patients with very serious disease. We are not asking for doctors to continue with vaccination, but to carry out extra evaluation of very sick people whose underlying condition might be aggravated by it. This evaluation includes discussing the risks and benefits of vaccination with the patient and their families to decide whether or not vaccination is the best course.

The BMJ article goes on to point out that the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany is also investigating 10 deaths shortly after COVID-19 vaccination, and closes with the following information:

In a statement, Pfizer said, “Pfizer and BioNTech are aware of reported deaths following administration of BNT162b2. We are working with NOMA to gather all the relevant information.

“Norwegian authorities have prioritised the immunisation of residents in nursing homes, most of whom are very elderly with underlying medical conditions and some of whom are terminally ill. NOMA confirm the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations. All reported deaths will be thoroughly evaluated by NOMA to determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine. The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to take the patients’ health into more consideration.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved families.”

Vaccine Hesitancy is Growing Among Healthcare Workers: Vaccine hesitancy is growing all over the globe, one of the latest examples comes from Riverside County, California. It has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and about 50 percent of healthcare workers in the county are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the fact that they have top priority and access to it.  At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one in five frontline nurses and doctors have declined the shot. Roughly 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers who were offered the vaccine did the same, according to county public health officials. You can read more about that story here.

Vaccine hesitancy among physicians and academics is nothing new. To illustrate this I often point to a conference held at the end of 2019 put on by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the conference, Dr. Heidi Larson a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project Emphasized this point, having  stated,

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen…still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider.

A study published in the journal EbioMedicine  as far back as 2013 outlines this point, among many others.

Pfizer’s Questionable History:  Losing faith in “big pharma” does not come without good reason. For example, in 2010 Robert G. Evans, PhD, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research Emeritus Professor, Vancouver School of Economics, UBC, published a paper that’s accessible in PubMed titled “Tough on Crime? Pfizer and the CIHR.”

In it, he outlines the fact that,

Pfizer has been a “habitual offender,” persistently engaging in illegal and corrupt marketing practices, bribing physicians and suppressing adverse trial results. Since 2002 the company and its subsidiaries have been assessed $3 billion in criminal convictions, civil penalties and jury awards. The 2.3-billion settlement…set a new record for both criminal fines and total penalties. A link with Pfizer might well advance the commercialization of Canadian research.

Suppressing clinical trial results is something I’ve come across multiple times with several different medicines. Five years ago I wrote about how big pharma did not share adverse reactions people had and harmful results from their clinical trials for commonly used antidepressant drugs.

Even scientists from within federal these health regulatory agencies have been sounding the alarm. For example, a few years ago more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the  Spider Papers.

The Takeaway: Given the fact that everything is not black and white, especially when it comes to vaccine safety, do we really want to give government health agencies and/or private institutions the right to enforce mandatory vaccination requirements when their efficacy have been called into question? Should people have the freedom of choice? It’s a subject that has many people polarized in their beliefs, but at the end of the day the sharing of information, opinion and evidence should not be shut down, discouraged, ridiculed or censored.

In a day and age where more people are starting to see our planet in a completely different light, one which has more and more questioning the human experience and why we live the way we do it seems the ‘crack down’ on free thought gets tighter and tighter. Do we really want to live in a world where we lose the right to choose what we do with our own body, or one where certain rights and freedoms are taken away if we don’t comply? The next question is, what do we do about it? Those who are in a position to enforce these measures must, it seems, have a shift in consciousness and refuse to implement them. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut answer, but there is no doubt that we are currently going through that possible process, we are living in it.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Awareness

Psycho-Acoustic Medicine: Science Behind Sound Healing For Serotonin Production

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A number of studies and experiments have shown that sound can be used as medicine for various ailments and diseases.

  • Reflect On:

    Is our modern day medical industry truly interested in the health and well-being of people, or do profit and control take more priority?

Mental illness has reached an all time high in the world, and yet the modern day medicines to relieve symptoms have gained controversy. This is, in part, why people have dug up the past to better understand alternative ways of healing.

Sound, for instance, has been a tool for promoting the physical and emotional health of the body for as long as history can account for, deeply rooted in ancient cultures and civilizations. The ancient Egyptians used vowel sound chants in healing because they believed vowels were sacred. Tibetan monks take advantage of singing bowls, which they believe to be “a symbol of the unknowable” whose “vibrations have been described as the sound of the universe manifesting.”

“Our various states of consciousness are directly connected to the ever-changing electrical, chemical, and architectural environment of the brain. Daily habits of behavior and thought processes have the ability to alter the architecture of brain structure and connectivity, as well as, the neurochemical and electrical neural oscillations of your mind.”

Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of the perception of sound, and it has fueled researchers paths to better understand how it can be used as medicine. For instance, in 1973, Dr. Gerald Oster, a medical doctor and biophysicist, proved, in his research paper, “Auditory Beats in the Brain,” how sound affects the how the brain absorbs new information, controls mood, sleep patterns, healing responses, and more, and how quickly. Thus, specific frequencies of sound and music can be used to generate neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

brain_scan

To understand the fundamentals of sound in healing, we must first understand our brain waves. The nucleus of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, is the communication between neurons. Brain waves are generated by way of electrical pulses working in unison from masses of neurons interacting with one another. Brain waves are divided into five different bandwidths that are thought to form a spectrum of human consciousness.

The slowest of the waves are delta waves (.5 to 3 Hz), which are the slowest brain waves and occur mostly during our deepest state of sleep. The fastest of the waves are gamma waves (25 to 100 Hz), which are associated with higher states of conscious perception. Alpha waves (8 to 12 Hz) occur when the brain is daydreaming or consciously practicing mindfulness or meditation.

According to Dr. Suzanne Evans Morris, Ph.D., a speech-language pathologist:

Research shows that different frequencies presented to each ear through stereo headphones… create a difference tone (or binaural beat) as the brain puts together the two tones it actually hears. Through EEG monitoring the difference tone is identified by a change in the electrical pattern produced by the brain. For example, frequencies of 200 Hz and 210 Hz produce a binaural beat frequency of 10 Hz (The difference in 210 Hz and 200 Hz is 10 Hz). Monitoring of the brain’s electricity (EEG) shows that the brain produces increased 10 Hz activity with equal frequency and amplitude of the wave form in both hemispheres of the brain (left and right hemisphere).

It is thought that different brain wave patterns are connected to the production in the brain of certain neurochemicals linked with relaxation and stress release, as well as better learning and creativity, memory, and more. Such neurochemicals include beta-endorphins, growth factors, gut peptides, acetylcholine, vasopressin, and serotonin.

A series of experiments conducted by neuro-electric therapy engineer Dr. Margaret Patterson and Dr. Ifor Capel, revealed how alpha brainwaves boosted the production of serotonin. Dr. Capel explained:

As far as we can tell, each brain center generates impulses at a specific frequency based on the predominant neurotransmitter it secretes. In other words, the brain’s internal communication system—its language, is based on frequency… Presumably, when we send in waves of electrical energy at, say, 10 Hz, certain cells in the lower brain stem will respond because they normally fire within that frequency range.

Additional research upholds the beliefs of mind-body medicine in this sense, stating that brainwaves being in the Alpha state, 8 to 14 Hz, permits a vibration allowing for more serotonin to be created.

It’s important for us to come to terms with the fact that there is science behind age-old medicinal practices that do not require putting unknown substances in our bodies to alleviate issues like stress, depression, anxiety, and more.

But even more intriguing is to think something as simple as sound, as music, which we have come to treat as utterly pleasurable entertainment, has not only been used to promote healing and well-being, but has proven to work through research as well.

If your mental health is of concern, try listening to a binaural beat to generate alpha waves between 8 and 14 Hz to produce more serotonin. Another option is to take advantage of music that promotes a relaxed alpha state in the brain such as classical music.

Related CE Article: Research Shows We Can Heal With Vibration, Frequency & Sound

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading

Awareness

Study: Short Break From Cosmetics Causes “Significant Drop of Hormone Disrupting Chemicals”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas demonstrates how even a short break from certain kinds of makeup, shampoos and lotions leads to a large drop in levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is this industry so poorly regulated?

A study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle Salinas has demonstrated how taking even a short break from various cosmetics, shampoos, and other personal care products can lead to a substantial drop in the levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals present within the body.

The results from the study were published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers gave 100 Latina teenagers various personal care products that were labeled to be free of common chemicals including phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and oxybenzone. These chemicals are used regularly in almost all conventional personal care products such as cosmetics, soap, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products, and animal studies have shown that they directly interfere with the body’s endocrine system.

“Because women are the primary consumers of many personal care products, they may be disproportionately exposed to these chemicals,” said study lead author Kim Harley, associate director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health. “Teen girls may be at particular risk since it’s a time of rapid reproductive development, and research has suggested that they use more personal care products per day than the average adult woman.”

Results

After just a three-day trial with the girls using only the lower-chemical products, urine samples showed a significant drop in the level of chemicals in the body. Methyl and propyl parabens, commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics, dropped 44% and 45%, respectively, metabolites of diethyl phthalate, used often in perfumes, dropped by 27%, and both triclosan and benzophenone-3 fell 36%. The authors of the study were surprised to see an increase in two lesser common parabens, but, being minor, could easily have been caused by accidental contamination or a substitute not listed on the labels.

Co-director of the study Kimberly Parra explains why having local youths participate in the study was of particular importance:

The results of the study are particularly interesting on a scientific level, but the fact that high school students led the study set a new path to engaging youth to learn about science and how it can be used to improve the health of their communities. After learning of the results, the youth took it upon themselves to educate friends and community members, and presented their cause to legislatures in Sacramento.

Included in the CHAMACOS Youth Council were 12 local high school students who helped design and implement the study. One of the teen researchers, Maritza Cárdenas, is now a UC Berkeley undergraduate majoring in molecular and cell biology.

“One of the goals of our study was to create awareness among the participants of the chemicals found in everyday products, to help make people more conscious about what they’re using,” said Cárdenas. “Seeing the drop in chemical levels after just three days shows that simple actions can be taken, such as choosing products with fewer chemicals, and make a difference.”

The researchers noted that cosmetics and personal care products are not well-regulated in this country, and that getting data about health effects from exposure, particularly long-term ones, is difficult. But they say there is growing evidence linking endocrine-disrupting chemicals to neurobehavioral problems, obesity and cancer cell growth.

What Can You Do?

Well, you can be sure to check the labels on any products you purchase. Most personal care products contain a list of ingredients, but unfortunately many cosmetics do not. If you use a particular brand that you really love you can try contacting the manufacturer directly and asking them for an ingredient list.

You can also opt for more natural and organic products, but be sure to keep in mind that in the industry of personal care products, the words “natural” and “organic” are often meaningless. A safe bet would be to buy these products from a health food store and be sure to read the ingredients or ask the sales clerk. Generally, when products do not contain specific chemicals, the manufacturers are happy to label them as such.

The less demand for these chemically-laden products there is, the less these chemicals will be used. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR! We have the power to create the type of world we want. Be the change.

Check out The Story Of Cosmetics below!

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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