Your Sunscreen Is Not Going to Kill You

IF I DRINK ENOUGH OF IT I WILL, THEN YOU’LL SEE!!! 😉

Worried about where your sunscreen falls on the Environmental Working Group’s new sunscreen ratings? Don’t be. The list isn’t backed by rigorous science, and any small risks that might exist are still far outweighed by the benefits of applying sunscreen.

Source: Your Sunscreen Is Not Going to Kill You

EWG is full of sensational faux outrage. It’s safe to ignore anything they say. File their advice wherever you put Dr. Oz, The Food Babe, and other quacks.  The EWG sounds scientific, and their stuff always gets a lot of press. I just wish they would use their platform for something good instead of dumb.

In Vitro is Chauvinist: The Sex Ratio of IVF Babies is Skewed Towards Males

Got to admit, I thought this was about eugenics and culture.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) accounts for up to five percent of babies born in developed countries, and the technique has yielded some five million people ever since Louise Brown was born in the UK on July 25, 1978. And that’s just humans; the technology has been a huge boon in breeding farm animals. Yet there are hints that the procedure can have some unwanted effects on the resultant embryos. One such indication is a skewed sex ratio.

Source: In vitro is chauvinist: The sex ratio of IVF babies is skewed towards males

Looks like the fix is just a change in culture medium. It will take some time for this to become mainstream for human IVF. It also looks like (from the abstract) that this extra bath doesn’t harm male embryos in any way, so it won’t require genetic testing of embryos to sort out the girls (extra $$$ and mandatory freeze).

The best part is that this fix will likely increase overall success rates as those female embryos that would have failed instead thrive. Even a small % increase in success means so much to people desperately trying for a child, regardless of gender.

BBQ Sauce: How Much Vitamin K?

Unlike ketchup, BBQ sauce could really be anywhere on the map.  Lots I know who do BBQ tend to make their own BBQ sauce.  So – take the following with a grain of salt? 😉

BBQ sauce supposedly contains the following amount of vitamin K:

  • 1 cup/240 mg: 4.5 mcg, or 6% Daily Value (DV)
  • 100 grams: 1.8 mcg, 2% DV
  • 2 tablespoons/35 grams: 0.6 mcg, 1% DV

Like ketchup, you can see that the dose can ramp up quickly if you aren’t careful about the volume you eat.  Be aware that BBQ sauce does have vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, riboflavin, naicin, folate…  However it is high in sodium and sugar.

…but it takes so good.

Could Genetically Engineered Bacteria in Your Colon Replace Vitamins?

Some bacteria produce beta-carotene, the pigment that gives carrots their orange colour. It is also a precursor chemical that our bodies use to make vitamin A. Quadro and her colleagues took the bacterial DNA that codes for this chemical and inserted it into a different strain – one that colonises mouse intestines.

After two weeks living in the guts of lab mice, the bacteria had made themselves at home and were making beta-carotene that could be detected in the gut, bloodstream and liver.

Source: Gut bugs serve up vitamin A the carrot-free way

Each year, up to 500,000 children in the developing world go blind from lack of vitamin A, half of whom will then die within 12 months. The molecule that could save their lives is so well-studied and abundant, yet we haven’t figured out how to get it to them.

Genetically engineered bacteria are routinely used in the biomedical industry to make insulin, blood-clotting factors, and hormone that save lives. There’s a disconnect between the spook factor of the term “GMO” when it comes to food, and our relatively silent acceptance of it in medicine.

FYI: The majority of our vitamin K, which is essentially for blood to clot, comes not from food but from gut bacteria. That’s why antibiotics can cause a vitamin K deficiency.

Persimmon: How to Eat

There are several types of persimmons, and the key is to know which kinds are astringent and which are sweet. The astringent persimmons are still a wonderful food when they’re ripe. If you’ve ever had an unripe persimmon, the experience is memorable. Often described as “furry,” for me the experience was akin to trying to eat a sweet yet dense cotton ball. It doesn’t taste like a good idea, and eating a lot of unripe persimmon can cause digestive problems.

Source: How to eat a persimmon like a pro

According to this link, persimmons have 2.6 µg of vitamin K per 100 grams/3.5 oz.  That’s a low dose, which can become a large one if you eat larger quantities.

 

Fall Foods that Benefit Your Skin and Hair

You may want to pause before gulping down that pumpkin spice latte. While everyone from Starbucks to Oreo wants you craving all pumpkin everything, there’s actually a healthy way to utilize the seasonal orange squash—the real stuff, not the sugar-high inducing, cinnamon spiked puree in a can.

You may have noticed pumpkin face masks and cranberry hair treatments flooding the beauty aisles, and while some are gimmicks capitalizing on your fall nostalgia, dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum says there are a few fall foods that can truly help your hair and skin when applied topically.

Source: Fall Foods that Benefit Your Skin and Hair