Dr. Oz Uses Red Palm Oil…Should You?

Red palm oil is being touted by some health gurus as a remedy for the effects of aging on the body. Dr. Oz calls it a “stop sign” for aging because of its deep orange-red color. However, most health care professionals look at these so-called magic bullets with a dose of skepticism. This document reviews the potential benefits and risks of using red palm oil.

What Is Red Palm Oil?

Red palm oil comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree. Palm kernel oil, which is different, comes from the seed of the oil palm tree.1 Red palm oil is a mixture (about 50/50) of saturated and unsaturated vegetable fats. Red palm oil also has vitamin E and vitamin A (aka carotenes). Carotenes cause the deep orange-red color of the oil.

Palm oil is also often found in foods. But the palm oil used in processed foods is different from red palm oil because it’s refined, with bleaching and deodorization. These processes destroy some of the carotene content. However, the fat composition of the oil remains the same.3

Despite the fact that red palm oil has saturated fat, it is said to behave more like an unsaturated fat, such as olive oil.1

Benefits of Red Palm Oil

The mainstream hype is that taking one or two tablespoons of red palm oil per day can lower cholesterol, protect the brain, improve circulation, help with weight loss, etc.

There are a number of lab and animal studies with red palm oil, palm oil, and constituents of palm oil. However, good quality evidence for any benefits, such as human studies looking at cardiovascular outcomes with the use of unmodified red palm oil, is lacking.

A number of human studies suggest palm oil may have an anticlotting effect.1 However, there is conflicting evidence for this with some sources reporting an increase in clotting.2

Downsides of Red Palm Oil

There are no side effects reported with red palm oil in clinical trials. There’s a hypothetical interaction with blood thinning drugs due to the possibility of red palm oil’s effects on clotting.

Despite a potential lack of adverse effects, growing and harvesting red palm oil may have negative effects on the environment. Oil palm plantations are replacing huge swaths of native rainforests in Asia. One of the results of this is a shrinking endangered orangutan habitat.


The only good evidence for using red palm oil is for preventing vitamin A deficiency, which makes sense due to its carotene content. However, good evidence for other health benefits is lacking.

Stick to improving your diet, exercising more and using drugs that have proven benefits  (like metformin for diabetics).

Does Bee Pollen Work (And Is It Safe) for Weight Loss?

Bee pollen is getting a lot of attention as a treatment for weight loss. Advocates claim that it helps reduce weight by providing the nutrients to stimulant metabolism. But some bee pollen products, Classic Zi Xiu Tang and Ultimate Formula Bee Pollen, have been found to be contaminated with the weight loss drug sibutramine (Meridia). This drug was recently withdrawn from the market due to safety concerns. Tell patients that there is no proof that taking bee pollen supplements alone reduces weight. Explain that weight loss claims that sound too good to be true, probably are.

Do Vitamin E Supplements Work for Alzheimer’s Dementia?

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia. The disease causes a gradual, progressive decline in cognition (i.e. capacity to think) and behavior. Alzheimer’s also causes death. That is, patients with severe Alzheimer’s are unable to care for themselves, and, so, die from complications like pneumonia, sepsis, suffocation and trauma.

The signs & symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are numerous. Common signs & symptoms are memory loss, loss of speech, disorientation, depression, hallucinations & repetitive mannerisms.

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is poorly understood. Current research suggests Alzheimer’s occurs when specific brain cells die. Inflammation-causing plaques, which are called “Beta Amyloid Plaques” and excessive glutamate, a type of amino acid, may play a role in killing brain cells.

Women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Other risk factors are: history of head injury, family history and old age.

Do vitamin E supplements work for Alzheimer’s?

Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant. So, theoretically, it can reduce the inflammation and cell damage caused by Beta Amyloid Plaques. However, in recent years, many studies (1) have found that vitamin E supplements do not improve or stabilize the signs & symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, some studies (2) argue that vitamin E supplementation (dosage: 400 IU/day) increases your risk of prostate cancer in some men.

Pharmacist’s Tip: Medications like Aricept (Donepezil) & Ebixa (Memantine) can stabilize the signs & symptoms Alzheimer’s. You must try these medications for at least 8-10 weeks before seeing their optimal effects, however. Sadly, no medication will cure or improve the signs & symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Works Cited

  1. Isaac MG, Quinn R, Tabet N. Vitamin E for Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jul 16;(3):CD002854.
  2. Klein EA, Thompson IM Jr, Tangen CM, Crowley JJ, Lucia MS, Goodman PJ, Minasian LM, et al. Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA. 2011 Oct 12;306(14):1549-56.

Study: Over Time, Even a Little Too Much Tylenol Can Kill

Study: Over Time, Even a Little Too Much Tylenol Can Kill

Discover magazine grossly exaggerates the harm associated with Tylenol. The patients in the study didn’t overdose on “little too much” Tylenol. In fact, on average, the patients in the study overdosed on greater than 20,000 mg of Tylenol (the recommended daily maximum dose is 4,000mg).

Nevertheless, Tylenol is among the most over-used drugs. To prevent over-use, please use the following pain management tips:

  1. Always use the lowest effective dose of your pain medication
  2. Tylenol is best for mild-moderate pain; moderate-severe pain usually requires stronger pain medications. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for better drugs.
  3. Pain due to inflammation is best treated with NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve).
  4. Alternating Tylenol and Advil doses is a reasonable option for pain that isn’t controlled by either drug alone.
  5. Be sure to check all your medications for accidental duplication

Why Don’t You Know Your Risk of Osteoporosis-related Fractures?

What is osteoporosis? In short, osteoporosis is the slow and progressive loss of bone strength. Although everyone’s bones lose strength with age, you’re officially diagnosed with “osteoporosis” if your bone mineral density score (your “T score”) is less than 2.5.

The major complications of osteoporosis are bone fractures. The primary goal of osteoporosis management is to prevent fractures.

What Increases Your Risk of Osteoporosis?

Several factors will increase your risk of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures. Here’s a list of the major risk factors:

  1. Age ≥65 y
  2. Vertebral compression fracture
  3. Fracture after age 40
  4. Medications (several medications can increase your risk of osteoporosis fractures)
  5. Parent with hip fracture
  6. Osteopenia (“pre-osteoporosis) identified on x-ray
  7. Current smoking
  8. High alcohol intake
  9. Low body weight ( <120 lbs) or major weight loss (>10% of weight at age 25)
  10. Rheumatoid arthritis

What Drugs Increase Your Risk for Osteoporosis or Fractures?

Several medications (SSRI antidepressants, bisphosphonates) are linked to low bone mineral density scores and/or fractures (hip & spine). Oral steroids, like prednisone, have been associated with fractures for a long time. High doses taken for greater than or equal to 3 months are increase your chances of an osteoporosis-related fracture

Other drugs that can cause osteoporosis or fractures include proton pump inhibitors (Nexium), antidepressants (Paxil), vitamin A & certain diabetes medications (Actos). A fall can, obviously, increase your risk of breaking a bone; so, any medication that increases your risk of falling will increase your risk of having fracture, too.

Pharmacist’s Tips

  • Use this post to make an inventory of your risk factors. Then, use the World Health Organization’s easy-to-use fracture calculator to calculate your risk of having a osteoporosis fracture in the next 10 years.
  • A diet high in vitamin D and calcium may lower your risk of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures
  • If you’re at very high risk for hip, spine or other fractures, medications like Actonel and Fosamax may be helpful.

Benefits of Probiotics for Preventing Antibiotic Side Effects

Antibiotic treatment can kill the “good” bacteria in your gut. Without the presence of good bacteria, bad bacteria may start to grow. This may result in complications, the most serious of which is Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea. The risk for severe antibiotic-associated diarrhea is rare; the risk is likely less than 5% for most people. Your risk is higher if:

  • You are old and frail
  • You taking certain antibiotics (i.e. clindamycin) at higher doses for longer periods
  • You are hospitalized
  • You have a weaker immune system

Some research has shown that the benefits of probiotics may extend to the gut; that is, probiotics may prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotics. A 2012 publication in the the Annals of Internal Medicine summarized the research to date:

Methods: The study collected data from drug trials that included adults or children patients receiving antibiotics. Each trial compared a specific probiotic to placebo or no treatment. The researchers wanted to determine if probiotics prevented antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

Results: The study analyzed data from 3818 patients. Probiotics reduced the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 66%. So, according to the study, if you risk of experiencing diarrhea is 5%, taking probiotics will reduce your risk of diarrhea to about 1.7%.

Conclusion: “Evidence suggests that probiotics results in a large reduction in [antibiotic-associated diarrhea] without an increase in clinically important adverse events.”

Benefits of Probiotics for Diarrhea: Bottom Line

While the study showed that probiotics reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea by greater than 60%, most people who take antibiotics will not experience severe diarrhea. So, most people who take probiotics for the prevention of antibiotics side effects will not experience a benefit. Nevertheless, most probiotics are inexpensive. They are safe for most people. If you have risk factors for diarrhea, consider taking a probiotic during your antibiotic treatment.

The authors of the study noted that probiotic-containing yogurt is likely just as effective as the more expensive probiotic supplements.  

Works Cited

Bradley C. Johnston, Stephanie S. Ma, Joshua Z. Goldenberg, Kristian Thorlund, Per O. Vandvik, Mark Loeb, Gordon H. Guyatt; Probiotics for the Prevention of Clostridium difficile–Associated Diarrhea A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2012 Nov.

Lice Treatment Guide

Head lice infections remain one of the most common problems in school-aged children. With the exception of the common cold, head lice affects a greater number of elementary school students in North America than all other spreadable diseases combined.

What do head lice do?

  • Lice attach to the base of your hair with a glue-like chemical
  • Lice produce special saliva that allows them to suck small amounts of blood from your scalp. The saliva (not the lice) causes itchiness. So, even after successful lice treatment, the saliva may remain and itchiness may persist for a few weeks. Antihistamines and cortisol cream is useful for itchiness associated with lice.
  • Female head lice lay hair-colored eggs. Hatched eggs (“nits”) appear as white-colored specks in your hair. The nits are very hard to remove. Fortunately, nits are harmless.

Head Lice Treatment Tips

  • Only treat with medications if you have seen or detected living lice. Nits do not cause infections. Do not treat if your kid has nothing but nits.
  • Treating family members or friends or classmates is not necessary if they do not have an active infection
  • Treat your bed-mate, even it they do not have an active infection

Medicated Head Lice Shampoo

Permethrin 1% (Nix Creme Rinse®, Kwellada-P® Crème rinse)

  • May worsen itchiness and redness  of lice infection. Burning/stinging, tingling and numbness are usually mild
  • Resistance is a concern
  • American Pediatric Society recommends permethrin 1% as best first choice for most people

Lindane 1% (Hexit® shampoo)

  • Side effects may be very severe. Neurotoxicity (e.g., nausea, vomiting, headache, irritability, insomnia, seizures) has been reported after repeated application, excessive doses or prolonged treatment. You’re at a higher risk for lindane side effects if you are young, elderly, or have a skin condition.
  • Young children, pregnant women and women who are breast-feeding should not use lindane.
  • Those with HIV infection or those who are taking any medication that can increase risk of seizure should also avoid lindane.

Isopropyl myristate /cyclomethicone (Resultz®)

  • Lice cannot develop resistance to this product
  • A great alternative to permethrin 1%

Natural Treatments for Head Lice

Natural options for lice treatment are divided into three categories: tea tree oil, petroleum jelly and wet combing.

Canadian and American doctor recommend against the use of tea tree oil; it’s safety and effectiveness are not well known. Tea tree oil in concentrations below 10% is likely safe.

Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) works by suffocating head lice. 30 to 40 grams of petroleum jelly massaged over the entire scalp and left overnight with a shower cap is the standard dose. Most research suggests that petroleum jelly does not work as well as medicated head lice shampoo. If you decide to use petroleum jelly, you must leave it in your hair for 9-10 days.

Wet combing refers to a method that relies solely on the physical removal of lice and eggs by means of a special comb. It is recommended to carry out treatment sessions every 3 days for the duration of 14 days (i.e., five sessions in total). Mechanical removal through wet combing is usually less effective than medicated head lice shampoo. It’s a good option in pregnant women who cannot safely use medicated options.

Mole Removal at Home

“Mole”, as well as being the name for a small burrowing mammal, is the common name for a collection of dark pigment on the skin. This different pigment, even though it is not necessarily harmful or cancerous, can cause problems for the individual as it can be unsightly and can lead to low self esteem and self consciousness-particularly if the moles are on the face or other prominent positions.

If you are looking to banish any unwanted moles such as this, there are many ways you can do so without resorting to surgery which can have dangerous or uncomfortable side effects. Did you know that you can even take matters into your own hands, and use some surprising home remedies to rid yourself of these skin blemishes?

Here are three effective, proven and harmless ways of natural mole removal:

Garlic for Mole Removal

This humble, innoccuous kitchen staple which is best known for its mythical vampire repelling properties, is equally effective for mole removal at home. It can remove moles as quickly as within a week, depending on the severity of the mole and the reactions of the individual to treatment.


  • Coat the area around the mole with petroleum jelly, to prevent skin being burned.
  • Squash or very finely chop a clove of garlic to remove the juice.
  • Dip a cotton bud or piece of cotton wool into the garlic juice and hold against the area wth tape or gauze.
  • Leave the treatment on the area for several hours or overnight.
  • Wash the area with clean water and repeat.
  • Alternatively, slice the garlic very thinly and attach to the affected area overnight.
  • Continue the treatment until the mole disappears.

Iodine for Mole Removal

A well known household liquid, iodine is used as a disinfectant and also contains acetic acid. This strong smelling liquid is good at removing unsightly moles.


  • Apply petroleum jelly to the area around the mole to avoid burning the surrounding skin.
  • Dip a cotton bud or cotton wool bud into the iodine and hold it against the affected area for 10-15 minutes.
  • Wash the area with clean water.
  • Repeat the treatment at least three times every day.
  • Continue treatment until the mole flakes and falls off.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Because of the mild acetic acid content, this common kitchen ingredient is very effective at mole removal.


  • Cover the surrounding area with petroleum jelly to avoid burning the skin.
  • Dip a cotton wool bud in the cider vinegar and hold it against the affected area for 10-15 minutes.
  • Wash off the cider vinegar with clean water.
  • Repeat the treatment at least four times every day, until the mole disappears. This should take around a month.

So there you have it-some very simple, harmless and inexpensive ways to remove skin moles with the minimum of fuss and hassle-and no trips to the doctor. Moreover, according to this mole removal website, home remedies never leave scars on your skin.

You should always ensure that your hands and the area to be treated are clean before you undertake any of the above methods, and in the unlikely event of any severe reactions you should consult your medical professional.

This post has been supplied by RemoveSkinMoles.Com, a website where you can find comprehensive information on mole, skin tag and wart removal methods.

Quit Smoking Cold Turkey

There are many different ways to wean yourself off of smoking cigarettes over time, but many people these days prefer to just quit smoking cold turkey but aren’t sure how to do so. This article discusses several methods.

It becomes difficult for the addicted smokers to quit smoking. There is an abundance of techniques and rehabilitation clinics available for smokers throughout the country. However, many people complain that these methods are not able to produce any lasting benefits. Tobacco cigarettes, you all know, are hazardous for health. It is imperative that people quit tobacco cigarettes, and in this context, many techniques are employed. Below is a list of some of the guidelines and handy tips that are employed to help people fight through their battle of addictive smoking.

Chewing Gum

Though, it would seem a bit odd, but chewing gum all the time can make the mouth busy. This, in turn, can make you think less of the tobacco cigarettes. When the mouth is busy all the time, then you would get fewer thoughts about smoking a cigarette. This method has been working for many years now but it does not guarantee 100% results each and every time.

Quit Smoking Cold Turkey By Exercising

Physical health paves way for a healthy mind. Once you have a healthy and strong mind, then you can definitely think of alternatives of tobacco cigarettes. For the mind to work in the required manner, exercise is needed, which makes the blood pumping. Necessary oxygen is provided to brain to strengthen the willpower. Entirely, the mind can make or break any situation for you. Your mind has to support your decision to stop smoking tobacco. To keep the mind fresh, you need to indulge yourself in healthy activities and exercises like cycling, tracking etc. When you keep yourself busy in such activities, then chances of you overcoming the tobacco related odds are increased.

Focusing on the Hobby

Everyone has a got a hobby, which he or she likes to work on. You should keep yourself busy so that the thought of smoking a tobacco cigarette does not click your mind. One way to keep yourself busy is by working on your hobby. It could be any, like stamp collecting, watching films, listening music etc. All you need to do is to focus on your hobby, so that you can go a step further in connection to stop smoking tobacco cigarettes.

What will you do you if none of the above-mentioned tips work? Well, an electronic cigarette kit is still there to help you out. Wondering how an e-cigarette kit can help you quit tobacco smoking. The answer is a simple yet precise one. Electronic cigarettes do not emit smoke, for which they are rated as a healthier alternative to the conventional tobacco cigarettes. To facilitate the addicted smokers, electronic cigarettes come with the same theme. Tobacco like scent is used so that familiarity is maintained in case of chain smokers. Tobacco cigarettes have many health hazards associated with their usage. Electronic cigarettes, on the other hand, are healthy to smoke, as these do not contain tobacco. Try going for your electronic cigarette kit at the earliest, so that you can start a new and healthy way to smoking.

Guest post by Jasper and Jasper, an ecommerce company specialising in electronic cigarette kits and accessories. 

Can Echinacea Prevent or Treat My Cold?

What is Echinacea?

Echinacea is, in fact, a plant. The “echinacea” available in natural remedies refers to the medicinal ingredients derived from the following three echinacea plants: E. purpurea, E. augustofolia and E. pallida.

The medicinal ingredients are usually extracted from the plants’ roots. Sometimes, echinacea remedies contain the juices of the whole plant.

How Does Echinacea Work?

Echinacea is most commonly used to prevent or treat cold & flu symptoms. The mechanism by which echinacea prevents or treats these symptoms is poorly understood, however. Echinacea likely boosts the immune system, and likely has some anti-inflammatory effects.

Remedies that contain E. purpurea likely have a stronger benefit on the immune system than the other two echinacea plants.

Can Echinacea Treat My Cold?

Maybe. If you start taking it within 48 hours of your sore throat, runny nose or dry cough, echinacea may decrease the duration of your cold by 1-2 days.

Can Echinacea Prevent My Cold?

No study has proven that echinacea works for preventing cold & flu symptoms. However, the patients in these studies used lower-than-recommended doses of echinacea. So, if you’re considering taking echinacea for preventing a cold, please be sure to take enough.

What are the Side Effects of Echinacea?

It’s likely safe, when used in recommended doses for a short-term (up to 12 weeks). If you’re allergic to ragweeds, daisies or marigolds, you may be allergic to echinacea.

As echinacea boosts the immune system, please avoid it if you have a disease (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, eczema) characterized by an over-active immune system. Also avoid echinacea if you’re taking immuno-suppressants (prednisone, cyclosporine, azathioprine).

Safe for Pregnant or Breast-feeding Women?



  • Echinacea may decrease the duration of you cold, if you start it early enough
  • Echinacea likely does not prevent cold symptoms, though

Pharmacist’s Tips

  • Take 500-1000mg (of raw herb) three times daily for 7-10 days to treat your cold & flu symptoms
  • For the pressed juice products: use 20 drops every 2 hours on day 1, then use 20 drops three times daily for 7-10 days

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