Wellness Forum by Nathan Kagan

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Using painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin and paracetamol in pregnancy may harm development of the sex organs in unborn boys, warn researchers.

They blame prolonged use of painkillers – two weeks or more – for contributing to an incrPainkillers during pregnancy harm  male reproductive organseased risk in boys born with undescended testicles.

Around half of women take over-the-counter painkillers during pregnancy, usually for headaches.

A new study shows women who used more than one type of painkiller simultaneously, for example ibuprofen and paracetamol, had a seven-fold increase in giving birth to sons with some form of problem with the testes.

It found the most vulnerable stage of pregnancy is four to six months when painkillers doubled the risk compared to women who took nothing.

Using ibuprofen and aspirin during the second trimester of pregnancy increased the risk four-fold, with a doubling of the risk for paracetamol.

Simultaneous use of two painkiller during this time increased the risk 16-fold, says the study, published in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction today.

These disorders can lead to poor sperm quality and testicular cancer in later life, warn researchers from Denmark, Finland and France.

They claim painkillers may be behind the increase in male reproductive disorders in recent decades, along with exposure in the womb to chemicals in the environment known as endocrine or hormone disruptors.

 mild painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen, may be part of the reason for the increase in male reproductive disordersThe researchers say that the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryologyis markedly higher than that seen for known endocrine disrupters such as phthalates, and that, as most Western women are inevitably exposed to low levels of endocrine disrupters, these together with analgesic use, could be contributing to the increased incidence of cryptorchidism and later life reproductive problems.
Dr Leffers said: “A single paracetamol tablet (500 mg) contains more endocrine disruptor potency than the combined exposure to the ten most prevalent of the currently known environmental endocrine disruptors during the whole pregnancy. In fact, a single tablet will, for most women, be at least a doubling of the exposure to the known endocrine disruptors during the pregnancy and that dose comes on a single day, not spread out over nine months as with the environmental endocrine disruptors. Thus, for women using mild analgesics during the pregnancy, the mild analgesics will be by far the largest exposure to endocrine disruptors.” Here is a good product to use!


Author: Yoselin
August 19, 2010

Powerful antioxidant

Pine bark extract Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol is a trade name for a compound of natural antioxidants extracted from the bark of the French Maritime pine tree-Pinus pinaster. Loaded with bioflavonoids and other biologically active phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, Pycnogenol is backed by clinical research and a long history of use. Studies show that Pycnogenol-a powerful antioxidant-has cardiovascular benefits, boosts the immune system, improves the appearance of the skin, treats varicose veins, relieves the pain of arthritis, and reduces inflammation.

Pycnogenol is one of the few standardized bioflavonoid-containing plant extracts that has undergone numerous experimental and clinical studies to determine its effects on the human body. Because Pycnogenol is a standardized extract-meaning that each batch of Pycnogenol contains exactly the same amount of bioflavonoids and procyanidins-other researchers can use it in their experiments to confirm the results of previous studies. This is one of the important criteria of scientific research-that experiments can be successfully reproduced by other researchers. In fact, one reason why researchers have come up with so many different results when testing plant extracts and compounds is because these substances have not been standardized. Once a substance becomes standardized, however, it often attracts much scientific attention.
Short history
French explorer Jacques Cartier was introduced to pine-bark tea by the native Indians of Quebec during the winter of 1534. The Indians gave Cartier and his men the pine-bark tea to save them from dying of scurvy. Over 400 years later, Professor Jack Masquelier of the University of Bordeaux in France was working in Canada and came across this information. It fascinated him because he was very interested in studying the bioflavonoids, which he suspected were partly responsible for helping Cartier’s group ward off scurvy.
Professor Masquelier began to conduct research on pine bark to determine its biological effects. Later in France, he worked with extracts made from the bark of the Maritime pine trees that grew there. From this work, he determined that the extract did indeed display antioxidant activity and had beneficial effects on the vascular system-similar to the vitamin-P factor observed years earlier by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. Professor Masquelier continued his work on pine-bark extract and developed a standardized extract, which he eventually called Pycnogenol.

OPC-3 in Isotonic form

The Isotonix (TM) OPC-3

Pycnogenol has been used safely for many years in Europe. This substance has no mutagenic activity as determined by the Ames test. This means that Pycnogenol does not cause DNA mutations and is non-cancer causing. Moreover, Pycnogenol has gone through extensive testing to confirm its purity and safety. Studies on humans report no alarming side effects-even at high dosages. Pycnogenol is therefore considered nontoxic at the recommended dosage of 20 to 100mg per day for extended periods of several months, or 100 to 300mg for shorter periods of a few months, which is reserved for therapeutic usag

The phytonutrient components of Pycnogenol-including the antioxidant organic acids caffeic acid, gallic acid, and ferulic acid-have been tested for their free-radical scavenging activities. Pycnogenol has been shown to be effective in neutralizing several types of free radicals, such as the super oxide radical and hydroxyl radical. It also inhibits fatty-acid peroxidation caused by the biochemical t-butyl hydro peroxide, and thereby reduces damage to the cardiovascular system.
Here is some research done on Pycnogenol:

Pycnogenol® for skin disorders

Dr. Lester Packer of the University of California (Berkeley USA) has discovered the mechanism how Pycnogenol®, the famous French maritime pine bark extract, may act to improve psoriasis and other dermal disorders. Since years people with psoriasis have reported that the occurrence of the itching red blotches was dramatically reduced when they took Pycnogenol®. But until now, it was not clear how Pycnogenol® does it.

Dr. Packer pinpointed the action for Pycnogenol®’s help for skin disorders in the genes of human skin cells. The skin of patients with psoriasis and various other dermatoses have high levels of particular proteins called calgranulins. These proteins are typically associated with inflammatory conditions, prevalent in various skin disorders. According to Dr. Packer, Pycnogenol® would dramatically decrease (nearly 22 times) the activation of genes in skin cells encoding these unfavourable proteins. In consequence, dermal inflammations are counteracted and skin conditions are brought back to normal, argues Dr. Packer.

This result is an agreement with a recent clinical study conducted by Dr. Ronald Watson (University of Arizona, Tucson) and published together with Dr. Packer. In this study it was shown that human volunteers irradiated with UV light were more resistant against getting sunburn when they took Pycnogenol®. Exposure of the skin to UV-light causes production of harmful free radicals, which are quickly removed by Pycnogenol®. But more than that, cells of the skin were prevented from initiating an inflammation by Pycnogenol®, thus preventing further harm to the skin. This is how Pycnogenol® prevents the process known as photo-aging of the skin.

Pycnogenol® is among the most powerful antioxidants, but unlike the multitude of other antioxidants, Pycnogenol® provides immediately visible benefits to the consumer. The current studies of Dr. Packer point at the value of Pycnogenol® for a normal, beautiful and healthy skin.

When deciding between the many drink options available, one of the best drinks for your oral health is brewed tea, according to a study in the July/August issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry.
Although this study used both green and black teas in testing, another recent study conducted in Japan found that green tea has added oral health benefits due to the natural antioxidant compounds called catechins that are in it.
This study, published in the Journal of Periodontology, focused on 940 Japanese men aged 49-59 who had some indications of gum (periodontal) disease such as bleeding or receding gums. Virtually all who drank a minimum of one cup of green tea each day showed improvement in gum recession and their gums bled less, too. The researchers suggested that the improvement was the result of catechins in the green tea that interfere with the inflammation that results from bacteria in the mouth.
With all the benefits of drinking tea (especially green tea), there’s no reason not to try it out. Just remember – don’t add sugar to your tea. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and produce acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth and irritate your gums. You should also avoid prepackaged, bottled iced teas because they contain citric acid (which can wear away tooth enamel) and high amounts of sugars.


Pycnogenol®, a patented, proprietary extract made exclusively from French maritime
pine bark (Pinus pinaster, manufactured by Horphag Research, Geneva, Switzerland). Pycnogenol extract is standardized to contain 70 ± 5% procyanidins in compliance with USP 28, compounds known for relatively significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, among other actions. Pycnogenol was ranked among the top 30 selling herbal dietary supplements in the United States in mainstream retail outlets (food, drug, and mass market stores) in 2008 in terms of dollar sales and had a total sales increase of nearly 34% over the previous year.
Dosage and Duration of Ad ministration
The following doses were used in the clinical trials reported in the
table in the full monograph. [Note: Some of the doses are based on
single studies or uncontrolled studies.]
ADHD: 1 mg/kg of body weight/day
Asthma: 1 mg/lb of body weight/day
Cholesterol/dyslipidemia: 120-150 mg/day
Chronic Venous Insufficiency: 150-360 mg/day
Diabetes: 50-200 mg/day
Dysmenorrhea: 30-60 mg/day
Endometriosis: 60 mg/day
Erectile dysfunction: 120 mg/day
Hypertension: 100-200 mg/day
Melasma: 75 mg/day
Muscle cramps: 200 mg/day
Osteoarthritis: 100-150 mg/day
Perimenopause: 200 mg/day
Platelet function: 25-200 mg/day
Retinopathy: 20-160 mg/day

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