Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. is the blogger behind the award-winning blog The Paleo Mom, cohost of the top-rated and syndicated "The Paleo View" podcast, and author of two upcoming books "The Paleo Approach" and "The Paleo Approach Cookbook."
Welcome back to the Paleo View, episode 397. (0:40) Last week, Stacy and Sarah thought they were on episode 397, but there was a typo and miscount. This podcast episode is technically 396. Our world is changing so rapidly right now, and when Sarah switched direction on last week's show, she thinks she missed updating the show notes in one spot and not the other. There is lots going on in this world right now and Stacy and Sarah are on a mission to provide practical tips that are evergreen. Right now with extra stress, it is likely that your sleep cycle is being impacted. However, managing your sleep cycle is one of the most important things you can do for your health right now. Sarah shared an update on how she is doing and what life is looking like right now. Overall, Sarah is feeling a tremendous amount of gratitude. Stacy shared her belly breathing practice and how she is using this calming practice. This week Stacy's family celebrated Finn's birthday, and she shared her grateful mindset around this year's unique celebration.   Awareness of Body & Mind Different types of meditations resonate with different people. (11:24) Sarah loves a body scan meditation. Meditation is not one size fits all; there are many different shades and colors of it. A lot of people don't realize how disrupted their sleep is until they find a way to fix it, and they realize how different they feel. The trigger for Stacy is whether or not she feels her body sink into the bed when she lies down. If she doesn't feel that sink, she knows there is tension in her body and she is dealing with anxiety. Next time you climb into bed, feel your muscles and notice how you feel physically. This information will tell you how you are feeling emotionally. When Stacy doesn't feel that sinking feeling when she lies down, she does three things. First, she takes melatonin. If she has time she will take a magnesium bath. Then she utilizes her breathing technique.   Listener's Question After the last covid-19 podcast episode, Amy submitted the following question (17:50): Thank you, ladies, so much for your episodes on covid-19. Both episodes (here and here) could not have come at a better time! Your top immune-boosting tips are the two things I can't seem to get a handle on, sleep and stress. I am a busy mom of 2, a wife and an entrepreneur, even working from home my days are crazy. By the time I get to bed, (no Sarah, I do not have an adult bedtime) I struggle to fall asleep due to my racing stress filled thoughts. I find myself not only stressing about the things I did not get done and the following day's to-do list but then I stress out about the lack of sleep I am getting, by laying awake stressing. HELP!  For us super busy women, like the both of you, where do we even start in the practical realistic implementation of improving our sleep and reducing stress? What changes will make the most impact? Is there a road map for us to follow? Thank you again for all that you both do.   The Link Between the Two Before Stacy and Sarah jump in to answer the question, Stacy wants to first say - Amy, you are not alone. From both Stacy's perspective and what she is hearing from others on social media, a lot of people are feeling your frustrations. Stacy also wants to plug Sarah's e-book on sleep, which you can find here, complete with an in-depth roadmap. We have to be very committed in terms of supporting sleep and stress management in order to have this dialed in. As soon as life gets busy, this is the easiest thing to drop. But the reason why it is so important to look at these lifestyle factors is that they are linked. High-stress disrupts sleep. It can delay your ability to actually fall asleep, and you aren't able to get into a deep sleep. In addition, it can also take the form where you wake up in the middle of the night and are unable to fall back asleep for hours. Stress impacts sleep quality and quantity, and then not getting enough quality sleep is one of the biggest stress magnifiers.  So when you are not getting enough sleep, your physiological response to stress (in any form), will push your body to produce more stress hormones. As much as these are two independently important lifestyle factors to dial in, it is really important to work on them together because they are so interconnected.   Habit Changes While Stacy and Sarah present these suggestions, think about which of these options you can implement easiest and immediately. Feel a win from them, and then focus on other things. We are all super stressed right now, and we don't need to add stress by worrying about what we are not doing. Try to do the things that you can. Sarah is going to divide these tips, and will first focus on the things that won't interfere with your routine. She will then shift to the things that require more energy but yield a bigger result.   The Easier Things - Adult Bed Time Think of these tips as the low hanging fruit (28:11). These are the things you can do today, without ordering anything or leaving the house. The first area of focus, setting an adult bedtime. This is about making sure you are in bed for 8-hours. Going to bed at the same time every night is equally important. This builds predictability for your body's many systems that will help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling well-rested. Step one is to solidify what time you will go to bed every night. Once you have figured that piece out, then you can back up the bedtime to make sure you are getting enough sleep. If we treat every day like a vacation then we lose routine. Stacy shared the domino effect that happens when she lets her kids stay up late and how it impacts everything the next day. It really does snowball quickly outside of your own personal sleep habits.   Sunlight Time One of the things that is really challenging for us is getting sunlight exposure throughout the day, especially since we are spending much of our time inside right now. (34:22) If you live in a neighborhood where you can go for a walk every day while still practicing social distancing, take advantage! Make sure you are getting that bright sun exposure throughout the day to cement your circadian rhythms. If you can't, look into purchasing a light therapy box, which are incredibly affordable these days. Look for one that is white light, with at least 10,000 luxe. Spend 15 to 30 minutes with it, placing it a foot to two feet away from your face, but at an angle. This is important for your body knowing what time it is. Evenings should be dim, and this is where amber tint glasses can be useful. Sleep in a pitch dark bedroom. Refer back to this melatonin podcast episode for information on this supplement. Now is a great time to address stress management and sleep, which are two areas that tend to unravel when life gets busy. Sarah is working to take her anxiety and use that energy towards implementing something that she would otherwise let slide.   Stress Relief Moving into the stress piece, there are a few really important things that we can do. (41:09). Just taking breaks throughout the day to just empty our brains is extremely helpful. Find three times during the day to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Take that one-minute break, three times a day as a starting place. If you have kids at home, use that one-minute break to go play with your kids or have a dance party. Sarah feels a night and day difference between her stress levels when she takes breaks to be silly. It is very hard for Sarah to pull herself away when she is feeling productive. Stacy too feels like she is a workaholic, and her family plays games with Alexa to take a brain/screen break. This also allows them to laugh and have fun together. Stacy reminds listeners that this is an opportunity to reconnect with your family. You may be feeling like there is a lot you have to do for your children. However, you can use this time to teach your children and empower them to do things for themselves.   Things You Can Do Now Here are some of the things that you can do that lead to that snowball effect of overall good longterm health changes. (48:00) Stop eating two to four hours before bedtime. Avoid caffeine and sweets (outside of fruit) in the afternoon. Make sure you are not vitamin D insufficient. Don't guess - test. Get time outside. Make time for exercise. Read a paper book before bed. This is an easy way to reduce screen time. Putting away screens an hour before bedtime is a great way to build in the downtime before bed. Incorporate a mindfulness practice into your day. Sarah's family is using the app Headspace, and they practice for 10-minutes a day as a family. Be present in what you are doing. Separate your activities so that you can have work-life balance, and so that you can be present and find fulfillment in whatever it is you are doing. Find ways to come together virtually. Maintaining your sense of community is vital right now, even while practicing physical distancing. Spend time with a pet! Now is a great time to foster or adopt a pet if you are able to. Take a screen detox. Come up with a cycle for how to make screen time work for you, and when to turn it off, because that will make a difference in your time management for sure.   Closing Thoughts Sarah hopes that this collection of tips gives some food for thought on how you can use this time at home to address things that are easy to fall off the to-do list.  Take the anxiety that is normal during this situation, and channel that into positive actions that are going to lend themselves to lifelong habits.  Sarah hopes this is a helpful episode.  Stacy feels helped! She feels equipped with the tools to take action to be her best self. Thank you, Amy, for the great question! And thank you, listeners, for tuning in! If you found this episode helpful, please leave a review and share it with others.  There is a lot of information out there right now, and it is important to both Stacy and Sarah to be a steady rock during this weird, changing time.  Thanks for listening, and we will be back again next week! (1:06:16)
Welcome back to the Paleo View, episode 397. (0:40) Stacy and Sarah are doing a follow-up show to episode 394 to answer listener's frequently asked questions. Since then, a lot has changed and Stacy and Sarah want to empower listeners with the latest information. Stacy wants to remind people that if you are home with your kids, be mindful of what you are exuding in front of them. Calm and reassurance is critical with kids right now.   A Follow Up Show Sarah and Stacy each shared a bit about how they are parenting through this unique time. It is ok to be fearful and anxious, but make sure you find the appropriate outlet and time to share on your feelings. A lot can change by the time this show airs, but Stacy and Sarah are hoping that these points will still be helpful as this continues to evolve in the US. For people who aren't feeling symptomatic, we could still be harboring the virus and give it unknowingly to people. This is why we are all in quarantine and it is incredibly important to understand this. There is this other side of the quarantine equation that has to do with taking healthy people out of the possible infection pool. Sarah talked about other country's quarantine practices and why the US has chosen the course that we have. If we can slow the infection rate, we will spread this out over a longer period of time, which is good because it means we won't overwhelm the medical system. The whole point of all these steps is so that people who need treatment can get it. We are trying to protect the more vulnerable people. Recognize that some people who don't appear vulnerable are getting a severe course of this disease, and there is no way to predict how bad it is going to be. We are, figuratively, coming together as a community so that we can protect our communities from overwhelming our local medical care.    Updates Stacy quickly shared an update on one of the two bills that were discussed on last week's episode. (12:19) Sarah has collected representative questions from the most common discussions that are happening on both Stacy and Sarah's channels. WHO is quoting global mortality at 3.9%. However, Sarah wants to emphasize that this is still very likely an overestimation due to the undercounting of mild cases. Almost no countries are testing for mild cases right now. South Korea still remains the exception of a country that is testing at the right level. All other countries still need to ramp up for their testing capacity. The mortality rate has climbed in South Korea to 0.9%, which is ten times higher than the seasonal flu. Although this is better news than what WHO is reporting right now.   The Latest Findings We are still looking at the scientific literature. We are still looking at about 80% of people having a mild disease course. However, Sarah wants to emphasize here what mild means in this context. It encompasses everything short of pneumonia, and all the way down to almost no symptoms. 15 to 20% of people who are considered critical will need medical care, like supplemental oxygen. Something like 5% of the cases are requiring more advanced support for the respiratory system. On average, for mild symptoms, people are sick for about two weeks. The severe and critical cases are lasting three to six weeks. When you see news stories of worst-case scenarios, know that we completely have it in our power to make sure that things don't escalate to that point. The people who are at higher risk of having a severe course are still older people, which starts at 50. The other people who are more vulnerable are people with pre-existing conditions and immunocompromised people. What people are dying from with covid-19 is acute respiratory distress syndrome or multiple organ failure syndromes.   Respiratory Risk Factors Stacy asked Sarah, "do you think it's realistic to say that if you are prone to respiratory infections that you would need to be especially mindful during this period?". There is currently no evidence that those with asthma are considered higher risk. Stacy shared her thought process behind this. At this point, having a history of bronchitis or pneumonia is not a risk factor. However, some of the things that might contribute to a high frequency of bronchitis and pneumonia may be risk factors. The lifestyle factors are still our top action items at this time.   Immunocompromised Are all of us with autoimmune diseases automatically considered immunocompromised? (26:03) The answer is no. Autoimmune disease does not automatically imply immunocompromised. This phrase is referring to people with HIV/AIDS, cancers that are impacting immune cells, cancer patients who are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, transplant patients that are on immune suppressants, and those with genetic diseases that affect the immune system. That being said, some autoimmune disease suffers are also immunocompromised. If you are taking disease-modifying drugs or steroids to manage an autoimmune disease, your doctor may tell you that you are immunocompromised. In general, an autoimmune diagnosis does not mean that you are immunocompromised. Sarah wants to reassure listeners that you are not automatically in a high-risk category because you have an autoimmune disease. If you have had great success managing your autoimmune disease with functional medicine approaches and diet and lifestyle, your immune system is probably well equipped to handle a viral infection.   Levels of Severity Is the severity of the disease going to be worse for those with autoimmune conditions? (29:48) Sarah shared information from this, this, and this study to explain what the research currently shows. There is a time and a place for medication. Do not discontinue your medicine without talking to your doctor if you are on immunosuppressants. If you are on immunosuppressants, yes, you would be considered a higher risk. Make a decision with your healthcare provider about the best path forward and take all of the precautions to protect yourself from exposure to covid-19. It is not that autoimmune diseases increase your risk for a more severe course, it is that the immunosuppressant drugs potentially increase risk.  Be sure to call the doctor's office first before showing up.   Cleaning vs. Disinfecting Should I be used an antibacterial soap to wash my hands? And will this impact the beneficial bacteria on my skin?(36:40) A similar question Stacy and Sarah has received has to do with the effectiveness of natural soaps. There’s a technical difference between cleaning (where you’re removing bacteria and viruses by trapping them in your cleaning solution and rinsing/wiping them away) versus disinfecting (where you’re killing the bacteria and viruses with a powerful antimicrobial chemical).  For cleaning, yes, natural soaps such as Dr. Bronners and Branch Basics work, make sure you’re rinsing/wiping clean, depending on the application. For disinfecting, try 70% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). The EPA has a list of disinfectants that should be effective against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes covid-19) here. Stacy has a blog post here with additional product recommendations. Sarah pointed out that there are a lot of disinfectants out there that haven't actually been tested for their effectiveness. Be sure to check the CDC to see if your products are actually disinfecting. If you are thinking about using essential oils, please refer to this podcast episode. Sarah shared her thoughts on how to best check for a product's effectiveness against covid-19.   Treatment What can we take to help us feel better if we do get covid-19? (47:25) In moderate to severe cases, call your doctor and find out what their recommendations are. Please know that if you are in that 80%, rest and hydration are still your primary strategies. If you have a fever, if it is not dangerously high, try not to take any medicine for it. Sarah noted that a high fever, above 104F (and lower from susceptible individuals, you probably already know if this applies to you) can cause seizures.  If you are going to take something, avoid NSAIDs (which suppress some aspects of the immune system), and take acetaminophen. Call your doctor if you can’t get your fever down. If it hurts in your chest when you are coughing, call your doctor. And if you have any doubts, don't be afraid to call your doctor. Any symptom relief that is going to improve sleep is going to be beneficial.   More Ideas For cough, honey is a surprisingly good cough suppressant (even recommended by Mayo clinic), which you can either add to herbal tea (lots of antioxidants!) or just take a spoonful. Eucalyptus oil, diluted with something like coconut oil, rubbed onto the chest may help act as an expectorant and cough suppressant. If you happen to have a Joovv at home, it will help with your joint pain. There is nothing from a lifestyle perspective that is going to prevent you from getting something. You can Paleo as hard as you can, but sometimes that is not going to change anything. For a concentration amount of information on what you can do from a diet and lifestyle standpoint, refer back to this podcast episode. Get enough sleep, manage stress, have plenty of low/moderate activity throughout your day, and avoid nutrient deficiencies. Sarah wants to really emphasize that the magnitude of effect from supplements is very small. It is far more important to avoid nutrient deficiencies and to get your nutrients from foods. Stacy is personally working hard to manage her sleep habits. Look at all the things that are making you stressed and anxious, and identify what is in your control. Instead, look at what you can focus on and what you can do best.   Supplements We are conditioned now that when we don't feel well we take a pill. (1:02:10) Even in alternative health, there is lots of food-based supplements. Functional health doctors love to give supplements. We don't yet have data on how supplements impact covid-19. There is no pill that is going to substitute for going to bed early or doing something to reduce stress levels. Other than a vitamin D supplement if you are vitamin D deficient, there is nothing else that you are going to be able to take that is going to help. Even as Stacy and Sarah talk about supplements that are going to be beneficial, they are talking about very small effects compared to the lifestyle factors.   Colloidal Silver Products The answer is no colloidal silver products are not going to help. (1:04:31) Data on colloidal silver products are incredibly mixed. There have been studies showing absolutely no antibiotic activity, and a couple have shown no antiviral activity. It is also very easy to important to know that you can overdose on silver and it can be toxic. The upper limit seems to be context-dependent.   Elderberry There are two different schools of thought online. Sarah wrote about the study showing that elderberry can reduce the severity of symptoms and duration of relevant viral infections. It does not seem to prevent viral infections. And should not be taken daily since long-term safety has not been established. Studies evaluate 5-day intervention “at the first sign of illness”. Some people are recommending against Elderberry due to concerns that it may increase the severity of or increase the risk of cytokine storms. The safety of elderberry has never been tested long-term. A cytokine is a chemical messenger that the immune system uses to communicate with itself. There are dozens of different cytokines. Sarah shared more on cytokines and what they do in the body. There has been some cytokine profiling done of those patients with covid-19, and they are showing that this is potentially causing the complications. The cytokine storm is not unique to covid-19. Doctors are trying to figure out the best treatment protocols. There is a bit of research out there on the effects on the elderberry, and Sarah broke those down in greater detail. The studies Sarah referred to are here, here, here and here. Sarah appreciates the voices of caution on the use of elderberry out there. The fact is we don’t know if it would help with covid-19. All in all, Sarah is not convinced elderberry would contribute to cytokine storm, but caution is the better part of valor.   Additional Supplements Other people have asked about vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D. (1:21:09) With vitamin D, you are definitely supporting your immune system by addressing a deficiency. Testing your vitamin D levels is a great action item right now. Zinc supplementation has been shown to reduce infection rates. However, 73% of Americans don't get enough zinc. Sarah recommends using a food journal like MyFitnessPal or Cronometer to see how much zinc you are getting from your food. Make sure you are choosing foods that help you get enough zinc. Sarah thinks there is a compelling reason to avoid deficiency and not a compelling reason to supplement. The same can be said for vitamin C. Eating fruits and vegetables with vitamin C are going to provide a number of benefits. There are also recommendations floating around to take SA glutathione and vitamin A as well as d+k2. In general, Sarah thinks it’s best to be skeptical of any claims that a supplement will protect you from covid-19. All of the supplements recommended by Dr. Lynch are all general immune health nutrients, and certainly being deficient is problematic. There’s no evidence that glutathione, vitamin A or K2 supplementation can reduce infections or infection severity. Be sure to talk to your doctor about supplementation for feedback unique to you. The things that are actually going to help us is social distancing, hand washing, cleaning, getting enough sleep, managing stress, being active, getting a nutrient-dense diet, and following quarantine protocols.   Additional Suggestions Stacy wants to emphasize the mentality part of this. (1:26:30) There is endless science on how stress negatively affects our bodies in a multitude of ways.  Look for ways to help yourself feel better.  Don't listen to this podcast and feel stressed that you need to be doing more things. Take a deep breath or go for a walk.  Stacy shared ways that she is looking for things she can own and the problems she can solve. There are things that each of us can control.  Feel grateful for what you do have, whatever that may be.  Most of us our families are healthy, and you can be appreciative and grateful for that.  The more things you can be grateful for the more it is going to help you calm down and destress.  Mail is still being delivered, trash is still being picked up, grocery stores are still open.  There is a lot of gratitude we can find around us, we just have to be willing to pause and look for it.   Wrap Up Stacy shared her appreciation for all the prep-work Sarah did for this week's podcast episode.  Sarah shared with listeners that we will host as many covid-19 podcast episodes as needed throughout this pandemic. (1:31:06) If you have more questions as the situation evolves, please pass those along use Stacy and Sarah's contact forms on their sites or submit via social media. Thank you again for tuning in! And for your support, for leaving reviews, and for using the affiliate links on their sites.  Stacy echoed Sarah's appreciation for all that the listeners and fans do to support their work. Thanks for listening! Stacy and Sarah will be back again next week! (1:33:36)
Welcome to episode 395 of The Paleo View! (0:40) It is opposite day again because Stacy has prepared a super detailed, science-backed, skincare follow up show. Sarah once again gets to be the comic relief. This episode is a follow up to the non-toxic skincare episode but will cover more than just skincare. There has been a lot of information about toxins in general, and Stacy wants to dive into what this means. This week Stacy is going to dive into gluten in personal care products, heavy metals in personal care, fragrances, asbestos, and more. When discussing toxins, Stacy wants us to think about 'is something actually poisonous' or is it simply something that doesn't work for you. Like many things that are clickbait on the internet, you will find people saying things that are questionable. This show will be science-based as Stacy and Sarah dive into what is actually toxic, poisonous, problematic things for you to use on your body and why. Sarah clarified how Stacy is defining the words toxic, sensitivity, healthy and safe.   Does Gluten in Skincare Matter? The first thing Stacy is going to talk about is the thing that Stacy receives the most questions on, which is gluten in skincare. (4:31) Even if there is gluten in a personal care product that would not make it toxic. Something can still be non-toxic and natural and have gluten in it. Ingredients and reading labels, just like with food, is going to be important in your personal care products. How do you learn how to read the labels when looking for gluten? It is important to understand that gluten-containing and derived from on a label are not the same thing. You have some ingredients that are going to be ok for most people because they are not gluten-containing, even though they are derived from. However, then you have a different class of ingredients that are inclusive of the protein, which is gluten. So when you are thinking, "what do I need to look for?", the questions that you need to be asking are as follows: How sensitive to gluten are you? Do you have a weekend immune system or gut dysbiosis? Do you have an autoimmune condition? Or skin that is weakened with open wounds?   More on Gluten Absorption Our skin is a really good barrier and gluten protein, in particular, is too big for our skin to absorb. So if you have healthy skin and you are not super sensitive (i.e. you don't have celiac disease or an autoimmune disease), then using gluten in your skincare might actually be ok for you. Sarah posed the question that it depends on how the product is derived and explained this in greater detail. If you are someone who suspects a higher sensitivity, the potential for problems could be higher When the structure of gluten changes, even if you are a healthy person, your skin would be absorbing it. For Stacy, she does not touch hydrolyzed anything, even if it's fermented. Things that will impact your absorption of anything include steamed skin, dermabrasion, an open wound, and any sort of treatment to your skin like light treatment. Be aware that when you do these treatments your skin is even more prone to absorb what is being applied topically. (12:50) Stacy also avoids gluten-derived products for the mouth, the hands, or sprays, since you are absorbing these products via consumption. It is not necessarily black or white. It is more nuanced and up to personal needs and health history. Ingredients to avoid include HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN, SECALE CEREALE (RYE) SEED EXTRACT, and HYDROLYZED HYALURONIC ACID. Again, this is bio-individual and depends on the health of your skin. Ingredients that Stacy feels comfortable including (after personally testing) are HYALURONIC ACID and SODIUM HYALURONATE, ARACHIDYL GLUCOSIDE, BETA-GLUCAN, SCLEROTIUM GUM, and SORBITOL.  The line of products that Stacy uses, BeautyCounter, does gluten testing on their products and are certified gluten-free. Sarah mentioned that there is some concern in the medical community that the testing criteria for gluten-free is not rigid enough for celiacs. The science on this hasn't been clear enough to say what that guideline should be changed to, so there is still uncertainty around this. If you are celiac or have severe gluten-sensitivity, utilizing a skin patch test is best.   Heavy Metals A few years ago Stacy dove headfirst into the research that is available on heavy metal in personal care products. (24:15) Again, this has all been heavily researched and what Stacy is going to share is backed by science. Inhalation and ingestion of particular heavy metals are absorbed 120 times more than if it were put on your skin. The most important thing that you need to switch over are things that you breathe or consume. Sarah thinks it would be interesting to see how compromised skin would absorb toxins at an even greater amount. Cadmium is a common heavy metal in personal care products that Stacy shared more about. Its common route of entry is inhalation, ingestion, and absorption through the skin. This commonly found toxin causes anemia, birth defects, impairment of pulmonary function, renal dysfunction, bone changes, liver damage (hepatotoxicity), kidney damage (nephrotoxicity), iron deficiency, oxidative stress.   Mercury Mercury causes disruption of the nervous system, damage to brain functions, DNA damage and chromosomal damage, allergic reactions, tiredness and headaches, negative reproductive effects (sperm damage, birth defects, and miscarriages). What gets to Stacy about personal care products is that a lot of them are linked to problems with infertility and reproductive health damage. We find often that newborns, when their blood is tested when they come out of the womb, have high levels of ingredients and toxins in them.   Other Common Heavy Metals Arsenic is absorbed through inhalation and ingestion, so not through the skin. This heavy metal causes birth defects, carcinogen: lung, skin, liver, bladder, and kidneys, GI damage, severe vomiting, diarrhea, death. Lead is a common one that most people think of when they think about toxins in beauty products. It is regulated in the paint you put on your walls, but not in the lipstick you put on your mouth. The last toxin that Stacy wants to mention is aluminum. It is absorbed through inhalation, ingestion, and absorption through the skin And aluminum can cause oxidative stress, aluminosis and dialysis encephalopathy syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. Using a natural or clean beauty brand does not mean that your product(s) are free of heavy metals. It is very important to work with a brand that certifying or testing that their products do not contain heavy metals. Heavy metals are by definition natural. All of the points that Stacy raises make it abundantly clear that this industry needs to be regulated. There need to be third-party testing laws and labeling laws. Stacy forgot to mention that she is one of two representatives from Virginia who will get to go to DC to advocate for everyone to have means and access to safer personal care products.  In heavy metal toxicity, there are some studies out there.  One in particular that Stacy mentioned showed that exposure (even in low concentrations) causes a potential health risk to the user because they accumulate in the body over time.  Especially when people have specific conditions or a compromised immune system, they are more likely to see ill effects.    The Fragrances Loop Hole There is absolutely no regulation that exists on what companies can or cannot put on the label of their products. (43:16) Almost always paraben is a binder in fragrance, but products will use the label paraben-free since the paraben is technically in the fragrance.  For Stacy, if the word fragrance is anywhere on any label she doesn't touch it.  The loophole allows companies to trick consumers by claiming that the full ingredients list is protected by trade secrets.  So companies are hiding ingredients claiming its fragrance. Fragrance is more than just perfume. It is most commonly found in household products.  In 2009 testing was done on Febreeze Air Effects and they detected 89 airborne contaminants that were not disclosed on the label.  There was a study done in the Journal of Air Quality Atmosphere and Health, which studied air pollution from laundry detergent.  The study determined that detergent was releasing carcinogens into the air.  Sarah noted that this also means that there are carcinogens in your clothes and on your skin at the end.  Companies may believe that exposure to these toxins in small doses isn't going to hurt people.  However, we know for a fact that it has been determined for many of these toxins that no small amount of exposure is safe. If you were only getting exposed to a small amount maybe it wouldn't be toxic and your body would detoxify. But these toxins are all around us and we are not absorbing them in small amounts.  The average woman puts 14 personal care products on her person a day. So when you think about how many ingredients are in those products and how they are amplified in the system with our laundry products and household cleaning products, our bodies cannot detoxify this load.  We as consumers have to research the brands we are choosing to use and understand their integrity.   Talc & Asbestos There is a documentary out that released in December 2019 called Toxic Beauty. (53:05) Stacy is all for education, but because there were specific FDA recalls that happened and specific talking points were shared on talc it caused widespread panic.  Unless the brand you use CERTIFIES their talc is asbestos-free, avoid it. Saying “talc causes cancer” isn’t correct. We need to be careful what we say because when we are factually incorrect we lose credibility. Instead, we say: Talc can be contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen. EWG just did another test, less than a month ago, and found more asbestos, which you can read more about here. Stacy put this higher absorption into perspective. Within just three days of switching your personal care products to cleaner options, you are able to show a significant reduction in the toxins found in your body.  This makes a huge difference in teens whose hormones are still sensitive.  Make sure that you are using a brand that continually tests.    Closing Thoughts The first step is to be an informed consumer.  The second piece is to be an advocate for safer options. You can text 'BETTERBEAUTY' to 52886. A form letter will be auto-populated for you, and then you can edit it to make it more personal. The more personal the letter is, the better.  There are two bills in the house related to better beauty, and Stacy described these in greater detail.  There is a division within BeautyCounter that is dedicated to advocacy. It isn't tied to their brand, it is part of what they use their profits for because they want everyone to have access to safe products. They are hoping to expose the mica industry because it is abused on ingredient lists.  There is a campaign to ask your lawmakers to look into enforcing the fairtrade and lack of child labor into the mic industry.  You can text 'MICA' to 52886 to help with this.  Continuing to support Stacy through BeautyCounter allows them to better lobby for these changes. BeautyCounter is working to help other safe brands. We have to be a voice as consumers and speak up to demand protection. If you have any follow up questions about toxins or personal care product ingredients feel free to email Stacy or reach out to her on social media.  Additional Resources:  Shop Primally Pure and use the code 'paleoview' to get a discount on your order Episode 275 Does Talc Cause Cancer Carcinogens in Laundry Products Skincare for Teens Sarah thanked Stacy for all the research she did for this episode. She thinks this will be an awesome resource for listeners.  Don't forget to support the show by leaving a review wherever you listen to this podcast.  Or tell someone about the show and share a favorite episode with them.  Thanks for listening! Stacy and Sarah will be back again next week! (1:07:17)
Welcome to episode 394 of The Paleo View. (0:40) This week Stacy and Sarah thought it would be good to discuss what you can do to prepare yourself for the incoming coronavirus. Stacy and Sarah will focus on how we can become educated on what this virus is and what we can do to protect our health and the health of our loved ones. It is going to get a little scientific, but the goal is to give listeners solution-oriented ideas to move forward with. One of the challenges that we have right now with covid-19 is that there are a lot of unknowns. This episode is being recorded on Tuesday, March 3, and Sarah is going to present on the latest science available through that point. The goal of this show is to cut through the hype and fear. Sarah wants to provide listeners with science-based information and action steps for preparation. Specifically, the focus is going to be on diet and lifestyle things that you can do to support your immune system. Sarah's inbox has been flooded on questions around covid-19. In response, Sarah has decided to put together a free e-lecture series called Immune Health on a Budget. It will be available on March 25. However, you can sign up now to make sure you have access to that once available.   What is covid-19? Covid-19 is the name of the illness that is caused by this new novel coronavirus. The virus has been named by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. This virus has been called SARS-CoV-2. It is an RNA virus. Some of the symptoms are from our immune system activation, and some are from the damage being caused by the high viral load. Where this came from will be more fully understood in time. This one appears to be zoonotic. It likely originated in chrysanthemum bats and passed onto humans via pangolin.  The very good news is that this virus is not mutating very quickly. It makes it easier for studies to conduct research since it is not a moving target.   The Symptoms Something like 80% of people who get covid-19 get what is like a mild head cold. (8:54) There is already some evidence that there are people who can be completely asymptomatic. The vast majority of cases are mild. 83 to 90% of patients who seek medical care have a fever. 46 to 82% have a cough. 31% have shortness of breath. 11 to 44% have fatigue or muscle pain. There have been some other symptoms reported without a good idea of their frequency. These are sore throat (especially early on), abdominal pain and diarrhea. Low white blood cell count is common, and also elevated liver enzymes. In the severe course of the disease, this is causing viral pneumonia. Most of the data that we have is out of China, and we can expect these results to look fairly different when covid-19 hits other countries. This is preliminary data that will change in the days and weeks to come.   Vulnerable Populations Older patients appear to be more vulnerable to the disease. (13:05) The median age of the infected is in the 50's. The median age of the people who have succumbed to covid-19 is around 70 and typically have had other chronic health problems. These health problems include diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. 23 to 32% of patients have a severe course (viral pneumonia) requiring intensive care for respiratory support. This is likely an overestimation because the minor and asymptomatic cases are not being counted very well in most places. Similar to H1-N1 in 2009, the preliminary data looked scarier than it turned out to be. Among those patients that were hospitalized for viral pneumonia from covid-19 in China, there is about a 4 to 15% mortality rate. The overall mortality rate is estimated at around 2%. This is very likely to change since mild cases are not being accounted for very well. It is very important to understand where these numbers are from and how they are likely to change.   Transmission The incubation period ranges from 1 to 14 days. Although recent case reports suggest that the incubation period may be as long as 24 days. This will become more clear as we have more data. Currently, it is believed to be primarily transmitted through respiratory transmission. (21:15) There have been some other tests showing RNA in stool and blood, so there may be other modes of transmission. If confirmed that the virus can be spread by stool, then different types of precautions may be necessary. Transmission from an asymptomatic or presymptomatic carrier appears to be possible, which, if confirmed in larger studies, will have important implications for screening and isolation. The reproductive number (R0) (the expected number of secondary cases produced by a single infected person in a susceptible population) is between 2 and 3.  Instead, many people may be asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms and are spreading the virus without knowing it.   Is this a pandemic? An epidemic is an illness resulting in death with sustained person-to-person spread within a community. (25:46) A pandemic is an epidemic that is occurring in multiple countries with worldwide spread. Covid-19 is in 64 different countries, which definitely counts as worldwide spread. As of right now, it looks like it is isolated to certain spots, which is why the WHO has not yet declared covid-19 a pandemic. Where Sarah is getting this information is not from media sources. There have been over 400 scientific studies that have been published already on this virus and this outbreak. These are Sarah's primary sources of information on this topic. The WHO and CDC have been great sources of information providing actual data. The question when we talk about a global pandemic is what percent of the population could end up being infected. This is something that is very hard to predict. Right now there are a lot of scary stats that are being reported through media channels. Covid-19 is potentially a little bit more infectious than the flu. However, we need more data to really understand this detail. The country that has had the most aggressive testing so far is South Korea. Sarah shared more information on South Korea's data and what this will represent on a global level.   Reducing Exposure The CDC guidelines recommend staying home when you feel sick. (32:01) Regardless of whether or not you think you could be sick with covid-19, this is how you prevent spreading germs to others. Stacy also encouraged leaders to make this point very clear to their team members. This will especially help vulnerable populations. Only 5% of Americans wash their hands properly. Sarah fully admits that until a few days ago, she was part of the 95% of Americans. There are tons of studies showing that washing your hands can dramatically decrease infection rates. Avoid touching your eyes and mouth. To properly wash your hands, scrub them with soap on them for 20 seconds. Wet them, put soap on them, lather up your hands, and then rinse. Wash under your nails and between your fingers. If you are in a public bathroom, turn off the faucet with the paper towel you are drying your hands with. Also open the bathroom door, when in public, with the same paper towel you used to dry your hands. This virus is very susceptible to soaps and cleaners.  Anything you are already using is probably great. Sarah has everyone wash their hands when they come in the door, before setting the table, handling food, eating, going to the bathroom, or if anyone coughs or sneezes. The CDC is also recommending that people avoid high-risk areas and very crowded places. Another key recommendation is that most people do not need to wear face masks. The only masks that are actually effective are N-95 and higher-rated masks. There may be a shortage and medical personnel may not have appropriate protection. If you are not a high-risk individual, do not horde N-95 masks.   What to Do If You Think You Have It Testing in America is about to become much more widespread. (41:10) If you think you have covid-19, whether or not you have traveled, go to the doctor and get tested. Quarantine yourself to minimize your exposure to others. Do all the things you would do to recover from the cold and flu. Rest, hydrate, and seek medical intervention if needed. Don't be a hero. There are people who need supplemental oxygen or ventilation support. Antivirals have had some success in preliminary clinical trials, be open to medical intervention. This is not the time to be skeptical of the medical community. Avoid corticosteroids unless indicated for some other reason. Seek a second opinion if you are prescribed corticosteroids. Sarah thinks it is very important right now to protect others. So if you are sick with anything, stay home and don't expose others.   Supporting Your Immune System: Sleep All of the things that Stacy and Sarah talk about on this podcast are important for reducing inflammation. (45:09) These are the things that are easy to let slide when life gets busy. This is an important time to reflect on what we are doing diet and lifestyle-wise and see where we can improve so that we can best support our immune systems. Sarah is going to cover all of this stuff in greater detail in her lecture series, which you can sign up for here. Take the anxiety you are channeling into the unknown of covid-19 and turn it into better implementation of diet and lifestyle choices.  Use this as a motivator to make a change. The top area of focus to look at is sleep. Getting proper sleep is critical to immune function. There was a well-designed study published in 2015, looking at 164 people. They were first screened using an actiwatch for 7 consecutive nights to measure sleep. They also kept a sleep diary (questionnaires for control variables) After being segmented based on the initial data, they were isolated in a hotel for 6 days. On day 1, rhinovirus was administered nasally. Data was measured for those 6 days, and follow up was done at 28. Sleep duration was the biggest predictor of whether or not the people would get a cold (not sleep fragmentation or sleep efficiency). If sleep is not dialed in for you, this is the time to do it. Sarah recommends being in bed for 8 1/2 to 9 hours before your alarm goes off.   Supporting Your Immune System: Stress Management Stress is about the same in terms of the impact it can have on our susceptibility to infection. There was a similarly designed study using a stress index. The more stressed a person was, the more likely they were to get that virus that they were exposed to. The high-stress people had a nearly sixfold increase in infection rates. There were other studies with similar findings. Stress and sleep go together. It is really hard to work on one and not work on the other. The best thing you can do to support your sleep is to manage your stress and go to bed at a regular time. The best thing you can do to reduce your stress is to get enough sleep. Mindfulness practices, going for a walk outside, and other calming practices can all help here.   Additional Steps to Take The last lifestyle thing that is really important is getting lots of low and moderate-intensity activity while avoiding strenuous or high-intensity activity. (58:28) All of these lifestyle factors work together. In terms of nutrition, vitamin D levels will make a difference to your immune health. Be sure to refer to this episode, but getting tested and supplementing as needed is recommended. Also up your nutrient density focusing on antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. Eat tons of veggies and fruit. Eating three or more servings of fruit a day causes a reduced rate of upper respiratory infections. If you are going to have eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day, have five be vegetables and three be fruit. Vitamin E is another important nutrient for supporting the immune system. We can get this nutrient through olives, avocados, olive/avocado oil, nuts, and seeds. Omega-3's are also very important. Too high fat can be problematic for immune function, so be sure to balance your macros. Vitamin A and vitamin D coming from liver and other organ meat is important. Zinc from shellfish is very important as well. A healthy gut microbiome can improve our ability to fight off an infection. Getting probiotics from fermented foods is great, but supplementing with a probiotic is a great idea as well. Stacy and Sarah prefer Thrive probiotic. You can save 15% off with the code 'PaleoView15'.   Closing Thoughts We are still waiting for more data on covid-19, but fine-tuning your diet and lifestyle habits is the thing you can do to prepare right now.  Stacy is looking at the things she can change in a realistic and sustainable way. Don't let this full list of recommendations overwhelm you so that you do nothing. Ask yourself what habits changes feel manageable to you. Reminder: Immune Health on a Budget, which will go into detail on how we can support our immune systems in the face of covid-19, will be FREE and live on March 25th.  Sign up to watch it live here. If you can't watch it live, sign up so that you receive the replay. Sarah is hoping that by March 25 we have more data to act on Stacy thanked Sarah for pulling together all of this information. Thank you for listening, and be sure to send follow up questions to Stacy and Sarah! We will be back again next week! (1:13:53)
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Atlanta, GA, USA
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2 weeks, 2 days