Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ahhh!! The Sweet Smell of

The latest studies indicates that the sweet scents of those counterfeit perfumes are actually made with antifreeze, bacteria and urine. Yes, urine! Can you believe that?!! Well, for those who may ask "What's the fuss?" "What about urine therapy?" While urine may be used in alternative medicine for medicinal purposes, it is usually one's own urine. On the other hand, let's make a fuss about anti freeze. Anti freeze is an engine coolant used to keep engines cool. Needless to say, neither sounds healthy. Consider that perfume is often sprayed on the skin and therefore it will be absorbed. In fact, dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf shared with Good Morning America that she has seen more cases of contact dermatitis or an inflammation of the skin as a result of counterfeit perfumes.
Many consumers purchase these counterfeit products assuming that they are getting the same product that is sold in the high end retail stores only that they have the benefit of purchasing it at a fraction of the cost.

The advertisements are alluring. The desire to have the designer perfumes may be strong. Keep in mind that you will not look like this
but instead

It is important to note that these items are not only sold by a peddler who walks up with a bag filled with perfumes; it is also available on the internet as well as kiosks and other small shops or street vendors. Think carefully about saving on items that may affect your health and wellness. It will actually cost you more than you can imagine!
More on spotting counterfeits

Monday, January 25, 2010

Recalls - What's in Your Cupboard?

Every once in a while, I will cover the latest recalls/warnings that are announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is very important for us to be aware of the various recalls/warnings as it relates to our health and wellness.

How about those over the counter products that you may reach for when you have a cold, headache or any other ailment? Well, here are a list of well known products that were recently recalled:

Junior strength Motrin
Children's Tylenol Grape Meltaway Tablets
Extra Strength Tylenol
Extra Strength Tylenol Rapid Release Gelcaps
Extra Strength Tylenol PM Geltabs
Motrin Caplets
Extra Strength Rolaids Fresh Mint Tablets
St. Joseph Aspirin chewable Orange Tablets
Benedryl Allergy Ultratab Tablets

For those who use weight loss drugs - Alli has a counterfeit version. The knock off version of Alli is being sold on the internet - especially on auction sites. It is the Alli 60 mg capsules (120 count refill pack). Now the counterfeit is of course illegal and it is unsafe. The FDA advises anyone with this knock off product - please discard (throw it out).

The knock off contains sibutramine which is dangerous to people who have a history of cardiovascular disease and can lead to a heart attack, stroke or an elevation of blood pressure. Do not dismiss this warning because you consider yourself to be healthy. The FDA warns that you too can experience side effects that includes

A racing heart
Small increases of blood pressure
Heart palpitations

As with most knock offs, there is more emphasis on the appearance of the product rather than the quality of the product. This product as approved by the FDA contains an ingredient known as orlistat which is necessary for the product to work effectively as it is labeled in it's purpose for weight loss.

How will you know if you have the knock off? Here are a list of differences as indicated by the FDA:

It will have a missing LOT Code on the outer cardboard package

The expiration date of the real/authentic Alli only indicates the Month and Year
ex:(11/2010)not the Month, Day and Year (11/20/2010)

A plain foil for the inner safety seal without any words on it. The safety seal of
the real Alli has the words 'SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION' written on it

Large capsules with white powder rather than small white pellets which is found
in the real Alli

A slightly taller plastic bottle with a wider cap and coarser ribbing on the
cap than what is seen with the real Alli

We all want to ensure that we are informed consumers as we work to improve on our health and wellness. Please be sure to share this information with everyone as someone you know may have this product.

But wait there's more from weight loss to body building products heeeeeeeeeeere's MuscleMaster!

According to the FDA, together with, Inc. sent out notification to consumers and healthcare professionals of the voluntary nationwide recall of all lots and expiration dates of the seventeen dietary supplements listed in the firm press release, sold between June 1, 2009 and November 17, 2009. FDA informed that it believes that the recalled products contain ingredients that are steroids. The major concern for the consumers is the risk factors involved with those who are taking these products as steroids may have a harmful effect on the liver. In addition, steroids may cause other serious long-term adverse health consequences in men, women, and children. These include shrinkage of the testes and male infertility, masculinization of women, breast enlargement in males, short stature in children, a higher predilection to misuse other drugs and alcohol, adverse effects on blood lipid levels, and increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.

More Information on Recalls

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti - An Island In Great Need!

My heart goes out to the people of Haiti; the families who are awaiting the news of their loved ones; the families that have heard the awful news that their loved ones have died; the missionaries; the orphans; the survivors; the rescue/relief workers from all over the world - are in my daily thoughts and prayers.

As I watch the coverage, tears fill within my eyes. I feel so helpless as I watch the people crushed beneath the debris. The orphans that already exist there only to be increased with the new number of children who are left without a parent or family member to take care of them. I want to be there to help, I want to give them a hug. The people of Haiti needs our love and support. This is not the time to judge or spew ignorance. I was appalled by the ignorant comments that were made by others including a religious leader Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network. My understanding of a Christian is one who lives a life of compassion and love. We are supposed to give to those in need a basic human response and more importantly - not judging others. According to the bible that we believers of Christ have followed, it clearly shows Christ saying - He who is without sin, cast the first stone. On the other hand, I am not surprised by the remarks of Rush Limbaugh he's way too predictable and is increasingly boring. I would post their videos but there's no place here for bigots. It is the time to step up and show compassion for those in need.

Keith Olbermann addresses both Robertson and Limbaugh

Here are a few of the many organizations/companies that are accepting donations:

Starbucks for Haiti
Save the Children
Yele Haiti

Remember to give even after the media coverage has subsided, not only for Haiti but for those who are experiencing tragic disasters around the world.