Fragrance: The New Secondhand Smoke

Fragrance: The New Secondhand Smoke

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Have you ever walked into a bath and body store, full of scented bath bombs and candles, and left with a headache, sore throat, or itchy nose? Those of us who are more sensitive may have already connected the dots between artificial fragrances and feeling foggy. While scented products are generally used with the positive intention of changing the scent of a person or a room, many people don’t realize the consequences. For the more sensitive among us, reactions can be immediate, but we are all at risk for the long-term effects of toxic fragrances.

What is “Fragrance”? 

“Fragrance” (or “parfum”) is listed as an ingredient in practically everything these days: body wash, shampoo, soap, perfume, laundry detergent, fabric softener, hairspray, dish soap, household cleaning products… the list goes on and on. While any of these may list the ambiguous “fragrance” as an ingredient, they all have very different scents. Which leads us to the question: what exactly does “fragrance” mean?

Seeing the word fragrance or parfum on an ingredient list indicates a “trade secret” recipe that can be composed of hundreds of synthetic chemicals, selected from a database of 5,000 various components. Not only are companies not required to disclose which chemicals they use,  none of these thousands of chemicals has to be tested for safety. There are some that have been studied, and the health effects are seriously scary. Reproductive harm, respiratory issues, and some of these fragrance chemicals are known neurotoxins.

Fragrance: The New Secondhand Smoke

Fragrance has been linked to:

  • Endocrine disruption
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Brain fog
  • Memory and concentration issues
  • ADHD
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Allergies
  • Respiratory problems
  • Birth defects
  • Damaged sperm

One example we can look at are phthalates, which help chemicals absorb into the body (alarm bells are already ringing). What are the associated risks? Reproductive system birth defects, hormonal changes, reduced sperm motility and concentration, increased damage to sperm DNA, obesity and insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, thyroid irregularities, asthma, and skin allergies, miscarriage, and infertility, to name a few.

 Click here to learn how to take your health to the next level!

EWG product testing found phthalates in nearly 75% of name-brand products, while not a single product listed phthalates as ingredients. This is because phthalates fall under the umbrella of a secret ingredient, and can be slipped into the chemical cocktail that results in one simple word, fragrance, on the ingredients list.

Second-Hand Fragrance

Think about the potential health effects linked to using phthalates that we listed above. This is just one of 5,000 ingredients that are mixed together to create a product’s fragrance. None of these chemicals are required to be tested for safety, yet we are exposed to them every single day! 

Some of us are more sensitive than others and have an immediate reaction to scented products, and will avoid purchasing them. However, the majority of the population (unwittingly) still uses these toxic products. Perfume, scented laundry, hair products, air fresheners… Just like cigarette smoke, these fragrances create an aura of fragrance that pollutes the air. At their core, second-hand smoke and today’s fragrance epidemic are both battles over indoor air quality. 

Fragrance: The New Secondhand Smoke

What Can We Do?

Shop with your dollars, and purchase products that are fragrance-free or contain truly natural ingredients, like pure essential oils. In fact, essential oils can take the place of a variety of scented products. doTERRA On Guard Cleanser is made of pure essential oils, including cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, and wild orange. A lavender essential oil can be mixed with a carrier oil (coconut, avocado, olive, rosehip, etc.) to create a natural moisturizer. Shopping for fragrance-free products is not hard, but making them yourself adds an extra layer of fun & personalization!

Still have questions about fragrances? Click here to talk to a professional!

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1740925/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5093181/

https://www.national-toxic-encephalopathy-foundation.org/fragsmoke.pdf

https://www.ewg.org/research/teen-girls-body-burden-hormone-altering-cosmetics-chemicals/cosmetics-chemicals-concern

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28683407

Are Your Migraines Caused by the Food You Eat?

Are Your Migraines Caused by the Food You Eat?

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

The food you eat on a daily basis has a profound effect on your body’s inflammation level. The more inflamed you are, the faster your body breaks down. The faster your body breaks down, the more you suffer from pain, fatigue, headaches, hormonal issues, and other problems commonly attributed to ageing. On the flip side, the more you are putting your body into an anti-inflammatory state, the easier it is for your body to heal and perform at the highest levels possible.

Consuming gluten is strongly linked to migraine headaches. Gluten has been shown to cause a decrease in cerebral blood flow: the blood flowing to your brain. The main role of cerebral blood is to carry oxygen and nutrition to the brain for fuel so it can perform and thrive in its daily activities. When the brain isn’t being fed, migraine headaches can occur (1).

Imagine crossing your legs for 2-3 hours. Do you remember that pins-and-needles feeling you get when your leg hasn’t received enough blood? Now imagine getting up and running across the room— you’re likely to trip and fall. A similar thing happens to your brain when having cereal for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and pasta for dinner. Except instead of a pins-and-needles sensation causing your legs to go wobbly, you get a killer migraine headache that makes driving, taking a test, working, and other daily functions very difficult. A diet high in gluten is likely to cause chronic headaches and oftentimes migraines too, which severely limits your performance and your potential.

Click here to know about the possible causes of your migraines.

Other Simple Causes of Migraines:

Other Simple Causes of Migraines:

  1. Nutritional Deficiencies: Gut inflammation is caused by common food allergens, such as grains, dairy, and legumes. These common allergens are notorious for preventing important nutrients like iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium and vitamin C from being absorbed.  These nutrients are important for everyday health functions and healthy blood flow to the brain.
  2. Consumption of artificial compounds: Aspartame, Splenda and MSG (monosodium glutamate) are known excitotoxins. Excitotoxins are chemicals that stimulate neurons in the brain to the point that they are destroyed; this is not a good thing! Research from Russell Blaylock MD, a renowned neurosurgeon has elaborated on this phenomenon in his book Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills. These compounds are commonly found in fast food and soda.
  3. Exposure to toxic chemicals: Personal care and cleaning products can cause serious damage to your health, and are a common cause of migraine headaches too. I recommend all of my patients to thoroughly examine the ingredients in their household cleaners, perfumes, dryer sheets, makeup, and shampoos. The Environmental Working Group has compiled an excellent database where you can personally look up the products you use and the level of toxicity is graded on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worst). Whole Foods and other natural grocery store are a great place to find non-toxic alternatives.
  4. Hormonal and Blood Sugar Imbalances: These can cause migraines in some females. These hormonal imbalances can be attributed to blood sugar disturbances, or the ebbs and flows in progesterone or estrogen that occur throughout the monthly menstrual cycle. Getting an adrenal-cortisol rhythm or monthly females hormone salivary lab test can help assess if this is the cause of your migraines.
  5. Joint Dysfunction: Any time the joints in your body—especially the joints in your neck and the upper cervical spine—aren’t moving properly, migraine headaches can occur. Getting your neck assessed by a good chiropractor can help you determine whether your joints are the root cause of your headaches.

Having frequent migraines? Click here to find out if it is related to your food intake.

References:

  1. American Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol.98, No.3 2003, 626-9.

Is The Food You Eat Causing Your Migraines?

Food you eat causing Migrane

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

The food you eat on a daily basis has a profound effect on your body being in a pro-inflammatory state or an ant-inflammatory state. The more inflamed you are the faster your body breaks down. The faster your body breaks down, the more symptoms like pain, fatigue, migraines headaches and hormonal issues occur. On the reverse side, the more you are putting your body into an anti-inflammatory state, the easier it is for your body to heal and perform at the highest levels possible.

Migraines and gluten consumption have a strong connection. Consuming gluten has shown to cause a decrease in cerebral blood flow, the blood flowing to your brain. The main role of cerebral blood is to carry oxygen and nutrition to the brain for fuel so it can perform and thrive in its daily activities. When the ability to feed the brain is impaired migraine headaches can occur (1).analogy

The analogy I give my patients is, imagine crossing your legs for 2-3 hours. Do you remember that pins and needles feeling you get when your leg hasn’t received enough blood? Now imagine getting up and running across the room, you’re likely to trip and fall. The same rings true when having cereal for breakfast, pizza for lunch and pasta for dinner than having to use your brain to problem solve or take a test. Living your life like this is likely to cause your performance to suffer and potential headaches.

Click here to know about the possible causes of your migraines.

Other Simple Causes of Migraines:

Simple factors causing migrane
1. Nutritional Deficiencies: An Inflamed gut from common food allergens like grains, dairy and legumes are notorious for causing mal-absorption of important nutrients like iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium and vitamin-c to name only a few.  These nutrients are important for every day health functions and healthy blood flow to the brain.

2. Consumption of artificial compounds: Aspartame, splenda and MSG (mono sodium glutamate) are known excitotoxins. Excitotoxins are chemicals that stimulate neurons in the brain to the point where they are destroyed; this is not a good thing! Research from Russell Blaylock MD, a renown neurosurgeon has elaborated on this phenomenon in his book, “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills.”

3. Exposure to toxic chemicals: Personal care or cleaning products can cause serious damage to your health and are a common cause of migraine headaches too. I recommend all of my patients to thoroughly examine their house hold cleaners, perfumes, dryer sheets, makeup and shampoos that they are being exposed to on a daily basis. The Environmental Working Group has compiled an excellent data base where you can personally look up the products you use and the level of toxicity is graded on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the worst). Whole Foods and other natural grocery store are a great place to find non-toxic alternatives.

4. Hormonal and Blood Sugar Imbalances: These can cause migraines in some females. These hormonal imbalances can be attributed to blood sugar disturbances or ebbs and flows in progesterone or estrogen that occur monthly in the female cycle. Getting an adrenal cortisol rhythm or monthly females hormone salivary lab test can help assess if this is the cause of your migraines.

5. Joint Dysfunction: Any time the joints in your body, especially the joints in your neck and the upper cervical spine aren’t moving properly, migraine headaches can occur. Getting your neck assessed by a good Chiropractor can help see if this is the root cause of your issue.

Having frequent migraines? Click here to find out if it is related to your food intake.

References:
1. American Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol.98, No.3 2003, 626-9.


The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Justin Marchegiani unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Justin and his community. Dr. Justin encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marchegiani’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any products.