Archive for June, 2011


In Australia the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of vitamin A as retinol equivalents (RE) needed to maintain normal body functions in a healthy individual is:
Babies – birth to 6 months             300 mcg = l,000 IU
Babies – 6 months to 1 year           450 mcg = l,498 IU
1 year to 5 years                       300 mcg = l,000 IU
6 years to 8 years                      400 mcg = l,332 IU
12 years to 15 years                    725 mcg = 2,420 IU
15 years and over                       750 mcg = 2,500 IU
Vitamin A is vital for the healthy development of the unborn child. During pregnancy the RDI is 2,500 IU of vitamin A which must be obtained from the diet or by supplementation each day. When breastfeeding, the RDI increases to 4,000 IU daily.
There is evidence that the excessive intake of vitamin A in pregnancy may lead to birth defects. Some medical researchers state that pregnant woman should avoid vitamin A (retinol) in amounts over 25,000 IU daily.
It is very important if expecting a child not to eat large quantities of liver and meat offal as these contain very high levels of vitamin A. If taking a vitamin A supplement then always follow the directions. Research has shown that some women, especially those women born in the United Kingdom, may be consuming levels as high as 283,050 IU per day. These high intakes could lead to birth defects; therefore organ offal meats as part of the diet should be avoided.
Under medical supervision, doses of up to 50,000 IU of vitamin A (retinol) are used for severe deficiency in children over 8 years of age and adults. Vitamin A has also been used therapeutically in doses of up 300,000 IU daily for five months with minimum side effects for the treatment of acne vulgaris. However, these amounts of vitamin A should not be consumed during pregnancy.


These antioxidants—vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and calcium— are locked deep and safe inside certain foods. And when we eat these foods, we release the antioxidants.
Eating Antioxidant-Deprived Foods
So, if you bite into a big juicy hamburger, for example, you are going to do two things. You are going to create a whole bunch of free radicals simply through the process of chewing and digestion. And you are going to create even more free radicals because when the stuff you swallowed turns into molecules, those molecules get attacked by free radicals. Any that lose an electron turn into free radicals themselves. Not so good.
Eating Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Now look what happens when you bite into a big juicy slice of cantaloupe. You are also going to do two things. You are going to create free radicals simply through the process of chewing and digestion. But you are also going to release antioxidants that destroy any free radicals that may have been created as you chewed, and are going to go on and defuse and destroy all kinds of other free radicals already there—even some of the ones from that burger. Yes!


June 5, 2011 - 4:37 am Comments Off
This type of dermatitis is caused by a true allergy to a particular substance and is detected by patch testing. Various substances are applied to the skin, left on for forty-eight hours, and then checked for reactions. Given that we are exposed to so many different chemicals, contact allergic dermatitis is surprisingly rare. The most common causes are as follows:
Cosmetics contain at least ten substances which can produce allergic reactions. The most common of these is perfume, but preservatives, which are used in all cosmetics (even so-called ‘natural’ cosmetics), are also frequently to blame. The most commonly used preservatives include Dowicill (Quanternium 15), Germall (Imidazoyl urea), Kathon (methylchloro-isothiozalone) and parabens. All cosmetics manufacturers are now required to list the ingredients of their products on the labels so that people can tell which cosmetics they are able to use. With the increased interest in ‘natural’ cosmetics many plant extracts are now being included in cosmetics. Plant extracts such as aloe vera, however, can also cause allergic reactions.
Perfumes contain many chemicals, often numbering thirty or more. These are present not only in actual perfumes, but in most cosmetics and even some medicinal creams. Perfumes are used to mask the chemical smell of cosmetics, thus making them more attractive to consumers. Perfume allergy can produce dermatitis on the eyelids, neck and face. Some cosmetic ranges, such as Almay, Clinique and Innoxa, are not perfumed, and so may be safely used. If you are allergic to perfume it should not be applied directly onto the skin but can be applied to clothing instead.
Hair dyes
Hairdressers are particularly prone to contact allergic dermatitis from hair dye, as are those who have their hair dyed. Hair dye rarely causes dermatitis of the scalp itself, but rather around the scalp margin and on the eyelids. If contact dermatitis develops to a particular hair dye, another colouring agent should be used. Contact allergic dermatitis can also be caused by perming solutions.