You may wonder why there are vitamins or supplements that other companies sell that you can't find at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage. This is because there are certain nutrients or ingredients that we have determined to be of questionable quality or safety, and therefore will not sell them. The following is a list of those types of products, along with explanations as to why we don't sell them. Also check out our Healthy Food Funnel graphic that represents how we weed out unhealthy products. Read about other criteria for submitting new products to us.
Ingredients We Won't Sell
Artificial colors: Artificial in terms of food means “a substance not duplicated in nature.” There are currently seven artificial (synthetic) coal-tar based dyes on the market. There is evidence that four of the seven being used cause cancer in laboratory animals. The FDA has banned 17 food dyes since 1918 because of their potentially toxic effects. Furthermore, six of the seven being used in the US have been banned in other countries.
Artificial flavors: There are over 2,000 flavorings - 500 are natural (which can be safe) and the rest are synthetic. The synthetic flavors are made from many different chemicals. Some can be toxic to the nervous system, the kidneys, or liver, but because they are usually consumed in small amounts they are relatively safe. There are also “flavor enhancers,” which are substances that seem to bring out or improve the flavors of a food. One example is MSG. As with any synthetic compound, sensitive people can have allergic reactions. Some sports products at NGVC may contain artificial flavors.
- Acesulfame K (aka Sweet OneTM or SunetteTM): The FDA approved this artificial sweetener in 1988. Although this substance is on the FDA’s Generally Considered As Safe list, which is a list of additives believed to be harmless, its safety is still in question. The chemical structure of acesulfame K closely resembles that of saccharin, a weak carcinogen. Findings of several studies showed a group of rats fed acesulfame-K developed more tumors than those not fed it. Acesulfame-K was also found to raise the blood cholesterol levels of diabetic rats.
- Aspartame (NutrasweetTM): The FDA and CDC (Center for Disease Control) have received more complaints from the use of this substance than any other food additive. Adverse reactions include high blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, ovarian cancer, brain tumor, PKU (Phenylketonuria), seizures, brain damage in fetuses, extreme swelling, throat swelling, allergic effects, and retina deterioration. Keep in mind, these dangerous side effects are worsened when Nutrasweet is heated or used in cooking.
- Sucralose (SplendaTM): Sucralose is a no-calorie sugar substitute derived from sucrose (sugar) through a process that selectively substitutes three atoms of chlorine for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sucrose molecule. This makes sucralose a chlorocarbon, a substance that has long been known for causing organ, genetic, and reproductive damage. The Merck Manuel and OSHA Hazardous Waste Handbook state that chlorine is a carcinogen. Sucralose has also been shown to cause swelling of the liver and kidneys.
Bleached flours: Milling whole wheat into white flour removes approximately 83% of the nutrients. Often times white flour suffers further processing with chemicals used to whiten and preserve the product. Chlorine dioxide (similar to Clorox) is used to bleach flour, which is an irritant to both the skin and the respiratory tract. Benzoyl peroxide is another chemical used to bleach flour. The bleaching process leaves residues of toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons and dioxins, both harmful for you and the environment. Methionine, an essential amino acid found in flour, reacts with bleaching chemicals to form toxic compounds called methionine sulfoxine, which has been found to cause nervousness and seizures in animals. In addition, the bleaching process further destroys nutrients that have not already been depleted by the high heat of milling.
Cloned Animals/Cloned Animal Dairy Products: There are several economic, moral and health concerns with cloned animals. We do not know the long-term health effects of consuming cloned animals and cloned animal products in humans. Cloned animals give more power to large factory farm operations that are known to provide inhumane living conditions which negatively impacts the nutritional quality of the meat and dairy products from the animals. Compared to naturally-raised grass-fed cows, beef from factory-farmed cows have a lower nutrient content (zinc, CoQ10, CLA, Vitamin E, etc.) and higher omega-6 fatty acid content. Cloned animals may also reduce genetic diversity. Genetic diversity provides plants and animals with adaptability to fluctuating climates, disease resistance, and other traits essential for the species to survive in our evolving world
Fresh Dairy Products From Confinement Dairies: By April 2015 we will only offer our customers dairy products from animals that have grazed on pasture for a minimum of 120 days during the grazing season. Additionally, the dairy products we carry are from animals that have not been fed any GMO alfalfa, they have not been given Bovine Growth Hormone (rBST), and they do not come from cloned animals. For more details regarding our dairy standards, please ask any employee. View our Dairy Resource pages.
TO OUR CUSTOMERS: Starting in February 2014 we began the process of identifying dairy products from our shelves that are made from ingredients produced in Confinement Dairies, as they are not in compliance with our Naturally Raised Dairy Standards. (For more information please ask for the CLF: NGVC's Naturally Raised Dairy Standards.)
TO OUR SUPPLIERS: We are happy to work with you to find or develop a supply chain for liquid milk ingredients that comply with these new guidelines. It is our preference to keep you as a supplier using compliant inputs. Please contact our purchasing department with questions and suggestions.
We anticipate that this process should be completed March, 2015. This process is lengthy because we are working with our vendors to find out what their practices are and engaging with them to change those practices if they do not meet our standards. Additionally, we have to provide our distribution system with sufficient notice to support these changes. It takes time to source new products and get them into our distribution system. We have started this process by reviewing the yogurts/kefirs/puddings, then we will review cottage cheeses/sour creams then ice-creams/frozen yogurts, then milks/creams/half-and-halfs/butters and end with our cheese selection.
If you would like to know which sections have been reviewed, please ask an NGVC employee. Additionally, while we are in the midst of this process, if you want to be assured that you are purchasing only pasture-based products, then you will want to look for Organic products or ones that state on the label that they are pasture-based and/or grass-fed. We appreciate your patience while we sort through this issue and find the highest quality, best tasting and most nutritious products available.
Fresh Dairy Products from Cows Given rBGH (recombinant BGH): Bovine growth hormone (BGH) is a protein produced by cattle. The gene has been cloned into bacterial cells to create a genetically engineered version called rBGH. It has been available and used by US farmers since 1994 and is used to increase milk production. Cows injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) have shorter life expectancies and increased incidence of disease. Cows injected with rBGH have been found to secret higher levels of IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor), a hormone that is tied to increased growth of cancer cells. It is reported that an excess level of IGF-1 poses serious risk of breast and prostate cancer in humans.
Furthermore, rBGH is associated with high incidence of udder infections, internal bleeding, stress-related weight loss and severe reproductive disorders in cows. Please be aware that at this time we are unable to ensure that all our powdered milk and whey products are produced from rBGH free cows unless the product is listed as being organically produced. Also, bovine growth hormone can only be used on cows and not on goats; therefore all goat milk based products are inherently produced without the use of rBGH.
GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) Salmon or any other GMO Animal/Seafood Product: No one knows the long-term effects and safety of consuming GMO fish. The few studies that have been conducted on GMO salmon show that it contains fewer vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, than wild or even farmed salmon. Additionally, GMO salmon may be higher in unwanted substances such as insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and known allergenic proteins. GMO salmon are raised in fish farms that do not resemble salmon’s natural living habitat, and if they ever escaped into our natural waters, there would be detrimental effects on our ecosystem including corruption of the wild salmon population and damage to the animals that eat salmon as a part of their natural diet.
Hydrogenated and/or Partially hydrogenated oils: Hydrogenation is a process that takes an unsaturated fat, such as soybean or other vegetable oil, and makes it more solid at room temperature, thus more saturated. A large percentage of the once healthy fats are converted to the trans-configuration, also known as trans-fatty acids. This process changes the molecular shape of these fatty acids, which negatively alters their biological functions. Excess trans-fatty acids can promote increased cholesterol and triglyceride counts, make blood platelets stickier which encourages blood clotting, worsen an essential fatty acid deficiency, interfere with the body’s detoxification system, interfere with insulin receptors, increase inflammation, and negatively impact the immune system.
Irradiated food: This is a process of exposing foods to radioactivity to prolong the shelf life and reduce the risk of bacterial contamination. This process is currently approved for meats, grains, some produce, herbs, and spices. The radioactive rays can cause “off” flavors and textures, reduce vitamins, minerals and enzymes, and create chemical changes. All irradiated foods must be labeled as such, however, products containing irradiated ingredients do not require labeling. Prepared or packaged foods for restaurants, hospitals, or cafeterias are also exempt from labeling. Although you will NOT find irradiated food at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, keep a look out when shopping at other establishments. The symbol to the right is what is placed on irradiated foods.
MSG (Monosodium glutamate): MSG is an artificial ingredient that is made up of glutamic acid and sodium. Glutamate is an excitotoxin, which stimulates your brain into thinking what you are eating tastes better than it does. This stimulation makes MSG a flavor enhancer. The National Organization Mobilized to Stop Glutamate estimates that one-quarter of the world's population reacts adversely to MSG. Some possible reactions include headaches, migraines, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, irritable bowel, asthma attacks, shortness of breath, anxiety or panic attacks, heart palpitations, partial paralysis, "heart attack-like symptoms," balance difficulties, mental confusion, mood swings, skin rashes, runny nose, bags under the eyes, flushing, and mouth lesions. There are some ingredients that may contain MSG by the fact that it can be created during the manufacturing process. Some example ingredients include hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast, kombu extract, broth, bouillon, stock, flavoring, natural flavoring, natural flavors, and natural chicken flavoring. Therefore, those who are particularly sensitive to MSG may want to avoid these ingredients as well.
Non-organic produce: Conventional farming is in a perpetual cycle of using numerous pesticides to treat the soil and plants. There are many concerns with the use of these chemicals. First, many chemicals used today are known toxins to the body. In addition, banned pesticides such as DDT still linger in our soils. Secondly, large-scale pesticide spraying has created enormous pollution problems. A small percentage of the applied pesticide actually hits its intended target: the pests. Excess goes into groundwater, rivers, and the air. Lastly is the concern of nutrient value. Not only do pesticides reside in the flesh of the foods they are sprayed on, they also soak into the soil and deplete its nutrients. Therefore, if the soil is nutrient depleted, the food that is grown in that soil has less nutrient value. Organic farming is a method of growing foods with natural materials such as composted animal manure, fishmeal, seaweed, or alfalfa meal. Organic growers manage pests through prevention – proper soil management, cleanliness, timely planting, companion planting, and beneficial insects. Some organic growers may use some natural pesticides such as Bt and insecticidal soap if needed. Additionally, by law certified organic foods cannot be genetically engineered, irradiated, or be grown with synthetic materials.
Olestra: This synthetic fat is a combination of soybean oil and sucrose. These ingredients are manipulated into molecules too large for the colon to absorb or digest. Therefore, Olestra passes untouched through the digestive system. This product has the potential to replace fat in such foods as chips and crackers. Preliminary studies suggest that Olestra causes tumors in laboratory animals. Olestra interferes with fat-soluble vitamin absorption, which includes vitamin A, E, D, K, Co-Enzyme Q-10, carotenoids, lutein, lycopene, and beta-carotene. Clinical studies have shown that 8 grams per day (equivalent to 16 Olestra containing potato chips) caused dramatic depletion of fat-soluble vitamins within 2 weeks. This fake fat may also cause intestinal cramping, flatulence and loose stool.
Chaparral: There have been sporadic reports of people developing liver or kidney problems after taking chaparral, particularly in capsules. This herb should only be taken internally when under a physician’s supervision.
Colloidal Silver: Although silver is an effective antimicrobial agent, the concentrations required for any systemic effects are not likely to be obtained safely with oral administration. Additionally, silver can accumulate in the body's tissues and cause a disfiguring skin condition called argyria. Medical literature shows that neurological problems may develop with long-term use of oral silver products. Keep in mind that none of the beneficial claims of silver supplementation have been proven. Also, silver is not an essential mineral for humans. Colloidal silver used topically does not have the same concerns for oral use. There are products approved for topical use.
Comfrey, internal sources: These plants contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, substances that are established to be hepatotoxins (toxins to the liver) in animals. The pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are present in comfrey have also been shown to be toxic to other tissues as well. There is also evidence that implicates these substances as carcinogens.
DHEA: This hormone produced by the adrenal glands has many regulatory functions in the body. These actions are best accomplished when DHEA is naturally produced. There are numerous potential side effects with using supplemental DHEA. For example, it can promote tumor growth, encourage liver toxicity, and disrupt hormonal balance, which can produce a wide range of symptoms including mustaches on women. Self-diagnosis of low DHEA levels and self-prescribed supplementation is inappropriate and can be harmful. A doctor trained in the uses of DHEA should regulate the intake of this supplement. Refer to What your Doctor May Not Tell you About Menopause by Dr. John Lee. 7-KETO (3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepandrosterone) is a naturally occurring metabolite (breakdown product) of the hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), which we also do not carry due to the reasons stated above.
EDTA: EDTA (ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid) is a synthetic amino acid used in chelation therapy. This therapy is done by administering repeated doses of EDTA to gradually reduce atherosclerotic plaque and other mineral deposits throughout the cardiovascular system. Despite the debate between intravenous and oral administration of this substance, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage feels the use of either should be medically supervised by a trained physician. Lab tests should be done to assess toxic levels and if the EDTA treatments are working. Taking the therapy when not needed may cause bodily damage. Furthermore, EDTA is a mineral chelator and removes minerals indiscriminately. This means that it may remove essential minerals needed for proper nutrition.
Germanium: Supplementation with germanium, a natural occurring element, has resulted in renal, hepatic, and neurologic toxicities. Although acute toxicity studies in animals reveal low potential for toxicity, low-dose chronic toxicity has been demonstrated repeatedly.
Glycols: There are three glycols occasionally added to supplements that Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage does not approve: Polyethylene glycol (PEG), propylene glycol, and propylene glycol alginate. PEG is a product of petroleum gas or dehydration of alcohol. Implants of large amounts in rats caused cancer. Ingestion of large oral doses has produced kidney and liver damage. Propylene Glycol in large oral doses in animals has been reported to cause central nervous system depression and slight kidney changes. Propylene Glycol Alginate is similar to propylene glycol but derived from seaweed.19
Graviola: Graviola (Annona muricata) is a plant that is being promoted as having an anticancer effect but at this time there is no research or clinical trials available proving the safety or efficacy of this plant. Graviola contains a cytotoxic (cell-toxic) phytochemical (plant compound) called acetogenin. Acetogenin, although found in small amounts in graviola, is toxic to rapidly dividing cells and should be monitored for this effect as chemotherapy is monitored. Additionally, there is some evidence that consumption of (the fruit and infusions) of graviola is linked to an increased incidence of Parkinson. Providing a toxic plant for consumption as a cancer treatment is not the goal of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage. NGVC provides products to improve overall function and promote optimal health so the body can heal itself.
Human Growth Hormone (hGH): This is a pituitary hormone involved in growth and repair of organs and tissues. It is being touted as an anti-aging therapy. However there have been no studies on oral hGH products. Side effects of supplementing this hormone can include joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, bloating, edema, breast tenderness in men, diabetes, and possibly lead to prostate problems. However, we do carry homeopathic versions by Liddell and Renewal that are safe.
Iron oxide: Oxygen, oxidation, and free radicals are essential to health. However, uncontrolled free radicals will lead to physical damage and disease. A common example of damaging oxidation occurs when oxygen combines with the element iron to create iron oxide, better known as rust. Even though iron is essential to body function, too much combined with poor antioxidant defense, due to poor intake of antioxidants, can put someone at a higher risk of increased oxidative stress, which is believed to be the culprit in a number of health conditions. If iron supplementation is needed, non-oxidized forms of iron (e.g. fumarate, gluconate, glycinate) are recommended.
Limited weight loss supplements: We have also limited the number of weight loss and energy enhancing products on our shelves that contain ingredients that may be harmful to some individuals, such as kola nut, citrus aurantium extract, pseudoephedrine and guarana (due to high amounts of caffeine).
Potassium iodide/High dose iodine: High dose iodine supplementation is often used to help with an overactive thyroid and may help protect the thyroid gland from the effects of exposure to radioactive iodine. High amounts of iodine may produce adverse reactions such as rashes, itching or lesions on the skin, gastrointestinal symptoms, or hypothyroidism, especially in people with a prior history of thyroid problems. Because of such potential problems, the use of high dose iodide therapy should be supervised by a doctor.
Pregnenolone: This hormone is a precursor to DHEA and other hormones. As mentioned above, there are numerous risks involved when supplementing with DHEA. Minimal research exists on pregnenolone’s use in humans. Therefore, we do not feel it is safe to be self-prescribed. The chance of causing hormonal imbalance is high and could result in negative consequences.
Talc (magnesium silicate): This anti-caking agent is used in some dry powdery foods, personal powder products (bath, baby, face, etc), creams, and supplements. Prolonged inhalation of talc (magnesium silicate) can cause lung problems because it is similar in chemical composition to asbestos, a known lung irritant and cancer-causing agent. There is no known acute toxicity, but there is a question about it being a cancer-causing agent upon ingestion. It is suspected that the high incidence of stomach cancer among the Japanese is due to the fact that the Japanese prefer that their rice be treated with talc. Talc is not considered food grade by the FDA.
Testosterone cream: Although some men may benefit from testosterone, the use of any steroid hormone should be supervised by a trained physician. Even bio-identical hormones can be dangerous in excess. Testosterone does not cause prostate cancer, but it does increase the growth rate of a cancer that is already there. So it is important to not take more than directed by a physician after adequate assessments.
Many commonly used body care products contain ingredients that may be hazardous to your health. At Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage we make every effort to provide our customers with information about product ingredients encouraging consumers to make the best possible choices for their personal body care needs. Below is a list of ingredients and the reasons why we will not carry products containing them.
Antibacterial soaps: Such soaps contain antibacterial agents (such as triclosan) that work like an antibiotic. Researchers are concerned that through the process of natural selection, bacteria that survive exposure to antibacterial agents pass along their resistant genes, making the next generation even tougher to combat. This process is exactly what has happened with medical antibiotics due to unnecessary prescriptions.
DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide): This insecticide can be found in most over-the-counter insect repellents. However, there are some concerns about the toxicity of DEET. For instance, a Duke University Medical Center pharmacologist named Mohamed Abou-Donia, Ph.D. has conducted a number of animal studies that found the chemical causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats after frequent and prolonged use. While the chemical's risks to humans are still being intensely debated, Abou-Donia says his 30 years of research on pesticides' brain effects clearly indicate the need for caution among the general public. Children in particular are at risk for subtle brain changes caused by chemicals in the environment, because their skin more readily absorbs them, and chemicals more potently affect their developing nervous systems. With heavy exposure to DEET and other insecticides, humans may experience memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors and shortness of breath. There are many other insect repellant products that are DEET-free on our shelves that we are comfortable offering to the community.
Acetone – Acetone is a denaturant, fragrance ingredient, and solvent used in nail polish remover. It is classified as an irritant and there is moderate evidence of associated human neurotoxicity.
Aluminum or Alcloxa (Aluminium chloride, Aluminium Chlorohydrate, Aluminum-zirconium, Aluminium Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly) - Many different forms of aluminum are used as antiperspirant agents, cosmetic astringents, and deodorant agents. These aluminum compounds prevent sweating by clogging the pores and preventing sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. There is evidence that the forms of aluminum utilized most commonly in commercial antiperspirant products are human toxins/allergens with possible links to breast cancer.
Potassium alum is a naturally occurring mineral salt that is most commonly used in crystal deodorants. While deodorants work by masking odor, and antiperspirants work by clogging the pores, potassium alum’s creates an unfriendly environment for the bacteria that causes body odor. Potassium alum is not an antiperspirant, nor does it inhibit the activity of sweat glands in clinical testing. The main difference between potassium alum and aluminum chlorohydrate is that potassium alum is a much larger molecule, not thought to be absorbable through human skin. Potassium alum has a long history of safe usage in a variety of products.
Artificial colors (FD&C, D&C) – Artificial in terms of food means “a substance not duplicated in nature.” There are currently seven artificial (synthetic) coal-tar based dyes on the market. There is evidence that four of the seven being used cause cancer in laboratory animals. The FDA has banned 17 food dyes since 1918 because of their potentially toxic effects. Furthermore, six of the seven being used in the US have been banned in other countries. NGVC does not allow artificial colors in body care products or color cosmetics. All color cosmetics at NGVC are mineral or plant derived.
Artificial fragrances – It is estimated that 95% of the synthetic fragrances on the market are derived from petroleum by-products. The Environmental Working Group states, “Fragrance, is usually a chemical cocktail, often containing individual chemicals associated with allergic reactions and hormone disruption. Some fragrance chemicals have not been assessed for safety. Until all fragrance ingredients are disclosed on the label, consumers cannot know what is in a particular fragrance.” Artificial fragrances commonly cause skin, eye, and lung irritation, and possible organ system toxicity. They also contain phthalates which are esters of phthalic acid and are mainly used as plasticizers. The phthalates found in the majority of artificial fragrances are known endocrine disruptors.
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) – BHA is a preservative, stabilizer, fragrance ingredient, and masking ingredient. It is suspected to be an endocrine disruptor and is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Butylhydroxytoluene) – BHT is a toluene-based ingredient used as a preservative, fragrance ingredient, and masking ingredient. Human case studies show significant allergenic effects.
Bismuth Oxychloride – Bismuth oxychloride is a naturally occurring mineral used as a filler ingredient in cosmetics to achieve a shiny effect. It is typically a byproduct of lead/copper refining and may cause extreme irritation, redness, burning, itching, and worsening of some skin conditions (particularly when perspiring or in hot weather).
Coal Tar – Coal Tar is a thick liquid or semi-solid obtained as a byproduct in the destructive distillation of coal. It is commonly used as an anti-dandruff agent, cosmetic biocide, denaturant, and is a known human carcinogen.
DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate) – DBP is a fragrance ingredient, plasticizer, and solvent. It is classified as a reproductive and developmental toxin, endocrine disruptor, and a known human respiratory toxin.
Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde Donors (DMDM Hydantoin, Quaternium 15, Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Benzyl Alcohol, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropane-1, 3-Diol) – Formaldehyde donors/releasers come in many forms and under many different names. They function as antimicrobial preservatives in creams, gels, and liquids. There is strong evidence that Formaldehyde donors/releasers are human skin toxins and allergens.
Glycols (Propylene Glycol, Polyethylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol Alginate) - Propylene glycol is an organic alcohol most commonly used as a fragrance ingredient, humectant, skin-conditioning agent, solvent, and a viscosity controlling agent. It has been shown to be linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, allergies/immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, and organ system toxicity. It has been found to provoke skin irritation and sensitization in humans as low as 2% concentration.
Hydrogenated/Partially Hydrogenated Oils - Hydrogenation is a process that takes an unsaturated fat, such as soybean or other vegetable oil, and makes it more solid at room temperature, thus more saturated. A large percentage of the once healthy fats are converted to the trans-configuration, also known as trans-fatty acids. This process changes the molecular shape of these fatty acids, which negatively alters their biological functions. Applying these damaged oils to the skin is not recommended.
Hydroquinone – Hydroquinone is an aromatic organic compound used as a fragrance ingredient, hair colorant, reducing agent, & skin bleaching agent. There is strong evidence that this ingredient is a human skin toxin and allergen.
Isopropyl Alcohol – Isopropyl alcohol is a common solvent used as an anti-foaming agent, fragrance ingredient, and a viscosity decreasing/controlling agent. It can cause skin, eye, and/or lung irritation, possible organ system toxicity.
Mineral Oil, Petroleum, & Petrolatum – Mineral oil, petroleum, and petrolatum are liquid or semi-solid mixtures of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum. They are commonly used as a fragrance ingredient, skin protectant, hair/skin conditioning ingredient, and solvent. These ingredients interfere with the body's natural moisturizing mechanism. They are also directly obtained from the petroleum industry which has a negative environmental impact.
Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl & Ethyl Parabens) – Parabens are esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid and are commonly used as preservatives. Parabens mimic estrogen and are therefore possible endocrine and reproductive disruptors.
Phthalates (Phthalate Esters, Phthalic Acid(s) See Artificial Fragrances) – Phthalates are esters of phthalic acid and are mainly used as plasticizers. The phthalates found in the majority of artificial fragrances are known endocrine disruptors.
Talc - This anti-caking agent is used in some dry powdery foods, personal powder products (bath, baby, face, etc), creams, and supplements. Prolonged inhalation of talc (magnesium silicate) can cause lung problems because it is similar in chemical composition to asbestos, a known lung irritant and cancer-causing agent. Talc is not considered food grade by the FDA.
Testosterone Cream - Although some men may benefit from testosterone, the use of any steroid hormone should be supervised by a trained physician. Even bio-identical hormones can be dangerous in excess. Testosterone does not cause prostate cancer, but it does increase the growth rate of a cancer that is already there. So it is important to not take more than directed by a physician after adequate assessments.
Toluene – Toluene is a volatile petrochemical solvent that is a potent neurotoxicant that acts as an irritant, impairs breathing, and causes nausea.