By: Dr. Linda Khoshaba
During menopause, a normal life transition, females undergo many changes in hormones, emotions and physiology. These females are easily targeted by anti-aging product lines that offer to help women feel young and beautiful again. Some products are good and some are not. In the USA, there are many medications and ingredients added to cosmetic products that would otherwise be banned or would require a prescription in other countries. Women need to become more knowledgeable about these ingredients so that they can make better decisions about the products they are getting. These decisions will ultimately affect their health.
Ingredients to AVOID in products
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org), there are many chemicals in skin care products and nail polish products that are toxic to the liver and have endocrine disrupting actions.
These chemicals include:
– Words ending in “paraben”
– DMDM hydantoin
– Imidazolidinyl urea
– Triethanolamine (or “TEA”)
– Triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP- a potential endocrine disruptor
How are Topical and Transdermal substances processed by the liver?
Our liver is the major detoxification organ in the body. When topical/transdermal substances are absorbed through the skin, they have to be processed by the liver – this is known as first pass metabolism. The liver processes drugs, supplements and lotion/creams into less toxic forms to allow the body to eliminate them more efficiently.
How do you know if your liver is at risk?
The best way to find out is to schedule a visit with your physician to administer lab tests that can check your liver function. Usually, a general liver panel is included in a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP). The markers you want to look at are ALT (Alanine transaminase)
and AST (Aspartate transaminase). Optimal levels are different than normal levels. Generally speaking, optimal liver enzymes (ALT and AST levels) for males and females should be less than 25 (ALT normal range is 8-41, AST normal range is 0-35).
Why should you care about your liver?
The liver is the central organ in the body that detoxifies chemicals, substances and toxins. It also plays a critical role in balancing your blood sugar levels. It produces proteins needed for healthy blood cells and stores essential vitamins and minerals. So before you ingest or apply a substance, think about how it will be handled by your liver and the process it needs to take to get broken down.
Dr. Linda Khoshaba received her Doctorate from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. Her main areas of focus include women’s health, pediatric medicine, diabetes management, and prolotherapy. She completed her Master’s Degree in Health Promotion and Public Health where she focused mainly on patient self management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. She attended the University of Western Ontario, Canada where she was awarded an Honors Degree in Health Sciences.