Kelly Brogan, MD: A-Salt With a “Deadly” Weapon (Part One)

kelly brogan real salt aluminum vaccines header

The takeaways:

  • Kelly Brogan, M.D. claims aluminum is toxic to all life forms1 and falsely links it to a plethora of diseases.
  • Brogan’s fear mongering re: aluminum includes steering patients away from life-saving vaccines that contain small amounts of the element.
  • Via her online store, the doctor sells aluminum via a health supplement, in amounts that equal or exceed the aluminum found in the vaccines she wrongly vilifies.
  • Ominously, the 2018 SXSW Festival is offering Dr. Brogan a popular platform to further her dangerous and hypocritical “medical” views.

You can’t swing a virtual dead cat on the internet without hitting a doctor who has an online store, and Kelly Brogan, M.D., is no exception.  While Brogan tirelessly campaigns against aluminum in vaccines, foods, and beauty products, ironically, she sells a health supplement that contains as much or more aluminum than is found in the safe, critical vaccines against which she fear mongers.

Dr. Brogan peddles Real Salt2, touted to contain more than sixty essential trace elements that promote health and well being.3  Unfortunately for the good doctor, one of those elements is aluminum, which she falsely links to a wide range of problems, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, neurological disorders, ADHD, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and others.1,4,5,6,7,8,10

In the following images, we can see Real Salt for sale at KellyBroganMD.com,2 as well as an elemental analysis of the salt provided by the vendor.9  Please click each image to enlarge.

kelly brogan resources: real salt, contains aluminum

A two-image composite from Kelly Brogan’s online store highlighting the “Real Salt” sold by the doctor. (click/enlarge)

Kelly brogan sells as much or more aluminum than can be found in vaccines and products she vilifies

Analysis of Kelly Brogan’s Real Salt reveals as much or more aluminum than can be found in the vaccines she wrongly vilifies.  See references for full list;9 this screen snapshot has been altered by the author to highlight the aluminum.  No changes to elements or quantities have been made.  (click/enlarge)

 

It must be strongly stated that the dangers posed by aluminum, and in particular Real Salt, the product sold by Ms. Brogan, exist solely in her mind.  The Real Salt brand is as safe as any item you’d find on your store shelf.

Route of administration (e.g. ingestion, injection, inhalation, absorption via the skin) matters in the real world, but you won’t find Kelly Brogan living in such a place.   She’s an equal opportunity alarmist, damning aluminum whether its injected as a vaccine, ingested as an antacid or baking soda, or rubbed on the skin as an antiperspirant.5  Fine.  Let’s play by her rules.  Since vaccines are arguably one of the most important advancements in recent human history, I thought it would be instructive to compare the amount of aluminum found in Brogan’s own product against that found in some of the essential vaccines she wrongly condemns.

Nothing but the Facts, Ma’am
As we can see in the previous table, Real Salt lists an average of 0.1946mg of aluminum per serving in their product,** where a serving size is 1.4 grams (approximately one quarter teaspoon).  By comparison:

  • The HPV vaccine is indicted by Brogan for alleged biotoxicity.6   It protects against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV), and contains 0.5mg/dose of aluminum.11,13  This is equal to just  2.6 servings of Kelly Brogan’s salt.

 

  • Regarding the 0.125 mg/dose of aluminum in the Pneumococcal vaccine,12,13 the aluminum in Brogan’s salt exceeds the vaccine’s by 36%.   That’s right, you’ll get more aluminum from the doctor’s Real Salt than from the vaccine.  Yes, I know it’s ingested rather than injected here, but remember, Brogan damns aluminum regardless of route of administration.5   Dr. B. wrongly links the Pneumococcal vaccine’s aluminum to autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation, and associated neurological complications.7  The vaccine is an important protection against diseases such as pneumonia and bacterial meningitis.
  • Dr. Brogan weaves a very tangled tale in regard to the DTaP/inactivated polio/Hib vaccine, which contains 0.33mg/dose aluminum.13,14  The upshot of her article, which you’ll find linked here and in the references, is that this vaccine is somehow partly responsible for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).10  A terrifying claim, especially when you consider that two servings of her salt, at 0.1946g aluminum each, provides 16% more aluminum than the vaccine.

Good Enough to Eat?
So far, we’ve limited our investigation to vaccines, which are injected. But, as I said, Brogan doesn’t want you ingesting aluminum either.  One of her prime targets is antacids because they contain, (sigh), aluminum.  How much?  Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control, you can find 104 to 208 mg/tablet of aluminum in off-the-shelf antacids.15   Doing our math from earlier, assuming a buyer of Dr. Brogan’s Real Salt used one serving per day, every day for a year, we’d end up with:

0.1946mg Al/serving/day * 365 days = 71mg of aluminum per year

Hmm.  71mg from Brogan falls a bit short of the 104mg minimum from the antacids she eschews.  And you’d think that as the year went on, you’d be clearing some of that aluminum from your body, right?  Au contraire mon frère, says Kelly Brogan:

Aluminum stays in the body for several years” –Kelly Brogan, “Special Report, Vaccines and Brain Health”4 (emphasis mine)

So, by the doctor’s own assertions, the supposedly-toxic element in her product will stick with you, dose-by-dose, for years.   We’d need 534 servings, or just about one and half years (one serving per day) of Dr. Brogan’s Real Salt to reach the “poisonous” (wink wink, nudge, nudge) levels in her ostracized antacid tablet.

As I mentioned earlier in the article, Real Salt is completely safe.  The trace amounts of the elements found therein not at all harmful.  It is my hope that an honest company won’t be held responsible because a questionable doctor tried to make money hawking their products.

You have to ask yourself: is Kelly Brogan really worth her salt?

 

If Dr. Brogan says aluminum is toxic to all life forms, perhaps she shouldn't be selling it to the life forms who follow her on social media.

If Dr. Brogan says aluminum is toxic to all life forms, perhaps she shouldn’t be selling it to the life forms who follow her on social media. (click/enlarge)

 

Oh, if it only ended there.  Not only does the distinguished doctor sell you greater quantities of an element she claims will put you in an early grave, she strongly encourages you to obtain it naturally.

Milk, anyone?

 

“Milk is for babies.  When you grow up, you have to drink beer.”–Arnold Schwarzenegger
When she isn’t busy selling aluminum to her followers, Brogan is hard at work encouraging breastfeeding.17,18,19  This is particularly unfortunate for her anti-aluminum argument.  According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, breastfed infants receive approximately 7mg of aluminum naturally from their mother’s milk during the first six months of life, compared to only 4.4mg from vaccines.13  So, Brogan is directly encouraging the consumption of aluminum (via breast milk).

Babies won’t be directly ingesting Brogan’s salt of course, but I can’t help but compare aluminum in breast milk to the additional amount a new mother would add to her diet if she used just one serving of Brogan’s salt, one serving a day, over six months:

(0.1946mg aluminum/serving Brogan’s Salt * ~30 days/month * 6 months = 35.028mg aluminum/six months)

Via the salt she sells, Brogan would be dosing our unsuspecting mother with five times the amount of aluminum naturally given to the baby via breast milk, and nearly eight times the aluminum that baby would receive from vaccines in the first six months of his/her life.  The amount of  salt-based aluminum that would actually pass to the baby would be function of many factors including the mother’s metabolism, renal function, etc.

But, isn’t it interesting that Kelly Brogan’s Real Salt doesn’t come with a warning to nursing mothers?

Wrapping It All Up
At this point, I was tempted to pick on the irony of Dr. Brogan’s apparent aversion to wrapping food in aluminum foil, and point out that the manufacturer of her salt proudly proclaims their salt mine is wrapped in a layer of bentonite clay.  Bentonite, if you remember your college chemistry, has the formula Al2H2Na2O13Si4.  See the aluminum in there?  Brogan’s aluminum-laden salt is itself quite literally wrapped in aluminum.

But pedantics aside, let’s focus instead on the fact that the World Health Organization, the CDC, and medical consensus contradict Dr. Brogan in every way possible.13,15,16  Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the crust of our planet and you’d be hard pressed to avoid it in the food you eat, the air you breath, and the water you drink. According to the CDC, an average adult in the United States eats about 7–9 mg of aluminum per day in their food.15  The World Health Organization concurs, saying that aluminum intake from foods represents the major route of aluminum exposure to the general public.16

Most aluminum in food, water, and medicines leaves your body quickly in the feces. Much of the small amount of aluminum that does enter the bloodstream will quickly leave your body in the urine.15   The human body evolved to handle the amounts of this element we encounter on a daily basis quite nicely, thank-you-very-much, and unless you have a medical condition such as impaired renal function, Dr. Brogans tirades against aluminum aren’t worth their salt.  I encourage you to ask a real doctor.

Epilogue: SXSW
Sadly, as I go to press with this article, I’ve learned that the annual SXSW festival has named Kelly Brogan as a consultant to their advisory board.20  Giving an HIV/AIDS denialist who sells her patients the very products she says will kill them is unconscionable, and in this author’s opinion, should be met with firm, polite suggestions to the festival that they seek medical advice from better vetted sources.

This quote SXSW is particularly puzzling:

While SXSW strongly disagrees with many of Kelly Brogan’s controversial opinions, we do believe that inclusion of a variety of viewpoints from a diverse group of people is important to creating a dialog for the community represented at the SXSW Wellness Expo20–via Kavin Senapathy/Forbes

Suppose this came from NASA instead?

“While NASA strongly disagrees with many flat-earther controversial opinions, we do believe that inclusion of a variety of viewpoints from a diverse group of people is important as we complete the Near Earth Object survey that will protect our round (or is it flat?  Hey, it’s just an opinion!) planet from a potential extinction level event”

SXSW’s comments reek strongly of the plague of “alternate facts” that have, sadly, gained traction in our country.  I’m sorry, but in science, there are no alternate facts.  Dr. Brogan’s $4,000 consults for coffee enemas, AIDS denial, and selling her patients ingredients that she herself labels toxic do not constitute “controversial opinions”… they constitute what this writer believes to be medical malpractice, and should be investigated.

If you agree, and would like to make your voice heard, you can tweet to @sxsw.  The hashtag #BumpBrogan is trending.  You may wish to take a moment and make it even trendier!

 

Footnotes
** Salt analysis was performed by Advanced Laboratories, Inc. of Salt Lake City, UT, who notes that because the product being tested is a naturally occurring product that
has not been refined, actual elemental results of any specific lot number will vary slightly. Please click here to return to the article.

A typo in the “Good Enough to Eat?” section swapped units of measure and has been corrected.

References
(1) “Aluminum is Toxic to all Lifeforms” (Kelly Brogan Facebook Post)
https://www.facebook.com/KellyBroganMD/posts/366045836935604
Retrieved 10 Dec 2017

(2) Real Salt (Kelly Brogan Online Store)
http://kellybroganmd.com/resources/
Retrieved 11 Dec 2017

(3) Real Salt (FAQ)
https://realsalt.com/faq/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(4) Vaccines and Brain Health (Kelly Brogan)
Warning: not a scholarly article
https://kellybroganmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/VaccinesandBrainHealth.pdf
Retrieved 12 Dec 2017

(5) Detox–Why You Need To (Kelly Brogan)
Warning: not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/why-detox/
Retrieved 10 Dec 2017

(6) The Truth is Out: Gardasil Vaccine Coverup Exposed (Kelly Brogan)
Warning: not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/truth-out-gardasil-coverup-documents-exposed/
Retrieved 12 Dec 2017

(7) Psychobiology of Vaccination Effects:
Bidirectional Relevance of Depression (Kelly Brogan)
Warning: not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Psychobiology.pdf
Retrieved 12 Dec 2017

(8) Hepatitis B Vaccine – Is it Safe for Your Newborn?
Warning: not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/hepatitis-b-vaccine-for-your-newborn/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(9) Real Salt Elemental Analysis
http://realsalt.redmond.life/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2017/05/Real-Salt-Analysis.pdf
Retrieved 14 Dec 2017

(10) Could this be Driving the Epidemic of Sudden Infant Death (SIDS)?  (Kelly Brogan)
http://kellybroganmd.com/driving-epidemic-sudden-infant-death-sids/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(11) GARDASIL® Package Insert
[Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18)
Vaccine, Recombinant]
Suspension for intramuscular injection
https://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM111263.pdf
Retrieved 13 Dec 2017

(12) FDA Approved Vaccines (UCM201669.pdf:  Prevnar 13)
https://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM201669.pdf
Retrieved 14 Dec 2017

(13) Vaccine Ingredients–Aluminum (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
http://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-ingredients/aluminum
Retrieved 11 Dec 2017

(14) Pentacel Package Insert
https://www.fda.gov/downloads/biologicsbloodvaccines/vaccines/approvedproducts/ucm109810.pdf
Retrieved 16 Dec 2017

(15) CDC: Public Health Statement for Aluminum
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=1076&tid=34
Retrieved 10 Dec 2017

(16) Aluminum in Drinking Water (World Health Organization)
http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/water-quality/guidelines/chemicals/aluminium.pdf?ua=1
Retrieved 14 Dec 2017

(17) Breastfeeding: A Reproductive Right (Kelly Brogran)
Warning: Not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/breastfeeding-a-reproductive-right/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(18) Baby and Breast: Perfect Together
Warning: Not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/baby-and-breastmilk/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(19) Natural Birth and Breastfeeding: Replaceable?
Warning: Not a scholarly article
http://kellybroganmd.com/natural-birth-breastfeeding-replaceable/
Retrieved 15 Dec 2017

(20) SXSW Festival Slammed For Including HIV/AIDS Denialist In 2018 Wellness Expo
Kavin Senapathy/Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kavinsenapathy/2017/12/11/sxsw-festival-slammed-for-including-hiv-aids-denialist-in-wellness-expo/#6c8d8c576174
Retrieved 11 Dec 2017

 

Image Credits
Real Salt Logos, product imagery, and ingredients analysis snapshots are all used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Kelly Brogan, M.D. web site screen snapshots, facebook posts, and images are all used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

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Thrive Market’s “Toxic” Deodorant: I Smell A Rat

thrive market deodorant meme by mark alsip
Thrive Market, a new, supposedly all-natural online store being heavily pushed by the pseudoscientific Environmental Working Group, is concerned with body odor.  Sadly, the hypocrisy of both groups stinks to high heaven.  After scaring the caca out of readers over a perfectly safe ingredient in competing deodorants, Thrive author Michelle Pellizzon turns around and sells a Thrive product that contains the same compound she’s just linked to cancer.

First, the setup (emphasis mine):1

Aluminum, the active ingredient in deodorant that keeps you from getting stinky when it gets hot out there, has been linked to breast cancer and hormonal [im]balances (sic) when applied to underarms. The aluminum in antiperspirant is also the reason that your white t-shirts all have yellow pit stains—as if you needed another reason to switch to the organic stuff! All natural deodorants boast a formula that’s aluminum free, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.”–Michelle Pellizzon, writing for Thrive Market1

Never fear, Pellizzon and Thrive Market are ready to leap to the rescue by offering alternatives.  Why, look here… even as we speak, there are three contenders in the very article that just promised us cancer and hormonal imbalances if we go to competing, aluminum-laden brands:

Thai crystals from Thrive Market contain aluminum

Thrive Market is happy to sell us alternatives. But not so fast… (click/enlarge)

One of the author’s favorites is simply referred to as “the crystal”, and, lucky you, it’s currently on sale for the low, low price of $4.75 USD.

thai crystal deodorant from thrive

Act now Thrive customers, it’s on sale! (click/enlarge)

The ingredients are rather disingenuously listed as “Mineral salts and purified water”2  What exactly does that mean?  Is Thrive hiding something from us?  Let’s sashay over to the manufacturer’s web page and dig into the FAQ:3

deodorant stones of america aluminum

Deodorant Stones of America’s FAQ reveals the hidden aluminum–and a heavy dose of scientific misinformation.

The deodorant in question is manufactured by Deodorant Stones of America (DSA).  A quick glance at the FAQ on the company’s web3 site reveals that their products are made from alum, a class of chemical compounds that contain aluminum.  Yes, you read that correctly–the Thrive Market article that claims aluminum in deodorants is toxic is, incredibly, selling you a deodorant that contains aluminum.

It gets laughably worse.  DSA claims that aluminum is a mineral.  It’s not–it’s an element. One of the few things DSA gets right about the most common metal in the crust of the Earth is that it’s natural.  They should have continued:  There’s no reason to fear this metal, unless you have a medical condition such as kidney failure, in which case you’d be on dialysis, and want to avoid exposure in excess.  But Deodorant Stones of America isn’t the guilty party here–it’s Thrive Market and their blatant fear mongering, designed to steer consumers away from safe products that contain the very same element found in the deodorant they’re hawking in their “sky is falling” tripe.

As we’ll see in upcoming articles, the link between Thrive Market and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is particularly worrisome.  Although EWG claims to have no financial stake in Thrive, they’re aggressively marketing the online store through an email campaign that includes the astounding demand that consumers be allowed to use food stamps to buy the overpriced organic products found there.  Organic products are no more safe than their commercial counterparts–they’re just designed to lighten the wallet. And Thrive heavily cites EWG as a scientific authority (even though they’re not) when disparaging competitor’s products and touting their own.  You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

One promise I’ll make, and deliver upon quite often in the future: Thrive Market is loaded with products that their and EWG’s “research” claims to be dangerous.  See you soon!

 

References
(1) Thrive Tries It: We Test 3 Natural Deodorants
https://thrivemarket.com/blog/thrive-tries-natural-deodorant

(2) ThriveMarket.com: Deodorant Stones of America Crystal Deodorant Stick
https://thrivemarket.com/deodorant-stones-of-america-crystal-deodorant-stick

(3) Deodorant Stones of America FAQ
http://www.deodorantstones.com/faqs.html

Image Credits
Thrive and Deodorant Stones of America product/screen snapshots are used in strict accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Lethal” Lipstick

gwyneth paltrow lipstick graphic by mark alsip

Of all the celebrities with online stores, perhaps none is more dangerous or hypocritical than Gwyneth Paltrow.  Dangerous because of her scientifically illiterate healthcare stance and the worldwide stage–built by her celebrity status–from which she gets to promote it.  The hypocrisy?  Hoo boy, our cup runneth over with examples.

Paltrow’s web site, Goop.com, is a poorly disguised pseudoscientific version of Amazon.com, hidden behind articles ostensibly giving healthcare advice, but in reality selling products that contain exactly the same ingredients that are claimed to be dangerous.  For example, Goop is riddled with horror stories linking the mere presence of the element aluminum in cosmetics and medicine to a plethora of diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and mental health problems.1,2,3  A specific admonition is to avoid aluminum in lipstick.  Why?  Because:

“[…] to put the importance of safe ingredients in perspective, consider that, unlike the toxins in, say, skin cream, you don’t just absorb what’s in lipstick, you consume it” 1

With all this talk of aluminum, lipstick, and hypocrisy, clever readers have no doubt picked up on the literary device known as foreshadowing.  It’s time to click our way on over to Goop.com and look at the ingredients in the Rituel de Fille Forbidden lipstick on offer there:4

Ricinus communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Carmine [CI 75470], Silica (Silicon Dioxide), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Carnauba Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Titanium Dioxide [CI 77891, CI 77019], Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Mica [CI 77019], Iron Oxide [77499], Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol–Rituel de Fille Forbidden Ingredients (Fortune Teller)4

Oh dear.  Bless Paltrow’s heart!  Aluminum hydroxide is made up of aluminum, oxygen, and hydrogen.

Aluminum (!)

Weren’t we just talking about this?  Gentle reader, here’s Gwyneth’s web site waxing poetic on aluminum:

“I have grave concerns about […] neurotoxic metals like mercury and aluminum3

“Western medicine is hesitant to say that aluminum causes breast cancer, but this toxic heavy metal is found in breast cancer tumors.” 2

“A study out of the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health found nine toxic heavy metals, including chromium, cadmium, aluminum, and lead in the popular lipstick formulas they analyzed.” 1

That last quote is especially appalling as it appears in the same fluff piece that hawks the Rituel de Fille lipstick.  Yes, in the same article, Paltrow warns readers to avoid lipstick containing aluminum and sells them lipstick containing aluminum.

Talk about a con game.  The celebrity who steams her vagina6 has balls the size of Texas.

rituel de fille goop.com

Two Rituel de Fille colors sold by Paltrow’s Goop.com contain aluminum. The lipstick is  tagged as toxic in the very article that sells it.  (click/enlarge)

It’s easy to miss the banned ingredient if you don’t read the product label for the Fortune Teller shade.  But there’s more:  Like any good poker player who knows she’s up against a weak opponent, Paltrow isn’t afraid to double down when she’s bluffing.  You’ll also find aluminum hydroxide in “Against Nature”, another Goop.com Rituel de Fille offering.5  Not understanding the chemistry or biology behind the aluminum scare (or bothering to read the labels), gullible shoppers quickly fold their hands and open up their pocketbooks. Ka-ching.

In pointing out the hypocrisy of fear mongers with merchandise to sell, I think it’s important to pause and point out that the item itself is not dangerous.  There’s nothing wrong with Rituel de Fille cosmetics, Goop.com’s whining about aluminum to the contrary.  We’re talking about the most common metal in the crust of the Earth, arguably impossible to avoid in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.  Medical experts say that unless you’re suffering from a disease such as kidney failure, the aluminum you encounter in your diet and cosmetics are handled quite well by the body.  I’ve written ad nauseam about this7,8,9,10,11,12 and won’t re-hash it.

As we’ll see in upcoming articles, Rituel de Fille Forbidden lipstick is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to products that contain chemicals Paltrow’s web site claims to be toxic and then pawns off on unsuspecting readers.  If you thought hustlers like Vani Hari, David Avocado Wolfe, and Joseph Mercola were bad, well, as the old Bachman Turner Overdrive song says, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”.

References
(1) Full-On—Yet Totally Non-Toxic—Lipstick
http://goop.com/full-on-yet-totally-non-toxic-lipstick/

(2) The Guide to Non-Toxic Deodorant—Plus Our 7 Favorites
http://goop.com/the-guide-to-non-toxic-deodorant-plus-our-7-favorites/

(3) The Roots of Mental Health—Maybe They’re Not In Our Heads
Goop.com Q&A with Kelly Brogan, M.D.
http://goop.com/the-roots-of-mental-health-maybe-theyre-not-in-our-heads/

(4) Rituel de Fille Ingredients: “Fortune Teller”
http://ritueldefille.com/forbidden-lipstick-fortune-teller/

(5) Rituel de Fille Ingredients: “Against Nature”
http://ritueldefille.com/forbidden-lipstick-against-nature/

(6) Steam-cleaning your vagina like Gwyneth Paltrow is not recommended (BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/31053429/steam-cleaning-your-vagina-like-gwyneth-paltrow-is-not-recommended

(7) World Health Organization: Aluminum in Drinking Water
http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/en/aluminium.pdf

(8) Cancer.gov Antipersperant Fact Sheet
http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/antiperspirants-fact-sheet

(9) Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/flu-vaccine-the-aluminum-lining/

(10) More “Toxic” Ingredients from Naturally Nicole
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/more-toxic-ingredients-from-naturally-nicole/

(11) Naturally Nicole’s Tooth Powder Debunked
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/naturally-nicoles-tooth-powder-debunked/

(12) Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/food-babe-pushing-dangerous-items-naturally-fresh-deodorant/

Image Credits
Goop.com and Rituel de Fille screen/product snapshots are used in strict accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Opening photo illustration by Mark Alsip/Bad Science Debunked.  Constructed with elements (c) Gwyneth Paltrow/Instagram, Rituel de Fille.  Also used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Axe-idental Poisoning (Josh Axe Debunked)

magical periodic table

How are iron and copper released by bentonite clay while chromium and manganese are targeted and swept away?  Dr. Axe doesn’t sufficiently explain this, but accidentally delves into antimatter and magic in his attempt (see text).

 

So you’ve had another gut-wrenching GMO-free meal at Chi-coli (aka Chipotle) and you’re in need of a quick detox?  Is that what’s bothering you Bunky?  Well set your mind at ease. According to chiropractor and “natural medicine doctor” Josh Axe, all you need to do is eat some dirt.  But not just any dirt.  No, what’s needed here is bentonite clay, a miracle soil that will cleanse and heal the body (get your credit cards ready).1

“Bentonite clay benefits your body by helping to expel many of these toxins [mercury, cadmium, lead, and benzene] and therefore increases immunity and reduces inflammation” 1 — Josh Axe

Golly gee!  I want to know more!

“On top of being able to draw-out toxins from the body, the clay itself has a range of nutrients” 1 — Josh Axe

 

Wait.  Hold on.  Does the clay draw elements out of the body, or put them in?

“When ingested into the body, either in a drink form or by eating the clay, its vitamins and minerals are absorbed similarly to how a supplement would be. Therefore some people use it as a supplement since the clay is a natural source of important dietary nutrients.” 1 –Axe, again

Clay is a source of “important dietary nutrients”, so it puts them into the body?  OK, I’ll bite (no pun intended).  For the sake of argument, let’s take this claim and run with it.  What are the nutritional benefits of bentonite clay, Dr. Axe?1

dr axe bentonite clay

Dr. Axe’s claimed nutritional benefits for bentonite clay include many elements he claims are toxic. (click/enlarge)

 

¡Madre de Dios!  Let’s look at some of the “nutritional elements” I’ve highlighted in the above graphic from draxe.com, and see what the man himself has to say about them:

Mercury exposure, both in one large dose and through low level exposure over time, is linked through scientific data to kidney, brain, urological, fertility, neurological, and renal problems” 2  (emphasis mine)

Low level exposure to mercury over time is linked to some very nasty problems by Axe.  But you’ll find it in the clay he wants you to eat.  The story is even worse with lead:

No level of lead exposure appears to be ‘safe’ and even the current ‘low’ levels of exposure in children are associated with neurodevelopmental deficits.” 3 (emphasis mine)

Axe’s lead quote comes from an article he penned on “toxic” chemicals found in lipstick.  According to him, there’s no safe level of this poisonous element, but you’ll find 1.17mg of lead in each heaping helping tablespoon of his recommended clay.1

Not content with both feet in his mouth, Axe figuratively inserts other remaining body parts as well: in his bentonite clay, you’ll find each and every element I emphasize in his following quote:

The European Union has banned the presence of cadmium, chromium and lead altogether in cosmetics. The Canadian government has set limits for the content of antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury and lead in cosmetics. They’re still trying to determine what levels are avoidable in the manufacturing process.” 3

Why limit the levels of these elements, Dr. Axe?

“While the FDA does limit lead in certain color additives used in cosmetics, it doesn’t set limits on lead in final products.  This is troubling because heavy metals accumulate in the body over time. Low amounts can add up to big effects.3

 

But… but… all of these “heavy metals”, according to you, Dr. Axe, are found in the clay you’re pushing.  But do go on…  what kind of “big effects” can consumers of your super soil expect to experience as the toxins accumulate in their bodies over time?

dr josh axe warns about these metals accumulating over time

Axe issues dire warnings for specific metals accumulating in the body over time.  But each and every metal on this list is found in the bentonite clay he recommends you eat. (click/enlarge)

 

Pot.  Kettle.  Black.

Of course, you could still buy into Axe’s contradictory argument that bentonite clay hunts down and removes these metals from the body.  The problem is, he can’t explain how the good metals are dropped off at the physiological bus stop while the bad ones are picked up by the heavy metal police and carted off to jail without ever passing go.  He makes a hilarious attempt, referencing “positively charged electrons” (that’s antimatter!), but in the end it boils down to magic.  So that I’m not accused of quote mining, I invite you to read his entire article.

Speaking of buying:  Bien sûr, after Axe sings the praises of bentonite clay, he just so happens to have a particular brand he recommends…

dr axe's hidden affiliate link

“Dr.” Axe has a favorite clay–and an undisclosed Amazon.com affiliate link. (click/enlarge)

 

Not only does Axe recommend bentonite, he earns money when you buy it.   In the above image, I’ve highlighted the hidden, encoded Amazon.com affiliate link.  When you’re redirected to Amazon to snag this product, not only does Josh Axe get a cut of the purchase price, he’s also set up to earn commissions on anything else you happen to buy during your shopping session.4,5  Amazon pays out because they’re grateful to Axe for directing you to their web site.  The problem is, legally, the good doctor is supposed to clearly disclose his affiliation when he sends you off to buy–but he never does.

axe hidden link expanded

You can clearly see Axe’s affiliation in the decoded URL (uniform resource locator) after being directed to Amazon.  Axe earns money not only from this purchase, but others you make as well. (click/enlarge)

 

I’ve covered a lot of ground (another dirt pun; sorry) in this piece, and for good reason: there are few things worse, in my humble opinion, than a person hiding behind the title of “doctor” using bad science and fear mongering to sell you products that contain the very same ingredients they’re telling you will harm you.  Here’s a brief recap and, as always, thanks for reading:

  • Axe simultaneously claims bentonite clay both sweeps elements out of your system and puts them in.  Which is it?
  • No scientific explanation is given for the above contradiction.  Axe ascribes near-magical abilities to bentonite, allowing it to hunt down toxins with “positively charged electrons” (antimatter?  WTF?) after coming into contact with water.  Harry Potter would be proud.
  • The so-called doctor’s mastery of chemistry is so poor he can’t differentiate between elements and minerals.
  • The “no safe level of chemical to ingest” mantra could not be more clear in Axe’s writing, yet he proudly lists the levels of each proclaimed toxic chemical in bentonite clay.  Does he ever read his own words and labels?

 

axe unadvertised affiliate link

Help Dr. Axe go on vacation by giving him a cut of all qualifying purchased you make after visiting Amazon.com via his hidden affiliate link.  (click/enlarge)

 

Image Credits
Josh Axe, Redmond Clay, and Amazon.com website screen snapshots are used in strict compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Snippet of the periodic table of the elements taken from ptable.com and also used under Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”) with the intent of providing education.  Happy faces poorly drawn by the author.

 

References
(1) 10 Proven Bentonite Clay Benefits And Uses
http://draxe.com/10-bentonite-clay-benefits-uses/

(2) Dangers of Amalgam Fillings
http://draxe.com/dangers-of-amalgam-fillings/

(3) Is Your Lipstick Toxic?
http://draxe.com/is-your-lipstick-toxic/

(4) Amazon.com Affiliate Program Description
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/

(5) Amazon.com Affiliate Compensation Schedule
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/join/compensation.html

More “Toxic” Ingredients From Naturally Nicole

naturally nicole's tooth powder is loaded with aluminum

Nicole says aluminum is toxic, but you’ll find it from more than one source in her tooth powder.

In a previous article, “Naturally Nicole’s Tooth Powder Debunked“, we learned that the major “active” ingredient in Nicole’s homemade tooth powder was aluminum, derived from bentonite clay. Nicole claims aluminum is toxic, so this poses a bit of a conundrum for her.  Let’s refresh our memories on Nicole’s expert scientific advice concerning the most common metal in the earth’s crust:

“According to Natural Cosmetic News, some research has suggested that these aluminum compounds may be absorbed by the skin and cause changes in estrogen receptors of breast cells. Because estrogen can promote the growth of both cancer and non-cancer breast cells, some scientists have suggested that using the aluminum-based compounds […] may be a risk factor for the development of breast cancer. This is NOT okay with me.”–Naturally Nicole 2

 

It’s not OK with her, but she’s already selling it.  But, could she be so brazen as to sell it TWICE in the same product?  Why yes!  Yes she she could!

In taking a closer look at this woman’s snake oil toothpaste, I noticed another ingredient that readers might find of interest: kaolin.

kaolin in naturally nicole's tooth powder. Can you say aluminum?

Kaolin, an ingredient in Nicole’s clay, is, according to her own research,  toxic. (click/enlarge)

How about a quick trip over to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubChem database for a quick primer on kaolin?3  Kaolin’s molecular formula is Al2H4O9Si2.2  Earth to Nicole: that “Al2”  indicates the presence of aluminum.  You know, the element you claim is so toxic in your articles?2

Maybe a picture would help.  Here’s kaolin for you, graphically.3  Note the aluminum.  I’ve highlighted it in yellow:

kaolin contains aluminum

Naturally Nicole’s tooth powder contains even more aluminum, courtesy kaolin. But of course, since she’s selling it, HER aluminum must be safe!

Of course, Nicole will tell you that her aluminum is safe because… hand waving and magic.  Or contrived pseudoscientific babble about clay being a living “element”.  Believe me, I’ve tried to debate this with her.  I got just as far as I did with Vani Hari, GMO Inside, Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines, Modern Alternative Mama, and a couple dozen other purveyors of things pseudoscientific. In other words, my comments were deleted and I was banned.

Well played Nicole.  Keep on selling those “toxins”!

Image Credits
Naturally Nicole product image captures are used in strict compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

U.S. National Library of Medicine PubChem data/screen captures also used in compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge. USNLM and PubChem do not necessarily endorse and/or agree with this work.

References
(1) Naturally Nicole’s Tooth Powder (Ingredients)
https://www.opensky.com/madewithscrub/product/naturally-nicole-s-re-mineralizing-tooth-powder

(2) Do I Smell Funny?
http://naturallynicolexo.com/do-i-smell-funny-my-body-utopia-natural-deodorant-review-coupon-code/

(3) USNLM PubChem Summary for compound ID 56841936 (Kaolin)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/56841936

Naturally Nicole’s Tooth Powder Debunked

naturally nicole tooth powder open sky

Naturally Nicole’s tooth powder contains a “toxic” compound–according to her!

“Naturally Nicole” is a rather belligerent snake oil saleswoman operating a “natural” online store from GodKnowsWhere, USA.  After a flood of emails from readers asking me to have a look into her product line, I couldn’t resist starting a series on her wares.  She’s not very well known, but it was this response from Nicole to one of her critics that tipped the scales:

naturally nicole tooth powder cavities

Naturally Nicole doesn’t take kindly to criticism.  (click/enlarge)

I despise censorship and ad hom attacks combined with bad science.  So, Nicole, welcome to my blog.  Let’s have a look at some of the products you’re selling!

This week it’ll be Nicole’s “all natural tooth powder”.  Before we look at the ingredients, it’s time for the ominous foreshadowing that regular readers of Bad Science Debunked have come to expect.  We’ll  pick a “toxic” ingredient Nicole hates and hope against hope we don’t find it in any of her products (wink wink, nudge nudge).

Writing on deodorants, Nicole tells us:1

“[…] some research has suggested that these aluminum compounds may be absorbed by the skin and cause changes in estrogen receptors of breast cells. Because estrogen can promote the growth of both cancer and non-cancer breast cells, some scientists have suggested that using the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may be a risk factor for the development of breast cancer.  This is NOT okay with me.“–NaturallyNicole  (emphasis mine)

 

So, watch out for aluminum compounds.  Got it?  Good!

Alright then, time to peek at the ingredients in Nicole’s tooth powder:2

naturally nicole bentonite open sky tooth powder

Bentonite Clay?   Cue horror story music.   (click/enlarge)

Bentonite clay?  I’m having flashbacks to high school geology and chemistry classes, where we learned that aluminum was the most common metal in the crust of the earth and a ubiquitous component of clay/bentonite.

Suddenly, I have a bad, bad feeling about what we’re going to find in Nicole’s tooth powder.  Take a look at the molecular structure of sodium bentonite, for example: 3

Sodium bentonite. Note the aluminum. (click/enlarge)

Sodium bentonite. Note the aluminum.   Courtesy USNLM PubChem.  (click/enlarge)

 

Oh dear.  In case it doesn’t jump right out at you, I highlighted the compounded aluminum.

“Ack!  Phhht!”-Bill the Cat, Bloom County

Geologists point out there are several forms of bentonite, but aluminum is a common element in each–and even Nicole agrees:   You can read her entire chemical “thesis” here.2  If you want to save yourself from a lot of hand waving, her argument is that:

  1. aluminum compounds in products Nicole sells are stable and safe
  2. aluminum compounds in products not sold by Nicole are toxic and cancerous

Yeah, right.

In all honesty, you’re in no danger from any of these products.  If you remember your high school chemistry, aluminum is highly reactive, “loves” to bind to other elements, and is readily processed by the bodies of healthy individuals (e.g. those without kidney disease).  The chemical properties of this element are precisely why it’s so “stable” as Nicole argues in her hand-waving, and it’s just as stable in the products she’s trying to scare you away from.  The difference in Nicole’s aluminum and everyone else’s?  She’s earning money from the former.  End of story.

Next week I’ll be looking at what Nicole calls “evidence based proof” (WTF?)  that her Elderberry Flu Syrup is more effective than the flu vaccine.  Stay tuned!

 

References
(1) Do You Smell Funny?
http://naturallynicolexo.com/do-i-smell-funny-my-body-utopia-natural-deodorant-review-coupon-code/

(2) Naturally Nicole’s Remineralizing Tooth Powder
https://www.opensky.com/madewithscrub/product/naturally-nicole-s-re-mineralizing-tooth-powder

(3) U.S. National Library of Medicine PubChem Compound Summary #7294614 (Sodium Bentonite)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/72941614

Image Credits
Naturally Nicole product screen captures are used in strict compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

USNLM PubChem Sodium Bentonite molecular structure image used in compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, and increase public health knowledge.

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant

naturally free thumb

Naturally Fresh

In her article “Throw This Out of Your Bathroom Cabinet Immediately”,1 Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) slams modern deodorants because they contain aluminum.

In “Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining“,2 I talked a lot about how aluminum (the most common metal in the earth’s crust) is an unavoidable part of our diets and is processed normally by the bodies of healthy people, so I won’t go into that again.  Please see the references in that article if you’d like more information on the safety of aluminum.  I’d like to concentrate on deodorants here.

One of the alternative products Hari recommends is Naturally Fresh Crystal Roll-On Deodorant (Fragrance Free).  She says this is the best deodorant she’s tried.  Vani likes it so much she’s encoded her Amazon.com affiliate ID in a link so that when you buy a bottle, she earns a commission:

naturally fresh thumb

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of Naturally Fresh, according to the manufacturer’s page on Amazon.com:3

naturally fresh ingredientsHmm… Ammonium alum and potassium alum.  Keeping in mind Vani’s hatred of all leading deodorants because they contain aluminum, let’s look more closely these two ingredients:

“Ammonium alum”, (NH4)Al(SO4)2·12H2O,4  is better known as Aluminum ammonium disulfate dodecahydrate, and looks like this:

Ammonium alum

“Ammonium alum”–Aluminum ammonium disulfate dodecahydrate.  (Click to enlarge.)

Do you see the enormous hypocrisy in Food Babe’s article?  I highlighted it for you in yellow.

“Al” is the symbol for aluminum.

Let that sink in for a moment.  Vani Hari has written an article telling you to throw out all the deodorants in your bathroom because they contain supposed Alzheimer’s-inducing aluminum, and then she’s turned around and referred you to a web site that sells you aluminum-containing deodorant.  And she earns a commission when you buy it.

The only significant difference between the aluminum in the deodorants that Food Babe hates and the aluminum in Naturally Fresh is that Vani Hari earns a commission when you buy the latter.  (We could get into a discussion on how the aluminum is bound, but that’s out of scope.  Remember, Hari’s flawed argument is that the mere presence of aluminum means you’re in danger of cancer and Alzheimer’s.  Read her article if you don’t believe me.)

The other ingredient in Naturally Fresh, “Potassium alum”, is better known as “Aluminum potassium sulfate,” KAl(SO4)2.5   Yes, you guessed it, there’s that pesky aluminum again:

potassium aluminum sulfate

“Potassium alum” — Potassium aluminum sulfate.  (Click to enlarge.)

Ironically, one of Food Babe’s fellow pseudoscientists, Dr. Mercola, warns against using natural deodorants that contain alum.6   Food Babe often quotes Dr. Mercola, so to see her peddling Naturally Fresh while he’s warning it can kill you is amusing.

Conclusion
So Vani Hari…

  1. Scares you to death with false information about aluminum
  2. Tells you your deodorants contain aluminum (throw’em out!)
  3. Points you to an alternative deodorant that contains aluminum
  4. Earns a sales commission on the alternative deodorant

Ka-ching!

As I pointed out in the introduction, what Hari doesn’t tell you is that the bodies of healthy humans process aluminum without any problems.  It’s the most common metal in the earth’s crust and an unavoidable part of our diets.  Foods near and dear to The Babe’s heart–such as spinach7,8–are rich in aluminum.  If you’re interested in details, with references, you might want to check out my article “Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining.2

It’s no wonder that out of all the alternative deodorants Vani’s tried, Naturally Fresh works the best.  It’s the only one that definitely contains aluminum!  Buyers should be wary of the other three deodorants she recommends, because of a cryptic legal disclaimer to the effect that the materials you receive may be different than the packaging.

But, unless you’re suffering from a problem such as kidney disease where aluminum can’t be removed from your body efficiently, there’s really nothing wrong with Naturally Fresh deodorant.  I encourage you to buy it–or any other leading brand containing aluminum.  Just please don’t buy by clicking on a link from a Food Babe web page.

You May Also Be Interested In
Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Ava Anderson Mascara
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/food-babe-pushing-dangerous-items-ava-anderson-mascara/

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Tarte Blush
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/food-babe-selling-dangerous-items-tarte-blush/

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Shampoo
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/food-babe-pushing-dangerous-items-honeysuckle-shampoo/

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Naturally Fresh Deodorant
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/food-babe-pushing-dangerous-items-naturally-fresh-deodorant

Food Babe Pushing “Dangerous” Items: Physician’s Formula Organic Wear
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/food-babe-pushing-dangerous-items-physicians-formula-organic-wear/

The Food Babe Ban List
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/the-food-babe-ban-list/

References
Please note: To prevent increasing search engine exposure for objectionable web sites, I use the DoNotLink service to obfuscate their URLs.  I promise you are not being redirected to porn.

(1) Food Babe: Throw this out of your bathroom cabinet immediately
http://www.donotlink.com/cbka

(2) Flu Vaccine: The Aluminum Lining
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/flu-vaccine-the-aluminum-lining/

(3) Naturally Fresh on Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005P0WRLU

(4) PubChem: Compound Summary CID 62668: Aluminum ammonium disulfate dodecahydrate (Ammonium Alum)
http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/62668?from=summary#section=Top

(5) PubChem: Compound Summary CID 24856: Aluminum potassium sulfate (Potassium Alum)
http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/24856#section=Top

(6) Mercola: Stop Using “Natural” Deodorants Until You Read This
http://www.donotlink.com/d1eq

(7) Food Babe: Spinach Recipe
http://www.donotlink.com/d1fi

(8) World Health Organization: Aluminum in Drinking Water
http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/en/aluminium.pdf

Image Credits
Ammonium Alum from PubChem, http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/62668?from=summary#section=Top.  Used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Potassium Alum from PubChem, http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/24856#section=Top.  Used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Amazon.com product screen snapshots are used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.