Monthly Archives: October 2011

Nasty Bugs Lurking on Your Cell Phone

The office of health services post helpful health related information on the GCU Portal. In case you missed it, here it is on the blog : )

The next time you reach for the cell phone, consider this: A new study found that 92% of cell phones have bacteria on them…including E. coli, because people are not washing their hands after going to the bathroom.

The E. coli came from fecal material, which can survive on hands and surfaces for hours.

Phone Filth and Other Facts

The study found:
92% of phones had bacteria on them
82% of hands had bacteria on them
16% of hands and 16% of phones had E. coli bacteria on them

However, 95% of people surveyed said they washed their hands with soap where possible, which suggests we have a tendency to lie about our hygiene habits.

It is not just cell phones that dirty hands are touching, but other surfaces as well. They are spreading bacteria on everything they touch.

Bathroom Texting
People do tend to use their mobile phones everywhere they go. Perhaps we should discourage their use in the bathroom.

So are having unclean hands a modern day problem linked to new technology?
Humans have had infections since the beginning of time; it’s really an ancient problem. Bugs are evolutionary masters at getting from person to person.
Anything that you touch can become a source of infection, so hand washing is crucial.

Excuses, Excuses
People can be quick to excuse their nasty habits.
They say they are in a hurry, they say the water is too cold.
People don’t actually feel that their hands have gotten contaminated.
Everyone knows they should do it, so it’s not education that’s the answer. We need to find other ways to remind people that their hands are dirty and their hands get smelly and foul after using the bathroom. Disgusting people with the state of their hands is probably the most effective way of getting people to wash their hands.

Source: WebMd


Thank you Susan!

A Coaches Dozen: 12 FUNdamental Principles for Building Young and Healthy Athletes

November 3 at 5:30 in the Casino Ballroom

Guest Speaker Avery D. Faigenbaum Ed.D., FACSM

Youth coaches and fitness professionals who work with younger populations need to genuinely appreciate the uniqueness of childhood and adolescence while valuing the importance of making friends, learning something new, and sparking a lifelong interest in physical activity.

Rather than focus all of our efforts on technical skills and sports performance, it is important to understand a few principles which are FUNdamental for long-term health and well-being. The “Coaches Dozen” is a list of 12 principles that youth coaches and fitness professionals should think about. While some of these principles are well supported by research in the fields of pediatric exercise science, sports medicine and developmental psychology, others are based on experience teaching and coaching youth.

RSVP to special events to reserve your seat

Dr. Avery Faigenbaum is a Full Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey, USA. He is the author of over 150 scholarly articles, 30 chapters and eight books including Youth Strength Training and Progressive Plyometrics for Kids. As an active researcher and practitioner in the field of pediatric exercise science, he continues to develop successful youth strength and conditioning programs and lecture at professional
conferences worldwide.

Treat yourself to a massage while donating to Breast Cancer Research

Heather Rosen is currently a student in the GCU Holistic Health Studies Master’s degree and is also a massage therapist. This week, she will be offering to donate 10% of any full price massage booked this week, towards breast cancer research.

Take a look at the benefits of massage and donate money to a great cause as well.
Massage is beneficial because it…

– Increases circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs;
– Stimulates the flow of lymph, the body’s natural defense system, against toxic invaders. For example, in breast cancer patients, massage has been shown to increase the cells that fight cancer. Furthermore, increased circulation of blood and lymph systems improves the condition of the body’s largest organ –the skin;
– Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles;
– Reduces spasms and cramping;
– Increases joint flexibility;
– Reduces recovery time and helps prepare the body for strenuous workouts, reducing subsequent muscle pain of athletes at any level;
– Releases endorphins — the body’s natural painkiller — and is proving very beneficial in patients with chronic illness, injury, and post-op pain;
– Reduces post-surgery adhesions and edema and can be used to reduce and realign scar tissue after healing has occurred;
– Improves range-of-motion and decreases discomfort for patients with low back pain;
– Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreases the need for medication;
– Provides exercise and stretching for atrophied muscles and reduces shortening of the muscles for those with restricted range of motion;
– Assists with shorter labor for expectant mothers, as well as reduces the need for medication, eases postpartum depression and anxiety, and contributes to a shorter hospital stay.

Heather Rosen is in home massage therapist. Her practice focuses on women, prenatal, masectomy massage, post cancer massages, plus other modalities. She is also working towards obtaining my massage doula certification. Check out her web site and support a fellow GCU student!

Go Natural for Health!

  • Use Fewer Products with Simpler Ingredients- Some beauty products contain carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals that increase breast cancer risk. Ask yourself which products you can do without; the best way to avoid chemicals is to use fewer products. Each product you cut from your beauty ritual decreases the number and quantity of chemicals to which you’re exposed.
  • Avoid “Fragrance”- Although it’s just one little word on the ingredient label, “fragrance” can contain dozens, even hundreds, of chemicals—including hormone-disrupting phthalates, synthetic musks, and ethylene oxide. Fragrance manufacturers claim the formulas are confidential business information. So, until we change the law so consumers have the right to know what’s in our products, it’s best to avoid synthetic fragrance and opt for products that are fragrance-free or that contain natural fragrances like essential oils.
  • Use Truly Natural Cosmetics- Unfortunately, the beauty industry is virtually unregulated in the U.S., and many toxic chemicals like phthalates and parabens can be found in the most common of makeup, shampoos, lotions and other personal care products.
  • Beware of Empty Organic and Natural Claims- Read labels for specific information on a product’s ingredients, rather than relying on claims like “organic” or “natural.” A USDA-certified organic seal means 95% or more organic ingredients. But a claim of “made with organic ingredients” or “made with natural ingredients” still leaves plenty of room for harmful synthetics.
  • Read the Label to Avoid Synthetic Ingredients
  • **Good: words that you’ve heard before, like aloe or lavender.** Bad: words you can’t even pronounce. Chemicals sound like chemicals. Avoid products with DMDM hydantoin and imidazolidinyl urea; parabens or any word ending in “-paraben”; “PEG” compounds and words ending in “-eth”; triclosan and triclocarban; triethanolamine (TEA); hydroquinone and oxybenzone. You also want to avoid synthetic fragrance, which can contain hundreds of chemicals, including toxic phthalates.

    • Follow Your Nose When Choosing a Nail Salon- If you go for a mani-pedi, select a nail salon that stocks only nail polishes free of the toxic trio (formaldehyde, toluene—which can be contaminated with benzene—and dibutyl phthalate). Also look for a nail salon that has good ventilation for the entire shop. Choosing a nail salon that engages in these safety practices can help protect your health and the health of the workers who are there every day.
    • Get the Information You Need to Choose Wisely- We all have our favorite makeup and toiletries. To find out whether your go-to products are safe or not, try Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetics safety database. This easy-to-use resource ranks the safety of specific brand names on a scale from one to ten. This is an easy way to find out which products you can use guilt-free and which ones may need replacing.
    • Don’t Sweat over Your Antiperspirant- A possible source of aluminum in breast tissue may be the use of underarm antiperspirants, so try to find an aluminum-free formula. Check for safer alternatives on Skin Deep, the cosmetics safety database, or try a home-made solution like diluted baking soda.
    Things to avoid:

    • Anti-aging creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA and BHA acids
    • Hair dyes, especially dark permanent dyes
    • Liquid hand soaps with triclosan/triclocarban
    • Nail polish and removers with formaldehyde, DBP or toluene (which can be contaminated with benzene)
    • Skin lighteners with hydroquinone
    • Heavily scented products
    • Moisturizers, ointments and skin creams with petrolatum (which can be contaminated with PAHs)
    • Fungicides, shaving creams, hair gels and hair coloring containing nonylphenol
    • Hair spray, gel, mousse or shaving cream that contains isobutane, a propellant that can be contaminated with 1,3-butadiene
    • Sunscreens with UV filters that mimic estrogen
    Before you buy for the PINK Ribbon, think about this…

    • Revlon, Avon, and Estee Lauder generate lots of goodwill and positive press with their signature pink-ribbon products and events. Yet ironically – outrageously – many of their products contain chemicals linked to cancer.
    • Revlon, for example, makes more than 20 hair dyes that score a 10 (for most toxic) in the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. Just one hair-dye product, Revlon Colorist Expert Color & Glaze System, contains more than one dozen chemicals linked to cancer!
    • Avon and Estee Lauder make various products containing PEG compounds and other chemicals that undergo a nasty chemical process called “ethoxylation,” which uses ethylene oxide (a known breast carcinogen) during processing and often leaves products contaminated with 1,4 dioxane (a carcinogen and serious groundwater contaminant).
    • All three companies make products containing parabens and other chemicals that act like estrogen in the body, which is problematic because higher estrogen exposures are associated with higher breast cancer risk.
    • Instead, we get cute pink-ribbon products with an undisclosed portion of proceeds going to breast cancer research, almost none of which is focused on environmental causes of the disease such as cancer-causing chemicals and pollution. They want us to “hope for the cure” rather than having a serious discussion about how to prevent breast cancer – because prevention requires changing the status quo.

    Here are four things you can do today to take meaningful action for change:

    1. Learn About Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer: Share this important resource about the causes of breast cancer, State of the Evidence 2010 by the Breast Cancer Fund, the only national breast cancer organization focused solely on prevention of the disease.
    2. Think Before You Pink: Check out this website by Breast Cancer Action and encourage your friends to ask critical questions about pink ribbon promotions. Another great resource on this topic is the book and film No Family History, by Sabrina McCormick.
    3. Just Say No to Toxic Beauty Products: Choose products that are free of carcinogens and other harmful chemicals by using the Skin Deep database. Spend your money on companies with products consistently in the green zone (0-2 toxicity score).
    4. Demand Cosmetics Without Carcinogens: Join the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in working to pass the Safe Cosmetics Act that will require companies to eliminate cancer-causing chemicals from cosmetics.

    Source 1 Source 2

Prevention is Power

Alcohol– Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. The level of risk rises as the amount of alcohol consumed rises.

Inherited Risk Women who have inherited certain changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a higher risk of breast cancer, and the breast cancer may develop at a younger age.

Early menstruation– Beginning to have menstrual periods at age 11 or younger increases the number of years the breast tissue is exposed to estrogen.

Ask about your family history– Do you have any relatives who have battled or are currently battling breast cancer? If so, you may run a higher risk of inheriting the disease. In this case, you will want to talk with your doctor about your family history and schedule a mammogram earlier than you would normally.

An easy way to document your family’s history with breast cancer is to visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website at and click on the “My Family Health Portrait” Web tool. You can then email the link to your loved ones and find out what health-related issues run in the family.

Get your vitamin D– Vitamin D is typically found in fish, egg yolks and milk. It appears to aid the growth of normal breast cells while preventing the growth of harmful cells, according to Dr. Marisa Weiss, oncologist and founder and president of The sun is also a great source of vitamin D, but be sure not to overexpose yourself to the sun because that causes cancer too.

Drink green tea– If you strive to drink about three glasses a day, you could reduce your risk of getting breast cancer too. Green tea has a high epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, an antioxidant which helps to prevent cancer cells from growing.


  • Nutrition scientists have shown over and over that people who eat more natural plant foods—vegetables, fruits, legumes—are less likely to be diagnosed with cancer.
  • All vegetables contain protective micronutrients and phytochemicals, but cruciferous vegetables have a unique chemical composition: they have sulfur-containing compounds which are responsible for their pungent or bitter flavors. When cell walls are broken by blending or chopping, a chemical reaction occurs that converts these sulfur-containing compounds to isothiocyanates (ITCs)—compounds with proven anti-cancer activities.
  • Cruciferous vegetables are twice as powerful as other plant foods.  In population studies, a 20% increase in plant food intake generally corresponds to a 20% decrease in cancer rates, but a 20% increase in cruciferous vegetable intake corresponds to a 40% decrease in cancer rates.
  • 28 servings of vegetables per week decreased prostate cancer risk by 33%, but just 3 servings of cruciferous vegetables per week decreased prostate cancer risk by 41%.
  • 1 or more servings of cabbage per week reduces risk of pancreatic cancer by 38%.
  • Chopping, chewing, blending, or juicing allows for production of ITCs. Some ITC benefit may be lost with boiling or steaming, so we get the maximum benefit from eating cruciferous vegetables raw; however, some production of ITC in cooked cruciferous vegetables may occur in the gut once the vegetables have been ingested.
  • Dr. Fuhrman recommends 6 fresh fruits and 8 total servings of vegetables per day, including 2 servings of cruciferous vegetables, one raw and one cooked. Consuming a large variety of these ITC-rich cruciferous vegetables within an overall nutrient-dense diet can provide us with a profound level of protection against cancer.
List of cruciferous vegetables
•    Arugula
•    Bok choy
•    Broccoli
•    Broccoli rabe
•    Broccolini
•    Brussels sprouts
•    Cabbage
•    Cauliflower
•    Collards
•    Horseradish
•    Kale
•    Kohlrabi
•    Mache
•    Mustard greens
•    Radish
•    Red cabbage
•    Rutabaga
•    Turnips
•    Turnip greens
•    Watercress

Prevention Starts in the Kitchen!

Eat Your Veggies, but Kick the Can- We all know vegetables are great for us, but the lining in canned food can leach chemicals like BPA. Farmers’ market-fresh vegetables are a better choice, but if you can’t make it to the market or want something out of season, choose frozen over canned or look for brands that make BPA-free cans.

Eat Smart with Organic Foods – Organic produce is grown without harmful man-made pesticides and herbicides. Visit a farmers’ market for locally grown organic fruits and vegetables, or ask your grocer to stock organic produce. For extra points, look for antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables high in vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene.

Eat Hormone-free Meat and Dairy- When we eat meat and dairy products, we’re also eating the residue of what those animals ate, including pesticides, growth hormones and contaminants. Choose hormone-free beef or dairy to eliminate those traces of hormones that can enter our bodies and contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Catch Some Non-toxic Seafood – In addition to mercury, seafood can also be contaminated with high levels of PCBs and dioxins. Buy farmed fish that are lower on the food chain; for larger fish like salmon and sea bass, buy wild-raised. And limit consumption of fattier fish, like lake trout, or fish that are bottom dwellers, like wild catfish.

Cook Healthier Fish – When you do eat fish, careful preparation and cooking can reduce the amount of PCBs consumed. Fillet fish to remove as much fat as possible. Frying may actually seal some of the toxic chemicals within the remaining fat, so bake it or broil it instead, which will cook off natural fats and cause the accumulated chemicals to drip out.

Grill with Care – Found in cigarette smoke and car exhaust, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are also found in the char of heavily grilled foods. So when grilling, use a slower roast method, go for medium instead of well-done, and scrape off any of the black stuff that results from overcooking.

Include Soy, but Don’t Overdo It – Natural plant-based estrogens in soy may provide healthy benefits in low doses, but may be a risk factor for breast cancer in higher doses.


Get Moving for Breast Cancer Prevention

Hi Everyone!

In an effort to keep with the sustainability theme on campus this year, I said I would put the breast cancer prevention information on the blog for all of you to read or print if you needed.

Also, thanks to all who came out to watch CRAZY SEXY CANCER last night. I hope you all were inspired to share Kris Carr’s amazing message with others.


  • 60 studies published in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia indicate that physically active women have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than inactive women
  • Most studies suggest that 30 to 60 minutes per day of moderate- to high-intensity physical activity is associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk
  • Physical activity may prevent tumor development by lowering hormone levels, particularly in premenopausal women; lowering levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), improving the immune response; and assisting with weight maintenance to avoid a high body mass and excess body fat
  • One hour of walking at a 2 to 3 mph pace lowers your risk a little. Three to five hours weekly of brisk walking gives you the most protection from breast cancer. You could vary that by switching activities -– try jogging, hiking, swimming, cycling, or other activities that get you moving.
  • Eighty percent of all breast cancers are fueled by estrogen. Exercise is a natural way to reduce your estrogen levels, as well as reducing other hormones and growth factors that can cause breast cells to turn into cancer.
  • Physical inactivity may contribute to the rise in several types of cancer – colon cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer, and cancer of the esophagus.
  • Women who are overweight produce and store more estrogen in their bodies than women who have a healthy lower body mass index (BMI). Increased exposure to estrogen and risk of breast cancer are linked, since the estrogen-receptor positive kind is the most common type of breast cancer.
  • Exercise improves mood, raises your self-esteem, and gives you a better body image.
  • Doing your exercise improves muscle tone, strength, and endurance.
  • Exercise protects you by lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • It can help you lower your weight, which in turn, reduces risk of breast cancer due to obesity.
  • American Cancer Society recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous aerobic exercise five or more times a week to reduce the risk of cancer. Regular cardio workouts lower estrogen, testosterone and insulin levels, which are associated with a high risk for cancer when too much of these hormones are present in the body


Don’t Forget to Take Part in all the PINK on Campus Today!!!

Today is Breast Cancer Awareness day at GCU! 

Please be sure to take part in something!

I will be hosting a table on breast cancer prevention. Stop by and learn how we can end breast cancer in the future. 

At 6PM, we will also be hosting a movie screening of CRAZY SEXY CANCER in the Little Theatre. After the movie is over, I hope you are inspired to share your thoughts and feelings on the movie to have a discussion.