Hydrogen Peroxide for Teeth Whitening, Hair and More

Hydrogen Peroxide for Teeth Whitening, Hair and More

Claremont Colonic Clinic Newsletter

When I was a teen, hydrogen peroxide was my go-to teeth-whitener, and something I would spray on my hair to get that “sun kissed” look. Years later, you can still find a bottle in my medicine cabinet as an inexpensive way to whiten teeth, and disinfect cuts and scrapes.

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a pale blue liquid, which appears colorless, and is slightly more viscous than water. It’s a weak acid made up of hydrogen and oxygen and a strong oxidizer often used as a cleaning agent. When used topically, hydrogen peroxide foams and fizzes due to the enzyme catalase, according to Medical Daily. This reaction has a bleaching and disinfecting effect that works for several applications.

Whiten your teeth

The most important thing people want to change about their smile is the whiteness of their teeth, suggests a survey conducted by Kelton Global for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). And almost 100 percent of those surveyed believe a great smile is one of their most important “social assets.” But why pay hundreds of dollars to whiten your teeth when you can have the same results for pennies? In fact, even professionally applied tooth bleaching products used by dentists contain hydrogen peroxide.

However, those peroxide concentrations range from 25 to 40 percent and are sometimes used together with a light or laser, which are supposed to accelerate or activate the whitening process. But, according to the American Dental Association, most studies report there is no additional long-term benefit with light-activated systems.

Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda teeth whitener

Create a simple whitening solution with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to gently remove stains. Here’s what you’ll need:


2 tbsp hydrogen peroxide

1 tbsp baking soda


Small bowl


Toothbrush Instructions

1. Add the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda into a small bowl. Stir to combine into a paste.

2. Dip your toothbrush in the mixture and start brushing.

3. Allow the paste to stay on your teeth for about a minute, and then rinse thoroughly.

I personally use this homemade whitening paste, but only once or twice a month. If you have very bad stains on your teeth, you could use it initially once a week until you notice an improvement. More often, however, and the baking soda could break down the enamel over time, causing sensitivity. And of course, make sure to maintain your regular oral care regimen.

Remove earwax

All humans and other mammals have earwax. It consists of shed skin cells, hair and the secretions from glands of the outside ear canal. Although gross, it serves its purpose. Namely, protecting the ear canal against bacteria, fungi and water. But, too much earwax and your ears may feel full, affecting your hearing.

Although most experts agree that removing earwax is not entirely necessary, you may still want to clean your ears time and again. The problem is, rooting around your ear canal with a Q-tip can actually push wax further inside. So, instead of cleaning your ear out, the wax gets stuck. As a result, wax builds up on top of it, creating a dangerous blockage or “impaction,” according to NYU Otologist Dr. Erich Voigt, for businessinsider.com.

Hydrogen peroxide can safely remove earwax buildup, according to PubChem. Most over-the-counter wax removal drops basically contain oil and peroxide solutions. Hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen in the ear and foams, causing ear wax to soften and loosen. To use hydrogen peroxide at home, simply lie down on your side, with one ear facing up, says Healthline. Use an eyedropper to drop one or two drops of peroxide into your ear. Keep still for five minutes and then sit up. Blot the outer ear with a tissue to absorb any liquid that comes out. And then, repeat the process on the other ear.

A method that I prefer is using a Q-tip — soaked in hydrogen peroxide — to administer it into my ear. I don’t push it into the ear canal, but merely let it sit in the ear opening, and allow it to gently drip in. After about a minute or so, I dry my ear with a tissue.

Lighten hair

Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent that has been used to lighten hair for years. Peroxide penetrates the hair shaft and removes the natural pigment of the hair — hence the expression “peroxide blonde.”

Here’s what I used to do to lighten my locks. Simply dilute one part of three percent hydrogen peroxide with one part water, and pour it into a spray bottle. Wet your hair, and then spray the solution on your entire head or just the strands you want to lighten. Then, comb it through. Blow-drying your hair will accelerate the effect. Follow by washing your hair and deep conditioning it to prevent drying. This won’t give you a peroxide blonde look, but it will give you more natural highlights. You can also use this solution as a gradual lightener, over time.

Healing wounds

Unlike using alcohol to disinfect a wound, using peroxide will definitely remove the “ouch” factor from the equation. Hydrogen peroxide cleans wounds by moistening and loosening dried blood and any dirt in the wound. It also removes dead tissue. Peroxide foams on contact, and the fizz produced helps to mechanically clean the wound. It’s for this reason that you should keep a bottle in your first-aid kit to clean a wound when no clean water is available.

But, here’s the thing: according to Sciencing, it can also destroy the cells called fibroblasts, which rebuild the connective tissue to heal the wound. So, for this reason, it’s not recommended for long-term use. In addition, although hydrogen peroxide is widely used as an antibacterial agent, it’s effectiveness is up for debate. Certain types of bacteria, such as staphylococci, have an enzyme called catalase, which breaks hydrogen peroxide down to water and oxygen, actually diluting it.

Research published in PLOS looked at the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide on wound healing. In agreement with previous studies, researchers found that wounds display a positive effect when treated topically with peroxide. But only when in lower concentrations were used. Subsequently, higher concentrations actually delayed healing. So, to clean and promote healing in wounds, stick to lower (three percent) solutions, generally found at the drugstore.

There you have it, some pretty good reasons to keep a bottle in your medicine cabinet.

Contributor: Katherine Marko – Alternative Daily .

Seasonal Affective Disorder Doesn’t Mean You Have to Be Sad. Here Are 6 Self-Care Tips to Fight the Blues.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Doesn’t Mean You Have to Be Sad. Here Are 6 Self-Care Tips to Fight the Blues.

The start of a new year means continued short days and long nights. While some might be unhappy over the lack of daylight outside, millions of people have to worry about a more severe type of sadness: the winter blues.

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that occurs in late fall and winter that has to do with the lack of sunlight.

Having shorter days and longer nights during fall and winter can disrupt a 24-hour clock inside our bodies called the circadian rhythm. This clock regulates multiple bodily processes and is influenced by the day-night cycle, said circadian rhythm expert Joseph Takahashi, professor and chair of the neuroscience department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, via email. Disrupted circadian responses may affect brain regions involved in mood, along with causing fatigue and low energy from lack of sleep.

Taking care of your health is key to dealing with seasonal affective disorder. Here’s what experts say you can do to manage seasonal affective disorder. Remember to talk to your medical provider before starting any new treatments.

Try bright light therapy

Light therapy is the go-to treatment for seasonal affective disorder. It involves exposing yourself to a light box with at least 10,000 lux for at least 30 minutes. (Lux is a unit of measurement for light level intensity.)

“A bright sunny day is 50,000 to 100,000 lux,” said Dr. Jason Tucciarone, an instructor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. While you can purchase a light box of lower intensity, you will have to spend more time sitting in front of it.

There are two ways a light box helps with seasonal affective disorder. First, mimicking outdoor light corrects the internal clock thrown out of sync from shorter days in winter. Another way is by increasing levels of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in balancing mood.

You can use the light box at any time, but morning use can give you more energy for the rest of the day. “Look away from it and do something where you’re sitting in front of the light, whether it’s eating breakfast, reading the news or anything that will keep you busy for 30 minutes,” Tucciarone said. Make sure to stay 2 to 3 feet away from it and do not look directly into the box because 10,000 lux can hurt your eyes.

Invest in a dawn simulator

These type of alarm clocks imitate natural sunlight. When it’s time to wake up, the light gradually increases in intensity. Some research suggests dawn simulators may be just as effective in reducing depressive symptoms. They may be a good addition to your light box therapy, Tucciarone said, as you can get exposed to light the moment you wake up without straining your eyes.

Prioritize sleep at night

Thomas Kilkenny, a sleep specialist at Northwell Health in New York, emphasized the importance of getting enough sleep. The lack of sunlight from shorter winter days can disrupt our internal clocks that tell us when it’s time to be awake and when it’s time to wind down. The disrupted sleep schedule can cause insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Get ready for bed an hour before you plan to go, Kilkenny recommended. Dim the lights, use the bathroom and avoid arguments or emotional situations where you’re going to get yourself worked up. Additionally, avoid using electronics as you start to wind down as they can make it harder to fall asleep.

“Phones and computers have bright light which can trick your mind into thinking it’s daylight,” Tucciarone said.

Finally, he advised having a stable sleep schedule, which entails going to bed around the same time every night and waking up the same time every morning.

Go for a walk outside

Exercise works as a mood booster as it releases chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins to make you feel good and cope better with stress. Even a low-impact activity such as a 10-to-15 minute brisk walk can improve depressive symptoms.

Going outside for a small walk can be even more beneficial, Kilkenny said, since you are simultaneously exposing yourself to bright light.

If you are going to exercise, Kilkenny recommended doing it in the morning rather than at night. “Working out a couple of hours before bed will actually raise your body temperature, which is a bad idea,” he said.

Socialize with other people

Feeling an urge to hibernate for the winter? Social isolation is common among people with seasonal affective disorder, and isolating may contribute to depressive symptoms. Recently, the US surgeon general reported that being socially disconnected was as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

“Socialization is really important in treating disorders in general,” Tucciarone said. “Isolating is not good for mood.” You may not feel up to a party or a dinner date, but even small amounts of companionship can make a difference. One suggestion from Tucciarone is having a buddy with you when taking outdoor walks.

Get medical attention

Cognitive behavioral therapy has people with seasonal affective disorder work to develop an awareness on what they’re experiencing, identify negative thoughts and come up with strategies to replace the thoughts with more positive ones, said Lucian Manu, a psychiatrist at Stony Brook Medicine in New York.

Cognitive behavioral therapy may be more effective than light therapy at preventing remissions. One study found that six weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy helped reduce depressive symptoms and reduced the chances of developing seasonal affective disorder the following winter.

Antidepressants are another option that Manu recommended for people with severe seasonal affective disorder. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, for example, work to boost serotonin levels, which can help boost mood. A popular prescription is bupropion, which Manu said helps in managing increasing sleep (along with appetite and weight) for people with seasonal affective disorder.

Contributor: Jocelyn Solis-Moreira, CNN Healt

Massive Number of Plastic Particles Found in Bottled Water. Are They Harmful to Health?

Massive Number of Plastic Particles Found in Bottled Water. Are They Harmful to Health?

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
  • According to a new study, bottled water contains hundreds of thousands of tiny plastic nanoparticles.
  • With the health effects of ingested plastics remaining unclear but worrying, the study suggests a far larger problem than previously understood.
  • Similarly, a second new report finds far greater microplastic levels than expected in nearly every food tested.
A new study introduces a new method of detecting tiny nanoparticles — less than a thousandth the width of a human hair — of plastic in bottled water. They are so small that they are measured in billionths of a meter.

Closely following new research from Consumer Reports’ lab that found microplastics — from five millimeters to one micrometer in size — in 84 out of 85 foods tested, plastics seem to have infiltrated the human food chain to an even greater degree than previously understood.

In another recent study from researchers at Columbia University using the new nanoplastic detection method, researchers revealed 10 to 100 times more nanoplastics in bottled water than had previously been documented.

The health effects of this plastic are complex and unclear.

The new study found between 110,000 and 370,000 nanoparticles, most of which were nanoplastics, when they tested three popular bottled water brands.

Using hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy, the researchers could observe particles as small as 100 nanometers in the water they examined.

The study is published in PNAS.

Detecting plastic nanoparticles in water

Dr. Sara Benedé, of the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute of Food Science Research, who was not involved in the study, said:

“Since all methods have limitations, and it is not possible to achieve a method that completely covers the detection of the great diversity of micro and nanoparticles found in the environment, any progress made in the development of methodologies that allow the detection of these particles is positive for the advancement of this field.”

Study co-author Dr. Phoebe Stapleton, in collaboration with study co-author Dr. Beizhan Yan, pointed out:

“Our instrument was tuned to detect plastics only, so we only know that there are other nanoparticles not included in the seven major types of plastics we focused on.

For bottled water, these particles may also come from the filters used in the filtration process.”
– Dr. Beizhan Yan While the study declines to specify the brands tested, Dr. Stapleton noted, in any event, that, “There was a range in the number of particles that were identified per brand. However, these were still within the hundreds of thousands of nanoplastic particles.”

Why tiny plastic particles can be harmful to health

It is not entirely certain what risks may result from the consumption of such particles. However, research suggests cause for concern.

Dr. Benedé explained, “On the one hand, these plastic particles can cause physical injury by damaging, for example, the intestine when consuming contaminated food, or the lungs when we inhale them.” She attributed this potential harm to “the simple fact that plastics rub against tissue.”

Moreover, she said, “Micro and nanoplastics can also be a chemical hazard, as they contain additives which are added during their production to give them special properties such as strength, flexibility, stiffness, adaptability to external factors, etc.”

Some of the most studied additives, said Dr. Benedé, “are phthalates and bisphenol A [BPA]. Both are considered endocrine disruptors and can alter endocrine system functions leading to adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects.”

Tiny plastic particles may also harbor unhealthful stowaways, said Dr. Benedé. “[Microparticles and nanoparticles] have the ability to bind all kinds of compounds when they come into contact with fluids, thus acting as carriers of all kinds of substances including environmental pollutants, toxins, antibiotics, or microorganisms.”

“Once inside the cells, [the nanoparticles] could release the compounds, leading to additional health issues.”
– Dr. Stapleton

“Plastic particles are not homogeneous,” said. Dr. Benedé. “Depending on the plastic material they come from, their size and also their shape, they will have different effects on our organism, and the hazardous effects can be very diverse.”

“Plastic particles could induce physical stress and damage, apoptosis, necrosis, inflammation, oxidative stress and immune responses, which could contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer, metabolic disorders, and neurodevelopmental conditions, among others.”
– Dr. Benedé

It is also the case that plastics do not readily biodegrade, so once they are ingested, they may remain for an undetermined length of time, potentially posing a long-term health hazard.

High levels of phthalates, microplastics also found in food

The Consumer Reports study found phthalates “in almost every food we tested, often at high levels.”

No single particular type of food was more likely to contain phthalates than another, nor did packaging type appear to be a factor.

The only tested food that contained no phthalates was Polar raspberry lime seltzer.

None of the foods tested by Consumer Reports contained levels of phthalates that exceeded the current safety standards, but those standards do not necessarily reflect the latest medical knowledge, according to the report. It cites Dr. Ami Zota, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, who asserted that allowing such chemicals in food “is not evidence-based.”

Consumer Reports also found substantial amounts of BPA, though mostly at lower levels than their previous study in 2009.

How to reduce risk from microplastics consumption

“Highly processed foods and beverages would be more likely to contain plastic particles,” she noted.

“The best advice is awareness and avoidance,” said Dr. Stapleton.

Dr. Stapleton recommended switching from disposable plastic bottles to metal or glass. This provides two benefits. In addition to reducing the risk of exposure to plastics, reusable drinking containers lower the number of bottles used, reducing one’s waste stream.

Dr. Benedé also suggested one “go loose-leaf instead of using tea bags,” rely more on tap water with a filter capable of removing particles, and use a glass container when microwaving.

Dr. Stapleton noted, that despite her study’s findings, “Staying hydrated is crucial for health. Therefore, we do not advise against drinking bottled water when necessary, as the risk of dehydration may outweigh the potential impacts of nanoplastics exposure.”

Contributor: Robby Berman — Medical News Today

10 Foods That Will Completely Turn Your Health Around in 2024

10 Foods That Will Completely Turn Your Health Around in 2024

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
The biggest health changes can come from the food you add to your diet, not what you take away.
If the “New Year, New You” mentality has you working out seven days a week and restricting your favorite foods (only to fall off the wagon a few weeks in), 2024 may be the year to try something different. Dietitians agree that the biggest health changes often come from what you add to your diet, not what you take away.

While no one food can make or break your health, including more nutrient-dense foods that are high in antioxidants, fiber, lean protein, and essential micronutrients can make a significant difference in your health and how you feel each day. Whether you’re trying to lower your cholesterol, maintain or manage a healthy weight, reduce your blood sugar, boost your immune system, or just feel more energized each day, the foods you regularly eat can help you reach your goals.

Here are 10 foods dietitians want you to eat more of to turn your health around in the new year. Read on, and for more healthy eating tips, check out the 20 Best High-Protein, Low-Calorie Foods.

1. Beans

“Adding a serving or two of beans each day may make a significant impact on the diet by adding nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and folate,” says Sarah Pflugradt, MS, RDN, CSCS. You get plenty of protein and fiber from beans, making them a great addition to anyone trying to eat more plants in their diet. Just one-half cup of black beans has 7.5 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber.

“Regular bean consumption has also been shown to improve glucose control and lower cholesterol,” Pflugradt adds. In a 2021 study in the Journal of Nutrition, people with high LDL-cholesterol reduced their total and LDL-cholesterol by eating 1 cup of beans (any variety) daily for four weeks.

2. Oats

“Oats are budget-friendly, shelf-stable, and versatile, which makes them a highly accessible food for overall health,” says Wan Na Chun (she/her), RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and nutrition consultant for Health Insiders.

Whether you enjoy them as hot oats, overnight oats, granola, or baked into muffins and breads, eating more oats can make a big difference. While they’re a good source of nutrients like iron and magnesium, their star nutrient is soluble fiber. “Oats are rich in soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease,” Chun adds.

3. Nuts

“Whether it’s walnuts, almonds, peanuts, or pistachios, nuts are a great source of fiber and plant-based protein,” says Patricia Kolesa MS, RDN, owner of Dietitian Dish LLC. Just one ounce of almonds (about a small handful) has 6 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber, and is a good source of magnesium, copper, and riboflavin.

“While some people are concerned about eating nuts due to them being high in calories, I encourage them as a great snack,” says Bess Berger, RD, a registered dietitian specializing in PCOS and menopause at Nutrition by Bess.

In fact, a 2019 review of the diets, health, and weight of almost 145,000 adults found that an increased intake of nuts by just 0.5 servings per day resulted in lower rates of obesity and weight gain over the 20-24 years that participants were followed.

4. Seaweed

“Seaweed packs a lot of health power into a low-calorie food item,” says Amy Bene, MS RD CDCES, owner of Nutrition Insights PLLC.

There are plenty of types of seaweed to enjoy, from dried spirulina to kelp or nori, which is used in many Asian cuisines. Seaweed is a good source of various vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and antioxidants while being low in fat and calories.

If this is a new-to-you food and you’re unsure how to incorporate it, there are plenty of opportunities to try it. “Seaweed is often served with sushi, in miso soup, prepared dried as a snack or added to many different recipes including stir fry’s or wraps,” Beney adds.

You can also find packages of dried seaweed “chips” in many grocery stores or online for healthier snacking.

5. Berries

By the handful, added to cereal, over toast, or mashed into a jam, eating more berries is good for your health. “Not only are berries packed with immune-boosting vitamin C and high in fiber, they are also loaded with antioxidants,” says Danielle VenHuizen, RD, a Seattle-based registered dietitian and owner of Food Sense Nutrition.

“Berries may boost mood and reduce anxiety, which can have a profound effect on overall health,” VenHuizen adds. One possible reason berries have such a significant impact on mood is their high flavonoid content. Small studies have found that just a cup of berries had a positive effect on executive function (a term that describes working memory, planning, problem-solving, and directing attention, thoughts, and behaviors) in children and young adults.

6. Kale

“Eating kale and other green leafy vegetables daily may reduce your risk of dementia,” says Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD.

Leafy greens are rich in nutrients like lutein, folate, β-carotene, and phylloquinone, which have neuroprotective effects to help slow down age-related cognitive declines. Just one serving a day could keep your mind sharp as you age.

7. Tuna fish

“To boost your memory, keep your vision sharp, and decrease your risk for heart disease, try having fatty fish (like salmon or tuna) two times per week,” says Chelsea LeBlanc, RDN, LD, a Nashville-based dietitian and owner of Chelsea LeBlanc Nutrition. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids from fish can help reduce the risk of heart disease, leading the American Heart Association to recommend at least two 3.5-ounce servings of fish, preferably fatty fish, to your diet. Most adults fall short of these recommendations, but meeting this goal is actually pretty easy.

“It can be as simple as adding lox to your avocado toast, tuna to your salad, or making a simple sheet pan salmon,” LeBlanc adds.

8. Watercress

“Watercress has many plant compounds, including one called Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), which may have anti-cancer properties,” says Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD. This leafy green may not be as common as kale or spinach, but it has a peppery flavor that complements a wide variety of meals, and the flavor becomes milder once cooked. Add this green to salads, soups, stir-fries, sandwiches, or blend it into a delicious pesto.

9. Yogurt

Eating more yogurt, especially low-sugar and high-protein varieties that include live active cultures, can have a significant impact on your health. A 2020 review found that diets high in fermented milk, like yogurt, are associated with a lower risk of breast and colon cancer and type 2 diabetes, as well as healthier weight and improved heart, bone, and gastrointestinal health.

Eat it on its own as a snack, use it as a dip for apples or bananas, add it to smoothies, or start your morning with a berry, granola, and yogurt parfait!

10. Water

“Many times, people feel drained or sluggish, and sometimes the reason is due to dehydration,” says Alyssa Smolen MS RDN, NJ-based content creator dietitian. The solution? Drink more water. While not a food, water still made our list because of how important it is.

“Water helps maintain temperature, helps get rid of waste, and contributes to electrolyte balance,” Smolen adds. She recommends getting a new water bottle you’ll want to carry with you and incorporating sparkling or flavored waters like LaCroix or Spindrift to increase intake and satisfaction.

Contributor: Kelsey Kunik, RDN- Eat This, Not That!