The skin is not only the largest organ in the body, it is also a mirror of the health of the body’s internal organs. In addition to protection of inner tissue structures, the skin helps in regulation of body temperature and elimination of metabolic waste products. Many diseases of the digestive, cardiovascular, and nervous systems, and hormonal imbalances and inflammatory conditions are reflected on the skin. With approximately 20 square feet of surface area, the skin is primarily taken care of for cosmetic appeal. Thousands of skin care products cater to beauty and health conscious consumers who hope to avoid acne, discoloration and signs of aging, as well as skin cancer. It is estimated that the global skin care products industry revenue will be $102.3 billion by 2018.
Cervical cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the fourth most common cause of death in women. The American Cancer Society estimates 12,900 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in 2015. Most women diagnosed with cervical cancer are between 30 to 60 years old. While the routine Pap test has reduced cervical cancer deaths in developed countries, it remains a major cause of deaths in women in developing countries. According to 2012 data, approximately 528,000 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed worldwide.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune, chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by thickened, red skin with silvery scaled patches. These patches typically occur on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Although the exact cause of psoriasis is not clear, it is not a contagious disease. Psoriasis affects 2-3% of the world’s population, and men and women between the ages of 15 and 45 are equally affected.
The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system and are located on each side of the uterus. They are responsible for the storage and release of an egg every month during a woman’s childbearing years, and the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone control the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, and have protective effects on the heart, bones and multiple organ systems in women.
The uterus, commonly referred to as the “womb,” is a hollow and highly expandable organ responsible for accommodating the growing fetus during the nine months of pregnancy. The uterus is made up of strong, involuntary muscles that contract during menstruation and childbirth. Abnormal contractions of the uterine muscles may cause severe cramps during menstruation. During pregnancy, the abnormal and untimely uterine contractions could lead to premature labor and delivery. A normal healthy pregnancy usually lasts up to 40 weeks. If the infant is born before the 37th week of pregnancy, it is termed a “preterm birth.” According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11.4% of the pregnancies in the US ended in preterm delivery in 2013. Preterm delivery is also the cause of approximately 35% of all infant deaths.
The nutritional requirements of men and women differ. A woman’s body needs extra nutritional support during various physiological transitions such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, and menopause. Women are affected by different health problems than men and are more often diagnosed with autoimmune diseases, arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression. Despite popular belief that heart disease is a male problem, one in four menopausal women die from heart disease making heart disease, not cancer, the major cause of death of American women. At different stages of life, women benefit from properly selected micronutrients to assure the optimum function of the cells building the nervous, immune, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems.
Over 3 million Americans over 40 suffer from some sort of visual impairment. Vision loss is one of the major causes of disabilities, and age related eye diseases (AREDs) are rapidly becoming a public health problem in developed countries. Visual impairment caused by AREDs can lead to other serious health issues, including decreased mobility, depression, hip fractures, other accidents, and an overall lower quality of life. Most AREDs do not have effective treatments and it is important to maintain eye health and to prevent vision deterioration.
Heart attacks and strokes have consistently remained the leading causes of deaths. Atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of these diseases, results in 17 million deaths each year. Yet, high blood cholesterol levels, a fatty diet, and obesity have been blamed as the causes of heart disease. However, cutting down dietary fat and the artificial reduction of blood cholesterol with cholesterol-reducing medicines have not been successful in addressing this issue. Atherosclerotic plaques occur primarily in the coronary arteries rather than in the entire 60000-mile-long vascular system. The absence of plaque in the veins and the fact that animals do not suffer from atherosclerosis while humans do cannot be explained by conventional medicine and the cholesterol theory of heart disease.
Heart Failure is a serious health condition where the heart is unable to pump enough oxygenated blood to other parts of the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 5.1 million people in the US are affected by heart failure and about 40-50% of them die within one year of diagnosis. The economic impact of heart failure is huge, as the national heart failure treatment costs average about $32 billion including the work absences. Worldwide, approximately 23 million people suffer from heart failure.
Malnourishment is not hunger! Although global hunger is an ongoing struggle for more than one billion people, severe acute malnutrition is a more serious condition causing 45% of deaths in children under five years old. Worldwide, 34 million children are living with malnutrition, and every year at least one million of them die due to severe malnutrition and related diseases.