Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Analyzing the Lavender/Tea Tree studies

Lots of buzz has been going around about Lavender and Tea Tree essential oils causing young boys to have swollen breast tissue.  You should really do some study of these studies before you throw out the baby with the bath water.  Here are several videos that can give you more information.  THEN after listening about whether researchers really did their do-diligence you can make your own decision.  My decision.......Not an issue.  The big takeaway.  Use personal care products that are free of phalates, endocrine disruptors, parabans and other bad toxins.  You should also remember that essential oils have been used by millions of people without this problem.

You can read more about the person in this video.
Dr. Scott A. Johnson is the bestselling author of 13 books and a leading expert on the evidence-based clinical use of essential oils.

THEN....the information below is from Lindsey Elmore, pharmacist who has talked about this study numerous times.  Here is her recent information about the new study.  I like her last statement which says:  Let's shut off the panic mode and be reasonable people.  EXACTLY!
When you review the new data that claims that lavender essential oil causes breast swelling in young boys. . . 😵
There are several things that I take issue with on this new information. 

1. To the best of my knowledge, this study is NOT out yet; it is just an announcement of the study from the authors at a conference. I scoured PubMed and Google Scholar looking for it. If you have it, please send it over to me. Since the study isn't out yet, I have no way to assess the dose that was used. It is possible that the dose is massively larger than what humans use on a regular basis. This is exceptionally common in cell and animal research.

2. The study used essential oil constituents, not a true essential oil. The study did NOT look at a complete oil, only extracts of eucalyptol, 4-terpineol, dipentene/limonene and alpha-terpineol, linalyl acetate, linalool, alpha-terpinene and gamma-terpinene. In my practical experience with oils, I have never applied a fraction by itself.

3. The authors then applied the oil fractions to human cancer cells, NOT healthy cells. Interestingly, some of the authors from the 2007 NEJM article are also on this study and in both instances cancer cells were used to test estrogenic activity. I have already posted on my blog that cell cultures are not the gold standard test for estrogenic activity. My guess is that this new article will take similar criticism to the 2007 article because they still failed to include a uterotrophic assay as part of the study methods. Cancer cells, especially breast cancer cells used in the 2007 study, respond differently to estrogen than normal cells do. Therefore, this is not an accurate presentation of the average human use.

4. This panic that is going around was NOT prompted by any child actually getting gynecomastia. The authors of the new study state that the hormonal changes they observed were "consistent with endogenous, or bodily, hormonal conditions that stimulate gynecomastia in prepubescent boys." But the fact still remains. . . no child actually suffered from gynecomastia. . . this is ALL theoretical evidence. Yes, there are some case reports of children acquiring breasts from lavender oil, but I am skeptical of this evidence too, and cover it here:…/

From a practical standpoint, I still do not consider lavender oil of high risk for causing breast swelling in young boys. And can vouch that it definitely doesn't work for grown women. While we may have some high profile case reports and articles, the overall number of children who acquire gynecomastia from products containing essential oils pales in comparison to the number of children who actually use essential oils.

Let's shut off the panic mode and be reasonable people.

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