Authors: Registered Dietitians
(HealthCastle.com) I attended the Whole Life Expo [November 9-11], Canada’s Largest Showcase of Natural and Green Living, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. I have been to the expo before and this one, while reported to be the largest attended to date, was like any other year.
The expo is a mix of lectures ranging from karmic cleansing, to natural skin care, to slowing and reversing aging with super foods and healing strategies most of which have little to no credible scientific evidence save a few. Belief is a powerful thing and many people attend looking for any edge to help them live a healthier life or with the hopes of managing and/or healing an existing degenerative disease.
While there are credible products and services to be had, like clinically proven probotic Bio-K+ which, has been shown to statistically reduce and prevent antibiotic associated diarrhea and C. difficile, a serious bacterial infection often acquired in hospital after a course of antibiotics, many other products are questionable. One that stood out for me was “Total Body Purge – Raw Whole Body Formula” by North America Herb and Spice Company - one of the first to bring oil of oregano to the market en masse.
Total Body Purge [I think we know where this is going] is touted as giving energy, support and enhancement of the digestive system while at the same time detoxifying the liver, gallbladder, kidneys and colon [think increased bowel movements]. As such, Total Body Purge helps to cleanse the body of toxins and heavy metals.
Ingredients include: cold pressed black seed oil, wild raw high bush cranberry extract, wild raw dandelion leaf extract, wild burdock leaf, wild nettles extract, wild fireweed/clintonian extract, wild sage oil, wild rosemary oil, fennel oil, and cilantro oil.
Does Total Body Purge Deliver?
Who Knows? The problem with products, and product claims, like this is that they are not standardized or regulated. Essentially anyone can say almost anything they want to without the need for research to back it up. Unless this very product has been studied for its effects on eliminating toxins, i.e. measured in urine or stool for example, there’s no proof that it does anything except for acting as a laxative or to cause headaches, bloating and feelings of fullness, some of the more common side effects and complaints of using Total Body Purge, which by the way are said to be signs of ‘die off’, of the effects of the body releasing all the alleged toxins.
What can I say? I’m a stickler for real and credible proof, what we, in the scientific world, like to call ‘evidenced-based’; the confidence to declare that a product is, and will do, what it’s purported to.
Because Total Body Purge is a proprietary blend, there’s no way to know how much of the ingredients are present therefore making any assessment of the claims difficult. Also there’s no useful or credible information provided about how each ingredient works and at $63.99 per 12oz bottle, it’s a very pricey gamble as to whether or not it really does anything.
CocaPalm - Back To Solid Ground
One product I did pick up was CocaPalm, by the same company that brings you Total Body Purge. CocaPlam is a blend of coconut and red palm oil. Coconut oil is rich in a type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides [MCTs] which, can be used for energy immediately by the liver unlike long chain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. As such, MCTs are essentially not stored as fat. As a saturated fat, coconut is best known for its ability to raise HDL levels which contrary to what we've been told, is actually a heart healthy fat. Palm is a nutritional powerhouse in its own right although there is some controversy around the palm oil industry and habitat destruction in some parts of the world, most notably rainforests that are home to orangutans. Palm is a rich dark orange/red colour because it's so rich in carotenoids like beta carotene, the same carotenoid that makes carrots, squash and pumpkin orange.
Palm is also nature's richest source of tocotrienols; molecules that make up one half of the vitamin E complex, there are four tocopherols and four tocotrienols that make up vitamin E. Vitamin E, tocotrienols in particular, have many health promoting properties as antioxidants and through gene activity. Both coconut and palm oil and been studied with evidence to back up many of the claims unlike its brother Total Body Purge - this is a great example of the variety of things an expo like this has to offer, and interestingly too is the fact that these two products come from the same company.
Whole Life Expo 2012 Exhibitors
Regardless of the variations in quality of exhibitors, products and services and even if many of them cause me to groan under my breath from time to time, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a huge believer in the right to choice even if that choice is a seemingly esoteric practice so long as they don’t do any real harm. If someone wants to meet with a guru who claims he or she can align one’s aura for health and healing, and one feels better for participating in it, who am I to deny them of that? I love to go to these trade shows and expos to see what’s out there, to mingle and engage people from all walks of life, and to genuinely learn something.
The expo has something for everyone and includes the following categories
- Health products, appliances and tools
- Whole foods and organic food market
- Healthy cuisines, juices, snacks and gourmet items
- Vitamins, herbs, tonics and supplements
- Green living resources
- Education, associations and organizations
- Health services, centres, treatments
- Anti-aging, skin and body care, aromatherapy
- Counselling, personal growth and development
- Gifts, jewellery, stones, crafts and clothing
- Books, magazine, music and media
For anyone interested in checking the expo out, it’s held in early November every year at the MTCC. For more information, be sure to visit their webiste: Whole Life Canada.