It sounds simplicity itself. A small – 1/4″ – incision is made, where possible in a fold of skin, the fat is separated from the skin and a maximum of about 9-11lbs can be removed, though more often it’s just half this amount. The fat is suctioned from any area of the body through a fine tub or cannula or, increasingly, an even finer synringe. Since the fat cells themselves are removed, they will never reform. While the procedure is often described as slight or minimal (I’ve even read it described as a ‘lunch hour’ procedure which is absurd), the aftermath is invariably quite traumatic, involving days of intense discomfort, weeks of spectacular bruising and months of swelling so pronounced that it can take fully a year to judge the finished result. Complications include infection, blood loss and even death due to fat embolisms (clots) forming and lodging in the lungs. The final results depend enormously on the expertise and skill of the surgeon, so it’s vital to go to a superb surgeon, especially as the techniques used, and results now achieved, by the leading surgeons bear no relation to those of even a decade ago. Though some women are thrilled after liposuction, the aesthetics are not all they have been made out to be. Even good results can be spoiled by overeating, as the remaining fat cells expand to fill the void. The cruel reality, too, is that liposuction is most effective on the women who least need it – namely those who are fairly young and slim and have good taut skin that will spring back to shape post-treatment. But even in young people with very good skin tone (the single most important determinant of success), the skin on some parts of the body seems especially resistant to contracting back to shape – that on the upper arms is one such. Liposuction may offer improvements in shape that would previously have been impossible without drastic surgery, but it does nothing to tighten slack skin: the bane of so many otherwise shapely women over 50. Neither can it tighten dimples and corrugations. As skin loses its spring with age, it’s almost certain to sage as a result of liposuction, and the final appearance will therefore be marred by ‘waves’ or ripples of fat. For women over 50 then, it’s usually a case of knowingly trading the unwanted fat for a better overall shape, albeit with some loosening of skin and lumpiness of texture. What can be expected is a slimmer line that can increase the number of wardrobe options open to you. While looking better in clothes, however, your body may actually look worse without. It all depends what you object to most – the fat or the slack .. The best results are achieved when the amount of fat removed is kept strictly within the limits of what not-so-elastic, ageing skin can take, or if skin is removed simultaneously; for example, via a ‘tuck’ in the groin.
It’s my guess, though, that until recently, when the market for mineral sunscreens suddenly developed, few of us gave much thought as to whether we were better off with one that had a chemical or one with a mineral ultraviolet (UV) filter in it. The main difference between the two is that a chemical sunscreen contains UV filtering ingredients that are absorbed by the skin, while a mineral sunscreen contains inert UV protective ingredients such as zinc oxide, which sit on top of it. Some people who suffer sensitivity to chemical UV filters find that mineral sunscreens, which provide a physical barrier to the sun, do not irritate their skin. There are, however, other differences between the two that relate to performance, and having studied the latest findings I can now give you the unbiased facts. One of the latest significant revelations is that chemical sunscreens might not prevent the more worrying effects of sun exposure (skin cancers), even though they do prevent sunburn. This is a serious issue because it means we may get a false sense of security by relying only on chemical sunscreens. There have been two responses to this: there has been a sharp rise in sunscreens offering refined mineral UV filters; and research has emerged suggesting that when added to chemical sunscreens, aftersuns or oral supplements, antioxidants (ingredients such as carotenoids from plants and algae) will protect skin from photoageing, sunburn and even cancer. On a practical note, however, if you have ever had a stinging or burning feeling (especially near the eyes), developed a rash or tiny sub-surface bumps after applying sunscreen, consider using a mineral sunscreen as they are less likely to cause sensitivity.
Advantages of chemical sunscreens: they usually provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays, which is vital because both wavelengths damage skin (not all sunscreens offer this, so do check). The most popular UVA and UVB filters include benzophenone, avobezone, parsol and cinnamates.
Disadvantages: the chemical filters parsol and cinnamates may not be good for sensitive skins, but the main irritant – the UVB filtering ingredient PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid) – has been phased out of most sunscreens. Mineral UV filters are mineral pigments – micronised metal salts in the form of titanium and zinc oxide (so still chemicals) – often combined with the very same chemical filters found in traditional sunscreens, that sit on the skin’s surface and reflect UV rays away from the skin.
Advantages of mineral sunscreens: because they give physical protection (ie, they are not absorbed) mineral filters can be less sensitising than chemical. Some argue that in creating a barrier between skin and sun, they are more effective than chemical filters at blocking UVA and UVB. Zinc oxide has mild healing properties; neither zinc oxide nor titanium dioxide clogs pores.
Disadvantages: they are thicker, chalkier and more occlusive than chemical sunscreens because they need to provide dense physical coverage. This has long been their biggest drawback, but the newest mineral sunscreens are much more refined – many, in fact, feel as comfortable and light as chemical sunscreens.
“I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen. It took a little time to get used to seeing men women and children collapse as you walked by them and to restrain oneself from going to their assistance. One had to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect. It was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diptheria when you knew a tracheotomy and nursing would save it, one saw women drowning in their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, and men eating worms as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had to eat worms to live and now could scarcely tell the difference. Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand propping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves of the dysentery which was scouring their bowels, a woman standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated. It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity”.
Having recognised the increasing demand for organic raw milk and dairy products like cheese, butter and yoghurt, Steve is one of a handful of dairy farmers who supply this but are at odds with retailers, who seem to be oblivious to the adverse effects of pasteurisation. Since the 1930′s, whole, raw milk has been a rare commodity and unfairly dismissed as unsafe – the ‘safe’ option being pasteurised milk which, interestingly, has a longer shelf life, making it easier to mass-market and maximise profits for the dairy industry. Real milk comes from grass-fed goats or cows that are allowed to graze in clean pastures. Besides tasting great, it’s a precious, life-giving food. But extreme temperatures used to pasteurise (‘cook’) the milk can actually render it life-depleting. Pasteurisation destroys almost all of the nutritive value of cow’s milk and the beneficial bacteria; it also kills the natural enzymes and the chemical make-up of calcium – vital to the growth of children. So the milk we drink today is actually far from a whole food. Pasteurisation has also been implicated in everything from allergies to heart disease and cancer. The fuss about raw milk is to do with pathogens – organisms that can cause diseases such as salmonella. But whether or not raw milk carries pathogens depends totally on the way the milk is produced, how the animals are fed, and the care taken to keep the milk clean during production. Today’s pasteurised milk comes from cows crammed in cages loaded with synthetic hormones and antibiotics. Homogenising purposely destroys raw milk’s natural butterfat in an effort to separate and hide the cream from the consumer, a process which European studies have shown may cause heart disease. It’s quite unnatural – in fact when raw milk and cheese was more readily available, until just after the second world war, milk-borne diseases were rare. Raw milk contains lactose in its purest form, and lactose aids in digestion and elimination; it’s other nutritional benefits are:
• an amazing selection of minerals ranging from calcium and phosphorus to trace elements (all of which are destroyed by pasteurisation).
• 20 of the standard amino acids
• up to 80% of the proteins in raw milk are easy to digest — some are complex antibodies
• enzymes with an array of health benefits
• beneficial bacteria that aid digestion and protect against disease-carrying organisms
Steve Hook did a very successful three month trial selling his organic raw milk from a vending machine in Selfridges Food Hall, but the directors have decided to wait until the outcome of a consultation on the law regarding the sale of raw milk being undertaken by FSA before they agree to continue selling it. You can support Steve and other raw dairy farmers, and get involved in the FSA consultation by contacting the Food Hygiene Policy Branch, Hygiene and Microbiology Division, Food Standards Agency, 3rd Floor Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NH.
And if you want to buy the Moo Man’s milk, Hook’s will deliver nationwide. Follow this link to order http://www.hookandson.co.uk/HowToGetOurMilk/index.html