Get the right nutrient mix for a power boost for your body

I don’t know if you’re a pill-type person…

My confession is that I am.

I don’t mind taking a vitamin or some other little tablet to boost my health, and the strength of the supplement industry shows I’m not alone.

Bioglan deliver unique mixes of nutrients for your health
Bioglan deliver unique mixes of nutrients for your health

Bioglan are a company who sell themselves on the basis of being “serious about health”. As I get older, their newest products are beginning to look more attractive.

For me their best selling points are the unique mixes of nutrients designed to help the body and the transparent information on their packaging.

Consider…

Super Fish Oil 30s 
Capsules designed to be high in EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids and deliberately coated for release in the intestines where they can be more easily absorbed. Also preventing a fishy after taste.

Red Krill Oil
Again designed to be better absorbed, krill oil is 10 times more powerful than a standard fish oil capsule.

Joint-Aid Triple Action
Combines three important and powerful nutrients help maintain healthy joints: glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane)

Probiotic Gastrohealth
Contains 4 strains of probiotic that can help sustain a healthy level of friendly bacteria.

Stat-Guard
Uses CoQ10, vitamin E and zinc to support cardiovascular health and  metabolism which can be affected by statins.

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Health Researchers Gather to Talk about Tea

There’s a growing body of evidence suggesting a role for tea in preventing and treating many chronic diseases, writes Maureen Williams ND.

Researchers recently gathered in Washington, DC, for the Fifth Annual Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health, an event that showcased results from the most recent and not-yet-published studies on the health benefits of tea.

A range of reported benefits

Here are some highlights from the new research presented at the symposium:

  • Tea may lower risk of stroke. A meta-analysis of studies looking at tea consumption and cardiovascular disease conducted by a pair of researchers from UCLA determined that drinking tea was associated with stroke prevention.
  • Tea may improve alertness and focus. A researcher from the Netherlands presented a review of studies looking at the effect of tea on mood and mental functioning. In total, she reported, the evidence suggests that taking tea can improve alertness, attention, and mood.
  • Tea extract may keep blood vessels healthy. This preliminary trial demonstrated that taking tea flavonols (antioxidant compounds) could reduce blood pressure and improve results on tests of blood vessel function in people with mild high blood pressure. It also found that people who had taken the tea flavonols for one week were protected against the deterioration in blood vessel function and blood flow that occurs after eating a very high-fat meal.
  • Tea may assist weight loss. A presentation reviewing the research on tea and weight loss included data showing that tea increases metabolic rate, fat breakdown, and weight loss and may help prevent rebound weight gain.
  • Green tea may prevent some cancers. Two papers reviewing the effects of tea on cancer risk were presented. They suggested that green tea and its antioxidants may have general anticancer effects and reviewed the findings from trials looking at green tea and specific types of cancer. One of the papers noted in particular the promising results from studies looking at green tea and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract: mouth, oesophagus, stomach, liver, and colon.
  • Tea may prevent bone loss. A researcher from Texas reviewed the data on tea’s impact on bone turnover, suggesting that tea, and especially green tea, may improve bone health and prevent fractures.

Specific tea antioxidants—how they work and what they might do for health—were the subject of other studies and reports.

Putting it in perspective

At conferences, researchers always want to present their most exciting new findings, but it is important to keep in mind that none of the papers presented at the symposium have yet been reviewed by third-party experts or published in credible journals. Still, they do show an impressive and growing body of evidence suggesting a role for tea in preventing and treating many chronic diseases.

“As the second most consumed drink in the world next to water, tea accounts for a significant amount of the flavanol intake worldwide,” states Joe Simrany, President of the Tea Council of the USA, which has been a leading force behind the International Tea and Human Health Symposium since 1991. “This gathering of renowned global nutrition scientists is the world’s leading platform to release new research on tea, and acts as a catalyst for continuing research on tea in areas as diverse and novel as cognitive function, bone growth, weight management, cancer, and vascular function.”

Abstracts from the symposium are posted at the Tea Association of the USA’s website, http://www.teausa.org.

(Fifth Intl Scientific Symposium Health Abstracts 2012, The Tea Association of the USA, accessed September 27, 2012; http://www.teausa.org/index.cfm/14748/fifth-intl-scientific-symposium-health-abstracts)

Maureen Williams, ND, completed her doctorate in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle and has been in private practice since 1995. With an abiding commitment to access to care, she has worked in free clinics in the US and Canada, and in rural clinics in Guatemala and Honduras where she has studied traditional herbal medicine. She currently lives and practices in Victoria, BC, and lectures and writes extensively for both professional and community audiences on topics including family nutrition, menopause, anxiety and depression, heart disease, cancer, and easing stress. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

Cod liver oil makes a come back

There was a time when cod liver oil was feared by children the world over. Forced to gulp down horrid spoonfuls of the vile tasting liquid, they would do anything to avoid it, and all in the name of health.

Healthy oils for body and mind
Healthy oils for body and mind

But life has changed a lot since then. Most importantly it was realised that the Omega Fats in fish oil are excellent for strengthening the brain and heart and decreasing blood pressure. Add to this the benefit of being able to swallow doses in small capsules (thus helping with the taste) and children everywhere began to breathe a smile of relief.

Now Seven Seas are taking the revolution one step further combining a range of healthy oils, vitamins and minerals renowned for their beneficial properties. They’ve got some snazzy names too:

Radiant You
– Fish Oil blended with Biotin and Zinc for healthy hair, skin and nails.
Perfect Harmony
– Fish Oil with Primrose and Starflower Oils for hormonal balance.
Healthy Heart
– Fish Oil with Garlic and Vitamin B1 for the cardiovascular system.
Energetic You
– Fish Oil with B vitamins and CoQ10 for daily health and vitality.
Immune Defence
– Fish Oil with Vitamin C and Zinc keeps you fighting fit.
Flexible You
– Fish Oil with Calcium and Vitamins D & K for healthy bones, muscles and joints.
Active Mind
– Fish Oil blended with Ginkgo and Zinc for mental performance.

With advances like these, once tormented children can say hello to a daily dose of health without fear.

Alternatives to milk

Possibly 75% of people around the world are lactose intolerant – which might go some way to explaining why there are so many alternatives to milk.

But there are numerous other reasons too, it might be simply be beneficial to health, or autism related, or asthma, or galactosaemia, or a sensitivity to casein or one of many other problems with drinking milk.

Whatever your reason it’s important to make sure you’re still getting the calcium, iodine and vitamins that you need.

Here are some of the alternatives…

Goat’s milk
Rich in nutrients and easier to digest (even though it still contains lactose). It has less casein but almost as much fat and calories as cow’s milk. However, it can cause a vitamin B12 deficiency in children.

Sheep’s milk
Sheep’s milk has twice as many minerals, eg. calcium, phosphorus and zinc and the vitamin B-complex, as cow’s milk. But it is also higher in calories and fat. Like goat’s milk, it is easily digested. And it’s also a good source of iodine, which helps if you suffer with thyroid problems.

Camel’s milk
Five times as much Vitamin C as cow’s milk. Helps with diabetes. Contains some lactose. Not easy to source.

Buffalo’s milk
Higher in calcium, protein and iron and contains more vitamins and minerals (including calcium and iron) and 43% less cholesterol than cow’s milk. But it also has twice as much fat and still contains lactose. Not easy to source.

Hemp milk
Half the amount of protein of cow’s milk, and calcium is often added. Rich in Omega 3, minerals and vitamins, hemp milk also has a creamy consistency. No lactose.

Quinoa milk
Quinoa is a very digestive food and nutritionally well balanced. It’s protein contains all essential amino acids and it is rich in unsaturated fatty acids. No lactose.

Spelt milk
A good source of fibre and B-complex vitamins. Cholesterol free. No lactose.

Oat milk
Rich in fibre, lowers cholesterol and low-GI. It’s actually the preferred energy drink of many athletes. A pleasant milky taste. No lactose.

Barley milk
Has a higher phosphorus and potassium content than regular milk. Helpful in repairing the body, though it doesn’t contain calcium. No lactose.

Kamut-wheat milk
Highly recommended for its milk-like taste. No lactose.

Millet milk
Lower in fat, higher in fibre and less calories than cow’s milk. Rich in protein and minerals. No lactose.

Rice milk
Compared to soya, rice milk is considered closer to cow’s milk in taste and texture. It is naturally sweet, low in fat and high in fibre. But it’s also low in calcium and protein. No lactose.

Soya milk
Soya milk is high in protein so it’s useful for cooking with. It is also comparatively cheaper than other milk alternatives due to its ubiquity. However, some avoid it because it can raise estrogen levels. No lactose.

Almond milk
Tastes great, and has some of the lowest calorie counts of all milk alternatives. No lactose.

Hazelnut milk
A thicker consistency. It also provides calcium and sulphur. No lactose.

Coconut milk
Lots of phosphorus, iron, magnesium and fibre makes coconut milk a superfood. It’s low in calories, boosts immunity and has a distinctive creamy taste.

Cashew nut milk
Delicious but not easy to find. Just as well it’s easy to make… Cashew’s are a good source of copper and magnesium.

Raw milk
The argument is that pasteurisation destroys some of the goodness in milk which would actually make it digestible for people with gut problems. It remains to be seen whether ‘green top milk’ is actually helpful for people with psoriasis and high blood pressure.

UV milk
Possibly the milk of the future: milk that is treated by UV instead of pasteurisation?

Lactose-Free milk
Or, of course, you could take the lactose out of the milk

You can also make milk from peas, peanuts, or seeds!

Why do you need Prebiotics? And other musings…

Why do you need Prebiotics?

They cultivate good bacteria in your gut and kill off the bad ones. A healthy balance of good bacteria means you’ll have a better immune system, absorb nutrients more efficiently (especially calcium), and improve your bowel health.

Why do we need Calcium?

We all know that calcium is good for the bones. It is also essential for your metabolism and muscles, it protects your heart and improves premenstrual moods. Too little calcium and your body can soon be in a mess, but if you overdose on it you won’t absorb nutrients properly.

Why do we need Cranberries?

Cranberries inhibit bacteria at work in your body and helps reduce inflammation. The knock on effect has been linked to heart health, kidney stones, urinary health, gum disease and cancer.

Why do you need Flaxseed?

For Omega 3 apart from anything else. It has been found to have an impact on the symptoms of arthritis, colitis, cancer, heart disease and even acne. Flaxseed helps your hormone levels and is a natural way to normalize the menstrual cycle, manage menopause, and lower the risk of osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease.

How can you get them?

Calciflax is a new food supplement from Lifestream which is 100% natural and has Calcium, Flaxseed, Prebiotics and Cranberries in it. It is ethically made and can easily be added to cereals or smoothies, yoghurts and salads.

If you’re interested, take a look

Ease pain with natural herbal formula, for sports injury or aching joints

Everyone has been impressed.

I’ve been cycling two hours to work lately. But I had to do something after spraining my ankles. I couldn’t go running any more and I needed to exercise somehow, so I turned to cycling.

But in spraining my ankles I’ve learnt a lot of lessons the hard way.

The most important one is, if you’re in pain DON’T push it!

I’d read about RICE before (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) – it’s what you’re supposed to do to an injury to minimise long term damage. (Recently, a St John’s Ambulance trainer told me that the compress bit has changed to “make comfortable” – I’m not sure why – maybe because you have to be careful not to damage the wound when you compress it?)

But as much as I knew about RICE I didn’t really follow it and, through overdoing it, my ankle swelled up nicely.

Biofreeze
So, you’ll forgive me for being extra interested in Biofreeze – a pain relieving spray, roll on or gel.

Biofreeze helps you get back on your feet
Biofreeze helps you get back on your feet

The purpose of the ice treatment is to stop inflamation. Recommendations for this vary but the common advice is to apply an ice pack for 20 minutes every couple of hours for 1-2 days. Immediately you’ll realise why Biofreeze is so useful: as a handy application it does the same job as ice but provides you with much more convenience.

You will however still need to rest until you can use the wounded part of your body without too much pain. I hope to keep some of this stuff in my desk at work so that I can continue to use it for sports injuries when I need to. I’d also like to tell my boss that it’s necessary for me to put my feet up at work too (elevation), but she’d probably say to me to ‘get on yer bike’.

In addition to the active cooling ingredient in Biofreeze, Isopropyl Alcohol, Biofreeze also uses herbal extracts to promote fast, deep and lasting pain relief. It promises not to burn you like other ice treatments and it won’t stain your clothing.

Of course, relief from pain is needed in lots of other situations:

If I follow the advice I should stay healthy for some time and eventually I’d like to get back to the running. But I’m a bit more cautious now.

Do you know what K2 can do for you?

What do you think of when you read ‘K2’?

Possibly the highest mountain in the world?
Perhaps the London Bus route?
A two-seater kayak…?

Whatever you think of it’s probably not the vitamin for bone, blood and heart health. K2 is also beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease, a variety of cancers, varicose veins, and skin aging.

If you have children or are elderly you may have come across Vitamin K. What you may not know is that while Vitamin K1 is readily available in the diet it only stays in the body for 8 hours, whereas K2 is more effective because it is 10x more easily absorbed and is still at work in your body 3 days later.

But K2 cannot be gained from the average diet.

It can be consumed by eating spirulina or through supplements like VitaNat (taken from the Japanese food Natto) or Veridian’s Bone Complex.

Women who have experienced the menopause lose bone mass at an incresed rate, and they, along with the elderly and children, will benefit from a good intake of Vitamin K.