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.

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.

Joint pain – 80% is from straight forward wear and tear

I have had recent trouble with my knee. Compounded I think, by trying to up the distance I can run without dying – I can only manage a mile (don’t laugh!). With my increased determination to break my 10 minute mile  my knee became more ‘squeaky’ and eventually painful. So, to the research books!

Certain parts of our bodies wear out before others, and one of the most common parts of our bodies for wear and tear is our joint linings. Normally the linings replace themselves, but excess wear and tear  means that our bodies  cannot keep up the replenishment process fast enough.

My research took me to a joint nutrient, Glucosamine. Glucosamine is made in our bodies from our nutrient intake, the glucosamine is then itself made into glycosaminoglycans. These then bond together with proteins to make collagen and you guessed it, the collagen makes the joint lining. So by taking additional  glucosamine as a supplement we give our body the extra materials it needs to lay the foundations for healthy and strong joint tissue. As we age our body is not able to make as much as they once did, so we can give it a little help by taking more.

This type of wear and tear problem is at the root of 80% of joint problems, so as a prevention or a cure, Glucosamine seems worth a try.

For my knee I tried the Optima ActivJuice, Juice for joints.  By the end of my first bottle my pain has totally disappeared. I have continued to take it and am part way through my second bottle for good measure. It makes a really refreshing orange drink too.

Funny Bones! – Joint Health

From time to time our bones and supporting structures can go a bit funny…and it’s no laughing matter. Don’t despair! There are plenty of things to help…

There are, on average, 206 bones in our body. That’s a lot to keep healthy and strong, and it’s hardly surprising, bearing in mind life’s knocks, strains and stresses, that sometimes they don’t function at their best. You probably know a few people who complain of joint aches and pains from time to time. Let’s take a closer look……

Start Right for Strong Bones…

By the time we’re 30, we’ve reached the age when our bones are built up as much as they can be (peak bone mass). The combination of genetics, diet and exercise will all have played their part in determining how much mineral has gone into making our bones and how strong the supporting structures are. That’s why it’s vital to maintain good dietary levels of bone-building nutrients. Everyone up to this age should be encouraged to increase their intakes of mineral-rich foods such as dairy, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and fortified soya products.

As well as this, many nutritionists find that eating on the run, low intakes of dairy foods, and excess soft drinks result in low dietary levels of calcium, which need topping up with a supplement. Choose a bone formulation, aiming for 1000mg elemental calcium per day plus vitamin D, K and perhaps other important bone minerals such as magnesium and boron.

Keep on Going for Great Bones…

That’s not to say that once we’re over 30, our joint health is signed, sealed and delivered. There are many things that we can do to maintain healthy, strong bones into later years…

Exercise: Research has shown that regular exercise can help to maintain joint strength and reduce bone fractures (see latest research for just one example).

Calcium supplementation: Continue, or start, a specific bone formulation that is rich in calcium, magnesium, boron, vitamin D and perhaps, vitamin K.

Drink herbals, fruit teas and un-carbonated cordials and presses: This will safeguard the calcium in your bones, meaning that the body won’t have to release it to maintain the body’s pH (acid/alkali balance).

Give your joints some TLC: Don’t just expect your joints to keep on going. When they are tired, rest them. Aromatherapy is wonderful for relaxing the muscles and sandalwood, ginger and black pepper are of particular benefit. Use them in a blend, mixed with carrier oil (follow the instructions of an aromatherapist, and check instructions on the label). Pamper your body using exotic moisturisers (fragranced with rose, rosemary or ylang ylang), which gives your joints a massage at the same time! Take a long hot soak in the bath to ease away tiredness and fatigue.

Put to Rest Joint Problems…

The health advice for many joint problems is similar, as these often result in inflammation, pain and swelling. Whether it is simple wear and tear, or sciatica, it is worthwhile talking with a health professional to see what health regime is best for you. Here are just some of the naturopathic principles which might help;

  • Keep the acid/alkali balance in your diet right, by cutting down on acid-containing foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, processed foods and drinking excess concentrated fruit juices. Replace them with beans and pulses, dairy alternatives such as rice, oat, nut milks, soya milk or Tiger White, plus diluted fruit juices, cordials or pressés.
  • Choose caffeine-free drinks.
  • Choose low-sodium products (or cut salt out altogether)

Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulphates: are useful where there is inflammation (through wear and tear) or cartilage damage (such as through injury). Chondroitin sulphate is also found naturally in the joints, and levels decrease in those with osteoarthritis. Supplementation has been shown to decrease pain, increase joint mobility and allow healing of damage. There are some innovative products around, including gel patches which can be worn close to the skin on the joint with the discomfort.

Fish Oils: have anti-inflammatory properties, and have been shown to increase joint mobility (reduces stiffness) when taken at around 2000mg to 3000mg daily.

S-adenosyl methionine: gives reduced pain and swelling and increased movement, green lipped mussel decreases pain and has an anti-inflammatory action and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) helps to balance fluid pressure in the joints, and thus help temper inflammation, as well as helping to inhibit the enzyme, cartilaginase, which causes breakdown of cartilage in the joints.

HERBS: White Willow Bark is often recommended for pain management, supported by anti-inflammatory herbs such as Devils Claw, Bromelain, Cayenne and circulatory herbs such as ginger. Sarsaparilla, ashwaganda, turmeric and boswellia may also be recommended by a herbalist. Fish oils also provide anti-inflammatories omega 3 oils and, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, choose flax seed oil instead, as this will provide omega 3 oils as well.

Soya isoflavones: have been shown to slow bone loss, and even maintain strong bones (see research). Don’t forget some really simple, but effective topical (on the skin) products such as Tiger Balm, Dog Oil and Emu Oil.

Latest Research

Phytoestrogens:
It was suspected that soya isoflavones could help improve bone mineral density about five years ago, but now researchers are fully confident that taking soya isoflavone supplements in addition to soya-rich foods, for at least six to twelve months, could be beneficial.
From: Forum Nutr. 2005;(57):100-11.

Get your back into some exercise…
If you experience back pain, then exercise might be the last thing that you would consider doing, but now research from the University of British Columbia has proven that resistance and agility training reduce back pain, and increase quality of life in older women with low bone density. It might be sensible to go to the gym and get some specific exercises from a qualified trainer, who can monitor progress for you.
From: Osteoporos Int. 2005 Feb 9 [E pub

Excess alcohol bad news for bones….
Scientists at WHO Collaborating Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases, University of Sheffield Medical School, have found that drinking more than two units of alcohol per day increases risk of bone fracture to the hips and also osteoporotic fractures.

From: Osteoporos Int. 2004 Sep 29 [E pub]
Natural Lifestyle © Natural Lifestyle April 2005 in connection with Natural Health Week