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.

3 tools for clear skin

3 great tools for skin care
3 great tools for skin care

You know the experience…

You get yourself ready for the day, look in the mirror and think,”What’s that!?”

Any plight on our skin, be it acne, eczema, premature ageing or skin tone issues can come at any time.

It’s worse when the outbreak just won’t go away, or does go and then returns with a vengeance.

Well, Viridian have looked into the research on how we should nourish our skin and found three consistent factors: inflammation, free radical damage and digestion. To combat these three elements they’ve created a trinity of Clear Skin tools.

Clear Skin Complex Veg Caps are a specifically formulated blend of botanicals, minerals, antioxidants and probiotics to aid digestion and designed to offer hope for a clear, fresh, blemish-free skin.

Organic Clear Skin Omega Oil is to help you get enough anti-inflammatory omegas 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids in the right balance. In addition, the oil contains antioxidants and vitamin E for skin cell health.

Finally, The Clear Skin Cookbook is written by celebrity and medicinal chef, Dale Pinnock, to focus on our largest organ, and how diet effects our skin. In the book he offers tasty and healthy solutions, involving the right vitamins and minerals needed to improve the skin’s condition.

Simple basic changes to help with heart disease

When facing heart disease there are some things you need to sort out.

Making simple changes can help you beat the odds against heart disease which is, at the end of the day, a leading cause of death.

  • Get smoke-free
    Quit smoking and stay clear of cigarette smoke to lower your risk of a few types of cardiovascular disease
  • Watch what you eat
    Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, pulses, whole grains, fish, and avoid fats from meat, dairy, and processed foods high in hydrogenated oils
  • Stay active
    Couch potatoes have increased cardiovascular disease risk, so make sure you get regular exercise
  • Get tested
    See your doctor to find out if you have problems with high blood pressure or high blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, or glucose

It’s a good idea to chat with your doctor and get fully up to scratch on maintaining heart health with information from groups like The British Heart Foundation.

SUPPLEMENTS
When it comes to supplements various nutritional aids are thought to be helpful such as Co-enzyme q10, L-carnitine and Taurine.

Higher Nature, a group dedicated to providing the best, natural, most effective supplements have three products which are all, in some way, thought to help reduce heart disease.

  • First up there’s Red Sterol Complex which is made from red yeast rice extract, which contains lovastatin (or statins as they are popularly known). This can be used to help lower unhelpful cholesterol in the body. (See NHS report)
  • Next, there’s Organic Flax Seed Oil which in rich in Omega 3. Having a diet which is high in Omega 3 is recommended for a healthy heart.
  • Finally there’s Maxi Multi, a good old multivitamin and mineral. It should be noted that B vitamins, vitamin C, E and A and magnesium have all been thought to be beneficial to heart health.

Is “vitamins kill” study a hoax?

Last week a surprising report came out of a study which claimed that vitamin supplements are dangerous to women in old age. However, should the statistics be viewed with suspicion?

Many respected news authorities reported the story, but now a few figures within the scientific community are questioning the reliability of the findings, with claims that the study was a cynical exercise funded by medicine producers who are anti-vitamin in their outlook.

Vitamin pills. Good or bad?
Vitamin pills. Good or bad?

So what is the truth?

Thankfully, the NHS runs a service called Behind the Headlines. It is very useful for checking the facts behind the health scares which seem to be published on an almost daily basis.

So what’s the truth?

First of all the NHS confirm that it is impossible to conclude from the study that vitamins kill. No one has ever died from taking too many vitamins.

Moreover, because the study was done on the basis of a questionnaire, the research could not account for all the factors which contributed to the mortality of the women and this also produced conflicting results. For example, those who ate more fruit and veg or already had illnesses complicated the findings in a way which meant that surveying the effect of vitamin supplements was, at best, vague.

The NHS advises that most vitamins can be gained from a balanced diet, but there are times when dietary supplements can be beneficial (particularly in groups who are at risk of vitamin deficiencies for reasons of illness or lifestyle). High doses of vitamins can have side effects but if a doctor has advised that you take supplements you should not stop doing so.

Can we trust the study at all?

Interestingly, the study was able to repeat findings that iron and calcium supplementation was consistent with higher mortality, but nothing can be proved until there are controlled tests on the safety of vitamin supplements.

Dr Glenys Jones, a Medical Research Council nutritionist, says: “Research in this area to date has had inconsistent findings, and what is needed to determine whether supplement use actually causes an alteration of mortality rate is a number of well-controlled intervention studies that can then be brought together and reviewed.”

On ‘the pill’? Then your vitamin levels may be low

It is not well known that taking the pill is likely to effect your vitamin levels.

The contraceptive may not only deplete your vitamins, but your minerals and antioxidant levels too.

A depletion in nutrients is likely because your liver needs more vitamins to metabolise the birth control pill. And, because the pill sends a woman’s body into a pregnant-like state, your nutritional status could be affected. However, there are few conclusive studies on this. Blood tests are not sensitive enough indicators of changes in nutritional levels, so there is still a lot of guesswork out there. The best that can be said at this point is that individual needs vary.

You can find a good list of vitamins, minerals and antioxdiants at GoodnessDirect.

'The pill' may reduce vitamin levels
'The pill' may reduce vitamin levels

The vitamins and minerals thought to be effected are:
Vitamin B-2 Riboflavin
Vitamin B-3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B-6
Vitamin B-9 (Folic acid)
Vitamin C
Vitamin A
Vitamin K
Iron
Zinc
Magnesium

It is often advised that consumption of Vitamin E should be increased because it helps prevent blood clots.

Antioxidants
A recent study noted that antioxidant levels are also effected, particularly CoQ10 and Alpha-tocopherol.

Some good advice
The pill is still a valuable contraceptive and is over 99% effective. It is best to seek sympathetic medical advice if ever you are considering your options.

If you’re a teenager and you’re on the pill it is all the more important to pay attention to your nutritional intake. Some medical writers advise that everyone should take nutritional supplements and antioxidants.

Certainly, adjusting your diet to increase your nutritional intake with wholegrains, vegetables, nuts and seeds and decreasing sugary, highly processed foods will also be helpful. GoodnessDirect is a useful source of supplements and healthy food.

Footnotes…
Here are a list of websites for your own research. If you know of any others please let me know.
1. Woman’s Health: What’s Wrong With The Pill
2. Obstetrics and Gynecology International: Effects of Oral, Vaginal, and Transdermal Hormonal Contraception on Serum Levels of Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E, and Total Antioxidant Activity
3. Colorado State University – Extension factsheet: Nutrition and Oral Contraceptives
4. Nutrient Depletion Checklist: Oral Contraceptives
5. Eat Healthier Foods – Endometriosis Part 42: Oral Contraceptive Pills and Vitamins

Post Script
Finally, an interesting point about how the pill can encourage yeast in the vagina by boosting estrogen levels. This is a complex area. Contraceptive pills contain less estrogen than in the 1960s, but it’s still possible for an imbalance of estrogen to result in too much yeast in the body. Also there’s a lot of mythology about yeast infections, but when they are real they can have a serious impact on a woman’s health.

See The V Book: Yeast Infections

What is Spelt?

Spelt is an ancient grain that preceded wheat and has a higher nutritional value and mineral content – high in protein and Vitamins B and E. It is also digestible by some people with wheat allergies.
Spelt flour is not gluten-free.

Spelt is tasty and nutritious, it was one of the first grains to be grown by early farmers as long ago as 5000 BC. It is finding renewed popularity as it is natuarally high in fibre, versatile, and contains significantly more protein than wheat. It is also higher in simple and complex carbohydrates.

Help the aged

Was out late last night. An Indian and ice cream late and feeling like a rag blanket with a saggy face this morning coming to work. Picked up the new “Live It! Naturally” magazine and read about the new research results on anitoxidants in almond skins working synergistically with the Vitamin E content in the almonds to give a great anti-aging effect…mmmm shall I breakfast solely on almonds this morning?

Flavonoids and Almonds and the anti-aging effect

The full details of this interesting study are published in the Journal of Nutrition September or October publication. Apparently it is the skins of the almonds that house the antioxidants (flavonoids). Of coarse its not only almond skins where flavonoids are found. They are also in tea (see post about tea) fruits and veg and wine. The flavonoids can act as antioxidants in the body protecting cells from damage and can protect LDL cholesterol from being oxidised and more likely to clog arteries. ….And most importantly to me this morning, they are thought to protect the body from aging. So how many do I need to eat and how often? I’ll ask Rachel later and let you know.