Is Winter-Dry Skin Driving You Crazy? Omega-7 Is The Answer!

Is Winter-Dry Skin Driving You Crazy? Omega-7 Is The Answer!

  Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are known to be beneficial for, amongst other things, skin health. And when it comes to EFAs, omega-3 and omega-6 are usually top of mind. You may even know about omega-9. But most people have never heard of omega-7, let alone know how good it is for the skin! Omega-7 (also called ‘palmitoleic acid’ in most scientific and clinical publications) is a rare but powerful monounsaturated fat (MUFA) that can be found in animal and plant sources, including macadamia nuts, cold-water fish and sea buckthorn seeds and berries. Sea buckthorn contains the highest concentration of this valuable fatty acid, up to 40% as compared to 17% in macadamia nuts. And whilst I’m going to touch on some of the numerous skin and health benefits, it is also known for its ability to support a healthy weight, as well as cardiovascular and gastro-intestinal health. Sea Buckthorn What makes sea buckthorn so intriguing is its unique composition of numerous nutrients, including omega-7. It’s a rich source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids. Several sources have placed its combined bioactive substances at 190 for the berries, of which 106 of these are found in the oil alone. Although the fruits of sea buckthorn have been used as a remedy by traditional Tibetan and Mongolian medicine since ancient times, according to Oriental history, the Chinese were the first culture to utilise this berry as a drug. In 1977 this plant was formally listed in the Chinese pharmacopoeia by the Ministry of Public Health. Sea buckthorn’s pharmacological effects were recorded in some 1000-year old medicinal classics, such as the Yue Wang Yao and Sibu Yidian...
Did You Know You Can Make Your Own Antibiotics, With Vitamin D?

Did You Know You Can Make Your Own Antibiotics, With Vitamin D?

Sometimes referred to as sunshine in a bottle, vitamin D (a hormone, in actual fact) is a powerful and essential nutrient when it comes to our wellbeing. Almost every single cell in our body contains a vitamin D receptor (VDR) which highlights just how important this UVB-induced nutrient is to our health and cellular function.[1] One of my favourite properties of vitamin D is how – in sufficient quantities – it enables us to make our own antibiotics. Our Bodies Can Make Antibiotics Yes, you read that correctly. No, this is not a drill. Our bodies are, or more specifically our immune system is, capable of producing specific and not-so-specific responses to various immunological challenges. One of the incredible features of this is, when presented with pathogenic (read disease-causing) microorganisms, we endogenously produce our own antimicrobial medication in response – called antimicrobial peptides. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an ancient arm of the human immune system and these various peptides protect us against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even certain parasites. Virtually all human tissues and cells typically exposed to microbes are able to produce AMPs. Important AMPs belonging to two structurally distinct classes, known as the defensins and the cathelicidins, are produced by neutrophils and epithelial cells.[2] And, these are regulated by vitamin D![3,4,5,6,7] And the reason I have emphasised epithelial cells is – not only does this include skin, but all mucous membranes including the lungs as well. Very important when it comes to cold and ‘flu. Our Lungs Can Fight Off Cold + Flu I want to give a shoutout to cathelicidin LL-37 in particular as this AMP,...
How Sugar Disables Your Immune System

How Sugar Disables Your Immune System

One of the easiest strategies to preserve immune function is to avoid refined sugar. Sugar has a significant disabling effect on our immune system which means, if you’re consuming it, you are more at risk of picking up what’s going around – and less able to fight something off should you catch it. In a nutshell, sugar has a negative impact on our immunity due to it’s similarity in structure to vitamin C which – when taken up instead of vitamin C – renders white blood cells (WBCs) vulnerable. Let me explain that in a bit more detail. Sugar Blocks Vitamin C In order to get why this is such a big deal it is important to understand the role of Vitamin C in healthy immune function and the way our body uses it, and therefore how detrimental it is when sugar affects this. Firstly, WBCs (especially phagocytes and t-cells) accumulate 50-80 times more Vitamin C than the blood they’re carried in – and for very good reason. In order to destroy germs, our WBCs produce highly toxic free radicals with which to destroy these bugs. To be more specific – in response to invading microorganisms (i.e. bacteria or viruses), phagocytic* WBCs actually release non-specific toxins, such as superoxide radicals, hypochlorous acid (‘bleach’), and peroxynitrite; these reactive oxygen species kill microorganisms but, in the process, can damage the WBCs themselves[1]. The accumulation of vitamin C to extremely high concentrations  is in order to protect themselves from the oxidative damage these toxins can do[2,3,4]  – and Vitamin C, through its antioxidant functions, has been shown to protect WBCs from this self-inflicted oxidative damage[5].  Vitamin C levels...
Why Mould is the The ‘New Asbestos’

Why Mould is the The ‘New Asbestos’

It seems that mould is commonly viewed as just an ugly inconvenience. And even those who suffer the common respiratory symptoms it can cause*, are not always conscious of the connection. If you’re not yet aware of just how dangerously unhealthy mould is, get ready for an eye-opening read. Because the respiratory issues mould causes is just the tip of the iceberg. Mould + Respiratory Illness Respiratory issues are the most universal and recognisable symptoms of a mould issue. Similar to the way in which pollen triggers hay fever in those who are susceptible, mould and its spores also irritate the delicate tissues of our nose, throat, lungs, eyes – and even inner ear! If you have any of the following symptoms that have been ongoing, and appear unrelated to season or food intolerances – especially if unresponsive to treatment, consider whether mould may be the culprit. Most tellingly, if your symptoms subside or clear up when you’re away on holiday (or staying somewhere else) only to return when you get back home… Houston. We have a problem. *Respiratory symptoms that mould can cause: itchy nose, eyes, and/or throat sneezing runny or blocked nose watery eyes sinus congestion post-nasal drip sore throat cough asthma* *From what I have read so far, it is claimed that asthma cannot be caused by mould. However, in speaking to people about it, I have heard many a story where asthma developed as a result of mould exposure and did not resolve when the mould was treated or the person relocated to a mould-free environment. My thoughts are that, at least at this stage,...
Eating Fruit And Vegetables Increases Your Attractiveness

Eating Fruit And Vegetables Increases Your Attractiveness

So it turns out eating fruit and vegetables increases your attractiveness… and I don’t just mean you look great sitting there eating your salad. Beauty, or others perception of your beauty, is linked to your fruit and vegetable consumption! We all know that eating fruit and vegetables are good for health, energy and vitality – and that good nutrition and beauty are related. But now research from University of St. Andrews (UK) demonstrates that fruit and vegetable intake is associated with healthy glowing skin. In this study[1], the scientists followed the dietary patterns of students over a period of six weeks: These students filled out food frequency questionnaires which provided data around fruit and vegetable consumption (no offence to potatoes but they were not counted as vegetables in this study) They recorded the change in skin colour and compared perceived attractiveness among these students At the end of the study, they found that students who ate more fruits and vegetables had a healthy golden skin. On the contrary, students who reduced the amount of fruits and vegetables they ate looked less attractive by the end of the study. NB: there was no make-up allowed, or tanning of any sort. How Much Do I Need To Eat? You don’t have to double your fruit and vegetable intake to achieve this either. Adding just 2-3 extra portions had a noticeable effect on attractiveness within a period of six weeks. Researchers determined: eating an additional 2.91 portions per day would make you look healthy eating an additional 3.3 portions of fruits and vegetables would make you look attractive On average, one portion of...
12-Hour Fasting – A Key Strategy For A Longer, Healthier Life

12-Hour Fasting – A Key Strategy For A Longer, Healthier Life

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t know that if you want to be healthy, you should eat primarily healthy food. But what you might not know is, the timing of what you eat matters just as much as what you eat; and there is growing evidence that 12-hour fasting is so protective of health that it can even attenuate the effects of a high-fat diet. What Is 12-Hour Fasting? Also called time-restricted feeding (TRF), 12-hour fasting confines food consumption to a 12-hour window or – put another way – is the practice of, during a 24-hour period, maintaining a 12-hour window where no food is consumed. In practice this may mean that any and all meals/snacks are consumed between 7am and 7pm, with no food being consumed between 7pm and 7am (or 8am-8pm as another example). Some studies actually define time-restricted feeding as an 8-9 hour period, which also shows benefit although not as realistic or easy to achieve as 12 hours. But Why? There has been a lot of research done on many different types and variations of fasting, but I like this particular type of fasting for both what the evidence says, and the logic behind it. There was a time when, in all likelihood, humankind rose with the sun – and days effectively ended with sundown. With no electricity, and only flame for light, food preparation and consumption would have been mostly confined to daylight hours. Nowadays, with access to electricity, we can make meals in the dark well before dawn, and – especially given the long hours some of us keep – make dinner well...