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,...
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...
Is Your Nut Milk Giving You Leaky Gut..?!

Is Your Nut Milk Giving You Leaky Gut..?!

Firstly let me say – if you are making your own nut milk and not adding carrageenan, then you don’t need to freak out. But if you’re like me and buy commercially made nut milk, it’s time to look at the label more closely. You see in order to keep the water and the nut bits together, along with any other additional ingredients – manufacturers must use an emulsifier (or two) so that it doesn’t all seperate out and become unpleasant to use. The trouble is one of the most commonly used emulsifiers – carrageenan – is bad news for our gut, and our health. Carrageenan – A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing At first glance carrageenan looks innocent enough. Derived from seaweed it appears to be a natural and innocuous choice, as far as emulsifiers go. But this ingredient, also referred to as e407, is nowhere near as harmless as it first appears. According to R. A. S. Hemat, in Principles of Orthomolecularism, even in the 1940s carrageenan was recognised as a ‘dangerous allergen’ with granulomas, immunodeficiency, arthritis and other inflammation being attributed to its ingestion. A search of the literature revealed its effects on reducing stomach acid was first reported in the early ’60s, as was ‘carrageenan-granuloma’ – defined as a mass of granulation tissue, typically produced in response to infection, inflammation, or the presence of a foreign substance. Carrageenan was also used to induce oedema and abscesses to test anti-inflammatory drugs (including steroids) [1,2] although this was through sub-cutaneous injection, not oral ingestion. Interestingly, however, even sub-cutaneous injection of carrageenan caused gut inflammation[3]. A little later, animals fed carrageenan developed ulcerative colitis...
Fermented Foods – Skin Friend or Skin Foe?

Fermented Foods – Skin Friend or Skin Foe?

In recent times there has been a huge increase in awareness of how important gut health is, and when it comes to skin – gut health is everything. And with this increase in awareness there has been a subsequent rise in consumption of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kim chi, kefir, kombucha and yoghurt. Fermented foods are a great, whole food source of probiotic bacteria and, in turn, their benefits to our insides. But did you know they might be doing your skin more harm than good…? Let me explain… If your gut is already in pretty good nick, fermented foods will only add to the health and wellbeing of your microbiome – and this will be good for your skin. However. If your gut is compromised in any way, consuming fermented foods may make your skin worse. This is because fermented foods are one of the biggest dietary sources of histamines. An intolerance to, an excess of, or issues with metabolism of histamine frequently can express itself on the surface of the skin through a number of symptoms, including but not limited to hives, eczema, rosacea and acne[1]. This is called histamine intolerance[2]. In one study[3] researchers found that a histamine-free diet improved a number of allergic conditions and, upon reintroducing histamine-containing foods there was a clearcut recurrence of eczema in half of the patients affected! No surprises then that a study found higher histamine levels aggravated eczema[4], and another[5] found that some atopic eczema patients had lower levels of a key enzyme that metabolises histamine – diamine oxidase. In the case of acne I see patients who present...