Adding Energy In A Sachet

May 4, 2011 by  
Filed under featured, Health, Vitamins & Supplements

We all have periods where our energy is lower than we would like it to be and we usually have our favourite “fixes” to help us through it. That normally involves some kind of stimulant like coffee, chocolate, alcohol or — less common these days — tobacco. If you are looking for a more natural lift then certain herbs are traditionally used, particularly ginseng and ginkgo, and if you want to have a compound that will help lift your energy and mood and give you a good balance of vitamins then there is a food supplement that might be the answer for you.

As a hangover from a childhood addiction to “pop” usually a lurid orange colour with the inaccurate name of Jusoda, as I don’t think the juice of an orange had ever ventured near it, I liked the fizz and the refreshing taste of this new supplement. The grown-up, and all natural version, is of course not a soft drink but Turbovite Whiz-Fizz is both fizzy and orange but comes in sachets rather than bottles and you just add water.

If caffeine is your stimulant of choice, then Turbovite will give you that same boost up with less than you would find in a cup of coffee and this new pick me up relies more on the herbs and minerals it contains. Among these are Ginseng to help give you a longer term energy and stamina boost, and Ginkgo Biloba, for greater mental alertness and concentration. It’s pleasant taste comes from fruit sugar which adds vital fuel for body and mind, whilst calcium and magnesium provide your muscles with the nutrients they need to work at their best.

If you need to tackle either a physical effort or a mental one then the range of B Vitamins it contains not only aid with energy metabolism, but also give your immune system a boost. Last, but certainly not least, there is Vitamin C also to help with energy metabolism and of course it is absolutely essential to help in protecting your cells against stress.

Available from a number of independent chemists and for further details please visit

Concern Over Pesticide Exposure During Pregnancy Linked to Lower IQ in Children

Exposure to pesticides is known to carry health risks in both adults and children, but a new study at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health, has found a clear link between intelligence rates and prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides.

Organophosphates (OP) are a class of pesticides that are widely used on food crops and are well documented neurotoxicants. Indoor use of chlorpyrifos and diazinon, two common OP pesticides, has been phased out over the past decade, primarily because of health risks to children. However, this is the first time that exposure to their use has been linked to lower intelligence scores in children when they reach the age of 7.

The researchers found that every tenfold increase in measures of organophosphates detected during a mother’s pregnancy corresponded to a 5.5 point drop in overall IQ scores in the 7-year-olds. Children in the study with the highest levels of prenatal pesticide exposure scored seven points lower on a standardized measure of intelligence compared with children who had the lowest levels of exposure.

What this means in practice is that those children who have been exposed are also potentially being handicapped by having below average IQ rates and may possibly need more specialised education and support at school.

This is not an isolated study but part of a trio on pesticide exposure and childhood IQ that was published online April 21 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The other two studies — one at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, the other at Columbia University — examined urban populations in New York City, while the UC Berkeley study focused on children living in Salinas, an agricultural center in Monterey County, California. The researchers sampled pesticide metabolites in maternal urine and umbilical cord blood levels of a specific pesticide, chlorpyrifos. A previous study also found an association between prenatal pesticide exposure and attention problems in children at age 5.

What is unusual is that these figures appear not just in urban areas but are consistent across all the population, which means that these pesticides have entered the food chain and are being consumed by everyone.

However, the really significant finding is that while markers of prenatal OP pesticide exposure were significantly correlated with childhood IQ, exposure to pesticides after birth was not. This suggests that exposure during fetal brain development was more critical than childhood exposure.

The most at risk occupations are exposure are farm workers, gardeners, florists, pesticide applicators and anyone working at a manufacturer of such products.
A simple precaution that pregnant women could take would be to switch to as organic diet as possible, particularly for grains, vegetables and meat products. At home, or in the garden, then use natural nonchemical insecticides and pesticides.

Rescue Me! Natural Oils to Reduce Stretch Marks, Scarring and Dry Skin

May 2, 2011 by  
Filed under featured, Health, Skincare

Many women know the benefits of rich oils to help ease stretch marks, and with over 75% of women being left with such marks is good to know about something that is really effective. The sooner in the pregnancy it is used the better, but Rescue Oil from Healthpoint will help at any point with both stretch marks and scarring and is also an excellent and very economical skin restorer.

Rescue Oil is a favourite with many celebrities who can certainly afford much more expensive products, although whether they use it for treating blemishes, scarring, stretch marks, open pores, dry or dehydrated skin and to lessen the signs of ageing is anybody’s guess. I would suspect though it is more likely to be the latter!

It contains a specialist blend of natural oils: vitamin E, evening primrose oil, almond oil and peach kernel oil and is easily absorbed into the skin. It can also be used in the bath and is a particularly effective treatment to nourish nails and cuticles.

It is used by both men and women for general skincare conditioning, which may surprise you because although the men’s skincare market has expanded hugely in the last few years this particular product has found favour with men who do a lot of working out. It’s not particularly well known that men get stretch marks too, particularly if they have a body-building routine.

The television programme Loose Women are now including it in the goodie bag they give to guests so if Jackie Collins, Michael Ball and Michael Flatley look younger the next time you see them you will know why.

As we have been having some wonderful sunny days recently, I have been trying it on my face and it is excellent to prevent the skin drying and to reduce lines and wrinkles. Similar oils cost more than double and I will certainly be packing a bottle with me for my next holiday! There are three sizes, including a small travel size, and ranges in price from £0.99 to £2.49. My local Morrisons supermarkets stocks it as do many independent pharmacies or online at Amazon.

If you want to know more then they have a specific website at

Why Your ‘Healthy’ Shake or Smoothie Can Cause Inflammation

April 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition, Health

One of the most popular supplements in our society today is protein powder and there are endless varieties that you can buy. They certainly make for a simple and hopefully nutrient-packed breakfast but you really do need to be aware of what is in the powder that you are using. They come from a variety of different sources and a number of unique manufacturing processes and, unfortunately, 95% of commercial protein powders have toxic ingredients that could be slowly inflaming your body and depleting your cellular nutritional stores.

Dr David Jockers runs the Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia and is a regular contributor to my women’s hormone health site. He specialises in nutrition and his advice is always straightforward and well researched. He certainly believes that protein supplements can be a great addition to a healthy diet because of their ability to provide essential and branched-chain amino acids in a highly absorbable form. However where he has doubts is that of the many different protein sources available only a few are of high quality. Most commercial protein powders use inferior protein sources and fill their products with artificial sweeteners and preservatives that are highly toxic.

The most common protein sources used in commercial powders include soy, egg, whey and wheat gluten. I have certainly mentioned before that soy does not suit everyone and can often be quite degraded in its manufacturing process and consuming large amounts of it can be detrimental if not from a pure, organic source. Soy and gluten-containing proteins (wheat, barley, rye, oat, kamut, and spelt) are highly allergenic and promote inflammatory reactions within the body.

Dr Jockers believes that soy protein is an anti-nutrient that should be avoided for several reasons. Soy contains phytic acids that bind and pull major minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc from the body. High processed soy consumption is linked with deficiencies in these major minerals and it also contains enzyme inhibitors that turn off natural enzymes needed to perform critical cell functions. Soy foods also contain goitrogenic substances that block thyroid hormone function.

If you’re protein shake or smoothie also contain milk then please ensure that it is organic as animals raised in conventional factory farms can be pumped full of hormones and antibiotics while eating genetically modified and often pesticide-laden grains. This combination causes massive amounts of toxic bioaccumulation within the animal tissue and animal byproducts which are then passed on to you.

The best and healthiest form of protein comes from organic whey protein concentrate as this form contains beta-glucans, lactoferrins, and immunoglobulins that enhance immune function. Additionally, organic whey contains all the branch chain amino acids and optimal ratios of essential amino acids and is one of the best food sources for boosting cellular anti-oxidants such as glutathione.

I am a devotee of protein shakes as I have never yet found a breakfast that suits me and I use organic oat or rice milk blended with a banana or soft fruit and the protein powder that I use is made from hemp and available from-Higher Nature. Hemp protein is one of the very few plant based complete protein sources and is a great source of sulfur containing amino acids methionine and cysteine, which are necessary for cellular detoxification and the production of vital enzymes. Additionally, it is rich in branched chain amino acids that are needed for muscle growth and repair. You can also get brown rice protein, considered to be the most hypo-allergenic protein, and this is especially important for anyone with chronic food allergies and leaky gut syndrome.

If you are buying a protein powder then please check the ingredients carefully for additives, including sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Scientists develop genetically modified cows to produce “human” breast milk

April 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Childrens Health, Health, Strange But True

I debated with myself whether or not to comment on this, as it has certainly had widespread attention in the newspapers. It seems that I won the debate so here goes. The words ‘genetically modified’ never inspire me with confidence and attempting to give babies such a product truly worries me.

China Agricultural University Scientists have bred 300 cattle that have been given human genes to make their milk contain the same nutrients and fat content as breast milk. Professor Li, who led the research, and his team used cloning technology to introduce human genes into the DNA of Holstein dairy cows According to the Professor, the product could offer mothers an alternative to conventional infant formula. Why? There are already plenty of alternatives available to women who do not wish to, or cannot, breastfeed and it is already well established in the nutritional field that cow’s milk is not natural to babies, and indeed can be the cause of a basic allergic reaction in many.

Human milk differs from cows’ milk in several important ways. It contains high quantities of nutrients beneficial to a baby’s growth and immune system. It provides, without question, the best possible start in life for an infant’s health. Cows’ milk is much harder for a baby to digest, has less fat and fewer carbohydrates and contains no antibodies that protect against disease.

One variety of the GM cows produced milk containing lysozyme – an antimicrobial protein found in breast milk that protects babies from infection. They also created cows that produced human lactoferrin, a protein which boosts the immune system. A third human milk protein called alpha-lactalbumin was also expressed in the milk. Prof Li claims his team has boosted the milk’s fat content by a fifth and changed the levels of solids to make it close to the composition of human milk. The developers say it could help mothers who cannot breastfeed their babies and do not want to use formula but why they imagine giving an artificially altered milk is any better than a formula is something I have not yet got to grips with. The developers also claim ‘The milk tastes stronger than normal milk, and within ten years, people will be able to pick up these human-milk-like products at the supermarket.’ Alongside the other genetically modified products that will no doubt have crept into the marketplace, and some scientists in 20 years time will be getting a grant to investigate this is why these products are causing health problems in the consumer.

And just who is willing to take such a risk with their baby’s health? Or new product carry risks, and the risks are usually not apparent until the product has been in use in some time — would you gamble with your child’s health on that basis? Breast milk is promoted worldwide for the very good reason that it is perfectly suited to the babies health and growth and no cows’ milk is ever going to be able to match that.

So no, I don’t agree with genetically modified milk for babies and what about the poor old cows? In two experiments by the Chinese in which 42 GM calves were born, just 26 survived. Ten died soon after birth and six died within six months. A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals said: ‘Offspring of cloned animals often suffer health and welfare problems, so this would be a grave concern. Why do we need this milk – what is it giving us that we haven’t already got?’

Certainly China’s rules on GM food are more relaxed than those in Europe and the GM milk would not be allowed on sale in Britain unless it was approved by the European Union and passed stringent safety tests. However, some British scientists said the research could be of huge benefit. Prof Keith Campbell, a biologist at Nottingham University and a member of the team that cloned Dolly the sheep in 1996, (so not an unbiased commentator) said GM animals were not a threat to health unless scientists deliberately gave them a gene that made their milk toxic. ‘The modified milk could help boost sales of dairy products in Asia, where more than nine in ten people are lactose intolerant and cannot consume cows’ milk without suffering stomach upsets and cramps.’

What that it does for me is raise what I think is a very reasonable question, which is why is boosting dairy products a priority? If 9 out of 10 are lactose intolerant then why try to force to drink milk when it is not indigenous to their culture? It leads me to wonder just who is sponsoring this research and I suspect the dairy industry might have had a hand in writing a large cheque.

No More Overheated Nights

April 11, 2011 by  
Filed under featured, Health

I do not want you to misunderstand me, I am talking about pillows, mattresses and disturbed sleep! As we spend around a third of our lives asleep it is crucial that you have the optimal conditions to get a good night’s rest. Lack of sleep is at the root of many health complaints and for many people sleeping uninterrupted throughout the night can present a challenge, with overheating one of the most common reasons for disturbances to our sleep cycle.

In case you think that overheating is something that only happens to women during the menopause, the statistics do not bear this out. At some point in their lives, most people will suffer from hot flushes, fevers and high temperatures not just from the menopause, but due to pregnancy, colds and flu or simply hot weather. Wouldn’t that be nice?! Apparently, nearly a third of the British adult population struggle to fall asleep because they are too hot in bed and an astonishing 80% of people turn over their pillows in the night to try and get cooler. Naturally this disturbs sleep and it may be helpful to know that there is help at hand in the form of a revolutionary cool gel pillow and mattress toppers which provide the best non-electrical personal cooling solution available.

With overheating is a problem that you then you may be interested to hear about The Personal Cooling Centre, which is the first Internet site designed specifically to provide products and advice to people suffering from overheating They have a range of products to suit different needs, along with discussion forums and hints and tips to help people find the right solution for them.

Two things that certainly can help are the Cool Pad pillow topper and the Cool Pad mattress topper that have been specifically designed to keep you cool at night using new, unique cool gel technology. Placing the toppers on your pillow or mattress can help relieve discomfort from overheating by dissipating heat away from the body, ensuring a cool, comfortable sleep. The products don’t require activation, but the pillow topper can be stored in the fridge to make it even cooler while the mattress topper is only 5mm thick, so is easy to fold and store.

These products are allergy-free, comfortable to lie on and are ready to use straight from the box and I can certainly recommend the pillow as I have been using one myself for several months now. You will find more information and details on how to buy the products at their website

Beneficial Foods for Mesothelioma Patients

October 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Food & Nutrition


Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos. This type of cancer develops in the mesothelial cells that make up the lining of the lungs, heart and abdomen. Mesothelioma symptoms can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to become noticeable and by that time, the cancer is typically in advanced stages and is much more difficult to treat effectively.

Good nutrition is essential in preventing and fighting cancer and there are a number of foods that can be very helpful for mesothelioma patients to enable their bodies to better fight the disease, as well as alleviate symptoms of the disease and side effects of treatment.

Dark green leafy vegetables are full of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that provide important cancer-fighting benefits. Beta-carotene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants that help protect the body against all forms of cancer by destroying free radicals. Dark leafy green vegetables also contain folate which is essential for the proper repair and replication of DNA. Without folate, damaged cells would be unable to repair their own DNA. Cells with damaged DNA are more likely to become malignant. Powerful anti-cancer enzymes called phytochemicals are also present in dark green cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy and kale. Some phytochemicals boost levels of enzymes that help cleanse the body of carcinogens and block the activity of enzymes that are known to activate carcinogens.

Berries contain a whole host of important nutrients, including plenty of fiber and vitamin C. In fact, just one cup of strawberries has the same amount of vitamin C as one cup of orange juice, and all berries are great sources of this anti-oxidant and immune-strengthening vitamin. In addition to essential vitamins, berries are packed with several different types of cancer-fighting nutrients. They also contain anthocyanins which are phytonutrients that give red berries their luscious color. Laboratory studies have shown that anthocyanins can prevent the growth of lung cancer cell. Berries also contain other cancer fighting phytonutrients like ellagic acid, pterostilbene and resveratrol.

One of the most common side effects of cancer and cancer treatment is nausea. There are a number of dietary changes you can make to help this problem. Dry grain products like crackers and toast can help calm an upset stomach. Bland foods will also help with nausea, as well as acid reflux problems.

Another common characteristic found in cancer patients is low white blood cell count, which increases the chance of contracting an infection. To avoid this side effect, a number of changes can be made in the foods you ingest. It is most important to avoid bacteria, which is common in foods that are damaged or not prepared well. Avoid buffets when eating out, wash your hands before preparing meals, avoid raw meats and fish (like sushi), and throw away any foods that are bruised or damaged.

Be sure to talk to your doctor to learn about more ways to decrease the risk of developing cancer. Positive changes in your diet and other areas of your life (such as your physical activity) will help prevent cancer. If you do develop this medical condition, at the very least, these changes will allow you to fight the cancer more readily.

Why baggy jeans are healthier

June 11, 2009 by  
Filed under featured, Health


The term ‘fashion victim’ is all too apt if you have fallen for the latest skin tight jeans as doctors are reporting patients with ‘tingling’ in their legs and a feeling of disorientation. It’s a condition called meralgia paresthetica, that occurs when constant pressure cuts off the lateral femoral subcutaneous nerve, causing a numb, tingling or burning sensation along the thigh. It’s more usually seen in construction workers or police officers with heavy, low-slung belts, pregnant women or obese people and also can result from a pulled-tight seat belt in a car accident. However, the new cases are self inflicted as skin tight jeans compress the nerve and if you team your jeans with high heels you are increasing the risk of this numbing as the heels tilt the pelvis forward, increasing the pressure on the nerve.Luckily the damage is rarely permanent, but swapping for something less restricting would be a good health – if not fashion – move. Time to get those baggy jeans out of the wardrobe?

Lies – Drug companies and ‘official’ research

March 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Medical Research & Studies


The health community in the US is reeling from the fact that it has just been revealed that the data used in over twenty pharmaceutical studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals was partially or completely altered-in other words it was faked.

Dr. Scott Reuben was known as a highly-respected and influential clinical researcher, whose findings were accepted in many major medical journals. What has just come to light is that his favourable reviews of many new drugs as being both safe and beneficial are seriously flawed as he has been on the payroll of two major pharmaceutical companies – Pfizer and Merck. He was actually a member of Pfizer’s speaker’s bureau (which I would have thought was not too difficult to find out) and received five ‘independent research grants’ from the company as well.

What we tend to look for when evaluating a new piece of research is whether it has been peer reviewed – in other words that scientists of equal substance and standing have read and agreed with the findings. What is now clear is that they are nothing of the sort but have taken their colleagues findings as gospel.

Dr. Scott Reuben didn’t just puff off the drugs from the companies he worked for, he actually falsified the data and by having it accepted by leading medical journals got it accepted as genuine. As a faculty member at the respected Tufts Medical School, Reuben had impeccable credentials to bolster his research.

Beginning in 2000, Reuben used his own research to target orthopaedic surgeons and convince them to stop prescribing NSAIDs and switch to the newer, branded COX2 inhibitors produced by Pfizer and Merck. He claimed in his research that using these drugs and others both pre and post operatively would reduce pain and lessen the need for addictive drugs such as morphine. For the last 12 years, he wrote papers promoting pain relieving drugs for orthopaedic surgery that were universally adopted. Now that ‘research’ he so assiduously promoted has been shown not only to be completely fabricated but that the drugs he advocated actually may have actually slowed postoperative healing in those patients. This research was taken up world wide and was certainly profitable for both Pfizer and Merck as their profits from these drugs are alleged to run into billions.

He further attempted to boost his credibility by co-authoring papers with respected, established orthopaedic surgeons, one of whom was Evan Ekman, who worked at the Southern Orthopaedic Sports Medicine in Columbia, South Carolina. He asked Ekman to review his manuscript on surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee but no orthopaedic surgeon was listed in the study. When Ekman asked for his details Reuben never replied and yet a year later he saw a copy of the manuscript Reuben had originally given him. This had been published in a per reviewed journal and Ekman was listed as the co-author. He discovered that his signature had been forged by Reuben on the submission form.

More of Reuben’s falsity came to light during a routine audit at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts which is the western campus for Tufts University School of Medicine. It was discovered that he had not received approval from the hospital’s review board to conduct two of his studies and has now been stripped of his research and educational duties and is on ‘medical leave’.

You might have thought that a medical researcher who always came out in favour of the pharmaceutical companies might have been a little suspicious – but sadly I am not at all convinced that this sad and sordid story is at all unique.

Premature babies benefit from Omega 3

March 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Childrens Health, Vitamins & Supplements


Having a premature baby can be a time of great worry, and although medical knowledge has hugely increased the survival rate, there are still potential health problems for such babies that can affect how they develop. The major concern is for their mental development as they may be slower than babies that go to full term, as well as not having fully developed lungs and digestive systems.

A clinical trial in Australia however offers a simple solution that could help, and although it has only been running for 18 months they are claiming interesting results. For adults, the benefits of omega-3 are well known but so far no one has thought to see if they could also help such young babies. The Australian study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and carried out at the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

They used normal omega-3 supplements from fish oil that you would buy in any health store and gave them to 272 nursing mothers of premature babies. They were trying to duplicate the amount of omega-3 that full-term babies usually receive in the womb during the third trimester of pregnancy and that premature babies miss out. They found that just 6 pills a day improved the cognitive ability of the babies when tested 18 months after birth.

Interestingly, the benefit seemed to apply solely to girls as the mothers of boys who took the supplements didn’t see any substantial difference. The doctors believe however that this is not due to a problem with the supplements but to the fact that boys generally develop slightly later than girls so a test over a longer period may show the same results. Differences are really going to persist.

BUT please don’t think that getting your omega-3′s naturally from fish and seafood during pregnancy is a precautionary measure as most doctors advise pregnant women to avoid these foods. However, it certainly couldn’t hurt to take the supplements and if it doesn’t improve the baby’s health it will certainly help the mother’s.

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