Gastric acid issues: do you need to increase your stomach’s HCl level?


If you suffer from indigestion or heartburn, your instant go-to treatment may well be antacids. Fair enough, you wouldn’t be alone; millions regularly use them (after all, half the population of the United States alone suffers from indigestion1), but the trouble is, they might well not be treating what’s actually your digestive issues – in fact, they may well just make things worse in the long-term. This is because the likes of indigestion and heartburn are often caused by low levels of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid or ‘HCl’) and antacid treatment for its symptoms tends to neutralise its presence further, thus making things worse.

But why is stomach – or gastric – acid so important; what is it about HCl’s presence in the digestive system that makes it so critical to the good running of this part of the body and, thus, the wider body at large? Well, being a potent digestive agent, HCl plays a crucial role in the breaking down of proteins into their constituent parts (amino acids and nutrients), as well as stimulating the pancreas and small intestine to generate the bile and digestive enzymes needed to break down food ingredients further (into proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and killing the pathogenic bacteria and the yeast in food that can cause illness and disease.


Low stomach acid problems

So much for what gastric acid actually does, but what happens if your levels of it are too low? More specifically than indigestion or heartburn, what happens? Well, not only could it bring on digestive problems, it could also significantly lower your level of immunity. And throw into the mix too the fact that, as people age they tend to consume more processed food, making for a poor, non-nutritious diet and, thus, reducing stomach acid and the fact that we all produce less of HCl as we get older, and you’ve a recipe for trouble.

As has been noted already, the body won’t digest enough nutrients without sufficient stomach acid and, as part of that, the body will become protein-malnourished and digest protein improperly. This will inevitably result in the blood becoming acidic, owing to mineral deficiency and, naturally, the body will seek minerals from anywhere and everywhere else to balance the blood and turn it more alkaline. Indeed, among the parts of the body from which minerals will be taken (where, of course, they’re much needed already) will even be the likes of bones; potentially causing – or contributing to – osteoporosis.

And, as you may have guessed, this means a feedback loop will begin – low stomach acid ensures the body’s not getting enough minerals, which results in acidic blood, in turn resulting in the scouring of the rest of the body for necessary minerals, which among other harmful problems lowers stomach acid further. And, unfortunately, once this state of affairs has established itself it’s likely to ensure a rise in the body’s cortisol levels (related to stress), affecting not just temperament and behaviour, but also likely raising blood sugar levels. Additionally, the adrenal glands may become depleted (adrenal fatigue), causing the suppression of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which could bring on premature aging.


Low stomach acid symptoms

So, what if you are suffering from low stomach acid – how might you know? Well, the following symptoms could all – certainly a combination of many of them – be tell-tale signs1, 2:

  • Acne
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Bloating, belching, and flatulence rapidly following eating
  • Candida (chronic)
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Constipation and/ or diarrhoea
  • Cracked nails
  • Deficiency of iron
  • Food allergies
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Potential hair loss (women)
  • Rectal itching


Increasing stomach acid

As you may have expected, the best way to increase your digestive system’s stomach acid is to improve your diet. First up, it’s imperative to reduce or try and eliminate entirely mineral-depleting sugar and sweeteners from what you eat on a daily basis. One of the ways in which you might try to do this is to replace much of the table sugar (or sucrose) you consume with the entirely naturally-occurring sweetener stevia. Second, you might want to add fermented foods and drinks to what you eat – the likes of raw, cultured vegetables, which don’t just taste fantastic but also are packed with vitamins, minerals and probiotics, and young coconut kefir, a fermented drink that can be made at home with the right ingredients.

Hopefully, in improving your diet, your digestion should begin improving and indigestion and heartburn should decrease, while your overall energy should increase; however, if you have long-standing digestive problems, it’s important to be aware it might take longer than you’d initially hoped for your health to improve. Patience and commitment to healthier eating – and a healthier lifestyle – then is paramount.


Stomach acid supplements

That said, you may find you’re able to boost your stomach acid levels via organic, natural supplementation – in addition to making the sort of sensible, positive changes to your diet as outlined above. For instance, the following appropriate supplements are available through us at The Finchley Clinic:

Cumin Formula (HCl-Rejuve) – appropriate for vegans, these vegetarian capsule shells contain (in addition to HCl), aniseed, cumin, ginger, cayenne, fennel, caraway and hops.

Vegan HCl – can be consumed in conjunction with Cumin Formula, this supplement may aid protein-digestion and reduce food sensitivities, bloating and gas and improve food absorption.



  1. Saltzman J. R., Kemp J. A., Golner B. B., Pedrosa M. C., Dallal G. E. and Russell R. M. ‘Effect of hypochlorhydria due to omeprazole treatment or atrophic gastritis on protein bound vitamin B12 absorption’. J Amer Coll Nutr. 1994 Dec; 13 (6): 13:584-591.
  2. Kennedy R. ‘Hypochlorhydria.’ Doctor’s Medical Library.


Use your head to lose weight – and go the sensible supplement route

Newsflash: there’s no silver bullet; there’s no quick fix; no life-hack. There’s no way to cut the corner when it comes to losing weight. Should you be seeking and then suddenly think you’ve found a genius product that will ensure you lose weight merely because it persuasively says it will; don’t believe it. If you go on to buy and consume it, you’ll have been conned. No such product exists; no such weight loss programme that supposedly follows a process to result in ‘proven’ success exists. Now, there are naturally-derived supplements out there that will – to a certain extent – help your weight-loss efforts (we’ll come on to them in due course), but primarily, there’s only one way to lose weight properly and successfully and without harming your body: eat healthily and exercise regularly.


Responsibility and motivation

Ultimately, without the desire to lose weight and the drive to do what it takes and see it through, you won’t achieve your weight-loss objective. In short, it’s down to you – it’ll be an effort and you’ll have to undertake it and keep going to achieve your goal. There’s no other way. It’s about taking responsibility, making the changes to your lifestyle you must and sticking with them. Food for thought: it’s been said that it takes three full weeks (21 days) to alter and/ or adopt a habit; that in itself then, so the psychology supposedly goes, isn’t an overnight transition – it’s something you have to throw yourself into, commit to and keep going with.

But, at the same time, don’t expect too much too soon; don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Otherwise the whole thing could become overwhelming. To lose weight, you should set an ultimate goal (a particular weight you want to lose or get down to), but in doing so, set smaller, short-term goals as you go on with your healthier-eating and exercise regime. And bear in mind too, though, that because you are losing weight, you’re going to be doing something that’s better for your body day after day, so once you’re away and going, there’s a good chance you’ll feel better as you progress. Does that mean it could easier the deeper you get into it? Perhaps – but prepared for a long slog, nonetheless!


Weight loss products – which to trust and which not?

Really, it comes down to engaging your brain and using your common sense – and, of course, not being taken in by easy-on-the-eye, easy-on-the-mind commercials, whether they be print or online ads or infomercials (the likes of which appear to be multiplying on UK TV channels nowadays). If any part of you does feel like it may be swayed or even persuaded by the supposed weight-loss products (either in food- or pill-consumable form or equipment/ apparatus form), it’s crucial you stop for a moment and actually scrutinise what the product claims it will do for you against what it actually contains.

What are the ingredients of the bottle of pills or ‘superfood’ being advertised (aside from doing nothing good for you at all, they may even do your body harm)? How much exercise are you really going to get from that limited-action apparatus being demonstrated in that infomercial? And, in advertising any of these products, is there any admission at all that to lose weight you’ll have to put in the effort to adopt a healthier, more sensible diet and do decent physical exercise? If the answer’s no; ask yourself why that probably is.


Sensible supplements

All that said, as mentioned above, there are at least some sensible food-based products you can purchase that, along with a dedicated healthy-eating and daily exercise programme, are likely to help you lose weight. And that’s because such weight management supplements comprise very specific ingredients that have been precisely formulated by experts to deliver optimum effect.

For instance, they may contain naturally-occurring, organic compounds that support digestion, provide a thermogenic effect or stimulate the metabolism. In other words, they’ll comprise nutrients that aim to support the good work achieved through good, regular exercise and an improved diet rich in fresh foods and far, far lower in sugary, additive-packed snacks and drinks. The trick is to try to live healthily first; the weight-loss should follow.

Remember then, to properly research the supplements you’re interested in; what do they contain? If they’re not organically-derived ingredients, ignore them. For starters, here are three highly recommended supplements on sale through The Finchley Clinic:

Pure Pea Vegan Protein – derived from the highest quality pea protein isolate, thus containing many essential and non-essential amino acids that can compensate for common deficiencies in vegetarian/ vegan diets, as well as supporting the reduction of body fat and increasing and repairing lean muscle mass.

Thinner G – a combination of botanicals that seeks to aid weight-loss by blocking both uptake of sugars, fats and carbohydrates and fat formation, as well as reducing appetite and cravings and encouraging the body to burn calories and fat.

MicroCell Lipotone Intensive – powder-based, comprising conjugated lipoic acid (CL), l-carnitine and garcinia cambogia; designed to aid the body’s natural management of fats and carbohydrates, alongside an exercise and dietary regime.


Stunning stevia: naturally derived and healthier – and sweeter – than sugar

You may not believe it, but it’s true; there’s a sweetener that, despite being hundreds of times sweeter than table sugar, can do your body a great deal of good. It may sound bizarre, but why is that? We’re conditioned to think that sweet foods are bad for us because so many of them contain large amounts of non-naturally-occurring and calorific sugar – but, yes, it’s because stevia is entirely naturally occurring that it’s so full of goodness for anyone who might try to work it into their diet.

So intensely sweet-tasting, it’s believed to be 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar1, stevia’s reputation as a sweetening ingredient in cooking and general food preparation is actually well established; indeed, it’s been used in drinks like tea going back to the 16th Century. Originally native to South American countries like Brazil and Paraguay, but now also grown throughout the South East Asian powers China and Japan, it’s becoming increasingly recognised for its non-nutritive (non-calorific) properties and, thus, as a healthy alternative to added sugar (sucrose)2.

In fact, in recent years, food products that contain stevia have enjoyed a 58 percent increase in sales3 – and that huge leap may be explained by the fact it’s now looked on not just as a great-tasting alternative to sugar, but also as a food ingredient that’s brimming with health benefits.


What exactly is stevia?

Specifically then, Stevia rebaundiana Bertoni belongs to the sunflower family, being a bushy shrub that was originally native to both North and South America and boasting 150 separate species. To extract the naturally-occurring sugar-based qualities of the stevia plant (what, thus, becomes known as ‘stevia’ when it’s used as a food ingredient or supplementary extract), the glycosides within the plant’s leaves – molecules that contain sugar bonded with other chemicals – are extracted and purified through a longwinded process, following the harvesting of the leaves themselves.

In all, stevia leaves contain eight of these glycosides: stevioside; rebaudiosides A, C, D, E and F; steviolbioside and dulcoside A – note; the first and second of these, stevioside and rebaudioside (reb A), are the most plentiful in terms of natural goodness4.


Stevia health benefits

So, what of stevia’s natural goodness? Well, once correctly and successfully extracted from the source plant, it’s health benefits are, indeed, many. It should be pointed out, though, that although it’s referred to as non-calorific, stevia isn’t absolutely calorie-free, yet it comprises far in a way fewer than sucrose; enough, for sure, to be referred to as containing practically none. And this very low calorie count ensures that, especially in contrast to sucrose, stevia can operate as a sweetener that not only won’t worsen diabetes and weight gain, but aid in helping to control and combat them, respectively. In more detail then, the possible health benefits of stevia include:

  • Weight management – according to US Government figures, consuming added sugars alone accounts for around 16 percent of the total calorie count in Americans’ diet and, unsurprisingly, studies have linked this directly to weight gain5 and (if sucrose is consumed excessively) obesity6, as well as unhealthy blood glucose levels and cardiovascular disease), so switching to many of the food products on the market today that comprise naturally-sourced stevia – everything from snack bars to salad dressings – ensure that people (not least children, who are so attracted to sweet foods and drinks) can transition away from sucrose and enjoy a lower sugar diet


  • Blood pressure – the results of a study conducted in 2003 suggest that stevia may be able to help reduce blood pressure7, not least thanks to it containing cardiotonic actions, which work to normalise blood pressure and regulate heartbeat; moreover, some stevia glycosides are believed to dilate blood vessels and boost sodium excretion and urine production (it ought to be pointed out, though, that some experts believe more research in this area needs to take place)


  • Diabetes – consuming stevia has been shown to have no negative effect on either blood glucose8 or insulin9 response; in fact, type 2 diabetes sufferers have reported that stevia has contributed to significant drops in blood glucose and glucagon response following meals10


  • Pancreatic cancer – there is a possibility that, thanks to comprising the antioxidant flavanol kaempferol, stevia may be able to help cut the risk of developing pancreatic cancer; a study having suggested kaempferol may reduce the risk by as much as 23 percent11.


Stevia supplements

Fair dos, for many people, finding, purchasing and blending stevia-derived foods and drinks into their daily diets may not be the easiest thing to do – as noted, stevia is becoming more and more popular, but it’s still far easier for consumers to get their hands on added sugar alternatives… far easier. In which case, while trying to cut down on your sucrose intake, you may try to introduce (or boost) stevia in your diet via these stevia supplements, both of them available through us at The Finchley Clinic:

NutraMedix Stevia (30ml) – boasting 300 times the sweetness of sugar, this form of stevia is ideal for diabetics, those looking to lose weight and those wanting to reduce their sugar intake; can be used as an alternative to table sugar (four drops the equivalent to a teaspoon).

Fizzy C (Vitamin C) – a fantastic addition to water or any juice should you want a ‘fizzy’ drink, but one free of artificial additives, flavours and sweetening (the sweetening being provided by stevia glycosides).



  1. NHS Choices. ‘Are stevia plant extracts safe?’. Last review date: 13/4/2016.
  2. National Agricultural Library. ‘Nutritive and Nonnutritive Sweetener Resources’. United States Department of Agriculture.
  3. Pure Circle Stevia Institute. ‘Appetite and Weight Management’.
  4. Kubica P., Namieśnik J. and Wasik A. ‘Determination of eight artificial sweeteners and common Stevia rebaudiana glycosides in non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages by reversed-phase liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry’. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2015; 407: 1505–1512. Published online 2014 Dec 4. doi: 10.1007/s00216-014-8355-x.
  5. US Department of Agriculture/ US Department of Health and Human Services. ‘Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010’. 2010 Dec.
  6. Yang Q., Zhang Z., Gregg E. W., Flanders W. D., Merritt R. and Hu F. B. ‘Added sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases mortality among US adults’. JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Apr; 174 (4): 516-24. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13563.
  7. Ming-Hsiung Hsieh et al. ‘Efficacy and tolerability of oral stevioside in patients with mild essential hypertension: A two-year, randomized, placebo-controlled study’. Clinical Therapeutics. Vol. 25, Issue 11, 2003 Nov, pp 2797-2808.
  8. Anton Stephen D. ‘Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels’. Appetite. Vol. 55, Issue 1, 2010 Aug, pp 37-43.
  9. MNT Editorial Team. ‘What is Insulin?’. Medical News Today.
  10. MNT Editorial Team. ‘Type 2 Diabetes: Causes and Symptoms’. Medical News Today.
  11. Lee J. and Kim J.-H. ‘Kaempferol Inhibits Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth and Migration through the Blockade of EGFR-Related Pathway In Vitro’. PLoS One. 2016; 11 (5): e0155264. Published online 2016 May 13. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155264.

The little coenzyme that could: why CoQ10 is so important for your health

The human body needs many microscopic – and even smaller – entities within it to function correctly and help keep us healthy throughout our lives. But one such molecule that doesn’t get talked about much that’s absolutely crucial to both animals (including humans) and plants, thus of universal importance to pretty much all living things, is the coenzyme.

Sometimes referred to as cosubstrates, coenzymes – it should be noted – are not actually enzymes. As organic nonprotein cofactors, they’re critical in ensuring that enzymatic and metabolic processes in the body take place as they should. They do this by loosely attaching themselves to enzymes that are inactive – often called apoenzymes – to convert them into active forms and so become capable of catalysing chemical reactions (if you like, a bit like using a key on a lock), including the breaking down of food, thus resulting in the release of energy usable by the body’s cells. Moreover, coenzymes enjoy an important, rather cosy relationship with vitamins; the latter make sure that the former can be synthesised, therefore underlining the necessity to up the levels of vitamins in your body should they be low.


How do coenzymes work?

So, if you didn’t already, you now know what coenzymes do – but how do they do it? Well, they’re far from a one-trick pony; each coenzyme that attaches itself to an apoenzyme then detaches itself from the resultant enzyme once this biochemical reaction’s taken place, ensuring they can repeat this highly important process as cofactors with other apoenzyme/ enzymes over again.

Indeed, another reason the relationship between coenzymes and enzymes is so fundamentally important is because the former aid the transfer of compounds between different enzymes. This is crucial because each time there’s a necessary chemical reaction involving an enzyme, the molecule itself fundamentally changes, so the coenzyme helps ensure all enzymes can interact with each other. In so doing, coenzymes guarantee that competitive inhibition takes place, which is all about restricting enzymes’ activity so they’re not over-busy; doing things in the body when they don’t need to and thus causing problems1 – basically, competitive inhibition sees a coenzyme helping to attract and repel different compounds to and from a specific enzyme.


The qualities of CoQ10

Quite simply then, without an adequate number of coenzymes present and functioning in your body, it’ll detrimentally affect your health. By playing such a large role in the transfer of chemical compounds (or more specifically ‘functional groups’; the active sections of these compounds), they make sure that critical components like electrons, hydrogens and food (energy) are delivered to the body’s enzymes as they’re needed, thus often enhancing the stability/ reactivity of an enzyme’s product2, 3. Indeed, there’s also a critical symbiotic relationship between coenzymes and vitamins. Not only are the two kinds of molecule similar, but a good number of the vitamins we consume – or should consume, at least –are literally converted into all-important coenzymes. Just another reason then, like so many others pointed out so regularly on this blog, why it’s hugely important to put a vitamin deficiency right, should you suffer from one.

And, to focus on one coenzyme in particular (and its specific importance to the body’s health), one of the most frequently consumed in the body – Coenzyme Q10, or simply CoQ10 – isn’t just so useful because it aids the work and efficacy of enzymes in producing energy for cell growth and maintenance, but also because it functions extremely well as an antioxidant, thus preventing the harmful oxidation efforts on other much-needed molecules by free radicals. In this way, CoQ10’s been said to play a contributory role in preventing and/ or helping to treat the likes of heart failure, muscular dystrophy, periodontal disease and even cancer. As such, it’s proving ever more popular as a treatment to reduce the negative effects some synthetically produced medicines can have on muscles, the heart and other organs, as well as to boost energy and recovery following exercise.


Have you thought about Coenzyme Q10 supplements?

So, although they operate at that tiny molecular level, the much-needed activity of CoQ10 and other coenzymes resonates throughout the entire human body. There can be no doubt that maintaining their levels – and those of their precursor vitamins – in your body is critically important; otherwise such deficiencies can result in nasty and preventable conditions and, irrespective of how these begin, you won’t be able to fight them effectively if your body’s not awash with an adequate number of vitamins and coenzymes.

CoQ10 itself can be naturally sourced in a wide array of different foods; if you’re a vegetarian, you can get your fill of it from foodstuffs other than meat very effectively; the likes of mackerel and sardines (should you eat fish) or, failing that, peanuts, differing tree nuts, beans and soy oil. It’s important, though, that you focus on consuming the most active form of coenzymes – CoQ10 included – as possible, so to be sure of doing so you may be inclined to go the natural supplementation route. A good guide to the sort of products available can be found on The Finchley Clinic’s CoQ10 page, where you’ll find the following highly recommended supplements:

Liposomal Q10 – a supplement manufactured with Liposomal Encapsulation Technology (LET), which ensures its CoQ10 boasts much higher bioavailability than many equivalent products, thus delivering higher content of the coenzyme to the body’s cells (as much as 7-10 times more than regular supplements, in fact).

True Food Maxi Q10 – contains CoQ10-enriched Saccharomyces cerevisiae (food yeast), ensuring it can be easily digested and absorbed for high bioavailability; this supplement’s CoQ10 content is also noted to remain in the body longer than that of many comparative products.

Microcell CoQ10 – the CoQ10 and additional oils in this supplement are micellised into droplets, thus dispersed into water to increase absorption in the body, while also encased in a vegetable capsule to help reduce light-sensitive oxidation.



  1. University of Hawaii. ‘Biochemistry’. n.p.
  2. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. ‘What is a Functional Group?’. UCLA. n.p.
  3. Linus Pauling Institute. ‘Vitamin C and Skin Health’. Oregon State University. n.p.

Restore – the supplement that boosts healthy gut flora… and more!



If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll have doubtless come across the claim that it’s of paramount importance to ensure the environment in your intestines – or, rather, your gut – is healthy. Its diversity must be strong. And that means that, among the 100 billion bacteria it ought to be home to, it should have a healthy balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria; that’s to say, the bad bacteria shouldn’t have the upper hand.

Otherwise, harmful, debilitating and long-term conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gluten allergies and obesity can take hold. There’s even debate that the seemingly ever-growing number of autism cases as well as Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis may, in part, be caused by an unhealthy gut lacking in diversity1. And with both willing and unwilling consumption of the likes of antibiotics, pesticides and genetically-modified (GMO) foods often to blame for an unhealthy gut2, it’s a serious and an all too common problem. So, in more detail, why don’t we take a look at some of the biggest and most obvious reasons for ensuring your gut flora remains healthy?


Healthy gut flora benefits

Unfortunately, a lack of healthy diversity in the gut could lead to a worse intestinal-focused complaint than IBS; it could also help bring about Crohn’s disease. Healthy flora then, by contrast, is an excellent insurance policy against developing Crohn’s, a long-term illness that afflicts people with inflammation of the digestive system’s lining. Indeed, research has linked inflammation levels among Crohn’s sufferers with an overabundance of specifically harmful bacteria types in their intestines3. That said, in addition to reducing the chances your body will experience serious gastrointestinal issues, a balanced and healthy gut flora does a pretty simple, positive thing – it helps with your general digestion.

Recent research seems to proves this fact, suggesting a diverse microbiome contributes to intestinal integrity4, which means it aids in the gut choosing to allow only non-harmful contents to pass elsewhere into the body where they’ll do good (such as providing food to be transformed into energy for cells) and aids it ensuring non-useful, potentially dangerous contents are harmlessly transported to the excretory system.

Meanwhile, experts are slowly unearthing the complex gut-brain connection and appear to have discovered there may be a link, as mentioned, between intestinal health and autism, with a by-product of certain gut-focused treatments being that, in boosting bacteria levels, they maybe help the condition of autistic children5, 6. Furthermore, other research suggests healthy gut flora contributes positively in combating depression and anxiety7.


How to restore your gut flora

So much for the benefits of restoring your gut flora to its healthiest possible balance and diversity, but how do you actually do it? Well, it’s true that there are an awful lot of naturally-derived supplements on the market that claim to do just that – and a number of them are certainly effective. Indeed, terms you’ve probably heard used to describe such products are ‘probiotics’ and ‘prebiotics’. To be clear, they’re not the same thing.

Probiotics specifically add to the ‘good’ or ‘healthy’ bacteria in the intestinal tract, in order to help balance out the gut flora (thus reducing the dominance of ‘bad’ bacteria and similarly harmful toxins); prebiotics are fibres that, once consumed, act as food for probiotics in the gut, enabling the latter to survive, grow and multiply. All very good, but it’s fair to point out that, as gut-focused supplements, probiotics and prebiotics do have drawbacks – there are some things they’re not so adept at.

First up, probiotics certainly do boost numbers of ‘good bacteria’ in the intestines, but many of the probiotic supplements available will provide around 30 additional strains of gut bacteria, the problem being then this could lead to a ‘monoculture’ of just a few probiotic strains in your gut. The reality is your intestinal tract requires between 20,000 and 30,000 of them to be properly healthy and, thus, functioning as effectively as possible.

Moreover, prebiotics (although definitely helping to support an injured gut in the work they do) are unfortunately, like too many probiotic products, unable to address the all-important ‘tight junctions’ in the gut wall. All-important? Yes; if these junctions become too loose damaging toxins can pass through the gut and elsewhere into the body, harming the immune system especially. In which case, what you may feel you really need is a supplement that works to boost the gut flora productively (and in great, healthy numbers) and works to strengthen the lining of the gut wall at the same time.


Restore – neither a probiotic nor a prebiotic

The answer to getting your gut ecosystem right while tightening those intestinal wall junctions could just lie in a product named Restore (for Gut Health). Developed in the United States by a team of leading scientists headed by endocrinologist Dr Zach Bush, it’s a plant-derived, fluid-based supplement that, indeed, seeks to do what neither probiotics nor prebiotics – nor pretty much any other supplements – can.

And it does this because it enables clear and decisive ‘communication’ between the bacteria of the gut flora, establishing a highly effective communication network here that ensures the whole microbiome comes together to work as it should. Indeed, bacteria effectively communicate in a similar way to the body’s cells – by moving patterns of charges (referred to as redox signalling). Restore’s all about enabling this to take place; operating as something of a ‘liquid switchboard’, if you will, promoting balance, regulation, improved hydration and nutrition in the gut.

The pivotal ingredient in Restore that ensures it can do this work is lignite extract. Naturally derived from lignite – or brown coal – a sedimentary rock formed over thousands of years from prehistoric peat, it’s therefore absolutely abundant in nutrients, not least the mineral carbon which, among other things, has the ability to bind to toxins in the intestinal tract; thereby ensuring they pass safely through the system and can’t escape, meaning there’s no chance of them damaging the immune system and more within the wider body.

So, for more information and the opportunity to purchase Restore from us at The Finchley Clinic, take a look at the supplement in its different dosage options below – you’ll also discover that should you wish to buy it from us, you can save money because it’s currently on special offer:

Restore (32 fl oz)

Restore (16 fl oz)

Restore (8 fl oz)

Restore (3 fl oz/ trial/ travel size)



  1. Bhattacharjee S. and Lukiw W. J. ‘Alzheimer’s disease and the microbiome’. Front Cell Neurosci. 2013; 7: 153. 2013 Sep. doi:  10.3389/fncel.2013.00153.
  2. Johnston K. ‘Endangered Species: Your Gut Flora’. Epoch Times. Last update 5 Nov 2013.
  3. Gevers D. et al. ‘The Treatment-Naive Microbiome in New-Onset Crohn’s Disease’. Cell Host & Microbe. 2014 Mar; 15 (3) 382-92. doi:
  4. Christensen E. G., Licht T. R., Leser T. D. and Bahl M. I. ‘Dietary xylo-oligosaccharide stimulates intestinal bifidobacteria and lactobacilli but has limited effect on intestinal integrity in rats’. BMC Res Notes. 2014 Sep; 19 (7): 660. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-660.
  5. Kang D-W., Park J. G., Ilhan Z. E., Wallstrom G., LaBaer J., Adams J. B. and Krajmalnik-Brown R. ‘Reduced Incidence of Prevotella and Other Fermenters in Intestinal Microflora of Autistic Children’. 2013 Jul. doi:
  6. Hsiao E. Y. et al. ‘Microbiota Modulate Behavioral and Physiological Abnormalities Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders’. Cell Host & Microbe. 2013 Dec; 155 (7) 1415-63.
  7. Foster J. A. and McVey Neufeld K. A. ‘Gut-brain axis: how the microbiome influences anxiety and depression’. Trends Neurosci. 2013 May; 36 (5):305-12. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2013.01.005. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

Glorious Green Magma: how a taste of the Orient can do you so much good

Who’d believe that something so old could be so good for you? Don’t doubt it; barley grass is. It’s been a naturally-derived source for wellbeing since at least 7,000 BC; especially in Japan, where its capacity to aid digestion, detoxification and anti-ageing has long been recognised – and deeply respected. And in recent decades it’s become likewise recognised (and consumed) for these properties in the West.

Primarily, this has been thanks to the efforts of pharmaceutical developer Dr Yoshihide Hagiwara, whom had to give up his day job at the tender age of 38 due to toxic poisoning. Having fully recovered via natural medicines and foods alone, he devoted the rest of his life to investigating green foods and just what they were capable of for the good of the human body. His research led him to publish his conclusions, in which he claimed that barley grass is ‘one of the most nutritionally balanced foods in nature’ and ‘the ideal fast food for the human race’. Strong words, indeed, but it seems that this greenest of green foods and most super of superfoods is capable of backing them up.


The road to Green Magma

Technically speaking, barley grass are the young, soft shoots that crop on the barley plant and, in his experiments, Hagiwara unfortunately discovered that the multiple, health-giving nutrients stored in these shoots are destroyed by heat and acidity (when the shoots are either cooked or treated to be transformed into an easily consumable form like a supplement). In which case, he hit on the idea of a unique spray-dry process to create a different kind of extraction. Not only did this successful discovery earn him acclamation in his native Japan, it also led to his patented methods proving the basis for the manufacturing process behind the modern, highly advanced and extremely nutritious version of Barley Grass Powder, namely Green Magma.

Packed full of all the goodness of natural barley grass then, Green Magma is truly a multi-nutrient superfood that’s bursting with more than 70 vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Among its incredible array of ingredients are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
  • Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Beta-carotene
  • Phycocyanin
  • Superoxide dismutase
  • Chlorophyll
  • Flavonoid 2”-O-GIV


Green Magma benefits

But why is it so impressive that Green Magma comprises all these vitamins and minerals? Well, the fact it does so is what ensures it’s such an enriching, health-aiding supplement; such a potent, dissoluble powder-based (and so very easy-to-consume) version of the original barley grass. It’s the fact it comprises all these vitamins and minerals that it offers those why try it – and take it daily – so many benefits that can help bring relief to a range of conditions and illnesses. For instance:

  • A natural antioxidant – owing to it containing the enzyme superoxide dismutase, Green Magma boasts terrific antioxidant properties, this ingredient enjoying nothing more than to act as a free radical scavenger, utterly neutralising the harmful effects of the opportunistic micro-organisms and so preventing the development of a whole host of illnesses caused by the otherwise resultant oxidative stress (it’s aided in these efforts by the flavonoid 2”-O-GIV); moreover, the presence of alpha-tocopherol in Green Magma successfully stimulates the release of the protein prolactin which may inhibit the growth of cancerous tumours as much as 10 times better than other versions of Vitamin E can


  • May improve digestion – as barley grass has a naturally positive, stimulating effect on ‘gut friendly’ bacteria (the ‘good’ rather than the ‘bad’ bacteria to be found in the intestines), Green Magma can help in alleviating inflammation and other symptoms that are associated with gastrointestinal complaints like ulcerative colitis (UC), something which is only boosted by its handy talent for reducing aggressive bowel chemicals, as well as aiding in the flushing out of toxins from the body and assisting in the maintenance of the bowel’s fluid balance


  • A natural detoxifier – all heavy metals (e.g. lead) are very poisonous to the human body and require swift removal from it, should trace levels of them been accidentally consumed and thus accumulated, and via detoxification this is something else at which Green Magma comes up trumps, specifically through the work of its trace element zinc; furthermore, barley grass’s naturally occurring chlorophyll and beta-carotene can aid the detoxing of waste mucous and crystallised acids, all of which contributes to the efficacy of the body carrying out metabolic processes and the critical detoxification work that goes on in the liver (note: those in need of detoxification may experience tiredness on first using Green Magma for this purpose; so it’s best to start with low doses of the supplement and build them up slowly over time, owing to its powerful detoxing qualities)


  • May restore acid-alkali balance – in its Green Magma version, barley grass makes for a superb natural alkaline source, ideal then for reducing excess acidity in the body and preventing otherwise possible acidosis damage; to this end, thanks to its work at restoring the human body’s acid-alkali balance, it may also aid in the prevention of a wide range of differing complaints, including cardiac pain, constipation, fatigue and sleep disorders


  • May improve skin, hair and nail quality – finally, Green Magma may also prove a great contributor to the regeneration of cells without side effects, which is where its ingredients including chlorophyll, iron and Vitamin C come in, as well as the pigment-protein phycocyanin, which inspires the creation of red and white blood cells and bone marrow; indeed, it’s this adept ability to aid renewal in the body that ensures Green Magma also helps to preserve hair and nail quality and keep skin looking youthful.


How to take Green Magma

A juice-based version of barley grass then (although it’s also available from The Finchley Clinic in tablet-form; see below), your best advised serving of Green Magma is via stirring a teaspoon of the supplement’s powder in a glass (160ml) of water – or non-acidic fruit juice – and drinking it up to twice a day. For best results, it’s best to consume Green Magma either 20 minutes before or around two hours after a meal; this will enable the nutrients to be absorbed as best as possible in the body. Remember not to mix the powder with a hot drink – heat may well damage the supplement’s active enzymes!

If you’re interested in purchasing and trying Green Magma, we stock the supplement in various dosages; take a look at them all below:

Green Magma (300g)

Green Magma (150g)

Green Magma (80g)

Green Magma (10-day trial pack)

Green Magma (250 tablets)

Breathe easy: do you need a lung cleanse?

If it seems to you more people are suffering from colds, the flu and viruses than used to be the case then you may not be imagining it. We live in a heavily industrialised world, in which vehicle and industrial emissions and chemical by-products are all known to be harmful, causing serious ill-health in millions of people across the planet. And yet, what’s far less noted is that indoor air nowadays is also a culprit. Indeed, it’s been estimated that today’s indoor air may actually be up to six times – or even 10 times – worse for your health than outdoor air. Yes, really.


How is this possible? Well, the United States Government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that around 60 percent of all homes in that nation alone contain airborne pollutants that can harm human health. And the American College of Allergies has reported that as much as half of all modern-day illnesses are a result of air pollution – but not outdoor air pollution; indoor air pollution.

Moreover, it’s believed that, among the likes of dangerous toxins and infectious bacteria, allergens become concentrated in today’s highly insulated homes up to 200 percent more than standard homes. The truth is that, thanks to the drive to insulate our homes and the offices in which so many of us work and so save energy costs and cut unnecessary emissions, we’re simply not ventilating the air in our buildings as much as we used to. The result? Very bad indoor air; so bad it may contain up to 100 times the number toxins as the air on the other side of the window. Without proper filtration of the air we breathe indoors then, it’s inevitable that damage – perhaps even severe damage – could be done to the tissue of many people’s lungs and, of course, without them having the foggiest idea it’s happening. And most of them have probably never even taken up smoking either.


The effect of allergens

It needs pointing out too that allergens play an increasingly potent role in the poor quality of indoor air. Apparently, there’s more than 1,000 separate species of mould and mildew in indoor environments; your own home is quite possibly a potential source of chronic respiratory or sinus problems, whether you like it or not – a staggering statistic goes that when a baby crawls over just a section of a room’s average carpet they’re likely inhaling the same toxic level as they would by smoking four cigarettes a day1.

Other home-based allergies can occur because of pets, not least the most popular four-legged family accompaniments, cats and dogs. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not usually because such a pet may have long hair that’ll cause an allergic reaction or make for a worse allergy, as the source of the allergy is more likely to be the dander beneath the cat or dog’s hair rather than the hair itself (specifically, microscopic bits of dry skin that gets everywhere and you can’t see).


Tackling indoor air pollution

So, what’s the answer? What can we do to depollute the air of our homes, office spaces and more? Well, unless you run the business or organisation you work for, it may be difficult to alter the environment in which you spend several hours a day working, but you should and can definitely do something about your home’s indoor air. For instance, if you own a pet you shouldn’t necessarily get rid of it (unless its dander is resulting in allergic reactions that seriously affect your everyday life), but you should at least face up to the reality of what’s happening. To that end too, it’s important to bear in mind the statistics and facts stated above and not just reject them; your home should be the ultimate haven of comfort and repose in your life but it’s unlikely to be if just dismiss the points made above out of hand (for instance, synthetic, chemical-derived cleaning products also contain a level of toxicity; something to remember if you use them several times a day).

Overall, though, the easiest thing to address is the likely lack of ventilation in a modern home. In contrast to a draughty old house that’s several decades old, today’s homes are relatively airtight – the bad air can’t escape. Especially if you use air conditioning; which, to operate effectively, requires windows to be closed. In which case, consider investing in and using indoor air exchange systems and air purification systems to keep the environment cleaner and far more toxin/ allergen-free


Lung cleansing

Another approach – and something you may want to try in addition to purifying your indoor environment – is to cleanse your body’s lungs. Now, to read that, it may sound a little extreme, but, if you follow the advice below (all of which is totally harmless; don’t worry!), you’ll find it actually involves far from drastic, very sensible activities:

  • Breathing exercises – you can clear your airwaves, remove toxins from your lungs and strengthen them via deep breathing exercises; moreover, they offer the additional benefit of delivering more, highly nourishing oxygen to the lungs and wider body (it’s a great idea to engage in deep breathing for a few minutes in a quiet, relaxed space twice a day)


  • Diet – believe it or not, there are certain foods you can throw into your diet on a regular basis that’ll promote healthy function of your lungs; pistachios are rich in gamma-tocopherol (a Vitamin E variation that may reduce the risk of developing lung cancer), while plantain leaf has a handy habit of quelling mucous thereby aiding with congestion-related respiratory issues and cayenne peppers can ease irritation of the respiratory system, not least for those suffering from coughs and sore throats owing to infection


  • Natural remedies – finally, you might consider giving naturally-occurring plant-based remedies a whirl; why not when a whole roster of them (such as eucalyptus, lungwort, peppermint and osha root) were a staple of indigenous cultures and ancient civilisations in treating respiratory issues many millennia before the invention of synthetically-produced medication.

And to that end, you may like the idea of getting your fill of such naturally-derived respiratory remedies in the form of single lung cleanse products – both of the following examples are available through us at The Finchley Clinic and come highly recommended:

Allertrex – offers support for respiratory ailments, assists with normal lung functions and is developed with the specific aim of cleansing the lungs of harmful agents that inhibit their function.

Restore Sinus Spray – a proprietary blend of trace minerals suspended in purified water, designed to cleanse, soothe and hydrate the delicate membranes that line your nasal passages.



  1. Intuitive Environmental Solutions. ‘Facts about indoor air quality’. n.p.

Looking for a solution to Lyme’s disease? Try the Cowden Support Program

As far as names go, Lyme disease doesn’t sound like the worse ailment in the world, but names can be deceptive. Indeed, it can be debilitating and utterly life-changing, but has nothing to do with fruits nor with the colour green; that said, it is caught in the natural outdoors via bites from ticks – and, to that end, it’s an illness that’s all too easy to catch.

Like it or not, many medical experts are of the opinion that Lyme disease is among the most serious of under-discussed health conditions. Caused by tick bites infecting the blood with the bacteria type Borrelia, its many symptoms tend, at first, to be very flu-like (i.e. headache, fatigue and fever1); yet if not detected quickly they can get much worse over time – either quickly or slowly over months or years – leading to problems with the joints, heart and central nervous system2. Serious, indeed.


Diagnosis numbers and issues

The number of Lyme disease cases in the US seem to be ever growing (worryingly so, actually; between 1991 and 2013, they grew from 10,000 to more than 27,000) and, although there are definitely fewer in the UK and Continental Europe, the numbers here are nonetheless still higher than you might expect.

And how the disease plays out for each individual can be miserable to say the least. There’s the particular case of a totally active and healthy 12-year-old girl from the US state of Montana whom suddenly became ‘feverish, dizzy and doubled over with stomach pains every time she tried to exert herself’3; the misery for her owing as much to the fact it took experts some time to correctly diagnose what was wrong with her, as much as her dramatic symptoms – thus, resulting in psychological as well as physical suffering.


Treatment suggestion

Mercifully though, once diagnosed correctly, treatment for Lyme disease is certainly available. One highly recommended course of treatment you might want to try is the Cowden Support Program (CSP) which, intended for treating late-stage Borrelia and Lyme co-infections, should be followed for several weeks; its intention being to tackle most of the root causes of symptoms and to aid in recovery from ‘post treatment’ Lyme disease syndrome. Indeed, so comprehensive is it, thanks to its constituent ingredients, that it also appears to be able to treat other chronic health issues whose causes are even less clear.

Developed by Dr William Lee Cowden, the CSP involves 14 separate Nutramedix products taken rotationally, such as six herbs intended for microbial defence, themselves made up of three separate pairs of herbs. To give you an idea then, the first of these pairs are the herbal supplements Banderol and Samento which, via an in vitro study conducted at the University of New Haven in the US state of Connecticut, were discovered to be effective in eliminating all forms of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi (that is, its spirochetes, round-body forms and the biofilm forms)4.


In-the-field evidence

That said, the CSP has been found to reap good results out in-the-field as well. At the 2007 conference for the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), Richard Horowitz, a medical practitioner based in the US state of New York, claimed the programme had successfully improved the condition of between 70 percent and 80 percent of patients he’d treated for advanced Lyme Borreliosis (after 4-6 months of co-infection)5. And this was the case even when a proportion of those patients had previously shown no sign of improvement after been proscribed multiple courses of antibiotics.

Further – and more recent – evidence of the CSP’s efficacy in treating Lyme disease came to light in 2012 thanks to a nine-month-long study conducted by the Borreliose Centrum Augsburg in Germany, the results of which showed that (according to questionnaire answers) 80 percent of patients involved enjoyed improvements in their symptoms thanks to the CSP, while (according to laboratory blood tests) 90 percent of them did6.

Greater than the sum of its parts

None of this, though, should be that surprising when you look at what the CSP’s ingredients are capable of doing together; for sure, it’s the pooling of these herbal, microbial defence products’ resources that accounts for the Cowden Support Program benefits. Combined together then, they work to provide broad-spectrum action against not just bacteria, but also fungi, parasites and even viruses, while they’re naturally anti-inflammatory too. Now, by contrast, using synthetically-produced pharmaceuticals to treat Lyme disease is likely to be less effective because they simply operate on a far narrower spectrum of capability; in short, patients with late-stage Lyme disease may not get better on pharmaceuticals (like antibiotics) alone because these drugs – unlike the CSP – are incapable of resolving different microbial infections (and tackle the likes of immune dysregulation and gut dysbiosis), all of which can occur along with Lyme disease and provide further complications on top of the symptoms directly caused by the initial infection.

Indeed, to give you an idea here, among the herbal ingredients that make up the Cowden Support Program are:

  • Burbur-Pinella – can remove toxins from the brain, nerves and spinal cord


  • Parsley – combines with Burbur-Pinella to aid in detoxification of the kidneys, liver, gall bladder, lymphatics and intestinal spaces


  • Stevia –effective at eliminating all forms of Borrelia; also a broad-spectrum antiviral herb


  • Sealantro – can detoxify heavy metals, biotoxins and various man-made toxins in the body


  • Takuna – possesses potent antiviral properties.


Additionally, it ought to be noted that, should you be thinking of giving the CSP a go in trying to treat late-stage Borrelia and Lyme disease symptoms, then they are several different things you should do alongside the herbal course to give you the best chance of successful recovery. To start with, as you may have guessed, consuming water (such a healthy practice in itself) is strongly recommended – as much as 2-3 litres a day, in fact. Practicing stress relief techniques before each mealtime and bed is also advised, while sleep hygiene is also important (getting a proper, good night’s sleep of at least 6-7 hours, so you get all the rest you can), as well as maintaining a sensible, healthy diet, of course. To this end, the likes of raw, organic, non-GMT vegetables are excellent choices, while it’s best to cut out sugars and excessive starchy, fried and processed foods. It’s also been noted that Lyme disease sufferers who stay away from wheat-based and cow-dairy-based foods seem likely to get better faster.

By purchasing each pack required for each month of the Cowden Support Program via The Finchley Clinic you can make significant savings on all the products you’ll need to complete the course; take a look at them below:

Cowden Support Program – Month 1

Cowden Support Program – Month 2

Cowden Support Program – Month 3

Cowden Support Program – Month 4

Cowden Support Program – Month 5

Cowden Support Program – Month 6

Cowden Support Program – Month 7

Cowden Support Program – Month 8

Cowden Support Program – Month 9



  1. Piesman J., Mather, T. N., Sinsky R. J and Spielman A. ‘Duration of tick attachment and Borrelia burgdorferi transmission’. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 1987 Mar. 25 (3): 557-558.
  2. Hu, Linden. ‘Clinical Manifestations of Lyme Disease in Adults’. UptoDate. Last updated: August 2017.
  3. Lavelle, M. ‘As Lyme disease spreads in the U.S., those in its path cope with a debilitating, bewildering array of maladies, misery and afflictions’. The Daily Climate. 2014 Sep.
  4. Datar A., Kaur N., Patel S., Luecke D. F. and Sapi E. ‘In vitro effectiveness of Samento and Banderol herbal extracts on the different morphological forms of Borrelia burgdorferi’. Townsend Letter. 2010 Jul.
  5. n.p.


Can you beat candida overgrowth? Yes – with the right diet and supplements

Yeast. For many of us, when we read that word we may immediately think of (leavened) bread and beer, in both of which it’s an important ingredient. For those from the UK, many will think too of Marmite, the yeast-extract-based foodstuff whose taste polarises opinion. Yet, few will think of the insides of their body, specifically the digestive system, when they think of yeast, even though it commonly, nay naturally exists there. Not least one of its most notable types, candida – which, if allowed to multiply dramatically in this part of the body, can cause or at least contribute to and complicate some serious problems.

Like all yeasts, candida is a micro-organism that can be technically categorised as a fungus (like it or not). Given the fact it regularly and naturally occurs in the gut along with other bacteria, the fact it may or may not be present there is not a cause for concern. And neither is the fact it may well be present in mucous membranes, in the birth canal or on the skin1. However, it is a cause for concern – especially in the intestinal tract – when, as noted, it grows to the point that it actually overpopulates the digestive system; this leads to problems because it can cause not just damage here via infection, but also elsewhere as it inevitably spreads. The name for this condition is, yes, candida overgrowth2.

That said, it can get worse. Because, if left to its own devices, candida overgrowth can develop into systemic candida3; which, yes, is a chronic health condition likely to result in more and increasingly harmful symptoms, damaging different organs and tissues such as the kidneys and even the brain2 and potentially causing thrush (oral candidiasis) and vaginal yeast infections4. Not nice. No wonder it’s often referred to as an ‘opportunistic’ fungus; given half a chance, it’ll spread anywhere. And, like it or not, there’s actually more than 20 various kinds of candida, the most commonly occurring being candida alcibans (or C. alcibans)2. So, more specifically, what symptoms are we talking about that yeast – especially candida – can be responsible for?



Now, the trouble with candida overgrowth is that it’s liable to lead to symptoms that are, at the outset, suggestive of other illnesses and conditions; hence it’s often not diagnosed properly. However, if you’re suffering from many of those that follow, you should seriously consider the fact that an overabundance of candida in your digestive tract – and maybe elsewhere – could be the cause:

  • Acne, eczema and psoriasis
  • Anxiety, depression, irritability and mood swings
  • Big cravings for sugar and processed carbs
  • Bloating, constipation, gas and diarrhoea
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Newly developed food intolerances
  • Reduced libido
  • Skin/ nail infections
  • Vaginal yeast infection symptoms
  • White coating to your tongue



So, what is it that triggers the growth of pre-existing candida in the gut flora to get out of control? Well, there are several different things that could be underlying causes, some of which are:

  • Weakened immune system – seven in every 10 of your immune system’s cells are located in your gut, which is why the ‘good (healthy) bacteria’ balancing up the ‘bad bacteria’ here is so critical for effective immunity5; reduced immunity owing to too little healthy gut flora inevitably results in a rise of candida in this part of the body, which in turn could be caused by the likes of malnutrition, medication (e.g. corticosteroids) and illness (diabetes and AIDS)


  • Sugary diet – mot to make things even more unpleasant, but yeast is, of course, a living organism so requires food to survive, which is where sugar comes in, especially the likes of refined sugars6, fermented sugars (alcohol)6 and carbohydrates; research suggests that refined sugars are yeast’s favourite7


  • Antibiotics – this form of medication is certainly crucial at times for people (indeed, it’s saved countless lives), yet it’s easy to overdo taking antibiotics; if you’ve been guilty of this you should be wary because antibiotics are potent, as they don’t discriminate in the bacteria they kill, which means down in your gut they’ll equally kill off ‘good’ as well as ‘bad’ bacteria, thus unbalancing the gut flora and lowering your immunity8


  • Chronic stress – yes, as if stress isn’t bad enough on its own, it can also help cause candida overgrowth and this is because it causes the body to release stress hormones like cortisol, which may help conserve energy in the short-term and deal better with very stressful situations, but in doing so shuts down the digestive system during each ‘fight or flight’ episode and causes inflammation, aiding the generation of a yeast-friendly environment in the gut9.


Effective diet and supplementation

Fortunately, by taking sensible steps to look after your immune system, trying to reduce stressful situations (if you can), keep down your antibiotic use and adopt an anti-candida-causing diet, you can take strong, positive steps to preventing candida overgrowth. But, when it comes to diet specifically, what does it mean you should and shouldn’t eat?

Well, taking the latter first, foods to definitely try to cut down or avoid altogether include sugar (in as many forms as possible, but definitely refined sugars); alcohol; refined carbs; grains; foods that clearly contain yeast (like Marmite) and, naturally, processed foods that are rich in unhealthy sugars.

By contrast, you’d be wise to turn your everyday diet in a high protein direction, which means the likes of organic grass-fed meat; wild fish; olive oil and non-starchy vegetables (leafy greens, asparagus, avocado and broccoli). Moreover, there are some foods out there blessed with antifungal properties that are great for killing off candida; examples include garlic; ginger root; coconut oil; oregano (and oregano oil) and onions.

And, should you be the kind of person who finds it hard to stick rigidly to diets or if you’d like to top up such a diet with even more ‘ammunition’ to combat candida, then you can turn to naturally-derived (that means totally non-synthetic) supplementation. Now, the following candida supplements – all of them available through us at The Finchley Clinic – are better for so-called candida die-off rather than a positive result via detoxification (detox) of the digestive system. So, why not take a look and give them a try?

Wild Endive Formula A – a ginger-free supplement that may prove invaluable as part of a candida-balancing regime for those concerned by their body’s level of candida toxins or a possible die-off reaction.

Nutrisorb Molybdenum – goes very well with Wild Endive Formula (A) for those seeking to reduce their candida levels; it helps to break down acetaldehyde, which may be the primary toxin enabling candida growth, as the latter’s believed to have an addictive quality that could drive people to increase their sugar and alcohol consume.

Mixed Ascorbates – provides a readily absorbable form of Vitamin C, together with bioavailable forms of magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium and manganese to boost gut health, along with antioxidant flavonoids to combat free radicals.



  1. Huffnagle G. B. and Noverr M. C. ‘The emerging world of the fungal microbiome’. Trends Microbiol. 2013 Jul; 21 (7): 334–341. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2013.04.002.
  2. Mayer F. L., Wilson D. and Hube B. ‘Candida albicans pathogenicity mechanisms’. Virulence. 2013 Feb; 4 (2): 119–128. doi: 10.4161/viru.22913.
  3. Grohskopf L. A. and Andriole V. T. ‘Systemic Candida infections’. Yale J Biol Med. 1996 Nov-Dec; 69 (6): 505–515.
  4. ‘Candidiasis’. PubMedHealth. n.p.
  5. Vighi G., Marcucci F., Sensi L., Di Cara G. and Frati F. ‘Allergy and the gastrointestinal system’. Clin Exp Immunol. 2008 Sep; 153 (Suppl 1): 3–6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03713.x.
  6. Brown K., DeCoffe D., Molcan E. and Gibson D. L. ‘Diet-Induced Dysbiosis of the Intestinal Microbiota and the Effects on Immunity and Disease’. Nutrients. 2012 Aug; 4 (8): 1095–1119. doi: 10.3390/nu4081095.
  7. Kovacs E. J and Messingham K. A. ‘Influence of alcohol and gender on immune response’. Alcohol Res Health. 2002; 26 (4):257–63. pmid:12875035.
  8. Langdon A., Crook N. and Dantas G. ‘The effects of antibiotics on the microbiome throughout development and alternative approaches for therapeutic modulation’. Genome Med. 2016; 8: 39. doi: 10.1186/s13073-016-0294-z.
  9. Wolkow A., Aisbett B., Reynolds J., Ferguson S. A. and Main L. C. ‘Relationships between inflammatory cytokine and cortisol responses in firefighters exposed to simulated wildfire suppression work and sleep restriction’. Physiol Rep. 2015 Nov; 3 (11): e12604. doi: 10.14814/phy2.12604.

Plugging a leak? A guide to leaky gut and what you should do about it

Thanks to its name, it may sound silly or twee, but a leaky gut’s no laughing matter. That’s because it means the gut’s failing in its primary function – to provide a reliable transportation route through the body for potentially harmful elements in consumed food. If you have leaky gut then, owing to perforations in your intestinal wall, molecules and micro-organisms are able to get into your bloodstream. Not nice – and not at all twee. And, unfortunately, because it can play a role in causing many different ailments, it’s often something far from easy to diagnose; resulting in any number of potential symptoms. In which case then, let’s take a closer look at what leaky gut is all about – and how you can prevent and treat it.

How does leaky gut occur?

To understand how and why leaky gut happens, it’s necessary to understand the gut itself. The gut – or the intestines – is, of course, an organ of the digestive system; in fact, its largest and most important, boasting a surface area of around 2,700 sq. ft. (250 sq. m) – about the size of a tennis court. Included in the make-up of the gut is its intestinal mucosa (lining), which itself comprises the intestines’ microbial community. So, as digested molecules (micro-, macro and phytonutrients) pass through the gut on their way through the digestive system, they inevitably encounter the gut mucosa; unfortunately, though, should you suffer from leaky gut, the tight junctions between the cells of the mucosa won’t be tight enough, so potentially harmful foreign bodies can slip through the intestine’s lining and find their way into other parts of the body1. What foreign bodies? Nasty microscopic pathogens, toxins and antigens; all getting to chance to go where they like, provoking systemic inflammation1.

What causes leaky gut?

Evidently, these tight junctions between the gut’s cells are far from a total barrier; they relax and contract often and, thus, their function’s disrupted1. Factors that cause this include:

• Diet – of course, your diet inevitably has a big effect on your gut health (and on your health in general); an abundance of the following in your diet is bound to help cause leaky gut:
1. Additives – emulsifiers, glucose, microbial transglutaminase, solvents and even salt can make leaky gut syndrome worse2
2. Alcohol – as alcohol makes its journey through the gastrointestinal system, the metabolic by-product acetaldehyde’s created, which can increase intestinal permeability3
3. Dairy products – often associated with gastrointestinal disorders, not least for people who are lactose intolerant and those who have autism4
4. Gluten – for those who have gluten sensitivity, its consumption is very likely to proliferate intestinal permeability5
5. Pesticides – the herbicide glyphosate is great at disrupting gut bacteria, which aids intestinal permeability6
6. Sugar – often a cause of inflammation in the gut; so much so that research proves analysis of glucose in urine can indicate the severity of leaky gut7

• Candida – specific species of this yeast like nothing more than interfering with gut microbiota, resulting in an imbalance known as dysbiosis that can often lead to digestive issues including leaky gut8

• Chronic stress – yes, it’s true, psychological stress contributes to gut ill-health because it boosts levels of inflammatory cytokines (immune-related proteins) that drive up leaky gut; no surprise then that studies suggests stress compromises the intestinal barrier9

• Environmental toxins – as you’ll be aware, the outside world is full of poisonous toxins; mercury10, bisphenol A (BPA)11, fungicides, and insecticides12 all have the capacity to impair intestinal permeability

• Medications – it’s well known that over-the-counter drugs, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen, can cause inflammation and drive up intestinal permeability13

• Zinc deficiency – an essential trace mineral for many different parts of the body, zinc is especially important for the immune system and preventing and treating irritable bowel-related conditions; as such, its deficiency can aid intestinal permeability, while its supplementation enhances tight junction activity14.

What can leaky gut cause?

Unfortunately, leaky gut’s symptoms are varied – in that, like it or not, they extend way beyond digestive disorders thanks to it enabling harmful foreign microbes to enter the bloodstream. Common symptoms then include the likes of allergies15, cardiovascular problems16 and many different metabolic issues17. Less obvious – but equally possible – illnesses that may be traced to leaky gut are both chronic fatigue syndrome and depression; research proves they can occur when the integrity of gut mucosa’s been compromised18.

Treating leaky gut

Experts agree that managing leaky gut’s best achieved by maintaining a healthy diet; particularly one that features food high in probiotics (yoghurt, kefir, microalgae and even dark chocolate are all recommended)19. Moreover, nutrients including glutamine and curcumin are great for the intestines because they help to manage the immune system’s overstimulated response to leaky gut (and the resultant escaping microbes) and, thus, the oxidative stress that further compromises the intestinal wall20.

And you may too like the idea of supplementing an improved diet to mitigate the disorder’s effects with, yes, natural leaky gut supplements. So, why not take a glance at the ‘Leaky Gut’ page of supplements on The Finchley Clinic’s website? Among which you’ll find these highly regarded products:

Restore (for Gut Health) – a unique and ground-breaking supplement that heals the gut mucosa and supports membrane integrity to give your immune system a chance to rest.

Restore (for Gut Health) (travel size) – ideal for giving Restore a trial-run or for when you’re in transit.

Slippery Elm Intensive – soothes the digestive tract and provides mucilage to support the gut’s mucous membranes.


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