The Candizolv Solution and More: Supplements To Combat Candida

Many of us are aware that we should take care of our bodies and maintain a sensible, balanced, healthy lifestyle so we don’t become obese and avoid the potential onset of type 2 diabetes. Yet far fewer of us are aware that doing those things are good for us because they also help to avoid an ‘overgrowth’ – or imbalance – of a particular kind of harmful yeast in our bodies, namely candida alcibans. If this micro-organism is allowed to run riot it can cause us all sorts of issues and ill-health – but, happily, it can be pretty easily treated, so long as you’re in the know!

Like it or not, candida alcibans is present in the bodies of billions of us humans; in fact, more than half of all of us on the planet – it can be found on the skin, in mucous membranes and in the gut (the intestinal system)1. That’s nothing to be afraid of in itself, however; so long as there’s a balance – especially in the gut – between ‘good bacteria’ (of which probiotics, a term you’ve no doubt heard of and may be familiar with) and ‘bad bacteria’ (candida, other yeasts and other potential micro-organisms), or a tipping of those levels in the good bacteria’s favour, then there no reason to worry. The trouble comes when those levels tip in the bad bacteria’s favour. Indeed, one such reason can be because of a suppressed (or weakened) immune system – possibly owing to an illness such as AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) or debilitating but necessary chemotherapy treatment – and don’t doubt it; the result can be candida going haywire and quickly spreading through your entire body2. Not pleasant.

And it’s an issue that’s only becoming more recognisable for people – estimates suggest that in the United States alone now, 25,000 people develop a candida imbalance each year. This is something worth worrying about – and undoubtedly necessary to address. Because, as noted, candida can be effectively nipped in the bud when it begins to thrive, yet only with the right treatment; increasingly so, it appears that the traditional methods are the wrong treatments (like many infections, the fungal-type’s becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics and other synthetically-produced drugs).

This means then that today, without the right treatment, up to 1.5 million people around the world could actually die from fungal infections like candida each year3 – a staggering thought, but entirely preventable thanks to naturally-derived candida-combating supplements, such as one of the latest available through The Finchley Clinic, Candizolv (more on that to come).

Candida overgrowth causes

As noted above, it’s important to try to avoid candida overgrowth before it takes hold (prevention’s always the best cure!); to that end such causes to be wary of include:

  • Alcohol – just as a poor, sugar-rich diet can contribute to microbial imbalance, so too can chronic alcohol consumption; far from everyone is likely to develop a candida overgrowth through this, of course, but owing to the levels of alcoholic indulgence in the UK, it’s certainly worthy of mention4
  • Antibiotics – while they’re far from effective at tackling fungal infections, antibiotics can actually help fuel them (in part, that’s precisely why they struggle to treat them); because, if they’re doing their job, antibiotics will kill all bacteria, inevitably upsetting the bacteria balance (or microbiome)
  • Compromised immunity – an effectively functioning immune system is crucial to help keep us fit and healthy; in order to fight all the infections that find their way into our bodies through the food and drink we consume and the air we breathe and, inevitably this goes for keeping candida in check too (note that your immunity can be compromised by many and various medical conditions and their medications5, 6, 7)
  • Diabetes – as mentioned at the outset, diabetes and candida imbalance can both occur simultaneously, thus the latter is common among sufferers of the former; specifically, high blood glucose levels (hyperglycaemia) challenges the immune system, thus diminishing the urine’s ability to carry away antibacterial content and impeding the digestive system as a whole8
  • Other health factors that may cause candida overgrowth are kidney failure (or haemodialysis treatment), organ transplantation or even possibly pregnancy.

Candida symptoms

So much for the causes, but how can you tell you may be suffering from candida imbalance? Well, if you experience a number of the following symptoms simultaneously, it’s well worth checking with a professional health practitioner, as the reason could be candida or fungal overgrowth:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anal, penile or vaginal itching
  • Arthritis-like joint pains
  • Bloating, constipation and indigestion
  • Ever increasing food allergies (for instance, gluten or celiac problems)
  • Eyesight issues
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Itching eyes
  • Loss of hair
  • Mucous drainage from ears
  • Oral thrush
  • Seemingly incurable weight gain (or weight loss)
  • Significant sinus drainage
  • Sweet food cravings
  • Skin rashes (i.e. eczema or atopic dermatitis; in skin folds or around the groin)
  • Struggling to focus and concentrate
  • Toe-nail fungi

Combating candida the natural way

So, with laboratory-produced medication proving increasingly ineffective in restoring balance to the microbiome and ceasing the spread of candida throughout the body, the natural alternative is to, yes, turn to natural solutions. Recent research suggests that the likes of lavender oil9 and garlic may prove beneficial in boosting immunity and combating candida, but just how effective they are is open to question; more research is necessary here. As is the case with the potentially promising antifungal properties of colloidal silver10.

What’s in far less doubt, though, given their efficacy has been proven via rigorous testing and customer feedback, are that naturally-derived products created specifically to tackle candida and restoring the microbiome to healthy levels are likely to prove a better bet. To that end, we recommend you take a look at the ‘Candida’ product section of our website, among which you’ll find these three excellent Candida supplements:

candizolv

Candizolv – a blend of chitinase, chitosanase and other yeast dissolving enzymes, this fat-soluble candida infection solution targets the body’s fat cells themselves; slowly releasing its anti-fungal properties over time, thus weakening all yeast cells effectively, no matter their location in the body.

threelac

 

Threelac – our best-selling probiotic, this supplement (along with its sister product Fivelac) is consistently highly reviewed by satisfied customers, aiming as it does to control digestion and stomach problems and crowd out harmful flora in the intestines.

wild-endive-formula

Wild Endive Formula – a botanical food supplement that goes together well with Candizolv as part of a candida-balancing regime, owing to the fact it may well help treat the effects of die-off reaction (the release of metabolic by-products following the destruction of candida cells).

References:

  1. ‘Tracking down pathogenic yeasts’. Fraunhofer. https://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2010/09/biotechnica-2010.html. Sep 2010.
  2. Hickman M. A. et al. ‘The ‘obligate diploid’ Candida albicans forms mating-competent haploids’. Nature. Feb 2013; 494 (7435): 55
  3. O’Meara T. R. et al. ‘Global analysis of fungal morphology exposes mechanisms of host cell escape’. Nat Commun. Mar 2015; 6: 6741.
  4. Choi J., Lee C., Lim Y., Kang H., Lim C. and Choi J. S. ‘Prevalence and Risk Factors of Esophageal Candidiasis in Healthy Individuals: A Single Center Experience in Korea’. Yonsei Med J. Jan 2013; 54 (1): 160–165.
  5. Maksymiuk A. W., Thongprasert S., Hopfer R., Luna M., Fainstein V. and Bodey G. P. ‘Systemic candidiasis in cancer patients’. Am J Med. Oct 1984; 77 (4D): 20-7.
  6. Fichtenbaum C. and Aberg J. ‘Candidiasis and HIV’. HIV InSite. Knowledge Base Chapter. Feb 2006.
  7. ‘Medications that Weaken Your Immune System and Fungal Infections’. CDC. cdc.gov. Page last reviewed: Jan 2017.
  8. Casqueiro J., Casqueiro J. and Alves C. ‘Infections in patients with diabetes mellitus: A review of pathogenesis’. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. Mar 2012; 16 (Suppl1): S27–S36.
  9. Zuzarte, M. et al. ‘Chemical composition and antifungal activity of the essential oils of Lavandula viridis L’Hér’. Journal of Medical Microbiology. 2011; 60, 612–618
  10. Groosh A. et al. ‘The prevalence of opportunistic pathogens associated with intraoral implants’. Lett Appl Microbiol. May 2011; 52 (5): 501-5.

Cannabidiol Benefits: Why CBD Is Entirely Benign and Very Good For You

In many societies and communities throughout the world, marijuana and cannabis are dirty words. In one way, that’s entirely understandable. The use of cannabis oil to create marijuana as a recreational drug has been popular for decades, but is rightly heavily regulated – in many places it remains illegal – not least as it’s inevitably used as a gateway to even stronger and more dangerous drugs. However, cannabis’s use in the creation of medical marijuana – and the use of the latter – is a different kettle of fish, but no less a political and legal hot potato. For many, it’s cannabis/ marijuana full-stop and should simply be illegal; for others, although related to and associated with recreational marijuana, it’s produced for quite a different purpose and can do its users untold good and, for that reason, there should be no impediment to its legal production and consumption.

The undeniable reality – based on hard evidence – is that a prominent compound found in cannabis/ marijuana, namely cannabidiol (CBD), is of great benefit to the health of the human body; indeed, it’s proven to be able to help treat several different ailments and diseases. So much so, in fact, that nowadays CBD’s available as a naturally-derived nutritional supplement; one that’s highly recommended simply because the entirely benign and hugely beneficial nature of CBD should not – and cannot – be ignored any longer.

First things first, though; CBD has nothing to do with THD and doesn’t have the same effect on people when it’s consumed. It’s true that they’re both cannabinoids – the class of ingredients that are unique to the Cannabis sativa plant, but it’s only the infamous THD (or tetrahydrocannbinol, to call it by its full name) that has mind-altering effects in users; CBD doesn’t at all. Indeed, CBD is the major non-psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis sativa, hence its enormous suitability as the source for health-providing supplements.

But what of those health-providing properties? Well, according to a 2013 study, it appears that CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, anxiolytic and antioxidant properties, ensuring it has the capacity to help treat the likes of oxidative injury, epilepsy, vomiting and nausea, neuroinflammation and anxiety1.

In which case then, let’s take a closer look at some of these significant CBD health benefits…

  • Anxiety – as noted, CBD appears to possess anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects. Indeed, research published in 2012 confirms that the cannabinoid can help treat patients with social anxiety disorder and may be effective for those suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder2.

Moreover, a study published the year before found that, among social disorder sufferers, CBD pre-treatment significantly reduced their anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort during a public speaking exercise3.

  • Cardiovascular health – when it comes to the health of the heart and blood vessels, it appears that CBD may help protect against vascular damage caused by consumption of high-glucose foods, inflammation and type 2 diabetes; plus, evidence suggests it can play a significant role in reducing associated vascular hyperpermeability (a cause of leaky gut in the digestive system)4.
  • Diabetes – results from a study conducted in 2006 showed a significant reduction of diabetes among non-obese diabetic mice (diabetes occurred in just 30% of those treated with CBD, but occurred in 86% of those not treated); while treated mice also experienced considerably reduced insulitis5.

Additionally, the 2005-10 National Health and Nutritional Survey – conducted on adults in the United States – discovered that marijuana-use (and, thus, consumption of CBD) was associated with 16% lower fasting insulin levels among the more then 4,500 participants6.

  • Nausea and vomiting – like it or not, cannabis has a long, centuries-long history of use in societies for treating – and, therefore, suppressing – nausea and vomiting; among around 80 other cannabinoids, CBD has been proved by animal studies to be effective at reducing or eliminating them both (a 2012 study discovered it possessed anti-nausea and antiemetic properties when administered to rats7). 

It should be noted, however, that CBD appears to behave in a diphasic fashion in this area; low doses suppress vomiting induced by toxins, while high doses appear to do the opposite or have no effect at all.

  • Pain and inflammation – as with many so-called synthetic painkillers, CBD may prove effective in modulating pain thanks to its ability to inhibit neuronal transmission via pain pathways; for instance, recent research found it successfully suppressed chronic inflammation and neuropathic pain in rodents8, while a 2007 study discovered that CBD (together with the entirely legal THC buccal spray) was effective as a treatment for neuropathic pain among sufferers of multiple sclerosis9.
  • Seizures – a 2014 Stanford University survey into epilepsy and use of CBD-enriched cannabis saw an 84% drop in seizures among children, among whom 42% enjoyed more than an 80% reduction; the study also found further beneficial effects of CBD cannabis among sufferers, including increased alertness, improved mood and better sleep, although drowsiness and fatigue were reported as side-effects10.

In the same year, another child-based study – involving sufferers of treatment-resistant epilepsy – revealed that nearly one in four (39%) of those who received an oil-based CBD extract experienced a 50% seizure reduction after three months11.

  • Other benefits – it appears that, along with other cannabinoids, CBD is effective in modulating central nervous system (CNS) excitability and the immune system’s response to this condition12, 13, while further research suggests that it can enhance both musculoskeletal system function and joint health14.

Supplements

So then, as has hopefully now been made clear, CBD in supplement form offers many important benefits for your health. To that end, you may be interested to learn that here at The Finchley Clinic we can now offer you a pair of CBD supplements that, via the dynamically advanced, liposomal nutritional-delivery process, ensure you’ll receive the greatest possible health value and support from cannabidiol:

CBD-Professional

Liposomal CBD – Professional Strength – derived from ethically sourced hemp (with a mix of sativa and indica), this supplement is the best quality, most absorbable European liposomal CBD product available; it’s said to be up to six times better absorbed than regular CBD oil containing the same amount of cannabinoids.

CBD-liposomal

Liposomal CBD (60mg) – the 60ml version of this new class of bio-available supplement; making use of state-of-the-art, nano-particle technology to ensure much higher absorption than comparative products, it offers the full spectrum of CBD via CO2 extraction.

References:

  1. Fernández-Ruiz J., Sagredo O., Pazos M. R., García C., Pertwee R., Mechoulam R. and Martínez-Orgado J. ‘Cannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid?’. Br J Clin Pharmacol. Feb 2013; 75 (2): 323-33.
  2. Schier A. R., Ribeiro N. P., Silva A. C., Hallak J. E., Crippa J. A., Nardi A. E. and Zuardi A. W. ‘Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug’. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. Jun 2012; 34 Suppl 1: 104-10.
  3. Bergamaschi M. M. et al. ‘Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients’. Neuropsychopharmacology. May 2011; 36 (6): 1,219–1226.
  4. Stanley C. P., Hind W. H. and O’Sullivan S. E. ‘Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol?’. Br J Clin Pharmacol. Feb 2013; 75 (2): 313-22.
  5. Weiss L., Zeira M., Reich S., Har-Noy M., Mechoulam R., Slavin S. and Gallily R. ‘Cannabidiol lowers incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice’. Autoimmunity. Mar 2006; 39 (2): 143-51.
  6. Penner E. A., Buettner H. and Mittleman, M. A. ‘The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults’. Amjmed. Jul 2013; 126 (7): 583–589.
  7. Rock E. M. et al. ‘Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic component of cannabis, attenuates vomiting and nausea-like behaviour via indirect agonism of 5-HT(1A) somatodendritic autoreceptors in the dorsal raphe nucleus’. Br J Pharmacol. Apr 2012; 165 (8): 2,620-34.
  8. Xiong W. ‘Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors’. J Exp Med. Jun 2012; 209 (6): 1,121-34.
  9. Iskedjian M., Bereza B., Gordon A., Piwko C. and Einarson T. R. ‘Meta-analysis of cannabis based treatments for neuropathic and multiple sclerosis-related pain’. Curr Med Res Opin. Jan 2007; 23 (1): 17-24.
  10. Porter B. E. and Jacobson C. ‘Report of a parent survey of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis use in pediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy’. Epilepsy Behav. Dec 2013; 29 (3): 574–577.
  11. Devinsky O. et al. ‘Efficacy and safety of Epidiolex (Cannabidiol) in children and young adults with treatment-resistant epilepsy: initial data from an expanded program’. American Epilepsy Society. Abst. 3.303. 2014.
  12. Resstel L. B. et al. ‘5-HT1A receptors are involved in the cannabidiol-induced attenuation of behavioural and cardiovascular responses to acute restraint stress in rats’. Br J Pharmacol. Jan 2009; 156 (1): 181-8.
  13. Costa B. et al. ‘The non-psychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an orally effective therapeutic agent in rat chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain’. Eur J Pharmacol. Feb 2007; 556 (1-3): 75-83.
  14. Malfait A. M. et al. ‘The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis’. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. Aug 2000; 97 (17): 9,561-6.

An e-ssential vitamin? Why Vitamin E’s so important – and where to get it

Everybody is surely – or, at least, should be – aware of how good vitamins are for their bodies. What fewer people are aware of, though, is that they need to consume an adequate amount of vitamins on a very regular basis not just to keep their body healthy but to keep it functioning properly at all. No question then, vitamins are brilliant; they’re essential. And a great example is one that’s maybe not as heralded as one of two of the others – Vitamin E.

Also known as tocopheral (in all its different naturally-occurring forms), Vitamin E’s a fat-soluble nutrient, which means it can be dissolved by lipids (fats in the body); this feature obviously plays a crucial role in how it operates in the human body, ensuring it helps to maintain eyesight1, aid the tackling of gout2 and proves critical for those suffering from arthritic symptoms3, to name just a few of the things it does.

Vitamin E benefits

But let’s take a closer look at Vitamin E’s multiple health benefits. There really are so many. Perhaps more than anything else, it’s well known for its antioxidant qualities4; contributing greatly to boosting and preserving the health of cell membranes and the tissues of the breast, eyes, liver, skin and testes5. And, like all antioxidants, it’s highly effective at swinging into action and ceasing molecules known as ‘free radicals’ from their harmful behaviour when they’ve found their way into the body6.

What do they do? Well, a free radical is uncharged (it lacks an electron), thus it likes nothing better to than try and chemically ‘complete’ itself by pairing with another electron-carrying molecule; but an antioxidant likes nothing more that stopping a free radical in its tracks – and ensuring its behaviour doesn’t cause oxidative stress7. This, in turn, can help pave the way to serious ailments like neurodegenerative disease8, while free radicals are also associated with arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, senility and even cancer5.

More than just an antioxidant

Vitamin E’s nothing if not versatile, though. For instance, in combination with Vitamin A, it works to reduce cholesterol and prevent general accumulation of fat around the body5. Moreover, owing to its antioxidant properties (which ensure it can minimise clotting and thus aid in the healing process of wounds), it’s felt to be useful when consumed immediately prior to and after surgery – that is, if a daily prescribed dosage is no higher than 200-300 IUs; otherwise it may work towards suppressing healing5.

It’s a vitamin that’s also particularly beneficial for the skin, specifically when it comes to helping to repair burns, lesions and ulcers9, and appears (to some extent) to help relieve menstrual pains – in addition to mitigating other menstrual-related symptoms like headaches, hot flushes and vaginal itching5. And, just to round things out, Vitamin E’s also believed to aid the treatment of leg cramps, muscular dystrophy10, restless leg syndrome11 and diabetes-caused circulatory issues12.

Vitamin E foods and supplements

Quite frankly, any nutritionist is likely to tell you that, ideally, your best sources for Vitamin E are foods rich in the nutrient that you can incorporate into your daily – or, at least, regular – diet. Of particularly high Vitamin E-content are the likes of safflower oil, wheat-germ oil and sunflower oil and seeds, as well as nuts like hazelnuts and walnuts, and vegetables including asparagus, broccoli, celery, cucumber, green peas, kale, spinach and tomatoes5.

However, whether or not you truly can incorporate those foods into your diet is, unfortunately, a moot point; too many of us – for whatever reason – eat too little of truly healthy foods nowadays, with modern food processing techniques and the increasing use of pesticides in farming negatively impacting on even supposedly nutrient-rich foods’ actual nutrient content. In which case, to successfully boost your intake of vitamin E – especially if a medical expert has informed you you’re deficient in it – your best bet is to turn to supplementation. Now, don’t doubt it; you want to go for naturally-derived Vitamin E supplements here, not their often dubious synthetic substitutes (which contain laboratory-manufactured vitamin content that’s usually nowhere near as nutritious). Indeed, among those available through us at The Finchley Clinic, you might well consider the following:

true-food-natural-vitamin-E

True Food Natural Vitamin E – in addition to Vitamin E, this highly bioavailable supplement contains B vitamins, beta glucans, glutathione, choline, inositol, amino acids and other phytonutrients; it may help protect cell membranes from oxidative damage, support healthy skin as the body ages and, when combined with True Food Super Potency Soyagen, it may help ease menopausal symptoms.

antioxidant-supreme

Antioxidant Supreme – an all-encompassing natural antioxidant supplement solution for fighting free radicals and to boost anti-ageing and general health; contains the essential Vitamins A, C and E, as well as the equally critical minerals that are copper, manganese, selenium, zinc and co-enzyme Q10.

super-antioxidant-protection

Super Antioxidant Protection – a powerful formula designed to supply the body with the key fat-soluble antioxidant nutrients that are Vitamins C and E (which work to reduce oxidation, not least in the arteries), as well as glutathione (absorbed into the body to form glutathione peroxidase, a major antioxidant enzyme), n-acetyl cysteine that works to maintain glutathione levels and Vitamin B2 that aid its regeneration; additionally, the minerals manganese, selenium and zinc promote antioxidant enzymes throughout the body.

Super Antioxidant Protection – a powerful formula designed to supply the body with the key fat-soluble antioxidant nutrients that are Vitamins C and E (which work to reduce oxidation, not least in the arteries), as well as glutathione (absorbed into the body to form glutathione peroxidase, a major antioxidant enzyme), n-acetyl cysteine that works to maintain glutathione levels and Vitamin B2 that aid its regeneration; additionally, the minerals manganese, selenium and zinc promote antioxidant enzymes throughout the body.

References:

1. Larsen P. D., Mock D. M. and O’Connor P. S. ‘Vitamin E deficiency associated with vision loss and bulbar weakness’. Ann Neurol. 1985 Dec; 18 (6): 725-7

2. Hsu, D-Z et al. ‘Therapeutic Effects of Sesame Oil on Monosodium Urate Crystal-Induced Acute Inflammatory Response in Rats’. SpringerPlus 2, Dec 2013): 659. PMC.

3. Choi E. J., Bae S. C., Yu R., Youn J. and Sung M. K. ‘Dietary vitamin E and quercetin modulate inflammatory responses of collagen-induced arthritis in mice’. J Med Food. Aug 2009; 12 (4): 770-5.

4. ‘Vitamin E: Health Sheet for Consumers’. National Institute of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-Consumer/. Last updated: May 2016.

5. Haas E. M. and Levin B. ‘Chapter 5: Vitamins: Vitamin E.’ from ‘Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine’. Berkeley: Celestial Arts; 2006.

6. Lobo V. et al. ‘Free Radicals, Antioxidants and Functional Foods: Impact on Human Health’. Pharmacognosy Reviews 4.8; Jul-Dec 2010: 118–126. PMC.

7. Jakus V. ‘The role of free radicals, oxidative stress and antioxidant systems in diabetic vascular disease’. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2000; 101 (10): 541-51.

8. Uttara Bayani et al. ‘Oxidative Stress and Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Review of Upstream and Downstream Antioxidant Therapeutic Options’. Current Neuropharmacology 7.1 Mar 2009: 65–74. PMC.

9. Thiele J. J., Hsieh S. N. and Ekanayake-Mudiyanselage S. ‘Vitamin E: critical review of its current use in cosmetic and clinical dermatology’. Dermatol Surg. Jul 2005; 31 (7 Pt 2): 805-13; discussion 813.

10. Berneske G. M. et al. ‘Clinical Trial of High Dosage Vitamin E in Human Muscular Dystrophy’. Canadian Medical Association Journal 82.8; Feb 1960: 418–421.

11. Ayres S. Jr. and Mihan R. ‘Leg Cramps (Systremma) and ‘Restless Legs’ Syndrome — Response to Vitamin E (Tocopherol)’. California Medicine 111.2; Aug 1969: 87–91.

12. Jain, A. B. and Jain V. A. ‘Vitamin E, Its Beneficial Role in Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and Its Complications’. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research: JCDR 6.10; Dec 2012: 1624–1628. PMC.

Natural or synthetic vitamins? Why you should go the organic supplement route

If you’re familiar with this website and you’ve taken the time to look through some of the supplement solutions we provide, you’ll have noticed, no doubt, that we only sell organic supplements – that is, products that comprise vitamins and minerals in their naturally-occurring states. We do not and never will advocate the use of synthetic vitamins or the supplements that contain them; certainly not over organic supplements with their natural vitamins.

But, you may ask, why is this? What’s so special about going the organic route? Why are natural vitamins so much better for you than their synthetic counterparts? Well, first of all, perhaps you should consider why it’s so critical we consume a comprehensive and large helping of vitamins on a daily basis; consider what’s so important about vitamins in the first place./span>

Put simply, if our bodies aren’t provided with an adequate amount of vitamins on a consistent basis, they simply don’t function properly. If we’re deficient in the vitamins we need, we can experience problems and even suffer from chronic illnesses – everything from obesity to anorexia; depression and fatigue to organ malfunction. Ideally, we should get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our diets – and our diets ought to contain as natural, organic and healthily vitamin- and nutrient-rich food as possible; the sort our ancestors would have eaten. That is, foods without a synthetic ingredient in them at all. Nowadays, though, owing to our hectic lives, exactly what foods we can regularly buy and modern farming techniques, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get all the natural vitamins our bodies require from diet alone, so supplements specifically containing organic vitamins – and not synthetic supplements – have to be the answer.

Synthetic vitamins vs natural vitamins

Unlike the natural vitamins in organic supplements then, their synthetic versions are manufactured via the mixing of chemicals with a vitamin; thus, they don’t come directly from a plant-based, natural source but are created in a test tube to more or less mimic natural vitamins. However, because these ‘unnatural’ versions have been isolated to be mixed into a synthetic compound, they don’t – and simply can’t – fully mimic naturally-occurring vitamins because they lack all the features of the latter, including the co-factors and transporters (natural chemicals that ensure the natural vitamin is, following consumption, transported effectively from the digestive system to where it needs to go in the body).

Indeed, according to research validated by the Organic Consumers Association, synthetic vitamins simply can’t be classed alongside naturally-occurring vitamins as the body isn’t able to recognise them and so can’t use them in the same way1. They’re simply not as good for the body. Natural vitamins – because of the way in which they’re consumed (in healthy food or organic supplements) – are delivered to the body alongside other complementary vitamins, minerals and enzymes specifically because, in this format, the vitamins can be recognised, metabolised and absorbed by the body to aid its overall function and health.

Conversely then, it’s too often the case that isolated, synthetic vitamins have to be stored in the body before it obtains – or creates – the nutrients and enzymes necessary to get out any of the goodness these synthetic vitamins contain. Or worse, the body has to rely on its own store of trace minerals for this job; thus diminishing its mineral reserves and perhaps contributing to potential mineral deficiencies.

The dangers of synthetic vitamins

So then, far from doing you good, synthetic vitamins are sometimes liable to do your body harm. A good example to consider is the synthetic version of Vitamin E. The most common naturally-occurring form of this vitamin in Europe is d-alpha tocopheral (found in sunflower oils and olive oils), while its synthetic form is what’s referred to as dl-alpha tocopheral. Not only is this latter less bioavailable and about only half as potent than the former, it’s also created by blending the natural version (the ‘d-form’) with other chemical ingredients (which make up the ‘l-form’). Sure, that may sound rudimentary, yet when you learn that the latter ‘l-form’ has to be separated from the ‘d-form’ once it’s in the body and then excreted via the digestive system, you have to ponder on whether it might harm the body? After all, why else would the body reject it and eject it through excretion?

Additionally, Vitamin E – along with Vitamins A, D and K – is a fat soluble vitamin. Needless to say, this means they’re soluble in fats (lipids), which isn’t a big deal if you consume them naturally through a healthy, balanced diet or via organic supplements, as you won’t consume too high a level of them in one go, preventing them from collecting and building up in the body’s fatty tissues. Consuming synthetic versions of fat soluble vitamins is a different matter, though, because – as they’ve been scientifically-created – they tend to be more concentrated; in other words, you get more bang for your buck. This means the fatty tissues can fill up with them quicker and toxicity becomes a genuine danger.

How to tell the difference?

Unfortunately, knowing for sure whether you’re about to purchase or consume a natural or a synthetic vitamin isn’t always that straightforward. Why? Because too many synthetic vitamin-producing companies like to suggest their creations are more natural than they are – or even like to suggest they’re totally natural. Like it or not, many ‘unnatural’ vitamins tend to be labelled and sold as natural even if they contain as little as 10% of the genuine naturally-occurring form of a vitamin; 90% of them is made up then of synthetic, laboratory-added ingredients.

So, to avoid purchasing a synthetic vitamin by mistake, it’s important to check the product’s label for its ingredients; this should offer tell-tale signs of its ‘artificial’ nature. Ingredients in supplements to steer clear of include:

  • Aminobenzoic acid (in para-aminobenzoic acid or PABA)
  • Ascorbic acid (in Vitamin C supplements)
  • Choline chloride/ choline bitartrate (in choline supplements)
  • dl-alpha tocopherol and dl-alpha tocopherol acetate/ succinate (in Vitamin E supplements)
  • Cyanocobalamin (in Vitamin B12 supplements)
  • Calcium d-pantothenate (in pantothenic acid)
  • Irradiated ergosteral/ calciferol (in Vitamin D supplements)
  • Magnesium stearate (or stearic acid)
  • Monosodium glutamate (used for flavouring)
  • Pteroylglutamic acid (in folic acid)
  • Retinyl palmitate (in Vitamin A supplements)
  • Pyridoxine hydrochloride (in Vitamin B6 supplements)
  • Riboflavin (in Vitamin B2 supplements)
  • Thiamine mononitrate/ thiamine hydrochloride (in Vitamin B1 supplements)
  • Titanium dioxide (it’s carcinogenic!).

Go organic for natural vitamins

As noted above then, should you find your natural vitamin-intake limited through diet alone (because of pre-existing health issues, food availability or modern farming practices), you should turn to organic supplements. And, among the huge number of naturally-derived nutrient-rich supplements available through us at The Finchley Clinic, the following are highly recommended for their multivitamin composition:

methyl-multrinutrient

Methyl Multinutrient – a superior, powerful multivitamin, mineral and antioxidant complex, this supplement’s designed to provide many nutrients in their metabolically active, bioavailable forms.

multivitamin-minerals

One-a-Day Multivitamin & Minerals – a potent multinutrient product, providing a broad range of natural nutrients in readily absorbable forms (including Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, D2 and many more).

femforte-multi

FemForte Multi – specifically suited to the nutrient requirements of women, this supplement comprises high ratios of female health-enriching vitamins and minerals; the likes of Vitamins E, B6 and B5, as well as magnesium, zinc and green tea.

 

Reference:

Clement B. ‘Nutri-Con: The Truth About Vitamins & Supplements’ (‘The Vitamin Myth Exposed’). Organic Consumers Association. https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/nutri-con-truth-about-vitamins-supplements. December 2006.

Curcumin – beyond the curry: an extremely beneficial nutrient

Turmeric. That’s that exotic yellowy-orange spice that pops up a lot in Indian cooking, right? Yes, indeed; but if you thought all turmeric’s good for is to flavour a curry then you’re in for a surprise. For, thanks to one of the nutrients it contains, namely curcumin, this humble spice offers a dazzling array of health benefits for the body. So much so there’s a very good chance you’ll be aiming to incorporate it into your everyday diet far more often from this point on.

Curcumin is a diarylheptanoid chemical and, within turmeric, is responsible for the spice’s vibrant pigmentation. More pertinently, though, when consumed, digested and properly absorbed into our bodies it actively seeks to provide therapeutic assistance in a wide range of ways – that is, everything from acting as an antioxidant to aiding wound healing and everything from soothing irritated tissue to maintaining good function of the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and immune systems1.

Curcumin benefits

In greater detail then, curcumin’s many health-friendly benefits include:

  • Antioxidant properties – thanks to the fact it’s an antioxidant, curcumin is an effective combater of oxidative stress (which sees harmful ‘free radicals’ roam about the body causing problems by seeking out various molecules with which to ‘pair off’); so, as an antioxidant compound, curcumin inhibits the success of these free radicals, enabling the body to heal itself of any damage done naturally. Indeed, research suggests that curcumin’s antioxidant potential is at least 10 times greater than that of resveratrol, the often talked-about antioxidant present in red wine – moreover, it appears curcumin even enhances other antioxidants’ positive contributions in the body1.
  • Aids the cardiovascular system – in actual fact, it’s also thanks to curcumin’s antioxidant properties that the cardiovascular system benefits from the nutrient, as – in combating the hazardous toxicity that some particularly aggressive, if necessary medical treatments expose to the body – it helps to support normal and healthy functioning of the heart2
  • Good for gastrointestinal health – not only does curcumin promote normal, healthy gallbladder function and the flow of bile (which is critical for the digestion of fats), it’s been found through studies that it plays an important role in supporting the health of stomach cells1 
  • Promotes liver health – recent research highlights curcumin’s efficacy for protecting the liver from several different toxins and promoting regular functioning of this organ3; indeed, the latest studies in the area indicate it may also be able to address fatty liver disease4 
  • Fights fungi – curcumin is also effective in preventing the body from being harmed by unwanted organisms; for instance, different kinds of fungi1, 5 – in vitro testing has discovered that turmeric extracts (containing curcumin, obviously) can prevent such organisms from growing and making the digestive system their home, where they go on to wreak havoc1
  • Soothes swollen tissue – it appears curcumin is also capable of soothing irritation to tissue caused by swelling; moreover, by consuming the chemical – within turmeric or via supplementation – on a daily basis, so many studies attest, tenderness, stiffness and joint-swelling can be reduced1
  • Helping to heal wounds – finally, research suggests that both wound repair and the natural production of skin cells are successfully encouraged by the presence of curcumin in the body – in fact, whether the chemical’s applied to the wound itself or consumed orally seems to make no difference in terms of efficacy1

Bioavailability and nanocurcumin

So, the above surely makes it abundantly clear that curcumin is incredibly nutritious and useful for the human body. And it undeniably is, yet it may too come with a drawback – its bioavailability. What does this mean? It’s a term that refers to how ‘available’ to different parts of the body that needs its goodness a specific nutrient is; in other words, how effectively all of a nutrient’s goodness is absorbed once it’s digested, broken down and transported around the body.

And, like it or not, the bioavailability levels of curcumin unfortunately aren’t as high as they might be. However, that’s not to diminish the fact that it’s a very beneficial nutrient. Moreover, work is presently taking place to find ways to improve its bioavailability. For instance, one line of research is looking into nanocurcumin, a form of the chemical in which its particles are contained in a kind of emulsion.

The thinking with nanocurcumin is that the bioavailability – the absorption – should be improved because (on a microscopic scale) this curcumin compound features a larger surface area, which means its physical stability is improved, thus requiring less energy on the digestive system’s part to break it down and process it6. And, away from nanocurcumin, research also shows that, by adding to the nutrient alkaloid piperine (which features in black pepper), ordinary curcumin’s bioavailability soars by up to 2,000%7. Something to think about!

Supplementation

Fair enough, it could be that you might struggle to work turmeric into your diet on a daily basis (possibly you might find it a little monotonous?), so you may be on lookout for another way to get your regular fill of curcumin. Naturally-derived supplements then are undoubtedly the answer here – the following curcumin supplements are all highly recommended and available through us at The Finchley Clinic:

liposomal-curcumin

Curcumin (Liposomal liquid) – this supplement’s unique and dynamic liposomal process (involving nano-particle technology) overcomes curcumin’s absorption issues, ensuring the supremely beneficial and entirely natural nutrient is effectively delivery throughout the body at the cellular level.

curcumin-forte

Curcumin Forte – offering curcumin in micellar form (thus boosting its availability to at least, if not in excess of, that achieved via the liposomal process), this supplementary curcumin is both water- and fat-soluble, as well as pH stable, and 185 times more absorbable than standard forms of the nutrient.

curcumin-plus

Curcumin Plus – a supplement that presents the nutrient in micellised form for maximum efficacy, along with additional naturally-derived antioxidants from the likes of pine bark, ursolic acid, sage and ginger.

References:

1. Braun L. and Cohen M. ‘Herbs and Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Guide: Volume 2.’ Australia, Churchill Livingstone. Nov 2014.

2. Wongcharoen W. and Phrommintikul A. ‘The Protective Role of Curcumin in Cardiovascular Diseases’. International Journal of Cardiology., vol. 133, no. 2, 24, Feb 2009, pp. 145–51.

3. Rivera-Espinoza Y. and Muriel P. ‘Pharmacological Actions of Curcumin in Liver Diseases or Damage’. Liver International, vol. 29, no. 10, Nov 2009, pp. 1457–1466.

4. Kuo J.J. et al. ‘Positive Effect of Curcumin on Inflammation and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Obese Mice with Liver Steatosis’. International Journal of Molecular Medicine, vol. 30, no. 3, July 2012, pp. 673–9.

5. Wang Y. et al. ‘Study on the Antibiotic Activity of Microcapsule Curcumin Against Foodborne Pathogens’. International Journal of Food Microbiology., vol. 136, no. 1, Sept 2009, pp. 71–4.

6. Jaiswal M., Dudhe R. and Sharma P. K. ‘Nanoemulsion: An Advanced Mode of Drug Delivery System’. 3 Biotech 5.2 (2015): 123-127.

7. Shoba G., et al. ‘Influence of Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in Animals and Human Volunteers’. Planta Medica., vol. 64, no. 4, June 1998, pp. 353–6.

Magnificent Magnesium: Its Different Forms and Importance To The Body

Obviously there’s a myriad of minerals that are beneficial to the body and your overall health and wellbeing, but – when you take a look at what it does for your body – magnesium must be undoubtedly among the most abundantly necessary. So much so, in fact, it’s needed as a co-factor for more than 300 separate biochemical reactions in the human body. That covers the likes of maintaining a strong heartbeat, sustaining healthy nerve function, growing and building bones and muscles, preserving electrolyte balance, ensuring normal blood-clotting, supporting hormonal health and keeping the immune system operating exactly as it should.

Moreover, scientific research is increasingly discovering that magnesium may be capable of alleviating the symptoms of many common ailments and conditions. Exactly what sort of magnesium benefits are we talking about here? Well, study results suggest that the mineral’s multitude of functions and properties within the body ensures it can help with problems ranging from cardiac arrhythmias to cardiovascular disease; chronic fatigue to diabetes; emotional and physical stress to high blood pressure; migraines to osteoporosis and premenstrual tension to restless leg syndrome.

In which case, should you be interested in increasing your magnesium intake – via dietary sources or, especially, natural supplementation – it’s as well to be aware of the various types of magnesium that are available and used within supplements.

An A-Z of magnesium types

The following ‘types’ of magnesium – often in ‘chelated’ compound form; thus, with one or more elements of some kind to ease its absorption in the body – all tend to crop up in supplements produced for the benefit of one’s health, while several of them are relied on for a good number of other uses too:

  • Magnesium amino acid chelate – the first in our list is a compound that’s a mineral chelate comprising magnesium oxide and a form of amino acid (an arginate, aspartate, glycine or lactate and so on); magnesium in this form tends to be most commonly paired with aspartate or arginate as the amino acid
  • Magnesium ascorbate – actually a form of Vitamin C (non-acidic buffered), this compound’s a great source of magnesium too, not least because it enables the body to consume both the vitamin and the mineral in a way that’s easy on the gastrointestinal system; thus, making for effective absorption of both the vital nutrients 
  • Magnesium carbonate – commonly referred to as chalk, this type’s often used by gymnasts and weightlifters to aid grip and it should be noted that, when consumed in high doses, magnesium carbonate tends to act as a laxative; when consumed, its bioavailability rate (the amount that’s assimilated by the digestive system and so reaches systemic circulation so it can be used for cellular activity and benefit health) is around 30% 
  • Magnesium chloride – again, offering a decent level of bioavailability, this type of magnesium is fairly moderate in its concentration (that is, how much of the compound is actually made up of magnesium); it’s often used in industry, not least in the manufacturing of paper, fireproof agents and certain kinds of cement 
  • Magnesium citrate – what this form of the mineral may lack in concentration it arguably makes up for in bioavailability (admirably high at 90%); it’s created from the magnesium salt that occurs naturally in citric acid (present in citrus fruits) and is often used to treat constipation – recent research also points to its potential in preventing the development of kidney stones 
  • Magnesium lactate – another magnesium type often used to address digestive complaints and disorders, this one is probably best avoided, however, should you suffer with a kidney-related problem; again, its concentration is, at best, moderate, but its bioavailability high 
  • Magnesium orotate – produced via mineral salts derived from orotic acid, this type sees magnesium paired with an orotate, a substance that animals and plants both rely on to create DNA (the molecule that carries the genetic instructions for growth, development, functioning and reproduction of all organisms)1; orotates too are excellent at penetrating cell membranes, thereby ensuring magnesium can be successfully delivered to the cell’s mitochondria and nucleus2 – exactly where it needs to be to benefit the cell and overall health, as such, this form makes for a highly absorbable kind of magnesium 
  • Magnesium oxide – commonly referred to as ‘magnesia’, this form of the mineral (which sees it paired with at least one oxygen atom and one or more other kinds of atoms) offers, like magnesium carbonate, laxative properties and is also commonly used to treat the symptoms of acid reflux; it’s highly concentrated, but with low bioavailability (around just 4%)
  • Magnesium phosphate – a salt containing both magnesium and phosphorous (along with oxygen), magnesium phosphate, when consumed in supplement form, is believed to be beneficial for treating the effects of fibromyalgia3 and sustained heart damage (heart attack or heart disease) and to regulate cholesterol levels; most essentially though, the body requires magnesium phosphate to successfully maintain bone health 
  • Magnesium sulphate – better known as Epsom salt, this compound is, in fact, inorganic and with an elemental concentration of only 10% and a relatively low bioavailability level, it doesn’t pack the cellular-delivery punch of some of the others4; it’s made up, as you may have worked out, of magnesium, oxygen and sulphur. 

Magnesium supplements

So, abundant though magnesium may be in both the body and healthy – and especially organic – foods (such as vegetables including spinach, chard and black beans, as well as yogurt and nuts and seeds like almonds and pumpkin seeds), it may be that you feel you want to try boosting your magnesium intake. Especially if you’re struggling to include as many of the aforementioned foods in your diet as you might.

In that case then, natural supplementation is the obvious option to turn to for consumption of this all-important mineral. Along with all the other products you’ll see listed in our ‘Magnesium’ section, these three magnesium supplements are available through us at The Finchley Clinic:

true-food-magnesium

True Food Magnesium – designed to make up for the dietary magnesium intake that may not be possible due to modern farming methods and environmental factors like pollution, this supplement, with its high bioavailability, is ideal too for compromised digestion owing to busy lifestyles

magnesium-eap-complex

Magnesium EAP – a good source of highly bioavailable magnesium; useful for individuals with malabsorption and poor levels of the mineral because the supplement’s magnesium form (magnesium phosphate) aids its transportation through the body.

Vitamin-C-500mg

Vitamin C with Magnesium – great for people requiring a citrus-free (as well as a bioavailable and readily absorbable) source of magnesium and/ or Vitamin C, this product also comprises bilberry extract, which in turns contains flavonoids (acting as effective antioxidants).

References:

  1. Classen H. G. ‘Magnesium orotate–experimental and clinical evidence’. Rom J Intern Med. 2004; 42 (3): 491-501.

2. Zeana C. ‘Magnesium orotate in myocardial and neuronal protection’. Rom J Intern Med. 1999 Jan-Mar; 37 (1): 91-7.

3. London M. ‘The Role of Magnesium in Fibromyalgia’. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://web.mit.edu/london/www/magnesium.html. 2007.

4. Albrecht E., Kirkham K. R., Liu S. S. and Brull R. ‘The analgesic efficacy and safety of neuraxial magnesium sulphate: a quantitative review’. Anaesthesia. Feb 2013; 68 (2): 190-202.

Parasite protection: go-to supplements for ridding your gut of harmful organisms

Bacteria, candida, fungi and viruses – you’ve heard of all them, no doubt. And you’ll likely have some idea of what they are. And the fact that they’re bad for you and can make you ill. But do you know why? And how? And where in the body they can be found?

Collectively, they tend to be referred to as ‘parasites’ and ‘harmful organisms’, which fairly adequately describe what they are and what they do; as they take roost in certain parts of the body, make themselves at home and cause trouble, threatening the body’s effective running and harming your health. Continue reading Parasite protection: go-to supplements for ridding your gut of harmful organisms

Is Your Liver Overloaded? Foods and Supplements for a Liver Cleanse

There’s no getting away from it; in the West we simply eat too much junk food, fried food, processed food and, well, too much food in general. Our diets, in the main, aren’t as healthy as they could be; they’re not as healthy as they should be. Many of us like to ignore this fact and so just don’t think about it – so long as we’re adding the odd healthy option to our diet here and there and passing waste successfully, what does it matter? Plenty, potentially. One of the problems is that we don’t consider the daily pressure we’re putting on our livers. And, don’t doubt it; this is bad news, as it’s the liver whose primary job it is to detoxify the food we consume. Continue reading Is Your Liver Overloaded? Foods and Supplements for a Liver Cleanse

Brain Boosters: Brilliant Foods And Supplements For Brain Health

Let’s face it; there are multiple health foods and products on the market – and they’re created to support, improve and keep healthy many different parts of the body. But how many foods and nutrient-rich products available can do your brain good? How many can you rely on keep your mind alert and your memory functioning well during your life – especially as you get older? Well, actually, you may not be aware of it, but there’s a whole host of good, natural, organic foods you can introduce to your diet for that very purpose – and, equally, a number of highly regarded supplements – owing to the nutrients they contain that help to grow new brain cells, improve cognitive skills and drive memory function.  Here are some great examples…

Continue reading Brain Boosters: Brilliant Foods And Supplements For Brain Health

Menopause Misery? Supplements and Solutions to Address your Symptoms

Nowadays, there’s no shortage of so-called medical remedies for menopause, the time in a woman’s life (usually in middle age) when major physical change occurs in her body. Yet, this surely isn’t the way to look upon this experience – because the menopause isn’t something to be fixed medically; it’s something that’s entirely natural, although in many ways not something to savour. Still, it’s not a disease that’ll see the person suffer for the rest of their life; should it then be treated with pharmaceuticals and hormone therapies? Or rather with natural remedies – nutrients consumed through diet and/ or natural supplementation? Surely, the latter is the purer, more respectful way to treat your symptoms at this time of life?

Continue reading Menopause Misery? Supplements and Solutions to Address your Symptoms

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