Let’s break it down: why are digestive enzymes so important?

When it comes down to it, there’s a whole host of things you may have heard you need to ensure your digestive system works like clockwork – or as close to it as possible. For every kind of ‘good bacteria’ there’s a plethora of probiotics and for every antioxidant there’s a Vitamin A, B or C. Well, like it or not, you should add to that list digestive enzymes. Chances are, you’ve heard of them. But are you familiar with them? Do you know what they are?

Why are digestive enzymes so necessary?

Frankly, the clue’s in the word ‘digestive; that is, they’re crucial to the digestion process. The reality is we don’t just eat food to sate hunger; we really do so to give the body what it needs to generate energy – those all-important energy-creating nutrients. And these nutrients have to be broken down once they’ve been extracted from the rest of the food we eat (which is ultimately excreted from the body). It’s here that digestive enzymes come in.

Because it’s these macromolecular entities, primarily produced in the pancreas and small intestine, that cause the chemical reactions that break down the nutrients to their building blocks – proteins to amino acids, fats to cholesterol and fatty acids, carbohydrates to simple sugars and, less specifically, vitamins, minerals and other plant and animal compounds. If there aren’t enough of these enzymes in the digestive tract, the body will struggle to break down the food’s nutrients into its constituent parts so they can be absorbed by cells; thus, even if your diet’s good and you’re eating well, it won’t be enough – you still won’t be getting the nutrition you need.

How are digestive enzymes disrupted?

There are various reasons why your digestive enzymes may not be working as they should. The following things could upset their normal activity or, indeed, reduce their numbers; in other words cause digestive enzyme deficiency:

  • Chronic stress – maybe the most common cause of digestive enzyme issues; digestive function (and that of digestive enzymes) is dialled back when the human body’s in the ‘stressed’ (or ‘fight or flight’) mode and generally proceeds as normal when it’s in the ‘relaxed’ (or ‘rest and digest’) mode
  • Ailments – serious illnesses affecting the pancreas (such as cystic fibrosis, pancreatic cancer and acute/ chronic pancreatitis), Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease (which can flatten or destroy the borders of particular cells) can massively hinder the efficacy of digestive enzymes
  • Low-grade inflammation – specifically in the digestive tract and often caused by a neuroendocrine response to a food allergy, a parasitic infection or dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) can reduce the tract’s digestive enzyme population.

Dealing with digestive enzyme issues

In many cases where you’re obliged to improve your digestive health, enhancing your diet is a natural first step. And it can definitely prove beneficial for digestive enzyme problems (including boosting their numbers), but as mentioned already, adopting a healthier, more nutritious and balanced diet won’t likely be enough. For instance, ensuring your gut flora’s in balance is also advisable – that is, restoring the balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ intestinal bacteria, often via probiotic supplementation.

And, as also touched on, the need to reduce chronic stress in your everyday life is of great significance when it comes to aiding digestive enzymes. Try to get out of the ‘fight or flight’ mode more often; allow a restful period following a meal to enable the food to settle and begin digesting – just as you’re likely to have been ordered to when you were little!

Digestive enzyme supplements

Moreover, if you are suffering from a deficiency in digestive enzymes, you obviously need to increase their numbers (a clue you’re deficient could be abnormal stools; do they appear overly soft or entirely fluid/ diarrhoea-like or do they float?). A reliable way to go about this is through natural supplementation. And, to cover all bases, multi-enzyme products are probably the way to go, as it’s these that are most likely to include the different kinds we all need – for instance, proteases (to break down proteins), lipases (to break down fats), and carbohydrases like amylase (to break down carbohydrates).

A good place to start is the ‘Digestive enzymes’ section of our website. Indeed, among many others, the following popular supplements are available through us at The Finchley Clinic:


Active Digestive Enzymes – this product, comprising 17 different types of enzyme, may help with acid indigestion, acid reflux, bloating and gas, colon cleansing, constipation, diarrhoea, heart burn, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and lactose intolerance.


Veganzyme – contains a wide selection of kosher-certified, vegetarian-based enzymes, helping the body to digest carbohydrates, fats, bran, legumes, nuts and seeds, cereals, dairy, fruits and vegetables, gluten, proteins, sugars, soy and other foods.


Polyzyme Forte – a high potency, broad-spectrum enzyme product; also contains Lactobacillus acidophilus to help maintain healthy gut flora.

Fighting the flab: 7 ways to achieve effective weight loss

It’s a reality faced by many of us at some point in our lives – the desire (or necessity) to lose weight. The trouble is, of course, it’s easier said than done. For some, it proves a very difficult thing to achieve; a good number of people not only find it difficult to get started but also to keep up a successful regime so they keep the weight off. Other struggle to find something that works for them at all; they may be confused and irritated that what works for one person (probably someone they know) simply doesn’t work for them. Yet, the fact is that everyone – and everyone’s body – is different. By definition, what works for one dieter, one faster, one improved eater or one patient undergoing treatment won’t work for another.

What’s unlikely to work for most seeking to lose weight, though, is a quick fix. Getting your weight down to a healthy, happy level will doubtless be a long haul. And probably a tough challenge. A good approach, surely, is the natural approach. That is, try to reduce your weight in a way that doesn’t call on fashionable diets or synthetic pill-based products. For instance, combined together, these seven natural ways of tackling weight gain might well prove a good roadmap…

Stay motivated

Whatever it takes; you need to remain motivated. Research suggests that, yes, unsurprisingly there’s a lot of motivation in the first four weeks of a weight-loss regime, but if you manage to shed 5% or more weight it can carry on for around another four months1. Find a way to stick with what’s working and stay positive and optimistic – and keep at it!

Dear diary?

That said, finding what works is, naturally, at the crux of a weight-loss programme. Perhaps keeping a food diary may help; especially in order to keep motivated for several weeks on end. Indeed, a study has found that it may double the weight loss you achieve2. This is all about psychology, of course; actually writing down what you’ve eaten each day makes even more real what you’ve done and whether you’ve done what you should be doing.

Go vegan?

When you consider that, with a full vegan diet, it’s possible to reduce body fat levels and drive-up your intake of macronutrients (when compared to a diet comprising meat and dairy foods), you may consider vegan-eating an appealing option. Given it’s made up of a lot of delicious fresh food too helps! Research also suggests that a totally plant-based diet may result in losing more weight3.

Stay hydrated


It’s well established scientific fact that drinking water is incredibly good for you – much of our body mass is made up of the stuff, after all. And consider this – one study has come to the conclusion that drinking as little as eight ounces of water before meals considerably aids in shedding pounds of fat4. Food for thought when it comes to managing your weight then!

Get exercising

exercisingLike it or not; improving your diet and eating less low-nutrition, unhealthy snack food isn’t going to cut the mustard on its own. There’s more you can and probably will need to do. One is exercise; indeed, recent research suggests that combined dieting and exercise can produce up to 11% in reduced weight – and it’s only fair to point out that the study discovered that exercising without any dietary alterations at all came bottom of the various kinds of weight loss regimes it tested5.

Sleep hygiene

While it’s important to stick to your programme and remain motivated, it’s also important to make sure you rest properly and establish and follow healthy sleep practises. Experts actually believe that bad sleep habits contribute to weight gain, in that they boost hunger hormones and, thus, the desire to eat more6.

Try natural supplements

Finally, a great way to enhance an improved, more nutritious diet is to supplement it naturally. To that end, you may want to take a look at the weight loss supplements available at The Finchley Clinic. All of them are made up of naturally-occurring ingredients and, thus, they’re all rich in highly beneficial vitamins and minerals. The following are just three examples:


MicroCell Lipotone Intensive– may help the body’s natural managing of fats and carbohydrates in conjunction with exercise and dieting; a powder comprising conjugated lipoic acid, l-carnitine and garcinia cambogia.


Slimirex – an all-natural weight loss formula containing iodine and many organic ingredients such as kelp, black walnut, uva ursi and three essential oils; fennel seed, lavender blossom and bergamot.


GL Support ’90s – contains the nutrients chromium, garcinia cambogia and 5-HTP, specifically put together in one product to naturally support a low glycaemic load (GL) diet.


1. Webber K. H. et al. ‘Motivation and Its Relationship to Adherence to Self-monitoring and Weight Loss in a 16-week Internet Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention’. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. May-Jun 2010. 42 (3) pp. 161–67.

2. Hollis J. F. et al. ‘Weight Loss During the Intensive Intervention Phase of the Weight-Loss Maintenance Trial’. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Aug 2008. 35 (2). pp. 118–26.

3. Turner-McGrievy G. M. et al. ‘Comparative effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss: A randomized controlled trial of five different diets’. Nutrition. 31 (2). pp. 350-58.

4. ‘Drink water to curb weight gain? Clinical trial confirms effectiveness of simple appetite control method’. ScienceDaily.com. American Chemical Society. Aug 2010.

5. Foster-Schubert K. E. et al. ‘Effect of Diet and Exercise, Alone or Combined, on Weight and Body Composition in Overweight-to-Obese Postmenopausal Women’. Obesity. 20 (8). Aug 2012.

6. Chaput J. and Tremblay A. ‘Adequate sleep to improve the treatment of obesity’. CMAJ. 184 (18). Sep 2012.

Hair-raising supplements: can boosting your nutrient intake reduce hair loss?

Your first reaction may be to scoff at the idea, but you shouldn’t; evidence suggests that taking the correct, targeted nutritional supplements may help with hair loss. Not to mention the fact that we’ve received strong, positive anecdotal evidence as to their efficacy in this area – especially from women customers.

But just how could boosting your nutritional intake prevent or reduce you losing those much-coveted curls up on top? Well, it all comes down to how our bodies, practically every part of them (from the individual systems to the skin, the brain to the heart and so on), require a regular, high level of vitamins and minerals to function well and remain healthy. It naturally follows then, when you think about it, that supplying your body with these natural well being boosters – or, if you prefer, nutrient deficiency products – should be great for preserving your hair and keeping it healthy and lustrous.

Indeed, the following nutrients are all considered important contributors to good ‘hair health’:

  • Iron – driving up the body’s iron levels is probably recommended for most people, as iron deficiency is very common, yet from the standpoint of hair, this nutrient certainly appears to be important; a recent study found that, while the role iron deficiency plays in hair loss isn’t altogether clear, getting more iron may contribute to putting this right, especially among premenopausal women1 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – you’re probably forever hearing how oily fish and the likes of walnuts and flaxseeds are good for you and that’s because they contain these terrifically healthy fatty acids; indeed, research suggests daily consumption of them helps to hydrate hair and scalp, which aids in preserving hair bulb integrity2 
  • Silica – a major component of hair (per gram there’s almost as much of it in healthy hair as there is in healthy bones), silica, it’s believed, aids in the prevention of baldness by stimulating natural hair growth, thus helping to ensure health and shine 
  • Sulphur – a key ingredient of keratin, which itself is crucial for the growth and preservation of hair, skin and nails, sulphur plays a pivotal role in giving hair its strength and elasticity (sulphur deficiency can be a factor in brittle hair that easily breaks); it’s for good reason then that sulphur’s often referred to as one of the building blocks of hair 
  • Zinc – the results of a recent study suggest that the levels of zinc in the blood of those experiencing hair loss is lower than those not, the conclusion being that disturbance of zinc metabolism may be involved in the thinning of hair3. 

Prevention/ reduction via supplements

As noted then, boosting your regular intake of the above nutrients could well go some way to reviving your fortunes when it comes to preserving the health of and keeping your hair. Needless to say, taking precautions such as avoiding smoking and unprotected exposure to sun and being sure to undertake proper, gentle hair care are all strongly advised too.

It should be noted, though, that when you’re trying to correct hair loss it would be foolish to expect instant, amazing results – any regime is likely to take a little time (perhaps up to three months) before you can realistically measure whether it’s working or not. And, while we’d like to draw your attention to the following supplements available through us at The Finchley Clinic as hair loss products, we wouldn’t claim one is definitely better than the other; some will likely work better for some people, others for others. However, as mentioned, our customer feedback leads us to highly recommend them:


MSM Powder– ideal for a sulphur deficiency, this supplement may well help with hair and skin issues, as well as arthritis, joint pain, inflammatory problems, leaky gut, constipation, candida infections and asthma.



Hair & Nail Complex– among other things, this product specifically produced for hair and nail care comprises iron, zinc and horsetail (a natural form of silica).



Mega EPA 1000 (fish oil concentrate) – a great source for Omega-3 fatty acids, this product (thanks to a unique lipase enzyme process) offers high quality and highly potent fish oil in capsule form.



1. Park S. Y., Na S. Y., Kim. J. H., Cho S. and Lee J. H. ‘Iron Plays a Certain Role in Patterned Hair Loss’. J Korean Med Sci. Jun 2013; 28 (6): 934–938.

2. Goluch-Koniuszy Z. S. ‘Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause’. Prz Menopauzalny. Mar 2016; 15 (1): 56–61.

3. Kil M. S., Kim C. W. and Kim S. S. ‘Analysis of serum zinc and copper concentrations in hair loss’. Ann Dermatol. Nov 2013; 25 (4): 405-9.

Toxic fix: protection from and cleansing yourself of heavy metals

When it comes to the danger of being contaminated by toxic (or ‘heavy’) metals, it’s easy to sound like a doom-monger; frankly, though, that’s a risk worth taking – because blithely exposing yourself to such dangerous substances most definitely isn’t.

The truth is, whether we like it or not, many everyday items contain toxic metal at low levels. They can be found in what we eat and drink, as well as the air we breathe (thus, they enter the body through consuming food and drinks, inhaling air and via skin and eye contact). It’s true that our bodies actually require a very small amount of ‘trace metals’ (iron and copper, for instance), but it’s very easy to consume and absorb too much; it’s all too easy because we require so very little.

And, once they’ve found their way into the human body, toxic metals do their harmful work by generating a cell-based process known as oxidative stress, aiding the development of a range of illnesses and diseases. Here are some of the toxic ‘heavy’ metals to be wary of (to say the least):

  • Aluminium – a very common metal, occurring in the construction of a lot of the world around us, aluminium is found in antacids, cans, cookware, foil, nasal spray and even processed cheese; absorbed into the body, it collects in the kidneys, lungs, liver, thyroid and the brain and exposure to it in vapour form is common in mining and welding work, all of which has led to ongoing research into whether there’s any connection between brain-accumulated aluminium and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease1
  • Cadmium – exposure even to low levels of this metal are dangerous, occurring usually via contaminated foods, nickel-cadmium batteries, fertiliser, hazardous waste sites and cigarettes2; slow in its ejection from the body, this in part is why cadmium can reap great harm to the brain, eyes, kidneys and the cardiovascular and reproductive systems
  • Lead – fair dos, it’s been drummed into us how toxic lead is thanks to the illnesses so many people have endured thanks to lead piping, while contaminated drinking water, ageing buildings, tobacco smoke and lead dust and flakes from some paints have caused public health crises over the years; depositing itself in bones, soft tissue and the brain, lead is especially hazardous to the liver, kidneys and reproductive and nervous systems3
  • Mercury – again, famed for its enormous toxicity (and featuring in thermometers), mercury may also crop up in dental fillings and tainted food, as well as some seafood; taking root in the blood, brain, kidneys, liver, spleen and fatty tissues, it’s toxic at any level, however small, and can dangerously affect the nervous system (major muscular spasms and possibly death), while even less dramatically, it can cause memory loss and reduced spatial reasoning4 and possibly Alzheimer’s disease and dementia5.

Protection and cleansing

If you’ve any concerns you may be suffering from toxic metal contamination (however major or minor), then tests can be conducted via analysis of your blood, hair or urine. It’s probably worth your while to be cautious of certain products too; without doubt, check the ingredients of antiperspirants you buy and when using cookware, utensils and cans that contain aluminium.

As you’ll have no doubt gathered by now, entirely avoiding exposure to toxic metals is pretty much impossible, which is why taking matters into your own hands may sound appealing; detoxifying your body of these harmful entities through cleansing is a great way to approach toxic metal reduction. Do take a look at our website – the following toxic metal cleanse supplements are all available through us at The Finchley Clinic:


OREA – a natural whole-body toxin cleanser, which aids the removal of the likes of lead, mercury, arsenic, biotoxins and solvents.


Green Magma (Barley Grass Powder) – a certified organic extract of young Green Barley juice, which may aid detoxification, improve digestion and increase energy.


Crystal Energy – works to enclose heavy metals and harmful toxins in order to help their removal from the body.



1. Davenward S., Bentham P., Wright J., Crome P., Job D., Polwart A. and Exley C. ‘Silicon-rich mineral water as a non-invasive test of the ‘aluminum hypothesis’ in Alzheimer’s disease’. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2013; 33 (2): 423-30.

2. Cejchanová M., Wranová K., Spevácková V., Krsková A., Smíd J. and Cerná M. ‘Human bio-monitoring study–toxic elements in blood of women’. Cent Eur J Public Health. Jun 2012; 20 (2): 139-43.

3. Flora G., Gupta D. and Tiwari A. ‘Toxicity of lead: A review with recent updates’. Interdiscip Toxicol. Jun 2012; 5 (2): 47-58.

4. Katamanova E. V., Shevchenko O. I., Lakhman O. L. and Denisova I. A. ‘Cognitive disorders in patients with chronic mercury intoxication’. Med Tr Prom Ekol. 2014; (4): 7-12.

5. Cave M., Appana S., Patel M., Falkner K. C., McClain C. J. and Brock G. ‘Polychlorinated biphenyls, lead, and mercury are associated with liver disease in American adults’. Environ Health Perspect. Dec 2010. 118 (12): 1735-42.

The big O: a lowdown on oxygen – and why you might try oxygen cleansing

Don’t doubt it; oxygen is an absolutely critical substance for humans. The odourless, colourless gas that accounts for a fifth of the air all around us (and is the third most abundant in space beyond the Earth), it’s absolutely critical to our wellbeing, given that, along with hydrogen it makes up water – the basis for all life – and is the single most common chemical element in the human body; accounting for a whopping 65% of the body’s overall mass3. To that end then, its functions and benefits in the body are many and plentiful – and what can go wrong when the body’s deprived of it are serious, indeed.

Functions in the body

Fundamentally, oxygen is crucial for the process known as cellular respiration. This occurs in cells throughout the body as food that’s been brought to them is broken down to generate energy2, 3; the oxygen that you’ve breathed into your lungs is called on to help break down these sugars and create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that’s a critical component in this food-to-energy transforming process4.

Benefits and deprivation

Aside from the aforementioned benefit – rather, necessity – that oxygen provides the body then, those suffering from illness may well see a number of health concerns addressed through hyperbaric oxygen therapy5; however, that’s likely because they’re not getting enough oxygen in the first place and experiencing deprivation. Indeed, research definitely suggests that without an adequate, regular amount of oxygen, the body will encounter health problems6. That said, though, oxygen deprivation doesn’t necessarily have to be a sudden, impromptu problem, as you’d expect; it can be a long-term issue resulting from environmental concerns, poor indoor air quality and reduced oxygen levels in the atmosphere7.

Oxygen cleansing

Another benefit for the body that oxygen provides has nothing to do with respiration – instead, it concerns digestion. You may not be aware of it, but oxygen can be effective at helping to clear obstructions in the digestive tract; such blockages that, unless moved, can stop the body’s processing of specific sugars, fats, proteins and vitamins8. How can oxygen help here? In the form of oxygen cleansing. It’s an excellent way to get the toxins out of the digestive system that get picked up from the air, water and food and all their impurities we consume.

To wit, you may want to take a look at the oxygen cleanse supplements that are on the market at present; indeed, a great place to start is here at The Finchley Clinic. The following are all examples are highly recommended oxygen-based products available through us:


Oxy-Powder – gently cleanses and detoxifies your colon to promote a healthy bowel environment by liberating the soothing power of oxygen.


Mag 07 Oxygen Colon Cleanse – a combination of powdered, ozonated magnesium oxide compounds, stabilised to release singlet oxygen over 12 hours or more.


Colosan Powder – a magnesium-oxygen product designed to gently release oxygen into the digestive tract; may also help with candida and parasites.



1. ‘Building Blocks of Life’. Ask A Biologist. http://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/biologists. Sep 2009.

2. Alberts B., Johnson A., Lewis J. et al. ‘How Cells Obtain Energy from Food’. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition. New York: Garland Science. 2002.

3. ‘Cellular Respiration’. Hyperphysics. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Biology/celres.html.

4. ‘Adenosine Triphosphate’. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. https://www.britannica.com/science/adenosine-triphosphate.

5. ‘Oxygen Therapy’. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/oxygentherapy.html.

6. LaValle J. B. and Lundin S. ‘Cracking the Metabolic Code: 9 Keys to Optimal Health’. North Bergen, NJ: Basic Health Publications. 2004.

7. ‘Scripps O2 Program Atmospheric Oxygen Research’. Scripps Institution of Oceanography. http://scrippso2.ucsd.edu.

8. Lehrer J. K. et al. ‘Malabsorption: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia’. Medicine Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Aug 2014.

The Truth About Urinary Tract Infections – And The Supplements To Treat Them

All of us experience it at some time or another; that need to pee that just grows and grows until, finally, we’re able to relieve ourselves. Usually that’s all it is – the necessity to empty our bladder – but sometimes it’s more. Sometimes it feels like you need to pee all the time and can even experience a regular burning pain when you do relieve yourself. And it can be joined by other very unpleasant symptoms; lower back pain, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

If you experience all these things together then it may be you have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Women, young children and teenagers tend to be prone to them and they can recur, primarily targeting the bladder and kidneys. That said, there are a few misconceptions about UTIs – among undoubtable truths about them too – that it’s as well to be aware of. The following are some of the most important.

Antibiotics? Don’t rely on them

You usually catch a UTI in one of two ways. Either harmful bacteria is effectively pushed into the urethra or such pre-existing bacteria in the bladder multiplies to very harmful levels. To that end then, because – as you may well be aware – different types of bacteria are becoming ever more resistant to the antibiotics, people are finding that the effectiveness of the latter in killing off UTIs is reducing1. For instance, Enterococci bacteria is one strain that’s become especially antibiotic-resistant2 . And, needless to say, those who are prone to recurrent UTIs are arguably most likely to discover antibiotics aren’t the way forward. What is? Well, trying to prevent catching and developing a UTI is always the best policy.

Pregnant women are at risk – as are obese men and children

It’s commonly appreciated that UTIs are a ‘women’s health’ problem – that is, one of the most at-risk groups is pregnant women. There certainly appears to be an association between UTIs and the serious issues that are pre-term births and infants experiencing smaller than normal gestational ages. To that end then, a recent study suggests that during pregnancy, women are turning to natural remedies to quell UTIs; the likes of cranberry juice and probiotics3.

And yet, far less commonly known is another particular at-risk group is men suffering from obesity. A study conducted in the last few years found that the likelihood of men who are obese developing a UTI is double that of women who are obese4. Additionally, when they do experience a UTI, obese men are likely to develop further, serious complications5. Meanwhile, children are a group particularly prone to experiencing recurrent UTIs – and, given the first misconception addressed above, long-term studies suggest little effectiveness when they’re exposed to antibiotic-based treatment6.

The diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis connections

Sadly, as if those suffering from diabetes don’t have enough to contend with, research points to the fact that diabetics are more likely to develop urinary tract infections than non-sufferers7. Even more concerning, it seems that UTIs could cause diabetics life threatening complications on top of their other symptoms8 . Also, those living with rheumatoid arthritis tend to visit hospital a good deal more than those not because of UTIs. It’s believed this may be because oral steroids, which are often prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, boost the likelihood of UTI development and recurrence9.

The power of cranberry and supplements

As outlined above, in the face of antibiotics’ failure to effectively fight UTIs, naturally derived, high-quality treatments are becoming more and more recognised as the solution to turn to. In particular, cranberry is increasingly recommended – indeed, an ever growing amount of research points to these antioxidant-rich berries as being at least as effective as antibiotics and resulting in no side effects10, while one individual study discovered that women who took cranberry juice over a 24-week period experienced no UTI recurrence11. Additionally, owing to their highly concentrated antioxidant nature (especially in terms of proanthocyanidins), cranberry juice looks to be a successful combatant and defence against UTIs among children12.

Sufferers of UTIs then may well wish to look at natural supplements as a way to treat the ailment – and prevent it from recurring – and many of these urinary tract supplements contain cranberry juice. Many of them too are available through us at The Finchley Clinic. We advise you to take a look at our dedicated section, in which you’ll find the following supplements:

Concentrated Cranberry

Concentrated Cranberry (powder) – provides a high level of fresh cranberry; a sugar-free, vacuum packed powder that mixes with water and also contains Vitamin C and lactic acid bacteria.


Aloe Gold Cherry/ Cranberry – a whole-leaf Aloe vera juice blended with unsprayed cranberry and cherry juices.


Renaltrex – a botanical product that supports detoxification and normal function of the kidneys, thus supporting a clean urinary tract and normal urine flow.



1. Chen Y. H., Ko W. C. and Hsueh P. R. ‘Emerging resistance problems and future perspectives in pharmacotherapy for complicated urinary tract infections. Expert Opin Pharmacother’. Apr 2013. 14 (5): 587-96.

2. Parameswarappa J., Basavaraj V. P. and Basavaraj C. M. ‘Isolation, identification, and antibiogram of enterococci isolated from patients with urinary tract infection’. Ann Afr Med. Jul-Sep 2013.12 (3): 176-81.

3. Schneeberger C., Geerlings S. E., Middleton P. and Crowther C. A. ‘Interventions for preventing recurrent urinary tract infection during pregnancy’. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Nov 2012. 14; 11: CD009279.

4. Saliba W., Barnett-Griness O. and Rennert G. ‘The association between obesity and urinary tract infection’. Eur J Intern Med. Mar 2013. 24 (2): 127-31.

5. Semins M. J., Shore A. D., Makary M. A., Weiner J. and Matlaga B. R. ‘The impact of obesity on urinary tract infection risk’. Urology. Feb 2012.79 (2): 266-9.

6. Williams G. J., Craig J. C. and Carapetis J. R. ‘Preventing urinary tract infections in early childhood’. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013. 764: 211-8.

7. Hirji I., Guo Z., Andersson S. W., Hammar N. and Gomez-Caminero A. ‘Incidence of urinary tract infection among patients with type 2 diabetes in the UK General Practice Research Database (GPRD)’. J Diabetes Complications. Nov-Dec 2012. 26 (6): 513-6.

8. Yeshitela B., Gebre-Selassie S. and Feleke Y. ‘Asymptomatic bacteriuria and symptomatic urinary tract infections (UTI) in patients with diabetes mellitus in Tikur Anbessa Specialized University Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’. Ethiop Med J. Jul 2012. 50 (3): 239-49.

9. Puntis D., Malik S., Saravanan V., Rynne M., Heycock C., Hamilton J. and Kelly C. A. ‘Urinary tract infections in patients with rheumatoid arthritis’. Clin Rheumatol. 2013 Mar; 32 (3): 355-60.

10. Jepson R. G., Williams G. and Craig J. C. ‘Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections’. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Oct 2012. 10: CD001321.

11. Takahashi S., Hamasuna R., Yasuda M., Arakawa S., Tanaka K., Ishikawa K., Kiyota H., Hayami H., Yamamoto S., Kubo T. and Matsumoto T. ‘A randomized clinical trial to evaluate the preventive effect of cranberry juice (UR65) for patients with recurrent urinary tract infection’. J Infect Chemother. Feb 2013. 19 (1): 112-7.

12. Afshar K., Stothers L., Scott H. and MacNeily A. E. ‘Cranberry juice for the prevention of pediatric urinary tract infection: a randomized controlled trial’. J Urol. Oct 2012. 188 (4 Suppl): 1584-7.



Why is Co-Enzyme Q10 a crucial nutrient – and should you boost its levels in your body?

It’s a regrettable fact of life… we all age and our bodies simply don’t perform when we’re older quite like they did when we were younger. Now, many of this accept this; many of us believe there’s no fountain of youth (newsflash: there isn’t) and no way to reverse the ageing process. Well, while that may be essentially true, it’s actually false that there isn’t anything we can do about it.

Take for instance, if you’re getting older, boosting your body’s levels of Co-Enzyme Q10. Your what, you may ask? Co-Enzyme Q10 (or simply CoQ10, as it’s often referred to) is a naturally-occurring nutrient in the human body; although neither a vitamin nor a mineral, the important role it plays in ensuring your body remains healthy and functions as it should often means it’s mentioned in the same breath as them. Primarily, it’s recognised as a major contributor to helping cells generate energy and a critical fighter against highly disruptive molecules known as free radicals that, in order to ‘complete themselves’, greatly damage cells and DNA.

Fair enough. So why should boosting your CoQ10 levels tackle the effects of ageing? Simple; because several physical issues and ailments usually associated with the ageing process (such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and heart problems1) can, it appears, cause deficiency of CoQ10 in the body. Ageing then, might be said to reduce the nutrient’s levels in your body; thus the need to increase these levels in later life.

Deficiency – why does it happen?

As stated, CoQ10 deficiency often occurs as a result of illness or, worse, disease. However, research suggests that the both low dietary intake and unusually high CoQ10 use within the body could also be causes2. Generally, though, it’s often suggested that, as people age, decreasing levels of CoQ10 occurs among those suffering with cancer, specific genetic conditions, HIV and AIDS and muscular dystrophies, as well as the aforementioned diabetes, heart problems and Parkinson’s disease – while it’s also believed certain prescription drugs may also be to blame for reduced levels of the nutrient2.

Benefits – heart health and muscle pain

A fair amount of research has been conducted in recent years on Co-Enzyme Q10 benefits – and one of the main findings seems to be CoQ10 may aid in reducing cholesterol levels and improve heart health. Indeed, some experts believe that, should the nutrient be combined in supplementation form with statins, even better results may be achieved.

Specifically, one study has found that patients suffering from heart failure experienced both fewer symptoms and reduced complications when taking CoQ10 supplements3, while the results of another suggest that CoQ10 may benefit the blood vessel health of both people who have heart disease and those who don’t4.

Also, research indicates that using supplements containing CoQ10 may reduce the breakdown, discomfort and pain of muscles that people having to take statins tend to endure. That said; it ought to be pointed out that another recent study seems to contradict the first one’s evidence in this area5.

Sources – diet and supplements

So, should you be concerned your body’s not producing enough CoQ10 (or, at least, not as much as it once did) and you could do with boosting your levels, where can you turn? Well, many experts would doubtless suggest the best source is the one that’s most natural – diet. Several foods are rich in Co-Enzyme Q10; oily fish and seafood like sardines and mackerel, whole grain foods and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and spinach6.

But what if, for one reason or another, you have dietary restrictions or run into difficultly assimilating the above foods into your daily diet? In that case, natural supplementation is undoubtedly the answer. The following – as well as several other – Co-Enzyme Q10 supplements are available via us at The Finchley Clinic; please do take a look at the dedicated page on our website for our CoQ10-containing products:


Lipsomal Q10 – the liposomal coating in this supplement delivers the CoQ10 directly to your cells.


True Food Maxi Q10 – contains CoQ10-enriched Saccharomyces cerevisiae (food yeast), ensuring the nutrient’s easily digested and absorbed for high bioavailability.


MicroCell CoQ10 Plus Omega – combines fish oil concentrate with CoQ10; fish oils may help to maintain your body’s healthy cholesterol levels.



1. ‘CoQ10 and Statins: What You Need to Know’. Healthline.com. http://www.healthline.com/health/coq10-and-statins#coq1.

2. ‘Co-Enzyme Q10’. MayoClinic.com. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/coenzyme-q10.

3. Sharma A., Fonarow G. C., Butler J., Ezekowitz J. A. and Felker G. M. ‘Coenzyme Q10 and Heart Failure: A State-of-the-Art Review’. Circ Heart Fail. Apr 2016; 9 (4): e002639.

4. Gao L., Mao Q., Cao J., Wang Y., Zhou X. and Fan L. ‘Effects of coenzyme Q10 on vascular endothelial function in humans: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials’. Atherosclerosis. Apr 2012; 221 (2): 311-6.

5. Caso G., Kelly P., McNurlan M. A. and Lawson W. E. ‘Effect of coenzyme q10 on myopathic symptoms in patients treated with statins’. Am J Cardiol. May 2007 15; 99 (10): 1409-12.

6. ‘All About CoQ10 (And How To Get It In Your Plant-Based Diet’. OneGreenPlanet.org. http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/all-about-coq10-and-how-to-get-it-in-your-plant-based-diet.

The orange Juice Nutrient: How to Avoid and Beat Vitamin C Deficiency

Forever associated with orange juice, Vitamin C is perhaps the most easily recalled of all the family of vitamins whose consumption is crucial for our bodies to function exactly as they should. For, should you peel back the surface and break up the segments – yes, as would with an orange – of what Vitamin C does for us, you quickly find it’s impossible not to come to the conclusion it’s essential for healthy human life.

A natural antioxidant that also goes by the scientific name L-ascorbic acid, Vitamin C can actually be found in many fruit and vegetables, certainly not just oranges1. Among all the great things it does inside out bodies, it helps ensure growth and development take place as they should, especially as it aids in the repairing of damaged internal tissue2, 3 and, in helping produce the protein collagen, it plays a pivotal role in keeping the skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and blood vessels in good health4.

Additionally, because Vitamin C’s an antioxidant, it inevitably fights oxidisation caused by free radicals (tiny molecules in the body that want to pair off with other molecules as they only possess a single electron, thus causing havoc wherever they go; not least to cells)5. Moreover, the findings of a several-year-long study suggests it promotes heart health6, which maybe isn’t surprising as, like other antioxidants, Vitamin C could well lower people’s risk of developing high blood pressure levels7, 8, 9.

There’s also talk, of course, that Vitamin C may actually be able to boost the immune system; many people believe it even if the research doesn’t quite add up. That said, though, evidence gleaned from animal studies suggests the vitamin may be able to boost the effectiveness of natural therapies for different ailments10.

Are you Vitamin C Deficient?

So, owing to Vitamin C’s patent necessity, it’s now likely occurred to you that surely nobody in their right mind would want to be deficient in it. Yet, usually through ignorance, people are deficient in this and other vitamins; many throughout the Western world. And they should be concerned – after all, the worst case scenario could be developing scurvy. Still to be entirely eradicated, especially in some of the poorest parts of the world, it’s a disease caused by consuming too little Vitamin C and offers up unpleasant symptoms like fatigue, anaemia, poor skin, easy bruising and gum disease7.

More common nowadays is discovering you’ve become Vitamin C deficient due to a medical condition. Common offenders here can be kidney disease, a number of forms of cancer, digestive tract injuries/ inefficiencies14 [11] and smoking13 [12]. Indeed, such ailments will also prevent effective absorption of other nutrients; you probably won’t be surprised to learn13.

Dietary sources of Vitamin C

As noted above, Vitamin C is a naturally occurring entity; it can be consumed – along with many of its fellow vitamins – via eating a number of organic fruits and vegetables, fortified as they are with hundreds of nutrients and minerals.

Top of the Vitamin C charts then is, as you may expect, both orange juice (93mg per ¾ cup) and oranges (70mg per fruit), but in fact both are outstripped by red and yellow bell peppers (95mg per serving), while grapefruit juice (70mg per ¾ cup), kiwifruit (64mg per fruit), green bell peppers (60mg per serving), broccoli (51mg per serving), strawberries (49mg per serving) and Brussels sprouts (48mg per serving) follow up behind11 [13]. All of which proves just how plentiful and diverse the opportunities for boosting your Vitamin C intake are via tweaks to your diet.

Supplement sources

Unfortunately, for different reasons, some people aren’t able to make effective dietary changes to up their Vitamin C levels, but all’s not lost – another highly advised, highly efficient way to boost your intake is through supplementation. And don’t doubt it; the natural way is always the way to go. Why? Because unlike their synthetic counterparts, these supplements make use of ingredients sourced from nature itself and so offer the vitamin – and other nutrients and minerals – in an entirely naturally-occurring, thoroughly healthy manner.

To that end, the following are all Vitamin C supplements you may well consider worthwhile; they and all those to be found via the ‘Vitamin C’ page on our website can be purchased through us here at The Finchley Clinic:

Liposomal VitaminCLiposomal Vitamin C – delivers the all-important nutrient via new supplement technology, the vitamin’s blended with phospholipids (a lipid combined with phosphorous) to ensure the Vitamin C reaches the body’s cells easier and more effectively.


True_Food Vitamin C 180 tabletsTrue Food Vitamin C – easily digested and absorbed for high bioavailability and comes in an agreeable vanilla-flavour tablet form; supplementation with Omega oils is advised.



Vitamin-C-500mg-180-capsulesBioCare Vitamin C – a bio-available source of Vitamin C with magnesium and bilberry extract, the latter comprising flavonoids, a potent source of antioxidants.



  1.  ‘Vitamin C’. MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 9 Mar 2016.
  2.  Zeratsky, K. ‘Too Much Vitamin C: Is It Harmful?’. MayoClinic.org. Mayo Clinic. 5 Feb 2015.
  3.  ‘Wounds’. University of Maryland Medical Center. University of Maryland. 5 Jan 2015.
  4.  Boyera, N., Galey, I. and Bernard, B. A. ‘Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts’. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 20: 151–158. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.1998.171747.x. June 1988.
  5.  Lynch, S. R. and Cook, J. D. ‘Interaction of Vitamin C and Iron.’ Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 355: 32–44. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1980.tb21325.x. 1980.
  6.  Osganian, S K.., Stampfer M. J., Rimm E., and Spiegelman D. ‘Vitamin C and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women’. ACC Current Journal Review 12.5: 27. PubMed. July 2003.
  7.  ‘Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)’. University of Maryland Medical Center. University of Maryland. 16 July 2013.
  8.  Juraschek, Stephen P et al. ‘Effects of Vitamin C Supplementation on Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials’. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 95.5 (2012): 1079–1088. PMC. 11 Mar. 2016.
  9.  Ness, A. R., Chee D., and Elliott P. ‘Vitamin C and Blood Pressure–an Overview’. J Hum Hypertens Journal of Human Hypertension 11.6: 343-50. PubMed. June 1997.
  10.  ‘High-Dose Vitamin C’. National Cancer Institute. National Cancer Institute. 11 Dec. 2015.
  11.  Hoffman, F. A. ‘Micronutrient Requirements of Cancer Patients’. Cancer 55.S1 (1985): 295-300. PubMed. Jan 1985.
  12.  ‘Vitamin C Fact Sheet for Consumers’. National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 17 Feb. 2016.
  13. Bobroff, L. B., and Valentin-Oquendo I. ‘Facts About Vitamin C’. University of Florida IFAS Extension. University of Florida, n.d.. 11 Mar 2016.

Lyme Disease – What is it and How to Treat it?

There aren’t many people who, at one point or another, haven’t enjoyed time in the countryside; maybe a ramble across a moor, a pleasant stroll through green pastures or possibly a long walk in the woods. Few would credit the idea, though, that should you not live in the country, a visit could leave you ill, with exaggerated symptoms of fatigue; those similar to flu and even arthritic-like symptoms. How can this be so? Two words: Lyme disease.

To be clear, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll contract this illness via just a visit to the countryside; you’d be very unlucky to do so, but it is possible. Indeed, between 2,000 and 3,000 cases of Lyme disease occur in England and Wales every year1. So what is it? Well, Lyme borreliosis – to give its official name – is what happens following a bite from a tick, a creature (a bit like a miniscule spider) whose habitat tends to be woodland and heaths; it’s their bites that transfer the Lyme disease bacteria to an unlucky human victim.


A good indicator you may have been bitten by a tick and contracted the illness is if a large circular rash (erythema migrans; a bit like a dart board’s bull’s eye) appears on your body; it does so usually between three and 30 days after the bite1. Some people may experience more rashes on the body; others – about one in three – may not have a rash at all. The aforementioned flu-like symptoms (tiredness, aches in the muscles and joints, headaches and fever) are fairly common at this stage too.

However, after several weeks the symptoms are likely to worsen and become more serious, as the condition begins to take hold. That said; this may take months or even years to happen. In this case, the likes of joint pain/ swelling (inflammatory arthritis); nervous system issues (numbness, facial muscle paralysis and memory problems); heart issues (heart muscle inflammation – myocarditis – and even heart failure) and brain and spinal cord membrane inflammation (meningitis)1.

Obviously, if diagnosed and caught early enough, hopefully these symptoms won’t be experienced and their severity avoided, but sadly, a number of people with the condition develop long-term symptoms that are reminiscent of chronic fatigue syndrome. Experts aren’t entirely sure why this actually occurs – it’s referred to as post-infectious Lyme disease. However, a line of thinking has it that it may be connected to an overactive immune system1.

Note: no scientific research has yet confirmed it’s possible to pass Lyme disease from one person to another1.


Without a Lyme disease vaccine in existence1, the onus then is on people to be sensible when in woodland and heath areas to avoid tick bites. It’s all about not taking risks, so you’re highly advised to:

  •  Find out if the specific area you’re visiting is known to be tick-infested; if so, you may want to avoid it – you’ll definitely want to war long sleeves and trousers (ideally tucked into your socks)
  •  Avoid long grass and walk on footpaths in such areas
  •  Spray insect repellent on your skin that’s exposed
  •  Always check your body (especially the neck and skin-folds) for ticks
  •  Check for ticks too on your clothes and your pets, should they have been with you


Conventional medical treatment tends to focus on the use of antibiotics – often over a two-to four-week course. Depending on the symptoms’ severity, it could be you’re advised injected (intravenous) antibiotics. Yet, there are two points to be made here. Should the condition have reached post-infectious Lyme disease, a sufferer may want to seek further treatment for the chronic fatigue-like symptoms; plus, for some people, taking a large number of antibiotics does their gastrointestinal and digestive systems no good at all and, thus, can result in regular diarrhoea, while the over-reliance on antibiotics is, of course, a contributory factor to the rise in bacterial infections, as these harmful bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotic medication2.

Lyme Disease Supplements

To that end, while anyone would be highly advised to follow the guidance of a medical professional when it comes to Lyme disease treatment, they might also be interested in the natural supplement options on the market that could prove a big help in alleviating some of their symptoms. Such products available from us at The Finchley Clinic (check the ‘Lyme Disease’ section on the website) are:

Samento-15mlSamento – a variety of the Peruvian herb Cat’s claw (a climbing vine native to the Amazon rainforest), which is today used throughout the world to help treat Lyme disease, as well as candida and viral and bacterial infections.


Banderol-30mlBanderol – a potent liquid extract of Banderol bark that may help support the immune system and is frequently used for candida management, microbial defence and Lyme disease treatment.


Magnesium-CitrateMagnesium Citrate – long-term Lyme disease sufferers lack magnesium, so this can be a very handy supplement, not least as magnesium’s crucial to the body’s Krebs cycle (the sequence of reactions that sees cells generate energy) and thus reducing fatigue.


1. ‘Lyme disease’. NHS Choices. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Lyme-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Last reviewed: 31 Mar 2015.

2. Soffar H. ‘Antibiotics advantage and disadvantages’. Online Sciences. http://www.online-sciences.com/health/antibiotics-advantages-and-disadvantages. 13 Jan 2016.

In the Right Vein: How to look After your Arteries and Veins

Of all the parts of the body, our arteries and veins may be one of those we take most for granted. There they are under our skin, sometimes visible, other times not, transporting the blood (and, in it, all the oxygen, vitamins, minerals, nutrients and more we need to survive and stay healthy, as well as the harmful entities like carbon dioxide so they can be expelled from the body). Yes, they’re just doing their job, while we get on with our lives and, for the most part, ignore them.

But should we take them for granted; let alone ignore them? Well, usually, as long as we’re in good health, looking after ourselves in general via a decent, balanced diet and getting regular exercise, we shouldn’t have too much trouble on the vein front. Yet, occasionally, it’s sensible to think about the welfare of the vascular system; about how important it is to maintain artery and vein integrity. After all, it’s the arteries and veins that are the highways of our bodies; like motorways, should they become clogged up or damaged, things begin to grind to a halt. And we can end up getting ill – potentially seriously.

Dietary Tips

In addition to – as mentioned, getting exercise to keep our overall cardiovascular system in good trim – perhaps the major thing we can do to ensure our arteries and veins remain in good health is to seek the right nutrients for them from what we eat and drink. Diet is enormously important for a healthy body – and nowhere is that truer than for the vascular system. For good vein health then, you’re advised to ensure your diet is balanced, full of high-quality, organic food and definitely includes:

  • Bioflavonoids – often responsible for the pigments of fruits and vegetables, these nutrient compounds occur in dark leafy greens, dark berries, onions and garlic (all the healthy but tasty stuff); according to The University of Maryland Medical Center, bioflavonoids found in the likes of blueberries, cranberries and grapes are great for aiding in the reduction of aching, pain and swelling of varicose veins, not least as they aid in strengthening blood vessels’ walls and valves1
  • Fibre – an essential food group in general, fibre’s critical for the vascular system because it can lessen risk of blood thickening-, heart- disease- and stroke-causing high cholesterol as, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, it helps ensure unnecessary and harmful fats are removed from the digestive system before they make it into the blood flow and become fatty plaques, as well as working to keep your weight down; indeed, NutritionMD maintains that women who are just somewhat overweight have a 50% greater risk than those not of experiencing varicose veins1
  • Vitamin B3 – otherwise known as niacin, this nutrient’s often called on to help treat elevated levels of cholesterol and triglyceride (one of the two main constituents of body fat) in the blood and can also aid in combating atherosclerosis (which sees artery walls thicken); foods rich in niacin include green peas, mushrooms, peanuts and tuna
  • Vitamin C – universally acknowledged as an utterly crucial nutrient for good health and to be found in a wide variety of recommended foods, Vitamin C (among its many roles in the body) is relied on for the production of the elastic fibres collagen and elastin, which are both critical for ensuring vascular walls are strong and flexible as blood pumps through arteries and veins; according to NutritionMD, the work of creating collagen and elastin can never afford to stop, so maintaining your Vitamin C levels is a priority here1
  • Vitamin E – diabetics take note, as they’re more prone than most to blood clots that stick to artery walls, causing them to stiffen, narrow and weaken, and lead to heart disease and strokes; according to Vein Care of Americ,a Vitamin E’s highly effective at preventing platelets (blood-clotting proteins) from adhering together1 and the nutrient occurs in foods like kale, mustard and turnip greens, plant oils, raw seeds, spinach and Swiss chard.

Vein Support Supplements

In addition to adopting a healthy – and vein integrity-friendly – diet, you may be interested to learn there are supplements on the market designed to deliver many of the nutrients your vascular system requires to remain fit and strong. The three that follow – as well as several more – are available via The Finchley Clinic:

Healthy-Veins-90CapsulesNutrition for Healthy Veins– a supplement solution that contains Vitamin E, bilberry and the potent antioxidants Diosmin and Rutin, which all combine to support vein and capillary strength and tone.


liposomal_glutathione_250mlLiposomal Vitamin C – delivers the all-important nutrient via new supplement technology; the vitamin’s blended with phospholipids (a lipid combined with phosphorous) to ensure the Vitamin C reaches the body’s cells easier and more effectively.


True-Food-Magnesium-180True Food Natural Vitamin E – actually comprising many health-friendly nutrients in addition to Vitamin E, this product works to help protect cell membranes from oxidative damage and support healthy skin.


1. Haris N. ‘What Nutrients Are Needed to Keep the Arteries & Veins Strong?’ Healthy Eating SF Gate. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutrients-needed-keep-arteries-veins-strong-5002.html.

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '[' in /home/thefinch/public_html/blog/wp-content/themes/twentyfourteen/footer.php on line 5024