Natural Ways to Reduce a Hangover

Natural Ways to Reduce a Hangover

In my 20's and 30's, I resorted to taking Ibuprofen every time I suffered from a hangover with a pulsating headache.
 
Cheap and effective, but despite working with the team that discovered this anti-inflammatory I was oblivious to the potential damage this drug was doing to my gut and cardiovascular health. 
 
As an anti-inflammatory, Ibuprofen is very effective,  but its side effects include increasing cardiovascular risks and damaging the protective lining of the gut!  Plus it is only effective for up to 6 hours.
 
I then discovered that Turmeric, at the correct strength, has multiple anti-inflammatory benefits, works just as well as Ibuprofen or aspirin and actually improves gut health. 
 
The issue as it happens is our body's slow capacity to excrete the toxic alcohol metabolites from our body.
 
However, scientific research (ref 1,2,3)  has proven that curcuminoinds, the active compounds in Turmeric, are effective at removing both the cause and symptoms of a hangover.
 
Curcuminoids are also potent antioxidants. Alcohol consumption can cause oxidative stress that damages your cells, so an effective antioxidant is vital during a night of drinking.
 
So the perfect natural solutions for festive hangovers are taken BEFORE you go to sleep:
  • Natruflex Turmeric   -   1-2 capsules taken BEFORE you go to sleep and as and when required during the next day
  • Gut Love                   -  21 probiotics and 2 organic prebiotics. 1 capsule daily to settle the digestion and improve the excretion
  • Marine Magnesium  - 1 capsule at night for nerve and muscle function
 

 Shop our Hangover Gift Box

 

RESEARCH:

Jeff Schmidt - Heart Attack

Heart Attack by Jeff Schmidt

It turns out that we really are ‘the sum total of our experiences.’ Had I known then the impact of many of my decisions, I may have made changes earlier, but it turns out that we must live life to truly understand it. 

I was definitely living life. Perceived invincibility provided me with the tunnel vision which enabled me to dash from one task to another, ticking off one more achievement, adventure and accolade.

Of course you can’t sustain this symphonic level of intensity without topping up the tank with quick access fuel, mine came in the form of sugar- packets of delicious sweets and finely baked biscuits.

I also gradually began to neglect my regular exercise regimen in exchange for a membership in the weekend warrior club. Gut irritation and a little extra weight accumulated, but, as far as I was concerned, I felt normal for a 40-something professional.

‘That’ evening, the one that irreversibly shook up my life, Thursday 3 December, I found myself staring eternity squarely in the face. I had returned home from work with my two girls. It had been a stressful day capped by a suitably heated, hard-hitting quarrel that left me trembling. 

 I did not generally consider my life stressful, and yet I knew that I ran at a pretty high-octane pace. But that was OK, because, despite warnings from others, I was, or believed I was, bulletproof.  

I wore my intensity like a shiny badge of honour. On that evening, however, the engine said ‘no more’; you can’t drive even the most brilliantly engineered sports cars at 5000 RPM indefinitely. 

 It took my mum, who spotted me bent over, clutching my chest, rubbing my arms on FaceTime and my daughter's subsequent fear-filled plea to get help for me to make the medical call. Reluctantly, in a haze of pain, I did make the call. In minutes an ambulance was there. 

 

Pride masking the danger, I couldn’t help, but feel that all this commotion was quite unnecessary. The seasoned paramedics quickly assessed my traumatised frame, blood pressure surging through my veins like a blocked firehose. They looked me straight in the eyes, piercing my vanity, and said, “We are taking you to hospital. Now.” 

Jeff Schmidt - a loose wire

 

‘That’ evening marked the beginning of a myriad of changes.  Naturally, and most significantly was that of my health, but also, running neatly alongside, compelling me, almost without choice, was my desire to capture the goodness in life around me. 

Being in hospital forced me to slow down and rest, my senses sharpened and my eyes opened to the subtleties in the world around me, to things I had not previously noticed before. 

I became acutely aware of nuances in conversation, of the sacrifices of those around me and of the delicacy of relationships. I was also painfully cognizant, in increasing measure, of the compounding effects of the bad choices I had made for my body- sugar addiction, stress, exercise withdrawal and sleep deprivation.

Buckminster Fuller once said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” So, that is what I did (and am doing), engineering a new, more tantalising model for life. 

My diet, for instance, has been transformed. The once glutinous intake has been replaced with cleaner foods, nutrition straight from the earth and, perhaps more importantly, I expunged sweets. 

Implored by the immediacy of the situation, I also instilled radical changes to my work routine and introduced regular, gentler exercises in the great outdoors. The list goes on, but I feel that, if indeed we are ‘the sum total of our experiences,’ I have been gifted a lifeline with which to significantly alter the outcome of my time here on earth. And, I must say, my heart feels good, very good indeed.

 

NOTE FROM THE NAKED PHARMACY

Jeff’s story highlights the importance of regular heart health checks for both men and women above the age of 30. The good news is many heart and circulatory diseases are caused by risk factors that can be controlled, treated or modified.
Key risk factors as identified by The British Heart Foundation are cholesterol, diabetes, being overweight, physical inactivity, smoking and having high blood pressure. As well as a family history of heart issues.
As a pharmacist, I believe that relatively simple diet and lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of heart disease. 
Our targeted high strength supplements can help and the general rule for these supplements is to start as early as possible to help prevent problems rather than have to treat later, especially if you recognise the risk factors.
My two supplements of choice are Bergatone to reduce the build up of bad fats in the body and improve the metabolism. Research is now showing that the four specific polyphenols in high strength organic bergamot fruit extract provide effective support for managing weight and cholesterol, by binding to bad fats in the gut.
Alongside Black Garlic an organic compound that is produced when white garlic is fermented over several months. It helps to maintain healthy blood pressure, as well as protecting the cardiovascular system.

............

 

Follow our YOUTUBE channel or Instagram to watch the conversation between Jeff and Kevin.

 

Jeff Schmidt is the Author/illustrator of the bestselling book: 

 HEART ATTACK- Finding hope, joy and inspiration through adversity. 

How to avoid the two main deficiencies  in a vegan diet?

How to avoid the two main deficiencies in a vegan diet?

The number of vegans has been growing rapidly over recent years and the concept of vegetarianism is not new dating back as early as 500 BC, first mentioned by Pythagoras.

In Great Britain, the number of vegans is estimated to have quadrupled between 2014 and 2019. 

Famous vegans

Novak Djokovic, Venus and Serena Williams, Lewis Hamilton, Mike Tyson, Martina Navratilova, David Haye are great examples that veganism offers one the potential to not only be healthy, but also for elite athletes to thrive.

Some key nutrients vegans should be aware of

Although there are health benefits to a vegan lifestyle, it is also important to recognise that, as with any diet, if not appropriately planned then it is easy to become nutritionally deficient as there are certain nutrients that are not available from plants.

Below are some of the 2 key nutrients that vegans need to be aware of to avoid deficiencies or imbalances.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient, which does not originate in plants, but from bacteria. 

In fact, B12 supplements are (for the most part) also given to farm animals, meaning even those on non-vegan diets are supplementing, but indirectly.

Symptoms of B12 deficiency may include:

  • A pale yellow tinge to your skin
  • A sore and red tongue (glossitis)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
  • Disturbed vision
  • Irritability
  • Unexplained sadness 
  • A decline in your mental abilities, such as memory, understanding and judgement 

Due to B12 not being readily present in a vegan diet it’s recommended to supplement this, especially for strict vegans. 

Two tablets daily of our Saffrosun with Vitamin B12 offers 100% of the Nutritional Reference Value (NRV).

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin”, and although it is possible to obtain this through certain plant foods such as mushrooms, in general it is not broadly consumed on a vegan diet.

In fact, the NHS advises that "everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter” [Source [9]].

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Not sleeping well
  • Bone pain or achiness
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Getting sick more easily

Again, it is good practice to use a supplement to ensure you are getting the recommend intake of Vitamin D, particularly in colder seasons with having less sun exposure. One capsule of our Pure Organic Vitamin D offers 200% of the NRV, and one capsule of our Vitamin D3 contains 100% NRV.

Probiotics

Probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria, and studies suggest that taking probiotics are linked to a range of health benefits. These include benefits for gut function, immune function, respiratory tract infections, and duration of illness. 

Although vegans generally consume a diet rich in fibre, which is a key gut nutrient and it is possible to acquire probiotics from plant-based sources such as fermented foods (e.g. sourdough bread and tempeh), vegans don’t consume the most common probiotic rich foods such as yogurt and kefir.

Our Gut Love supplement contains 21 probiotics and prebiotics, and 19 billion good bacteria to support overall gut health including one probiotic which originates from soil. 

The Naked Pharmacy Supplements

All of The Naked Pharmacy’s own brand of supplements are entirely vegan and contain natural ingredients, meaning higher absorption and bioavailability than synthetic supplements.

 

The benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics

The benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics

The health benefits of prebiotics and probiotics
How to enjoy sleep, naturally

How to enjoy sleep, naturally

How to enjoy sleep naturally
Turmeric - For Health Conditions

Turmeric - For Health Conditions

Turmeric is a well-known spice that plays a vast role as a natural health remedy for many conditions.

The spice naturally reduces swelling and discomfort in joints and muscles. Any conditions involving inflamed tissues can benefit from turmeric, including hay fever and bowel conditions. There is also more and more evidence to suggest turmeric can improve cognitive/brain function and mental health conditions such as low mood.

The roots of this ancient plant, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, have been used as a spice, health tonic and food dye for centuries. However, only recently have researchers endorsed these traditional uses with good quality clinical research.

How can I take turmeric?

The traditional way to take turmeric is, of course, using it as a spice in your food and drink recipes. However, there are two issues with this approach when using turmeric for specific health conditions.

Firstly, you need a significant amount of powder to achieve the effective dose, nearly 70g of raw powder twice a day in fact, which is of course not practical. Secondly, most of this powder and the active components it contains, will pass straight through the bowel without absorption making the purchase a waste of money.

As Pharmacists, we advise you to take your turmeric as a supplement. Food supplements like Natruflex are very efficient because they have a very high concentrated dose of the bioactives. Food grade turmeric has a strength of 2-6% whereas Natruflex contains 95% curcuminoids. This means that out of 100g of Natruflex, 95g are active curcuminoids. In addition, Natruflex contains the optimum strength of black pepper, which ensures that all the active curcuminoids are absorbed. This makes Natruflex one of the most effective turmeric supplements on the market.


What is the difference between Natruflex and other turmeric supplements?

    • Most Turmeric or Curcumin supplements are made up of just one isolated form of turmeric’s active curcuminoids — curcumin — which counts for 2-4% of most turmeric preparations.
    • Natruflex contains a minimum of fifteen different curcuminoid compounds which we believe to be more effective than a single component. These 15 components work together to create a safer and more balanced physiological effect.
    • Natruflex contains 95% of black pepper with piperine which increases the absorption of turmeric by up to 2000%. Most black peppers are not tested for the amount of piperine they contain.

    Increasing Absorption of Turmeric and Curcuminoids

      On its own, turmeric is not easily absorbed. Turmeric is fat soluble, meaning it won’t be absorbed as well without the presence of fat or oil. At The Naked Pharmacy, we advise that turmeric is always taken with either a healthy fat like coconut butter or mixed with a high strength pepper extract with piperine. This increases the absorption by up to 2000%.

      Does Turmeric really work?

      There are now many clinical trials which are randomised, placebo controlled and blinded that show turmeric is a very effective product. This is a pharmaceutical standard for clinical research that eliminates the effects from a dummy pill called a placebo. It’s the evidence base and clinical research standard we look to achieve in all our product development.

      The regulation of COX and LOX enzymes by curcuminoids is the key mechanism for its beneficial effects in preventing various inflammatory diseases.

      How can I recover from exercise-related injuries faster?

      For protection and relief of muscle and joint discomfort, you should take one to two capsules of Natruflex as required, taking a maximum of four capsules per day. Natruflex contains premium quality turmeric and black pepper from southern India, which both contain 95% strength of bioactive and are uniquely combined with magnesium to support muscle and nerve function.

      Why do people take turmeric for bowel disturbances?

      Turmeric may also help relieve the stomach after eating something fatty or spicy. It can also help with excessive gas, support digestion and calm abnormal muscle movements resulting from digestive issues such as IBS. And because this spice naturally contains potassium and magnesium, it is often taken to help rehydrate after diarrhoea.

      Turmeric as a digestive aid

      Turmeric contains many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that have a soothing effect on the gastrointestinal system and provide support for digestion. Turmeric can even combat some queasiness and support internal cleansing. Herbalists have used it for centuries as a liver tonic. Also, because of its digestive benefits, some people use turmeric during weight loss and exercise programs.


      How do I take Natruflex?

        Just one capsule of Natruflex is equivalent to 65g of food grade turmeric.

        Teenagers and adults: For protection and relief of muscle and joint discomfort,take one to two capsules of Natruflex as required, taking a maximum of four capsules per day. Capsules must be taken with food.

        To prevent injury before sport, do a five day regime of one to two capsules per day, before the event. Capsules must be taken with food.

        If you don’t like taking capsules, you can simply open them up and use the Natruflex as a powder with hot milk (non-dairy options work too) and whisk into a turmeric latte which is spicy, healthy and delicious, or alternatively add it to your favourite recipe.


        Can you take too much turmeric?

          It’s very rare to experience side effects from taking too much turmeric but it’s better to take a quality product like Natruflex and stick to the recommended dose advised by our pharmacists.

          You can take Turmeric indefinitely, but as with anything, we like to recommend that you take a holiday from it every now and then. We recommend you take a week off every three months just to avoid your body becoming tolerant, which is where your body downgrades its response towards it.

          However, if you have a pre-existing condition such as arthritis then continue to take it without a break.

          Forest Bathing

          Forest Bathing

          Intuitively, we understand that we feel better in nature.

          Research has shown that a specific way of spending time in nature, called forest bathing, has immense benefits to our physical and mental wellbeing.

          What is forest bathing?

          It is a slow walk in the forest or woodland, using nature mindfully, to engage our senses.

          Nature provides many opportunities to help us be mindful and present.

          What can we see? Notice the many shades of green and fractal patterns of leaves and branches.

          What do we hear? Notice the orchestra created by the wind and leaves, the songs of birds or the crunching of frost beneath our feet. 

          What do we smell? Notice the various scents of pine, the earthiness of fungi or the memory-evoking smell of soil.

          What do we feel? Notice the softness of moss with our hands, the tickling of the pine on our cheeks or the coolness of the wind on our skin.

          And finally, what do we taste? We can sometimes taste the air or finish a forest bathing session with a taste of the woodland, such as with pine needle tea.


          What are the origins of forest bathing?

            Forest Bathing is known in Japan as shinrin yoku and was started in the 1980s when many Japanese people showed signs of being stressed and overworked due to what was called “technostress”.

            As Japanese society became more reliant on technology, people were further removed from nature. Something needed to be done. With tree coverage of 67% and a culture that pays reverence to nature, Japan naturally looked to the forests. Forest bathing was born.


            Benefits arise from two factors. 

            The first source of the benefits of forest bathing are phytoncides.

            Walking in the forest exposes us to the forest’s natural aromatherapy. Phytoncides are the natural oils within plants and are part of a tree’s defence system, protecting it from pests and diseases. These same phytoncides are partly responsible for the benefits. The main components of phytoncides are terpenes, which include D-limonene (smells lemony), Alpha-pinene (has a fresh, piney scent), Beta-pinene (smells herby, like basil or dill) and Camphene (smells of turpentine, a resinous smell)

            The second source of the benefits of forest bathing are mindfulness and meditation.

            Mindfulness and meditation helps us switch from our sympathetic nervous system, or ‘fight and flight’, to our parasympathetic nervous system, or ‘rest and digest’. If you already practice mindfulness and meditation, you will know that the key to calming the mind down is to focus on your breath. However, it can sometimes be difficult just to focus on the breath. Nature provides many subjects for us comfortably and happily to focus on and helps us “be in the present”. Remember the sight, sound, smell, feel and taste sensory exercises I introduced earlier? They help us re-connect with nature. After all, humans have spent 99.9% of time in history in a natural (rather than urban) environment making nature a place where humans instinctively feel relaxed and comfortable.

            So next time you are in the forest or woodland, see if you can slow down your walking pace and take time to notice what is around you.

            Or to slow down fully, let a forest bathing guide help you do the thinking. Two to three hours of forest bathing every four weeks replenishes the benefits of forest bathing.

            There are many places you can practice forest bathing.

            Forestry England is one source that shares locations of woodlands near you. The National Trust has a wealth of locations to forest bathe. If you are near the Surrey Hills, Hinoki Forest Bathing provides guided forest bathing sessions, including sunrise and sunset sessions, that finish with a Japanese influenced woodland tea ceremony.

            Let nature replenish and care for you and in turn be inspired to care for nature.

            By Lisa Duncan, HINOKI Forest Bathing in the Surrey Hills

            How to lose weight naturally

            How to lose weight naturally

            Accumulation of belly fat is something that can creep up over the years and catch us by surprise. It is suggested that on average adults gain ~1.5kg annually and never shed that weight. Why is that?

            The answer is often our lifestyle. Reducing calorie intake and supporting gut health by increasing your vegetable intake will support weight loss but shifting belly fat can be more troublesome. Coupled with this is the effect this fat is having internally - on our blood vessels and heart for example.

            One of the biggest culprits driving stubborn belly fat is sugar intake

            Hidden sugars in many foods and drinks will increase the accumulation of fat in the tissues and blood vessels. Look at the sugar contents of many cereals, breads, fizzy drinks etc and try to cut them out completely. Every improvement you make by increasing exercise or supplementing can be completely counteracted by your sugary intakes.

            Bergatone

            One clinically tested solution for bad fats is Bergatone, a natural food supplement made from Italian bergamot fruits. Studies have shown that 3 capsules daily, 30 minutes before food for a period of 4 months can help manage weight and cholesterol alongside a healthy eating and exercise routine. How does it do this? Each tablet is packed full of active ‘power house’ polyphenols at 35% effective strength. These polyphenols bind to bad fats from our diets in our gut and tissues. They also help to balance cholesterol in the liver. Double whammy!


            Black Garlic

            When it comes to protecting our heart we can further help by supplementing our diet with daily Aged Black Garlic. This has been shown to help relax our blood vessels, allowing for more efficient circulation of blood to our tissues. How does it do this?...Our Black Garlic is selected due to its naturally high concentrations of the chemical allicin. A six month aging and fermentation process converts allicin to active S-allyl cysteine (S-AC). This high strength, premium grade S-AC provides the protection for our cardiovascular system. Aged Black Garlic and Bergatone are a perfect combination, working in harmony with each other on separate cardiovascular systems.

            How to enjoy great sleep, naturally

            How to enjoy great sleep, naturally

            I only appreciated the full value of sleep after my son was born and we experienced regular interrupted nights. After a few weeks my mind started playing tricks and my wife would often find items in our food cupboards which were obviously not supposed to be there!

            It took us several months to resolve my son’s regular wake up calls - we mixed bananas with his formula which sustained nutrition beyond 2 hours. By that time, I felt I was functioning at 30% of my usual capacity. However, I then found it difficult to restore my sleep pattern back to the pre-parenthood 7-8 hours. My body and its sleep hormones had adapted to the new regime.

            Sleep research demonstrates how long term sleep problems impact health. The health impact data for sleep problems is a wake up call in itself! Long term effects include a decline in cognitive function, increase in mental health problems, chronic fatigue, and lack of concentration / irritability.

            Every person is unique. However, the National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults should sleep, on average, between seven and nine hours a night.


            How to reset the sleep pattern with natural solutions.

            Sleep disturbances can be caused mainly by lifestyle, environmental and health factors.

            Understanding and treating the primary cause, should usually resolve the issue and improve the quality of sleep.


            Diet

              I concluded from this experience, that I should never underestimate the power of food or drink to affect my health including sleep. To reset my system, I cut out all products containing caffeine and sugar for 2 weeks and then reintroduced them carefully avoiding caffeine in the afternoon or evenings. I love a glass of red wine in the evenings but I noticed even one glass affected the quality of my sleep making me wake up during the night so I reduced my week day alcohol intake too.


              Smoking

                I’m not a smoker but the data shows that nicotine is a brain stimulant so, while it is advisable to quit smoking altogether, it is important to avoid smoking just before bedtime.


                Lifestyle

                  Daily exercise is fundamental for physical and psychological health; however, exercising just before bedtime will increase the body’s adrenaline production and raise body temperature, making it more difficult to switch off. So, exercise earlier in the day and try to avoid more intense exercise 2 hours before bedtime if possible.

                  The influence of daylight on the body’s sleep hormone melatonin is well documented. Exercising in daylight helps to restore melatonin levels in the evening. However, a glance at a mobile phone or laptop screen at night will quickly reduce the levels of this sleep hormone. Even opening a fridge door at night can have a negative effect.


                  Physical Health

                    Problems such as headaches, migraines or chronic pain will stop you from getting a good night sleep. Speak to your GP or Pharmacist about the appropriate medication or natural remedy to treat the relevant symptoms in order to resolve the issue.

                    Stress and mental health problems like anxiety and depression contribute to a high percentage of sleep difficulties. In this case, a combined approach of psychological support, lifestyle changes and use of medication/natural remedies, tailored to the severity of symptoms, is often very helpful and can restore emotional balance and promote restful sleep. Also, relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, mindfulness can help you to relax and unwind.

                    Furthermore, sleep difficulties can be related to hormone imbalances; fluctuations in the levels of testosterone, thyroxin, cortisol, progesterone and melatonin (sleep hormone) can all disturb your sleep pattern.

                    The production of melatonin naturally increases especially with evening darkness and it is a central part of the body’s sleep-wake cycle. The levels of melatonin are very important to induce and maintain sleep. Synthetic melatonin can be taken for the relief from short term sleep disturbances and can help adjust the body's internal clock. Consult your GP before starting melatonin therapy which is available on NHS prescription.


                    Environment

                      The bedroom should be somewhere that we associate with sleep. It is better to remove distractions from your bedroom and watch TV, play computer games and eat in another room. This will allow you to relax and unwind.

                      Also the ‘blue light’ generated by computers, phones and tablets displays suppresses the production of melatonin, hence causing sleep disruption. It is recommended not using these devices at least two hours before you go to sleep in order to reduce the impact on the quality of your night rest.

                      Other common factors that can affect sleep are light, temperature and noise. You should be able to control the intensity of light and noise in the room by using blackout curtains/ eye mask and ear plugs respectively. The temperature of the room is also very important; feeling too cold or hot can disrupt your sleep so always make sure you work out the best sleep environment for you. Keeping a sleep diary can be useful to record the conditions that helped you get a good night sleep.


                      How can Nature help?


                      At the Naked Pharmacy we believe in a holistic approach to health.

                      While addressing the root cause of sleep difficulties should be the first point of action, the use of natural remedies can support the process leading to a better quality and quantity of sleep.


                      Saffrosun with Marine Minerals

                      Saffrosun with Marine Minerals helps to reduce tiredness, fatigue, improve sleep and maintain emotional balance. Saffron has been shown to have neuro-protective effects. It balances the production of serotonin (happy hormone) in the gut which constantly signals to the brain, via the vagus nerve, your state of well-being.

                      At The Naked Pharmacy, we ensure that all of our supplements are made with effective strength bioactives and are scientifically supported by clinical trials. You can read more about our research here.


                      Marine Magnesium

                      Pure Marine Magnesium is a natural remedy which helps to support optimum nerve and muscle function, while promoting relaxation. It is sourced from sea algae and is one of the seven essential minerals we need for our bodies to function healthily. Magnesium helps relax muscles and induce sleep.

                      You can read more about clinical trials on the effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia here.


                      Avena Sativa

                      The medicinal herb Avena Sativa has been shown to promote restful sleep and relaxation. This plant contains natural compounds which are both sedative and soothing to the brain and nervous system; hence it is very helpful in resolving sleep disturbances.


                      Other plants

                      Other medicinal plants that can improve sleep quality are: Valerian root, Lavender, Chamomile and Passiflora.

                      Valerian root and Passiflora are among the most commonly used herbal ingredients to induce sleep. Several studies have shown their efficacy in improving sleep quality. You can read more about the research here and here.

                      It is recommended to consult your Pharmacist or GP before taking any new supplement to make sure it is suitable for you.


                      Final thoughts


                      After the birth of my son I realised why sleep is a vital component of overall health and well-being to help my body repair and re-set, ready for a new day. Taking a step by step approach to treat my sleep disturbance eventually resolved the issue. Eventually, I realised that my pre-bed routines and environment had a significant influence on the quality of my sleep. Small, incremental changes made a big difference.

                      Natural remedies proved effective for me and still form part of my approach, whenever I am troubled with poor sleep. At The Naked Pharmacy, we are always very happy when we help solve customer sleep problems because we know how much this will improve overall health and happiness.

                      Vitamins: Natural or Synthetic?

                      Vitamins: Natural or Synthetic?

                      Research supports the use of targeted nutritional supplements for a wide range of health benefits.

                      We always recommend that you meet your daily requirements primarily from the diet. However, due to reduced nutritional content of intensively farmed foods, it can be difficult to achieve this.

                      The need for evidence:

                      Every person is unique. However, the National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults should sleep, on average, between seven and nine hours a night.

                      There must always be an evidence-based reason for supplementing your diet or a specific nutritional deficiency that needs resolving. For instance, folic acid in pregnancy, magnesium for muscle cramps/sports recovery, vitamin C and vitamin D for strengthening the immune system.

                      What's the difference between natural & synthetic vitamins?

                      Not all supplements are the same in terms of the way they are sourced, manufactured, tested and packaged. For vitamins and minerals, consumers should always be asking suppliers where the ingredients are sourced from and how they are manufactured


                      How are synthetic vitamins made?

                        Synthetic vitamins are usually made artificially from chemicals within a laboratory or factory. They mimic the chemical structure of naturally occurring nutrients. The more complex the structure of the vitamin/mineral the more stages required to synthesise and therefore the greater number of impurities that need to be removed before the final product can be sold as a food supplement. Petrochemical solvents may be required to achieve this, which can have a negative impact on the environment.


                        How are natural vitamins made?

                          Natural vitamins are sourced from whole food such as algae, fruit or vegetables. They are dried, concentrated and their nutrients are extracted (generally with water or alcohol) to form a nutritional supplement. In this way, the beneficial compounds remain in their natural form, just as you would find them in your food but at much higher concentrations. Studies have shown that naturally sourced minerals have a higher bioavailability than synthetic alternatives because they are absorbed more efficiently.


                          What’s the difference between natural and synthetic vitamin C?

                            Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), an essential water-soluble micronutrient, is a good example of the differences between synthetic and naturally sourced. Whilst synthetic and food-derived vitamin C are chemically identical, the food-sourced version is rich in numerous additional nutrients, dietary fibres and phytochemicals which contribute to the health of the gut micro-biome. These synergistic ingredients are not present in chemically produced vitamins.


                            Final Thoughts:

                              A research-based approach for supplementation using only food-sourced vitamins and minerals provides advantages for both the health of the body and the environment. When supplements are made only from concentrated, 100% natural ingredients they are better absorbed and able to support the gut micro-biome. The Naked Pharmacy includes organic prebiotics within all its vitamin and mineral formulations.

                              Kevin Leivers M.R.Pharm.S.

                              Vitamin B12 and why it's important our products remain food sourced.

                              Vitamin B12 and why it's important our products remain food sourced.

                              Last year we made the important decision to change the vitamins and minerals in our supplements to food sourced which means we no longer use synthetic ingredients. Six weeks ago our supplier of Vitamin B12 in India had to close due to COVID, at present; this is the only manufacturing plant in the world that makes Vitamin B12 extracted from mushrooms to the standard we require.

                              As a result of this shutdown, we decided to remove Vitamin B12 from our Saffrosun supplements and replace it with Organic Marine Algae which provides a wide range of essential minerals and is sourced in waters off the Scottish coastline. It's important to us that our community understands why we took this step and why it is essential for us to maintain this principle whatever the challenges that arise. So here are a few of the reasons why we changed to food sourced ingredients:

                              Safety:

                              Synthetic vitamins and minerals are often produced by chemical factories where the quality assurance procedures may not always meet our high standards. We feel that only full on-site quality audits can assure us that the ingredients are made correctly without chemical by-products (formed during the chemical processes) that could be harmful.


                              Effectiveness:

                                This has to be assessed on a case by case basis, as some synthetics are effective whilst others are not. Synthetic Vitamin E is a good example as the synthetic process produces different forms of the same vitamin which are significantly less effective than the natural D-Alpha form. We concluded that food source vitamins help eliminate this potential issue.


                                Environment:

                                  Synthetic products use potentially harmful raw materials which create additional by-products, the more complex the synthesis process, the more of these by-products need to be removed from the final product. This leads to more environmental waste and increases the carbon footprint.


                                  Pharmacists Advice:

                                    When our Vitamin B12 supply was interrupted, rather than revert to adding a readily available synthetic B12, we sourced organic marine minerals from the Scottish Hebrides as a replacement instead. Based on science and our core values, we believe it will bring additional benefits, especially in terms of energy levels. Our new Saffrosun with Marine Minerals can be taken alongside prescription medicines (just like the previous formula) and also with an underactive thyroid, although additional iodine supplements should be stopped. We do not recommend taking Saffrosun with Marine Minerals if you have overactive thyroid function. We aim to have our Saffrosun with B12 back in stock late November 2020 at the earliest.

                                    Italian Bergamot: The Mediterranean Way to a Healthy Cardiovascular System

                                    Italian Bergamot: The Mediterranean Way to a Healthy Cardiovascular System

                                    As if Chianti and pizza were not enough reasons to love everything Italian, one of the most powerful natural solutions for cardiovascular health has Italian roots, literally!

                                    Bergamot may sound familiar as the peel of this citrus is often used for teas, perfumes and essential oils. The fruits grow on trees only in the region of Southern Italy called Calabria, very close to Sicily.

                                    Beyond the appeal of the peel, the fruit pulp itself has a unique combination of five polyphenol bioactives, whose names are a mouthful such as naringin, bruteridin and melitidin. These natural bergamot compounds block the same enzyme as statin medications but without the side effects. Bergamot fruit extract has also been shown to lower blood sugar, reduce inflammation, improve blood vessel activity and activate the AMP-K system, similar to a common diabetic drug called metformin.

                                    How is all of this known about the citrus fruit growing in a remote area of Italy?

                                    There was a belief that natives of Sicily who ate the fruit of the bergamot citrus tree did not get heart disease, diabetes and other maladies.

                                    Universities in Italy began studying this folklore which proved to be accurate, based on a number of high quality human clinical studies. There are now more than 200 scientific studies exploring the role of bergamot for health. Bergamot is now available in capsules that concentrate the active polyphenols found in the whole fruit.


                                    Does bergamot actually work?

                                      The science says yes and the experiences and feedback from consumers who regularly take bergamot supplements supports this too. In a recent trial of 77 patients with high cholesterol, subjects were treated with either a statin medication alone or a combination of statin and bergamot. The combination therapy produced the lowest LDL cholesterol and the highest HDL cholesterol.

                                      This trial also showed the measures of damage to blood vessels by oxidation were the lowest when bergamot was added. Further studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of bergamot on blood sugar levels and body weight were demonstrated.


                                      What about metabolic syndrome?

                                        Metabolic syndrome is a combination of increased abdominal fat and waistline, hypertension, abnormal cholesterol lipid values with low HDL and high triglycerides and elevated blood sugar.

                                        An estimated 20–25% of the world’s adult population is thought to have this condition and maybe as many as one third of adults in the United Kingdom suffer from it. Bergamot has proven to be particularly useful in assisting the reversal of this syndrome, which raises the risk of future events like heart attack and stroke.

                                        A particularly challenging condition seen more and more commonly is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), also known as NASH. NASH results from an inactive lifestyle along with a diet that is high in processed foods, oils and fats which over time, overloads liver cells with fat droplets. It is also associated with insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and adult Type 2 diabetes as the insulin resistance builds. While the foundation of the treatment of NASH is activity, weight loss, plant-based diets with low or absent of added oils, bergamot shows promise here too. In a study of humans with metabolic syndrome and NAFLD, significant responses to bergamot were recorded.


                                        What can Bergatone do for you?

                                          When combined with lifestyle efforts focusing on diet, exercise, sleep and stress, the bergamot fruit from southern Italy could provide significant cardiovascular benefits.

                                          Our new formulation of Bergatone sees a move from tablets to capsules that contain pure Bergatone fruit extract in a tapioca capsule shell, nothing else.

                                          We recommend this supplement is taken for at least 3-4 months at a dose of one capsule three times daily. This should be consumed 20-30 minutes before the three main meals and in doing so will:

                                          • Help unhealthy fats pass safely through the gut
                                          • Restore and improve cardiovascular health
                                          • Help restore normal cholesterol balance