How to Tame a Mid-Life Belly

How to Tame a Mid-Life Belly

An increase in fat around the waistline during our 40's is common even if there has been no change in your diet or lifestyle and can lead you to feeling frustrated that your previously successful weight-loss tactics are no longer effective.

However the good news is that our bodies undergo changes in hormone levels, muscle mass, etc. that require us to rethink our relationship with our diet, lifestyle, exercise and levels of stress.

Why does this happen in women? 

Declining oestrogen levels require the body to look elsewhere for oestrogen – namely fat cells, which produce a weak form of oestrogen.
The body tries to create a reserve of oestrogen in fat cells – and this reserve is mainly around the middle. 

 

Oestrogen and Insulin

Declining levels of oestrogen also slow down metabolic rate and insulin resistance may occur.
 
Menopausal women respond differently to glucose (sugar) and are at greater risk of becoming insulin resistant – insulin is the hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy.
 
This can then cause weight gain and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
 
Low oestrogen levels have also been shown to be associated with low vitamin D levels, which can increase fat storage.
As a woman transitions through menopause, the adrenal glands take over from the ovaries to produce a little oestrogen – however, as the adrenals also produce stress hormones – if a woman is dealing with a lot of stress in her life, the adrenals will shift to “survival mode” and away from producing oestrogen.
 
This encourages the body to store fat, especially around the middle and puts the brakes on any weight loss tactics.

 

Why does this happen in men?

Testosterone plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight by helping to build muscle, speed up metabolism and maintain insulin sensitivity.
 
However, as men hit their 40s and testosterone levels start to decline, this encourages the body to store fat, especially around the middle and is associated with a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Human Growth Hormone is another crucial hormone in men, which enters rapid decline as men enter their 40s causing a reduction in muscle mass.
Muscle tissue is the largest consumer of glucose (sugar) in the body, so the loss of muscle mass results in less glucose being used up and this excess is then converted into body fat and stored around the middle. 
The reduction in muscle mass also means that the body does not process carbohydrates efficiently, so eating too many sugary and starchy foods such as biscuits, cakes, sweets, pasta, potatoes, crisps etc triggers weight gain which is harder to shift.
Of course both men and women have these hormones in greater or lesser quantities and these levels also fluctuate based on gender and ethnicity.

The impact of poor sleep

High stress levels and disrupted sleep can add to the weight gain and insulin resistance.  

Research also shows that lack of sleep, will increase appetite and hunger hormones alter, making us more hungry and prone to cravings.

Loss of muscle mass

Muscle mass diminishes with age, whilst fat storage increases – losing muscle mass slows your metabolism, making it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
Low testosterone levels and poor thyroid function can also slow down metabolism, causing fatigue and making it harder to shift fat.

Here are our tips to help you tame unwanted weight gain:

  • Blood-sugar control is key (check out our book recommendations below to help you). Aim to reduce the amount of carbs you consume, especially rice, pasta, bread, cakes, alcohol and sugary foods. These peak sugar and encourage a sugar roller coaster.
  • Include protein with every meal and essential fatty acids (omega 3s).
  • Fasting overnight (12-14 hours) be aware of underlying health conditions that may mean fasting is not a safe option for you.
  • Regular and consistent exercise, especially resistance training to build muscle mass, resistance bands for example are portable and easy to use. Regular exercise snacks are better than weekly exercise bingeing!
  • Be aware of your stress levels as this will effect how your body metabolises food and nutrients,  daily de-stressing activities could be a 10 minute walk outside, 5 minutes of breathing, journalling, regular 2 minute cold showers.

 

Can Supplements help?

SAFFROSUN WITH B12– has been proven to promote restful sleep, balance the stress response and enhance energy levels.

 

Saffrosun with B12 

SAFFROSUN WITH MARINE MAGNESIUM - includes all the benefits of Saffron if your thyroid is sluggish, or are suffering from brain fog with added iodine,  vitamin D3 and will provide you with balanced energy.

 

Saffrosun with Marine Magnesium

 

Saffrosun with Marine Magnesium

BERGATONE – can help in your weight loss journey by binding to bad fats in the gut and prevent them being used in the body. Studies show that it can substantially reduce belly fat when taken for 3 months.

 

Bergatone

 

 

 

 

Books you may wish to read to support your weight loss journey:

MenuPause by Dr Anna Cabeca – gives 5 unique menu plans to break through menopause weight loss resistance

Glucose Revolution by Jessie Inchauspe – a great reference book on blood sugar control (check out @glucosegoddess on Instagram)

Upgrade your Muscle Recovery with Natruflex Turmeric

Upgrade your Muscle Recovery with Natruflex Turmeric

Whether you are a novice or competitive athlete, when you undertake any exercise, you want to take preventative measures to reduce muscle damage.  

During exercise the two leading causes of muscle damage are inflammation and oxidative stress.

The natural bioactive polyphenols of the spice turmeric called curcuminoids have been shown to counteract both inflammation and oxidative stress caused by exercise.

Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) leads to the onset of an inflammatory response that is associated with a decrease in the ability to generate muscle strength, decreased range of motion, localised swelling, delayed onset muscle soreness and increased muscle proteins in the blood (such as creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase and myoglobin).

Inflammatory responses are always linked to oxidative stress and both are directly involved in EIMD.

The Science Bit

A 2020 review showed that supplementing with turmeric extract at a dose between 150mg – 1500mg per day before and during exercise and up to 72 hrs post exercise improved performance by reducing exercise-induced muscle damage and reducing inflammation caused by physical activity. Read PubMed Article 

Another review showed that participants who supplemented with a turmeric extract demonstrated reduced inflammation and oxidative stress, decreased pain and muscle damage, superior recovery and muscle performance and improved gastrointestinal function. The review concluded that curcumin supplementation appears to be safe and beneficial for sport and exercise in humans. Read Review

Natruflex Turmeric 

Our supplement Natruflex Turmeric contains 800mg turmeric extract (curcuminoids) per 2 capsules.

It is combined with black pepper for better absorption and naturally sourced marine magnesium, which further supports nerve function.

Taking curcumin is much gentler on the body than taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, which can cause adverse effects such as heartburn and stomach ulcers.

 

 

If you’re looking to further enhance your stamina and exercise performance:

  • Try adding 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds to your daily diet. These tiny seeds are super packed with protein, omega 3 and omega 6 oils, calcium, iron, zinc and rich in antioxidants. When mixed with water and allowed to soak, these seeds release a form of gelled water that hydrates more slowly and effectively than just drinking liquid alone.

The Aztecs so treasured chia that they used to gift it to their king in homage and Aztec runners used to chew on the seeds as they went into battle. 

Chris McDougall’s book “Born to Run” describes how the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons – known to be ultra-runners, running hundreds of miles without rest and enjoying every mile of it, fuelled themselves with a beverage containing chia seeds called Iskiate’ and you can add a Natruflex Turmeric opened capsule an you have the perfect natural drink for recovery and fuel.

 

Natruflex Turmeric

 

Why taking a natural probation would be beneficial

Why do I need a broad-spectrum probiotic?

Digestion and good gut health are governed by the gut microbiome (a community consisting of bacteria, yeast and fungi).
 
Keeping this community of bugs as abundant and diverse as possible is vitally important for optimal health.

When gut health is good, you’ll feel balanced – when it’s off, you may experience a variety of symptoms and this imbalance can also affect your emotional health, your immune system and skin health.
 

Signs you could benefit from taking a probiotic?

  • You’ve taken a course of antibiotics
  • You eat a lot of refined sugar
  • You’ve taken a course of antacid medfication
  • You experience bloating
  • You have a lot of gas
  • You suffer from loose stools/diarrhoea
  • You regularly get constipated
  • You have skin issues triggered by certain foods

 

 4 Facts about the Gut

 

50% of our stools are actually bacteria that have been living in your gut – therefore these bacteria need replacing everyday.

So how can we replace these wonderful hard working bugs?

  1. Plant-based fibre - helps our gut bugs thrive aim for ideally around 30g per day, ensuring vegetables and fruits of all the colours of the rainbow are included in a week.
  1. Fermented foods can boost the number of friendly bacteria in your gut, Kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kombucha, pickles (in salty brine), tempeh, natto, unsweetened yoghurt
  1. Prebiotics : these are like fertiliser for our new and current gut flora and include:
  • Baobab fruit
  • Moringa leaf
  • Chicory root
  • Dandelion greens
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Garlic, Onions, Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Barley, Oats
  • Apples (with the skins)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Flaxseeds (also known as linseeds)
  • Potatoes/pasta that have been cooked the day before and left in the fridge overnight

Why taking a probiotic could help?

Taking a broad spectrum probiotic supplement can improve the number and diversity of the good gut bugs that help to keep your gut healthy. 

Our GUT LOVE is a great multi-strain probiotic that can be taken daily, containing 19 different strains of live bacteria to help replenish your gut flora with a variety of strains.
 
It also contains organic baobab, a naturally sourced prebiotic and slippery elm to make sure that it is easily absorbed by the gut lining.
There are a number of probiotics and prebiotics on the market so how do you choose an effective one - abundance and diversity are key so choose a probiotic/prebiotic combination that meets this criteria.
Gut Supplement checklist
Gut Questionnaire
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Body shape is not an indicator of the strength of your blood vessels

Body shape is not an indicator of the strength of your blood vessels

Did you know that the blood vessels in your body are nearly 60,000 miles long which is twice around the world.


Their job is to carry vital blood, oxygen and essential nutrients to every part of the body. Healthy vessels are strong, elastic, flexible and clear of any deposits.

A healthy and strong blood circulation system is essential to have a good quality of life.
Therefore body shape is not an indicator of the strength of your blood vessels.

What causes a stroke?

Arteries can become clogged with fatty substances from our diet and a sedentary lifestyle which can cause the arteries to narrow and stiffen, resulting in blocked blood flow, a condition known as atherosclerosis.
 
This increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, and this impeded blood flow will affect the health and efficeincy of every organ in the body.
 
If it happens in the brain, the blockage can cause a stroke. Poor blood flow is also linked to issues such as vascular dementia, erectile dysfunction and decreased circulation in the hands and feet.

So what can we do to keep our blood vessels unclogged, strong and healthy?

  1. Follow  - the principles of a Mediterranean-style diet rich in a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, ideally 6 portions a day and include a daily portion of a vegetable rich in nitric oxide, such as beetroot, broccoli, spinach, collard greens and kale. Nitric oxide is a substance that is essential for optimal arterial health and function. Eat regularly.
  1. Move -  Aim for 30 minutes 5 times a week.  However, research is growing that 'snack size' consistent exercise is just as impactful on our bodies and our mind.  Dr Chatterjee is a huge advocate for adding an exercise snack with your daily routine so add squats as the kettle is boiling, or toe raises whilst brushing your teeth 5 minutes a day is better than nothing and consistency is key.  
  1. Stop -  smoking.
  1. Maintain - low LDL cholesterol by reducing your consumption of processed and deep-fried foods.
  1. Lose - weight carrying extra weight increases your chances of having too much LDL cholesterol in your blood, leading to fatty deposits building up in the arteries, restricting blood flow. Studies show that even losing 5% of your body weight can improve cholesterol levels.

 

    Our Bergatone, is made from Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia) only grown in Calabria in Italy and can be used to support the health of your arteries by reducing cholesterol and supporting weight management.

    Studies show that bioactive compounds in Bergamot can reduce the “bad” fats, lowering LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and improving total cholesterol levels.

    In fact, Research on Bergamot has been shown to have 2 specific molecules that are very similar in structure, and function to statins.

    Bergatone can generally be used in conjunction with prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication – speak to one of our pharmacists for more information about your health and any potential indications with current medication.

     
    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
     
    Founder & Chief Pharmacist at The Naked Pharmacy

     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.

     

     

     

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

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

    The benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics

    The benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics

    The health benefits of prebiotics and probiotics
    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.

            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.

                  Supplements — A Buyer's Guide

                  Supplements — A Buyer's Guide

                  Supplements — A Buyer's Guide
                  Vitamin D and COVID-19

                  Vitamin D and COVID-19

                  Recent articles in the press discuss the potential of Vitamin D supplementation to reduce the risks of Covid-19.

                  This article will provide key research information on the benefits of Vitamin D for the immune system plus pharmacist advice on which indication has sufficient clinical research to support its use.

                  What is Vitamin D?

                  Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because it is produced naturally by the action of sunlight on the skin.

                  NHS England recommends a daily supplementation of 10 mcg (micrograms) from oily fish such as salmon and sardines or vegetarian/vegan friendly sources. The latter are either synthetic (man-made  vitamin D3) or from mushrooms (vitamin D2). One natural vitamin D3 version exists which is derived from marine algae. Vitamin D3 is better absorbed by the body compared to vitamin D2.


                  Why is Vitamin D important?

                    A study, published in the BMJ in 2017 which reviewed data from 25 trials, showed the vitamin can help prevent acute respiratory infections, particularly in those patients with a pre-existing vitamin D deficiency.

                    Professor Martineau, who was the lead author of the review, stated ‘When vitamin D is made in the skin, it gets converted in the liver to a form that circulates around the body. This creates a natural antibiotic-like substance in the lining of the airway that can bash viruses and bacteria, killing them’.

                    ‘It is a generic effect: we don’t know yet whether that would work against Covid-19.’

                    Research from the University of Birmingham carried out in 2018 demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency trebles the length of hospital stay.


                    Can Vitamin D be used to treat Covid-19?

                      Previous studies and data reviews have shown that Vitamin D can help prevent and treat respiratory infections such as community acquired pneumonia.

                      However, despite the recently quoted Irish study suggesting that high dose vitamin D could be used as part of the Covid-19 treatment program there is still insufficient evidence for its role in reducing the risk of the coronavirus.


                      Who is susceptible to Vitamin D deficiency?

                        It is thought that around 1 in 5 adults and children in the UK are deficient in Vitamin D. The recent coronavirus lockdown, on top of (sensible) use of sunscreens may have contributed to decreased levels of vitamin D in the blood.

                        Research has shown that levels of deficiency are higher than expected in the general population. Research from The University of Surrey discovered a high number of students had very low levels vitamin D at the end of the summer term when levels were expected to peak.


                        What can I do to increase my levels?

                          Daily exercise outdoors will help boost levels.

                          10 minutes exposure for pale skin on the arms and face, darker skin may need around 25 minutes exposure to stimulate Vitamin D production.

                          Ethnic groups with dark skin need more daily sunlight exposure and should also take a year-round supplement.


                          Which are the effective Vitamin D supplements?

                            Vitamin D supplements are widely available.

                            The most easily absorbed version is called D3 but these supplements are commonly made from synthetic or animal sources.

                            One vegan friendly, marine algae sourced D3 is available and this is used in The Naked Pharmacy Saffrosun supplements. There are also mushroom derived D2 alternatives.

                            The recommended dose is 10mcg (or 400iu) daily and should be taken for several months to build up healthy vitamin D levels.

                            Turmeric — How it Works

                            Turmeric — How it Works

                            Turmeric — How it Works