Can plant Omega-3 reduce heart attacks more than fish oil? Yes!


I have always been a great follower of Flaxseed oil over Fish oil for greater nutritional value, so I had to share  this article by Naturopath Case Adams

Two large research reviews by medical scientists have determined that omega-3 fatty acid from plants reduce the incidence of heart disease and heart attacks while fish oil has only a slight (“insignificant”) effect.

The most recent study focusing on the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) comes from researchers at Harvard Medical School along with several other prestigious universities. The researchers analyzed 27 clinical trials that studied 251,049 human subjects. The studies included over 15,000 heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.

The cardiovascular events were cross-referenced against either supplementation or blood levels of ALA. In total, increased consumption of alpha-linolenic acid omega-3 fatty acids resulted in a 14% total reduction of heart attacks and associated cardiovascular events. And as trends were pooled and examined with ALA blood biomarkers, the reduction in cardiovascular events was as high as 20%.

These results are contrasted with another large review of research, published in September’s Journal of the American Medical Association. The research comes from medical researchers from Greece’s Ioannina University Medical School and Hospital. In this study, researchers utilized the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials of research for fish oil and cardiovascular events research through August of 2012.

The researchers analyzed 20 studies involving 68,680 human subjects. Among these, there were 3,993 deaths from heart attacks and cardiovascular events, 1,150 sudden deaths, 1,837 heart attacks and 1,490 strokes. Against these were cross-referenced marine-sourced (fish) omega-3 fatty acids, which include DHA and EPA, along with saturated fats (yes, fish oil typically contains saturated fats).

The research found that fish oil supplementation did slightly reduce the incidence of heart attacks by 11% and heart attack deaths by 9%. However, given the scale of the margin of error, the researchers concluded that fish oil supplementation, “was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, or stroke based on relative and absolute measures of association.” In other words, there wasn’t enough of a difference from the margin of error to claim fish oil reduces heart attacks or cardiovascular events.

Supporting the conflicting evidence, the researchers also stated:

“Treatment with marine-derived omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for the prevention of major cardiovascular adverse outcomes has been supported by a number of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and refuted by others.”

The research on plant-based alpha-linolenic acid omega-3s has not been so controversial because research over the years has consistently shown ALA’s ability to help prevent cardiovascular events and cardiovascular disease. And this is illustrated with the size of the study analysis (totalling 251,049 humans).

Alpha-linolenic acid is one of the primary fatty acids found in various seeds, nuts and grains. Some of the highest levels are found in chia seeds (64%), kiwi fruit seeds (62%), flaxseeds  (55%) and hemp seed (20%). Other good sources include walnuts, pumpkin seeds,sesame seeds, olives, canola, kale, spiriulina, spinach and others.

In addition to being well utilized by the body, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is also converted to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid 9EPA) and other important omega-3s within the body. The primary liver enzyme used in the conversion of ALA to DHA is delta-6 desaturase. DHA converts to EPA in the body as needed. A healthy person will convert ALA to DHA at a rate of from 7% to 15% according to research.

For those who convert ALA to DHA at a slower rate, algal DHA provides the purest form of DHA. DHA is produced by algae and travels up the sealife food chain. Algal DHA does not contain saturated fats as many fish do. DHA-producing algae is farmed in tanks in the absence of mercury, PCBs and dioxins that have been known to bioaccumulate within fish.

DHA and EPA are the central fatty acids in fish oil besides saturated fat. It also should be noted that fatty fish such as salmon also contain a considerable amount of arachidonic acid. Foods rich in arachidonic acids have been shown to increase inflammation in the body.

There is Moor to mud

A long time ago, someone, it must have been a young person with problematic acne, because who else but a young person would try something that crazy? Decided to try mud as an acne cure.

Or it could have been a healer who noticed that the mineral mud and peat was used by wounded animals to heal them selves. However we found out, I am grateful they did, otherwise we would not know what we do today about the amazing ability of mud to detoxify and remineralise the body, as well as deep cleanse the skin of impurities?

Thank goodness for the ongoing search for clear healthy skin did not end there. Others looked to the seabed for solutions, obviously after they noticed how clean and clear the skin looked after swimming in the ocean.

Today – after a few decades of using toxic chemicals, we are returning to using the knowledge we have gained over the centuries, instead of trying to find the perfect skin cure in a pot full of man made substances.

For the last 60 years, scientists have been looking closer at natural ways to obtain optimal health. More and more of them looking at preventing ill health and finding the ultimate way to stay younger in body and mind, instead of treating disease to just keep us alive, but not in ultimate good health.

One such doctor has been nick named Doctor Telomere – His real name being Doctor Bill Andrews. He has been researching ways to stop our Telomere’s from shortening. How these telomeres work is a whole other blog – but in simple terms – they are part of our cellular network, and as we age, these telomeres become shorter and shorter, and then we die. The use of chemical skin care speeds up the shortening of these telomeres; so natural skincare is a must.

The ultimate solution would be to find a skincare product that not only treated the skin but also whilst being applied to the skin, treated us internally to keep our bodies healthy.

Something, which has attracted a lot of attention, is Moor Mud from Austria. A plethora of clinical studies later, scientists have agreed that Moor mud possesses a wide range of beneficial properties. So many so, that more holistic physicians now use and recommend Moor mud treatments such as wraps, poultices and baths.

This Austrian Moor is a rare form of nutrient rich peat created by the gradual decomposition of herbs, plants and flowers, which have been underground or submerged for thousands of years. Free from the decaying effects of oxygen and in perfect climatic and biological conditions, the plant matter undergoes a ripening transformation process to produce a wondrous herbal therapeutic substance called Moor.

The mud’s properties are colloidal and in bivalent form, so they are small enough to be easily absorbed by the system.

Moor mud is highly detoxifying. The high level of humic acid and other humus substances enables the Moor to both draw out and absorb toxins trapped in the tissues. When we regularly remove toxins from our bodies, it enables us to stay healthy and keep our appearances youthful. Moor mud wraps or baths are often used to treat toxic exhausted bodies in Spas around the world.

It is anti-inflammatory. Moor mud has been found to calm and sooth inflamed tissues. When the mud is used as a poultice on inflamed joints, the inflammation calms, and the body is better able to heal itself

It contains lignin and bitumen, both of which contain high proportions of phenol substances making it highly antiseptic. The Moor mud is often used as a mask to draw out impurities and calm the inflamed acneic skin.

Micro Algae from the sea and fresh water have been used in so many natural products, and those not so natural for their hydrating and skin strengthening abilities. The purist and most active micro algae comes from Hawaiian fresh water lakes. This micro algae is a natural form of Hyaluronic acid. It helps draw moisture to itself thus helping to moisturize the skin. Micro algae is rich in vitamins B1, B2, B12 and niacin. One company has developed a product called HmA (Micro Algae Factor), which uses Hawaiian micro algae. It supplies the skin with all of the algae’s B vitamins.

Again, wonderful facial masks using this beautiful substance are a wonderful way to gain its benefits.

But in truth – how many of us have time to soak daily in a Moor mud bath to detoxify after a toxic day in the city? Or apply a facial mask nightly? I would so love to find the time to spend this much time on myself!

There is a way we can get the best of the Moor mud and the Micro algae daily in the easiest way possible. There is a wonderful little soap bar called Eumora. I was lucky enough to come across this product, thanks to a lovely gentleman called William sending me a box of them to try. I was very skeptical at first as to the benefits of using a soap as I have always been a cream cleansing girl, and the thought of using a soap block made totally out of Moor mud and micro algae, did not excite me all that much at first. And it was winter, it was cold and I need moisture, not removal of it! The block was also so small – how could this last longer than a week?

I was really surprised that when I used it that it did not strip my skin, it made it feel clean and really healthy. I excitedly gave away all of the sample blocks to girls I thought would love it. I and am now using the last bits of the soap I have left and actually feeling sorry that I was not a stingy scrooge and kept all of it for myself! Ha ha!!

I love the fact that it has lessened the amount of time I have to spend on my skin. It has simplified my skincare routine dramatically. I need less serum than I did before (although being a beauty therapist, I still use everything, just less of it!). When you use it on a pained area – leave it on for 3 minutes and it works as a poultice. Basically it is a cleanser, exfoliator, mask and health poultice all in one. I used it on my cellulite for a few days when I had time – I massaged it in, and stood out of the shower for 3 minutes and rinsed – very impressive decrease in lumpiness (that’s a technical term – not!)

The more research I do on Moor mud – the more excited I become about its health benefits, and I really love the little soaps – so easy to use and so incredibly effective. And all they contain is natural Moor mud and Micro algae, totally natural.

The little blocks of soaps are amazing for treating eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. They do not irritate, and because of the natural mineral content, and soothing anti-inflammatory ability, they actually heal the skin whilst you cleanse. Just leave the soap on the skin for up to 3 minutes each time you use it.

You can get one of these little miracle bars at I recommend you give it a go!

7 Proven ways to keep your brain young

This is a amazing article written by Margie King, Health Coach

Alzheimer’s disease affects about 5.3 million Americans. It’s the leading cause of dementia and the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.  And it’s growing at an alarming rate.  Already 13% of people over 65 have been diagnosed with the disease.  An astounding 43% of those over the age of 85 are victims.

Alzheimer’s has been called the defining disease of the boomer generation.  Its victims are expected to triple by the year 2050.     

In addition, it’s estimated that 10,000,000 others suffer with severe dementia and Parkinson’s disease. 

But even if you escape these debilitating and life-threatening diseases, you may be among millions more who suffer from mild cognitive impairment (MCI or what is frequently called “age-related cognitive dysfunction”) and normal “age–associated memory impairment.” These conditions are what many of us have experienced as “senior moments.”  The symptoms include memory loss, as well as a decline in the ability to think and reason. 

Some of these problems are a result of the natural aging of our brains.  But others arise from poor nutrition and exposure to environmental toxins.

Drugs have shown little promise and serious side effects.  But here are seven proven methods to keep your brain young and sharp.

  1. Bacopa Boosts Cognition

Bacopa monnieri (L.) is a traditional herb used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine.  It is prescribed as a memory and learning enhancer, a sedative, and anti-epileptic.  In Australia, it is a popular memory aid for people over 60 years old. 

Bacopa grows in the wet tropics and is also commonly known by its English name, water hyssop.

In a rigorous study published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers found that Bacopa has positive effects on several measures of cognitive performance.  In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, they gave participants either 300 mg of Bacopa daily or a placebo pill.  The subjects were 54 volunteers, 65 or older, without clinical signs of dementia.

After 12 weeks, those taking Bacopa improved their delayed recall memory, their reaction times and their ability to ignore irrelevant information.  Placebo recipients saw no change. 

In addition Bacopa recipients showed a decrease in heart rate, depression and anxiety while placebo recipients saw increases.

Three other double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies support Bacopa’s benefits in verbal learning abilities, delayed recall of word pairs, and age-associated memory impairment.

Bacopa’s memory-enhancing effects have been attributed in part to saponins.   Other ways Bacopa may work include its antioxidant effects, protein synthesis in the brain, and modulation of brain stress hormones.

Other studies show Bacopa extracts also ameliorate neurotoxic effects of nicotine and aluminum, and reduce β-amyloid plaque levels in animals.

  1. Ginkgo Biloba Improves Memory

For years Gingko biloba has been linked to memory improvement.  It acts as a free radical scavenger, protecting neurons from oxidation.  It also improves microcirculation in the brain and reduces platelet aggregation. 

Human studies show taking gingko biloba regularly can improve mental health, cognition, motor skills and quality of life. It’s particularly helpful for memory loss, attention, alertness, vigilance, arousal and mental fluidity.

In 2005 researchers put gingko biloba up against Pfizer’s $4 billion a year prescription drug Donepezil (trade name Aricept) in a 24-week randomized, double-blind study. An extract of gingko biloba (160 mg per day) was found to be just as effective as the drug for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.  The researchers concluded there were no relevant differences in the efficacy of gingko biloba and donepezil, and use of both substances can be justified.

In a more recent double-blind trial gingko biloba was found to be significantly better than placebo in improving cognitive function and behavioural symptoms in 400 patients with Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia.

  1. Tea, Wine and Chocolate Improve Thinking Skills

As we get older, a diet high in some flavonoid-rich foods may help with better thinking skills. 

Researchers examined the relation between 3 common foods that contain flavonoids (chocolate, wine, and tea) and cognitive performance. They followed 2,031 participants aged 70 to 74 years from the Hordaland Health Study in Norway.

People who consumed chocolate wine, or tea had significantly better scores on cognitive tests and lower rates of poor cognitive performance.

Those who ate all three foods had the best test scores and the lowest risks for poor test performance.

The good results were dose dependent.  The best performance maxed out at 10 grams per day of chocolate and 75-100 ml per day of wine.  The effect was most pronounced for wine and modestly weaker for chocolate.

Other research shows that resveratrol found in wine and chocolate, has the ability to neutralize the toxic effects of proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

In a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry researchers showed that resveratrol selectively targets and neutralizes clumps of peptides or proteins that are bad and have been linked to Alzheimer’s, but leaves alone those that are benign.

Resveratrol is a chemical compound in plants that acts as an antibiotic to fight off both bacteria and fungus.  Besides grapes and cacao, it is found in raspberries, mulberries, blueberries and cranberries. It’s also in peanuts, pine trees and Japanese knotweed, the source of most resveratrol supplements.

  1. Antioxidants Decelerate Brain-Aging

It’s clear that people eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables have fewer age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s. Eating more high-antioxidant foods such as berries, Concord grapes, and walnuts may enhance cognitive and motor function in older people.

Studies show supplementing with fruit or vegetable extracts high in antioxidants (e.g. blueberries, strawberries, walnuts, and Concord grape juice) helps decrease the vulnerability to oxidative stress that occurs in aging.  That can lead to improvements in behaviour.

Fruits and vegetables can also enhance communication between neurons and decrease stress signals induced by oxidation and inflammation. 

Other studies indicate that blueberry or Concord grape juice supplementation in humans with mild cognitive impairment increases verbal memory performance. 

  1. Intermittent Fasting Regenerates Brain

Overeating is a risk factor for many age-related diseases including cognitive impairment. 

Experimental models of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and stroke show that dietary restriction (reduced calorie intake) can beef up the resistance of neurons in the brain to dysfunction and death. 

How?  Dietary restriction stimulates the expression of ‘stress proteins’ and neurotropic factors. Neurotropic factors may protect neurons by increasing production of proteins that suppress oxidation and free radicals. 

In addition, dietary restriction increases the number of newly generated neural cells in the adult brain.  In other words, it may increase the brain’s capacity for plasticity and self-repair.

Researchers suggest that limiting calories may reduce both the incidence and severity of neurodegenerative disorders in humans.

Intermittent fasting is not as difficult as it sounds.  It doesn’t involve just drinking water.  Most intermittent fasting plans cut calories to 25% of normal amounts.  That’s about 600 calories for men and 500 calories for women on one or two days of the week. 

  1. Sleep Cleans Out Brain Toxins

A University of Oregon study shows middle-aged or older people who get six to nine hours of sleep a night think better than those sleeping either fewer or more hours.

Researchers used data involving more than 30,000 subjects in six countries. They found that individuals sleeping less than six hours and more than nine hours had significantly lower cognitive scores compared to those in the intermediate group. 

The researchers used five standard cognitive tests involving immediate recall of a list of words, delayed recall of those words later, forward and backward recall of long lists of numbers, and a verbal fluency test in which they listed as many animals as possible without repetition, the use of proper nouns or descriptors.

One reason a good night’s sleep works is the brain’s trash removal system.  During sleep the brain works 10 times as hard to remove toxic proteins like the ones responsible for Alzheimer’s damage. If you’re not asleep, the brain can’t get rid of plaques so easily.   

  1. Curcumin Clears Alzheimer’s Plaques

The incidence of Alzheimer’s among adults in India is about 4.4 times less than that of Americans.

Researchers in Singapore suggest the reason might be curry and the spice turmeric.  They looked at curry consumption and brain performance in 1,010 Asians between 60 and 93 years of age. Those who ate curry occasionally (less than once a month) and often (more than once a month) performed better than those who rarely or never ate curry.

Over 30 studies in the GreenMedInfo data base deal with the promise of curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.  According to one study, turmeric showed great results in Alzheimer’s patients.

A 2006 UCLA study found curcumin may help clear the amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease. One way it works is by boosting the work of macrophages.  These cells in the immune system help the body fight foreign proteins.  

Researchers took macrophages from the blood of Alzheimer’s patients and healthy controls. They treated some of the macrophages with curcumin.  The treated macrophages showed improved ingestion of the beta-amyloid proteins. The researchers concluded that curcumin may support the immune system to clear amyloid plaques.

And in animal studies low doses of curcumin led to 40% less beta-amyloid than in those not given the spice.

Studies indicate low doses of turmeric over a long period of time are most effective.  That’s a good reason to add turmeric to your daily diet.  It’s great in curry sauces, scrambled eggs, devilled eggs, mustard sauces or salad dressings.  

There are many other natural ways to keep the brain young including coconut oil, ginger, B-vitamins, and saffron.

For much more information on healthy brain aging visit GreenMedInfo page on the aging brain



Why must we improve our collagen levels? Not for a younger face alone!


There is more to collagen than a smooth skin. Collagen also improves hair and nail follicles, improves mobility in joints and preserves, builds and replenishes lean muscle mass.

Some skincare companies still sell the myth that collagen cream will increase and support the collagen in our skins. But the truth is, that applying collagen to the skin as a cream, gel, or mask does nothing for it, bar plumping up the epidermis (top skin layer) to make it look smoother.

We can use needling, light therapy, micro-current, radio frequency, and peels to stimulate the collagen in the skin – usually on the face, but all of these treatments are only short lived if we are not supporting the collagen from the inside out.

So what is collagen?

Collagen is the fibrous structural protein that makes up the white fibres known as collagenous fibres, found in the skin, tendons, bone, cartilage, and all other connective tissues. It is also found in certain parts of the body to add strength such as in the vitreous humour of the eye. It is the natural protein that composes most of the body’s structural support and is the primary substance of connective tissue (this tissue is what connects, supports, binds and or separates all of our tissues and organs). It is the fibrous tissue that holds our body together.

Collagen gives our organs and tissues their strength and elastic properties. Twenty-five percent of the dry protein weight of the human body is collagen. Seventy-five percent of our skin is made of it, and in total – some thirty percent of our entire body is collagen. Collagen is part of the natural make-up of tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles, hair, skin, and vital organs.

The body’s production of collagen slows dramatically with ageing. This slowing process is stealth-like and rather insidious. It starts slowing in our mid-twenties, picks up speed in our thirties and forties, and the losses are even more pronounced through our fifties and sixties. Lack of collagen, or the body’s improper use of collagen, is what causes the ageing process. Besides its many structural properties, collagen serves as the major catalyst for growth and repair of nearly all the body’s tissues. Many different ageing diseases are related to the body’s supply of this vital protein and to disorders in the collagen itself.

One of these is Arthritis.Collagen protects joint cartilage by supporting and enhancing the synthesis of synovial fluid, which is required to lubricate the joint. It also inhibits free radical enzymes and auto-immune processes that degrade joint cartilage, it also works by removing blockages in blood vessels leading to the joint, therefore allowing better blood flow and regeneration.

So if our goal is to stay looking and feeling younger, just stimulating the collagen on our faces is just not going to cut it, we need to work at improving our collagen internally.

There are three ways of doing this, and I recommend if you really want to turn the clock back, you need to attack all three areas at the same time. But remember, it took you a long time to loose all of that collagen, it is not going to improve instantaneously! It is like going on a diet, you may not see major changes till approximately 12 weeks.

Step one – Eat to restore and keep collagen.

Certain foods will naturally increase collagen formation, by adding these to your diet, preferably organic versions of them (this again is another article) will start your body on the path to improving its collagen levels 

Soy – soy products such as tofu, soymilk and soy cheese contain an element known as genistein. Genistein is a phytoestrogen and belongs to the category of isoflavones which produces collagen.

Dark green vegetables – are also excellent collagen producing agents.  Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and kale, are packed with an antioxidant called lutein.  You need 10 mg to get results – which equates to about  4oz. of spinach or 2oz. of kale.  These vegetables are also rich in Vitamin C, and consumed daily will help to strengthen the body’s ability to manufacture collagen and to utilize the protein effectively.

Broad beans and butter beans – help your body produce a vital anti-ageing substance called hyaluronic acid.  Aim for at least two tablespoons of beans each day – broad or butter beans make a great substitute for mashed potatoes.

Red fruits and vegetables – contain lycopene an antioxidant compound. It is found abundantly in fresh or cooked tomatoes, red peppers, and beets. It is also found in sweet potatoes and carrots.  Research from Dr Ronald Watson at the University of Arizona found that the antioxidants in red, yellow and orange foods build up under the skin creating natural UV protection. “The effect is so strong that eating six portions a day for about two months will build a natural barrier equivalent to a factor four sunscreen,” says Dr Watson.

Citrus fruits – contain high levels of vitamin C, such as oranges, lemons and strawberries.

Prunes  – contain the highest level of antioxidants, even more so than blueberries, maybe not as appealing! 

Omegas – create an ideal environment for collagen production. Flaxseed is the major source of Omega 3,6 and 9. Fish such as salmon and tuna are also excellent sources of omega fatty acids.  Nuts such as cashews, pecans, almonds and Brazil nuts also contain healthy amounts.

 Foods rich in sulphur content are also important for collagen production. Among these are green and black olives, cucumbers, and celery. Vegetables such as carrots, and sweet potato are high in vitamin A, which increase the effect of the sulphurous foods.

Turkey – contains a vital skin-friendly protein called carnosine that slows down a process in the skin called cross-linking. Cross linking causes fibres to grow into the collagen of the skin making it stiff and inelastic. This stops collagen snapping back when you do things like smile, laugh or frown, causing smile lines or crows feet. 

Chocolate – studies in Germany, found that after drinking a cocoa-packed drink, there was an increase in blood flow to the skin (therefore increasing nutrients and moisture levels). It also increased natural UV protection. Unfortunately only dark chocolate worked, no sweet milky chocolates loaded with sugar!

 Manuka Honey – Manuka honey or organic honey, when used topically or internally, restores and rejuvenates your skin. It supports the skin cell renewal process and assists in the formation of stronger collagen protein. As an added benefit, active Manuka honey is rich in antioxidants and helps to reduce blemishes, and is great for keeping colds and viruses at bay.  

Avocado oil – is high in plant steroids, which help to reduce blemishes and age spots. It also helps to regenerate and rejuvenate skin damaged by free radicals. Avocado oil is scientifically proven to stimulate collagen production and it increases the proportion of soluble collagen in the dermis of your skin. 

Step 2 – Supplement to support and repair collagen. 

I would love to eat all of the correct foods to maintain and restore my collagen levels, but I would have to eat all day every day, so there are some supplements which can be taken daily, or taken on days when the food sources are not available.

Flaxseed oil – as mentioned before as a food source, is high in Omegas 3,6,9 but also high in Essential fatty acids, zinc, B vitamins, potassium, lecithin, magnesium, fibre and protein.

Silica – heals connective tissues. 

Vitamin E – stimulates collagen production.

Vitamin C – helps collagen formation by changing proline into hydroxyproline and lysine into hydroxylysine which is fights free radicals produced by too much sun that lead to prematurely aging skin.

Vitamin A – repairs and acts as an antioxidant.

Selenium – protects skin from sun damage and promotes glutathione production. Glutathione is a super powerful antioxidant that reduces deterioration of collagen and elastin by neutralizing free radicals, which damage cells and age skin.  

Zinc – reduces dry skin, inflammation in the skin and promotes cell growth as well as maintaining collagen and elastin.

Step 3 –Collagen supplementation.

Ok – so this sounds as if you can skip the two steps above – sorry, the collagen supplements work well with the correct diet. They are expensive, and unfortunately do not work well all alone.

Collagen tablets are made out of bovine collagen or fish collagen and are normally listed as collagen type 1&3. Most bottles are marked for joint and ligament support, but if the product contains HA (hyaluronic acid) or vitamin C, you are doing well as hyaluronic acid is highly anti aging and vitamin C also builds collagen as I mentioned before.

Of course all of the internal support needs external support as well. But you will notice better and faster results from your facial treatments and body treatments when supporting the skin from inside.

But the best part is –you will feel better as your joints mobility increases, loose weight faster as your muscle mass improves, and look younger all over, instead of a young face on a sore aging body!






Why Natural Skincare?


With people becoming progressively more aware of the harmful side effects caused by chemicals found in skincare creams and sunscreens, many women and men are trying to find active natural solutions that work as well as chemical skincare and deodorants.

Just as there are multiple chemically based skincare products touting miracles, there are just as many natural ones doing the same – frequently they do not actually deliver.

Fortunately in the natural skincare arena, the price tag will give you a guide as to the activeness and effectiveness of the product. Yet, the upside is that when you are buying middle of the range natural products, you will not get any of the nasty side effects you are likely to get when using chemicals. No irritation or redness – and no toxic waste in the body.

The other good thing when you are buying chemical free products is that there is generally no large multinational company spending huge amounts of money urging you to buy – so you are more often likely to purchase the contents of the bottle than a advertising budget, therefore when you spend $50 on a natural skincare cream you are getting $50 worth of skincare, not $10 worth of skincare and $40 worth of advertising and packaging.

Yet there is still an issue when purchasing ‘natural skincare’. There are still no strict rules and regulations defining how much of the product is natural. A company can sell a product as a natural product, yet it may contain nasty ingredients such as Propylene Glycol and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES):It does not have to be 100% natural to say it is natural. This is a massive problem for the average consumer as how are they to know if what they are actually buying is 100% natural or not. Unfortunately many natural companies are not so great at promoting this on their packaging leaving many people walking around scratching their heads.

Another problem is that a company can sell a makeup as a mineral makeup, yet it can contain talc and many other nasty ingredients, so here you are thinking you are doing the right and healthy thing for your skin, and yet, you are in actual fact poisoning your skin and yourself.

The only way around it, is to learn to read labels. I recommend you print off my blog article and take it shopping with you so you know what not to buy.

Some companies are great, they list their odd sounding named ingredients such as Coco-Glucoside with the explanation of it saying from corn or potato starch and coco water. Or Polyquaternium-10 from cellulose. Products bought from Beauty salons sometimes do not have explanations of each ingredient, but the therapist will have a manual to explain what each ingredient in actual fact is, and or they will have attended stringent product training.

The one question I am often asked is do natural products work as well? They actually work much better. They treat the skin and skin alone. They do not leave toxic residue in the lymph, kidneys, liver and gut. The toxic residue left behind by chemical skincare causes stress on the body, which in turn as any form of stress does, speeds up aging. So you are using chemicals to supposedly improve the skin, yet you are causing the body to age, and since the skin is the largest organ………… you are actually speeding up the aging process!

You often do not see results as quickly from natural products, but the results are more intensive in the long run. Products containing chemical fillers are designed to give your skin that instant feeling that you are doing something good for it, they often make your skin look instantly better, but it is only like applying makeup, once the product comes off, the glow is gone.

So, how do you know which you should buy? I recommend if you are on a budget, you purchase products in the mid price range from a chemist, not the lower range. If not sure what to purchase, speak to one of the full time staff, if they cannot answer your question leaving you feeling confident, then contact the actual company. Ideally you should purchase products from a beauty therapist – they will be able to diagnose your skin and prescribe accordingly. Buying expensive natural products online or from department or specialised makeup stores will leave you with a empty purse and not necessarily with the correct skincare prescription, as the sales girls are trained for sales and seldom beauty therapists, more often than not they are makeup artists or cosmeticians.

My favourite products are;


natural and organic ingredients, with easy to understand ingredients!


natural and organic ingredients


chemical free cosmeceuticals

Moo Goo

natural fragrance free products originally made to treat eczema and dermatitis

Vitamin D-ficiency


Photo thanks to Harvard University

Many of my clients have had blood tests and found that they are Vitamin D deficient, not suprising since we live in the Southern Highlands of NSW where bad weather is more likely than good. My Sydney based family then decided to have blood tests to see what their Vitamin D levels were like, and found out due to our Eurasian descent, we do not absorb vitamin D well at all. I am pearly white, but my heritage, the same one that stops me from burning in the sun, also stops me from absorbing as much Vitamin D as my other half who is from the UK.

The most natural way to receive enough vitamin D is to spend 20 to 40 minutes a day in the sun. Face and arms unprotected by clothing. Sorry, but I am so not sticking my face in the sun, all my training tells me to keep it out! So, I stick my pearly white legs in the sun instead. But, some days, there is no sun, and or, it is too hot!

There are some amazingly good natural sources of Vitamin D which, along with the sun, (the sun is still the best source of D) will help you keep your vitamin D levels up.

But you ask, why do I need vitamin D? Is this some crazy fad like the Atkinson Diet? Unfortunately it is not, there has been a lot of research done since the 1990s  proving that Vitamin D is a major player in many of our health issues.

Lets first look at Vitamin D, I have found there is more to it than we are lead to believe;

Up until the mid-1990’s, the answer to the vitamin D question would have been fairly simple: it is a fat-soluble vitamin needed to prevent a bone disease in children called “rickets.” Previous studies going back to the early 1800’s determined that cod liver oil could help to prevent and cure particular problems with bone development in children. In the early 1900’s, a compound called “fat-soluble factor D” was isolated from cod liver oil, and this factor turned out to be the vitamin that we now refer to as “vitamin D.” Scientific investigation of rickets helped establish the role of sunlight in providing us with vitamin D, and it also helped establish the role of vitamin D in bone health.

In the mid1990’s, they found out that it is not only a fat- soluble vitamin, but it is also a hormone. It regulates our metabolism, allowing it to function properly. It helps to regulate our bone development, our muscle function, our immune function, our insulin activity, our calcium balance, and our phosphorus balance. There are receptors for vitamin D, called VDRs, (vitamin D receptors,) on the cell membranes of most cell types in the body, the same as estrogen and cortisol.

Cholesterol is the basic building block of vitamin D in humans. When ultraviolet light hits the cells of our skin, one form of cholesterol found in our skin cells, called 7-dehydrocholesterol, is converted into cholecalciferol, a form of vitamin D3.

But this is not where the vitamin is useful to our bodies. For our bodies to come up with a fully active form of vitamin D3, further metabolism is required.

The first step involves conversion of cholecalciferol into hydroxyvitamin D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D. Hydroxyvitamin D needs a enzyme called CYP27A1, and is formed in any of the following areas of the body such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, prostate, brain, blood vessel linings, and macrophage cells of the immune system.

The second step involves transforming hydroxyvitamin D into dihydroxyvitamin D. This step needs another enzyme called CYP27B1 and can take place in the lungs, brain, liver, stomach, spleen, kidneys, colon, thymus, lymph nodes, skin, placenta, and in the monocyte and dendritic cells of the immune system.

Ok, after all of that, Dihydroxyvitamin D, which is the only fully active hormonal form of vitamin D, does in actual fact not last for very long in our body. The half-life of this hormone is between 2-3 weeks. For this reason, our vitamin D needs must be met on a fairly regular basis.

And the interesting thing is, we actually need a lot more Vitamin D than we are led to believe.

So what does Vitamin D do?

The hormonal functions of vitamin D include regulation of bone health, muscle health, immune response, insulin and blood sugar, and calcium and phosphorus metabolism.

Lets first look at bone health, with the rising epidemic of osteoporosis, in men as well as women, I think this is one which affects us all.

Our bone is composed of; collagen proteins, keratin proteins, and a variety of minerals including calcium, phosphorus, silicon, boron, and magnesium. But two most critical bone components are calcium and phosphorus. These minerals are the main players in a substance called hydroxyapatite, which accounts for over half of all bone composition.

Hydroxyapatite in bone places a premium on calcium and phosphorus metabolism and their passage in and out of the body. Bone health is regulated by many different substances in the body; growth hormone, testosterone, estrogen, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and vitamin D.

Our parathyroid glands put out PTH whenever our blood calcium levels get too low. PTH then triggers release of calcium from our bones in order to boost our blood level back up to normal. It also triggers our kidneys to retain more calcium for our bloodstream, and excrete more phosphorus to create a more favourable ratio of calcium to phosphorus in our blood. If there is too much PTH released from our parathyroid glands, however, we may end up removing too much calcium from our bones and leaving too much in our blood, compromising both our cardiovascular and our bone health.

Research has shown vitamin D to be associated with healthy parathyroid function. Vitamin D helps the intestines absorb more calcium from our food, and it also helps our kidneys hang on to calcium. But unlike PTH, vitamin D also helps our kidneys retain phosphorus. The two hormones work together in order to assure proper balances of calcium and phosphorus in our bloodstream and in our bones. PTH knows that it must act in partnership with vitamin D because it triggers conversion of hydroxyvitamin D into a hormonally active form dihydroxyvitamin D.

Vitamin D’s role in immune health has reached a point, that whenever researchers are investigating an autoimmune disease, they never do so without considering the possible role of vitamin D. Health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, are just a few that are affected by vitamin D as well as numerous other autoimmune conditions.

Vitamin D receptors (VDRs) exist on the immune system’s macrophage and dendritic cells. Vitamin D, triggers the macrophage cells to release antibacterial peptides (parts of protein) like cathelicidin, which play a critical role in the immune system’s prevention of infection.

In current research on multiple sclerosis, for example, clinicians are experimenting with vitamin D doses up to 40,000 IU, and in research on rheumatoid arthritis, doses up to 100,000 IU are being used in some clinical trials. (To get some perspective on these vitamin D supplementation levels, they can be compared to the current adult Dietary Reference Intake recommendations for vitamin D, which range from 600 – 2000 IU, unless severely deficient, then up to 5000 IU for only 6 – 12 weeks)

Vitamin D also plays a direct role in regulating our blood pressure by inhibiting the activity of a system called the renin-angiotensin system. It’s the job of the renin-angiotensin system to help increase our blood pressure whenever it gets too low. Optimal levels of vitamin D are needed to hold this system in check, so as to prevent it from raising our blood pressure when not needed, causing us to end up with high blood pressure.

Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to be a significant risk factor for high blood pressure, and risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy.

The key role played by vitamin D in regulation of calcium metabolism has opened the door to research about broader cardiovascular benefits of vitamin D. Overloading of cells with calcium is a problem for heart tissue, and it is associated with increased risk of oxidative stress and tissue damage. By triggering unwanted release of PTH, vitamin D deficiency can result. In several studies, the ability of heart tissue to heal after an event like heart attack has been shown improve significantly when patients have optimal vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D plays an important role in the regulation of insulin metabolism and blood sugar balance. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk factor for development of type 2 diabetes. Vitamin D levels have been associated with insulin secretion by the beta cells of the pancreas as well as insulin activity once released into the bloodstream.

When vitamin D is deficient in the body and parathyroid hormone (PTH) is released in inappropriately large amounts, too much calcium can accumulate in the cells. When too much calcium accumulates in our fat cells, they end up producing too much cortisol, a hormone that counteracts the effectiveness of insulin. Too much calcium in our fat and muscle cells can inhibit the formation of a protein called GLUT-4. Insulin needs GLUT-4 to help carry sugar (glucose) out of our bloodstream and into our cells. When we lack vitamin D, not enough GLUT-4 is formed, and insulin is unable to this.

Vitamin D has been shown to play a key role in prevention of muscle weakness and prevention of falls, especially in older persons. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with too much accumulation of fat throughout muscle tissue, in such a way that muscle strength is decreased and physical performance is compromised. Muscle strength is not related to muscle mass. You can have the same size muscles as someone else, but if you are D deficient, you will not have the same strength.

The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention is a major area of research at present. So far studies have shown a clear role for vitamin D in prevention of the following types of cancer: breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, ovarian, bladder, gallbladder, gastric, pancreatic, prostate, rectal, and renal cancers, as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Indeed, more people die of Vitamin D deficiency-based cancers than from melanoma.

How do you know if you are deficient?

If you have any of the following symptoms you could possibly have vitamin D deficiency.

  • Asthma (severe childhood)
  • Bones which break easily
  • Muscular weakness
  • Constant fatigue
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Colon cancer
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Insulin resistance
  • Kidney disease
  • Leprosy
  • Liver disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Osteoporosis
  • Periodontal disease
  • Preeclampsia
  • Psoriasis
  • Rectal cancer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Senile dementia
  • Stroke
  • Tinnitus
  • Tuberculosis
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Ulcerative colitis

How do I naturally improve my vitamin D levels?

There are set levels of how much vitamin D you should take daily, but the more I read about using extremely high levels of vitamin D for treatment of diseases, the more I start to feel that we should ingest and absorb as much vitamin D as we possibly can naturally.

I recommend you have a blood test with your doctor to see how low or high your vitamin D levels are before taking on any tablet form of Vitamin D, unless you decide to add Cod liver oil to your diet as part of a health program to up the fish oil factor.


Getting enough UVB sunlight in the range of 290-300nm daily seems perfectly easy, unfortunately this is not so. There is the fluctuating nature of UVB light. UVB rays are needed for skin synthesis of vitamin D, but they are not always present with the same intensity, all day every day. The intensity of UVB light varies dramatically depending on geographical location (latitude), time of year, time of day, degree of cloud cover, and other factors, unlike UVA rays which are present all year round (our aging rays!). Skin pigmentation also plays an important role in skin synthesis of vitamin D. Darker skin pigmentation means less vitamin D synthesis per minute of exposure to UVB light.

Some lifestyles and occupations provide great amounts of sun exposure. Individuals who work outdoors throughout the day in warmer climates have a greater chance of getting good exposure to UVB light and synthesizing adequate amounts of vitamin D. Under optimal circumstances, our skin can synthesize between 10,000-20,000 IU of vitamin D in 30 minutes, again, depending on the angle of the sun, time of day, degree of cloud cover, etc. At the other end of the spectrum, if someone typically wears clothing that blocks a lot of the skin from exposure to sunlight, or is a regular user of sunblock, or works in a job that keeps them indoors throughout the day, chances of adequate vitamin D synthesis are greatly decreased.

The ideal recommended dose of sunshine to receive enough vitamin D is 20 – 40 minutes per day, preferably before 10 am and after 2 pm (11am and 3pm daylight saving).

Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, a low fat diet, vegan diet, and/or the presence of certain medical conditions that cause a reduction in the ability to absorb dietary fat may cause vitamin D deficiency. These medical conditions include pancreatic enzyme deficiency, Crohn’s disease, celiac sprue, cystic fibrosis, surgical removal of part or all of the stomach, gall bladder disease, and liver disease.

The most frustrating thing is that the production of vitamin D precursors in the skin, decrease with age. Additionally, with age, the kidneys and many other organ systems and cell types are less able to convert vitamin D into its active hormone form.

What foods provide vitamin D?

Vitamin D is oil soluble, so you need to eat healthy fats to absorb it.

The best food sources for Vitamin D are;

  • Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil has been a popular supplement for many years going back to the 1800s when they first found a link to rickets and lack of vitamin D and naturally contains very high levels of vitamin A and vitamin D. Cod liver oil provides 10001IU (1667% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 1360IU (340% DV) in a single tablespoon.

  • Fish

Many types of fish are high in vitamin D. Raw fish contains more vitamin D than cooked, and fatty cuts will contain more than lean cuts. Further, fish canned in oil will have more vitamin D than those canned in water. Raw atlantic herring provides the most vitamin D with 1628IU (271% DV) per 100 gram serving, 2996IU (499% DV) per fillet, and 456IU (76% DV) per ounce. It is followed by pickled herring with 680IU (113% DV) per 100g serving, canned salmon (127% DV), raw mackerel (60% DV), oil packed sardines (45% DV), canned mackerel (42% DV), and oil packed tuna (39% DV).

  • Oysters

In addition to vitamin D, oysters are a great source of vitamin B12, zinc, iron, manganese, selenium and copper. Oysters are high in cholesterol and should be eaten in moderation. Raw wild caught eastern oysters provide 320IU (80% DV) per 100 gram serving, 269IU (67% DV) in six medium oysters.

  • Caviar

Caviar is a common ingredient in sushi and not as expensive as people think. Caviar provides 232IU (58% DV) of vitamin D per 100 gram serving, or 37.1IU (9% DV) per teaspoon.

  • Eggs

Are a good source of Vitamin D, B12 and protein. Eggs provide 37.0IU (9% DV) of vitamin D per 100 gram serving, or 17.0IU (4% DV) in a large fried egg.

  • Mushrooms

More than just a high vitamin D food, mushrooms also provide vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) and copper.  Lightly cooked white button mushrooms provide the most vitamin D with 27.0IU (7% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 7.6IU (2% DV) per ounce.

Well, I am now off to buy a large platter of sashimi to get my vitamin D up, since I have been sitting at my computer since very early this morning. Not that being sunny would have made any difference, but it would have been nice if the sun were out when I went to hang out the washing, but it was over cast again!

What does having beautiful skin and your colon have in common?

This is a newsletter sent to me by  company called Poop Doc, yes all they talk about is the colon, and they supply everything for the colon as well. The only thing I would not purchase from them are their probiotics as I am not sure how well they would travel here to Australia from the US. I have not rewritten their post (just made a few editorial changes) as they sum things up very well.


What does Beautiful Skin and Your Colon Have in Common?

           EVERYTHING!  While most women deal with some form of constipation and 95% of Americans and Australians are fiber deficient, the health of the colon (directly effecting Your complexion) is almost always overlooked. Fix the root of the problem not the fruit! Don’t keep addressing the symptoms (they will keep coming back) as mainstream medicine does. Fix the root of problem and watch gorgeous skin appear. 

            How do I achieve a healthy colon?? A healthy colon is directly influenced by moving your bowels daily and having adequate fiber in your diet (your poop should float) AND going 1 to 2 times a day (once after each major meal). When your constipated, auto-intoxication begins and the toxicity your body is trying to get rid of begins to be reabsorbed back into your bloodstream. Most people have common sense where they easily conclude that auto-intoxicating is not good. The symptoms of auto-intoxication or self poisoning, will begin showing in symptoms such as headache, lack of energy, acid reflux, abdominal discomfort, indigestion, bloating, Acne, dull unattractive skin tone and the list goes on. 

             Beautiful skin and a healthy colon have a DIRECT CONNECTION. A clean colon will result in a beautiful skin tone and complexion. Do a colon cleanse or colon flush for 3 days and Empty Out. The third day slowly start adding an excellent dietary fiber supplement which is best taken 20-30 minutes before breakfast. Include in your beautiful skin and complexion health plan MORE fresh fruits and fresh vegetables (steamed or raw) on every plate. Exercise daily is another great plus even if its just walking 10 minutes a day. Exercize also helps in moving the bowels and lowering stress, eliminating toxins and better digestion. These are huge pluses to a healthy bowel and constipation relief. If you need more help, find a good constipation relief supplement (don’t use laxatives as they can have severe colon destroying side effects). Remember, your goal is to go twice a day and go productively.

            Probiotics or the colons friendly bacteria, do a MULTITUDE of functions you can’t live without. Everytime we have had antibiotics we have destroyed the good, friendly bacteria in our intestinal tract. The friendly bacteria is a MAJOR part of our immune system and we need them desperately. Probiotics to a person with bowel problems is like giving a fireman water to put out the fire. You’ve got to have it. Water is the other MUST. 95% of people are dehydrated just like they are fiber deficient. Can you imagine if you improved in these areas today what a turn around it would be for your health, your elimination and your return to beautiful skin and An Amazing Complexion? EVERYBODY wants beautiful skin! It’s a sign of Youth and Excellent health!

            In summary, the SECRET to Beautiful Skin is a beautiful, optimally functioning colon. The Bottom Line: drink more water (2 quarts minimum), eat more fresh fruits and fresh vegetables (look at your plate! what’s on it)? Exercise, yes, even a simple walk 10 minutes a day…you’ll like how good you FEEL.  Do a few minutes more as time goes on. Look Good,

 Feel Good! Add to this beautiful complexion plan a colon cleanse for 2 or 3 days every month. Add an excellent Daily Fiber supplement and Probiotics and you will see glowing skin, sparkling eyes and energy in every step. 

           Today IS the FIRST DAY of the rest of your life…the day being Naturally Beautiful happens…AND HAPPENS TO YOU!

Use protection! Use Sunscreen really??

All of us know we need to protect ourselves from the sun to avoid skin cancer, and to slow down the aging process. But do we really know all there is to know about practicing safe sun protection on ourselves?

Are we using sunscreens wisely? Or are we just applying more chemicals to our faces daily, but actually not protecting ourselves from the sun at all?

The amount of information out there on sunscreens is baffling, and the Australian cancer council says that we are so concerned about the SPF factor, that we are not concentrating on the bigger sunscreen issue… The fact that most of us do not use it correctly, that we are only using a third of what we should be applying daily to protect ourselves.

So many of our top moisturizers contain a SPF factor that we, religiously apply to our faces every morning. Many of us, complain of congestion, milia, irritated and inflamed skins, and breakouts which we cannot clear up no matter what we do externally or internally, till we stop using moisturizer with sunscreen in it.

But why are we using a moisturizer with sunscreen anyway? By the time sun protection is needed between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm (11am and 3pm daylight saving) the sunscreen applied at 7 am is null and void, as even a broad spectrum 30 plus sunscreen only gives us a protection for no more than 2 hours! So it has worn off by 9 am. We have happily applied a layer of toxic chemicals to our face for no reason at all, as by the time we head out into the sun shine at lunch time, the sunscreen has done its dash.

Ultra Violet Rays

There are two types of UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun; UVA and UVB. UVA rays are the most responsible for skin damage,that can lead to cancer and skin aging. Although UVB rays also cause damage and sunburn, they cause more surface damage than deeper skin damage. UVB rays are those necessary for the body to produce its own cancer protective vitamin D via the skin.

UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. Although they are less intense than UVB, UVA rays are 30 to 50 times more prevalent. They are present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year, and can penetrate clouds and glass.

UVA, which penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB, plays a major part in photo ageing. It causes significant damage in areas of the epidermis where most skin cancers occur. But UVA also damages skin cells called keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur. UVA contributes to and may even initiate the development of skin cancers. It is the most dominant tanning ray, which until recently was why most tanning beds used it over UVB rays.


UVB, the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and a contributory role in tanning and photo ageing. Its intensity varies by season, location, and time of day, which is why we burn in summer and not in winter. Although in so saying, the sun’s reflection from the snow is higher than the sun’s reflection in the sand, and the UV radiation factor increases by 4% each 1000 foot increase in altitude! UVB is also responsible for vitamin D production in our bodies.


SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It refers to the ability of a sunscreen to block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which causes us to burn, but not UVA rays. Most sunscreens only protect us from UVB rays. You need to use a Broad spectrum, sunscreen to protect you from UVA and UVB rays, and again, it needs to be reapplied multiple times per day

The real truth is, that SPF actually stands for how effectively the product protects you from UVB rays, but it does not rate how well it protects you from UVA rays, as yet, there is not way to measure this.

Then there is the SPF protection debacle.

Is a 100+ or a 90+ sunscreen really that much better than one with an SPF of 30? Not at all really.

A SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 50 product blocks about 98% of rays. Sunscreens with higher SPF ratings block slightly more UVB rays, but none offer 100% protection.

Also be aware, that in most cases, each time you go up a SPF you are doubling up how many chemicals you are applying to your body. SPF 15 – SPF 30 usually means a 100% increase in chemicals whilst only giving you 3% more protection.

The good news is, that there are now more and more companies bringing out high protection products based on more natural ingredients. More later.

Sunscreen application

To get the best out of your sunscreen protection, you need to apply it 20 – 30 minutes before you go outside, and then it needs to be reapplied every 1 and ½  – to 2 hours to keep you totally protected, depending on how much you sweat and how wet you get. If you are swimming, you must reapply your sunscreen as soon as you leave the water.

The difference between water resistant and waterproof sunscreen is, water resistant protects you for up to 40 minutes after exposure to water, waterproof protects you for up to 80 minutes.

In actual fact, the average person does not need to apply sunscreen every day to go to work. As ideally we should be getting 20 – 40 minutes per day for us to keep our vitamin D levels up, preferably before 10 am and after 2 pm (11am and 3pm daylight saving). Sunlight is the optimal source of vitamin D. By blocking UVB rays daily, you may be increasing your cancer risk.

Getting sun, without sunscreen, is actually really important. Recent studies reveal that people who spend more time outdoors without getting sunburnt, in fact decrease their risk of developing melanoma, and protects them from multiple forms of cancer; including breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, ovarian, bladder, gallbladder, gastric, pancreatic, prostate, rectal, and renal cancers, as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Indeed, more people die of Vitamin D deficiency-based cancers than from melanoma. But this is another whole article!

One of my personal concerns is how many chemicals we are applying to our skin. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens.

Block outs

There are two types of sunscreens available; physical block outs and chemical block outs.

Chemical Block outs

  • Dioxybenzone and oxybenzone. These two are free radical generators which can disrupt hormone function.
  • Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) is common in many sunscreens, acting as a dye that absorbs UVB light in the same way as oxybenzone. PABA contains a benzene ring in which electrons can shuffle, or resonate, between different locations within the six-sided structure. This electron dance matches that of the lightwaves of UVB rays, absorbing and blocking UVB energy by converting the light to heat. PABA releases free radicals, damages DNA, has estrogenic activity, and causes allergic reactions in some people.
  • Octyl methoxycinnamate:  Is the main chemical used in chemical sunscreens to filter out UVB light. OMC kills cells in mice even at low doses, and is particularly toxic when exposed to sunshine!
  • Benzophenone: Is an ingredient which prevents sunlight from breaking down the products in the sunscreen. It is a hormone disrupting chemical that interferes with thyroid function and lowers testosterone, which raises serious concerns about its impact on male fertility.

Personally I prefer the physical block outs which are non invasive and natural, and they also work from the moment they are applied.

  • Zinc oxide; is often found in lip balms and foundations. It looks white on the skin until worked in, and Titanium dioxide is also often found in natural sunscreens.

I personally prefer Zinc Oxide as it has UVA and UVB protection and I have never found it to cause any congestion on problematic or sensitive skins, whilst Titanium Dioxide I have found to do so.

The American Environmental Agency’s graph below features chemical and physical sunscreen ingredients, as well as the type and amount of ray protection that they provide and their class


Many natural skin care ingredients give a certain amount of protection from the sun on a day to day basis.

Vitamin C, extra virgin olive oil, and extra virgin coconut oil all contain a natural sunscreen factor. Extra virgin coconut oil has the highest, it has a rating of SPF 10.

Bruce Fife, ND, author of Coconut Cures, explains that coconut oil applied to the skin protects against sunburn and cancer. Unlike sunscreen, unprocessed coconut oil doesn’t completely block out the UVB rays that are needed for vitamin D synthesis. It protects the skin and underlying tissues from damage due to excessive exposure.

Many natural and sustainable health practitioners recommend not only applying sunscreen on the outside to protect the skin but to also eat to protect the skin. Eating foods such as extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, foods high in antioxidants, omegas, especially fatty fish and lycopene etc, will help our skins naturally protect itself from the suns rays.

My other half is actually walking proof of this. At 60 he will not and has never worn sunscreen. He lives out in the garden most weekends during the hottest hours of the day. He more than often chooses to swim between 20 and 60 laps of a outdoor 50 metre pool in the middle of the day. He burns, turns brown, then burns, turns black, and to this day has not had one skin cancer. He is often thought to be 10 years younger than he is.

He loves fish. Every day he eats fish, fresh, tinned or pickled or all three. Always has and always will. Cooks with huge amounts of olive oil and eats avocados the same way most of us demolish mangos. He drinks tea as if his life depends on it, as well as water and takes chlorella whenever he remembers.

He drinks and drank too much red wine and trashed himself most of youth, as well as spending his life on the beach surfing and swimming. There is more and more proof, that controlled amounts of sunlight increases your bodies natural sun protection as Vitamin D protects us from the sun!

If you would like to protect your face from the sun daily with some sort of protection that you can apply in the morning and know that you are protected all day, use a mineral makeup, or a foundation with a zinc oxide base. The best protection is still mineral makeup. But if you like me do not want to wear mineral makeup as it settles into your wrinkles, use a foundation with a zinc oxide base, or a mineral base to it. It will give you physical protection from the sun.

But if you are really serious at keeping the sun off, there is nothing that beats a hat, and clothing, or just stay out of the sun, remembering that UVA rays will penetrate your glass car windows unless you have UV tinting in them.

Kombucha – a 2,000 year old health drink, it’s certainly helped my health!

Originally posted on The 1910 Bottling Company :


The Kombocha we make at home ourselves.


There are stack of commercial products available now too – all different flavours too!

No he’s not some mystic who sits on a mountain top in Tibet. Kombucha is the beverage the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir?” It’s been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of supposed health benefits, like preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases – still to be proven I might add!

We brew it at home in swing top jars, but you can use any jar, as long as it has a lid that breaths – we’ve found kombocha grows well in a warm dimly lid area. We cover the jars with a tee towel as well – the strange white thing on the top is called the The ‘mushroom’ or ‘scoby’ (symbiotic culture of binary yeasts) is a jelly-like…

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