Health and Wellbeing

HRT and the Menopause

Liz Earle MBE
The Truth about HRT

Liz Earle MBE by Georgia Glynn Smith

Liz Earle MBE is one of the world’s most respected and trusted authorities on wellbeing.

Following on from her number one bestseller The Good Menopause Guide, this highly researched new guide The Truth about HRT, gives all women the most up to date, relevant and helpful information on HRT.

Liz Earle explains, “Since writing my latest book on the menopause back in 2018, I’ve been shocked and saddened by the extreme confusion, mythology and scaremongering surrounding the subject of HRT. Not only amongst mid-life women needlessly affected by so many easy-to-solve symptoms of the menopause (and peri-menopause, the years leading up to it) but also by the staggering lack of knowledge about HRT amongst so many British medics.”

“The aim of this very focused guide is to inform choices that can significantly improve many women’s long-term health and wellbeing”.

The Truth about HRT includes:

Clear information as to what HRT is, the different forms of HRT and how it works.

The latest research on why HRT is not a risk factor in terms of breast cancer for most women.

Information on the wider health benefits of HRT including lower risks of coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, mental health and more.

Advice on when to start thinking about HRT – and details on why there is no upper age limit for stopping it

A stark warning about costly bioidentical hormones from unregulated private clinics

Guidance on how to talk to GPs about HRT for those hitting a medical brick wall

Details of Liz’s own personal journey into HRT research and why she decided to take it.

Liz Earle MBE: The Truth about HRT is an eGuide. Price is £4.99.

Downloadable it exclusively via the website at www.lizearlewellbeing.com  

Natural Health Drink

Ojamin Herb & Fruit Helps with Diabetes

Nutritional supplement Ojamin Herb & Fruit has been proven to have remarkable effects on diabetes. During standard clinical testing, Ojamin was shown to be more effective in improving the side effects of diabetes than existing pharmaceutical medication prescribed by GPs.

Not only does the restorative, nature-driven supplement promote overall wellness, but clinical studies have also found that Ojamin is more effective than prescription diabetes medication Metformin. Pre-clinical studies have also shown that Ojamin’s active ingredients help repair liver cells damaged by fatty liver disease.

Increased fat deposits in the liver can be caused by a poor diet, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Studies have indicated that Ojamin can help boost the effects of traditional medication by counteracting side effects and potentially leading to a reversal of Type 2 Diabetes.

Ojamin fits neatly into any nutritional regime as it is vegan friendly, gluten free and can be taken alongside other prescribed medication. Packed full of essential nutrients and vitamins, Ojamin is available in both tonic and capsule form.  

The supplement is a unique blend of 14 herbs and fruits sustainably sourced from the world’s rainforests and blended together using pure spring water. Inspired by L.K Tate’s traditional Indian Ayurvedic tonic, key ingredients include turmeric which is an anti-inflammatory, Aloe Vera which has been proven to strengthen hair and nails and Neem which helps to regulate blood glucose levels.

The original formula has been refined by MedTate, founded by L.K Tate’s grandson, Pete Tate in 2011, and contains herbs sourced from pristine forests in India which are free from fertilisers, pesticides and GMOs, then combined with pure spring water. Other key ingredients include Basil, Beleric, Bitter Melon, Cumin, Gooseberry, Bael, Haritaki, Fenugreek, Java Plum, Neem, Okra, and Watermelon seeds, which are found to have nutritional benefits.

Commenting on the benefits of Ojamin, Pete Tate says, “Ojamin has long been used as a health and wellness supplement. The formula is packed with key natural ingredients which have individually been proven to support a healthy lifestyle and overall wellbeing. Not only this, but our supplement has been clinically proven to have remarkable effects on diabetes and has shown its potential to be able to reverse Type 2 Diabetes.

“Supplements should not be used to cure illness or disease, however, studies have shown that the potency of Ojamin Herb & Fruit could greatly benefit those suffering from diabetes and those who wish to prevent the condition.”

In the UK, Ojamin is fully approved by DEFRA, the Food Standards Agency and MHRA. The supplement can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways, including in hot or cold water, juice or hot drinks such as tea or soup.

Ojamin is available as a herb and fruit tonic in bottle and sachets and also in capsule variants. It retails at £29.99 for a month’s supply and £11.99 for a week’s supply. It can be purchased online at ojamin.com, victoriahealth.com and other leading online stores as well as in-store in Selfridges, John Bell and Croydon and in many local pharmacies and health stores.

As with all supplements, those who are taking Ojamin should seek professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist if they have underlying health conditions.

For further information about Ojamin please visit www.ojamin.com

Hearing Advice

Everyday Behaviours that Could Harm
Your Hearing

“It’s concerning and puzzling to see that despite being accustomed to regular health checks we fail to take care of our hearing,” says Patrick D´Haese, Director of Corp. Comms & Public Affairs and audiologist at MED-EL.

“Our hearing ability is so important, it enables us to communicate, build relationships, converse and share our feelings. It is key to our expression and understanding, yet we are complacent. There needs to be a cultural shift when it comes to hearing check-ups. You wouldn’t go years without visiting a dentist or optician, so why have so many adults never had a hearing test?”

Leading hearing solutions provider MED-EL has outlined some every day behaviours to be aware of as long term, they can impair our hearing ability.

Simple everyday measures that can reduce your risk of hearing loss

1. Be noise-aware – if you have to shout over noise to be heard by someone an arm’s length away, the noise is too loud.

2. Wear earplugs at concerts or in other noisy environments. Don’t worry – you’ll still be able to hear the music.

3. Choose headphones rather than ear buds – headphones better isolate background noise so you can listen at a lower volume. Also, with headphones, there’s more space between the source of sound and your inner ear.

4. If your personal stereo has a volume warning that pops up when it’s too loud, use it.

5. Set the volume of your personal stereo when you’re in a quiet environment. If you have to turn it down to have a conversation, then it’s too loud. More than 12 in 100 kids between the ages of six and 19 suffer from hearing loss as a result of using earphones at too a high volume.

6. Don’t fall asleep while listening to music on your personal stereo – exposure for hours at a time increases risk of damage.

7. Give your ears a rest. If you’ve been to a nightclub, avoid listening to loud music the next morning.

8. Be alert to ringing ears – this is a sign that your hearing has been put under strain. If this happens frequently, you’re risking permanent hearing damage.

9. If you’re in a noisy job, make sure you’re protected. By law, if the daily noise level reaches 80 dB, your employer is legally bound to start taking action.

For more information, visit the Health and Safety Executive’s website at www.hse.gov.uk/noise

MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable and non-implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication.

For more information about MED-EL Medical Electronics visit www.medel.com 

Benefits of Positive Thinking

Stay Positive to Boost Your Brain Health

Think positively to keep your brain healthy and lower the risk of dementia in older age, experts have said.

A new report by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) suggests feeling good and being emotionally well is linked with better brain health among over-50s.

Meanwhile poor mental wellbeing, feeling pessimistic and hopeless, could affect how older people think and reason. Visiting loved ones, getting out and about in the community and staying active are all ways of boosting emotional health, charity Age UK said.

The GCBH, an independent group of scientists, health professionals and academics, reviewed existing evidence to produce advice on improving brain health. Its report, launched in the UK by partner Age UK, states that greater mental wellbeing is linked with a lower risk of dementia.

Alzheimer’s Society Research Communications Manager Lotty Davies says, “Thanks to researchers at Alzheimer’s Society’s Centre of Excellence in Exeter, we know that good psychological health is key to living well with dementia.

“No one with dementia should have to face the condition alone without adequate support. We know that simple steps to improve self-esteem, challenge ageist stereotypes and reduce depression or loneliness could improve mental wellbeing.

“One day research will beat dementia but until a cure is found we must improve quality of life for the 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. That is why Alzheimer’s Society is uniting with researchers and investing £6million in three Centres of Excellence to improve the everyday lives for people affected by dementia.”

For  details visit www.alzheimers.org.uk

Vegan Diet Advice

Switching to a Vegan Diet – the Health Benefits and Risks

As an increasing number of people are embracing a plant-based lifestyle including celebrities Brad Pitt and Beyoncé, trend forecasters and market analysts agree it’s driven by factors such as health, climate change, animal welfare or those simply looking to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. However, if a vegan diet is not planned properly, it can leave individuals deficient in vital nutrients. Vegans need to pay particular attention to getting it right.

Alexandra Cresswell, senior dietitian at Spire Leeds Hospital offers some advice on a contentious issue which tends to trigger debate in the world of veganism – do vegans need to take supplements? ….

“A vegan diet is part of a lifestyle that means going meat and dairy free. There is no doubt vegan food can provide a healthy balanced diet at every age and life-stage if you make the correct food choices however, the sad truth is that modern food production and lifestyles can make it difficult for everyone – and that’s not just vegans, to get all the nutrients they need from diet alone.

“Many people are discovering that vegan food is not just about a boring salad and the choice of foods is becoming wider and more accessible. Fresh produce meals can be prepared at home and increasingly supermarkets are offering vegan options Many restaurants offer a range of vegan choices with some specialising in offering only vegan food. However, some shop-bought ready-made products may contain animal ingredients and are high in salt and fat so it’s important to always check the manufacturer’s labels.

“A vegan diet can provide many health benefits, helping to protect bone and heart health and lower the risk of cancer, if it contains the essential protein, vitamins and minerals.

“Getting the balance right is key. Plant-based diets which are rich in beans, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables, wholegrains such as oats, rice, and cereal-based foods such as breads, and pasta can provide all the nutrients needed for good health. This includes essential fats, protein, vitamins, minerals and plenty of fibre too.

“The top three nutrients you need to keep an eye on are vitamin B12, vitamin D and iodine. If you are eating mostly ready-made meals then it’s wise to replace levels of certain nutrients that are found in meat such as vitamin B12. If you don’t like taking tablets this can be taken as an injection.

“Vegans more than vegetarians need to pay particular attention, so they don’t suffer from deficiency of vital nutrients. There are important differences between vegan and vegetarian diets. Vegetarians will eat dairy products and eggs whereas vegans consume no animal produce whatsoever. This means vegetarians might not need to take supplements because, for example, they still can get calcium from milk. Vegans, on the other hand, must find a plant-based source of calcium.

“Eating animal fats has been linked to a range of illnesses and conditions including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure and various cancers. By cutting these from the diet the risk of several health issues can be significantly reduced. Plant-based oils and fats such as olive oil provide necessary fatty acids without raising levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol

“If you are switching to a vegan diet you should stop eating animal produce gradually, incorporating meat alternatives until it eventually excludes all animal produce completely.”

Alexandra warns when starting out on a vegan diet, the following nutrients are likely to be short:

Protein

Protein provides essential amino acids needed for building and repairing bones, muscle, cartilage, skin and blood. Plant-based sources include lentils, beans, chickpeas. Seeds, nots, nut butters and tofu.

Vitamin B12

Needed to protect nerves and red blood cells. It can be found in B12-fortified foods such as cereals, soy and seaweed. Consider taking supplements or ask your GP about taking it as an injection.

Vitamin D

Protects against certain cancers and chronic diseases as well as strengthening bones and teeth. Try to consume more vitamin D-fortified foods and spending just 20 minutes in the sun can boost levels. Can be found in ground flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil and soy products.

Iodine

Necessary for thyroid function. Seaweed is a good source.

Iron

Important for absorbing oxygen into the blood. Dried beans and dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds are good sources. Using a cast iron skillet when preparing meals is a good way to absorb iron into food.

Calcium

Crucial for bone health. Tofu, tahini and green leafy vegetables are good sources. Or take calcium supplements.

Omega 3 fatty acids

Vital for a healthy heart, eye and brain function. Can be found in ground flaxseed, walnuts and soy products.

Zinc

Deficiency can lead to hair loss, poor healing of wounds, immunological problems and dermatitis. Whole grains, legumes and soy products are a good source.

About Spire Healthcare

Spire Healthcare is a leading independent hospital group in the United Kingdom, with 39 hospitals, 12 clinics and two Specialist Care Centres across England, Wales and Scotland, treating insured, self-pay and NHS patients.  The Group delivered tailored, personalised care to more than 270,000 in-patients and day-case patients in 2015, and is the leading provider by volume of knee and hip operations in the United Kingdom.

Spire offers in-patient/day-case procedures in areas including orthopaedics, gynaecology, cardiology, neurology, oncology and general surgery and also diagnostic services including imaging and pathology.

The group also offers out-patient services, such as consulting, minor procedures, treatments, health checks and physiotherapy.

In 2015, Spire Healthcare was voted Private Hospital Group of the year 2015 by Health Investor Magazine for the second year running.

For further information please visit www.spirehealthcare.com/leeds

Put the Date in Your Diary

Alzheimer’s Society Cupcake Day

Ruth Langsford supports Alzheimer’s Society Cupcake Day

Calling all baking pros, impatient icers, first-timers and late night whiskers – dust off your baking bowls and whip out your whisks because Alzheimer’s Society’s Cupcake Day is back on 13th June 2019. 

Whether you’re a baking novice or a seasoned pro, unite against dementia with family, friends and colleagues by baking or buying cupcakes to raise vital funds.

Now in its fourth year, Cupcake Day has raised £2.7 million since 2016 and this year is aiming to raise £1.8 million. In the past, the campaign has been supported by high profile celebrities including Suranne Jones, Paul Hollywood and Ruth Langsford. Other celebrities will be uniting with us in 2019 to support Cupcake Day 2019 and will be announced soon.

Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer and affect 1 million by 2021. In the average time it takes to bake a batch of cakes, six people will develop dementia in the UK. It’s crunch time!

By hosting a Cupcake Day you get to enjoy some tasty treats with your workmates, friends and family knowing you are helping us work tirelessly to find new treatments and, ultimately, a cure for dementia.

Whether you choose to celebrate on 13th June or mark the occasion another time in the month, there are no excuses not to get involved.

Unite against dementia by signing up for Cupcake Day. For details visit the website at cupcakeday.alzheimers.org.uk

The website is packed with information to help you with your fundraising including recipes to serve your guests. Try this simple recipe.

Classic Vanilla and White Chocolate Cup Cakes Recipe

Ingredients for the Cakes

110g butter, softened
110g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
110g self-raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk

Ingredients for the Topping

200g white chocolate
300g butter, softened
300g icing sugar, sifted
1-2 tbsp milk
Blue food colouring

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan, gas mark 4.  Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs a little at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract.

3. Fold in the flour, adding a little milk to give a dropping consistency.  Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.

4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden.  Cool on a cooling rack.

5. To make the white chocolate butter icing, melt the white chocolate in the microwave then leave to cool slightly. 

6. Beat together the butter and icing sugar, adding a little milk to loosen.  Stir in the cooled white chocolate.

7. Divide the mixture in half and add blue colouring to one half.  Spoon the two mixtures into separate small icing bags then place both of these into a larger icing bag with a star nozzle and pipe the cup cakes with both colours.

Makes 12 Cup Cakes

Alzheimer’s Society’s Cupcake Day is back on 13th June 2019. Sign up to bake, bring or buy at cupcakeday.alzheimers.org.uk

Total Ankle Replacement

Huddersfield Man Benefits from Total Ankle Replacement

When Neil Shuttleworth, a retired printing specialist from Huddersfield, had total ankle replacement surgery he told his surgeon at Spire Leeds Hospital his first ‘mission’ after surgery was to walk comfortably down the famous Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes eating ice cream with his wife Christine.

Neil, 81, underwent a Rebalance Total Ankle Replacement (Zimmer-Biomet) which is one of the newest replacements available. It uses a high-density E-Poly bearing (a type of polyethylene with added vitamin E) which bullet proof vests are made from. It is the only ankle replacement at present using E-poly for the bearing which has 80% better wear characteristics than conventional polyethylene making it more durable which should help the lifetime of the implant.

Professor Nick Harris, consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon who performed the surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital, said, “The use of E-poly with its better wear characteristics is an exciting development and will hopefully mean ankle replacements will last longer.  There is an 80% to 90% chance at present an ankle replacement will last for at least ten to fifteen years. The use of E-poly may improve this further.”

Before surgery Neil could not walk more than a few hundred yards as the pain in his ankle was so severe, which was difficult as he had always lived an active life which involved physical work and playing sport, including running and cycling across UK and Europe.

The problem started when he was on holiday in Cyprus several years ago. “I was planning to swim around Aphrodite’s Rock as it promises ‘eternal youth’. We parked in an empty car park which was the size of a football pitch and I stepped out of the car into the only pot hole anywhere near and tore ligaments,” said Neil, a grandfather of seven and great grandfather of one.

The pain worsened steadily over the next few years until it became agonizing due to bone-on-bone contact. He managed the pain, to a point, with medication. “I knew I had to do something about it. My condition had become intolerable, I had virtually no cartilage and if I went over on my ankle the pain was agonizing,” he said.

Neil carried out detailed research online and found Professor Nick Harris, consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon at Spire Leeds Hospital. He booked a consultation right away. A thorough examination and x-rays revealed severe primary osteoarthritis in the ankle joint.

Mr Harris explained the options which involved either an ankle fusion or total ankle replacement. Of the 30,000 cases of ankle osteoarthritis seen by hospital specialists every year, only about 1,200 of them will undergo ankle replacement surgery as fusion surgery is much more commonly performed. *

Ankle replacement offers a quicker recovery than fusion with patients being able to fully weight bear after two weeks. Ankle fusion remains the most reliable treatment but has a longer recovery time of around 14 weeks. Neil chose a total ankle replacement and self-funded the surgery in January 2018. He used crutches and wore a special walker boot for the next six weeks. This was followed by a strict six-week physiotherapy regime, firstly at Spire and later closer to home. Neil is now able to walk a couple of miles without any problem and uses a treadmill on incline setting to further build his fitness levels.

Mr Harris said, “The results of Neil’s surgery are excellent and there is at least an 80%-90% chance the ankle replacement will survive for at least 10 to 15 years.”

Neil said, “When my surgeon asked me what I was expecting to achieve from the operation, I said I wasn’t expecting to run a marathon, but I wanted to be the best I could be for my age. I said I would like to walk along a promenade hand-in-hand with my wife Christine eating an ice cream but without the pain I had lived with for far too long. The photo we had taken of us doing this was titled ‘mission achieved’. I sent a copy to my surgeon. I’m very happy with the results and looking forward to a long, active and pain-free retirement.”

And Neil has now topped this achievement. In celebration of his newly restored mobility. As an ex-RAF man and aeroplane enthusiast he has now fulfilled his long-anticipated dream to fly in a Spitfire.

Neil said, “I decided to treat myself to a flight in a Spitfire. It flies from Biggin Hill in Kent, which was one of the primary defenders of London in the Battle of Britain. It was a never-to-be-forgotten experience as I took the controls for quite a while before the pilot took over again and performed the famous ‘victory roll’. It was exhilarating!”

About Spire Healthcare

Spire Healthcare is a leading independent hospital group in the United Kingdom, with 39 hospitals, 12 clinics and two Specialist Care Centres across England, Wales and Scotland, treating insured, self-pay and NHS patients.  The Group delivered tailored, personalised care to more than 270,000 in-patients and day-case patients in 2015, and is the leading provider by volume of knee and hip operations in the United Kingdom.

Spire offers in-patient/day-case procedures in areas including orthopaedics, gynaecology, cardiology, neurology, oncology and general surgery and also diagnostic services including imaging and pathology. The group also offers out-patient services, such as consulting, minor procedures, treatments, health checks and physiotherapy.

In 2015, Spire Healthcare was voted Private Hospital Group of the year 2015 by Health Investor Magazine for the second year running.

For further information please visit www.spirehealthcare.com/leeds

Health Benefits of Tea

What’s Special about Your Daily Brew?

Spotlight on the top healthy
ingredients of a cup of tea

Tea is the nation’s favourite drink and for good reason: it not only tastes great, but it’s good for our wellbeing.

The health-enhancing flavonoids obtained from just two cups of tea a day reduces the risk of death from all-cause mortality by 40%, according to research published in the American Journal of Nutrition.

Studies have found that drinking tea is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, dementia, diabetes, high blood pressure and inflammation — which is recognised as a factor in many age-related health issues. Research shows it may even aid weight control and influence fat distribution.

Now an exciting new report, compiled by the Tea Advisory Panel, Who Brew Knew That? For Good Health, It’s Always Tea Time, explores the science and latest studies around the health benefits of tea. The report reveals in detail many of the ingredients – and their biochemical properties – that have been found to bring significant health benefits.

Dietician and a member of the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP), Dr Carrie Ruxton says, “Tea is the ultimate superfood as it provides around 80 per cent of the flavonoids in the UK diet and 70% of our dietary fluoride unlike other expensive superfoods with questionable claims and supposedly packed with antioxidant flavonoids.”

Laboratory studies show that just one cup of tea delivers the same flavonoid activity as two apples, 3.5 glasses of orange juice or ten glasses of long-life apple juice. Another, which focused on the oxidative stress which has a role in making arteries harden, found the flavonoids in tea were more potent antioxidants than vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene.

Professor Philip Calder, Professor of Nutritional Immunology within Medicine at the University of Southampton and a guest advisor to TAP says, “Tea and other tea herbal infusions are such familiar friends, we often overlook the number, and range, of health benefits they bring to the table.

“Two of the biggest drivers for illness and age-related physical and cognitive decline are oxidation and inflammation, and tea helps combat both. It’s no wonder that drinking tea on a regular basis reduces the risk of so many health issues and barely a month goes by without fresh evidence of the benefits of a brew.”

What’s in a cuppa?

Black tea, which is the one we drink most often in the UK, and green tea more common in Asian countries are both produced from the same plant – Camellia sinensis – as is Oolong tea. Their distinctive flavours and flavonoid profiles stem from the fact that they are processed differently, and this may explain the different health benefits of different teas.

Scientists estimate that tea has around 4,000 bioactive compounds, with a third coming in the form of polyphenols, a family of natural plant composites which protect plants from ultraviolet radiation, bacteria, viruses and other damaging microorganisms. Polyphenols account for between 30% and 42% of the dry weight of tea and many have proven health-enhancing activity.

Depending on their chemical structure, the polyphenols in tea fall into two main groups: flavanols such as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate or epigallocatechin-3-gallate), EGC, (epigallocatechin) and ECG (Epicatechin gallate) and other catechins; flavonols such as quercetin, kaempferol.

Tea scientist, Dr Tim Bond and a member of TAP says, “Plants have developed these polyphenols to protect themselves from a variety of threats, and there is clear evidence that many of these plant chemicals have potent bioactive properties which help protect human health, too.

“We know that many of the polyphenols found in tea are incredibly effective at removing excess reactive oxygen species [ROS], chemical messengers which are involved in DNA damage, inflammation, and many age-related diseases, when levels are too high.”

Laboratory tests have found the flavonoids in both black and green tea have far higher antioxidant activity against peroxyl radicals — which promote inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases — than are found in vegetables such as garlic, kale, spinach and Brussels sprouts, which are considered anti-carcinogenic.

Dr Chris Etheridge from TAP, and a leading Medical Herbalist says, “A number of flavanols and other plant chemicals present in tea have proven health properties, but there is also evidence that synergistic interactions between these compounds are responsible for some of the health benefits of tea. And as different teas are associated with different polyphenols and health benefits, it makes sense to break out of your routine and try a new brew.”

Tea catechins

The most abundant and biologically active catechin in tea is EGCG, which is known as epigallocatechin gallate or epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Laboratory tests have found that EGCG is not only more effective at killing cancer cells than 5-fluorouracil, a widely used chemotherapy drug, it also inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

EGCG and the catechins EGC (epigallocatechin) and ECG (Epicatechin gallate) — which have found anti-cancer activity (laboratory tests) — look and behave like molecules known as chaperones, which may help protect against cancer and have been tipped as the future of cancer therapy. They have also been shown to be potential DNA intercalators which could be another mechanism of action.

But the benefits of these catechins extend far beyond cancer prevention. A recent review confirmed that EGCG, inhibits hardening of the arteries, thickening of heart muscle and damps down inflammatory markers and other factors which increase the risk of heart attacks and diabetes. There is also evidence it can head off the vascular damage associated with diabetes and dementia.

Quercetin a flavanol found in tea has a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action and helps regulate immune response and reduce allergic reactions. Like the catechins in tea, quercetin protects against hardening of the arteries and exhibits anti-cancer activity. It’s thought that quercetin and catechins could have a synergistic effect when combined, as they are in tea.

Kaempferol is another constituent of tea with proven anti-cancer activity. This stems from signalling pathways associated with inflammation, which often paves the way for cancer; programmed cell death, or apoptosis, which gives rise to cancer when it goes wrong; angiogenesis, which allows cancers to grow, and metastasis which allows them to spread around the body.

Kaempferol has also been shown to prevent and reverse ventricular fibrosis and cardiac dysfunction, providing an experimental basis for clinical treatment on ventricular fibrosis.

Caffeine acts on a number of messenger chemicals in the brain to improve memory, alertness and mood and combat fatigue. A number of studies have shown it can improve physical performance. But too much caffeine — more than 400mg in one serving — is associated with insomnia, irritability, nervousness and headaches.

Tea has half the caffeine of coffee – less than 50mg per mug – and more importantly it has other active ingredients such as L-theanine which blunt the stimulation of caffeine and introduce feelings of calm concentration. 

Fluoride – tea is also one of the best sources of fluoride, necessary for strong teeth. A mug of black tea contains around 1.2mg of fluoride, so four servings achieve the recommended intake of 3.5mg.

L-theanine is an amino acid which is found almost uniquely in tea. It is a relaxant which blocks the vasoconstriction, or narrowing of the blood vessels, associated with caffeine. This may explain why drinking a lot of tea won’t produce the same jitters, headaches, raised blood pressure and heart palpitations associated with heavy coffee drinking.

Dr Etheridge from TAP says, “We have clear evidence of the bioactivity, modes of action and health benefits of many of the plant chemicals found in both black and green tea, but we are probably just scratching the surface when it comes to identifying and understanding all their health-enhancing properties.”

Dr Tim Bond from TAP adds, “We all instinctively know that tea is good for us, simply because it gives us such a lift. But as scientists continue to explore the different actions and interactions of its chemical components, we are beginning to unravel the secrets behind its proven health and benefits.”

The Tea Advisory Panel

The Tea Advisory Panel is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the UK Tea & Infusions Association, the trade association for the UK tea industry.

The Panel has been created to provide media with impartial information regarding the tea. Panel members include GPs; chemists; nutritionists; dieticians; dentist and herbal medicine doctors.

For further information please visit www.teaadvisorypanel.com   

Online Menopause Platform

Nine Things You
Didn’t Know about
the Menopause

Jane Dowling, inspirational trainer behind the award-winning blog Meno&Me

Experts in fields from gynaecology to nutrition share their biggest ‘must-knows’.

With the recent spotlight on the gender pay gap, periods and #MeToo, women are opening up conversations on the issues most important to them. It’s no surprise then that the dialogue is slowly shifting to the menopause. Despite being one of the major life events in the biology of being a woman, it’s also still one of the most underrepresented. 

Experts from Health & Her® – the first online platform of its kind, designed to support women through the menopause – want to break the taboo and lift the lid on the topic.

“Even if you’re not approaching or going through the menopause, chances are someone close to you is,” says Kate Bache, Health & Her® Co-Founder. “Women are being done a disservice through a lack of dialogue or support. Getting people talking about the topic may help you with your own symptoms or someone close to you.“  

To help kickstart the conversation, a bank of Health & Her® experts in everything from nutrition to gynaecology have put together ‘Nine things you didn’t know you didn’t know about the menopause’.

Anne Henderson, Consultant gynaecologist

1. Your symptoms might be the best guide to when you’ve reached menopause

Consultant gynaecologist Anne Henderson clarifies, “A common definition of menopause is when a woman has gone two years without a period if they’re under the age of 50, or one year, if they’re over 50. This can be a bit old-fashioned and it may be more helpful to base whether you’ve been through the menopause on symptoms.”

2. You can still get pregnant, even after your periods stop

“A woman can still be fertile, even after her periods seem to have stopped, so make sure contraception is covered for up to two years if you’re 51 years-old and under, and one year if you’re over 51!” warns registered nurse Ruth Devlin from “Let’s Talk Menopause’.

3. You can do yoga for hot flushes

Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, yoga therapy specialist for women’s health explains, “Think of this as human air-conditioning; it works on the same principle as a dog panting with its tongue lolling out to cool. It’s a great way to lower the temperature of the tongue, mouth, head and possibly the throat and rest of the body when you’re having a hot flush.

Roll your tongue either back on itself or curling the edges round to make a straw shape and breath in slowly, taking the air over the surface of your tongue, allowing it to cool as you do. Relax the mouth and breathe out through your nose. Repeat this seven times; it might look funny but it works!”  See the technique in action here. 

4. If you feel like the pressure of the menopause is giving you a headache – it actually is

“Oestrogen causes the blood vessels to expand and progesterone causes them to tighten. Around menopause there is fluctuation and imbalance of these hormones causing the blood vessels to keep expanding and contracting. This can lead to a build-up of pressure in the head resulting in pain – what’s commonly called a pressure headache,” says GP, Shilpa McQuillan.

5. It’s a marathon not a sprint

“The average woman might experience menopause symptoms for around four years after that last period; however, one in 10 of us will live with symptoms for up to 12 years. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and well worth investing in key pieces to help you stay chic and cool,” says stylist and designer, Gilly Woo.

Rosie Letts, Nutritionist

6. A little belly fat can be good for you

Rosie Letts, nutritionist continues, “Your body is always trying to find the ideal balance. In response to lower ovarian oestrogen, your body will lay down fat cells (particularly around your belly) capable of oestrogen production. It’s your body’s way of topping up hormones levels and whilst high oestrogen can cause an array of unpleasant symptoms, oestrogen docking stations are found all over your body helping to support bone and heart health, memory and concentration as well as your genitourinary system. So, a little belly fat is, in fact, helpful. An excess is associated with heart disease, so balance is key.”

Myra Hunter, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Health Psychology, King’s College London

7. You can use the power of your mind to conquer flushes and sweats

“Several studies, in the UK and the Netherlands, with over 600 women, have shown that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) significantly reduces the impact of hot flushes and night sweats, and has additional benefits to mood and quality of life,“ says Emeritus Professor of Clinical Health Psychology, King’s College London, Myra Hunter,  an international expert on the menopause.

8. Menopause can have a very real social effect

Julie Dennis, menopause coach and trainer explains, “One in four women considers leaving work because of the severity of their symptoms – and one in ten actually does. Striking when you consider the average cost of replacing an employee in 2014 was estimated to be £30,000.“

9. You might experience your first panic attack

Jane Dowling, inspirational trainer behind the award-winning blog Meno&Me reveals, “At 46 I was told I was perimenopausal. During this time, I had lots of stress to deal with and I noticed a big change both physically and mentally. I had my first panic attack at 46; it was scary. But I made small changes over time that had a big impact on my physical and mental health.”

With trusted and qualified menopause opinion from the UK’s top experts answering the biggest ranking questions posed by women online, Health & Her® features articles from gynaecologists and leading psychologists, as well as womb yoga teachers and everything through to career coaches and celebrity make-up artists.

Designed to support women to take control of their menopause, the site offers a free Menopause Symptom Tool & Tracker to help individuals understand and improve their menopause experience in three simple steps; as well as hand-picked products, carefully curated and recommended by woman who have been there.

For details click on healthandher.com

Exercise and Fitness

Are You Struggling with Flexibility? It
may be Tight Fascia!

By Ashley Black, Founder of Fasciology™, inventor of FasciaYoga™ and Inventor of FasciaBlaster tools™

Having flexibility is crucially important, even to cope with small every-day tasks such as bending over to tie your shoelaces or getting on and off the ground with ease. With age, your muscles and joints can lose their strength and become stiffer and less supple – all of which will mean that your body isn’t as flexible as it used to be. In fact, The National Institute of Health reports that after age 55 we lose approximately 6% of range of motion in our hips and shoulders every decade.

However, it is not always just your age that is to blame, or even your lifestyle or lack of stretching. What every study seems to leave out of the equation is the fascia. In my opinion, the fascia is the number 1 contributing factor to loss of flexibility, yet it is rarely understood or addressed. We have a funny saying as Fasciologists that the muscles and joints are the fascia’s bi***,” and it’s really true.

So, what is fascia? Fascia are the “sheets” of connective tissue that connect, penetrate, envelope, and surround every organ, joint, muscle, and system of the body. When fascia is tight, it restricts the nerve signal and because nerves are the messengers that send signals from the brain to the muscles, when the signal is interrupted or choked out, the muscle output is lessened.

Fascia is also the largest sensory organ, so as we become unstable, the fascia is signalled to “protect the body” by become tighter, like an Ace bandage. Unfortunately, this built in mechanism causes us to become less flexible. In short, the fascia is like an internal wet suit, if the fascia system is tight it makes everything else tight.

Not to fret. I have devoted my 20-year career to helping people with their fascia. To address fascia, you can use the FasciaBlaster™ tools: self-treatment devices that have been designed specifically for opening fascia at the surface and the deeper layers, loosening overall fascia and breaking up the fascial adhesions that can limit your body’s range of motion.

I have also invented FasciaYoga™, a free App in Apple or Google Play that stretches muscles, joints, tendons and the all-important long fascia lines. This is a totally new approach to flexibility and the results are dramatic.

If you’re using the FasciaBlaster tools™ at home, simply follow the below step by step guide:

Step 1 – Warm up: You can warm up in one of two ways, either internally (with about 10-15 minutes of low-impact cardio) or externally (with a hot shower, bath, sauna, heating pads, or a sauna suit). The body and fascia love heat because it increases circulation and puts the fascia in a more pliable, receptive state.

Step 2 – Oil: The FasciaBlaster™ is designed to work on bare skin with oil. You can use any oil that does not absorb easily, or alternatively try the Ashley Black Blaster Oil™ which is specifically designed for FasciaBlasting.

Step 3 – Blast Off: Rub the FasciaBlaster® over the skin using up and down and side to side motions in every direction – just not in circles. I recommend starting with 2-5 minutes per “fascia zone.” Make sure to go at your own pace and listen to your body! It’s also important to note that FasciaBlasting can feel a little painful at first, so always ease into it by starting off light and brisk to open up those initial layers of fascia. Once you’ve been FasciaBlasting frequently for a few weeks (at least 10 sessions in each area), you can start going a bit deeper and work your way up to a little more pressure.

Step 4 – Recovery: Allowing for ample recovery time is vital to obtaining the best results.

For FasciaYoga™, simply download the free App at https://itunes.apple.com  

Find out more about the incredible link between healthy fascia, flexibility and pain relief at www.ashleyblackguru.uk   

To hear real life stories from over a million customers please click on the link below www.facebook.com/groups/Fascia

Personal Care Range

Aroma Care Solutions Develops Unique Range for Home Care

A new range of personal and home care products provides a touch of luxury for people receiving care whilst offering a practical solution for carers. Designed by Aroma Care Solutions, the range is aimed at elderly, sick or disabled people and their carers. It combines natural ingredients and exquisite aromatherapy to create effective solutions for banishing indignities such as incontinence or accidents.

Created by experts with backgrounds in aromatherapy and industrial cleaning, Aroma Care Solutions uses long-lasting fragrances, making life easier for the carer and giving a boost to people in their care.

The Aroma Skincare Solutions range is ethical and gentle, with fragrances to help calm, soothe and uplift spirits. The premium products include the Hand and Nail Barrier Formula, Nose Guard Aromatic Balm, English Florals Hair and Body Wash, Fresh Green Handwash, English Florals Hand and Body Lotion, Organic Rose Water Spritz and English Florals Hand Sanitiser.

The Aroma Homecare Solutions range comprises ethical, gentle products designed to revive the body and mind while keeping the home clean and protected.

Within the range is the ground-breaking Bio-Enzyme Odour Management Formula, which not only manages but eradicates malodours caused by bodily fluids on textiles, sinks, baths, showers, plug holes and wet rooms; the Antibacterial Hard Surface Cleaner, which leaves surfaces around the home hygienically clean with an exquisite fragrance; Protective Loo Guard, an antibacterial, fresh-smelling liquid leaving the loo thoroughly cleaned; Absorbent Aromatic Granules, which help with the clean up of bodily fluid spills, and Deodorising Powders for Carpets, a floral scented solution.

Aroma Care Solutions is the brainchild of co-founders Julie Foster and Quentin Steele. An expert aromatherapist and perfumer, Julie had spent a considerable amount of time caring for a close relative with a terminal illness.

During this time, she was surprised at the lack of products which could enhance the experience of carers, and help maintain the dignity and self-respect of people being cared for. She felt much more could be done to provide a pleasant-smelling environment for patients and surroundings, cutting out the associated medical odours.

It was by chance that Julie later crossed paths with London businessman Quentin Steele who has a pedigree of 30 years in the cleaning industry with specific expertise in hygiene and odour management. Between them they identified a much needed niche in the market and Aroma Care Solutions was formed.

Quentin says, “We know there is a need for the home and personal care range but the problem here in the UK is that it is not within our nature to talk about our problems. So, if someone asks how your mother is, you naturally say OK and leave it at that. It would be very un-British for us to expand on the problems we face in looking after her.

“Therefore, dignity and discretion are at the very heart of our solutions and this gap in the market has never really been identified. Our beautiful fragrances are the sort you would expect in high quality creams and lotions, giving individuals a treat whilst solving a practical problem.”

Julie adds, “Many of us would never expect to find ourselves having to care for someone, but the reality is there are millions of us looking after relatives or close friends. And this number will continue to increase.

“It is well documented that our population is growing older. And with ever increasing care home fees and rising property prices, more and more of us are choosing to keep our loved ones at home with us, expanding our properties to build an annex, rather than spend £1,500 a week on care.”

For further information about Aroma Care email info@aromacaresolutions.co.uk

Or visit the Aroma Care website at www.aromacaresolutions.co.uk  

Back to Top