Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Could turmeric really boost your health?

Bold health claims have been made for the power of turmeric. Is there anything in them, asks Michael Mosley.
Turmeric is a spice which in its raw form looks a bit like ginger root, but when it's ground down you get a distinctive yellowy orange powder that's very popular in South Asian cuisine. Until recently the place you would most likely encounter turmeric would be in chicken tikka masala, one of Britain's most popular dishes.
These days, thanks to claims that it can improve everything from allergies to depression, it's become incredibly trendy, not just cooked and sprinkled on food but added to drinks like tea. Turmeric latte anyone?
Now I'm usually very cynical about such claims, but in the case of turmeric I thought there could be something to it. There are at least 200 different compounds in turmeric, but there's one that scientists are particularly interested in. It gives this spice its colour. It's called curcumin.
Thousands of scientific papers have been published looking at turmeric and curcumin in the laboratory - some with promising results. But they've mainly been done in mice, using unrealistically high doses. There have been few experiments done in the real world, on humans.
Michael Mosley holding a pinch of turmeric

  • Michael Mosley is one of the presenters of Trust Me, I'm A Doctor, broadcast on Thursdays at 20:00 BST on BBC Two - catch up on BBC iPlayer

This is exactly the sort of situation where we on Trust Me like to make a difference. So we tracked down leading researchers from across the country and with their help recruited nearly 100 volunteers from the North East to do a novel experiment. Few of our volunteers ate foods containing turmeric on a regular basis.
Then we divided them into three groups.
We asked one group to consume a teaspoon of turmeric every day for six weeks, ideally mixed in with their food. Another group were asked to swallow a supplement containing the same amount of turmeric, and a third group were given a placebo, or dummy pill.
The volunteers who were asked to consume a teaspoon of turmeric a day were ingenious about what they added it to, mixing it with warm milk or adding it to yoghurt. Not everyone was enthusiastic about the taste, with comments ranging from "awful" to "very strong and lingering".
But what effect was eating turmeric having on them? We decided to try and find out using a novel test developed at University College, London, by Prof Martin Widschwendter and his team.
Turmeric powder and rootImage copyrightISTOCK
Prof Widschwendter is not particularly interested in turmeric but he is interested in how cancers start. His team have been comparing tissue samples taken from women with breast cancer and from women without it and they've found a change that happens to the DNA of cells well before they become cancerous.
The change is in the "packaging" of the genes. It's called DNA methylation. It's a bit like a dimmer switch that can turn the activity of the gene up or down.
The exciting thing is that if it is detected in time this change can, potentially, be reversed, before the cell turns cancerous. DNA methylation may explain why, for instance, your risk of developing lung cancer drops dramatically once you give up smoking. It could be that the unhealthy methylation of genes, caused by tobacco smoke, stops or reverses once you quit.
So we asked Prof Widschwendter whether testing the DNA methylation patterns of our volunteers' blood cells at the start and end of the experiment would reveal any change in their risk of cancer and other diseases, like allergies. It was something that had not been done before.


Turmeric flowerImage copyrightSCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
  • Perennial herbaceous plant native to South Asia
  • Spice is gathered from the plants rhizomes (roots)
  • As well as being used in Indian food, turmeric is used in traditional medicine and as a dyeing agent

Fortunately he was very enthusiastic. "We were delighted," he said, "to be involved in this study, because it is a proof of principle study that opens entirely new windows of opportunity to really look into how we can predict preventive measures, particularly for cancer."
So what, if anything, happened?
When I asked him that, he pulled out his laptop and slowly began to speak.
"We didn't find any changes in the group taking the placebo," he told me. That was not surprising.
"The supplement group also didn't also show any difference," he went on.
That was surprising and somewhat disappointing.
"But the group who mixed turmeric powder into their food," he continued, "there we saw quite substantial changes. It was really exciting, to be honest. We found one particular gene which showed the biggest difference. And what's interesting is that we know this particular gene is involved in three specific diseases: depression, asthma and eczema, and cancer. This is a really striking finding."
Cook preparing Indian food
Image captionTurmeric has long been used in Indian food
It certainly is. But why did we see changes only in those eating turmeric, not in those taking the same amount as a supplement?
Dr Kirsten Brandt, who is a senior lecturer at Newcastle University and who helped run the experiment, thinks it may have something to do with the way the turmeric was consumed.
"It could be," she told me, "that adding fat or heating it up makes the active ingredients more soluble, which would make it easier for us to absorb the turmeric. It certainly gives us something, to work on, to try to find out exactly what's happening."
She also told me, because our volunteers all tried consuming their turmeric in different ways, that we can be confident it was the turmeric that was making the difference and not some other ingredient used to make, say, chicken tikka masala.
There is a lot more research that needs to be done, including repeating the experiment to see if these findings can be confirmed. But in light of what we've discovered will I be consuming more of the stuff? Probably. It helps that I like the taste and I've already begun experimenting with things like adding it with a touch of chilli to an omelette.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Buy Bone Health Products

Bone Health

Bones play many roles in the body, they provide structure, protect our organs and store calcium. Therefore its important you take steps to protect bone health. Our range of bone health supplements contains premium minerals and vitamins to support the maintenance of normal bones.
More Information Buy Products

Your bones are continually being remodelled. Old, worn-out bone is reabsorbed and new bone is laid down. Many different nutrients are needed to optimise bone mineral density, which is an important measure of bone strength.
Calcium: Your body contains around 1.2kg of calcium - 99% of which is stored in your skeleton. If calcium intake is low, it is quickly leached out of your bones, so a good calcium intake throughout life is therefore important in order to achieve a high peak bone mass and protect against future osteoporosis.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for the body to be able to absorb calcium. It also stimulates the production of new bone matrix proteins and the mineralisation of bone. Vitamin D can be made in the body by the action of sunlight on the skin, but production is significantly reduced during winter months, particularly in the UK. Taking vitamin D with calcium supplements can prevent the seasonal changes in bone turnover and bone loss seen in healthy adults, which are believed to contribute to osteoporosis risk. Supplements supplying natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are 20%-40% more effective in maintaining blood vitamin D levels than the synthetic form, vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).
Magnesium: Bone contains a complex mixture of calcium and magnesium. Low intakes of magnesium are associated with reduced bone formation, increased bone reabsorption and appear to contribute to increased risk of bone fracture. A good magnesium intake from food and supplements helps to contribute towards increased bone strength.
Zinc: Zinc is needed for normal growth and development of all tissues, including bone. It appears to stimulate the activity of bone building cells (osteoblasts) and to suppress the activity of cells that break down bone (osteoclasts).
Boron: Boron is an ultratrace mineral (meaning it’s needed in very tiny amounts) that interacts with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D to improve bone strength. Its beneficial effects are even greater where intakes of vitamin D and magnesium are low. In post-menopausal women, boron supplements can reduce calcium and magnesium loss and increase blood levels of hormones such as beta-oestradiol, which have a bone building action to reduce calcium loss and bone thinning.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K is used for the activation of proteins (eg osteocalcin) that attract and bind calcium within bones. Lack of vitamin K is associated with low bone mineralisation and increased risk of fracture, while supplementation can improve bone mineral density.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C stimulates formation of bone matrix proteins such as collagen. Isoflavones have an oestrogen-like action that stimulates new bone formation and reduces bone-loss during menopause women.

The Benefits of Turmeric


Turmeric is a spice, commonly used in Asian food, derived from the root of the turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) plant. The plant is a perennial herb and a member of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family. Curcumin is the yellow-colored primary active constituent derived from turmeric and is commonly used to colour foods and cosmetics.
The rhizome (root) of turmeric has long been used in traditional Asian medicine to treat gastrointestinal upset, arthritic pain, and "low energy." The dried root of turmeric is reported to contain 3-5% curcumin and research has indicated that curcumin may exert a number of potentially therapeutic effects, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, and insecticidal properties. However, clinical evidence for these benefits is lacking.
Preliminary human evidence suggests curcumin’s possible efficacy in the management of several medical conditions including dyspepsia, osteoarthritis, hyperlipidemia and improving cognitive function.
Cognitive Function
Curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have been suggested as a means of improving or preserving cognitive function in conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and aging. Preliminary evidence has suggested that curry may be associated with improved cognitive performance (i); however, additional research is necessary to confirm these findings.
Dyspepsia and IBS
Turmeric has been traditionally used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal disorders, particularly indigestion associated with fatty meals and may provide some symptomatic relief (ii). A study evaluating a mixture of curcumin and other substances (lactoferrin, N-acetylcystein, and pantoprazole) for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection found that seven days of administration significantly improved symptoms of dyspepsia (iii).
Preliminary research has also suggested that turmeric may alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (iv).
Studies have reported reductions in low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol levels in response to taking turmeric (v).
Turmeric and its constituent curcumin have both been identified as possessing anti-inflammatory properties (vi). In clinical research, curcumin (400mg three times daily for five days) was found to reduce edema and tenderness in 40 subjects with postoperative inflammation after hernia or hydrocele repair (vii).
Turmeric has been used historically to treat rheumatic conditions. Studies have shown turmeric and curcumin to possess anti-inflammatory properties, which may play a role in the symptomatic relief of osteoarthritis. In a comparative study, an extract of curcumin was seen to be as effective as ibuprofen in relieving pain and improving function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee (viii).
In combination with other herbs turmeric has also been shown to be effective in skin conditions Other preliminary research suggests that turmeric and curcumin might also have antioxidant and immunostimulatory effects and in one study, vitamin E levels increased after 6 months of treatment with 1-4 grams/day of curcumin, possibly indicating that antioxidant effects of curcumin were sparing vitamin E. It is thought to interfere with viral infections and is currently being investigated for its use in HIV.
How Much Do You Need
Two level teaspoons of powder twice a day, or as capsules 500-1200mg, standardized to 95% curcuminoids. The rate of absorption appears to be increased by food.
Are there any cautions
As turmeric has been shown to decrease platelet aggregation, concomitant use of anti-coagulant medication such as warfarin or heparin is not advised without consulting your medical practitioner.
Why Healthspan’s Opti-Turmeric?

Standard curcumin isn’t water soluble and is therefore very poorly absorbed by our bodies. Opti-Turmeric’s unique formulation contains NovaSOL® curcumin micelles, which are water soluble resulting in optimum absorption in the intestine – it is 185 times better-absorbed and seven times faster-acting than standard turmeric tablets.

Healthspan’s highly potent capsules contain 500mg of NovaSOL® curcumin – the most bioavailable form of curcumin, along with 20mg of vitamin C which offers further support contributing to cartilage formation, as well as to immune health.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

The Benefits of Bromelain

Bromelain is a protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzyme complex found in the fruit and, in higher concentrations, in the stem of the pineapple (Ananas comosus). It is able to hydrolyze or break down a wide variety of protein types in a range of both acid and alkaline environments.
Originally isolated in the late 1800s, bromelain can play a key role in digestion, and perhaps more importantly, its properties have prompted many practitioners to use it as an agent in wound healing and the prevention of illness and irritation decades.

What Does Bromelain Do?

Put simply; Bromelain breaks down protein. This has fairly obvious benefits when you consider that many of the foods you eat contain high amounts of protein and they have been thoroughly cooked, destroying most of the naturally occurring enzymes. As a proteolytic enzyme, it assists the body’s own digestive mechanisms in reducing very large, complex protein molecules into smaller peptide units or individual amino acids.
These smaller components are crucial for your own production of muscle, neurotransmitters, and other protein-based molecules that your body produces. Many of bromelain’s benefits; however, are actually based on absorption of the intact enzyme in the small intestine; it is this absorption makes possible its systemic effects such as reducing redness.

The Health Benefits of Bromelain

Traditionally societies in South America have used pineapples to reduce digestive upset and reduce irritation. Here are some of the other amazing health benefits of this enzyme, as well as the studies that support the benefits of bromelain:

1. Swelling and Redness

Bromelain was approved in Europe as an effective remedy for swelling after surgery. Research shows that the bromelain enzyme may lower swelling, stop bruising, speed up healing time, and reduce discomfort in individuals following surgical procedures. One double-blind study of over 150 women who received episiotomies (surgical cuts in the perineum) during childbirth, found that women given large servings of oral bromelain over a period of 3 days, beginning 4 hours after delivery, showed a huge decrease in swelling, and discomfort. Ninety percent of women taking the supplement showed excellent recovery compared to 44% of women in the placebo group.

2. Sinus Discomfort

Bromelain is one of the most popular supplements in European countries such as Germany, where it is commonly used for sinus discomfort. Some research suggests that bromelain was effective at reducing discomfort and swelling.

3. Topical Applications for Burns

Due to its beneficial properties, bromelain is currently being studied for topical applications for burns. Recent lab studies on animals show that bromelain helps slough off dead tissue from third-degree burns. Other studies show its effective topical use in people with second- and third-degree burns.

4. Insect Bites and Stings

Bromelain may be applied topically to lower swelling and reduce discomfort associated with insect bites and stings.

5. Reduced Swelling After Sports Injuries

Studies show that bromelain may speed up healing time after a physical or sports injury. Taking it has been linked to reduced swelling related to sprains, strains, bruises, and other minor muscle injuries.

6. Osteoarthritis

Bromelain may also help relieve mild discomfort related to osteoarthritis. In fact, it is a common ingredient in most natural supplements for sore joints and muscles.

7. Varicose Veins and Hemorrhoids

This enzyme has been used in alternative medicine to promote cardiovascular health and hemorrhoids and other conditions of the veins.

8. Sinusitis

There are several studies that suggest bromelain may help reduce coughing and lessen mucus related to sinusitis, as well as reduce the swelling and redness that accompany hay fever. The German Commission E approved the bromelain enzyme for aiding imbalances of the ear, nose, and throat that occur after surgery. It is also approved for reducing general sinus infection swelling.

9. Indigestion and Heartburn

Because of its protease capacities, this enzyme may reduce indigestion and heartburn. Studies show that it is particularly effective when used in combination with other enzymes like amylase (which digests carbohydrates) and lipase (which digests fat). Other studies show its ability to reduce bloating, gas and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

10. Helps Balance the Acidity of the Stomach

Research shows that Bromelain can help balance the acidity of the stomach, as well as the alkalinity of the small intestine. A recent lab study confirms that this enzyme may help ease harmful organism related diarrhea. Another study suggests that it may be an up-and-coming natural remedy for IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)

11. May Boost Overall Immune Strength

Bromelain may boost overall immune strength in the human body. One German clinical study of 16 breast cancer patients found that oral supplementation of bromelain could help stimulate immune function in women. Other studies suggest that it may also boost the amount of certain immune system hormones, called cytokines (made in our white blood cells). Recent studies suggest that bromelain may help relieve some of the standard cancer side effects related to lowered immunity.

12. May Stop Blood Platelets From Clotting

Several laboratory and animal studies suggest that bromelain may stop blood platelets from clotting. This is exciting research in the direction of its effects on heart health.

13. Bronchitis, Pneumonia and Urinary Tract Infections

Animal studies suggest that bromelain possesses action against harmful organisms, and it may be effective for ailments resulting from their presence.

Understanding the Units of Measurement for Bromelain on a supplement label

Bromelain is a plant-source Protease whose activity is measured in PU (Papain Units). One FCC-PU (Plant Proteolytic Analytical Method) is defined in the assay as that quantity of enzyme that liberates the equivalent of 1 µg (microgram) of tyrosine per hour under the conditions of the assay. This procedure also determines the proteolytic activity of ficin and bromelain. It is based on a 60-minute proteolytic hydrolysis of a casein substrate at pH 6.0 and 40°C. Soluble casein is then measured spectrophotometrically at 280nm. The FCC notation stands for Foods Chemical Codex and is a division of USP (United States Pharmacopeia). It sets standards for ingredients. In the case of enzymes, FCC is a standard assay used to accurately determine the activity of enzymes. The current compendium is FCC VI.
Bromelain can be standardized on supplement labels as gelatin digesting units (GDU/gram), milk clotting units (MCU), Rorer units (RU), Bromelain Tyrosine Units (BTU/ gram), Casein Digestion Units (CDU/mg) or FIP units.
Example: Bromelain at 1000 GDU/g would be equal to a 15,000,000 FCC PU/g potency.
Where to buy - Healthspan
Buy From - Holland And Barrett

Friday, 8 July 2016

Buy Cod Liver Oil Products - Online

Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil provides high levels of beneficial omega 3 fatty acids as well as being a rich source of vitamins A and D. At Healthspan we only use the purest cod liver oil sourced from the unpolluted, sustainable fisheries of Iceland.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Buy Co Q10 - Online

Co Q10

Co-enzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring nutrient that is present in all cells and highly concentrated in the cells of the heart. It is often referred to as the 'biochemical spark plug' due to its essential role in the production of energy. We offer a range of Co Q10 products, and also offer one of the highest concentrations available in the UK.


Chondroitin sulphate is naturally present in our bodies and is an important component of cartilage. At Healthspan we only use 90% chondroitin sulphate which is exclusively sourced from marine sources and proven to be effective in clinical trials.

Buy Calcium Supplements


Calcium is the most abundant essential mineral in the body. Calcium is required to maintain strength in the bones and teeth, and is recognised for its contribution to the transmission of signals in nerve cells and muscles. Our range of calcium products come in a variety of forms and combinations to best suit your personal needs.

Buy Amino Acids - Supplements

Amino Acids

A large proportion of our muscles and tissue are made up of amino acids. They give cells their structure and play a key role in the transport and storage of nutrients. At Healthspan we offer a variety of premium amino acid products recommended by experts.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Psyllium Husks / ispaghula, isabgol, IBS, detox - Various Weights 90g to 200g

Psyllium seed husks also known as ispaghula, isabgol, or psyllium. They are portions of the seeds of the plant Plantago ovata, (genus Plantago), a native of India. They are hygroscopic, expanding and become mucilaginous.
  • Psyllium husks is a water soluble powder is the best vegetable fibre available.
  • Psyllium husks are help for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
  • Psyllium husks are an important part of a detox regime.
  • Psyllium husks help to reduce body fat by removing toxins and helping you feel full and eat less.
  • Psyllium husks can be taken by pregnant women, but it is advisable to check with you health care professional.
  • Psyllium husks have no known contra-indications with any medication.
  • Psyllium husks are safe for diabetics.
  • Psyllium husks are safe for children, but is advisable to check with your health care professional if the child is under 11 years old.
  • Psyllium husks are safe to take long term.
  • Psyllium husks should be taken 30 minutes before a meal with plenty of water.
  • In a recent study recommending its use in treating cholesterol it was said “It may also play a role in controlling body weight, body composition, appetite and hypertension…”.

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Our own Natural Health 4 Life (NH4L) brand of products are sourced from the highest quality British manufacturers and we believe their quality speaks for themselves. So we offer a money back guarantee on any Natural Health 4 Life branded product, if you are unhappy with it for any reason, just contact us through eBay, return the product to us and we will refund you.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Probiotics Lactobacillus Acidophilus10 Billion CFU's High Strength 126 Tabs UK!

FREE from artificial colours, flavours, soya, gluten, and yeast, wheat, porcine and suitable for vegetarians
EXTREME strength and quality manufactured under licence in the UK in a GMP, ISOQAR, and UKAS approved facility
RESISTANT to the acidic conditions in the gut, Lactobacillus Acidophilus are the only strains of bacteria known to be able to colonise the human digestive system and have a considerable amount of safety and efficacy to support them whereas other strains and complexes lack resistance to gut acidity
LIVE BACTERIA tablets can be used in two ways. You can take them every day or to help tackle specific problems and particularly suitable for people balancing busy lifestyles or going on holiday with the change of diet and water
Ingredients per Serving: 
Amount per serving: Lactobacillus acidophilus 150 billion/g 66.7mg providing 10 billion CFU (colony-forming units) Other Ingredients: Calcium Phosphate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Magnesium Stearate
Directions: Take I tablet daily with water or as directed by your health advisor
Drink at least 2 litres of water per day to keep you hydrated.