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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.