Weekend Read 11 February 2023

Weekend Read 11 February 2023

Hello Saturday 11 February and as I welcome you to another Weekend Read, let’s go straight in and talk about health, heart health.  But before I drill down into the supplements that help support cardiovascular health, let me just say that February has been designated as Heart Month.  According to Heart UK, almost one in two adults in the UK have raised cholesterol and the British Heart Foundation state that heart and circulatory diseases kill one in four people in the UK.  Those are the facts, those are the stats.  And they don’t make comfortable reading.

It goes without saying that prevention is better than cure, and there is a world of difference between the creation of specifically designated marketing campaigns, which so often prey on the vulnerable, such as Blue Monday which is totally unscientific, and awareness campaigns which focus on critical illness.  High cholesterol levels are linked to cardiovascular disease, but the problem here is that in so many instances high cholesterol does not produce any symptoms until significant damage has been done, which is why we have always recommended the regular testing of blood pressure levels in order to stay as safe as we possibly can.

If we are to understand cardiovascular health, then we need to understand cholesterol and there are two types of cholesterol, the good and the bad.  LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the ‘bad’ cholesterol, it is produced naturally by the body and if too much LDL circulates in your blood, it can clog arteries through the build-up of plaque, which can directly increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.  HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is known as the ‘good’ cholesterol as it helps protect against heart attack and stroke.  So in other words we need to lower our LDL cholesterol and raise our HDL cholesterol as studies have shown that low levels of HDL can increase the risk of heart disease.

In his article, linked below, Shabir does an in-depth on the natural remedies he recommends for helping to lower high blood pressure and one of those is CholestSafe, our bestselling supplement in its genre.  The formulation includes Red Yeast Rice, which contains a small amount of Lovastatin, and together with other compounds, it has been clinically evaluated to reduce elevated cholesterol levels by approximately 30% within eight weeks, and although it has been clinically evaluated, I will caveat this by saying once again that we are all different and as such we all respond differently to supplementation.

Staying on the subject of scientific studies, there are more than one hundred studies proving the positive benefits of oat beta glucans for those with high cholesterol levels.  Oatwell Powder has been proven to reduce cholesterol, improve digestive health and reduce blood sugar peaks after eating, so we cannot under-estimate the efficacy of oats for cardiovascular health.  And with all of that said, I will leave the rest to Shabir as I take the price of CholestSafe down from £26 to £22, Oatwell Powder down from £11.79 to £9.50 and Oatwell Crispy Hearts down from £7.99 to £6.50.  Across the weekend.
VH Editorial: How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally; CholestSafe £22 for 90 Capsules; Oatwell Original Powder by Lifeplan £9.50 for 150 grams; Oatwell Crispy Hearts £6.50 for Seven x 30 gram Sachets (offers end at midnight GMT, Sunday 12 February)

I am now going to talk about Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid.  Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian biochemist, discovered Vitamin C  and Rutin (Vitamin P) in the 1930s and the role of these vitamins in the body and their application to dermatology is vast.  In 1937 Albert Szent-Györgyi received a Nobel Prize in medicine for the discovery of Vitamin C and for the description of oxidation. Vitamin C is involved in countless enzyme reactions carried out within the body, and whilst most of us understand the importance of Vitamin C, it is thought that we are mostly deficient as we should be consuming between 700 mg and 2000 mg daily, but we are not.

Vitamin C is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues and it is involved in many body functions including the functioning of the immune system and wound healing.  But I would just like to step away from that and talk about Vitamin C and skin health by way of Shabir’s article, linked below, which is self-explanatory.  All that remains is for me to tell you that I am dropping the price of Vitamin C Zooki from £39.99 to £34 and with two Vitamin C serums also mentioned in Shabir’s article, I am going to offer you the Limited Edition oversized version of C-Deep, meaning that you will receive 45 ml for the price of 30 ml, whilst stock lasts.
VH Editorial: Vitamin C’s Benefits For Skin; Vitamin C Zooki £34 for 30 x 15 ml Sachets (offer ends at midnight GMT, Sunday 12 February); C-Deep Vitamin C Serum by Garden of Wisdom for VH £19.50 for 45 ml (whilst stock lasts); Vitamin C 23% Serum + Ferulic Acid by Garden of Wisdom for VH £10 for 30 ml

And this leads rather neatly into collagen supplementation, which is often misunderstood, not least because there are many conflicting views on this subject, aided and abetted by brand on brand warfare, which is so rife in the health and beauty industry.  Be that as it may, we need to look at the facts and it is often said that collagen should be taken with Vitamin C to maximise its benefits as Vitamin C is most definitely required by the body in order to manufacture collagen.

From around the age of 25, the collagen content in our body depletes by approximately 1.5%, so that by the time we reach our mid-40s, collagen levels will have decreased by about 30%.  Scientists have been researching collagen for several decades and the indications are that certain types of collagen peptides do work effectively, but of course not all collagen supplements are created equally, which follows through from my words last weekend on supplementation.

So let’s take a look at a second generation collagen supplement which has been scientifically formulated to help replenish collagen in the body and to protect against UV damage.  Using an award-winning, patented capsule which protects the collagen peptide from the destructive action of the stomach, this capsule ensures the collagen peptide passes through the stomach undamaged and reaches the small intestine where 90% absorption occurs.  It is thought that no other collagen product offers this advanced solution.  That collagen product is Ultimate Collagen+ from Ingenious Beauty and across the weekend we are offering a 20% discount across all the Ingenious Beauty products.
VH Editorial: How To Take Collagen Supplements; Ingenious Beauty Products (offer ends at midnight GMT, Sunday 12 February)

The Ingredient Focus: Today we are going to take a look at the health benefits of Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) and most specifically Artichoke leaves.  Artichoke leaves contain several compounds including flavonoids and polyphenols, which have been the subject of numerous studies.  Artichokes are rich in antioxidants and the primary antioxidant present is caffeic acid, which helps to neutralise damaging free radicals and of course free radical damage is the single, and biggest, accepted theory on how we age.  And we all want to age well, but we do so with understanding and responsibility.

Artichoke extract helps stimulate the production of bile, which is important for the whole digestive process, most especially for those with IBS and Dyspepsia, a generalised term which sums up all types of digestive complications including gas, indigestion, stomach upset and bloating.  I could go on and discuss how Artichoke extracts can help protect the liver and how this extract can also impact cholesterol which, alongside bile, is produced in the liver, except I’m not going to do that.  Essentially because Shabir has written chapter and verse about the health benefits of Artichoke, so I don’t need to.  Life is good.
VH Editorial: The Health Benefits of Artichoke; High Strength Artichoke by Lamberts £16.50 for 180 Tablets

So life is good, except when it isn’t.  And it certainly wasn’t when we received our latest consignment of Fulvic Nail Cream because it had been date-stamped incorrectly with its expiry date showing as July 23, when in fact it should have been July 25.  This should have been picked up when the quality checks were being carried out at the manufacturers, but it wasn’t.  We are all human and we all make mistakes, so there was no need to scream and shout because shouting doesn’t change anything at all.  It rarely does.

I suppose the easiest thing in the world would be to correct the date on the tube by over-sticking with a label, but I didn’t want to do that.  And I didn’t want to do that because you can peel a label off very easily and I can guarantee you that somebody somewhere would send a missive accusing me of a heinous crime, which has happened before.  And here’s the thing, whenever this happens it always comes from an anonymous source and although that anonymity is upheld on the review section, such comments are not anonymous to us because we can see exactly who they come from.  And it is my choice to ignore them. 

So, over-labelling is not going to happen, but I suppose you could use a biro and change the date yourself, which would be rather amusing.  Be that as it may, I just want to be totally transparent about this issue.  And because it is an issue, I am going to drop the price of Fulvic Nail Cream down from £14 to £9 for the interim, reiterating that it has a shelf-life of just over two years.  Actually you know what, I think I should invest in a stash of Bic biros and send them out for such occasions.  The last occasion was when I suggested you wrote ‘for menopausal skin’ on the Fulvic Face Cream tube, because I refuse to join the menopausal skincare bandwagon.  Let's stay real.
Fulvic Nail Cream £9 for 30 ml; Fulvic Face Cream £30 for 60 ml

And staying real, Iron deficiency is the most common mineral deficiency in the world and it is thought that it affects nearly 15% of the world’s population and it mostly affects women.  Iron is found in haemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells, which carries oxygen to all parts of the body.  When our diet is iron-deficient, the body starts to use reserves and once these have been depleted, the blood does not have enough iron and haemoglobin to oxygenate the body, which can lead to anaemia and, according to the World Health Organisation, anaemia is one of the most widespread nutrient deficiency concerns in the world.

However, you don’t have to have anaemia to have an iron deficiency, anaemia occurs when it reaches an acute stage.  Some of the symptoms of iron deficiency include feeling lethargic and fatigued, a lack of appetite, excessive hair shedding and restless legs.  Shabir takes a look at how you can boost iron levels, which includes the consumption of iron-rich foods and he also recommends Ionic Iron, a supplement that will not cause constipation or stomach discomfort, which can happen with traditional forms of liquid iron supplementation.  But most importantly, this formulation does not overload the body with iron, which can be dangerous.  Safety first.  Again.
VH Editorial:  The Best Liquid Iron Supplement; Ionic Iron by Good Health Naturally £14.99 for 56 ml

I’ve written about this subject many times before, but I have no qualms in writing about it again because it is such a common concern.  We are talking about vaginal dryness and it is estimated that one in four women will experience vaginal dryness at some point in their lives, and this is not just confined to the menopausal years.  In a study conducted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Finland, it was concluded that sea buckthorn oil was a natural and effective solution, contributing to the health of mucous membranes where vaginal dryness occurs.  So a drop in price of Omega 7 as below and an added note, this is the Omega 7 we recommend for dry eyes too.
VH Editorials: Overcoming Menopausal Vaginal Dryness; Tackling Dry Eyes Syndrome; Omega 7 Sea Buckthorn Oil by Sibu £17.50 for 60 Softgels (drops from £21) (offer ends at midnight GMT, Sunday 12 February)

Right, some new products from Derma E and there are four products in their Pure Biome range, which include a Balancing Cleanser, a Balancing Cream, a Balancing Serum and a Balancing Eye Cream.  The fifth new product is their Advanced Peptides & Flora-Collagen Cryo-Gel Mask which delivers powerful multi-peptides with the bio-nutrient Flora-Collagen.  I can’t write about each of these products otherwise I will be here forever, so I’m listing them below and if you buy any of these five products, or any product from Derma E with a value of £15 or above, we will automatically send you Derma E’s Brightening & Hydrating Trio, which is worth £20.  Only one gift per customer. 
Pure Biome Balancing Cleanser £16.50 for 175 ml; Pure Biome Balancing Serum £19.95 for 30 ml; Pure Biome Balancing Cream £29.95 for 56 grams; Pure Biome Balancing Eye Cream £19.95 for 14 grams; Advanced Peptides & Flora-Collagen Cryo-Gel Mask £22.95 for 56 grams (Brightening & Hydrating Trio: Vitamin C Intense Night Cream 14 grams; Microdermabrasion Scrub 14 grams; Hydrating Day Cream 14 grams)

Tra-la-la.  Let’s do a bath treat, a Weleda bath treat.  Well it is February, the nights are dark and I do think that evening bathing brings a sense of comfort.  I’m big on bathing, all forms of bathing, including ritualistic and spiritual bathing, which can so often be a profound experience.  That’s another story, but for now let me tell you that I am taking the price of Weleda’s Lavender Relaxing Bath Milk down in price from £15.75 to £10.75, whilst stock lasts.  And, if you so wish, you can light a candle too.  Make that a spiritual candle perhaps, such as GodSmell, which is inspired by the Hindu God Lord Ganesha, remover of obstacles.  And that’s down from £35 to £25. 
Lavender Relaxing Bath Milk by Weleda £10.75 for 200 ml (whilst stock lasts); GodSmell Candle by RoadScents £25 (up to forty hours burn time)

Having written about one oversized serum from Garden of Wisdom, I may as well do another one.  This time it is Super Bakuchiol Serum, which offers a natural, non-irritating alternative to retinol and retinoids.  And because I am always banging on about efficacy, this Bakuchiol serum contains Sytenol A, which has been the subject of various clinical studies.  Sytenol A is in a league of its own and of course not all serums are created equally, least of all those who use the clinicals on Sytenol A, without using one drop of the ingredient in their formulations.  That’s smart.  What is also smart is that you will receive 45 ml of Super Bakuchiol Serum for the price of 30 ml.
VH Editorial: Bakuchiol: A Natural Alternative To Retinol; Super Bakuchiol Serum by Garden of Wisdom for VH £16.50 for 45 ml (whilst stock lasts)

One more product to talk about and for those of you who use the Aurelia products, and many of you do, a treat.  A limited edition treat actually as I take the price down of their hero product, Miracle Cleanser (50 ml) from £24 to £15.  It will arrive with an antibacterial bamboo muslin cloth and I think that’s all you need to know really, except that once they are gone, they are gone.
Miracle Cleanser by Aurelia London £15 for 50 ml

Right, into the Saturday only treat we go and with every order placed for £30 and above, excluding p&p, we will automatically send you Palm Balm (15 ml) by Temple Spa, a nourishing hand cream which will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.  I am linking Palm Balm below so that you can read more about it, and I will also remind you that Temple Spa’s Exalt Firming Neck Gel has dropped in price from £44 to £30 throughout the month of February.  And I’ve linked that too. 
Palm Balm by Temple Spa; Exalt Firming Neck Gel by Temple Spa £30 for 50 grams

The end bit.  Music is, and has always been, a really big part of my life.  It holds, it heals and it expresses thought and mood at any given time.  I think this song epitomises the rebel that resides within, and I think that the rebel resides in each of us.  The rebel is free, the rebel will not conform and the rebel dances to the tune of choice.  There must always be a choice because there is always a solution.  More on that next week, but for now this is one of those rock songs that really does sing to me, it always has, but if you are of a sensitive disposition, I suggest you don’t listen to it, most especially from six minutes in. 

Fly High.  On a Saturday morning.
Freebird by Lynrd Skynyrd; The VH Playlist

All the love

Gill x


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