About Shabir Daya

Shabir Daya is the in-house pharmacist at Victoria Health

Posts by Shabir Daya

Supplements To Take In Your 30s

Blue background with pills an dleave smakign an image of a plant

For a lot of women, the 30s are a turning point when it comes to health. The days of staying out late or all night and indulgences in food and drink are usually lower down in priority.

A healthy, varied and balanced diet is nevertheless a good starting point to provide the body with all the essential vitamins, however we are all prone to eating food groups that we like and so often we may miss out on some of the nutrients which are required by the body on an ongoing basis. This is where supplements in your 30s can bridge the gap, particularly a quality food-state multivitamin such as Alive Once Daily Multivitamin Ultra Potency.

Alive Once Daily Multivitamin is a comprehensive one-a-day multivitamin and mineral supplement which also provides fruit and vegetable extracts known for their antioxidant and protective compounds. This supplement however is not suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Vegans and vegetarians should opt for Terra Nova’s Living Multinutrient Complex which is also food-based and provides nutrients in a base of green foods which contain digestive enzymes to help enhance absorption.

If you cannot swallow tablets or capsules, then Source of Life Gold Liquid is one of a few food-state liquids providing vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids as well as fruit and vegetable extracts.

What if I am planning to conceive?

If you are planning to conceive, then the multivitamins mentioned above would not be recommended. You need to consider a food-state prenatal multivitamin such as Wild Nutrition’s Women’s Food Grown Fertility supplement. This supplement works to support preconception and provides the recommended strength of vitamins and minerals without overloading the body. Specific nutrients such as NAC and Cordyceps support the body’s natural balance of hormones. It is perfectly safe to take this supplement for the first few weeks of pregnancy but after this it would be prudent to change over to Wild Nutrition’s Food Grown Pregnancy.

Wild Nutrition’s Food Grown Pregnancy is formulated to deliver a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals for you and the baby. This supplement provides a good strength of calcium of important during pregnancy as well as iron which is required to manufacture red blood cells and haemoglobin for both you and the baby. Iodine is included in just the right strength for the healthy development of the baby’s brain. Folate, the natural form of folic acid, is included in the formulation to prevent neural defects of the spine and brain in the baby.

Is there anything else I need to take in my 30s?

Regardless of whether you are pregnant or not, omega 3 supplements in your 30s are important. The body cannot manufacture omega 3 essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are required for a myriad of processes including the manufacture of hormones, structures of the nervous system, moving oil-soluble vitamins in and out of cells and for calming down inflammation within the body.

Whilst manufacturers try and market omega 3 supplements specifically for use during pregnancy, you can just take a high strength quality fish oil or krill oil supplement. I prefer a fish oil supplement such as Lion Heart Pure Omega 3 Fish Oil capsules for use during pregnancy for their higher content of DHA which is essential for the formation of the nervous system in the baby.

If you are not pregnant then Neubria Krill Oil capsules are my preferred choice because krill oil is the cleanest source of omega 3’s; the essential fats within krill oil are in a form that are absorbed rapidly by the body and the oil is obtained from a sustainable source. All this with no fishy after-taste!

Vegans obviously cannot take krill or fish oil supplements and should consider taking Echiomega.

Do I need any other supplements?

Having decided to take a multivitamin and an omega 3 supplement of your choice, it might be worth considering the addition of a probiotic supplement. Many women will have taken several rounds of antibiotics by the time they reach their 30s which can disrupt the delicate balance of friendly bacteria within the gut. A diet low in healthy fats, highly processed foods as well as stress can all disturb this delicate balance.

These friendly probiotic bacteria help to digest food, supply energising B vitamins in the gut, remove acids and toxins from the gut and crucially are responsible largely for the healthy function of our immune system. They are also invaluable for reducing recurrences of urinary tract infections, irritable bowel and diarrhoea. A multi-strain allergen-free probiotic supplement that I would recommend is Mega Probiotic ND which delivers eight strains of beneficial bacteria that can colonise the gut and perform their myriad of roles.

Additional supplements for some very common concerns

Whilst the above list of supplements are absolute essentials in your 30s, there are of course additional supplements which may or may not be required, so I have listed below some very common concerns in your 30s and the appropriate supplements that may be used.

Anaemia – a very common disorder affecting almost a third of women, the symptoms of anaemia include tiredness, restless legs, headaches and a general loss of energy. Anaemia is associated with low iron stores which aside from tiredness can also result in hair loss. Consider non-constipating iron supplements such as Iron Bisglycinate or Iron Daily Oral Spray.

PMS and Anxiety – magnesium is a key mineral in the body involved in some 300 biochemical reactions which means that the body’s requirements for this mineral are high and often not met from our diet. Magnesium is required for the production of hormones as well as for relaxing making it very useful for managing some of the symptoms of PMS. I would be inclined to use Viridian Nutrition’s Magnesium B6 and Saffron which alleviates many of the symptoms of PMS.

The supplements listed in this editorial are in my opinion some of the best options available. One of the most common questions that I get emails about is when to take vitamins. Vitamins and mineral supplements are best taken with food because our body releases enzymes when we eat food. Assuming our digestive system is not compromised, then sufficient enzymes will be released ensuring that each supplement is broken down efficiently so that our body can absorb these nutrients.

Bakuchiol, A Natural Alternative To Retinol

Dropper of clear serum pulling out of bottle, close up shot

Over the last decade particularly, retinol has been hailed as the holy grail of all anti-ageing hero ingredients used in serums, eye creams and moisturisers, and with good reason. Retinol, a form of vitamin A, encourages cell renewal and enhances collagen production to prevent and treat fine lines and wrinkles. However, retinol can be harsh causing signs of irritation including redness, itching and peeling. If you have sensitive skin, the chances are you will not be able to experience the powerful effects of retinol on your skin – until now. Bakuchiol is the latest plant-based, anti-ageing ingredient in skincare which is suitable for even the most sensitive skin and is considered a natural alternative to retinol. Read More…

Trinny & Shabir On Supplements For Every Age

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Knowing what supplements to take at what age can be confusing, so Trinny and Shabir dedicated a Facebook Live to the topic. While they’ve covered the fundamental supplements you should be taking depending on your age, it’s important to note that there are some issues that can affect us throughout our lives. For example, many of us lead stressful lives regardless of our age and stress can deplete our vitamin B12 levels.

You might not need to take all of these supplements, but here is a basic template of the supplements for every age…

In your 20’s

At this age many people live a fast-paced lifestyle and often they may be not eating the correct foods or may skip a meal or are simply not eating enough of the right foods. The two key supplements are a good quality multivitamin and omega 3.

Take the multivitamin of your choice ensuring this supplies vitamin A for healthy skin and folic acid or folate, which is important for anyone planning a pregnancy.

Take an omega 3 supplement because research indicates that omega 3’s display multiple benefits by calming inflammation; are required for hormone production; help to moisturise skin but also prevent acne, spots and blemishes; for brain performance and provide a host of other benefits. Remember that these are termed essential fatty acids because they are vital for a number of processes and the body cannot manufacture them.

Research shows that we don’t tend to get enough omega 3 from our diet – some indict that we’re up to 40% deficient. A good fish oil supplement will be of benefit such as Lion Heart Omega 3 Fish Oil or Krill Oil which provides the cleanest source of omega 3’s. If you are a vegan look to Echiomega, which contains echium seed oil. Flaxseeds and hemp seeds are a good source of omega 3 for vegetarians.

In your 30’s

You might be thinking about or already have had children. It would be prudent to switch-up your multivitamin. A prenatal multivitamin, such as Wild Nutrition’s Food Grown Fertility, is ideal as it supports preconception and the very earliest stages of pregnancy.

If you do conceive we would recommend that you change over to Wild Nutrition’s Food Grown Pregnancy, which is a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals to provide you and your baby with the correct levels of vitamins and minerals.

You should still keep up with your omega 3 supplement. It might be worth incorporating a good quality probiotic at this age because your digestive system might be sluggish. A probiotic will help support your digestive system and get your gut working optimally. Mega Probiotic ND is an eight strain probiotic. Taking it on a daily basis helps support your digestion, enhance your immune system, provide energising B vitamins and detoxify the intestines.

Eating more fermented foods will help to support the bacteria in your gut, but it’s worth noting that a lot of the goodness can be destroyed by your stomach acid, so it’s still worth taking a probiotic.

In your 40’s

You should continue with your omega 3, probiotic and multivitamin supplements. Unless you are trying to conceive, you can revert back to the multivitamin you took in your 20’s.

Generally speaking, most women enter the perimenopause stage in their 40’s. You don’t necessarily have hot flushes, but you may notice subtle changes such as lower energy levels or a loss of concentration. Phytoestrogens, such as clover and sage, have hormone mimicking powers that can help balance out the declining oestrogen levels. We tend to recommend Sage Complex to balance your hormones.

Neuro-Mag is another supplement that we would recommend people start taking in their 40’s. As you go through your 40’s you might experience changes in your sleep patterns and feel more anxious. Magnesium is required in over 300 chemical reactions in your body. Magnesium citrate is magnesium in a citrus form and has a cleansing effect on your body and helps to detox. Neuro-Mag is a different type and is absorbed efficiently and taken up by the nervous system, helping you to relax. It has a calming rather than drowsy effect, so it can be taken in the morning and evening.

Magnesium can be absorbed through your skin. There are oil sprays, which contain magnesium chloride that can be used locally to help ease joint pain. However, if you are looking for something to help support your nervous system, I would recommend Neuro-Mag.

In your 50’s

While you should stick with your multivitamin, omega 3, probiotic and Neuro-Mag, you may decide to give up your Sage Complex, if you have gone through the menopause (the average age is 51 years). You should consider introducing digestive enzymes into your routine.

During these years, your digestive enzyme production is roughly a third of what it was in your 20’s. The decline in female hormones can result in a spike in production of cortisol (stress hormone), which encourages your levels of insulin. Digestive enzymes help to break down your food and may help reduce bloating – we recommend Super Enhanced Digestive Enzymes.

You may also want to think about taking a quality calcium supplement, especially if you have a history of osteoporosis in your family or have suffered with joint issues. Bone Restore with Vitamin K2 provides three highly absorbable forms of calcium, plus several nutrients which are vital to help strengthen the joints and bone structures including vitamin D3 and vitamin K2.

We also recommend people in their 50’s have their vitamin B12 levels tested. Many of us do not have sufficient amounts of a specific protein (Intrinsic Factor) that carries vitamin B12 from the gut into the bloodstream. Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency: weakness, fatigue, short of breath, pale of jaundiced looking skin and sensations of pins and needles.

In your 60’s and beyond

You may wish to stop taking Bone Restore or your calcium supplement if osteopenia or osteoporosis are no longer a concern. Continue with your multivitamin, omega 3, probiotics and digestive enzyme. As well as vitamin B12, you should go and have your vitamin D levels checked because your body’s ability to manufacture D3 declines past 60’s even when skin is exposed to sunlight.

If you do need B12, then use B12 Boost oral spray. For Vitamin D3, I would consider the newer nutraceutical forms such as Micro-Liposomal Vitamin D3 for their ability to deliver this vitamin into each and every cell.

For more from Trinny, check out her YouTube channel, here.

Stress Ages Our Skin

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Stress plays a major part in the health of our body and of our skin. At times of stress our body produces excessive amounts of cortisol which is responsible for a variety of concerns including anxiety, weight gain and sleep disturbances. Aside from the adrenal glands producing cortisol, keratinocytes in the epidermis, the outer cell layers of skin, also manufacture cortisol which increases when the body is stressed or when skin is exposed to external stressors such as pollution, UV radiation and dehydration. Stress in this case refers to physical, emotive or environmental stressors.

Since cortisol is an inflammatory hormone, it is known to cause a wide range of skin concerns and depending upon your skin type, cortisol can make your skin very dry, wrinkled, fatigue-looking, reactive and sensitive, oily and/or acne-prone. I am going to briefly discuss skin concerns: Read More…

Which Magnesium Supplement Should I Take?

Wooden block with MG on white background surrounded by pills

Magnesium is a fascinating mineral that is involved in nearly 300 biochemical reactions within the body whose wide and varied benefits range from energy production though to brain function. With such wide and varied usages by the body, it may not surprise you to learn that magnesium deficiency is very widespread in the adult population. The main reasons for a magnesium deficiency are two-fold; the demands for this mineral are often not met by our intake of green leafy vegetables and of course as we age, our body becomes less efficient at absorbing magnesium due to a lack of digestive enzymes whose production declines rapidly. Read More…