Health

Supplements to take in your 20s

green leaf with flower buds in it, tablets splattered on blue background

Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is certainly important to provide vitamins and nutrients which sustain adequate function of the body.

However, when you are in your twenties, you may be leading a fast-paced lifestyle often having the time of your life. You may be eating all the wrong foods or may simply be skipping meals due to your busy life; it may be that you may be drinking a lot more than you should and/or are staying up late. This can result in an inadequate supply of nutrients to your body which take a toll and your overall health may suffer.

For all the reasons mentioned above, I believe that it is important to take some fundamental supplements to ensure that any nutrient deficiencies are corrected, so I have created a guide to the supplements to take in your 20s. To begin with I would always recommend a food-state multivitamin because a multivitamin will provide all the vitamins and minerals that are essential to fuel the body’s processes and acts as a back-up if your diet doesn’t provide these.

Which multivitamin should I take?

Walk into any chemist or health store and you will be faced with numerous bottles of multivitamins and choosing one can be a daunting task. I recommend food-state multivitamins since the nutrients found within these are identical to those you would obtain from eating food as opposed to synthetic vitamins. Several studies indicate that isolated vitamins may not be as effective as food-state vitamins because often these vitamins work synergistically with numerous compounds found within food.

Alive Once Daily Multivitamin Ultra Potency is a great one-a-day multivitamin supplement containing all the essential vitamins and minerals combined with extracts from vegetables and fruits known to contain protective compounds. Alive Once Daily multivitamin is, however, not suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan then consider supplementing with Terra Nova’s Living Multinutrient Complex which is also food-based and also contains a base of green foods and fruit extracts to provide antioxidants and other nutrients that are beneficial to the body.

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

Do I need anything else?

Numerous studies indicate that the consumption of healthy fats, the omega-3 fatty acids, are below sub-optimal levels within our diets. We are supposed to eat a minimum of 8 ounces of oily fish on a weekly basis. This is often not achieved by young adults and remember this is only the minimum amount. Ideally it needs to be more because omega 3’s are beneficial for a variety of uses which include hormonal balance, brain function and numerous other processes carried out within our bodies. A good fish oil, tested for purity and derived from sardines, anchovies and mackerel is Lion Heart Pure Omega 3 Fish Oil.

If you are a vegan, then the best source of omega 3’s is echium seed oil marketed as Echiomega. Vegetarian sources of omega 3’s such as flaxseed oil and hempseed oil are ill-converted by the body into EPA and DHA, which are the active components found in fish oils and utilised by the body. Echium seed oil has been found to be efficiently converted into these specific fatty acids.

Is that everything I need?

In your 20s, a good multivitamin and an appropriate omega 3 fatty acid supplement should be sufficient however there are other supplements which may be applicable depending upon your needs.

If you have been suffering from repeated infections and have been on antibiotics, it would be prudent to take a probiotic for at least a month such as Mega Probiotic ND. This probiotic supplement delivers these friendly bacteria into the gut to help manufacture immune enhancing compounds.

If you suffer from acne and spots, you may wish to consider the additional use of a supplement called Clear Skin Complex which contains Burdock Root to help cleanse the body of toxins that can inflame the oil producing glands; probiotics are also included to help reduce inflammation in the whole body as well as zinc to help heal inflamed skin quickly. You should check that your multivitamin, when combined with Clear Skin Complex, does not provide more than 30 mg of zinc per daily dose. Strengths higher than 30 mg may disturb copper levels when taken for longer than three months so a break from either of the supplements may be advisable.

If you suffer from premenstrual syndrome, painful periods or heavy bleeding, you can safely introduce a herbal supplement containing agnus castus as long as you are not on the contraceptive pill or taking hormonal medications. Agnus castus, also known as Chasteberry, works to exert a balancing effect on the female hormones helping to enhance progesterone levels relative to oestrogen. It is best to take this supplement for a minimum period of three months. Bio-Health PeriAgna is a supplement that provides Agnus castus and is free from all the common allergens such as gluten, wheat, sugar, salt and starch.

In conclusion I would recommend to limit your intake of alcohol, avoid excessive amounts of non-nutritious food and exercise regularly. Taking healthy steps including supplements in your 20s will make it much easier to keep them going in your 30s.

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.

What is Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is a phenolic antioxidant oil extracted mostly from the seeds of the plant Psoralea corylifolia, also known as the Babchi plant. Bakuchiol Oil has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine and has been used to treat numerous skin ailments including inflamed skin concerns such as eczema and psoriasis.

How does Bakuchiol work?

Although Bakuchiol bears no structural resemblance to retinol, it has been shown to work on similar pathways that retinol does, resulting in multiple benefits to skin.

The first published study testing Bakuchiol’s benefits for skin appeared in the International Journal for Cosmetic Science in 2014 and involved 17 women aged between 41 and 60 years who used a patented Bakuchiol material, Sytenol® A, at a strength of 0.5% for 12 weeks.

The results clearly showed that, after twelve weeks treatment, there were significant improvements in lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness and overall photo-damage. The results showed that Bakuchiol clearly targeted several cellular pathways similar to those targeted by retinol. (Chaudhuri & Bojanowski, Intern J Cosmet Sci, 36(3):221-230, 2014)

A more robust study involving 44 patients, published in 2018, provided further evidence of the similarity of Bakuchiol to retinol in reducing fine lines and pigmentation concerns, again without the dryness and skin irritation associated with retinol. (S Dhaliwal et al, British Journal of Dermatology 27/06/2018)

The researchers concluded “Bakuchiol is comparable with retinol in its ability to improve photo-ageing and is better tolerated than retinol. Bakuchiol is promising as a more tolerable alternative to retinol”.

Who can use Bakuchiol?

Bakuchiol is ideal for those who prefer natural skincare, sensitive skin types as well as those with oily skin. Its benefits include its ability to enhance collagen synthesis, inhibit collagen degradation, enhance cell renewal, provide anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties means that it is helpful for everyone including teenagers suffering from acne to those in their 30’s and above looking to benefit from its anti-ageing properties.

How is GoW Super Bakuchiol Serum different?

Garden of Wisdom’s Super Bakuchiol Serum contains the patented well-defined pure Bakuchiol oil, Sytenol® A.  There are many Bakuchiol oils on the market of varying quality, some with low levels of Bakuchiol and others that may contain photosensitizers or residual solvents left behind after the extraction of oil from the seeds.

Sytenol® A Bakuchiol has been through extensive safety testing and this high purity ingredient has been used in several clinical studies including the first published study mentioned earlier.

Bakuchiol oil is structurally different from retinol and is therefore a suitable alternative to retinol during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding. Since Sytenol® A is devoid of photosensitizers, Bakuchiol Serum can be used during the day unlike retinol which is know to cause sun sensitivity.

Until now, retinol has been the holy grail ingredient for smoothing wrinkles, acne prevention, fading age spots and rejuvenating ageing skin. Bakuchiol, I believe is the new plant-based anti-ageing hero to help achieve the same results without irritation, dryness and peeling effects of retinol.

Stress Ages Our Skin

stress-ages-our-skin

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…

Double Cleansing The Body

Detox written in clouds, outlined with balloons

Double cleansing is often associated with skin care and involves using a cleansing balm, oil or micellar water to break down make-up, remnants of moisturiser, SPF and sebum on the surface of the skin followed by a deeper water-based cleanse to deep clean pores and remove any impurities.

The principle of double cleansing could also be easily applied to the health of the body because the first part of the body that is exposed to toxins is the intestinal tract and the second part of the system which is often under toxic overload is the liver. Read More…

How To Take Collagen Supplements

collagen writin in white powder on blue background

There are hundreds of collagen supplements on the market, in powders, capsules and drinks, usually obtained from bovine and marine sources, however there is differing advice on when and how to take collagen supplements. It is not surprising that people get confused so below is a low-down on how to take collagen supplements. But what is collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It is found in skin, muscles, blood vessels and other tissues and structures and its main role is to impart strength to these systems. Collagen production declines as we age and since adequate collagen is required to maintain our joints and skin, many consumers choose to introduce a collagen supplement into their regimen. There are different schools of thought on collagen supplementation and below are my recommendations: Read More…