Shabir Daya

Vitamin C and Healthy Skin

vit-c-article-september

People keen on having healthy looking skin are often advised to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. The scientific basis for this advice is the supply of vitamin C which is absolutely essential for skin health. Skin is composed of two layers, the epidermis which provides a barrier function and the internal dermal layer which provides elasticity and strength and also provides nutritional support to the epidermis. But why is vitamin C essential for skin and what role does vitamin C play within skin?

How does it work within your skin?

Normally, skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C which supports important and well known functions including collagen synthesis and providing antioxidant support to shield against UV-induced photo-damage. Skin is the largest organ in the body and its appearance generally reflects the health of its underlying structures. We also know that vitamin deficiencies within the body, and hence the skin, can result in significant skin disorders. Vitamin B deficiency within skin may result in red rashes, seborrheic dermatitis and increased incidences of fungal infections of the skin and nails. A vitamin C deficiency is characterised by skin fragility, corkscrew hairs and impaired wound healing. Prolonged vitamin C deficiency results in skin haemorrhages as found in scurvy. Read More…

What Are The Health Benefits Of Soursop?

Soursop

Soursop is having a resurgence at the moment, especially on social media. While it’s relatively new to the western world, it has been used in herbal remedies and tinctures for centuries in South America. The fruit is being championed as a wonder ingredient for your health as it’s thought to help boost your immune system and fight off disease. But, is there any science behind these claims?

What is Soursop?

Soursop is a fruit that grows in tropical areas, including South America, the Caribbean and parts of Africa. It’s also known as graviola and custard apple. It has a green skin and looks somewhat like a spiky mango with white flesh and brown seeds inside.  Read More…

Athlete’s Foot Treatment

Lemon slice

What is athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is a common infection of the feet by bacteria or fungi which requires treatment in order to stop this contagious infection. Athlete’s foot gets its name because fungi and bacteria thrive in warm, moist and dark environments such as swimming pools, locker rooms, gyms, showers and of course shoes. Not just limited to athletes, this concern is more common in males than females affecting roughly one out of ten people.

There are three types of Athlete’s foot infection which are:

  1. Toe Web (Interdigital) – the most common type of infection found between the toes, especially between the fourth and fifth toes.
  2. Moccasin-type – affecting the soles of the feet which become tender, dry and flaky.
  3. Acute Vesicular – the least common type, painful blisters appear suddenly due to an allergic reaction to the fungus often accompanied by a bacterial infection.

The usual symptoms of toe web infections include scaling and peeling of skin between the toes, mild pain, odour, blistering and itching of skin. If left untreated, this type of infection can become severe leading to extreme pain, bleeding, large amounts of scaling, painful blisters and can spread to other parts of the body especially if accompanied by a bacterial infection. Read More…

Iron Tablets – Who Needs Them?

iron rich vegetable leaves

There are approximately six million prescriptions for iron tablets being issued each year in England and Wales. This does not surprise me because iron is essential to life as it plays a key role in the manufacture of proteins and enzymes; is required for the formation of haemoglobin, which is the oxygen carrier within the body, and iron also regulates cell growth. Iron and life are inseparable! With the exception of lactic acid bacteria found in the gut, every living organism requires iron as an essential nutrient for growth and development.

Iron tablets

Iron tablets for the majority are the first line of defence when we are feeling tired or fatigued. Iron tablets are often prescribed for a lack of energy however iron tablets are also prescribed for a host of other reasons including anaemia. The most common types of iron tablets prescribed are ferrous sulphate, ferrous fumarate and ferrous gluconate. There are of course many iron supplements available as tablets, liquids and tonics. Read More…

Beauty Benefits Of Prickly Pear Seed Oil

prickly pear

Many of us love a good facial oil treat which explains our obsession with rosehip seed oil and Moroccan argan oil. However, there is a great do-it-all facial oil called prickly pear seed oil with excellent moisturising properties. It is derived from a cactus called Opuntia Ficus Indica, used in herbal supplements for weight loss. Read More…

Are You Sleep Deprived?

alarm clock in bed

Most of us know and understand that restful sleep is the cornerstone of health. Lack of sleep causes far more problems than simply feeling sluggish in the morning. Not getting sufficient sleep on a regular basis results in a lack of focus and difficulty to carry out everyday tasks. This may be fine for the odd day or two, however constantly losing focus results in a significant decrease in work efficiency and an inability to respond to everyday stressors.

Sleep studies seem to indicate that most people nowadays seem to get six hours of sleep every day whereas the recommended duration is between seven and eight hours. This difference between two equates to almost one night’s less sleep in a week! More of us than ever are sleep deprived. Read More…