Shabir Daya

Is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate The Best Vitamin C Serum?

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Pure Vitamin C serums for the face containing L-Ascorbic Acid are beneficial for the skin helping to protect against damaging free radicals that encourage wrinkles by destroying the collagen matrix. They also help to brighten and freshen the appearance of dull looking skin, together with inhibiting the formation of pigment in skin prone to hyperpigmentation. However, Vitamin C serums containing pure L-ascorbic acid do have some limiting factors which can influence their effectiveness.  We explore:

Limiting Factors of Vitamin C Serums

Most vitamin C serums are water-soluble because L-Ascorbic Acid, known as vitamin C or L-AA for short, disperses evenly in a water-based serum, but therein lies a problem. The dermis of the skin has a rich lipid (oil) barrier and it is here that many of the nutrients, including vitamin C, are required to manufacture collagen, a protein that gives skin its youthful firmness and the ability to resist wrinkles. Using water soluble vitamin C serums containing L-AA can be an issue since this nutrient cannot make it through the oil barrier and therefore cannot provide maximum benefits as far as collagen manufacture is concerned.

To overcome this, some formulators use very high strengths of L-ascorbic acid (including us) so that at least some of this vitamin will be delivered to the dermis, however this can still be a problem and we are aware of this. If you have sensitive or reactive skin, such high strength vitamin C serums can cause tingling, irritation, redness and may be uncomfortable to use.

Vitamin C is highly pH dependant. It only works at a low pH since it is an acid and anything added in the serum that is alkaline will neutralise it, rendering it ineffective. Formulating this form of vitamin C into a serum is not easy because you have to use preservatives and other ingredients that have a low pH and this can be problematic especially to those with sensitive skin.

Another problem can arise using high strength vitamin C serums containing L-ascorbic acid. L-Ascorbic Acid is highly unstable when exposed to light and/or air. It oxidises to Dehydro Ascorbic Acid (DHAA)which then further degrades to different irritating acids. In effect, the best case is that you may have a product that is not so effective and the worse case is that the oxidation creates free radicals that are actually damaging to the skin. To mitigate this during the day, a sunscreen is absolutely imperative, but it is unlikely that this will provide protection all day unless applied reasonably frequently.

These are just some of the limiting factors of using the pure acidic form of vitamin C, L-Ascorbic Acid. This has led to a host of synthetic vitamin C derivatives such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbyl palmitate and numerous other vitamin C esters.

Vitamin C derivatives

When a compound is added to vitamin C, such as a palmitate or phosphate, this then changes the compound making vitamin C less likely to degrade. So aside from being less likely to degrade, the other advantages of vitamin C derivatives is that they are less irritating and to a large extent not dependant upon pH.

The disadvantage of these derivatives is that they tend to be less effective than L-ascorbic acid. Many of these derivatives tend to be water soluble meaning that tend to work only on the surface layers and some of the oil soluble derivatives such as ascorbyl palmitate tend not to be converted into ascorbic acid when they reach the dermis meaning they are not that beneficial.  Knowing these limitations, we have been in research and development and the result is C-Deep Vitamin C Serum.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a form of vitamin C which has been modified to be soluble in oil or lipids. Studies indicate that it not only penetrates the epidermis, the uppermost layer of skin, but also the dermis, which is the deepest layer of skin. In fact, it penetrates the skin faster and deeper than any other form of vitamin C.

So if it penetrates both layers of the skin, does this make it more effective? Vitamin C derivatives need to be converted into L-ascorbic acid; it is the L-ascorbic acid element that fades away your age spots, enhances collagen production and fights free radicals. Studies indicate that Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate does convert into L-ascorbic acid and behaves in exactly the same way as L-ascorbic acid, but without the limitations.  This is important.

Its benefits are:

Provides potent antioxidant protection by destroying free radicals that cause premature ageing of skin.

It provides skin brightening benefits by reducing the amount of skin pigment by almost 80%.

Helps boost collagen production and, in fact, more so than L-ascorbic acid. This is because one of the limiting factors with L-ascorbic acid is its inability to penetrate deeper into the dermis.

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate also stimulates the production of glycosaminoglycans such as hyaluronic acid that are naturally present in skin and so help to hydrate skin as well as plump skin cells. Levels of these glycosaminoglycans decline with age and this may account for some of the changes that occur with our skin as we age.

Tetrahexydecyl ascorbate is stable, safe, effective and suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin.

Garden of Wisdom’s C-Deep Vitamin C Serum is, in my opinion, one the best vitamin C serums currently available on the market. This vitamin C serum contains a therapeutic strength of Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate which is suspended in Squalane, a light oil that is easily absorbed into skin.

Included in this vitamin C serum is Thiotane®, a powerful antioxidant amino acid that occurs naturally in the body. It is found in high concentrations around cells prone to free radical damage helping to protect the genetic material and the mitochondria, which are the energy factories within our cells. These energy factories are absolutely vital for cell regeneration and repair.

Garden of Wisdom C-Deep Vitamin C Serum provides a potent blast of vitamin C to your skin without any irritation. Like all Garden of Wisdom serums, this vitamin C serum is clean, non-toxic, free from alcohol and silicones.

Surviving February

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Depending upon where you are in the world, February can be a difficult month. Although the days are getting longer, they appear to be grey, dark and cold. February is considered so bleak that scientists have actually labelled a syndrome called the February Slump.

But we can all endure February with some slight changes that can make a positive difference.

Light some candles and take a hot bath. A bath can be a ritual and should never be a task. It should be something that you enjoy experiencing rather than on your ‘to do’ list such as washing dishes and reading on the internet. Magnesium flakes will work wonders to relax the mind and the body and one’s that I often reach out for are Better You’s Magnesium Oil Original Flakes.

Add some spices to your dinner. When the temperature drops, introduce certain spices such as ginger and turmeric into your food. These spices warm our bodies from the inside and at the same time provide numerous benefits which include aiding digestion and enhancing circulation.

Moisturise your face, body and hands. A rich face moisturiser is a must for winter but your hands will also require some extra care. You should be washing them often to ward off cold and flu viruses but the cold, dry weather can cause cracked skin. Fulvic Acid Nail Cream is a concentrated hand and nail cream which will nourish your cuticles as well as target cracked skin on the hands.

Take some Omega-3 supplements. Moisturising on the inside is just as important as moisturising on the outside. Krill Oil supplements are a great source of omega-3’s which moisturise skin but also help to calm inflammation. Astaxanthin found naturally in krill oil is a powerful antioxidant working like an added layer to shield skin from free radical damage. Krill Oil contains phospholipids which dissolve in both fat and water, maximising the omega-3 absorption. The supplement of choice is Neubria Krill Oil.

For those allergic to shellfish, Bare Biology’s Lion Heart Pure Omega 3 Fish Oil capsules provides the best sourced oily fish oil.
Boost your humidity. Dry winter air leads to dry skin. A lack of moisture in the air will not only cause dehydration within skin, it also makes us more vulnerable to airborne viruses, sinus congestion and coughs.

Try and get some light.Experts say that you need a special light to get rid of February Slump however if there are days when the sun is out then go out for a walk. This is not only a good form of exercise but even a small amount of exposure to the sun will help enhance your mood elevating vitamin D3 levels. It might still be prudent to supplement vitamin D3 given the deficiencies that widely exist in the population at large. Liposomal Vitamin D3 or Better You’s DLux Oral Sprays are the best in class.

Get appropriate sleep. Sleep deprivation is unfortunately very common these days and it is very likely associated with our lifestyle. Quality sleep can be highly restorative both to the mid and body. If you are struggling to sleep, consider taking Herbal Sleep PM which works to induce sleep without grogginess upon arising in the morning.

Finally, let us be thankful that February is the shortest month of the year and although it is a leap year, we just have 29 days to get through before we head into March and all that it brings.

The Incredible Benefits Of Broccoli Sprouts

Fresh Broccoli Stems

We all know that eating vegetables is a healthy choice and provide profound benefits to the body. Unfortunately, numerous studies indicate that only one in ten of us actually achieves the recommended daily intake of approximately 800 grams a day of a mixture of fruits and vegetables.

Whilst all types of vegetables are going to be beneficial, there is one group that scientists believe contribute significantly to overall health due to their unique nutrition content – the Brassica family; commonly known as cruciferous vegetables. These include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, radish and turnips.

Aside from their nutritional content, scientists have found a compound that makes these vegetables so important called Sulforaphane (also called SFN). Read More…

Supplements To Take In Your 40s

40 made from voxels on black background

If you are reaching your 40s or are already in your 40s, your health should be a high priority. Eating a healthy and balanced diet and taking exercise regularly are a must, however you can further help your body by taking certain key supplements.

There are some supplements which I consider essential in your 40s and there are others which may be important to build a foundation for optimal health.

Should I take a multivitamin in my 40s?

I have always recommended a quality multivitamin as I consider this to be important because we often tend to eat food groups that may not necessarily provide an abundance of nutrients. Equally, our digestive system ages with us and so we may not be able to absorb these nutrients efficiently. A quality food state multivitamin will bridge the gap and act like an insurance policy to ensure that our bodies are nourished in order to work at their optimal level.

Alive Once Daily Multivitamin is a comprehensive one-a-day food-state multivitamin and mineral supplement which also contains fruit and vegetable extracts known for their antioxidant properties as well as digestive enzymes to help digestion and mushroom extracts to enhance your immune system. Alive Multivitamin 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 about probiotics and omega 3?

Probiotics are the healthy bacteria in your gut. The older you are, the more vulnerable your system is to unhealthy bacteria. If your gut is not in a healthy state, your body will simply not absorb nutrients, you may experience constipation and perhaps even some gas or bloating. Probiotics enhance your immune system, manufacture energising B vitamins, break down food in the colon and help remove acids and toxins from the intestines.

Mega Probiotic ND is free from gluten, dairy, wheat, soya, yeast and other common allergens that can affect our digestive system and provides eight strains of bacteria that are able to pass through the harsh acid environment of the stomach reaching our gut where they are able to perform their myriad of roles.

Omega 3’s fatty acids are the good fats which your body uses to manufacture hormones, calm down inflammation in the body and have a positive impact on heart and brain function. Deficiencies of omega 3 are common in people who consume large amounts of processed foods, hydrogenated oils and those on a vegetarian or vegan diet. The primary animal sources of omega 3’s are fish oil or krill oil supplements and Lion Heart Pure Omega 3 Fish Oil and Neubria Krill Oil are two of the best omega 3 supplements on the market.

Should I take anything else?

A multivitamin, omega 3 and a probiotic are three key supplements to take during your 40s, however you may also wish to consider the use of Sage Complex. From roughly the age of 35, the production of female hormones by the ovaries begins to decline and this can have subtle effects on the body since oestrogen protects our skin, heart, bones and provides numerous other protective benefits. These subtle changes can also include low mood and often an inability to concentrate. Sage Complex contains herbs that are called phytoestrogens which mimic the female hormones and therefore help to offer protection against many of these concerns, especially as this phase is often termed the perimenopause. Those with much lower levels of female hormones may experience some hot flushes, tender breasts, low sex drive, mood swings and irregular periods, all of which may be greatly alleviated with the introduction of Sage Complex.

If you have a history of osteoporosis in the family or have a dairy-free diet, it would be prudent to consider the use of a calcium supplement. Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly as well as for blood to clot. According to the National Institute of Health, several surveys show that people are simply not getting sufficient calcium on a daily basis to maintain healthy bones. There are many other factors that may lend to calcium deficiencies such as a high protein diet which encourages calcium excretion, lactose intolerance and a lack of vitamin D3 which is widespread in the adult population.

If you decide to take a calcium supplement then please consider Bone Restore with Vitamin K2 by Life Extension which provides three types of highly absorbable calcium alongside magnesium, vitamin D3, silica and other bone building nutrients. The magnesium in Bone Restore will also hopefully help to relax the body, enhance energy levels and may help with better quality sleep.

I always advocate that supplements should be taken alongside a healthy and balanced diet. Always read the labels of all supplements you purchase to see if there are any warnings that would make them inappropriate for you.

How To Heal Your Liver

Human Head bust made of aalcohol bottles

At this time of the year one of the biggest concerns spoken about are the elevated amounts of alcohol that people may indulge in. Many people will try to justify excess alcohol consumption by stating that they do not drink excessively throughout the year.  But is this argument justified?  Regardless of seasonal festivities, many of us indulge in an excessive consumption of food and alcohol, both of which can have an impact on the liver.

It is estimated that there are over 100 types of liver diseases which may be caused by genetics or by factors such as viruses and excess alcohol consumption. The most common signs and symptoms of liver disease may include:

– Lower abdominal pain
– Fatigue
– Irritated itchy skin
– Loss of appetite
– Nausea
– Swelling of the legs
– A yellow tinge of the skin and the eyes

Tips on how to heal liver damage

One of the most important facts about the liver is that it is self-healing, just like our skin. A good example is if you cut yourself, the wound eventually scabs over as you heal and sometimes a scar is left behind. The same process occurs in the liver; as cells die scar tissue develops. If the aggressors, such as alcohol, remain constant then the scar tissue continues to build up until the liver cannot function properly.

Eating the right foods

Eating the right foods can have a great impact on the healing of damaged liver cells. Eat plenty of antioxidant and fibre rich foods. Some of the best foods for the liver include blueberries, cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, sprouts and cauliflower, oily fish, olive oil, grapes, grapefruit as well as nuts. Reduce the consumption of saturated fats, processed foods and sugar laden foods. Incidentally, coffee appears to be good for the liver. It is thought that coffee provides protective antioxidants as well as encouraging the production of liver enzymes which help to rid the body of toxins.

Avoid weight gain

Try to maintain your Body Mass Index within the normal range, between 18 and 25, by eating healthily and by exercising regularly. This may help decrease your chances of liver concerns. If you are overweight and drink regularly then cutting back on your alcohol intake will not only safeguard your health, but will also help you to lose weight.

Quit smoking and avoid chemical toxins wherever possible

Smoking can cause liver scarring and damage. Cigarettes contain hundreds of chemicals that have to be processed by the liver increasing the risk of liver damage. Abstaining from smoking will therefore encourage the healing process.

It is difficult to avoid environmental toxins, but you can definitely reduce the exposure to chemical toxins from aerosols and chemically laden body care products.

Cut down on your alcohol intake

When the liver attempts to break down alcohol, the chemical reactions that occur can cause inflammation leading to damage to the liver cells, which causes scarring and often a build-up of fats. Moderate consumption of alcohol is generally considered as safe and routinely men should not consume more than three drinks a day and women no more than two to prevent alcohol-induced liver disease.

Prevent and Protect

Hepatitis is one of the leading causes of liver damage and can be transmitted from blood or sexual fluids. If you get manicures or pedicures, then please ensure that this is from a reputable shop or person.

Consider Supplements

According to WebMD, “antioxidant vitamins such as C, E, and beta-carotene, minerals such as zinc and selenium, B-vitamins that aid alcohol metabolism and herbs said to cleanse the liver such as milk thistle, dandelion root, and schizandra, might help protect liver cells while ridding our body of poisons.”

A supplement that I would recommend is HealthAid’s Milk Thistle Complex. This supplement contains a trio of liver cleansing herbs including Milk thistle, Artichoke and Dandelion as well as nutrients such as beta carotene and B vitamins for their varying roles in helping to heal damage to the liver.

A Nootropic For 2020

Tomoatoe selection of various colours

Nootropics is the buzzword for a range of supplements that can dramatically improve functions carried out by the brain such as attention, focus, memory, ability to recall information and general brain health.

Nootropics are becoming a popular way to provide your brain with an extra boost it may need and are therefore often referred to as smart drugs. The idea that a drug or herb may enhance your intelligence, improve your memory and help the ability to recall information may seem like science fiction, but scientists and drug manufacturers are increasingly working on new compounds that enhance various aspects of the functions carried out by our brain.

What are memory enhancing pills?

There are many traditional herbs and nutrients that are reported to improve memory, help cognitive function, focus and recall. Herbs such as Turmeric, Ginkgo Biloba and Bacopa Monieri are three herbs that have shown great promise for numerous years and may help memory and attention. Supplements such as Neubria’s Spark – For Memory contains all the herbs mentioned above, alongside Sage, CoQ10 and specific vitamins and minerals to help protect your brain. This supplement could be classified as a nootropic, but to benefit from these traditional herbal extracts you do need to take them on an ongoing basis.

What are Nootropic foods?

Many foods or food derived ingredients such as fish oils, dark chocolate and coffee are often referred to as nootropics. We know that omega 3 essential fatty acids found in fish oils and caffeine in coffee appear to be good for the brain, but these foods, especially fish oils, would need to have been ingested for long periods of time in order to obtain benefits to the brain. And let’s not forget exercise. There is strong evidence that regular exercise improves memory and fends off age-related cognitive decline. 

So, what is a true nootropic?

By definition, a true nootropic must be able to:

  • Enhance one’s memory and the ability to assimilate and process information.
  • Protect the brain tissues from chemicals and toxins.
  • Help brain function, even at times of extreme stress such as exams and work deadlines.
  • Display no side effects.

It is easier to categorise nootropics in terms of synthetic versions and natural ones. There are over 80 synthetic and natural nootropic substances on the market. For the sake of clarity, smart drugs are not nootropics. Smart drugs are prescription only medicines that are used to treat ADHD, sleep disorders and other concerns. In a healthy individual they will provide intense short term focus without conferring any other benefits to the brain. Invariably they are not without severe long-term side effects and so I do not recommend them.

Synthetic nootropics are synthesised in a laboratory and lack long-term studies and their safety may be questionable such as the racetam group of nootropics including piracetam. Natural nootropics on the other hand consist of compounds and herbs which have been proven to be safe and effective. Most of them support memory, brain function, focus and mental alertness often by boosting neurotransmitters in the brain.

Limitless Plus is a nootropic supplement combining two of the safest herbal extracts, Noomato™ and Neumentix™.

Noomato™ is an extract derived from the non-GMO tomato plant. The tomato fruit is loaded with a broad range of vitamins including vitamins C and A as well as potent antioxidants including the extensively studied antioxidant called lycopene. In studies, Noomato™ has been found to promote the function of the synapses – these are complex junctions between nerve cells used to transmit signals of information to process, store and recall information. Noomato™, with its high antioxidant properties, works to quench inflammation which disturbs the way in which we process information and of course may be responsible for the degradation of the nerve cells.

Neumentix™ is a unique extract derived from non-GMO spearmint which contains over 50 different types of polyphenols including rosmarinic acid which helps improve brain function by:

  • Protecting the nerve cells from damaging free radicals.
  • Enhancing the amount of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is involved in learning and memory.
  • Promoting new nerve cells.

Limitless Plus fits the definition of a true nootropic and it provides both short and long-term benefits for the brain; its effects are cumulative, so the longer you take this supplement, the more effective the benefits. This innovative botanical supplement is aimed at students and seniors most interested in a safe, non-pharmaceutical solution to keep their mind clear and focused. It is also equally suitable for gamers and those with brain-fog that often accompanies pressure of work.