The Dangers of Visceral Fat

the-dangers-of-visceral-fat

Q) I am a fit 50-something, but my GP says I have excess visceral fat. What is it and what can I do about it?

A) Unlike the blobby, more benign subcutaneous fat just under your skin, visceral fat is stored deeply, wrapping itself around the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas and even creeping through muscles. ‘Visceral fat is the dangerous kind, caused by a high carbohydrate diet and sedentary behaviour,’ says Professor David Haslam of the National Obesity Forum.

‘Subcutaneous fat on the thighs, hips and stomach may create mechanical problems such as arthritis of the hips and knees, but doesn’t tend to cause metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer or Alzheimer’s disease,’ he explains. ‘Visceral fat pumps toxic chemicals called adipocytokines into the bloodstream. These create chronic low-grade inflammation and disrupt healthy metabolism [the way your body works to create energy and keep you functioning].’ Visceral fat may also affect your mood.

Unlike subcutaneous fat, you cannot see visceral fat. However, Harvard University notes that overweight or obese people are likely to have excess visceral fat, as it makes up about ten per cent of total body fat. Read More…

Hay Fever Helpers

hay fever helpers health notes

Lifeplan Botanicals Wild Hayflower. Pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends this mixture of meadow grasses and flowers, which can help trigger your body to fight the pollens you may encounter.

HayMax pure balm. This organic drug-free balm, made with beeswax and seed oils, is applied to the base of the nose and round the eyes to form a barrier to allergens. The range includes HayMax Kids and HayMax Aloe Vera for sore noses.

Eyelergy eye drops. Single-dose, preservative-free droppers deliver a light gel to help eliminate allergens and dust from eyes, relieve itchiness and form a barrier against allergens. For adults and children, suitable for contact lens wearers.


RIO’S REACH-OUT THERAPY

When Rio Ferdinand’s wife Rebecca died from breast cancer in May 2015, aged just 34, he was left a single parent to three children under ten. The footballer’s immediate thoughts focused on ‘all the basic stuff – sorting out the funeral, what to do  with the children, the school run, making sure everyone was all right. You don’t really look at yourself.’

It wasn’t until the winter, when he started talking to his old friend Jamie Moralee, that Rio realised it was hard bottling things up: ‘You get angry, you get upset, you get emotional, you get depressed and it isn’t good for you or the network of people around you.’

Rio and Jamie recall that first conversation in a short film for Heads Together (headstogether.org.uk), the mental health campaign founded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry that aims to get people talking about their feelings. Outlining the campaign’s vision for 2017, the Duchess said: ‘The challenge that so many people have is not knowing how to take that first step of reaching out to another person for help. Fear, reticence or a sense of not wanting to burden another means that people suffer in silence – allowing the problem to grow larger and larger.’

That’s when having another person listening can make all the difference. Jamie wanted to talk to Rio about his loss ‘from day one, but I didn’t know the right timing. It was six months after Rebecca’s passing that I plucked up the courage to say, “How are you?” and mention some memories of Rebecca and what a fantastic lady she was.’ That got the two old friends talking and ‘we ended up crying our eyes out on the beach’.

For Rio, ‘Talking about feelings was a release. In these situations, you need to get your feelings out. It’s like a cleanse and it doesn’t just help you, it helps all the people close to you to feel more comfortable.’

Rio and Jamie’s dialogue is part of an online series of films for Heads Together, showing conversations between people from all walks of life. Another features two NHS ambulance workers, Dan and Rich. Dan attended a call that affected him severely: ‘It was the worst thing I had ever seen.’ The experience triggered vivid flashbacks and Dan began ‘smoking, drinking and not sleeping – and getting into a deeper hole day by day.

I didn’t know what to do to get out of it.’ Eventually, he texted his colleague Rich and they started talking. Rich confesses he was worried about what to say to someone going through a crisis: ‘It was nerve-racking, but I kept thinking it was nowhere near as bad as what Dan was going through.’ Dan also had misgivings: ‘I thought it was going to be one of the most difficult things I would ever do but, actually, it was just a conversation between two friends.’

Mental health charity Mind (mind.org.uk) has a useful section on helping others on its website, under Information and Support. Calm, the campaign against living miserably (thecalmzone.net, helpline: 0800 585 858, open 5pm to midnight), offers help to people who are worried about someone they know feeling suicidal. Both charities are part of the Heads Together coalition.


OPTIBAC PROBIOTICS

A 24-year-old reader with recurrent bloating and digestive problems reports that using Optibac Probiotics has significantly reduced the problem. The range includes Optibac Probiotics For Every Day.

The £5.70 Foundation With A 50,000 Person Waiting List

  •  

    It’s every bit as good as you’d expect says Elle Turner

    *Drum roll……* The Ordinary (purveyors of brilliant, faff-free, affordable skincare) are launching a foundation. Scratch that. They’re launching two! The Coverage Foundation, a highly pigmented base that offers full coverage and The Serum Foundation, a moderate coverage with a light, serum-like texture.

    The price alone (£5.90 and £5.70 respectively), is truly commendable. But what of the 50,000 person waiting list? (Those who have pre-ordered, can expect their new beauty loot to start shipping in the next 2-4 weeks.) It speaks volumes that, since landing in the UK last year, the brand has garnered such a solid reputation for simple, effective products, that thousands are prepared to queue up for their latest creation. The question is, is it worth it? And the answer, is yes.

    The shade range alone is very impressive. Each of the two foundations are available in 21 colours over three categories. The shade name begins with a 1 for fair to light tones, 2 for medium tones and 3 for darker tones. A second number designates the depth of the shade from 0 (the palest) to 3 (the darkest) and finally, a letter P (pink), R (red), Y (yellow) and N (neutral) indicate your undertone – 2.1Y, for instance is a slightly warm medium with a yellow undertone.

    I’ve been wearing the Serum Foundation for the last few days. Natural looking, with light, but ample coverage and a semi-matte finish, it just looks like your face, but on a really good skin day – and that, I reckon, is the secret to a brilliant base.

    Buy Now

Save

It’s A Skin Miracle

  •  

    Want an anti-ageing boost? Look no further than the latest products containing the super-hydrating hyaluronic acid, says Victoria Hall

    Hyaluronic acid is one of those ingredients that is bandied about the beauty industry like its going out of fashion. It’s not. In fact, it’s just had an upgrade and your going to be seeing a lot more of it.

    For those who are not entirely au fait with the skin-quenching wonder ingredient, it isn’t a traditional ‘acid’ and won’t leave you tingling or red. In fact, hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that can retain between 500 and 1,000 times its own weight in water and your body naturally produces it. However, like most things, this slows down as we age.

    Hyaluronic acid keeps your skin hydrated, plump and firm, which is why it’s used in serums and face creams. Unfortunately, the molecules used by some brands are too big to get through the skin’s layers and stay on the surface, offering only a temporary fix.

    Some serums, such as The Ordinary’s, contain different sized molecules, which can provide a higher level of hydration. But until recently the only way to get the ingredient deep into your skin was by injecting it.

     

    Buy Now The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Save

Supercharge Your Skincare

  •  

    Up your Vitamin intake in the prettiest way possible.

    Vitamins. They pretty much tick all our look-good boxes. Want smoother skin? There’s a vitamin for that. Keen to take down pigmentation and reduce the signs of ageing? Yep, there are vitamins for that, too. From A all the way to K, the clever science people have found ways to infuse vitamins into face-changing products for our daily routines. Here is one of the best out there…

    SMOOTH OPERATOR Vitamin C is one of the most powerful face-freshening antioxidants around, but it’s a pricey ingredient. So The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%, £4.90, is a bargain, with a 23 per cent hit of the vitamin. Expect visible smoothing and a brighter complexion. Can be used before other skin hydrators.

     

    Buy Now The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23%

Save

Super Serum & Boost Hydration

  •  

    IF you have eye bags, spots or even a touch of sunburn, you do not have to resort to bankbreaking highend products. No matter your skincare issue, here, CARLY HOBBS reveals how to fix your face for a fiver or less.

    The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% (£4.90): That’s not a typo – this vitamin hit could not be more of a bargain. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants out there to freshen our faces yet it’s hard to pop into products. This incredible blend manages a massive 23 per cent hit in a formula that can be used before other skincare hydrators. Expect fine lines to fade and a healthier complexion.

    The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors (£4.90): Random name, incredible abilities. This new cult alternative to your classic moisturiser is a potent blend of amino acids, fatty acids, ceramides and hyaluronic acid – AKA Team Hydration. These work together to plump and rejuvenate skin cells on the surface and lower dermis so new cells look their best. Apply with your fingers using upward sweeps to encourage added firmness.

     

    Buy Now The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23%

     

    Buy Now The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors

Save