Monday, November 30, 2009

What Is Cholesterol

Monday 30th November 2009

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a lipid found in the cell membranes of all tissues, and it is transported in the blood plasma of all animals.

Because cholesterol is synthesized by all eukaryotes, trace amounts of cholesterol are also found in membranes of plants and fungi.

The name originates from the Greek chole- (bile) and stereos (solid), and the chemical suffix -ol for an alcohol, as researchers first identified cholesterol in solid form in gallstones by François Poulletier de la Salle in 1769. However, it is only in 1815 that chemist Eugène Chevreul named the compound "cholesterine".

Most of the cholesterol is synthesized by the body and some has dietary origin. Cholesterol is more abundant in tissues which either synthesize more or have more abundant densely-packed membranes, for example, the liver, spinal cord and brain.

It plays a central role in many biochemical processes, such as the composition of cell membranes and the synthesis of steroid hormones. Cholesterol is insoluble in blood, but is transported in the circulatory system bound to one of the varieties of lipoprotein, spherical particles which have an exterior composed mainly of water-soluble proteins.

The main types, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) carry cholesterol from and to the liver.According to the lipid hypothesis, abnormally high cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia) and abnormal proportions of LDL and HDL are associated with cardiovascular disease by promoting atheroma development in arteries (atherosclerosis).

This disease process leads to myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke and peripheral vascular disease. As high LDL contributes to this process, it is termed "bad cholesterol", while high levels of HDL ("good cholesterol") offer a degree of protection.

The balance can be redressed with exercise, a healthy diet, and sometimes medication.

For more information visit:

See you tomorrow!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Something For The Weekend 11

Friday 27th November 2009

Yet another week has passed and I have managed to locate a bottle of C.K. One at an amazing price, making this our crowned Product Of The Week.

This bottle of C.K. One comes in at just $29.89 for a 6.7oz Eau De Toilette Spray bottle. This unisex fragrance is a great addition to any fragrance collection...what more can I say...but it for your wife, your husband, your brother...for anyone!

Website Of The Week

Continuing the theme of last week, you know, Christmas and New Year fancy dress parties I have found a great website which promises some fabulous costumes for less.

They are called Costumes 4 Less and you can find them by clicking here.

With a great range of 'sexy' consumes, medieval costumes and some great shoes you really should be paying them a visit.

Once again, thanks for stopping by and reading, commenting and digging!

I hope you have a great weekend.

See you Monday!
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

What Can Aloe Vera Be Used For?

Thursday 26th November 2009

I know I have mentioned what a huge fan of Aloe Vera I am before, but when I received an email yesterday asking what it could be used for, I was delighted to be able to dedicated a whole post to my favorite plant and remedy.

Did you know that there are in excess of 150 Aloe Vera species? Originally a native plant of South America, it can be grown indoors or out, and the Aloe Vera is commonly used to treat skin burns and rashes. Over the last few years Aloe has also become a widely used ingredient in cosmetics, shampoos, lotions and a number of household products.

The healing properties of Aloe Vera comes from the 18 amino acids within the plant.

Used for centuries as a home remedy, natural Aloe Vera is an off white colour and can be obtained by simply breaking off a leaf which allows the liquid to run out. The leaves can also be crushed and used as a salve. It's most common use is as a sun burn soother but it can also be made into juices, gels and powders for all manner of purposes.

More recently Aloe Vera has been made into a capsule and has proven to be a great cure for constipation, some say it is helpful in the battle against acne, while most report that it adds a softness to the skin.

The health benefits of Aloe Vera range from treating digestive disorders to healing and treating burns, cuts and bruises. It’s strong anti inflammatory as well as its cool and soothing effect can bring instant relief to painful situations like bruises or scraping of the skin. Its role in the treatment of digestive disorders includes management of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and even as a colon cleansing agent.

Aloe Vera essentially boosts our overall immune system and with its enormous anti bacterial, anti fungal and antibiotic properties, Aloe Vera works equally well with topic application as well as internal consumption.

While I use the plants in my own garden to treat scuffed knees, minor cuts and insect bites, I would not recommend digesting them.

Here are a few other ways to use the Aloe Vera plant extract;

  • Banish bruises by applying liberally to the affected area
  • Alleviate mysterious rashes
  • Take the itch out of insect bites
  • Fight athletes foot
  • Dab onto blisters for quick relief
  • Use as a general moisturiser for dry skin
  • Prevents scarring and stretchmarks
  • Shrinks warts
  • Helps against eczema
  • Decrease dark spots and pigmentation of the skin
  • Helps strong hair growth by rubbing onto the scalp and leaving for 30 minutes before rinsing
  • Removes eye make up
As I said this is just a few of the many ways that Aloe Vera can help you, and are all ways that I have successfully used my own plants.

Next week I am going to show you how to extract the liquid from your own Aloe Vera plants, so watch this space!

Photo by Steve Locke

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How To Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

Wednesday 25th November 2009

First of all I would just like to confirm that yes, lemon juice will lighten your hair, but it will only work as a highlight to your natural hair colour. This means that if you have a dark brown hair you will get a lighter brown highlight, you will not become a blond. If you have black hair, it is very likely that using lemon juice will result in a red tint wherever you apply the juice.

Lemon juice does work best as a natural highlighter for blond or dull blond hair, and light brown hair can turn out some pretty impressive results too.

So, how does it work?

Well, the acid in the lemon juice simply acts as an accelerator. When you are sitting out in the sun your hair does get lighter gradually, and adding lemon juice to the equation just speeds up the whole process.

What do you need to do?

All you need to do is follow these five simple steps for great results.

1. There is no need to wash or wet your hair before you start, it is best to use unwashed/dirty hair.

2. Get yourself one fresh lemon, cut in in half and extract the juice. Use an electric juicer, or if you don't have one, squeeze the juice out by hand into a jug.

3. Add a small drop of water to your juice. For an even covering place the juice into a spray bottle and apply liberally to the hair. If you are just wanting highlights, wipe the mixture onto selected strands of hair using your fingertips remembering to get right down to the roots.

4. When you are happy with the coverage it's time to get outside into the sun. Please remember to apply sun screen before you go outside, you need to be out there for a good hour.

5. After spending time outside, come back indoors and rinse the lemon from your hair, you can then repeat the process if you would like to enhance the colour some more. Be aware that you may have to do this once or twice a day for a couple of days to get the maximum benefit.

The highlights you will achieve with this method are as permanent as those that you would expect from a salon. They will only grow out, so your roots will need the occasional touch up.

Using lemon juice to lighten the hair is a good, natural and cheaper alternative to getting chemical highlights. All you need is a little patience and your efforts will pay off.

If you have done this in the past, or are trying it out for the first time, let everyone else know how it worked for you by leaving a comment.

See you again tomorrow when we find out just how useful Aloe Vera can be.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Eat To Boost Fertility

Tuesday 24th November 2009

It is guest blogger time again so please welcome todays guest blogger Omo Franca who has written a brilliant blog on the topic of fertility and conception,, so make sure you pay it a visit.


Having trouble getting pregnant? Experts now believe that following the right diet could be the single most important factor for successful conception.

A Spanish study recently found that men could boost their sperm counts by eating less red meat and fatty food, and more fruit and veg.

Meanwhile, research at Harvard University also found that women who made dietary changes reduced their risk of infertility by as much as 80%.
“The food choices you and your partner make can have a major effect on improving fertility,” agrees fertility expert Dr Zita West, whose client list includes actresses Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett and Davina McCall.

Here are the foods you – and your partner – need to eat...
How to do it:
The first step to better fertility is to ensure you have a balanced diet and don’t cut out any major food groups. “Make sure you both get adequate protein from lean meat and fish, essential fats from fish, nuts and seeds, wholemeal carbohydrates and lots fruit and veg,” says Zita.
Once you have the basics right you can then add the specific superfoods that researchers have found can boost egg and sperm production. But be patient: you will both need to stick to a diet plan for at least three months before you will know if it has had any effect.

Here’s what you should be eating...

For him
Oily fish.
This is the best source of essential fatty acids (EFAs), omega-3 and omega-6 oils – all of which are vital for sperm development. They also enhance sperm quality and mobility.* Eat: Salmon, mackerel and sardines are all types of oily fish. Men should eat between one and four portions a week.
Oysters.A great source of zinc, which is needed to make the outer layer and tail of the sperm. Nutritionists believe just 15mg a day can help repair sperm that have been damaged by chemicals absorbed from the environment.

* Eat: If you can’t stomach or afford oysters, you’ll find plenty of zinc in beans, nuts, seeds and eggs.

Garlic.This is a great source of selenium, an antioxidant, which helps maintain strong healthy sperm.* Eat: Add chopped garlic to stir-fries, pasta sauces and curries. Garlic breath may not be very romantic but it can be easily neutralised by chewing a little parsley afterwards.

Spinach.This and other leafy greens are rich in folate, which improves sperm production. A study by the University of California found men with high intakes of this nutrient had up to 30% healthier sperm.

* Eat: Steam spinach lightly with garlic and chilli or eat it raw in a healthy salad.

Avocados.A rich source of vitamin E, which improves the quality of sperm. Avocados are also an excellent way to absorb unsaturated fats, which are crucial for healthy hormone function.

* Eat: Make your own guacamole as a dip for carrot sticks. Scoop flesh out of a couple of avocados and mash it up, adding a little garlic and lemon juice.

For her
Full-fat dairy. A fertility study by Harvard University found women who eat at least one serving of full-fat dairy a day reduce their risk of infertility by more than a quarter. It’s thought that the fat in dairy helps improve ovarian function.

* Eat: Consider changing low-fat dairy foods for full-fat while you are in the process of trying for a baby. A glass of milk a day is plenty.

Water. If you don’t drink enough water the reproductive system will lose out as the body ensures that the most vital organs receive the water that they need first.Water is needed for plump egg follicles and a strong blood supply to the womb lining. If you’re dehydrated, your cervical fluid (the stuff that helps the sperm find the egg) also becomes sluggish.

* Drink: Aim to have about eight glasses per day. Try mixing water with fruit juice or a squirt of lemon to liven it up.

Orange fruit and vegetables. Peaches, apricots, carrots and mangoes all contain beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A and which helps to produce the female sex hormones important for ovulation.

* Eat: Start the day with a mango and peach smoothie, and have a bag of chopped carrots to snack on at work.

Chicken.Getting enough protein is vital for egg production. Meat is the best source of protein but go for chicken rather than red meat – as it is much lower in fat.

* Eat: Women need about 45g of protein a day but don’t have more than this. As Zita West warns: “High-protein diets aren’t good in the lead-up to pregnancy, as there’s evidence that ammonia, a by-product of excessive protein, may interfere with embryo implantation.”

Oily fish, nuts and seeds.These are all extremely rich in essential fatty acids, which are crucial for healthy ovulation. According to Zita, eight out of 10 women are currently deficient in EFAs.

* Eat: You need to eat about 30g of nuts and seeds a day – enjoy them as a snack, sprinkle them on your cereal or mix into a healthy salad. Also try to eat about 300g – or roughly two portions – of oily fish a week.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Antioxidant levels key to prostate cancer risk

Monday 23rd November 2009

Antioxidant levels key to prostate cancer risk in some men?

Greater levels of selenium, vitamin E and the tomato carotenoid lycopene have been shown to reduce prostate cancer in one out of every four Caucasian males, or those who inherit a specific genetic variation that is particularly sensitive to oxidative stress, say US researchers.

Conversely, if carriers of this genetic variant have low levels of these vitamins and minerals, their risk of aggressive prostate increases substantially, as great as 10-fold, over those who maintain higher levels of these nutrients, they write in today’s issue of Cancer Research.

"This large prospective study provides further evidence that oxidative stress may be one of the important mechanisms for prostate cancer development and progression, and adequate intake of antioxidants, such as selenium, lycopene and vitamin E, may help prevent prostate cancer," said Dr Haojie Li, a researcher at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

The new findings are based on an analysis of 567 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1982 and 1995, and 764 cancer-free men from the Physicians Health Study.

The initial goal of this study was to assess the effect of aspirin and beta-carotene on men's health. Li’s team decided to check for variants of the gene that codes for manganese superoxide dismutatase (MnSOD), an important enzyme that works as an antioxidant in human cells to defend against disease.

The MnSOD gene is passed from parents to offspring in one of three forms: VV, VA or AA.

"Compared with men with the MnSOD VV or VA genotype, people with the AA genotype seem to be more sensitive to the antioxidant status," said Li. "Men with the AA genotype are more susceptible to prostate cancer if their antioxidant levels are low."

The study's results found that a quarter of the men in the study carried the MnSOD AA genotype, half carried the VA genotype, and the remaining quarter carried the VV genotype.

The results indicated that the VA and VV men were at equivalent risk for developing prostate cancer across all levels of antioxidants in their blood.

But compared to MnSOD VV or VA carriers in the lowest quartile of selenium levels, MnSOD AA males had an 89 per cent greater risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer if they had low blood levels of the mineral.

On the other hand, MnSOD AA carriers with high selenium – those men in the highest quartile – had a 65 per cent lower risk than the MnSOD VV or VA males who maintained low levels of selenium.

"The levels of selenium in the highest quartile of these men are not abnormally high," Li said. "Our range is neither extremely high nor extremely low."

While similar trends were observed for lycopene and vitamin E when tested independently, the contrast in relative risk was most pronounced for the men who had high blood levels for all three antioxidants combined, said the researchers.

"Among men with the MnSOD AA genotype, we observed a 10-fold difference in risk for aggressive prostate cancer, when comparing men with high versus low levels of antioxidants combined,"said Li. "In contrast, among men with the VV or VA genotype, the prostate cancer risk was only weakly altered by these antioxidant levels."

"Our study, as well as many other epidemiological studies, encourages dietary intake of nutrients such as lycopene from tomato products, or supplements for vitamin E and selenium to reduce risk of prostate cancer," said Li.

Prostate cancer is one of the biggest cancer killers in industrial countries and affects more than 500,000 men worldwide every year. This number is expected to increase with the ageing population.

Similar interactions between dietary antioxidants and the variations in the MnSOD gene have previously been linked to risk for breast cancer.

For more information visit:

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Something For The Weekend 10

Friday 20th November 2009

Is it just me, or is it really difficult to buy gifts for a man?

If you are tired of buying the same thing ie; socks, aftershave, ties or undies, for the men in your life, then why not try this excellent bundle of Refinery toiletries, fit for any self respecting man.

Now, I can already sense that you think it looks expensive, but considering the amount of products you get, this has to be the bargain of the century. For just 39.15, that's pound sterling, you get six products:
  • Refinery Body Wash 30ml
  • Refinery Face Mask 20ml
  • Refinery Face Scrub 20ml
  • Refinery Face Wash 20ml
  • Refinery Moisturiser 20ml
  • Refinery Post Shave Balm 20ml
And they smell divine which has to be the biggest advantage for those who live with a man, be that your parent, your partner or even a room mate.

You can buy this product from Beautique by clicking me, this really is money well spent.

Website Of The Week

I have been working on an idea that we, as in all of us, really need to save money. What with the credit crunch and Christmas just around the corner we are all worried about the future and trying to save wherever we can.

So, I am in the process of developing my very own coupons and freebies website. Please feel free to pay it a visit, but be aware that it is still in the early stages and only the home page is the finished article.

You also have the chance to follow me on Twitter too!

Okay everybody, that's all from me this week.

Thanks to you all for stopping by and have a good weekend!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Too Much Green Tea Can Be Harmful

Thursday 19th November 2009

There has been a lot of talk recently surrounding the health benefits of green tea, particularly it's use as a weight loss aid. Believe it or not there is no magic cure for obesity that does not require a diet change and more physical activity.

However, there is evidence that the antioxidants in green tea (EGCG) are two hundred times more powerful than vitamin E. Green tea also slows the process of the breakdown of glucose, especially after meals. The rate at which the body burns calories can also be lowered by the consumption of green tea.

Speeding up your metabolism is a great way to supplement weight loss in many cases, the oxidation of body fats can also be increased.

A good way to lose a couple extra pounds is to replace your morning coffee with green tea. The lowering of your calorie intake and the health benefits of green tea combine to make a healthy diet change.

Many of the studies we see on the affects of green tea are conducted in Asia, where people typically drink three cups per day, whereas the United Kingdom Tea Council recommend you drink six cups per day.

While we are constantly told how green tea is good for us, many forget that there are potential side effects, and just like any other food, consuming too much can do more harm than good.

The most common complaint is from those who are caffeine intolerant. Green tea contains about half the amount of caffeine found in coffee, and for the vast majority of us, that would not cause any problems.

For those who are sensitive to caffeine you may experience symptoms such as restlessness, irritability, sleeping problems, palpitations, nausea, and even a skin rash.

The tea plant absorbs nutrients from the soil and water during growth. Nutrients such as aluminium and fluoride which are passed on to the consumer and can be harmful when consumed in large amounts over many years.

While the Chinese have been drinking green tea for thousands of years, it was only used for medicinal purposes until AD 600 as a tonic, rather than an everyday beverage. Like any other herbal medicine, the healing powers of green tea had to be carefully harnessed and there are times when one should avoid drinking green tea altogether.

Green tea can cause indigestion to those with sensitive stomachs, and can also reduce the body's ability to absorb iron thus causing potential problems for those already prone to iron deficiency anemia.

While I am a big advocate of herbal remedies, you still have to remember that moderation is the best way forward, and while the health benefits of green tea far outweigh the negatives you still have to be aware of any potential health risks from over consumption.

If you want my advice you should probably stick to around three cups per day. Never drink green tea on an empty stomach or straight after a meal, and to improve the taste, add some mint leaves to the brew too!

Want more information about green tea as a weight loss aid? then visit the cho-yung website.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What Is SAD?

Wednesday 18th November 2009

Today we are going to take a look at SAD and find out how it affects those that suffer the condition and where you can go to find out more information on symptoms, diagnosis and treatments.

SAD is an acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder – a syndrome which shows as a depressed mood in winter and various other easily identifiable symptoms such as changes in appetite, sleep, diet and weight.

It occurs in most countries of the world where winter brings short daylight hours and long dark nights and is much less common in the areas between 30 degrees north and south of the equator such as in Florida, South Africa or Uruguay.

Seasonal Affective Disorder affects a surprisingly high number of people. Extensive research in Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, USA, Canada, Soviet Union and Japan has shown that an estimated 5 to 10 % of the population suffer from severe SAD symptoms. Another 25% or so have some tendency to winter depression due to lack of light and show some problematic symptoms even if they do not suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder in it's most extreme form.

People have known for centuries that our moods are affected by the weather and that depression is more common in winter but it was not until the 1980's that there has been a lot of interest in this phenomenon and the illness received more official recognition. This coincided with the discovery of an extremely effective treatment : light therapy. Treatment with a light box is effective for Seasonal Affective Disorder in 75 to 80% of patients undergoing formal treatment for S.AD.

In other cases, light therapy may need to be combined with other treatments and help available. In any event, there is absolutely no need to suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder in silence - you can avoid every winter being something you dread.

If you think you could be suffering from SAD, or are concerned for a friend or family member, visit, a website entirely dedicated to the condition.

Photo courtesy of

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Natural Skin Care Recipes

Tuesday 17th November 2009

Due to the popularity of our previous post 5 Home Made Face Masks To Revive Winter Skin . Lorynne from Caribbean Tan has come up with more fabulous skin care recipes that we can all try at home.

Take it away Lorynne...

There's no doubt that 2009's woes (the recession, global warming, and political uncertainty) have reeked havoc on our health and the weight of the World is a story now finely engraved in our skin.

There is hope; Found in a skin care regime that will not only single handedly decrease your carbon footprint, but at the same time, keep you looking well and fit through the last of the recession. Yes people, it is time to go au natural. A few minutes of preparation and some simple, edible ingredients is all it takes to create a safer, chemical free and cost effective skin care regime. Think avocado facials, olive oil moisturisers and sea salt exfoliators. Mother Nature will provide.

Avocado Facial :

Fact - Avocado is rich in oil and fatty acids, omega three and six, both good for you on the inside and out.
Recipe - Mash the avocado flesh into a creamy texture. Massage into the face and neck. Leave on for 15 minutes and gently rinse off.

Baking Soda Cleanser :

Fact - As companies move away from using harsh chemicals, baking soda is gaining popularity out of the kitchen and is now being used in commercial products, from shampoo to industrial cleansers.
Recipe - Combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of your favorite face lotion or cleanser. Using small circular motions, rub the mixture gently into your face then rinse and moisturise as usual.

Baking Soda And Sea Salt Exfoliator :

Fact - Every one of the body's 92 essential minerals is also found in the ocean.
Recipe - Take a small cup and mix a teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 a teaspoon of sea salt. The baking soda will polish the skin and the sea salt will perform the scrubbing action. The salt grains reduce in size once applied to the skin. The results are baby smooth with a definite glow.

Olive Oil Moisturiser :

Fact - Olive oil can be used to soothe sunburn. it is a natural moisturiser, keeping moisture secure within the skin.
Recipe - Use plain virgin olive oil. Rub a generous amount all over your body (including the face).

Lemon And Egg Facial Mask :

Fact - Lemon acts as a bleach, eliminating blotches and skin blemishes.
Recipe - Mix the juice of half a lemon with one beaten egg white. Leave on your face overnight, or for a quick pick-me-up, just 15 minutes. Splash warm water on your face to rinse.

And for your hair you have got to try...

Fruit Smoothie Hair Mask :

Fact - Fruits are said to be high in vitamins and minerals that we are able to absorb through our skin and hair adding strength, moisture and volume.
Recipe - Blend 1/2 a Banana, 1/4 of an avocado, 1/4 of a cantaloupe, 1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil and 1 tablespoon of yogurt. For extra conditioning squeeze in the contents of a vitamin E capsule. Leave in the hair for 15 minutes.

These sound great guys, so if you ever give one of these recipes a try let us know about it.

Thanks once again to Lorynne from for the brilliant post, and I will be back again tomorrow.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Burn Fat With Interval Training

Monday 16th November 2009

If you are one of those many people carrying excess weight around the stomach area (me included), then you may want to pay particular attention to what I am about to tell you.

Like most of you out there, I have spent hours upon hours trying to perfect my crunches in the hope that my tummy would eventually shrink. Doesn't work does it?

No matter how many abdominal exercises you do, you cannot shift stubborn tummy fat, and do you know why? It's because you need to shed fat from the rest of your body too to make a difference to your stomach...and this is where Interval Training comes in.

What Is Interval Training?

It is basically a form of exercise which consists of two phases. The first phase (Sprint Interval) is when you exercise at an intense rate for a set period of time, and the second phase (Rest Intervals) are where you reduce the intensity of your exercise for a set period of time.

For many years we have been told that slow and steady cardiovascular workouts were the way to go, but more recent research has discovered that the true way to loose body fat, quickly and healthily, is with the process of Interval Training.

I Know the title does sound a little intense, but trust me when I say that anybody, of any fitness level can start this type of work out straight away.

If you have not exercised in a while, start off jogging on the spot for as long as you possibly can, even if it is just five minutes, then go into your rest intervals by doing a few lunges and stretches for five minutes, then repeat the process for just twenty minutes a day. I first tried it a few weeks ago and was shocked to find that I actually found it fun!

As time goes on, really start to push yourself and increase the time length or the intensity of your exercise. You will be amazed at how much better you will look and feel.

So, remember that the only way to lose the excess fat from your stomach, and everywhere else, is to burn it off. Crunches won't shift it, but Interval Training will!

Want to know more? then why not read up about it on

Once you have tried it why not drop me an email or leave a comment to let me know how you are finding it?

See you again tomorrow.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Something For The Weekend 9

Friday 13th November 2009

Hi everybody, I hope your week has gone well!

We are almost half way through November already and if you have not started your Christmas shopping yet, you really should be making more of an effort.

As promised, we have another great gift idea here and it is the brilliant Hug-Me Monkey Foot Massager Hot106Uk. If you have a partner, brother, sister, mum or dad, granny or grandad that is always complaining of cold, tired feet, then why not treat them this Christmas to this great little foot massager. It was originally priced at 29.99, but you can now pick one of these up for just 15.99 with free UK delivery...bargain!

The Hug-Me Monkey Foot Massager has a cosy fleece lining to keep feet "toasty" and warm, with a slip-on design for any foot size. With 2 intensity massage settings, a 2 year guarantee this mains operated massager will become a much loved gift.

Website Of The Week

If you are looking for that one special dress to wear to your Christmas party this year then you just have to check out this brilliant website That has some of the most divine dresses I have ever seen and at really good prices.

Featuring a large selection of elegant fashion designs for women include Evening Gowns, Event Dresses, Cocktail Dresses, Party Dresses, and Asian Dresses in the latest styles. With everything from the elusive little black dress to some really funky club wear.

So before you go along to your local high street, check this online wonder out first.

Well, that's all from me for another week. Don't forget to keep an eye on our new discounts code features at the top right of each page. I will be updating it regularly with discount codes, vouchers and sales as soon as I find them.

Have a good weekend!

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

White Bread: Why Is It Bad For You?

Thursday 12th November 2009

This one item that has long been a constant at every body's breakfast tables, has earned quite a bad reputation over recent years.

We keep being told that white bread is bad for us, for your health; why exactly is this? What is it about white bread that is so bad for you?

Here are three of those reasons which will make you think again about the bread you choose to buy.

Refined flour

The process of refining wheat flour strips it of many of the nutrients and health giving properties that wheat naturally has.

The wheat germ and bran, which are the most nutritious part of the wheat grain, includes vitamins and minerals and these are removed when making refined flour. All that remains is starch and small quantity of protein.

This protein is not a good quality protein. The starch is converted into sugar and is stored in the body as fat. Refined flour provides what are sometimes known as empty calories, or calories without the goodness or nutritional value of wholesome food.

Low Fiber

Fiber is an essential for the healthy functioning of the human body and for the efficient working of the digestive system. In milling of refined flour, the fiber of the wheat grain is removed and what is left is not healthy.

Lack of sufficient fiber in the body also makes it difficult for the colon to evacuate the bowels of waste matter effectively, which can lead to irritable bowel syndrome and even cancer of the colon.

Digestive rates and the efficiency with which the food is digested slows down. There are also greater amounts of fat deposits and this increases how negatively eating white bread can impact health.


Have you ever wondered why that loaf of white bread is so white when the grain that it comes from is brown? Well the fact is that the flour that is used to make the bread is routinely bleached using chemicals, which results in the white color.

There are several potentially harmful bleaching agents used for this and among them is chloride oxide, which, when combined with whatever proteins are still left in the flour, produces alloxan. This is a poison and has been used to produce diabetes in laboratory animals. Chlorine oxide destroys the vital wheat germ oil which is another nutritive element destroyed.

For someone who has eaten white bread all their lives, the switch to whole grain bread (as against brown bread, which may simply have some caramel added for the color) may be a bit difficult, however you can soon get used to the change, and can also start to appreciate a healthier and tastier meal option.

See you again tomorrow with another affordable gift idea.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Diet Review : Bistro MD

Wednesday 11th November 2009

Founded by Dr. Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D. one of the few medical doctors in the United States who specializes in weight loss, with the belief that a diet plan should be healthy, delicious and convenient.

BistroMD delivers on that vision by providing chef prepared, doctor approved meals that help people to loose weight safely. It is considered the best quality home delivery Diet Program on the market.

For the past 15 years Dr. Cederquist and her team of registered dietitians, trained behavioral therapists and lifestyle counselors have been helping clients lose weight successfully.

A Simple, Easy to Follow Plan:

The team at BistroMD have worked exhaustively to come up with a complete system that is simple and effective. Customers order from one of four programs and enjoy tasty, nutritious balanced meals. Just heat, eat and lose weight - - what could be easier?

It's a simple and effective way of dieting. All the meals you order are freshly frozen, delivered to your door and are of restuarant quality. Menus rotate on a weekly basis, which means you won't get tired of eating the same old diet food. And with a menu as tantilising as theirs how could anyone resist? Enjoy chef prepared meals such as delicious Teryaki Chicken, scrumptious Thai Curries and some delectable classic Italian dishes.

Right now you can claim a 10% by clicking the link below!

Save 10% Off Gourmet Diet Home-Delivery Plans from - Coupon code: Summer10

The pure simplicity of this diet has won it full marks with a whopping Beauty Factor 10/10.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Painful Sex : A Common Female Health Problem

Tuesday 10th November 2009

Painful sex? What you should know if it hurts, and how to fire your doctor if he says, "it's all in your head."

*What is one of the biggest issues facing women's sexual health

Pain with sex is a major health problem for women. The incidence is about 8 percent (anywhere between 3 percent and 15 percent depending on the study). This about the same incidence of asthma, so it is a common problem. It affects sexual fulfilment, can contribute to relationship issues, and affect a woman's self-esteem.

*I had no idea it is so common

Sadly many women suffer in silence. Our culture is filled with misperceptions and taboos concerning women's sexuality. My own mother can't tell people that I am gynecologist because it "isn't nice". Many women mistakenly believe that pain with sex is normal, that it is supposed to hurt. Some don't have the courage to broach the subject and sadly many who do speak up are dismissed by their physicians. Some are told it is "all in your head" or "have a glass of wine before" and others are misdiagnosed with chronic yeast infections.

Men have all those erectile dysfunction ads on Tv to raise awareness, but there are no ads on TV to raise awareness for women. The only TV character to ever have pain with sex was Charlotte from Sex in the City, and I think that was a brief secondary storyline. If no one talks about it, you think you are the only one.

*What are the causes

Dyspareunia, which is the medical term for painful sex has many causes. You have to think about the anatomical structures that are involved in sex. For some women it is a lubrication issue. This is more common among post menopausal women as many choose not to take hormones. Another common cause is nerve pain, a condition called vulvodynia is common. Typically the pain is more insertional. The pelvic muscles can also be involved. These muscles wrap around the vagina and can cause severe pain both with insertion and deeper penetration. Bladder inflammation, skin conditions, and even endometriosis ( a condition where the lining of the uterus grows in abnormal locations) can also cause painful sex.

* What should a woman do if she is experiencing painful sex

The first thing is to understand that pain with sex is not normal. See your doctor. Think about what makes it hurt and about any other pain you may have in the area that is not sexually related (like pain emptying your bladder). Pay attention to your menstrual cycle and see if there is any relationship. This is all helpful information. Tell your doctor if you have pain other times as well (like from your clothes touching your skin).

Insist on a diagnosis or referral to someone who can give you a diagnosis. Most of the conditions that cause pain with sex are diagnosed by history and by exam. If a skin condition is suspected a biopsy may be needed.

*Can you give us some starting points for at home

Besides thinking about when it hurts and other pains in the pelvic area, stop removing pubic hair. It is there for a reason, It protects the delicate genital skin and the process of removing hair, no matter the method, is irritating. Stop putting soaps on the vulva. I tell patients the vulva is like a self-cleaning oven, chemicals are actually damaging and strip away the natural oils. Plant based or botanical isn't any safer. Tea tree oil for example can cause skin reactions and sensitive your skin making it more vulnerable.

Use a silicone based lubricant. If that is irritating you can even use olive oil. Consider using all cotton menstrual pads.

And don't be afraid to speak up. Having a good sex life is your right. Practice what you are going to say to your doctor in the mirror before your appointment. Get comfortable saying it. You should be able to tell your doctor anything and everything and they in return should listen and help you.

Thank you to Shelly from for this brilliant post.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Top Excuses Not To Get Healthy

Monday 9th November 2009

If you have still not managed to get yourself into a regular workout routine, then you probably have a line of excuses, all ready and prepared, that are stopping you from getting up, out, and moving.

Even thought we are all fully aware of how good for us exercise is, we still find excuses to not do any. Here I have compiled a list of common excuses, some that I have used myself, and how we can overcome them.

I Don't Have The Time

This is the most common reason that people give (even me) for not being able to exercise.

In this instance, what you need to do is prioritise; Which is more important - Your health or the television programme that you want to watch? Would having thirty minutes less sleep really harm you if you were exercising during that time? I think not.

Exercise Is Boring

And yes, it can be, if you haven't found an exercise that you enjoy.

Exercise can be anything from cycling and jogging to dancing and yoga. You could join a dance class, get together with a friend and join a gym.

If you would rather, try joining in with a local team sport, be it football, basketball or whatever else takes your fancy.

I'm Not Fit Enough And I Don't Have The Energy

And this is exactly why you need to be exercising. You are not fit enough and you are tired, which means you are not at your healthiest.

I'm not suggesting that you should be able to go out and run for an hour, but if you do have very low fitness levels, just take it slowly and you will soon see you fitness levels increasing. As your fitness levels increase so will your energy levels.

I'm Too Old To Be Doing That Now

This is just too crazy to believe. You are never ever too old to start exercising, even if you have never exercised before, there is nothing stopping you from getting up right now and doing something positive for yourself.

The more adamant arm chair advocate will probably say that these points are perfectly good reasons for not getting fit. Well, the truth is that they are not 'reasons' but pure excuses. The only person that is stopping you from achieving the healthy lifestyle that you deserve is you. So stop with the excuses and start moving!

See you again tomorrow!

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Something For The Weekend 8

Friday 6th November 2009

It's official! Christmas has arrived at The Beauty Factor, and in celebration we are going to be bringing you some of the most affordable beauty products and devices on the net.

This week we are going to kick of with this brilliant contraption to the left of your screen.

Here's a device that looks more like something that the Marquis de Sade himself might have enjoyed in his time. But rather than being the source of any foreign hanky panky, this contraption has an altogether more holistic purpose in mind... and it's not what you think!

These holistic purposes include relaxing and re-energising the body, relieving aches and pains, improving circulation and lymphatic drainage.

Intrigued? Well do read on.

The weightless fingers arching off its central spindle are designed to be moved slowly across the skin, stimulating nerve endings and releasing those rather nice endorphins in the process. What results, is a warm tingling sensation which relaxes muscles, providing localised pain relief and a general feeling of heavenly well-being. Divine. The Genie Head Massager is a versatile and flexible massage tool that can be deployed all over your your neck, scalp and temples. So simply sit back, relax and indulge while its slow, caressing strokes create remarkable sensations within, not to mention sending shivers of delight down your spine.

The perfect gift for anyone out there who needs to relax. You can now buy The Genie (Head Massager) (for me...hint hint)! directly from Amazon, with free delivery, and it will only cost you £3.53... pure bargain!

Website Of The Week

Today I have to give a really big shout out for

If you have never heard of Spotify, then let me tell you a little bit about them. Spotify first came to my attention on a Sky News programme a few months ago. They are a fully legal music download site which allows you to listen to music online for free.

If you are currently using illegal downlaod software you could soon find yourself losing your internet connection, so go onto the spotify website today an apply for your invitation. I waited three weeks for my invitation to come through, and it was well worth the wait!

Anyway, that's all from me this week. Be sure to look after yourselves this weekend, and I will see you back here on Monday morning!
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Thursday, November 05, 2009

All About Post Natal Depression

Thursday 5th November 2009

Statistics suggest that 1 in 10 mothers will develop post natal depression or PND, and I can be counted as one of those that have.

Having a baby is a very emotional experience and your mood can swing in all directions during and post pregnancy. Like me you may feel very unhappy, tearful and low, but there is help out there for all new mums and their families, and you can get over it.

There are three definite types of depression that can follow childbirth;

- 'Baby blues'. This is so common that it can be considered normal. Symptoms include being weepy, irritability, anxiety and feeling low. It usually starts around the 3rd day after giving birth, but usually goes by day 10. It does not usually require any medical treatment.

- Postnatal depression. As I have already said, this occurs in about 1 in 10 mothers. It usually develops within the first four weeks after childbirth. However, it can start several months or even up to one year following childbirth. Symptoms, including low mood, mood swings and anxiety. Severe symptoms may also include irrational thoughts and behaviours. The symptoms last much longer than baby blues. Treatment is advised.

- Postnatal (puerperal) psychosis. This is an uncommon, but severe form of postnatal depression. It develops in about 1 in 1000 mothers.

For today we are going to focus on Post Natal Depression.

The symptoms are similar to those that occur with depression at any other time. They usually include one or more of the following. In postnatal depression, symptoms are usually there on most days, for most of the time, for two weeks or more.
  • Low mood. Tends to be worse first thing in the morning, but not always.
  • Not really enjoying anything. Lack of interest in yourself and your baby.
  • Lack of motivation to do anything.
  • Often feeling tearful.
  • Feeling irritable a lot of the time.
  • Feelings of guilt, rejection, or inadequacy.
  • Poor concentration (like forgetting or losing things) or being unable to make a decision about things.
  • Feeling unable to cope with anything.

You may also get thoughts about harming your baby. Around half the women with postnatal depression get these thoughts. If things are very bad you may get ideas of harming or killing yourself. The reality is that only in very rare cases is anyone harmed. If you have such thoughts, you must seek some help.

In addition, you may also have: less energy, disturbed sleep, poor appetite, and a reduced sex drive. However, these are common and normal for a while after childbirth, and on their own do not necessarily mean that you are depressed.

What causes postnatal depression?

The exact cause is not clear. Common misconceptions are that it is just due to hormone changes after you give birth and that it will go away by itself. Any mother can develop postnatal depression. Some studies suggest that depression after childbirth is no more common than at other times (depression is common). However, it is thought that women are more prone to develop depression just after childbirth.

The main cause seems to be stressful events after childbirth such as feelings of isolation, worry, and responsibility about the new baby, etc. In addition, you may be at greater risk of developing postnatal depression if you have/have had:

  • Mental health problems in the past (including depression, previous postnatal depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia).
  • Previous treatment by a psychiatrist or mental health team.
  • Depression during your pregnancy.
  • Postnatal depression that runs in your family.
  • Marital or relationship problems.
  • No close friends or family around you.
  • Money troubles.
  • Physical health problems following the birth (such as anaemia, incontinence, etc).

However, in many cases, there is no apparent cause.

How is postnatal depression diagnosed?

A doctor, midwife or health visitor will usually check for depression in all women who have recently given birth. They may ask the following two questions when they see you (this may be during one of your postnatal checks or visits):

  • During the past month, have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?
  • During the past month, have you often been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things?

If you answer yes to either of these questions, they may ask a third question:

  • Is this something you feel you need or want help with?

It is very important that you are truthful about how you are feeling. You should not think that having postnatal depression makes you a bad parent or will mean that your baby is taken away from you. This is extremely rare. Every aim when treating postnatal depression is to keep you with your baby wherever possible so that the bond between you can develop.

If the health care professional that you see suspects that you may have postnatal depression, they will usually refer you to your GP so that the diagnosis can be confirmed. The diagnosis of postnatal depression is usually made by your doctor based on what you, and those who know you, tell him or her. Tests are not usually needed but sometimes your doctor may do a blood test to make sure that there is not a physical reason for the symptoms such as an under active thyroid or anaemia.

You may not recognise that you are depressed. However, your partner or a family member or friend will probably have noticed that you are different, and may not understand why. Sometimes a friend or family member may suggest that you see a doctor because they are worried that you may have postnatal depression.

At the end of this post I will be putting a link to the official 'Edinburgh Test' in which you can asses yourself for the condition.

How is Post Natal Depression treated?

The type of treatment that is best for you can depend on various things including:

  • How severe your depression is and what symptoms you have.
  • The impact of your symptoms on your ability to function (to look after yourself and your baby).
  • Whether you have had depression or other mental health problems in the past.
  • The likely waiting time for any of the treatments.
  • Your current situation.
Together you and your doctor should be able to decide which is the right treatment for you. There are several options available to you and these range from professional counselling to anti depressant pills.

Some do's and don't when dealing with any form of depression.
  • Don't bottle things up and 'go it alone'. Try and tell people who are close to you how you feel. It is not weak to cry or admit that you are struggling.
  • Don't despair. Most people with depression recover. It is important to remember this.
  • Do try and distract yourself by doing other things. Try doing things that do not need much concentration but can be distracting such as watching TV. Radio or TV is useful late at night if sleeping is a problem.
  • Do eat regularly, even if you do not feel like eating.
  • Don't drink too much alcohol. Drinking alcohol is tempting to some people with depression as the immediate effect may seem to relieve the symptoms. However, drinking heavily is likely to make your situation worse in the long run.
  • Don't make any major decisions whilst you are depressed. If possible, delay any major decisions about relationships, jobs, or money until you are well again.
  • Do tell your doctor if you feel that you are getting worse, particularly if suicidal thoughts are troubling you.

Will it happen again?

If you have an episode of postnatal depression you have a greater than average chance of it happening again if you have another baby. About 3 in 10 mothers who have postnatal depression have another episode of depression if they have another baby. However, you and your doctor are more likely to be aware of the possibility in future pregnancies. This means that you are more likely to be diagnosed and treated promptly should it recur.

So, What happened to me?

Well, my post natal depression reared it's ugly head after the birth of my second baby just 18 months ago. All the symptoms listed here are exactly what I experienced, including the more severe symptoms. For me PND was a never ending cycle of guilty feeling. I couldn't help the way I was feeling, the way I felt about my new baby or wanting to end my life, nor could I understand it, and that made me feel guilty...and so the cycle continued.

I am living proof that you can get over this. With professional help, time and understanding you, or a loved one, will get over it too.

As promised, here is a link to the official Edinburgh Test that is used by professionals to diagnose Post Natal Depression. It consist of ten questions, answer them as honestly as you possibly can. You then get a total score and a suggestion of what you should do next.

Commonly a score above 10 means you need to seek medical help, please do so.

That concludes my post for today.

See you tomorrow.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Resveratrol And Weight Loss

Tuesday 3rd November 2009

Resveratrol Antioxidants and Weight Loss: A Good Pairing?

The golden rule in weight loss is pretty simple: take in fewer calories than you expend in exercise. However, as any dieter will tell you, it’s far from easy.

All over the world people spend billions of dollars a year on weight loss supplements, exercise programs and other diet aids—and still we can’t seem to win the battle of the bulge—even when we get desperate enough to try risky surgery or fad diets.

Recently a new product has come to light that may help people trying to lose weight stay on the healthy end of the spectrum: Resveratrol Select, which is unlike many diet supplements in that it uses a combination of natural and herbal ingredients designed to help the body stay healthy while losing weight.

How? By mimicking certain aspects of the Mediterranean diet. Studies have shown that part of the war with weight lies in the uniquely modern combination of stressful lifestyle and fast-food consumption, and that the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle seem to be more conducive to healthier weight levels and longevity. In fact, much as been made on the news in recent months of the purported “French Paradox,” (how the French eat a high-fat diet, enjoy rich desserts, drink wine and still have better cardiovascular health than the rest of us). One of the biggest differences between your diet and the French diet seems to be the wine consumption, and red wine (a staple on most Mediterranean tables) contains one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, resveratrol, which is a key ingredient in Resveratrol Select.

In addition to wine, resveratrol is also found in grape skins, blueberries, cranberries and other plants, and recent animal and in vitro studies indicate that it can have a positive effect on helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, supporting insulin health and optimizing metabolic and immune pathways that protect cells and improve mitochondrial function. And one capsule of Resveratrol Select includes as much resveratrol as 200 glasses of wine—without the added calories that alcohol can add to the waistline.

Consuming resveratrol alone isn’t enough to help with weight loss—so the manufacturers of Resveratrol Select also added a different type of antioxidant, Green Tea Extract (EGCG), which could make a big difference. Over time, green tea consumption helps increase metabolism, burn fat and reduce fat storage due to its caffeine and L-theanin content, which can be pivotal in helping to maintain energy for exercise.

Resveratrol Select combines these two powerful antioxidants with yet another energy boosting ingredient, Chromium, a niacin-based mineral that plays an important role in how the body uses insulin to burn sugars, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for energy.

*Although relatively new to the market, Resveratrol Select seems to be making a big splash, and many people are taking advantage of the free trial offer to see how well the product works for them.

The trial offer also includes two bonus tools to help with weight loss: an e-book with over 70 weight loss tips, and a weight loss visualization audio.

Of course, consuming fewer calories while burning more is the most efficient form of weight loss, and it’s always a good idea to inform your doctor before taking a weight loss supplement, but this new combination herbal supplement is worth a look for those concerned about maintaining good health while losing weight.

For more information on Resveratrol Select’s free trial offer and bonus materials, visit

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

7 Winter Skin Care Tips

Tuesday 3rd November 2009

Good morning! This week we welcome back Lorynne from Caribbean Tan as our guest blogger. Here we have a fantastic post with seven tips on how to avoid dry winter skin.

As winter looms ahead, we brace our minds, bodies and souls for the harsh, frosty cold.

Our wardrobe morphs from skimpy, bare-it-all summer attire to the layers and layers of thermal wear that winter requires.

Salads and mocha frappes are replaced with hearty, traditional stews and filling, creamy, hot food. The fans are packed away, the fireplace is stacked with wood,the radiators turned on for good.


While we concentrate on warming ourselves, most of us forget that our skin regime needs just as much attention. Just as our clothes and diet change from season to season so should our skin care. Winter can be exceptionally cruel to our skin; the constant changes between warm and cold air both lacking in humidity can cause our skin to lose moisture and become dry and chapped, left vulnerable to infection.

Whilst there are creams and lotions available that can help return the moisture to our skin, dermatologists recommend the following to prevent your skin losing its moisture in the first place.

1. Keep well hydrated. Whilst it is common belief that we should drink 2L of water a day, there are certain factors that need to be taken into account to calculate your personal water consumption such as altitude, physical activity, weight, and health. Try this Hydration Calculator. To maintain great hydration limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol and especially limit smoking.

2. Use sun block. It is becoming common knowledge that the sun can be just as severe, and at times even more so, in Winter as in Summer. Good UV protection is recommended all year round.

3. Use quality lip balms and lip moisturisers at least 3 times per day to lock moisture into soft, vulnerable lips.

4. Creams and lotions containing petrolatum, mineral oil, linoleic acid, ceramides, dimethicone or glycerin will help fight off dry, patchy skin.

5. Hands can take a bit of a beating in Winter and hangnails can be very painful. Remember to use moisturiser after every wash. A great tip for keeping your cuticles well moisturised is using manicure gloves when you sleep; cover cuticles in Vaseline, place hands in manicure gloves, and remove in the morning. Works well for feet too, with pedicure covers.

6. Avoid hot showers and baths. Rather use lukewarm water. Pat yourself dry instead of rubbing and moisturise within three minutes.

7. Eyes can be particularly sensitive to dry, warm air. Keep your eyes clear and moist with moisture drops.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Is Milk Good For You?

Monday 2nd November 2009

Back when I was in primary school, I remember that all pupils were provided with a bottle of full fat milk as it was deemed 'good for you' both by our teachers, parents and doctors. After all we are aware that cows milk provides us not only with calcium, but also with Vitamin D and many other beneficial nutrients. So milk is good for us...isn't it?

A growing number of consumer advocates and scientists don't think this is necessarily the case. They question the long-held wisdom of regular milk consumption, and some of these people even believe milk poses substantial health risks.

What's at the bottom of this backlash? Is there any truth to what the critics are saying, or is it just a storm in a carton?

How Milk Has Changed.

Some of the controversy surrounding milk lies in the way commercially available cow's milk has changed over recent years. In general, milk consists of water, fat, protein, lactose, minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. But the exact composition of milk depends on what cows eat, their cycle of lactation, the number of lactation's, and how the milk is processed. Today's commercial milk-production techniques can significantly modify the end product, changing it from its natural form into something quite different.

For example, most commercially produced milk undergoes pasteurization to destroy bacteria that may be harmful to health. However, some people claim that raw, unpasteurized milk tastes better and is more nutritious than the pasteurized variety.

Out to Pasture

Does pasteurization affect the nutritional value of milk?

Yes. Although pasteurization kills potentially dangerous bacteria, such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella, it also kills off harmless and useful bacteria, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, and active enzymes that help with digestion and absorption of nutrients. Some studies also suggest that pasteurization reduces the amount of vitamins B1, B6, B12, and C contained in milk.

However, this reduction in nutrients is not significant and the risks associated with consuming raw milk outweigh the benefits.

Home on the Grain

Is the milk from grain-fed cows less healthful than the milk of grass-fed cows?

Yes. Almost all of the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in milk are the result of what the cows eat; when cows graze on grass and mixed greens, it improves the fat composition of their milk, equalizing the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. This ratio is believed to be ideal for human health because it helps raise good cholesterol, lower triglycerides, and reduce inflammation. Research suggests that a cow raised grazing on its natural diet of fresh pasture also has five times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a cancer-fighting fat.

By replacing a cow's grass diet with grain, the ratio of the essential fatty acid in the milk is greatly altered. Milk from commercially raised cows whose feed contains blood meal or bone meal has a more detrimental fatty acid composition and contains little, if any, CLA.

It’s not easy to find milk products from dairies that raise cows on open pastures. Some organic dairy cows are grass-fed, but not all. Nevertheless, consumers are buying organic milk and dairy products in record numbers.

Can Milk Be A Weight Loss Booster?

Recent research touts the benefits of milk when it comes to losing weight. Does including three servings of milk in the daily diet help the average person lose weight?

No. Although some studies suggest a possible role, it is not a simple case of drink milk, lose weight. In the most widely publicized studies, which were funded by the National Dairy Council, obese people who were on a calorie-restricted diet that included three to four dairy servings per day increased their rate of weight loss compared to obese people who consumed fewer dairy products.

However, the population size of these studies was too small and too specific to extend the claims about weight loss to the general population. Larger randomized trials on the dairy–weight loss connection reveal that adding dairy to the diet without restricting calories has no effect on, or actually may increase, body weight.

Although dairy may not solve your stalled weight loss program, drinking milk may help you get more results from your exercise routine. Milk provides a complete protein, which means it offers all of the essential amino acids or building blocks of protein. Dietary protein helps build and repair muscle tissue and can serve as a source of energy during high endurance exercises such as running, cycling, and other aerobic exercise.

Good for getting your muscles strong, yes. But what about strong bones? Calcium found in milk has long been touted as the key to preventing osteoporosis, a debilitating disease characterized by low bone mass and deteriorating bone tissue.

Bone Strengthener?

Is drinking milk daily the only key to protecting adults against osteoporosis?

No. Although your body does need calcium to build and maintain bone strength—especially when you're young—it is only one of several habits that help keep bones strong. Other important habits that may play an even more important role include getting plenty of vitamin D, not smoking, and regular physical activity, especially weight-bearing exercises.

Recent studies suggest that, as an adult, getting the recommended amount of vitamin D is as important as getting enough calcium because the body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium from food or supplements.

Although milk contains calcium and is fortified with vitamin D, there are other sources of these nutrients. You could get the calcium you need by eating lots of dark-green leafy vegetables, beans, and calcium-fortified products, or by taking enough supplemental calcium to reach your targeted intake. You can generally get enough vitamin D from fatty fish and occasional exposure to sunlight—for example, 10 to 15 minutes in the sun a few days a week during non peak hours without sunscreen

Some experts question whether milk should be recommended at all for osteoporosis prevention.

For example, some studies reveal that the incidence of bone fractures—the most tangible consequence of osteoporosis—is very low in countries where average daily calcium intake is as low as 300 milligrams per day.

Some milk critics claim that osteoporosis incidence is actually higher in countries that consume more daily servings of milk because milk leaches calcium from bones, making them weaker.

Although too much animal protein will leach calcium from bones, the amount that is leached depends on the ratio of calcium to protein intake in your diet. Because so many foods are fortified with calcium, it is unlikely that drinking milk in reasonable amounts would cause leaching of calcium from bone.

So although milk can be part of the prevention picture for osteoporosis, it doesn’t have to be.

But there are other diseases besides osteoporosis that concern the older population. For example, cancer has recently surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death for people of a certain age in the United States.

Cancer Fighter?

Have studies revealed that drinking milk may help lower a person's risk of developing colorectal cancer?

Yes. An analysis of data from 10 different studies revealed that milk consumption reduced the risks of rectal cancer and cancer of the distal colon, which is the portion of the colon closer to the rectum. People who drank over 8 ounces of milk per day, the equivalent of about 250 grams of calcium, had a 15% reduction in rectal cancer and distal colon cancer risk compared to people who drank less than a couple 8-ounce glasses per week. And milk reduced the risk of colon cancer more than other calcium-laden foods such as yogurt or cheese, suggesting something particular about milk produced the effect.

However, the data on such positive associations between milk consumption and colon cancer risk come from studies that were conducted before rBGH was used in milk. Additional studies are needed to determine whether today’s milk shows the same results.

The Beauty Factor Conclusion

Overall, there is no evidence to justify claims that modern milk has any special power to improve any specific aspect of health.

Any positive effects from drinking milk are usually explained by an elevated intake of calcium or vitamin D, nutrients that can easily be found in sufficient quantities from other sources. In addition, the potential health risks posed by modern milk production techniques need further research.

If you choose to keep milk on your menu, organic milk might be a healthier choice than commercial milk given current processing practices. But if you decide to skip dairy products altogether, rest assured that there is no reason to believe milk is a necessity, as long as you eat a balanced and varied diet that includes other sources of calcium, vitamin D, and protein.

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