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At The Aesthetics HQ, I frequently recommend that patients check and supplement their vitamin D3 levels. 
Vitamin D is vital in the body for calcium and prosperous absorption from your intestines. It also stimulates the formation of new bone. 
What patients don’t always know about vitamin D, is that it is important for so much more. Vitamin D is important both in immunity, cancer, and chronic diseases:
•Colorectal cancers and melanomas show improved outcomes on vitamin D. 
•Cardiovascular disease and diabetes shows improved outcome with vitamin D. 
•Depression and cognitive function improves with vitamin D. 
•Autoimmune diseases require increased vitamin D. 
It is also worth noting that any disease states that increase systemic inflammation (measured by a HS – CRP level on a blood test), will decrease your vitamin D absorption.
How can we be deficient in vitamin D in South Africa, if it requires sunlight?
Vitamin D levels are lower in populations who have decreased sunlight hours, such as Europe and Northern America. We are seeing in it sunny countries such as South Africa due to sun-avoidance. People avoid the sun and use sunblock as the sun causes photo-aging (wrinkles, thin skin, pigment changes); skin cancer and pigmentation disorders. 
- Darker skin types also require increased time exposed to the sun to create sufficient vitamin D levels for health. 
- People may not have sufficient dietary intake of vitamin D to compensate for the insufficient sun exposure. 
- Medications such as anti-epileptics increase a person’s vitamin D requirements. 
- Obese patients have lower vitamin D levels.
- Liver and kidney disease patients need more vitamin D.
What is Vitamin D2 and what is Vitamin D3? 
Doctors will recommend that you take vitamin D3 over vitamin D2 every time. Vitamin D2 is also known as ergocalciferol. Vitamin D3 is known as cholecalciferol and is the “natural” active form of vitamin D the body makes on ultra-violet exposure from the sun. 
Vitamin D2 isn’t a natural form of vitamin D seen in human physiology – it is a plant based vitamin D. 
Vitamin D3 therefore has a far better bioavailability in the body – it is basically better absorbed and more active. 
Vitamin D2, although often found in supplements and food, has a short shelf-life. The actual level of D2 in supplements and food is generally far lower than the packaging states for this reason. 
Vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 also cost the same price-wise – so it makes sense to supplement with D3 over D2. 
Vitamin D3 is however, animal derived. Vegans and vegetarians may have to take vitamin D2 purely due to their belief systems. 
Vitamin D3 is easily supplemented – it is best taken either once a week in high dose, or daily in smaller doses. This is dosed according to blood test levels. 
Vitamin D3 is synthesized on sunlight exposure, or found in egg yolk and seafood. It can also be found in certain mushrooms, such as Reishi. 
Dr Claire Jacobsohn
To contact The Aesthetics HQ for more information on treatments, click here.

With the summer and festive seasons rapidly approaching, Dr Claire offers advice on how to time when you should have your procedures for maximal impact at your special events.

Many patients wait until right before events and holidays to come in to have anti-aging and beautification procedures performed. This is a huge mistake.
Certain aesthetic procedures that would result in a refreshed appearance can be performed close to an event, such as light chemical peels, or RF Cinderella facials.

For the rest of your Aesthetics procedures, remember:
• Your procedures may take several sessions, over a few weeks or even a few months, for optimum results.
• Your procedures may have settling time. Botox may take up to 10 days to take full effect. Fillers often look their best 2-6 weeks post procedure.
• Procedures, once settled, may require a top-up to perfect your new look
• You may have temporary inflammation, bruising, or swelling. Not cool the night before the holiday starts.

For most patients, and for big or special events and occasions, I advise that we stop with any aggressive treatments 2-4 weeks before the date.
Start to prepare for the end of the year now – don’t wait!

Vitamin K is known to function within our clotting cascade – it helps our blood to clot. What is not commonly known about vitamin K is that there are different types: vitamin K1, and the pro-vitamin, vitamin K2 (also known as menaquinone).
Vitamin K2 can decrease bone loss, decrease fracture risk and help to increase bone density. Vitamin K2 also improves the elasticity of arteries and may help decrease the formation of plaques in your arteries. Both vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 improve insulin levels in diabetics. 
Vitamin K2 is not generally found in food – where needed, supplements may be required. The best way to ensure that you have sufficient vitamin K2 is through a healthy diet that promotes gut bacteria health. Colon bacteria produce most of our required vitamin K2. 
Vitamin K levels are often affected by:
• Illness
• Antibiotics
• Anti-convulsants
• Sulphur 
• Too much vitamin A and vitamin E
• Weight loss medications (especially those that bind fat such as Orlistat).
• Statins for cholesterol. These drugs lower both your co-enzyme Q10 as well as your vitamin K2 levels
For more articles on health and wellness from Dr Claire Jacobsohn, click here.

A sugar cane peel is also known as a glycolic acid peel – part of the alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) group of chemical peeling agents. 
The AHAs include glycolic acid, which is derived from sugar cane. AHAs also include acids like mandelic acid, citric acid, lactic acid and malic acid – all with their own specific skin indications and properties.
Chemical peels are also medically known as chemexfoliation, intended to create an intentional, controlled injury to the treated skin area. 
The benefits of a sugar cane or glycolic acid peel include the following:
• Exfoliation and rejuvenation of the treated skin (both by its direct caustic ability, as well as the metabolic stimulation induced in the skin)
• Strengthening and thickening of both the epidermis and the dermis
• Increase in collagen!
• Restructuring of the skin, whether young or old patients
• Anti-aging, both short- and long-term: you’ll have less wrinkles, less scarring, less pigment abnormalities, less milia and improvement in DPN (Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra)
Find out more about these treatments at our clinic. Click here to contact us.

There are frequently conflicting arguments surround nutrient supplements. Do you take them? Do you need them? Could they be harmful to your health? Are vitamin and mineral supplements really just creating expensive urine?!

In the 1930’s, a new concept – the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) - emerged. The RDA is a suggested daily value or quantity required for essential vitamins and minerals that people should ingest, and you can find these on the back of your vitamin box. As a result, diseases such as Scurvy (from a vitamin C deficiency), Pellagra (Vitamin B3 deficiency) and Rickets (vitamin D and calcium deficiency) were prevalent before the rise of vitamin awareness, and the RDA give the levels of vitamins and minerals that you required in order to prevent diseases like these.

But now a new concept in vitamins and minerals has now emerged – the concept of optimum daily intake of vitamins and minerals. In this model as opposed to the RDA, you need take vitamins and minerals not at a level to merely prevent death and disease; you take vitamins and minerals for optimal health, i.e. levels considered high enough to function and live at your best.

This shift in mindset is becoming increasingly important to patient health. The world has changed, and keeps on changing. We are constantly exposed to increasing levels of pollution, radiation, and chemicals, not to mention that the pace of life is more stressful, on a psychological, social, and environmental level. Trying to supplement this with diet alone is futile, even an organic one: our soil in which fresh fruit and vegetables are grown has become progressively more nutrient depleted, especially of the metals we require as micronutrients. Year after year, crops are planted into the same fields and pesticides remaining in the soil also bind our metal micronutrients in complexes, leaving them unavailable to the plants we eat.

So, in order to reach optimum daily intake of many essential vitamins and minerals, kilograms of suitable foodstuffs may be required – impossible on a healthy 2000 kcal/day diet! Thus vitamin and mineral supplementation is essential for your best health status. Your optimum daily requirements are best discussed with your doctor, and will vary according to age. These values can differ in men and women, and with health conditions. 
Make sure that you are getting all the necessary dietary input that will help you look and perform at your ultimate best!

Glycation is a non-enzymatic process that is a strong contributor to why our body tissues age with time. Sugar molecules like fructose and glucose bind “donor tissues” in the body, such as proteins, fats and DNA components throughout the body. This is a process known as “glycation”. 

AGEs (Advanced Glycation End products) form as a result. Once the tissues have been bound and stiffened by the sugar molecules, the tissue’s specific function becomes impaired. Normal tissue repair mechanisms cannot repair glycation as the enzymes that would normally repair can no longer bind to the glycated tissue. This further accelerates aging. Collagen and elastin are very susceptible to glycation, and reflects as aging on the skin. 

“Sugar Sag” – skin glycation and aging – presents with:
- Wrinkles
- Decreased skin elasticity
- Broken capillaries and cherry spots
- Poor tissue recovery and healing
- Poor nutrient delivery to the skin

How to limit Sugar Sag - skin aging
- Avoid sugar! 
- Boil and steam foods rather than grill, roast or fry food. Asian cooking methods have been shown to be beneficial to the skin
- Eat more ginger and garlic
- Drink more herbal tea

Aim for food and supplements high in:
- alpha lipoic acid
- B vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Selenium
- Zinc
- Manganese
- Vitamin E

Find out more about our skin treatments

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Physical address: 64 Wessels Road, Rivonia, 2128
GPS:  26º 02’ 40" S   |   28º 03’ 39" E
Postal address: P.O. Box 1861, Sunninghill, 2157
Tel: 011 234 2009 or 011 039 2982
e-mail: drclaire@tahq.co.za

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