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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:
- 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
- Vitamin E
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Liposuction, also known as liposculpture or lipoplasty, involves insertion of cannulas into the fat tissue to suction out adipose (fat) tissue.
The procedure is usually minimally invasive – requiring multiple small incisions, and is performed using tumescent anaesthetic. Tumescent anaesthetic involves the infusion of fluid into the fat tissue before the liposuction procedure begins. Tumescent has many advantages - it minimizes tissue damage and blood loss, as well as keeping the patient hydrated during the procedure, amongst other benefits.
Who is liposuction for?
Liposuction is primarily targeted at patients who are:
- at their ideal weight (BMI of 20-25 is ideal)
- have maintained their weight successfully for several months or years
- eats healthily
- exercises regularly
- has a localized area of fat that does not budge despite the above conditions being met. Most often this fatty area on the patient’s body traces back to genetics – other family members often suffer from the same problem.
What type of conditions and patients are unsuitable candidates for liposuction procedures?
- Patients who are overweight or obese. A maximum BMI of 35 is about the upper limit for liposuction to be performed. These, however, are more likely to be “debulking” procedures, rather than body sculpting procedures.
- Patients who hope that liposuction is a substitute for weight loss – it isn’t.
- Patients with unrealistic expectations of what the procedure will offer in terms of benefits.
- Patients who have crash dieted to get to a reasonable weight to have liposuction performed.
- Patients with very lax (loose, saggy) or thin skin must be aware that this must be addressed as a separate issue. Skin tightening with most liposuction procedures is unpredictable, and skin tightening should not be the indication for liposuction.
- Cellulite does not always improve with liposuction.
Other indications for liposuction:
There have been promising outcomes where liposuction has been used for:
• Axillary hyperhidrosis
• Axillary bromhidrosis
• Pseudo gynaecomastia (“man boobs” that are attributed to fat rather than breast tissue)
• Harvesting of stem cells. ASC – Adipose-derived Stem Cells have multiple volumizing and regenerative possibilities.
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Resveratrol, a naturally occurring phenol that is produced by certain plants when under stress, has been shown to have numerous anti-aging effects in the human body.
Resveratrol occurs naturally in grapes (wine!), berries, nuts (such as peanuts) and chocolate (another reason why chocolate is good for you!).
The beneficial properties of Resveratrol include:
• Anti-oxidant benefits: particularly with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease
• Anti-inflammatory properties
• Anti-aging benefits: Anti-aging gene Surtuin 1 is influenced by Resveratrol
• Protection against neurodegenerative disease
• Protection against kidney disease
• Protection against formation of cancers
Should you be drinking red or white wine?
Red wine and Muscadel have higher doses of resveratrol, however, white wine also contains resveratrol. Resveratrol in wine has an excellent bioavailability.
High doses of Resveratrol (500mg – 1g/day) are seen to have maximum benefit. Such high levels are probably better taken as a nutritional supplement to avoid weight gain and negative effects of excess alcohol.
PABA and oxybenzone
The controversy around sunscreens arose around 2 ingredients in particular over the past decade.
PABA, an ingredient protecting against UVB radiation, became contentious with allegations that it may induce skin cancer. Ultraviolet Burning radiation (UVB) interacting with PABA when the sunscreen was applied to skin was thought to induce DNA damage in the skin cells.
Further review of both old and new data do not support this theory. PABA has consistently shown protection from sunburn; skin damage and aging.
Oxybenzone is the second ingredient to be scrutinized. Oxybenzone is a common ingredient in both sunscreens, face creams and lip products.
Oxybenzone allegedly can cause hormonal disruptions, cellular damage, and allergies.
Despite many sensational articles around oxybenzone, most experts agree that the evidence is still weak and unconvincing.
Vitamin D deficiency due to sunscreens
Recent evidence suggests that use of sunscreens may be contributing to vitamin D deficiencies, and resurgence of bone pathologies related to low vitamin D levels.
Some experts say that despite the use of sunblock, people still get enough sunlight to allow the body to produce vitamin D.
Others recommend the use of vitamin D3 supplementation weekly, especially in darker skinned individuals.
5 – 20 minutes of sunlight several days a week is thought to be sufficient to produce adequate vitamin D levels in the body.
There is still much debate around the topic.
Irritation and sensitivity with sunscreens
True allergies to sunscreens are very rare, and allergies should not form part of the reason not to apply sunscreens.
Irritation and sensitivity, especially on thin skinned areas such as around the eye, are possible.
Most “allergies” related to sunscreens are likely due to fragrances and preservatives than to the sunscreen agents themselves.
Eczema suffers are especially prone to reactions with sunscreen agents. Sensitive skins should opt for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for sun protection.
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