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“Landmark” research carried out at Sydney’s Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute could in future prevent miscarriages and multiple types of birth defects, in what is being claimed to be one of the most significant discoveries in pregnancy research.

The Australian scientists behind the study even go as far as saying they have demonstrated a cure, in the form of a common dietary supplement – vitamin B3 (niacin).

The study found that a deficiency in a vital molecule, known as NAD, prevents a baby’s organs from developing correctly in the womb.

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is one of the most important molecules in all living cells.  NAD synthesis is essential for energy production, DNA repair and cell communication. Environmental and genetic factors can disrupt its production, which causes a NAD deficiency.

Researchers at the Victor Chang Institute found that this deficiency is particularly harmful during a pregnancy as it cripples an embryo when it is forming.

“Now, after 12 years of research, our team has also discovered that this deficiency can be cured and miscarriages and birth defects prevented by taking a common vitamin,” Professor Sally Dunwoodie, who led the team, revealed.

At the heart of the discovery is the dietary supplement vitamin B3, also known as niacin. Scientists at the Victor Chang Institute have discovered simply boosting levels of this nutrient during pregnancy can prevent miscarriages and birth defects.

Vitamin B3 is required to make NAD and is typically found in meats and green vegetables as well as vegemite. However, a recent study found that despite taking vitamin supplements at least a third of pregnant women have low levels of vitamin B3 in their first trimester, which is the critical time in organ development. By the third trimester, vitamin B3 levels were low in 60% of pregnant women. This indicates pregnant women may require more vitamin B3 than is currently available in most vitamin supplements.

Using a preclinical model, the Australian team investigated the effect of vitamin B3 on developing embryos. They describe the results as “astounding”.

Before vitamin B3 was introduced into the mother’s diet, embryos were either lost through miscarriage or the offspring were born with a range of severe birth defects. After the dietary change, both the miscarriages and birth defects were completely prevented, with all the offspring born perfectly healthy.

According to the executive director of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Professor Robert Graham, the implications are profound.

“We believe that this breakthrough will be one of our country’s greatest medical discoveries. It’s extremely rare to discover the problem and provide a preventive solution at the same time. It’s actually a double breakthrough”

“Just like we now use folate to prevent spina bifida, Professor Dunwoodie’s research suggests that it is probably best for women to start taking vitamin B3 very early on, even before they become pregnant. This will change the way pregnant women are cared for around the world,” said Professor Graham.

“We believe that this breakthrough will be one of our country’s greatest medical discoveries. It’s extremely rare to discover the problem and provide a preventive solution at the same time. It’s actually a double breakthrough,” said Professor Graham.

The next step will be to develop a diagnostic test to measure NAD levels. This will enable doctors to identify those women who are at greatest risk of having a baby with a birth defect, and ensure they are getting sufficient vitamin B3.

The findings have been released today by the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Tuesday, 25 October 2016 09:55:28 Europe/London


8 scary signs you're not getting enough vitamin D

Are you suffering from a vicious cycle of cold? Deficiency in vitamin D could have something to do with as Vitamin D deficiency is probably more common than you think.

According to the National Institute for Healthcare and Excellence, around one in five adults and around one in six children may have low vitamin D status in the UK.

It’s Vitamin D Awareness Week, and experts have set out all the things you need to look out for:

1. Aching bones

Vitamin D is essential for supporting bones and their structure. The nutrient helps regulate calcium and phosphorus – the minerals essential for maintaining strong bones – within the body.  When you’re low on vitamin D, your bones can weaken, increasing your risk of stress fractures.

Too little (and indeed too much) vitamin D can lead to weakness of the bones and the development of conditions such as osteoporosis (brittle bones) and rickets (soft bones).

 2. Weakness in muscles

As well as bones, Vitamin D supports normal muscle function.

It is also thought that Vitamin D deficiency could be linked to muscle pain

A study published in the British Medical Journal states: “Poor muscle strength and weakness may be associated with vitamin D deficiency, which is common among elderly people because the capacity of the skin to synthesise the provitamin calcidiol (25-hydroxycholecalciferol) decreases with age.”

3. Lack of sleep

A recent study from America has identified a possible link between low levels of vitamin D and poor sleep.
In the study, based on a group of older men, those with lower levels of this vital vitamin appeared to report not only less sleep but also poor quality sleep.

4. Low mood or depression

Vitamin D receptors can be found on a number of cells located in the regions of the brain that are linked with depression.

A 2008 study in Norway found that people with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to be depressed and taking vitamin D improved the symptoms.

Vitamin D is most effectively absorbed from exposure to sunlight, so during the darker months of the year, the depressive symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) begin to emerge.

These lower levels of vitamin D are connected with affecting the serotonin concentration in the brain.

5. Weight gain

Studies have shown that vitamin D isn’t beneficial in weight loss, unless it is given to those who are very low calcium consumers.  However, a vitamin D deficiency has been linked to weight gain, so even though taking more won’t help you lose weight, getting less vitamin D than you need could make you gain.

A five-year study by the Centre for Health Research in Portland, Oregon found that women with low vitamin D status may be prone to weight gain.

After examining the vitamin D status and weight of more than 4,000 women over the age of 65, researchers found those with insufficient levels weighed more than the women with adequate vitamin D levels.

6. Constantly coming down with coughs and colds

Suffering from a never-ending and vicious cycle of cold? There is a chance lack of Vitamin D may have something to do with it.

Research has suggested that vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defences, and that without sufficient intake of the vitamin our immune cells are unable to react appropriately.  A 2010 study supports this, demonstrating that flu incidence decreased when schoolchildren were given Vitamin D3 supplements through the winter.

7. Trouble with your gut

In its milder form, a vitamin D deficiency can both cause and be caused by gastrointestinal problems. The nutrient is fat soluble, which means having a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat also affects your absorption of vitamin D.

Recent research, conducted by the University of Sheffield, suggests a large proportion of patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are vitamin D deficient.

Lead scientist Dr Bernard Corfe states in his study: “Our data provide a potential new insight into the condition and importantly a new way to try to manage it.  It was clear from our findings that many people with IBS should have their vitamin D levels tested, and the data suggests that they may benefit from supplementation with vitamin D.”

8. Feeling tired all the time

This is a common sign of mild deficiency.

A study published in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences found that vitamin D deficiency was common among patients suffering from fatigue. They found that taking vitamin D helped improve their symptoms.

The authors of the journal wrote: “Prevalence of low vitamin D was 77.2% in patients who presented with fatigue. After normalisation of vitamin D levels fatigue symptom scores improved significantly in all five subscale categories of fatigue assessment questionnaires.”

Experts say only 10% of our daily vitamin D intake comes from our diet, while 90% is derived from sunlight.

Guidelines from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition suggest we should all be getting about 10 micrograms (400 IU) of the nutrient per day.

We can get vitamin D from foods such as egg yolk, oily fish and red meat, wild mushrooms and vitamin D fortified foods (some margarines and breakfast cereals for example) but given the lack of sun in the UK (especially in the winter) and our need to use sunscreen to protect our skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays (which can reduce vitamin D synthesis), experts recommend trying out supplements.

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Are you Magnesium deficient?

Friday, 8 July 2016 15:56:13 Europe/London

Because magnesium is so vital to the proper functioning of organs and systems throughout the body, magnesium deficiency can have a variety of effects on these systems and organs. Based on the latest research here is a comprehensive list of the effects of magnesium deficiency.



Irregular Heartbeats, Heart Palpitations (Arythmias)

Chest Pain Due to Spasms (Angina)

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Heart Valve Disease (Mitral Valve Prolapse)

Cadiac Arrest, sudden death

Chest Tightness

High "bad" cholesterol (high LDL and/or total cholesterol)

Low "good" cholesterol (low HDL cholesterol)



Difficulty Swallowing


Kidney Stones

Urinary Spasms


Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Menstrual Cramps

Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (Pre-eclampsia) progressing to convulsions (Eclampsia)

Spontaneous Abortion, Miscarriage, Low Birth Weight

Metabolism of Nutrients

Diabetes - both type 1 and type 2 are associated with low Mg status

Carbohydrate Intolerance

Insulin Resistance

Metabolic Syndrome X

Low serum calcium that cannot be corrected with calcium supplements

Low serum potassium that cannot be corrected with potassium supplements

Elevated serum phosphorus

Vitamin D Resistance


Muscle Cramps

Leg Cramps

Restless leg syndrome

Muscle Soreness, including backache, neck pain, tension headache, temporomandibular (lower jaw to skull) joint dysfunction

Muscle Tension

Painful Muscle Spasms & Tremors (Muscle tetany)

Muscle Twitches



Migraine Headaches, other headaches

Hearing Loss, Ringing in Ear, Tinnitus (persistent buzzing or ringing noise in the ears)

Hyperactivity, Restlessness, constant movement

Numbness, Tingling






Panic Attacks


Fear of Public Places and/or Open Space (Agoraphobia)




COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease


Chest Tightness, often expressed as “I can't seem to take a deep breath” or even as sighing in children

Chronic Fatigue

Cravings for Carbohydrates

Cravings for Salt

Sensitivity to bright lights in the absence of eye disease

Sensitivity to loud noise


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Monday, 23 May 2016 13:49:29 Europe/London


Elderly people have been warned about the risks of some over-the-counter hay fever, allergy and sleeping tablets after a study found evidence that they can lead to memory and thinking problems.

Patients taking anticholinergic drugs performed worse on memory and reasoning tests than similar older people who were not taking the medicines. For the first time brain scans also found signs of shrinkage.

Anticholinergic drugs, which include common remedies such as Benadryl and Piriton, as well as treatments for incontinence and Parkinson's, are taken regularly by millions of older people.

Several studies have linked the drugs to mental decline, including research last year that suggested they could increase the risk of dementia by 50 per cent. The medicines block a chemical transmitter in the nervous system called acetylcholine.

The latest study of 451 patients aged about 73 found worse scores on cognitive tests for patients taking at least one such drug. Their brains were scanned and patients were found to have a lower cortical volume, a change previously linked to Alzheimer's, researchers reported in the journal JAMA Neurology.

Solutions for hay fever and allergic rhinitis with free p&p on all orders over £15.
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The Health Food Manufacturers' Association (HFMA) was pleased to learn recently that around 40 unlicensed Echinacea products and 70 unlicensed Devil's Claw products, from non-EU countries and making non-authorised health claims, had been removed from the Amazon website, following collaboration with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).


Following discussions in July 2015 with the MHRA, the HFMA raised concerns over issues relating to some selling activities of major online retailers, citing Echinacea and Devil's Claw in particular, and the marketing of health products that make illegal medicinal claims or are inappropriately labelled for the UK market.  Graham Keen, Executive Director of the HFMA said: 'This is a very positive outcome which takes us another step towards ensuring safe and regulated natural health products for UK consumers, and we thank the MHRA for decisive response to this problem.  It is also a very real and detrimental commercial issue for our members who invest heavily in producing products that meet all regulatory requirements.  We will remain vigilant and continue to protect the interest of responsible retailers, who are producing high quality products.'

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Rhodiola Study

Monday, 4 April 2016 12:30:02 Europe/London

Rhodiola Rosea

A new study carried out in the UK has found that supplementation with Rhodiola Rosea extract for 14 days may provide a significant improvement in various aspects of mood.

The study was carried out on 81 students reporting mild anxiety who received two 200mg doses of Rhodiola Rosea extract or no treatment. The students receiving the Rhodiola reported a significant reduction in anxiety, stress, anger, confusion and depression.

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Ubiquinol Q10 for anyone who takes Statins

Saturday, 16 January 2016 12:47:18 Europe/London

The supplement to take if on Statins. Statins deplete stores of CoQ10 in the body. Essential for energy.

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Turmeric boosts regeneration of brain stem cells

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 16:15:24 Europe/London

The story on Turmeric keeps getting better.  Already exciting clinicians because it contains curcumin, now scientists in Germany have found its other main bioactive compound promotes stem cell proliferation and differentiation in the brain.


The researchers found positive effects both in vitro and in vivo (rats).  In the open access journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy, they suggest the findings are strong enough to make aromatic turmerone a "drug candidate" for treating Alzheimer's, stroke and other neurological disorders.


The study looked at the effects of aromatic turmerone on endogenous neutral stem cells (NSC), which are stem cells found within adult brains.  NSC differentiate into neurons and play an important role in self-repair and recovery of brain function in neurodegenerative diseases.


Previous studies of ar-turmerone have shown that the compound can block activation of microglia cells.  When activated, these cells cause neuroinflammation, which is associated with different neurological disorders.  However, ar-turmerone's impact on the brain's capacity to self-repair was unknown.


Researchers from the institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Julich, Germany, found that at certain concentrations, ar-turmerone increased stem cell proliferation by up to 80%, without having any impact on cell death.  The cell differentiation process also accelerated.  In adult rats injected with ar-turmerone, imaging showed growth in two regions of the brain where neurogenesis, the growth of neurons, is known to occur.



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Pycnogenol Cuts Severity of Colds

Monday, 2 March 2015 15:57:46 Europe/London


New research shows that the pine bark extract Pycnogenol significantly shortens the duration of the common cold and reduces the severity of sore throats, congestion, headache, coughs and sneezing.

The peer-reviewed study, conducted at Chieti-Pescara University, Italy, included 146 participants aged between 25-65, all of whom were generally in good health, and none of whom suffered from prior respiratory illnesses or had received a flue vaccination in the three months prior to study.

At first symptom, 70 participants took Pycnogenol 50mg twice daily as well as their preferred 'best management', while 76 relied on best management alone.

Within four days of the first symptom, supplementation with Pycnogenol was shown to reduce the number of affected days (3.1 Pycnogenol vs. 4.2 control), reduce the number of lost work days (0.55 Pycnogenol vs. 0.67 control), reduce demand for additional treatments, and signifcantly prevent complications and extensions.


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Thursday, 27 November 2014 11:34:27 Europe/London

It has been known for a while that beetroot provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular-protective properties, resulting in improved circulation and reduced blood pressure but now, more recent studies have shown that it is also rich in fibre, aiding bowel function and that it can help to lower cholesterol levels.

Research from the University of Exeter has also shown that beetroot, when consumed before exercise, increases blood flow and oxygen supply to muscles.  This has a beneficial impact on strength, stamina and endurance and the efficiency with which muscles work is improved as well.


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Thursday, 27 November 2014 11:19:37 Europe/London

Omega-3 supplements can help smokers quit the habit, according to research. Taking the fatty acid reduces the craving for nicotine, scientists found. Smokers who were given omega-3 capsules every day for a month cut their cigarette consumption by 11 per cent compared to those given dummy pills.

Dr Sharon Rabinovitz Shenkar, of the University of Haifa, Israel, who carried out the research said:

‘The substances and medications used currently to help people reduce and quit smoking are not very effective and cause adverse effects that are not easy to cope with. The findings of this study indicated that omega-3, an inexpensive and easily available dietary supplement with almost no side effects, reduces smoking significantly.’

Cigarette smoking is known to reduce the levels of essential fatty acids in the brain, especially that of omega-3.

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Thursday, 10 April 2014 16:51:51 Europe/London

Quest Vitamins Biotix range are created in-house and Quest grow their own bacteria, supervise the strains, and formulate the products.  It is a totally controlled, stringent process in a pristine environment.  Nothing is bought in and nothing is farmed out.

There are six world-class probiotics individually formulated for specific conditions:  ImmunBiotix, CranBiotix, TumBiotix, KidzBiotix, LactaseBiotix and Mega8Biotix.

Each of these have a new Delayed-Released Solution DRcaps which is the next evolution for probiotic supplements.  By staying closed in the stomach, acid-resistant DRcaps protect the senstivie probiotic bacteria contained in the capsule from the gastic environment.  They open and release the probiotic bacteria directly in to the gut, where they can healthily colonise and deliver efficacious benefits to the user.

LactaseBiotix - to improve lactose digestion.  Packed with billions of friendly bacteria to protect the gut, it's a boon for those who are lactose intolerant.

TumBiotix helps people with irritable bowel syndrome.

Immunbiotix is a wonderful recipe of ingredients including zinc, beta glucans, selenium, Vitamin D3, copper, aged garlic and probiotics.  These create a powerful immune-supporting tool that has a scientifically-proven positive interaction with immune cells and compounds in the body.  Immunbiotix can even help prevent cold sores, as proven by Toni Hibbert, Marketing Manager of Quest Vitamins.

Quest Biotix are a fantastic range of products, designed to help you live life to the full.


Helen Pollard


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Thursday, 10 April 2014 15:27:26 Europe/London



Bio-Strath, the old favourite of health food stores, sold as a vitality tonic, may also help with bone strength, especially in the elderly.


An in vitro study carried out by Dr. Monica Monici at the University of Florence has demonstrated that the Swiss herbal supplement has a positive effect on bone-building.


Osteoblasts (cells responsible for bone production) showed increased proliferation during the study while rogue osteoblasts, which effect the breakdown of bone, were reduced.


This development is particularly important for post-menopausal women who are vulnerable to bone degeneration.





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Dr. Huschka Rose Day Cream

Friday, 21 February 2014 12:32:44 Europe/London

Did you know that Dr.Hauschka Rose Day Cream contains 1,072 rose petals in every tube?  All these petals create the unmistakable Rose Day Cream dewy-fresh complexion.



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Oily fish once a week halves rheumatoid arthritis risk

Monday, 11 November 2013 15:51:47 Europe/London

A weekly serving of oily fish can halve the risk of developing rheumatoid arhtritis, according to a study.


Fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel and herring that are high in omega-3 fatty acids appear to offer the best protection if eaten weekly for a decade, Swedish scientists found.


Four servings  a week of leaner fish, such as cod, plaice and haddock, have a similar effect.


Oily fish have previously been shown to protect against heart disease and stroke.  Eating more than one serving did not seem to reduce the risk much further, according to the study, which supports NHS advice to eat fish - including one serving of oily fish - at least twice a week.


Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm used data on 32,000 women whose diet was assessed in 1987 and again in 1997.  By 2010, 205 had developed rheumatoid arthritis, a condition characterised by pain and swelling in the joints caused by a faulty immune response. 


Researchers believe that omega-3 oils reduce the joint inflammation that can make life a misery for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, of whom there are hundreds of thousands in Britain.


Long-term consistently high intake in both 1987 and 1997 of more than 0.21 grams a day was associated with a 52 per cent decrease in risk of rheumatoid arthritis, the scientists wrote in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.


Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, said, "This study suggests that by taking high level of fish oils it can prevent inflammation from starting.  One of the challenges is that this can mean quite substantial changes in people's diets."




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Lose weight now with Quest Green Coffee Bean Extract

Friday, 21 June 2013 10:37:44 Europe/London

What Are Green Coffee Beans?

growing green coffee beans

Green coffee beans are the green seeds inside coffee berries. The coffee berries actually look very much like cherries. So, green coffee beans come from these red coffee berries, which in turn come from the coffee tree plant.

Where Are Green Coffee Beans Grown?

Brazil is the world leader in green coffee production, followed by Vietnam, Indonesia and Columbia. Arabica coffee beans are grown in Latin America, Africa, Arabia and Asia. Robusta coffee beans are grown in Africa. Coffee cultivation takes place largely in and around the area of the equator. Coffee is cultivated in over 70 countries, beginning in Ethiopia in the 15th century.

How Green Coffee Beans Are Harvested

The coffee beans are usually picked by hand, but sometimes by machine. The redder and riper the coffee berry, the better the taste so the red and ripe coffee berries are set aside for the higher quality coffees. Once the berries are picked, the seeds are removed. Dry processing involves using the heat of the sun to dry the fruit at which point the seed can be easily removed. After the drying process, the coffee beans are completely cleaned of fruit residue and then, in most cases, prepared for roasting. But, green coffee extract is derived from coffee beans that have not yet gone to the roasting process.

Wet processing is a different process, which produces a milder coffee and is much less environmentally friendly. Wet processing uses large amounts of water, which in turn produces a large amount of wastewater.

The Green Coffee Bean Extract Study for Weight Loss

green coffee beans

A study by Dr. Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton in Scranton, PA investigated the weight loss potential of green coffee bean extract. Study participants did not change their diets or exercise habits. This was a double-blind placebo study meaning the researchers and participants were unaware which participants were getting the green coffee extract and which were getting the placebo. The study involved 16 participants and lasted 22 weeks. In every instance, the participants getting the green coffee extract lost weight. They lost an average of 17 pounds over 22 weeks with no negative side effects reported.

The green coffee bean extract used in the study had less than 55 mg of caffeine, which is lower than the 100 mg of caffeine in the typical cup of coffee which most of us drink daily.

Dr. Vinson is planning a larger study to confirm these results.

The interest in the health benefits and weight loss benefits of green coffee is a recent phenomenon.

Try Quest Green Coffee Bean Extract from Quickvit -

* Low in caffeine, containing less than 2%
* Standardised to guarantee potency of active compounds
* Contains all naturally occurring phytonutrients
* Suitable for vegetarians and vegans

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Men’s health: 12 supplements you could be taking

Tuesday, 18 June 2013 17:47:46 Europe/London

As research shows that multivitamins reduce a man’s risk of cancer, a nutrition expert reveals his key nutrients

Millions of us buy vitamins in the hope of protecting our health, and this week a new study showed that regularly taking a daily multivitamin cuts a man’s chances of developing cancer.

Almost 15,000 male doctors took part in the trial by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School. Participants were followed for an average of 11.2 years and analysis of the study results, published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that taking a daily, low-dose multivitamin for a decade or more reduces cancer incidence in men (including colorectal, lung and bladder cancer) by 8 per cent.

Researchers say that the benefits in this study appear to come from taking a combination supplement. This underlines the synergistic relationship between the nutrients; their collective interplay is a factor that is often overlooked. The study focused on men, who in my experience are more likely to neglect their diet and health and who will gain the most from taking a multivitamin.

When shopping for supplements, you get what you pay for.

Just buy the most expensive one you can afford. The absorbability rate (and therefore, the health benefits) are better for compounds that cost more.

A good diet, topped up with a good-quality, low-dose daily multi-vitamin, is key to good health. But I believe there are 12 additional nutrients that have a particular relevance for male health and may reduce the risk of health issues that are most likely to affect men; stroke, prostate problems, cardiovascular disease and infertility.


Dutch studies showed a 74 per cent increase in the sperm count of men taking 66mg of zinc sulphate for six months. Similar results were identified in both fertile and sub-fertile men, and zinc was also found to help with an enlarged prostate at similar doses. This is getting towards the upper limit of safe zinc supplementation; check the dose you are already receiving from your daily multivitamin and reduce additional supplementation accordingly. Food sources include oysters, eggs, liver, seaweed, beans and peas.

Red rice yeast

As one in five men die of cardiovascular disease, keeping cholesterol in check is important. Red rice yeast acts to reduce both total cholesterol levels as well as that of low density lipoprotein (LDL), the ‘bad’ type of cholesterol. A French study published in April showed a 21 per cent reduction of LDL and a 14 per cent reduction in total cholesterol after taking red rice yeast for 16 weeks. Take a 600mg capsule daily. If you are already taking statins, check with your GP before supplementing with Red Yeast Rice.


Chromium is an important component in managing blood glucose levels, which can affect weight and energy. Chromium is found in raw onion, tomato, black pepper, brewers yeast and liver. There is some evidence that chromium taken daily can enhance insulin sensitivity, which helps control appetite, weight and energy. Chromium in high doses can be toxic and I recommend an upper daily limit of 50mcg when taken in isolation.

B Complex

Raised levels of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood have been associated with strokes and heart attacks as it is can inhibit the formation (and therefore repair) of arteries. Raised levels are linked to deficiencies of vitamins B6, B12 and folate. B vitamins are found in poultry, chickpeas, wholegrains and spinach.  B complex will also contain B2, which naturally turns urine bright yellow.

Saw Palmetto

Also known as serenoa, saw palmetto is derived from a specific variety of palm and is marketed as a supplement to reduce enlargement of the prostate.  Helpful for nocturnal urination. It can take three months for the effects to be noticed.

Olive leaf extract

Olive leaf extract (which isn’t found in olive oil) appears to have several benefits. An Indonesian study published last year found that 500mg twice a day reduced blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic) as well as reducing overall triglycerides. It can also stimulate white-blood-cell activity and therefore is useful in combating the common cold.

Especially potent when combined with 15mg zinc twice daily.


Found in peppers and spicy food, capsaicin has several potential benefits for men. There is a link between the intake of capsaicin and an increase in nitric oxide, a substance that encourages dilation of the arteries, which enhances blood flow. Nitric oxide can also be enhanced by drinking beetroot juice, but for those that find this unpalatable, a daily 500mg capsule of capsaicin might be a preferable route to increased blood flow.


Beneficial bacteria have a multitude of functions, including combating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, enhancing synthesis of vitamin K and some B vitamins as well as reducing the ill-effects of unwanted bacteria. Bloating and flatulence can be reduced by beneficial bacteria too. Look for capsules containing lactobacillus and bifidobacterium and take one daily. Probiotics are also found in live yogurt.


Men require 25 per cent more of this mineral than women. Research shows that selenium helps to support liver function and is an essential component of glutathione perioxidase, a potent antioxidant. Found in offal, herring, Brazil nuts and mushrooms, although levels of selenium in food vary according to the concentration in the soil in which produce was grown or animals grazed.

Do not take more than 200ug daily as selenium in high doses can be toxic and check other supplements, in particular multivitamins and antioxidant complex, to ensure you do not exceed the safe upper limit.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption and is useful for maintaining bone density. It also combats raised blood pressure, as well as reducing the risk of some types of cancer, especially colorectal cancer — the third most common cancer in men (after prostate and lung cancer). Vitamin D can be obtained from food sources such as oily fish, soya and shiitake mushrooms. Supplement no more than 1000iu daily in total.


A study at Harvard University concluded that just 6mg of lutein a day could result in a 40 per cent reduction in the risk of developing macular degeneration, an age-related disease of the retina. Like all carotenoids, lutein is fat soluble so take with a meal containing a little fat to ensure absorption.


There are several types of ginseng although studies suggest that Panax ginseng (also known as Asian ginseng) can boost energy levels. Research conducted in 2010 suggests that ginseng may reduce inflammation as well as inhibit some cancer cells. When supplementing, look for those that include ginseng from the root, most often found in capsules offering 500mg. As Panax can stimulate the central nervous system it is best not to take it conjunction with medications or late at night.



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Monday, 3 June 2013 14:04:38 Europe/London

According to new American research, consuming a can of diet fizzy drink every day can almost double the risk of a heart attack.


The finding say that people who drink carbonbated diet soft drinks regularly are 43% more likely to experience heart attacks, stroke and vascular disease.


Dr. Hannah Gardener, who led the research, said:


"Our results suggest a potential association between daily diet soft drink consumoption and vascular outcomes."

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Hope For TB Sufferers

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 17:38:56 Europe/London

Vitamin C kills drug-resistant TB in lab tests

The following is by

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Courgette and Almond Soup with Udo's Oil

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 11:48:45 Europe/London

Courgette and Almond Soup with Udo’s Oil


  • 2 tablespoons of Udo’s Choice® Ultimate Oil Blend
  • 400g Courgettes
  • 25g Butter
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 Medium Potato
  • 900ml Chicken Stock (Homemade if possible) (vegetarians can use vegetable stock)
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • 50g Ground Almonds
  • 50g Flaked Almonds, Lightly Toasted
  • 1 tablespoon of Whipped Cream  (soya cream works just as well!)


Serves 4


Melt the butter. Chop the onion and potato and toss into the butter. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cover and cook until soft. Grate the courgettes on a course grater and add to the pot. Add stock and bring to the boil until the vegetables are soft. Purée the soup in a liquidizer and add the ground almonds.

To toast the almonds: Place them on a baking sheet and toast lightly under the grill.

To serve: Pour into serving bowls and spoon cream on top. Drizzle the Udo’s Oil over the top and garnish with toasted almonds.



Udo's Choice Ultimate Oil Blend - The ultimate source of omega 3, 6 & 9 and the UK's market leading nutritional oil blend is recommended by two of the UK's most recognised nutritionists, Dr Gillian McKeith in her 14 day detox diet and Patrick Holford in his new book, The Holford Diet.

Udo's Choice delivers a balanced 2:1:1 ratio of the essential fatty acids (EFAs) omega 3 and 6, and the beneficial fatty acid omega 9. It is a unique blend of certified organic flax, sunflower, coconut and sesame oils, with unrefined oils from the germs of rice and oats, evening primrose oil and non GM lecithin.

What a fantastic way to benefit from Udo's Choice Ultimate Oil Blend - a lovely nutritional soup to help keep you warm these cold days!!


Helen Pollard





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News from Quest

Wednesday, 6 February 2013 16:41:16 Europe/London



What are the advantages of an aged garlic extract?


Kyolic Garlic aged extract is matured over a period of 20 months to convert the allicin content into a cascade o fwater soluble sulphur compounds, such as S-allyl-cysteine and S-allyl-mercaptocysteine which have been shown to have cardio-protective and mmmune supporting properties.


Allicin is a transient harsh and unstable compound which is responsible for the characteristic garlic odour.


Studies suggest that allicin is not absorbed into the bloodstream and therefore cannot exert the same benefits as the compounds it is converted into through the aging process.





Scientists from the University of Ulm in Germany have found the serum-concentration of antioxidant nutrients Vitamin C and beta-carotene was significantly lower in patients with mild dementia than in a control group.


They looked at the differences between people with mild Alzheimer's disease and healthy subjects.  The participants, aged between 65 and 90, underwent neuropsychological testing, had their blood examined and their body mass index calculated and answered questions about their lifestyle.


Alzheimer's disease symptoms include cognitive decline, forgetfulness, lack of orientation.  These are caused by alterations in the brain.  However, oxidative stress is also suspected to promote the development of the disease which prompted scientists to investigate whether antioxidants might protect againsy neuro-degeneration.

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Tips for looking after colour-treated hair

Thursday, 31 January 2013 12:11:59 Europe/London

Mad Men actress January Jones has revealed dyeing has resulted in hair loss. A haircare expert shares top tips for beautifully coloured locks.


It seems Hollywood actresses aren’t immune to beauty blunders after all. January Jones has revealed that her usually-immaculate locks are coming under the strain of regular colouring and she's suffering from hair loss.

The Mad Men star, 35, admitted that thanks to changing her hair colour so often, it’s begun to shed in clumps.

January Jones, seen here at the SAG Awards, has said her hair has started to fall out.  


To care for coloured hair, to prevent hair loss and keep strands healthy and strong, follow these tips:


1.    Don’t overprocess the hair. If only your roots need colouring, then only apply the colour to this area. Colouring all of your hair every time your roots start to show will not only dry out and weaken the hair but will also result in a very uneven colour.

2.       Use a less chemical colourant to help reduce the damage dye can cause to the hair, which can make it look dry and lacklustre. Opt for natural-based hair dyes and pay attention to the ingredients.  Herbatint has a good range of herbal hair colours, permanent and semi-permanent.

3.       Coloured hair requires extra conditioning as the cuticles are lifted during the colouring process which can make the hair fragile. Invest in good quality after-care products that are specifically designed for coloured hair to help close down the cuticles and maintain condition and tone.


4.       Regular trims are as important as conditioning to prevent split ends, which can be accelerated by colouring. Equally, by ensuring your hair is free of split ends, when you do colour the hair, you can achieve a more even coverage.

5.       Remember that hair is as prone to sun damage as your skin so if you go on holiday take extra protection for your hair in the form a good conditioner.  as it includes sunflower extracts which provide natural UV protection.


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Tuesday, 29 January 2013 10:20:19 Europe/London


Reports suggest, among other things, that children are not drinking enough cow's milk (model pic)





BAD diets are putting children’s health at risk because they are not getting enough vitamin D.

Researchers have found that children are not drinking enough cows’ milk or taking a daily supplement.

Regular exposure to the sun would provide 90 per cent of our vitamin D but a sunny day in winter does not give us enough. So the research says diet is the key for children.

Paediatrician Dr Jonathon Maguire, of St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada, said: “When it comes to maintaining sufficient vitamin D in young children, the story is about dietary intake of vitamin D through supplementation and cows’ milk.”

When it comes to maintaining sufficient vitamin D in young children, the story is about dietary intake of vitamin D through supplementation and cows’ milk

Paediatrician Dr Jonathon Maguire, of St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada


Lack of vitamin D – also found in fish and eggs – can lead to rickets, asthma and risk of heart attack in later life.

The research is published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

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Vitamin B3 'helps kill superbugs'

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:43:11 Europe/London

Vitamin B3 could be the new weapon in the fight against superbugs such as MRSA, researchers have suggested.

US experts found B3, also known as nicotinamide, boosts the ability of immune cells to kill Staphylococcus bacteria.

B3 increases the numbers and efficacy of neutrophils, white blood cells that can kill and eat harmful bugs.

The study, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, could lead to a "major change in treatment", a UK expert said.

B3 was tested on Staphylococcal infections, such as the potentially fatal MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

Such infections are found in hospitals and nursing homes, but are also on the rise in prisons, the military and among athletes.

The scientists used extremely high doses of B3 - far higher than that obtained from dietary sources - in their tests, carried out both on animals and on human blood.

Start Quote

I cannot see why this couldn't be used straight away in infected patients”

End Quote Prof Mark Enright, University of Bath

And the researchers say there is as yet no evidence that dietary B3 or supplements could prevent or treat bacterial infections.

The researchers say B3 appears to be able to "turn on" certain antimicrobial genes, boosting the immune cells' killing power.

Prof Adrian Gombart, of Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute, who worked on the research, said: "This is potentially very significant, although we still need to do human studies.

"Antibiotics are wonder drugs, but they face increasing problems with resistance by various types of bacteria, especially Staphylococcus aureus.

"This could give us a new way to treat Staph infections that can be deadly, and might be used in combination with current antibiotics.

"It's a way to tap into the power of the innate immune system and stimulate it to provide a more powerful and natural immune response."

Prof Mark Enright, of the University of Bath, said: "Neutrophils are really the front line against infections in the blood and the use of nicotinamide seems safe at this dose to use in patients as it is already licensed for use.

"This could cause a major change in treatment for infections alongside conventional antibiotics to help bolster patients immune system.

"I would like to see in patient clinical trials but cannot see why this couldn't be used straight away in infected patients."


Helen Pollard

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Natural Holiday Essentials

Monday, 16 July 2012 17:03:35 Europe/London



It’s so easy to go abroad nowadays, isn’t it?  Well, apart from packing, obviously, which can be extremely traumatic (or is that just me?)!  What has never been so easy, until now, is to go prepared naturally.  Yes, I’m talking dodgy tummies, sunburn, too much local wine and beer, insect bites and jet lag.  All these ailments, sent to ruin your holiday, can be remedied naturally by visiting quickvit.co.uk

DiarSafe is the natural alternative to Imodium, useful for that bout of diarrhoea that always rears its ugly head as I am about to go on the four-hour coach trip – it seemed such a good idea at the time! 

How can I be sunburnt?  I wasn’t out in it long enough, was I?  To be honest I can’t remember because I’ve drunk so much wine.  Never mind, I’ve brought my aloe vera gel with me for the sunburn and my milk thistle extract to detox and regenerate my liver.  I’ll be able to repeat the whole experience again tomorrow after a good night’s sleep.  Yes, I will get a good night’s sleep because I am patched up.  I am wearing my insect repellant patch.  A lot less painful than a tattoo and it is perfectly possible to make a feature of it if you are handy with a biro. 

Jet lag – no thank you, I’m taking Asphallia the minute I get back.  Enjoy your holiday, I’m going to enjoy mine.


Helen Pollard



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Do probiotics make us sexier?

Thursday, 24 May 2012 15:43:42 Europe/London

Hi everyone,

Received the following from the Optibac Probiotics team.  All of us here at Quickvit found it extremely funny and hope you do too!!


Needless to say, we are all continuing taking probiotics and wondering how rough we would look if we hadn't done so for the last few years!

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Stick to a training plan, drink protein shakes and neglect the housework! How Nell McAndrew went from amateur jogger to top marathon runner


Claire Hallissey may have run herself into the GB Olympic team in Sunday's London Marathon but another woman also achieved an impressive feat of endurance.

Nell McAndrew improved her personal best by 14 minutes and smashed the three hour barrier to finish in a time of two hours and 54 minutes.

The 38-year-old burst into tears when she crossed the line and said she was delighted to finish comfortably under three hours when she spoke to the Mail Online today.

Nell McAndrew smashed her pb to run the London Marathon in under three hours

Queen of the road: Nell McAndrew smashed her pb to run the London Marathon in under three hours

'It feels amazing to have broken the three hour barrier,' she said. 'It has taken a couple of days to sink in I think. I felt really comfortable most of the run. I am the fittest I have ever been.'

The model was the first celebrity across the line on Sunday beating former Olympians like rower James Cracknell, as well as hundreds of dedicated club athletes.




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Risk of Breast Cancer is reduced through Calcium and Vitamin D

Monday, 30 April 2012 13:39:57 Europe/London

A new study has found that taking a combination of calcium and vitamin D supplements can significantly lower a woman's risk of cancer in general - and specificlly breast cancer.


Mark J Bolland from the University of Aukland analysed data from the American Women's Health Study.  In this study, more than 36,000 women were given either placebos or 1,000mg of calcium and 400iu of vitamin D - a very modest amount of the vitamin by today's standards.

Women taking the combination of supplements had a 14 per cent lower risk of cancers.  Strikingly they had an 18 per cent lower risk of breast cancer and a 20 per cent lower risk of invasive breast cancer.

Ref:  Bolland MJ, Grey A. Gamble GD, et al. Calcium and vitamin D supplements and health outcomes: a reanalysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) limited-access data set. American Journal of Clinica Nutrition, 2011;92: 1144-1149.

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The Grim Reaper

Friday, 6 April 2012 17:30:45 Europe/London


In Sydney, Australia, a group of doctors and researchers working in geriatric medicine decided to see if they could work out how fast the Grim Reaper walks . . .

Bear with me: they had a valid aim, however morbid it may seem.

The study, in collaboration with the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project (CHAMP), probed the link between walking speed and mortality in elderly men, humorously supposing that the Grim Reaper has a maximum walking speed and if one was able to walk faster than him (assuming that the Grim Reaper is male), you will be able to outrun death.

The study involved 1705 men aged 70 or more, living in Sydney. Walking speed is commonly used as a measure of physical ability in older people, and in previous studies, has been shown to predict the likelihood of survival, appearing to be consistent across several ethnic groups.

How fast do you need to walk?

Previous research found that there was an association between slow walking speed and death – but a definite biological relationship between the two remains unclear.

The cheery proposition of this study is that the Grim Reaper walks at a preferred speed of 2 miles or about 3 km per hour (under working conditions – they accept that he may alter speed in his leisure hours…). Men who can walk faster than this will leave the Grim Reaper in their wake (oh dear, no pun intended).

The men were timed walking a distance of 6 metres and the fastest time from two trials was used. The test was repeated at 4-monthly intervals over a period of five years.

Those who were able to walk faster than 2 miles per hour were 23% less likely to die than those who couldn’t attain that speed. None of the men in the study who could walk 3 miles per hour died during the study, so this would appear to be the Grim Reaper’s most likely maximum speed.

As the researchers point out, 2 miles per hour is the walking speed associated with average life expectancy at most ages and for both sexes across diverse populations, so this assessment of the Grim Reaper’s gait seems likely to apply irrespective of geographical location, sex, or ethnic background.

What does this mean for me?

On a serious note, the researchers conclude that there is indeed a strong link between walking speed and how long you live, and that measuring how fast one walks could be a good way of identifying individuals at higher risk of death, who may benefit from preventative interventions such as health promotional activities.

They hope that the knowledge that one can outstrip the speed of the Grim Reaper will motivate older men to be more active and partake in physical activities.

For those of us wishing to show the Grim Reaper our heels, the following advice can be useful:

  • Gentle regular exercise is more likely to be adhered to than sudden or unrealistically energetic programmes, so commit to a daily 10-20 minute walk rather than taking up squash or vowing to run a marathon by the summer. Once you’re more mobile you may find other active pursuits opening up to you.
  • Joining a yoga or Pilates class can help with flexibility and reduce stiffness that may impede exercise plans.
  • Breathlessness can be due to low iron levels, so try an iron tonic such as Floradix if you’re a little pale and tired and breathless. (Check with your doctor for an iron test if your fatigue or breathlessness is more than slight.)
  • Keep your blood vessels elastic with plentiful supplies of bioflavonoids from apricots, blackcurrants, blueberries, cherries, citrus fruits, kiwis, grapes, mangos, prunes, raspberries, carrots, green peppers, onions (especially red), tomatoes, and buckwheat.
  • Reduce aches and pains in your newly active legs with Horse Chestnut preparations.
  • Consider using Ginkgo Biloba to improve your circulation and boost your blood flow.

Exercise with friends to increase your motivation and get the double benefit of social interaction

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Sleeping pill users 'up to five times more likely to die early'

Friday, 2 March 2012 09:25:20 Europe/London

If any further argument was needed for the benefits of herbal sleeping remedies, it would be the article in the Daily Mail stating that sleeping pill users weres up to five times more likely to die early.

Scary stuff.  Herbal remedies are non-addictive, safe and extremely effective. 



Helen Pollard



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Musseltone Gel with Glucosamine

Thursday, 3 November 2011 11:51:01 Europe/London

Still not had delivery of Optima Musseltone Gel with Glucosamine.  Been waiting about 3 months now.  Due in next week so really hoping that will happen.  Loads of patient customers, really appreciate that as we are helpless.

Only one manufacturer (Optima) and such a fantastic product for aches, pains etc. so really annoying that has been out of stock for so long.

We hold masses of stock but there was no way we could have had enough for this length of time.

So thank you to all the people waiting and hope to have good news very soon.

Helen Pollard

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Eye Logic dry eye spray

Friday, 25 March 2011 12:20:04 Europe/London

Just working on our site and can't believe how much Eye Logic dry eye spray we are selling.  Mind you, it's a fantastic product and there's nothing to beat it.  Optrex have tried to copy it but it's much dearer so what was the point?

Hope you are all enjoying the sunny days.  I've been taking Solgar Vitamin D all winter and I've just found out that it has been the darkest winter since time began (well, since records began!) here in the south east so thank goodness I did.  Vitamin D really deserves its title "the Sunshine Vitamin" as it definitely keeps you cheerful during the winter months.

Helen Pollard

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Healthy Heart

Thursday, 24 February 2011 13:31:11 Europe/London

Now all the excitement of Valentines Day is over, it's the time to start thinking about the health of your heart rather than the emotional state of it.  That's not to say the emotional part is not important.  How awful is it on Valentines Day to find out the bloke you fancy, or your partner, has either sent a card to someone else or just not bothered?  It's really annoying (to put it nicely!).

In a way, it's easier to look after the health of your heart rather than the emotional side of it.  We can't do anything about the fact that someone hasn't sent a card or flowers but we can take control of the health of our hearts by eating well, drinking in moderation (I love the organic wines we sell in our shop!) and taking exercise.

Helen Pollard

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Monday, 31 January 2011 15:53:17 Europe/London

Just got back from skiing in Switzerland and managed to stay flu and virus free, before and after holiday, thanks to Immiflex and Echinaforce tincture.

Found Eye Logic eye spray invaluable too.  If you suffer from puffy eyes at altitude, or  because you have had a great night out, try Eye Logic - it really soothes the eyes and immediately starts working on reducing the puffiness.  I usually spend all week with puffy eyes (so not a good look) and it was lovely to look normal. 

The snow was fantastic too.

Helen Pollard

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