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Posts tagged: Immunity

Red Seal's Health Blog


6 reasons to take our Vita Fizz effervescent tablets

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It is so easy to understand the reason why effervescent tablets are becoming such a popular way to take a supplement. Pop the tablet into water, watch it dissolve and drink!

Why we love them:

  1. Our range does not contain aspartame, sulphites or artificial colours or flavours.
  2. Many people find swallowing tablets or capsules difficult and a chore, especially if they have swallowing problems or psychologically they just can’t get that thing down!
  3. Because it has already dissolved and in a liquid it is fast and easily absorbed without the stomach having to break down a tablet or capsule.
  4. Red Seal has a variety of effervescent tablets with mouth-watering natural flavours such as Wild Berry Magnesium, Orange & Mango Perform, Blackcurrant Immunity and Lemon Hydrate.
  5. Not just a supplement, it is a pleasant way to increase your fluid intake.
  6. Effervescent tablets are gentle on the digestive system as they are in a pH stomach friendly form, ideal for those with a sensitive stomach.

Best of all – Red Seal’s Vita Fizz tastes so great you will look forward to taking it every day. The question is with four new effervescent tablets; which one will you try first?

Vita Fizz Perform – is a blend of B vitamins, Vitamin C and essential minerals that help you maintain your energy throughout the day.

Vita Fizz Immunity – 1000 mg of Vitamin C with 200 mg Echinacea extract and zinc to help support your immune system when you need it most.

Vita Fizz Magnesium – 180 mg of elemental magnesium to help ease and soothe your body tension and help prepare you to relax.

Vita Fizz Hydrate – with all the essential electrolytes, this is ideal on a hot day or for those who need to recover after exercise or illness.

 

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet. Red Seal, Auckland.

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Top tips for a strong immunity – naturally!

 

As we approach the autumn and winter months, temperatures drop, nights get longer and winter ills and chills become rife.

Fundamentally we know that there are things that can help keep our immune system strong: A healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, plenty of Vitamin C, relaxation, hydration, exercise, a warm dry environment, lowered stress levels and a good mental attitude. But there are a few others that we can add to the list:

 

The Sunshine vitamin

Many people are shunning the sun due to fear of melanoma and as a result the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’, Vitamin D, has increasingly become a deficient in many people. The sun helps protect our immune system by stimulating the production of Vitamin D. Generally 5-15 minutes per day of sun exposure on bare skin will give us enough Vitamin D, but many people lose out on the benefits because of limited sun exposure, sunscreen, old age, or deeply pigmented skin.

Good levels of Vitamin D appear to support respiratory health and the body’s natural immune defences, as well as supporting cardiovascular and brain health, and easing joint stiffness.

  • Vitamin D absorption needs fats in your diet. So those people on fat reducing diets or taking medication that change their cholesterol levels may being impairing their Vitamin D levels.  
  • Help your Vitamin D levels by including nuts, avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds, egg yolk, trout, tuna, herring, and salmon into a meal, and consider taking Vitamin D supplement. Cod liver oil also helps with absorption.
  • If you think you are Vitamin D deficient a blood test can help determine your levels.

 

Our Internal Guardsmen  

The body system that controls about 70 per cent of our immune system often goes overlooked – it is our intestinal tract. The gut contains hundreds of different types of  bacteria; some of them do helpful things like break down carbohydrates in the intestine and produce infection-fighting antibodies and vitamins, while other destructive bacteria secrete toxins and promote disease.

In healthy guts the good bacteria outnumber the bad. When this is in balance, we are not even aware of the role that they do. However, when the bad outnumber the good we can have many health issues. There are two important things we need to help keep our intestinal tract robust: Prebiotics and Probiotics.

Prebiotics are like a fertilizer for the good bacteria to thrive upon. They are indigestible fibres that help to create a good environment in the gut and cleanse the body by helping keep our bowel motions regular. Found naturally in a number of foods; asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, beans, chickpeas, lentils and supplementary fibres such as psyllium, pectin, guar gum and slippery elm.

Probiotics: These bacteria are not just restricted to the intestinal tract but also populate the vagina, bladder, bowel, mouth and lungs. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most common probiotic bacteria and there are a number of strains in each of these families.

Our western modern diet has unfortunately managed to process out any naturally occurring beneficial bacteria in many foods, while at the same time feeding harmful bacteria with a feast of processed starches and sugars. In contrast most traditional cultures have some form of fermented food that keep our bacteria balanced. We need regular intake of these fermented foods to ensure the balance. These include yoghurts, Kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha tea and tempeh.

  • A recent course of antibiotics (or other medication), overseas travel, signs of digestive imbalance,  change of season are all good reasons to add fermented foods into your diet or take a multi-strain probiotic supplement.

 

The On/Off Switch

Proper sleep is fundamental to a healthy lifestyle. Sleep is like an on/off switch that helps us to reboot, rebuild and rebalance on a daily basis. When we fail to get enough good sleep our body is not able to function well and we have lowered overall immunity.

If you are not sleeping well or getting inadequate sleep then you have to ask why. Is your sleeping environment suitable? Are you drinking too much caffeine? Are you stressed?

Many people refuse to listen to their body, stop, rest and give time to recuperate while sick. Sleep loss not only plays a role in whether we come down with lurgies, it also influences how we fight illnesses once we come down with them. When we are not well, sleep is one of the best healing things we can do.

  • Make sure the room where you sleep is completely dark
  • Get to bed in plenty of time.
  • Have a bath before bed time
  • Listen to relaxing music or mediation to help you sleep
  • A magnesium supplement can help you relax and prepare for sleep
  • Herbs such as Passionflower, Valerian, Chamomile and Skullcap can help the body relax and prepare for sleep so make a good night tea before bed.
  • Tart Cherry can also help support production of our natural sleep hormones.
  • There are numerous medications that have side effects that include insomnia. So it is a good idea to check the side effects of your medication if you are having problems sleeping.

 

Power of Vitamin C

Let’s not forget the winter essential! Vitamin C is an important antioxidant for immunity.  It helps to strengthen the body’s defences against the dreaded winter sniffles and also helps with healing.

In the body, the antioxidant process is similar to stopping an apple from browning.  Once you cut an apple, it begins to brown, dip it in orange or lemon juice, which contains vitamin C, and is stays white!

  • Antioxidant rich foods are essential. Fruits & vegetables, whole grains and nuts
  • Keep a tub of chewable vitamin C’s in your cupboard and on your desk at work. This will ensure you’re getting your daily dose wherever you are.

  

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet. Red Seal, Auckland.

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The Sunshine Vitamin – are you getting enough?

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Most of us are now very aware of the damage the sun can cause and the days of sun baking and sun worship are gone. The nationalised program of “slip, slop, slap, wrap” to cover up with clothing, hats, sunscreen and sunglasses has become a national mantra to protect against sunburn. It is no surprise when New Zealand rates of melanoma are the highest in the world. Shunning the sun has meant many have taken a toll on their health without realising it. This combined with aspects such as an indoor lifestyle, increased age, increased weight, dark pigmented skin and dietary constraints such as avoiding dairy products, adhering to a strict vegan diet or those who are on cholesterol lowering medication impact the level of Vitamin D intake.  The “sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight, but it is also occurs naturally in a few foods – including some fish, (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel), fish liver oils, egg yolks, and fortified dairy.

Many people tested for Vitamin D levels show that they are below optimal levels.  Generally it is considered 5 to 15 minutes of daily summer sun exposure on bare skin on our arms and legs, to give us enough Vitamin D to help keep us healthy.

The symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency in adults include:

  • unexplained fatigue
  • severe bone or muscle pain
  • stress fractures, especially in the legs, pelvis, and hips

The change of season often means increased chances of winter bugs. Cold wet days of winter and end of summer for many of us means reduced outdoor time and decreased sunshine exposure.

It is not surprising with the change of season that more people come down with lurgies as the drop in this vitamin has been linked to a decrease in immune function. Vitamin D for many years has been one of those nutrients that have gone almost unnoticed by many because we make it naturally with sun exposure. Recent studies have shown there is a connection to this nutrient with supporting the immune system, mood balance, bone health and other serious illnesses.

Vitamin D is important for:

  • Normal growth and development of bones and teeth
  • Disease resistance
  • reducing risk of some serious illnesses.
  • reducing risk of ills and chills.
  • Supporting weight Management
  • Supporting balanced mood.
  • Bone strength and integrity
  • Healthy heart function and normal blood pressure
  • Joint mobility
  • Protective effect from some serious illnesses

Doctors can diagnose a Vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test. If you have had your Vitamin D levels tested, it’s important to understand what the results mean, and what action you might need to take. The results of the blood test can tell you whether you’re getting too little, too much or the right amount of vitamin D.

There has been some controversy over the amount of vitamin D needed for healthy functioning. Recent research indicates that you need more vitamin D than was once thought. Normal blood serum levels range from 50 to 100 micrograms per decilitre. Depending on your blood level, your Vitamin D intake needs may be increased.

Vitamin D blood levels  
0-10ng ml Deficiency – likely to have health problems
10-20 ng/ml Low levels
20-30 ng/ml Maybe enough
40-50 ng/ml Getting enough
50-60 ng/ml Good range/ normal
60-70 ng/ml High normal
80-90 ng/mg Higher than normal range
100 -150 ng/mg Not toxic but considered too high
<150 ng/mg Levels considered toxic and may be damaging to your health
   

 

If you feel you are lacking Vitamin D and are looking for a way to supplement it, consider adding Vitamin D rich foods into your diet, enjoy a few minutes of sunshine daily and look for supplements such as a multivitamin, Cod Liver oil and calcium products with it added.

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet. Endeavour Consumer Health, Auckland

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A summer boost

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Has the warmer weather caught you feeling sluggish rather than spirited? Life a bit stagnant or too stressful? Turbo-charge your health and vitality with an essential little mineral.

 

Zinc deficiency is very common and can cause a number of health issues. But there are plenty of warning signs. Here are the five main ones.

 

5 zinc-deficiency symptoms

  • Compromised immune system. Zinc is vital to a healthy body. If you frequently get sick, suffer from chronic allergies or generally have trouble with your immune system, you are potentially zinc-deficient.
  • Leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome is a condition in which proteins can leak through the gut and cause systemic inflammation. Leaky gut is also related to food allergies, thyroid problems and adrenal fatigue. Zinc has been shown to support healthy gut permeability.
  • The third indicator that you might be zinc deficient is if you suffer from loose bowels. Bowel disease or even gas and bloating are also signs that you are lacking in the essential mineral.
  • Thinning hair or hair loss. Lack of zinc is associated with hypothyroidism, a cause of thinning hair and alopecia. Zinc is necessary to support hair growth as well as your body’s growth, repair and healing processes.
  • Irritated skin issues. If you have any sort of skin issue or if your fingernails are thin and peeling with white spots, it can be another sign of zinc deficiency.

 

4 causes of zinc deficiency

It’s also important to understand what causes a zinc deficiency.

  • High levels of emotional stress are hazardous to your zinc levels. If you are emotionally stressed out, over time your body has to utilise zinc to heal and repair the body, brain, skin and organs.
  • No one doubts the benefits of exercise but if you work out a lot – especially if you do a lot of high-intensity training such as (HIIT) workouts or CrossFit workouts (or maybe even have worked out too much in the past), a zinc deficiency can be the result.
  • If you are pregnant and eating for two or breast-feeding, you can suffer from mineral deficiencies, including zinc. To ensure their fertility and long-term prostate health, men require zinc too.
  • Last but not least, those with digestive problems or eating disorders, those who are dieting and the elderly tend to have malabsorption problems, meaning they don’t absorb zinc well and tend to have deficiency symptoms.

 

Red Seal Zinc B6 & Magnesium tablets contain 9mg of zinc sulphate combined with magnesium and vitamin B6. These nutrients together are responsible for more than 500 enzyme complex processes essential for well-being.

 

Red Seal Zinc Complex is an easy one-a-day vege cap combining three forms of zinc – citrate, amino acid chelate and gluconate 15 mg with additional selenium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese to support healthy metabolism, nerves, energy production, cartilage and much more.

 

How to overcome zinc-deficiency symptoms

If you’re going to get more zinc in your diet, a few things need to happen. The most important is to consume more of the foods that are high in zinc. Pumpkin seeds and oysters are very high in zinc; another great form is grass-fed beef. Sprouted nuts and seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, almonds and peas are also good sources. Last but not least, you also need probiotics. Remember that it’s not just what you eat but what you digest. So getting more probiotic-rich foods in your diet and adding supplements can improve your overall absorption.

 

 

*Always read the label and only take supplements and herbs as directed and if you are taking any medication please check with your health adviser. Endeavour Consumer Health Ltd, Auckland

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Immunity support to help fight off the nasties

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It is good to know that you now get a great quality extra strength supplement support at your local supermarket at reasonable prices.

The Red Seal High Strength range is just a little different from the average supplements in the supermarket, with:

  • Easy to swallow capsules
  • Most in veggie caps and suitable for vegans
  • All high quality
  • Higher doses; for when you need it the most
  • A reassurance that they are New Zealand made
  • Most are One-a-day doses

 

Immune Defence -High Strength Immune Defence

The most complex system in the body is the immune system. It is constantly working to protect us from invaders day and night. With our busy lives, we are constantly surrounded by pathogens that test us. The immune system is only something we become aware of when there are chills and ills in the body, feeling tired,  a scratchy throat and blocked nose, or a feeling of a full scale war in our body. Traditionally herbs such as Echinacea, Garlic, Pau d’Arco, Elderberry and Andrographis have been used to help support the immune system for the upper respiratory tract. Immune Defence also combines Vitamin C, bioflavonoids and Zinc to enhance the herbal synergistic actions and further support the immune defences and recovery from those winter threats.

 

Multiple Good Guys -High Strength Probiotic 50 billion

Not all bacteria are bad! Some bacteria are there to help protect us, and they live inside us.   They boost our immune system, protect against disease and aid in the digestion of food. When antibiotics, stress, or infection create imbalance by killing off the healthy bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract, then it is more likely that harmful bacteria may overwhelm our system.  This can lead to poor overall health and a variety of developing health issues. What are these good guys?  Probiotics!

High Strength Probiotic 50 billion capsules are a high dose multi strain of eleven probiotics especially selected to be able to move through the high pH of the stomach and continue to the digestive tract, and other areas such as the vagina and urinary tract. Thus helping to repopulate and colonize healthy bacteria in the right areas. Many people notice that when the digestive system is working better, their sense of wellbeing and mood also improves.

Being shelf stable,High Strength Probiotic 50 billion is ideal if you are home or travelling as there is no need to refrigerate them. Ensure you are back to health by including a multi strain Probiotic daily.

 

Be Complex –High Strength Vitamin B

If you are feeling run down and fatigued B complex may be what you need. B vitamins have a number of different functions in the body. B’s are responsible for many aspects that contribute to our well-being; including energy conversion, cognitive function, mood, healthy hair, skin and nails, detoxification, cholesterol balance, digestion, hormonal, nervous and reproductive systems.

Being deficient in some B vitamins such as B12, or Folic acid can lead to some critical health conditions that can make you feel tired and worn out. Different types of vitamin B all come from various types of foods. Most are water-soluble and it is critical that we replenish our daily intake. B vitamins work as a family and are synergistic so best taken together as a group. Large doses of any one single B may have no therapeutic value, or worse, cause a deficiency in another B vitamin. It is recommended that B vitamins are taken in a “complex” form, or if a single B vitamin is taken for a boost, that it is accompanied by a B complex or multi vitamin supplement.

Certain health conditions can result in a poor absorption of B vitamins, a poor diet with a high intake of processed foods, sugar and alcohol will mean the body will have a greater need for B Vitamins. Taking oral contraceptives, antibiotics, and sleeping pills also increases the body’s demands of B vitamins. Certain population groups, such as older adults and pregnant women, need larger amounts of some types of vitamin B.

 

Supplementary to a balanced diet.  Always read the label.  Take only as directed.

Endeavour Consumer Health, Auckland.

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Natural Solutions for Your Daily Iron Needs

Women around the world are passionate about their Floradix. Beloved for its ability to prevent common iron deficiency symptoms that may occur as a result of growth spurts, monthly blood loss, pregnancy or digestive malabsorption, Floradix Formula Liquid Iron supports women throughout their lifetimes – before, during and after the childbearing years. For the thousands of women who find they are able to remain free from constipation commonly caused by iron supplementation, Floradix is the natural iron solution.

Are you low in iron?
Iron is one of the most common dietary deficiencies, affecting as many as 4-5 billion people or 66-80% of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organization.

Some of the symptoms of iron deficiency are:
* Fatigue and general lack of energy
* Decreased ability to concentrate
* Decreased endurance during exercise
* Increased frequency of infection
* Paleness and/or dark circles under the eyes
* Brittle hair and nails
* Cold hands and feet

Iron deficiency (pre-anemia) and anemia have also been linked to PMS, depression, decreased fertility and complications in pregnancy. An early diagnosis of pre-anemia can be achieved with a simple blood test called serum ferritin, allowing for easy correction and prevention of the progression of symptoms.

Floradix: A Quality Iron Supplement

Easy-to-digest liquid solution
The average person’s body will only dissolve and absorb 20% (3) of most solid supplements and will eliminate the remaining 80%, possibly causing side effects such as constipation, gas and bloating. Because Floradix is a liquid solution and does not need to dissolve, 98% (3) of the iron is available for quick potential absorption. As a matter of fact, Floradix was found in a recent study to be faster and more effective at bringing iron stores back to normal than iron from food (1), and can help women boost the average diet, which contains only 8-10mg/day, in order to meet the recommended daily iron intake of 18mg.

Highly absorbable iron compounds
Floradix boasts the highest possible iron absorption rate: up to 25% (4) is absorbed for potential utilization (that’s more than twice the absorption of other iron supplements or even dietary iron) due to its liquid format as well as the organically bound iron gluconate and co-factors. Better absorption means you don’t need to take as much. In a recent study, it was found that due to the high absorption rate of Floradix, very little unabsorbed iron enters into the intestinal tract and therefore constipation is unlikely to occur (5).

 

Safe, useable dosage
Because Floradix is so highly absorbable, the dosage can be much lower than other iron supplements while still satisfying daily supplemental iron requirements. As well, there is no risk of excess iron storage (2), making Floradix safe for long-term, daily use.

Iron for life
Iron is needed daily in order for your body to keep making new red blood cells, which transport oxygen and permit energy production. Vital for growth and optimal functioning, iron is required in varying amounts throughout the stages of your life. Research has shown that declining iron stores are responsible for numerous health concerns.

  • Decreased fertility has been linked to low iron stores (6).
  • Before and during pregnancy, low iron can be responsible for improper placenta development and occurrences of pre-term & low birth weight babies (7).
  • In infants & children, low iron can cause inadequate production of red blood cells needed for growth.
  • In toddlers & school-aged children, iron deficiency can cause poor learning, memory8 and behavioral problems as well as developmental delays (9).
  • From the ages of around 15 to 55, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy & lactation increase the need for iron.
  • In both men & women over 59, iron deficiency has become the most common deficiency due to the body’s decreased ability to absorb nutrients (2).
  • Athletes and those who exercise regularly lose iron through sweat & the digestive tract, putting them at risk for deficiency and decreased endurance.

What sets Floradix Formula Liquid Iron apart?

  • A highly soluble iron compound and special iron-fed yeast: Combined with B vitamins & vitamin C to provide the highest possible absorption rate.
  • Floravital (Yeast-Free) Iron Formula: Provides the same benefits and delicious taste as Floradix. Suitable for yeast- or gluten-free diets.
  • Safe, useable dosage: Satisfies daily supplemental iron needs and is safe for long-term supplementation as it does not encourage the storage of excess iron (2).
  • Easy-to-digest liquid solution: Allows for more contact with absorption sites and provides approximately 98% (3) absorption.
  • Great-tasting fruit juice base: pH-balanced with natural fruit juices.
  • Enhanced absorption: added digestive herbs and iron-rich whole food concentrates.
  • The Floravital formula is ideal for vegans
  • Certified Kosher
  • No harmful additives: No lead, pesticide residues, alcohol, preservatives or artificial colouring.

Also available in convenient Floradix Tablets.

References:

1. Evaluation of Iron Study, Part 1, Department of Gynaecological Endocrinology and Fertility Disorders Heidelberg Women’s University Clinic.

2. Maurice E. Shils, M.D., Sc.D. et al., eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease.9th ed. 1999, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: New York.

3. The Physician’s Desk Reference,p.1542.

4. Sebold M. et al, Scientific report of a clinical trial to asses the actual absorption and utilization of the iron compound present in the preparation of Floradix. First Medical Clinic of University of Munich, 1964.

5. Evaluation of Iron Study, Part 1, Department of Gynaecological Endocrinology and Fertility Disorders Heidelberg Women’s University Clinic.

6. Ferritin and Fertility, Lancet1991: 337: 1554.

7. Effects of early maternal iron stores on placental weight and structure, Lancet2000.

8. Lancet348:992-996.

9. Archives Disease in Childhood2001:84; 480-485.

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