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The Health Benefits of the Sea

Health article: Daily Mail

NailMax? contains a high strength, high quality seaweed that is renowned for helping to keep skin healthy.

The sea is an excellent source of nutrition. Believe it or not, half of seaweed is made up of carbohydrate and around one third is protein, vitamins and fibre. Even better, seaweed contains only two per cent of fat.

Seaweed is a form of marine algae that grows in the upper levels of the ocean. Out of the hundreds of types of seaweed available, there are around ten different kinds that we can actually eat.

And, according to naturopath Dr Gillian McKeith, author of Living Food for Health, plants from the sea contain more minerals than any other plant source. This is because they contain a variety of important elements. Typical ingredients are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium and many trace elements. In fact, one type of seaweed called Wakame contains ten times more calcium than the amount found in milk. There is eight times more iron in Kombu - a type of kelp - than beef.

In addition, Dr McKeith claims the protein in seaweed is more easily absorbed by the body than protein found in meat or fish. 'This is because protein in meat is a complex structure that the body finds difficult to break down,' she says. 'By comparison seaweed has a simple structure which the body can easily absorb.'

Not only this, but the alkaline content of seaweed makes our bodies less acidic. 'Too much acid in our bodies can make us slow and sluggish,' she says. But eating alkaline foods such as seaweed speeds up our metabolic rate and gives us more energy.'

Although it is possible to eat too much seaweed because it has a cooling effect on the liver, Dr McKeith recommends eating a small handful of seaweed sprinkled on soups or stews three times a week.

Kelp can also help with obesity linked to thyroid deficiency because it boosts levels of endocrine hormones, increasing metabolic rate, thus helping with weight loss. Kelp is also said to help with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema thanks to its anti-fungal properties.

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The yoghurt cure: Probiotics are good for our digestion. But they can also combat flu, allergies and bad breath

Health article: Daily Mail

NailMax? provides one billion probiotics that may help boost your body's immunity against yeast infections.

Research suggests that probiotics could have benefits that extend beyond the gut. Most of us know something about the good bacteria (probiotics) in our stomachs, thanks to advertising. Two million of us now consume them in the form of drinks, yoghurts, powders and capsules. Science has come to accept there is some truth in the enthusiastic claims made for probiotics that they help fight 'bad' bugs in your gut and improve intestinal health.

And now research suggests that probiotics could have benefits that extend beyond the gut, such as treating illnesses from type-1 diabetes to fibromyalgia. There is also interest in preliminary research suggesting that probiotics might even be able to enhance weight loss.

Scientists are developing specific probiotics to prevent dental cavities, probiotic lozenges for sore throats, probiotic nasal sprays and probiotic deodorant sticks that deal with the bacteria that cause body odour.

They're talking about probiotic vaccines to treat inflammatory diseases and probiotic cleaning products for the home.

In her new book, Good Gut Bugs, leading nutritionist Kathryn Marsden presents a comprehensive analysis of the science of gut bacteria and the latest thinking about using probiotics to treat a wide variety of illnesses - not just to boost general well-being.

With more than 20 years of experience in treating patients, she has devised a unique guide to probiotics and how to use them to treat your ailment.

So what are gut bacteria?

There are varying levels of bacteria living all over and in our bodies - mostly in our intestines. They are known as commensal bacteria, which under normal circumstances cause no harm. Some are useful (these are the good bugs) but others have the potential to be very harmful.

For example, the 'superbug' bacterium Clostridium difficile or the ulcer infector helicobacter pylori may live harmlessly within us, but can be the cause of serious illness if the gut environment gets out of balance and they multiply.

The good bacteria, sometimes called 'friendly flora', are on our side. These live micro-organisms improve the balance of the intestinal soup by depriving polluting and dangerous bacteria of food and inhibiting their growth.

Left to their own devices they aid digestion and the absorption of nutrients (basically determining how well-nourished we are). They also oil the wheels of peristalsis (the process by which food and wastes move through the system). They look after the mucus membranes in our body by stimulating the production of mucins (the proteins in mucus that lubricate and protect our 'inside' skin) and secreting nutrients that are used for tissue repair. And they improve the balance of friendly flora in the urogenital area, reducing the risk of bladder or vaginal infections.

Bugs in the bowel help in the production of B vitamins - vital for the efficient running of our nervous system. However, our natural probiotic levels are easily damaged by factors such as poor diet, stress, alcohol, hormonal fluctuations, cigarettes, surgery and drugs.

Once the critical balance of good bacteria is impaired, bad bacteria waste no time in grabbing any opportunity to take over.

Am I lacking good bacteria?

If you have a problem with body odour, suffer with bloating/noxious wind or are plagued by fungal infections, then your bad bacteria are very likely taking control.

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