Health MATTERS –  it doesn’t hurt to get a little support

I’ve been taking a veggie capsule called “BioSil” for almost a year which claims to promote healthy hair, skin & nails among other things (like bones & joints) and overall I have noticed an improvement especially in my hair and nail growth. BioSil is the only thing I can attribute this to.BioSil

I realize that this is beginning to sound like a testimonial more than a product review.  There is an active ingredient in the capsule that helps to generate collagen (collagen accounts for around 30% of the protein content of the human body) which diminishes significantly as we age.  In simple terms, collagen is considered to be the “glue” that holds the body together. Even so, I wasn’t actively looking for this, just noticed it on the vitamin shelf of a health food store and it looked worth giving a try.  Now I’m almost through my third bottle and will continue to take this supplement – because I’m crazy for keeping the glue together.

This from Preferred nutrition:

Molecular biologists have pinpointed the key structural protein integrally involved in creating smooth skin, thick strong hair, and strong nails. It’s your body’s beauty protein, collagen. Collagen is an essential building block of your body, making up 70% of your skin and 30% of your bones. During youth, you have a rich abundance of collagen, which arranges itself into a resilient and flexible “tight mesh” matrix . This “ideal” collagen condition prevents wrinkles from forming, gives skin elasticity and helps create thick and strong hair. But over the years, collagen diminishes and undergoes other changes.

For years, scientists searched for a method that would give the human body the ability to regenerate its own collagen. But it took the discovery of BioSil’s™ patented choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid (ch-OSA®), the active ingredient in BioSil™, to make genuine collagen regeneration a reality.

BioSil™ “turns on” the body’s actual collagen-generating cells, known as fibroblasts. Because BioSil™ works through your body’s natural pathways, the collagen it generates has your own DNA fingerprint. BioSil™ has been tested in rigorous double-blind placebo controlled trials which have consistently shown its safety and effectiveness for collagen regeneration and improved appearance of skin, hair and nails.

In one study, 50 women with sun damaged skin took BioSil™ or a placebo tablet for 20 weeks. At the end of the trial, women taking BioSil™ showed significant improvements in skin smoothness and strength, and in nail and hair strength.3 In yet another study, BioSil™ supplementation for nine months increased hair thickness, elasticity and strength in women with fine hair.4

Collagen: Generate It – Don’t Eat It

It’s important to note that BioSil™ is not made out of collagen. Instead it triggers the body to generate its own collagen. There’s a big difference. When you ingest collagen, the human body breaks it down and uses it as food. By contrast, BioSil’s™ patented ch-OSA complex is absorbed by the body, where it acts to promote the production of collagen, boosting your body’s collagen levels, and slowing the loss of this essential building block that occurs with age.  As a result, BioSil™ provides superior support for stronger, healthier and thicker hair; stronger nails; fewer fine lines and wrinkles and denser and more flexible bones.

Have you tried it?



health MATTERS – Diet RULES to flawless skin

flawless4We’ve all done it: overdosed on movie theater popcorn or pizza and woken up the next morning feeling bloated but what you don’t realize is that a sprinkling of pimples a few weeks later can be traced back to your onetime indiscretion. flawless2

Now, armed with new research on the biochemical processes of digestion, scientists, clinicians, and dermatologists are revisiting the idea that a healthy diet is the key to a glowing, acne-free complexion.  Save face by eating right. Here, experts tell us what foods to eat for a flawless visage.flawless3Be IN THE CLEAR:

Move over, MILK: the mix of growth hormones, proteins, and testosterone precursors like 5-alpha-androstanedione – the stuff that makes it an effective growth agent for babies – can tamper with adults’ hormone levels, which critics argue leads to acne and health problems like diabetes. The reason?  Milk bumps up cell proliferation and sebum production, resulting in clogged pores.  If you’re acne prone, Danby advises avoiding milk for at least six months, and trying unsweetened vitamin D – supplemented almond, rice, coconut, hemp or soy milks instead.  I prefer a mix of almond & coconut with granola/ cereal.

Skip Starchy Carbs: Refined carbs increase insulin secretion, which is thought to promote acne by helping testosterone clog pores and ramp up oil gland secretion.  An occasional croissant won’t hurt, but eat processed carbs daily and you’ll notice problems. So swap your lunchtime sandwich for a leafy green and lean protein.

Fill up on Fruit: Experts say that acne is a disease of post-industrial Westerners: In countries where natives eat just fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean proteins, it hardly exists, thanks in part to the population’s low levels of free radicals and high concentrations of antioxidants.  We’ve heard about the connection between free radicals and wrinkles, but a 2012 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that oxidative stress, or damaging cellular activity, in pores allows acne-causing bacteria to flourish.  When cravings hit, try eating produce and drink green tea for its free-radical busting polyphenols.

Go with your Gut: Your skin and digestive tract are linked, says cardiologist and cleanse expert Dr. Alejandro Junger, author of the best-selling book Clean; your facial skin merges with your lips and mouth, which connect the esophagus, stomach, and intestines.  “If you want beautiful skin,” says Junger, “you need a beautiful gut.” Take a probiotic daily to replenish healthy bacteria, like Lactobacillus acidophilus, or add natural sources, like tempeh, into your diet.

Get Fishy: The heart and brain health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acid DHA found in salmon, haddock, and sardines have gotten lots of attention.  But according to a study published in the journal of Lipids in Health and Disease, another fatty acid, EPA, seems to inhibit pro-inflammatory compounds, like prostaglandins, which can act as a “starter gun” for acne.  Aim for 6 ounces of fish a week, says naturopathic physician Dr. Alan Logan, co-author of Clear Skin Diet.

Credit: Joanne Chen for Marie Claire Beauty

beauty – the SKIN Commandments

Simply follow these 10 tenets and thou shalt possess healthy, smooth, glowing skin for life.
Images –

1) Thou Shalt Always Use Sunscreen (yes, even in winter).

Of all the skin sins, going out unprotected is the worst. UV rays cause 90 percent of wrinkles, sun spots and other signs of aging. And although face lotions with sunscreen ward off burning UVB rays, not all fully shield you from UVA, the deeply penetrating light that ages skin. What to look for: If your skin is sensitive, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are natural minerals with stellar UVA coverage; otherwise, you may want the longer-lasting protection of chemical-based SPF with UVA-blocking avobenzone or octocrylene.

2) Honor the Change of Seasons

Just as you swap sweaters for sundresses come summer, pull a switcheroo for skin care twice a year. What your complexion craves in warm weather (less oil! ample sunscreen!) is different from the TLC it requires in cooler temps.

A few months from now, dry winter air will rob moisture from your skin, says Marsha Gordon, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City for St. Ives. Stick with your daytime SPF-laced lotion, but also apply a rich cream or oil at night to keep skin soft & supple.

3) Leave no Skin Unbuffed

Your skin regenerates every 28 days on average, but this process slows down—even as early as your mid-20s,” says David Bank, M.D., a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York. Exfoliating removes dead cells lying on skin’s surface, revealing prettier skin.  For face Use a finely ground scrub or a chemical exfoliant (alpha hydroxy, lactic or glycolic acid) up to three times a week after cleansing, Dr. Bank suggests.

For body The skin here is thicker than that on your face & neck —which means it can handle more intense scrubbing. Smooth skin every other day with a salt- or sugar-based body polish; they’re grainy enough to soften your roughest parts.

4) Love Thy Skin in the A.M. & P.M.

Your anti-aging plan should be a twice-a-day habit, like brushing your teeth. A consistent routine gives you healthier, younger-looking skin not only now but in 10, 20, even 30 years, says Jeffrey Dover, M.D., coauthor of The Youth Equation (Wiley).  In the morning, use peptides, which lessen lines and improve texture (and won’t make skin sun-sensitive). Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum (approx. $25) is an inexpensive & apparently effective choice.

At night, reach for an over-the-counter retinol or prescription retinoid treatment to stimulate new collagen production and cell turnover and to lighten brown spots.

5) Give thy Body its Daily Moisturizer

The skin on your body has far fewer oil glands than your face (100 per ½-inch square versus 900), making it prone to flakes. Never miss a chance to hydrate.

A fast dry-skin fix Reach for a lotion with a gentle, low-dose chemical exfoliant such as lactic acid.  Your long-term supple-skin plan Apply lotion to damp skin (to seal in water), wait for it to be absorbed, then top it off with a second layer. Body hydrators contain ingredients like jojoba oil and shea butter as well as sealants that coat skin, “so two back-to-back applications trap even more moisture into skin,” Dr. Bank says.

6) Covet thy Covers

“When you’re sleep-deprived, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol,” says Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, M.D., a dermatologist in Miami. And excess cortisol has been linked to acne, as well as sensitive and dry skin. Follow these easy sleep-better tips tonight for more beautiful skin tomorrow—and beyond.

Your nightly TV lineup may keep you from tucking in the requisite seven to eight hours of shut-eye, resulting in a sleep debt, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia report. Set your DVR and try to watch late-airing shows early the next evening instead.

Cut back on caffeine. Research shows that even one cup of joe disturbs nighttime sleep in some people, leaving them more tired and reaching for more caffeine, creating a cycle of sleepiness—and coffee addiction!

7) Never (ever!) Pop or Touch Pimples.

“Your hands can transfer more breakout-inducing bacteria to the area,” Dr. Blyumin-Karasik says. “And most people squeeze too hard, causing trauma to skin.” Both of which mean your pip-squeak pimple may turn into a huge, inflamed cyst. Zap zits safely.

Got a lone blemish? Reduce redness with an OTC anti-inflammatory cortisone cream twice a day; banish bacteria with benzoyl peroxide nightly, says Diane Berson, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

8) Treat the Body as thou Would thy Face

Unless you bundle up in a turtleneck and gloves year-round, the same damaging UV rays that shine on your face will hit your neck, chest and hands. “Yet most women act as if there’s a stop sign at their jaw,” says Dr. Dover, who advises rubbing skin treatments all the way down to your cleavage, then wiping the excess on your hands, too.

9)      Get thee to a Gym

Aside from keeping you healthy, energized and slim, working out has specific benefits for your complexion.  It increases circulation. When skin is supplied with enough blood, oxygen and nutrients, it’s able to bring its A-game and look smooth and healthy all the time. Wounds healed about 29 days faster among older adults who exercised than among those who were sedentary, research from The Ohio State University at Columbus finds.

It calms you (and skin) down. Exercise is a proven mood booster. Working up a sweat helps your body better regulate stress hormones linked to anxiety and depression, as well as acne, sensitivity and dryness. Incorporate a quick bout of cardio into your weekly workout routine to get happy—a 20-minute sweat session can improve mood for up to 12 hours, according to researchers at the University of Vermont in Burlington—and keep skin looking fresh, too.

10)      Eat thy Fruits, Vegetables and Fish

New research suggests a healthy diet may fend off your skin’s top enemies. Phytochemicals and antioxidants (in leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, etc.) and fatty acids from fish such as salmon allow your body to fight sun-induced damage. Low-glycemic foods (with fewer sugars) may prevent collagen breakdown by reducing cell inflammation and subsequent destruction of skin’s support structure.


Taken from