What Are Bio-Identical Hormones?

Written by Glynis on . Posted in Ageless - Articles, Health

Hormones! Like it or not, we women are a slave to them. They can play havoc with our lives and make us utterly miserable.  As they decline all sorts of mayhem ensues and did you know waning oestrogen levels ages us and contributes to wrinkly, dry skin? Life is so unfair isn’t? But……..all is not lost. There are things we can do to help at all stages of our lives (let’s not forget PMT!).

I myself began using Bio-Identical Hormones in my 40′s. I use it in the form of a cream that I rub into different body parts. It’s gentle and mild and I have always presumed safe. I think I was a bit ahead of my time as it wasn’t even available in the UK then and had to be purchased from Europe. It has recently become available here but should always be administered under the directions of a doctor. 

I am delighted that Dr Rajendra Sharma has written a piece on this important subject specially for Ageless.

Bee Sting Therapy

Written by Glynis on . Posted in Ageless - Articles, Health

I was intrigued to hear that many people, Gwyneth Paltrow included, have been using some sort of bee therapy for health and beauty purposes. What on earth does this entail I wonder? Smothering skin in honey or maybe swallowing bee venom or maybe getting stung (yikes) for therapeutic purposes? I asked Tara Heath, based in Cailfornia, to find out what all the buzz is about? 

The answer to back pain?

Written by Glynis on . Posted in Ageless - Articles, Health

Women with back acheAs you may know, a few months ago I put myself into a self imposed bootcamp. For 6 weeks I ate mostly protein, vegetables and a bit of fruit and worked out twice weekly with trainer Rhys Brooks.

I’ve always worked out, doing regular trips to the gym as well as yoga. The difference was that I had Rhys twice a week instead of once a month or so, when he would give me a program which I would follow until I saw him again. The only problem was that I used to cheat! If he had put 3 sets of an exercise, I would do 2 because I was in a hurry or feeling a bit tired. If he said do a bench press with 8kg weights, I would use 6kg because, well, because 8kg felt a bit heavy!

Working out with Rhys twice a week was a bit of a shock to the system. He is that odd mixture of being the nicest, sweetest, most lovely man while at the same time being the toughest trainer who shows no mercy. He gave me weights so heavy that I feared for my joints. I’ve always had lower back pain and it takes a lot of maintenance and care to keep it manageable. Same with my knees. I kept saying that I felt the weights were too heavy or the angle of the lift too awkward for my back to handle. However he insisted it would all be fine. And the amazing thing is, it was fine. As well as all the other many benefits from my bootcamp, the one I didn’t expect, was that my back and all my joints were going to vastly improve. It took me awhile to realise just how incredible this improvement actually was. 

I have a great physio who I usually visit every few weeks to keep my back from spasming up and causing pain. Since I began my bootcamp 4 months ago, I’ve been to see him once. And other than that one time, my back has been pain free. For the first time since I can remember. As anyone with back pain will understand, this is a joyous result.

What is sweating all about?

Written by Glynis on . Posted in Ageless - Articles, Health

After recently looking at the difference between Bikram and Hot Yoga, both of which leave you sweating buckets, it seems only logical that we should look at sweat! Is a regular heavy sweat good for you? Does it really detoxify you as claimed? OR not at all as one of my hot yoga teachers boldly declared to the class after just having made us sweat so much that my towel was literally soaked! 

I asked nutritionist Fleur Borrelli to give us the sweaty low down.

(And guess what? That yoga teacher was wrong! Turns out sweating is more important than ever as the world has become more and more toxic due to man made chemical overload!)


Sauna Interior- is sweating good for you?Incredibly we have around two to four million sweat glands that become fully active once we reach puberty. Sweat glands are tubular structures of the skin that produce sweat. What may be surprising is that women may have more sweat glands than their male counterparts but men’s can certainly be more active(1)! Because sweat is produced when our autonomic nervous system is activated, it is not something we can consciously control. For some this may be an uncomfortable reality but it does have many benefits.

The smelly sweat comes from apocrine glands which are located in the scalp, armpits and groin. Apocrine sweat is a fat-infused liquid which is consumed by bacteria which causes the smell. Throughout evolution we have always coexisted with bacteria in mutually beneficial ways. This type of sweat tends to be emitted when we are under emotional distress and may as hunter gatherers have been a way of warning predators of our distinct presence. However some studies show that apocrine secretion is linked to our immune system and may be a way for a woman to be able to affirm that her selected mate is immunologically different from herself thereby offering the best chance for the survival of our species. In one such study, a group of female college students were given T-shirts worn by male students for two nights in a row and asked to select the T-shirt that smelled the best. They all chose T-shirts representing different immunological properties from their own (2).

Eccrine glands, on the other hand, can be found all over the body with the highest concentration in the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet. This type of sweat is made up of water and electrolytes such as sodium, chloride and potassium. The primary purpose of these glands is to help us to maintain a stable core body temperature – around 37 degrees celsius. This is all controlled by a thermostat in the brain called the hypothalamus. On a hot day, temperature receptors in the skin send signals to the hypothalamus to cool us down by increasing the sweat rate. It does this by increasing blood flow to the skin to stimulate sweat glands – all cleverly designed to stop us overheating. When we used to move around for food, this sweat would have remained on the surface of our skin evaporating to keep us cool.

Nowadays our chemical exposure is huge and sweating has never been so important.   It is a means of getting rid of some of our toxic load through the skin through a process known as detoxification. Despite the fact that in the last fifty years 50 million or so new chemicals have been created by man, detoxification, is not recognised by modern medicine as a process that needs supporting. It is a normal function of the body and something we naturally do via our liver, our kidneys and skin. However medical textbooks do not take into account that genetically we are back in the Stone Age and then we did not have the huge amounts of environmental toxins that are around now. We really do need to sweat and there is strong science to show how we can release heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead and even mercury through our skin(3)! And one particularly disruptive twenty-first century chemical, Bisphenol A, has also been found in sweat suggesting that sweating may be an effective means of getting rid of it (4).

All around the world, people since ancient times have used ‘sweat baths’ as a means of keeping clean. These have included Turkish baths, Finnish baths, saunas and steam rooms. Exercise too will bring a sweat on, particularly if done in a heated environment such as Bikram or hot yoga. One particular type of sauna is getting a lot of attention currently and that is Far Infrared Sauna (FIR) (5). Far infrared rays constitute the main energy source of the sun and warm our skin when we sit in it. The rays penetrate several centimetres below and heat up subcutaneous tissue. With enough rays on the skin, the skin will sweat and chemicals from the subcutaneous tissue will be mobilised and passed out. This is often a more gentle way of shifting chemicals for those who are very sensitive because it does not allow them to escape back into the bloodstream only to be trapped somewhere else.

Given the right conditions, we can literally sweat buckets. However it is important to remember that for that to happen safely, we need to be well hydrated in the first the place. For those who engage in endurance activity or hot yoga, it may also be prudent to drink a coconut water or add some electrolytes such as Elete into your water afterwards (6).

  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003218.htm
  2. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/260/1359/245
  3. J Environ Public Health. 2012; 2012: 184745.
  4. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:185731.
  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_sauna.

Fleur Borrelli


Ways To Boost Your Immunity This Summer

Written by Glynis on . Posted in Ageless - Articles, Health

Is it  just me or do more and more people seem to be getting colds and flu during the summer? And not just in the UK but everywhere. The last time I visited South Africa (during their summer) I was absolutely amazed at how many people were ill. It seemed like the entire population had a nasty virus whilst under a bright blue sunny sky.

Here, nutritionist Fleur Borrelli, explains what’s going on and what we can do to minimise the risk of falling prey to summer colds.

How to Avoid Bloating and Indigestion

Written by Glynis on . Posted in Ageless - Articles, Health

Ok this is going to be a bit like a biology lesson so get a nice cup of tea, snuggle up and concentrate. Digestive enzymes are very important and decline rapidly with age, stress, if you don’t chew your food properly or if your nutrition is poor. Fortunately you can take Digestive Enzymes as a supplement and I now take them with each meal (see which ones below). They are, however, important for everyone, and lack of them can cause nasty day to day problems. Who hasn’t suffered from bloating? An uncomfortable and totally unattractive occurrence! Ignore this at your peril!

Pharmacist Shabir Daya tells it like it is.

Do You Experience Bloating, Gas Or Indigestion?

Peas in a pod!

Bloating is a very common and annoying concern; occasional bloating may be attributable to over-eating or eating foods that do not agree with you, however constant bloating may be associated with hormonal insufficiency, irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances and high stress levels, to name just a few.  At the centre of all of this is our digestive system:

What exactly is the role of the digestive system?

Our bodies obtain nutrients from foods that are broken down efficiently by digestive enzymes, which are released as soon as we ingest food. The effects of improper digestion are widespread and include feeling lethargic, uncomfortable, a bulging stomach, bloating, rumbling or gas and wind.

It is often said that ‘you are what you eat’ and whilst this remains true to a certain extent, what is equally important is the state of your digestive system. Even if you were to eat a healthy, nutritious meal, if your digestive system is not functioning at its optimal level, then the body will not receive all the nutrients that it depends upon. Every single cell within the human body depends upon the supply of vital nutrients and an optimal digestive system depends upon the production of digestive enzymes.

So what are digestive enzymes?

Enzymes are necessary for all functions carried out within our bodies.  Currently, more than 3000 enzymes have been identified and experts believe that there are literally thousands of enzymes that have yet to be identified. Such is the complexity of the human body.

Enzymes basically act as catalysts working to quicken any process that they are involved in.  Every organ, tissue and cells have their own specific enzymes designed to carry out appropriate processes. Without enzymes one would not be able to digest food, breathe, move or even think.

We are constantly being reminded about drinking plenty of water, eating high fibre foods and consuming lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and yet large numbers of the population still experience constant bloating, gas and indigestion.   The reason could be the lack of digestive enzymes.  Our bodies require sufficient amounts of digestive enzymes to break down food as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract.  The foods we eat require to be broken down into smaller bits in order to obtain nutrients from them. They are generally grouped as containing fats, proteins, carbohydrates, fibres and other components.   As soon as we ingest food, these digestive enzymes are released in the small intestine from the liver, gall bladder and pancreas.  Digestive enzymes are specialised proteins and can be generally classified as:

Proteases to break down proteins
Lipases to break down fats
Amylases to break down carbohydrates

Digestive enzymes are produced naturally by the body but their production can diminish for several reasons including:

  • Ageing – as we age, our production of digestive enzymes diminishes.
  • Stress because our bodies are not equipped to digest food under stressful conditions.
  • Poor eating habits such as not chewing food properly or rushing through meals.
  • Imbalanced diets that do not have the right mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
  • Eating insufficient raw foods which contain naturally occurring enzymes.
  • Inadequate vitamin and mineral levels
  • Exposure to artificial colours and preservatives.

With so many factors affecting digestive enzymes, is it a surprise that vast numbers of the population suffer from minor digestive concerns?

Healthy EatingMost people neglect the first step of digestion and that is to chew food thoroughly.  Chewing food thoroughly has great benefits by breaking down food into smaller particles that are easier to digest, by stimulating the flow of saliva which has its own digestive enzymes and the actual action of chewing sends signals to the pancreas and other digestive organs to ensure digestive enzyme production.  By the same token, do not chew gum because this fools the digestive organs into releasing digestive enzymes resulting in possible glandular exhaustion.

If you do not have sufficient digestive enzymes then taking the above steps will have no major benefits from the relief of bloating, occasional constipation, reflux, abdominal discomfort and other related issues.  I am not going to bore you with all the individual digestive enzymes and their role in great detail except to say that the use of a digestive enzyme supplement can help and may put less strain on the digestive system.

Digestive Enzyme Production Declines from the age of 20!

An incredible statement, studies indicate that the body’s natural digestive enzyme production starts to decline by the time you reach 20.  These studies further indicate that digestive enzyme production decreases by an average of 12% with every ten years of age so that by the time you reach your forties, it is roughly 25% of when you are young.  To make matters worse, hydrochloric acid production in the stomach also declines with age and this is crucial for activating all of the stomach’s digestive enzymes.  This digestive enzyme depletion can not only result in many of the digestive concerns such as bloating and gas but it can result in nutrient depletion in the body and there are several studies that show that using digestive enzymes can increase nutrient absorption by hundreds of percentages.

Digestive Enzymes help to reduce inflammation

In addition to playing a role in digestion, digestive enzymes also help to reduce inflammation in the body and speed healing after surgery.  In general, protein digesting enzymes can help to prevent tissue damage, inflammation and swelling.  Inflammation is linked to virtually every single chronic disease that affect our bodies including heart disease, poor cognitive function and joint function.

 Super Digestive Enzymes

There are hundreds of digestive enzyme supplements on the market and many people find it difficult to choose which one to take.  I am a great fan of Life Extension, a pioneering research based company and I have no hesitation in recommending Super Digestive Enzymes.  This digestive enzyme supplement fits my criteria because:

  • Super Digestive Enzymes contains a mixture of enzymes to break down all the food groups.
  • It contains the enzyme activity rather than just the weight of each ingredient.
  • It contains the optimal strengths of digestive enzymes to help break down foods without affecting the body’s own digestive enzyme production.
  • It is from a very reputable and research orientated company, and is easy to use.
  • Super Digestive Enzymes are free from known allergens such as dairy, wheat, yeast, shellfish, artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.


Eating a balanced diet all the time is next to impossible for most of us on a daily basis.  If we ate a diet of raw and whole foods only, which contain naturally occurring enzymes, then our bodies would not need to work overtime to produce more nor would we end up with digestive exhaustion.  Instead we are, for all the reasons mentioned within the article, putting a huge burden on our digestive system.

Most of us would benefit from the use of Super Digestive Enzymes because this supplement will help:

  • Break down all food types efficiently thus helping to prevent bloating and many digestive concerns including constipation.
  • Enhance energy production
  • Fight infections through their effect on immunity
  • Speed healing time of tissues
  • Fight inflammation in the body
  • Enhance vitamin and mineral absorption in the body
  • May help to regulate cholesterol and triglyceride levels
This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

The Importance of Bacteria

Written by Glynis on . Posted in Ageless - Articles, Health

Bacteria have been on this earth longer than humans and were indeed one of the first life forms on the planet. They are very resilient and have even been known to flourish on manned spacecraft. We tend to think of them as gross, dirty and bad.  Some, indeed, are very dangerous but others are vital to our survival and to our well being. Looking after your gut bacteria can actually transform your health. However, getting the balance right can be very difficult and it’s resulted in numerous health problems for many people (maintaining a healthy weight without this balance is impossible for example). Probiotics can be very helpful to achieve this, especially if you often use antibiotics which upsets the balance of bacteria in the gut. I make sure I use antibiotics very rarely and take probiotics every day.

Here nutritionist, Fleur Borrelli, explains why bacteria are so vital.

(She advises that many probiotics aren’t up to the task but recommends the one I use which is Mega Probiotic-ND and also Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotic.)

The First Year of Ageless

Written by Glynis on . Posted in Ageless - Articles, Health

Glynis BarberSince the launch of this site just over a year ago, I have posted close to 100 articles. Phew! Not a week has gone by without one and for the first few months there were 2 articles a week. We have covered so many different subjects ranging from the benefits of turmeric to hair loss to the pros and cons of getting the flu vaccine. All the subjects cover the basic “tools” needed to remain healthy and ageless. These include exercise, nutrition, supplements, stress management, beauty treatments and products. ALL these things are important and no ONE thing is going to miraculously and suddenly make you look younger (and beware anyone claiming otherwise).

You may be new to the site or perhaps didn’t have a chance to see all the articles so here are my top 10 personal favourites:

Keeping the Weight off over Christmas

Written by Glynis on . Posted in Ageless - Articles, Health

Roast Turkey Christmas DinnerIt’s just inevitable isn’t it? Days of overeating, drinking, slouching on the sofa, TV watching marathons and the pounds piling on. Lovely to let go like that for a week or so but not great to start the new year feeling bloated and in need of a diet. Probably the number one New Years’ resolution is to start a diet. I wonder how many people last longer than a day on it? January to my mind, is not the most conducive month to diet. Cold and grey (I’m talking about us Brits here), one longs for hot comforting food.

But what if we didn’t gain all the pounds to begin with? And still managed to eat heartily and fully over the holidays? With just a few little adjustments to our eating habits? Aha now you’re talking!

Nutritionist Fleur Borrelli comes to the rescue.

I’m Not Grumpy I’m Just…Hormonally Challenged

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Two Women ArguingThere’s no escaping it. Sooner or later we ladies get mugged by our hormones. If you happen to have teenage children, or more specifically a teenage daughter at this particular stage of your life……then good luck! As one friends’ daughter said to her, “You didn’t time this very well, did you??” Quite frankly it seems hugely unfair that woman having gone through child birth and raising children, then get to go through a reverse form of puberty that is even worse than the first one! Even more unfair I suppose if you haven’t even had children!