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ISSUE 17 2018
EVERY YEAR IN SEPTEMBER SOUTH AFRICA OBSERVES CERVICAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. THE AIM IS TO ENCOURAGE SCREENING FOR THIS KIND OF CANCER, AGAINST WHICH YOUNG GIRLS CAN BE VACCINATED.
BALANCING ACT Choosing the Right Coffee Machine Expert Advice on Skincare Why You Need Car Insurance
8 10 12
HEALTH HABITS Latest Research on Allergies Do We Have a National Salt Addiction? Let's Talk About Sleep Cervical Cancer Awareness Is Meditation Worth Your Time?
20 22 24
GET PHYSICAL Giving Calisthenics a Try
THINK NUTRITION Beat the Yo-Yo Effect
30 PUBLISHER: Free Radical Media www.freeradicalmedia.co.za IMAGES ©123RF
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Know NEED TO
Delheim has put the sparkle back into Meatless Mondays. That's because Delheim used zero animal products to produce its 2018 Delheim Pinotage Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc. Animal products derived from milk, eggs, fish and gelatine are used in winemaking to refine and clarify the liquid before it is bottled. This limits the number of wines available to vegans and vegetarians. Delheim however, only used a type of clay called Bentonite and a plant-derived protein in the winemaking process of these two wines. The rosé pairs well with pastas, chicken and shellfish but vegans can try pairing it with roasted rainbow vegetables with Chimichurri or a curried sweet potato and freekeh salad. The Sauvignon Blanc does well with a grilled aubergine bake (or grilled line fish for ‘flexitarians’) as well as a variety of season-inspired salads. These vegan-friendly wines are available at leading wine retailers and restaurants, as well as from the farm. For more information, visit www.delheim.com.
Hoods Are Here
Miele has introduced cooker hoods that feature the much-anticipated WifiConn@ct technology. The home automation trend is one that is growing exponentially with more homeowners looking to simplify their lives through the assistance of a fully automated home. With this in mind, Miele will soon be launching the Miele@mobile app to the South African market. The app allows you to find out the status of your appliances, control them, offers inspirational ideas, and enables you to purchase accessories and consumables directly from your smartphone, tablet or computer. To utilise all the benefits of Miele@mobile, WifiConn@ct technology will be installed in a wide range of Miele extractor fans. Each extractor will boast a built-in communication module, which allows other selected appliances to be network-enabled. The Miele@home will be available in South Africa in the first quarter of 2019.
SPRUCE UP YOUR
CHUX makes cleaning your home simple, and quicker, with an extensive range of quality cleaning accessories to help you tackle any cleaning challenge around your home. In the kitchen you won’t have to struggle to get into those hard to reach places like under the fridge, the corners of the windows or between your cupboards. Wrap a CHUX Superwipe Cloth around a butter knife and you’ll be able to get right into the nooks and crannies that gather dust and grime. You can also clean off unsightly marks from walls, skirting boards and light switches by dampening a CHUX Magic Eraser with water and rub the marks off gently, with ease. For more information on Chux, visit www.chux.co.za. Chux is stocked at selected SPAR, Pick n Pay Family and OK Foods stores nationwide.
An Egg a Day FITCH & LEEDES PINK TONIC now sugar free!
A new study shows that eating up to one egg every day was associated with reduced heart disease and stroke risk. Published in the journal Heart, the study looked at more than a half million adults in China. Participants reported on their egg eating habits and the scientists followed-up after nine years , comparing egg consumption with disease and death registries. Daily egg eaters enjoyed an 11% lower risk of heart disease compared to people who didn't eat any eggs at all. For hemorrhagic stroke (a brain bleed), their risk was up to 26% lower. Science shows that though the cholesterol in eggs may raise “unhealthy” LDL cholesterol, it also raises levels of heart-protective HDL cholesterol, and improves their ability to sweep bad cholesterol out of the body. What’s more, their protein helps reduce blood sugar and helps people eat less.
Bringing you all the taste without the sugar, new sugar free Fitch & Leedes Pink Tonic is the perfect fit for a low kilojoule G&T. Pretty in pink with whiffs of rose petals and fresh cucumber, sugar free Fitch & Leedes Pink Tonic is a delightful alternative without compromising on taste. Fitch & Leedes tonics pride themselves as the understudy to greatness, accentuating the botanical character and subtle notes of handcrafted gins. Understanding the time and effort put into perfecting premium gin, Fitch & Leedes tonics are delicately carbonated and finely balanced to ensure the best taste representation of what was intended by the master distiller. Fitch & Leedes is stocked at selected retailers at a recommended retail price of R40 for a 6-pack of 200ml cans or R36 per 4-pack of 200ml glass bottles.
Plain and simple, popcorn is a whole grain, just popped. So while some people might look at it as a junk food, it’s not. It not only has a lot of fibre, but when it’s popped with very little fat, it’s quite low-calorie, as well. It also has a lot of volume, so it can make and keep you full. And it’s satisfying, thanks to its crunch. The problem is that sometimes it’s just a vehicle for other flavours and that’s where the good-for-you crunch can go bad because it can make you overeat. One cup of popcorn holds just 31 calories, so even if you down three cups, it’s less than 100 calories—without going overboard on carbs, sodium, or fat. Of course, these numbers quickly change once you add in butter, cheese, caramel, or any other popular popcorn topping.
BUYING THE PERFECT
From percolators to pods to pumps – investing in a coffee machine is not as simple as it used to be. Mercia de Jager from leading kitchen appliance and coffee machine manufacturer, Miele, offers some insight into what to look out for when making your purchase decision. In the past, making coffee involved putting the kettle on and unscrewing a jar of instant coffee. However, with the recent boom in stores selling delicious, freshly-brewed coffee, consumers have developed a taste for something a little more high-end. As a result, Mercia de Jager from leading kitchen appliance and coffee machine manufacturer, Miele, says that sales of coffee machines have experienced considerable growth: “Rather than heading to a coffee shop each day for your daily caffeine fix, more and more consumers have opted to rather invest in a coffee machine so that they can enjoy the perfect cup of coffee at home.” She says that investing in a good quality coffee machine can be a sizeable investment, and she provides a list of things that you should consider when making your selection.
BEAN-TO-CUP OR POD? For coffee lovers around the world, the bean-to-cup machine might truly be the greatest thing since sliced bread. These ultra-convenient devices can produce high-quality coffee from freshly ground beans in short order, with no barista-level skill set required. In addition, bean-to-cup coffee machines produce an unmistakably fresh flavour which simply cannot be matched by capsule coffee or instant coffee grounds. Pod coffee machines on the other hand use pre-packed coffee capsules that you put into the machine. When you press a button, the pod is pierced and hot water is sent through it into a waiting mug. These machines are typically easy to clean, and the pods
are available in a variety of different coffee types and blends. A major benefit of these pods is that they are sealed, ensuring that the coffee remains fresh for a very long time. Although there are many different makes of freestanding pod-type coffee machines on the market (including models from Miele), Miele is the only manufacturer that offers fully integrated Nespresso-approved pod coffee machines.
FREESTANDING OR INTEGRATED? If your new coffee machine will be stored in your kitchen, then you have to take the layout of this room into account. Do you have ample counter space for a freestanding coffee machine, or would an integrated model be a better choice for a neat and streamlined overall aesthetic? “Of course, if you are renting, or the machine will be kept in a room other than the kitchen, such as an office or bedroom for example, then a freestanding model is probably a better bet. This way, you can move it around at will,” Mercia explains.
A GOOD QUALITY BREW Of course, the main reason for investing in a coffee machine is so that you can brew your own cup of delicious coffee whenever you want to. Features to look out for when looking for a coffee machine’s ability to brew the perfect cuppa, include: • A high-end grinder: Many coffee aficionados will attest to the fact that making good quality coffee is all about getting the grind right, which makes the grinder one of the most important elements of a coffee machine. To ensure the best coffee aroma, Miele for example, only fits the best grinding systems into its coffee machines — their conical grinding unit is made from highquality, non-abrasive steel. Its design allows it to grind the coffee beans in a special flavour-preserving way, which results in even and precise grinding of the coffee beans.
• The brew chamber: Look for machines that offer brew chambers that expand when the water flows in, as this allows the ground coffee to be mixed thoroughly with the water, allowing the coffee aroma to unfold better. Miele coffee machines for example, boast an AromaticSystem that ensure a more intensive coffee aroma. • A cappuccinatore: Any good quality coffee machine should boast a high-end cappuccinatore that will allow you to prepare hot milk or milk froth in no time at all. In a few seconds, it should be able to heat and froth the milk, directly into the cup or glass being used, and it should also allow for easy cleaning. Miele’s cappuccinatore for example, ensures the perfect milk froth for all kinds of coffee specialities. • Individual settings and customisable profiles: The preparation parameters on your coffee machine should be able to be set individually, which will allow you to customise the particular type of coffee and flavour intensity that you prefer. The grinder setting will dictate the amount of coffee used, and you should also be able to set the brewing temperature, pre-brewing method, as well as amount of water used. This will ensure that you can brew the perfect flavour for your coffee speciality from every type of coffee, every roast. Individual user profiles should also be able to be set – Miele’s coffee machines for example, allow you to save your favourite drinks as one of up to 10 user profiles for customised coffee enjoyment.
MAINTENANCE AND CLEANING Like all other appliances, owning a coffee machine is as much about convenience as it is about brewing delicious cups of coffee. As such, a machine that requires a lot of cleaning and maintenance will more than likely frustrate you and most likely be pushed aside in lieu of that pricey latte from the coffee shop on the way to work. Easy maintenance and cleaning is therefore a major selling point that needs to be investigated, notes Mercia: “Let’s be honest – who wants to spend their leisure time cleaning their coffee machine? As such, you will find a number of features on all Miele coffee machines that will save you time and effort.”
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VEGANS & DIABETICS
This medicine is not recommended in pregnancy or during lactation. This medicine has not been evaluated by the SAHPRA for its quality, safety or intended use.
Join NovaVit Plus References: 1. Huskisson E, Maggini S, Ruf M. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Energy Metabolism and Well-Being. J Int Med Res 2007;35:277-289. 2. GEMS New Multivitamin Formulary. Marketed by Novagen Pharma (Pty) Ltd. Reg. No.: 2008/026436/07. Office 2, 100 Sovereign Drive, Route 21 Corporate Park, Nellmapius Drive, Irene, Pretoria, South Africa. Tel: 012 345 3175; Fax: 012 345 1881; www. novagenpharma.co.za. NOVA.VIT.2018.05.01. 34047 05/18
Each Tablet contains
Vitamin A & Beta-Carotene
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Boron (as Amino Acid Chelate)
Calcium (as phosphate)
Chromium (as Polynicotenate)
Copper (as Amino Acid Chelate)
Iodine (as Amino Acid Chelate)
Iron (as Amino Acid Chelate)
Magnesium (as Oxide)
Manganese (as Amino Acid Chelate)
Molybdenum (as Amino Acid Chelate)
Phosphorus (as Phosphate)
Potassium (as Phosphate)
Selenium (as Amino Acid Chelate)
Zinc (as Gluconate)
* No SA RDA established. RDA = Recommended Daily Allowance for adults and persons older than 4 years.
An overwhelming body of physiological evidence confirms the fundamental role of vitamins and minerals in energy metabolism 1
Skin Care Commandments ESTHETICIANS SWEAR BY
Estheticians know a lot when it comes to skin care. It is their job, after all. They not only perform cosmetic treatments but they’re also trained to help you choose a skin care routine that works for your skin’s specific needs. And they have amazing tips and tricks up their sleeves. From product recommendations to skin care tips, we’ve rounded up the beauty secrets that estheticians follow themselves.
GET A FACIAL EVERY MONTH
Get facials monthly to help eliminate clogging and keep your skin healthy and glowing. Experts suggest spacing facials four to six weeks apart and advise that it is best to schedule them five days before your period to avoid hormonal acne flare–ups.
USE RETINOIDS OR RETINOL
Prescription-strength retinoids or retinol are good for tone, texture and anti-aging, so applying it a few nights per week will have long-term benefits.
WASH YOUR FACE AT NIGHT
It can be really hard after a full day of work to make the effort to cleanse, tone, moisturize, but your skin will thank you in the morning. If you leave a full face of makeup on, or even if you don't wear makeup at all, environmental debris and dirt will sit on your skin overnight causing breakouts and enlarged pores. Choose a product that helps restore pH balance and moisture, and soothes redness.
USE A SALICYLIC ACID CLEANSER TO PREVENT BREAKOUTS
To help breakouts at home when you can't visit your esthetician, wash your face twice a day with a salicylic acid cleanser to help dissolve dirt. Look for cleansers with cell turnover ingredients, such as alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliate skin. If your skin is on the dry side, only use this once a day.
USE ALPHA HYDROXY ACID
Use an alpha hydroxy acid two to three times per week. It helps eliminate the build-up of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, which enhances the texture and tone.
ALWAYS USE SPF 30+
Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher should be applied daily to protect the skin from UV damage.
ADD IN ANTIOXIDANTS
Incorporating antioxidants into your routine at least a few times per week is also important to prevent UV-induced free radical damage and brighten the skin.
PAMPER DELICATE AREAS
It can often be an afterthought in your skincare routine, but the neck, décolleté and hands are the first to go when aging. Make sure to always apply product to these areas.
LESS IS MORE
Beyond skincare, try to maintain a less is more approach when it comes to makeup. If you take care of your skin, you don't need to cover your face with makeup that can at times clog pores.
HYDRATION IS KEY
During the day, keep a water bottle close to your side and at night a glass next to your bed. Keep hand cream and lip balm in your handbag and on your nightstand so that you can reapply as frequently as you want to.
LET YOUR BLEMISHES BE
Whatever you do, don't pick your pimples, as you can spread bacteria onto the skin. You may also introduce new kinds of bacteria from fingers into the blemish. This can cause the blemish (pimple) to become inflamed, swollen and infected and can sometimes lead to permanent scarring.
Insurance DO I REALLY NEED CAR
Buying a car can be an exciting process – whether it’s your first, second or third – there is always something to look forward to. The last thing one wants is to have that excitement shattered by the loss or damage of your new wheels. This is where car insurance comes in, after spending thousands of rands on the purchase of a car, you will need the security that comes with being covered, should disaster strike. Article Courtesy of MiWay
Not only is it a requirement to have insurance cover for your car before driving it home, having car insurance will also put your mind at ease and possibly minimise the devastation should you find yourself in an unfortunate incident with your car.
HERE ARE SOME ADVANTAGES TO INSURING YOUR CAR: PEACE OF MIND For many, it is a grudge purchase, however it is a necessary evil. Having car insurance gives you the peace of mind that you are covered when you need it most. In the unfortunate event of an accident or theft, there is someone you can turn to for assistance in getting yourself back to the position you were in before the devastation and inconvenience. You can breathe a little easier knowing that you don’t have to deal with the loss and recovery on your own.
RECOVERY ASSISTANCE In the event of an accident, theft or damage, having the right cover for your car could save you time and money. Depending on the type of cover you have, the recovery from loss or damage of your car will be guided and assisted by your insurer. Being a victim of an accident or theft can be devastating enough without having to deal with the financial implication of repairs, recovery and medical bills; not forgetting other damages like fire, animals, vandalism, etc. Your insurance cover plays an important role in helping you get back to the position you were in before the loss or damage.
COVER WHEN MOTHER NATURE STRIKES Natural disasters can strike at any time, often without warning. When these unexpected acts of nature hit, they can leave your vehicle seriously damaged and cause an inconvenience to you. Having car insurance will ensure that you are covered for the repairs of your car should a natural disaster leave you vulnerable.
THIRD-PARTY COVER YOUR CAR IS POSSIBLY THE SECOND MOST EXPENSIVE ASSET YOU OWN, AFTER YOUR PROPERTY, HAVING CAR INSURANCE SHOULD NOT COME AS AN AFTER-THOUGHT. PROTECTING YOUR VALUABLES IS A MUST! GET AN ONLINE INSURANCE QUOTE TODAY AND SAVE YOURSELF THE FRUSTRATIONS IN THE FUTURE, SHOULD DISASTER STRIKE.
In some unfortunate incidents, a car accident will involve other parties and place you in a position where you are liable for the damage of more than just your vehicle. In such instances, if you are adequately insured, you don’t have to stress about the financial burden of fixing up a third party’s car as your insurance may assist with this. Your car is possibly the second most expensive asset you own, after your property, having car insurance should not come as an after-thought. Protecting your valuables is a must! Get an online insurance quote today and save yourself the frustrations in the future, should disaster strike.
COULD THIS BE THE
End of Allergies?
Among the hot topics raised at the recently held World Allergy Congress in Orlando, USA was the discovery of a method using immune cell transfer and genetic engineering, which can switch on or turn off peopleâ€™s allergic reactions.
Scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia were able to manipulate the immune response which triggers allergy symptoms in mice. An allergic response is typically caused by immune cells, commonly referred to as T-cells, reacting to a protein in an allergen. The challenge lies in the fact that T-cells can become resistant to treatments over time. Associate Professor, Jonny Peter, Head of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at UCT and Allergy Advisor to Pharma Dynamics (one of the leading providers of allergy medication in the
country) explains that researchers essentially found a way to silence the allergic inflammation in mice with a form of immune transfer and gene therapy allowing the immune system to become tolerant of previous allergens, such as egg protein, as opposed to viewing it as a threat. â€œExperiments such as these give us a glimpse of what may be possible for the human immune system. The ability to re-programme the immune system of allergy sufferers to be tolerant is the Holy Grail. Currently, available immune therapies take at least three years of daily
treatment and may not provide lifelong benefits. These therapies are currently only available for inhaled allergens like house dust mites and not for life-threatening food allergies. If translated to humans, this research would be a game-changer. However, mice are not human, and translation has a long way to go. Furthermore, this work focused on allergic airway inflammation, while food allergy mechanisms may be different. Human trials are expected to start in about five to six years, and only time will tell whether it is a viable option,” he says. To build on the evidence which supports gene-based approaches in tackling allergic disease, other conference experts presented research related to the mechanisms used to pinpoint the various genetic components that can cause allergies. Prof. Peter says up to now progress on this front has been slow and expensive, due to the lack of high throughput technologies to investigate genetic variation in a large enough sample of patients. “Fortunately, costs are coming down, technologies are improving and global consortiums are developing to allow for bigger GenomeWide Association Studies (GWAS), which makes it possible for researchers to investigate large numbers of common variants spanning the entire genome in allergic- and non-allergic patients. These studies, together with next generation sequencing to identify rare gene defects in severe allergy individuals, will likely continue to improve our understanding of the genes responsible for a range of allergic diseases, including those for allergic rhinitis, asthma and atopic dermatitis. “In the future, we will likely see sequencing in the clinic. The next frontier will then be to understand the additional layers of complexity provided by epigenetics and the interaction between genetics and the environment, especially the microbiota.” In South Africa alone, an estimated 30% of the population suffer from allergic rhinitis (inflammation in the nose, which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air), while 40% suffers from asthma. The effect of climate change on pollen allergies and respiratory allergic diseases was also at the forefront of the conference discussions. Although scientists are sketchy on exactly how climate change will impact respiratory allergies, they say the extreme weather events of the past decade have resulted in massive changes in our climate to which biologic systems on all continents are reacting – something that doctors and allergy-sufferers should keep a close eye on.
A CONFERENCE DATA PRESENTATION INDICATED THAT IN A SURVEY OF ALLERGY RHINITIS SUFFERERS, 51% OF PATIENTS BLAMED POLLUTION FOR THEIR WORSENING SYMPTOMS, WHILE 80% INCRIMINATED CLIMATE CHANGE.
A conference data presentation indicated that in a survey of allergy rhinitis sufferers, 51% of patients blamed pollution for their worsening symptoms, while 80% incriminated climate change. Prof. Peter says that there is some evidence of significantly stronger allergenicity in pollen from trees growing at increased temperatures and that climate change may affect air pollutant levels, such as tropospheric ozone (O3), but a lot more research is needed, before firm conclusions can be made. Another recent survey conducted among 1 184 doctors who belong to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) confirmed that most doctors are witnessing medical problems caused by climate change among their patients. Nearly two-thirds reported a need for increased care for allergic sensitisation and symptoms following exposure to plants or mould.
POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON RESPIRATORY ALLERGIES COULD BE AS FOLLOWS:
2 3 4 5
An increase in rain and heavy downpours, such as thunderstorms could lead to asthma epidemics, with sudden pollen surges and ruptures. Last year, tragedy struck Melbourne following the death of nine asthma sufferers after an unprecedented thunderstorm. The moisture in the air caused pollen to burst into hundreds of allergenic particles – akin to 150 bombs exploding at the same time, which triggered widespread asthma attacks. Global warming could increase the length and intensity of the pollen season causing prolonged respiratory allergy symptoms. On the flipside, a reduction in colder days could potentially lower a patient’s risk to upper respiratory infections. Changes in atmospheric circulation patterns may increase the occurrence of long distance transport of pollen and pollutants. Increased air pollution and risk of wildfire smoke (CO2) could lead to an aggravation of existing respiratory allergies.
Pharma Dynamics has partnered with the University of Cape Town’s Lung institute to offer weekly pollen and fungal atmospheric counts to help allergy and asthma sufferers manage their conditions better. Given the uncertainty of the climate at present, the only accurate method to guide allergy care is weekly sampling. Weekly pollen and fungal spore counts for the Cape Town area are available at www.allergyexpert.co.za. “The rate at which allergic diseases and asthma are increasing worldwide, is alarming. The World Allergy Organisation (WAO) reports that worldwide sensitisation to allergies in the environment is present in up to 40% of the population. These disorders significantly impair a patient’s quality of life. Apart from chronic sneezing, nasal stuffiness and a post-nasal drip making them more susceptible to colds and flu, sufferers also complain of fatigue, memory loss, weakened physical and social function and depression, hence the intense focus on developing safe and effective therapies for the future. “World Allergy Week not only allows us to raise local awareness of allergic diseases, but to also share new insights into preventing and managing allergic conditions. For now, there is no silver bullet that can treat each and every symptom, but antihistamines, decongestants and other treatments should offer relief, and immunotherapy should be considered. Thankfully international research shows a promising future for treating and possibly even preventing (certain) allergies all-together,” says Prof Peter. For more information about allergies, visit www.allergyexpert.co.za.
ARE WE IN THE GRIPS OF A
National Salt Addiction?
As South Africans, we love salting our food, but the more salt we consume, the more at risk it puts us of heart disease and stroke, which annually claims the lives of 78 475 people in our country.
CURRENTLY, SA’S DISCRETIONARY SALT CONSUMPTION SITS AT 41% A DAY, WHICH MAY INDICATE THAT MANY SOUTH AFRICANS HAVE BEEN DEALT THE ‘SUPERTASTER’ GENE, ESPECIALLY IF ONE CONSIDERS THAT IN MOST OTHER WESTERNISED COUNTRIES, THE DISCRETIONARY USE OF SALT IS IN THE REGION OF 15%, POINTING TO A MORE NEUTRAL SENSE OF TASTE. A fascinating piece of research done by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences in the US suggests that people who tend to salt their food more could be ‘supertasters’. These are people whose sense of taste is heightened possibly due to the TAS2R38 bitter taste receptor gene. What this means is that supertasters typically add more salt to their food to disguise or cancel out the bitter taste the palate picks up when eating certain foods – such as cheddar cheese, broccoli, spinach or olives for example – whereas those with a more neutral sense of taste are less inclined to add additional salt. Currently, SA’s discretionary salt consumption sits at 41% a day, which may indicate that many South Africans have been dealt the ‘supertaster’ gene, especially if one considers that in most other Westernised countries, the discretionary use of salt is in the region of 15%, pointing to a more neutral sense of taste. So, if you’re among the many South Africans that find they reach for the saltshaker at every meal, there might be more to your urge than just a bad habit.
TO FIND OUT IF YOU’RE A ‘SUPERTASTER’ TRY THIS:
Get hold of a Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) strip to detect a definite taste. Test strips treated with PTC may taste bitter, sweet or salty depending on the chemical and genetic make-up of the taster. If you’re a ‘supertaster’, you won’t be able to stand the bitter taste on the strips. Ask your local pharmacy if they stock these. Another way to test whether you’re a ‘supertaster’ is to dye your tongue blue with some food colouring and to then stick a hole reinforcer (those white round stickers used to reinforce the holes made in paper when placing them in a file) on your tongue. Then use a magnifying glass and get someone to count the pink bumps on your tongue within the hole of the sticker. If you have more than 35 pink bumps (papillae), you’re likely to be a bona fide supertaster. If you have between 15 and 35 papillae, you are an average or medium taster. Anything under 15 makes you a non-taster.
Nicole Jennings, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics, says even though modern medicine can help patients to manage symptoms, it’s important to tackle the root cause if we are to curb the growing number of diseases, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, which are primarily related to lifestyle. “What tastes good to us largely drives what we eat and if ‘supertasters’ mask certain tastes by adding more salt, they may find it much more challenging than others to follow a low-salt diet. Once you know your ‘salt status’ and have identified yourself as a ‘supertaster’, you need to be extra aware of your salt use. Supertasters can however train their taste buds by shifting their sense of taste to enjoy foods made with less sodium by using natural herbs and spices instead of salt to achieve the desired taste. They could use fresh garlic, basil, dill, oregano, lemon or red pepper flakes as healthy alternatives to salt,” advises Jennings. Experts estimate that limiting salt consumption could decrease 11% of deaths from heart disease per year and save the SA government in the region of R713-million per annum in healthcare fees. Salt consumption in SA still remains alarmingly high with most adults ingesting as much as 40g a day, which is way above the World Health Organisation’s recommended intake of less than 5g a day. Low sodium recipes with great salt-swapping tips approved by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of SA, can be found at www. cookingfromtheheart.co.za.
Let's talk! ABOUT SLEEP
By Dr Marcelle Statsny
In this edition Dr Marcelle Stastny talks about sleep struggles. It is no surprise that a symptom of many mental illnesses is disturbed sleep. Furthermore, sleep disturbances destabilise mental illnesses and makes them worse. So, for many of my patients addressing sleep problems is a serious priority – and it should be for you too. 40% of South Africans are not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked with chronic illnesses like hypertension, heart disease and strokes. It drops your immunity, so you end up with constant colds and flus. Being sleep deprived makes you moody, depressed and leads to cognitive decline and memory problems. It can make you fat. Yes, fat. The longer you are sleep deprived, the higher your cortisol levels are (which increases your appetite) and the lower your leptin and ghrelin levels are (which are your “feel full” hormones). You crave bad-for-you foods, sweets and processed carbs, as your body tries to produce serotonin to calm you down. To add insult to injury, your sleep deprived body does not metabolise the sweet stuff optimally. Your mitochondria shut down, not using sugar properly, and resulting in high blood sugar; a recipe to make you tired, fat and at risk for diabetes. If you are struggling to get a full night’s sleep, you have to make getting sleep a priority. Arianna Huffington calls it a “sleep revolution”. We have to wake up to the need to get more sleep. So, if your children are prone to still waking you through the night, you have to prioritise going to bed early to make up the hours. I know that when the kids go to bed it finally means that you can have a glass of wine, answer a few emails and hang out with poor neglected hubby. Try instead to embrace an early bed time. Hubby would prefer to have occasional date nights with the best you, rather than deal with an exhausted and possibly moody you after a long day. Trust me.
And about that glass to bottle of wine…it may help you unwind, but it will mess with your sleep. You may fall asleep quicker, but your REM sleep will be disturbed. That is why you wake up in the early morning hours after an evening of drinking alcohol, feeling exhausted and disorientated. Your brain is not a computer. You don’t simply switch it off. If you have been studying or working late, you need to give your brain time to unwind before trying to fall asleep. Have a long bath, read a magazine or spend time with your partner. The reasons for sleep deprivation vary, as do the solutions. Come armed to the revolution. Research sleep hygiene, try supplements, look at your diet and exercise routines. Speak to your doctor. Make sleep a priority in your quest to master self-care.
CONTACT DR MARCELLE
Dr Marcelle Stastny (MBChB – PTA, FC Psych – UCT) has been a practicing psychiatrist for over twenty years. She is passionate about helping people on their journey to recovery or to living their best life! Her practice is based in Cape Town. Contact her on +27 21 794 1321 or visit www.drmarcellestastny.co.za for more information.
Cervical Cancer GET SCREENED
Did you know that cervical cancer is a highly preventable and treatable cancer, thanks to improved screening and vaccination? Cervical cancer is the cancer which causes the most deaths among women in many developing countries and is the second most common cancer among South African women The Cancer Association of South Africa says one in every 42 women in the country will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. Early detection of cervix cell changes means that treatment can be started before the cervical cancer has caused any symptoms, increasing the likelihood of the treatment being successful. Regular pap smear tests (in which cells taken from the cervix are looked at under a microscope) can detect the condition while it is still pre-cancerous.
THE CAUSES OF CERVICAL CANCER
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, where it connects to the vagina. Unlike many other cancers, cervical cancer is mostly caused by a virus: the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted disease. Not everyone infected with HPV gets cervical cancer, though. Other factors, such as your environment or your lifestyle choices can also play a role in whether you get cervical cancer, or not. Like other cancers, cervical cancer begins when healthy cells turn into abnormal cells and start to grow out of control, forming a mass, or tumour. Cancer cells can spread from the cervix to other places/organs in the body.
THE SYMPTOMS AND RISK FACTORS OF CERVICAL CANCER
Cervical cancer in its early stages often has no symptoms. Later symptoms of this type of cancer can include vaginal bleeding (outside of periods), a vaginal discharge with a foul odour, and pelvic pain during intercourse. The risk factors for cervical cancer include a high number of sexual partners, early sexual activity, having other sexually transmitted infections, having a weak immune system, and being a smoker. A common treatment for cervical cancer is chemotherapy, where drugs that destroy cancer cells are injected into the body. Surgery (the type of surgery depends on how far the cancer has spread) and radiation, in which high energy rays are used to destroy the cancer cells. The HPV vaccination can protect against cervical cancer, and in 2014 the government launched a programme to vaccinate all girls in Grade 4 nationwide.
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Registering for the LifeSense programme is simple: • Contact us on 0860 50 60 80 to verify qualification of the programme benefits • Ask us for an application form or download one from www.lifesensedm.co.za and complete it with your doctor • Fax the completed application back to us on 0860 80 49 60 or scan and email it to email@example.com
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Is meditation all that? Well, Iâ€™m glad you asked. Meditation is the practice of using various techniques to train the mind to focus and be clear. The modern world is becoming more and more plugged-in, frenetic and more focussed on multi-tasking which means that meditation may well need to be the next step in our evolution. By Dr Marcelle Statsny
MEDITATION KEEPS THE BRAIN YOUNG
Eastern religions and philosophies have always extolled the benefits of meditation. In the West, we have been more sceptical of the benefits of sitting still and doing “nothing”. Over the last few decades, science has been applying tools like functional MRI’s and EEG’s and rigorous research techniques, like longitudinal studies, to challenge meditation’s benefit claims. The evidence has been consistent and impressive.
MEDITATION KEEPS THE BRAIN FIT AND STRONG Springer’s Journal of Cognitive Enhancement recently published one of the most extensive longitudinal studies on meditation to date. Its data spans seven years and shows how meditating holds off age-related decline, that is, it keeps our brains young. The study began in 2011 from a population of 22 to 69-year-olds who attended a three-month meditation retreat. The immediate findings, published after the retreat, revealed that the training enhanced the participants’ emotional well-being and led them to perform better on tasks related to focus and sustaining attention. Seven years later, researchers checked back in with the group. All of the participants reported that they continued to meditate in some capacity. Evaluations showed that their mental improvements had withstood the test of time. These benefits were especially true for the older participants.
It was thought that after a certain age, somewhere in the twenties, the brain stops growing and starts declining. This simplistic approach has been disproven and replaced with the concept of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to mould and form. Pathways we use a lot get stronger and bigger. Parts of the brain we don’t use, get smaller and weaker. Meditation seems to harness the neuroplastic power of the brain. In a meta-analysis of 21 neuroimaging studies, no less than eight brain regions were found to be consistently altered in individuals who meditate regularly. The areas mentioned are mainly in the fronto-limbic areas of the brain. Areas which correlate with claims of improved self-awareness, clarity of thought, empathy, compassion and improved mood. The studies included in the meta-analysis and the conclusions it draws, are not without issues though. For one, the sample sizes are small. For another, it’s not so easy to directly plot vague structural changes to complex behaviours like compassion. That said, the results of therapies using meditation as a cornerstone, like mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, in treating psychiatric illnesses, like chronic depression and anxiety, are very exciting. The reported benefits of meditation are so appealing that the world’s early adopters, companies like Google and Nike, have initiated programmes to get all their employees meditating. Early studies have raised the hope for a rational thinking workforce with high job satisfaction and emotional resilience. Certainly, whenever a company tries initiatives to address their employee’s needs, the employees are happier for it. Meditation won’t help you levitate, nor is it a highway to bliss. Like learning any new skill, it takes at least some level of application to reap the full benefits. But, as it turns out, in striving to become healthier and happier, meditation really is all that.
Calisthenics AND SHOULD YOU BE DOING IT?
The word "calisthenics" seems as though it was left behind a few decades ago but in reality, many important aspects of a fitness routine include classic calisthenics techniques – many of which you might be doing already! At the most basic level, calisthenics is resistance training with your own bodyweight. It's designed to improve strength, flexibility, agility, balance, coordination, and aerobic conditioning. Squats, push-ups, lunges, crunches, dips, jumping jacks, broad jumps, and handstands are in fact all calisthenics. And, considering it's the simplest form of exercise with no fancy equipment necessary, it's been around for a long time. This gives us plenty of reasons why calisthenics – or bodyweight workouts – are worth taking a break from the dumbbells.
THE BENEFITS OF CALISTHENICS WORKOUTS
YOU DON'T NEED ANY EQUIPMENT
YOU CAN BUILD SERIOUS STRENGTH
YOU'LL IMPROVE MOBILITY OVERALL
The beauty of calisthenics is that you can do it anywhere, anytime—all you need is your body. It's one of the only ways to build mass and strength without the use of weights so you officially have no excuse not to work out.
You might be thinking: "How, if you're not hoisting barbells or dumbbells?" But you can accomplish a lot using just your own bodyweight. If you're a 65kg woman doing a bodyweight pull-up, you're effectively lifting 65kg. It's true that you will reach a certain max point of muscle growth with calisthenics because muscle mass comes from progressive resistance, and there will only ever be so much resistance provided by your own body but that's where getting creative comes into play. Use elevated surfaces to change the angle of exercises, increasing the percentage of bodyweight that you're lifting. Use vertical surfaces (i.e. walls and poles) to challenge your body in new ways, and recruit your core like you wouldn't believe (human flagpole, anyone?). Go faster, slower, longer, upside down, or increase your range of motion to keep provoking physical and mental adaptions.
With so many new fitness fads popping up, there are several reasons why this classic form of exercise is worth your time.
Since calisthenics is all about moving your body in space, it's the ultimate kind of functional movement training. Functional training means training in a way that will directly enhance the way you perform everyday life tasks or particular physical requirements of your work or sport. You are also likely to maintain better form. When using free weights or machines, you can continue to progress your strength and muscle mass; however, people often end up using too much resistance on a machine or weights that are too heavy and that leads to compensating, meaning you don't execute the exercise properly using the correct muscles. Calisthenics gives you the necessary solid base of strength for when/if you do incorporate external resistance into your training. If you can't lift your body weight you definitely shouldn't be trying to lift more on a machine.
YOU HIT EVERY MUSCLE
YOU'LL BE GENTLER ON YOUR JOINTS AND CONNECTIVE TISSUE
YOU IMPROVE YOUR BRAIN-BODY CONNECTION
YOU'LL FEEL MORE CONFIDENT
Calisthenics involves using the entire body and not emphasizing certain muscles over others. What this translates to is strength from the bottom of your feet to the tips of your fingers.
Resistance training â€“ when performed incorrectly, with tooheavy weights, too often, or in a way that creates imbalances â€“ can put extra stress on soft tissue structures like your tendons, ligaments, and fascia. Calisthenics, on the other hand, only develops strength and size in proportion to your muscular system with authentic and natural movements.
Calisthenics training develops those fine motor skills that require your brain to work hard as well as your body. Coordination, speed, power, acceleration, strength, quickness, and agility, are all actions that are demonstrated by a body trained in the art of calisthenics. Think of a gymnast: It takes a lot of strength, flexibility, and stamina to perform these movements, not to mention unbelievable coordination.
There is an unmistakable feeling of confidence and strength within someone who knows that they have total control over their body. Executing a super heavy deadlift or hoisting a massive kettle bell overhead can make you feel like a superhero, but so does banging out plyo push-ups or being able to pull off a one-arm pull-up.
What lies beneath? Your sun-damaged skin could reveal more For every lesion you see, there could be up to ten additional lesions underneath the skin that are not visible. 1
What are Actinic Keratoses (AK) lesions? â€˘ Actinic Keratoses lesions are rough, scaly spots with a skin-coloured, reddish or reddish-brown appearance 2,3,4,5 â€˘ 1-3 mm to several cm in size 2,3,5 â€˘ Rough surface, often easier to feel than to see 3,5 â€˘ AK present in sun-damaged skin 2,3,4,5,6
AKâ€™s have the potential to turn into skin cancer so treatment is necessary. 7,8 Treatment options are available that can be used in the convenience of your home.
Ask your doctor for the topical cream that treats visible lesions and those under the skin. For more information visit www.beskinsmart.co.za
References: 1. Phillips, D. Skin cancer in general practice: know the risk factors. Available from http://www.parkhurstexchange.com/columns?category=dermatology. Practice guidelines & special reports. Accessed 2 March 2016. 2. American cancer society. What are Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers? 2016. Availble at URL: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/basal-andsquamous-cell-skin-cancer/ about/what-is-basal-and-squamous-cell.html Accessed 15 September 2017. 3. Spencer JM, James WD, Jordan L. Actinic Keratosis. 2017. Available at URL: http:// emedicine.medscape. com/ article/1099775-overview Accessed 15 September 2017. 4. Page EH. Overview of Sunlight and Skin Damage. Merck Manual Consumer Version. Available at URL: http://www. merckmanauls.com/ home/skin-disorders/sunlight-and-skin-damage/overview-of-sunlight-and-skin-damage Accessed 15 September 2017. 5. Harding M. Actinic Keratosis. 2016. Available at URL: https://patient.info/ pdf/4653.pdf Accessed 17 September 2017. 6. 6FKPLWW$5%RUGHDX[-66RODUNHUDWRVHV3KRWRG\QDPLFWKHUDS\F\RWKHUDS\ËŠRXURXUDFLOLPLTXLPRG diclofenac, or what? Facts and controversies. Clinics Dermatol. 2013;31:712-717. 7. McIntyre WJ, Downs MR, Bedwell SA. Treatment Options for Actinic Keratoses. Am Fam Physician. 2007;76:667-771. 8. Uhlenhake EE. Optimal treatment of actinic keratoses. Clin Interven Aging. 2013;8:29-35 $SSOLFDQW0('$3KDUPD6RXWK$IULFD37< /WG&R5HJ%XLOGLQJ*UHHQVWRQH+LOO2IË‰FH3DUN(PHUDOG%RXOHYDUG0RGGHUIRQWHLQ7HO )D[ (PDLOLQIR#PHGDSKDUPDFR]D0'HF
yo-yo effect 30 www.wecarepharmacy.co.za
Expert advice on sustainable nutrition choices for optimal athletic performance from a professional athlete and nutritionist. “Sportsmen and women are only able to reach their peak performance level when they make healthy eating and nutrition a part of their daily training routine,” says nutritionist, former World Triathlon Champion and previous winner of the women’s category in the Absa Cape Epic MTB race, Hannele Steyn. According to Steyn, proper nutrition starts and ends with a perfectly balanced, healthy eating plan. “While a balanced diet can go a long way towards boosting an athlete’s performance, physical wellbeing and recovery, questions are often raised about how best to eat enough to have the energy to perform at your peak, while making sure that excess weight is not gained. “New diets and diet trends show up all the time. There are so
many diets out there, and usually, the really good ones tend to have some foundation of truth to them. However, if all of these were truly able to help people achieve what they claim to, why are there still new diets entering the market almost daily?” asks Steyn.
STEYN SAYS THIS TYPICALLY RESULTS IN A PATTERN THAT SHE DESCRIBES AS THE 'YO-YO EFFECT'. “ABOUT 99% OF ALL DIETS RESULT IN THIS YO-YO EFFECT. WHEN SOMEONE IS ON A SPECIFIC DIET, HE OR SHE MAY WELL LOSE WEIGHT, HOWEVER, AS SOON AS THE DIET ENDS THE WEIGHT PILES BACK ON, AND IN MOST CASES, WITH A FEW UNWANTED, ADDITIONAL KILOGRAMS. “The answer is relatively simple – if you are unable to stick to a particular diet for the rest of your life, it will only show short term results and not a sustainable lifestyle,” she cautions. Steyn says this typically results in a pattern that she describes as the 'yo-yo effect'. “About 99% of all diets result in this yo-yo effect. When someone is on a specific diet, he or she may well lose weight, however, as soon as the diet ends the weight piles back on, and in most cases, with a few unwanted, additional kilograms. The same goes for fitness and having a holistic view of wellbeing. Diet and exercise plays an important part in ensuring I am always race-ready,” she adds. “This approach endorsed by Spectramed and Zurreal, helped me to prepare for, and ultimately, compete at a high level.” “I am very passionate about nutrition, and part of my philosophy is based on getting enough nutrients in smaller portions, and reaching your optimum lean muscle mass,” Steyn adds. “Every ingredient should serve a purpose, and therefore each item that gets added to a healthy recipe should have a nutritional benefit,” she emphasises. The most important factor to weigh up is whether you are, in fact, following a nutritionally sound and balanced eating plan. “Balanced eating is not, everything in moderation, but rather eating enough of each food group as determined by scientific
principles. Although science changes all the time as new research is released, certain basics will always remain the same,” says Steyn. “The philosophy behind the Banting diet is that sugar is, in fact, the biggest culprit in terms of additional carbohydrates and weight gain. However, when it comes to carbohydrates, I am of the belief that there should be a place for the correct carbs, especially if you are an athlete. Carbohydrates break down into sugar, and the energy that does not get burned through physical activity gets stored as fat. Do the math. If you are a very active person, you can allow for some carbohydrates. If you are, however, overweight, insulin resistant or very inactive then you should be aware of which and how much carbohydrates you consume,” she advises. To optimise nutrition, Steyn advises sportsmen and women to eat balanced meals. Make sure to include the three food groups: protein, carbs and essential fats. There is a correct amount per kilogram body weight per day of each of these food groups. Select your carbs from a list of low GI, natural foods, like vegetables, fruit and grains. A golden rule is to avoid, manmade foods. “Remember that fruit and grains are not ‘unhealthy’, just high in carbohydrates, but we do need them for the essential micronutrients. Not enough fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet can lead to serious health problems,” Steyn adds. Steyn says that it is not only athletes who need to follow a balanced, healthy diet. “Young children in particular need all the nutritional and natural food they can get. One of the best ways to provide this is to focus on cutting out all quick-to-prepare, processed and pre-prepared meals. You will be amazed at the difference it makes when you are only eating natural foods, both in terms of your general health and sports performance,” she notes. Any professional athlete, weekend sportsperson, or parent of a child needs to ensure that nutritional needs are met through a properly balanced diet and healthy food. “It is important to take into consideration that each person has individualised nutritional needs that are dependent on the type of sport, the intensity of training, the duration of the sport and exercise regimes, weight, age, gender, training and competition schedules, as well as personal goals. This all starts with a balanced and healthy eating plan,” Steyn concludes.
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