Taking Music to the Mountains – Trentino’s unique music festival

Taking Music to the Mountains is a festival of 24 concerts in magnificent natural settings which takes place between July 7 – August 31, 2017.

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Each summer, the Sounds of the Dolomites music festival is held in the beautiful Trentino Dolomites, and features a musical programme that is both eclectic and wide-ranging. This year, the 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker, singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti, and jazz legend Chick Corea are all on the menu.

Now in its 23rd edition, the Sounds of the Dolomites festival offers both musicians and audiences an intriguing proposition. How would their music sound if it were played outdoors, in one of the world’s most famous mountain landscapes?

Each summer, in July and August, they come to the Trentino Dolomites to find out: and discover a unique and unforgettable event.

Almost every concert begins with a walk
The key to the festival’s success is its willingness to seek out the most stunning venues. The concerts are not staged down in the valleys, with the cliffs and crags a distant backdrop: they’re up on the slopes – performed in lush Alpine meadows, or on the shores of remote mountain lakes. Usually, there’s a mountain refuge nearby, and a switchback road or cable car to take the sting out of the climb. But in most cases, audiences and musicians need to do a little walking to get there.

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It’s well worth the effort. Each setting has its own special qualities: but every one of them is magical. Up in the mountains, the music breathes like nowhere else – and begins an fascinating dialogue with its surroundings. Violins and cellos flicker in the breeze, and the silences are as meaningful as the songs. It’s no wonder, then, that the festival has become a widely-anticipated event amongst both musicians and music lovers – and is reviewed in both the Italian and international media.

From classical recitals to singer-songwriters
This year’s festival begins with a performance by the 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Rifugio Fuciade – a serene and lovely spot near the San Pellegrino pass. The ensemble was established in 1972 and over the years it’s played for the Emperor of Japan and the President of the United States. On July 7, it will perform works by Boris Blacher, Julius Klengel, Astor Piazzol and José Carlia, while the audience gazes across the trees and meadows towards the Pale di San Martino: one of the most dramatic of all the Dolomite massifs.

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It will be a fitting start to a mouthwatering programme, which mixes world music, jazz, and classical recitals with performances by singer-songwriters such as Jack Savoretti. Savoretti’s “Written in Scars” was a permanent fixture in the UK album charts in 2015, and he’ll be playing songs from his latest release, “Sleep No More” in Madonna di Campiglio on August 28. Meanwhile, on July 12 at the Villa Welsperg, you can see Jazz legend Chick Corea, who’ll be duetting with banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck: an unlikely combination perhaps, but one which has already produced intriguing results, and received rave reviews.

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Another highlight comes courtesy of the Tunisian oud virtuoso, Anouar Brahem, who’ll be playing on August 2, in the dramatic setting of the Passo Sella. But for raw mountain atmosphere, it will be hard to beat the recital on July 26 by the Kelemen Quartet at Laghi di Bombasèl – a series of remote and magnificent mountain lakes, high above the town of Cavalese.

A festival within a festival
One striking feature of this year’s event is the “festival within a festival”, which runs from July 17-23 in the Brenta Dolomites. Here, you’ll be able to see a concert a day in spectacular locations around the resort town of Madonna di Campiglio.

They’ll be performed by one of the musical directors of the Sounds of the Dolomites, cellist Mario Brunello, with members of Kremerata Baltica orchestra – and the programme promises to be innovative in every way. From 18-20 July, for example, Brunello will be trekking through the mountains with fellow cellist Peteris Sokolovksis, stopping en route to perform music by Offenbach and Boccherini – as well as the “Lux Aeterna”, Kneifel’s mystical work, in which they’ll accompany their cellos with song.

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Bruno and his cello!

Throughout this event Brunello will be playing a prestigious 17th-century Maggini cello, made with wood from the forests just east of Paneveggio in Trentino. Here, the mountain valleys are home to Italian Red Spruces, which grow straight and slow in the chilly, sheltered microclimate. Their dense, consistent timber makes near-perfect soundboards for musical instruments – and Maggini wasn’t the only master craftsman to understand its properties. Stradivarius also used wood from these forests for his violins.

Nearly all the concerts are free
If you’d like to join Mario Brunello and Peteris Sokolovksis for their three-day trek through the Brenta Dolomites, the price is €360, which includes two nights accommodation in mountain refuges (limited spaces – bookings from 9 am on May 8 on +39 0465 447501). But otherwise, all the concerts in the Sounds of the Dolomites festival are free. New this year: with your Trentino Guest Card or if you have a local guest card, you can also join in one of the mountain guides leading walks to the venues for free.

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Most concerts begin at 1pm. However, on two mornings – July 15 and 23 – they begin with the sunrise, at 6am. Each has a back-up venue at lower altitude, in case of inclement weather.

The Festival will of course provide the perfect excuse for a longer holiday in the Dolomites, which were recognized as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2009. The best places to stay will be in the towns and villages of the Val di Fassa and the Val di Fiemme, in San Martino di Castrozza, or – for Mario Brunello’s mini-festival of July 17-23 – Madonna di Campiglio. For details of accommodation, visit www.visittrentino.info/en/booking/all-accommodation.

For more information about the Sounds of the Dolomites, visit www.isuonidelledolomiti.it/EN/.

Apple cider vinegar – can it help with diabetes & how is it taken?

For many years, apple cider vinegar has been linked with an array of health benefits, according to an article in Medical News Today.

These have ranged from aiding weight loss to relieving cold symptoms. But does taking it help people with diabetes?

The majority of the health claims around apple cider vinegar have yet to be supported by clinical research. However, evidence has been emerging to suggest that apple cider vinegar may have certain benefits for the management of type 2 diabetes.
This article will discuss the research behind this claim and how apple cider vinegar should be taken, if at all.


What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar derives from cider or fresh apples and is produced after a slow process that breaks down sugars.
Vinegar can be made from nearly any carbohydrate. Apple cider vinegar is derived from cider or freshly pressed apple juice.

Like most vinegars, apple cider vinegar is produced after a slow process spanning several weeks or months in which sugars are broken down.

Mother of vinegar is a cobweb-like substance made from yeast and bacteria that builds up during this period. Mother of vinegar gives the vinegar a cloudy appearance and it is only present in unfiltered apple cider vinegar. It is thought to boost the vinegar’s nutritional value.

However, most vinegar is pasteurized. This heating process kills bacteria but prevents mother of vinegar from forming.

Apple cider vinegar and diabetes
In 1980, there were around 108 million people with diabetes worldwide. Its prevalence has increased greatly over the past few decades to an estimated 422 million. Diabetes is a chronic condition marked by an inability to manage blood sugar levels appropriately.

The hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels is called insulin. People with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce this hormone. People with type 2 diabetes are unable to produce enough insulin or respond appropriately to the hormone.

People can also develop a related condition known as prediabetes. This is where an individual may have blood sugar levels that are high, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.

Developing methods that help the body to regulate blood sugar levels efficiently is the most effective strategy in managing diabetes. Maintaining a healthful, balanced diet and regular exercise are crucial lifestyle factors that can help to achieve this.

Some evidence also suggests that consuming apple cider vinegar may be useful in helping people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels.

One study demonstrated that apple cider vinegar reduced blood sugar levels and had a positive impact on cholesterol in rats with and without diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes
Studies suggest that a small amount of apple cider vinegar may help to reduce blood sugar levels after a spike following a meal high in carbohydrates.
In humans, researchers have looked at how consuming apple cider vinegar alongside a meal high in carbohydrates affected blood sugar levels in participants who had type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, or neither condition.

Meals high in carbohydrates typically cause a spike in blood sugar levels immediately after eating. However, less than an ounce of apple cider vinegar significantly reduced blood sugar levels across all three groups following the meal, compared with the consumption of a placebo drink.

Another study in patients with type 2 diabetes compared apple cider vinegar with water. The authors found that consuming 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a cheese snack before bedtime was enough to significantly lower blood sugar levels the following morning.

This finding suggests that apple cider vinegar could also help to reduce fasting blood sugar levels. This refers to blood sugar levels after 8 hours without eating or drinking anything except water. Fasting blood sugar levels serve as a baseline measure of a person’s blood sugar levels.

It is thought that a component of apple cider vinegar called acetic acid may slow down the conversion of complex carbohydrates into sugar in the bloodstream.

This provides more time for sugar to be removed from the bloodstream, allowing the body to keep blood sugar levels constant and limit spikes. This is also a theory underlying the effects of several different diabetes drugs.

Type 1 diabetes
While consuming apple cider vinegar could help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels, it could be harmful to those with type 1 diabetes.

The inadequate digestion of food is a common complication for people with diabetes. Called gastroparesis or delayed gastric emptying, it means that food can remain in the stomach for an abnormally long period of time without being digested.

These delays in the digestive process make it harder for the body to consistently control blood sugar levels. A team of Swedish researchers found that apple cider vinegar increased the time in which food remains undigested in stomach of people with type 1 diabetes.

It is important to note that a majority of the studies within this area have been conducted using small sample sizes and findings have not always been consistent.

A large-scale, randomized control trial to find out how apple cider vinegar affects blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes has yet to be conducted.

Any impact that apple cider vinegar might have on the regulation of blood sugar levels is likely to be relatively small compared with maintaining a healthful, balanced diet and regular exercise.

Based on the available evidence, apple cider vinegar could help people with type 2 diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. More research is needed for large-scale recommendations. Its consumption in moderation has yet to be linked with any significant harms or side effects.

How is it consumed?
Apple cider vinegar may be consumed diluted in water or used in marinades and salad dressings.
People who wish to consume apple cider vinegar are best diluting 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water. It should be consumed before meals and there may be benefits associated with consuming it just before bedtime.

As with most vinegars, it is not recommended to consume undiluted apple cider vinegar. When drunk on its own, it can cause stomach irritation or damage to tooth enamel.

Apple cider vinegar can also be used as a versatile cooking ingredient. It is suitable for use in salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and soups. It works well with many meats and fish.

People are most likely to see the distilled varieties of apple cider vinegar on sale, which has a clear, see-through appearance. However, it is better to search for the unfiltered, cloudier varieties as they contain mother of vinegar and are more nutritious.

Summary
People with type 2 diabetes may want to consider diluted apple vinegar cider given that it is safe to consume and may provide some benefit to blood sugar level control. However, the evidence behind its benefits is still lacking.

It is important for people to note that apple cider vinegar should not be considered a quick fix for diabetes. Eating a balanced diet low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, and exercising regularly are the most effective methods of controlling diabetes.

Beetroot helps brain become more youthful, reveals new study

A new scientific study reveals that drinking beetroot juice prior to working out enables the aging brain to perform more efficiently and appear younger.

Previous studies have shown that beetroot juice increases blood flow to the skeletal muscles during exercise by 38%. Now, researchers at Wake Forest University have found that drinking beetroot juice ahead of a workout improves the brains of older adults. The beetroot juice supplement provides the brains of this demographic function with improved efficiency, mirroring the functionality of younger brains. Though it was known that exercise alone makes a positive impact on the brain, it comes as a bit of a surprise that beetroot juice supplements also bolster mental processing power. The results of the study were recently made available to the public in peer-reviewed Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

About the Study

The brief training study keyed in on hypertensive older individuals. The effort was led by W. Jack Rejeski, the Director of the Behavioral Medicine Laboratory in the Department of Health & Exercise Science. The study’s lead author was Meredith Petrie, one of Rejeski’s former undergraduate students. The study served as the first test to gauge the combined impact of exercise and beetroot juice supplements on the brain’s functional networks in the motor cortex along with the secondary connections between the insula and cortex that ameliorate mobility.

The study analysed 26 men and women over the age of 55. These individuals performed no exercise, were saddled by high blood pressure and received no more than two medications to treat the malady. Half the study participants were provided with Beet-It Sport Shot with 560 mg of nitrate, a beetroot juice supplement, three times per week for six weeks. They consumed the supplement an hour before embarking on a 50-minute walking session on a treadmill. The other half received a placebo Beet-It with minimal nitrate.

A Word on Beets

Beets are loaded with dietary nitrate. This nitrate is converted to nitrite and subsequently converted to nitric oxide after consumption. Nitric oxide stimulates blood flow through the body. Several studies have shown nitric oxide boosts exercise performance in individuals across numerous age groups. It is revered as a powerful molecule that travels to portions of the body that are hypoxic or in need of oxygen.

The brain is one of the primary suppliers of oxygen to the body. As one exercises, the brain’s somatomotor cortex sorts cues stemming from the body. Exercise serves to strengthen the somatomotor cortex. The combination of beetroot juice and exercise provides an abundance of oxygen to the brain, creating a fantastic environment for boosting the strength of the somatomotor cortex.

The Findings

Post-exercise analysis makes it clear that the group that consumed beetroot juice enjoyed heightened levels of nitrate and nitrite compared to those who consumed the placebo before exercising. It is important to note that participants in both groups had nearly the same levels of nitrate and nitrite in their blood before consuming the beetroot juice and placebo. Though additional studies must be performed, the study’s findings suggest that the foods and drinks consumed during the aging process make a monumental impact on the maintenance of the brain’s health and functionality.

Healthy ageing campaigner Charles Eugster dies at the age of 97

So sad to hear the news this week of the passing of Charles Eugster – not far short of 100 years.

Dr Charles Eugster, the best-selling author and record-breaking athlete, has died in London at the age of 97.  His publicist confirmed he passed away Wednesday evening from complications following heart failure.

Born in 1919, he died the current World Masters World Record Holder at M95+ 200m indoor and 400m outdoors.  During the past decades, he also broke many records in World Masters rowing, and held numerous World Strenflex titles.  He was in high demand around the world as an expert on aging and as an inspirational speaker, sharing his insights and understanding of the benefits of an active old age, as well as making a huge number of media appearances. His first book, Age is Just a Number, was published earlier this year, which he promoted with the catch phrase: “you are never too old to try something new”.

His son, Andre, spoke briefly to say “We fully supported Dad in his endeavours and aside from our personal loss it is so sad that he passed away at the height of his success.  He wanted to inspire the world.”

David Tarsh, of Tarsh Consulting who represented Charles, added, “We, along with everyone who knew Charles, are incredibly sad to lose such a truly inspirational figure.  He has shown, by remarkable example, how fantastic life can be in older old-age.  It has been a privilege to work with and learn from Charles”.

There was nothing genetically special about Charles.  His understanding of the ageing process, and the lifestyle he adopted to ensure his ongoing physical and mental well-being, is something everyone can aspire to.  He passionately believed that continuing physical and mental activity into the later years of life provides incalculable benefits to individuals and to society as a whole.

Charles never sought physical immortality but he wanted to “change the world” to make advanced old age a different experience… one that could be exciting, useful and fulfilling.  At this, he led by example and magnificently over-achieved until the very end of his remarkable life.  His legacy, however, will live on having inspired thousands around the world.

Charles was an amazing man with the energy and enthusiasm for healthy ageing that belied his years. I remember him fondly and it was a privilege to have met him. You can read the interview here.

 

 

Win tickets to Ayurveda for Everyone – learn the secrets of well-being & longevity

London’s first health fair dedicated to the ancient Indian principles of Ayurveda – Ayurveda For Everyone – is taking place next weekend of Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April, 2017.Elixir has four pairs of tickets to give away – 2 for the event and another 2 for the evening concert on Saturday 1 April.

Bringing together world experts and leading producers of Ayurvedic therapies and preparations, Ayurveda For Everyone will highlight how diet and nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and meditation, can promote good health and longevity.

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The first 2 pairs of tickets for this event will be given away for the Ayurveda for Everyone Health Fair, where world-renowned health experts and scholars will speak about Ayurveda and how it can benefit you in your daily life. Some of the topics include weight management, anti-ageing, overcoming joint and back pain, and keeping your heart healthy. Enter to win and you will have a chance to learn the simple health secrets from the experts.

Our second giveaway will be for another two pairs of tickets to the Gandharva Veda Concert, where the traditional music and songs of India will be performed by talented and accomplished musicians. The concert will be held Saturday 1 April at 8pm. The music will uplift your spirits, and is key to the full Ayurveda treatment. See the full line-up of musicians here, and enter today for chance to win tickets to the experience you’ll never forget.

The Ayurveda For Everyone Health Fair takes place at the Novotel London West, 1 Shortlands, Hammersmith International Centre, London W6 8DR from 1 to 2 April 2017. The Event will offer displays, product samples and treatment demonstrations from leading suppliers of Ayurvedic preparations and therapies alongside exclusive talks from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

Tickets are available to purchase for pre-register – click here to find out more and start from £25.00 to attend one full day at the Health Fair and all 7 lectures or £40.00 to attend both days and all 14 lectures. Tickets are £30.00 and £45.00 on the door respectively.

All you have to do to win a pair of tickets is to answer the simple question below. This competition closes on Thursday 30 March 2017 at midnight. Please note that the Editor’s decision is final and no cash equivalent is offered. The winner will be notified by email at the end of the competition. Winners will be able to pick their tickets up the Box Office. Good luck!

All you have to do is a simple question below:

Chemist Direct – up to 50% off across the range

Chemist Direct sale

Up to 50% off – bargains across the range – click on the link to find savings

 

 

http://tidd.ly/bb450551

New! Win Chloé’s signature scent worth £70

Chloé’s signature scent truly embodies the creative, confident individuality of the Chloé woman: a fresh, feminine fragrance with an innate sense of chic.

Chloe Eau de Parfum

The perfume is created with a mix of natural and couture ingredients. The bottle is made with genuine silver plating and graced with a finishing touch, a hand tied ribbon. This unique example of craftsmanship and sublime rose scent perfectly capture the house of Chloe spirit, effortless chic and femininity.

If you don’t fancy waiting there are currently lots of discount perfume offers online – like me you be wondering why you ever bought perfume in a store – here at. Chemist Direct Current offers include Christian Dior, Burberry, Vera Wang, Cacherel and many more. Similarly at Fragrance Direct

All you have to do to win our Chloe perfume is answer the simple question below. This competition closes on Sunday 2nd April 2017 at midnight. Please note that the Editor’s decision is final and no cash equivalent is offered. The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours of the end of the competition. Good luck!

Sun & fun in Marbella & Malaga – bargain breaks

Run to stay young

Active older people should keep on running, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Boulder and Humboldt State University.

It revealed that seniors who run several times a week expend about the same amount of energy walking as a typical 20-year-old.

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And even older people who walk for exercise rather than jog expend about the same amount of energy walking as older, sedentary adults, and expend up to 22 percent more energy walking than the 20-something crowd.

The study, led by Humboldt State Professor Justus Ortega
“The bottom line is that running keeps you younger, at least in terms of energy efficiency,” said CU-Boulder Associate Professor Rodger Kram of the Department of Integrative Physiology, a co-author of the new study.

The study involved 30 healthy older volunteer adults (15 males and 15 females) with an average age of 69 who either regularly ran or walked for exercise. The volunteers all had been either walking or running at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per workout for at least six months. Boulder was an ideal place for the study, said Kram, in part because it has been an international running mecca since the 1970s and there are a relatively large number of senior runners.
“What we found is that older adults who regularly participate in highly aerobic activities – running in particular – have a lower metabolic cost of walking than older, sedentary adults and also lower than seniors who regularly walk for exercise,” said Ortega, who earned his doctorate at CU-Boulder.

“It’s been known for a long time that as people age their maximum aerobic capacity, or ‘horsepower,’ declines, and that is true for runners as well,” said Ortega. “What’s new here is we found that old runners maintain their fuel economy.”
All study participants underwent preliminary health screenings at the CU-Boulder Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC), which is funded primarily by the National Institutes of Health.

The test subjects walked on a force-measuring treadmill at three speeds in Kram’s Locomotion Laboratory at CU-Boulder: 1.6 mph, 2.8 mph, and 3.9 mph. The researchers measured each participant’s oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production during the testing sessions. For the new study, the team also used data gathered as part of Ortega’s dissertation on the energy expended by younger and older sedentary adults during similar walking treadmill tests for comparison.
Other co-authors of the new study are CU-Boulder graduate student Owen Beck, Jaclyn Roby, now a student in the Physical Therapy Program at CU’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver, and former Humboldt State undergraduate Aria Turney.
“It was surprising to find that older adults who regularly run for exercise are better walkers than older adults who regularly walk for exercise,” said Beck. “The take-home message of the study is that consistently running for exercise seems to slow down the aging process and allows older individuals to move more easily, improving their independence and quality of life,” he said.

“Walking for exercise has many positive health effects, like fending off heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and depression – it’s just that walking efficiency does not seem to be one of them,” said Kram. “Because we found no external biomechanical differences between the older walkers and runners, we suspect the higher efficiency of senior runners is coming from their muscle cells.”

Specifically, Kram believes that mitochondria—small bodies found inside individual cells known as the cell “powerhouses”—are involved. Mitochondria generate chemical energy known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that powers our muscle fibers to help us move about, lift objects, and, in this case, run. People who work out regularly generally have more mitochondria in their cells, providing more energy to power larger muscles.
Kram said further research is needed to determine the role mitochondria play in the energy efficiency exhibited by running seniors.

Vitamin D deficiency link to chronic headache?

Vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of chronic headache, such as migraine, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

The recent Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, KIHD, analysed the serum vitamin D levels and occurrence of headache in approximately 2,600 men aged between 42 and 60 years in 1984-1989. In 68% of these men, the serum vitamin D level was below 50 nmol/l, which is generally considered the threshold for vitamin D deficiency. Chronic headache occurring at least on a weekly basis was reported by 250 men, and men reporting chronic headache had lower serum vitamin D levels than others.

When the study population was divided into four groups based on their serum vitamin D levels, the group with the lowest levels had over a twofold risk of chronic headache in comparison to the group with the highest levels. Chronic headache was also more frequently reported by men who were examined outside the summer months of June through September. Thanks to UVB radiation from the sun, the average serum vitamin D levels are higher during the summer months.

Despite being an essential vitamin with multiple benefits including anti-inflammatory properties, survey results have shown that 79% of UK adults don’t take a vitamin D supplement despite 1 in 5 being deficient.

CoQ10

Coenzyme Q-10 is great for supporting brain health. Found in fatty foods like fish, beef, chicken and nuts.

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Omega 3s

Omega 3s are powerful anti-inflammatories and they are important for controlling inflammation anywhere in the body.”

These healthy oils can decrease the duration and severity of migraines as they act as an effective anti-inflammatory, which can help to reduce blood vessel inflammation within the brain.

Magnesium

As well as Vitamin D, many migraine sufferers are also prone to have a deficiency in magnesium. Known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’, an increased magnesium intake can reduce the frequency of headaches and migraines up to 41%![1]

“Many of us live hectic, stressful lives and are more exposed to environmental and food toxins, which can make us more prone to a magnesium deficiency. To make sure you’re getting your daily dose I would recommend taking Natures Plus KalmAssure Magnesium Capsules (£11.75, www.naturesplus.co.uk), which are easily absorbed and delivered to the tissues,” explains Cassandra.

Water

Always ensure you have plenty of water during the day

Tuscan White Bean Stew – the perfect cool weather warmer

A traditional Tuscan soup that is low in fat and calories and a perfect cool weather warmer

Serves 6

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Ingredients
For the croutons
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, quartered
• 1 slice whole-grain bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the stew
• 2 cups dried cannellini or other white beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
• 6 cups water
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
• 3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 6 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus 6 sprigs
• 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth

Directions
To make the croutons, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes to infuse the garlic flavor into the oil. Remove the garlic pieces and discard. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the bread cubes and saute, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

In a soup pot over high heat, combine the white beans, water, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are tender, 60 to 75 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf. Place the cooked beans into a large bowl and save the cooking pot for later use.
In a small bowl, combine the reserved cooking liquid and 1/2 cup of the cooked beans. Mash with a fork to form a paste. Stir the bean paste into the cooked beans.
Return the cooking pot to the stove top and add the olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and carrots and saute until the carrots are tender-crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, the pepper, chopped rosemary, bean mixture and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the stew is heated through, about 5 minutes.
Ladle the stew into warmed bowls and sprinkle with the croutons. Garnish each bowl with a rosemary sprig and serve immediately.

Low cost amino acid that protects the brain from ageing

New discoveries are highlighting the roles that a low-cost amino acid,  taurine, plays in helping to preserve the human mind. The importance of maintaining critical concentrations of taurine, as we age is being recognised by specialists in cognitive medicine. In particular how it protects against environmental pollution. 1,2
Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in our bodies. It plays special roles in the brain, where it meets many of the criteria for being a neurotransmitter (a molecule that transmits signals between brain cells).3,4Its role in normal brain development is already established.5-7

It is thought that taurine:
•Protects brain cells against environmental toxins including lead and organic pesticides8
•Prevents dysfunction of mitochondria within brain cells, thereby sustaining energy levels9,10
•Protects brain cells against excitotoxicity, the chemically stressful effects of overstimulated brain cells9
•Enhances the inhibitory systems driven by the “relaxing” neurotransmitter GABA, which directly opposes excitotoxic effects11
•Cooperates with other neurotransmitters to promote induction of long-term potentiation, which is the neurological process by which memories are formed and retained during learning2,12
•Reduces brain inflammatory processes that are active in production of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases13
•Stimulates proliferation and new neuron formation to sustain learning and memory14-16
•Protects brain cells against destruction following a stroke17,18
•Attenuates damage caused by beta amyloid protein, a major contributing factor in Alzheimer’s disease10,19

Protects the adult brain as well as the developing brain by slowing down ageing and also again environmental toxins,  increasingly recognised as factors in adult neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.20-23

Taurine protects against environmental poisons

A recent study showed that rats exposed to either a dangerous pesticide called CPF, lead acetate, or both toxins, showed biochemical damage leading to visible degeneration of brain tissue. When the animals were cotreated with taurine, those changes were prevented.8

These findings may have increased urgency as Americans discover just how our public infrastructure has failed to protect us against lead and other toxins in our water supplies.24

Taurine’s multiple mechanisms of action fight brain aging in other important ways, particularly by protecting the brain against internal age-accelerating forces.

For decades, scientists believed that adult brain cells could not reproduce, nor could new brain cells be generated afresh. Studies with taurine are turning that dogma on its head.

New brain cell growth was demonstrated in an exciting study released in 2015. Swiss scientists discovered that feeding middle-aged mice taurine could trigger rapid growth in populations of stem cells in the brain and greatly promote their subsequent differentiation into functioning adult brain cells.25 This effect had previously been shown in studies of cultured adult-mouse brain stem cells.14 And another 2015 study demonstrated that human-brain stem cells in culture underwent the same type of proliferation and specialization demonstrated in the animal studies.16

Together, these studies mean that humans are likely to be able to stimulate new brain cell development, and foster rapid synaptic connections between them with taurine.

Neurodegenerative diseases rob aging adults of memory, function, and dignity. Taurine has significant favorable impact on the malformed and toxic proteins that accumulate in the aging brain, leading to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Taurine can prevent damage wrought on brain cells by the malformed Alzheimer’s-related protein called beta amyloid.10 That mechanism may have been at work in a recent mouse model study of Alzheimer’s, in which six weeks of taurine added to drinking water rescued mice from developing cognitive deficits. In this study taurine supplementation restored cognitive function to that of age-matched normal mice.19

Elevated blood glucose and insulin resistance severely damage the brain. Some researchers now refer to Alzheimer’s as “type III diabetes.”26 In 2015, a study showed that taurine supplementation in mice could increase brain insulin receptors, an effect that might prove to be protective against the disease.27

Ischemic strokes are the result of an abrupt reduction in blood flow to specific brain regions. Strokes not only cause immediate symptoms, but also contribute to accelerated brain aging over the longer term.28,29 Once again, a role for taurine supplementation is evident.

Taurine appears to protect brain cells from the oxidative stress induced during a stroke, and to slow subsequent brain cell death.9,18 Chronic cellular destruction contributes to neurological problems in stroke survivors, so preventing it is an important approach to mitigating stroke damage. A mouse study has shown that adding taurine to another emerging stroke drug improved performance on neurological tests, while the drug alone was ineffective.18
Brains age for many reasons. Chronic toxin exposures, elevated blood sugar, accumulations of abnormal proteins and circulatory disruptions are known to accelerate brain aging.

Taurine is proving to have significant brain age-decelerating effects. Most recently, it has been shown to be protective against toxic exposures including lead and pesticides. It also inhibits beta amyloid formation associated with Alzheimer’s and helps regulate the brain’s control of glucose. Taurine also shows evidence of protection against the cognitive deficits induced by stroke.

It has also been reported that this amino acid has helped grow new brain cells.

References

  1. Menzie J, Pan C, Prentice H, et al. Taurine and central nervous system disorders. Amino Acids. 2014;46(1):31-46.
  2. Suarez LM, Munoz MD, Martin Del Rio R, et al. Taurine content in different brain structures during ageing: effect on hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Amino Acids. 2016;48(5):1199-208.
  3. Ripps H, Shen W. Review: taurine: a “very essential” amino acid. Mol Vis. 2012;18:2673-86.
  4. Iio W, Matsukawa N, Tsukahara T, et al. The effects of oral taurine administration on behavior and hippocampal signal transduction in rats. Amino Acids. 2012;43(5):2037-46.
  5. Shivaraj MC, Marcy G, Low G, et al. Taurine induces proliferation of neural stem cells and synapse development in the developing mouse brain. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42935.
  6. Liu J, Liu Y, Wang XF, et al. Antenatal taurine supplementation improves cerebral neurogenesis in fetal rats with intrauterine growth restriction through the PKA-CREB signal pathway. Nutr Neurosci. 2013;16(6):282-7.
  7. Li F, Teng HY, Liu J, et al. Antenatal taurine supplementation increases taurine content in intrauterine growth restricted fetal rat brain tissue. Metab Brain Dis. 2014;29(3):867-71.
  8. Akande MG, Aliu YO, Ambali SF, et al. Taurine mitigates cognitive impairment induced by chronic co-exposure of male Wistar rats to chlorpyrifos and lead acetate. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2014;37(1):315-25.
  9. Kumari N, Prentice H, Wu JY. Taurine and its neuroprotective role. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;775:19-27.
  10. Sun Q, Hu H, Wang W, et al. Taurine attenuates amyloid beta 1-42-induced mitochondrial dysfunction by activating of SIRT1 in SK-N-SH cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014;447(3):485-9.
  11. El Idrissi A, Shen CH, L’Amoreaux W J. Neuroprotective role of taurine during aging. Amino Acids. 2013;45(4):735-50.
  12. Suarez LM, Bustamante J, Orensanz LM, et al. Cooperation of taurine uptake and dopamine D1 receptor activation facilitates the induction of protein synthesis-dependent late LTP. Neuropharmacology. 2014;79:101-11.
  13. Ward RJ, Dexter DT, Crichton RR. Ageing, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2015;7:189-204.
  14. Hernandez-Benitez R, Ramos-Mandujano G, Pasantes-Morales H. Taurine stimulates proliferation and promotes neurogenesis of mouse adult cultured neural stem/progenitor cells. Stem Cell Res. 2012;9(1):24-34.
  15. Hernandez-Benitez R, Vangipuram SD, Ramos-Mandujano G, et al. Taurine enhances the growth of neural precursors derived from fetal human brain and promotes neuronal specification. Dev Neurosci. 2013;35(1):40-9.
  16. Pasantes-Morales H, Ramos-Mandujano G, Hernandez-Benitez R. Taurine enhances proliferation and promotes neuronal specification of murine and human neural stem/progenitor cells. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2015;803:457-72.
  17. Chen PC, Pan C, Gharibani PM, et al. Taurine exerts robust protection against hypoxia and oxygen/glucose deprivation in human neuroblastoma cell culture. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013;775:167-75.
  18. Gharibani P, Modi J, Menzie J, et al. Comparison between single and combined post-treatment with S-Methyl-N,N-diethylthiolcarbamate sulfoxide and taurine following transient focal cerebral ischemia in rat brain. Neuroscience. 2015;300:460-73.
  19. Kim HY, Kim HV, Yoon JH, et al. Taurine in drinking water recovers learning and memory in the adult APP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Sci Rep. 2014;4:7467.
  20. Goldman SM. Environmental toxins and Parkinson’s disease. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2014;54:141-64.
  21. Campdelacreu J. Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease: environmental risk factors. Neurologia. 2014;29(9):541-9.
  22. Nakamura T, Tu S, Akhtar MW, et al. Aberrant protein s-nitrosylation in neurodegenerative diseases. Neuron. 2013;78(4):596-614.
  23. L’Episcopo F, Tirolo C, Testa N, et al. Aging-induced Nrf2-ARE pathway disruption in the subventricular zone drives neurogenic impairment in parkinsonian mice via PI3K-Wnt/beta-catenin dysregulation. J Neurosci. 2013;33(4):1462-85.
  24. Bellinger DC. Lead Contamination in Flint–An Abject Failure to Protect Public Health. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(12):1101-3.
  25. Gebara E, Udry F, Sultan S, et al. Taurine increases hippocampal neurogenesis in aging mice. Stem Cell Res. 2015;14(3):369-79.
  26. Li X, Song D, Leng SX. Link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease: from epidemiology to mechanism and treatment. Clin Interv Aging. 2015;10:549-60.
  27. El Idrissi A, Sidime F, Tantawy O, et al. Taurine supplementation induces hyperinsulinemia and neuronal hyperexcitability. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2015;803:415-23.
  28. Canugovi C, Misiak M, Ferrarelli LK, et al. The role of DNA repair in brain related disease pathology. DNA Repair (Amst). 2013;12(8):578-87.
  29. Seghier ML, Ramsden S, Lim L, et al. Gradual lesion expansion and brain shrinkage years after stroke. Stroke. 2014;45(3):877-9.

Car Finance 247

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Online finance for any type of car – put in the figures and see for yourself

Win 1 of 10 pairs of tickets to the AFE Arts Antiques Fair London

AFE London Art Antiques Interiors Fair is set to take place for the first time next month at the ExCeL London. Running from Friday 13th until Sunday 15th January, the Fair will play host to a fantastic line up of 120 dealers and celebrity speakers all ready to give the seasoned shopper, first time buyer and aspiring collector advice on what to buy for their homes.

The exciting new Fair will become the first major event in the art and antiques calendar of 2017 and will offer a huge range of choice within the art, antiques and interiors market. With prices ranging from £20 to £20,000, it offers a range of choices to suit all tastes and budgets.
efa

Find out more about the AFE (Art For Everyone) website.

We have 10 pairs of tickets – each pair worth £24 (tickets will cost £15 at the door on the day of the event.  To win a ticket all you have to do is answer a simple question below and give us your details so that we can let you know if you win. Please note that no cash equivalent is offered and the Editor’s decision is final Winners will be informed within 24 hours of the close of the competition – at midnight on 7 January 2017.

Can vitamin D help psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common, autoimmune inflammatory disease that causes raised, scaly patches, known as plaques, to appear on the skin. It can be mild or chronic.

These scaly patches appear most often on the knees, scalp, and the outside of the elbows, and are the result of skin cells growing abnormally quickly. People with psoriasis often experience itchiness, and burning and stinging sensations in these areas.
People can develop psoriasis at any age, but they are most frequently diagnosed with the illness between the ages of 15 and 35. Although doctors accept that Vitamin D cannot cure this condition it can help to alleviate it.

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is made naturally by the body but is also found in  fatty fish, cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms amongst other foodstuffs.

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Sardines are an oily fish – they contain Vitamin D and Omega 3 oils – both of which are helpful to calm inflammation in psoriasis

Vitamin D  helps the muscles, heart, lungs, and brain to work well. It also helps to maintain strong, healthy bones. the body  turns vitamin D into a hormone. This hormone is called “activated vitamin D” or calcitriol.

Vitamin D helps maintain the health of bones and teeth and supports the health of the immune system, brain, and nervous system. It plays a role in controlling insulin levels and helps lung function and cardiovascular health. A lack of this vitamin is also suspected in the development of some cancers.

How might vitamin D help with psoriasis?
It is suggested by research that in those people who are not able to process vitamin D normally, psoriasis may worsen. As a result may topical creams contain Vitamin D

These treatments may be even more effective when used in combination with a high-quality topical steroid. In fact, a recent study found that the combination of a topical vitamin D treatment and a topical steroid was more effective at treating scalp psoriasis than steroids alone.

Vitamin D and UVBUltraviolet B (UVB) light therapy is also sometimes used to treat psoriasis. The treatment mimics the spectrum of the sun’s UVB rays that are known to trigger the production of vitamin D in the skin. UVB is effective at reducing psoriasis symptoms in 70 percent of patients.

How to get more vitamin D
UVB light therapy, which mimics the sun’s rays, may be used to treat psoriasis.
Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially among the following groups of people:
▪ Elderly
▪ Infants
▪ People with dark skin
▪ People who live at higher latitudes
▪ People who do not get much exposure to the sun

Everybody needs a certain amount of vitamin D per day. A person can take a simple blood test to find out their vitamin D levels. If the levels are too low, they can take oral supplements to replenish them.

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Vitamin D molecules

Vitamin D deficiency and psoriasis

Low vitamin D levels are common among people with long-term plaque psoriasis. Experts believe that having a vitamin D deficiency does not cause psoriasis, but it might limit the body’s ability to keep skin healthy.

Studies have found that in the winter, when there is less available sunlight, vitamin D deficiencies and psoriasis symptoms often get worse.

Other vitamins and supplements that might help with psoriasis
There is not much evidence to suggest that vitamins or dietary supplements help reduce symptoms of psoriasis. However, some people with psoriasis believe that omega-3 fatty acid supplements help ease their psoriasis. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, which is why some people believe the supplements help. But more long-term clinical trials are needed to show whether these supplements are effective for treating psoriasis.

Although it is better to get Vitamin D from your diet or sunlight one of the best dietary supplements is this one from Life Extension which is on sale at the Elixir shop/

Experience the world of MAD – special offers

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Offers on a huge array of activities – whether its a spa break for 2, driving experience with a high-bred fast car or simply visiting a vineyard for a wine-tasting – MAD has it all.  Click here to find out more.

50% off luxury Wolford lingerie

Wolford offers high-quality, exclusive lingerie and swimwear for the discerning customer. We stand for high quality products with a claim to timeless elegance and the best comfort.

There is currently up to 50% off various items in the sale at its online store

 

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50% off The Ultimate Book of Whisky with National Heritage

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The Ultimate Book of Whisky provides a fascinating introduction to the most renowned whiskies from around the world. Including more than 200 of the finest whiskies each entry is accompanied with colour photography, historical information and detailed tasting notes describing the appearance, style and unique flavours of the whisky. The accompanying Tasting Notes book enables you to write down your impressions of a whisky, capture unique flavours, and mention those characteristics that make the whisky distinctive. This key information will help you remember the whisky in the future and build up a record of the drams you have tasted.

This book costs £25 but is on special offer for £12.49 at the English Heritage Shop along with offer gifts for  Him

There is also free delivery on goods of £35 or more with Code – XMAS4.

 

A handful of nuts a day cut the risk of several killer diseases

A large analysis of current research shows that people who eat at least 20g of nuts a day have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
The analysis of all current studies on nut consumption and disease risk has revealed that 20g a day – equivalent to a handful – can cut people’s risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30 percent, their risk of cancer by 15 percent, and their risk of premature death by 22 percent.
almond-crusted-chicken

Crunchy Almond Chicken – see the tasty chicken recipe below

An average of at least 20g of nut consumption was also associated with a reduced risk of dying from respiratory disease by about a half, and diabetes by nearly 40 percent, although the researchers note that there is less data about these diseases in relation to nut consumption.
The study, led by researchers from Imperial College London and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is published in the journal BMC Medicine.
The research team analysed 29 published studies from around the world that involved up to 819,000 participants, including more than 12,000 cases of coronary heart disease, 9,000 cases of stroke, 18,000 cases of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and more than 85,000 deaths.
While there was some variation between the populations that were studied, such as between men and women, people living in different regions, or people with different risk factors, the researchers found that nut consumption was associated with a reduction in disease risk across most of them.
Study co-author Dagfinn Aune from the School of Public Health at Imperial said: “In nutritional studies, so far much of the research has been on the big killers such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer, but now we’re starting to see data for other diseases.
“We found a consistent reduction in risk across many different diseases, which is a strong indication that there is a real underlying relationship between nut consumption and different health outcomes. It’s quite a substantial effect for such a small amount of food.”
The study included all kinds of tree nuts, such as hazel nuts and walnuts, and also peanuts – which are actually legumes. The results were in general similar whether total nut intake, tree nuts or peanuts were analysed.
What makes nuts so potentially beneficial, said Aune, is their nutritional value: “Nuts and peanuts are high in fibre, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats – nutrients that are beneficial for cutting cardiovascular disease risk and which can reduce cholesterol levels.
“Some nuts, particularly walnuts and pecan nuts are also high in antioxidants, which can fight oxidative stress and possibly reduce cancer risk. Even though nuts are quite high in fat, they are also high in fibre and protein, and there is some evidence that suggests nuts might actually reduce your risk of obesity over time.”
The study also found that if people consumed on average more than 20g of nuts per day, there was little evidence of further improvement in health outcomes.
The team are now analysing large published datasets for the effects of other recommended food groups, including fruits and vegetables, on a wider range of diseases.
About the research
1. “Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause- specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies” by Dagfinn Aune et al. will be published in BMC Medicine at 01:00 London time (GMT) Monday 5 December 2016.
2. About Imperial College London
Imperial College London is one of the world’s leading universities. The College’s 16,000 students and 8,000 staff are expanding the frontiers of knowledge in science, medicine, engineering and business, and translating their discoveries into benefits for society.
Founded in 1907, Imperial builds on a distinguished past – having pioneered penicillin, holography and fibre optics – to shape the future. Imperial researchers work across disciplines to improve health and wellbeing, understand the natural world, engineer novel solutions and lead the data revolution. This blend of academic excellence and its real-world application feeds into Imperial’s exceptional learning environment, where students participate in research to push the limits of their degrees.
Imperial collaborates widely to achieve greater impact. It works with the NHS to improve healthcare in west London, is a leading partner in research and education within the European Union, and is the UK’s number one research collaborator with China.
Imperial has nine London campuses, including its White City Campus: a research and innovation centre that is in its initial stages of development in west London. At White City, researchers, businesses and higher education partners will co-locate to create value from ideas on a global scale. www.imperial.ac.uk

Almond Crusted Chicken – Serves 4 – each serving approx 250 calories

Ingredients

  1. 3/4 cup ground almonds
  2. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  4. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  5. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1/2 cup skim milk
  9. 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast, 4 ounces each
  10. 1 tablespoon olive oil

almond-crusted-chicken

Directions

Heat oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the ground almonds, flour, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour the milk in a separate medium-sized bowl. Coat each chicken breast in the almond mixture, then into the milk, and back into the almond mixture, and place on the baking sheet.

Preheat a nonstick saute pan on medium-high heat, and add the olive oil to the pan. Once the pan is hot, place the chicken breasts in the pan and reduce heat to medium. Sear the chicken breasts on one side until they are golden brown, then sear on the other side for 1 minute. Place chicken back on the greased baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F.

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size :1 chicken breast

  • Calories 250
  • Total fat 11 g
  • Saturated fat 1 g
  • Trans fat 0 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 6 g
  • Cholesterol 83 mg
  • Sodium 291 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 9 g
  • Dietary fiber 2 g
  • Total sugars 0 g
  • Protein 28 g

Gut health comes under the spotlight as its now implicated in many diseases

Improving your gut health is a simple way to make a real difference to your health and wellbeing, particular since it is now implicated in many diseases.

It’s also that time again when we pledge to become fitter, better versions of ourselves. In fact, the majority (61%) of British women make at least one New Year’s resolution, according to a new survey commissioned by constipation treatment Dulcolax. Health resolutions usually top the list: more than a third (37%) of women have pledged to eat more healthily and exercise more (35%), 14% have said they’ll aim to drink less alcohol, and more than one in ten (12%) have used the New Year to try a fad diet.

The vast majority fail to stick to their plans, however, with research also showing that 82% of women broke their resolutions last year*, with over half (62%) breaking them in 30 days or less*. A quarter (25%) say they got bored*, one in five (20%) say their resolution didn’t fit with their life*, while 17% say their lack of will power is to blame.

The research from Dulcolax also shines a light on the possible secrets to success with one in five (19%) women saying they would make more resolutions if they were easier to stick to and 13% would if their new habit had more of a noticeable impact on their lives.
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Kate Arnold is a nutritionist and gut expert with years of experience helping clients make healthy changes. She says: “While it’s a good idea to re-examine your habits to make some healthy goals for the year ahead, completely overhauling your lifestyle in January is almost guaranteed to fail. I always recommend making realistic New Year’s resolutions, broken down into achievable and measurable steps so you can see your progress. We all slip up now and then. Instead of beating yourself up every time you reach for the biscuit tin or get the bus instead of walking home, remember that every day is an opportunity to take control of your health.”

Kate Arnold continues: “If kick-starting a healthy lifestyle feels like a mammoth task, focusing on optimising your gut health could be a simple way to improve your overall wellbeing. Eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and soluble fibre like porridge, and drinking lots of water will keep your digestive system working well, while gentle exercise will keep your gut and bowel working as they should. Our gastrointestinal system, and particularly our gut flora, has a significant impact on the rest of our body – affecting everything from moods to weight. Anyone who’s had even a fairly minor problem with their digestion, like a bout of constipation, knows it can massively affect how you feel. Instead of setting yourself another unrealistic resolution that won’t last longer than the Christmas tree, try taking care of yourself by looking after your gut.”

For lifestyle changes and tips for a healthy bowel and avoiding common issues like constipation visit www.myconstipationrelief.com.

If lifestyle changes aren’t working, and you find yourself experiencing constipation, you may need a little extra support in the form of a treatment, like Dulcolax. Dulcolax tablets, £2.24 for a pack of 20, provide predictable overnight relief from constipation and are available from pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide.

About the survey
The survey of 2,003 people, including 1,035 women, was conducted by Censuswide between 02.11.2016 and 04.11.2016.

*Stats taken from a survey of 2,003 people, including 1,028 women, conducted by Censuswide between 26.10.2016 and 28.10.2016.

About Kate Arnold
Kate Arnold is a nutritionist with more than 18 years’ experience specialising in gastrointestinal disorders. She works with a range of organisations and individuals from her clinic in Sussex.

Disclaimer: Kate Arnold does not endorse Dulcolax or any other medicine.

Further tips and advice:

If trying to overhaul your health seems like a mammoth task this New Year, focusing on your gut is a simple and effective way to improve your overall health and wellbeing. To make 2017 the year you take control of your gut health, nutritionist Kate Arnold has the following tips:

Eat lots of the good stuff – fruit and veg are superstars for a reason. As well as containing essential vitamins and nutrients for the whole body, they’re high in fibre which is crucial for a strong digestive system, keeping you regular and avoiding issues like constipation. In particular onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, dark green leafy vegetables and unripe bananas help promote the right environment for gut flora to grow
Avoid junk food – processed food tends to be higher in fat, salt and sugar: all of which can overload your system and put pressure on your gut. Cooking for yourself is also a great exercise in mindfulness and a stress reliever, plus you know exactly what you’re eating
Stay hydrated – don’t overlook liquids as they also impact the gut. Avoid too much dehydrating caffeine and alcohol, and drink plenty of water
Eat slowly and mindfully – really paying attention to your food and not shovelling it down means you can appreciate what you’re putting in to your body, so you’re more likely to pick things that are good for it, rather than choosing convenience or cravings.
Eat good fats – fatty oils like omega-3 are essential for your brain, and if you’re feeling good, you’re more likely to take good care of yourself. Pick oily fish, nuts and avocados, and avoid trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils which have a negative impact on your body and mind in the long term
Check for intolerances or allergies – try eliminating a certain food for a while if you suspect you’re intolerant, and get tested if you’re worried
Eat smaller portions – sometimes it takes a while to realise we’re full so we can end up overeating, which can make our digestive systems sluggish and cause constipation. If you’re still hungry in half an hour, have some more!
Write a food diary to see if you’re really eating enough of the good stuff, and not too much of the bad. Looking at your food for the week can show up any gaps or excesses
Figure out triggers for bad habits – a food diary is also helpful here. Write down how you felt and what was going on at the time of eating to see if there are certain things that affect your eating, e.g. eating sugary, high-fat foods when you’re stressed
Talk to your doctor – if you have specific concerns always talk to your doctor

For more advice on having a healthy gut go to www.myconstipationrelief.com

Scientists discover how to reverse aging by ‘eating’ mutant DNA

Is there really a cure for ageing? Scientists discover breakthrough procedure to replace specific parts of ageing cells by getting them to eat themselves to death.
• As we age, our mitochondrial DNA mutates, deteriorating and eventually killing off cells
• Mitochondria are inefficient naturally repairing mutations
• Scientists at Caltech and UCLA have developed a way to trigger mitochondria to clear out mutated genes
• So far its worked on flies but like may pave the way for age-halting ops on human

A landmark study has identified a new way to replace ageing cells in our body.
The research by scientists at Caltech and UCLA could pave the way to developing nip-n-tuck style procedures that reverse and slow the ageing process.

The experiment targeted mutated DNA inside our mitochondria – the ‘battery’ of our cells. As we age, our DNA breaks down and mutates. But unlike other parts of the body, the mitochondria are not very good at repairing DNA.
But now, in a groundbreaking procedure, the Caltech-UCLA team has found a way to manipulate genes so that they break down and remove mutated DNA, regenerating the cells.
The operation is a twist on an already-documented natural procedure called autophagy (‘self-eating’). As a result of autophagy, cells can digest dysfunctional mitochondria, clearing the way for healthy replacements.Research into autophagy that earned a Nobel Prize this year.But prior to the Caltech-UCLA it has not been clear whether this process could also promote the selective elimination of mutant or ageing DNA.

The accumulation of mutant mtDNA over a lifetime is thought to contribute to aging and degenerative diseases of aging such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and sarcopenia— age-related muscle loss and frailty.Inherited defects in mtDNA are also linked to a number of conditions found in children, including autism.

To test their method, the team used a common fruit fly.
They focused on mitochondrial DNA in the muscles it uses to fly, since this is one of the most energy-draining tissues in the animal kingdom.

Like in humans, fruit flies’ muscles show some of the clearest signs of ageing.
Fruit flies and humans are share many disease genes.
In the experiment, the fruit fly was genetically engineered so that 75 percent of its mtDNA was mutated early on.

They then artificially increased the activity of genes that promote mitophagy.
In doing so, the fraction of mutated mtDNA in the fly muscle cells was dramatically reduced.
One gene in particular – called ‘parkin’ – reduced the fraction of mutant mtDNA from 76 percent to 5 percent when it was overexpressed.

mitochondria
Our goal is to create a future in which we can periodically undergo a cellular housecleaning to remove damaged mtDNA from the brain, muscle, and other tissues
Bruce Hay, Caltech professor of biology and biological engineering
Another gene – called ‘Atg1’ – reduced the fraction to 4 percent.
These are both genes which seem to be underactive in elderly people and people with degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.

‘Such a decrease would completely eliminate any metabolic defects in these cells, essentially restoring them to a more youthful, energy-producing state,’ Professor Hay said.
‘The experiments serve as a clear demonstration that the level of mutant mtDNA can be reduced in cells by gently tweaking normal cellular processes.’
He added: ‘Our goal is to create a future in which we can periodically undergo a cellular housecleaning to remove damaged mtDNA from the brain, muscle, and other tissues.
‘This will help us maintain our intellectual abilities, mobility, and support healthy aging more generally.’

Escada Designer clothes – extra 30% of existing sale

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Extra 30% discount for all items in our SALE category.

Just use the voucher code FRIDAY30 to every sale purchase and get an addition 30% discount. Offer valid until Monday 28.11.2016. Get you exclusive designer bargains here.

John Lewis matches competitor prices on Black Friday

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John Lewis is matching prices against a competitor’s promotion as well lowering hundreds of prices even further over the weekend.

Black Friday creative is now available in the interface, and some top deals to call out include the following:

Electricals:

Save £80 on LG Smart TV
Save £500 on Microsoft Surface Book

Kitchen & Dining:

Up to 50% off all pan sets
20% off Le Creuset
50% off selected Glass & China

Toys:

Save 20% on Lego Technic Porsche
Save 50% on Playmobil Remote Control Pirate Ship

Beauty & Fragrance:

Save 50% Roberto Cavalli Eau de Parfum
Save 50% Givenchy Very Irrésistible L’Eau En Rose Eau de Toilette

Click on this link to source Black Friday bargains

20% of all Neals Yard Remedies

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20% off everything from midnight on Thursday 24 November until Friday 25 November 2016. For every £1 spent Neals Yard will also make a donation to save endangered forests.

Living DNA – find out where you really came from!

Living DNA is a personal DNA service, designed to help people understand more about themselves and where they came from in unparalleled detail.

A sample is collected from inside the mouth using a swab and the DNA analysed against various DNA databases of historical population groups to track down your ancestry.

From the ability to break down your ancestry across 80 worldwide regions, making it useful for everyone no matter which countries your ancestors are from, to breaking down British ancestry among 21 regions, the power of a Living DNA ancestry test is like nothing else.

living-dna

The Living DNA test costs £120 and is a popular gift

But that is only the beginning, as new discoveries are made we update your results offering you ongoing insights over time.

Living DNA is only able to establish the percentage similarity of your DNA to the population samples available in its reference dataset. With regards to historical population groups, such as the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons, it can make inferences based on what present-day populations your DNA ends up being similar to, and this is included the text of your results.

This test which costs £120 may also be given as a gift. Find out more here