The last days of supplements are nigh. Have you repented? Sometimes I think that this new found healthy lifestyle is actually detrimental for my health. Woke up this morning with a black eye and busted knuckle from training but that probably won’t stop me from going again today. Maybe I am just self destructive or maybe I am Bruce Lee reincarnated (definitely the latter considering I always played as Marshall Law in Tekken).

 

Today I have decided to write about spirulina (and no that isn’t Cinderella’s twin sister who ended up living a life of forced manual labour after her sister ran off). Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae originally found in tropical lakes. It was first noted to have been used by the Aztecs as a daily food source and naturally harvested from lakes. Now it is produced commercially in man made ponds and lakes. 

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Looks less like a supplements and more like something Scooby Doo should be running away from.

 

So what is the big deal and if it is so good then where are the Aztecs now (a victim of their vengeful Gods who I am now genuinely afraid of). Well it contains a super high amount of protein for starters. According to the Aztec God of knowledge (wikipedia), it equals the protein in eggs and most meats and has way more protein than most plant based sources (such as lentils, chick peas etc). In fact it is so high in protein that NASA and the European Space Agency are proposing it to be one of the primary foods to be cultivated during long-term space missions. Now I’m starting to think that maybe the Aztecs just up and left Earth for Mars.

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Actual image from NASA of a Martian Aztec

 

Spirulina has also shown promising affects to help tackle autoimmune diseases (CROHN’S). A bacteria found in the gut called Candida has been known to worsen the affects of these autoimmune disorders and while Spirulina is not a cure for it, it has been found to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and prevent an overgrowth of Candida. Spirulina is nutritionally awesome and a great source of protein especially if you are vegetarian or vegen.

For my tune I have pick a conscious hip hop classic from back in the day. Hip hop is not just an art but a way of thought.

 

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Man this 12 Days of Supplements thing is taking ages. Seemed like such a good idea when I started. It still is a good idea but I am just being lazy. Plus I have loads of other things I want to talk about. But lets stick with the supplements for now and not get sidetracked. Anyone remember magnesium from primary school science? Burns with a bright light and therefore awesome? It looked like the chemical equivalent of a HADOUKEN! That is actually the chemical term. Check any chemistry book. I dare you. Well it is also a super cool supplement.

According to the NHS (anyone that pronounces that ‘nahus’ has been watched way to much Ali G aaaiiiight) it helps turn the food that we eat into energy and also helps produce the hormones that are important for bone health. Taking vast amounts of steroids decreases bone density so this is an important supplement. Usually it does not need to be taken as a supplement as we should be getting all we can from a healthy and balanced diet. Hands up if you are currently having a healthy and balanced diet. Exactly.

Check this bit below from WebMD:

Severe magnesium deficiencies are rare. They are more likely in people who:

  • Have kidney disease
  • Have Crohn’s disease or other conditions that affect digestion
  • Have parathyroid problems
  • Take antibiotics or drugs for diabetes or cancer
  • Are older adults
  • Abuse alcohol

Ahhh see anything interesting there. How about the bit where is says ‘Severe magnesium deficiencies are rare. They are more likely in people who have CROHN’S DISEASE OR OTHER CONDITIONS THAT AFFECT DIGESTION. SAY WHAAT! For reals y’all. Seriously I feel like less of a moron now for taking it without question. But still it is always good to question.

So while this may not necessarily help my Crohn’s, it will help other factors and parts of my body that are affected by my Crohn’s and this goes back to my original reason for starting this blog. No doctor told me that there could be a chance I was magnesium deficient and that could affect my bones and energy because they don’t look at the body holistically. They focus on one area and try and fix it without considering the fact that they might be doing damage somewhere else. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful because I am very lucky to have been seen by some amazing doctors under the NHS but there comes a time when I have to take my health into my own hands.

Finally I would like to appeal to everything reading this. I would like to put together am IBD meet up group based in London to give other suffers a place to voice there experiences, good or bad, and generally just share what they have discovered about themselves while having this disease. Also I would like to use it as an excuse to find some good, IBD friendly food places to ransack. If this is something that you would like to be involved in or you know anyone that has any form of IBD that you think may benefit from talking to others in a similar situation then please get in contact at tranquiltummy@gmail.com. I am hoping to organise the first meet at the end of Feb or beginning of March so spread the word and get in touch. Thanks.

Beat time. A tune that should be an IBD anthem. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! New year, new resolutions, same world. Not sure what that is supposed to mean (my own cynicism probably). There is quite a few things I want to talk about including carrying on writing about supplements. Still finding all that stuff really interesting. Firstly the reason for my hiatus. It is mainly due to my health. I finished my job just under a month about and came out of it during a flare up. Spent the next week or so in bed and took me quite a while to recover. To be honest, I am only now starting to feel a little bit normal. Back to training and eating healthy.

One thing that I am in the process of coming to terms with is the lack of stability in my life. I went to the hospital yesterday and there is a very real possibility that I will need another operation in the future. Obviously I am going to everything I can to prevent that and that means fully changing my lifestyle. I have already improved leaps and bounds in my diet and I have stopped drinking. Didn’t even drink on NYE. How good is that? Very good I hear you say. Thank you. But that conversation got me thinking about how much my life is like a wave. Massive ups and downs, the goal being to make the most of the peaks to prevent the troughs.

I have an exciting and horrible feeling that this is going to be a make or break year for me. I have given myself a couple of months to get myself back on track. But I now need to start thinking about making sure my life takes into consideration my disease. Don’t worry if I am not making sense. I actually don’t really understand what I am saying but I am trying. That is all I can do right. I am also going to be organizing a meet up for other people with Crohn’s. It hopefully will be in conjunction with UCLH but if not then it will just be at a coffee shop somewhere (location ideas accepted, I was thinking Leon’s). As soon as I have more of a plan finalized then I will let y’all know.

So the supplement I wanted to talk about was Omega oils and fish oils. I have always been told to take them for my joints and skin. But why? I don’t know? Do you know? No? Well let me carry on then. Rude. These omega oils (predominately omega 3 and 6) are known as essential fatty acids and the reason it is so important that we take these as supplements is that our body does not make them ourselves (itself? I don’t know the proper grammar for that) (actually I don’t know proper grammar full stop (grammar pun…boo ya)) (seriously what the hell is a semi colon).

They are mainly found in fish oils but generally people don’t eat enough fish (hence the supplements). They are super duper for the heart and have been known to reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease. AND (check this out), Professor Bruce Caterson of Cardiff University showed that the essential fatty acids in fish oils “switch off enzymes that cause inflammation and pain of arthritis”. I literally copy and pasted that last sentence from the Guardian website so it must be true. How super cool is that. Anyway give them a go along side your new years resolution to eat healthier and generally be less of an awful human being. Not saying you are but that is what new years resolutions do. ‘Oh I suck at this’ or ‘oh I need to do this’. Seriously no one cares that you change your whole life in January. Fix up for the rest of the year and people will notice. And that is my angry rant over. Man I feel happier.

New Years TUNEAGE!!! This dude is from Brazil and is awesome!

 Yes I missed yesterday’s blog. Wanna fight about it. I am making it up by writing about two different supplements today. I have no good excuse for missing yesterday. Spent the day just hanging out and putting it off until I just plain forgot, and then my dog ate it. Actually I have a question for you guys on the other side of this screen. Does sarcasm come across well in a blog? I feel that pretty much everything that I say that is not serious exists somewhere on the sarcasm scale. I can’t help it.

The first supplement is called SerraEnzyme. Now I actually received a book about this supplement called ‘The Miracle Enzyme’. I had everything great intension of reading this book but then my dog ate it. Turns out it is really long too. The main character however is pretty cool, it is the silkworm. The supplement is chemically synthesized but it was originally discovered in the gut of a silkworm where it is used to dissolve the cocoon (not to be mistaken for the film) when the worm transforms into a moth. Gross right. So why take it?

Dr. Hans Nieper is a German physician who has had great success in using the serraenzyme to promote good heart function and a good circulatory system, especially after heart surgery. The main health benefit however, being from it’s supposed anti inflammatory effects. I say supposed as studies are still being undertaken. It is felt in the medical profession that the evidence is not substantial enough to warrant taking it. Are the affects of the drug psychosomatic? Maybe. But there is no harm in currently taking it. There are been a number of testimonials claiming the benefits of this stuff are great. Studies have already shown that it has the ability to break down dead tissue so the benefits of taking it are already there. As far as the anti-inflammatory affects are, maybe the science needs to catch up.

I think that is everything I am taking done but there are a few things that maybe I should be. One massive one is iron supplements. I have always been insanely anemic to the point where I had to have an iron infusion this time last year. I can assure you it was not pleasant. For about a week after, I was aching all over so now I try and keep my iron levels topped up by various mean. Supplement it in my diet rather than take capsule supplements. I am typing supplement so often that it is starting to lose its meaning. Supplement supplement splendiement snoasiomwse. But anyway I try and eat foods high in iron.

The reasons for taking iron is obvious. It is active part of the haemoglobin molecule in the red blood cell. Without it, the molecule would not be able to bind oxygen to itself and you would die from a massive case of oxygenlessness. One of the main side affects of having low iron (that I experienced) is fatigue. That is the medical term for being constantly knackered. My situation is different as my gut finds it difficult to absorb the iron which is why it is a waste of money for me to supplement it by capsules. Everyone should make a conscious effort to have foods high in iron or take the capsules.

I am going to keep this up but here is a tune show to me by my cousin. Did make me very happy.

 

Happy Friday everybody. Hope we are all doing well. I know you have all cancelled your Friday night plans to sit in front of your computer and refresh facebook or wordpress in hopes to be the first to read about Day 6. I sure as hell cancelled all my plans to write this for you guys. That was a lie but if I had plans I would have cancelled them for you. I am not just a blogger, I am a masked hero veiled by the anonymity of the internet. Your friendly neighborhood BLOGGERMAN (except everyone knows who I am).

So what is it and why am I talking about it? Trick question, you don’t know what it is yet. Collagen. Yep that stuff made famous by people who mixed their insecurity and desire for cosmetic surgery with an addiction worse than crackheads. People who look like they have had such a bad reaction to something they will physically pop. Why am I talking about it then? Turns out collagen makes up about a third of the protein in our body and mainly found in fibrous tissues. Skin, tendons, ligaments, the gut, cartilage, bones, blood vessels and intervertebral discs. Basically your whole freaking body.

The more I read, the more I am convinced this stuff is magic. It helps make up and support the four chambers of the heart allowing blood to efficiently be passed from one chamber to another (any doctors reading this please correct me if this is not medically true and tell me what it does do in the heart because what I read has lots of big words I don’t understand). As collagen is a component of cartilage, it is used in…wait for it…rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis (freaking amazing). It is used in tissue regeneration and cosmetic surgery for burn victims and so on. Can be used in bone grafts. I am actually quite in shock right now.

This stuff is nuts. As I am half way through this, I am giving you guys a full album to listen to.

Who is excited about Christmas. I sure am. Have you done your Christmas shopping? Why not get your loved ones some…SUPPLEMENTS! It’s the gift that keeps on giving until the tub runs out and you can’t be bothered to buy more because supplements are unreasonably expensive. I mean they are great and all but seriously. £10 for cod liver oil. No thank you. Give me a cod and a cheese grater and I will make my own (I quite clearly don’t know how cod liver oil is made but I am willing to try in the name of science). For the record, I don’t grate fish and I’m not talking about cod liver oil today. Today it is probiotics.

Probiotics is a very deceiving name because it encompasses a range of micro organisms found in the gut. Depending what brand you get varies what bacteria (that is what I meant by micro organism) you ingest. I’m sure there is nothing I can tell you about probiotics that you haven’t heard already from a Yakult advert. When taking antibiotics (which I am sure all of us have done at some point unless you live under a sterile rock) your body looses the good as well as the bad bacteria. Probiotics help restore this balance.

By having a healthy gut, it has an affect on everything. Seriously this wikipedia article is massive with the areas it affects. Allergies, diarrhea, lactose intolerance, cholesterol, blood pressure, immune function, inflammation, eczema and the list goes on into infinity (and beyond). Harvard Medical School also released an interesting article about the benefits of probiotics. Although they say that it is best to take them when having diarrhea, they do say that there may be benefit for Crohn’s suffers to take them too. They do cover their back by saying that more research is needed.

Sorry pretty rubbish one today. I know I am slacking. Tomorrow will be better but let that not take away from the importance of probiotics.

Oh my golly gosh I am shattered. I love me a bit of blogging after a day of work. I’m sure you all have had that feeling where you just want to come home, curl up and get researching. I want you to know that I resent you all for this. Kidding. It’s all love. One good thing about doing this at the end of the day is that it did give me plenty of time to think about what my supplement of choice will be. And boy have I picked a doozy. Not sure why I am writing like a Loony Toons character. Now shhhhhhh…I’m hunting facebook likes (YOU)!

 Hyaluronic acid! If you are anything like me, you saw it started with an ‘H’ and ended with ‘acid’ and immediately called it Hydrochloric acid in your head. Am I right? It’s not obviously because last time I checked, hydrochloric acid cause acute cases of burning insides when ingested. So what is Hyaluronic acid then? Most people actually use it without even knowing. It is a fairly common ingredient in many skin creams. ‘I am spreading acid on my face and nether regions! How have I not melted?’ I hear you exclaim. Well there is a very simple explanation. Science. Science and magic.

 One of its most effective properties is it’s ability to promote tissue healing. It is often used after cataract surgery for this reason. It is also a major component of skin (hence the creams, told you there was a simple explanation) where its main function is again involved in tissue repair. It is a component of synovial fluid (fluid between the joints for all you people who think google is just a porn interface) which is another great reason for me to take it. In 2007 the European Medical Agency actually approved its use as a treatment for ankle and shoulder osteoarthritis. The molecule itself again is found in the cartilage between joints (and I need all I can get) where it absorbs water to prevent the cartilage shrinking under pressure.

I am super tired now but that is Hyaluronic acid in a nutshell. ‘Nother day ‘nother tune. Thats all folks.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p6PcFFUm5I

 

 

 

 

 

 

For today, I closed my eyes and just picked a random tub in my potions drawer. I ended up pulling out my Vitamin D supplement so this is what I will be writing about. Interestingly enough, the actual tub say’s is supports ‘healthy moods and immune system’. No more mood swings for me. Unless you touch my food. Thats when I turn into Elmer Fudd and declare it moron hunting season. Stay away from my plate and we are alright.

This particular brand of supplements are also gluten free which is great because apparently I have an intolerance to it. Vitamin D and its benefits are fairly common knowledge so why talk about it. Well I am going to do my best to talk about it in relation to Crohn’s and Spondylitis. It’s main natural source is from the sun which is why God decided to cover Britain in the thick sheet of cloud so we don’t get distracted by its overwhelming happiness. Cynicism rules.

As it is a well known that it is essential for the body, there has been lots of research done on it (which means I actually have to read stuff and not make it up). It is responsible for enhancing the absorption of Calcium and Phosphate through the intestine. Crohn’s mangles your intestines and steroids (a common go to medication to stop Crohn’s flare up’s) decrease the bone density in your body. So if your body can’t physically absorb calcium and you are actively decreasing the bone density in your body, than you are going to end up like Samuel L Jackson in ‘Unbreakable’ (totally breakable).

Just going through wikipedia and medicalnewstoday.com show the many benefits of vitamin D and the most essential ways of getting it. The only other that I can see would directly affect Crohn’s and Spondylitis suffers, is that it helps boost the immune system. Now as both these disorders is due to an overactive immune system, I don’t think this is that useful but, as a preventative supplement it is fantastic. By that, I mean that when we are better and our immune system is not trying to kill us than it is great. It will help build our bone density when we come off the steroids after a flare up and strengthen is further incase it happens again (not saying it will). Taking them orally is great but obviously the best form of Vitamin D is a holiday. If only that was on the NHS.

Make sure you are following the blog on facebook or twitter or just click the follow button at the top (or bottom, I can’t see that button when I am writing) and check the tune.

That fact that I have actually made it to day 2 should show that I have turned over a new leaf. Another reason that I really wanted to do this is that this week is IBD awareness week. Please if you or anyone you know has any form of IBD than please check this out and get in contact. You are not alone and it is fully possible to take your life if your own hands. Hopefully these supplement posts will help showcasing some alternatives (even though I still haven’t decided what I am writing about but have already picked the tune, I am useless).

Let me have a quick rummage through my potion cabinet. I have so many supplements and potions at the moment that if this was the 1500s, my mum would have totally been burned at the stake for being a witch. Not that she looks like one mind you (just as a fyi because she might beat me…not that she beats me). Looks like I’m getting a shovel this Christmas from my Mum.

Ok I have picked one. I am currently taking a yarrow tincture. I currently know nothing about this stuff so lets have a look. Yarrow is again a plant found in Europe, Asia and North America. So a good chunk of the habitable planet. I mean it would be pretty useless if it only grew in Antarctica. What I am taking looks like the distilled oils from the plant. These oils are mixed with about a quarter glass of water and knocked like a shot of Black Label on New Years. It tastes actually quite nice as it is quite aromatic and I was told that this would help heal the cuts and whatnot inside my body. Apparently my insides look like Rocky’s outsides in Rocky Balboa. Beat down.

This is another plant that has been used around the world since ancient times. It was used in China for I Ching divination and in Europe for wounds and cuts. The distilled oils are used as an anti-inflammatory (makes sense why I was given it) and the leaves contain a coagulant which is why it is used in the treatment of wounds. This property of increasing the rate of blood clotting is another reason why I am probably taking it. Not only does it help blood clotting but it also increases circulation (which is something I also need to do, apparently my blood takes ages to pass ‘Go’ and collect £200) and can also be used for high blood pressure.

Considering this yarrow is an anti-inflammatory and promotes blood clotting, it is no surprised I was given it. If there is inflammation inside that is bleeding than this will help. Only time will tell its full affect on me but I have an open mind and am willing to give it a go. Until tomorrow.

On the first day of Supplement my true love gave to me, a capsule with some Haldi (aka Turmeric)

This blog has been going on for a year now. Crazy. Seem like yesterday we first met. It has been nice that people have been reading and feeling inspired and it has also helped me loads too. I thank everyone who read this for that. Now it is time I start ramping this up. Need to get the word out that it is ok to feel pain but there are alternatives. As a sort of 1 year going thing, I am doing 12 straight posts about various different supplements and foods to help various different ailments. Not saying that I am taking them all, but I will be starting with everything I am taking. I will also try my hardest to stick to the rhyme scheme because I am a lyrical genius and I spit hot fire.

What has already been discovered about Turmeric could fill quite a massive blog post but I know I am going to spend most of it talking rubbish as I am known to do. Turmeric is part of a ginger family which is widely known for its medicinal properties. It is used a lot in Indian cooking but has also been used in Auyurvedic medicine since about 1900bc. It was used to treat a range of illnesses such as exzema and fevers. Usually mixed with milk and drunk, but also made into a paste and used topically. That is easily the longest I have gone without making an uncomfortable joke. Who is proud of me?

Obviously all of the above was from wikipedia but because of its wide used and various health claims, there has been lots of research into turmeric. Loads of people on that recent show ‘Health Freaks’ used it. But they also used wacky stuff like coffee enema’s so I wouldn’t put too much faith in the general public. There has been a recent study in UCLA showing that functional component of tumeric (curcumin) appears to block the enzyme that is linked with head and neck cancer. Now please don’t quote me on this. I am not a doctor or shaman or whoever you see. I am just your friendly neighborhood Shaanvir, reading stuff on the internet and passing it off as my own.

Further studies have shown its anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is basically the Superman of supplements. There are very few side affects of taking daily turmeric capsules. There have been a few cases of nausea and diarrhea but lets face it, there side affects you get from most western medicine is way worse. When I was on methotrexate, I used to get madly depressed every Wednesday. It took me about a year to figure out I was feeling like this and realized that it was because of the methotrexate which I was taking every Monday. Crazy stuff.

Turmeric is awesome basically. Raw is best but obviously not super tasty so try looking for the capsules. You can put it in all your food and even mix it with a glass of warm milk and honey right before you go to sleep. I don’t care how unmanly that sounds. I will still be doing more research and if there are any other supplements you want me to look at before this is done than let me know.

I am going to leave you with The Black Keys. Great tune. Enjoy and I will speak to y’all tomorrow. Night.