List of Frequently Asked Questions
Are the Aloe Dent toothpastes suitable for vegetarians and vegans?
The Sensitive, Whitening and Children’ s are suitable for use by both vegetarians and vegans. However, the Triple Action Toothpaste incorporates the antimicrobial agent Carboxymethyl Chitosan which plays a role in neutralizing pH/acid in the mouth. Chitosan is derived from crustaceans and this therefore not suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Do the Aloe Pura Skin products contain parabens?
Parabens are a widely used range of preservatives generally included in cosmetic products to protect the consumer from microbial growth which would otherwise make them harmful. There is much misinformation regarding Parabens, however in response to customer feedback and negative media reports, our Aloe Pura Skin Lotion, Gels, Sun Lotions and Hair Care products no longer contain these preservatives.
Why is the appearance of Lecithin Granules different from batch to batch?
Lecithin is a natural product which does not contain any colours or flavours and can therefore be subject to natural variations. Granule size, colour, odour and texture can vary widely between batches dependent on time of harvest and climatic conditions. Generally, Lecithin has a ‘nutty’ flavour with a fatty aftertaste and may be pale/bright yellow to fawn/beige in colour. Additionally, we recommend storing the granules in a refrigerator to be consumed within 8 weeks of opening; this is to avoid heat and moisture affecting the contents, thus helping to preserve the product for the full term of the opened shelf-life.
Why does Aloe Pura Organic Aloe Vera Juice have a short shelf-life?
Due to the organically certified status of this particular juice, the product should be consumed within ten days of opening and be kept refrigerated. The suggested daily dose is 50ml which equates to each 500ml bottle providing a ten day supply. No artificial additives or preservatives are incorporated into this product other than Citric Acid which is not a potent preservative; consequently this may lead to the juice becoming unstable over a prolonged period of time after opening.
What is the dosage for Superfruits Juices – Acai, Goji & Pomegranate?
Each of these juices may be taken neat or diluted in water according to taste. There are currently no guidelines or data available regarding optimal intakes; Optima’ s suggested daily serving size is 20ml, which may be increased if desired. Each bottle is provided with a 20ml measuring cup.
How and when should the Allergenics Cream and Ointment be used and what is the difference between the two products?
The Allergenics preservative free and non-perfumed emollient products contains only naturally sourced hypoallergenic ingredients, which soothe, nourish and protect the skin from external irritants. The skin applications may be applied as often as required to the appropriate area and can be safely used on delicate skin areas such as the face and on babies. The Intensive Care Ointment provides a greater emollient action than the Emollient Cream due to the additional amounts of moisturizing Shea Butter and Plant Sterols.
Can Maxicol be sprinkled onto foods such as cereals?
Maxicol is a mixed polysaccharide soluble fibre product from Psyllium Husk derived from the Plantago plant, which has the capacity to absorb water in the colon and form an emollient gel. It is imperative that to facilitate this action, adequate fluid is consumed both when mixing the product and immediately following consumption. It is difficult to do this when sprinkling onto food, therefore for best results mix 10-20g daily in water or fruit juice and consume immediately.
What guarantees the quality and purity of the Australian Tea Tree Oil products?
Each batch of our Tea Tree Oil is manufactured to the high quality specification of the Australian Standard AS2782 and International Standards ISO 4730 and ISO 9002.
Tea Tree Oil has been extensively studies and a total of 97 separate fractions have been identified, with Terpinen-4-ol being recognized as the primary active component. High levels of the component Cineole are generally thought to irritate mucous membranes and skin. Therefore the industry standards ensure that Terpinol-4-ol must be present at a minimum of 30%, and that the Cineole content must be less than 15%. The Australian Tea Tree Oil range of products are guaranteed to exceed these standards by consistently achieving Terpinen-4-ol levels of 38-44% and Cineole below 5%.
Have there been any independent clinical trials on the safety and effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin?
Yes. Major independent safety reviews have been conducted by the recognised groups ADIS (published in 2003) and by the Cochrane Collaboration (2005). The ADIS review included more than 1000 patients and concluded that glucosamine has a safety profile similar to that of placebo. The Cochrane group included more than 2,500 patients and said that glucosamine was as safe as placebo.
As you can see, there is little dispute about the safety of glucosamine. From time to time there may be isolated newspaper reports about individuals who have had problems while taking glucosamine. Often however these are people who have been taking other products and may have other medical conditions. These reports should not be seen as a cause for concern.
Health claims on food supplements must now be approved by the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA); they require evidence to prove efficacy in healthy individuals. Trials have historically been performed on individuals with joint problems (osteoarthritis). EFSA did not consider this type of evidence appropriate when assessing health claims for glucosamine food supplements, therefore due to lack of evidence in the general population all submitted claims for the ingredients were rejected. Discussing extrapolation of results in 2012 EFSA stated “no conclusions could be drawn from the studies on patients with osteoarthritis for the scientific substantiation of the claim in subjects without osteoarthritis.”
Is glucosamine a licensed medicine?
Health Perception’ s glucosamine products are all food supplements and are not licensed. There are only two licensed glucosamine based products in the UK; Alateris (glucosamine hydrochloride) and Dolenio (glucosamine sulphate sodium chloride). These are medicines for osteoarthritis of the knee. None of the glucosamine products produced by Optima are medicines; none of our products are formulated or promoted as medicines.
I am allergic to shell fish. Would it be safe for me to take glucosamine?
Most commercially produced glucosamine is sourced from chitin. Chitin is a component from the exoskeletons of sea crustaceans, e.g. crab, lobster, prawn and shrimp. Some people with shellfish sensitivities and mild allergies can tolerate glucosamine sourced from chitin, however we would always advise avoiding marine/shellfish derived glucosamine if you are allergic to shellfish. For those with shellfish allergies, we have produced a glucosamine approved by the Vegetarian Society, which is a glucosamine hydrochloride produced from corn. All our other glucosamine products are sourced from marine derived glucosamine sulphate unless otherwise stated on the packaging/ingredients list. Not all glucosamine hydrochloride is Vegetarian so always obtain clarification from the manufacturer. Our cosmetic products use marine derived N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG), our JointFlex Liquid contains marine derived glucosamine hydrochloride (HCl).
Will I experience any side effects from taking glucosamine? Is it safe?
Trials with glucosamine products internationally have shown it to be very safe and the supplement is regarded as safe for use as a food supplement. In our own clinical trials there were no noticeable adverse effects in people taking our Health Perception glucosamine tablets. Health Perception’ s glucosamine is made to a pharmaceutical GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standard using USP (United Stated Phamacopeia) grade glucosamine.
If you are susceptible to gastrointestinal upset, we recommend taking glucosamine with food. Splitting the dose throughout the day (e.g. 500mg three times daily instead of 1500mg once daily) may also be beneficial for sensitive individuals. If you are taking any medicine you should also always consult a healthcare practitioner before taking any new supplement.
Can I take glucosamine even though I have diabetes?
Despite a few case reports, recent human studies have shown that glucosamine probably does not affect insulin sensitivity, secretion or action in humans. As a precautionary measure blood sugar levels should be closely monitored. If you are taking medication for any medical condition always inform your healthcare practitioner prior to taking any supplements.
Can I take glucosamine if I suffer from high blood pressure?
There is currently no evidence to suggest that glucosamine affects those with hypertension. However glucosamine sulphate is available in two main forms (sodium chloride and potassium chloride). Those with hypertension are usually advised to follow a low sodium/low salt diet; such people should take in to consideration the quantity of sodium in glucosamine sulphate sodium chloride products. Glucosamine sulphate potassium chloride is currently the most commonly used supplemental form of glucosamine. Health Perception products do not use the sodium form. Potassium can help to modulate the effects of sodium and so is often recommended for those suffering from high blood pressure, especially if medication increases urinary loss of potassium. However, individuals taking potassium-sparing diuretics (e.g. spironolactone) for hypertension could experience elevated potassium levels. ACE inhibitors (e.g. Lisinopril) are drugs that can be used to treat hypertension. This type of drug also could increase the level of potassium in the blood. Patients taking drugs that affect the quantity of potassium in the body should have their potassium levels monitored by their doctor. Taking any form of excess potassium could exacerbate the problem in such instances. See also Q7 & Q8.
How much potassium does glucosamine contain?
Glucosamine sulphate 2KCl contains approximately 13% potassium, which means one glucosamine sulphate 2KCl 665mg (glucosamine sulphate 500mg) tablet/capsule contains around 86mg potassium. Other forms of glucosamine (e.g. glucosamine HCl or N-acetyl glucosamine) contain negligible amounts of potassium.
How much potassium do I need?
Until recently there was no official European Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), this has been amended to 2000mg, which means everyday the body needs 2000mg of potassium to prevent adverse effects and symptoms arising from deficiency. The UK Food Standards Agency Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals (EVM) suggested supplementing (long-term) with no more than 3700mg daily. Therefore the acceptable range for daily consumption is no less than 2000mg to a maximum of approx. 3700mg. To give an idea of the potassium content in foods, one slice (approx. 154g) of pepperoni pizza contains 330mg, 100g cooked ground beef burger 450mg, one large (150g) banana contains approx 594mg, 100g dry dates contain around 652mg, 100g dried apricots contain approx 1378mg, 1 medium sized (200g) baked potato (with skin) contains about 836mg. If taking any medicine(s) that affects potassium in the body, your healthcare practitioner will advise exactly what your potassium intake should be.
Can I take glucosamine if I am pregnant or breast feeding?
There has been no specific testing with regard to glucosamine and pregnancy. There have been no reports of foetal abnormalities associated with glucosamine consumption during pregnancy. Due to insufficient evidence Optima advises discontinuing supplementation with glucosamine while pregnant or breast feeding. There are many other supplements on the market which are designed specifically for women during this stage of their lives. Omega 3 essential fatty acids (not fish liver oils) are, as the name suggests, essential and maybe a suitable alternative at this time. Your local British Association for applied nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) registered Nutritional Therapist will be able to offer tailored dietary advice. Inform your midwife of any supplements you are taking.
What dosage of glucosamine should I take?
This will entirely depend on the individual. As a general rule 1500mg is optimal for most adults and generally advisable as the ‘loading’ dose (e.g. for the first 12 months). 500mg is often sufficient following an initial 12 month ‘loading’ period, although between 500mg and 2000mg are acceptable depending on the individual. For example elderly people or professional athletes may wish to take 1500 to 2000mg, healthy and mildly active individuals could take 500 to 1000mg. We would never recommend more than 20mg per kg of body weight. If you have specific questions, you should consult a local BANT registered Nutritional Therapist.
Should I remain on 1500mg of glucosamine forever?
This really depends on your individual requirements. Some people find they can reduce to 1000mg or 500mg after an initial 12 month period at ‘optimal’ dose (see Q10). When a person stops taking glucosamine they can usually notice differences and therefore assess the benefits approx. 1 to 3 months after ceasing. Only you will know whether you need to recommence supplementation after this period. If you have specific questions, you should consult a local BANT registered Nutritional Therapist.
I’ ve been told I should take glucosamine and chondroitin together. Why?
Glucosamine is a naturally-occurring amino sugar found in normal/healthy joint tissue. It plays an important role in the production of cartilage and connective tissues. It’ s known as ‘the cement of the connective tissues’ because constituents in our joints (proteoglycans) rely on it to maintain themselves. Naturally-occurring chondroitin sulphate exists in the body in the form of chains of repeating sugars (glycosaminoglycans – GAGs). It is known as the ‘liquid magnet’ because it stimulates the uptake of fluid and nutrients into the cartilage, which supports proper joint movement. Sadly, as we get older our bodies become less efficient at producing the nutrients we need to keep us active. As per Q1, facts on glucosamine, chondroitin, (glycosaminoglycans) in the body’ s connective tissue (e.g. proteoglycans) cannot be extrapolated to supplements. Glucosamine is regularly combined with chondroitin in supplements due to their natural ‘relationship’ in the body. GAGs are also known as mucopolysaccharides.
How long before I receive some benefit from taking glucosamine?
As with all food supplements the benefits of glucosamine are normally noticeable over time. It is not a medicine and you should not expect any instant effect – it will vary dependent on the individual. For most people we suggest a 12 month period of supplementation before beneficial effects can be truly assessed, but some people may notice sooner (within 3 months).
What if I exceed the suggested daily dose of 1500mg of glucosamine? Will I suffer any side effects?
There is little experience of very high doses of glucosamine and therefore we do not recommend it. To date there have been no reports of overdose problems. We would not advise taking more than 20mg per kilogram body weight. This means 2000mg is the maximum amount for the average adult.
I am concerned that I already take lots of vitamin pills. Can I take glucosamine as well?
Glucosamine is a food supplement and should not interfere with any vitamin supplements you take. There are currently no known interactions with herbal products. If you are unsure consult your healthcare professional.
Some of Health Perception’ s glucosamine tablets contain Manganese. Can you explain why?
Manganese is important because it triggers some enzymes to activate so they begin to work. It is also essential for the formation of certain enzymes, one of which is superoxide dismutase (SOD), a powerful antioxidant enzyme that neutralises potentially damaging free radicals (protects cells from oxidative damage). Manganese contributes to the normal formation of connective tissues. It also maintains normal bone.
Some of Health Perception’ s glucosamine tablets contain Vitamin C. Can you explain why?
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient – the body requires not less than 80mg every day to prevent symptoms caused by deficiency. It is a primary component of connective tissue found in the joints. It has numerous functions in the body including contributing to the function of cartilage and bones, to the formation of collagen and protecting cell constituents from oxidative damage. Ingredients that mitigate oxidative damage are commonly known as antioxidants. It also plays a role in reducing tiredness and fatigue.
Will the glucosamine gel leave a residue?
No, the gel can be rubbed on to the required area(s) and will leave no sticky residue.
When and how often can I use the glucosamine gel?
Our GlucOsamine Gel can be used any time as often as required. You might feel the need for some TLC after gardening or other leisure or sporting activities, for example, so simply apply gel, as required.
Why do some Health Perception products contain other nutrients?
Health Perception is a range of glucosamine based products, however other supportive nutrients are included, which offer a synergic supportive action and may improve bioavailability of other ingredients.
Could my cholesterol level be raised by taking glucosamine?
There have been a few case reports of raised cholesterol levels in people taking glucosamine. However it was not known if glucosamine actually caused the raised cholesterol in these cases and so an investigation was conducted.
A long-term study checked cholesterol levels in people who were taking glucosamine or placebo. The study lasted for 3 years and did not show a difference between the glucosamine and placebo groups.
Although this study shows that glucosamine does not increase lipid levels our advice would be, if your cholesterol levels are high and you take glucosamine you should have your cholesterol levels monitored. As with any prescribed drugs, if you are on medication to control your cholesterol, speak to your healthcare professional before taking glucosamine.
My doctor has prescribed Warfarin, can I continue to take glucosamine?
There have been a few case reports where patients taking Warfarin with glucosamine (or with glucosamine and chondroitin) had a reduced or elevated INR (international normalised ratio). In light of the reports and until further scientific evidence is available, close INR monitoring should be implemented by the doctor when glucosamine (or glucosamine & chondroitin) and Warfarin are taken concomitantly. Warfarin dosage adjustments may be necessary. Most reports had used high glucosamine dosages, we do not advise doses above 20mg per kg.
What does UMF stand for and what does it mean?
The strength or UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) number is compared with the antiseptic strength of carbolic acid (phenol), for example UMF 10+ honey means the honey has been tested and found to have an equivalent strength of at least a 10% solution of phenol. UMF is a trademark of the AMHA (Active Manuka Honey Association), they state that only honey with a rating of 10 or more can use the tradmark.
Does heating affect the efficacy of manuka honey?
UMF is very stable and retains most of its activity even after heating or exposure to light. Nevertheless, it is not advisable to heat manuka honey since there are other nutrients in the honey, that give it a natural synergistic effect, which are destroyed at high temperatures. Adding Manuka to a warm drink or hot toast will not impair its efficacy but sustained heat (i.e. baking or boiling) isn’ t advised.
Why do people confuse manuka with tea tree?
New Zealand’ s Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) and Australia’ s Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia) are completely different species, the only similarity is that both plants have antiseptic qualities, also Manuka is often referred to as ‘Ti Tree’ or ‘New Zealand Tea Tree’ which is where the confusion arises.
How can you get 5+ honey from one bush and 10+ from another?
As you would expect from a pure product this is a completely natural phenomenon, there is variation from one plant to the next; much more likely than having identical plants across New Zealand! By selective blending (from different geographical areas and from harvesting at different times) it is possible to produce specific end products. Every batch is analysed to ensure it conforms to at least the claimed activity.
What can I use manuka honey for?
Manuka honey can be used internally and externally. EFSA have not approved any food health claims for manuka We do not advise our Manuka honey for use on broken skin as it is not irradiated. Sterile manuka dressings and irradiated manuka honey is available in the EU, which is medical grade with CE certification. You should ask your wound care practitioner to check the NHS Supply Chain website for further details (email@example.com). Manuka honey sold by Optima is not a medicine.
How do I know which strength of manuka honey to choose and how much to take?
Many people use manuka like ‘normal’ honey, for its distinct flavour; for this purpose there is obviously no specific recommended amount, but the active 5+ would be suitable. The active 5+ is also suggested for general internal use; for this purpose 3 teaspoons a day. For specific purposes a value of 10+ or higher is advised; 25g (approx 1 tablespoon) three times a day is optimal.
Research on manuka honey has been conducted, specifically by Prof. Molan (Waikato University, New Zealand) and also Prof. Cooper (University of Wales Institute, Cardiff).
Is there a specific time to use manuka honey?
For specific internal issues it’ s better to have an empty stomach, liquids (in excess) can dilute the honey in this instance, hence take the honey before food. The only exception is dry bread/toast; liberally spread the honey on a slice.
Only manuka with 10+ or higher activity should be used externally to improve appearance of minor skin problems. For topical applications usage will vary. Use a small amount (enough to cover the area) twice daily. The frequency of required application depends on the individual, up to 3 times daily may be needed at first and then reduce gradually to twice weekly (as required). Optima does not produce medical grade manuka honey products. Do not use our product on broken skin. If you have major skin problems or broken skin consult a healthcare practitioner.
How do I take Menolife® soya isoflavone complex?
Two capsules taken daily with a meal, either swallowed whole or opened and sprinkled in a drink (no more than two capsules in any 24 hour period should be taken unless advised to do so by your healthcare practitioner). As with any kind of food supplementation it is recommended that you supplement your diet regularly (i.e. there is no immediate or ‘one-off’ instant effect). An initial period of at least 3 months is suggested before the benefits can be assessed. Most botanicals taken over a long period of time and taken regularly are best rotated (for example 6 months on, 1 month off) if you are unsure seek advice from your local herbalist.
Is there a time limit as to how long I should take Menolife® soya isoflavone complex and do I need to have a break?
There is no specific time limit as each individual is different. If using supplements for a specific situation they may be used continually. Herbalists usually recommend that botanicals taken over a long period of time are best rotated and the individual take a break. However there are certain women who find having a break intolerable, therefore this product may be taken long term without a break. It will not be detrimental if this course of action is preferred.
How much oestrogen does Menolife® soya isoflavone complex contain?
Soya isoflavones (phyto-oestrogens) are in no way comparable with synthetic hormones or drugs. HRT for example provides large amounts of synthetic oestrogen whereas the natural ingredients in Menolife® provide phyto-oestrogens derived from plants. They have an oestrogenic activity which is typically 1/1000th or less than that of human oestrogen. Phytoestrogens bind weakly to oestrogen receptors without eliciting a strong effect. Menolife® includes soya isoflavones to supplement the diet as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle - it is not designed to provide a definable quantity of oestrogen.
How much Glucosamine does ActivJuice® contain?
Each 25ml contains 1500mg Glucosamine HCl, which equates to approx 50mg Glucosamine per ml.
Can I used Aloe Vera Skin Gel cosmetics during pregnancy?
There is no reason why pregnant women cannot use aloe vera topically during pregnancy, the aloe vera doesn’ t pass though in to the blood stream and therefore would not affect the foetus in any way. It is a cosmetic with not medicinal action.
Why should I avoid Aloe Vera Juice during pregnancy?
There is no scientific evidence to confirm that aloe vera taken internally harms the unborn child. Aloe vera containing anthraquinones is known to be an emmenogogue hence could potentially cause bleeding. Aloin is removed from AloePura products, however until trials to show evidence of safety are available we do not make any recommendations for using our aloe vera internally during pregnancy.
From what age can the AloeDent Children’ s fluoride free toothpaste be used from?
The children’ s toothpaste is formulated for children of all ages. Young children should always be supervised when brushing and use only a pea-sized amount.
Does the AloeDent Children’ s fluoride free toothpaste contain artificial colours or flavours and is it suitable for vegans?
AloeDent Children’ s fluoride free toothpaste contains only natural flavours and the red/orange colour is totally natural. It contains no animal derived ingredients and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Do your AloeDent products contain SLS or SLES?
SLS is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, SLES is Sodium Laureth Sulphate, both are surfactants in the chemical class of alkyl ether sulphates and sulfonic acids, that are avoided in ‘natural’ products and products for sensitive skin because they are not recommended for use in ‘leave on’ products since they may denature proteins and cause skin irritation (although SLES is much milder). None of our AloeDent products contain either of these ingredients. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is included in this brand. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is not SLS or SLES, but some people confuse them because the first letter in each word is the same. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is a derivative of glycine (an amino acid) and falls under the chemical class of sarcosine derivatives.
Why do you use inner gel and whole leaf in AloePura aloe juices?
Lots of aloe vera products contain only the inner gel, however some of the active components are found in the rind, therefore AloePura juices contain an amount of whole leaf to ensure they contain a more comprehensive assortment of nutrients.
How do I take Gentle Action Colon Cleanse tablets?
Take two tablets before going to bed to begin with, you may vary the dosage according to experience although we do not advise taking more than four tablets in any 24 hour period. If you need to use the tablets for a period of more than 15 consecutive days we recommend you consult a healthcare practitioner and recommence supplementation only after a break of at least seven days. Your local BANT (British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy) registered Nutritional Therapist can give tailored dietary advice. AloePura Colon Cleanse juice may be taken long-term as an appendage to a healthy, varied and fibre rich diet; this product is a very gentle formulation, which includes six synergistic ingredients including L-glutamine, flaxseed fibre, apple pectin and liquorice.
Does cascara stain the bowel?
Taking stimulant laxatives long-term is never advisable; it doesn’ t matter if it happens to be of herbal origin. In addition to various adverse effects associated with loss of muscle tone in the bowel from any laxative, if taken long-term stimulant anthracene laxatives (e.g. cascara, senna, frangula, aloes*) can cause dark pigmentation of a part of the colon mucosa (lamina propria). The brown/black colour is caused by lipofucin. Melanosis coli is considered a benign reversible condition with no malignant potential. *Aloes (aka aloe latex or bitter aloes) is not the same as aloe barbadensis (aka aloe vera); aloes is the purified dried exudate from the anthraquinones just under the rind and is considered a strong stimulant laxative. Aloe barbadensis (for internal use) normally includes the mucilagenous inner gel fillet (ideally with some of the whole leaf to ensure a greater compliment of the natural constituents) and normally has the anthraquinones (often referred to as aloin or barbaloin) removed. If unsure check with your aloe vera manufacturer to ensure your product doesn’ t contain anthraquinones.
Do AloePura juices contain aloin?
AloePura juices do not contain any significant quantity of aloin (also known as anthraquinones); IASC approved products contain <10ppm, although tests show AloePura juices generally contain approx 0.1mg per litre. Aloe vera products containing high aloin levels or purified (standardised) aloe aloin are considered medicines in the UK. All AloePura products are food supplements.
Your AloePura Aloe Liquid Fibre contains 8g of Fibersol2® per 50ml serving but how much fibre should I have each day?
According to the British Nutrition Foundation many people only eat 12g daily (NSP). A European study, published in The Lancet, using half a million volunteers showed that those who ate an average of 35g of fibre daily had the risk of colorectal cancer reduced by 40%, compared to those eating 15g daily1. The minimum recommended level [DRV (Dietary Reference Value)] is 18g daily (NSP) for healthy individuals, according to COMA (Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy); nearly half the amount found to be most beneficial in this study. The IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution) Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) is 24g daily (AOAC) and 15g daily for a child (aged 5-10 years). Another study found that women with an average intake of 20g daily were far less likely to experience constipation2. The DGI (Daily Guideline Intake) published by MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) is 20g daily for men and 16g daily for women (NSP).
The American National Academies’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends a minimum of 25g for women and 38g for men (AOAC). Rural Africans eat around 55g daily. Most Nutritional Therapists advise no less than 35g daily, =20% of which should come from soluble fibre sources.
In summary if you don’ t have a daily bowel movement increase your dietary intake of fibre (soluble and insoluble fibre).
1.Bingham SA, Day NE, Luben R et al. Dietary fibre in food and protection against colorectal cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC):an observational study. Lancet 2003;361(9368):1496-1501.
2. Dukas L, Willett WC & Giovannucci EL. Association between physical activity, fiber intake and other lifestyle variables and constipation in a study of women. Am J Gastro 2003;98:1790-1796.
What is SPF?
The sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of a sunscreen’ s protection against the shorter UVB rays (290 to 320nm), which cause sunburn (erythma) and skin cancer. A SPF of 30 protects twice as well from sun burn as a product with SPF 15. The higher the factor the more protection you get from the adverse effects of UVB rays. An SPF 15 for example means it takes 15 times longer than ‘normal’ for the skin to burn. Products from 15-29.9 are considered ‘medium protection’ , 30-59.9 is considered ‘high protection’ and ‘very high protection’ is achievable with 60=. It should be noted that (for example) a sun protection factor of 30 absorbs 97% of UVB radiation.
How do I know what my normal burn time is?
The normal burn time (and to some extent risk of getting skin cancer) is dependent on individual skin type. If without protection your skin burns, for example, 5 minutes after exposure, a SPF 15 for example would give 75 minutes, product should be re-applied regularly during this time to achieve this. Adding more after 75 minutes has elapsed does not prolong or increase the protection time.
How do I know what my skin type is?
Your skin type is determined by your parents, it depends on which genes are passed on. Dermatologists have determined six different skin types, check which skin type you are below (or by using the nearest colour on the colour chart). Once you know what skin type you have you can determine when to protect yourself and the type of protection you need.
Type I = Burns often. Rarely tans. Usually has freckles. Red or fair hair. Eyes are blue or green.
Type II = Burns usually. Sometimes tans. Usually has light hair. Eyes are blue, green or brown.
Type III = Burns sometimes. Usually tans. Usually has brown hair. Eyes are normally green or brown.
Type IV = Burns rarely. Often tans deeply. Usually has brown hair. Eyes are normally brown.
Type V = Burning is extremely rare. Skin is naturally dark. Often has dark brown hair. Eyes are usually dark brown.
Type VI = Usually does not burn. Usually skin is naturally very dark. Usually has very dark brown or black hair. Eyes are usually very dark brown.
Which SPF product should I use and when am I am most at risk?
First you need to know your skin type. You then need to check the UV index each day (available from the Met Office) to judge your skin type’ s burn risk.
Low risk = Protection is not usually needed
Medium risk = Low protection should be used (SPF 6 or SPF 10), take care around midday.
High risk = Low protection is minimal, medium protection should be used (SPF 15, SPF 20 or SPF 25). Spend time in the shade or cover up between 1100 and 1500hrs.
Very high risk = Medium protection is required, high or very high protection should be used (SPF 30, SPF 50 or SPF 50+). Always cover up and stay in the shade between 1100 and 1500hrs.
What is UVA?
UVA is the longer ‘ultraviolet A’ radiation, in the spectrum of 320 to 400nm. It penetrates in to the deeper layers of the skin and is believed to be the cause of premature ageing of the skin (sagging, wrinkles, age spots etc) and contributes to skin cancer risk. Excessive exposure to UVA (and UVB) radiation impacts on the body’ s immune system The Boots Star Rating system for UVA gives an indication of a products protection against UVA rays. Three stars offers ‘good’ protection, four stars offers ‘superior’ protection and five stars is the maximum offering ‘ultra’ . Consumers should look for at least three stars. Two stars offers only ‘moderate’ protection and one is ‘minimum’ .
What does ‘broad spectrum’ mean?
Broad spectrum or ‘broad protection’ basically means a product protects from both UVA and UVB sun rays. All products sold in the EU must now offer UVA protection of at least one-third of the SPF. Look for a UVA star rating and an SPF number to confirm the extent of ‘broad protection’ .
Are the AloePura sun creams photostable?
Yes both of the SPF 15 & 25 products are photostable. The period after opening (PAO) on all AloePura sun care products is ‘12M’ which means once opened the product should be used within 12 months. Unopened the shelf life is 36 months.
Are the AloePura sun creams water resistant or water proof?
In order to produce a product considered water resistant or water proof synthetic film forming ingredients would need to be added. In any case most dermatologists would advise re-applying sun cream at least every 2 hours as well as after swimming, perspiring or towelling.
Do any of the sun care products give total protection?
No sun product can block 100% of UV radiation. Claims such as ‘sunblock’, ‘total block’, ‘100% protection’, ‘sunblocker’ or ‘total protection’ are no longer permitted in the EU.
How much sun cream do I need to apply?
In order to achieve the stated UVB and UVA protection it is recommended to apply 2mg per cm² at least 20 minutes before exposure. This is equivalent to around six (6g) teaspoons for the average adult, most consumers do not apply enough sun cream*. Babies and children need an equivalent amount, however always ensure their skin is kept covered with tightly woven fabric, a hat and a quality pair of sun glasses. *NB: Applying a smaller amount leads to a disproportionate reduction in protection e.g. reducing the quantity applied by half means protection could fall by as much as two-thirds.
Are Optima products tested on animals?
In accordance with the European Cosmetic Regulations, we do not conduct or commission animal testing on any of our cosmetic products or food supplements. We endeavour wherever possible to source non-animal derivatives, however, some of our products may contain the following ingredients: bovine gelatine capsules, beeswax, dairy derivatives and marine sourced ingredients including Glucosamine, Shark Cartilage, Green Lipped Mussel Extract, Chitosan and Collagen. For the sourcing of raw materials we operate a Fixed Cut-off Date Policy (31/12/1999), which means we do not use any ingredients that have been tested on animals after that date.