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Can vitamin C be used to support exercise? And what happens if we take too much?

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin that acts in numerous biochemical reactions in the body. Vitamin C plays important roles within enzymes involved in collagen biosynthesis (required for connective tissues). Vitamin C also aids in iron absorption. A deficiency is rare given due to the high content of fruit and vegetables. The current NRV for vitamin C is 80mg and is more than achievable with 5 fruit and veg a day.

What Does Vitamin C Do in the Body?

As an antioxidant, vitamin C reacts with potentially damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and has been shown to protect plasma lipids (fats in the blood) against oxidative damage. It also strengthens the antioxidant network in cells by helping to maintain vitamin E levels.  Vitamin C may enhance immune function and through enhancement of immune cell function. Vitamin C supplementation may be able to prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections.  It may therefore have benefits for athletes undertaking intense exercise which can make infection more likely.

Taking Vitamin C for Exercise

During exercise, our muscles produce increased amounts of ROS. Excess ROS can promote damage to proteins, lipids, and DNA, and potentially impair physical performance, recovery, and immune function.

Vitamin C supplements may act to neutralise some of the damaging effects of exercise-induced ROS. A scientific review found that regular vitamin C supplementation (250-1000 mg per day) reduced the risk of the common cold by over 50% in athletes such as marathon runners and skiers who are exposed to short periods of extreme physical stress.

Too much Vitamin C

Although super high doses are commonly consumed by the general population, a daily total dose of between 500-1000 mg supplemental vitamin C may only be safe to consume acutely (during illness) to support immune health for most athletes undertaking intense exercise.

There is compelling evidence to suggest chronic ingestion of single high dose antioxidants such as 1000 mg per day for 8 weeks can impede training adaptations, yet when the same amount of Vitamin C is ingested via whole food sources, performance may actually improve. Collectively this supports a food first approach to achieving Vitamin C intake if you can, except for a short period during illness.

Altruvita Vitamin C provides 250mg, a dose based on the evidence and chosen to allow you to take a single capsule as a safe day-to day-dose. The dose can be multiplied during short periods of illness if required.

Reference: Australian Institute of Sport https://www.ais.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/999792/Sport-supplement-fact-sheets-Vitamin-C.pdf

What is CoQ10?

No doubt you’ve heard of CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 (or 2,3 dimethoxy-5 methyl-6-decaprenyl benzoquinone) is a fat-soluble quinone, commonly known as ubiquinone. It is considered nature’s sparkplug and occurs naturally in the human body, most abundantly in the heart. Supplements have been around for a long time and there’s a continually growing body of research surrounding them. Cellular levels decline with age and so many people supplement. CoQ10 is an essential component of the mitochondria where it gets involved in cellular energy production.

CoQ10 and Sporting Performance

Given that energy needs increase in exercise, supplementation with CoQ10 could therefore, ‘normalise’ or even enhance physical performance by increasing the CoQ10 content in the mitochondria. The studies which investigated the potential value of CoQ10 in increasing energy production have reported mixed results. The studies investigating the effects of CoQ10 supplementation on physical performance in humans have found negative effects and positive effects, including decreased exercise-induced muscular injury in athletes and positive effects on aerobic and anaerobic threshold and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) in cross-country skiing. According to one systemic review, it appears that a modest improvement in the exercise capacity may be observed with CoQ10 supplementation.

Effects of CoQ10 supplementation on exercise-induced muscle injury have been investigated in both humans and animals. From looking at all the results, it has been stated that CoQ10 supplementation may have the potential to reduce exercise-induced muscular cell damage.

Taken from Belviranli M, Okudan N. Well-Known Antioxidants and Newcomers in Sport Nutrition: Coenzyme Q10, Quercetin, Resveratrol, Pterostilbene, Pycnogenol and Astaxanthin. In: Lamprecht M, editor. Antioxidants in Sport Nutrition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor

Why Should I Take CoQ10 Supplements?

A common argument against taking supplements is; why can’t I just eat more foods that contain this substance, rather than taking a supplement?

Yes, you can. There are foods you can eat that contain CoQ10, however the amounts found in them are very small.  A serving of animal products (fish, red meat, chicken, etc.) contains just a few milligrams of CoQ10. It’s also found in oils, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies in even smaller amounts.

While all of the above are healthy foods, the amount of CoQ10 found in them isn’t nearly enough to replicate the benefits of supplemental doses similar to those used in studies (hundreds of milligrams, several times daily).

Types of CoQ10

There are two main forms of CoQ10;

  • Ubiquinone (oxidized form)
  • Ubiquinol (reduced form)

Ubiquinol is often advertised as a better (and more expensive) form due to its supposed greater bioavailability (ability to be absorbed in the gut).  It turns out however, that this isn’t entirely true, as both are equally effective at raising levels in the body. Yet, the consumer pays much more for the ubiquinol form.  Ubiquinone is just as effective without the added price – this is the form of CoQ10 offered by Altruvita.

Nutritionists recommend a minimum of 90mg a day.

Altruvita provide 250mg Co-Q10 (ubiquinone) as a pack of 30 capsules

Our Co-Q10 is approved as Vegan and Vegetarian by the Vegetarian society.

Altruvita Co-Q10 pack of 3

Xanthohumol is a powerful flavonoid found in hops, but how did we come to find out about it?

The History of Hops

The joy of drinking beer and art of brewing is over 5500 years old. Historical findings concluded that the origin of hops was in Asia, and from a botanical point of view, China is considered the place of origin. The Slavic tribes were the first to cultivate and use hops for preserving and seasoning beer, beginning in 1500 to 1000 BC and then other countries began to use hops for brewing purposes as well. Beer was drunk right across the Roman Empire. Many monasteries became popular for their hopped beers during the Middle Ages. The trade of beer has grown drastically due to the expansion of the towns and it was the main drink along with food at that time. In Germany from 1320–30 AD, hopped beer was usually preferred. Later in the 14th century, Belgium’s hop crop grew in importance, and northern German towns benefited from the sale of their hopped beer.

What were hops used for?

Apart from making beer, the medicinal uses of hops were discovered over the centuries and made their route into traditional medicine. Hops were used for the treatment of many conditions, like liver disease, foot odour, leprosy, disturbances in sleep, constipation, and for catharsis of blood.

Hop Supplements

Due to the commercialisation of hops from the 1990s onwards, the production of hops dramatically increased. This meant there was a huge amount of spent (or used) hops leftover. These are a rich source of the flavonoid xanthohumol. Xanthohumol can be extracted and sold as a food supplement, but is not entirely new to the market. Scientists have known about this natural flavonoid for many years and is the subject of more nearly 600 published studies on Pubmed since 1997, making it a very well-studied food supplement. Xanthohumol has a broad spectrum of biological activity.

Some food supplements contain small amounts of active ingredients, look for a hop extract which contains a higher concentration of xanthohumol than hops naturally contain to get the most out of this well researched flavonoid.

Before you consider drinking more beer, drinking 100’s of pints a day wouldn’t even provide the same amount of xanthohumol!

At Altruvita we offer three hop extracts containing 10% Xanthohumol

Each of our hop products is approved as Vegan and Vegetarian by the Vegetarian society.

In those who take sport and exercise seriously, zinc is probably a mineral which is supplemented after a workout; either through sports drinks, individual food supplements or as part of a multivitamin. Like most micronutrients though most people don’t always understand why they are taking them, especially if the person was just told to do so by someone else!

Zinc is an essential mineral, and although it is required only in small amounts, it is vital to our health. Amongst a variety of roles, zinc contributes to the normal function of the immune system*, to normal cognitive function* and protects cells from oxidative stress*. It also contributes to normal fertility and reproduction*, and the maintenance of normal vision, hair, skin and nails*.

But what does the research say for zinc and sporting performance?

Zinc supplementation is very popular in athletes. Serum zinc levels decrease significantly during exercise recovery, compared to pre-exercise levels and most research appears to assess physiological variables that contribute to the damaging effect of exhaustive exercise on the immune system.

Despite higher total dietary zinc intake, athletes generally have lower serum zinc concentration, which suggests that athletes have higher requirement of zinc than those who are physically inactive. In elite cyclists with Zn deficiency, taking 22 mg/dayfor 30 days improved their zinc status during normal training regimens. These results showed that as plasma Zn increased, Cu decreased, resulting in an increase in the Zn:Cu ratio. It is important to note that anyone supplementing zinc above the 100% NRV also need to supplement copper.

One study found six weeks of low-dose Zn gluconate (30 mg/d) have been shown to improve estimated VO2peak, similar to the effects of high intensity workouts. When combined, 30mg Zn/d and high intensity training further improved estimated VO2peak by 9.33% in female athletes.

As we have known for many years, exercise improves insulin sensitivity, and elite athletes are already known to have very high sensitivity to insulin- meaning their cells take in glucose readily when insulin tells them to. It is not clear if zinc helps this process even more, as insulin sensitivity can be improved with zinc even when obese and inactive.

Zn has also been shown to affect the anabolic hormone testosterone (T) in some, but not all, studies. Of these seeing effects, most increased free testosterone immediately after exercise, but levels returned to normal when at rest.

If you are a keen athlete but not at an elite level, the most important aspect to highlight here is to ensure you are not deficient as zinc deficiency effects so may things within the human body, from fertility to immunity. To know for sure you will need to have a blood test, normally privately.

Altruvita Max Strength Zinc provides 25mg of elemental zinc per tablet. For less than 15p a day this high dose can help support your health, (when purchasing a single pack).

*GB REGISTERS ON NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS.

Vitamin D is an essential fat soluble vitamin micronutrient that contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and muscles.* It is used to support the normal function of the immune system and the process of cell division.* Vitamin D also is required for the normal absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorous, and normal blood calcium levels.* All of these things are very much needed to support anyone who competes at any level, or indeed compete with themselves to keep improving times or weights lifted!

There is a huge amount of monitoring and research undertaken in athletes to try to figure out what diet will give them the edge over their opponents. Despite the special attention given to the diet of athletes, some micronutrient deficiencies do appear. It was generally believed that if athletes, or indeed anyone follows a balanced diet, they will not require supplements, however, this idea is definitely too simplistic, especially in relation to vitamin D.

Requirements for vitamin D are no different from those of the general population, however anything that limits the amount or quality of sun exposure, can compromise vitamin D levels. It is important to remember that one of the factors that has the greatest influence on vitamin D levels is exposure to sunlight. Research to date suggests that certain athletes are at risk for suboptimal vitamin D status, which may increase risks for stress fractures, acute illness, and suboptimal muscle function. Suboptimal vitamin D levels appear both in athletes who mainly train indoors, and at higher latitudes, and in those who train outdoors at lower latitudes.

The other thing to bear in mind is that vitamin D activity is related to the adequate presence of other nutritional factors and it is very important to know the status of other nutrients, like magnesium. Magnesium plays an important role in bone mineralization and the maintenance of normal bones* due in part to its positive influence in the synthesis of active vitamin D.

Low vitamin D status could negatively impact the health and training efficiency of athletes. Of course, to move our bodies we need a functioning nervous system. Vitamin D affects the central and peripheral nervous systems. Vitamin D receptors are present throughout the brain, including the primary motor cortex, which is the region that coordinates movement. Vitamin D controls the production of serotonin and dopamine which are crucial for muscle coordination and for avoiding a condition called central fatigue. A high proportion of serotonin and dopamine affects exercise performance due to its effect on the general feeling of tiredness and perceptions of effort. If you have ever had vitamin D deficiency you will know how exhausted you feel all day long and even the simplest of tasks such as walking upstairs can wipe you out, as well as cause awful pelvic and bone pain.

During the recent COVID pandemic we all became more aware of the risks of having low vitamin D levels and the impact on our immune system. The insufficiency of vitamin D in athletes is associated with a higher frequency of diseases, including common colds, influenza and gastroenteritis. In athletes, the incidence of respiratory diseases is higher (especially at the elite level), suggesting that low levels of vitamin D may favour the vulnerability of these professionals to upper respiratory tract infections, while individuals with sufficient levels of vitamin D show a lower risk of infection.

If you are active and living in the UK, but train indoors and don’t get regular sunshine you should consider taking vitamin D all-year-round.

Altruvita Vitamin D is from cholecalciferol and provides 500% of the adult daily requirement for health.

Vitamin D3

*GB REGISTERS ON NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS

The term ‘curcumin’ is often used interchangeably with the golden spice ‘turmeric’, but what is it? Curcumin (the best bit) is extracted from turmeric and is sold as a food supplement.

Curcumin is actually the name given to a group of powerful anti-inflammatory* and antioxidant* polyphenols called curcuminoids. Antioxidants help to remove damaging free radicals which build up as a result of physical activity. Several studies have shown just how beneficial curcumin can be for sports participants.

Reducing muscle damage may improve performance and recovery, allowing for improved training quality and adaptations. Therefore, one study sought to examine the effect of two doses of curcumin supplementation on performance decrements following downhill running.

Sixty-three physically active people (31 men and 32 women) were randomly assigned to ingest 250 mg of CurcuWIN® (50 mg of curcuminoids), 1000 mg of CurcuWIN® (200 mg of curcuminoids), or a corn starch placebo for eight weeks. At the end of the supplementation period, subjects completed a downhill running protocol intended to induce muscle damage. Muscle function and perceived soreness was assessed prior to and at 1 h, 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h post-downhill run.

When compared to changes observed against placebo, a 200-mg dose of curcuminoids (1000mg of CurcuWIN®) attenuated reductions in some observed changes in performance and soreness after completion of a downhill running bout.

This means faster recovery from hard workouts, which leads to more consistent training and higher intensity levels, leading to increased performance.

*GB ARTICLE 13.1 BOTANICALS ON HOLD LIST.

It’s Nutrition and Hydration week 2022 from Monday 14th – Sunday 20th March, so to help raise awareness of the importance of eating and drinking well, here’s a few facts and tips to help you understand why 5 a day is important.

One part of a healthy diet for most people is ensuring enough fruit and vegetables are consumed. Since weaning from milk, children are told to make sure they eat their fruit and veg, and unfortunately sometimes the nagging can put the subject of fruit and veg in the boring category – something that impacts the relationship with food for the rest of their lives. It is important to find a way of incorporating fruit and vegetables into meals every day, but why?

Apart from vitamin B12, fruit and vegetables contain all your vitamins from A-K. Because fruit and vegetables are also the main source of vitamins, there are several diseases which can be prevented with adequate intake. The minimum target is 5 portions a day (or 400g) in the UK.

One study found that consuming just half this amount (200g, or two and a half portions) is associated with:

  • a 16% reduced risk of heart disease
  • an 18% reduced risk of stroke
  • a 13% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • a 4% reduced risk in cancer risk
  • and 15% reduction in the risk of premature death.

This is in comparison to people eating poor diets.

Further benefits were observed with higher intakes. Eating up to 800g fruit and vegetables a day – or 10 portions – was associated with:

  • a 24% reduced risk of heart disease
  • a 33% reduced risk of stroke
  • a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • a 13% reduced risk of total cancer
  • and a 31% reduction in dying prematurely.

Fewer than one in three UK adults are thought to meet their 5 a day.

Here’s some help get to your target:

Fruit and vegetables can be fresh, frozen, canned or juiced.

Add one or two portions of either fruit or vegetables to each of your three meals as this will help you to reach the goal quicker

Try juicing your fruit and vegetables if you are on the go. One 150ml glass of juice can be classed as one of your 5 a day

One 30g portion of dried fruit counts as your 5 a day so you can stock up on some snack bags for when your need a pick me up.

Try freezing your fruit and vegetables if you are struggling to shop as much. Most freeze really well!

Anyone not able to meet their vitamin requirements in the short or long term should consider food supplements to bridge the gap.

Click here to view our range of food supplements to support your health.

It takes two to make a baby. Infertility is a major clinical concern, affecting 15% of all reproductive age couples.  Whilst it’s crucial to focus on boosting female fertility, it’s also equally important to see how nutrition can support male fertility. Surprisingly, approximately 40-50% of so called ‘infertile couples’ are attributable to male infertility. Male semen and sperm quality also influence the risk of miscarriage.

Similar to women, fertility in men is influenced by a variety of factors, including lifestyle and dietary habits. Boosting certain nutrients can significantly encourage optimum male fertility. In particular antioxidants should be incorporated into your diet to promote fertility, especially if levels are likely to be low through poor diet or oxidative stress, or have been low in blood tests.

Selenium is a key mineral involved in sperm production. It is a well-known fact that selenium helps out men with normal spermatogenesis*; the production of sperm. In a study using 200ug of selenium for 100 days in infertile men, selenium significantly improved sperm quality and pregnancy rates.

Zinc may be the most important trace mineral in male reproduction. Zinc contributes to normal fertility and reproduction*, it is important for sperm formation, motility, and hormone production. Zinc deficiency is associated with low testosterone levels, low sperm count and sperm that isn’t mobile enough to fertilise an egg.

In one study, a combination of antioxidants including Zinc, Co-Enzyme Q10, and Vitamin C were given to 50 infertile male smokers once a day for 3 months. Selenium was given every other day. Sperm parameters were compared before and after supplementation. The scientists confirmed supplementation effectively improved the qualitative parameters (pH and concentration) and quantitative parameters (volume, motion, morphology, count and progressive motility) in men who were deemed infertile because of smoking.

Other health tips:

Changing your day-to-day habits can increase male fertility. Here are a few suggestions:

Limit alcohol: even modest habitual alcohol consumption of more than 5 units per week had adverse effects on semen quality although most pronounced associations were seen in men who consumed more than 25 units per week. Alcohol consumption was also linked to changes in testosterone and SHBG levels. Men should avoid habitual alcohol intake.

Don’t smoke: Cigarette smoking has long been known to have adverse effects of male reproductivity. Naturally, in the human body, there is a balance between free radicals and the antioxidant system. Cigarette consumption increases free radicals and decreases antioxidant vitamins and minerals in the body. These can all have negative impacts on sperm quality, count and motility.

Keep slim: There is now emerging evidence that male obesity impacts negatively on male reproductive potential, not only reducing sperm quality, but in particular altering the physical and molecular structure of germ cells in the testes and ultimately mature sperm. Recent data has shown that male obesity also impairs offspring metabolic and reproductive health suggesting that paternal health cues are transmitted to the next generation, mostly likely occurring via the sperm. Diet and exercise should be used to lose weight effectively.

A few simple adjustments to male diet and lifestyle can be made before seeking professional fertility treatments.

As part of the suggestions, the range of Altruvita products are available here: altruvita.com/range/

*GB REGISTERS ON NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS.

With all the chocolate and roses in the air, it’s easy to get swept up in the lovey-dovey atmosphere and neglect yourself. This Valentine’s Day, give your heart some love and care by taking some simple steps to keep your heart healthy.

Many medications aim to help people with cardiac issues, but what if we told you that taking a food supplement could make life easier for your heart, even if you are perfectly healthy?

Curcumin is the collective name for cucuminoids extracted from the spice turmeric, that is used around the world as a common flavouring spice. This yellow food supplement is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.*

CurcuWIN® is a curcumin supplement that contains three active compounds within turmeric: curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. 

In a randomised, controlled, double-blind, parallel prospective study, fifty-nine healthy adults were assigned to placebo (inactive powder), 50 mg, or 200 mg CurcuWIN®, for 8 weeks.

The higher CurcuWIN® (200 mg) supplementation produced a dose-mediated improvement in endothelial function measured by flow-mediated dilation. In English, this means that the blood vessels opened, allowing blood to flow better. The outcome was a clinically substantial 3.0% increase in benefit between the 200 mg dose and placebo.

Findings from this study suggest that a minimum of 8 week supplementation with 200 mg per day curcumin enhances endothelial function in healthy young subjects.

Oral curcumin supplementation may present a simple lifestyle strategy for promoting healthy circulation, thus decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in individuals who are healthy.

Although taking a capsule may sound tedious, curcumin is easy to take and is an affordable way to look after your heart.

One capsule of Altruvita Curcumin+ provides 250mg CurcuWIN®

* GB ARTICLE 13.1 BOTANICALS ON HOLD LIST.

As featured in The Guardian ‘New Year New You’ insert on 8th January, 2022

The following products were highlighted:

Free Sports Towel!

For a limited time only, Guardian readers can also get a free Sports Towel on orders over £50*

Use code: FEELBETTER

*While stocks last. Offer ends 28 February 2022.

Thanks to an excellent healthcare system, men in the UK are living longer

(Still not as long as women but you can’t have everything!)

Fifty years ago, most men died early in their retirement. Now the average 50-year-old can look forward to about 30 or more years of life. It’s important to make sure you’re healthy enough to live it!

We all know as you get older you are at greater risk of serious health problems, so if you have any bad lifestyle habits now is the time to nip them in the bud, forever. If you discuss this with your GP, they will be able to recommend a variety of health professionals that can help on the NHS and privately.

Even if you feel and look fine, don’t wait for a problem to arrive. This is what most people do! Most chronic illnesses are avoidable. Keeping your weight in the healthy range for your height, keeping within 14 units of alcohol a week and making sure your cholesterol is within healthy limits, will prevent most diseases.

Exercising brings additional benefits

Do strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on at least 2 days a week. Undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week. If you do this every week, you’ll be better off for it.

Regular health checks

It’s worth thinking about the various types of NHS screening we’re entitled to as we get older. Prevention is always better than cure. Men over 50 are entitled to a free NHS health check, which will see if you are at risk of things like stroke, heart attack and kidney disease. You can also ask for prostate screening, this covers all prostate issues, not just cancer. Bowel cancer screening is available in Scotland and may be available in your 50’s in England soon.

Start today!

Support Your Health with our range for Men.

What exactly is it?

Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break (fracture).

Osteopenia is the stage before this happens and is the point when lower bone density can be improved, thus preventing osteoporosis.

Risk Factors:

  • taking high-dose steroid tablets for more than 3 months
  • other medical conditions – such as inflammatory conditions, hormone-related conditions, or malabsorption problems
  • a family history of osteoporosis – particularly a hip fracture in a parent
  • long-term use of certain medicines that can affect bone strength or hormone levels, such as anti-oestrogen tablets that many women take after breast cancer
  • having or history of undernutrition 
  • having a low BMI
  • not exercising regularly
  • heavy drinking and smoking

Prevention

Although some medications and genetics are unavoidable, breaking bad habits and promoting good bone health with a balanced diet and exercise is vital for everyone. Vitamin C, D and magnesium contribute towards the normal function and maintenance of bones.* Vitamin D also is required for the normal absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorous, and normal blood calcium levels.* 

* GB REGISTERS ON NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS

What is the gut?

The gut, a long tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus is responsible for transporting your food from A to B, absorbing what its needs on the way. It is part of a hugely complex digestive system aided by other organs and there is so much we still do not know about how it works.

What is gut health?

It is actually very difficult to say what gut health is, but a healthy gut is probably one which moves at a steady rate, lacks inflammation, ulcerations, fissures and diseases.  When we talk about gut health we have to distinguish between fact and fiction as there are plenty of theories out there and some practitioners relate any health problem to bad gut health, without having a doctor assess the problem first. In contrast, what a doctor may label as a sign of bad gut health (e.g. ulcers, poor motility or stool samples which have an imbalance of enzymes, bacteria, yeast or viruses) is different to what a patient feels are signs of poor gut health, e.g. pain from trapped wind or occasional diarrhoea.

If you ask most health professionals ‘What does gut health mean?’ One topic will immediately spring to mind and that is of course the ‘gut flora’ or ‘microbiota’. It’s actually all the bacteria, viruses, archaea and eukaryotes living in the gut. We usually think of these tiny things as something harmful and nasty and, as a result, diligently wash our hands after toilet visits and spray our work surfaces with antibacterial cleaners. These ‘bugs’ have a bad name for good reason as in huge numbers they can be the cause of serious diseases such as pneumonia and food poisoning. Not all bacteria are ‘bad’ and we live in a close relationship with a whole host of ‘good/friendly’ bacteria that are on us, and inside us – and in fact are essential if we are to stay in good health. 

The microbiota is now being called the ‘forgotten organ’ and appears to influence a wide range of conditions. The food we eat changes our microbiota and this can then tie in with problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. Interest is also growing into how the gut flora interacts with the brain function (called the gut-brain axis), and how this can affect mood and conditions such as Alzheimer’s and depression. What isn’t overly clear is whether the disease always causes the change to the gut microbiota or the other way around. It is likely that inflammation in the gut can change the microbiota and microbiota can also cause inflammation.

What are the signs of an unhealthy gut?

This article is entitled ‘The Signs of an Unhealthy Gut’, but actually the ‘signs’ are not always obvious. For example, you may have a problem in one area of the gut without any signs at all, and the rest of the gut may be functioning normally with a varied microbiota.

On the flip-side, you may have constipation, diarrhoea, bleeding, acid reflux or bloating bothering you, which can be signs of serious problems, and these need investigating by a doctor if they persist. It is safer to say you have poor gut health if you have been diagnosed with a condition or disease within your gut.

If you have infrequent problems with gut function, that is normal. Gut movements are affected by food, stress, medication, hydration, caffeine, alcohol and activity. It is normal to pass several stools a day or have lots of wind if your diet is plant based. It is also normal to get acid reflux when you eat fatty large meals too late and then lay down. The body can only compensate so much for poor lifestyle choices.

Treat your gut well, and it will treat you well in return!

There are so many available methods to help yourself – diets, medications, probiotics and other food supplements!

Altruvita’s Happy Tum works to help support a sensitive tum. Formulated by our expert team, it does this with a blend of three specially selected ingredients:

  1. Green Tea – Assists healthy gut flora**
  2. Vitamin D3 – Supports normal immune function*
  3. Curcumin (CurcuWIN®) – Anti-inflammatory** and aids digestive comfort**

What our customers say…

* GB REGISTERS ON NUTRITION AND HEALTH CLAIMS.
**GB ARTICLE 13.1 BOTANICALS ON HOLD LIST.

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Recent Blog Posts

Vitamin C and exercise- how much is too much?

31/08/22

Can vitamin C be used to support exercise? And what happens if we take too much? What is Vitamin C? Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin that acts in numerous biochemical reactions in the body. Vitamin C plays important roles within enzymes involved in collagen biosynthesis (required for connective tissues). Vitamin C also aids […]

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