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Beer is one of the earliest beverage inventions, originating from the middle east around 5000 years ago, and globally is now the most consumed alcoholic beverage in terms of volume. The extracts of beer ingredients, especially hops, contain an abundance of polyphenols such as xanthohumol.

Xanthohumol has been shown to possess various effects such as anti-oxidative properties, but studies on the association between beer drinking and skin disease are limited because the effect of drinking alcohol is dehydrating and therefore ageing.

Instead, there have been several studies looking at the effect of xanthohumol extracts, and at the moment research is focussing on melanin pigments (the skins natural defence from the sun). Potential uses of xanthohumol in dermatology also includes treatment of skin ageing.*

During skin ageing there is deterioration of collagen and elastin fibers, because less of these are made when skin is damaged. At the same time there is increased degradation by elastase enzymes and matrixmetalloproteinases (MMPs).

A study from 2010** showed that xanthohumol has the potential to improve skin structure and firmness: it inhibits the activities of the elastase enzyme/MMPs and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.

Xanthohumol+ Skin is a vegan approved hop extract. It contains 10% xanthohumol which is double that of other brands. You can take 1 capsule of Xanthohumol+ Skin from 37p a day when you subscribe for 12 months.

** Philips et al. 2010. Direct inhibition of elastase and matrixmetalloproteinases and stimulation of biosynthesis of fibrillar collagens, elastin, and fibrillins by xanthohumol.

Green tea is thought to have various beneficial health effects, including feeding bacteria and maintaining a healthy gut flora* or ‘gut microbiome’. This is why we use green tea extract in our popular Happy Tum formulation.

What is less well known are the effects on what we call the ‘skin metabolome’. Skin retains numerous compounds (metabolites) which are produced by their residing bacteria. Some of these compounds fulfil specific physiological roles, while others are by-products of metabolism and don’t have a role.

A study by Jung et al, (2019) was conducted to evaluate the effects of 7-days of supplementation of green tea extract or its components, epigallocatechin gallate, caffeine, and theanine, on the bowel bacteria and the resulting metabolites of these bacteria within the bowel and/skin of mice. When UV light, mimicking sunlight was shone onto the supplemented mice, the effects of short-term supplementation with dietary compounds were evaluated. The results were then compared to mice which did not have any supplements but were given UV light.

Inside the bowel, green tea extract showed the most remarkable effects (compared to individual components of tea). Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species (friendly bacteria) were considerably increased by short-term green tea extract supplementation, while more harmful species of bacteria such as Clostridium butyricum were significantly increased by UV stress when a mouse was not supplemented. The higher the friendly bacteria, the higher the metabolites found. Green tea extract supplementation helped the skin defend against UV stress, presumably caused by a change in skin bacteria and the resulting metabolites.

It is thought that green tea extract acts like a ‘prebiotic’, feeding our friendly bacteria. Altruvita Green Tea Extract is a 300mg, one a day, low caffeine extract, costing as little as 14p a day when purchasing a 12-month subscription.


One in every eight deaths in Europe can be linked to pollution, according to a new report by the EU’s environment agency (EEA).

Air and noise pollution, as well as poor water quality and exposure to chemicals, contributed to 13% of all deaths across Europe. The report also noted who were hardest hit by pollution: poorer communities and vulnerable people. “Strong action is needed to protect the most vulnerable,” the agency said.

The Copenhagen-based agency released the report on was released on September 8, and was described as “a major assessment on health and [the] environment” in Europe. The report found that a total of 630,000 premature deaths in the European Union were attributable to environmental factors in 2012, the latest year for which data was available. Air pollution contributed to 400,000 annual deaths, with noise pollution being an attributable factor in 12,000. The remaining deaths were linked to extreme weather such as heatwaves.

“People are exposed to multiple risks at any time, including air, water and noise pollution, and chemicals, which combine and in some cases act in unison to impact on health,” the report said. The World Health Organization (WHO) says air pollution causes the death of millions of people around the world each year and accounts for a third of fatalities from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease.

In the UK, around 12% of deaths are said to be linked to environmental pollution.

“Socially deprived communities typically struggle under a triple burden of poverty, poor quality environments and ill health,” the EEA report said. “Eastern Europe and south-eastern Europe are both poorer and more polluted than the rest of Europe, with particulate matter emitted from the burning of solid fuel for residential heating and cooking,” it added.

The EEA said road traffic should be reduced, and fossil fuel subsidies should be removed in an effort to address the problem. The European Commission has echoed this view that a reduction in road traffic – specifically diesel-powered vehicles – would be beneficial. It has also suggested introducing measures to encourage greater use of electric cars. Last year, London introduced an Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in an effort to limit emissions of pollutants from cars, vans and lorries.

Similar schemes are already in place around Europe. Italy has the most low emissions zones – some of them permanent, many of them seasonal. There are also about 80 in Germany, and 14 each in the Netherlands and the UK.

Source: BBC News

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