Iron: Get back your energy

Woman smiling at Man. Skybright Iron Liquid Mineral.

Iron: Get back your energy

There are any number of reasons we can feel tired or lacking energy. Not enough sleep, too much work, or several key nutrients missing from our diet. 

Low iron status is one of the most common deficiencies in the world. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), two billion people in both developing and industrialised countries are iron deficient. This is also true in New Zealand, especially for women. 

In the last New Zealand Nutritional Survey (all the way back in 2009!), 34% of girls aged 13-19 were deficient in iron, and that figure was 49% for Māori and Pasifika teenage girls. It is estimated 20-30% of women of child-bearing age in New Zealand are iron deficient.

Iron is essential for energy production. It is found in the haemoglobin of our red blood cells to transport oxygen from our lungs to every cell in our body. It’s also present in myoglobin, a protein found in skeletal muscles and the heart. At the cellular level, iron is used to fuel enzymes and make energy.

Iron is found in the haemoglobin of our red blood cells.
Iron is found in the haemoglobin of our red blood cells to transport oxygen to every cell in our body.

Iron is responsible for more than 200 processes in the body, and key to thyroid function, hair growth, mood regulation, cognitive function, building and maintaining strong bones and optimal immune system maintenance.

When iron levels are low you are essentially depriving your cells of oxygen. Symptoms can include low energy, weakness, fatigue, pale skin, poor concentration, brain fog, and cold hands and feet. Low immunity to infection, and slow recovery from sickness is also common. In more severe cases, when haemoglobin levels are low and red blood cells become paler in colour, anaemia develops. This can cause a host of serious health issues including shortness of breath, chest pain and dizziness.

While low iron or anaemia occurs more frequently than any other micronutrient deficiency, too much iron can be just as dangerous. The symptoms for excess iron are often the same, such as low energy or cognitive issues. 

Haemochromatosis, or iron overload, is a genetic condition that affects 1 in 200 New Zealanders, mostly of European descent. It’s thought to be the most common genetic disorder in the world. The iron slowly builds up in the body, especially your liver, heart, and pancreas. Eventually, these organs can be permanently damaged by the excess iron.

A balanced wholefood diet can play a big part in restoring and maintaining sufficient iron levels, and a well-nourished person is able to regulate their iron levels effectively, depending on what their body requires.

However, if you think you require more iron, it is recommended that you consult a health professional before commencing supplementation.

Absorption and bioavailability

While there is often enough iron in our diets, absorption of the mineral can be problem. This comes down to bioavailability, and how our body can access the iron from our food.

The role of healthy gut

Maintaining a healthy and happy gut is key for getting all the nutrients from your food and your overall wellbeing. Simple things like chewing your food well can help stimulate acid production, and friendly gut bacteria and probiotics such as lactoferrin play a vital role. 

Man holding stomach. Friendly gut bacteria and probiotics such as lactoferrin play a vital role in iron absorption.
Friendly gut bacteria and probiotics such as lactoferrin play a vital role in iron absorption.

Food sources of Iron

Dietary sources of Iron can be broken up into two main types: Haem iron and non-Haem iron. 

Haem iron is found in red meats such as beef and lamb, as well as fish, shellfish and poultry, and is readily absorbed by the body. For many reasons, including health, we’re eating less red meat than we used to, and therefore missing out on one of the best sources of iron.

Non-Haem sources include lentils, legumes, wholegrain fortified cereals and tofu. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, brussel sprouts can also provide small amounts of iron.

Here in New Zealand, non-Haem sources such as wheat form a considerable portion of dietary iron; 40% according to the 2009 New Zealand Nutritional Survey (animal protein accounted for 18%). However, non-Haem or plant-based sources are not as bioavailable and often poorly absorbed. To assist with absorption, it can be paired with Haem iron foods such as red meat, fish or poultry. 

Vitamin C can be hugely beneficial. By eating citrus fruits, kiwifruits, capsicums and brassica vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, it can enhance the absorption of non-Haem iron, and increase iron status. Many iron supplements contain forms of vitamin C for this purpose.

In contrast, high levels of calcium, zinc or phytates, which can be found in legumes, rice and other grains can inhibit absorption of both Haem and non-Haem iron. Conversely, high intakes of iron can affect the absorption of zinc, and calcium.  

A range of foods that contain the mineral iron: beef, fish, spinach, legumes, wholegrain bread. Vitamin C helps with absorption of the mineral.
Variety is key, as there are small amounts of iron in many foods.

Variety is key, as there are small amounts of iron in many foods. It’s important to try and keep a good balance to help the body maintain sufficient mineral stores.

Lastly, although iron from plant sources is less bioavailable, if you don’t eat animal-based products, don’t assume you are iron deficient. Many vegetarians utilise iron from their diet very effectively. Again, it is best to take a blood test before undertaking supplementation.

A note about tea and coffee

It is recommended not to consume tea or coffee with iron-rich meals as this has been shown to inhibit absorption due to the tannins present. These tannins can bind to the iron and hinder absorption. Allow two hours before or after eating iron-rich foods or when taking an iron supplement.

Iron in pregnancy

The WHO has estimated that anaemia is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency worldwide, affecting 33% of non-pregnant women, 40% of pregnant women and 42% of children worldwide. Research suggests that 20-30% of women of child-bearing age may be iron-deficient in New Zealand.

Pregnant woman sitting on floor in bedroom. 20-30% of women of child-bearing age may be iron-deficient in New Zealand.
20-30% of women of child-bearing age may be iron-deficient in New Zealand.

Women often require more iron when pregnant and nursing children. A lack of iron can lead to complications in pregnancy such as decreased fertility, reduced birth weight and reduced gestation periods. 

Iron deficiency in children can lead to irreversible effects on brain development, lack of growth, and low immunity to infection. Cognitive development can also be affected if a mother is lacking iron in her last trimester of pregnancy.

The issue of excess iron is rarely found in women of child-bearing age, due to menstrual blood loss. Having children and monthly cycles can often deplete women’s iron stores for many years to follow.

Iron for athletes

Iron can be critically important for endurance athletes. Anaemia or even marginal iron deficiency can impair performance as it reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and inhibits mitochondrial enzyme function in the cell. 

Endurance athletes often deplete their iron stores more rapidly through sweat loss, red blood cell destruction, and gastro-intestinal blood loss.

Male athlete running on track. Iron liquid mineral for energy.
Endurance athletes often deplete their iron stores more rapidly through sweat loss.

Some athletes have difficulty meeting their iron needs due to factors such as calorie restriction, avoiding animal-based products and a high carbohydrate intake. Those training for more than six hours per week are more at risk and should have their iron status checked at least once a year. 

When to supplement

At certain times of life, there is an increased need for iron. In infancy, experiencing growth spurts in childhood, adolescence, when pregnant and breastfeeding, and exercising often.

Elderly men often have low iron status or anaemia due to weak stomach acid. Try to avoid or limit the use of antacids, heartburn or stomach acid lowering medication that can prevent absorption of iron and other minerals. 

Iron supplementation should only be recommended following a consultation with a healthcare professional, especially for those on medication. They may suggest a test which measures haemoglobin levels, determining the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood cells. An additional serum ferritin test measures the amount of iron stored in the body.

Iron deficiency can develop slowly and correcting it can also be a slow process. A supplement may be required for at least a few months to replenish your iron levels. Always use as directed and keep out of reach of children. 

References:
Coory, David. Stay Healthy by supplying what’s lacking in your diet. 1992
Schauss, Alexander G. Minerals, Trace Elements, & Human Health. Life Sciences Press. 1995
WHO guidance helps detect iron deficiency and protect brain development. 2020
Ministry of Health ­– Manatū Hauora. Iron overload (Haemochromatosis). 2018

Disclaimer:
The information in this article is not intended as a medical prescription for any disease or illness. Nothing stated here should be considered medical advice. Use as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. 

What is Colloidal Silver?

Woman holding her arms out asking the question "What is Colloidal Silver?"

What is Colloidal Silver?

Ionic Colloidal Silver is very fine particles of 99.9% pure ionic silver suspended in purified water. It supports the immune system when the body is under attack and micro organisms cannot build up resistance to it.

Quite simply, silver interrupts the bacteria cell’s ability to form the chemical bonds essential to its survival.

It is often used as a natural alternative to antibiotics, as it has antimicrobial properties, which means it’s antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. Colloidal silver has proven effective in killing many stubborn bacterial infections (including cold viruses) without the side effects of a pharmaceutical antibiotic.

Your immune system’s best friend

Colloidal Silver is suitable for the entire family, including pets, and there are no known interactions or side effects if taken as directed. Silver is a naturally occurring trace mineral found in our bodies and does not interact with any medication. It has been proven to promote the growth of new cells, enabling wounds to heal faster. Unlike other metals with antimicrobial properties, it is non-toxic.

Colloidal silver is suitable for the entire family. A must-have in your bathroom cabinet.

Batch verified

Manufactured to less than or equal to 10ppm (parts per million). Medsafe New Zealand requirements stipulate that Colloidal Silver liquid products contain a silver concentration of 10ppm or below. Skybright independently tests every batch to ensure our Ionic Colloidal Silver meets this requirement.

Antimicrobial properties

Ionic Colloidal Silver supports the immune system when the body is under attack. Silver has antimicrobial properties that work by disabling the specific enzyme that many forms of bacteria, viruses and fungi use for their own oxygen metabolism.

“This is my go-to product for use with the whole family including the animals. I’m certain it has saved us a number of trips to the doctor with early application. Great to have around the house, in the first aid kit and in your handbag.”

— Cara

Colloidal Silver FAQ’s

Have a question for us?

We’d be happy to answer any questions you have regarding Colloidal Silver.

Send us an email, phone us on 0800 200 707 or message us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

How do I take it?

Colloidal Silver can be either taken internally or applied topically to the skin. When feeling unwell or in need of an immune system boost, take 5ml of liquid three times a day for five days, then 5ml per day thereafter. Children under 8 years of age take half adult dose. This will assist your body’s natural defences against bacterial or viral infections such as colds or flu.

Always use a plastic spoon as metal affects the positive charge of the silver ions. Do not store in a refrigerator, near a magnetic field or an electronic device.

Colloidal Silver can be used in conjunction with other medications and supplements. It is extremely safe when used as directed, and suitable for all the family, including pets.

When feeling unwell, take 5ml of colloidal silver liquid three times a day for five days.

Applying Colloidal Silver to your skin

Colloidal Silver can be applied topically to help prevent infection or fight an existing condition. It is suitable for use on broken skin and can be used as an antibacterial application for wounds, cuts, grazes, insect bites, minor burns and fungal infections. As it’s non-stinging, it’s great for use on kids to prevent infection on any cuts or wounds and aids fast healing.

Spray onto the affected area, allow to dry, then apply Skybright Colloidal Silver Cream, which has the additional antimicrobial benefits of mānuka oil and mānuka honey. Or apply Skybright Colloidal Silver Aloe Vera Gel, which is regenerative, soothing, cooling and calming for the skin and particularly effective on minor burns and sunburn. 

Spray colloidal silver into the mouth to soothe a sore throat.

Colloidal Silver Spray for sore throats

Spray Colloidal Silver into the mouth several times a day for sore throats, laryngitis, dry coughs, mouth ulcers, gum infections or after dental work. Alternatively, use the liquid like a mouthwash and gargle – it can be safely swallowed afterwards.

Colloidal Silver Nasal Spray while flying

When flying, you can often be plagued by blocked sinuses and exposed to infection in the flight cabin. Use Colloidal Silver Nasal Spray as often as you like while flying to soothe your sinuses and breathe easy. Just 1 or 2 sprays into each nostril.

“We use it for all sorts of things. It works well to get rid of a sore throat. When I notice it coming on I spray my throat and it goes before it gets worse. I also use it for skin irritations and drink a teaspoon or two for general health.”

– Jenny

Natural healing for all the family

Ionic Colloidal Silver is all-natural, odourless, tasteless, vegan-friendly, gluten free dietary supplement.

It’s a fantastic alternative to antibiotics when you’re feeling unwell, suffering from an infection, or in need of an immune boost as it supports the body in natural healing. You can take it internally or apply it topically to the skin.

A must-have in your bathroom cabinet, as it’s suitable for all the family, including pets, and can be used for wide range of applications. There no known interactions or side effects if taken as directed.

Disclaimer:
The information in this article is not intended as a medical prescription for any disease or illness. Nothing stated here should be considered medical advice. Use as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. 

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar FAQ’s

People holding up glasses of water containing Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar FAQ’s

Here are some FAQ’s on ACV. There are hundreds of uses for Apple Cider Vinegar, and almost as many health benefits.

See our other articles on how to Love your gut with our Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, or try out one of our Recipes with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

Don’t take it straight – Organic Apple Cider Vinegar can be harsh on your oesophagus if you take it as a shot.
Don’t take it straight – it can be harsh on your oesophagus if you take it as a shot.

“Eat fermented foods, sleep a lot, fill up on fibre, and maintain a healthy weight. Your belly and your brain will thank you.” 

The Beginner’s Guide to Better Gut Health

Have another question for us?

We’d be happy to help. Send us an email, phone us on 0800 200 707 or message us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


“Gorgeous ACV… will be buying it again and again 🙂 ”

— Michelle

Disclaimer
The information in this article is not intended as a medical prescription for any disease or illness. Nothing stated here should be considered medical advice. Use as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. 

Recipes with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Woman preparing food in kitchen with Skybright Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

Recipes with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Looking for other ways to incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar into your diet? Struggling with the taste?

We recommend you can simply add it to a large glass of water as a daily tonic, but you could also try it out in one of the recipes below. Get that goodness and feel great everyday.

See our other articles on how to Love your gut with our Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, or your questions answered in Organic Apple Cider Vinegar FAQ’s.

The Daily Tonic

Promote good gut health each morning with 1-4 teaspoons into a large glass of water in the morning. Don’t take it straight! – dilution is good. As apple cider vinegar is acidic, it can be harsh on your oesophagus if you take it as a shot.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is a prebiotic that promotes digestive health with its gut-friendly bacteria and pectin. Prebiotics are the compounds that promote the growth of probiotics, that are excellent for overall gut health. It also contains ‘the mother’ – a naturally occurring sediment within the bottle that is a storehouse of important minerals, essential amino acids and enzymes. 

The Daily Tonic can help ease digestion, regulate blood pressure, balance cholesterol, boost nutrient absorption and increase your energy levels.

Basic Vinaigrette

Liven up any salad and get your daily dose of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar at the same time. The acetic acid in the vinegar also increases the body’s absorption of important minerals and nutrients from the leafy greens and salad vegetables.

¼ cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
¾ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon French mustard
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

Place garlic, mustard, salt and pepper in a screw top jar, add vinegar and oil and give it a good shake. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week, and shake it again before using.

Dairy-Free Cashew Sour Cream

Use with Tacos or other Mexican creations as an alternative to sour cream or as a yummy dip.

½ cup cashews, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained and rinsed.
¼ cup of cold water
1 teaspoon Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
½ lemon, juiced 
Salt to taste

Simply blend the ingredients in a blender or NutriBullet!

Thanks to Lisa @glutenfreefoodienz for sharing! See her blog for more Gluten Free Recipes.

The Lightest, Fluffiest Pancakes

Weekend treats! Light and fluffy pancakes using Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

2 tablespoons Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
¾ cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 free-range egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Combine Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with milk in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Then whisk egg and butter into “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until any lumps are gone.

Heat a lightly oiled, non-stick pan over a medium heat. Pour a large spoonful of batter into the pan, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip, and cook until lightly browned on the other side.

Barbecue Sauce for Pulled Pork

This vinegar-based barbecue sauce is great with pulled pork, and a healthier alternative to shop-bought barbecue sauces.

2 cups Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato sauce or ketchup
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
1 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in a pan. Cook on your stove top on a medium heat. Bring to a boil. Whisk together until sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.

Pour sauce into a jar or bottle. For best results, refrigerate one day before serving. Shake well before serving.

Store the sauce in a mason jar. Old salad dressing bottles are also great for storing your sauce. You can serve immediately, but this sauce is best made 24 hours or more in advance.

Green Smoothie Recipe

Get your daily dose of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar by adding it to a green smoothie, which is loaded full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

A handful of spinach
1 orange, peeled
½ banana, sliced into chunks
½ avocado
1 tablespoon Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Some fresh or frozen berries
A big blob of plain Greek yoghurt
Ice (optional) 

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Skybright Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Aged for 12 months for a noticeably smoother taste.

Taste the difference. Some brands of Apple Cider Vinegar can be tough to take. Ours is made from delicious, BioGro certified, organically grown New Zealand Apples. It’s then aged for 12 months for a noticeably smoother taste.

“Absolutely delicious – This is by far the nicest ACV I’ve ever tasted.” 

– Jude

Love your gut with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar 

Love your gut with Skybright Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Woman making heart with hands.

Love your gut with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar 

Skybright Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is made from from delicious, organically-grown New Zealand apples. Unlike other brands that have come halfway around the world, by buying this product you are supporting local farmers, growers and producers, and organic production methods.

It is raw, unfiltered, unpasteurised, and aged for at least 12 months to give it a noticeably smoother taste. The sediment contains naturally occurring amino acids and antioxidants and gives the product a cloudy appearance. It is known as the ‘mother’ – strands of proteins and friendly bacteria that promote digestive health, immune support and overall wellbeing.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar contains pectin, a soluble fibre found in high levels in apples.
ACV contains pectin, which is a soluble fibre found in high levels in apples.

Packed with goodness

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar contains pectin, which is a soluble fibre found in high levels in apples. It is a storehouse of essential amino acids and enzymes and important minerals including potassium, chlorine, sodium, magnesium, calcium, sulphur, iron, fluoride and silicon. You’ll get a good dose of the fibre which is great for proper digestion as it will slow down sugar release, leading to a steady stream of energy. It also has cleansing properties, and can help to lower blood sugar levels and boost energy levels.

Buy local 

By buying local, you’re supporting local growers, producers, and their families. Aotearoa is the perfect place to grow an apple, and then process into Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. So that makes it great for the local economy, great for the environment, and great for your health.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is aged for at least 12 months to give it a noticeably smoother taste.
Aged for at least 12 months to give it a noticeably smoother taste. 🍎

Dilution is good

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is of course very acidic. It’s best to always dilute it in a large glass of water – and you could always drink it through a (reusable) straw to avoid too much contact with your pearly whites. Then rinse your mouth with water afterwards.

✔️ With the ‘mother’

✔️ Promote gut health

✔️ Smooth digestion

✔️ Balance cholesterol

✔️ Boost energy

✔️ Gluten free

✔️ Vegan friendly

✔️ BioGro certified organic

“Absolutely delicious – This is by far the nicest Organic Apple Cider Vinegar I’ve ever tasted!”

– Jude

Using Organic Apple Cider Vinegar everyday

A zesty salad dressing 
Get some zesty flavour into your salad by adding little bit of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to the dressing. The acetic acid in the vinegar also increases your body’s absorption of important minerals and nutrients from the leafy greens and salad vegetables.

Green smoothie containing Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Add it to your smoothie
Take a good handful of spinach, 1 peeled orange,  ½ banana, (sliced into chunks), ½ avocado, 1 tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, some frozen berries, and a blob of plain greek yoghurt. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  

Home made bone broth containing Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

Homemade bone broth
Sipping on bone broth is a great way to improve your gut health. Add Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to the bones, the water and seasonings half an hour or so before boiling. This helps pull more minerals from the bones and enhances the nutrition of the broth.

Hand holding teacup containing Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with lemon and ginger.

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar tea
Try adding a tbsp of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to some hot water (or green tea for added antioxidants) with sliced lemon and ginger. Delicious and nutritious.

Athlete drinking Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to help turn carbs into energy.

ACV for athletes
Athletes often drink Organic Apple Cider Vinegar before they carb-load prior to competition, as the acetic acid can help your muscles turn carbs into energy. ACV provides the gut with a healthy mix of electrolytes that can help in preventing muscle and gastrointestinal cramping. 

 “I have tried several different brands of ACV. Then I tried Skybright ACV. OMG!! This is amazing. Its smooth taste is a delight. The BEST by far of all the ACV’s I have tried and tested. Highly recommend this 100%”

– Josie
BioGro Certified Organic Logo

BioGro certified Organic
Our Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is BioGro certified Organic. BioGro is New Zealand’s largest and best-known certifier of genuine organic products and the world’s most secure and impermeable traceability system. Every single BioGro Certified Organic product can be traced back to its origin. ⁠

⁠Our certification process involves an Organic Management Plan, annual audit, and visits to our facility to ensure our practices meet BioGroʻs organic standards and requirements. Many products claim to be organic but when it carries the BioGro logo you know you’re really buying organic.

The Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Daily Tonic

Take the daily tonic each morning. Just add a couple of teaspoons to a large glass of water. Dilution is good!

We don’t recommend you take it straight – as Apple Cider Vinegar is very acidic, it can be harsh on your oesophagus if you take it as a shot.

Take it first thing in the morning before breakfast, or before any meals to aid digestion, regulate blood pressure, balance cholesterol, help lower blood sugar levels, boost nutrient absorption and increase your energy levels.

Woman drinking Organic Apple Cider Vinegar daily tonic. Love your gut
Try The Daily Tonic for a month and feel the effects of its amazing health benefits.

For more information, try these other resources: Find the answers to your questions in Organic Apple Cider Vinegar FAQ’s, or try one of our Recipes with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

Disclaimer
The information in this article is not intended as a medical prescription for any disease or illness. Nothing stated here should be considered medical advice. Use as directed.

Swedish Bitters: A herbal tonic

Young woman stretching outdoors. Better digestive health with Swedish Bitters.

Swedish Bitters for digestive health

Swedish Bitters is a 400 year-old European herbal formula made popular through the well-known Austrian herbalist Maria Treben in her book “Health through God’s Pharmacy”. It is well proven over the years to be an outstanding digestive, liver and gallbladder tonic and is capable of supporting a huge range of body systems.

The bitter taste has a very important part to play in the effectiveness of the formulation. The liver, the keeper of balance in the body, is stimulated by the bitters in Swedish Bitters and will then produce fluids required for proper and complete digestion and drive toxins out of your system. 

It is very important to cleanse your body of toxins and unwanted substances. This helps to revitalise the entire circulatory system, which may help to regulate blood sugar levels, improve blood pressure and strengthen the immune system.

Skybright Swedish Bitters. Woman and herbs.
Swedish Bitters is made from medicinal herbs and taken in small doses.

What are Swedish Bitters?

Swedish Bitters is a herbal tonic made from medicinal herbs and alcohol which helps extract the benefits of these plants. This tincture has a bitter taste, and is taken in small doses.

Why the bitter taste?

Bitters are an important class of botanicals that help support efficient digestive, assimilative, and eliminative functions. The primary function of Swedish Bitters is to help with digestive complaints like bloating, flatulence, sluggish digestion and constipation. Bitters stimulate the flow of bile from the liver, which in turn stimulates intestinal peristalsis and promotes nutrient absorption. By enhancing digestion, Swedish Bitters are a great help in cases of bloating, flatulence and gas.

“These bitter substances have almost been completely eliminated from the modern diet. This has caused some disturbance with our digestive system.”

Austrian herbalist Maria Treben in her book “Health Through God’s Pharmacy

Bitters have the ability to improve kidney and liver function, reduce bloating and improve metabolism. They can encourage toxin elimination, restore natural acid balance in the stomach, stimulate circulation and act as a gentle laxative.

When used externally, it can alleviate inflammations of all kinds if applied to spots, wounds, bruises, and scars.

The ingredients in Swedish Bitters:

As the herbs in Skybright Swedish Bitters are sourced from different countries around the world, all herbs are tested in a pharmacy lab to make sure they are free from contamination before they are used in the formula. It is a gluten-free formula, and suitable for people with lactose intolerance.

Skybright Swedish Bitters – Aloe Vera plant & Carline Root
Aloe Vera (left) and Carline Root

Aloe Vera & Carline Root
Aloe Vera soothes and cleanses and helps decrease irritation in the stomach and intestines, aiding proper digestion. Carline Root supports healthy immune, respiratory, reproductive muscular systems, and normal bladder function.

Skybright Swedish Bitters – Myrrh and Saffron
Myrrh (left) & Saffron

Myrrh & Saffron
Myrrh helps to build up the body’s defence mechanisms and is effective in keeping the digestive, sinus and respiratory organs healthy. Aids in maintaining healthy skin. Saffron supports healthy sleep patterns. It’s also good for the health of the uterus and digestive tract.

Skybright Swedish Bitters Camphor and Rhubarb Root
Camphor (left) & Rhubarb Root

Camphor & Rhubarb Root
Camphor is a bitter herb that can reduce inflammation and help to ease pain and spasms by supporting joint mobility and normal muscle function. It can also enhance digestion and kill intestinal parasites. Rhubarb Root aids healthy intestinal motility, and assists the skin’s natural barrier.

Skybright Swedish Bitters – Zedoary & Angelica Root
Zedoary (left) & Angelica Root

Zedoary & Angelica Root
Zedoary supports healthy digestive organs and is commonly used for colic, spasms, loss of appetite, and indigestion. Angelica Root aids proper digestion by flushing out toxins and maintains the respiratory system. It supports a healthy bladder, joint mobility and helps the skin eliminate toxins.

Skybright Swedish Bitters – Gentian & Theriaca Venezian 
Gentian (left) & Theriaca Venezian 

Gentian, Manna & Theriaca Venezian 
Gentian is used for digestion problems such as loss of appetite, bloating and heartburn. Manna helps to maintain proper bowel movement. Theriaca Venezian has diuretic, digestive and antiseptic properties.

One teaspoon (5ml) contains:
Aloe Vera 33.3mg, Gentian 33.3mg, Camphor 33.3mg, Manna 33.3mg, Theriaca Venezian 33.3mg*, Rhubarb Root 33.3mg, Zedoary Root 33.3mg, Angelica Root 33.3mg, Carline Root 16.5mg, Myrrh 16.5mg, Saffron 0.7mg. In a base of 40% medicinal alcohol and purified water.

*Theriaca Venezian is a herbal blend that contains Angelica root, Diptam Root, Cardamom Seed, Cinnamon (Cassia), Bistort Root, Myrrh, Zedoary Root & Valerian Root.

How to take it

Shake bottle well, and take 1-2 teaspoons or 10ml in a shot glass after meals. May be taken in water, herbal tea or juice to dilute it. It will help soothe the stomach after eating, stimulate digestion and alleviate indigestion.

In Europe, bitters are taken in a shot glass before or after meals to stimulate digestion, settle the stomach before eating and neutralise the damages of alcohol. After a heavy meal, Swedish Bitters can be quite helpful against indigestion, as well as to relieve bloating and gas. 

Keep out of reach of children. Do not use if pregnant, breastfeeding, or if vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea or abdominal pains are present.

Skybright Swedish Bitters. All-natural, Vegan-friendly and Gluten-free.

Warning: Contains alcohol

Swedish Bitters is produced in a base of 40% alcohol. This helps extract as much as possible from the herbs, while also preserving the shelf life of the tincture. To evaporate the alcohol, add 5-10ml to a cup of hot water and allow to cool.

The alcohol used in Swedish Bitters is gluten free. It is sourced from whey protein and is made in New Zealand. It is medicinal alcohol.

Disclaimer:
The information in this article is not intended as a medical prescription for any disease or illness. Nothing stated here should be considered medical advice. Use as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. 

A to Zinc: A handy guide

A to Zinc

Acne: Zinc is an important component for healthy skin, and in particular for sufferers of acne. It can control the production of oil in the skin and help balance some of the hormones that can lead to acne. Many skin disorders can be attributed to insufficient zinc.

Bioavailability: The bioavailability of zinc from grains and plant foods is lower than that from animal- based foods such as lean red meat and poultry, although many grain and plant-based foods are still good sources of zinc.

Common Cold: Much research has been done around zinc and its capacity to combat the common cold. Although studies examining zinc treatment on cold symptoms has shown varied results over years, it appears to be beneficial under certain circumstances. The Cochrane Report concluded that taking it within 24 hours of developing symptoms and has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms in healthy people by up to a third. It does this by directly inhibiting the rhinovirus binding and replicating and suppressing inflammation.

Depression: Virtually every enzyme reaction in the brain involves zinc, and low levels have been linked to anxiety and depression.

Eyesight: Research has suggested that zinc and antioxidants may delay the progression of age- related macular degeneration and vision loss, possibly by preventing cellular damage in the retina.

Food sources: Lean red meat is an excellent dietary source, and it is also highly bioavailable, meaning your body can absorb it much more readily. Poultry, nuts, seeds, and lentils are other good sources. Green leafy vegetables and fruits contain modest amounts of zinc.

Grains: Wholegrain breads, cereals and other grains contain zinc, but these foods also contain phytates, which can bind zinc and therefore inhibit its absorption. While these plant-based options are good dietary sources, the bioavailability is often lower than animal-based products.

Hair loss: In severe cases zinc deficiency can cause hair loss and a dry flaky scalp.

Immune system: Zinc is needed for the proper functioning of the immune system, and enables protein synthesis and cell growth.

Job: Zinc is often seen as the gatekeeper for your immune system, to ward off bacterial and viral infections like the common cold.

Kids: Zinc supports normal growth and physical development during pregnancy, and this continues through childhood and adolescence.

Low zinc content in our soils: Plants, like our bodies, cannot make minerals. They instead extract them from the soil. Like many other mineral and trace elements, if they are lacking in the soil they will be lacking in the plants we eat or the animals that are grazing the fields and providing our much-need protein. If certain crops aren’t rotated, it can seriously deplete the soils of these minerals, leading to deficiencies in our diet.

Magnesium: Both zinc and magnesium help protect the brain and the eyes from excitotoxin additives that are common in foods today. In New Zealand, deficiency of both of these minerals is common due to soil depletion.

Nutrients: As well as being involved in hundreds of processes within the body, zinc helps us absorb and utilise nutrients from our food.

Oysters: Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food.

RDI for zinc is higher for pregnant and lactating women.

Pregnant women: Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers may require bigger intakes, as there are high foetal requirements for zinc, and lactation can also rapidly deplete mineral stores. For these reasons, the RDI for zinc is higher for pregnant and lactating women, and supplementation is often recommended.

Quote: “Just about all skin disorders improve if you build up your zinc stores.” Dr Robert Atkins

RDI (Recommended Daily Intakes): Common RDIs for zinc are as low as 5mg for a child, 7mg for a teenage girl, 13mg for a teenage boy. For adult woman it is 8mg, increasing to 12 mg when breastfeeding or pregnant, and 14mg for adult males.

Stress: There is evidence that zinc levels decrease following physical stress or injury. It is one of the few minerals lost in the urine following acute or chronic physical stress.

Taste test: There is a simple test you can take to measure your zinc status, which can often be provided by your local health shop. It involves taking a tiny amount of zinc sulphate, dissolving it in water and then tasting as little as a spoonful. This test works because zinc is required for your taste buds to function. If you notice a bitter, astringent taste you are not deficient. If this bitter taste is delayed by more than a few seconds, you need more zinc in your diet. If there is a much longer delay or if you don’t notice the bitterness or it tastes like water, you may have a deficiency and will need to restore your zinc levels.

Ultimate nutrient: Zinc is responsible for hundreds of processes within our brain and our body, and is one of the most important minerals for our health throughout our life. There are more roles in the body for zinc than any other nutrient.

Vegetarians often require as much as 50% more of the RDI for zinc.

Vegetarians: Vegetarians often require as much as 50% more of the RDI for zinc than non-vegetarians. Zinc can be sourced from whole-grain breads, cereals, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes, but these foods also contain phytates, which can bind zinc and therefore inhibit its absorption. While these plant-based options are good dietary sources, the bioavailability is often lower than animal- based products.

Vitamin C: With the help of vitamin C, zinc has been used in research into improving age-related macular degeneration (AMD). After an average follow-up period, supplementation with antioxidants plus zinc (but not antioxidants alone) significantly reduced the risk of developing advanced AMD and reduced visual acuity loss.

Wound healing: Zinc is critical for wound healing, whether it is a small cut, or helping the skin recover from surgical procedures. It also helps prevent scar formation.

EXcessive zinc: A over-large intake of zinc may result in side effects with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Intake of 50 to 150 milligrams per day of supplemental zinc may cause minor intestinal distress occurring within three to 10 hours after ingestion. Single doses of 225 to 450 milligrams of zinc usually cause nausea and induce vomiting.

Yellow fungus growth on toenails: Many skin disorders are related to insufficient zinc, including abdominal stretchmarks after childbirth, split fingernails with white specks, as well as yellow toenails and/or fungus growth.

Zinc: There are more roles for zinc than any other nutrient. It is one of the most important elements for our health yet one of the most deficient in our diet, especially here in New Zealand. This is due to the quality of our soils and the impact of the foods we eat, and the water we drink.

Disclaimer:
The information in this article is not intended as a medical prescription for any disease or illness. Nothing stated here should be considered medical advice. Use as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. 

Why is Zinc essential?

Why is Zinc essential?

There are more roles for zinc than any other nutrient. It is one of the most important elements for our health, yet one of the most deficient in our diet, especially here in New Zealand.

The chronic lack of zinc in Aotearoa is due to the quality of our soils and the impact of the foods we eat, and the water we drink.

Here’s an overview of the critical roles this mineral plays in our bodies. Also see our handy guide: A to Zinc.

Zinc’s Role

Zinc is involved in hundreds of processes within the body, and it helps us absorb and utilise nutrients from our food.

It plays a role in immune function, helping repel and overcome bacterial and viral infections like the common cold. It assists with growth development, protein and DNA synthesis, and is effective in wound healing.

Zinc is essential for the brain and neurological function as well as the maintenance of vision, taste and smell. It nourishes the scalp and helps maintain strong and healthy gums, hair, skin and nails. It can help avoid hair loss, which can be a symptom that you may be deficient. Zinc can control the production of oil in the skin and help balance some of the hormones that can lead to acne. Many skin disorders can be attributed to insufficient zinc.

Zinc is important to our health and wellbeing throughout our life. It supports normal growth and physical development during pregnancy, and this support continues through childhood and adolescence.

There is almost no part of the body that zinc doesn’t benefit, either inside or out.

It is key to both male and female reproductive health and is vital as we grow older, as it helps maintain bone density and muscle bulk.

However, zinc can be harder to access through diet for both women and men as they age, as the body doesn’t have the ability to store minerals. New Zealand surveys have shown that 52% of middle-aged men aren’t getting enough zinc each day, and that figure increased to 90% for men aged over 70.

Zinc has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms.

Zinc and the Common Cold

Much research has been done around zinc and its capacity to combat the common cold. Although studies examining zinc treatment on cold symptoms have shown varied results over years, it appears to be beneficial under certain circumstances.

The Cochrane Report concluded that taking it within 24 hours of developing symptoms has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms in healthy people by up to a third. It does this by directly inhibiting the rhinovirus binding and replicating and suppressing inflammation.

More research is needed to determine the optimal dosage, formulation and duration of treatment before a recommendation for zinc in the treatment of the common cold can be made.

Some of us need zinc more than others.

Studies have shown that New Zealand men have lowered zinc status, especially as they age. Men require an RDI of 14mg just to prevent deficiency.

Several New Zealand studies have suggested that many adolescent girls aren’t getting enough zinc and this may be affecting their growth and development. This could be due to changing diets, less red meat and seafood being consumed, as well as the prevalence of processed foods, which are often refined and lacking minerals and other nutrients.

New Zealand surveys have shown that 52% of middle-aged men aren’t getting enough zinc each day, and that figure increased to 90% for men aged over 70.
52% of middle-aged men aren’t getting enough zinc, increasing to 90% for men aged over 70.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers also require bigger intakes, as there are high foetal requirements for zinc, and lactation can also rapidly deplete mineral stores. Breast milk provides enough zinc (RDI 2mg) for baby for the first six months, but zinc needs to be acquired from food sources as the child grows. Supplementation of zinc has been shown to improve the growth and development of some children who have exhibited a mineral deficiency.

Zinc has limited storage capacity with our body, so a deficiency can develop quickly if we’re not restoring and replenishing.

Diagnosing Deficiency

Blood tests are not a reliable method for detecting zinc deficiency as most of the zinc in our bodies is retained in our cells rather than in our blood. However, there is a simple test you can take to measure your zinc status, which can often be provided by your local health shop.

It involves taking a tiny amount of zinc sulphate, dissolving it in water and then tasting as little as a spoonful. This test works because zinc is required for your taste buds to function.

If you notice a bitter, astringent taste you are not deficient. If this bitter taste is delayed by more than a few seconds, you need more zinc in your diet. If there is a much longer delay or if you don’t notice the bitterness or it tastes like water, you may have a deficiency and will need to restore your zinc levels.

In this case, you may already be experiencing some common symptoms of a low zinc status such as frequent colds or infections, weak sense of smell and taste, hair loss, slow wound healing or skin disorders and inflammation.

You may be advised to supplement with zinc for a period and look to include more zinc-rich foods in your diet, such as lean red meat, dairy, seafood, poultry, or whole-grains, beans and legumes.

Getting Zinc into Your Daily Diet

The best source of zinc is rock oysters, which contain significantly more zinc than red meat and grains but are often not a regular part of our diet. Fats, which contain very little zinc, also tend to dilute zinc from the diet.

Lean red meat is an excellent dietary source, and it is also highly bioavailable, meaning your body can absorb it much more readily. Green leafy vegetables and fruits contain modest sources of zinc.

There is almost no part of the body that zinc doesn’t benefit, either inside or out.

Some animal-free options include whole-grain breads, cereals, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes, but these foods also contain phytates, which can bind zinc and therefore inhibit its absorption. While these plant-based options are good dietary sources, the bioavailability is often lower than animal- based products.

Vegetarians often require as much as 50% more of the RDI for zinc than non-vegetarians.

Note that techniques such as soaking beans and grains in water for several hours can reduce this binding of zinc by phytates and thus increase bioavailability. Vegetarians often require as much as 50% more of the RDI for zinc than non-vegetarians.

Studies from New Zealand nutrition surveys and overseas research suggest most of us are accessing only half of the daily zinc we require from our diet.

Zinc Deficiency Inhibits Absorption

Once you become zinc deficient, it can be very difficult to improve zinc levels purely through food alone, as your body’s absorption often depends on having enough zinc in the first place.

In addition, if you are recovering from an operation, have suffered emotional stress, or been over-exercising, your body will look to use all the available zinc on offer in an effort to heal. Zinc is one the few minerals lost rapidly in the urine after suffering acute psychological stress.

Gastrointestinal surgery and digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease can decrease zinc absorption. Other illnesses associated with zinc deficiency include chronic liver disease, alcoholic cirrhosis, anorexia nervosa, chronic renal disease, diabetes, malignancy and sickle cell disease. Diarrhoea can also lead to excessive loss.

Supplementation may then be required to achieve good zinc status and you will then be able to maximise your zinc from food sources once again.

Summary

While we should be getting our important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the food we eat, there are often factors that prevent this from happening.

Soil depletion, the prevalence of processed food and bouts of illness can lead to mineral deficiencies that prevent the nutrients reaching the cells in our body and enabling the hundreds of processes that keep us healthy.

It is important to be aware of some simple things we can do to restore and replenish these minerals, to maintain optimal levels and supplement when needed to avoid larger health problems.

References:
Coory, David. Stay Healthy by supplying what’s lacking in your diet. 1992
Schauss, Alexander G. Minerals, Trace Elements, & Human Health. Life Sciences Press. 1995
Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper,
Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001
Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011
Prasad AS. Zinc deficiency: its characterization and treatment. Met Ions Biol Syst 2004

Disclaimer:
The information in this article is not intended as a medical prescription for any disease or illness. Nothing stated here should be considered medical advice. Use as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. 

Remineralise: Put back what’s missing

Woman drinking water with Skybright Concentrated Mineral Drops added.

Remineralise – and put back what’s missing from our food.

Over the past few months, many of us have taken the chance to evaluate our lifestyle and our health and wellbeing, especially with regard to strengthening our immune system and enhancing our ability to fight off infections during the winter months.

Getting enough sleep, exercising often and eating a balanced, whole-food diet are all important factors in nurturing our health, for both mind and body. But often we’re lacking important minerals, that are not present in either the foods we eat, or in the water we drink. 

This is due to intensive farming techniques, which strip these minerals from the soil in which our food grows. If the minerals are not in the soils in the first place, they will not be present in the plants and therefore in the food we eat. Many of us drink filtered or bottled water, which removes the essential minerals and trace elements we need, as well as unwanted pathogens and toxins that make it safe for drinking.

These practices can lead to mineral deficiencies, which then lead to common complaints such as fatigue, irregular heartbeat, depression, and sleep issues. This also ultimately compromises our immune system, and makes us vulnerable to infections and illnesses.

Skybright Remineralise: we need to put back the minerals and vitamins that are missing from our food.
Remineralise: we need to put back the minerals and vitamins that are missing from our food.

The importance of minerals.

In today’s modern, fast-paced society, supplying our bodies with the minerals they require is difficult. The lives we lead often put increasing demands on our stores of the nutrients. The harder we push ourselves, the more we need. In times of stress, our body uses more vitamin B, vitamin C and magnesium and zinc in particular.

Minerals such as such as magnesium, potassium, iodine and selenium are the catalysts for all the vitamins and other nutrients your body uses for developing and maintaining good health.

Every second of every day the human body relies on these minerals and other trace elements to conduct and generate billions of tiny electrical impulses. Without these impulses, not a single muscle, including your heart, or your brain would be able to function.

Think of your body like a circuit board. Ionic minerals conduct electricity throughout the body, bringing energy where it needs to go in order for each cell and system to work. Without these minerals, your heart couldn’t beat, your muscles couldn’t contract, your brain couldn’t function and your body couldn’t absorb nutrients.

The human body cannot produce minerals like calcium and magnesium as they cannot be made by living organisms. We have to obtain them from the food we eat, or the water we drink. Obtaining them from water is optimal, as it helps with the bioavailability of these minerals, enabling them to be more effectively absorbed into our system. 

“Soil is the basis of all human life and our only hope for a healthy world… all of life will be healthy or unhealthy according to the fertility of the soil”

Dr. Alexis Carrel, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

New Zealand soils and mineral deficiencies.

As a country, New Zealand is still very young, and it has young soils. Where once they were rich in nutrients, our agriculture and farming over the years has stripped the topsoil of important trace minerals and elements. 

With the use of common fertilisers, there has been an increase in the growth rate of foods and an increase in yields, but we’ve also seen a steady decline in the nutritional value of the foods we eat over the past decades. This has lead to well-known deficiencies in our soils, including selenium, iodine, zinc, chromium and boron. 

Up to 91% of New Zealanders are said to be deficient in iodine, an essential trace element that supports energy production and plays an important role in supporting immune function. The biggest groups at risk are pregnant mothers and people with autoimmune issues. You can get iodine from seaweed or miso soup or by simply adding sea salt to your drinking water or sprinkling it onto your food. 

Selenium levels are also low in New Zealand soils. It’s estimated that many of us are only getting as little as 10-20% of the daily amount we require. Selenium is an antioxidant and also supports immune system function, as well as reproductive health, mood, thyroid function and cardiovascular health. Often supplementation is required but you can get it from eating beef, fish or a few brazil nuts.

Zinc is an important trace mineral, especially in New Zealand due to soil depletions. It’s a a powerful antioxidant, and great for skin, eye and hair health. Seafood is a rich source of zinc, as well as red meat. Studies suggest that supplementing with zinc may have the potential to improve immunity in the elderly, and in healthy individuals with marginal zinc deficiencies, supplementation can enhance the immune response, and may reduce the length of the common cold.

Producers are paid on the weight of their produce rather than how mineral rich the vegetables and fruit are. The processing of foods, such as peeling, extracting, heat-treating and early picking for storage and transportation across the country can further diminish the nutrient value in the foods we eat.

Until we are able to put trace minerals back into the soil through regenerative agriculture and sustainable farming, we must look to other methods to obtain the full spectrum of minerals and trace elements that we need for optimal human health.

Man holding glass of water.
In our efforts to drink ‘pure water’ this filtration eliminates the harmful substances, but also removes the important trace elements and minerals we need every day.

The water we drink.

Water can and should be a significant source of trace minerals and elements that can maintain our health and wellbeing. 

With concerns about the quality of public water supply in some areas of New Zealand, we often resort to drinking bottled water or filtered water, (reverse osmosis, distilled) which can eliminate virtually every mineral the body requires to maintain good health. In our efforts to drink ‘pure water’ this filtration eliminates the harmful substances, but also removes the important trace elements and minerals we need every day. Reverse osmosis water filters can also harbour harmful bacteria if not adequately maintained.

We need to remineralise.

Eating a plant-rich diet, while essential for good health, isn’t enough on it’s own to provide you with all the minerals and nutrients you need, as modern farming has stripped the soils of its mineral content. This has lead to significant deficiencies across the population which are increasing with our modern lifestyles, added to the prevalence of processed and convenience foods, and an ageing population.

Eat organic and seasonal where you can, eat leafy greens with every meal or at least daily. Grow your own if you have the space at home or shop at local farmers markets to ensure freshness as well as supporting the local producers and economy. 

We are all aware of the need to reduce, reuse and recycle, but with regard to nutrition, we need to rebalance, replenish and remineralise. Minerals and trace elements are vital to our everyday health and wellbeing. We need them to strengthen our immune system, stave off infections and feel more energised.

Adding minerals like sea salt or liquid mineral drops which contain more than 70 minerals and trace elements to your drinking water may be the best place to start to feel good and get back into balance. These little changes are easy to implement into your daily routine and can make a big difference to your health.

Disclaimer:
The information in this article is not intended as a medical prescription for any disease or illness. Nothing stated here should be considered medical advice. Use as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. 

Silica: Understanding this important mineral

Woman stretching in yoga studio.

Silica: Understanding this important mineral.

Minerals such as such as magnesium, potassium and iron are the catalysts for all the vitamins and other nutrients your body uses for developing and maintaining good health. Our bodies can’t produce these minerals, so we have to obtain them from the foods we eat. In addition, we now know that New Zealand soils are often deficient in iodine, selenium and zinc due to intensive farming techniques.

Of all the minerals we need to stay healthy, silica is perhaps the least known and the least understood. It plays an important role in strengthening our skin tissue and bone as well as providing a number of other benefits. It is the seventh most prevalent element in human tissue, after calcium, which it works with to maintain healthy bones. Although silica is one of the most abundant substances in the body, as we age we retain less and less, and our intake tends to decrease with age, so it’s important that we maintain good levels through our diet and supplement if required.

Of all the minerals we need to stay healthy, silica is perhaps the least known and the least understood.

Silica helps with collagen formation, joint function, strong bones, teeth and gums, gastrointestinal issues and is great for hair, skin and nails. Modern diets are lacking in silica due the refinement of the grains we eat and the filtering of the water we drink. The body needs to compensate for the lack of minerals by taking it from the healthy reserves in our bone and muscle, thus leaving our system deficient and vulnerable to problems that can get worse as we age. When we are young, silica levels in our body are high and our bones and joints are flexible, but as we get older, these levels decline and this can lead to muscle degradation, soreness, lack of mobility, injuries, and longer healing times when injuries do happen.

Silica has been shown to support hair growth, healthy skin, and strong nails.
Silica has been shown to support hair growth, healthy skin, and strong nails.

The many benefits of Silica.

Healthy Skin: One of the primary functions of silica is to maintain healthy skin tissue by boosting the production of proteins such as collagen, elastin and keratin. Collagen is the tissue which holds our cells together and is the major component of everything from our bones to our skin. It is the most plentiful protein, making up 75-80% of the skin. Elastin, along with collagen, is responsible for giving structure to the skin and can help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and make the skin feel supple. Keratin strengthens hair follicles, nails, and the surface layer of the skin.

Hair, skin, nails: Silica has been shown to support hair growth, healthy skin, and strong nails. It also strengthens teeth and gums. Many toothpastes include silica as an ingredient, and it can help with inflamed and bleeding gums.

Immune system support: As the skin is the largest organ in the body, it is the first line of defence against naturally occurring bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. Strong, healthy skin can help guard against infection. Silica can also assist in the fast healing of burns and other wounds, as it stimulates rapid re-growth of damaged tissue. You can apply it topically to the affected area and feel relief within seconds.

Joint support: Silica assists joint function by the strengthening of connective tissues, ligaments and muscles. This in turn can also improve overall flexibility. It may also reduce swelling of joints caused by injury which can help speed up the recovery process.

Bone formation: Silica promotes bone formation, as it manages calcium usage and storage throughout the body. It enhances calcium absorption, and these two minerals work together to help strengthen your bones. It is impossible to form bone without both calcium and silica. It is thought that supplementation of silica, rather than calcium is what’s needed for maintaining strong bones and enhance longevity.

Digestive Health: Gut health is top of mind these days, and silica helps to maintain the tissues that are found along the digestive tract. Most disorders of the stomach involve a degradation of the lining in the gastrointestinal tract, and silica is an essential element involved in rebuilding and maintaining these tissues.

Aluminium detoxification: Silica has shown to be a good eliminator of aluminium. Aluminium is a proven neurotoxin, and has been implicated as a cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Silica naturally reacts with aluminium, thereby forming aluminosilicate. This reaction between silica and aluminium can occur within the body, and is believed to be an important mechanism for aluminium detoxification. Aluminosilicates are nontoxic and are eliminated by the kidneys via the urine. This may help inhibit your body’s absorption of aluminium, meaning that it is able to help decrease the amount of aluminium build-up that is found in the brain’s tissues.

Silica Liquid Mineral. Each 2ml contains: Silica Dioxide 375mg, Purified Water. 100% bioavailable
Each 2ml contains: Silica Dioxide 375mg and purified water. 100% bioavailable.

Silica deficiencies 

It is common these days for deficiencies to occur. We are simply not getting enough of this mineral in our diets to the depletion in our soils, as well as the availability of processed foods and the refinement of grains. The husks of grains are where we have historically obtained our dietary intake of silica. But with invention of the combine harvester, husks were automatically removed to create more refined flour and grains. Bread once contained many minerals, but the prevalence of white bread and white flour has seen these minerals disappear and manufacturers try to add the minerals back in with additives. These additives are often a poor substitute.

These days, we often drink filtered or purified water, which take out potentially harmful chemicals but also strip the essential minerals that we need too. Unless we are able to replenish and replace these minerals, our body will continue to take them from our reserves that are stored in our bones and muscle, making us deficient and vulnerable to weakened tissue, sore joints and skin issues.

Foods containing the mineral Silica, whole grains, oats, corn, beetroot, asparagus and avocados.
Silica is found in whole grains, oats, corn, beetroot, asparagus and avocados.

How to get more Silica in your diet

Silica doesn’t occur naturally in a lot of foods, but is found in husks of whole grains, natural oats, barley, wheat, corn, beetroot, asparagus, alfalfa sprouts and potato skins. It is also present in lettuce, cucumbers, avocados, strawberries and onions. The less refined and the less processed the foods are the better.

Like a lot of other minerals, as we age, the human body retains less and less silica, so there may be a need to supplement. While silica is essential for good health, and we are now aware of the benefits, no RDI has yet been established. A daily, therapeutic dose of 375mg is recommended, and taking it in liquid form is best for optimal absorption and bioavailability. 

References:
Lemmo, E.Q. Silica. Keats Publishing. 1998
Kaufmann, I Silica: The Amazing Gel. Canada: Alive. 1992
Ralph K. Iler. The Chemistry of Silica. John Wiley and Sons. 1979

Disclaimer:
The information in this article is not intended as a medical prescription for any disease or illness. Nothing stated here should be considered medical advice. Use as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. 


Skybright Product Manual

Skybright Product Manual

Feel free to download our full Product Manual as a PDF. Inside, you’ll find full technical information on all of our products.

It includes information on when to take them, dosage, active ingredients, product features and benefits and any precautions or side effects.

We will continue to update the Manual as we add new products and develop the Skybright range.

Skybright Product Manual – Updated May 2021