This month we are focussing on keeping healthy and feeling fabulous from the inside out. With Covid-19 occupying everyone’s thoughts, STORCX reached out to the fabulous Dr Anita Sturnham to talk everything health & immune boosting, myths and facts and what we can do to help keep strong and full of vitality over this worrying period. With one of Storcx own co-founders, Lohralee Astor holding a nutritional therapy background, STORCX will be giving our guide to the best immune and energising supplements.
DR ANITA STURNHAM
S: WHAT IS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM? HOW DOES IT WORK?
AS: Your immune system is your body’s defence network, working 24/7 to protect you from infection and illness. I often describe the immune system as being your body’s army, a front-line defence that recognises the cells that make up your body and will try to get rid of anything unfamiliar or ‘foreign’ to it. It destroys bacteria and viruses and parasites. This defence system can also cause problems if it becomes overactive and starts attacking the wrong things.
A healthy immune system is one that responds quickly and efficiently when we are exposed to potential harm. Sometimes the immune system fails and a pathogen invades successfully and makes you sick. We will all get sick from time to time but the way in which we fight an illness and the frequency of getting ill can tell us a lot about our immune function.
S: HOW CAN YOU TELL IF SOMEONE HAS A WEAK IMMUNE SYSTEM?
AS: A healthy immune system can be assessed by looking at the frequency of illness but also by doing a blood test, to check your full blood count, including your infection fighting cells. If you find that you get frequent infections or wounds that don’t heal quickly, it is worth speaking to your doctor. There are certain conditions that make us prone to a weaker immune system. Those taking steroids and immunosuppressive medications or suffering with Diabetes or Thyroid conditions, for example, can be more at risk. We also know that during pregnancy immune function is dampened. The very young and the elderly are also more at risk of a weakened immune response when exposed to illness.
S: IS IT POSSIBLE TO INTERVENE AND BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?
AS: Enhanced immunity results in less sickness. To support your immune system, I recommend going back to basics and following some simple healthy lifestyle guidelines.
Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and is bolstered by healthy-living strategies.
S: HOW IMPORTANT IS SLEEP WHEN IT COMES TO IMMUNE FUNCTION?
AS: I always take a look at someone’s sleep patterns as part of my assessment of their immune function. I track this with devices such as Whoop and Oura. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. Lack of sleep impairs the disease-fighting ability of a type of infection fighting lymphocyte, called T-cells.
S: DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS TO IMPROVE SLEEP PATTERNS?
AS: No blue light exposure after 7pm. That includes TVs and phones!
- Eat dinner earlier. Try to eat around 6-7pm at least 4 days a week.
- Take a bath or shower. Not only is this a moment you can turn into a self-care switch off, when you jump out, your temperature drops and this is helpful in the stimulation of your sleep hormones.
- Magnesium before bed – I totally rate this as a night-time supplement. Magnesium helps by regulating the neurotransmitters and ultimately calming your nervous system in readiness for sleep. It also works alongside melatonin, a hormone your body produces naturally, to control your body clock and sleep-wake cycles.
- Finally, take a book to bed with you. A great way to immerse yourself in another world and escape your own.
S: DO YOU HAVE ANY DIET TIPS TO BOOST IMMUNE FUNCTION?
AS: A healthy and balanced diet is undoubtedly beneficial when trying to support immune function. I recommend increasing your intake of Zinc rich foods. Zinc is a cofactor that supports immune cell function. It also helps to improve absorption of antioxidants into your cells, where they can be used more effectively. Seafood, chicken, beef, lamb, legumes, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, kale, and garlic contain zinc, as well as other vital vitamins and minerals.
I also recommend boosting your antioxidants by increasing your intake of vitamin C rich foods. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and boosts immune function by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Foods rich in vitamin C include broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, orange juice, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes.
S: DOES EXERCISE ENHANCE OR HALTER IMMUNE FUNCTION?
AS: Not only is exercise great for your mental health but it can also reduce stress levels and support immune function, making this on my list of top immune-boosting priorities.
Epidemiological studies show that leading a physically active lifestyle reduces the incidence of communicable (e.g. bacterial and viral infections) and non-communicable diseases (e.g. cancer), implying that immune competency is enhanced by regular exercise bouts. Studies show a surge in immune cell activity during exercise. We also know that stress hormones, such as cortisol, can compromise immune function and that exercise can lower your cortisol levels, making regular exercise a beneficial activity to introduce into your routine.
S: HOW DOES STRESS IMPACT IMMUNE FUNCTION?
AS: We all need some stress triggers in our life. Stress hormones can prepare us for ‘fight or flight’ and be protective when in an acute setting. Chronic stress however, can take its toll on your immune system.
In short spurts, cortisol can boost your immunity by limiting inflammation. However over time, your body can get used to having too much cortisol in your blood. This opens the door for more inflammation. In addition, stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes, the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for viruses, including the common cold and strains of flu.
S: IS YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM PART OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM?
AS: Our digestive tract is lined with billions of bacteria that make up our microbiome. The antigenic load provided by the diet and the constant threat of potential pathogens, means the intestinal immune system encounters more antigens than any other part of the body
In fact, approximately 80 percent of your body’s immune cells live in your gut and play a big role in the strength of your immune system. The foods you eat can support your gut immune function, specifically foods that contain probiotics or prebiotics.
To feed your gut flora I recommend eating a more varied diet with lots of high-fibre foods. The more plant foods you consume, the better. The microbiome really likes fibre, pulses and fermented foods. Kefir and pickles such as sauerkraut and kimchi are among the fermented delicacies now fashionable thanks to our increasing knowledge of the microbiome. I also recommend taking a good probiotic daily and am a huge fan of Symprove.
S: WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO SMOKE?
AS: There is a vast literature on the impact of smoking on the immune system. Carcinogens present in the smoke of tobacco products have an important role in altering the genome of immune cells, whether by implanting chemical adducts in the cellular DNA or by inducing irreversible genetic damage. To support immune function during this higher risk period, I strongly advise my patients to stop smoking. If you are unsure how to, there are smoking cessation services in the NHS that can help.
S: WHICH SUPPLEMENTS DO YOU RECOMMEND TO BOOST IMMUNE HEALTH?
AS: The following nutrients are beneficial for immune function: Vitamin A, E, B6, B12, Folic acid, Magnesium, Calcium and iron. I recommend a multivitamin supplement daily. You can also support immune function further by taking liposomal Vitamin C (1000mg daily) and during higher risk periods, take these three times daily. Some studies have shown that 1000mg per day can shorten the duration and reduce the severity of viral illness.
I am also a fan of L-Lysine (1000mg daily). This is a vital building block for collagen production but interestingly has been shown to have antiviral properties when combined with Vitamin C and Zinc. I have also recently started taking NAC 1500 mg daily. This is a superior form of the naturally occurring amino acid L-cysteine which is a precursor for the antioxidant Glutathione.
Finally, I recommend everyone takes Vitamin D supplementation daily. Vitamin D has become a hot topic in immunology. Studies have shown that it can kick start our immune cells called macrophages.
S: ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL TIPS YOU CAN GIVE US DURING THIS PERIOD WHERE WE ARE WORRIED ABOUT VIRAL ILLNESS?
AS: We are seeing interesting clinical studies that recommend high dose Vitamin C treatments, given intravenously. This has shown encouraging results, not only to speed up the rate of recovery in Coronavirus sufferers but also as a mechanism to support immune function. I am recommending my patients have a weekly IV drip containing a high dose of vitamin C (12.5g) combined with Glutathione (an antioxidant) for a 6-week period.
S: WHAT IS THE BEST GIFT YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
AS: For my 40th birthday I was given a beautiful Russian Blue kitten called Rosa, at a time that I had just lost a relative to cancer. She continues to light up my life on a daily basis, affectionate and mischievous.
STORCX GUIDE TO SUPPLEMENTS AND MORE
Lovingly designed for mind-body alignment and holistic healing, bodyism leads the way in the world of wellness with its unique and mindful approach to fitness. From invigorating classes to supercharged supplements, every element of the Bodyism brand is infused with kindness – and is grounded in the belief that self-lobe is the first, most important step in each and every wellness journey.
It has been proven that exercise helps boost your immune system and at Bodysim they have small group classes – no more than 10 people and 1-1 PT sessions. Bodyism also has a purified air system throughout the whole club and a healthy café with delicious food packed with immune boosting ingredients.
Nuriss offers doctor-led wellbeing services with a supportive and proactive approach to keep you looking and feeling your very best. They combine traditional medicine with functional health methods and offer a range of services, including IV nutrition, gut and hormone assessments, nutritional support, longevity drips, sports performance, weight loss and skin health analysis.
This potent blend of vitamins, minerals and superfood extracts is scientifically proven to raise your energy levels, reduce tiredness. Get a natural va-va-voom with our Energise Me kit.
- Increases endurance and boosts vitality
- Supports brain function and immune defence
- Keeps you refreshed and gives you natural energy
- B Vitamins: Amplifies and sustains energy to reduce tiredness
- Vitamin D: Integral to an effective immune system function
- Iodine: Essential to maintaining effective cognitive function
- Vitamin C: An immune system boosting antioxidant
Plus: CoQ10, Green Tea Extract, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Acai, Blueberry, Gogi
LIPSOMAL VITAMIN C
Vitamin C is regarded as the “grandfather” of the traditional antioxidants we know of. And its potential health benefits are really quite astonishing. As a formidable antioxidant, this nutrient:
- Is a major “electron donor” in your body’s battle against oxidation
- Helps maintain optimal electron flow in your cells
- Can help protect vital molecular elements in your body such as proteins and lipids
Vitamin C is also required for the synthesis of something called collagen, an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone.
- Incorporates phospholipids to help protect the vitamin C and aid in the formation of liposomes in the stomach.
- Liposomes form in the body, surrounding some of the vitamin C molecules, for higher-bioavailability potential and protection against occasional intestinal discomfort.
- Provides higher bioavailability than traditional oral vitamin C.
- Includes a sunflower lecithin emulsifier, thereby totally avoiding a soy-based one.
- Delivers vitamin C in a high-quality, tightly-sealed Licaps capsule that is superior to other oral delivery systems in terms of leakage protection.
FOOD-GROWN IMMUNE SUPPORT
Investing in your immune systems ‘armoury’ is vital, especially during times of heightened risk of infection, or during times when our immune system might be particularly susceptible.
Our Immune Support supplements are a unique complex of Food-Grown® vitamins and minerals, amino acids, biomass mycelial mushrooms and Elderberry. Suitable for all the family to optimise our natural defences.
- Antioxidants for healthy immunity
- Botanical mushrooms & elderberry for natural resilience
- Vitamin C for immunity & energy
Nasaleze Travel gives maximum protection when you need it most. This fast acting and clinically proven product rapidly turns to a gel in your nose, which creates a barrier to shield and protect from airborne germs and viruses.
It works as a preventative measure to be used before going into high risk environments that may contain germs. It doesn’t contain any active pharmaceutical ingredients, such as steroids or anti-histamines, so there is not a restriction on how many times it can be taken. It is also suitable for children (from 3 years), and pregnant & breast-feeding women.
ANIMAL PARADE KIDS IMMUNE BOOSTER
GIFTS WOMEN DREAM OF
CHINTI & PARKER
CHOCOLATE SIDE SPLIT WOOL-CASHMERE TRACK SUIT
Every women’s dream of luxury and comfort. Elevating off-duty track suits to chic new heights, this wide leg chocolate-brown pair pf pants, features a side split at the hems revealing a contrast blue placket. The ultimate in off-duty luxury, this flattering ensemble is knitted from a soft blend of wool and cashmere..
WOOL COAT WITH TOGGLES
What’s not to love about this exquisite coat crafted from black military wool, this coat with tonal leather trims is emphasized by a Horsebit toggle closure—a recognisable Gucci code borrowed from the equestrian world. The Cruise 2020 fashion show sets the stage for a contemporary aesthetic, in a blend of streamlined shapes and distinguished details that speak to the House’s heritage.
NEVER FULL MM
Every girl dreams of owning Louis Vuitton, and what is more dreamy and beautiful than this classic black Epi Leather shopper. The Neverfull MM tote unites timeless design with heritage details. Fashioned from rich, deep-dyed Epi leather with smooth leather trim, this model is both a roomy carry-all and, with the side laces cinched, a chic city bag. Slim, comfortable handles make it a pleasure to carry, either over the shoulder or on the arm.
Classic, chic and exuding elegance, a present that will be remembered and treasured forever.
AT THE LANESBOROUGH
Crowned England’s Best Hotel Spa 2019 at the World Spa Awards™, The Lanesborough Club & Spa, perfectly positioned between Knightsbridge and Mayfair, is one of London’s most exclusive private members’ fitness and health clubs and spa, offering members and hotel guests access to internationally recognised experts in the fields of mindfulness, fitness, beauty and wellness – with a 360° approach to wellbeing.
No. 1 HYDE PARK TREATMENT
BUMP, BIRTH AND BEYOND STORCX EVENT CELEBRATING WOMEN
On March 6th STORCX had the pleasure of hosting their BUMP, BIRTH & BEYOND event at Annabel’s, it is fair to day that International Women’s Day started with a bang. We had a fantastic panel of superwomen, Samantha Cameron, Marina Fogle and Lily Simpson, in depth and funny stories were shared and discussed being beautifully pulled together by the vivacious mediator Emily Sheffield. The nightclub turned into the breakfast club with vodkas being switched for coffee and croissants where 100 guests listened to heart-felt stories and solid advice. It was finished off with a talk from the NSPCC on keeping our children safe on-line and what we can do to prevent cyber-bullying and protect them from the expansive & sometimes frightening on-line world.
Thank you to all of those incredible brands whose support and generosity was overwhelming with the spoiling contributions to our Bump Birth & Beyond goody bags.
We hope it has given them the opportunity to explore your wonderful products and services – STORCX will always be big fans.
MARCH EVENTS IN LONDON
ST. PATRICK’S DAY
ST PATRICK’S DAY FESTIVAL & PARADE
Don’t miss this elaborate show of Irish culture by watching this flamboyant display of floats, design & dance. Starting at midday from Piccadilly passing some of London’s most iconic landmarks. The festival itself in Trafalgar Square showcases performances from top Irish acts and rising stars. You can explore an array of then, browse craft stalls, and tuck into traditional and modern Irish food from the market.
VARIOUS LOCATIONS ACROSS LONDON
Explore the capital and take advantage of everything our great city has to offer by spoiling your mother this Mother’s Day. From tea at the Ritz to a spin on the London Eye, or a trip to the theatre nothing says I love you and thanks than a spoiling day out at in our Country’s Capital.
THE BOAT RACE
THE RIVER THAMES LONDON
This iconic boat race between 2 of the world’s greatest Universities Oxford & Cambridge is the highlight of the academic year! The Boat Race creates a festive atmosphere on the banks of the river Thames and is a must see if you enjoy friendly rivalry and boating. Best spots are Putney Bridge, Hammersmith Bridge and Dukes Meadows.
Remember Keep Life Simple – #storcxit xx