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Why Are Antioxidants Needed For A Healthy Body?

Why Are Antioxidants Needed For A Healthy Body?

Many of us may have heard of antioxidants but why are they needed for a healthy body?

Firstly, let’s explain the concept of free radicals.

What are free radicals?

Free radicals are created by oxidation. In excess, they cause damage to the body's cells and DNA, leading to a range of health problems and accelerated ageing.

They are molecules with an electron missing.  In order to fill missing electrons, they seek out other chemical structures in our bodies from where they can 'steal' an electron.  After they ‘acquire’ an electron the chemical structure/tissue from where they ‘stole’ that electron is left seriously damaged.

Free radicals in small and controlled quantities are fine but the problems start when the production of these free radicals increases and then get out of control.

Oxidation is unavoidable. As long as we breathe oxygen there will be oxidation in our body and thus the creation of free radicals will always continue!

In an ideal world with no pollution, perfect diet and no stress the level of free radical activity would be ‘normal’ and they would not be a serious problem. Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world.

How wide spread are free radicals?

Free radicals are constantly forming everywhere in the body at an astonishing rate. Bruce Ames, a well-known scientist in the field of antioxidants, estimates that just one cell in the human body is hit about 10,000 times a day by a free radical. If that’s multiplied by the trillions of cells in the body the magnitude of this activity is tremendous. 

How does it happen?

Free radicals are caused by the body’s own natural processes. They are further created by the addition of factors like toxins, radiation or poor digestive function. Disease also tends to create free radicals.

What harm does free radicals do?

Free radicals are bad. They cause cell mutations, damage immune function, cause wrinkles and aging and are a contributing cause of many diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimers, Parkinson’s, and others. Free radical damage is a factor behind almost every known disease, according to some researchers.

Relating to the immune system specifically, free radicals damage immune cells and wipe out cytokine (communication) pathways. The immune system suffers.

The solution to free radicals is antioxidants

When an antioxidant encounters a free radical, it freely gives up an electron of its own which satisfies the free radical and stops the out of control damage.

This makes the antioxidant a free radical because it’s now an electron short. However, the chain reaction is stopped because the newly created free radical made from the antioxidant is very weak and unlikely to do further harm.

Antioxidant Use in Preventing Disease

Are you getting sick more often than you use to? Researchers found that antioxidants can rejuvenate an ageing immune system.

Are you not as “sharp” as you used to be? Antioxidants can prevent and reverse age-related memory loss and memory problems. The brain is particularly vulnerable to free radical damage.

Aches and pains? Antioxidants can relieve symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Antioxidants regulate genes. They can turn on and off genes that regulate cell growth. This can have a profoundly beneficial effect on people who are at higher risk due to family history.

How do we obtain antioxidants?

Our bodies make some antioxidants and some are traditionally supplied in our diet from fruits and vegetables. However, environmental toxins have increased the need well beyond what our bodies are capable of producing, and even beyond what a diet provides.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommends eating 5 one-half cup portions of fruits and vegetables per day.  However, most people don’t even consume that much and children are typically getting even less.

Supplementation may be necessary if you do not get enough antioxidants in your diet.

Blueberries as good source of antioxidants

Blueberries are known to contain the highest antioxidant levels of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.

The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries are  called flavonoids. One group of flavonoids in particular, anthocyanins, is known to be responsible for much of the beneficial health effects.

They have been shown to directly increase antioxidant levels inside the body. This is why antioxidant-rich blueberry fruit extract has been included as an ingredient in Santivia Immune.

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A diet rich with antioxidants together with a daily regime of Santivia Immune is the perfect combination for good health.

Wishing you good health and vitality,


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Autoimmune Disorders: Why is Your Immune System Attacking Itself?

Autoimmune Disorders: Why is Your Immune System Attacking Itself?

Your immune system works hard 24 hours per day defending you from infections caused by foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.

A functioning immune system can recognise foreign bodies from self. However, sometimes the immune system goes awry and starts attacking itself, causing autoimmune disorders.

Some examples of overactive or autoimmune dysfunction are:

Lupus (considered a classic autoimmune disease)

Multiple Sclerosis

Autoimmune Hepatitis


Inflammatory bowel disease

Rheumatoid arthritis

Myasthenia gravis


There are over 80 variants of auto-immune disorders.

What happens when your defence fails and instead attacks you?

We never think that our immune system can cause self-harm. We tend to believe that like the soldiers that defend our country, our immune system is loyal.

However, in auto-immune disorders, the faulty immune system fails to recognise ‘self’ cells. Believing them to be “enemy cells”, the immune system mounts an attack against its own cells.  There is no organ excluded from potential attack.

What causes auto-immune disorders?

Autoimmunity can be caused by defects in almost any part of the immune process.

For years, physicians have noticed that autoimmune diseases frequently follow bacterial or viral infections. Immunologists believe that microbial attack may be one of the key environmental factors that trigger autoimmune disease. Events can arise from infections if the immune system does not eliminate the invading organism quickly and efficiently.

T suppressor cells are thought to be responsible for distinguishing between “self” and foreign tissue and thus prevent autoimmunity. T suppressor cells are supposed to turn off the attack when the invader has been defeated. With virtually all types of autoimmune disorders, there is reduced numbers and activity of T suppressor cells. Thus the attack continues,  and is misdirected against one’s own cells.

In the case of auto-immune diseases, the immune system is in an overstimulated state – in the attack mode. However, in this case, the attack is directed at self. In a properly functioning immune system, the immune system should have returned to a calm balanced state once the invading foreign body had been defeated.  Balance is so important!

 Important Cytokine messenger molecules direct your immune response

Cytokines are cell signalling or messenger molecules that aid cell to cell communication and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation, infection and trauma.

They direct the appropriate immune response – attack the invaders by turning on T helper cells, and stop the attack with T suppressor cells. The appropriate cytokines are needed to issue the correct message to the immune cells so they can coordinate and react appropriately.

Unfortunately, cytokines are depleted every day when we are exposed to factors like the “PITTS” (Poor Nutrition, Infection, Trauma Toxins and Stress.) Depleted cytokines mean that your body’s cell to cell communication is damaged and “soldier” cells start to “misfire” at their own cells.

It is therefore imperative to replenish cytokines to ensure good cell communication.

Your immune system needs to be balanced

Your Immune system should not be deficient or underactive, unable to cope with invading organisms.

Nor should it be overactive or overstimulated such that it starts to direct its attack on itself.

When foreign substances such as bacteria invade, an all-out attack should be mounted by your immune system. Once the attack is over, your immune system needs to return to a calm and balanced state.

How does Santivia Immune balance your Immune system?

Santivia Immune helps to up-regulate or boost your immune system when it needs to strongly defend against an attacking organism. And very importantly, it also helps to down-regulate back to a calm balanced state when the attack is over.

It does this by replenishing depleted cytokine communication molecules to ensure good immune cell communication.

Why is Santivia Immune better than many other supplements?

  • There are other immune supplements such as echinacea, cordyceps and plant-based supplements. However, these are stimulants. They can only upregulate or stimulate your immune system upwards in one direction. They are not advised for people with auto-immune disorders. Continuous over usage of these can actually cause auto-immune disorders.

Santivia Immune is safe to use daily and continuously. In fact, this is what is recommended to keep your immune system in tip-top condition.

  • Plant-based supplements do not contain Cytokines and have no effect on immune cell communication.

Santivia Immune replaces lost Immune System communication molecules and contains more than 60 important immune communication peptides and other molecules occurring in natural balance. The importance of these immune communication/information molecules is the subject of hundreds of published, peer-reviewed studies.

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If you have any questions, please do reach out to me.

Wishing you wonderful health,


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6 Harmful Health Effects of Lack Of Sleep

6 Harmful Health Effects of Lack Of Sleep

Most people know that our bodies need sleep to stay healthy. A proper amount of sleep is key to maintaining brain and body function. 

Experts recommend that:

  • Adults should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
  • Teenagers need 9 to 10 hours of sleep.
  • School-aged children may need more than 10 hours of sleep.

But how many of us really get this amount of sleep, especially school children with their heavy workload and extra-curricular activities?

According to Professor Mathew Walker, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, two-thirds of adults in the developed world don’t get the World Health Organisation’s recommended 8 hours of sleep.

As we age the quality and quantity of sleep worsens. This happens because the brain circuitry that controls sleep slowly begins to weaken. By the time we reach 50’s, the average person has lost 50% ability to have restful sleep.

So, how does sleep deprivation really affect our health?

6 Harmful Health Effects of Lack Of Sleep

1. Bad Immune Health

Sleep is very important to immune health. Sleep deprivation harms the immune system, hence we are more likely to fall sick.

A study from the University of Washington in the USA showed that the immune system works best when the body gets enough sleep. Lack of sleep shuts down the movement of white blood cells around the body. These white blood cells fight infection. 

Another sleep study found that when sleep-deprived people were given a vaccine, fewer antibodies were produced. So if these sleep-deprived people are then exposed to a virus, they are more likely to get the virus.

Sleep researchers found that a slight change in our regular circadian sleep rhythm can lead to low-level inflammation. Inflammation can worsen chronic diseases such as allergies and asthma. Inflammation can also lead to a poorer response to infection.

If you are going through a period of sleep deprivation due to perhaps, jet lag, burning the midnight oil studying for an exam, working overtime at work, looking after a fretful baby at night, your immune system has likely been weakened. The probability of falling sick with flu and other infections increases. At these times, please take extra care of your immune system.

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2. Risk of Heart Disease

Sleep affects processes that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, including your blood sugar, blood pressure and inflammation levels. It also plays a vital role in your body’s ability to heal and repair the blood vessels and heart.

People who don’t sleep enough are more likely to get cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.

3. Weight Gain

Sleep affects hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which control feelings of hunger and fullness. When you lack sleep, your brain reduces leptin which tells you that you've had enough to eat and raises ghrelin, which stimulates your appetite.

Sleep deprivation can also contribute to weight gain by making you feel too tired to exercise. It also prompts your body to release higher levels of insulin after you eat. Insulin controls your blood sugar level. Higher insulin levels promote fat storage and increases the risk of diabetes.

4. Poor Decision-making

Poor decision-making are directly linked to lack of sufficient rest. It is during sleep that the repair of our brain and bodily functions take place. Sleep deprivation makes your brain exhausted which affects its ability to retain new information, concentrate and problem solve.

5. Low Moods

People who don't get enough sleep are more likely to feel moody, emotional and quick tempered. Prolonged sleep deprivation can also lead to anxiety and depression.

6. Growth Inhibition

Interrupted sleep can affect growth hormone production, especially in children and adolescents. These hormones help build muscle mass and repair cells and tissues. 

Many times all you need is a good night's sleep. You'll feel like a new person in the morning. So instead of staying up late to cram in more work or solve that problem, get to sleep early and you'll be way more efficient in the morning once well rested.

May the Zzzzz's be with you!


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