Got stress? Instagram star Maude Hirst has a one minute breathing technique to help

Feeling overwhelmed by stress? Take a moment to breathe and relax with mindfulness guru Maude Hirst’s one-minute abdominal breathing for stress

Stress is the negative response our brain triggers when we’re put in an uncomfortable situation (e.g. feeling pressured or threatened); that adrenalin rush as our body begins to release hormones to help us deal with stress.


This manic fury of hormone released include adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine, which cause our blood pressure to rise and our breathing and heart rate to increase at a rapid rate.

If you get stressed regularly, you’re not alone, 74 per cent of Brits have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they’ve felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.

What’s even more shocking is that one in three people have experienced feeling suicidal and one in six have resorted to self-harming because of stress.

When the feeling of stress takes over it can be crippling.  But this is where abdominal breathing steps in, giving your body and mind space to relax quickly. It’s basically deep breathing, finding your centre and restoring your trust in yourself.

Recent research has shown deep breathing can significantly lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, improve your attention and focus and enhance feel good emotions.

It is also beneficial as it allows more oxygen to enter your system as you take those deep breaths, which then lowers your blood pressure, helping you feel more relaxed quickly.

Here’s how to do Maude Hirst’’s abdominal breathing:

First things first, get yourself into a lying down position.

  1. Bring your right hand above your navel and your left hand to your chest
  2. Close your eyes – the aim is to get the breathe all the way down to your abdomen
  3. Your right hand will start to rise on your inhales and then push in on your exhales
  4. Now keeping your breathe still, visualise your breathe moving all the way down to fill up your belly
  5. And then when exhaling, your right hand moves in and your left hand stays still for the whole practise.
  6. Repeat this process for 10 minutes.


Maude Hirst is a born and bred East Londoner, best known for her role as Helga in the hit TV show ‘Vikings. She is an actor turned mindfulness teacher on a mission to create a bespoke path into mindfulness for you. Discovering yoga and meditation has totally changed her life for the better and she believes it can do the same for you.

Maude is trained in yoga, meditation, intuitive movement meditation, Theta Healing and Reiki and has created her company EnergyRise to bring you an array of mindfulness practices in order to cater to your individual needs.

At a time where there is more stress and anxiety in the world than ever before, Maude believes mindfulness is the key to bringing some calm and clarity to your life through simple practices. Empowering you to listen to what truly makes you happy and who you truly are.

More relaxation techniques from Maude Hirst:

Low on energy? This Instagram yogi’s 1-minute mindfulness trick will help

How to destress – the breathing technique this Instagram yoga star wants you to know

Reduce anxiety with this quick breathing technique

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Got stress? These 3 mindsets are fuelling your anxiety

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Yoga for anxiety – a 20 minute routine from super-yogi Hannah Barrett

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krissy cela FEATURED (1)

6 fat loss secrets Instagram fitness star Krissy Cela wants you to know

It takes work and knowledge to look this good, so when Instagram fitness superstar Krissy Cela shares six of her fat loss secrets and exactly how she sculpts that perfect booty, we’re listening 

If you haven’t yet heard of fitness sensation Krissy Cela, then you need to get to know her.

Not only is her Instagram full of real life transformations and badass workouts, but she is also one of the most down to earth women in the fitness industry.

With a no-filter and no-nonsense approach to everything from fitness to her skin troubles and everyday lifestyle issues, Krissy is an inspiration to all who follow her.

Plus her body is so insane that she eptomises #bodygoals. Don’t believe me? Have a stalk of her Instagram @krissycela ASAP –  1.8 million followers – she must be doing something right.

She looks THAT amazing that if she told me her secret was cleaning her teeth with vodka every morning whilst doing some lunges, or something equally as crazy, I would probably do it – religiously.

Krissy Cela Instagram
Images Via Instagram @krissycela

Krissy, 25, launched her own fitness app Tone & Sculpt just over a year ago (January 2019), that offers subscribers hundreds of personalised workouts, custom meal plans and a community forum where members can connect, share tips and ask for health and fitness advice any time they need to.

Available from just 23 pence a day, the fitness app also features a water tracker, progress tracker and a weekly shopping list.

Along with Instagram, the Tone & Sculpt app gives Krissy fans a helpful insight into exactly how Krissy trains and eats herself.

But we wanted to know the particulars. How much cardio does she do? How does she stay motivated? And how, oh HOW does she sculpt that amazing bum?

Healthista simply had to find out, so we interviewed her and these are six fat loss secrets Krissy Cela told us exclusively.

Fat loss secret #1 You don’t have to spend hours in the gym, 28 intense minutes is enough

Ever been to the gym and completed a sweaty 30-minute session, but then as you go to leave you’re filled with guilt that you haven’t been there for a whole hour? Krissy has too.

‘When studying law at university, I simply didn’t have time to spend an hour in the gym everyday,’ revealed Krissy.

tone and sculpt app new
Tone & Sculpt app

‘I was waitressing to try and make money while studying at the same time and I didn’t have time to train. I would always beat myself up for not being at the gym for longer than an hour.

‘Lots of people say that you need to workout for at least an hour a day to make the workout worthwhile, but newsflash! You honestly don’t.

‘Of course if you do have time to train for an hour, then that’s great, enjoy that time for yourself. But, for those who don’t have the luxury of time, a 30-minute intense workout 3-4 times a week is honestly all it takes to see results.

‘This short yet effective exercise is what inspired the new addition to the Tone & Sculpt app that is launching this March (2020), called ’28 minute Workouts’.

‘The new app addition is a four-day-a-week programme where you only exercise for 28 minutes – though, to be fair we are talking about 28 intense minutes. But it’s still only  28 minutes, for four days a week. That’s just under two hours weekly. None of this one hour every day or every other day nonsense, and I promise, you WILL see results.

‘The new 28-minute workouts by themselves are intense, but if you do want to make it even harder, add free-weights and dumbbells – and good luck!’

Fat loss secret #2 Do HIIT training for the weight-loss win

‘I need to lose weight but I don’t know how much cardio I should be doing compared to lifting weights?’ Does this sound like a familiar quandary?

In fact, when asking friends and family members, the cardio or weight training ratio is a recurrent question. So we asked Krissy what she thinks, ‘For starters, everyone is different and has different goals,’ explains Krissy.

‘Let’s take someone who wants to bulk up and gain muscle for example. I would recommend not doing that much intense cardio and instead opt for steady state cardio such as going on some gentle walks and only doing a couple of lighter cardio sessions per week.

if your goal is to lose weight, I strongly recommend HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

‘Take me as another example, I can’t think of anything worse than cardio – oh no, it’s just not for me. Which is perfect because I don’t need to lose weight, I need to maintain it.

‘So I avoid running and spin class like the plague and instead take my dog for a walk every morning for about half an hour, which I love because that’s my quality time with her.

‘But if your goal is to lose weight, I strongly recommend HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), exercise around three to four times per week.

‘An example of a HIIT session would be a super fast sprint for 20 to 30 seconds on a treadmill, cross-trainer or stationary bike, then resting for 30 seconds and repeat this for ten minutes.

‘It’s an absolute killer, but you are seriously going to feel it and the results will be insane if you incorporate that into your other workouts three to four times a week.

‘That’s only around half an hour a week, but the intensity is a whole different level and will seriously burn fat’.

krissy cela gym

Fat loss secret #3 Don’t cut out any food groups

Low carb, low fat, no sugar – so many people look to cut food groups in an attempt to get into shape, lose weight and have a healthier lifestyle.

But should we be depriving ourselves of our food? According to Krissy, the answer is a stern, NO.

‘Stop and I repeat STOP cutting out your food groups. Just stop it. If I hear one more person tell me they’re not eating something I am going to – I just can’t even,’ asserts Krissy.

I honestly don’t cut out anything. Last night I even had some chocolate cake with custard.

‘I’ve seen people cut out just about everything. People often think they need to cut out carbs and fats and that by eating those food groups they won’t lose weight or will gain weight.

‘That just isn’t the case, and after depriving yourself for so long, you’ll then binge eat, crave pasta, junk food and chocolate like never before.

‘I mean I can’t talk, I have also cut out my food groups in the past. I once went through a phase where I would only eat broccoli and chicken.  I remember thinking this just tastes like s**t, I don’t want to eat this.

‘Then I went through a phase where I would only eat what a diet club told me was ‘accceptable’ to eat. I found myself eating Curly Wurleys just because it fit my ‘points’ or macros for the day. Seriously, WHAT was I thinking? It wasn’t good for me.

‘Fast forward to now, and I eat all my food groups and don’t cut out a single thing and I have never felt better in my life.

‘Everyday on my plate, I try and include carbs such as rice, healthy fats such as oils and avacado, proteins such as chicken and fish and other micronutrients found in vegetables and pulses.

‘I honestly don’t cut out anything. Last night I even had some chocolate cake with custard, and that piece of chocolate cake alone is not going to cause me to gain loads of weight.

‘It’s all about consistency and also, learning how to cook. You really do have to learn how to cook.

‘If you’re eating foods that come out of plastic or packaging, just stop. Instead eat what comes from the earth, that way you can be sure it will be good for you’.

Fat loss secret #4 Remember why you started

Some days we wake up, get stuff done, lift some weights, eat healthy food and get eight hours of sleep.

Other days we don’t get much done, eat some biscuits after lunch, skip the gym and stay up too late watching Netflix instead of getting enough sleep.

That leaves people wondering, where does my motivation go? Why can’t I be motivated all of the time?

It’s a question Krissy gets asked all of the time…

‘I’ll be completely honest and put it out there, my motivation comes and goes. Sometimes my motivation will be peak one week then it can completely deflate the next week,’ says Krissy.

‘But you need to stop beating yourself up over it. None of us can be motivated 100 per cent of the time, it’s not humanly possible.

‘When I do have a particularly down day, one of my pick me ups is the Tone & Sculpt community, if you have a scroll through what other women are saying and going through, you will realise that you aren’t alone, and that it’s natural to have a down, unmotivated day.

‘Community and having supportive friends is what picks me up when I’m having a down day. Sometimes it even gives me motivation, I’ll think well, if she can do it, I can do it. Why would I want to give up on my journey and on myself?

‘Plus, I know its cliche, but I always remind myself of why I started my fitness journey, and what being fit and healthy does for me and my well-being.

‘I went through such a horrendous heartbreak and was in such a toxic relationship, that I know many women and also men go through, and it can cause your confidence to plummet.

‘You feel so crap about yourself, which is normal but in order to get out of that way of thinking, I think back to how I felt then, in comparison to how I feel now, and I realise I never want to go back to that place.

‘If going to the gym and looking after my health stops me from going back there, that’s what I will do.

‘Constantly remind yourself of your ‘why’ and you’ll end up talking motivation back into yourself’.

Fat loss secret #5 Perfecting your form is key

Many people get carried away with ‘how much’ they can lift, but Krissy thinks people need to focus firstly on their form.

‘When someone starts their fitness journey, I’ll often hear, ‘Oh, I cant do this, I’m so awkward at the gym’. But we all know that practice makes perfect and even by week three of your journey you will get used to what you’re doing and your confidence will have rocketed.

‘People get carried away with how much they can lift or how many sets, reps or jumps they can do and they tend to forget about their form.

It’s about the form you perfect not the weight that you lift

‘When people lift too heavy before learning how to do the exercise properly, they get discouraged when they are in pain or they feel uncomfortable and awkward.

‘Before you even think about lifting weights, you firstly need to perfect the exercise. Not only is this important to avoiding injury, it’s also crucial so you’re working the muscles you should be targeting rather than using your back during a deadlift for example. If you aren’t doing it properly or feeling the benefit, then you are wasting your time.

‘It’s about the form you perfect not the weights that you lift. That’s what I always say. Take your time with things and be gentle.

‘You have no one to impress but yourself, ease yourself into the process gently and don’t rush, you can’t expect to sprint if you don’t even know how to crawl.

‘Focus on your journey one step at a time. That’s why I always recommend people starting on my app to begin with the beginner guide. It’s useful at showing you how to do gentle exercises to begin with before you build up the weight and amount you do, it also builds your confidence’.

Krissy cela stretching fat loss secrets

Fat loss secret #6 Make hip-thrusts your go-to exercise

This may not be a fat loss secret, but it’s a necessary question: ‘Krissy how does one get a perfectly sculpted bum like yours?’

Turns out the secret to her perfect booty is…. hip thrusts and eating your food.

‘Everyone asks me about my bum. Well what can I say about the glutes, well first of all remember that I have been training for over five years, so this bum has been a work in progress for that long, it does take time, you aren’t going to miraculously build one in a week.

‘Secondly, like I said eat your food and stop cutting out your food groups, eating healthy food will help to build your bum, fact.

‘And thirdly, hip thrusts. They are the prime movement and the number one exercise for building the glutes [bum muscles].

‘Start with just your body weight, then add a resistance band, then dumbbells before finally moving on to the barbell which is trickier because of the balance and stability – so build up to this.

‘If you start with a dumbbell you’ll have more stability and control over it and be able to thrust it up properly. I have so many YouTube videos on it so be sure to have a look, plus the app tells you exactly how you can do all exercises correctly, including hip thrusts’.

tone and sculpt

The Tone & Sculpt app is available from £13.99 (monthly) at The App Store and on Google Play.

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Body transformation week one – operation FAT LOSS

Workout with this top trainer to lose weight and change your body – video

Looking for a weight loss workout? Luisa Valenti trainer and co-founder of Your Body Programme is here to take us through this fat burning circuit.

Finish off the first month of the new decade with this weight loss workout to help build up your muscular strength and endurance with some serious high intensity and fat burning. It’s the final week of our weight loss workout series with top trainer Luisa Valenti, co-founder of Your Body Programme.

This full body workout is a circuit-based structured to keep your heart rate up and make sure you are getting the most out of your workout.

The Workout:

This circuit consists of seven exercises which require you to perform back to back, with 12 reps each. Once you have completed a full set, reward yourself with a two minute rest, then repeat twice more.

  1. Back squats, 12 reps
  2. Push ups, 12 reps
  3. lunge single arm shoulder press, 12 reps
  4. Alternate side, 12 reps
  5. Kettlebell bent over row, 12 reps
  6. Swiss ball lat pullover, 12 reps
  7. Deadlifts, 12 reps

Set complete

Rest for 2 minutes

Complete the circuit two more times

Your body proggramme was founded by Terry Fairclough and Luisa Valenti.

The idea came about after Terry and Luisa saw other personal trainers regularly offering the same generic plan to every client, regardless of gender, goal or body type.

Terry and Luisa are passionate about the need to train everyone as an individual to achieve maximum results, and therefore don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach.

Other weight loss workouts in this series with Terry and Luisa:

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Veganuary – 9 things this doctor wants you to know about going vegan

Finding it hard to concentrate? This 5 minute meditation will help you focus

Veganuary_ How to go plant-based - the Doctor's guide FEATURED

Veganuary – 9 things this doctor wants you to know about going vegan

Did you take on Veganuary this year? Are you looking to go vegan or make plant-based eating a more permanent practice? Doctor Gemma Newman has some helpful tips

Low fat, high fat, low carb, high carb, vegan, paleo, keto – it’s easy to lose track of all the diets out there. But surely some of them work? And if so which one is best?

Veganuary is still in full swing and if last year’s calculations are anything to go by, it’s only growing in popularity.

In 2018 170,000 people signed up, which was an 183 per cent increase over 2017’s numbers. Then last year, over 250,000 people signed up to take on the challenge. This year the number is guaranteed to have risen again.

But is adopting a vegan diet healthy? What makes it any different to all the other diets we are told are good for our health?

There is a lot of confusion out there historically about nutrition – propagated by the media, food companies and even health professionals themselves.


But few can can argue with the benefits of eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, the superiority of whole unprocessed foods the need to limit or avoid processed meats,sugary cakes, sweets, fizzy sugary drinks, white flour and white bread where you can.

one thing nobody can argue with are the benefits of eating plenty of vegetables and fruits.

Often though, when people are confused about what is healthy and what isn’t, they may keep eating what they always have, and say ‘everything in moderation.’

But this is clearly untrue.

We don’t advise smokers to smoke in moderation. It’s the same with sugary drinks and processed meats. Why feed your child a hot dog or a chicken nugget when you would never dream of giving them a packet of cigarettes?

According to The World Health Organisation (WHO), processed meats are a class 1 carcinogen; a known cause of cancer. So moderation or not, processed meats aren’t goof for you. Fact.

How to cut through the confusion

Fortunately, Dr David Katz, one of the founders of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, got the world’s most eminent nutrition scientists from around the world together to create a general consensus they could all agree on as part of his ‘True Health Initiative’.

There was much they agreed on – that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and water remains the cornerstone to health.

If you look at a paleo plate and a whole food plant based plate, they will have far more in common with each other than they would with the plate of someone eating the average Western diet.

Let us consider what kind of dietary patterns seem to promote heart health. After all, heart disease still remains our biggest killer.

The only way of eating which has been proven to reverse coronary artery blockages within weeks (by comparing angiography before and after the diet change) is the whole food plant based approach.


The Lifestyle Heart Trial findings were published in The Lancet in 1990, and impressive results with dietary intervention alone were achieved through the work of Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, and were also replicated most recently in the Mount Abu Heart Trial.

No other dietary pattern has been able to replicate these findings. Considering that heart disease is our number one killer, it seems sensible for a mostly whole food plant based diet to be the recommended choice until new evidence is found to suggest otherwise.

That’s all well and good, but for many of us who are used to eating a Western diet, making the change to a more plant-based focused diet can seem impossible. Hats off to the people who have stuck to Veganuary.

But fear not. That’s where I am here to help – if a plant-based diet is the healthiest option, here’s how you can get started..

Step #1 Read about it

If you are thinking of making a start with plant based eating but you’re unsure where to begin, I’d recommend these cookbooks to ease you into the transition.

so vegan in 5

So Vegan in 5  by Roxy Pope and Ben Pook, has over 100 simple recipes with just five ingredients that you will definitely be able to find in your local supermarket – hallelujah.

Click here for more information about their cook book and see 5 of their recipes in full: 5 easy vegan recipes with 5 ingredients from your supermarket

bosh cookbook

BOSH! by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby has over 80 healthy vegan recipes.

BOSH! is also  the biggest plant-based online channel in the world with their most popular recipe videos being viewed over 50 million times.

‘After cutting out animal products entirely, both of us felt fantastic,’ they say in the book. ‘But we had to re-learn how to cook and find food when we were out and about. We also found that the vegan food available in restaurants or in cookbooks was often, frankly, not very good.

‘Since then, it’s been our life’s mission to show people how to make delicious plant-based meals. However often they choose to do that’.

Plus, it won’t hurt to search #vegan hashtags on Instagram, there are some truly inspiring stories out there of the different journeys people have taken in their transition into plant-based eating.

Step #2 Swap some of your favourite foods first

How you go about this exciting journey will often depend on what you like to eat right now. Modifying certain favourite foods is a good place to start.

For example, if one of your favourite meals is a chicken curry, you could turn that into a chickpea curry, a beef Bolognese into a lentil Bolognese, a Mexican chilli could be a three-bean chilli.

If you love the vegan version of your favourite, then you’re winning.

Slowly start experimenting with new flavours and ideas so that your plant-based journey becomes a new voyage of discovery and fun – without the pressure.


Step #3 Change your daily meals one at a time

Perhaps start with changing your breakfast to a totally plant-based one, start by changing this two to three times per week, (and that includes the milk in your morning tea or coffee).

Then start changing your lunch to plant-based two to three times during the week too. After you are used to this then start increasing the amount of meals you have that are plant-based until pretty soon you have four or five good rotating meal ideas that replace your old habits.

If you change to a completely whole food plant based diet straight away you are likely to reap the benefits more quickly, usually within around two to three weeks.

However, if it is a very new way of eating, your gut bacteria will not yet have caught up and so you may notice some initial bloating or flatulence as your gut bugs begin to adjust and respond to your healthy diet change.


Step #4 Get the family involved to prevent future disease

The American Dietetic Association and the British Dietetic Association both agree that well planned plant based diets can sustain healthy living in all age groups and may also provide benefits for prevention of diseases.

Which diseases might they be referring to I hear you ask? Well heart disease and cancer – our biggest killers in the Western world.

Plant based diets are also associated with reduced risk of chronic respiratory disorders, allergies and recurrent infections in childhood, so not only are you improving their health for today, but also giving them the best chance of reducing disease risk in the future as well.

The British Dietetic Assocition (BDA) has also recently launched their Blue Dot Campaign, highlighting the importance of dieticians being able to offer plant based diet advice to people of all ages and incomes.

Step #5 Invest in some supplements

Unfortunately, we’re now living in a nutrient depleted world. This is due to the degradation of the soil that has come about as a result of mono-cropping, land mass degradation and the excessive use of pesticides.

A Western Diet will invariably be deficient in some of the most important nutrients we need including magnesium, folate and fibre. It is also much more strongly associated with obesity and a number of chronic lifestyle diseases that are improved by a whole food, plant based diet.

A Western Diet will invariably be deficient in some of the most important nutrients we need

In fact, a well planned whole food plant based approach is probably the most nutrient dense way to eat in many ways, especially the ‘nutritarian approach’ advocated by physicians such as Dr Joel Fuhrman. This is basically about avoiding processed foods and choosing nutrient dense food that are highest in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.

But there will be supplements that are especially relevant if you are eating a fully whole food plant based diet, excluding all animal products – as they are harder to routinely obtain.

Here are the supplements you’ll probably need to invest in:

#1 B12

There are many different types of vitamin B (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, biotin, folate) which are abundant in a whole food plant rich diet – but if you are completely plant based you will need vitamin B12 supplementation. This is essential.

Adults only need about 1.5mcg (micrograms) a day of Vitamin B12. However, I’d recommend taking either at least 10mcg daily or 2000mcg week.

This may seem like a lot compared to the daily intake of 1.5mcg suggested for adults, but these recommendations are safe, not only to prevent deficiency, but to also reliably break down a protein called homocysteine, which in excess, is implicated in heart attacks and strokes.

Your body absorbs vitamin B12 more efficiently in frequent small amounts, so the less often you have it, the more you need. You can obtain B12 from fortified foods such as soy milk, hemp milk, nutrition bars, nutritional yeast, marmite and cereals but you will have to check the amounts in each and make sure you have at least 3mcg over the course of a day.

Or you can take B12 as an easy supplement. There are many ways to do this. A higher dose once weekly oral supplement, a daily spray or indeed B12 contained within most multivitamins. I don’t have any affiliations but I favour methylcobalabin B12 supplementation as it is more bioavailable.

Even people who eat a lot of meat and eggs will potentially be B12 deficient after the age of 50

B12 is a vitamin made by micro-organisms. This is the reason it is in cow, pig and chicken meat, as they have eaten soil, drank untreated water with these micro-organisms, or eaten corn feed with B12 supplements added to it.

I don’t recommend eating soil, or drinking untreated water! That’s why supplementation is so important Even people who eat a lot of meat and eggs will potentially be B12 deficient after the age of 50, as their stomach can have problems absorbing it.

Also, other medical factors such as taking indigestion or diabetes drugs, having malabsorption issues and autoimmune disorders can reduce absorption of vitamin B12. So it’s a good idea to check your levels and supplement, especially for diabetics.

Don’t take the risk of avoiding supplementation or adequate amounts of fortified foods – far better to be safe than sorry.


#2 Vitamin D

As most of us are deficient in this – as a rule of thumb you are able to make enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure if your shadow is shorter than your body. If you have no shadow or it is very long, chances are you are not making vitamin D.

I’d recommend at least 1000iu a day in those who have normal levels, and 2000iu a day if you have a tendency to run low. If you are already deficient you could need higher doses.

#3 Algae oil

EPA/DHA supplements are useful. These are the purest form of omega-3 fatty acids on the planet.

Made from algae (where fish get it from too) it means you can optimise heart health without having to eat fish or take cod liver oil (and so avoid the heavy metals and toxins within them, unfortunately the seas are so polluted it is almost impossible to avoid this now).

#4 FLAX seeds

These are a super food. One to two tablespoons of milled flax every day can help lower your blood pressure and boost heart health.

Mix into your morning porridge, sprinkle in a salad or main meal, even bake with them (one tablespoon in three of water can replace one egg).

Dr Gemma Newman

Dr Gemma Newman has worked in medicine for 15 years and is the Senior Partner at a family medical practice where she has worked for 10 years.

She studied at the University of Wales College of Medicine and has worked in many specialities as a doctor including elderly care, endocrinology, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry, general surgery, urology, vascular surgery, rehabilitation medicine and General Practice.

More from Dr Gemma Newman:

What’s the best diet for diabetes? The doctor’s opinion

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7 celebrities you didn’t know had anxiety

The new Taylor Swift documentary, Miss Americana, has set tongues wagging as she breaks her silence on hate, shame, anxiety and an eating disorder that saw her shrink down to a size two. Yes, celebrities are human too just like the rest of us

Anxiety is no big secret, with more and more people talking about mental health on a daily basis – and celebrities are no exception.

According to a survey completed by the Mental Health Foundation, roughly three million suffer from anxiety, as indicated by the latest Psychiatric Morbidity Survey.

Here are seven of the most influential celebrities who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks – some of these will be a total surprise…

#1 Taylor Swift

As we all know, 30- year old Taylor Swift has had her fair share of hate in the public eye since she was young, from being ‘too annoying’ or ‘too skinny’ or ‘looking pregnant’. But how has all of this affected her?

‘No one physically saw me for a year and that it is what I thought they wanted’, she reveals in her new Lana Wilson directed documentary, Miss Americana, which premiered last night (23rd January) at the Sundance Film Festival.

This feeling we all understand, shutting yourself in, away from the limelight. For a woman who oozes confidence in every aspect of her career and holds at least twenty one awards to her name, we didn’t really expect this from her did we? She definitely had us fooled.

But anxiety isn’t something we all wear on our sleeve. Having previously opened up about battling anxiety whilst in a romantic relationship, Swift mentions in the film that she constantly felt like she was fighting for people’s respect, ‘I had to deconstruct an entire belief system.’

Taylor Swift in Miss Americana reveals no one physically saw her for a whole year and that is what she thought people wanted.

Throughout her career, she felt like she always had to be seen as the ‘good girl’, views which were forced upon her by executives as a ‘nice girl doesn’t force their opinions on people’. Yeah, alright executives.

The fear of never being enough led Swift to destruction to the point where she would starve herself and feel like passing out during live performances. A situation that no woman should be putting themselves through.

But desperation unfortunately kicks in and for Swift she had to keep up appearances and be the person everyone wanted her to be. It eventually took a toll on her as we now know after seeing her insightful documentary.

When introducing the song ‘Out of the Woods’, (see video here), she candidly states that ‘it felt very fragile, it felt very tentative’.

She also expresses that she constantly harboured fears that her past relationship would not last, and would worry about what would be the next thing that might ‘deter this’.

Swift implied that she lacked confidence regarding the stability of the relationship, saying ‘how long do we have before this turns into just an awful mess and we break up? Is it a month? Is it three days?’

Miss Americana, will be aired in selected theatres and on Netflix from January 31st.

#2 Sienna Miller

In a recent interview with Porter Edit magazine actress Sienna Miller, best known for her roles in Stardust and Layer Cake, made a startling revelation: She has not engaged with social media for over two years. ‘You have to be willing to really expose your world and your life and open that up to people, and I just can’t do it without a f**k ton of anxiety.’

sienna-miller-for-porteredit-magazine-5 celebrities you didn't-know-had-anxiety-healthista
Sienna Miller on the cover of Porter Edit

When a celebrity comes forward about an anxiety issue, it’s easy to brush off what they’re saying. After all, aren’t anxiety and its nasty little companion depression, like, really in right now? Surely, they’re just being trendy?

But anxious and depressive disorders are extremely common, no matter who you are. According to Anxiety UK, roughly 10 percent of the UK population will experience a form of anxiety disorder at some stage in their life.

Furthermore, in a study conducted in Great Britain one in six adults reported experiencing some form of neurotic health problem during the previous week.

There are many factors that can lead to an anxiety disorder including:

  • Stress
  • Physical factors (such as thyroid problems)
  • Childhood environment
  • Genetic factors
  • Biochemical imbalances (changes in the levels of chemical messengers in the brain)

Looking at these elements, it’s a little easier to see how prevalent anxiety is and how so many people how come to be afflicted, regardless of socioeconomic status.

#3 Kendall Jenner

Jenner’s anxiety is also triggered by fear of sleep

The 23-year-old model has often spoken publicly about her anxiety, through interviews, social media and her family’s show Keeping up with the Kardashians. Having been in the spotlight from an early age and scouted as a model in her early teens, Jenner has since been the target of some truly horrific abuse.

In 2017 she filed her second restraining order against a 62-year-old man who claimed to have been enamoured with her since spotting her in a Costco back in 1998 (When Jenner was just 3-years-old).

Prior to the restraining order, Jenner admitted in a 2016 episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians that she was suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and experiencing multiple cases of sleep paralysis. J

enner has since stated that her new found phobia of falling asleep has contributed directly to her anxiety.

Sleep paralysis is a condition that occurs when a person is waking up or falling sleep.  In effect, they’re conscious but unable to move or speak, which typically only lasts a few minutes, but it can feel like much, much longer.

While the condition is not thought to be harmful, the experience can be terrifying. On top of this, people stuck in sleep paralysis can sometimes also experience hallucinations while it is occurring.

Thankfully, only 8 percent of the population have reported ever going through sleep paralysis.

#4 Adele

The singer told Q magazine ‘I don’t know if it’s because I’m so blown away that people like what I do, but I just feel like I’m never going to live up to it.’

When singer Adele broke through into the mainstream back in 2008, she was just 20 years old. Then in 2011, at the age of 23, she revealed that she had a reluctance to perform live at festivals or arenas due to anxiety over the condition itself.

‘I’d hate to book a festival and have a f****** anxiety attack and then not go on stage.’ While she may not be completely free from panic attacks, like fellow anxiety sufferer Ryan Reynolds she has conquered her fears of public performance with the aid of her powerful alter ego: Sasha Carter.

‘Sasha Carter’ is a mashup of Beyoncé’s own alter ego ‘Sasha Fierce’ and country idol June Carter. Adele was inspired by an impromtu meeting with Beyoncé, before which she had been experiencing a full-blown panic attack, during their meeting Queen Bey told the singer how listening to her voice felt like ‘listening to God’.  Adele has since stated Sasha Carter has ‘changed [her] life’.

#5 Kristen Bell

Kristen bell 5 celebrities you didn't know had anxiety Healthista
Bell on the set of ‘The Good Place’ with co-star William Jackson Harper

Kristen Bell, best known for her voice work as Princess Anna in the hit Disney film Frozen had previously worked with the Child Mind Institute to break down the illusion of celebrity perfection and shine a light on the unrealistic standard to which Hollywood celebs are shown in.

Bell is perhaps the most active advocate for change in attitudes towards mental health on this list, having written an open letter for TIME about her experiences with anxiety and thoughts regarding the stigma of mental illness: ‘If you tell a friend that you are sick, his first response is likely, ‘You should get that checked out by a doctor.’ she said.

‘Yet if you tell a friend you’re feeling depressed, he will be scared or reluctant to give you that same advice. You know what? I’m over it.’

Since then, Bell has spoken plainly and without reserve in interviews about her battles with anxiety and her desires to be an ally in the fight against stigma.

The The Good Place star even held an Instagram Q & A for her fans to ask her questions about anxiety and her experiences and routinely shares tips and her own coping mechanisms for her condition. Bell recommends CBD lotion; CBD is non-psychoactive but is believed to have pain relieving capabilities.

Read more: CBD Oil – 3 A-listers that that it and exactly what is and what it does

When asked what inspired her open nature on the subject, Bell stated that she was initially inspired by her husband, Dax Sheppard, who has been openly sober for the past 14 years.

#6 Ryan Reynolds

Reynolds has been suffering from anxiety since early childhood

Ryan Reynolds is perhaps one of the more surprising additions to this list, the fun-loving actor, known for playing the wise cracking anti-hero Deadpool, revealed that his rapid-fire wit has a surprising origin.

‘I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety.’ Reynolds said in an interview with the New York Times ‘Both in the light hearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.’

The actor confessed to staying in character on set and in interviews, most notably Deadpool, in order to combat his more anxious nature, ‘I figure if you’re going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly.’

Reynolds suspects that his anxiety began at a young age due to a delicate relationship with his father.  As a result, Reynolds often found himself over-compensating to maintain peace, taking it upon himself to keep his household tidy and orderly.

Reynolds does however, also attribute his off-beat sense of humour to his father, who introduced him to some of his favourite shows and comedians, including Faulty Towers, Buster Keaton and Jack Benny. Reynolds has commented that while his childhood may not have been typical, it made him the man he is today, for which he is grateful.

#7 Gina Rodriguez

Gina Rodriguez 5 celebrities you didn't know had anxiety heatlhista
Rodriguez with fellow ‘Jane the Virgin’ stars Brett Dier (left) and Justin Baldoni (right)

Gina Rodriguez, who is best known for her work as the titular character in the hit telenovela Jane the Virgin, recently admitted to having to balance panic attacks and thoughts of suicide in an interview with Chicagomag, during which she detailed her struggles with intrusive thoughts while filming the final season ‘Jane the Virgin’.

She describes her worst memory as ‘having a panic attack on set and having to shut down production’.

In spite of these difficulties, she embraces the effect that positive effect that social media has played in her mental health journey, having used Instagram to first come forward with her struggles back in 2017, the actress considers it her duty and privilege to enlighten the masses and work against the stigma concerning mental health issues – especially with in the Latino community.

Rodriguez has also previously spoken out about her fraught relationship with body acceptance and positivity when it comes to herself, as she battles with a thyroid condition that causes weight gain alongside chronic fatigue. She hopes that her candour will allow others to take action, regardless of their circumstances.

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hair loss FEATURED

Hair falling out? This expert advice on hair loss will help

Alopecia remains a taboo subject, yet hair loss products are a multi-billion pound business and are labelled to fix the impossible. Dr Omar is here to debunk five hair loss myths and stop you from wasting money on the lies

It is completely normal to lose a certain amount of hair (usually between 100 – 150 a day).

But when your hair starts to fall out in clumps or looks a lot thinner than usual, distress and worry start to kick in, which can make your hair loss situation even worse.

If you have experienced hair thinning or hair loss, you aren’t the only one.

An estimated 8 million women in the UK experience some degree of hair loss or hair thinning at any given time.

For so many of us, hair is a defining feature that provides you with character and confidence. It’s no wonder then that 46 per cent of women who experience hair loss suffer in silence, feeling too insecure or embarrassed to talk about their symptoms, which is why it remains a taboo subject.


However, according to newly published clinical research, Proteoglycan Replacement Therapy, using Nourkrin with Marilex promotes hair growth and hair quality with remarkably positive outcomes in several clinical trials.

This new published clinical paper is based on an outcome study where women with hair loss voluntarily started a six month course of treatment with Nourkrin Woman (600 mg Marilex per day).

By the midpoint of three months, the participants reported significant results and overall satisfaction with their hair growth recovery and appearance.

After six months, treatment satisfaction with Nourkrin Woman increased further as 96.49 per cent of participants reported improvement in their hair growth. What’s more, 97.37 per cent reported improvement in their hair appearance and quality.

The paper concludes that ‘the overall treatment satisfaction with Nourkrin has been markedly high in this study’. Based on the fact that 98.25 per cent of women with hair loss expressed their overall satisfaction with Proteoglycan Replacement Therapy with Nourkrin.

The fact that ‘no significant treatment related side effects were reported in this study’ further highlights the unparalleled safety and tolerability of Nourkrin Woman.

Signs your hair loss isn’t normal

Depending on what has caused your hair loss, it can appear in many different ways. It can come on suddenly or gradually and can affect your scalp to varying degrees.

Signs and symptoms of hair loss (also known as alopecia) include:

  • Gradual thinning on top of head – the most common type of hair loss, affecting both men and women.
  • Circular or patchy bald spots – Some people experience smooth, coin-sized bald spots or patchy hair loss (alopecia areata). This type of hair loss usually affects just the scalp, but can sometimes occur in beards or eyebrows. Your skin may become itchy or painful before the hair starts to fall out.
  • Full Scalp hair loss – conditions and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy can result in the loss of all or most of the hair, which usually grows back after treatment and over time.
  • Sudden hair loss – A physical or emotional shock, or stress can cause hair to shed in excess. Handfuls of hair may come out when brushing or washing your hair. This type of hair loss usually causes diffuse hair thinning rather than bald patches.

Your hair growth cycle explained

All types of hair loss, including alopecia, have one factor in common – a disrupted Hair Growth Cycle.

Your Hair Growth Cycle can be influenced by factors such as stress, medication, genetics, chemicals, poor nutrition, hormones, pregnancy, cholesterol, hair styling, diabetes, childbirth, extreme exercise and hypertension.

The realisation that your once healthy hair has started to thin or fall out can be a huge shock and send you on a desperate search for products to help.

Unfortunately though, too many hair growth products promise the world but don’t deliver.

As well as products, there are a few myths out there too surrounding hair loss such as ‘over-washing your hair will make it fall out’, ‘you need to eat loads of B vitamins’, ‘hair loss is for old people’ – do any of these sound familiar?

Hair loss expert and medical consultant for Nourkrin Dr Omar sets the record straight….

Myth #1 ‘Hair loss isn’t normal’

Hair loss is absolutely normal, in fact we lose between 100 and 150 strands of hair per day.

See, what most people don’t know is that your hair follicles have to go through three stages of the Hair Growth Cycle – and yes, one of these stages involves shedding hair.

Here are the three hair growth stages:

Stage 1 – The Growth phase, also known as the Anagen phase, is where 85 to 90 per cent of the hair on our head is actively growing. This phase can last for three to five years.

Stage 2 – The Transition phase, aka the Catagen phase, is when your hair has stopped growing and disconnects from the hair follicle. Approximately only one per cent of the hair on our head is found in this phase at any given time, which has a duration of only one to two weeks.

Stage 3 – The Resting phase called the Telogen phase is when around ten to fifteen per cent of the hair on our head sits inactive in the follicle after reaching its full growth potential. That means its just sat on your head, no longer growing nor falling out (yet) – it’s stays there for around three to four months before shedding.

Which takes us back to the Growth (Anagen) phase, where your hair will start to grow again.


When hair loss occurs, regardless of the cause or the type, the Hair Growth Cycle is almost always affected, resulting in a shorter growth phase and extended resting phase, which leads to increased shedding and weaker regrowth.

Treating this, and rebalancing the Hair Growth Cycle requires a specific treatment that helps to replace the ‘building blocks’ within our bodies. These are known as Proteoglycans, which help to regulate our hair growth.

Proteoglycans are biological molecules consisting of a core protein, present extensively throughout the body and as an essential part of the hair follicle.

‘Proteoglycans are one of the most common molecules throughout the human body. , A number of which have roles in hair growth regeneration, growth and cycling,’ explains Dr Omar.

‘Proteoglycans are naturally produced by the body, however, many health related factors such as cholesterol, diabetes and hormones can affect their production. These specific proteoglycans are not available in the food we eat.

‘The body’s inability to produce the proteoglycans necessary for healthy hair growth can cause a disruption to the normal Hair Growth Cycle, resulting in hair loss and thinning.

‘During a normal Hair Growth Cycle, proteoglycans play an important role in the normal cycling mechanism of the hair follicle,’ adds Dr Omar.

The proteoglycans modulate hair growth factors that control the induction and duration of the growth phase. A disruption to the normal Hair Growth Cycle can therefore result in hair loss and hair thinning, which can worsen over time if left untreated or unnoticed.

The disrupted Hair Growth Cycle is primarily caused by internal factors such as disease or diabetes or external factors such as stress. This will deplete the key proteoglycans found in and around the hair follicle and cause the hair to stop growing sooner than it used to.

Possible causes of a disrupted Hair Growth Cycle:
  • Family history (heredity)
  • Hormonal changes and medical conditions (menopause, thyroid problems, pregnancy, diabetes, lupus)
  • Medications and supplements
  • Radiation therapy to the head
  • A very stressful event
  • Certain tight hairstyles and treatments (pigtails, hot oil hair treatments)
  • Extreme dietary restriction

Because of this, more hair strands will enter the Telogen (resting) phase earlier on in the cycle, leading to increased hair shedding and weaker regrowth.

A prolonged Telogen (resting) phase, means that fewer hair follicles are then being induced back into the Anagen (growth) phase again, which can result in no regrowth of hair.

If you’re experiencing too much hair loss or your hair is shedding excessively, you may have a disrupted Hair Growth Cycle and will need to consult your doctor or look into Proteoglycan Replacement Therapy.

Myth #2 ‘Your age matters’

Many people believe that hair loss and thinning hair is just for old people, but that isn’t entirely true. In most hair loss cases, clinical evidence demonstrates that age is not a predetermining factor.

‘Hair loss is no respecter of age,’ says Dr Omar. ‘It can affect young children, for a variety of reasons, and can affect women from the age of 20.

‘It has been reported that one in three women will notice hair thinning or hair loss after the age of 30. Another statistic shows that 60 per cent of all women will experience some degree of hair loss at some stage in their lives with an estimated 8 million experiencing hair loss at any one time’.

Many factors can cause hair loss, such as diabetes, or even thyroid problems – so it’s worth asking your GP to check for these if your hair is falling out. Sometimes hair loss can even be caused by external factors, with such as stress being one of the main contributors.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes hair to fall out suddenly. The immune system attacks the hair follicles. Hair from the scalp, as well as eyebrows and eyelashes, may fall out in small chunks.

36 year old Alopecia Areata sufferer, Lilja Reykjavik was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata in October 2017.

‘It started with a small area of hair loss and extended as shown in the pictures below,’ describes Lilja.

Lilja before
Lilja before Nourkrin treatment, May 2018 (left), Lilja during Nourkrin treatment, September 2018 (right)

‘After seeing numerous specialists and trying a plethora of treatments including steriod cream, a skin specialist told me the hair root had ‘fallen asleep’ and advised it might take more than a year to grow again.

‘In frustration, I published my experience on Facebook. My cousin contacted me and I was introduced to Nourkrin’.

Clinically proven to induce hair follicles back into their growth phase, Marilex (a fish extract that provides a very unique and very specific combination of nutrients) is rich in key proteoglycans that are present in human hair follicles and are essential to hair follicle cycling.

Marilex interacts with specific growth factors that help influence and maintain a healthy Hair Growth Cycle.

‘The proteoglycans in Nourkrin have been extracted from fish, through a unique extraction process and provide a targeted supply of these essential nutrients to help re-balance the Hair Growth Cycle and stimulate existing hair growth,’ says Dr Omar. ‘This can take anything between three to 12 months with the minimum recommended treatment being a six month course’.

The results shown below took five months and her hair continues to improve.

Lilja during Nourkrin treatment, December 2018 (left), Lilja ten months after Nourkrin treatment, March 2019 (right)

‘Finally, with the help of Nourkrin, my hair started to grow. It was the first time for a long time that I could have my hair loose and not in ponytail like always’.

So how does Nourkrin work?

With this treatment, hair follicles can be induced back into the Anagen growth phase by reintroducing specific proteoglycan growing phase components to the body through Proteoglycan Replacement Therapy.


Marilex acts to both induce Anagen growth in dormant follicles and, at the same time, prolong the Anagen phase in growing follicles. The follicles stuck in a dormant state are induced into the Anagen (growth) phase.

As more and more hairs re-enter the Anagen phase, the Telogen phase is pushed back to the normal level – reducing the amount of hair shedding.

Plus, the Anagen phase of existing follicles and hair strands is prolonged – promoting continuous healthy hair regrowth.

Nourkrin products are scientifically formulated to provide the correct nutrients required to normalise and maintain the Hair Growth Cycle, especially if there is an imbalance.

This proven hair growth supplement is supported by 30 years of research into hair growth disorders and is safe, effective and drug free.

Nourkrin Woman, £50.95, 60 tablets, take 2 tablets each day.

This supplement needs to be taken for a minimum of three to six months to have a visible affect.

Myth #3 ‘Vitamin B deficiency causes hair loss’

Although this is marginally true, this can still be classified as a myth – because the likelihood of this happening to you is extremely unlikely.

Research has shown you have to be significantly deficient in vitamin B to suffer from any hair loss. In fact, only two per cent of the female population in the UK suffer hair loss due to vitamin B deficiency.

‘Vitamin B deficiency is not a clinically important cause of hair loss. Although a severe deficiency in a number of other vitamins such as, niacin, vitamin D and biotin has been associated with hair loss, again this is extremely rare in most countries in the modern world,’ says Dr Omar.

Niacin deficiency currently only happens exclusively in very poor countries and in patients with malabsorption syndromes, alcohol-dependency or psychiatric disorders.

Also, there is no evidence that supplementation with vitamins or minerals where there is a deficiency may have any beneficial effects on the Hair Growth Cycle or clinical alopecia.

Indeed, many people will get plenty of B vitamins from their diets. Biotin (vitamin B7) is found abundantly in a long list of foods including meats, liver or kidney, egg yolk, nuts, such as almonds, peanuts, and walnuts, soybeans and other legumes, whole grains, bananas, cauliflower and mushrooms.

In Western populations, people typically receive 35 to 70 micrograms (mcg) a day of Biotin through their diet, while the daily required intake is 30-35 mcg a day.

That is why biotin deficiency rarely occurs in healthy individuals on a regular diet.

If you have a vegan diet however, keep in mind that many who follow a vegan diet have difficulty in getting enough vitamin B12. which is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can impact on hair quality and is needed ensure the health of hair cells and encourage new hair growth, therefore supplementation with B12 may be necessary.

Myth #4 ‘Over washing your hair causes hair loss’

‘People panic that over-washing their hair will remove essential oils or change the scalp environment but this is a total myth,’ reveals Dr Omar. ‘Most women will be fine washing their hair two to three times per week’.

Generally speaking, the thicker your hair, the less frequently you’ll need to wash it. But, if it’s summer, or you find yourself sweaty after exercise, feel free to wash your hair a bit more frequently – it won’t fall out.

Although over-washing your hair won’t cause hair loss, over styling with heated hair tools might, especially if your hair is already damaged due to weather or nutrition.

‘If you constantly use heated appliances on dry and damaged hair, it may turn brittle and fall out,’ warns Dr Omar.

The friction and stress put on dry or damaged hair could certainly weaken your hair to the point that it is more prone to breakage and falling out.

Other factors like everyday stress, or even the types of hairstyles you wear can also have an effect on hair loss.


Myth #5 ‘Hair loss treatments don’t work’

Well they do, if you choose the right one.

No matter your hair growth issue, achieving and maintaining normal growth requires supporting the hair growth cycle. Therefore, the goal of any working hair loss treatment, is to do just that.

‘A lot of people tend to focus on topical products,’ says Dr Omar. ‘This is where they apply it directly to the scalp. But what you have to do  instead is treat the hair loss problem systemically, that means taking it orally into your digestive tract, absorbing the ingredients through your blood supply to the site of action which is the hair follicle itself.

‘Look for a supplement that contains biologically active molecules called proteoglycans, these are essential to how the hair grows. In my research the only product that I have seen that contains this is Nourkrin.

Nourkrin® with Marilex® is documented in several published clinical papers and is the only clinically proven Proteoglycan Replacement Therapy for hair loss on the market, plus it’s also the only hair growth supplement to be awarded the gold medal by leading experts at the World Trichology Society.

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