Cheshire Health Vibes, Revive Exclusive Interview with Dynamic Duo Dr Martin and Dr Hanna Kinsella.
Has your view on your health changed, if so, what have you done about it?
We cannot deny health has not always been at the forefront of our nation’s mind during our daily lives. We’ve known for years that many factors including smoking, alcohol and too much sun can lead to the shortening of our years, yet many, even the self-proclaimed ‘health-conscious,’ continue to take part in these ‘indulgences.’
Never the less, these past few months have highlighted how important our health is to us. Not only our health but the health of everyone; family, friends and even strangers has become an emotive topic for many of us.
However, we reflect on these weeks; a silver lining can be seen in a shift to a nation taking more action to improve their health. An estimated 2.4 million have cut down on smoking, and figures indicate a further 300,000 have quit full stop. Healthy meal tutorials are abundant and live online exercise classes that have influenced, motivated and created greater accessibility to coaching for hundreds of thousands.
From a mental health perspective, a flood of ‘shares’ of people supporting family and friends doing their best to stay connected has been seen by all, making people feel cared for and valued, not to mention the connection the country has felt uniting in the 7 o’clock clap for the NHS.
We are told that in order to ‘Stay Safe’ we must ‘Stay Home.‘ Although now we are slowly making movements to spend less time between 4 walls. So, the question arises, what do we do now to ‘Stay Safe?’ Have we done enough to be fighting fit and raise our immunity for when we do leave our homes and socialise with others? The main question being, have we done enough to feel safe away from our homes?
We ask advice on how to have peace of mind in this next phase from the celebrity doctor and dentist of hit reality tv show ‘The Real Housewives of Cheshire,’ Dr Martin and Dr Hanna Kinsella. This medical power couple have joined forces to help educate their clients and following with in-depth, yet understandable insights about medical ailments, that we are unable to ask Drs right now. Through a series of short videos they tackle common health worries we may be facing at this time, all filmed from their beautiful Cheshire home, which adds to the comforting tone of the tips they share, making you feel less of a patient and more of a friend. Here they explain how supplementation can play a vital role in feeling safe again once we have left our homes.
Firstly, thank you to you both for sharing your knowledge recently, how has the response been for you on your videos?
Martin: I think the response has been good, very positive. The posts that I have done on supplementation and nutrition have had the most engagement for sure. I’ve really enjoyed doing them and speaking with people giving them advice.
Hanna: Yes, now more than ever, people are much more health-conscious, especially after the past few months living through the COVID crisis, immunity has become of interest to many people.
What are the main ways you have been advising people to stay healthy without their regular daily routines?
Martin: I always come back to the number one thing, which is diet and nutrition for me and making sure that you are taking the right supplements. So yeah, I’ve done quite a few posts focusing on some of the essential supplements like vitamin D, multivitamins and omega-three supplements. My advice always leads with diet and nutrition.
Hanna: Exercise is essential. During the lockdown, it has been very difficult for us all. We’ve not had access to gyms, and our everyday routines have been affected, so I think finding the time to fit in some sort of exercise, whether that’s a jog or an online class at home there’s a great benefit there. As Martin says, I think more than anything, it really is about nutrition and using high-grade supplementation to support a healthy diet.
You have often mentioned supplements when advising on social media, what would you recommend to take as a supplement?
Martin: I’d recommend everyone to take some supplements because our diet in the western world is just not optimal, we are extremely deficient in Omega 3 and also Vitamin D as we don’t get enough sunlight. Those with fair skin, which we encourage to wear sunblock, get even less vitamin D too. I think everyone should be taking some supplements to a degree, especially those two in particular. There are also vegan Omega 3 supplements which I believe to be in more vital in a vegan diet.
Hanna: I think it is really important as well. And, I mean as Martin says our Western diets, they just don’t provide us with the all the nutrition we need, you know the best overall nutrition I think a good source of a good quality multivitamin is essential as well because you’d have to consume a lot of calories in order to get the required vitamins and minerals that you need to maintain optimal health.
There are many supplements out there, and the shelves can be very overwhelming, what do you recommend we look for when choosing the right supplements?
Hanna: I think it can be complicated; in the past, I’ve definitely found this myself. I’ve still got a cupboard full of all different weird and wonderful supplements that I’ve bought, sometimes taken and never touched again. I find testing very informative; being able to see what you are actually deficient is encouraging. There are some great tests out there that really offer valuable insight.
Martin: It is a difficult choice. I guess many wouldn’t know how to differentiate between a high grade or a low-grade supplement. If you do find yourself wondering what is right for you, I’d definitely recommend speaking to a professional. Many also work with and recommend companies that they have discovered and trust the validity of and can recommend with confidence.
Hanna: When considering an Omega 3 supplement I prefer the oil form, rather than the tablet form as a lot of studies have shown that the oil form allows the body to absorb a lot more of the Omega 3 nutrients more easily.
Martin: Yes, a lot of tablets contain stabilisers which make them less absorbable and less effective in the body.
Hanna: Most of the cod liver oil and Omega 3 capsules from pharmacies and supermarkets have actually been found to only last for 4 hours in the body before oxidising and becoming far less effective, whereas a balanced oil can actually remain effective for much more extended periods of time, and it has a much higher potency. For example, there’s a really good one that’s come to the UK market recently that I rate and would recommend because it contains polyphenols which are an antioxidant that actually stabilise the Omega 3, making it much more absorbable by the human body.
As we are now able to socialise in small groups is there anything that we can do to improve our immunity to greater our feeling of safety after being told to stay home for so long to assure this?
Martin: 70% of your immune system is in your gut. Your gut not only allows you to absorb nutrition into your body but it’s also there to protect you from the outside world, so gut health and immunity are strongly connected, they work together hand in hand. So, the better your gut health, the more boosted your immune system will be. An effective supplement for the gut can be a prebiotic to help improve our good bacteria, improving gut balance, keeping it nice and healthy. Also, a good multivitamin to get the right nutrition is very important, as well as an Omega 3 to decrease inflammation.
In a lot of health posts we keep hearing the word ‘inflammation’ could you explain what this term means and is it something we should be worried about?
Martin: Inflammation can be either generalised or can be specific to certain areas. When talking about general inflammation studies have shown that a lot of us walk around in a ‘state of inflammation’ as in there is inflammation in our cells and again Omega 3 deficiency significantly impacts this too. Every cell in your body has a cell membrane, and they are made up of Omegas 3 and 6. The problem is, with a Western diet we get so much Omega 6 that the relative levels of Omega 3 are very low, this then causes us to be ‘out of balance’ meaning that the cell membranes don’t work as well and therefore they become more inflamed.
Hanna: Yes, the cells become more rigid, meaning the right nutrients aren’t absorbed, and they find it difficult to get rid of their toxic waste through that hardened cell membrane, leading to the inflamed state. Every single organ in your body is made up of teeny, tiny cells, so if you’ve got inflammation on a cellular level, it is a perfect backdrop to disease. Things like IBS, autoimmune conditions, dementia, even some cancers and heart disease can come from a backdrop of inflammation. So, I think it’s something that we do need to think about.
Martin: Having said this inflammation can be reduced considerably, we do have the means to improve this.
What would the signs of inflammation be?
Martin: Inflammation can be just poor cellular function. It may cause pain, and it could also mean a worsening of lots of conditions. It’s been proven that 95% of the population on a global scale are Omega 3 deficient, (and therefore inflamed). So it’s no wonder that we get worsening cases of degenerative diseases, even though sometimes inflammation isn’t the cause as such, it still goes hand in hand with lots of degenerative diseases and autoimmune conditions. It’s not surprising that we see things like inflammatory bowel disease, underactive thyroids, arthritis, eczema and psoriasis. All these conditions can become worse on a background of inflammation. Reducing the inflammation helps reduce these diseases or the severity of them.
How can we reduce inflammation? Can a change in our diet help?
Hanna: Maximising your Omega 3 intake would be highly effective. I think people will have heard we get Omega 3 from oily fish which is not included in a lot of people’s diet and that’s when the deficiency occurs. Also, during pregnancy, women can become even more Omega 3 deficient. To form the brain of the foetus Omega 3 is essential and should be taken by the mother, if not then the baby can be born Omega 3 deficient and so the cycle continues.
Omega 3 can is found in oily fish, flaxseed oil and avocados. However, we’d have to consume a high number of calories to get the right amount, and I would say a high-quality Omega 3 supplement is best, this is also why I recommend multivitamins. You’d have to be consuming 4000 plus calories per day to get the number of minerals and vitamins that you get from a high-quality multivitamin.
Mental health has also been an issue raised many times during this time; is there anything you could recommend to improve or retain sound mental health?
Martin: I think general lifestyle habits like keeping contact with your friends and keeping your routines are essential. When you’re at home all day, you need to have a purpose to your day and some sort of structure. We’ve managed to structure our days. Definitely vitamins, obviously we’ve had a lot of sunshine, so we’ve been getting Vitamin D, but 70% of your serotonin (which is the ‘happy’ hormone) is produced in the gut. A healthy gut means a healthier mood and healthier brain, so prebiotics or another gut health supplement is really important too.
Hanna: Yeah, I agree. I think there are certain supplements that you can take specifically for mood enhancement and improving sleep that might be useful—try to take a more of a holistic approach rather than just taking medication from your doctor. As Martin says, I think if you’ve got a regular routine with a bit of exercise and getting some sunshine that’s a good foundation.
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