Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Fancy some baobab for breakfast? Demand for African 'superfruit'  soars

The latest "miracle" fruit.  No proof of health benefits, of course, just theory

Have you ever heard of the baobab fruit? If you haven't you probably will soon.  Demand for a new African ‘superfruit’ which boosts energy levels and skin health has soared to record highs in the UK.

New figures show sales of the baobab fruit, which contains three times as much vitamin C as an orange, has increased by 1,600 per cent.  Brits have rushed to buy the nutrient-dense superfood, which has incredibly high levels of antioxidants and tastes like a blend of pineapple and melon.

Baobab is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, thiamin and vitamin B6 - all vital nutrients known to benefit general health.

Sourced from the African continent, baobab’s calcium source is a non-dairy one, making it an option for vegetarians too.

the baobab range is available at beauty emporium and pharmacy John Bell & Croyden and a number of organics stores.

Since launching in October last year, sales figures are 60 per cent better than its closest market rival.

Dr Lisa Ryan, of Oxford Brookes University, said: “Baobab is a rich source of potassium which plays a role in lowering blood pressure.  'It also contains calcium which is vital for bone health, has a high soluble fibre content which is important for digestive health.  'It is also rich in polyphenols which have potential health benefits against diseases like atherosclerosis, some types of cancer and type 2 diabetes.'

Dietician Sian Porter said: 'Baobab is an excellent example of a nutrient-dense, low energy food - a real super food.'

The superfruit has attracted interest from celebrities such as designer Vivienne Westwood and fashion reporter Suzy Menkes.

Baobab grows in thirty two countries across Africa and has been brought to the mainstream by new Africa-inspired health and beauty brand Aduna.

For centuries people in Africa have turned to the baobab tree as a source of natural wellbeing, benefiting skin, hair and general health.

As a fruit, baobab is unique in that it dries naturally on the branch before it is harvested, the seeds are removed and then sieved into a powder.

Available as a loose powder, it is ideal for adding to smoothies and juices, or using as an alternative to sugar for sweetening yogurt, muesli or cereal.

Josie Elles, of John Bell & Croyden, said: “Since launching with us late last year Aduna baobab has become our best-selling supplement this year.  'It has come from out of nowhere to become and both the brand and the product are ones to watch


Breakthrough hair loss product works on stem cells

They'll make a fortune if it really does work

For those facing the prospect of going bald or finding their hair is thining with age it has been described as the Holy Grail.

Scientists at cosmetic company L’Oreal claim to have invented the first product which can acually "reawaken" dormant hair cells and allow them to grow back.

It could offer hope to millions affected by male pattern baldness or just the thinning of hair through old age or for medical reasons.

Already demand for the new treatment has seen salons taking thousands of pre-orders even though the recomended three month treatement costs nearly £300.

After 90 days researchers claim that the liquid "Kérastase Densifique", when applied to the roots, can promote the growth of more than 1500 new hairs.

Patricia Pineau, the head of scientific affairs at L’Oréal, added: “We’ve known for 100 years that hair grows and falls out.

“We haven’t known what makes hair regenerate until now. It is all about hair stem cell environment. We have been able to develop a cosmetic product that respects the natural way hair regenerates.”

Scientists said the product, called Densifique, regenerated roots by targeting areas of the scalp prone to hair loss rather than actual fibres.

Experts say there are a variety of factors which can cause hair loss ranging from stress levels and a person’s diet, through to hormones and pregnancy.

Award winning hairdresser Luke Hersheson said: “Many women are really worried about the loss of their hair, the loss of volume, and the fact that they don’t have as luscious locks as they did when they were in their early twenties.

“Stress, diet, hormones and pregnancy are all factors that can affect the health of the hair and scalp.

“This new treatment is set to help alleviate this problem. It has an instant densifying action on the hair fiber, boosting the number of hairs on our head and the quality of these new hairs directly at scalp level. It’s set to be the holy grail for a lot of women – and men.”

The average human has on average between 100,000 and 150,000 individual hairs and the manufactures claim the new product “assists” natural growth rather than “disrupt” it.

Scientists, based in laboratories of L’Oréall in Paris, developed a molecule using a formula called Stemoxydine, which after testing was found to have increased hair density by up to four per cent.

Cass Coulston, Kérastase general manager, last night described it as an astonishing “technological breakthrough”, which led to improved hair density.

She added: “Hair thinning is not just associated with ageing, it can happen as a result of a poor diet, hormones, stress, post pregnancy and over processing hair.”

Kérastase Densifique will be available in salons within the next fortnight.


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