Tag Archives: beauty

Anti-Aging Supplements | The Paleo Diet
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is one of the most widely consumed antioxidant supplements, but according to recently published research CoQ10 doesn’t function as commonly believed. Earlier this month, a team of researchers led by professor Siegfried Hekimi of McGill University (Canada) published their remarkable findings in Nature Communications.[1] Specifically, they demonstrated that CoQ10 doesn’t behave as antioxidant and, thus, shouldn’t be marketed as an anti-aging supplement.

This spells bad news for the rapidly growing CoQ10 market, but good news for people genuinely interested in improved health. A recently published market research report suggests the global CoQ10 market will nearly double by 2020, ballooning to an estimated $850 million. This money would be much better spent on healthy food, which provides plenty of antioxidants.

Professor Hekimi explained, “Our findings show that one of the major anti-aging antioxidant supplements used by people can’t possibly act as previously believed. Dietary supplements cost a lot of money to patients throughout the world—money that would be better spent on healthy food. What’s more, the hope for a quick fix makes people less motivated to undertake appropriate lifestyle changes.”[2]

CoQ10 is a lipid-like substance occurring naturally in all cells of the body. Cell mitochondria use CoQ10 to create energy from oxygen and various nutrients. In addition to this vital role, CoQ10 was also thought to behave as an antioxidant, hence being positioned as an anti-aging supplement.

The researchers experimented with a strain of mice unable to produce adequate amounts of endogenous CoQ10 and, therefore, requiring supplements. As expected, absent supplementation, those mice suffered severe illnesses and early death due to CoQ10’s vital role in energy production. Surprisingly, however, the scientists observed no signs of elevated oxidative damage when supplementation was suspended. This lack of damage, they determined, was not due to deployment of other antioxidant strategies. Eventually, they concluded that CoQ10 is not an antioxidant.

This study underscores a larger, more important issue with respect to supplements, particularly antioxidant supplements. Besides simply being ineffective, as per CoQ10, antioxidant supplements (or those marketed as such) can actually damage your health. Dr. Cordain has written extensively about the numerous randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses showing these products actually increase all-cause mortality. For example, a 2007 meta-analysis spanning 67 random controlled trials (232,606 participants) determined that antioxidant supplementation with vitamin E or vitamin A increases overall death rates.[3]

For most people, the only supplements Dr. Cordain recommends (if any) are fish oil and vitamin D. And, whereas the recently published study shows CoQ10 is not an antioxidant, you might wonder whether it’s a worthwhile supplement based on CoQ10’s role in energy production. This is a valid question, but the answer is very simple and straightforward. By consuming a healthy Paleo diet, your cells will have all the CoQ10 they need. Dr. Cordain further points out that meat, poultry, and fish are concentrated sources of natural CoQ10.

Supplementation is a dangerous game because nutrients can easily be consumed excessively and in the wrong proportions with respect to other nutrients. Whole foods don’t have this problem. That’s why the Paleo diet emphasizes food while largely discouraging supplements.

Christopher James Clark, B.B.A.
Nutritional Grail

Christopher James Clark | The Paleo Diet TeamChristopher James Clark, B.B.A. is an award-winning writer, consultant, and chef with specialized knowledge in nutritional science and healing cuisine. He has a Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and formerly worked as a revenue management analyst for a Fortune 100 company. For the past decade-plus, he has been designing menus, recipes, and food concepts for restaurants and spas, coaching private clients, teaching cooking workshops worldwide, and managing the kitchen for a renowned Greek yoga resort. Clark is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book, Nutritional Grail.



[1] Wang Y, et al. (Mar 2013). Mitochondrial function and lifespan of mice with controlled ubiquinone biosynthesis. Nature Communications, 6(6393).

[2] McGill University. (Mar 6, 2015). Popular antioxidant likely ineffective, study finds. ScienceDaily.

[3] Bjelakovic G, et al. (Feb 2007). Mortality in randomized trials of antioxidant supplements for primary and secondary prevention: systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA, 297(8).

Paleo Beauty: DIY Hair, Skin, and Essential Oils | The Paleo Diet

Beauty comes from the inside out.

There’s no doubt about the fact that if we eat properly, stay hydrated and active, we’re far more likely to have clear skin, shiny hair and a natural glow compared to eating a highly processed diet, being sedentary and smoking.

And by following a Paleo regime, we regularly eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like wild fish and grass fed beef, high in vitamins and minerals such as those naturally occurring in local, seasonal produce while we steer clear of refined foods.

In particular, the Paleo lifestyle helps support healthy skin and hair by providing the following top eight essentials, often recommended by experts, which are key to creating that youthful appearance:

  • Vitamin A Carrots: loaded with beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A increasing cell turnover and protecting the integrity of our skin
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Root vegetables and leafy greens, as well as cantaloupe, tuna, chicken, salmon, turkey and lamb top the chart as great sources of vitamin B
  • Vitamin C – One medium red bell pepper will give you more than 100% of your dietary reference intake of wrinkle-fighting vitamin C.
  • Vitamin E – Avocado provides plenty of this moisture-rich vitamin, helping to prevent dry skin, reduce free radicals and protect against damaging UV rays.
  • Vitamin K – Kale, spinach, mustard and collard greens provide all you need of this vitamin and preliminary studies are suggesting it may also help with improving insulin resistance!
  • Antioxidants – A mere 1/2 cup of raw blueberries provides a whopper of an anti-oxidant boom to your body!
  • Omega 3s – Wild Salmon provides ample amounts of alpha-linoleic acid, which decreases dryness, keeps skin soft, reduces inflammation and helps ease psoriasis.
  • Quercetin – Onions are rich in this antioxidant that protects against wrinkles.

If we first look at what we put into our bodies, we’re off to a great start.

But what do we put on our bodies?

It’s easy to get caught up in thinking the most costly eye cream is the best for treating under eye circles, or being fooled into believing that the latest imported moisturizing tonic will create locks worthy of being featured in an ad for long, healthy hair.

Admittedly, I too am a fan of a day of beauty and so I found it an intriguing venture to delve into the idea of DIY beauty, Paleoista Style.

A little research uncovered some great finds; and the list below is just the beginning!


While we shy away from eating sugar, it turns out it has great skin benefits. The Wellness Mama shares a great recipe on her site:


  • ½ cup sugar (white sugar or brown sugar)
  • ¼ cup oil (olive or coconut are great)


  1. Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight jar.
  2. Use 1 tablespoon as needed in the shower. Scrub skin with the mixture and rinse will leave your skin feeling like silk.

Coconut oil

Cook with it, eat it raw…and put it on your hair!  Its natural hydrating properties lend it perfectly to becoming a cost-effective hair treatment at home, that’ll leave your locks smelling like you’ve just come back from the islands. Simply melt it in a saucepan, apply to ends of hair (avoiding getting too close to the roots, as the scalp tends to be oilier), twist hair into a bun, ‘don a shower cap and head to bed. Not so sexy, but by the time you wash your hair in the morning, you’ll see it’s worth it.  Repeat weekly or as needed depending on how dry your hair is.

Fresh cucumber

Spas aren’t using this bright green fruit for nothing! Rich in flavonoids and antioxidants that help with swelling, redness and irritation, and they also have a cooling effect that helps constrict dilated blood vessels, thus reducing the appearance of the puffiness around the eyes. Slice cucumber slices, place in the freezer for 10 minutes, then place over your eyes for about 30 minutes.

Vitamin E

Empowered Sustenance’s blog shares a great formula for an at-home recipe using Vitamin E to incorporate as part of your nightly regime:


  • 2 oz. Jojoba Oil
  • 1 vitamin E oil capsule
  • Dark glass dropper bottle for storage


  1. Fill the glass jar about 3/4 of the way with the jojoba oil. Prick the vitamin E capsule with a needle or the tip of a sharp knife. Squeeze the contents of the capsule into the jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake well to combine.
  2. When you are ready to remove your makeup, use about 1/2 teaspoon of your DIY Makeup Remover. Gently massage it onto your face, especially the eye area. It removes mascara like a charm, just be sure you use enough to fully saturate the eye area. Then, gently wipe off the oil with a cotton pad or damp washcloth. Voila, makeup all gone!
  3. Cleanse your face afterward

Essential Oils have been used for thousands of years in many cultures for a wide range of medicinal, health and beauty purposes.  Made from distilling or extracting the different parts of plants including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin, and peels, there’s an oil for everything!  Just be sure to confirm that the brand you purchase is edible as some may contain unhealthy additives and preservatives. Some of my favorite oils include:


For relaxation and improved beauty sleep, simply rub a few drops on your palms and inhale deeply while in a calm, peaceful environment


Not only is chewing gum not Paleo, it’s often relied upon to freshen breath, masking potential underlying health issues. It’s one thing to have garlic breath after eating garlic, in which case a few drops of peppermint essential oil can help; it’s another to have a chronic problem.  Yet one more reason to switch to the natural approach of Paleo eating!


The perfect remedy for an upset stomach and also indicated for use as a natural anti-inflammatory aid.  A few drops in hot water with lemon make for a lovely homemade tea.

Everything we need to nourish our bodies, from the inside and outside can be found in nature, in its purist form with nothing added.

Why not try your hand at some DIY treatments?  They’re fun, cost-effective and probably better than what you’d find in a pre-packaged container…. not too different from how we approach our eating!

For Further Reading…

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils please check out the article below from our friends over at Oiling Point.


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