Call  020 7060 3181


Posts Tagged ‘antioxidants’

Health Benefits Cacao

Posted on: No Comments


Health Benefits Cacao Cacao is the dried partly fermented fatty seed of a South American evergreen tree (Theobroma cacao of the family Sterculiaceae) used in making cocoa, chocolate and cocoa butter—called also cacao bean, cocoa bean.
is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods.
ORAC – HDL – LDL Cholesterol 
ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. The biological relevance of this metric is questionable. Because it’s done in a test tube it may not have the same effect in OUR bodyHDL stands for High Density Lipids. LDL stands for Low Density Lipids
In a study of 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death by a whopping 50% over a 15 year period. Another study revealed that eating chocolate 2 or more times per week lowered the risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries by 32%. Eating chocolate less frequently had no effect.
Yet another study showed that chocolate 5+ times per week lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 57%

Health Benefits Cacao

These studies are observational studies. Provided is a biological mechanism – lower blood pressure and oxidized LDL. So it is plausible that regular consumption of dark chocolate can in fact reduce the risk of heart disease.
Observational studies show a drastic reduction in heart disease risk for the people who consume the most chocolate
In a controlled trial, cocoa powder was found to significantly decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol in men.
It also increased HDL and lowered total LDL in men with elevated cholesterol
Oxidised LDL means that the LDL (“bad” cholesterol) has reacted with free radicals
It makes perfect sense that cocoa lowers oxidized LDL.
It contains an abundance of powerful antioxidants. These make it into the bloodstream and protect lipoproteins against oxidative damage.

Cacao Health Benefits Cacao and The Body Youth Code

The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce Nitric Oxide (NO). This gas sends signals to the arteries to relax. This lowers resistance to blood flow and reduces blood pressure.
Many controlled trials showing that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. The effects are usually mild. However, one study in people with elevated blood pressure hows no effect, so may be not actually medicinal.


Our skin is an important barrier from external stressors such as environmental toxins and sun-induced DNA damageStudies show that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.      [tweetthis]Studies show flavanols from cocoa improve blood flow & prevent sun-induced skin damage[/tweetthis]

Chocolate Benefits

Chocolate Benefits

Chocolate Health Benefits – Nutrition for Healthy Skin

Bioactive compounds in dark chocolate can account for our youthful skin complexion. At Susannah Makram Clinics we’re interested in bringing out the best in our body – and our skin is the largest organ! Flavonols can protect against sun-induced damage. They improve blood flow to skin, increasing skin density and skin hydration. Minimal erythemal dose (MED) – this is the minimum amount of UVB rays required to cause redness in the skin, 24 hours after exposure. In one study of 30 people, the MED more than doubled after consuming dark chocolate high in flavanols for 12 weeks

Chocolate Health Benefits – Consider This COCOA

Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. It also improves verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease.

Cocoa also contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine. These might be a key reason cocoa can improve brain function in the short term

Nutrition is a science and your body is as unique as your DNA

Superfoods List

Superfoods list

I get asked a lot about superfoods. Are they really as super as they sound? What are the top superfoods everyone should be eating? What makes a food a superfood exactly?

So guess what I did? I answered all your pertinent questions on the topic of superfoods here.

Superfoods List

Superfoods List

The healthiest foods

The media seem to go crazy over the superior superfood so we assume they must be the world’s healthiest foods. Do I agree? Find out here. 

In modern times we all want to get maximum output for minimum input. We don’t have time to read food labels although, I always advise that you do. You’d be surprised at what’s inside our food exactly.

Superfoods seems to satisfy our appetite for maximising what we can get out of a bite of superfood as opposed to consistently eating well and taking ownership of our health.

That to one side, there’s benefits to knowing a thing or two about the 7 superfoods I highlight here.     [tweetthis]There’s benefits to knowing a thing or two about the 7 #superfoods highlighted here. [/tweetthis]



You may be surprised to learn what these foods can do to your body as a whole. It goes beyond anti-ageing or ageing well but you need to know the science. The science is not all that complicated either, so you might be introducing new foods to your breakfast table, new foods into your children’s packed lunch or adding that little something to your take out order you never did before. Remember, balance is key.

We all want a quick fix but the fact is we couldn’t exist on superfoods even if we tried – and why would we want to? It’s not personalised and it’s not necessarily as good for us as it might be for the next person. They’re not all as exotic as they sound either…

How to get the health benefits of chocolate

Posted on:

How to get the health benefits of chocolate

Forget eating dark chocolate only. Here’s how to get the health benefits of chocolate. Even if you hate dark chocolate, vegan chocolate or and kind of dairy free chocolate, you’ll love this. 

Chocolate lovers need to know how to get the health benefits of chocolate.  Chocolate advertised with a high cacao content is advertised as having chocolate health benefits. This is not accurate, however.
Cocoa vs cacao health benefits are not to be ignored. Raw cacao is made by cold press of unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter). Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. When it’s unfrosted the cocoa bean does not lose its molecular structure so the enzyme content and overall nutritional value is retained.

Easy ways to eat cacao

Look no further than this delicious, creamy shake. Super Protein powder-Brown rice and Cacao
Not only is this easy to make shake delicious, it’s also intensely rich with organic raw cacao blended with the complete amino acid punch of organic brown rice protein for an amazing 2 in 1 plant protein and superfood boost.

How to get the health benefits of chocolate

How to get the health benefits of chocolate

Health benefits of chocolate

We can’t vouch for regular store bought chocolate anymore. There are over 500 chemicals in consumer chocolate products. So there is a lifetime of chemical analysis still to be done. The next question: does it have to be raw cacao to be healthy?

Raw, unprocessed cocoa beans are among the HIGHEST SCORING ORAC foods that have been tested

ORAC is an abbreviation for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and was developed by the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore.

Chocolate Benefits Health but ALWAYS READ THE LABEL.

A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains

  • 11 grams of fibre
  • 67% of the RDA for Iron
  • 58% of the RDA for Magnesium
  • 89% of the RDA for Copper
  • 98% of the RDA for Manganese
  • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium

Quality dark chocolate is: rich in Fibre, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese & a few other minerals. Add a kick of unprocessed, top quality amino acids to that and you’e got Super Protein powder-Brown rice and Cacao

How to get the health benefits of chocolate start with rule number one, ALWAYS READ THE LABEL

Added sugars

Rule of Thumb –  Less than 5g per 100g is low, more than 15g per 100g is high

Anything ending in ‘os’ is also sugar e.g. glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose) – are all forms of sugar. As are honey, agave, molasses and syrups like corn and rice syrup.

Fast Fact -> If you’re unsure whether your chocolate is raw or not, look for the word ‘cacao’ rather than ‘cocoa’ on the ingredients label.   Like in this product read cacao Super Protein powder-Brown rice and Cacao
Dark chocolate can also reduce insulin resistance, which is another common risk factor for many diseases like heart disease and diabetes


Chocolate Benefits Heath

Chocolate Benefits Heath

Find out more about quality dark chocolate and antioxidants here


Sperm DNA Fragmentation Testing

Posted on:

When IVF Fails
MORE THAN 60,000 IVF CYCLES take place in Britain each year. Just 24% of these treatments lead to live births. At Susannah Makram Clinics we’re here to use information highlighted below. This helps map out a care pathway centred around optimising your health.    [tweetthis]There are >60,000 #IVF cycles in Britain p.a. Only 24% of these lead to live #births[/tweetthis]

When IVF Fails

IVF Implantation Failure. Why does in vitro fertilisation sometimes fail?

When IVF fails it’s a frustrating situation for couples and their fertility doctors. Sperm DNA Fragmentation Testing results can help be a guide for couples.

Why do we do sperm DNA fragmentation testing at Susannah Makram Clinics London?
Email from client: “We have followed your instructions and the Aneuploidy test went down from 60% to 14% which is a very good result. I feel fine and have lost weight…” — Mr. R (Dubai)

Before booking your appointment with Nutrition Expert Susannah for referral we’ll help assess the need for Sperm Fragmentation Testing. This way you know what to expect when you book your appointment with Susannah. Will this data be helpful in your case, on your fertility journey? The extent of this is covered in your initial consultation when a full history taken.
We use this test at Susannah Makram Clinics London – with use of previous reports and investigations and your medical case history. When it comes to helping you make nutrition and lifestyle changes we answer: How will these benefit you and your partner?
The SpermComet Test for Sperm DNA Fragmentation Testing helps couples decide whether IVF is best first or again. Sperm DNA fragmentation reports guide couples to help them map out their fertility treatment route. At Susannah Makram Clinics we’re here to use this information to map out a care pathway centred around optimising your health.
There is an equation we can use to illustrate the implantation process:

  • Embryo quality + receptivity of uterine lining = chance for implantation and pregnancy
  • We know that many human embryos will arrest (die) before day 5
  • Unfortunately, embryonic arrest also occurs after day 5
  • Some of the embryos that are transferred that ” look good” will die after they are placed in the uterus
  • This is the explanation for IVF failure in the large majority of cases
  • It is usually a weakness in the embryo that leads to failed implantation
  • On the average, only about 25% of transferred embryos continue to develop and become kids
  • This percentage of implanting embryos is greatly dependent on female age – see below
    • About 45% implant under age 35
    • About 15% implant at age 40-42

When IVF fails, couples often ask why the embryos did not stick. When IVF fails we ask why the uterus isn’t accepting the embryos. Rarely is the answer straightforward, unfortunately.

At Susannah Makram Clinics we feel passionately about this. We care greatly that information is provided to patients at all times. Especially in this difficult time, so time is not wasted and that right treatment is offered. We care to avoid heartache.

Unexplained infertility

Unexplained infertility is a frustrating conclusion for couples. It’s a very unsatisfactory diagnosis for couples and clinic alike. In our latest study we have shown that 80% of couples diagnosed with idiopathic infertility have sperm DNA damage (>25% damage per sperm).

This suggests that sperm DNA damage is the cause of infertility in a substantial number of men if we compare these levels of damage we reported in sperm of donor men with proven fertility

When IVF Fails

When IVF Fails

Sperm DNA Fragmentation Testing


The percentage of implanting embryos is greatly dependent on female age. Typically female age is the main factor responsible for unexplained infertility. This is especially the case after repeated failure of  IVF cycles. Find out more about this in detail here.

Which couples benefit from a sperm DNA test?

Sperm DNA testing will provide essential information on which clinics can guide couples to bespoke treatment for their particular needs. These include couples with:

  • Unexplained infertility
  • Men with normal semen by semen analysis prior to embarking on IVF
  • Couples who have had unsuccessful IVF
  • Couples who have had miscarriages

Sperm DNA Fragmentation Testing

We are testing Sperm DNA damage so we may guide couples with low damage to intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). We are pro patient choice.

Sperm DNA Fragmentation Testing

Sperm DNA Fragmentation Testing


Guiding couples with high DNA damage to ICSI and only couples who would not benefit from testing are advisable but ultimately it is the couples’ choice. With oligo-astheno-terato-zoospermia there is no treatment other than ICSI for couples. It helps to understand what this means. That is why we take the time to explain all options available to couples following any fertility results.

At Susannah Makram Clinics we use the SpermComet Test for Sperm DNA fragmentation testing. Find out why here

Safe, clinical, practical and effective.

Call  020 7060 3181