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It’s the sunshine vitamin! Vitamin D3 is often called the sunshine vitamin because our best source of it is via the sun. However, it’s not always possible to receive optimum levels in this way especially as we go through this midlife transition known as peri/menopause. Let me explain. Osteoporosis As we enter midlife our bone health becomes ever more important. Crucial even. If you’re a regular reader here you no doubt know a lot of changes occur in our bodies during perimenopause and as we pass through to post-menopause. One of the things we emerge with is a higher risk of osteoporosis, a condition which can make our bones brittle. So Vitamin D is important to us because it’s well-known for supporting bone health, and this is exactly why we’ve included it in 55+. We also added it as it plays a role in immunity, mood, sleep and joint health. Vitamin Sunshine It’s common knowledge that humans get their best levels of vitamin D from sunshine. Very few foods serve up vitamin D and when they do it’s often only in small amounts. Photo by Brodie Vissers from Burst The NZ Nutrition Foundation tells us that concern about vitamin D deficiency has re-emerged in New Zealand and Australia “as a result of health messages to reduce sun exposure and encouragement to use ultraviolet (UV) sunscreens.” This doesn’t mean the sunscreen message should ever be disregarded because skin cancers and melanoma are the risks of excessive sun exposure. However, being vigilant about this can lessen our time in the sun leading to less production of vitamin D in our bodies.
Bottom line: if you don’t get enough Vitamin D you can develop bone weakness, bone and joint pain and an increased risk of fracture.
Vitamin D Deficiency The Australian Department of Health note vitamin D is essential for skeletal health as it regulates calcium and phosphate metabolism. However, the Australian Health Survey 2011-12 (ABS 2014b) found over 30% of Australian adults have mild, moderate or severe deficiency. As we all know Australia’s a large country so differences were seen across geographical areas with vitamin D levels lower in major cities than in other parts. In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health tells us that approximately 5% of adult Kiwis are deficient in vitamin D and 27% more have below the recommended blood level (Adult Nutrition Survey 2008/2009). Ideally, we need about thirty minutes of sun exposure (without sunscreen) on the face, legs or back at least twice a week for vitamin D synthesis. If you feel you need a vitamin D test you will need to see your GP. Vitamin D Is A Hormone Vitamin D is essential because it supports the absorption of calcium in our body helping both bone health and muscle function. It’s unique because it’s actually a hormone and can work with other hormones to increase our calcium levels. Vitamin D3 The recommended form of Vitamin D is D3 (cholecalciferol) which is what we’ve used in 55+. It’s the same form of Vitamin D that our body makes from sunlight. Foods That Contain Vitamin D:
  • oily fish like salmon, tuna and sardines
  • mushrooms grown in the sunshine
  • whole or non-fat milk and milk products
  • egg yolks
  • cheese
  • liver
Common Foods That Have Vitamin D Added:
  • margarine and similar spreads
  • some reduced-fat dairy products (milk, dried milk and yoghurt)
  • plant-based dairy substitutes (soy drinks)
  • liquid meal replacements.
In light of the increase of vitamin D deficiency throughout Australia, the federal government introduced mandatory fortification of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D in certain foods like edible oil spreads as indicated in the: Australian Standard 2.4.2.[13] Risk Factors For Deficiency
  • Having naturally very dark skin. This includes people from Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East.
  • The skin not being regularly exposed to sunlight; for example:
    • avoiding the sun because you have a high risk of skin cancer or are on photosensitising medications (these are medicines that make your skin more sensitive to the sun – your pharmacist or doctor will have advised you)
    • regularly wearing clothing that covers a lot of skin (i.e veils or other clothing covering your legs, arms and face)
    • not going outside.
  • If you live in the South Island of New Zealand (especially south of Nelson-Marlborough) and get little time outdoors in the middle of the day between May and August, you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency in spring.
  • If you have liver or kidney disease or are on certain medications that affect vitamin D levels, you may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
How Much Vitamin D Do We Need?  
Age (years) AI* Vitamin D (µg/day)
Adults 19-50 5
51-70 10
70+ 15
Source: NZ Nutrition Foundation The Medical Journal of Australia Vitamin D and health in adults in Australia and New Zealand: a position statement: https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2012/196/11/vitamin-d-and-health-adults-australia-and-new-zealand-position-statement Feel you need some vitamin D? Get your 55+ now. Click here.   We need to follow the recommendations and guidelines from the appropriate bodies in these cases so our thanks go to:      
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Enzogenol® is one of the main players in 55+ and it’s an enormously exciting supplement.

The more research it undergoes, the more benefits it’s shown to have.

The reason we’ve included it in 55+ is that – at any stage of life but most particularly post-menopause – our brain, heart, and overall health need super duper support and we discovered that Enzogenol® is a perfect partner to this end.

Where does Enzogenol® come from?

Enzogenol® is a plant extract derived from the bark of New Zealand radiata pine trees. It’s extracted using an environmentally friendly water-only process.

Image courtesy of EnzoWhat are the properties of Enzogenol®?

Enzogenol® contains more than 80 per cent proanthocyanidins. You’ve no doubt heard of the polyphenols in green tea? There’s been lots of info about the powerful antioxidant benefits of polyphenols floating about the place. Well, proanthocyanidins are a type of polyphenol. They’re also potent antioxidants and are rich in bioflavonoids so they’re anti-inflammatory. This is extremely relevant to Meno-She’s as inflammation can exacerbate the symptoms of peri/menopause.

In fact, the antioxidant effect of Enzogenol® was tested on the ORAC scale and has been rated higher than vitamin C and grape seed extract.* The ORAC score is a method developed by scientists at the US National Institute of Health and Aging (NIH) to measure the antioxidant capacity of certain foods.

Image courtesy of EnzoA Short Lesson On Free Radicals & Antioxidants

Antioxidants are crucial to our health and to reduce cellular damage. As we age, and as we’re exposed to more and more toxins, stress and ill health, free radicals are formed. Free radicals are like little gremlins that have the ability to cause loads of damage in our bodies and create oxidative stress. Any wellness pro will recommend loading up with antioxidants because they have the ability to neutralise free radicals.

Oxidative stress is a major player in the formation and progression of disease. It also plays an important role in the ageing process. During oxidative stress, the body can be overwhelmed by the production of free radicals, which can damage cell molecules and destroy cellular function. This can lead to increased inflammation and loss of organ function, which contributes to chronic disease, ageing and the destruction of organs and tissues.

Are you with me so far? I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible because the science-y stuff can cause cases of eye glazing – lol

What Are The Benefits Of Taking Enzogenol®?Image courtesy of Enzo

There are still lots of studies going on but in the research to date – for our purposes – Enzogenol ® has been shown to support brain, heart and eye health.

Brain Health

Enzogenol® has been found to be beneficial to the brain particularly in relation to memory and cognition. One of the studies also showed it has a calming effect (we like that).

Heart Health

Nutritional research has shown that when it comes to cardiovascular health Enzogenol® supports healthy blood vessels, blood viscosity and blood pressure.


You’ve heard of telomeres? They sit on the ends of chromosomes and look similar to the cap ends of shoelaces. These ‘caps’ shorten with age and some studies are showing that Enzogenol® can reduce the occurrence of this.

Overall Benefits

All in all, the compounds in Enzogenol® are on a par with the wonderful health benefits of a whole foods plant-based diet packed with fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. So by supplementing with it daily, you’re donning a suit of armour. Happy dance!

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on UnsplashGreat News!

Isn’t that great news for Meno-She’s? Especially those of us who are forgetting why we’ve walked into a room or feel bouts of frequent brain fog! And a calmer brain sounds like heaven to me. I don’t know about you but improvements in cognition and alertness are definitely on my wishlist.

The antioxidant power is something to be revered too. Remember the little lesson we had in free radicals and oxidative stress? Those things attack our DNA, but antioxidants can act like the defence warriors and battle with them. And the more protected our DNA is the healthier we are.

And that’s exactly why we’ve included Enzogenol® in 55+. Which you can get here. Immediately.


Study Information:

*Enzogenol® was tested at the independent US Brunswick Laboratories using the popular ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) assay. The ORAChydroFL assay measures the ability of an antioxidant to scavenge superoxide radicals in the aqueous phase. The ORAChydroFL value for Enzogenol was established as 8974 µmol Trolox Equivalents/g

Brain function:

Dr.Andrew Pipingas and Prof. Richard Silberstein at the Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University of Technology, and Melbourne, Australia studied the effects of Enzogenol® on brain function in a randomised controlled trial

The study also investigated how Enzogenol® may affect brain electrical activities and interactions between brain regions. Analyses showed that Enzogenol® led to unique changes in brain activities indicating enhanced cognitive processing in the Enzogenol® group with brain patterns of increased calmness and improved focus and concentration.

The effects of Enzogenol® on brain function were published in the following peer-reviewed research articles:
Pipingas, A., Silberstein, R. B., Vitetta, L., Rooy, C. V., Harris, E. V., Young, J. M., Frampton, C. M., Sali, A., Nastasi, J., 2008. Improved cognitive performance after dietary supplementation with a Pinus Radiata bark extract formulation. Phytotherapy Research 22, 1168-1174.

Eye Health

The effects of Enzogenol® on parameters of eye health were studied in a randomised controlled trial by Dr Nigel Gilchrist of the Christchurch Geriatric Medical Research Trust at the PrincessMargaret Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Cardiovascular Health

Clinical research in generally healthy, older volunteers have shown that taking an Enzogenol® formulation for 12 weeks can improve several parameters of cardiovascular health. Endothelial function, a measure for the elasticity and overall health of blood vessels, significantly improved, and average systolic blood pressure was reduced from 130 to 123 indicating that Enzogenol® further improved the cardiovascular measures in the healthy volunteers.

  • Wood, J. E., Senthilmohan, S. T., & Peskin, A. V. (2002). Antioxidant activity of procyanidin-containing plant extracts at different pHs. Food Chemistry, 77(2), 155-161
  • [1] de la Iglesia, R., Milagro, F. I., Campión, J., Boqué, N., & Martínez, J. A. (2010). Healthy properties of proanthocyanidins. Biofactors, 36(3), 159-168.
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We love Zoë & Morgan jewellery – it’s just so gorgeous.

So we’re delighted to be able to offer a lucky member of our lovely community the opportunity to win the Zoë & Morgan Lover necklace (Gold).

Isn’t it beautiful? Have you noticed the bird in our logo? And our tagline experience freedom? We love our bird and everything it symbolizes – freedom and liberation – because we’re all about gaining freedom from meno symptoms so you can live a life you love.

The synergy with Zoë & Morgan’s Lover necklace is too fabulous for words as is the alignment of our values. Zoë is a special human and was happy to work with us on this. Thank you Zoë.

Zoë & Morgan

Zoë & Morgan is a family owned company with two stores in Auckland and one in London (and online of course). It’s run by siblings Zoë (Auckland), Morgan (Bali) and Ruth (London). Jewellery is a trade passed down by their dad Douglas, who was a silver and goldsmith.

“Dad was Argentinean, our mother is English and we lived in the Cotswold’s,” says Zoë. “A bit of a hippie, Dad decided peace would come in the Pacific so we came to New Zealand by boat in the 80s with stops in Japan, Jamaica, Panama and Tahiti.”


The family grew up in Auckland’s Devonport where Douglas opened a shop called Moonbird, a place where Zoë, Morgan and Ruth learned the trade. Moonbird closed when the family went travelling. Sadly it never re-opened as they soon discovered Douglas was in the first stages of dementia.


Later on, the siblings were living in London when Morgan took a trip to India. He returned with some semi-precious stones which reignited their passion for jewellery and Zoë & Morgan was begun on the kitchen table and became an instant hit.

“When we started there was a hole in the market and straight away we got into places like Net A Porter,” says Zoë. “We were so lucky. My husband Tiare and I came back to New Zealand nine years ago – we’d gone over to the UK for a little OE and 11 years later came back with a business and two kids.”

Zoë now runs Auckland, Ruth Notting Hill and Morgan is based in Bali working on their contemporary range.

There are three ranges:

A favourite among jewellery lovers, Zoë & Morgan comprises:

  • Contemporary: made of sterling silver and gold plating.
  • Fine: 18-carat gold with materials like hand-cut crystal from Brazil cut into unique shapes.
  • Bespoke: engagement, wedding and customised pieces.

Sustainability & Packaging

Zoë & Morgan use carry bags made from sustainable forests. Their navy blue boxes are inspired by cigar boxes. Each comes with a different saying lying under the cushioning such as ‘we all sleep under the same stars’, or ‘those who seek beauty shall find it’.

Words of Wisdom

As a business Zoë says Zoë & Morgan have always been non-traditional and is based on family values and connections.

“I must honour a woman I met 15 years ago in London. Her name was Dr Smart and she advised me to think about life in a holistic sense not just in a work sense. Our business encompasses the whole family. Between us we have four children and we come together all over the world. At the opening party for this store there were just as many children as there were adults”.

If you’re in Auckland or London, or perhaps visiting either city pop in, they’re lovely. The Newmarket store has concrete floors which have formed the foundation of the building for 100 years. It’s also been blessed by a Maori priest who shared with Zoë that it was the site of the first mechanics workshop in New Zealand. History!

Their other stores are situated in Auckland’s funky City Works Depot and Notting Hill in London.

Click here to go to the Zoë & Morgan website.

Sign up to our mailing list for the latest news and stories and receive a $5 discount code to redeem on your first 40+ or 55+ purchase, plus receive a 3 step eBook on how to minimise your menopause symptoms. Click here
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