The “natural athlete”: the essential oils as performance enhancers

montagne_simoI remember a speech by Prof. Gerhard Buchbauer (Dept of Clinical Pharmacy and diagnostics at Vienna University, Austria) held at Sana, the International exhibition of organic and natural products in 2008: in particular during his speech entitled “Aromatherapy: recent advances in scientific research” he showed human electroencephalograms evidencing increased activities of specific cerebral areas after inhalation of certain essential oils. In order to get in depth to the matter I found some Literature dealing with the ability of typical fragrances in helping cognitive functions and attenuating pain (i.e. Peppermint [1]), activating blood circulation, helping in lactic acid removal (i.e. camphor and Rosemary [2] ) or eliciting  potent antioxidant and anti inflammatory activities (i.e. Tea Tree, Lemon e Thyme [3] ). It seems clear that each essential oil is endowed with specific therapeutic properties and it is able to give different effects when inhalated or administered on the skin. As a matter of fact the essential oils can acts therapeutically by three distinct ways:
1.    Pharmacological – by causing real biochemical changes at cellular level
2.    Physiological – by acting to specific body systems
3.    Psychological – by stimulating an olfactive feedback
By first and second ways the essential oils biocomponents penetrate through epidermis [4] (or they are absorbed by digestive or respiratory systems) and reach organs and cells by blood circulation, in the third case they enter the organism by nasal flow.
ciclismoIn the same year I started to intensify my sport activity with cycling and I tried to better understand potential benefits elicited by essential oils and the possibility to improve my performances. For instance, does a “psycho-aromatic” influence exist on the athletes? It is fully recognized that mental wellness deeply influences sport performances therefore portable music players for music listening are prohibited in competitive marathons because are intended as “emotional doping”. For this reason, the act of simple smelling a specific essential oil or a blend of them could stimulate cognitive ability and give a good contribute to reach a top sport achievement.
One of the most important features for an aerobic endurance athlete (i.e. a marathon runner or a cyclist) is represented by risk of muscular damage associated to lactic acid production (cramps) [2] and to the oxidative stress caused by free radicals originated by prolonged efforts. The latter phenomenon is effectively counteracted by antioxidants which represent a potent solution to protect cells and the whole organism from negative effect caused by free radicals (tissue ageing, muscular pain, etc.).
Researchers at Tufts University (Boston, Massachusetts) have designed and validated the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)  [5]  laboratory test to determine radical oxygen radical absorption by food and natural products and is nowadays recognized as one of the most widespread technique to measure antioxidant capacity.  By using this method, it is shown that the antioxidant power of essential oils is much higher than commonly believed antioxidant molecules or food such as Vitamin E, orange or lemon juice. Moreover, the pure essential oils – obtained by natural methods – are much more potent and effective in comparison to their single components (natural or synthetic molecule). For instance, the preservative ability of not-adulterated eucalyptus oil is higher compared to the main component eucalyptol [6].
trainingFor this reasons, scientific evidences showed the importance of essential oils for an athlete who  wants improve his performances in a natural way and I definitely chose Olio Strongful® by BeC as a strong partner before and after daily training: it has become fundamental  for me because its blend of diverse essential oils has been conveniently designed to gain the “winning synergy”.

Along with Olio Strongful, the dietary supplement PerforMax is particularily suitable for aerobic fitness such as marathon when good resistance is required. Olio Strongful and PerforMax represent optimal tools to reverse muscular deficit (with cramps and oxidative stress) associated to prolonged efforts. The subsequent free radicals overproduction is deeply counteracted by antioxidant activity of ingredients of our both products along with their precious essential oils.

Learn more information about Olio Strongful and PerforMax on BeC website.

[1] Fox M., Krueger E., Putterman L., Schroeder R. The Effect of Peppermint on Memory Performance.  Physiology 435, Spring 2012
[2] Diego MA, Jones NA, Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C, McAdam V, Galamaga R, Galamaga M. Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations Int J Neurosci. 1998 217-24.
[3] Ali B., Ali Al-Wabel N., Shams S., Ahamad A., Alam Khan S., Anwar F.. Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review.  Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2015; 5(8): 601–611
[4] Gabbanini S., Lucchi E., Carli M., Berlini E. , Minghetti A., Valgimigli L.. In vitro evaluation of the permeation through reconstructed human epidermis of essentials oils from cosmetic formulations J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2009 Oct 15;50(3):370-6
[5] Bentayeb K, Vera P, Rubio C, Nerín C. The additive properties of Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) assay: the case of essential oils. Food Chem. 2014 Apr 1;148:204-8.
[6] Tadtong S, Puengseangdee C, Prasertthanawut S, Hongratanaworakit T. Antimicrobial Constituents and Effects of Blended Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Patchouli, Pine, and Cajuput Essential Oils.Nat Prod Commun. 2016; 11, 267-70

Cellulite, how to treat it?

silueCellulite  (or edematous sclerotic – fibrous edematous paniculopathy) is an aesthetic condition characterized by alterations of the subcutaneous tissue, uneven fat distribution and tissue tone loss. Sex, ethnicity, genetic and hormonal disorders, skin thickness and distribution of body fat, along with a lack of fitness and a high-fat diet, are all factors that can influence the formation of cellulite.

A body affected by cellulite presents skin with “orange peel” or “mattress” texture. Several factors may contribute to the appearance of this condition. Fat cells or “adipocytes” tend to increase in volume with subsequent compression of the surrounding blood vessels. The slowing down of blood circulation determines an inflammatory state that limits the request of oxygen and nutritients from the surrounding tissues, thus preventing liquid drainage. The subsequent drop of local temperature contributes to the thickening of fat clusters and it is responsible for the orange peel appearance of the skin. State-of-the-art anti-cellulite cosmetics must contain ingredients that simultaneously counteract the various causes of cellulite’s insurgence, i.e. agents that facilitate water drainage and endow tissues with elasticizing, vasotonic and lipolytic properties.

The dedicated passion of BeC research laboratories for developing effective wellness products gave birth to SiluÈ: the new formulation against cellulite beauty problems. SiluÈ is a rich and fast-absorbing body cream based on all natural ingredients, with a very soft touch and silky texture obtained with no silicones. SiluÈ can used both at day-time and night-time and it gives skin brightness and deep hydration since the first applications, thanks to its unique combination of synergic active principles. SiluÈ activates lipolysis and local lipidic metabolism thanks to extract of Fucus vesiculosus alga [1], rich in iodine and to the extract of Pao Rosa, rich in pterocarpans. The methylxantines, such as theophylline and caffeine[2] contribute to the lipolytic effect in a synergic way, both by enhancing adipocytes’ metabolism and by stimulating fat stock mobilization.

Indeed the 100% natural extract of Pao Rosa from Madagascar (approved by organic certification bodies) boasts diverse beneficial properties: it limits the new formation of fat cells (adipogenesis), inhibits fat stocking into adipocytes (lipogenesis) and increases the lipolytic effect of caffeine. Such a complex and synergic mechanism produces good results in the early stages of cellulite development as well as in more advanced stages.

silue2Anti-oedema and draining actions are obtained by the presence of several essential oils such as Caraway, Juniper, Fennel, Lemon, Lavender, Thyme, Rosemary and Clove, endowed with anti-inflammatory properties, too. Such activities also promoted by Centella asiatica extract, rich of triterpenes, and by Fenugreek, rich of polyphenols, both endowed with draining and protective action of blood vessels. Aescin, a triterpenic saponin from Horse chestnut help protect vessels. The essential oils of Thyme, Mint and Rosemary assure homogeneity of blood perfusion and help toxins removal. Besides the lipolytic ingredients with draining and vasotonic activities, SiluÈ contains precious vegetal oils which help skin elasticity. Vitamin E, Sweet Almonds and Jojoba oils, along with Olive Unsaponifiable fraction contribute to increase skin hydration (+46% !)  after only one month of treatment. Moreover, hydrating agents such as Hyaluronate, Saccharide Isomerate and Propandiol contribute with deep moisturizing action.

The good diffusion properties of ingredients from the formulation through stratum corneum assures optimal overall action. Moreover, the exfoliation agents determine a faster cellular turn-over, working through indirect enzymatic mechanism with no irritation. The vegetal lipophylic esters from Willow and Cumin help give silkiness and smoothness to the skin.

Cellulite doesn’t appear in one day and it can’t be removed in two weeks! We do not offer miracles but verified results obtained in our R&D laboratories and confirmed by efficacy tests on human volunteers. Our common goal is to guarantee the real effect… and it works! Let’s take care of our skin’s wellness: this is the key to genuine beauty!

[1] Hexsel D, Orlandi C, Zechmeister do Prado D. Botanical extracts used in the treatment of cellulite. Dermatol Surg. 2005 Jul;31(7 Pt 2):866-72; discussion 872.
[2] Herman A, Herman AP. Caffeine’s mechanisms of action and its cosmetic use. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2013;26(1):8-14.