As one of the most precious natural fabrics in the world, it would be easy to think that it is safe to buy anything marked as ‘cashmere’ in a reputable shop – but that isn’t always the case. The quality of the fibres used, the manufacturing processes, and the treatments applied to the fabric, can all have a profound effect on the finished products. Not all cashmere is equal. The price tag is usually a pretty good indicator of quality, but to avoid paying too much for what you’re getting, it’s a good idea to be well informed.
Introduction to cashmere grades
The two main factors when determining the grade of cashmere are fibre length, and fibre fineness (diameter). Based on these basic factors, experts grade the cashmere into categories as follows:
Quality Grade C
This is the lowest of the three grades and indicates a fibre diameter of around 30 microns. This thickness means rougher scales on the fibres too, so the resulting clothing will be scratchier against the skin and more likely to irritate. Grade C cashmere is a lot cheaper than Grades B or A.
Quality Grade B
The diameter of Grade B fibres is about 19 microns – about half the thickness of Grade C. This is the middle ground of course and will be less likely to irritate the skin than Grade C, but more likely than Grade A. It will also fall into the middle ground about price.
Quality Grade A
These are the thinnest (as low as 14 microns) and longest fibres (up to about 36mm). These will last a long time, due to the fibre length, and will be the softest and least likely to irritate the skin, due to the fineness of the fibres. They will also demand top dollar.
The short – and accurate – answer is no. If it were that easy, obesity would not be the epidemic it is today. Your body need a lot more than vitamins to be healthy, and adding vitamins to an unhealthy diet or lifestyle will not help you lose weight. Despite the claims of some unethical marketers, losing weight is never as easy as popping a pill.
Often Supplements Have Little Evidence
Some people claim that products such as B-12, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and green tea supplements can help you lose weight. These people claim that certain substances can increase your metabolism or flick an internal switch to signal that the body should burn the fat away. Scientists have been unable to support these claims, however, and it remains a nice idea with no evidence to support it.
What is Vitamin B-12 for weight loss?
Regardless of how you take it, don’t expect B-12 to boost your metabolism or burn away fat. There is no evidence that either will happen. B-12 supports nerve and blood cells, and helps in the production of DNA. It is therefore important, but does not work as a weight loss support. If you have become a vegetarian to help you lose weight, taking B-12 may be important, as it is more difficult to get required levels of B-12 on a vegetarian diet, but it will not help you lose weight.
How does Vitamin D help?
Vitamin D helps us to absorb calcium, which is important to bone strength and some other processes in the body, but experts don’t see any evidence for it as a weight loss tool. They do, however, note that women with optimal calcium levels (not too much, not too little) lose more weight through exercise and healthy diet, than those with too much or too little calcium did with the same efforts and dietary changes.
Vitamin D is produced in the body when exposed to sunlight, so moderate times out in the sun will produce all that your body needs.
How do omega 3 fatty acids help?
There are some studies that suggest that omega-3 fatty acid intake supports weight loss efforts, though it is considered too soon to draw strong conclusions. Whatever the outcome, it seems the situation may be similar to that for calcium: too much or too little will hinder weight loss efforts, while giving the body the right amount allows it to focus on exercise and metabolism of healthy food, resulting in more effective weight loss efforts.
Despite a lot of claims that calcium breaks down fat in the body, most clinical trials find no link between the two, and the few trials that show some success may be reflecting some other factor not controlled for by the experiments’ designs. More time is needed, but the preliminary results are that calcium does not break down fat, or inhibit the body’s ability to take it in.
As is usual, keep the levels within the healthy range, and your other efforts will be more successful.
This sounds good – sit with a cup of tea and the fat will melt away – but in reality any benefit is statistically non-existent. You are better off to take a walk or bike ride, as your body will burn about as much fat making the tea as the tea may burn away, and drinking more of it doesn’t make any difference. It has some beneficial antioxidant properties, but it not a weight loss miracle.
Rather than giving your money to people who claim to be able to cure your weight problem with pills of any kind, investment in other methods is highly recommended. Pay for a gym membership, or for some exercise tools you can use in your home – light dumbbells or elastics, an aerobics or yoga mat – or buy some good shoes or a bicycle.
Partner up with a friend and be each other’s conscience, encouraging each other to do a few minutes a day at first, and then increase it as your body adjusts and it becomes easier. It can become a social activity that is enjoyable and beneficial on many levels, rather than a difficult or unpleasant activity.
Treat yourself with a healthy reward, like a bowl of fresh fruit, a cup of herbal tea, or a special gift as you reach weight goals.
Any of these are a better use of your money than buying vitamins or supplements that claim to result in weight loss. The only weight you will lose that way, is from your wallet.