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Posts Tagged "supplements"

Weight Loss Supplements: Chromium

Chromium is a naturally occurring trace mineral that has gained popularity as a slimming and sports supplement. This mineral is essential for the break-down of carbohydrates and fats. Chromium is also thought to work by increasing the action of insulin, which helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Many vitamin companies promote chromium as a weight loss supplement, by claiming it can suppress appetite, increase metabolism and burn body fat. These claims have been tested in many trials, and the results have been mixed. Some studies have reported significant weight loss, whereas other studies have reported no change in body weight. A sensible approach would be to combine supplementation with a good diet and regular exercise. An area where chromium may be of benefit is in supporting the pancreas and prevention of type 2 diabetes. In this form of diabetes, the pancreas usually produces enough insulin, but the body cannot use the insulin effectively. Insulin is important for regulating the amount of sugar in the blood. If there is insufficient insulin in the body, the blood sugar levels rise, and can lead to diabetes. Chromium may prevent this by supporting the pancreas and allowing the body to use insulin more effectively. This mineral may also help to break down fats and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. These claims have not been confirmed as more evidence is required. Chromium is found naturally in many foods: Whole grain cereals Whole grain bread Potatoes Brewers Yeast Broccoli Nuts Seafood Chromium supplements are usually available in 200mcg capsules. This is the recommended dose for a weight-loss programme or to improve the utilisation of insulin. This dose will require a supplement as this amount will be hard to achieve through diet alone. Chromium should be taken with or after food, as this helps its absorption.  This mineral is also better absorbed when taken with Vitamin C (or a glass of orange juice). Calcium supplement s can reduce the absorption of chromium, so should not be taken together. We hope you found our article on Chromium as a weight loss supplement useful. Please let us know by rating it...

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Anti-Ageing Supplements: Selenium

Selenium is a vital mineral that has many health benefits. It is one of the main antioxidants available to us. Remember that antioxidants are very important as they “mop-up” free radicals that are known to cause a host of illnesses and diseases. As we are continually exposed to these free radicals, for example from pollution, certain foods and stress, taking antioxidants such as Selenium is fundamental for optimum health. It is this antioxidant activity that prevents premature ageing and age related diseases. Many studies have found that this mineral can help to prevent against prostate, lung and colorectal cancers. Two studies conducted in America, over a period of 10 years, found that by supplementing with 200mcg Selenium daily reduced the incidence of prostate, lung and colorectal cancer by approximately 50%. Selenium deficiency has also been linked with heart disease. Supplementing with this mineral has been shown to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol and improve circulation. Selenium works very well when taken with Vitamin E in helping to maintain a healthy heart and liver. Many companies combine Selenium, Vitamin E and Zinc as a supplement for an enlarged prostate. Historically our soil used to contain high amounts of Selenium, but with the advent of modern farming techniques and the use of fertilisers, the levels have reduced drastically. This may be one reason why certain cancers and heart disease are increasing every year. Selenium is found in the following foods: Brazil Nuts (the best source of Selenium) Broccoli Brown rice Brewer’s Yeast Onions Whole grains Sea Food If you are going to start taking a selenium supplement, a dose of 200 micrograms a day is considered safe for most...

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weight loss supplements

weight loss supplements

There are many fad diets and programmes that promise immediate weight loss, but these are either dangerously unhealthy or just not achievable. The only healthy and long lasting way to lose extra weight is by doing regular exercise, healthy eating and including a few natural health supplements to your daily routine. This article will concentrate on the health supplements that are all extremely safe and essential for your general health. To get the maximum benefit from these supplements, it is vital to follow a healthy eating plan. The choice of “natural” weight loss supplements is huge and there are always new products on the shelves of health food shops. Some of these products work by suppressing your appetite. This is not a long term solution, as you are not training your body to function with regular good food that also provides energy for regular exercise. Some of these appetite suppressing supplements also have side effects, which are not always listed. I recently had a client who developed stomach bloating and acidity after taking Hoodia. This is a popular supplement for weight loss that suppresses your appetite. Hoodia’s popularity originates from the claims of the San Bushmen of the Kalahari desert.  They used to take it before long hunting trips to ward of hunger and thirst. The bushmen used to cut off the stem and eat the plant. A lot of companies now produce Hoodia, so if you do decide to try it, please only use a reputable company. There are many safe and natural health supplements that I would recommend. Supplements such as Essential Fatty Acids, Amino Acids, Green Tea, Probiotics, Coconut Oil, Chromium and natural protein powders are important for supporting your digestive system and metabolism. Essential fatty acids can actually help with fat loss. This may sound unusual as they are fats, but they actually help to reduce the amount of fats that are stored and increase the amount of fat that is burned. The healthiest source of fatty acids is Flax Seed Oil, and is best taken as a liquid rather than in capsule form. You can supplement your diet with a tablespoon once a day with your breakfast.  Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is another type...

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B Vitamin Supplements for Depression

B Vitamin Supplements for Depression

Depression is a condition that is increasing, especially in young people. I have noticed this trend over the past few years in my work as a Pharmacist. This is a worrying trend, as these antidepressant medications are generally taken long term, and people rarely come off them. A more disturbing trend is that more children are being prescribed these medications now. Depression can be caused by many factors. Examples are work life stress, family problems, relationships and financial stress. Studys have shown that B Vitamins supplements for depression can really help. Some people become more depressed in the winter month, due to a lack of daylight. This type of depression is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Depression is not a condition that should be treated lightly or dismissed. A depressed person deserves time and a thorough check up, as the symptoms of depression can be indicative of other illnesses, such as a thyroid disorder or adrenal exhaustion. Nutrition and diet play an important part in depression. An interesting question to put to a depression patient is to ask them what their digestion is like. More often than not their digestion will not be functioning well. The chemical neurotransmitter that affects mood, serotonin, is also found in the stomach and digestive system. This indicates the link between the health of your stomach and your mental health. Several vitamins have been found to be effective in improving mood and reducing anxiety. The B vitamins generally affect the nerves and help to reduce stress levels. These vitamins are also essential for the healthy brain, nerve function and emotional well being. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is required for brain energy. This vitamin helps to convert the glucose into fuel. A deficiency in this vitamin has been known to cause fatigue and impaired mental function. Low levels of Thiamine are related to poor memory, irritability and tiredness. Vitamin B5 (panthothenic acid) is sometimes referred to as the “anti-stress vitamin”.  This vitamin provides an important role in supporting the adrenal glands. Vitamin B5 supplementation reduces levels of stress and improves energy levels. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) levels have a direct impact on the production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and melatonin, which control...

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Nutritional Supplements for a Healthy Brain

Most people ignore their brain function when thinking of anti-ageing supplements. This is a major oversight as the brain controls everything from memory to the function of the nervous system. The brain requires regular nourishment in order to function optimally. There is a direct link between the health of the gastro-intestinal system and the health of the brain. Research has shown that the chemical neurotransmitter serotonin, which is found in the brain, is also present in the gastro-intestinal system. Serotonin in the gut is responsible for triggering digestion. The nerve cells in the gastro-intestinal system feed back to the brain. Therefore a good diet is very important in maintaining good brain health as well as preventing illnesses that affect the brain. Recent studies have also discovered that restricting calorie intake can actually lead to living longer. Restricting calorie intake does not mean cutting out healthy foods, but eating in moderation and cutting out foods with high amounts of sugar, salt and saturated fats. These studies also highlight the possibility of improved brain function and a lower incidence of age related illnesses with a lower calorie diet. A balanced diet that consists of fibre, protein, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, and nutrients is essential maintaining the health of both the gastro-intestinal system and brain function. There are certain natural health supplements that can help with brain health, nerve function as well as provide nourishment to the brain cells. The supplementation with essential fatty acids has been linked with improving conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The nutrient DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is known to be beneficial for the general health of the brain. DHA helps to promote brain and nerve function and is predominately found in Flax Seed Oil and Fish Oil supplements.  Studies have shown that supplementation with DHA can improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients and improve memory loss that is related to ageing. Antioxidants are also very important in the health of the brain as they help to neutralise free radicals. Free radicals can be formed by factors such as exposure to radiation (including over exposure to the sun’s rays), cigarette smoke, air pollution, exercise, processed foods, household cleaners and stress. The body also produces free radicals through...

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Natural Health Supplements for ADHD

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a behavioural disorder that is characterised by symptoms such as hyperactivity, a short attention span, restlessness, being easily distracted, constant fidgeting and impulsiveness. These symptoms can also lead to sleep problems and learning difficulties. ADHD is normally diagnosed between the ages of 3 to 7 years. The symptoms may start at an early age, but they become more noticeable when a child starts school or nursery. It is a fairly common complaint in the UK, affecting 3 to 9% of school children and young people. The conventional management of ADHD is to prescribe strong medications such as Methylphenidate and Dexamfetamine, which stimulate the CNS (central nervous system). This will result in altering the balance of the neurotransmitters in the brain and could possibly lead to health problems in later life. The long term side effects of these drugs are not yet known, but these medicines are usually given long term. This is by no means a permanent solution to this condition, but just a means to keep the child in a “calm state”. These medications have a number of side effects such as sleep disturbances, depression, confusion, gastro-intestinal symptoms and growth retardation. These medicines are also addictive and children can become dependent on them. ADHD requires full consultations with a qualified complementary health practitioner, but there are some very effective natural supplements that can have very dramatic results. These supplements can be taken by young children and extremely safe. Current research is highlighting that deficiencies in certain essential fatty acids can contribute to behavioural disorders such as ADHD. Omega 3 contains two essential nutrients, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  Whilst they are both important for health, DHA is more important for concentration as this essential nutrient is predominantly found in the brain. Low levels of DHA have been linked with behavioural and learning and learning problems in children. Recent studies have highlighted that EPA is very effective in reducing problems with attention and perception that are associated with ADHD. This shows that both DHA and EPA are very important for the health of the brain. Flax seed oil is a rich source of Omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids....

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Vitamin D Supplements for the Immune System

The benefits of regularly taking vitamin D supplements have been known for many years.  It  plays an important role in the health of bones and in the prevention of rickets disease, but research has shown that it also plays a vital role in boosting the function of the immune system. Vitamin D is naturally formed in our bodies in response to sunlight. It is also found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel. Vitamin D is also found in milk, eggs, porridge, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and vegetable oils, and plenty of other every day foods. Vitamin D supplements are also available, but it is important not to take more than 10 micrograms a day, as taking too much of it can actually weaken the bones.   We hope you found our article on how vitamin D supplements can help the immune system useful. Please let us know by rating it...

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Natural Remedies for Allergies

As there are so many potential causes of allergies, there is not a general remedy or supplement that can provide an overall treatment. Natural remedies for the treatment of allergies such as hay fever are mentioned in a seperate article. The most important thing to do first is to identify the allergen. This may be something straightforward as pollen in hay fever, but can sometimes take some investigative work. This is especially true in food allergies. The best way to identify a food allergen is to eliminate certain food groups over a period of a week and record any symptoms that occur. For example if a allergy to lactose is suspected,  foods such as cheese, milk, ice cream, butter and yoghurt should be avoided for up to a week. The treatment of long standing allergies should be done with the supervision of a practitioner such as a doctor, nutritionalist or homeopath. If you are looking for natural remedies for allergies, there are some natural supplements that will provide support to the immune system if you suspect you have an allergy. Probiotics and Digestive enzymes will provide support for the digestive system and will facilitate the breakdown of food in the stomach so as to minimise the risk of an allergy occurring. Bromelainis an natural anti-inflammatory and also important for the breakdown of protein in the diet. L-Glutamine: This is an important amino acid that is required in the treatment and prevention of leaky gut symdrome. This is characterised by food particles, allergens, bacteria being passed through gaps in the gut wall. L-Glutamine works by filling these gaps and thereby minimising the risk of these allergies. Quercetin is a natural anti-histamine without having the side effects of conventional anti-histamine tablets. It stops the histamine reaction that occurs in allergies. This supplement has been found to be very effective in reducing the symptoms of hay fever. Fish Oils / Flax Seed Oil: Both of these are an excellent source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. These essential acids are a good to reduce inflammation that occurs in...

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What are Antioxidants?

Have you been wondering what are antioxidants? Antioxidants are naturally produced by the body, but due to the level of free radical damage that we are exposed to, it is advisable to supplement the diet with antioxidants. Antioxidants can be obtained from the diet in foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits, although the levels are not high enough to combat the amount of free radicals that we are exposed to. There are various different types of antioxidants that are available to take as a supplement. Research has found that taking combination of these supplements has a synergistic effect in reducing free radical damage. Co-enzyme Q10. This is a vital nutrient in the body that has many functions, and there are many studies that support the use of Co-enzyme Q10 in heart disease. Co-enzyme Q10 also has antioxidant activity. If you are taking a statin for cholesterol, you should supplement with this nutrient, as statins lower levels of coenzyme-Q10 in the body. Acai. This is one of the most well known antioxidants on the market today. Acai berries are mostly found in Brazil and Peru. Because of the hype that is surround this product many companies are manufacturing acai capsules and juice. Please check the quality of the company before making a purchase. Selenium is a mineral that is found in almonds and brazil nuts. Apart from being a good antioxidant, this mineral has many health benefits such as supporting the immune system and reproductive system. Studies have shown that supplementing with a dose of 200mcg of Selenium once a day can have a beneficial action on the heath of the prostate gland in men. Alpha-Lipoic Acid is sometimes referred to as the “universal” antioxidant because it is both water and fat soluble. This means that it can neutralise free radicals that are in fatty and watery parts of the cells. Alpha-Lipoic Acid can increase the effect of other antioxidants if taken together. Other valuable antioxidants are Vitamin E, which  is a fat soluble and has beneficial action on the cardiac system, and Vitamin C which is water soluble and also is an immune...

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