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Planning Retirement Online

Natural Solutions
                           September 2007




Nutri Centre’s Q & A section 


Suppliers of complementary medicine, Nutri Centre (now offering their range of products in a number of larger Tesco stores), are providing laterlife visitors with the opportunity to ask questions on health issues.  

The Q & As are produced by Senior Nutritionist Alex Shalet BSc (Hons) in conjunction with the Nutri Centre.


NATURAL SOLUTI0NS September 2007

Nutri Centre’s Q & A

By Alex Shalet

Skin Complexion

Q: Now that I am 53, I can accept the inevitable lines and wrinkles. But I always used to have great skin when I was younger and now my complexion has turned dull and dry. I don’t have the money to have regular facials and I was wondering if there are any natural supplements that can help improve my lifeless skin?

A: Cell regeneration slows down as we age and when there are no longer enough new cells to replace old or damaged ones, the result is ageing. This is then exacerbated by the fact that as we get older we may not be absorbing those nutrients the body needs to stay young and well. One of the more common deficiencies that have shown up in studies of older populations living in urban areas was a lack of vitamin A, which not only prevents tissue damage due to ageing, but also protects the body’s surfaces, including the skin.

Your diet is also crucial to how you look; you are what you eat. The more colourful your diet, the richer in anti-aging antioxidants it will be. Good antioxidant food sources are red, orange and purple fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and cherries and colourful vegetables such as carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes.

Dehydration is often the problem when you have dry skin. The skin needs adequate hydration to look good so drinking lots of water every day is vital. The two underlying causes of dry skin are deficiency in essential fats and insufficient vitamin A.

To ensure that you are getting high levels of the nutrients that your skin needs, the right supplements can be very helpful. Pycnogenol provides very good antioxidant protection and is effective in stabilising collagen, the structural component of the skin that maintains skin elasticity. If you’re a non-smoker then Beta Carotene is very important as this precursor of vitamin A, also has potent antioxidant properties.

For skin dryness, I would recommend taking VegEPA as this contains essential fats. The EPA in this product is of particular importance. It also contains evening primrose oil and anti-oxidant vitamin E. These nutrients combine to help protect and oil the skin from the inside.


Pycnogenol 50mg from Viridian Nutrition - ?20.75 for 30 veg capsules
Beta Carotene Oceanic 7mg from Solgar - ?7.49 for 60 softgels
VegEpa 500mg from Igennus - ?9.95 for 60 capsules


Tired Around the Eyes


Q: I have dark circles under my eyes that won’t go away no matter how much sleep I get. They really stand out, making me look exhausted and ill. They are really annoying and I spend so much time covering them up with make up concealer, but they always reappear. Can you recommend anything that can make them go away or help to reduce the visibility?

A: Skin ageing is a natural process and can’t be avoided. Dark circles can be caused by the appearance of veins beneath the skin under our eyes where the skin has accumulated damage due to sun exposure and become thinner, allowing veins in this fatty padded area under the eye to appear more prominent.

Persistent dark circles that are not simply a sign of ageing skin or tiredness may be caused by pigment deposits under the eye. In Chinese medicine, the eyes are linked with the liver, so any stress on this organ is said to affect the eyes and surrounding area. Sufferers will also benefit from taking a daily supplement that will work to relieve a toxic load on an overworked liver.

A very beneficial supplement to support the liver is Liv52 as this can help regulate levels of enzymes and optimize assimilation. It also improves the functional efficiency of the liver.

Diet can also help with detoxifying, follow a diet rich in foods that support the liver’s capability to detoxify, good choices for this purpose include cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, onions, artichokes, beets and garlic. Try also to include as many raw fruits and vegetable in your diet as possible. Substitute oily fish for animal fats so as to increase essential fatty acid intake. It is best to reduce alcohol intake, and drink at least 2 litres of bottled or filtered water every day to help the kidneys flush out toxins and avoid dehydration which makes dark circles worse.

Dark circles under the eyes may also be the result of food allergy or sensitivity as well. Wheat and milk products are the two biggest culprits, although different people react to different foods, including alcohol.


Liv52 from Vedic Medical Hall - ?10.99 for 100 tablets

Senior Nutritionist Alex Shalet BSc (Hons) completed a three year degree in Nutritional Therapy at the University of Westminster, where the course included extensive supervised clinical training in the university’s polyclinic.  He has been a practicing nutritional therapist for several years.  In addition to his work with The Nutri Centre at their branch within the Tesco superstore in West Cromwell Road, Kensington W14, he also practices at a complementary therapies clinic in North London.  He is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Nutritional Therapy (BANT).



Nutricentre Discount for laterlife visitors


If you would like to ask a question, please send an email to

The information above is provided by the Nutri Centre. Laterlife cannot endorse any information presented and recommends that you consult your doctor if in doubt about any medication or health-related matter.

* Please note questions cannot be answered personally but will be selected for inclusion in future editions of 'Natural Solutions'


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