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Planning Retirement Online

Natural Solutions
                           October 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.



By Alex Shalet


Q. Unfortunately, I suffer from frequent constipation which is both painful and embarrassing. I have been trying to lose a bit of weight recently but it seems to have made things worse. What advice can you give to help relieve this horrible problem?

A. Peristalsis is the muscular contraction process of moving waste through the gut to extract nutrients and remove waste. For smooth passage, bowel motions need to be large enough to help stimulate these gut contractions and soft enough to slide easily along the bowel. It’s estimated that the passage may not run smoothly for as many as 14 million people in the UK, but for constipation sufferers there is health help at hand.

Digestive health is often related to diet, lifestyle and stress factors. Evidence suggests that very low carbohydrate diets are far from healthy and can be associated with ketosis, constipation or diarrhoea, halitosis, headache and general fatigue - to name a few side effects – so choose weight management programmes carefully.

It’s important to maintain your intake of fluids – at least eight glasses of water a day- and ensure your diet is rich in fibre such as bran cereals, wholegrain bread and rice with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Moderate exercise also helps keep everything moving and never ignore the urge to go to the toilet - even if you are busy.

Some medicines also had unpleasant side-effects, for example pain killers and cough medicines can cause constipation. So it’s important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are having persistent problems or already receiving treatment for other ailments.

Probiotics are effective in restoring balance to the gastro-intestinal tract as they are capable of re-colonizing the bowel with non-pathogenic strains of bacteria or yeast. This in turn can reduce intestinal inflammation and improve bowel function including stool frequency and weight. Research shows the strength of probiotics lie in their ability to break down lactose to lactic acid to help acidify the GI tract; deconstruct protein to free up amino acids; and regulating the digestive motion of peristalsis, thus aiding bowel movements and improving nutrient absorption.

Constant bloating and constipation can also be signs of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). To relieve IBS, cut down on caffeine and spicy foods and consider food intolerances such as wheat and dairy products. A good probiotic such as Biocare’s Bio-Acidophilus contains 8 billion viable cells consisting of two strains of Lactobacillus Acidophilus and two strains of Bifidobacterium Bifidum so it should help relieve IBS symptoms and also help with constipation tendencies brought on by a change of environment such as going on holiday.

Ayurvedic herbalism has been used as a household staple throughout India for thousands of years. Triphala by is a potent yet gentle formula, designed to support the body's natural cleansing process. Triphala’s formula is a balanced blend of three Indian herbal fruits: harada, amla, and behada; the astringent qualities of the fruits serve to tonify the colon, thereby promoting internal cleansing naturally.


Triphala by Planetary Formulas ?9.89 for 90 tablets
Biocare’s Bio-Acidophilus ?17.95 for 60 veg caps



Q. To my horror I have realised that I am suffering from bad breath and it’s not just when I wake up in the morning! Can you give me some advice on what I can do to prevent this?

A. Bad breath or halitosis generally results from increased levels of hydrogen sulphide in the mouth area. This can have a variety of causes of which gum disease is one of the commonest. Bad breath can also result from bacterial secretions from infected tonsils or from general infections. A dry mouth is often a symptom of ill health although it can be caused by medication or simply not drinking enough. Drink plenty of fluids to wash through your mouth and increase saliva flow by chewing sugar-free gum. Saliva helps to neutralise the acids produced by bacteria and helps to prevent tooth decay.

To protect your immune system and ward off colds, up your zinc intake. Convenient Herbal Actives ImmunActin Zinc Lozenges contain 10mg of zinc as well as a blend of herbs designed to optimise immune function.

Diets restricted in carbohydrate may make your breath smelly as it goes into ketosis. This happens when the body has used up all its stores of glucose and starts to burn fat to create energy, a process that results in the production of ketones. Ketosis is occasionally associated with more serious problems with the liver or kidneys so be sure to see a doctor if your diet is obviously not the cause.

Ensure your dental hygiene is tip top by brushing teeth twice a day and flossing regularly to prevent the build up of plaque. Invest in a good mouthwash that has an anti-bacterial action such as Oral Tect Mouthwash from Biocare. This contains cinnamon renowned for its bacterial inhibiting properties. Alfred Vogel's Dentaforce toothpaste contains fresh herb extracts of Echinacea, Rosemary, Rhatany and essential oils to cleanse thoroughly. It has a pleasant refreshing taste.

Some Japanese research shows that eating sugarless yoghurt reduces hydrogen sulphide levels and consequently improves bad breath. Live yoghurt is a good dietary source of probiotics which help rebalance gut flora as well as the topical effect in the mouth. If you are not a fan of natural yoghurt then it is possible to take a chewable probiotic supplement called Super 5 by Udo’s choice, specifically formulated with friendly bacteria for the mouth.

A strong cuppa may be just the answer as it has been shown by researchers from the University of Illinois in Chicago that chemical compounds found in tea called polyphenols, inhibited the growth of oral bacteria responsible for bad breath by hindered the enzyme that causes the formation of hydrogen sulphide in the mouth by up to 30 per cent.

For an even more potent polyphenols try Nature's Plus Herbal Actives Liquid Chinese Green Tea leaf extract which is uniformly standardized to a minimum of 50% polyphenols. Take 1ml in some water per day.


Nature’s Plus ImmunActin Zinc Lozenges with Echinacea

Oral Tect Mouthwash (Antibacterial Action with Cinnamon) from Biocare ?7.95 for 150ml Liquid.

Alfred Vogel's Dentaforce toothpaste ?3.69 for 100 grams

Nature's Plus Herbal Actives Liquid Chinese Green Tea leaf extract ?11.69 for 30mls

Super 5 by Udo’s Choice ?14.95 for 60 lozenges

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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