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Planning Retirement Online

    Natural Solutions    

    February 2008   



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.

Sexual Wellbeing

Q. My husband and I still enjoy a close relationship but the physical side has dwindled. We both find ourselves lacking in energy sometimes and my husband’s libido is not what it was. It’s getting us down a bit so can you suggest what we can do to revive things?


A. Maca is an Andean root vegetable extract often called ‘Peruvian ginseng’, used back to the time of Incas for men’s sexual health. It appears to improve both libido and sexual performance without changing serum reproductive hormone levels. This means it can be safely used by men with normal testosterone levels, unlike testosterone therapies, which have been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer in normal men.

These benefits have been confirmed in human scientific trials; in one study a test group of fifty-six 21-56 year old healthy men were assessed using a self reporting subjective measure over a twelve week period – and reported a 42.2% increase in sexual desire. Importantly, it appears to have none of the side effects associated with Viagra™ and testosterone therapy.

Maca is a nutritional powerhouse containing high levels of amino acids including L-Arginine, which is known to increase blood vessel dilation which contributes a beneficial effect for those with erectile dysfunction. Calcium makes up 10% of Maca’s mineral count -which also includes magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphates, silica, and traces of iodine. Vitamins found in Maca include thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2) and vitamin C.

Maca belongs to a class of herbs that herbalists refer to as adaptogens. These optimise body function in a non-specific way, allowing improved adaptation to stress. The effect of Maca is most evident on the endocrine system of the body, helping to tonify amongst other things the adrenal glands, hypothalamus and pituitary. By supporting these glands it is able to optimise their functioning, resulting in enhanced energy and libido. 


Stopping Smoking

Q I've quit smoking as a New Year’s resolution but in the last few weeks have found myself eating more and putting on weight. Is there anything that can suppress my appetite?


A. Quitting smoking can cause changes in eating habits and people find that they eat more because their appetite increases, food replaces the hand to mouth behaviour that is associated with smoking. Try to get more active - walk instead of driving or taking the bus and use the stairs instead of the lift when possible. This will not only increase the amount of exercise you do which will help with weight management but also alter your routine to break the association of smoking with certain times of day or places. If you miss having something in your mouth, try toothpicks, or carrot or celery sticks not sugary and fatty foods and calorific snacks. 

We tend to have food cravings when blood sugar levels fall. Often a vicious cycle develops when we have too much sugary food which causes a rapid rise in blood sugar swiftly followed by a crash and the desire for more of the same food. A good supplement for stabilising blood sugar levels is the mineral Chromium. Chromium is even more effective when taken as part of a complex of nutrients. These complexes often contain magnesium, B – vitamins and zinc. 

Lamberts Chromium Complex provides all these ingredients in a one a day formula. Also cut down on stimulants like coffee and alcohol which may also have a psychological association with smoking. But drink plenty of fluids - keep a glass of water or fruit juice by you and sip it steadily.

Product Recommendations:

Rio Health Peruvian Maca costs ?15.99 for 90 veg capsules

Chromium Complex by Lamberts ?9.95 for 60 tabs

All products are available from The Nutri Centre at  or by ‘phone on 0207 436 5122 where you can also get free advice from a qualified nutritionist.


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'




Top ten herbs in the UK? 


Alison Cullen, a nutritionist employed by Bioforce, manufacturer of the UK’s best-selling range of fresh herbal remedies, names her favourite herbs. 



Atrogel Arnica Gel has quickly made arnica one of the UK’s best-selling herbs, here as a gel to soothe stiff joints and aching muscles. The Gel is made from freshly harvested, organically cultivated Arnica flower tincture.

Devil’s Claw or Harpagophytum is valued for its anti-inflammatory properties which make it a popular and effective herbal remedy for problems such as rheumatism, arthritis and sports injuries. 

Echinaforce is more popular than ever, since scientists have at last agreed that it definitely does help in the annual fight against colds and flu.

Ginkgo biloba is also known as the memory tree and is one of the world’s oldest medicinal herbs. It improves arterial circulation to the extremities and the brain.

The Aesculus range of tinctures, tablets and gel are made from the fruit of the horse chestnut, perhaps more familiar as conkers. Aesculus is beneficial for varicose veins.

Also known as St John’s Wort, Hypericum is traditionally used for relief of mild to moderate depression, including SAD.

Milk Thistle’s benefits for the liver mean it’s especially popular over the festive season to help with over-indulgence and in the spring to support detoxing.

Salvia or Sage is helpful when women approach the menopause. A.Vogel Menosan relieves hot flushes and is an excellent gargle for sore throats, which is why it may also be found in the new Echinacea Throat Spray.

A.Vogel Prostasan is made from the berries of Saw Palmetto, a herb which is clinically proven to be as effective for prostate problems as pharmaceutical preparations. It is the only licensed medicine available without prescription for BHP or enlarged prostate.

This combination of Valerian root and unpollinated hops is very good for helping with sleep problems as it is fast-working and doesn’t cause drowsiness on waking.


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