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.
LATER LIFE APRIL 2008 Q & A
Q. I am going on a once in a lifetime trip to Australia in a few weeks and feel worried about travelling for a long time in cramped conditions. I have heard a bit about the risks of deep vein thrombosis so would like some advice on how to ensure the journey will not have any affect on my circulation.
A. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when blood flow is restricted leading to the formation of a clot, usually in the leg veins which caused pain. This may lead to complications such as pulmonary embolism if the clot breaks off and travels through the bloodstream to cause obstructions in other areas. Its difficult to pin down what effect long haul travel has on your DVT risk as the risks go up anyway as we get older and they are also increased if you already have circulation or heart problems.
Cabinguard by Biocare has been formulated to help support the healthy function of the cardiovascular and immune systems when travelling in confined or artificial environments. CabinGuard contains two capsules; a multi-nutrient and a specially designed antioxidant compound. Ingredients include Pine Bark extract which gives the anti-platelet activity of aspirin - but without the harmful side effects such as gastro-intestinal bleeding.
Bilberry and Grapeseed extracts are rich in anthocyanins, which are believed to boost circulation by keeping capillary walls strong and flexible; the antioxidants they contain defend delicate tissues against free radical damage. Lycopene is a flavonoid also recognised as useful in protecting against capillary damage.
Q. I have always been a light sleeper but it has got worse as I have got older. I did try sleeping tablets at one stage but found they left me feeling really groggy in the mornings so I would like to try a natural remedy. Can you help?
A. Diminished sleep is a natural feature of ageing. Causes vary from stresses and strains of every day life, aches, pains and illnesses associated with aging and the issue of melatonin levels. Melatonin, responsible for the body’s circadian rhythm - determiner of when you sleep and wake, decreases with age. In fact by the age of 60, your body is producing half the amount of melatonin it did at the age of 20.
There are ways you can boost your melatonin levels, by increasing your levels of serotonin; a neurotransmitter involved in the manufacture of melatonin. Take regular exercise, ensure your diet has a plentiful supplies of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) found in carrots, cheese, avocado, fish, lentils, peas, potato, spinach, sunflower seeds, and wholemeal flour. Or try a good quality supplement such as Lambert’s healthcare Vitamin B6.
Serotone 5-HTP is a popular supplement help people suffering from insomnia and incidentally is also useful for jet lag although it doesn’t kick in immediately. This supplement is ideal if your insomnia also has its roots in stress or depression. Serotone provides the amino acid 5 HTP, the natural precursor of serotonin from a West African herb, Griffonia simplicifolia, plus the vitamins and minerals needed to convert it.
You can also boost tryptophan, an amino acid critical to the manufacture of serotonin, with attention to your diet. Milk, turkey and bananas are rich in tranquillizing tryptophan, perhaps explaining why milky drinks before bed can help and why we all fall asleep after Christmas dinner.
Get into a relaxing routine to unwind before bed and also remember that there are also lots of herbs considered very good for insomnia including valerian, passionflower, lemon balm and hops. Nitebalm is a complex of all of the above invaluable sleep-inducing ingredients, together with widely used sleep aid and soother of nerves, lavender. Nitebalm should be taken as drops in water, three times daily to begin with. Effects are generally seen after a few days.
Cabinguard by Biocare costs £9.99 for 16 capsules
All products are available at The Nutri Centre on www.nutricentre.com or call 020 7436 5122 to order or speak to a nutritionist for free advice.
you would like to ask a question, please send an email to