Monthly Archives: May 2012

The vitamin pills that actually work! How some supplements can work wonders for specific ailments | Mail Online

By Dr Max Pemberton


Positive results:Taking vitamin supplements can sometimes yield real health benefits

When my grandmother suffered a fall and broke her pelvis, her GP advised her to take supplements to help speed healing.

Initially I was sceptical – these things are not part of medical training and I assumed the herbal remedies and vitamin pills in health food shops were little more than placebos. But I was wrong.

With some research I discovered many supplements have a good evidence base to support their use in specific conditions.

Together, my grandmother’s GP and I came up with ‘bone juice’ – a soluble mix of Vitamins C and D, zinc and calcium.

She was on her feet in no time and she felt she was helping herself by taking the juice. She would call me each day to say she had drunk it all.

My only concern is that people don’t treat themselves without a doctor’s guidance and that supplements should not be used instead of prescribed medication. But, as Gran showed me, there are times when they can have real benefit.

Here is my guide to some that have been proven to help maintain health and even treat disease, that I, and other doctors, recommend. 

Vitamin B for brain function

TRY: Viridian High 12 B-Complex,  £14.70, 90 capsules,

THE EVIDENCE: All eight B vitamins are involved in a whole host of bodily functions, from controlling metabolism to the production of red blood cells.

The Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing (OPTIMA) found that tablets containing Vitamin B12 and B6, and folic acid slowed shrinkage of the brain by an average of 30 per cent a year in patients with possible early stage dementia.

THE DOSE: It’s early stage research, but they suggest 500micrograms of B12, 20 milligrams of B6, and 800 micrograms of folic acid daily. These are quite high doses so you may need to buy separate supplements.


Multivitamin for male fertility

TRY: Vitabiotics Pregnacare His and Hers Conception, 30 tablets, £16.45,

THE EVIDENCE: Much has been written about antioxidants in preventing cancer but the real news is the emerging evidence that they can improve male fertility.

Trials have shown that men who took a combination of oral antioxidants  – including vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, folate, L-carnitine and carotenoids –  showed an improvement in either sperm quality or pregnancy rate in their partners after taking the supplements. Experts are yet to understand their importance in sperm quality.

THE DOSE: There is much debate about exact doses that produce the best effects but research suggests doses in the region of: Vitamin C 1000mg, Vitamin E 400-600mg, selenium 100-225micrograms, B-carotene 30mg, L-carnitine 2g. However, it’s easier to simply take one of the tablets specifically designed to help conception.

Fish oil for mental health

TRY: BioCare Mega EPA,  90 capsules, 2,333mg, £16.95,

THE EVIDENCE: There’s a surprising amount of research supporting the use of fish oils in patients with conditions ranging from depression to schizophrenia.

Experts do not fully understand how omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the symptoms of mental disorders but it is thought it helps the neurons (brain cells) communicate more efficiently.

THE DOSE: If you suffer depression or other mental illness you should take one to three grams  of omega 3 daily, but speak to your GP if you are on blood-thinning medication.

Fish oils can help reduce symptoms connected with conditions ranging from depression to schizophrenia

Zinc for beating colds

TRY: Redoxon Double Action Vitamin C + Zinc 30 Orange Effervescent Tabs £4.91,

THE EVIDENCE: Zinc is involved in making white blood cells, which help the body to fight colds. I advise elderly patients to take Vitamin C with zinc supplements in the winter as while one fights infection, the other helps heal.

THE DOSE: One tablet contains 10mg. Take daily throughout winter as a preventative or as soon as symptoms begin and until they subside. Effervescent tablets, which are dissolved in water, can be acidic so drink  with a straw.

Vitamin D for strong bones

TRY: Nature’s Plus Adult’s Chewable Vitamin D3, 90 tablets, 1000iu, £11.20,

THE EVIDENCE: Numerous studies have found that elderly adults who take Vitamin D supplements have stronger bones. Many orthopaedic surgeons recommend supplements to those recovering from fractures.

This is because Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of bone-building calcium and phosphate in the body.

A recent review of all the scientific literature published about Vitamin D also suggested that it might reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes in later life, too.

THE DOSE: If you are aged over 65 you should  take a supplement of 10 micrograms (1000iu) each day.

Studies show people who take Vitamin D supplements have stronger bones

Peppermint for nausea

TRY: Obbekjaers Oil of Peppermint, extra strength, 60 capsules, 200mg, £9.46,

THE EVIDENCE: A study published in the British Medical Journal concluded that peppermint oil was the best treatment for those who suffer with irritable bowel syndrome.

This is because peppermint acts as an anti-spasmodic, meaning that it prevents  the stomach cramping and has no side effects –  apart from making your breath smell minty. It is also  a natural painkiller.

THE DOSE: Take one capsule three times a day before meals.

Ginkgo Biloba for sharp memory

TRY: Vitabiotics Ginkgo and Ginseng, 60 tablets, 800mg and 150mg, £9.95,

THE EVIDENCE: I often suggest taking ginkgo biloba to elderly people who have memory problems if other treatments haven’t worked, or if their symptoms are not severe enough to warrant prescribed medication.

Ginkgo is a type of tree that produces fan-shaped leaves which have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine.

THE DOSE: A trial in 2010 found  that just 240mg a day  was significantly superior  to a placebo in  treating memory problems.

Vitamin C for speedy healing

TRY: Lamberts Vitamin C-Time, 1000mg 60 capsules, £7.30,

THE EVIDENCE: Countless studies tried to prove Vitamin C fights colds but only found it offers little assistance. However, Vitamin C is vital for skin growth and cell regeneration as it is involved in the production of collagen, a key component of skin.  A surgeon I once worked with insisted that all his patients took a supplement post-operatively.

His reasoning was that as Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin – meaning that the body cannot store it – we need a ready supply, especially when the body is trying to rebuild tissue.

THE DOSE: Take 1g of Vitamin C daily while your wounds heal. Slow-release tablets ensure you do not excrete it too quickly.

Folic acid for pregnancy

TRY: Centrum Pregnancy Care, 30 tabs, £5.29,

THE EVIDENCE: Folic acid (Vitamin B9) is one supplement that every woman should know about. It has been consistently shown to be of benefit in pregnant women to help reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

THE DOSE: Take 400iu daily as soon as you begin planning a child, and continue for the first three months of pregnancy, when the baby’s spine is growing.

Health boost: Folic acid is of benefit to pregnant women and helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida

Garlic for heart health

TRY: Viridian Garlic, 90 capsules, 500mg each, £22.05,

THE EVIDENCE: Since reading up on the evidence for garlic, I’ve taken a tablet every day. The University of Maryland has found that it boosts circulation, reduces cholesterol and blood pressure by eight per cent as well as slowing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and reducing the risk of cancer.

Although the benefits are slight in each area, when taken overall, it has a potent effect.

THE DOSE: Up to 900mg per day has been shown to be beneficial.

Ginger for nausea

TRY: New Chapter Ginger Force,  30 capsules, £23.69,

THE EVIDENCE: Ginger has been used for hundreds of years as a traditional remedy for sickness but there’s actually good evidence that it works. It’s particularly useful in the nausea associated with morning sickness.

A study carried out by the University of Adelaide in Australia found ginger as effective as anti-nausea medication in pregnant women.

Ginger for an upset stomach may seem so obvious it’s a cliche but studies have shown that it may help with post-operative nausea, chemotherapy-induced nausea and sea sickness.

THE DOSE: Just one gram daily of fresh ginger is enough to have an effect. Or take a supplement as needed, following the directions on the bottle.

Green tea for fur-free veins

TRY: Solgar Chinese Green Tea, 50 capsules, £11.73,

THE EVIDENCE: Japanese research has shown that those who drink green tea regularly have lower total cholesterol levels than those who don’t, although why is not fully understood.

While the effect is small compared with cholesterol-lowering drugs, it can be useful in those with slightly high levels who are trying to reduce their cholesterol levels naturally.

THE DOSE: Just one cup daily is needed to see an effect, or take a daily supplement.







50 Ways To Constructively Channel Negative Emotions

Emotional intelligence is not about never experiencing negative emotions, but learning how to channel them in positive and constructive ways.

Here are some activities that are often effective in taking emotions like sadness, anger, or grief, and then using them to learn something about ourselves or creating a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

50 ways to constructively channel negative emotions…

 1. Play an instrument.

2. Listen to music that fits your mood.

3. Paint or draw.

4. rite a short story.

5. Sing a song.

6. Dance.

7. Go to the gym or workout.

8. Go some place where you can yell at the top of your lungs.

9. Watch a movie that echoes how you feel.

10. Do yoga, tai chi, or some other mind-body exercise.

11. Vent your thoughts to someone who is willing to listen.

12. Create a personal blog (see power of writing) or vlog to keep track of your experiences.

13. Donate or volunteer at an organization that works toward your values.

14. Ask yourself, “What are my emotions trying to tell me?” Often there is a thought process behind what we feel.

15. Learn how to reframe a situation in a more positive or productive light.

16. Try one of these 30 acts of loving-kindness. Often creating pleasant feelings for others increases our own well-being.

17. Go out to your local park or nature preserve.

18. Find a good place to take pictures.

19. Write and direct a short film.

20. Lift weights or hit a punching bag to de-stress.

21. Play a stimulating video game.

22. View anxiety or stress as motivators to act, not things that inhibit you.

23. Write a poem or song lyrics.

24. Try to solve a puzzle.

25. Go outside for a short walk.

26. Reflect on negative experiences and see what you can learn from them.

27. Meditate on your thoughts and emotions without being judgmental (“good” or “bad”).

28. Channel your emotions into a competitive sport.

29. Go star gazing.

30. Respectfully confront someone who may be responsible for how you feel.

31. Engage in one of these good feelings so you remind yourself of the finer things in life.

32. Learn how to take criticism like a champ.

33. Consider forgiveness as a valuable way to let go of past experiences.

34. Read a novel that temporarily takes you into a new world.

35. Join a forum or online support group that shares similar troubles.

36. Use negative relationships in the past as fuel to improve relationships in the future.

37. When reflecting on negative events in your life, try to see the bigger picture. Often these experiences can build resilience in the long-term (related: post-traumatic growth).

38. Use anger or other “high charged” emotions to drive you to be more productive at work.

39. Blur the line between work and play to handle boredom or apathy.

40. Use physical weakness or fatigue as a sign to take a break or enjoy leisure time.

41. Wake up early and watch the sunrise.

42. Find the value in occasional solitude.

43. Surround yourself with positive and supporting friends and family.

44. Use your emotional energy to create positive affirmations.

45. Create your own self-hypnosis audio.

46. Write your own daily prayer.

47. Reflect on role models who may have overcome similar obstacles.

48. Organize and redecorate your house or office space.

49. Read some inspirational quotes.

50. Attend a concert or some other community event.


15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a

lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:


1. Give up your need to always be right.There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu


3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.


4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle


5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle


6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.


7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.


8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.


9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell


10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer


11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt


12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.


13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.


14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.


15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

Nidra Yoga: Acceptance Services

Acceptance Services?

After several years of teaching meditation, facilitating support groups, and talking one-to-one with people with personal problems, I have found that the one thing that always works for people who want to free themselves from emotional pain, if they are willing to employ it, is acceptance or forgiveness.

What is acceptance and why should I employ it?

Meditation is a marvelous tool for quieting the mind, but it rarely gets to the root of inner conflict: unforgiveness.

If we search our minds with a little self-honesty, we will find a whole host of grievances which are disturbing our inner peace: A relative who slighted us years ago, a boss who berated us for a poor performance, and so on.

These are the things that really bother us if we’re honest with ourselves – and we can’t just magically “meditate them away” as if meditation were some form of medication.

Acceptance does not mean that we become a doormat or have to accept unacceptable behaviour. It does however require us to own the fact that what we are experiencing is a projection of our own state of mind, and it is we who have the power to choose to see the situation differently, through the “lens” of forgiveness.

In truth, the only person we need to forgive is ourselves – for projecting our judgements onto other people, places and things.

If inner peace is your true