Your Burning Supplement Questions Answered by Expert Nutritionist Riya
Feeling confused about the world of dietary supplements? You're certainly not alone. Supplements offer a plethora of health benefits, from boosting your immune system to enhancing your physical performance. However, with the vast array of options available, it can be hard to determine what is beneficial and what is simply hype. But, don't worry! We've got you covered in this week's blog.
Our in house nutritionist Riya Lakhani-Kanji BSc, MSc, Nutr, with her specialisation in supplements, is here to help. She'll answer your top burning questions about dietary supplements, giving you the insights and confidence to make informed decisions about your health.
So whether you're a beginner just dipping your toes into the supplement scene, or a seasoned pro looking for advanced insights, there's something here for everyone. Let's dive into the world of supplements with our expert Riya, and discover the path to better health!
Q: Hi I am suffering from erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation can you recommend any supplements? I am 40 years old.
A: Hi there, and thank you for bringing forward such an important question. A lot of men, especially as they age, will likely deal with similar health concerns. Let's start by understanding that erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation (PE) are male sexual health issues that require professional diagnosis and treatment from a healthcare provider.
While I am a nutritionist and not a doctor, I can certainly provide you with some general advice regarding dietary supplements that could potentially aid in improving your sexual wellness. But remember, these should never replace a proper consultation with your healthcare provider.
Many men have found improvement in alleviating ED and PE symptoms through certain nutritional supplements, including:
- L-arginine: This amino acid is often used for ED because it helps your body produce nitric oxide, a compound that facilitates erections by dilating blood vessels in the penis. Taking it in tandem with lifestyle changes can improve symptoms.
- DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone): A hormone produced by the body’s adrenal glands, DHEA can be converted into testosterone and oestrogen. Low levels are often seen in men with ED, so taking supplements could potentially help.
- Pygeum: Pygeum, also known as African plum extract, is commonly used for treating symptoms of an enlarged prostate which can lead to sexual dysfunction. This, in turn, might help with premature ejaculation.
- Ashwagandha: An herb often used in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is known for reducing stress and anxiety, which might aid in dealing with PE.
Please keep in mind that while these supplements can help improve sexual health, they should not act as a standalone solution. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and reducing stress—these lifestyle changes are just as important and should be simultaneous endeavours.
Q: Why do you include copper in the Marine Collagen supplement?
A: Copper is an essential trace mineral vital for the proper functioning of your body. And when it comes to the inclusion of Copper in our Marine Collagen supplement, it plays a quite crucial role. Collagen production requires several key nutrients and Copper is one of them. It's involved in the process of forming collagen and elastin, the structural proteins that make up your skin, bones, and connective tissue. So, by adding Copper to the supplement, we aim to enhance your body’s natural collagen production, promoting a healthier skin and bone structure. Also, Copper has anti-inflammatory properties - a bonus in managing any chronic inflammatory conditions.
Q: Best supplement for excessive bloating and varicose veins
A: When it comes to bloating, a top supplement I always recommend is a probiotic. It helps balance your gut bacteria, bears a direct relation to a healthier digestive system and can really help reduce bloating. The strain called Bifidobacterium lactis – often found in yoghurts and commercial supplements – is particularly effective.
Ginger is another supplement you might want to consider. It's widely known for its capacity to alleviate digestive issues. As a natural anti-inflammatory, it can also decrease swelling and discomfort associated with varicose veins.
When it comes to dealing with varicose veins, it's not just about what you avoid; it's also about what you include in your diet. It is just as crucial to include essential nutrients that promote vascular health, and balance circulatory system functions.
Varicose veins can be tricky, but aiming for a balanced diet that incorporates specific nutrients can significantly help manage, prevent and treat the condition. It's not a silver bullet, but it's a strong line of defence.
- Vitamin C: Well known for its immune-boosting properties, Vitamin C is also essential for the production of collagen and elastin. These two proteins help keep your veins strong and flexible.
- Bioflavonoids: Like Vitamin C, Bioflavonoids also support collagen formation- crucial for maintaining the strength and flexibility in the veins.
- Fibre: A diet high in fibre can help avoid constipation, which can put unnecessary pressure on your veins and make varicose veins symptoms worse.
- Vitamin E: This has been found to improve blood circulation and can help minimise varicose veins symptoms.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These essential fatty acids are known to help reduce inflammation in the body, a pertinent factor when dealing with varicose veins.
Also, for varicose veins, the supplement I often suggest is Horse Chestnut Extract. Clinical studies have shown it to be comparable in effectiveness to compression stockings, often recommended by doctors for the treatment of varicose veins.
Q: Are there any supplements that could help remove dark circles under my eyes? I have tried beauty products and nothing seems to make a difference.
A: Yes, there are indeed supplements that may help with dark circles. Dark circles can often be a result of nutrient deficiencies, specifically iron and vitamin K. Hence, supplements containing these nutrients might assist in alleviating your problem.
Iron supplements can aid in enhancing circulation, minimising the dark hues under the eyes. Similarly, Vitamin K plays a major role in blood clotting and can help in diminishing darkness and puffiness too.
Additionally, hydrating supplements like omega-3 and flaxseed oil provide omega-3 fatty acids which promote skin health. This could potentially improve the overall appearance of your skin, including the under-eye area.
Please bear in mind that while these supplements can help, they may not eradicate the issue completely. Dark circles can also be a result of various factors like genetics, lack of sleep, ageing, and more. It's always best to consult with a medical professional for personalised advice.
Q: Can you tell me if your Vitamin D3 & K2 drops already contain fat to carry the D3? Or would I take some sort of fat with my drops for better absorption?
A: Good question! Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is better absorbed in the body when there's a source of dietary fat present. The Vitamin D3 & K2 drops that we have does contain Sunflower Seed Oil, which is the source of fat to help carry the D3 (also known as the carrier oil).
Wondering if you're missing out on any important vitamins or unsure about the best kind of protein supplement for your specific needs? Maybe you want to delve deeper into the different types of probiotics and their purported benefits? Not to worry! You can ask Riya the nutritionist all of these questions - and more, and we're sure she'll have helpful answers. Join our newsletter and keep an eye out for Q+A emails where you can ask Riya and get her helpful insights.
Riya Lakhani-Kanji MSc ANutr is a registered nutritionist and health writer with a special interest in plant-based nutrition. She has completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, and has developed a passion for writing about all things plant-based.