TOP TEN SUP­PLE­MENTS

Business Traveller - - WELLBEING -

1 WHAT TO TAKE… for a post-flight cold

Pelargo­nium sidoides This ex­tract of the gera­nium root has been widely used in Ger­many since the 1980s for colds and flu, be­cause of its an­tivi­ral prop­er­ties.

The health claim: Kaloba by Sch­wabe Pharma, a li­censed herbal medicine that con­tains ex­tract of pelargo­nium, “at­tacks the viruses that cause many up­per res­pi­ra­tory tract in­fec­tions”.

The ev­i­dence: Re­search from the Univer­sity of Chicago found that pelargo­nium “shows prom­ise” as a treat­ment for res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions. A re­view of eight tri­als by the re­spected Cochrane Col­lab­o­ra­tion con­cluded that Kaloba “may be ef­fec­tive in al­le­vi­at­ing the symp­toms of acute rhi­nos­i­nusi­tis and the com­mon cold”. Kaloba, £9.25 (30 tablets/ten-day sup­ply) from Boots

3 WHAT TO TAKE…. to fight pol­lu­tion

Vi­ta­min B com­plex The eight types of B vi­ta­mins play a role in reg­u­lat­ing the ner­vous sys­tem, re­leas­ing en­ergy from food, de­liv­er­ing oxy­gen to cells and tis­sues, and mak­ing red blood cells.

The health claim: Sup­ple­ment­ing with B vi­ta­mins can re­duce the im­pact of pol­lu­tants on the body.

The ev­i­dence: A re­cent study from City Univer­sity in Hong Kong found that tak­ing a daily B com­plex sup­ple­ment could of­fer some pro­tec­tion against the im­pact of PM2.5, a mi­cropar­ti­cle in pol­lu­tion that is small enough to en­ter the res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem and cause in­flam­ma­tion through­out the body. An ear­lier Aus­tralian study found that high doses of B com­plex helped to pro­tect against the ef­fects of oc­cu­pa­tional stress in a group of ex­ec­u­tives.

High Strength Vi­ta­min B Com­plex, £9.45 (120 tablets/16-week sup­ply); healthspan.co.uk

2 WHAT TO TAKE… when you’re un­der pres­sure

Ash­wa­gandha Ash­wa­gandha is used in tra­di­tional Ayurvedic medicine as an “adap­to­gen” – a herb that helps us to cope with the ef­fects of stress. The health claim: “Ash­wa­gandha is the per­fect herb for the 21st cen­tury as it both calms and en­er­gises, and is help­ful for as­sist­ing deep sleep and calming ner­vous ten­sion,” says herbal­ist Se­bas­tian Pole.“Its affin­ity for the adrenal, en­docrine and ner­vous sys­tems point to its use in any im­bal­ances af­fect­ing our en­ergy or vi­tal­ity.”

The ev­i­dence: Ash­wa­gandha was as ef­fec­tive at re­duc­ing the symp­toms of anx­i­ety as the pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion lo­razepam. It also sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved re­silience against stress in a group of par­tic­i­pants who took the sup­ple­ment for 60 days.

Pukka Wholis­tic Ash­wa­gandha, £13.55 (30 cap­sules/15-day sup­ply); pukka­herbs.com

• If you take pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion or have a chronic health con­di­tion, al­ways con­sult your GP or a phar­ma­cist be­fore tak­ing sup­ple­ments.

A study of GP pa­tients with un­con­trolled hy­per­ten­sion showed a re­duc­tion in mean blood pres­sure over 12 weeks

4 WHAT TO TAKE… to boost im­mu­nity

Red Reishi Known as the “mush­room of im­mor­tal­ity” in East­ern medicine, reishi ex­tract is used in Ja­pan as an adap­to­gen, some­thing that re­duces the body’s vul­ner­a­bil­ity to stress and helps to build nat­u­ral im­mu­nity. It is tra­di­tion­ally used as a gen­eral phys­i­cal and men­tal well­be­ing booster.

The health claim: It’s gain­ing such a rep­u­ta­tion as an im­mune booster that even Can­cer Re­search UK wants to see clin­i­cal tri­als on its use in can­cer pa­tients.“Reishi is a use­ful sup­ple­ment for tired­ness,” says Serene Fos­ter, a doc­tor of im­munol­ogy and med­i­cal herbal­ist (hy­desherbal­clinic.co.uk).

The ev­i­dence: Stud­ies con­sis­tently show that reishi is ef­fec­tive at boost­ing the ac­tiv­ity of the im­mune sys­tem, al­though many of the stud­ies have been done on rats. A Cochrane re­view of five clin­i­cal tri­als found that it im­proved pa­tient re­sponse to chemo­ther­apy or ra­dio­ther­apy.

Mikei Red Reishi Essence, £39.99 (30 cap­sules/30-day sup­ply); haeon.com

5 WHAT TO TAKE… to pre­vent DVT

Aged black gar­lic Black gar­lic is the lat­est su­per­food, an Asian del­i­cacy that is cre­ated by fer­ment­ing reg­u­lar gar­lic at high tem­per­a­tures to pro­duce a dark­coloured, soft, sweet-tast­ing bulb.

The health claim: Age­ing the gar­lic in­creases its anti-in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties, in­creas­ing lev­els of S al­lyl­cys­teine, the nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ent in gar­lic, which is thought to re­duce blood pres­sure, high choles­terol and the in­ci­dence of clot­ting.

The ev­i­dence: An Aus­tralian study of GP pa­tients with un­con­trolled hy­per­ten­sion showed a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in mean blood pres­sure over 12 weeks. Hav­ing high blood pres­sure and spend­ing pe­ri­ods im­mo­bile in­creases the risk of deep-vein throm­bo­sis (DVT).

Aged Black Gar­lic 10X, £19.95 (30 cap­sules/ 30-day sup­ply); thenaked phar­macy.com

6 WHAT TO TAKE… to soothe your di­ges­tion

Alflo­rex A strain of bi­fi­dobac­terium pro­bi­otic (healthy bac­te­ria) that tar­gets and re­duces the symp­toms of ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome (IBS).

The health claim: Not all pro­bi­otics are ef­fec­tive for IBS but Alflo­rex is the num­ber-one pro­bi­otic rec­om­mended by gas­troen­terol­o­gists in the US. Alflo­rex con­tains Bi­fi­dobac­terium in­fan­tis 35624, from the fam­ily of bac­te­ria passed from mother to ba­bies at birth, which has been shown to re­duce the symp­toms of IBS. Im­prov­ing the bal­ance of your gut flora is thought to have an im­pact on your gen­eral health and men­tal well­be­ing.

The ev­i­dence: There are 75 stud­ies on this strain of bac­te­ria, one of which showed it re­duced symp­toms such as ab­dom­i­nal pain, bloat­ing and prob­lem­atic bowel move­ments af­ter eight weeks.

£24.95 (30 cap­sules/four-week sup­ply);

7 WHAT TO TAKE… to re­duce stress

Laven­der oil Es­sen­tial oil ex­tracted from the flow­ers of La­van­dula an­gus­ti­fo­lia laven­der plants.

The health claim: Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal-qual­ity laven­der oil re­duces ex­ces­sive ac­tiv­ity of neu­ro­trans­mit­ters in the brain that pro­duce anx­i­ety, and boosts lev­els of calming sero­tonin.

The ev­i­dence: Small stud­ies sug­gest laven­der oil is as ef­fec­tive as pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion at re­duc­ing the symp­toms of anx­i­ety. One study of peo­ple with “sub­thresh­old” (mild) anx­i­ety found that 76 per cent re­ported a 50 per cent re­duc­tion in anx­i­ety within two weeks. One brand, Kalms, is now rec­om­mended by Anx­i­ety UK.

Kalms Laven­der One-a-Day cap­sules, £6.49 (14 cap­sules/ two-week sup­ply) from Boots or kalm­srange.com

8 WHAT TO TAKE… if you think travel is age­ing you

Chlorella A fresh­wa­ter mi­cro-al­gae grown in Asia.

The health claim: It’s thought the “Chlorella Growth Fac­tor” com­plex within the mi­cro-al­gae, which helps its own cells to re­pro­duce rapidly, can help to re­pair dam­aged tis­sue and heal wounds in hu­mans. It’s also a good source of mag­ne­sium, known as “na­ture’s tran­quil­liser”.

The ev­i­dence: Stud­ies have shown it re­duces in­flam­ma­tion in the body at cel­lu­lar level, thought to be one of the causes of age­ing. Sun Chlorella A, £21.95 (300 tablets/20-30 days’ sup­ply); sunchlorella.co.uk

9 WHAT TO TAKE… to pro­tect your joints

Turmeric This yel­low spice found in In­dian and South East Asian food comes from the root of the cur­cuma longa plant.

The health claim: The in­gre­di­ent in “golden milk” or turmeric latte, it was named as one of Min­tel’s “foods to watch” last year. In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is known for its anti-can­cer prop­er­ties as well as for al­le­vi­at­ing aching joints.

The ev­i­dence: One study of 107 par­tic­i­pants found turmeric sup­ple­ments were as ef­fec­tive as ibupro­fen at re­duc­ing knee pain when walk­ing or climb­ing stairs. A re­view of rel­e­vant stud­ies found promis­ing in vitro re­sults but called for more clin­i­cal tri­als on pa­tients with os­teoarthri­tis.

Bet­ter You Turmeric Oral Spray (or­ange­flavoured), £17.95; bet­teryou.com

10 WHAT TO TAKE… to beat jet lag NADH

A chem­i­cal that nat­u­rally oc­curs in the body and plays a role in re­leas­ing en­ergy from glu­cose at cel­lu­lar level.

The health claim: NADH im­proves men­tal clar­ity and con­cen­tra­tion. As a bonus, it may help to lower choles­terol and blood pres­sure, and coun­ter­act the ef­fects of al­co­hol on the liver.

The ev­i­dence: Re­search has found that sup­ple­ment­ing with NADH im­proves cog­ni­tive func­tion and re­duced sleepi­ness af­ter an overnight long-haul flight.“Take eight cap­sules – two be­fore you travel, two dur­ing the flight, then four when you ar­rive at your des­ti­na­tion and you need to be awake,” says nu­tri­tional ther­a­pist Karen Alexan­der.“It goes well with ash­wa­gandha sup­ple­ments to beat stress – so you’re en­er­gised but re­laxed.” Wild Nu­tri­tion Food-Grown Wild Trav­eller, £28 (32 cap­sules/one-month sup­ply); wild­nu­tri­tion.com

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