Easier To Swallow
From libido lifters to allergy alleviators, there’s a supplement for everything. But do you know your ABC when it comes to vitamins A, B and C? Take our quiz to find out if your knowledge needs a boost
How au fait are you with supplements really?
A. Chamomile B. Feverfew C. Ginger
1 IF YOU CAN’T ESCAPE DOMS, WHICH SUPP SHOULD YOU POP?
C. A daily dose of ginger can reduce postexercise muscle pain by 25 percent, found the University of Georgia in the US. As well as the ability to relieve stomach upset, nausea and morning sickness, ginger contains compounds shown to curb inflammation, reduce oxidative stress and modulate other healing mechanisms within the body. Let your foam roller know you’ll be spending less time together.
2 YOU’RE ALREADY DOWNING LIQUID COLLAGEN, BUT WHAT ELSE CAN TACKLE ANTIAGEING FROM THE INSIDE?
A. ALA B. AHT C. ABC
A. Alpha lipoic acid, to give it its full name, is an antioxidant that works to slow down ageing, safeguarding against vision-impairing cataracts and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. It also lowers blood-sugar levels, which aids weight loss, found The American Journal of Medicine. Get it in Clicks Essentials Alpha Lipoic Acid (R109).
3 A MULTIVITAMIN WILL COMPENSATE FOR THAT MCDONALD’S BINGE.
A. True B. False
B. Err, ’fraid not. Just as you can’t out-train a bad diet, you can’t outsupplement it either. Vitamin pills (alone) probably aren’t enough to improve overall health. But a review in Nutrition Journal did find that people who use them tend to seek out wellness and live healthier lifestyles by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and avoiding smoking.
4 COBALAMIN IS ESSENTIAL FOR YOUR BODY TO TICK LIKE CLOCKWORK. BY WHAT NAME IS IT BETTER KNOWN? A. Caffeine B. Vitamin B12 C. Zinc
B. This wonder vitamin sustains your physical, emotional and mental energy. And Nutrition Research says it’s crucial in old age for guarding against dementia and reducing stroke risk. Not getting enough? Get a supp. Try SOLAL Super Mega B Complex (R275) from Faithful-ToNature.co.za.
5 YOU CAN’T HAVE TOO MUCH BETA-CAROTENE.
A. True B. False
B. It’s the nutrient that makes carrots orange and it’s a powerful antioxidant, but the University of Colorado has found that oversupplementation increases your risk of lung cancer and heart disease by 20 percent. The government recommends taking no more than 7mg per day. Better still, glean it from natural sources, like carrots, sweet potatoes and kale.
6 WHICH OF THESE CAN BOOST ENERGY?
A. Copper B. Magnesium C. Chromium
B. If your levels are low, you’ll use more oxygen when active, meaning your body has to work harder and you’ll tire sooner, says the Journal of Nutrition. Aim for 270mg per day. Boost your intake with B-CAL-DM (R170).
7 TOO MUCH VITAMIN D CAN BE TOXIC.
A. True B. False
B. Our main source of vitamin D is sunlight, but ironically, tons of us are still deficient. The good news, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, is that toxicity from too much vitamin D supplementation is extremely rare. To keep your bones and teeth healthy, consider taking 25mg a day throughout the winter months.
8 WHAT SHOULD YOU REACH FOR IF YOU’RE SUFFERING FROM ALLERGIES?
A. Probiotics B. Vitamin C C. Ginseng
A. Get popping the probiotics pre-sneezy season; they’ve been proven to help alleviate hay fever by Vanderbilt University in the US and they may help relieve symptoms of other allergies too. Look for lactobacillus acidophilus when supplementing.
9 CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS UP BONE STRENGTH BY:
A. Two percent B. 20 percent C. 200 percent
A. While calcium is needed for strong bones, a daily pill will only strengthen them by two percent, says the BMJ. And too much can up your risk of heart disease. Stick to milk, broccoli, tofu and sardines.
WHICH OF THESE NUTRIENTS CAN HELP IF YOUR LIBIDO IS LOW?
A. Fluoride B. Selenium C. Iron
C. If you’re feeling as sexy as a toilet brush, then up your iron intake. A recent study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine says that not getting enough can make you feel anxious and tired – both key issues in female sexual dysfunction. Try Ferrous Forte tablets (R162).
11 NATURAL REMEDIES DON’T COME WITH ANY HEALTH RISKS.
A. True B. False
B. Natural doesn’t always mean safe. Many herbal supplements can interfere with other medication, such as St John’s wort, which may help lift a low mood, but can also reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill. Always consult your GP first.
12 WHICH WORK TRAUMAS COULD VITAMIN B HELP PREVENT?
A. Going all Christian Bale on the mild-mannered IT man. B. Weeping silently in the toilets. C. Pulling out your eyelashes as you wait for the printer to work.
All three are signs of work-related stress: if you’re feeling the strain of your 9 to 5, you may be lacking in B vitamins. After 90 days of supplements, subjects in a study by Australia’s Swinburne University reported a 20 percent decrease in jobrelated stress. Or resign. That works wonders too.
13 TAKING VITAMIN D THROUGHOUT A TOUGH TRAINING REGIME WILL HELP PREVENT...
A. Your bones from breaking. B. Your muscles from aching. C. Your bowels from evacuating.
A. Vitamin D has – as far as we’re aware – no limiting effect on your toilet habits, but according to the Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery, by upping your bone density it can reduce the risk of stress fractures when you do high-impact exercise.
14 WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO WASH DOWN A VITAMIN C PILL?
A. Green juice B. Green tea C. Black tea B. Vitamin C helps your body squeeze out green tea’s antioxidants, found Purdue University in the US, while coffee blocks the absorption of key nutrients.
15 VITAMIN B AND FOLIC ACID ARE GOOD FOR BRAIN HEALTH.
A. True B. False
B. These supps have long been thought to protect against memory loss in old age. But a recent study in the journal Neurology found that two years of supplementation (on top of your recommended daily requirement) had no positive effect on cognitive function.
16 TAKING VITAMIN CAN REDUCE CHANCES OF CATCHING A COLD BY…
A. 3 percent B. 30 percent C. 300 percent
A. Cochrane Library analysed 72 studies and found that a vitamin C supp a day does little to keep the sniffles away and it only reduces a cold’s duration by eight percent. Spend your money on vitamin C-rich oranges instead.
17 VITAMIN B12 CAN HELP WITH YOUR ACNE FLARE-UP.
A. True B. False
B. Step away from this vit if you’re prone to pimply skin. A study in Science Translational Medicine found that it tweaks how genes behave in facial bacteria, prompting the bacteria commonly linked to acne to start pumping out inflammatory molecules that can trigger a breakout.
18 IF YOU’D LIKE TO GO A LITTLE LANCE ARMSTRONG WITHOUT ACTUALLY DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL, TRY...
A. Dandelion-root extract B. Decaffeinated green tea extract C. Grapeseed extract
B. A study by Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Hertfordshire in the UK found that cyclists went 10.9 percent further over one hour after four weeks of taking decaffeinated green tea extract. Why? Their bodies burned more fat as fuel, preserving their glycogen reserves for a better performance.
CRANBERRY JUICE CAPSULES CAN LOWER YOUR RISK OF URINARY TRACT INFECTION BY HOW MUCH?
A. 10 percent B. 15 percent C. 20 percent
C. It’s estimated that nearly two-thirds of women will suffer with a UTI, so it’s worth taking precautionary measures. A BMJ study found that once you have an attack, however, cranberry juice can’t help. It’s just like your mum always said: prevention is better than cure.
A VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY HAS BEEN LINKED TO...
A. IBS B. Infertility C. Eczema
A & B. Your body turns vitamin D into a hormone needed to produce highquality eggs, according to a study published by the Endocrine Society, while the University of Sheffield found that 82 percent of IBS sufferers they tested were vitamin D deficient. Trying to conceive? Go for 50mg per day. For IBS relief, try 75mg.
AN OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENT WILL HELP YOU GET MORE...
A. Hot sex. B. Good friends. C. Sound sleep.
C. After four months of supplementation, children in a University of Oxford study slept for longer with fewer disturbances. The lead professor thinks the results would be the same for adults, so swallow a capsule daily and sleep like a baby.