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A new year, a new you

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Whether your goal is to take up a new sport, run a half marathon, or lose weight, adding a daily supplement to your diet could help your body achieve it.

How could supplements help?

Dr. James Thompson, a GP in London and the East Midlands, is often asked by patients about the benefits of supplements. “I’m happy for patients to try a supplement if significant causes for their symptoms are excluded, or more traditional approaches have not yielded results,” James says. “But it’s important to take supplements for the right reason. Unrealistic expectations of what your supplement will do could leave you disappointed.”

James advises to start one supplement at a time. This enables you to know which supplement is making you feel better, or which one is giving you side-effects. “Check for interactions with any prescribed medications you’re taking as well,” he says. “It’s also important to get your supplements from a trusted source where you have rights as a UK consumer.”

Find the right supplement for your New Year’s resolution

Resolution #1: Lose weight

If you’re having trouble shifting those stubborn pounds, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) could help. A member of the omega 6 family, CLA is a good fat found in meat and dairy products, which helps break down bad fat. These fatty acids are then used by the body’s muscles for energy. This means your body is burning fat, not muscle. CLA is often taken with pinnothin, which works as an appetite suppressant.

Resolution #2: Eat better

When you replace a healthy meal with a takeaway you could be depriving your body of the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to maintain a healthy immune system and fight off illnesses. If you’re not getting your five-a-day, taking a multivitamin could help give your body the right nutrients.

Resolution #3: Get in shape

Keeping active has many health benefits. It could reduce your risk of heart disease, help keep your blood pressure low, and help you get in shape. Therefore, the last thing you need is an injury. Our bodies produce a natural amino sugar called glucosamine, which helps to keep joints supple and flexible. If you’re exercising regularly, a glucosamine supplement could help protect joints and keep aches and pains at bay.

Resolution #4: Give up the bad stuff

To begin the year afresh, ridding your body of toxins could be a good place to start. Probiotics could improve gut health by helping to balance good and bad bacteria levels, while green tea, which contains the antioxidant EGCG, could help lower cholesterol levels. Antioxidants could also help combat the free radicals our bodies produce on a daily basis.

Resolution #5: Enjoy life

How often have you said, “I’d love to go out, but I’m too tired’? It could be you’re lacking in co-Q10, an essential nutrient that gives our body energy. Our supply of co-Q10 begins to run low as we get older so topping up with supplements could put a spring back in your step. We also get energy from the food we eat but need vitamin B to release this energy. Vitamin B could also help to reduce fatigue and support your immune system.

Whatever your New Year’s resolution, maintaining your health and wellbeing is important. One of the essential fatty acids our body needs for good health is omega 3. However, our body can’t produce it naturally. While you can source omega 3 from oily fish, such as salmon and tuna, adding an omega 3 supplement to your daily diet, could help to reduce your risk of heart disease, improve eyesight and boost your focus and concentration. Exactly what you need to achieve those New Year’s resolutions!

GP who works in private and NHS surgeries in London and the East Midlands. www.askdocjames.comMore from this expert.

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No statement or article should be understood as providing treatment advice. If you have a health problem consult your GP and check compatibility of new supplements with your GP or Pharmacist if you are taking any prescription medication.

Nutrition Expert sources the latest information and advice from a range of qualified doctors, nutritionists and coaches. We always endeavour to have the most up to date information possible and publish new content weekly. However with the constant research in this field sometimes some of our older articles can become out of date. If you see anything that you believe needs to be updated please let us know via our Contact Us page