Ask Me A Question

If you have any nutrition questions, please use the comments box below and I will answer as soon as possible. I can, of course, only give general advice. If you have any persistent symptoms or health problems that worry you, please consult your own doctor.

“Diets, like clothes, should be tailored to you.” Joan Rivers


Please leave a comment or ask me a question ...

348 thoughts on “Ask Me A Question

  • Rebecca

    Hi I have been diagnosed with an over active bladder and my GP is not keen (and neither am I) to prescribe drugs to alleviate it due to the recently discovered disastrous side effects. I did some research and have been taking pumpkin seed oil for over 6 months but am still up 2 or 3 times a night, is there anything you would recommend. Thanks Rebecca

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Rebecca, Pumpkin seed is a popular natural treatment for overactive bladder. One of the most effective versions for females includes pumpkin seed oil, sumach bark and hop extracts, which is a licensed herbal medicine in the UK. This is called Urostemol femina for women. The version for males, Urestemol Men, combines pumpkin seed and pumpkin seed oil with saw palmetto fruit extracts. Hope that helps. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Ann S

    Hi Dr. sarah,
    I am 54 years old female and was diagnosed with RA in 2010 and taking methotrexate and plaquenil, the meds are helping with RA pain. I am taking Collagen 1 & 2, Calcium and vitamin D. I also swiched to glutin free diet a month ago. I drink herbal tea of cinnamon and tumeric from time to time.
    Recently i changed my job to office work which requires sitting long hours from 8am to 4pm and 1 houre lunch break i start experiencing constant knee pain and looking for advise on what to take beside collegan.
    Thank you

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      As Fruitflow is a blend of water-soluble tomato extracts from the clear jelly surrounding the seeds. It consists of nucleosides/nucleotides (eg adenosine), polyphenols (eg chlorogenic acid) and flavonoids (eg rutin). Hope that helps, Sarah B

      • MaiLinh

        I and a few friends want to learn about how to create Fruitflow from tomatoes and we are looking forward to getting the help of you. Can you let us know which method can extraction Fruitflow from tomatoes?

      • DrSarahBrewer Post author

        It is a proprietary patent-protected process so I’m afraid I can’t help you! Your best bet is to contact Provexis who may or may not be able to assist. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Selena

    Hello, I have been suffering with mood swings, not being able to stay asleep and feeling anxious in the mornings. I started taking 1000mg of evening primrose oil with star flower oil. 850mg of st johns wort and 500mg of magnesium. I take the evening primrose oil and st johns wort in the morning and the magnesium after food in the evening. This combination has helped with the mood swings but I am still waking at night. Is it also safe for me to take 300mg of Ashwagandha in the evening on top of all these other supplements? I am concerned abount serontonin syndrome?

  • Annie

    I have had insomnia for several years .
    I have tried just about everything to make me sleep
    Could you give me your advice
    Many thanks
    Kind regards

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Annie, Sorry to hear about your sleep difficulties. My best advice to aid sleep can be found in my post on How To Sleep Better Naturally on my Expert Health Reviews site. I hope you find something on there that helps. Suggestions include Lavender oil capsules (fi anxiety is involved), Valerian, magnesium or 5-HTP. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Joyce

    Dear Dr Sarah
    My daughter”s 10 week old baby has colic which starts at 6pm every evening when she cries non stop for at least 2 hours. Is there anything you would recommend to help baby mother father?even their 2 year old not happy when baby crying non stop. Gripe water hasn’t helped.
    Any help would be much appreciated

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      H Joyce, I remember the distress – my eldest son was a very colicky baby. The exact cause of colic is unknown, but is most likely due to a build up of trapped wind, either because too much air is gulped down during a feed, or because excess gas is produced in the bowel itself. This is sometimes linked with a temporary lack of the digestive enzyme, lactase, which is needed to break down milk sugar (lactose) into simpler sugars (glucose and galactose) before they can be absorbed. If lactase enzyme is missing, lactose sugar remains absorbed and passes down to the large intestines where it is fermented by bowel bacteria to release gas, triggering wind, bloating and pain. Gulping of air can be relieved by products containing dimethicone, which breaks pockets of wind up into tiny bubbles that are easier to pass. Lactose intolerance can be relievd by infant drops containing lactase enzyme which are added to feed (forumula milk or expressed milk) and left for a time to get to work. Some people have found that the complementary technique or cranial osteopathy helps to relieve colic by gently massaging the baby’s head. Encouraging a baby to suck may provide some comfort and help him shift wind downwards by stimulating contraction of the bowel. If breast-feeding, it may help to avoid certain foods that are thought to make colic worse (eg cows’ milk, spices, caffeine, onions) although this is not proven. If giving formula feed, try one that is designed to be easier to digest. If the baby seems unwell or is not thriving, it’s important to seek medical advice in case there is a medical cause for the pain. I do hope something helps soon. There is the CRY-SIS helpline in the UK to provide support, too. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Ian

    My wife has patent foramen ovale and is awaiting surgery. She is currently on Apixaban. Are iron supplements safe alongside apixaban?

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Ian, Your wife needs to ask her own doctors, who will know from her blood tests whether or not she needs an iron supplement. If she does, then they should prescribe this for her. It’s important not to take supplements without individual medical advice when on a blood thinning drug, and when awaiting surgery. I hope that helps, and that the surgery goes well. best wishes, Sarah B

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Eli, 5HTP and vitamin B3 (niacin) are often combined in supplements. The rationale is that it promotes conversion of natural tryptophan to 5HTP rather than to niacin (vitamin B3) which would happen if B3 levels were low. Having said that, preclinical studies suggest that niacin levels have no significant effect on either serotonin or tryptophan metabolism, and it’s generally accepted that no more than 1% of tryptophan enters the brain for conversion on to 5-HTP. The combination is considered safe in the usual doses. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Lisa

    Dear Dr Brewer, I have a very random question to ask you.
    I am a final year Dietetic student at the university of Surrey, currently working on my dissertation. It is actually on vitamin D.
    Im writing to ask if you could tell me where you got the skin synthesis image of latitudes from as i can’t find it on the web and would really like to use it. Many thanks for your time

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Lisa,The original image came from vitamin D Wiki, and was based on data published in Scientific America in 2008. The image has since been taken down and, as the copyright is unclear, I have created my own on my vitamin D post, which you are welcome to use if you wish. I will email it to you. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • rebecca

    Dear Dr Brewer, I am 61 and have written to you before about anxiety and have tried Rhodiola sometimes they work but sometimes they dont. I wanted to ask you if anxiety can be a symptom of post menopause if so would there be something more effective I could take ?and am I too old for HRT ?
    Kind regards

  • lilly

    Dear Dr Brewer
    I have just started having hot flushes during the night ( I am 52) I still take logynon pill, I have been taking soya isoflavenes for a year, can I also take evening primrose at the same time, or are they both doing the same job in helping reduce menopausal symptoms?
    kind regards

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Lilly, logynon contains oestrogen and usually masks symptoms of the menopause. If you are noticing hot flushes, it may be that the isoflavones are damping down the effects of the stronger oestrogen in the Pill. Do see your GP who can advise whether or not you need a change of treatment. You can also find information on diet and menopause here, and on best supplements for menopause here (which can help if your GP decides to stop your Logynon). Best wishes, Sarah B

      • lilly

        Dear Dr Brewer
        Thank you so much for the invaluable advice, it had not occurred to me that the soya would interfere with Logynon. I have stopped it immediately and will indeed resume it once the Doctor takes me off Logynon.
        once again grateful thanks for the advice.
        kind regards

  • Brian

    Dear Dr Brewer,
    I have been taking Magnesium Citrate 150mg with warm milk an hour before bedtime (10pm) as a sleep aid. I’m falling
    asleep ok, but l keep waking up between 3 or 4am and cannot get back to sleep. What is the best recommended time to take a Magnesium supplement in your opinion?
    Regards Brian

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Brian, Magnesium is involved in melatonin production, and taking it 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime is ideal. One of the most relaxing ways to use magnesium is to add flakes to a warm bath before bedtime – the magnesium penetrates into the skin and has a prfoundly relaxing effect on muscles to aid sleep. You may also find it helpful to inhale lavender essential oil. Avoid caffeine from mid-day onwards and alcohol which, while it helps you get off to sleep, tends to cause early moring waking. I have a post on how to sleep better naturally on my other website, which you may find helpful. Best wishes, Sarah B