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

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418 thoughts on “Ask Me A Question

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi John, It’s never a good idea to combine herbal medicines with anti-cancer therapies (with the possible exception of Reishi under medical supervision if your doctors agree). Not enough is known about potential interactions and herbs can interact with the way the drug is metabolised. These interactions may hasten clearance of the drug from your body (so the cancer treatment is less effective) or slow the breakdown of the drug so levels are higher than normal (which increases the risk of serious side effects). I did check the drug-supplement interactions tool on the natural medicines database, and 59 interactions are currently recognised between enzalutamide and herbal medicines, most of which are classed as moderate or major. While Saw palmetto was not included in the list, that does not mean interactions would not occur – just that they haven’t yet been recognised. Do check with your doctors but I suspect they would not recommend this combination. If you are experiencing urinary symptoms your doctor can assess you and recommend a compatable treatment. I hope that helps, best wishes, Sarah B

  • Douglas

    What do you know about saw palmetto for treatment of urgency and other enlarged prostate problems. Some people say it is worthless and others say it is an essential ingredient for worthwhile herbal treatments!! I am following your recommendations on back pain/arthritis treatment and find them to be effective.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Douglas, I’m glad the arthritis advice has helped. In my clinical experience, Saw palmetto does work, especially for relieving night symptoms of having to visit the bathroom.Results from more than 20 randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials show that standardised extracts of Saw palmetto berries (providing 85% to 90% fatty acids and sterols) show that night-time urinary frequency is typically reduced by at least 33% and up to 74%. Studies in which negative results were seen either did not use a pharmaceutical grade supplement, or were for too short a time period. It will not work overnight, and is best used if the diagnosis of benign enlarged prostate has been made, and you are on what is now as ‘watchful waiting’ to see how things progress without medical treatment. I’ve written about Saw palmetto at this link, and about diet and prostate health here. Hope that helps, Sarah B

  • ROGER

    have developed knee inflammation on the right knee that is not acute but noticeable. Is there a vitamin regimen that might lower the symptom?

  • David

    Hi Sarah. I have CLL and the Chemo was very successful, after 18 months the blood counts remain low the specialists are happy that shows i should be well for a good number of years without further treatment. However there is some loss of energy between the sheets which might well be due to the red cells being under the normal range. I wonder is there any supplement you recommend.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi David, you could ask your doctors about using Reishi mushroom extract which, according to a Chochrane review can stimulate immunity following chemotherapy (but only use with their permission and supervision). For responses in the bedroom, you could try L-arginine plus ubiquinol and/or ginkgo biloba to increase blood flow to the appropriate parts. For loss of desire, then Horny Goat Weed does work for some people. Lack of vitamins and minerals can affect hormone production and libido, especially if your blodo count is low – have you been advised to take iron supplements, for example? If not, then a good quality general multivitamin and mineral supplement is a good idea. I am in the process of writing a post on supplements to boost performance, based on my eBook Overcoming Low Sex Drive so check back in a week or so. If you are on any medication always check with yoru doctor before taking a herbal supplement. Hope that helps, Sarah B

  • Mandy

    Dear Dr Brewer, You must think I am so very rude for not acknowledging your reply, I am so sorry, I don’t know how I missed it and just seen it now. I looked into your advice more on your website and ordered her Longvida Optimised Curcumin at 1,500 mg per day and Healthspan’s Glucosamine and Chondroitin, 500 mg Glucosamine/100 mg Chondroitin (though she hasn’t started taking this yet as she is scared of mixing the two!) I also bought her Devils Claw gel from Holland and Barratt, so maybe after reading your reply, I should tell her to stop using this if its best taken on its own? She is currently taking Co-codamol 8 mg/500 mg tablets, Solifenacin 10 mg tablets, Tolterodine 2 mg modified release capsules and Amitriptyline 50 mg tablets. Do you think she is safe to use the Curcumin and Glucosamine and Chondrotin together.

    Thank you so very much, I really do appreciate your advice.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Mandy, If the Devil’s Claw is in a gel rather than a tablet, it can be used with other supplements. Curcumin and glucosamine/contrioitin are often taken together. There is a useful drug/supplements interaction tool on Medscape which does not show interactions between curcumin/glucosamine/chondroitin and the medications she is on (although it does flag up potential interactions between the drugs themselves, which require close monitoring, and which I’m sure her doctor is aware of. Because she is on so many medications, it is important to seek the advice and approval of her doctor before taking supplements. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Deepak

    Hi this is for my husband he is now at the age of 39 but he is quiet thin how can he gain some weight he is very very thin. his weight is just 42 he want to increase his weight an develop his personality so please suggest.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Deepak, Your husband needs to see his doctor for a full medical assessment to see if there is a health reason for his loss of weight, such as an overactive thyroid gland or diabetes, or a hidden infection. His doctor can then advise on the best ways to gain weight healthily, eating a sensible diet providing calories form healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and protein, together with muscle strength building exercises. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Gill

    Hi,I am currently taking ginkgo biloba and green lipped muscle supplements,can I safely take glucosamine and chondroiton and omega fish oil as well. Thanks.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Gill, If you take normal doses of each then there are no obvious concerns from taking these together. If you are on any prescribed medicines or have any health conditions, however, do check with your doctor first. Best wishes, Sarah B

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Gill, these supplements are often taken together, but if you are on any prescribed medicines or have any health conditions, do check with your doctor first. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Sheila

    Hi Sarah, thanks very much for your help. We have looked through the article and it is really interesting and helpful – my husband has already bought some Excilor!

  • Sheila

    My husband continually suffers with recurring fungal infection of toenails on one of his feet. At the moment he bathes his feet in teatree/water but that doesn’t seem to be having any effect at all, Any advice much appreciated. Thank you,

  • Antonia

    Hello,
    I am 42, after breastfeeding my period has not come back for 10 months, I am not pregnant. To be precise my period came back after stopping breastfeeding for two months last year in March and April and then stopped again. I am taking red maca. Could I possibly take also ubiquinol and or omega 3? I would like to be able to ovulate again. I weight 59 Kg and I am 163 cm. Could you please reccomend dosage too?
    And eventually some good brands?
    Many thanks
    Best reagards Antonia

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Antonia, Do see your doctor to find out why your periods have stopped – you may have a hormone imbalance which can include early menopause, for example. You would benefit from hormone repalcement therapy treatment to protect your long-term health if this is the case. Your doctor may suggest stopping the maca, in case this is masking any perimenopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. Ubiquinol coenzyme Q10 can improve fertility, while omega-3 is a great supplement for those who eat little fish – as food supplements there is no reason why you should not take them. Hope that helps. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Jan

    I am interested in taking an omega 7 supplement. I already have an omega 3 supplement (from squid) with Vit D3 & Astaxanthin included. If I take the recommended amount I would ingest 1620 mg of Omega 3’s/day.( I actually haven’t accomplished this)! Is it safe or too much to add an omega 7 supplement to this regimen? It is my understanding that over 2,000 mg of omega 3 per day could detrimentally affect the immune system and wondered if that could be true by adding the suggested dose of an omega 7 which I am sure would take the total amount of omegas over 2000. OR is just taking an Omega 7 good enough on its own? I have (genetically) high cholesterol and cannot take statins or red yeast rice. I am trying to find an effective way to reduce LDL and triglycerides and any inflammation throughout my body.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Jan, You can find my advice on best cholesterol lowering supplements via this link.Those with best evidence for effectiveness are plant sterols, bergamot citrus, lycopene, garlic and olive oil (omega-9). Omega-7 from sea buckthorn oil can lower cholesterol due to its plant sterols. Omega-3 and omega-7 on their own are not usually that effective for lowering cholesterol but can improve the balance of HDL to non-HDL. Omega-3 is effective in high doses (2g to 4g per day) to lower triglycerides (see the EVOLVE trial) but is best prescribed under medical supervision. Your doctor can prescribe omega-3 and monitor your progress which is better than trying to do it all alone. A form of extended release niacin (vitamin B3) can also be prescribed if indicated to lower cholesterol. I hope that helps, best wishes, Sarah B

      • Jan

        Thank you so much for your quick response and helpful information. I also take a supplement with bergamot citrus so your information confirms what I now believe are good choices for me. The information you shared is great in assisting me with a conversation with my doctor as to how best control the cholesterol situation.

  • Janet

    Hi Sarah ,
    Is it safe for my Son who is 39 and suffers with epilepsy to take ubiquinol along with his ant-convulsant drugs Carbamazapine and Clobazam, he takes a multivitamin and an omega 3 fish oil with vit D as well.
    Many thanks
    Janet ..

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Janet, According to the Medscape Drug Interaction Checker, there are no currently known interactions between coenzyme Q10 (ubiqinol), omega3 fish oil, vitamin D and the drugs carbamazepine and clobazam (although an interaction is noted between the two drugs themselves that requrie close monitoring). Do check with his doctors before starting any supplements, however. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Joyce

    Hi Dr Sarah
    Over the past few months I have had a dry nose overnight then in the morning excessive catarrh and a runny nose. Occasionally when I wipe my nose there’s a tiny speck of blood. As I had major nose bleed about 5 years ago I am reluctant to blow my nose just try to get rid of catarrh best I can. I am 71 and take 10g of ramipril.
    Please can you advise
    Many thanks
    Joyce

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Joyce, Drying out of the nasal lining is one of the most common causes of nose bleeds. You may find it helpful to use a saline spray such as Sterimar (from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com to maintain natural levels of moisture and ease congestion. If the problem continues, do see your doctor. Best wishes, Sarah B

      • Joyce

        Hi Sarah thank you very much for your reply.
        One thing I am nervous about is getting another nosebleed and wonder if saline sprays would cause one? Also do you think using a humidifier in the bedroom at night time would be a good idea?

        Regards

        Joyce

      • DrSarahBrewer Post author

        Hi Joyce, sterimar is so gentle it can be used for children, and I’ve not known it to cause a nose bleed. Humidifiers in bedrooms can cause mould and symptoms of mold allergy which can also cause nose bleeds, so I don’t usually recommend this. Best wishes, Sarah B

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Gillie, Aloe vera can help irritable bowel syndrome – you can read about the health benefits of Aloe vera here. Aloe vera has also been found to improve urinary frequency in a condition known as interstitial cystitis. For Aloe vera tablets, a typical dose of concentrated Aloe vera gel extract is equivalent to 10,000mg of pure Aloe vera gel. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • William

    Good Morning Dr Brewer
    Both my wife (age 80) and self (age 87) are feeling very low after bouts of ‘flu. Could you suggest a ‘pick me up?’ Such as Bio Strath or something that you could recommend. I should mention that my wife is a type 2 Diabetic.

    Regards Bill

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Bill, The flu bug going around has been rather nasty this year. Immunisation (especially for your wife if she has diabetes) can help to protect so is worth considering next year. For a general pick me up,I would normally suggest something like Pharmaton Vitality Capsules which are licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to relieve fatigue, a feeling of weakness or lack of vitality. The contain a blend of vitamins, minerals and a small amount of ginseng. You can read about them in my post at this link. If you prefer a liquid, then there is Floradix. A probiotic supplement is a good idea, too. I hope you both feel better soon. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • jane

    hello, dr brewer – i’ve just found your informative site, and am enjoying reading. could you advise what other viramins or minerals should not be taken with iron tabs? thank you!

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Jane, at the levels provided in standard multivitamins and minerals that include iron, there is no real concern about them blocking each other’s uptake. The body is usually able to absorb what is available when a deficiency is present. Best wishes, Sarah B

      • jane

        thanks for such a quick reply. sorry though, i should’ve specified that i’m taking 65 mg elemental iron. should i not take my calcium or magnesium with this larger amount of iron? thanks once again!

      • DrSarahBrewer Post author

        Hi Jane, There’s no robust reason for increasing your intake of other minerals if your dietary intakes are fine. Diet should always come first. If you are taking iron for iron deficiency, perhaps because you don’t eat much meat, or because of increased losses (eg due to heavy periods) you can still obtain enough calcium and magnesium from dietary sources. The equivalent of 1 pint of milk per day, for example, will supply most of your daily needs. If you are not eating as much food as usual, for whatever reason, then a sensible multivitamin is a good idea as a nutritional safety net. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Mandy

    Hi is it safe for my mum to take Devils Claw and Natures Aid Ginger,Turmeric and Bromelain suppplements together to help osteo arthritis in her kneed please. Many thanks. Mandy

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Mandy, Devil’s claw is a licensed traditional herbal medicine that is usually taken on its own. You can check the Patient Information Leaflet for Devil’s claw products on the MHRA site here. These list known drug interactions and contraindications for Devil’s claw. You can also read more about it on my Devil’s claw page here. Depending on your mums general health and medications, she should also check with her own doctor as she may need another treatment if her pain is getting worse. Rub in pain relieving creams and gels are often effective, for example. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Brian

    Dear Dr Sarah,

    I am 66 years old and l am thinking of taking some Vitamin D because of lack of the sun.

    What strength should l take, and do l take it in the morning or evening? I saw somewhere that it may interfere with sleep if you take it in the evening?

    Kind Regards

    Brian

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Brian, I usually recommend a vitamin D3 supplement at a dose of around 50mcg for those over the age of 50. You can take it as a vitamin D spray for maximum absorption. As vitamin D levels are related to melatonin levels (or natural sleep hormone) it is best to take vitamin D supplements in the morning – having said that, I take mine at night and haven’t found it affects my sleep. Best wishes, Sarah b

  • Janet

    Hi Dr. Sarah,
    My Sister who is 65 suffers from bipolar disorder and an underactive thyroid, she us taking Lithium, Quetiapine and Venlafaxine, her cholesterol level has been steadily rising which she has tried to bring down by dietry changes without sucess, on researching we have discovered that Venlafaxine could be responsible for this rise is there any supplement she can take that might help? She also takes a cod liver oil supplement..
    Many thanks,
    Janet..

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Janet, One of the most effective ways to lower cholesterol is with plant sterols which are present in some fortified spreads, yogurts, or as tablets. These plant substances block absorption of cholesterol in the intestines with out being much absorbed themselves. They can be taken together with statins, if these are prescribed, too. As she is under the care of a doctor it’s important that she checks with them first before taking any supplements. You can find my post on best cholesterol lowering supplements via this link. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Lizanne

    I have been helping a friend who has had diabetes for 25 years. She has had nine stents and a double by pass. By last July she was classed as being severe diabetic and was on fourteen different medications for heart, thyroid, diabetes including 60 units insulin at night. She is 74.

    We started by changing her diet and then I gradually introduced professional quality supplements mostly from Good Health Professional. Magnesium (trans dermal), curcumin, Serraenzyme, krill, Vit B complex (she was anaemic), Vit D with K2, and a few others. With her doctors permission she has reduced her medication to only two products instead of fourteen – 2.5mg beta blocker (which makes her ill) and repliginide (now 3 instead of 6). She has had no insulin since December. This was reduced with her kidney specialists permission who told her she no longer needed it. We did it very gradually. She has lost 17Kg. Her HbA1c has come back into normal range.

    She also takes MCT oil, chia, flax, kefir and a product called Healthy flow which contains l arginine, l citriline, l lyseine and resveratrol.

    My question is this. She still has ‘dawn syndrome’ – Blood sugar readings of around 150 each morning but the rest of the day she is under 100. (that is the french measurement I think). Can you advise on what else we could try in order to bring this down, or is it simply a matter of time?

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Lizanne, your friend has obviously worked hard to lose weight and improve her health – it’s fantastic that she has managed to reduce her medications from 14 down to 2! The liver makes glucose during the night when we are fasting, which can cause blood levels to rise by next morning especially when diurnal hormone rhythms change just before waking. Numerous supplements can improve glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes, which I have written about in my post on herbal medicines for type 2 diabetes. This is a complex area, and she has a complex medical history. She will need the guidance of her own doctors who may suggest taking cinnamon or chromium, for example, or a herbal medicine, but this must only be done under the advice and supervision of her own specialists who know her medical history best. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Best wishes, Sarah B

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Manuka honey contains B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6), calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, sodium and zinc. No one can tell you the exact amounts without testing, as each batch varies. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • angela

    I have a 6 yr old grandchild she was just diagnosed with alopecia can you give any suggestions on what we can do to slow down or prevent her hair loss.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Angela, Alopecia is believed to be an immune disorder and is not well understood. It often improves on its own, and some medical treatments can help. If it is causing her distress, patches of hair loss can be disguised with hair woven over the area on a fine mesh. The absolute experts in this technique are Lucinda Ellery’s team who are now in both the UK and the US. The only other thing I can recommend is a multivitamin and mineral supplement designed for her age group (to safeguard against any nutritional deficiences such as vitamin D) and an omega-3 fish oil (to damp down inflammation). Best wishes, Sarah B

      • Elaine

        My current favourite multi includes a small amount of turmeric. Is this likelyto be enough to have a detrimental effect on my x2 daily Apixaban? Thank you Dr Brewer for your previous advice on this subject.

      • DrSarahBrewer Post author

        Hi Elaine, There is a potential interaction between Apixaban and turmeric. Although the interaction is theoretical and classed as minor, you should check with your doctor – they may prefer you to use a plain multivitamin and mineral supplement. Sorry, Sarah B

  • Julie

    I had a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy 2 years ago at the age of 50. Since then, I have been taking a daily hormonal supplement (estradiol 1mg/norethisteron.acet. .05 mg.). After hearing about the many positives associated with Royal Jelly, I recently bought a package, with B6, for menopausal women, but am now hesitant to take them, until I find out if it could be harmful to mix the 2 meds. I cannot seem to find any helpful info so far. Do you have any information on the risk of the interaction of Royal Jelly and hormonal supplemts? Thanks!

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Julie, According to the Natural Medicines Database there are no interactions between Royal Jelly, estrogen or norethisterone, so you could take them together. I certainly do! Best wishes, Sarah B

  • M. Lawrenson

    Soy Isoflavones were a great help when I was Menopausal. Now I am 71. Do you think they are of much benefit to the older woman? Thank you.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      I do think soy isoflavones are helpful as they are antioxidant, and provide stimulation ot oestrogen receptors throughout the body – including brain, bones and circulation – to improve memory, help maintain strong bones and elastic tissues. Dietary isoflavones support collagen production in the skin, and may provide some protection against hormone-related cancers, too. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Lisa

    hi i AM 56 AND HAVE ALLAYS HAD LONG THICK BEAUTIFUL HAIR. OF COURSE IT IS STILL BEAUTIFUL 🙂 THOUGH NOTICEABLY THINNING IN THE FRONT, WHAT DO I DO? THANKS SO MUCH IN ADVANCE!

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi William, Kaneka are the manufacturer that developed the complex process needed to synthesise ubiquinol (as opposed to ubiquinone coenzyme Q10) and were first to bring it to market, so they tend to get my vote. Their products are made to GMP (pharmaceutical) standard. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Alan

    Hi A friend has had a stomach stapled leaving a much smaller area to digest food. She suffered badly with dumping syndrome but not via the anus. She is not sure what to eat as she is trying to lose weight. Can you please help.

  • Jan

    I have read that studies say you should take at the very least 5,000mg of collagen daily to make any difference.what are your views on this.thank you

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Jan, CLinical studies have used doses of 10g per day. You do need higher amounts, usually, to stimulate collagen repair, which means either taking collagen powder, or taking a collagen drink. A few studies have found tiny amounts (10mcg) useful for autoimmune joint pains. More info in my post on best supplements for knee pain. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Lorraine

    Dear Dr Brewer

    I have found your website really helpful, for which many thanks. My current concern relates to my teeth. I have been taking a liquid iron supplement for a good few years (I don’t eat any meat) and have only just been advised by my dental hygienist that it is causing considerable staining on my teeth which is not proving easy to remove. I want to change to a non-liquid alternative – can you suggest any, please?

    Best wishes

    Lorraine

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Lorraine, Glad you find the info helpful. To obtain the typical daily intake of 14mg iron I would recommend a ‘gentle’ supplement made to pharmaceutical standards (GMP) and providing iron in the form of ferrous fumarate (less likely to cause constipation).Eg Innopure in the UK, and Swanson Iron (18mg) in the US. If you experience indigestion, then Healthspan Ironcare or Amazon Elements Iron are good alternatives. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Jay

    Again, thanks for the quick response.

    My situation: age 58, 6ft, 182 pounds or 13 stone, never smoked, never alcohol, workout 4 out of 7 days. According to my doctor, I can opt to take statins or use the more holistic approach. I don’t take any pharmaceuticals products and naturally I prefer your methods. My question is this page up to date regarding your preferred methodology?
    https://drsarahbrewer.com/best-cholesterol-lowering-supplements

    It seems the sterols and krill oil should be enough for me to get to my target. I am still pondering whether or not to through in niacin.

    One more idea, can I use the sterols, krill oil at the same time as milk thistle? The more I read about milk thistle, it seems to be an exceptional product for cleansing the liver and lowering LDL.

  • Jay

    Apparently there are various products & protocols to reduce LDL cholesterol as shown on your site. In searching around there seems to be many options. In one study Krill Oil at 3grams per day, lowered LDL by 31%. In another study, Beta-Sitosterol 500mg a day lowered LDL by 19% in one month. In 7 days, turmeric/curcumin, 500mg lowered LDL by 11%. Mega doses of niacin, also claims to lower LDL, if you can take the flushing. There seems to be a lot of science regarding Bergamot orange which also seems very promising.

    So what is the current best protocol with the least amount of pill popping. Cost is not so much the issue, just looking for the best/safest approach to lower LDL as I believe statins are somewhat akin to a bit of rolling dung.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Jay, The first step is usually to take a plant sterol supplement at a total dailiy dose of 2g to 2.4g (typically one 800mg tablet with each meal). This blocks the absorption of cholesterol and has an approved EU health claim that it helps to maintain normal cholesterol levels. Other supplements, such as krill oil, can then be added in, if necessary. Best wishes, Sarah B

      • Jay

        Good day doctor, thank you for your quick response.

        In researching, plant sterols lower LDL by 10%. Would you try Beta Sitosterol over plant sterols to get better absorption? My target would be to lower LDL by 30%. Apart from naggingly high LDL cholesterol, my blood work is as good as it gets. My weight and BMI are textbook, along with 118/68 average blood pressure.

        Someone also recommended – Reserveage – Bergamot Cholesterol Support with Resveratrol but not sure that will do the trick.

        After a few fits and starts on “project lower LDL” I believe in my case; I’m afraid I will need the “full Monty” approach. Perhaps you could outline the current 2018 “best practices” protocol for the lowest possible LDL.

        Thanks again for input. ….

      • DrSarahBrewer Post author

        Hi Jay, It depends on lots of factors, genetics, level of HDL and non-HDL cholesterol, so there is no one size fits all. Best practice remains to take a statin if your risk of cardiovascular disease is raised. Otherwise, plant sterols are the first line non-statin approach as they have the EU claim. Do see your doctor for individual advice. Best wishes, Sarah B

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Joyce, ramipril is an ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure. According to Drugs.com there are no recorded interactions between ramipril and coenzyme Q10. However, coenzyme Q10 does have a blood-pressure lowering action of its own and is used in some countries, such as Japan, to treat hypertension. This can be beneficial if ramipril alone is not controlling your BP. On average, in trials, coenzyme Q10 lowers blood pressure by 11/7mmHg. Do check with your doctor before taking the combination. I have lots of info on ways to lower blood pressure on my other website, mylowerbloodpressure.com. Hope that helps, Sarah B

  • Owen

    Dr. Brewer,
    I’m doing a report for a class and I am curious on a fact you used in your book titled, “The Total Detox Plan”. In it, you state the EPA ” in the United States considers that 60 percent of all herbicides, 90 percent of all fungicides and 30 percent of all insecticides are potentially cancer-causing.” Could you provide me with your source? Thank you very much.
    -Owen Yonce

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Owen, Refevernces include: Pimentel D. Environment, Development and Sustainability 2005.7:229-252, Shan BS et al. J Toxicol Env Health. 1988; 24:429-37, Public health impact of pesticides used in agriculture. Geneva WHO 1990, and the EPA itself. You may find this WHO presentation on pesticides useful in putting together your report, too. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Nisa

    I had to have a full hysterectomy at the age of 44 – I am now 48 and have been on HRT. Lately I’ve been suffering pains in my joints namely hips, elbows and knees – are there any supplements that you would recommend I take? I would appreciate any advice, thank you in advance

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Nisa, It’s important to see your doctor to diagnose the cause as there are lots of different types of joint pain, and some need medical treatment sooner rather than later. If your doctor diagnoses osteoarthritis, however there is lots of choice on supplement that will help. I’ve covered these in my post on the best supplements for knee pain. Pain relieving creams and gels are also a good choice as they sink in exactly where needed. Hope that helps. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • frted

    I am looking at your guide to best supplements for arthritis. I also have HBP…I take 2.5-5mg amlodipine and was concerned about the effects of lowering BP while consuming a supplement for my cervical arthritis….any suggestions from your list ??

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      There are no serious interactions reported for amlodipine and food supplements used to treat joint pain, so you could select a combination product combining glucosamine and chondroitin or turmeric,for example. The supplements that can affect blood pressure (in beneficial ways) are covered on my other website, mylowerbloodpressure.com. Another option is to use a topical cream or gel (if not too mess with long hair), or to use a pain-relieving device such as Arc4Health microcurrent therapy which is very helpful for joint pain. Warm neck wraps are also helpful. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Andrew

    Hi Doctor…I have just gone through a Total Knee Replacement…could you recommend any supplements that would help me in my recovery.
    Regards
    Andrew

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Andrew, You will need to check with your own doctors that they are happy for you to take supplements, based on your other medication etc, but my usual suggestions are vitamin C (for collagen production and antioxidant to boost healing), hydrolysed collagen, glucsosamine and chondroitin (for tissue repair) – these are found in combination products of which the highest dose is in LQ Joint Care. Best wishes, for a rapid recovery, Sarah B

  • Janet

    Hi Sarah,
    My Son who is 39 has suffered with Epilepsy and a severe hearing loss since he had Pneumochocal Menigites when he was 5 mths old, is Epilepsy is well controlled he hasn’t had a seizure since December 2010..my concern is that the medication he takes for the Epilepsy, carbamazepine and clobazam can cause his bones to thin he has had a number of fractures to his ankle over the years playing football, I wondered wether he should be taking calcium or any other supplements to protect his bones and brain function, his Father has recently been diagnosed with parkinsons disease and I am concerned that he might get it too, my husbands brother has Epilepsy too, however, not as a result of illness or injury..
    I would appreciate your thoughts,
    Many thanks
    Janet

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Janet, It’s worth yoru son seeing his doctor as long-term anticonvulsant therapy has been associated with low bone mineral density. The doctor can arrange tests to assess his bone density and prescribe medication – including calcium and vitamin D – if needed. I have a post on diet and osteoporosis here. While some cases of Parkinson’s disease are hereditary this is rare, and there is some information on the michaeljfox website. I hope that helps. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Barb

    I am having thinning hair & rash in back of neck. Been taking multiple B vitamins & vit e,c, d,
    Should I take another multivitamin for hair. Would too much B vitamins cause constipation or other problems. I started taking Terry Naturally Vits for Nerves feet & legs. Which has really helped me with my back pain & leg sciatica. What Vitamins are good for your hair ?

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Barb, B vitamins are water soluble and relatively non-toxic so it is unlikely that a multivit plus a hair, skin and nail product would take you over their safe upper levels. Have you seen your doctor to rule out iron deficiency or underactive thyroid, which can be causes of hair loss. The rash on your neck needs checking, too. If hair thinning is age/menopause related, then a caffeine shampoo can really help (read my post Best Shampoo For Thinning Hair). Supplements for hair health usually contain ingredients such as biotin, silica, selenium, zinc and amino acids or collagen eg Wellwoman hairfollic or LQ LiquidHealth Skin, Hair & Nails. I hope that helps, Sarah B

  • Vanessa

    I have had tennis elbow in both arms for at least 3 years now, I have had the maximum amount of cortisone injections possible. I do take 1500mg of Glucosamine, cod liver oil and turmeric supplements – is there anything else you can suggest I try. It is really getting me down now. Many thanks Vanessa

  • Debi

    I only have one kidney after losing the other to cancer. I eat sensibly and exercise regularly. What if any suppliments could I take to boost the kidneys function? Thank you

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Debi, It’s difficult to advise as it will depend on your current kidney function, and the medicines you are taking. Your doctors will have recommended whether or not you need to follow a lower protein diet and how much water you should drink. Supplements that are sometimes suggested to improve general kidney cell function include alpha lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10 but it is important not to take any supplements without the knowledge and advice of your own doctor. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • lorraine

    I am female, 56, 18.6 stone, 5’9”. Previously of extremely good health and never bothered about my weight. I have recently been diagnosed with Diverticular disease after a particularly nasty bout of Diverticulitis. Since my colonoscopy i have found that, contrary to my consultant advise, I cannot tolerate high fibre foods, green veg, pulses etc… My consultant suggested taking pro-biotics and consult a nutritionist for help. I have suffered at the hands of ‘weird, hippy type, clearly unqualified’ practitioners and want to see someone who is medically trained. (I was extremely embarrassed with one woman who said she could tell me ‘my problem foods’ whilst balancing on tip toes after i was asked to hold a phial of liquid stuff). How can i find someone suitable? the probiotics seem to be helping, my low fibre diet is also helping but i am now very conscious that i want to lose weight and improve my diet. Could you help?

  • Jacqui

    I read an article that you posted about taking 1 mg of chicken collagen for RA . I’ve looked and looked and can’t see anything under 40mg. Can you help?
    Thanks and Happy New year.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Jacqui, Low doses of undenatured collagen for immunotherapy are not easy to come by, although practitioners may weigh out their own tiny doses using pure collagen powder obtained from opening capsules such as Bio-Collagen.Larger doses can provide benefit, too. I hope that helps, Sarah B

  • rebecca

    Hi I have bought the go less to start, however I have been taking Pumpkin seed oil for 3 months now, the advice on go less is a very high dose to start with, do I need to do this as I have been taking the Pumpkin seed oil for a while, be grateful for your advice.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      It will depend on whether you have noticed benefit from the pumpkin seed oil you have taken. If not, then it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and start over. Best wishes, Sarah B