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

pen


Leave a Reply to Joyce Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

418 thoughts on “Ask Me A Question

  • Susan

    Hi, is it ok to take K2 as MK7 while also on ferrous fumerate to correct low ferritin? My GP didn’t know! I am currently also on a maintenance dose of Vitamin D. I eat meat and butter from grass fed animals and cheeses such as Gouda and Jarlsberg. Not sure if this is enough or I need to supplement. Thank you for any advice you can give me.

  • Chris

    I’ve just discovered your site and find the information helpful, but while you refer to studies I cannot see any specific references. Is there any way I can find the references through your website as I would find this helpful. Many thanks.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      HI Chris, Most of the key references are there and show up if you mouse over the text. They are subtle so as not to affect the flow – some pages include quite a lot of them. If any are missing that you need, let me know and I will provide the link. Thanks, Sarah B

  • Antonia

    Dear Sarah,
    My doctor has prescribed 70 mg dhea. Should I take it on a full or empty stomach? Is it possible to take it after breakfast even if I have taken a coffe?
    Many thanks
    Best regards Antonella

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Antonia, When oral DHEA is taken with food, twice as much is absorbed when digested with meals than when taken on an empty stomach. Check the patient information leaflet inside your pack to see whether the formulation you are taking should be taken with food or without. If in doubt, check with your prescribing doctor. You can find my post on DHEA here. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Michele

    I’ve been taking bio identical HRT but stopped for no reason other than I’m rubbish at routine. Still have a load of product (still in sell by range) Is there any contra indication to starting again after stopping for a few months ? I’m 61. Noticing drying skin and hair is really falling out quite dramatically.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Barbara, it will depend on the underlying cause. If hair thinning is related to menopause, then dietary approaches for menopause and flax seed supplements (powdered seed, not the oil) may help by reducing the effects of the hormone DHT. If it is related to iron deficiency then eating more iron rich foods and taking a supplement will help (your doctor can arrange a ferritin blood test to check for iron deficiency). If it is related to low iodine intake leading to underactive thyroid, then kelp extracts can help. I am also a great fan of caffeine containing shampoos, as described here. My post on diet and thinning hair is here. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Jonathan

    Hi Sarah. Since the new year my general health has taken a dive! I’ve been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. This in turn has led to me retaining urine in my bladder which has caused an infection, which has attacked my testes. It was suggested that I have a TURP operation but I dont much care for the possible side effects so am medicating with Tamsulosin and Saw Palmetto. Was encouraged that you seem to be in favour of that! It has become apparent that I am now diabetic (Metformin) and in the last two months my BP has shot up from approx 140/90 to 180/105 which again is now bwing medicated. Cinnamon/Magnesium has been suggested elsewhere. What would you recommen overdall as a way forward. I am 61years old, 1.84 tall and 102 kgs. Thank you

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Jonathan, Your height and weight suggest a body mass index (BMI) of 30.1 so the most effective thing you can do is to lose wome excess weight – losing 10kg can reverse type 2 diabetes, and will also improve your blood pressure. There are no magic solutions – eating smaller portions, cutting back on carbohydrates and following a lower glycemic diet are key. Buy an activity tracker and aim to walk more to burn more calories. I have a post on herbal medicines for type 2 diabetes, and a whoel website dedicated to high blood pressure at mylowerbloodpressure.com. I hope that helps. Best wishes, Sarah B

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi William, berberine is an alkaloid found in various herbs such as goldenseal, and barberry. It is sometimes used in heart failure, and to treat diabetes, raised cholesterol and hypertension. The results of 27 studies involving over 2,500 people suggests that berberine is effective with no serious side effects but more research is needed. For type 2 diabetes, a blend of herbal medicines is often more effective than a single supplement. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Stephen

    What is the biochemistry behind the fatigue experienced by many when taking the drug apixaban and is there any nutrient antidote for this problem? Is it interfearing with ATP production or something else?

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Stephen, Apixaban works by preventing your blood from clotting as effectively as normal by blocking a substance called ‘factor Xa’. This can lead to bleeding (eg nose bleeds, heavy periods) and could result in anaemia which makes you feel very tired. Many drugs have fatigue as a side effect without anaemia, but I’ve not been able to find a mechanism for this in relation to Apixaban. If you are experiencing fatigue, do see your doctor who can screen you for anaemia, and consider changing your medication if it is not suiting you. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • ian

    What is the best course, nutritionally, to prevent a fatty lipoma from growing? Is there any supplement which could make one go? (We own your book, by the way, which has been extremely helpful to us on other subjects!)

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Ian, I’m afraid I’m not aware of any nutritional approach to prevent a fatty lipoma from growing. The best option is to have it surgically removed, usually as a mionr op under local anaesthetic depending on its size, while it is still small. Otherwise, it may continue to grow in size and become more difficult to remove. Hope that helps and sorry I can’t provide an easier option! Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Cynthia

    Dear Dr Brewer

    Some years ago, I was diagnosed having Bile Acid Malabsorption and I have been on Questran 4mg daily since then.

    Which supplement do you recommend that I take to complement the Questran, to improve the function of my gall bladder and hopefully one day I can rely less on Questran.

    Thank you and regards
    Cynthia Knott

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Cynthia, Reducing fat intake can help to reduce the amount of bile acid you produce and improve symptoms such as diarrhoea and bloating. Usual advice is to focus on healthy fats such as those from avocado, olive oil, oily fish and nuts. One of the best supplements for improving liver function and to reduce bile acid diarrhoea is artichoke leaf extracts which can also reduce fatty liver disease. Howoever, do seek advice from your prescribing doctor before taking any supplements. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Ka

    I’m looking for some advice on a DIM supplement.

    I stopped taking Microgestin nearly 6 months ago at the end of November 2017. I decided to try a DIM supplement (150 mg/day) near the beginning of March 2018, approximately 3 months after stopping the birth control. About 2 weeks into taking the DIM supplement, my hair started to fall out at an alarming rate (full length hairs with the root attached, by the handfuls). I stopped the DIM supplement immediately. I had my thyroid checked a couple of weeks later and my results came back normal. It has been nearly 2 months now since I stopped taking DIM and my hair loss has not slowed or stopped. I am now wondering if the hair loss I’m experiencing is from Telogen Effluvium from stopping Microgestin, as I’ve read it’s common to experience this 3-4 months after discontinuing hormonal birth control pills. Since it has been nearly 2 months and the hair loss has remained the same despite no longer taking DIM, is it safe to assume it was unrelated? How long can a supplement like DIM stay in your system or have side effects after discontinuing use? I ask because I am considering giving DIM another try in the event that it’s not related to my hair loss, as my other results with it were great – better mood, improved sleep, more energy, clearer mind, etc. Is it a bad idea to try this supplement again? At this point, I’d just like to know if it’s even possible for this kind of supplement to continually contribute to my hair loss even after discontinuing. I would greatly appreciate any advice or insight you might be able to offer on this matter.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Ka, There is so little research into DIM supplements that it’s difficult to provide any meaningful information. An internet search shows some users claiming their hair is much better since starting a DIM supplement, and others saying that their hair is shedding. It seems to be an individual response, based on your genes. If it were me, I would not use it again incase the problem becomes worse as it’s unclear whether or not DIM or stopping Microgestin is involved. For thinning hair, I usually recommend a caffeine shampoo. I also have a post on diet and thinning hair. Your doctor may be willing to check your ferritin levels to exclude iron deficiency which can cause hair loss, too. Fingers crossed, new hair will start regrowing soon. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Pat

    Hi I am age 66 I take hydralised collagen in my drink to hopefully help reduce my facial wrinkles around my cheeks and my question is if I increase how often I take the hydralised collagen eg twice a day instead of once a day will this be more beneficial and will it improve my results.

    Cheers Pat

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Pat, difficult to say but I would not normally advise doubling up on a manufacturer’s recommended dose except under individual medical advice. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Penny

    Dear Dr Sarah, I take the following prescription drugs, AdcalD3, statins and Alendronic Acid.What I would like your advice on, is can I take Turmeric with Black Pepper and would these help the low level pain of my
    osteoporosis?
    Regards Penny

  • Liz

    Hi there,I really need some advice! I am nearly 43 and have had 21-25 day cycles,migraines at ovulation&menstruation,acne,hair loss and anxiety and depression for a few years now. I came off antidepressants a year ago as feel they are a sticking plaster for an underlying problem(initially prescribed for chronic fatigue syndrome which I’ve had for 15 years) I’m determined to get well naturally for mine&my families sake! I’ve been referred to an endocrinologist but it’s a 3 month wait. I tried Vitex/Agnes castus which lengthened my cycle from 21 to 25 days but my mood has worsened&migraines/acne/hair loss not improved. I’m thinking of trying magnesium,zinc,evening primrose,vit b and omega 3 but not sure which to try 1st or if can take all together? Many thanks&sorry for the long email! Liz x

  • Therese

    Hi Dr Brewer. Hoping to can assist with the following.

    I’m 55 and losing hair at my scalp parts and thinning around temples, even though I have always had extremely thick hair. What might you recommend to help restore my hair and avoid hair thinning in the future (foods, oils, massage, etc).

    ALSO – Can my hair be restored, or is this permanent due to my age?

  • Penny

    Hi Dr Sarah,
    I have high cholesterol for which I’m taking statins. I see that you recommend Royal Jelly. Can this be taken along side my statins? Thanks Penny

  • fnmyalgia

    My wife has sec’y Sjogrens with fibromyalgia/scleroderma. Was using minimal, 60mg, Telfast for the runny nose but effect was diminishing and with cold&flu season here in Oz moved onto Olive Leaf extract ~3g bid as preventative. Bugger me, fixed again. I ran “olive leaf” and Sjogrens thru Medline, nothing.
    Seems strange that all this talk about the Mediterranean diet doesn’t drilldown onto the ingredients and how they help.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Olive leaf extracts are used to support immunity and to reduce inflammation but little research has been carried out so far. The most recent paper on olive leaf extracts has only just been published, so fingers crossed there is more in the pipeline! Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Leo

    Dear Sarah

    Was just wondering if you think the Lavender Kalms you recommend would be safe to take whilst tapering off of sertraline. I’m currently taking sertraline 25mg.

    Thanks

    Leo

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Leo, The good news is that, according to Drugs.com, there are no known drug interactions for lavender. The professor who did much fo the research involving lavender oil capsules also told me he had found no interactions so, it may well help. Do check with your prescribing doctor first, however. Best wishes, Sarah B

      • Leo

        Dear Sarah, I really appreciate you taking the time to look into this for me. Thanks so much! I’m looking forward to giving them a go.

        Best wishes

        Leo

  • Mia

    Dear Dr Brewer, I have interstitial cystits and have been diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. My doctot has once again prescribed an antibiotic for bacteria. Would Evening Primrose oil help? If so what dose? Thanks for your help.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Mia,Sorry to hear of your problems. Two types of supplement may help – taking a probiotic supplement to reduce side effects from the antibiotics (caused by killing off good probiotic bacteria as well as the bad) and taking a cranberry extract which stop bacteria from sticking to the urinary trace so they are more easily flushed out. I have a post on

        cranberry supplements for cystitis

      on my other website. Drinking plenty of fluids is also helpful. Evening primrose oil does have a soothing, anti-inflammatory action and some women with interstitial cystitis have found it helpful but there is no published research investigating this, unfortunately. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Leo

    Dear Sarah

    I was wondering what you thought about the the use
    of CBD oil to counteract the effects of depersonalisation. A lot of people who have chronic depersonalisation/derealisation first experienced this after a single episode of cannabis use. I being one of them, have been diagnosed with Depersonalisation Disorder after a single episode of smoking in Amsterdam which caused my first experience of depersonalisation.

    Assuming that the THC is what triggers the depersonalisation, do you think CBD oil might function to balance the effects? My thinking is that many strains of cannabis sold commercially in the Netherlands are synthesised to contain higher doses of THC, so perhaps if there was not enough CBD to begin with in the cannabis smoked, then maybe it could counteract the effects?

    Would be great to hear your opinion.

    Best wishes

    Leo

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Leo, This is not an area that is well researched and some psychiatrists urge caution. Having said that, there is anecdotal evidence that CBD can help. The only research I can find involved just 10 people in whom ketamine was used to induce depersonalisation and cannabidiol had a non-significant effect. Please only try this under the medical supervision of your doctor in case CBD makes your symptoms worse. Best wishes, Sarah B

      • Leo

        Dear Sarah

        Many thanks for your helpful reply.

        I think for now I will stick to other anti-anxiety herbs as the depersonalisation is mainly fuelled by anxiety. I’m coming off sertraline after being on it for 5 years and the tapering process has really been worsening the depersonalisation and anxiety, so hopefully some herbs/supplements will help a bit.

        Best wishes

        Leo

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Jane, Yes it’s fine to take omega 3, 6,7 and 9 together. Different oils contain different blends of these fatty acids, each of which offers different health benefits as they can’t be converted from one to the other in the body. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Judy

    Hi, I enjoyed reading Cut Your Cholesterol. One query, in one chapter you say to avoid omega-6s in margarines, but later recommend margarines with added plant sterols. Doesn’t the later still have omega-6 fat?
    Thank you.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Judy, A good question! The composition of Benecol spread that include plant sterols consists of more monounsaturated fat (17g per 100g) rather than than polyunsaturated fat (14g per 100g) and has been shown to lower cholesterol levels by around 10% with regular use. If it were made with all monounsaturated fat, the improvements may be even greater! Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Lexi

    Hello
    Can black cohosh and Agnus castus be taken together for perimenopusal irritability, bloating, weight gain and loss of libido?
    Thanks

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Lexi, In the UK both Agnus castus and Black cohosh are licensed traditional herbal medicines, and are sold separately. In the US, combination tinctures are available that combine the two, usually with other herbs, such as Dr Formulas Menopause Support. However, it’s probably best to take one or the other, otherwise you won’t know which is helping your symptoms or, conversely, which is causing any side effects. In my experience, the most effective herb for menopause is Black cohosh – Agnus castus is better for PMS. There are a variety of black cohosh supplements available and you can read more about it on my post on Black cohosh benefits. Black cohosh is sometimes combined with St John’s wort for Menopause Mood Relief. For low libido, rhodiola is helpful. Do see your doctor if symptoms are troublesome. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Mandy

    Hi Dr Brewer, my mum has a prolapsed bladder and has an over active bladder and sometimes can’t make it to the toilet in time, especially through the night. She has been on Solifenacin for over a year now and the GP has recently prescribed Tolteridine. I’ve recently heard about the side effects and would like her to try an alternative way to help it so she can come off this medication. A very recent post of yours suggests Urostemol Femina for Women, but when I tried to get it from Boots, they say it’s been discontinued, so don’t really want to be buying it from Amazon if it’s note safe any more. I would be most grateful if you could suggest anything else that might help her. Many thanks, Mandy

  • Lyn

    I am 81 years old and am taking a high dose of Ranitidine twice a day for reflux oesophogitis. I am not sleeping well lately and wondered if Valerian would help. What dose should I take and would it clash with the Ranitidine? I am generally an anxious person.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Lyn, There is a useful drug interaction tool at Drugs.com which does not show any known interactions between ranitidine and Valerian root. However, you might like to try some non-drug options first to help you sleep, such as using magnesium, or smelling lavender essential oil whose scent has a soporific effect. Other ways to help you sleep better naturally are detailed in my feature here. I hope you sleep better soon. If not, do see your doctor. Best wishes, Sarah B

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Penny, This was on the Royal jelly page but here’s the answer again. This combination is no longer available in a single supplement, although a blend of evening primrose, royal jelly and ginseng (known as Royal 3) is available from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com. This provides 500mg evening primrose oil, 150mg Royal Jelly and 250mg Korean ginseng per capsule, and you could take the Ginkgo biloba separately. You can also obtain supplements that combine Ginkgo biloba and Ginseng (eg from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com) which you can take together with a separate Royal Jelly supplement. Hope that helps. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • Alistair

    Dear Dr Brewer

    I am a 65 year old male which osteo arthritis in both ankles. I have reviewed your comments on the various pain relieving creams with interest.

    Taking into account that I am being treated for a kidney problem, nephrotic syndrome, and take 5mg of steroid per day, which of the creams would you recommend? Obviously I cannot take anything associated with ibroprofen.

    I would very much welcome your comments/advice.

    Kind regards,

  • frank

    Hi Dr. Sarah, I just read the 9 best supplements for knee pain…so, how can I get them all every day…a capsule or is there a way I can make myself a powder so I can get them every day.

    Any help appreciated.

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Frank, You don’t need to take them all every day – you may only need collagen, glucosamine and chondroitin, for example. One good way to get a combination of higher doses is to take a liquid supplement such as LQ Liquid Health Joint Care, which is available from Boots.com and from Amazon.com. Best wishes, Sarah B

    • DrSarahBrewer Post author

      Hi Cherry, The usual advice is to eat a healthy, mediterranean style diet to ensure good intakes of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Anti-inflammatories such as omega-3 fish oil and turmeric may help. There is some great advice on diet from Living With Schizophrenia which you may find helpful. Best wishes, Sarah B

  • 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

      • rebecca

        Hi Sarah,
        Have been on the Urostemol for a month now and no improvement. How long before they may take effect ? Rebecca

      • DrSarahBrewer Post author

        Hi Rebecca, In clinical trials effects were seen by 6 weeks and continued to improve for 12 weeks. If symptoms are continuing, do see your doctor. 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
    Ann

    • 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
    Joyce

    • 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
    Rebecca

  • 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
    Lilly

    • 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
        Lilly

  • 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