stress

High Anxiety

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With anxious times stressing out even the most chilled consumers, there’s plenty of products on the health store shelves to help them relax.

For even the happiest of health store regulars, life can sometimes feel really hard. Relationship problems, a difficult patch at work, or just a busy lifestyle can unexpectedly get the better of our positive sides.

And now the economy has tanked, and gloom and doom rule the newspaper headlines, there seems to be more to worry about than ever.

“Currently in the UK, stress and anxiety seem to be pretty high on the agenda,” says Simon Bandy from Health Plus.

“This can be caused by a myriad of things, from the current economic situation to just finding the time to do everything – as the traditional family unit seems to be breaking down, with people having to work longer hours, or even just trying to keep on top of bills or up with the Jones’.”

According to American research, stress and anxiety seem to be a big problem across the Western world, says Mike Wakeman from BioCare.

“Research says that in America 30% of women, and 15% of men, will suffer from stress and anxiety in their lifetimes,” he explains.

“This is expressed in conditions like social anxiety disorder, generalised anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Of course, problems are more medicalised in America, which is why the statistics might seem quite high. It’s definitely interesting that women appear to suffer more then men. The study says that women diagnosed with anxiety are also likely to suffer from bulimia or depression.”

Pressing problems

When talking about stress it’s important to bear in mind that, like red wine, a little can actually be good for us. The ‘fight or flight’ mechanism, a biological response that kicks in when we enter difficult situations, actually helps focus our minds when things go wrong. However, it’s when we feel too much stress that the real issues start.

“Stress and anxiety can manifest in many ways,” says Bandy.

“The most common symptoms in the category are; fatigue (sometimes chronic), insomnia, stomach problems, sweating, racing heart, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, irritability and depression.”

Alex Kirchin from Solgar says that digestive complaints like dyspepsia can also be a sign something serious is up.

Stress-induced elevation of adrenaline and cortisol levels can result in increased cravings for carbohydrates and stimulants which can, of course, affect energy levels, hormonal balance and body fat distribution / weight gain,” he adds.

“Chronic stress is known to suppress immune function and increase susceptibility to infections.”

Bandy says that these symptoms can then lead to long-term health problems all the way from erectile dysfuntion and headaches, through to heart disease, skin diseases and pregnancy complications.

Meanwhile, Wakeman points out there’s a strong link between anxiety and diabetes with research suggesting that diabetics have a 48% higher incidence of anxiety than the normal population.

Good fats

As one of the current stars of the health store shelves it’s no surprise that Omega-3 has been found to boost mood while staving off excesses of stress and anxiety.

“Omega-3 fatty acid blood levels have been noted in at least four studies to be low in people suffering with depression and anxiety,” says Bandy.

“Research suggests that DHA especially is useful because of the action it has on brain compounds and chemical reactions, as well as hormones. One added benefit for these fish oils is also the positive effect it can have on heart health.”

“The field of fatty acid research has highlighted that lowered omega 3 status along with elevated omega 6 is linked with both inflammation and also depression,” adds Kirchin.

“Supplementation of omega 3 fatty acids has been shown to exert anxiolytic effects and reduce inflammatory markers even in those with undiagnosed anxiety disorders.

“This typical N3:N6 imbalance is indicative of the standard western diet lacking important neuro-supportive lipids along with important synergistic micronutrients.”

Kirchin advises that nutrients such as alpha lipoic acid, phosphatidylserine, methylcobalamin (B12) and Vitamin D can have a de-stressing effect.

“Methylcobalamin has been found to elicit positive effects on helping regulate circadian rhythms to help enable normal sleep patterns,” he says.

“Vitamin D has multiple functions within the functioning of the nervous system and given its role in the expression of more than 200 genes, coupled with further evidence of deficiency within the population, brings this exciting nutrient under the (UV) spotlight!”

Rhodiola Rosea is another natural approach. It’s been used traditionally for centuries to help in cases of mild anxiety, stress, fatigue and even to treat cold and flu.

“Solgar’s Rhodiola Balance has been formulated to provide these key nutrients and more, to provide support during times of stress whether it be mental, physical or emotional,” says Kirchin.

Fresh thinking

The prevalence of stress and anxiety means that supplement manufacturers are always working on legislation-friendly NPD to capture more of the market.

“It is highly likely we will see more products that can influence these common conditions given ongoing research into these areas,” says Kirchin.

“Areas with a lot of interest include botanicals, EFAs, micronutrients (such as vitamin D) and more recently probiotics.

“The link with probiotics hinges on the gut-brain axis and raises the question – does stress lead to GI dysfunction or does GI dysfunction lead to stress-related psychiatric conditions?”

He says that there is a ‘bi-directional case’ with stress being a trigger for inflammation and vice versa.

“It is unlikely that we will find any magic bullet as these conditions are so multi-faceted,” he says.

“However formulas/ protocols that can target inflammation, improve fatty acid status and correct micronutrient deficiency can play an important role in helping regulate stress, anxiety and the myriad of associated conditions.”

Some manufacturers are developing products which package different approaches to meet consumers’ needs.

For instance, Health Plus’ Tranquility Pack includes  vitamin D, minerals, 5-HTP, Omega-3 and lecithin to combat the problem on a number of levels.

Holistic help

Herbs and supplements are one thing – but experts advise that they should form part of an holistic approach to stress and anxiety for consumers.

“There are a number of supplements that can be of used when feeling stressed or anxious, but these must be used in conjunction with other techniques like relaxation, exercise and maybe even meditation,” says Bandy.

So what works best for de-stressing? Scientists have found out that regular exercise is great for promoting relaxation. In fact, recent research from the University of Princeton revealed that the brains of rats actually altered with moderate exercise, when compared to slothful rats.

All of which means that a simple walk home, or even half an hour at the gym, might be a good plan for escaping the strains of the rat race.

Meditation is another proven way to help ease the mind from everyday stresses and strains.

“Meditation is now gaining wider mainstream recognition through scientific research for its ability to reduce stress,” says Russell Bouwman ND BSc (Hons),  a nutritionist at Nutricentre.

“Those in stressful jobs or situations can benefit enormously from meditative practice.  It can be done anywhere, such as on the bus or train into work and even five minutes can be helpful to clear your mind and feel refreshed.”

Sleep Sense

As any new parent will tell you, sleep is an essential part of our overall mental wellbeing. And it’s no secret that people in the UK are not getting enough, which can impact on other parts of our lives.

“By helping a person get proper sleep patterns it can really be useful in alleviating the cycle of stress being caused by a lack of sleep,” says Bandy.

In the UK, statistics show that just over half of us (51.3%) have problems getting to sleep, with women more likely to have issues around sleep than men.

The solution could be as simple as having a relaxing chamomile tea before bedtime, or banishing distracting electronic gadgets, like mobile phones and tablets, from the bedroom. Supplements can also help, with all the experts we interviewed flagging up the effectiveness of 5-hydroxytryptophan, known on the shelves as 5-HTP.

“5-HTP is used by the human body to make serotonin, an important substance for normal nerve and brain function. It appears to play significant roles in sleep, emotional moods, pain control, and inflammation,” adds Bandy.

Scientists say that 5-HTP may help weight-loss too, because a lack of serotonin in the brain may trigger binge-eating that comes with a low mood.

Valerian and passion flower are also recommended for their ability to help customers with stress problems. The common oat, called avena sativa, is thought to be very beneficial as a mild herb for anxiety and tension.

“The most potent soporific herb, good for relaxing and sleeping, but not for driving, is valerian,” says Patrick Holford.

“Most people don’t take enough – you need 600mg for an effect – but there are nine positive scientific trials on valerian.”

Food Matters

“One of the key things to realise is that stress and anxiety can be fuelled by eating the wrong types of food,” advises Russell Bouwman ND BSc (Hons), nutritionist at Nutricentre.

“When the body is stressed it can crave sweet foods such as chocolate, caffeine and crisps, however although these foods may give you a temporary lift by raising your blood sugar, in the longer term they will act against you by putting more strain on the adrenal glands as they try to keep your blood sugar balanced.

“Stick to snacks that don’t raise your blood sugar too quickly such as nuts including almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts, as these contain some protein and good fats that will reduce your cravings. They are also a good source of magnesium, which helps with efficient energy production while also being calming to the nervous system.  Hummus and oatmeal crackers are another great idea. Replacing that afternoon coffee with a nice alternative such as Bambu or a ginger or liquorice tea will also help.”

Stress and Anxiety Listings

health-plusHealth Plus Stress and Anxiety products

Simon Bandy, Health + Plus Ltd, Dolphin House, 27 Cradle Hill Ind Est. Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 3JE
Tel:  01323 872277
Fax: 01323 872278
E-mail: [email protected]
www.healthplus.co.uk
Health Plus have a wide selection of products that may be useful when dealing with stress and anxiety. There’s our brand new Tranquility Pack (part of our Daily Pack range), 5-HTP Complex, Omega-3 EPA fish oils  – including the new High Potency 33:22,  as well probiotics, Siberian Ginseng and more. All are available from stock in single units, with no minimum order and excellent customer service. Health Plus have been serving over 200 quality products to the retailer and practitioner market for over 20 years now. If you haven’t tried us yet, now’s the ideal time!

tisserandDe-Stress Aromatherapy Roller Ball

Tisserand Aromatherapy
Tel: 01273 325666
Fax: 01273 208444
E-mail: [email protected]
www.tisserand.com
Tisserand Aromatherapy’s De-Stress Aromatherapy Roller Ball is ideal for frazzled moments when calm is needed. To use simply glide over the pulse points – wrists, temples and neck – to benefit from hand-blended therapeutic oils in a handy and compact size. The roller ball features an essential oil blend of soothing organic patchouli oil, rebalancing organic orange oil and nurturing ethically harvested rose oil.
Tisserand’s products do not contain parabens or synthetic fragrances.

sleepaidSleepAid

HealthAid Ltd, HealthAid House, Marlborough Hill, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 1UD
Tel: 020 8426 3400
Fax: 020 8426 3434
E-mail: [email protected]
www.HealthAid.co.uk
Calming restful sleep. SleepAid tablets are specially formulated, using a blend of natural herbal extracts such as Hops, Valerian and Passion flower. Hops and valerian are two potent herbs that are commonly used, to help insomnia and calm the nervous system. The combination of these powerful herbs with the additional benefit of passion flower can help to relax, sleep more soundly. SleepAid tablets help to promote a refreshing natural night’s sleep – without feeling sluggish the following day. Retailing at £8.99 for 60 tablets, Contact HealthAid Ltd on 0208 426 3400 for purchase and stockist information or visit www.healthaid.co.uk.

better-youMagnesium Original Flakes

BetterYou Ltd
Tel: 0114 220 2229
Fax: 0114 220 2230
E-mail: [email protected]
www.betteryou.uk.com
Essential for the absorption of calcium, magnesium is nature’s relaxant, normalising muscle function and ensuring cell health. Magnesium Original Flakes provide a relaxing body or foot bath delivering this mineral in its most absorbable form, feeding every cell and replenishing magnesium lost through the pressure of modern life. A clinical trial by Cardiff University has proven that transdermal application delivers this vital mineral up to five times faster than oral supplementation. Our unique source of magnesium chloride is found one mile below ground and has been condensed, purified and protected from man-made pollutants for more than 250 million years.

bachRescue Remedy

Nelsons
Tel: 0800 289 515
www.rescueremedy.co.uk
Rescue Remedy can help women when it all seems too much to handle. Rescue Remedy is a combination of five Bach™ Original Flower Remedies specially blended to comfort and provide relief in those Smartphone-related situations. The flower remedies are Star of Bethlehem, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose and Cherry Plum and it can be used anytime, anywhere and is suitable for all the family.  20ml spray and dropper – £9.20. Available from Boots, Lloydspharmacy, independent pharmacies and health food stores as well as grocery stores nationwide.
Trade order line number: 0800 289 515

pottersPotter’s; Nodoff Tablets, Nodoff Mixture & NewRelax

Potter’s Herbals c/o Ceuta Healthcare, Hill House, 41 Richmond Hill, Bournemouth BH2 6HS
Tel: 01202 449752
E-mail: [email protected]
www.pottersherbals.co.uk
A good night’s sleep is essential for a healthy mind and body. Stress and anxiety are two of the main common culprits of sleep deprivation as modern life can be full of deadlines and demands. Traditional herbal medicines have a long history of being used to help relieve stress and promote natural sleep, and Potter’s combines the very best of these solutions. Passiflora is the active ingredient in Potter’s Nodoff Tablets to aid natural sleep whilst, Passiflora is combined with Jamaica Dogwood, Hops, Valerian and Scullcap to create the ready to use Potter’s Nodoff Mixture.  Potter’s NewRelax contains Hops, Scullcap, Vervain and Valerian.  Together these can provide symptomatic relief from tenseness, irritability or agitation caused by the stresses and strains of modern life. The Potter’s range is available from all good independent Healthfood stores.

melissa-dreamMelissa Dream

Steve Skitt, New Nordic Ltd
Unit 20 Brough Business Centre, Skillings Lane, Brough, HU15 1EN
Tel: 01482 300695
E-mail: [email protected]
www.newnordic.co.uk
SRESTFUL SLEEP AND RELAXTION? The Melissa Dream™ is the tablet you need to maintain a normal restful sleep, normal functioning of your nervous system and the ability to deal effectively with impulses which affect the focus of your mind. The unique bioactive micronutrients and herbal extract combination contained in each tablet nourish and influence your brain, nerves and your psychological functions. The tablet, which is manufactured in Sweden contains a lemon balm extract, which helps maintain a restful sleep, L-theanine amino acid, chamomile extract, vitamin B complex and magnesium. The content of B vitamins contributes to normal psychological and nervous system function.

solgarBalance Rhodiola Complex

Solgar Vitamin & Herbs
Tel: 01442 890355
Fax: 01442 890366
E-mail: [email protected]
www.solgar.co.uk
Calm is Within – Stress is everywhere. It can come from mental, emotional, or physical strain and can be caused by anxiety or overwork. We can all feel different degrees of stress at some stage. It is how we deal with it that counts. Balancing our lifestyles can prevent stress from leading to more serious health issues. It is estimated that 75-90 percent of visits to the GP are related to stress, either acutely or because of chronic problems associated with stress.  Solgar Balance Rhodiola Complex provides adaptogenic botanical herbs and nutrients that are well researched and have been shown to support human health.

natures-aidStressEeze®

Natures Aid Ltd, St George’s Park, Kirkham, Lancashire PR4 2DQ
Tel: 01772 686231
Fax: 01772 688700
E-mail: [email protected]
www.naturesaid.co.uk
A natural way to Stress free living with  StressEeze® forms part of Natures Aid’s licenced Traditional Herbal Medicines range for Rhodiola. StressEeze® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress such as: fatigue; exhaustion and mild anxiety based on traditional use only. Each Natures Aid StressEeze® tablet contains 166mg of dry extract from Rhodiola rosea (L) roots and rhizomes (equivalent to 832 – 996mg Rhodiola rosea roots and rhizomes). Natures Aid StressEeze® is available in 60 film-coated tablets (1 month supply) and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans RSP £16.95. For further information call Natures Aid on 01772 686231.

pukkaAshwagandha and Tulsi for the mind

Pukka Herbs
Tel: 0845 375 1744
Fax: 01179 640 804
E-mail: [email protected]
www.pukkaherbs.com
Sometimes referred to as Holy Basil, Tulsi is celebrated for its soothing properties and has been used for centuries as a food to help support emotional and mental wellbeing. Pukka’s powerful blend of organic Tulsi with Nutrigest™ (seaweed, spirulina and ginger) is rich in antioxidants and helps support the body through daily stress and ageing. Also try Three Tulsi tea – a delicious blend of organic green, purple and lemon tulsi leaves – to uplift and restore. Other Ayurvedic herbs recommended for a healthy mind include Pukka’s Ashwagandha, Brahmi and Gotu Kola. Please contact Customer Services for further information.

viridianAdaptogen Complexes from Viridian Nutrition

Viridian Nutrition Ltd, 15 High March, Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 4HB
Tel: 01327 878050
Fax: 01327 878335
E-mail: [email protected]
www.viridian-nutrition.com
The adaptogen family is nature’s answer to modern living. Gentle Adaptogen Complex Veg Caps from Viridian Nutrition offers a combination of Dang Shen, Tienchi root, Siberian Ginseng and Verbena. Maxi Potency Adaptogen Complex Veg Caps is a blend of Damiana, Chinese and Siberian Ginseng, Mate and Suma. Both food supplements are available to recommend alongside Viridian’s High Five B-Complex with Magnesium Ascorbate Veg Caps for optimum results. In-store training, marketing and sales support available. The 180-strong award-winning range of specialist nutritional supplements from Viridian Nutrition is dedicated to the future development and security of the health food store.

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