Loving the losing game

Weight loss and detox can be confusing categories for consumers – which is where knowledgeable health store staff come into their own. Matt Chittock reports

Whether the powers that be blame computer games, sedentary lifestyles or calorie-packed convenience food, one thing’s for sure – Britons are getting bigger. In fact, the latest figures from the department of health show that a quarter of people in Britain are now classed as clinically obese, with a body mass index of over 30. This has serious social implications. The growing epidemic is set to put an unprecedented strain on the country’s resources, and is due to cost the NHS an estimated £10bn a year by 2050.

So what can be done on the shop floor? The world of weight loss and detox products can be scary for consumers looking for natural solutions but wary of ‘rip-off’ products. By offering sensible support and advice, they have the power to steer shoppers towards a healthier way of life.

I predict a diet

When it comes down to it, most health experts agree that losing weight means moving more and eating less. However, that doesn’t stop the proliferation of ‘fad’ diets based on everything from the lifestyle choices of a big-name star, to newly discovered (or re-discovered) ‘wonder’ ingredients.

Alison Cullen, education manager at A Vogel notes that these diets are all about selling stories, and different kinds of consumer will latch onto different kinds of diet depending on whether they’re enthralled by the lifestyles of the rich and famous, or something more scientific.

“The real key,” she says, “is to find a way to attach the notion that they should eat less energy-dense food, and expend more energy in a way that appeals to them.”

The government is currently engaged in a mission trying to convince Britons they should eat less fat and more fruit and vegetables. But there’s disagreement from the natural sector about whether this is the best route.

“There’s a lot of rot talked about low fat diets,” says Jayney Goddard of the Complementary Medical Association.

“People need not to be so hung up on fats. Instead it’s important to focus on a low-carb routine with the emphasis on protein, preferably vegetable protein. If you can make vegetables the focus of your diet it will do much more for you than Weight Watchers-style regimes.”

She relates the theory that modern fruit is now grown to feature higher levels of sugar than ever before — and should be considered a treat rather than a staple.

Fat of the land

This advice can translate direct to the shop floor. There are lots of practical suggestions for natural ingredients that can aid weight loss (see box) — and also plenty of lifestyle tips to pass on. Cullen suggests taking bitter herbs before a meal, which can trigger enzymes that aid digestion.

“Interestingly, in Med-iterranean countries people tend to eat a small salad of bitter leaves before a meal,” she says.

“While the Mediterranean diet features high levels of fat, the people in those countries don’t have anything like the same levels of obesity.”

Cullen also recommends drinking plenty of water, which can stop the body believing it’s in ‘drought’ mode and help beat water retention, and eating consciously rather than wolfing down a sandwich at lunch.

Needless controversy

For holistically minded health store staff the concept of detox goes hand-in-hand with losing weight — but in the wider world the concept itself has come in for criticism.

In 2009, Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, made waves when he claimed products such as Duchy Orginal’s detox tinctures “ignored science” and instead relied on “make-believe and superstition”.

Naturopath Jan DeVries finds it hard to believe detox gets such a hard time from some parts of the medical establishment.

“There’s a lot of newspaper criticism about detox – which I just can’t understand!” he says.

“It’s such a necessity – there’s so much toxic material that can build up in people’s systems. It can lead to problems with the liver and kidneys so it’s sensible to do what I call an intelligent ‘cleanse’ using the right methods.”

DeVries chooses to detox around twice a year around the changing of the seasons. Cullen believes this chimes well with the cycles of the natural world.

“If you look at how our bodies work over the centuries you had a period in Spring when the food gradually ran out and that’s when cleaning herbs like young nettles tended to come through,” she explains.

“When seasons change can be a good time to check imbalances.”

Cullen likens a regular detox to a good Spring clean for the body.

“People go for remedies that pull toxins out of storage, but you have to also make sure the exit routes are open,” she says.

“It’s like spring cleaning a house – you can’t Hoover or clean properly if the doors and windows are closed.

“This means getting people pooing properly and making sure the uninary tract is working effectively. Herbs like milk thistle, fennel and dandelion can help.

Patching in

Detox patches have always been popular with consumers looking for innovative natural lifestyle products. To keep up with demand the Detox Patch-It has been re-formulated for 2011 with new packaging and Green Tea for extra skin benefits. Meanwhile, Bodytox’s Detox Foot Patches are also popular on-shelf –they work in tandem on three different zones on the feet.

It’s easy being green

Shoppers looking to detox naturally tend to think green, whether they’re looking at vegetables for their shopping bag or supplements for the bathroom cabinet. Pukka Herb’s Clean Greens powder combines the active power of a dozen chlorophyll-packed ingredients including kale sprouts and chlorella to cleanse the body. Elsewhere Terranova’s freeze-dried Green Purity Super Blend includes health boosters like Beet greens, nettle and wheatgrass juice. To kick-start the detox regime many manufacturers, including health store stalwarts like Clipper and Heath and Heather, offer varieties of nettle tea.

Winning combinations

With so many natural ingredients available to support detox and aid weight loss, it’s not surprising that many brands present products that combine several different approaches. BioCare offers a Nine Day Detox pack which features a complete range of benefits packed into a handy blister pack while Viridian produces an Organic Weight Management Plan supported by a 40-page booklet with motivational tools and exercise advice.

Cleansing accessories

Along with supplements, there’s also the opportunity to stock bathroom accessories designed to cleanse. Higher Nature offers a skin brush specially made to remove dead cells and boost circulation for a refreshed and renewed feeling. Its Special Dead Sea Soak contains salt extracts to pull toxins out of the body and offer an indulgent bath time experience.


“Half a teaspoon of cinnamon daily can increase insulin sensitivity,” says Goddard. “Insulin helps the body lay down fat, so cinnamon increases your ability to do the opposite. Cinnamon is a great cheat too – because it tricks your taste buds into thinking it tastes sweet!”

Milk thistle

“Milk thistle really is numero uno for weight loss and detox because it supports liver function.”
Garlic and cayenne pepper. “Garlic is a wonder ingredient for weight loss, and cayenne pepper improves your body’s metabolic rate so you’ll use more calories. Both garlic and cayenne pepper can be easily added to stews.”

Dandelion leaf

“This is a natural diuretic, which unlike medical diuretics, doesn’t work by forcing the body to lose water. It’s so much gentler.”

Sexual health Listings

9 Day Detox Pack

Laura Denning
BioCare® Limited, Lakeside, 180 Lifford Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham, B30 3NU
Tel: 0121 433 3727
E-mail: [email protected]

Detoxification is dependent on the organs of elimination functioning optimally. These include the liver, kidneys and digestive system. Reducing exposure to toxins in the environment and avoiding foods and drinks which require a lot of processing by the liver such as alcohol and fatty foods, are also important.
Patrick Holford’s 9 Day Detox Pack makes it easy to supplement a detoxifying diet. The pack is presented for your convenience in a handy blister pack containing a daily regime of antioxidants, digestive and liver support to help rejuvenate your system. RRP £38.85 for 9 days. Available at www.biocare.co.uk

Bodytox Detox Foot Patches

Eterno Naturals
Tel: 0808 178 9671 • Fax: 01376 502453
E-mail: [email protected]

Bodytox Detox Foot Patches absorb accumulated waste matters in your body while you sleep! The therapeutic result can be a noticeable difference in energy, vitality and wellbeing. Using the patches can help provide a variety of benefits including boosted energy levels and an improved quality of sleep.
If waste builds up and blocks our nerve pathways then health can be adversely affected. When the Patches are applied to the feet, powerful natural ingredients encourage the release of waste, helping clear pathways. The Detox Foot Patches are part of the Bodytox range which also includes Natural Warm Patches and the best-selling Lavender Sleep Patches.


HealthAid Ltd, HealthAid House, Marlborough Hill, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 1UD
Tel No: 020 8426 3400 • Fax No: 020 8426 3434
E-mail: [email protected]

Bodylean® CLA Plus can help reduce body fat and in turn increase muscle tone.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid is added, to manipulate the way the body stores fat and helps utilise it as energy, regulating and lowering body fat percentages, and increasing muscle tone. Other ingredients include L-Carnitine, L-Ornithine and CoQ10 for enhanced metabolism, together with Chromium and Gymnaema Sylvestre to aid sugar cravings and blood sugar regulation. Maximum benefit is achieved if taken in conjunction with a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise.
Bodylean CLA plus, duel pack retails at £16.99 for 60 capsules & tablets. Contact HealthAid Ltd on 020 8426 3400 for purchase and stockist information or visit www.healthaid.co.uk

Terranova – Green Purity

Kinetic Enterprises, 268 Belsize Road, London, NW6 4BT
Tel: 0845 072 5825 • Fax: 0845 072 5826
E-mail:[email protected]

The newest addition to Terranova’s exciting range of fresh freeze dried botanical powders, Green Purity Super-Blend is a intensely synergistic and powerfully active, yet gentle, formulation for maintaining healthy detoxification processes, alkalinising the body and providing a profound boost of live enzymes, vitamins, minerals and many other beneficial compounds. This remarkably versatile product features 100% fresh freeze dried ingredients – Dandelion leaf, Watercress, Kale, Parsley, Beetroot juice, Beet greens, Burdock, Nettle, Turmeric, Artichoke leaf, Coriander leaf and Wheatgrass juice. Research shows freeze drying of plants to be superior to other drying methods in terms of activity, biochemical complexity, solubility and stability, as well as retaining plant enzymes.

PLj Lemon Juice

Free Ltd (part of the Healthy Sales & Marketing group), Ridges Court Industrial Park, Okehurst Lane, Billingshurst, West Sussex RH14 9HR
Tel: 01403 786460 • Fax: 01403 786280
E-mail: [email protected]

PLj Lemon Juice is a refreshing, naturally sharp and versatile juice drink which can be used for any purpose where fresh lemon juice is required, and is the easy and cost-effective alternative to keeping fresh lemons in the fridge.
An invigorating support to calorie-controlled diets, PLj is a blend of lemon juice rich in vitamin C – a 25ml serving contains 75% of the recommended daily intake and just 9 kcals – yet is free from all artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners.
PLj is the easy way to enjoy real lemon juice, but without the mess or hassle
of chopping and squeezing.

Chili Burn

New Nordic Ltd
Tel: 01482 300695 • Fax: 01482 300696
E-mail: [email protected]

Chili BurnTM – Weight management with a kick!
New Nordic’s Chili Burn tablets are recommended to people who want help to manage their weight, maintain their desired weight and keep their digestion healthy in a simple regime. The tablets are to be used in conjunction with a calorie restricted diet and exercise programme.
Based on an herbal formula Chili Burn includes Chili capsaicin, Green Tea and epigallocatechins. Epigallocatechins help burn fat by increasing fat metabolism. The tablets also contain peppermint essential oil, which helps maintain a healthy digestion and reduce flatulence. For more information call 01482 300695 or email [email protected]. Alternatively visit www.newnordic.com

Thermatone® with Chromium and Green Tea Extract

Natures Aid
Tel: 01772 686231 • Fax: 01772 686700
E-mail: [email protected]

A Natural Alternative to Weight Management
Weight loss can be achieved without the use of caffeine or chitosan, both of which affect the absorption of nutrients. Green Tea, Cayenne and Ginger have been shown to increase energy expenditure. The equivalent of 10g of Green Tea has been shown to reduce body weight by an average of 5% over 12 weeks.
Cayenne, Garcinia cambogia and Chromium reduce appetite before, during and after eating whilst Green Tea inhibits the digestion of fat. Garcinia cambogia also restricts the conversion of carbohydrate to fat. Lactium decapeptide has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, a known factor in weight gain due to stress.
Natures Aid Thermatone® RSP £22.50 for 90 Capsules (45 days supply).

Apple Cider High Strength

New Nordic Ltd
Tel: 01482 300695 • Fax: 01482 300696
E-mail: [email protected]

Apple Cider™ – Digestion and Fluid levels.
New Nordic’s Apple Cider tablets are recommended to people who want help to manage their fluid levels and break down of fats in the digestive system.
The tablets are based on a Swedish apple cider formula with artichoke and dandelion.
Apple cider has been traditionally used in Scandinavia for its high acetic acid and OPC (oligomeric proanthocyanidin) antioxidant activity. Apples have the highest OPC antioxidant content of any fruit, herb or vegetable. Globe artichoke leaves help to break down fats in the intestine and improve digestion. The tablets’ content of dandelion helps maintain a healthy fluid output. For more information call 01482 300695 or email steve @newnordic.co.uk. Alternatively visit www.newnordic.com

Weight Balance – Naturally support your healthy weight

Pukka Herbs Ltd
Tel: 0845 375 1744 • Fax: 0117 964 0804
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.pukkaherbs.com

Weight Balance capsules support the body’s natural ability to maintain metabolism, digestion and a healthy weight. Weight Balance contains fruits, grass juices, freshwater plants, seeds, seaweeds and spice all renowned for maintaining healthy weight naturally when taken as part of a balanced diet.
For a natural daily cleanse, mix Clean Greens powder – a powerful blend of 12 chlorophyll-rich green foods including organic spirulina, chlorella and kale sprouts – with your favourite smoothie.
For a cleansing cuppa, try Pukka’s organic Detox tea. A unique blend of organic fennel, aniseed and cardamom, Detox is deliciously sweet and soothing.

Heath & Heather Slim-Matét

Heath & Heather, Pasture Road, Moreton, Wirral,
Merseyside CH46 8XF
Tel: 07831 665779 • Fax: 0151 522 4020
E-mail: [email protected]

At Heath & Heather we have been creating excellent infusions since 1920, selecting only the finest natural ingredients that are free from artificial colours and flavours. We work in association with the National Institute of Medical Herbalists ensuring that our infusions deliver the very best to support a healthy lifestyle. Fragrant and invigorating, Slim-Maté is a great choice for health conscious people who need to stay on the move. Slim-Maté makes a delicious cooling refreshment after exercise. As an alternative, simply add two or three bags to a jug of sparkling water, add lemon slices, ice-cubes and serve.

Organic Weight Management Plan Boxed Set

Viridian Nutrition Ltd, 31 Alvis Way, Royal Oak, Daventry, Northants NN11 8PG
Tel: 01327 878050 • Fax: 01327 878335
E-mail: [email protected]

The Organic Weight Management Plan from Viridian Nutrition features a 40-page booklet with diet and exercise advice, motivational tools, recipes and menu plans and four organic supplements: Organic Nopal for fibre and feeling of fullness. Organic Mineral Complex – to aid blood-sugar maintenance and improve nutritional status. Organic Soul Food Greens – to alkalise the body and provide amino acids. Organic Green Tea – with thermogenic properties.
Attractively packaged in an all-new purpose-designed box set and supported by an extensive PR campaign, a bespoke Facebook page and POS. This truly effective product offers 50% POR and is exclusive to the specialist health food retailer.

Organic Burst® Wheatgrass

Simply Organic Europe Ltd., 3rd Floor,
207 Regent Street, London, W1B 3HH
Tel: 07825837260 • 02035659126
E-mail: [email protected]

Organic Burst® Wheatgrass is the ultimate detoxifying and cleansing product. Due to the specific method of organic cultivation, it is exceptionally high in metabolic enzymes, antioxidants, fibre and essential fatty acids. Wheatgrass is one of the richest sources of chlorophyll that works on a deep level to remove toxins. It acts as an alkalizer, eliminating acidity build up in the body and reducing fatigue and tiredness.
Organic Burst® Wheatgrass is high in energy-metabolising minerals and antioxidant Vitamins A, C and E. It helps promote healthy skin, hair and strong immune system. It is certified organic by the Soil Association.