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Dear Pharmacist Making your health resolutions a reality

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Suzy Cohen

Posted: Friday, January 7, 2011 9:57 am

Dear Readers: Why do we deem Jan. 1 as a magical day to help us kick bad habits? We should honor the concept of vibrant health every day. I’ve put together a list of the best supplements to increase the odds of making your resolutions a reality, no matter what day of the year you begin. If you want: 

Bigger guns

Whey protein shakes help you bulk up and build muscles over time. If you’re vegetarian, buy hemp protein shakes. Either way, your biceps are going to get bigger. Eat broccoli and Brussels sprouts. These green veggies are muscle-building foods because they tame estrogen in the body. It’s excessive estrogen that causes men and women to store fat and retain water.

To slim down

Try algae, a popular supplement known for increasing energy and reducing cholesterol. Spirulina causes faster weight loss by reducing hunger pangs. It improves thyroid function which, in turn, speeds metabolism and burns up all the fruit cake and stuffing you had last month. Also, drink one cup of green tea every night. 

Quit smoking

Although the herb St. John’s wort (hypericum perforatum) is best known for its ability to ease depression, it might help you stamp out your cigarettes. Even if you’re on a nicotine patch to help you quit smoking, St. John’s wort could help reduce withdrawal symptoms. It only takes a few weeks to begin working. Consult your physician or naturopath because this herb has some interactions. 

More bedroom drama

Consider supplements that contain L-arginine, an amino acid that is known to get more blood flowing to your heart, and down into your jeans. In the bedroom, this means stronger erections and much more stamina. (Great, because you need more energy to work off all the stuffing you ate last month.) Ladies should consider topical intimacy creams that contain arginine, or mint extract because these will heighten sensitivity; the cooling sensation helps some women get to the “big O” faster. 

Stop drinking

Studies suggest that serotonin deficiency is tied to alcoholism and other addictive disorders. Since 5-HTP jump starts the levels of this happy brain chemical, it should help you curb unwanted cravings for alcohol, as well as sweets and carbs. There’s also a prescription medication called Campral available.

Reduce stress

Get frequent massages because this has been shown to reduce blood pressure, release muscle tension and increases feel-good hormones throughout the body. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found that giving people a Swedish massage reduced levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone.  

A bigger IQ

Omega 3 fish oils, specifically DHA. A study found that taking 900 mg daily for six months helped people to improve learning skills and memory. Nosh as often as possible on Thai or Indian cuisine. According to a 2006 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, people who eat curry have sharper minds (and slower cognitive decline) than those who shy away from the Tandoori. 

This information is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Suzy Cohen is the author of “The 24-Hour Pharmacist.” For more information, visit www.dearpharmacist.com

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