Time for Plan (Vitamin) B
B vitamins have been in the news for over a decade in connection with helping to prevent memory loss and possibly dementia.
A friend asked me if they really work – the answer is ‘maybe’. The latest of several studies looked at 271 elderly people with mild memory problems, but not dementia, who took a daily high-dose vitamin B complex (with folic acid, B6 and B12) over 24 months. Those taking the supplement had on average 30 per cent slower brain shrinkage in areas associated with Alzheimer’s disease (one type of dementia) than those taking a placebo, probably because B vitamins are thought to lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid also linked to heart disease. According to NHS UK’s Behind the Headlines report, there is no positive proof but the results are promising.I take a vitamin B complex daily, as well as omega-3 fatty acid, and vitamin D, in common with many health professionals I know. Try Cobalz Betrinac/£16.95 for 28 tablets - buy here; Life Flo Power of Krill/£24.95 for 60 softgels - buy here, or Better You DLux 1000 Spray/£7.15 for 15 ml - buy here; they're all available from www.victoriahealth.com.
MY HEALTH - KIRSTY GALLACHER
The 37-year-old SKY Sports presenter shares her secrets...
• I love being in touch with my body, but I’m not really one for pampering – my energy goes into my children, my work and fighting for animal welfare.
• The key to exercise is to do something you enjoy. Cardio Tennis is great because it’s an all-round, all-weather workout, and you can burn up to 600 calories in each 60-minute session if you keep moving.
• It’s good to mix sports, so I’m also training to run 10K for Joining Jack, a charity that supports a little boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
• I’m very competitive, but Cardio Tennis isn’t about winning. You can have six or more on a court of all different abilities and ages – it’s good fun.
• There’s such pressure on women to get back to looking great after having babies. It’s about feeling better first, and then you will look better.
• After I had my sons Oscar, six, and Jude, three, I felt really sluggish. I breast-fed for three months and was enormous on top. My husband Paul Sampson, who was a rugby player and is now a fitness coach, advised me to start with power walking to get my heart rate up.
• I’m passionate about animals. I was vegetarian for six months, but it made me ill – my mum, a dietician, thinks I lacked the B vitamins found in meat. Now I eat a little meat from animals that have been well treated.
• I taught myself natural meditation. If I’m trying to sleep, I go in my mind’s eye to my grandmother’s house because it’s nostalgic and lovely.
A PERFECT POUCH FOR SAFE SLEEP
Our youngest product tester, eight-week-old Connie, loves her Joey Pouch – a womb-simulating sleeping bag designed for newborns from the Australian brand Bubbaroo. Connie’s mother reports, ‘Connie definitely liked it and slept soundly from the first night. She is safely swaddled, but can move her arms and kick and frog her legs. The machine-washable, knitted cotton waffle fabric is soft and snuggly, with a simple side zip. It’s particularly good for babies with strong startle reflexes, who often hit themselves in the face with their hands and wake up.’ Bubbaroo, which supports Lullaby Trust SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) safe sleeping practices, says the pouch should not be used once babies can roll from their back on to their tummy. Available in four colours, the Joey Pouch costs £24.95, from www.bubbaroo.co.uk - buy here.