Tried & Tested – ROC’s new Retin-Ox Wrinkle Correxion Serum

Women queued in the streets of London’s West End when ROC announced a new range of anti-wrinkle creams combining all the lastest scientific discoveries.

ELIXIR has managed to get a sample of ROC’s new Retin-Ox Wrinkle Correxion range to find out if it really does live up to the hype. This is what we found:

We are big fans of serums, mainly because they are light and less greasy and mature skins seems to absorb them better. So we chose to review the Intensive Serum (pictured) in the range.

Luxuriously packaged in gold and lapis blue, this serum contains pure Retinol (Vitamin A), Hyaluronic Acid (the natural humectant and collagen building block in the skin), Biopeptide (an intelligent biopeptide that signals the skin to produce more collagen) and squalan (a lipid that improves skin texture.)

Our tester (in her 50s)used the serum morning and evening before the daily moisturiser, as recommened by ROC. After just two weeks this is what she said:

“This product smelled wonderful and the fine texture of the serum meant that it was easily absorbed by my skin. I am only two weeks into the 8 weeks that ROC says it takes to see results but my skin is definitely looking smoother and firmer. Many wrinkle creams have strong ingredients in them and my skin ends up looking far worse because I get an allergic reaction. But I had absolutely no problems with this product. Another bonus is that a little goes a long way. So its a great product, great price and it delivers. After just two weeks of use I would give this product 8/10 Costs £26.99 Available at Boots stores in the UK.

ROC’s new Retin-ox Wrinkle Correxion range

Top AntiAgeing Elixirs

Below is a list of the most important nutrients, antioxident supplements and hormones for achieving and maintaining optimum health from the inside. Many of them can also be applied topically in ant-ageing skincreams – see Creams & Potions for main brands containing them.

Anti-ageing medicine uses nutrition, dietary supplements and hormones, often in combination with drugs to assist patients in living a longer and healthier life. Improvements in diet and lifestyle have shown that even simple changes to these can delay or even prevent the apperance of serious diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cataracts and diabetes.

The recommended doses by manufacturers of supplements do not take into account body weight, health and enviromental factors so you are advised to seek the advice of a qualified doctor who can determine more precisely your needs. A blood test should be part of this assessment – see AntiAgeing Tests in this section of the website.

By using the optimum combination of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals you give yourself the best chance of improving your health, from improved memory skills, to better muscle tone, increased libido and healthier skin, hair and nails.

The top 10 special supplements – as recommended by the Life Extension Foundation – are listed and described at the end of this section. LEF is a non-profit organization, whose long-range goal is the radical extension of the healthy human lifespan within the next decade. LEF’s Scientific Advisory Board is made up of pre-eminent scientists and doctors in the field of life-extension research and therapies. LEF products use the highest grade constituents (pharmaceutical grade) and regularly tests products using mass specttrophotometry/HPLC to verify their content and quality. LEF uses its profits to promote life extension research.



A major cause of ageing is the decline in the energy-producing capability of cells which results in reduced metabolic activity and eventually cell death. ALA is a highly potent antioxidant that fights free radicals and it is both water and fat soluable which means that it can penetrate all parts of a cell. This enzyme is found in the mitachondria helps cell metabolism, general vitality and production of collagen. It is usually taken in combination with acetyl-l-carnitine an amino acid that helps transport fat into the mitachondria of the cell.

As an antioxident it is also used topically in anti-ageing skin creams. It helps decrease pore size and lines.

This supplement not recommended during pregnancy or for diabetics who are glucose intolerant. It should not be taken after 5pm as it is a stimulant and could keep you from sleeping. It is also in the following foods – spinach, liver brewer’s yeast, beef and potatoes.


Found in carrots and other highly coloured vegetables and fruits. An antioxident that may help fight cancer.


A chemical found in fruits and vegetables. Found in the following foods: Apricots, plums, blackberries, strawberries, green tea, rosehips, green peppers, green beans, broccoli, red cabbage, grapes, cherries, rhubarb, red wine, lemons,oranges. Quercetin, the most active of the citrus bioflavonoids has anti-inflammatory properties and helps allergic reactions. Also beneficial in diabetes as it helps prevent damage to blood vessels by excess sugar in the body.

Grapes, particularly grapeseeds and red wine are a good source of the bioflavonoids proanthocyanidins. These prevent hardening
of the artery. Butcher’s Broom can reduce inflammation and swelling associated with leg problems as it strengthens the vein and helps blood flow and even mor effective when combined with horse chustnut seed (conker) extract, vitamin C and the flavonoid rutin. The plant, milk thistle contains the bioflavonoid silymarin which promotes cell regeneration and can help repair liver damage from alcohol. This helps the skin and promotes energy.

CoEnzyme Q10

CoEnzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble vitamin-like substance present in every cell of the body. It also occurs naturally in a number of foods, including organ meats, soy oil, sardines, mackerel and peanuts. It is a powerful antioxidant and acts as a coenzyme for several of the key steps in the production of energy within every cell. Low levels of CoQ10 have been linked to several deseases. Low levels are attributed to an insufficient dietary intake combined with an inability of the body to manufacture its own. A number of commonly prescribed medications can also affect levels including statins (used to treat high cholesterol), beta-blockers and tricyclic antidepressants.

CoQ10 has been particularly successful in the area of cardiac health. It is found in fairly high concentrations in healthy hearts. Conversely, low levels are associated with congestive heart failure. It is also thought that low levels may also be the main cause in heart failure. It has also helpful in reducing blood pressure and heart rate and associated conditions, as well as peridontal disease. There is also increasing evidence that the brain can also suffer.

Ageing humans have been found to have 57% less CoQ10 on average compared to that of young adults. Its effect on the mitochondria, the “energy powehouses” of our cells where it regulates the oxidation of fats and sugars into energy, makes it one of the most important nutrients for people over the age of 30.


EFAs are essential to the body and is able to manufacture them aside from two – linoleic acid (omega-6 family) and linolenic acid (omega3 family). Since they must come from the diet they are classified as EFAs.

Omega 3 fatty acids are found in cold-water fish, perilla and flaxseed oils. They contain a substance known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are usually lacking in the Western diet which has mainly omega-6 fats supplied in the diet from meat and vegetable oils.

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is found in evening primrose oil, borage oil and blackcurrent oil is an important fatty acid that plays a beneficial role in prostaglandin formation

EFAs interfere with blood clotting so anyone contemplating surgery or suffering from a hemorrhagic disease should consult a doctor before taking them.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)

The supplement DHEA, is a steroid hormone that can slow ageing, prevent disease and improve strength. Its medical uses include the treatment of depression and dementia It is used by some athletes to increase muscle mass and strength, but banned by sporting bodies including the International Olympic Committee and the National Football League. It is classed as a food supplement and has also become popular as an anti-ageing remedy.

Ageing men and woman are invariably DHEA deficient. DHEA is the most abundent circulating hormone in the youthful human body but peaks by the age of 25 and declines thereafter. By the age of 70 most people DHEA has declined by over 80%. DHEA should not be taken by those with existing prostate or breast cancer. Those with liver disease should take dissolve in the mouth tables rather than capsules.

DHEA levels decrease after 30 and it is thought that some symptoms of ageing could be associated with a DHEA deficiency.There has been considerable interest in using DHEA in Alzheimer’s disease. DHEA supplements in menapausal woman have also shown to increase estrogen levels and reduction in hot flushes.

A study by the Univesity of California, San Diego, said that 50mgs a day taken daily over six months increased lean body mass and muscle strength.

Known side effects: DHEA and pregnenolone may cause heart rhythm irregularities and irreversible hair loss.


DMAE, or dimethylaminoethanol (chemical name deanol), is a compound found in high levels in oily fish such as anchovies, sardines and salmon. It is also produced in small amounts by the human brain. It is sold as a food supplement to boost brain function and is thought to be helpful in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Doctors are also looking at its role in treating poor memory and Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as some movement disorders.

The supplement was originally researched as a treatment for ADHD and early studies in the 1970s revealed that it was helpful for children with learning disabilities and behavior problems. This substance appears to increase production of chemicals in the brain essential for short-term memory, concentration, and learning capacity. It is also classed as an “cholinergic” because it is thought to increase levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, one of the chemicals in the brain that enhances mental powers. A decrease in the brain cells that produce acetylcholine is thought to be parlty responsible for Alezheimer’s. “Cholinergic” drugs, such as tacrine (Cognex), donepezil (Aricept), rivasatigmine (Exelon), and galantamine (Reminyl) are used to treat the dementia of Alzheimer’s disease.

Although there are no conclusive studies it is possible that DMAE has memory-boosting effects. Many nutritionally oriented physicians prescribe DMAE along with another memory enhancer, the dietary supplement phosphatidylcholine.

DMAE supplements won’t work for everybody and are not intended as a cure. But they are safe and may be helpful. They should be taken with meals.

There are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with DMAE but more needs to be learned this supplement. You should consult a doctor, particularly if you have any illnesses such as epilepsy.

International anti-ageing skin doctor Nicholas Perricone describes DMAE as “the magic bullet” for skin. He prescribes supplements and a diet high in wild salmon – his research documents changes in the skin in only three days. He believes that DMAE is a building-block of the neuro-transmitter acetylcholine which declines with age and causes a deterioration in musle-tone as well as brain function. This diet also has a beneficial effect on weight.

Recommended books by Perricone: The Perricone Prescription and The Wrinkle Cure.


Glucosamine is a natural substance in the body known as an amino-sugar which is made in the body as a result of the synthesis of L-glutamine and glucose. Glucosamine stimulates glycosamino-glycans which are important in the formation of cartiliage and joint ligaments. As people age, they lose the ability to manufacture sufficient levels of glucosamine. Cartilage then loses its gel-like nature and ability to act as a shock absorber. Research in The Lancet medical journal which used X-rays to investigate the knee cartilage of volunteers, found those who took glucosamine pills for three years halted the progress of their osteoarthritis. In Spain, Portugal and Italy, glucosamine is the preferred treatment for arthritis. Glucasamine is sold as a supplement and there are also skin patches. It is often sold in supplements with Chondroitin sulfates which help the glucosamine into joints.


HGH is released by the pituitary gland during sleep and is the most important anti-ageing hormone of all. It is produced until around mid-20s to age 30, but continues to decrease as we age. Genuine HGH is synethically made by only two drugs companies mainly for use with children who suffer from growth hormone deficiency. In adults HGH injections are used to increase metabolism and other visible signs of ageing but these are only available on prescrption. Naturapathic HGH, which is widely available on the web, has been criticised as a “scam” by professional anti-ageing experts.

HGH restores muscle strength, stamina and other attributes of youth.
There are also natural ways to encourage HRH production, including exercise. The following are HGH boosters:magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc and B vitamins found in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, plus unprocessed nuts and seeds, brown rice, low sugar cereals — especially oats, soya-based foods and raisins. A good night’s sleep and regular exercise help increase production of this hormone. People who sleep on average eight hours a night live longer than those who sleep for six hours or less. Also HGH boosters are the amino acids omithine, lysine, arginine and glutamine.

Growth hormone causes the liver to produce ICF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor), a substance which promotes cell growth and repair.

HGH is used by anti-ageing doctors to slow and sometimes reverse ageing.

Known side effects: HGHs hould not be used by those suffering from cancer. There are studies that suggest it may increase risk of cancer, triggers diabetes and joint pain -although supporters dispute this. Although it works to promote healing it has also shown a worsening of outcome when used first at a period of critical illness.


Millions of people already take the hormone melatonin, which is sold in pharmacies and health food stores in the United States, Thailand, Singapore and on the Internet. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally in the pineal gland in the brain and is released during the night. It regulates sleep patterns and influences other hormones and is useful in relieving jet lag and has anti-cancer properties. In experiments it has been shown to increase the lifespan of animals.

Secretion of melatonin decreases with age. It has been found to increase the qualityof sleep in 60% of users. In small amounts it also causes skin cell growth but in large amounts the opposite occurs.

The anti-oxident vitamins and minerals

Vitamins A, C and E; bioflavonoids and the minerals selenium, zinc and maganese all help to repair and renew cells.


Life Extension Mix

LEF says that this is the most complete multivitamin supplement in history and recommends it as the cornerstone of an overall health maintenance programme.

Its main constitutients are highly concentrated fruit and vegetable extracts, pharmaceutical grade vitamins, minerals and amino acids at the optimum potencies. It is available as tablets (nine per day), capsules (14 per day) or powder (three scoops daily).

Life Extension Super Booster

This contains nutrients in a soft gel capsule (one per day) that can only be delivered in an oil-base including gamma tocopherol. sesame lignans extract, ginkgo extract, vitamin K, chlorophyllin, Vitamin C, Folic acid, lycopene and four types of selenium.

This supplement should not be taken by those taking a drug called Coumadin because of conflicts with Vitamin K. Also those with Wilson’s disease should not take chlorophyllin supplements. There is a booster formula without these two ingredients.

Although there are no known side-effects its energy boosting properties mean that it can increase the body’s production of free radicals and it is advised that it is taken with other potent antioxidents ( for example Life Extension Mix and/or Life Extension Booster or Gamma E Tocopherol with Sesame Lignans formula).

Mitochondrial Energy Optimise

All of the nutrients in the Mitochondrial Energy Optimiser help restore the integrity of the mitochrondria – our energy powerhouses and contains antioxidents to assist in slowing down the ageing process. These include acetyl-l-carnitine, carnosine, R-lipoic acid, luteolin and SODzyme (sprout concentrate). Four capsules are taken daily.


The active ingredients in Cognitex attack what scientists believe are the main causes of age-related brain decline. It contains pharmaceutical extracts of Nexrutine and 5-Loxin. As well as quercetin, Phosphatidylserine, Alph-glycerylphosphorylcholine and vinpocetine. It is available with or without pregnenolone, a hormone that may be beneficial to the brain. This hormone should not be taken by anyone with existing steroid hormone-sensitive cancers.

Super EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans

Omega-3 fatt acids, such as those found in cold-water fish, can help reduce deaths from heart disease. This is because fish oils lower triglycerides, a substance that adds to arterial blockage and also help protect healthy blood flow in the arteries. The addition of sesame supresses free radical production in the fish oil itself and helps boost other beneficial fatty acids. Four capsules are taken daily.

Enhanced Natural Prostate(for men)

LEF says this is one of their best sellers. It promotes prostate health with a combination of saw palmetto extract, pygeum and nettle root.Two capsules are taken daily – morning and evening.

Bone Restore (for women)

This contains a potent dose of elemental calcium along with boron and silicon to boost the body’s ability to maintain healthy bone density. Five tablets to be taken daily.

Restoring Youthful Balance Hormones

Youthful hormone balance is critical to maintaining health in all women and men over age 40. Ageing men and woman are invariably DHEA deficient. Many men over the age of 40 have too much estrogen and too little free testosterone. While ageing woman need to balance their progesterone and estergen.

DHEA is the most abundent circulating hormone in the youthful human body but peaks by the age of 25 and declines thereafter. By the age of 70 most people DHEA has declined by over 80%. DHEA should not be taken by those with existing prostate or breast cancer. Those with liver disease should take dissolve in the mouth tables rather than capsules.

Super MiraForte is a supplement for men that contains chrysin, bioperine, urtica dioica and muira puama. It works to help restore more youthful testosterone levels. Two capsules are taken twice daily. It should not be taken by men with prostate cancer or by women.

Natural Estrogen contains natural plant extracts including licorice, black cohosh, dong quai and vitex agnus-castus. Suggested dose is one table twice daily. This supplement should not be taken by anyone with estrogen-dependent cancer.

S-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe)

SAMe a supplement which promotes good mood and bone and joint health should be taken with vitamin B12 and folic acid – both of which are in the Life Extension Mix and/or the Life Extension Booster.


Aspirin has been found to be beneficial in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes because it affects the blood platelets making them less likely to stick together improving blood flow. The HealthPrin brand is coated to minimize stomach irritation.

Find out more at

Vitamins & Minerals


General advice

Vitamins are either water or fat soluable. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluable and stored in the liver by the body. Since they are used slowly overdosing on them can be more toxic. The B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluable and excess amounts are flushed out of the body.

Since many processed foods are deficient in essential vitamins they can be taken by way of supplements. New research has shown that Vitamin B3 in the diet can help prevent Alzheimer’s, and Vitamins D and C are being investigated for their potential role in the prevention of cancer.

Antioxidants are the elixir vitamins and supplements that help the body defend itself against free radical attack – these are unstable molecular structures that damage cells and which scientists believe are responsible for mutations that cause cancer and other diseases and illnesses. Although we identify several vitamins, minerals and supplements that have particular antioxident properties, they deliver the optimum benefits when taken with other essential nutrients and a balanced diet.

The most important antioxidents are alpha lipoic acid, acetyl L-carnitine, DMAE, vitamin A and betacarotene, vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium, followed by vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and the minerals, copper, manganese and zinc. Other important antioxidents are co-enzyme Q10, carotenoids such as lutein and lycopene, alpha lipoic acid, green tea and grapeseed extracts.

Care should be taken not to exceed guidelines and a qualified medical doctor should be consulted for accurate information that takes into account your age, weight, health and any medical conditions for which you are taking drugs that might cause contra-indications.

VITAMIN A (and beta-carotene)

Found in Liver, cheese, eggs, oily fish, also cod, halibut, milk., brocolli, cantaloupe melon, kale, red bell peppers, watercress and spinach. Essential for growth, bones, vision, skin, growth, immune system and reproduction. It also helps protect against a range of cancers, helps acen, colds and infections Deficiencies cause mouth ulcers, poor night vision, acne, frequent colds, flaky skin and dandruff. A lack of this vitamin is common in those with Crohn’s Disease. High doses can increase the risk of bone fracture and damage unborn babies – but you’d need to take more than 5g a day.

Since it is fat-soluable it is best taken with some dietary fat and the mineral zinc. As far as the skin is concerned it penetrates into cells protecting them from free radicals and oxidative stress. Acne and ageing skin are often treated with topical Retin-A (tretinoin), an acid form of vitamin A.


These vitamins work together to aid a large number of biological processes that affect the skin, brain and nerves. Thy aid the health of hair, skin and nails, strengthen bones and muscles, fight fatigue, aid liver health, brain function and skin disorders. A deficiency can cause a range of problems ranging from skin problems to insomnia and depression.

VITAMIN B1 (thiamin)

It is found in pork, vegetables, milk, cheese, peas and beans, dried fruit and nuts, salmon and soyabeans. . Contains Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is essential for energy production, brain function and digestion. A lack of leads to tender and weak muscles, irritability, poor concentration, poor memory, depression and tingling hands.

VITAMIN B2 (riboflavin)

Found in cereals, meat, kidneys, mushrooms, eggs, milk, watercress, cauliflower, almonds, walnuts, low-fat cottage cheese and plain yogurt. This vitamin helps turn fat, sugar and protein into energy. It is essentialfor healthy skin, hair and nails and to regulate body acidity. Deficiencies can cause sore tongue, sensitivity to bright lights, cataracts, dull hair and skin problems. In levels found in supplements, there’s no evidence this can cause harm. Vitamin B2 is useful in treating migraine and helps reduce dependence on painkillers used to treat them.

VITAMIN B3 (niacin)

Found in oily fish, liver, poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, wholegrains, vegetables. It is essential for energy production, brain function, hormones and healthy skin. Helps balance blood sugar. A lack can result in appetite loss, dementia, diarrhea, lack of energy, headaches, anxiety, skin problems. High doses can cause skin flushing so high amounts should not be taken without medical supervision.

The Institute For Healthy Ageing in Chicago recently discovered that people who eat a diet low in Vitamin B3 (12mg or less per day) are 80 per cent more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s. Wheras those to take the vitamin were mentally fitter in general. Other studies have found that vitamin B3 is beneficial in preventing cataracts. In cases of mild depression, the vitamin is given with the amino acid tryptophan which together help to stimulate serotonin, the body’s feel good chemical.

VITAMIN B5 (pantothenic acid)

Found in almost all meat and veg. Red meat, mushrooms, rye bread, kidney, eggs, broccoli, almonds, chickpeas and lentils. Assists in the body’s energy production and endurance, controls fat metabolism and is essential for the brain and nerves. Lack causes muscle tremors or cramps, apathy, anxiety or tension and tiredness.

VITAMIN B6 (pyridoxine)

Found in liver, pork, chicken, salmon, whole cereals, oats, wheatgerm, eggs, avocado, bananas, lentils and vegetables. It is necessary for protein utilisation and brain function. A natural antidepressant. A lack of can cause depression, irritability, muscle tremors, lack of energy and skin problems. Taking high levels such as 1,000mg/day have been associated with nerve damage. Carpal tunnel syndrome which causes pain and numbness in the fingers and associated with arthritis is reduced with by increasing intake of vitamin B6.

VITAMIN B8 (Biotin)

Found in kidney, liver, eggs, dried fruit, almonds, wheatbran, and oats. Helps the body use essential fats, promoting healthy skin, hair and nerves. Assists in metabolising food and utilising other B vitamins. Promotes healthy hair. A deficiency can result in anorexia, nausea, vomiting, depression, hair loss, dry skin, eczema.

VITAMIN B9 (flate, folacin, folic acid)

Found in green vegetables, asparagas, beetroot, peas, chickpeas, sprouts, almonds, brown rice and avocados, chicken, kale, melon, oranges, parsnips and spinach.. Needed for cell division and growth. Critical in the womb for brain development and nerves. Insufficient can led to anaemia, eczema, anxiety, poor memory, stomach pains, sore tongues and mouths and diarrhea.

VITAMIN B12 (cyanocobalamin)

Found in all meat products, seafood, seaweed, eggs, halibut, salmon and yogurt. Helps blood carry oxygen, so is essential for energy. Needed to make DNA, for cell division and nerve function. A lack of causes poor hair condition, irritability, lack of energy, weakness, anemia, constipation, flatulence and weight loss. Helps to lower hormocysteine levels (used with folic acid and B6). There are no known risks

VITAMIN C (Absorbic Acid)

Found in broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, watercress, cauliflower, citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, berries. There are two types of vitamin C, both of which are important antioxidents. The usual form is known as L-ascorbic acid, which is water soluable and protects the water element of skin cells. The other vitamin c, known as C ester, which is fat soluable and protects the fatty part of the cell. This is made of absorbic acid with an added fatty acid from palm oil and is retained by the skin far better than L-ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C strengthens the immune system, makes collagen and keeps bones, skin and joints healthy and strong. Detoxifies pollutants and protects against cancer. A lack can lead to infections, bleeding gums, easy bruising, slow wound healing, wrinkles and the disease scurvy. It is also thought to be a contributor to Parkinson’s Disease. High doses can cause diarrhea.

Vitamin C is best taken with bioflavinoids, the antioxident compounds found in vegetables and fruits.

Vitamin C combined with Vitamin E helps slow the progress of the age-related eye disease, macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the over-65s, caused by a deterioration in the retina. It is thought that Vitamin C helps in the absorption of lutein and lypocene, bioflavinoids found in fruit and vegetables that are needed to maintain the health of the retina.

Since Vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen — the basis of healthy cartilage, ligaments and tendons, it also stimulates the bone-building cells and boosts calcium absorption. Research has found that people who suffered back pain because of damaged discs found this reduced (and, in some cases, the need for surgery was overcome) after taking Vitamin C daily.

Low levels of Vitamin C are associated with rheumatoid arthritis, which leads to swelling and stiffness in the joints of the knees, wrists and ankles. Studies at Manchester and Cambridge Universities found that people who ate plenty of dietary sources of Vitamin C, such as fruit and vegetables, substantially reduced their risk of developing the disease.

Vitamin C can also help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to recent studies. It can also help overcome fertility problems associated with a low sperm count. Studies have found that 500mg of Vitamin C twice a day can boost sperm count by a third while also reducing the numbers of abnormal sperm — which can’t fertilise an egg — by the same amount.

VITAMIN D (Calciferol)

Found in oily fish, liver, eggs and fortified cereals. Formed in the skin on exposure to the sun. Regulates calcium levels, helps maintain heart action and the nervous system. A lack of can cause joint pain or stiffness, backache, tooth decay and muscle cramps. High doses over long periods can weaken bones. Doses of 1,250mcg are potentially toxic.

Vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes, the most serious form of the disorder, which can be controlled only with insulin injections. Finnish studies found that babies given Vitamin D supplements have an 80 per cent reduced risk of developing the condition in later life, although as yet scientists are not sure why.

Vitamin D helps those with the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis, as it plays a key part in the absorption of calcium, which is vital for bone strength. Studies have found that a Vitamin D supplement, taken with calcium, can help reduce the rate of fractures (a common side effect of the condition) by 45 per cent. Most people get enough Vitamin D through diet and exposure to the sun, but elderly people may benefit from a supplement.

American studies have found that low levels of Vitamin D increase the amount of wear and tear in the joints of the hip and knee, which can lead to osteoarthritis — a bone condition that affects half of those over the age of 60. The Arthritis Research Campaign is funding further research to see if Vitamin D could be used to combat osteoarthritis of the knee in future.

VITAMIN E (Tochopherol)

Found in unrefined plant oils, tuna, soya, olive oil, nuts and seeds, spinach. Necessary to protect fats in cell membranes from damage. May protect against cancer. Helps the body use oxygen. Improves wound healing and fertility. A lack of leads to easy bruising, slow wound healing, loss of muscle tone and infertility. No toxic effects of found at less than 2,000mg per day.

Studies have found that people with sufficient Vitamin E in their diet have a reduced risk of heart attacks. It can also reduce the risk of further attacks in people who have already suffered one. Vitamin E reduces cholesterol and inflammation, and so helps prevent blood vessels becoming furred or inflamed. However, the studies found that the benefits are gained only from dietary sources of Vitamin E, not supplements.

Vitamin E may also help a number of menopausal symptoms including hot flushes, and mood swings caused by hormonal imbalances.

Researchers at St Thomas’s Hospital in London found that pregnant women could reduce the risk of pre-Eclampsia — which causes a huge surge in blood pressure and kidney damage, and can prove fatal to mother and baby — by taking Vitamins E and C. The study found that taking 400mg of Vitamin E and 1,000mg of Vitamin C reduced the risk by almost ten per cent. It is thought the two vitamins help ‘mop up’ the toxins released into the body through the kidney damage.

VITAMIN K (Phylloquinone)

Found in green, leafy vegetables, broccoli, vegetable oils, potatoes, milk. Vitamin K is essential for the normal coagulation of blood. A lack of causes easy bleeding. Supplements aren’t needed. Our diet provides around half of our needs, and bacteria in the intestine produce the rest.



Found in milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables, soya milk, nuts and eggs. Promotes healthy heart and nerves, clots blood, improves skin, bone and teeth, contracts muscles. Insufficient can lead to muscle cramps, insomnia, joint pain or arthritis, osteoporosis, bleeding gums, high blood pressure and even rickets.. Too much can cause diarrhoea. Found in broccoli, low fat yogurt, nuts and seeds, sardines and salmon, sea vegetables, tofu.


Found in Brewer’s yeast, calves liver, wholemeal bread, rye bread, oysters, potatoes, chicken and apples. Needed for heart function . Assists in regulating blood sugar levels, regulates insulin, lowers cholesterol and is also attributed with assisting weight loss. A deficiency may cause glucose tolerance and impaired growth, dizziness and cravings for frequent meals and sweets. It should be taken with vitamin C for maximum absorbtion levels andto reduce cravings. Although the FSA recommends no more than 10mg, many pre-diabetic people take this amount to improve blood- sugar control. The FSA have issued a caution on a form of chromium called chromium picolinate, which may increase cancer risk.


Found in leafy vegetables, nuts, yeast, red pepper, wholemeal bread, avocado, oatmeal, tofu. Necessary to strengthen bones and teeth, promotes healthy muscles by helping them relax; important for the nervous system and energy production. A lack can cause muscle tremors, insomnia, high blood pressure, depression, kidney stones.


Found in black pudding, liver, red meat, beans, nuts, dried fruit, wholegrains, green, leafy vegetables. Necessary for blood to carry oxygen to tissues. It’s also needed in enzymes vital for energy production. Deficiency can led to anaemia, pale skin, fatigue, nausea and sensitivity to cold. Too much can cause diarrhoea – though anaemics may take more than 17mg under medical supervision.


Found in tuna, oysters, wholegrains, mushrooms, cottage cheese, courgettes, chicken. Antioxidant which helps fight infection, promotes a healthy heart, reduces inflammation, helps fight cancer. A deficiency of this mineral causes premature aging, high blood pressure, frequent infections. No signs of toxicity have been found below 0.7mg.


Found in celery and processed foods. Sodium chloride, or salt, maintains body’s water balance, prevents dehydration. Needed for nerve and muscle function. Moves nutrients into cells. Insufficient can cause dizziness, rapid pulse, apathy, muscle cramps, headache. Excess salt may contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.


Found in brazil nuts, chicken, halibut, oatmeal, salmon, sunflower seeds and turkey. Zinc is responsible for helping wounds to heal, collagen prod uction, cell division. A deficiency causes a worsening of skin conditions such as psoriasis.