Healthy, Burpy & Smelly

Healthy, Burpy & Smelly

May 1, 2022   Return


Called the ‘stinking rose’ for a good reason, garlic promises a slew of health benefits but there is one downside: the smell. In addition to having ‘garlic breath’, you may also develop a distinctive body odour if you eat fresh garlic over a long period of time.

  • Try garlic supplements. Depending on the formulation, some may offer reduced garlic breath or body odour side effects. The odour-free ones are usually made from aged garlic extract, which contains lesser amounts of allicin – the active substance that makes garlic beneficial as well as gives garlic its distinctive smell – and therefore, are less potent. Your pharmacist can further advise you on the use of garlic supplements.
  • If you love the taste of fresh garlic and want to continue to make it a part of your meals, you can use deodorants, body sprays, and such to keep the garlic odour from your skin under control. Regular use of mouthwash and breath fresheners can help with garlic breath.

Fish oil

Oil from fatty fish, a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, can often lead to ‘fishy burps’. This is because your body produces a lot of excess gas when trying to digest fish oil, hence the constant burping and even passing of wind from the other end!

  • Leave your fish oil in the freezer overnight. This slows down its digestion in the stomach, causing less gas to be produced as a result.
  • You can also take fish oil during your meals, or take in smaller doses throughout the day.
  • You can also consider red krill oil supplements as an alternative. Red krill oil is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Coating up the taste

Supplement capsules can be coated with a compound called enteric, which allows them to release their contents only once they reach the intestine. This prevents any unpleasant aftertaste or embarrassing side effects like odours or burping.

However, the use of enteric coating often drives up the price of the supplement. Furthermore, some studies suggest that certain foods such as fish oil provide more optimal benefits when absorbed from the stomach rather than the intestine.

Ultimately, it is up to you. Are you willing to pay a little bit more to avoid the side effects, even if this means getting less than optimal health benefits from the supplement? You can consult a pharmacist for more advice.


1. Livestrong. Available at 2. WebMD. Available at

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What’s in a lozenge?

What’s in a lozenge?

April 28, 2022   Return

Got a sore throat? Have a throat lozenge! The action of popping in a lozenge comes easy to most of us. We just want to quickly get rid of the nasty pain in our throat. But really, what’s in a lozenge that works to soothe the pain?

Lozenges, uncovered

Lozenges are available in various colours and taste, and contain different ingredients to soothe sore throats.

When you pop a lozenge into your mouth, it dissolves in your mouth slowly and releases its active ingredients.

The ingredients stimulate your salivary glands, causing extra saliva to be produced. Your saliva mixes with the ingredients and coats your throat lining.

Now let’s look at the various active ingredients that can be found in different types of lozenges:

  • Honey has been used for centuries to heal wounds as it has antimicrobial properties i.e. kills germs. Honey also contains nutrients like carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals, all of which are important in healing wounds.
  • Lemon is rich in vitamin C and provides an acidic environment, which is bad news for bacteria and viruses. Lemon can also help to shrink swollen tissue in the throat besides increasing saliva production and keeping the throat moist.
  • Peppermint can relieve sore throats by thinning mucus and healing sore throats. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties, which aid in healing sore throats.
  • Eucalyptus is able to reduce inflammation, thus improving immunity as well as reducing congestion.
  • Menthol can offer instant relief by acting as a decongestant. Its cooling sensation is soothing for sore throats.
  • Lidocaine works well for really quick relief from pain, as it is a local anaesthetic. So, when you pop this lozenge into your mouth there is some numbness in your throat. And you get your much-needed quick relief from pain.
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) provide pain relief and also reduce swelling and inflammation. This helps to soothe the sore throat while the pain relief helps the sore throat to heal.
  • Antibacterial lozenges help to get rid of the germs that are causing the infection in your throat. But, these only work against bacteria and not viruses.
  • Antitussive medications in some lozenges may help to get rid of the cough, which is sometimes present with a sore throat.

You need to take 1 lozenge every 2-3 hours or as indicated on the lozenge package. If you have any doubts as to which lozenge you should take, do consult your pharmacist or doctor for advice.

References: 1. Choice. Available at 2. Dr. Axe. Available at 3. Healthline. Available at www.healthline .com 4. Reader’s Digest. Available at 5. The HealthSite. Available at 6. WebMD. Available at

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8 Supplements That May Be Helpful In Dealing With Pain Due To Nerve Damage

8 Supplements That May Be Helpful In Dealing With Pain Due To Nerve Damage

 April 25, 2022   Return


Nerve damage or neuropathy is frequently experienced by people with metabolic diseases such as diabetes. It can also occur among people who had undergone chemotherapy. Infections and injuries are also known to cause neuropathy.

Neuropathy can affect any part of the body, and people with this condition may experience pain, weakness, and numbness especially in the hands and feet.

Lifestyle modifications and medications can provide relief to people experiencing the symptoms of neuropathy, but some people may find supplements helpful in addition to these methods.

Here are 8 supplements that are often linked to neuropathy. They may be worth discussing further with a doctor or pharmacist.


Produced naturally in the liver and kidneys, this protein substance is said to be helpful in improving nerve function in people whose neuropathy is linked to diabetes.1

Studies on its benefits to people with neuropathy due to chemotherapy yielded mixed results, however.

Some found that it could help, while others found that it offered little to no additional benefit.


Vitamins B-1, B-6, folate (B-9), B-12, and others help to support our nerve function, and the ability of our brain to process information that comes in through our senses. Studies often found that inadequate consumption of these vitamins may increase the risk of nerve damage, hence the theory that consumption of these vitamins may help improve nerve function among those affected by neuropathy.

Research on these vitamins have been mixed, however, and more research is needed before we can conclusively determine whether B-complex vitamins can help and if yes, the recommended dosage that will be most helpful. People interested in exploring this option should discuss this matter further with a healthcare professional.


Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is said to be able to help reverse nerve damage caused by free radicals as well as to boost the effects of antioxidants in slowing or stopping nerve damage. How true is this?

Well, it has been suggested that daily supplementation with ALA can reduce the number of symptoms seen in people with diabetic neuropathy; higher dosages, however, tend to lead to more side effects such as nausea.2


Magnesium is often thought to be beneficial to people with neuropathy due to chemotherapy, but to date, studies have yielded only mixed results.



Just like magnesium, calcium is often said to be useful for people who experience nerve damage due to chemotherapy. We can’t conclusively say whether this is true or not, though, as to date, results from various studies have been mixed.


Glutamine has long been considered as useful for people who underwent chemotherapy and experienced neuropathy as one of the side effects. Just like with calcium and magnesium, studies so far on glutamine have failed to provide any conclusive evidence that this is indeed the case.


An antioxidant that is also produced naturally in the body, glutathione has been theorized to be able to help reduce symptoms of neuropathy. Research on this matter is still relatively few, and the studies conducted so far have given us only mixed results. We still can’t say for sure whether glutathione will benefit people with neuropathy.


N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) may help protect the nerves from inflammation and damage, so it may both reduce the risk of and treat neuropathy. Similar to the case of glutathione, the amount of research on NAC and its benefits to people with neuropathy is still relatively few. We may only get a conclusive “Yes, it helps!” or “No, it doesn’t!” response after more research has been conducted. HT

“To minimize risks of side effects and unintended interactions with your medications, always consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplement.”

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References: 1. Sergi, G., et al. (2018). Effects of acetyl-L-carnitine in diabetic neuropathy and other geriatric disorders. Aging Clin Exp Res.;30(2):133–138. 2. Ziegler, D., et al. (2006). Oral treatment with alpha-lipoic acid improves symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy: the SYDNEY 2 trial. Diabetes Care;29(11):2365–2370.