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Q: Dear AllStarHealth.com,

My husband and I have decided to start doing something about our weight now before another holiday season has a chance to add another 10 lbs.But I’m confused by all the options, and products and to-good-to-be-true claims. What do you think are your best weight-loss products?

A: There are so many types of weight loss products available now, that you’d really have to be more specific before we could make specific product recommendations. To help you sort it out, here’s a quick overview of the different types of weight-loss supplements we sell.

So many factors can make or break a weight loss program. When programs succeed, credit is usually given to factors like diet, willpower, supplements, and proper exercise. When programs fail, that’s also where the blame usually falls. Those factors are important, but what’s perhaps more important is something that doesn’t get discussed as often; the psychology of successful weight loss. And there’s much more to that than simply willpower.

The research studies of today form the basis for the supplements we’ll be buying tomorrow. So we’re always looking at what’s coming over the horizon. A periodic search of PubMed and other databases takes a long time but always reveals some surprising (and unsurprising) trends and developments in the fields of nutrition and health. So we’ve summarized some interesting recent findings into a One Minute Research Roundup. Got a minute? Get caught up on what may be coming down the nutrition pike.

An important question was asked at last night’s Presidential debate. It was and is the fundamental question underlying the difficulty the US faces in reshaping and rethinking its health care policy, yet it hasn’t been asked enough.

People spend billions of dollars each year on skin care products of every description, all in hopes of achieving clearer, healthier or younger-looking skin. But before you spend another dime on an overpriced/overhyped moisturizer, think about this; any skin you can see is dead tissue, and as such, there isn’t much you can put on it to make meaningful, long term changes in its health or appearance. To achieve that, you’ve got to cultivate good skin from the inside out. Here’s your simplified guide to good-skin nutrition.

It seems like coffee has always had bad rap among the health-conscious. What have you heard? That it will cause cancer? Cause an ulcer? Raise risk of a heart attack? Actually, none of these are supported by science. Find out why and how coffee can be a beneficial, healthy beverage.

If you’re one of the millions of people who use commercial hair dyes to lighten or perm your hair, you already know that the peroxide in those products damages your hair. A new study shows that by adding an inexpensive antioxidant to a peroxide hair dye, the hair is protected without affecting the results. This is a golden opportunity for that industry to launch a new generation of better, healthier products.

Commonly Confused Supplements

September 29th, 2008

With thousands of dietary supplements on the market and more emerging every day, there are a growing number of similar-sounding products making it all too easy to buy the wrong product for your needs. For example, there’s calcium ascorbate, calcium pyruvate and calcium d-glucarate, but none of these is actually a calcium supplement. Here’s a guide to help you sort out the most commonly-confused supplements.

Q: I think we have a few too many ‘nutrition experts’ in the family! Last time we got together we had seafood, and the Big Debate was about which is best; fish oil, salmon oil, krill oil, or cod liver oil. I couldn’t keep up with the technical details. Could you straighten me out on which is best, or at least give me something that will settle this so they can argue about something else next time?

Q: We’ve noticed the many different cleansing products available now and have a few supplement-using friends that strongly advocate cleanses. We wonder if you could give us a little guidance on choosing the best one?

A: There seems to be a lot of confusion about cleansing products. Customers can have a hard time determining if they need one at all, what the differences are between cleansing products and how to go about choosing a product. Here’s an overview of cleansing products and what they can and can’t do for you.