The Real Vitamin Pills

I’ll always remember the first time that I was told “Father Christmas did not exist.” My older brother took great pleasure in bursting my 6 year old bubble. As he explained to me the truth behind Santa Claus I remember arguing, debating and even trying to prove him wrong. I mean, surely I’ve SEEN him! Or if not seen him, seen evidence of him. But by the end of the day, despite my efforts to prove otherwise, I accepted defeat. It took a while for me to forgive my brother, well we’re at least on speaking terms 35 years later. This  reminds me, however, of how some long-held beliefs become facts in our minds and sometimes despite all the evidence to the contrary we just will not give up on those “Facts”. Well let me burst another bubble:

“Vitamin pills do not work!”

There, I’ve said it. Before you write back claiming that they work for you, let me first explain that this not a personal opinion. This statement is backed up by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) they did the most extensive research on vitamin pills ever, over a period of 20 years using millions of people. When all the evidence came in, they concluded that vitamin supplements were of no nutritional benefit. More importantly they have recently concluded that vitamin pills can have some very harmful effects  including premature death! The only supplements that have been shown to have some benefit are vitamin D3 (see my previous articles), Iron & folic acid in pregnancy. These only work if the body has very low levels.

As a doctor who specializes in Lifestyle & Preventative medicine, many people expect me to prescribe lots of vitamin pills. But just as it would be unethical for me to prescribe medication that I know to be ineffective, it is the same for vitamins.

However I do prescribe NATURAL VITAMIN PILLS:



Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries All the Berries! These Powerful Pill-like FRUITS are perfectly designed to deliver the right amount of vitamins, minerals, sugar, water, fibre etc to our bodies in exactly the right dose and proportion. They contain no additives, mixing agents, colourings or flavourings so they are perfectly safe. And please don’t believe the lie that “todays fruit and veg is not good enough because the soil that they are grown on is not as good”. If the soil was not good enough, the fruit would not grow. When you hold in your hand a succulent strawberry, it can only look, smell and taste that good because it has everything it needs to develop.

I’ll end by showing just a few of the health benefits of the not-so-simple Strawberry.

They contain a rich source of phytochemicals anthocyanins & ellagic acid these chemicals fight cancer, aging, inflammation and nerve diseases.

They are high in Vitamin C which aids bone and tissue growth and repair.

They are rich in vitamins A, E & B-complex.

They contain the minerals, potassium, manganese, fluorine, copper, iron and iodine there help our blood pressure, anaemia, dental health and a whole host of other problems and the great thing is there are no side effects.

So instead of stocking up on your vitamin pills, stock up on your berries!



Sweetie, Sugar-pie, Honey……there’s no end to these sugar-related terms of endearment. To say that someone is Sweet is always a positive, unless it’s a potential girl-friend describing you which translates as “No way!”

Despite our love of sugary terms, we are beginning to understand that our sweet old friend is plotting our bitter end!

Added Sugar, that’s sugar that we consume on top of the natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables, grains etc, is responsible for a whole host of health problems. The word “Added” is key here, our bodies need sugar to survive and this is derived from blood glucose which is a result of the digestion of complex carbohydrates in our diets. Today we consume about 70 Kg of added sugar per year! In 1900 it was 40Kg; in 1800 it was 10Kg; in 1700 it was 1.5Kg! so our consumption has risen to astronomical levels. This is why the western world is now suffering an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc. If you try to kick the Sugar habit you’ll find it an up hill struggle. Because of the biochemical pathways in the brain that sugar activates, it has been shown that sugar can be as addictive as Cocaine!

One of the biggest culprits for this rapid rise in sugar consumption is the advent of the ubiquitous High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)  which is present in many sweet things especially fizzy drinks. This refined form of fructose cannot be metabolized by any cells other than the liver. This is why HFCS is the 2nd biggest cause of fatty liver after alcohol. In fact HFCS programs our bodies to produce more fat!

With all of this information one would think that the best thing to do is to switch to the diet drinks with “zero sugar”. Well if there’s one thing worse than drinking sugary drinks, it’s having drinks with artificial sweeteners. These chemicals such as Aspartame are responsible for minor problems such as palpitations, headaches, abdominal pains etc. More seriously they are implicated in conditions such as brain cancers, seizures, strokes, depression & anxiety. A recent Harvard study showed a link between Aspartame and Leukemia in Men! Artificial sweeteners are especially toxic for children as their brains are developing and are able to absorb the toxin a lot easier than adult brains.

The craziest thing about artificial sweeteners is that all the research studies show that they cause even MORE WEIGHT GAIN than sugary drinks! They increase our appetite for sweet things, so we end up consuming more! So you go through all of those health risks thinking that you’ll lose weight only to find that you put more weight on!

So what’s the answer for those with a sweet tooth?

  • If you must have something sweet, try increasing your fruit intake.
  • Stevia is a natural, non-toxic sweet ingredient.
  • Try to avoid drinking fizzy drinks of any kind, it’s one of the quickest ways to lose that gut.

As a “Sweet tooth” myself I know how difficult it can be to kick the habit, but by cutting down our sugar intake gradually our taste buds start to adapt and eventually you no longer have that craving. So if you want a Sweet Life, get rid of the Sweet Tooth.


To Eat, or Not to Eat?

I often get asked many questions as a Lifestyle Doctor. “How do I avoid cancer?”, “What’s the best cure for heart disease?” or “How do I reverse my diabetes?” However, the most common question I get asked is:

“What’s the easiest way to lose weight?” By “easiest” they mean “without exercise!” Now I always recommend a healthy exercise programme along with dieting but the truth is that 80% of weight loss is to do with what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat. Here are 3 of my best tips for losing weight without exercise:

1) Eat more Weigh Less!

Our problem is not that we eat too much, it’s that we eat too much calorie-rich foods. Fruits, vegetables, beans & grains contain all the nutrients we need to live a happy and healthy life. The great news is that they also have very little fat. You can eat large quantities of these foods without putting on weight. So the trick is to eat more of the right food which will help you lose weight.

2) Eat when you’re Hungry!

This sounds like a very simple piece of advice, perhaps even simplistic. The problem is that this is advice that few of us actually follow. Many of us eat when it’s time to eat rather than when we are hungry. Or we’ll eat when we are bored or when watching TV. For many of us, our bodies rarely experience hunger as it has a constant supply of food.

During hunger our bodies are saying “ I really need some energy so if I don’t get it from food I’ll get it from the stores of fat in your body.” That is exactly what we want to happen. You’re your body an opportunity to break down some fat during the day. This may mean eating only twice a day, sometimes only once!

3) Avoid Sugar!

in a desperate attempt to avoid eating fat, many people load up on sugar. Sugar should be avoided for many reasons:

  1. It’s converted into fat.
  2. It increases circulating insulin levels which is a hormone that makes more fat.
  3. It raises your blood pressure and lowers your immune system.

“How do I avoid sugar?” I hear you ask. The best way I’ve found is when you have that craving for something sweet (ie) a biscuit, Say to yourself “Yes I’ll have that biscuit….but in half an hour” (telling yourself you can’t have something only reinforces your desire). At the same time eat an apple. This will slowly release sugar into your blood stream so that in half an hour you’ll have enough sugar in your system to overcome the craving for something sweet. So you:



Choose to


It but



The D.R.C.H.I.D.I. method. It works!

These are just 3 excellent tips that will lead you onto the path of a healthier you.

Healthy New Year!


Knock Down Ginger, the Key to Diabetes!



Today the World is approaching an epidemicWith the global number of diabetics at about 500 million, many western countries realize that in the future it will be too expensive to treat all diabetics. ! The worse news is that the number of people with diabetes in the UK, the western world & the emerging economies, doubles every 20 years.  Diabetes is not a trivial illness. 50% of diabetics die early with heart disease, over 50% of blindness, amputations, kidney failure and Impotence! are caused by diabetes!

There is, however, some good news:

“Diabetes Can be Prevented &



In my years as a Lifestyle Doctor I’ve had the pleasure of reversing diabetes in many patients so that they have normal blood sugars without any medication. Once you know how diabetes works, it becomes clear how we should reverse it. This brings me on to the children’s game ‘knock down ginger’. This is the game where you knock on someone’s front door and run away, the person comes to the door but nobody is there. You repeat this a few times until the person stops coming to the door. This is similar to how diabetes works.

In order for our cells to take in glucose for energy, Insulin must first ‘knock on the cells doors’ to allow glucose in. so every time we consume something with lots of calories, the pancreas releases insulin to make our cells take up the glucose. If this is repeated over and over again (a Big Mac meal followed by an ice cream followed by a mars bar!), eventually the cells stop responding to the insulin, they become ‘Insulin-resistant’ and the glucose level in the blood rises as it can’t get into the cells. High levels of glucose in the blood damages the arteries, nerves, immune system etc. As the glucose levels rise, even more insulin is released to deal with it, therefore making the insulin-resistance worse. This becomes a vicious cycle.

So if this is how people become diabetics, the key to preventing & reversing this disease is to stop the insulin surges:

  • Cut out ALL added sugar & fat from your diet. The main part of your diet should be vegetables, beans, nuts & seeds. Try to avoid bread, rice, pasta & potatoes for the first 2 months, if you do have them, they must be wholegrain!
  • Avoid any meat or dairy products
  • Drink only water. No juice, fizzy drinks or alcohol.
  • After EVERY meal do a half an hour walk
  • Limit yourself to 2 meals per day.

Sometimes when faced with this diet people say “ I’d prefer the diabetes!” Actually it’s not that bad and there are great recipes for tasty meals out there. Every one of my patients who has been on my regime has come of their diabetic and blood pressure medication. Share this info with someone who needs it, make their year a Happy New Year!

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Good Food Colouring

I remember when I moved into my current home. I loved the bright spacious rooms with the neutral colours and clean lines. I was happy to leave the house that way. Why ruin such lovely rooms with unnecessary clutter…. such as furniture? After sleeping on the floor for a couple of nights…. I relented on the furniture, but only the most necessary of items, I still liked the almost monochromatic look.

It wasn’t until I went to the neighbours similar home that the scales fell from my eyes! They had plants, paintings & pictures which gave a wonderful colour and warmth to the house. They also had interesting furniture which added to the whole ambience of each room. My “White House” may look good, but with colour and character it could look Great!

“The Swan is beautiful, until it stands

next to the Peacock.”

This reminds me of the special Olympic year we had in London 2012. London hosted the Greatest show on Earth. Those five coloured Olympic rings signify the multi – Colours, Creeds & Cultures from all over the world. We were reminded of the Worlds beauty in diversity.

Those five Olympic rings also reminded me of the colours of nature, especially the plants, fruit & veg that we eat. It is an amazing fact that our food is designed to be attractive to us with colour. Even more amazing is that the atomic reason for the colour in each fruit or vegetable is the same thing that provides its antioxidant properties!

In the Olympics we saw certain nations dominate certain events: The Jamaicans dominated the sprinting, the Africans dominated the middle & long-distance races, the Aussies dominated the swimming and the British…… hosted the games.

Just like the nations, different colours of food have different strengths:

Blue, Purple, & Black– ie Blueberries, Figs & Eggplant- contain flavanoids, Vitamin C & Resveratrol. These boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and help make healthy skin & bones.

Yellow & Orange – ie Apricots, Carrots & Lemons – contain Beta-carotene, lycopene & potassium.

These reduce prostate cancer risk, lower blood pressure, protect our vision.

Green– Broccoli, Apples, Spinach – contain Chlorophyll, Folate & Fiber. These boost digestion, reduce cancer & heart disease risk.

Red– Strawberries, Tomatoes & Peppers – contain Lycopene, Hellagic acic & Hesperidin – These prevent prostate cancer/enlargement and lower Cholesterol levels.

So whilst enjoying this New Year, remember to eat a plateful of colour each day…….

……….and I don’t mean Smarties!