Monday, June 23, 2008

When Oxidants Can Increase Risk of Death

1. When Antioxidants Can Increase Risk of DeathThe truth about these nutrients - their benefits and risks

Antioxidants have long been considered good news, helping to reduce the 'oxidative' damage caused by everyday living that ages and eventually kills us. We are encouraged to eat foods (especially our 'five a day') that provide rich sources of antioxidant nutrients, and a massive market for antioxidant supplements has sprung up with literally thousands of studies to affirm their benefits.

But in the last few years, a number of big trials have apparently shown that taking extra antioxidants in the form of supplements doesn't work. They have reported that antioxidants, far from staving off the big killers such as cancer and heart disease, can actually make them worse. A recent review of a number of studies gave rise to media headlines such as "Antioxidants can kill".

So what is going on?
After numerous studies that showed extra antioxidants reduced risk of disease, some more recent research started to look at their effect on two particular 'at-risk' groups - people who smoked and those with cardiovascular disease.

Several of these trials showed that the risk of cancer in smokers increased slightly when they were given beta-carotene. Other studies suggested a small increased risk of heart attack in heart patients who were on medications such as statins and taking vitamin E.
What's interesting to note, however, is that far from putting the nail in the coffin of antioxidants, these studies give us an interesting insight into how these nutrients work - and why people who smoke or take statins are at risk, unless they adapt (rather than stop) their supplement intake.
For example, the recent Cochrane Review by Bjelakovic et al actually found that people who took BOTH multivitamin AND antioxidant supplements showed no increased risk, and in some cases, a significant decrease in risk. Now why should that be, and what does it tell us about the way antioxidants work?

I believe it points to a simple explanation as to why high-dose vitamin E increases cardiovascular risk, why beta-carotene increases smokers' risk, and why multivitamins eradicate this risk.
With this month's 100%health newsletter, I have produced a Special Report which looks in detail as these issues.

Find out:
. Why statins make high-dose vitamin E dangerous
. The nutrients that can reduce disease risk for smokers
. Why the Cochrane review is flawed
. The reactions to the review's findings from scientists whose studies were included
. The positive findings that went unreported
. And most importantly, what you can do to protect yourself - whether you're taking statins or smoking, are elderly or young, in good health or bad.

Click here to make sure you receive your copy.
My July newsletter also tackles the controversial issue of Childhood Vaccinations and looks at the evidence behind the guidelines so many parents are questioning.
I'll also be exploring the latest research into anti-ageing to bring you the best tips to help you turn the clock back and stay youthful.

And there's another Special Report on the plant compounds Salvestrols - a new discovery that could provide a major breakthrough in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
To ensure you receive all this - plus a whole range of exclusive member benefits - click here to join 100%health.

2. Two days is all it takes to change your life. Book now to qualify for Early Bird discounts
Learn how to build up your energy, control your weight and beat nagging problems that plague your health.

Our ever popular 100%health Weekend Workshop will give you manageable tools to combat the obstacles in your life that are holding you back. All you need is the desire and determination to transform your life. We do the rest by tailor-making a new life plan for you.

The next workshop is on 27th/28th September in London and I will spend two days taking you through a step-by-step guide to the eight key areas that will lead you to optimum health including information on the best foods to eat, why eating low-GL is best, cookery demonstrations and a personalised Health Action Plan. Plus a follow-up online health assessment to help you track your progress.

What you'll achieve
By the end of the weekend you will know exactly what you need to do to achieve the boundless energy, sharp mind, balanced mood, stable weight and glowing skin that are the hallmark of great health. We give you the tools to do it and the confidence to follow it through.
Book today and take the first step. I very much hope you will join me on the next 100%health Workshop in London on 27th/28th September. Places strictly limited - book your ticket now to qualify for the Early Bird discount of £50! Click here for more details and how to book.
Don't forget - if you're a member of 100%health you'll automatically save a further £30 on your booking - click here to join.

3. Are you interested in becoming a nutritional therapist?
The Institute for Optimum Nutrition offers a 3-year part time foundation science degree in nutritional therapy.

If you are interested in studying nutrition to qualify as a nutritional therapist , the Institute for Optimum Nutrition have asked me to let you know there are still some places available on their excellent course commencing this September. To find out more book your place on one of the remaining open days see the ION website for more details:
Wishing you the best of health,
Patrick Holford

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