Could folic acid help prevent Down’s syndrome?

Folic acid enjoys a reputation as the pre-eminent pregnancy nutrient, one that is based on its ability to help ward against what are known as neural tube defects (NTDs) such as spina bifida. However, recent evidence suggests that folic acid may have broader benefits for babies: a study has suggested that adequate levels of folate […]

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The appetite-sating power or protein

It wasn’t so long ago that the controversial Atkins diet was a rip-roaring success on both sides of the Atlantic, as evidenced by spectacular sales of not just books, but also Atkins food products such as snack bars and shakes. However, increasing competition and a reduced appetite for the extreme of the Atkins diet have […]

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The health benefits of chocolate

Mars has recently announced that it is looking to branch out beyond the manufacture of foods and into the area of pharmaceuticals. The company, famed for its chocolate confectionery, is planning to exploit the health benefits that have been attributed to cocoa-components known as flavonols. These compounds have been found to have a number of […]

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Could vinegar actually reduce the tendency of certain foods to cause weight gain?

Whilst I endeavour to eat a broadly healthy diet, the hedonist in me sometimes surfaces and urges me to eat something I know is somewhat suspect from a nutritional standpoint. From time to time, for instance, I like to indulge in some fish and chips. As it happens, my local chippy does offer salmon and […]

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The declining nutritonal state of our diet

Tomorrow sees the coming into force of the Food Supplements Directive – a piece of Eurocratic legislation which, once fully implemented, is likely to see the banning of dozens of nutrients from use in supplements, and also threatens to impose quite strict limits on the permitted dosages of the nutrients that remain. This directive is […]

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From my post-bag – a selection of questions about PMS, carrots, heart attacks and salt

Ask the experts I get a very mixed bag of mail, though the layout of the column precludes me from giving answers that require less or more space than dictated by design. While I can often tackle weightier matters in the body of my page, this week gives me a welcome opportunity to respond to […]

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Can vitamin C cure the common cold?

Over the years, vitamin C has established itself as the pre-eminent nutrient for combating the common cold. Some individuals regularly take supplements of this vitamin in the belief that this will reduce their risk of succumbing to the sniffles or something more serious. Others will load up on vitamin C once an infection has taken […]

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The benefits of taking omega-3 fats in pregnancy

Whilst most would-be mums will be cognisant of folic acid’s role in the prevention of birth defects such as spina bifida, they may be less familiar with other dietary factors that can influence the development of their unborn child. For instance, evidence suggests that certain nutritional elements found in fish can contribute to the healthy […]

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Do high-protein diets cause osteoporosis?

The prospect of stripping off and revealing our true selves on the beach or by the pool this summer will inevitably have some of us taking steps to shed some excess weight. I notice that one tabloid newspaper is spearheading a resurgence of the Atkins diet in the form of a plan specifically targeting those […]

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Combating anxiety using natural approaches

It seems that not a week goes by without scientists identifying some gene or other that is believed to play a critical role in our susceptibility to a specific illness or condition. Recently, for instance, researchers in Italy announced that they had found a gene that is involved in the normal production of serotonin – […]

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