Vitamin D and its role in preventing and treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

The dwindling daylight hours that inevitably come at this time of year are usually viewed with some dread by sufferers of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a condition in which a shortage of sun can provoke anything from dark moods to full-blown depression. In addition to the light relief offered by increased exposure to the […]

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Is fruit juice really ‘healthy’?

In previous columns I have been overflowing with enthusiasm for the benefits to be had from drinking water. Many individuals find that keeping fluid levels topped up can stave off feelings of fatigue and lethargy, and research has linked increased water consumption with a reduced risk of a range of conditions including heart disease and […]

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Natural approaches to alcoholism

My experience in practice tells me that sometimes it’s not only the symptoms of a condition, but also the stigma attached to it, that can pile on the agony. One issue that I find is particularly prone to elicit some sense of shame is alcoholism. Recently, I read an American report about a range of […]

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Natural treatments for head lice

This is the time of year when our kiddies go back to school, an event which runs the risk that they may come home with unwanted guests in the form of head lice. Conventional treatment for these little critters are based on chemicals such as lindane, malathion and permethrin. Unfortunately, studies have found that head […]

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Dietary approaches to gallstones

It’s funny what sticks in your mind sometimes. While a lot of what I learned a medical school has long evaporated from my grey matter, I do remember the dictum often trotted out by my teachers that gallstone sufferers are typically female, forty and fat. The knowledge that gallstones are more common in those carrying […]

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The benefits of yoghurt over milk

Regular readers of the column may have noticed that I have traditionally not had too many good things to say about dairy products such as milk and cheese. In particular, I have cited these foodstuffs as common causes of food intolerance – undesirable reactions to food that can be at the root of a range […]

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The hazards of taking statins to reduce cholesterol and what you can do about it

It seems barely a week goes by before some doctor or scientist is extolling the virtues of the cholesterol-quelling drugs known as statins. So great for is the enthusiasm for these drugs, that Department of Health recently decreed that one statin (simvastatin) should be made available over-the-counter (OTC). This at first sight might seem like […]

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Why using salad dressing is healthier than you may think

The fact that we have finally been treated to some decent sunshine is likely to be reflected in our enhanced appetite for summer salads. Few would doubt that dishes based on raw, fresh vegetables offer a good deal from a nutritional perspective. However, where flavour is concerned, I reckon what turns a good salad into […]

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A selection of questions from my mailbag concerning cramp, water, omega-3 fats and honey

When I was at medical school, my general disinterest in the subject matter and yawning gaps in my knowledge meant that I hated questions. Now I love them. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact I now have a fair chance of being able to answer some of them, having spent more than […]

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Natural approaches to heart failure

Last week, my column focused on nutritionally-oriented alternatives to headache-alleviating analgesics such as aspirin. However, even if more of us eschew aspirin in favour of natural remedies for our thumping heads, I doubt whether this will put too much of a dent in the sales of this particular drug. In recent years, aspirin’s ability to […]

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