This study suggests, in post-menopausal women, that simply taking a low dose, RDA based supplement isn’t going to make any difference to cancer or cardiovascular risk. It also suggests that higher doses might significantly reduce heart attack risk. I have always advocated an ‘optimum nutrition’ approach, meaning the combination of diet and lifestyle change and appropriate, personalised high doses of specific nutrients, dependent on individual assessment. This combined, and personalised approach can’t be tested in a conventional randomised, placebo-controlled trial, but it can be tested in other ways. This is an example of a ‘systems-based’ approach to health, that, instead of searching for a magic bullet, be it a drug or supplement, aims to identify the key factors that influence a person’s health, and to optimise these fundamental influences with the aim of promoting their wellbeing and increasing their resilience, hence preventing a person from tipping over into a disease state.
My on-line 100% Health Programme is based on these ‘ systems-based’ principles, discussed more fully in the next (March) issue of the 100% Health newsletter, and will, in due course, start to provide the kind of data, tracking people’s health changes over time in relation to changes in diet, lifestyle and supplementation, to enable research. This project began in 1998 and, since then, we have collected data on close to 60,000 people. In 2004 we analysed the results of the first 37,000 people’s questionnaires in the ONUK Survey, which helped to further inform us about what ‘optimum nutrition’ might be. At the moment we are in the process of analysing all data collected to date, aiming for publication towards the end of the year. I’ll let you know what we find. If you’d like to become part of this on-going research complete your own 100% Health Programme questionnaire on-line.