Food Hospital on Eczema and Arthritis

It’s good to see Channel 4’s food hospital back, this week on eczema and rheumatoid arthritis. It coincides with a European report showing that malnutrition in the EU costs £170 billion –more than double the cost of obesity. The report by Medical Nutrition International recommends supplements.

The programme started looking at eczema which is promoted by allergies and intolerances, and your body being set up for inflammation. By increasing anti-inflammatory foods such as omega 3s from oily fish, turmeric, olives, ginger, quercitin from red onions, sulphur in eggs. Another natural anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine is vitamin C. I thought the programme was good but didn’t point out that allergies and intolerances can be caused by both the conventional IgE antibodies, which is what skin prick tests identify, and IgG antibodies, which can be tested from a pin prick home test. Jack, the child in the programme, had an IgE based skin test and was found to be allergic to milk. But he didn’t have an IgG test. I recommend Yorktest laboratories who have a home-test kit for IgG food intolerances (

A study on over 5,000 people who had the test found that 76 per cent who had a dermatological problem such as eczema noticed a clear benefit when avoiding their IgG intolerances. I give people a combination supplement, called Allex, which contains quercitin, MSM, vitamin C, bromelain from pineapple and glutamine, which is rich in tomatoes and feeds gut cells making a stronger barrier to prevent whole food proteins being absorbed and causing an allergic reaction. Vitamin C is also essential for healthy immune function. The amount of quercitin you get in two tablets is 500mg – that’s the equivalent of what you’d get in twenty red onions. Increasing these nutrients and foods and identifying any allergies and intolerances can make a big difference. I recommend these for any inflammatory condition and also any auto-immune disease, where the immune system attacks some part of the body. The Food Hospital included a tragic case of Beth, with rheumatoid arthritis. Lucy, the Food Hospital dietician, recommended a high omega 3 diet from fish, nuts and seeds, low in meat and dairy products, plus less calories to reduce weight, another trigger for inflammation. She also recommended other anti-inflammatory herbs and spices including turmeric.

The programme pointed out that rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured but I’ve seen many cases of people who have cured their rheumatoid arthritis with an aggressive nutritional strategy. Ruth is a case in point. You can see her tell her story in a brief film. If you’d like to find out more about my approach to joint health visit Both Jack’s eczema and Beth’s aching joints improved quite considerably. If increasing these kind of nutrients from food makes a difference just imagine if you could quadruple the intake of these food nutrients with added supplements. Why not go the whole hog?