Following on from the Patrick Holford blog last week I had a few questions about ‘what should I take?’, ‘what should my children take?’ and also ‘I eat my 5 a day, I don’t need to waste money on supplements do I?’. I hear ya!

If you want to live a long and healthy life (which isn’t the norm these days) then diet and nutrition plays a large part in this. Most over 60 year old people spend the last 10-15 years of their lives in pain, struggling to move, over medicated and dealing with illness and disease. It’s taken for granted that this is due to their age and people expect to be struggling in their later years. It really doesn’t have to be this way.

With good nutrition, regular exercise, a healthy attitude to life and yes, for most, supplementation too, living a long life and dying peacefully in your sleep is possible.

Some common views on supplements are that they ‘aren’t working’ if the person taking them gets a cold for example. Vitamin C won’t stop you from getting ill, but it will reduce your symptoms and duration of your cold.  Got to be worth it for that! No one likes being ill and Facebook always has someone moaning about having a ‘stupid cold’. Quick tip, at the onset of a cold, scratchy throat etc. Take 2 x 1g Vitamin C. Then take 1g every hour. You may find that you get loose bowels, that’s your maximum dose. Drop one of those tablets (so if you got to 8 then had to run to the loo, drop to 7 the next day). Keep taking that hourly dose until the symptoms have gone. Chances are you won’t need to complete day two!

A good basic supplementation plan alongside a diet that looks like

6-8 portions of vegetables and salad are eaten each and everyday
2-3 portions of fruit
2-3 litres of good quality water (not from your tap)
Good protein from fish, organic, grass fed meat where possible, beans and pulses
Minimal dairy from organic and raw sources where possible.

And where you make sure there are/is

No processed foods that rob your body of vital nutrients.
Very occasional sugar (best if none)
Limited alcohol
Very minimal processed carbohydrate foods like cakes, breads, pastries, pizza, pie, cereal, crackers, sweets, crappy chocolate, crisps etc.

Should comprise of:
1 x good quality multi-vitamin and mineral tablet each day – twice a day (1 morning, 1 lunch)
1g vitamin C – twice a day ( 1 morning, 1 lunch)
2 x fish oil (EPA/DHEA) – twice a day ( 1 morning, 1 lunch or dinner)
1-2 x anti-oxidant daily.

If  you are on medication, have other conditions or your diet is poor then this isn’t going to apply. Also, if you are elderly then your requirements will be different to someone younger, so time of life is also an important consideration. Children would need a different protocol again, but once again it depends on their age, activity and diet.

Supplementation isn’t compulsory that’s for sure. But for a nice old age and a pain-free retirement I’d rather consider it as an insurance policy worth contributing to for now.


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