Why you need to take Supplements


Until approximately forty million years ago our ancestors were able to manufacture vitamin C within their bodies. All animals, except guinea pigs, fruit eating bats and primates make vitamin C. A goat can make between 2-3 grams (3000mg) daily, yet the current Government RDI (recommended daily intake) is 60mg, which is the minimum needed to prevent conditions such as scurvy.

We cannot survive without vitamin C. The human body is made 100 % of food molecules and to survive it needs 50 factors, including 13 vitamins, 21 minerals, 9 amino acids, 2 essential fatty acids, plus carbohydrate, fibre, air, water and light.  If we don’t ingest the nutrients needed from our diet then we become deficient, which triggers illness and eventually death.

Back in 2000 Norman Krinsky, Professor of Biochemistry at Tufts University School of Medicine set new upper limits for vitamin and mineral supplements, but warned that if even higher dosages were taken, negative side effects could result. For instance excessive vitamin C is known to loosen the bowels and Krinsky has set the new daily upper limit at 2 grams. As 60% of the Western world suffers from chronic constipation from eating too much refined foods, lacking in vital nutrients – getting rid of all their internal toxins would be a very good idea! Unripe pears can also loosen your bowels but they are not being touted as a health risk.

The late Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling suggested over twenty years ago that for optimal health we should take 2 grams of vitamin C daily – equivalent to approximately 28 oranges. Dr Derek Shrimpton, a nutritional scientist and advisor to the European Federation of Health Food Manufactures says “In essence Krinsky confirmed that we don’t take sufficient nutrients. People are encouraged to eat at least 5 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily, but a great majority continue to eat junk foods that are devoid of vital vitamins and minerals. Also our fruits and vegetables contain far less nutrients than they did 50 years ago thanks to pollution and overuse of chemicals on our foods.

Separate media reports have stated that taking vitamin C is now linked to hardening of the arteries. Yet again – this is totally incorrect. This research was carried out using state of the art ultra sound equipment which showed over time, a thickening of the inner layer within the arteries. This is good news which means that the soft connective tissues within the arteries are being strengthened which increases their thickness and elasticity.

Of course no single vitamin, mineral or essential fat ‘pill’ or formula can replace a healthy, balanced diet (more on this further down) – but they really can and do help. I call them my long term health insurance policy. And what many people still tend to forget, including Government officials, is that vitamins and minerals are not drugs, they are vital to life. They are what you are made of….. What most people don’t understand is that our nutritional products are sold under Food Law – they have to be 100% safe – as safe as a loaf of bread or a tomato. And just because a medicine has a product license (which allows the makers to make specific beneficial claims- and can costs millions of pounds which vitamin companies just don’t have), doesn’t make it safe. Vioxx, the arthritis drug was granted a medicinal licence and has been taken by 20 million people. Unfortunately, many are now dead and others are bringing massive laws suits against the makers of this drug. 40,000 people are admitted to hospital every year, suffering the side effects of their prescription drugs – yet there has only been one recorded incidence of death from anyone taking supplements, and that was a small child who swallowed a whole bottle of his mother’s high dose prescription iron tablets. In the past 11 years there have only been eleven reported cases of people claiming symptoms such as tingling fingers and toes from taking certain nutrients to excess – which rapidly recede once those supplements are stopped.

Have you heard of anyone dying from taking vitamin C – neither have I ….. these nutrients can save your life. You would have to live on Mars not to be aware of what you need to eat more of – such as blueberries, which help nourish your brain and slow deterioration. Watercress – contains 14 vitamins and minerals. Cherries – packed with vitamin C and are often more effective than anti inflammatory drugs. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale are anti cancerous, sweet potatoes and pumpkin are rich in vitamin A to boost immune function and keep your lungs and eyes in good shape and so on. Eat as many colours of food as you can. And as much as possible make it fresh – and preferably organic. The more we eat organic the less hormone disrupting chemicals we swallow.  Unfortunately over 31 tonnes of fifty of the mostly extensively used pesticides are still sprayed over our fruits, vegetables and grains each year.


In August 2006 research from The Energy and Environmental Research Centre at the University of North Dakota published study results linking Parkinson’s and MS to pesticides. Well there’s a surprise. It’s a pity they didn’t also come clean and link excessive use of these toxins to most hormonal cancers too. There is now no doubt that many of these toxic sprays accumulate in the body (especially in fat tissue) and trigger many cancers, allergies and illness. Organic food contains more vitamins and minerals without which you become deficient……

There are more than 3500 permitted artificial additives and preservatives in our foods. You need to know their affects on your body. Like aspartame, the artificial sweetener which makes people and especially children hyperactive and adds to weight gain – not weight loss – as it places a strain on the liver.

Antibiotic residues are also in the water along with hormone residues from the pill and HRT. There is also artificial fluoride added to the water in areas like Birmingham and Newcastle which is toxic and accumulates in bone. Also, during the past five years, most commercial growers- especially from overseas, are harvesting more and more of their fruit and vegetables long before they are ripe. Research in Spain and at Oregon State University in America have found that when Cherries for instance are picked before being ripe the vitamin C content is halved. When blackberries were picked early – the green ones contained 74 mg of anthocyanins (the blue pigment which is great for your eyes and immune system) compared to 317 mg in the naturally ripened fruits. Buy vine ripened fruits – as if the produce is picked too early, won’t have absorbed sufficient vitamins and minerals from the soil—— and anyway mineral levels in soil are going lower and lower, thanks to so much intensive farming during the past 50 years. Add to this the fact that most fresh produce is flown half way round the world, and then stored for long periods which again hugely depletes nutrient levels- the message is obvious – as much as possible buy more fresh, ripe, locally grown foods.

An example of how eating too much of one food which can hugely affect your health is SUGAR. The average adult eats 60lbs of sugar a year. 10- 13 years ago this was 30 lbs. Sugar not only contributes to late onset diabetes, it also triggers inflammation in the body. Inflammation of the skin is eczema and psoriasis, inflammation of the brain is the trigger for Alzheimer’s and inflammation in the joints is the trigger for arthritis. This inflammation in turn contributes to hardening of the arteries, which in turn contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes. And when you eat sugar it lowers your immune system – and if not burned up during exercise, it converts to fat in your body and sits on your hips or even worse round your waistline.

So, this is just ONE example of what one food can do- gives you an idea of how diet can determine the future of your health. Therefore make diet your first line of defence – eat more super foods such as watercress, blueberries, broccoli, apricots, cantaloupe melons, mango, asparagus – and in general eat a rainbow diet full of rich colours. Leave out the ‘white’ foods – which are the trigger for so much disease today. OMEGA 3 FISH OILS. Don’t believe all you read in the press.

Recently there have also been some negative reports on Omega 3 fish oils. But what the press did not tell you- is that the one negative research opinion was linked to margarines containing Omega 3 fats….. so PLEASE do not stop taking these fats which are essential to life. More on this on www.patrickholford.com

Eat oily fish such as mackerel, sardines or herrings at least twice a week – otherwise take a good quality Omega 3 fish oil daily.


Keep in mind that every cell functions more efficiently when it is predominantly alkaline. In general the body needs to be around 70% alkaline and 30% acid. But in the West the average person is 80% acid and 20% alkaline-hence why we are suffering so many acid conditions such as arthritis. The Sunday Times recently featured interviews with scientists warning of an impending disaster in our oceans as fish begin to die as the oceans are becoming too acid. Thanks to our diets and lifestyles – this is happening to us too. BIG TIME. For good health, the body needs to maintain a certain acid-alkaline balance and keeping this balance is one of the crucial keys to remaining healthy.

Many people confuse the terms acid forming with acidic, but they are entirely different. Everything we swallow, once metabolised within the body, breaks down into either an alkaline or acid mineral based ash or residue. Whether a substance is alkaline or acid is determined by its pH (potential Hydrogen). Your blood has a pH which is slightly alkaline between 7.35 and 7.45 and this level needs to be maintained at all costs. If it becomes too acid, the blood (via the kidneys) withdraws alkalising minerals from anywhere it can find them; beginning with the skin and nails and then moving on through the body until it begins drawing minerals from the bones- which in time contributes to conditions such as Osteoporosis.

Stress and anger makes you more acid- so you loose even more minerals – JUST taking a deep breathe makes you more alkaline. Meditation also helps to re-alkalise the body. Practically every major degenerative disease, including some cancers, are triggered by an over acid system. When the pH is out of balance, your skin and hair become dull, the nervous system is affected and you may suffer insomnia, arthritis, rheumatism, aching joints, skin conditions, an over acid system triggers inflammation, Candida, fungal infections, muscle pain and gout which are all common symptoms of an over acid system. No time to go through the whole list- you can find this in the acid/alkaline section of the book- but prunes, chocolate, coffee and alcohol are the most acid forming foods you can eat – whilst papaya, cantaloupe melons, dried dates and all green foods are the most alkaline. Yet prunes are also the most anti-ageing food you can eat.

Just because a food is acid forming- doesn’t make it unhealthy – you just have to get a balance.

Apple cider vinegar, preferably organic, has an alkalising effect within the body. It also helps increase stomach acid production as it is acid on contact – but alkalising after digestion. Same with pineapple and lemons – this is why apple cider vinegar and lemons help arthritis.

When you first wake up- the body is very acid- this is why a whiz made with fresh fruits and a green powder makes a great breakfast – re-alkalises the body.

Drinking more water also helps re-alkalise your system and keeps you more regular.

For more help on acid alkaline balance read the self help sheet in the a-z of health

Curcumin, the pigment that gives turmeric its yellow colour is highly anti inflammatory – especially against Alzheimer’s. People who eat curries tend to suffer less inflammatory diseases. It increases production of a vital amino acid called Glutathione – which Is great for your brain and detoxifies the liver, so eat more curcumin seeds. For the best effect, toast the seeds and then lightly grind them before adding to stews, soups and curries. Asparagus, walnuts and avocado also raise glutathione, so does spinach and tomatoes – but that’s if they are raw.


Could save your life. It has been used for more 5000 years as a medicine. Most of you will already be drinking Green Tea I’m sure. Green Tea, especially Organic Green tea is packed with anti oxidants. It is so high in antioxidants that it reduces cancer- especially protective against stomach and breast cancers Also less then 3% of the population in Japan are obese – here it’s more than 58%. Their secret is Green Tea which helps to burn more calories – reduces really hard to shift ‘brown’ fat in the body, especially abdominal fat that is linked to blood sugar problems-usually caused by too much sugar and white foods. Bigger hips are healthier than a big tummy. Green Tea helps to balance blood sugar levels and insulin release and therefore can help reduce cravings for junk foods. But most importantly Green Tea contains an amino acid called L Theanine. All the research has shown that a regular intake of L Theanine helps you to feel calm- whilst increasing focus. This is a very important amino acid. It reduces the release of stress hormones whilst increasing natural dopamine production and deeper more restful sleep. It may also be a useful supplement for any child with Attention Deficit Disorder . Green tea increases Alpha wave production in the brain- the same brain waves we produce when relaxed. . So either drink about 6 cups of Green a day or start taking 100 mg twice daily on an empty stomach. If you have Green Tea at night- use decaff.