A Day In The Life of a Food Intolerant

One of our very own TrulyGlutenFree family members (and a prolific, well-known author to boot; we move in exalted company, y’know) has written a lovely piece on living with food issues, which many of you will no doubt emphathise with.

Have a read:

Living with food sensitivities – by Anna Jacobs

Actually, it reminded me of a rather tongue in cheek piece I wrote for FoodsMatter back in 2009, would you believe. Although, for some reason it is by-lined by Nikki! Was me, promise.

Diary of a Food Intolerant

I was hoping it might become a regular humorous column as that’s my natural style of writing. You have NO idea how much I have to suppress myself on here ;)

Enjoy anyway.

Histamine and DAO Tests Upgrade

Just a quickie to let you know that I have now managed to get one lab to do both whole blood/urine histamine and DAO (diamine oxidase) levels which will make life easier for those tracking their histamine intolerance.

We have been using Biolab for some time now for the body levels of histamine and they have recently upgraded their methodology along new research lines apparently, consequently the price has gone up. Still, I would rather we had the most efficient tests with viable results than tests that don’t help, wouldn’t you? Actually, they went up months ago and I held them down for you, but needs must now as both have gone up.

They have also started offering the diamine oxidase test so, actually, when I priced both up, it wasn’t that far off my price would be using two different labs. So, I have decided to do both tests through Biolab now. If for some reason you still want your DAO tests done by BTS, our previous lab for this, that’s fine; just ask. I really want to stay with BTS but it is simply more practical to have one lab sending your test kits out and for you to have to send them back to one lab so practicality wins out.  I have combined the two tests into a discounted Histamine Intolerance Test here for you to make life easier and that bit cheaper, too, so hope that helps.

For more info on histamine intolerance generally, do read the article I wrote here: Could It Be Histamine?

With body histamine testing, you can now do either blood or urine; both are just as viable and urine is easier, of course :). DAO is still blood.

Hope that helps.


Vit D Deficiency = Higher Risk Of Dementia & Alzheimer’s

English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzhei...

English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer’s disease (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Research published in ‘Neurology’ journal recently found people moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53% higher risk of dementia. There was a 125% increased risk in people severely deficient in vitamin D, who also had a 122% increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

Older people’s skin can be less efficient at converting sunlight into Vitamin D, making them more likely to be deficient and reliant on other sources.   The international team of researchers, led by Dr David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School, followed people for 6 years.

You can read the abstract here:

Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease

I note the researchers initially thought that the brain-protective level would be 25- 50nmol/l, but it turns out actually to be over 50 that is the most cognitively protective. Not news to me or most of us in the nutrition business: clinically, I aim for 100-200nmol on test results especially for at risk people.

I have written tons on Vitamin D in the past, as you know. Here is a good overview for you, and do search for ‘Vitamin D’ using the search box to find much more..

Weight Loss: The Purehealth 4 Step Programme

health balance iconMany of you saw my recent Menopause Fat post and asked for more help with weight loss. Happy to oblige, I have just revamped the Weight Loss Factsheet on the clinic site to give you a simple 4-step programme to follow.

This is what we did in-clinic for years, and it really works IF you do it! It basically takes you by the hand and leads you through the various steps we found had to be done to shift sticky pounds that refuse to go with just cutting back your calories and getting a bit of extra exercise.

In any weight loss programme, if it is to work and be sustainable rather than allowing you to yoyo back and forth, which we all know is really not good for your heart generally, then it has to address some deeper issues. I often see people who have what I call ‘stuffed cushion syndrome’. This is the type of person who you just know has a layer over what should be a thinner frame. Let’s face it: some people are just overweight and it somehow suits them. Others are a thin boned person waiting for this layer to come off. Do you know what I mean? I sort of felt the difference a lot when I was doing the remedial massages.

That layer is often inflammatory fluid, not fat. Shock, horror! I know, but it is true.

There is a physiological process that is well-acknowledged now whereby the body is suffering from systemic inflammation for some reason and, much like when you bang your knee it goes red and swells with protective fluid over the area, so does the whole body when something is irritating it. The trick is in getting rid of the key inflamers, if you like, and we found toxicity, gut dysbiosis, liver sluggishness, allergenic or just inflammatory foods in general, insulin etc etc were all in the mix somewhere with most people. So, if you follow a programme to address as many of those as you can, you are more likely to succeed in getting rid of that overlayer, aren’t you? Most people, of course, don’t believe me and say it is just fat. Trust me, it might be a mix but inflammatory fluid is invariably there somewhere!

Basically, after lots of trial and error, we found we had to do a foundation step to prepare the body (which is sometimes all someone needs actually), then give the right diet to calm inflammation, allergenicity and balance insulin sensitivity, add in some easy exercise for 10 minutes a day and back it all up with a support system that helps you make and stick with the changes.

I promise you; it works IF you do it! Go and have a look and see if it might suit you. Hope it helps.

Purehealth 4 Step Weight Loss Programme



Taking A Stand Against GM Foods

One of you asked me the other day how you could get involved in taking a stand against GM foods, especially having read my last post on it explaining how the UK government, in its infinite wisdom, has given a tacit go ahead to crops being grown in this country.

I asked around on the very useful Facebook groups and thought I would pass the suggestions on for anyone wishing to take up, well, not exactly arms please, but placards maybe! Active campaigns, apparently,  include:

March Against Monsanto (US)

GM Watch (US)

Institute for Responsible Technology (US)

The Soil Association (UK)

I confess I haven’t looked at them myself yet but share them here for you to start your campaigns! Please do give some comments below on which you think are the best campaigns for people to get involved in, these listed or others, thanks. Happy placarding and lobbying!

Menopause Fat? Go Paleo

Belly Fat 3DAs you know, I have said for years that the best way to get rid of belly fat is with a high protein, lowish carb diet as per my Belly Fat book. In essence, that is akin to a Paleo diet – one with lots of fish, meat, nuts, veg and fruit. In fact, I have been Paleo myself – and quite a bit beyond for the past 6 months- and I am now a size 8-10. In my late-ish 40s now (how the heck can that be?!!), I wanted to take action before menopause hit as we all know what hormones can do for both men and women’s girths at menopause/andropause time! (NB. More on andropause for male readers at the end…)

Anyway, saw this report today where researchers followed seventy post-menopausal women classed as obese (a rising tide of us!) and watched how they did on a Paleo type diet. More weight came off and it stayed off – as long as they maintained their protein intake which, actually, quite a few apparently failed to do:

A PD has greater beneficial effects vs an NNR diet regarding fat mass, abdominal obesity and triglyceride levels in obese postmenopausal women; effects not sustained for anthropometric measurements at 24 months. Adherence to protein intake was poor in the PD group.

In other words, the diet works IF you do it and don’t yoyo. This has borne out over the years with people doing the Belly Fat Plan too – I nag them to stop returning to the carbs, which inevitably leads to a drop in protein consumption!

Read the research abstract here:

Long-term effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized trial.

And here is the report:

Palaeolithic-type diet healthier than current dietary advice

Recent research provides further evidence to confirm that a Palaeolithic-type diet is better for health than a diet based on current nutritional standards. This also marks the first time that effects on health have been measured over a protracted period.


Seventy obese post-menopausal women were followed for two years. Half of them followed a Palaeolithic-type diet, consisting of lean meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts and berries. Off limits were dairy produce and cereals, added fats, salt and sugar. It was not necessary to count calories. The control group followed the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations. These Scandinavian dietary standards focus on limiting intake of fat and increasing intake of fibre from cereals. No restrictions were imposed on the control group in terms of calorific intake either.


A reduction in fat mass was measured in both groups, with the Palaeolithic-type diet having the greatest impact once 6 months had elapsed (-6.5 kg as opposed to -2.6 kg). The weight loss remained significant after 24 months (-4.6 kg as opposed to -2.9 kg). In the case of the Palaeolithic-type diet there was a considerably greater reduction in terms of girth and quantity of abdominal fat.


Blood triglyceride levels also showed a much more dramatic fall. Lower blood triglyceride levels translate into a correspondingly lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. Finally, the Palaeolithic-type diet produced better nutritional status. In comparison with current dietary advice, a Palaeolithic-type diet is lower in carbohydrates, has a better proportion of omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids and is lower in cholesterol.


It proved tricky for the women on the Palaeolithic-type diet to structurally maintain their protein intake at the desired level. This may have diminished the positive effect of the Palaeolithic-type diet in the long run.



  1. Mellberg C, Sandberg S, Ryberg M, et al. Long-term effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Mar;68(3):350-7.
  2. Council, N., Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2012 – Part 1 2013: Copenhagen.

Source: Bonusan Practitioner News July 14

For Men Only…

A quick note on andropause for you men before I leave this subject as we don’t hear so much about that. Recently, I have been doing a lot of Male Hormone testing and am finding many men over about forty with low DHEA and consequently low testosterone as you make the latter from DHEA, which is known as the anti-ageing hormone.

In other words, it’s not just women’s hormones which drop; it’s men’s too. Check and correct – quite simple when you know how and I do not mean take testosterone, which is just male HRT! Most men only have that option because they only measure testosterone levels, which tells you diddly-squat about the cause. If you test the DHEA as well as testosterone, you will be able to see the relationship between them and if the drop in DHEA is behind the testosterone reduction, then you can pull both up. And, whilst I’m nagging about HRT, I do not mean take straight DHEA either, which is just another form of male HRT. If yours turn out to be low, I will point you to a more natural, sustained way of doing that.


Superbug Wars: Some Good News For A Change!

Fascinating report out today suggesting that the way to fight back against the antibiotic-resistant bacteria is…wait for it…to use viruses! That’s a new one on me. Here is the report I read from WDDTY:

Viruses could be the answer to the superbugs

Viruses may well be the answer to the growing ineffectiveness of antibiotics and the rise of the superbug.  Bacteriophages destroy deadly bacteria such as C. difficile and other superbugs, say researchers.

Phages can be engineered to destroy specific bacterium, as WDDTY has explained (see May 2013: Superbug wars: the phage fights back).  Scientists in Georgia and Poland have been researching phage therapy since it was successfully used against an outbreak of typhus in 1919.

Phages are viruses that infect and ‘lock’ into a bacterium’s genetic signature, ultimately destroying it.  They are found throughout nature and especially in water.
The West has been tentatively introducing phage therapy for several years, and scientists have tested them in laboratories to kill Listeria, the bacteria that cause food poisoning.

Now researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Hamburg have successfully tested it on C. difficile bacteria, which can be unresponsive to antibiotics.
(Source: PLoS Pathogens, 2014; 10: e1004228)

You can also read a report on Science Daily here:

Fighting bacteria — with viruses: Promising information for developing an alternative to antibiotics

Encouraging news on that depressing front for a change, don’t you think?!