Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Medical Matters on Radio 4 – Nutrition, Immune system and Fatigue

Friday, August 19th, 2011

I’ve been really enjoying listening to Medical Matters on Radio 4, they have some really interesting topics. Here are some I would recommend giving a listen (available as Podcasts):

  • The First 1000 Days: A Legacy for Life – A three part series exploring how nutrition and environment during the first 1000 days of life have long-lasting effects into adulthood and can even affect the health of future generations.
  • Am I Normal? (Tiredness) – Tiredness and fatigue are some of the most common symptoms causing people to visit their doctor, nutritionist or herbalist! This programme explores some of the causes of tiredness.
  • Am I Normal? (Immune System) – Find out about how the immune system works and often doesn’t work!

Report suggests Iodine deficiency common in the UK

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

A study into iodine levels throughout the UK has found that more than two-thirds of teenage girls tested are deficient in this important nutrient. The researchers say a large-scale investigation into the iodine status of the entire UK population is now needed to understand the full extent of the problem.
More on this story on the BBC Website, and you can read the WHO report on iodine deficiency in Europe.

This has lead to calls for iodine to be added to table salt in the UK or for increased intake in milk and other dairy products which contain iodine. Another really good source of iodine is seaweed – but how do I eat that you might say! Well, we can buy food grade seaweed from our own doorstep to take in capsules or in granules to add to food in the form of Seagreens Seaweed products. Based in Scotland, Seagreens harvest seaweed from the clean waters of the Outer Hebrides, and their product is becoming very popular as an ingredient in green food supplements, and also as a replacement for salt in processed foods, providing not only iodine but a wide range of other nutrients that are beneficial for health.

Cancer rise and sperm quality fall ‘due to chemicals’

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Sperm quality significantly deteriorated and testicular cancers increased over recent years, a Finnish study says.

Read more on the BBC website

Herbal Medicine to be Regulated

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

The Department of Health has issued a statement that they will go ahead with the Statutory Regulation of Herbal Practitioners. The debate still rumbles on, with opponents loudly expressing their disapproval.

Statement by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

Comments in the Telegraph and surprisingly positive from The Mail.

Antioxidants Boost Male Fertility

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

A review by researchers from the Cochrane Library has found that in couples with male factor infertility or unexplained infertility undergoing fertility treatment, men taking antioxidant supplements were over fourfold more likely than controls to get their partner pregnant and see a successful live birth.

The researchers noted that both sperm motility and concentration increased in those men taking antioxidant supplements. The use of antioxidants is based on the theory that free radicals can cause damage to the DNA in sperm, which is vital for creating an embryo and can result in lowered sperm count, motility or ability to fertilise the egg. Nutrients such as vitamin E and C are know to ‘mop up’ free radicals and therefore protect cells against damage.

I have worked with many men with fertility issues as part of The Natural Fertility Centre, addressing dietary and lifestyle factors that can affect male fertility. For advice on using antioxidants and improving sperm count, motility or quality, please book an appointment at one of my clinics.

New advice on vitamin D for pregnant women

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The Scottish Government are to announce new guidelines on vitamin D supplementation for pregnant women or those trying to conceive. This further substantiates the latest research on low vitamin D levels in Scotland, and also on the effects of maternal nutrition on a child’s health, both before and after conception.
More on this on the BBC website:

Plan for free vitamins for mothers and children

Friday, March 26th, 2010

An interesting pilot scheme has been proposed in Cardiff, offering free supplements to mothers and children – see

This goes against the current dogma of the medical profession that supplements are unnecessary and that you can get everything you need from a balanced diet. If this scheme goes ahead it will be interesting to see what the health statistics for kids health in Cardiff look like in a few years time!

Omega 3 fish oils may keep mental illness at bay

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

More positive research on the effects of fish oils on mental health –


Thursday, January 7th, 2010

I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears today when I saw an advert for a new probiotic drink:

I am dumbfounded at the absurdity of this product and can’t bring myself to say another word, except take a look at the ingredients of this, which is being marketed as a product to enhance your health, and see if you want to drink it:

Skimmed milk (65%), water, sugar, chocolate (3%)(sugar, cocoa butter, skimmed milk powder, cocoa mass, lactose, vegetable fat, whey powder, milk fat, Emulsifiers: Soya lecithin, E476, water, flavouring), cocoa powder, stabilisers: modified tapioca starch, E460, E466, E415, E407, whey powder, malt extract, glucose syrup, skimmed milk powder, emulsifier: E471, wheat flour. (Heat treated)

Please don’t even humour them by buying it.

Fertility in the news…

Monday, August 10th, 2009

There have been a couple of fertility-related stories in the news over the last week. Firstly, the IVF postcode lottery, and now women being urged to have a Fertility MOT at age 30 to assess their ability to conceive which starts to drop dramatically after age 35.

At the Edinburgh Natural Fertility Clinic we see a lot of couples in the 35-45 age range who are having difficulty conceiving and many believe, or have been told, that IVF if their only chance of having a baby. We believe that a combination of good nutrition, healthy lifestyle, acupuncture and fertility awareness can dramatically increase the chances of conceiving, even for couples in their mid-30’s and 40’s. We also treat male partners who have sup-optimal sperm count or quality as this can also decline with age. Our figures for 2008 show that 47% of  patients across all age ranges who attended the clinic, conceived.

For more information on how we can help, see our website:

And finally, an article about my two friends and colleagues from the Edinburgh Natural Fertility Clinic, Dee and Rachael:

Me and my conception coach Sunday Herald