The optimal diet for longevity and weight loss?

It started with an experiment on locusts in 1991. David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson, two zoologists who were at the time doing research at Oxford University, wanted to know what would happen to locusts if they varied the relative proportions of protein and carbohydrate in their diets. They therefore conducted an experiment in which they fed locusts pellets containing varying proportions of protein and carbohydrate, … Read more

Does omega-3 prevent heart disease?

I have a confession to make. For at least the last ten years, I’ve taken an omega-3 supplement every day. Religiously. Why? I literally have no idea. I don’t remember exactly when or why I started taking it. Presumably I read somewhere that it was a good idea. This was before I started studying medicine, and the decision certainly wasn’t based on any thorough evaluation … Read more

Are regular health checks good for you?

Regular health checks (a.k.a routine visits) are probably the bane of many a primary care physician’s existence. I can’t imagine many things more boring than running through a standardized list of questions with a patient who feels absolutely fine, then going through a list of lab values that are almost invariably within the normal reference range, and finally topping it off with a perfunctory physical … Read more

Can vitamin C prevent heart disease?

Funnily enough, considering its many purported benefits, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is one of the vitamins that doctors are least likely to prescribe to patients. Vitamin A is given to all small children in many countries, as is vitamin D. Vitamin D is of course also frequently prescribed to patients with osteoporosis. Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is regularly given to alcoholics, to prevent Wernicke-Korsakoff disease. B3 … Read more

Will vigorous exercise make you live longer?

A few months back I wrote an article about the amount of exercise necessary to maximise life expectancy. That article, based on observational studies, concluded that you could get 90% of the longevity enhancing benefits of exercise with just half an hour of moderate intensity walking per day, which is nice for those, like me, who aren’t even remotely interested in intense sporting activities. … Read more

How many years of life are lost to covid?

A few weeks back I wrote an article about how high the risk of dying from covid is. I mentioned that a senior representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) had recently said that the WHO’s best estimate was that roughly one in 750 people who get infected die of the disease. I also mentioned a study published by the WHO, authored by … Read more