Friday 9 December 2016

Forget the crazy food fads and follow your gut instinct

A healthy portion of common sense when it comes to our diet is just what the doctor ordered, writes Brendan O'Connor

Published 09/03/2014 | 02:30

Megabite: Steve Mallie of Mallie's Sports Grill and Bar with the world’s biggest burger, 2009. Photo: Guinness World Records/PA
Megabite: Steve Mallie of Mallie's Sports Grill and Bar with the world’s biggest burger, 2009. Photo: Guinness World Records/PA

I USED to take a blister pack of vitamins every morning and every evening. High dose of vitamin C, fish oils, some other stuff, and something called Brain Food. They weren't cheap but I fancied that it kept me from getting sick. As I understood it, high doses of vitamin C were a great source of antioxidants which I think prevents cancers and they also staved off colds and the like. The omega 3 fish oils were good for me too, in some way I didn't quite understand. I thought it was to do with the heart but then I read somewhere else that taking omega 3 makes no difference to your chances of having a heart attack. And something called brain food would have to be good for your brain, wouldn't it?

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Being on this regime made me feel vaguely superior to other people. I was helping along evolution, becoming a fitter, more efficient, more disease-resistant human being.

Until I found out taking omega 3 in capsule form could increase the risk of fatal types of prostate cancer by 70 per cent and antioxidants like vitamin C, E and beta carotene don't actually prevent cancer, and possibly do the opposite. So I stopped. I still have an unloved expensive box of them there and I take the occasional blister pack of them when I feel a cold coming on or when I have a hangover. Maybe they work. Who knows? I certainly don't take enough of them to cause cancer now. Or so I think. But who knows?

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