In their book The 10 Secrets of Healthy Ageing, Patrick Holford and Jerome Burne, claim that the five a day for many older people is not five portions of fruit and vegetables but of prescription drugs. They claim that 50 per cent of people over 65 are now getting five drugs a day (source: BBC, Older People on Drug Cocktail), which could become 10 by the time they are 75.
‘Long ago as teenagers some of us flaunted our use of illicit drugs as a badge of rebellion and cheerfully ignored the harm they could do. Now we are encouraged to take drugs – to bring down the likes of cholesterol and blood pressure in far greater quantities than even whenever we did as youngsters.’ Their message is ‘just say no’ to drugs unless it is absolutely necessary.
There is plenty of information in this book to enable you to try to remain drug free, look after your whole body and live a fulfilling drug-free future. Their premise is that you can’t cheat death but you can avoid ill health. You can live to a good age without pain and suffering, not taking numerous medicines or be left neglected in hospitals or homes.
While drugs are life savers in many cases as people get old they are encouraged to take more and more. However, it’s a vicious circle – one drug causes side-effects and the patient is given another one to counteract them. Aspirin is a case in point – while doctors still recommend it to thin the blood and prevent strokes and heart disease, it can cause gastro-intestinal bleeding. In fact the British Heart Foundation dropped its recommendation to take them because of the research which demonstrated the dangers.
The authors recommend a number of key supplements for anti-ageing including Vitamin A, C, E, D, B12, B6 and folic acid, zinc and magnesium. They particularly suggest that probiotics for older people encourage a healthy digestive system, which in turn promotes a healthy immune system, and Omega 3s for joint mobility, memory and mood booster and a healthy heart.
The 10 Secrets of Healthy Ageing, Patrick Holford and Jerome Burne.