AN ANTI-AGEING PILL AT LAST?
A new supplement called nicotinamide riboside – closely related to vitamin B3– is causing a bit of a stir for its potential anti-ageing effects.Researchers who have looked at the supplement say its benefits all hinge on its ability to raise blood levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). This Compound activates sirtuins, thought to be responsible for the beneficial effects that restricting calorie consumption can have on healthy ageing and longevity.In the latest pilot study, shortly to be published in the journal Nature Communications, University of Colorado Researchers found that taking four 250mg capsules a day of nicotinamide riboside promoted healthier arterial ageing (blood vessels that weren’t as stiff), and reduced blood pressure.Other benefits that have been mooted for the supplement include improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin, boosting the effects of exercise, protecting the brain and resisting the harmful effects of a high-fat diet.It’s too early to know if it really can offer measurable benefits and it needs more independent research (the latest study was funded by ChromaDex who makes the supplement). It’s expensive too and you could probably get similar benefits by daily 16-hour fasting (when you stop eating at 8 pm and don’t eat until noon) – but watch this space!
AN ANTI-AGEING PILL AT LAST? Photo Gallery
If you’re vegan, you should take a vitamin B12 supplement every day, says a new statement from Germany’s Nutrition Society. I agree – the vitamin does not occur naturally in plant foods and is essential for a healthy nervous system,for a properly functioning immune system and for fighting fatigue.Some foods – such as plant-milk alternatives, soya yoghurts and breakfast cereals, for example – may be fortified with vitamin B12, but it can be patchy to obtain it this way unless you’re constantly pouring over labels or eating the same set of foods every day.Your body absorbs vitamin B12 more efficiently if taken in frequent small amounts, so the Vegan Society Recommends a daily supplement of 10 micrograms (or a whopping 2,000 in a single weekly dose!). Remember to check the supplement doesn’t contain any animal-sourced ingredients – for more information, go to vegan society.co.uk.
Q Is it true that non-stick pans get toxic when their surface is worn?A There’s an ingredient in many non-stick pans called PFOA perfluorooctanoic acid, which is part of a family of perfluoroalkyl chemicals also found in everything from stain-resistant fabrics to water and food packaging. There’s concern that long-term exposure to perfluoroalkyls in the environment could increase risk of cancer and hormone disturbances, and the US Environmental Protection Agency is consulting to develop a new management plan for the chemicals. Fortunately, studies suggest minimal transfer of PFOA from non-stick pans to food, but I’d still get a new pan if yours is scratched or flaky, and use wooden utensils. Or buy cookware that states it’s PFOA free, such as GreenPan ceramic pans; greenpan.co.uk.