February 27, 2016

The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker

The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker
The surprising new truth about food and flavor

[A good book enlightens us on how artificial flavors foils our food controls]

Obesity is so rampant that it seems contagious. Weight watchers and Overeaters Anonymous were just early tactics in a long war that would go on to include the Pritikin Principle, the Scarsdale Medical Diet, Slimfast, the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Zone, the Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, the Blood Type Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Paleo Diet and the Raw Diet.  American have eaten fat-burning grapefruits, consumed cabbage soup for seven straight days, calculated their daily points target, followed the easy and customizable menu plan, dialed the 1-800 number to speak to a live weight-loss counselor, taken cider vinegar pills, snacked strategically eliminated high-glycemic vegetables during the 14 day induction phase, achieved a 40:30:30 calorie ratio, brought insulin and glucagon into balance, sought scientific guidance from celebrities, abstained from the deadly cultural practice known as cooking, tanned and then bled themselves to more fully mimic the cavemen state, and attended the fat-burning metabolic nirvana known as ketosis. It has been a terrible & amazing failure.

If we regarded smoking the same flawed way we understand food, we would say cigarettes are deadly because they cause cancer. People smoke because they experience a powerful desire to smoke. The problem with obesity is that they eat too much food and they could not resist the desire. And when it comes to wanting, food speaks its own special language: flavor.

Flavor is the aspect of the human environment that has changed. People who ate barbecue chips liked washing them down with soft drinks that tasted like oranges, grapes or lemons, even though these foods contained none of these ‘things’. ‘Things’ were also changing. Fruits, grains, meat and vegetables were themselves losing flavor. Technology helped to grow more of it, but it tasted weaker, like lesser version of itself.

Using the most sophisticated analytical technology of the era, scientists isolated the mysterious chemicals that human experience as flavor and the companies they worked for began manufacturing them and selling them to food companies, which added them to their products.

West genius was one of vision. He stood firmly astride two waves - food getting blander and flavoring getting better - and married them. We like Coke, 7Up, and ginger ale more than plain old sugar water. And we like the flavor chemicals we didn’t even know are being added to apparently wholesome foods, like raw beef, butter, soy milk, yogurt, tea. The deception is so elegant as to be invisible.

Chicken can be changed through breeding. Chicken industry is now split into two distinct halves, meat chicken and egg chicken. Today’s meat chickens are pathetic layers compared to today’s egg chickens, and the reason is that they put all their energy into creating flesh. Poultry geneticists - professional chicken breeders - who went out into the world to make them plumper, younger, more efficient and faster. Today there are three global giants in poultry business: Hubbard, Cobb and Aviagen. Almost no one has heard of these companies. But everyone has eaten their chicken.

Chicken’s price is much less than when compared to 1948. A five pound chicken cost $3(equivalent of $30 in today’s equivalent) and in 2014, similar size chicken cost only $7 (quarter of the price). All of the chickens are all broilers now. Words like ‘fryer’ and ‘roaster’ still appear in cookbooks, but they don’t exist anymore. We eat gigantic babies. As a paper in the journal Poultry Science puts it, if humans grew as fast as broilers, “a 3kg 96.6 lb) newborn baby would weigh 300 kg (660 lb) after 2 months.

British Food Journal compared fruits and vegetables grown in the 1930s and the 1980s. Wholesome things like rhubarb, bananas and parsnips, the study found, contained fewer of the essential micronutrients necessary to human life than they used to. Calcium was down by 19%, iron down by 22%, potassium by 14%, Part of the reason things like broccoli, wheat and corn were losing nutrients was that broccoli, wheat and corn had changed due to careful breeding. Just like chickens, they’d been selected to grow faster, bigger and that was diluting the nutrients.

Second part of the problem was the age of these animals consumed for eating, its youthness. The high-energy diet, with its dusting of essential vitamins and minerals, enabled the production of giant babies. And meat from babies is bland. Veal is blander than beef, lamb is blander than mutton. Sculling pig is blander than mature pork (which most people today never tasted). Part of that is due to water - the younger the muscle, the more moisture it contains. but it is also due to aspects of animal biology that scientists still don’t understand, in large because very few of them are looking.

Flavoring the flavorless is hard work; so, we have pre flavored chicken available from the chicken suppliers where chicken goes through series of flavoring treatments.

Flavor making multinational behemoths are Givaudan, Haarmann & Reimer, and International Flavor & Fragrances. The artificially manufactures flavors are not come closer to originals. For example, Vanilla contains hundreds of other aromatic compounds. Not a single one of these comes anywhere close to the fake vanilla.  

When it comes to sensing food aromas, the human tongue is as useful as the human big toe. If you plug your nose and dump an ounce of vanillin on your tongue, you will taste only a very mild bitter flavor. It is not until, you inhale through your mouth and then exhale through your nose and vanillin molecules reach the nasal cavity that the silky tropical scent tingles your brain.

The tongue senses basic tastes: sweet, sour, bitter and umami (savory). There are taste receptors on the roof of your mouth and the back of your throat. It might be conceptually helpful to separate ‘taste’ and aroma to understand how flavor works, but it is the combination of the two that we find it so stirring. When a person eats bacon, receptors in the mouth sense saltiness, sweetness and umami while the nose sense its sweet, roasty, smoky, porky volatiles. In the mind, they combine to form a blend that is vivid and inseparable and deeply pleasurable - Bacon.

The multibillion dollar sector of the food business is known as food product development. Every January, McCormick releases what it calls its Flavor Forecast, which is the industrial food equivalent to Vogue's September fashion issue. (http://www.mccormick.com/Flavor-Forecast-2016)

There are synthetic flavor companies like Advanced Biotech, A.M. Todd, De Monchy Eramex, and natural Advantage. These firms are the plankton of the main-made flavor web. They sell to companies farther up the flavor web - Givaudan, International Flavor & Fragrance, Symrise, Firmenich & McCormick. They buy it and precisely blend it, with other flavor chemicals until it bears a stunning resemblance to something real. Eventually that high-precision blend winds up at a food processor, where it is added to food - chicken, pork  yogurt, potato chips, fruit drink, candy.

Wilhelm Haarmann founded has an inventory of 50,000 flavorings, the world’s biggest flavor company, Givaudan, has 200 flavor factories and global flavor production is estimated to be more than 1.4 million tons.

Salt, sugar and fat are what psychologists call reinforcers. They trigger bursts of the potent neurotransmitters and activate the same brain circuitry as heroin and cocaine. Sugar is the worst as we are hardwired to love sweet.

If we have spent all this time and money fruitlessly trying to lose weight, would we be better off figuring out to gain weight? One way to get a pig fat is to feed fat, crab & protein. The industry refers to this kind of feed as ‘concentrators’.

The difference between good and bad fruits isn’t the simple story of sugar. it comes down to secondary compounds. For example, Ataulfo mangoes, regarded as king of mangoes, have a density of secondary compounds that is roughly double that of regular mangoes. Generally speaking, the more flavor there is in fruit and vegetables, the greater the density of secondary compounds. It is true of tomatoes, it is true of grapes, it is true of strawberries, it is true of carrots. it is the opposite of dilution.

The oldest thing about human leaf consumption is that some of the leaves were like best are richer in secondary compounds. They are chemical bombs. Humans also seek out rate kinds of bark and seeds that are similarly profuse with plant chemicals. Archaeologists tell us humans have been adding these strange and potent plants to their cuisine for at least six thousand years. Same goes with herbs and spices.

Coriander inhibits pro-inflammatory mediator expression by suppressing NF-kappaB activation and MAPK signal transduction pathway in LPS-induced macrophages. Fennel extract exhibits inhibitory effects against acute and subacute inflammatory diseases. Ginger alleviates nausea and vomiting in pregnant women, kills cancer cells, and can help regulate blood pressure. Dill promotes skin elasticity. Basil kills viruses and prevents inflammation and lowers cholesterol in hyperlipidemic rats; cinnamon decreases blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes, black pepper exhibits antidepressant activity, and elderly Singaporeans who eat curry with turmeric have better cognitive function than those that don’t. It is also thought that turmeric may be antiparasitic and cardioprotective and possess anticancer properties. It can be downright challenging to find a herb or spice that is not a ranging antioxidant and does not have some degree of hostility to cancer cells or bacteria.

Why plants produce secondary compounds? Plants make them so that they can do something to another living organism - kill bacteria, repel goats or insects, attract honeybees, warn a friend and so on.

In a paper published in Nature, Beauchamp postulated that constant low level doses of oleocanthal in the Mediterranean Diet may be responsible for some of its health benefits, such as lower levels of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Fine olive oil is what scientists call a learned flavor preference and what gastronomes call an acquired taste.

The R J Reynolds Tobacco Company publishes list of all the ingredients it puts in its cigarettes. Of the 145 items on the list, 131 (90%) are flavors.  Flavoring make the product sell better.  Food is becoming more like cigarettes and the result is predictable. Casual food users have become heavy food users. And heavy food users have become addicts.

Do male chickens taste different from females? the answer was yes, they taste stronger. In 1965, it was found that muscle from young and old chicken had similar chemical constituents, but the older ones had larger concentrations.

Kokumi, the little known Japanese taste sensation that improves the continuity, mouthfulness and thickness of salty, sweet and umami even though it has no taste of its own. According to Ajinomoto, one of the most important triggers of the kokumi sensation is a protein called glutathione. As per Xingen Lei, an expert on oxidative stress at Cornell University who studies glutathione, “it is the first line of defense against oxidative stress’. Glutathione is of such fundamental metabolic importance that Dr. lei doesn’t know of a single cell that doesn’t contain it.

Review all the ways the Dorito effect appears to be turning us into nutritional idiots:

  • Dilution - as real food becomes bland and loses its capacity to please us, we are less inclined to eat it and very often enhance it in ways that further blunt its nutrition.

  • Nutritional decapitation - When we take flavors from nature, we capture the experience of food but leave the nutrition - the fiber, the vitamins, the minerals, the antioxidants, the plant secondary compounds- behind. In nature, flavor, compounds always appear in a nutritional context.

  • False variety - Flake flavors make foods that are nutritionally very similar seem more different than they actually are.

  • Cognitive deception - Fake flavors fool the conscious mind.

  • Emotional deception - Flavor technology manipulates the part of the mind that experiences feelings. Fake flavors take a previously established liking for a real food and apply it, like a sticker, to something else - usually large doses of calories - creating a heightened and nutritionally underserved level of pleasure.

  • Flavor-nutrient confusion - BY hijacking flavor-nutrient relationships, fake flavors, by their very nature, set a false expectation. A major aspect of obesity is an outsized desire for food, one that very often cannot be extinguished by food itself. So many food that we consume - refined carbs, high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, added fat - would not be palatable without synthetic flavor. We gorge on them because they take like something they are not.

How to live long and eat flavorfully

  • Eat real flavor
  • Eat like a Utah Goat (eat a variety of real foods, including things you think you might hate)
  • Flavor starts in the womb (Moms who eat junk food, tend to have kids who like junk foods)
  • Eat for flavor (Eat the best tasting real food you can find. Choose varieties of lettuce that actually have a flavor - darker the leaf, the stronger the flavor. Opt for virgin 9or extra virgin) cold-pressed oils over refined oils. Visit farmers market to find the farmer growing the best tasting food)
  • Eat meat from pastured animals (Choose grass fed beef that is at least 22 months old)
  • Avoid synthetic flavor technology
  • Avoid restaurants that use synthetic flavorings
  • Organic may or may not save (An organic label is no guarantee that food will taste better or be better for you. The true test of quality is the way food tastes).
  • Eat herbs and spices
  • Don’t pop vitamin pills
  • Eat dark chocolate and drink wine (And craft beers too)
  • Give a child an amazing piece of fruit
  • It will be better (if people demand for quality products and initiate a quality movement).

Visit www.markschatzker.com for news on real flavor, like where to find amazing tasty tomatoes or a flavorful chicken near you.

Books mentioned in this book:
The Ideal Cookbook
Mccormick's Flavor Forecast
Allured’s Flavor and Fragrance Materials

February 21, 2016

The Diet Myth by Tim Spector

The Diet Myth by Tim Spector
Why the secret to health and weight loss is already in your gut.

{I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to have a healthy lifestyle].

“The diet myth” breaks down common misconception that fuel weight loss fads by exploring the hidden world of the microbiome. World class geneticist Tim Spector demystifies the latest information on fat, calories, vitamins and nutrients.

I was regularly told by my consultant bosses to tell obese patients with major health problems to exercise to take control of their lives and use their willpower to stop overeating or perhaps remind them that ‘there were no fat people in concentration camps’.

Anton Leeuwenhoek was perhaps the first man ever to see a microbe (by which we mean a living creature seen only by means of a microscope). He was certainly the first to describe them and to realize that healthy humans are teeming with these creatures inside our guts and on our skin. We humans share 38% of our genes with the microbes inside us.

You are no safer swimming in the water, where a million bacterial cells are found in every millimeter of fresh or seawater. These microbes are the true and permanent inhabitants on earth. Differences in our individual gut microbes can explain why a low-fat diet works for some people, while a high-fat diet is fine for some and dangerous for others; why some people can eat plenty of carbohydrates without problems and others extract more calories from the same amount and get fatter; why some eat red meat happily and others contract heart disease.

Intermittent fasting (such as the Fast Diet or 5:2) may be the good as short term fasting can stimulate friendly microbes, but this is only as long as the other ‘free eating’ days contains a diverse diet.

The ability to taste has been called our nutritional gatekeeper. People who completely lose their sense of taste don’t get fat. We all have up to ten thousand taste buds on our tongues for five main tastes: sweet, bitter, sour, salty, Umami and may even have a 6th one called kokumi, meaning heartiness. The buds regenerate every ten days and are controlled by genes influencing their relative sensitivity.

In fact in a large multi-country study of blood levels, high omega 6 fat levels are actually much more beneficial for the heart than omega 3.

A large population project, later named ‘The China Study’ amassed a huge amount of dietary data from sixty-five counties and 120 villages in rural China in the 1970s. Dietary fat levels and blood cholesterol were half of those of the US and the most common diseases seen in the West such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer were virtually non-existent. Colin Campbell and his team at Cornell University running the China Study believed that the lack of both animal proteins and dairy products packed with fat, plus the large amount of vegetables consumed were the reason for the amazing absence of cancers or heart disease. The conclusion was that we should eat vegetables and give up meat and dairy completely. Bill Clinton is reported to have lost 20 lb on the diet after reading the Campbell's book ‘The China Study’ following his heart problems.

The French eat a hell of a lot of cheese - 24kg per person per year - nearly the double that of the average US & UK. The difference is the most cheese in France is eaten as real cheese purchased from a shop rather than as in the US in processed food products. (Charles de Gaulle famously asked in 1962, ‘How can you govern a country with 246 different types of cheese). France has probably as many as thousand different varieties now with many protected by law in the way they are traditionally made and with an Appellation d’Origine Controlee certificate of origin like the classification of wine. Of the top ten bestsellers at least four cheeses are unpasteurized which the French believes gives them more taste and special properties. it contains a wide variety of microbes including bacteria, yeasts and fungi and hundreds of species plus thousands of known and unknown strains.

Another non-traditional form of cheese is made when you mix certain bacteria with milk. You can personalize these cheeses to uniquely suit you as an individual. All you have to do is take swabs of your armpits, belly button and between your toes and mix what you have garnered with milk, then add some lactic acid bacilli and hey presto your own personal and very individual cheese.

The famous pungent Limburger cheese is made from the same bacteria that many people have between their toes, the ones that cause smelly feet.

Yoghurts are another common source of our saturated fats, although the amounts vary widely across styles. Traditional Greek yogurt, which is more solid also contains the most saturated fat, often 14 grams per pot, and also has plenty of vitamin B12, folic acid and calcium. Most of the bacteria in natural yoghurt are strains that don’t normally live in our intestines.

When the so-called gut-friendly bacteria are added to food in sufficient amounts and they are claimed to have potential benefits, they are called ‘probiotics’. A meta-analysis of several probiotic trials concluded that there was little evidence of consistent benefits, either because they don’t work or because most are small and short-term studies. One notable exception is the trial of a particular strain of a probiotic called Lactobacillus reuteri in people with hypercholesterolemia.

Red meat is red because of the protein myoglobin in the specialized muscle fibers that are good for endurance, whereas chicken muscles lack myoglobin which explains why you may see them making a quick dash across the road but not running marathons. These sprinting chicken contain less total fat and the lowest proportion of saturated fat - 2/3 of their fact is unsaturated - compared to a roughly equal proportion of unsaturated and saturated fats in beef, pork & lamb.

The massive global experiment of replacing the total fat component of our diet with extra carbs in recent decades has turned out to be a total health disaster.
Fit or fat?

There is an interesting debate going on about whether it is better to be tin and sedentary or fat and fit. The studies are pretty consistent: being fat yet fit is definitely better than being think and unfit for heart disease and for overall mortality. The overall conclusion here is that for msot of us saturated fat is not the villain to be avoided at all costs. TThis is provided the food is ‘real’ and contains living microbes and is not over-processed or full of other unwanted chemicals and sweeteners.

Olive oil - the fatty miracle drink

Olive oil comes in three main types: expensive high-quality extra virgin olive oil, which has less than 0.8 per cent acidity, indicating its freshness and quality, plus a strong, sometimes slightly bitter taste. This comes from the rapid first pressing of the olive - which is sometimes performed at cold temperatures and marketed as ‘cold-pressed’. Virgin olive oil is a grade lower, possessing higher acidity and still some taste; then finally there is regular olive oil. This last is made industrially by refining the leftovers and is cheap and normally tasteless, but may be given some flavor by mixing with a small amount of extra virgin oil. Good quality extra-virgin olive oil contains the greatest amounts of the chemicals known as polyphenols, which have special properties and probably account for much of its health benefits. The low-grade oils used in spreads and processed foods probably have no equivalent advantages.

Mediterranean diet

People living in Mediterranean countries have consistently lower rates of heart disease and stroke than northern Europeans and Americans. This is primarily because of their diet. Mediterranean countries have been making and using olive oil since at least 4000 BC and it is part of the practice of most ancient religions. For Greeks to be drinking nearly half a liter a week seems quote hard to believe, unless they still use it for washing and on their hair.

Over 80% of the fatty acids and nutrients from olive oil reaches the colon before full digestion and comes into contact with our microbes. Here the microbes feed on the rich mix of fatty acids, and polyphenols and break them down into smaller by-products, signaling to the body to lower harmful lipid levels and telling the immune system what to do next, Polyphenols actively encourage some microbes to flourish such as lactobacilli that mop up and bind fat/lipid particles and clear them from the blood. They also prevent unwanted microbes from colonizing our guts.

Olive oil may have benefits over other oils because the complex juice comes form the whole fruit rather than just the seed and this may be a general principle that applies more widely. It also means that its extraction is much simpler and does not require chemicals or solvents. So far its proven benefits extend to reducing heart disease and diabetes and possibly helping weight loss, but it has been claimed also to alleviate arthritis via its anti-inflammatory effects.

Junk food
Probably the most dangerous kind of food is one that is hidden, which is the trans fat. The combination of saturated fat ,sugar and salt (holy trinity of bad food) are added to the processed food for preservation and extending its shelf life. Together they would produce the conditions for the perfect obesity storm.

Protein: Animal:

Most of the protein in our diets comes from just a few sources. These include meat like beef and chicken, which are over 30% protein, fish like salmon and tuna at over 20%, beans and nuts such as peanuts (24%) and soybeans (12 %).

Paleo diet:

The full paleo-diet doctrine prohibits grains, legume (which includes peanuts), milk, cheese, refined carbs, sugars, alcohol and coffee. It also bans tomatoes, potatoes and aubergines as they are all nightshade plants and thought to cause autoimmune disease via leaky guts. The diet encourages organic grass-fed meats and poultry, fish, coconut and olive oil and other vegetables and a small amount of fruits, though some adherents eat only berries. The diet is broadly based on what we think was consumed for a million years or so before our recent history, items for which we perfectly adapted.

The major flaw with this diet is that, likewise other diets, it also forgets about the trillions of microbes we carry around with us that have also been adapting and evolving.

Protein: Non-animal

Beans and lentils are known around the world as poor man’s meat, containing as they do all the key amino acids necessary to make protein inside the body. Although most beans have 20-25 % protein, soy is the champion at 36-40% protein. Soy is one of the most controversial topics in nutrition with strong arguments on both sides for it being either the ultimate health of a major cause of concern. Soy and tofu have been part of the natural Asian diet for centuries and all soy products depend on a complex fermentation process that involves bacteria, fungi and yeast. There is now reasonable evidence of soy’s mild protective effect against breast cancer and possible also in reducing recurrence of the disease.

Seaweed: There is a new culinary movement called Gastrophysics that advocates of using seaweed in cooking to replace flavors like umami instead of resorting to meat, salt or MSG for the same effect.

Mushrooms & fungi.

Traditionally mushrooms were thought of as a vegetable although they are not plants and in that they need to eat or survive they are probably closer to animals. They are part of fungi kingdom, which also contains yeast. They contain no fat and generally have near-equal amounts of protein and carbohydrate. They are full of the healthy antioxidant selenium which mops up potentially toxic chemicals in our cells and they contain vitamin B.

The Chinese have been using mushrooms as remedies for centuries. Although there have not yet been any human mushroom trials, studies have shown that feeding button mushrooms to mice for six weeks is beneficial. It increases their gut-microbial diversity and their Bacteroidetes species, and protects against gastric infections and inflammation.

One fungus we commonly eat without usually knowing its origin is mycoprotein, more commonly known as Quorn. Quorn has a high protein content (44%) and in Europe it is the commonest meat substitute.


Most of us were told to drink milk if we wanted to grow properly. if you look at a genetic map of the world and color in all the countries with the lactase mutation gene for milk drinking, there is a clear correlation with a clear correlation with height. The Scandinavians and the Dutch come at the top of both league tables. Dutch milk consumption was around 6 million metric tones in 1962 and peaked at over 13.5 million in 1983 and the average Dutchman or woman is still consuming twice as many dairy products per person as in the US. Dutchman is now taller than their US counterparts.

All the same, the evidence still suggests that for most people there is a slight health benefits to be had by consuming milk, yogurt and cheese. And it seems, the cruder and less processed the produce, the better.

Soup & Juice
Studies have shown that people are more willing to eat a wide variety of vegetables as soup than if served naked on a plate. If the soup is thick and the vegetables only lightly cooked, it also slows down digestion and can send signals of fullness to the brain and lower intestines. The other advantages is that nutrients are not lost in the water, and most people in normal health can eat many more plants as a juice or soup than raw or by traditional cooking. Using juicing machines that preserve the pulp and fiber and so many of the nutrients seems sensible if it doesn’t become an obsession.


Garlic as well as being an excellent source of polyphenols and vitamins is a first-class prebiotic that used to be a major discriminator between the cuisines and habits of northern and southern Europe. Garlic effect on lowering cholesterol and improving lipid profiles does seem more likely to be real, based on multiple replications of the results and a meta-analysis of several randomized studies.

Studies showing the miraculous power of chocolates are much loved by the media and the public. The feel-good effects of chocolate are in part due to our gut microbes. Regardless of the media hype, the absence of long-term studies and my initial skepticism, the evidence is now pretty good, that the cocoa in chocolate, which itself is made up of over 300 chemical substances, is positive for reducing risk factors for the heart. Studies have even suggested that regular consumption is associated with lower body weight. So that is fine, if you like 70% cocoa dark chocolate. Hopefully flavonoids and polyphenols will soon be included on the cocoa label as these are the main benefits of having it.

We are told of many conflicting things. Alcohol can be poisonous and addictive, can cause malformations in babies, lead to cancer and depression; or alternatively it can enhance mood and social and sexual success, alleviate heart disease and promote longevity.

Belgium is known for its chocolate and artisanal beer, which really got going after the French revolution when the fleeing monks wanted to drown their sorrows. You can buy over a thousand types of beer at one specialist Belgian Cafe, most with their own distinctive glass and containing a huge range of ingredients including fruit. Belgian colleagues are busy working out the potential health benefits of the various beer polyphenols, but also believe that the yeast and prebiotics like inulin, with their infinite number of combinations and thousands of metabolites can have positive effects on the gut microbes. The beers range from super-strength 11 percent alcohol ones that resemble wine, with healthy names like Delirium Tremens and Mort Subite, to weak brews that up to the 1980s were served at school dinner times.

Small levels of alcohol is seems to be good for health


In much of biology, from the cell to the whole body, low levels of stress are good for the organism. Short burst of oxidants or heat stress , which make worms live longer, or low-dose antibiotics which make microbes much stronger and too-low dose of anti-cancer drugs, which make cancer cells more resistant. Even exercise is a form of stress, which is good for us. In the same way, intermittent fasting can make small animals live longer - even fasting overnight of skipping breakfast may offer us a form of beneficial hormesis.

The checkout:

Try to eat a greater variety of foods, particularly fruits, olive oil, nuts, vegetables and pulses plus fiber and polyphenols. Avoid processed foods and reduce your meat intake. eat traditional cheese and yoghurt, avoiding high-sugar low-fat varieties.

  • A new approach to food: never dine alone
  • Diversify your diet and your microbes
  • Exploring your own gut residents
  • Time for a radical makeover
  • The thirty-ingredient heavy petting diet.
  • Looking after your microbial garden.