Polypill or Mediterranean Diet?

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Who could have missed the recent headline grabbing statements: “10p a day wonder pill adds years to your life” or “Miracle Drug for the over 50’s” splashed across the national press – promoting what would appear to the easy fix to all potential health risks for the anyone over the age of 50.

Yet many may have failed to notice a much smaller lower key article in the very same papers on new research, which identified even more long-term health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

Although adherence to a Mediterranean diet has long been recognised as being associated with lower risk of various age-related diseases including heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. The recent systematic study conducted by the University of Exeter identified that in addition to these well-documented health benefits the Mediterranean diet also improved cognitive function and lowered the risk of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.


olive branch
So which is the better option? In comparison to making the effort to change your daily eating habits taking a miracle pill once day to ward off age related diseases would seem an attractive option – yet it does little or nothing to change the underlying unhealthy eating and exercise habits that have created the problem in the first place. It is also unclear what the long-term effects of such polypharmacy may be. Statins (which are included in the Polypill) are already recognized to inhibit the production of the major enzyme Co Q10 in the body – leading to muscle aches and pains and in extreme cases heart failure. So what side effects would yet another combination of powerful drugs ultimately lead to?

Which is the better option? To my mind why wait another 2 years for the wonder pill which may or may not be the miracle it is purported to be when you can switch today to a diet that is medically proven to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke by 30%. A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, olive oil and occasional red wine ! Which also reduces the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease with no side effects whatsoever – except you can actually enjoy it!

Click here to see the Mediterranean Diet in a nutshell.

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