Transcript: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor - series 6 - ep 3 | Jan 21, 2021

(music plays)

Michael Mosley is in his early sixties, clean-shaven and with short straight graying hair. He wears glasses, brown trousers, a striped shirt, and a black blazer.

Michael says WHEN IT COMES TO OUR
HEALTH, IT SEEMS EVERYONE HAS
AN OPINION AND EVERYONE HAS AN
AGENDA.

As he walks down a food market, he walks past menu signs that read "Obese patients live longer." The caption then changes to "Being fat is bad for you."

Michael says BUT WHAT'S THE HEALTH ADVICE YOU
CAN REALLY TRUST?

A doctor at the pharmacy grabs a tissue box that reads "Issues."

Michael says WE'RE HERE TO WEIGH UP THE
EVIDENCE AND USE OUR EXPERTISE
TO GUIDE YOU...
THROUGH THE CONTRADICTIONS AND
THE CONFUSIONS.

As he walks past a café, a neon sign that reads "Illusions" shatter.

(GLASS SHATTERING)

Michael says WE DO THE RESEARCH NO ONE ELSE
HAS DONE AND PUT YOUR HEALTH
AT THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO.

A heart surgeon grabs a knife and cuts a heart-shaped cake in half.

Michael says WE LISTEN TO THE QUESTIONS YOU
WANT ANSWERED.

Another doctor puts headphones on as she goes for a run on the tracks. Then the headphones turn into a stethoscope.

Michael says AND ENSURE YOU GET THE
INFORMATION YOU NEED.

Michael walks past a bus stop shelter, a sign on the side reads "Delicious decaff ...dangerous?"

Michael says WE'RE HERE WHEN YOU WANT TO
KNOW THE LATEST FINDINGS AND
NOT JUST THE LATEST FADS.

A doctor at the supermarket grabs a bottle of vodka from the shelves. The brand name reads "Overturning perceptions."

Michael says I'M MICHAEL MOSLEY.
IN THIS SERIES, I'M JOINED BY A
TEAM OF DOCTORS.

The BBC logo appears.

Michael says TOGETHER, WE'LL CUT THROUGH THE
HYPE, THE HEADLINES, AND THE
HEALTH CLAIMS.
THIS IS
TRUST ME I'M A DOCTOR.

The name of the show reads "Trust me, I'm a doctor."

Michael says WELCOME TO LIVERPOOL.

A caption reads "Hashtag trust me I'm a doctor."

He continues WE'RE HERE TO DO A HUGELY
AMBITIOUS EXPERIMENT WITH
LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES
UNIVERSITY, ALL ABOUT FISH OILS.
NOW, WE KNOW THAT FISH OIL IS
GOOD FOR US, BUT WHAT'S THE
BEST WAY OF GETTING IT IN
OUR BODIES?
WE'LL ALSO FIND OUT WHETHER
THE PLASTICS IN FOOD PACKAGING
ARE POISONING US.
WHY YOUR SEX AFFECTS HOW MUCH
FAT YOU SHOULD EAT.

Zoe is in her thirties, with short curly brown hair and wears a white and orange sweater.

Zoe says BASICALLY, WHAT WE'RE SAYING
IS THAT WOMEN ARE BETTER.

Michael says WE'LL DISCOVER HOW THIS
LITTLE PATCH COULD BE THE
FUTURE OF BRAIN TRAUMA
TREATMENT.
HOW TO SPOT THE SYMPTOMS OF
AN ILLNESS THAT CAN LEAVE YOU
BLIND.
BUT FIRST, WE'RE ALWAYS HEARING
ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT OMEGA-3
IS FOR OUR HEALTH,
PARTICULARLY OUR HEART.
AND TO ENSURE WE GET ENOUGH,
WE'RE ENCOURAGED TO EAT OILY
FISH OR TAKE FISH OIL
SUPPLEMENTS.
BUT HOW MUCH DIFFERENCE DO
EITHER OF THEM REALLY MAKE
TO OUR HEALTH?
LATER ON, WE'LL BE DOING A BIG
EXPERIMENT TO FIND OUT.
BUT BEFORE WE START, DOCTOR
CHRIS VAN TULLEKEN IS GOING
TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT
SUPPLEMENTS.

Chris is in his late thirties, with short brown hair with graying temples and a shadow of a beard. He wears a purple pullover.

At a restaurant, Chris says THE GOVERNMENT
RECOMMENDS THAT WE EAT FISH AT
LEAST TWICE A WEEK, WITH ONE
PORTION BEING AN OILY FISH
LIKE SALMON OR MACKEREL.
HOWEVER, IN THE UK, WE DON'T EAT
ANYTHING LIKE ENOUGH OILY FISH.
IT MAY BE THAT PEOPLE DON'T LIKE
THE TASTE OR THE SMELL, OR
PERHAPS THEY JUST DON'T KNOW
HOW TO COOK IT.
BUT, AT ANY RATE, LOTS OF
PEOPLE PREFER THE CONVENIENCE
OF FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS.
THESE COLOURFUL CAPSULES ARE
ONE OF BRITAIN'S BEST-SELLING
SUPPLEMENTS.
IN 2010, WE FORKED OUT ABOUT
140 MILLION POUNDS ON THEM.
BUT HERE ON
TRUST ME,
WE KNOW
THAT YOU DON'T ALWAYS GET
WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
SO, WE'VE DECIDED TO PUT THESE
POPULAR PILLS TO THE TEST,
TO SEE IF THEY'RE WORTHY
OF OUR HARD-EARNED CASH.
DO THEY REALLY CONTAIN WHAT
THEY SAY THEY DO, AND CAN THEY
MATCH THE HEALTH BENEFITS THAT
COME FROM EATING REAL FISH?
OILY FISH ARE RECOMMENDED
BECAUSE, WELL, PEOPLE WHO EAT
THEM SEEM TO LIVE A BIT LONGER,
AND THAT'S BECAUSE THE FISH ARE
PACKED WITH NUTRIENTS,
INCLUDING OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS.
AND THESE FISH OILS ARE MEANT
TO HAVE A RANGE OF BENEFITS,
INCLUDING PREVENTING HEART
DISEASE.

He eats salmon.

He continues OMEGA-3S HELP MAINTAIN HEALTHY
LEVELS OF FAT IN OUR BLOOD
AND PREVENT BLOOD CLOTS.
THEY'RE ALSO A NATURAL
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY.
BUT OUR BODIES DON'T PRODUCE
THEM, SO WE NEED TO GET THEM
FROM EXTERNAL SOURCES LIKE
CERTAIN PLANT OILS, OILY FISH
OR SUPPLEMENTS.
THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES
OF OMEGA-3, BUT THE TWO KEY
ONES FOR HUMAN HEALTH FROM
FISH ARE CALLED EPA AND DHA.
DIFFERENT HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS
SUGGEST OUR COMBINED DAILY
INTAKE OF THESE FATS SHOULD
TOTAL BETWEEN 200 AND 450
MILLIGRAMS.

Close-up shot of supplement labels appear.

He continues POPULAR SUPPLEMENTS CLAIM TO
MEET THIS LEVEL, BUT DO THEY?
WE'RE GOING TO FIND OUT IF THE
FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS CONTAIN
WHAT THEY SAY THEY DO,
ESPECIALLY THOSE KEY FATS,
EPA AND DHA, AND WE'RE GOING
TO TEST HOW FRESH THE OIL IN
THE SUPPLEMENTS IS, BECAUSE
RANCID OIL IS NOT GOOD.
SO, WE'VE TAKEN TEN POPULAR
FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS AND SENT
THEM TO A LAB FOR TESTING.
THE TESTS WERE CARRIED OUT BY
DOCTOR CRISTINA LEGIDO-QUIGLEY
FROM KING'S COLLEGE LONDON.

Cristina and Chris sit at a restaurant looking at a laptop. Cristina is in her mid-thirties, with shoulder-length brown hair. She wears a black jacket.

Cristina says THE FIRST THING WE MEASURED
WAS THE AMOUNT OF EPA AND DHA
IN THE SUPPLEMENTS.

Chris says OKAY.

Cristina says AND IT IS THOUGHT THAT WE
SHOULD BE EATING FROM 200 TO
450 MILLIGRAMS DAILY.

Chris says AND WAS THERE ENOUGH EPA
AND DHA IN THESE TABLETS?

Cristina says YES.
HERE, YOU HAVE AT LEAST 200
MILLIGRAMS WITH ALL OF THE
SUPPLEMENTS.

A bar graph appears.

Chris says SO, THIS LINE IS THE 200
MILLIGRAMS, AND ALL OF THEM
MANAGED TO JUST GET OVER THAT
LINE?

Cristina says YES.

Chris says OUR SECOND TEST LOOKED AT
WHETHER THE OIL IN THE
SUPPLEMENTS HAD OXIDIZED
OR GONE RANCID.

Cristina says WE FOUND THAT ONE OF THE
SUPPLEMENTS HAD VALUES OF
OXIDATION WAY ABOVE THE LIMIT.

Chris says WAS THAT BECAUSE IT HAD GONE
OUT OF DATE?

Cristina says NO, IT STILL HAD 11 MONTHS
TO GO.

Chris says SO, DESPITE HAVING 11 MONTHS
LEFT ON ITS BEST-BEFORE DATE,
ONE SUPPLEMENT WE TESTED HAD
GONE RANCID.
ALL KINDS OF THINGS CAN CAUSE
THIS OVER TIME, SUCH AS
EXPOSURE TO AIR,
HEAT AND LIGHT.
SO, EVEN IF OIL IS GOOD WHEN IT
WAS MANUFACTURED, IT COULD GO
RANCID BY THE TIME YOU TAKE IT.
THERE'S EVIDENCE THAT RANCID
OILS ARE BAD FOR OUR HEALTH,
AND WE ALSO KNOW THAT WHEN OIL
OXIDIZES, IT STARTS BREAKING
DOWN.
WITH FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS,
THAT MEANS THE EPA AND DHA ARE
CHEMICALLY ALTERED, REDUCING
THE SUPPOSED BENEFITS THEY
PROVIDE.
FINALLY, WE RAN A PRICE
COMPARISON ON THE PRODUCTS
WE TESTED, AND THE VARIATION
IS SHOCKING.

Cristina points to a bar graph and says SO, YOU CAN SEE HERE THAT YOU
COULD GET YOUR YEARLY AMOUNT
FOR ONLY 13 POUNDS.

Chris says FOR 13 POUNDS...

Cristina says 13 POUNDS.

Chris says YOU CAN GET YOUR WHOLE
YEAR'S WORTH WITH THIS BRAND?

Cristina says YES, THAT'S RIGHT.

Chris says THEN, WHAT WAS THE MOST?

Cristina says SO, WE HAVE HERE THIS ONE,
WHICH WOULD BE MORE THAN 300 POUNDS
A YEAR.

Chris says SO, THE PRICE DIFFERENCE
RANGES FROM 13 POUNDS A YEAR TO
304 POUNDS A YEAR?

Cristina says MM-HMM.

Chris says AND IT'S EXACTLY THE SAME
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS IN TERMS
OF THE FATS IN THE PILLS?

Cristina says YES.

Chris says AMAZING.
SO, OUR TESTS SHOWED THAT
AT LEAST ONE OF THE SUPPLEMENTS
CONTAINED SPOILED OIL BUT,
OVERALL, THE BRANDS CONTAINED
ACCEPTABLE LEVELS OF EPA AND
DHA, ALBEIT AT WILDLY DIFFERENT
PRICES.
SO, IF YOU ARE GOING TO BUY
FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS,
THERE ARE A FEW THINGS YOU CAN
DO TO MAXIMIZE YOUR CHANCES
OF GETTING THE BEST FROM THEM.
LOOK FOR ACCREDITATION BADGES,
LIKE THIS.
FISH OILS AREN'T MEDICALLY
REGULATED, BUT COMPANIES WHO
SEEK ACCREDITATION ARE LIKELY
TO HAVE ROBUST QUALITY CONTROL
IN PLACE.
MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE LABEL
SO YOU CAN CHOOSE A SUPPLEMENT
WITH THE LONGEST POSSIBLE
SHELF LIFE.
AND STORE THE SUPPLEMENTS
IN A COOL, DRY, DARK PLACE,
TO MINIMIZE THE CHANCE OF
SPOILAGE.
NOW, YOU MIGHT BE CONVINCED THAT
THE SUPPLEMENT THAT YOU TAKE
IS A GOOD ONE, BUT I'M AFRAID
THE JURY IS STILL VERY MUCH OUT
ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT FISH OIL
SUPPLEMENTS HAVE THE SAME
HEALTH BENEFITS AS FRESH FISH,
SOMETHING WE'RE PRETTY SURE IS
GOOD FOR YOU.
BUT THAT IS EXACTLY THE KIND
OF THING THAT WE LIKE TO PUT TO
THE TEST ON
TRUST ME,
SO THAT'S
WHAT WE'RE DOING LATER...
PUTTING FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS
AND FRESH FISH HEAD-TO-HEAD.

Michael says THERE'S NO SHORTAGE OF ADVICE
IN THE MEDIA ABOUT THE BEST WAYS
TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM,
BUT IS ANY OF THIS ADVICE WORTH
PAYING ATTENTION TO?
OVER TO SURGEON GABRIEL WESTON.

Gabriel is in her forties, with straight blond hair in a bob cut. She wears a pale pink sweater and a navy blue blazer.

Gabriel says IT'S ALMOST
IMPOSSIBLE THESE DAYS TO GET
AWAY FROM PRODUCTS THAT,
IT'S CLAIMED, CAN BOOST
OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM,
BUT I'VE ALWAYS BEEN A BIT
SUSPICIOUS OF SUCH CLAIMS,
MOSTLY BECAUSE WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT ONE OF THE MOST COMPLEX
ASPECTS OF THE HUMAN BODY.

Newspaper headlines read "Echinacea-immune system booster, good for skin. How to boost a battered immune system. 5 of the best immune-boosting supplements."

She continues THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IS VASTLY
COMPLICATED, CONSISTING OF
HUNDREDS OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF
CELLS THAT ALL DO DIFFERENT
JOBS, WHETHER RECOGNIZING
FOREIGN INVADERS, CARRYING
MESSAGES, DEVOURING KNOWN
BACTERIA OR LEARNING HOW TO
FIGHT NEW ENEMIES.
TO GAIN A RARE VIEW INTO THIS
DIVERSE SYSTEM, I'VE COME TO
GLASGOW UNIVERSITY.
PROFESSORS IAIN MCINNES AND
PAUL GARSIDE ARE STUDYING ONE
OF THE KEY TYPES OF IMMUNE
CELL, WHITE BLOOD CELLS,
USING A LASER MICROSCOPE.

Iain is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven with combed brown hair. He wears a blue shirt and tie under a white scrub.

Iain says IT'S ACTUALLY VERY DIFFICULT
TO LOOK AT THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
AT WORK.
CARDIOLOGISTS CAN WATCH THE
HEART BEAT WITH AN
ECHOCARDIOGRAM.
I DON'T HAVE THAT IMMUNOLOGICAL
STETHOSCOPE, IF YOU LIKE,
TO REALLY GET INTO THE DETAIL
OF WHAT THE CELLS ARE DOING.
THINK ABOUT SOMEBODY WHO
DEVELOPS GLANDULAR FEVER,
FOR EXAMPLE.
WITHIN THREE OR FOUR DAYS
OF GETTING THAT VIRAL INFECTION,
THEY WILL GENERATE IN THE ORDER
OF SEVEN BILLION CELLS.
THAT'S NOT FAR SHORT OF THE
WORLD'S TOTAL POPULATION.
AND THAT'S WHY PAUL AND I HAVE
BEEN WORKING TOGETHER TO TRY
AND DEVELOP IMAGING TECHNIQUES
THAT ALLOW US TO SEE WHITE
BLOOD CELLS IN THE REAL TIME,
DOING THEIR JOB.

Gabriel says WOW, SO, NOT JUST WHITE BLOOD
CELLS ON A GLASS SLIDE, BUT
ACTUALLY KIND OF IN THEIR
DYNAMIC FUNCTION.

Iain says ABSOLUTELY.

Three clips show red and green cells moving.

Gabriel says THIS TECHNOLOGY CAN REVEAL
INDIVIDUAL CELLS MOVING IN
REAL TIME.
THESE ARE JUST TWO OF THE
HUNDREDS OF CELL TYPES IN
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.
THE GREEN CELLS GATHER
INFORMATION AND PASS IT ON
TO THE RED CELLS, WHICH WILL
RESPOND IF NEEDED.
WHEN THE SYSTEM IS ACTIVATED,
YOU CAN SEE THESE INTERACTIONS
INTENSIFY.
IT'S AMAZING TO SEE...

Paul is in his late forties, with short blond hair. He wears glasses, a blue opened-neck shirt and a white scrub.

Paul says YEAH, NO, IT'S VERY EXCITING.

Gabriel says THE IMMUNE CELLS ACTUALLY
MOVING LIKE THAT, ISN'T IT?

Paul says YEAH, IT'S GREAT FUN.

Gabriel says REALLY, REALLY INTERESTING.

Paul says I THINK ONE OF THE MOST
IMPORTANT THINGS IS HOW DYNAMIC
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IS, THAT
THE CELLS OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
MOVE AND TALK TO EACH OTHER,
AND THEY ALSO ALL HAVE
CONVERSATIONS WITH THE TISSUES
WITHIN WHICH THEY RESIDE, SO
THEY WILL TALK TO THE CELLS IN
YOUR SKIN OR THE CELLS IN YOUR
GUT, AND IT'S THAT INTEGRATED.
AND THAT'S INCREDIBLY COMPLEX,
AND WE'RE ONLY JUST BEGINNING
TO SCRATCH THE SURFACE OF THAT.

Gabriel says BECAUSE OF THIS ASTONISHING
COMPLEXITY, IT'S INCREDIBLY
DIFFICULT TO MEASURE WHETHER
ANYTHING THAT'S DESCRIBED AS
BOOSTING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM CAN
REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
SO, WHAT DO WE KNOW?
TO STAY HEALTHY, WE NEED TO GET
ENOUGH VITAMINS AND MINERALS,
AND SOME STUDIES HAVE SUGGESTED
THAT IF WE'RE DEFICIENT IN, SAY,
ZINC OR VITAMIN C, IT CAN HAVE
A HARMFUL EFFECT ON OUR IMMUNE
RESPONSE.
BUT FOR MOST OF US, THAT
DOESN'T MEAN WE NEED TO TAKE
SUPPLEMENTS.
THE TRUTH IS, IF WE'RE EATING
HEALTHILY, THE VAST MAJORITY OF
US WILL GET ALL THE VITAMINS
AND MINERALS WE NEED IN OUR
DIET, AND THERE'S SIMPLY NO
EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT TAKING
EXTRA AMOUNTS WILL ENHANCE
OUR DISEASE-FIGHTING POWERS.
STUDIES HAVE ALSO LOOKED AT
WHETHER HERBS, LIKE ECHINACEA,
CAN HELP OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM,
BUT THERE ISN'T YET ENOUGH GOOD
EVIDENCE TO BACK UP THIS
CONNECTION.
PROBIOTIC PRODUCTS HAVE ALSO
BEEN LINKED TO IMMUNE HEALTH,
BUT THE EUROPEAN FOOD SAFETY
AUTHORITY HAS RULED THAT THEY
CAN'T CLAIM TO IMPROVE IMMUNE
FUNCTION, BECAUSE OF A LACK
OF SCIENTIFIC PROOF.
BUT THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE
THAT BOTHERS ME ABOUT ALL THIS.
EVEN IF WE COULD BOOST OUR
IMMUNE SYSTEMS, IS THAT
SOMETHING WE REALLY WANT
TO BE DOING?
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT BY
CONCENTRATING SO MUCH ON
BOOSTING, WE'RE MISSING A
VITAL POINT ABOUT THE IMMUNE
SYSTEM-- THE IMPORTANCE OF
BALANCE.

Iain says THERE ARE AS MANY OFF
SWITCHES IN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
AS THERE ARE ON SWITCHES.
WE TEND TO THINK OF THE ON
SWITCHES MAINLY, BUT THOSE
OFF SWITCHES ARE IMPORTANT.
IF THEY FAIL, OVERACTIVE
IMMUNITY COULD BECOME A PROBLEM.
THAT'S WHERE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
BECOMES CONFUSED AND ATTACKS
OUR OWN TISSUES INSTEAD OF
INVADING ORGANISMS AND GERMS.
SO, A HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM IS
ONE THAT SITS IN BALANCE.
IT'S POISED AND READY TO GO.
THINK OF A CATAPULT.
IT'S AS IF THE ELASTIC IS PULLED
BACK, AND READY JUST TO BE
RELEASED.
THAT'S HOW THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IS
SET IN HEALTH.

Gabriel says WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE YOUR
KIDS OR YOUR WIFE OR YOUR
RELATIVES, IF THEY SAID TO YOU,
"I REALLY WANT TO MAKE SURE
THAT MY IMMUNE FUNCTION
IS ABSOLUTELY TIP-TOP?"
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

Paul says I THINK THE NORMAL VITAMINS
AND MINERALS THAT WE ALL TAKE
IN A HEALTHY, BALANCED DIET ARE
WHAT YOU NEED.
IT'S BALANCE IN YOUR DIET,
IT'S BALANCE IN YOUR LIFESTYLE,
AND THAT BALANCES YOUR IMMUNE
SYSTEM.

Gabriel says SO, NO QUICK-FIX MAGIC WAND
WAVING, THEN?

Paul says NOT AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED,
NO.

Gabriel says WE'RE LEARNING MORE ABOUT
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM ALL THE TIME,
BUT THERE'S STILL SO MUCH
TO DISCOVER.
AND ITS COMPLEXITY MEANS THAT
IT'S UNLIKELY TO RESPOND TO ANY
KIND OF QUICK FIX.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM ISN'T A SINGLE
ENTITY, AND TO FUNCTION
PROPERLY IT NEEDS ALL OF ITS
ELEMENTS TO WORK TOGETHER IN
PERFECT BALANCE.
SO, UNTIL THERE IS SOME SOLID
EVIDENCE THAT TAKING
SUPPLEMENTS CAN HELP US
WITH THIS, I'M CERTAINLY NOT
GOING TO BE WASTING MY MONEY
ON ANY SO-CALLED
IMMUNE-BOOSTING PRODUCTS.

(music plays)
Nuts falling from a package mix with pills.

Michael says EARLIER ON, CHRIS
TESTED TEN POPULAR FISH OIL
SUPPLEMENTS, AND FOUND THAT
EVEN THE CHEAPEST ONES CONTAIN
THE LEVELS OF HEALTHY OMEGA-3
FATS THEY CLAIMED.
BUT DO THE BENEFITS OF EATING
OMEGA-3 REALLY JUSTIFY THE
HYPE?
AND IF SO, ARE SUPPLEMENTS AS
EFFECTIVE AS EATING REAL FISH?
TO FIND OUT, WE'RE SETTING UP
AN EXPERIMENT WITH 60 PEOPLE
IN LIVERPOOL.

In a hallway, Michael says OUR VOLUNTEERS ARE GOING TO
START AN EIGHT-WEEK TRIAL,
TESTING THE BENEFITS OF EATING
FRESH FISH VERSUS SUPPLEMENTS.
WE'RE GOING TO SPLIT OUR
VOLUNTEERS INTO THREE GROUPS.
GROUP ONE WILL EAT OILY FISH,
LIKE SALMON OR MACKEREL, TWICE
WEEKLY.
GROUP TWO WILL TAKE A
SUPPLEMENT THAT, OVER THE WEEK,
WILL PROVIDE THEM WITH THE
SAME AMOUNT OF OMEGA-3 AS
THE OILY FISH GROUP.
OUR GROUPS WILL BE TAKING HIGH
BUT SAFE LEVELS OF OMEGA-3 FATS
TO IMPROVE THE CHANCES OF
SEEING ANY CHANGES IN OUR
EIGHT-WEEK STUDY.
THE THIRD GROUP WILL TAKE
A DUMMY PILL AND THEY'LL EAT
WHITE FISH, WHICH ACTUALLY
CONTAINS VERY LITTLE OMEGA-3.
SO, WHILE THEY THINK THEY'RE
GETTING OMEGA-3, THEY'RE
ACTUALLY OUR PLACEBO GROUP.
BEFORE THEY START, WE'RE DOING
A RANGE OF TESTS, AND ONE OF
THE KEY THINGS WE'RE LOOKING
AT IS SOMETHING CALLED THE
OMEGA-3 INDEX.
THIS IS A MEASURE OF THE LEVELS
OF EPA AND DHA IN THEIR BLOOD,
AND IT TELLS US WHAT PERCENTAGE
OF THE FAT IN THEIR CELLS
IS ACTUALLY MADE UP OF THESE
HEALTH-BOOSTING OMEGA-3 FATS.

Doctors run tests on volunteers.

Michael says A LOW OMEGA-3 INDEX IS LINKED
WITH AN INCREASED RISK OF HEART
ATTACK, STROKE AND DIABETES.
AT THE END OF THE EXPERIMENT,
WE'LL REPEAT ALL THE TESTS AND
SEE IF EITHER THE FISH GROUP
OR THE SUPPLEMENT-TAKERS HAVE
SEEN ANY IMPROVEMENT.
RESULTS COMING UP LATER IN
THE PROGRAM.
FROM TIME TO TIME, MOST OF US
WILL EAT FAR MORE THAN WE
SHOULD IN THE WAY OF FATTY
AND SUGARY FOODS.
NEW RESEARCH, HOWEVER, SUGGESTS
THAT OVERINDULGENCE AFFECTS
MEN AND WOMEN DIFFERENTLY.
G.P. DOCTOR ZOE WILLIAMS HAS
BRAVELY VOLUNTEERED HERSELF
AS A SUBJECT TO FIND OUT MORE.

Zoe says AS WE SAW EARLIER,
HEALTHY FATS AND OILS ARE
AN ESSENTIAL PART OF OUR DIET,
BUT FAT SHOULDN'T MAKE UP MORE
THAN ABOUT 30 percent OF WHAT WE EAT.
WE ALL KNOW THAT TOO MUCH FAT
CAN CAUSE ISSUES WITH OUR
WEIGHT AND OUR HEART HEALTH.
BUT A NEW PROBLEM THAT'S ONLY
JUST COMING TO LIGHT IS THAT
EATING A LOT OF FAT CAN ALSO
AFFECT HOW OUR BODIES PROCESS
OTHER FOODS, IN PARTICULAR,
CARBOHYDRATES.

Zoe sits at a table filled with hamburgers and fries.

Zoe says SCIENTISTS HERE AT LIVERPOOL ARE
FINDING THAT JUST HOW BAD IT IS
MAY BE DIFFERENT DEPENDING ON
WHETHER YOU'RE A MAN OR A WOMAN.
TO FIND OUT MORE, I'VE COME
TO MEET THE SCIENTIST BEHIND
THE RESEARCH, DOCTOR MATT
COCKS OF LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES
UNIVERSITY.
HE'S GOING TO PUT BOTH HIMSELF
AND ME ON A HIGH-FAT DIET
FOR A WEEK, TO REVEAL HOW MEN
AND WOMEN DIFFER.
THIS IS FOR THE WHOLE WEEK?

Matt is in his mid-thirties, clean-shaven with brown hair. He wears a black polo-shirt.

Matt says YEAH, SO, THIS IS YOUR FOOD
FOR THE WEEK.
EVERYTHING YOU SEE ON HERE, YOU
NEED TO EAT.

Zoe says OKAY, COULD'VE BEEN WORSE.

Matt chuckles.

Zoe says I SEE THERE'S A LOT OF FAT
ON THE MEAT, WHICH I WOULDN'T
NORMALLY EAT THE FAT ON THE
MEAT.

Matt says FAT'S DENSER, MORE ENERGY
DENSE, SO YOU'RE ACTUALLY GOING
TO EAT MAYBE LESS FOOD THAN YOU
EXPECTED, DESPITE THE FACT
YOU'VE GOT MORE CALORIES.

Zoe says THERE ISN'T A SINGLE FRUIT
ON THERE.
THIS IS LITERALLY IT?

Matt says THIS IS IT.

Zoe says WE'LL SEE HOW IT GOES.

Matt says YEAH, WE WILL.

Sausages, cheese, eggs, sodas, cold meat, potato omelette, bacon, bread, salads and mayonnaise sit on a table.

Zoe says GIVE IT MY BEST SHOT.
MATT'S BEEN INVESTIGATING HOW
EATING A DIET HIGH IN FAT, LIKE
THIS, AFFECTS OUR ABILITY TO
PROCESS CARBS.
CARB-RICH FOODS LIKE BREAD
AND PASTA CAUSE OUR BLOOD
SUGAR LEVELS TO RISE, AND THAT
SUGAR IS NORMALLY EITHER USED
AS ENERGY OR STORED AS FAT.
BUT MATT BELIEVES THAT EATING
A LOT OF FAT INTERFERES WITH
THESE PROCESSES, AND CAUSES
THE SUGAR TO STAY IN OUR BLOOD
FOR LONGER, WHICH CAN BE
HARMFUL AND LEAD TO TYPE-2
DIABETES.
SO, WHILE WE'RE ON OUR HIGH-FAT
DIET, WE'LL HAVE AN OCCASIONAL
SUGARY DRINK, WHICH WILL ALLOW
MATT TO MEASURE WHAT HAPPENS
TO OUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS.
BEFORE THE DIET STARTS, A
SCANNER MEASURES OUR BODY FAT,
BLOOD TESTS MEASURE OUR BLOOD
SUGAR LEVELS, AND WE'LL WEAR
A GLUCOSE MONITOR, SO MATT
CAN TRACK HOW WELL WE CONTROL
OUR BLOOD SUGAR THROUGH THE
WEEK.
DAY THREE.
DINNER TIME.
OVER THE NEXT WEEK, MATT AND I
GORGE OURSELVES ON FATTY FOODS.
REALLY, REALLY MISSING FRUIT.
AND ON TWO DIFFERENT DAYS,
WE THROW IN A SUGARY DRINK.
I'M HAVING MY FIRST SUGAR HIGH!
ONE WEEK LATER...
HI, MATT.

Matt says HOW ARE YOU FEELING?

Zoe says I'M BACK TO SEE WHAT
IMPACT THE DIET HAS HAD ON OUR
BODIES.

A woman takes Zoe's height.

Matt says 173.

Zoe says AND WHETHER THERE COULD BE
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN
AND WOMEN.
FIRST, BODY FAT.
HERE, THERE'S NOT MUCH CHANGE.
SEVEN DAYS EATING ALL THAT FAT
HASN'T MADE A SIGNIFICANT
DIFFERENCE TO THE TOTAL BODY
FAT IN EITHER OF US.
AND THIS IS WHAT MATT HAS FOUND
IN HIS PREVIOUS RESEARCH.
BUT THINGS GET REALLY
INTERESTING WHEN WE LOOK AT HOW
OUR BODIES COPED WITH
CONSUMING SUGAR.
LIKE MOST WOMEN IN MATT'S
RESEARCH, MY ABILITY TO
CONTROL MY BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
DIDN'T GET ANY WORSE.
IN FACT, UNUSUALLY, MINE GOT
SLIGHTLY BETTER.
BUT THAT'S NOT THE CASE
WITH MATT.

They look at two bar graphs on a laptop.

Matt says WHEN I FINISHED THE HIGH-FAT
DIET, SO SEVEN DAYS LATER,
MY CONTROL OF BLOOD SUGAR IS
ACTUALLY... GOT 50 percent WORSE
THAN IT WAS TO START WITH.

Zoe says 50 percent, WOW.

Matt says SO, YEAH, NOT GOOD FOR ME.

Zoe says SO, WHAT THAT MEANS IS...
WE NEED OUR BODIES TO DEAL
WITH SUGAR IN THE BLOOD
VERY QUICKLY, TO GET RID OF IT
BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT IT TO BE
THERE.

Matt says YEAH.

Zoe says AND YOURS IS ONLY DEALING
WITH IT HALF AS WELL.

Matt says YEAH, THAT'S WHAT WE SEEM TO
BE SAYING.

Zoe says MATT'S RESPONSE WAS EXTREME,
BUT HIS WIDER RESEARCH CONFIRMS
THAT MEN ARE SIGNIFICANTLY
WORSE THAN WOMEN AT COPING
WITH HIGH SUGAR LEVELS WHEN
THEY EAT LOTS OF FAT.

Matt says IT DOES SEEM THAT,
PARTICULARLY IF A MAN IS HAVING
A VERY HIGH-FAT DIET, IF THEY
HAVE SUGAR WITHIN THAT, IT
COULD HAVE A NEGATIVE EFFECT,
WHEREAS MAYBE WITH THE WOMEN
WHO ARE ON A HIGH-FAT DIET,
IT MIGHT BE SLIGHTLY LESS
OF A... A KIND OF A BAD THING
TO HAVE THAT SUGAR EVERY NOW
AND THEN.

Zoe says OKAY, SO, BASICALLY, WHAT
WE'RE SAYING IS THAT WOMEN ARE
BETTER.

Matt says IT LOOKS LIKE IT.

(laughing)

Zoe says OUR EXPERIMENT IS IN LINE
WITH MATT'S WIDER RESEARCH,
WHICH REVEALS THAT EATING A LOT
OF FAT HAS A SIGNIFICANT EFFECT
ON MEN'S ABILITY TO KEEP THEIR
BLOOD SUGAR UNDER CONTROL,
A
KEY STEP IN THE DEVELOPMENT
OF TYPE-2 DIABETES.
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
WELL, THE BEST ADVICE IS DON'T
OVERINDULGE IN FATTY FOODS.
IF YOU DO EAT A LOT OF FAT,
TRY TO AVOID EATING CARBS
IN THE SIX HOURS AFTERWARDS,
AS THIS IS WHEN THE IMPACT
ON YOUR BLOOD SUGAR IS WORST.
BE SPARING WITH MEALS THAT
COMBINE A LOT OF FAT WITH
CARBS, LIKE BURGER AND CHIPS
OR PIZZA.
BUT IF YOU CAN'T RESIST THE
URGE, DO SOME EXERCISE AFTER
THE MEAL, BECAUSE THIS WILL
HELP USE UP THE EXCESS SUGAR
THAT'S IN YOUR BLOODSTREAM.
EVEN JUST GOING FOR A WALK CAN
HELP OPEN UP THOSE BLOOD
VESSELS, WHICH HELPS THE
GLUCOSE GET TO THE MUSCLES
WHERE IT CAN BE USED, AND THAT
MIGHT HELP TO PREVENT
LONG-LASTING DAMAGE.

Michael says COMING UP, THE RED
FLAGS WE SHOULD ALL LEARN TO
RECOGNIZE THAT COULD SAVE OUR
EYESIGHT, AND WE REVEAL OUR
FISHY FINDINGS.
BUT FIRST...

Gabriel says PREVIOUSLY ON
TRUST
ME,
WE TESTED THE EFFECTS OF
MICROWAVE COOKING ON
VEGETABLES, AND CONCLUDED IT
MAY ACTUALLY BE BETTER THAN
OTHER COOKING METHODS AT
PRESERVING SOME OF THE
NUTRIENTS.

In a kitchen, Gabriel says BUT SOME VIEWERS SPOTTED
SOMETHING THAT BOTHERED THEM
IN OUR COOKING METHOD.
SOME OF YOU WANTED TO KNOW
IF IT'S SAFE TO USE CLING FILM
IN THE MICROWAVE AND, IN
PARTICULAR, IF THERE'S ANY
DANGER OF CHEMICALS LEACHING OUT
AND CONTAMINATING YOUR FOOD.
WE THOUGHT THIS WAS WELL WORTH
INVESTIGATING, SO WE DECIDED TO
PUT SOME CLING FILMS TO THE
TEST.
PLASTICS CONTAIN MANY DIFFERENT
CHEMICALS.
IN FACT, THERE ARE OVER 900
THAT ARE APPROVED FOR USE IN
FOOD PACKAGING, AND SOME OF
THESE CAN BE TESTED TO SEE
IF THEY MIGRATE INTO OUR FOOD.
SO, WE SENT SOME PVC CLING FILM
LABELLED MICROWAVE-SAFE TO
DOCTOR EMMA BRADLEY AND HER
TEAM AT A LABORATORY THAT
SPECIALIZES IN THIS KIND
OF TESTING.
OUR PVC CLING FILM CONTAINED
A COMMON CHEMICAL CALLED ESBO,
WHICH IS MADE OF SOY BEAN OIL.
NOW, IT'S A PLASTICIZER, AND
WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT IT'S
RESPONSIBLE FOR KEEPING THE
CLING FILM FLEXIBLE AND
STRETCHY.
ESBO IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF A
CHEMICAL THAT LAB TESTS HAVE
SHOWN CAN MIGRATE INTO FOOD.
SO, WE WANTED TO SEE IF IT DID
THIS UNDER COOKING CONDITIONS
THAT REPLICATED THE WORST
POSSIBLE REAL-LIFE CONTACT.
ESBO DISSOLVES INTO FAT, SO
THE SCIENTISTS TESTED THE
CLING FILM WITH A COUPLE OF
PARTICULARLY FATTY FOOD STUFFS.
FIRST, THEY MICROWAVED IT
WITH SPAGHETTI CARBONARA.
THEN, FOR THE ULTIMATE TEST,
THEY SOAKED IT IN OLIVE OIL,
ANOTHER VERY FATTY SUBSTANCE,
BEFORE HEATING IT.
AND NOW, WE HAVE THE RESULTS.
IN OUR FIRST TEST, WHEN THE
CLING FILM WAS MICROWAVED WITH
THE CARBONARA, THERE WERE NO
DETECTABLE LEVELS OF ESBO IN
THE FOOD.
BUT IN OUR SECOND TEST, WHEN WE
HEATED THE CLING FILM WITH OLIVE
OIL, THERE WERE SMALL AMOUNTS
OF ESBO IN THE OLIVE OIL.
BUT THESE LEVELS WERE IN LINE
WITH LEGAL LIMITS.
FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITIES IN
IRELAND AND NORTH AMERICA
ADVISE NOT TO ALLOW CLING FILM
TO TOUCH FOOD WHEN YOU'RE
COOKING, THOUGH THE UK DOESN'T.
AND INTERESTINGLY, THERE SEEMS
TO BE NO PARTICULAR ADVANTAGE
IN CHOOSING MICROWAVE-SAFE
CLING FILM.
IF THE PACKAGING HAS NO
SPECIFIC LABELLING, IT WILL
HAVE BEEN TESTED TO MAKE SURE
IT'S SAFE FOR USE IN ALL
FORESEEABLE KINDS OF CONTACT
WITH FOOD.
SO, IF YOU DO WANT TO USE
CLING FILM IN YOUR MICROWAVE,
REST ASSURED THAT OUR TESTS
DIDN'T FIND ANYTHING THAT
BREACHED EU LIMITS.
BUT BEAR IN MIND ONE IMPORTANT
RULE WHEN YOU'RE COOKING.
KEEP YOUR CLING FILM AND YOUR
FOOD SEPARATE TO MINIMIZE ANY
RISK OF CHEMICALS LEACHING
INTO YOUR DINNER.

(microwave dinging)
An effervescent pill falls into a tube of water.

Walking down the street, Michael says I'VE BEEN A MEDICAL
JOURNALIST FOR MANY YEARS, AND
THE STORIES I'VE SEEN ABOUT
PLASTICS AREN'T LIMITED TO
CLING FILM AND MICROWAVES.
CONCERN ABOUT PLASTICS AND
THE HARM THEY MIGHT BE DOING US
IS A MUCH BROADER ISSUE THAN
THAT.
PLASTIC IS EVERYWHERE.
A LOT OF OUR FOOD COMES WRAPPED
IN PLASTIC.
EVEN THINGS LIKE TIN CANS HAVE
A PLASTIC LINING.
NOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE
CONTACTED US BECAUSE THEY ARE
CONCERNED, SO I WANT TO FIND
OUT WHAT, IF ANYTHING, IS
COMING OUT OF PLASTIC INTO
OUR FOOD,
WHAT EFFECT IS IT HAVING
ON OUR HEALTH,
SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT PLASTIC?
TWO CHEMICALS YOU MAY HAVE
HEARD ABOUT ARE BISPHENOL A,
OR BPA, FOUND IN PLASTIC FOOD
CONTAINERS, AND PHTHALATES,
WHICH HELP MAKE PLASTIC
FLEXIBLE.
SMALL AMOUNTS OF THESE
CHEMICALS CAN MIGRATE FROM
PLASTICS INTO FOOD AND DRINK.
I WANTED TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH
IS GETTING INTO ME.
I SENT OFF A URINE SAMPLE SO WE
COULD MEASURE MY LEVELS OF BPA
AND PHTHALATES.
THEN, I FASTED FOR 24 HOURS AND
SENT ANOTHER SAMPLE, TO SEE
IF AVOIDING EXPOSURE TO
PLASTICS IN FOOD MADE ANY
DIFFERENCE.
AFTER THAT, I ATE A MEAL FULL
OF PROCESSED FOOD, THAT'S
BEEN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH
PLASTICS.
NOT MAKING ME FEEL GOOD.
THIS IS NOT WHAT I WOULD
NORMALLY EAT.
AND THEN, WE MEASURED MY LEVELS
AGAIN.
WHAT WE FOUND WAS THAT MY
LEVELS DROPPED AFTER MY FAST
AND ROSE AGAIN AFTER MY MEAL,
WHICH SHOWS THAT SOME OF THESE
CHEMICALS ARE GETTING INTO
MY BODY FROM MY FOOD AND DRINK.
AND THIS IS TRUE FOR ALL OF US.
IN FACT, MY BASELINE LEVELS
WERE IN LINE WITH THE UK
AVERAGE.
SO, SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?
I SENT THE RESULTS TO TWO
PLASTICS EXPERTS WITH VERY
DIFFERENT VIEWS.
PROFESSOR ANDREAS KORTENKAMP,
FROM BRUNEL UNIVERSITY,
HAS SOME CONCERNS ABOUT
THE CHEMICALS IN PLASTICS.
THE TWO THINGS WE'VE BEEN
LOOKING AT WERE BPA AND
PHTHALATES.
WHY?
WHAT IT IS ABOUT THEM THAT
WORRIES YOU?

Michael and Andreas sit against a white supermarket background. Andreas is in his mid-fifties, with receding curly gray hair and a shadow of a beard. He wears a blue blazer over a black turtle neck sweater.

Andreas says THE LEVELS YOU CARRY AROUND
WITH YOU ARE NOT DANGEROUS,
BUT WHAT WE NEED TO BEAR IN MIND
IS THAT SOME PEOPLE, FOR
REASONS WE DON'T QUITE
UNDERSTAND, HAVE VERY MUCH
HIGHER LEVEL, AND IT IS THESE
WHO WE NEED TO PROTECT.

Michale says OKAY.

Andreas says A DIFFERENT STORY IS PREGNANT
WOMEN.
IT WOULDN'T BE PROBLEMATIC
FOR THE WOMEN THEMSELVES,
BUT IF THEY HAVE A BABY, IT
MIGHT BE.

Michael says SO, WHY IS THE FOETUS
PARTICULARLY AT RISK?

Andreas says IN FOETAL LIFE, WE HAVE A
ROLL OF HORMONES.
HORMONES PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT,
AND PHTHALATES INTERFERE WITH
THIS PROGRAMMING STEP.
THEY BLOCK, THEY DRIVE DOWN
THE SYNTHESIS OF THE MALE SEX
HORMONE, SO VERY RELEVANT TO
MALE SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT.
AND WE MUST BE VERY CAREFUL
WITH ANY CHEMICALS WE ARE
EXPOSING MOTHERS TO THAT MIGHT
ACTUALLY AFFECT THIS
PROGRAMMING.

Michael says BUT THERE ARE COMMITTEES WHO
EXIST TO PORE OVER THE DATA,
TO MAKE JUDGMENTS, TO PROTECT
THE PUBLIC.
DO YOU THINK THEY'RE NOT DOING
THEIR JOB?

Andreas says THE COMMITTEES ARE DOING
THEIR JOB, BUT WHAT'S MISSING
IS A MORE EFFECTIVE
IMPLEMENTATION OF MEASURES.
BUT WE HAVEN'T CONSIDERED ONE
OTHER ELEMENT.
WE HAVE A COCKTAIL ISSUE HERE.
WHAT YOU DEFINE AS TOLERABLE
EXPOSURE FOR ONE CHEMICAL IN
ISOLATION WILL CHANGE AS YOU
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ALL THE
OTHERS.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT,
CURRENTLY, THERE ARE MOVES
AHEAD AT THE LEVEL OF THE
EUROPEAN FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITY
TO BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT WAYS HOW
THIS CAN BE DONE.

Michael says BEGINNING TO THINK?

Andreas says YES.

Michael says OKAY, RIGHT.
SO YOU DON'T ACCEPT THE ARGUMENT
THAT SCIENCE HAS PROGRESSED TO
SUCH A DEGREE THAT THESE SORT
OF MISTAKES THAT WE'VE SEEN IN
THE PAST, WITH CHEMICALS WHERE
THEY'RE DEEMED TO BE SAFE
AND THEN THEY TURNED OUT NOT
TO BE SAFE, THAT'S JUST NOT
GOING TO HAPPEN?

Andreas says NO, I DON'T THINK SO.
ALSO, YOU SEE, OUR ABILITY
TO EVALUATE THESE CHEMICALS
PROPERLY, TOXICOLOGICALLY,
CANNOT KEEP PACE WITH THE SPEED
WITH WHICH INDUSTRY CHURNS OUT
NEW CHEMICALS AND USES THEM.
SO, THE ONLY OPTION IS BETTER
REGULATION.
FOR EXAMPLE, BY RESTRICTING
THE USE OF CERTAIN OF THESE
PLASTICIZER CHEMICALS IN
PLASTICS.
I PERSONALLY BELIEVE THAT WE,
IN THE FUTURE, WE WON'T BE ABLE
TO LIVE WITHOUT PLASTICS,
SO WE HAVE TO MAKE THAT SAFE.

Michael says MY NEXT EXPERT IS DOCTOR NICK
PLANT, A TOXICOLOGIST AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF SURREY.
HE'S PART OF THE COMMITTEE
OF TOXICITY THAT ADVISES ON
SAFE LEVELS OF THESE CHEMICALS.
HOW DO YOU ASSESS THE SAFETY
OF THESE CHEMICALS?

Nick is in his early forties, clean-shaven with receding blond hair. He wears a purple shirt.

Nick says THE REALLY IMPORTANT TESTS
ARE THOSE DONE IN ANIMAL MODELS,
BECAUSE THEY ALLOW US TO LOOK
AT THE WHOLE-BODY EFFECTS
OF CHEMICALS.
SO, TRADITIONALLY, WHAT WE DO
IS TO TEST THESE CHEMICALS AT
A RANGE OF DOSES.
WE WOULD IDENTIFY THE LEVEL
THAT YOU CAN GIVE TO AN ANIMAL
THAT HAS NO ADVERSE EFFECTS,
NO SIDE-EFFECTS.
NOW, NORMALLY, WE WOULD THEN GO
100 TIMES LOWER THAN THAT TO
SET WHAT WE CALL A TOLERABLE
DAILY INTAKE.

Michael says ARE YOU AT ALL CONCERNED
ABOUT MALE FOETUSES?

Nick says BOTH BPA AND THE PHTHALATES,
WE KNOW IN ANIMAL MODELS WILL
CAUSE EFFECTS ON REPRODUCTION
AND DEVELOPMENT.
BUT, THE LEVEL OF EXPOSURE THAT
YOU HAVE TO THE CHEMICALS MEANS
THAT THE RISK TO YOU IS VERY,
VERY LOW.

Michael says IS THERE A RISK OF THE
SO-CALLED COCKTAIL EFFECT?

Nick says WE KNOW THAT FOR CERTAIN
CHEMICALS, WHEN YOU MIX THEM
TOGETHER, YOU CAN HAVE A LARGER
RESPONSE.
SO, WHAT WE WOULD DO IS WE WOULD
USE THE LEVELS OF THE MOST
POTENT CHEMICAL IN THAT GROUP,
SO THE MOST POTENT PHTHALATE,
AND WE'D USE THAT TO MAKE OUR
SAFETY LEVEL.
AND THAT MEANS EVEN IF THERE IS
SOME SYNERGY GOING ON, WE'RE
STILL GOING TO BE WITHIN A
LEVEL THAT WILL BE SAFE FOR
HUMAN HEALTH.

Michael says IS THERE A POSSIBILITY THAT
ACTUALLY WE'RE MISSING
SOMETHING?

Nick says THERE IS ALWAYS THE UNKNOWN
UNKNOWNS.
AND ONE OF THE KEY PARTS OF
REGULATION IS TO KEEP LEVELS OF
CHEMICALS AS LOW AS REASONABLY
PRACTICABLE, SO WE USE THEM AT
THE LOWEST LEVEL THAT WE CAN.
IF WE WANT TO HAVE GOOD FOOD
CONTAINERS, IF WE WANT TO HAVE
SAFE INTENSIVE CARE UNITS USING
TUBING, THEN WE HAVE TO HAVE
THE PLASTICIZERS THAT WILL MAKE
THAT TUBING SOFT TO ALLOW US
TO DELIVER MEDICINES.
SO, IT'S A RISK THAT I THINK
WE HAVE TO ACCEPT TO GAIN THE
BENEFITS.

Michael says WHY DO YOU THINK THIS KEEPS
ON COMING UP OVER AND OVER
AGAIN?

Nick says IT COMES UP BECAUSE WE DON'T
HAVE A CLEAR ANSWER, AND THAT
NATURALLY MAKES PEOPLE
CONCERNED.
AND, IN FACT, I BELIEVE THAT
PEOPLE SHOULD ALWAYS KEEP
RAISING THESE THINGS, BECAUSE
IF PEOPLE KEEP DISCUSSING IT,
THEN WE KEEP LOOKING AT WAYS
OF REDUCING THAT EXPOSURE
AND THEREFORE REDUCING THE RISK.

Michael says SO, HAVING HEARD BOTH SIDES,
SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT PLASTICS?
AS AN ADULT, I'M NOT REALLY
TROUBLED ABOUT MY OWN EXPOSURE,
BUT THERE ARE CONCERNS FOR
UNBORN BABIES.
IF YOU ARE WORRIED, YOU CAN
CHOOSE PRODUCTS THAT ARE
BPA AND PHTHALATE-FREE
AND AVOID COOKING IN PLASTICS.

A man does his groceries.

Michael says ABOUT ONE IN THREE PEOPLE
WHO EXPERIENCE A SERIOUS TRAUMA,
SUCH AS A CAR ACCIDENT OR BEING
ASSAULTED, THEN SUFFER FROM
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER.
IT CAN BE REALLY HARD TO TREAT.
SURGEON GABRIEL WESTON HAS BEEN
TO CALIFORNIA, WHERE THEY ARE
TESTING SOME REALLY NOVEL
TECHNIQUES, WHICH INVOLVE
STIMULATING THE BRAIN.

Gabriel says POST-TRAUMATIC
STRESS DISORDER IS NORMALLY
TREATED WITH TALKING THERAPIES
OR MEDICATION.
BUT THESE DON'T WORK FOR
EVERYONE, AND THE DRUGS
INVOLVED CAN CAUSE
SIDE-EFFECTS.
HERE IN CALIFORNIA, THEY'RE
TRIALLING A NEW APPROACH TO
THE WAY WE TREAT MENTAL
ILLNESS, AND IT ALL HINGES ON
THE COMPLEX INNER WORKINGS OF
OUR BRAIN.
EVERY DAY, AS WE GO ABOUT
OUR LIVES, INNUMERABLE
ACTIVITIES ARE GOING ON IN
OUR BRAINS.
SIGNALS ARE TRAVELLING ALONG
COMPLEX NETWORKS OF NERVE
CELLS, NEURONS ARE FIRING
AND CHEMICALS ARE REACTING.
IT'S AN INTRICATE SYSTEM THAT
WE STILL DON'T FULLY
UNDERSTAND, BUT ONE THING WE
DO KNOW IS THAT THESE
ACTIVITIES CAN BE DISRUPTED,
SOMETIMES WITH DEVASTATING
CONSEQUENCES.

Armando is in his early thirties, with short black hair and clean-shaven. He wears black-rimmed glasses, a black T-shirt with a white detail and has a tattoo on his left arm.

Armando says EVERYTHING STARTED WHEN I GOT
BACK ON MY SECOND TOUR.

Gabriel says ARMANDO WAS A U.S. MARINE
WHO RETURNED FROM ACTIVE
SERVICE IN IRAQ WITH PTSD.

Armando says I WAS BLOWN UP BY A SUICIDE
CAR BOMB AND, YOU KNOW, THERE
WAS... PIECES OF, YOU KNOW, THE
HANDS AND, YOU KNOW, THE...
JAWBONES AND, YOU KNOW, JUST
PIECES OF THE GUY EVERYWHERE.
SO, SEEING SOMETHING LIKE THAT,
I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY, FOR SOME
PEOPLE, IT HAS AN EFFECT ON
THEM.
I WAS REAL JUMPY, VERY PARANOID.
ALWAYS CHECKING THAT NOBODY WAS
OUTSIDE, AND I JUST COULD NOT,
COULD NOT SLEEP.

Gabriel says EXTREME OR PROLONGED TRAUMA
CAN INTERFERE WITH THE BRAIN'S
ABILITY TO FUNCTION NORMALLY.
WHAT HAPPENS IS THAT THE BRAIN
GETS CAUGHT IN A STATE OF
HYPERAWARENESS WITH
COMMUNICATION NETWORKS,
CHEMICAL REACTIONS, AND THE
ABILITY OF THE BRAIN TO PROCESS
AND STORE MEMORY BEING SEVERELY
DISRUPTED.
THIS IS WHY PTSD SUFFERERS CAN
BE LEFT FEELING ANXIOUS,
AGITATED AND TORMENTED BY
FLASHBACKS.
BUT THE NEW TREATMENT BEING
OFFERED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES AIMS
TO RELIEVE THE SYMPTOMS.

In a medical center, she continues EXPERTS HERE ARE HOPING TO TREAT
PTSD BY TARGETING THOSE AREAS
OF THE BRAIN THAT HAVE BEEN
ALTERED BY TRAUMA.
THE HOPE IS THAT BY APPLYING
ELECTRICAL OR MAGNETIC
STIMULATION TO THESE POINTS,
THEY CAN RESET BRAIN ACTIVITY
AND RESTORE BALANCE.
THE NAME FOR THIS NEW APPROACH
IS NEUROMODULATION.
DOCTOR ANDREW LEUCHTER
IS THE DIRECTOR OF THE
NEUROMODULATION DIVISION.

(soft electronic music plays)

Andrew is in his early fifties, clean-shaven with graying hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt and striped tie.

Andrew says WE'RE TREATING THE BRAIN
AS THOUGH IT IS A WHOLE ORGAN,
AND WE'RE PICKING PARTICULAR
CRITICAL HUBS OF THIS NETWORK,
AND BY INTRODUCING ENERGY IN
SPECIFIC WAYS, WE'RE ABLE TO
CHANGE THE WAY THE NETWORK
FUNCTIONS.

Gabriel says WHICH PARTS OF THE BRAIN ARE
INVOLVED IN PTSD?

Andrew says THERE ARE A FEW KEY AREAS
THAT WE'VE IDENTIFIED,
SPECIFICALLY THE AMYGDALA,
WHICH ALLOWS US TO PROCESS FEAR,
AND THE ANTERIOR CINGULATE,
WHICH IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
BRAIN, THAT DETERMINES HOW
VIGILANT WE ARE, AND THE
PREFRONTAL CORTEX, WHICH
REGULATES MOOD AND ANXIETY.
AND BY STIMULATING OR INHIBITING
THOSE AREAS, WE'RE ABLE TO
RESET HOW THE BRAIN'S NETWORK
FUNCTIONS.

Gabriel says THERE ARE A NUMBER OF
DIFFERENT NEUROMODULATION
METHODS BEING STUDIED HERE.
THE FIRST I'M GOING TO LOOK
AT IS TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC
STIMULATION, OR TMS, WHICH
USES ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSES
TO CREATE SMALL CURRENTS
IN PARTS OF THE BRAIN.

(magnet firing)
A male patient receives transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Standing by the patient, Andrew says THE MAGNET IS FIRING AT TEN
PULSES PER SECOND, AND IT'S
INTRODUCING THIS REPETITIVE
BURST OF ENERGY INTO THE BRAIN.
DEPENDING ON WHERE WE PUT
THE MAGNET, OVER WHICH PART OF
THE BRAIN NETWORK WE'RE
STIMULATING, WE CAN RELIEVE
A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT KINDS
OF SYMPTOMS.

Gabriel says MAGNETIC STIMULATION HAS
SHOWN GREAT POTENTIAL IN
QUIETENING DOWN THE PARTS OF
THE BRAIN THAT ARE OVERACTIVE
IN PTSD, BUT IT'S NOT THE
ONLY NEUROMODULATION TECHNIQUE
BEING USED HERE.
ANOTHER IS ELECTRICAL
STIMULATION.
DR. LEUCHTER IS ALSO TRIALLING
SOMETHING CALLED TRIGEMINAL
NERVE STIMULATION, OR TNS.
NOW, THIS TAKES ADVANTAGE OF
A NERVE CALLED THE TRIGEMINAL
NERVE, WHICH RUNS FROM THE SKIN
OF THE FOREHEAD DIRECTLY INTO
THE BRAIN.
AND THE GREAT ADVANTAGE OF THIS
TECHNIQUE IS THAT PATIENTS CAN
USE IT IN THE COMFORT OF THEIR
OWN HOMES.
ALL THEY NEED IS THIS DEVICE,
WHICH IS BEING TESTED IN A U.S.
ARMY-FUNDED TRIAL WHERE SOME
PATIENTS GET THE REAL THING
AND SOME GET A PLACEBO.

Armando places a patch on his forehead.

Andrew says SO, WE JUST ASK THE PATIENT
TO PLACE IT DIRECTLY ON THE
FOREHEAD.

Gabriel says ARMANDO IS ONE OF THE
PATIENTS INVOLVED.

Andrew says ALL SUBJECTS HAVE TO DO IS
TURN IT ON AND GO TO SLEEP.

Gabriel says THE PATCH ON THE FOREHEAD
WORKS BY DIRECTLY STIMULATING
THE TRIGEMINAL NERVE.

Andrew says WE USE THESE VERY LOW ENERGY,
HIGH-FREQUENCY ELECTRICAL
IMPULSES THAT GO IN THROUGH THE
NERVE AND GO TO SOME OF THE
DEEP BRAIN AREAS THAT HELP TO
REGULATE THINGS LIKE ANXIETY,
STARTLE REFLEXES.
AND WHAT WE'RE DOING WITH THESE
ELECTRICAL SIGNALS IS
ESSENTIALLY REBOOTING THE
NETWORK, AND WE FOUND THAT BY
DOING THAT NIGHT AFTER NIGHT
FOR A SERIES OF WEEKS, THAT
WE'RE ABLE TO ELIMINATE MANY
OF THESE TROUBLESOME ANXIETY
AND MOOD SYMPTOMS.

Gabriel says SO, ARMANDO, WHAT DOES IT
FEEL LIKE?

Armando says THE MAIN AND MOST IMPORTANT
THING WOULD BE MY SLEEP.
I WAS AVERAGING TWO TO FOUR
HOURS OF SLEEP, AND NOW I'M
GETTING A GOOD SIX TO...
NINE HOURS OF SLEEP SOME DAYS.
I'M NOT GETTING STARTLED AS
EASY, AND HAVING A BETTER
ATTITUDE ON LIFE.

Gabriel says THAT'S GREAT.
THAT'S SO GREAT.
SO FAR, ARMANDO'S RESPONSE
MATCHES RESULTS FROM AN EARLIER
TRIAL, WHERE THE SEVERITY OF
PTSD SYMPTOMS DECREASED AND,
FOR A QUARTER OF THE SUBJECTS,
ACTUALLY WENT INTO REMISSION.
HOW FAR DO YOU THINK THIS WILL
GO IN THE FUTURE?

Andrew says WE'RE REALLY JUST SCRATCHING
THE SURFACE OF WHAT THESE
NEUROMODULATION TREATMENTS CAN
BE USED FOR.
WE HAVE TREATED SUCCESSFULLY
CHRONIC PAIN, OBSESSIVE
COMPULSIVE DISORDER, DIFFERENT
KINDS OF ANXIETY SYNDROMES AND,
INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, EVEN
TINNITUS-- RINGING IN THE EARS.
AND I THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE
THE FUTURE OF OUR SPECIALTY,
WHERE WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE
TO TREAT THESE ILLNESSES
WITH VERY TARGETED ENERGY
TREATMENTS THAT'LL BE LARGELY
DEVOID OF SIDE-EFFECTS.

Gabriel says I'M INSPIRED BY WHAT I'VE
SEEN HERE IN L.A., AND WHAT'S
IMPRESSED ME ABOUT
NEUROMODULATION ISN'T SO MUCH
THE TECHNOLOGY.
IN FACT, SOME OF THESE DEVICES
ARE SIMPLE ENOUGH TO BE USED
AT HOME, BUT THE FACT THAT IT
PROVIDES A WHOLE NEW THERAPY
FOR A VAST RANGE OF DIFFERENT
ILLNESSES.

Michael says IN THE UK, THERE ARE AROUND
360,000 PEOPLE WHO ARE
REGISTERED AS BLIND OR
PARTIALLY SIGHTED.
NOW, IN MANY CASES, THEY HAVE
A DISEASE AND IT'S GOING TO
BE PROGRESSIVE, BUT THERE ARE
ALSO PLENTY OF EXAMPLES WHERE
IF YOU RECOGNIZE THE WARNING
SIGNS IN TIME, YOU CAN ACTUALLY
PREVENT SOMEONE FROM GOING
BLIND.
OVER TO DOCTOR SALEYHA AHSAN.

Saleyha is in her thirties, with chin length straight brown hair in an updo and wears black trousers, a black sweater, white jacket and a blue headscarf.

Saleyha says I'M ON MY WAY TO
MEET A GROUP OF PATIENTS TO
TALK ABOUT A CONDITION THAT
LEADS TO AROUND 3,000 PEOPLE
LOSING SOME OR ALL OF THEIR
SIGHT EVERY YEAR.
BUT IF IT'S CAUGHT IN TIME,
VISION CAN BE SAVED.
AS AN A and E DOCTOR, I'VE SEEN
FIRSTHAND WHAT CAN HAPPEN
WHEN A DISEASE CALLED
GIANT CELL ARTERITIS IS
DIAGNOSED TOO LATE.
THAT'S WHY I'M JOINING A DRIVE
TO HELP IMPROVE EARLY MANAGEMENT
AND RECOGNITION AND RAISE PUBLIC
AWARENESS.
GIANT CELL ARTERITIS, OR GCA,
IS A CONDITION WHERE THE
ARTERIES BECOME INFLAMED,
MAKING IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR
BLOOD TO PASS THROUGH THEM.
WHEN IT HAPPENS TO THE ARTERIES
SUPPLYING THE OPTIC NERVE,
IT CAN LEAD TO BLINDNESS.
BUT IF IT'S CAUGHT IN TIME,
VISION CAN BE SAVED.
THE PROBLEM WITH GCA IS THAT IT
CAN COME ON SUDDENLY AND BECOME
DANGEROUS VERY QUICKLY.
AND IN SOME CASES, SIGHT CAN
BE IRREVERSIBLY LOST WITHIN
DAYS OR EVEN HOURS.
IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE
RECOGNIZE THE RED FLAG SYMPTOMS
SO WE CAN SPOT THEM AND GET
TREATMENT AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.
GCA IS MORE LIKELY TO AFFECT
ADULTS OVER 50 AND IS THREE
TIMES MORE COMMON IN WOMEN.

Saleyha and a group of people sit in a circle.

Elder woman 1 says I BEGAN TO GET THESE SEVERE
HEADACHES.
I ALSO HAD JAW ACHE, NECK ACHE,
EAR ACHE AND PAINFUL SHOULDERS,
AND THESE ALL GOT WORSE DAY
BY DAY BY DAY.

Elder man says MY MOBILITY BECAME LESS,
COMING WITH LETHARGY AND LOSS
OF APPETITE AND LOSS OF WEIGHT.

Elder woman 2 says I WAS THINKING, "OH, IT'S
GOING TO BE A MIGRAINE."
BUT IT WASN'T A MIGRAINE.
IT WAS LIKE A CAP OF PAIN.
IT WAS LIKE MY BRAIN BEING
SQUEEZED.

Middle-aged woman 1 says MY MOTHER-IN-LAW LOST A LOT
OF WEIGHT.
SHE WAS VERY, VERY LOW MOOD.
VERY PAINFUL SCALP.
JAW PAIN, AND WHEN I SAY PAINFUL
SCALP, BRUSHING HER HAIR
BECAME IMPOSSIBLE.

Saleyha says THE MOST COMMON RED FLAGS ARE
HEADACHES, ESPECIALLY AT THE
TEMPLES, TENDERNESS OF THE
SCALP, JAW PAIN, AND ACHES
AND PAINS.
BUT AS THE CONDITION BECOMES
MORE SERIOUS, SUFFERERS MAY
START TO EXPERIENCE PROBLEMS
WITH THEIR VISION.

Middle-aged woman 1 says SHE'D GONE TO PUT THE TV ON
FOR HER MUM AND SHE SAID,
"OH, DON'T BOTHER."
SHE SAID, "I CAN'T SEE PROPERLY
OUT OF MY LEFT EYE."
SHE SAID, "IT'S ANNOYING ME."

Middle-aged woman 2 says SHE HAD FLASHING LIGHTS IN
HER EYES.
SHE USES HER IPAD A LOT,
AND SHE WAS LIKE, "OH, CAN YOU
ENLARGE IT FOR ME?
I CAN'T READ IT ANYMORE."

Elder woman 1 says ONE DAY, I HAD A SORT OF
FLASH IN ONE EYE.
I ACTUALLY LOST THE SIGHT
IN THIS EYE FOR ABOUT THREE
MINUTES.
JUST WHITE, COULDN'T SEE
ANYTHING WITH THAT EYE.

Saleyha says AT THIS STAGE, SUFFERERS
SHOULD SEE A DOCTOR
IMMEDIATELY SO THEY CAN BE
TREATED WITH STEROIDS.
IF THEY GET THESE IN TIME, IT
CAN SAVE THEIR SIGHT.

Elder woman 1 says THEY SAID, "SIT DOWN THERE.
TAKE YOUR 70 MILLIGRAMS STEROID
STRAIGHTAWAY.
THIS IS...
YOU COULD LOSE YOUR SIGHT.
THIS IS SERIOUS."

Saleyha says USUALLY, PATIENTS HAVE TO
REMAIN ON STEROIDS FOR A FEW
YEARS, BUT OVER TIME, THE DOSE
CAN BE REDUCED, AND AFTER TWO
TO THREE YEARS GCA MAY EVEN
DISAPPEAR.
BUT IF STEROIDS AREN'T GIVEN
IN TIME, THE RESULT CAN BE
CATASTROPHIC.

Middle aged woman 1 says WITHIN THE FOUR HOURS THAT
WE WERE IN EYE CASUALTY, TOWARDS
THE END, SHE REACHED ROUND HER
CHAIR AND GRABBED MY HAND AND
SHE SAID, "AMANDA, I CAN'T SEE
ANYTHING."
AND SHE LOST HER SIGHT THAT
AFTERNOON.

Saleyha says LISTENING TO THE STORIES
OF PEOPLE WHO'VE EXPERIENCED
GIANT CELL ARTERITIS HAS BEEN
INCREDIBLY MOVING, AND IT'S
HEARTBREAKING HEARING ABOUT
PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR
SIGHT.
BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT
SOMETHING IS NOW BEING DONE
TO HELP PREVENT VISION LOSS
FROM GCA.

In an ultrasound room, Bhaskar says SO, UH...

Saleyha says AT SOUTHEND HOSPITAL,
PROFESSOR BHASKAR DASGUPTA HAS
BEEN TRIALLING A FAST-TRACK
PATHWAY FOR GCA, WHERE AT-RISK
PATIENTS ARE IMMEDIATELY
SCREENED USING ULTRASOUND.

Bhaskar is in his mid-forties, with black hair and a moustache. He wears glasses and a white striped shirt.

Bhaskar says WHAT YOU SEE NOW IS THE
PICTURE OF A NORMAL TEMPORAL
ARTERY.
SO, YOU CAN SEE THE BLOOD FLOW
VERY NICELY IN THE ARTERY.

Saleyha says SO, WHAT DID IT LOOK LIKE
BEFORE?

Bhaskar says LET'S HAVE A LOOK.
THE INFLAMED VESSEL WALL CAN BE
SEEN ON BOTH SIDES, THAT DARK
BAND, AND THAT'S CALLED THE
HALO SIGN.

Saleyha says IT'S QUITE...

Bhaskar says IT'S VERY, VERY THICK.

Saleyha says YOU SEE THE HALO SIGN.
IT'S QUITE CLEAR.
IT'S STRAIGHT FOR TREATMENT
AND YOU SAVE THEIR SIGHT?

Saleyha says INDEED.

Bhaskar says THIS SYSTEM HAS ALREADY BEEN
SAVING PATIENTS' SIGHT,
INCLUDING THAT OF ROGER KAY.

An elder man says I SAW PROFESSOR DASGUPTA,
AND HE RECOGNIZED THE CONDITION
IMMEDIATELY, HE DID AN
ULTRASOUND TEST, AND SHOWED ME
ON THE SCREEN THAT THAT'S WHAT
IT WAS.
THE OUTCOME WAS THAT IT SAVED
MY EYESIGHT.
I'M A VERY LUCKY MAN.
PROFESSOR DASGUPTA, IF I HAD
1 MILLION POUNDS, I'D GIVE IT TO HIM.

Saleyha says THE SCHEME IN SOUTHEND HAS
BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL THAT IT'S
NOW BEING ROLLED OUT ACROSS
THE COUNTRY, MEANING THAT
FUTURE GCA PATIENTS ARE FAR
LESS LIKELY TO LOSE THEIR
SIGHT, AND WE CAN ALL HELP
BY LEARNING TO RECOGNIZE THE
EARLY WARNING SIGNS OURSELVES.

A caption reads "Headaches, tenderness. aches and pains, jaw pain, vision problems."

She continues GCA ISN'T THE ONLY DISEASE
THAT CAN AFFECT YOUR VISION,
BUT IT IS ONE WHERE WE HAVE AN
EXCELLENT CHANCE OF STOPPING THE
DEVASTATION OF SIGHT LOSS SIMPLY
BY SPOTTING THE RED FLAGS EARLY.
SO, IF YOU HAVE A BAD HEADACHE
WITH SCALP TENDERNESS, JAW PAIN,
OR ANY VISUAL DISTURBANCE, THEN
GO AND SEE YOUR DOCTOR
IMMEDIATELY.
IT COULD SAVE YOUR SIGHT.

Michael says BACK IN LIVERPOOL,
OUR EIGHT-WEEK TRIAL INTO
THE BENEFITS OF FISH OILS
IS COMING TO AN END.
ONE GROUP HAS BEEN EATING OILY
FISH.
ANOTHER TAKING FISH OIL
SUPPLEMENTS.
AND OUR THIRD IS A PLACEBO
GROUP, WHO HAVE BEEN TAKING
A DUMMY PILL AND EATING WHITE
FISH, WHICH ISN'T RICH IN
OMEGA-3.
BLOOD TESTS HAVE BEEN ANALYSED
BY PROFESSOR GRAEME CLOSE
AND DOCTOR ELLEN DAWSON
FROM LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES
UNIVERSITY, AND OUR VOLUNTEERS
ARE KEEN TO FIND OUT THE
RESULTS.

Male Volunteer 1 says WELL, I WANTED TO KNOW
WHETHER IT'S BENEFICIAL TO HAVE
SUPPLEMENTS BECAUSE I'M GETTING
TO AN AGE WHERE I DON'T HAVE
TABLETS AND STILL PLAY A LOT
OF SPORT, AND I WANT TO KNOW
IF I SHOULD BE TAKING SOMETHING.

Michael says YOU HAD OILY FISH.

Female Volunteer 1 says YEAH, I DID.

Michael says AND WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF
THAT?

Female Volunteer 1 says UM... NOT THAT FABULOUS,
BUT I MANAGED TO PLOUGH MY WAY
THROUGH IT.

Michael says WE WANTED TO FIND OUT WHETHER
FISH OR SUPPLEMENTS BOOSTED
OUR VOLUNTEERS' LEVELS OF
HEALTHY OMEGA-3, AND WHICH
WORKED BETTER.
SO, WE TESTED THEIR OMEGA-3
INDEX.
THIS MEASURES THE FATS IN THEIR
BLOOD AND TELLS US WHAT PERCENT
ARE OMEGA-3.
HAVING A LOW OMEGA-3 INDEX
IS LINKED WITH HEART DISEASE
AND STROKES.
SO, TIME FOR THE RESULTS.
WILL EATING THE OILY FISH OR
TAKING THE OILY FISH SUPPLEMENTS
HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE?

Michael stands next to Graeme and Ellen talking to the volunteers.

In his mid forties and bald, Graeme says WHEN WE LOOK AT THIS OMEGA-3
INDEX, WE'RE INTERESTED IN
THE PERCENT.
8 percent OMEGA-3 INDEX GIVES US A LOW
RISK.
4 percent, MEDIUM,
AND UNDER 4 percent GIVES IS A HIGHER
RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE.
SO, AT THE START OF THE TRIAL,
MOST PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM WERE
AROUND ABOUT THAT 4 percent MARK,
WHICH PUTS YOU IN THE HIGH
TO MODERATE RISK OF A
CARDIOVASCULAR EVENT.

Michael says WAS THAT A SURPRISE TO YOU?

Volunteers say YES!

Michael says ALL THREE OF OUR GROUPS
STARTED THE TRIAL WITH LOW
LEVELS OF OMEGA-3, WHICH PUTS
THEM AT INCREASED RISK OF
HAVING A HEART ATTACK OR
STROKE.
SO, DID THE FISH OR THE
SUPPLEMENTS MAKE ANY
DIFFERENCE?

Graeme says WHEN WE LOOK AT BOTH THE
OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENT GROUP
AND THE OILY FISH GROUP,
THERE WAS QUITE A MARKED
INCREASE IN OMEGA-3.
WE CAN SEE THAT IN BOTH OF
OUR OMEGA-3 INTERVENTIONS,
EVERY SINGLE PERSON HAD QUITE
A GOOD INCREASE, WITH MANY OF
YOU MOVING FROM THE HIGH-RISK
TO THE LOW-RISK CATEGORY.

Michael says OUR PLACEBO GROUP SHOWED
A SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT,
PERHAPS BECAUSE EATING MORE
WHITE FISH MADE THEIR DIET
MORE HEALTHY, THOUGH IT'S NOT
STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT.
BUT IN OUR STUDY, BOTH THE OILY
FISH AND THE SUPPLEMENT MADE
A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE,
AND THIS CARRIES REAL HEALTH
BENEFITS.

Graeme says THE RECENT STUDY SUGGESTED
THAT PEOPLE WHO PRESENTED WITH
THE OMEGA-3 PROFILE GREATER
THAN 6.5 HAD 90 percent FEWER
CARDIOVASCULAR EVENTS THAN THOSE
WHO PRESENTED WITH OMEGA-3
PROFILE LESS THAN THREE.

Michael says BOTH OUR OILY FISH AND
SUPPLEMENT GROUP ENDED THE
TRIAL ABOVE 6.5 percent.
KEEP THAT UP, AND BOTH GROUPS
SHOULD CUT THEIR RISK OF
DIABETES, STROKES AND HEART
ATTACKS.
WHAT DID YOU MAKE OF THAT?

Female Volunteer 2 says THAT WAS REALLY INTERESTING.
YES, I DIDN'T REALIZE I WAS
IN THE MODERATE TO HIGH-RISK
CATEGORY.
AND REALLY INTERESTING RESULTS.
IT'S AMAZING WHAT A DIFFERENCE
CAN BE MADE IN SUCH A SHORT
TIME.

Female Volunteer 1 says I WILL DEFINITELY EAT MORE
FISH.

Female Volunteer 3 says I'M REALLY PLEASED WITH HOW
IT'S COME OUT.
I'LL CERTAINLY BE HAVING A LOT
MORE FISH, DEFINITELY.
AND SO WILL MY FAMILY.

Michael says THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT EATING
TWO PORTIONS OF OILY FISH A
WEEK IS A GOOD OPTION FOR
GETTING YOUR OMEGA-3, AND IT'S
PACKED WITH OTHER HEALTHY
NUTRIENTS, TOO.
IF YOU'D RATHER TAKE
SUPPLEMENTS, CHOOSE AN
ACCREDITED BRAND AND MAKE
SURE THEY CONTAIN MORE THAN
200 MILLIGRAMS OF EPA AND DHA
COMBINED.
BUT HOWEVER YOU GET YOUR
OMEGA-3, MAKE SURE YOU DO.
IN JUST EIGHT WEEKS, OUR
VOLUNTEERS BOOSTED THEIR
LEVELS.

At a pier, Michael says I WAS REALLY SURPRISED BY HOW
MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE STARTED OFF
WITH SUCH LOW LEVELS OF OMEGA-3.
AND I WAS REALLY IMPRESSED BY
HOW QUICKLY EATING THE OILY FISH
OR TAKING THE SUPPLEMENTS MADE
A DIFFERENCE.
I'M A FAN OF OILY FISH, AND I
WILL CERTAINLY CONTINUE TO
CONSUME IT.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

A song plays MY BOY'S JUST COOL
MY MIND LET LOOSE
MM, DOCTOR LOVE
DOCTOR, I WANT YOU
MM, DOCTOR, WANT TO DO
I CAN'T GET OVER YOU
DOCTOR DO ANYTHING THAT YOU
WANT TO DO
DOCTOR, I WANT YOU
MM, DOCTOR, WANT TO DO
I CAN'T GET OVER YOU
DOCTOR, DO ANYTHING THAT YOU
WANT TO DO

Directors: Declan Healy, Valerie Mellon, Tim Usborne and Michael Duffy.

Executive producer, Jacqueline Smith.

Series producer, Catherine Abbott.

Logo: BBC Studios.

Logo: BBC Scotland.

bbc.co.uk/trustme

Copyright 2017, BBC.

Watch: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor - series 6 - ep 3