Individual intakes and levels of nutrients, for which we are dependent on the environment, help to determine our ability to function in a changing world.

We live in an era of hunger in plenty; of overnutrition and malnutrition. In the UK, over half of adults and nearly one child in four are overweight. At the same time, intensive farming, depletion of soil nutrients, and poor diets mean that it’s normal to be deficient now - with serious consequences.

Successive editions of McCance & Widdowson, the authoritative textbook on the nutritional content of foods, analysed the variation in the quality of the foods available to us as a nation (UK) between 1940 and 1991, and found that:

“It was possible to compare and contrast the mineral content of 27 varieties of vegetable, 17 varieties of fruit, 10 cuts of meat and some milk and cheese products. The results demonstrate that there has been a significant loss of minerals and trace elements in these foods over that period of time.”

The range of those losses was from -15% to -76% decrease. Would you like to bet that things have got better in the 30 years since 1991?

Almost 50% of people in the UK recognise some benefit from nutritional supplements, in contrast to many scientists and doctors who deny the simple logic.

Take one example: falling levels of selenium in food and human tissue samples have been clearly linked to falling male and female fertility.

The Nutrient-Toxin Interface is a straightforward concept; the more toxins to which you are exposed, the more nutrients you will use up in neutralising and excreting them. Every year we are each of us exposed to more and more toxins, and our cells have had no time to adapt.

Selenium is necessary for the thyroid gland and for a major antioxidant enzyme; become deficient in it and your Nutrient-Toxin Interface is breached, so you struggle to cope with the oxidative stress from your toxic burden, which leads to inflammation.

Deficient in vitamins, minerals, essential fats, deficient in sunlight, fresh air and clean water too. What chance do we have? These deficiencies impair all our cell functions.

Yes, organic food is better – it has more nutrients and less toxins. Yes, sugar encourages inflammation. You may know all that and be putting it into practice. But you may still need expert help.


  1. Thomas D. A study on the mineral depletion of the foods available to us as a nation over the period 1940 to 1991. Nutrition and Health 2003; 17: 85-115
  2. Barrington JW, Lindsay P, et al. Br J Obs Gynaecol 1996;103:130-2.
  3. Scott R et al In: Fischer PWF, L'AlAbbé MR, Cockell KA, Gibson RS, eds. Trace elements in man and animals-9 (TEMA 9). Ottawa; NRC Research Press, 1997