Baobab: The ancient African fruit that fights diabetes

Paul Gugenheim of Minvita, the company which sells baobab in the UK in tablet and powder form, and is partnered with The Eden Project in Cornwall says: “This exciting research confirms that Baobab is a fruit with extraordinary health-giving properties.

Diabetes is one of the main health issues of our time, and is projected to affect millions of people and cost the NHS billions of pounds over the next 25 years. If a natural, readily available product can be found to be useful in controlling the symptoms of this dreadful disease it can only be of benefit to us all.”

Dr Sarah Brewer says: “Baobab offers a number of nutritional health benefits which are only now being recognised in the West. It carries high concentrates of anti oxidants, energy, immune boosting vitamins and minerals and bone strengthening calcium.

“Rich in iron, high in potassium and containing vital blood clotting ingredients it can even help support the circulatory system whilst the high-fibre content benefits the digestive system.”

But Bridget Benelam, senior nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation says: “Many sources say that it is high in vitamin C and calcium but you have to eat it in a processed form such as a powder or jam rather than the whole fruit.”

She adds: “I am sceptical of how much difference such foods actually make to people’s nutrient intakes as realistically, most people will not eat them that frequently or in large quantities compared to the foods that are a more staple part of the diet.”

Boabab is available from Holland Barrett, Planet Organic and health food shops, priced from £8.49 for a 250g tub of superfruit powder.  £19.99 for 90 tablets. Or order online from


Low levels of Vitamin D leads to Parkinson’s disease

A recent health report published by, says that low levels of vitamin D increases the chances of a person getting Parkinson’s disease in his later life. The researchers from Finland conducted this study on 3,000 people and their research has been published in Archives of Neurology.

Their research states that people who had the lowest levels of sunshine vitamin had three times higher risk of getting affected by the disease as the vitamin helps in protecting the nerve cells that have been lost during the disease. This disease affects the human brain directly and leads to slow movements and tremors.

According to, the researchers used blood samples from their study group between 1978 and 1980. The research was then carried on for 30 years to see if the people had Parkinson’s disease. The result was that people who had low levels of Vitamin D had three folds higher risk of getting the disease. Aging leads to less production of the vitamin D that has a major role to regulate the immune system and develop the nervous system.

According to Professor Marian Evatt from Emory University School of Medicine “However, researchers don’t yet know what level is optimal for brain health or at what point vitamin D becomes toxic for humans, and this is a topic that deserves close examination.”

Good sources of Vitamin D include fatty fishes like tuna, salmon, mackerel and catfish, mushrooms and liver, for example from beef.

Celebrities who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease include Muhammad Ali,Johnny CashPope John Paul II and Michael J. Fox


Rich calcium intake during early years leads to healthy bone profile

A recently conducted study has led to the discovery of the fact that not consuming enough calcium during the early years in life may result in serious health problems like osteoporosis and even obesity. According to, intake of calcium in early years helps maintain healthy bone profile through the life. The study was led by a team of researchers at the North Carolina Sate University. The research study was conducted on a number of newborn pigs. Pigs were chosen as models for the study because they have similar bone profile as human beings and they also experience bone breakage and show symptoms of osteoporosis.

As reported by, the study spanned over a period of 18 days during which it was found that pigs who were given a calcium rich diet had better bone health as compared to the piglets who had been kept on a diet which was not as rich in calcium.

The blood tests of the pigs who had lower bone density and strength revealed that they had different pattern of vitamin D’s hormonal form. “the biggest message is that calcium nutrition, or mineral nutrition as a whole, needs to be a priority from day one. Early life nutrition is setting children up physiologically for the rest of their lives.” said Chad Stahl, lead researcher of the study.

Celebrities suffering from osteoporosis include TV personality Joan Rivers, who has been trying to raise awareness about the condition since her diagnosis.