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Old Sun, Oct-30-11, 13:15
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Default New UK TV Series: The Food Hospital

New series examining the science behind using food in medicine, tackling patients' health problems through the food they eat.

Channel 4, Tuesday 1st November, 8pm:

The Food Hospital

In a pioneering new eight-part specialist factual series, Channel 4 examines the science behind using food as medicine. In experiments conducted following the latest scientific evidence, patients suffering from a range of medical conditions and symptoms are invited to attend The Food Hospital where they are prescribed specific food treatment programmes to find out if their health problems can be alleviated or cured by the food they eat.

At the hospital, patients can have detailed consultations with a GP, a specialist consultant related to their condition, and a leading NHS dietitian before being assigned particular foods, with advice about how to integrate them into their diets or leave them out completely. The Food Hospital follows the patients as they undertake their new food treatment programmes and attend follow-up appointments to monitor their progress. The experiments taking place at The Food Hospital, under the supervision of the medical team, aim to reveal the untold health benefits and medicinal properties of certain foods, whilst busting myths about some of the widely-held misconceptions and old wives' tales. The patients in the series have conditions ranging from common problems like chronic fatigue and eczema, and the more unusual such as fish odour syndrome and gout, to life-threatening diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and breast cancer.

The experts in the programme include: Mr Shaw Somers, Specialist Consultant Gastrointestinal and Bariatric surgeon; Lucy Jones, who is Senior Specialist Dietitian at the Whittington Hospital, North London and General Practitioner Dr Giovanni Miletto.

Online, The Food Hospital seeks to put this emerging area of medical science to the test nationwide by inviting viewers to take part in scientific studies conducted by two British universities. These will constitute valuable research into how simple foodstuffs could improve illnesses, on a national scale.

In the first programme, the doctors meet 24-year-old Lauren, who has been suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) since she was 15. Her case is so extreme, with symptoms such as weight gain, fertility problems and most noticeably, excessive body and facial hair, that Lauren fears living as a virtual recluse forever unless she can find help. Crippling migraines are destroying 7-year-old Harvey's life, and his mother will try anything to help her son. Twenty-five-year-old twin sisters Kristen and Maren are trying to use food as a weapon against breast cancer. And can 44-year-old single dad Chris turn around the world's fifth biggest killer, Type 2 diabetes, with food?

But it's not just about treating patients. Dr Pixie McKenna (Embarrassing Bodies) investigates the truth about ‘superfoods'. And The Food Hospital launches a series of ambitious nationwide ‘food as medicine' trials, kicking off this week to see if chocolate can help fight high blood pressure.
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