Doctor heal thyself… Genetics professor reveals how he keeps his health in tip top shape
21:05 GMT, 13 October 2012
Tim Spector is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College, London
Tim Spector, 54, is Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College,
London, and author of Identically Different: Why You Can Change Your
He is married to consultant dermatologist Veronique Bataille.
They live in London and have two children.
EAT A VARIED DIET
I’ve had to change my diet because I travel so much it is unfeasible to be vegan, but it taught me to look further than the steak and chips on a restaurant menu.
There is evidence which shows that the more diverse your diet, the healthier your gut bacteria – which can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
DRINK TO YOUR HEALTH
Rather than not drink alcohol at all, it’s better to drink up to three units a day if you’re a man, or two if you’re a woman.
That’s why I haven’t given up the booze. It’s believed that an antioxidant found in red wine, resveratrol, may help to counter the ageing process.
A SPORTING FUTURE
My grandmother passed down some bad genes – she had diabetes.
I’m aware of the hereditary nature
of the condition and know that I need to keep an eye on diet and
exercise as you can actually switch off these genes.
Cheers: Drink to your health
I’ve always exercised, but it’s better to do little and often rather than one huge blast every week, so I cycle to and from work.
VITAMINS – IF YOU MUST
When I gave up meat I became deficient in B6 and B12, which can be quite dangerous and may cause anaemia.
However, I think that you should only take vitamins if you have a confirmed deficiency, rather than popping lots of multivitamins on the off-chance.
GO VEGAN AND THRIVE
I decided to change my lifestyle after a frightening experience earlier this year.
I was on holiday in the Dolomites and felt dizzy when I got to the top of a mountain: when I got back down I was seeing double.
It transpired that I had high blood pressure. I was given various medications to lower it, but rather than commit to long-term pill-popping I looked at dietary options.
Having read a lot of diet books and concluded that most are rubbish, I decided to try a low-protein vegan (and fish) diet. It sounds drastic but in four months I lost 12lbs and managed to get off some of the tablets.