Holford’s Folly

We have recently been bombarded with advertisements from a person called Patrick Holford who makes his nefarious living flogging unnecessary vitamin supplements to the gullible. It’s not surprising, therefore, that he defends the taking of vitamins in large doses for every conceivable ailment that could possibly afflict the human race, and if one happens to be healthy, then he advocates taking them anyway as a prophylactic measure. The problem with Mr Holford’s campaigns is that he is frequently economical with the truth to the point of comedy.

Here are some examples from a diatribe against the UK National Health Service (NHS), in which he criticises the NHS’s stance on vitamin supplementation. He claims that

The essential message is supplements don’t really work. They are probably dangerous and simply not worth the money. If you are sick what you need is drugs.

Which, needless to say, doesn’t suit Mr Holford’s interests. So he goes on the attack.

There has not been a single death from taking high dose vitamin supplements anywhere in the world. In the 35 years I’ve been in this field I haven’t encountered one serious adverse reaction to a vitamin, mineral or essential fat supplement.

Well, this is simply untrue. It is a lie, a porky pie, a whopper and a brazen fib. According to the 2004 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers Toxic Exposure Surveillance System there were 62, 562 instances of vitamin overdose in the USA in 2004, 53 of which were life-threatening and 2 deaths actually occured. I remember doing an arctic survival course many years ago in which we were exhorted not to eat polar bear liver lest we fall victim to vitamin A toxicity, never mind the injuries that might accrue in obtaining the polar bear’s liver in the first place, particularly if it was still in use by the bear. Vitamins can be harmful. Holford goes on

If a supplement has an ‘active’ ingredient (meaning it works) it’s referred to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority, and classified as a medicine, and banned for over the counter sale.

Well, exactly. The muck Holford flogs isn’t banned for sale over the counter. Draw your own conclusions.

But why is the NHS spending money persuading people not to take supplements?

Um, because they’re charged with protecting the nation’s health, perhaps?

I don’t know about you but I am getting pretty fed up with the money that’s being spent on propaganda to keep the pharmaceutical and medical industry in power while we, the public, get sicker and broker.

I wasn’t aware that the pharmaceutical and medical industries were “in power”, but I can quite understand why you don’t like the NHS’s stance on supplements. It makes Patrick Holford broker (well, slightly less stinking rich).

Holford was also responsible for advocating mega doses of vitamin C as a treatment for HIV infection instead of AZT. This should give you some idea of the extent of either his crackpothood or, depending on how generous you are feeling, his voracious appetite for profit.

Since he isn’t a doctor, I can’t call Holford a quack, but if he were he would be. Don’t waste your money on this flake’s rubbish.

Creative Commons License
Grumpy Old Man by Mark Widdicombe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License

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4 Responses to Holford’s Folly

  1. Beechmount says:

    Since he isn’t a doctor, I can’t call Holford a quack, but if he were he would be. Don’t waste your money on this flake’s rubbish.

    Well said- right to the point. One must wonder if this jerk follows his own advise.

  2. Con-Tester says:

    The monumental scale of Holford’s conceit is apparent in his establishing a college of nutrition with himself as chancellor and, as the college’s first order of business, to confer upon himself an honorary doctorate.

    • Mark says:

      Holy cow! I didn’t know that. Why only honorary? He could ge the whole hog and give himself a ‘real’ doctorate. Oprah is as we speak being given an honorary doctorate by the University of the Free State. She must be very proud.

  3. Lesley Rennie says:

    Patrick Holford is a doctor, doctor of psychology and nutrition. I have met him and he is qualified to talk of the nation’s addiction to a high fat and high sugar diet, which is draining people of their life and the health service of its resources. His low-GL plan makes perfect sense and assists many of us to retain 100% health. His 35 years of scientific study and clinical trials into our modern diet has influenced many countries to adopt his theories.

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