TV doctor cautious about the latest health and wellbeing trends

Last year we were Fitbit obsessed, spinning took off, and everyone was getting personalised vitamin supplements. But this year, CBD oil sits alongside veganism as a megatrend to watch, says Dr Sara Kayat of GPDQ, the UK’s first GP-on-demand-app and resident GP on ITV This Morning's ‘Second Opinion’.

She emphasises to patients that CBD does not have the psychoactive effect of THC and as such is one of the few cannabinoids that is not considered a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

But she is cautious about the way CBD is promoted.

“CBD has been hailed a cure-all, with claims of improving Alzheimer’s, anxiety and arthritis,” she says. “However, the studies thus far are minimal in terms of human trials.

“I suspect that the public’s perception of the efficacy of CBD in managing the many health problems it has been claimed to resolve is significantly unbalanced compared to the systematic reviews and studies that have thus far been conducted.

“Remember we need more robust data to understand its properties and how they affect humans to be able to assess its future therapeutic success.”

Dr Kayat is also cautious about personalised diets. “There are companies offering a mouth swab to analyse your DNA – and then they recommend a food plan based on body shape, fat storage and cholesterol level.

“There is a lack of evidence to show these DNA tests really work, so I wouldn’t rely on this to determine your diet,” she warns patients. “You don’t need a DNA test to make a diet work for you. The usual reason that diets don’t work for people is because they are unsustainable, forcing you to remove all carbohydrates, only eat green vegetables or juice everything to within an inch of its life.

“Ultimately, we know that for most people (health conditions permitting) it is a simple matter of input versus output, and the skill of losing weight is about finding a diet that matches your needs rather than necessarily matching your DNA.”

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