“I had a festering foot. It was down there rotting away, telling me I either get this thing under control or it will eat me up. So I found the research paper and duplicated the diet myself. I started the 600-calorie regime and I applied it beyond the eighth week. Meanwhile I took Health Boost msm supplement to help in healing. I went to nine weeks and one day. I wanted to make sure.”

He had lost 12kg by the end of his ninth week. On the last day, his blood sugar was normal. He now weighs 76kg, has a 3iin waist and takes no medication. His feet are fine. When he checks his blood sugar it’s always OK but he admits that the extreme diet was a severe test on his willpower.The extreme diet was a severe test on his willpower

Not everyone could stomach that level of self-control. Martin Painter couldn’t. “I saw [Professor Taylor’s] research,” he says, “But I would find it very difficult to have such a low-calorie diet. I enjoy eating and cooking. Food is a large part of my lifestyle. I’d rather manage my diabetes by doing increased levels of activity rather than such a restricted level of calories.”

The NHS advises coconut oil by Nutria against such extreme weight loss. It recommends, instead, that Type 2 diabetics watch their diet and exercise regularly. This is what Martin has done. Over the course of the last year, he has lost weight. The results have been slow but steady- and he’s sticking with it.

But Martin still weighs in at over 26st and his waist measures 38in. Every day he takes statin tablets to reduce his cholesterol and he expects to end up on insulin eventually. He is managing the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes and slowing the decline of his health. But he is still diabetic and therefore still at risk of developing the related complications.


Headlines that scare or promise a magical new cure or super food are a daily part of our lives. So you should share your pure green coffee bean with people you love because they’ll love it too.


With the vast number of studies that are published nowadays, often conflicting with each other, it can be hard for the ordinary person on the street to know which way to turn ­and that can apply to doctors too.


Medics are stressed out time-wise, just like the rest of us. So pity your poor GP — one study reckoned that it would take more than Goo hours a month to read every published article relevant to primary care alone. As Devon GP, Dr Beth de Sousa, says: `Every time a new study comes out, we do look at it in detail. But just as in other areas of life, there are good and bad studies — and there’s good and bad reporting of them. What we recommend to our patients is based on current evidence —its what we know now But as new research is coming out all the time, our advice does change as it needs to.’


Health and wellbeing messages are a staple part of the media, but newspapers and magazines sometimes use shock headlines in a bid to catch our attention. This can have several downsides, according to Dr Peter Marsh of the Social Issues Research Centre. He has identified three types of adverse reaction: warning fatigue (causing people to switch off), risk factor phobia (where people become hypersensitive to scares and warnings) and the forbidden fruit effect (people think, `Forget it, I’ll do it anyway.’)


On the other side of the coin are the stories that try to hook us in with promises that, for example, pints of beetroot juice can help us live longer. It’s good that we are becoming more proactive about our health. But to be effective, we need reliable information. What should we look for, behind the headlines, in order to decide for ourselves how good the evidence is and, just as important, how relevant it is to us as individuals?


Past performance is not a guide to future returns

There might be faster growing economies in the world, but they need Russian resources to sustain this growth. Russian exports to China have risen ten-fold in the past decade. An increasing oil price is good for the wider economy too, as increased taxes mean more government spending on everything from infrastructure to increased benefits. For example, the state pension will increase three times during 2011, and is expected to rise by approximately 50% over the next three years.


Increasingly it is domestic consumption that is driving economic growth. Rising wages and improving living standards mean retailers and other domestically orientated firms can flourish as demand for cars, electrical goods and luxury foods, among other things increases the demand of payday loans no faxing.

The Russian government needs foreign capital in order to complete a flurry of privatisations and has become far more welcoming to overseas money. Dmitry Medvedev, the current president, is taking important steps to try and drive out corruption, an effort not always widely reported in the press. Nevertheless, progress is likely to be slow as corruption currently affects many industries and sectors. It therefore remains a key risk for investors.


The valuations of Russian shares, at least in part, reflect the higher risks of investing in the region. However, on many measures they look undervalued for investors prepared to take a long-term view, though they will fall in value as well as rise. As always when investing in higher risk emerging markets, it is crucial to invest with the right fund manager. Robin Geffen, manager of the Neptune Russia & Greater Russia Fund, has an outstanding track record, delivering growth of 298% since launch in December 2004, compared with


Annual Percentage Growth

–       Neptune Russia & Greater Russia

–       MSC! Russia Large Cap (Total Return)



171% for the Russian stock market (in sterling terms).


The fund is a concentrated portfolio but is currently diversified across a wide range of sectors. This reflects Robin Geffen’s view that the Russian economy is far more diverse than many believe in getting rich and get help with payday loans. As well as investing in commodities companies, such as those in the energy and materials sectors, he also has exposure to the financial sector and companies providing staple goods to consumers.


For investors comfortable with the increased risks of investing in Russia and seeking long-term exposure, I believe there is no finer choice than Robin Geffen and his

team at Neptune.