Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Device That Will Show If You'll Have a Long Life; Can a Machine Really Tell Whether You Are Getting the Right Nutrition to Fight Disease? Alex Hindhaugh Investigates the 'Antioxidant Scanner'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Device That Will Show If You'll Have a Long Life; Can a Machine Really Tell Whether You Are Getting the Right Nutrition to Fight Disease? Alex Hindhaugh Investigates the 'Antioxidant Scanner'

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEX HINDHAUGH

TO LOOK at, the BioPhotonic scanner is not remarkable. Sitting on the desktop, with a blue light emerging from a lens at one end, it could be some sort of slide projector. But what it can do is truly remarkable and could have longterm consequences for our health.

By shining that low-energy blue laser light onto your hand for three minutes, the machine can measure the presence and concentration in the body of antioxidant nutrients called carotenoids. It is the world's first noninvasive measuring tool to give immediate results for "skin sarotenoid score", offering a reliable indication of the body's antioxidant status.

Antioxidants are vitamin-based molecules that are believed to neutralise free radicals - harmful particles in the blood. Having low levels predisposes people to conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

I volunteered to be tested, thinking I would sail through with flying colours. I eat lots of vegetables and a bit of fruit.

But it is not just a question of the quantities, says Dr Nyjon Eccles, the doctor in whose Harley Street clinic the scanner resides. "You should choose organic produce, because this has been shown to contain higher levels of antioxidants.

"And how much goodness your body derives from fruit and vegetables depends on how they are cooked. If you eat them raw, you get all the antioxidants.

Steamed vegetables retain 90 per cent. When boiled, that figure drops to 15-20 per cent, while microwaving leaves only two-to-five per cent."

Stress and pollution further deplete the body's antioxidant levels.

The skin carotenoid score, Dr Eccles says, is more accurate than a blood test - it looks at levels that have accumulated over six weeks.

Carotenoids are a family of antioxidants, a particular group of phytochemicals which give fruit and vegetables their colouring. …

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