Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

“Let food be thy medicine…”

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 22 January 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:0-g

Rapid Response:

First remove the sugar and have a glass of wine

Dear Sir,

The health consequences of dietary habits have indeed been the focus
much debate over the past years. The present one concerns a specific
coenzyme, but of course this is but a small part of the overall effects of

nutrition, which are globally quantitative (as in overeating, or
or selectively quantitative (as in excess sugar in processed foods leading

to obesity, or in possible benefits of semistarvation protein-poor (or is
rich?) diets). The qualitative aspects are also important: folic acid
here), polyunsaturated or mono-unsaturated fatty acid, omega-3), anti-
oxidants, expecially polyphenols in wine or armagnac (1) (I can't resist
self-citation...), vitamins, minerals could all be added to highly
"healthier" food. Why not have the supplements included directly in the
foodstuff by genetically modified organisms in a sort of organic polypill
(2) (polyfood?).

But don't let the leaves hide the forest

Maybe we should first, before adding anything more to our food, which
results mainly in increased prices and more profits for "premium
enriched food" for the predominantly US food industry, ask them to
remove all the sugar that is added, and that results in the disastrous
obesity epidemic in the US, now extending to most of Europe. Removing
sodas which are essentially sugared water and whose main purpose or
result is to create or magnify sweet-taste craving in children would also
be a good idea.

And of course for consenting adults a glass of wine (red or white if
barrel matured) or armagnac with the cheese (3) (on buttered bread or
crackers) brings all sorts of useful nutrients, vitamins, anti-oxidants,
folic acid, etc, in addition to the relaxing feeling of gustative pleasure

which can only lead to a longer, happier life (4).

Bon appétit

Nicholas Moore


1. Umar A, Boisseau M, Segur MC, Begaud B, Moore N. Effect of age of
Armagnac extract and duration of treatment on antithrombotic effects in
a rat thrombosis model. Thromb Res 2003;111(3):185-9.

2. Wald NJ, Law MR. A strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease by more
than 80%. Bmj 2003;326(7404):1419.

3. Tunstall-Pedoe H. Autres pays, autres moeurs. Bmj 1988;297(6663):

4. Evans AE, Ruidavets JB, McCrum EE, Cambou JP, McClean R, Douste-
Blazy P, et al. Autres pays, autres coeurs? Dietary patterns, risk factors
and ischaemic heart disease in Belfast and Toulouse. Qjm 1995;88(7):

Competing interests:
O actually like good food
(and wine)

Competing interests: No competing interests

23 January 2004
Nicholas D Moore
Professor of clinical pharmacology
Université Victor Segalen, 33076 Bordeaux