Patrick Holford, the Poet of Putney

Vitamin C in nature and supplement
Professor Patrick Holford of Teesside University and Head of Science and Education at Biocare is a multi-talented chap: international bowel-whisperer and supplement entrepreneur alongside Patrick Holford the tap-dancer as he delivers a very partial account both of the training of nutritionists and the status of his own nutritional qualifications in a bravura performance on RTE’s The Late Late Show together with his entertaining denunciations of others as inaccurate.

Nonetheless, it seems as if Holford has been concealing some of his talents behind the bushel. At the time of the announcement of his post as Visiting Professor, there was some discussion as to which criteria Holford had fulfilled for that post. There was some speculation it was under 2.1 b – the provision for artistic creation.

the application of knowledge in a systematic and original manner, designed to enhance wealth creation and/or the quality of life (e.g. through technology transfer, policy advisory work, artistic creation…). [my emphasis]

Holford Watch is delighted to reveal some of the Holford juvenilia that would help him to substantiate a case for artistic creation.

Nature always provides a solution,
To help us with our evolution.
It seems obvious to me,
We need vitamin C,
To combat excessive pollution.
[pg 92: The Whole Health Manual, 1981]

We shall overlook the overuse of commas which bedeck those 4 lines as if someone had up-ended a salt-cellar over them. Poignant and pithy, eh? Although, what is all this about Nature providing a solution but somehow falling down on providing sufficient nutrients in the average diet? Or, somewhere, is there a supplement tree that has not been brought to our attention?

Virginia Woolf and John Keats had juvenilia, so does Holford albeit, we are still waiting for the mature work that is the outcome of all those youthful struggles. We’ve all been there – young, gifted yet hack.

Holford, P. (1983) The Whole Health Manual, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: Thorsons.



Filed under books, Holford, patrick holford, supplements, University of Teesside, vitamin c

9 responses to “Patrick Holford, the Poet of Putney

  1. Renaissance Man incarnate, eh? Of course, in addition to his literary skills, according to a piece by Lucy Mayhew:

    he claims it was he who brought punk to [York]. He used to play tennis with bestselling author and theoretical physicist Fritjof Capra. He plays the tambura, a South American pipe, and enjoys mountain climbing. On his mantelpiece, next to a branch of ayahuasca wood – a gift from the Amazonian Shipibo tribe – is a fist-sized meteorite.

    And who can forget that he has recently been kayacking, watching seals and avoiding polar bears while pausing to give a homily on the fate of the Beluga Whale?

  2. Ceec

    Is it a coincidence that it’s nearly an acrostic for “nitwit”?

  3. Oh goodness, that Mayhew article is horrendous. It’s so utterly lacking in any critical analysis I almost hope that Holford paid for it.

    And as for these snippets:

    Patrick Holford, health spokesman and founder of the Institute of Optimum Nutrition, radiates flawlessness.

    …returned his daughter’s free-range rabbits to their cage…

    just, huh?

    Tell me, does he still recommend 5HT for depression? It’s a while since the article was published.

  4. Ceec – there is a time, like the lamented McGonigall, when this stuff can back into genius. However, this is not one of those times, eh?

  5. Oh yes – the suppression of 5-HTP by Big Pharma so they could promote Prozac is still an open wound…5-HTP for depression features on his website and in Food Is Better Medicine Than Drugs.

    One does wonder about some of the Mayhew piece. Does anyone have a non-free-range pet rabbit? Does any child in the UK raise battery-bunnies for entertainment?

  6. LeeT

    In view of his commercial interests and his newletters being criticised by the ASA I think it is particularly ironic there is, we are told a sign on his door saying: “No junk mail, newsletters, salesmen”. See the following article for more information:

  7. anandamide

    ” “You sound like you need some of this,” he says, in response to my mutterings about being a tense type. He offers me three capsules before popping three himself. “These are for fun,” he adds”

    Because pills are for fun, kids!

    How much, if any, 5-htp absorbed by the gut actually gets to the brain to then be converted into 5-ht?

  8. Anandamide – I wonder if you have solved the mystery of the inspiration behind the little Vitamin C ditty…

    You’re not asking Holford for a plausible uptake mechanism for his recommendation, are you? There are references and everything – I’m sure they go up to 11. :-)

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