Victoria Lambert journalist - portrait photo

Welcome to my website Under the Scope where you can focus on health matters, find facts or listen to the heartbeat of life-in-general. Join the blog debates, browse the archives, engage, enjoy.

Written by  |  January 19, 2018  |  Life  |  No Comments Yet

My summer of fasting

TS Eliot was wrong. September – actually – is the cruellest month. All that summer bonhomie dissipated the instant you try to do up your winter jeans. But not this year, not for me. Because while you were all off on holiday having a good time, I was undertaking a trial of Prolon, the new fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) programme, which has been designed to kickstart the body at its cellular level, reduce the chance of chronic disease and potentially improve longevity. On this type of fast – a scientifically designed pre-packed micro diet consisting mostly of very low calories soups – you can lose weight, especially from the abdomen, and see levels of cholesterol and other risk factors for disease fall.

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Written by  |  November 17, 2017  |  Blog  |  No Comments Yet

Phil Vickery recipes a treat for type 2 diabetes

Phil Vickery is a great chef and an all round nice guy so it was a pleasure to talk to him for the Daily Telegraph about his new recipe book which offers inspiring new recipes for anyone with type 2 diabetes. It’s an incredibly timely offering. Almost four million adults in England now have diabetes, of whom almost a million are undiagnosed, according to Diabetes UK. The vast majority of cases are Type 2 diabetes, which is fuelled by unhealthy lifestyles, with two in three adults overweight or obese.

And earlier this month, the Department of Health unveiled new plans for GPs offer every single person aged 40 and over an NHS diabetes check. As a result, millions could be ordered to go on strict diets. New recommendations from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) say “intensive lifestyle change programmes” will be routinely offered to those whose weight or habits is jeopardising their health. These would include slimming classes, fitness sessions and lifestyle coaching, with places prioritised for 1.7 million people whose blood sugar levels puts them in greatest danger.

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Written by  |  February 12, 2016  |  Blog, Health  |  No Comments Yet

A triumph of the heart (and an award)

Dawn Faizey-Webster is a remarkable woman who I was lucky enough to interview in 2014 for the Daily Telegraph. Last night, that account was commended in the Guild of Health Writers Award, which was really pleasing.

Of course, it is nice to get recognised by your peers for your work, but mostly it gives me a chance to highlight her story one more time.

Dawn has Locked-In Syndrome; she cannot speak or move much more than a slight lift and turn of the neck, or control more than her intensely expressive left eye, and its immediate facial muscles. Yet she has wit and warmth, and her intelligence is undimmed. When we spoke, Dawn had just been awarded a 2:2 honours degree in history, a course she studied painstakingly over six years, using a sophisticated computer programme that picks up words when she stares at them for a sufficient number of seconds.

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Written by  |  September 18, 2015  |  Blog, Lambert Likes  |  No Comments Yet

Flesh Wounds and family secrets

Flesh Wounds is a memoir written by Richard Glover, a best-selling author, presenter on 702 ABC Sydney, very funny chap and also – full disclosure – my much-loved cousin. Currently available in Australia or via Amazon, its appeal is worldwide, I think, partly because the subject matter takes us with Richard to Lancashire on his search for his English roots. Partly because the elements explored in the book are so universal: family; love; abuse; Tolkein. (Note to publishers: how about an English edition?)

The book itself is an ‘anthropological’ exploration through Richard’s family; a mapping of the historical whys and wherefores as well as the practical geography of his childhood in suburban Australia with parents who drank, partied, argued and parted, all the time seeming to ignore the small boy who they happened to share a house with.

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Written by  |  December 16, 2014  |  Guest blog  |  No Comments Yet

Walkactive: reinventing my stride

Nicola Hill visited Joanna Hall’s Walkactive Training Camp in Spain and tells Under the Scope of the four days that changed the way she walked (and talked.)

“It’s not a ballet point, it’s not a closed ankle, it’s an open ankle”. As I repeated this mantra to myself I wondered how many Spanish women spent their holidays in English car parks learning how to walk properly. For this is what I was doing in Spain, trudging up and down a piece of gravel wasteland, concentrating on my strides. I did however have a beautiful view of the Mediterranean sea as I tried to ensure my foot was flexing, my hips were lifted, my shoulders were down and my stomach was doing something called an Ab-J. All these instructions were part of the system of Walkactive, a very different way of moving that I was trying to learn over a four day break in La Manga, Spain.

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A triumph of the heart (and an award)
February 12, 2016  |  No Comments Yet

Dawn Faizey-Webster is a remarkable woman who I was lucky enough to interview in 2014 for the
Read more

My summer of fasting
January 19, 2018  |  No Comments Yet

TS Eliot was wrong. September – actually - is the cruellest month. All that summer bonhomie dissipated
Read more

Fashion – the smart choice for schools
April 2, 2012  |  2 Comments
You may have spent the past 10 years wrangling them into a uniform or wading through bedroom
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World of Tanni Grey-Thompson, former Paralympic champion
July 27, 2012  |  No Comments Yet

As the Olympic Games get underway tonight, a fascinating look into the mind and life of one
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Sanex Zero% Anti-Pollution Shower Gel

Trying to find the balance between feeling properly clean and not stripping the skin of natural oils isn’t easy, but the new Sanex Zero% Anti-Pollution range seems to fit the bill. Normally a fan of using cleansing […]

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We need to talk about stem cells

For patients with leukemia – and other blood conditions – stem cell transplants can mean the difference between life and death. Stems cells are used in patients with leukemia where the bone marrow is producing disease cells, has been damaged during chemotherapy or has spontaneously failed so no longer produces the cells we need. Stem cells can replace themselves and replace cells in those tissues which are damaged, worn out or have just died.

But 18 years since the first cord blood transplants were performed in the UK, public knowledge on this life-saving process is still lacking. A study of over 4,000 people conduced by YouGov found that because of the lack of awareness that umbilical cord blood and tissue can be stored there is a major shortage of stem cells in the UK. Just 9% of patients stored cord blood when they gave birth and it is estimated that 400 patients each year miss out on treatment due to a lack of suitable stem cell donors.

3-4 cups of coffee a day may help you live longer

Drinking coffee is “more likely to benefit health than to harm it,” say researchers from the University of Southampton reported in the BMJ in November 2017 in an umbrella review of 201 studies. It found coffee was consistently associated with a lower risk of death from all causes and from heart disease, with the largest reduction in relative risk of death at three cups a day, compared with non-coffee drinkers. Increasing consumption to above three cups a day was not associated with harm, but the beneficial effect was less pronounced.