Gerald Quigley

About Gerald Quigley

Gerald Quigley is a Community Pharmacist and Master Herbalist with skills in the integration of complementary medicines with prescribed medicines. Gerald’s regular media includes 3AW Melbourne, 4CA Cairns, 2CC Canberra, 2UE Sydney, 4BC Brisbane, 3GG Gippsland and 6PR Perth. His early morning, hour-long segment through Fairfax Media is syndicated across Eastern Australia. He is often sought for comment on Channel 9’s A Current Affair. Gerald is a regular weekly guest on House of Wellness TV on the Seven Network each Sunday morning.

Getting old is inevitable – feeling old is preventable

We all get old. But while we may look it, a slight change in diet will ensure we don’t feel it.



There is a significant difference between how old we are and how old we feel. What side of the equation would you like to stay on? Do you want to succumb to the “illness” model, where the “pill for every ill” concept thrives?

No way!! We need sensible food choices, specific supplements and common sense to keep our quality-of-life intact. Most over 50’s are taking medications for elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, arthritic joints, and in blokes, poor pee pressure.

We can do better but we have to look at things to re-balance the health ledger – and the sooner we start doing this the better we will feel.

In spite of what most men believe, the most important organ we have is the 1.5 kilogram of bacteria that forms the gut microbiome and determines how healthy we are, how we feel, how we sleep and how efficiently our digestive system functions.

The DNA contained within these 1.5 kilos is thousands of times more abundant than what is in our own makeup!

What that means to us is that every single thing we eat either impacts positively or negatively on this population. The food we eat is information for our body – choose unwisely and the information causes chaos.

And how much fish do you eat? Tuna, salmon, sardines three times a day, and if needed, krill oil to boost omega-3 in red blood cells. Benefits: brain function, heart function, joint mobility and skin structure – not a bad list to consider!

So, if you take a drug for reflux (called a proton pump inhibitor), that trillion bacteria aren’t happy at all. There’s no acid to help digestion. Partially digested food accumulates in your intestine with subsequent constipation, gas or diarrhoea.

These medicines stop the absorption of vitamin B12 (gives you a fuzzy brain), magnesium (results in cramps and poor sleep) and calcium (causes weaker bones).

Your pharmacist might be proactive in advising you about these things but sadly most can’t or won’t get involved in case “Doctor” disapproves.

In my view, it should be all about you – not egos.

Keep your gut happy with fermented foods like Greek yoghurt (not the low-fat stuff…I’ve never seen a low-fat cow), and sauerkraut, fibre in fruits and vegetables (only 6% of Australians eat the recommended servings each day according to government research) and garlic.

Now that your gut is contented, what else can we do?

We want energy, don’t we? So take 150mg of coenzyme Q10 each night and morning. This nutrient is in abundance when we are in our youth. It helps produce energy at cellular level – that’s every single cell in our body but especially in our heart. It’s like new spark plugs in the car over and over again.

And how much fish do you eat? I’m not referring to that which is wrapped in batter washed down with a beer. Tuna, salmon, sardines three times a day is a start, and if needed, krill oil to boost your omega-3 levels in red blood cells. Benefits extend to brain function, heart function, joint mobility and skin structure – not a bad list to consider!

We also know that poor folate levels are a cardiovascular risk, so there’s the benefit of fruits and vegetables. Remember the 6% I referred to earlier? A portion size is about half a cup – we can do better. Two fruits, five veggies every day, no excuses.

Two fruits, five veggies every day, no excuses.


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