Can a glass of Montmorency cherry juice give you a better night’s sleep than a mug of hot milk?
In a pioneering new specialist factual series, Channel 4 will be examining the science behind using food as medicine.
In an experiment conducted with strict scientific rigour, patients suffering from insomnia will be invited to attend The Food Hospital where they will be prescribed Montmorency cherry juice or warm milk to find out if their sleep problems can be alleviated or cured by the food they eat.
The programme airs at 8pm on Tuesday, November 15th on Channel 4. The results will be revealed in episode 6 which will broadcast on Tuesday, December 6th at 8pm.
At the hospital, patients will have detailed consultations with a GP, a specialist consultant related to their condition, and a leading NHS dietician before they are assigned particular foods, with advice about how to integrate them into their diets. The series will follow the patients as they undertake their new dietary regime and attend follow-up appointments at the hospital where their progress will be monitored.
Specialist Factual Commissioning Editor Tanya Shaw says: “This is an exciting emerging area of medical science which is exploring whether food can provide genuine remedies for ailments. The experiments taking place at The Food Hospital, under the supervision of the medical team, will aim to reveal the untold health benefits and medicinal properties of certain foods, whilst busting myths about some of the widely-held misconceptions and old wives tales.”
The experts in the programme include: Mr Shaw Somers, Specialist Consultant Gastrointestinal and Bariatric surgeon; Lucy Jones, who is Senior Specialist Dietician at the Whittington Hospital, North London and General Practitioner Dr Giovanni Miletto.
Online, The Food Hospital will seek to put science to the test nationwide. As a fully integrated cross-platform project, viewers will be invited to take part in a scientific study into how changes in diet can improve, if not cure, illnesses and ailments.
Production company Betty CEO Liz Warner says: “This series is really ahead of the curve. Increasingly, forward-thinking doctors are taking an integrated approach to medicine and not just using one discipline, but using diet alongside other treatments. We are really excited about looking at the healing properties of nutrition. Diet has an enormous impact on our daily lives – and this series might even influence people’s shopping lists.”
The programme’s trial follows a recent study by Northumbria University which revealed that volunteers who drank tart Montmorency cherry juice received a significant boost to their levels of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. On average, their total sleep time increased by 25 minutes and their “sleep efficiency”, a global measure of sleep quality, increased by five to six per cent.
Dr Glyn Howatson who led the study said the “exciting” results offered a natural solution for insomnia sufferers and those who struggled to sleep due to jet lag or shift work.
John Heseltine, founder of leading cherry juice drink Cherrygood, said: ‘We are excited that Montmorency cherries – the key ingredient of Cherrygood – has been chosen for this ground breaking trial. We can’t wait to find out the results.’
‘Since the Northumbria University study appeared, sales of Cherrygood have more than doubled and we have been selling out in supermarkets across the country.
‘Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the many health enhancing benefits of drinks such as Cherrygood.’
Some cherry facts
Cherries have been used medicinally for thousands of years. They contain more antioxidants than any other fruit. Its juice is rich in vitamin A and its antibacterial properties remove toxins from the blood.
The Montmorency cherry – grown in the US – has the highest antioxidant level and has been linked to a variety of health benefits. Cherrygood, the UK’s only ready to drink cherry juice, packs more than 500 Montmorency cherries into every litre.
There are currently three products in the range – Cherrygood Original, Cherrygood Light and Premium Cherry. All one litre variants are available in all major supermarkets, recommended retail price: £1.39. Further product launches are in the pipeline.