Leigh Matthews

Writer & Nutritional Therapist

Hi, I’m Leigh Matthews, a writer and contributor to Gene Food with a background in nutrition and a passion for accessible health communication.

Leigh holds degrees in English and Philosophy (University of York, UK, 2005) and Nutritional Therapy (University of West London, UK, 2011). She has been working as a medical writer since 2010 and in the natural health industry since 2006 and is the author of Eat to Beat Acne: how a plant-based diet can help heal your skin, as well as four novels.

As an active, athletic teenager who was also bookish, Leigh developed an early appreciation for the relationship between healthy food choices and both physical and mental performance. Her passion for nutrition, ethics, environmentalism, and food justice grew during her first degree and she soon made the switch to veganism. This was closely followed by the pursuit of a nutrition degree focusing on functional medicine.

During her second degree, Leigh began to see a big problem and an important challenge. The potential benefits of most nutrition research remained largely unrealized by the wider public. In fact, anyone interested in changing their diet to enhance their health had little chance of understanding most of the articles published in medical journals. Worse, those same individuals were the target for hypermarketed ‘health’ fads and dietary gimmicks with no sound basis in scientific fact.

Responding to this disconnect, Leigh began to carve out a career in health communications. “Evidence-based” remains her mantra and while she remains just as excited about amino acids and aromatic hydrocarbons as ever, Leigh also knows to quiet her inner nerd and instead talk about common household toxins and proteins.

Scientific breakthroughs are exciting, but if they remain the purview of a select few with specialized education, what good do they really do? Leigh is also mindful that, historically, medical research has largely ignored huge segments of the population, with disastrous consequences. Where it was once common practice to generalize the results of a small study looking at mainly healthy, young, white, men to all people, we now know that there are significant differences in how individuals respond to a variety of health interventions. One man’s cure really could be another’s poison.

This brings us to nutriepigenetics, the confluence of nutrition and genetics, two subjects ripe for misunderstanding, hyperbole, and manipulation, but also with the potential to dramatically enhance human health through personalized medicine. Nutrigenomics is where painstaking science rubs up against our daily lives, in the foods we eat, the supplements we take, and the steps we take to limit our exposure to environmental and household toxins.

We live in incredible times, where we have access to more information than ever before. Personal genetic testing gives us an unprecedented ability to take control of our own health, but only if we understand the information that is available and are able to trust its provenance.

Leigh believes that transparency, access to information, and clear communication are vital for great health and strong, resilient, compassionate communities. That’s why she is happy to work with John and colleagues at Gene Food to build the Leaf Score directory of non-toxic household and personal care products, and to explore the latest science in nutrition and epigenetics. For more on Leigh’s current writing projects and books, check out her personal website.

Leigh Matthews's Latest Articles

best MCT oil for ketosis
November 6, 2019

What is the Best MCT Oil for Ketosis?

John and Aaron have spilled a lot of digital ink on the topics of ketosis, coconut oil, and MCT oil on the site and even dedicated the first episode of… Read More

Woman holding a shower head with shower water filter
November 5, 2019

Ranking the 5 Best Shower Filters for 2020

So, you read our brief, but to the point blog about why a shower filter is a must in a health conscious home and now you’re ready to pull the… Read More

How to kill senescent zombie cells
October 9, 2019

Why Senescent “Zombie” Cells Should be on Your Radar and How to Kill Them

All the cells in your body will become senescent at some point in your life, with the exception of cancer cells. But what are senescent cells and why do people… Read More

5 foods that cause acne
October 5, 2019

Want Clear Skin? Avoid These 5 Acne Causing Foods

When it comes to the most common foods that cause acne, chocolate gets a particularly bad rap. Is that reputation fair though? In this article I’ll dig into five foods… Read More

Top 3 causes of acne from a science perspective
October 4, 2019

Breaking Down the 3 Big Causes of Acne

We all want clearer skin, right? So, in the name of clearing up acne and associated acne myths, let’s get nerdy with a deep dive into the science of zits…. Read More

October 1, 2019

The Best BCAA Supplements for Athletes

In my post in the benefits and risks of BCAA supplements, I did a deep dive into why some people swear by BCAA supplements and also highlighted the potential risks… Read More

pregnant woman holding stomach
September 24, 2019

Chlorinated water and pregnancy – how it affects fetal development and why genes matter

If you’re interested in making your water safer for you and your family, you probably saw this study which found unsafe levels of many carcinogens in United States drinking water…. Read More

September 19, 2019

How to Avoid Eating Trans Fats – and why it Matters

Trans fats are a particularly dangerous type of fat that are great at preserving the shelf life of processed foods, but terrible for your cardiovascular health. Sadly, though, the Food… Read More

April 26, 2019

Cooking Oil Power Rankings: Which Brands are the Healthiest and Greenest?

When it comes to choosing a cooking oil, there’s a plethora of considerations – raw ingredients, smoke point, if or how the oil was refined, etc. – but we often… Read More

April 1, 2019

What Oil is Healthiest for Cooking?

If, like me, your kitchen cupboards are full of different types of oil, but you automatically reach for the olive oil when cooking, it’s time to shake things up. Knowing… Read More

February 11, 2019

To Bleach or Not to Bleach, That is the Question

Look under the sink in almost any home in America and you’ll find a bottle of bleach. This chemical can kill microorganisms and remove or lighten color, keeping your whites… Read More

February 11, 2019

Should You Pay Attention to California’s Cancer Warnings?

If you’ve bought any household products recently, chances are you’ve noticed that some items carry a warning for California residents. If you live in California, you’re undoubtedly aware of the… Read More

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