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Archive: September 2014


Deep-fried Mars bars: no link with sudden stroke

30 September 2014

“Eating a deep-fried Mars bar could give you a stroke in minutes,” reports Metro. However, the study that prompted this headline found no evidence that the Scottish snack can potentially trigger a fatal stroke within minutes...

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High levels of tooth decay found in three-year-olds

30 September 2014

"Tooth decay affects 12% of three-year-olds, says survey," BBC News reports. The survey, carried out by Public Health England, found big variations in different parts of the country. Experts believe sugary drinks are to blame for this trend…

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Cherry juice touted as treatment for gout

29 September 2014

“Daily drinks of cherry juice concentrate could help thousands of patients beat gout,” the Mail on Sunday reports. This headline is based on a small study that found drinking tart cherry juice twice a day temporarily lowered the blood uric acid levels…

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Will a 'wonder drug' be available in 10 years?

29 September 2014

"Wonder drug to fight cancer and Alzheimer's disease within 10 years," is the headline in The Daily Telegraph. This headline is a textbook example of hope (and hype) triumphing over reality…

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Could curry spice boost brain cell repair?

26 September 2014

“Spicy diet can beat dementia,” is the unsupported claim in the Daily Express. Researchers did find that the spice turmeric stimulated the growth of neural stem cells in rats…

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Antibiotic treatments 'fail' 15% of the time

26 September 2014

"Antibiotic treatments from GPs 'fail 15% of the time','' BBC News reports. In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers estimate that just under one in seven antibiotic prescriptions in 2011 failed to treat the underlying infection…

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Skirt size increase ups breast cancer risk

25 September 2014

“Skirt size increase linked to breast cancer risk,” BBC News reports. The story comes from a UK study that looked at whether changes in women's skirt size since their twenties was associated with increased risk of breast cancer...

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Media multitasking 'brain shrink' claims unproven

25 September 2014

“Multitasking makes your brain smaller,” the Daily Mail reports. UK researchers found that people who regularly “media multitasked” had less grey matter in a region of the brain involved in emotion…

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Benefits of statins 'outweigh diabetes risk'

24 September 2014

“Statins increase risk of diabetes but benefits are still worth it, say experts,” The Guardian reports. A large study found the medication lead to a modest increase in weight and subsequent diabetes risk…

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Ebola outbreak to get worse, says WHO

24 September 2014

"Ebola infections will treble to 20,000 by November," BBC News reports, as the WHO publishes an analysis on the likely spread of the disease. The prediction from the US’s CDC is even starker, warning that over a million people could be infected by 2015…

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Job insecurity may increase adult asthma risk

23 September 2014

"People fearful of losing their jobs are 60% more likely to develop asthma," The Independent reports. A German study found that rates of newly-occurring asthma were higher in people who reported feeling insecure about their future job prospects…

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Watch less TV to prevent obesity, says NICE

23 September 2014

“Take TV-free days to combat obesity, health experts urge,” The Guardian reports. This is one of a range of new recommendations from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE)…

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Dry-roasted peanuts may be worst for nut allergies

22 September 2014

“Dry-roasted peanuts 'worst for allergies',” the Mail Online reports. New research involving mice suggests that the roasting process increases the 'allergic power' of peanuts. Researchers exposed mice to small amounts of proteins derived from either…

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Late cancer diagnosis 'costing lives and money'

22 September 2014

"Almost half of cancer patients diagnosed too late," says The Guardian, citing a new report that explored both the financial and health impact of late cancer diagnosis…

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'Angelina Jolie effect' doubled breast gene tests

19 September 2014

“Referrals to breast cancer clinics more than doubled in the UK after Angelina Jolie announced she had had a double mastectomy,” BBC News reports. NHS services saw a sharp rise in referrals from women worried about their family history of breast cancer…

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Mums 'feel shame' about how they feed their babies

19 September 2014

"Mothers are made to feel 'marginalised and ashamed' when they breastfeed in public, according to an international study," the Mail Online reports. But the same study found mothers who bottlefeed also feel subject to criticism…

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Chokeberry extract 'boosts pancreas cancer chemo'

18 September 2014

“Wild berries native to North America may have a role in boosting cancer therapy,” BBC News reports. It has been found that chokeberries may help increase the powers of chemotherapy drugs in pancreatic cancer...

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Do artificial sweeteners raise diabetes risk?

18 September 2014

"Artificial sweeteners may promote diabetes, claim scientists," reports The Guardian. But before you go clearing your fridge of diet colas, the research in question – extensive as it was – was mainly in mice…

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HPV urine test could screen for cervical cancer

17 September 2014

"A simple urine test which can detect the human papilloma virus (HPV) could offer women a much less invasive alternative to cervical cancer screening," The Independent reports. Research found urine-based testing…

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Cosmetics blamed for raised child asthma risk

17 September 2014

"Chemicals in make-up and perfumes fuelling rise in children with asthma," reports the Mail Online. One scientist, the website claims, suggests that women should take measures such as checking the contents of their make-up and avoiding using…

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Sugar intake guideline 'needs lowering'

16 September 2014

"Sugar intake must be slashed further, say scientists," BBC News reports. A new study suggests that lowering the recommended limit to less than 3% would improve public dental health…

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Brain scans offer fresh insights into ADHD

16 September 2014

"Doctors could soon diagnose ADHD in children with a brain scan," is the over-exuberant headline from the Mail Online. The underlying research, based on comparing the brain scans of 133 people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)…

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Could meditation help combat migraines?

15 September 2014

“Daily meditation may be the most effective way of tackling migraine,” the Daily Express reports. This headline is not justified as it was based on a small pilot study involving just 19 people. It showed that an eight-week "mindfulness-based…

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'Rebooted' stem cells may lead to new treatments

15 September 2014

"Scientists have managed to 'reset' human stem cells," the Mail Online reports. It is hoped studying these cells will provide more information about the mechanics of early human development…

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Weight discrimination study fuels debate

12 September 2014

Much of the media has reported that discriminatory "fat shaming" makes people who are overweight eat more, rather than less. The Daily Mail describes how...

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