Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Grapefruit juice may protect against diabetes

Thursday Oct 9 2014

Grapefruit juice may protect against diabetes

"Grapefruit juice 'could be the key to weight loss','' is the misleading headline in The Daily Telegraph, as mice fed a combination of a high-fat diet and grapefruit juice still put on weight. Though their blood sugar levels were lower than controls…

Healthy food 'costs you more' claim

Thursday Oct 9 2014

Healthy food 'costs you more' claim

“Healthy food now costs three times as much as junk, study shows,” The Independent reports. It also reports a sharper rise in the cost of fruit and veg over the past decade compared to other types of foods…

Questions about life after death remain unanswered

Wednesday Oct 8 2014

Whether there’s life after death remains a mystery

“Life after death is a real phenomenon,” Metro reports – but the headline is pure hype. Researchers were actually looking at “near-death experiences” – a very different thing. Indeed, the research involved people who did not die…

Vaginal orgasm 'doesn't exist', researchers argue

Wednesday Oct 8 2014

Vaginal orgasm 'doesn't exist', researchers argue

"There is no such thing as a vaginal orgasm," says the Mail Online, in a story that suggests some women have been diagnosed with sexual disorders based on the "myth" that they can orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone…

Cannabis labelled 'harmful and as addictive as heroin'

Tuesday Oct 7 2014

The potential harms of cannabis may be under-recognised

"Cannabis: the terrible truth," is today's Daily Mail front page splash story. The paper cites the risks posed by cannabis – including a doubling of the risk of schizophrenia...

Eating with a fat friend 'makes you eat more'

Monday Oct 6 2014

Eating with a fat friend 'makes you eat more' claim

"Sitting next to overweight people makes you more likely to gorge on unhealthy food," the Daily Express reports. A study involving an actress in a fat suit found that people tended to eat more when she was wearing the suit…

Green tea compound may improve cancer drugs

Monday Oct 6 2014

Green tea compound may improve cancer drugs

"Green tea could helps [sic] scientists develop new cancer fighting drugs," the Mail Online reports. Before you rush out to the shops, in no way does this study suggest green tea can fight cancer. Instead, research has found a compound in green tea…

Study finds clue to why colds trigger asthma

Friday Oct 3 2014

Study reveals new clue into why colds trigger asthma attacks

The Mail Online reports how "a simple cold can set off a deadly asthma attack: Scientists discover chemical can send the immune system into overdrive". It is well known that in people with asthma…

Moderate regular drinking may 'damage sperm'

Friday Oct 3 2014

Even moderate regular drinking damages sperm

“Just five alcoholic drinks a week could reduce sperm quality,” The Guardian reports. A study involving Danish military recruits found that even moderate drinking, if done regularly, was associated with a drop in quality…

Scientists look into regenerating retinal cells

Thursday Oct 2 2014

Stem cells harvested from eyes could treat blindness

'Scientists … have discovered stem cells in the human eye which can be transformed into light sensitive cells and potentially reverse blindness' The Daily Telegraph reports. The research is still at a very early stage but does show promising potential…

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

Superfoods: the evidence

We examine the evidence behind the health claims of the most popular superfoods

Clinical trials and medical research

Clinical trials explained, including how to take part in one and why medical research is important

Atlas of risk

NHS Atlas of Risk

Compare cause of death and health risks based on age, sex and where you live

Strength and Flex

Download our Strength and flexibility podcast series and get a free personal trainer