Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'Add vitamin D to food to prevent colds and flu', say researchers

Thursday Feb 16 2017

"Adding vitamin D to food would reduce deaths and significantly cut NHS costs," The Guardian reports. A review of existing data estimates that supplementing food with vitamin D would prevent millions of cold and flu cases…

Four-in-one pill 'effective' for high blood pressure

Friday Feb 10 2017

"Combining four blood pressure drugs into a single pill could be twice as effective as existing treatments," the Mail Online reports. A small, proof-of-concept study has looked at the safety and effectiveness of a so-called quadpill…

Long-term vaping 'far safer than smoking' says 'landmark' study

Tuesday Feb 7 2017

"Vaping has been endorsed by health experts after the first long-term study of its effects in ex-smokers," ITV News reports. A six-month study found that e-cigarettes users had far lower levels of toxins and carcinogens in their body than smokers…

A third of adults treated for asthma 'may not have the disease'

Wednesday Jan 18 2017

"The great asthma myth: A third of those diagnosed don't have the condition," reports the Mail Online. A study in Canada found about one-third of adults diagnosed with asthma in the past five years showed no signs of the condition on retesting...

Urine test could reveal if your diet is a threat to your health

Friday Jan 13 2017

"A urine test that can reveal how healthy your meals are has been developed by UK scientists," BBC News reports. Researchers wanted to see if they could help crack one of the biggest problems confronting people trying to carry out studies…

Weekend-only workouts 'still give an important health boost'

Tuesday Jan 10 2017

"Weekend warriors, take a victory lap. People who pack their workouts into one or two sessions a week lower their risk of dying over roughly the next decade nearly as much as people who exercise more often," the Mail Online reports…

Diet rich in processed meat 'may worsen asthma symptoms'

Wednesday Dec 21 2016

"Regularly indulging in a bacon sandwich doubles the risk of an asthma attack," is the needlessly alarming headline in The Sun. A French study suggests eating four or more portions of processed (cured) meats a week may worsen symptoms like wheezing…

Handful of nuts 'cuts heart disease and cancer' risk

Monday Dec 5 2016

"People consuming at least 20 grams of nuts daily less likely to develop potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease and cancer," The Independent reports. That was the main finding of a review looking at 20 previous studies on the benefits of nuts…

'Not enough over-50s' taking aspirin to prevent heart disease

Thursday Dec 1 2016

"Aspirin a day could dramatically cut cancer and heart disease risk … study claims," the Mail Online reports. U.S. researchers ran a simulation of what might happen if all Americans over 50 years old took aspirin on a daily basis…

'Want to live longer? Try racquet sports', recommends study

Wednesday Nov 30 2016

"If you want to stave off death for as long as possible, you might want to reach for a tennis racquet," The Guardian reports. A study looking at the impact of individual sports on mortality found racquet sports reduced the risk of death by around 47%...

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