Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Do high doses of vitamin D increase falls risk in the elderly?

Wednesday Jan 6 2016

"Giving pensioners high doses of vitamin D to strengthen their leg bones may put them at higher risk of a fall," The Times reports, after a Swiss study suggested high doses of the supplement offer no benefits, but do increase the risk of falling…

Vitamin D deficiency linked to irritable bowel syndrome

Wednesday Dec 23 2015

"Is vitamin D the key to treating IBS? 82% of sufferers 'are deficient'," the Mail Online reports. However, the small study that noticed the trend did not find that giving vitamin D supplements to people with IBS helped with symptoms…

Last line in antibiotic resistance under threat - News update

Tuesday Dec 22 2015

"The last line of antibiotic defence against some serious infections is under threat," The Guardian reports, after researchers found that E.coli bacteria from food products in China has developed resistance to colistin, a polymixin antibiotic…

Antidepressant use in pregnancy 'linked to childhood autism'

Tuesday Dec 15 2015

"Taking antidepressants during pregnancy almost doubles the risk of children developing autism," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers say it is possible that chemicals present in antidepressants could interfere with child development…

Is paracetamol any good for treating flu?

Monday Dec 14 2015

"Paracetamol will not ease the symptoms of flu, according to a study by doctors in New Zealand," The Times reports. A small study suggests the widely used painkiller does not help combat the overall effects of infection...

Molecule removed Alzheimer’s plaques from brains of mice

Wednesday Dec 9 2015

"A molecule can clear Alzheimer's plaques from the brains of mice and improve learning and memory, Korean scientists have found in early tests," BBC News reports. However, the Daily Express’s claim of a "wonder pill" are premature…

Antibiotic use in farm animals 'threatens human health'

Wednesday Dec 9 2015

"Farmers need to dramatically cut the amount of antibiotics used in agriculture, because of the threat to human health, a report says," according to BBC News. The concern is agricultural antibiotic use is driving up levels…

Researchers investigate the 'pathways of pain'

Monday Dec 7 2015

"Breakthrough could lead to 'super painkillers'," the Mail Online reports. Researchers have investigated a particular sodium channel that plays a key role in transmitting pain signals along sensory nerves to the brain…

Experts call for more research into ADHD drug Ritalin

Friday Nov 27 2015

"The drug Ritalin should be prescribed with caution as the quality of evidence available about its benefits and risks is poor," the Mail Online reports. A review found no high-quality evidence about both the benefits and risks…

Last line in antibiotic resistance under threat

Thursday Nov 19 2015

"The last line of antibiotic defence against some serious infections is under threat," The Guardian reports, after researchers found that E.coli bacteria from food products in China has developed resistance to colistin, a polymixin antibiotic…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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