Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Moderate exercise 'better for sperm' than high intensity exercise

Wednesday Dec 7 2016

"'Doing at least half an hour of exercise three times a week may boost men's sperm count'," BBC News reports. Researchers recruited 261 healthy married men who were randomly allocated to three different training programmes…

Grooming pubic hair linked to increased STI risk

Tuesday Dec 6 2016

"Women and men who regularly trim or remove all their pubic hair run a greater risk of sexually transmitted infections," BBC News reports. A survey of around 7,500 Americans, aged between 18 and 65 years, found…

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…

Could Parkinson's disease start in the gut?

Friday Dec 2 2016

"Parkinson's disease 'may start in gut'," BBC News reports. New research involving mice suggests that bacteria in the gut may lead to a greater decline in motor function in patients with Parkinson's disease. The study involved a mouse model...

'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…

'No need to wait to try again after miscarriage' advice

Thursday Dec 1 2016

"Women who suffer a miscarriage should try for a baby again within six months, a major study has found," the Daily Mail reports. Current guidance from the World Health Organization recommends couples wait at least six months…

'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%...

Lack of sleep may disrupt development of a child's brain

Tuesday Nov 29 2016

"New brain scans reveal sleep deprivation damages children's brains more than previously thought," the Mail Online reports. Researchers measured the brain activity of children whose sleep had been restricted by four…

Expensive IVF add-ons 'not evidence based'

Monday Nov 28 2016

"Nearly all costly add-on treatments offered by UK fertility clinics to increase the chance of a birth through IVF are not supported by high-quality evidence," BBC News reports, covering the findings of a review by experts in evidence-based medicine…

Low social status 'damages immune function'

Friday Nov 25 2016

"Simply being at the bottom of the social heap directly alters the body," BBC News reports. The headline is based on a study in which researchers used female monkeys to simulate social hierarchies. Monkeys of low social status…

Miracle cure or scam?

Will an online miracle cure really provide the answer to your health problem?

Health anxiety (hypochondria)

Most of us worry about our health from time to time. But for some people, this worry never goes away and becomes a problem in itself

Miracle foods: myths and the media

Can a curry save your life? Read our report on the supposed health benefits of common foods

How to read health news

How to read health news

Fact or fiction? Killer or cure? We show you how to look Behind the Headlines.

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...

Sugar intake should be reduced

Sugar intake should be drastically reduced, says report

A new government report recommends no more than 5% of our calorie intake should come from 'free sugars'. The previous recommendation was 10%