Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Pregnancy supplements 'don’t help, just take vit D and folic acid'

Tuesday Jul 12 2016

"Pregnancy multivitamins are a waste of money because most mothers-to-be do not need them, according to researchers," BBC News reports. A new report found that only the use of vitamin D and folic acid in pregnancy was supported by the evidence…

Thumb sucking and nail biting not key to preventing child allergies

Monday Jul 11 2016

"Children who suck their thumbs and bite their nails suffer fewer allergies, study finds," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers have reported a link between these common childhood habits and a lower rate of positive allergy tests…

Could an obscure type of herpes virus trigger female infertility?

Friday Jul 8 2016

"Obscure virus may be cause of unexplained infertility," The Independent reports. Italian researchers found copies of the HHV-6A virus – a type of herpes virus – in the womb lining of 43% of women with…

1 in 8 advanced prostate cancers may be linked to faulty genes

Friday Jul 8 2016

"Nearly one in eight men who develop [advanced] prostate cancer carry mutations in genes which repair damage to DNA," The Daily Telegraph reports. One of the difficulties in detecting and treating prostate cancer…

Reduced antibiotic prescribing did not raise serious infections rates

Thursday Jul 7 2016

"Surgeries that handed out the fewest pills do not have higher rates of serious illnesses," the Daily Mail reports. A new study looked at the impact of prescribing patterns of antibiotics by GPs. The researchers were particularly interested in…

Study finds link between saturated fats and early death

Wednesday Jul 6 2016

"Eating more saturated fats raises risk of early death, says US study," The Guardian reports. A major study involving more than 80,000 women would seem to contradict recent high-profile reports that a diet rich in saturated fat is safe…

Pasta-rich diet may 'prevent pounds from piling on', says study

Tuesday Jul 5 2016

"Pasta DOESN'T make you fat – it actually helps weight loss," the Daily Mail reports. In the latest round of the nutrition wars, carbs are fighting back, with a study showing that a diet rich in pasta was linked to lower BMI and waist size…

Paracetamol in pregnancy 'link to autism and ADHD' not proven

Monday Jul 4 2016

"Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy 'risk having a child with autism or ADHD'," the Mail Online reports. But the Spanish study it reports on provides no evidence of a direct link to either condition…

Many women think shaving pubic hair is 'hygienic'

Friday Jul 1 2016

"More women think shaving pubic hair is 'hygenic' [sic] despite greater health risks," The Independent reports. A US survey found more than half of women who groomed their public hair did so for hygiene reasons, despite evidence that shaving…

'Stop demonising butter,' say researchers

Thursday Jun 30 2016

"Butter has been wrongly 'demonised' as unhealthy," reports the Express following the publication of a study that found eating butter did not increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes...

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%