Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

GPs 'failing to prescribe tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer'

Tuesday Feb 14 2017

"Half of GPs unaware of drug's use [tamoxifen] in cancer prevention," The Guardian reports. An online survey of GPs found many were unaware of national guidelines recommending the use of tamoxifen for at risk women…

Online reviews of health products 'are misleading'

Monday Feb 13 2017

"Don't believe online reviews of health products, they're 'skewed'," the Mail Online reports. A psychologist compared online reviews of three medical products with results from clinical trials…

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…

'Antibiotics, not surgery, best for child appendicitis' says study

Friday Feb 10 2017

"Operating on children with acute appendicitis may be unnecessary in many of cases, a landmark British study suggests," the Mail Online reports. The study suggests that infected or inflamed appendixes in children may be better treated using antibiotics…

Switching to wholegrains may boost metabolism

Thursday Feb 9 2017

"Eating more wholegrain foods can help to speed up weight loss, scientists claim," the Daily Mail reports. A small study found that people who ate wholegrains had a modest increase in their metabolic rate compared to those eating refined grains…

Shift work and heavy lifting may make it harder to get pregnant

Wednesday Feb 8 2017

"Shift work and physically demanding jobs linked to lower fertility in women." Sky News reports. A US study found a link between both activities and a reduction in both the number and quality of a woman’s eggs…

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…

Harnessing 'brute force' could be key to creating new antibiotics

Tuesday Feb 7 2017

"Antibiotics 'seen using brute force to kill bugs'," BBC News reports. The hope is that researchers could replicate the effect to create new antibiotics that could help combat the continuing threat of antibiotic resistance…

Does eating liquorice in pregnancy raise the risk of ADHD?

Monday Feb 6 2017

"Avoid liquorice while pregnant: Scientists find one of its ingredients can affect a child's IQ, memory and even cause ADHD," the Mail Online reports. Researchers found eating liquorice in pregnancy is linked to a range of developmental issues…

Ibuprofen ‘barely better than placebo’ at treating back pain

Friday Feb 3 2017

"Widely used anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen have little more benefit than a placebo when it comes to treating back pain," reports the Guardian. This is based on a study looking at more than 6,000 people with back pain, comparing…

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

You be the judge

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%