Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

New drug for severe asthma 'shows massive promise'

Monday Aug 8 2016

"Asthma drug 'gamechanger' could revolutionise treatment," The Guardian reports after a new drug called fevipiprant showed promising results in a small study of 61 people with moderate to severe asthma…

Claims acupuncture 'staves off dementia' are missing the point

Friday Aug 5 2016

"Acupuncture may help elderly people retain their memory, research suggests," the Daily Mail reports. But the research is not new; it is in fact a review of previous Chinese trials, most of which were judged as being of poor quality…

Can disruption to your body clock influence back pain symptoms?

Thursday Aug 4 2016

"Scientists have discovered that our spinal discs have a 24-hour body clock that can cause … pain when it gets out of synch," the Daily Mail reports; overstating research limited to mice. While the results may have human implications…

Vaginal douching 'linked to increased ovarian cancer risk'

Thursday Aug 4 2016

"Women who douche are almost twice as likely to get ovarian cancer," Metro reports after a study of more than 40,000 women from the US and Puerto Rico found a significant link…

Around 1 in 10 UK young people report distressing sex problems

Wednesday Aug 3 2016

"Large number of young people experience sex problems," The Guardian reports. In one of the largest UK surveys of its kind, 1 in 10 young men and 1 in 8 young women reported having persistent distressing sexual problems…

Swapping animal protein for plant protein 'may improve health'

Tuesday Aug 2 2016

"Ditch sausages for a longer life," The Telegraph advises after a new study found swapping animal sources of protein in favour of plant sources was linked to a longer lifespan…

Researchers may have found an 'antidepressant roadblock'

Monday Aug 1 2016

"Hope for faster treatment for depression after scientists discover why antidepressants can take months to work," the Mail Online reports. New research suggests manipulating the brain's Gα protein may accelerate the effect of the drugs...

Menopause 'may mix up exercise reward pathways in the brain'

Friday Jul 29 2016

"Menopause 'crushes your motivation to exercise'," the Mail Online reports. But before you bin your gym card, the study it reports on involved rats, not women. The female rats were genetically engineered to have either a high or low exercise capacity…

New weapon in superbug war may be right under our noses

Thursday Jul 28 2016

"Antibiotic resistance: 'snot wars' study yields new class of drugs," BBC News reports. Researchers studying a type of bacteria found in many people's nostrils have used this knowledge to develop a possible a new antibiotic called lugdunin…

An hour of exercise a day may compensate for an 'office lifestyle'

Thursday Jul 28 2016

"Office workers must exercise for an hour a day to counter death risk," The Daily Telegraph reports. A major new study involving more than a million people, suggests that at least an hour's exercise a day…

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%