Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Could fertility breakthrough lead to babies with no mothers?

Thursday Sep 15 2016

"Fertility breakthrough means babies could be conceived from skin cells – so men can have babies with each other," is the excitable headline in the Daily Mirror. But the research in the news is at an early stage – and was in mice…

Invasive early prostate cancer treatments not always needed

Thursday Sep 15 2016

"Closely monitoring prostate cancer offers just as good a chance of survival as harsh and invasive treatments," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers found invasive treatments for early stage prostate cancer, such as surgery…

E-cigarettes 'help thousands successfully quit smoking'

Wednesday Sep 14 2016

"The rise in popularity of e-cigarettes in the UK may have resulted in more successful attempts to quit smoking," BBC News reports. A UK study looking at survey data from England over the past 10 years showed…

Coil 'more effective' than morning after pill

Monday Sep 12 2016

"Women should use the coil rather than the morning-after pill as emergency contraception, according to official new guidelines," the Mail Online reports. The guidelines, from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence…

Statins are 'safe, effective and should be used more widely'

Friday Sep 9 2016

"The benefits of statins are hugely underestimated and far outweigh any harm," the Daily Mail reports. A major review also argues that the risks of statins have been exaggerated by both the media and some sections of the medical profession…

Can exercise offset some of the harms of regular drinking?

Thursday Sep 8 2016

"Adults who booze regularly but exercise for five hours a week are no more likely to die than teetotallers," the Mail Online reports. A study suggests exercise may compensate for some, but certainly not all, of the harms associated with excessive alcohol…

C-section babies 'more likely' to grow up obese

Wednesday Sep 7 2016

"Babies born by caesarean more likely to be obese as adults, study suggests," The Guardian reports. A US study found that babies born via caesarean section had a 64% increased risk of becoming obese compared to their siblings born by vaginal delivery…

Pollution particles in the brain 'linked to Alzheimer's disease'

Wednesday Sep 7 2016

"Air pollution particles linked to Alzheimer's found in human brain," Sky News reports after new research found tiny particles of magnetite – a potentially toxic by-product of traffic pollution – in samples of brain tissue...

Vitamin D 'protects against severe asthma attacks'

Tuesday Sep 6 2016

"Vitamin D supplements could halve risk of serious asthma attacks," The Guardian reports. A review of previous data found that vitamin D supplements could have a protective effect against serious asthma attacks when taken alongside...

Radiotherapy 'provides no benefit for secondary brain tumours'

Monday Sep 5 2016

"'Whole brain radiotherapy' is of no benefit to people with lung cancer which has spread to the brain," BBC News reports. A UK study found radiotherapy did not significantly increase survival times and quality of life when compared with standard care…

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%