Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Mouthwash and disinfectant ingredient linked to 'superbug'

Tuesday Nov 1 2016

"A household mouthwash may be creating superbugs," the Daily Mail reports. A laboratory study found the ingredient chlorhexidine, used in a wide range of antiseptic products, increased bacterial resistance to the antibiotic colistin…

Are high-speed cyclists at risk from air pollution?

Monday Oct 31 2016

"High-speed cyclists 'breathe in dangerous levels of air pollution'," The Sun reports. Alexander Bigazzi, a Canadian engineer, put together a mathematical model, and his figures suggest cycling faster than 20km…

Male contraceptive jab 'effective', but side effects are common

Friday Oct 28 2016

"Male contraceptive injection '96% effective'," ITV News reports. The news comes from a study looking at a new type of male contraceptive injection, which was found to be effective – but side effects like acne and mood changes were common…

Researchers discover the role of hormone in 'creating fat'

Friday Oct 28 2016

"Why stress can make you overweight: Hormones turn normal cells into dangerous fat," the Mail Online reports. The headline is prompted by research into the newly discovered role of the Adamts1 hormone on the formation of fat cells...

Study recommends screening toddlers for heart disease risk

Thursday Oct 27 2016

"Toddlers should be screened for an inherited form of heart disease … experts suggest," BBC News reports. A new study looked at the feasibility of screening for familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), an inherited…

Parent training may benefit children with severe autism

Wednesday Oct 26 2016

"A new form of therapy has for the first time been shown to improve the symptoms and behaviour of autistic children," The Guardian reports. A new trial looked at the impact of early intervention in children with severe autism...

Women now drinking 'almost as much alcohol as men'

Tuesday Oct 25 2016

"Women have caught up with men in the amount of alcohol they drink," The Guardian reports. A survey of data from around the world suggests the gap between men and women is closing rapidly when it comes…

Heading footballs may cause short-term brain changes

Monday Oct 24 2016

"Heading a football can significantly affect a player's brain function and memory for 24 hours, a study has found," BBC News reports. The news is based on a small experimental study involving 19 amateur footballers. The players were asked…

Sweetened drinks, including diet drinks, may raise diabetes risk

Friday Oct 21 2016

"Drinking more than two sugary or artificially sweetened soft drinks per day greatly increases the risk of diabetes, research has shown," The Guardian reports. The research was a Swedish cohort study of sweetened drink…

'Statins in a tube': Could a new toothpaste prevent heart disease?

Thursday Oct 20 2016

"Brushing teeth thoroughly to remove plaque could help prevent heart attacks … by reducing inflammation," The Daily Telegraph reports. A study found that "Plaque HD" toothpaste was related to a drop in inflammation levels…

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%