Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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…

Poor sleep may affect good sex in later life

Thursday Feb 2 2017

"Good night's sleep boosts sex life for women over 50," reports the Mail Online. US researchers asked more than 93,000 women aged 50 to 79 about their sleep patterns, difficulty sleeping, sexual activity and sexual satisfaction...

'Breakthrough in communication for patients with severe MND', study claims

Wednesday Feb 1 2017

"Mind-reading machine allows people with 'locked-in' syndrome to communicate," reports the Mail Online. The report is based on a study that aimed to communicate with four patients unable to speak, move or blink...

Diabetes could be a warning sign of pancreatic cancer

Tuesday Jan 31 2017

"Experts have revealed the onset of diabetes, or existing diabetes getting much worse could be a sign of hidden pancreatic cancer," reports The Daily Express. The media reports follow a press release of a study...

Breath test shows potential for detecting cancer

Monday Jan 30 2017

"Breath test could save lives by diagnosing deadly cancers earlier," reports The Daily Telegraph. The story is based on new research into whether it is possible to detect cancers of the stomach and oesophagus (gullet) using a breath test...

Vitamin A deficiency linked to Alzheimer's disease

Friday Jan 27 2017

"Alzheimer's may begin in the womb because mums are short of crucial vitamin, scientists warn," the Daily Mirror reports. New research involving both mice and humans looked at the link between vitamin A…

Anxiety and depression linked to increased cancer death risk

Thursday Jan 26 2017

"Depression linked to higher chance of dying from cancer," The Independent reports. Analysis of UK data found a link between mental distress and cancer mortality, which remained even after other factors such as smoking were taken into account…

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%