Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Urine test could reveal if your diet is a threat to your health

Friday Jan 13 2017

"A urine test that can reveal how healthy your meals are has been developed by UK scientists," BBC News reports. Researchers wanted to see if they could help crack one of the biggest problems confronting people trying to carry out studies…

Weekend-only workouts 'still give an important health boost'

Tuesday Jan 10 2017

"Weekend warriors, take a victory lap. People who pack their workouts into one or two sessions a week lower their risk of dying over roughly the next decade nearly as much as people who exercise more often," the Mail Online reports…

Diet rich in processed meat 'may worsen asthma symptoms'

Wednesday Dec 21 2016

"Regularly indulging in a bacon sandwich doubles the risk of an asthma attack," is the needlessly alarming headline in The Sun. A French study suggests eating four or more portions of processed (cured) meats a week may worsen symptoms like wheezing…

Handful of nuts 'cuts heart disease and cancer' risk

Monday Dec 5 2016

"People consuming at least 20 grams of nuts daily less likely to develop potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease and cancer," The Independent reports. That was the main finding of a review looking at 20 previous studies on the benefits of nuts…

'Not enough over-50s' taking aspirin to prevent heart disease

Thursday Dec 1 2016

"Aspirin a day could dramatically cut cancer and heart disease risk … study claims," the Mail Online reports. U.S. researchers ran a simulation of what might happen if all Americans over 50 years old took aspirin on a daily basis…

'Want to live longer? Try racquet sports', recommends study

Wednesday Nov 30 2016

"If you want to stave off death for as long as possible, you might want to reach for a tennis racquet," The Guardian reports. A study looking at the impact of individual sports on mortality found racquet sports reduced the risk of death by around 47%...

Just a small cut in saturated fats reduces heart disease risk

Friday Nov 25 2016

"Swapping butter and meat for olive oil and fish does cut the risk of heart disease," The Times reports. New research suggests that swapping just 15% of your daily calorie intake away from saturated fats could reduce heart disease risk by around 8%...

Does vitamin D cut lung infection risk in older adults?

Friday Nov 18 2016

"Why you should take vitamin D as you get older: High doses reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses by 40%," the Mail Online reports. Researchers in Colorado investigated whether a high dose of vitamin D in older adults…

First time flu infection may affect lifetime immunity

Monday Nov 14 2016

"A person's chances of falling ill from a new strain of flu are at least partly determined by the first strain they ever encountered, a study suggests," BBC News reports. Researchers created a modelling study, based on historic data…

Teen vapers 'more likely to take up smoking'

Thursday Nov 10 2016

"Vaping raises likelihood of teenagers starting to smoke, study suggests," The Guardian reports. A study of US teens found those who regularly vaped were more likely to progress to tobacco smoking than their non-vaping peers…

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