Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'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…

Anti-inflammatory arthritis drugs may help with depression

Wednesday Oct 19 2016

"Arthritis pills could help beat depression," The Sun reports. A review of studies suggests anti-cytokine drugs, currently used to treat inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, could have a role in treating depression…

Bacteria that process nitrates in food 'may trigger migraines'

Wednesday Oct 19 2016

"Research shows [migraine] sufferers have higher levels of bacteria involved in processing nitrates, and could explain why some foods appear to act as migraine triggers," The Guardian reports. Nitrates are found in processed meats, like bacon…

Antidepressants 'double suicide risk' says controversial study

Thursday Oct 13 2016

"Antidepressants could double the risk of feelings that could lead to suicide, according to a new study which has triggered furious rows," The Daily Telegraph reports. Critics have attacked the study as "fatally flawed" because researchers…

Ibuprofen-like painkillers linked to an increased risk of heart failure

Thursday Sep 29 2016

"Ibuprofen could raise the risk of heart failure by up to 83%," claims the Daily Mirror. But this headline massively overstates the danger of this painkiller. In fact, new research suggests that taking painkillers...

Contraceptive pills not proven to protect against the flu

Monday Sep 19 2016

"How taking the pill could protect you from the flu," was the curious headline on a recent Mail Online article. The equally curious animal study involved female mice who had their ovaries surgically removed…

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…

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…

Plaque busting drug shows early promise in preventing Alzheimer's

Thursday Sep 1 2016

"A revolutionary drug that could stop people from ever developing Alzheimer's disease has been unveiled," the Daily Mail reports. The drug, aducanumab, encourages the immune system to attack the abnormal plaques of protein linked to Alzheimer's disease…

Combined HRT breast cancer risk 'may have been underestimated'

Tuesday Aug 23 2016

"Women who take a common form of HRT are nearly three times as likely to get breast cancer, a major study has found," the Daily Mail reports. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment used to relieve symptoms of the…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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