Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

'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…

Review questions recent official vitamin D guidance

Thursday Nov 24 2016

"Vitamin D pills branded 'waste of time' and could even be 'harmful' according to new research," The Sun reports. But, despite the headline, no new research has been done. The news comes from a review of existing evidence…

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...

'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…

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What is Behind the Headlines?

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