Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Magic mushroom ingredient tested as depression treatment

Wednesday May 18 2016

"Magic mushrooms 'promising' in depression," BBC News reports. Magic mushrooms is an umbrella term for fungi that contain psilocybin. This is a psychoactive substance that can cause intense LSD-like…

Women who regularly attend religious services 'live longer'

Tuesday May 17 2016

"Going to church could save your life," reports the Daily Mail, adding that, "Women who worship once a week are '25 per cent less likely to die early'." Perhaps surprisingly, while the first part of the headline is overly simplistic…

Are we sleepwalking into a 'global sleep crisis'?

Monday May 9 2016

"We are facing a global sleep crisis because we don't go to bed early enough, say scientists," the Mail Online reports. The warning comes from a study produced by a research team using a smartphone app (Entrain) to track sleep patterns…

Vitamin D, fish oil and folates may enhance antidepressants

Wednesday Apr 27 2016

"Do antidepressants work better when taken with supplements?," the Mail Online asks. A new review of existing evidence suggests that, "Omega-3 fish oils, certain amino acids, folate and vitamin D" may boost the beneficial effect of antidepressants…

'Transformational managers' may be bad for workplace health

Friday Apr 22 2016

"Managers who pressurise their staff to go that extra mile risk harming their employees' health," the Daily Mail reports. New research suggests "transformational managers" – charismatic high achievers – may increase levels of sickness in the workforce…

Attending all-girl school linked to increased risk of eating disorders

Thursday Apr 21 2016

"Anorexia could be 'contagious' in girls' schools," the Daily Telegraph reports, while the Mail Online claims that, "Pushy parents are driving children to eating disorders." The study, which took place in Sweden, found…

Child head injuries could harm relationship with parents

Monday Apr 18 2016

"A simple bang on the head can alter a child's relationship with their parents claim academics," the Daily Mail reports. A Canadian study found children who had experienced even just a mild traumatic head injury…

'Dying of heartache?' Heart problems linked to bereavement

Wednesday Apr 6 2016

"You can die of a broken heart, study indicates," The Guardian reports. The study found that people who lost a partner had an increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat up to a year after the death…

Choir singing may boost immunity in people affected by cancer

Tuesday Apr 5 2016

"Being in a choir could help the body fight cancer by boosting the immune system," the Daily Mail reports. The study involved 193 people from Wales who were affected by cancer in some way…

Mindfulness may be effective for treating lower back pain

Wednesday Mar 23 2016

"Meditation could ease the agony of back pain, a study suggests," the Daily Mirror reports. A US study compared a technique called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) with usual care and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for…

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...

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