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Behind the Headlines

Behind the Headlines, a service provided by the NHS, offers an unbiased and evidence-based analysis of health stories that make the news. Click here to read more about Behind the Headlines.


Health impact of genetic 'iron-overdose disease' may have been underestimated

17 January 2019

'A “stealth disease” which causes iron to build up to toxic levels may be responsible for thousands of cancers and disabling joint problems written off as part of ageing' The Independent reports

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Do shop receipts contain cancer-causing chemicals?

16 January 2019

"Up to 90 per cent of receipts contain cancer-causing chemicals, experts have warned," the Mail Online reports. In a new study, researchers looked at whether the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) could be found in shop, till, cashpoint or similar types of receipts. BPA used to be widely used in the manufacture of plastics and resins.

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Media claims of breast cancer testing tool are premature

15 January 2019

'GPs could use breast cancer 'calculator' to predict risk to women' The Guardian reports

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HRT patches and gels 'may be safer' than tablets for older women

10 January 2019

'Hormone replacement therapy tablets are associated with a higher risk of rare but serious blood clots, research has suggested' The Guardian reports

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Blood pressure warnings about the 'keto diet' may not apply to humans

09 January 2019

"Is the trendy Keto diet bad for you?" asks the Mail Online. The headline refers to the increasingly popular ketogenic diet. This diet involves eating a combination of high-fat and low-carbohydrate foods. As the body usually uses carbs for energy, the diet is designed to "force" the body to burn off fat instead as an alternative energy source. This can help promote weight loss.

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'Exercise hormone' may play a role in combating Alzheimer's disease

08 January 2019

"An 'exercise pill' mimicking the effects of a gym workout could prevent Alzheimer's disease," the Daily Mirror reports. The "pill" is actually a reference to a protein called irisin. Irisin has been dubbed the "exercise hormone" because previous research found it's released from muscles in response to physical activity. Researchers wanted to see if irisin, or the lack of it, had any role or impact in Alzheimer's disease.

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Sweeteners have 'few health benefits', study finds

03 January 2019

'No evidence of sugar substitutes' health benefits, finds study' The Guardian reports

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Are you experiencing a post-Christmas cholesterol level 'spike'?

02 January 2019

'Celebrating Christmas is associated with higher cholesterol, scientists have warned' the Mail Online reports

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Removing snacks from supermarket checkouts cuts unhealthy purchases

20 December 2018

'Banning sweets, chocolate and crisps at supermarket checkouts appears to stop unhealthy impulse buying by shoppers, a large UK study suggests' BBC News reports

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