Bedford Hill Family Practice

120 Bedford Hill
SW12 9HS
Tel: 020 8673 1720

Family Planning

All doctors are able to offer family planning advice during their normal surgery. Oral contraceptives: Please make an appointment with a practice nurse (or a GP).

  • Coils: Fitted at the Family Planning Clinic
  • Contraceptive implants: We do not fit these at the surgery and will ask you to attend the Family Planning Clinic at Balham Health Centre.
  • Contraceptive injections: Are administered by the practice nurses.
  • Emergency Contraception: Please contact a practice nurse (or a GP) as soon as possible.

The Family Planning Clinic at Balham Health Centre is held on the following days:

Tuesday 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Thursday 9.30am - 11.30am
Friday 5.00pm - 7.00pm



NHS Choices - Behind the headlines

  • Social care reforms announced

    Most of the UK media is covering the announcement made in Parliament by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, about proposed changes to social care.

    The two confirmed points to have garnered the most media attention in the run-up to the announcement are:

    • a ‘cost cap’ of £75,000 worth of care costs – after this...
  • Broccoli compounds may help combat chronic diseases

    "Eating broccoli could lower your risk of having coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer, a new study suggests," the Daily Mail reports.

    But there is little hard evidence to back up this claim – the study it reports on involved plants, not humans.

    Phenols, which are compounds found in...

  • Study suggests that inflammation is behind period pain

    "Scientists have finally discovered why periods hurt so much, following a ground-breaking study into menstrual pain," The Independent reports.

    A new study suggests that the pain is caused by acute inflammation, as measured by the C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is a protein produced by the liver; its levels rise when there is...

  • Should we 'eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper'?

    "We should 'eat breakfast like a king' to fight obesity, scientists claim," the Daily Mirror reports.

    The headline was prompted by a new review into "chrono-nutrition", which involves seeing if when we eat is as important as what we eat.

    The review suggests eating more of our total daily food intake in the...

  • Diabetes drugs may be useful for Alzheimer's, mice research finds

    "Drugs prescribed to treat diabetes could cure Alzheimer's disease" is the significantly over-hyped headline in The Daily Telegraph.

    What this new research actually found is that there seem to be shared biological processes between Alzheimer's and diabetes. But the study concerned did not look at treatments for the disease,...

  • Drugs, ginger and acupuncture 'best for morning sickness'

    "Hundreds of thousands of pregnant women with morning sickness should be given drugs to ease their symptoms," the Daily Mirror reports.

    The recommendation comes from a set of new guidelines that also say ginger and acupuncture can play a useful role in treating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, better known as morning...

  • Almost half of all UK adults may be living with chronic pain

    "Almost half the adult population is living with chronic pain," the Daily Mail reports. A major new review suggests that around 28 million adults in the UK are affected by some type of chronic pain (pain that lasts for more than three months).

    The researchers...

  • Cranberry juice 'useful' for women with recurring UTIs, claims study

    "Drinking cranberry juice could reduce the worldwide use of antibiotics," is the somewhat optimistic headline in The Daily Telegraph.

    A new study found some modest preventative benefit in women with a history of reoccurring urinary...

  • 5:2 diet 'could play a role in preventing breast cancer'

    "Women who follow the 5:2 diet 'could reduce their risk of breast cancer','' the Mail Online reports.

    A small study found some women who followed the diet experienced breast cell changes thought to be protective against breast cancer....

  • Coffee's cancer risk downgraded (as long as you don't drink it hot)

    "Very hot drinks may cause cancer, but coffee does not, says WHO," The Guardian reports.

    A review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that only beverages consumed at higher than 65C posed a possible cancer risk.

    The working group's report re-evaluated the cancer-causing properties of...

  • Brain scans find differences in 'badly behaved' teen boys

    "'Striking' structural differences seen in study which compared brain scans of young men with antisocial behavioural problems with their healthy peers," The Guardian reports.

    The results suggest these behavioural problems could have a neurological dimension.

    Researchers used brain scanning techniques to compare the...

  • Three servings of wholegrains a day 'cuts risk of early death'

    "Eating Weetabix for breakfast 'can slash your risk of dying early from any cause'," the Daily Mirror reports.

    A new study looking at wholegrain consumption (not just Weetabix) found a strong link between consumption and improved "long-term health and longevity" compared with people who ate little or no wholegrain...

  • Teens who vape e-cigs 'six times more likely to smoke cigarettes'

    "Vaping is a gateway to smoking," the Mail Online reports, seriously overstating the evidence of a new US study.

    While the study did find teens who experimented with e-cigs were more likely to smoke "traditional" tobacco products – mainly cigarettes – no direct link between the two was proven.

    Following a...

  • Study says there's no link between cholesterol and heart disease

    "Controversial report claims there's no link between 'bad cholesterol' and heart disease," the Daily Mail reports, while The Times states: "Bad cholesterol 'helps you live longer',".

    The headlines are based on a new review which aimed to gather evidence from previous observational studies on whether LDL...

  • Risky stem cell treatment 'halts progress of multiple sclerosis'

    "New treatment can 'halt' multiple sclerosis, says study," BBC News reports.

    The treatment involves effectively destroying the existing immune system and creating a new one using stem cells. But this new treatment carries a high risk of complications.


  • Should we rethink the causes of anorexia?

    "Anorexia is not about a fear of getting fat, but rather a pleasure at losing weight, experts reveal," says the Daily Mail. The headline oversimplifies the results of a study that looked at women's responses to photos of women of varying weights.

    In the study, 71 women with ...

  • Green tea extract 'boosts mental ability' in people with Down's

    "Down's syndrome can be treated with green tea," says The Daily Telegraph, rather optimistically.

    A Spanish study found some improvement in thinking abilities among people with Down's syndrome who took a supplement of green tea extract, and...

  • Depression blood test could lead to personalised treatments

    "UK scientists have developed a blood test to help doctors pick the best drug for patients with depression," BBC News reports, somewhat prematurely.

    It is currently unproven whether such a test, based on measuring inflammation, would improve treatment outcomes.

    Previous research has suggested high levels of...

  • Women are more likely to suffer from anxiety than men

    "Women twice as likely as men to experience anxiety, research finds," The Guardian reports. A new review that attempts to get a global snapshot of the prevalence of anxiety disorders identifies a number of vulnerable groups.

    There are various types of anxiety disorder, but generally they involve feelings of unease, such as...

  • Ten years of hormone breast cancer drugs 'may benefit some'

    "Taking hormonal drugs for up to 15 years reduces the risk of breast cancers coming back," BBC News reports.

    A new study looked at 1,918 postmenopausal women with what is known as oestrogen receptor-positive (or ER+) breast cancers...

  • 'Friendly' virus repairs damaged liver cells (but only in mice)

    "Have scientists found a cure for alcoholism?," the Mail Online asks, missing the point of the research entirely.

    Researchers were able to improve liver damage in mice, but this does not amount to curing an addiction to alcohol.

    The study showed it was possible to create "bespoke friendly" viruses to infect...

  • Research raises hope of a 'Holy Grail' universal cancer vaccine

    "'Universal cancer vaccine' breakthrough claimed by experts," The Independent reports.

    Researchers extracted genetic code called RNA from cancer cells, embedded them in nanoparticles to make them appear like viruses or bacteria, and injected them into mice to "teach" immune cells to attack cancer cells.


  • Could statins prevent breast cancer returning?

    "Statins could be used in the treatment of breast cancer," Sky News report. Findings from a new study suggest the potential involvement of cholesterol in the recurrence of breast cancer following treatment.

    The researchers hope their discovery could pave the way towards new treatment targets, and say that the effect of...

  • Migraines linked to increased heart disease risk in women

    "Women who suffer migraines have a 50 per cent greater chance of developing a major heart … problem," the Daily Mail reports.

    Individual risks to women remain small, but because migraines are so widespread, this could be an issue of concern at a public health level.

    A study of more than 100,000 women from the US...

  • Treatment 'breakthrough' in man with advanced skin cancer

    "Skin cancer cure hope for millions as major treatment breakthrough sees man's tumours disappear 'completely'," the Daily Mirror reports.

    While the headline is premature, the case report it is based on does present interesting findings.

    The study involved a man with...

  • Leaving babies to cry 'will improve their sleep', study says

    "Babies do sleep better if you leave them to cry," the Daily Mail reports.

    A small study suggests that "graduated extinction" – better known as controlled crying in this country – increased sleep length and reduced the number of times babies woke up during the night.

    Controlled crying involves waiting a set...

  • Could cannabis damage DNA that is then passed down generations?

    "Smoking cannabis can alter a person's DNA, causing mutations that expose a user to serious illnesses," the Mail Online reports.

    A new review has looked at the role cannabis may play in what is known as chromothripsis.

    A relatively recent discovery, chromothripsis is when the DNA of a cell suffers large-scale damage...

  • Exam stress linked to teen suicide

    "First detailed study into 130 [teen] suicide cases in England finds range of common anxieties," The Guardian reports, citing factors including exam stress, bullying and bereavement.

    The study into teenage suicide also found there was a history of ...

  • Link between stillbirth and air pollution 'inconclusive'

    "Air pollution may raise risk of stillbirth and pregnant women should consider leaving cities, say scientists," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    This is somewhat radical advice given the study that prompted the headline produced no significant or conclusive results.


  • Proof opiates are useful for chronic back pain 'lacking'

    "Powerful painkillers doled out in their millions are ineffective against back pain," the Daily Mail reports.

    An Australian review found evidence for the effectiveness of opiate-based painkillers, such as tramadol and oxycodone, for chronic back pain was "lacking".

    The review pooled the findings of 20...

  • Report attacks official guidance on low-fat diets

    "Low-fat diet bad for your health and cutting back on meat, dairy and eggs a disastrous mistake," the Daily Mirror reports.

    That is the main message of a controversial report attacking official UK guidelines on diet and weight loss.

    The report suggests it doesn't matter how much saturated fat we eat, and doesn't...

  • Healthier lifestyles 'could cut cancer death rates'

    "Half of all cancer deaths could be avoided if people simply adopted a healthier lifestyle," the Daily Mail reports.

    A new study adds to the weight of evidence that says combining simple lifestyle changes can dramatically cut cancer death rates.

    More than 100,000 health professionals from the US were asked to...

  • Review calls for global action to tackle antibiotic resistance crisis

    "Superbugs will kill someone every three seconds by 2050 unless the world acts now," BBC News reports.

    A review commissioned by the UK government says wide-ranging action is required at a global level to prevent a post-antibiotic future.

    The review panel, chaired by economist Jim O'Neill, warns that without global...

  • Study: 'mini strokes should be treated immediately with aspirin'

    "People should consider taking aspirin immediately after a minor stroke," BBC News reports.

    A review of existing evidence found people treated with aspirin after a mini stroke (transient ischaemic attack, or TIA) were less likely...

  • Magic mushroom ingredient tested as depression treatment

    "Magic mushrooms 'promising' in depression," BBC News reports. Magic mushrooms is an umbrella term for fungi that contain psilocybin, a psychoactive substance that can cause intense LSD-like hallucinations, as well as reported feelings of euphoria and...

  • Are broken bones, loneliness and poor sleep really hidden killers?

    "Revealed, the five hidden killers that could send you to an early grave," the Daily Mail reports. These "hidden killers" include loneliness and poor sleep. But this is a simplistic take on complex research aiming to identify new ways of classifying health and wellbeing.

    The research assessed the health and...

  • Women who regularly attend religious services 'live longer'

    "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, it may not technically be wrong – according to new research from the US, anyway....

  • Dad's age, diet and lifestyle may cause birth defects

    "Men are being warned to become fathers by 40 or face a greater risk of having children with serious illnesses," the Daily Mail reports after a new review looked at some of the evidence about paternal influences on the risk of childhood diseases.

    The review discusses several research findings found previously, including some...

  • Immune system 'plays a role in dementia'

    "Scientists have identified a new cause of devastating neurological conditions," the Mail Online reports – but this is entirely inaccurate.

    A review of existing evidence makes the case that the innate immune system may be involved in neurodegenerative conditions, which are associated with progressive damage to brain cells,...

  • No evidence probiotics are beneficial for healthy adults

    "Probiotic goods a 'waste of money' for healthy adults, research suggests," The Guardian reports. A new review of previously gathered data found no evidence that probiotics improved the balance of gut bacteria in healthy adults.

    Probiotics are...

  • Is a pint of beer a day good for the heart?

    "Pint of beer a day could protect you from heart attacks," The Independent reports. A new review on the alleged protective effects of moderate beer drinking has been warmly welcomed by the UK media – but nobody reported that it was funded by an Italian beer trade association.

    Researchers reviewed the existing evidence about...

  • BMI categories may need adjusting, argue researchers

    "Being overweight may not be as unhealthy as it was 40 years ago," BBC News reports.

    New research has found a body mass index (BMI) of 27 is linked to the lowest rate of death – but someone with a BMI of 27 is currently classed as being overweight.


  • 33,000 deaths 'linked to failings in NHS heart attack care'

    "Thousands of heart victims killed by poor care," claims the Daily Mail.

    A review of clinical data from the last 10 years in England and Wales looked at patients with a history of what are known as non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) heart attacks.

    NSTEMIs describe a class of ...

  • Are we sleepwalking into a 'global sleep crisis'?

    "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 from around the world.

    The findings reveal that as people age, they tend to go to...

  • Study finds no link between mobile phones and brain cancer

    "Mobile phones don't increase the risk of brain cancer, 30-year study concludes," the Mail Online reports.

    The Australian study found the massive increase in mobile phone use over the past 30 years was not matched by a similar rise in...

  • Exercise benefits you - even in polluted city air

    "Why walking is good for you ... even in the smog. Health benefits of a stroll found to outweigh harm caused by chemicals and dust pumped out by traffic," says the Mail Online.

    The report in question was carried out to see whether the harm caused by exposure to air pollution outweighs the benefit of doing exercise.


  • Can you really 'catch' obesity?

    "Obesity could be contagious like superbug C diff, suggest scientists," The Daily Telegraph reports. This rather alarming headline follows a study that explored characteristics of bacteria living in the human gut.

    The study did not, however, look at any link to obesity. There's no reason to think that you can "catch...

  • Diluted apple juice 'as good as' rehydration drinks for children

    "Scientists have revealed which fruit can stop toddlers crying due to stomach pains," says the Daily Mirror, missing the point of the study it reports on.

    The study looked at the use of diluted apple juice to prevent dehydration in children with...

  • Gene breakthrough promises 'bespoke' breast cancer treatment

    "Breast cancer treatment breakthrough after 'milestone' genetic discovery," says The Independent, about widely reported research investigating genetic mutations in people with breast cancer.

    The researchers took samples of cancer cells from 560 people with breast cancer (556 women and four men). They compared the DNA from...

  • Does 'ginger gene' offer key to younger looking skin?

    "'Secret' of youthful looks in ginger gene," BBC News reports. Dutch researchers have found evidence that a gene associated with red hair – the MC1R gene – may also have an impact on how young or old a person looks for their age.

    This study examined the facial appearance and genetics of thousands of Dutch elderly adults....

  • Short bursts of intense exercise 'as good' as endurance training

    "Researchers have found that short bursts of intense exercise produce similar results to traditional longer-duration workouts," the Mail Online reports.

    Researchers compared two types of exercise programme over a 12-week period with a control. The two programmes were:

    • a 10-minute "intense" workout...
  • Yoga 'probably good for asthma symptoms and quality of life'

    "Yoga could help asthma sufferers, research finds," reports The Independent.

    A major review of existing data found there is "moderate-quality evidence" that yoga improves both symptoms and reported quality of life in people with asthma....

  • Vitamin D, fish oil and folates may enhance antidepressants

    "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, the Mail says.

    There was also tentative evidence that S-...

  • Bedbugs 'prefer certain colours'

    "Bed bugs appear to have a strong preference for particular colours," BBC News reports. A new study suggests the pests prefer red and black and "hate yellow and green".

    It's unclear whether changing the colour of your bed sheets would prevent an infestation of bedbugs, though certain colours could prove useful for...

  • Med diet best for heart disease (but some junk food won’t hurt)

    "People with heart disease have a lower risk of heart attack and strokes if they eat a Mediterranean-style diet," The Guardian reports.

    The study it reports on also suggests that the occasional Western-style treat probably doesn't pose much of a risk for people with...

  • 'Transformational managers' may be bad for workplace health

    "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.

    Supporters of transformational management would say it...

  • Daily low-dose aspirin may help combat cancer

    "Aspirin could help beat cancer: Daily pill can 'cuts odds of dying of breast, bowel and prostate cancer by a fifth'," the Daily Mail reports.

    A review of previous studies suggests low-dose aspirin could play a useful role in treating some cancers.

    The review looked at 47 studies and attempted to combine the results,...

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

    "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 that girls attending schools where more parents had a higher education and more pupils were...

  • UK dementia rates have fallen sharply in men

    "Dementia rate falls as men behave themselves," The Times reports. A UK study of dementia trends over the last 20 years suggests that the number of men developing the condition has dropped significantly, possibly as a result of lifestyle changes....

  • Natural protein 'restores memory in mice with Alzheimer's'

    "Alzheimer's symptoms could be reversed by restoring protein in brain," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    Researchers say mice with Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms showed improvement in memory tasks after being given the protein interleukin 33 (IL-33), which is thought to boost immune function.

    They used mice bred to...

  • Warning issued over alarming rise in 'super-gonorrhoea' cases

    "Doctors have expressed 'huge concern' that super-gonorrhoea has spread widely across England," BBC News reports.

    Public Health England issued the warning about the rise of a strain of gonorrhoea that has developed resistance to a widely used...

  • Child head injuries could harm relationship with parents

    "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 a mild traumatic head injury, may have developed changes to their mood and behaviour.


  • Zika virus 'does cause birth defects'

    "The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention … has confirmed that the Zika virus causes severe birth defects," BBC News reports.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that "a causal relationship exists between prenatal Zika virus infection and...

  • Would you trust a smartphone app as a contraceptive?

    "An innovative new app might provide a more effective form of birth control than the contraceptive pill," The Sun reports.

    The Natural Cycles fertility app combines the use of a thermometer to measure body temperature with calendar calculating methods – often referred to as the rhythm method – to work out the days when a...

  • Study argues ditching butter for veg oil won't prevent heart disease

    "Ditching butter for veg oil may not be better for heart," the Daily Mail reports.

    An analysis of previously unpublished data from the 1960s and 70s found no benefit in replacing sources of saturated fats with vegetable oils.


  • Obesity epidemic blamed for rise in womb cancer

    "Obesity 'likely culprit' behind womb cancer rise," reports BBC News.

    Cancer Research UK has released data showing a marked increase in cases of ...

  • Mystery of the 13 people with 'superhero DNA'

    "Some people appear to be born with 'superhero DNA' that cancels out genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis," BBC News reports.

    A study of more than 500,000 people found 13 people who should have developed genetic conditions, but apparently didn't.

    The study turned on its head the traditional use of genetics by...

  • Anti-smoking drug may also help combat sugar cravings

    "Anti-smoking drugs could stub out your sugar cravings," the Daily Mail reports.

    A study in rats suggests that varenicline (Champix), used to relieve nicotine cravings, could also help reduce the desire to consume sugary foods and drinks.

    Varenicline targets what are known as the "reward pathways" of the...

  • Pregnancy diabetes screening should be 'performed earlier'

    "Tests for diabetes in pregnancy – which affects the developing baby – are taking place too late," BBC News reports.

    Screening often takes place during the 28th week, but a new study suggests that diabetes-related changes to the baby can occur before that time.

    Diabetes that develops during pregnancy – known as...

  • Fruit may be good for you, but don’t ditch the statins

    "Daily fresh fruit lowers heart death risk as much as statins," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    A study of over a half a million Chinese people found that a diet rich in fresh fruit was linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.

    But don't ditch the statins in favour of an "apple a day", if they have...

  • 'Exercise labels' should be added to food packets, expert argues

    "Food and drinks should carry labels showing how long it would take to walk or run off the calories, a leading health expert suggests," the Daily Mail reports.

    In an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal, Shirley Cramer, chief executive of...

  • Effects of vitamin D for heart failure far from 'stunning'

    "Vitamin D can produce 'amazing' improvements in heart function," claims The Independent about the results of a recent study, while BBC News reported suggestions the results were "stunning".

    However, the study in question, which involved giving people with heart failure...

  • 'Dying of heartache?' Heart problems linked to bereavement

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

    The study specifically looked at a type of heart condition called ...

  • Choir singing may boost immunity in people affected by cancer

    "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. This included people with a history of cancer, carers for people with cancer, and bereaved people who had lost someone to the disease...

  • New drug 'effective' for those with intolerable statin side effects

    "A breakthrough drug can slash levels of bad cholesterol by half without the side effects of statins," the Daily Mail reports.

    Statins are a class of drug used to reduce...

  • Global obesity rates expected to soar in next decade

    "One-fifth of adults worldwide will be obese by 2025," The Guardian reports, while The Sun warns that the "UK's population to be fattest in Europe" by the same date. These are just some of the conclusions of a major modelling study of global obesity trends.

    The study used data covering 19.2 million adults in 186...

  • Can HRT in early menopause cut heart disease risk?

    "Women who take HRT drugs soon after going through menopause are 'less likely to suffer heart disease','' the Daily Mail reports.

    A new study found that early adopters of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might slow their progression...

  • Diabetes drug linked to increased bladder cancer risk

    "The anti-diabetic drug pioglitazone raises the risk of bladder cancer by 63 per cent," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    While the actual increased risk in real-world terms is small, the results may help to inform prescription decisions for both doctors and patients. Pioglitazone is a drug that helps people with ...

  • Embryos with defective cells 'can still develop healthily'

    "Abnormal cells not a sure sign of baby defects," reports The Telegraph following the publication of a study on the development of healthy embryos.

    Embryos containing cells with an abnormal number of chromosomes can still develop into healthy babies, according to researchers from the University of Cambridge.


  • Can concussion be tested for with a 'simple' blood test?

    "A new blood test can detect a concussion up to a week after a head injury," the Daily Mail reports. The test involved checking for biomarkers, which are substances created by a specific biological condition or state.

    In this case researchers looked at two biomarkers – proteins called glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)...

  • Sugar levels in children's fruit juices 'unacceptably high'

    "Fruit juices and smoothies contain 'unacceptably high' levels of sugar," reports The Guardian. That was the stark conclusion of a new study looking at the sugar content of fruit juices and smoothies marketed at kids in the UK.

    Of the 203 kids' drinks the researchers checked from major supermarket shelves, most (117, 58%) ...

  • Mindfulness may be effective for treating lower back pain

    "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)...

  • Claims that man flu 'really exists' are unsupported

    "Man flu really does exist," reports the Mail Online in a massive leap from the results of a small study that didn't look at flu at all.

    The study actually looked at why women are more likely to have autoimmune conditions such as lupus. Autoimmune...

  • Could a very low calorie diet 'cure' type 2 diabetes?

    "Dieting for just eight weeks can reverse your diabetes," the Daily Mail reports.

    A small study of 30 people with type 2 diabetes found eight weeks on a very low...

  • People with autism are 'dying younger,' warns study

    "People with autism are dying earlier than the general population," BBC News reports.

    A recent study in Sweden showed the average age of death for a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is 54 years, compared with 70 for...

  • Paracetamol 'useless' in treating osteoarthritis pain

    "Paracetamol is next to useless at alleviating arthritic pain," The Times reports. A comprehensive review of existing data suggests paracetamol should not be used in cases of osteoarthritis as there are far more effective treatments available.


  • Memories 'taken' by Alzheimer's could possibly be retrieved

    "Memories wiped by Alzheimer's could be revived, research suggests," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    Research involving mice suggests memories are not destroyed by Alzheimer's disease – rather, there are difficulties recalling them.

    Researchers tested the memory of mice using a technique called contextual fear...

  • Pushy or rude patients 'more likely' to be misdiagnosed

    "'Difficult' patients are more likely to get the wrong diagnosis," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    A Dutch study suggests that patients who are aggressive or argumentative may lead doctors to lose focus when trying to come to a diagnosis.

    The study included more than 60 young doctors. They didn't see actual patients,...

  • Common antibiotic for children 'ineffective in half of cases'

    "Antibiotics used to treat common infections in children could soon be rendered useless," the Daily Mail reports.

    A major review of existing data found worryingly high levels of resistance to widely used antibiotics such as ampicillin...

  • Quitting smoking overnight 'better than cutting down gradually'

    "Want to quit smoking? Forget trying to cut down, if you really want to kick the habit 'going cold turkey is the best option'," is the headline from the Mail Online.

    The news website reports on a trial by UK-based researchers that aimed to assess whether it's better to stop smoking gradually or abruptly. 


  • Study suggests gene may turn 'good' cholesterol into 'bad'

    "Some people with high levels of supposedly 'good' cholesterol are at much greater risk of heart disease," BBC News reports.

    Researchers have identified a genetic variant – P376L – that may cause some people to have higher-than-normal levels of "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) and may be linked...

  • Gum disease linked to worsening dementia symptoms

    "How brushing your teeth properly can ward of the symptoms of dementia," is the misleading headline in the Daily Mail.

    In the study it reports on, all the participants already had dementia related to Alzheimer's disease. What the researchers...

  • Stem cells used to repair children's eyes after cataracts

    "Children with cataracts regain sight after radical stem cell treatment," The Guardian reports.

    The new operation, carried out on 12 children under two years old in China, was to treat childhood cataracts – a condition where a baby is born...

  • Can chocolate make you smarter?

    "Chocolate makes you smarter, proves 40-year study," claims the Daily Express. The news is based on research which found that people who ate chocolate at least once a week performed better in brain tests.

    Researchers in the US looked at whether eating chocolate regularly – regardless of the type of chocolate or the amount –...

  • 'Carbs linked to lung cancer,' study finds

    "White bread, bagels and rice 'increase the risk of lung cancer by 49%','' the Mail Online reports after a US study found a link between lung cancer and eating a diet with a high glycaemic index (GI), a measure of carbohydrate content.

    The study included more than 4,000 white people from Texas, both people newly diagnosed with...

  • Talc and ovarian cancer: what the most recent evidence shows

    "Talc 'is linked to ovarian cancer','' the Mail Online reports. That is the finding of a recent study looking at whether talcum powder can increase the risk of ovarian cancer – an association made newsworthy by a high-profile court case in the US.

    Researchers studied more than 2,000 women with ovarian cancer and a similar-sized...

  • Early exposure to peanuts 'cuts allergy risk in children'

    "The effects of eating peanut products as a baby to avoid the risk of allergy have been backed up by new research," BBC News reports. A new study suggests eating peanut snacks in the first year of life reduces the risk of a nut allergy in children.

    The study reported results from 550 children who completed a trial where...

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