21st May 2013: Dementia is back!
The daily vitamin B pill that halts the ravages of dementia: A daily vitamin pill could halt the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease, it emerged yesterday.
It “could” halt the ravages. Right…
David Smith, Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology at Oxford University, who led the research, said: “Our work shows that a key part of the process that leads to Alzheimer’s disease might be modified by a safe and simple intervention.”
So far so good…
The team found that in the 77 participants with high homocysteine levels, B vitamins, particularly B12, lowered them. This then slowed the shrinkage of the specific brain regions leading to less cognitive decline. An earlier report from the trial showed that B vitamin treatment could slow total brain shrinkage by up to 50 per cent. But this new report, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that the beneficial effect is largely in the Alzheimer’s-vulnerable areas of the brain.
What about the Obligatory Relevant Person Quote?
Dr Eric Karran, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “It is too early to know whether these effects mean someone is less likely to develop dementia in the long term. It is also not clear from other research whether B vitamins would have any benefit for those who already have dementia. Until further trials have confirmed these findings, we would recommend people think about eating a healthy and balanced diet. Controlling weight and blood pressure, as well as taking exercise, are also ways that we can help to keep our brains healthy as we get older.”
9th May 2013: A genuine MIRACLE CURE!
Miracle cure for back pain: Agony ended by everyday antibiotics.
Cheap antibiotics could end the agony of back pain for millions of Britons for ever.
Could it? What do the experts say?
Experts last night hailed the miracle cure which would save thousands of patients from expensive major surgery.
Would? Or Could?
Researchers in Denmark made the breakthrough that up to 40 per cent of chronic lower back pain is caused by bacterial infections. It means an intensive course of antibiotics could be the salvation for almost half the people suffering from it.
It’s definitely a “could”. Is there a “but”?
But Laura Piddock, professor of microbiology and deputy director of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham, introduced a note of caution. She said antibiotics should only be used to treat back pain once a bacterial cause had been identified. “Otherwise many patients could be exposed to antibiotics needlessly, and antibiotic resistant bacteria that live on their skin and in their gut could be selected,” said Prof Piddock, who is also director of Antibiotic Action.
So it’s really a “miracle cure” that could work for one specific bacterial type of back pain? Bah!
“For this reason, physicians are encouraged to liaise with their consultant microbiologist colleagues for the most appropriate tests.”
Well, obviously… to non-Express readers with brains.
6th May 2013: The headline screams Wonder ‘oil’ to end arthritis agony… Took me ages to find the actual article on the Express site, what a terrible place full of scaremongering twaddle! Luckily they have a HEALTH section full of this kind of thing, but the headline is a bit different: Breakthrough in battle to beat the agony of arthritis
SCIENTISTS have created an “oil” for joints hailed as a breakthrough for millions of arthritis sufferers.
Who hailed it as such? Was it the scientists?
The wonder treatment is said to work better than anything used currently to ease the crippling disease. The synthetic substance stops the destruction of the joint and also appears to protect against further damage. It is hoped it could bring long-lasting relief for sufferers left in constant daily agony.
That’s the usual levels of could, may and hopes. What do the boffins say?
Professor Mark Grinstaff, of Boston University, described the new biopolymer as “like oil for joints”.
WD40 for humans?
The report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society says the researchers hope injecting their fluid will slow down the disease by reducing wear on the surface of cartilage…
This is the seventh arthritis cure front page of 2013 and we’re less than a week into May so excuse me if I don’t take it very seriously.
3rd May 2013: Statins are back!
The front page headline says Statins slash risk of cancer but the story re-words it as Cholesterol drug slashes prostate cancer deaths.
From the article:
Statins, which already save hundreds of thousands of lives by preventing heart attacks and stroke, have been shown to slash the risk of men dying from prostate cancer.
So far so good…
This latest research adds to growing scientific evidence that the cheap and effective daily pills could play a major part in slashing the toll of all forms of cancer. The disease claims at least 157,000 lives in Britain each year.
So “slash risk” is actually “could play a major part in slashing the toll “? What do the experts say?
Dr Janet Stanford, the co-director of the Prostate Cancer Research Programme at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, said: “If the results of our study are validated with extended follow-ups, a trial of statin drugs in prostate cancer patients may be justified.”
She’s a bit vague and it’s her study. How about another expert?
Dr Milan Geybels, a former researcher in Dr Stanford’s group now based at Maastricht University in Holland, warned: “While statin drugs are relatively well tolerated, with a low frequency of serious side effects, they cannot be recommended for the prevention of prostate cancer deaths until a preventive effect has been demonstrated in a large clinical trial.”
Well this is all very familiar Express Health territory.
1st May 2013: Another miracle jab? Already? Is this an advert? …
Diabetes breakthrough: New £1.90 jab gives hope for sufferers
A SIMPLE once-a-day jab could be a lifeline for at least 1.5 million diabetes patients, not only helping control their condition but also fighting obesity.
A “simple” and a “could.” How reassuring.
The £1.90-a-day breakthrough treatment is far cheaper than using other similar drugs and could save the NHS at least £70million over the next five years.
Doctors can prescribe Lyxumia to patients from today following approval by the European Medicines Agency. They have hailed the treatment as a major new tool in the arsenal to tackle the growing problem of Type 2 diabetes.
It works in tandem with insulin to regulate glucose levels in the body in patients who cannot keep this controlled with insulin alone.
Yes, it’s an advert.
29th April 2013: We’ve not had one of those Lists Of Things To Make You Live Longer headlines for at least a few weeks so here’s another one, lovingly copied and pasted from a press release by Express Health Editor Jo Willey. From the headline:
7 golden rules to live longer: Anti-cancer plan adds years to life says new study : A SEVEN-POINT plan to combat cancer can add years to your life, a landmark study has shown.
What’s the gist of this list?
Following the golden rules not only cuts the risk of dying from cancer by 20 per cent, it also protects against a string of other killer diseases.
The risk of lung disease is halved and heart attacks slashed by 44 per cent.
Very specific! What are the seven rules that are bound to be not at all surprising or newsworthy?
1.Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
2.Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
3.Limit consumption of energy-dense foods – those high in fat or added sugar and low in fibre – and avoid sugary drinks.
4.Eat a variety of vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and pulses such as beans. As well as five portions of fruit and veg a day, try to eat wholegrains with each meal.
5.Limit consumption of red meat such as beef, pork and lamb to 500g cooked weight a week and avoid processed meats such as ham, salami and bacon.
6.Limit alcoholic drinks to two for men and one for women a day.
7.It is best for mothers to breast feed exclusively for up to six months.
I never knew any of that so Thank You Daily Express Health Editor.
25th April: A rare Reverse-Miracle! Still mostly made by copying and pasting bits of a press release and putting it through the bullshit filter so worth a look:
Threat of diabetes soars by 22 per cent with EACH fizzy drink:
A SINGLE can of fizzy drink a day is enough to trigger life-threatening Type 2 diabetes, research revealed yesterday.
Regularly drinking just one sugar-packed soft drink raises the danger of suffering from the condition by 22 per cent. And the risk rises with each drink – every extra can increases the danger by more than a fifth.
Never start a sentence with an “And” …. what do the experts think?
Experts last night called for greater warnings of the “unhealthy effects” of soft drinks enjoyed by millions of Britons every day. Yesterday lead researcher Dr Dora Romaguera, from Imperial College London, warned that one problem with fizzy drinks was that they did not fill you up, so people were tempted to consume more of them. They should be seen as a treat you have once every couple of weeks, not as a substitute for water every time you feel thirsty,” she said.
Doctorate in the bleedin’ obvious?
A typical can of fizzy drink has 150 sugar-based calories which are far more dangerous to the body than those from other sources, it was discovered. A team from Imperial College looked at the link between sweet beverages and Type 2 diabetes in Europe, as much previous research had been carried out in North America.
The researchers found that one 12oz (336ml) serving increased the risk of Type 2 diabetes, with every additional drink raising it by 22 per cent compared with having one can a month or less. This risk fell to 18 per cent when body-mass index was accounted for, suggesting that those who were heavier tended to drink more soft drinks and were more at risk of developing diabetes anyway.
This is all getting a bit vague and full of logic leaps. What does a diabetes person say?
Dr Matthew Hobbs, head of research at Diabetes UK, said: “The finding that people who drank more sugar-sweetened soft drinks were at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, even when body mass index was taken into account, suggests the increased risk was not solely due to the extra calories in those drinks. The large number of people involved in this study means this finding is extremely unlikely to have happened by chance. It is not definitive evidence that sugar-sweetened soft drinks increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, other than through their effect on body weight. We do though already recommend limiting consumption of sugary foods and drinks as these are usually high in calories and so can lead to weight gain if you have too many of them.”
Sensible eating / drinking behaviour plus exercise with everything in moderation? You don’t say.
23rd April 2013: Hurrah! Blood pressure breakthrough : A simple operation which could effectively cure high blood pressure is being tested on British patients.
Why are the Express Batshit Health Press Release stories always “simple”? I wonder…
Anyway, the front page also says “New operation replaces need for daily drugs” but I am doubtful if that is strictly accurate. Let’s have a look…
The breakthrough treatment could save thousands of lives each year after the trials showed a substantial and permanent reduction in blood pressure and a decrease in drugs needed. It is hoped the technique will end the need for powerful drugs and help many patients come off daily medication completely.
Ah, the good old vague news!
Cardiologists in London and Eastbourne carried out the first half-hour operations using the keyhole process last month and hailed the results as “exciting” after patients experienced an immediate reduction in extremely high blood pressure.
Interesting boffin quote in the article:
“One might speculate that such treatment may even herald a new era of device-based therapy in which patients may ultimately be freed from the need to take high blood pressure drugs on a daily basis lifelong.”
Maybe this, maybe that. Definitely The World’s Greatest Newspaper.
19th April 2013: No actual news today as no bombers on the loose or explosions in Texas to report about. No rise in youth unemployment either so here’s a copied and pasted press release about pretty much nothing as the headline for the self-proclaimed World’s Greatest Newspaper. What does it all mean? Well…
Health MoTs to beat diabetes: A ‘Health MoT’ for the over-40s could be the key to beating diabetes and a host of other killer diseases.
New research shows nearly half a million people a year could be living with the chronic and deadly conditions without realising. The check-ups being introduced across Britain are likely to uncover far more diabetes, kidney or heart patients than initial estimates suggested.
The test could be all that is needed to pinpoint thousands of sufferers and save lives with earlier treatment. Researchers say the NHS Health Check Programme should uncover 440,000 people each year who have diabetes or chronic kidney disease or are at high risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
Or, in plain English, Doctors to continue doing their jobs.
That was your Express Vague Health Non-News for Friday.
12th April 2013: Nothing is hapening in thew world so here’s a pasted press release about a miracle cure. Why do some actual journalism that costs time and money?
From the article:
Relief for millions as back pain is cured by a single injection
A single jab could banish back pain for good, say scientists.
Are we going to be horribly disappointed when the CURE of the headline is actually a bit less pain in certain examples? Well…
An experimental study has suggested that bone marrow grafts into the spine could hold out hope of a cure. Dr Donald Meyer, of the Columbia Interventional Pain Center in Missouri, said: “Our results are encouraging. Currently, when conservative treatment measures fail, therapeutic options are limited for individuals with back pain due to disc degeneration. Many resort to disc surgery or spinal fusion with mediocre results. Our goal is to help develop a safe, natural method to boost the body’s own capacity to heal disc pain.”
So now it’s an experimental study that suggests something? Rapidly downgrading from CURE!
Arthritis Research UK said the study looked promising. “Low back pain, associated with intervertebral disc degeneration, is a painful and debilitating disorder costing the UK economy over £12billion a year,” said a spokeswoman. “Although many types of surgery are available for selected patients, current treatments for low back pain remain inadequate, with patients continuing to suffer pain and immobilisation. This study shows that this type of novel treatment using bone marrow grafts may be effective in certain patients.”
So… CURE = Potential efective treatment to an unknown level of pain reduction in some unspecified cases. Bravo!
10th April 2013 again: Bonus non-story I saw underneath the pain gel
advert headline today!
Coffee beans pill ‘would beat diabetes’
I like the use of quotation marks here from ‘the world’s greatest newspapaper.’
A pill made from unroasted coffee beans could beat diabetes and obesity.
“Could” it? How?
Researchers found that naturally occurring chlorogenic acids in the beans help control blood sugar levels and weight.
Drinking seven cups of coffee a day was already known to cut the risk of diabetes by 50 per cent. But roasting the beans for coffee breaks down the acids, so unroasted beans are better.
Can we have the science bit please?
Chlorogenic acids are widely available as a dietary supplement. The findings by the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, US, were presented to the American Chemical Society. Lead researcher Dr Joe Vinson said: “A natural pill would be a major advance.”
Tomorrow: A cake made of unicorn eyelashes could beat deafness.
10th April 2013: One day off from Jo Willey’s Health Press Releases Bonanza due to Mrs Thatch dying but now it’s full steam ahead with the flimsy non-news! From the article:
Gel to wipe out arthritic pain
A simple gel rubbed into the skin is just as effective at tackling crippling arthritis pain as potent drugs, research has found. The major treatment breakthrough could benefit millions of Britons left in constant daily agony by the debilitating disease.
Always using the “could” and they do love a “millions” at Express HQ.
The gel, called Flexiseq, is said to ease pain, restore mobility and protect against further damage when rubbed on the affected area twice a day.
Is this an advert pretending to be the lead story in a national newspaper? Surely that would never happen.
The manufacturers of the gel, which is already available in Germany, hope it will be widely on sale in the UK by the end of the year. It will cost about £15 for a tube which typically lasts 11 days.
8th April 2013: Another advert for statins masquerading as news?
Statins ‘save lives’ despite side effects
Odd that the front page headline does not mention the side effects.
Many more lives could be saved by statins after experts last night dismissed fears over side effects caused by the heart drug.
The positive benefits of the cholesterol-reducing tablets far outweigh any negative reactions, an extensive study has concluded. The drug, taken regularly by eight million patients in the UK, has already led to a marked reduction in people suffering heart attacks. But thousands of patients give up on the pills after suffering minor side effects such as headaches, nosebleeds and digestive problems. More serious complications can include kidney problems – and in rare cases muscle wastage. Now, however, research scientists have come to the conclusion that, in most cases, users should continue to take statins.
Cardiologist Dr Dennis Ko said: “For people who would benefit from these drugs significantly, particularly for people with a history of heart problems, you should persist. The majority of the time, the side effects could get better.”
So… another advert for statins indeed.
4th April 2013: Never mind North Korea and their nuclear threat, what about the five things that can help with blood pressure? The Express calls itself The World’s Greatest Newspaper, after all.
From the shocking exclusive:
Five simple lifestyle changes could beat high blood pressure and save millions of lives every year, said world health experts yesterday.
Are they doing more exercise, eating fruit & veg, not smoking, reducing salt and having less booze?
Keeping active, slashing salt intake, eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, cutting down on alcohol and not smoking all cut the chances of developing the deadly condition.
2nd April 2013: Something known to be healthy in being healthy shocker!
Fish is key to a longer life. Eating a diet packed with oily fish can add years to your life, according to major research.
Is this about the healthy fish oils that anyone who has been to a chemist knows about?
A new study has revealed that consuming mackerel, salmon or sardines, all packed with omega-3, a couple of times a week can lower the risk of an early death by more than a quarter. And having high amounts of omega-3 in the blood can slash the chances of a reduced lifespan by more than a third. Scientists have found that people with the largest amounts of the “good” fatty acids in their blood live on average 2.2 years longer than those with lower levels.
Well I never. Mostly because I am a vegetarian.
Lead researcher Dr Dariush Mozaffarian from the Harvard School of Public Health said: “The findings suggest that the biggest bang-for-your-buck is going from no intake to modest intake, or about two servings of fatty fish per week.” Scientists believe that the acids work to improve the heart’s electrical activity and blood pressure. However, the body does not produce its own essential fatty acids and they must be obtained from the diet.
Was this research paid for by the Fish People?