Cabbage and cancer

Cabbage makes the news Listed below are three headlines taken from UK media sources: How the humble cabbage can cut cancers BBC news web-site 15/08/2018 Eating kale and broccoli can help prevent colon cancer, study claims The Independent 14/08/2018 Another reason to eat your greens! Compound in kale, cabbage and broccoli protects against bowel cancer…

Fish, fish glorious fish nothing quite like it for???

Title after  At least one oily fish, salmon, is in most lists of superfoods. Fish oil and cod liver oil comprise over 40% of the value of dietary supplement sales in the UK. So what nutritional characteristics of fish are responsible for its very positive health image?  What prompted this post? Two separate sets of…

High blood cholesterol – problem (almost) solved?

“Your cholesterol is a little high”. How many of us have been given this slightly worrying news after a routine blood test? This post aims to help readers put this news into context and decide how to respond to this news. It will also show how mass use of statins has transformed the blood cholesterol…

A third of UK adults ‘underestimate calorie intake’

This headline appeared on the BBC news web-site (19/02/2018) and related headlines appeared in other media outlets (e.g. The Daily Telegraph ). These headlines were prompted by research from the Office of National Statistics ONS which claim that calorie intake measured objectively using a high-tech method (doubly labelled water, DLW) is much higher than the…

“Ultra-processed foods” and cancer risk

Today’s (16/02/2018) newspapers (e.g. The Guardian) and other media (e.g. BBC) carry headlines about eating “ultra-processed foods” being linked to higher cancer risk. These headlines are in response to a paper published in the BMJ  by a group of mainly French scientists. In my opinion this paper and the media coverage it has generated epitomizes what…

Time for an updated and rational UK food fortification policy?

Context Data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey consistently shows that many people have recorded intakes of vitamins and minerals that are classified as inadequate i.e. more than two standard deviations below the estimated average requirement. This figure is called the lower reference nutrient intake or LRNI in the UK. There are also many…

Flawed medical advice killed tens of thousands of babies

Back to Sleep campaigns have slashed cot death rates around the world but most of their success can be attributed to undoing the harm caused by earlier incorrect advice. A comparison, by scientists at the University of Virginia, of cot death rates in 15 countries before and after campaigns to reduce front sleeping and other…

Stephen Breuning – fake research on drug therapy in mentally retarded children led to the first US criminal conviction for research fraud.

Overview Stephen Breuning was a psychologist and one-time clinical director of the Polk Center in Polk, Pennsylvania. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he published data which purported to show that stimulant drugs like Ritalin were more effective and had less side effects than tranquilizers when treating mentally retarded children with hyperactivity. These findings…