About Dr John Briffa

Author Archive | Dr John Briffa

BMJ piece asks serious questions about the effectiveness of mammography

Last week one of my blogs focused on prostate cancer screening, and specifically the prostatic specific antigen (‘PSA’) test. For a variety of reasons, the doctor who discovered PSA says the practice of using it to detect cancer should be stopped. In that post, I mentioned that doubts have also previously been raised about the […]

Continue Reading Comments { 8 }

Study suggests high fructose corn syrup is uniquely fattening, a that a calorie is not a calorie after all

Variously on this site I’ve discussed the notion that ‘a calorie is a calorie’. Simply put, this concept, widely populated by doctors, dieticians and other health professionals, is that when it comes to their effects of weight, all forms of calorie are the same. In terms of its impact on body weight, a kilogram of […]

Continue Reading Comments { 16 }

Coffee drinking has biochemical benefits for the body

Coffee, despite its not-so-healthy reputation, has been quite consistently linked in the scientific literature with benefits for health including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. See here, here, here, and here. While the research regarding the effects of coffee on health is voluminous, the great majority of it comes in the form […]

Continue Reading Comments { 14 }

Prostate cancer screening called into question

Screening for illness is based on a simple concept: catch the disease early and more timely treatment will (inevitably) lead to better outcomes. However, as with most things in life, things turn out to be not a clear-cut as they sometimes seem. Tests are not foolproof, of course. And sometimes tests can detect things that […]

Continue Reading Comments { 6 }

Why are melanoma survivors found to be at increased risk of other cancers?

Malignant melanoma is a form of skin cancer we are repeatedly warned about. As long as I can remember, just as things start to hot up, we are subjected to dire warning about the hazards of exposing ourselves to the sun’s rays. As a prelude to this this year, we have a recently published study […]

Continue Reading Comments { 31 }

When is the best time to take your vitamin D supplement?

While walking the dog today, my mind wandered and I found myself thinking about nutrient absorption. I’d just had lunch (leftover roast pork from yesterday) and some veggies and salad including rocket (a type of lettuce). My girlfriend dished it up and all I had to do was add a drizzle of olive oil to […]

Continue Reading Comments { 49 }

Vitamin D supplementation found to help prevent flu in children

Back in February I wrote a post that was largely focused on my experience of supplementing with vitamin D, and specifically the fact that I had not had a single infection (e.g. cold or flu) since starting supplementation. I still, by the way, have not had an infection. Not even a hint of one. This […]

Continue Reading Comments { 13 }

Gluten and milk linked with constipation in kids

The natural food for human babies is breastmilk. However, at some point, children need to be weaned onto ‘solid food’. In the long term there is good reason, I think, for aiming for a childhood diet that is essentially ‘primal’ in nature. That means a diet based on foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, […]

Continue Reading Comments { 14 }

Why are there a lot of redheads in Scotland?

Earlier today, I came across this story in the on-line version of the Daily Mail (UK) which reports on a theory relating to why the Scotland enjoys a preponderance of redheads. The theory, which the originator herself describes as ‘speculation’, is that a combination of the ‘bad weather’ in Scotland, coupled with a genetic mutation, […]

Continue Reading Comments { 12 }

My personal fat loss experience and forthcoming book

I have since last June been undertaking a bit of a personal experiment. Over couple of years I’d found I’d somehow managed to accumulate some added fat to my midriff. At 43, I suppose ‘middle-aged’ spread might have had something to do with it. But also when I looked at my diet with as much […]

Continue Reading Comments { 22 }