The claim that the British Governments ‘laissez-faire’ approach to flu has killed people is not supported by the science

If you’re British you’ll likely remember the flu ‘pandemic’ of 2009/10. Government-sponsored television adverts and a media awash with stories about the perils of flu led to the dishing out of 800,000 packets of an anti-viral drug (Tamiflu) over the phone and about half the populations dutifully had their ‘flu jab. At one point, the […]

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‘Earthing’ – important discovery or mumbo-jumbo?

‘Earthing’ or ‘grounding’ has been getting a lot of attention of late in certain communities, so about a week ago I decided to take a look. Here, in summary is what I’ve learned. What is ‘earthing’? Earthing is the practice of connecting the body with earth by touching skin to a conductive material such as […]

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A brief guide to better sleep

Yesterday, I wrote a post about how a lack of sleep might contribute to unhealthy weight gain. Today, I’m following this up on a guide to how to get better sleep. In no particular order, here are some of the strategies which I’ve found consistent success with in terms of improving sleep quality, and most […]

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Why statin side effects are likely to be much more common than official statistics suggest

In the UK, the most popular ‘drugs bible’ goes by the name of the British National Formulary (BNF). Within its pages is found a wealth of information about pills and potions that are available over-the-counter and by prescription, including indications and advice of dosages. A significant proportion of the pages in the BNF are taken […]

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Review highlights several mechanisms through which lack of sleep can cause us to put on weight

The last few decades have seen a rise in rates of overweight and obesity. Average duration of sleep has declined in the Western world too. Could the two be connected? Actually, yes. There are a number of mechanisms through which reduced sleep time might be somehow contributing to the obesity ‘epidemic’, and these were summarised […]

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Are berries good for the brain?

Dementia is an issue many of us would rather avoid as we age, and in recent years there has been considerable interest in specific dietary strategies that might help here. Seeing as about 70 per cent of the dry weight of the brain is fat (much of it saturated), I’m inclined to think a diet […]

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Can low cholesterol cause cancer?

While cholesterol remain possibly the most vilified natural and essential body constituent, and we are encouraged to put constant downward pressure on our cholesterol levels, it should perhaps not be forgotten that low levels of cholesterol are associated with enhanced risk of death. Low cholesterol is associated with an enhanced risk of specific health issues […]

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Claims made for new flu vaccine are based more on rhetoric than good research

I came across this report today, which concerns childhood vaccination against influenza. Normally, vaccines contain three strains of flu virus (trivalent vaccine). In theory, a quadrivalent (four-strain) vaccine might provide better protection again flu. In the study referred to in the report, children and adolescents were randomised to receive either a quadrivalent vaccine or one […]

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Does flu vaccination prevent death in the elderly? Apparently not

Influenza vaccination is widely promoted, particularly the elderly. One argument for flu vaccination in the elderly is that it is said to reduce their risk of dying – primarily through its ability to prevent flu (which can be deadly) or a potentially deadly complication of flu such as pneumonia. Some evidence appears to show flu […]

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Why the new ‘cholesterol-busting’ drug is nothing to get excited about

Earlier this week saw the holding of the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting in Chicago. Quite a lot of media interest in this scientific meeting centred on the drug currently going by the name of REGN727. It’s an injectable drug, and it lowers levels of supposedly unhealthy ‘LDL’ cholesterol. It does this, apparently, by […]

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