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British Medical Article details some major barriers to the planned widening of statin prescribing

Earlier this year, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggested a reduction in the threshold beyond which statin therapy should be considered (from a 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease of 20 per cent to 10 per cent). Some people believe this can only be a good thing. I believe that these people […]

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My phone-in on BBC WM with Adrian Goldberg 02/04/14

On Wednesday, I was back as a guest on Adrian Goldberg’s morning radio show on BBC WM. During the phone-in we discussed a range of topics, including the recent research linking fruit and veg consumption with reduced risk of death, the value of fruit in the diet, juices and smoothies, carbohydrate loading prior to a […]

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Unilever is adding butter to one of its margarines. WTF?!

Margarine has traditionally been touted as a healthy alternative to butter. After all, we’ve been told that butter is rich in saturated fat which raises cholesterol levels and, along with that the risk of cardiovascular issues such as heart disease and stroke. Spreads lower in saturated fat and rich in ‘heart-healthy’ vegetables oils, we are […]

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New study on earthing finds potential benefits for the circulation

About a year ago, I wrote a blog post about ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’. The idea here is that by connecting ourselves with soil or wet sand or sea, say, we can ‘suck up’ electrons that effectively act as ‘antioxidants’ that can quell inflammation and enhance health. The blog post links to a review article of […]

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UK doctors have to treat patients as individuals according to governing body

The General Medical Council (GMC) is the governing body for doctors in the UK (like me). The GMC publishes rules and regulations on how we doctors go about our business. Of course, the real aim of having such guidance is to ensure that individuals get a certain standard of medical care. Perhaps with a patient […]

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How do researchers end up recommending a drug they concede has no benefit?

Although medical practice has a sheen of being ‘evidence-based’, you don’t have to look to far to find a lot of what we do as doctors to be either untested or proven ineffective. I wrote about this recently here where I highlight an initiative by the British Medical Journal entitled ‘Too Much Medicine’ which seeks […]

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Patients less likely to trust and listen to overweight doctors

I was having a conversation with someone this week which centred around this photo which has done the rounds in the blogosphere. Essentially, this has been used by proponent of low-carb/primal/paleo eating and lifestyle who, as a rule, reject the notion that a healthy diet is one that is largely or completely devoid of animal […]

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Cholesterol-modifying drug that does more harm than good is withdrawn from sale

Niacin is a form of vitamin B3 that has been long-known to reduce levels of ‘unhealthy’ LDL-cholesterol, while raising levels of ‘healthy’ HDL-cholesterol. It’s generally believed that these effects would translate into better outcomes in terms of cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks and strokes. As a result, niacin has a history of use for […]

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Podcast 1 March 2013

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Flu vaccination ‘over-promoted’ and ‘over-hyped’ according to researchers

We’re entering the ‘flu season here in the UK. Last year, my local surgery put a banner outside urging us to ‘roll up’ for the ‘flu vaccine. I wrote a blog post which explained why this practice is not nearly as effective or ‘evidence-based’ as one might think. In a previous blog post here I […]

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