Antibiotics make you fat

The eye-catching title of my article for the Daily Mail today on why frequent courses of antibiotics may not be such a good idea, highlights a new and emerging set of problem with these drugs. It’s not just weight gain that becomes more likely. There’s an increase in the risk of auto-immune disorders as well […]

Acid suppressing PPI drugs: not so safe (updated)

If you take these drugs which cut your stomach acid by around 90%, you might want to look at the piece wrote earlier in the week for the  Daily Mail about the serious side effects they can cause. In the short-term they do of course bring almost instant and blessed relief from the really nasty pain of […]

Can diabetes societies prevent diabetes?

As you enter the vast conference centre – half a mile or more end to end – hosting the 79th Scientific Session of the American Diabetes Association in Philadelphia, your first sight on the left is a Dunkin’ Donuts store. Up the escalator brings you to the ADA’s mission statement which reads in part: “to […]

Five reasons not to take statins

If you are over fifty-something you will soon have to make a decision about whether or not to take a statin to bring down your cholesterol and cut your chance of having a heart attack. You will certainly be offered them.   Now according to the latest “evidence” the decision is  a no-brainer. These drugs have […]

Lifestyle alters ageing marker

Telomeres are the exciting new kids on the ageing block. We all have them and they play a crucial role in protecting our DNA when cells divide. They are linked with ageing because the older you get the shorter your telomeres become. So one big question about ageing is: If I keep my telomeres from getting too […]

Serious doubts on value of clinical trials

It’s a no brainer that evidence based medicine is a good idea. Who doesn’t want to know that there is is some form of testing going on to find out if your treatment is likely to work? The medical profession, or most of it, confidently asserts that this is the way medicine is done these […]

How drugs can mess with your vitamins

You’ve probably seen warnings that herbs or supplements of one sort or another might interfere with any drugs that you are taking so you should always tell your doctor about them. Sound advice. What you are less likely to know about is that some of the drugs you are taking can reduce the production or […]

Should antibiotics be developed by the public sector?

We are running out of antibiotics raising the terrifying prospect of untreatable STDs, hospital superbug infections or tuberculosis. Yet because these drugs are not profitable enough, development by drug companies has almost dried up. So let the public sector research and develop them says a BMJ article. Good idea and what about doing the same […]

Series: Drugged-Up Britain – No. 1

Drugged-Up Britain 1; Aug 2011

No. 1 of 4 articles in Reader’s Digest UK. (August 2011) How did we get to the point where £22m is spent on prescribing drugs—every day? In the first of a four-part special, Jerome Burne launches our campaign to tackle Drugged-Up Britain. When 54-year-old John arrived at a nutritional clinic in south London, he was in a bad […]