Drugs: just say no. The hidden dangers

Blowing you own trumpet is briefly satisfying, like another solitary activity, but not very cool. However I’ve decided to succumb to the urge as its now six months since “10 Secrets of Health Ageing” was published and in a couple of weeks (Sunday 16th of November I’m going to be talking about it at the […]

How to get slim and healthy and stay that way

OK the title is a bit of a come-on but this week’s BBC2 investigation into the benefits of fasting by the Horizon team, actually entitled “Eat, fast and live longer “, did become very enthusiastic towards the end. Understandably. It wouldn’t be over-egging it too much to say that if you were looking for a single thing that […]

Evidence based medicine. Blind but not in a good way

Imagine you had bought a new house but after a few months the flow of water from the taps began to slow and within a few weeks it was down to a trickle. So you call the builders and they say, no worries, Evidence Based Plumbing Services will be with you within the hour. A […]

If this helps Alzheimer’s it will be ignored

What’s the best way to cut your risk of developing Alzheimer’s? One bit of advice you see regularly is to keep your  mind active – do things like crosswords and so on. But here’s a new way that raises a lot of interesting questions about the current narrow focus of Alzheimer’s research.  A new study has […]

Diabetes and how the dieticians failed

Prison is a dysfunctional system for dealing with mostly young men, many of whom have learning or emotional difficulties along with drug problems. The official system we have for dealing with diabetes seems much the same. The problem with prisons is that they do very little to address the problems that have put offenders in […]

Who made us fat? Brilliant documentary

The Men Who Made Us Fat , a brilliant BBC 2 documentary that went out last night, should be forcibly played to dieticians and other experts who for decades have urged the low fat diet as the solution to weight loss and heart protection, not to mention being comfortable with a hefty intake of sugar as […]

Do anecdotes of side-effects count as evidence?

I can sympathise with the frustration felt by Professor Edzard Ernst, dedicated promoter of the  principles of evidence based medicine, when faced with under-reporting of side-effects. But I’m surprised at his readiness to abandon them when going into print. His latest attack on Chiropractic just doesn’t follow the rules of evidence based medicine, at least […]

Doctors need not fear credibility gap

Clinical trials paid for by drug companies are widely seen as being untrustworthy because of the hiding of data, spinning of results and all the other dark arts described in books such as Pharmageddon. So much so, that there is now something of a PR offensive underway to reassure everyone that all is well. But […]

Whose job is it to get medics to follow the evidence?

One of the reasons for gathering evidence in trials is to use it to better treat patients. But what happens if doctors know what should be done in theory but then don’t or can’t do it? This is a far from a theoretical issue for kids diagnosed as ADHD  on Ritalin  or someone getting one […]

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 […]