Category: Health & Medicine

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Do infant simulator dolls actually help reduce teen pregnancy rates?

Have you ever seen those baby simulator dolls on TV? Teenagers are given them to take home to help them understand what being a parent is like. They cry if they [...]

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Understanding Health Research

A tool to guide you through a series of questions to help you review health research that you have come across. You will also be given some guidance on how [...]

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The IVF clinic that plays music to embryos

Some un-cited, conversational ‘science facts’ are like earworms – those catchy songs that run through your head refusing to budge. Here’s one: the idea that playing music before birth somehow [...]

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Can this lube prevent HIV?

It would be a miracle of modern medicine if a lubricant could prevent sexually transmitted infections including HIV, protect against cervical dysplasia, treat yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, increase libido [...]

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Story about 'dangerous' festival wristbands based on test of single wristband

According to an article in the Daily Mirror earlier this year, festival wristbands could act as a health hazard by fostering the growth of harmful bacteria. Although just two bands from one [...]

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Can simple changes in diet reduce menopause symptoms?

The menopause typically begins to affect women around the age of 50 and may be accompanied by a range of symptoms, including hot flushes, vaginal dryness, anxiety and depression. A [...]

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Treating asthma: add some salt?

Here are the facts about asthma in the UK: 5.4 million people are currently receiving treatment for asthma - that’s 1 in 11 children and 1 in 12 adults. Around [...]

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We visit an allergy trade show to Ask for Evidence

To coincide with the launch of Sense About Science’s public guide Making Sense of Allergies, I helped out with Voice of Young Science’s campaign to Ask For Evidence on Allergy [...]

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Air pollution Q&A

Scare stories about air pollution regularly come across journalists’ desks and we get questions about them. Are diesel cars a danger to our health or should we worry more about [...]

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What's the evidence that investment in alcohol treatment pays off?

The Mail Online ran a piece on alcohol and violent crime on 12th  February. In the article Andrew Brown, Director of policy at the charity DrugScope was quoted as saying [...]

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Flyer claiming supplement could cure cancer taken down and reported

I spotted a flyer in my local leisure centre which made numerous claims about a super food supplement which can help to overcome many medical conditions. This pill can supposedly [...]

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Vision Express launch investigation after giving misleading advice

Following an eye test at Vision Express, I was informed that although my level of myopia had not changed, there was a very small degree of astigmatism in one eye [...]

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Should we be worried about 'dirty' stethoscopes?

You may have seen news stories that stethoscopes have been found to be ‘dirtier’ than doctors’ hands, and contaminated with the ‘superbug’ MRSA. So, should we be worried and if so, [...]

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Antimicrobial surfaces derived from tea, wine and chocolate?

This is a guest blog by Dr Jon Otter, research fellow at the Centre for Clinical Infection and Diagnostics Research at King’s College London. I have recently been looking at [...]

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A cure for 'Dengue and Chikungunya'?

I was intrigued to see an advert in my local paper here in Grenada that claimed to be able to cure 'many diseases like Dengue and Chikungunya' simply by drinking a [...]

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Health benefits of 'Calamari Gold' squid oil capsules

Health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are frequently reported in consumer products. This article focused on one form of omega-3 fatty acid – DHA – citing its properties in brain [...]

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Drinkable Suncream claim investigated by BAD

“We have been touch with Osmosis Skincare as we are very keen to see any evidence to support its claims regarding Harmonised H20 UV protection. At this stage the claims [...]

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Challenge the scammers who claim to cure

Ridiculous remedies for baldness, snoring and everyday ailments are met with much eye-rolling here at NHS Choices, with the latest vaginal steaming as a cure for many ills really taking [...]

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Claims about cancer fighting foods

A friend pointed out to me an article in The Sun that linked a number of foods as being effective at treating cancer, gout, stress and other health issues [...]

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Asking for the evidence on claims about breast cancer risk

After Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy announcement I was passed an issue of a magazine called ‘What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You’ (WDDTY).  For those that are unaware this is a magazine [...]

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Miracle cures for cancer? Ask for the evidence

At Cancer Research UK, we’re often asked about alternative cancer cures. These are usually circulated on the internet and end up plastered onto our Facebook page (often accompanied by the [...]

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No evidence for Marks & Spencer’s 'MRSA resistant' pyjamas

When a friend told me that Marks & Spencer had started to sell ‘MRSA resistant’ pyjamas, I decided to look into the claims and find out whether there was any [...]

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Can Protexo air filter improve quality of life for asthma sufferers by 15%?

A recent article in the Daily Mail claimed that Protexo, a machine that filters out allergens in the air, could improve the quality of life of asthma sufferers by 15%. [...]

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No peer-reviewed evidence for claims made for 'Nip+Fab Bust Fix'

I recently came across a mention in the Daily Express about a new product to enhance breast volume called Nip+Fab Bust Fix. The product claims to work by “stimulating the [...]

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Confusing response for 'Bowen technique' as a treatment for Crohn's disease

I have Crohn’s disease, amongst other chronic health problems, and am sick of people telling me of the supposed efficacy of the numerous quack remedies being sold and touted as [...]

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Valkee light therapy in-ear device lacking in evidence

The manufacturer Valkee has recently released an in-ear product to ease symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The product is a similar size and shape to an MP3 player with [...]

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Evidence provided for Viagra prescription guidelines from the Department of Health

Margaret Heslin gets the evidence for Viagra prescription guidelines from the Department of Health. I read an article in the Daily Mail on 8th December 2011 reporting that managers at several [...]

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Can Nanoblur facecream make you look 10 years younger in 40 seconds?

I asked to see the evidence for Nanoblur, a cream that claims to make you look 10 years younger in 40 seconds, after seeing adverts for it in several newspapers. [...]

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Evasive response from Lifeline Screening to claim that ultrasound examination that could ‘prevent’ an abdominal aneurysm

A company called LifeLine Screening ran a full page advert in The Guardian, which stated that they offered an ultrasound examination which could help prevent abdominal aneurysm formation. An abdominal [...]

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Mobile App to prevent pain caused by 'text neck'

Recently I have come across several articles in the tabloids describing a painful condition called ‘text neck’, caused by the neck being flexed for a prolonged period. It is claimed [...]

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Lack of evidence for Breo Tourmaline watch which claimed to improve concentration

I recently bought a Breo watch for £10 on a plane, because my regular watch broke on holiday. The advertising for the Breo Black Watch in British Airways and other [...]

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No hard evidence behind MediWise pain relieving patch

I saw a Facebook ad for the "The OSMO Patch™ which provides Fast & Effective relief from swelling, pain and inflammation from bursitis" (bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sac [...]

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Is there evidence that Vitabiotics’ supplements can improve athletic performance to 'gold-winning standard?'

On London underground advertisements, Vitabiotics claimed that taking their supplements (Wellwoman/Wellman) helped to improve athletic performance to gold-winning standard. I asked Vitabiotics for evidence to back this up. They responded by [...]

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Rescue Night remedy for insomnia unsubstantiated

I had seen advertisements on the London underground towards the end of 2011 for Rescue Night remedy made by Bach which claimed to “help switch off the mind from unwanted, repetitive [...]

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Finitro Forte Plus joint and cartilage pills

I saw an advertisement in which Finitro claimed that their "joint maintenance" product, Finitro Forte Plus, "keeps joints flexible; is good for strong bones; supports the lubrication of joints; helps [...]

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Ionbalance germanium bracelets

I received a promotional email from Wowcher advertising a bracelet containing germanium, which could supposedly improve circulation and immunity by emitting negative ions. I did not think this was possible, [...]

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Ann Summers’ Buzz Fresh Wipes: effective against infection?

The Ask for Evidence campaign has seen members of the public question the claims made by companies, politicians, journalists, schools, charities and many others. Sometimes people have not been particularly forthcoming [...]

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'Detox' off the menu at Wellcome café

I recently visited my favourite science hangout, the Wellcome Collection. After seeing the new exhibition and doing a light spot of Christmas shopping in the bookshop, I was in need [...]

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Blue bulb

Network Rail keen to improve 'blue light' pilot study

I saw an article in The Times looking at whether installing blue lights in railway stations would reduce the number of suicides. The article takes you through scientific evidence that [...]

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Ask for Evidence on migraine claims

"Do chocolate and cheese cause migraine?  Is it true that taking painkillers makes migraine worse?  Would many years of severe migraine attacks cause brain damage in later life?  There are [...]

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Fertility week

Ask for Evidence on Fertility claims

Superfoods to boost your chances of conceiving, relaxation CDs, home-made energy bars to ward off infertility, exercise regimes to boost your sperm count and even fertility astrologers. Fertility is a [...]

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Radiation & Safety Q&A

  If you have a question about radiation being used in a medical setting then get in touch via Twitter (@senseaboutsci) or email enquiries@senseaboutscience.org and we'll put your questions to the [...]

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Lab Tests Online

Lab Tests Online UK offers education and information on blood and urine tests to help patients better understand their health care. [...]

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Understanding Animal Research

Scientific and historical information provided by Understanding Animal Research based on the humane use of animals in biomedical research in the UK, to advance science and medicine. http://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/how/ [...]

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Craniosacral therapy (CST) claims

Information about the practice and evidence for Craniosacral therapy (CST). [...]

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Information for patients and the public about radiotherapy

A glossary and basic introduction to radiotherapy treatment by the British Institute of Radiology. [...]

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British Dietetic Association Food Fact Sheets

The British Dietetic Association has produced Food Fact Sheets to help you learn the best ways to eat and drink to keep your body fit and healthy. [...]

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Ask for evidence on antimicrobial products and policies

Antibiotic resistance and ‘superbugs’ have in the last few years become a focus of research efforts and public health campaigns. When there’s a focus on an issue like this we [...]

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Sense About Bird Flu

This guide, published in 2006, is an introduction to the study and reporting of the H5N1 flu virus. [...]

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Sense About Chiropractic

Chiropractic treatment involves “adjustment” of the spine via a series of physical manipulations. All chiropractors treat back problems, but many of them believe that spinal manipulation, the hallmark intervention of [...]

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Sense About Anti-EMF Products

This guide explores the worldwide industry trading on people's fears of electromagnetic fields (EMFs), by selling products offering protection from 'bad' radiation. Such products claim to work, for example, by [...]

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Making Sense of Testing

There has been an unprecedented explosion in the availability of tests for healthy people. These are marketed to diagnose a range of conditions and spot diseases before any symptoms appear. [...]

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Making Sense of Screening

Public expectations about screening don't match what screening programmes can deliver. This guide addresses misconceptions about how screening works, its limitations and the calculation of benefits and harms. [...]

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I've Got Nothing To Lose By Trying It

A guide to help people weigh up claims about ‘miracle cures’ on the web and in advertising. [...]

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Sense About Homeopathy

Homeopathy is marketed as a safe, natural and holis tic treatment for a range of ailments and illnesses, in cluding arthritis, asthma, depression, eczema, diarrhoea, hayfever, headaches, insomnia and toothache. [...]

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Evidence Based Medicine Matters

A booklet of case studies of 15 of the game changers in evidence based medicine. [...]

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Debunking Detox

The multi million pound detox industry sells products with little evidence to support their use. These products trade on claims about the body which are often wrong and can be [...]

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Clinical Trials Knowledge Bank

This is an overview of clinical trials, including testimonies of people taking part in clinical trials [...]

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Alzheimers/Dementia Knowledge Bank

This is a collection of factsheets covering a wide selection of dementia-related topics [...]

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Asthma Knowledge Bank

This is a full index of asthma and allergy-related materials, mostly focusing on what the disease is and treatment options: http://www.asthma.org.uk/knowledge-bank [...]

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Making Sense of Drug Safety Science

Investigating the science of side effects [...]

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5 a day Q&A with Public Health England

Many of you have sent in questions about the 5 a day message and what the evidence is to back it up. Public Health England has been kind enough to [...]

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Ask for Evidence on miracle cancer cures

Tabitha from Sense About Science wrote an article on the Which? Conversation blog about why you might want to think again if you're tempted by untested claims and miracle cures. You [...]

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The Cancer Act

Over the last week a number of people have asked Sense About Science to clarify what the Cancer Act is and how it relates to claims of ‘miracle’ cancer cures. [...]

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There's no such thing as a miracle cure - Ask for Evidence

Sadly, there are still many conditions that medicine can treat only very imperfectly. For example, low back pain, and some forms of cancer cannot be cured at the moment. A [...]

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Lack of evidence to support software program's claim to protect against electromagnetic radiation

Tom Sheldon found the evidence for a software program claiming to modulate the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation to be anecdotal, subjective, and unreliable. I came across a software program [...]

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