Current Posts – 18 May 2015

Doctors take on prevention is a bit like St Augustine’s take on sex, (he was a 4th century father of the Christian Church), who famously used to pray: “Lord, make me chaste—but not yet.” So while they all agree that prevention is a jolly good idea, when it comes to actually taking it as seriously as drugs and properly funding research, policies and education, the “not yet” option pops up. We can’t afford their self-indulgence any more.

‘Health and safety gone mad’ is a tabloid stock response to absurd rulings such as demanding a pensioner wear protective clothing while gardening or forbidding the audience at a Tom Jones impersonator concert to throw knickers at the stage. But one of the richest seams can be found in health advice handed out in doctors’ surgeries. Often it’s more mad than sensible as the campaigning GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick reveals.

Anyone who works seriously with vitamins and mineral supplements knows how effective they can be when used carefully on people who are deficient. Nutritionists also have to put up with a constant drip of articles claiming that vitamins are both ineffective and can kill you. What’s most infuriating about them is evidence they offer in defence of their claims is so poor. This post shows just how weak the evidence is in the latest attack.

How are we going to beat cancer? We’ve bet the farm – hundreds of millions of pounds – on targeting cancer genes with drugs. But is this a dead end? A radical new book reveals that cancer genes are far more chaotic and random than the theory predicted. But there is another target – the way cancer cells make energy. Cutting off tumours’ energy supply could be a whole new approach.



Editor: Jerome Burne |

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