It’s time for The People’s Doctor ‘End of Year Honours List’
Did you miss any of these weird, wonderful and worrying revelations?
Statin cover-ups, NSAID fears and RATS THE SIZE OF CATS. Read on for more….
How was your Christmas?
I spent some of it with my kids, of course, telling bad jokes and ignoring their almost catastrophic levels of sugar consumption.
But some of it I spent making a list.
Sad, I know, but inspired by the ‘end of year’, ‘best of 2016’ lists you get in all the magazines and papers, I thought I’d create this…
The Ten Most Surprising, Shocking and Life Affirming Health Revelations of 2016
Yes, here’s my selection of People’s Doctor’s best bits.
See if you missed any of these…
1. The big statin cover-up!
The argument about statins really cranked up this year.
As I discussed in this issue of The People’s Doctor, GPs are widely prescribing them to any patient with a 20% risk or more of developing heart disease.
The trouble is, there are suspected links between statin use and diabetes, impotence, cataracts, muscle pain, fatigue and liver dysfunction.
Anyway, in September 2016, the medical establishment and the media cooked up a big PR drive to reassure the public they were ‘safe’,
Not sure it quite worked…
Here’s what I wrote about it: An Urgent Statement about the Statins row.
2. This Asian Freshwater Fish Could Be the Answer to All Your Sleep Problems
On a lighter note, in February I revealed that they’ve pinpointed the gene that helps us sleep. It means there could be a potential cure for insomnia on the cards.
It’s all thanks to this Asian freshwater fish, which shares something in common with humans….
3. New Breakthrough: using SOUND to kill cancer
This story was great news for those concerned about prostate cancer.
A new treatment known as “high-intensity focused ultrasound” (or “HIFU”) uses sound waves to attack the tumour without damaging the healthy tissue around it.
It was announced at the European Association of Urology annual meeting in Munich that HIFU can deliver a 93% survival rate at five years. Find out more here.
4. Beware! Monster Rats the Size of Cats!
Yes, possibly the most shocking story of the year.
RATS THE SIZE OF CATS.
Except… were they really?
Or was this another example of this plague of Fake News that is spreading through the internet?
To find out, take a look at my post from April.
5. What futuristic specs can do for your eyesight
One of our most interesting recommendations this year was for these futuristic glasses.
Ophthalmologists have found that covering up your eyes in a certain combination can strengthen your vision. These are known as ‘orthoptic exercises’.
By switching between the two eyes in turn, you can train them to improve focus and strength.
This is what these glasses do for you, and you only have to put them on for a very short while each day. You can find out more here.
6. Placebo Cheese!
Yes, this wins my ‘strangest health remedy of the year award’.
Back in the summer I revealed that small amounts of Italian cheese can keep your blood pressure at safer levels.
Who’d have thought it?
You can find out more here: Is this the weirdest blood pressure remedy ever?
7. Punk fights the ageing process with venom
Actually, perhaps this story was even stranger…
A punk rock fan in the USA has been injecting himself with snake venom to feel and look younger.
Crazy? Well perhaps, but venom from animals is becoming something of serious interest to scientists looking for new drugs and treatment.
8. Can a Whale’s Dinner Keep You Young?
And talking of the ageing process, in the Autumn I revealed that the food eaten by the blue whale could be the key to feeling younger, more focussed and less in pain.
Why? Well these things are packed with an essential oil that you should be taking if you want to avoid memory loss, stiff joints, fatigue and other symptoms of old age.
9. The five second rule debunked
Absolutely HUGE news, this one.
On the 9th of September this year, research challenged the belief that there’s a ‘safe period’ of 5 seconds when something falls onto a contaminated surface.
Yes, the famous ‘5 second rule’ was debunked by killjoy Professor Donald Schaffner in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal.
10. Shocking news about a popular drug
And finally, but most seriously, in October I revealed some worrying research into NSAIDs, including aspirin and ibuprofen.
The BMJ announced that NSAIDs could increase the risk of being admitted to hospital by 19% for people who have taken them in the previous 4 days.
This backs up previous studies that have linked NSAIDs to abnormal heart rhythm.
You can read more on my website here.
So that’s it from me for 2016!
I will write to you on New Year’s Day with something that I hope helps you stay on an even keel in January.
Until then, enjoy the rest of the holiday and I’ll see you on the other side.