This Weeks Health News – 25/07/14

This week we have seen a study showing that paracetamol is no more effective than a placebo, how shift working can affect your health and more information on the...

This week we have seen a study showing that paracetamol is no more effective than a placebo, how shift working can affect your health and more information on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) recommendations for statins. It’s also the last health news round-up, more information on this can be found at the bottom of the page.


paracetamol-placeboParacetamol no better than placebo for lower back pain, study finds

Paracetamol, a painkiller universally recommended to treat people with acute low back pain, does not speed recovery or reduce pain from the condition, according to the results of a large trial published on Thursday... Read more here.

A recent study has found that the most popular pain killer in the world is actually no more effective than a placebo when it comes to treating back pain. This is big news when you consider that this market is worth around $100 billion a year in America and around £530 million in the UK – it has massive financial implication, but money aside, what does this say about medicines? Paracetamol is one of the most popular drugs, and people believe it is very reliable, if these findings are accurate then it could shake the bed rock of common drug claims.

Further studies are needed to confirm these findings, and there are a number of studies which actually show that paracetamol is effective at pain relief despite not fully understanding how it works in the body. I’m sure you will have taken paracetamol to relieve a headache or some sort of pain and it worked – was it placebo? We don’t know, but if it worked with no ill effects does it really matter? Understanding that you are at high risk is the first and most important step to prevent this.


DiabetesShift workers ‘face type 2 diabetes risk’

Type 2 diabetes is more common in people who work shifts, a large international study suggests… Read more here.

Findings published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine have shown that if you work shifts are at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This isn’t surprising considering the effect that a disrupted sleep has on the hormones which regulate appetite. Disrupted sleep can cause you to feel hungry when you aren’t, crave sugary things and ultimately gain weight, which is strongly linked to developing diabetes.


statins-cataractsMass treatment with statins

True informed choice will require wholesale changes to the way we gather and communicate evidence… Read more here.

Ben Goldacre (professor of Clinical Epidemiology and author of Bad Science)  has written a response to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) recommendations which have plagued the news over recent months. From the current evidence Ben Goldacre concludes that “we can say only that statins are—broadly speaking—likely to do more good than harm. That is not good enough.”  It is worth reading the whole of his response and evaluation, especially if you, or someone you know falls into the  10% risk of a cardiovascular event in 10 years. Personally, with such a small risk, I would think that it would be more effective and beneficial to make diet and lifestyle changes to reduce risk rather than taking statins anyway.


This will be the last weekly news round up by The Health Cloud. One thing I’ve noticed with doing the weekly health news round up is that the there is rarely ‘new’ news. The stories just seem to recycle over and over again and provide very little value to you as a user. Almost every week we see stories covering statins or how healthy wine is/ isn’t but with no real progress.  Any interesting news will still be covered, but on an as-and-when basis.


Main image courtesy of wheatfields

I hope you enjoy the site, and like what we have worked hard to create, any feedback is very much welcome, after all this site is for you! Graduate of Nutrition & Food Science (Bsc) at Reading Uni.

The Health Cloud was created in December 2011 by Craig and Morg who have been friends since high school. Our focus is to educate our readers with unbiased health articles and on the side we run our own online health shop. This website is for you, so drop us a comment or send us a tweet, we always take the time to reply!