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New pneumonia risk warning about OTC drugs

They’re often available over the counter (OTC) and without a prescription, but they are fast becoming some of the most dangerous drugs around. The anticholinergics, which include hay fever tablets and insomnia pills, increase the risk the risk of pneumonia in the elderly, researchers have revealed this week—and just a month after they were found to increase the likelihood of dementia. more »

You’re more likely to suffer a stroke if you sleep too much

The Goldilocks Effect seems to apply to a few things, and now even to the amount of sleep that’s good for us. Sleep less than the optimum seven hours a night and you increase the risk of heart disease, but sleep much more and you raise your chances of suffering a stroke, a new study has found. more »

A handful of peanuts reduces heart disease risk

Eating a handful of peanuts every day could lower your chances of dying from heart disease by up to 40 per cent and from dying prematurely from any disease by 21 per cent. more »

ME: It’s all in the body, not the head

There’s still a minority of doctors who insist that chronic fatigue (ME/CFS) is “all in the head”—but a major new study has confirmed that it’s not psychological, and has biological causes. more »

‘Bad science’ may have blocked B vitamin therapy for dementia

Bad science may have prevented people with early-stage dementia from getting effective treatment. The B vitamins—and especially B12—slow the progress of dementia and Alzheimer’s, but a flawed study last year claimed they don’t work. As a result, patients may have missed out on an effective treatment, say researchers from the University of London and Oxford University. more »

Regular mini-fasts can help you live longer

Doing a mini-fast every so often—such as skipping a meal or eating less—could help you live longer and reduce your chances of developing a chronic disease, researchers say. more »

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The Medical Detective - Dr Gaier's casebook Doctor in the house Harald Gaier shares his top 10 home remedies for treating everything from burns to a blocked nose