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DoH to ramp up targets for diabetes pay

'Vaccine cures flu for life'

The Story

A vaccine could protect against flu for life, the Daily Mail and BBC News Online report.

The source

The Cambridge-based company Acambis announced it had started developing a 'potentially breakthrough' influenza vaccine that could offer permanent protection and might also protect against pandemics.

Expert view

Dr Douglas Fleming, director of the RCGP Birmingham research unit, said the target

for the vaccine, the matrix or M2 protein, was attractive because of its stability and the potential to protect against several

different strains of flu.

He said: 'This augurs well for such a development, but there is a long way to go before there is a marketable product.'

'Milk raises ovarian Ca risk'

The Story

Drinking a glass of milk a day can raise a woman's risk of ovarian cancer, the Daily Mail and Scotsman report.

The Story

A systematic review of 21 studies, published in the International Journal of Cancer, found whole milk was associated with an overall increase in the risk of ovarian cancer. The research found milk sugar lactose seemed to increase risk by up to 13 per cent.

Expert view

Professor Tim Key, deputy director of the

Cancer Research UK epidemiology unit in Oxford, said: 'The authors found there was

weak evidence of an increase in risk with high milk intake in the few studies with a prospective design. But the results of different studies

varied substantially and no firm conclusions

can be drawn.'

'Drink preserves faculties'

The Story

Moderate drinking could help to preserve thinking power, The Guardian reports.

The source

A study of 7,000 people by the Australian National University

in Canberra found moderate drinkers had better verbal skills, memory and speed of thinking than teetotallers or heavy


Expert view

Dr Clare Gerada, director of the

RCGP substance misuse unit and a GP in south London, said: 'Drinking in moderation can be good for you as it lubricates the mind.

Doctors don't always bring bad

news ­ drinking in moderation can be good for the heart, good for the soul and good for the brain.'

'Pill could cure child obesity'

The Story

Obese children as young as 12 could take pills to help them lose weight, report the Daily Express and BBC News Online.

The source

Pharmaceutical company Roche has claimed its product orlistat is effective in under-18s, following research published in JAMA in June finding it could improve weight management in obese adolescents.

Expert View

Dr David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, said: 'The use of diet pills in children is going to be done in very extreme circumstances. I don't think this is going to make a huge difference to life as we know it in primary care.'

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