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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Minister admits some still need co-proxamol

'Red meat linked to Crohn's'

The Story

There is a link between red meat and Crohn's disease, the Guardian and Independent report.

The Source

A two-year study by the University of East Anglia on 218 patients revealed a statistical association between eating beef or canned meat such as corned beef. It found the chance of a patient with Crohn's disease being a meat eater was 40 per cent higher than someone without the disease.

Expert view

Dr Richard Stevens, chair of the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology and a GP in Oxford, said the study was likely to be a retrospective review of the diets of Crohn's sufferers and it was not clear how other factors associated with a meat diet were controlled for.

'Grapefruit can heal ulcers'

The story

Grapefruit extract can help to heal stomach ulcers, BBC News Online claims.

The Source

Polish researchers induced gastric ulcers in rats, and used graded doses of grapefruit seed extract to measure the effect. Rats treated with GSE at 10mg/kg had a 50 per cent cut in gastric acid secretion. The research was presented at the Digestive Disease Week conference in Chicago.

Expert View

Dr Marjorie Walker, a member of the British Society of Gastroenterology and reader at the department of histopathology at Imperial College London, said it may be an 'interesting alternative therapy' for patients with H. pylori who were resistant to antibiotics and those who could not take proton pump inhibitors.

'Pleasure pills give us a perk'

The Story

Pleasure pills could be used to improve mood and memory and increase intelligence, the Guardian and Daily Telegraph report.

The Source

A report by the Government think-tank Foresight said scientific advances could herald a new era of brain-enhancing drugs without addiction that could become as normal as coffee is in today's

society. These could include vaccination against addiction, or drugs to blot out memories such as a terrorist attack.

Expert view

Dr Jim Kennedy, the RCGP's prescribing spokesperson, said: 'Pleasure and sadness are part of the normal human experience and it is important for our psychological well-being that we develop effective and beneficial methods for dealing with sadness and joy as we mature.'

'Breakthrough on obesity'

The Story

A diagnostic test for obesity and diabetes could be developed after a new genetic discovery, the BBC claims.

The source

French and UK researchers have identified that faulty versions of the gene ENPP1 could have an important role in insulin resistance and the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The study was published in Nature Medicine.

Expert view

Roopinder Brar, care adviser at Diabetes UK, said: 'We already know a history of diabetes in the family and being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing the condition. Being the right weight for your height, eating a healthy diet and doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day can reduce this risk.'

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