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NICE backs £3 pill to cut drinking, moderate alcohol consumption lowers sperm quality and drink cherry juice to cure gout

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines.

Regular drinkers, who consume more than half a bottle of wine or three pints a night, could be offered a new pill to curtail their alcohol cravings, after NICE approved the drug’s use.

The Guardian reports that more than 600,000 people could be eligible for the treatment nalmefene, which costs £3 a tablet and could prevent 43,000 alcohol related diseases and injuries.

Trials showed the drug cut drinking by 61% in six months, in conjunction with counselling, and a final decision to roll out the drug on the NHS in England will be taken in November.

Keeping the boozy Friday theme, the Telegraph reports that even moderate drinking of around five units a week can harm your sperm count.

A study on 1,200 Danish military recruits aged 18 to 28 asked about drinking habits and found that drinking in the previous week was linked to an increase in testosterone levels, and deceased levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which impacted sperm quality.

The authors wrote: ‘Even modest habitual alcohol consumption of more than five units per week had adverse effects on semen quality although most pronounced associations were seen in men who consumed more than 25 units per week,’.

And finally, the Daily Express reports that the juice of a french cherry can lower levels of gout-causing uric acid

Researchers found, with a sample size of just twelve individuals with an average age of 26, given two doses of concentrated juice from French Montmorency cherries had lower bloodstream uric acid levels after just 48 hours.

Dr Glyn Howatson, of Northumbria University, which conducted the study, admitted the cherry juice is sour but said: ‘It’s nothing like as bad as cod liver oil.’

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