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Boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew – potatoes the new superfood?

By Laura Passi

Our roundup of health news headlines on Monday 23 August.

What do you get if you call 666? An upside-down policeman… (Boom boom)

What happens if you call 111? Nothing for the moment – unless you live in the north-east of England, where, as Pulse reported last week, and The Independent explains today, you can call it ‘to get health advice and information about out-of-hours GPs, walk-in centres, emergency dentists and 24-hour chemists’.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley says ‘the 111 number was part of a drive to improve patients’ access to urgent care services’ and to ‘end the confusion over what services are available when.’ So when do you call NHS Direct? Maybe you call whichever one you remember first.

The mystery as to why rheumatoid arthritis is a negative risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is revealed today in The Telegraph. Scientists in South Florida ‘found a protein triggered by rheumatoid arthritis could undo the ‘tangles’ in the brain that are thought to cause Alzheimer’s.’ And in some cases the memory impairment was completely undone after 20 days of treatment with the protein, which is commercially available and known as Leukine.

In the Daily Mail and Metro today, ground-breaking research by scientists in Japan is headlined ‘Scientists build potato torture chamber to make spuds healthy’. Tipped to become the newest superfood, after 10 minutes of being shocked, the potato is suitably stressed, ‘which makes them nearly double their production of antioxidants.’

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…

Daily digest