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Discoveries about vitamin E and HIV, trainee doctors warning and the risks of DIY teeth whitening

By Laura Passi

Our roundup of health news headlines on Friday 5 November.

The Daily Telegraph reports the worrying news that ‘Vitamin E ‘raises risk of serious stroke’‘.

Many people take vitamin E as it is a powerful antioxidant which it’s suggested could help prevent cardiovascular disease. But in a study at Harvard Medical School researchers found taking the vitamin ‘increased the risk of a haemorrhagic stroke by 22 per cent’, although it ‘reduced the chances of an ischaemic stroke – where blood supply to a part of the brain is blocked – by 10 per cent’.

However we’re told ‘simply living a healthy lifestyle, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels had a far greater impact on reducing ischaemic stroke than taking vitamin E supplements.’

Scientists may have uncovered the mystery as to why a small number of people with HIV can live for many years without succumbing to AIDS. The Independent reports these findings, which it says could ‘lead to new and better ways of developing vaccines against HIV because it offers hope of a natural immunity to the virus that could be exploited.’

Their findings have identified which gene might be responsible, down ‘not only to a specific protein, but to a part of that protein essential to its function.’

The Times tells us that patients ‘are being placed at “unnecessary risk” by the use of trainee doctors to deal with staff shortages’. An NHS review has found that due to staffing problems they were ‘being put in situations far beyond their expertise’.

And finally, Friday’s Daily Digest ends with a warning courtesy of the Daily Mail: ‘Young women are putting their health at risk by using DIY teeth-whitening treatments involving baking soda, ash and hydrogen peroxide’.

Websites recommending various techniques to get your teeth brighter could actually be causing ‘permanent damage to tooth enamel and gums’, we’re told, and ‘dentists advise going to a professional’.

But even that has its risks of course, as Ross Geller from Friends teaches us…

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

Daily digest