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Duchess of Cornwall and the fragile bones, vitamin D3 for Crohn’s disease and yoga for back pain



Our roundup of the health news headlines on Tuesday 1 November

‘Fragile bones: This cruel betrayal’ is not the name of the latest P.D. James thriller, but in fact, part of a headline in today’s Daily Mail. According to an audit by the Royal College of Physicians, osteoporosis is a ‘public health catastrophe’ with hundreds of thousands of people with the disease given no help to prevent repeat fractures. The Daily Mail informs us that they are campaigning (with the Duchess of Cornwall) for better diagnosis and treatment.

A test has begun in the UK, to see if making brain tumours glow under UV light is a feasible option for helping surgeons to check that the entire tumour is removed. More than 60 patients with glioblastoma will be given a dose of 5-amino-levulinic acid (5-ALA), which causes a build-up of fluorescent chemicals in the tumour, lighting up the edges.

Researchers from New York have found that taking supplements of vitamin D3 reduces symptoms of Crohn’s disease. They looked at 15 people and found that those given a high dose (10,000IU) of the vitamin had less symptoms after six months than those given a low dose (1,000IU).

Yoga is a better way of treating chronic back ache than GP care alone, according to a study led by the University of York and funded by Arthritis Research UK. The study looked at 156 people with back pain; half were offered yoga classes specially designed to improve back function and after three months, they were able to undertake 30% more activities compared with the standard care group.