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The round-up of today’s health news you’ve always dreamed about

By Lilian Anekwe

Our roundup of health news headlines on Thursday 20 May.

It's going to be a bit of a depressing round-up today, I'm afraid. Not because I'm in a sombre mood, quite the contrary in fact. I had a good night's sleep yesterday for the first time in a while, so I'm full of beans and top of this morning.

But there is much in the papers about death, outrage and... beetroot. Read on, all is revealed.

During last night's restorative snooze, I dreamt that I woke up, went to work, and wrote a Daily Digest about new guidance on end of life care and a furore surrounding the country's first TV advert for an abortion clinic.

So imagine how I felt when I came to write the round-up of today's news and discovered doctors have been told to encourage patients to discuss how they wish to end their lives, according to new guidance from the General Medical Council.

The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph both point out that this new guidance primarily applies to terminally ill patients, and The Times also reiterates the point. Just to be clear – you're not meant to discuss death with every patient that walks through the door.

The Daily Mail also chimes in gleefully with a warning that if you ignore a dying patient's wishes, you will face the sack.

And again my clairvoyant powers accurately predicted that nearly all of the papers to greater or lesser degrees, would be outraged that Marie Stopes, a provider of abortion services, is to run an advert on Channel 4 next week.

The Sun says pro-life groups have branded the decision 'deplorable', while the Daily Mail says it will be shown 'in defiance of concerns from family groups and church leaders'.

In my waking life I'm on a bit of a health drive at the moment, so was heartened to read a triple-whammy of stories in the Daily Mail.

Beetroot juice can enhance my physical endurance when I'm going for the burn at the gym; the water I drink to rehydrate will also boost my brain power, and a chocolate aerosol spray – yes you did read that right – will allow me to have all the chocolate I want without any of the calories.

But the best news of the day, and I'm glad I didn't just dream this, is that 'healthy tippling', which I think is a wonderfully British expression to describe drinking the equivalent of three glasses of wine or two pints of beer a day, is good for you, according to a study comparing 150,000 light and moderate drinkers to teetotallers. Cheers!

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know in the comments below, and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest