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Vitamin D for flu prevention; the embryo raffle and why you should have two brownies for lunch today

By Nigel Praities

Our roundup of the news headlines on Monday 15 March.

The chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, says children are needlessly dying from rare diseases as they are being misdiagnosed or not treated properly.

Speaking to the Times, Sir Liam, who steps down in May after 12 years in his post, said that there was an urgent need for more understanding and funding of more than 6,000 rare diseases, such as Fragile X syndrome and Prader Willi syndrome.

Research that shows the risk of children getting flu is halved if they take vitamin D supplements has ‘implications' for flu vaccination programmes, claim the papers.

Mitsuyoshi Urashima, the Japanese doctor who led the trial, told the Times that vitamin D was more effective than vaccines in preventing flu and should be taken alongside any vaccine.

The refusal of NICE to fund new cancer drugs has once again come under scrutiny. The Daily Mail claims cancer patients have been ‘betrayed' and 20,000 lives have been ‘needlessly' cut short after being denied treatments.

The Telegraph covers the story that an IVF clinic is going to ‘raffle' a human egg to promote their fertility service. The event will be held in a London hotel this Wednesday - just in time for Easter.

In a strangely positive story, the Daily Mail welcomes ‘diet delight' as nutritionists say that calorie labels are out by 25%. The newspaper duly ignores the implication that we all could be consuming a quarter more calories than we thought, and revels in the fact that a 300 calorie brownie could actually be more like 250 calories. I'll have two then. And put some squirty cream on top.

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

Daily Digest