No good evidence that antioxidants will help you get pregnant

It’s Monday morning and I have just the thing to wake you up. It’s a three word combo: antioxidants + subfertility + evidence. Yes I was interested too. We so often hear claims for health benefits of antioxidant supplements (cranberry capsules, green tea, bee spit and so on and so on) and there’s a huge market for them amongst women who are trying to get pregnant, particularly for the increasing number who are having difficulty conceiving, now thought to be around a quarter of couples. Many of the antioxidant supplements taken in the hope of improving fertility are unregulated and readily available to buy. But is there any evidence that antioxidants benefit woman trying to conceive and do we know if there are risks attached? Continue reading

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Taking antibiotics? Probiotics can cut your risk of diarrhoea

Key message: moderate quality evidence suggests that probiotics are both safe and effective for preventing Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea.

It’s no surprise that a new Cochrane review made headline news on the BBC’s health pages last week and was featured in many other health news reports too, as its focus was the use of probiotics to prevent Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea (CDAD) in people taking antibiotics. Continue reading

Do selenium supplements reduce heart attacks?

Probably not, but it could increase your chance of baldness! Selenium is a trace element which is involved with thyroid hormone metabolism, the immune system and also glass making and electronics! It is available to buy as a supplement over the counter, but it is also found naturally in brazil nuts, fish, shellfish and grains. It has become popular in recent years as it has been thought to work as an antioxidant. A new review from the Cochrane Heart Group assessed the effect of this supplement on healthy adults, to test whether it prevented heart attacks. Continue reading