Can exercise offset some of the harms of regular drinking?

NHS Choices - Behind the Headlines - Fri, 08/09/2017 - 17:28

"Adults who booze regularly but exercise for five hours a week are no more likely to die than teetotallers," the Mail Online reports.

A study suggests exercise may compensate for some, but certainly not all, of the harms associated with excessive alcohol consumption. This latest study looked at deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as premature death in general (usually judged to be dying before the age of 75).

Researchers looked at around 10 years' worth of national survey data from UK adults aged over 40. Unsurprisingly, they found links between all-cause and cancer mortality in inactive people. But they also found increasing levels of physical activity generally removed the association with drinking habits. In fact, occasional drinking was associated with a significant reduction in all-cause mortality for the most active of people.

Although the study had strengths in its large sample size and regular follow-up, we can't be sure that any links observed were solely down to the interaction between alcohol and exercise. For example, people who are physically active may also avoid smoking and consume healthy diets. It is difficult to completely control for such influences when analysing data like this.

While regular exercise may mitigate against some of the harms associated with excessive alcohol consumption it certainly won't make you immune. Many world-class sportspeople, such as George Best and Paul Gascoigne, have had both their careers and lives blighted by drinking.


Where did the story come from?

The UK-based study was carried out by an international collaboration of researchers from Canada, Australia, Norway and the UK. The health surveys on which the study was based were commissioned by the Department of Health, UK. Individual study authors also reported receiving funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council and University of Sydney. 

The study was published in the peer-reviewed British Journal of Sports Medicine. 

The media coverage around this topic was generally overly optimistic, highlighting that by exercising, individuals can completely undo the harm caused by excessive alcohol consumption, which is untrue.

In particular, the Mail Online claimed "Adults who booze regularly but exercise for five hours a week are no more likely to die than teetotallers" which could send out the wrong message to the public.


What kind of research was this?

This cohort study analysed data from British population-based surveys: Health Survey for England (HSE) and the Scottish Health Survey (SHS) to investigate whether physical activity is able to moderate the risk between alcohol consumption and mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Cohort studies like this are useful for assessing suspected links between an exposure and outcome. However, there are potentially other factors that have a role to play in such associations and therefore the study design doesn't allow for confirmation of cause and effect.


What did the research involve?

The researchers collected data on 36,370 men and women aged 40 or above from Health Survey for England (1994; 1998; 1999; 2003; 2004; and 2006) and the Scottish Health Survey (1998 and 2003). Among other things, the participants were asked about their current alcohol consumption and physical activity.

Alcohol intake was defined by six categories (UK units/week):

  • never drink (lifetime abstainers)
  • ex-drinkers
  • occasional drinkers (haven't drank anything in past seven days)
  • within (previous) guidelines: <14 units (women) and <21 units (men)
  • hazardous: 14-15 units (women) and 21-19 units (men)
  • harmful: >35 (women) and >49 (men)

Frequency and type of physical activity in the past four weeks was questioned and converted into metabolic equivalent task-hour (MET-hours, which are an estimate of metabolic activity) per week according to national recommendations:

  • inactive (≤7 MET-hours)
  • lower level of active (>7.5 MET-hours)
  • higher level of active (>15 MET-hours)

The surveys were linked to the NHS Central Register for mortality data and the participants were followed up until 2009 (HSE) and 2011 (SHS). There were 5,735 recorded deaths; deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease were of most interest for this study.

The data was analysed for associations between alcohol consumption and the risk of death from all-causes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. The results were then analysed according to levels of physical activity.

Potential confounders (such as sex, body mass index and smoking status) were controlled for.


What were the basic results?

Overall, the study found a direct link between all levels of alcohol consumption and risk of cancer mortality. It also found that increasing levels of physical activity reduced this association with cancer mortality, and also reduced the link with death from any cause.

  • In individuals who reported inactive levels of physical activity (≤7 MET-hours), there was a direct association between alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality.
  • However, in individuals who met the highest level of physical activity recommendations a protective effect of occasional drinking on all-cause mortality was observed (hazard ratio: 0.68; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.46 to 0.99). It should be noted that this result just skimmed the cut-off point for statistical significance.
  • In this high activity group, there was no link between all-cause mortality and alcohol consumption within guidelines, or even hazardous amounts, but the risk was still increased for those drinking harmful amounts.
  • The risk of death from cancer increased with the amount of alcohol consumed in inactive participants, ranging from a 47% increased risk for those drinking within guidelines to 87% increased risk for those with harmful drinking.
  • In people with higher activity levels (above 7.5 MET hours) there was no significant link between any amount of alcohol consumption and cancer mortality.
  • No association was found between alcohol consumption and mortality from cardiovascular disease, although a protective effect was observed in individuals who reported the lower and higher levels of physical activity (>7.5 MET-hours) and (>15 MET-hours) respectively.


How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers concluded "we found evidence of a dose–response association between alcohol intake and cancer mortality in inactive participants but not in physically active participants. [Physical activity] slightly attenuates the risk of all-cause mortality up to a hazardous level of drinking."



This study aimed to explore whether physical activity is able to moderate the risk between alcohol consumption and mortality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It found that increasing levels of physical activity reduced the association for death from both all-causes and cancer.

This study has strengths in its large sample size, comprehensive assessments and long duration of follow-up. The findings are interesting, but there a few points to bear in mind:

  • As the authors mention, cohort studies such as this are unable to confirm cause and effect. Though the researchers have tried to account for various potential health and lifestyle confounding variables, there is the possibility that others are still influencing the results. A notable one is dietary habits which weren't assessed. Also, for example, the former drinkers may have quit due to other health issues which may have introduced bias.
  • The study was unable to look at binge drinking levels of alcohol consumption which would have likely had important health implications.
  • Additionally, there is always the possibility with self-reported surveys that the participants either under or over-reported their drinking habits which can increase the chance of misclassification bias.
  • Though having a large sample size, fewer people reported harmful drinking levels, so links within this category may be less reliable.
  • The study has only looked at the link between alcohol and actually dying from cancer or cardiovascular disease. Links may be different if they looked at associations between alcohol and just being diagnosed with cancer or heart disease, for example.
  • The study is also only representative of adults over the age of 40.

Overall, maintaining a healthy lifestyle seems to be the best bet for reducing the risk of any chronic disease, be it through physical activity, balanced diet or reasonable alcohol consumption.

Current alcohol recommendations for both men and women are to drink no more than 14 units per week.  

Links To The Headlines

How exercise undoes the harm from drinking: Adults who booze regularly but exercise for five hours a week are no more likely to die than teetotallers. Mail Online, September 8 2016

Two hours a week of exercise could offset the dangers of alcohol. The Daily Telegraph, September 8 2016

Exercise can cut risk from alcohol-related diseases, study suggests. The Guardian, September 8 2016

Links To Science

Perreault K, Bauman A, Johnson N, et al. Does physical activity moderate the association between alcohol drinking and all-cause, cancer and cardiovascular diseases mortality? A pooled analysis of eight British population cohorts. British Journal of Sports Medicine. Published online August 31 2016

Categories: NHS Choices

Sweetened drinks, including diet drinks, may raise diabetes risk

NHS Choices - Behind the Headlines - Fri, 21/10/2016 - 18:30

"Drinking more than two sugary or artificially sweetened soft drinks per day greatly increases the risk of diabetes, research has shown," The Guardian reports.

The research was a Swedish cohort study of sweetened drink consumption over the past year for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. They also looked at people with an uncommon form of diabetes known as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) which shares features with type 1 and 2 diabetes.

Both groups were then compared with a diabetes-free control group.

Drinking more than two sweetened drinks per day was linked with being roughly twice as likely to have diabetes.

For type 2 diabetes the link was similar when separately analysing sugary and diet drinks. The link with LADA was a little weaker and did not stand up to statistical significance when separately analysing sugary and artificially-sweetened drinks.

However, this study cannot prove that sweetened drinks alone have directly caused these conditions. Other unhealthy lifestyle factors like smoking and poor diet in general were also linked with the two forms of diabetes.

Also, one of the hallmark symptoms of diabetes is increased thirst so it could be possible that in some cases the diabetes came first and was then followed by increased consumption of sweetened drinks.

These uncertainties aside, the results broadly support our understanding of the risk factors for diabetes, which also apply to several other chronic diseases.

To reduce your risk of diabetes, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularlystop smoking and cut down on alcohol consumption.

Read more about diabetes prevention.


Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm and other institutions in Sweden and Finland. Funding was provided by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, AFA Insurance and the Swedish Diabetes Association.

The study was published in the peer reviewed European Journal of Endocrinology and is openly available to access online.

The UK media gives slightly confused reporting by dividing between reporting on diet drinks or sugary drinks.

All the media reports mentioned two drinks per day. The significant links were actually for more than two drinks per day – for example, two-and-a-half or three.

There were no links for two or fewer drinks of any type. In any case, with food frequency questions there is the chance that estimates on portion size or frequency may be inaccurate.


What kind of research was this?

This was a case-control study within a population-based Swedish cohort study that aimed to see whether consumption of sweetened drinks was associated with risk of a rare form of diabetes called latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).

LADA has features of type 1 diabetes, where the body's own immune cells destroy the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. But unlike type 1 diabetes, which normally develops in childhood, in LADA the cell destruction is much slower.

Also, the condition often develops later in life and shares many features with type 2 diabetes. For example, the person doesn't always need treatment with insulin straight away. This study reports that in the Swedish diabetes registry, LADA accounts for 5% of all cases.

The researchers compared drink consumption between cases with LADA or conventional type 2 diabetes and diabetes-free controls. The difficulty with this study design is that it's always going to be difficult to prove that a single factor, such as sweetened drinks, is definitely the cause of the condition. 


What did the research involve?

The study used data from the population-based cohort study ESTRID (Epidemiological Study of Risk Factors for LADA and Type 2 Diabetes) which started in 2010.

This study invited people with LADA or Type 2 diabetes from the Swedish diabetes registry to take part, along with a random selection of people aged 35 or over who were free from diabetes to act as controls.

Participants were set to be recruited in a ratio of four people with type 2 diabetes and six controls for every one person with LADA.

All people with diabetes were diagnosed by a doctor. There are said to be no definite criteria for LADA diagnosis, but the study used criteria in line with other literature.

Participants completed a health and lifestyle questionnaire. This included information on weight and height, physical activity, smoking, alcohol intake, family history of diabetes and educational level.

These factors were considered as potential confounders.

They also completed a 132-item food frequency questionnaire. Participants were asked to report their normal food consumption in the preceding year. Three questions asked about intake of sweetened drinks:

  • cola
  • diet cola
  • other diet soft drinks/soda (for example diluted syrups)

They were asked to report the number of 200ml servings per day or per week. Questions on fruit juice weren't analysed in the study.

The researchers analysed the difference in sweetened drink consumption between cases and controls, adjusting for the other confounders.


What were the basic results?

Data was available for 1,136 people with type 2 diabetes, 357 people with LADA, and 1,371 diabetes-free controls.

Average age was 59 for people with LADA and controls, and 68 for those with type 2 diabetes.

Just under two-thirds of all people reported consuming sweetened (including artificially sweetened) drinks.

In general they found that consumption of sweetened drinks was linked with higher body mass index (BMI) and other poor lifestyle factors like smoking, low physical activity and consumption of processed meat and sugary foods.

In adjusted analyses, people drinking more than two servings of any sweetened drinks a day had almost doubled odds of LADA compared with non-consumers (odds ratio [OR] 1.99, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11 to 3.56). Each extra daily serving was linked with 15% increased risk (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.29).

For type 2 diabetes, the link was a little stronger. More than two servings a day was linked with more than twice the odds of type 2 compared with non-consumers (OR 2.39, 95% CI 1.39 to 4.09), and each extra daily serving conferred a 20% increased risk (OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.34).

When separately analysing both sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened drinks, the findings were similar and still significant for type 2 diabetes. However, for LADA all links fell short of statistical significance on separate analysis.

Drinking two or fewer drinks per day – either sugar-sweetened or artificially-sweetened drinks – was not linked with either LADA or type 2 diabetes. 


How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers conclude: "High intake of sweetened beverages was associated with increased risk of LADA. The observed relationship resembled that with type 2 diabetes, suggesting common pathways possibly involving insulin resistance."



This study primarily aimed to see if consuming sweetened drinks was associated with the rarer condition of LADA, as it is with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that having more than two drinks per day was linked with increased odds of both conditions – though the link with LADA was a little weaker and not statistically significant when separately analysing diet and sugary drinks.

They also found that high BMI and other poor lifestyle choices were also linked with the conditions.

The findings generally support what is understood about type 2 diabetes, that high sugar intake, poor diet, low activity and high BMI increase risk. They similarly show that this is also likely to be the case with this rarer variant of the condition.

There are a couple of points to note:

  • This study design cannot prove that sweetened drinks are the direct cause of diabetes in these people. It is likely that high consumption of sweetened drinks is part of a wider picture of generally poor lifestyle habits. Though the researchers have adjusted their analyses for confounding factors, it is difficult to fully account for each health and lifestyle variable that could be having an influence.
  • The results are based on a food frequency questionnaire assessing intake over the past year. Though this is the best way you can look at this, it may not be entirely accurate – particularly when questioning regular portion size – or reflect longer term patterns over the course of the person's lifetime.
  • Several of these analyses deal with small numbers. For example, only 14 people with LADA drank more than two servings of diet drinks a day. Analyses based on small numbers are generally less reliable than those based on larger numbers of people.
  • This is a Swedish cohort. Lifestyle and environmental differences may mean the study is not completely representative of the UK population.

One expert from the University of Cambridge also considers another possibility that increased drink consumption could be due to increased thirst before diabetes is diagnosed – that is, the study can't rule out that this finding could be a symptom rather than a cause of diabetes.

The researchers did try and take account of consumption of water and other drinks as a general marker of thirst, but this is still a possibility the study design can't rule out.

Nevertheless, the findings support current understanding of the risk factors for diabetes, which apply to several other chronic diseases.

To reduce your risk of diabetes (as well as heart disease, stroke and some cancers), eat a healthy diet, exercise regularlydon't smoke and cut down on alcohol consumption.

Read more about diabetes prevention.

Links To The Headlines

Just two sugary drinks a day greatly increases diabetes risk, study shows. The Guardian, October 21 2016

Two diet drinks a day could double the risk of diabetes, study finds. The Daily Telegraph, October 21 2016

Diet Coke WON’T stop you getting diabetes: Two glasses of calorie-free drinks a day 'doubles the risk'. Mail Online, October 21 2016

Links To Science

Löfvenborg JE, Andersson T, Carlsson P, et al. Sweetened beverage intake and risk of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) and type 2 diabetes. European Journal of Endocrinology. Published online October 21 2016

Categories: NHS Choices

Suffolk-based transport company Turners ‘well placed’ for further growth

Ely Standard - Fri, 21/10/2016 - 17:37

Suffolk-based logistics company Turners (Soham) Ltd has reported increased annual revenues and profit, and says it is “well placed” for further success despite competitive market conditions.

Categories: Local Press

Appeal for man who spoke to missing Corrie in Bury St Edmunds takeaway to come forward

Newmarket Journal - Fri, 21/10/2016 - 17:22
As enquiries to trace missing airman Corrie McKeague continue, police are releasing details of a further potential witness they would like to speak to.
Categories: Local Press

They came, they saw, and they found 42 attractions to tempt you to visit Wisbech - here’s some of them

Ely Standard - Fri, 21/10/2016 - 16:51

It’s the bible of international jet setters and will recommend – or advise you to avoid – some of the world’s most expensive hotels and restaurant but now TripAdvisor has turned its attention to Wisbech.

Categories: Local Press

NHS bosses unveil beginnings of master plan to re-develop Princess of Wales Hospital, Ely - a decision warmly welcomed

Ely Standard - Fri, 21/10/2016 - 16:13

A major re-development of the Princess of Wales Hospital, Ely, has been unveiled by joint owners the NHS and the Ministry of Defence.

Categories: Local Press

Ely will not be left behind amid focus on Norwich to London line, claims Network Rail boss

Ely Standard - Fri, 21/10/2016 - 15:30

Rail infrastructure around Ely is “flashing at the top” of Network Rail’s list of priorities, a boss of the body responsible for the country’s rail tracks and signals has said.

Categories: Local Press

Nurse who drank and took sleeping tablets while on duty at a Chatteris care home is ‘struck off’

Ely Standard - Fri, 21/10/2016 - 12:05

A nurse who drank alcohol and took sleeping tablets while working a night shift at a Chatteris care home has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Categories: Local Press

Police and county council urge residents to be vigilant after scam victim is conned by hundreds of fake prize draws

Ely Standard - Fri, 21/10/2016 - 11:03

The police and county council have issued a warning to be vigilant against scammers after the case of an elderly victim who was sent hundreds of letters – enough to fill four bin bags – by conmen asking for money.

Categories: Local Press

Students explore the world of work at East Cambridgeshire Career and Skills Show

Ely Standard - Fri, 21/10/2016 - 09:54

Students were given an insight into the world of work thanks to a career and skills show at Ely Cathedral.

Categories: Local Press

Police commissioner pledges to get to grips with rural crime

Ely Standard - Fri, 21/10/2016 - 09:37

Police and crime commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, met with farmers and rural businesses to better understand the impact of rural crime in the county.

Categories: Local Press

VIDEO: Police release footage of last sighting of missing airman Corrie

Newmarket Journal - Fri, 21/10/2016 - 09:37
Police have released CCTV footage of the last confirmed sighting of missing airman Corrie McKeague.
Categories: Local Press

Brooklands Middle School evacuated due to blaze in nearby skip

Newmarket Journal - Thu, 20/10/2016 - 16:16
Staff and pupils were evacuated from Brooklands Middle School this afternoon due to a blaze in a buildings skip.
Categories: Local Press

Co-operative stores help little Isabel sit in comfort by raising thousands of pounds for new chair

Ely Standard - Thu, 20/10/2016 - 16:02

Fundraisers at Co-operative stores have helped a girl from Ely who suffers from a rare condition spend time with her grandparents in comfort by raising enough money for a new chair.

Categories: Local Press

'Statins in a tube': Could a new toothpaste prevent heart disease?

NHS Choices - Behind the Headlines - Thu, 20/10/2016 - 15:28

"Brushing teeth thoroughly to remove plaque could help prevent heart attacks … by reducing inflammation," The Daily Telegraph reports.

A study found that "Plaque HD" toothpaste was related to a drop in inflammation levels (but this could have been coincidental), but it did not investigate if this had any long-term effects on cardiovascular outcomes such as heart attacks or stroke.

The "HD" toothpaste is designed to turn plaque (clumps of bacteria) green so you can spot areas where you need to focus your brushing.

The study included 61 people who used either "Plaque HD" toothpaste or a standard toothpaste for 60 days. Researchers measured changes in the amount of dental plaque seen on people's teeth, and in a marker for inflammation in the body called high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP).

They showed that people who used the "Plaque HD" toothpaste had a bigger reduction in dental plaque than those using normal toothpaste. Analysis of a sub-group of 38 people found that those who used plaque identifying toothpaste had lower levels of hsCRP at the end of the study, while people who used normal toothpaste had higher levels.

The link between poor dental hygiene, high levels of hsCRP and increased heart disease was made in 2010, as we discussed at the time, although there's no direct evidence that one causes the other.

This study doesn't contribute any new findings. There is no evidence that this specific toothpaste is proven to reduce serious cardiovascular outcomes.


Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Illinois and the Florida Atlantic University in the US (and possibly other institutions as not all author affiliations were reported). It was funded by TJA Health, which makes the toothpaste used in the study. The study was published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Medicine.

The Telegraph reports the study accurately, although it doesn't make clear that the reduction in hsCRP levels was based on just 38 people, nor does it question whether this reduction was caused by lower levels of plaque. The Mail Online calls the toothpaste "revolutionary", although plaque-revealing technologies such as chewable tablets have been around for decades.

It also says that the "special" toothpaste removed twice as much plaque. You could argue that the toothpaste is no more effective at plaque removal, but that people removed more plaque while using it because they could see where the plaque was.

Neither the Telegraph or the Mail mention the potential conflict of interest in regards to the study's funding.


What kind of research was this?

This was a small randomised controlled trial. These types of studies are good ways to compare the effects of treatments. However, in this study, the effects were not actual events (such as heart attacks or strokes) but levels of markers of inflammation, and levels of plaque. This means we have to be careful how much we read into the results.


What did the research involve?

Researchers recruited 61 adults described as "apparently healthy" and randomly assigned them to either 60 days use of plaque identifying toothpaste or what they describe as "identical non-plaque identifying toothpaste".

Their plaque levels were assessed before and at the end of the study using a plaque-revealing mouthwash and photographs taken of the mouth. They had blood tests to measure CRP at the start and end of the study.

The study report is short and does not include much detail about methods. So we don't know, for example, how people were recruited, or how they were randomly assigned to the two groups.

We don't know what instructions they were given about using the toothpaste. The report says they were told to "follow the same brushing protocol", but this is not specified.

We also don't know what happened when people's plaque levels were assessed at the start and end of the study – was that immediately after brushing teeth, after eating, or did researchers specify a certain period of time since last brushing teeth or eating?

Researchers compared the reduction in plaque levels between all 30 people using normal toothpaste and 31 people using plaque identifying toothpaste. However, for hsCRP levels, they concentrated on results from 38 people (19 from each group) because, they say, some people had hsCRP levels of less than 0.5%, which means they would not reasonably expect to see a reduction in their levels.

They also excluded people with very high levels (over 10) which they said were due to "extraneous causes of inflammation," although they don't say what these were.


What were the basic results?

On average, people using plaque identifying toothpaste had a 49% reduction in plaque levels, while those using normal toothpaste had a 24% reduction (confidence intervals not given).

Looking more closely at these results, people who used "Plaque HD" toothpaste had higher levels of plaque at the start of the study, which might mean there was more scope for their levels to reduce. Levels of plaque were about the same when you compare the two groups at the end of the study.

Results for hsCRP were more complicated. When results for everyone in the study were included, the type of toothpaste used made no statistically-significant difference to the reduction in hsCRP levels.

When looking at the 38 people the researchers identify as the "pre-specified subgroup", levels of hsCRP reduced by 29% in people using plaque identifying toothpaste and increased by 25% in those using normal toothpaste (confidence intervals not given).


How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers say their toothpaste "produced a highly significant reduction in dental plaque" and "decreased inflammation as measured by hs-CRP." They say that their findings "support the hypothesis that this plaque identifying toothpaste reduces risk of cardiovascular disease."

They add that directly testing the hypothesis would require a large-scale randomised controlled trial big enough and long enough to find out whether use of the toothpaste actually reduces the incidence of heart attacks and strokes.



This study adds some weight to the theory that better oral hygiene may reduce inflammation in the body. However the size of the study and some concerns about its methods and findings mean we should be cautious about hailing plaque identifying toothpaste as a revolutionary new treatment to prevent heart disease.

The study does seem to show that people were able to remove more plaque from teeth while using a plaque identifying toothpaste, which is no doubt a good thing for dental health. However, we don't know exactly which sort of toothpaste was used as the comparison, or how people were told to use it.

If people were told to use the normal toothpaste as they would a plaque identifying toothpaste – for example to brush for a minute, look for signs of plaque then brush again to remove those signs – then they might stop brushing after one minute if they saw no signs of plaque. That could result in them brushing less well than they would normally.

The results on hsCRP are less convincing. Firstly, the statistically-significant results are based on only 19 people from each group. They are hard to interpret, because of the surprising increase in hsCRP among those who used normal toothpaste.

It's unclear why using normal toothpaste would be linked to an increase in hsCRP levels, especially as people using normal toothpaste did reduce their plaque, and had average plaque levels at the end of the study very similar to those who used plaque identifying toothpaste. These findings call into question whether hsCRP levels are linked to plaque levels in this study.

Looking at hsCRP results for everyone in the study (including those with low levels at baseline), average levels start off very similar, then double in the placebo group while staying much the same in the plaque identifying toothpaste group.

These results are not explained. We know that hsCRP levels rise and fall with inflammation anywhere in the body – for example after an injury or an infection. It is possible that these normal day-to-day fluctuations, rather than any reduction in plaque, are behind the results found in this study.

Due to the considerable uncertainty around the methodology of the study it may be sensible not to put too much weight into considering the results of this industry-funded study.

Questions over this study do not mean that it's not important to brush your teeth and reduce plaque, however. Good oral hygiene can prevent painful tooth decay and gum disease.

To keep your mouth healthy:

  • brush teeth twice daily with fluoride-containing toothpaste
  • floss between your teeth
  • eat less sugar and avoid sugary drinks
  • have regular dental check-ups

Read more advice about how to take care of your teeth.

Links To The Headlines

How brushing your teeth could help prevent a heart attack. The Daily Telegraph, October 19 2016

Revolutionary new toothpaste not only removes more plaque but could save you from a heart attack. Mail Online, October 19 2016

Links To Science

Fasula K, Evans CA, Boyd L, et al. Randomized trial of Plaque identifying Toothpaste: Dental Plaque and Inflammation. The American Journal of Medicine. Published online October 19 2016

Categories: NHS Choices

Prisoner jailed for 14 years for ‘vicious’ murder of cellmate who he battered to death with a flat screen television

Ely Standard - Thu, 20/10/2016 - 14:32

An inmate at Peterborough prison was jailed today for 14 years for beating his cellmate to death with a flat screen television.

Categories: Local Press

High hopes for fire and ambulance service link

Newmarket Journal - Thu, 20/10/2016 - 14:26
A partnership between ambulance staff and firefighters will be launched this weekend with five fire stations trialling co-responding in Suffolk.
Categories: Local Press

Newly qualified prison officer Hayley Youngman, 21, given suspended sentence for smuggling phones and drugs into Whitemoor

Ely Standard - Thu, 20/10/2016 - 14:12

A prison officer who abused her position of trust to smuggle phones and drugs into prison has been spared a jail sentence.

Categories: Local Press

Car set on fire and left in ditch on Grunty Fen Road, Witchford

Ely Standard - Thu, 20/10/2016 - 12:26

A car was found on fire in a ditch on Grunty Fen Road, Witchford last night.

Categories: Local Press

Police want to speak to this man in connection with a theft in Burwell - do you know him?

Ely Standard - Thu, 20/10/2016 - 11:00

Do you recognise this man? Police would like to speak to him in connection with a theft in Burwell.

Categories: Local Press