Welcome back to the news summary blog here at The Medic Portal, this post will cover the latest in medical news from the 12th to the 18th of September. This week’s highlights include studies that suggest how e-cigarettes could help thousands quit smoking, adding fluoride to water sources is safe and allegations that the sugar industry paid scientists to play down the role of sugar in heart disease.
The results showed that public health interventions, such as campaigns, could impact the number of people who smoke in the population. Research into the safety of e-cigarettes is still be carried out, however, it is likely that there is less danger in smoking e-cigarettes than tobacco.
Current evidence shows that the best way to quit smoking is through support programmes such as counselling and the NHS stop smoking services. Other popular options involve nicotine patches, gum and inhalers. The study that was funded by Cancer Research UK showed that although stopping smoking through using e-cigarettes may be effective it has not been directly compared to the NHS stop smoking service. Due to this, future research addressing this comparison should be completed.
Anti-fluoride campaigners have often protested against the use of fluoride due to concerns over health such as cancer or lowering of IQ however the research shows that this is not the case. The results showed that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by 26% to 44% in all age groups. However, the study did not have enough evidence to rule out any association between fluoride and kidney disease, heart disease or high blood pressure.
Sugar industry downplays link between sugar and heart disease
The research results published at the time became a staple in Western diet advice where saturated fat and cholesterol were named the main culprits of heart disease. A similar discovery was found last year when it became public that the Sugar Research Foundation had also downplayed the role of sugar in tooth decay.