The news is generally viewed as a source of truthful and unbiased information. However, the real truth is that mainstream media is a blur of misinformation. Yes, a few facts may be given, but you can be sure that these facts will be clouded by false information. Do not forget, the media is a business and it’s aim is to sell you headlines.
Misinformation is dangerous, and can lead to you making decisions that can affect your health. In this segment I will exploring the latest news headlines, separating the facts from the myths and giving you the real scope behind the lasted news.
The Headline -Eating a Full English Breakfast could make a leading prostate cancer drug more effective.
Where did the story come from?
This story came from the Mail online. The article suggested that taking the prostate drug Abiraterone (also known as Zytiga) would be more effective after eating a full English breakfast. Current NHS guidelines for the drug recommend that it is taken on an empty stomach. This article referred to new research from the University of Chicago, which found that taking the drug with high fat food could increase the amount it’s absorbed by ten-fold.
The study was launched in 2012 and consisted of a clinical study. It enrolled 72 patients with advanced prostate cancer. Half of those patients agreed to take the recommended dose of 1,000 milligrams: four pills each morning with water on an empty stomach. They had to wait an hour after before they could have breakfast.
The other half were told to take one-fourth of the standard dose, a single 250-milligram pill, with a low-fat breakfast such as cereal with skim milk.
Four patients, two from each group, dropped out before the study began.
The researchers found that the lower dose with breakfast kept the disease under control as well as the recommended dose. Abiraterone’s ability to lower levels of prostate-specific antigen, a surrogate marker for prostate cancer, was slightly greater for patients in the low-dose with food group when measured at 12 weeks.
At 12 weeks, there was a greater effect on PSA levels in those you had started the day with a low fat breakfast. Despite the small size of the study, the team were confident that the low-dose was comparable to the standard dose. It was also slightly more convenient and much less expensive, cutting costs by as much as $300,000 per patient.
The context of this article is completely misleading. It states the participants in the study consumed a high fat breakfast, such as a full English when in reality the study prescribed participants a low fat breakfast.
An English breakfast, consisting of fried food is an unhealthy way to start the day. Food such as sausage and bacon come under the category of processed meat. Studies have found that processed meat causes cancer. In fact, one study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that men who eat a lot of red meat are 12 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer. And 33 percent of these men are likely to develop an advanced and aggressive stage. While this study showed that eating prior to taking the drug did improve its effectiveness, it trialled it through a low fat breakfast.
To those whose eyes lit up at reading this headline, bad news I am afraid. Although eating a full English everyday may bring you great joy…it will do no favours for your waistline or make your Abiraterone medication any more effective.
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