This week in health – 26 October 2018

By | October 30, 2018

Government considers fortifying bread with folic acid

Health experts are pushing the government to add folic acid to bread, saying that other countries are already doing what can only benefit consumers. The B vitamin would not change the taste of the food.

The government will launch a consultation on the issue early next year. “My priority is to make sure that if introduced, we are certain it is safe and beneficial for all,” Public Health Minister Steve Brine told the BBC.

Women are already recommended to take folic acid before and after pregnancy. The NHS advises that the B vitamin is important for the development of a healthy foetus.

According to the British Dietetic Association, good sources of folic acid include spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, beans and legumes, yeast and beef extracts, oranges and orange juice, wheat bran and other whole grain foods, poultry, pork, shellfish and liver.

Read more on this subject on the BBC News website.

Air pollution at medical centres

According to an article in the Guardian, “hundreds of thousands of patients who visit more than 2,000 hospitals and GP practices across the UK are breathing poisonous air that breaches World Health Organization guidelines.”

The report includes two league tables: ‘The 100 most polluted sites for hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales’ and ‘The 100 most polluted sites for GP surgeries in England, Scotland and Wales’.

Find out more on the Guardian website.

No-deal Brexit could lead to drugs stockpile

Industry leaders are warning that a no-deal Brexit would be very bad news for the UK’s medical supplies. The BBC reports that Martin Sawer, of the Healthcare Distributors Association, told MPs industry was “very concerned” about a no-deal Brexit because it could have “catastrophic” consequences for the supply of drugs.

According to the BBC, every month the UK imports 37 million packs of medicine from the EU every month and exports 45 million.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said patients should not stockpile drugs, and that the government was “working closely with partners” to ensure there were adequate stockpiles of medicine if there was a no-deal Brexit.

The BBC website has the full story.

Double burden health epidemic

A detailed report commissioned by the BBC reveals that nine out of 10 countries are inhabited by overweight and undernourished people living alongside each other. Such places are in the “grip of a health epidemic known as the ’double burden’”.

An article summarising the report, which was written Dr Sophie Hawkesworth and Dr Lindsay Keir, who are both employed by Wellcome (formerly called the Wellcome Trust), explains how complex the issue can be. The double burden, they say, is often present in once community and sometimes even in the same family. The picture is different in urban and rural areas.

The article states that, “Every country in the world is struggling with a nutrition problem of some kind.”

If you’re interested in this subject, visit the BBC’s health section.

News from talkhealth

Today we launched our 21-week myhairloss support programme, so anyone can now sign up for it here.

To mark World Psoriasis Day, we’re hosting a Twitter Chat at 12-1pm on Monday 29 October. You’re more than welcome to join the conversation at #TalkPSO and ask any questions you wish on the subject of psoriasis. As a reminder, our Twitter handle is @talkhealth .

Wherever you are in the world, enjoy the weekend!


This is the talkhealth blog spot, where we post on a wide range of health conditions, topics, issues and concerns. We post when we see something that we believe is of interest to our vistiors. Our posts do not reflect any particular view or stand point of talkhealth, but are merely to raise attention and awareness.

talkhealth Blog