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Cutting edge research: from coffee to cure-alls

Media watch While C+D's digital content editor Niall Hunt peruses the national news over a cup of coffee, it seems that healthcare is once again balanced between revolution and disaster

I, like a lot of people, like a coffee in the morning and, as Lloydspharmacy opens a coffee shop at its latest health village, the evidence for the medicinal efficacy of caffeine seems to grow and grow. While C+D's Practical Approach two weeks ago asked if caffeine was really that bad for you, the Daily Mail reports that four cups of coffee can help prevent womb cancer - and they can even be decaffeinated. And if you enjoy a coffee after a good meal, be careful that your steak isn't over-cooked. Again, the Daily Mail reports that well-done steaks can double prostate cancer risk and even small quantities of over-cooked meat can be dangerous. Also well worth a listen is the BBC Radio 4 programme Frontiers, which examines research suggesting that drugs capable of curing all viral infections, from the common cold to HIV, are only a few years away. But even if these drugs come to market, the NHS might not be able to afford them. The Telegraph and the Daily Mail write that health authorities are banning cutting-edge Nice-approved drugs in order to save money. The Mail writes that more than a quarter of PCTs are telling doctors not to prescribe vital treatments to pinch pennies. The news comes as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) think tank warns that the last thing the NHS needs is large-scale reforms as it is one of the best health systems in the world. The Guardian writes that the OECD says the bill will undermine the NHS. And the Telegraph and Independent cover the news that the government is planning to lift the ban on HIV-positive doctors and dentists. Good news for asthma sufferers, now, as the Telegraph and Mail report on an air purification device that cleans the air while sufferers sleep. The Mail carries an illustration of how the air shower-like machine works. And if reading this leaves you with bad memories don't worry, because dreaming helps to ease them, the Mail writes. The BBC also covers this story, reporting on how scientists have used scans to better understand how the brain deals with the memory of unpleasant events during sleep.  

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