Friday, 7 October 2011

Mail health story doesn't cut the mustard

An article on the bottom of page 3 of Friday's Mail carried the headline 'Mustard, a must for muscles'. Online, the headline was:

The article, which included pictures of Popeye, spinach and a well-known brand of mustard in the online version, began:

Fitness fanatics looking to build muscle should consider reaching for the mustard, a study has found.

It seemed pretty clear from the Mail's reporting that this study was saying good things about eating mustard.

However, the NHS Behind the Headlines assessment says:

The word ‘mustard’ actually appears nowhere within the research paper.

Oh. And, moreover:

Despite what the Daily Mail reports, this study has no current application to humans. Although this chemical may occur in mustard seeds and other plants, this research used the chemical in its concentrated form and mustard was not used in any part of this experiment. It is not known whether the same effects would be seen in humans and, if they were, how much food containing homobrassinolide we would need to eat to get similar cannot be assumed that eating mustard will have any effect on muscle growth...

Most importantly, the safety of humans eating high concentrations of plant-derived steroids is completely unknown.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Daily Mail Bulls- no, sorry, Reporter. Working your fingers to the bone.

    But the pressing question - does excessive mustard consumption cause cancer?

    (Both options as separate stories next week.)


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