Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 22 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:260

Welsh people are proud of their leeks. Welsh onions, too, are famous and are said to have health giving properties—but only if taken raw and freshly squeezed, Taiwanese researchers have found (Journal of Nutrition 2000;130:34-7). Laboratory tests in rats showed that raw onion juice from Wales has antihypertensive and antithrombotic effects. Boiled onion juice is completely ineffective. The next round of tests will presumably be done on human volunteers—if they can find any.

Last summer Minerva reported the death from rabies of a bear cub in an Iowa petting zoo. After an efficient contact tracing exercise, 150 people were vaccinated. They will be relieved by a report inJAMA detailing the extensive tests done to the cub's brain tissue, which failed to detect any sign of the disease (2000;283:192-4). The authorities have all but ruled out rabies as a cause of death. The nature of the cub's rapidly fatal neurological illness remains a mystery.

Doctors haunted by a mountain of unread guidelines should stop feeling guilty and put them in the bin (Lancet 2000;355:103-6). An analysis of guidelines from specialist societies finds that 95% of them fall short of …

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