Bmj Usa: Minerva


BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E66

This article originally appeared in BMJ USA

A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials comparing the efficacy of antihypertensive regimens with and without angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors showed that patients taking ACE inhibitors did better (Annals of Internal Medicine 2001;135:73–87). Data on 1860 non-diabetic patients followed for a mean of 2.2 years were analysed. The relative risk for end stage renal disease in the ACE inhibitor group was 0.69 (95% confidence interval 0.51 to 0.94). Those with proteinuria benefited most.

Minerva thinks that a diet of onions and black tea sounds dreadful. But 32 healthy humans participating in a randomised crossover trial were subjected to just such delights for the sake of science. Cancer and atherosclerosis may develop from oxidative damage to lipids, and onions and black tea are full of flavonoids, which are potent inhibitors of oxidative damage. Nutritionists hoping to detect changes in plasma markers of lipid peroxidation in people on a high flavonoid diet were sadly disappointed (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001;73:1040–1044). The rest of us are probably relieved.

Hollywood has produced a vast number of films about mental illness. A review of the range …

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