Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Evidence That Really Matters

Controlled prospective study of faecal occult blood screening for colorectal cancer in Bury, black pudding capital of the world

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 21 December 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:1444

Rapid Response:

Black pudding; ? therapeutic potential

I would lke to congratulate Fludger et al. on an excellently-crafted
piece of scientific work.

Like Dr. Haslam, I am a Consultant in Bury, but the clinical
significance of the locally produced and consumed black pudding had thus
far been lost on me.

Now that its relevance to diagnostic procedures has been highlighted,
attention must surely turn to the possible therapeutic potential of the
black pudding.

Obstetricians like myself are all too aware that ferrous sulphate is
often poorly tolerated in the management of iron-deficiency anaemia. Black
pudding, naturally rich in iron, would appear to be the ideal alternative
dietary supplement, especially in Bury, where it is documented to be
consumed by 63% of the local population.

I am contemplating conducting, in my unit, a randomised controlled
trial of its use in the management of iron deficiency anaemia in
pregnancy, with a starting date of 01.04.03.

The participants, after appropriate counselling, and with consent
sought and documented, would be randomised to either ferrous sulphate
(tab.form) 200mg., or black pudding
(heat-treated) 200g., administered in a t.d.s. regimen in both arms of the

Certain obstacles must be overcome, not least the problem of devising
a method of blinding both patient and clinician to the arm of the trial to
which randomisation has taken place.

It is anticipated that valuable data would become available as a
consequence of this study, and it is hoped that the paper would be of
sufficiently high calibre to be eligible for publication in the journal
'Offal Digest'.

Funding: nil

Conflicting interests: BH has a personal lifelong aversion to black

Competing interests:  
Personal life-long aversion to black pudding

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 December 2002
Brigid E. Hayden
Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Bury, Lancs.
Fairfield Hospital, Bury, Lancs. BL9 7TD