Myth: We can’t prevent cancer

Fact: According to research published in 2022, nearly 50% of cancer deaths in the developed world are caused by preventable risk factors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol.

Myth: We need medication to lower blood pressure

Fact: Check with your doctor first - but lifestyle choices, like a healthier diet, more exercise and managing stress better can help lower your blood pressure.

Myth: You need vitamin and mineral supplements to stay healthy

Fact: For most people healthy food is the best source of minerals and vitamins and contains other nutrients too. Two possible exceptions are pregnant women (who are advised to take folic acid) and the over 60’s (for whom vitamin D may sometimes be advisable).

Myth: Red wine is particularly helpful in protecting against heart attacks

Fact: This has been the subject of much debate, not least because of the overall health risks from alcohol. However, a review of the evidence, published in 2023, concluded that moderate red wine consumption appeared to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular mortality 

Myth: Cancer patients should simply rest to recover

Fact: Macmillan Cancer Support advise that studies have shown the value of frequent exercise, like brisk walking and gardening. This kind of exercise halved the risk of bowel cancer returning and cut the risk of breast cancer returning by more than a third. 

Reviewed and updated July 2023. Next review June 2027.