It seems a few newpapers, including the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Express and Metro have discovered a miracle pill to take away the pain of a January slow news day.
The Daily Mail today tells us…
"No one would much like the idea of eating 6lb of tomatoes a day. But if their goodness was popped in an easy-to-swallow pill that you were told might prevent strokes and heart attacks you would probably be putting in an order tomorrow. Researchers believe they may have come up with just that after trials on the supplement Ateronon."
According to the Mail today this pill is the "first time the key health benefit of [a] Mediterranean diet has been pin-pointed".
Elsewhere The Express was so bowled over by this medical breakthrough it put it on its front page today, claiming an incredible list of health benefits, far beyond the Mail's mere claims about strokes and heart attacks:
"A SUPER pill made out of tomatoes could hold the key to beating arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. British scientists believe the tablet harnesses the health-boosting properties of the Mediterranean diet."
"The wonderpill, called Ateronon..."
I wonder if this wonderpill might also do anything for the memory?
Because, here is the Daily Mail back in 2009:
"Baked, sun-dried, turned into relish or fresh in salads, tomatoes are one of our favourite foods. And last week, when a dietary supplement containing condensed tomato extract was launched, it was hailed by the medical world as a heart medicine.
"The pills, named Ateronon..."
"The wonderpill, called Ateronon, could save hundreds of thousands of lives, heart experts revealed yesterday. British scientists have found a way to put all the antioxidant goodness in the skin of ripe tomatoes in a pill."
What's more, the Express - all the way back in 2009 - even told us...
"The tablets [are] a kind of 'Mediterranean diet in a pill'..."
So even that bit wasn't really all that new.
Whatever the truth about this "SUPER" "WONDER" pill and its health benefits it seems one thing is for certain - this is not the first time it has been sold in to newsdesks.
Back in 2009, the NHS responded to news of this "wonderpill":
"To date, no studies have assessed the long-term health effects of this pill. Ultimately, only long-term clinical trials will be able to establish if Ateronon has long-term health benefits and whether these outweigh the benefits of a diet rich in tomatoes."
Has that research now happened? Is that the element of this three-year-old story which has moved on significantly?
To quote the Express:
"Ian Wilkinson, director of [Cambridge] university's clinical trials unit, said: "...we need more trials..."
"Peter Kirkpatrick, a Cambridge neurosurgeon and medical adviser to CamNutra, which has developed Ateronon, said...: "It is too early to come to any firm conclusions..."
"Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation... warned: "We still say the best way to get the benefits of a Mediterranean diet is to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables."
It seems the story hasn't really moved on that much.