Can We Believe The Science?

7:30pm Friday, April 8 on Prime

Documentary Series

Health Spa

In tonight’s series final Professor Regan investigates the world of beauty, where a scientific sales pitch can make you millions. From anti-ageing injections to detox products, she discovers if there really are scientifically proven ways to make you look younger, keep your skin silky smooth and hair-free, and give you the perfect body. In the world of beauty, the stakes have been raised. The picture-perfect celebrity image is no longer just for the red carpet, it is what we all aspire to. So it is no surprise companies want to sell us the scientific shortcut to this perfect image.

Based on scientific advice, Professor Regan devises the ultimate exercise regime, involving no gyms, weights, running or classes. It is a regime she has used herself to keep her slim figure. She tests it out on a willing guinea pig, with surprising results. Next, Professor Regan takes on anti-ageing, and discovers that wrinkles may not be the most important thing when it comes to looking younger. We use a huge range of cues to judge age and most of us are remarkably accurate, guessing the age of faces to within three years, even with wrinkles removed. It turns out our face shape, features, and even hairstyles can be just as much of a give away. A unique test takes four sets of mothers and daughters and swaps their hairstyles to prove the point. Finally, Professor Regan finds out if there is as much science behind the humble razor as the multimillion-pound advertising campaigns suggest. She also discovers the truth about detox when she attempts to create an experiment to test the claims on the packaging.

7:30pm Friday, April 1 on Prime

Documentary Series

Nursery

Professor Regan investigates the lucrative world of children’s products tonight. From snack foods to educational toys, she discovers if the huge range of goods available for today’s kids means they are destined to grow up healthier and smarter than the rest of us. Nearly every children’s food product and toy now exploits the ultimate sales tool – parental guilt. What mother or father could resist forking out for goods that will make their child healthier or give them an advantage at school? Professor Regan gets to the truth behind claims cereals can improve children’s performance at school, investigates the research behind the famous Omega-3 fish oils, and investigates the formula behind formula milk to see how it compares with breastfeeding.

Professor Regan sets a challenge for some of the world’s biggest toy manufacturers: to compete for the title of the ultimate educational toy. Will any of them meet the standards her team of developmental psychologists require for educational products? Along the way she learns why a cardboard box can be an ideal learning tool, and reveals why educational children’s laptops are not always as good as they seem.

7:30pm Friday, March 25 on Prime

Documentary Series

Medicine Cabinet

Professor Regan goes behind the pharmacy counter to find out if the millions we spend every year on products from cold remedies to herbal medicines are worth it. Drawing on her own experience both as a doctor and as a breast cancer patient, Professor Regan discovers the real secret behind branded painkillers, reveals if homeopathy is a complete waste of money, investigates the ultimate cure for the common cold and tries out a test that could save your life. As a doctor who has delivered hundreds of babies, Professor Regan knows a bit about pain relief. She knows that both generic and branded painkillers often contain exactly the same drugs – aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen.

So she is amazed when an investigation into the power of branded drugs reveals they may really have an edge over the generic. Professor Regan also turns her eye on alternative remedies, from homeopathy to herbal medicines. She designs her very own successful sleep remedy, gets to the truth behind homeopathic medicine, and uncovers which herbal remedies have clinical evidence that really stands up. Along the way, she discovers just how powerful the placebo effect can be. Finally, Professor Regan turns to her own experiences as a patient. Early detection and prevention of disease is where the latest medical breakthroughs lie – so it is no surprise self-testing kits and health checks are the most recent marketing success story. Professor Regan puts herself under the microscope to discover which ones are really worth the price.

7:30pm Friday, March 18 on Prime

Documentary Series

Medicine Cabinet

Professor Regan goes behind the pharmacy counter to find out if the millions we spend every year on products from cold remedies to herbal medicines are worth it. Drawing on her own experience both as a doctor and as a breast cancer patient, Professor Regan discovers the real secret behind branded painkillers, reveals if homeopathy is a complete waste of money, investigates the ultimate cure for the common cold and tries out a test that could save your life. As a doctor who has delivered hundreds of babies, Professor Regan knows a bit about pain relief. She knows that both generic and branded painkillers often contain exactly the same drugs – aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen.

So she is amazed when an investigation into the power of branded drugs reveals they may really have an edge over the generic. Professor Regan also turns her eye on alternative remedies, from homeopathy to herbal medicines. She designs her very own successful sleep remedy, gets to the truth behind homeopathic medicine, and uncovers which herbal remedies have clinical evidence that really stands up. Along the way, she discovers just how powerful the placebo effect can be. Finally, Professor Regan turns to her own experiences as a patient. Early detection and prevention of disease is where the latest medical breakthroughs lie – so it is no surprise self-testing kits and health checks are the most recent marketing success story. Professor Regan puts herself under the microscope to discover which ones are really worth the price.

7:30pm Friday, March 11 on Prime

Documentary Series

Diet Clinic

The diet, beauty and health industries have always used science to sell. But Professor Lesley Regan hates seeing people taken in by products whose claims are not up to scratch. Discover what really works. The longer the word, the more scientific it sounds. Thermogenic, RMR-boosting, photo-pneumatic, antioxidant, polyphenol, theobromine, free-radical busting… Advertisers dazzle with impressive claims that try to convince us that their products are proven to work.

But Professor Regan is not so easily swayed – she wants to see the evidence. Conducting real-life experiments and employing her own inimitable brand of interrogation, Professor Regan puts products under the microscope to get to the scientific truth behind the gimmicks. In this new series she takes on the world of diets; looks at the products stashed in home medicine cabinets; examines how children are affected by food and play; and gets under the skin of the nonsurgical products that promise a body beautiful without the hard work. On tonight’s first episode Professor Regan takes on the multi-million pound diet industry. Using herself as a guinea pig, she will discover what to eat to lose 10lbs a year, find a diet pill that actually works, investigate whether we should all be taking vitamins to supplement our diets, and uncover a low-fat product that can really be trusted.