Harvard Men's Health Watch

Reducing stress works better than supplements for heart disease

Mind-body medicine lowers your cardiac risk, and getting nutrients from food sources is better than taking a pill.

Many men are turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), a variety of health beliefs, practices, and products that fall outside of conventional medicine. And not just for general well-being: men are looking for ways to enhance their existing medical treatment for chronic or even life-threatening conditions, including heart disease. But a new study by doctors at the Mayo Clinic suggests that some men may be choosing CAM options that don't work—like high doses of antioxidant vitamins—instead of doing the things that can actually make their lives better and prevent heart attacks.

The most scientifically proven CAM solutions don't come in a dietary supplement. One of them is "mind-body medicine," which teaches how to reduce stress and respond to life's challenges in a healthier way. Such lifestyle changes are a lot cheaper than a coronary bypass and they really work.

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