Archive for July, 2017

Does drinking diet soda raise the risk of a stroke?

Julie Corliss
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

While a study suggests that people who drink a diet soda or more per day may be at higher risk for stroke, there are other factors that could account for these results. Regardless, it’s wise to limit any food with artificial sweetener.

Exercise today, look better tomorrow (really)

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

A small study supports the idea that exercising improves body image, whether or not the activity leads to any visible change in appearance. This suggests that additional research examining different types of exercise, and the long-term psychological effects of physical activity would be valuable.

Ketogenic diet: Is the ultimate low-carb diet good for you?

Marcelo Campos, MD
Marcelo Campos, MD, Contributor

While there may be valid reasons to follow a ketogenic diet in the short term (weight loss, blood sugar control), it’s difficult to maintain and could cause other health issues.

Can probiotics help treat depression and anxiety?

Athos Bousvaros, MD
Athos Bousvaros, MD, Contributor

Research is exploring the connection between the brain and intestine and how they affect each other, and whether the use of probiotics can help treat depression or anxiety.

When to worry about your child’s fever

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Children get sick, so it’s not unusual for a child to have a fever. Most of the time it isn’t serious, but there are times when parents should be concerned about a fever.

Type 2 diabetes: Value of home blood sugar monitoring unclear

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A small study suggests that routine home testing of blood sugar may not improve control or quality of life. However, more and longer studies are needed to know whether the results apply to all individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Vitamin D: Finding a balance

Emily S. Ruiz, MD, MPH
Emily S. Ruiz, MD, MPH, Contributor

The best way to get the vitamin D your body needs is through sun exposure, but since many people are now more vigilant about sun protection, eating foods rich in the vitamin is preferable to taking a supplement. It’s also important to be aware that too much vitamin D can be harmful.

This just in: Exercise is good for you

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

If you are trying to follow the recommended guidelines for physical activity, the best way to spend your time may be running, but a study of commuters found that those who walked or bicycled to work also had lower rates of heart disease and cancer.

Chronic illness is a part-time job. It shouldn’t be

Laura Kiesel
Laura Kiesel, Contributor

As currently structured, the American health care system makes it very difficult for those with chronic illnesses to manage their conditions, causing them to perform the equivalent of unpaid labor.

6 ways to keep your child safe this summer

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

With all the outdoor activities available to kids during the summer, it’s a good idea to take a moment to consider these tips to make sure everyone plays and stays safe.