Archive for August, 2018

Home cooking: Good for your health

Cooking at home is a great way to support healthier dietary choices; the next step, programs that provide instruction in cooking techniques, can help people understand what foods to choose at the store and how to prepare them, which can result in lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.

Anxiety in children

Francesca Coltrera

Editor, Harvard Health Blog

Young children may feel worried or fearful from time to time, but more serious anxiety in children can interfere with development. There are a variety of treatment options, and parents can learn strategies to help children manage anxiety.

Health benefits of walnuts

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The benefits of nuts on cardiovascular health have been known for some time, but an analysis of multiple trials found particular health benefits of walnuts. The data showed that people who ate a diet enriched with walnuts had lower cholesterol than those who ate a standard diet.

Diet and age at menopause: Is there a connection?

According to a recent study, there may be a connection between diet and age at menopause. Foods like legumes and oily fish appeared to delay the start of menopause, while refined pasta and rice were associated with an earlier start.

Lifestyle change as precision medicine

Precision medicine promises individualized approaches to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chronic diseases. Yet finding a way to incorporate healthy habits into your unique lifestyle may be a form of precision medicine with known benefits that is available today.

Meningitis vaccines: What parents need to know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Most people who get viral meningitis get better without treatment, but bacterial meningitis is much more serious, and can be fatal. Meningitis vaccines can help protect against the most common bacteria responsible; two are given in infancy, and the third should be given before adolescence.

Adolescence: A high-risk time for substance use disorders

The prefrontal cortex does not fully develop until the mid-20s, which makes teenagers’ brains excellent at learning and absorbing new information, but it also makes them vulnerable to experimentation and the potential for substance use disorders.

Sorting out the health effects of alcohol

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

There is evidence that there are beneficial effects of alcohol in moderate amounts, but an analysis of drinkers found that the current guidelines in the US might be associated with a slightly shorter life expectancy for some people.

Omega-3 fatty acids for mood disorders

The observation that people in populations that eat more fish seem to have lower rates of depression led researchers to investigate whether omega-3 acids may be beneficial for people with depression or other mood disorders.

New blood test may someday help guide the best treatment for aggressive prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Research in a small group of men with advanced prostate cancer found that a blood test that screens for a certain genetic mutation could help decide which of two types of drugs would be more likely to provide a longer lifespan.