Harvard Health Blog

Join the discussion with experts from Harvard Health Publishing and others like you on a variety of health topics, medical news and views.

Intermittent fasting: Surprising update

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

There is good evidence that intermittent fasting can be as effective for weight loss as simply eating less. But many people find it too hard to get through the fasting interval. New research suggests that eating only during a limited part of the day is more manageable and provides significant metabolic benefits.

Rethinking the screening mammogram

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

An analysis of women receiving a routine screening mammogram suggests that the benefits of this testing are not as significant as previously believed. However, a woman’s decision to get tested or not depends on many factors and it is worth a conversation with her doctor about the risks and benefits of screening.

Losing weight: Mindfulness may help

Losing weight is inevitably a challenging experience, but using mindfulness techniques can help people understand the emotional motivations behind food cravings and learn how to cope with them.

Teens are getting less sleep, which raises heart disease risk

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Teens are getting less sleep than ever. This leaves them prone to conditions like high blood pressure and insulin resistance which increased the risk for heart disease and diabetes later on.

Probiotics for bipolar disorder mania

There is growing evidence that mood disorders may be linked to inflammation and the bacteria in our digestive tracts, so researchers wanted to see if a probiotic compound could help patients with bipolar disorder who had been hospitalized for mania avoid relapse and rehospitalization.

Physician burnout can affect your health

Peter Grinspoon, MD

Contributing Editor

The problem of physician burnout is growing and more than half of US doctors are experiencing (experience?) some symptom of burnout. Aside from the personal toll on their own lives, burned-out doctors may be compromising patient care in a variety of ways.

Sun protection: Appropriate sunscreen use

Dominic Wu, MD

Contributing Editor

While our bodies need sunlight for vitamin D production, the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation mean that everyone should be mindful of sun protection, in particular, the importance of using sunscreen regularly and correctly.

Dietary rut? 5 ways to snap out of it

If you find that you’re eating the same meals too frequently, or relying too much on frozen dinners or takeout, here are some suggestions to perk up your meals and break out of that dietary rut.

Separating children and parents at the border causes lifelong damage

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Separating children and parents at the border can permanently affect a child’s brain development and even risk his or her future health thanks to the “toxic” stress caused by the experience and the loss of parental nurturing and support.

Lyme disease: Resolving the “Lyme wars”

Most people who get Lyme disease recover after a course of antibiotics, but some patients continue to experience symptoms for months or even years. There is much controversy around post-treatment Lyme disease, particularly in how long patients should continue taking antibiotics.