Harvard Health Blog

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

Yoga improves treatment-related symptoms in men with prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt
Charlie Schmidt, Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Disease

Men who participated in yoga classes twice a week while being treated for prostate cancer reported less fatigue and better urinary and erectile function, compared to other men in the study who did not do yoga.

The best place to launch a healthy lifestyle? Your kitchen

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

Consuming more meals at home is a smart step toward healthier eating and all the benefits that brings, and preparing healthy meals is not as much of a challenge as it may seem.

Keeping your smartphone nearby may not be so smart

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

As many as 75% of adults in the US own a smartphone. While these devices may make life more efficient, experiments with groups of college students suggest that keeping your smartphone out of sight can make it easier to focus on demanding mental tasks.

Easy hacks to understand new terms on food labels

Heidi Godman
Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

As the variety of foods available in supermarkets has grown, new terminology has also proliferated. Definitions of food terms vary depending on the farm, manufacturer, and federal or state rules, but this guide offers quick explanations of common food terms, along with some context for why certain types of food may or may not be worth buying.

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 Publications

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 Publications

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.