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.

Take control of your health care (exert your patient autonomy)

A healthy and sustainable doctor-patient relationship depends on how comfortable you are with your doctor, which includes your doctor respecting your needs as a patient and how involved you want to be in your health care.

Should you carry the opioid overdose rescue drug naloxone?

Scott Weiner, MD


The Surgeon General has issued an advisory recommending that people carry and know how to use naloxone, and although it is an effective treatment for overdose, it does not address the larger issues around the opioid crisis.

Can dark chocolate improve vision?

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Research supports the cardiovascular benefits of moderate consumption of dark chocolate; now a study suggests that it may also help support and improve visual perception.

What kinds of exercise are good for brain health?

While the physical benefits of exercise have long been understood, exactly which exercises boost brain health is less clear, but the more diverse your exercise routine, the more likely your brain and cognitive health will benefit along with your body.

Why we all really need Screen-Free Week this year

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Parents can use Screen-Free Week as an opportunity to evaluate their children’s relationship to their electronic devices as well as their own, and try to be more thoughtful about using them.

Aerobic exercise or tai chi for fibromyalgia — which is better?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Physical activity is beneficial for people with fibromyalgia, but the pain caused by the condition makes exercise difficult for many. A new study compares the benefits of aerobic exercise and tai chi as treatments for fibromyalgia.

4 ways to protect against skin cancer (other than sunscreen)

While sunscreen is essential for skin protection when spending time outdoors, there are other options (lifestyle modifications and over-the-counter products) that can help lower your risk of skin cancer.

Heart attack versus cardiac arrest

Heart attack and cardiac arrest are different types of events, sometimes connected but often separate. Both are serious, but neither is necessarily fatal.

Apple cider vinegar diet: Does it really work?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The popularity of apple cider vinegar to aid weight loss has risen recently, but a small study where participants consumed vinegar daily found that people only lost a few pounds after three months, and there are also downsides to consuming too much vinegar.

“Buyer beware” when it comes to addiction treatment

Substance use disorders affect millions of Americans, and overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. The need for treatment and recovery services has never been greater. This increasing demand has led to rapid growth in the number of detox and treatment service providers, which has burgeoned into a $35 […]