The secret to an easier allergy season

Pretreating allergies before the season starts will lead to better control of symptoms and may prevent symptoms from showing up. This is partly because some drugs, such as corticosteroid nasal sprays, take a few weeks to become fully effective. It’s also because the reaction to even a few allergens has a snowball effect. Only certain allergy medications should be used in advance, including corticosteroid nasal sprays and antihistamines. But antihistamines can sometimes cause drowsiness, which can lead to falls, so they are not recommended for older adults. More »

Are eggs risky for heart health?

Large studies have not found evidence of higher rates of heart attacks, strokes, or other cardiovascular diseases in people who eat up to one egg per day.  More »

What can you do to avoid Alzheimer’s disease?

It is unclear what causes 99% of Alzheimer’s disease cases. However, evidence suggests that healthy lifestyle choices—such as getting more sleep, exercising, and eating a Mediterranean diet—may help delay or prevent the disease. There is promising but conflicting evidence that other lifestyle choices—such as learning new things, connecting socially, and limiting alcohol intake—may also help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease. However, all of these healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent other chronic health problems.  More »

The 4 most important types of exercise

Some aspects of exercise and fitness are ignored. But everyone should do aerobics, stretching, strengthening, and balance exercises. Aerobic exercise has many benefits, such as improving endurance and reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression, and falls. Strength training builds muscle and bone mass. It helps people remain capable of carrying out daily tasks, such as lifting a bag of groceries. Stretching helps maintain flexibility, which is also important for daily activities, such as bending down to tie a shoelace. Balance exercises help prevent falls. More »

What to eat when you have chronic heartburn

Some foods and ingredients may intensify or trigger heartburn, such as spicy, fatty, or fried foods; citrus; tomato sauces; vinegar; chocolate; caffeine; onions; peppermint; carbonated drinks; and alcohol. People who have heartburn can still enjoy lean meats, fish, poultry, vegetables, legumes, fruits, and whole grains. The trick is making them flavorful. Suggestions include using only small amounts of spices, or using fresh herbs; roasting food to bring out natural flavors; and using low-fat sauces, such as pesto and low-fat yogurt-based sauces. More »

Can vitamin C prevent a cold?

Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Thinkstock Vitamin C is often touted as a natural cold remedy. The nutrient is featured in supplements promising to boost the immune system. Nobel laureate Dr. Linus Pauling famously claimed that taking large doses of vitamin C helps thwart a cold. Is there something to these claims? "The data show that vitamin C is only marginally beneficial when it comes to the common cold," says Dr. Bruce Bistrian, chief of clinical nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Our bodies don't make vitamin C, but we need it for immune function, bone structure, iron absorption, and healthy skin. We get vitamin C from our diet, usually in citrus fruits, strawberries, green vegetables, and tomatoes. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for men is 90 milligrams (mg) per day, and for women, it's 75 mg per day. (Locked) More »

Does balance go south starting at 40?

Evidence suggests that the vestibular system in the inner ear—which helps detect motion and maintain balance—starts to decline early in middle age and gets worse with each decade. More »