The smart way to look at carbohydrates

Many people believe a healthy diet means reducing or eliminating carbohydrates, but carbs provide the body’s primary energy source, glucose, which fuels everything from breathing to thinking to running. The Institute of Medicine recommends adults get 45% to 65% of their daily calories from carbs, but they should be from healthier sources like nutrient-rich whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruit, vegetables, and dairy. (Locked) More »

Should I get tested for hepatitis C?

People born between 1945 and 1965 (baby boomers) should be tested for hepatitis C, as recent improvements in treatment have increased the interest in identifying people with the virus who have no symptoms and no additional risk factors. (Locked) More »

How serious is a mild narrowing of the carotid artery?

Q. What is the significance of mild narrowing of the carotid artery detected by an ultrasound? I have never had any symptoms of stroke. A. "Mild" narrowing ranges from 15% to 49% blockage of the artery. Over time, this narrowing can progress and lead to a stroke. Even if it doesn't progress, mild narrowing is a sign of early blood vessel disease and calls for preventive measures. More »

A personalized approach to preventing Alzheimer’s disease

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, ongoing research suggests that people can lower their risk by adopting certain diet, exercise, and lifestyle behaviors. These include doing adequate amounts of weekly aerobic exercise, following the MIND diet, not smoking, and getting sufficient sleep. (Locked) More »

The safe way to do yoga for back pain

 Image: © FatCamera/Getty Images Yoga is a gentle practice that is ideal for maintaining back strength and flexibility. It's also one of the more effective tools for helping reduce low back pain, the most common source of pain and disability among older adults. "Yoga helps strengthen and stretch back muscles that might be tight, which improves mobility," says Dr. Lauren Elson, medical editor of the Harvard Special Health Report An Introduction to Yoga (www.health.harvard.edu/yo). More »

Something in the air

Exposure to particulate matter from air pollution has been shown to increase inflammatory markers in the bloodstream and oxidative stress, which are associated with a higher risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. People can protect themselves by avoiding high-pollution areas, restricting their time outside when air quality is poor, and exercising indoors when necessary. (Locked) More »

The ears have it

At age 65, one out of three people has a hearing loss. Studies have shown that hearing loss can increase a person’s risk of injuries as well as cause everyday communication problems. An ear and hearing exam can help a doctor diagnose a person’s hearing loss, identify possible causes, and determine whether the person needs hearing aids or another type of hearing assistance. More »