Digestive Health Archive


How a healthy gut helps your heart

Following a plant-based eating pattern and cutting back on highly processed foods can help promote a more diverse, healthier microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome may decrease inflammation that promotes heart disease. Most fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are good sources of prebiotic fiber, which is broken down by gut bacteria to create short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are linked to lower inflammation and reductions in other heart disease risk factors.

Try this natural remedy to stay regular

Eating two peeled kiwifruits per day may help ease constipation, according to a small randomized trial published in 2023. The effectiveness of eating kiwifruits was slightly greater than that of using a daily fiber supplement such as Metamucil or Fiberall.

Hormone therapy linked to higher risks of GERD

A 2023 study suggests that women who have used menopausal hormone therapy are significantly more likely to develop gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

When — and how — should you be screened for colon cancer?

In the US population as a whole, deaths from colon cancer have been declining, but in people under 50 that rate has increased. Most major medical organizations recommend screening beginning at age 45 for people at average risk.

7 organs or glands you may do just fine without

Removing tonsils in childhood was once routine care for healthy children, but is no longer recommended. Why are some organs and glands — appendix, tonsils, adenoids and more — considered expendable and why do we have them if they're not needed?

Harvard Health Ad Watch: Why are toilets everywhere in this drug ad?

An ad for a medication featuring a person sitting on a toilet in multiple settings is eye-catching, but as with most drug ads, it doesn't provide some important information — such as common symptoms of the condition the drug is meant to treat.

Should I worry about the side effects of proton-pump inhibitors?

People with esophagitis (esophageal inflammation) can use proton-pump inhibitors to manage their acid reflux. This kind of medication can protect against scarring and narrowing of the lower esophagus.

Can apple cider vinegar curb appetite?

Drinking apple cider vinegar before bedtime isn't proven to curb appetite or promote weight loss. Doing so can also lead to heartburn or reflux and erode tooth enamel. To consume it more safely, people can blend apple cider vinegar with water or into salad dressings.

Chronic stomach pain in children: What's the most common cause?

Mind and body are tightly connected. If a child experiences stomach pain lasting two months or more, it may be functional abdominal pain caused by stress, depression, or anxiety. While common, this is challenging to diagnose and treat.

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