Healthy Heart

The Lowdown on Leaky Gut

As the popular depiction of leaky gut goes, damage to the lining of the small intestine can release undigested food particles, bacteria and toxins into your bloodstream. And, that can potentially spur a myriad of health problems ranging from digestive issues to joint pain. Without a doubt, this description is oversimplified and misleading. But, its worth looking at whether leaky gut-or more precisely, increased intestinal permeability-is a legitimate concern.

Debunking 6 Probiotic Myths

Some people use supplements and fermented foods containing probiotics-beneficial bacteria and yeasts-in an effort to improve health. But, is there good science behind them? Probiotic experts help clear up six common myths.

Reduce Heart Disease Deaths Through Food Price Changes

Policymakers are looking at ways to help nudge Americans to make healthier food choices. Two possible approaches: 1) raise the prices of unhealthy foods to discourage their consumption and 2) subsidize the prices of healthy foods to encourage their consumption. The payoff from either one? Lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, says a new study.

Drinking in Moderation: What That Means and Why It’s Recommended

Q: If we drink, were advised to do so in moderation (limiting it to one drink daily for women, two for men). What is the basis for this advice?

Managing Special Diets at Holiday Meals

Whether youre hosting or attending a holiday meal, chances are that one or more guests are restricting something from their diets. Watching salt intake is one of the more common dietary restrictions, according to an online poll of American households. But, a good portion of people limit or avoid items like lactose (natural milk sugar), meat, refined carbohydrate/sugar, gluten (a protein in certain grains) or commonly-allergenic items like milk (dairy), peanuts and tree nuts. So, how can you all come together to enjoy a meal?

Could a Bit of Chocolate Help Keep Your Heart on Beat?

About one in four adults will develop atrial fibrillation (the most common type of irregular heartbeat) in their lifetime. Thats a big deal because atrial fibrillation increases risk of stroke by five-fold. Atrial fibrillation also increases risk of heart failure and impaired cognition (brain function). A recent study in the journal Heart showed moderate chocolate intake was associated with a 10 to 20% decreased risk of being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. But, is nibbling on chocolate for prevention too good to be true?

Drink Coffee, Live Longer?

Some people view coffee as a guilty pleasure. But, research suggests drinking coffee may actually have some health benefits. That evidence includes two new, large observational studies of diverse populations published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Both found drinking coffee was associated with a modestly (less than 20%) reduced risk of dying from various conditions, compared to not drinking coffee.

Keeping Your Arteries Young

It's common to develop significantly stiffer arteries and high blood pressure as we age past our 50s. Healthy lifestyle factors may go a long way toward slowing this process. A new study published in Hypertension suggests healthy vascular (blood vessel) aging may be possible even in people 70 years and older.

Weight Gain in Younger Adults Linked to Increased Health Risks Later

Small, gradual weight gain during early and middle adulthood may get little attention since it doesn't necessarily cause health problems in our younger years. But, it may have serious consequences later in life.

Better Brown-Bag Lunches

Depending on what you pack in lunches for yourself or family members, you may not do better nutritionally than the cafeterias or eateries you're passing up. Studies suggest it's common for kids' packed lunches to be low in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy products.