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Nutrition

Malnutrition among older adults can affect immune and sensory functions and aggravate the symptoms of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Unhealthy eating can also result in fatigue, digestive problems and anemia. That’s why a healthy diet is essential to optimal aging. Read more about the importance of good nutrition for older adults.

Supporting seniors at higher risk of poor nutrition
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5 diet changes supported by research evidence
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Diet or exercise: Which works best for weight loss?
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  • Evidence Summary

    Dietary fibre for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2016)
  • Evidence Summary

    Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements for preventing age-related macular degeneration

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2012)
  • Evidence Summary

    Reduced or modified dietary fat for preventing cardiovascular disease

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2012)
  • Evidence Summary

    Combination of exercise and diet has small effects in reducing risk factors for type 2 diabetes

    International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (2014)
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    Cholesterol and triglycerides tests

    Health Link B.C.
    Cholesterol and triglyceride levels can be measured with blood tests. Too much cholesterol can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke or heart disease.
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    Research review: Old data on dietary fats in context with current recommendations

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Researchers disagree on which fats should be included in our diet. Current dietary guidelines recommend replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats for better heart health.
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    Gout

    UpToDate - patient information
    Gout is a painful condition that develops in some people who have high blood levels of urate. This condition can be prevented with anti-inflammatories and by lowering urate with diet changes. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain.
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    Obesity and overweight in adults

    Patient.co.uk
    Increased weight can put you at risk for things like joint pain, low energy, and many health problems. Lose weight by eating healthy and increasing physical activity. Ask your doctor if your weight might be affecting your health.
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    Stones, groans and citrates

    Evidently Cochrane
    Kidney stones are a painful condition that often recurs even after treatment. More evidence is needed to confirm whether citrate salts can be used to prevent and treat kidney stones.
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    Oral allergy syndrome

    UpToDate - patient information
    Oral allergy syndrome is a type of food allergy caused by uncooked fruits, raw vegetables and nuts. The most common symptom is itching of the mouth and throat. In most cases avoiding the foods that cause symptoms is the best treatment.
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    Vitamin, mineral and multivitamin supplements for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer: Consumer fact sheet

    U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
    Healthy adults should not take vitamin E or beta carotene supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cancer. Taking beta carotene supplements can increase chances of lung cancer if you are already at risk.
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    Food allergy symptoms and diagnosis

    UpToDate - patient information
    Difficulty breathing, lightheadedness, and vomiting are symptoms of a food allergy. Get emergency medical help if you suddenly experience these symptoms after eating. More information in this resource about food allergy treatment and diagnosis.
  • Evidence Summary

    Population-level interventions in government jurisdictions for dietary sodium reduction (Review)

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2016)
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    Healthy eating

    Patient.co.uk
    A healthy diet can help prevent chronic diseases and manage your weight. A healthy diet includes fruits & vegetables, fiber, dairy and healthy proteins such as fish, nuts and beans. Limit fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar. Example snack and meal ideas in this resource.
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    What can I do on my own to prevent gout attacks?

    Informed Health Online
    Gout attacks are caused by high uric acid levels in your body. Decrease the amount of meat, fish and seafood in your diet and avoid alcohol to decrease your risk of a gout attack.
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    Dietary linoleic acid and risk of coronary heart disease

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Lower your risk of coronary heart disease by eating more foods containing linoleic acid (eg. vegetable oil, nuts, and seeds) and less saturated fat and carbohydrates. Try using vegetable oil in place of butter and animal fats.
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    Let's talk about portion size and overeating

    Evidently Cochrane
    Bigger portions, packaging and tableware may cause you to consume more food and drink. Limit portion sizes of fatty foods and sugary drinks to maintain a healthy diet.
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    Caffeine and health: Evidence from Cochrane

    Evidently Cochrane
    Caffeine can help relieve acute pain when taken with common painkillers like ibuprofen. Small amounts of caffeine have short-term benefits for people with asthma. Caffeine may also help work performance of shift workers.
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    Food intolerance or allergy: Can you make sense of it?

    Evidently Cochrane
    There is a large difference between a food allergy and food intolerance. Food allergies involve an immune reaction; food intolerances do not. Be aware of the foods that may trigger symptoms for you.
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    Weight-control: The size of your plate matters!

    Evidence-based Living
    Smaller plates and bowls help control portion sizes of your food. People tend to eat and drink more when offered larger portions, packages or tableware. Start with smaller portions on your plate.
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    The health benefits of chocolate, redux

    Evidence-based Living
    People who regularly eat small amounts of chocolate (less than 100 grams each day) have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Evidence Summary

    Weight loss with a Mediterranean diet

    Am J Med (2015)
  • Evidence Summary

    Diet and exercise promotion programs reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

    Annals of Internal Medicine (2015)
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    WHO report says eating processed meat is carcinogenic: Understanding the findings

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Red meat and processed meat may increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. For a healthy diet, reduce your intake of red meat and avoid processed meat. This resource answers other questions about the report.
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    Don't go large! New evidence on portion size

    Evidently Cochrane
    No matter your gender, BMI or self-control people tend to overeat when offered larger portions or using larger tableware. Smaller portion sizes could help lower food intake.
  • Evidence Summary

    Vitamin E for Alzheimer's dementia and mild cognitive impairment

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2012)
  • Evidence Summary

    Dietary advice for reducing cardiovascular risk

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2013)
  • Evidence Summary

    Effect of cocoa on blood pressure

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2012)
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    Gout diet: What's allowed, what's not

    Mayo Clinic
    A gout diet may help you control your attacks and relieve pain. Eat less meat, poultry and fish. Drink less alcohol (especially beer) and drink plenty of water. Eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Obesity is a risk factor, so losing weight can help.
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    Behavioral counseling to promote a healthful diet and physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention in adults with cardiovascular risk factors: consumer fact sheet on final USPSTF recommendation

    U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
    If you are overweight or obese and have high risk for heart disease or stroke, talk to your doctor about behavioral counseling to help improve your diet and increase physical activity.
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    What should I eat?: Protein

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Protein is an important part of a healthy diet, but certain high-protein foods (such as red meat) can increase your risk of heart problems and other diseases. Choose foods such as fish, chicken, beans and nuts as sources of protein.
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    Vitamin D and calcium to prevent fractures in adults: Consumer fact sheet

    U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
    There is not enough evidence to determine whether the use of vitamin D and calcium supplements can prevent fractures. Taking a daily supplement of vitamin D and calcium may increase your risk of kidney stones.
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    Gout is no fun: Can dietary supplements help?

    Evidently Cochrane
    There is no good evidence to show that dietary supplements can help chronic gout. Enriched skim milk may help reduce pain from gout.
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    What should I eat?: Types of fat

    Harvard School of Public Health
    There are three main types of fat: unsaturated, saturated and trans fat. Unsaturated fats can help improve cholesterol levels and lower inflammation and are found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and fish. Trans fats are common in fast foods, and can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
  • Evidence Summary

    Fish-oil supplements slightly lower blood pressure in adults diagnosed with high blood pressure

    European Journal of Preventive Cardiology (2013)
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    Low-phosphorus diet: Best for kidney disease?

    Mayo Clinic
    Kidney disease can lead to too much phosphorus in the blood and increase the risk of bone and heart disease. A low-phosphorus diet can help. To limit phosphorus in your diet, avoid fast food, processed food and drinks with phosphorus in them. Diet suggestions and substitutes in this resource.
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    Vitamin D details

    Berkeley Wellness
    People who live in northern North America are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D due to a lack of sun. People with osteoporosis may also need higher levels of vitamin D. Aim to get 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D (from supplements and fortified foods) plus a modest amount of sun exposure every day.
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    General measures to reduce cholesterol levels

    Informed Health Online
    Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising can help to lower high cholesterol. Reducing the amount of saturated fats in your diet may also help.
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    Gout

    Patient.co.uk
    Gout is a type of arthritis that causes pain and swelling in the joints. Losing weight, following a healthy diet, drinking less alcohol and sugary drinks can reduce the risk of a gout attack. This resource includes details about symptoms and treatment as well as link to a Gout Diet sheet.
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    What are dietary supplements?

    Informed Health Online
    Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs and other products, intended to be taken in addition to your normal diet. Many claims about supplements are unproven and some may be harmful to your health. This resource includes questions to consider about supplements.
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    Top 9 macular degeneration risk factors

    About Health
    Smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, low level of antioxidants and sun exposure can all increase your risk of macular degeneration. Age, gender, family history and ethnicity also affect your risk.
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    The body of evidence on reducing your risk of dementia

    Evidence-based Living
    There is some evidence that increasing vitamin B12 and folate levels (found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, vegetables and whole grains), quitting smoking, exercising and keeping your brain active can help reduce your risk of dementia.
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    Dehydration: Do we really know how to spot it?

    Evidently Cochrane
    It can be difficult to accurately spot signs of dehydration. Focusing on boosting hydration may be a better approach. Offer ice treats, fruits, chilled drinks, simple drinking containers, easy access to drinks and encourage visitors to make drinks to share.
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    Diverticulitis diet

    Mayo Clinic
    Your doctor may recommend a diverticulitis diet, with antibiotics, to treat mild cases of diverticulitis. The diet starts out with only clear liquids for the first few days, then moves on to low-fibre foods. You should feel better within two to three days.
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    Does vitamin C keep you healthy?

    Informed Health Online
    Research shows that vitamin C supplements do not prevent colds but can shorten the time you have cold symptoms and how sick you feel if taken before you have cold symptoms.
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    What should I eat?: About vegetables and fruits

    Harvard School of Public Health
    A variety of fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Lower your blood pressure, risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer by eating more fruits and vegetables. Read this resource for details and to find out which foods have specific benefits.
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    Sugary drinks

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Sugary drinks - such as soda, juice and energy drinks - are often high in calories and can lead to weight gain. Choose beverages that have little or no sugar added to them, such as water, coffee or tea. This resource includes a link to a sugar chart of common drink choices.
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    Carbohydrates and blood sugar

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Many studies have shown an association between foods with a high glycemic index and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Try to choose foods with medium or low glycemic index such as bran cereals, kidney beans, wheat tortillas, skim milk, peanuts and carrots. This resource provides other examples.
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    Nutrition & rheumatoid arthritis

    Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center
    There is not clear evidence to show that diet changes benefit people with rheumatoid arthritis. Follow a healthy, balanced diet and avoid long term elimination diets and processed foods. Avoid foods which trigger your own symptoms.
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    If I switch to a vegetarian diet, will I lose weight?

    Mayo Clinic
    A vegetarian diet does not guarantee you will lose weight. You can gain weight if you eat large portion sizes or foods high in calories and fat. To lose weight, eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based proteins and burn more calories than you eat.
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    Supplements for diabetes? Wishful thinking

    Berkeley Wellness
    Dietary supplements are unlikely to help treat diabetes and some may be harmful. Chromium, ginseng and cinnamon are somewhat promising options but further study is needed. Discuss any medications or herbal supplements with your doctor before taking them.
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    MS: Foods to avoid

    HealthLine
    More research is needed to prove any link between multiple sclerosis (a degenerative disease of the nervous system) and diet. Choose a high-fiber diet and avoid saturated fats.
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    Magnesium and type 2 diabetes prevention

    GB HealthWatch
    Magnesium deficiency is linked to insulin resistance. This can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Beans, seeds and bran are good food sources of magnesium. Choose more of these foods to help prevent type 2 diabetes.
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    Preventing diabetes: exercise, eating and evidence

    Evidently Cochrane
    Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. Control your weight, exercise regularly, quit smoking and abstain from alcohol to help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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    Calcium and calcium supplements: Achieving the right balance

    Mayo Clinic
    Calcium helps to build bone strength. Dairy, dark green vegetables and fish are good sources of calcium. Resource includes recommended daily levels and tips for choosing calcium supplements.
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    Food allergy treatment and avoidance

    UpToDate - patient information
    Food allergies can cause serious or even life-threatening reactions. Adults and parents of kids with food allergies can learn how to read food labels to avoid eating these foods. Read this resource for other tips to avoid allergic reactions from food.
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    Causes and diagnosis of lactose intolerance

    Informed Health Online
    People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest dairy products. Symptoms include gas, bloating and diarrhea after eating. This resource includes tips for living with lactose intolerance including diet options.
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    Irritable bowel syndrome: What can help?

    Informed Health Online
    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is often difficult to treat. Treatments include: soluble fiber (eg. psyllium), peppermint oil capsules, probiotics, anti-cramping medications, medications for diarrhea/constipation, antibiotics, antidepressants, and acupuncture - but all have varying rates of success and side effects.
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    3 strategies to prevent overeating

    Harvard School of Public Health
    To reduce overeating, try to be more aware of how much you eat, cut down on sweet and salty foods, and eat when you are hungry, not to cope with stress. Avoid technology during meals and focus on the food you are eating.
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    Belly fat in men: Why weight loss matters

    Mayo Clinic
    For men, a waist size larger than 40 inches is an unhealthy amount of belly fat and increases risk of health problems. Slow weight loss through healthy eating and physical activity can help keep excess weight off.
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    Olive oil versus coconut oil: Which is heart-healthier?

    Cleveland Clinic Health Hub
    Use olive oil rather than coconut oil to maximize health benefits, but don't overdo it. Limit to 33-55 grams of unsaturated fat (olive oil) and 22 grams or less of saturated fat (coconut oil) per day.
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    Gout

    Mayo Clinic
    Gout symptoms include sudden, severe pain, redness and tenderness in the joints. Treatment usually involves medications. Limiting alcohol, sugars and foods high in purines (eg. red meat and seafood) can help prevent gout.
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    A closer look at Dr. Oz’s 15 superfoods

    Science-based Medicine
    Be skeptical of so-called "superfoods". Claims that these are the "key to weight loss" are based on poor evidence and dietary advice. This resource reviews the evidence on 15 "superfoods" including beans, fennel and chili peppers.
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    Is loss of taste and smell normal with aging - or could loss of taste and smell have other causes?

    Mayo Clinic
    Some loss of taste and smell is natural with aging, especially after age 60, but some causes are treatable. Consult your doctor if you notice a loss of taste or smell. Your doctor might recommend altering your medications, or refer you to an allergist or an ear, nose and throat specialist.
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    Can supplements improve memory?

    Berkeley Wellness
    No dietary supplements - including plant extracts and vitamins - have been proven to preserve memory. Read the details here. To maintain or boost your brain health, exercise your brain by learning something new, stay socially connected, and manage your weight and blood pressure.
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    Obesity, type 2 diabetes and the ADIPOQ gene

    GB HealthWatch
    The ADIPOQ gene controls a hormone that helps with fat breakdown. People who carry a variant of this gene are at increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Choose a lower-fat diet with higher levels of unsaturated fats and get more physical activity to avoid weight gain.
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    What should I eat? Dietary fat and disease

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Healthy (unsaturated) fats can improve your heart health and reduce your risk of diabetes. These fats can be found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fats from fish can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease.
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    Men's health: Prevent the top threats

    Mayo Clinic
    Many of the leading causes of death among men (heart disease, stroke, cancer and respiratory disease) can be prevented. A healthy diet, staying physically active, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol, managing stress and getting recommended health screenings will all help improve your health.
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    Good nutrition for severe pain

    Berkeley Wellness
    Be skeptical about studies that claim certain foods can help ease pain - many are based on small studies and not yet confirmed by high quality research. Some types of chronic pain can be improved by diet changes (eg. celiac disease). Talk to your doctor about your pain before changing your diet.
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    Sugar: Cutting back has big benefits

    Berkeley Wellness
    A recent study in children found lowering sugar intake also lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome - improving blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The authors suggest cutting down on sugar will also benefit adults.
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    Artificial sweeteners: Better than sugar?

    Evidence-based Living
    Artificial sweeteners may help people lose weight. They may also contribute to other health problems, like high blood pressure or changes in metabolism. Limit your intake of artificial sweeteners until more is known about how they affect our bodies.
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    Can probiotics help against diarrhea?

    Informed Health Online
    Probiotics can help shorten episodes of diarrhea. It isn't clear whether different forms of probiotics (yogurt, capsules, powder) are more effective than others. Generally, probiotics are safe to take.
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    Other healthy beverage options

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Coffee may lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's Disease. It may also prevent gallstones. Tea may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, various types of cancer and lower risk of high blood pressure.
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    Soft drinks and disease

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Soft drinks may significantly increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They may also affect your bone health.
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    Prevention diet: 7 foods for an enlarged prostate

    HealthLine
    Eating more vegetables can help lower your risk of enlarged prostate. Good food choices for prostate health: sesame seeds, salmon, tofu, bell peppers, tomatoes, avocados, leafy greens, onions and garlic.
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    How to Read a Yogurt Label

    Berkeley Wellness
    Read the label: yogurt is not always as healthy as you might think! Some contain too much or artificial sugar, artificial flavour, and additives. Don't assume low-fat, non-dairy or Greek yogurts are healthier. Yogurt can be a healthy part of your diet – choose options with few ingredients.
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    MS: Foods to avoid

    HealthLine
    A healthy diet can help improve multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms. Avoid saturated fats, full fat dairy, diet drinks and refined sugars. Choose high fibre fruit in place of desserts and to reduce constipation.
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    Vitamin D deficiency

    UpToDate - patient information
    Not enough vitamin D in your diet, not enough exposure to the sun, and certain medical conditions can lead to vitamin D deficiency. This can be treated with supplements - side effects are not common.
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    Complementary and alternative medicine for patients with rheumatoid arthritis

    Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center
    More studies are needed on the effectiveness of supplements, special diets, acupuncture, yoga and other therapies for rheumatoid arthritis. A balanced diet and regular physical activity, reducing stress and good social support are beneficial.
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    Weight loss: Strategies for success

    Mayo Clinic
    A lower calorie diet and regular exercise with realistic goals can help you successfully lose weight. For long-term weight loss focus on changing your lifestyle, rather than temporary changes.
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    Ask the Expert: Coffee and health

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Research shows drinking coffee may benefit your health but drink with caution. Pregnant women and people who have trouble managing their blood sugar or blood pressure should avoid or limit caffeine in their diet.
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    Senior health: How to prevent and detect malnutrition

    Mayo Clinic
    Malnutrition can lead to a weak immune system, poor wound healing and weak muscles. Observe the eating habits of people you care for, watch for weight loss and red flags such as easy bruising and dental issues. Tips for encouraging healthy eating habits in this resource.
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    Are high-protein diets safe for weight loss?

    Mayo Clinic
    A high-protein diet can be safe in the short-term and may help you lose weight. It can be harmful if continued long term. Dangers include risk of heart disease, poor kidney function, and low fibre levels.
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    Obesity causes: Food and diet

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Eat whole grains, vegetables, fruits, healthy protein (like beans) and healthy fats (like nuts and olive oil) to help prevent long term diseases and control weight. Limit refined grains, processed foods and sugary drinks.
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    Is vitamin C good for more than fighting colds? Can it improve your mood?

    Mayo Clinic
    Vitamin C could help improve your mood. More research is needed.
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    Salt and sodium: Heart risks and disease

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Eating too much salt can increase your blood pressure and lead to heart disease, especially if you are over 50, have high blood pressure or diabetes, or are African American. Try to eat less than a teaspoon of salt a day.
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    Obesity: Health risks

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Obesity can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, depression, breathing problems and early death. Obesity can also affect your social life and sexual function. Losing weight, or avoiding gaining weight, can help improve your health.
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    Now cranberries are just for Christmas: New evidence suggests cranberry juice unlikely to prevent urinary tract infections

    Evidently Cochrane
    Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry capsules is not likely to prevent urinary tract infections. Larger studies that include more people are needed to learn more.
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    Do selenium supplements reduce heart attacks

    Evidently Cochrane
    Selenium supplements do not appear to reduce risk of heart attacks or death, but may increase your risk of baldness. To prevent heart failure: adopt a healthy diet, exercise regularly and do not smoke.
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    Fiber

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Eating fiber helps reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease and eases digestive issues, such as constipation. Increase your fiber intake by eating whole fruits, whole grains, beans and raw vegetables.
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    Healthy weight: Measuring fat

    Harvard School of Public Health
    The body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat and compares your weight to your height. You have a healthy weight if your BMI is between 18.5 and 25. A greater waist size is also increases health risks, even for people who are not overweight.
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    What are cranberries good for?

    Evidently Cochrane
    A recent research review found that cranberry juice, tablets or capsules did not help to prevent urinary tract infections.
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    What should I eat?: Whole grains

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Some studies show that people who eat whole grains (which contain bran and fibre) may be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Choose whole grains and be sure to check food labels at the grocery store because not all foods with a ‘whole grains’ label are healthy.
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    Drinks to consume in moderation

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Artificially sweetened drinks, diet drinks, 100% fruit juice, milk and alcohol are high in calories: drink these only in moderation. For some people drinking small amounts of alcohol may help to reduce the risk of heart disease or diabetes, but these risks are actually increased for heavy drinkers. People who do not drink should not feel that they need to start drinking small amounts of alcohol.
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    What we know and what we don’t about omega-3 fatty acid

    Evidence-based Living
    Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, walnuts and flaxseed because they are good for you. It is not clear that these foods or omega-3 supplements prevent heart disease, heart attacks or strokes. More research is needed.
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    How does caffeine affect blood pressure?

    Mayo Clinic
    Caffeine can cause you to have higher blood pressure levels. You may be at a higher risk if you are a man over 70, or overweight.
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    An update: New evidence on vitamins

    Evidence-based Living
    Eating a healthy, balanced diet is enough to satisfy your daily vitamin requirements. Unless your diet is lacking in some way, you do not need to take vitamins. Vitamins do little to prevent asthma, cancer or ear infections.
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    High cholesterol: Does reducing the amount of fat in your diet help?

    Informed Health Online
    Eat less saturated fats in your diet to help prevent heart disease. Eat less meat, butter, cheese and cream to improve your health long-term.
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    Coffee and your health

    Berkeley Wellness
    Coffee may have some health benefits, but more studies are needed. Do not start drinking coffee just for its potential health benefits. There is, however, no health reason to stop drinking coffee, unless you have an adverse reaction (jitters, insomnia, upset stomach, heartburn).
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    Gluten-free diet: What's allowed, what's not

    Mayo Clinic
    To follow a gluten free diet, avoid any foods with wheat, barley or rye. Pasta, salad dressings, beer, cookies, and cereals often contain gluten. Most dairy products, fruits, vegetables, meats, and eggs are gluten-free.
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    Healthy drinks: Public health concerns

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Sugary drinks increase the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Individuals, schools, drink manufacturers and governments can all take steps to help cut down on sugary drinks.
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    Fats and cholesterol

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Healthy unsaturated fats are important for good health. Choose vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, beans and fish in place of animal fats (eg. red meat and milk fats) and foods marketed as ‘low fat’.
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    What should I eat?: Cholesterol

    Harvard School of Public Health
    The mix of fats and carbohydrates in your diet determines your blood cholesterol level. High blood cholesterol can increase your risk for heart attack or stroke.
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    Artificial sweeteners

    Harvard School of Public Health
    More research is needed to find out how artificial sweeteners affect your health. It is possible that diet soda may not be healthier than sugary soda and may even cause weight gain and risk of diabetes.
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    Salt and sodium: Take action: How to reduce your intake

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Eating less salt can help to avoid blood pressure problems. Cut back on processed and prepared foods, make your own meals, and eat smaller portions of foods high in salt. Recipe links included.
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    Added sugar in the diet

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Too much sugar in your diet can lead to obesity and heart problems. Limit the added sugar in your diet to no more 24 grams (6 tsp). Avoid soft drinks and processed foods with added sugars, such as cereal.
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    The best diet: Quality counts

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Choose high quality foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help you lose weight and stay healthy. Avoid lower-quality foods such as sugar sweetened beverages, processed foods, refined grains or foods high in saturated or trans fats.
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    Obesity: Genes are not destiny

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Our weight is not just decided by our genes - our surroundings and lifestyle are important too. Watching too much TV, being inactive, eating processed foods, sweetened products and fast food all contribute to obesity.
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    Low-carbohydrate diets

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Some low-carbohydrate diets may help with weight loss and lower your risk of heart disease. Choose a diet with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
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    Obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease: Is there a link?

    HealthLine
    Control your blood glucose to prevent diabetes and perhaps lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease as well.
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    Issues in liver health: Are you feeding your liver too much sugar?

    Canadian Liver Foundation
    Over time high levels of sugar consumption can lead to liver problems such as fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer. To keep your liver healthy eat a balanced diet including fresh fruits and vegetables, moderate your sugar intake and avoid processed foods with added sugar.
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    Salt: Shake the habit

    Heart and Stroke Foundation
    Eating too much salt can give you high blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Tips to lower salt intake: don't put salt on the table, limit salted snack foods and fast foods, and plan your meals.
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    Eat a healthy diet

    Heart and Stroke Foundation
    You can change your diet to lower your blood pressure. The DASH diet is easy to follow and focuses on eating a wide variety of better quality foods.
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    Empty calories

    Heart and Stroke Foundation
    Empty calories are foods with a lot of calories and very little nutritional value, like alcohol, cake, candy and pop. Avoid eating or drinking too much of these foods.
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    Have you cake and eat it, too

    Heart and Stroke Foundation
    Do not deny yourself or feel guilty about eating dessert. Instead, try healthy options like fruit, frozen yogurt, smoothies or smaller portions.
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    Choosing a healthy-eating buddy

    Heart and Stroke Foundation
    A healthy-eating buddy can help you make healthy food choices. Together, you can set health goals, hold each other accountable, and give each other social and mental support.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Eating well when you have cancer

    Canadian Cancer Society
    Try to eat a balanced diet if you have cancer, even if treatment is making it hard to eat. This webpage has tips and recipes to help manage eating-related side effects.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Lack of appetite and loss of weight

    Canadian Virtual Hospice
    Lack of appetite is common for someone with a terminal illness. Try offering small meals and let them decide what and how much to eat. Try not to make mealtimes stressful. Focus on spending time together.
  • Web Resource Rating

    What should I eat?: Calcium and milk

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Calcium can help slow down bone loss. Dairy products are high in calcium but can also be high in fat and lead to other health risks. Choose non-dairy sources of calcium like leafy greens, beans and tofu.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Salt and sodium

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Too much sodium may lead to high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke. You should eat less than a teaspoon of salt a day. People who are 50+, have high blood pressure or diabetes should limit salt to less than two-thirds of a teaspoon.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Preventing diabetes

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Exercise regularly to prevent type 2 diabetes. Choose a diet rich in healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados and nuts. Limit processed meats, white bread, sugary drinks, and other refined carbohydrates.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Obesity causes

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Common causes of obesity include genetics, food choices, and inactivity. Lack of sleep and the advertising and selling of junk foods can also lead to obesity.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Help with eating

    Canadian Virtual Hospice
    People with a terminal illness may not eat as much as they used to. Try to provide high protein and high calorie snacks. Make meal times social, but do not force a person to eat.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Eat well over 60

    NHS Choices
    Stay healthy by eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, starch, and fibre. Iron, calcium, and vitamin D are also important. Aim to drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day. Maintain a healthy weight to lower your risk of disease.
  • Web Resource Rating

    What should I eat?: Vitamins

    Harvard School of Public Health
    A daily multivitamin and extra vitamin D supplements may help to boost your overall health, but healthy food choices are more important. Avoid mega-dose vitamins and mega-fortified foods.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Carbohydrates

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Some sources of carbohydrates are healthier than others. Choose whole grains such as whole wheat bread, rye, and barley. Other sources of healthy carbohydrates are vegetables, fruits and beans.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Healthy weight checklist

    Harvard School of Public Health
    To manage your weight choose whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and plant oils. Limit your intake of potatoes, red meat, processed foods, fast food, fruit juice and sugar-sweetened drinks. Exercise regularly and get enough sleep.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Sodium guidelines

    Canadian Liver Foundation
    The recommended amount of sodium is about a teaspoon of table salt a day. To reduce your salt intake: always taste food before adding salt, choose lower sodium or unsalted options and try other flavourings such as lemon, vinegar and herbs.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Nutrition and liver disease

    Canadian Liver Foundation
    A balanced diet is very important for people with liver disease. This resource includes nutrition advice for people with specific liver conditions, including hepatic encephalopathy, ascites and edema, cholestasis, Wilson disease, hemochromatosis, fatty liver. Ask your doctor before taking any supplements or nutritional aids.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Common nutritional concerns for people with Parkinson's

    Aging Care
    Having Parkinson's disease makes you more likely to have problems related to nutrition. These include bone thinning, dehydration, constipation and side effects from medications including weight loss or weight gain. To avoid these problems get enough calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin K, fiber, drinking water and exercising may also help.
  • Web Resource Rating

    No appetite? How to get nutrition during cancer treatment

    Mayo Clinic
    Your appetite may be affected from cancer or cancer treatment. To help with this, try to eat small amounts frequently, schedule meal times and limit fluids when eating. Keep snacks handy and try exercising to increase your appetite.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Your diet and eye disease

    About Health
    Eat dark leafy greens and omega-3 fatty acids to keep your eyes healthy. Try spinach, kale, fish, shellfish, and walnuts.
  • Web Resource Rating

    What the age-related eye disease studies mean for you

    National Eye Institute
    A nutritional supplement was developed by researchers working on the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) to help slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and this supplement has recently been improved. If you have AMD, ask your doctor or eye care professional about the AREDS nutritional supplement.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Kidney disease: Changing your diet

    WebMD
    If you have kidney disease, change your diet - limit your intake of salt, fluids and protein. Talk to your doctor or your dietitian and get the help you need to make these changes.
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    How can I get enough calcium?

    Informed Health Online
    You should get 1,000 - 1,500 mg of calcium each day. Eat foods with calcium including dairy products, fortified cereals or breads, and leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and cabbage.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Can folic acid and B-vitamins reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack?

    WebMD
    High levels of homocysteine are a predictor of cardiovascular risk. Folic acid and vitamin B can reduce homocysteine levels. New trials are being done to see if lowering homocysteine levels help reduce cardiovascular risk.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Best foods for your anti-aging diet

    WebMD
    Eating healthy foods, including colourful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, dairy, nuts, beans and lentils, will help you age well. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar and salt.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Help a loved one eat right

    WebMD
    Make sure your loved one gets the nutrition they need. Go to restaurants together, and go grocery shopping together. Suggest supplemental beverages and exercise to stimulate appetite. Stock their kitchen with ready-to-eat fruits, vegetables, protein, and whole grains.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Fenugreek: Little seeds, big claims

    Berkeley Wellness
    There has been conflicting evidence on fenugreek seeds' ability to reduce blood sugar levels for diabetics, lower cholesterol levels, increase libido, and manage healthy weight levels. You should stick to only cooking with this seed, rather than using it as a supplement, as more research is needed.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Should I be taking supplements?

    Healthy Women
    Taking supplements can help maintain good health in addition to maintaining a healthy, whole-foods diet. You should take a high-quality, whole-food based multivitamin, multi-mineral formula, vitamin D3, and Omega-3. Also, Women should take 600 mg of calcium citrate twice a day.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Eating during cancer treatment: Tips to make food tastier

    Mayo Clinic
    Cancer treatments can alter your sense of taste. Stay away from spices, acidic foods, and hot foods if you have a sore throat. Use different sauces, marinades and seasonings, and add sugar or syrup to make food tastier. Add more dairy to make food less sweet.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Clear liquid diet

    Mayo Clinic
    The clear liquid diet clears your stomach, intestines, and digestive system. It is often prescribed by doctors before or after a medical procedure, or if you are experiencing digestive problems. Water, broth, gelatin, coffee, carbonated beverages, and fruit juices without pulp are acceptable in this diet. If you have diabetes, this diet may be risky for you. The clear liquid diet should only be short-term, as it does not provide enough calories or nutrients.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Eating well at 60

    Healthy Women
    Choose protein sources that are low in fat and saturated fat such as fish, poultry and soy. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D, calcium, and Vitamin B6 and take those vitamin/mineral supplements if needed.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Get enough calcium

    HealthFinder
    Make sure you get enough calcium by eating foods that are high in calcium or by by taking calcium supplements. If you are a woman, make sure you get around 1200 mg per day.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Fried foods and heart disease

    Healthy Women
    You can enjoy fried foods, but be mindful of the kind of fat used to prepare the food. Avoid trans-fats by using "trans-fat-free" products and cooking methods.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Is everything we know about nutrition wrong?

    Center for Advancing Health
    Limit refined carbohydrates and sugar to prevent heart disease, rather than saturated fats.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Weight loss apps lack key ingredients for success

    Center for Advancing Health
    When considering an app to help you lose weight, look for one that has been developed using evidence-based behavioural strategies such as stress reduction, relapse prevention, social cues, negative thinking, developing regular patterns of eating, time management or instructions on reading nutrition labels.
  • Blog Post

    Diet or exercise: Which works best for weight loss?

    Want to lose some weight, keep it off and lower your risk of heart disease? Forget fad diets and extreme programs - learn the truth about the best ways to achieve your goals.
  • Blog Post

    5 diet changes supported by research evidence

    When it comes to food, too much of a good (tasting) thing can be bad for you. But too much food advice can be bad for you too, particularly if it’s not reliable. Revamp your diet by making changes that have been shown to help promote healthy aging.
  • Blog Post

    Living with heart failure: Effective self-care is key to coping well

    Heart failure is serious but people can live with the condition successfully. Giving people information about how to care for themselves is important, but additional support is necessary to promote effective self-care.
  • Blog Post

    Does salt really affect blood pressure?

    Cut back on salt for at least four weeks to lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
  • Blog Post

    Antioxidant vitamins for eye health? Research evidence provides clarity

    Cataracts and macular degeneration commonly develop as we age. Will taking antioxidant vitamins help prevent these vision problems?
  • Blog Post

    Supporting seniors at higher risk of poor nutrition

    Eating well is not always easy. A panel of older adults share their thoughts and suggestions about ways to improve nutrition, especially for those most at risk.
  • Blog Post

    Diet changes, accountability and regular weigh-ins may be keys to maintaining ideal weight

    A healthy weight is important for optimal health. The best strategy is to avoid gaining weight. Sounds easy... find out how to do it!
  • Blog Post

    Don’t rely on fatty acid supplements for protection against heart disease

    Fatty acids (such as those found in fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils) provide health benefits, including lowering risk of heart disease. Fatty acid supplements may help lower blood pressure, but don’t prevent heart attacks in people already diagnosed with heart issues.
  • Blog Post

    Lifestyle counselling programs help people make healthy choices and beneficial changes

    People at risk of heart disease can improve their health by exercising and changing their diet. Lifestyle counselling programs can help people make these changes.
  • Blog Post

    Fish-oil supplements: another weapon against high blood pressure

    Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish promote heart health. Taking fish-oil supplements is an effective alternative to eating fish.
  • Blog Post

    Vitamin D and calcium: A dynamic duo in the maintenance of strong bones

    Calcium and vitamin D supplements help keep bones healthy and may reduce the risk of bone breaks in older adults.
  • Blog Post

    Does vitamin C help with the common cold?

    Vitamin C taken regularly as a supplement doesn't change the frequency of catching a cold but may help a little with the duration and the severity of your symptoms.

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