Blog Posts by The Editors at Sharecare

  • Staying Healthy: When Less is More

    Too many vitamins can be toxicToo many vitamins can be toxicby Robin Miller, for Sharecare

    Many times in life we get the idea that if a little bit of something is good, then more is certainly better. That, however, is not always the case. Let's look at a couple of examples having to do with how we take care of ourselves.

    Vitamins make many of us feel better. They can be good for us. But taking too much can have negative repercussions.

    Many people take vitamin A, for example, because it can be good for the skin. However, if you take more than 5,000 IUs a day it can be toxic to the liver and cause serious health problems.

    Vitamin D helps with bone density and can also boost heart health and the immune system. It's generally safe in a dose of 1,000 IUs daily. Take more than that and it can be toxic to the liver and cause dizziness and all sorts of problems.

    Expert Q&A: What are signs of vitamin D toxicity?

    Vitamin E can cause excessive bleeding if taken in high doses. Vitamin K in large doses doesn't

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  • 5 Ways to Face Down Your Fitness Fears

    Whitewater raftingWhitewater raftingby Su Reid-St.John, for Sharecare

    Most of us, at one time or another, have been afraid to try something new, especially when it comes to fitness. My most recent fear facing came when I had the chance to do a zipline tour--the kind where you hike through the forest, climb up onto a tiny platform 20 feet above the ground, then cross from tree to tree via zipline and rope bridge and rope swing. The issue? I'm afraid of heights.

    But it sounded like such fun that I knew it was time to pull out my five steps to overcoming fitness fear. These are the same ones I used the first time I faced a steep downhill on my mountain bike, took a kayak through the rapids, ventured onto the blue trails on my downhill skis--well, you get the picture.

    Here they are:

    1. Allow yourself to be a beginner
    It always looks so effortless when you watch an expert in motion, right? It's worth remembering that nobody starts out amazing. "When we compare ourselves to those who've already

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  • 10 Facts About Osteoporosis and Bone Health

  • Boost Health and Happiness with Family Meals

    Family mealtimeFamily mealtimeBy Michael F. Roizen, MD

    Family dinners can serve up drama and comedy, but they're rarely as fraught or funny as when Mrs. Doubtfire (played by Robin Williams) in the movie of the same name insinuates herself into his (we know, the pronouns are confusing) ex-wife's birthday party so she/he can torpedo the new boyfriend with a pepper-laced entrée.

    Food Wars: Help with picky eaters

    What's really true about family dinnertime is that sharing a sit-down dinner three or more days a week can transform everyone's health and brighten your children's future. If lower blood pressure and reduced risk of cancer and heart disease isn't incentive enough, consider this: Dishing up dinner will improve your family ties, improve your love life, and boost your kids' health, self-esteem, and grades. Pass the broccoli, please!

    Expert Q&A: How can I prevent heart disease?

    Here are the facts on eating healthy meals at home:

    • Thirty-five percent of kids who have two or fewer
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  • 7 Most Dangerous Grilling Mistakes

    Worst grilling mistakesWorst grilling mistakesBy Sean Kelley, for Sharecare

    As a volunteer firefighter, I've seen my share of grilling fires. In the Deep South where I live, they are common enough throughout the year, but the frequency of calls involving grass fires, house fires and forest fires caused by backyard barbecues start going up around Memorial Day and don't really let up until the fall.

    What are some fireworks safety tips?

    Grilling fires are serious business. I have a six-inch burn scar that encircles one of my ankles, the result of an accident caused by a faulty grill. Two months of debriding (cleaning the wound) is painful and no way enjoy grilling season!

    Grill fires get started for a number of stupid reasons. Mine flared up because lighter fluid was stored too close to the grill. But I've also responded to fires started because a rickety charcoal grill collapsed, a gas grill sprang a propane leak and because some idiot lit a hibachi on his screened-in porch.

    If you haven't fired up your

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  • For Keeping Weight Off, a Low-Carb Diet Wins

    New research finds a low-carb diet may be best to keep weight off.New research finds a low-carb diet may be best to keep weight off.By Marianne Wait, for Sharecare

    A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.

    Or is it?

    A new study has put yet another notch in the belt of the low-carb diet, giving people trying to lose weight or keep it off a new reason to pass on pasta and embrace steak this summer.

    In the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers pitted three diets against each other to see which one would help people maintain weight loss over the long term -- often the hardest part of losing weight, in part because a slimmer body burns fewer calories.

    One was the classic low-fat fat diet, rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and getting 60% of its calories from carbs. The second was a moderately low-carb, low-glycemic index diet getting 40% of its calories from carbs (it replaced some grains and starchy vegetables with good fat and low-glycemic vegetables, legumes, and fruits). The third was an extreme low-carb diet reminiscent of the original Atkins

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  • 8 Top Foods to Eat for Sexy, Healthy Hair

    Rich in healthy fats, wild salmon is great for your hair.Rich in healthy fats, wild salmon is great for your hair.By Michael F. Roizen, MD

    Of course you care how your hair looks. Who doesn't? Ever since humans emerged from caves, we've used our hair to broadcast two messages: "I'm healthy and powerful," and "Hello, honey, how about it?" Some politicians get elected just because of their healthy hair.

    9 Days to Younger Looking Skin

    What you feed your body also feeds each of the 150,000 hair follicles on your head. Try these 8 top foods for healthy hair that tells everyone you're as young as you feel -- or even younger:

    • Green tea, walnuts, and salmon. The polyphenols and omega-3s in these foods are good for more than your heart and brain. They also help make your hair shiny. (If you're fighting dandruff, try rinsing with green tea. It helps prevent dandruff-causing fungus.)
    • Fruit. Brightly colored fruit, such as peaches, strawberries, mango, kiwi, and tomatoes (yep, they're a fruit!) are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for making collagen that gives structure
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  • When It's OK to Ignore Health Advice

    By Alice Domar, PhD, for Sharecare

    Recently at a women's wellness weekend I was listening to a well-known nutrition guru touting the health benefits of a daily glass or two of wine. And I was thinking to myself, when is he going to mention the risks of alcohol? Because, sure, wine is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, but also an increased risk of breast cancer. In the same way, sunlight is associated with increasing your levels of vitamin D, which can decrease your risks of all sorts of nasty diseases -- but as we all know, sun exposure can increase your risk of skin cancer too. And exercise can lead to all sorts of physical and mental health improvements, but too much can lead to injuries and possibly impaired fertility.

    Find out which exercise is safest if you're trying to get pregnant.

    The list goes on and on: For every study that comes out and promotes the benefits of something, a counter study says the exact opposite, or so it seems. What's a girl to

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  • 3 New Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

    Raw or pickled, chile peppers help boost your metabolism.Raw or pickled, chile peppers help boost your metabolism.By Joy Johnston, for Sharecare

    Looking for an inexpensive supplement to help you lose weight? According to Dr. Oz, it may be time to try white bean extract. Like the popular new belly fat-burning supplement raspberry ketones, white bean extract works by boosting your metabolism, so you burn more calories. The more calories you burn, the more weight you'll lose.

    Do you know what it takes to boost your metabolism? Take this quiz and find out.

    If belly fat is your bugaboo, white bean extract may be just the supplement you need. It blocks the absorption of carbs, which helps keep belly fat at bay. Dr. Oz recommends taking 500 mg of white bean extract daily before a big meal. You can also add it to a smoothie for a healthy meal replacement. If it agrees with you, increase your intake to 500 mg twice a day. (Diarrhea is the most common side effect.)

    Lose that muffin top: 9 foods that help melt belly fat

    White bean extract isn't just for dieters. Studies have shown

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  • Stuffy Nose? 7 Ways to Clean Up Indoor Air

    By Michael F. Roizen, MD

    Did you know that 20% of the U.S. population lives in communities with lethal levels of smog and particulate pollution -- the toxic soup of chemicals, metals, acids, ash, and soot that triggers asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, and early deaths? Makes you want to close the windows, bar the door, and stay home, right?

    Not so fast. The indoor air quality in your living room might be worse.

    Indoor levels of some pollutants (e.g., formaldehyde, chloroform, styrene) can be 2 to 50 times higher than levels in your front yard. Since most of us spend nearly 90% of our time inside, we're inhaling by-products of everything from household cleaners to emissions from our laser printers.

    Here's how to cut down on pollutants, improve your indoor air quality and breathe easy.

    • Ban cigarette smoke. Secondhand smoke is the single largest source of particulate pollution inside homes. The best way to purify your indoor air -- and reduce your risk of
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