Therapy for insomnia?

insomniaChances are you know someone who has difficulty sleeping, or you experience insomnia yourself. About 30 percent of adults in the U.S. experience symptoms of insomnia and 10 percent experience sleeplessness that impacts their daily activities. [Read more…]

The evidence on flossing

dental flossI visited the dentist last week, where she found a small cavity in between my upper back molars.  She put in a filling and recommended more flossing.  “Make sure you get all of the way up to the gum line when you floss,” she told me. [Read more…]

The evidence on sunscreen: Revisited

sunscrnIt’s only May, but I’m already slathering sunscreen on my kids each morning before school.  Every year, before I stock up on our summer supply, I check with Environmental Working Group’s annual sunscreen report to make sure the formulation my family uses is as effective and safe as possible. [Read more…]

Can you wash pesticides off your fruits and vegetables?

fruits-veggiesHere at EBL, we love hearing from readers who have comments or questions about the evidence. Recently, a commenter on our post about organic food asked whether washing conventional produce reduces the amount of pesticides consumed compared to eating organic fruits and vegetables. [Read more…]

Acupuncture for itchiness: An evidence-based solution

acupunctureThere are dozens of medical conditions that include itchiness as a symptom – including allergic reactions, viral rashes and nerve disorders and drug reactions. Most likely, you’ve felt itchiness at some point during life, and you know how miserable it can be. [Read more…]

Aging and the mind: Evidence on how to stay sharp later in life

digitalbrainBaby boomers – the generation of Americans born following World War II – began turning 65 years old in 2011. As this large group reaches their golden years, Americans will increasingly grapple with chronic health conditions related to aging. Among them is cognitive decline – the brain’s natural aging process that can lead to memory lapses, slower processing and difficultly making decisions. This process can have serious implications for quality of life in later years, ultimately determining whether someone is able live independently. [Read more…]

Evidence-based exercise: What’s the optimal amount?

agingWhen a doctor prescribes a medicine, he gives a precise dose calculated to maximize the health benefits while minimizing any side effects.  Similar to medicine, we know that exercise is good for our health; it reduces the risk of developing chronic disease and prolongs our life. But exactly how much exercise is optimal? [Read more…]

The evidence on cigar-smoking

cigarOver the past decade, cigar consumption in the United States has increased significantly.  In 2011, Americans smoked an estimated 13.7 billion cigars, a 55 percent increase compared with 2000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Cigars may be trendy, but they pose serious health risks. A new systematic review published this week takes a look at the evidence available on cigar-smoking. [Read more…]

Evidence gap: What we don’t know about health apps

smart phoneSmart phones have changed our society in a myriad of ways, making it faster and easier to communicate with each other, conduct research, access entertainment, and navigate the world.

The health care industry has also capitalized on this new technology. Today, there are dozens of apps designed to help people improve their fitness, lose weight and monitor medical conditions. But do they actually work? [Read more…]

Evidence-based dieting

obesity-300x225Here at EBL, we’ve written a lot about the health problems associated with obesity in the U.S. The good news is that an estimated 45 million Americans go on diets each year to lose excess weight. But many weight-loss programs are never evaluated in scientific studies, leading participants to spend time, energy and money on programs that are not evidence-based. [Read more…]