Tag Archives: Cardiovascular disease

Exercise combats addiction – Study

As far as I am concerned when it comes to the benefits to our body and brain from exercise, the hits just keep on coming. The University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions reports the following good news.

Summary: Researchers report, in animal models of addiction, daily aerobic exercise alters the mesolimbic dopamine pathway in the brain.

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Daily aerobic exercise altered the mesolimbic dopamine pathway in the brain. NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.

New research by the University has identified a key mechanism in how aerobic exercise can help impact the brain in ways that may support treatment — and even prevention strategies — for addiction.

Also known as “cardio,” aerobic exercise is brisk exercise that increases heart rate, breathing and circulation of oxygen through the blood, and is associated with decreasing many negative health issues, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. It also is linked to numerous mental health benefits, such as reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Continue reading

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Exercise increases brain size, new research finds

Here is another source of the same facts I have been reporting in this blog for some years now. Your brain gets as much benefit from your cardiovascular exercise as your body.

Aerobic exercise can improve memory function and maintain brain health as we age, a new Australian-led study has found.

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In a first of its kind international collaboration, researchers from NICM and the Division of Psychology and Mental Health at the University of Manchester in the UK examined the effects of aerobic exercise on a region of the brain called the hippocampus, which is critical for memory and other brain functions.

Brain health decreases with age, with the average brain shrinking by approximately five per cent per decade after the age of 40.

Studies in mice and rats have consistently shown that physical exercise increases the size of the hippocampus but until now evidence in humans has been inconsistent. (my emphasis)

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Filed under aging brain, brain, brain function, brain health, cardio exercise, cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular health, Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, Healthy brain

Exercise can make cells healthier, promoting longer life – Study

Eat less, more more; live longer remains the mantra of this blog. Now comes MedicalPress with a study confirming the move more segment.

Whether it’s running, walking, cycling, swimming or rowing, it’s been well-known since ancient times that doing some form of aerobic exercise is essential to good health and well-being. You can lose weight, sleep better, fight stress and high blood pressure, improve your mood, plus strengthen bones and muscles.

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“Whether muscle is healthy or not really determines whether the entire body is healthy or not,” said Zhen Yan of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. “And exercise capacity, mainly determined by muscle size and function, is the best predictor of mortality in the general population.”

But why? Yan might have some answers. He and colleagues at UVA are peering inside the cell to understand, at a molecular level, why that workout – like it or not – is so vital to the body. They found that one important benefit involves the cellular power plant – the mitochondria – which creates the fuel so the body can function properly.

 

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Filed under aging, brain, Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, living longer, longevity, successful aging

Brain activity may predict stress-related cardiovascular risk – AHA

I have written numerous posts on the brain, stress and relaxation. This study seems to be an amalgam of them all. If you want to read further on any of them, punch the word into the S E A R C H box at the right and have at it. There is a lot of information available.

  • A pattern of brain activity that occurs during psychological stress may predict bodily reactions, such as surges in our blood pressure, that increase risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • People who have exaggerated responses to stressors, like large rises in blood pressure or heart rate, are at greater risk of developing hypertension and premature death from cardiovascular disease, researchers say.

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The brain may have a distinctive activity pattern during stressful events that predicts bodily reactions, such as rises in blood pressure that increase risk for cardiovascular disease, according to new proof-of-concept research in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Continue reading

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Gluten-free diet may increase risk of arsenic, mercury exposure

I’m sure you have encountered friends and acquaintances who are going ‘gluten-free.’ I have observed, I don’t think imagined, a certain smugness about the announcement. Like they have elevated themselves above the masses. Well, It turns out maybe not.

People who eat a gluten-free diet may be at risk for increased exposure to arsenic and mercury – toxic metals that can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurological effects, according to a report in the journal Epidemiology.

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Gluten-free diets have become popular in the U.S., although less than 1 percent of Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease – an out-of-control immune response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

A gluten-free diet is recommended for people with celiac disease, but others often say they prefer eating gluten-free because it reduces inflammation – a claim that has not been scientifically proven. In 2015, one-quarter of Americans reported eating gluten-free, a 67 percent increase from 2013.

Gluten-free products often contain rice flour as a substitute for wheat. Rice is known to bioaccumulate certain toxic metals, including arsenic and mercury from fertilizers, soil, or water, but little is known about the health effects of diets high in rice content. (my emphasis)

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Running actually reduces some inflammation – Study

Running may also slow the process that leads to osteoarthritis

As regular readers know, I ride my bike nearly daily,  here in Chicago. A hundred years ago, it seems, I ran daily. I stopped running because I enjoy bike riding more.

We all know that running causes a bit of inflammation and soreness, and that’s just the price you pay for cardiovascular health. You know; no pain, no gain.

Running

Well, maybe not. New research from BYU exercise science professors finds that pro-inflammatory molecules actually go down in the knee joint after running.
In other words, it appears running can reduce joint inflammation.“It flies in the face of intuition,” said study coauthor Matt Seeley, associate professor of exercise science at BYU. “This idea that long-distance running is bad for your knees might be a myth.” Continue reading

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How Cardiovascular Exercise Helps the Brain

In view of Thanksgiving being right around the corner and holiday parties soon after, I thought it propitious to show you this again.

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

With Thanksgiving looming, this is a great time to reaffirm our resolve to exercise regularly. OR, it is the ideal time to resolve to exercise regularly in the coming year and maybe begin to address physical and weight problems that we have neglected.

Regular readers know that I have posted numerous times on the value of exercise not only for our bodies, but also for our brains. On the top of this page is IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT YOUR BRAIN.

If you click on that link you can find a page full of blog posts on the subject.

Our ancestors engaged in some serious cardio exercise just to get food. Our ancestors engaged in some serious cardio exercise just to get food.

And now, the New York Times joins in the fray with Gretchen Reynolds’s article Exercise and the Ever-Smarter Human Brain.

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Filed under aging brain, brain, brain exercise, cardio exercise, Exercise, exercise benefits, New York Times

Sitting too long may raise heart disease risk – AHA

In December 2013 I posted for the first time on the dangers of sitting too long. “I must confess I was amazed to learn that simply sitting for long periods could be as the headline says, “Hazardous to Your Health and Longevity.” So, it’s not enough to exercise regularly, you also need to make sure that you don’t sit immobile for long periods….” That was the first sentence in the post Too much sitting can be hazardous to your health and longevity.

Now comes the American Heart Association saying, “Being sedentary is not just a lack of exercise, it is a potentially independent risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

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“Regardless of how much physical activity someone gets, prolonged sedentary time could negatively impact the health of your heart and blood vessels,” said Deborah Rohm Young, Ph.D., director of behavioral research at Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena and chair of the new scientific statement published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

“According to the statement, sedentary behavior may be associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, impaired insulin sensitivity (linked to diabetes) and an overall higher risk of death from any cause. (my emphasis)
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13 Curious facts about bones – Infographic

It’s important to remember that our bones are living tissue as much as our muscles. We need to work them with weight bearing exercise throughout our lives. Aerobic work is fine for our cardiovascular system, but get some weight work in regularly. Happily, going for a walk is weight bearing exercise.

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To read more benefits of walking – Check out my Page – Why you should walk more.

Tony

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More Bad News about Inadequate Sleep

I created the Page – How Important is a good night’s sleep? more than three years ago after taking a course on sleep. My opening sentence is  “Sleep is one of the under-appreciated aspects of our daily lives.” Arianna Huffington’s book The Sleep Revolution is one of Amazon’s bestsellers.

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Now comes the University of Helsinki reporting on the damage too little sleep does to the
blood vessels.

Getting too little sleep causes changes in the metabolism of cholesterol, demonstrates a study conducted at the University of Helsinki. According to the results, long-term sleep loss may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease.

Lack of sleep has previously been found to impact the activation of the immune system, inflammation, carbohydrate metabolism and the hormones that regulate appetite. Now University of Helsinki researchers have found that sleep loss also influences cholesterol metabolism. Continue reading

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Moderate Coffee Drinking May Cut Premature Death Risk – Harvard

1439910737525I am a coffee drinker in moderation, so I only worry about the effects of caffeine on me. I have heard horror stories of ‘caffeine headaches’ that die hard coffee drinkers get. So I pretty much limit myself to decaf. I was happy to learn the latest from Harvard on coffee drinking.

People who drink about three to five cups of coffee a day may be less likely to die prematurely from some illnesses than those who don’t drink or drink less coffee, according to a new study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers and colleagues. Drinkers of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee saw benefits, including a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, type 2 diabetes, and suicide.

“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” said first author Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition. “That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”

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There is a Physical Price for Too Much Sitting – Wall Street Journal

I learned about the dangers of prolonged sitting a while back and have posted several times on it as well as created a Page – Do You Know the Dangers of Too Much Sitting? which you can check out at your leisure to learn more about this fascinating subject.

It’s nice to see the Wall Street Journal take up the issue, “Studies have found that sedentary behavior, including sitting for extended periods, increases the risk for developing dozens of chronic conditions, from cancer and diabetes to cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Some ergonomics experts warn that too much standing also can have negative effects on health, including a greater risk for varicose veins, back and foot problems, and carotid artery disease.”

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I was interested to see that prolonged standing is also a no-no.

It seems our bodies were created to move and that is all there is to it.

I find this fascinating. I would have thought that regular exercise would solve the problem, but no. The Journal notes that, “Various studies have shown that even regular exercise won’t compensate for the negative effects from sitting too much during the day. Sitting causes physiological changes in the body, and may trigger some genetic factors that are linked to inflammation and chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, said Dr. Buckley, of the University of Chester. In contrast, standing activates muscles so excess amounts of blood glucose don’t hang around in the bloodstream and are instead absorbed in the muscles, he said.”

While the danger of prolonged sitting may seem too subtle for some to take very seriously, I think it is very worthwhile information. So many people feel they suffer from mysterious maladies. This is clear cut science that removes a layer of the mystery from some of those maladies.

I am thrilled that my Apple Watch reminds me every hour with a Time to Stand reminder. You can achieve the same thing with a timer at your desk. (I put together a page on How My Apple Watch is Good for Your Health) with lots more aspects of healthy living.

The Journal also mentioned wearing a headset and walking in the office while talking on the phone rather than just sitting at your desk. Likewise, small meetings can be held while walking rather than cooped up in an office.

Clearly folks with desk jobs have some thinking to do on the subject.

Tony

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More Good Reasons to Stop Smoking

Regular readers know I am an avid anti-smoking person. One of the most popular Pages on this blog is How Bad is Smoking?   As I wrote on that Page, “Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and death in the United States.” So I thought you might be interested in this view from across the pond. Kristy Jones lives in Liverpool and is an avid writer and blogger. Her areas of interest are food, reviews (Book/Movie), Travel, Fashion, Lifestyle and Fitness. She works as a guest blogger and currently writes on behalf of European Health Card.Tony kristy jones

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Health experts warn that smoking is bad for human health. Research shows that smokers inhale dangerous elements, which damage vital organs. Smoking can lead to debilitating illnesses that affect the lungs, heart, feet and hands and the functioning of the internal organs. The major health risks associated with smoking are:

Pulmonary diseases     •Cancer     •Emphysema      •Cardiovascular disease      •Impotence and Infertility     •Peripheral vascular disease     •Atherosclerosis       •Increase in cholesterol level of the blood      •Reduction in life expectancy to name a few.

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Smokers die sooner

Smokers are likely to die before their time. A single cigarette can shorten a smoker’s life by eleven minutes. Research conducted in the United Kingdom over the years shows that many smokers die before the age of sixty.
Smoking Causes Cancer
A major health risk associated with smoking is cancer, not just lung cancer. Different diseases result from smoking. Common cancerous problems developed due to the dangerous substances inhaled are •Kidney cancer   •Lung cancer   •Larynx cancer   •Breast cancer   •Neck and head cancer   •Bladder cancer   •Esophagus cancer   •Stomach cancer as well as   •Pancreas cancer and the list goes on. One of the major causes of cervical cancer in women is smoking. Some diseases are transmitted to unborn babies when their mothers fail to quit smoking during pregnancy.
Smoking Leads to Pulmonary Diseases
Smoking can cause pulmonary damages to the body system from cyanide and carbon monoxide, which are the common compounds contained in the smokes inhaled by smokers. It also causes elasticity loss in the human alveoli. Alveoli are tiny sacs within our lungs that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the lungs and bloodstream. Smoking causes emphysema and COPD. This is an incurable health problem. Patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) experience a respiratory problem, wheezing as well as incurable cough.
Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease

Smoking is also a known cause of cardiovascular diseases. Smoking affects the smooth flow of blood to the heart which reacts in several ways. The carbon monoxide contained in smoke reduces the quantity of oxygen supplied to the body. If the condition persists, the smoker develops cardiovascular diseases. This could result in premature death. This also reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain.
Harmful Ingredients in Tobacco are Dangerous to Health
Several ingredients are used in the production of tobacco. Some of them are not safe for the body. Many of them contract blood vessels and impede the smooth flow of blood. When there is a blockage of blood to the heart, it causes problems like •Heart attack •Stroke
Impotence and Infertility

Smoking is associated with impotence owing to erectile dysfunction. This develops because of arterial narrowing caused by smoking. Even with women, it affects fertility because smoke disturbs the ovaries. Nicotine reduces the ability of the body to produce estrogens required for fertility.

A smoker’s risk of contracting any of these diseases depends on the length of time he/she has been smoking. If that person quits, the dangers decline and are even averted because the body can repair the damaged system.

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New Understanding of Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Vegan, Vegetarian Diets

While carnitine is naturally occurring in red meats, including beef, venison, lamb, mutton, duck, and pork, it’s also a dietary supplement available in pill form and a common ingredient in energy drinks. With this new research in mind, Hazen cautions that more research needs to be done to examine the safety of chronic carnitine supplementation.

Cooking with Kathy Man

A compound abundant in red meat and added as a supplement to popular energy drinks has been found to promote atherosclerosis – or the hardening or clogging of the arteries – according to Cleveland Clinic research published online this week in the journal Nature Medicine.

The study shows that bacteria living in the human digestive tract metabolize the compound carnitine, turning it into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), a metabolite the researchers previously linked in a 2011 study to the promotion of atherosclerosis in humans. Further, the research finds that a diet high in carnitine promotes the growth of the bacteria that metabolize carnitine, compounding the problem by producing even more of the artery-clogging TMAO.

The research team was led by Stanley Hazen, MD, Ph D, Vice Chair of Translational Research for the Lerner Research Institute and section head of Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation in the Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute…

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