Archive for the ‘Heart Disease’ Category

In the News: Sunlight reduces risk of heart disease and diabetes

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk of older people developing heart disease and diabetes, according to researcher released in May from the University of Warwick. The scientists found that pensioners who got out and about into the sunshine had higher levels of vitamin D than those who preferred to stay indoors. 

Low levels of vitamin D can trigger metabolic syndrome – a condition that affects one in five people and is more common in the elderly. Metabolic syndrome affects the body’s ability to produce insulin and can significantly increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. When we get older our skin becomes less efficient at forming vitamin D naturally and this study certainly seems to suggest that older people should spend more time outdoors to stimulate the same levels of vitamin D that they had when they were younger.

Quick Tip: Feeling hearty

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Another good reason to tuck into oily fish is that more research has confirmed that its omega-3 oils can help prevent heart attacks. The study, from Harvard School of Public Health, has found that omega-3 oils can cut the risk for both men and women by 59 per cent. So eat your weekly portions of oily fish, such as mackerel and salmon, or if you don’t eat fish have a tablespoon of flaxseed oil or six walnuts a day.

Quick Tip: Massage cuts blood pressure

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Regular massage can lower blood pressure, a US study has found. Researchers looked at a group of married couples who were given portable blood pressure monitors. Half the couples were told to massage their partners for 30 minutes three times a week while the other half went about their lives as normal. At the end of the four week experiment, both men and women in the massage group had significantly higher levels of oxytocin, a hormone that counteracts stress. The husbands in the group also had lower blood pressure readings than at the start of the study, whereas the non massage group saw no change.