Tag: heart

Maximum amount of time you can sit before harming your heart

Maximum amount of time you can sit before harming your heart

A new large-scale study has revealed what researchers believe to be the maximum time an individual can sit each day before sedentary time starts to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease, stroke and heart attack.

Although many previous studies have shown that too much sedentary time increases the risk of a variety of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as contributing to an increase in waist measurement and an increased mortality risk.

Until now there was no number attached to the amount of time an individual could be sedentary for before it begins to have a negative effect on health.

To look at an association between the number of sedentary hours and the risk of cardiovascular disease, a team of researchers from several institutions throughout the USA analyzed data from the EMBASE and MEDLINE databases.

The data spanned an 11-year period and 720,425 participants in total who together had a mean age of 54.5 years.

Researchers also included lying down in their definition of sedentary time.

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Red meat links to heart disease

Red meat links to heart disease

A chemical found in red meat helps explain why eating too much steak, mince and bacon is bad for the heart, say US scientists.

A study in the journal Nature Medicine showed that carnitine in red meat was broken down by bacteria in the gut.

This kicked off a chain of events that resulted in higher levels of cholesterol and an increased risk of heart disease.

Dieticians warned there may be a risk to people taking carnitine supplements.

There has been a wealth of studies suggesting that regularly eating red meat may be damaging to health.

In the UK, the government recommends eating no more than 70g of red or processed meat a day – the equivalent of two slices of bacon.

Saturated fat and the way processed meat is preserved are thought to contribute to heart problems. However, this was not thought to be the whole story.

“The cholesterol and saturated fat content of lean red meat is not that high, there’s something else contributing to increases in cardiovascular risk,” lead researcher Dr Stanley Hazen told the BBC.

Gut bugs

Experiments on mice and people showed that bacteria in the gut could eat carnitine.

Carnitine was broken down into a gas, which was converted in the liver to a chemical called TMAO.

In the study, TMAO was strongly linked with the build-up of fatty deposits in blood vessels, which can lead to heart disease and death.

Dr Hazen, from the Cleveland Clinic, said TMAO was often ignored: “It may be a waste product but it is significantly influencing cholesterol metabolism and the net effect leads to an accumulation of cholesterol.

“The findings support the idea that less red meat is better.

“I used to have red meat five days out of seven, now I have cut it way back to less than once every two weeks or so.”

He said the findings raised the idea of using a probiotic yogurt to change the balance of bacteria in the gut.

Reducing the number of bacteria that feed on carnitine would in theory reduce the health risks of red meat.

Vegetarians naturally have fewer bacteria which are able to break down carnitine than meat-eaters.

Volunteering good for the heart

Volunteering good for the heart

OTTAWA, Feb 27 – Volunteer work has long been touted as good for the soul, but the practice is also good for your heart, according to a study out Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver wanted to find out how volunteering might impact one’s physical condition, and discovered that it improves cardiovascular health, said study author Hannah Schreier.

And “the volunteers who reported the greatest increases in empathy, altruistic behavior and mental health were the ones who also saw the greatest improvements in their cardiovascular health,” said Schreier.

Previous studies had shown that psychosocial factors, such as stress, depression and well being, play a role in cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death in North America.

Schreier noted that the first signs of the disease can begin to appear during adolescence, which is why she recruited young volunteers for her study.

She and her team measured the body mass index, inflammation and cholesterol levels of 53 Vancouver high school students who spent an hour a week working with elementary school children in after-school programs in their neighborhood.

They compared the results with a group of 53 students who were waitlisted for the volunteering program.

The researchers also assessed the teenagers’ self-esteem, mental health, mood, and empathy.

After 10 weeks the volunteers had lower levels of inflammation and cholesterol and less body fat than those on the waitlist. – AFP-Relaxnews

Vegetarians cut heart risk by 32%

Vegetarians cut heart risk by 32%

Ditching meat and fish in favour of a vegetarian diet can have a dramatic effect on the health of your heart, research suggests.

A study of 44,500 people in England and Scotland showed vegetarians were 32% less likely to die or need hospital treatment as a result of heart disease.

Differences in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body weight are thought to be behind the health boost.

The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Heart disease is a major blight in Western countries. It kills 94,000 people in the UK each year – more than any other disease, and 2.6 million people live with the condition.

The heart’s own blood supply becomes blocked up by fatty deposits in the arteries that nourish the heart muscle. It can cause angina or even lead to a heart attack if the blood vessels become completely blocked.

Scientists at the University of Oxford analysed data from 15,100 vegetarians and 29,400 people who ate meat and fish.

Over the course of 11 years, 169 people in the study died from heart disease and 1,066 needed hospital treatment – and they were more likely to have been meat and fish eaters than vegetarians.

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Men who drink sugary drink daily up risk of heart disease

Men who drink sugary drink daily up risk of heart disease

BOSTON, March 15 — A new study has found that men who drink about a can of full-calorie soda or sugar-sweetened juice a day could be increasing their risk of developing heart disease by about 20 per cent.

Published in the journal Circulation, Harvard researchers followed 42,880 men over 22 years, measuring the different lipids and proteins in the participants’ bloodstream.

After controlling for risk factors like smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption and family medical history, scientists found that those who consumed sugary beverages on a daily basis had higher levels of triglycerides — or bad fat — and lower levels of good cholesterol or HDL levels compared to men who refrained from sugary drinks.

Both biomarkers are known to be associated with a higher risk of heart disease.

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Raw vegetables and fruits counteract heart risk genes

Raw vegetables and fruits counteract heart risk genes

People who are genetically susceptible to heart disease can lower their risk by eating plenty of fruit and raw vegetables, a study suggests.

It says five or more daily portions should be enough to counteract culprit versions of a gene on chromosome 9, thought to be possessed by a fifth of people of European ancestry.

Healthy diets appeared to weaken its effect.

The US researchers investigated more than 27,000 people for their work.

The findings were published in Plos Medicine journal.

These participants came from from around the globe, including Europe, China and Latin America.

The results suggest that individuals with high risk 9p21 gene versions who consumed a diet packed with raw vegetables, fruits and berries had a similar risk of heart attack as those with a low-risk variant of the same gene.

For the complete article, click here.