Gut microbiome plays an important role in atherosclerosis

Researchers have shown a novel relationship between the intestinal microbiome and atherosclerosis, one of the major causes of heart attack and stroke. This was measured as the burden of plaque in the carotid arteries.

Source: Gut microbiome plays an important role in atherosclerosis — ScienceDaily

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Exercise could make the heart younger: Mice make over four times as many new heart muscle cells when they exercise

After a heart attack, patients must create new heart muscle cells to heal. A new study shows that mice make more new heart muscle cells when they exercise compared to when they do not. This was true for both healthy mice and those that had experienced a heart attack. Findings demonstrate that one reason exercise is beneficial to health is that it increases the heart’s capacity to regenerate.

Source: Exercise could make the heart younger: Mice make over four times as many new heart muscle cells when they exercise, study finds — ScienceDaily

Six years of exercise — or lack of it — may be enough to change heart failure risk

By analyzing reported physical activity levels over time in more than 11,000 American adults, researchers conclude that increasing physical activity to recommended levels over as few as six years in middle age is associated with a significantly decreased risk of heart failure, a condition that affects an estimated 5 million to 6 million Americans.

Source: Six years of exercise — or lack of it — may be enough to change heart failure risk — ScienceDaily

New link between gut microbiome and artery hardening discovered

The level of diversity of the ‘good bacteria’ in our digestive systems has been found to be linked to a feature of cardiovascular disease — hardening of the arteries — in new research.

Source: New link between gut microbiome and artery hardening discovered — ScienceDaily

Sitting is bad for your brain — not just your metabolism or heart

Studies show that too much sitting, like smoking, increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and premature death. Researchers found sedentary behavior is linked to thinning in regions of the brain that are critical to memory formation.

Source: Sitting is bad for your brain — not just your metabolism or heart: Thinning in brain regions important for memory linked to sedentary habits — ScienceDaily

The Many Benefits of Sauna Use

While not exactly a new thing, using the sauna has been shown somewhat recently to have tremendous health benefits. More and more quality research is coming out demonstrating that regular sauna use is so beneficial for people in so many ways.

 

Then and Now

Sauna is a Finnish word referring to the traditional Finnish bath and/or bathhouse itself. A sauna as thought of today, is originated in Finland. A modern sauna is usually a simple, wooden room, with varying heat sources in the center. The most common heat source is an electric heater, filled with rocks. The way a sauna achieves such high temperatures without harming people is by controlling the humidity and air flow.The lower humidity in saunas compared to steam rooms is what allows for higher temperatures.

 

Benefits

There are many benefits of regular sauna use. Let’s dive right in.

Circulation

  • Heat causes increased blood flow
  • Oxygenation of cells, organs, and tissue
  • Mitochondrial boost
  • Metabolic waste flushing
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate

 

Performance

  • Elevated heart rate: As mentioned above a sauna session will elevate heart rate to a level similar to medium intensity exercise
  • Increased levels of IGF-1: Some studies have shown increases by as much as 200%-330%! IGF-1 is a hormone that causes anabolism (muscle growth), and recovery from exercise. Both leading to increased muscle growth
  • Increased insulin sensitivity: Great for overall health and muscle growth
  • Increase in heat shock proteins(HSP): Also aids in muscle growth by preventing catabolism (muscle breakdown) and increasing MPS (muscle protein synthesis)
  • Reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)

 

Overall health/longevity

  • 48% lower risk of heart disease
  • Increased insulin sensitivity: Insulin resistance/poor insulin sensitivity is a common factor in many metabolic disorders
  • Increase in FOXO3: Gene associated with longevity and protects against DNA damage
  • Heart rate increase: Regular elevation of heart rate increases heart health
  • Heat Shock Proteins: HSP activate FOXO3 which help to prevent heart, brain, and metabolic disorders. HSP also increase lifespan and are associated with centenarians
  • Lower levels of stress
  • Increases in attention and memory
  • Myelin growth: Myelin is the sheath around nerve cells facilitating signal transmission
  • Neurogenesis: Growth of new brain cells
  • 24% or 40% (depending on frequency) reduction in all cause mortality
  • 27% or 50% (depending on frequency) reduction in cardiovascular death
  • Up to 65% reduction in Alzheimer’s and/or dementia (depending on frequency)
health benefits of sauna use
Inside a sauna

Infrared Sauna

As this technology is somewhat new, less data is available. What has been observed thus far is that full spectrum ( as opposed to only mid or near spectrum) offers the most benefits. Infrared saunas are preferred more and more as there is less heat, so they are more bearable to some. Similar to more traditional saunas, infrared saunas can provide the following benefits:

  • Detox
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Mood enhancement
  • Similar circulation benefits
  • Cell health
  • Wound healing
  • Oxygenation

 

How Much and How Often

Is probably what you want to know now. Most of the data shows that benefits start at a frequency of 2-3 sessions a week, but more robust benefits are observed at a frequency of 4-7 sessions per week. As far as duration and temperature, that hasn’t been determined exactly, but a sweet spot seems to be about 174 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.

 

 

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Wine polyphenols could fend off bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease

Evidence suggests that sipping wine may be good for your colon and heart, possibly because of the beverage’s abundant and structurally diverse polyphenols. Now researchers report that wine polyphenols might also be good for your oral health.

Source: Wine polyphenols could fend off bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease — ScienceDaily