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Yoga Cures Heart Related Issues

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, in Uttrakhand, India, have confirmed that yoga keeps heart healthy. In the study, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics, heart rate variability – a sign of a healthy heart – has been shown to be higher in yoga practitioners than in non-practitioners. The autonomic nervous system regulates the heart rate through two routes – the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The former causes the heart rate to rise, while, the parasympathetic slows it. When working well together, the two ensure that the heart rate is steady but ready to respond to changes caused by eating, the fight or flight response, or arousal.
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The ongoing variation of heart rate is known as heart rate variability (HRV), which refers to the beat-to-beat changes in heart rate. In healthy individuals HRV is high whereas cardiac abnormalities lead to a low HRV. To reach the conclusion, Ramesh Kumar Sunkaria, Vinod Kumar, and Suresh Chandra Saxena of the Electrical Engineering Department, at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, have evaluated two small groups of men in order to see whether yoga practitioners can improve heart health. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that yoga practice may improve health through breathing exercises, stretching, postures, relaxation, and meditation.

The team analyzed the HRV “spectra” of the electrocardiograms (ECG) of forty two healthy male volunteers who are non-yogic practitioners, and forty two who are experienced practitioners, all volunteers were aged between 18 and 48 years. The spectral analysis of HRV is, the team says, an important tool in exploring heart health and the mechanisms of heart rate regulation. The power represented by various spectral bands in short-term HRV are indicative of how well the heart responds to changes in the body controlled by the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.

The team explains that very low frequency (VLF) variations in the spectra are linked to the body’s internal temperature control. Low frequency peaks are associated with the sympathetic control and high frequency with parasympathetic control.

The team concludes that in their preliminary study of 84 volunteers, there is strengthening of parasympathetic (vagal) control in subjects who regularly practice yoga, which is indicative of better autonomic control over heart rate and so a healthier heart.

Source: Yoga.am Nov.16, 2009

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News on Health & Science

Cod oil ‘Cuts Arthritis Drug Use’

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A daily dose of cod liver oil can cut painkiller use in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a study suggests.

.Cod liver oil can be taken in capsule or liquid form

Taking 10g of cod liver oil a day reduced the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by 30%, Dundee University researchers say.

Concerns about side-effects of NSAIDs has prompted research into alternative.

Rheumatologists said the study, in Rheumatology journal, funded by Seven Seas, was small but showed fish oil could benefit some patients.

Patients in the trial were either given cod liver oil or placebo and after 12 weeks asked to gradually reduce their use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen.

Almost 60 patients completed the nine-month trial which found 39% taking cod liver oil reduced their daily dose of NSAIDs compared with 10% taking a placebo.

The reduction in drug use was not associated with any worsening of pain or the disease, the researchers reported.

The research team at the University of Dundee have now completed three studies which have all shown patients are able to cut down their NSAID use when taking cold liver oil.

It is thought fatty acids in the fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties.

Side-effects

Some side-effects of NSAIDs, such as an increased risk of stomach bleeding have been known for a long time.

But more recently, concerns have been raised about an apparent increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in those taking the drugs.

Study leader Professor Jill Belch said the study offered hope to many rheumatoid arthritis patients who wanted to reduce the amount of pain medication they take.

“Every change in medication should be discussed with a GP but I would advise people to give cod liver oil a try for 12 weeks alongside their NSAIDs and then try to cut it down if they can manage it but if they don’t manage it, that’s fine.

“If you can get off NSAIDs it will be much safer.”

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society chief executive Ailsa Bosworth said: “People with rheumatoid arthritis still rely heavily on NSAIDs, even though the safety of these drugs is under scrutiny.

“We look forward to more research in this area.”

British Society for Rheumatology president Dr Andrew Bamji said it was a small study so difficult to draw firm conclusions.

But he added: “Anything that can help to reduce NSAID use is going to be safer for patients.

“It does look as if the results are positive and that is quite interesting.

“I would say to patients by all means take cod liver oil and when you feel ready start to reduce your NSAID dose.”

But he stressed that patients must discuss plans with their doctor because it was important that physicians were aware of all medications and supplements the patient was taking.

“Anything that can help to reduce NSAID use is going to be safer for patients”..says
Dr Andrew Bamji, British Society for Rheumatology

Click to see also :->

Cod Liver Oil Cuts the Need for Arthritis Drugs
Cod liver oil ‘treats depression’
Fish oil urged for heart patients
Cod liver oil benefits confirmed
Cod liver oil ‘slows arthritis’
Sources: BBC NEWS:25Th. March.’08

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Healthy Tips

Managing Stress to Ease Heartburn

Stress May Make Heartburn Worse
More than half of people who suffer frequent heartburn say a hectic lifestyle and work-related stress increases their heartburn. While stress hasn’t been linked directly to heartburn, it is known that it can lead to behaviors that can trigger heartburn. During stressful times, routines are disrupted and people may not follow their normal routines in regards to meals, exercise and medication. It is important to find ways to alleviate the stress, and thus make stress-related heartburn less likely.

Regular exercise
This not only helps to lower stress and increase your natural “feel-good” chemicals, known as endorphins, but also helps with digestion.

Sleep seven to eight hours a night
This is critical to keeping our stress level low. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived people have higher stress levels.

Eat balanced meals
By consuming plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and fresh fish, you’ll provide your brain and body with the necessary nutrients to help you perform under pressure. It is also important to avoid the foods that are your heartburn triggers.

Limit consumption of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and sugar
Studies have shown that these substances cause the stress response to become heightened. Alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco are also heartburn triggers.

Visualization
Take a quick “mental break.” Envision a favorite place in your mind; anyplace that makes you relax just thinking about it. This can be imagining a walk by the ocean, a drive through the mountains, or being on a hillside watching the sun set. Concentrating seeing, hearing, and smelling the things you imagine will help you relax.

For more on stress relief, go to About.com’s Guide to Stress.

Source:heartburn.about.com