Categories
Healthy Tips

Your Diet Could be More Important Than Your Genes

A Mediterranean-style diet promotes heart function — even in men who are normally genetically predisposed to poor heart health. This means that the autonomic system controlling your heart rate works better if you eat a Mediterranean or similar diet, no matter what your genes.

In a study, researchers showed that a Mediterranean-style diet is related to higher heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of the time interval between a person’s heart beats. Low heart rate variability is a risk factor for coronary artery disease.

WebMD reports:
“In order to conduct their analysis, the researchers administered food frequency questionnaires to 276 middle-aged male twins. Diet can influence heart rate variability, but this association can be confounded by environmental and genetic factors. Using twins enabled researchers to examine the influence of diet on heart rate variability while controlling for genetic and other familial influences.”

Resources:
WebMD June 16, 2010
Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes June 15, 2010 [Epub ahead of print]

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
News on Health & Science Yoga

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.
……………...click to see
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

Enhanced by Zemanta