Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Noise Pollution and Heart Health

noise pollution and heart health
Can obnoxious, annoying, ear-piercing noise cause a heart attack? According to a new study out of Denmark, ‘noise pollution’ can increase your risk for a heart attack. How can arginine supplements help reduce your risk?

Researchers followed over 50,000 people for an average of 10 years in two major cities. Between 40 and 80 decibels, every 10 decibel increase in traffic noise was linked to a 12 percent higher risk of heart attack. – MensFitness.com

Why does more noise mean higher risk for heart attack? Well, researchers point out that noise can create stress, and stress is what increases heart rate and blood pressure, leading to increased risk for heart attack.  Noise pollution can also affect the amount of restful sleep you get at night, which can also increase your risk for heart attack.

What is noise pollution? Anything that is intrusive, disruptive, or just plain annoying can be categorized as noise pollution. It can be the lawn mower, the traffic outside your window, the construction down the street or the annoying dog next door. If it ‘detracts from regular functioning’ throughout the day or night, it is noise pollution.

What can we do to lower our risk for noise-pollution-heart-attacks? Get away from the noise. Take a vacation, take a hike, head up north for the day and listen to nothing but the calming sounds of the breeze and birds. While we can’t always avoid noise pollution, we can do the small things to maintain heart health and decrease our risk for heart attack. Those things include taking l-arginine supplements, eating right, exercising, decreasing stress levels and simply remembering to breathe. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Increase in Hospitalizations for Kids with Hypertension

It is a well known fact that l-arginine supplements can help lower blood pressure and thus maintain a healthy heart, however it’s also a well know fact that America has some of the highest blood pressure statistics in the world. It’s a sad state of affairs if you ask us at Erase Disease, and considering this new study that we came across this morning, it’s not getting any better. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, now affects more children than we ever expected.

Kids and Hypertension
According to CNN, a new study has emerged showing a dramatic increase in hospitalizations for children with hypertension. In 1997 there were 12,661 hospitalizations for children with high blood pressure. In 2006 that number had risen to 24,602, nearly doubling.

Now, this might not be new news to many of us in the heart conscious industry, however what is surprising is the numbers that come after the hospitalization stats; the costs of hospitalizations in the 10 years reviewed reached an estimated $3.1 billion! That’s billion, with a ‘B.’

According to the study via CNN, kids with hypertension stayed in the hospital for up to 8 days, which is double that of non-hypertensive kids admitted.

The cause? Many involved with the study point to the rising obesity and diabetes epidemic that we face today in America, and it’s remarkably depressing affect on kids between the ages of 9 and 18.

A Parent’s Responsibility
A child’s eating and exercising habits are formed young, and most often characterized by what their parents do. Healthy parents are more likely to have healthy kids, and visa versa. So, parents it’s you time to get healthy. If high blood pressure runs in your family, take your arginine supplements, maintain a healthy diet and get active. Show your kids that it doesn’t have to run your life nor be your fate.

Here are some great tips to instilling a healthy mindset with your kids:

1.       Play Time – I know it doesn’t sound like exercise, and that’s what makes it so perfect. Play with your kids! Avoid video games or movies, I’m talking actual outdoors, running around, getting dirty, play. Play catch, basketball, go swimming, visit a bounce gym, ride bikes, go hiking, play tag, even hide-and-seek is an active game that will get you and your kids moving.

2.       Snack Time – Every kid I know wants a snack when they come home from school, and every parent wants to snack when they get home from work. So, instill healthy snacking habits right from the very start. Instead of chips and cookies have bananas, ants on a log, watermelon or strawberries.
Start young with your kids by staying healthy yourself. Set the example for them!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dark Chocolate and Heart Health...Again

What is it about chocolate that keeps us coming back to this same discussion; chocolate and heart health? The Washington Post came published yet another article on this topic today, quoting yet another scientific study on chocolate and heart health. And this one, like many before, is great news for those who are die-hard chocolate fans, and at the same time are concerned about heart health.

According to the Washington Post, eating dark chocolate every day for 10 years could reduce the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes in some high-risk patients. Do I have your attention yet? Of course, much like the many studies before this one, not all chocolates apply here. Dark chocolate is the healthiest for your heart, but why?

Dark chocolate, according to WebMD, is a potent antioxidant. But what is an antioxidant? Dark chocolate apparently contains a great amount of nutrients and enzymes that prevent the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Rheumatoid arthritis and cataracts. These amazing antioxidants are great little fighting elements that a packed into dark chocolate.

Why is dark chocolate better for heart health then milk chocolate? Well, the answer should be right there in the question. Milk chocolate is made from dairy, while dark chocolate is derived specifically from the actual cocoa bean itself, which is full of phytonutrients and antioxidents.

Now, don’t go  running to the store to buy some dark chocolate to cure all of your hypertension issues. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure and healthy heart requires far more then just eating dark chocolate, although more and more studies are proving what an asset dark chocolate is to heart health. But keeping your blood pressure low involves a healthy diet, getting those l-arginine supplements, staying active and breaking bad habits.