August 30, 2011

It’s the Best Medicine

1 Laughter Has Positive Impact on Vein Health

Laughing is good for your veins say U of MD researchers. For the study, participants watched segments from both funny and stressful movies and, after the viewings, more than 300 measurements of their blood vessel diameters were taken. Researchers noticed that when participants watched stressful movies, their blood vessel lining developed vasoconstriction, which reduces blood flow. However, their blood vessel lining expanded after watching the funny movie. "The magnitude of change we saw in the endothelium after laughing was consistent and similar to the benefit we might see with aerobic exercise or statin use" says lead investigator Dr. Michael Miller who adds that while there seems to be a connection between blood flow and laughter, more studies are needed to confirm this.

More at ScienceDaily.com | Posted 6 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Antipsychotics May Increase Risk of Blood Clots

Tags: University of Maryland, Vascular Health, Laughter, Laughter and Vein Health, Dr. Michael Miller

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (42%) / No! (58%)

Moderation Is Best

2 Chocolate May Improve Heart Health

Five of seven studies show that chocolate holds some power to improve heart health, but doctors warn chocolate lovers shouldn't go overboard. University of Cambridge researchers found that chocolate consumption could be linked with a one third decreased risk of developing heart disease. The highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 29 percent decrease in stroke and a 37 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease compared with lowest levels of chocolate consumption. The new research, presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress, included seven studies that involved 100,000 people. MSNBC reports that researchers aren't sure why there's a beneficial link between consuming chocolate and a decreased risk of heart disease.

More at MSNBC | Posted 6 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Health Benefits Chocolate, Improving Heart Health, Best Ways to Improve Heart Health, Feeling Less Guilty Eating Chocolate, Chocolate Heart Study, Stroke Reduction, European Society of Cardiology Congress, Chocolate Consumption Linked Reduction Heart Disease

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

Long-Term Safety Not Tested

3 Valerian May Ease Menopausal Sleep Problems

Menopause can bring about a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats and sleep problems. Valerian root is an herb used for centuries as a sleep aid. A new study, published in the September issue of the journal Menopause, finds that the herbal preparation may also be beneficial for women who are experiencing sleep problems while going through menopause. Researchers with Tehran University gave 100 women either two valerian capsules or a placebo every day for one month. At the end of the study, 30 percent of the women taking valerian reported improvement in sleep quality versus only 4 percent of women taking the inactive dummy pill. Most side effects from taking the herb are mild and include headache and upset stomach.

More at Modern Medicine | Posted 6 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Acupuncture May Ease Hot Flashes and Mood Swings, Meditation and Exercise May Help Severe Hot Flashes

Tags: Insomnia, Menopause, Sleep Problems, Valerian, Herbs, Menopause Symptoms

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

These Boots Are Made for Surgery

4 Special Boots May Lower DVTs Due to C-Section

Obstetricians are recommending that women having a C-section wear special inflatable boots to reduce the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A DVT is a clot that commonly begins in the leg or groin but can travel to the lungs and become a pulmonary embolism which can be fatal. The risk of DVT increases during and after pregnancy because weight gain slows blood flow, pregnancy promotes blood clotting and activity level goes down in the third trimester and the first few weeks postpartum. The boots go over each leg and inflate and deflate at regular intervals which massage the legs to keep the blood flowing. Although no studies have shown that they would decrease a C-section-related DVT, other studies have shown that they cut the risk by 67 percent in other surgeries.

More at Yahoo! AP | Posted 6 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Greater Deadly Blood Clot Risk for Tall, Obese Men

Tags: C-Section, Deep Vein Thrombosis, DVT, Healthy Pregnancy, Pulmonary Embolism, DVT Risk in Pregnancy, C-Section and DVT Risk

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

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