Wednesday November 20, 2019

Benefits of spicy food: Reduces risk of heart attack, BP & stroke, New Research Suggests.

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Spicy chinese food
Benefits of spicy food: Reduces risk of heart attack, BP & stroke, New Research Suggests.(Image:wikipedia)

Beijing, October31’2017: If you enjoy eating spicy Chinese food, there are greater chances that you would crave less for salt and have lower blood pressure, potentially reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, new research suggests.

“Previously, a pilot study found that trace amounts of capsaicin, the chemical that gives chili peppers their pungent smell, enhanced the perception of food being salty,” said senior study author Zhiming Zhu, Professor at the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China.

“We wanted to test whether this effect would also reduce salt consumption,” Zhu added.

The study enrolled more than 600 Chinese adults and determined their preferences for salty and spicy flavours. Researchers then linked those preferences to blood pressure.

The findings, published in the journal Hypertension, showed that compared to those who least enjoyed spicy foods, participants with a high spicy preference had lower blood pressure and consumed less salt than participants who had a low spicy preference.

They also used imaging techniques to look at two regions of the participants’ brains — the insula and orbitofrontal cortex — known to be involved in salty taste.

The researchers found that the areas stimulated by salt and spice overlapped, and that spice further increased brain activity in areas activated by salt.

This increased activity likely makes people more sensitive to salt so that they can enjoy food with less of it, the researchers said.

“If you add some spices to your cooking, you can cook food that tastes good without using as much salt,” Zhu said.

“Yes, habit and preference matter when it comes to spicy food, but even a small, gradual increase in spices in your food may have a health benefit,” Zhu said.(IANS)

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Gum Disease Can Be a Potential Risk Factor for Increased Blood Pressure

Hypertension could be the driver of heart attack and stroke in patients with periodontitis

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Gum Disease
High Blood Pressure affects 30-45 per cent of adults and is the leading global cause of premature death, while Gum Disease affects more than 50 per cent of the world's population. Pixabay

People with Gum Disease (periodontitis) have a greater likelihood of suffering from high Blood Pressure or vice versa, warn researchers.

The study investigated gum disease as a potential risk factor for hypertension, but the reverse could also be true.

“Further research is needed to examine whether patients with high blood pressure have a raised likelihood of gum disease. It seems prudent to provide oral health advice to those with hypertension,” said Professor Francesco D’Aiuto from UCL Eastman Dental Institute in the UK.

High blood pressure affects 30-45 per cent of adults and is the leading global cause of premature death, while periodontitis affects more than 50 per cent of the world’s population.

“We observed a linear association — the more severe periodontitis is, the higher the probability of hypertension. The findings suggest that patients with gum disease should be informed of their risk and given advice on lifestyle changes to prevent high blood pressure such as exercise and a healthy diet,” said D’Aiuto in the paper published in Cardiovascular Research, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology.

Hypertension could be the driver of heart attack and stroke in patients with periodontitis.

“Previous research suggests a connection between periodontitis and hypertension and that dental treatment might improve blood pressure, but to date, the findings are inconclusive,” the researchers noted.

This study compiled the best available evidence to examine the odds of high blood pressure in patients with moderate and severe gum disease.

Blood Pressure
People with gum disease (periodontitis) have a greater likelihood of suffering from high Blood Pressure or vice versa, warn researchers. Pixabay

A total of 81 studies from 26 countries were included in the meta-analysis.

Moderate-to-severe periodontitis was associated with a 22 per cent raised risk for hypertension, while severe periodontitis was linked with 49 per cent higher odds of hypertension.

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Average arterial blood pressure was higher in patients with periodontitis compared to those without. An average 5 mmHg blood pressure rise would be linked to a 25 per cent increased risk of death from heart attack or stroke, the researchers noted. (IANS)