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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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Extreme Endurance Exercise Like Marathon May Increase The Risk of Heart Attack, Says Study

For people who want to become more active, the researchers suggested that most people can start a light programme of exercise and build up slowly to a moderate to vigorous exercise regimen

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Marathon
More people are running marathons, participating in triathlons and doing high-intensity interval training. The purpose of this statement is to put the benefits and risks of these vigorous exercise programmes in perspective. Pixabay

 While aerobic exercise generally benefits health, extreme endurance exercise — like marathon and triathlon — can raise a person’s risk for sudden cardiac arrest and atrial fribrillation, according to a new study.

After reviewing more than 300 scientific studies, the research team found that physically active people, such as regular walkers, have up to a 50 per cent lower risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death.

However, the team also identified potential risks with intense exercise training, according to the study published in the journal Circulation.

“Exercise is medicine, and there is no question that moderate to vigorous physical activity is beneficial to overall cardiovascular health. However, like medicine, it is possible to underdose and overdose on exercise — more is not always better and can lead to cardiac events, particularly when performed by inactive, unfit individuals with known or undiagnosed heart disease,” said Barry A Franklin, Professor at Oakland University in the US.

“More people are running marathons, participating in triathlons and doing high-intensity interval training. The purpose of this statement is to put the benefits and risks of these vigorous exercise programmes in perspective,” Franklin added.

The research group also reviewed a small study that concluded that the risk of sudden cardiac death or heart attack is low among people participating in high-intensity exercise such as marathons and triathlons.

However, over time, the risk of heart attack or sudden cardiac death among male marathon participants has risen, suggesting that these events are attracting higher risk participants (those who may have an underlying or undiagnosed cardiovascular condition such as heart rhythm abnormalities or a prior heart attack).

For women, who comprised only 15 per cent of the study’s population, the occurrence of sudden cardiac death was 3.5 fold less than in men. Among participants in triathlons, almost 40 per cent of cardiac events occurred in first-time participants, indicating that inadequate training or underlying heart problems may be involved.

Heart Disease
While aerobic exercise generally benefits health, extreme endurance exercise — like marathon and triathlon — can raise a person’s risk for sudden cardiac arrest and atrial fribrillation, according to a new study. Pixabay

The research team also found that half of cardiac events occur in the last mile of a marathon or half-marathon, so maintaining a steady pace rather than sprinting is advised. The risk of cardiac events is greater at high altitudes, but can be decreased by spending at least one day acclimating to the elevation prior to strenuous activity, the study said.

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For people who want to become more active, the researchers suggested that most people can start a light programme of exercise and build up slowly to a moderate to vigorous exercise regimen. (IANS)