Friday January 24, 2020

Why Heart Function is Reduced at High Altitude Decoded

The findings will be important for people who live, travel and exercise at high altitudes

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Why Heart Function is Reduced at High Altitude Decoded
Why Heart Function is Reduced at High Altitude Decoded. Pixabay

Low amount of oxygen at moutain peaks decreases the volume of blood circulating around the body, and increases blood pressure in the lungs, resulting in reduced heart function at high altitudes, say researchers.

However, the researchers also found that while both these factors impact blood flow, it surprisingly does not impact the body’s ability to exercise to its fullest extent.

The findings will be important for people who live, travel and exercise at high altitudes.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The research improves our understanding of how the human body adapts to high altitude areas and will help us make exploration and tourism of Earth’s mountainous regions safer, and may also help facilitate exercise performance in a wide range of sporting events that take place at high altitude, said researchers led by Michael Stembridge, from the Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales, Britain

“We hope to apply the findings of this work to help improve the health and well-being of these populations by furthering our understanding of the condition and exploring therapeutic targets,” he said.

Also Read: Get Married to Have Better Bones!

Many people who visit high altitudes suffer from “Chronic Mountain Sickness”, which occurs when there is lower oxygen pressure present. It results in shortness of breath, headache, and a fast heartbeat.

For the research, published in The Journal of Physiology, the team collected data of a small group on how the heart and pulmonary blood vessels adapt to life with less oxygen.

The researchers and participants conducted the study during two weeks at a remote research facility in California.

Furthermore, echocardiography was used to assess cardiac and pulmonary vascular function which is non-invasive and indirect. (IANS)

Next Story

Know About the Health Benefits of Walnuts

Eat walnuts daily for better gut, heart health

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Walnuts
Walnuts could lead to better heart health. Pixabay

Walnuts may not just be a tasty snack, they may also promote good-for-your-gut bacteria, say researchers, adding that these ‘good’ bacteria could lead to better heart health.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggests walnut as a part of healthy diet may be a heart- and gut-healthy nut.

Additionally, those changes in gut bacteria were associated with improvements in some risk factors for heart disease.

“Substantial evidence shows that small improvements in diet greatly benefit health. Eating two to three ounces of walnuts a day as part of a healthy diet could be a good way to improve gut health and reduce the risk of heart disease,” said study researcher Kristina Petersen from Penn State University in the US.

Walnuts
Walnuts as a part of healthy diet may be a heart- and gut-healthy nut. Pixabay

According to the researchers, another research has found that changes to the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract — also known as the gut microbiome — may help explain the cardiovascular benefits of walnuts.

For the study, the researchers recruited 42 participants with overweight or obesity who were between the ages of 30 and 65.

Before the study began, participants were placed on an average American diet for two weeks.

After this “run-in” diet, the participants were randomly assigned to one of three study diets, all of which included less saturated fat than the run-in diet.

 

Walnuts
Researchers found that after consuming walnuts, there were significant associations between changes in gut bacteria and risk factors for heart disease. Pixabay

The diets included one that incorporated whole walnuts, one that included the same amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids without walnuts, and one that partially substituted oleic acid (another fatty acid) for the same amount of ALA found in walnuts, without any walnuts.

In all three diets, walnut or vegetable oils replaced saturated fat, and all participants followed each diet for six weeks with a break between diet periods.

 

Also Read- Consumption of Soybean Oil May Affect Neurological Conditions: Study

The researchers also found that after the walnut diet, there were significant associations between changes in gut bacteria and risk factors for heart disease.

According to the study, Eubacterium eligens was inversely associated with changes in several different measures of blood pressure, suggesting that greater numbers of Eubacterium eligens was associated with greater reductions in those risk factors. (IANS)