Tag Archives: Studies

Health: Scripps Research “DETECT” Wearable APP Study – A Viral Illness Early Warning System

DETECT Health Study for Wearables AppWhen your heart beats faster than usual, it can mean that you’re coming down with a cold, flu, coronavirus, or other viral infection. That’s the conclusion of recent medical research.

So wearable devices that measure your resting heart rate—made by Apple, Fitbit, Garmin, and others—might help scientists spot viral outbreaks, and also give you more insight into your own health.

Scripps Research designed DETECT (Digital Engagement & Tracking for Early Control & Treatment), a study that will monitor your heart rate and allow you to record symptoms like fever or coughing.

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Health Studies: “Spirulina” Improves Cardiovascular (CVD) Risk Factors, Aids In Weight Loss (BMJ)

From a BMJ Open Heart online study (March 8, 2020):

BMJ Open Heart JournalOverall, the evidence in the literature suggests that spirulina improves several well-established CVD risk factors including hyperlipidaemia and seems to provide benefits around weight loss. 

Although caloric restriction and exercise are the mainstay treatments for obesity, spirulina has shown significant benefits in aiding weight loss. The phycocyanin in spirulina contains a light-harvesting chromophore called phycocyanobilin, which is capable of inhibiting nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate hydrogen (NADPH) oxidase, a significant source of oxidative stress in adipocytes playing a key role in inducing insulin resistance and shifting adipokine and cytokine production in hypertrophied adipocytes. Thus, by suppressing adipocyte oxidative stress, spirulina may lead to systemic anti-inflammatory and insulin-sensitising effects.

BMJ Open Heart Journal Study of Spirulina Health benefits March 2020

Spirulina is both a salt and fresh water blue-green algae, which is being increasingly studied recently. Spirulina was initially classified under the plant kingdom due to its rich plant pigments and its ability to photosynthesize, but was later placed into bacterial kingdom (cyanobacteria) due to its genetic, physiological and biochemical makeup. Spirulina grows naturally in high salt alkaline water reservoirs in subtropical and tropical areas of America, Mexico, Asia and Central Africa.

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Studies: Elderly In 3rd Highest Level Of Exercise Reduce Brain Shrinkage, Aging By 4 Years (AAN)

From a March 5, 2020 American Academy of Neurology release:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Logo“These results are exciting, as they suggest that people may potentially prevent brain shrinking and the effects of aging on the brain simply by becoming more active,” said study author Yian Gu, Ph.D., of Columbia University in New York and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Recent studies have shown that as people age, physical activity may reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Our study used brain scans to measure the brain volumes of a diverse group of people and found that those who engaged in the top third highest level of physical activity had a brain volume the equivalent of four years younger in brain aging than people who were at the bottom third activity level.”

Older people who regularly walk, garden, swim or dance may have bigger brains than their inactive peers, according to a preliminary study to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, April 25 to May 1, 2020. The effect of exercise was equal to four fewer years of brain aging. The study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to measure the brains of people with a range of activity levels, including those who were inactive to those who were very active. The scans showed less active people had smaller brain volume.

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Health Studies: “Habitual” Supplementation Of Fish Oil (Omega-3) Lowers “All Cause Mortality” (BMJ)

From a BMJ Research study (March 4, 2020):

The BMJ podcastHabitual fish oil supplementation is associated with a 13% lower risk of all cause mortality, a 16% lower risk of CVD mortality, and a 7% lower risk of CVD events among the general population

Fish oil is a rich source of long chain omega 3 fatty acids, a group of polyunsaturated fats that primarily include eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Initially, these compounds were recommended for daily omega 3 fatty acid supplementation for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Consequently, the use of fish oil supplements is widespread in the United Kingdom and other developed countries.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Cardiovascular Protection

Several mechanisms could explain the benefits for clinical outcome derived from fish oil supplementation. Firstly, the results of several studies have indicated that supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids has beneficial effects on blood pressure, plasma triglycerides, and heart rate, all of which would exert a protective effect against the development of CVD. Secondly, several trials have shown that omega 3 fatty acids can improve flow mediated arterial dilatation, which is a measure of endothelial function and health. Thirdly, omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to possess antiarrhythmic properties that could be clinically beneficial. Finally, studies have reported that fish oil can reduce thrombosis. Additionally, studies have reported that the anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil could have a preventive role in the pathophysiology of CVD outcomes. Other mechanisms could also be involved to explain the effect of fish oil on CVD outcomes.

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Study: Sunlight Exposure Lowers Blood Pressure, Avoiding It Is Risk Factor For Hypertension (AHA)

From an American Heart Assoc. Journal study (Feb 28, 2020):

American Heart Association LogoSeasonal variation in blood pressure has been known for 40 years, but, to our knowledge, for the first time we show here that this occurs independently of temperature. The reduction in blood pressure is more marked with a rise in UVB than UVA, and in whites than black people. Dermatological concerns about the skin cancer inducing effects of UV radiation need to be balanced against the observed blood pressure lowering effects of sunlight, particularly given the greatly higher burden of disease caused by hypertension.

Incident Solar Ultraviolet Exposure lowers Blood Pressure AHA Feb 28 2020Sunlight exposure appears to lower blood pressure; insufficient exposure to natural ultraviolet radiation and/or active avoidance of sunlight may be new risk factors for hypertension.

Hypertension remains a leading global cause for premature death and disease. Most treatment guidelines emphasize the importance of risk factors, but not all are known, modifiable, or easily avoided. Population blood pressure correlates with latitude and is lower in summer than winter. Seasonal variations in sunlight exposure account for these differences, with temperature believed to be the main contributor. Recent research indicates that UV light enhances nitric oxide availability by mobilizing storage forms in the skin, suggesting incident solar UV radiation may lower blood pressure. We tested this hypothesis by exploring the association between environmental UV exposure and systolic blood pressure (SBP) in a large cohort of chronic hemodialysis patients in whom SBP is determined regularly.

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Diet Study: “Moderate Egg Consumption” Does Not Increase Cardiovascular Disease Risk (The BMJ)

From a BMJ Research online study (March 4, 2020):

BMJ Open Access logoWe found no association between egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in three large US cohorts. Results from the updated meta-analysis lend further support to the overall lack of an association between moderate egg consumption (up to one egg per day) and cardiovascular disease risk. 

One Large Egg Nutrition factsEggs are a major source of dietary cholesterol, but they are also an affordable source of high quality protein, iron, unsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids, and carotenoids.

Introduction: In the United States, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in men and women. Diet and lifestyle undisputedly play a major part in the development of cardiovascular disease. In the past, limiting dietary cholesterol intake to 300 mg per day was widely recommended to prevent cardiovascular disease. However, because of the weak association between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol, and considering that dietary cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern for overconsumption, the most recent 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans did not carry forward this recommendation.

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Study: “Dysfunctional And Variable Sleep” Increases Risks Of Cardiovascular Disease

From a MedPageToday.com online article (March 2, 2020):

Journal of the American College of CardiologyDysfunctional sleep likely is by far the most prevalent comorbidity in CVD. This makes it essential to explore the nature of sleep, but this is reliant on the enthusiasm of clinician scientists,” according to the editorialists.

“In modern society, both the quantity and quality of sleep are negatively influenced by factors such as longer hours of work, more shift work, artificial light and cell phones, all leading to self-reported daytime symptoms such as fatigue, tiredness, and sleepiness,”

A larger range in individual sleep duration and sleep timing across 7 days of wrist actigraphy was associated with significantly more CVD events over a median 4.9 years of follow-up (P=0.002 for both trends).

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