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6 Fascinating New Facts about Your Heart
In your body is one muscle that works harder than any other muscle; your heart! It can beat as much as 3 billion times in your lifetime as it pumps 2 ounces of blood with every beat. After all that work, the heart is perhaps one of the bodies’ most underappreciated muscles. You may think you know all there is to know about your heart but here is a list of things you probably didn’t know about the old ticker.
1. The Importance of vitamin D
A recent study done out of Italy wanted to evaluate the importance, of any, between vitamin D intake and coronary artery disease. This was a very large study which found that low levels of this important vitamin are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Vitamin D is actually beneficial in the prevention of heart disease as well as an important regulator of the immune system.
In their study, it was found that those with the lowest levels of vitamin D had a 32 percent higher rate of coronary artery disease. More than half of adults in the USA have low levels of vitamin D, with African Americans and Hispanic Americans having the lowest recorded levels. Find out diseases caused from a lack of vitamin D.
2. Diet Drinks and Your Heart
Diet drinks are the popular subject of many research projects currently. However there is one study of note which included almost 60,000 people, which makes it the largest on record. This study was designed to see if there was any relation between diet drinks, cardiac occurrences, and death. In this study, researchers used both men and women.
They found conclusively that females who drank two or more diet drinks each day were more likely to have a stroke, heart attack, or some other cardiovascular problems.
This study also showed that, when compared to the women who drank diet drinks rarely, the women who drank at least two or more every day were 50 percent more likely to die from a cardiovascular disease. Diet drinks used in this study were 12 ounce diet sodas or diet fruit flavored drinks. Read also about Coca Cola and its effect.
3. Exercise: Men vs Women
The accepted peak heart rate formula, 220 minus your age, has been questioned by the findings done in a recent study. After analyzing more than 25,000 stress tests, important differences between men and women were found.
This research study suggests that women between 40 and 90 should change their expectations of their maximum heart rate to be 200 minus 67 percent of their age. For men, the new formula should be 216 minus 93 percent of their age.
The study showed that younger men and women had vastly different resting and peak heart rates and that to judge them all by using the same measure was incorrect as they discovered that a man’s heart rate would rise much more dramatically during exercise yet would return to a more normal, resting rhythm once all exercise had stopped.
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4. Space Science and Your Heart
Ok, I doubt anyone reading this is an astronaut but this is a truly interesting piece of information. As you know, astronauts need to be in tip top shape to put up with the strains of living up in the sky. However, scientific studies of astronauts have shown that their heart doesn’t do so well after long periods in space.
The study followed 12 astronauts. The results showed that, when in space, the heart actually become more of a spherical shape by almost 10 percent. This, along with the loss in bone density and muscle, shows that a long space mission, such as one to Mars or for extended periods on the space station, would definitely be a dangerous mission in so far as health concerns go.
Since the heart doesn’t work as hard in space you would think that would be a good thing, but it’s quite the opposite. The heart actually loses muscle mass in space, which is not a good thing.
5. Pollution Hurts Not Just Your Lungs
Everyone knows that air pollution is bad for your lungs, but it’s now known that it’s also bad for your heart, even at very low levels. Research conducted at the Heart Institute of the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles shows that when you inhale polluted air, it can cause inflammation in your lungs which creates a gush of harmful effects in the entire cardiovascular system.
Hearts that are exposed to pollution are at a higher risk for arrhythmias also.
See also top 10 causes for death in the USA.
6. Can You Die of a Broken Heart?
Yes, actually you can.
Hearts can, literally, break. When you experience intense and overwhelming feelings such as when you lose a loved one, or you go through a divorce, sometimes the shock, pain, and stress can bring on a heart attack, even when someone is in overall good health. In a recent study of over 2,000 heart attack survivors it was found that attacks were much more likely to happen soon after the death of a loved one than at any other time.
As grief subsides, so does the risk. All those love songs appear to have some truth to them after all.