Daily hour of yoga lowers blood pressure

Pehypertension affects 1 in 3 Americans. A new study suggests 1 hour of yoga a day reduces blood pressure and may help patients with prehypertension avoid developing high blood pressure.
[man and woman in yoga pose]
New research suggests yoga may prevent patients with prehypertension from developing hypertension.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 75 million American adults have high blood pressure, also called hypertension.

Hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It is defined as a systolic blood pressure of 140 millimeters of mercury per gram (mmHg) or higher, and/or diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg or higher.

A further 1 in 3 Americans have prehypertension, a condition where blood pressure is higher than normal, but not high enough to fall in the hypertension range. Prehypertension is defined as systolic blood pressure between 120-139 mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure of 80-89 mmHg.

Unless they improve their lifestyle, patients with prehypertension are likely to develop hypertension in the long term.

According to a study presented at the 68th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India (CSI), yoga may have unexpected health benefits for patients with prehypertension.

Studying the effects of yoga in prehypertension patients

Researchers – led by Dr. Ashutosh Angrish, cardiologist at Sir Gangaram Hospital in Delhi, India – examined the effect of hatha yoga on the blood pressure of 60 patients with prehypertension.

They divided the participants into two groups of 30. One group practiced hatha yoga for 3 months in addition to making conventional lifestyle changes, while the control group only made lifestyle changes.

Hatha yoga is at the basis of modern yoga, but it places less emphasis on physical postures than most yoga practices today.

Participants practiced 1 hour of yoga daily for 1 month with an instructor. Then, patients practiced yoga at home at the same rate for the remaining 2 months.

Conventional lifestyle changes included moderate aerobic exercise, diet, and stopping smoking.

The patients were otherwise healthy, with an average age of 56 years in the yoga group and 52 years in the control group. The yoga group had 16 women and 14 men, while the control group comprised of 17 women and 13 men.

The average baseline blood pressure over a period of 24 hours was 130/80 mmHg in the yoga group and 127/80 mmHg in the control group.

The yoga practice included asanas – physical poses that sometimes involved stretching – as well as breathing control exercises, also called pranayama.

Yoga decreased blood pressure in patients with prehypertension

Researchers found that yoga significantly decreased blood pressure.

Both 24-hour diastolic blood pressure and nighttime diastolic blood pressure fell by about 4.5 mmHg.

The 24-hour mean arterial pressure also declined by approximately 4.9 mmHg.

By comparison, the control group did not present any significant change in blood pressure.

Although these reductions appear to be small, Dr. Angrish explains they “could be clinically very meaningful because even a 2 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure has the potential to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by 6 percent and the risk of stroke and transient ischaemic attack by 15 percent.”

Researchers are not yet clear on how yoga reduces blood pressure, but Dr. Angrish ventures an explanation.

“The exact mechanism is not clear from our study but it has been postulated that yoga may decrease the sympathetic drive, reset the baroreceptors and cause neurohumoral effects. The findings suggest that a combination of all three components of yoga – asanas, pranayama and meditation – is helpful but our study is unable to pinpoint their individual contribution.”

Dr. Ashutosh Angrish

The health benefits of yoga

Dr. Shirish Hiremath, CSI president elect and chairman of the CSI 2016 Scientific Committee, urges young people to take up yoga, as it is both economical and convenient.

“Yoga is a part of traditional Indian culture, and has shown clear benefit in cases of prehypertension,” he says.

“[It is] easy to practice and can be adapted by masses and is also very economical; yoga can go a long way in improving the overall health of the country, as hypertension is affecting a large number of young Indians. Yoga can turn out to be just the correct answer for people at risk.”

Dr. Angrish thinks doctors should recommend yoga to their patients.

“Our research suggests that patients with prehypertension should be advised to practice hatha yoga (a combination of asanas, pranayama, and meditation) for 1 hour daily. It may prevent the development of hypertension and in addition give a sense of well-being.”


Travel insurance


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Look and Thinking life insurance


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Nestlé develops ‘new sugar’ that sweeter tastes


Chocolate manufacturer Nestlé claims to have developed a technique that changes the structure of sugar. This allows the sugar content into strips to 40 percent be reduced without the taste changes.
The main technologist of Nestlé explains at The New York Times that researchers have altered the composition of ordinary sugar. It came a new sugar, which in fact would taste on the tongue, leaving less of what is necessary in order to sweeten products.

The Swiss manufacturer wants to reveal the precise technique yet, but speaks of “truly pioneering research”.

The new sugar is processed from 2018 in the chocolate of Nestlé. According to the Times, the discovery, provided that effective, a breakthrough in the mission to sweets healthier.

Study finds 1 in 5 pediatric celiac disease patients on gluten-free diet sustain persistent intestinal damage


In surprising findings, researchers from MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) and Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) have discovered that nearly one in five children with celiac disease sustained persistent intestinal damage, despite strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. The findings are consistent with recent research in adults, which showed that more than 33 percent of adult patients on a gluten-free diet have persistent intestinal damage, despite a reduction of symptoms or the results of blood tests.

“This study confirms that we need to look more aggressively for mucosal healing in all patients, not just adults,” says Maureen Leonard, MD, MMSc, clinical director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at MGHfC and co-lead author of the report published online in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Findings from the study have already been translated into revised clinical care practices at MGHfC, where most pediatric patients over the age of 10 will be monitored for mucosal healing with a repeat endoscopy, along with follow-up blood testing, after one year of treatment with the gluten-free diet.

Current guidelines for pediatric celiac disease patients recommend a single biopsy at diagnosis and follow-up blood testing to monitor recovery of the intestinal mucosa. In a related commentary that has also been published online in JPGN, Ivor Hill, MD, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ohio State University School of Medicine echoed the call to revisit current treatment guidelines and also raised questions about the prevalence of intestinal damage in children with celiac disease and the best way to move forward, considering the results of the current study. “Until we have a reliable non-invasive means of determining mucosal healing in children with CD, it seems the biopsy will remain important both for initial diagnosis and subsequent monitoring,” Hill wrote.

Although the long-term risks for children with persistent intestinal damage are not clear, such damage in adults has been linked to an increased risk of lymphoma, low bone density and fracture. The study authors also note, “malabsorption and inflammation in children may have negative repercussions on physical and cognitive development.”

Alessio Fasano, MD, director of the MGHfC center and co-senior author of the study, was also surprised by the results, which were based on a retrospective examination of the biopsy and medical records of 103 children with celiac disease treated at MGHfC or BCH. The children had been on the gluten-free diet for at least one year and were determined by dietitians and other hospital health care practitioners to have complied well with the diet. But repeat biopsies found persistent intestinal damage in 19 percent of them. “The number of children who don’t heal on the gluten-free diet was much higher than what I expected,” Fasano says.

Another finding that surprised Fasano was that blood levels of the autoantibody IgA tTG – the primary lab test used to monitor celiac disease – did not accurately measure mucosal recovery. In fact, the authors note, neither blood test results nor patients’ symptoms accurately predicted repeat biopsy results, and the tTG antibodies that are most effective for diagnosis were not as useful for monitoring the rate of mucosal healing.

Fasano explains, “In the 1970s, pediatricians would perform three endoscopies – one at diagnosis, one after a year on the gluten-free diet, and a third during the following six months, to check for healing after the patient had been re-exposed to gluten and monitored for symptoms. When we developed robust blood screening tools in the 1990s, the number of endoscopies required for standard care was reduced to one and, most recently, to none in a subgroup of patients. We assumed that healing would occur once a patient was put on the gluten-free diet. Now that we have learned that this is not the case for all celiac patients, we are changing our clinical practice by repeating the endoscopy after one year of the implementation of the gluten-free diet.”

The study was carried out by members of the Celiac Research Program at Harvard Medical School (HMS), a collaboration between MGHfC, BCH and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. As a result of the current findings, the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at MGHfC – which treats both adults and children with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders – plans to undertake a collaborative, prospective study on the rate of mucosal healing in children.

Motorbike Insurance


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Car insurance


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