A large-scale review of clinical trials for the past 25 years confirms that walnuts are the great choice for people who want to support their cardiovascular health.
The scientists reviewed 26 randomized studies with 1,059 participants in total whose age was from 22 to 75. The benefits of a diet rich in walnuts were compared to low-fat, Western, Mediterranean, and Japanese diets.
The analysis showed that a diet rich in walnuts had 3.25% greater reduction in total cholesterol levels, 3.73% greater decrease in LDL cholesterol, and 5.52% greater reduction of triglycerides.
Dr. Michael Roizen, the chief wellness officer in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, says: “This updated review further strengthens the case that enjoying walnuts is a great (and tasty) way to add important nutrients to your diet while supporting the health of your heart.”
Scientists from Heinrich-Heine-University and the IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Düsseldorf, Germany, suggest that consuming the amount of caffeine equivalent to four cups of coffee might be enough to protect the cells of the heart.
In the study, the scientists discovered a new enzyme within mitochondria appearing to be relevant to caffeine’s protecting effect: p27. Using the mice models, the researchers found that caffeine protected against heart damage in prediabetic, older, and obese mice.
Lead researchers Judith Haendeler concludes: “These results should lead to better strategies for protecting heart muscle from damage, including consideration of coffee consumption or caffeine as an additional dietary factor in the elderly population.”
According to a recent analysis of existing studies in the UK, single, divorced and widowed people have higher chances to develop heart disease and stroke. That’s why the authors of the study believe that being married can be another factor that cuts the risk of cardiovascular disease.
For the study, a team of researchers examined 34 studies from around the world which included over 2 million participants altogether aged from 42 to 77. The results of the analysis showed that single, divorced or widowed people had 42% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to married participants.
Lead study author Chun Wai Wong and colleagues conclude: “Future research should focus around whether marital status is a surrogate marker for other adverse health behavior or cardiovascular risk profiles that underlines our reported findings or whether marital status should be considered as a risk factor by itself.”
A large Swedish study suggests that eating a handful of nuts three times a week may reduce the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat, which is considered to be a major cause of stroke.
For the study, a team of researchers from Karolinska Institute looked at over 60,000 Swedish adults and tracked their consumption of nuts and almonds, as well as their heart health during about 17 years. Having analyzed the received data, the scientists concluded that eating nuts were associated with lower risk of heart attack and stroke.
The authors of the study concluded: “Since only a small proportion of this population had moderate (about 5%) or high (less than 2%) nut consumption, even a small increase in nut consumption may have large potential to lead to a reduction in incidence of atrial fibrillation and heart failure in this population.”
A recent research, published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, finds that in the three-month period after a spouse’s death widows and widowers are at higher risk of death associated with cardiovascular disease.
The study found that people who have lost a spouse within the last three months have higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines (immune markers indicating inflammation in the bloodstream) and lower heart rate variability (HRV) than those non-bereaved individuals of the same sex, age, body mass index, and education level.
Lead author Chris Fagundes, an assistant professor of psychology in Rice University’s School of Social Sciences, USA, says: “In the first six months after the loss of a spouse, widows/widowers are at a 41% increased risk of mortality. Importantly, 53% of this increased risk is due to cardiovascular disease. This study is an important step toward understanding why this is the case by identifying how bereavement gets under the skin to promote morbidity and mortality.”