Eat your greens for a healthy heart

Vitamin K, which is found in kale, spinach and broccoli, maintains the size of the vital organ's left ventricle, a study found, which is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood around the body.

Insufficient levels of the vitamin cause the left ventricle to enlarge, the research adds. Previous research reveals large hearts do not pump blood as efficiently as they should, which can result in fatal heart attacks. The more vitamin K a person has, the less likely they are to develop an enlarged heart, the study found.  Past research suggests vitamin K may activate a protein involved in maintaining heart size.

Researchers from Augusta University analyzed 766 healthy teenagers aged between 14 and 18. The study's participant's diet and activity levels were measured over seven days via self-reporting and devices that assess acceleration.  Their heart's structure and function was investigated via ultrasound scans.
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The findings were published in The Journal of Nutrition

Source  - Daily Mail

Stressed and struggling to sleep? Beeswax could help

An ingredient found in beeswax and wheat germ oil may reduce stress and induce a sound slumber, according to scientists. 

The chemical – found in a variety of plants including sugar cane and rice bran – was found to decrease levels of a major stress hormone in mice. Experts say the compound, called octacosanol – which is used as a supplement for lowering cholesterol – could now be used as a new therapy for stress-induced insomnia.
They also say it is safe for humans because it is a food-based compound.

Many studies have shown that poor sleep is linked to a host of health problems including increased risk of obesity, depression, heart attacks and strokes.
Insomnia is thought to affect around one in every three people, and is particularly common in elderly people.

A team from the International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine at the University of Tsukuba in Japan investigated the effect of octacosanol on sleep regulation in mildly stressed mice.

Daily magnesium supplements 'significantly' reduce blood pressure

Daily magnesium supplements significantly reduce blood pressure, new research reveals.

Taking a 300mg tablet, the recommended dose for males, lowers hypertension and boosts blood flow after just one month, a study review found. Researchers recommend magnesium supplements be considered for people suffering from, or at-risk of, high blood pressure. Yet, other experts argue dietary sources of the mineral, such as leafy greens, bananas and nuts, are sufficient to keep magnesium levels topped up. Excessive levels of the mineral can cause side effects, including diarrhea.

The researchers from Indiana University analyzed 34 studies with a total of 2,028 participants. Results reveal taking a 300mg magnesium supplement every day for one month is enough to significantly lower hypertension and improve blood flow. 

Lead author Dr. Yiging Song said magnesium supplements should be considered for lowering blood pressure in ‘high-risk persons or hypertension patients’.
The findings were published in the journal Hypertension

Source  - Daily Mail