New Moms – Breast Feeding can Lower your Heart Attack Risk
Breast Feeding Your Baby can Reduce Your Heart Attack Risk
A large US study involving over one hundred thousand women has concluded that breast feeding your baby as a new Mom can protect you against heart disease, heart attacks and strokes in later life.
The investigations were carried out by a team of scientists and medical experts based at the University of Pittsburgh, and published in the medical journal ‘Obstetrics and Gynaecology’.
Study follows through from child birth to Menopause
It has followed the health of the study volunteers from their early child bearing years, through their later years and into the menopause stage of their lives.
The following findings were discovered by the research team, which was led by Dr. Eleanor Bimla Schwarz :-
- long term breastfeeding for more than a year) reduces the risk of suffering from a heart attack or a stroke by more than 10%
- A very short period of breastfeeding, typically just for a month after giving birth, was found to produce beneficial lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, plus lower recorded rates of diabetes, all of which form significant risk factors in cardiovascular disease later in life
- The reduction in the instances of high blood pressure was 12%, whilst the reduction in instances of high cholesterol was even higher at 20%.
Employers need to facilitate breast feeding for women at work
Dr Schwarz contextualises the research findings towards employers, and promoting breast feeding wherever possible, especially encouraging new mothers to feed their babies where they work, when they go back to work.
Over the other side of the Atlantic, the United Kingdom now has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates anywhere, with nearly a third of all new Moms never even attempting to breast feed their babies.
A spokesperson from the UK National Childbirth Trust, Rosie Dodds, has called upon the UK government to assist with the promotion and facilitation of breast feeding in the workplace, and in more public locations.
If you have experienced any difficulties or obstacles when breast feeding your baby at work, or in public, please leave a comment below – we’d like to hear about your experiences
Case Study – Aortic Abdominal Aneurysm detected before it killed him
About Aortic Aneurysms
An aneurysm is the term given to a blood vessel that swells and becomes enlarged until it bursts.
Whilst these can occur in all the different parts of the body, they are especially dangerous when they develop in the Aorta, (the largest artery in the body, responsible for carrying all the blood that is pumped out of the heart via its many different branches) as the large loss of blood that results is frequently fatal.
In fact Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) are the fourth largest killer of males aged over 65 years in the United Kingdom – with an estimated six thousand annual fatalaties from the condition.
Worryingly, the condition has no warning signs or symptoms, and is often only diagnosed after the event, during the post mortem of the sufferer.
What are the Risk Factors for Aortic Aneurysm ?
The AAA can develop when the wall of the artery loses it’s elasticity, and becomes more hard and brittle. It can also stretch naturally with age.
However there are also avoidable lifestyle factors, such as having high cholesterol, smoking and being overweight or obese that all contribute to the development of the condition. These cause inflammation of the artery through fatty deposits, and can increase the chances of developing a bulge.
Our case study patient, a male UK resident, is in his early seventies, and had never heard of the condition, until he happened upon an article about it in the media. Realising that he was in the target age group, he decided to enrol for a special screening program that is being run by the UK National Health Service.
The test consists of a short appointment for an ultrasound scan – approximately 15 minutes, to detect the condition, and in this case, the results very probably saved his life, as the scan detected that he had a large two and a half inch bulge in his own Aorta.
A month later he had life-saving surgery to reinforce the damaged section of the artery. This was done by opening up the Aorta and inserting a synthetic piece of tubing, then stitching the Aorta back in place around the tube.
After a couple of months recuperation he is now back to normal health, and able to lead a normal lifestyle with the threat of the Aneurysm removed.
The screening programme has already identified more than one hundred and thirty patients with similar sized Aortic bulges, any of which could have burst if they remained undetected.
Take Away Information
- There are no warning signs or symptoms of imminent Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
- If you are aged over 65 and male – you’re in the first risk category
- If you’re overweight, obese or a smoker, you’re in the second risk category
- If you’re in either of the above risk categories, you should get checked out by a doctor – it could save your life
Tomato Seeds Linked to Healthy Blood Circulation
A naturally occurring compound found in the seeds of ordinary tomatoes has been discovered to have a major beneficial effect on long term health and blood circulation.
The discovery was made by researchers from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, whilst performing studies into the health giving properties of the mediterranean diet, of which tomatoes are a popular ingredient.
Improved circulation and anti-clotting properties
The lead scientist – Professor Asim Dutta-Roy, a food researcher based at the University, observed that the seeds of tomatoes are coated with a gel like substance that has been shown through clinical trials to have anti blood clotting capabilities. This results in improved blood flow and circulation, and prevents blood platelets from sticking together, with the potential to form a potentially serious blood clot.
The compound has been patented by the name of ‘Fruitflow’ and although it was discovered nearly a decade ago, it is now going to be manufactured on a commercial scale, to be added to existing food products such as milk and fruit juices, and solid foods such as margarine substitutes. It has now been approved by the European Union food standards agencies, as it has been shown to meet it’s published health benefit properties. It may also become a natural alternative to taking low dose aspirin for people, especially older people with high risk factors for heart attack and stroke.
How does it work ?
Platelets are a type of small cell found within the component parts of the blood. Normally these cells have a smooth appearance when viewed under a microscope, but can become damaged by various unhealthy diet and lifestyle factors such as smoking tobacco, eating a diet high in fat, or suffering from excessive stress. This causes the surface of the platelets to become rougher and sharper, and enables them to start sticking together to form the basis of a blood clot.
Aspirin has a counter effect on the blood clotting tendency, but also has some potential unwanted side effects such as ulcers and stomach bleeding. The tomato seed compound does not appear to have any known side effects which may be a major advantage in helping people to improve the health of their blood stream and reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and clotting related complications such as DVT and pulmonary embolism.
The positive effects of consuming tomatoes or products containing the tomato based gel (such as Sirco fruit juices) are fast acting, and are experienced within a few hours of eating them. They have been also been shown to be long lasting – maintaining their effectiveness for a whole waking day. This makes them suitable for inclusion as part of a daily health diet.
Lose Body Fat through Freezing
Excessive body fat is a major contributory factor in heart disease, arthritis and diabetes. Now a new treatment known as cryolipolysis has been developed in the United States that helps to remove surplus body fat, and aid weight loss, by locally freezing the affected part of the body.
How does it work ?
The traditional method of physical reduction of fat from different bodily areas such as the stomach, hips and thighs has been by liposuction, where the fatty tissue is literally extracted through an incision in the skin, through a process of suction – hence the term liposuction.
The problem with liposuction is that it is a surgically invasive procedure that involves a certain degree of risk. When it goes wrong it can cause infection, scarring or hemorrhaging.
The freezing process in the new procedure triggers the decomposition of the fat – a process known as lipolysis, through temperature. The cold temperature causes localised inflammation of the cells responsible for the production and storage of fat, known as adipocytes. This disruption to the fat production process causes a net reduction in the amount of fat in that part of the body.
You can easily reproduce this effect yourself by sucking on a frozen ice cream. Whilst your tongue may soon feel cold and even slightly painful with the cold, what you may not realise is that it actually becomes inflamed. This is the principal of lipolysis in action.
What does the procedure involve ?
Clinical trials of cryolipolysis have utilised a metal plate about 12 square centimeters that is directly attached to the fatty part of the body for about twenty minutes and cooled quickly to -1 degrees C.
However because the process requires extreme cold in order to cause tissue damage, and the degeneration and breakdown of the fat cells, since the fat layer is beneath the surface of the skin, the treatment may require pain relief via a local anasthetic.
Diet and exercise are still the best weight loss tactics
The doctors who developed the treatment have cautioned, however, that this treatment should not be regarded as a future cure-all for obesity and weight loss, and is never going to be a substitute for a well balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and a good exercise regimen.