Feelings

16 08 2010

“Feelings, nothing more than feelings”

 

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So  sang Morris Albert years ago. As we research more about ourselves, we find that it is not only our genes and environment, but ourselves that affect not only how we act but our very health. This post is the summation of researching some wide and varied studies, so we’ll just go with an overview;  for today instead of food to eat here’s food for thought.

  • Environment: Where you lives affects how you live (and die): The American Heart Association reviewed data regarding heart disease and air pollution in May 2010. The reached  a conclusion that appears to be a correlation regarding worsening air quality and the rate of heart attacks. They also mentioned correlative evidence to link poor air quality with “heart failure, stroke, irregular heart beats, cardiac arrest and vascular diseases.” Perhaps most worrisome was a “small yet consistent’ link between short-term exposure to high pollution levels and death.”
  • Genes: You wonder why some people seem to be human garbage dumps of junk food refuse and brag about their cholesterol level. You think they must be lying. Well, it may be  in their genes. Recent articles published in Nature by  Harvard, Cambridge and other notable institutions found 95 different regions of DNA involved in the handling and regulation of cholesterol and lipids. Fifty-nine of those were previously unknown. In fact, one of the most potent regions which can decrease “bad” cholesterol by 80% when turned on and raises it by over 200% when turned off is not even a sequences of DNA that codes for proteins. It is an intron, or intervening sequence that affects another region producing a gene called Sort1 . Just a few short years ago we thought those areas were unnecessary leftovers of evolution.  Nature is vastly efficient, if nothing else. Perhaps situations like this are why a recent study published in July in The Archives of Internal Medicine, statins were found not to decrease the mortality rate among those who take them in hopes of preventing a first heart attack.
  • Stress: One of the earliest signs of dysfunction of the  circulatory system is the impaired ability of blood vessels to dilate. Hormones, stress and certain medications are known to increase abdominal fat deposits. A recent study from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology noted that people who gained “even a little weight around their middle hinder the function of cells that line their blood vessels, increasing the risk for high blood pressure and other problems.”
  • Feelings: A recent study out of New Zealand suggested that those having a stressful, troubled childhood may be more prone to health problems as adults, including heart health. One of the researchers suggested that adolescents may be “more vulnerable to cardiovascular risks if they are exposed to various stressors because of their hormonal changes and their sensitivity to peer rejection, acceptance and how they interpret others’ attitudes towards themselves.”

Nothing more than feelings? Those feelings may save your life, so as another Sage of the Seventies noted “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

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3 responses

16 08 2010
rebecca

um our emotions have a big connection with health for sure

22 08 2010
BB

AKA might as well be happy while we’re at it. Thanks, too, for the note on the article in The Archives of Internal Medicine. Up-to-date information, even if refuting previously contended wisdom, is always a gift. Thanks!

22 08 2010
whatscookingwithdoc

@BB:No worries-That’s why we’re here!

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