This Easy Exercise as Good For Heart as Heavy Aerobics

This Easy Exercise as Good For Heart as Heavy Aerobics






Posted by: Scott Davis

So let’s say you’re like majority of people who doesn’t get enough exercise to keep good cardiovascular health. And your doctor has gone the traditional route, and ordered “…40 minutes a day of a brisk walk or biking or swimming- something vigorous and aerobic…”

It is true that those forms of workout are good for your health. But did you know that there are easier, less painful and (thank goodness) less expensive exercises that reap the same (or better) results?

A new study out of Harvard University reveals how a specific, easy type of exercise (everyone can do) lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol and boost overall cardiovascular health as much as vigorous aerobics- even if only done twice a week.

There actually is a way to check the box your doctor wants you to check for exercise, and not pull a hammy or break a hip in the process- try yoga. Especially yoga for beginners.

Research, published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, reviewed more than 35 clinical trials and found that people who practice any form of yoga (from the easiest beginner moves to the most challenging levels) benefitted from doing the exercises as much as doing strenuous aerobic exercises.

Even if they only did the yoga twice a week!


The Internet, especially Youtube, is awash with easy to follow (and free) tutorials that can get you started with an introduction of what yoga is all about. Although for best (and safest) results, it is better to start with a certified trainer who can help you with your moves and create a plan that you can safely do.

Most people who do yoga regularly experience a drop in high blood pressure, increased flexibility, better balance, and sleeping better. And what’s likely the most important benefit of all- their emotional stress levels are improved greatly, eliminating one move at a time, the chronic nature of high blood pressure.

It’s not just for ‘hippies’ or ‘tree-huggers,’ either. Even if the idea sounds a little weird or ‘out there,’ you’re doing yourself a dis-service if you don’t at least give a beginner’s class a try. You may find the gentle moves and easy pace to be the most fun you’ve had in a long while.


The #1 Organ That Causes High Blood Pressure (and nobody talks about it)

An adult woman was found to be missing her cerebellum

by: Christian Goodman

Anybody diagnosed with high blood pressure will find a volley of ideas and thoughts on what factors and organs are responsible for the spike.

But there is one organ that nobody ever talks about, not even mentions, when discussing high blood pressure. This organ secretly narrows your arteries and raises your blood pressure.

The good news is, when you shed the light on this organ, it’s very easy to tackle it and permanently cure high blood pressure – without medications.

A study conducted by researchers from The School of Medicine at University of Maryland, and Ottawa Heart Institute, found an interesting link between our brains and high blood pressure.


In this study, the researchers identified a steroid compound called ouabain, which the brain releases to constrict or dilate the diameter of the arteries throughout the body.

The researchers performed certain experiments on animal models to find this

definite link between the release of ouabain in the bloodstream and constriction of arteries.

Obviously, if the brain releases more ouabain, which narrows the arteries, the blood pressure rises. Just like there is more pressure drinking milkshake through a narrow straw than wide straw.

The most interesting part of this finding is that now we can see our brain has almost complete control over our blood pressure. If we have high blood pressure, it’s because our brain has consciously decided to release ouabain to raise our blood pressure.

So why does the brain make that decision?

The answer is any kind of stress. It can be sensory (traffic noise), emotional (divorce), mental (work task), or physical (workout, disease).

Most of the time this is temporary stress and your brain raises your blood pressure to deal with an immediate threat or condition (this is healthy).

But at some point it becomes chronic. It’s like some neural path gets stuck in this stress circle and can’t get out of it.

Obviously, then, the solution for high blood pressure must be to get us out of this circle. Tell the brain to chill out and stop overdosing on ouabain.

‘Evidence Is Compelling’ on Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet photo:  6a0120a4dc5af5970b014e88978475970d-800wi.jpg


Eric J. Topol, MD

Mar 07, 2013


Mediterranean Diet Study

Hello. I am Dr. Eric Topol, Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. I am thrilled to be the new editor-in-chief; this is an extraordinary way for information to be disseminated to the medical community, and I am hoping to contribute with all the staff and our physician colleagues working around the globe to take Medscape to an “über level.”

In this brief segment today, I will talk about the Mediterranean diet study. This is a study that was published in the February 25 New England Journal of Medicine.[1] I will try to get some commentary, either from myself or other colleagues, about really important studies, and I believe that this is one of them.

We don’t talk enough about diet in medicine, but this is the largest randomized trial to date. The Mediterranean diet has been studied previously in randomized trials but not in a trial as large as this. It is fascinating that this was a study of more than 7400 individuals who were randomly assigned to 3 different diets. Two were Mediterranean diets enriched with either extra-virgin olive oil or nuts and other Mediterranean foods, both including more than 7 glasses of wine per week. The control diet was a low-fat diet, which some people have argued is not an ideal control. There was very good compliance with the diets in this large number of people for many years. The primary endpoint was death, heart attack, or stroke. There was a very important significant reduction of this cluster endpoint in the Mediterranean diet groups. Particularly noteworthy, even by itself, was the reduction in stroke.


Clinical Impact of the Mediterranean Diet Study

We now have dietary evidence that is fairly compelling. The absolute size reduction was not large, but the fact that the Mediterranean diets tested in this trial had such a positive impact gives us some anchoring about a diet that does lower critical cardiovascular endpoints. For many years, there has been discussion about this low-fat diet and whether it had a meaningful clinical impact. At one point, the Mediterranean diet was very much supported by the American Heart Association and other organizations. Now we see that it appears to be superior. The trial has had criticism, particularly honing in on the low-fat control arm of the study, but nonetheless, the evidence is compelling.

Why is this trial unique? It was funded by the Spanish government. This is a country that isn’t known these days for having extraordinary resources to fund research, but the government of Spain got behind an important trial, perhaps the most impressive diet-randomized trial that has been performed. We have to give a lot of credit to them, because this trial was done with that level of funding and with superb investigators throughout the country of Spain, and it makes a lasting contribution. We are always in search of more information about what we eat, and this is welcome. It is particularly nice to know that you can have 7 glasses of wine or more each week and it might have a favorable effect.

We will be trying to highlight similar studies that are interesting, taking us across the whole spectrum of diagnostics, medical devices, genomics, wireless medicine, and topics such as diet and nutrition, to broaden some of the special coverage that we have at Medscape. Thanks very much for your attention.


  1. Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet. N Engl J Med. 2013 February 25. [Epub ahead of print]. Accessed March 6, 2013.

High Blood Pressure Caused by This Simple-To-Fix Deficiency


Posted on December 5, 2012 by Christian Goodman

A lot of physical conditions can cause stress on the body that leads to high blood pressure, and one of the easiest stressors to eliminate is that which is related to vitamin and mineral deficiency.

Many people don’t take mineral deficiency seriously, though, and could consequently be making a deadly but preventable mistake.

One of the most common minerals people are deficient in is featured today.

The Journal of Hypertension recently published the results of an Indian study that looked specifically at magnesium intake and the effects of magnesium deficiency on health markers such as hypertension.

Magnesium is one of those nutrients like vitamin D that is critically needed in almost every tissue and system in the entire body. Deficiencies in it have caused muscle weakness and atrophy, brittle bones, unnecessarily high heart rates, poor blood sugar metabolism, and a host of other problems, all that can themselves lead to high blood pressure.

But, like the Indian study showed, magnesium deficiencies can also lead to poor arterial health, which directly causes high blood pressure.

Not only did the study find that people with the lowest levels of urinary magnesium secretion had the highest blood pressure overall, but they also found that those with the lowest magnesium levels were also metabolically the unhealthiest groups.

High BMI (body mass index), obesity, insulin resistance and other markers linked to Metabolic Syndrome were all present in the low-magnesium group.

There were no statistically significant differences in blood sodium levels between the healthy, normal blood pressure groups and the unhealthy, high blood pressure group, lending more evidence to the notion that nutrition efforts focused on reducing salt intake for those with high blood pressure isn’t as helpful as increasing intake of other needed nutrients.

Eating foods rich in magnesium such as nuts (any kind), wheat bran, beans (any kind) and squash (any kind) is the most efficient way to get the needed amounts. Coincidentally, these same foods are the most highly recommended for those with metabolic disorders because of their abilities to lower cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and high blood pressure.