Nuts good for heart

Eating nuts may lower the risk of heart disease, a study published recently in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has found. The study was carried out over a period of 33 years on more than two lakh people. It found that even people who ate less than an ounce (28.3g) of nuts a week reduced their chances of a heart attack by 9 per cent and of coronary heart disease by 12 per cent. Those who ate at least an ounce of nuts regularly five times a week reduced their risk of heart attack by 14 per cent and of coronary heart disease by 20 per cent.

"Nuts have a unique nutritional composition, high in unsaturated fats, fibre and minerals," said lead author Marta Guasch-Ferré, a research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "They should be included as part of a healthy diet." Eating any kind of nuts, including the humble peanut, had the same effect.

Saunas good for BP

A Finnish study suggests that regular sauna visits can reduce the risk for high blood pressure. The study, in the American Journal of Hypertension, included 1,621 middle-aged men with normal blood pressure who were followed for an average of 25 years. During that time, 251 developed hypertension. Compared with those who reported one sauna session a week or less, those who took two to three sessions were 24 per cent less likely to have hypertension, and four to seven visits a week reduced the risk of high blood pressure by 46 per cent.

Senior author of the study, Dr Jari A. Laukkanen, professor of medicine at the University of Eastern Finland, pointed out that sweating (in the sauna) acts as a natural diuretic. Diuretics are among the oldest drugs for hypertension.

Smart kids live longer

Intelligent children tend to live longer than their less gifted peers, a new study suggests. Scottish researchers began their study with 75,252 men and women born in 1936 - 94 per cent of the Scottish population born that year - who had taken standardised intelligence tests in 1947. By 2015, they were able to confirm a cause of death for 25,979 of them; 30,464 were still living in Britain. They found that lower scores on the childhood intelligence test were associated with death from heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, lung cancer and stomach cancer. The study, in BMJ, also found a link with death by accidental injury for those with lower scores.


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